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Winespring Inn

Village Councilors of Emond's Field gathering to meet in the Winespring Inn

In the Two Rivers district of western Andor the villages of Taren Ferry, Watch Hill, Emond's Field, and Deven Ride hold themselves politically independent and practice a form of gender-based bicameral government. The Village Council of each community is an all-male eight-member committee whose councilors are elected by the corresponding villagers and nearby farmers. Each council is headed by a Mayor who is elected in a similar fashion and serves as one of the eight members.[1]

Village councilors establish economic policy with merchants, peddlers, and the councils of other communities. Twice each year these councils will assist their mayors in observing trade with visiting merchant caravans that travel to the Two Rivers to purchase Tabac and wool. The primary function of the Mayor in this regard is to ensure a fair marketplace for all participants transacting within a village's sphere of influence. Councilors will also engage in the resolution of disputes related to property ownership.[2] In extremely rare cases, councils have sent out patrols if villages believe they are being victimized by outsiders seeking to steal property from locals.[3] While the elections for mayors and councilors are usually peaceful in the three smaller villages, campaigns in Taren Ferry have been known to become quite contentious, sometimes leading to prolonged quarreling among townsfolk.[4]

The power of the Village Council in each community is balanced by - and often at odds with -the equally important Women's Circle. Members of the Circle are elder females in each village that are chosen to join the Circle by existing members. Each Circle is headed by a Wisdom who serves for life. Though these two ruling bodies frequently bicker over small issues, it is generally understood and accepted that Councils regulate matters of economics and safety while Circles hold sway over social issues and serve as guardians of culture.

Beginning in the summer of 999 NE, the councils of each village began to defer to Perrin Aybara and Faile Aybara who have emerged as sovereign nobles ruling over the Two Rivers district. Under this new structure, councils have ceased to govern independently and now function as enforcers of Faile's economic policies. Faile has been very active in consolidating power with councils; first by exerting influence over Jerinvar Barstere and the councilors of Watch Hill prior to the Battle of Emond's Field.[5] She next manipulated the council of Taren Ferry to maneuver men sympathetic to Perrin into power in order to consolidate her political control over the community, though she has been forbidden by her husband to repeat similar actions in the future.[2]

NotesEdit

  1. The Eye of the World, Chapter 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lord of Chaos, Prologue
  3. The Eye of the World, Chapter 4
  4. A Crown of Swords, Chapter 8
  5. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 56