Section 1: Clan Characteristics
Immutability of this Section
This section outlines the defining characteristics of the Sword of Kahless. This section may not be removed, altered, or modified under any circumstances, and is exempt from amendment. This section is to be considered superior to the remainder of Imperial Charter. This section must remain in any later charter, and must remain immutable and superior to any later charter.
From the signing date of this document, henceforth referred to as the "Imperial Charter", the gaming clan known as Sword of Kahless shall come into existence and will enter the gaming community using the identification tags of |SoK|.
This document shall replace the previous Charter in its entirety. It shall enter effect only by full consensus vote (that is, zero negative votes cast) of the Sword of Kahless. The voting period shall not be less than ten days.
The purpose of forming Sword of Kahless as a gaming clan is to increase the enjoyment of online gaming by welcoming new friends with common gaming interests who collectively will set a standard of excellence in both game play and personal character for others to emulate.
The |SoK| Mission Statement
|SoK| will be a clan that by adhering to the concepts of Honor, Duty, Loyalty, Courage, and Courtesy shall not only be good examples to our members, but to the gaming community at large.
Our goal as a clan is excellence in both character and gaming
Sword of Kahless will operate in the style of the Klingon Empire as portrayed in the Star Trek franchise.
The era of the Klingon Empire portrayed shall be that of the Post-Nemesis Era and shall attempt to fall in line with current Star Trek canon of the state of the Empire.
Modifications of any canon materials may be made in order to accommodate the role playing aspect of the clan, including but not limited to rank structure (and related images and Klingon translations), Houses of the Empire, and any other necessary aspect of canon Klingon culture that the clan deems necessary to further such role play.
Section 2: Membership
Sword of Kahless welcomes all walks of life and no prospective member will be turned away for any reason unless they fail to meet minimum guidelines as set forth by this Imperial Charter.
For clarity of language, the Imperial Charter may use singular masculine pronouns such as “he” and “his” to refer to a specific person whose gender is not necessarily known at the time of writing. Such statements shall be considered to apply to any qualified person regardless of his or her gender.
The minimum age to participate in any activities regarding |SoK| is 16 years of age. Any potential member of the clan that is under the age of 16 will not be permitted membership.
All members of the clan should possess the following software:
The TeamSpeak (TS) program available at http://goteamspeak.com/ or another voice-chat program as may be chosen by the High Council at the request of the Imperial Communications Minister.
At least one Star Trek-themed, multiplayer game.
Access to e-mail.
An active account on Xfire (http://www.xfire.com).
Right of Retirement
An honorable member of |SoK|, should they decide to leave gaming for an indeterminate and possibly lengthy period, but who wishes to maintain their affiliation with the clan until their status is resolved may retire from service with distinction.
Upon returning to full status, a retired member may be granted their previous rank but not their previous position, unless it is not occupied at the time the member returns. The current occupant of their previous position may optionally choose to step down in favor of his returning predecessor, strictly at his leisure and with no loss of honor either way.
Right of Resignation
A member of |SoK|, should he decide to leave the clan for any reason and no longer wishes to maintain their affiliation with the clan may resign their membership and be permanently relieved of all rights, duties, and responsibilities.
Should a member decide to return to |SoK| after being granted resignation status, they may not return to their previous rank and position. They must reenter the clan as a new member.
Right of Participation
Any member of the clan may support the growth and development of the Empire by creating gaming opportunities through creation of intra-clan tournaments, locating scrimmage matches with other clans, finding a semi-competitive league, or other activities that are open to the entire clan.
Clan members must bring any gaming opportunities to the High Council for consideration. This allows the Council to determine the logistical feasibility of the event and to provide the support and experience of senior leadership in the administrative process.
Section 3: Clan Structure
Structure: Military rank
The rank system is inherently inferior to the House system. Each House has an independent chain of command, such that orders from officers within a member's House take precedence over orders from officers outside that House, even when the outside officer holds a higher rank. See Section 5.3, “Order of Authority,” for details.
Rank shall be used to represent leadership, seniority and capability within the general membership of |SoK|.
The Emperor and Chancellor will have special rank insignia, and their rank authority shall be considered superior to that of every other member.
Reasons for Promotion (alone or in concert)
Exhibition of leadership skills above and beyond the member's current rank
Notably honorable conduct in difficult or distressing situations
Consistently exceptional game performance
Reasons for lack of Promotion (alone or in concert)
Lack of activity
Dishonor of any sort
Lack of leadership skills associated with the higher rank
Promotions may be granted to house members unilaterally by the House Leader. Promotions granted in this manner may not exceed the rank of Commander.
