A Journeyman is a skilled tradesman who knows his job. A person whom you provide the blueprint needed parts and tools and the job will get done. And done right. The name comes from medieval times, when workmen travelled from project to project. I can imagine some skilled masons talking about a fire in Amiens and how a new cathedral would be built on that site, possibly one of those new Gothic buildings popularized by Abbot Sugar. And then they would journey to where the work was.

Amiens Cathedral took centuries to build. Today a couple years is a big project. But journeymen still journeys. When I began my apprenticeship my employer explained that "in the trades you are always working yourself out of a job." This isn't the Winchester Mystery House where the purpose was to keep building. You finish, you leave and head for the next job.

As a green apprentice the journeymen seemed impossibly skilled. They would take a pipe and bend it in impossible shapes. There was so much to learn, so many different parts and pieces. There was the National Electric Code. Dealing with building inspectors who are friendly enough when they think you're doing good work. Contactors and motor starters controlled macinery located everywhere.

As a former academic I was far more skilled with libraries than tools. My body was soft, skin tender. I remember struggling to carry a 4x8' plywood sheet. But as I worked I learned, as I went to class I learned. My body grew strong, and my hands covered with callouses. I won an apprenticeship contest during my final year and was sent to compete in a national competition. I didn't win, and even when I graduated I really didn't feel like a journeyman, not the truly skilled men I began with.

Then a few weeks ago we had to move a few thousand feet of pipe. There was me and a few green apprentices. I sent one out to get the truck, and when it arrived we started loading.

I watched them as I worked, struggling to grab each bundle of pipe, looking so unsure of where they were. I knew to stick my fingers in the openings to pop them up to grab, and though I am old enough to be these boys fathers, I outworked any three of them. And I barked out instructions, showing them how I worked. Today it is my pipe that arches across obstructions to land at its destination, perfectly plumb and level. Today I spent lunch teaching apprentice Molly about Class A circuits for a fire alarm system.

I watched those apprentices looking at me, like I once admired Rich, Forde and Dave, trying to master the things they had to teach. And I realized that I am, at last, a journeyman.

(Myth units)

The Journeymen are an order that's split from the Heron Guard. The empire of Cath Bruig fell, and along with the remaining Heron Guards; the only survivors of the order were about 100 veteran members who were elsewhere at the time.

On their return to Muirthemne, they found their beloved Emperor's palace ruined. Each member took nine heavy gold tiles from the ruined walls, and hung them on their neck to symbolise their burden of guilt for being away when they were needed. The Journeymen also wear very heavy fur coats, and carry common laborer's shovels as their only armament. Almost all of them wandered to a self-imposed exile, away from everyone, feeling that was the right thing to do when they had no Emperor to serve.

On the battlefield, the value of the Journeymen is that they heal units, just like Heron Guards do. In the games, they carry six mandrake roots, enough to restore six units from near-fatal injuries to good health.

As with most Heron Guards, they have mastered the magical art of improving one's health and especially longevity. Most of the Journeymen lived long enough to see the conflict resolved, the empire of Cath Bruig restored, and to revive the order of Heron Guards to once again serve the Emperor.

Myth II manual

In professional sports, a journeyman is a player who is competent but does not have the status of a star. The derivation of the term is probably related to the technical meaning of the term, a worker between apprentice and master, or perhaps just that these players are often traded from team to team. The term is not usually used as a pejorative.

Journeyman players are often sought by teams because they need a special niche filled. While not excelling overall, their experience at a single position or role can often round out a team that has very good players in one or two positions, and just needs an anchor for their talents.

Jour"ney*man (?), n.; pl. Journeymen.

Formerly, a man hired to work by the day; now, commonly, one who has mastered a handicraft or trade; -- distinguished from apprentice and from master workman.

I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well


© Webster 1913.

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