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Poster: "Sussman, Jeff" <JSussman@sss.niaid.nih.gov>

Greetings from Richard Fitzgilbert!

Leifr Johansson wrote:

"Perhaps the better way to phrase this is that Mercenaries are not   
to serve the Kingdom.  And of course, the Kingdom is not Obliged to
protect and defend these same Mercenaries.  Not that I think the Anglesea   

need such protection."

No one is obliged to serve the Kingdom except via their own conception of   
their role in our society.  No one is going to get thrown in jail, fined,   
or even banned from events because they choose to not to serve the   
Kingdom.  Even knights, just like most others, take the field behind   
their Kingdom banner because of their own idea of loyalty.

If Atlantia THINKS these fighters, or others like them, are important,
then I am sure that there are means by which the Crown can RECOGNIZE that
(wink, wink, wink) without abusing the poor individuals.

The Crown has the means to tie almost anyone to it with bonds of mutual
obligation.  If the captain of a mercenary company brings with him the
fealty of a worthy group of fighters, then perhaps he deserves some
elevation.  If a group represents a significant force of skill, service,
or arts, perhaps they deserve recognition.

You imply that recognition or other reward is a method by which some   
group should be tied to the kingdom.  When cooler heads prevail, we   
organize our army around our "volunteers."  The core of our forces are   
made up of people who fight for the kingdom out of their sense of   
loyalty.  If others who don't feel the same, still want to fight with us   
out of friendship, comraderie or respect than that's great.  They're   
welcome to fight by our side.  And, we promise not to trample them if   
they get caught in front of a cavalry charge. :^)  In fact, once the   
rattan starts to fly, every friend and ally is highly appreciated.

However, I (for one) am not willing to pay anyone (in any coin) to grant   
them the honor of fighting by/with/under Atlantia's banner.  This extends   
to cookies, dancing girls, trinkets and most definitely to some sort of   
"elevation" or "recognition."  Personally, I feel any type of payment is   
a slight to those who join our force "just because...".

On the other hand.  We are certainly willing to acknowledge the   
contributions and excellence of anyone who does take the field with us   
(or against us for that matter).  And, I agree that everyone on field   
deserves to be treated with courtesy and fairness regardless of their   
"style" of participation.

I believe that stronger ties are created by groups that fight together   
and respect each other rather than ties created by payment of any kind.

My apologies for crunching the soapbox.
(Atlantian Northern Region Commander)

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