Thursday, 3 April 2014

A Tradition of Excellence

From the Ursus #143, Dec AS XXVI

by Ceallach Cu Meallain & Aeden o Kincora

Many months have passed since the founding of the White Bear Fian by our former Baron and Baroness -- Aedan and Kaffa. Few people know any detail about the Fian, indeed, few know that the companionship exists. Unlike many Orders of Awards within the Society, membership in the Fian is not granted or recognized by an act of the sovereign or his representative (i.e. Baron or Baroness).

The Fian came into being by the will of many, and finally expressed by Baron Aedan and Baroness Kaffa that honour and dignity on the field and off, should be recognized and fostered. The political mechanism that chooses higher "Society Awards" like the Dragon's Tooth and even the accolade of Chivalry was not adequately recognizing the talents and qualities of Septentrian fighters, archers and scouts. Something was done to counteract this problem. A group based on the Irish Fiana was born.

The opportunity to challenge the order and become new members of such a fellowship was set up on that fine summer's day two years ago, in Eoforwic. Several Septentrians challenged that day and by the end of the day, five Septentrians won the right of companionship in the White Bear Fian.

First to Battle and first to victory was Sir David Martin Failsworth. Sir David, like all other challengers had been found worthy for many reasons. His fighting skills were legendary; he was the first Prince of Ealdormere. His talents in decorative metalwork and dance displayed his prowess beyond the field. Finally, few could question his dedication to the ideals that strengthen the Society -- service and courtesy.

Second of the companionship was Ceallach Cu Meallain. Although a fighter of average talent, Ceallach can fight an opponent with any weapon, whatever it may be. Ceallach had served many years as a marshal so that others could fight in safety. Brewing and woodworking balanced his activities off the field.

Duke Sir Finnvarr de Taahe followed closely upon entering the Fian. His Grace's accomplishments and service on and off the field in over two decades in the Society are more than most can dream of.

Alasdair of Raasey became the fourth companion upon defeating his knight and master, Duke Finnvarr Alasdair's excellence at many arts is closely rivaled by his deadly assault in combat.

The final fellow of the Companionship of the White Bear Fian to date is Tai Chin Wu. Like his master, Sir David, Tai is an example of courtesy and dedication to many in the Society.    His skill at arms is rewarded by the honour of Sir David's first red belt. Likewise, his skill at leathercraft has been recognized by Master Ricard of Sable Tree. With swords, needles or doumbek, Tai Chin Wu is quite skilled.

This is the fellowship of the White Bear Fian. Many have challenged for entry. If found acceptable as challengers by the current Baron and Baroness of Septentria, they will be met by a member of the Fian upon the field to respond to the challenge.

It has become fashionable to challenge exclusive orders. Membership in this fellowship carries no prize; any reward must be found within yourself. Think not that honour and respect will come to you bearing our insignia. Few will know us; few will understand what we are.

If you choose to challenge, be prepared to prove your worth to your Baron and Baroness. The White Bear will only test your worth upon the field. The final test will be your dedication to the ideals of excellence within the Society.

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