Guide for the Perplexed
Welcome to Shireroth! Whether you're someone who has stumbled upon our site and wants to know more about us or a new immigrant trying to figure out what you've gotten yourself into, the following pamphlet should tell you enough about us to allow you to jump right in and feel that you understand most of what is going on.
- 1 What is Shireroth?
- 2 Is this a role-playing game?
- 3 So what do you do?
- 4 Where do I go to do stuff?
- 5 How does the government work?
- 6 How can I become a noble?
- 7 What State should I live in?
- 8 How do I immigrate?
- 9 Who can I talk to?
- 10 Any other advice?
- 11 Where can I get more information?
What is Shireroth?
Shireroth is a long standing community that has been running for fourteen years and is chiefly concerned the fate of a fictional country of the same name. Shireroth started out as a micronation, you may have seen a few of those knocking around on the internet, but gradually started to drift away from those who were intent on real world secession, and who frankly seemed a little too intense for their own good (if this is you - stop reading now). Nowadays Shireroth is more intent on - being Shireroth. One of our erstwhile colleagues has selected a video clip for your delectation about what this normally entails. Dissuaded yet? If not then please read on.
Is this a role-playing game?
Not in the sense of a traditional RPG of any kind that we're familiar with. For instance, we don't have gamemasters or common rules that everyone implicitly follows. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to play a character that's not exactly like you in every way. Shireroth has had its share of talking dogs, and dolphins, and elves, and even cyborgs that command armies of twelve foot tall bear-hybrid-things (we'd prefer not to have a repeat of the latter of those...). Writing stories with characters of your creation is accepted and encouraged.
However, we consider the roleplaying part and the government-simulation part of our nation to be separate magisteria, with a very specific kind of relationship: Roleplaying always yields to government.
For instance, if the Duke of Elwynn were to decree that all elves in the duchy are to die, you don't write about how the elves are all doing fine, but you're welcome to write about the horrors of genocide, or about a heroic individual that escaped to another duchy, or even about a local resistance movement. You can recontextualise and reinterpret the politics, and in fact Shirerithians do this quite often, you just can't force the politics' hand.
Similarly, you can't write a story that you have murdered the Kaiser and are taking his place on the throne. That is, unless you have the Kaiser's approval. In essence, within the political simulation there won't be a difference between assassinating the Kaiser with his approval, and being his chosen heir. The difference only exists in the roleplaying magisterium.
If it is helpful, consider that the roleplaying element is simply a tool for fleshing out the narrative. A lot of what happens now in Shireorth ties back to this wiki as much as it does to the forums. As long as you try to avoid flatly contradicting what has already been written (as previously noted, reinterpreting is fine, however) you have comparative freedom to shape things as you wish.
So what do you do?
Whatever we want, basically. People are always coming up with more ideas to make Shireroth a more interesting place. However, most stuff that happens here generally falls into a few areas:
- We pass laws. Laws can concern everything from what holidays we celebrate to our foreign policy to who gets noble titles. This is really the backbone of the whole system. As a new immigrant, you will not be directly involved in the legislative process. However, you can watch the proceedings of the Landsraad and are encouraged to tell your Duke your opinion on issues.
- We conduct foreign relations. There are other simulated communities knocking around that started out like Shireroth as micronations, although most are useless. The Ministry of the Exterior works on massaging egos, double-crossing rivals and dreaming up fatuous pieces of paper with lofty ideals that ultimately constrain us to do nothing if we don't want to.
- We have a military and an intelligence agency. The military chiefly participates in "recwars", a uniquely micronational sport similar to RPGs in many ways. Shirerithian Intelligence is mostly a oxymoron but if ham-fisted espionage exploits float your boat, welcome aboard - a high attrition rate means that there are always vacancies!
- We create fiction. We have developed a rich fictional culture, comprised of stories and some history for our lands and institutions. For instance a lot of our most active members prefer to forego the role-playing side of things and focus plausible and detailed accounts of the fictional cities and countries of the realm.
- We make stuff. Shireroth tends to bring out the graphic artist in people, whether designing a palace to rival Versailles or a rag on a stick that will encourage cannon fodder to gladly march to their deaths in some foreign horror of a war at their master's thoughtless insistence.
- We have our own world, called Micras, which we share with other micronations. Based upon the map, we participate with other nations, conduct foreign affairs and develop our interior policies (e.g.: dividing the land up in Counties).
Where do I go to do stuff?
