(An additional announcement sent from the Vice President of Operations, SCA, Inc. via the SCA Facebook page.)
Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:00pm
I felt that the following Advisory Opinion was required in view of the potential for confusion brought to my attention by one or more Kingdom Seneschals; however, in view of continued questions, I would like to amplify the bandwidth as I want everyone to have access to this Advisory Opinion of the rules of the SCA; this advisory opinion is based upon my independent reading of Corpora as presently constituted, a 1999 policy interpretation (by a prior Society Seneschal) and the affirmance of that position by the Board of Directors in 1999. As such, I am presenting the following Advisory Opinion for maximum distribution in view of continued questions. Please be advised that this is not an invitation to further debate; rather, it is a rather simple statement of the state of the Governing Documents of the SCA, i.e. Corpora. While the final authority regarding Corpora rests with the Board of Directors, the Board is devoted to transparency and in all cases, any change in Corpora must first be put out for comment to the membership prior to any Board action.
Vice President of Operations, SCA, Inc.
Advisory Opinion Regarding the possible inclusion of non-rattan fighters into the Order of the Chivalry
Greetings unto Kingdom Seneschals,
After January 17, 2015, I have received inquiries regarding whether a Crown may grant admission to the Order of Chivalry to a rapier or cut-and-thrust fighter. The following opinion is being disseminated to all Kingdom Seneschals to assist Their Crowns in view of the recent amendment of Corpora by the Board of Directors.
Despite the recent change in the language of the governing documents of the SCA, Inc. thereby removing the “ancillary activity” language from Corpora by the Board of Directors on January 17, 2015, an individual combatant should not be admitted to the Order of Chivalry based upon the combatant’s prowess in the areas of rapier or cut-and-thrust combat; my position is in conformity with the previous policy interpretation of the 1999 policy interpretation by the then Society Seneschal, affirmed by the Board of Directors in 1999, which clearly indicates that only rattan combatants (heavy or armored combatants) are eligible for recognition in the Order of Chivalry. I have determined that the key controlling factor in answering this question rests in the language of corpora dealing with “tournament
Article IV. ROYALTY
1. Royal Lists must be conducted at a tournament announced in the kingdom newsletter as being for that purpose. Crowns or Coronets who wish to conduct a royal list in a manner other than individual combat must obtain the prior approval of the Board of Directors.
—as well as–
Article VIII. PERSONAL AWARDS AND TITLES
A. Patents of Arms
4. Patent Orders
The following institutions are established for all kingdoms in the Society. A Patent of Arms may be conferred only upon a person being admitted into one of these orders. Each candidate for a patent order must satisfy the general requirements listed above in A.1., as well as the specific requirements listed here.
a. The Chivalry: (i) The Chivalry consists of two equal parts:
Knighthood and Mastery of Arms. No one may belong to both parts of the order at one time. When a member is admitted to the Chivalry by the Sovereign, the choice of which part of the order to join is made by the new member. The candidate must be considered the equal of his or her prospective peers with the basic weapons of tournament combat. To become a Knight, the candidate must swear fealty to the Crown of his or her kingdom during the knighting ceremony. Masters of Arms may choose to swear fealty, but are not required to do so.
It is clear that “tournament” combat in the SCA pertains exclusively to Crown Tournaments and Coronet Tournaments prior to January 15, 2015 and tournament combat is exclusively rattan, heavy, armored combat. The January 17, 2015 amendment to the governing documents, made by the Board of Directors, is in conformity with this position, namely, the only martial combat that may decide Crown and Coronet Tournaments is rattan combat and this amendment to Corpora is consistent with all of the governing documents of the SCA.
When the Order of Chivalry was created, it was conceived as the peerage whereby the best tournament fighters (both Crown and Coronet Tournaments), i.e. rattan, heavy, armored combat, would be honored with the title of Knight or Master at Arms. Such has been the case for almost fifty years. I must conclude that removing the “rapier as an ancillary activity” language or any other additions made by the Board of Directors has no definitive impact on the clear intent of the governing documents.
In 1999 the Society Seneschal (Lee Forgue), was asked by the Crown of the Midrealm for a Corpora interpretation as to whether or not a Crown could Knight a rapier fighter; Lee Forgue as Society Seneschal (circa 1999) responded with an official policy interpretation that was affirmed by the Board of Directors in 1999. Ms. Forgue’s affirmed interpretation of what was previously Article VII (which is now Article VIII) is noted below in pertinent part:
“My interpretation is that, when Corpora VII.A.4.a.(1).(a) speaks of tournament combat as the prerequisite for admission to the Order of Chivalry, the form of fighting referred to is that variously referred to as armored, heavy, chivalric, or rattan combat or, in the Rules of the Lists (Corpora Appendix B), traditional Society combat, i.e., the form of fighting done wearing substantial armor and using rattan weapons that was totally developed in and for the SCA.”
