Exciting news for our kingdom of Ealdormere and the SCA.  On February 2, 2015 the Board of Directors held a teleconference to further discuss and approve the proposed changes to corpora to found the Order of Defense, our new rapier peerage:

tournament5SCA Announcements
Creation of the Order of Defense

Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage for rapier and cut and thrust, the Board of Directors decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015. The Board received a large amount of additional comments and suggestions in the two weeks following the January 17 quarterly meeting. This was considered in addition to the first Board call for commentary on this issue.

At the February 2, 2015 special conference call meeting of the Board of Directors, the Board discussed the history of the APEC proposal process, the commentary received from the membership, and the various options available to the Board. The Order of Defense proposal was the result of many years of effort, and while the commentary from the membership opened the Board’s eyes to other options and possibilities, the Board decided at this time to reconsider the proposal to change Corpora to create the Order of Defense. During the call a motion was made and seconded to approve the changes to Corpora, and such motion passed 6 votes for and 1 against.

Motion to approve the proposed changes to Corpora that will create the new peerage, Order of Defense, and direct Laurel Sovereign of Arms to submit such name and heraldry to the heraldic comment process, with the intention of opening the Order on May 1, 2015. Voted in favor of the motion: Arthur Donadio, Andrew Coleman, John Fulton, David Keen and Lisa May. Voted against the motion: Lisa Czudnochowsky. Chairman Scott Berk exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion passed.

Motion in the matter of the Order of Defense to waive the requirements of Corpora Section IV.G. that the Crown consult the members of a peerage order prior to inducting new members of that order, but only in the case of the first three (3) members of the Order of Defense. Once there are three members of the Order of Defense in a kingdom, the Crown must consult the Order per Corpora prior to adding members. Voted in favor of the motion: Arthur Donadio, Andrew Coleman, Lisa Czudnochowsky John Fulton, David Keen and Lisa May. Opposed: none. Chairman Scott Berk exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion passed.

No candidate may be inducted into the Order of Defense before May 1, 2015. All candidates inducted into the Order of Defense on May 1, 2015, will carry equal precedence, regardless of the time of day each such candidate was inducted.

koppen-treatise-1619Five years ago, the enormous response in favor of a path to peerage was specifically focused on rapier and cut and thrust combat. When and if another martial activity engenders the response from the membership at large that rapier and cut and thrust did, when another martial activity has the depth, breadth and community as exists for rapier and cut and thrust, then the Board of Directors may investigate the possibility of facilitating a path to peerage for such martial activity.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

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.

The changes to corpora are:

In the event a rapier/cut & thrust peerage is created, the following would be the proposed changes to Corpora (additions in red; deletions in blue and struck out.)

Glossary, page 9

• Peerage: Collectively, the members of the Order of Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of the Pelican, and the Order of Defense are referred to as the Peerage. A member of any
of these Orders is a Peer.

TournamentVIII. PERSONAL AWARDS AND TITLES

A. Patents of Arms

2. Order of Precedence Within the Peerage
The Crown may establish the order of precedence within the peerage according to the laws and customs of the kingdom. However, the orders of the Chivalry, the Laurel, and the Pelican, and Defense are of equal precedence and must be considered as one group.

4. Patent Orders:

d. The Order of Defense:

(i) Members of the Order of Defense may choose to swear fealty, but are not required to do so.  The candidate must be considered the equal of his or her prospective peers with the basic weapons of rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat. The candidate must have applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.

(2) The duties of the members of the order are as follows:

(a) To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct on and off the field of honor.
(b) To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and Corpora.
(c) If in fealty, to support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.
(d) To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.
(e) To enhance the renown and defend the honor of the peer’s Lady or Lord.
(f) To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Order of Defense

(The section on royal peerage becomes section e, etc.)

D. Titles

Tournament24. The titles listed here are considered standard, and may be used by those who have earned or been granted the appropriate rank or award within the Society. The College of Arms publishes a more extensive list of titles and alternative forms, which may also be used freely by qualified persons. In addition, the College of Arms has full approval authority over new alternative titles, which must be added to their list before being released for use in the Society.

TITLE

(masculine/feminine/collective)
Master/Mistress
RANK OR AWARD
Members of the Orders of the Laurel, the Pelican, and Mastery of Arms, and Defense.

