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.
Below is the text for Sir Ulrich’s elevation scroll, which has yet to be completed. I structured it to parallel the Oath of Knighthood, which calls upon Knights to be Prow, to be Reverent and Generous, Shield of the Weak, Obedient to his Liege Lord, Foremost in battle, Courteous at all times, and Champion of the Right and the good. These are fundamental concepts of Knighthood all across the SCA — but since Ulrich is a Viking half-dane, it needed to fit within a viking epic style. Because Ulrich was one of Ragvnaldr’s King’s Champion during the last reign, I also worked to tie some of the imagery in with the Lineage of Ragnvaldr I wrote several years ago.
Deeds day ends! / Ended are doings
Bold Battle Children / Baying for gold
See Sir Ulrich / Celestial warrior
Achieve the Accolade / of Aspirations
Prowess profuse / this potent leader
The list field his vigil / his virtue inviolate
Generous giving / of time and gold
Reverent also / respected and relished
The weak are his work / to shield them well
Both with his body / and his Barony
Vocal his voice / Defense his vocation
Promoting the people / He praises them all
Obedient and able / this epic hero
Ragnvaldr reports / of his results
Constellation Captain / Leading the Corps
Black Raven Reapers / Spread his renown
Battle Berserker / Charging the break-line
Defiant half-dane / Destruction he brings
For fair Arabella / he spreads her word fame
And Regal Ragnvaldr / raining down blows
Courtesy constant / honor constrained
Revealing the right / for others he wrangles
Embodied engagement / Ethics robust
Carrying comfort / service incarnate
Righteous and robust / a champion of respect
Though decisions divisive / e’re needed doing
Noble for newcomers / Chivalry never-ending
Exemplified excellence / Now and ever.
Make full mead cups / Praise the Mighty
Ulrich Ulfson / all the honor
Half-Dane done / with red belt duties
New the Knight / And now it begins.
This past weekend, at the Crown Tournament of William and Isolde, my friend Ulrich Halfdan Ulfsson was elevated to the Order of Chivalry. I was honored to be asked to write his ceremony and all the poetry that went with it. This post is specifically about the boast with which he was heralded into court once his Knight, Sir Denewulf, had begged the boon.
PROTECT US, OH LORD, FROM THE FURY OF THE NORTHMEN!
On comes Ulrich / Into the long-hall
Beloved of Brianna / Un-Belt no more
Hazel eyed hunter / Rises the half-dane
Whither the white belt / Where is gold-chain?
Crossing the coastline / came he to the village
Of Brianna sky-eye / Brought him to love
Smoldering cinders / see ships burned on shore
For Here is the homeland / of Ulrich’s heart
Black Raven reaver / in righteous fury
Stopped Eastern Army / With bold action
He gladly follows / Tyr, god of glory
Learned of the law / lord of the swords
See now the squire / sever his bond
Collar of commitment / returned to comrade
New bond of brotherhood / sought in a boon
New in the knowledge / the accolade, Knight.
Ulrich’s persona story is that as a half-danish viking warrior, he came to Shadowed Stars as a raider, but fell in love with the daughter of a chieftain – Brianna – and burned his ships on the shore as a sign of his devotion to her. Brianna features twice here: once as Ulrich is her beloved, and once as sky-eye; her eyes are blue.
The Black Raven refers to the Raven Company, the fighting household that Ulrich commands.
In the next post, I’ll talk about the scroll text that I wrote (that has yet to be actually written into a real scroll).