Your Majesties, Your Highnesses:
I do not see a need for these new laws. Please consider allowing the standards of good taste and decency that have been hallmarks of the fairest
of kingdoms to dictate culture, not rules and rulers.
I do not care one whit what fools in Meridies, nor the East do, or wear on their heads. I am Atlantian. I was born that way in the SCA and will remain that way. I embrace our kingdom’s long tradition of not having sumptuary laws and can not view these new rulings as anything but despite the titling of ‘symbols of rank’.
I believe, (as do many that have examined these laws) that they most impact the Court Baronage of the Realm. Unlike in past times, we are blessed with an abundance of court baronage in our kingdom now, many who gained that title from years of work for their local barony as landed baronage. (This is a good thing!) I am one of those people. There are many of us active in my local barony. Some of us wear coronets at events when we are attending You in court, or serving Your people at events. Some of us don’t, for a variety of reasons. Some have not yet purchased a coronet. None the less I assure You that our newcomers are educated in who our landed baronage is, and what a Duke looks like. Our new people are not suffering because we have court barons around wearing coronet of various heights. Instead they are thriving because of the good works of that group. All of our baronage are vital to this barony surviving the downturn in youthful membership that
the SCA suffers, and none of us should be disenfranchised by these new rules. In short, I care what is in a person’s heart, not how large a coronet they wear. I am not threatened by larger ones, because unless they are of a medieval fashion, I think they are simply silly and discount that foolishness. I assure you our new people are excited to learn about our long standing traditions and most of that education is coming from Your court baronage. At my local, weekly practice I can think of, at a minimum nine former landed baronage that actively participate in our group. That is a good thing. We are the people that run your events, cook your feasts, teach the new folks how to sew and what a ducal strawberry leaf means. We work hard for You, and none of us care one bit how big someone else’s headgear is. Our new members don’t either. They do want to be treated with respect and courtesy and this is something that I find many long time SCA members
lacking, regardless of rank.
Also, as a member of the Order of the Laurel I worry that these rules will make it harder to increase authenticity in appearance for those of us that choose to wear our signs of baronial rank and do it in a tasteful and authentic manner. I can not support something that makes it harder to look more like you stepped from the pages of medieval piece of art. It’s counter to the goals of the organization. For instance, a beautiful piece of art like this would technically no longer be a coronet: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk_schlemm/4062044095/in/photostream
The restrictions on Fleur de lis I find I especially dislike since they are key elements of both my and my lady’s arms. I do not look at a Fleur and think “Duke” and I very much doubt that most long time Scadians do, though I do think “French” or “Virgin Mary” because I have studied the history of that symbol at length.
Likewise I see no reason to limit baronial coronets on helms. Again, I simply think this is not a problem. If someone wants to use a coronet on their helm because they are proud of the achievement they have received from years of service to the crowns, then so be it. I also have a helm design that I have been planning to have made for many years that incorporates a three lobed object, as did the original. I do not want to run afoul of my kingdom’s new rules in a quest to be more authentic. It has nothing to do with being a baron, or a duke or anything else. This set of laws would prohibit me from bringing to the SCA one of the cooler looking 12c helm design elements that I have never seen employed.
As a general rule I find that I dislike when new laws are added without a very strong and clear purpose. I have yet to see a real problem here, only a perception, and the arguments given to me have yet to change that opinion. In short, I believe this is a solution in search of a problem.
For many years it was an unspoken custom among many of the highest rank to make sure their coronets were not larger than the Atlantian Crowns. Not everyone has followed that tradition of course. Perhaps a simple reminder of this courtesy would suffice rather than a whole set of laws that will undoubtedly cause more confusion and drama. While I am aware that Their Highnesses are a part of this discussion and the committee one day, I assure you, a future monarch is going to come and try and ‘fix’ or ‘clarify’ these laws and we are going to end up with even more problems.
Your Majesties, Your Highness I have served this realm through many Kings and Queens. Most of them good, some of them poor, some of them foolish, many of them wise. I once knew a wise King that stood before his Curia with an idea that he was sure was the correct course for his kingdom. After he proposed it he saw that there was in fact very strong opposition to that law change. Without the support of his people the law did not serve its purpose. On the spot, he stopped the law because he saw that there was no support for it.
I do not believe there is sufficient support for this law that will overcome the drama that is has already caused and will continue to cause. I beg You, humbly as Your sworn man, to re-consider this ill advised set of laws.
