WEST KINGDOM DENIES RAPIER COMBAT



Here is a copy of Juana's letter to SCA-Lochac. It's long, but 
it makes very... INTERESTING... reading: 

--
Hi there, this is Crown Princess Juana Isabella. I finally have 
email. There have been numerous logistical problems in my getting 
access to email, but these have at last been overcome. Sorry for 
the delay. 

I will be going to Lochac. I will be at Rowany Yule on November 30 
and the William Marshal Tourney in Stormhold on December 7. During 
the week in between I plan on going to Politarchopolis and Aneala. 
So, start gathering your feathers, heating the tar and tying the 
nooses. 

First off, many thanks to Aeron for saving all those wonderful 
posts off the Lochac list and forwarding them to me, and for 
passing on some of the concerns before I got my email set up. Also, 
thanks to John Theophilus for passing on messages too. 

For those of you who 'phoned me to try and get information on 
what's happening, thanks for checking the time difference first. 

To the rest of you, thanks for your patience. I don't expect you 
all to agree with me, but thanks for giving me the benefit of the 
doubt and the numerous comments to the effect of "but Juana 
wouldn't do this to us, would she?" 

Let me first explain the Jade and I discussed what We did and We 
are in complete agreement on this law change and the reasons for 
it, but the specifics of this explanation are mine. If you want to 
argue about any of the points in this missive, argue with me, not 
Jade. Part of Our "division of labor" for the reign is that I deal 
with all correspondence and 'phone calls at the first level. He 
will, of course, be kept informed on everything and if he chooses 
to get involved directly, then he will. However, these are my words 
and so they are my responsibility. 

Now, on to the explanation you've all been waiting for ...

        Don't Jade and Juana love Lochac anymore?:

Of course We love Lochac. Would I have gone to Lochac four times at 
my own, not the kingdom's, expense if I didn't love Lochac? Jade 
has been there as many times and has spent a great deal of time and 
expense on Lochac because he cares about Lochac too. Would my 
'phone bill look like it does if I didn't love Lochac? Would Jade 
and I both be proud recipients of the Order of the Silver Tear if 
We didn't love Lochac? Would I have called in almost all of the 
political favors owed me and "politicked" my fingers to the bone to 
let you guys host a kingdom event (Purgatorio a couple years back, 
remember?), if I didn't love Lochac? Would Jade have exerted his 
considerable influence to also help make that event happen in 
Lochac, if he didn't love Lochac? No one who has sat those thrones 
or worn those crowns, with the possible exception of John of Skye 
and Gabriell of Greenwood, knows Lochac as well or cares about 
Lochac as much as Jade and I. 

        What are We doing?:

Article VII, Section 13 of the Laws of the West will be changed to 
read as follows: "Fencing, also known as period fencing or rapier 
combat, is prohibited throughout the Kingdom of the West." This has 
been sent to the Page and the Pegasus for publication in the 
September issues and will be announced at Our first court at 
Purgatorio. 

        Did We know this would cause such a stir in Lochac?:

You bet We did.

        Why?:

Various theories have been posted that this is a poorly disguised 
attempt to get you to go away and become your own kingdom. That is 
simply NOT true. That is NOT the reason for this law change. This 
is exactly what the law change says it is -- a totally undisguised 
edict to stop any fencing in The West. Matters relating to the 
eventual Kingdom of Lochac will be discussed below; for the moment, 
lets stick to fencing ... 

        The fencing done in Lochac is pre-1600, so why can't Lochac 
do it?: 

a) We have received reports from various people in Lochac who know 
about the history of fencing that the way fencing is done there is 
period. We have received reports from various people in Lochac who 
know about the history of fencing that the way fencing is done 
there is not period. Sometimes these reports refer to the fencing 
activities done in different geographic areas. Sometimes these 
divergent reports refer to the fencing activities in the same 
geographic area. From this, it is evident that fencing is not done 
the same way throughout Lochac and that some of it is period and 
some of it isn't. 

b) However, WHETHER OR NOT IT IS PERIOD HAS NO BEARING ON OUR 
DECISION. There are a great many things that were done in period, 
considered good entertainment in period and considered good for the 
community in period that we don't do and don't particularly want to 
do. For example: the Inquisition, witch trials and bear baiting. 
Just because something is period doesn't automatically make it 
acceptable within the context of the S.C.A. At least not in Our 
kingdom. 