Promotions may be granted by the High Council to any member regardless of rank.
Causes of Demotion or Discommendation
Code of Honor violations
Explicit dishonor (doing anything which the charter or High Council policy states is dishonorable)
Intentionally losing or forfeiting a battle dishonorably. Unintentional loss is not dishonorable; nor is forfeiting a battle due to real life situations.
Members may be subject to discommendation by ¾ vote of the High Council in severe cases. The cause of discommendation must be cited. Discommended members are not to be considered members of the clan and lose all rights and privileges accorded to members. Discommended members may not wear |SoK| tags in any circumstances. Discommended members may be re-accepted as new members only by obtaining a Council pardon for their dishonorable actions.
Members may be demoted by the High Council for just cause, which must be cited.
Members may be demoted by their House Leader only if their rank is at or below that of Commander, and only for just cause, which must be cited. If a member believes he was demoted unfairly, he may appeal to the High Council. While the High Council has the authority to overturn the demotion, it is strongly discouraged, and brings considerable dishonor upon the House Leader.
The following ranks shall be used:
Warrior Third Class
Warrior Second Class
Warrior First Class
The entire membership of |SoK|, with the exception of the Emperor, will be organized into houses. Houses are simple affiliations of personnel and exist primarily for social and structural purposes. They are not organized by game type.
Each House will have a House Leader, who will be appointed at the time of creation, but may be challenged at any time by the House Adjutant, or by any member of the house with rank Captain or greater if the position of House Adjutant is vacant. House Leaders will organize a fighting force to defend their house and the clan at large and may use such force outside the military chain of command so long as it is within the autonomous rights of the House system. Unilateral military actions in the name of the clan by a house are prohibited and deemed dishonorable.
House Leaders will select a House Adjutant to assist in the organization of the House and serve as interim Leader should the House Leader be incapacitated or unavailable. The House Adjutant may be challenged by any member of the house with the rank of Captain or greater; if such a challenge is successful, the winner of the challenge may not be replaced as House Adjutant by the House Leader except with said winner's consent.
House Leaders shall carry a minimum rank of Colonel, and House Adjutants shall carry a minimum rank of Major. If a challenge is won by a member without sufficient rank to hold the position, that member shall be promoted by the High Council immediately.
A House may be created in several ways:
If a member has shown exceptional leadership skills and activity levels, and a new House is needed the High Council can vote to promote a member of a house to House Leader, without demoting his current House Leader. This should not be done without the consent of both the current House Leader and the member to be promoted. Initially the new House will have no members, although members of other Houses may petition their current House Leader for permission to join it.
A House Adjutant may challenge his House Leader, and opt to create a new house (thereby splitting the House) instead of assuming leadership of the existent one. Each member of the House in question may then choose which of the two houses he wishes to remain a member of.
If a large number of experienced players join |SoK| at the same time, a new House or Houses may be created by majority vote of the High Council for their use. This would occur in the case of a clan merger, for example.
Likewise, a House may be decommissioned in several ways:
If the last member of a House resigns or retires, the House shall be decommissioned permanently.
The House Leader of a given House may petition the House Leader of another House to allow a merger in a process called “absorption.” The absorbing House will obtain all of the members of the absorbed House, and the absorbed House will be decommissioned permanently.
If a House Leader is demoted for any reason below the rank of Colonel, and he does not have an adjutant which the High Council believes is ready to assume control of the House, the House may be dissolved permanently. Each of the members of the House would then need to petition other House Leaders for permission to join.
New members may request to be a member of a particular House. Houses may recruit new members at their convenience. If a new member does not have a preference of House, or if the House Leader of the House he prefers declines to accept him, the High Council will assign him to one.
If a retired member of a house which has been decommissioned chooses to return to active duty, he must be placed in an active House as if he were a new member. The High Council may, at their discretion, choose to create a new House with the returning member as House Leader, if the retired member is of rank Major or higher. A House created in this manner is explicitly defined as a newly created House for the purposes of High Council seniority (that is, it does not inherit the seniority of the House from which the member retired).
Additional organization of a House (for instance, into game-specific divisions, gaming squadrons or teams, or so on), may be carried out at the House Leader's option and discretion.
