The leader of the Assamite Viziers goes by the title of Vizier. This may seem a confusing arrangement to outsiders, but the viziers are accustomed to it, usually applying a subtle emphasis to “the” when referring to the Vizier.

The Vizier is the foremost academician among the viziers and serves as the conduit for information that the Eldest needs from the caste. As the viziers’ studies range from theology to particle physics, this is a weighty responsibility indeed. Realistically, the Eldest rarely expects the Vizier to have comprehensive knowledge of every single item of data to which the viziers have access, but he must at least be capable of identifying the Caste’s experts and gleaning from them information of greatest benefit to the Eldest. As with the Caliph, the Vizier’s actual responsibilities differ from his ideal ones. The loose disorganization of the viziers more closely resembles a network of academic contacts than a formal research collective, and any given vizier may or may not stay in contact with his brethren and superiors for any number of reasons. The Vizier often finds himself having to coordinate correspondence (or forcing correspondence to occur) between widely scattered individuals who feel the need to pay lip service to the idea of clan and caste loyalty only when they need something from their brethren. Traditionally, the viziers elect the Vizier in a simple majority vote every 63 years. No process exists for formally declaring candidates, but individuals who believe they will be able to best advise the Eldest during the next six decades usually come forward a year or two before election. The vizier members of the Council of Scrolls tabulate the votes on every seventh winter solstice (though some more progressive members of the council would like to convene the group more frequently). Any member of the caste is eligible to vote if he can come to Alamut in person or send a proxy (usually a trusted ghoul or servant) within six months immediately before the election. Until the most recent election, this was a grand gathering of the caste (and a good way for the Eldest and the du’at to gauge loyalties by counting absent faces) that filled Alamut for a month prior to the election, but the nascent phenomenon of air travel eroded this tradition in 1927.

The current Vizier among the Schismatics is Tegyrius, the loyalists have named no successor to him and probably never will, as vizier backing of the schismatic movement was too widespread for ur-Shulgi to trust the few members of the caste who remain aligned with him.

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