Guidelines of the Drafn Warband
A Warband in the Society for Creative Anachronism
The Drafn Warband was formed in the fall of 1979 as the fighting arm of a household called Stillvatn. Stillvatn was an attempt to create an idealized feudal household in the current Middle Ages. We hoped that the members of Stillvatn would set an example of courtesy and authenticity for everyone in the SCA, and that Drafn would set an example of skill and chivalry on the field. An excess of unrealistic rules and expectations crippled Stillvatn, and Drafn split off from it in the Spring of 1981. By early 1983, when we first challenged Crimson Thunder, Drafn had evolved into a small but closely knit fighting unit. Since then it has grown both in numbers and reputation.
Drafn is a super-household, i.e., its members are encouraged to join or form more conventional households as they see fit. In 1990, one of these households split off to form a Celtic warband called An Tuatha. Drafn began in the Caidan Barony of Calafia and is an active supporter of Calafia’s Iron Brigade. There is a branch of Drafn in the Barony of the Western Seas. Drafn would like to encourage members of Drafn in remote areas to recruit fighters, form a Viking/Varangian band based on Drafn, but making members (including candidates and voting membership) will be restricted to the main Drafn branch.
Much of our success has resulted from the fact that we are a narrowly-focused fighting unit with a few simple goals:
- To promote the goals of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Inc.
- To provide our Kingdom with a well-trained and fully equipped fighting unit composed of gentlepersons of valor and good breeding.
- To provide the public and our friends in the SCA with a lively and interesting picture of the Varangian Guard and Norse Culture, and to show its influence on European customs.
- To promote the gentle art of Rattan-do.
- To sustain a period encampment of the Viking Age.
- To have parties.
Households and Warbands, like individuals, should have distinctive personas. The Drafn Warband was started by veterans of the Varangian Guard in the late Ninth or early Tenth Centuries and flourished until well after the fall of Constantinople in 1204 A.D. Drafn operates from a base in the Baltic region, and has recruited Irishmen, Saxons, Scots, and others who are willing to accept the Varangian training and discipline. The armor, weapons, and tactics used by Drafn reflect a blending of Byzantine and Northern European influences. The Jomsviking Saga describes a similar group.
4. NAME AND DEVICE
The name “Drafn” is a contraction of the Old Norse words “dreki” and “rafn” – dragon and raven. Lady Chloe designed the wyvern-like emblem that we carry on our shields.
At least two medieval towns, one on the Oslo Fjord in Norway and another on the banks of the Volga River in Russia, were named Drafn. The name means something like “place where driftwood washes up on the shore.”
5. MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
5.1 WHO MAY JOIN
Drafn is not a secret society or an exclusive social clique, thus membership is open to anyone of good character who shares the group’s interests and who meets the requirements given herein. We neither exclude nor actively seek new members outside of the geopolitical areas where there are branches. There are several types of membership. Anyone wishing to submit a name to the membership for candidate, friend of, voting membership, or senior membership, must have a cloak at the time of the voting.
Prospective members of Drafn are made Candidates by a consensus vote of the Members. Fighting candidates usually spend anywhere from six months to several years as candidates before they become voting members. Each candidate must:
- Not be exceptionally obnoxious, boring, or dim-witted.
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Be an authorized SCA fighter (if qualifying as a fighter).
- Own a complete suit of functional and approved armor (if qualifying as a fighter).
- Be vouched for by a sponsor or several members.
If qualifying as a non-fighter the potential candidate must show significant interest in contributing to Drafn’s goals through service to the Drafn Warband. Candidates may be elected any time a quorum is present (see 7.8 Quorums). Candidates must meet all of the requirements listed above before a vote is taken (see 7.10 Waivers).
5.3 FRIEND OF DRAFN
The voting members may award “Friend of Drafn” status to others who are important to Drafn but who, for various reasons, cannot or choose not to be voting members. These include members of other groups, visitors attached to us for limited periods of time, etc. The dependents and retainers of members are unofficial friends of Drafn, and always welcomed at any Drafn event. Friends of Drafn may be elected any time a quorum is present (see 7.8 Quorums).
5.4 HONORARY MEMBERS
Exceptionally distinguished Friends of Drafn shall be designated Honorary Members (non-voting) and shall be awarded a blue or white bordered cape.
