The following were the Rules and Regulations for membership at The Great Hall.  This document was last updated in June of 2005.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of Membership
  3. Member Hierarchies
  4. The Community
  5. The Role-play
  6. The Forums
  7. Revocation of Membership
  8. Administration
  9. FAQ 

I.  Introduction

Mission Statement – The Great Hall (www.thegreathall.org) was originally founded as a role-playing community based upon Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.  Over several years it has evolved into both a role-play and a community.  The goal of The Great Hall is to provide members with a comfortable, flexible, safe, and fun place to interact with other Wheel of Time fans.  A strong general community and an engaging role-play offer two very different means by which to do this.  Members are offered the opportunity to participate in both.  Whether role-playing or not, a PG-14 (material suitable for ages 14 and up) atmosphere is strictly enforced.  It is to the member’s discretion which aspects of the site are utilized, though advancement and administrator status are possible for all. 

Privacy Statement – All members of The Great Hall must submit limited personal information.  This is so administration can verify their identify for the safety of all.  In some cases, members may be excused from such admissions, but only with approval of the Amyrlin Seat.  Any and all information submitted to The Great Hall will be held in strict confidentiality unless permission is obtained, from the member, for public use.  Only a select group of administrators will have access to private information. Breach of confidentiality will lead to immediate removal of the offending administrator from their post and measures taken to protect the violated member. 

Copyright Statement – The Wheel of Time and all related material is copyrighted by Robert Jordan and Tor Books.  Any copyright infringement of The Wheel of Time material should be reported to the Amyrlin Seat immediately.  All graphics, text, and site design on www.TheGreatHall.org are copyright of The Great Hall.  No publication or commercial use is allowed without written permission from The Great Hall.  All member-submitted writings and graphics are copyright of the creator, unless otherwise stated, and permission to use will be established by the owner.  By posting writings or graphics on www.TheGreatHall.org the poster is agreeing to allow The Great Hall to reproduce and use them for site related purposes only.  All other rights reserved by The Great Hall

Hosting and Ownership – The Great Hall was founded by Eniara Kisharad and opened to the internet in December of 2000.  The first web-recruited member, Ahlil Glamdrain, joined on December 21st and gave the site its official birthday.  The original website moved between two free host sites before being moved to paid hosting when the domain www.TheGreatHall.org was purchased in 2001.  In the spring of 2004 an additional move was made to the current host.  All official site accounts and domains are registered to, owned, and maintained by Shannon L. McColley (Eniara Kisharad).  

II.  Overview of Membership 

Age Limit – Prospective members must be at least 14 years of age at time of membership application.  Any falsifying of age on applications, when caught, will result in immediate termination of membership.  Appeals of terminations may be made to the Amyrlin Seat, but in nearly all cases the termination will be upheld. 

Membership Applications – When submitting an application all fields of the form must be filled in unless otherwise stated.  Leaving fields blank may result in rejection of the application.  All forms are sent to the Keeper of the Chronicles (or other designated administrator) for consideration and approval.  If the application is approved, a welcome message will be sent to the new member.  If the application is denied, a universal notice of denial will be sent.  This process may take up to two weeks.  If after one week neither welcome nor denial is received, inquiries about application status may be made to the Keeper of the Chronicles.  Inquiries about reasons for denial may also be made to the Keeper of the Chronicles.  

Automatic Rejections – The following are grounds for automatic rejection of community membership: missing required application fields, falsification of submitted information, and invalid e-mail addresses.  The following are grounds for automatic rejection of role-play membership: submitting an application without having obtained Resident status within the community, missing application fields, not following the character creation rules as laid out in Section V, and not creating a primary character with the same identity under which community membership was approved.  In all cases applicant will be notified of rejection with a general notice email.  Inquiries about the reason for community rejection may be made to the Keeper of the Chronicles and role-play rejection to the Amyrlin Seat. 

