The Kaiser is the all-powerful ruler of Shireroth. His word is law, and above him there are none. He's the most important symbol of Shirithian government both to citizens and outsiders.
The Powers of the Kaiser
The powers granted the Kaiser are basically limitless. There are a few minor things that he cannot do, but it is fairly easy for him to get around these limits.
The Kaiser receives his restrictions from the Imperial Charter and his powers directly from the Gods. The Charter describes the Kaiser as being the end-all be-all in every facet of the government: legislative, judicial, executive, military. The sole caveat is that he may not violate the Charter.
The Kaiser also possesses the ability to call and dismiss the Landsraad at will, but not to interfere with voting procedures. The Kaiser supplements the Landsraad by decreeing important laws into place. Imperial Decrees precede Landsraad-legislated law.
A Problem with the Charter
The interesting thing is that the only person who can even touch the Charter is the Kaiser. This means that he can theoretically edit the biggest check on his power at will.
The general precedent has been to only edit the Charter when absolutely necessary by writing a completely new Charter, Kaiser Los II being the only notable Kaiser to stray from this pattern who edited it a line at a time. However, there have been some critics who suggest that nobody should be able to edit the Charter, and some who have suggested that the Landsraad should be able to. To this day, though, only the Kaiser may create the Charter.
This system had changed during Kaiser Letifer II's reign, whose last replacement was meant to be the last. An amendment system was put into place. In order for the Kaiser to amend the charter, ze must have the approval of the Prætor. While currently the Landsraad cannot edit the charter, the Arbiter had been given powers to overturn an Imperial Decree with unanimous consent of the Landsraad that violate the charter.
The most prestigious position in Shireroth is being Kaiser. It affords absolute power. Consequently, when the time comes, many people vie for the opportunity to take the position.
Heirs must not be dual citizens, and they must be full citizens, not just minors. It should be somebody who's dedication to Shireroth is clear and unquestionable. They must be at least thirteen years of age (otherwise, the Steward rules in their place until they reach the proper age). Kaisers may be either male or female.
Kaisers generally reign for three months at most. This brings constant change to the government, and is justified in fantasy terms by the fact that three real-world months corresponds to over 90 years on Micras.
Upon taking the throne, new Kaisers choose royal names. These names can be of either Shirerothian mythological figures (usually from Cedrism) or of some other interest of the Kaiser. For instance, the name of Kaiser Yarad I means "metal" whereas Kaiseress Jadie I, and all other actual female Kaiseresses chose their own names as their royal name.
A short-lived "tradition" started by Mors IV saw Kaisers attaching an additional epithet to their name after their reign, based on what they believed was the most significant contribution in their reign. The epithets and their significances are as follows:
- Kaiser Mors IV "Nerrolar"
- "Arbiter" in Benacian language, for his work in keeping the Lorelei Conflict from boiling over
- Kaiser Ari i "Kaukainen"
- "Distant" in Finnish, for not really doing anything significant and being absent a lot of the time
- Kaiser Alejian I "The Guardian"
- For guiding the nation through difficult times with the threat of The Grand Commonwealth and SPEAR
- Kaiser Los III "Radarai"
- "The Scribe" in Hyperborean, for the creation of ShireWiki
Many citizens have had the honour of being Kaiser. They are listed below:
- Erik Mortis
- James Raine
- Harvey Steffke
- Gryphon Avocatio
- Ari Rahikkala
- Jadie Doran
- Scott Alexander
- Gregory Russell
- Shyriath Bukolos
- Eoin Dornan
- Bill Dusch
- Renee Alyssa
- Hypatia's Mom
- Jonas Windsor
- Hasan Jayatar
- Ric Lyon
- Jacobus Loki
The royal names of the Kaisers, with the dates of their reigns (in ASC) and the line from which they descend, can be found in the List of Kaisers. The First and Second Eras are fictional history, the Third Era real.