Fiats, Ukases and Vetoes

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Fiat, Ukase and Veto as Means of Creation of Pseudohistory in Ill Bethisad


Pic fiat.jpg

One of the fundamental means by which the IB project functions is the judicious use of the fiat. Of course, I am not refering to the Fiat automobile, such as this cute 1966 model 850, but to the flat out statement that a certain thing or event Shall Be So, even though they may be modified by later discussion. Historically, all of Kemr -- its basic functioning, basic aspects of its language and culture -- were all products of Andrew's calling into artistic existence the language called Brithenig and thereafter the people that speak it (the Fiat Ill Bethisad). Dunein was similarly called into existence (the Brownian Fiat), but all non-British locations were subsequently arrived at by means of proposition, discussion and modification of proposals. As creator of this alternative history and shared world, Andrew's early Authority also extended to grants of Membership; such grants are now made based on criteria of interest in IB and / or the integration of a prospective proposal within the framework of IB.

Some people can get away with doing this sort of thing, while others can't. Naturally, when a Member takes over custodianship of a territory, he has a certain ability to order that territory as he sees fit, within the general framework of IB. Thus, since they have only limited regional effects, things like quasihistorical persons, political parties and dialects spring up based solely on the whim of the caretaker. Events or places that might have a more world-affecting nature can not be so whimsically created. The very notion of something that might detrimentally affect the framework of IB would be discussed and drastically modified; perhaps even vetoed if the breach would be serious enough. While each caretaker has a greater or lesser ability to make such fiats, some others, the generally accepted Powers that Be have a much greater lattitude in issuing fiats, ukazes, vetoes as well as initiating and influencing fundamental discussions about the nature of IB and the project itself.

Sometimes a fiat can be issued which negates a previous creation. The only extant example of this counter-fiat is the rather upsetting one that involved the removal of the "British Elves" from the Kemrese Marches (the Fiat of Rheimeier), after several quite regrettable exchanges. (In the End, it is perhaps best that this was done, as it has allowed Joerg a much greater freedom to pursue their history, culture and language within their own context, rather than within the particular mix of IB.) Many other things have indeed been removed from the canons of IB reality, such as the quite whimsical "militant Buddhist Russia" scenario; but they have been laid to their rest after discussions and counter proposals. Once removed, it was decided that the British Elves could not return as such return would violate QSS, the QSS being "There are no Elves in Kemr, and Nur-ellen isn't spoken *there*. Nor is there a city named Tafrobl there. It never existed. It was all a mirage. Rethinking it, I came to the conclusion that it is a bag on the side as awful as _Highlander II_." We can't be having with Members playing Hokey-Pokey with their parts of IB, putting them in and taking them out and putting them in again. That's not what IB is all about!

The ukase, or autocratic decree, is a very rarely used means of maintaining the structure of IB; it is used to apply to a broad range of fact, or the Structure of Reality itself and has never been used to create history in IB. One example I can think of was the Ukase Pro Tessla: it allowed Nikolai Tesla's ideas to work within IB's reality, whether they really work or not. Another was the Ukase Pro Commonwealth which was intended to delineate the extent of the Commonwealth of Nations during a period when Africa and various minor locations were being discussed, thus maintaining a basic understanding of IB: that Britain and her influence in the world ought to be similar to *here*.

The veto, or outright denial of some proposal or admission of a prospective Member, has to my knowledge, never been issued during the history of the project.

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