Union of Protectorates
The City of Thrones is host to the Great Council, the representatives of the Great Families who are Lord Protectors of the Protectorates. The Great Council advises the Grand Lord Protector and maintains communication with the Protectorates. No true power, but influential nonetheless. Many a grand Lord was a former Council Member. Also, is a form of inter-Protectorate diplomatic embassy.
The Grand Council is a privy council that serves at the pleasure of the Grand Lord Protector. It must have a member of the Council of Speakers and a representative of the Towers of Arcana. Normally an odd number in the 5-7 range is recommended. The Grand Council advises the Grand Lord.
A triumvirate court with lifetime posts elevated by the Great Council, Council of Speakers and Towers of Arcana. Decides on inter-Protectorate legal matters. Its decisions may be appealed to the Grand Lord but he is not required to arrange a hearing.
Protectorates rules by Lord/Lady Protector decided by Protectorate law and custom and normally hereditary member of a Great Family from that Protectorate. The number of Great Families is also decided by individual Protectorate law but must be at least two.
Land that is directly governed by the Grand Lord Protector. These Lands include the 100 miles surrounding the City of Thrones and scattered acquisitions over time. These each have Governors appointed by the Grand Lord. Some Governors are appointed over Union Lands which are very sparsely populated and/or environmentally unpleasant and considered prestige positions without power or responsibility.
The Towers rule the 20 miles surrounding them and are led by a High Arcanist. The High Arcanist is local to each Tower as is the Council of 7 Lord Wizards or Lord Evokers who elevate a full member of the tower to High Arcanist for life. The High Arcanist chooses the representative of the Grand Council.
This army serves the Grand Lord and is selected from the whole of the Union. Once a member of the Grand Union Army, all former political ties to a home protector are broken and upon retirement, one becomes a citizen of Union Lands. Often a small plot of land (50 acres +/-) in a Union Land is given to retirees as a pension. May instead be a small monetary retirement gift.
The Grand Union Navy is drawn from Union lands only and is a small force on Throne Lake and any port city in Union Lands. Their main work is in anti-piracy and anti-smuggling. They do some work in port cities as well from small customs boats. This very small tariff on inter-protector trade is capped by law at formation of the Union. The 1/5 % is called the Grand Lords Half and is used for infrastructure.
Powerful does not a Power make. Some powerful beings are part of creation and must be judged as any other by actions and dealt with accordingly.