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what it is that i do - when you don't know what to do...
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what it is that i do
I went up to Stonemarche tonight to help sibilla_dangers and kiena_s and amcnh do a seminar on what it is to be a retainer.  It was a lot of fun, and I'm hoping most fervently that the folks who showed up weren't frightened away by the enormity of what can be a vital, yet incredibly rewarding job.  I was asked to do a talk in Towers about this very subject, but they asked me before I really knew what it was to retain for ruling nobility.  I have a much better clue now, and sibilla_dangers and kiena_s said that they'd be happy to take the show on the road to help me.  I'm told that jdulac wants something like this for Carolingia as well, so this may end up as The Lady In Waiting Traveling Road Show.

In the usual after-gathering yakfest in the parking lot, I got to talking with Baroness Stonemarche, and she mentioned that part of getting their retinue together is getting people involved with working court.  They already have a very able baronial herald, but I'm sure that he could use some support -- can't hurt to have other folks trained up in case he can't make an event.  So I offered to teach a class on setting up a docket, along with other tips and tricks of court and vocal heraldry.  I'm not so great at extemporizing, but I'm really good at loud.  I'll have to see what I can do about communicating that skill. though.  She suggested that Harper's Retreat, over Labor Day weekend, would be a good venue, and that will give me time to brainstorm the syllabus (and talk to baronadhemar about doing it *wave*).

i feel: tired tired
i hear: Lacuna Coil - Devoted

16 trips or shoot the rapids
xianghua From: xianghua Date: July 12th, 2006 11:17 am (UTC) (base camp)


No one down here ever puts on such interesting classes. *kidnaps you*
baronessmartha From: baronessmartha Date: July 12th, 2006 11:35 am (UTC) (base camp)


We are wiley and sneaky and quick. We will snatch her back before you can turn your face to the sun.

You may of course borrow her with the correct permission slip, I think I have one in here somewhere...
starseeker1221 From: starseeker1221 Date: July 12th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC) (base camp)
It was a wonderful class, and I'm glad I was able to make the trip up there for it... and I don't think any of it would have scared people away-- it was a lot of information, but it was all clear and useful info and not overwhelming or scary :-)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I keep forgetting that sometimes what I think is "deer in the headlights" looks in people's faces is actually rapt attention.

Glad you could make it! It's an awfully long drive from Worcester. Maybe you can come help out when we do the Mark II class, in Carolingia.
shadowpony From: shadowpony Date: July 12th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) (base camp)
There was some actual "deer in the headlights" thoughts between the rest of my rapt attention. ;) But most of that was knowing how few retainers are likely to go to War Camp, and realizing that more people might be looking at me... the class info wasn't the scary part. :)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC) (base camp)
That's the thing -- they shouldn't be looking at you, they should be looking at TRM, for the most part. You're going to be fine!
kiena_s From: kiena_s Date: July 12th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC) (base camp)
it was alot of information and i do hope helpful. i was very glad you were there as you brought many excellent points that i had forgotten all about. i think this is why we all work so well together and make such a good team - we compliment each other.

i will be more than happy to help take the show on the road and i would be very much interested in being a particpant in your herald session. i have been, and still am, interested in doing court heraldry, just wicked shy - yes, really - about doing it.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I think you'd be great -- just have to get you through the first five words, and then (usually) it gets much easier from there.
orlacarey From: orlacarey Date: July 12th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Hrmmm...have you thought about putting together an article for Tournaments Illustrated? The reason I ask is a few years ago I was asked to be a Baronial Retainer and turned it down because I could not get a satisfactory answer as to what the duties are. I really haven't seen anything in writing anywhere either. While I grant you the duties would be slightly different in different kingdoms etc, I think it would be a useful article.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC) (base camp)
It's not just different in different kingdoms, it's different depending on who you're working for. But yes, I'll try to write something up and have my friends go over it, since it was really their class, and I'll at least post it here. (I haven't read TI in years, so I don't know what they've been publishing lately.)
rufinia From: rufinia Date: July 12th, 2006 07:58 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Duties are massively different in different kingdoms. The basic premise is the same: You work behind the scenes to make Them look good. How it's expected that happens varies from area to area, from level to level (what you need as a Baronial retainer is different from what you need as a Principality level retainers whihc is different from what you need as a Kingdom Level retainer) and from pair to pair. There isn't a one size fits all equation. I was the Chamberlain (what we called Head Retainer/Chief of Staff) for the Pirnce and Princess of Northshield, and I can tell you it's different from what I see people doing here form teh King and Queen of the East.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I was the Chamberlain (what we called Head Retainer/Chief of Staff) for the Pirnce and Princess of Northshield, and I can tell you it's different from what I see people doing here form teh King and Queen of the East.

how is it different?
rufinia From: rufinia Date: July 12th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC) (base camp)
More organization, but I suspect that's more of a Principlaity v Kingdom thing, or a more expereince in having our own royals thing than a regional thing. (The reigns before and after ours were pretty fast and loose, too.)

More regalia to handle in the East, OMG (again, more likely due to age. The crap does pile up).

I've seen K&Q of the East run around with few (or no) retainers (not so much in the case of B&A, though I do know that B sometimes ditches retainers).

And there was a definate retainer hierarchy in the Midrealm/NS. Who was on top when, and at GNE I'll show you how then Lord Heir Raito described who was in charge during Niklos and Aramantha's reign (he and Niklos were near the bottom) and how my predescessor told me how to deal with the chamberlains of the MK royalty. it's better explained with booze.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I do know that B sometimes ditches retainers

He doesn't have as many. We Ladies are often loaned out to him because he only has three squires here, and A has ladies in waiting *and* guardsmen. Generally speaking, A has two ladies and a guard, and B has a lady or a squire with him. Thing is, most of the retainers are people they hang out with *anyway*, so you might not recognize when they're on duty as opposed to just being there because there is where they want to be.

We have a hierarchy, but it's subtle. There are Chiefs of Staff and a Head LIW, and each LIW team has a lead when we're on shift. But it's fluid, and there's no "pecking order." In short, other than the acres of regalia, I think it's more similar than you know, but also more subtle.

But discussion over booze is never a bad thing. You should stop by and visit at Pennsic.
rufinia From: rufinia Date: July 12th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I'll be living next door to you, silly- Moomba sublets from Strawberry Fields.

Within our retinue, we had a heirarchy- there was me, and there was in theory Lyulf but he never showed up to anything, and when he was around he just did what I told him, and then there was everybody else. The pecking order among the other royal retainers for the other members of the royal family (at the time there were four pairs) was slightly more complicated.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 12th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC) (base camp)
You didn't in '04, which is the last time I was at Pennsic. Neener.

(That will make it easier to discuss IKA over booze, then.)
16 trips or shoot the rapids