Rank, Title and Customs in the East Kingdom of the SCA


Purpose of this page

The purpose of this page is to give anyone who wants it a basic knowledge of "what to expect" in the East Kingdom. Basic titles, how to spot a Peer, how to behave if called into court. There are mysteries, subtleties and outright boring details that I have left out on purpose, in order to make this digestible. Please, do make suggestions or give me updates or ideas, and I especially welcome questions or suggestions for new areas to cover.

But, please, don't be upset if I decide that your suggestion is too complicated to add.

Background Information

The SCA's habits and practices of titlature are not in any particular way authentic to the time period represented by its interests. The organization just grew, its "ancient practices" were the best guesses made (sometimes on the fly) and so it goes. Further complicating the situation is that each SCA Kingdom has rights and customs that can be unique. For example, the East Kingdom has basically no sumptuary laws whatsoever, while Kingdoms such as Meridies (http://www.meridies.org/senschal/Kingdom_Law_as_of_September_2002.doc around the middle of page 35), have much narrower levels of classification.

Some of the personal titles come from Corpora (http://www.sca.org/docs/govdocs200204.pdf): the body of law that represents the highest in-game level of regulation. Further within that, many of the decisions for titles and regulations are delegated to the chief Heraldic Officer of the SCA: Laurel King or Queen of Arms. Such regulation includes regulated and restricted armorial charges (http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/charges.html) that various ranks may use, titles (http://www.sca.org/heraldry/titles.html) for those ranks and their equivalents in other languages, reserved regalia (http://sca.org/heraldry/loar/1998/10/cvr.html) and so forth. Within each Kingdom, there can be further individual variations. Baronies are also allowed to create local awards and order: but these are not within the scope of this document.

This guide is written for residents of the East Kingdom (http://www.eastkingdom.org), so it concentrates primarily on what an Eastern Subject will most often see. However, since not all the Known World (http://www.sca.org/geography/welcome.html) is the East, information about other habits and customs are represented as well.

A list of guides for newcomers from various places

Arnora Dunstan Ealdormere A Novices' Guide to Events
Lady Angharad o'r Rhosyn ferch Rhain & Lady Skya na Ruadh East Kingdom Walking With The Tyger
Michael de la Mare Ansteorra The Guiding Hand

Titles and Coronets defined across the Society

Most photographs are used (with permission) from a page maintained by Beatrice Domenici della Campana of An Tir (http://www.antir.com/regalia/photos.html).
They are all Copyright (c) 2001 Katherine Finegan

The Eastern Kingdom photographs are taken (with permission) from the East Kingdom Chamberlain's page. (http://www.eastkingdom.org/chamberlain/)
Title/Mode of Address How Earned Reserved Regalia for their person Reserved Charges for their armory Coronet Picture (if available)
Your Majesty/Your Royal Majesty
Victory in a Crown Tournament and currently ruling a Kingdom. The use of the arms of the Kingdom, the royal Crown, etcetera only for as long as they are reigning. The regalia of each Kingdom is distinct. Many Kingdoms actually have a variety of Crowns. Eastern Royal Crown
Eastern King
Crown Prince/Princess
Your Highness/Your Royal Highness
Victory in a Crown Tournament, but not yet ruling a Kingdom The use of the Heirs version of the Kingdom arms, the coronets, etcetera only for as long as they are reigning. The regalia of each Kingdom is distinct Eastern Crown Prince Coronet
Eastern Crown Prince
Your Highness
Victory in a Coronet tournament and ruling a principality The Principality arms, coronets, etcetera The regalia of each Principality is distinct no example
Your Grace
Have completed the reign over a Kingdom twice or more Coronets with strawberry leaves A ducal coronet on their arms Sample
    Ducal Coronet
Your Excellency
Have completed the reign over a Kingdom one time Coronets with embattlements A county coronet on their arms Sample County Coronet
Your Excellency
Have completed the reign over a Principality one time or more Varies. Most commonly, a coronet with a large number of pearls (more than 6) but can also be with a single exaggerated point, Any coronet on their arms Sample Viscomital Coronet
Order of the Laurel
Elevated by Royalty to the Order Laurel Wreath Personal decoration with a Laurel Wreath.

