The office of the Clerk of the Purple Wax is an ancient one dating back to the early pre-atomic age. It fell into some disuse, but was revived by The Tyrant, Emperor Ming, and was judged to be useful enough to be continued after his demise.

The modern function of the Clerk is to turn the boring print-outs of Galactic Administration decrees into something more imposing and official. It's long been recognised that people are more likely to be impressed by edicts which are published in copperplate handwriting on finest vellum. Producing such decrees is the function of the Clerk of the Purple Wax.

The purple wax refers to the purple sealing wax used to take the imprint of the seal of the Galactic Administration. The seal is usually affixed to the bottom of the edict.

The position is hereditary, being passed on to the first born, whether boy or girl, and is one of the few remnants of the semi-feudal system of government run by the Tyrant.