Sylvian Charter

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The Sylvian Charter is a constitution-type document which governed federal matters in the Government of the Sylvian Union. It was amendable by the Sylvian Parliament. It was written by GoatWhisperer and approved by the leaders and populations of the previously separate states of HUM, Montrose, and Rhett before being ratified. The full text of the document, as it appeared at the time of the Sylvian Dissolution, is transcribed below.


This charter comes at a time of great upheaval in the world order. As the East prospers, consolidating power and growing in size day after day, the West remains in the same state it has existed in for time immemorial. While time-tested traditions are honored and their systems have achieved much for the great land of Sylvia, tomorrow’s political landscape requires change, and it is due to this shifting nature that we must, too, adapt, or be left languishing in the dust of those who do. It is with great hope for the future and for the West’s continued development as a unified whole against marauders, against challengers, and against any insidious happenstance that threatens to turn us against one another that we establish the Sylvian Union on February 24th, 2019.

- GoatWhisperer

1. Handling of Provincial Law

This Union is not intended as a replacement to the time-honored laws which the vibrant cultures of Sylvia have devised to govern themselves. Thus:

  1. In respect to the domestic laws of the land, these rules shall remain under the new Union except where such laws are in contradiction to laws made by the Sylvian Parliament or decisions by the Consul. Likewise, Federal laws made by the Parliament must abide by the Sylvian Charter. All such contradictory laws are void once struck down by a judge.
  2. Provincial laws may be more restrictive, but not less so, than restrictions made by the Sylvian Union.
  3. Provincial laws should be made to be just, in good faith, and non-contradictory in order to avoid being struck down in Sylvian High Court. (See article 2.3.)
  4. Provinces are allowed to conduct trade with other nations (barring an embargo), but diplomacy in terms of alliances, asylum, and the like must come through the Federal government. The Union declares war as one, or not at all.
  5. Provinces have the right to determine their own border policies both toward the outside world and toward other Sylvians. However, regardless of these laws, agents of the Federal government must be allowed to enter when on Federal business.
  6. The Federal Province will be administered directly by the current Consul, unless delegated to a Commissioner. The Federal province does not receive delegates.

2. Governance

1. Executive

  1. The Union government is headed by a Consul.
    1. The Consul is elected by the Parliament.
      1. Citizens interested in running for Consul should make such known, and if the candidate is seconded by any Sylvian Delegate, they may formally enter the race. During this time, the previous Consul shall manage an impartial pre-election series of events where candidates may answer questions and otherwise denote their platform. However, the final votes must be kept anonymous.
      2. Following this, debate is had and votes are cast.
      3. The top two candidates of that pool are debated over again, and a final vote is had between the two (if necessary).
      4. The Consul heads the Executive branch until he is recalled by the delegates of the Parliament in a supermajority vote.
    2. Consuls are afforded the following abilities:
      1. The ability to declare war in emergencies where there is no time to hold a Parliamentary session and where the Parliament has not rejected a bill to declare said war.
      2. Demarcation of Federal and Provincial land where disputes arise.
      3. Approval of public works projects on Federal land.
      4. The establishing of standards and initiatives for Sylvian martial readiness.
      5. Diplomatic capacities to those abroad, although most binding foreign agreements must be passed through the Sylvian parliament.
      6. The “adminship” of the actual faction, but not ownership. (See article 1.2.)
      7. Appointment of judges for court sessions. (See article 2.3.)
      8. Appointment of interim Viceroys in the event that a Viceroy is removed, incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to serve in their capacity, as well as other vacant government positions
      9. Presides over and breaks ties in the Parliament.
      10. The appointment of or recall of Commissioners:
        1. Generally heads of a certain initiative, delegated abilities by Parliament or the Consul.
        2. Examples include a Commissioner of Infrastructure, Commissioner of Military (also called a Marshal), Commissioner of Foreign Operations, etc.
    3. The Consul may not defy Federal law nor Charter code. Doing so deliberately is grounds for recall by Parliament.
  2. The actual faction, discord server, and documents are owned by the Keeper.
    1. The Keeper is elected and recalled identically to the Consul.
  3. The Provincial governments are headed by Viceroys.
    1. This title is default, but can be changed by provincial custom. Such a change does not change their classification as “viceroy”-level officials for Federal intents and purposes.
    2. For all intents and purposes, the Viceroys are sovereign over their province except for where provincial actions or laws contradict with Federal law.
    3. Excepting cases where rules of law already exist within the Province to choose a Viceroy, the Viceroy is selected by popular vote of the citizens of the province.
    4. If a Viceroy is found to be acting in contradiction to Sylvian Federal law, they may be subject to be removed from their capacity. In such a case where the issue is introduced, the Sylvian Parliament will deliberate on the matter and, if the decision is confirmed, an interim Viceroy will be appointed by the Consul. The appointed Viceroy will act in the capacity until such time as reselection of a new Viceroy by standard means is coordinated by the Consul at the Consul’s discretion.
    5. Elected Viceroys may be recalled at any time by a supermajority vote of the citizenry of the province they represent (the viceroy’s vote is included.)
    6. Viceroys are given “moderator” status of the faction. They will thus claim land for their province and manage claim usage.
    7. Viceroys are domestic executives. They should not act as defining speakers for the Republic to outside entities on the Republic’s foreign affairs/policy - that is the job of the Parliament and Consul.