This may include a coronet with a wreath or a plain wreath. In the East, often elevation includes a cloak with a Laurel Wreath.
none Sample Laurel Coronet
Order of the Pelican
Elevated by Royalty to the Order A cap of maintenance (although not really observed). Cap of

Decorations with a Pelican (generally in its piety). Pelican In It's Piety

(This may include decorations on a coronet, although this is rare.) In the East, often elevation includes a cloak with a Pelican in its Piety.)
Any use of Pelican in it's piety No example
Order of Chivalry
Knight/Master (this is complex)
Elevated by Royalty to the Order A plain white belt (for Knights)
A plain white baldric (for Masters)

(Some Kingdoms reserve spurs for Chivalry as well.) (See the notes under Sumptuary laws below for the reservation of chain necklaces.)

On armory:
A plain white belt (Knights)
A plain white baldric (Masters)
A plain orle of chain (Knights)
no example
Territorial Baron/Baroness
Your Excellency
Appointed by the Crown for a temporary term (after local input or voting). Comes with a Grant of Arms in the East. The rights to the arms of the Barony. Any coronet, most commonly a coronet with 6 "pearls" where a pearl is any round bauble. A few coronets emphasize the 6 more than the pearls.

(In some Kingdoms landed Baronial coronets must be gold)

None Sample Territorial Baronial Coronets
Baron/Baroness of the Court
Your Excellency
Elevated by the Crown Any coronet, most commonly a coronet with 6 "pearls" where a pearl is any round bauble. A few coronets emphasize the 6 more than the pearls.

(In some Kingdoms Court Baronial coronets must be silver.)

The right to a Baronial Coronet on their arms (which is very rarely seen). Sample Court Barony Coronet
no title, but some Kingdoms use "Lordship/Ladyship" (which is not supported by Society Law.)

No form of address, but some Kingdoms use "The Honorable Lord/Lady" (which is not supported by Society Law.)

Grant of Arms none

(In some kingdoms, comes with the right to wear a plain circlet of a prescribed width.)

none no example
no title


Award of Arms none

(In some kingdoms, comes with the right to wear a plain circlet of a prescribed width.)

none no example
no awards of rank or title
none none none no example

Arms of the Royalty and Populace of the East Kingdom

These are the arms of the Kingdom, the Crown and the Heirs, along with a badge that anyone who is a subject of the Kingdom may use. Note that in addition to the Royalty having the right to the arms, they may also dress their herald in a tabard of those arms. When wearing the tabard (or the tabard of any person's arms) the herald is representing that person.

There are several other period fashions of designating staff or representatives, such as the use of an esmail (a small rendition of the arms) or livery (clothing in the color of the person in question.)

Arms of the East Kingdom and the King
Purpure, within a laurel wreath vert fimbriated Or, an eastern crown of three grand points tipped with pearls and two lesser points, all Or.
Arms of the King
Arms of the Queen of the East Kingdom
Purpure and Eastern Crown within a wreath of roses or, barbed vert seeded gules
Arms of the Queen
Arms of the Crown Prince of the East Kingdom
Purpure, an Eastern Crown and in chief a label Or
Arms of the Crown Prince
Arms of the Crown Princess of the East Kingdom
Purpure, an Eastern Crown and on a chief Or three roses purpure
Arms of the Crown Princess
Badge that the populace may bear
A tyger passant azure
Populace Badge of the East

Unofficial and Informal Ranks and/or Titles for Individuals

The Society has within it a very large number of unofficial and feudally inspired relationships. Being unofficial, this table can only skim the broad surface of these potential relationships, and there are many more that are unique to particular nobles or households.

