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The Way of Durin

1. Opening statement

This manuscript by order of the lords of Durin's Folk, and their lieutenants, shall form the guiding principles upon which our kin is based. It shall set out what unites us, and remind us of our duty towards each other, to our kin, to our lord, and to our king.
This manuscript has been an evolving statement of values, and is partly based upon 'The way of Durin', by Kandral Strongbeard, which itself is from an original manuscript written by Durin IV at the end of the second age. Durin's original manuscript defined thirteen values in honour of the seven fathers and six mothers of the dwarves.

2. The kin of Durin's Folk

Late in the Third Age, with troubles rising and a shadow in the east, the king under the mountain, Dáin of the Longbeards, ordered the establishment of a kinship of Durin's Folk to unite the Longbeards abroad and unify them under a single banner. Dáin ordered Duinn, son of Muninn, who is son of Frerin son of Throrin to spearhead the kin and bring the dwarves of Ered Luin under his call [note 1].

3. General expectations of all kinsfolk

As a member of Durin's folk remember that you are the kin, and the kin stands so long as we stand together.

The' first duty' of every longbeard is to defend the King under the Mountain, the dwarrow way of life, and it's people.

Kinsfolk will not bring dishonour to the name of Durin's Folk, nor will they bring dishonour to the dwarrow race or the king under the mountain. Kinsfolk will act in accordance with the laws of the land and the will of the King under the Mountain. Kinsfolk have a duty of loyalty to the kinship, to the king under the mountain, and to the dwarrow race.

Kinsfolk may not work against, spy against, or seek to undermine their kin, their king, or their race. Kinsfolk will not act in a way that is disruptive to the workings of the kin, nor will they act in a way that is disruptive to any other kin. Kinsfolk will conduct themselves with honour and respect toward each other, and others, regardless of their race, clan, kinship, gender or beliefs [note 2].
Kinsfolk will respect the ranks within the kinship, and show proper greeting or mark of respect to each other.

4. Articles of war

We are dwarrows, and not a band of uncoordinated, untrained, and undisciplined orcs.

In time of war, or in battle, the need for greater discipline between kinsfolk is of the upmost importance. All kinsfolk are responsible for their own armour and weapons. All kinsfolk have a duty when they report, to report fit for battle. All kinsfolk must respect the chain of command, and obey all reasonable orders handed down.

Kinsfolk who have fallen though old age, misadventure or in battle shall be honoured in the ceremony of the lost [note 3].

5. General expectations of all officers

Becoming an officer is to step up to a life of service, duty and leadership. In all matters regarding the kin, the kinsfolk look to you to show the way, to lead by example, and to inspire.

Officers will have the upmost integrity and be a shining example of what kinsfolk should be.

Officers are expected to expedite their assigned duties and manage their area of responsibility as far as is reasonably possible. Officers are expected to demonstrate skills of fairness, motivation, teamwork, and organisation. Officers are expected to put the good of the kin before their own interests. Officers are expected to ensure that the principles of 'The Way of Durin' are upheld.
These expectations also apply to any other ranks that involve assigned duties and leadership.

6. Appointment of officers

No kinsfolk shall be appointed to an officer position without beforehand being tested for officer suitability and passing such test to the approval of at least two officers. Such kinsfolk must then agree to accept his or her duties and responsibilities.

7. The Supreme lord of the kin

The highest officer or supreme lord of the kin has but one primary duty, that of guiding the kin towards greatness. The supreme lord's second duty is to form, and oversee an effective officer team. The third duty of the supreme lord is to ensure that the 'Way of Durin' be upheld within the kin.

8. The succession of lordship

If the position of supreme lord should become vacant then the succession of lordship shall be as follows.

The first in line shall fall to the highest ranking officer below that of supreme lord. If there are two or more officer candidates at this ranking then each candidate must undergo the rite of succession.

If no successor can be found then the same process will follow with each ranking below the highest ranking until a successor is found.

