This acclamation of the people has formed the basis for choosing the lord of Shadowdale since the routing of the evil Lord Jyordhan by Khelben Blackstaff. Usually a predecessor will step down as opposed to dying in office, and his chosen successor will be approved by the populace at large. This system has its drawbacks, as will be shown below, but in general, it has served the independent, self-willed people of the Dale very well. They have avoided the "generic lottery of which good bureaucracies and bad kingships are made"(a quote from the venerable Elminister). The symbol of the Lordship is the Pendant of Ashaba, a device owned by the original wizard, and used to determine the rightful lord of the Dale.