If there is a common tenor between all of these feudally inspired relationships, it is of friendship between the people involved, and a general commitment to teaching and sharing information both about the Society and also about history in general. Many of these relationships are "themed" in the sense of having a central area of interest within the Society, but few confine themselves to only that area.

Most of these feudal relationships are founded upon some kind of mutual oath or promise between the parties. The length of the service, and the content of the oath vary greatly. Since Society people tend to take oaths very seriously these promises are very important.

Often the senior in the relationship will give the junior a token to wear, often it is some version of an armorial badge.

Title What is it Who Gives It Regalia Duration
Squire Student in combat to a member of the Chivalry Any member of the Chivalry A red belt or baldric Generally, until elevated to the Chivalry or terminated
Protege Student in the forms of service to a member of the Pelican Any member of the Pelican (rarely, others) A yellow belt (or other sign) Generally, until elevated to the Pelican or terminated
Apprentice Student in the re-creation arts to a member of the Laurel Any member of the Laurel (rarely, others) A green belt (or other sign) Generally, until elevated to the Laurel or terminated
Cadet Student in the art of defense to a member of the Order of the Golden Rapier or White Scarf Any member of the Golden Rapier, the White Scarf or equivalent A red or blue scarf worn over the shoulder Generally, until elevated to the Golden Rapier or terminated
Any associate of a higher ranked person, most typically a person with no rank to a person with an AoA or more Anybody, but typically an Award of Arms or higher Varies by individuals Generally, until elevated with an Award of Arms or terminated
East Kingdom Queen's Guard An honorary estate in the Royal Retinue as an honor for martial interests and prowess Reigning Queens An official Baldric Until the end of the reign
Man at Arms Like a squire, but to a non-member of the Chivalry Anyone that feels qualified None standard Indefinite
Yeoman Like a squire, but to a long-term archer and in the field of archery. Any senior archer that feels qualified None standard Indefinite
There are a multitude of Eastern Royal Champions positions
  • Tournament
  • Defence (fencing)
  • Archer
  • Equestrian
  • Bardic
An honorary position considered to be directly in service to the Crown Usually there is both a King's (won by competition) and a Queen's (won by selection during the competition). For unknown reason the Queen's Archery champion is the person who places first, and the King's Champion is the person who places second (by and large). In Bardic competitions, both positions are selected by Royalty. Varies Usually for one year

Guild Ranks or Hierarchies

There are many informal and formal guilds, which are organized around specific skills or trades from history. Some of those notable guilds have ranks within them.

There is no formal definition of households and guilds in the Society. They are informal organizations within the Society. Guilds usually are chartered by some territorial group. Households usually are not. (But there are exceptions to both.) As you become more familiar with the Society you will begin to intuit how they work. Until then, you can presume that a household is a group of friends united by friendship, and a guild is a group of friends united by interest in a common craft.

Guilds are generally open to everyone interested in the craft. Households are a bit more formal to join, and each varies from the other in how to become a part of it.

Archery Ranking images are from Ygraine of Kellswood's page. (http://www.kellswood.com/ekscores.html). Used with permission. Chirurgeon's Badge used without permission from Galen of Ockham's site (http://members.dca.net/brandt/galen.html).

Guild Explanation Purpose Ranks and Symbols
Fencing: Pre-Golden Rapier In the earlier days of East Kingdom Fencing, before the Kingdom had an award recognizing it, fencers used a sequence of colored cords to show their progress in the art. This custom has been replaced with a Fencing Academy League (see below) now that the Order of the Golden Rapier exists Skill and Rank in fencing,
  • Cadet=black (lowest)
  • Scholar=green
  • Provost=blue
  • Don=gold (highest)
Fencing: League of Rapier Academies http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/rapier/ With the introduction of the Golden Rapier, the concept of a series of authentic Rapier Schools (The League of Rapier Academies) has arisen, whose members also use a cording system for ranking. Advancement is through a period examination process. Skill and Rank in fencing,
  • Scholar=black (entry)
  • Free-Scholar=green
  • Provost=blue
  • Captain of Fence=gold (highest)
East Kingdom Archers The East Kingdom has long history of supporting the prowess of our archers with guild ranks that are widely recognized. Sustained shooting of the Eastern Royal Round at various scores gets the appropriate ranking and regalia. For Master and above the Crown often reserves the right to recognize the rank. Skill and Rank in archery
Chirurgeon ( SCA Officer's page (http://sca.org/officers/chirurgeon/) or another useful page.(http://www.chirurgeon.org)) Something between a guild and an officer, Chirurgeons are the SCA's first aid volunteers, with Red Cross training or better, and SCA specific apprenticeship. Emergency Medical Assistance SCA Chirurgeon's Badge According to Phlip, it is displayed as so:

