by Max Barry

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by The Protectorate of Lyras. . 802 reads.


The Protectorate of Lyras is the world's oldest surviving true stratocratic state. It is not a state or national entity in most commonly held uses of the term, but is more precisely an independent military entity that is recognised as a state by virtue of it exercising sovereign control over a given territorial mass. Lyras is termed a protectorate due to its unique national character and extraction. Normally a term for national subordination to an extra-territorial power, in this context ‘protectorate’ is used as the land and state are together a ‘protectorate’ of the people of Lyras.

Taking their name from the last Warmarshal of the Storn League, David Lyras, the collective personnel of Lyras are held to be the entity which the authorities are invested by, not the political entity itself. The Protectorate of Lyras, in all functional intents and purposes, can be understood to be a national entity, and will be referred to as such unless otherwise expressly indicated. Lyras is further held unique by the fact that every man, woman and child of its populace are considered to be a member of the military. From the youngest child to the oldest adult, all are held to be charged with a responsibility to do their utmost to uphold the security and values of the military which is the Lyran state. This is not simply a means of exercising full control over the populace; the very large Lyran population are, as part of the education system, trained as combatant soldiery. Training more specifically related to their anticipated tasking is provided subsequent to that. In essence, despite whatever actual task a Lyran may be carrying out, day to day, he or she remains, and is considered to be, a combat-effective soldier of the Protectorate.

Personnel are usually subject to three distinct facets of government, Executive Command, the Conclave, and the requisite Order. In all cases, authority is exercised by virtue of rank and title; rank and political power within Lyras are synonymous and indistinguishable, for the most part. There is no electoral representation within Lyras, save in the most informal of senses.

The Lyran government’s three arms are as follows:

Executive Command
The Warmarshal is the commander-in-chief of the military, and is thus the supreme authority within the Protectorate. The Warmarshal is advised by Executive Command, which is normally composed of the eight most senior officers of Lyras, and appoints personnel to Executive Command, and is the nominal source of all appointments, commissions and offices who administer Lyras and hold responsibility within the Protectorate. Positions within Executive Command are not elected by direct vote, but by majority vote by the Conclave of Order Marshals, subject to veto by the Warmarshal. The exception is for the position of Warmarshal, nominations for which are only conducted upon the death or resignation of the incumbent, and said nominations can only be over-ruled by unanimous veto by Executive Command. Personnel nominated to Executive serve for life, until dismissed by the Warmarshal, or until their own resignation or discharge.

The Conclave of Order Marshals
A body composed of the officers commanding each of the Orders within Lyras, the Conclave of Order Marshals is a para-authoritative monocameral legislative body which serves as the closest Lyran analogue to a parliament. While not nominally holding any authority in its own right, each of the Conclave’s constituent officers holds almost unchallenged authority within their own Order, and as such a consensus reached within the Conclave has defacto force of law. Further, a consensus or near-consensus (even a majority, to a lesser extent) within the Conclave possesses tremendous weight of moral authority, and many Order Marshals who would otherwise disagree with a determination will acquiesce, rather than break ranks with the Conclave, though the letter of Lyran law does not require it. Subordinate to Executive Command, at least nominally, the Conclave in recent years has been exercising more and more decision-making and deterministic power within Lyras.

The Orders
An Order is the largest independent sub-division of military forces within Lyras. Originally an archaic term in western militaries, the phrase was brought back into usage when the Lyran forces outgrew all conventional standard unit sizes, and a few more. An Order is nominally composed of 24 Chapters of 3 Army Groups each, for a theoretical norm of 39.8 million personnel. Given the amalgamation of political and military authority, each Order, subordinate only to Executive Command, is an independent entity in its own right, serving many of the factors of a state, province or region in a more conventional political sense. Each Order is responsible for its own training, staffing and equipment maintenance, and generally is self-governing itself, subject to overarching directives from Executive Command, and guiding determinations from the Conclave.

Broadly, Orders can be divided into Combatant and Non-Combatant Orders, although there is considerable overlap, and even the most ‘non-combatant’ Order will field many hundreds of divisional-sized combat units if pushed into combat. Combatant Orders tend to be numbered lower, numerically, and field higher proportions of dedicated combat units, while Non-Combatant Orders field higher proportions of agricultural, mining, manufacturing, construction or other strategic-support units. By Lyran tradition, it is generally Combatant Orders that are deployed overseas on tours of duty, although there have been exceptions. The Conclave (currently) has 247 Order Marshals, each representing a single Order until replaced, either by change of rank, death or retirement. Places within the Conclave are termed ‘chairs’, and are analogous to ‘seats’ in legislative assemblies throughout the world. Each Order being roughly equal in personnel numbers, and each Order Marshal thus representing an equal number of Lyran soldiers, therefore generates a parity that may not be immediately apparent by comparison of the ORBATs or ToEs of any given formations. Differences in casualties, birth rates and sub-cultures have given differing Orders unique character and tradition, and most personnel are fiercely loyal to their Order, as well as the Protectorate at large. Rivalries between certain Orders can be fierce, and even bloody, although Lyran culture at large and the influence and authority of Executive Command make bloodletting on any wider scale thus far unknown. All laws and governmental procedures are subject to Executive Command review, a task normally designated to directly controlled subordinate units, and any law ruled in violation of the ethos, culture, prevailing law or security of the Protectorate, is voided.

The Protectorate of Lyras