leaving thoughts

Anyone who would like to know why I’m thinking about leaving the SCA could read this thread in the Armour Archive: http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=65425
I’m not only sad because of the attitude which shows up on page 9, namely “go away, if you don’t want to play after our rules” but because nearly noone of Drachenwald joins the discussion – even those who normally like to hang around with fencers, call them “cool chaps” and _are_ members of the archive.
One of the many things in the SCA which really saddens me.

31 thoughts on “leaving thoughts

  1. Thanks for your reaction!
    I don’t see any need for a 4th peerage too, mainly because of the same reasons you mentioned. And yes, this was discussed in the AA-thread. All in all it’s a good discussion there, it has a lot of good points and arguments in it. From both sides.
    Sports club vs. town … good question, really. Surely the SCA is much more than a fencing club for me, on the other side it’s this heavy mentality of some, which makes me angry or sad. Or both. And this disturbs the rest of the game. (Together with heraldry, stupid officers and a non-medieval recreation focus.)
    I’m still not sure how to handle it.
    Honestly, I’d suppose to give the White Scarf Treaty another try in Drachenwald. What do you think about it?

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  2. Thanks for your reaction!
    I don’t see any need for a 4th peerage too, mainly because of the same reasons you mentioned. And yes, this was discussed in the AA-thread. All in all it’s a good discussion there, it has a lot of good points and arguments in it. From both sides.
    Sports club vs. town … good question, really. Surely the SCA is much more than a fencing club for me, on the other side it’s this heavy mentality of some, which makes me angry or sad. Or both. And this disturbs the rest of the game. (Together with heraldry, stupid officers and a non-medieval recreation focus.)
    I’m still not sure how to handle it.
    Honestly, I’d suppose to give the White Scarf Treaty another try in Drachenwald. What do you think about it?

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    1. Agilmar again.
      I don’t mind the non-existing fourth peerage so much, but the disdain exhibited by the heavy community for fencing in this thread. If that’s the general attitude, I don’t want to stick around.
      Agilmar
      Not resigned, but pretty much disillusioned.

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      1. Yup. I’ve heard so many disparaging comments from senior members of the heavy community that my reaction nowadays is to avoid the heavies as much as possible.
        Having said that, there are individual heavies who are good people; they just seem to be outnumbered by the less pleasant.

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      2. Padraig here,
        I’ve never paid much attention to AA, which is why I haven’t seen or participated in the debate. And yes, there are a bunch of really stupid heavy fighters without the skill to look beyond their own piece of grass sword. But I dooubt that they form a majority of the fighters, although they may be the loudest ones. I’d say just ignore them, knowing that they are a lesser form of living creatures.
        And Agilmar, Master Måns and I taunt you on a regular basis, but I hope you are well aware that we really enjoy your company, and we would miss you terribly should you choose to leave the society. I hope you find it worthwhile to stick around just to play with your friends.

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    2. Agilmar again.
      I don’t mind the non-existing fourth peerage so much, but the disdain exhibited by the heavy community for fencing in this thread. If that’s the general attitude, I don’t want to stick around.
      Agilmar
      Not resigned, but pretty much disillusioned.

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    3. I’d be happy to see Drachenwald sign up to the White Scarf treaty, but we’d have to give all members of the Order of the Dragon’s Steel automatically. I agree that there’s no need for a fourth peerage – the main three of Combat, A&S, Service should hold everybody. Archery and fencing are combat skills; equestrianism is an art.
      Part of the problem is that here in Drachenwald we have far more contact with real history than the other kingdoms – I suspect you can’t go 20km in Europe without finding a museum or a site of historical interest. It’s our history, and we grow up seeing enough paintings and objects that we know what it should look like, how it should work, and we want to do things properly. Any organisation that bases itself on a fantasy idea that claims to be a historical idea is bound to have problems here.
      That said, there are aspects of the SCA which I love. I love the fact that it goes from 600 to 1600 so that I don’t need to join three different societies to do viking, dark ages and renaissance. I also like the fact that it is recreation, not re-creation; although there are certain minimum standards of dress and behaviour I’m not forced to hand-stitch every item of clothing and then have it passed as acceptable by a Laurel before I’m allowed to wear it. Here in Drachenwald I think we set those minimum standards quite high, and this is something that most of the rest of the Knowne Worlde doesn’t understand (although from what I’ve seen the Canadian, Aussie and Kiwi groups are pretty good at that too, and I know that there are certainly individuals in the fencing community in the other kingdoms who have equally high standards).