  • Apprentice (not warranted by the Kingdom of residence) badge worn as a favor- sometimes on a red baldric with no edging.
  • Journeyman Red baldric with white edging some kingdoms have no edging
  • Master Honorary elevation from within the Chirurgeonate, also warranted) red baldric with gold edging

On duty, baldric is worn. Off-duty, but available to help in a pinch, baldric worn as a favor on the belt.

Awards and Orders ranks for Individuals of the East Kingdom as recorded in Law

Almost all these images are from Baroness Jessa d'Avondale's excellent page. (http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/jessa/images/east.html). Used without permission. The exception is the QOC image, without permission from Rosalyn Bennett's pages (http://www.dabbler.com/sca/scrolls/mywork2.html).
Name of Award or Order What it is for Badge or sigil Privileges or Duties
Order of the Silver Crescent Service Silver Crescent Badge Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms
Order of the Manche Arts Maunche Badge Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms
Order of the Tygers Combatant Prowess in Arms Tygers Combatant Badge Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms
Order of the Sagittarius Archery Sagittarius Badge Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms
Order of the Golden Rapier Rapier Golden Rapier
    Badge Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms
Queen's Order of Courtesy Courtesy Q.O.C.  gloveA white right-hand glove bearing a blue rose charged with a gold rose
Close up of embroidery
Awarded at the Queen's discretion
Order of the Burdened Tyger Excellence in service at events Burdened Tyger None. May be awarded more than once
Order of the Tyger's Cub Noteworthy youth Tyger's Cub Badge May act as Royal Pages
Order of the Troubadours Entertainment A unique token by the awarding Royalty. (Traditionally a cup) None.
Order of the Terpsichore Dance A unique token by the awarding Royalty (Traditionally a bell) None.
Queen's Cypher Personal Royal Service to the Queen A unique token from the awarding Queen. Usually a favor bearing her initial and a capital R. None. Only a limited number are given each reign, currently 5.
King's Cypher Personal Royal Service to the King A unique token from the awarding King. Usually a favor bearing his initial and a capital R. None. Only a limited number are given each reign, currently 5.
King's Order of Excellence Authentic deportment None. None.
Queen's Honor of Distinction Any reason A unique token by the awarding Queen. None.
Augmentation of Arms Impressive service to the Kingdom beyond any measure The right to add an augmentation to your personal coat of arms. None.
Order of the Valiant Tyger Incredible acts of command or valor on the field of battle by East Kingdom Armies Not yet decided (Sep2001) May bear a pennant of the order's badge.

Sumptuary Laws, Real or Imagined

By and large, if you "violate" these customs, someone will tell you, even if they are wrong. But you will only truly offend the people who have any of these rights if you persist in doing so even after correction.

If someone does persist in correcting you or otherwise overdoes the corrections thing: be polite, and excuse yourself from the conversation. Not everyone in the regular world, or even the Known World has the most perfect manners. Not to mention that not everyone appreciates every style of discussion and conversation. It might be you, it might be them, but politely end it.

Note that there are lots of "local" customs in lots of places, which this document cannot make you aware of. Try to learn if a custom is local: if it is, don't expect it to be observed in other groups. If it isn't local, can you let me know about it to add to this page?

