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Every Dwarf Hold has a Council of Elders. They are the wisest and most highly respected dwarfs, appointed from amongst the many clans, and chief advisors to the king. A queen, should a dwarf king have one, will have a seat upon the council. Her role is that of moderator rather than being afforded a say in matters of import, such as the appointment and training of an heir to the throne or affairs of war - it is the belief that dwarf men are less inclined to argue should a woman be present. Should a queen not be present, this task is given to the matriarch of the hold - the eldest female dwarf.[1a]

The other dwarfs that might be afforded a position on the elder council are the longbeards of the clan, but only the very oldest or richest - together with any living ancestors, the high priestess of Valaya, the high priest of Grungni, master engineer of the hold, runelord, chief victualer and king's treasurer, amongst others already noted.[1a]

Though not true of all holds, when discussing matters of great import the council is arranged thusly: the king will sit upon his throne, occupying a central position, while his council is arrayed around him below in a semi-circle as befits dwarfen tradition. Though the king of a hold is master in all things, it is rare indeed for a liege-lord to go against the will of his entire council, but it is equally true that an elder council will seldom question an edict of their king.[1a]

For particularly contentious issues, decisions are occasionally made democratically and vote strength is a direction proportion to wealth. There are accounts, in some instances, of a scale being used to decide some particularly weighty debates with each council member afforded a representation of their wealth in weight and the side that the balance favours will be deemed the correct course of action (note, it is usual for the king's measure to be sure that it eclipses all the council's combined).[1a]

Source

  • 1: Grudgelore
    • 1a: pg. 31

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