Ludicrous Bowmen of the Known World
The Ludicrous Bowman ranking is unofficial, but denotes an archer who has achieved a Royal Round Average of 120 or more points. It can be earned by any archer in the Known World of the SCA, as long as the Royal Rounds were shot by the same rules we use here in the East. Master Ailean's account of how the tradition started can be read below. The list shown on this page was created from Master Ailean's list and messages to me over the years. If you have any corrections or can fill in any blanks - and, especially, if you learn of new achievements - please get in touch with me (see end of page).
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by Master Ailean mac an Daroch
Once upon a time when the kingdoms of the Known Worlde were young, the kings of the earth began to set out goals for their archers. In the great Kingdom of the East it was decreed that Gentles having a Royal Round average (three recorded and witnessed scores within one year) of 60 or more would be declared Bowmen, and have the right to wear the badge of that rank. It was considered a high honor. To those great archers scoring over 80 went the title “Master Bowman” as it was thought that there would be but few of these and they would be masters of the skill indeed.
But it came to pass that in the East there arose archers of totally unexpected skills, and they did score over 100! The court was in a quandry over what to call these greatest of the great archers, but settled upon the name of “Grand Master Bowman”.
Soon thereafter there was a party at which many of these great archers gathered and enjoyed their cups. The talk, of course, was of archery.
One slightly less intoxicated gentle noted that the ranks were now neatly divided into groups of 20 points (60-80-100) and wondered out loud what on earth they would ever do if someone actually scored 120. This brought about a rousing chorous of laughter as these archers knew full well that 120 was impossible. It would take more of a machine than a man to ever do that. “Why that’s LUDICROUS!” one archer slurred
Thinking this foolishness a good jest, the rest chimed in to agree on the total impossibility of such a feat and the stupidity of the idea. They devised a badge for this insanity - PAISLEY (just to tick off the one herald in the group) with one white arrow dexter.
And so the myth lingered for a great many years and was almost forgotten in the lore of the SCA. But then in the year AS XXVII one archer, having already become a “Grand Master Bowman” with both his handbow and crossbow too, decided to seek the ridiculous, the insane, the LUDICROUS. But to the amazement of all, he accomplished it with an average of 123. In the following years others have followed his path to the highest accolade of archery skill... the crazy paisley of the Ludicrous Bowman.
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