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The Helghan Senate, also known as the High Council, is a major governing component of the Helghan Empire. It consists of nine members who help lead and direct the Helghan Nation alongside the Empire's leaders, Admiral Orlock and Emperor Visari. They act as the Autarch's cabinet of advisers. After the death of Visari, the previous Autarch, the Senate takes control over the government of the Helghast and are shown to be those placed with the responsibility of appointing the new Autarch.
Both Admiral Orlock and Jorhan Stahl appeared to serve on the Senate alongside the Counselors, yet the reactions given towards Stahl hints that he is not an official member of the Senate who was merely permitted to take a seat in their meetings due to his importance to the war effort (Stahl being the primary weapons distributor and one bearing a private military of his own, specifically).
The senators are older evolved Helghast, beyond the need of breathing devices. They have earned their position as senators simply due to the fact they were loyal to Visari, not because they had earned the respect of the Helghan citizens or were chosen. The appointment led to hereditary, effectively establishing a system of birthright and patrimony to be preserved in perpetuity.
The Senate is shown to function on a majority rule vote system when there is no Autarch to make a final decision on a topic, as evidenced by one Counselors proposal to place Stahl in charge of the military. Any further information in regards to the Counselors such as their individual names, roles, or how they are appointed is unknown, only two have been named so far in the Ascendancy book.
- Senator Gunsteling - The oldest and most decrepit senator, Gunsteling despised Chairman Stahl above all other senators.
- Senator Kuisma - A senator who had been blackmailed by Stahl, in return Kuisma put a vote on the table to give military control to the Chairman in fear of publicity.
The Counselors are last seen in Killzone 3, and are first shown when Admiral Orlock revieled his plan to defeat the ISA forces within hours, and explained to them his forces were to overwhelm the retreating ISA forces. During this conversation Orlock became annoyed with Chairman Stahl, and became angered by the Chairman's words. He then contacted his troops to double their efforts to find and destroy the ISA forces.
Later on, the counselors appointed Orlock as the new Autarch of the Empire and backed his choice to seize all of Stahl's assets, after Stahl both insulted the military and failed to execute ISA Captain Jason Narville in a planetary broadcast. It's unknown what their current fate is, but it's a strong possibility that they were killed with the rest of the Helghast population when Helghan was covered by Irradiated Petrusite, thanks to an ISA assault on Stahl's experimental space battleship. If the Counselors are indeed all dead, it is unknown who will take up leadership of the Empire's government.
- Many of the councillors bear appearances that closely resemble Adolf Hitler at different ages, yet another less than subtle hint that the Helghast represent something similar to parts of Nazism. One also resembles Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and various other communist dictators.
- There are only four counselor models as pictured above, the other five using slightly modified versions of them. The changes are often small such as removing facial hair or balding the model while maintaining the same facial features and even birthmarks.
- It's noticeable in cutscenes showing the counselors that they seem to constantly change their seating position, a certain model seen to sit in one seat for the first few moments and when it cuts they are sitting on the opposite end of the table while someone else has taken their spot.
- There appear to have at one time been more than nine Senators on the council, with at least six vacant seats at the meeting table (One of which is most likely Orlock's). It is most likely that these other Senators were killed during the ISA invasion at some point. The total seat count would come up to seven seats on each side of the table (Not counting the Autarch's throne) and two on either opposite end, bringing the tally of Senators up to fifteen (Sixteen if Stahl is filling the seat of a deceased Senator).