Primary Identities – All members upon initial acceptance of membership will assume a primary identity.  This will be used throughout the community and will be the only allowed identity for that member within the community.  Attempts to mislead members by creating a second community identity are grounds for dismissal from The Great Hall.  Should the member choose to join the role-play their primary identity will be converted to their initial role-play identity. Multiple identities are used only in form of multiple characters within the role-play (see Section V). 

Joining the Role-play – New members are subject to an initial (minimum) two-week waiting period before applying to join the role-play.  This time is used for members to integrate themselves into the out-of-character community and gain a good basic understanding of how The Great Hall operates.  After the two-week period it is the member’s responsibility to contact the Keeper of the Chronicles and obtain a link to the role-play application.  Participating in the role-play is not required and is solely at the member’s discretion.  Role-play applications may be obtained and submitted at any time after the two-week waiting period.  All applications will be reviewed by a selected role-play administrator and accepted or denied via email.  Denial is not final.  Members may submit revised applications as often as they wish unless instructed otherwise by the Keeper of the Chronicles. 

Leave of Absences – Periodically a member may have real life issues come up that require a leave of absence.  In such cases it is the member’s responsibility to post on the community board in the Announcements forum.  If the away period is going to be longer than several weeks the member must notify the Keeper of the Chronicles via email if they desire to be put on official leave.  This makes sure the member is not deleted from the database when inactive accounts are purged. 

III.  Member Hierarchies

Community – Within the community there are three levels of membership that can be attained.  All new members automatically join the community at the status of “Newcomer.” This lasts for the initial two weeks of membership.  After the two weeks, the member’s level increases to that of “Resident.”  Should the member decide at that time (or any time thereafter) to join the role-play their rank will then convert to the role-play hierarchy.  When not a member of the role-play, Residents have the opportunity to advance further to the level of “Elder.”  This rank is only available to members who have been of Resident status for a minimum of three months.  Elder candidates are nominated by the Governor of Tar Valon and then voted on by the current Council.  Only select members will attain the level of Elder and thus become community leaders as well as eligible to be elected members of the Tar Valon City Council.  The seven-member Council oversees and administrates the activities of the community.  One counselor each will bear the title of Representative from Alindaer, Daghain, Darein, Jualdhe, Luagde, Osenrein, and Tar Valon respectively.  The Council will be presided over by the Governor of Tar Valon who reports directly to the Keeper of the Chronicles. The Amyrlin Seat shall appoint the Governor from among the elected Council members. 

Role-play – All members who join the role-play are still considered part of the community and are encouraged to remain active out-of-character.  They are no longer eligible to hold community administrative positions, however, and their character role (as determined by their primary identity) will become their community role and rank as well.  Within the role-play are three factions: the White Tower, the Asha’man, and Other Characters.  The Mistress of Novices and Master of Arms respectively must approve female and male initiates to the White Tower.  Female members advance through a series of requirements to the ranks of novice, Accepted, and finally Aes Sedai.  Advancement procedures can be found on the Mistress of Novices/Master of Arms web page.  Full Sisters can then further be appointed by the Amyrlin and/or elected by their Ajahs to the ranks of Sitter of the Hall, Ajah Head, Mistress of Novices, and Keeper of the Chronicles.  Male members advance through a series of requirements to the ranks of Gaidin Trainee Initiate, Gaidin Trainee, and finally Gaidin.  Advancement procedures can be found on the Mistress of Novices/Master of Arms web page.  Full Gaidin can then further be appointed by the Amyrlin and/or elected by the Gaidin body to the Gaidin Assembly and Master of Gaidin.  The Black Tower Outpost Emissary, with approval of the Amyrlin Seat, will appoint all ranks assigned to members of the Asha’man.  Other Characters do not have ranks at this time but instead have the flexibility to create a wide range of interesting personas.  As role-play administrative positions are the highest obtainable within The Great Hall, said administrators outrank community administrators with the exception of the Governor of Tar Valon. 
 

