The Official and Accurate History of the Kingdom of the Wetlands
by Sir Nomad Fishslayer
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996
There are few things more beautiful than fire. From humble origins, a fire can start in the simplest manner. A simple spark from two rocks can ignite the whole world. But fire's majesty does not stop at its origin. Fire feeds fire. Two small flames meld when brought together building into a greater fire.
When a fire gets large enough, sparks can fly from it and start other fires. This is the way Amtgard has grown. How fitting that the name of the home of Amtgard is the Burning Lands.
This is not a tale of all Amtgard, however, this is a tale of the newest flame to burn brightly enough to be called a kingdom. Not all places are lucky enough to be a spark's jump from the home of this organization, but where nature leaves off, faith takes over. Like the priests in Rome carefully attending the eternal flame, the flame of Amtgard has been nourished by many great people. People have taken pieces of the flame and let them run wild far away from the original blaze. I am proud to have carried the torch.
I first felt the flame in a land called Irongate. The now Duchy of Irongate is a gem in the crown of the fourth active Amtgard Kingdom, the Golden Plains. Duke Avery Kess of Irongate brought me out to a small park where some wondrous people showed me the construction of weapons and the basics in their use.
During my time there, the flame of Amtgard grew in the land and in me, but the grass does not grow beneath my feet, and I had to leave that land that I love. Before I left, I made sure to build a strong torch so that when my traveling stopped, I could set the flame of Amtgard anew. My travels brought me to the ocean and I marveled at what I saw. The land where I settled anew appeared moist. Setting a flame would be difficult. Nevertheless, I set my torch to the ground and I waited for the flame to take hold.
After a short time of tending this flame alone, a man came with tinder and some fuel for the fire. Sir Vaargard stood at my side, and together, we fanned the flames, waiting for things to grow. At first his noble manner and fierce weaponry frightened me, but as I saw him bend down to nurse the flame with me, I found my respect for this odd man to grow. Next came a strange barbaric fellow that answered to the name of Lothar Q.
I had met many like Lothar in my travels, but after a few minutes, I realized that most of them were mere imitations of this ferocious individual. He wielded weapons larger than he was with ease and grace. With a club in his hand, he was a force to be reckoned with. Both Lothar and Vaargard assured me that the flames of Amtgard burned in this wet place. I began to think the heat had muddled their minds, because flame can overcome most anything, except water.
After a few months, our hard work looked to be bearing fruit as the moist ground began to smolder. The thick white smoke that came from the ground drew others, and the flame began to grow. Our flame drew the attention of others who tend flames, and soon we had visitors from the lands Lothar and Vaargard spoke of.
When the first visited, I could almost see the soot on the hands of men like Crinos and Crimson. The work they had put into tending their flame showed in their faces and their smiles. Within hours of meeting, we agreed to bad together to protect each others flames from the wind and the rains. A new flame was born that day. A small flame that would grow and change, a flame called the Wetlands.
Soon, sparks ignited the ground around us both, and Amtgard began to spread into the surrounding lands. Some blazed too brightly and burned themselves out. That is the sad story of Spidervale, but that is another story.
Some burned brightly and moved across the landscape forgetting from whence they came. That is the story of Blackhawk Keep, but again, that is another story. Some found they could not exist on their own, so they added their fuel to other fires, that is the story of Stormwall, but yet again, that is another story.
Soon, the flames steadied, and it was clear that the light of the Wetlands could be seen across the lands. A great meeting of the monarchs of the different groups came to pass at the second Spring War, and annual battle found in the fires of the Celestial Kingdom. I held a charter before these monarchs penned by myself with the considerable help of Sir Vaargard. As our pens marked the contracts, a bright light filled the gathering. Our flames had just combined into a great bonfire. That night, acting as the spokesman for this newly founded group, I petitioned the monarchs to gaze into our blaze and find it worthy of the title kingdom.
The year to come was not an easy one for any of us. Although we could all see the great blaze we had fed through the years, we could not agree on how to feed it, and at our worst times, the flames all but consumed us. Amongst ourselves, we fought to ensure that no one flame would get the glory or the warmth from the great fire. We fought to prove which flame contributed most to our fire. We fought for good reasons and for bad, and in some cases, we fought to fight.
The great flame saw us through, and by the end of the year, we found ourselves burned but not consumed, tired but hopeful. As the fire we built turned on us, we learned to compromise and work with each other. We learned to warm our selves from the flame equally instead of pushing one of our members away to get a few inches closer.
During the year, I found the duties of representing the flame to be more than I could handle, and I stepped down. Sir Fnord took over and brought the group to the level I could not. Through his organization and the work of many people, my dream and the dream of many a Wetlander came true. At the third Spring War, the Wetlands became a kingdom.
We chose to celebrate before choosing our king, so we hosted a great event, the second Triple Midreign. Well-wishers from the Kingdoms of the Golden Plains, Emerald Hills and Celestial Kingdom all came and congratulated us on our achievements. The only order of business left to let our flame burn free was to choose a king.
Many sought the position, but in the end, the fires and the people chose a man from the land of Mordengarrd. The flames chose a man of honor and spirit. They chose a man who from his first days before the fire embraced the flames with no fear of being burned. Long live King Morgan Ironwolf I and well may he reign.
Sir Nomad Fishslayer
Part 2 by Sir Fnord
I thought I would take some time to give a little history on our original corpora process for the benefit of those who were not around or heavily involved at the time. This is not to imply that everything we did was right, but since 90% of the currently active Knights were not involved in this process it might be useful to know some of the history.
