After the Announcement

Elevations, Secret Peerage Meetings and More

Written specifically for those residing in the Kingdom of Trimaris by Mistress Maol Mide ingen Medra OL, OP / Mistress Maeva Eiriksdottir, OL / Sir Maximillion von Weald, KSCA

The Moment…

So, you have had a great busy day at the event and although you are tired you put on your finest and head to evening Court. Somewhere toward what must be the end of court you hear your name called by the herald and head up to see what the King and Queen have in store for you. Kneeling there you hear a great deal of nice things being said about you by the Crown and you mentally scroll down the list of awards you have versus ones you have not yet been granted. Wow, the Crown is really going on with extolling your virtues. And then it happens… the Court Herald calls forward the Companions of the Order and you discover that you have been invited into a bestowed Peerage.


The crowd seems to explode with cheering but you probably don’t hear a bit of it. A rush of smiling people hug you and your head is spinning and you feel like you are walking on air. It is an awesome moment and the details of it will likely stick with you for the rest of your life.
So, what comes next?  

The Elevation…

You have a lot of planning ahead. You have probably spent some time in your SCA career considering what you would like to do if you are ever elevated and you may have everything planed down to the details years in advance. If you have haven’t figured it all out just yet, here are some things to consider. There are two regularly seen types of elevations to the bestowed Peerages in Trimaris and it is a good idea to consider your options carefully. If you have a preference for one or the other, this is probably something you’ll want to discuss with your Peer at some point during your association.

The On-the-spot Elevation: On the spot elevations are generally done when a candidate is called into court and announced. The Crown will ask candidates when they would like to be elevated and some chose to have their elevation right then. In this case you probably don’t want to ask for people to speak for you from the various orders since they will have no time to prepare. Your elevation will be announced by the Court Herald and the crown will ask you to swear fealty on the spot. Once you have sworn your fealty your token of Peerage will be presented to you and you will officially be a Peer of the Realm.

The Planned Elevation: Often the Peerage candidate will chose to have an elevation at a later date so they can be sure to have all their loved ones present and have a ceremony and some planning time.  Elevations can be simple or grand but usually have some well known parts.

The Vigil: One possible aspect of an elevation is a Vigil held the night before the elevation ceremony where a Peerage candidate contemplates their upcoming transition and accepts advice from any who would give their counsel. Vigils often have a tent for people to wait under and refreshments of some sort to offer to visitors as well as a tent or area where the candidate can sit aside in private with those who come to offer their counsel.

If you are planning a vigil you will need some help from your friends or your household to make it all come together. You’ll need to consider a laundry list of items and to what degree you would like to present them including: location, refreshments, pavilions, chairs for guests, invitations, times to begin and end the vigil, guards, order of precedence for accepting visitors, thank you cards or gifts for those who help and other needs like lighting or even offering bug-spray for guests based upon the location of your vigil .

Regardless of your vigil being simple or grand, it will require a good amount of planning but will offer you much to think about as you get ready for your elevation. Not all the counsel you receive may be happy, in fact some may use their time to present concerns about you or your upcoming entrance into a Peerage. Remember to be gracious and hear your guests out. Not everything in life is roses and we all have room for improvement. Use any advice you are given to ready yourself for the big job ahead.  

The Elevation in Court: Elevations done in Court generally have a written order, script and a cast of participants who know exactly what to say and when to say it[tjg3] .

Ceremony: Scripted ceremonies are common at elevations. If you have a script, supply it to people as far in advance as possible so they can familiarize themselves with the ceremony and also give copies to the heralds and Crown. Ask the Crown if they are fine with their part in the ceremony and remember that your ceremony is held in Their Court. If the Crown asks for a few small changes, accommodate them. There are no set ceremonies or scripts for Peerage Ceremonies in Trimaris.

Representatives from the Peerages: Many Peerage ceremonies involve representatives from the Peerages speaking about the virtues of the candidates. If you would like people to speak for you ask them as far in advance as possible so they have time to prepare. Not everyone likes to speak in public, so sometimes even a close friend may decline. If someone you ask declines, leave it at that and ask someone else.

