What is a Shire?
What can a Shire do?
Shires may grant a limited number of awards, and no ladder award may be given above rank 2 or 3, depending on which kingdom they're under; BL limits them to 2, while EH permits 3. A shire is not allowed to give any titles of Nobility.
The next step
Once a shire grows to an average of 20 people per week in a six month period, they qualify to become a Barony.