The Prætor is the presiding officer of the Landsraad and is elected by the aforesaid Federal Legislature. Zie presides over the Landsraad in all matters. The Prætorship of the Landsraad is one of the Great Offices of State of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth. Aside from the occasional Kaiseral election by the Landsraad, it is the only elected position in the Imperial Government.
The office of Prætor is almost as old as the Landsraad itself. Prior to the Prætor, the members of the Landsraad moderated themselves, but as the Landsraad grew in size and importance, it became apparent that some form of mediation was necessary.
Erik Mortis created the name "Prætor". The letter ash (æ) ought to be used if possible as the proper spelling is not "Praetor" (though it is generally accepted).
Duties, Functions and Powers
The Prætor has a wide variety of duties, functions and powers which are derived from tradition and custom, the Charter, the Procedures of the Landsraad, the Lawbook, and several other legal documents.
The Prætor of the Landsraad leads and presides over the sessions of the Landsraad. (S)he organizes, tallies and closes votes. The Prætor is authorized to appoint a deputy prætor to assist zie in matters that shall be delegated to the deputy. The Prætor may choose to appoint more than one deputy praetor, provided that in such instance there must be a hierarchy between the deputy praetors.
No vote may be cast by the Prætor unless to break a tie. Similarly, any of the deputy prætors is not allowed to vote when presiding over the Landsraad unless it is to break a tie.
The Prætor is also charged with maintaining appropriate decorum on the Floor of the Hall of Oratory of the Palace of Zirandorthel as well as elsewhere in the aforesaid palatial complex, or whereever the Landsraad decides to assemble in accordance with law, and has the power to suspend or expel Electors who breach decorum. Zie is also responsible for maintaining order and security on the premises of the Palace of Zirandorthel or the lawful temporary ad hoc meeting place of the Landsraad.
In the event that the Landsraad has no Prætor in office, the Kaiser, or the Ruling Steward, or zir appointed deputy prætor presides, provided, however, that the Kaiser (or Ruling Steward) or zir appointed deputy has no vote in those proceedings, except in case of a tie.
The Prætor is the custodian of the Seal of the Landsraad. The aforesaid seal is used not only for legislative, administrative and representative purposes, but also ceremonially, when it is put, together with the Golden Gavel, into the custody of a new Prætor as part of the customary installation procedure.
Zie also ensures that the text of each Treaty, Bill or Resolution which has been passed by the Landsraad is written down on fine vellum adorned with the coat of arms of the Landsraad as well as such decorations as initials, borders and miniature illustrations drawn with gold, silver and vibrant colours.
Very important treaties - such as the Treaty of Sula Sgeir and the Shirerithian, Alexandrian, and Natopian Entente - which have been passed by the Landsraad may by the Prætor's command be engraved onto tablets of silver and gold.
It is incumbent upon the Prætor to represent the Landsraad before the Kaiser, the Sovereigns of the Imperial States, in the Imperial Judex or other court of law, and before any other body or authority if so necessary. The Prætor also receives dignitaries, both foreign and domestic, who are visiting the Landsraad as well as other guests of the self-same Federal Legislature.
In addition to zir legislative role as presiding officer of the Landsraad as well as being the first and foremost representative of the aforesaid Federal Legislature, the Prætor performs several administrative functions to facilitate and ensure the smooth operation of the Landsraad. The Prætorum, the Office and Household of the Prætor, assists the Prætor in the discharge of the aforesaid functions. It is comprised of the officers and employees of the Landsraad.
The Officers of the Landsraad include, but are not limited to, the Greffier, the Cudgeller-at-Arms, the Architect, the Seneschal, the Counsel, the Historian, the Parliamentarian, the Castellan, and the Chaplain. The Prætor may, by ancient convention, appoint and dismiss at pleasure any of the aforesaid officers.
The Prætor may, by ancient convention, appoint such employees to the Prætorum as zie considers necessary for assisting zie in the discharge of the functions of the Prætorship. The aforesaid staff is appointed at such remuneration and on such other terms and conditions as the Prætor may determine.
Conducting the Imperial Government
In the event of the unannounced absence of the Kaiser for a period exceeding 7 ASC units and the Stewardship being vacant, the Prætor conducts the government of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth with the Prætor having the same powers as a Steward until the Landsraad has elected a Steward.
Commandership of the Landsraad Guard
The Prætor holds the rank of Legatus Imperii in the Scholae Equites Singulares of the Middle Guard Legion of the Palatini Corps and is qualitate qua the commander of the Landsraad Guard. Zie may recruit such persons as may be deemed suitable by zie, to the limit of 5,000 persons.
The Prætor has, by ancient convention, the legal right and obligation to - when zie is in Shirekeep - reside in Prætor's House, the plush private apartments of the holder of the Prætorship. Prætor's House has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest state apartments in the Imperial Capital. In addition to Prætor's House the holder of the Prætorship had also at his disposal a cruise ship sized Prætorial Yacht called Viviantia, a holiday residence which is known as Alejian Castle, a fleet of aircraft, a fleet of cars, and other means of transportation befitting to the exalted station of zir office.
The Viviantia was a gift from the SEKEF and Froyalanska Varv, the largest shipbuilder of the Elwynnese Union, made to Princess Fjǫrleif Hallbjörnsdóttir in the year 1635 in honour of her arrival at the tenth year of her Prætorial tenure. Lady Fjǫrleif subsequently bequeathed the Viviantia to the holder of the Prætorship of the Landsraad. in 1651 Ryker Everstone donated the wildly impractical thing to the Mango Throne to be used in the relocation of Shireroth's Froyalanish popluation. He replaced it with the New Viviantia, a much more practical vessel.
There are several symbols which appertain to the Prætorship of the Landsraad. Some have been associated with the Prætor since time immemorial, others have become more recently symbols of the Prætorship.
The best-known Prætorial symbols are (the):
- Golden Gavel
- Isabelle's Chair: The official chair of the Prætor. It is located in the Hall of Oratory of the Palace of Zirandorthel and is named after Isabelle Allot, a former Prætor as well as a former Duchess of Elwynn.
- Mors' Mace: An ancient ceremonial mace which symbolises the authority of the Landsraad.
- Prætorial Hat
In addition to having custody of the aforesaid very symbolic objects, the Praetor is the keeper of the Sabre of Unity on behalf of the Landsraad, when the aforesaid sword is not in the hands of an elected Kaiser.
List of Prætors
- Converted into a prison hulk after the Auspicious Occasion
- Confiscated by the Steward in 1653
- Replaced by a single limousine, a Roller's-Choice Phantom, in 1653
- An open-top carriage for whenever the Praetor is feeling brave