Adrian Empire

The Adrian Empire (sometimes known as Adria) is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study and re-creation of Western European culture in the years 1066 to 1603 (coinciding with the Battle of Hastings and the death of Elizabeth I of England).
The Adrian Empire is an historical recreation or living history nonprofit organization founded on March 15, 1987 in Long Beach, California by eight (8) individuals then known as the "Founding Viscounts." The organization is active throughout the United States and everyone is eligible for membership. Members attend monthly events and try to recreate various aspects of life in Europe during the Middle Ages.
The goal of the Adrian Empire is to teach people what various aspects of the Middle Ages in western Europe were really like by bringing them to life and engaging onlookers in the activities practiced during the age.
The head of both the Empire and many of the regional chapters (known as Kingdoms, Archduchies, or Duchies) are decided by a war. Candidates must be voted as acceptable by their respective estates to hold a position and must meet membership as well as other specific requirements. The head(s) of a Shire are not decided by local members but, instead, by the person(s) holding the position of Emperor and/or Empress. Heads of Shires act as the local voice of the Imperial Crowns.
Most local groups meet once per month, although wars can occur two or three times per year. Members dress in authentic (or authentic-looking) clothes to lend to a genuine feel of the time period. Non-members are welcome to attend in their normal clothing.
There are four main types of participation:
* Combat - Adrian Combat consists of four types: Shinai, Renaissance, Cut and Thrust, and Armored. It is the Armored combat which distinguishes Adria from other historical reenactment groups such as the SCA (although there are many other so called "metal weapons" groups, see Combat reenactment). It consists of unchoreographed, live combat with real (although blunt) steel weapons, including swords, maces, battle axes, spears, and other weapons.
* Archery - Archery proper consists of target archery using simple bows and wooden-shafted arrows. A second form is combat archery, which uses a light, fiberglass shaft with a foam head to allow archers to participate in combat scenarios in wars.
* Arts & Sciences - The arts and sciences includes making items that existed within the time period and using appropriate methods to make them. Arts projects are judged on completion and count toward victory in war.
* Ministry - Ministry covers most tasks which aid in the smooth running of an event and the organization as a whole. Participation can be gained by holding Ministry positions (e.g. being the head of an estate at any level, being the court herald, keeping the rolls of attendees at an event) or by performing tasks during an event (such as water-bearing for combat participants)
Advancement within the organization includes earning a knighthood and other titles by participating in at least one of the above categories.
A war within the Adrian Empire War consists of two or more parties competing against one another for an office, title or other reward. Members choose support a candidate or team, and a series combat, archery, and art competitions take place. The points each participant earns in the competitions are "awarded" to the candidate or team they are supporting. The candidate or team who garners the most points is declared the winner.
There are three types of wars within the Adrian Empire.
A Banner War does not determine the occupant of any office. Instead, participants meet at designated sites and compete for the right to take home the regional banner. These wars are held around the country on Memorial Day weekend. Banner Wars are regarded as the most lighthearted and frivolous of Adrian Wars.
A Crown War determines the occupant of a specific office. There are two types of Crown Wars, Crown Wars within subdivisions and empire wide Crown Wars. A Crown War within a specific subdivision determines the leader of that subdivision, known within the organization as a king or queen. Each subdivision has specific guidelines to determine the date of its Crown War, and the war must be held within that subdivision's geographical borders. Empire wide Crown Wars determine the Emperor and Empress of the entire organization and take place on Labor Day weekend each year.
A Civil War takes place after the estates decide that a person who currently holds an office within the empire (Queen, King, Emperor, Empress) is not fulfilling the duties of his/her office. At that time, new candidates may declare their intent to seek the office. A war follows, and the winner of the war replaces the person who was deemed ineffective by the estates. This war is conducted and decided in the same manner as a Crown War. At this time, no Civil War has ever been conducted to replace a person holding the office of Emperor or Empress.
The Adrian Empire is a feudal-styled parliamentary republic. From the top down, every member is directly represented by somebody within the organization. And, unlike modern parliamentary governments such as that of England, the current ruling nobles (Crowns) share in the political process.
The Adrian Empire is composed of the following types of chartered subdivisions, all of whom have a local government, as well as representation on the Imperial government:
* The Empire - This includes all of the continental United States, whether or not there are other chartered subdivisions in the region. The Empire is governed by the Emperor and Empress (the corporate President and Vice President)
* Kingdoms - These are chartered subdivisions that have 100 or more members. They are governed by a king and queen.
* Archduchies - Smaller than kingdoms, these chartered subdivisions have memberships between 50 and 99. They are governed by an Archduke and/or Archduchess.
* Duchies - Even smaller, these chartered subdivisions have a stable membership of at least 20. They are governed by a Duke and/or Duchess.
