Solamnic Governments Part I
My Dearest Herald,
This treatise has been long in coming, I know. But here then is finally a comprehensive look at the government of the largest human realm on the continent. In brief, of course. You do understand, my dear? Time is a valued commodity for one such as me, and politics is ever so boring…
But a favor for a favor, as is said in the posh circles.
To begin with a bit of history.
When the Great Vinas Solamnus decided to remove himself from the Ergothian Empire, he was left in possession of what was known then as The Eastern Frontiers. Made up of the Provinces of Palanthas, Kalaman (now that dreaded Dargaard), Throtyl (what is now Throt), Kharolis and Nordmaar, the Utter East (as known to the high circles of Daltigoth) had little in the ways of government, outside of provincial lords and mayors and such. Solamnus and his generals had decided right away that Solamnus wouldn’t be king. Not only had he no inclination to replace one corrupted monarchy with another, but early writings show that he had no inclination to rule either. Seems he wanted to grasp the reigns of oppression, free the horses, and slip away to a monastery. Alas, the people wanted their hero, so Solamnus was stuck. He, with the help of the Crownguards, the Uth Wistans (forebears of old Gunthar), and various other Nobles (my own Ak Farshoon among them), Solamnus eventually created the system we have today. Each province is ruled by a governor, who in those days was elected by knights and landowners, but now is more or less hereditary, and the governors ruled the kingdom through oligarchic council. Each governor had a 10 year rule, and the elections were staggered. This Council was lead by one of the governors who served a 5 year term in charge. More often than not, this leader was also the head of the Knights of Solamnia, or a member of the church of Paladine.
Under the governors, there were minor lords and fiefdoms, and even smaller districts, down to the lowly mayors and burgomasters and such. The Capital was to be a new, centrally located city called PalaJoliKuk after the patrons of the knighthood, but the population tired of such a heavy name and changed it to Solanthus, overruling the objections of poor Vinas.
About the Provinces- First, Palanthas, the crown jewel, then as now, of the country, was obviously the most influential, as both trade center and cultural destination. Kalaman came next, along with Kharolis, where the Port of Tarsis was beginning to rule the south seas. Throt has always been a backwoods, and was completely uncontrollable to the point of being a dead end career for any knight stationed there. Nordmaar, Solamnus left well alone, for it was too much of a jungle, and the natives did not trust anyone, especially knights. To the west was the fallen empire, and to the east, a rising one.
Istar had a huge impact on the way Solamnia worked. When the kingpriests came to power, the knights were ruled by a weak willed commander who also served as Head of State. This Knight, Vaal Uth Maranth, was so seized by the kingpriest that he handed over all control to the Istarans.
Alas dear Herald, my engagement calls, so I must continue this missive on the morrow.
Fulbright Ak Farshoon
Lord of Lantern and outlying districts, Tarsis province.
Solamnic Governments Part II
My Dear Herald,
I hope this missive finds you well? When last I wrote, I was in the midst of entertaining the current head of the local circle of the Legion of Steel, one Armaund Shaltos. He had quite a lot to say about the nature of these disturbances in my magical abilities, along the lines of Ghosts sucking my soul away. Needless to say, I shall look into this further and send my notes your way.
In your reply to me, I noticed that you wished for more detail as to the lineages of the Heads of the Council of Governors, and I must hesitate to admit that much of that knowledge was lost during one of the two Cataclysms, so only the prominent names remain.
As I was saying last time, the Knight-governor Vaal Uth Marant handed over the reigns of the council to the Kingpriest, effectively turning Solamnia into a vassal state and a buffer region for Istar. Vinas must have rolled over in his grave at the thought of his knights bowing to someone who considered themselves higher than Paladine! But I digress.
In any case, this time period was a bad one for the country. All of the lords were replaced by Handpicked Istaran loyalists who sent the country to ruination quickly. Is it any wonder, then, that the common folk blamed the knights for the Cataclysm? All of the true honest nobles were displaced or mysteriously killed off by the Kingpriest’s allies. As for Vaal, well, an old text preserved by a sage on Lacynos states that he was stripped of his titles and killed for the heresy of swearing an oath in the name of Paladine and Kiri-Jolith instead of His Divine Grace, the Kingpriest. Serves him right, I guess.
