The Great Trunk Mother
Uually abreviated to the Great Mother, she is an absolute monarch, however this power is ameliorated by the strong emphasis
that Salsham'ai culture places on responsibility and duty both to the people
they rule and the land they inhabit. The Trunk Mothers that make up the
Great Council rule their regions on her behalf. She has direct responsibility
over the capital Thalsa and on foreign policy and defence.
The Council has the power to confirm which of the
Great Mother's daughters will be named heir and can replace the current
Great Mother if all agree that she has become unable or unfit to rule (a
rare event, although there have been cases where the Great Mother has voluntarily
abdicated in her heir's favour). Thus they have the power to prevent a
ruler from abusing her otherwise absolute power.
Each regional Trunk Mother is advised by a council
made up of the Lesser Trunk Mothers who govern the larger villages in that
region, who in turn are advised by a council of Branch Mothers - leaders
of the neighbourhood communities and smaller villages in the surrounding
areas. Advancement is a combination of family connections and merit, a
Branch Mother will choose the best female relative (whether by blood or
marriage) to succeed her and the council of Branch Mothers can vote to
rotate the office of Lesser Trunk Mother to another family. Trunk Mothers
are less frequently removed.
Mothers of all levels are responsible for the collection
of taxes, administering justice, providing for the local garrison and ensuring that all the people in their community are cared for. They also have a major responsibility to protect their forest homeland from overexploitation and incursions by other races.
The military is responsible for defence, policing
and other emergency work. Each local garrison is under the jurisdiction
of the local Trunk or Branch Mother
Their ranking system reflects their environment with
soldiers being "Leaves", "Twigs", "Lesser Branches",
"Branches", "Greater Branches" etc., with "Roots"
an elite, scouting and intelligence gathering group. The common weapons
are arrows, slings, axes and short clubs and they are also skilled at trap
They have a small navy, having borrowed the idea
from the Empire, comprising mostly small and swift ships used mostly for
scouting and communications.