[Loch-ruadh] Re: [Elfsea] A few more questions.
Mark A. Arnold
maarnold at gte.net
Fri Feb 1 13:31:44 PST 2002
Depending on how your email inbox is sorted, you may have missed
Louis and Afan's letter of intent. The email was dated 12/23/01 2:34
because it was emailed from Louis' daughter's computer whose clock was
set wrong. If your inbox is sorted by date descending, you will find
that email down among the emails that you've already
What follows are our responses to the questions posed by Lady
Elisabeth of Pendarvis...
> 1.)What do you, as an applicant for Baron/Baroness, hope to look back in X years when you are stepping down, and say "This is what I got out of being Baron/Baroness"?
In X years, the night we step down, we want to be laying down to bed
and just closing our eyes, thinking back, saying, "Ohhhh, remember
when..." and drift off to sleep with a smile spreading across our faces.
We want enough of those that we can go to sleep with a different
"remember when" every night to the end of our days, believing that,
somewhere in the Barony, there's someone else drifting off to sleep,
smiling about that same "remember when".
> 2.)What are your priorities within the barony for short term? (say the first six months. the first year?)
1st 6 months:
a) a plan for bringing new people to the barony: a schedule of demos
to be performed; a list of target demo locations; a color brochure to be
handed out at demos (if we can get the printing donated or done
cheaply); a box of Elfsea business cards that people can give to
coworkers who ask what you did last weekend, or to mundanes in grocery
stores who ask why you're dressed like that. It's very important for
Elfsea to increase membership. It will reduce burnout and allow those
who are burned out to actually get to play at events. It might also
allow us to get back into puttin on Kingdom level events again. It would
be nice, however, to allow the new people to just play (and not work)
for their first, say, 3 events. That will help them "catch the bug" of
b) distribution of the Noteworthy Viewer to those in the music guild
so that people can download songs from a new page to be created on
Elfsea's website. The Noteworthy Viewer is free. The Noteworthy Composer
costs money, but Louis bought a license and will be happy to transcribe
the songs into it and deliver the content to Elfsea's virtual scribe.
There are several neat things about it. You can hear the song and read
along with the music at the same time. You can mute all the other staves
except for the staff that's your part. You can thus practice your part
solo and then practice your part in concert with the other parts -- all
at home where the rest of the guild doesn't have to hear you learn your
part. The Noteworthy Composer is neat because you can compose with it
and you can let it automatically transcribe midi files for you. There
are quite a few medieval midi files available on the web.
c) the coordination of the war companies in the barony (including an
archery battery). Specifically: a notebook of tactics that utilizes the
stengths of each war company and timings for barrages of arrows; and, a
general outline for a schedule of combined melee practices to ready the
troops for the next gulf war.
d) the completion of the autocrat's handbook (begun by Afan).
Populous input and post mortem discussions to be done during this
process. Such a document will be helpful to somewhat standardize the
preparations for events with checklists of things that need to be
considered, decided, and implemented for each event. Such a book would
be very helpful for new autocrats and handy for experienced ones.
e) a thin bead of some kind of appropriate clear glue along the
inside edges of the dags on that new blue pavillion. At Highland Games,
Louis noticed that a steady strong wind throws threads off of that edge.
f) encouraging arts & sciences & bardic. We'd like to start having
"pop" competitions and command performances at fighter practices, demos,
populace meetings, guild meetings and other Baronial activities. The
artwork can be incomplete. Bring things you're working on and show us
what your doing. This will also give the mundanes something more than
just fighting to see at fighter practices.
g) captivation of audience for the rapier fighters. An idea we did
in Glaslyn that worked well was this: alternate the heavy and light
rounds. While the list mistresses are making the pairings for one list,
the other list could be fighting. The advantages are i) the light
fighters get the heavy audience and the heavy fighters get the light
audience, ii) the fighters of each list get a chance to regroup between
rounds, iii) the parallel processing saves time in the long run.
a) implementation of the planning done in the 1st 6 months
b) achieving an increase in membership
c) winning the King's War Ribbon by any one of Elfea's or the
cantons' war companies.
> 3.)What is the greatest strength that you/both of you would bring to the barony as baron/baroness? What about the greatest weakness?
FUN! I like to have lots of it. I like to watch other people
having lots of it. I like to come up with schemes to create lots of it.
