Government of the Starlit Court

From Beacon Space

The government of the Starlit Court is a constitutional monarchy in absentia and a parliamentary democracy, wherein the Court of Castle Sihi is sovereign. The Court is made up of the elected Council of Elders, the appointed Council of Grandmasters, and the Throne. The monarch declared as the head of state by writ and decree, as holder of the Throne, is the High King who was lost to the Court a millennium ago, as such the de facto head of state is instead the Castellan of Castle Sihi who wields central executive authority in his stead.

This government is characterized by its adherence to tradition, its devotion to maintaining order and balance, and the influence of elected and appointed bodies in the absence of the High King.

In the heart of Sihi, this government is an embodiment of unity, wisdom, and enduring governance. Its ability to balance traditional and contemporary elements makes it a pillar of stability and authority, embodying the ideals and principles that have guided the Starlit Court for generations.

Constitutional Monarchy in Absentia

At its core, the government of the Starlit Court operates as a constitutional monarchy in absentia. The High King, declared as the head of state by writ and decree, is the reigning monarch, but he has been lost to the Court for a millennium. While the High King holds the Throne symbolically, the de facto head of state is the Castellan of Castle Sihi. The Castellan wields central executive authority, making critical decisions and overseeing the government in the High King's stead.

Castellan of Castle Sihi

The Castellan of Sihi is a crucial and influential political figure in the functioning of the Starlit Court’s government. This role is steeped in tradition and history, originally created to fill the void left by the loss of the High King, the supreme ruler of Sihi. The Castellan is chosen from the ranks of the Grandmasters, who lead the One Hundred and Forty Four Knightly Orders.

They wield executive powers, issue orders, and ensure that the government operates smoothly in the absence of the High King. Their role is essential for maintaining the stability and security of Sihi and overseeing the legislative branch's actions. The Castellan's ability to make critical decisions and take action in times of need is a cornerstone of the realm's governance.

Parliamentary Democracy

The political structure of the Starlit Court also bears the hallmarks of a parliamentary democracy. This democratic aspect is most notably represented by two key bodies: the Council of Elders and the Council of Grandmasters. These elected and appointed councils work in tandem to ensure the voice of the people is heard and the realm's traditions are upheld.

Council of Elders

The Council of Elders serves as the elected body representing the interests and will of the people. Members of this council are elected by the populace and are responsible for speaking with the voice of the people. Currently, the council consists of 547 seats, each representing 144,000 individuals. Council members are elected for six-year terms, with one-third of the seats up for reelection every two years. They maintain a vast repository of knowledge, safeguarding sacred texts, artifacts, and the histories of Sihi's diverse peoples.

The Herald

Holding the powers of moderator during discussions and the deciding vote in the incredibly rare event of a tied decision, the first seat of the Council of Elders, the Herald is the first among equals. The office of the Herald maintains the right to call the Castellan for questioning regarding the implementation of laws and the execution of executive powers and is the chair of the Appellate Committee.

It is due to these powers that make them the best positioned to challenge the Castellan on matters of state that the Herald is often considered the leader of the opposition. However, due to their mirrored positions as the heads of the two Councils of the parliament, they more commonly work in close partnership analogous to vice-presidential roles found in other governmental systems.

Lady’s Choice

The appointment of the Herald is by the direct choice of the Lady, with only a few exceptions they hold the seat for the remainder of their time in the Council.

Council of Grandmasters

The Council of Grandmasters is a key component of the Starlit Court's government. It is made up of the collective Grandmasters of each of the One Hundred and Forty Four Knightly Orders. These Grandmasters hold significant influence in military and administrative matters, handling military contracts, and approving or denying knightly quests. While they are not elected by the people, they attain their positions by achieving the rank of Grandmaster within their respective orders.

The Speaker

Sometimes humorously referred to as the Castellan’s castellan, the Speaker of the Council of Grandmasters is a largely administrative role, they are purely intended as the moderator of discussion within the Chamber of Grandmasters in the Castellan’s absence. They do have some minor authority over the creation and management of any committees the Council might form, but since Grandmagisterial Committees are vanishingly rare these powers are largely vestigial.

The Lady

The Lady of the Unseelie Court represents the primary personality of the gestalt consciousness that embodies the court. This enigmatic figure holds a unique and central role within the Court, serving as a beacon of wisdom and guidance.

Selection of The Herald

One of the Lady's distinctive functions is the selection of The Herald from among the Council of Elders. The Herald is entrusted with delivering the Lady's wisdom and counsel to the Council of Elders and the Council of Grandmasters.

Advisory Role

The Lady's influence extends as an advisory figure to both the Council of Elders and the Council of Grandmasters. Her counsel is highly regarded, and her insights are considered invaluable in shaping the decisions of both bodies.

Guiding the Councils

In most cases, the Lady's wisdom is shared openly with all members of both the Council of Elders and the Council of Grandmasters. Her advice plays a pivotal role in guiding the councils on how to proceed on various issues and matters, ensuring that they align with the Court's principles and traditions.

However, in matters of the utmost security and confidentiality, the Lady's guidance is reserved for the Castellan and The Herald. These two individuals have the responsibility of determining how to handle such sensitive issues, relying on the Lady's wisdom for guidance.

The High King's Council

Rumors persist that there are certain matters that the Lady will only discuss with the High King, should they ever return to the Court.

The Sovereign Court of Castle Sihi

The Court of Castle Sihi, as the sovereign entity in the Starlit Court's government, is a symbol of tradition and continuity. The Court is responsible for upholding the realm's laws, traditions, and the continuity of leadership during the High King's absence. The Court is largely made up of the ministers and their secretaries, appointed by the Castellan, who are in charge of the various departments that make up the day-to-day functioning of government. Their primary roles include advising the Castellan in regard to their Department’s focus and ensuring that the government functions smoothly.

