The edition of the Society Marshal’s Handbook (SMH) released in August eliminated special categories of non-contact battlefield participants such as scouts. All such participants were to meet minimum armor standards and authorize as heavy fighters. As such, they could then be struck.
Lochac, with a unique and extensive tradition of “mixed” battlefield combat including non-contact banner bearers and archers, was more greatly affected by this ruling than most kingdoms. According to one advocate, up to one-fourth of their total fighting force consists of light combatants. As previously reported on SCAtoday.net, a grassroots response arose to maintain the opportunity for “light” fighters to play on the battlefield.
When he became aware of the problem -- actually before the issue was widely known -- Sir Gregory took up the issue in negotiation with the SEM. After several months of discussions, the SEM and KEM reached a compromise. Banner bearers and archers will continue to play in a new, non-contact category called “plumed fighters,” from the plumes that “lights” traditionally used to mark their status. They will, however, comply with the requirement for minimum heavy armor.
In a statement requested by SCAtoday.net, KEM Sir Gregory said, “Sir [sic] Hrothgar was considerate of our issues and we worked together to develop a compromise that would allow Lochac to function within the new SMH whilst maintaining our local flavor of Archery.... The Crown and Key Officials in Lochac were always kept informed of where the discussions were up to. These things are not solved by one quick phone call or by the thumping of fists on a table. They are resolved with calm negotiation and reason on both sides. I was very lucky that Sir Hrothgar was a like minded person and as a result all our discussions were amicable and productive.... I wish to stress that it was ‘an informed combined decision,’ not a win or lose."
Duke Hrothgar did not respond to a request for comment.