The Council is made up of a Ruler’s right hand men, and sometimes women. There are five positions on the Council, each with specific tasks to be performed and each conferring bonuses based on those tasks, and the individuals chosen to perform them. Each position can be filled by a male vassal or courtier (with one potential female exception). Vassal’s Vassals, if they exist, are not available to you for your Council, as your Vassal will be using them to man his/her own Council.
The Council positions are:
- Chancellor (Grand Vizier for Muslim territories)
- Court Chaplain (Court Mullah for Muslim territories)
Improving your Council
If you begin the game as a Count with just one county, you will likely have a poor Council due to a very small pool of candidates to choose from. As you expand, you will gain new vassals, and you should check your Council frequently to see if anyone new in your entourage is better suited for a particular role than the currently sitting member. Your Council members have long memories though, and should you choose to fire someone, you will suffer a -20 Fired from Council relationship penalty with them from then on. Those currently sitting on the Council will gain a +15 bonus to their relationship with you. In addition, if you help someone fulfill their ambition by appointing them to the role that they covet, you will gain a +15 Fulfilled Ambition bonus to relations.
Expansion is the simplest way to get a larger pool of potential Councilors, but there are others. Any courtier from another realm can be invited to your court, though most are reluctant to do so. If you find a courtier with a very low opinion of his or her liege, and a very high opinion of you, you may be able to convince them to join your court. More often they will be open to joining your court if they own a claim on a province, and their liege cannot press that claim for them. These individuals are called claimants, and the game offers you a list of them for every title in the game, along with a yes or no indicator letting you know if they would join your realm. Another option for courting councilors is marriage. Offering a matrilineal marriage to a foreign gentleman will lead them to your court if they should accept. This tactic was made much more difficult in version 1.03b though. A slower method is marriage. Making sure that all of your male courtiers are married will set the stage for the next generation of Council members to be born.