        Why wasn't anyone in Lochac warned that this was coming?: 

Keep in mind that the first time you hear about anything, it is 
news. How can you be warned about news? You did find out at least a 
month before it went into effect. Furthermore, I have never made a 
secret about my feelings about fencing, so it shouldn't come as a 
complete surprise, certainly not to Alwyn or Edmund. 

        What's so terribly wrong with fencing anyway?:

That's the big one, isn't it. I don't now if I'll be able to 
explain it well enough for you to understand my point of view or if 
I'll be able to convince you, but here goes ... 
        The ideals, philosophy and culture of the Kingdom of the 
West (the only part of the S.C.A. I care about) are based on "The 
Middle Ages as They Should Have Been". What does that mean? The 
concepts and images of the Age of Chivalry are what we strive for. 
This is not a strictly historical emphasis. For a great many people 
life prior to 1600 (and after for that matter) has been nasty, 
brutish and short. What We are after is what you see in the 
literature of the period. The chivalric romances; the worlds of 
Arthur and Charlemagne; Lancelot, Parsival, Roland and Orlando; 
these are Our role models. While the historical personages that 
these stories are based on are quite early in the period we cover, 
the literature about them and the attempt to re-create the ideals 
expounded in these stories is the High Middle Ages. I'm not saying 
that tenth century Finns or sixteenth century Spaniards (I am a 
sixteenth century Spaniard after all) have no place in this 
kingdom. What I am saying is that the fundamental structure and 
focus of this Kingdom is the Age of Chivalry as portrayed in 
literature. 
        Previous attempts, both period and post-period, to act out 
the ideals of this mythical age are useful subjects of study for 
our attempts at re-creation. 
        The purpose of our study of history is also so that we get 
all the props right. Extending our time period into the Renaissance 
is useful in that it increased the available sources for artistic 
endeavors. We'd have a far more limited number of dances, songs, 
recipes, textiles, armor, jewelry, leaterwork, painting, 
calligraphy, brewing, etc. if we excluded the Renaissance. But the 
philosophies of Knox, Moore and Luther, while technically within 
S.C.A. period, have no place in a society based on the Age of 
Chivalry. On a personal note, that's part of why I am a sixteenth 
century Spaniard. I get all the cool artistic Renaissance stuff and 
get to keep a medieval outlook on the world. 
        Fencing doesn't fit into this type of chivalric society. It 
isn't part of how the West does things and you are part of the 
West. While over the years, we have had minor flare ups of interest 
in fencing (yes, I do think of it as a disease) it has never stuck 
and is not a part of main stream West Kingdom culture. 

        But Lochac has gotten exceptions to other things, so why 
not fencing?: 

        The other things are minor tweakings of the "Western Way". 
All four principalities, yes even the Mist and Cynagua, have slight 
variations on how things are done. You may have a few more 
exceptions as an accomodation to the mundane cultural differences 
and the large puddle that separate us. However, fencing is a 
fundamental change in the flavor or the game. It is too far off the 
beam, too different to be allowed. 
        I'm going to wonder off on a tangent here for a bit ... 
part of why the S.C.A. is one of the largest historical re-creation 
(and recreation) groups is that we cover such a large swath of 
history and geography. Technically, an awful lot is included in 
pre-17th century western culture. This leads to the temptation to 
be all things for all people. But it we do that we loose the focus 
of "The Middle Ages the Way They Should Have Been". Other parts of 
the known world don't seem to mind loosing that focus. I have lived 
in another kingdom (the Middle) and traveled a fair amount in 
others (Calontir and An Tir). I see that loss of focus as a large 
head start down the road to a weird club of people who dress funny, 
instead of the S.C.A. that I know, love and grew up in. The West 
Kingdom is my home and my family and I will do all I can to defend 
it from what I see as disease, danger, or harmful foreign 
influences. It is my very firmly held opinion that fencing, within 
the context of the S.C.A., is a disease and a harmful foreign 
influence. (Foreign is used in the context of other kingdoms, not 
other countries -- you guys are not foreigners.) You should never 
have been allowed to take up fencing in the first place. 

