Siege People! I am AE Siege Commander this year at Pennsic, and I’m collecting contact information and working on estimates of how much firepower we’ll have. If you are planning to do siege at Pennsic, could you message me with:
a name for your squad, so I don’t double-count
how many engines you plan to bring, and of what type
how much ammunition you have
how many siege engineers you have for your engines
your rate of fire. For example, “each of our ballistas fires about two shots per minute”
Thank you, and pass it on! This will also help us to help you in getting engines and ammo together.
The Kingdom Authorization Clerk has introduced a new online option for filing your Authorization paperwork. The paper form will not be going away, this is an enhancement of the current process. There will still be physical Authorization Cards sent to each fighter.
Here is the new process:
You will fill out either the paper authorization form OR go online to fill out the online form.*
You will either tear off the top portion of the paper form to show at the MOL table OR you will need to have your email confirmation available on your phone to show to the MOL.
You will either send in the bottom portion of the paper form to the Authorization Clerk (remembering to include a SASE) OR the Authorization Clerk will pull the online information.
The Authorization Clerk will then issue you an Authorization Card and send it to you via USPS.
At the MOL table you will need to have your authorization card, a picture of your authorization card on your phone, the top portion of the paper form, or the email confirmation you received when filling out the online form.
With electronic delivery of the confirmation, you *must* have the email pulled up on your phone to show at the table. The MOLs will not be able to provide you with a device to log into your email to produce that information. You may want to consider taking screen shots of the email so you have a backup in the event that there is minimal or no bandwidth available at the event site.
In our continuing series of the Gazette’s Officer Interviews, THL Rosalia Iuliana Andre answered the following questions regarding her involvement in the SCA, the siege program and her thoughts on siege activities in the Kingdom.
How long have you been in the SCA and what was your first event?
I joined the SCA in the summer of 2003 when I started at the University of Pittsburgh. My first event was the Coronation of Henri. It didn’t take long to get involved in the College of Cour d’Or where I held both the office of Chatelaine and then Seneschal while I was at university.
What has made you stay?
I came to recreate medieval activities. I stayed for the people. So many of my current friends within and outside the Society came from those first few years.
How did you become interested in siege activities and then became the Kingdom Siege Officer?
I fully blame His Excellency Sir Maghnus de Cnoc an Iora for a harebrained idea of building an arbalest and His Grace Christopher Rawlyns for encouraging my interest in siege. We began with one engine, fairly quickly growing to a battery of three, with a crew of more than a dozen. Recently we added a human powered trebuchet to the mix. I enjoy the effectiveness and the challenge of siege and want to help more people try it out. When the call for letters to the office came out several years ago, I knew that I could really take on that goal and introduce more people to siege.
What is the role of the Kingdom Officer for Siege?
This office is responsible for warranting siege marshals, collecting information about siege activities in the kingdom and passing them on to the Society Deputy for Siege, making sure that Æthelmearc is not in conflict to updates to the siege rules from the Society Deputy for Siege, sharing those updates, and promoting siege activities in the kingdom. The Kingdom Siege Marshal also rotates as the Pennsic Siege Marshal in Charge.
Do you have a general philosophy about your job?
Keep it fun! There are always going to be tedious aspects to any job, but make sure to still have fun doing it.
How would someone get involved in Siege activities?
Start by finding an event that has siege activities, and talk to the people with the siege engines. We always love to talk about what we do. Can’t find an event? Email me and we can brainstorm ways to get you connected with people near you. (She can be contacted at email@example.com )
What is an example of something you think the general populace should know about Siege, but don’t?
Many people think that siege only serves to support fighters in battles. Recently, at Pennsic especially, there have been Siege and Combat Archery only battles. They provide an entirely different challenge! Some of the scenarios require precision, accuracy and finesse, while others demand speed and mobility. They’re great fun!
Æthelmearc Siege at Pennsic
Where do you see the Siege program going in the SCA or the kingdom – Are there any changes coming?
