A young gentle who wishes to remain anonymous was asked to write about “community” for her college entry essay. Her story reminds us of why we all love this hobby.
An arrow whizzes past my right ear, and I am thankful to have dodged it. I automatically nock a projectile of my own and select my target, a spear-wielder fifteen feet in front of me. The heat from my helmet draws sweat from my face; my body is weighed down by my armor. Fighters shout all around me, falling in battle, calling targets, and dealing blows. The ruckus of swords on helmets threatens to fill my head. My concentration remains. I focus in on my target and release the string. My arrow flies. The shot yields yet another kill.
I have been participating in combat archery in the Society for Creative Anachronism since I was sixteen, and I have never felt so truly perfect as when I am on the field fighting with my friends. I have done fiber arts in the SCA before, and still do, but it is nothing compared to the allure of combat. There is something magical about being in battle with one’s closest family and friends. We arrive together, armor together, and fight together. No one is in it for himself- it is truly a team effort. The spears and archers need shield carriers to protect them, and the shield carriers need the spears and archers for ranged support. Fighters block strikes for each other and archers time shots with one another to allow reload time. The greatest feeling of community, however, is the discussion after the battles. A combatant is never talking about himself. Conversations always center around what others on the team had done well that round, incredible feats that another has done, and how well the group fought together. Win or lose, neither side is bitter. Sports where enjoyment is valued above ranking are very difficult to come by, but when they are, they are truly magical.
When I am in armor on the field, the fight is all I am concerned about. I can forget about all the stresses at school and home. I can really put myself into the shoes of my persona. I am an archer, a weaver, a servant, and truly in a medieval battle. The excitement and rush of charging into a battle, hearing the clash of swords and shields, and fighting until the death is the greatest experience I could ever ask for. It is frightening to feel the blow of a sword and terrifying to be pushed along in the swarm of the battle charge; it seems real and is such a wonderful feeling to realize at the end that it was all pretend – and even more wonderful once you realize how much fun you were having.
As eccentric of a hobby as it is, I would really be in no other place than on the field in battle with my father, brother, and friends. It is the one place where I truly feel community, and the one place where I can feel genuine excitement without being in any true danger. It is a place where, regardless of the outcome, nothing has changed between me and my opponents. It is a place where I can truly be myself. I often find others asking me if I’m one of those weird people in armor in the park; and every time, without missing a beat, I respond with a proud “Yes, I am”.
REMINDER: 1st Quarter Marshal Reports are due Wednesday, 15 February 2017
If you are a Standard Marshal, Group Marshal, or Knight Marshal then your reports are due by Wednesday, February 15th. To fill out your report you may use the on-line form found here. If you are a regional Marshal your report is not due until March 1st. If you are a Kingdom Marshal or Kingdom Deputy your report is not due until March 10th.
All Archery, Siege, and Thrown Weapons marshals are required to report every quarter including at large marshals.
Note: At-large heavy fighting and equestrian marshals are welcome to report if they wish or if they have something they feel should be reported, but they are not required to report this quarter. They are only required to report for the 4th quarter. At-large fencing marshals are required to report twice a year, 2nd and 4th quarters.
Any marshals with questions on reporting can contact their Kingdom superiors, listed below, using the email links on the Æthelmearc Earl Marshal page.
By THL Mairghread Stoibheard inghean ui Choinne, with additional reporting by Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.
Sir Athos in one of many rattan melees. Photo by Baroness Katja.
Pax Interruptus XL began Friday evening with the Thescorre camping event’s annual heavy weapons torchlight tournament.
Despite it being “late at night, very hot, very sweaty, and very tough,” according to Duke Sir Khalek Shuurag Od, THL Thorsol Solinauga was victorious after fighting with great skill and grace.
Prince Marcus in battle. Photo by Lady Jinx.
The threat of rain on Saturday, July 9, held off for most of the day as gentles faced instead brisk winds.
The cooling breezes were a balm to the marshals and the heavy fighters, fencers, archers, throwers, combat archers, and gentles watching, working, or otherwise enjoying the event at the Genesee Country Campground… but everything had to be taped or tied down to avoid flying across away! Several tents, including the Tollner table, had walls or tops nearly blown off and stakes pulled out of the ground by the nigh-constant buffeting.
Martial Preparation for Pennsic
Rattan melee. Photo by Lady Jinx.
His Grace Magnus Tindal, Pennsic Warlord, started the heavy fighters off with some pickups, then ran them through melees – no tournaments — for the whole day until court. “We’re building off of last year, and will continue to build an army that functions at the upper levels of effectiveness at Pennsic,” he said.
With War just three weeks away, he explained, he wanted fighters to focus on small unit communication. “At the end of the day, with the helmets on, people don’t always hear the actual commands. So, with practice, they more effectively guess what the commanders want them to do.”
“My objective is for everyone to have as much fun as possible with their friends,” said Lord Corbinus de Cuvis, marshal-in-charge of the event, while watching the melee lines begin to form upon the battlefield. He, too, expressed hope that the concentrated melee practice would help the army “hone our skills today so that we can obliterate our opponents at Pennsic.”
Lord Padraig, right, the winner of the day’s baronial rapier championship, faces Lord Hrolf as Lord Heero marshals. Photo by Baroness Katja.
Lord Quintin defends himself against THL Gytha in the rapier tourney. Photo by Lady Jinx.
Over on the fencing field, Lord Michael Gladwyne and Lord Heero Himoura were two of several out-of-barony marshals who kindly agreed to run competitions so that Thescorreans could enter rather than run them. After allowing everyone (including Her Majesty Ariella) to warm up with pickups, the annual baronial rapier champion tournament was opened to all fencers present at the event, although only Thescorreans were eligible to be named the local champion.
Of the four Thescorreans who entered the 13-person single-elimination tree, Lord Padraig Ua Céileachair won the baronial title, while Lord Jacob Martinson, the current kingdom champion, won the overall tourney.
After the champion tourney ended, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede ran those present through several melees, including a warlord tourney. He chose that specific format, he said, because it improves situational awareness and team forming on the fly. “Our warlord tourney ended up with three teams facing each other, which help fencers to be aware of attacks from more than one angle. At Pennsic, your kill is very rarely directly in front of you. This forces you to work the sides.”
Lord Heero noted at the end of the day that “despite the heat and intense wind, everyone did a phenomenal job. Several people did better here today than they did at recent events.”
