> ----- Original Message ----
> From: "Oakes, George" <goakes@...>
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 1:07:06 PM
> Subject: RE: [SCA Newcomers] hierarchy
> Based on the statement below, if your not a heavy fighter, you may not
> be in a position of hierarchy?
> for instance, I just enter Archery Tournements, and dont wish to fight,
> nor do I think my body would withstand the abuse....
> So I will never be in a position of Honor? with regards to the crown?
Forgive the lateness of my reply, but I only joined the list very recently.
There are a great many positions of honor apart from wearing the Crown
in the SCA. I think that it is our modern "only the 'winner' matters"
mindset that causes many new participants to the the Crown as the
"all or nothing" pinnacle. It's not. It's one of many positions one
can hold in the SCA and only a few of those positions require heavy
To be blunt, and this is from someone who has sat the throne, the
Crown is not the end all, be all of SCA achivement. The Crown is, at
best, a temp job with limited power. The job is one of being a
temporary figurehead, distributing awards to the deserving, and acting
as a failsafe to prevent other kingdom offices from having too much
independent power. A reign lasts for approximately 6 months. Royal
Peerage (a county or duchy) is a symbol of a specific thing that you
have done at some point in the past. Royal Peers do not have any
special "powers" beyond the influence they *can* wield as a result of
the respect that they earn. There are plenty of Royal Peers out there
with no influence and no respect, just as there are very "powerful"
and influential Royal Peers who have earned a great deal of respect.
The "power", if you will, is in the individual, not in the rank.
The same "power", because it IS individual, can be found in people of
every rank including no rank at all. If you are looking strictly in
terms of the SCA's rank hierarchy, the Bestowed Peers (Knights,
Laurels and Pelicans) exert as much influence and are accorded nearly
as much status as the Royal Peers. I am also a member of the Order of
the Laurel - just as a Royal Peerage is a symbol of something you did
and where you have been, Bestowed Peerage is a symbol of who you ARE.
Bestowed Peerages are awarded for heavy weapons prowess (Knights), ANY
aspect of Service (Pelicans) or ANY aspect of the Arts and Sciences
Landed Barons and Baronesses are also in positions of percieved power.
Unlike any other nobles in the land (aside from the Kings, Queens,
Princes and Princesses) they can and do hold courts and bestow awards.
They act as the direct representatives of the Crown to their local
Barony, and as the people of the Barony's representative to the Crown.
Different kingdoms have different laws regarding territorial
baronies, but here in Trimaris a baronial tenure lasts 3-4 years.
There is no tournament for the selection of the new baron and baroness
in anything but Palantine Baronies (where the baronial position is a
temporary one lasting only 6 months to a year, in most cases). The
vast majority of baronies in the SCA use much less structured methods
of choosing baronial nobles and there is no requirement that either
the baron or baroness be capable of winning a heavy weapons
tournament. Generally they look for established members who are
well-rounded and have proven themselves as leaders locally.
If it's the outward trappings of rank that you are looking at,
consider the Court Barons and Baronesses. These individuals are
granted the right to wear a coronet for whatever reason the Crown
chooses. Generally it's some type of "service", but the definition of
that service is up to the Crown in question. I have seen service as
an archer awarded with a court baronacy. I have given one for service
as a bard.
If it's the actual reins of power that you are looking at, you should
be looking at the officer corps. Kingdom offices, like local offices,
last for two years in most kingdoms. Officers, especially the Kingdom
Seneschal, hold the real power in the SCA and they exert tremendous
influence over their local groups or local officers.
There are many other positions of honor as well. Isn't earning an AoA
a position of honor? Isn't earning a GoA a position of honor? Isn't
being a baroness' or queen's archery champion a position of honor?
Isn't teaching others to become archers and love the sport a position
of honor? Isn't being an archery marshal at the local or kingdom
level a position of honor? Isn't earning the friendship and respect
of others a position of honor?
The gift the SCA gives us, if we are wise enough to accept it, is the
opportunity to become the best person we can be. Awards and rank
generally are bestowed on those who make a genuine contribution to the
game we all play. Those kinds of contributions tend to come, more
than anything else, from a genuine love of the Society and the things
you do within it. Focussing on awards and rank is more of a stumbling
block to enjoying the SCA and what it has to offer than anything else
Countess Dulcia MacPherson, OL OR
Kingdom Hospitaller, Kingdom of Trimaris
"The wonderfulness of others will not diminish you. Your realization
of the wonderfulness of others will enlarge you." - AElflaed of Duckford
"Rule #5. There will always be some people who can do some things
that you just *can't*. Don't worry about it, work on your basics
and have some double-stuff Oreos." Tivar Moondragon