“Just because they’re smaller, doesn’t make the Low Council inconsequential. The Eleven may not be able to order them to go to war, but most of the founder Tribes will tour the Low Council, looking to drum up support and gather allies when they go war-campaigning. And the debates and politicking amongst the Lower Council members can be as fierce as any on the High Council floor. There’s power blocs and alliances and feuds and maneuvering. The Low Council is by no means toothless; indeed, many of the Founders, and even the Shaemar, regard many of the fringers as hotbeds of innovation, even if they may lack the means to make maximum use of those proprietary technologies.”
“See, the Hawkmoons and Silvermoons are strictly by the book when dealing with the Low Council. It’s not that they don’t care, in fact both Tribes are fairly passionate about the newbloods, but they stick by protocol, and they can come across as cold and impersonal as a result. The Lost Eclipse on the other hand just loves to mess with the Lows. They’re either finding and tossing newbies at the High Council to force them to be consistent in their judging, or they’re testing the newbies and existing Lows to see if they’ve got what it takes to survive. There’s a few Lower Council tribes that have the Nightmares as their enthusiastic advocates, even though the fringers hate the Nightmares’ guts.”
The Lower Council
The Lower Council (or simply ‘Low Council’) was created by the High Elders of the Shemarrian Star Nation to give limited recognition to fringe tribes, as part of a process that could result in formal recognition as a Tribe. Many fringers see acceptance to the Low Council as the first major step towards being recognized as a full Tribe.
Gaining A Seat
Entry into the Low Council requires the approval of at least three of the Eleven Tribes/High Council members. The prerequisites for recognition have never been set in stone with definite limits, but the general guidelines seem to be a combination of size (at least 300 members; the bare minimum that Tribes like the Silvermoon started out with), a steady and stable organization that has been documented to have been in operation for at least fifteen T-standard years, a documentable combat history showing at the very least the ability to defend themselves, and at least a basic capacity to sustain themselves without reliance on others. Less tangible factors include the perception of ‘Shemarrian spirit’ and ‘dedication to Shemarrian ideals’ as judged by the respective Eleven Tribes, and several candidate groups have been bounced from consideration for showing a distinct lacking in these categories.
Recognized members of the Low Council have the right to trade with the Eleven for technologies denied outsiders, such as Warmount templates and Upgrade implants. They may also negotiate for the establishment of formal colonies and enclaves in Shemarrian territory, and arrange for protection of those enclaves under the Tribal mutual defense provisos. Low Council members may also bring proposed legislation to the attention of the High Council.
Members of the Low Council are not legally bound by the same decisions as bind the Eleven, except with regards to Admonitions and Bans (bans on travel to certain regions of the Megaverse, for example, or starting wars in the name of the Shemarrian Nation), so they cannot be bullied into going to war as cannonfodder in front of the founder Tribes. However, neither do their decisions carry the same weight in the High Council, so the Low Council cannot, for example, vote themselves a massive appropriation of resources from the members of the High Council.
Member Tribes of the High Council may sponsor a proposal of Low Council members, or back a decision made by the Low Council, bringing it to the attention of the High Council for debate. Similarly, Low Council members may throw their support behind a member (or members) of the Eleven, giving some small extra measure of clout to the High Member. There is some discussion of granting members of the Low Council a ‘fractional vote’ with regards to voting on High Council debated topics.
Not all eligible tribes invited attend the Low Council. Several candidates, though offered a seat in the Lower Council, have refused, either because they seek full Tribe status and see the Low Council as being demoted to ‘the kiddy table’, or because their tribe’s activities preclude them from regular attendance. Both Clans Megalith and Scelptor have only made token appearances on the Low Council, whereas Clans Vespa and Armorand are devout attendees of Council meetings.