THL Rendell on the throwing range. Photo by Baroness Katja.
Princess Margerite, watching the melee, agreed. “I’m really impressed with the comportment and skill of our armies, fencers, archers, and throwers. And I appreciate the opportunity to shoot and throw today!”
Far back on the throwing range, Sir Aquila d’Athos and THL Govindi dera Carr offered a fun competition for axe, knife, and atlatl at 10- and 15-foot ranges, with three normal royal round targets and one target with negative points. Her goal for the day, she said, was to offer everyone lots of throwing practice with all three weapon forms, especially for gentles who had thrown for a while.
Master Jacapo, Baron Edward, and other archers enjoying the day’s shoots. Photo by Baroness Katja.
The archers nearby, meanwhile, faced numerous whimsical targets and challenges. Lord Corwin Alexander Templeton offered a standard five-color target at 20 yards for warm ups, then guided archers through a timed window shoot with a target behind the window, a wand shoot with a markings on a three-inch-thick pole (which included a special 10-point bonus if you hit the blue dinosaur head on the wand), and another window shoot aiming at a foam “Saracen head.” He also included two special targets at 30 and 40 yards: the first, a “money shoot,” invited archers to hit specific denominations of paper money; the second included head photographs of various villains from A Game of Thrones. (Yes, Joffrey was the most popular target on that board.)
“You never know what kind of competition you’ll face at Pennsic, so my goal today is to offer a variety of shoots at different ranges, different types, different targets, beyond just lots of royal round shoots, to help our archers get ready,” Lord Corwin explained.
He announced later that afternoon in court that 10 entrants broke the 100-point barrier for the day and one broke the 200-point barrier – Master Jacopo di Niccolo, who eliminated himself from winning. Second-highest-scoring archer and thus winner for the day – and the only one to hit the dinosaur head – was Master Caleb Reynolds with 185 points.
Lunch and the Gentle Arts
Lord Andrew, right, and his brother Robert, left, grill the mini meatloaves for lunch. Photo by Baroness Katja.
At noon, Lord Andrew of Thescorre and members of the Cauldron Bleu Cooks Guild served grab-and-go bag lunches to those who preregistered for the meal. In addition to individual spiced meatloaf “hedgehogs” hot off the grill, gentles enjoyed a portable, neat repast of personal-sized Ember Day tarts, plus gingerbrede, savory fried chickpeas, carrot sticks, and pickles, all tied inside a cloth napkin.
In the A&S area, next to several merchants, the Thescorre Scribes and Clan Blackheart both set up garage sales that symbiotically fueled each other. The scribes, led by Mistress Roberta McMorland, raised $236.75 for the kingdom scribal coffers; the goal had been $150!
All photos by THL Mairghread.
The Barony also hosted an arts & sciences display at the event, with about dozen participants showing off their completed and in-progress projects: Viking/Norman threadwork (including hooded capelets with striking embroidered trims), embroidered liturgical shoes from later-period France, a Japanese cookery text in Old Japanese translated to modern Japanese and then to English, later-period German aprons, a carved horn vessel, hand-wrought pins, scrolls both gilded and gessoed (one based on the Codex Manesse and the second on The Visconti Book of Hours), and an icon of the Archangel Gabriel.
THL Otelia d’Alsace created the icon, based on the 1408 work of Andrei Rublyev, which won the populace choice. This lovely first attempt at iconography was painted on wood using tempera and period pigments (except for the white and blue).
Storm clouds moving rapidly over Court as it begins. Photo by Baron Steffan.
Baroness Sadira holding one of the original seven hand-sewn favors she embroidered three decades ago for the Thescorreans who fought that year at Pennsic. Photo by Baroness Katja.
In an emotional highlight of the Baronial Court — while the wind picked up harder and storm clouds began covering the sky overhead — Baroness Sadira bint Wassouf shared that this event, on this day, marked 30 years since she was first invested Baroness of Thescorre.
She remarked with a wry smile that she and her late husband, Master Saleem, did not name Bob (the third raven in Thescorre’s heraldry) but were responsible for several other baronial traditions, such as the policies & procedures, the Mathom, and the baronage creating Pennsic favors to hand out to baronial members at Pax.
She and Saleem were also responsible, she continued, for creating a repeatable barony award, the Raven’s Egg, which is given at the whim of the baronage for anything that furthers The Dream.
“So this year, for the first and only time, I decided to give every single person in the Barony of Thescorre a Raven’s Egg because it is my deep and abiding belief that EVERY SINGLE PERSON has done something to build the Dream, and that those contributions are worthy of notice. Everyone, at one time or another, has done something worthy of notice that has gone unremarked and unrecognized, so for this one moment, this one time, I am saying, ‘You have been noticed; you are worthy; you are appreciated; you have been recognized… There is no Dream or SCA without you’.”
Queen Ariella and King Byron induct Lord Quintin into the Golden Alce. Photo by Baron Steffan.
The gathering clouds darkened and rain started falling as Kingdom Court began; after a brief consideration, Their Majesties decided to continue without moving to another location and proceeded to hand out several awards of arms and other recognitions. Lord Quintin Lawless, who had just stepped down as baronial rapier champion and praised by Baroness Sadira for his graceful dance-like fencing as she inducted him into the baronial martial order, the Black Talon, was inducted by Their Majesties in the Order of the Golden Alce.
THL Zofia is moved to tears by her Fleur scroll. Photo by Baroness Katja.
You join not one grant order, but two! Queen Ariella hands THL Mairghread her Millrind as Princess Margerite watches. Photo by Baroness Katja.
Their Majesties called THL Mairghread into court to receive her backlog Fleur scroll and called in the Order to greet her, then promptly grinned and inducted her into the Order of the Millrind, calling in that Order as well, which caused a merry mob as both orders wetly swirled and hugged. In addition, They welcomed THL Zofia Kowaleska into the Fleur and THL Cynwulf Rendell into the Scarlet Guard.
Sir Murdoch Bayne, who had sat vigil for consideration of the Order of the Pelican all day, presented himself and listened in the rain to effusive praise of his decades of service by Earl Yngvar and Countess
Caryl as Royal Peers, Duke Christopher Rawlyns of the Chivalry (conveyed by Duke Sir Magnus Tindal), Sir Aengus MacBain of the Laurel (conveyed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova), Duchess Dorinda Courtenay of the Order of Defense, and Dame Kateryna ty Isaf of the Pelican. Sir Murdoch was elevated with Countess Caryl’s Pelican medallion and a hood adorned with the badge of the order.
