Insulae Draconis Awards
In our courts, our royals - princes and princesses in Insulae Draconis, kings and queens for Drachenwald - give out awards, to thank its volunteers for their good work, and to recognise individuals' learning, improvement and excellence in the arts of war and of peace. Broadly modelled on medieval orders and honours, some awards are described in the Society's laws, but each kingdom also develops its own honours, with names and badges that mean something special to the people who live there. After someone receives an award in court, it's the heralds' job to record the name of the recipient and the award details. This information goes into the Order of Precedence (OP, or 'oh-pee').
Dame Genevieve la flechiere taken from her article previously published in The Baelfyr
The first award most people in the Society get is called the Award of Arms, often shortened to an AoA. This is where a member is formally recognised in court and is from that date eligible to be called a Lord or Lady (or other cultural names for similar rank) This is the same in Insulae Draconis and in the larger Kingdom of Drachenwald and so it does not matter if you choose to recommend someone for this award on the Insulae Draconis or Drachenwald website. This is a general award, it can be for anything from Arts & Science activities, such as performing at events or helping others get their garb together, notable commitment to learning skills in fighting or archery, or service activities such as cooking, cleaning, etc. - anything that shows a consistent and notable contribution to the Society.
After this point the awards become more specific. The Principality of Insulae Draconis has its own next level awards that our Prince and Princess can bestow for excellence in all aspects of SCA life, including combat in all forms (the Order of the Fox), the Arts & Sciences (the Order of the Silver Martlet), Service (the Order of Ffraid), overall Excellence and Example (the Order of the Sun and Chalice) and Courtesy (the Order of Robin). The Kingdom of Drachenwald has yet another set of awards for recognition in the same areas but at Kingdom level, and with different names. You can recommend someone for those awards on the Kingdom of Drachnwald website
The idea is that people in Insulae Draconis can be recommended for membership of these Orders by others for their service, artistry or prowess. The Prince and Princess consider each recommendation and decide if it is time for the recommended person to be admitted into the relevant Order. If it is so deemed, notice is sent to the [Principality Signet], who assigns a scribe the task of creating a scroll for the person, detailing what Order they have been included in, where and on what date.
Recommend someone for an Award
Those who have membership in the Orders have their entry in the Order of Precedence - ranking - updated. This information is recorded in what you may hear being referred to as the OP, the Order of Precedence database. It is a good idea to check the Order of Precedence before recommending someone, just to see if perhaps they have already been given that award. You can search the database
The separate Orders have been created as follows:
The Order of the Sun and Chalice (for Excellence and Example)
The membership of this Order are unique as they are thought to exemplify all the things in the Society to which we should aspire. This includes excellence in representing their persona, ability in skills displayed, courtesy, grace and guidance to those in need. Although this Company holds no precedence above the other companies this membership can be though of as a resource of the Coronet to be consulted if wished on various topics regarding the sure governance of our lands for the Crown of Drachenwald.
The Order of Robin (for courtesy)
This Order was named in memory of Lord Robin Bowman of Dalriada – an ever-courteous and helpful individual, and premier of this Order. Those member of this Order exemplify the courteous gentle of the Society, such courtesies arising at all opportunities, and to all gentles.
The Order of the Silver Martlet (for the arts and sciences)
This Order’s membership have been recognised for their skills in the diverse Arts and Sciences utilised within the Society; ranging from brewing to calligraphy, from embroidery to metalwork. Skill levels, a willingness to assist others by teaching or other forms of assistance and courtesy of behaviour are all factors in this membership.
The Order of the Fox (for combat arts)
This Order’s membership have been recognised for their skills in some or all of the fields of heavy combat, fencing, target or combat archery and thrown weapons. As well as recognising levels of skill, both existing and emerging; it also represents those willing to teach others, thus broadening the roster of participants in that field and those who show courtesy both on and off the field.
