[sca-comments] Peerage proposal
henri.laine at iki.fi
Fri May 14 06:59:35 CDT 2021
Unto the good gentles of SCA Board of Directors, Greetings from
Dubhghall MacÉibhearáird, Companion of the Pelican, Peer of the Realm
member of various orders of the Kingdom of Drachenwald and the Barony of
Aarnimetsä, Koira Herald Extraordinairé, and a firm Scadian.
I write to you regarding the matters of peerage and organising the
peerage orders, particularly the proposal you put forth based on the
suggestion of the Peerage committee.
First let me thank you for admitting the need to note the people who are
supports to our Society and the need to laud any and all activities that
uphold and elevate our Society. In this you are acting very much in the
lines I wish you to act. Therefore it is with regret that I must tell
you that the proposal put forth by the peerage committee leaves a lot to
hope for and I don't know if acting on it, would actually make things
worse for our Society instead of righting the situation and improving
this shared dream of ours.
The proposed fully identity free peerage order for those people who just
don't have a clear path - in a Society where we defined clear paths -
treats them very unkindly and I labor to find how induction to this
order could be seen celebrating the great works of our the prospective
members instead of coming of as a consolation prize. As I was rather
involved with writing the initial ceremonies for the Order of Defense I
can witness that having been a bit of an undertaking, but writing
similar ceremonies for the kind of an order proposed here, would seem
Looking at how you intend to make it work, you could as well call it
Order of the Bin, for those who are not deemed worthy of real peerage.
Nay, this is not the way good directors.
But in your request for the comments, you stated that nothing is final.
We can therefore seek other solutions.
In the proposal the committee has found a way forth. The proposal calls
for altering our Society so, that we could make peers from people based
first and foremost on their peer like qualities instead of the kind of
prowess that we now have defined for the four existing peerage orders.
This is a valid way forward. There has been quite a few public responses
to this proposal. One of them is the one by Sir Helga Skjaldmaer (mka
Ariah Hume) which arguments and defines a very elegant restructuring of
the peerage, into unified peerage.
Such an approach was also proposed at times by late Master Tivar
Moondragon and gladly still alive Master Pietari Uv when the matter of
fourth Peerage was discussed. This would be the wisest course of action
for many reasons as argued by Her Grace Helga. To add to those reasons
such an approach would also recognise the need for all peers to act as
pillars of our community and work together for a better Society. To
paraphrase recent entertainment: One Peerage - One Known World.
I have to admit that after a 21 years of seeking the companionship in
the order of the Pelican, swapping that to companionship in the unified
peerage stings a bit. I am certain that I am not an only companion of
such orders having to admit to such a sting, but the worth that truly
unified peerage would have in our Society as it would remove the cracks
from between the orders that we keep losing good people in to, is far
greater than the specialty of mine own order. So I suggest this trade to
be made as Her Grace has suggested before.
It could be argued that such a separate things as peerages are can't be
united, but if we look at the proposal you have put before us, it is
asking to do the very same thing for the "other things". Also the kinds
of prowess that we have celebrated under the halls of the Order of the
Laurel are very diverse and varied, ranging from the better known arts
of tailor's craft to such ephemeral things as recreating period dance,
study of period forms of arts martial and playing the music of our
period. The matters that fall under the purview of the Order of the
Pelican are also diverse, the event organising is a bit different than
advancing court heraldry and both are distinct from feast cooking and
keeping our Society's branches running. Based on these examples I find
the claim that the peers couldn't recognise the greatness in a different
kinds of candidates untenable.
The Unified Peerage would be my favoured way forth and in my opinion,
the only way truly true to the values and ideals of our Society. If the
Board still finds it impossible, there are also other options that are
far preferable to the one you are now asking comments for.
First of these is of course the unified martial peerage. A solution
where worthy people in all martial activities would be recognised in the
Order of Chivalry. Baron Antonio di Rienzo makes a good point for these
in his letter to you , though he does not himself join the
In my opinion the point is valid and if we wish to recognise our peers
based on their activity I see very little validity to the argument that
rattan combat is so very different from anything else that it requires a
separate peerage. I find the best of the rattan community to have a lot
of commonality with both best of the fencing community where I am active
myself and with the best of the archery community which is well
represented in these parts, being the most popular/best attended martial
activity by far in these parts of the Knowne World.
It would be of course a bit sad to lose the budding Order of Defense
that has started to form an identity, but again the merits seem far
greater than the losses.
If the Chivalry truly cannot be expected to behave and recognise the
practitioners of other martial activities, Baron Antonio's own
suggestion of reshaping the Order of Defense a bit and inviting the
other martial practitioners there, seems like the next best thing.
If none of these approaches cannot be considered, I ask the Board to
look at Sir Jon's (mka John R Edgerton) Valiance Proposal that I trust
you are well familiar with, for forming that final peerage order for
other martial practices. It is almost similar to the one from peerage
committee, but proposes an actual identity for the Order and thus makes
it that much better fit to our shared dream and game. It is not ideal,
but it is still better than the one now proposed.
Finally, as said, I share your idea that all worthy (possessing the peer
like qualities) Scadians donating their time, their person and body to
the betterment of our Society are deserving of peerage. If you are truly
convinced that the solution you offer is the only imaginable one,
through which this goal can be achieved, then you should go on with it.
I however hope that you can see the weaknesses and problems that your
proposal bears and would introduce to the Society and that you therefore
take one of the better alternatives discussed above.
