[Ansteorra] A Perspective

Claryce claryce at cox.net
Mon Mar 24 12:15:45 PDT 2008

I’d like to share a bit of perspective about the principality issue.

I’ve played in the SCA for 26 years.  A large number of those years were in Ansteorra.  I’ve served in many official positions, and been privy to a lot of councils about the principality idea.  In that time, I’ve heard a lot of very good conversations, with some very good ideas.

However, in that time I’ve also:

1) Seen the crown of Ansteorra *slammed* onto a table.
2) Seen members of the Royal Family make accusations and heated statements towards others.  At least once I’ve heard threatening statements.
3) Seen normally calm peers and nobles yelling and arguing.  Some of whom have stormed out of rooms.  I’ve seen very hateful conversations between them.
4) Seen a *lot* of tears.  A lot of hurt feelings, and a lot of pain.
5) Seen a *lot* of friends turn into enemies, who may or may not every reconcile their differences.
6) Seen our numbers drop, and good people leave the SCA.
7) Seen portions of our kingdom torn, with people too emotionally hurt to be active.

In looking back over the last few decades of conversation about this topic, I can’t think of a single good thing that has come out of this subject.  Maybe a little spur of unity in an area for a little while, but it has *always* fallen back to where it was before the topic came up.  Occasionally the region dropped further, because after a hard push, nobody had any more energy, and the region suffered.

I don’t know how it happens, but Ansteorra is an entity that produces amazing loyalty in its subjects.  Whenever I’ve traveled other kingdoms, most people who relocate say: “I was in the Middle, but now I’m Caidian (or wherever)”.  From what I’ve seen and heard people say, in most cases Ansteorrans will say “I’m an Ansteorran, living in this kingdom”.   Most of us never lose that deep sense of loyalty to this amazing thing that exists only in our minds and a little paper.  

That loyalty works both ways though.  We are loyal to a fault, and there are a *lot* of people who feel extremely strongly about this _whole_ entity of Ansteorra – as a whole, undivided entity.  I’ve seen so many people get very emotional about this issue, to the point of wrecking family and close friendships.  I know I’m not alone when I say I wince when the word is even mentioned.

Claryce Raphael Orfevre
OP, OL, etc.
Relocated Ansteorran who will be coming home soon.

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