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.
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.
|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|
|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.||
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
|Victory in a Coronet tournament and ruling a principality||The Principality arms, coronets, etcetera||The regalia of each Principality is distinct||no example|
|Have completed the reign over a Kingdom twice or more||Coronets with strawberry leaves||A ducal coronet on their arms|
|Have completed the reign over a Kingdom one time||Coronets with embattlements||A county coronet on their arms|
|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|
|Order of the Laurel
|Elevated by Royalty to the Order||
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.
|Order of the Pelican
|Elevated by Royalty to the Order||A cap of maintenance (although not really observed).
Decorations with a Pelican (generally in its 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.)
A plain white belt (Knights)
A plain white baldric (Masters)
A plain orle of chain (Knights)
|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)
|Baron/Baroness of the Court
|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
(In some Kingdoms Court Baronial coronets must be silver.)
|The right to a Baronial Coronet on their arms (which is very rarely seen).|
|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.)
|Award of Arms||none
(In some kingdoms, comes with the right to wear a plain circlet of a prescribed width.)
|no awards of rank or title
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 Queen of the East Kingdom
Purpure and Eastern Crown within a wreath of roses or, barbed vert seeded gules
|Arms of the Crown Prince of the East Kingdom
Purpure, an Eastern Crown and in chief a label Or
|Arms of the Crown Princess of the East Kingdom
Purpure, an Eastern Crown and on a chief Or three roses purpure
|Badge that the populace may bear
A tyger passant azure
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
||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|
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,||
|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,||
|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|| According to Phlip, it is displayed as so:
On duty, baldric is worn. Off-duty, but available to help in a pinch, baldric worn as a favor on the belt.
|Name of Award or Order||What it is for||Badge or sigil||Privileges or Duties|
|Order of the Silver Crescent||Service||Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms|
|Order of the Manche||Arts||Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms|
|Order of the Tygers Combatant||Prowess in Arms||Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms|
|Order of the Sagittarius||Archery||Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms|
|Order of the Golden Rapier||Rapier||Polling Order, comes with an Award of Arms|
|Queen's Order of Courtesy||Courtesy||
right-hand glove bearing a blue rose charged with a gold rose
||Awarded at the Queen's discretion|
|Order of the Burdened Tyger||Excellence in service at events||None. May be awarded more than once|
|Order of the Tyger's Cub||Noteworthy youth||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.|
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.|
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||
|When Formally In The Presence Of Royalty or At Court||
|Being Introduced to Nobility||
|Eating at Feast||
|Toasts At Feast||
|You Are Called Into Court||
|You Want To Present In Court||
|Greeting A Foreign Crown||
|Make An Announcement At An Event||
|Issue A Challenge In A Tournament||
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."
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
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,
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.