When AEthelmearc becomes a kingdom, a number of changes will occur. Some will be by necessity, others by choice. This article will review the non-required offices of the kingdoms and principalities.
In a previous article, I wrote about the offices that are required for a Kingdom or Principality. They are: Seneschal, Herald, Earl Marshall, Minister(s) of Arts and Sciences, Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasurer), Chronicler, and Chirurgeon. I also promised that I would discuss the non-required offices of the kingdoms and principalities in a future article.
I've discovered that there really isn't much to discuss. Obviously, the
kingdoms and principalities feel that these offices are fulfilling a necessary
function or else they wouldn't have instituted them. I've listed them by a
mundane job title, as I did in my previous article, primarily to avoid
confusion. Not only do different kingdoms use different titles for the same
job, but some kingdoms use similar titles for different jobs. A Chatelaine is
the Welcome Wagon in the East, but the Royal Secretary in Atenveldt. A Sheriff
is a Security Officer in the West, but a Baliff is a Deputy Seneschal in the
Principality of the Mists and a Reeve is an Event Scheduler in Calontir. I've
made no distinction between Great Officers and Lesser Officers because I didn't
think it was important. Some positions are Great Office in one kingdom and
Lesser Office in another.
Some kingdoms divide this office in two. The Chatelaine or Castellan is in
charge of welcoming newcomers while the Gold Key officer maintains the wardrobe
of loaner garb. From The Compact Oxford English Dictionary:
Castellan (pg.220, sec.954) - "The governor or constable of a castle."
Chatelaine (pg.240, sec.58) - "A female castellan."
Hospitaller (pg.788, sec.416) - "In a religious house or hospice, the person whose office it is to receive and attend upon visitors, pilgrims and strangers."
The office title of Gold Key is probably derived from the Society badge for the
office, a gold key on a green field. As I stated in my earlier article, I
don't think we should have this as a kingdom office. Newcomers are not dealt
with at the kingdom level, but at the local level. Having the office as a
royal office dictates that all local groups handle newcomers the exact same
way. I think that the local groups should be allowed to deal with newcomers in
whatever way suits them best.
While only two kingdoms specifically have this as an office, the other kingdoms
don't ignore the responsibilities of the job. Most kingdoms make the duties
part of the Seneschal's job, the rest assign it to the Welcome Wagon. Formal
description of the duties amount to little more than "disseminate information".
Considering that the Society as a whole has done thousands of public and school
demos, been written up in hundreds of newspapers and has even been on a few
regional morning talk shows, it's not a bad idea to have someone experienced
available to help fledgling groups who find themselves giving a demo for the
first time. From The Compact Oxford English Dictionary Avant-Courier
(pg.91, sec.813) "One who runs or rides before; a herald."
I'd like to point out that the first is a royal adviser to mundane law and must
be a practicing lawyer in the kingdom, the latter is only a records clerk.
Given the size, population and number of legal jurisdictions in the average
kingdom, having an expert on mundane law available to give free advice to the
royal seneschal is a really good idea. Most kingdoms divide the duties of the
latter office between the seneschal, who is responsible for the laws and
policies, and the chronicler, who is usually the one who publishes them.
Surprisingly, this position isn't universal although a majority of the kingdoms
have it. Most of them have it as its own Great Office, the others have it as a
lesser office under the Earl Marshall. I don't know why, but this post is
seldom, if ever, held by a man. The kingdoms who don't have the office, leave
the actual execution of the duties up to the Earl Marshall. On the other
extreme, the Kingdom of Atenveldt has a Minister of Marshallate Rolls to
"maintain the fighter and marshallate authorizations lists for the kingdom."
Their Minister of Lists only has to keep track of who won what bout.
Some kingdoms consider these Great Office, others make them Lesser Office which
report to the Earl Marshall. I combined the listings for Archery Marshal and
Combat Archery Marshall because it was like trying to separate Siamese twins.
In some kingdoms, it's all one office, in others, the Combat Archery Marshall
reports to the Archery Marshall, in still others, he reports to the Earl
Marshall, and in some kingdoms, he reports to both.
The Atenveldt war is, of course, Estrella. Technically, the Pennsic War
Autocrat isn't an Eastern office since it isn't specifically listed that way
in the laws, however I include it here as it's comparable to the Estrella War
Autocrat which is an official office of Atenveldt. Additionally, it's listed
on the inside cover of Pikestaff with the royal officers. Warlord is a court
appointment and serves as the royalty's general at Pennsic. Duties tend to be
inversely proportional to the royalty's opinion of the their own tactical
abilities. Scout Commander is also a court appointment. I'm not certain of
the exact status of the office in AEthelmearc and I served as the first one.
