Pursuivant's Oath, and notes thereupon

The tabard of an English pursuivant of armsImage via Wikipedia

Firstly, I swear to my Sovereign Lord, the [King | Duke], that graciously allows me to become Pursuivant to His Order of Heralds and to His College of Arms, in His Excellent Presence, to be true in all manners and points; that if I hear any manner of language or any other thing that should touch treason to His high and excellent Person, or to His noble and discreet Council, I shall discover it, so help me the Radiant Lord God.

Secondly, I shall be serviceable and secret in all points discovered to me, excepting treason as said heretofore, and hold myself lowly and humble in obedience to all knights and gentleness, to lords and ladies and to gentlemen and gentlewomen, and shall if asked counsel them to all the truth, worship, and virtue in that in me is, not lying in wait to blame nor to hurt none of the said estate in anything that may touch their honor, so help me Radiant Lord God.

Thirdly, I shall be serviceable and obedient to the Herald who is my Sponsor, and to all my brother Heralds of whatever station, and to the Masters of Ceremonies and the Sovereigns of Arms, and to their superiours in the service of the [King | Duke]. I vow that shall consider dear to me, as my parents, him who teaches me this Craft; that I shall look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them as much of this Craft as they desire to learn when I am come to Mastery; and also that I will in my turn well and duly and gladly instruct, to the best of my ability, the Pursuivants who come after me, so help me Radiant Lord God.

Fourthly, I shall be true of all my reports; I will desire to be, as I may hap to be sent or taken, in the places of assembly both great and small, without fatigue or fear or fumbling; I shall have a ready ear and a clear mind that through me there may be given to my Sponsor a useful report of such worship as is occupied there. I shall dispose myself to be discreet and sober in my appearance, not too busy in language, ready to commend and loth to blame, and impeccable of manners so as to make myself welcome among even the most conscientious; so help me Our Radiant Lord God.

Fifthly, I promise, in case that fortune befall me to meet any gentleman of name and of arms that has lost his goods in Our Sovereign Lord's service, or in any other place of worship, if he requires of me my goods to his sustenance, that I shall give or lend to him as one trusting my Sponsor to repay, so help me Our Radiant Lord God.

Sixthly, if in case I shall be in any place such that I hear any language between gentleman and gentleman that should touch any strife or debate between the two of them or that is not virtuous, and afterwards following that I be sent for to come before [Our Duke | Our Sovereign Lord] to bear witness of the aforesaid language, I shall keep my mouth closed and report it not forth, and bear no witness to it without leave of both parties, and with their leave only shall I say the truth, and then allow neither for love nor for dread, but I shall say only the truth, so help me Our Radiant Lord God and holidom.

Seventhly, also I promise and swear to be true and secret to gentlewomen, widows and maidens, and in the case that any man would disworship them or do them wrong or force them or disinherit them of their livelihood, if they require of me my supportation I shall lend them my good counsel and shall truly and diligently certify them and make a true report of their right to Our Sovereign Lord or to any princes or judges, so help me Our Radiant Lord God.

Eighthly, whensoever His [Grace the Duke | Majesty the King] shall command me or my Sponsor to give any message to any other king, prince, state, or any other person out of this His Realm, or to any person of whatever state, condition, or degree he be of within the same, that I shall as required do or assist in it as honorably and truly as my will and reason can serve me, as near to the charge committed in words and in substance as my said reason may attain to, and greatly to the advantage of Our [Duke | Sovereign Lord] and His Realm. I shall further truly report again of the message and, always keeping myself secret for any manner of motion, only to such persons as unto whom I shall be commanded to utter my charge, discovering in no wise that I have in charge to keep closer than shall be prejudicial to the Duke Our Sovereign Lord and His Realm, so help me Our Radiant Lord God.

Ninthly, I shall do my true duty to grow every day more cunning in the offices of arms, so as I may be better furnished to execute with wisdom and eloquence such charges as My Sovereign Lord and His Realm or of His Realm any nobleman shall lay unto me by the virtue of the office to which I hope His [Grace|Majesty] will one day erect me. I shall do my diligence to have knowledge of all the nobles and gentlemen within His march which should bear coats in the field in the service of Our Sovereign Lord, His lieutenants, officers, and commissaries, and their issue together with them, and such Arms as they rightfully bear, with the difference due to be given.

