Something completely different

From: Stewart Stansfield <stu_stansfield_at_...>
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2004 11:00:37 -0000

Aha! I lied. But seriously, 'tis in danger of getting lost in discussion and non-Gloranthan relevance, so for simplicity, here is a simple in-character Gloranthan write-up as a suggestion. I've tried (silly me) to reconcile some differing viewpoints.

Lunar Proxies or Legates:

The position of Plenipotentiary Proxy (or, more simply, Imperial Legate) is a position of devolved power common to several organs of the Lunar administration. It stems itself from the ancient Dara Happan custom of the Imperial Proxies, potentates bequeathed the sacred right to act for the emperor in certain spheres. This custom has pervaded and informed several elements of Lunar governance, providing an often adaptible and flexible system of power relations --  a supreme irony given the rather stolid and conservative Yelmite origin of the convention.

Several of the positions bestowed upon worthy Citizens carry great burdens of responsibility and awareness. Though that responsibility is theirs alone, efficacy frequently demands that certain powers are devolved to other worthy Citizens and potentates. The power to grant such positions under Imperial Lunar Law is retained by only the greatest Imperial servitors, though 'Proxy farming' is fast becoming a good and informal way to indolently pass work on to others; some seditiously whisper that this is the example that Argenteus himself sets.

The Red Emperor and Great Sister possess the right to appoint proxies, as do several prominent personages, including the Provincial Overseer. By Imperial decree, the powers of the Emperor, invested in the Iron Proxy, allow the Ordenviru the ability to create military proxies: indeed, these worthy soldiers are the Warlords, field commanders of the Imperial Lunar Army, and plenipotentiaries of the Moonson on campaign.

As the disparate form of the army leaves no effective standing level of field command above the regiment, the Imperial Legate or proxy is a common feature of the Lunar field armies. Many Warlords are active and headstrong commanders, and can care for all levels of their military charge, but the expansion of the Empire has fast increased the size and variety of armies Warlords have to control.

Usually -- though circumstances vary -- the Moon-blessed Imperial Warrant that makes a proud warrior Warlord confers on a general many rights. One of these is the ability to delegate elements of his own responsibility to military proxies, to better aid his command. He may do this at any point during his command, though further posts are usually subject to Ordenviru ratification. The Yanafali Fereshori are examples of this trend, and by Imperial decree Warlord typically has the right to bequeath vexilla to Yanafali officers, for the creation of vexillae under their control.

The actual choice of such proxy officers varies immensely; it is rare that a Warlord has free reign in choosing his rather flexible 'staff' of Imperial Legates -- if indeed he feels he needs such. Typically he might possess the unquestioned right to choose his masters of logistics, or of 'horse' (though the Cavalry Corps are vociferous on this issue, and woe betide a Warlord that chooses an officer of dragoons!). These campaign-specific posts are usually bequeathed to officers of military experience, be they holding ranks within the regimental structure, or have operated in military contexts before.

The power of legates is largely functional and situational, yet issues of precedence are important. To this extent some legates are granted powers over their fellows, though the exact situation can be somewhat fluid. Titles vary immeasurably, yet the mechanism is purely Lunar. A Dara Happan Warlord might refer to himself as a Three-Star general and stringently choose his 'legates' based upon precedence within the Tripolis, and refer to their city ranks, in apparent ignorance of Lunar protocol.

Among the Lunars, functional terms might predominate: Master of the Wagons, Master of the Horse and Avilry, Master of the Camp, Commander of the Left Wing, etc. Name, given that legates are aware of the realms of responsibility of their fellows, is frequently as much a badge and indicator of rank on campaign as any title.

Yet given the hiearchy of Dara Happan titles, it has become more frequent that a badge of precedence is inserted to this rather inclusive and adaptable form, so that conservative Dara Happans don't get confused by these rather practical appellations. Thus the convention to rank legates in order of the phases of the moon is often the norm, according to how their own realms of responsibility translate into such a system.

The issue of a 'second in command' is critical. For if a Warlord falls in battle, power must devolve on an accepted deputy, lest disorder prevail. Thus the Warlord's successor-apparent and lieutenant is usually appointed by the Ordenviru, to rein in the aspirations and hubris of a Warlord, provide a potential check to his ambitions and retain some element of control. On the death of a Warlord, this personage usually retains control of an army until his position as Warlord is confirmed, or until a new proxy is chosen by the Ordenviru.

Other legates might thus be from a commanding officer's own political faction, and the power of "Fazzur's Ring" on campaign, composed of experienced and loyal Provincial officers, is much decried in the Halls of the Ordenviru -- yet it has so far proven effective. Frequently, the assigning of legates to candidates for a typical campaign takes on a battle of intrigues between the Warlord's favourites, Noble Associations and the various factions within the Ordenviru.


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