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    4. I’d be happy to see Drachenwald sign up to the White Scarf treaty, but we’d have to give all members of the Order of the Dragon’s Steel automatically. I agree that there’s no need for a fourth peerage – the main three of Combat, A&S, Service should hold everybody. Archery and fencing are combat skills; equestrianism is an art.
      Part of the problem is that here in Drachenwald we have far more contact with real history than the other kingdoms – I suspect you can’t go 20km in Europe without finding a museum or a site of historical interest. It’s our history, and we grow up seeing enough paintings and objects that we know what it should look like, how it should work, and we want to do things properly. Any organisation that bases itself on a fantasy idea that claims to be a historical idea is bound to have problems here.
      That said, there are aspects of the SCA which I love. I love the fact that it goes from 600 to 1600 so that I don’t need to join three different societies to do viking, dark ages and renaissance. I also like the fact that it is recreation, not re-creation; although there are certain minimum standards of dress and behaviour I’m not forced to hand-stitch every item of clothing and then have it passed as acceptable by a Laurel before I’m allowed to wear it. Here in Drachenwald I think we set those minimum standards quite high, and this is something that most of the rest of the Knowne Worlde doesn’t understand (although from what I’ve seen the Canadian, Aussie and Kiwi groups are pretty good at that too, and I know that there are certainly individuals in the fencing community in the other kingdoms who have equally high standards).

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    5. Padraig here,
      Haven’t seen you in a long time, Anna. I guess I’m bad at travelling… 😉
      The great thing with SCA is that it’s so big nowadays that you can find nice people and ignore the bad people. Just pretend they don’t exist. If we were to get a really stupid King I would simply go to slightly fewer events and don’t hang around court. In time the problem would solve itself when we swap crowns. And There are enough regular people to hang with, you don’t need to pay much attention to dorks. I don’t care for ALL the members in our principality, but I try to just avoid them.
      Regarding the White Scarf Treaty I think it’s too late for D-wald. I don’t see what it would solve? We have a corresponding order and some traditions for it. But the real deal is just to fence and have fun. Orders and wards are allways just extra spices, without genuine enthusiasm and fun it’s all in vain anyway. So, don’t let the bad people keep you from having fun. When evenet schedules allow it i will come and get poked by you as well.

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    6. Sir Padraig,
      well I guess, not being King any longer makes someone lazy …. *grin*. Honestly, I can understand that I won’t see people from the North that often I’d like too, mainly because of travel expenses 😦
      Maybe it’s like you said – I haven’t made up my mind yet, as I said. One of the “problems” in Europe, as Freydis said, is that you HAVE history, you can grab it. And you have a lot of other medieval and/or swordfight recreation groups here.
      I might be to quick in my reactions sometimes, but well, this is the “fortune” of the so called youth I guess.
      Our opinions about the Order of the Dragons Steel and the WST might vary, but well I’m just a peasant lady while you had some more insight to the topic yet I guess.
      I will look forward seeing you and your beloved one again next year, maybe at Winter Coronation? Or at the (mainly fencing) War Turmstadt holds for five days end of May/beginning of July? (this is the plan right now).
      sers,
      Anna

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    7. Agilmar here. (The other anonymous.)
      Well, I think the White Scarf would still make a difference, namely because we’re a kingdom with a high turnover rate.
      It would be nice to have some recognition for newly arrived fencers from other kingdoms, if they could use their “Dons” and white scarves without ihndrance, and it might also help if foreigners would recognize our own ranking structure.
      As for the “Dragon’s Steel”… let’s face it, 75% of DWs population have no idea what it’s supposed to be. It’s a fairly invisible order.
      Is there anything speaking strictly *against* joining the WS, and simply grandfathering the current DS’s into it?
      Agilmar

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    8. Padraig here,
      I would never describe you as only a peasant lady, we consider everyone to be of gentle birth in the SCA. Still, I really dislike the notion that people with awards would be in a better position to have opinions on things. The society belongs to us all, and your opinion is just as much worth as that of a Duke or a Laurel. After all, this is not the in-game play we have during court, but mundane business on how this should work and provide something for everyone.
      If you feel TWS would make a difference, go for it! Talk to people, convince them. I’m just giving you my opinion on it, and I hope you don’t feel disencouraged because of that.
      And yes, we will come to Winter coronation. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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    9. Padraig here (or perhaps a third anonymous pretending to have a big nose)
      You have a point with the turnover rate.
      Regarding DS, yes its history is… interesting and perhaps not the best one. Fencing at large seems to have suffered over the years, with low energy levels as a result. Personally I don’t mind TWS, and if we didn’t have ODS allready I would like us to sign the treaty. However, I don’t know if it would be better than the existing ODS, many non-fencers are just as oblivious to the white scarf as they are to ODS. I syill think the best thing would be to try to get ODS to work properly, but perhaps that is naive… 😉
      And no, unless you feel bound by the old gazebo talks where people that wasn’t assigned to represent all fencers made promises on behalf of the fencers (for instance, I do not feel bound by these promises) there are no formal obstacles preventing a signed treaty, part from convincing the Crown and either closing ODS or placing it below WS in the award structure (since on of the demands in the treaty is that the WS is the highest fencing award in the kingdom).
      Are you coming to coronation as well? It would be great to see you again, javla tysken… 😉

