ANST - Fighting awards/orders...
LJONES at ossm.edu
Tue Nov 4 21:06:02 PST 1997
In response to the question about fighting awards/orders, I'd like to
offer my perspective. I know this is kind-of long, so if you're not
interested, now's the time to use the delete key. For the sake of
accuracy, I'm going to stick to what I know.
I'd like to start by saying that I don't think there is just *one*
common understanding to be had about criteria for these awards.
Each Crown has its own definition beyond that of the "textbook."
It should be easy to fall back on "what does the scroll say?", but
often the scroll text has little to do with why the Crown felt an
individual deserved that award. For example, when I received my
Falcon at Pennsic XX, I didn't get a scroll. I asked the king (then
Inman V) later and he explained that when he created the award
(during a previous reign) it didn't come with a scroll. He told me
the scroll text had nothing to do with my Falcon. In his opinion it
was for going "above and beyond" what was expected. In short, for
whatever you did *that day* that impressed the heck out of the king.
I guess that pretty much covers my version of what qualifies a person
to receive a Sable Falcon. If I had to explain why I've seen it
given, I'd have to say that, in the King's eyes, the recipient
displayed any or all of the following on at least one occassion:
excellence, chivalry, bravery, heart, determination, inspiration,
With respect to the Centurions, we hold precedence equal to any
other grant level award. As far as ceremonial duties are
concerned (protecting a royal, guarding the banner, etc.) we have
taken on some of these in the past. From what I've seen, this is
due more to a willingness to serve, rather than the fulfilling of an
obligation. Initially, guarding the Kingdom banner was one of the
duties assigned to the original 5 Centurions. Now that we number
in the 20's, the duty has fallen to whomever the Crown wishes to
appoint (who may or may not be a Centurion). We've discussed
taking on an official ceremonial duty or two, but nothing definite
has ever been added to our charter.
To discuss what qualifies a person to become a Centurion, one must
take into consideration that we have the right of consultation -
meaning we discuss candidates with the king (though most of the
Centurions I know view this more as a privilege than a right).
In my opinion, the Centurions can't simply be classified as a melee
combat order. If you look at the list of members, you will find
that some are primarily tournament fighters and others are primarily
war/melee fighters. I think the common theme, however is excellence
in at least one area and competence in others, with strong emphasis
on leadership skills, teaching and experience.
As has been seen, being a Centurion is not a prerequisite for
Knighthood - not all of our new Knights were first Centurions.
Still, some Centurions must possess what the Knights look for,
judging by the number of Centurions who have since been made
Knights. I'd like to think the role of the Centurions complements
that of the Chivalry, since the welfare of the fighting community is
a primary concern for both orders.
> why aren't the Falcon, Rapier and Archer the equivalent of the
> Thistle ...(... one award with multiple categories.)
I think this is due to their non-armigerous nature. Anyone can
receive them at any time - regardless of how long you've been a
participant in the SCA or what wars/tournaments you may or may not
have fought in. I don't think they were meant to be a measure of
overall participation (as an AoA or AoA level award is sometimes
The Queen's Rapier was created to mirror the Falcon in the light
weapons community. This had to be done as a separate award for
the simple reason that the Falcon's charter was written so that it
could only be given by the *Soveriegn.* The Queen's Rapier has no
such caviat and is always given by the Queen whether she is soveriegn
or consort. Although the light weapons community might like and
respect the soverign or consort King, an award from the hand of the
Queen more appropriately returns the love and respect that she
receives from them.
I don't know much about the King's Archer, yet, but if I were to take
a stab at guessing.... I'd have to say that archery has become much
more important and received much better participation over the last
several years. The creation of a new award shows that the trend is
expected to continue and the Crown wishes to encourage it and reward
those participants in a special way.
So, why not just give a Falcon for archery? It's been done. But,
I'm pretty sure that a Falcon is armored combat specific - which
doesn't leave much room for the Target Archers who so well represent
the kingdom in IKAC. Why not just give them Thistles? Well, I think
that's been done too. However, you get back into armigerous vs.
non-armigerous there (see above).
> ... are they a "stepping stone" toward Knighthood and why do they
I think non-armigerous awards exist to reward and encourage those
who display characteristics we want to promote. Some, like the
"Lion", tell people they are the epitome of what we strive for in the
SCA. Others, like local or baronial awards, just let people know
they are appreciated and on the right track (whatever track that is.)
As to whether or not the Falcon is a stepping stone towards
Knighthood, well, each Knight probably has his/her own opinion on
this. I know several who have different viewpoints.
I hope what I've said makes sense and gives another perspective on at
least two of the fighting community's awards/orders.
Katrionna MacLochlainn, CSS, SF
Barony of Wiesenfeuer
Okla. School of Science & Math
LJONES at ossm.edu
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