The Code

Too Valhalla! Too Valhalla! Too Valhalla!

History

The noble brotherhood of the Kensmen was first created by Queen Rayne of Gwynedd in 1982. This heretofore unheard of honour was fist bestowed on Iskandar the Grimm, and all who would hold this title must trace their lineage back to him. For this reason he is called the All-Father of the Kensmen.

Since its creation the Kensmen have grown into an interrealm and intersport fraternity, with Kensmen and Swordbrothers appearing throughout Markland, the SCA, Belegarth, Hearthlight, the ACL and Dagorhir; where it began.

The Way of The Kensmen (The Code)

The rank of Kensmen is a title regarding combat and warfare. All Kensmen meet certain requirements for combat skill, tactics, leadership, melee ability, battlefield awareness, stealth and endurance. All Kensmen conduct themselves according to the Way of the Kensmen at all times, one of honor and of traditions known only to them.

The warrior wishing to earn the title of Kensmen, be they male or female, must first become a Swordbrother to a sanctioned Kensmen. To become a Swordbrother, the warrior must first petition a sanctioned Kensmen to be accepted for training. If the warrior is accepted, he/she shall be known as a Swordbrother until such time as they have earned the rank of Kensmen.

This training shall last a minimum of two years, often considerably longer, (exceptions maybe made for veterans with ten or more years of fighting experience). A Swordbrother’s training shall be considered complete when they have mastered the following skills and proficiencies:

I: The Swordbrother must master (be considered exceptional with) three weapons styles, to be determined by the Kensmen and Swordbrother.

II: The Swordbrother must prove themselves proficient (competent) in all common weapons styles

III. The Swordbrother must then learn basic combat tactics, and develop a strong personal presence on the battlefield. He/she must be able to lead the unit into battle, and to have earned the faith of the unit to the point that they will follow him/her as they would the other Kinsmen. The Swordbrother must also learn leadership methods and responsibilities, melee principles, skirmishing technique, stealth abilities, flanking, etc… The Swordbrother must also show that he/she is portable, i.e., that they can transport themselves to a battle and armor and accouter themselves appropriately and quickly.

IV: The Swordbrother must master three non-fighting period arts. These can be any number of skills such as bardic (story telling, singing, musical instrument, etc…), cooking, leather, iron, or wood working, as approved by your Kensmen. These skills are often proven either by showing a body of work (as in leather armor, carved wooden items, jewelry, etc) or by entertaining with the use of bardic skills at an event or campout, cooking at several feasts, etc…

V: The Swordbrother must learn to craft his own passable (local and national events) weapons and garb (Dag/Bele minimal garb requirements). By the time a Swordbrother is ready to attain the rank of Kensmen, he/she should have crafted a Historic (based on a historical period in time) of Heroic ( based mostly on historical places/dates, with the addition of fantasticle creatures/beings {dragons, elves, orcs, ogres. etc}) personna. He/She should have garb and weapons that reflect that personna as much as is possible. A good example would be a Norseman wearing chain maille, armed with bearded axe and round shield, or a Gael, wearing plaid pants, painted in wode, armed with leaf bladed sword, and tall oval scutum. Kinsmen are expected to be an example to others on the field, as well as off.

VI: The Swordbrother must learn to build and maintain a campfire. The manner and conditions under which this is to be done (friction, flint & steel, matches, etc…) is to be decided by the Kensmen.

VII: The Swordbrother must be able to show a working knowledge of local flora and fauna. They must be able to identify common trees and their uses, available edible and medicinal plants, as well as tracks and spore of local wildlife. Additional tasks may be required by the Kensmen (build wilderness shelter, low impact hiking/camping, etc…, as they see fit.

VIII: The Swordbrother must learn to read and write in FUTHARK, fluently. A Swordbrother should be able to translate into and out of FUTHARK easily.

IX: A SwordBrother must learn and commit to memory his lineage back to Iskandar the Grimm, All-Father of the Kensmen, as it was taught to him/her.

X: A SwordBrother must prove themselves able to teach, as well as learn. If a Kensmen is unable to pass on his/her knowledge to the next generation, we shall have stagnation. If the Kensmen are to continue to grow, we must be able to teach, or our lineage shall pass away.

The Swordbrother is then called before the assembled Kinsmen and asked to recite his/her lineage back to Iskandar the Grimm. In doing this we make sure the Swordbrother knows from whence he/she and whence the title comes. Also the Swordbrother must know the history of his House, and Unit. In this we honor our past and we learn wisdom from those who are our ancestors. The Swordbrother is then questioned further, to the satisfaction of all the Kinsmen of the Council.

After the training period is completed, and the Swordbrother has shown all of the traits and accomplishments listed above, the Council of Kensmen shall be held and upon their approval shall the Swordbrother be allowed to ascend to the rank of Kensmen.

The Council of Kensmen

The Council of the Kensmen meets irregularly to discuss a wide variety of topics, such as the training of Swordbrothers, the suitability of candidates, or the states of their realms. Sometimes, though, they just drink and pretend they’re talking about important things.

I. The Dagorhir/Belegarth Kensmen Council is held at least once a year, usually at a large event such as Ragnarok or Winter War

II. The Grand Kensmen shall be the oldest of the Kensmen, he/she shall be the oldest of their line that is living of all the Kensmen.

III. To attend you must have achieved the rank of Kensmen. Knights may be invited to attend a Council to give advice on what they may hear or know, however they have no voting capacity on the Council. This type of invitation may also be extended to Kensmen from Knights’ Councils.

IV. All Kensmen in attendance at an event where a Kensmen Council is called are expected to attend.