Gathering Charter Winter 1102
This charter is binding upon any nation who is a signatory of the charter, and shall be considered part of the law of that nation. No law of a signatory nation may create exceptions or direct contradictions to the stipulations of this charter.
Nation – Any group of sentient beings in posession of land on or under Erdreja, provided that such posession is not disputed, in part or whole by a Signatory.
Signatory – Any Nation that is currently a signed-up member of this Charter.
Petitioner – Any Nation that requests to become a Signatory.
Guild – any organised body of sentient beings whose reason for organising is their posession of specific related skills.
1. All Signatories will send representatives (not to exceed 1000 individual citizens) to attend the Gathering of Nations and one or other Moot, each year. These will be Hosted by one or more Signatories or a Petitioner, according to prior arrangement and fair rotation, on land owned by one of the Host Nations, that is directly adjacent to a working Ritual Circle.
2. In any dispute between Signatories that cannot be resolved by diplomacy, the disputants undertake to settle the matter on the field of honour at the Moots or Gathering, at the next available opportunity. This does not affect or impede any Nation’s right to defend its land or people from internal or external attack.
3. No Signatory shall invade, or cause to be invaded, another Signatory’s lands.
4. Any Signatory has the power to convene a meeting of the Grand Council. The Grand Council will consist of the Lord General of each Signatory, or their appointed Plenipotentiary. For the procedural rules of the Grand Council, see Appendix A.
5. A Ritual of Peace shall cover both Moots and the Gathering of Nations. Honour battles will only be covered by a Ritual of Peace if ordered by the Grand Council.
6. All Guilds may request that they be recognised as neutral powers by the Grand Council. The Grand Council will require the officers of the Guild to sign an undertaking in order that they be Recognised. This undertaking is detailed in Appendix B.
7. Recognised Guilds may not be interfered with, or their business subjected to disruption within the lands of any Signatory. Each Signatory has a duty to protect Recognised Guilds from such interference within their own lands.
8. Signatories and Recognised Guilds may initiate a Complaint against any other Signatory or Recognised Guild if they can provide evidence that will demonstrate a failure to adhere to the stipulations of this Charter. The Complaints Procedure is detailed in Appendix C.
9. At the Gathering and Moots, the Host(s) shall set aside individual portions of land within one mile of the Ritual Circle, sufficient for the use of each Signatory and Recognised Guild in attendance. All other land, within five miles of the Ritual Circle, shall be common ground. Petitioners may arrange guest status within one of the camps of a Signatory. Traders may be sold space on the common land to ply their wares.
10. The laws of any Signatory or Recognised Guild will be upheld within the allocated boundaries of that Nation or Guild.
11. The common area will be covered by the laws of the host(s) and the common laws detailed in Appendix D. Where there is a contradiction, the common laws take precedence, and the Grand Council has the authority to suspend such local laws as will interfere with the smooth operation of the meeting.
12. The Host(s) of a Moot or Gathering may not permit any army or other military force (other than the representatives of the attendees) to approach within the Common Land surrounding the Gathering or Moot.
13. A Signatory must give one year’s notice before withdrawing from membership of the Charter.
Grand Council Procedural Rules
1. The first order of business is to elect a Speaker from the members. This will be done by majority vote, with the candidate receiving the lowest vote dropping out after each round. Candidates must be proposed and seconded to be eligible. The out-going Speaker will administer the vote, and is excluded from being a candidate.
2. Once elected, the Speaker will create an agenda from all those Signatories and Recognised Guilds who wish to be heard. Complaints that have met the requirements of the Complaints Procedure will be heard last, except that, the Signatory who convened the meeting will always have their first item of business heard first.
3. The Speaker has the right to defer any business, other than the convening Signatory’s first item of business and any Complaints, until a future meeting.
4. No-one may speak unless invited to do so by the Speaker. Once given, the Speaker may not withdraw permission to speak from a Signatory until that person yields the floor, but may do so from any other person.
5. The Grand Council may pass Resolutions by a one Signatory one vote method.
6. Any Resolution passed unanimously, including modifications to the Charter, is to be considered binding on all Signatories and Recognised Guilds, under the Charter. Otherwise, if it is passed by a majority, the Resolution is only advisory.
Statement of Guild Neutrality
1. The Guild agrees that its operations will be subject to all laws of the land in which the operation exists.
2. The Guild will remain neutral in stance and fact in any dispute between Signatories.
3. The Guild will admit any citizen of a Signatory as a member of the Guild, provided that they meet the minimum standard of ability, as specified in Guild literature.
4. The Guild will not enact laws over their members which directly contravene the laws of any Signatory.
5. The Guild must give one year’s notice if they no longer wish to be bound by this undertaking.
1. A Complaint must be submitted in writing, with a copy given to every Signatory and the Accused (who may be either a Signatory or Recognised Guild) at least 24 hours before the Council is due to begin.
2. The Accused must provide a written Response to the Complaint, with a copy given to all the Signatories and the Complainant at least one hour before the Council is due to begin.
3. If the Grand Council upholds the Complaint, it may impose whatever penalty on the Accused it deems fit.
4. If the Grand Council finds that the Complaint is not proven, and in addition that the Complainant initiated the Complaint for reasons contrary to the spirit of the Charter, they may impose a penalty on the Complainant.
5. Penalties may range from monetary fines, payable in restitution to any citizens of Signatories or members of Recognised Guilds who are considered the victims of the breach, up to (but not limited to) the transfer of an Artefact, gifted in security of safekeeping for a year and a day, to the Complainant.
6. The Complainant and Accused may not vote on any Resolution arising directly from the Complaint.
1. Common law applies to all citizens of Signatories and members of Recognised Guilds, during the Gathering of Nations and the Moots, while they are in attendance of those events and on designated Common Land.
2. The following are considered crimes:
Pattern Corruption (without prior written consent, freely given)
Interfering with the Ambassadors of Signatories, Petitioners or Recognised Guilds
Obstructing a member of the Militia in the performance of their duties.
3. Penalties for breaking these laws will reflect the severity of the crime and be decided on a case by case basis by the Host Nation, according to their custom.