Dyvers, Greyhawk

Dyvers and Greyhawk, a Tale of Two Governments

Sometimes, when you read about Dyvers it can come across a bit like Greyhawk, but worse. One of these areas where this can appear is when discussing the governments of each city state. Both are ruled by oligarchies, small minorities that control the power, but what makes up their oligarchies are vastly different.

Greyhawk’s ruling oligarchy, the “Directing Oligarchy” as it is known, is made up of a group of 12 to 18 members. These individuals are chosen from the city’s most powerful guilds, its highest ranking military commanders, and its most powerful residents (usually an exceedingly powerful wizard or cleric that commands a large, and powerful flock). The Directing Oligarchy not only makes the laws, they are also the only people who vote for the Lord Mayor – and they appoint the judges.

Dyvers, on the other hand, is ruled by the “Gentry of Dyvers” which is made up of landowners, wealthy merchants, and minor nobles. Unlike the city of Greyhawk’s Directing Oligarchy, the Gentry of Dyvers represents the widest swath of people within the 2,000 square miles that Dyvers calls its own. There is no stated limit on the members of the Gentry so it is entirely possible that a meeting may have a handful of attendees, a hundred, or several thousand.

Dyvers further differentiates itself from Greyhawk in how their Magister, their chief executive officer, operates. Where the Directing Oligarchy has a tight control on their Lord Mayor the Magister of Dyvers is beholden to the entirety of the Gentry. Go too far, or be too glib about a major threat, and the Gentry can convene a meeting and remove you from office.

This begs a question; though, how does the Gentry operate and how are meetings called?

The text is largely silent on this issue but it can be assumed that like most organized political bodies that the Gentry has a standard number of meetings each year for the whole body where officers are elected to a term (in my games I have them serving a single year) and who will take on the roles necessary for governance and vote on routine matters. Special elections can be call when important matters are before the Gentry, such as the recall of a Magister, but other than that the governance is largely a representation one.

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