A list of the improvements and government structure of Ionia during the Golden Age of King Titus Imperius’ rule, and sort of the way things run in Ionia.
Towns elect their mayors, though they have the freedom to decide how this process happens.
To become a “Citizen”, you are required to do several things:
1. Complete a mandatory exchange semester in school in a portion of the country not your own
2. Pass your final year basic exams (usu. around age 15-16) in school.
3. Serve 2 years in either military or other civil service (advanced education waivers may apply).
Only “Citizens” are allowed to vote in anything larger than a town election, though “Residents” (anyone living in the nation) are still protected by most laws, required to pay taxes, etc. The “Bestowing of Citizenship” is a ceremony performed by a member of the Church of Erathis, with a town or district official also present (though, often, they are one in the same person). There are papers signed and a minor magical mark bestowed (though tales of foreign brigands faking this magical mark have troubled election officials in the past). There are those who refuse to be “branded” in such a way (even though it’s a minor magic that is only visible when you want it to be), but those people are allowed, by special waiver, to use their paper documents to indicate Citizenship when such things are required.
There are 7 districts total, splitting the nation geographically NE, CE, SE, NW, CW, SW, with the last district being simply Central, and containing the Capital of Alexandria.
Each town elects a Speaker, who serves on a regional council for the District. The Council of Speakers makes laws for the District. Most Districts also have religious Cardinal Councils who advise the Speakers and are overseen by the District Minister, though any Church is welcome to decide its own methods for determining who will represent their faith on the District’s Cardinal Council. There is a list of Evil faiths not allowed on the Council, FYI. Also, the District Cardinals do not actually make the laws for the District, they only advise.
Each District may appoint a District Minister (a clergy of some sort elected by all citizens in that District) and a Senator (selected by the Town Speakers from that District).
The Prime Minister (also a holy person of some sort) is elected by all citizens of the country, and is the overseer (and tie-breaking vote) for the Parliament, which is composed of the Senators and District Ministers from each District. The Prime Minister is unofficially responsible for the “moral fiber” of the nation, though s/he also must do plenty of politicking. The Parliament makes the national laws.
The King is responsible for enforcing the laws in the nation. He is the head of the military, education, and economic systems (though there are plenty of sub-committees and leaders who do most of the grunt work).
District Governors are elected by all citizens of the district, and are responsible for enforcing District laws (and, by extension, federal laws) in their District. They appoint sheriffs, schoolmasters, tax collectors, etc. in the District.
Elections are overseen by a representative from the church of Erathis, and are considered a holy rite for members of that church.
Officially every District position has a 5 year term, with Federal positions serving 10 year terms. However, nobody’s even thought of having an election for King since King Imperius set up this system and had the thrown pretty much forced on him (though he did demand a recount and a separate second election to be sure).
Mandatory public education is required for children under 16 (or the equivalent, if your race is particularly long-lived) and goes from Grades 1 – 10. Basic reading, writing, mathematics, history, thaumaturgical theory, and comparative religion are all taught. Graduation requires passing the Final Year Exams, which are administered by members of the Church of Ioun. The test is considered a sacred rite for that faith.
The school year has 2 semesters, winter and summer, with 2 week breaks in the planting and harvesting seasons.
During the public education, a student is required to spend at least 1 semester “abroad” in an area of the country not like his own. Usually this means across the East/West divide, but school officials may deem other sufficiently different areas as appropriate as well. The point of this is to promote racial and societal understanding, though it meets with mixed results. Sometimes it works just as planned, but the system has loopholes, and often elvish children may not be treated as well in dwarven host communities, and vice-versa.
Advanced education takes place at various colleges and universities specific to whatever task the student is focusing on (architecture, wizardry, studies with a particular divinity, etc.). Students who attend such universities and sign waivers agreeing to use the skills they gain in the service of their community may opt out of the required military/civil service period for attaining Citizenship.
