2Squire-r-Not-art – 9/26/05
“To Squire or Not to Squire? That is the question???” by Viscount Sterling, KSCA
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
To Squire or Not to Squire? That is the question???
Well, Squiring means different things in different Kingdoms and Regions. It also varies from each Knight, Master at Arms and Bloodline. So it pays to research and ask questions of the person you are thinking of joining as an affiliate. It is also suggested to ask others (such as other Peers, Friends, the local Nobility and existing Squires) about the person you are considering joining. This is a big decision and should not be made hastily or blindly, as your SCA career will be hitched to this individual. Your triumphs and failures will reflect on them, and their triumphs and failures will reflect on you. Also, to those who are and those to come, that affiliation to the Knight or Master at Arms will reflect on you.
To see how this reflection works, imagine that the Knight with whom you have affiliated wins Crown. The renown and visibility of his/her Squires and Man-at-Arms will be increased. If another of your Knight's Squires gets drunk and says or does something out of line, that also reflects on you. There is a fine line between infamy and renown. Renown is what we strive for through deeds, words, and skill at arms. Winning a tournament with honor is always a plus in the Renown category as well, but “rhino-ing” through a list will bring you infamy. Glory goes to the winner of the tournament, and corporate glory to that Knight's or Master-at-Arms’ Bloodline including all of his/her affiliates. It should be easy to see how a Knight or Master at Arms is looked upon within the community to which they belong.
There are many things to consider and find out about before you become affiliated with a Knight or Master-at-Arms. Right off the bat, how well do you get along with the Knight or Master at Arms, their Lady/Lord and the rest of those with whom they are affiliated? This being a long-term relationship, each member will have a direct impact on you. How involved is your Knight or Master-at-Arms in the SCA? Do they still play, or are they starting to follow other interests? How much time do you require (training on & off the field, guidance & mentoring, help with garb, armor, etiquette, friendship, etc?) Are there others in the area that will help train you when your Knight or Master-at-Arms is not there? Is your Knight or Master-at-Arms a tournament fighter, War fighter or both? What will they teach you (fighting, mentoring, etiquette, how the SCA works, etc?)? As you can see there are many things to consider as to whether a Knight or Master-at-Arms will do for you.
If that wasn't enough, how about what a Knight or Master at Arms will expect of you? The bar could be high (travel, service, etiquette, garb, A&S, training, mentoring, learning, taking care of the Knight's or Master-at-Arms’ equipment etc). Some Knights or Masters-at-Arms require their squires to help set up camps and take them down, clean their armor, provide escort duty, and other acts of service. It could be as little as showing up once in a while and doing what you can to help. Realize that the more you give, the more you will receive. You should consider that heavily when making a decision about with whom you want to affiliate, so get your expectations out and find out what they expect of you.
Another big decision is Fealty. To what can you swear? Is it a requirement? Make sure you talk about the oath that you'll be taking and what it entails. Each Knight or Master-at-Arms has their own version of "The Dream", and when you affiliate with them, that dream, in some way, becomes yours. Is that what you are up for?
How serious are you in becoming a Knight or Master-at-Arms? What are you willing to do to become a Knight or Master-at-Arms (time, money, resources, blood, sweat and tears?) What is your dream? Do you want to be a King someday? Will this Knight or Master-at-Arms be able to teach you the skills needed to make that dream come true? Are you here to party and chase the Ladies/Lords? Is the Squire's belt the honor you seek, or is it a path to something else? Is this the path you really want, or is there another route that might be better for you? These are things to consider, when you are deciding to become a Squire.
Once you are a Squire, things will happen which alter the relationships you have with your Knight or Master-at-Arms. You or your Knight or Master-at-Arms may move. How will that affect things? One or both of you may grow in another direction, as well as one or both of you may not grow at all. You or your Knight or Master-at-Arms may have a large falling-out. One of you may go thru a divorce, or change patterns, which may affect your relationship. Things happen and you may need to be ready to deal with them. Are you up to the task or not?
Like any relationship, there will be good times and bad. The only thing that is sure is that it will change, and you may not like some of the changes. If you do not like them, you owe it to yourself and to your Knight or Master-at-Arms to talk about it. If either of you are unable to live with these changes, it might be appropriate to part ways. This by no means is an easy path, and if handled poorly it can be the death of some dreams.
Therefore be cautious, think about what it is you need, and what you want. Take the time to get to know those within the Knight's or Master-at-Arms' Bloodline. Do some homework and research on the Knight or Master-at-Arms and their Bloodline. Do some introspective work to see what you really need, and what form of a relationship you want. Be up-front and ask that they be up-front with you. This is a big commitment that may span decades. To Squire or not to Squire? That is up to you.
Copyright 2005 by Schawn Smith, 6245 S. Sycamore St, Littleton, CO 80120. <schawnsmith at att.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.