5.5 VOTING MEMBER
New Voting Members (whether fighters or non-fighters) must be at least 17 years of age and are elected by a majority of the Voting Members. Voting members, as might be guessed, may vote. If qualifying as a fighter, the candidate must:
- Own suitable weapons and accouterments.
- Own a large Drafn round shield.
- Have fought with Drafn in at least three wars (at least two of these as a candidate).
- At the Drottin’s discretion, fight in the shield wall during all three wars.
If qualifying as a non-fighter the potential voting member must have made a significant contribution to Drafn’s goals through service to the Drafn Warband. Minimum requirement to be considered for a Voting member status shall be, but not limited to, at least six events or projects where service was performed. Service may include feasts, camp set up, camp fires, clean up, water bearing, running games, hosting d-briefs or other jobs as needed by the Elders. Members may be elected any time a quorum is present (see 7.8 Quorums). Candidates must meet all of the requirements before a vote for membership is taken (see 7.10 Waivers).
5.6 ACTIVE VOTING MEMBER.
A voting member is a member who has re-upped (see 7.8 RE-UPPING).
5.7 INACTIVE VOTING MEMBER
A voting member who has not re-upped, (see 7.8 RE-UPPING). May not vote, but is otherwise allowed to attend meetings.
5.8 RETIRED VOTING MEMBER
A voting member who has requested to become retired, has either become a member of another war band, or fought against Drafn. (see 7.5 FORCED RETIREMENT) Keeps their border color, but is otherwise granted the rights and privileges of a Friend of Drafn. Members wishing to come out of retirement can be re-instated at their former status by becoming active in the Drafn warband (and fighting with Drafn if a fighter) for one year then they will be allowed to vote again. If the member had been forced into retirement they must prove to the membership that they have severed their relationship with the other fighting unit.
5.9 SENIOR MEMBER.
Senior Members are Members who have served Drafn long and well. They are elected by the Senior members. The prospective Senior Member should:
- Train and motivate others whether on or off the field
- Demonstrate tactical skills and leadership on the field (if a fighter).
- Make exceptional and long-term contributions to Drafn’s goals in the camp and between wars.
Senior members have the same rights and responsibilities as voting members and can become inactive or retired as Voting Members can.
5.10 PEER MEMBERS.
Peer Members are members who happen to be peers in the SCA.
5.11 RANK OF BONDI
The Rank of Bondi is in addition to the above Drafn membership ranks. It is given to Drafn members who have gone above and beyond in promoting Norse culture in Drafn (through Norse knowledge, garb, encampment, armor, research projects, etc.). This rank will be signified by a large silver Brooch, which may be worn on the Drafn Cloak or on a Tunic. It is open to all Blue Border members and above. The requirements for this rank are determined by the All Father and Lenderman.
5.12 DRAFN SERVICE AWARD
This award is given for exceptional service to the war band. It is given with the agreement of all three elders. Members of Drafn are encouraged to write letters of recommendation for this award. This award will be given out a maximum of three times a year.
The Elders of Drafn are the Drottin, the Lawspeaker, and the Lenderman. Each shall have an area of primary responsibility. In the absence of an Elder, either of the other Elders may assume the responsibilities of the missing elder, or designate an acting elder for the duration of the event.
The Drottin, Lawspeaker, and Lenderman are elected by the voting members at Drafn Anniversary and must be voting members themselves. The Galdraman or Spae Woman is in charge of running this election. Elders are elected by a simple majority of the votes cast. If no majority is obtained, the nominee who places last in the voting shall be eliminated, and the vote shall be retaken. This process shall be repeated until a majority vote winner is obtained. Newly elected officers will take office immediately.
The Drottin is the Elder primarily responsible for maintaining and enhancing the military aspects of Drafn. The Drottin commands Drafn on the field and is the focal point for on-the-field activities. Only the Drottin of Drafn is allow to issue a challenge in Drafn’s name. He or she is elected annually at Drafn Anniversary. The Drottin appoints the following deputies at his or her discretion to include:
6.3 EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The XO is second in command. His duties include assembling the troops before and between battles.
6.4 BAND LEADER
Band Leaders lead groups such as Crow Band, Wolf Pack, Aurochs, and Solenarions.