        So, what do the fencers of Lochac do now?:

        Well, there is no reason you can't have more than one hobby 
and belong to more than one club. Those subjects of the West 
resident in Lochac who wish to continue to fence could form the 
Renaissance Fencing Society of Australia. People who are members of 
the S.C.A. could also be members of this fencing group. At fencing 
group events, they could fence. At S.C.A. events, they could 
continue to do all the other things they enjoy about the S.C.A., 
except fencing. We have no problem with Lochac assisting this 
separate organization to form -- giving advice on finding sites, 
advice on setting up the club, etc. 

        The other answer, of course, is to wait and see if Our 
heirs change the law back. That is the way progressive feudalism 
works. If you disagree with the Crown, wait a few months and try 
the next one. However, I would hold my breath on this one. His 
Majesty Alden has no problem with what We are doing and several 
other recent royals have considered doing this but just didn't want 
the hassel. By that specifically We mean the flare up that I'm 
trying answer here. Eventhough several past kings have wanted to do 
this, there are just so many things to deal with in a reign that 
they didn't want to take on this additional issue. Think about it, 
if any king was strongly in favor of fencing, there'd be lots more 
agitation in favor of it in the central kingdom. There isn't. Jade 
and I care enough about Lochac to be willing to work through this 
issue, regardless of the difficulty. 

OK, if that doesn't cover your questions on fencing, let me know. 
I'm sure I haven't heard the end of this. For now, We will leave 
off the topic of fencing and go on to the matter of the eventual 
Kingdom of Lochac. 

The Kingdom of Lochac is something that will happen eventually. 
Jade and I want the "when" and "how" to be totally up to you. It is 
possible that this will not happen. There are a great many people 
in the central part of the kingdom who want to kick you out of the 
nest before you want to go. Jade and I seriously disagree with this 
attitude, but some day this movement could gain more strength and 
momentum. 

We only want Lochac to move out of the house when the people of 
Lochac want to go. We want it to be a happy and friendly parting, 
not a messy divorce. Where you go and what you do when you leave 
is, mostly, between you and the corporation. The S.C.A. Inc. and 
the central part of the West are not the same. Most of you know 
that, but I wanted to make sure all of you do. 

If the Kingdom of Lochac wants to have fencing (or Samurai, or 
bunny-fur barbarians, or elves, or Martians) will be for you to 
decide. Your prince, Alfar, has stated that if he were King of 
Lochac, he'd ban fencing too. He's been prince several times and 
therefore has a good chance of being king there. I know of two 
other serious contenders for the Crown of Lochac who are happy with 
the ban on fencing. No, I won't say who it is because I don't know 
if they have expressed these opinions publically. They can climb 
into that hot water themselves if they want, but I won't pull them 
in with me. The point is, being your own kingdom is no guarantee 
that you will have fencing in Lochac. 

As for your discussions regarding Parliments and Things; not until 
you get to be your own Kingdom. I've lived in a kingdom with a weak 
king; I wouldn't recommend it. Our regularly scheduled bloodless 
coup (the cycle of Crowns and Coronations) keeps life from 
stagnating. A parliamentarian system in a group like the S.C.A. has 
too much inertia to do anything. More government means more 
meetings which means less time for fun and/or productive things. 
But then, I'm a monarchist. Also, since King is a temporary 
position and you have to live with your former subjects after you 
step down, peer pressure (ha ha) usually exerts enough influence to 
keep most kings from too much doodoo-headedness. Besides, if that 
doesn't keep the Crown in check, wait a few months. 

If you wish to argue with me on the abolition of fencing in the old 
fashioned way, you may drop your gauntlet at the feet of my 
champion, Sir Gregory of Loch Swan. If my words have not swayed 
you, perhaps he can. Your choice of weapons -- rattan or otherwise, 
just no fencing stuff. 

