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What Do Laurels Do?

As taken from Corpora, the duties of a Laurel are:

  • To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.
  • To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct.
  • To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and the governing documents of the Society.
  • To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Laurel.

So how do we accomplish this? Well, first off, active Laurels teach. We teach informal classes and formal collegia; we teach special students singly or in small groups of two or three; and we take apprentices for intensive one-on-one training, including the Peerage Qualities.

We judge Arts & Sciences competitions. Of course, you don't have to be a Laurel to be asked to judge -- but often the most qualified person available to do the judging is one of us. We try to do a good and fair job, to provide the right mix of praise, pointers to more information, and constructive criticism. Alas, we know we sometimes don't succeed. If you ever feel that you have been judged unfairly, or we didn't understand your documentation, please come and talk to us about it. We don't bite!

We encourage the formation of guilds, and often take a turn at running them. Guilds exist to encourage and provide specialised information for particular facets of the Arts & Sciences. For example, members of the Brewers' Guild publish a newsletter, exchange recipes, help each other find period brewing sources, swap practical information, and sample and comment on each others' brews ("Tashtes great. More pleashe.") Master Gunnric has been active in the Brewers' Guild for many years, and has helped many with the basic and advanced aspects of brewing.

Every year at the Rowany Festival we organise the Laurels' Prize Tourney, an Arts and Sciences exhibition where all may show completed and in-progress works, and receive feedback from us and the general populace. Some Laurels like to give small tokens of appreciation to those whose work we like most. The Tourney is not a competition, and is not judged in a formal manner -- no score sheets, no written critiques. We chat to the exhibitors, encourage them to talk about how their projects started and where they got their inspiration, suggest other people they could talk to, explain how to do difficult bits or pass on special tricks we've learned, and learn lots of things we didn't know.

Any group can ask for a visit from the Laurel Freedom Bus. OK, you say, what's that? Well, the Bus is a group of your nearest Laurels who will come and do a weekend of classes in their specialties, and generally encourage the A&S thing for your group. It began several years ago, with the first Freedom Bus to St Florians, where many classes and a delectable feast were held to the enjoyment of all. We bring our skills and large chunks of our libraries, and if your group needs help with things outside the practicable range of Laurels in that field, we bring any non-Laurel experts we can co-opt (if they don't mind travelling on the roof rack, of course :-). If your group is a long way from anywhere, we'd appreciate a bit of help with the costs (we may be all-knowing*, but we aren't all-earning, alas).

* As everyone knows ;-), all Laurels know everything about everything. All knowledge known to any Laurel anywhere in the Known World is passed to each new Laurel during the hugging bit in the Laureling Ceremony. And you probably thought we just liked groping each other... :-)

All Peers have a duty to advise the Crown and Coronet, primarily regarding recommending new Peers for their Orders. We do some other advising as well -- for example, we help the Regalia Committee decide on what new bits should be added, and come up with appropriate period exemplars for thrones, coronets, ceremonies, and so on. Royalty also have a disconcerting habit of asking for our opinions on all sorts of things, so us being informed of what the populace in general think is a Good Thing. That means you should feel free to talk to us. We aren't actually as scary as we look (we couldn't possibly be!).