The ministries themselves are created and removed by necessity meaning that over the centuries of the Court’s existence, there have been hundreds of different names and domains of importance. Below is a list of the current ministries in effect in the Court.

  • Attorney General's Office
  • Castellan’s Office
  • Court Services Export Finance
  • Department for Business & Trade
  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport
  • Department of Defence
  • Department for Education
  • Department for Energy Security
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
  • Department of Health & Social Care
  • Department for Housing & Communities
  • Department of Justice
  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Work & Pensions
  • Foreign Office
  • HM Treasury
  • Office of the Herald of the Council of Elders
  • Office of the Speaker of the Council of Grandmasters
  • Station Office


The judiciary of the Starlit Court is a fundamental pillar of its governance, responsible for interpreting and upholding the realm's laws and traditions. At the apex of the judicial hierarchy, the Unseelie Court, the gestalt memories of the honored dead, holds the esteemed position of the supreme court in the land. Their primary role is to ensure that justice is served throughout the realm, maintaining the balance between tradition and the evolving needs of the people.


Officially the power to appoint judges is part of the High King’s portfolio, delegated to the Castellan in his absence. With the creation of the Department of Justice and the appointment of the Minister for Justice, this power has been further delegated and organized such that there is now a standardized series of examinations and interviews before the Minister can appoint a judge.

Appellate Committee of the Council of Elders

Whilst the Council of Elders of the Starlit Court is the lower chamber of Parliament, for many centuries it has also had a judicial function. It functions as a court of first instance for the trials of Grandmasters and for impeachments of the Castellan and the Herald.

These trials are not held before the full Council of Elders, rather the Appellate Jurisdiction Act devolved these judicial functions of the Council to an Appellate Committee, composed of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (informally referred to as Law Lords). They are then appointed by the Minister for the Department of Justice in the same manner as other judges.

Due to its position in judgment over such important figures, the Appellate Committee is one of the few organs of government to have direct access to the Lady, her millennia of accumulated wisdom from across the Court allows her advice to the Committee to be as informed and impartial as any body can be.

Supreme Unseelie Court

Standing as the ultimate court of appeal, the court of last resort the Unseelie Court, the gestalt consciousness of the honored dead of the Starlit Court performs the function of the Supreme Justice, technically referred to as the High-King-in-Parliament.

Mechanics of the Unseelie Court

Similar to the creation of fae for any other purpose, every time the Supreme Court is called on a fresh bench of 12 sentient judges is created, and projected into the courtroom by a series of holographic projectors. Due to the fresh creation of new sentiences for each trial, it is practically impossible for any lawyer or legal team to prepare an argument that specifically targets the prejudices or proclivities of a known judge.

This use of unique intelligences along with the vast centuries of experience, legal and otherwise, that is brought to bear in this institution results in a nearly unassailable neutrality and a reputation of scrupulously fair decision-making.

Rejection of Unconstitutional Laws

One of the major powers devolved to the Unseelie Court is to unilaterally repeal laws that the court finds to be unconstitutional in the hearing of ultimate appeals.

Passage of Laws and Repealing Legislation

Making New Laws

The process of creating and enacting new laws within the Starlit Court is a carefully structured and democratic endeavor.

1. Proposal: Any Grandmaster or Elder has the authority to propose a new law by submitting a bill. This bill outlines the proposed legislation, its purpose, and its intended effects.

2. Initial Vote: The bill is first reviewed and voted upon in the legislative body in which it was initially proposed. The Council of Elders and the Council of Grandmasters each have their respective houses.

3. Crossing Over: If the bill passes in the originating house, it moves to the opposite house for further review and voting. This process ensures that both legislative bodies have the opportunity to deliberate on the proposed law.

4. Approval and Signatures: When the bill passes both houses, it must be signed by both the Herald and the Castellan. Their signatures represent the final approval of the proposed law. However, if either the Herald or the Castellan vetoes the bill, it is returned to the chamber where it was originally proposed.

5. Overcoming a Veto: In the event of an executive veto, the legislative body may choose to pass the bill again with a super-majority. A super majority is deemed as 66% of the respective legislative body. In the case of one veto, only one super-majority is needed, while in the case of two vetoes, both houses must pass the bill again at a super-majority.

Repealing Laws

The process for repealing laws follows a similar framework to that of creating new laws, but it is intended to replace existing laws that may no longer be suitable for the Starlit Court's evolving needs.

Throwing Out Laws

A law can only be replaced through this process by the Unseelie Court, the highest judicial body within the Starlit Court. The Unseelie Court hears challenges to existing laws that are brought forth as unjust. These challenges are typically based on cases from the lower courts and concerns raised by the people of Sihi. Most often, laws are thrown out through this process due to their discovery as unjust and unfair to the people of Sihi. The Appellate Committee's role is to ensure justice and fairness in the realm.

Avoiding Political Motives

Rarely is the removal of a law attempted for political reasons, as it is generally seen as dishonorable without substantial justification. However, parties may attempt to turn public opinion against a law to gain favor for its removal if the legislature is unable to repeal it through the legislative process.

Tradition and Legacy

The government of the Starlit Court places great emphasis on tradition and legacy. Its unique combination of a constitutional monarchy in absentia, parliamentary democracy, and the sovereign Court of Castle Sihi reflects a commitment to preserving the realm's customs and values. The government's distinctive structure ensures that leadership remains strong and capable, even in the High King's prolonged absence.