The Medallion or Belt and other regalia: Although you will need to find a belt or medallion as a token of your Peerage, it is likely that some member of the order may gift you with this token or one of your friends may have one there for you. Unless your Peer or friend gifts you with a medallion, belt, scroll or any other regalia, you have to make arrangements for those yourself. Make sure you know where your token is coming from before the elevation happens since spare belts and medallions tend to be pretty rare. If your token has a lineage of Peers that have held it before you, this is probably something that you can add to your ceremony!

Elevations for Knights: Knights have many traditions in their vigils and ceremonies that are specific to their order and come down from long ago in history. Other traditions come down simply from the history of the SCA and may be specific by household. For instance, some knight candidates stay up the entire night of their vigil and some go even further choosing to only stand or kneel for the duration of their vigil.

Often knights will choose either a major war or fighting event or a kingdom based event in the future.  This provides them with an opportunity to review and plan, as well as drum up support for whatever event their vigil and knighting will take place at.

Also, at the knighting, the knight-to-be will often receive a buffet.  Usually this is done across the face, but has taken a variety of formats.  This is usually worked out between the knight-to-be and their representative in council.

The Scroll: Peerage scrolls are commissioned by the Peerage candidate from a scribe. Because of the fantastic amount of work that goes into these works of art, often bargains are struck for payment or trade when a scribe is commissioned. If you want something spectacular, be ready to offer something in return. If you aren’t too worried about a particular style of illumination or don’t know any scribes well enough to ask for a scroll then you may contact the Chart Signet and they can help you find someone who would be interested in producing your scroll. If you have a specific wording you would like to use, get that to your scribe as soon as possible since these pieces of art take a long time and calligraphy is usually the first step.

The First Year…

At First, expect the worst

Baby Peer: The first year in a Peerage is much like childhood. While you are trying to find out what being a Peer means and how to adjust to your new responsibilities, you will notice that the perception of people around you changes as well.

People will have adjustment issues: Some people will act estranged due to your new status - they will need some time to adjust and eventually (in most cases) will come around. Give them and yourself time.

People will talk: People - will - talk about you, now maybe more than ever. Know that this is a fact of life that cannot be changed no matter what you do.

Radio silence: Just as much as you will need time to adjust to your new responsibilities and duties, friends and other SCA members might need time to adjust to your new status as well. Occasionally you might experience "radio silence" and even estranged behavior from people you were close to as they try to digest the change.

Just keep it up: Whatever you were doing that earned you your Peerage, just keep it up. This isn’t the time to stop working in your field, this is the time to keep participating and helping others to realize their potential through continuing to teach and by passing on your knowledge.

Helping hands: Never forget that you are not alone in this. Most Peers have gone through similar experiences and might be able to offer helpful advice and pointers.

Starting out: Take your time easing into your new role, taking it one step at a time. Don't loose your head trying to do everything at once now, don't forget to ask for help and don't forget that there is no shame in admitting that you do not know everything

My New Best Friend:  Shockingly, people will make a point in greeting you and those you barely spoke to will suddenly want to spend more time with you.  It’s not your new cologne or perfume and you probably have figured that out.  Since your Peerage is a part of you, however, that doesn't mean these people are not worth getting to know.  Just don't be afraid to ask "Why?"

Change in Focus:  You'll find that trying to maintain your old set of priorities as well as working with your new kingdom-level ones just doesn't work.  Trial and error will tell you where things need to give, and don't be afraid to tell people 'Hey, I'm new at this.'

The First Meeting


Contact the secretary of the order with your contact information after your elevation. When you join the Laurel’s email group check out the files section for a copy of the order charter and archived copies of the order’s newsletter.

The Laurel’s newsletter with a printed agenda is delivered via email about one to two weeks before each meeting. Make sure to read your newsletter before coming to the meeting so you know what is coming up and can prepare any comments you may have about candidates.

Laurels meetings generally go in the following order: Announcements, dismissal of associates and then discussions. Candidate discussions are of an informal (first step) or formal (second-step) variety and allow the Laurels to comment upon candidates. Formal discussions are more in-depth and generally take longer than informal discussions.

Candidates generally go through a nine-ish month process approaching elevation with an informal discussion being held, a formal discussion held at the following meeting and a vote at the meeting after that.

New Laurels may vote at their first meeting.

