Guide for the Perplexed
Welcome to Shireroth and to micronationalism! 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 Warning
- 2 What is micronationalism?
- 3 Is this a role-playing game?
- 4 So what do you do?
- 5 Where do I go to do stuff?
- 6 How does the government work?
- 7 How can I become a noble?
- 8 What fiefdom should I live in?
- 9 How do I immigrate?
- 10 Who can I talk to?
- 11 Any other advice?
- 12 Where can I get more information?
According to the DEA, micronationalism is one of the most addictive things on Earth. If you are the kind of person who easily gets addicted to things and doesn't have very much time, you should probably stop reading now.
What is micronationalism?
As the name implies, micronationalism is the game/hobby/way-of-life based on creating and living in small nations. It has many levels, from people who treat it as a role-playing game to people who are dead serious about seceding from the United States or elsewhere as soon as they get enough military might to back themselves up. Shireroth falls in between. We have no real secessionist aspirations and follow all United States laws, but we do try and maintain at least a tenuous grip on reality most of the time. All micronations are looking for new immigrants who are interested in contributing something to the community, and Shireroth is no exception. If what you see in this guide seems interesting to you, please consider joining us.
Is this a role-playing game?
The most common misconception about micronations held by those new to them is the belief that they are an RPG, or somehow separate from the real world. This is not the case. Do not make yourself a character or expect someone to care if you claim to have built something, achieved something, or, God forbid, killed someone.
If it is helpful, consider Shireroth not to be a simulation of a country but rather a real country that happens to be conducting many of its affairs on the Internet. It has a legislature, a university, a square for general discussion, et cetera. This way of looking at things should prevent you from falling into the role-playing trap.
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 many other micronations around, and some of them, like Babkha, are very close to Shireroth, often working with us or conspiring against us on various plans. The Ministry of the Exterior works on writing treaties, negotiating solutions to problems, keeping informed on what our friends and enemies are doing, and trying to convince foreign countries to act in ways that benefit us. Sometimes we just visit and say hi.
- We have a military and an intelligence agency. The military chiefly participates in "recwars", a uniquely micronational sport similar to RPGs in many ways. Intelligence often consists of having foreign contacts who are willing to sell Shireroth information on their nations and of infiltrating enemy countries with spies before they can do the same to us.
- We create fiction. We have developed a rich fictional culture, a couple of stories, and some history for our lands and institutions. Usually this is done as a side or an embellishment to the government work, but there are some people who prefer just to write stuff or role-play without any official government jobs.
- We make stuff. From launching model rockets under the guise of a space program to broadcasting KIRS, Shireroth's own radio station, people with hobbies tend to find that associating them with Shireroth makes them more fun and gets people interested in them.
Where do I go to do stuff?
The majority of Shirithian affairs are conducted on the forum. Go ahead and post boldly - while a Yardistani or two might bite you if you're not careful, they don't have any infectious diseases. We think.
How does the government work?
Our government works on the feudal system. It consists of three levels, each of which is sworn to obey the level above them and each of which commands the levels below them in their turn. On top is the Kaiser, who you can think of as a sort of king. His word is law, although to hold official sway it must be formalized in an Imperial Decree. Directly below the Kaiser are the Dukes, of which there are currently five. The Dukes each rule over a Duchy, and each have the privilege of voting in the Landsraad, the legislature that decides most important issues.
The third rung on the feudal ladder, and the one you're probably going to be on for a while, is everyone else. This includes titles that previously had significance in the government, such as Baron, Count and Thane, and the commoner. Non-dukes cannot directly vote or debate in the Landsraad, although they can petition their nobles to bring up acts or change their votes, or post and wait for the Praetor to approve their participation in the discussion.
What commoners can do is hold high positions in the Ministries. For sometime the Minister of Military Affairs was a commoner, and there is no reason why an intelligent commoner cannot rise to the top in any of the Ministries, except perhaps that they would be likely to be promoted to the nobility before they got there.