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    10. The Anonymous Baron again, hailing the Anonymous Viscount!
      No, I don’t really feel bound by the notorious GTs, and I don’t see formal problems either. My question was more along the lines whether it was politically… opportune. You remember, last time the topic was on the table…?
      No, I won’t be making it to Coronation, you’ll have to do with Anna. (But she’s prettier and smells better than me anyway. And she’s just as tysken as I am. (Perhaps not quite as javla.))
      Have you guys fixed dates for DW yet?
      Cheers,
      Agilmar

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    11. The Anonymous Count wonders who the Anonymous Viscount may be… Is Måns here as well? 😉
      Double wars takes by tradition place during the week of christ ascension, and my guess is that it will be that week next year as well (14-20 may). I know there has been some discussion about the length of the event, but the Attemark dudes promise to feed us more info as soon as they made som plans.
      Regarding the political aspect on ODS and WS I don’t think it’s as hot nowdays as you-know-when. 😉 Some people probably have strong opinions, but I doubt the serious fights would be close to the same level as you-know-when.
      To bad about Anna, but you’re probably right (both on the prettines, smell, tysken and javla)…

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    12. Stoopid me…
      I meant, to bad about CORONATION, not to bad about Anna. I’d say most things about Anna are great. Sorry for my clumpsy behaviour. 😉

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    13. Just a comment from the other side of the awards fence here…
      the ODS is almost never awarded. In my tenure as signet ( 3 goingon 4 years now) I think I have seen maybe 3???? I’d have to go and look but the number is super low. No one knows wth it is because it never gets given out and when it does it is sort of presented as a LOW key award not a high end award…so to my mind… this would lead me to ask why? and the answer to that would be adverstising. You kinda need to educate the populace if you want them to understand what an award is all about, and when such a thing is done in court make a FUSS about it. Teach them how to think, not complain about why they don’t think that way. We were not born loving Mc Donalds but their advertising is second to none…
      (This coming from the non fighty-type pov)
      I have no idea if making a 4th peerage is a good thing or not. I do know that when compared to other kingdoms DW has a very low number of awards period and we sometimes cross over on some things because not every thing we do fits neatly into the already assigned catagories.
      I readon that armour listy thing that sometimes fencers are awarded a laurel so does this mean that Fencing is more of an art than a combat? If this is the case what sort of precedent does this set? If Fencing is considered a martial art then doesn’t it fall under the combat catagory and not the arts catagory??
      So perhaps we need to define the actual thing / sport/ art better so that people have a clear definition of what it actually is. (People really like clearly defined catagories) Then I think it might be good to start some sort of ad campaign to better educate the populace. If you want them to notice you need to show them what it is you want them to notice. I think Fencing coudl be super exciting to watch and I know that in the shore I came from in Canada they used to do some crazy things that were great to watch ( fencing on table tops for one thing…lost of flash)
      Just a thought about the awardy side of stuff, because I don’t know a hill of beans about the bashing side of it all. But people go oooh an ahh when they think what is being awarded is big and if you want them to think that you need to tell them that.
      Bridget

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    14. The other anonymous. Not the Count, and not the Viscount, but the Baron.
      As for the ODS, admittedly there *aren’t* too many fencers left in DW, and most of the long-timers already have an ODS. But I still think it’s sad that it’s a low prestige award. How can we change that? As opposed to peerages, ODS’s aren’t announced beforehand (AFAIK), so there is little change for the community to perpare a ceremony. I think the only ones to make the ceremony more elaborate could be the court heralds and Their Majesties…
      As for the peerage… fencers consider themselves fighters, too, and think they should either be included in the peerage, or get their own. Heavies tend to think that Knighthood is for heavies only, and fencing isn’t really fighting. (Or, as one person on the archive essentially put it, “it’s not fighting unless there is a brotherhood of sweaty grunting men in the shower, comparing their bruises.”) Laurel is a kind of a makeshift solution which doesn’t make *anybody* happy.
      My current agenda for DW would be to install the White Scarf medium-term, and hoping that long-term the WS would be acknowledged as a fourth peerage. YMMV.
      Cheers,
      Agilmar