Everything said at the meeting is expected not to be shared with non-Laurels as the contents of meetings are considered confidential.

By tradition, new Laurels are expected to bring refreshments to share at their first meeting.

If you cannot attend a meeting and know a vote is coming up, you may send a proxy vote to the secretary of the order


The Pelicans’s newsletter with a printed agenda is delivered via email about one to two weeks before each meeting. Make sure to read your newsletter before coming to the meeting so you know what is coming up and can prepare any comments you may have about candidates.

Pelicans meetings generally go in the following order: Announcements, dismissal of associates and then discussions. Candidate discussions are of an informal (first step) or formal (second-step) variety and allow the Pelicans to comment upon candidates. Formal discussions are more in-depth and generally take longer than informal discussions.

Candidates generally go through a nine-ish month process approaching elevation with an informal discussion being held, a formal discussion held at the following meeting and a vote at the meeting after that.

New Pelicans may vote at their second meeting but are welcome to express their opinion at votes held during their first meeting.

Everything said at the meeting is expected not to be shared with non-Pelicans as the contents of meetings are considered confidential.

If you cannot attend a meeting and know a vote is coming up, you may send a proxy vote to the secretary of the order


Upon announcement of your elevation, even though you are awaiting admittance to the order, frequently knights of knight-candidates awaiting elevation will request that they be added to the local Chivalry email list in order to familiarize themselves.  It’s a good opportunity to look up the minutes of the most recent meeting (and earlier) to review what is in store to be discussed in the next meeting.  Candidates are NOT to be discussed online.

Knights meetings usually deal with old business, new business, upcoming wars, new armor/ arms requirements and restrictions, and candidates, including award recommendations and potential knighthood members.

Candidate discussions are not done in any formal format, though; often the knight representing the candidate will usually poll the order for comments.  A vote can be requested by anyone and is subject to the approval of the crown. There is no typical period of time between which a candidate is discussed, when a vote is called, and how often a vote can be requested.

It is tradition the new knight, at their first meeting, bring pizza and beer.

New knights may vote at their first meeting on candidates for knighthood (or whatever the crown requests a poll of the order for).  All knights may vote yea, nay or abstain.

The meeting is confidential.

If you do not attend at a meeting, you cannot vote unless otherwise indicated by the Crown or Order.

Knights meetings are usually announced ahead of time (and traditionally take place at Crown Lyst and Coronation), however, knight’s meetings can be called at any time by the crown.

There is no charter for the Knights of Trimaris.

Remember, while a vote may be positive for a candidate, The Order can only make a recommendation to the crown.  The crown then will decide whether they will accept that recommendation or not (so, if f.e. Your Good Buddy is recommended for the Plum Bruise of Trimaris, that doesn’t mean they’ll get it in the next court.  This is true all the way to recommending a knighthood candidate, though often the crown lets the order know if the recommendation for a knighthood candidate is accepted).

The First Uncomfortable Moment

Some people who never had a friendly word for you before suddenly want to become your new best friend. You are either getting above yourself or not doing enough, now that you are a Peer. Reactions like these, especially during your time of soul-searching as a new Peer, can be very stressful and hurting. Try ignoring it as best as you can. It will pass over due time as things settle down.

In meetings, especially during candidate discussions, you may hear things about someone or something you know which are harsh, and sometimes contrary to what you know or believe.  Keep your cool and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Be certain what you are saying is fact if it is a factual discussion, and clarify when something is an opinion.  But express yourself – at times it may be tempting to become a wallflower and avoid notice, however, you were brought into the circle of Peers for a reason.  Don’t be shy and contribute!  And remember, the discussions in meetings are confidential.

People may ask you why so-and-so isn’t a Peer of your order yet.  It’s often a hard question.  Be sure to explain that you cannot speak for the entirety of your Order, and remind the person in question that the choice to make any Peer is in the hands of the crown.  Always be prepared to stand behind what you say, and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t know them, so I cannot answer that question,”   Just remember to speak for you and not to paraphrase or guess the opinions of others.  Perhaps these questions are something which should be discussed in your

The First Associate

Belts and chains: As the Peer, you can choose to supply these for your associates or even choose to have your associates create their own tokens. As a former associate, you probably have at least one belt and/or chain hanging out at home and passing your old regalia on to your first associate can create awesome lineage items. A belt that has been worn by one, two or even more associates who became Peers may not look fresh and new, but it will mean a lot to your associate.

