Council of Twelve
The Council of Twelve was established in the years following the arrival and integration of the Salucian refugees. The Council’s original commission was to advise the noble houses on religious matters and oversee the establishment of the church of Brenwynn across Andaria. It consists of twelve senior priests—six men and six women. New members are appointed by the vote of the council and generally serve for life.
THE COVENANT OF THE 100
Following the appearance of Brenwynn during the War for Succession, the Council initiated the Covenant of the 100. This agreement established the rule of legalized warfare to resolve disputes within and between houses, moderated by the authority of the Council. A Trial by Battle, with 100 men on each side, determines who is favored by Brenwynn and decides the outcome of the dispute. The Covenant of 100 brought an end to unchecked wars among the houses.
RISE TO POWER
Since the Covenant was enacted a century ago, the Council has become the most powerful and influential organization in Andaria. Some say that even the King of Ardania is merely a puppet whose strings are manipulated by the council. The Council administers its authority through the Augurs and the Andarian Militia. However, there is no shortage of detractors, and many nobles bristle at the rules that inhibit their ability to manage their holdings as they please. There are also many in Andaria, particularly those who wish to practice the old ways and worship the old gods, who resent the widespread adoption of the Church of Brenwynn as the de facto state religion.
THE GIFT OF MAGIC
The Council views magic as the “Gift” of Brenwynn, and considers the unsanctioned use of magic as a corruption of the Gift. Thus far they have not attempted to enforce this belief as policy, but in many areas of the kingdom the populace has adopted this view. Non-clerical spellweavers are often treated with distrust or even outright hostility.
The Council forbids the use of the Gift during Trials by Battle. Clerics of Brenwynn are allowed to offer non-magical blessings before a battle and may utilize healing magic upon any survivors. A battle is administered by a council member, or—more commonly—an Augur.