Remeber that "chicken florentine" fight I had with Airaklee; or the
poisoning death of that sheep-stealing rascal Llew. Why settle for just
any old excuse for a fight, when you can come up with a Really Good
Reason. I have to add a second one: tenacity. Do what it takes to get it
My greatest strength is diplomacy with composure. I like to have fun,
Louis & Afan:
We have a great relationship. We've learned how to disagree
constructively and respect each other's opinions. We also have a
centering affect on one another when one of us starts getting a little
too "miffed". We also do that funny-man/straight-man (uhh
Louis doesn't have any weaknesses. Mark does. Mark has a temper;
but you'll never see it. You might think Louis is all easy going and
Afan is the stern one; but Mark and Gwen are just the opposite. I don't
get out of control. I get quiet and cold and curt and my eyebrows furr
down. The Baron and Baronness are supposed to do nothing but inspire,
encourage, and uplift (and maybe politely, but firmly, "instruct" at
times). These are people you're supposed to want to go to war for and
DIE for. You don't want to die for a man. You want to die for a god. Why
in the world would Louis EVER show you a weakness?
Louis & Afan:
We face problems together. This might make some feel that we are
ganging up on them. We don't mean to make that impression. Also, we
finish each other's sentences, which annoys some people.
> 4.) The populace within sees themselves differently as the populace outside the barony. As our Baron/Baroness, you can be our inspiration (leader perhaps?) for how the outside 'world' sees us-in other baronies, in the kingdom, in the mundane world. What would you change? What wouldn't you change? or more correctly, focus on?
a) Other groups see Elfsea as centrally-located and hard-working. We'd
like to add to these an impression of grandeur and nobility. We'd like
other groups to say, "You're so lucky to live in Elfsea." The
encouragement of A&S (described above) will add to the ambience of
b) Elfsea runs like a family. Steppes runs like a corporation. We like
the family model and wouldn't change that. It was the family atmosphere
that made us feel like we found a home. The down side to the family
model is three-fold...
i) When it's dysfunctional, it's REALLY dysfunctional. When
Elfsea is having a "family spat", Kingdom gets the misconceived
perception that we're out of control. We would encourage local mediation
so that Kingdom doesn't have to hear about it. When Kingdom does hear
about it, we would do damage control by showing Kingdom how the spat
will get resolved peacefully.
ii) It's exclusive. Mundane on-lookers and new-comers get the
impression that since they're not already in the family, they can't get
into the family. The Baron and Baroness can do a lot to change that
impression. We would like to setup a small pavilion with extra chairs at
fighter practices. While Louis fights, Afan can invite a mundane with
questions into the pavilion (oh, see the symbolism?) and explain what's
going on. She can call other people into the pavillion and introduce
them in a more intimate way. The group-en-mass-introduction thing just
makes new-comers drop their eyes and kick the dirt. At events, we would
like to be introduced to the new-comers. We could find out what they're
interested in and introduce them to people in the Barony who are
involved in that particular activity. We would like to talk to each
guild about how they make welcome and instruct new-comers.
iii) It's in-bred. When water freezes, it pushes non-water
particulates out to the edge of the ice cube. When someone doesn't want
to do things the "Elfsea" way, they get pushed out to the edge of the
family. This is where the corporate model has an advantage over the
family model. It marshals the ideas and efforts of a vast array of
diverse minds and personalities. There are certain things you do and do
not do at corporate meetings. You do listen. You do not interrupt. You
do offer constructive suggestions. You do not lambast. You do critique
the issue. You do not attack the person. We would encourage tolerance
for diversity. We would discourage cold-shouldering. This becomes a
problem for how people see themselves within the Barony. A victim of
intolerence, whether it be a new-comer or a long-timer, feels belittled
and minimized and will go play elsewhere. As we work to increase
membership, a diversity of personages will be entering our Barony. We
must accomodate them.
> 5.)If you were not an applicant, what qualities and qualifications would YOU be looking at?
Playfullness with seriousness in its proper measure
That certain warm feeling that makes you feel valued, appreciated,
Honesty / Openness
Presence / Charisma
Generosity -- both in sharing and in opinion
Loyalty -- to the Crown and to the populace
Ability to listen
Ability to keep one's confidence in confidence
Diligence / Industriousness
Mastery of dichotomies: approachable but untouchable; playful
reserve; tasteful pomp
Willingness to go into lion's den with you, not just send you in --
whether it be on the field of battle, or giving a presentation, or
public acceptance of responsibility
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