|The Obsidian Tower|
The Order State is in effect an extension of the Ordo Hermetica. Every part of the society is directly connected to the Tower, from tax collectors to town councils, from harbour masters to night watchmen, even prices on goods are governed by the Masters. To visiting foreigners this may seem overly dictatorial, but to the subjects of the Order, this is how it has always been, and most could not imagine it being different. In fact, most seem to embrace the security the Tower provides.
There are countless tiers and circles in the Hermetic society, but the major layers, or Pillars, are the Citizens, the Proxima, and the Hermetics. The Citizens make out the majority of the inhabitants of the Order State, and fill all conceivable roles in a mundane society, from baker to soldier. The highest rank any citizen can aspire to is that of Consular to the Tower. These seven Consulars oversee all mundane affairs, and report directly to the Master of the Realm, a Hermetic Master charged with overseeing the day to day governing of the state.
|A Knight Proximus|
The Proxima are chosen for their ability, and most have some affinity to the arcane, thus making them suited for serving the magicians of the Order. In many ways, they may be compared to the nobility of the Erian kingdoms. The one thing that sets them apart from the nobles is the fact that any citizen who is found to possess the required abilities will be elevated to Proxima, with all the status, authority and privileges connected to the class. Most foreigners picture the Proxima only as the Hermetic army and secret police, and while this is true to some extent, the picture is far more nuanced. In the ranks of the Proxima there are also both personal and civil servants, scholars and professionals. The highest rank any Proximus can achieve is that of Proxima General, an office that encompasses military governorship of the Order State.
The Hermetics are the unquestioned rulers of the realm, and even an Apprentice is to be obeyed by the lesser classes. Still, the internal bureaucracy and politics of the Order is by far the most complex in all of Eria – in fact, Hermetic bureaucracy has become a byword for complexity in the Erian speech. The wizards go through a rigorous education, often spending decades in study and service to their Master and the Order. As they advance, both their authority and responsibility increases, but their service to the Order never ends. Each Hermetic must spend a set portion of time in service to the Order, while the remainder is his to use as he sees fit. Still, as with the lesser classes, the Hermetics must answer any call to serve the Tower, whenever, and whatsoever the nature of this call.
|Master and familiar|
The ranks of the Hermetics are that of Initiate, Apprentice, Disciple, Adeptus and Master, but each of these are divided into several tiers. As a rule, a Hermetic will only be assigned tasks where they operate independently once Adeptus rank has been reached. Examples of such are command of a ship, warden of a border tower, emissary, or civil service. If a magus reaches Masterhood, he becomes much more independent, and may start following his own goals to a wide extent. Still, there are committees, boards, conclaves, councils, wardenships, and a myriad of other duties, both within and outside the Tower that has to be filled, and so a wizard's service to the realm never ends. The highest rank in the Ordo Hermetica, and in the Order State, is that of Archmaster.
The current Archmaster is Mithrandes Flavianus Reminax bani Bonisagus. He is the thirty-seventh Archmaster in the history of the Order, and his office has now lasted 72 years. Among the mundanes, he is of antediluvian age, but a Hermetic can easily live to see his fourth century if he lives healthily and frugally. Mithrandes himself is said to take his oblations very seriously, and in the Order none believe they will have to attend an Electory Convocation for several decades yet.
|A farm in the Order State|
Life in the Order State is one of structure and hard work, and everyone, from the lowliest farmhand to the Archmaster has a a number of duties that must be tended before they can pursue their own goals. It is also a life of peace and security; plague, famine and war has never touched the realm, and while terrible and wondrous creatures roam the borderlands, life in the Order State is protected and safe.
While very few foreigners are allowed outside the walls of Göteshafen, the Order State is by no means cut off from the rest of Eria. Trade flows rich through the warehouses in Göteshafen, and the Order makes a healthy profit from grain, furs, and gems. Trade flows the other way as well, with wine, luxury goods, and exotic items fetching the highest prices.
Storyteller's note: I know I sort of promised a map each week, and I know I've failed quite convincingly in that regard. This is one of those posts I said would include a map, but as you can see, it doesn't. That is not only because I am lazy. I have several much better excuses than that, but the one I'll flag here is that the Order State is closed off for foreigners, and the only maps that exist are guarded jealously by the Masters of the Tower. In stead I promise to publish a realm-post - with map - of Livonia. And this I will do before Thursday. I hope.