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From The Book of Lore:
Under Lord British, Britannia has undergone a great transformation from totalitarian monarchy to representative democracy in what is called a monarchic republic. Instead of the single rule of the king, Lord British, Britannia is ruled by a combination of Lord British and a council comprised of representatives from each of the eight major cities. Although his intent for the future was that each towne elect its representative to the council, the first council was deter-mined by appointment. British traveled to each towne, spending long hours with its leaders to determine the right choice for the first council.
The historic first meeting of the Great Council consisted of two parts. First, Lord British met with the council members and outlined his vision of participatory government. It was as follows:
This council and Lord British would begin to build a document, based on nature and reality, that set forth those rights of the people that should never be usurped. British believed that the eight virtues of the Avatar would play a major role in the nature of the document. Once adopted, the document would be binding on everyone, including Lord British himself.
Each year, a council member would be elected by each towne. That council member would conduct towne meetings at regular intervals to determine problems in the towne and to become acquainted with the needs and interests of the people. Several times a year, at regular intervals, the council member would travel to Britain to sit on the Great Council in Castle Britannia. The council would ponder problems that occurred in Britannia and decide if the problems were in the purview of government. If so, they would determine the course of action government should take, perhaps writing a law, perhaps repealing a law, perhaps altering ways and means.
Council recommendations would then be presented to British, and he could accept them or object to them. If he objected, his own rules would require him to sit with the council to try to work out solutions acceptable to all. Nevertheless, Lord British reserved to himself the power of veto in the event that agreement could not be reached.
At that first gathering of the council, Lord British withdrew from the meeting after presenting his plan, directing the council to discuss the ideas and his rule in general.
After several days, the council was ready to present its findings. Its members were unanimously in favor of the new government plan Lord British had presented, and so it was enacted. The first meeting continued for one month. Half the time was spent pounding out the new constitution and half the time was spent discussing affairs in what was to become normal council fashion. Since that time the council meets for two weeks four times a year, beginning on the solstices and the equinoxes.
The Council was created after Ultima IV by Lord British for the reasons stated above. It raised the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom from the Abyss as one of their first acts. They also sealed the dungeons. Years later, the Council was dissolved by Lord Blackthorn and his tyranny in Ultima V, persecuting the members of the Council, who knew the Words of Power for the dungeons of Britannia, forcing them into hiding.
The Council wasn't seen in Ultima VI, most likely because of martial law during the gargoyle war, however a 'Council of Wizards' is mentioned (perhaps they are the same thing? Alternately, they are a governing body for the Lycaeum). In Ultima VII, 200 years later, Miranda of the Council prepared a law to forbid the pollution of Lock Lake, while most of the Council was in the holidays. Also it was revealed that by then, the Gargoyles were also represented in the Council.
The following people were identified as members of the Council:
Ultima V Edit
- Malifora, representing Moonglow
- Annon, representing Britain
- Goeth, representing Jhelom
- Felespar, representing Yew
- Fiona, representing Minoc
- Sindar, representing Trinsic
- Hassad, representing Skara Brae
- Windemere (NPC), representing New Magincia (Ultima V: Lazarus only)