In Service to the West and, believe it or not, with love for Lochac,

        Juana Isabella, Principessa Occidentalis
        juanna@chronique.com
    


The following is a direct excerpt from Pegasus, the newsletter of the Principality of Lochac: From King Jade and Queen Juana Isabella, Greetings to the people of the best Kingdom in the Known World! We would like to share a quote with you; "..for the people was not made for the sake of the Prince, but the Prince was instituted at the instance of the people." This is a translation from the words of Phillip II of Spain. Ours is a position of service. If there is anything that We can do to better serve Our populace, We invite you to let Us know. Her Majesty intends to visit Lochac from November 29 through December 8. We intend to pack as much as possible into that short period. The exact itinerary is undetermined as of this writing, but it should be known by the time you read this. You will notice elsewhere in this issue of the Pegasus, a change to the laws of the West that has little impact anywhere other than Lochac. Simply put, We are banning fencing throughout the Kingdom of the West. This is a carefully considered decision on Our part, and We understand that some may feel slighted or offended. Understand in return that, while We apologize for any hurt feelings, We do not apologize for this action. Fencing has never been an integral part of how the West Kingdom plays S.C.A., and after many years of inconsistent handling of this issue, it is time to resolve it. We have heard the argument that there was some fencing in Europe prior to 1600. Even so We feel most strongly that emulating the practices of street thugs of that era is not appropriate in a chivalric, medieval society of ladies and gentlemen. We acknowledge that, historically, Lochac has been granted exemptions to a number of Kingdom laws. After reviewing this matter, We have concluded that in most cases, such exemptions have had minor consequence in how the Principality "looks and feels" in comparison to the Kingdom as a whole, and that such exemptions are typically administrative in nature. In this case, the exemption on fencing allows an entirely different "look and feel" that has no place in this Kingdom. We dearly love our people and Principality of Lochac, yet We believe that for as long as they are a part of Our Kingdom, they need to embrace the culture of the Kingdom. It is VERY important that you understand that We have discussed this matter, and all of its ramifications, with the Prince and Princess of Lochac. Both Prince Alfar and Princess Elspeth have expressed complete agreement with this decision, prior to this announcement. With that stated, We ask you to understand that We wish no ill to those who find this to be an area of interest. We do believe that fencing is a fine sport, and encourage those who wish to continue fencing to either form their own more Renaissance oriented group, with Our blessings, or perhaps join a modern fencing organization. There is nothing wrong with belonging to more than one club, or having more than one hobby. We wish you the best of health, happiness, and prosperity ! Jade, Rex Juana-Isabella, Regina And here is Jade's recent posting to the Nets: "What we have here, is a failure to communicate." Ever heard that one before...? Hi there. For those who do not know me, my name is Jade Dauser, known in the SCA as Jade of Starfall. At this time, as it happens, I'm King of the West, but as we all know that's pretty darn temporary. This is going to be REALLY long, but I hope you'll find it worth reading. The purpose of this missive is probably no mystery. There are some folks, both on and off the net, who are really irritated about any of: 1) the recently proclaimed law change prohibiting fencing in the West, 2) the way or method by which the law change was enacted/communicated, 3) the fact that the Crown can do this at all, or, 4) the fact that there are now blue M&M's. Please allow me to make a few things clear; I do not intend to trivialize anyone's feelings on the above topics (for the record, the blue M&M thing IS a joke, not an attempt at putting anyone down), I do not intend to "tell people off" (though I reserve the right to do so, if I think someone deserves it), I do not intend to be rude, rash, childish, arrogant, inconsistent, petty, mean spirited, high handed, petulant, tyrannical, despotic, or fascist, and, finally, I do not intend to throw a temper tantrum. I do intend to address a number of very valid concerns that have been expressed over the past couple of weeks with respect to the first three issues I listed above (blue M&M's are here to stay). You may have noticed that I have dispensed with the "Royal We" bit. Although it is quite customary for Royalty in the SCA to use that nifty bit of linguistic anachronicity (new word!), it seems to have contributed to the sense of "high handedness" interpreted in Juana's posts. 'Nuff said on that for now, let's get down to the issues. I'm going to address things in sections, read 'em all, or skip the ones you don't care about... 