The Adrian Empire is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study and recreation of Western European culture between the years 1066 and 1603. Its members work to recreate the arts and skills of this era. They also include other cultures that commonly interacted with the Western Europeans during this time frame. This exciting development means there is now even more rich history, culture, and tradition to explore!
Most local groups meet once per month, although wars can occur two or three times per year. Members dress in authentic (or authentic-looking) clothes to lend to a genuine feel of the time period. Non-members are welcome to attend in their normal clothing.
There are four main types of participation:
- Combat - Adrian Combat consists of four types: Shinai, Renaissance Schlager, Renaissance Cut and Thrust, and Armored. It is the Armored combat which distinguishes Adria from other historical reenactment groups such as the SCA (although there are many other so-called "metal weapons" or live steel groups). It consists of unchoreographed, live combat with real (although blunt) steel weapons, including swords, maces, battle axes, spears, and other weapons.
- Archery - Archery proper consists of target archery using simple bows and wooden-shafted arrows. A second form is combat archery, which uses a light, fiberglass shaft with a foam head to allow archers to participate in combat scenarios in wars.
- Robe (Arts & Sciences) - The arts and sciences includes making items that existed within the time period and using appropriate methods to make them. Arts projects are judged on completion and count toward victory in war.
- Ministry - Ministry covers most tasks which aid in the smooth running of an event and the organization as a whole. Participation can be gained by holding Ministry positions (e.g. being the head of an estate at any level, being the court herald, keeping the rolls of attendees at an event) or by performing tasks during an event (such as water-bearing for combat participants)
Advancement within the organization includes earning a knighthood and other titles by participating in at least one of the above categories.
The Adrian Empire is a feudal-styled parliamentary republic. From the top down, every member is directly represented by somebody within the organization. And, unlike modern parliamentary governments such as that of England, the current ruling nobles (Crowns) share in the political process.
The Adrian Empire is composed of the following types of chartered subdivisions, all of whom have a local government, as well as representation on the Imperial government:
- The Empire - This includes all of the continental United States and part of Canada, whether or not there are other chartered subdivisions in the region. The Empire is governed by the Emperor and Empress.
- Kingdoms - These are chartered subdivisions that have 100 or more members. They are governed by a king and queen.
- Archduchies - Smaller than kingdoms, these chartered subdivisions have memberships between 50 and 99. They are governed by an Archduke and/or Archduchess.
- Duchies - Even smaller, these chartered subdivisions have a stable membership of at least 20. They are governed by a Duke and/or Duchess.
- Shires - Newly formed chartered subdivisions who have members numbering between 1 and 19. They are governed by a Viceroy and/or Vicereine, who act as the voice of the Emperor and Empress.
These chartered subdivisions may also form cantons.
Any of the above estates may have a membership above the normal numbers for that level, if they have not existed at that level for long enough to be elevated. (Example: a shire may have more than twenty members, but has not existed the minimum one year or perhaps does not have active ministers, or has not been having events regularly enough to advance.)
The other type of political entity in Adria is called an Estate, which is a non-geographic subdivision. Estates have different names based on size, ranging from the five person household up to the 50+ member march. These estates can also be subdivided into other estates (for example, a 15 person barony can contain three houses). The heads of these estates have a noble title and may vote in their local rule-making body, called a local estates meeting. Large enough estates are considered part of the Estates Royal and may also vote in the Imperial rule-making body, as well as the two most senior estates for a subdivision.
Another type of title and rank available is a knighthood. There are four paths of knighthood, in ministry (service to the organization), combat, archery, and the arts. Knighthood in the Adrian Empire is awarded following a merit-based system. For each discipline (arts, archery, combat, and ministry), there are certain time and skill milestones that must be met before advancing in rank. There are no restrictions to knighthood based on gender. Only combat (for safety reasons) has any minimum age requirements.
For each classification of knighthood an individual may attain a first, second, and third level knighthood, the title of which changes based on level and area.
- Combat - Knights in Combat are known as Knight Bachelor, Knight Banneret, Knight Champion.
- Arts & Sciences - Knights in Arts & Sciences are known as Knight Robe, Knight Master, Knight Doctor.
- Archery - Knights in Archery are known as Knight Archer, Knight Forester, Knight Warden.
- Ministry - Knights in Ministry are Knight Minister, Knight Civil, Knight Premiere.
The last official entity within Adria is known as the Church of Adria, led at an Imperial level by the Patriarch. While there are no official dogma, canon, or religious beliefs associated with the Church, the organization follows a structure similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church. The members of the Church of Adria can rise in rank from being Deacons & Archdeacons (often called priests, brothers, sisters, or fathers) to the rank of Bishop and Archbishop before petitioning to become Patriarch. The Church of Adria's primary purpose within the Empire is to provide the ritual (coronations, oaths, etc) that fell under the domain of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe during the medieval time period. The Church of Adria exists for the sole purpose of providing the pomp, circumstance, and presence that the church provided in the Middle Ages and should not be construed to be either a political or religious organization. Ranks within the church are recognized by courtesy as equivalent to other ranks within the organization and may be accorded similar privileges.
Chartered Subdivisions of the Adrian Empire
- Kingdom of Castilles (southern tip of Florida)
- Kingdom of Terre Neuve (southern San Diego and Imperial Counties, California)
- Kingdom of York (central and northern Florida)
- Kingdom of Esperance (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, California)
- Kingdom of Umbria (Arizona)
- Archduchy of Albion (Nevada)
- Archduchy of Alhambra (Idaho, Washington, western Montana, and British Columbia)
- Canton of Amorium (Republic, Washington, and North Fork, British Columbia)
- Canton of Brunico (Richland, Kennewick and Pasco, Washington)
- Canton of Gaeth Fionn (western half of Montana)
- Canton of Mar Bella (Seattle metro area)
- Canton of Silvervale (British Columbia)
- Canton of Strewe (Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho; Pullman and Clarkson, Washington)
- Canton of Urar Tiene (Spokane, Washington)
- Archduchy of Brandenburg (northern San Diego County, California)
- Archduchy of Kincora (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
- Archduchy of Vingulf (Nevada)
- Duchy of Andorra (Illinois and Iowa)
- Duchy of Cambridge (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont)
- Duchy of Cashel (Virginia, less Richmond-Petersburg area)
- Duchy of Chesapeake (Maryland and DC)
- Duchy of Ekaterinegorod (Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and eastern Montana)
- Canton of Winterhaven (Grand Junction, Colorado)
- Duchy of Kildare (South Carolina)(Now Defunct)
- Duchy of Gloucester (Oregon)
- Duchy of Sangrael (Temecula, Lake Elsinore, and Hemet, California)
- Duchy of Somerset (northern Indiana and northern Ohio)
- Shire of Isle de Morte (Arizona)
- Shire of Bedegraine (Tennessee)
- Shire of Burgandy (northeastern Pennsylvania)
- Shire of Carolingia (Bay area counties, California)
- Shire of Galloway (North Carolina)
- Shire of Nassau (Minnesota)
- Shire of New Exeter (Missouri)
- Shire of Templemor (Richmond and central Virginia)
- Shire of Valencia (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania)