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On Fealty

Poster: Corun MacAnndra <corun@access.digex.net>

Greetings from Corun.

The subject of courtesy has led us into a brief discussion of disarming
before the Crown and from there to swearing fealty. With the digression
into this particular topic I must call Sappy to my side and step up to

There is a common misconception within the SCA between the concepts of
fealty and homage. Many people equate the one with the other when in
point of fact they are two different things.

In essence an oath of fealty is simply a contract to perform duties
during a period of time, i.e. a term of office. Many times one finds
that one is already performing those duties, and fealty simply formalizes
the act before an audience.

Homage on the other hand is something that is very personal and usually
done between two people specifically. Personally I have yet to find the
person, either in the SCA or in mundane life where it will be much more
significant, to whom I would swear homage.

However I have sworn fealty, and in some cases with great pleasure because
of who receives it and how I feel about them personally, to many kings and
queens of Atlantia during my tenure as Baron Storvik.

I particularly remember my first oath to Cuan, with whom I had had a long
conversation once some time before regarding my household and the fact
that at that time I could not swear fealty, being under the misconception
myself, but that I could give him my respect. We both agreed that resepct
without fealty was much more important than fealty without respect. Once
I discovered what fealty really was I was able to run for the office of
Baron with a clear consience. Cuan has since become king and as a Landed 
Baron I have sworn fealty to him.

The point here is this; regardless of what your household affiliations are,
fealty is a contract, nothing more. You are not sworn for life to a person,
nor do you owe more than to fulfill your side of the bargain, as does the
person who accepts your oath and swears one of their own at the same time.
And as with all such contracts, they are null and void when one side or the
other fails that oath. Your personal loyalties to your household are not
compromised for having sworn it.

In service,

     Corun MacAnndra   |   Dark Horde by birth   |   Moritu by choice
    Though we are not now that strength, which in old days moved earth
    and heaven, that which we are, we are.  One equal temper of heroic 
         hearts, made weak by time and fates, but strong in will.
             To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.
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