ANST - Fighting awards/orders...

Lori Jones LJONES at
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
>   exist?

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.

Til later,
- Kat

Katrionna MacLochlainn, CSS, SF
Barony of Wiesenfeuer
Lori Campbell
Okla. School of Science & Math

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