Sir Bryce de Byram, OL, OP, Baron of the Atlantian Court
Remember when I used to regularly update this blog?
Yeah, me neither.
So, who all is coming to Atlantian Crown? With out a list it's a bit of a crap shot.
We know Cuan, and Robert are fighting (that's a good line up for a finals btw), and I know at least three unbelts that is fighting (Lukas, Ribcracker & Moorhaven).
Anyway know anyone else in the tourney?
Give up the goods!
Funny Gracie stuff from this weekend:
After playing together almost all day Friday I got up to go to St. Paddy’s Day Bloodbath on Saturday. While I am in the bathroom Grace comes in and says she wants me to stay home with her instead. (Heartbreaking!) I tell her I can’t because I have company coming over. As I am pouring myself coffee she comes up to me and says “Um, Dad…(this is her normal preamble) tonight can we watch one of our DVD’s, a movie together when you get home from the Event?” I tell her yes and that as a special treat I will make popcorn for us. “Oh yeah (claps her little hands!) You make GREAT popcorn!”
So of course I made sure I was home in time to watch something with her. She chose “The Avengers” On Demand rather than an actual movie and helped me make the popcorn. Which she mostly ate by herself.
Later on Sunday she asks to wear a dress over her jeans and Mommie picks out some little cotton number with flowers and butterflies on it. While playing with Mommie while I am napping she declares she is the new Superhero “Flower Girl” (! Protecting Brides from crappy wedding planners everywhere I guess) and that Mommie is her Sidekick, Grey Girl (Kim was wearing a grey tee shirt).
Later Flower Girl and I go out into the yard so I can lounge in a hammock and drink coffee and she can run around and play. Flowergirl decides I need a Super hero name so I can fight crime too. She suggests “Blue Guy” since I am wearing a blue shirt and I tell her I prefer to be named after my awesome travel mug of Joe. So my name became the ever awesome “The Red Cup” (fighting evil with a steaming cup of justice!).
I asked her what her super powers were btw. She replied that she saved a little girl or two (her dolls). How did you do that I ask. Grace: “….With my HANDS, Daddy! I reached out and saved them WITH MY HANDS!” (duh!) Ok then!
Soon after we became pirates out for plunder on the high seas of the backyard. Being Captain had its advantages since I was able to lay in the hammock while the First Mate hunted for treasure. There was a long interlude with a Dolphin named Blue and the search for it’s Mommie that I won’t get in to, but near the end of our adventures the First Mate tells me we need to go stop Medusa ( who is NOT a monster btw, thank you very much. She has red hair!)
I ask if we can do that as Pirates. She says “Of course. We _are_ Superheroes after all!”
Daddy: “Superhero Pirates?”
Grace: “YEAH!” (and then she proceeds to do the Wonder Woman spin in the back yard.)
Grace’s latest stalling tactic for bedtime is to come out from her room after she has been put down complaining of Monsters in the Closet. This involves several exorcisms a night. She has two posters in her room, one of Superman and one of Batman. It is, according to Mommie, the World’s Finest job to handle the Monsters and Ghosts (her favorite show right now is Scooby Doo). Superman apparently gets to deal with the monsters and Batman has to take care of the Ghosts.
Apparently though even the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel need a little help from Mommie on occasion.
These are magical times. Lots of tantrums as well right now (why is it that the ‘half’s’ are the worst?) but none the less extremely precious moments.
In which I spiral into Seasonal Madness….
I guess I have Spring Fever. I’m sorta out of it in general. It might be these damn drugs, I don’t know.
Tonight is practice and I admit I am a bit apprehensive about it. Last time I fought my knees swelled up horrorifically. That has never really happened before and I blame the Cipro. Add to that the fear I have of tendon rupture and I’m….less that thrilled about fighting right now. My weight has spiraled out of control again and while I know I need to deal with this (I’m sure it is making the knees and back worse too) I am…lazy? I don’t know. I just don’t want to deal with it. Maybe this is some sort of seasonal depression, or perhaps it is just fall out from the last couple of months. Lent is approaching so perhaps I will use that period of reflection to address all these internal demons that seem to be prowling around the edges of my psyche.