2. Legislative

  1. The legislative body of the Union Government is the Parliament.
  2. The Parliament is made up of two delegates from every province.
    1. These delegates are appointed by the Viceroy, and can be recalled by the Viceroy at any time (except during a Parliamentary session) to be replaced.
    2. Delegates representing a province must be a citizen of that province.
    3. For low manpower provinces, this Charter understands that three separate individuals may be a tall order. As such:
      1. If a province has less than three people (to be a viceroy, and two delegates) then delegate appointment overlap is acceptable (e.g. a viceroy also serving as a delegate, one individual serving as two delegates, etc.).
      2. In instances of less-active players, delegate appointment overlap must be approved by the rest of the Parliament (or by a majority of Viceroys if the Parliament is unable to form due to this issue).
  3. Bills may be introduced by any citizen, and may be discussed and amended before being voted on.
  4. A simple majority passes a bill.
  5. Finished, passed bills must be pinned in the channel in which they were introduced and voted on for posterity.
  6. Federal abilities not afforded to the Consul are afforded to the Parliament, who may give abilities to the Consul or the provincial governments.
  7. The parliament can overrule decisions made by the Consul with a supermajority (66%+), but the Consul may not veto parliamentary decisions nor can the parliament curtail the Consul’s powers outside of powers originally given by the parliament.
  8. The Consul may contribute to the Parliamentary discussion in session, but may not vote unless the votes are tied in a matter.

3. Judicial

  1. Judges are appointed on an as-needed basis by the Consul.
  2. Judges preside over domestic disputes between citizens of the Sylvian Union which cannot be resolved by the Viceroys, and also are called to uphold or strike down Provincial and Federal laws and rulings depending on whether they are “fair, just, and in good faith” or in contradiction with Federal law.
    1. Cases must be brought by a citizen to the Consul who then decides on a judge.
    2. If the Consul and the Parliament both decide the case is not worth hearing (i.e., is only being done to be malicious or dilatory), the case is dropped. However, if either one agrees that it is worth hearing, the case continues.
    3. This federal court system is a second-tier elevation after provincial dispute resolvement proceedings have failed. It should not be the first course of action.
  3. Judges may be appointed from any class or province of the Union, from Citizens to the Consul themself. However, no one directly involved in the case is eligible to be the Judge.
    1. In such case as no eligible person can be found including the Consul, the Consul has a right to choose an independent judge from another country.
    2. As a convenient choice, the Consul is used generally for minor disputes.
    3. As a rule of thumb, good judges tend to be fair, as uninvolved as possible, and apolitical in the context of the matter at hand.
  4. Judges do not have to be confirmed by Parliament by default, but delegates may introduce a contest to the decision which is then voted on and if passed another choice must be made.
  5. Judges may hold court in any suitable public structure. Provinces are free to build their own courthouse. Citizens are free to watch courtroom proceedings, and foreigners are as well (unless this conflicts with border policies, most of which are decided on a provincial level).
  6. Decisions made by the Parliament or by the Consul may be reinforced as well as struck down by a judge’s ruling. If a decision leads to controversy, a simple majority vote in the Parliament or across the Citizenry may initiate the case-seeking process without deliberation (as described in 3.2.2.).