In order to become voting citizens, residents of Ionia must complete a term of civil service upon reaching a proper adult age (varies by race), and can happen any time after that age is reached. This can take many forms, including:
Military… A term of service in the Ionian military, helping out other nations that need military assistance. This includes the option (usually taken) of staying on as a volunteer reservist, training one weekend a month and marching in various parades, etc, as appropriate (and, of course, taking up arms should any real threat to the region arise… which never happens).
Civil… Every town needs clerks, laborers, and other folks to keep the wheels of civilization turning. Everything from garbage men to tax collectors to record transcribers. Also mail clerks (see below).
Medical/Spiritual… Whichever church claims the nation’s Prime Minister is officially responsible for helping the poor, destitute, and injured of each region. To help with this, citizenry (or soon-to-be-citizenry) can serve at soup kitchens, aid in bandaging the wounded, collect/process herbs for medicinal usage, and pretty much serve as an underling to the “Prime Church” of the area, or to whatever other churches will accept the help (usually you’d go to the prime church, though). FYI, currently the Prime Church is still that of Erathis.
Advanced Education Waiver… See the last paragraph of the Education section.
One of the great achievements that has connected the nation has been the mail service. For a single copper piece a letter can be sent to anywhere else in the kingdom. Distribution is done locally at each town’s city hall, and delivery time is usually 1 week locally, or up to 1 month if going to the other end of the country. “Postal clerk” is an intern job that can fill one’s Civil Service obligation, but actual Mail Carriers are career professionals who often ride mighty steeds and/or utilize a network of teleportation circles to go from town to town. The cost of teleporting can be excessive, though, so often carriers will trust in their steeds instead. These folks are very dedicated to the idea that “The mail must go through,” and there’s even an epic Bard’s song about a Postman who was delivering a letter of marriage proposal to his brother’s beloved, but died along the way. He demanded that the Raven Queen wait until the mail was delivered, though, and continued to walk halfway between the realms of life & death until he delivered the letter to her hand. They ended up marrying, and naming their son after the deceased brother. But that’s the kind of devotion these guys are purported to have. They are recognized by the eagle symbols on their blue cloaks (indeed, some have even been reported to ride giant eagles while on the job).
While there are specific federal, state, and town laws, in general anywhere in the nation tends to have laws like these:
- Don’t kill people
- Don’t steal
- Don’t commit heresy against a particular church on ground sacred to that church
- Don’t use Necromancy
- Don’t worship/summon beings that would destroy society and/or wreak havoc.
- Don’t try to undermine/forcibly change the rule of law
- Respect public officials
Ionia also grants some basic rights to citizens (and some to residents), including:
- right to free speech (all), excepting when it’s used to cast necromancy, summon demons, etc.
- right to vote (citizens only)
- right to hold office (citizens only)
- right to life (all)
- right to pleasant, peaceful existence… basically a right not to be bullied (all)
- right to worship as you see fit… excluding worship that requires summoning demons or breaking other laws, obviously (all)
- right to fair judicial/penal treatment… the anti-torture right (all)
Some towns have regulations regarding the carrying of weapons, but even the worst ones may simply require a peace bond on any weapon, or a pledge not to do violence in the city, or a fine if you do engage in (nonlethal) violence, or something similar. Given that there are still monsters in the world, though, such ordinances are uncommon, and typically it’s just considered good form to mention to the local town guard that you’re a warrior/magic-user/warpriest/whatever who’ll be in town for a while (often town guards are happy to know that there are “heroes” around to help deal with any problems that might arise). Military reservists are immune to all such laws.
And of course there are a bajillion bylaws, rejoinders, rider amendments, and other political chicanery that have developed in this nation that prides itself on the democratic process, so many towns or regions will have a Lawspeaker (usually a devotee of Erathis or Ioun) who has as his/her sacred duty the reciting of laws and legal precedents. That person can also serve as a make-shift public official until the next election, should some other elected person be unable to perform duties.