I don’t mean to bitch about it but waiting and keeping Melisent’s Pelican for four months sorta did a number on my head. Now that it is over I feel like a great weight has been taken off me, but at the same time, I feel really…empty? I don’t know. Just drained. I know that spending the last several months sick on and off with the sinus infection from hell has just wrecked me. I have seven more days of this antibiotic course and I can’t wait to be done with it. I’m not really sleeping normally because of the combo of drugs I am on and I am not exercising. This is a recipe for disaster and I know I have to deal with it but I just feel…blah.
This month has been shaken up like a snowglobe already. No Gulf Wars for me, but rather three events in three weeks in March. I think something is going to get dropped. Bloodbath most likely. Then in April we get to do it all over again. Then May is Sapphire. Holy Crap this year is going to fly!
On the home front I finally felt well enough, and the weather felt like co-operating with me enough so that I could get some leaves raked this weekend. This is good, but the five or so bags I did, plus the ones I just dumped in the back of the yard are just a drop in the bucket. This further depresses me.
I’ve been Captain Domestic recently, but the suck part of that is that while I am accomplishing small tasks, the Hunny Do list just seems to grow and grow. The recent water leak in the upstairs bathroom has made me really, really nervous that I am going to have to deal with the gutting of the bathroom sooner rather than later and that scares the crap out of me. I don’t have the money to deal with it and I am terrified of going back into debt to deal with it. (Having just eliminated a massive credit card debt I have no desire to sink us in to that again.)
Also, the recent wind storms have me thinking about the dead tree in my back yard and the one in the neighbors. Ours is short enough that I _Might_ be able to drop it myself with some help, but the pine in the neighbors yard is much too big for that and I’m worried it is going to fall on my house. I know they aren’t going to do anything about it until it does, which makes me a little crazy because I can’t control the situation. All in all there are about fourteen trees that need to die, die, die in my backyard. Hiring a company to do it would be a major investment I just don’t have right now. Let's not forget the horrible, horrible holly bushes....
The deck needs major painting work, I have dry wall and linoleum work to do inside the house…it just never ends.
Likewise I need to deal with the weird issue with my tags, Kim’s truck needs an inspection (always dicey for a late model vehicle) and it looks like I am going to have to replace the Fuel Pump in the van ASAP. Sigh. No TI chainmail for me. :-)
My writing projects have all stalled out and my songwriting muse seems to have fled now that I am off the steroids and actually sleeping a little. What sucks is that I was really, really enjoying do that. Perhaps I just need to set aside some time every day to plug away at it. I don’t know…
The last couple of months, what with being sick, have been a struggle. I try and stay awake all day at work, then struggle to have energy to play with Grace and get her into bed, and then I sorta collapse in front of the TV, or a book or whatever with a cocktail. It’s not a very active lifestyle. I need to get out and MOVE you know?
Work just sucks. I have been having stress dreams about it again and that just fuels my crazy. This is a very busy season for me here trying to get tax stuff together and that has been going _mostly_ easy and I have been moving projects off my desk but I still feel like I am on a sinking ship. There is never enough time and I know the company doesn’t have the fund s to move me back to full time. It’s frustrating.
There are TONS of good things going on in my life right now; it isn’t all doom and gloom. Just consider this a brain dump. Ignore it and move on, nothing to see here.
Lunch is calling. I think I’ll go out for drive and try and clear my head.
Since it came up recently in the comments, I thought I would put it up here.
-Sir Bryce de Byram, OL, OP
A score and five years from the blossom of Chivalry,
A year and a day since I first was a man,
I came to a fair field, and there I found tourney,
Knights in bright armor, and festival grand.
I saw there the Jongleur, I witnessed her singing,
I saw there the gold coins that flowed from their hands.
And there I saw promise, and there I found valor.
I vowed to make haste and my journey began.
I followed the Court now, I witnessed its pageant.
I gazed with wide wonder at sights to astound.
A King crowned in glory, a Queen of true beauty,
A Knight made through Chivalry, and tied to the Land.
I sought out the Queen and I courted her favor,
I sought out the King and sang him my song.
The King called me Kinsman, the Queen called me Jongleur,
The journey began now, the road now was long.
I begged then a boon of the Duke and his Lady,
Esquire would I be, to stand as his man.
St. Michael he heard me, the fates smiled upon me,
I knelt ‘fore the Duke with my hands in his hands.
I swore then my fealty; I gave them my homage,
was girded with belt and was bidden to stand.
