This is a tricky one, so bear with me: the answer is, we’re not entirely sure.
We know that the Sealords of Braavos are elected (for life) and we know a little about who elects them:
Neither prince nor king commands in Braavos, where the rule belongs to the Sealord, chosen by the city’s magisters and keyholders from amongst the citizenry by a process as convoluted as it is arcane. From his vast waterside palace, the Sealord commands a fleet of warships second to none and a mercantile fleet whose purple hulls and purple sails have become a common sight throughout the known world.
Part of what makes this complicated is that the electorate is composed both of magisters and keyholders, and it’s not clear whether all keyholders are magisters but not all magisters are keyholders or whether the two classes are completely separate. We do know that both magisters and keyholders form quasi-nobilities, with the Antaryons and Prestayns as two well-known houses of the former (the current sealord is an Antaryon, for example), and the Reyaans as one well-known family of the latter. Another complication is that the keyholders are officials of the Iron Bank of Braavos, which suggests something of the interconnection of state and corporation as was the case with the Dutch Republic and the Dutch East India Company.
There’s also a suggestion, and this is more speculative, that there’s also a legislative body in addition to the Sealord’s executive. The books refer to a Hall of Truth (and sometimes a Palace of Truth, although it’s possible they could be two separate buildings) which is distinct from the Sealord’s Palace, where keyholders are “summoned to the Hall of Truth to vote.” While this could just be where the elections for the Sealord are held, the phrasing suggests otherwise (given that the choosing of the Sealord is a much more drawn out process than a sudden summons would suggest). Also, given how much Braavos loves its liberty, it would be surprising if they were less democratic than Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh.
Velella is a genus of free-floating hydrozoans that lives on the surface of the open ocean, worldwide, and is commonly known by the names by-the-wind-sailor, purple sail, little sail, or simply Velella. The most common, and perhaps only species encountered is Velella velella. In common with other Cnideria, Velella are carnivorous animals. They catch their prey, generally plankton, by means of cnidocyst (also called nematocyst) -laden tentacles that hang down in the water. Though the toxins in their nematocysts are effective against their prey, Velella are harmless to humans, either because their nematocysts are unable to pierce or skin, or perhaps because humans do not react to the toxins encapsulated in their nematocysts. Nevertheless, it is probably wise not to to touch your face or eyes if you have been handling Velella. Velella velella occur in warm and temperate waters in all the world’s oceans. They live at the water/air surface, with the float above water, and polyps hanging down about a centimeter below. Organisms that live partly in and partly out of water like this are known as “pleuston”. Offshore boaters are sometimes treated to seeing thousands of V. velella at a time on the water surface. Having no means of locomotion, V. velella are at the mercy of prevailing winds for moving around the seas, and are thereby also subject to mass strandings on beaches throughout the world.
The world’s different in my head.
A silver sun is in my sky
And from it, silver rays do spread
And purple clouds go sailing by.
In the evenings there’s a green glow
That comes from an emerald moon,
And this light makes the flowers grow
As big as trees, they bloom at noon.
The grass here is a cobalt blue
And springy soft beneath my feet,
Whilst shrouded in an azure dew
That smells divine and tastes quite sweet.
Rainbow starlight glows through the dark
Each night after the sun goes down.
Perhaps because of contrast stark,
It serves to banish every frown.
(Today marks my two year anniversary of daily rhymes. Thank you all so much for reading my rhymes and supporting me for so long. I don’t really know how this started, but it’s been awesome. Wishing you all a wonderful New Year 💚)