Since people are already starting to make suggestions and bring up details of the baronial process in this discussion, I wanted to chime in with my opinion on a couple of issues that have been brought up.
Group Name / Heraldry:
It is true that we don't have to care whether the name or badge of an informal group can be registered, or follows the rules of heraldry. However, if we wish to put forward the group as a candidate for any other more formal status, or even gain wider recognition as a totally cool group in the Kingdom, I think that the whole endeavor will be taken much more seriously if we work within the standard SCA practice and choose something acceptable to the College of Heralds. If we wish to rally around an Aeryton banner, no matter the status of the group, the heraldry rules are there for practical reasons. We would want to have a banner that is easily and readily identifiable on the field (and has room for a laurel wreath). Also, the heralds always say "don't try to tell your life story on your shield, that's not what it's for". While I haven't come up with a specific design to nominate, I think that those who are designing should pay heed to this advice. Is there anything
that denotes and defines Aereton as a region, other than a loose cooperation among a number of pre-existing groups?
Baron/ess selection process:
There have been a number of suggestions for making sure that we choose two people from different groups, or that are / are not a couple, and other such details. I think we should take a giant step back from meddling in those sorts of details of this process. I especially oppose any form of a chinese menu approach (just picture President Barak Obama and VP John McCain). From having seen the baronial election process at work, it is absolutely critical that the baronial candidates choose for themselves who, if anyone, they will work with. I have seen a baronial election fall to pieces half-way through because people who had been running together to please political factions suddenly realized that they would not make a viable team. The candidate tickets should arrange themselves as singles or pairs, and then give us an accounting of their own strengths: an established couple already knows that they will work well together, people from different sub-groups will offer a
diversity of viewpoint, a single person can offer a single strong vision and centerpoint for the group to focus on, etc., etc.
One of the biggest cons in the whole question of group advancement, to me, is that we will probably spend the next many months having meetings and debating and deciding these and other details of the process and implementation for such an advancement. I've been through the process before, and it took away a huge amount of valuable time and resources from all the other projects that individuals, groups, and the greater region could be working on (like putting in a bid for a great Crown Tourney). Also, as such things are debated and decided, it pretty inevitably leads to hard feelings, people feeling not included, and the political factions that are another downside of the whole process.
Yours in Service,
Teleri ferch Morgant
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