The Royal Court of the Snow Empire is the reigning monarch's extended body of advisors and planners. They are often responsible for drafting and presenting the bulk of the policies the king implements, though just as often the king gives the court a general plan and they are tasked with crafting specific policy. Head courtiers are equivalent in rank to a duke, while a courtier is equivalent to a marquess. The Royal Court itself is divided into nine subcourts, each with a specialty. Head courtier is a hereditary office, while courtiers themselves are appointed by the head courtiers, generally for life. Many higher members of the Royal Palace staff are also considered part of the Royal Court, though they do not have the noble status that the higher courtiers do.
In addition to its head courtier, the nine main courts each have 12 courtiers. The nine courts are as follows:
|Agricultural||Advises the king on matters related to growing times, what crops to subsidize,
and how much grain should be allotted the poor. Often in close communications with
the current Lord of the Bread Bin.
|Magical||Advises the kings on all manner of magic, including new magic techniques and
any emerging threats related to magic, or threats that magic could be used to nullify.
|Medicinal||Though their stated purpose is to advise the king on matters related to public
health and disease, they often act as a team of elite, personal healers for the
king and other courtiers.
|Military||Advises the king on uses for emerging weapons technology, rising military and
terroristic threats, potential strategies for dealing with said threats,
and policies relating to the King's Army.
|Technological||Primarily advises the king on uses for technology: infrastructure, communications,
and transportation are the primary fields covered. It is also gaining considerable
influence in the increasingly prominent sphere of electrical power.
|Legal||Advises the king on currently existing law, court nominations, as well as on
the legal disputes between dominions or duchies.
|Mercantile||Advises the king on policies related to taxes, trade, and banks, and minting. Also,
which industries and guilds are granted subsidies is largely left to the mercantile court.
|Cultural||Advises the king on how to deal with the various, disparate cultures of Snow Empire.
The head of the cultural court, and the courtiers as well, often act as ambassadors
for the current king, negotiating with groups that are rebelling or are about to rebel.
|Religious||The most cryptic of the courts, the religious court is in close communication with
Lorewell. Their stated purpose is to give the king guidance on religious and spirtual
The Noble Nine
The Noble Nine refers to the line of nine families that sire each courtier. At this point, all families but Klein's form a complex, interrelated family tree: about 50% of head courtiers are born from marriages between two members of a Noble Nine lineage. When this happens, the child is usually considered to be part of the lineage of whoever the father is. However, if the child shows an aptitude for their mother's family's domain, they become a part of their mother's family, and their family name is usually changed. The other 50% are covered by people, typically nobles, brought in from the outside. Though life-long unions can come of this, it is more common for the reigning king to select a notable figure in the Empire to be a mate for one of the courtiers. This is done for the purpose of producing head courtiers that have an aptitude in their specialty. They are also almost always Yuhan or Setulyan nobles, though there are exceptions in the current court: Inzel Rugen had a Lettyen grandfather, while Shasta Mynte had a Kalayn mother. As Epzin is passed down through the mother, this type of summons is especially common for the head of the magical court. Upon receiving such a summons, the person is expected to live in the Royal Palace for two to five years, helping produce two or three children with the head courtier before being allowed to either choose to stay or to leave. If the mother is the only remaining heir to their post in such a situation, however, the child takes the mother's name, in an exception to the usual patrilineal naming system of the Snow Empire.
The following are a list of the Noble Nine families. These are the Royal families present in the current Royal City, as Caius has assembled his own Royal Court (those in bold have defected to Caius's court):
|Court||Family Name||Head (1799 GY)||Current Head|
|Magical||Kenedi||Kenedi Fayaduri||Kenedi Jon|
|Military||Lox||Lox Merkoda||Lox Merkaba|
|Technological||Inzel||Inzel Rugen||Inzel Uze|
|Cultural||Klein||Klein Goldi||Klein Tembo|