Belief True/False The story behind the belief
You have to pick your SCA name at your first event. Mostly false It is one of our most frequent customs that we take a medieval or quasi-medieval name for use in the Society. But you can use your real first name, and pick a medieval name, over time. Deciding what you want to be called is probably one of your first decisions to make, but you can change it any time. For help in picking a more authentic medieval name, it's a good idea to ask a herald for help.
You must have awards to write recommendations for awards. Utterly False There is a small truth, since we are recreating a more medieval time, that some people carry more influence in their personal recommendations than other people do. But it turns out, that it is very useful for Crowns to receive award recommendations from everybody. There are too many reasons to go into here, but it is strongly the case that anyone can write in anyone for any award, at any time; even if you don't have the award you are recommending for, or any awards at all; even if the person you are writing about lives in another Kingdom.
You have to wear an attempt at garb to events True One of the best and simplest things we can do at events to separate our recreation from the modern, is to each dress in a fashion of the period so that when we talk to other people, they see something appropriate. However, the SCA is very light on requirements and so few people have experience at that sort of thing before they join: so all we ask is for you to do the best you can, and will help you with the rest. So, do the best you can: it's a journey. (But don't be surprised, or unaccepting of advice, if the best you can do when you first come in turns out to be something we can improve.)
White belts/baldrics are reserved to Knights/Master at Arms True In fact, this is one of the few universal customs and laws in the Society today. However: it is not true that only Chivalry can wear anything white around the waist. The belt or baldric is almost always unadorned leather, several inches wide. Most belts have long tails that go to near the ground, and baldrics are worn over the left shoulder. If you chose to wear a white belt or baldric, prepare for people to be confused.
Red belts/baldrics are reserved to Squires of Knights/Masters at Arms semi-False There is no law that says so, but it is a widely observed custom that the squire's belt or baldric imitate their Knight/Masters except that it is red instead of white. If you choose to wear a red belt or baldric, prepare for people to be confused.
Laurel wreaths on non-Laurels or the arms of non-groups True By law and custom, the Laurel Wreath as a personal heraldic adornment is reserved to members of the Order of the Laurel. Confusingly, the use of Laurel Wreaths on coats of arms is required and reserved for territorial groups in the SCA.
Yellow belts are reserved for proteges of Pelicans
Green belts are reserved for apprentices of Laurels
False While a custom observed spottily around the Society, and less so in the East, it is not unheard of. Don't avoid yellow or green belts, but expect people to ask who your Pelican/Laurel is.
Blue feathers are for homosexuals semi-False There is an organization within the Society, Clan BlueFeather, that is both an educational resource and supportive group for homosexuals and bi-sexuals. They ask their members, and supporters, to wear their badge "Argent a feather azure palewise" (On a white background, an upright blue feather). Lighter colored feathers are for supporters, darker blue for people who are members of the Clan. Some folks also believe that wearing blue feathers is a sign of support, but that is not the Clan's goal. If you are actually, rabidly homophobic, avoid blue feathers. Otherwise, no one cares much one way or another.
Blue cloaks are for fencers False While the custom is in sharp decline, for a while in the East, Carolingia had a group of fencers that wore as regalia small blue fencing cloaks. The group is disbanded, and the legend is fading. However, people of ancient memory might wonder if you were a part of that crew if you wear a 36" blue wool cloak
All your wardrobe must be from the same period False While it might make a finer appearance and would be something to someday shoot for, no one checks your outfits for perfection.
"Metal on the head" is reserved for Peers semi-True In the East we have no sumptuary laws, and we do a very poor job of enforcing Societal laws. However, strong custom does reserve many of the finer forms of fancy coronet to titled nobility. However, anyone that wishes to wear simple circlets can do so in the East. While, technically, one can wear even a very fancy coronet if one has no awards (as long as they don't resemble the reserved ones) in practice it's probably socially awkward.
"Pelicans In Their Piety" are reserved for Pelicans True Yes. This symbol is reserves for display by members of the Order.