In view of my own research as well as the prior policy interpretation made by Lee Forgue in 1999 (which was affirmed by the Board of Directors in 1999), I cannot hold otherwise in this opinion even in view of the removal of the “rapier as an ancillary activity” language as there is no evidence that this “ancillary activity” impacts either the 1999 holdings of the Society Seneschal and the Board of Directors, the traditions of the SCA or the other pertinent portions of Corpora including but not limited to Articles IV and VIII.
In the face of nearly 50 years of tradition, the totality of Corpora (i.e. the governing documents of the SCA), the 1999 policy ruling of the Society Seneschal which was affirmed by the Board of Directors in 1999 and my own independent interpretation of Corpora, there is no question that, absent a change in Corpora, a Crown may not grant a rapier fighter into the Order of Chivalry as a Knight or Master at Arms.
Please pass this official advisory opinion on to your respective Crowns. I know that there has been a lot of confusion recently and I also know that there has been a lot of angry and frustrated feelings in terms of the possibility of an additional peerage; however, nothing truly precious or dear is ever achieved easily. I have complete confidence in the men and women of the Board who are trying to best serve the individual members of the SCA as well as the future of the SCA. They are individuals like you and me, who volunteer their time and try to be good stewards of this game that has become such an important aspect of our lives.
When I think about the SCA and how it has affected my life, I know full well that I am a better man because of it and I also know that each of us serves this dream with our hearts, minds and bodies… and the members who volunteer and serve as Board Members are no different than any of us… they want to do what is best for the women and men of the SCA… and they want to give us their very best… and at times, as you know, it is a thankless job.
If either you or Your Crown have any questions, please feel free to contact me by telephone after 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at (916) 600-2716.
Very truly yours,
A.J. Pongratz, Esq.
Society Seneschal/V.P. of Operations, SCA, Inc.
(Barone Antonio Giordano da Sicilia, O.P.)
Cc: The Board of Directors
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email email@example.com.
This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.
I want to thank everybody that volunteered to help at gate at Ursulmas this last weekend.
Gate was open from approximately noon Friday for merchants and before 3pm for members. It closed at midnight.
Lady Sabina opened and closed. HL Myrun, Duchess Angharad ( from Midhaven), Baroness Elewlyn (who worked as my second due to Adrianna being sick), Lady Genevieve, and the star of the weekend mLady Diana, who is from Dragons Laire.
On Saturday, I opened the gate at 8am with Diana. Then mLord Rodri, Elewyn, Lady Ljufuina, and HL Frederick, who all worked many hours, with very long lines. Until closing at 6pm.
On Sunday, I opened gate at 8am with Diana, again. Then Elewyn, and Angharad (who worked overtime and moved gate to the main arena) helped through closing at noon.
Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure in chief a mullet of eight points and an increscent Or.
As announced at several business meetings, HL Torn of Frog Haven’s term as Archery officer is long over, but he was training Thorin Stevenson to be his replacement. Thorin as officially applied! We announced this at the business meeting last night, but I wanted to get this out to everyone.
It has been a while since we had an officer candidate, so let’s review the process:
There will be a private polling over the next seven days of the Admin Council, which consists of the Coronets and the officers holding offices mandatory to maintaining Aquaterra’s status as a Barony (greater officers), and their deputies, per the current customary. If you would like to show support for the candidate, or have any concerns, please contact any one of these officers off list, myself included, and we will be sure your thoughts are taken into consideration, or you can contact the Coronets directly.
As a reminder, the seven greater officers are: Seneschal, Herald, Master of Stables, Minister of Arts and Sciences, Chatelaine, Exchequer, and Chronicler. Their e-mail addresses can be found on the barony’s website. The job description is also on the barony’s website.
This polling will end at the end of the day next Tuesday, February 3rd, after which Their Excellencies will make Their decision.
Lady Sabina di Zorzi
Barony of Aquaterra
Boars Hunt / All Champions 2015 bids are due at the next business meeting, Tuesday, February 24th. Let me know if you are interested in creating a bid, joining a team, or hosting an activity at the event and I will work to get like minded individuals together. I will be finalizing the contract with the Masons shortly, as well as getting the Honey Bucket quote and other necessary expenses, so the you don’t have to worry about figuring out those numbers. What we need from you is how you would manage the event, what you would do to make it special, and what team you have lined up.
This may sound a bit early, but we want to give the Event Steward plenty of time to get everything ready for the event and get all of the people running the various competitions and activities lined up!
Thank you so much!
Lady Sabina di Zorzi
Barony of Aquaterra
February 2, 2015 Conference Call
Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage matter, the Board of Directors has decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015. This is not an unusual occurrence. Conference call meetings are regularly held to help
facilitate communication, especially on important issues. This meeting was scheduled for further discussion of the results, reactions, and information that came forth after the last meeting’s failed vote on
the peerage language change.
