Lessons of Alnor Arsgrisson

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Alnor Arsgrisson grew up in and around the city of Stornomark in Harlskaang. He never desired rulership of Jankaping or its law holdings, but fate does not respect a young man?s wishes.
King Alnor seems blind to the friction between the various Rjurik factions present in
his realm. He looks on many of his own people ? even his own advisers and lieutenants ?
as backward yokels who cannot learn from history or from the successes of other realms. If he must rule Jankaping, Alnor has decided, he will drag its people into the sixteenth century or die trying.
Despite the obvious blunders King Alnor has committed since his acension to realm rulership, he does have a basic plan for controlling his holdings and provinces. The King of Jankaping?s basic strategies for governance can be summarized as follows:
Lead from the front

King Alnor truly practices what he preaches. He lives in the only city in Jankaping and spends most of his time there. He encourages others of his people to form permanent settlements in the southern provinces, and wants them to go north only in the summer
on fishing and hunting trips.
Rewards are more effective than punishments

Even though two prominent jarls have essentially rebelled against King Alnor?s rules and
his wishes, he hasn?t sent his army after them or tried to break the people to his will. He declared, early on, that he had little interest in the northern provinces, and when some of his subjects expressed a preference for their nomadic lifestyle, he did not force them back into the fold.
Confidence is key

While King Alnor may not be popular with all of his people, he does not back away from a challenge. Essentially, by rebelling against his new ideas and new way of doing things, the jarls of Aaldvaar and Aaldnjor have said they can provide a better life for their people. King Alnor wants to see them put their tradition where their mouths are ? he thinks the Rjurik people are ready to move into permanent settlements and that his side will win the war of comfort and stability.
True kingship may not be a popularity contest, but few regents of Cerilia would have achieved such a lofty goal. The people of Jankaping, Rjuriks all, tend to take a ?show me? attitude toward their young king. If he does not win their trust and respect, his power won?t last long as power drifts to the jarls. The mistakes King Alnor has made might come back to him in no uncertain ways.
No one should be allowed to flaunt the power of the true king

Even if King Alnor believes his ways can triumph over the old ways of the Rjurik, he can?t allow open rebellion to exist within his kingdom if he wants to rule. While a few enlightened subjects might see his unwillingness to attack the rebel jarls and their followers, the masses believe he is a weak king with no real motivation to lead ? and they aren?t far wrong.
If you lead from the front, you may leave someone behind

Kings of Cerilia, as well as other rulers, tend to be conservative. They might introduce change or invite progress, but they seldom advocate it as strongly as King Alnor has. Essentially, the young regent of Jankaping has said to his people, ?this is my policy; love it or lump it.? Too many of his own jarls and the commoners they represent do not love it and the regent may take a few lumps of his own. They feel Alnor isn?t remaining true to the traditions of the Rjurik people and that he can?t be trusted with the rulership of the kingdom.
Advisers aren?t just drains on the treasury

King Alnor practically ignores the advice of his lieutenants and advisers. He chose a lonely path to walk and doesn?t want to hear dissent from his own staff. That?s fine ? but if a king doesn?t like the advice he?s getting, he should replace his advisers. Having popular, powerful, political foes in his own cabinet does the king no good at all. If King Alnor learns to listen to those who offer dissenting advice, they might prove to be allies. Otherwise, like Sir Thorgrim, Alnor?s cousin, they?ll grow discontented and desire power for themselves.
Don?t disparage tradition ? it got you there

Kings and other regents shouldn?t ignore how they got to be rulers of their realms. King Alnor became regent of Jankaping because the inheritance practices favor brothers over sons ? a tradition not held in all realms. If the king wants to dispose of some traditions, regardless of the desires of his people, he might put into question all traditions, including respect and devotion to one?s king.
King Alnor doesn?t want Jankaping to continue on its current course of development. He sees the threats posed to the northlands by the White Witch and the Blood Skull Barony (not to mention some of the evil rulers in other Rjurik realms). He wants to establish a defensible, solid, and progressive kingdom. The time for nomadic tribes on Cerilia is over. Jankaping?s populace should plant firm roots and build walls to weather the storm that will soon ravage the northlands.

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