The majority of Shirithian affairs are conducted on the forum. Go ahead and post boldly - the Yardistanis have all been neutered, so the spate of leg-humpings should have abated by now. We hope.
How does the government work?
Our government used to work on basis of the feudal system. Now to suggest that the government works at all is to express a quaint and old-fashioned optimism that will quickly make you very popular.
It consists of three levels, each of which have rights and responsibilities to the levels above and below them in their turn. On top is the Kaiser, who you can think of as a sort of king. His word used to be law, although now it tends to be considered more of a polite suggestion which his subjects graciously promise to take under advisement (and ignore). To be considered in any way official, it must be formalized in an Imperial Decree. The Kaiser is tasked with maintaining the Imperial Government, upholding the defence of the realm and running an active foreign policy - and to do this he can only rely on the resources of his own estates and the active obstructiveness of his nominal subordinates. It is rightly said to be the most thankless task in Shireroth, nonetheless such is the inherited prestige of the post that it is usually possible to find some damned fool willing to consent to being subjected to three months of constant abuse and besieged within their own throne room.
Directly below the Kaiser are Imperial States, of which there are currently three. The rulers of these states have sovereignty in their own right over most areas of domestic policy.
The third rung on the ladder, and the one you're you'd be starting from, is everyone else - the great unwashed. This includes those in charge of third tier polities (usually styled counties) with titles that previously had significance in the government, such as Baron / Thane, Count. Non-nobles have a direct vote in the Landsraad and a say in the legislature.
Everyone has the possibility to hold high office in the Ministries. The minimum job requirement is that you can provide plausible explanations of why things aren't your fault and be able to at least pretend to look busy when someone asks what it is you are doing. It's just like the civil service, except with more opportunities for sarcasm.
How can I become a noble?
- (the normal way) Be an active, intelligent(ish), and (mostly)loyal citizen. When a noble title opens up, someone may remember you and recommend you for it. There is a good chance of becoming Kaiser after a while.
- (the easy way) Marry into it. The significant others of Shirerithian nobles are granted their own noble titles, although they are not ruling nobles, a small but significant legal distinction.
- (the really helpful way) Recruit some friends to Shireroth. If you get a couple of people to join together, and they prove to be active and willing to found a new State together, the Landsraad or the Kaiser is likely to grant you one.
A great way to prove yourself an intelligent, active, and loyal citizen is to get yourself a job in one of the Ministries. In general, people who just do good work and make a lot of friends in the community are more likely to hold a higher noble title than people who are obviously hell-bent on a title.
What State should I live in?
Most citizens of Shireroth reside in an Imperial State. If you choose to immigrate, you will be expected either to choose an Imperial State of Imperial Dominion or give the Minister of Immigration and Naturalization permission to choose one for you. The current Imperial States are as follows:
Influenced by the Celts and Monty Python. Home to pretty things (and demons (and pretty demonic things)). Goldshire is the most inherently feudal of all the Imperial States.
Ethnic strife, absolute monarchy, inappropriately dressed Vikings, epic history. What's not to love?
Imagine somebody had spliced together the Night of the Living Dead with Pan's Labyrinth and that the resulting abominations had gone on to raid the costume wardrobe of an 18th Century Opera House, therein you have the essential appeal of Lichbrook.
How do I immigrate?
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, register on our public forum, go to the Ministry of Immigration and Naturalization (MiniImNat), and fill out the form on the top. For more information on immigration, talk to the Minister of Immigration, whose contact details are below.
Who can I talk to?
If you have some questions about Shireroth or just want to chat, the best bet is the forum.
Any other advice?
- Just participate. The more you do stuff, the more it will all become clear to you.
- Don't worry if you are kind of confused your first few days, eventually everything will become clear. Even the old-timers are still surprised of what Shireroth has to offer.
- If you don't know whether or not to do something, do it. We'll probably find it fun and play along - that's how we built a micronation in the first place.
- Ask questions. Questions are good.
- Talk to people. About anything. The more people you know, and know well, the more enjoyable things will be.
- If you're confused about the forum because you see other nations on it: this is simply to explain. Shireroth is currently sharing a forum with some other micronations, this makes visiting each other a lot easier.
Where can I get more information?
The wiki you're currently reading can give you definitions of most of terms related to Shireroth, histories of our institutions, and descriptions (occasionally warnings) of different people or positions. You should be able to just click on the "Random page" link in the sidebar and learn about a random Shirithian subject, or just read through the wiki and the forum. The easiest way to find out things, however, is to ask about them.