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Governance in the Reed era
Although the Lyrisclensiae and Hatel have established histories of artificial intelligence in governance, most Thessian residents did not see this as a suitable form of administration, prompting the need for the development of an organic government for the Archipelago. The Reed era is formally recognized as beginning with the assembly of its legislature, which assumed overarching responsibility for the administrative and judiciary institutions in surviving regions.


The Reed legislature was a devolved polycameral system, in which each administrative unit, regardless of size, had its own specific council with appropriate powers. The smallest councils, called local groups, comprised of individual city blocks, or floors of apartment buildings, and the head of each household was eligible to participate as a member.

Participation in the democratic mechanisms of the system was dependent on the election of delegate liaisons. Each group would vote to select an individual to serve as liaison to the chamber above it. If the group found fault with their delegate's conduct—in particular, voting record—the individual could then be recalled and replaced.

The most powerful individuals thus had the most responsibilities; those promoted to the highest levels of government would end up with a long line of expectant subcommittees to which they were beholden. Multiple mechanisms were used to limit this responsibility, however, as it could create conflicts of interest and hamper productivity. While the burden of proving misconduct provided some protection from frivolous recall, higher-level committees introduced the practice of flooring, which limited the power of a liaison's recall to at most two committees. Later in the Delegacy, tenured positions were instituted, both for a secretary of the committee's business and sometimes its representatives to higher chambers, freeing high-level officials from low-level obligations entirely.

All this is not to say that the system made the efforts of local councils irrelevant. Lower councils often dealt with the lack of an internal consensus by sending multiple representatives—up to three—to higher assembly, with their votes weighted by how many people supported the appointments. This measure was highly effective at ensuring minority perspectives did not get stifled.


There were also referenda, typically on constitutional matters, but also for selecting the secretary of the top council. The chair of the council was elected by that council, and if the council was well-matched to the people, these two roles were usually the same person. The secretary of a council manages its schedule, presents proposed legislation, and keeps order. The chair is chief diplomat, commander-in-chief, and has veto power. A shrewd secretary can utterly torment and fetter an unwanted chief, so the top council invariably would choose to appoint someone at least palatable to the people at large.

The Reed government in practice had authoritarian inclinations, but it was also humble, reflecting its Lyran roots. At all times strict rules existed defining what a given council could and could not legislate, thereby ensuring these committees remained focused on meaningful issues and preventing conflict between ranks. At the same time, however, the rules had to be reviewed and renewed every five years, so if a certain state of affairs was problematic, it never lasted long; powers often moved around to ensure efficient and useful allocation.

The huge number of politicians did result in a lot of corruption, however. The ugliest part of the Reed legacy were its political police, tasked solely with intercepting abuses of power. This institution was uniquely invested with Lyran Psyches, in particular PAPYRUS, the Regenelia comptroller-general, which was in charge of verification and certification of the correct and complete implementation of policies, programmes, infrastructural projects, et cetera. At most points in the system's history, this included monitoring council meetings, which some decried as an ever-lingering, chilling  effect on political free speech. There is no definitive proof that PAPYRUS abused its power during the Reed era.

Reed Councils represent a minimum of six to a maximum of twelve households. The lowest tier may be anything from a suburban block to an apartment building floor. They must be contiguous. Larger council tiers usually obey the six-to-twelve rule, and city planning was, in most cases, aligned to facilitate this.

Typical council tiers might include:

  • Building Floor (Leto)
  • Building Division (Sectio)
  • Building (Dusto)
  • Block (Dumelio)
  • Neighbourhood (Deme)
  • Ward (Hisha)
  • Borough (Nisko)
  • City (Polis)
  • County/Island (Trio)
  • Province/Belt (Ova)
  • High Council (Praesidium)

  • Most Polis councils held biannual elections to designate their Trio appointees, of which there would generally be several. These delegates were chosen according to a variety of schemes, ranging from proportional representation of popular vote within the entire jurisdiction to a winner-takes-all count of Polis council membership along NGO affiliation or party lines.