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    15. Greetings, Padraig here again.
      First of all, do we really look at ODS as a low prestige award? I may view it differently than people in general, But I tend to look at it as a very high prestige award, and that is to some extent also connected to the low number of members. It’s a GoA level award, somewhere between a Silver Guard and a peerage, and as such I would definetely say it ranks high. And while there is no vigil or prior announcement it differs from the other orders in that the current members of the ODS must be consulted on new cnadidates (but of course the crown may do as they wish, just as in polls in any peergae). I’d say it is a very special and rare award in DW, and I’m sorry if we didn’t managed to give that impression when we handed out the ODS at rent-a-don when we we´re king and queen.
      Regarding fencers vs fighters. Yes, I consider fencers to be fighters as well, for me it’s just so much easier to say fencers and fighters vs light fighters and heavy fighters. It’s not meant in a degrading way. Also, interesting definiton on fighting from the archive, Iv’e seen sweaty fencers compare bruises in the shower too… So I guess they fit in).
      Regarding peerage I don’t really have a set opinion. I’m conservative enough to think fencers should not be included in knighthood. We have a tradition that works in a specific way, and I think that tradition should be followed. If we started the society today with no legacy I would like to include them. One option today would be to include them as another part of the order of Chivalry, besides mastery of arms and knighthood. (with insignia of their own, that would still keep the knighthood tradition intact). But as allways, what do we do with the archers? or other activities that fall in between. I don’t have any good answers, I wish we could find a good system that gives everyone the chance to get good attention and appreciation.
      Maybe WS would be a healthy injection for us, but I’m also scared that we would put to much faith in such an operation, and if it doesn’t turn out the way we hoped we will suffer for it, with drained enthusiasm levels and number of fencers. I don’t know.
      What I DO know is that I still enjoy this game, and that I miss you both!

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  3. I understand your feelings, but personally, I wouldn’t see it as a reason for leaving. P and I were discussing this last night, and I think he put it like this; The SCA is like the town we live in. If I should get into a fight with some rude or weird people at the local pub or the community centre, that wouldn’t be reason enough to move to another town. But if the SCA is more like your sports club, then I’d understand if you’d want to switch to another sports club (or found a new one) if the one you’re in doesn’t meet your needs or treat you right.
    I just don’t feel that the peerage question is such a big issue, maybe it’s just because I don’t view myself primarily as a Fencer/Light fighter, it’s just one of the different things I do. I’m not sure a fourth peerage would be the answer – then what about the archers? A fifth peerage for them? This has probably already been discussed, I haven’t paid attention to the debate…

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  4. Similar problem here. Having read the thread I feel that I’d just get frustrated and annoyed at the discussion. While I think it would be an excellent idea to have knighthoods open to fencers I’d also like to have crown and other tournaments contested by things other than just armoured combat (I don’t see a problem with rotating around heavy, light, archery, A&S and equestrian).
    So rather than fight something that’s not going to change I choose not join that particular fray rather than diminish my enjoyment any further.
    Sorry… and good luck!

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  5. Umm, the trouble is
    a) it’s a forum about armour, which I have virtually no interest it, which means that
    b) it’s probably populated by 98% of people doing some form of heavy armoured combat (so I’m not likely to register there)
    c) I don’t consider peerage as meaningful other than “that person is a laurel in X” maybe I can glean information from him/her. Knights bore me and Pelicans are, well pelicans (nothing bad implied other than “not period”).
    To be fair, the discussion while fair in itself for those who care about such things, is doomed in advance. May as well try to teach a donkey to speak really…
    Ermm, so I guess I didn’t quite agree with everything you guys said 😉
    Oh and d) I’d be more likely to lose my temper on these people and I don’t think the wrath of a Frenchman upon those poor little heavies would add much to this “discussion” 😉

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  6. Hi, Agilmar speaking.
    Actually, it would be cool if more people from the fencing community could join the discussion. Currently, it looks pretty much like two loonies from the edge of the world are creating a hubbub for no good reason.
    Cheers,
    Agilmar

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  7. Anna, I agree with all that you and Agilmar posted. So far as I can tell, just like the rest of the world, the SCA is full of extremely nice people and complete and utter jerks, with a few “in-between” types. They play in it because they find something fulfilling to their lives. I go to events because it gives me a playground for rapier. Nothing more. The SCA is a tool for me, I use it and expect nothing back from it.
    Don’t let yourself be pulled down by some random obnoxious American who you probably will never meet. If you have some concerns, you can probably take it to the BoD.
    ’till we meet in friendly duel… 🙂

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  8. I’m still open to discussion for opening up such a society, or specifically a 17th c. “Golden age of Italian Rapier” type of group…
    ‘course being scattered all over Europe doesn’t help much

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  9. I understand you entirely – and I know a number of people who feel exactly the same way that you do, myself included. If there was a late-period society that had the same sense of fun as the SCA at its best then I’d join it.

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