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Re: On Fealty

Poster: Jeffrey Sussman <jsussman@pop.erols.com>

Greetings from Richard!

Fealty in the SCA is a slippery concept.

In Atlantia, Fealty is very flexible.  Each individual can craft their
oath (or promise if you don't like the word oath) to include whatever
elements are desired.  If you talk to a dozen different peers and barons
and baronesses you'll hear some common themes but won't hear any single
thing mentioned by them all and will hear some unique thing from each
person.  We should avoid making any rash generalizations about what
fealty means when each individual is customizing their bond to the
Yours in Service,
Duke Richard Fitzgilbert, 
Earl Marshal of Atlantia

Corun MacAnndra wrote:
> 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
> speak.
> 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
>      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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