Shetou Empire


The current Shetou empire is one of revolution. Drow houses make up the ruling class of the society and each one extends control over its own domain. Each house has it's own relations with others and there is no true national control or sentiment, some houses are in constant war with each other even though they are all considered to be of the same empire.

To Shetou the three representatives for inter-system politics are the reigning power across the empire, as they belong to no particular house but must speak for the Empire as a whole. As such they are afforded more authority then any one house ruler, these representatives are called the Val'hari.

The nature of the empire ties to ancient drow customs, leaving the culture in a high risk situation but a somewhat equal chance to succeed. While murder is technically illegal, unless outright caught in the act it is mostly ignored and if well performed can receive silent praise for a skillful maneuvering. There are many houses ruled by various personal laws, some continue to host an Illharess of drow origin yet others have human or dragonborn masters. Some houses use their lands as sanctuaries, safe places where crime is heavily fought. Others have lands dedicated to the old ways are have no law enforcement at all.

While the individual nature of the Shetou politics leaves them less united then Alnae or Thali, they tend to have the dirtiest fighting tactics which makes open engagement impossible. Alnae boasts the largest navy but in their many years of war with Shetou they have learned that direct attacks on the houses result in dramatic retaliation. In one such incident, Alnae attacked a house of medium power only to have a larger one take advantage of the military being busy in order to infiltrate Thenica and detonate weapons of mass destruction in Alnae cities and the mass poisoning of Alnae food sources.

-Shetou Court-

There is a very strange and specific rule to getting onto the Shetou's court. Walk in and sit in one of the councilmember's chairs and as long as you are sitting there you have the power of a court member. The more consecutive meetings you attend the greater your right to speak becomes. The catch is that if your attempt to take the seat should offend another house, you might find your reign quite short unless you have the power and assets to protect yourself. Drow argue that this system requires leaders to have initiative, motivation, power, courage, and awareness of politics to gain power within the court. The seat of the Val'hari on the other hand is appointed by vote of the court, though votes are weighted to the number of years a house has remained on the court so someone new will have less sway.

The court is composed of a representative of each house, there is little democracy performed here and it is more so reserved for the Val'hari to address the many houses. The Val'hari are the reigning authority and representative of interest, as such during the court sessions they will gather and share information for galactic politics to external solar systems.

The court is also convened to enact punishment, such as on a house that has wronged the empire as a whole, or to take action on behalf of the whole empire, such as a declaration of war. Each house hosts it's own private military, the Val'hari decide which house's forces are called to action against foreign enemies such as assaults against Alnae.

There are many subtle games being played in the court to manipulate scenarios to the favor of each houses interests. Some have great desire for the Val'hari to choose them for war so that they might acquire glory or first pick at the spoils. Others wish to avoid as not to spread their own forces thin and open them to attack by another house, yet to openly say they do not wish to go to battle is a disgrace in front of the entirety of the court. As such Val'hari are showered with gifts, they have no real house to support them or income from any sort of tax but in order to gain favor and display standing houses will offer them tributes.