Council Lords

The Council Lords are the most important governing body of the Etresi Imperium. Comprised of the various Imperial Nobles, they vote on important issues such as ratifying or vetoing proposed laws, approving the annual Imperial budget in addition to electing officials that oversee several departments of the Imperial Government. In times of crisis however the Council can enact emergency powers including the ability to depose a reigning Emperor in favor of a replacement with an appropriate successor. Or if impossible establish an interim Ruling Committee with the various powers of the Imperial Throne. The Council in its entire existence has only removed three Emperors from the throne, and only once during the century long Succession crisis did they form an interim ruling committee.

More conventionally however the most important role of the Council Lords is its responsibility during the Imperial Succession. When the old Emperor dies, the Council must either ratify his chosen successor and declare him the new Emperor or declare him unfit and propose a new candidate from within the Council. Usually the designated successor is declared the new Emperor; however the entire process often involves much politicking especially on the part of the Exarchos of the Great Houses or the Imperial Successor all trying to drum up support amongst the Council for them to take the throne. This election process can drag on for months and sometimes years, a time during which the Imperium is effectively leaderless.

The Council itself is divided into multiple power blocks of nobles belonging to the various Exarchates each controlled by one of the Great Families of the Imperium, and their Exarchos. However there are also groups of remaining independent lords, who primarily hail from the March Worlds, or the border regions of the major Exarchates. The major power blocks tend to vote almost uniformly, with the various independent being the wildcards in Council politics, often making or breaking the various deadlocks that occur between the various Exarchate alliances.