As of April 1, 2004, these rules go into effect for all SCA events. All Attack Laurels currently in training and in the field are "requested" to enforce them whenever possible.
(NOTE: This policy was designed by the Academy for use in the SCA, but really, can be applied to any historical re-enactment group where people are lazy bums too stupid to do the proper research. Feel free to adapt it for your own purposes, but don't blame us when they come after you with pitchforks and flaming torches.)
In keeping with the Kingdom of Atlantia's new policy of "period appearance" on the tourney field, the Attack Laurels have decided to pitch in and create a policy that will cover all other areas of an event, fighter practice, business meeting, and if we want to come into your house and criticize your curtains, we'll do it, so don't complain or we'll make you our apprentices.
Besides, no Knight is going to claim he's made the event more authentic-looking than us, no way, nuh-uh.
After much discussion, the Secret Laurel Committee That Knows Way More Than You Will Ever Learn has come up with some rules and regulations to make sure that the high authenticity standards of the SCA *cough* are maintained at all times.
Section 1: Enforcers
A) Since enforcement of complete authenticity is the second-dearest thing to our hearts (punishment being the first), the Laurels have been forced to agreed to allow crack teams of Attack-Laurels to police all aspects of the event, from the parking lot to the porta-potties. The teams will be hand-picked by the Secret Grand Poobah Laurel (NOT the Principal, 'cause that's just a glorified secretary position; no, the *true* power lies with...
Heh. We're not *that* stupid.)
B) Attack Laurels will be identified by a large ostentatious green sash made of 100% pure silk. Pre-14th Century and non-European Laurels (yes, a few managed to sneak through, even though we're supposed to be re-creating EUROPEAN pre-1600 societies) can wear wool sashes but only by special application. And only if we pick you to be on the team, which we won't.
C) All judging of A&S competitions will be performed by Laurels only from here on; if there aren't enough Laurels to judge, or we just don't feel like it, tough. A&S competitions aren't period anyway, so just be glad we let you have them. ...Well, we only really let you have them because we like laughing at your pitiful attempts at "art", and watching the tournament is boring because no-one really gets hurt that often. C.i) Judging Laurels will be supervised at all times by an Attack Laurel. C.ii) Attack Laurels in charge of judges will be equipped with a special heavy-duty shredder for destroying any item entered into competition and/or display that isn't made with period materials in period technique. The remains of the object will be returned with the judging forms at the end of the day. C.iii) All judging forms will be filled out in red pen, because it's more intimidating that way.
D) Attack Laurels will have absolute authority to mete out punishment for authenticity infractions (punishments outlined in the next section).
Section 2: Punishment
A) Punishments for authenticity infractions will include, but not be limited to: Laughing and pointing Snarking Private humiliation Public humiliation Unbelievably public humiliation in front of total strangers, then televised and Tivo'd for our amusement later Judging Banishment Death
Section 3: Top Ten Infractions List
(This is by no means a complete list, but as time goes by, and we see what fresh new horrors the lot of you come up with, we'll add to the list. A full annotated list of EVERYTHING we're going to punish you for can be obtained by leaving five blank zip disks by any crossroads at midnight during the full moon. Dance widdershins three times and exclaim "The Attack Laurels are great, the Attack Laurels are wise, let the power of authenticity move me!" and bury the zip disks at the center of the crossroads. If we think you're worthy, you'll get the list in win.zip format by pony express. If you don't receive anything, assume your authenticity sucks and you are marked for death so we're not going to waste our precious time on you.)
1. No artificial fiber anything, whether it's the clothes you wear, or the chair you sit in. All pavilions, clothes, hangings, furniture, and bedclothes must conform. Inspections will be made once you've spent several hours setting everything up. If it's not perfect, you'll have to sleep off-site. Sleeping bags will be burnt, but we'll at least think about waking you up first.
2. No using elements in your clothing/surroundings/accessories from more than one time period. If you have anything from another country than the one your persona is from, be prepared to produce full documentation as proof your persona would have owned that object at that time. Unnacceptable documentation will result in public humiliation, and a Sewer Apprentice[tm] will stand and watch you while you sing "I'm a Little Teapot" ten times in the original Old English.
3. All attendees of an event must be prepared to tell their persona story at all times. Any persona story with more than two countries mentioned will be asked to leave the site and not come back until they take their persona seriously. Pirates, Courtesans (outside of Italy), and Japanese-Viking-Irish-Celts will be used as a tourney fence.
4. Any person wearing an outfit that clearly does not suit their body type will get a warning and be forced to wear the oldest smelliest tunic in the loaner closet and rolled in the mud by S.A.s ( Sewer Apprentices[t... oh, you get the idea]).
5. Modern items should not only remain out of sight, they should not be brought to the event. This includes (but is not limited to): Coke cans, bottled water, cigarettes/cigars, sneakers, coolers, eyeglasses, medication, and insulin pumps. They did without these things in period, so you can too. Of course, they also died a lot, but that's not our problem.
6. Authenticity must be maintained at all times in all parts of the event. Quill pens will be used at the sign-in table, and linen paper for sign-up may only be used by 16th Century personas. Everyone else will use parchment. Porta-potties will be replaced by holes in the ground, and S.A.s will be stationed at the privies to monitor for anyone wearing modern underwear.
7. All cute names for modern items (i.e., "troll", "dragon", "smalls", "farspeaker", "feastocrat") are hereby banned. Anyone using any of the previous terms will be forced to write out "I will not use *insert offending term here* because it is incredibly lame" 1000 times. With a quill pen. And ink they make themselves. An S.A. will be sent to monitor compliance.
8. Anyone caught sneaking in a portable television,1 radio, or "boom box" to watch the game that "we have to see" will be forced to act as furniture in the Royal Room for the remainder of the event. Ditto anyone videotaping court with a large camera in the front row. Ditto anyone using flash photography during court.2
9. Correct honorifics and/or titles will be used in persona at all times. Anyone complaining that the 16th Century correct greeting of "Master" or "Mistress" is reserved only for peers will be sneered at by the Attack Laurels, who don't care what you call them, because they can snap you like a twig.
10. Any and all people that employ the phrase "If they'd had it, they would have used it" will be thrown to the new Attack Laurels for training and shredding purposes. Remains will be shipped home on request, but you're paying for it, sonny boy.
We hope that these "guidelines" (heh. Guidelines - we crack ourselves up) will help all of you peons realize how truly important it is to be completely, absolutely authentic, and how far you fall from the ideal mark. Believe us, when you and your two friends and the handful of people permitted through the gate at your event look around and see how excellently period everything is, you'll thank us.
At such a time as the Attack Laurels are no longer needed, we will make sure they are disposed of in a humane manner.3
1 This really happened. I kept wondering why I could hear a TV, and I realized the people in the camp behind me had set up and were watching a football game.
2 The no-flash photography rule is is a real rule in the Kingdom of Atlantia.
3 Yeah, like that'll happen.
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.