6.5 LAWSPEAKER (All Father)
The Lawspeaker is the Elder primarily responsible for maintaining, interpreting, and enforcing these guidelines. He or she runs all Drafn membership and business meetings, including voting for candidates, friends of, and new members. The Lawspeaker also encourages Norse studies and a period encampment. He or she is elected annually at Drafn Anniversary. The Lawspeaker appoints the following deputies at his or her discretion to include:
6.6 UNDER LAWSPEAKER (ALL FATHER)
Is second to the Lawspeaker and assists the Lawspeaker with his or her activities.
Assists with administrative chores. And shall be responsible for keeping an updated record of all Drafn members, candidates, and friends of Drafn.
Is in charge of maintaining Drafn’s web pages.
6.9 THE GALDRAMAN/SPAE WOMAN
Is master of mystical ceremonies and of accurately predicting doom. The Galdraman or Spae Woman is also in charge of running the Elder election at Drafn Anniversary. The Galdraman or Spae Woman is appointed by the Lawspeaker with the consent of the Drottin and Lenderman.
6.10 ARTS OFFICER
Is responsible promoting period arts in the warband.
6.11 MEMBERSHIP CLOAK OFFICER
Is responsible for coordinating the making of the membership cloaks, and for the coordination of financial reimbursement for purchase of cloak materials.
The Lenderman is the Elder primarily responsible for maintaining and enhancing the non-military aspects of Drafn, and is the focal point for off-the-field activities. The Lenderman oversees campsite selection, set up and related chores, and designated Drafn social events. He or she is elected annually at Drafn Anniversary. The Lenderman appoints the following deputies at his or her discretion to include:
6.13 UNDER LENDERMAN
Is second to the Lenderman and assists the Lenderman with his or her activities.
Manages the Lenderman Funds and shall keep records of all funds. The Daneguilder is appointed by the Lenderman with the consent of the Drottin and Lawspeaker.
Is responsible for the editing, content, and publication of Drafn’s newsletter.
7. MISCELLANEOUS GUIDELINES AND DEFINITIONS.
Drafn began October of 1979. The Drafn Anniversary is held each year, on a date to be determined by the Lenderman with the consent of the Drottin and Lawspeaker. It encompasses election of elders, re-upping ceremony for membership, Norse games, etc. It is the social event of the year for Drafn.
Voting may take place at any official Drafn event and members must be given at least one weeks’ notice before any official event shall take place. Notification may be given via the Drafn One List, mailer, telephone call, etc. No proxy votes will be accepted.
Voting for members or candidates is restricted to voting members. Voting for changes to the guidelines is also restricted to voting members and is usually done at business meetings. Changes to the guidelines must be voted in by 2/3rds of the voting members.
Subjects to be discussed and voted on will be published prior to a business meeting on the Drafn One List. Members are encouraged to submit specific proposals. Amendments proposed at a meeting, to subject areas not published prior to that meeting, will be voted on at the next business meeting.
Meetings and voting are restricted to voting members, unless the Voting membership invites the Candidates, Friends, and other interested parties to participate in the meeting and vote on certain topics that might affect them.
If 50 percent or more of the members abstain from a particular vote, the motion will be tabled until the next meeting. (Otherwise abstention votes do not count toward the total number of votes cast.) Meeting will be run by Parliamentary Procedure at a Glance, by O. Garfield Jones.
Any voting member may veto the election of a candidate, member, or senior member once, and the veto shall last until the next election. If a Candidate, Member, or Senior Member is vetoed by another voting member on a subsequent vote, the veto may be overridden by yes votes from 2/3rds of those voting.
Impeachment of any elder from his or her position, or dismissal of any member from the warband (or change in a member’s status) shall require a two thirds vote. A vote for impeachment/dismissal shall occur at a designated Drafn event but not occur within four weeks immediately after the impeachment/dismissal is proposed.
This proposal shall occur only upon receipt by the Galdraman, Spae Woman, Executive Officer, or Lawspeaker of a petition for removal bearing the signature of twelve members. Notice of the impeachment/dismissal vote shall be published prior to the event on the Drafn One List.
7.5 FORCED RETIREMENT.
Any voting member of Drafn, Active or Inactive, who becomes a member of another fighting unit without the permission of the membership of Drafn (granted by simple majority vote), or fights against Drafn without the permission of the Drottin, has waived their voting rights in Drafn and will be made a Retired Voting Member.
Any Drafn Candidate who becomes a member of another fighting unit without the permission of the membership of Drafn (granted by simple majority vote), or fights against Drafn without the permission of the Drottin, will be made a Friend of Drafn.
