Friday, January 31, 2014

Challenge of Colyne Stewart: AS 48

In the name of Ealdormere and of the blessed queen Adrielle, Saint Finnvarr and Saint Gillian, I Colyne Stewart, to exalt my name and honour my fortieth year upon this earth, knowing full well the renown of the prowess of the Ealdormerean fighting force, have, from the date of this present letter, taken a piece of a greave to bear upon my leg until I be delivered from it by an Ealdormerean performing a deed of arms as follows:

First, to enter the lists on foot, each armed as seems best to them, having their dagger and sword upon their body as they wish, and having a pollaxe as well. And this shall be the number of blows for all the different weapons and arms: ten strokes with the pollaxe, without intermission (sans reprendre); and when these ten strokes shall have been performed, and the judge shall say, 'Ho!' we will give ten strokes with the sword without intermission, or parting from each other, or changing our harness. When the judge shall say, 'Ho!' we will take to our daggers in hand, and give ten strokes with them. Should either one lose or drop his weapon, the other will be able to do as he pleases with the one he holds until the judge shall say, 'Ho!'

So shall I meet each fighter who would don harness and meet with me in glorious combat.

And there will be in attendance a gallery, and this gallery will consist of citizens of upstanding moral value. I shall, after consultation with these witnesses, surrender my greave to the fighter deemed most noble and virtuous and preaux.

This deed will occur in the Canton of Ardchreag on the 14th day of April of this year.

To add greater faith and security to this letter, I Colyne Stewart have sealed it with the seal of my arms, written and dated from Colynesburg, Thursday the 30th day of January in the year 48."

Based on “The Challenge of Michel d'Oris: 1400”, Enguerrand de Monstrelet, Chroniques, Book I, chapter ii as translated by Will McLean, 2001.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Relationships in the SCA

Within the SCA I have a number of different and meaningful relationships that have developed over time.

Firstly, I am squired to a knight. With that I gained a number of squire-brothers.

I am also an apprentice, and that garnered me a gaggle of feral belt-sisters.

My knight and laurel are married and have a joint household, but I am also a member of another household, symbolized by the raven. Due to that I have my raven-brothers and -sisters.

This, as anyone who has been in the SCA for any period of time can tell you, is pretty standard.

However, I have one other set of SCA siblings: my sword-brothers. Sometimes, when a fighter truly inspires me (both on and off the field), and we have a bond and I wish we were squire-brothers though we are not, I approach them and ask if they would honour me by being my sword-brother. They are my brothers-in-arms who (aside from my squire-brothers) I would most like to stand with on the field. Over the years I have asked a handful of people to stand so, and all but two have said yes.*

The first of them were His Excellency Berend van der Eych, who at the time was squired to Duke Finnvarr de Taahe (though now both he and I are squired to Sir Nigel). So he is both a squire-brother and a sword-brother, and chiefest of this company.

This was followed by Sir Wat of Sarum (who was not even a squire at the time), THL Amelius Claudius Rattanicus and Lord Edward dit Lyon.

At a non SCA (but SCA related) event this past weekend, I approached another fine noble, and told him how I have come to admire him as he has grown and evolved over the past few years. He is always striving to improve himself and his game, has taken on thankless jobs which he handles with aplomb, and is quite frankly an excellent human being. I asked him to stand as a sword-brother, and he agreed. I am proud to include Lord Fulk Beauxarmes among my band of stalwart friends and comrades.

To symbolize our bond, I give each of my sword-brothers a sword (though it may be miniature in size). Fear not, Fulk; your's will be forth-coming.

* I should add, that the two people who said no were already a raven-brother and -sister and felt no further proof of bond was required.