IV.  The Community

General Information – Membership in the community at The Great Hall has very few requirements.  Guests may feel free to register on the community board and to post in select forums.  All visitors are encouraged to officially join.  Site members must be at least 14 years of age at application, agree to follow the conduct guides as posted on the site, and be respectful of other members.  There is no requirement to have read The Wheel of Time to join but it is highly recommended to have done so or, at the very least, start reading the books.  All posts are expected to PG-14 and more mature topics may be edited or deleted.  The community is designed to be a place for general discussion of the Wheel of Time books and most especially somewhere to develop relationships with individuals from around the world.  To ensure that The Great Hall is a safe place to all to be, no actions seen as threatening to other members will be tolerated.  The Governor of Tar Valon and the City Council oversee community activities and are responsible for enforcing community regulations.  See Section III for further information on the hierarchy of community members. 

Identity Creation - New applicants for membership need to choose a username that is Wheel of Time realistic.  This is especially important for those members intending to later join the site role-play.  Most site members are very willing to assist in creating an identity if asked.  Guests to the boards who have already created an account and later are accepted for membership do not need to re-register on the community board.  In such instances an administrator will change the login username to reflect the new community identity.  When creating a profile on the forum no member is required to release private information such as birthday, location, and real name.  All private information collected during the application process is saved for official records only.  Members are allowed only one identity on the community board.  Those caught creating multiple identities risk having their membership revoked and being banned from The Great Hall.   Changing of a member’s identity is allowed only with permission of the Amyrlin Seat. 
 

V.  The Role-play 

General Information – In order to not hinder other role-players, all new role-play applicants are expected have read at least two Wheel of Time books.  While this rule is not enforced with punishment, it is in place to ensure that members have an understanding of how the Wheel of Time world works and can interact well with other members within the role-play.  At The Great Hall the role-play is centered on the city of Tar Valon and the White Tower within.  The vast majority of the setting, such as geographic/political boundaries and world history, is patterned directly from the books…but with a unique twist.  Instead of working from within the timeline of the books, The Great Hall sets its role-playing within a world that “might have been.” It is essentially a place reached through a portal stone as seen at The Great Hunt.  It is a very close reflection of the books’ world but not exact.  The Dragon Reborn does not play a key role in The Great Hall.  The Black and White Towers have an established a treaty of peace between them.  None of the current ruling royalty are of the families who rule in the books.  These and other differences are what make The Great Hall’s role-play special.  It provides a means for great flexibility in what can be done and created within the role-play as characters and group entities interact.  Essentially, at The Great Hall anything is a possibility.  When role-playing members should observe these courtesies: the role-play is for everyone to enjoy so follow basic net-etiquette, The Great Hall is designed to be appropriate for people over the age of 14 (PG-14) and so avoid all role-play topics that are inappropriate or overly mature for members of this age, do NOT spam the role-playing boards with unrelated material, and most important of all…have fun!  See Section III for additional information about the role-play member hierarchy. 

Character Creation and Identities – There is great flexibility in what sort of character(s) a member can create.  The primary character must be based upon the community identity on the site.  Secondary characters can be essentially anyone from any background so long as they have a plausible reason for being in Tar Valon.  For each character a member desires to create, an application must be submitted for approval.  No member should create more secondary characters than they can handle while still maintaining regular activity with their primary character.  The following is a list of rules that must be followed when creating characters.