Well, what happens next, you ask? Seems quite obvious, my old friend, as some rumors even have you placed as being there and witnessing the first Sundering of the world. Solamnia once again became a single country, as Ergoth was split off, and Istar kindly removed itself. Of course, this lead to the singular interesting sensation of huge land based commerce centers such as Caergoth becoming ports, and my own homes of Tarsis and Lantern becoming dry-docked. With the turmoil that followed, most of the nation fragmented, as Kalaman became haunted with that incredible dark figure of Soth, whose story everyone knows, and Throt and Nordmaar reverting to barbarianism. Tarsis/Kharolis became cut off due to the appearance of a rather large body of water in the middle of the heartlands of the country, so Solamnia proper was left with very little of its original territory. That is good, considering that most of the nobility and government was held accountable for the kingpriest, and so power once again shifted back to village level, save Palanthas and the surrounding areas. Of course, my own Tarsis became even more unreachable after 100 years when those damnable dwarves went and turned half a continent of prime farmland into a wasteland rivaling that of sunken Istar. Not to mention that most of old Kharolis was either taken by the elves or turned into that tiny Abanasinia place, where those supposed heroes of the spear or whathaveyou came from. The War of the Lance wasn’t that important anyway.
However, it is a fact that Solamnia would not exist but for the actions of a unified knight’s council and the Golden Elf General, as they consolidated most of the power to fight the Dark Queen. Lord Gunthar Uth Wistan took over as both head of Knights and Head of State after the wars, and he restored much of the original styles of Solamnus Gubernatorial modus operandi, as detailed in vols. 7 and 12 of the Measure. Solamnia would have hit a Golden age as well, but for the Chaos Problems. The Dark Knights took over, established martial law, and that was the end of it.
There you have it sir. A brief summery of Solamnia for your vast knowledge banks. For more information, you know how to find me. Currently, I’ve been taking a sabbatical from my duties as provincial governor to study both the history of my area, but why my illusion and disguise powers aren’t working right. Its hard to research when everyone knows you own them.
Yours in theory,
Fulbright Ak Farshoon esq.
Lord of Lantern and surrounding environs, Tarsis
Province, 32 SC.
Solamnic Governments Part III
My Dear Herald,
It came to my attention after sending my last letter that I had forgotten to mention a few things about the nature of our correspondence subjects. One of my colleagues in the fields of research (a sivak draconian, of all things!) pointed out to me that for the first 5 or so generations, the Solamnics were ruled by descendents of Vinas Solamnus himself, and the provincial governors were likewise hereditary. This was where the concept of royal blood necessitating joining the Order of the Rose came from. Needless to say, after this point the people started to clamor for more freedom, and the electoral concept I spoke of came into being. For the sake of research, I must point out that this concept was Solamnus’s thought from the start, as evinced by the passages in the Measure I referenced to earlier. Nonetheless, this was an entirely new form of government, so the knights and common folk had no idea what to make of it. Hence using the terms Lord and King. In modern Solamnia, however, the terms Lord Governor and Chief Minister are used for the head of the country and the heads of the state, respectively.
Incidentally, as these missives are all being recorded for posterity, it behooves me to explain the nature of myself and my compatriots for the reading audience, as I am well aware that my lord Herald knows all about us. We are the Iconochronthinai Paradwalis- The Scholars of the Stream of Time. We are a widespread organization (some of us are even based in Taladas) dedicated to studying, recording and spreading the true history of Krynn, along with the current status of the world, its political climate, and the way things happen to flow. All of us are generally Old folks, having lived through the Chaos War, and all of us were changed profoundly by the experience. Some would even say we are the benefactors of the last blessing Gilean granted to the world , when he took the first Paradwali, Astinus, back with him.
Rather Arrogant, aren’t we? In all truth, we are merely scholars who wish that the new ages of Krynn not forget where they came from. We are of all walks of life, and are generally found all over, mostly working for you, my lord Herald. I would tell you more, but the Legion of Steel is hosting a banquet in honor of my 12th year as Lord Mayor of Lantern, and I should likely attend. In my next missive, I shall endeavor to speak more of my home city, and perhaps a little more of the Paradwalis.
Fulbright Ak F.