[Elfsea] bolts and cord

Adam Harrison concrete_donkey at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 1 13:29:58 PDT 2001

Greetings all,

With regards to the new rules regarding ballista
bolts, the fact that over 80% of our bolts will not
pass as of October 1, and the idea that marshals will
not want to check the bolts thouroughly, I wil say

Yes, in theory we could get away with not retrofitting
400+ ballista bolts.  BUT, we _shouldn't._

In the spirit of what many have affectionately called
"the dream", by my own ideals of chivalry and
courtesy, and by the sheer fact that to not retrofit
the bolts would go directly against the society level
siege rules(which exist as a minimum for safety in the
SCA), I would not and _will_not_ let a single bolt be
carried onto the field by an Elfsea siege engineer(or
an engineer from any of her cantons or college) that
does not comply 100% with the rules.

While I wholeheartely disagree with many the new
rules, especially those concerning ammunition, to cut
corners and take shortcuts that violate those rules
only to make our lives easier would go against all
ideals of chivalry that we hold in the society.

I am confident, judging from my experience at this
past Gulf War, that if we wanted to get around the
rules and not retrofit our botls, we would have little
problem in doing so.  I was not present for the
inspection of Elfsea's(nor any other group's) bolts;
however, during the first fort battle I found a bolt
on the field that was a blatant violation of the old
rules which were in place at the time.  The bolt was a
PVC bolt about 2.5ft long, spray painted black with a
red stripe painted down the side.  The PVC was not
capped on either end and was not taped with fiber
reinfoced strapping tape.  Furthermore, there was not
a rattan legal thrusting tip on the head, but rather a
non-drilled tennis ball.  And on top of that, the
tennis ball was reinfoced with leather strapping,
creating a very hard hitting surface with very little
give.  I consulted Two other Siege Marshals, Wilim and
Caelin, and they both agreed that it should not have
passed inspection.  I showed His Excellency Galen adn
his reply was something to the effect of "I wouldn't
want to get hit with it".  After the battle I found
Lawrence(Ansteorra's kingdom siege marshal) and the
siege marshal from, I believe, Meridies.  They
appeared to be busy and did not give me much of their
time, but appeared to listen when I gave forth my
argument and replied with "It's got a tennis ball for
a head, it's ok".

My point is not to damage the honor or chivalry of
either of those two men, one of whom I respect
greatly, and the other whom I probably would if I knew
him- it is simply that at large wars rules can be, and
frequently are, overlooked.  There is alot going on,
and minor things can fall through the cracks.

It is also not my intent to damage our fair Baroness's
honor for hinting at not retrofitting our bolts.  I
have a great deal of respect for her and I hope she
and His Excellency Galen understand that this missive
is not meant as inflammatory and that I hold her in
the highest regard.

Simply put, it is my belief that to disregard the
rules changes(however absurd they may be)and "cheat"
our way onto the field undermines the goals of our
society and ultimately makes us losers on the inside
with guilty consciences, even if we on the outside
carry the day and come home winners.


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