These are the major forms of government or leadership seen in the major populations of Fletnern:
Prince Governor - Common amongst the human city states, a Prince Governor is “elected” by some process from the nobles by the nobles. Every culture does it somewhat differently, and in many cases it is not clearly defined. This lack of definition can cause issues, but also tends to give the more powerful political alliances within the country the ability to impose their will. This means they seldom want to change things, even when out of power for fear of losing their grip should they retake power.
Just as each is elected differently, each’s powers are different. Typically the Prince Governor is a figure head, often a reasonably power figure head, but definitely more of a ruler for the people to admire. The real work is done by the various ministers. Most alliances come together by different families pledging their support to a candidate in exchange for a minister’s post, or several.
Because of this “election”, these roles are not automatically hereditary, but they do tend to be. It is much easier to rally around the last Prince Governor’s son then most other candidates, unless something major has happened.
Council - Councils can take many forms, but it is typically rule by a group of people, most commonly people that have been in some way chosen by smaller groups of people. For example, the Senate of Helatia would be considered a council, since the senators are chosen by the people of their individual neighborhoods within the city. The City Council of Rhum is also a council. While the mayor is elected by a general election, most of the other members are chosen by various guilds within the city.
Councils are representational governments, and typically everyone on the council has a vote, when voting is necessary.
Federation - A federation is formed when various groups form together but only in the loosest of terms. Each ruler within a federation continues to the ruler of their piece, but they have banded together to handle difference between them and issues with external parties (most commonly war/defense). With all voters being equal in the eyes of the federation, disagreements tend to be settled outside of the organized structures. For example, if a Slyvanian Lord wishes to cheat his neighbor, he will not bring it to the federation, but simply do what he wills, hoping that eventually he will have enough allies to back him and make it “law”. Meanwhile the wronged Lord will appeal to the federation for support, only to be placed on the docket to have his grievance voted on two or three years from now.
Monarchies - Monarchies are still extremely common, but only amongst the smaller nations. While the majority of governmental units in the world may be monarchies, the majority of the population of the world lives under one of the other forms of government.