Monday, May 12, 2014

Of Knights and Squires

This is a rant, and one of a very idealistic view. Be warned.

The term "knight" gets thrown around a lot in Belegarth. The importance of the title varies from place to place, person to person. There are joke knights, self-proclaimed knights, and a few peerage systems all spread throughout the sport. We have no true national idea of knighthood, but the seeds of it exist in the commonality between the individual lineages.

The role of a knight in my mind, and many others, is primarily to be a realm leader. They are not only a skilled fighter that can lead the charge, but an administrator and teacher that the realm can rally behind. Realm leadership varies from place to place, some dictatorships or pure democracies, or even ran by a council. Even if a knight has no place in a realm's administration, they can still be a valuable resource for the realm in terms of service, education, and recruitment.

Some people instantly assume the squire process is strictly about building better fighters and having minions to run events. The real goal, however, is to mold a squire into a well rounded knight by ironing out their weaknesses and bolstering their skills across the board. Service, fighting, leadership, and crafting are just a few of the skills needed to be developed. By the time they are knighted, a squire should be able to go anywhere, recruit fighters, start a realm, and help get them trained and equipped.

Knowledge is the cornerstone of the squire path. They must seek to be experts on the sport, because that is what others will expect of them when they have the title of Knight. Knights then act as a guide to the next generation, passing on what they have learned.

Due to the nature of the knight/squire relationship, each squire will follow their own path, seeking to iron out their own weaknesses and pursue their personal goals. This leads to each knight having their own unique skill set and focus, but not necessarily conforming to the ideal vision of knighthood. That means that knighthood is not the end of a journey, but a waypoint or milestone. Knighthood should be seen as proving you are a champion of the sport, working to build and grow it.

Title gained, we must each strive to reach that ideal vision of knighthood. To do otherwise is to stagnate the development of the sport.

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