Structure: High Council
The House Leaders of all Houses together form the High Council. Every member of the High Council must be a House Leader, and every House must be represented on the High Council.
The minimum number of High Council members is three (3). If at any time there are less than three High Council members, the Chancellor shall immediately take steps to create a new House. If he refuses to act, the Emperor may create a new House or Houses at his discretion.
The High Council will convene to discuss clan matters and to enact any administrative policies. In the event of a dispute amongst the Council the Chancellor will request that the Emperor cast the tiebreaking vote.
The Council is organized by Seniority in the absence of other differentiating factors.
Higher-ranked members are more senior than lower-ranked members.
If two members hold the same rank, the member which leads the older house has higher seniority. No two houses hold the same seniority; if two were created simultaneously, then the first one listed in the act of creation is considered to be older.
The Chancellor of the High Council is directly responsible for the day-to-day operation and supervision of the clan. He has the final say in all clan matters not directly within the Emperor's scope of control.
The Chancellor will have responsibility for the growth and development of the clan through gaming operations. Primary responsibility lies with the Chancellor for providing consistent gaming opportunities through intra-clan gaming and inter-clan gaming (including but not limited to scrimmages, tournaments, ladders, leagues, or pick-up games with other clans) whenever logistically possible to do so.
Upon resignation, retirement, abandonment, or dishonor a new Chancellor is nominated by the membership of the clan. Any High Council member may be nominated to serve as Chancellor. In the event that more than one candidate exists, a clanwide vote must be held to determine which candidate is best suited for the role of Chancellor.
Nominations for Chancellor are accepted from any member of the clan for a period of exactly five days from removal of the previous Chancellor from office.
Voting for Chancellor lasts exactly five days from the close of nominations.
During the ten-day selection process, the most senior member of the High Council serves as acting Chancellor.
Structure: The Emperor's Contingent
|SoK| will have a senior leader who serves an advisory and motivational function, known as the Emperor.
The Emperor is not responsible to the High Council, except in extreme cases of dishonor or treason.
The Emperor does not maintain membership in any House.
The Emperor is not responsible for day-to-day operations of the clan, or clan decisions. His function is entirely that of an adviser, motivator, and senior military officer. He may, however, cast the tiebreaking vote in the High Council at the request of the Chancellor, and will share administration of gaming affairs with the Chancellor.
The Emperor is empowered to participate in the growth and development process and will serve as a secondary administrator of gaming affairs should the Chancellor be absent or incapacitated for a short-term period.
The Emperor can participate in administration of gaming affairs to whatever level he desires. It is permissible for the Emperor to work in tandem with the Chancellor provided there is no dishonorable intent on either party's part. Such participation does not grant the Emperor a vote in Council, except in circumstances previously outlined by the Imperial Charter.
The title of Emperor will be held by one person, and said individual shall maintain his position until he retires, leaves the clan, abdicates his position, or is dishonored.
Upon resignation, retirement, dishonor, or abdication of the Emperor, nominations shall be held for the position.
Nominations are accepted from any clan member, and any clan member may be nominated, but in order to be valid, the nomination must be seconded by either a member of the High Council or a member of the outgoing Imperial Guard. The nomination may not be seconded by the nominee or the nominator. Nominations are open for exactly five days.
Nominated persons shall be approved by clanwide vote (Yea or Nay on each nominated person). Any nominated person who receives more than one Nay vote for every two Yea votes shall be removed from the proceedings. Voting is open for exactly five days.
If no nominees remain, the nominee with the highest proportion of Yea to Nay votes shall become the next Emperor immediately.
If exactly one nominee remains, he shall become the next Emperor immediately.
If there is more than one remaining nominee, they shall be subject to a tournament to decide the new Emperor. This tournament shall involve only Star Trek themed games, and shall not last for more than seven days. Detailed rules and procedures for this tournament are considered High Council policy, and therefore out of the scope of this document.
The Emperor shall appoint certain honorable members of |SoK| to the Imperial Guard.
The purpose of the Imperial Guard is threefold:
To ensure that the Emperor does not violate his own honor or that of the clan
To provide for execution of the Emperor's duties in his temporary absence.
To provide for the replacement of the Emperor in his permanent absence..
The Emperor may appoint one member of the Imperial Guard to act in his stead during his absence.
Any member of the Imperial Guard challenge the emperor for reasons of dishonor or perceived permanent absence only.
