The Empire of Dei
The Empire of Dei is, in theory, ruled by Dei himself. In practice, the Speaker Emperor speaks for Dei. This post is held for life, and the elves who served in this role have traditionally been blessed with exceptionally long lives by the benevolence of Dei. After a Speaker Emperor dies, the Lunar Council convenes in Highgarden until a new Speaker Emperor is selected unanimously.
The Lunar Council is composed of the Elven High Seers of the nine lunar celestials. They advise the Speaker Emperor on matters related to the domains of their moons, and draft laws for his approval.
Elves called Counts are responsible for the woods of Ur’dei and the districts of the Ecumenopolis, which they rule from their seat in the forest of Ur’dei. Each Count manages one or more counties of the Ecumenopolis, which are then subdivided into districts. The count employs a Viscount for each district to rule in their name. The Viscounts are often humans, and are always physically located in their district. Political events in Ur’dei often result in minute adjustments of borders between neighboring districts, or a district changing hands from one Count to another. The Counts themselves are relatively autonomous, and tend to compete with one another, while respecting the Speaker Emperor’s rule of law. Although open fights between districts are rare, counts often deploy softer forms of warfare to advance their own political agendas. Each Viscount rules his city as he likes, and most of them act as feudal lords. They often grant titles to their loyal followers, designating Barons to further delegate bureaucratic responsibility, and Knights to serve as their hands on the street. The Viscounts need only to ensure that tithes are paid back to the Counts in Ur’dei, in exchange for the protection of the Orthodoxy and the blessings of Dei.
The Ecumenopolis contains approximately 25,000 districts, each one with at least one million souls. Each Count rules over a county containing up to 100 districts, as well as a single wood in Ur’dei. The forest of Ur’dei measures approximately 1,000 kilometers across, and soaks up most of Dei’s light. The Ecumenopolis stretches another 2,100 kilometers from the edge of Ur’dei in all directions. At the edge of the Ecumenopolis is the Fringe, where the reach of the Empire of Dei tapers off into the savage-filled Shadowlands.