Sir Murdoch listens to the Worthies’ praise… Photo by Baroness Katja.
…And receives a kiss from his wife, THL Rioghnach, before his elevation. Photo by Baron Steffan.
Their Majesties issue a Pelican writ to THL Juan. Photo by Lady Jinx.
Before allowing the Order to welcome Sir Murdoch, Their Majesties presented a writ to THL Juan Miguel Cezar, commanding him to prepare to sit vigil at St. Swithin’s Bog’s 3-day the following weekend for consideration of elevation to the Pelican.
Lady Marguerite de Neufchastau, event steward, was tired but thrilled at the end of the long day. “I want to thank everyone who helped with this, I was very lucky with that my staff was so willing to help pull off this great event, because only with teamwork will this Dream work.”
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on a wet but fun Æthelmearc War Practice:
War Practice started auspiciously enough, with a sunny and pleasant day on Friday to welcome campers setting up tents, shooting archery, and throwing weapons. The evening saw the traditional Gage Meet ‘n’ Beat, in which many fighters tested themselves against members of the Grant-level fighting award in one-on-one combat.
Gage Meet ‘n’ Beat. Photo by Crystal Clark.
In the next field over, 15 fencers competed in a ribbon tourney in which combatants could wager ribbons on the outcome of a bout or a series of bouts. The winner of that tournament was Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill.
Rapier Ribbon Tourney. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Rapier Ribbon Tourney. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Alas, late Friday night and Saturday morning turned chill and drizzly. The weather cleared for a little while late on Saturday morning through the early afternoon, but went downhill again into intermittent hard rain by mid-afternoon. However, many gentles refused to let the weather dampen their spirits and persisted in having fun!
The Kingdom Youth Combat Champion’s Tournament pitted six combatants in a round robin, with two additional youth fighters joining later for melees and a bear bit. The victor and third time Kingdom Youth Champion was El Tigre of the Shire of Hunter’s Home. The most chivalrous youth fighter was Daichi, who was one of four fighters to authorize up a division that day.
Their Majesties address the youth fighters before the Champion’s Tourney. Photo by Arianna.
Youth Combat Melee. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
The 10-Man Melee tournament featured five teams including fighters from numerous households like Sable Maul, Woodland Watch, and Stormhaven, along with teams from various local areas. It was won by Æthelmearc 10, consisting primarily of fighters from Region 3.
The Rose and Baroness’ Rapier Tournament included 19 fencers, each sponsored by a Lady of the Rose or a Baroness. The victor was Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne.
Before the start of the rapier tournament, however, Their Majesties called forth Master Lodovic of Gray’s Inn and Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc, and gave each of them a Writ of Summons to consider elevation to the Order of Defense.
Don Clewin receives a Writ for the Order of Defense. Photo by Lord Ursus.
Master Lodovic receives a Writ for the Order of Defense. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
Master Bataar. Photo by Arianna.
The Kingom Archery Champion’s Tournament was also held at War Practice. Before the competition, Their Majesties bestowed a Golden Alce upon Master Bataar Sogdo for his skill as an archer.
The Champion’s shoot, designed by Lady Katherine Täntzel, was based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, including 50- and 100-yard shots that showed the Black Beast of Arrrrgh and its animator. Of the 13 archers who competed in the qualifying rounds, four advanced to the semi-finals: Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-san, Master Bataar Sogdo, Lady Anorra of Steltonwald, and THLord Cynwulf Rendell.
After shooting at the Taunting Knights in the semis, THLord Cynwulf and Yoshitaka-san advanced to the finals, where they were faced with two targets: a 45-second timed shoot at the “Black Knight” and the Knight who says Ni! The new Kingdom Archery Champion, Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-san, is serving as Champion for the second time.
The Kingdom Archery Champion’s Shoot, Yoshitaka-san in white. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
In the early afternoon there was also a tournament to determine the new Kingdom Thrown Weapons Champion. The format was qualifications with specialized targets, pinpoint, spears and Royal Rounds. The finals consisted of Royal Rounds, reverse Royal Rounds and then a specialized target where you were not to hit the arms of the King and Queen or Æthelmearc’s arms A large number of gentles scored very similar high marks, but in the end, the victor was Baroness Aemelia Soteria, who receieved the regalia of office from the outgoing Champion, Lord Sean Delamort.
Thrown Weapons competition, Baroness Aemelia Soteria at right. Photo by Crystal Clark.
After the morning’s tournaments were completed, the heavy weapons and fencing combatants turned their thoughts toward war. The heavy fighters fought a series of open field battles and bridge battles under the watchful eyes of the Warlord, Duke Tindal, and Their Majesties.
Heavy weapons field battle. Photo by Lord Ursus.
Heavy weapons bridge battle. Photo by Lord Ursus.
Duke Tindal addresses melee strategy with the fighters while Their Majesties look on. Photo by Lord Ursus.
The fencers also fought field battles and worked on targeting their skills at kill pockets under the guidance of the Rapier Warlord, Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe.
Rapier melee. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
Rapier melee. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
While all of this belligerence was happening on the battlefield, many gentler pursuits were held in the Great Hall or in the classroom tents. Class offerings included topics like brewing, music, fiber arts, scribal arts, cooking, autocratting, herbalism, costuming, and dancing.
Artisans’ Play Time. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Artisans’ Play Time. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Friday night saw the inaugural Grand Ball, organized by THLord Sionn the Lost, with live music for the dancers.
On Saturday, there was a combination A&S display and hands-on classes at the Artisans’ Play Time in the Great Hall, including tracks in scribal arts, fiber arts, and cooking. In additional, Edelvrouw Lijsbet de Keukere ran the first Scarlet Apron Cooking Competition with the theme of illusion foods. There were numerous entries that were both tasty and beautiful. Lady Elska Fjarfell was chosen as the winner for her marzipan and sugarpaste chicken and eggs entries, with her son Simon Fjarfell winning the youth category with a lamb made of crystalized sugar. Maestra Tomasia da Collevento was the winner of the populace choice with her peacock pie.
Court on Saturday night featured the induction of Lord Aidan Gunn into the Order of the Millrind, Lady Ottilige Rappoltsweiler and THLady Cassandra Matis into the Fleur d’AEthelmearc for their work as cooks, and a Writ for the Laurel given to THLady Alfrun ketta for her skill in fiber arts.
