From MiddleWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

1. Candidates for a peerage order are often ordered to stand vigil to consider whether they will accept the burdens of the order. A vigil may be an extended period between a ceremony in court at one event at which the order is given and a later event at which the peerage is given; or a shorter period at a single event; or even a full-scale vigil like that of a knight-candidate in the Middle Ages. This custom began with the order of Chivalry, but the other two peerage orders increasingly feature a vigil as well. In the first two decades of the Middle Kingdom, it was common for the ceremony of peerage to made in a single “surprise” occasion like that of most other awards, but in more recent years it has become popular to have a vigil.

2. A period of reflection and giving of advice for a peerage candidate, usually in a set-aside room or tent at an event, often with refreshments. A blank book is often given to the candidate to record his or her thoughts and the comments or advice of those who come to see them. Some such vigils are closed to all but the order, or to all the peerage orders; others are open to all who wish to congratulate or advise. Gifts are often made to the candidate.

History within the MidRealm

In a message dated May 8, 2007, His Grace Laurelen did relate this story:

The current liturgy for the vigil as it now exists has been essentially unchanged since it was first offered and required of a Knight-candidate by a MidRealm King . That first Knight Candidate was Talymar. It occurred at Pennsic War 8 in August, 1979. I was that MidRealm King. Here is the way of it:

King Laurelen had very much wanted to include the requirement and opportunity for a vigil, as of old, for self introspection by a Knight candidate after being offered the Accolade but prior to his accepting it in court. It was because, having been offered the accolade in the middle of the finals of a Crown Tournament himself, he had only later that evening been able to speak with his brothers in the Order and examine his own heart as he stepped upon the Chivalric path for all time. It was a matter of importance to him that the beginning of that path not be unclear in one's heart as one stepped upon it.

Laurelen discussed this with Prince Alen on the eve of the 8th battle of the Pennsic War on the day they were to offer Duke Andrew's Squire Talymar the Accolade. Thus Alen wrote, with a lead, a first draft of the liturgy on the back of a handy trencher (paper plate -- yeah, really) and the two agreed that it was of the nature and meaning desired. It was those words Alen first drafted that Laurelen, following the war, later transcribed with some additional content and entered into the Book of the Herald and MidRealm liturgy.

The Night before battle was misty and chill. The torches flared and sputtered in the mist and the King called his Knights together for he had decided that they would together go in full panoply and put this young Knight-candidate upon his path. There were 24 Knights in that retinue. All men of great reknown. The King and the Prince led a double column to the campsite where Duke Andrew's Squire was known to be housed.

When they arrived the people of the camp were awed when the MidRealm King and Prince at the head of the columns of Knights of the Realm seemed to materialize in silence out of the mist. And all fell to their knees. The King said quietly, bring me lord Talymar gan y Llywen, but he was not, seemingly in the camp. Suddenly a commotion was heard and one of that houselhold was heard to be speaking with some urgency into a tent wherein, apparently was one: Jake the Snake, well known to be of, well, small repute, at the very best. The words are not remembered exactly but they were somewhat like: 'the KING.... whole bunch of KNIGHTS ..... REALLY .... NO .... Talymar .... YES .... get OUT here.

Thus a few moments later Talymar himself, pulling on a tunic, quite literally fell to his knees before the King whereupon he saw in the misty torchlight the gold of the Crown upon the King and with him the Prince and all their Dukes and Counts, and Earls, and Knights. The glitter of sword hilts and gold chains and spurs in the firelight danced like firelight itself. In truth their was very muted silence and the King looked down upon the Squire and said, very nearly, "Talymar gan y Llywen, you have shown the greater prowess, nobility, and gentilesse that betoke a member of Our Order of Chivalry. I charge you, therefore, to stand your vigil, think well upon your deeds and your heart; and present yourself to Our court tomorrow upon the field where you will be offered the Accolade of Knighthood."

Upon that instant the King turned, the Prince followed and the two columns faded silently and, as if a fey vision, disppeared into the mist leaving the awed Squire upon his knees in the damp grass of that camp.

The next morning, in the gray of light before battle was joined, King Laurelen offered that young Squire the Accolade of Knighthood.

These things are truly as they were, as nearly as may be remembered, for I was there, and did these things myself upon that time.


Laurelen knighting Talymar at Pennsic 8
Personal tools