An Introduction to the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom of Meridies
Countess Dalla Dyrfinna
As a new resident of the Kingdom of Meridies, you will notice that some things are done differently here. Mostly this is due to the climate, our SCA heritage, or simply a blend of our southern roots. To help make your transition a smooth one, this page lists some of these customs and hints to help you enjoy your stay in our kingdom.
Event fees in Meridies are for the entire weekend and may include not only bed-space but several meals. Some events will include traveler’s fare Friday night and lunch on Saturday. You will want to consult the event’s Popular Chivalry flyer or online flyer to confirm all amenities offered. Meridies is fortunate to have many event sites that offer cabins, dining halls, and full kitchens. Many of these buildings are heated; some are air-conditioned. Most sites have shower facilities and electricity available, but, as always, please check with the event’s autocrat to confirm what each site has to offer.
Most activities offered across the Known World are available in Meridies, though local activities vary. Martial activities include armored combat, rapier fencing, youth combat, field, and combat archery, live thrown weapons, and equestrian. Anyone interested in these activities should contact the Earl Marshal’s office for kingdom rules and authorization. A variety of Arts and Sciences activities are also available including guilds, competitions, an artisan’s row at many events, Equestrian, Falconry and Hound Coursing.
Associates to the Peerage
The Associate structure is strong in Meridies. It is customary for members of the Peerage to take on associates as they are able: Knights/Squires; Pelicans/Proteges; Laurels/Apprentices. Some Peers also include in their households men-at-arms, pages, and others. Baronies in Meridies do not create Sergeants, as is more common in the west. Meridies also does not have an order of the White Scarf (rapier fencing). Coronets follow Society conventions.
Belts – Aside from the Society standard of white belts, and gold neck chains and spurs for Knights, which is a kingdom law, tradition holds that unadorned red belts, silver chains, and silver spurs are reserved for Squires. Although not specified by Society law, traditionally, unadorned yellow belts are reserved for Proteges, and green belts for Apprentices.
If you are a Peer moving in from another Kingdom, it is recommended that you contact the Secretary of your Order to confirm meeting dates and places, and ask to be put on the Order listserve.
Other – Kingdom laws also apply to badges of orders, collars of estate, batons, and supporters on heraldic arms.
Information on Meridian Sumptuary Laws can be found in the Kingdom Law PDF
To support the participation of children and their parents, kingdom law states that children under the age of 18 are free unless the child is eating event food, in which case they will pay the “on board” fee. There may also be a charge for children if the site charges a “per head” fee or if the child is using bed space that is limited, in which case there may be a charge for that bed space. SCA policy for Children’s Activities: Please consult the Society Seneschal’s Handbook Appendix A for the full policy which applies at all Meridian events.
Many Meridian events offer activities for children. Please contact the host group in advance for specifics.
Residents of Meridies will experience all forms of weather during the year, from snow in the southern Appalachians in the winter to hot, steamy weather in most of the region in the summer. SCA members are advised to come to events prepared with warm cloaks and layered garb/lightweight breathable tunics or chitons, as warranted by the forecast. In the summer, all event attendees, especially fighters, are strongly advised to drink enough liquids and watch for sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Sunscreens are needed year-round.
Insect repellants are recommended for all outdoor events during warm weather. Mosquitoes and fire ants are pervasive in Meridies, these ants produce an acid that can sting and cause swelling. Check for anthills before setting up camp, and watch your children. As with any outdoor activity, it is recommended that you prepare yourself and your family for exposure to sun and nature.
Just so that you are not alarmed the first time you see it, in Meridies the Crowns do not step down, they die – or otherwise can no longer reign. The philosophy behind this is that, in period, a sovereign would never simply pass on the crown. This always involves a certain amount of theatrics, followed by a break in Court, after which the new King and Queen are crowned. In between, the Chivalry guards the thrones, and ensure that when the Heir returns to court, the Kingdom is secure and ready for our new Sovereign and Consort.
I want to welcome you personally to our wonderful kingdom and hope that you enjoy your time with us. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the officers on this website-any one of us would be glad to help make your SCA experience with us an enjoyable one!
Countess Dalla Dyrfinna, Kingdom Chatelaine