1. Apologies Due: ----------------- This really needs to come first. Before getting into my reasons for the "evil, insidious fencing ban", before talking about communication, etc., I owe some apologies. Understand that I, Jade, am making some apologies I feel are due and also understand the (very fine) point that *I* am apologizing - not the *Crown*. The *Crown* does not have anything to apologize for... (hey, what's he mean by that?! --shhh... let's hear him out--). Here goes; A) To the Queen: Juana, I apologize for not being more directly involved in the communication of this law change, and for not being a better advisor in handling the overall situation. If I'd been more aware and "on my toes" a lot of the pain you and some of the populace have felt was inflicted upon them by a (insert stream of invective) Crown could possibly have been avoided. On the other hand, maybe not. But I could clearly have done a better job. Henceforth, on Robare's advice, I fire myself as PR Person. Unfortunately, you're still stuck with me for the reign, so please bear with me. B) To Alfar and Elspeth: Alfar, Elspeth, I apologize for dragging you two into this mess. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to ask you if you would publicly support the law change, but hindsight has shown that you have been unfairly vilified as a result. Please know that I have received many private messages of support, both for the law change and for you, from people who were unwilling to face the same treatment that you two received for publicly supporting the law change. Hopefully, over time people will stop treating you poorly for agreeing with something they did not like, but that you had no hand in enacting. C) To the Peers and Baron(s/esses): You folks have my sincere apology for being "forced" into a situation that severely tested your feelings about fealty. Fealty is a very personal issue, and I regret that many of you have felt that you needed to "make a decision" based on how you interpret your oaths. There is no doubt that if this whole thing had been handled differently, some of you might have reacted the same way. Clearly, if it had been handled "better" many of you would NOT. Please accept that my intent (and Juana's) was not to hurt anyone, but to address an issue that we felt should be addressed (albeit each of us for different reasons). Depending on how you interpret your oath, it is my hope that you can accept my apology for the method in which this has been handled. Please understand that I take my oath of fealty as seriously as any of you, and that when I swore my oath as King, I took that seriously, too. If I didn't take it seriously, I wouldn't take the time to write this letter. D) To the Fencers: This is a difficult apology to make and feel like you'll believe I'm sincere, because I AM sorry for the pain and perceived insult that you felt as a result of this issue, but I am NOT sorry for the law change itself. I'll address the law change later. Herewith, please accept that you, the fencers, really have my sympathy, and my sincere apology for any insult you felt was offered or intended. Juana and I did not mean to personally attack or insult any of you. After re-reading some of the correspondence, I can CLEARLY see how people could feel harmed. Juana put a couple of caveats in front of the messages she wrote to indicate she meant no insult, and that she was expressing her feelings about the ACTIVITY not the PEOPLE. In any event, it is clear that Juana's intent did not survive in people's thoughts as they read the parts they found to be insulting. So, I formally retract and withdraw any insult you found in our correspondence, and assure you no insult was intended. E) To the populace at large: To all those who aren't mentioned yet, please understand that I apologize for you having to endure this along with everyone else. Certainly, there was no need for it to become this kind of a nasty, divisive issue. *mmm, mmm - best crow I've ever tasted - I'll need to get the feathers out of my mouth before continuing, though.* (joke - in no way intended to lessen the sincerity of the apologies themselves) 2. Who's apologizing: --------------------- Now that I have addressed apologies due, understand that I, *Jade* am apologizing. The Crown has no need to apologize, as technically, the Crown has done nothing wrong. The Crown has acted WELL WITHIN it's rights under Kingdom law. *Jade* could have done a much better job of enacting the law change in question, and addressing people's concerns. The Crown is not at fault, the person *wearing the crown* is at fault. Dunstan quoted me as saying something like "The Crown always deserves respect, irrespective of who is wearing 'it'", and that is true. This is an important technicality, and I'll touch on it again when I talk about the powers of the Crown, parliaments, etc. 3. Communication: ----------------- Some people think we could have communicated this whole thing better. By now, you may be able to ascertain that I agree. If not, stop reading this. There's no point in going any further. 4. Jade's reasons for the law change: ------------------------------------- *drum roll please - and now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for!