We have one, but he's not listed on the officer's page of AEstel, nor even
mentioned in the laws. However, the current officer did publish a letter in a
recent issue of Aestel announcing that he was looking for a successor. I
suppose he's technically a regional deputy for the Eastern office, but it seems
to me that we should have some say in the matter. I think it should be made a
court appointment, the same as Warlord. I think water bearers are something
that should be left up to an autocrat rather than made a permanent office. It
makes more sense to me that it should be handled by someone local to the event
than someone from possibly the other end of the kingdom.
Again, it's not universal. Barely half the Known World sees a need for such a
post. Granted, real kings didn't give out pieces of paper to show their
appreciation. They gave out gifts of jewels and land. Lacking the resources
to duplicate this, one wonders what the other kings give out in their courts.
The idea of earning an Award of Arms and only getting a handshake from the king
seems somehow lacking to me. I'd be interested in seeing a list of Laurels for
calligraphy and illumination by kingdom. I'd be willing to bet money that
kingdoms that have Ministers of Scrolls by whatever name, have more Laurels
than kingdoms that don't. It's easier for a skill to thrive and flourish in an
environment that supports and encourages it. The Compact Oxford English
Dictionary defines Clerk of the Signet (pg.1765, sec.457) as a keeper of
the seal used to give authentication to official documents.
Again, I've lumped several offices together here because it was nearly
impossible to separate their duties. This is all one, or up to three distinct
offices, depending on which kingdom you're talking about. As a rule of thumb,
the Historian is in charge of anything that can fit in a photo album; written
histories, photos, event flyers, calendars, etc. The Archivist is in charge of
physical objects which are no longer in use. The Chamberlain is in charge of
the things that the Royalty are generally still using from reign to reign.
From The Compact Oxford English Dictionary: Chamberlain (pg.234, sec.4)
"An officer charged with the management of the private chambers of a sovreign."
And that's all it says in the law. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
Who pays for the materials? What if he's not skilled in the techniques
necessary to create a particular piece of regalia, e.g. woodcarving,
blacksmithing, embroidery, leatherwork, etc.?
Deputies to the Arts and Sciences Office. The former assist in running
teaching events throughout the kingdom. I'm not sure what the latter office
does. The only mention in Calontir law is that the Minister of Sciences is
"responsible for appointment, direction and removal of the Kingdom Librarian."
The philosophy of "If you want to encourage it, regulate it!" still escapes me.
I contacted the latter officer. At first, various autocrats consulted with him
about running games at events. Now, the only thing he does is write reports to
the Arts and Sciences Officer.
I'm not certain if we're better off for having this position. Virtually every
kingdom that has this office emphatically states that it is not a baby sitting
service, and that planning activities for children at an event is left up to
the autocrat. What does that leave? Maintaining files on what children can do
at events? Why can't the files be left with an Arts and Sciences Officer? What
benefit do we gain by separating children's interests from adult interests?
I've seen children illuminate scrolls, maintain list trees for a tourney, teach
class, wait on tables, and assist in the kitchen. The only things they can't
do in our Society are fight in the list and autocrat an event. And I've even
seen teenagers do the latter with a "deputy daddy" to rent the hall for them.
Medieval societies didn't segregate by age and I don't think we should either.
The Society is for families, not just adults.
Security is in charge of site security, lost and found, troll, parking at Royal
events, fire safety at camping events, and accepting reports from their
baronial and shire counterparts. I can understand a need for site security and
the rest at events, but I don't see why it should to be a permanent office.
Let the autocrat for each event decide how to handle it best.
Assorted deputies. I list them here only for completeness. The secretary is
responsible for recording the minutes of Curia. Most of the other kingdoms
leave the duties of the Secretary and Reeve to the Chronicler's office.
Although not mentioned in the laws, the position of Archery Scorekeeper is
listed among the officers of AEthelmearc on the inside cover of AEstel.
SUMMARY -- This article was a list of all of the non-required officers of the
other kingdoms and principalities. All of it may be considered as springboard
for discussions. If anyone would like to discuss this further with me, I can
be reached at: David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York
14212-2029 or via e-mail below.
Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr
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