I often say that there is no harder job in Lochac than that of running a small shire. Leading and building a small group is Hard Work, and my admiration for those who have served as seneschals and officers is boundless.
When a group is being established, it needs a minimum set of people to take on officer roles, and to establish local versions of those routines which make a shire, canton or college: fighter training; arts and sciences meetings; garbed events and the all-important Council Meetings and Reporting. The catch is, written guidebooks, procedures and role descriptions can only take you so far. Sooner or later, you need someone who has been there and done that to offer practical advice.
If you read our New Groups Guide, a great resource (no, I didn't write it), it includes a requirement for any proposed new group to be sponsored by an existing barony or shire. That's not Lochac Law, or Corpora - it is simply in there because past Kingdom Seneschals have realised that any new group's chances of survival are massively improved if they have an established group helping them to find their way. And, in most cases, if someone wants to start a new group, it's not too hard to work out which is the nearest barony or shire to support them.
When the proposed new group is in China, there is no nearest barony. Asking a single group to act as sponsor is no longer the obvious answer. In fact, all of our kingdom and group officers need to be on notice to help out as needed, and every one of us needs to be ready to offer advice and moral support where possible. I would ask any of our members who happen to be planning a business trip or holiday near Nanjing to check whether there is anything they can carry over, or do while they're there. Fortunately, that is just normal behaviour for Lochac - stopping our populace from offering help and advice would be more of a challenge.
I would never want or try to stand in the way of our populace as they rise to the challenge of helping a new group form. But I do hope to ensure that energy is well-used. To that end, please make sure you keep my Deputy of Empire Building, Minamoto no Hideaki, informed of your efforts, and take guidance on where you can be of greatest service.
Lochac! Imperium in imperio.
Yours in service,
Lord Nicodemus Novello
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