Tenthly, I promise that I shall forsake all vices, and be no common goer to taverns, the which might cause unvirtuousness and unclean language, and that I be neither a dice player nor a hazarder and that I flee places of ill-repute, and the company of men and women dishonest or corrupt. These articles and other abovesaid I swear truly to keep with all my might and power, so help me Our Radiant Lord God and holidom.

This Oath is much like the Oath of Office of the Herald, but (if not any shorter) a bit less daunting. There are some elements of the two oaths that bear repeating at each stage, and some that should be made only once (upon promotion to the higher grade), and an effort has been made to distinguish them.

The essentials of our Craft are discretion, the truth of our words and of the records we make, and the sustaining, by our service and example, of the due honour of others whatever their degree. We are the Guardians of History, and the Defenders of Posterity, the Heirs of a Tradition that began before any but the gods could write and read, from a time when the Words of men were new in their hearts and minds. We hold a great and sacred Trust and no man may enter upon even the first step of our Profession if he cannot bear it the burden of it adequately, lest the honour of those who trust in him and his service be lost or betrayed or forgotten; the Oath of a Pursuivant is no idle thing; though his responsibilities are less, their fulfillment may be equally as important as those of a King of Arms to those folk we serve.

Also, though is not ideal for a Pursuivant of Arms to remain in the apprenticed position for ever, or even for overly long, yet it is possible that a candidate, despite talent or application, will for a while lack the time to commit to a Herald's full duties even while his Craft is applied continually to the matters in our charge, and so it is especially important that he not be admitted to the College of Arms at all without an Oath well-made to solemnly bind him as one of our brothers.

More Notes:

This is a decalogue, having Ten Points that somewhat presage the Herald's Oath. Most of them have some player-to-player utility, or coördinate in a way with some game mechanic, or have some guild-political, server-political use; given the influence of our RP as Heralds on the enjoyment of others (as, to be frank, people often like hearing us do the colour commentary better than trying to RP themselves), even those few that do not entirely increase our chances of winning at the game are still a plus.

The first clause covers one's primary loyalty, that to the Crown.

The second covers duty to the gentry, though one may note that the Pursuivant has no absolute duty to give advice or counsel unless asked.

The third describes the duty and loyalty owed to the Sponsor and his family, and to the Heralds of the College and on up the chain of command, and lastly to other Pursuivants who know less than the oath-taker. Part of it is borrowed from the Hippocratic Oath. The larger the guild or kingdom gets, the more important the spirit of this clause is. Even if the 'one big happy family' is lacking in the reality of its blood ties, we who pursue this hobby together in *this* rôle really are colleagues, getting much of our best work done with collaboration, or at least peer review and encouragement. Soloing, as most gamers could tell you, mostly sucks.

The fourth covers the responsibility to be both honest and accurate, and also to conduct oneself properly in all groups and at events: not succumbing to shyness, not yawning or looking (sounding) bored, not being rude or crude or unthinking; paying attention and actively listening; not trolling or doing anything outrageous 'for teh lulz' (and not feeding trolls); not talking too much or monopolising conversation; talking about the good in people and not raging or finding fault constantly; keeping speech relatively clean and appropriate for the audience; in short, using all the good manners that can be mustered.

Personally, I'd like to think that, whatever their other talents, our Heralds and their apprentices can keep their tempers, set a decent example, and be the kind of good company that gets invited back just about everywhere, whether in or out of character to any extent. This relates really well to our jobs as minor diplomats and moderators. If we can be the Good Guys, the ones who go "good fight" even to the jerks ... and sometimes, the Bad Guys, who reprimand posters or chatters (in private)-- then some of those in other positions are relieved from the pressure of having to be.

The fifth covers the Pursuivant's part of the Herald's duty to help out distressed Gentry. Note that the Pursuivant is to be repaid for his expenses in this regard by his Sponsoring Herald. This assumes absolute integrity on the part of all concerned. This really isn't anything too fantastical, or even special. The whole guild, all players, ought to be more or less like this, and I believe that all the best guilds already are.

The sixth covers an important point of the discretion required of us. Not even the Duke himself can make a member of the College of Arms repeat what he has overheard between the Gentry (as long as it's not treasonous) without the consent of the speakers. With the consent of the speakers to repeat it, a Herald or even a Pursuivant's word as to what was said is, as a corollary, incredibly powerful and well-trusted. This must always be for a good reason. It can be just roleplay, of course, but there's nothing quite like having a well-deserved reputation for absolute secrecy and absolute honesty in Real Life™, either. Even if you get it in a game.

