Just as Kourna has a martial government that rewards military service, Istan’s meritocracy promotes its best and brightest officials. Working alongside scholars, philosophers, and bureaucrats, Elder Suhl has ascended to a position of prestige: he’s the leader of the Council of Elders. The nation’s Elders are promoted after years of dutiful service, but only one is elected as the clanmarshal, the leader of the council. Elder Suhl has been cautious during his rise to power. He prefers to advance good causes, show support to his allies, and give aid to people he trusts. His ability to see raw potential in Istani’s youngest bureaucrats—as well as officials from the other provinces—has helped elevate him to the position of authority he holds today.