Elder Council

Table of Contents

Rights and Responsibilities

The Elder Council, as assembly of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals of the Empire, has a plethora of responsibilities and uses.

First of all, it is an advisory council for the Emperor and the First Battlemage. This is accomplished either by irregular meetings of the full Council, parts of the Council (the Red Chorus) or by memospore communication.

Second, it is directly responsible for the budget, tolls, tariffs, and taxation matters. It can appoint special agents, proconsuls, and has a say in the appointment of new Councilmen and new Emperors.

Third, it serves as a pressure vent. Ambitious individuals are looking to accession as Councillor as a goal of their political careers, instead of trying to secede in times of weakness. With all citizens and organisations having the theoretical ability to petition the Elder Council, it adds another possibility to air grievances before they turn into secessionist movements.

Fourth, it also fosters collaboration and diplomacy between actors that are half a continent away. This is sometimes to the detriment of the third use.

A Brief History of Councils

The history of the Elder Council is purported to go back as far as Alessian times and her Council of Skiffs, composed mostly of Nordic and Nedic warlords. Long after the rebellion, muddled claims describe an Imperial advisory council made up of moth priests, prophets, and other sages in the same role. This Council languished under the Alessian Order and was ultimately abolished when the Order collapsed.

Reman I reestablished the Elder Council to organize his new Empire’s bureaucratic leadership. During the Potentate and the Interregnum, it became a corrupt collection of favored generals, court wizards, and courtesans before it slid into the role of strongmen controlling Pretender Emperors. The alliance of Tiber Septim and Zurin Arctus, a Nibennese Councillor, breathed new life into the institution as an Empire was successfully (re)formed in cooperation between Emperor and Elder Council and, by allocating seats to Tiber Septim's war council and provincial dignitaries, changed it profoundly.

Pelagius II is responsible for the Elder Council in its modern form. Dismissing the old Council and establishing a privy council (which would eventually become the Red Chorus), he allowed the wealthy to buy their seats back into what would become the White Chorus. This gave the Council seats a new form of legitimacy, a clear procedure for accession, and became a justification for the Council’s desire for power independent of the Emperor.

The powers of the Elder Council waxed and waned over time. The Simulacrum simultaneously weakened the Council and strengthened its position, as it absorbed responsibility which was held by the Emperor prior to his incarceration but has become subject to centrifugal forces. As provincial interests have begun to influence the White Chorus, it might be a source fueling dissent in the Imperial City and the provinces in order to weaken the Emperor.

Composition of the Elder Council

Red Chorus

The Red Chorus is in near-constant communication as the main advisory body to the Emperor with frequent meetings in the Council chambers. Its members hold their seats due to their position and have special titles and responsibilities. It has a minimum member count of 15 and a maximum count of about 30.

Notable members include the Imperial Chancellor, the Duke of Colovia, the Duke of Nibenay (currently vacant), the Count of Chorrol, the Baron of Mir Corrup, the Exarch of the Concordian Archives, the Exarch of the Red Treasury, the Exarch of the Palatial Estates, and the Agent-Commissioner of the Briricca Bank.

White Chorus

The White Chorus is much more numerous than the Red Chorus and is what the public identifies with “Elder Council”. Its members are appointed as individuals and membership is, at least nominally, not hereditary. As new Councillors are elected thanks to patrons, importance, and hefty payments to the treasury, some seats have been filled by what amounts to appointed successors.

Members of the White Chorus can and do vote on everything that the Red Chorus can, but not every Councillor has an equal number of votes, encouraging the formation of formal or informal voting blocks. 

Some Councillors might be excluded on voting matters if it is not within their sphere of power, or because they are only represented by a proxy, and others do not even have high enough clearance to know what is being talked about. Thanks to frequent dreamsleeve communication, some Councillors are also excluded by ignorance.

Notable members include Hlidara (representing the Count of Leyawiin), Dimeter Goffay (merchant magnate), Ri’Mahar’Jo (representing the Mane), Veridichi-Adis Mesorach (representing the Silk Weavers Guild), Niriesha-Raie (representing the Rimmen Akaviri), and Kannabrin (Archmagister of the College of Winterhold).

Mute Chorus

Not technically part of the Elder Council, these include advisors to Councillors, observers, lobbyists, and ambassadors. They have no direct vote or voice but the influence they can bring to use on Councillors.

Known Councillors related to Morrowind

  • Hasphat Antabolis (White Chorus), special agent of the Emperor and honorary member of the Imperial Archaeological Society, liaison and advisor for Dwemer matters.
  • Divayth Fyr (White Chorus), acting as a liaison and advisor for Daedric matters. Second or third oldest Councillor, his on-and-off membership was originally requested by Potentate Versidue-Shaie and lasted through Pelagius II’s purge to the modern day.
  • Athis Hlaalu (White Chorus), liaison for King Hlaalu Helseth of Morrowind. A cousin to Helseth and related to the rulers of Cheydinhal. His mansion is in Cyrodiil, presumably Cheydinhal.