How can I become a noble?
1. (the normal way) Be an active, intelligent, and loyal citizen. When a noble title opens up, someone may remember you and recommend you for it.
2. (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.
3. (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 Duchy 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. As of the time of this writing, the Ministry of the Exterior needs ambassadors, and the rest of the ministries are unoccupied. In general, people who just do good work and make a lot of friends in the community are more likely to become nobles than people who are obviously hell-bent on a title.
What fiefdom should I live in?
Most citizens of Shireroth reside in a fiefdom. If you choose to immigrate, you will be expected either to choose a fiefdom or give the Minister of Immigration and Naturalization permission to choose one for you. The current fiefdoms are as follows:
The Duchy of Brookshire, merger of previous Brookshire and Goldshire, is Shireroth's oldest Duchy and the former home of the nation's founder, Erik Metzler. It is currently ruled by the same person. Brookshire's culture is somewhat conservative, and the citizens tend to be both isolationist and traditionalist. General themes include history and archaeology (especially Shireroth's own fictional history), religion, economy and industry, Monty Python references, and leadership.
Merger of two of Shireroth's perhaps best-cultured duchies, Hyperborea and Elwynn, the Boreal-Elwynnese duchy is a place of quiet contemplation in the cold northlands, philosophical insight, and the occasional horrible bloody massacre. It is currently ruled over by one of Shireroth's stabler and more reliable citizens, Harald. General themes in Hyperborea include the Pursuit of Truth and Beauty, language, community, learning, art, and living off the land. Themes in Elwynn include natural beauty, elves, Nordic culture, Babkhan culture, forests and rivers, and ice cream.
The Duchy of Kildare has a long and somewhat troubled history. Traditionally most military leaders have come from this area. It is ruled by the somewhat new Duke Jonas, and its culture is an unstable mix of old Apollonian traditions that predate Shireroth and a bit of Ireland that has hung on through the region's many incarnations. General themes include both war and love, union and bickering, and also multiculturalism, Apollonian history and Apollonian religion. Kildare is home to some of Shireroth's better developed minor subdivisions, the old and well-liked Schlangen and Kitanus Fields, the more unique Hallucination, and the more controversial Antya.
The Duchy of Yardistan is certainly Shireroth's most unique Duchy, and quite possibly the most unique thing of any sort anywhere. It is home to several of Shireroth's oldest and most questionable traditions, such as the Annexation Corps and the Small Animal and Molotov Cocktail Delivery Company. Its Duke is Jacobus, arguably an excellent choice for an anarchistic duchy such as this. General themes include war, anarchy, partying, whimsy, passion, tropical heat, and in Naudia'Diva, hunting, beasts, and naturalistic religion.
Vying for the title of most unique with Yardistan is its cultural offshoot, the naval duchy of Straylight. While Straylight is almost as old in name as the rest of the duchies, it has only recently been promoted back to actually being a duchy. It is ruled over by Ari Rahikkala, as it has been for most of its existence. General themes include technology, the sea, constructive anarchy, the dark side of society, and if you dig into the history a little, a lot of dolphins and the occasional dragon.
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, Naturalization, and Tourism(MINT), 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, here's a few possibilities.
- The best bet is the forum.
- Or you can contact people on AIM:
- Rrakanychan: Erik Metzler, current Kaiser.
- Ari Rahikkala: Ari Rahikkala, Minister of the Exterior
- GSquid314: Scott, respected Shirithian (currently without a position due to being busy with life)
- Or you can try the #micronations IRC channel on irc.psigenix.net (or on the web)
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. Except the Yardistanis, but don't worry too much about that; we don't get them either.
- If you don't know whether or not to do something, do it. If it was stupid, we'll tell you so and not worry about it, and it will be a good way for you to learn.
- Ask questions. Questions are good.
- Talk to people. About anything. The more people you know, and know well, the more enjoyable things will be.
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.