The Vendel League is the effective parliment of the Vendel. It's a league of guilds working together for mutual profit.
The Vendel have done away with the petty notions of social castes and royalty. To them, all people are escentially equal and should be judged based on their success - primarily financial success. It supposes that if a person is wealthym they have worked hard to get there and deserve respect.
The Vendel revere the League and the Guilds as a result of this. The members of the league are the true masters of their craft and have, as a result, achieved wealthy and success. That said, the people who hold seats in the league aren't always the most honorable people or have the most noble intentions. The system has proven to breed corruption; one of the main Vesten arguements against the Vendel ways.
All decisions - from city planning to criminal prosecution - are handled by the league. The League has nine chairs and ninty-one seats and acts as the governing body for the Vendel. Eight of the chairs belong to the most promenent guilds of the Vendel and are permanently held. New seats can be created by a vote among the chairs and seats. Chairs can only be taken away by a two-thirds majority of seats and under the presumption that the guild has lost it's influence. These chairs act as the de facto leaders of the Vendel League and most seats follow what they say.
The ninth chair is a bit different. It originally belonged to the High King and couldn't be taken away. After the death of the old High King and with no new High King to be found, the chair was given to the Eisen Imperator as thanks for his help supporting the Vendel League's ascention to power. Since the death of the last Eisen Imperator and the subsuquent shattering of Eisen, the chair has been in the hands of the last person given the seat - a former servant of the Eisen Imperator. No one knows what exactly will happen when he dies; though the vast majority of people believe it will just be given to the next most powerful guild or king.
While the Chairs are more or less permanent, the Seats can only be held for three-year terms. Every year on the anniversary of the guild's founding, one-third of the seats go up for auction to the highest bidder. These seats are held for the three year term and no one person can hold more than one seat, though particularly wealthy League members have been known to sponsor proxies in exchange for political clout. Guilds tend to sponsor their more prominent members in this way. This money goes to the League's Treasury and - along with taxes - is used to fund all public works.
While the main guild is corrupt, the more local governing bodies tend to be elected leaders and therefore somewhat less corrupt.
The following are the guilds who hold the eight chairs and are the effective leaders of the Vendel
The Blacksmith Guild: This guild is a collection of some of the best blacksmiths in Theah. Their close ties with the Miner's guild and advanced smelting and forging techniques keep them several years ahead of their competition and gives them a reputation for quality. The guild has taken a hit recently with the unexpected death of the guild master was murdered by pirates. The guild is kn
The Carpenter's Guild: The Carpenter's Guild is know for their great quality products and are more than one hundred years old. They tend to view their work as an art rather than a buisness; creating products which are aestetically pleasing in addition to being of the highest quality.
Jenny's Guild: One of the youngest guilds, it's also one of the most wide-spread. It's also one of the most profitable and beloved. The guild is deeply concerned with the welfare of it's members - often helping members get out of the life as a Jenny - and seeks to make their establishments perfectly acceptable places of leisure. The guild is named for Jenny Malone; the most famous member of their profession.
The Merchant's Guild: The Merchant's Guild is dedicated to the movement of goods from one side of Theah to the other, making profit wherever they go. They have become the largest and most prosperous of the guilds. The guild takes customer complaints very seriously and investigates major or numerous complaints quickly and efficiently; with punishments ranging from fines to immediate explusion.
The Miner's Guild: Though undeniably one of the most powerful guilds, they Miner's Guild has difficulties other guilds can't imagine. Though they own mines in most countries, most foreign rulers don't like the idea of Vendel "plundering" their nation of raw materials. To combat this, the guild has an unusually large number of non-Vendel in it's ranks to help influence other nation's decisions. The Leader of the Miner's Guild acts as the Vendel's Foreign Minister as a result of their connections to other nations.
The Printer's Guild: The Printer's Guild has the distinct advantage of being the only source of paper in Theah. They also own most of the printing presses Theah. As a result, they are the most informed of guilds and also turn a profit as information brokers.
The Sailor's Guild: The Sailor's Guild has members in every port in Theah - even the pirate ones. They are experts in keeping track of shipping documentation and know all the best tricks and trades of the sea. They maintain their good relation with other nations by being experts at finding and turning over illegal goods to the authorities (from non-guild ships of course). They manage to do all this thanks to their Sailor Trust Fund - a service they offer sailors where sailors contribute some of their wages which the guild matches (1 for 2) which will be given to their families after their death or taken once they are too old to sail anymore.
The Swordsman's Guild: This guild has become extremely popular in Theah in its two decades of existence. All Vendel law keepers are required to become members and their authority is unchallenged in Vendel territory. So great has their reach become that even the Vesten - notorious for their hatred of guilds - has accepted them (if not all their rules). This is due to their focus on honorable combat. for more on The Swordsman's Guild, see their full page here.