“Another of these accidental creations is the governance of the Thanedom of Darazik, a minor azikeldrae city-state in southern Alténíä. Its story begins when the initial charter of the thanedom was drafted, in which the overthane was appointed to his office ‘in perpetuity’ rather than the more conventional ‘as willed’, or even ‘for life’.
“In the ordinary course of events, such a minor drafting error would have been corrected, whether by amendment or by judicial decision. However, after the tragic death of the first overthane, Agaion I, in the earthquake and ensuing tunnel collapse of 971, the Council of Thanes – acting as regent pro tempore – found itself facing an uninspiring successor with no particular desire for the position, and lacking any desire to elevate one of its own members to overthane, being occupied at that time with the problems facing their own caverns. As such, they decided simply to run with the charter as worded.
“Thus, even to the present day, the titular head of the Thanedom is the vitrified and exquisitely sculpted and adorned corpse of Agaion the Undying, Heart of the Pillar, Lord of the Undernight, Overthane of Darazik and Her Vales Beyond the Dark Sky, who continues to preside over his court, attend ceremonial occasions, and receive – although not pass judgement upon – petitions, all with his customary silent élan. The actual Mandate rests in the hands of the Council of Thanes, whose decrees, et. al., are issued in the voice and by the consent of their glassy monarch, who to this day has not seen fit to veto any of his Council’s actions.”
– The Six-Fingered Hand: Unconventional Governance Among the Empire’s Nations
Seems to be doing a better job than Kim Il-Sung at least.
Even the Bandit Lords could follow that act.
A good king is a dead king. Or artificially fossilized or whatever.
Anarcho-monarchy at its finest.
Of course, you might get into problems should someone else take custody of the good overthane…
(See also: Pretty much all of the history of Three Kingdoms-era China.)