Collars of estate are reserved for Kingdom Officers mostly False There are a few Kingdoms that reserve them, but the East does not.
Caps of Maintenance are reserved for Pelicans semi-True True in the Society, but largely ignored in the East.
Spurs are reserved to members of the Chivalry semi-True In some Kingdoms, people may reserve them. In the East they are not reserved. However, customarily, they are worn by Chivalry or their Squires. Equestrians while riding horses are always permitted to wear spurs.
Unadorned links of chain are reserved to members of the Chivalry semi-True While reserved in Society Law, pre-existing Eastern Custom is for gentles of all sorts who consider themselves in fealty to the Crown to sport them during the reign. (In fact, if you watch closely, many Knights remove theirs during Coronation ceremonies, and put them back on only after renewing their oaths.)
Only people with Awards of Arms or higher are permitted to have heraldry. False Not at all true, but often believed. All participants in the Society have an equal right to use and register heraldry. In some Kingdoms, heraldic supporters are restricted in the depiction of full achievements of arms, along with other details. Not so in the East. The SCA has an obscure technical concept which draws a distinction between the armory you bear before receiving an AoA ("a device") and after ("a coat of arms"). This particular distinction is non-period, and makes no practical difference in your rights.
Scarves around the shoulder are reserved for fencers False While not reserved, it is a widely observed pan-Society custom to reserve the bearing of a White Scarf to individuals who hold their Kingdoms highest award for period defense, and for their individual students (cadets) to wear red or blue ones around the left shoulder.
Cords around the arm are reserved for fencers False Prior to the East Kingdom creating an award for period defense, the practioners of fencing wore colored cords to show individual rankings in defense. This custom was in decline for a few years, but seems to be reviving.
You have to wear your award medallions False No one has to wear the regalia of honors, awards or orders to which they are entitled. However, the higher the rank (and especially Knighthood, since it comes with obligatory fealty) the more likely it is that the removal of such regalia is considered to be making some kind of political statement.
You cannot wear medallions to honors you don't have, nor can you use titles you don't have (even if the SCA doesn't use them.) False, but While there is no law or regulation on the matter, many folks are sensitive to the appearance of pretense. The Crowns control who has what honors and titles are given in the Society. You will make your time in the organization unpleasant if you violate this custom. (The sole exception would be titles and awards granted by widely recognized non-SCA groups, and even here the ground is treacherous.)
If you make a banner, it has to of a certain size, or smaller than the Kings banner. semi-False There are no such rules in the East, although some other Kingdoms do have either a custom or even a regulation about sizes of banners.
Did someone say "chocolate is period"? Semi-something It is a tradition in the East that Crowns be allowed to have "Royal Whims", which indicate their preferences and interests. It is quite common for favorite foods and beverages to be indicated, usually with a stock phrase like "chocolate is period".
Is purple (or some other color) restricted? No it is not The East has no sumptuary laws about color. I don't know of any that do.
Women should be escorted into court False There is no such rule. However, some Crowns and many people like the custom. It isn't particularly period.
Use all of people's titles all the time False First, we have good evidence that people used only the most appropriate title or highest ranking title at a time. Second, even in cases where multiple titles are used, the period usage is not to do title stacking "Duke Master Master Sir Shufflebotham" is not correct. The more appropriate way to do this would be "Duke Shufflebotham, Order of the Pelican, Laurel, Knight".
Do you have to disarm to enter court? False For a time in the past, there was a game played with people hiding knives on their person, and then "removing" them in court. It got overplayed. No noble holding court should have reason to fear a simple eating knife on your person. Don't bring elaborate weapons. If someone makes a comment on your way in, politely ask the noble if they require you disarm.
Non-Peers aren't allowed to bother or talk to Peers. Utterly False We are all here to play, and while our Peers are recognized for their contributions and abilities, they are more than happy to get to know new people. Avoiding Peers would be a mistake.

