NR - Principality/Region Differences

Darin Herndon darin_herndon at
Tue Apr 14 13:57:49 PDT 1998

This is my first post to the Northern Region list.  Before the
important stuff below, I would like to say how much I appreciate the
calm, friendly, adult discussions this list hosts.

HL Ulf posted a snippet today of a post made to the Ansteorran
Heralds' list this weekend.  The original post involved another
region's discussion of principality status and one person's opinion
of how much extra work that would not be.  The writer, Sir Dieterich,
is firmly convinced that a principality truly involves close to the
same workload for its officers as a region.  Lord Donal, Star
Principal Herald, disagreed.

I believe that the Northern Region would make an excellent
principality and that such status would be to the benefit of the
members in this region.  However, I am not going to blind myself with
the idea that the workload of our officers would barely change.  A
principality is a far different thing than a region/"crown

I am posting part of the content of the Dieterich/Donal note below. 
(Originally I was going to post it all but some of it really would
only apply to their region.)  Please don't forget the extra work that
would be involved for officers of a principality, though I believe
that the results would be worth it.

[Donal comes off sounding toward the end that a principality is a bad
thing.  Part of this is due to the way I have snipped the message
below and you don't see all of the conversation.  I cannot and do not
speak to Lord Donal's feelings about principalities in general or the
north in particular.]

In the content below, statements preceeded by ">>>" come from Sir
Dieterich and statements preceeded by "***" come from Lord Donal. 
Part of the lead in is snipped and Sir Dieterich is responding to a
question from a "Melody" in his post.

Seigneur Etienne de St. Amaranth
e-mail: darin_herndon at

Okay, gang, this is where our views depart... I heard a few people
saying the same thing at the meeting in Tempio- "... so much more
*work* ... bureaucracy... red tape... yadda yadda yadda".

What a bunch of hooie.

There are exactly two offices out of the current *eight* that will be
affected at _all_ : the chronicler and the herald.

The chronicler, rather than just keeping track of what groups within
the region are publishing will have to publish a newsletter at least
bi-annually.  Pug stated something to the effect of "... but I think
we all agree that we'd want it to be monthly..." .  Sorry to repeat a
theme, but don't speak for *me* on that issue, Pug; I neither
proscribe to that point of view nor do I take it as given that 'we
all' subscribe to it.

Well, Deiterich, I'd like to put in my vote for a
more-than-semiannual newsletter. Just out of curiosity, how do you
expect to keep the populace informed about those Principality events
you think will be so much fun? Telepathy? Email? Not everyone is
online, you know, and if any of the folks I know are telepaths, they
aren't letting _me_ know.

So twice a year, at minimum, we have to put out a newsletter.  I
chatted up former kingdom chronicler, Baron Theodoric, about it and
he said it would be about as difficult as publishing the flyer for a
good event...


[...] possibly less as the subscription could hardly be a great deal
higher than 219... our current paying headcount.

Hmmm. Seems to me you are making the assumption that the proposed
principality borders will be the ones _you_ want. Kind of


Now the office of the currently regional herald vs. the proposed
Principality herald...

I would suggest, dear Ritter, that next time you want to make
generalizations about an office, you contact the officer involved and
find out what it is they do.

What is all that 'new work'?  Well, the regional herald already
reviews every submission that comes through from the region, ...

No, she doesn't.

[...] so there's no new work in submissions.  And we already have
field heralds and court heralds ...

And damned hard to find good ones, too. Plus the new Prince and
Princess would, more likely than not, want a personal herald to
travel with them, distinct from the Principality herald, who would
then have the unenviable job of chasing after this person to make
sure the court reports were filled out and kept track of. (Are you
listening, Jason?
:)  )

[...] at each event ...

of which you propose to add at least four


[....] so that can't be it.  Lessee... that leaves us with the Order
of Precedence (AIIIEEEE!!)

Now wait a minute... what would we need to do with the OP... exactly?

Somebody would obviously have to wade through the Kingdom OP and take
out all the names of folks who live here... once.

So, you're planning to not keep track of kingdom awards after the
principality is formed?

Okay... I already heard a volunteer to do that from Tempio.

Gee. I wish this person had been so public-spirited when Zodiacus was
looking for deputies.

Then, once a month or so, somebody would have to add in all the
awards given to our folks.  Gosh, that just doesn't sound so bad, now
does it?

Try doing it. After you chase down the local heralds and Coronet
heralds who don't send in court reports, then figure out who all
these people are, since many of them don't have registered names, and
the reports that you _do_ get are invariably misspelled, then try to
put a timely report in the nearly non-existent newsletter (six
month's worth of awards, by your scheme), then do all the corrections
when irate people call to say "My name is misspelled!" or "Why isn't
my local branch non-armigerous award listed?" (again, six month's
worth, under your newsletter scheme), I think you may change your
opinion. I'm sure Jonathan and Clarissa would be quite happy to hear
the cavalier way you dismiss the effort they have put in.


[....] we'll go high and say that they each get an award a year...
that's roughly 400 entries per year or 33.333 per month.  It's an
important enough job that it might even be a good idea to assign it
to one specific person thus adding *just one position* to our roster
of officers.

Might be a good idea? Read: necessary. Oh, and by the way, did you
ever wonder who will take care of making the achievement and court
scrolls for all those awards you want to add? They don't color
themselves you know. 

By the way, Mistress Rose Cathan, the new Sable Scroll
(713/523-3780), tells me that we are dangerously low on all kinds of
award scrolls. If you can color between the lines, please contact her
and help out!

Our current officers have to report already, so there's no work added


[The treasurer] still takes care of the books and audits so there's
no work added there.

Sigh. There'll be pie in the sky by and by.....  I explained this to
someone else once in a different situation. The Southern (or any)
Region, as an organized entity recognized by the SCA Inc., DOES NOT
EXIST. The Regional system is a purely internal construct, erected by
the kingdom to help the Great Officers spread out a nearly intolerable
workload. The Region, as itself, cannot register names or armory, have
a checking account, or do any of a number of other things that
branches (including kingdoms and principalities) do. In case I'm not
making myself clear here, the regional Treasurer would abruptly be
catapulted from an administrative assistant to a comptroller, with
checking account, financial committee, tax reports to the IRS, etc.
It _is_ a lot more work.

The chirurgeon won't have any higher levels of boo-boos to report.

No, just a few more events to report them at, and the necessity of
keeping track of certs (though I don't know if they do that at the
regional level now). As an aside, how many principality-level events
are you planning to have? Two Coronet Tourneys, two investitures. 
Fine. Planning on a principality-level A&S? How about a Titled Bard
competition? a Warlord tourney? And of course, no one from the
principality would ever want to go to those types of events outside
the principality. For those who say what a great group identity we
have it is noteworthy that we have not had a true regional event in
the two years I've been up here. But I digress.

The seneschal still makes everybody play nice and keeps track of the

And becomes legal representative, with the attendant paperwork, of a
new entity, rather than an administrative assistant.

The A&S minister still... still... (what does the regional minister
of A&S do?)... ahhh, keeps track of the group A&S reporting.

Again, a principality A&S minister would be called on to organize
and/or sanction principality-level A&S events - unless, of course,
you plan not to have any, and if that's the case, why is this
supposed to be fun for non-fighters, again?

The hospitaller still hospitals.  The marshall still keeps track of

I, unlike some, will leave the answers to these assertions to those
with more experience in the offices.


And, and, and....

Okay, so for a sum investment of perhaps *one* extra office

I count three heralds alone, plus any deputies required by the other

and a minimum of *two* newsletters,

plus telepathy

we actually get all of the stuff in the paragraph above [snipped]?

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