Motes in the Serpent's Eye
The Imperial Council
The Dragon Emperor wields a tremendous amount of power, but this power is somewhat mediated by the Imperial Council. The council is comprised of one representative from each of the royal houses. Nonvoting representatives of other groups are named by the emperor to fill advisory seats on the council.
While the emperor is responsible for making all laws, a simple majority in the Imperial Council must approve them. In principle, this sounds like a powerful limitation on the emperor’s power. However, the emperor himself gets to cast a vote. Since the imperial councilors almost always vote in accord with their houses and kingdoms, the emperor can almost always cast the deciding vote in his favor to pass a law over which the council is divided. Nevertheless, the Imperial Council places some restraint on the power of the emperor. At the very least, the emperor must gain the support of the grand dukes of his kingdom if his measures are to receive the necessary support.