Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Fri Nov 9 22:49:08 PST 2007

Stefan here.
I seem to have stirred up much more controversy than I intended. Let  
me answer some of the things that have been brought up.

On Nov 9, 2007, at 1:02 AM, kandace harris wrote:

> Stefan,
>     This line of thought must be STOPPED now, this second.  Brain  
> explained it in terms of contestant via contestant. He also  
> explained the law that WE play by.

Laws and customs change. In some parts of the SCA and in this  
kingdom, it has been a long time since I've heard words like  
"feastocrat", "troll", "dragon" (meaning a wagon or car) used. And  
those are changes that many people have been happy to see. To suggest  
that we not discuss changing things lest we be called unpatriotic, as  
in the case of a certain President, or in the case of our beloved  
Society that someone is dishonorable does no one a service. I don't  
think I suggested that it was dishonorable.

>       You took this to a level that is just not true. That is the  
> way "gossip" gets started.  For you to imply that this decision to  
> step down was not honorable was a mistake on your part.

It may or may not be honorable when a Duke, or anyone else bows out  
of a Crown Tournament prematurely. As in blow calling, that decision  
is up to the combatant and shouldn't be second-guessed by others,  
even though it does happen. I did question why it is considered  
dishonorable for a non-Duke to withdraw early, but not a Duke.

> The fact is, that Duke Patrick Michel and Duchess Julia, I'm sure,  
> gave this decision, much thought and They knew this would be hard  
> for all of Us to accept and understand.

Huh? Please believe me that Duke Patrick Michel and Duchess Julia did  
not even enter my mind when I was writing that email. Nor has it ever  
occurred to me that they might have withdrawn for anything but the  
most honorable of reasons. Being Crown can be emotionally and  
economically straining. If anyone has a doubt, see the personal  
comments and histories from past Crowns in the crown-cost-msg file in  
the SCA-INC section of the Florilegium. This is largely because of  
what the Crown tries to do out of their sense of duty and what they  
wish to bring to the kingdom. They surrender much of their life  
during the week, not to mention almost every weekend to bring "The  
Dream" alive to people across the kingdom. They DON'T HAVE to. If I  
remember correctly the only events they have to attend are their  
Coronation, their stepping down and maybe one or two other events.  
Duke Patrick Michel and Duchess Julia could have done just that  
minimum and perhaps also managed whatever their personal lives are  
going through. But they didn't. Life happens. Although I'm sure it  
hurt, they chose to withdraw. An honorable decision.

> And I have never...in all the time I have been playing ... known of  
> Duke Patrick Michel acting in anyway but "Honorable" in this game  
> we all play. For you to even hint at that, is wrong on your part

See my comments above. I do remember such an incident in Phynnon Gath  
about ten years ago, when Patrick Michel lost his cool on the field.  
So it does happen. But he publicly apologized to the young fighter  
and to those at the event. It happens. He took care of it honorably.

>        Bordermarch is working very hard to make this transition as  
> smooth and easy as possible for everyone. This is especially hard  
> on Sir Simonn and Mistress Tessa who have been close personal  
> friends with both of them. However, in true Bordermarch and  
> Ansteorra fashion , Crown Tounament will be done with Honor above  
> anything else. I invite you to come and see.

Perhaps we will. My lady had previously brought this up. It is a  
longer drive than we usually do for weekend SCA events, though.

> Maybe then you will find the true Honor that is at the heart of  
> this dream we have.

Ummm. Are you now questioning my honor? I like to think I've already  
found it, although as in the case that I highlighted above, it takes  
constant vigilance to keep it and often even more effort to regain it  
once lost. I also like to think I can at least recognize it. See some  
of the files I've created in the SCA-SOCIOLOGY section of the  
Florilegium to see examples of what I consider honor.

>    I did not mean to chastise you on the list ....but ...you put it  
> across the list.

Shrug. I did post my comments to a public list. Gentles are free to  
reply, including with criticism. Some probably won't like my comments  
below, either.

>   Lady Kandyce of Oakclyffe

Lord Ivo Blackhawk asked me in a later message:
<<< As this is a public list, I feel it appropriate to
ask for clarification (or withdrawl) of the statement. >>>

I hope my comments above add some clarification, at least to what was  
*not* intended. I do not withdraw my original questions. I do have  
some concerns about Ducal Prerogative as it is currently done and  
sometimes other things about how Crown Tourney is run. Let me see if  
I can clarify my comments.

<<< My initial message was in response to Brian O'hUilliam's comment of:
What if one of the fighters that the winner of Crown Tourney
defeated earlier in the list could have beaten the person who came in
second?  They would have won Crown Tourney if the person who had to step
down down had not entered the list and now, they have, essentially,  
had the
Crown taken away from them. >>>

This statement appears to be saying that it is unfair to a combatant  
to be defeated by a person who ultimately wins the tournament, but  
then later turns down the win, because he could have beat the second  
place winner. But how is this different from being beaten by a Duke  
who then withdraws before the tournament is concluded? If the whole  
reason for the tournament is to make sure the Crown is the best  
fighter on the field that day, this doesn't do that. The Duke that  
withdrew may, and there is a good chance was, the best fighter that day.

In another message Don Tivar mentions:
<<< As I understand things, back in the earliest days of the SCA  
(like AS
3 or 4) it was expected that *all* Knights would enter Crown Tourney.
Dukes, having already served twice, were exempt from that
expectation. >>>

This matches what I've been told by people who were there in the  
early days of our Society. At that time there weren't that many  
fighters and even fewer fighting in Crown Tournaments. Much different  
from today. They wanted to make sure that the next Crown was properly  
tested, so the Knights were encouraged to fight and Dukes allowed out  
because they'd already done their penance.

However, things have changed over the last 40 years. We get a large  
number of excellent fighters at every Crown Tournament now. Removing  
this Ducal Prerogative would remove the suspicion of "Crown Making"  
and remove the bad politics of a perfectly good candidate being  
removed simply because some Duke, who isn't going to take on the  
responsibility of being Crown again, doesn't like someone or wants to  
help put a friend or household member on the throne.

I'm also aware of one Duke who entered a Crown Tournament just to  
eliminate one particular fighter. Unfortunately, by that time his  
adrenaline was running high and he kept going until he was the last  
one standing. I understand his consort was *not* happy. :-)  
Eliminating Ducal Prerogative would eliminate this excuse for someone  
entering the tourney who had no intention of winning.

Now about those Crown Tournaments that set up things so that Knights  
do not fight Knights in the first round, thereby ensuring that more  
Knights make it to the second round...  No "old boy" network there.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list