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Houses of Elanthia
Part 1 · Revision 2.2

· Terminology
· Membership Requirements
· Services
· Operating Procedures
· Initiation of New Members
· Explusion of Members
· Investiture of House Officers
· Finances and Financing
· Emergency Actions
· Summary of commands

Houses part 1 · Houses part 2 · current Houses

Houses of Elanthia are established by players using the rules outlined in this document. Requirements for leadership include being a dedicated player who wishes to put forth the effort to setup, maintain and rule the house structure. The player should also be a good roleplayer because many of the activities involved in the house system are best played in the strict guise of your character.

This documentation is for players wishing to join a house and those wishing to establish one. Because more players will be joining a house than setting up one, the membership information is presented first. Be SURE to see the House ground rules at the end of this document.

Terminology

What is a House?
Houses are player-run organizations recognized by the local government as a private cooperative. Think of them as private clubs, whereas "Homes" are personal dwellings.

Benefits of House membership include:

· private property ownership - design and construct a large manor house.

· private and secure meeting areas - designate sections of your house (or the entire thing) as members-only.

· storage facilities - extra locker space for all House members.

· the ability to rent the the Gladiatorial Arena - hold privately sponsored Games and reap the benefits.

· custom coat of arms

· political objectives

· roleplaying opportunities

· loan services

Thinking about joining a House? Check the list!

Coat of Arms
A standardized symbolic pictogram which is registered to each House as its method of identification. Members often have their Coat of Arms inscribed on their shields. The design of the Arms shall be subject to approval and editing by the House Coordinator and should be presented in ASCII format no larger than 60 characters wide and 20 characters high. Possible submission of full color Arms to be included in the front-end program may be available at a later time.

Colors
Each House also has official colors (a two-color combination) used to identify itself.

Cooperative Houses of Elanthia (CHE)
A loose organization of Houses of Elanthia, headed by the Ruling Council, whose purpose is to set standards of behavior. Although this organization has little official power, its decisions are generally accepted by all Houses as final, especially when issued in the name of the Council.

House
Short for House of Elanthia; an organization recognized by local government whose purpose is to promote the social, professional and political goals of its membership.

House Controller
The GameMaster who is responsible for the overseeing of House establishment and maintenance. The Controller is also a point of contact for the Officers of a House in the event that GameMaster assistance is needed (such as checking for a rerolled character that may have defaulted on a Loan). In general, his or her decisions will be considered final, though normal channels of appeal may be conducted through GemStone Feedback as outlined in the GemStone Policy statements.

House of Elanthia
The official term for a House. Only certain lands of Elanthia recognize the stature of this title; however, the organizations employ the name of their world instead of their island in a vain attempt to believe otherwise.

House Officers
There are three primary House Officer positions, and three secondary positions. It is up to each individual House and its bylaws to define where the power lies with each position. For example, a House may invest its Chairman and Co-Chairman with identical authority. Or, a House may instead allow the Chairman to have foremost authority with a Co-Chairman subordinate to him or her.

  1. House Chairman and Co-Chairman : The leader of the organization and responsible for the initial establishment of the House. The House Chairman has authority over all decisions and actions of the House organization and is also ultimately responsible for the same.
  2. House Secretary and Co-Secretary : Responsible for all official correspondence, record-keeping and reports to local government.
  3. House Treasurer and Co-Treasurer : Chief financial officer and responsible for maintaining the financial records of the House and seeing that all debts are paid and expenses are accounted. The House Treasurer will also issue financial reports as required in the prescribed manner of the House by-laws.

Local Government
The simulated bureaucracy of Wehnimer's Landing which is controlled in a roleplaying fashion by the GameMasters.

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Membership Requirements

In order to avoid membership padding, the Cooperative of Houses of Elanthia, under instruction from local government, has set minimum standards for membership into a House. Each House, however, may impose additional restrictions as it sees fit.

