Government Of Thalerith
The Thalerith have adopted a form of meritocracy when it comes to selecting their leaders, with the strongest of body and mind expected to rise to leadership positions and help guide the kinship.
Warlord - The Warlord is the ruler of Thalerith society, having earned the position by overthrowing their predecessor. However, the Warlord does not rule alone, as they are supported by the Warlord's Council made of the General and the spiritual leader, the Flame Speaker. Both the General and the Flame Speaker have a subtle, but very strong influence in the governance of the Thalerith people. In the case the Warlord is unable to make a decision, the General and Flame Speaker together are able to do so in her stead.
General - When it comes to matters of War, it is the General that the Warlord turns for counsel, and during open warfare, it's often the General who actually leads the armies and not the Warlord. The General also acts as the enforcer of the Warlord's law.
Flame Speaker - Civilian and spiritual matters often have the Flame Speaker weighing in, and it's common for the Flame Speaker to offer an opposing view, in order to encourage debate. While final decisions involving civilian life are still the purview of the Warlord, it's rare for them to take place without the Flame Speaker being involved. The Flame Speaker also serves as the leader of the Flame Seers.
Should someone feel as though the Warlord is doing a bad job of things, they can challenge her to a duel. This duel is to the death or whoever yields first. The challenge must be confirmed by the General and Flame Speaker as valid. If there is a split decision between the two, the Warlord will decide if she accepts the challenge or not. If one of the challengers is the Flame Speaker or General, and their counterpart agrees it is a valid challenge, the Warlord will decide if she accepts or not. A Warlord didn't take her place by being weak and not accepting a valid challenge can look very bad to the people. Should a challenger defeat her, they will appoint their own General and Flame Speaker. Usually, after a Warlord ascends to power there is a period of one year to allow for stability to form before a challenge to the new warlord can be issued, the exception is if both the newly appointed General and Flame Speaker agree the Warlord must be replaced. Challenges to a Warlord are also suspended during times of open warfare with the other Kinships, again, unless the General and Flame Speaker agree there's a need for replacement.
Once a General and Flame Speaker have been appointed, it's very hard for a Warlord to appoint new ones, unless there is undeniable proof that the current one has committed a serious crime worthy of being removed from the position. The removal of a General or Flame Speaker without reason is seen as a sign of weakness in the Warlord by the Thalerith.
The Warlord is protected by a group of bodyguards known as the Blade Sworn. The Blade Sworn are not an active part of the government, and are not involved in decisions or counseling but often also acts as agents of the Warlord, carrying her will and acting on her behalf. Being ask to become a Blade Sworn is a great honor, but carries with it an oath to never challenge the Warlord for leadership as long as that individual remains a Warlord. Once this oath is taken, only a Warlord can release the subject from it.
Finally, the political importance of the Heads of Family in Thalerith society should not be underestimated. Kinlectors and Kinlessas can be very influential in the government by supporting or denying the Warlord, or members of the Warlord's Council in their decisions. So is often a good idea for new Warlords to work with all the families to ensure their support.