  • All character names must be original, realistic, and not copied from the books. Members must create their own names (though help may be obtained) and they must be realistic to a locale found in the books.  Unless special permission is obtained, all characters need a forename and surname as is appropriate to their nationality.  Copying names from book characters is a form of copyright infringement will not be tolerated.
  • All characters (with the exception of Ogier) must be completely human and of a nationality mentioned in the books. Wolfkin are considered to still be fully human and thus do not apply to this rule.  Members are allowed to have their characters from hometowns with names completely of the member’s creation.  All such hometowns must be located within a nation/land from the books.  Ogier must come from one of the book-established stedding.
  • No darkfriends. This applies to all characters, no exceptions.  It is understood that for realism’s sake characters may be followers of the Shadow in secret and such character background is at the member’s discretion.  However, no declaration of being a darkfriend will be allowed in the official biography and should it become public knowledge within the role-play, the member can rest assured that their character will be found out and killed immediately in-character.
  • Characters must have a plausible reason for being in Tar Valon. Members may create their characters to be from anywhere they like, but there must a good reason for them to be in the city where role-play takes place.  The Seanchan, for example, hate free channelers and would desire to collar all Aes Sedai in the White Tower.  Therefore it wouldn’t be appropriate for a Seanchan character to be in Tar Valon without a very good reason.  This reason and others relative to each situation must be provided in the character biography in order to obtain application approval.
  • Characters must be realistic in history and abilities. No character should have abilities beyond what a normal human being (channelers excepted) from the books would have.  This includes no superheroes or killing Trollocs as children.  Only Borderlanders must deal with the Blight therefore only Borderlander characters will potentially have had family killed in Shadowspawn raids.  Likewise, because of the attitude of the Aiel, no wetlander character will have been raised/trained with the Aiel.  Special exceptions to any aspect of this rule may be made with the permission of the Amyrlin Seat.  Additional note: currently The Great Hall is regulating blademasters.  No characters will be initially approved with this title.  It is a rank to be earned by Gaidin with extra training and will be awarded as such.  However, non-White Tower members seeking to be blademasters may present their case to the Amyrlin Seat for special-case approval.
  • All male channelers must be Asha’man. Because the role-play is set in Tar Valon all male channelers in the city are Asha’man.  Any others would be caught and gentled.  When creating an Asha’man character, members need to note that all Asha’man characters at The Great Hall are currently stationed at the Black Tower Outpost and NOT the Black Tower.
  • No royal characters without permission. At this time, to avoid conflicts no member may create a character of royal blood (from any nationality) without special permission of the Amyrlin Seat.  If a member wishes to create a royal character, they need to give a reasonable reason why this member of royalty will be in Tar Valon (in otherwords a workable history) and present it to the Amyrlin Seat for consideration BEFORE submitting a role-play application. 

Biography Writing – All biographies submitted in role-play applications must meet a set of criteria for approval.  The biography must be focused on the character being created and only them…any side tangents of past history can be developed later within a role-play.  The biography must consist of two parts: history and physical appearance.  The history of the character needs to be short and concise covering where the character is from (nationality) and why they came to Tar Valon.  A maximum of 300 words (approx. two paragraphs) will be allowed.  The physical appearance section should merely give a description of the character’s looks and special features in a short paragraph.  If approved, biographies will be posted on the character profile on the role-play message board and are not to be changed without consent of the Amyrlin Seat.  As an additional note, submitted biographies that are badly formatted and/or incorrectly written (chat acronyms used, no punctuation, etc) will be rejected.  For members whose native tongue is not English and may struggle with it, any role-play administrator will gladly give help in writing a biography. 

Role-play Rules – When engaging in the role-play there are four key rules that must be followed.  These are in place to keep the role-play moving forward while not hindering other characters.  First, all major role-plays involving an entire group (ie: the Gaidin, the Asha’man, or the White Tower) need approval from the group’s respective administrator.  Second, members are NOT to kill another member’s character without express permission from the member to be killed.  Third, members should not do any extensive writing from the perspective of a fellow character without the latter’s permission.  Lastly, the overseeing administrator may apply additional rules to individual role-plays as deemed necessary.  Members are expected to follow all of these rules and should take objections and questions first to the said administrator and then, if necessary, farther up the chain of command.  Breaking any of these rules will invoke disciplinary action that may range from an administrative warning to termination of role-play membership.  Unauthorized killing of a fellow character will result in immediate killing of the offender’s character within the role-play and revocation of role-play membership.  If a member is unclear as to exactly what any of these rules entail, inquiries may be sent to help@thegreathall.org.
 