If there are no members of the Imperial Guard, right of challenge for the Emperor falls to the High Council. In this case, the challenge battle will be fought by a single volunteer appointed by the High Council.
If the Emperor loses a challenge battle, the victor does NOT receive the position automatically, as happens with other challenges. A new Emperor shall instead be selected as per the normal process.
In the event that a new Emperor is instated, the Imperial Guard shall be entirely dissolved and reformed. The new Emperor will need to explicitly choose each member of his new Imperial Guard.
The Emperor shall appoint one member of the clan as the Imperial Communications Minister.
The ICM shall be the technical administrator who will oversee the forums, voice communications, and website of the clan. This person is directly responsible for the upkeep of all technical assets and from time to time will make modifications to those assets, as the High Council deems necessary.
The ICM shall serve an advisory function to the Council. He may not cast a vote on the Council unless he is qualified to do so otherwise (e.g. by being a House Leader).
The ICM shall have a minimum rank of Brigadier. If an ICM of lower rank is appointed by the Emperor, he shall be promoted immediately by the High Council.
The ICM shall have the authority to appoint additional members of the clan ranked Captain and higher to assist him in the administration of the technical assets of the clan. He shall not, however, have the authority to grant promotions by appointment, although he may request that the High Council do so.
In certain exceptional situations, it may be necessary to make quick and decisive decisions for the good of the clan.
A State of Emergency may be declared by the Chancellor, the Emperor, or, in extreme circumstances, the most senior High Council member present.
If the Chancellor is not available during a State of Emergency, the most senior High Council member present shall act as Chancellor until a more senior member or the Chancellor himself becomes available.
Orders issued by the Chancellor, Emperor, or acting Chancellor during a State of Emergency may supersede and/or nullify any policies created normally, as well as Section 4 “Foreign Affairs” of this document, but may not supersede or nullify any other part of this Charter.
During a State of Emergency, all members are expected to work together to resolve the exceptional situation as quickly and beneficially as possible. Inter-house disputes should be put aside. No challenge may be issued or take place during a State of Emergency; if one was scheduled to take place, it must be rescheduled as soon as the State of Emergency ends.
Orders issued during a State of Emergency which supersede and/or nullify ordinary policy will cease to be in effect immediately upon cessation of the State of Emergency.
The Chancellor, acting Chancellor, or Emperor may declare the end of a State of Emergency at any time they feel the situation has been satisfactorily resolved. If there is a disagreement between them about whether a State of Emergency exists, it does not exist.
Declaring a State of Emergency without just cause is extremely dishonorable.
A warrior may challenge his immediate superior for his position in certain circumstances, and given certain requirements.
The following challenges are permitted:
Any member of a House who has reached the rank of Captain may challenge his House adjutant.
Any House adjutant may challenge his House leader. If the position of house adjutant is vacant, any member of the House who has reached the rank of Captain may challenge his House leader directly.
Any House leader may challenge the Chancellor of the High Council.
Any member of the Imperial Guard may challenge the Emperor subject to the rules outlined in section 3.IV.2.
The following conditions must be met for a challenge to be valid.
The challenger must have the support of a Cha'dich.
If the challenge is for House adjutant or House leader, the Cha'dich may be any member of the House, or any member of the High Council.
If the challenge is for Chancellor, the Cha'dich must be a member of the High Council.
If the challenge is for House adjutant or House leader, any one member of the House may volunteer to substitute for the challenged position, with the approval of the person being challenged.
If the challenge is for CMF or Chancellor, any one member of the clan may volunteer to substitute for the challenged position, with the approval of the person being challenged.
If a substitute is used, the person being challenged may not participate in the challenge battle.
Rules of Challenge
One observer chosen by consensus between the parties must be present at the challenge. If consensus is not reached, the High Council will appoint an observer. Additional observers may be present at their own option or at the request of either party, but they may not interfere.
Several rules require that the involved parties reach a consensus. If no consensus can be reached, the Chancellor will choose. If the Chancellor is directly involved, either as a challenger, challengee, substitute, or Cha'dich, the most senior uninvolved party in the High Council will choose. If there is no uninvolved party in the High Council, the Emperor will choose.
The game and victory conditions used for the challenge will be approved by consensus of both parties involved (or as per item 2), and must be Star Trek themed. Modifications may be used by consensus; if no consensus is reached, no modification shall be used.