The rite of succession is a contest between equal candidates for the position of supreme lord. The nature of the contest, and who succeeds in winning the rite of succession, shall be determined by the lords of the kin.

In some circumstances the position of supreme lord may be filled by a steward until a rightful successor can be found, or until a current supreme lord can resume his or her duties.

9. Decision process

For any kin to function decisions must be made; some of these decisions can be made without any debate, at other times there may be many views about how to move forward. All decision making must be fair, have the interests of the kin in mind, and follow due process.

Decision making may fall into two categories; unchallenged decisions and challenged decisions. Unchallenged decisions are when an officer makes a decision that is not challenged by another officer of equal or higher rank. A challenged decision is when an officer, or any other ranks that have duties and responsibility, make a decision that is challenged by another officer of equal or higher rank' or indeed is challenged by a petition.

All officers have the right to make decisions about their area of responsibility so long as they are unchallenged decisions.. All other ranks that have assigned duties or responsibilities also have a right to make decisions about their area of responsibility so long as they are unchallenged decisions.

All challenged decisions , if they cannot be resolved before hand, have to go before an officer's meeting, where the merits of those for and against must be debated. When all views have been heard the officers must vote on the decision. If at this point the issue cannot be resolved then it will fall to the supreme lord to settle the matter.

9.1 Petitions

Any kin member has the right to make a petition to the supreme lord, or in the supreme lord's absence, the steward or the highest ranking officer below that of supreme lord. The subject of the petition must be made clear, and shall be supported by a second and third kin member. The petition shall be taken into consideration, and be presented to the council of lords. No petition shall be raised that goes against 'The Way of Durin'.

10. Disputes

Disputes between kinsfolk should where possible be settled between them, where this has not resolved the issue or the issue has become disruptive to the kin, then a higher ranking officer may be called in to mediate in the dispute. In the event that this fails to settle the dispute then the issue shall go before an officer's moot.

No officer should openly dispute with another officer in front of kinsfolk.

11. Demotions and Disciplinary process

Any officer who feels they are unable to fulfil their duties, or live up to the expectations of an officer, should volunteer to step down. There is no shame in this and they should be honoured for putting the needs of the kin before their own interests.

Any officer who clearly neglects his or her duties, or shows no interest in living up to the expectations of an officer may be subject to a demotion. Before any officer can be demoted a hearing must be called whereby officers of the kin debate the evidence. Any officer subject to a hearing should be given a chance to put his or her case where this is reasonably possible.

Any kinsfolk found to be guilty of misconduct and acting against 'the way of Durin' may be subject to disciplinary process. For minor indiscretions, or as a first step, a kinsfolk may be given a talk from an officer. For more serious indiscretions, or after a talk from an officer has had little effect, a hearing should be called whereby officers of the kin debate the evidence. Any kinsfolk subject to a hearing should be given a chance to put his or her case where this is reasonably possible. Punishment may include a written warning, removal of privileges, demotion, probation or dismissal from the kin [note 4].

12. Kin meetings and officer meetings

All members of the kin have the right to attend a kinship meeting. Any kinsfolk during a kinship meeting may voice his or her opinion on matters concerning the kinship. Any kinsfolk may challenge suggestions and decisions made at the kinship meeting. Where agreement cannot be reached, the matter may be deferred for further debate. If this fails to resolve the matter then the same process for challenged decisions shall be followed.
All officers, and those given duties and responsibilities, have the right to attend an officers meeting. All officers, and those given duties and responsibilities, have the right to challenge decisions made at the officers meeting and in such circumstances the process should be the same as for challenged decisions.

13. Notes

[Note 1] Durin's Folk shall be a dwarven only roleplay kin, and shall conform to roleplay principles.

[Note 2] Kinsfolk will abide by Turbine's Code of Conduct.

[Note 3] Kinsfolk inactive for more than 90 days may be considered lost.

[Note 4] A hearing can take place in game or on the chronicles.

The Way of Durin is Signed and ratified by the Council of Zabad's and zokhoso's of the kinship of Durin's Folk.