4. Miscellaneous

  1. Players are not necessarily required to only hold one office at a time. Depending on the situation, a one-man province may see the one player as Viceroy, both delegates, and a federal position like Consul or Commissioner. This only occurs if no others are available to take the positions - a newly-elected Consul must abdicate his former representative positions if there are others available to take them.
  2. In the event that a pro-tempore official must be selected by the Consul, the appointed official is not necessarily required to hail from the Province they are appointed to, as these vacant positions are appointed out of necessity and oft sub-optimal conditions.

3. Military

1. Provincial Duties

  1. Viceroys are tasked with ensuring their military (all citizens are members of the provincial militia) is equipped to any standards mandated by the Federal government.
  2. Viceroys are not allowed to conduct wars against other nations without a declaration of war from the Parliament, but may engage their militias in police actions within their province and Sylvian territory at large to enforce Sylvian laws and customs.
  3. Viceroys are allowed to lead military expeditions on their own accord in existing wars, but in the event that Federal Sylvian commands are issued they must be prioritized.
  4. Viceroys may be called to “muster” at any point during a war which is an immediate call to arms. This can only be called by the Consul or the Marshal (if appointed). This requires an immediate cease of any other activities and a gathering of all available provincial militia and equipment to get to the designated point immediately and be ready to fight.

2. Structure

  1. The Consul acts as head of the military, unless delegated to a Marshal.
  2. Viceroys act as leads of their provincial militias, and can lead individual expeditions in existing wars (preferably with permission from the Consul), but generally act as ordered by the Consul or Marshal along with the Citizenry.
  3. Viceroys may structure their militia with specialized ranks if they so desire, but all soldiers must meet the minimum standards set forth by the Federal government.
  4. Orders are to be obeyed without question.
  1. Provinces are not allowed to decide “not to participate” in a war. All provinces are expected to provide full manpower to whatever causes the Consul assigns them to (e.g. assault, occupation, sentry, scouting, or just guarding at home) regardless of personal feelings. This professionalism helps ensure the cohesion of the Union during wartime.

4. Joining & Leaving

  1. In order for a nation to be added to the Union, they must be approved by the Parliament with a supermajority.
  2. “Offshoot” nations, or nations seceding from other provinces within the Union, are generally not suitable for induction into the Union due to the potential for Parliament-rigging.
    1. In such a case, where a nation is made up mostly or in part by players who were previously part of an existing Union province, careful thought must be given to ensure there is no collusion for increased legislative power. A unanimous Parliamentary vote is necessary to induct such a nation.
  3. Nations inducted into the Union become a part of the Union, and detach the system of governance from any one individual.
    1. In clearer terms: whereas before a nation may have been a form of absolute monarchy under a specific person with the contents thereof being personal property, the position of “leader” (or, now, viceroy) is now divorced from the individual and feasibly (though not realistically) another individual could hold that place. This is not a realistic scenario, but it is important to note nonetheless that in order for the republican democracy to function no one is impervious to removal from office should the proper criteria be met (as outlined elsewhere, only by outright rebellion against the Federal government or similarly drastic, bad-faith acts as deemed by Parliament.)
  4. Players may join a province of the Union if they so desire through provincial vetting (which may be subject to Federal standards) and customs.
  5. Individual players may leave as they wish, giving a day’s notice, and may take with them their personal belongings (but not their house). They must leave the Sylvian Union’s lands and resettle elsewhere. They are not entitled to bring with them any part of the Sylvian Union’s federal or provincial lands as their own.
  6. Former nations’ secession requests must be brought before the parliament by the Viceroy.
    1. The parliament will deliberate and then vote. An 80%+ approval vote from the Parliament is required to leave the Union.
    2. If successful, the province becomes a free state once again and their provincial land becomes their national boundaries. The current Viceroy becomes the Sovereign and the provincial laws are carried over.
    3. Former SU citizens must be allowed by the new state to resettle in another SU province if they desire (given that the SU province in question accepts them).