1. A member must be at least level 5.

2. The membership offering (initial fee) must be at least 5,000 silvers.

3. The member must not be a member of any other House, nor have been a member of any other house for a period of four weeks. (NOTE: Any discovery of a House knowingly violating this rule will result in a fine equal to a minimum of one month's taxes as determined by INQUIRE.)

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Services

Each House may offer special services besides their benefits of being an organization. Some of these services are optional.

Engraved Coat of Arms

Each House may offer a service where the coat of arms (as registered) is engraved on a shield. Only the registered coat of arms may be engraved on a shield (some materials or special shields may resist the attempt). To have an item engraved, you must have the item in hand, go to the Engraver's Shop, and then ENGRAVE <item>. Cost for engraving is 10% of value, minimum of 250, maximum of 2,500. The House's cost for registering a coat of arms is 50,000 silvers. Any change to this after acceptance will be allowed upon payment of a 50,000 silver fee in addition to the usual additional cost of registration.

Loans

A House may make loans to its membership and is responsible for the integrity of the loan system. If abuses are discovered, then the House will lose the favor of local government and be dissolved and its officers blacklisted from joining other Houses or forming another House.

The House Treasurer is empowered to make loans to its membership as per the House rules. Both the local government and the CHE have standardized this practice and strictly enforce it among the recognized Houses of Elanthia. The Treasurer is responsible for tracking the loans and collecting payments.

a. Loan Qualifications

The House may loan funds only to the membership of the House. The borrower must be at least level 10 and have been a member of the House for a minimum of one month to qualify for a loan.

Each member may have only one outstanding loan at any given time.

The borrower must not have defaulted on any other loans.

The House Treasurer is responsible for approval of all loan applications.

b. Loan Amounts

The amount of the loan is negotiable by the Treasurer; however, it is important that the Treasurer maintain enough of a balance in the House's General Funds account to handle the demand for loans. The standard interest rate is 10%.

c. Payments

It is the responsibility of the House Treasurer to track loans to its membership. Loans are collected monthly by the Treasurer. The minimum payment is 20% of the outstanding balance. All amounts due are rounded up.

Late payments incur a 5% penalty after 10 days delinquent. Any members who have late payments over 5 days will have their membership suspended until payment is made.

d. Defaulting

A member who is over 30 days delinquent on a loan payment, has defaulted on the loan unless some other payment arrangements have been made.

A character who dies/rerolls will transfer the outstanding debt to the heir (next character) of the character, however the membership in the House does not transfer. A Treasurer who suspects a character has rerolled may ask for verification from the House Controller.

Storage Facility

If a House builds a storage facility it may offer this service to its members. The storage facility will allocate a locker for each of its members where they can store objects. The limitations of the locker system will be detailed in a separate document.

Dispute Resolution

The House organizations offer two forms of dispute resolution. Acceptance into the membership of a House also includes acceptance of the dispute resolution system, for better or for worse. The following systems are the normal (lawful) procedures for dispute resolution, however Houses have been known to take other actions covertly in response to the needs of one of their membership.

a. Internal Disputes

Disputes among members of the same House are resolved by a tribunal system using the normal tribunal rules. The judges must be members of the House but otherwise are selected by the rules of the tribunal system.

Enforcement of the tribunal decisions is not automatic; however if the party which does not prevail will not submit to the decision of the tribunal judges then that member is expelled from the House membership and is blacklisted from membership in any other House.

If a character refuses to be part of a tribunal, then the House Chairman may be petitioned to force a tribunal at his discretion. If the character still refuses he is in default and expelled from the membership as per the above condition.

