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A Gazetteer of Ochalea - Politics

by Giampaolo Agosta

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This sections briefly describes the political scenario of Ochalea, as well as the Ochalean bureaucracy.

The Archduke and the Empire

Ochalea is, and has been for the last millennium, one of the Grand Duchies of the Empire of Thyatis. The title of Archduke is the highest rank of nobility in Thyatis, right below the Emperor and the Crown Princes.

This allows Ochalea a great deal of independence in most administrative matters, even though the Grand Duchy does not have a foreign policy of its own, and must comply to the imperial regulations. That is why, regardless of the deeply ingrained Ochalean mistrust of demi-humans, wizards, and female adventurers, all three types can be found, though in small numbers, in the island: while they can dislike these people, the Ochalean officials are bound by law and cannot prevent them from entering their territory. Moreover, they cannot prevent women (including those of Ochalean origin) from joining the army or choosing another career that is considered unacceptable in the traditional Ochalean society.

The Ochalean Mandarinate

The Ochalean bureaucracy is divided into a central administration and a series of provincial government bodies.

The central bureaucracy is organized into several ministries: much like other Thyatian Grand Duchies, Ochalea has ministries of State, of Trade, of Finances, of the Army. In addition to these, ministries of Justice, History, Agriculture, and Religious Affairs also exist. The central administration has also dozens of lesser bureaus and ministries, each controlling some specific aspect of the Ochalean legislation or of the court life. These bureaucrats are recruited through a nationwide selection process, consisting of many tests and examinations, mostly thought to check the examinee's knowledge of Ochalean history, law, literature and philosophical currents. While the selection process is usually quite fair, corruption does exist - though the Ochalean bureaucracy is still very honest, compared with the imperial one.

The provincial administration is not so hypertrophic - provincial governors are usually named by the ministry of State, though the governor of Yuen is by tradition always chosen to be the heir of the previous governor, and the governor of Kiang lasts little without the support of the Society of the Blue Flower. Each provincial governor has an administrative staff, but few bureaucrats volunteer for assignment in a provincial administration. The result is that provincial bureaucrats are those who have passed the tests with the lowest marks, or as a result of bribing the examiners. Some provincial governors supplement their staff with private assistants, others simply try to work with the material they have. Therefore, the provincial administration cannot be expected to be as efficient or honest as the central mandarinate.

Senatorial Representatives

Since Ochalea is part of the Thyatian empire, it sends its representatives to the Imperial Senate, the primary legislative body of the empire.

There are eight Senators from Ochalea, including of course the Archduke himself, Abbot Teng Lee-Dai and High Priest Ling Tzu-Chen, high-ranking members of the Jade Temple who have been chosen by the Archduke to fill the seats that are assigned to the Teng family and to the governor of Ochalea, as well as five elected representatives. Aristocratic Senator Ran-Wen Zenobius and Duchess Triella Tien-Tang are also of Ochalean origin. Senators Teng, Ling, and Zenobius belong to the Philosophers faction (headed by Archduke Teng), while Duchess Triella is a member of the Zendrolian faction.

The elected Senators represent the following regions, each including two to four provinces:

  1. North-East: Sung and the Celestial Domain (127.000), currently a senator of the Philosophers;
  2. North-West: Yuen and Ta'ang (140.000), currently a senator of the Philosophers;
  3. South-West: Bohan, Chi, Shun (136.000), currently a senator of the Gens Aurelia;
  4. South-East: Cao, Chung, Daisun and the Celestial Territories (114.000), currently a senator of the Free Thinkers;
  5. Central: Kiang, Wang and Shou (127.000), currently a senator of the Gens Aemilia.

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