|My First Vigil
The vigil is a unique way to award one of the most prestigious awards in Amtgard. It is also one of the rarest. Since the traditional way of awarding knighthood is generally by surprise at court during an event, the vigil tends to be bypassed since it gives away the fact the person is being knighted. The first time I heard of a vigil was at Spring War X when Sir Vigus had his vigil and knighting. I did not attend it, as I do not really know Vigus beyond his emails to various lists. However, when Sir Wisp Nemoralis had his vigil at the last Rising Winds Midreign, I decided to attend the vigil.
We were a bit late getting to the event site, so I missed the processional around the site. Once we got our tents set up and I got garbed, I went in search of the vigil. It took me a while to find it, as I was not familiar with the site. By the time I got there, a crowd was already waiting to speak with Wisp. A small fire was burning to keep people warm in the bitter cold of the night. Wisp’s company mates, then Grendels, served as the ceremonial guards. Around the fire, everyone was telling stories about what happened at Knoblander, or other events they had been to.
Each of the knights was allowed to speak with Wisp, and each took around an hour to talk with him. Then squires got their chance to go in. By this point, my bad joints had locked up from the cold and I had to go wander around. I gave the gift I brought for Wisp, a thank you for helping cover my fees to I could make it to my first Knoblander, to my company bro Katzu, and went for a walk to warm up and find pain killers. I came back an hour later and finally found my chance to see Wisp.
Inside the tent, Wisp was up wandering around desperately trying to keep warm. There were a few chairs, and a table with candles to provide light. Wisp and I talked about our views on belting and what knighthood really is. Syr Mac was sitting inside and also shared his wisdom on the subjects. I made sure that Wisp had gotten the gift, and I congratulated him so that his company mates could come in and see him.
I spent the next few hours wandering the site, contemplating the conversation we had. As dawn broke, I went back to the vigil as the knighting was supposed to occur at around then. I found out that there were so many people wanting to see Wisp, the knighting was pushed back an hour and a half to accommodate. I wandered around some more with my wife, and eventually, we joined the processional to the knighting.
The ceremony itself was one of the nicest I had witnessed. It occurred on a bridge over a small creek. Each knight congratulated Wisp, and most gave him a gift. Then the populace crossed the bridge, each giving their best wishes.
I thought a lot about the whole process of the vigil, and I think it should be used more often. It allows the new knight to learn a bit of wisdom from all those who have come before him and insight of those who will follow. It also gives the entire process of knighting an extra level of pageantry.
I am very happy to have been a part of Sir Wisp’s vigil. I learned a great deal about not only him, and others’ views on knighthood, but about what the Dream really is. I can think of no better way to salute a new knight than by having people share their own perspective of the Dream with him.
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