I gained then fine brothers, I gained then a family.
The journey a Race now, emboldened I ran.
For four or five years then I fought in his mesinee,
Gained honor and wisdom, and knightly renown.
I served at his table; I sang in his mead hall,
I fought at his side as he championed the Crown.
Then came I to Stephen, for Roads have their endings.
I knelt ‘fore the king and in new oath was bound.
And crowned with a Laurel, and cloaked in my Order
A new path was made, a new race had began.
I strove now for honor, I served as a vassal,
Took vavasours bound by my oath to the Crown.
I stood in the King’s Hall, and shouted His challenge,
In hauberk and helmet I Championed the Crown.
I threw down the gauntlet and thrice it was given,
I knelt and gave worship, behind them I stand.
Padraigin’s love Cuan, as doughty a sovereign
As fierce as a warrior in all of the land.
I stood on a mountain; I knelt and kept vigil,
Was bathed, and was clad in a robe of pure white.
I saw the sun rise there, St. Michael he heard me,
The chain and spurs golden, the belt of a Knight.
My arm it is ready, my heart is unburdened,
My sword still as keen as the day I took arms.
My Muse flies before me, the road it still beckons,
The journey still calls me, the road is still long.
This is taken almost directly from the only existing Letter's Patent of Henry II (Melisent's time period) that I could locate in English (written on behalf of Durmot,(nominal) King of Leinster. Add in a healthy heaping of Duke Gyrth Oldcastle (dear to Melisent) for the SCA required stuff and a dash of BdeB and you have it.
Kings during this time period had two types of official letters. Letters Close and Letters Patent. Letters Close were private official messages to be read by one official from the King. The other type is Letter's Patent which were public declarations to be read aloud in a public space (i.e. Court in the SCA.) In period this should be set with the King's seal and also sealed by those peers that witness it. In the SCA that is the Triton Herald though it could also be sealed by other dignitaries like Their Majesties of the East who were in attendance.
Bryan, King , and Brianna, Queen , rightful Monarchs of all Atlantia, of her Baronies, Shires, Cantons, & Colleges, to all Our liegemen, and to all the nation under Our dominion, sends greetings.
As soon as the present letter shall come to your hands, know that Melisent la Ruse, Baroness of the Court of Atlantia, has been received into the bosom of Our grace and benevolence: wherefore, whosoever, within the ample extent of Our territories, shall be willing to lend aid towards this lady as Our faithful and liege subject, let such person know that We do hereby grant to them for said purpose Our license and favour.
Let it be known also that by these Letters Patent We hereby induct the said Melisent into our most noble Order of the Pelican, at the request of and witnessed by these her Peers now assembled at The Tourney of Ymir, in Our Barony of Windmaster’s Hill, this 19th Day of February, in the 2011th Year of Our Lord, being the 45th Year of the Society. Let her henceforth be entitled to all the insignia, rights, honors, joys, and duties of the Order.
Further do we award her the sole and exclusive right to bear arms, to wit:
Vert, a fleur-de-lys Or and on a chief argent three crosses bottony sable.
I’ve written eloquently about the important of the SCA Event The Tourney of Ymir to me in the past (man I wish I could write like that again…) and of course as more time goes by the event takes on more importance to me.
I admit to having a love/hate relationship with this event. Mostly love, perhaps some dread. Ok, a lot of dread. I almost always SUCK in this tourney though the pick up fields are usually especially good. I’ve had some amazingly good highs and a lot of really bad lows fighting wise. I authorized and squired there so that will forever be a high. I started the Rose’s Quest there as well. Those are all highs….I have also gone two and out more at this tourney than at any other. I remember fighting sick with pneumonia, and blacking out during fights and then having knights come and tell me how off I looked and how my fighting had regressed. That totally crushed my spirit at the time. I’m fought so bad that I have considered quitting after the humbling beatings I have received here, and I’ve also done deeds of prowess that I will look back on once I have hung up my sword belt for good as fond memories.
So Ymir approaches. The weather looks really promising this year so that is big plus. The rainy, cold years are the worst. Kim and I are cabining for the first time years, (finding that out the other day really blew my mind…) and being on a site like that at night will be nice. That is when the SCA comes alive for me, around the fires, in the company of good friends, both old and new.