I grew up in the Celestial Kingdom and was staunchly loyal to that group. I had heard of the Wetlands Confederacy and had even had a few altercations with some of them on the Amtgard email list over some ill-chosen words of some visiting BOD members.
At the time, the Confederacy consisted of Mordengaard, a CK Duchy, Granite Spyre, a Golden Plains Duch]y and several satellite groups that were loyal to Granite Spyre. I was three months into my term as Champion of the CK when I accepted a job in Louisianna. I moved my credits to Mordengard because that was the closest CK group to Louisianna and drove to College Station every weekend to fulfill my obligations as Champion. After my term as Champion was over I began attending Granite Spyre more and more because it was closer.
I was amazed at this group because the fire of the Dream burned so brightly in their eyes. They were forming a kingdom and the energy they had to make this happen amazed me. Sir Nomad was the "Legate" at the time. The Legate was a position they had c reated as, basically, the spokesman of the group in trying to achieve Kingdom status and had no real powers. He had attended Clan the year previous to that and had been told that it would be at least 2 years before we could be made a Kingdom.
He decided not to run as Legate again and they began to try and figure out who would be the next Legate. At the time, Fionghal was running and they wanted at least one other alternative. For some reason Vaargard took it upon himself to recruit me for the position. I still dont know exactly why. Maybe he wanted someone with more interkingdom "seasoning." I was not an ideal choice for the position because I had a bad history with Aramithris. Because I had made no real effort to qualify for the position, I was surprised when i was elected.
One of Nomad's statements, I was told later, was "We'll never become a kingdom with Fnord as Legate because Aramithris hates him." The other thing that surprised me was that no Mordengaarders attended this election.
I knew from the fact that I was still attending Mordengaard reasonably often that they had become disenfranchised from the Wetlands. There was a lot of controversy over how the Kingdom would be run. Granite Spyre was a province of the Golden Plains which was a centralized Kingdom. You had to attend the Golden Plains to be Monarch (in the BL tradition).
These two different philosophies were clashing and there were a lot of misunderstandings about how this new kingdom would operate.
I quickly realized that the most important thing I had to do as Legate was to get Mordengaard back on board. I knew that the primary problem was misunderstandings since many kingdom discussions at the time were verbal after-battlegame type discussions and nothing was in writing.
I felt that if we could get everyone together and hash out the differences and write down how the kingdom was going to operate in the form of a Corpora of Laws then we could eliminate many of the misunderstandings and get Mordengaard back.
We scheduled two Corpora sessions, the first in Granite Spyre and the second in Mordengaard. Since I had just finished helping to rewrite the CK Corpora I already had an electronic version of that corpora so we started with it as our "template."
We got very little done at the first Corpora meeting since I had, unfortunately, scheduled it opposite the Ultimate Fighting Championships (who knew that would be important...). But I did get my primary goal accomplished there which was to get the Granite Spyre movers and shakers to agree to a decentralized kingdom. This was an important goal because Mordengaard would have never agreed to be a part of a kingdom where Granite Spyre WAS the kingdom.
The next meeting was in Mordengaard and that was better attended by both groups and we took our template and went line by line through it making sure we all agreed on the points and changing it if we didn't.
At this time the movers and shakers in Mordengaard were Morgan and Draegon. My goal was to get suggestions from them into the Corpora any way I could. I knew that if they saw things they had suggested in the Corpora then they would begin to take ownership of the process and thus begin to take ownership in the Kingdom process as well. This was the most important part of the whole process. I had to influence these two so that they, in turn, could influence the rest of Mordengaard into becoming, once again, excited about the process of forming this new kingdom.
This strategy worked better than I expected and at the end of this process, these two were very staunchly pro-kingdom and Mordengaard was back on board. The next part of the strategy was to convince the Monarchs of Amtgard and the BOD that we were organized enough to become a Kingdom. We had been told by JW and we had to wait and we werent willing to do that so we had an uphill battle to fight.
We wanted to make a play for Kingdom status at the next Spring War which was coming quickly. The corpora was an important part of this strategy too, since we wanted to appear organized and a part of a cohesive whole and having our kingdom process down on paper helped give that impression. We sent copies of our Corpora to all the Monarchs I had contact information for and to the BL BOD with a request that our Kingdom status be reviewed at the Monarchs meeting at Spring War.
Aramithris got wind of this and began an extensive email campaign to try and stop it. I officially received the status of "beta" from him and there was extensive back and forth discussions on the Amtgard list between me and JW and his cronies. I tried to be reasonable and nice, as difficult as this was (the nice part, not the reasonable part) and presented our case plainly and clearly.
In another stroke of luck for us, Ivar had recently been elected as President of the BLBOD and was very much in favor of our receiving Kingdom status. He helped me make sure I had my paperwork in order and testified to the monarchs to that effect and used his significant influence to sway other kingdoms. Also, Ahira was Monarch of the Burning Lands and he was pro-wetlands as well. We presented our paperwork and corpora (with all the changes) at the meeting and were unanimously voted in as the "10th Kingdom of Amtgard" and there was much rejoicing.
Since we were not sure that we would get Kingdom status we had not elected a Monarch. I graciously proclaimed myself Tyrant pro-tem with the goal of setting a date for elections and electing a Monarch. We elected Morgan Ironwolf as our first Monarch. Being a Tyrant, of course, I invalidated those election results and declared myself Tyrant for life. There was a large battle at our first coronation in which I imported a number of Emerald Hills Mercs to try and consolidate my position of power. They were no match for the zeal and legending capability of the Wetlanders and I sat trapped in a Legend while we were overwhelmed and I was summarily executed by the new Monarch.
I swore I would return one day to reclaim my rightful place as Tyrant of the Wetlands...but that day has not yet come...