I have been so busy running around with events and whatnot that I have not posted about twelfth night! Or more specifically, that I’m a protege now….
I’ll try to keep this relatively concise (not my strong point); but last summer I talked with Vicountess Nadezhda Volynskaiia about becoming her protege. I think she was a little surprised (the look on her face when I brought it up was pretty awesome!) but we spent several weeks chatting on and off about different pieces of it and eventually decided to go forward with it.
Before I go on, I should say that there are a lot of really awesome peers (pels and otherwise) around here. I approached Nadezhda because a. she’s not primarily a herald (I want to branch out, if I can ;), b. she does a lot of stuff that I want to do more of (officer, event staff type stuff), c. I like her! As our conversations continued, it was important to me that we saw the fealty relationship in pretty similar ways and had similar expectations. I also like that she’s such a straightforward person; I am never worried about not getting honest feedback from her.
ANYWAY. We had our ceremony at Twelfth Night; for our contract, we ended up using a text almost identical to that recently drafted by my dear friend Master Nikulai Ivanovich of Atlantia. He and Nadezhda both have Russian personas so the text he had drafted was extra appropriate! Fortune verch Thomas did some really fabulous calligraphy to write out our contract, and everyone who witnessed our ceremony also signed it. I really like how so many people who are an important part of my SCA journey were able to be a part of this!
Through this my certificate I, Rhieinwylydd verch Einion Llanaelhaearn, in presence of these witnesses, in good faith and without duplicity do pledge my fealty as protégé unto Nadezhda Volynskaiia, Companion of the Order of the Pelican and Viscountess of An Tir.
I hereby give myself to your service, saving only those responsibilities which I bear to my family, to my career, to my Shire, to my Principality, and to my Kingdom. I promise to study and faithfully apply myself to the development of my skills in service and in the courtly graces; and seeing misfortune and grief and to all needy, if it is possible, to help them; to learn not to steal, not to lie, not to slander, not to offend, not to malign, not to remember evil; to greaters be obedient, to equals loving, to lessers and the wretched be welcoming and kind.
And I, Nadezhda Volynskaiia, for my part promise to honor and respect you in word and deed; to teach you those skills which I might possess; to provide you counsel and to listen when you provide me the same; to provide support, opportunity and guidance for all your endeavors; to learn from you as much as I give; to provide you friendship; and to safeguard you in our mutual friendship.
This certificate to be reviewed yearly on the occasion of An Tir’s Twelfth Night, and to stand as long as we both shall agree, until the Monarchs demand your fealty directly, else as long as the world should stand.
Given certificate in the Barony of Adiantum, in the month of January on the 253rd day of Anno Societatis 45 (being the 8th day of the year 2011 C.E.)
My copy is framed and hanging on the wall by the staircase, so I see it several times a day and can be reminded of the promises I made and also of all those who signed in witness and support. It’s… pretty cool. To say the least!
And I’ve been a protege all of about six weeks now. Mostly, it hasn’t made much difference – I had plenty of drive and motivation beforehand, and all that. I am more conscious of what I say and how I interact with others, knowing that my deeds reflect on Nadezhda as well. I have had a couple people act differently around me, or make specific mention of my fealty relationship when introducing me… which is another reminder, so not a bad thing. So far I like it fine – only thing is I think I may have a heart attack whenever Nadezhda is called before TRM. Hopefully that fades before too long!