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Of Kings and Queens and other such things [quite long]

Poster: Bob Minowicz <minowicz@nc.na.auspex.com>

This post is meant to spark a discussion.  It is not meant to start a
flame war, so please behave like the kind gentles I know you all to be.

I have been wrestling with a problem.  Or rather, what in my eyes is a
problem.  In yours, it may not be.  And that problem is the method by
which Atlantia chooses its King and Queen.  This is a subject that I
have no doubt has been talked about many times by many people.  I'm sure
that they all have had good ideas about how to change things.  I am also
sure that there have always been flaws in those ideas that have kept
them from becoming changes to the way things are done.  I do not expect
that my ideas will be much different.  However, I felt the need to
discuss them, so please forgive me for indulging myself in this way.

As I see it, the main problem is that to be Sovereign you must fight in
a tourney, in single heavy combat and win the crown.  This, by its
nature, completely excludes anyone that is not a heavy fighter.  More
than that, it excludes anyone that is not an inordinately skilled heavy
fighter.  That is not to say that others cannot participate in the fun
of the tourney, but rather that they can never be our Sovereign.

Now, no doubt there are people in out Kingdom that would make excellent
kings or queens given the chance.  I would dare say that a large chunk
will not get that chance under the current system.  Many solutions have
been proposed to solve this problem.  One is the concept of having a
'champion' fight for the person that wishes to be Sovereign but cannot
fight to win it themselves.  This is flawed because people fear 'King
makers' picking and choosing just who will be on the throne.  Also,
there has been the idea of competition in arts and sciences as well as
other modes of fighting being added to the selection process and scoring
based on performance in all of them. There are other ideas, most flawed
in some fundamental way.  My idea is a combination of these ideas and
some other's I've had.

I would propose that this problem could be addressed in a way that
solves another small issue.  In period, a tourney of single combat was
not exactly the most common way to choose a new king.  The most common
way, throughout all of the period to which we devote ourselves, in
almost every geographic region you look, is the 'war of succession.'

Imagine if you will...

Archibald the Frail wishes to be king.  He is an outstanding leader of
men, but as his name suggests, he is no match for other fighters.  So he
does what any good nobleman would do.  He gathers about himself an
army.  He allies himself with other nobles that lend him their
resources: men at arms, food, gold, etc.  Then he goes out and smashes
the competition into submission.  Ta-da!  Suddenly he finds himself on
the throne.

Why not?  Things like this happened in period.  A number of people would
make a claim to the empty (or soon to be empty) throne and begin to
position themselves to take it (by political manipulation, or physical

Here is what I would propose.  Choose several events that occur around
the Kingdom. Each of these events would become a part of the Wars of
Succession.  Some can be old events, that have been around for ages.
Others can be new events.  Not all of them need be Military in nature.
(Arts and Sciences events could be taken to represent a financial
advantage due to better trade caused by higher quality goods, etc.)

Next, assign a value to them (a point system if you will).  Each
group/faction/household/guild/whatever that wants to compete chooses a
claimant to the throne.  Alternately, someone that wishes to claim the
throne builds a group around themselves, or courts a group to take up
their cause.  Then the 'Wars' begin.  By the end of the reign of the
current Throne, the 'Wars' come to an end.  The faction with the most
points wins the war, and the claimant from that faction assumes the
throne.  If there is an outright tie, or a race that is to close to call
by point value alone (i.e.. no clear winner) then decide with a tourney
of champions from the leading factions. Perhaps such an event can be
scheduled regardless of the 'closeness' of the race.

[Note: By assume the throne, I of course mean become Prince and Princess
and after the next throne steps down, becoming King and Queen.]

Outside the events political jockeying and intrigue can occur.  Some
things would probably have to be limited to happening during events
though. For example, you can even have events with spies and attempted
assassinations of claimants. All this could be a lot of fun. And it
would be a lot more authentic than a simple tourney.

There are also some advantages to this that may not be obvious at
first.  If the events are chosen carefully, and spread throughout the
Kingdom in a 'just so' way, then it will encourage groups to travel to
far away events.  That will promote exchange between areas that may
never meet otherwise.  If timed properly, it could work well with the
the cycle that seems to revolve around the Pensic war.  I'm sure that
you can think of other good things that could come from such a change.

There is a down side though.  I'm not too worried about the Wars of
Succession being too political in and of themselves.  Most of that would
be in fun.  I am worried about the determination of the scoring process
becoming too political though.  That is where things get tricky.  I'd be
worried that people would claim that one event or another was valued
incorrectly, or that such and such an event favors such and such a
faction. Or worse, there could be suggestions that marshals or judges
were being unfair due to their own political affiliations.

Anyway, I've put this out here to start discussion and see what others
think.  So go to it.  Discuss.

Stanislaw Mynyowycz
Canton of Elvegast, Barony of Windmasters' Hill, Kingdom of Atlantia
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