The Eternal Empire operates on the principle of matriarchy; the reigning ruler is always an Empress and she is regarded as a direct descendent of the Goddess. This line of descent is considered to be important enough that there can never be any uncertainty of birth–as a mother is always indisputably the mother of a child that she brings forth, while the father may be cuckolded.

Not that the Eternal Empire believes women to be superior–far from it. Outside of the palace, the vast majority of generals, functionaries, and administrators are men. However, only a single man is ever permitted inside the palace–the consort. Empresses have on occasion made exceptions for their fathers, brothers, or sons, but nevertheless it is considered essential that the Empress be exposed to the depredations of none but her freely chosen consort.

Among the courtiers it is an open secret that this is regularly flouted, both by Empresses sneaking in male lovers and Empresses taking female lovers. Producing a heir is important enough that these events are typically covered up. In the event that no female heirs are produced, or the Empress dies in childbirth, the next adult female of the line inherits the throne. The Imperial Geneologist maintains exhaustive family trees to facilitate this. Genealogically senior claimants tat are not yet of age are typically killed by order of the Empress upon her acession in memory of the devastating Sisters’ War.

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