Manners Around Court and Other Places

The following scenarios are typical situations you may find yourself in, with a short suggestion about what to do, or say, or know.

People will want to know your "Society Name". This is an historical name that most people use. If you don't have one yet, just use your modern first name, and don't worry about it.

Situation Things To Know
Entering The Event
  • You should have brought (or made arrangements to borrow) an appropriate attempt at clothing of the time and place. Most events have a place to change into the clothes after you have arrrived and paid your entry fee.
  • Always make a point of paying and registering for each event
  • Usually there will be a short line for those that pre-registered, and a longer one for people registering at the door.
  • Events will usually want to know your modern and Society name. If you don't have a Society name, don't worry.
  • If you are very new to the Society, this is a nice place to introduce yourself and ask for help.
  • They will ask for proof of paid SCA membership (US or international) and/or your "blue card" which shows you have a waiver on file with the SCA. If you don't have one, you will be required to sign the waiver. Read it and sign.
    American membership http://www.sca.org/members/us-mem-form.pdf
    Foreign membership http://www.sca.org/members/SCA_int-member.pdf
    Adult Waiver http://www.sca.org/docs/adltwaiv.pdf
    Minor Waiver http://www.sca.org/docs/chldwaiv.pdf
  • Many events have special waivers required for minor children to be filled out by their parent, guardian or responsible adult. Some rare events don't allow children in without parents or legal guardians: check before you travel far if the children with you are not your own.
  • Many events will give you a small token instead of a receipt. You should either wear it or keep it on you.
  • They may give you a string of fast instructions: "Changing rooms are downstairs, feast space sign-up over here, court starts at 11:30". Relax, and ask for help, if you are confused. "This is my first event". Gate is usually rushing to check experienced folks in, but will take the time to help new people gladly. It is not an insult of any kind if someone asks "Are you new". It is most likely an offer of help.
  • If there is a site map or schedule, take one with you. You have arrived.
When Formally In The Presence Of Royalty or At Court
  • Rise in place
  • As they approach, reverence or otherwise acknowledge their presence
  • Remain standing until told to make yourself comfortable or they leave the immediate area.
  • After each piece of business, the crowd will generally applaud the people involved by shouting "vivat" (for one) or "vivant" for the plural, three times. This is Latin for "may he/they live".
Being Introduced to Nobility
  • Not quite the big deal of Royalty.
  • Be polite
  • If you know the right title to use, use it. Otherwise, M'Lord or M'Lady will do
  • Introduce yourself
  • When you are ready for advanced work, try learning to bow or reverence (men) or plie (ladies), and how to properly kiss a hand without overstepping.
  • When making conversation, feel free to ask questions of people: their interests, where they are from, what time frame they most like, activities within the Society.
Eating at Feast
  • If there is a high table, wait to start eating until they start eating
  • Bring feast gear: plates, bowls, utensils, napkins, light if permitted, tablecloth
  • Pre-select space during the day if allowed
  • Ask before sitting with strangers
  • No alcohol unless allowed at the site.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Make conversation: especially ask questions.
  • Finger bowls or formal hand washing may occur. Don't worry.
  • Period table settings that you may see might include a "trencher" of bread instead of a plate, no fork, shared mugs or knives, open little bowls of salt
  • Don't hog the food
  • pass the food
  • Help with serving
  • Try new things: don't make faces.
  • If you have allergies or restrictions, ask the kitchen staff BEFORE the meal.
  • An authentic use of a tablecloth and napkin is to have very large napkins. Pull the tablecloth over your legs and waist after you sit, and place your napkin over your left shoulder and across your body down to the table cloth.
  • Fingers were often used in period eating, rather than forks.
  • When finished, clear your goods. Bring plastic bags to bring home dirty dishes
  • Do not wash dishes in bathroom sinks: they cannot handle the waste.
Toasts At Feast
  • In the East, when someone is applauded, we shout "Vivat" three times, all together. "Vivant" is the plural, for more than one person. It is Latin for "May he live" or "May they live".
  • It is traditional at feasts that the highest ranking person present toast the King and Queen of the East as the first toast of the evening
  • If there is a reigning Crown Prince and Princess, those are toasted next
  • Autocrats and cooks frequently are toasted after that.
  • .
You Are Called Into Court
  • Rise promptly
  • Walk quickly, but don't run.
  • Acknowledge the Person as you approach: also all the other nobles if any
  • It is customary to bow or plie: if you can't or won't, try to show respect some other way.
  • Kneel if your religion will allow, if not, mention it is not your custom.
  • Answer with titles: Your Majesty, Excellency, Highness, etcetera
  • Always face the person that summoned you: do not turn your back without permission
  • No need to make a show of "disarming": if challenged, respond politely ask permission.
  • When dismissed, again, don't turn your back until you have left what feels like the presence of the Crown.
You Want To Present In Court
  • Find the Official Herald well in advance.
  • Describe the business fully: no surprises. Trust the herald to keep your secret
  • Know how long it will take, how many people will come up.
  • You may or may not be scheduled, you are asking.
  • Be available to be found before court to find out if you were scheduled
  • Ask when. Modify the length and how many people will come up.
  • If you are not comfortable or loud before a crowd, ask for a herald to help.
  • Be ready to go when called.
  • Use pomp and panoply: music, banners.
  • Announce who you are, and your business, clearly and loudly.
  • See above for how to behave in court.
Greeting A Foreign Crown
  • It's the same as with your own Crown. See above.
Make An Announcement At An Event
  • If you can, find a herald to make it for you
  • If you must make it yourself, do not interrupt ongoing activities, but work around their natural breaks
  • Word it as appropriately as possible
Issue A Challenge In A Tournament
  • Hire a herald if you can
  • Make a good showing
  • Do not insult your opponent, unless it be done cleverly and without malice