The seventh covers one of our important duties, storywise, as the Guardians of Posterity. Over generations (a thing which, in some games, we may be able to successfully include in our simulation of mediaeval society), our work in recording the Granting and Inheritance of Arms and fiefs, et cetera, gives us in concert with the Church a kind of pedigree record for everyone. (This is the kind of story background that makes the Duchy of Wessex a huge content upgrade for any game it chooses to play.) Also, our society is set in an age of some chivalry and this point plainly points up our rôle as protectors of characters who are meek, weak, innocent, or simply female (something our RP should live up to even if it means, once in a blue moon, that we have to pretend).

The eighth covers non-disclosure and, again, accuracy. Very true to life, and in life: as a player, you can make instead of break your guild by keeping the right information out of the hands of the wrong people, and by picking up on and remembering details.

The ninth covers the reasonable expectation that the Pursuivant will spend some self-directed time learning the basics of his Craft and the history and structure of the guild that can be picked up by reading, and by getting to know people. The Sponsor has the responsibility to teach, but the Pursuivant is also expected to seek knowledge out in the Cathedral, the Wiki, and elsewhere.

The tenth covers a little bit of RP "limits" that can actually make the rôle and your Pursuivant / Herald character more fun to play, in the long run. The implied expectation, of course, that you actually won't hack or cheat is very real, too.

  • Drawn through Duchy of Wessex tradition and from various historical sources including the Hippocratic Oath.
  • In the Duchy of Wessex, Heralds are allowed to use words like "thereupon". It may even be encouraged by those who get their amusement from the antics of Heralds.
  • It could be worse. Some people get their amusement from twirling cats (thanx & a tip of the hat to a source within AI).

The Barrel

-- In the barrel today: A little bit of everything from Stratics IRC and Mumble --

the trout in the barrel come back
the trout in the barrel come back
(Trout City 11 of 40)

Lepida: If Rathius and Necro are getting it on, one of them has got to be in the Barrel. If you know what I mean.

Ariae: Rathius clearly needs a man's touch, he's about to jump off a cliff.

[11:00] * [AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani slaps Angrybarrel around for a while with a narhwal¹ .
[11:00] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Every great guild has a Barrel.

[11:00] < angrybarrel > hi

[11:00] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> hi.
[11:00] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> NO.

[11:00] < angrybarrel > hi

[11:03] <[AI]BaurusJA> Barrel I got your application. Unfortunately we don't allow "fisting" in our guild. :o
[11:03] <[AI]BaurusJA> :p

[11:03] * [AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani notes that Baurus considers that "unfortunate".

[11:03] <[AI]BaurusJA> Indeed. It is unfortunate, but Shinzon's the boss and he says no
[11:04] <[AI]BaurusJA> We already have Bukkake Wednesday. Shinzon really wasn't a fan of Fisting Friday

[11:05] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Mordkessel used to have ...that... too.
[11:06] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> They're the first place I heard or saw or learned what that word meant.

[11:06] <[AI]BaurusJA> lol

[11:07] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Before that, I innocently thought it was some kind of term in their RP-moon-language for "male bonding". You know, from context.
[11:08] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> But then, they had one character who never said anything in the game but his name. "Squish".

[11:08] <[AI]BaurusJA> hahaha. It could be male bonding, but a very uuhhh well messy form of male bonding
[11:08] <[AI]BaurusJA> lol, dirty minds. Would have fit well in AI

[11:08] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> So I was set up to accept all kinds of eccentricities from them.
[11:11] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> But they had a Barrel. The Anvil Society, and by extension Wessex, have a Barrel.

Every guild organised past a certain point does.
[11:12] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> And if you don't see the Barrel, chances are that you are in it.

[11:17] <[AI]BaurusJA> lol

[11:21] <[AI]BaurusJA> I don't get the goons fascination with pissing off the "serious players". I understand being counter cultural, but don't counter cultural people usually have kind of useful purpose?
[11:21] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> A useful purpose of their own? Not necessarily.

  • (Yes, I am implying the possibility that they are Useful Idiots, and yes, I mean it to sting.)

[10:42] <tricit> it was so funny trolling so hard core while Maerlyn was away

[10:42] <sin> so the mrym guys only lurk around MK???

[10:43] <tricit> you mean they only hack around mk?
[10:43] <tricit> by hack I mean hack wood
[10:43] <tricit> from trees

[10:43] <[Prophecy]TheMap> that dapple wood tree is epic

[10:43] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> If they're not lurking, slinking, or hacking... at wood... it's not the Myrmidons.

