We had two meetings on the topic of the Valiance Proposal(4) in the Thrown Weapons tent at Pennsic, and I want to try to convey what happened. I’ll start off with some reportage, and follow up with some personal comments (with a few spattered in among the notes). Some of what Is relayed is keyed off ideas shared by others. Also note I use target archery as an example several times out of familiarity only.
Both meetings were well attended. We had everything from Majesties to the general populace, which is what I think we all hoped it would be. We even had a member of the BoD (not speaking in their official capacity of course) The discussions were very informative and polite. We took turns speaking by raising hands and introducing ourselves as we spoke. For the most part those who attended seemed to be in support of the proposal. Some agreed there should be a peerage path, but opinion varied on how it should be implemented. Some thought it should be a unique peerage for each individual martial class.
A few points below under the heading: “Food for thought”
Did you know that TRM’s can create a Kingdom wide martial peerage? You might say, “Well it’s all or none!”, or “It isnt a Patent of Arms level order” but what if each Kingdom enacted the Valiance proposal on a Kingdom by Kingdom basis as a move in the right direction? It wouldn’t be a replacement for the Omnibus, but could it be a driving force?
“Some Kingdoms don’t even have [name of martial community]!” Someday they may. When those leaders rise and build their communities, they may be the very people that are worthy to fill the shoes.
Donate your service! Make sure you offer service to other endeavors such as A&S, troll, and more. Make sure people know you are from a martial community. Get your thrown weapons group together and as a group offer to help set up TRMs camp. Talk with the autocrat, and show up early to help set up the site.
Did you know that EVERY war(3), the BoD has a meet and greet? There happened to be one at Pennsic. For those keeping count, the number of Valiance supporters that went this year was zero. But now we know! Spread the word, EVERY war(3), people need to go and let the members know this is still a ‘thing’.
Do we have a calendar of when the BoD meetings(1) will be? Can you go to a meeting? They apparently always have a Q&A session, so even if the Peerage isn’t on the agenda, go if you can and let them know we are still here, active, and care.
Some have a concern about how we can assess martial skill between Kingdoms. Perhaps homogenizing some system(6). Some orders look at Royal Round rankings, others look at service, A&S skill, teaching, and more. At the meeting it was suggested since this is a martial peerage, we should be looking at scores as a way to gauge prowess. Some are concerned that this may lead to a checklist of qualities. I believe that any or all of these things are simply indicators, not requirements.
Facebook is our stronghold. This is a good and bad thing. There are many people on Facebook, but there are plenty of people on Google Plus, Yahoo, and elsewhere. We can, and must be more inclusive and visible. This came up several times at the meeting. We can and should have a central presence outside of the walls of Facebook. To that end I created a page at web site to facilitate being open to all who are interested(2). Please friends, let’s share resources and make sure we all have access.
My take away from this all, as well as previous thoughts over the year…
Forget the past. Some of you have been fighting for far too long. Some of you have given up. Some like to focus on the negative. This needs to happen because it is the right, and when implemented will be last Peerage issue that needs to be done. Don’t look behind, look ahead. Some of the communities that we are trying to convince don’t respond well to this defeatist mentality. Stay upbeat, on topic, and always move ahead.
If you are engaged by someone, be prepared. Know the proposal, Corpora(5), and Kingdom law. Do not let people get you off topic or digress. Stay positive and pithy. Also know when to pick your battles. Some want to argue only to hear themselves talk, and those minds may never be changed. Identify those people and do not engage them. It takes at least two people to argue!
Participate in the IKAC, TWIC, and IKCAC! Anything that is inter-Kingdom, promote it! Help other communities get inter-Kingdom competitions together! Talk to your marshals and MiCs, ask them if they are being run!
Figure out how we can cross pollinate. How about a three tier tourney: one scoring event in each thrown weapons, target archery, and atl atl. OR something like a contest that involves several aspects of the martial skill: Make and document an archery item (quiver, arrow, etc), participate in a period shoot, and offer serve the target community in some way during the event. Be creative, the ideas are limitless.
It is NEVER us versus them. Each martial community is only in ‘competition’ (for lack of a better word) with itself. Each martial skill has it’s array of weapons and skill sets. Any comparisons made with one martial group against another is not constructive. Each is different. Each community knows who its peers are if they exist. I believe every community has at least one person they can point to who can be assessed to fill this role.
“Don’t be shy!” Ask for court time to present awards. Organize with your autocrats and martial staff to get premiere locations for your martial activities. Showcase them. Talk to you Majesties, and Excellencies, staff and more. Make sure that all are welcome and invited! Involve as many outside communities as possible as referenced in examples above.
Make the events fun! Have a themed shoot. Instead of just Royal Rounds, create fun targets that challenge and entice! Perhaps set out an IKCAC target and let people use loaner gear for the bow, helmet and gauntlets.
This isnt about you, it’s about all of us. When you remove personal involvement from the equation, your vision may clear. It can be easier from the outside looking in.
“Never give up, never surrender!” This WILL happen, it is only a matter of time. Stay visible, vocal, polite, active, and informed. Make, show, and share your flags and favors.
Lord Cameron de Grey
Or, on a bend purpure between a wheel of cheese and a squirrel sable, three pheons palewise Or
1: BoD Schedule: http://www.sca.org/BOD/mtg-sked.html
2: Unofficial Valiance Proposal Site: http://periodpersonas.com/village/martial-peerage/
3: Yearly Wars: http://www.sca.org/activities/events.html
6: eg: White Scarf