How to Bow/Curtsey/Reverence

For some notes from the originals, see the reproduction of Arbeau's Orchesography at the bottom of page 40 (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=musdi&fileName=219/musdi219.db&recNum=82&itemLink=r?ammem/musdibib:@field(AUTHOR+@band(Arbeau,+Thoinot,+1519+1595.+))&linkText=0) for the french and an illustration from the 1589 edition of the book.

This is translated as follows ("Orchesography" Julia Sutton's edition of Mary Stewart Evans translation, ISBN: 0-486-21745-0, p79):

"To perform the reverence, you will keep the left foot firmly on the ground and bending the right knee take the point of the toe behind the left foot, removing your bonnet or hat the while and bowing to your damsel and the company, as you see in the picture."

New Stuff To Add

Perhaps a section on typical events and what to see, expect and bring to each one. Discuss the difference between one day and camping events (and camping events with dorms). Don't teach about camping, but do discuss expectations.

Scope and time of the Society

For each kind of event, discuss it's purpose. For example:

Add a section on persona: what one is, why you might or might not want one, how it might effect or improve your interactions with the Society. Draw from the scenario section.

Reorganize the table of contents and split the pages into sub-pages

This page created and maintained by Tibor of Rock Valley/Mark Schuldenfrei
Text Copyright 9/2001 Mark Schuldenfrei, but free to be linked to.
Images are linked to, and are not the property of this author, and copyright
is not extended that far.

Corrections and suggestions earnestly requested.

My thanks to Jehan du Lac, Liadhan ni Laoghaire, Lilias de Cheryngton, Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, Justin du Coeur, Cynthia du Pres Argent, Fryhderik Eisenkopf, Ygraine of Kellswood,, Avraham haRofeh, Jost, Tamar bas Reuven, Lakshmi Amman, Mairi ni Raghallaigh, Anghaus MacClarion of Bruce, Phelan ab Emrys, Katheryne of Krings Keep, Eleanor FitzPatrick, Kali Harlansson of Gotland, Gyszel Adeler, Jaelle of Armida, Caitlin Davies, Yelizaveta Medvedeva, Phlip, Diego Mundoz, Emmanuelle, and Steffan ap Kennydd for review and comments.

All mistakes are because I'm persistent in not listening.