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Forest Fires
[06/26/2002] [Randall]

I've left work to see a dusty sky every evening for about a week now. The smoke of the fires that are burning Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado to the ground are blotting out the mountains and turning the sun red. The air is smelly, the sky is hazy, and it looks like it's the end of the world. The fires almost reached 'Rakis. It's a horrible mess, and a pretty fair share of the disaster can be blamed on one emotionally-unstable person throwing a temper tantrum.

And, in other news, there's fires in the Southwest that are doing a lot of damage and burning homes. But enough of the real world... let's go back to talking about Aramithris and the BLBOD.

The BLBOD made a big mistake when they threw out the Wetlands. They expelled one of the largest kingdoms in Amtgard without thought of compromise or reforming the game -- those topics only came in later, when the BLBOD was in face-saving mode. They really had no idea what was going on in the Wetlands and based their decision on the testimonies of only a few people. And they're pretending that their decision was a minor thing, not to be worried about by the unwashed masses. Play Amtgard, everyone. It doesn't effect you. It's business as usual.

Except it's not business as usual. Within weeks, over half the kingdoms of Amtgard followed Dragonspine's lead and issued public or private assurances that they recognized the Wetlands as a kingdom. Aramithris, afraid of what the monarchs might say or do, threatened to call in the rangers and have the kings and queens of Amtgard removed from Clan if they tried to meet. In defense of the Corpora, Aramithris is willing to crush the Corpora-mandated monarch's meeting by calling the real-world authorities.

When the President of the BLBOD considers sending armed federal agents to break up a peaceful meeting of the highest-ranking representatives of Amtgard, it is most definately not business as usual.

So yes, the BLBOD made a huge mistake due to incompetence, poor communication, arrogance, and misinformation. Some of them voted to break Amtgard with the best of intentions; others did it because they're cynical users. The end result is the same, though. Amtgard is wounded, and the people with the power to heal it don't want to.

The difference between what should be done and what is being done is as clear as night and day. If the BLBOD were committed to fairness and honor, they would engage the kings and queens of Amtgard in honest communication about the club's future. They would seek ways to reform the game and give the kingdoms a say. Given a choice, the kings would vote democratically to support requiring all Kingdoms to have the same procedures on knighthood -- then they'd vote to let the Wetlands back into Amtgard, an offer the Wetlands would take in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, Aramithris doesn't believe in giving the kings that choice. He believes in issuing decrees and calling in real-life men with guns to enforce his will.

These aren't the actions of someone who loves the game and lives the dream. True Amtgarders don't mock the Holocaust and the taking of the Jews, and then turn around and tell people not to worry about the Wetlands because it doesn't effect them. True Amtgarders don't snarl when someone asks a lawyer for legal advise regarding their contract with the BLBOD, and then turn around and actually ask the rangers if they can throw elected Amtgard officials out of a legal meeting. True Amtgarders don't praise the contributions of Amtgard's young and new members out of one corner of their mouths while they slander Amtgard's young and new kings out of the other.

True Amtgarders who believe in honor and knighthood would open their eyes and see the world clearly -- and then do their damnest to put out the fire that's burning our eyes, poisoning our weekends and threatening to destroy the game we've called home for years.

Aramithris is considering allowing an informal gathering of kings and queens held somewhere off the Clan site. This will allow him to disregard any vote held there as not official. This would be a corrupt and cynical act of tyranny. The monarchs must stand up to this and insist that their meeting is valid, formal, and binding upon Amtgard in accordance with the Corpora. Only by acting with honor and determination can the monarchs defeat treachery and lies.

This means we have to ask ourselves a few simple questions. Do we trust the King of the Burning Lands to put out the fire before it burns Amtgard down? Do we trust the Captain of Archon to put the breaks on Armaggedon? Do we trust the President of the BLBOD to uphold the Corpora of Amtgard? As I've said before, we have to... because if he doesn't reform the game that handed him four white belts, the title of Grand Duke and a kingdom seven times over, someone else will.

The first emperors of China were corrupt men, each one more wicked than the last. Their evil grew worse and worse over thousands of years until the worst emperor of all was finally overthrown by a noble, good man.

It is up to Aramithris to decide how history will record him in the dynasty of Burning Lands kings.

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