The Order of the Pelican in the Kingdom of Lochac


A protégé is a Pelican's special student, who normally receives extra attention from their Master or Mistress. Everyone should be aware that "protégé" is a role, not a rank -- protégés have no higher status than any other member of the populace.

There are no set rules for Pelican-protégé relationships. Some protégés go on to become Pelicans, but this is by no means a foregone conclusion. Some Pelicans like to take quite inexperienced members as protégés to help them get started in the Society, and release them as Journeymen when they have found their feet. Others see a protégé relationship as the final stage in grooming an experienced member towards the Peerage. Still other relationships fall somewhere in between.

A protégé is not a Pelican's personal servant, although of course service is what the whole thing is about! Usually, a protégé will help with the Pelican's projects, and provide things like general campsite help at Festival, for example.

Neither are protégés entitled to their Pelican's exclusive attention -- a Pelican's skills and help are available to all. It is reasonable, however, for protégés to expect more attention from their Pelican than is given to ordinary students; this is normally part of what the relationship is about.

How Do You Become A Protégé?

Some Pelicans like to ask their protégés; others like to be asked. If you are shy about asking a particular Pelican to take you as a protégé, you can always ask one of their friends to sound them out for you. If a Pelican asks you to be a protégé, you are perfectly free to say "no." If you ask and are refused, don't be downcast. It doesn't mean you have no potential; rather, that particular Pelican probably feels the relationship with him/her is not right for you at this stage.

Rowan's Prentice Questions

This section contains Mistress Rowan's Prentice Questions -- the document she gives to students who wish to be her protégé. Bear in mind this is one Pelican's personal guide; the information in it does not apply to everyone!

Before taking on a protégé, it is important to consider exactly what the relationship will entail -- for both parties! If you don't know what your expectations are and discuss these in advance, you may end up feeling frustrated and disappointed.

These are some discussion questions I have developed from my experience with my apprentices and protégés past and present - Master Maelgwyn, Mistress Bess, Lord Tomas, Mistress Cristia, Lady Linnet, and Lord Jan. Thanks especially to Maelgwyn and Bess who bore the brunt of trial and error!

General Issues

  • What does a Pelican expect from his/her protégé? Is this reasonable? Appropriate? Suitable for us?
  • What does a protégé expect from his/her Pelican? Is this reasonable? Appropriate? Suitable for us?
  • What is the purpose of the relationship for the Pelican? To teach a specific art/craft? A more general arrangement? To take the protégé to Pelican standard?
  • What is the purpose of the relationship for the protégé? To learn a specific art/craft? A more general arrangement? To become a Pelican?
  • Why do you want this specific person as a Pelican/protégé?
  • What happens if the protégé is never good enough? Do they stay a protégé? Become part of the household? Become a journeyman? End the relationship?
  • How does this relationship relate to your household, if any?
  • What behaviour is expected at events and away from them?
  • Do we expect to travel together to and from events? Sit together at events? Camp at Festival?
  • How much time do we expect from each other? Regular times or ad hoc?
  • How long a Trial period before formalising the relationship?
  • How long is the relationship for? A set period? Until some goal is reached? Until we're tired of it?
  • How will we review the relationship? How often? Maybe a few times in the first year?
  • What happens if we don't meet each other's expectations?
  • What happens if one of us doesn't want to do it any more?
  • What about a Journeyman phase?

What are the agreed benefits of being a protégé?

Some possibilities:

  • Item of clothing each year, or fabric to make same, or accessories
  • Transport to events
  • Access to resources
  • Access to my time, knowledge and skills
  • Protection and defence of my name and household
  • Encouragement and feedback
  • Realistic expectations
  • Loyalty (& telling you when you are out of line rather than telling someone else)

What are the agreed responsibilities of being a protégé?

Again, some possibilities:

  • Help with household projects
  • Awareness that that your actions also reflect on me
  • Enthusiasm
  • Letting me know what you need from me
  • Listening to me
  • Trying to do what I ask
  • Being honest with me
  • Putting effort into what you are working on
  • Loyalty (& telling me when I am out of line rather than telling someone else)
  • Support for what I am trying to do
  • Feedback