[Ansteorra] Questions of principalities

Dr. C. M. Helm-Clark Ph.D. cat at rocks4brains.com
Sun Mar 23 20:19:34 PDT 2008

> That's not necessarily accurate. Consider the West Kingdom. While 
> their principalities of Atenveldt (way back in the Dark Ages) Caid, 
> An Tir and Lochac have split off to become kingdoms, the 
> principalities of Oertha, the Mists and Cynagua haven't. I would 
> guess that Oertha (mundanely Alaska) may lack the population base to 
> become a viable kingdom, but I'm pretty sure that the Mists and 
> Cynagua have plenty of people. Both have been principalities for 
> nearly 30 years, and are content with that position. Nordsteorra (or 
> Cibola, or Seagate, or Lupinia) could easily follow that model 
> without breaking up Ansteorra.

Dammit Tivar, you stole the words right out of my mouth. (It's really
started to sink in that I've moved to the kingdom where you live...)

Yes, there have been principalities of the West which were intended from
the get-go to grow up and become kingdoms - and there are principalities
in the West which were formed with the intent of never becoming
Frankly, the Mists and Cynagua exist *in part* to keep the calendar in 
the "Central West" full up with the outdoor-tourney-cum-camping events 
the Westies are pretty much addicted to, not to mention the extremely 
popular Central West's addiction to "small war" events.

Ooooops! Is that the Princess of the Mists sitting in the Prince of
Cynagua's throne, wearing the cynaguan coronet?  Well, it must be
time for another Mists-Cynagua War!!! (Often there are two of these 
per year...) << The incident just mentioned did indeed happen, with
war following soon thereafter... ;) >>

Principalities in the West plus "The Marches" operate administratively
like the Regions operate here.  But the system in the West suits the
West just fine. Having grown principalities into kingdoms and having
kept other principalities that will never be kingdoms, the West is an 
excellent example of principalities that work both ways - as is the 
East Kingdom too, if you stop to think about it.  Both types of 
principality can be done and be successful. Oertha now - here's a place 
that could grow up and be its own kingdom some day, and it would make
sense in terms of geography - except for one thing: it has never 
sustained enough population to do so.  In fact, it has dipped below the 
membership numbers needed to stay a principality more than once, which 
is why it has been granted an exemption in the past to stay a
despite its sometimes low numbers. Managing Oertha as a principality is 
a lot better for the West too than to break Oertha up and lump it in
the rest of the Marches (which includes all the groups in places like 
Guam and Japan and Korea, etc...)

The issue here and now, as I see it, is not whether a principality 
should or should not be designed or intended to become a kingdom. The 
issue is really what would be right for Ansteorra. The Mists and Cynagua
as perpetual principalities suit the West very well because the tourney
culture involving traditional armour-and-rattan combat is the very
heart of the game in the Central West.  Oertha will likely stay a 
principality of the West even though one must cross AnTir to get there
by land route - but Oertha is very much part of the West, and helped by
the central kingdom when times are rough and numbers or money are thin
(Alaska has a very up-and-down economy, much more susceptible to the
cyclic nature of the petroleum business than even Ansteorra). There is
a well-regulated travel fund and a relatively fair administration of 
those funds to make sure that kingdom officers and royalty from the
West visit places like Oertha, The Marches and - when I was still a
officer of state in the West - the former principality of Lochac. There
is a well-cultivated attitude in the West that the far-flung territories
of the kingdom that are spread around the Pacific Rim should never
neglected - but not every kingdom has the resources or population base
of the West that they can support such ventures.

Okay folks, so that's the West - but we're not the West.  Would such a 
system work as well here?  Maybe and maybe not. Ansteorra should do
is right for Ansteorra, not what may be right for the West or the
or AnTir or the East.  "To thine own self be true."