VI.  The Forums 

Community – The community forums are open to everyone, including guest visitors to The Great Hall.  The member or guest creates their account and all personal data displayed in profiles is at the user’s discretion.  Upon approval of their community membership applications all new members must make sure their community board account username matches their member username.  If an account was created before applying for membership there is no need to make a new account.  The Amyrlin Seat is able to change a message board username to match the member’s username upon request.  Assignment of avatars is done by member rank and special personalized avatars may be created for Elders of the community.  Signature images may be no larger than 100 pixels high by 400 pixels wide.  All members and guests are expected to follow the information guidelines posted about each forum and to post threads within the appropriate forum.  Spammers will be reprimanded and possibly banned outright from the community board.  Private forums are available for certain groups.  Several are already in use and more may be added by special request.  The Keeper of the Chronicles may be contacted for forum passwords (only if access is appropriate to the member) and to petition for establishment of new private forums.  Members should be aware that Wheel of Time book spoilers may be posted on the community boards.  It is common courtesy when creating a thread containing such material to post a spoiler alert. 

Role-play – All visitors to The Great Hall may view the role-play forums.  Posting is restricted to role-play members only.  This is to make sure all role-play members have gone through the required application process and have viable characters created.  All members are expected to have their biography posted on the Character Biographies forum before role-playing.  No biography changes should be made without approval of the Amyrlin Seat.  Role-players are also expected to follow the information guidelines posted about each forum and to post threads within the appropriate forum.  Only full Aes Sedai, Gaidin, and trainees of the White Tower are allowed to view and post on the forums under the Training heading.  Many role-plays will contain book spoilers so all members should be prepared to see such.  Assignment of avatars is done by member rank and signature images may be no larger than 100 pixels high by 400 pixels wide.  As with the community board, spammers will be reprimanded and possibly banned outright from the role-play board.  Access to the Grade Board is granted to all Aes Sedai, Gaidin, and Accepted. 
 

VII.  Revocation of Membership 

Disorderly Conduct – All members have an equal opportunity to be a part of and enjoy The Great Hall.  There are several methods of conduct termed “disorderly’ that may result in termination of the offender’s membership at The Great Hall.  Among these are disrespect of an administrator, refusal to follow instructions given by an administrator, spreading slander to other members of the site, verbal disrespect of fellow members, threatening another member, discovery of falsified information on a member’s original membership application, and excessive spamming of the message boards with unrelated/unapproved material.  If a member has a problem with another member it is their responsibility to go to an administrator.  Likewise, if a member has a problem with an administrator it is their responsibility to go straight to the Amyrlin Seat.  Appeals of membership revocations may be made to the Amyrlin Seat though terminations most always remain final. 

Inactivity – Every six months to a year The Great Hall purges the member database and message boards of inactive accounts.  Should a member know ahead of time that they will be away on an extended leave, it is their responsibility to follow the procedure to obtain an official leave of absence as laid out in Section I.  If a member does not have knowledge beforehand they must notify an administrator of their leave as soon as possible.  The Great Hall does not guarantee that any records will be kept after a purge and so it is at the member’s risk if they do not go on official leave. 

Role-play Membership – In certain instances a member may have their role-play membership revoked while still maintaining community membership.  This occurs when the role-player violates a key role-play rule or commits another offence designated by the Amyrlin Seat to be worthy of role-play only termination.  Should role-play membership be revoked, a minimum time will be set that the member must wait before creating a new character and applying anew to join the role-play.  The Amyrlin Seat will personally review all such instances before membership in the role-play is once again granted. 
 

VIII.  Administration 

Amyrlin Seat – The Amyrlin Seat oversees all activities of The Great Hall and is a lifetime position.  She has final say in all site related matters, reserves the right to appoint new administrators, may change any aspect of the site at will (though normally will request member input), personally approves/declines all new role-play membership applications, approves advancement of female White Tower members, maintains the Site News section, and replies to help inquiries sent to the site.  Should the Amyrlin Seat decide to resign she shall appoint her successor. 

