The Kogenrad is an assembly of appointed individuals of the Holy Toralum Empire. The Kogenrad's purpose to hold an assembly for members to discuss imperial affairs. It is separated into two branchs: the House of Lords and the House of Clerics. The House of Lords is the larger branch and serves as the secular half of the Kogenrad, the members being appointed by the Emperor. The House of Clerics is the spiritual half of the Kogenrad and is the smaller branch, consisting of bishops invested by the Hexarch. The House of Clerics serves as the Hexarch's arm to exercise authority and influence over the realm.
After the fall of the Hexarchy in 623, Durgan lords were left without any protection from foreign attacks. The lords could not unite together to drive off foreigner invaders when required so the Durgan Confederacy was formed in 765. The Confederacy was an elective monarchy that gave power to the Kaiser who served a lifetime office. To keep the Kaiser from abusing his powers, the rest of the Durgan lords formed the Kogenrad, an assembly of powerful Durgan lords that limited the power of the Kaiser.
With the union of the Kingdom of Dorenburg and the Kingdom of Ralais in 1267, Kaiser Konrad I punished the Durgan traitors by barring them from attending Kogenrad sessions. Konrad I also invited Ralesian lords he favored to become members of the Kogenrad to fill in vacant positions in order to consolidate his power. Over time the Kogenrad became the assembly of the Crown of Dorenburg rather than the Durgan Confederacy.
In 1400 when Denward the Blessed was crowned Holy Toralum Emperor by Hexarch Dyrakios III, Dyrakios III added new members within the Kogenrad so that he can exercise Hexarchal authority over the imperial realm. Denward I also sought to further consolidate his power within is new empire, and an organized church helped keep his vassals in line with the risk of giving the Hexarch more power. These members comprised of the House of Clerics, who were all clergymen and mostly appointed by the Hexarch. The members of the Kogenrad before became the House of Lords because they comprised of lords of the Holy Toralum Empire.
While there are two halves of the Kogenrad, the House of Lords and the House of Clerics, both houses meet at the same sessions and have the same power. The differences between the houses are that the House of Lords' members are primarily appointed by the Emperor while the House of Clerics' members are appointed by the Hexarch. This dual-authority between the Emperor and the Hexarch leads to a power wrestle between the secular leader the Emperor and the spiritual leader the Hexarch. The number of House of Clerics members is fixed, all membership positions being a contract tied to a title. Membership in the House of Lords however varies among people, with some membership being temporar, others being lifetime, and very few being hereditary.
See: House of Lords
See: House of Clerics
The Kogenrad serves to limit the power of the Emperor, in return for pleasing his vassals. The Kogenrad must approve a law proposed by the Emperor before it is passed. Conversely, the Kogenrad must also approve the repeal of a law proposed by the Emperor. Along with the power to amend and repeal laws requested by the Emperor, it is also able to amend and repeal laws without the Emperor's consent provided enough members approve. While the Kogenrad does not officially have the power to make laws, it is able to pressure the Emperor into proposing one for it.
Aside from the matter of laws, the Kogenrad also decides the sort of punishment should be given to a criminal/traitor vassal in order to keep the Emperor from breaking the rights of lords. The Kogenrad however is not able to interfere with the Emperor rewarding people.
The Kogenrad can also used as the Emperor's council as a body of advisors. Such council can be used to discuss the declaration of war, truces, and other imperial affairs. A grand assembly of the Kogenrad is called as a council only under extreme circumstances, but in most cases the Emperor only summons a handful of members.
Membership in the Kogenrad is the most powerful position behind the Emperor and the Hexarch. Because only favored vassals are granted membership within the House of Lords, vassals tend to appeal to the Emperor and attempt to win a hereditary contract with the Emperor in order for his descendents to remain in power. The power of the Kogenrad varies between Emperors, with some Emperors being weak and pushed around by the Kogenrad while others are strong and make the Kogenrad redundant.
Aside from the members of the Kogenrad, the Kogenrad also serve as a political battlefield between the Emperor and the Hexarch. The Hexarch virtually controls the House of Clerics so the Emperor is constantly trying to win approval from his vassals to keep the Hexarch's influence in check. Despite there being more members within the House of Lords, the House of Clerics almost always side with the Hexarch while the members of the House of Lords constantly fight to achieve their self-interests.