[10:44] <[AI]BaurusJA> lol

[10:44] <tricit> they're going to just ban the word hacking

[10:44] <daakkon> i'll ban you from life

[10:45] <[AI]BaurusJA> that's a dirty trick Lepida. Suggesting that you're still in WSX! Oh the humanity! :p

[10:45] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> I *am* still in Wessex.
[10:45] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> This is just protective colouration. Or maybe pajamas.

[10:46] <[AI]BaurusJA> lol
[10:46] <[AI]BaurusJA> Necrojamas?

[10:47] <[Mahti]Zheo> is this the new hyperion [AI][WSX] ? :O

[10:47] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Necro doesn't wear pajamas. He sleeps commando, when he sleeps at all.

[10:47] <[AI]BaurusJA> lol

[10:47] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Oh, calm down, Mahti. It's not what it looks like and it's all Angrybarrel's fault. And Shinzon's.

[10:47] <[AI]BaurusJA> [12:47] <[Mahti]Zheo> is this the new hyperion [AI][WSX] ?---------> will we rule the world?
[10:48] <[AI]BaurusJA> :p

[10:48] * [AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani categorically denies everything.

[10:48] <[Prophecy]TheMap> mm
[10:48] <[Prophecy]TheMap> That name hurts my head.

[10:49] <[AI]BaurusJA> I can't confirm or deny anything. So I won't even go as far as Lepida will to deny anything
[10:49] <[AI]BaurusJA> I will say sources inside AI believe that Lepida is a Wessex spy
[10:49] <[AI]BaurusJA> :D

[10:49] <tricit> the most fun I had in game was having a super hot time in the cave with the minotaurs

[10:49] <[AI]BaurusJA> I didn't say it

[10:50] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> To deny something is to give a comment, and Baurus is way too Mossad for that.

[10:50] <tricit> what are you not confirming or denying
[10:50] <tricit> I am so confused

[10:50] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Tricit, you entertain me so much. =)

[10:51] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Everything you all need to know about Wessex may be summed up in this video:

Rammstein | Links 2 3 4
Uploaded by phatt.

[10:51] <[AI]BaurusJA> Well yeah I mean if Lepida didn't say it already i wouldn't have to make a comment neither confirming nor denying that I am Israeli

[10:51] <tricit> you're talking about wessex?

[10:52] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> And the moral of the story, boys and girls, is to leave the happy little beer-drinking, soccer-playing, head-banging, roleplaying Ants ... *alone*.

[10:52] <[AI]BaurusJA> but I am actually Irish/Polish, but it's up to you to figure out if I'm Jewish or not :)

[10:52] <tricit> baurus Israelis are sometimes goodlucking and sometimes they're butterfaces

[10:52] <[AI]BaurusJA> Traceur???
[10:52] <[AI]BaurusJA> :p

[10:52] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> ...why does his name always come up?

[10:52] <[AI]BaurusJA> because he actually is israeli

[10:52] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> But WSX, too, has a Desert Prince.
[10:53] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Who just turned 18, ladies; form a single-file line.

[10:57] <tricit> are russians butterfaces?

[10:57] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> well, Shinzon's pretty cute.
[10:59] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> But one really should go to http://englishrussia.com/ and make up one's own mind.

[10:59] <[AI]BaurusJA> For a Russian Canadian :p
[10:59] <[AI]BaurusJA> I love that website

[11:02] <[IMG]Isher> you can make jokes about elves

[11:03] <oromea|taz> lol
[11:03] <oromea|taz> isher no he cant!

[11:03] <daakkon> okay
[11:03] <daakkon> what do you call an elf in a tree with a briefcase?

[11:03] <oromea|taz> that's racism too
[11:03] <oromea|taz> make jokes with Laylah instead

[11:03] <daakkon> a branch manager

[11:04] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Oh, leave Laylah in her grave.
[11:04] <[AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani> Bloody necrophile.

[11:04] <Daakkon> cannibal corpse's song necropediphile [CAUTION: NSF Work or Happiness]
[11:04] <Daakkon> is really good

[11:05] <@kootenay> Ok guys time to change the topic

[11:05] * [AI]shh[WSX]Lepida_Nuykani 's fingers twitch as she resists the urge to correct the spelling of that word.

¹ Narwhals: Because a trout-slapping is so last-century.
Just don't let 'em touch your balls.