A Guide to Beginning a Successful Motley or Guild
By: Imajica Hyrill Askosa in Dark Ages
Assisted by: Pasha and Allita Hyrill, and Trinity Askosa
Perhaps one of the greatest privileges given to aislings in our realm is the ability to form groups, which allow instant communication and instill a comforting feeling, as there is always another aisling to speak to. As motleys and guilds become more common to the realm, it seems fitting that a general guide be produced to perhaps give a hopeful aisling a basis of which to work with in creating such an organization. Some organizations are extremely old, having withstood the test of time and aisling temper. Others, not as successful, have fallen apart over simple differences and/or the organization leaders lack of concern for the members. Failing organizations are few and far between, as there are organizations that have been in existence for many Deochs. The following ideas are placed before you based on observations of the various organizations that have been present and still exist in our fair realm today. This is not meant to be a fixed set of rules one must follow rather a guide to set ambitious aislings on a path for success.
Requirements for starting a Guild or Motley
As stated by Aricin, Mundane Burgess of Abel
Before one can begin a motley or guild, one must speak with Aricin, who spends much of his time in the Tavern in Abel. Aricin not only explains organization requirements, but he also gives assistance in appointing council members and members, approves the name of an organization, and collects the fees required to start and maintain an organization. The requirements differ from guild to motley, so here is a copy of what Aricin tells us about them when asked.
Choosing Council Members
As every group needs leadership, aislings chosen for the council positions of an organization need to be competent leaders, able to attend to member needs in a quick and efficient manner. The aislings chosen for council needs to possess many qualities, a few of which would be patience, reliability, an even temperament, and a sense of humor, effective communication skills, and solid problem solving skills. Remember that a council helps to run an organization, sets rules, and sets examples of behavior for members. Choose your council members wisely.
Council member responsibilities range anywhere from organizing group events to handling member disputes. They are placed within a respected position of the organization, and generally remain council members until they choose to leave or are overthrown from their positions by members. An irresponsible council member can mean the death of a fledgling organization, so try to choose aislings that maintain a constant weekly presence in Temuair. A competent council able to work with each other is the backbone for any successful organization, and can carry one very far in terms of age and possibly even expansion from motley to a guild.
Establishing Goals, Standards of Behavior, and Rules
Even if you have no real intent for an organization other than to gather your friends together into a central group, rules and standards must be applied. For those organizations that have fixed goals, whether it is education, religious, or political, the council must set forth goals. Specifying goals in such a case would clearly outline the activities that an organization would take part in. Also, it will attract certain types of aislings based on its intent. An organization does not have to have goals in order to exist, but a few would make it easier to explain the organizations existence. The most common question an interested aisling will ask is "What does your guild do?" Since you do want aislings to join your newfound organization, even a simple answer to such a question will help them determine whether or not they want to be a part.
One of the more difficult parts to starting an organization is setting forth-precise rules, perhaps in the form of a Charter. This will help the council maintain order within the group, and also will protect the group from an aisling whos behavior endangers the reputation of the organization. A set group of rules will give all members an idea of what the parameters are for their behavior and council as well. Generally, the council writes the charter before members are inducted. A charter can also be written after you begin inducting members into your organization as well.
This brings us finally to standards of behavior. Choosing members of an organization that are law abiding citizens is the best idea, although some organizations will choose lawlessness as well. In most organizations, however, an aisling who breaks aisling or mundane laws repeatedly are subject to exile. Choosing which standards to follow will help greatly in choosing members of an organization, but remember that mundanes can and will punish aislings, stripping their accomplishments away if the offense is serious enough. An organization without a leader cannot exist, one without a council member is held back until a new one is appointed, and members who suffer mundane punishments can tarnish the reputation of any organization.
Choosing Organization Members
An organization can not exist or become successful without competent choices in inducting members. Generally, there seem to be three ways to introduce a new member to an organization. These are:
Keep in mind that any organization is a group of aisling, and must be democratic in nature. If not, you will quickly find yourself without members. Allowing all members of an organization to have a say in who is added will relieve many anxieties, and keep members from preparing to overthrow the aisling in charge of an organization, therefore voiding all the work the creator has done to start it. It has been found that inducting the supporters of an organization will be helpful, as they will provide a base on which to build, and give them an opportunity to help induct new members.
Choosing members is often difficult, as an aislings interests often change over time. Choosing aislings that can represent the standards set forth by your council is extremely helpful, as well as choosing aislings that can follow rules. It is always in the organizations best interest to not induct an aisling if one of the current members or council brings forth a strong argument against them. You cannot always change an aisling for the better, and should never put an organization on the line to do so. Being prepared for your existing members to turn down a prospective member is always best, and explaining to the aisling that has been turned down in a neutral manner will help keep conflict from ensuing.
Communication within our realm in an organization is very important. The mundanes offer us the opportunity to see all members present at any given time, and also provide a board which only members can see. Setting parameters for the use of these tools is extremely important. Members to harass each other should use neither, and they should be kept free of heresy, harassment, threats, and general unpleasantness that could end up destroying even the most sturdy of organizations.((Now, to break off from the in character explanations of communication. Many organizations within the realm of Temuair also use out of character ways to communicate. Online groups is a very popular option, which allows members who must be away for any reason to keep up communication, and vote on upcoming events and new members. This is a useful way to keep up with all members, but keep in mind. Members who have been exiled or who have disagreements within the game with other members will often drag it into your group. Setting rules for the use of such online groups and establishing mature moderators will help control this extremely useful tool. Harassment in or out of the game should never be tolerated, regardless of the reasons.))
Maintenance of an Organization
The leader of any organization must maintain the organization within a time frame established by Aricin. Payment of "fees" on a regular basis will help keep your organization in good standing with the mundanes. Also, you have an option that can be used to reward members of an organization, called a "motley geas". Council and members should use such geas wisely, avoiding abuse. Often geas are assigned as rewards for accomplishments made in an organizations name, or more simply as rewards for helping gather the funds used to maintain the organization. An organization leader should decide how and when a geas should be used, and stick to such a rule.
An often-unpleasant side of organization maintenance is the exiling of its members. It is not an action one should take lightly, as that affects all involved within the organization. Exiles should only be carried out when absolutely necessary, to avoid abuse of this tool as well. As previously stated strong ground rules and standards for behavior should help weed aislings who will cause problems within the group out, but aislings do change. One would hope to never have to use such an extreme measure within their group, but at times it is necessary to protect the organization.
As you can see, starting and maintaining an organization is not without trial, but it can be done by making responsible choices in the organizations infancy. Maintaining a caring attitude towards the members and allowing them to voice their opinions will help to make any organization a successful one. Giving members an active role in the running of an organization will strengthen the bond between leader, council, and members. It is important to remember that if the group were all about one aisling, then only one aisling would belong to it. A guild or motley simply carries on the tradition of teamwork, which has carried many aislings forth to success over the past several Deochs.