It is now two years since I stepped up as Kingdom Seneschal, and the time has come for me to pass the office on to my most worthy successor, Baron Lachlahn Dunbar. Now that he has committed himself to the role, I think it is only fair to let him know what he is getting into.
When I was confirmed as Kingdom Seneschal at November Crown in Dismal Fogs, many of the people present took a moment to congratulate me. I would thank them, except that every single person — no exceptions, none! — used the phrase &lquo;congratulations and commiserations.&rquo; Defiantly, I accepted the congratulations and rejected their sympathy. Two years later, I am proud to say that I Was Right. I've had the most wonderful time in office, and they can all keep their commiserations.
When I asked about the role before volunteering, Viscountess Cairistiona and Master Bartholomew told me what it could involve. In detail. Sparing nothing. I listened to them for (no joke) twenty minutes, before I asked &lquo;yes, but is there anything good about the job?&rquo; After a couple of moments&rquo; reflection, they said &lquo;you get to meet some wonderful people!&rquo; Since I had already been in the Society for a quarter of a century, I wasn't sure there was anyone left to meet, but as far as that is concerned, I am very pleased to say I Was Wrong. I can't count the number of people I have met, many of whom I had known for years — but now I have seen them in a much brighter light, as people striving to make Lochac a better place to live.
Like Russia, Lochac is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. We have no mission statement, and no goal. Some of us compete for the Crown, yet after fighting to win it, and giving enormously while they hold it, they gladly surrender it. For most, formal recognition through awards is far less important than the sheer joy of building their skills, or giving service. Lochac continues to exist for its own sake, and because we love it. It is a place we design by mostly–unspoken consensus, and while there are sometimes ferocious arguments about how we should do things, the truth is those arguments are vanishingly rare, compared to the number of decisions that are made peaceably. Given how opinionated most of us are, I have no idea how we do that.
The last two years have flown by. Like most officers before me, the thing I look forward to about stepping down is having time to follow through on some of the projects I saw a need for while I was serving, but didn't have time to do. And, like Cairistiona and Bartholomew, the thing I will look back on most fondly is the amazing people I have come to know — through all of the different ways that they strive to make Lochac not just a kingdom, but a community. I lied when I said &lquo;farewell&rquo;: seriously, where else would I want to live?
Yours in service,
Lord Nicodemus Novello