Knight scroll for Ivan

Sometimes upon looking back, I realise that at the time I was biting off more than I could chew. I think this is one of those scrolls. Working on a piece for a person I knew nothing about because I could not find any scribe who wanted to to it. This was one of those "Lesson learned after the fact" that sometimes you have to allow for assignments to go on the backlog so that the right scribe will eventually pick it up. I did not do the scroll justice and in a million years would not be insulted if the recipient decided they wanted to commission a better piece of work to commemorate their award.

I've experienced this ( have also done this)  and I see this a lot as both  signet, as a scribe, that Royals and signets, in such a panic not to "produce a backlog", become more about the scroll at any costs rather than than the quality of the work for the person recieving the award. It's understandable because people get pissed when a scroll is not ready for the event but at the same time people get pissed when the scroll isn't as fabulous as they imagine it to be either. I have heard many complaints over the years about both these things, it's a bitchily difficult line to walk but in the end I think it has to come down to the recipient and the quality of the piece of work over not having a backlog at any cost and rushing the scribe in question. I try to tell Royals, when I'm working as signet, that it's actually okay to not rush a scroll, in fact I have started insisting on it, given some of the issues that have cropped up in recent years and the things people have said when they have spoken to me about it. Some take the advice to heart and some don't.

Drachenwald has a great deal of very talented scribes but it's unfair to ask them to work quickly all the time and often it's the same scribe(s) over and over again because they are the  ones who can work quickly, or they are the only ones who offer to work within that time frame. It puts an undue amount of pressure on them which, after a while, can become frustrating. It also can seriously affect the reputation of the scribe if the work being produced looks hurried or not as good as it could be. It gets hard to defend after a while especially as really there is no need of it.

Combat scribery is probably one of the worst offences for this. Scribes making last minute scrolls at the event their supposed to be enjoying. And while we have a supply of lovely blanks that aid with this it's still very unfair to expect people to give up their event time to do this. Personally, I don't mind I quite enjoy having a task and I can work fast if I have to but some scribes have mentioned they don't like being asked and feel guilty about saying no, feel pressured into doing this at an event they wanted to do other things at so if it can be avoided it should.

I think there is a lot of be said for very nice promissory notes and an on the ball signet/royal relationship that can quickly arrange for the "backlogged" scroll to still be done during the reign and handed out at a later event. The scroll at any cost philosophy is very bad and it sets very bad examples and precedents. Scrolls and awards are not a numbers game and there are no prizes at the end of a reign for the royals or signet who did not "add to the backlog". A backlog serves a purpose and it's not all a bad thing especially if there are excellent records kept and a well organized team of signets and scribes as well as royals. Many scribes welcome the chance to do scrolls in a  setting with less of a time crunch and it enables them to put more time and thought into the works allowing for better work all around.

I lacked the skill to do this scroll properly, I tried and failed. It was a little bit rushed and I had no real concept of what I wanted to do because I didn't know the person in question and I'm annoyed and a little ashamed of myself for this. I knew , at the time, this was not one of my best works, this was not something I was 100% proud to have go out. Looking back, as both the signet and the scribe responsible I would have handled this very differently now. Instead of rushing to get it done I would have simply said it's not going to happen on time and then I would have done my damnedest to make sure the right scribe was found for the job.

This was a hard lesson but one I have not ever forgotten. 

1 comment:

  1. You are very open and honest about the thoughts that go along with your scrolls. I'm not sure I could write such detailed blurbs about the scrolls I have done through the years. There are some that stand out, but many I would not be able to make much more comment on. This blog is fabulous.