Senior Associate: If you plan for your senior associate to have a special role in your household or among your associates, make sure to let them know and make sure they are comfortable with that challenge. Senior associates can be a great help in wrangling the rest of your household as it grows and they often help set the tone for the rest of your associates.

Take your time: Before you enter into your first association, make sure you take enough time for you and your future associate to get to know one another.

Six months: After you begin talking try waiting six months before you formally take your associate. The teacher/student relationship may sometimes be a difficult fit so this gives you time to both work out any concerns or questions. Talk to each other and make sure that the relationship is still comfortable both ways before moving forward.

The trial period: If at the end of the six month period one of you feels uncomfortable, talk that over. Maybe a longer trial period or perhaps a break is in order. Associations can last a very long time, so if six months is difficult for anyone involved than years will likely be more difficult. There is no shame in admitting that an association isn’t working for you whether you are the student or the teacher.

Ask what they want: Each student is looking for something different out or their Peers. Try to determine what your students wants from you before you begin the formal association so you are sure your can provide what they need.

Other directions: Sometimes it will become clear that an association is just not a good fit. Remember to be honest and let your student know if it just isn’t working. Sometimes you may be able to point a student toward a new direction such as another Peer who might be able to better work with a particular student. If it isn’t working for you then it likely isn’t working for them either. A new direction will likely be a great new start.

Associations go both ways: Ask your students and associates for regular feedback so you can be sure the associate relationship is working for them and if there is anything more than you can provide. Keeping an open door policy for this type of conversation can help problems from getting out of hand.

“Secret Peerage Meetings”

You may some day be accused of holding or attending a “Secret Peerage Meeting”. The longer you spend as a Peer, the more Peers you are going to get to know. As people come to hold you in esteem they will likely want to know your opinion on a matter or a potential candidate. “Secret Peerage Meetings” are often nothing more than a few Peers who are likely friends getting together to discuss a topic. Friends do this! There is nothing wrong with seeking out your friends with whom you can speak openly on a topic. As a Peer you will have to keep a number of things confidential and sometimes it can be a wonderful relief just to talk to other members of your Order about a topic you have been considering.

Secret Peerage Meeting is also a joking title that Peers give to any accidental meeting of two or more Peers where you are hanging out and discussing any topic (including a recent television show). When someone sees a group of Peers standing together, many assumptions are made about their secret topics of discussion including: “OMG it must be a candidate discussion”, “They hate me!”, or “They are so talking about you!”. Rarely is any gathering of Peers so interesting! Regular “Secret Peerage Meeting” topics include: Deadliest Catch, a new awesome project, putting together an event bid, lamenting the need to attend another meeting, tasty festive beverages, sweet bruises and the eternal question of “Where are we going for dinner tonight?”.

Things to Remember…

The Job to Come: Peerage is a great deal like a promotion at work. More will be expected of you, people may treat you differently, and people might listen to what you have to say moreso than before. You have a great job ahead of you that is some days rewarding and on other days, terribly frustrating.

Staying Humble: Remember that your Peerage plus $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee back in the mundane world and that Peerage isn’t something that should go to your head and make you act differently.

Staying: Your commitment to your Peerage is what you make of it. Life will have many surprises in store for you and you will have periods of time where your participation may have to be lessened by necessity. Take care of your life first and come back ready to pick up your place as a leader in the Society.

Bad Days: Some day you may be having a terrible time of it and just be at wits end. It happens and everyone is bound to have a bad day. Remember that as a Peer people tend to take your words very much to heart and your voice can sometimes travel farther than you intend. Choose your words in public carefully and apologize if you are unnecessarily harsh with someone. We all make mistakes but admitting and apologizing for those mistakes can make all the difference in the world.

Your words can go a long way: Any praise you give to an individual can help to encourage them or spotlight them to others. Any constructive criticism can be taken the wrong way even if meant in the best spirit. Praise often and in public. Criticize gently and in private.

The Rest is Up to You: This is the part where you define yourself as a Peer. Work hard, think carefully, consider your choices and do what seems to be right even if it is tough. Good luck!