The Chosen, rulers of the Domains
The Chosen are the most powerful beings in the Domains. Unlike the other gifted they are free to develop their magic to its fullest extent. Since most of the them were once Gladiators and the rest are survivors of the Reckoning it is fair to say that any person who has made it into their exalted number is one of the strongest of the Gifted to begin with.
A hundred and two chosen swore the Oath of the Covenant. Twenty-seven of those are known to have survived to modern times (The Bloodlust series starts in 1138 AR). These are often called the Elder Chosen. Of those, many had already lived several life-times before becoming a Chosen. Most of these twenty-seven rarely appear outside of the councils of the Chosen and are rarely glimpsed even in their own Domains. Chosen Moltar and Chosen Marius are exceptions among the Elder Chosen; both are very active in the politics and life of the Domains.
A handful of the Elder Chosen are missing and not dead. Their Domains are care for by a regent regularly appointed by the popular assembly in Krass instead of given to a successor.
The Elder Chosen are seen as strange creatures by the people of the Domains, more god than mortal. Many of them developed their talents on their own, some late in life. Famously Chosen Marius did not discover his Gift until he was 52, and a general in Moltar’s army. The Gifted in those days were jealous of each other and horded power and knowledge to themselves; the sort of regimented training that exists in the Domains now did not exist. Thus the magical talents of the Elder chosen are often strange, even to other Gifted.
Very little of the world these Chosen were born into survived the reckoning. They are all older than the Domains themselves. It is rumored that some of them committed suicide or simply faded away over time. Cults and religions surrounding the Chosen are officially discouraged but many Elder Chosen attract that sort of attention. Chosen Eudora, for example, is a kind of Gaia figure in many cults, said to be an avatar of life itself.
Since the reckoning there have been over 200 Successor Chosen including those filling the six spots in the expanded council (It used to be a Chosen had to die or be missing for 50 years before being replaced, for the last 300 years the council has expanded at one per fifty years as a concession after the last Gladiator rebellion). All of the Successor Chosen were trained in their arts as children and won the right to become Chosen in the arena. They are markedly more homogenous as group than the Elder Chosen, having all passed through the same schooling and selection process.
The people of the Domains love the Successor Chosen, and the tales of each of them winning their way into the ranks of the rulers of the Domains make up the common mythology of the land. Because of their connection with the people most of these Chosen are more active and public than the Elder Chosen. Many of them thrive on the adoration of the people to an embarrassing degree.
The Successor Chosen are often allied with a popular Faction to some degree, having gained support in their career from said Faction and then often using that Faction as a vehicle for their own goals. . And each Faction boasts about the Chosen who served under their colours as a Gladiator.
The Council of the Chosen
The council of the Chosen is a political body that comprises all of the Chosen. The Chosen are required to attend it at least once every four years. It is supposed to act as a mechanism for solving disputes between the Chosen and different Domains. It can propose laws for the Domains as a whole, but these are subject to review (veto) by the popular assembly of Krass. The Council has a great deal more power in matters of Justice, military might, the approval of new Domains, and laws regarding the Chosen themselves.
A Domains is a province of sorts, an area of land ruled over by a Chosen. The Chosen must abide by the strictures of the covenant, but otherwise rules his or her Domain however he or she wishes. Obviously the character of a Domain varies wildly depending on the Chosen who rules it. Some Domains, such as Chosen Moltar’s Volcanus, are almost totalitarian in structure while many others are almost similar to enlightened Democratic or Libertarian governments.
Domains vary not only in government but in physical characteristics. The Domain of Chosen Eudora is a vast, sparsely inhabited garden paradise, while Chosen Nix rules over the city of Terlula’s Pride which is much smaller in size but densely populated. Occasionally the Chosen will rule in groups or even allow their jurisdictions to overlap.