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Re: Duty(ies) of the Crown
Dafydd ap Gwystl, one-time King, greets Cheapside and the Merry Rose.
[male pronoun used for simplicity--plural in this case would mean something
different from what I intend]
We all have a shared desire to inhabit an illusion of knights and
kings and stuff. (I wish it was an illusion of the middle ages, but
it ain't). When the illusion is strong, we generally enjoy the
game. When it is weak, we don't. People's mileage varies about
when it is strong and when it isn't.
The most important part of this illusion for the majority of us is the idea
of "high nobles" and Kings. A stratified caste system is very different
from modern western society--most of us _really_want_ to play in a
world where there is such a system. (note--play, not live) And we want
it to be the one we know from stories of our childhood, where nobility
meant both high social position and high moral position.
The greatest duty of the King is to enhance that social illusion.
Because that is the fundamental underpinning of our game. In petit,
that is also the greatest duty of our Peers.
The major duty of the King is to ALLOW others to PRETEND that he is the
"Allow": you cannot force the suspension of disbelief.
"Pretend": people who truly believe that the trappings of royalty in the
SCA are real have forgotten that this is a game. There is a
big difference between enjoying the game and losing track of
the fact that it is just a game.
This is very different from believing it himself. It is also very
different from trying to force others to pretend that he is the King.
By and large, we don't want a real King (at least, those of you not
born and raised in the Commonwealth do not :^). But we all want to be
able to pretend, for a little while in this SCA game, that we have
a real king.
And it is when we have a King that spoils this illusion by misbehaviour
or discourtesy, by arrogance or peculation of funds, by pettiness or
by boorishness; that is when we are well and truly disillusioned. That
is when the king has failed in his duty.
Dafydd ap Gwystl
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