The internal Tribunal system differs (as shown above) in a few ways from the open tribunal system, and this system has been adopted by the Cooperative of Houses of Elanthia. The bylaws of a House may modify some of these above procedures but only as regards the disposition of rulings as regards the officers of the House. Therefore the bylaws may state that the Chairman of the House has veto power (especially true if an autocratic governing system is adopted, but this should be stated in the bylaws, not just implied).

b. External Disputes

If the two parties in a dispute are members of different Houses then the complainant may petition the Chairman of his or her House to request a tribunal from the other character's House. The Chairman, after reviewing the facts, may then contact the Chairman of the other House and attempt to arrange a Tribunal which works similarly to the Internal Dispute system with the exception that one judge must come from each House and the third judge must be a member of neither house. It is very bad form for a Chairman to refuse to bind one of his/her members to a tribunal that has merit unless the two Houses are not on good terms. The Cooperative of Houses of Elanthia has made a standard of allowing for House to House membership dispute resolutions in this manner. If the Chairman refuses, the member may try for an open tribunal; however given the circumstances this is unlikely to work.

If the other party of the dispute is not a member of any House, and will not submit to a tribunal, then, after review of the facts, the Chairman may submit a request to the CHE to blacklist the character from joining any other Houses. The CHE maintains a general blacklist which most Houses should respect regardless of circumstances.

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Operating Procedures

1. There shall at all times, except when a house is newly chartered, be at least three HOUSE OFFICERS, with the option of filling all six spots. These are the house CHAIRMAN and CO-CHAIRMAN, who are responsible for the induction and expulsion of house members and the investiture of house officers; the house SECRETARY and CO-SECRETARY, who keep the diary of the house and handle the official correspondence of the house, and the house TREASURER and CO-TREASURER, who are in charge of the finances of the house. A person may hold only one office at a time. Note: Internal/Free accounts are not eligible to hold office, although they are welcome to be general members.

2. GAMEMASTERS may act as House Officers. In certain circumstances, such as when House Officers are not available, not yet elected, or when the GameMaster decides, in his or her infinite wisdom, that it is necessary, a GameMaster may act as a House Officer. Due to the doctrine of GameMaster infallibility, witnesses, normally required for some House rituals, are not required when these rituals are performed by a GameMaster.

3. Official business of the house, such as the initiation of new members, investiture of officers, and management of house finances, may only be done in the presence of the Clerk of the Cooperative of Houses of Elanthia, whose office can be found in Moot Hall.

4. The sole exception to the previous rule is expulsion of house members (see below).

5. Residence of Officers: All House Officers must spend a minimum of 8 hours a month resident in the town or all known surrounding lands. If the House is a public one that accepts applications from the populace, the said Officers must make their presence known on at least four occasions during each month in such a manner that applicants may seek them out for questions or other business as well as the general public or other Houses who may have need of consulting. Failure to maintain these standards may result in penalties or dissolution of the House as outlined elsewhere in this document.

6. Residence of Members: To maintain active House status, a House must have a minimum of ten active members at any given time. An active member is defined as a player who has been in the game a minimum of four hours per month. In the event of a very small membership base, a House may provide for reasonable absences for vacations, school, etc. Aside from the House Officers and the minimum of five active members, no requirements are placed on other House members as to the minimum amount of time they must spend in the game.

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Initiation of New Members

1. It having been determined by the House that a person is worthy of membership, the Chairman of the House, the prospective new member, and a witness (the witness being either the Secretary of the House, the Treasurer of the House, or a GameMaster), will proceed to the Office of the Clerk.

2. The person to be inducted will kneel. He or she will have on his or her person a sum of silver equaling or exceeding the Initiation fee of the House.

3. The House Chairman shall stand before the inductee, his or her right hand holding a weapon, and left hand empty.

4. The House Chairman will then INITIATE <person>. For example, INITIATE MIRIANI.

5. The Ritual of Induction will then commence.

6. In the event the Chairman of the House cannot be located, the services of a GameMaster may be used instead, if one be available and willing. This request must come from another House Officer and will entail a fee of 10,000 silvers for special services. If the initiation is performed by a GM, the House Officer shall forward to the House Coordinator a letter detailing the event and explaining why the Chairman could not be found. Abuse of this will be a presumption of resignation by the Chairman and withdrawal from the House, absent reasonable emergencies.

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Expulsion of Members

1. In the event that expulsion becomes necessary, the House Chairman and a witness (as described above in Initiation of New Members), shall physically confront the member to be expelled.

