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Awards and stuff

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

Dafydd ap Gwystl greets Cheapsiders and Rosies;

A number of people have posted at length about shire awards or how they
have been told such things cannot exist, and ways to get around the
heraldic rules regarding such things.

I get the impression that there is some confusion, and I hope to make it
clearer.  I have put a lot of thought into the issue of awards over the

There are four totally distinct and separate issues.

1-- methods of rewarding appropriate behaviour
2-- whether such things hold precedence
3-- whether such things hold weight and respect
4-- whether such things can be registered with the heralds

The important point to my mind is that these issues are not linked.

Any person, household, group, or whatever can (and should) find ways of
rewarding behaviour it finds exemplary.

The value such things have is socially defined.  If the Barony of X has a
feast once a year to reward its best and brightest, and they are made to
sit at high table, and the Baron and Baroness of X personally serve their
feast, and their banners are processed around the room while everyone
shouts their approval, finally ending with a dance in their honour, then
that will end up as a MUCH more valued thing than a Baronial Award that is
given out six times a year on average, with a total of 5 minutes in Court
per occasion.  Hell, it might even end up more valued by its recipients
than a respected Kingdom order like the Pearl.

Value (respect in the eyes of the populace) has very little to do with
precedence.  And frankly it has NOTHING to do with whether the heralds
will allow it to be registered.

I've seen Kingdom Orders be created, hold precedence, and registered with
the heralds (1, 2, and 4 on the list earlier) that eventually folded
because they did not become highly valued.  Baronial and shire awards are
sometimes highly valued, and sometimes not.  But it doesn't have much to
do with whether they hold precedence, and it has nothing to do with
whether they are registered..

What is my point?  It seems to me that the debate has centered around
whether it is legal to register a shire award, and how to circumvent the
rules so as to have a badge.  That is a non-issue, in my experience.

The fundamental issue with awards is how to bring them into the state of
being highly valued.  If you can do that, then they become very effective
rewards for appropriate behaviour.  If your "awards" are not valued, then
they do not serve to reward those who receive them.  It does not matter if
it is a Kingdom Order, a Baronial Award, a Shire "award", or an attaboy
from some individual -- the "value" (respect/honour/impact) of the gift is
the only important issue.

So let us talk about how to create or increase the respect/honour/impact
of a gift/award/order/badge/attaboy, not whether or not such things can be
registered with the heralds, or even whether or not such things hold any

Dafydd ap Gwystl

holder of many awards and orders, some of which have long ago been closed. 

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