Government of the Karalian Empire

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The Government of the Karalian Empire is a unitary absolute monarchy with a feudal hierarchy of nobles.

Hierarchy

Royal Family

The top level consists of the Royal Family comprises of individuals who were augmented with the excavated DNA of the ancient king Rustiagon Dralla then subsequently cloned starting off a bloodline of new Rustiagons. The king in the present day acts primarily as the commander-in-chief and is supported by both a Council of Advisors and an all-purpose companion AI known as Mira. Mira is responsible for direct tactical and battle assessments. Over the years, she has been upgraded with new software to make her smarter and better than before, and is largely considered the most intelligent AI in the entire Karalian Empire. In the event that the king is incapacitated during battle, Mira can make tactical decisions in place of the king.

The Twin Hearts Nebula is managed by top-level government, while the Krizael Expanse is managed by a prince with an accompanying council of their own. Being augmented with Rustiagon DNA is considered an honorary event done out of the sake of tradition. It is to represent the spirit of the ancient monarchs now reborn.

The king has the power to override any decisions made by both the Council and the Dukes, but this is considerably rare. The only way the other government bodies can challenge the king's decision is to declare a staged battle, in other words, a legally staged coup. Soldiers are sent to fight one another under specific legal parameters. The majority of these battles are either done with mechs or incapacitation with nonlethal weapons. In spite of the no dying rule, property damage, ruining of one's career and even life-threatening injuries are allowed. It's as much bloodshed that's allowed within that one technicality. Property damage is allowed, but if someone were to die, the battle would immediately get the same treatment as any other violent civil conflict.

Advisors

Because the king is primarily occupied with his duties as commander in chief along with managing his personal army known as the Kingsguard, an appointed Council of Advisors is responsible for day to day management of the top level. The Council is tasked with creating new legislature and addressing civil cases across the whole empire, and they consist of a group of various experts across multiple fields. While the advisors are responsible for the day to day activities, it is still possible for the king to take over their duties. However, doing so is particularly rare just because of how large the empire is compared to one person, but there have been a few instances of direct intervention. This happened a lot in the Karalian Empire's early days when the loyalty of newly conquered territories wasn't always guaranteed.

Dukes

Individual planets and surrounding areas within a star system are managed by Dukes. The Dukes are mostly independent of the top level government able to make their own local laws for the region. They are responsible for providing a share of resources to the top level as well as enforcing the laws decreed by the top level. Dukes are equipped with their own personal militaries and are also responsible for managing the top level garrison forces known as the Dukesguard.

If a Duke were to be killed in a Dark Zone, one could technically could not be charged for it. It will also be perfectly legal to take said Duke's position right away as it is seen as an event of incapacitatation. Tragedies in general are viewed in a different, very shocking light. Victim blaming is definitely prevalent as the Duke will be considered having been irresponsible for allowing himself to be killed in a Dark Zone. On the top level, this has actually happened with Karrel, except he was only MIA instead of KIA. When Karrel went missing, he was outside the bounds of the empire in an unclaimed area. Thus, Rarsan was able to take his place very quickly. It's a commonly exploited loophole in the mutual trust agreement, so it's common practice for the Dukes to be trained in self-defence as well have loyal bodyguards at hand wherever he goes.

Prince

The prince has similar powers to a Duke. They manage their own divisions of the Dukesguard and make laws specific to the Krizael Expanse. While they can override the decisions of the Dukes, they cannot override the king. The prince also acts as commander-in-chief to their specific divisions of the Dukesguard.

The prince of Krizael acts a lot like a second Council of Advisors for the king. The prince is also a middleman of sorts to the dukes of Krizael while the Council tends to have a similar occupation over the dukes in the Twin Hearts Nebula. The Council also consists of blood relatives to the king although they tend to have the position equivalent to archduke rather than prince. The main difference is that the prince runs Krizael much like an annexed nation or a greater province within the empire.

Barons, Counts and Earls

There's many other levels of royalty below the dukes although many opt for independent ventures. Some counts and barons rule local areas of land on specific planets and some may also act as mayors to cities. Others are more or less autonomous entities that run micronations of sorts. It is possible to find many wildly different cultures underneath the duke. Many of these lower nobles gravitate more towards pop culture appreciation than any serious political ventures so the title in many cases is just for show.