The Order of Ffraid (for service)
This Order’s membership have been recognised for their service to the Society and Insulae Draconis in particular. This service will be, as usual, given without thought of reward but purely for the betterment of our enjoyment of our Current Middle Ages. As with all the other Companies and orders courtesy of behaviour is a factor when membership is being deliberated on.
Order of St Hild (for excellence in teaching)
This Order’s membership have been recognised for their unparalleled love of their subject and their willingness to share their love, experience and skill with others in Insulae Draconis. These are truly excellent teachers, enriching all of our experiences in the Society.
What you need to know to Recommend someone
You may recommend anyone for membership of the Principality Orders, or for any of the other Kingdom or Society awards. For a recommendation, please provide your name, their name, which award you are recommending them for, and why, in order to help their Majesties or their Highnesses make decisions as to new members of the Orders. Being recommended does not mean you will get the award but it brings the ceremonial ruler’s attention to the good that has been done. Often several recommendations are required before an award will be given.
Kingdom of Drachenwald awards
The Kingdom have another set of awards in much the same categories for which you may also wish to recommend someone. This is done through the Order of Precendence database, the website is available currently at http://op.drachenwald.sca.org/recommendation.html The full list and details of the awards is available on the Drachenwald website.
For quick reference, these awards include but are not restricted to:
- The King's Order of the Companions of Albion, also The Royal Order of the Companions of Albion - one of the most prestigious awards in our Kingdom. It is given for "untiring service, courtesy and devotion to the needs of others".
- Queen's Order of Courtesy This "Queen's" award is awarded for "untiring devotion to the ideals of courtesy and for consistent consideration of the needs of others".
- The Order of the Dragon's Bowle, awarded at the discretion of the Crown to those who have displayed notable attention to authenticity.
- The Order of the Dragon's Jewel, given to children (under 12 years of age) who have distinguished themselves through exemplary behavior or service.
- The Order of the Dragon's Pride, given to children (under 12 years of age) who have distinguished themselves through exemplary work in the arts and sciences.
- Order of The Dragon's Steel, given to "those members of the foil, epee and schlager fighting community, who exemplify courtesy, chivalry, dedicated patronage to the arts and sciences and show continual service to local branches and the Kingdom of Drachenwald and who shall have displayed superior abilities in light weaponry".
- The Dragon's Tear, given at the discretion of the Crown to the host(s) of an extraordinarily successful event.
- Orden des Lindquistringes, presented to those people who have distinguished themselves by long and extraordinary service to the Kingdom.
- Order of the Panache, awarded to those who have distinguished themselves by long and consistent excellence in the Arts (and Sciences) and who have also constantly made their expertise available to the various members of the Kingdom.
- Sigillum Coronae, given by the King or the Queen, or by both of them together, awarded for personal service to the Crown(s) that far exceeds any expected measure.
- Order of the Silver Guard, presented to those members who have distinguished themselves by chivalry and prowess at arms.
- Hospitallers of Albion are those gentles (or groups) in distant lands who make great sacrifice to render aid and support to the Crowns of Drachenwald when they are travelling.
Bestowed Peerage Awards
After years of training, scholarship, apprenticeship or being a protege some will attain the highest honour and be welcomed into teh relevant of the four highest Orders. On the combat field, the Order of Chivalry, Knighthood, is the highest accolade for armoured combat, while Master of Defence honours Masters of the rapier. In the Field of Arts and Sciences, the Order of the Laurel and for those who excel in the provision of service, the Order of the Pelican. These are the orders of Peerage in the SCA, equal in rank, and carrying with them rights such as consultation with the monarch, voting on Kingdom level business, and of course, the elevating of new members to the orders.
It is worth noting that there is a considerable difference in rank in some of the awards. Generally, the four Peerages (Knights, Laurels, Pelicans and Masters of Defence) require the recommendee to be quite well-known (enough to be easily recognised by the Crown and other members of the Order, say) and truly exceptional in their field, these are the top level awards in each field and require a truly exceptional level of skill and service.