In addition, Maestro Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato gifted Their Majesties with a custom-made fire ring to be used in Æthelmearc Royal camp at Pennsic. Their Majesties thanks Master Giuseppe and requested that their new Pennsic Chamberlain, Master Janos, take the ring into his keeping until Pennsic.
On Sunday morning, the annual Pick-A-Prize raffle was held by the Tribe of Tuatha Firen. The Chieftain of the Tribe, Master Caleb Reynolds, announced that the raffle raised $1,120.09, to be split evenly between the Kingdom’s Pennsic expenses and Their Majesties’ travel expenses. He further announced that next year will be their 25th and last year running the raffle, but that the Tribe is hoping another group will step in to run a Kingdom Fundraiser at War Practice the following year. Over the last 24 year, Tribe of Tuatha Firen has raised over $10,000 for the Kingdom.
Brunch was served by members of the Shire of King’s Crossing on Saturday and Sunday. Also on Sunday morning, Their Majesties held Their first Curia, where topics including a restructuring of the Marshalate and possible changes to Youth policy were discussed.
Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina reports on the recent regional martial practice. All photos by Katja.
Strike, stab, shoot, simmer, and stitch! Gentles attending the regional fight practice in the Shire of Sterlynge Vayle on Sunday, March 6 enjoyed rattan fighting and rapier, some combat archery, and a cozy A&S display.
The Imperator participates in the melees.
Fifty-one gentles from the shire, Myrkfaelinn, Endless Hills, Thescorre, Heronter, and elsewhere in the kingdom enjoyed the practice at the Greater Binghamton Health Center, according to Barwnes Nest ferch Rys, the shire’s chatelaine and thrown weapons marshal, who served as tollner for the practice. (“Barwnes” is Welsh for “Baroness.”)
Of the attendees, she said, 28 gentles signed up for the heavy fighting and 10 for the fencing, although a few combatants switched from rapier to rattan later in the day. There were also about a dozen gentles who served as marshals or spectators, plus two artisans.
Fighting and Combat Archery
Baroness Mariana Maria Pietrosanti, the shire’s knight marshal and archery marshal, acted as autocrat of the practice and also taught a combat archery class in the gymnasium where the heavy fighters began with some personal pickups, then enjoyed several hours of multiple field and bridge melees.
Two combat archers joined in some of the melees, plus Her Excellency began instructing two new marshals-in-training in combat archery, deemed another CA MIT to have completed training, and welcomed five new CA fighters. There were also several heavy and fencing authorizations as well.
“The turnout for this was equal or greater than our traditional schola, actually!” Baroness Nest said with a smile, speaking for her and Baroness Mariana. “ I think I can safely say we were both pleasantly surprised at the high turnout. We really look forward to doing this again — and having even more people come out to play!”
She added that she was thrilled at the number of gentles who came to the practice so soon after they authorized, including one from Heronter.
Although it was a practice and, therefore, free from any site fee charge, Baroness Nest checked membership cards (plus authorization cards) and kept careful tollner/MOL records because the day was listed as an official event on the Æthelmearc webpage.
Why? The Imperatori had scheduled a second Curia to be held at that practice to allow for further discussion, if needed, after Their reign’s first Curia. Since They did not end up having any business that required a second Curia, Imperator Tindal later explained, They canceled the one planned for the regional practice.
I was very happy with the practice overall,” The Imperator noted. “I think everyone displayed a dedication to the continued growth and improvement of the Æthelmearc army and are determined to put a fierce and effect host on the field this summer.
The purpose of the practice was to promote fighting and fencing in the shire, Baroness Mariana said, “it was good of the fighters and fencers to gear up for Pennsic and work together.” She added that the group hoped to continue holding large regional practices at the Center four times a year.
The shire was inspired by Imperator Tindal’s request for such practices in each region quarterly, she said. The Imperator later replied that he didn’t remember specifically encouraging each region to hold regional practices each quarter, but he definitely liked the idea. “More opportunities to train, travel and improve would be a benefit to the Kingdom martial forces,” he agreed.
Lord Hrolfr Fjarfell spars with Don Po before the bearpit.
Baron Eric faces Tiffany.
Baroness Mariana also thanked Baron Gunnar of the Endless Hills, not only for serving as fencing marshal in charge for the day but also for traveling to the shire weekly from his home group to run its fencing practice; the shire, she explained, doesn’t have its own fencing marshal.
The fencers warmed up with a bearpit tourney in the auditorium, in which Baron Eric Grenier de Labarre narrowly beat Don Po Silvertop to win, then they went outside to play Capture the Flag on the back lawn. Although the day was remarkably sunny and nonwindy for a late-winter day, it was a little too chilly for extended outside combat, so the fencers soon returned indoors to spend the rest of the afternoon chatting and enjoying pickups.
“We wanted to knock off the winter rust and prepare for spring melee season leading into War,” His Excellency Gunnar shared.
Arts & Sciences Display
Her Ladyship Christine inghean Grioghair and Lady Elska Fjarfell, both from Myrkfaelinn, displayed some of their recent projects in the hallway near a table of snacks and drinks offered by the Shire.
THL Christine displayed a lovely beaded blackwork embroidered square with gold work, and chatted about embroidery while leafing through a book of stitch designs for ideas for a new sweet bag she wants to make.
Lady Elska holds a salt-hardened piece of her homemade soap. She used her own drip lye rather than purchased lye.
The soap in the ladies bathroom.
Lady Elska showed gentles some hardened tallow/drip lye/salt soap she’d recently made while sporadically stirring the contents of a slow cooker, where soft olive oil/drip lye soap bubbled away.
Visitors to the ladies bathroom found a delightful surprise: a bowl of Lady Elska’s soft tallow soap on a shelf above the sinks, with a note encouraging them to try the silky, pleasant-smelling creation. (It made one’s hands very clean and soft!)
This report was compiled by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope with assistance from O’no Kuma, Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile, Master Alaric MacConall, Lady Katheryne Täntzel, Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill, Lady Melodia Beaupel, and Lord Robert Pour Maintenant.
Though the sun played peekaboo through clouds that brought intermittent cold winds and even the occasional tiny snowflake, the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt proved more fun for the folk of Æthelmearc than it did for the French on that fateful day in October, 1415.