2. The House Chairman will then EXPEL <member>. For example, EXPEL MIRIANI.

3. The Ritual of Expulsion will then commence.

4. This procedure may take place at any location.

5. If the member to be expelled is uncooperative, assistance may be sought from the House Controller, who can expel a member regardless of his/her location. This service is at the discretion of the House Controller.

6. In all cases above not otherwise covered, a GameMaster may be used provided a fee is paid and explanations submitted as listed above.

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Investiture of House Officers

1. It having been determined by the House that a change of Officers is needful, the Chairman of the House, the new officer, and a witness (as described above in Initiation of New Members), will proceed to the Office of the Clerk.

2. The Chairman may not invest himself with another office. He or she must first invest another house member with the office of Chairman, and then in turn be invested.

3. The Secretary or Treasurer may be invested as one of the other officers. In this situation, all three officers must be present: the Chairman to do the investiture, the officer being invested, and the other officer as a witness.

4. When an officer is invested with a new office, the previous officeholder is invested with the invested officer's original offices. Thus, if the Secretary is invested as Chairman, the Chairman becomes the Secretary.

5. As in the Initiation ceremony, the person to be invested shall kneel, and the Chairman shall stand before him or her with weapon in right hand and left hand empty.

6. The Chairman shall then INVEST <person> AS <office>. For example, INVEST MIRIANI AS SECRETARY.

7. The Ritual of Investiture will then commence.

8. Again, in an emergency, a GM may be consulted as noted in several passages above.

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Finances and Financing

1. The House Treasurer is responsible for the financial well-being of the House. Only the Treasurer may withdraw money from the House Accounts, borrow money on behalf of the House, or prepay such loans.

2. All financial dealings must be done in the presence of the Clerk.

3. Each House has a GENERAL FUNDS Account, an ENDOWMENT, MONTHLY EXPENSES, and a LOAN BALANCE.

4. The names of House officers, and the state of the House finances, are available to all House members. Simply INQUIRE of the Clerk.

5. Any House member may DEPOSIT <amount> into the General Funds account.

6. Any House member may ENDOW <amount> into the Endowment. The Endowment is inviolate, and may never be reduced. Each month, a sum equal to 5% of the Endowment is added to the General Funds account.

7. Only the Treasurer may WITHDRAW <amount> from the General Funds Account.

8. Only the Treasurer may BORROW <amount> from the Cooperative. A House may not borrow more than their current Endowment, except in the case of the original incorporation of the House. A 10% "loan origination" fee is deducted from the loan amount, and the remainder is placed in the General Funds account. Each month, 20% of the current outstanding amount must be repaid from the General Funds account. This sum consists of interest payments of 10%, plus principal repayment of 10%.

9. Only the Treasurer may PREPAY <amount> off the current outstanding loan balance. A 5% prepayment penalty will be assessed.

10. If the House charges monthly dues to its members, it is the responsibility of the Secretary to collect these dues from members and deposit them into the General Funds account.

11. In the event that a House is unable to provide for its monthly obligations, and its General Funds account becomes negative, no House members, other than officers, will be allowed into the premises of the House, until such time as the deficit has been repaired.

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Emergency Action by House Members

In all cases not covered above, or in the absence of all known Officers, a written petition from remaining House members may be submitted begging aid in Investing new Officers if accompanied by bona fide signatures (as by email letters) of a majority of known active House members or of such a number as may be found that will satisfy the Coordinator. New Officers shall be appointed and a record made of the proceedings in case of dispute. Fees for service may be waived in dire emergency at coordinator discretion.

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Summary of commands
Chairman Only:
INITIATE <player>

EXPEL <player>

INVEST <player> AS [CHAIRMAN | SECRETARY | TREASURER | CO-CHAIRMAN | CO-SECRETARY | CO-TREASURER]


Treasurer Only:

WITHDRAW <amount>

BORROW <amount>

PREPAY <amount>


Any Member:

INQUIRE

DEPOSIT <amount>

ENDOW <amount>

 

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