A Measure of Peace
Mercantile Oligarch Consanguinity
The government of Magnimar is an oligarchy based not only on wealth, but also indentured serfs owned, land holdings, and alliances based on blood relation (whether through marriage, adoption, or ritual). Houses can also gain power by having Dragonblooded and Godblooded members, but lose power for having other types of spirit-blooded members (such as Ghostblooded). While the guilds do have seats in the council and play an important part in the city-state’s existence, they are more concerned with the economic nature of Magnimar and less with the political. As such they tend to vote alongside the noble houses they are connected to.
The noble houses are as follows:
The government consists of a council of noble houses and guilds, each one possessing voting seats equal to their power, which is based on capital, land holding, and the population of indentured serfs owned. Each of the noble houses always has at least five seats (House Gaugamela currently has the most at 11 seats) while each guild has at least two seats, with the Guild of Meritorious Sailing and Coaching (more colloquially known as the Shipping Guild) currently possessing the most at six seats. The guilds currently have 63 seats while the nobles have 72; it is important to note, however, that neither group tends to vote as a bloc—the nobles tend to vote with the guilds most associated with their house and vice versa. The Guild maintains an ex-officio nonvoting seat to act in an advisory position to the council, as do the Counters.
At least two of the houses contain Dragonblooded members. Were Magnimar a Realm satrapy, its Dragonblooded would be gobbled up and sent to Pasiap’s Stair or the Cloister of Wisdom. If it were deeper in the South, it would most likely be under the rule of the Outcastes. That said, Dragonblooded in Magnimar are not the rulers nor do they have greater power in theory. In practice, any Dragonblooded that exalts in the city is quickly recruited into either the noble houses or the Guild, where, with even the slightest bit of wits, they quickly gain wealth and power. Few Dragonblooded call Magnimar home though, given the thin blood of the area. Currently, there are less Dragonblooded in Magnimar than there are in other local areas. Due to the rarity of Dragonblooded in Magnimar, and the propensity of Realm and Lookshayan Dragonblooded to “go native” to a degree in the south (to help with the oppressive heat—except for Fire Aspects, of course), the serfs and many freemen just assume that all Dragonblooded they may encounter will be scions of those great dominions (they also tend to assume that all Dragonblooded are members of House Cynis, especially those who work in the slave trade, much to the chagrin of all non-House Cynis Dragonblooded).