One of the titles I truly hated using for the leader of a Sartarite city was “mayor.” Perhaps because I used to work with US mayors, but I always felt it was an annoying medieval anachronism at best or conjured images of a fat guy with a top hat and a cigar at worst. Since the new material coming out for Sartar has a lot of stuff on Sartarite cities, I’ve been forced to really work out a lot of details on how these cities function. And it forced me to reconsider the title of “Mayor”. After much discussion, we agreed a better title is “City Rex” – as that really is what the office is, the Orlanth Rex for the City. The City Rex acts as the Prince’s representative in the city, and is the chief military and judicial figure in the city.And then I re-read a 40 year old file from Greg on Wilmschurch and Jonstown, and saw what the title of the city leader was.
In the new Sartar materials, Orlanth Rex comes up a LOT.
The City Rex is the Rex for the city. Nice and self-referential.
And it means Lunar sources can go on about the King of Jonstown and the King of Swenstown, and everything can get all nice and confusing.
So think of “polis” – that would be Boldhome, Jonstown, Swenstown, Wilmskirk, Alone, Alda-Chur, and Duck Point. Largely self-governing, with member tribes, its own assembly, its own ring, etc.Clearwine is legally an overgrown village. It is where the tribal assembly and most of the tribal cults are located, but it has no independent existence outside of the Colymar tribe and Ernaldoring Clan.
That’s the core difference between a town and a city in Sartar. So in terms of population, Clearwine is about the same size as Alone. But Alone is a CITY (think “polis”) and Clearwine is a mere town.
The Sartarite cities are legally their “own thing”. They don’t belong to a given tribe, but are formed by a confederation of several tribes – with the city as the “shared space”. The public thing.
I think an inn and a shrine to Issaries makes a town. Think Clearwine, Quackford, RuneGate, Herongreen, etc.
The City Rex primarily serves as the Prince’s representative on the City Ring, the war leader, and the chief judge.
Pavis is a little different, because it was outside of the Prince’s authority. Dorasor served as the first City Rex but he appointed himself, and then was acclaimed by the populace.
this is a very important thing to keep in mind. Sun Quarter and Riverside are just as much a part of New Pavis as Oldtown. The city is the “shared space” of all its members.
Or as I already wrote in the Sartar book: In 1476 Sartar made the first of his more subtle changes on the land when he settled a war wherein the southern Kultain and Locaem tribes were driving out the Balmyr and Sambari tribes from their ancient lands. Out of such destruction Sartar forged the foundation of the first of his five cities, and began changing the peoples to make a great nation. Each city is the “shared space” of a union of tribes, and serves as a primary market and religious center. Other groups or tribes may also have a share in the city but have less say over how the city is operated. Although Orlanth and Ernalda have temples in each city, minor deities and even foreign deities have temples and shrines.
The City Rex is of course the priest of Orlanth Rex for the city. And that makes him very important.
Sartar also instituted the position of City Rex to represent city residents in the city’s ring. The Prince typically nominates a City Rex from among his friends and companions, but must be acclaimed by the assembly. If the citizens reject the City Rex, the Prince must nominate a new candidate. The City Rex leads the city militia, appoints scribes, and oversees city funds. The City Rex serves as a priest of Orlanth Rex and communicates with the spirit of the city.
No Rex at town, village, etc. Rex is big Orlanth magic. But probably you’d really say something like Orngerin, Jonstown Rex.
Because of course the Rex of Jonstown is communicating with a different spirit (Hauberk Jon) than the Rex of Wilmskirk.
The Rex of Boldhome is of course the Prince.
Note that Dar isn’t used, so please don’t use “Dar” rite. That whole Dar/Vingkot thing was just a muddled mess.
Rex has been in use for the Orlanth cult and is just awkward enough to make it clear that it is “not identical to a real world office” without having the confusion of being a made up fantasy word or extinct title from another language.
In each of his cities, Sartar created the City Ring. It was similar to the Clan or Tribal Ring, but allowed people from each of the tribes and the important crafting guilds to serve on it. They were also the candidates to serve in the many new temples erected in the city. Members of the City Ring are initiates of the Orlanth Rex cult for as long as they serve on the City Ring.
As an aside, this completes the triangle of Orlanth aspects.
- Thunderous – elemental association, rain, and farmers.
- Adventurous – movement, warriors, self-made men
- Rex – rule, leadership, command.
These aspects both complement and contradict each other.
During the Lunar Occupation, the city assemblies were permitted to pick their own rulers, subject to Imperial approval. The City Rings lost much of their authority, as most duties were delegated to city administrators appointed by the Lunar governor. Insubordinate city leaders were typically killed by the Lunars, and many prominent figures refused the position of City Rex because of the dangers inherent in the office.
Would the City Rex also lead the worship of the city god? Yes, Again Pavis is something of an exception. Pavis of course was pre-existing. So Dorasar made a deal with the God Pavis to bring him into the new settlement of Pavis-Outside-the-Walls. But Orlanth Rex was still the god of the assembly.
Lord is actually another term used for Chief.
As we already have Orlanth Rex, and “Rex” as titles that are distinguished with Orlanth the King and “King”, that door is opened.
I’m glad ‘Dar’ has been ditched and ‘Rex’ has been reinstated! that whole Dar/Vingkot thing from Thunder Rebels was just a muddled mess that made the Brehon Law look practical and realistic.