We recently started a Siege Marshal in Training sequence for gentles interested in becoming a marshal but not necessarily having the experience of being an engineer. It’s challenging to grow a marshal community without a solid core of marshals. I also want to encourage a youth tabletop siege component, but am still working out what that would look like.
What is the best part about Siege activities in the SCA?
Bridge battles are the BEST! Also, fighters don’t usually call “light” when they’ve been hit. (They usually call us some other things…)
Anything else that you think people should know?
This fun fact: The official title of Æthelmearc’s Kingdom Siege Marshal is the Brigadier of Siege Weapons.
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.
Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of the Æcademy, reports on the doings at the fall session held on November 12, A.S. 51.
No matter whether you were hungry for a smorgasbord of classes or an all-day tuck-in, the recent Æthelmearc AEcademy and War College, hosted by the Shire of Nithgaard, surely had something of interest.
Some of the highlights on the menu included:
An all-day scribal workshop on Italian White Vine, a soup-to-nuts series that covered design, gilding, painting, and calligraphy. Some of the students had never held a paintbrush before, yet they left the class with a breathtaking piece-in-progress.
Master Kameshima teaches calligraphy at the Italian White Vine scribal class. Photo by Mistress Alicia.
A four-hour hands-on build-your-own-trebuchet class included a field trip outside to see a trebuchet in action.
THLady Rosalia demonstrates the handheld trebuchet. Photo by Mistress Alicia.
Two classes on brewing – one for beginners, one for advanced students – were followed in the afternoon by a two-hour roundtable hosted by Lady Elska á Fjárfella. A dozen brewers happily spent time tasting and discussing samples of their craft.
Fiber and textile arts classes were so abundant that they nearly filled two entire tracks! Classes on everything from spinning, knitting, and tablet weaving to bookmarks, silk banners, and printed textiles made it difficult to choose which to attend and which to miss.
Mistress Rhiannon teaching her bookmark class. Photo by Mistress Alicia.
Youth-friendly classes made learning accessible and fun for children of all ages (these classes even attracted adults unaccompanied by minors!). Young scholars made Italian desserts, played period games, created a Viking pouch, and printed designs on fabric. One of the classes – Period Games for Youth — was taught by Their Highnesses’ pre-teen sons, Douglas and Timothy the Younger.
Kids learning to make marzipan. Photo by Lady Arianna dal Vallone.
The large indoor gym provided space all day for small-group and one-on-one instruction in the martial arts. On one side, fencers honed their skills with the blade while on the other, heavy fighters squared off to teach and learn.
For those who craved a smattering of learning, the schedule included topics to tempt almost every taste. Accessories, Embroidery, Food, Literary Arts, Music, Soap-making and more were represented. Make-and-take classes as well as history and service-oriented classes were offered.
Mistress Alfrun teaching spinning. Photo by Mistress Alicia Langland.
Many of the classes had never been offered at Æcademy before. For some teachers, this was their first time teaching at Æcademy; for a few, this was their first-ever teaching experience.
Baron Friderich Swartzwalder’s silk banner class. Photo by Mistress Alicia.
A testament to the excellent offerings on the schedule and to the event staff’s terrific publicity, attendance was nearly double what was expected. Kudos to the event staff – particularly the kitchen crew – for being so welcoming and accommodating.
Following the end of classes, Their Majesties capped the day with a court that had everyone in stitches. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful day.
Master Creador gifts Her Majesty with a period fishing pole at court. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.
We hope you will reserve Saturday, June 17, 2017, and plan to attend the next session of Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College, which will be held in the Shire of Angel’s Keep (central New York / Auburn NY).
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.
REMINDER: 1st Quarter Marshal Reports are due today, Monday, 15 February 2016
If you are a Standard Marshal, Group Marshal, or Knight Marshal then your reports are due TODAY. 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 the 1st. If you are a Kingdom Marshal or Kingdom Deputy your report is not due until the 10th.
All Archery 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 want to or if they have something they feel should be reported, but they are not required to report this quarter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.