[Ansteorra] Branch Champions responsibilities and privileges

Patrick Cuccurello pat at adtelusa.com
Wed Jan 23 07:42:34 PST 2002

> After a conversation this weekend at Seawinds on the responsibilities and
> privileges of the branch champions, I decided to post to the list to see
> what thoughts were found there.

My feelings are pretty much colored by my SCA "Mom and Dad" who who a long
standing Baron and Baroness in a large Barony in another Kingdom.  Granted,
things tended to be more "formalized" there as far as roles, but it I feel
it adds to the flavor of this organization.  So I pass it on to my

I think of Baronial Champions as exactly that.  The Champion for the Barony
in that particular area.  They are there to serve and protect the Honor of
the Barony both on the field of their endeavor and off.  That would mean
that there is a responsibility of the Champion to represent the Nobility,
Peers, and the People of the Barony in in Lists, Competitions, and public
events.  So a Baronial Champion at Arms (Chivalric, Rapier, or Archery)
would not only be representing themselves in the list, but also the Barony
that they are Champion of.  In some Kingdoms, they actually carry the
"Baronial Shield" charged with the Barony's armory in the Lists or into
battle.  For Rapier fighters, it might be a cape with the Baronial armory or
the "Baronial Rapier" (usually a very nice "to die for" item).  Normally
they also carried the favor of the Baroness upon their left (or shield) arm.
If the Baron was a fighting man, the Champion would always fight beside his
Baron on the field of battle unless the Baron gave him leave for other
responsibilities.  The Champion would also organize the Baronial fighting
unit for Wars and the running of the lists/competition that would find his
successor in a year.

I believe that this also should carry over into the Arts.  Bards compete for
the greater glory of their Barony telling stories and songs of the Barony in
competitions. Teaching bardic arts to those in the Barony who are
interested, or at the least directing them to individuals who can develop
their interest.  Artisans are the same, with the added responsibility of
creating pieces of largess for the Baron and Baroness and promoting the
artisans within their Barony of doing the same.   Equestrians are still
fairly new to the Society, but I would expect the Baronial Equestrian
Champion to compete in the barding of the Barony that they are Champion of.

The returns were usually two fold.  One--they get prezzies!  When they step
up and when they step down, the Baron and Baroness would normally give them
gifts of affection to help them in their duties or and thanks for a job well
done.  Secondly-Word Fame.  Not just the word fame that people receive in
court once or twice, but the Champion is there in the forefront of the
Barony whenever there is something being done in their area.  Lists,
competitions, collegiums, always there in front of the people **and--in
front of the Crown and the Peers.  What better proving ground for
demonstrating competence in your area and exhibiting "Peer like qualities"
than as the Champion of a Barony?  By its very nature you are having to
interact with the Nobility and Peers of the Kingdom.  Those "Peer like
qualities" that everyone talks about can be real difficult to demonstrate to
a great deal of people in a given time.  A Champions post allows someone to
demonstrate those qualities of tact, diplomacy, patience, administration,
and grab the SOB by the back of the shirt fury.......oops.....uh....skip
that last part <<grin>>.

Much of this might sound very ticky tack, but it really does make for great
opportunities for pageantry and court.  Some of the most magical moments I
can remember in the Society was as a new Champion received their accolade,
or an old and respected Champion --who had done tremendous work for their
Barony in their tenure-- stepped down.  It can even bring a tear to the eye
of old grizzled Peers :)

Khan Sar-a Modun
known as Maestro Petruccio in these western lands.

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