government and administration of Midgard

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Anton Undain is the ruler of Midgard. This is simply because he holds the most power (trough funds) and others recognize this.

Government

Anton Undain is a rational, intelligent, down to earth man. He is not cruel but simply cold. He doesn't truly ''likes'' ruling over Midgard but he recognizes that if he would not, somebody else, probably less qualified than him, would take up the cup.

Several other rulers rule directly under Anton Undain, having been appointed by him to lord over areas, parts of the law or management of affairs of the state.

Council of Law

The council of law is directly appointed by Anton Undain.

The leader of the council is his wife, Jenessa Undain, a Nymph. People that hear this for the first time often think she was appointed because she is Anton's wife, however Anton appointed her long before falling in love with her. The fact that she was one of the few woman that actually understood him and his motivations for the laws of Midgard, was the reason he eventually fell in love with her. She is the only official judge of Midgard but many others are able to rule judgments as long as she approves.

The council of law creates more and better defined definitions of the law and inspects the affairs, recruitment and training of the lawmen of Midgard.

Council of management

The council of management is a group of people appointed by either local rulers or Anton Undain to manage the collection and the expenses of taxes.

Province rulers

Every province of Midgard is ruled by somebody hand-picked by Anton Undain. They make direct military, taxation and policy decisions for that province.

Local rulers

Anton Undain appoints local rulers of every city and the province rules appoint village and town rulers in Midgard, normally this is with consent of the population of the settlement in question. These local rulers simply appoint council members and do little else except for in special interest villages.

SIV

Special interest villages (SIVs) are villages with additional or fewer laws than the basic laws of Midgard. To create a SIV somebody that wants to create one needs a group of at least 100 people to back up his claim. He then needs to build a wall around his village with guards posted at the open entrances at all times. These guards should tell visitors and new residents alike the rules of the new village.

Taxes

All residents of Midgard that own pieces of land next to an official road of Midgard pay taxes. These taxes are not high since little is paid with it. All residents of Midgard that own pieces of land within city walls pay extra taxes. All residents of Midgard that own pieces of land connected to water drainage (usually only in more expensive parts of cities) pay extra taxes. The height of taxes fluctuates and is depended on the expenses of the state.

Tax expenses

  • Roads
  • Water drainage
  • Protection

These are the three things Midgard, as a state, pays. Roads are build, cleaned and repaired with money of the state. Water drainage is build, cleaned and repaired with money of the state from extra taxes. The army is recruited, trained, paid and equipment with money of the state. The walls of cities and villages are build, cleaned and repaired with money of the state.

Political movements

The banking comity of Midgard rules over Midgard. They have been ruling over Midgard for over two and a half millennium and are not intended on giving up their "throne". At the head of the banking comity stands the Undain family and the Undain family is at this moment ruled by Anton Undain.

But politics are (although slow) not a stagnant factor in Midgard. Their are certain political movements that mostly come down to how much pressure they can put on the Undain family.

The most important method of shifting political climate within Midgard is called "voting with your gold". The Undain bank is head of the banking guild (and thus ruler of Midgard) only because they posses the most gold. If everybody would where to retract their gold from the Undain bank and deposit their gold in a different bank, that bank would claim the throne and the Undain bank would give up this throne (unless it wants to risk civil war, in which this gold is turned into mercenaries to battle out who the ruler will be). This results in a situation in which the rich and powerful have far more to say about who is in charge than the poor (who have no money to put in the bank anyway).

Different Banking families have different views on how to run Midgard, but the Undain bank is so strong in this position because their "free market but strict rules against violence and theft." policy appeals to the rich, who gain from a free market in which they can exploit the poor and can legally retaliate if the poor where to rise up.

Other banking families have tried to appeal to the rich even stronger, but so far have not succeeded in finding a policy that expresses the wishes of the rich better than that of the Undain bank, or have not gained enough political influence to make those policies well known.

There are other factors that influence Midgardian politics, policies and laws though. They are named below.