IX. Society Combat

C. Rapier Fighting in the Society
The Board acknowledges rapier combat as an ancillary activity of the Society when properly supervised by the Marshals and when approved by individual kingdoms. Rapier combat may take place within a kingdom only by rules established by the Marshallate of that kingdom and after the approval of those rules by the Marshal of the Society. The Marshal of the Society will maintain guidelines for rapier combat within the Society. Rapier combat, not having been part of formal tournament combat in the Middle Ages, shall not be a part of formal tournament lists for royal ranks and armigerous titles.

C. Royal Lists
Only Chivalric (rattan) combat shall be used for formal tournament lists for royal ranks

Commentary

The changes in the last section, IX(C), regarding society combat were voted upon and passed at a January 17, 2015 Board of Directors meeting in Milpitas, CA.  The change to this section reflects two issues.  The first recognizing the distinct culture as well as the martial and research achievements of rapier combat in the SCA.  The second recognizing that rattan combat remains the sole path to royal ranks for those that wish to be King or Queen of their kingdom.  This helps address a multitude of concerns that have arisen during the discussions surrounding the Order of Defense peerage.  Some members of the Order of Chivalry were concerned that the inclusion of non-rattan combatants would drastically alter their Order and the historic traditions of the SCA in who could compete for royal rank or the recognition of being within the Order of Chivalry.  The rapier community felt an exclusion from recognition within the SCA given very substantial personal, martial, and research achievements.  Like all good compromises and agreements:  everyone gets something, but no one gets everything.  All in all, the formation of the Order of Defense keeps most parties happy and brings with it a new excitement and depth to the kingdoms of the SCA.

As of May 1, 2015, royalty of each kingdom will have the option to appoint three initial members to the Order of Defense with the Board of Directors having waived the requirements of Corpora Section IV.G. that the Crown must consult the members of a peerage order prior to inducting new members of that order.  Simply put, as there are no pre-existing members of the Order of Defense, each Kingdom’s Crown will be able to decide upon their first three members.  Certainly here in the Kingdom of Ealdormere we have members of the rapier community that have continued to give of their time and resources to teach and build our thriving rapier combat culture.  People who inspire others to achieve and contribute.  People whose martial mastery and research have exemplified excellence.  It is a welcome day to see those individuals recognized as an inspiration to the rest of our kingdom’s populace.

Rapier PhotoSo, what exactly is a Master or Mistress of the Order of Defense?  Let’s break that down…

A member of the Order of Defense must be “the equal of his or her prospective peers with the basic weapons of rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat.”  Masters and Mistresses should exemplify martial prowess in either regular rapier and/or cut and thrust.  Either area of rapier combat stands on its own merits for consideration into the Order of Defense.

For the large part this, as with the Order of Chivalry, is the extent of the demands in regards to martial prowess.  I like that.  Our most inspirational members should be more than simply who is the quickest with a weapon or more clever on the combat field.  As with the Order of Chivalry, members of the Order of Defense may chose whether or not to swear fealty.  However, unlike the Order of Chivalry, there is no title difference reflected by this choice.

Candidates to the Order of Defense shall have “applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.”  It is simply not enough to be knowledgeable or skilled, a key requirement is community service to the betterment of our Kingdoms and the SCA overall.  Members shall “set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct on and off the field of honor.”  They will “respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and Corpora.”  If choosing to swear fealty to the Crown, a member shall “support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.”   A Master or Mistress will “enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.”  They will “enhance the renown and defend the honor of the peer’s Lady or Lord.”

All of these latter requirements for a Master or Mistress of the Order of Defense have to do with character, leadership, and community service.  They define the character of the individual.  They are what makes them an inspiration to others within and without their Kingdom.  These requirements provide a set of goals to which rapier combatants may aspire towards.  As our rapier community aspires towards these goals, they in turn enrich our overall experience in the SCA through their good character and their martial and research achievements.  This certainly heralds an exciting day for the SCA as it grows in the depth and content of the experience it offers members.

One of the last components of the Order of Defense is “to advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Order of Defense.”  As with the Order of Chivalry, Masters and Mistresses of the Order of Defense will be able to keep a watchful eye for those members of the populace who exemplify the ideals of the order and advise the Crown of such.

February 2, 2015 marks a historic day for our Society.  May 1, 2015 will see the first members of the Order of Defense being appointed.  To those noble Masters and Mistresses, thank you for your contributions and achievements, and I look forward to this recognition inspiring you to continue in your contributions to your Kingdom and our society.

Sincerely,
Gregorie Moroz
Fencer, dancer, archer, leatherworker, metalworker, and brewer
Shire Castellan and Group Rapier Marshal
The Shire of Trinovantia Nova
Fencing In Ealdormere