So in summary, I applaud your wish to act on this matter, but dislike
your course of action. Instead I suggest you consider in the order of
preference to act by unifying all of the peerage and bringing the people
now overlooked there, as distant second unifying the martial peerage and
bringing the people now overlooked there, bringing these people to the
order of defense and as a final alternative founding of the kind of
martial peerage suggested in the Valiance proposal.
Yours In Service
mka Henri Laine
 Helga's letter
Unto the many members of the BOD, the supporting officers, and many hard
working individuals that continue to keep the SCA running... because why
not start it off with the longest greeting ever right?
I hope this finds you all well and without too many bored people sending
emotionally reactive emails.
First let me start with, thank you for the hours you spend keeping this
game alive. Thank you form a person this society helped become a better
On to the heart of the matter! The peerage proposal.
I think that adding in an undefined peerage is another Band-Aid to the
already growing issue that seems to be facing the SCA... Inclusivity in
the perceived power structures of the peerages and each sub group that
is not contained within the current structure...
I do not feel that adding another peerage will actually help this issue.
Currently there is a slew of meetings people need to go to and we are
becoming an organization that tries to make inclusiveness happen though
additions not corrections.
I actually would propose that the SCA put forth a redefining of all the
peerages, scary I know. But looking at having all peers fall under two
categories (those that swear fealty and those that do not) and then
making as many needed titled groups as needed to fit the niches created
within the communities.
Knights/Non Fealty (can't think of a better word than Master/Mistress) -
Knights/Non Fealty - Rapier
Knights/Non Fealty - Lance (horses)
Knights/Non Fealty - Bow
Knights/Non Fealty - Service
Knights/Non Fealty - Arts (add in sub categories as needed)
Knights/Non Fealty - Sciences (add in sub categories as needed)
This would allow for a couple things (in the space of pissing off every
knight out there who thinks this thing is special and has subconsciously
bought into the knights are more equal than others):
- The royalty to address and meet with all peers to discuss a candidates
PLQ's thus removing the odd variances from council to council. THEN the
royalty can dismiss all but the 'experts' of the field to determine that
specific bar to entry.
- Allows for overall adaptability of the peerages as the landscape
changes over time.
- MAKES all peers accountable to the same PLQ set for their kingdom and
removes some barriers to addressing poor behavior among the peers in
HOWEVER, now that I have gone off the deep end of not this but this. In
the end I am here to stay, I think this proposal is a Band-Aid to vs
actual corrective change but I am here to stay and will support and
treat a new order as peers, because they are once made. So either way
ya'll are stuck with me playing for many years to come because I love
Hope this finds you all well and your drink of choice delightful as you
fish though the commentary that comes in.
Helga Skjaldmaer (Ariah Hume)
West Kingdom, (TITLE SALAD!), Rose, Duchess, Pelican, Knight... and
general pain in the ass
 Antonio's letter
Unto the Board of Directors does Baron Antonio di Rienzo, current
Vigilant to the Order of Defence send greetings,
My apologies, this will be quite long. I shall try and keep it as brief
and lucid as I can
1) The Orders of Peerage exist to reward deserving individuals, to
promote teaching in an activity, and to give an aspiration for members
2) That the Orders are equal, with no one activity more praiseworthy or
deserving within the Society
3) That there are currently individuals and activities which lack a path
as described in (1)
4) we should seek to give recognition to the individuals in (3)
a) it was felt during the Order of Defence related census by members of
the then existing Orders (Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican on alphabetical
order) that Non Rattan, Non Rapier combat activities did not belong in
their own Order.
b) the Order of Defence was founded separately in order to solve the
difficult situation for Members of a combined Order of Chivalry extended
to non-Rattan peers.
c) forward compatibility was not designed into the Order of Defence as
to what would happen to Archers, Equestrians, Siege Engineers, thrown
weapons users and other non Rattan, Non Rapier Martial Artists under the
d) we moved into a situation with 1 arts, 1 service peerages and 2
combat peerages (leaving aside the Royal Peers, who are, at a bare
minimum, 50% high level rattan fighters). This projects the image that
Combat is as deserving as all other SCA Activities combined, which is in
conflict with (2) above.
The current proposal will exacerbate this problem, moving to at least 3,
and potentially many more combat peerages.
Do we really wish to claim Combat is THAT important compared to the arts
of peace and service?
It has been suggested that all the Orders should be folded into One. I
do not think that practical. 50 years ago, maybe.
It has been suggested that the MoD be folded into the Chivalry, and new
combatants join the Chivalry. This is the most logical solution, but it
retains (in my view, although we have not asked the question in some
years, and naturally assumptions must be testedon a regular basis) the
issue of pushback from entrenched privilege and over 50 years of Custom.
That leaves finding some place within the current setup.
I propose the extension of the Order of Defence to include ALL Combat
activities not eligible for the Order of Chivalry. The Laurel manage to
judge prowess across multiple arts, I'm sure we will be able to do
In conclusion, I am AGAINST the forming of a new "and everyone else"
order, with or without folding out of additional individual orders, due
to the effect it would have on perception of the value of Arts, Sciences
and Services, and FOR the extension of the Order of Defence to include
the others who need recognition, without changing the current balance
between those who work (Laurels), those who pray (Pelicans) and those
Baron Antonio di Rienzo Ruspoli, Order of the Dragon's Steel, Vigilant
to the Order of Defence
"For it is not by sword of steel alone that the Kingdom is defended, but
also by Lance, and Javelin, and arrow and by the devices of man's
artifice. Thus these shall be recognised as Defenders, and their regalia
shall be the same, but the weapon on the medallion shall be that
relevant to the Art for which they were elevated."
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