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Government of Absalom

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Absalom is ruled by the Grand Council which is chaired by the Primarch, a position currently held by Lord Gyr of House Gixx. Management of the individual city districts are handled by district councils, which meet within their respective quarter.[1] Absalom's great wealth is driven by trade, so the city's rulers strive to craft policies favorable to commerce (and their own interests), but otherwise take a relatively laissez-faire approach to regulation.[2] Taxes in the city are very light, although Siege Taxes during wartime may be significantly higher. There are no property taxes, although the city charges for access to roads, sanitation, and other public infrastructure. Modest taxes on foreign merchants are generally sufficient to supply the city's needs.[2]

Grand Council of Absalom

The Council has twelve high seats (including the Primarch's) and a variable number of low seats. Attaining a high seat requires nothing more than showing one of twelve magical cornucopias which act as seals of office at an annual meeting. These positions are generally held by powerful merchants, important religious figures, and members of the aristocracy. Seats of the low council are decided by High Council vote annually and members of the low council typically hold minor or unglamorous bureaucratic positions. Member of the low council generally come from prominent families, or are prominent office holders. More notable titles such as Exchequer of the Taxation, Justice of the Courts, Trade Minister and Sea Lord are reserved for High Council members.[1][3]

The Council votes on all matters of state except those denoted as Matters of Note, which are debated and decided by the High Council only. Of course, whether an issue is a Matter of Note is itself a Matter of Note, meaning that the High Council can take over any issue that a majority of them wish to rule on.[1]

Each district is represented in the Low Council by at least one seat and each Absalom's vassal-cities also receive two seats, appointed by their governments. A number of low seats are also handed out to fill whatever duties the High Council feels need representation. Currently the Absalom Low Council has 49 members making the entire Grand Council a total of 61 seats.[4]

Members of the High Council

Members of the Low Council

Primarch of Absalom

The Primarch has additional privileges unique to the position, granting his considerable power over the Council, and by corollary the City at the Center of the World itself. The position is held for life and a Primarch cannot name a successor. It is within his power to veto any political appointment from a member of the High Council taking a specific position to the creation of a new low seat. He is also the only person capable of calling the High Council to meet and can thus hold the government of the city hostage unless his demands are met. Traditionally, the Primarch also holds the position of Sea Lord, though this is the decision of the Primarch, and Lord Gyr currently holds the title of First Spell Lord instead.[1] The primarch's official residence is located in the Wise Quarter.[6]

District councils of Absalom

Each district is governed by a provincial council, which is headed by a nomarch (except the Petal District council, which is headed by a "satrap"). The nomarch is appointed by the Low Council and must be approved by the Primarch.[7] The nomarch of each council also sits on the Low Council of Absalom, but may not sit on the Grand Council due to the Reborn Rebellion of 1464 AR.[7] Each council has its own rules and traditions, influenced by the cultural heritage of the district's residents, and operates independently, although the Grand Council can overrule any local decision.[7]