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Sir Charles deMouton-Black:


By this Covenant, an Order known as THE ANCIENT AND HONOURABLE BROTHERHOOD OF BERTHOLD AND BACON is hereby recognized always to have existed from the days of those Venerable and Ancient Bretheren


THE SUBLYME  & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT, (SHOTS) , In common parlay referred to as THE BLACK ORDER, or “The Order” in this Covenant

THE PURPOSE of The Order is to Uphold and Propagate the exercize of armes employing the ANCIENT SUBSTANCE called gonne powder or the HOLY SOOT. These armes, or devices, are called GONNES.  They vary from Artillerie, and include Rockets (as recently perfekted by Master Congreve), to handgonnes, arquebusiers, carbines and all sorts of rifled armes, musketry and fowling pieces, and include armes charged with loose gonne powder and armes charged with cartridges of metal, paper, or skin.  It does NOT include the Holy Soot used for celebration or demolition.  Guy Fawkes has forfeited his right to be a member of The Order.

THE PRACTISE  of The Order will be perpetrated in two parts;

The BLACK ART is the practise of armes using the ANCIENT SUBSTANCE while hunting, warring, or at friendly and sporting tournaments of all sorts.

The BLACK MYSTERIE is the study, experimentation, and propagation of the knowledge required to manufacture, maintain and employ all sorts of Gonnes using the ANCIENT SUBSTANCE, and the ballistiques, rapiditie and arcs of any solid object propelled by its most sudden explosion.


The term “ANCIENT" has two meanings, not exclusive from the one to the other;

1.    Beyond the memory of living man.
2.    A man living beyond his memory, otherwise known as a "senior citizen".

A "GONNE" referred to in this COVENANT must always be emploied with the ANCIENT SUBSTANCE.

MEMBERSHIP in The Order is voluntary, and is arranged in the ranks here denoted, which must be ascended in the order in which they here proceed:

NOVICE.    This being the rank open to any person who has discharged any gonne, or desires to.

BROTHER.  This being the rank open to any NOVICE who has the deed upon, or the habitual use of, any gonne.

BROTHER AT ARMES.  This being the rank open to any BROTHER who follows the BLACK ART by either hunting with a gonne, useing a gonne in mortal combat, or competing in tournaments of sport of any sort with a gonne.

LEARNED BROTHER  This being the rank open to any BROTHER who studies the Ancient texts, conducts research into the use, improvement, and employment of gonnes, and especially those who propagate their acquired knowledge of the BLACK MYSTERIE to other members or among the heathen who still use inferior forms of gonne powder, such as those foolish pieces which propagateth NOT the glorious and sulphorous cloud when discharged.

BROTHER ARTISAN being a member who engineers, revizes, beautifies or otherwize tinkers with gonnes, accoutraments or munitions.

MASTER.  Open to BROTHERS AT ARMES, LEARNED BROTHERS, and BROTHER ARTISANS who have achieved notable success in either the BLACK ARTS or the BLACK MYSTERIES.

HONOURABLE MASTER.  Open to MASTERS who are acknowledged by their brother MASTERS to have achieved notable skill in the BLACK ARTS and for theyr prominence in propagating the BLACK MYSTERIE.

Any member may precede their rank with the term ANCIENT if they satisfy either definition.

Members may append their rank, after theyr mark, or seel, on any correspondence they choose.
Members above the rank of BROTHER may refer to themselves as LORD OF THE SOOT, or by theyr rank.

Members must rise through the ranks in order, except that BROTHER AT ARMES, LEARNED BROTHER, and BROTHER ARTISAN are equal in rank, and may choose theyr route to enlightenment, and may change it at theyre own whym.

Members promote themselves on the basis of Honour and Honesty, subject to challenge  by TRIAL BY INVECTIVE, Duelling having been outlawed except for a duelling tree at a friendly tourney, and only after a "seemly" period of time in each rank.

Members are reminded hereforth that the virtues of chastity, civility, sobriety and temperance are best and most happily fownde amongst other orders, such as munks.  Members are advised to follow these virtues ONLY whythe gonne in hand.

A prospective member of the Order may, at theyre own whym, and fayling memory if an ANCIENT, backdate theyre qualifications. Status as a NOVICE may be backdated indefinitely if he or she wore a cheap copy of a coon-skin cap and watched Fess Parker on a black and white television set as a child.  If memory does not extend that far, ownership of your own copy of THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES and QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER is prima facie proofe.  Status as a BROTHER may be backdated to when you bought your first Spanish or Italian muzzleloader kit, whether you assembled it or not.

