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Mystaran Governments

by James Ruhland

Here is a set of capsule descriptions of some of the more interesting Mystaran nation's governments (or at least the ones I find most interesting). Note that in some cases the "founding document" isn't a formal document (like the US Constitution). In one case (Alphatia) it is a alien philosophical concept (the Melian Dialogue, c.f. Thucididies), and in several cases it is an action. Also, this "foundational document" may not take place at the beginning of a country's history (though in most cases it takes place at or near the beginning). This is the "document" or doctrine which provides the current political arrangement with its legitimacy (thus, earlier forms of governmental organisation which are superseded by this doctrine, for example the Darokinian Kings or Glantri before the limitation of nobility to mages only, are ignored).

Nation: Alphatia
Government Type: MED (Magically Elevated Dictatorship).
Founding Document: Melian Dialogue.
Notes: Rule by arbitrary fiat. Some rulers diligent and capable, but that is not a requirement of leadership.

Nation: Thyatis
Government Type: CI/FT (Corporatist Imperium/Feudal Technocracy).
Founding Document: Valentia's Citizenship Proclamation
Notes: Government by specific individuals for those who agree to be ruled. Corruption currently rampant.

Nation: Karameikos
Government Type: CD (Charismatic Dictatorship)
Founding Document: Thincol's agreement with Stefan.
Notes: Government by a single leader and his cronies enjoying the confidence of the citizens.

Nation: Ylaruam
Government Type: RD (Religious Dictatorship)
Founding Document: The Nahmeh
Notes: Government by religious leaders descended from the regime of al-Kalim. Religion focused on a cult of personality surrounding the founder.

Nation: Ierendi
Government Type: IP (Impersonal Bureaucracy)
Founding Document: "Mad Creeg's" establishment of the Council of Lords.
Notes: Tribunal (in charge of the bureaux) arranges yearly moot election/competition for an honorary Kingship.

Nation: Minrothad
Government Type: SPO (Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy)
Founding Document: "Great Uniter"/Foundation of the trading federation.
Notes: Government by various guild leaders. May transform under the rulership of Oran Meditor into either a CD (Charismatic Dictatorship) or FT (Feudal Technocracy, with the guild leaders as technocrats under the leadership of Meditor).

Nation: Darokin
Government Type: CO (Charismatic Oligarchy)
Founding Document: The Great Merger
Notes: Government by a select class (plutocrats) enjoying the overwhelming confidence of the citizenry. Maintains the formal procedures of a RD (Representative Democracy) to make the authority of the Oligarchs more palatable.

Nation: Glantri
Government Type: B/MED (Balkanised, Magically Elevated Dictatorships)
Founding Document: Light of Rad (council session excluding non-mages from nobility)
Notes: Non-Mages excluded from rulership. Many small principalities which squabble among themselves as frequently (or more frequently) than they unite against outsiders.

Nation: Norwold
Government Type: CC (Captive Government/Colony)
Founding Document: Eriadna giving Norwold to Ericall as a present.
Notes: Government by a leadership answerable to an outside nation (Alphatia) which occupies the region by fiat.

Nation: Hule
Government Type: RA (Religious Autocracy)
Founding Document: Either "the Coming of the Master" or "The Ten Devotions" or any number of documents and theories. In Hule, its hard to tell.
Notes: Government by a single religious leader having absolute authority over the citizenry.

Nation: Heldann (Knights)
Government Type: RO (Religious Oligarchy)
Founding Document: The Code of Conduct
Notes: Government by a religious minority which holds power by virtue of mystical monopolies, with little or no input from the masses.