November 11, 2019, Monday, 314


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The Landsraad


The Landsraad, as a political body plays a very important role in the political and economic power balance of the Empire, which it shares with the Emperor and the Spacing Guild. The Landsraad represents the unification of all the other noble Houses, creating a check against the power of the Emperor which is theoretically a comparable force. Both the combined Houses and the Emperor are in turn totally dependent on the Guild for interstellar travel. In return, the Spacing Guild has no purpose without the existence of the Empire. This delicate balance of power serves to prevent any particularly ambitious or destructive faction or individual from upsetting the stability of society; at least, for a time.

The Landsraad, then, is a political body consisting of many Great Noble Houses who are vassals to the Emperor. House is idiomatic for ruling clan of a planet or planetary system. A Great House, or House Major, directly swears its allegiance to the Padishah Emperor in return for his grant of fees or fiefs. Such things can be contracts for the production of some product or service but generally, it is the granting of land in the form of a planets and moons within a given planetary system. Largely, those contracts are tied to the lands granted. The greatest example of this is Arrakis, also known as Dune. This fief yields the prestigious Spice Mining Contract. Only the Emperor’s favorites are selected to rule Arrakis.

High Council

The Landsraad is overseen by the High Council. This is the inner circle of the Landsraad during the time of the Faufreluches. It presided over disputes between Houses. The arbitrary decision of the Judge of the Change could only be disputed before the High Council, and only when the Emperor was present. A grievance was brought before the High Council in a Bill of Particulars. In all grievances, a Judge of the Change is appointed. A Judge of the Change is "an official appointed by the Landsraad High Council and the Emperor to monitor a change of fief, a kanly negotiation, or formal battle in a War of Assassins. The Judge's arbitral authority may be challenged only before the High Council with the Emperor present."


Given all that, it must be stated that the Houses Major could not exist without the Houses Minor. These are smaller noble families which are granted fees and fiefs within a specific planetary system and in return, they swear allegiance to the ruling House Major. As the Landsraad Council is the collective group of all the Great Houses, the Sysselraad Council is the collective group of all the Lesser Houses of a given system, over which the ruling House Major presides. The Sysselraad can be viewed as the Empire in miniature: the ruling House Major could easily demolish any single House Minor but together, the Houses Minor could overthrow the House Major, should they wish to.