Steven Krause said:
>Some years ago there were serious conversations at the Kingdom curia
>level about whether one of the ways to make the Midlands a bit more
>'workable' (my term, not theirs) was to create it as a principality, one
>never intended to become a kingdom. It's not a heretical thought, but I
>suspect you'll only find support for it as the entire Midlands, not just
>everything North of I-80.
Based on what I've heard so far, I am rather in favor of a Midlands
Principality with no Kingdom potential, and somewhat against an Ayreton
I've heard talk of better communication on shared events if we
had a shell barony. That, in my mind, is a red herring. Event planning
across groups can be improved regardless of baronial status, and there
is no guarantee that even if a barony did exist, planning would be
While we have had plenty of cooperation between the Ayreton groups, I
think there is a very real possibility that this is happening precisely
because the groups are completely independent and autonomous, and that
introducing a barony, even a shell barony, could cause a breakdown.
When I started in the SCA around 11 years ago, Grey Gargoyles was
in a rather liminal state, acting like a Shire but called a College,
and, depending on who you asked, potentially subject to Tree-Girt-Sea.
Once Gargoyles was elevated to a Shire, the political atmosphere
between the groups, from what I remember, seemed to change quite
favorably. I get the feeling that Ayreton groups are fiercely
So... things might work well with a barony, but then, they might not.
Then what? Sure, within a few years a new pair of people get pointy
hats, but if the problem is the actual or perceived level of group
autonomy, that's not going to change based on who wears the hats.
We can't try a barony on for size, decide we don't like it, and get
rid of it. At least I've never heard of any precedent for that happening
in this Kingdom for reasons other than not enough paid membership.
So, a barony is a gamble. It has a nice upside (schtick, awards, pageantry,
better communication and coordination), but it also has a rather bad,
and permanent, downside should things go sour. What we have now works;
why risk it all?
Now a principality, on the other hand.... If it encompasses the
entire state, and is not just focused on the Chicagoland area, then I would
imagine that it really doesn't lead to any loss of group autonomy.
And all the upsides of a barony apply, and then some.