The Three-Legged Stool
Sughiann, Elven Advisor to the Gold Throne:
We may consider dwarven society to be like a three-legged stool. The three legs, the foundations of the dwarven people as a whole, are the Clans, the Guilds, and the Artificers. The flow together and hold up the seat, which is the armed might of the Dwarven Legion. The stool serves as a support for that most August Personage, the Empress.
Lleigius, Elven Advisor to the Silver Throne:
My learnèd companion has, as is so often the case, completely misunderstood the situation. The stool that he proposes is, in fact, upside-down. Our Dear Empress, may Her days be long, is the foundation of the entire society. Upon her strength depends the Legion. And the Legion protects and shepherds the Artificers, the Guilders, and the Clansmen.
Some Dwarf, not an advisor to any throne:
What a load of goat manure these elves pile on each other. The Empress sits on all our backs, that’s clear. And she uses the poor saps in the legion to keep us pressed down, working as hard as we can. For the glory of some empire we never benefit from. Turn over that stool!
Historical note: Sughiann’s Three-Legged Stool and Lleigius’s typically antagonistic rejoinder have been discussed in the courts of the Empire ever since their first proposal, in EY 4419. How the unnamed dwarf heard about it is not clear. In any case, the call to overturn the stool lead to the rise of the so-called Oprokynik movement of political radicals and anti-monarchists. It’s occasionally suggested that the Oprokyniks had something to do with the death of Emperor Yeksei in EY 4507.