ASC-01-14-20

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Ansteorran Story Corps: January 14, 2020: Share a story about a Lion of Ansteorra, or about what being named a Lion meant to you, or what makes the Lions important to Ansteorra.

Don Stephen Paul Blakeley

(Written April 15, 2019, submitted to the wiki on 03/04/2020)

The Lions of Ansteorra are the Keepers/Defenders of the Dream. They have the right/duty to enter into court un-announced and address the populace. The award carries no rank, but is one of the most respected awards in the kingdom.

But what is a Lion? Lions do what must be done for the greater good of the SCA. Sometimes it is big and boastful being loud in court and proclaiming for all the populace. Sometimes it is doing the quiet things, that rarely people notice but that need to be done. A few years back I posted about Iago passing down a pin he had been given 20 years before to a youth bard who went toe to toe with 3 former kingdom bards at Candlemas. Saturday I witnessed another one of those acts of selflessness that make the Lions so loved. I chose not to photograph this due to the expression on his face, but I will give wordfame even so.

When it was announced that there was no Lion Medallion to be given to Avery, Robin of Gilwell looked down at his own medallion and even though it was personalized for him with his badge on the back, Robin pulled the medallion from around his neck, quietly and without any words I could hear handed it to Her Majesty Conal to place around Avery's neck. The look on his face told how much that medallion meant to Robin, but it was what was needed, so it was done, quietly and in the background. My hat is off to you, Robin. Very very well done. That, my friends, is the Soul of Lion to me.

His Grace, Duke Inman MacMoore

04/08/20: Zubeydah Al Badawiyyah asked me if I had a story of a Lion of Ansteorra that inspired me. Oh yeah! I'll try to hit the high points. 1994 , Ansteorra is leading the fight with the BOD over mandatory memberships and the mundane CEO they had hired to enforce it. Our people said fight and we did. It was a back alley brawl. They threatened to revoke our memberships and banish us for life. They even threatened to sue us. Athena and I were in a win or die situation but we weren't alone. Our Kingdom Seneschal was with us. I gave him the option to run while he had the chance but he never flinched. He helped guide us through the traps they tried to set and gave us sage advice anytime we needed it all the while knowing that he could lose everything. When the smoke cleared we were still standing, and Pay to Play and the CEO were gone forever. Our Seneschal was Sir Frederick von Sternwald and no finer nor braver man ever lived in this kingdom. During these five months of hell, he gave real meaning to Defender of the Dream -- not just for Ansteorra but for the whole Known World. It was my honor to acknowledge what he already was and make him a Lion of Ansteorra. I don't think he plays much now, but if you should ever come across him, thank him for helping save the SCA that you play today. I am so proud to call him friend.