Overseers are those tasked with heading a fortress, city, dark fortress, or forest retreat.
Dwarves by tradition pass the mantle of Overseership of a fortress on a typically year to year basis, from 1st Granite to 1st Granite. It is however not unheard of for overseers to serve longer, such as the previous one fleeing or dying before their term ended.
Overseers in dwarven culture are given almost total authority to do what they deem best for the fortress (even when it isn't,) though there are exceptions to this rule. Spearbreakers is a prominent example, with its nobility operating openly to ensure the survival of the fortress, going so far as to take to the battlefield, which is unusual as dwarven nobles tend to hide behind their bodyguards and leave the overseers to their own devices.
However, nine times out of ten, Dwarven overseers have complete authority during their terms of office. It should be noted those who try to hold the position past the traditional year often die under "accidental" circumstances.
Dwarven Overseers have become important historical figures over the centuries, often being the driving force of many great epics and myths. Examples of particularly famous overseers are:
- Sankis of Boatmurdered (who would become a demonic overlord.)
- Daeren of Syrupleaf (his memorial is still said to be the gateway to Dwarfhalla, and still eternally flipping off the Spawn of East Everoc.)
- Markus Cz of Gemclod
- Anima Rytak of Deathgate
There have been a number of Overseers in Spearbreakers. They are as follows:
- Year 200: Splint
- Year 201: Talvi
- Year 202: Mr Frog
- Year 203: Draignean
- Year 204: Sus
- Year 205: Mitchewawa
- Year 206: Paintbrushturkey
- Year 207: Splint
- Year 208: Lord Reudh
- Year 209: Tomio
- Year 210: Splint
- Year 211: Savero Omermorul
Human overseers tend to act as councils, with a central oligarchy alternating their term of office with additional elected overseers either taking every other term or filling the terms between cycles of the oligarchy. Overseership tends to be for life, unless an overseer is deemed mentally unfit to lead, in which case they are either forced or talked into stepping down and leaving the council. It isn't unusual however for one particularly skilled human to perform the duty of Overseership alone, such was the case with Splint Leanhelped of Sewaturet.
Goblins operate under the simple "Whoever isn't dead at the time" system of selecting an overseer. While nominally this means only the most experienced goblins or demonic lords will lead, sometimes goblins fortresses will be left in dire straights, with goblins and trolls dying on such a constant basis leadership is constantly shifting. Assassinations, poison, and "accidents" are generally the most common cause of death among goblin overseers, with the fourth-most being leading soldiers in battle directly.
The Elven Overseers of forest retreats tend to either be those who are willing to set aside elven ethics when absolutely necessary to do so. A general prerequisite is having served as a ranger captain and a lifeshaper (or tree farmer as other races know them.)
Terms seem to operate on a case-by-case basis, with some retreats in the same nation having overseers who serve until they die of whatever killed them or following dwarven or human tradition with short terms of office.