Monday, May 12, 2008

Some Perspective

I guess its important to write down the "why"s as much as it is the "what"s of my Heraldic quest. Not just the here and now, but some of the major events that directed me down the path I am on.

I haven't always wanted to be a crown level herald, and this isn't one specific moment where it just hit me that I should try for that level of Heraldry. But it was more a gradual shift as I got better and better at the local populace meeting heralding heraldry that I had been doing for years.

Now, while their was no single moment of realization, their was a big one that quickly added itself to its predecessors to push me down the path that I am on. Some time last year My wife and I caught a ride down to King's college with Master Oxlade. We've both known Oxlade for years, so the trip had its bonuses from the start. We rode down and stayed with Druin and Darin, long time friends of Oxlade. Their home was still more than a few hours from site, so the morning of the event we still had a lot of time in a van together. The event itself was fun, and I attended several classes including one my Master Modius, a frequent crown herald. That afternoon we watched Druin herald for the crown. I'm sure I knew this before hand, but it only really registered for me then that Druin was the Golden Staff herald.

The trip back got started late, so most of the car was out like a light before we were on the rode more than thirty minutes. Driun was driving, and as I recall, I was just behind the front passenger seat. It wasn't long Before I asked her about court heraldry and how to get better opportunities as a court herald. And it wasn't long after that that i realized that I wasn't dealing with a typical SCAer.

Druin can best be described, in my opinion, as a force of nature, going where she will, and yielding only to forces truly more powerful than herself. Thats not to say she was a bully or a power monger, far from it. But to be sure, I have not encountered someone as self confident as her in well over a decade. Their were no ambiguities to her statements, no wavering, no hesitation. She had made it to the apex of SCA court heralding, and she had a very definite idea of what was needed to do the same for anyone else.

I think the first major point to surface in the conversation was that of my own group. As one of the founding members the Kingdom's only province, I knew all to well what type of drawbacks came with playing a baronial-level game without actual landed nobles in house. I don't know specifically what was on Druin's mind when she asked me about the provence, and all I recall her asking was basic questions about how we operate, what the group was like, how often people evented... basic stuff, little more than chitchat in its own substance. But to this day, I still think that she was possibly feeling me out, seeing how solid I was about my decision to go Province in the face of its most obvious drawback to myself. Do I think she was questioning our decision? No. But, I would not be surprised in the least if she was feeling me out to see how well I dealt with the consequences of my own decisions.

It was a short hop from their to the next question, how would someone overcome the limited options to court herald that are inherent to a Province (as well as a shire or canton)? Their wasn't much hesitation to this either, she told me to travel, hit every barony I could, and ask to herald, or help herald their populace meetings. The answer made sense, and while I knew that prospect could turn into a major investment in gasoline (the three closest baronies were Wiesenfuer, Namron, and Northkeep), it was not impossible, but it also wasn't something that I wanted to do without thinking it through.

In any event, that was what set me on the path to being the the herald I am today, and gave me the tools to hopefully be the herald I want to be. I was already attending the Populace meetings of Northkeep because I worked in Tulsa, but when my company folded and I found work in Oklahoma city, I decided to make the best off the situation and hot all 3 baronies each month. I'm pritty sure I started that some time in august or september, maybe as late as october, but I'm not entirely sure at this rate. It doesn't really matter, however. The point is that right now I am playing a regional game, not just a local one, I have friends and informal students in all three baronies, and I have a good relationship with all three baronies. These are not small tasks, and while I don't want to sound like I am promoting myself, but how far I have come is maked by these accomplished measured against what I was doing back when I first went to King's college; and that was heralding Local populace meetings.

To my mind, I have come a long way, but have longer still to go.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

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