The Elevation of Lisabetta von Atzinger

As the Awards Secretary to Their Majesties William and Isolde, I have more duties than just to validate award recommendations and work with the Kingdom Signet to have them completed.  I also help to coordinate courts and one new duty that has grown out of that is that I have begun assisting several new vigilants to various peerages with their elevation ceremonies.  That can be anything from providing the peerage ceremony template, to customizing the template to writing a custom boast for entrance and a custom scroll text.

When Lisabetta von Atzinger was placed on vigil, she reached out to me for the ceremony template, and over the course of conversation, we decided that I’d provide a custom ceremony and scroll text.  The text is below.

The format is called a terza rima, and it’s the form Dante wrote the Divine Comedy in.  More information can be found here, but it reads like a kind of a twisted elizabethan sonnet.

Instead of a retelling of Lisabetta’s persona story or deeds of heroism, I went in a different direction; this is a poetic re-stating of the Admonitions of the Masters of Defence.  It is something that I hope she can look to when the way around is dark, or wounded, or lost, to help her find her way forward.

The Elevation of Lisabetta von Atzinger

Surrender now to honor, all your life:
Let it guide you to what you hold dear,
For it will help to keep you from all strife.

Virtue is the chain that brings you cheer,
constraint that frees you from perceptions base:
A rudder that will help you certain steer.

Mindfulness will help you move with grace,
And keep your weapon fairly sheathed at peace:
For steps in anger cannot be retraced.

The dragon’s love for you will never cease.
A warmth about your heart for all your days,
And you must of that love always increase.

May truth upon your banner be your blaze;
Your word has always been your strongest bond.
Let tales of honesty be your best praise.

Before your foes your armor you must don,
The greatest duty of your station new:
Do not about you let a sword be drawn.

Exclusivity you should eschew:
Share all you know and have with those who need.
The more you offer, more will you accrue.
Like Atlas, stand athwart the earth, and bleed!
A titan for the just and for the right,
On behalf of those, you ever intercede.

Upon the list-field shall you bring your might:
With skill and artistry you wield your blade,
And ever please the Dragon in her sight.

Let not the sweeter virtues you evade.
With power on the field, yet off with grace,
And kindness unto all then be arrayed.

Your homeland is a fair beloved place,
So always be for King and Dragon land,
And love for all the people you embrace.

These admonitions keep you close to hand,
A Master of Defence before Us stands.

 

(c) 2017 Drew Nicholson

The Ceremony for Sir Ulrich

In addition to writing the Boast and Scroll for Sir Ulrich’s, he also asked me to organize and script out his ceremony.  In the MidRealm, the standard Peerage ceremony has someone of the peerage to be awarded to beg the boon, and then speakers, one from each of the other peerages, and sometimes a speaker from the populace.

So a standard knighting would go thusly:

  • A knight begs the boon, usually for their squire.
  • The Order of Chivalry is called up and affirms the decision to elevate the candidate.
  • A Laurel speaks for the candidate’s art or science, a Pelican speaks for the candidate’s service, a Master of Defence speaks for the candidate’s courage, a Royal Peer speaks for the candidate’s nobility, and sometimes a member of the populace speaks for the candidate as well.
  • The knight is presented with a belt, chain, spurs and sword
  • The knight swears their oath of fealty
  • The knight is dubbed and buffeted.

In this case, however, Ulrich wanted something a little bit different.  Instead of having five speakers, he had seven — one for each of the Knightly Virtues.  This spoke more to the feelings he wanted to evoke.    Instead of having the Order affirm his elevation and then have the speakers, he wanted the speakers to present first, and the Order to affirm afterwards.  This had two beneficial effects: first, it makes the speakers’ job more important — for perhaps if the Chivalry doesn’t like what they hear, they will change their mind!  (They don’t.)  But also, it cuts at least in half the amount of time the Order has to kneel.  Another change made was that Ulrich was permitted to turn around and face away from Their Majesties, so that he could see the speakers as they said their words for him.  And lastly, instead of being presented with spurs, Ulrich was given Arm Rings of Gold as a token of his new station, for as a good Danish lord, Arm Rings were a far greater indicator of high estate and nobility.

Most people in the SCA never achieve peerage, and most of those who do never achieve more than one peerage.  I think it’s important to encourage vigilants to seek out and pursue the elevation ceremony they want, even if it means that it runs longer than the standard ceremony.  It’s their special time.  The audience will understand.

Here is the full text of the Ceremony for Sir Ulrich.