Other kingdoms

Asgard and Utgard

The first and foremost of political influences on the policies of Midgard is that of the other kingdoms. If Utgard is gaining power in the eternal war between Asgard and Utgard, they can threaten Midgard into giving them more and cheaper weapons and rations for their soldiers, lest they conquer Midgard. If Asgard is gaining power in the eternal war between Utgard and Asgard, they can threaten Midgard into giving them more and cheaper (magic) weapons and rations for their soldiers, lest they conquer Midgard. This balance is also one of the driving forces behind the War between Asgard and Utgard. Of one of the two is not in the neighbourhood, Midgard it's resources fall prey to the winning side, forcing the other side on the offensive to drive the winning side back to their own borders.

For example: In the month Juli of the year 2559 A.T. Asgard would be able to easily raid convoys heading towards Utgard since they had a large offensive in the Caldera Wasteland, heading towards the Midgardian capital. Claiming that ineffective for their profit, Midgard sends more convoys towards Asgard than Utgard. This situation eventually forced Utgard to act and crush the Asgardian armies at the gates of Evermine. Clearing the way for Midgardian traders once more. Ofcourse, Midgard likes to believe this situation forced Utgard's hand, whether or not this is true, and whether or not Utgard simply waited for the Asgardian force to be in a venerable position before striking is a matter of debate.

Wild races

The policy against wild races has always been on of defence for Midgard. Shanata tribes, Wild Utgardian races, and the like sometimes come from their hiding places to prey on Midgardian villages. Midgard will send mercenaries to deal with these treats but will not actively seek out military revenge and therefore the wild races have little influence on the politics of Midgard.

The two large lizardman and merfolk, and the many shattered nymph, feyfolk and slemmering kingdoms sometimes apply political pressure towards Midgard in the form of trading treaties and in rare cases military pressure. Midgard will bend and shape many policies to please its foreign contact, but makes it strictly clear that it shall not alter any laws on its soil.

A good example of this is that during the shaping of Midgard a large movement of Nymph en Feyfolk kingdoms combined lobbied the fact that the forests should not be under Midgardian rule. This had the effect that the forests (and later other parts of Midgard as well) where deemed "Wild Midgard" and where no longer under Midgardian rule.

Internal groups

Rebels

Midgard counts a large portion of rebels. These rebels usually do not intend to change Midgardian laws. If they want different laws they simply start an SIV. But rebelling against the banking comity and their rule of Midgard has some general motives.

  1. The first and foremost motive is stopping the great war between Utgard and Asgard. These rebels think (and might be accurate in that assumption) that the main reason the war between Asgard and Utgard is still going on is that Midgard is fuelling it, either by supplying weapons and rations and war machines and mercenaries or by secretly staging fake attacks from either side or both. They want this to stop and therefore want to overthrow the government that is doing this.
  2. The second motive is anti-neutrality. These people want Midgard to take a stance in the Utgard/Asgard war. These rebels usually have a preference for either and often fight the other side of rebels.
  3. The third and final motive is power. These rebels want to overthrow the government to claim the power of government themselves. These are slow and covert operations that have been going on and planned for by rich merchant or noble families for decades and they can only be won by a bloody and brutal civil war. Several times have these wars been declared against the Undain family and the banking comity as a whole, but up until now, holding the kingdoms money supply still seems to be the strongest hold one can have on the kingdom of Midgard. Though the last of these wars, almost three hundred years back, came awfully close to succeeding.

Lobbyists and guilds

The guilds and rich noble lobbyist groups of Midgard are all supplying subtle pressure on the Undain family trough financial means. The stronger their hold on the cities of Midgard the stronger their money flow and the stronger their hold on the ruling family trough gifts, bribes and loans.

A good example of this is that in Predator haven it was for a large time policy to regard hunting dogs as Midgardian citizens because of their intelligence and being "mans best friends". This policy protected them from locking them up (theft of body), murder and beating (and stealing their buried bones) under Midgardian law. Hunting guilds found it increasingly difficult to train hunting dogs without good forms of punishment, and found it severely hard to keep themselves safe from rabid dogs if they where not allowed to kill them or even keep them captive! The rich madam Felicia, a profound dog lover who had the ability to speak to animals, lobbied for the policy to be uphold while struggling for power in Predator haven against the hunting guilds. Eventually the policy was broken because of a large monthly sum of money donated to the Undain family for over thirty years. The official policy change motive was posted as the fact that dogs where unable to uphold the fourth law of Midgard without proper training and where therefore unable to be labelled citizens.