Keeper of the Chronicles – The Keeper of the Chronicles is second in command and answers only to the Amyrlin Seat.  She has full administrator access to all aspects of the site, maintains the Wheel of Time News section, approves/declines new community member applications if the Governor of Tar Valon is unable to do so, updates and maintains the community member database if the Governor can not, and replies to help inquiries sent to the site. This position is awarded by appointment of the Amyrlin Seat. 

Master of Gaidin – The Master of Gaidin is the top administrator among the males of the White Tower and reports directly to the Amyrlin Seat.  He oversees the Master of Arms, approves all new Gaidin Trainee Initiates, approves advancement of male White Tower members, organizes and approves major Gaidin role-plays, and replies to help inquiries sent to the site.  This position is awarded by appointment of the Amyrlin Seat from nominations by the Gaidin body. 

Mistress of Novices – The Mistress of Novices oversees training and record keeping of the novices and Accepted and reports to the Keeper of the Chronicles.  She assigns punishments when necessary, determines when a female member is ready for advancement and notifies the Keeper of the Chronicles of such, oversees teachers, and approves classes taken and taught by female White Tower members.  This position is awarded by appointment of the Amyrlin Seat from nominations by the Hall of the Tower. 

Master of Arms – The Master of Arms oversees training and record keeping of the Gaidin Trainee Initiates and Gaidin Trainees and reports to the Master of Gaidin.  He assigns punishments when necessary, determines when a male member is ready for advancement and notifies the Master of Gaidin of such, oversees teachers, and approves classes taken and taught by male White Tower members.  This position is awarded by appointment of the Master of Gaidin from nominations by the Gaidin Assembly. 

Ajah Heads and Hall of the Tower – Ajah Heads oversee the on-goings of their respective Ajahs and are elected by members of that Ajah.  There will be one Ajah Head per Ajah at this time.  The Hall of the Tower shall consist of three representatives (Sitters) from and elected by each Ajah.  The Ajah Head is automatically one of the three Sitters and reports to the Keeper of the Chronicles on behalf of the Ajah.  Sitters of the Hall oversee the planning and organization of White Tower wide role-plays as well as vote on issues of importance put forward by the Amyrlin Seat, an Ajah, or individual Sitters. 

Gaidin Assembly – The Gaidin Assembly oversees the on-goings of the male faction within the White Tower.  It consists of three members of Gaidin status and reports to the Master of Gaidin.  The Assembly also acts as an advisor to and votes on issues put forward by the Master of Gaidin.  Assembly chairs are awarded through election by the Gaidin body. 

Black Tower EmissaryThe Emissary of the Asha’man oversees the Black Tower Outpost at Tar Valon and reports to the Keeper of the Chronicles.  He creates and appoints all ranking positions within the Outpost based Asha’man, approves all new Asha’man and disciplines Asha’man if necessary.  He also approves all major Asha’man related role-plays. 

Governor of Tar Valon and City Council – The Governor of Tar Valon is first among the seven members of the City Council and reports directly to the Keeper of the Chronicles and the Amyrlin Seat. The City Council oversees all community activities, disciplines members if necessary, plans activities and discussions for the community, and has the right to create sub-councils within the community as needed.  The Amyrlin Seat appoints the Governor from among the members of the City Council.  The Council is chosen in an open election of all non-role-play members of Resident status.  Should it be decided there are not enough active members of Resident status to effectively elect the Council, the Amyrlin Seat will appoint the positions.
 

IX.  FAQ 

This section will be updated as member inquiries are received and answered.  Members who wish to have a question answered (and posted in the Rules & Regulations FAQ) should email help@thegreathall.org.

 Revision Dates:
October 29, 2004
June 29, 2005 (latest)