The Board would like to assure the membership that they are reading all the comments that have been sent to them so far on the issue. Anyone who would like their opinion heard is encouraged to write the
Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s gather next Tuesday, Feb 3rd at the next Aquaterra Social Meeting and learn about Card Games!
Lady Eibhlin inghean Sheain will be hosting this class which you will learn the origins of card games and how they evolved. This will be followed by teaching a couple of different popular period card games. If you are interested and would like to learn more, this will be a fun and informational class for you.
Class Time: 7:30-8:30pm
Aquaterra Social Meetings are held from 7-9pm at the Snohomish Boys & Girls Club 402 2nd Street Snohomish, WA 98290. Please bring a snack or beverage to share.
NOTE: If you are interested in a class and uncertain who to contact, please contact me off-list. I will be happy to reach out to others and assist you in finding a class and/or instructor.
We had a few reporters come out this weekend to learn about Ursulmas, Aquaterra, and the SCA. On Saturday, we had photographer Dan Armstrong, as well as Aaron who took notes, both of the Monroe Monitor. On Sunday, we had Emily Hamann, Writer, and Kevin Clark, Photographer, of the Everett Herald. I have not seen anything on the Monroe Monitor’s website yet, but we made the front page of the Everett Herald again!
I would like to thank our Chatelaine, Arnora Jonsdottir, for assisting Dan on Saturday, guiding him around site. She has gotten quite practiced at answering newcomer’s questions, so she was well qualified to handle the task. She said that they spent a good deal of time in Ursulwyk and Dan took many photos, and before he left, she had seen that light in his eye we all get when we realize we’re truly enjoying our first event!
When Emily came out on Sunday, the Herald’s photographer, Kevin Clark, came at the same time, so I needed another guide to help him so he wouldn’t get held up with the interviewing process. That volunteer was Ryan Campbell (SCA name change pending), who I would like to thank for stepping in without even needing to be asked, especially after handling night security all night Saturday.
I would also like to thank Baron Jolgeirr Alarson who described his YAC program, HL Gideon Hravensfuri who explained Heavy Fighting, HL Phydeaux Weir, as our Thrown Weapons officer, who explained his art, and HL Torn of Froghaven who explained Archery, with Lord Thorin Stevenson learning by his side as our next Archery officer. They each went over the standard practices, the weapons, armor, and safety precautions used, and what role their martial activity played in the Society.
In the merchant hall, I took Emily specifically to a few merchants that I knew prided themselves on their period wares, including Firedryk Steel, the Barefoot Cordwainer, and the Nordic Trader. At the Ursulwyk Village, we stopped at each display, which included Lady Emma Compton’s demo on spinning and weaving, the Lampworker’s Guild where HL Aenor de Pessac explained some of the history of glass bead making, the Canton of Bearwood’s display of their talented artisans, Baroness Fiamma the Unquenchable’s Culinary Guild display, and Master Raymond von dem Lowengrab’s Moneyer’s Guild demo, where Lord Roger Gridley explained what he had learned of the art. Thank you to every merchant and artisan who helped make the reporter’s article well informed on what makes this Society so special to us all!
Just before Emily left, Her Excellency Sineidin stopped by and added a good element of the game experience, gracing our guest with a visit from our Coronet. Thank you, Your Excellency!
Finally, I would like to thank HL Gideon again for another year running this event with skill and charm! Without your hard work, none of this would have come together to make such a tremendous impact on those we are doing this demo for.
Lady Sabina di Zorzi
Barony of Aquaterra
We will be at the Denny’s on 128th in Everett at 7pm to have our monthly business meeting and swap stories of an event well done!
I hope to see you all there as these meetings are open to everyone!
Lady Sabina di Zorzi
Barony of Aquaterra
Hello all! I’m proud to say almost all of our Ursulmas scrolls have been completed and they look amazing! However there are a few things left to do, including helping with seals and calligraphy. If you wish to help, please come see me in the green room! If you have completed scrolls you need to turn in, please come find me there.
Faelan na hInnsi
We have many, many honored guests arriving to our shores for Ursulmas this weekend, including Royalty of regions from one end of An Tir to the other! This presents a rare and wonderful opportunity for Lords & Ladies of the Barony to attend Their Highnesses for a few hours either day as Ladies for a Day or guards. The tasks are simple, yet it is a very special honor and a chance to mingle with Heads of State.
I invite the Lords & Ladies of Aquaterra to step forward and let us know your availability and how to reach you so that my Head Lady Samira al Wadi and I can coordinate and ensure the Barony’s guests are well cared for.
Samira al Wadi
What a splendid event lies before us!!
Baroness Sineidin inghean an Bhiadtaigh
Per pale vert and sable, a natural tiger rampant argent marked sable winged argent and in chief a county coronet Or.