* I've a number of reasons for enacting this law change. They're not exactly the same as Juana's. Last night someone told me that I'm not allowed to have different reasons because "we" (Juana and I) are "the Crown", and must agree on everything. Someone should have explained that to Isabella before she funded Columbus' voyage. Sorry folks, for those who think that Juana and I have to be clones, prepare to be disappointed. My reasons for the law change fall into three categories; Marshallate (safety/liability), Administrative/Precedent, and Personal. Here goes; A) Marshallate/Safety/Liability: Fencing is a dangerous sport. Frankly, it is more dangerous than heavy fighting, particularly when using steel weapons. People have pointed out that it's been years since anyone was killed in a fencing accident. True. It has not, however, been years since people have been wounded in fencing accidents, and, no one has EVER been killed fighting SCA heavy. Further, most injuries in heavy fighting occur when the injured person screws up. Most injuries in fencing are when the non-injured person has a weapon failure that neither opponent noticed. This is a BIG difference from a liability perspective. Most importantly, I would like to point out some fairly distinct differences between our fencing activities and "real" fencing organizations. There is no way that the Crown should EVER consider rescinding the law change on fencing without these issues being fully addressed (and it will be extremely difficult to do so): "Real" Fencing Organizations have: 1. Standardized, documented training techniques. 2. Standardized, documented safety regulations. 3. Standardized, documented gear requirements. 4. Certified, professional trainers who teach for a living. 5. Controlled environments in which to train (indoors, mats, etc). 6. Regulated tournaments, with external scoring methods (MUCH more important when using live steel!). 7. Centuries of tradition and refinement to enhance safety practices, training methods, and quality of equipment. SCA Fencing has: 1. Non-standard, inconsistently documented training techniques. Some people document it well, some don't. Even those who document it well and share can't assist with the application of the training itself in other locales than their own. 2. Non-standard, inconsistently devised and irregularly enforced safety regulations. We sometimes have a problem here with heavy fighting, and I know it is true with fencing. 3. Non-standard, inconsistently documented gear requirements. This is the easiest one to fix, but that is no panacea for the overall set of issues. 4. Amateur, non-certified "trainers", who do this as a hobby, and who are taking on much greater liability than perhaps they realize, for themselves and the SCA, when they step into this role. 5. Uncontrolled environments for training and tournament (such as broken or uneven ground). 6. Non-regulated fighting, with self-determinate scoring. (EXTREMELY dangerous! Especially with steel weapons!) 7. A drive to re-create the most dangerous types of fencing techniques; those used for dueling for REAL (not to the touch) in a time when safety of your opponent was not a concern. This specifically ignores the very same safety oriented traditions and refinements that make modern fencing as "safe" as it has become. Some people will read the above and say "hey, a lot of those statements apply to heavy fighting". Let me make it clear that I agree - some do. The HUGE difference is in the safety factor. Heavy fighting is fully armored, using 1-1/4" inch minimum, non-penetrating weapons (even if broken). Fencing is lightly protected (and only in certain areas) and uses weapons that are inherently penetrating, especially if broken, ESPECIALLY if steel. To me, the liability considerations are obvious, and unacceptable. B) Administrative/Precedent: If we are ever to have fencing in this Kingdom (which should NEVER be considered without addressing all of the above points), we should NOT have different sets of rules for different locales. This is, in my view, "bad" from an administrative level - we then have a bunch of differing rules and regulations for the same kind of activity, which must be maintained, practiced and enforced by participants and officers in areas and jobs that sometimes (or maybe often) overlap. This creates confusion and inconsistency. It is also "bad" from a precedent setting stand point, as has already been demonstrated. Once Lochac had an exemption, it became a leverage point for other groups to ask for an exemption, too. But the other groups didn't *want* the same set of rules, regs, etc. They wanted their own. They wanted variations on the theme, to use steel, etc. If the danger in doing this is not obvious to you, I am not sure I can explain it any better than this: Bad precedents have a habit of proliferating. We have managed to have one commonly used set of rules and regs for heavy fighting in this Kingdom for a pretty long time. I think it is reasonable to suggest that IF there were to be fencing in this Kingdom, those rules should be standard througout the Realm. If the heavies can do it, and the archers can do it (keep in mind - the only significant difference on arrows is the blunt type for Lochac), then the fencers can do it. And if they can't, then, well, they can't. C) Personal: Now, for something that a lot of you didn't know. I'm an ex-fencer. *gasp - no!