Those that have moved out of Caid are automatically granted permission and are exempt from this rule while away.
Those that fight against Drafn for the needs of the Kingdom (Anything from Royal request to Autocrat whim) are likewise exempt from this rule.
Any such changes of status will be announced at the next membership meeting and are overturnable by a simple majority vote.
he Lenderman will arrange to have sober individuals stand watches over the camp when required.
7.7 DESIGNATED DRAFN EVENT.
Wars, debriefings following wars, Brigade practices, Drafn practices, Drafn Anniversary, business meetings, and other events called by the Drottin, the Lawspeaker, or Lenderman are designated Drafn events.
A quorum shall consist of 12 members, including two elders, at a designated Drafn event.
There will be a re-upping ceremony at the anniversary party each year. Persons unable to attend may re-up via mail, e-mail or in person with the Scrifari. People who fail to re-up will be placed in an emeritus status. All persons wishing to remain on the active Drafn list needs to fill out a re-up form.
One or more of the requirements may be waived, either temporarily or indefinitely, with the unanimous approval of a quorum. Newly admitted or promoted members are expected to makeup any temporarily waived requirements as soon as practical.
Should the Drottin, Lawspeaker, or Lenderman determine there is good cause for a temporary waiver of a guideline they may form a quorum consisting solely of seven senior members and at least two elders. With a 2/3 vote, a guideline may be modified or suspended. The suspension or modification will only stand until the next business meeting, where, should the change to the guidelines need to be continued, the matter will be presented for a full vote.
The spending of Drafn/Lenderman funds must be approved in advance by both the Lenderman and the Danguilder. Any expense over $300 per month must be approved by the membership.
All newly admitted or advanced members will receive a Drafn membership cloak paid for by Drafn finances. Any replacement cloaks, due to wear and tear, or loss, will be paid for by the requesting member. Anyone submitting the name of a person for candidacy, membership, or promotion must make an advanced request from the Membership cloak officer in order insure cloak availability for the ceremony.
Upon advanced from one colored cloak to another, the previous cloak will be returned to the Membership cloak officer. Drafn cloaks are blue with the following color borders: Blue – candidates and friends, Red – Voting members, White – Peers, and Gold – Senior members.
(These are just guidelines, and may be changed by the Elders.)
Period attire and accouterments help establish the Drafn encampment’s special appearance and feel.
The period pavilions should be set up in a circle or semi-circle facing the central firepit. If the space is long and narrow, start placing the period pavilions at one end (preferably near the fighting field) and place the non-period tents at the opposite end. Non-period tents, coolers, aluminum cans, etc. should be kept out of the Drafn circle. Only period looking chairs or covered non-period chairs are allowed in the Drafn circle. The Lenderman will establish a continuing set of camp guidelines to follow in the camp.
8.3 HORN PASSING.
The Drafn horn is quite large and is heavily ornamented with silver. A Byzantine coin minted in 1031—when Harald Haardrada was in the Varangian Guard – is mounted near the top of the horn. The recipient of the Horn is expected to cleverly and pointedly insult someone in the circle, drink to their health, and then pass the horn to the person toasted. The person making the insult must make eye contact with the person her or she is insulting, the toaster then says skoal New-comers, the incurably nice, and those too witless to think of a good insult may mutter something inane and pass the horn sunwise. Do not pass the horn back to the person who passed it to you.
8.4 SPEAR OF TANAR.
This award is given by the Drottin to a Drafn fighter who has participated in every battle during a War and has promoted the ideals of Tyr (the God of the Happy Warrior).
8.5 PAX DOMINA (The peace of God).
This is given to the Solenarion who has brought eternal peace to Drafn’s enemies and/or has excelled with his/her crossbow.
What can one say about Grimbreeks?
Ideally, every candidate should have a sponsor/ mentor to help him or her become established in Drafn.
8.8 MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS AT WAR.
Membership meetings at wars shall be held on Saturday, at 5pm (or 1/2 hour after the last battle, whichever is the later time). This meeting will be limited to voting of new members or elevation of current members, unless there is urgent business that cannot wait until the next business meeting.
8.9 FIGHTING WITH DRAFN
Fighters should fight with Drafn for at least one year unless have shown exceptional service/devotion to the Warband. Members from Western Seas may only need to fight two wars to become a member (known as the “Pineapple Clause”).