BARONY OF BODLINGTONE, KINGDOM OF BODLANDIA — After years of silence and frustration, the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism finally will be releasing its requirements for a path to Peerage for any martial arts other than armored combat and rapier. Reporters for The SCAllion managed to obtain an advanced copy of the requirements document by meeting with their top-secret Board source, known only as “Deep Gorget,” in a parking garage in Barony of Storvik, where they traded period cast pewter tokens for information. The contents of the document are astounding.
Martial arts communities in the Society not already recognized with a Peerage will have to complete three out of a list of a possible twenty-seven tasks in order to earn the right to put a proposal for a new Peerage before the Board. The qualifying tasks range from merely difficult to flat-out impossible, including:
- Empty Lake Jennings using only a thimble;
- Cut down the mightiest tree in Allegheny National Forest with a herring;
- Defeat the Kobayashi Maru simulation;
- Manually clean and re-stock all of the portable toilets at Pennsic in a single night;
- Find an acre of land between the salt water and the sea-strand, plough it with a lamb’s horn, and sow it all over with one peppercorn;
- Create an A&S project from the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird; or
- Destroy a Ring of Power by dropping it into the fires of Mount Doom without losing a finger.
Once three of the requisite tasks are completed, the petitioner(s) must appear before the Board in person, “not clothed, not naked, not riding, not walking, not in the road, and not out of the road, during a day without a night and a night without a day.”
Board spokesman Duke Orric de Mahomeriola explained these requirements: “The Board recognizes that it mishandled the creation of the Order of Defense by giving unclear and inconsistent instructions. We believe that these new standards provide the necessary clarity for any other martial community seeking a Peerage for their activity, as well as properly setting expectations as to how the Board will respond.” When questioned about the difficulty of the required tasks, Duke Orric responded, “Look, peerage requirements can be specific, measurable, or attainable. Pick two.”
Proponents of the “Omnibus Peerage” proposal are dismayed, but strangely relieved. “At least we know what the BoD expects from us now,” said Landgräfin Kunigunda Haigerloch, one of the co-authors of the Omnibus Peerage Proposal. “They’ve strung us along for so long that it’s a relief to get something, even if that something is utterly ridiculous.”
Master Thomas Roy MacGillewye, head of the Known World Equestrian Guild, described the mixed feelings of his community: “We’re disappointed, of course, but I think the Board underestimates how determined we are to see our fellow archers, throwers, equestrians, scouts and siege engineers recognized after all this time. The Board should be careful what it asks for, it just might get it.”
Landgräfin Kunigunda hinted that a group of archers already had a lead for renting some giant eagles, while Master Thomas noted that the Board’s requirements did not define the size and shape of a “thimble.” Neither representative would confirm or deny additional plans.
The SCAllion will keep track of this story as it develops.