* Shires - Newly formed chartered subdivisions who have members numbering between 1 and 19. They are governed by a Viceroy and or Vicereine, who act as the voice of the Emperor and Empress.
Any of the above estates may have a membership above the normal numbers for that level, if they have not existed at that level for long enough to be elevated. (Example: a shire may have more than twenty members, but has not existed the minimum one year or perhaps does not have active ministers, or has not been having events regularly enough to advance.)
The other type of political entity in Adria is called an estate, a non-geographic subdivision. Estates have different names based on size, ranging from the five person House up to 50+ member March. These estates can also be subdivided into other estates (for example, a 15 person barony can contain three houses). The heads of these estates have a noble title and may vote in their local rule-making body, called a local estates meeting. Large enough estates are considered part of the Estates Royal and may also vote in the Imperial rule-making body, as well as the two most senior estates for a subdivision.
Another type of title and rank available is a knighthood. There are four paths of knighthood, in ministry (service to the organization), combat, archery and the arts. Knighthood in the Adrian Empire is awarded following a merit-based system. For each discipline (arts, archery, combat, and ministry), there are certain time and skill milestones that must be met before advancing in rank. There are no restrictions to knighthood based on gender. Only combat (for safety reasons) has any minimum age requirements.
For each classification of knighthood an individual may attain a first, second, and third level knighthood, the title of which changes based on level and area.
* Combat - Knights in Combat are known as Knight Bachelor, Knight Banneret, Knight Champion.
* Arts & Sciences - Knights in Arts & Sciences are known as Knight Robe, Knight Master, Knight Doctor.
* Archery - Knights in Archery are known as Knight Archer, Knight Forester, Knight Warden.
* Ministry - Knights in Ministry are Knight Minister, Knight Civil, Knight Premiere.
The last official entity within Adria is known as the Church of Adria, led at an Imperial level by the Patriarch. While there are no official dogma, canon, or religious beliefs associated with the Church, the organization follows a structure similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church. The members of the Church of Adria can rise in rank from being Deacons & Archdeacons (often called priests, brothers, sisters, or fathers) to the rank of Bishop and Archbishop before petitioning to become Patriarch. The Church of Adria's primary purpose within the Empire is to provide the ritual (coronations, oaths, etc) that fell under the domain of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe during the medieval time period. The Church of Adria exists for the sole purpose of providing the pomp, circumstance, and presence that the church provided in the Middle Ages and should not be construed to be either a political or religious organization. Ranks within the church are recognized by couresty as equivalent to other ranks within the organization and may be accorded similar privileges.
List of Subdivisions
The following is a list of the current chartered subdivisions within the Adrian Empire and the states (in parentheses) in which they operate.
* Kingdoms - Albion (NV), Esperance (CA), Kincora (FL), Terre Neuve (CA), Umbria (AZ), York (FL)
* Archduchies - Bisqaia (TX)
* Duchies - Alhambra (WA, ID, MT), Brandenburg (CA), Brunico (WA), Cambridge (PA, NY, NJ), Cashel (VA), Castilles (FL), Chesapeake (MD), Connacht (British Columbia, Canada), Constantinople (FL), Cyprus (AZ), Gloucester (OR), Pembroke (FL), Roanoke (MT, ID, WA), Somerset (IN, OH, MI), Thinairia (CO)
* Shires - Carn Morn Dearg (GA), Carolingia (CA), El Dorado (NM, TX), Lancaster (SC), Malta (PA), Mid'ean (VT), New Exeter (MO), Pryteri (KS), Tyr-Lynn (WA), Valdron
Members within the Adrian Empire have the right to design and display (once knighthood is achieved) their personal heraldry. The rules for a heraldic device are based upon what type of devices would have appeared in the Adrian time period (1066-1603).
These devices (in common vernacular called a "coat of arms") are designed by each member who so wishes and are then registered at the local, regional, and imperial levels. This registration and recordkeeping process is overseen by the College of Arms.
The College of Arms is led by the Fleur-de-Lis King of Arms, who is assisted by regional and imperial deputies.
The Regional and Imperial deputies include:
*Griffin Queen of Arms - Imperial deputy of the western region.
*Centaur King of Arms - Imperial deputy of the central region (currently held by Griffin Queen of Arms).
*Phoenix King of Arms - Imperial deputy of the northeastern region (sometimes combined with Dragon).
*Dragon King of Arms - Imperial deputy for the southeastern region (sometimes combined with Phoenix).
*Beltazure King of Arms - Imperial deputy in charge of maintaining the written records of the College of Arms.
*Mantle Herald - Imperial deputy in charge of maintaining the pictorial armorial of registered arms.
*Crest Herald - Imperial deputy in charge of special projects as directed by the Fleur-de-Lis King of Arms.
*Tyger Herald - Imperial deputy in charge of ensuring the College of Arms' policies and practices do not conflict with the laws of the Adrian Empire
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