Re: [Ayreton] Brendoken interviews pt.1
Greetings All Ayretonites
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was at RUM in Akron this past weekend, where the recently formed shell barony of Brendoken operates. I had the opportunity to speak to several of the major players in the formation of the barony. They included THL Wulfwen atta Belle, (court)Baron Nigel Fitzmaurice and THL Ailith MacIntosh. All had much to tell me about their experiences in this creation, spanning the last 7 years, 3 since the barony was invested. First, some history.
All of Ohio operated as one barony in the "misty days of yore". Called the Middle Marches, in time each of the single group baronies split off into their own seperate entities, leaving many smaller groups scattered around the state. Those in the east central region felt that to better serve their kingdom and themselves, a coalition should be formed to help each other. Initially 5 of the Marches started talking on this, then one incipient group dropped out of the process, the better to experience their own independent status first.
The concept of a shell barony was a new idea in the kingdom at the time, and part of the lengthy gestation process (4 years) was in getting the kingdom officers involved used to the idea, and evolve the procedures needed. Subsequent shell baronial applicants may find the process easier and quicker, but still expect several years' time from the first inquiries.
From THL Wulfwen atta Belle: For us, an online forum existed first. Public meetings on the topic were rotated through the groups, to maximize attendance. It was essential that a representative from each of the groups, appointed by that group, attend each meeting, along with any interested populace. Initially communication about the meetings was insufficient, but this was addressed by requesting as much of the populace as possible enroll in each group's online forums, as well as the one serving the entirety of the Middle Marches. Initial objections included the feeling of a loss of individual groups' identity. Experience since has shown this a non-issue, but some have carried their objections.
An acting Seneschal was chosen from the groups, to act as a focal point for the efforts, and as liason to the Kingdom to co-ordinate polling. This was not an official office. Candidates for Baron/Baroness wrote a letter of intent, and promised to appear at a meeting for the populace to meet all. Two individuals, five married couples and one non-married pair were allotted 10 minutes each for a short statement and questions from the populace. There were two polls, the first to winnow down the choices to four, then a second to further vote. The seneschal took the polls and then passed on the numbers to the kingdom. (This is not done anymore, the kingdom will administer the polls.) Due to polling defects (a part of the learning process) a third poll was needed, administered by the kingdom.
Baronial officers were then nominated by individual groups. If there was more than a single contender, a public discussion was held at a group meeting to reach a group consensus. Each baronial office holder could not hold a smaller group office if a conflict of interest was involved. Each needed to find their own deputy.
Alexander and Katriona are the founding Baron and Baroness of Brendoken. Their term as the initial baronial holders is for five years' time, and their replacements will hold office for 3 year terms.
Thank you for your time here, there will be another installment in the next day or so.
In Service to the Midrealm and Ayreton
THL Etienne le Couteau des Roches
Lord Mayor, Town of Ayreton