|Reflections on a Year as a Squire
On January 6th, 2003, I unknowingly went through one of the milestones of my Amtgard experience: my first anniversary as a squire. This means more to me than receiving a belt and a title tacked on the front of my persona name. It cemented the bond between my knight, Duke Sir Vagabond, and myself. I cannot really describe the bond between us better than Knight and Squire. One could call it a close friendship, or a surrogated brotherhood, but they do not seem to work in this case. To understand this bond, one must know the back history between Vagabond and myself.
I had sporadic involvement in Amtgard before I moved to Lubbock, Texas for school. I liked the idea, the concept and set up of the game, but I never seemed to fit in when I started in Amarillo (home of the Golden Plains). So I decide to give Amtgard another shot here and found the Duchy of Irongate. Well, I am not that social by nature, and it took me a great deal of courage to go out that first time in November of 2000. But alas, my college work required my attention and I did not come out again until March, and then only after summoning a great deal of courage to try. Well, I went out, enjoyed myself, but never said much while I was there, other than ask what a “quals” was. As I was getting ready to go home, then Viscount Vagabond came up to me and asked if I would like to join him and many of the regulars of the field for dinner. It felt like half an hour until I finally said, “Sure, I have to find somewhere to eat anyway.”
I said maybe all of a dozen words the whole time, including making my order. I was scared to death of being around this close-knit group of people whom I had for the most part just met. But the whole time, Vagabond went out of his way to try and make me feel comfortable. I spent the rest of the week going through my daily routine, wondering why he was so kind to someone he had just met. When I stepped on the field the next day, the first thing Vagabond did was come up to me and welcome me back. I think that was the moment I subconsciously decide to stick to him like a fly on molasses.
Roughly two months later he asked me to become his page at my first Kingdom event. Now by then I had been in long enough to know most pages are treated like lapdogs and was a bit wary of the idea until he told me the reason why he picked me. “You seemed to have managed to push your way under my wing; all this page’s belt would be is formal recognition of that fact.” I immediately agreed. I had known that he was qualified for knighthood, and when I mentioned that to him, he replied, “We will see what happens after I have a white belt.”
Throughout my time as his page, I always seemed to be able to rely on Vagabond to help me with whatever I needed. He kept me drilled on the rules. When I decided to follow him and become a druid, he made sure I knew the class forward and backwards. Many of the regulars of Irongate still joke about my level test for second level druid. Vagabond was the Guildmaster of Druids, and was the only one to ask me questions. Through the five minute test, I never was asked a single question over second level, but asked questions about my fifth level ability, the range of Finger of Death, and to name my third level spells. He helped me plan out my first run at office, and continued to help me with my first position in Irongate, despite himself having become King.
I helped him when I could. I gave him a ride to Kingdom Quals when he won King, the first member of Irongate to do so. I created awards for him to use, printing them out, even making lists to remind him what they were being given for. I was a traveling companion, and when I could spare it, I paid for his fees or dinner. But he always helped me more than I could hope to return. Then came the faithful day he was knighted. I was going through some personal turmoil, and had asked him that should he be knighted, he wait to squire me. Vagabond was knighted under the Order of the Flame on November 2nd, 2001 (the day after my birthday). Time went on, I worked things out, and one day he called me and asked me if he was going to give me my squire belt, would I want it done in court or just privately. I responded, "Privately." And then that Sunday, before we stepped on the field, he handed me the red belt. I wore it with pride, and still do to this day.
Vagabond is one of the greatest friends I have made in this game, and has many times gone out of his way to help me. He has come to the roadside to help me when my car broke down. He has taken a concern in my education, wanting me to have a chance he never took and get my degree. And he has even agreed to be the Best Man in my wedding. Our bond runs deep; deep enough for him to tell his second squire when he took him that should anything come about where he can keep only one squire, then I am the one he keeps without question.
I have done my best to be a squire for him to be proud of. I have done what I can for the Kingdom and the Duchy, but I doubt I will ever see what I have done as adequate to have earned the right to be his squire. Recently, I have taken a page and a man-at-arms, and only I hope that I am as good a mentor, friend, and brother as Sir Vagabond has been to me.
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