The morning started with the Court of the Imperator, Magnus Tindal, in which he bade THLord Morien MacBain set himself on vigil, there to receive the counsel of the peers and populace regarding his elevation to the Order of the Pelicans.
TOYS FOR TOTS TOURNEY
Martial activities began with the Toys for Tots charity tournament organized by Brillo el Dragon for his high school senior project. 15 fighters participated in a bear pit tournament that lasted almost 2 hours, contributing toys and cash to the charity. Sir Vladimir Mechnik, known as Sir Vlad Two Swords, was the victor, but the children who will received Christmas gifts as a result of the tournament will be the true winners.
The Toys for Tots Tourney. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.
YOUTH CHAMPION’S TOURNEY
At the same time, Their Excellencies Liam and Constance presided over their Youth Combat Champions’ Tournament, which had five young gentles similarly competing in a bear pit for the right to be named baronial champion.
Their Excellencies address the youth fighters. Photo by Arianna.
In addition to receiving points for winning and losing bouts, the fighters had the opportunity to receive bonus points from the Baron, Baroness, and Marshals for chivalry, sportsmanship, and feats of valor or humor. This resulted in not only many points of honor, but also some entertainingly dramatic deaths and a fair number of quotes from Monty Python. His Majesty stopped by and commended the youth fighters for their prowess and camaraderie. He also bestowed upon the newest youth fighter, Danny, a mug in appreciation of Danny’s skill in the Kingdom Youth Championship Tournament held the previous week at Crown Tournament. In the end, Ulfr, who had just stepped down as kingdom champion a week before, was the winner and named Baronial Youth Champion.
Ulfr vs. Danny in the Baronial Youth Combat Champion’s Tourney. Photo by Arianna.
Once the youth fighters left the field to hold tavern brawl melees at the picnic tables on the other side of the feast hall, the fencers took the list.
For the dozen or so rapier combatants, Lord Cyrus Augur ran a round robin tournament with each round being best of three fights using progressive weapons forms: single sword, sword and parry object (or just sword), and then two weapons. Master Will Parris was the victor.
THLady Fiora vs. Lord Balan. Photo by Arianna.
After the tourney, there were melees, including a free-for-all called Paranoia. Fencers who were killed were out of the melee until the fencer who had killed them was also killed.
Lady Lucia vs. Lord Michael Gladewyne. Photo by Arianna.
After a tasty lunch crafted by Lord Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka and his kitchen crew, the tournament to choose the Debatable Lands Thrown Weapons Champion was hosted by last year’s Baronial Champion, Lord Halldorr Bildr Fintanson. There were 8 competitors vying for this honor, and all knew well the challenge the cold weather presented to the already daunting task. A qualifying round was held, after which 5 throwers were deemed worthy. The championship field included all manner of experience levels, from the most serious and experienced to a first time thrower who picked up knife and axe that day simply to try his hand. A steady hand he proved, for he indeed did qualify and acquit himself nicely.
The competition was a Robin Hood themed throw, and centered on the capture of Will Scarlet.
Thrown weapons participants. Photo by Zyla of Sebastion’s Place.
The competitors included Lady Verena Wittkopf, Baroness Aemilia Soteria, Don Clewin Kupferhelblinc, Karl Kupferhelbelinc (age 6), O’no Kuma, and the first time thrower, Duncan McClough.
There were four targets, with one axe target and three knife targets, two weapons thrown per target. The axe target consisted of a white castle with a double door. Five points were awarded for hitting the door, one point for hitting the castle, and 10 points for hitting either the hinges or the handles of the door.
The second target proved much more challenging. It consisted of a head and shoulder with an inch-wide cloak above and around the shoulders. 10 points were given for sticking your knife in the cloak so as to pin Will Scarlet to the wall for questioning, 5 points for a non-lethal strike to the head or arms, and 1 point for the rest of the target. However, a lethal strike to the head or torso would prove costly, deducting 5 points from your score. There was only one 10 point throw, executed brilliantly by Baroness Aemillia Soteria with a devastating knife to the cloak at the bottom of the neck above the shoulder, pinning her subject quite nicely to the wall.
The third target consisted of a small Baronial shield over the center bullseye, with smaller still round shield targets encircling it. Each competitor was given a shield to strike. Hitting the target at all was worth 1 point, while hitting your chosen shield was 5 points. However, hitting an “ally” shield would deduct 5 points, and hitting the Baronial shield, God forbid, was a devastating deduction of 10 points. This target was the most difficult yet, yielding few points to the competitors, but thankfully no one struck the Barony shield.
The final and ultimately deciding target a “head” placed on the ground with an apple pinned upon the top. Competitors were to knock the apple off the top for 5 points, and doing damage to the apple’s skin would yield 10 points. But doing damage to the head would cost you a deduction of 10 points. This was by far the most challenging target. Not only was there a high risk for a miscue, but the target being on the ground presented a formidable addition challenge, as most throwers don’t practice throwing to ground targets. This point proved out in the end, with most competitors missing the target entirely or flirting dangerously close to damaging the head. In the end, only 2 competitors managed to knock the apple off the head: Duncan and Don Clewin, with Clewin being the only one to actually damage the apple, slicing the upper right portion of the apple clean off. This brilliant throw gave Don Clewin the Championship, with a total of 17 points. Three others tied for second with 11 points.
The throwing proved difficult due to the cold and wind as fingers became numb and knives became slippery and harder to control. However, there was never a complaint or a discouraging word heard by any on the throwing line. Her Excellency, Baroness Constance, marveled at the skill and aptitude of the throwers, especially in the cold conditions!
Congratulations to Don Clewin Kupferhelblinc on his victory. We know you will represent us well throughout the coming year. VIVAT!!
Agincourt was the site of many populace archery shoots:
Lady Katheryne Täntzel ran a youth shoot for French vs English.
Master Alaric MacConnal ran a shield shoot of French vs. English, which was won by Lord Pavel Dudoladov for the English.
THLord Deryk Archer ran a hunt shoot. Ben Nemeth, a promising new archer from the Debatable Lands, took top honors in this shoot.
Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile ran royal rounds, where King Tindal shoot his first ever royal round.
We shot through the rain, snow and sun. In the end, not surprisingly, the English proved victorious on the archery range.
However, the premier archery competition of the day was the Seven Pearls shoot. There were seven stations, jointly designed and marshaled by last year’s champion, Lord Ichikiero Osoroshi, with assistance from Meistari Urho and Maistir Brandubh.