    Intergovernmental Influences

    Lyrisclensian Continuing Council (LCC): Lyran diplomatic mission to Thet and the K–H–T Expanse. See also Lyrisclensian Central College. The LCC's participation in the Reed government distinct from other influence groups in that they openly used AI judgement in developing and proposing legislation.

    Cassiopeia Treaty Organisation (CTO): See entry at Cossipa. Interest group advocating on behalf of Cossipa human minorities.

    Lilitina il Yengi Atshai Litra (LIYAL): A league consisting of the governments of Wanisin, Illera, and representatives of the Thessian Lilitai.

    Ex Terra, ad Astrae (XTAA): Telaian pseudo-government group resembling international courts, coastguard, and diplomatics. Does not and cannot represent all Telai, but tries to behave constructively.

    Pesense Union (PU): See entry at Pesene.

    Globkhro Federation (GXF): See entry at Globkhro Federation.

    Genus Lyris Intergovernmental Coordination Body (GLIC-B): Hatel-Lyran relations. Formerly included the Noctians as a third equal partner.

    It is, as can be surmised, typical for mature treaties to manifest intergovernmental organisations that pool defense, resources, diplomacy, justice, and/or other systems together. These can generally be called treaty organizations, and include the CTO, GLIC-B, XTAA, LIYAL, and the GXF.

    Interest Groups and Political Parties

    Thet's exhaustingly busy and diverse history has always been a source of considerable influence on the politics of its inhabitants.

    Regenelía Centralist Workers' Party (RCWP): Favours authority of Regenelia, and can be shown to have influenced each later era of Thessian government.

    Autonomy Lobby (AL): Spoke for smaller communities, and those remote from Regenelia.

    Referendum & Direct Democracy Advocacy (RDDA): had strong populist bases in large cities like Dis, Collegia, Archiva, Nionosca, Ababua, etc.

    Thessia Major Heritage Trust and Historical Society (TMHT&HS): focused on preservationist issues, and on causes preservationists were sympathetic toward, like anti-Hogedep anxieties. TMHT&HS has clear echoes in Lenení and Gripsení politics, although these are more the product of somewhat universal nationalist sentiments rather than the result of any direct descent.

    Decline and collapse

    While polycameral governance was not a familiar practice to Telaian crews, they were quite familiar with the in-built rules for council fusion and subdivision, and generally well equipped to integrate into Reed society. The Lyranids, who extensively used military and academic hierarchies to organise their societies for non-legislative tasks, were even more prepared for this form of explicit government. This made the system easy to adopt for many new immigrants to Thet, and gave it sufficient momentum to outlast the Praesidium in Regenelia, which was fully defunct by 2250 tgc. Most of the warring states of the Interim I period (2500–3000 tgc) had a direct lineage to a city, island, or belt chamber that existed during the Reed era proper, and the among the official titles of Yvilon Desqrit, thousands of years later, was Chair of the Praesidium of Regenelia.

    The majority opinion among historians is now that the primary culprit behind the Reed system's demise was its central controls, specifically the mechanisms employed to prevent devolved councils from impeding the efficiency of the Praesidium. Many high-level positions were eventually so protected from outside influence that recalling appointees was virtually impossible, and there are many known cases both during and after the Praesidium's existence of important seats being sold, inherited, or otherwise given to successors hand-picked by the holder without proper oversight. 2248 saw the first time a Praesidium seat was vacated (Belt 7, Penethem), and would remain unfilled through the 2250–2251 session. Over the next two centuries, every single seat would be similarly affected for periods of varying lengths, culminating in a joint statement by the LCC, XTAA, RCWP, and others that they all agreed the Praesidium no longer served a useful purpose and would be put on permanent hiatus until such a time as the Archipelago was once more united.

    From then on the Belts were self-governing, and it would not be until the first day of the year 3000 that a pan-Thessian government, the Lenení Mitraje, would sit in the Praesidium chamber in Regenelia again. At the time the general perception was that the decay of the central government of the Reed system had been brought about by excessively non-uniform legislation in lower chambers, and that the freedom to set laws offered by the Reed system, without deliberate formation of a professional political class, led to uneducated leaders, bad decisions, and exploitation by the ambitious.