Still catching up, I’ll cover the Fyrd Retreat and some personal stuff today.
First, the Fyrd Retreat. It is almost impossible to explain the impact and importance of a Fyrd Retreat. No other kingdom has anything like it, that I’ve seen. This is not to say that retreats by other groups aren’t important and in many cases very similar, but I suspect that participants in those retreats also have issues describing what they mean.
In the SCA, the Fyrd is unique. I believe it to be the only AoA level polling order. I do know that the Scarlet Banner and Stag’s Blood of Ealdormere and the Outlands, though their creators were influenced by the Fyrd pale in comparison. This is not a reflection of the quality of people and fighters in those orders, merely that the orders themselves have not evolved in the same way as the Fyrd have.
There is a brotherhood to the Fyrd that other AoA and most GoA level fighting orders lack. When I was Ealdormere talking about the Fryd Retreat a couple of summers ago, there were only two people who I felt understood the depth of feeling, Hereward and Adrielle. This isn’t surprising since we created an award specifically for Hereward that Adrielle has also received that says that were they to live in Calontir, we would consider them part of the Fyrd.
So, HRM Katrine, Eric, and I left Celidh to proceed down to the Fyrd Retreat, a four hour or so drive. We got there just before ten, but there was much left to be done. Usually a Fyrd Retreat has hanging out on Friday night, fighting and lounging on Saturday day, a good potluck type meal, and then the important part, the discussion of what’s important about the Fyrd and partying that happens on Saturday night. We got there in time to take part in some of that discussion. We each asked what was the single word which describes the Fyrd, my word was responsibility. It has always been a major thought in my mind that as a Fyrdman I have a greater responsibility, as my actions reflect not only upon myself but upon over 400 brothers and sisters. This is a responsibility I have borne since 15 February, 2002, and once I will bear the rest of my life. This can only be a good thing for me as a person.
Iggy also suggested we tell everyone our most important memory that we’ve had since the previous year’s Retreat. Mine, of course, was the rainy evening at Estrella when Katrine asked me to be her Champion, one of the greatest moments I have ever and will ever have.
The rest of the evening devolved in the silliness and fun of 40 drunken brothers and sisters. It was great. I can’t explain it more than that.