5. Faction Power Usage

  1. Provinces are allowed to use up to 80% of the combined power of their citizens to claim land.
  2. This withheld amount will be used for two purposes:
    1. One, sparingly for Federal buildings and land,
    2. Two, as a buffer so that land is not claimed over quite as easily in the event of an attack.
  3. Generally, faction claims should be used only to protect major buildings and their immediate surroundings in provinces. However, the way the viceroy wishes to set up the claims for their province is none of the Federal government’s concern so long as the total amount claimed is not above 80% of the citizenry’s available power.

6. Amendment Process

  1. Following the ratification of this charter, amendments (changes to the nature of the clauses, as syntax and formatting may be reworked and clauses clarified) are to be made by an individual introducing the amendment to the parliament, where it must obtain a supermajority.
  2. It is then required to obtain a simple majority from all the viceroys of the Sylvian Union.
  3. If both of these are passed, it is sent to the Consul to be either ratified or vetoed.
  4. An amendment is impervious to veto if the parliament passed it with supermajority and it received at least a supermajority from the viceroys.

7. Crime and Punishment

  1. It is a high crime to collude with or accept bribes from a foreign power in any form in exchange for political action. This is on any level, from voting as a citizen to declaring war as the Consul.
  2. It is also a crime to modify or destroy other people’s structures or other belongings without their consent, except in cases where the structures are on land no longer owned by that person or one has been given the blessing to do so by the Federal government.
  3. Attacking another nation without orders to do so and not out of self-defense is a crime.
  4. Provinces are tasked with establishing their own rules outside of federal-level laws and doling out justice on their own level.
  5. Federal courts are authorized to demand a payment of damages, send a perpetrator to jail, use any other punishment deemed necessary, and may begin expulsion proceedings if the crime is severe enough.
    1. In expulsion proceedings, an individual is found guilty of a crime that is heinous enough to warrant expulsion, is treasonous in nature, or is a repeat offense.
    2. Viceroys have the right to expel someone from their province following a guilty verdict, but the Consul may overrule the decision as may the Parliament. If possible, best practice is to allow the Consul or Parliament to expel the player.
    3. Expelled players are sent away with whatever they can carry, or nothing at all depending on the severity of the crime. They may be barred from reentering the province (Viceroys’ decision) or SU lands as a whole (Federal decision).
  6. Imprisonment of Sylvian citizens as well as indefinite imprisonment of any player requires the approval of the Parliament.
    1. Temporary holding until such time as Parliament can convene is acceptable when provincial or federal laws are broken, but should Parliament disapprove the imprisonment the Province is required to release the prisoner.

8. Dissolution

  1. Should the member-states of the Sylvian Union feel that the Union is too bothersome, too unwieldy, or in any other way not effective enough at its end task, and having failed to reform the government through the Parliamentary avenues available to them, they may consider the process of Dissolution of the Union. In such a Dissolution:
    1. The Viceroys of each province would become Sovereigns of free states.
    2. The provinces would incorporate federal land within their borders to be their own before becoming free states whose borders match those of the previous province.
    3. The previous provincial laws governing the province are carried over into the new state, at the Viceroy’s discretion or by popular vote.
    4. The Federal province will be either:
      1. An independent state if any volunteers arise to head it,
      2. Absorbed by an adjacent province,
      3. Or left be as a demarcated, jointly protected area.
      4. This will be the last matter the Sylvian Parliament will deliberate on.
  2. The process of dissolution will require a referendum of all citizens to be taken.
    1. The motion to dissolve the Republic may be introduced by any delegate. Parliament must vote with a supermajority to send the referendum.
    2. Along with the referendum, balanced information must be included on the benefits as well as detriments the Republic holds for its constituents (in a bipartisan manner, noting the controversies which lead to the decision, as well as any points or arguments in favor of remaining.)
    3. The citizenry as a whole must vote 70%+ in favor of dissolution.
    4. Coercion against citizens to vote in a certain manner is a high crime, heavily  punishable by Sylvian High Court or International Court if not by warfare from another state.
  3. This process is incredibly messy and should be only looked to as an absolute last resort. Incessant, unsuccessful motions to do so may be considered bad-faith and contribute toward removal from office by the Parliament.