The Guild of Cartographers and Navigators
Guildmistress: Johanna of Merstham
Scope and divisions
The Cartographers and Navigators might be better described as the Guild of Travel. We aim to cover all aspects of travel in the mundane, the historical, and the Far Isles medieval, whether that be by means of drawing maps, navigating from place to place, or telling tales of our travels.
"The mundane, the historical, and the Far Isles medieval": yes, three different areas. Careful distinction should be made between these, though they may well overlap to some extent.
The Guild could, and should, provide a useful service to other members by helping them to find and reach revels and other places of interest (Cressing Temple, Blackbird Leys, etc.). Detailed and useful sets of maps and instructions on how to reach revel sites should be provided and held for future reference. Co-ordinating lifts to/from inaccessible places should be done, in consultation with the autocrat of the relevant event where appropriate.
(This will not be a major part of the Guild, but does provide an incentive to produce good instructions, and some form of reward for Helpful People).
The study of any aspect of Travel as it really occurred in History during our period. This may include drawing historically-based maps, commenting on existing maps, study of travel techniques, routes, navigational methods, vehicle construction, and any other travel-related topic the member may find to be of interest.
Far Isles Medieval
The study of travel in the Far Isles, as opposed to History. Techniques should be similar: routes and obstacles will be different. For instance, an account of moving the Charing Cross Monument to Tintagel so as to act as a lighthouse there is definitely Far Isles, not History.
Then we divide the subject into Branches.
The drawing and study of maps
The art of finding out where you are and where you're going.
One of the more important reasons for travel
A general topic to cover all other areas. May be divided into more areas when we find out what people are interested in.
And of course each of those could be divided into theory and practise. We don't expect you to put a tick in all boxes, but a good spread would be nice.
Rules of Advancement
Most of these are concerned with carrying out a number of Tasks from the list below. This list is not exhaustive or exclusive: if you want to try something not on the list that's connected to Travel, please ask. Also, if your attempt at a Task is judged by the Guildmaster to be of exceptional quality or difficulty, it may count as more than one towards your grading. Whether or not tasks are of different "types" is up to the Guildmaster to judge, but common sense should prevail.
You must have expressed an interest in the Guild and informed the Guildmaster of your wish to join the Guild.
Carry out two tasks: may be of the same type. In addition, describe an in-period method of finding out which way is North.
Carry out five tasks, in addition to the two already done to become an Apprentice.
At least one of these must be in the form of an article suitable for publication in Far Horizons.
They should not all be of the same type.
Carry out five tasks, in addition to the seven already carried out for lower grades. All should be of different types. At least one of these must be of Masterwork quality: defined as being so good that we want to show it off to people outside the Society as an example of our work.
This rank may be awarded at the whim of the Guildmaster for a work of outstanding brilliance or obvious impossibility (such as a detailed map of the entire Far Isles on whose accuracy all members agree).
Junior Rules of Advancement
Children work their way through the same grading system as adults, using the same rules. If they wish to be graded as children, not as adults, then their age will be taken into consideration when judging the quality of their work, and the rank awarded will be Junior Apprentice and so on. However, if they wish to undertake the full adult grades, with no allowances made for age, then they are welcome to do so, though adult supervision may be required for some practical tasks.
List of suggested tasks
This list is NOT intended to be exclusive or exhaustive, merely a source of inspiration. If you can think of something else travel-related that you'd like to do, please ask.
- Mundane: produce a detailed and accurate set of instructions on reaching a revel site, for use by both drivers and those relying on public transport. Must be proved to work in practise. (This option may only be picked once for qualification for any rank, and should be for a site for which we do not already have a good set of instructions.)
- Mundane: be a Useful Person who provides transport for others: no, not just putting one more person in your car, but (for instance) providing a shuttle service to and from shops & station for the duration of a weekend event, or driving a hired lorry/bus on behalf of the Society. I don't expect this option to be picked very often, nor more than once per candidate.
- Produce a map of a part of the Far Isles. Any medium is acceptable, not necessarily period.
- Produce a map of a historical location in the Society's period.
- Describe a journey, either in Far Isles or historical context. This may be written, spoken, sung, or in any other medium that seems appropriate.
- Found a trade route in the Far Isles. Trade is one of the main reasons for Travel: explain where and how your export or import item is produced, how it is to be transported, and any difficulties to be overcome. Just "Stormsham produces garnets" is not enough: are they mined, washed up on the sea-shore, or found growing on trees? Are they fragile? How are they packed? Are they seasonal? How do you avoid bandits nicking them? Again, any medium of presentation may be used.
- Describe a historical trade route.
- Build a working instrument of navigation that might have existed in the Society's period.
- Explain a medieval navigation system.
- Build a vehicle that might have been used in the Society's period (scale models are acceptable).
- Write an article describing a travel-related historical exhibit which members can visit in the Mundane. (A map in a museum, a re-enactment display, a medieval mile-stone near your home, the Ridgeway....)
- Carry out a medievally-inspired Journey. Not just getting to a revel (sorry!). A pilgrimage to a medieval destination, a walk along an ancient road (maybe even in costume?)…
- Plan a viable historical journey between two points at a given date, bearing in mind roads and conditions existing at the time.
- Study and comment on a medieval account of a journey (e.g. the travel aspects of the Canterbury Tales, Gerald's travels through Wales).
- Comment on a journey known to have been made (though not necessarily well documented) in medieval times: such as how Harold moved his troops to Senlac Hill, for instance, or how William got his troops across the Channel.