So many memories of this event…though most of them are at Kanata. Betsy Jeff is ok…but for me it isn’t the same. I know we have outgrown Kanata but I have so much history there that my heart will always be called to that spot every year.
So many memories….
My first Ymir, traveling with Anton and Duncan to authorize and squire. My making Anton promise not to squire me if I couldn’t authorize. My F’ed up ‘authorization’ and subsequent magical squiring. Other household ceremonies like Nia joining Luned’s household. Nia forming her break away household years later, etc. etc. Good and bad, I remember it all.
Keegan’s Knighting, Rag’s Knighting, Ros’s Laurel, Jason’s Knighting, so many others…Tasicus, Andrew….the foundation of St. Aiden…later knighting like Roland and Theron's…
This event is where Melisent gave me her favor for the first time, standing on a little bridge that no longer exists at a site that we don’t use anymore…Here I read to Anton the first passages of the Chronicle when I began that project, stood for Rosalind when she took an apprentice who would go on to become a peer, have spoken at so many squiring’s that I have lost count.
I took my first squires here the day the Rose’s Quest began. I took another and dear Fennic as an apprentice here later.
It almost weights me down. I complain about this event, hate it in a way, bitch about it... But even on years when I don’t go I feel the tug of it.
BNL is playing and Steve is singing “We got these chains hanging ‘round our necks, people want to strangles us with them before we take our first breath.”
I got to Ymir because I have to. I have to go and reflect on the path I began as a squire and where that path has lead me. The starts and stops, the glories, the friends I have made and lost over the years. So many gone. Some died, some quit, and some are lost to me because of bullshit. Gone none the less.
Ymir is a chance to ground myself. I immerse myself in Atlantia. I long to see the pennons on the breeze and hear the ringing sounds of our combat. Ymir recharges me or destroys me for a year. Be gentle with me this year, Oh Frost Giant. Refill my spirit and love for this game. Let me be amongst the heroes again, let me stand in the company of some the finest people I have ever know, and engage in something courtly and beautiful.
It’s not the same ground, but let the spirit of it be there for me this year. Let me reverence chivalry there, honor my past, and let me reach back into time to find the good and to learn from the bad so that the future can be even greater.
Hwaet, Ymir approaches! Let me greet him with open arms.
- Tags:atlantia, chivalry, culture of arms, fighting, history, household, sca, squiring, state of the me, the path, time in a bottle, ymir
- Location:in my head
RAZO: Henry Curtmantle, King of England, had his eldest son crowned in his life time to assure both the succession of the Crown and the preservation of his empire, which stretched from the Pyrenees to the far North Sea. He established William Marshall, a simple household knight, to the role of sire in arms to his son Henry, called “The Young King”. But fate’s wheel turned against the King’s device and The Young King died of a flux. On his deathbed he bade The Marshall to carry his crusader’s cross to Jerusalem, which William did “doing more in two years than most do in ten”. Upon his death bed The Marshall, now raised by fortune and courtly skill to Regent of England under the minor King Henry III, returned to the Knight Templars, whom he served for as a lay brother while in Palestine, for the salvation of his soul.
The hammer blows of combat are the sweetest psalms I know
Sing Exalt and Hosanna at the coursing of the foe.
This cross I wear for Henry I will bear unto my grave
My oath fulfilled my duty done and two souls shall I save.
The Marshall sore with grieving he has come now o'er from France.
His shield, his sword, his hauberk and his ever steady lance.
In service to the Young King did this captain ply his trade.
The spirit fled, the oath assumed now captive to a shade.
‘Take up your arms’, said Henry, Roi the father to the knight
‘Employ your skill, harass the foe and strike with all your might.
But come ye back to England and unto my court attend.
A king is ever needful of true valiant, loyal men.’
And so did William travel to the land height Palestine.
As confrere to the Temple for a time he was consigned.
His bread, his wine, his mass he took with brothers all around
Until at last his oath discharged he found him homeward bound.
Now many years and many kings the Marshall he did serve.
One called a rogue, one hailed a hero pledged unto the Lord.
The Marshall at his death bed, as Regent to the Crown
Called forth his loyal vassals and he bid them stand around.
‘When I was o'ver in Outreamer I pondered on my death
And so I claim the Temple as I draw out my last breath.
May God and Michael guide me as I flee unto the grave
My vows fulfilled, my oath discharged, and two souls have I saved.’
Chorus (‘have I saved’)