The Order of Defense is bestowed on those people who are “considered the equal of his or her prospective peers with the basic weapons of fencing and/or cut-and-thrust combat. The candidate must have applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.“ (Corpora, Article VIII.A.4.d)
The Order of Defense is one of the four SCA Peerages, along with the Order of the Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of the Pelican. It is a Society wide Award that is recognized in every Kingdom in the Knowne World and conveys to the member a Patent of Arms, no matter which Crown of which Kingdom bestowed the Award.
Members of the Order of Defense in Ealdormere wear a white livery collar, white garters, and a sword.
The legacy livery collar is made of white leather, with plaques attached, created by Mistress Aelfwyn. There are seven trilliums representing the Seven Virtues, eight wolves (using the artwork from Duke Edouard) separating them. All is in brass and nickel silver with translucent red enamels for the wolves. The medallion is open as the official badge of the Order is fieldless.
The sword has the badge of the order on one face of the hilt, and a trillium on the other side. The sword is expected to be used in battle, duels and instruction, and the tales of the sword will be passed on to new MoDs along with the sword.
Masters of the Order of Defense are addressed as “Master” or Mistress'
In addition to the Peerage Qualities expected of all peers, members of the Order of Defense are “to:
Each Crown may chose to elevate Subjects of Their Kingdom to the Order, but the Crown must ensure the Subject meets the criteria as described in Corpora for Peerage Awards, and The Crown has consulted with the current members of the Order in Their Kingdom.
Members of the Order of Defense may choose to swear fealty to the Crown, but are not required to do so.