The Golden Egg is a challenge household for the Art and Sciences. The badge of the Society is a golden egg (fieldless).
As Patroness of the Golden Egg, the Queen has free and final say on the Charter.
To encourage those interested in the Arts and Sciences to challenge continually their abilities and skills through the use of period techniques and materials.
Member – a person who has successfully completed a challenge within the last three years, or is in the process of rechallenging
Challenge – Any arts and sciences project of at least intermediate difficulty (as determined by the challenger and members of the society together), which results in an artefact or group of related artefacts – ie. not a research project – and which tests the abilities of the challenger. This is a very personal determination and the level of difficulty will vary widely depending on the individual. However, the project should be sufficiently complex that it will take approximately six months to one year of reasonable effort to complete. The project need not be in a completely new area of endeavour; it can be something others are already doing in Drachenwald (or the SCA), build on knowledge acquired in a previous challenge, or even replicate someone else’s challenge. In order to meet the intermediate difficulty element of the challenge, it will probably build on previous A&S work by the challenger. Further details are found in the Project Guidelines section.
Governing Body – all members of the Golden Egg except those who are currently rechallenging. The Governing Body reviews proposed challenges and advises challengers to setting acceptable challenges, and judges projects. The Golden Egg does not set challenges. Any members of the governing body who wish to challenge must retire from the governing body.
Challenger – anyone who is preparing a challenge to be read out in Court, or who is currently working to complete that challenge.
Terms of Challenges
A secretary shall be appointed, who is responsible for recording Golden Egg activities in the Book of the Golden Egg. The current secretary is Isabetta del Verde.
When a challenger wants to propose a challenge he/she begins with starting a new thread in the online forum explaining the proposed challenge. There is no special format or requirement for how this needs to be written. The main language of the forum is English but using google translate or similar can be used and others who are better at the alternate language can also help translate special terms. As many images and links to other websites as the person wants can be included.
Golden Egg members as well as others who have a general interest in the subject may comment and discuss the proposed challenge. The purpose of this is to come with helpful advice and suggestions that the challenger can use to make the project an even better success. They can give suggestions of resources, methods and other people to talk to who might know more.
Before a proposed challenge goes on to being discussed at an event the challenger should have formed written judging criteria for the project based on authenticity, technical skill required and personal challenge to the candidate.
When the proposed challenge has been online for at least one month the challenger can go on to propose in person at an event when the Queen is accepting challenges. The challenger will at that event meet with members of the Golden Egg governing body so that an acceptable challenge may be agreed upon. Challengers may also arrange to discuss their challenge privately with the governing body at any mutually agreed upon time prior to the challenge day. The time and place of this in-person discussion should be decided in the online forum prior to the event.
There must be consensus among the members of the Governing Body before a challenge may be presented in Court. The Golden Egg reserves the right to postpone a decision on a proposed project, in order to consult with more qualified members who are not present, or with outside experts.
At least one representative of the Golden Egg governing body must be present to represent the Order when the Queen calls for challenges. Golden Egg members are called forward in Court in order to formally recognize the challengers, and so that all may recognize the Golden Egg members.
Challengers are called into Court where they must declare their intention to challenge and very briefly describe their project. Once the Queen has accepted the challenge, details of the project, agreed upon judging criteria and proposed completion date will be recorded in the Book by the Golden Egg secretary.
The challenger may have until the Golden Egg meeting, approximately one year from the date of challenge, to complete a project. Alternate acceptance dates can be arranged. The project may be completed prior to the set completion date, but it may not be moved back without renegotiating with the members of the Governing Body. If the completion date is missed without prior renegotiation, the challenge is forfeit. An individual may not issue a new challenge before the completion or forfeit of a previous challenge.
While individual Golden Egg members are not restricted in their contact with challengers, the Golden Egg governing body may not aid a challenger in the completion of a project beyond providing advice or references. Once a challenge has been accepted the Golden Egg members and governing body are under no obligation to provide further advice but each individual may do so freely if he/she wishes to.
- The project may not be a work in progress; all elements except background research must be started and completed after the challenge date.
- Adjustments to an accepted challenge are possible. However, a challenger may renegotiate the content and/or timing with the Governing Body a maximum of three times before they must forfeit their existing challenge and rechallenge in Court. All agreed adjustments will be recorded in the Book.
- Projects must be a reasonable approximation of medieval craftsmanship and themes. The use of non-medieval techniques or materials must be defended either verbally or in writing.
- Deviation from medieval themes, styles or techniques for the purpose of SCA use are not deemed acceptable.
- Deviation for reasons of safety, expense or availability may be deemed acceptable, at the discretion of the Golden Egg.
- The projects must be deemed to be a challenge to the current skill level of the challengers, who will use techniques, tools or skills which are new to them.
- Projects must demonstrate at least an intermediate skill level and of sufficient complexity that they will take a significant time commitment to complete. As a guideline, most challenges take from six months to one year of reasonable effort to complete.
- Acceptance of challenge projects will be judged on the basis of authenticity, technical skill required and personal challenge to the candidate as decided in the judging criteria agreed upon when the challenge was originally proposed at an event or as renegotiated with the Governing Body.
The Golden Egg shall gather at any event where the Queen and the Governing Body will be in attendance and agree to accept challenges.
Meetings will be announced in advance, and a member must take notes and send to the secretary if the secretary and the Book are not present.
Candidates will meet privately with the Governing Body to provide verbal defense or comments. At the discretion of the challenger, the defense can be opened to the public. Completed projects shall then be left with the Golden Egg for further discussion. Any written defense may also be presented at this time. Non-members of the Governing Body may be called in to judge completed projects that are outside the expertise of the Governing Body.
Projects will be judged to be “complete” or “incomplete” based on whether they meet the challenge criteria as recorded in the Book. “Incomplete” projects may be resubmitted only once, at the nearest mutually acceptable date. “Completed” projects will be displayed, and the challenger welcomed as a member of the society of the Golden Egg, in Court.
The society of the Golden Egg calls for continuous challenge in the Arts and Sciences. Therefore, members of the Golden Egg must rechallenge within three years of being accepted as a member, in order to retain their place in the Golden Egg.
Golden Egg members who are rechallenging may assist other challengers, and provide guidance in the setting and judging of other challenges. However, they may not act as part of the governing body for the setting and judging of any challenges.
Exceptions made due to long travel distances
Challengers and members of the society of the Golden Egg should strive to follow the above terms with discussions in-person at events before a proposed challenge is accepted as well as when the finished project is presented and accepted. Drachenwald is however a kingdom that covers a vast geographical area and not all are able to travel to attend events where the Queen is accepting challenges and the Governing Body of the Golden Egg are present. Exceptions to this requirement can be made on an individual basis and alternate ways of proposing and presenting projects can be agreed upon between the Governing Body and the challenger.
During the start up period there will be no members of the Golden Egg. The roll of Governing Body will then be given to a group of volunteers as decided by the Queen. When the Golden Egg has at least 3 members they will take over the as the Governing Body.