Wards, Wardens, and the World

The structure of communities in The Span is as organized as the guilds. There are countless communities and colonies in the Span, and each of them reports to a single local leader. those local leaders in turn report to higher leaders, all the way up to the high council.

Local Governments

The basic unit of the Span is the Ward: a group of people, usually between three and ten thousand people, who live in the same general vicinity and are ruled by a single governing individual. The people of a Ward share history, culture, and laws–many of which are regional. A Ward need not be tied to a particular geographic location, though–some are located on space stations and ships that house thousands of individuals.

The local laws of a Ward vary, depending on the culture, shared morals, or community wants or needs. Any law of a ward may be perfectly legitimate so long as it does not directly conflict with the Laws of Order. Laws can be about any part of life, and sometimes, due to cultural differences, are somewhat arbitrary in nature. The difficult task of enforcing these laws and governing the colony or ship falls to an individual called a Warden.

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Wardens

The rights of a Warden are established by convention: a Warden’s rule is often considered absolute and beyond reproach. Despite this, many Wardens divide the rights to govern to councils, assemblies, and other governmental groups. In smaller colonies, and on ships, the Warden may lead his people directly.

How a Warden is chosen is a right left to the colony itself. Often, but not always, this manner of selection is codified in local statute, and may range from a democratic vote to a contest of arms. As with the ward itself, the particular way in which a Warden is chosen is often dependent on which guild is in control of the Ward: the Knights tend to tests of strength, while Gold Men tend to base their status on their sheer wealth.

Wardens, in turn, report to their District Warden, who oversees, but does not usually directly govern, the wards under her supervision. She in turn reports to a Provincial Warden, all the way up to the High Council itself, which governs the Span as a whole.

An example colony is found below.

Aspen Holmes

Location: Near the South Pole of Ateus, a moon of Ira
Technology Class: C
Guild Control: Fizex, Inc.
Warden: Tom Allenbar

Tnorth-315865777he quaint town of Aspen Holmes is nestled on a green, hilly habitable area on one of Ira’s moons. The neighbors are polite, resources are cheap, and happiness is at an all-time high. The secret to Aspen Holmes’ success comes from the hill on which the town is situated: it is actually a massive nuclear reactor covered in shielding and filler. The reactor, which supplies all of the town’s energy needs for practically nothing in cost, is one of the most advanced of its type. It also has the unfortunate history of having once gone into catastrophic meltdown.

Many years ago, due to a clerical oversight, the reactor was put into an unstable state and began to pour radioactive materials into the access tunnels below the town. Swift action by Fizex’s Technical Team patched the issue before it could spread, but the way the town had grown around the reactor made it, unfortunately, irreparable. This left the townspeople with a horrible decision to make: how would maintenance be done on the reactor, when the radiation fried any and all electronics that went into the tunnel?

The answer, handed down by Warden Edward Castler, was simple: any person in the town having reached the age of fifty-two, would enter the tunnels and join the maintenance team, resigning themselves to a slow and painful death by radiation over the next few years so that the people above could continue to live in peace.

The people of Aspen Holmes have accepted this fate without question, until recently. Warden Allenbar has instituted a new law, exempting members of Fizex, Inc. from being subject to the ritual sacrifice inflicted on his people. This has caused significant controversy as of late, and talks of a coup have been surfacing recently…