This day, we Talymar and Melisande, Baron and Baroness Middle Marches announce the formation of a rapier group to be known as the Companions of the Chevron Cloak. Recognition as a Companion will be neither an award nor an order, but a level of achievement in rapier combat recognized by the other Companions of the Chevron Cloak and bestowed upon the individual by the Baron or Baroness Middle Marches.
They will be a company of skilled rapier fighters who will represent the Middle Marches, both collectively and individually, in wars, melees, and individual combats. Companions are expected to represent the best of all aspects of the rapier community: Honor, Courtesy, Skill, and Service.
Companions will be known by their white cloaks bearing the red Baronial Chevron. These cloaks will also delineate three skill levels within the company: Tier One Companions will trim the edges of their cloaks in red, Tier Two in silver, and Tier Three in gold.
The use of the Baronial Badge by the Companions will in no way impinge upon its use by the Baronial Champions or the Baron or Baroness; however, the use of colored trim on the cloak edges will set them apart.
All members, regardless of level, shall be simply known as “Companions of the Chevron Cloak”.
The Companions shall be a skilled group of rapier fighters, one that the Barony of Middle Marches can point to with pride. However, it should not become an ‘exclusive club’, and criteria for entry should never become so high as to deny admittance to a ‘skillful’ fencer.
Companions will have shown, and continue to demonstrate, the comportment, demeanor, and appearance that befits a member of the Companions of the Chevron Cloak. The activity level of prospective members should also be considered.
At the discretion of the Baron and Baroness, rapier fighters from outside the Barony of Middle Marches could be recognized as a Companion.
The skill levels of the Companions will not necessarily match with the three levels of Baronial Fighting Awards and should be considered separate and distinct. The Warden of the Marche, Hero of the Marche, and Titian of the Marche will continue to be handed out by the Baronage to both heavy and rapier fighters without consultation with the Companions of the Chevron Cloak.
Companions will be responsible for the growth and leadership of the Companionship. Companions themselves will be responsible for any necessary paperwork and record keeping, as well as providing cloaks to members of the company.
Companions will decide who has met the criteria to join their ranks and provide that advice to the Baron and Baroness Middle Marches who, if in agreement, shall make the recognition in Baronial Court. This should in no wise be construed as a “polling order.”
The Three Skill Levels
As Companions grow in skill and move through the tiers listed below, they may add lines of trim to their cloak. At the creation of the Companions, Their Excellencies will induct members they feel represent the Barony and the expectations of that skill level, to be the premiers of each tier. As a symbol of being a premier, level three Premier Companions may wear the gold trim only – without the silver or red below it. Level two Premier Companions may wear the silver trim without having the red below it.
NOTE: It is extremely important to understand that the Kingdom or Baronial awards listed below under each skill level are only for general guidance. The Baron, Baroness, and Companions will make decisions on membership, and such decisions will not be mandatorily limited to the achievement, or lack of achievement, of those awards. Criteria for entry to each Tier will be further refined by the initial Companions and brought before the Baron and Baroness Middle Marches.
At any official SCA event to include Kingdom, Baronial, and official practices, individuals interested in joining the Companions, or improving their level, may set up announced “gauntlet challenge” bouts with one or more current Companions. A senior member of the Companions will be the organizer and record keeper of the bouts, comments, and win/loss score – however, the win/loss score shall be considered as only one element among those discussed here. The position of organizer and record keeper should be held on a rotating basis. Whenever possible, the Baron and/or Baroness Middle Marches should be invited to watch such gauntlet challenges, and their thoughts recorded.
For purposes of the official challenge, each challenge should be at least 5 passes, but not more than 10. If possible, the challenger should face at least three different Companions (of the level they are challenging into or higher) on the same day. Win/Loss is recorded, as well as styles used and experience levels of both fighters. Companions should provide feedback to the challenger, mark any commentary of skill and comportment, and turn it in to Their Excellencies Middle Marches or the Secretary of the Companionship. For purposes of admittance or advancement, no less than 25% of a level’s members should be willing to recommend a challenger.
Companions shall be entitled to wear Red trimmed cloaks.
Suggested Criteria: Individuals who have two or more years of experience in rapier fighting to include both individual and melee combat, and/or are a Warden of the Marche given for Rapier combat. Members should be proficient in at least three weapon forms. Members shall have an appropriate level of Activity/Participation and demonstrated Service to the rapier community of the Middle Marches.
Lady Leofwyn Godwinsdottir of Dernehealde
Lord Miles Longfellow
Lady Albreda Ismeria
Lord Andreas Renardi
Lord Lazaro de Toledo
Duke Talymar gan y Llwyn**
Lord Steve of Tirnewydd
Lady Macrina Archangela Paladini
Companions shall be entitled to wear Silver trimmed cloaks.
Suggested Criteria: Individuals who are a member of the Cavendish Knot, a Hero of the Marche in rapier combat, and/or a past Middle Marches Baronial Champion. Individuals should have a demonstrated proficiency in multiple weapons forms. Members shall have an appropriate level of Activity/Participation and demonstrated Service to the rapier community of the Middle Marches.
Warder Acelin of the Wilds*
Lady Gwyneth Banfhidhleir*
Lord Torquil MacAlpine*
Lord Adam der Strom
Companions shall be entitled to wear Gold trimmed cloaks.
Suggested Criteria: Individuals who are a Master/Mistress of Defense, a Bronze Ring, a Titan of the Marche in Rapier Combat, and/or a past King or Queen’s Champion. Members shall be proficient in all weapons forms. Members shall have an appropriate level of Activity/Participation and demonstrated Service to the rapier community of the Middle Marches.
Master Darius Lowen*
Mister Mirabai Sit Al-Sirr*
Baron Marco Borromei*
Duchess Kateryn Bronwen of Gloucester*
Duke Edmund of Hertford
Baron Uilleag Balbhan*
Countess Katherine Vivian*
** Creator of Companions of the Chevron Cloak as Baron