Comparisons are all well and good, and certainly provide fodder for late
night discussions around the campfire. But if folks are serious, then
certain hard questions need to be considered and answered honestly. Are
there areas in the kingdom that would profit from having a principality
structure, i.e. does it make sense administratively, like Alaska where
the tax laws are somewhat different from those of California? Is it 
justified for an area that traditionally does not see Royalty often
of geographic isolation (Australia, Alaska, etc.) or a low population
density spread over a wide area (the former principality of
Is it justified because there are two or more demographic
of population within a kingdom (the original Ohio-Indiana-Illinois
axis vs. the St. Louis to Kansas City cluster that formed Calontir; or
Bay Area and Coastal valleys of the Mists vs. the Central Valley-Sierra 
Nevada grouping of Cynagua; or The Summits vs. the BC-to-Calgary
in AnTir)? Or do you have a kingdom culture that would be furthered
than degraded by adding a new veneer of principality events to the
schedule (like the tourney and small war addicts of the central West)?

As I see it, you really need one or more of the following to make a
"selling argument" for justifying the creation of a principality: 
1) extreme geographic isolation (Oertha, Lochac, Drachenwald)
2) demographic clustering of two or more populations (Atenveldt &
3) furthering an established kingdom culture (Mists, Cynagua)
4) the creation of principality royals to make up for an historical
of visits by the Crown for whatever reason (Calontir, Lochac)

Most places that have gone for principality status have usually had one
compelling or two-or-more-good reasons to do so. It's really not harmful
to chip the teeth and beat the gums discussing these matters - but if
folks are really serious about growing a principality, REGARDLESS if it
a perpetual sub-unit of the kingdom or as a place that would become its
own kingdom some day, the above "talking points" and potential
are what are required to sell the concept to the populous of the future
principality, to the rest of the kingdom and to the BoD which has the
say of yay or nay.  The reasoning must be well-thought out, firmly
and supported by people affected by the formation of any such
I'm too new in these parts to even have a glimmering of an opinion on
matters - but I have seen the insides of another kingdom's system of
principalities and I have thus a good idea of what is required. 

Now as much as I'd like to say that talk about principalities here on
kingdom list is just talk, it's obvious to me that for some folks, it's
that trivial.  So let's please remember that we're all friends and noble
cousins of one another in this our Society - and so we should remember
"agree to disagree" on matters that can be near and dear to one's heart.
I'm interesting in listening to all of this just because I'm new in
parts and I want to learn more about my new kingdom and its culture and 
history. So seriously, where are the parts of Ansteorra that it would
sense to create a principality, and more important, why? Why in terms of
furthering the kingdom's culture and traditions? Why demographically?
in perceived or demonstrable isolation? Why administratively? Think in
of selling a new principality to the BoD - and if you sit down and
your reasons and see that they might look a bit thin to someone outside
looking in, then maybe you need to ask the hard questions of whether
a move is justified.

Or maybe your reasons for thinking that a principality is a good idea 
could have causes that might be addressed through some other mechanism,
like making sure that no one place in the kingdom is being accidentally
neglected for some not-yet-recognised circumstance. So maybe you have
good reasons for wanting a principality structure somewhere - but maybe
there is some other way to address the problem that would be more in
sync life-and-culture within Ansteorra. Often the solutions to life's
problems are simple but not necessarily easy - or easy though not
necessarily simple.

> I made up the other two names. Seagate is a combination of Seawinds 
> and Stargate, thus referring to the Coastal region. Lupinia is based 
> on the scientific name for bluebonnets: lupinus texensis and is 
> intended to be the central region.

No, Tivar, not more plant names!!!  Those cursed plant-names!  When I
moved to Artemisia, I very innocently asked why Artemisia was named
the Ionian kingdom of Artemisia from Classical Greek Antiquity, only to
be met with stares and dropped jaws of incredulity...  Artemisia, it
turns out, is named after the one plant that dominates that landscape
even in the mountains: the Artemisia tridentata, better known as the
common sagebrush.

Yep, open mouth, change foot...story of my life...

Therasia, that loud-mouthed new person

"A closed mouth gathers no feet."

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