Seven Pearls Archery competition. Photo by Baron Liam macanTsaoire.
Alas, due to the need to reschedule after weather canceled the plan to hold Seven Pearls at Archers to the Wald, only two baronies were able to provide champions to shoot: the Debatable Lands sent Lady Katheryne Täntzel while Delftwood was represented by Baroness Anastasie Delamour. To make the competition more interesting, they invited other archers to fill in for the Baronies not represented, as the Shoots were designed for 7 to compete against one another. Baron Edward Harbinger, Lord Takematsu Yoshitaka, Ben Nemeth, Lord Pavel Dudolodov, and Master Alaric MacConnal filled in for the other groups.
Shooters were awarded points based on their ranking in each end. All archers received between 1 and 7 point for each end of arrows, first place in each end received 7 points, down to last place in each end received 1 point.
The shoot opened with a one-minute timed round where each archer had to shoot 3 arrows each at 20, 30 and 40 yard targets for standard royal round scores.
The second shoot required the archers to remove all 6 pearls from a baronial coronet while shooting en masse.
The third round was a swan shoot at 40 yards, while the fourth was a baronial heraldry shoot, where all archers shot at the heraldry of the other baronies. The winner was the barony with the least hits on its arms, while the barony with the most hits on its arms received the least points.
The fifth shoot was comprised of period targets of a shield and wand, and the sixth was a pearl hunt, with 49 pearls on the target. Only seven were true pearls and worth points, but archers had to shoot all the pearls to find the true pearls.
In the seventh and final challenge round, after working through the range, each archer issued a challenge and all archers had three arrows to answer the challenge.
In the end Lady Katheryne bested Baroness Anastasie to claim the title of Seven Pearls Champion for the Debatable Lands, while Baron Edward proved the victor among the stand-ins.
Much fun was had by the archers on this cold afternoon. Lady Katheryne, Marshal in Charge, wishes to thank the other marshals and also Meistari Urho for providing loaner gear.
The sides were chosen, French (blue) and English (red), with the marshals attempting to make them about even.
First there were a series of gate battles. Access was limited to a nine-foot gate, though the combat archers could fire more freely. The sides took turns being the aggressors with unlimited resurrections against the defenders who had none. Each side was the attacker twice.
After that, there was a series of five open field battles. The French won the first two, the English the final three.
Then a game was played where teams of three non-archers tried to cross an open field while a group of three archers fired at them. If any of the non-archers were ‘killed’ the entire team had to return to the starting line. If one was legged, all were legged.
Finally, the traditional ‘Tavern Brawl’ was held, in which fighters began the melee seated at picnic tables and then jumped into the fight when the marshals called Lay On.
ARTS AND SCIENCES
THLady Sumayya al Ghaziyyah and Lady Astridr Vikaskegg ran the first St. Crispin’s A&S Competition, which is planned to be held annually at Agincourt in the future. There were 25 entries ranging from novices to Laurels and from fiber and costuming to calligraphy and illumination. Entries were judged based on Creativity, Workmanship, Aesthetics, Authenticity, and Complexity. While documentation was considered important, scores for it were only considered in the case of a tie.
Baron Silvester Burchardt won the overall St. Crispin’s Challenge with his piece of brocaded tablet-woven trim.
Brocade tablet weaving by Baron Silvester Burchardt. Photo by Arianna.
Prizes were also given to gentles in categories based on the arts awards they possessed. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope won the Laurel category with a black hours Fleur scroll. In the Journeyman category, for gentles with Fleurs, THLord Ishiyama Gen’tarou Yori’ie won for his Suoh (Japanese garb). In the Novice category, for gentles with Sycamores, Lady Ceindrich verch Elidir won for her knitted stockings based on an extant pair made for Eleanor of Toledo. In the Tenderfoot category, for gentles with no Arts awards, Lady Abbatissa Dreye de Banneberi won with her sekanjabin.
After the day’s activities wore down, Their Excellencies and His Majest held court, processing in to the Debatable Choir singing the Agincourt Carol.
Baron Liam and Baroness Constance recognized their Youth and Thrown Weapons Champions, as well as the winners of the Seven Pearls Archery and other archery competitions, the A&S competition winners, and the winner of the Toys for Tots tournament, as previously mentioned.
Baron Silvester Burchardt is named winner of the St. Crispin’s A&S Competition. Photo by Arianna.
Brillo el Dragon addresses the Baron and Baroness regarding the Toys for Tots tournament that he organized. Photo by Arianna.
Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile was called forward as archery marshal and noted that Lord Pavel Dudoladov and Lord Robert Pour Maintenant had achieved the Royal Round rank of Marksman.
Their Excellencies also bestowed awards on the following gentles:
Lord Markus Skalpr Grimsson receives a Blue Silver Comet for his tablet weaving and the authenticity of his fighting accoutrements. Photo by Arianna.
Lord Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka receives a Gold Comet for his service, including building the gate for the Debatable Lands’ Pennsic encampment. Photo by Arianna.
Lord Robert Pour Maintenant receives a Gold Comet for his service as a heavy weapons marshal at practices and events. Photo by Arianna.
Their Excellencies then called for Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, presenting him with a scroll commemorating the Green Comet that had been given to him at Pennsic, and also asked him to convey the Toys for Tots tourney winner scroll and likewise a belated Green Comet scroll to Sir Vladimir Mechnik, who had left the event before court.
Sir Thorgrim receives his Green Comet scroll and scrolls for Sir Vlad. Photo by Arianna.
Finally, Their Excellencies had words with the Imperator, Magnus Tindal, regarding their plans to invade their neighboring Shire of King’s Crossing at the Shire’s upcoming Birthday B(r)all on November 7th in order to retake the lands “stolen” from the Barony-Marche many years ago. His Majesty, after expressing some concern, decided the invasion might be justified and granted Their Excellencies leave to execute this plan.
Imperator Tindal addresses the Baron and Baroness about their planned invasion of King’s Crossing. Photo by Arianna.
Baronial Court closed, and Kingdom Court commenced. A record of the doings at that Court may be found here.
After court, gentles retired to a splendid feast cooked by Meesteress Odriana vander Brughe and her crew, then wound the evening down with bardic activities and good fellowship. Those who stayed overnight in the cabins on the site were treated to a breakfast of bagels and yummy feast leftovers Sunday morning.
