Here is the second part of my background on Pecháno. This time I’ll look at Pecháno’s political structure. Again, as I stated in Part I, much the following information was gleaned from Phil over in The Blue Room while it was still active, and private correspondences we exchanged. Speaking of which, I also plan on eventually posting what he had to say about the Three States of the Triangle.
Tapestry of the first Beneshchán,
surrounded by the Seven Deities of the Rising Peaks,
Hall of Bones –Mechanéno.
Pecháno is a feudal monarchy, which is ruled by a king, or to use the Pecháni title: Chægósh. The current Chægósh (c. 2367AS) is the senior oligarch of the old ruling clan of Mechanéno, the Beneshchán. The Chægósh is selected by his clan. The position is not exclusively hereditary to the Beneshchán, but it tends to become almost so by virtue of the fact that his lineage and his entourage make up the most powerful people in the land. Usually the Beneshchán have ruled, again by virtue of power and proximity to the ancient throne of Mechanéno. A few Rekhmél rulers are quoted in the histories, as are a sprinkling of members of other clans a long time ago. The Chægósh is not secluded, like the Tsolyáni Emperors, but goes forth with his heroes to hunt Ssü and lead heroic expeditions into old Ssuyál. The reigning Chægósh is a youngish man who calls himself just “Beneshchán,” as is the custom. If he ever had a personal name, it is never used. The king presides over the Assembly of High Lords in which the Beneshchán and their rivals, the Rekhmél of Teshkóa, predominate. Lands belonging to these two ruling houses are divided into smaller and smaller fiefs amongst descending tiers of vassals. The system is carried even further than it is in Salarvyá: every landowner, no matter how minor, is someone’s vassal, and if he sells (technically “enfeoffs”) a piece of land to another, he then becomes that person’s feudal overlord. Since no land is actually ever truly “sold,” a buyer becomes the “vassal” of the person from who he buys the land. Even the priests of the Seven Deities of the Rising Peaks are vassals because they own the land upon which their temples stand and must be responsible to some higher suzerain. The same is true of the professional clans, which own their shops and clan houses. Only those who are not landowners – i.e. clerks, employees, retainers, etc. –are not vassals and hence have fewer rights under the system.