How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
Diet of Cardinals
This body is technically the ruling body of the Church of the Silver Flame, but when they overthrew the Thrane monarchy in 914 (after the death of King Thalin), they became the defacto rulers of the country, only technically answerable to the Keeper of the Flame.
The Diet is the inner circle of the Council of Cardinals, the fourth order of the Church (alongside Friars, Ministers, and Templars). The Diet is a collection of the thirteen most experienced priests in the church, drawn mostly from the Ministers. Twelve are chosen from the four regions of Thrane, centered around Flamekeep (where the Diet is based), Aruldusk, Sigilstar, and Thaliost, while the last is usually a seat of rare distinction (an elder Templar, for instance), a position designed to break ties and mediate. Admittance has never been given to a priest below the age of 30, and the average age is 61. A candidate must be nominated by a sitting cardinal, so most must rise to the position of cardinal first to gain the political capital for a nomination, though exceptions regarding great service or faith have been made. After long service (and amassing more political power), a Cardinal can then be nominated to the Diet after the death or expulsion of a sitting Diet member from their region.
Since the beginning of the Diet’s creation, there has been a contentious relationship between it and the Keeper. This collection of elders (almost always men) spend lifetimes amassing political power and working the bureacracy of the Church, focusing their entire lives on the Church. Keepers are chosen by their most divine power, regardless of age, power, or political ambition. Naturally, the two differ in approaches.