Congratulations to the Autocrats, Baron Liam, Baroness Constance, and Lady Isabel, for another fine Agincourt event.
Photo by THLady Ursula of Rouen, Æthelmearc Authorizations Clerk
So, you’re going to Pennsic this year and want to fight or fence? Make sure your paperwork is in order before you leave by following these tips:
1. Your Primary Authorization must be complete and dated on or before July 15, 2015. A primary authorization is your first authorization in any marshal discipline. Any authorization paperwork for a primary form dated after July 15, 2015 will not be mailed out until Wednesday of War Week to help keep Æthelmearc in compliance with Pennsic rules.
All authorization forms are turned into the Kingdom Authorizations Clerk by July 18, any forms in hand that day will be mailed out on Tuesday, July 20, 2015.
The Authorizations Clerk’s new address is THLady Ursula of Rouen, c/o Ms. Danielle M. Duvall, PO Box 661, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. A self-addressed, stamped envelope is never required, but always appreciated.
Please check your card now to see if it has expired or will expire prior to August 10, 2015 and please complete the paperwork for a renewal now. No need to wait until the card is close to expiration.
Keep a copy of your paperwork in a safe place; whether it is a brand new authorization, an additional form, or a renewal, plan to have that paperwork on your person for use at Pennsic in case your card does not make it to you before you leave for vacation.
It’s a good idea to make a copy of your authorization card/paperwork, and photo ID, put in a Ziploc baggie and tape to the back of your shield, or keep in your armor bag. You’ll need these along with your medallion to get inspected at Pennsic.
If you need to reach THLady Ursula regarding your Authorization Card, or if you have any questions her e-mail address is email@example.com. You may also call before 10pm at 540-287-1748. Please do not send Facebook messages as those get lost in the shuffle.
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope recently sat down with Duchess Tessa the Huntress to discuss the Omnibus Martial Peerage Movement.
Many SCA members were concerned when the Society’s Board of Directors decided at their January meeting not to create the Rapier Peerage that so many people were expecting. A lot of letters were written and many discussions were held on social media about what people thought the BoD should do going forward. One of the options a fair number of gentles suggested was an omnibus martial peerage to cover all of the non-rattan martial arts.
When the BoD surprised everyone by reversing course at their Feb. 2nd meeting and creating the Order of Defence, many people in the other non-rattan martial arts communities, while happy for their friends in rapier, were deeply disappointed that they were once again left out. A few decided to take action, and formed the Martial Peerage Facebook group as a way to organize support for an omnibus martial peerage. The leader in this effort is Æthelmearc’s Earl Marshal, Duchess Tessa the Huntress.
Duchess Tessa joined the SCA in the Canton of Cydllain Downs (Columbia, SC), in the Kingdom of Atlantia, in 1983. She said, “Combat archery and history are what drew me in. I’ve done heavy fighting, helped to start target archery in the southern part of Atlantia, and participated in the first equestrian games in Atlantia in 1985.” She moved to Æthelmearc in A.S. XXXII (1998).
Duchess Tessa in action, photo courtesy of Her Grace.
In 2002, Her Grace became the first Society Deputy Earl Marshal for Combat Archery. In that position, Duchess Tessa reached out to all of the Kingdoms’ archery communities, working with them to create testing procedures, spread the practice of Combat Archery throughout the kingdoms, and standardized combat archery rules across the society. Her Grace was elevated to the Pelican for that work in A.S. XLII. She became Earl Marshal of Æthelmearc in January of A.S. XLVI.
Interspersed with her work in Combat Archery, Her Grace managed to find time to reign as Queen of Æthelmearc three times with her husband, Duke Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn. She remembers, “When I was Queen last time, there were people in our kingdom who I felt were peers, but because their martial skill was not a rattan weapons form, they didn’t fit in the Chivalry. We tried to see if they could fit in the Laurel. and it became clear that they could for their research, but not for martial skill alone. This meant we had people in several martial communities who we couldn’t recognize [with a peerage]. I felt that was wrong. Since then, I have talked to a lot of people and realized that many people in those communities felt that their activities weren’t as appreciated as others, since their best couldn’t be recognized as peers.”
Sir Jon FitzRauf, photo courtesy of Sir Jon.
Her Grace pointed out that the idea for an omnibus peerage is not new. She explained, “Sir Jon FitzRauf [of the West Kingdom], former Archery Marshal of the Society, wrote the first proposal for an omnibus martial peerage back in 1999. He formed a group to work with him on it, open to anyone. It started with combat archery and target archery, but as he talked to people he realized there were other communities in the same boat, so his proposal grew to include all non-rattan martial activities. That proposal got no response from the BoD, but he has continued working on it and refining it, resubmitting new proposals four more times.”
After the BoD’s announcement of the new Order of Defence, Duchess Tessa said, “When I read the letter from the BOD, it upset me a great deal. I had hoped they would see the big picture and create something that included all martial activities. The part about other martial areas not having the community the fencers did – I believe they could have chosen their words more carefully, and perhaps they didn’t understand how it would affect those of us who do those other martial activities. In my opinion, it said that we weren’t worthy, that we didn’t have the numbers or the community to deserve equal recognition. That disappointed me.”
Her Grace said that, after sleeping on it, “I decided that it was time that I stepped up and helped to make the change that I wanted to see. So, I made a post on my Facebook page and tried to reach out to people in each martial community and across the Society. One of the first people I reached out to was Sir Jon. He started this movement and I wanted him to work with me, if he could. I’ve gotten to meet him, he’s an awesome person. He was thrilled that I had picked up the banner and was running with it. He thanked me for inviting him.”
Tessa decided to create a Facebook group.
She started with Sir Jon and about a dozen people in Æthelmearc, and then reached out to 20 more people in other kingdoms. She still has connections throughout the Society in the archery and CA communities, and others in the initial group had connections with equestrian, thrown weapons, and siege. Her Grace tagged someone in each kingdom, told them what she was doing and why, and asked them to spread the word. Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin set up a link for people to join the group, which the initial members shared. “The first day we had over 100 people. It spread so much quicker than I anticipated, because so many people helped.”
By the third day, the group had members in all 19 Kingdoms of the Society, and it has continued to grow from there. As of the writing of this article, the Martial Peerage Facebook group has over 780 members.
