-Based from an interview with Rhiannon
Order of the Rose
What’s with all the roses!? Order of the Rose, the Rose Code, your Personal Rose, the Rose Tabards, and so on. What is it with Terrasylvans and their obsession with roses? I mean, it’s a nice flower, for sure, but why this? Why not just use the rapier as a symbol, or a fairy, or some cool magical symbol?
Fine questions. Let’s look into that, shall we?
Indeed, why roses? They are beautiful, they smell nice, you traditionally give them to a loved one to show affection, but in the Order of the Rose, we assign a little more personal meaning to it.
First off, you should know that in Woodland, wild roses bloom naturally all over the place. It adds some strikingly beautiful scenery to our beloved forest, and it’s something the founders of TerraSylvae noticed when they first began meeting in Woodland Park. The roses were little surprises, beautiful, plentiful, as well as prickly (to the chagrin of those wearing shorts in battle). The founders of TerraSylvae found themselves enamored with them, and made comparisons between themselves and the roses.
First, each of the roses, as mentioned, were surprises, just like each one of you. Yeah, we’re all “just” people (and they’re all “just” roses), but you are unique, and you have all these interesting quirks, talents, traits, flaws, and specialties. There are parts of each of us that are beautiful, and there are parts of us that are prickly, uncomfortable, and we honestly wish we could go without. But, like that old proverb/saying, “You can complain that roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” You have your flaws, and your battles to fight, but in TerraSylvae, we take you as you are, and make you feel proud that your thorns have roses. We’re all misfits here, roses among bushes and trees. So, we’re named after the Rose. Essentially, TerraSylvae is a band of misfits in the woods, learning, training, helping one another, and sharing ourselves with our friends and peers.
Additionally, each member of the Order of the Rose has a Personal Rose. After you complete all your lessons and become a Swordsman, you are asked to choose an ideal, something of particular importance to you in your life, and to seek after that ideal. Especially when you’re in TerraSylvae, but also in your everyday life, your behavior is to reflect that ideal, and you are to take active steps toward exemplifying that trait and making it an active part of your life. This is your Personal Rose. Eventually, as a Swordsman, you will be invited to wear a Tabard, essentially a type of ceremonial (yet functional) cloak, which identifies you as a member of the Order of the Rose. On the left breast, over your heart, the image of a Rose will be stitched in. This is for identification, but more than that, it is meant to remind you at all times of your Ideal, and to bring to your mind what you have dedicated yourself to, and exemplify it on the field.
Your Personal Rose can mean anything you want. It can be one of the Four Levels of Importance (Safety, Honor, Attitude, Skill), or it can be anything else: Courage, Kindness, Dedication, Endurance, Fairness, Wisdom, Learning, etc. Don’t feel like you should only dedicate yourself to one ideal; life is complicated, people are complicated, and you should strive to be well-rounded in positive traits. But for your Personal Rose, pick something especially important to you, and work for it.
The Rose Code
Essentially. the Rose Code is like the Constitution of the Order of the Rose. It explains how leadership functions, how funds are handled, policies of family-friendliness or expectations of attitude, among other things. If you are ever unsure how or why things are done in the Order of the Rose, take a look here.
As members of the OotR, we pride ourselves on being misfits and outcasts. We become someone else, possibly use a different name, put on fancy old-timey clothes, and learn new things. We aren’t always who we’d like to be, so we become somebody new for a while, and dedicate ourselves to an ideal (our Personal Rose). Misfits find a place to feel welcome, rough, prickly parts get smoothed out, and everyone, with all their quirks, is welcome around our fire. We aren’t here to seek status or renown, but to find something beautiful and special, and seek after that.