The Borelian Empire is ruled by a single man, the Imperator (sometimes loosely called the Emperor). The Imperator is the chief executive of the Imperial Council and is elected every 9 years by members of the Council. The Inner Council is composed of the senior administrators of the twelve regions (the Imperator is the thirteenth member of the Inner Council). The Public Council consists in addition of the representatives of all of the provinces within each region (about 130 provincial members).
The Imperator has a private advisory council of experts in matters of finance, agriculture, industry, education, (state) religion, magic, and the various branches of the military (army, navy, cavalry, battle mages, etc.). Each senior administrator of each region has a similar body of advisers.
Imperial decrees are decided by vote in the Public Council. The senior administrators' votes are weighted at two counts, and the Imperator's at three counts.
Provincial leaders are usually appointed by the region's senior administrator, making the Empire democratic in only a narrow sense (a Democracy of Peers). Each province is divided into counties, which were often in former times independent kingdoms. Each county is generally ruled by the descendants of former nobility, who maintain their former position and material possessions but lack political independence. In essence, when the Empire expands its borders, it leaves the existing social structure in place, but appoints an administrative head to rule over the territory and assume authority over certain capital crimes (like treason). It also applies a tax and organizes recruitment facilities for the Imperial Army, Navy, etc. Kings are no longer allowed to maintain standing armies, but may continue to employ a private guard, the size of which varies depending on the power and influence of the former king. Most of the military personnel in a county are imperial soldiers, supported by the city watch, rangers, and mercenaries employed as private guards.