With such a large group, how does Tessa keep the discussions organized and productive? “We have a set mission: an omnibus peerage. We told everyone to keep it polite. At about 400 members we hit growing pains and I couldn’t keep up with all of the different threads, so I asked for suggestions and decided to make topic threads. It made a huge difference, helping to organize the conversations.”
Early on, Mistress Tiercelin created the group’s symbol, a Gothic capital “O” for Omnibus in gold on a purple background. Tessa said it’s been a big hit, noting that “People rally to symbols.” Tiercelin commented, “People were asking for something they could use to show support for the omnibus peerage – not the heraldic badge that will eventually be approved, but just a symbol to show that they are in favor of the creation of the new peerage. It started with a simple O, but then I added symbols for each of our activities. We have a horse for the equestrians, an arrow for the archers, arrow/horse combo for mounted archery, catapult for siege, and axe for thrown weapons.” A few of those symbols are shown here:
Images by Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin.
Tiercelin notes, “So far we have seen the O being used as a Facebook profile picture, a smaller PicBadge on a regular profile picture, and in many forms of belt favors, tokens, brooches, and even earrings. The King and Queen of the East sported arm favors with the O at a recent event. We will have wooden pins available at Ice Dragon [in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on March 21st] with the various versions; stop by the Equestrian Encampment to pick one up.”
When asked how the group plans to make its case to the Board, Duchess Tessa said, “[One of the things] we have focused on is participation numbers and collecting data on existing awards for our martial activities, trying to show depth and breath.” Master Dirk Edward of Frisia from the Middle Kingdom helped compile the following statistics on current participation among all martial arts in the Society across all of the kingdoms:
9,324 heavy weapons fighters
3, 859 rapier fighters
8,212 target archers
1,349 thrown weapons
2,454 combat archers
This comes to a total of 13,998 participants in the martial areas that would be covered by the omnibus peerage. Her Grace admits that there is some overlap in people who participate in more than one area, but said these are conservative numbers for target and thrown weapons, and there are still three kingdoms that haven’t reported.
She also noted that “In the past 5 years, all of our martial activities have gained people [except] the heavy community, which has lost participants.” When asked if she thought this is because the Society is aging and heavy weapons combat is hard on the body, Tessa agreed that was possible. She also thinks that in the past few years movies [like Brave and The Hunger Games] have greatly boosted archery numbers.
When asked what she thought the primary objections to an omnibus martial peerage are, Tessa said, “A lot of people mistakenly believe this is about people wanting to get a peerage for themselves. I think at least 3/4 of the people who are in the Martial Peerage Facebook group either don’t want a peerage for themselves or think they will never reach that level, but want to see those they respect and look up to recognized. In my opinion, it’s more about equal acceptance.”
As a result of the group’s discussions, a proposal is being crafted that will be sent to the Board in early March for consideration at their April meeting. While it is still a work in progress that is being developed by a steering committee comprised of people from each kingdom, here are some of its key elements:
Martial endeavors other than rattan and rapier have been in the Society for decades. They contribute to the SCA, bring in new people, and make the organization richer. Their numbers mirror the heavy community and are growing every year.
Everyone who is a peer deserves to be recognized as one, no matter what martial activity they do.
To ensure this, the group proposes that the SCA Board of Directors create an omnibus peerage for all martial activities that fall under the Society Earl Marshal except for rattan and fencing, since they are already recognized by existing peerages. Any new martial arts would be added to this order in the future.
This peerage would follow the Laurel model of incorporating all activities on equal footing together. The group has discussed creating rubrics on how to judge someone in a different martial activity.
The group is working on proposals for a name and heraldry. Current name candidates include the Order of the Valiance, the Order of the Chimera, and the Order of the Hunt.
Duchess Tessa plans to attend the April BoD meeting, which will be held in Covington, KY on April 18, and says she will do her best to get other members of the group to go, too. She knows this issue is not likely to be decided quickly, but says, “My plan is to present our proposal to the BOD and see what feedback we get from them. I believe the BOD would like to get this resolved, and if they don’t like part of the proposal, they will let us know and may create a committee to look into it. Several kingdoms already have omnibus Grant or AoA level awards for martial activities [like Æthelmearc’s Golden Alce], and I see this following a similar path.”
Duchess Tessa, photo courtesy of Her Grace.
Her Grace says she has been impressed with how well the group has been working together. “Sir Jon has worked with dozens of people on this for years. He should be recognized for his vision and hard work. The Facebook group has the numbers and growth it has because of the people like him who are part of it. They have inspired me. This effort would have no chance of success if we weren’t all working together. I have also been touched by those people who don’t do these activities but have stepped forward to support us. I just want to thank them, too.”
In closing, Duchess Tessa said, “I think it’s important that everyone feels they are welcome in the SCA and that their work and their activity is appreciated. As a Society, we need to make certain those members who have mastered the skills in these martial activities and are peers in every other way can be recognized appropriately as the peers that they are.”
From Sir Jon FitzRauf:
“I first started working on the idea of peerage recognition for the non-rattan martial activities (NRMA) back in 1999. I formed a Yahoo group of like-minded Society members and we put together the first proposal to create a new peerage that would allow recognition of those that excel in the martial activities that were not covered by the Chivalry, the Laurel, or the Pelican. That was presented to the BoD in 2000 and turned down by them.
I have continued working toward this idea for the last fifteen years. Because I believed that there are outstanding individuals that excel in the skills of these activities and who have the required peerage level qualifications who are unable to be recognized for these skills by the Crowns that would wish to do so. Since there is no current peerage that is open to them this excellence, the Crowns are unable to recognize them properly.
The BoD’s recent creation of the Order of the Masters of Defence finally allows the Crowns to recognize the outstanding rapier and cut and thrust participants. Nevertheless, it still left the other non-rattan martial activities without a deserved means of peerage level recognition. However, the discussion brought about by its creation did create further interest and support in the recognition of the NRMA across the Society.
The current Omnibus Peerage Proposal being put forth by Duchess Tessa and our group is based in part on my previous submissions to the BoD. If accepted, it will allow the Crowns to recognize those that are deserving. It will also allow the recognition of any future martial activities that would be recognized by the Marshalate without the BoD having to repeat this entire process again for each new activity.
I strongly suggest that everyone read the Omnibus Proposal and send a letter of support to the BoD.
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have worked so hard toward obtaining peerage recognition for the NRMA for the last fifteen years. Their efforts and your support may finally make this possible.