|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
The Prime Aqasix is the title of the elected ruler of Azir.
The full title of the current Prime Aqasix is as follows:
To be elected Prime Aqasix, prospective candidates are each allowed to submit paperwork to convince the vizierate as a whole that they are worthy of the position. Only the scions, the priests, are not able to apply, as they are traditionally visiting and blessing the settlements of the nation. The selection process is symbolically done in the presence of the new Prime, as the Azish believe they are never without one. Therefore, the election is, in truth, a way of finding out who the current Prime is.
The essays of all candidates are judged together by a large assembly of viziers and scions. After everyone reads through all the essays, a debate ensues where the electors propose their candidates and discuss their merits, with the scions providing a theological and religious perspective on the matter. The viziers who applied are permitted to be present, and are free to argue for themselves. At the end of the discussion, a vote occurs, with the winner being proclaimed the new Prime.
On special occasions, a person can be said to have applied not through their essay, but rather through their actions, or through an omen from the Kadasixes. One such occasion occurred when Yanagawn was elected - while he was illiterate, and robbing the palace at the time, his miraculous return from the dead was judged by the scions to be a sign that he would be the perfect ruler for the troubling times, as several of his predecessors had been assassinated.
”Praise to Yaezir, Kadasix of Kings, may he lead in wisdom. This youth is Prime. He has been Prime always. We have only now realized it, and beg his forgiveness for not seeing the truth sooner.— Formal appointment of a new Prime Aqasix
Rights and Duties
The Prime is the leader of the Azish Empire, and as such is responsible for their international politics, diplomatic relations and other matters of state. However, they are not an absolute ruler, and are obliged to listen to their advisors, most importantly the viziers. Together, the viziers have sufficient pull to force their own opinion on the Prime. In addition, whenever a Prime makes a public decree, all citizens have a month to comply, and may protest the new law in the meantime through both formal and informal means.
The Prime is considered a public asset, owned by the people. As such, there are lotteries for the chance to watch the Prime sleep or eat, and the onlookers are free to collect items such as hair or nail clippings. In fact, a Prime appears to be a quasi-religious figure for the Azish, as pieces of ancient Primes are sometimes preserved as relics.
The Prime's permission is required for the leaders of the Azish Empire's member states to marry.
The office of the Prime Aqasix is an old one, dating at least as far back as the Sunmaker, which coincided with the reign of Prime Snoxil. In the modern day, the position of the Prime was a fairly stable one until Szeth assassinated two Primes in a row, leading to a succession crisis. This was ultimately resolved with the ascension of Gawx, who was healed by Lift after being nearly killed by one of Nale's accomplices. The viziers pronounced Gawx's healing to be a miracle pointing to him as the current Prime, as such a gift would allow him to survive an assassination. Upon being made the Prime, Gawx was renamed to Yanagawn.
- Snoxil - the Prime who reigned during Sunmaker's conquests. His finger has been preserved as a holy relic, and is sometimes brought out as an argument during debates.
- Kasimarlix - a Prime from an unspecified period of Azir's past, whose writings Jasnah uses in her essay while negotiating with the Azish.
- Yanagawn the First - the current Prime, former thief who was pronounced the Prime while attempting to rob the palace.
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