The challenge must be publicly announced and scheduled by consensus (or as per item 2). If scheduling consensus cannot be reached, the party who selects the schedule (as per item 2) shall schedule the match no more than one week (168 hours) from the time the challenge was issued.
If the challenger succeeds in his challenge battle, the challenged person shall be removed from his position and the challenger shall be instated.
Any substitute who loses a challenge battle will be demoted by one rank and may not be promoted for 2 weeks.
If the challenger fails to win his challenge battle, no change in rank or position shall take place.
The winner of any challenge battle (whether challenger or defender) may choose to delay challenge battles for additional challenges against him for up to two weeks past the date of his challenge victory, irrespective of the scheduling rules above.
Section 4: Foreign Affairs
Purpose of this Section
Sword of Kahless has a number of unconventional clan features. This section is intended to give other Star Trek themed clans some basis on which to relate to Sword of Kahless.
This section is primarily informational, and although it is binding, it is to be considered policy only, and therefore inferior to the rest of this document in case of conflict. It is exempt from normal rules of amendment and may be modified by the High Council by 2/3 vote.
Tags and Ranks
Members of the Sword of Kahless wear the tags |SoK|, followed by a space, before their callsign. No rank notation accompanies the tags.
The nature of the House system is such that rank is a better indicator of seniority than of authority.
The equivalent of the traditional “Commanding Officer” is the Chancellor of the High Council.
The person in charge of scrimmages and tournaments is the Chancellor of the High Council, although scrimmages and tournaments can be arranged through any member of the clan subject to Council approval.
The person in charge of web design and security is the Imperial Communications Minister.
Code of Honor
Sword of Kahless maintains a Code of Honor, which is publicly posted on our website. Clear violations of the Code of Honor observed by a member of a foreign power may be reported to any member of the High Council.
Members of the Sword of Kahless play a great variety of games together. We have no written “supported games” list, and no game-specific divisions.
The primary focus of Sword of Kahless is on Star Trek-themed, multiplayer games. For the purposes of foreign affairs, all such games may be considered “supported,” although activity levels, particularly in older games, may be quite low.
Sword of Kahless maintains a non-binding policy which strongly discourages the formation of formal relations with other clans. The specifics can be found in the text of the Diplomacy Policy on our website.
Unilateral statements from other clans (such as those requesting assistance, declaring hostilities, or requesting cooperative activities such as scrimmages) are encouraged. We are likely to respond as requested, particularly if the clan making the statement has maintained an informal relationship with us.
Sword of Kahless reserves the right to request assistance, declare hostilities, or make other contact, with any clan we wish, regardless of the presence or absence of formal diplomatic relationships.
Section 5: Authority of the Imperial Charter
This charter is to be considered the supreme document governing the organization and operation of the Sword of Kahless.
Amendment or Replacement Process
If necessary, amendment or replacement of this charter, with the exception of sections marked exempt from normal rules of amendment, shall proceed as follows.
The text of any amendment must be written by a member of the clan.
Changes to the Charter shall officially originate from the Emperor. No amendment submitted to the High Council by any source but the Emperor shall be approved. If the amendment was written by a member other than the Emperor, the member who authored the change should submit it to the Emperor, who may pass it on to the High Council, or refuse to do so, at his leisure.
Once the Emperor has submitted the amendment to the High Council, it must be approved by ¾ of said body, with zero negative votes (up to ¼ may be absent or cast a vote of “abstain”). Every member of the High Council has veto authority, and any negative vote shall be counted as a veto. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that each member of the High Council seek the advice of his House before voting on an amendment to the Charter.
Sections of this charter marked as immutable must remain identical in any replacement Charter, and may not be altered by amendment.
Order of authority
In the case of conflicts or disagreements between various texts, policies, and orders, the following shall be the order of authority. Texts, policies, and orders which conflict with a superior text, policy, or order, shall be considered null and void where such conflict occurs.
Section 1 of this Charter, titled “Clan Characteristics.”
This section (Section 5) of this Charter, titled “Authority of the Imperial Charter.”
All sections of this Charter not explicitly listed.
Orders issued by the Chancellor, Emperor, or acting Chancellor (in that order of authority) during a State of Emergency (only for the duration of said State).
Section 4 of this Charter, titled “Foreign Affairs.”
Policy created by majority vote of the High Council.
Policy created or orders issued by House Leaders (binding only to their House).
Orders issued by officers within their military authority (binding only to inferior officers within the same context).