Lochac’s Royal Guild of Defence is a group committed to promoting, teaching and learning the art and science of fence with the civilian weapons, and the research of the ancient schools or treatise of fence. As at September 2015 (AS 50), there are approximately 205 members comprising 110 Free Scholars, 50 Journeyman, 34 Provosts and 11 Guildmasters.
The Guild has a registered badge, which was submitted in September 2004, blazoned:
[Fieldless], On a compass star gyronny azure and argent an escutcheon gules.
The Guild offers a 4-tiered membership ranking system, with ranks being achieved by following the rules and teachings of the Guild (as outlined in the Guild Ordances) and being tested on these by the playing of a Prize for each level. The ranks, and regalia associated with them (in ascending order), are:
- Free Scholar: successfully completes a Prize in one weapons form, and wears a yellow sash to denote this rank.
- Journeyman: successfully completes a Prize in three weapons forms, and wears a green sash to denote this rank.
- Provost: successfully completes a Prize in five weapons forms, and wears a blue sash to denote this rank.
- Guildmaster: successfully completes a Prize in seven weapons forms, and wears a black sash to denote this rank. This is the highest rank in the Guild.
The various members of the Guild are listed by rank and local group on the Guild Membership page of the Guild’s website.
The Guild began taking it’s current form around 1999, in the days of the Principality under the West Kingdom, when the Society Rapier Marshal (SRM) required the Guild structure of fencing to be separated from the marshallate structure.
The first Prizes were played in 2000, those being the Provost Prizes of Tariq ibn Jelal and Silfren the Singer. They were held at Rowany Festival in the style of the London Masters of Defence, with flyer announcements and live music and full formalities.
With Lochac advancing to Kingdom status in 2002, the Guild was separated from the West Kingdom and members of Lochac began setting up Lochac’s Royal Guild of Defence as it stands today. It took six or so months to get a Charter and set of Ordinances people were happy with, and they were formally signed in AS 38 by Cornelius I and Morwynna I, second Crown of Lochac.
Tariq ibn Jelal served as the first Lord Guildmaster (i.e. leader of the Guild).