* --yes, it's true! I saw him fence, at least once!-- In fact, I fenced actively for a little over seven years in both standard and theatrical venues. In that time, I gained a modicum of skill at the sport, and I liked it. I fenced with foil, epee, and did quite a bit of theatrical fencing with *period style rapiers*. In addition to that, I actually fenced in the SCA, Central Kingdom before it was originally banned. During that time I won the Baronial Championship of Vinhold two years running. A major component of that Championship was (can you guess it?) fencing. I have seen very experienced and skilled people get hurt in fencing. I have been cut while fencing. I have cut people fencing. I have had a foil snap, while fencing, and not notice immediately (it broke right *at* the tip), and I have a pretty good eye for things moving at combat speed. Don't tell me that fencing is not dangerous. I know better. When fencing was banned in this Kingdom, I was mildly disappointed, but believed it was for the best. Most of the people that I saw wanting to fence in the SCA had no formal training, and were simply not safe. They quickly became over-exuberant, and clearly showed their lack of training in a lack of control. Fencing, properly done, is a highly disciplined art. A volunteer organization, with volunteer "trainers", like the SCA, does not seem likely to generate the discipline required for safe fencing (in my opinion, of course). Also, over the years I have come to appreciate the fact that we don't do fencing as part of the SCA (in this Kingdom). I have come to agree that fencing just doesn't have that "medieval look and feel" that I really like about the SCA. When I've seen fencing in Lochac or in other Kingdoms, it's really had a jarring effect on me. I don't dislike *fencing itself*, but I dislike it in our context. So, in that, Juana and I agree. By itself, my dislike for fencing *in our context* would not have been enough for me to enact this law change. The fact that there was a small group of folks trying to get *another* exemption to the law as then written, based on Lochac's exemption, pushed me over the edge. I saw a "fencing demo" on the eric at a Crown event not long before winning Crown with Juana, and (no insult to those doing the demo) it looked no different than the same kind of fencing that brought about the original ban. Not very controlled, not very disciplined, not very safe. Further, the proposed set of rules did NOT address the concerns that I have laid out above. Sorry folks, that's not good enough. 5) The "power" of the Crown: ---------------------------- This whole line of conversation has been really interesting for me. I have (with this reign) reigned as many times as anyone else. No one needs to tell me that the "power" of the Crown rests in the people. I understand that pretty well, thanks. If I didn't I wouldn't have started this humongous letter with my personal apologies. If I thought that I had so much "power" because I was *KING* I would have answered the people who were being mean, nasty and rude with insults, or maybe even banished them. Instead I have acknowledged the *personal* mistakes I've made in this situation, and tried to explain my point of view. What I have been really sad to see is that a lot of folks have failed to keep the concept of "the Crown" separate from the people who just happen to be King and Queen. "The Crown" is a transitory office that will sometimes be held by people you like and agree with, and sometimes not. The very real truth is that, for over 30 years, the transitory nature of the office has provided for better inherent checks and balances than a "Parliament" without the bureaucracy and group level politics that you get with such things. It is a lot easier to deal with a couple that you can hold accountable for things you don't like, than to deal with decisions coming out of a group of officials that have the anonymity of numbers to hide behind. Please name one group of elected officials that you really feel has always served the best interests of all of their constituents. Then do a parliament. 6) In Closing: -------------- If you've made it this far, I owe you a beer (or seltzer water). I'd really like it if someone can explain exactly what they think I would have to gain by "forcing Lochac to go Kingdom". Do you think I'll get a prize or something? Lochac should become a Kingdom when it's ready to do so, not as a vitriolic, emotional response. Don't force it with rage, do it with diligence and love. Let's leave off the personal attacks. I can be pretty rude, too, but that won't solve anything. You don't have to like my reasons, but now you know them. You don't have like me either, and if you don't, fine. I'll still be King 'til 12th Night, and then you can like or dislike the next King. Stop denigrating the Crown; it's not necessary to do that to make your point. By the way, my name is not drawn from "fantasy". Jade is my actual first name. Starfall was a real medieval town, founded by a group of monks at the site of a meteor hit. They thought it was a sign from God. I thought that was cool. Let's try not to make assumptions... Thanks for listening. Jade

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