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August 15th, 2013


Crown Tourney

Posted on 2013.08.15 at 13:09
So here we are on the eve of another Crown Tourney here in Caid. And as we approach this weekend, I find myself with one wish for the next heirs. But before I put my wish in print, I offer this disclaimer. This is in no way meant as a reflection upon the current royals (who know I adore them), or upon any previous royals. (Heck, any previous royals who ever ticked me off know well and good who they are and why they ticked me off, anyway, because I told them directly).

Ready? Here is my wish.

PLEASE DON’T SUCK!

“How DARE you, Guppyman! What an INSULT to the future Prince and Princess! Peasants and Nobles alike, grab your pitchforks and go after his Italian-Ass!” Right???? Well, hold on. Hear me out.

I’ve been in this game a long time – not as long as some, but longer than many others. And I have experienced a full array of emotion at SCA events – much of which are influenced most strongly by those who sit the throne.

I offer no delusions here. The people who sit up there are not REALLY a King and Queen. They do not REALLY rule over an actual Kingdom. And for the most part, they don’t have real power. What power do they have? They have the power to really make or break the atmosphere. And sadly, it is so much easier to break it than to make it. Why? Because making a positive experience for others – many of whom you don’t personally even know – can’t be easy. The good Crown effectively has to be gracious host, observant, caring, nurturing, inspiring, stern-yet-gentle, etc., etc., etc.

Here in Caid, we have one subtle but visible reminder of this fact. The sovereign’s crown bears the inscribed reminder – “You rule because they believe”. It doesn’t say, “You rule because you kick ass.” It doesn’t say, “You rule because they have to believe.” And it certainly doesn’t say, “You can do whatever the hell you want because you are King.” The fact is, this game is a game that we all play – old-timers and newcomers, multiple-title-carriers and non. And everyone’s version of the game is every bit as important as another’s. The nearly-impossible job of the good Crown is to give everyone the sense that their pursuit of history is the most important one in the world.

In years passed, I have sat in courts to witness the words and actions of Kings and Queens so moving and so inspiring as to move me to tears. Yet other times, the words and actions of Kings and Queens have been so egregious, or insulting, or rude, or breaking-the-rules, that I have stormed out of court in a public huff not just out of protest but because if I stuck around any longer, I would have completely lost all sense of manners.

Like anyone else who joins the SCA, my wish for the royals is really very simple – I want to believe. I want to escape the cares and woes of daily life and take a moment out of my weekend to be transported to a place of honor, chivalry, courtesy, and regard for all. And the Crown sets the standard for these things.

To the new heirs of Caid, and all future Crowns throughout the SCA, I humbly ask you this. I WANT to believe. I WANT to look up to the front of that court, see you, and be inspired. I WANT to be able to point to you proudly and say THAT is how royalty should behave.

You rule because they believe. So ask yourself before you enter Crown Tourney – if you win, do you think you will be that monarch that we can believe in?

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