Ern Chief Adviser
Even before Alvin Nathander’s reign, many of Ern’s nobles argued that the Chief Adviser was in fact more powerful than the King. Many joked that being King meant being a figure head with no real authority; if you wanted real power, your should actually campaign to be Chief Adviser. During Nathander’s reign, when Brenden Hunter was in this position, the joke had even more significance, as will be explained below.
In the way of brief summary, the Chief Adviser is the king’s most trusted ally. He (for indeed this position was always held by men) also needed to be the most informed individual in the country. The adviser attended every meeting the king atttended, and even many the sovereign missed. If the king was ever unavailable to hold public court, the adviser did so instead, a fact that commonly led commoners to conclude the wrong person was king.
Of course, as with the rest of the Small Council, Hunter eliminated this position when he assumed office.
Before Nathander, the Chief Adviser had more than enough duties. After Nathander, the adviser had even more. This space will discuss the advisers’ historical role in addition to the duties added by Nathander.
- The adviser spoke with the kings’ voice when the sovereign was not present. This meant even other Small Councilors had to defer to the Chief Adviser unless said individual was contradicted in some way by the king himself. Of course, such contradictions rarely happened, and when they did, it meant the adviser was quickly replaced, whether he was killed or not.
- Held public court when necessary.
- Oversaw the Small Council. Under most kings, and especially under Nathander, this meant the adviser ran the council meetings. Under Nathander, it also meant the adviser was the direct supervisor of most other councilors, which in turn meant Hunter had veto power over any suggestion the others made. He was the real brains behind budgetary decisions, military training (he also had input in other military matters), and most other concerns facing the Small Council. The only councilors he was unable to veto were the Master of Public Relations and the Master of Reconstruction.
- Oversaw the country’s efforts at education, especially for children. (Some few kings created a separate council position for this duty. Nathander was certainly not one of them.)
- Oversaw the royal castle, ensuring that various administrative positions were staffed and that staff performed their duties with fealty.
- Under Nathander, the adviser oversaw the national military, along with the Master of the Armed Forces. Specifically, the adviser had joint responsibility for supervision of senior military officers. He also supervised the Officer Training Academy.
- Under Nathander and some other kings, the adviser was the kingdom’s public face. If commoners wanted to arrange a meeting with a senior member of royalty, the adviser was the individual they had a chance to meet with. (It took ample funds to pay for said meeting.) (Note: The Master of Public Relations attended various meetings at which key information was disclosed, but the adviser actually spoke in those meetings. It is noteworthy that while Hunter delivered the message, he didn’t design it; that task fell to the Master of Public Relations and the King himself.)
- Under Nathander, the adviser became the Master of Lords. (For most kings, this was a separate council position.) In this role, the adviser oversaw all lordships, giving orders to lords. Failure to follow the adviser’s directions was considered treasonous and was punishable by imprisonment or even death. Additionally, the adviser was given unwavering authority to name and replace lords at will. (Under most kings, this last power was exclusive to the sovereign himself.)
- Under Nathander, the adviser had complete sentencing authority over all criminals. For most kings, this power was either held by a separate councilor that didn’t exist for Nathander, or the king maintained that power for himself (unless he specifically delegated it to the adviser for some limited and specific purpose).
A Note on Nathander’s Contradiction
To be sure Nathander also had all the authority to execute whatever powers he bestowed on Hunter. But it is noteworthy that Hunter essentially had the same authority Nathander did. How did Hunter get to be so trusted by Nathander, an extremely paranoid man who was bent on destroying his western neighbor, and who thought the only way to ensure success in that effort was to install family members in almost every other key position while also overtly lying to his citizenry? That is a good question with no apparent answer. Will the answer ever be found? Probably not.
The Chief Adviser resided in Ern City where he had an impressive wing of the Royal Castle to himself.
Even Hunter slept in his wing. (He kept the apartments as Steward, actually.) But his skill with teleportation magics allowed him to visit any location on the island on any day, so much so that many uninformed nobles who fear and misunderstand magic literally thought Hunter could be multiple places at the same time.
The Chief Adviser was traditionally the public face of the monarchy, so he was often the most accessible figure in the administration. Hunter was no exception. In fact, he was the shining example. While arranging meetings with the adviser required impressive bribes even in Hunter’s case, anyone could make an appointment.
The adviser is the only small councilor who also gets protection from the royal guard. In fact, under Nathander, the adviser had supervisory duty over the royal guard. (Under most kings, said supervision fell to the Master of the Armed Forces.)
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