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Though the emperor or empress can make executive decisions, they usually don’t act without the Council voting approval (by simple majority). Because pissing off the Council is a bad idea. Edessans think of the law as a very complex thing. There’s the “upper” law -- the laws, and political procedures themselves and there’s the “under” law – the systems of favors and debts which Edessans consider a real kind of currency. So a when considering which way to vote, a Councilor has to consider not just how a law would affect them, but how it would affect their entire network of supporters. When Eugenia refuses to support Cyrian’s bid for the throne, she’s breaking the “under” law because he had done her a great favor with the news of the grain tax.

What we would consider corruption, they consider business as usual.
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Aemilia

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