Politics in Ontentzu
The Sovereign Emperor of Ontentzu is the nominal head of state, yet in practice no real political power. While he is the ceremonial and religious source of all authority, that authority is delegated to various court officials such as the Chamberlain, Shogun, Chancellor, Regent, et cetera, who rule in his name. The duties of the Emperor revolve entirely around administering various ceremonies and religious events. Most often, an Emperor rises to the throne at a very young age, around 6 or 7. A Regent is appointed until he reaches the age of majority, after which he will be expected to bear a son or sons by various consorts (who are similarly appointed by the court). Customarily, the Emperor will abdicate the throne to his successor around the age of 30.
The primary means of coming to power in Ontentzu is through marriage politics. The various leading families among the clans jockey for favour in court, hoping to have a daughter appointed as consort to the Emperor. Should this daughter bear a son and become Empress, her father is almost certain to wield great power as the father-in-law of the current Emperor, and the grandfather of a successor.
Retired Emperors, as well as current and former Empresses all hold courts of their own, and the favor of these individuals or popularity in their courts can powerfully influence the politics of the currently reigning Emperor’s court.
Similarly, within the great clans the noble families often compete with one another for the right to marry a daughter into more prestigious families, thereby forging alliances and potentially elevating the status of their own lineage.