What are people saying: about you?

3 Sep 2014 by gebhard, 1 Comment »

Image5Renown (Name Fame or Word Fame) is perhaps the currency of everyone in the SCA (and maybe in life as well). If I asked, what is it people say about you? What would the answer be?

Let’s come back to that.  I would like to share another story from period, taken from Steven Muhlberger’s “Deeds of Arms”. In 1382, there was a war between Portugal and Castile. Many French knights fought on the side of Castile. Portugal could not match such a force, so they negotiated a truce.

“Gallant deeds” are what generate renown.  Since there would be no combat in which to perform such deeds,  Sir Tristan de Roye, a French knight, was determined not to leave Spain without doing something of worth. He sent a herald to the English army requesting their knights to be so kind as to joust with him three passes before the city of Badjos.

The English knights consulted together. This request should not be refused, but who among them would meet the french knight? A young English squire named Miles Windsor stepped forward to accept.

The next day, Miles Windsor, accompanied by a hundred knights, rode out to keep his appointment.

“Miles was created a knight by the hand of the Souldich de la Traue, the most accomplished knight there, and the person who had been in the greatest number of brilliant actions. The combatants were armed at all points and had their three lances ready and their horses as well, in flat saddles. Then they spurred against each other lowering their lances, met each other with great force and broke their lances against their breastplates and rose on freely without falling. This first joust was seen with pleasure by those present, who all praised the two knights. The second time they took a lance, they encountered each other at full tilt and broke their lances, but suffered no harm. Then they took up the third lance and stuck each other in the shields so violently that the good Bordeaux steal went in and pierced them and went through the steel plates and all the armor right to the flesh; which flew over their helmets.

This joust was much praised by all the knights on either side who were present. They then took leave of each other with much respect and returned to their own side, for no other deeds of arms were performed.”

In this story, Sir Tristan was not content to be a bystander to life. He came for a purpose, and he was going to see it though. The same was true for Miles.

Much in the same way, in my last blog Sir Peter did not accept what had happened to him and sought to prove himself.

What did people say about Sir Peter (previous blog entry) before he made his challenge? Likely very little outside his local group of peers. What did people say about Miles before his challenge? Likely a lot less than they said about Peter.

As Sir Gunnar says, why be mundane in the SCA. Why not be a Hero? Make a challenge,  fight in a grand tournament, be the feast steward, sing a song in court, enter that project into A&S, or train someone new.

No matter the outcome, your efforts are to be respected. Over time, all those efforts add up. So when your name comes up, someone will blurt out… “I remember them, they did that [insert your thing here].  It was amazing.”

This is the very core of Prowess.  It’s not being the best, it’s the willingness to put yourself on the line to see your quest through to completion.

No matter where you think you fit into our Society, every weekend is the opportunity to be something bigger than you are.

Be bold. Be brave. Be a Hero.



The image was taken by: Rannvæig Ørraärmr Eskilskona of Kari performing for the troops at Gulf Wars

If you enjoyed the story in this blog post, there are many more to found like it in “Deeds of Arms” by Steven Muhberger. Which you can find at this link.

Baroness Analeda singing “By the Weight of the Chain”  which was nothing to do with this blog, I just really like the song.

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One Comment

  1. Valgard Jarl says:

    I will be happy if they remember me at all. 😉

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