Beluroc's Council of Barons - A Deep Dive
We've all heard the proclamations and edicts issued by the Council over the years. Every action they take affects the citizens of Beluroc in some way, shape or form eventually. But what do we really know about these lords of our society?
As part of a special two-part expose, the Gazette will be digging a bit deeper into the dealings of this group of powerful individuals and families.
Who are the Council of Barons?
The Barons themselves are each the head of one of the thirteen most powerful families in Beluroc. Most of these families have been established for quite some time and hold massive amounts of wealth and have access the abundant resources. The positions are generally hereditary with the eldest of each house holding a position on the council as well as the official title of Baron or Baroness.
Every year at the summer festival, the citizens of Beluroc cast votes to determine which of the Barons becomes the Duke of Beluroc for the following year. Judging by the murmurs of support for Baroness Illienna Raddum, Beluroc may soon have its first Duchess. But that will be something to be seen next summer.
What does the Council do?
The Council of Barons itself holds tremendous sway in the lives of ordinary citizens. They are responsible for setting tax levels and the apportionment of the funds that generates. And though there are some rather vocal detractors of how the money is spent, the Council does some pretty interesting things with those funds; including school programs, food distribution and a bunch of other social safety nets designed to make rock bottom not so rocky.
Monetary matters aside, the Council also makes decisions on matters of war and diplomacy as well. Trade missions are also an important part of the Council's responsibilities, as seen recently with the relief ships taking supplies to the Burning Lands after the recent eruption.
There has been little cause for matters of warfare lately as most governments around the Splinterlands have been focused on the land being handed out by the Wizards. However, recently the Council has approved military funding to improve Beluroc's defensive battlements. They have not yet released a statement as to why.
Where are the Council Chambers?
At the centre of town, as we all know, is Centre Market. The first proper market founded on the continent of Mortis long before Beluroc was ever established as a city. Towering above centre market is Redwind Keep, so named for an old battle where the only thing left standing in the city was the keep itself, having protected Beluroc's citizens within its sturdy walls.
In the highest room in the Keep sits the thirteen seats of power, one for each of the Barons or Baronesses of the ruling families. none may enter save for direct invitation from the Council or by being employed by the Council directly.
The main floors of the Keep also house:
- the Magistrates that handle the more mundane aspects of law within Beluroc.
- the War Tribunal that meets in some of the middle floors when necessary.
- the Council Dungeons are below the main floor and are said to be some of the best kept dungeons in all of the Splinterlands.
- the Assayer's office, perhaps the most reviled of the government offices, houses the retinue of tax collectors employed by the Council to enforce the taxes and levies imposed.
Was there always a Council?
No, actually there used to be a single Duke who ruled not only Beluroc but also the vast majority of Mortis. The last Duke was killed during the cataclysm that rocked our world and threw what use to be his lands into turmoil.
This is when the ancestors of the 13 ruling houses brought what they could back under civil rule and helped to found Beluroc around the remains of Redwind Keep and the ruins of the Last Duke's former capital city.
The first Council as we know it was officially elected by popular vote more than 300 years ago and has been ruling our city and the surrounding areas ever since.
If this first Special Issue is well received, The Gazette will publish the rest of this special report and will endeavour to field more direct questions from its readers. Respond via city post or drop by our offices to submit questions.
Beginning the Tuesday following this news release, all residents of Beluroc city and its outlying demesnes will be required to put in 100 hours worth of community service per household. Anyone not wishing to participate will be allowed to leave the city without prejudice and will be set up in one of the several small villages recently built to expand our territory with Mortis.
Open question and comment period will begin with the posting of this notice and will end the Sunday following this release. Civility is required and expected.
Many thanks, The Council.
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