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Please Read

Poster: Keith Vaughn <KVAUGHN@fcc.gov>

Unto the electronically enhanced populace of Atlantia Greetings
from Sir Xenophon Vaughn, the newest Knight of our Fair Realm.

This may be slightly long by some standards, but since I spent the
time to write it I hope some will be courteous enough to read it.  I have
spent many hours the last week reading all the discussion with regards
to how fighters in Atlantia are viewed and was not even going
to respond to any until I read the posting by Kevin of Thornbury.  Kevin,
stay true to yourself and your goal.  While reading, keep in mind that I use
"man" as the collective female and male. 

When I responded to the last polling for the Order of Chivalry (it was the
first time I'd done so),  the first paragraph contained a list of the key
elements I looked for in a prospective candidate (it is listed below).  While
I know this is not a text book definition of chivalry, it is mine and the one I
try to fulfill.  When I stray, I am fortunate enough to have others who are
STRONG enough to point out my shortcomings (My Lady Celynen,
Mistress Diedre, Mistress Keilyn, Duke Richard, my squire cousin Jaudin
(sp?), and many others).  When I see a brother
Knight/squire/man-at-arms/fighter breech this code I ask them about it. 
What does this mean...simply this---
No man is invincible, nor is any man perfect.  A real man can take
constructive criticism and will benefit from it if it is presented well.  If any
person wants to gain anything from this week long discussion, re-read
His Majesty's (and my Knight's) posting on being accountable for your 
actions and not belittling others.  I worked hard for my chain and am
PROUD to be a Knight of Atlantia.  I CONTINUE to work hard to maintain
that which helped make me a Knight, as do the other members of the
Chivalry whether Atlantian or not.

Here's the list (in no particular order):
A Knight must be loyal to himself, his Crown, and its populace.  
A Knight must be accountable for his actions.
A Knight must keep his honor and name untarnished.  
A Knight must show exceptional prowess on the field.  
A Knight must be willing to step forward and serve where others of
    greater or lesser station balk.  
A Knight must be the voice and sword for those who are not heard, but
    whose cause is just.  
A Knight must protect those who cannot protect themselves.  
A Knight must lead.
A Knight must never bear a grudge.  
A Knight must be the image and representation of all things good we all   
    strive to recreate.
A Knight must recognize the importance of the Arts and Sciences, do all
    he can to support them, and when not in arms actively pursue them.
A Knight is the vassal of the Crown and Her people, without either there
   would be no need for Knights.

Have I ever been accused of hitting someone too hard at practice? YES
(and everytime but once was before I was even on the road to
Knighthood--sorry Patrik).

After being told by an opponent I hit to hard do I throw the blows any
YES - And I did change the blow so that it did not impact as hard, for
most fighters realize as they progress that most of the time it is how the
blow lands that causes the force of impact.  Some people do take
lighter than others, that is why most fighters start at a preset level and
work up from there.  I myself will take any clean blow to the face since
even if the SCA standard was for the armor you are actually wearing, I
still would be wearing an open face helm.

Do I or anyone else intentionally try to hurt anyone on the field?
I sure hope not.  The 'Dream' is no fun to pursue alone.

Have I ever spoken of 'beating like a baby seal' or 'being a Jack Boot
YES-and I am sure I have probably said other things that may be taken
out of context by people over hearing.  Am I sorry---not necessarily
since most of the time I am a very jovial lighthearted type of guy, but I am
sorry that someone would rather go off and and talk about it without
hearing the rest of the discussion or asking what was meant.  For
example, I have been referred to as a 'thug' since I first picked up a
sword.  Why?  Because my style of fighting is not necessarily as
aesthetic as others, not because I go to physically crush someone.  Was
it not Salah al-Din (Salladin for the less poetic :-^), thought of by many as
one of the most 'Chivalrous' figures in history, who proclaimed that he
would not rest until rivers of Western blood flowed across the sands
(this after his enemy had been starved and deprived of water) ?

I consider myself a "fun" fight and have had numerous people of all
stations come up to me after tournaments and say they really enjoyed
watching me fight.  Do I hit with "stout" blows, YES.  Do I hit excessively
hard? NO.  I will always remember after a particularly ugly tournament in
Drachenwald a point made by Sir Tancred (neither of us were Knights at
the time), where he said he would rather lose a clean fight than win an
ugly one.  I like that, and try to remember it.  Mine and My Ladies honor
are worth more than any melee, war, or tournament will ever be.   

Well I can go on and on (as anyone who has started telling tales with me
will know,  "...that Xenophon guy, he's got a story for everything...").  But
there is no reason to.  I hope I've made my point.  Let's be responsible to
ourselves and to others, and enjoy ourselves.  No problem has ever
been solved by keeping it from the parties involved.

I must take a break now, since I need to earn some money to support my
hobby.  My e-mail address is listed if anyone feels it necessary to tear
this good intentioned missive apart.

Yours in service and Honor,


PS: Sorry for any typos.

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