PROOFE OF MEMBERSHIP is proved by possession of a copy of this COVENANT signed by ones-selfe, without necessitie of witnesses or oathe. In the alternative, proofe may be evidenced by signing a copy on the spot in the presence of another purported member. If a copy of the COVENANT is not available a member may prove his status by crying out at the top of his voice in the presence of at least one purported member; "THE ANCIENT SUBSTANCE ENDURES - ALL LESSER PROPELLANTS SHALL FIZZLE!"

ORGANIZATION of The Order is by consensus of the members under the Benevolent Leadership of an ANCIENT AND GRAND MASTER, assisted by PALADINS appointed by hymself and a SECRETARIAT also appointed, to keep any necessary records or an Exchequer as required.  If an ANCIENT AND GRAND MASTER cannot be arrived at by consensus, GOD HELP US.

Members of any rank may be "at Large".  This does not depend on the length of theyr gonne belt, but indicates that they practise the BLACK ART or the BLACK MYSTERIE as individual champions.  Alternatively, members may arrange themselves as a HOUSE, or a COMPANY.  A HOUSE implies a geographical entity, while a COMPANY may be devoted to a particular form of the BLACK ART. 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION is normally decided by LEARNED DISCOURSE, followed by adoption by consensus.  Discourse is best proceeded with after proper vocal lubrication wythe that ancient liquid, Bier, or any other water of life.

TRIAL BY INVECTIVE may be invoked by a member of any rank who wishes to take any other member to task for any dispute, real or imagined.  It could be for a matter of fact that cannot be resolved by LEARNED DISCOURSE, or a matter of honour, or of unseemly self promotion.  Trial by Invective ends when the matter is resolved or conceded by either party, or is ended peremptorily by resolution of at least three members of the same or higher rank.   

DISSOLUTION of the Order will be readily apparent when nobody cares anymore.


 ______________________________________  ( Seel)   

                    Rank                      Date Affected       ____________   

Sir Charles deMouton-Black:
In discussion on another thread, a proposal was made by Our Brother Dastardly Dick that a registry of members of the HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT be formed.  It just so happened that I had prepared a document back in November of 2005 that contemplated such a call to ARMES.

It is intended that this ORDER be entirely voluntary and ruled on the HONOUR System. For more background refer to this thread;,41272.0.html

Sir Charles deMouton-Black:

ANCIENT & GRAND MASTER - There should only be one person of such notable stature.  Nominations please.

PALADIN - A Paladin was an Imperial agent on roving assignment from Charlemagnes Court. I propose that there be only one for each Nation or important region within such Nation.  His appointment to be by concensus whilst  an Ancient & Grand Master (AGM) is being selected. Duties are to assist the AGM, and generally supervise such Nation or Region's members.

 I propose the following; (These are obvious to me - further suggestions are invited)
Rattlesnake Jack - Canada
Paladin UK -  Great Britain
Long Johns Wolf - Germany
Steel Horse Bailey -  USA  (Region?)
TwoWalks Baldridge - USA  (Region?)

Mike Venturino - For his activities in popularizing BPCR and otherwise publicizing all armes using the Ancient Substance.
The Mad Monk, aka E Ogre and in real life Bill Knight.  The Mad Monk, is skillful learned and has practiced such skills of the BLACK MYSTERIE to the degree that he is Nationally Known as the Most Authoritative Individual of Original Gunpowder, both historically and of current manufacture.  He has no equal in current times  

MASTERS - in no particular order or degree of importance.  Masters and above are known as Lords of the Soot, or "Soot Lord".
Bottom Dealing Mike
John  Boy
Paladin UK
Rattlesnake Jack
Mako - learned and Artisan  (a good candidate for MASTER)
Dastardly Dick

BROTHERS AT ARMES, LEARNED BROTHERS, AND BROTHER ARTISANS    (Divided or grouped?) List major acomplishments
e.g;  Raven - Artisan
Blackpowder Burn -         

BROTHERS - This is the working rank for blackpowder competitors.

NOVICES - (Need they be listed, or keep the multitudes in a lump until they acheive notoriety?)

Nominations are welcome for all ranks.


Paladin UK:
Thank you Sir Charles  :-[  I`m Honoured.

Paladin (Whats  :-[  :-[  :-[ But chuffed  ;) ) UK

john boy:
Sir Charles, thank you kindly.  Has a nice sound to it .... Master John Boy, herein enrolled in the Black Order, the SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)


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