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Meet the Kingdom A&S Champion: Elska Fjarfell

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-11-24 21:56

At the recent Arts & Sciences Championship, Elska Fjarfell was named both the Populace Choice and Kingdom A&S Champion for her making and researching of medieval soaps. She graciously shares her words with the Gazette.

His Highness discusses the finer points of soap-making with Elskja Fjarfell, Æthlemearc’s A&S Champion. Photo by Hrolfr Fjarfell.

What is your SCA name (titles)?
Elska Fjarfell (submitted but not registered yet), no titles.

How long have you been in the SCA and what group are you from?
Since november 2014, living in the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn.

You’ve just been made Kingdom A&S Champion – tell us a little about your craft.
I competed with medieval period soap made from potash drip lye and rendered sheep tallow, one soft soap and one salted-out hard soap. In contrast to modern handmade soaps, the medieval recipes I tracked down use a hot process instead of the better known cold process because the hot process allowed for deviation in the strength and purity of the lye. I also showed samples of my path to get there, including my research and experiments on how to make pure charcoal and how to drip lye strong enough for soap making.

What got you interested in it?
In my mundane live I sell fine art photography and all natural goat’s milk soap at our local Ithaca Farmer’s Market (a juried artisan and organic farmers market, which has been listed as a top 10 US destination). When I started my soap business I always wondered about making soap completely from scratch; we’re homesteaders, and as I have most ingredients in ample supply at our homestead I thought this championship would a good excuse to do some experiments. Little did I know this side project of mine would become such a huge undertaking!

What are some problems you encountered researching your craft, and how did you overcome them?
Tracking down medieval manuscripts. I started looking as soon as I joined the SCA last year and it took me a year before I found the four I listed in my documentation. Then I found that the medieval recipes are not as complete in ingredients or technique as you might think (maybe because of translation, you need to know the technique to know what it actually means, or maybe because of deliberate incompleteness, so only people of the guild could duplicate the recipes correctly) and I am still researching and experimenting to get the best, or most functional, interpretation. If anyone knows of more soap making recipes from the 17th century and earlier, please let me know.

What did you think of the A&S competition format? What did you like and dislike about it?
Having entered in Ice Dragon last year, where only the documentation speaks for the project, I really appreciated the time spent with the jurors and the general public. It is much more informative face to face, I found, as the artisan can go right for any question or interest of the visitor and have a more in-depth conversation. But I missed being able to meet and greet with the other artists as I only had a 20 minute break.

What advice would you give someone wanting to enter an A&S competition?
Don’t worry too much about the documentation, it’s about the entry. But that does not mean having a clear idea and historical background for your entry is not important – in my experience, the documentation is used to be able to place the entry at the right skill level and for historical relevance. So see the documentation as your lab notes – not so much as an insurmountable research paper – to give proper context to your entry, and you’re ready to compete!

What do you have planned for the future for new projects or further research?
I would like to be able to make a reliable lye/oil neutral soap on the level of guild production using only techniques available at that time. I would love to be able to do demonstrations over open fire at, for instance, Pennsic, and show all the different stages hot process drip lye soap goes through before it is finished. With a little help from modern techniques, mostly measuring, I can make a decent medieval soap now but I want to be able to learn to make good soap as indicated in the recipes, which use arcane skills to know when to add more lye or fat and when the soap is done – skills learned in guilds, taught from father to son and only sparingly put to paper. I am collecting manuscripts from after the guilds period but before the invention of pure sodium lye to get a better understanding of the manufacturing part and it looks like I might have found a couple interesting new ones recently (time for more kitchen experiments!).

What would you like to see more of with A&S in the Kingdom?
As an aspiring Brewer I would love to see Regional and Kingdom level Brewery competitions, as quite a few of the A&S events are on dry sites… and from experience, more transparency in how (and where) competitions are conducted, ahead of time, and in detail, so artisans can prepare beforehand and know what is expected of them when entering. I thought Fridrikr and Orianna did a marvelous job doing just that with the Kingdom A&S Championship; it sure made the challenge of competing a lot less stressful!

Anything else you’d like to add?
I did not expect a simple soap making project to create such an interest, and I am happy I persevered even though quite a few of my trials became rather interesting errors (and then became perfect moments of learning after a good thinking things over, rechecking the paperwork and extensive Googling) and I ended up being quite the example for my too-scared-to-fail-to-even-try seven year old son!

Thank you for this awesome opportunity,
Elska Fjarfell

Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report – 100 Minutes War

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-11-24 10:48

On a glorious fall day, November 21 AS L, Their Majesties Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri did visit the Shire of Rusted Woodlands to attend the 100 Minutes War.

Before the combat could begin, Their Majesties held court.  Simon Gwyn was called forth.  His prowess noted, Their Majesties called forth the Order of Chivalry companions.  Simon was presented with a Writ to sit vigil, and a scroll by Eloise of Coulter with words by Anya the Fearless.

Next did Brennan and Caoilfhionn invite in Ruslan Novgordocev.  Further, their Majesties welcomed Ronald and Brownwyn.  Ruslan was presented with a stone carved by Olaf Haroldson for his long-ago inclusion into the Order of the Tyger’s Combatant at Pennsic XIX.

Suspending their court, Brennan and Caoilfhionn visited the Rapier field.  Once more they opened court, and called forth Yehuda ben Moshe.  His skill with rapier noted, they called before them the companions of the Order of the Silver Rapier.  Yehuda received a medallion and a scroll by Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova with words by Alys Mackyntoich.

The order still incomplete, Their Majesties called into their court Æsa Sturludottir.  She was presented a medallion and a scroll by Palotzi Marti.

Not yet done with the order, Brennan and Caoilfhionn invited into court James O’Galleghure.  He was presented with a medallion and a scroll by Johnathan Blaecstan.

But wait, there was one more.  Guillaume de Navarre was called into court and also added to the order of the Silver Rapier.  He received a medallion and a scroll by Christiana Crane featuring a French translation by Kirsa Oyutai.

Their business concluded, court was suspended once more til evening.

Their Majesties opened court in the evening, inviting their cousin King Tindal of Æthelmearc to join them.  The captains of the melee teams for the 100 Minutes War amongst the heavy combatants, (Simon Montgumery, the victor, and Kennimathor Geirsson) were called forward and presented scrolls by Nyfain merch Coel with words by Bjorvig Grimskald Huderson.  The captains of the melee teams for rapier were called forward (Remy Delamontagne de Gascogne, the victor, and Orlando Sforza) and also presented scrolls.

Brennan and Caoilfhionn invited into court Tanaka Raiko.  Tanaka swore fealty, as he does at every 100 Minutes War.

Their Majesties invited into their court young Dahlia of House Three Skulls.  They spoke of her service, and invited her to become a Page of their court.  They called forth the Order of the Tyger’s Cub, and presented her with a medallion and a scroll by Leonete d’Angely.

Now were the children called into court.  Ciaran Ua Meic Thire became the pray of the velociraptors as they ran after the toybox to the delight of all present.

Brennan and Caoilfhionn invited into their court Titus Hostilius Nero.  Speaking of his service, they made him a Lord of their court and Awarded him Arms.

Next was Talan ap Gueiluirth called before the court.  He was made a Lord of the court and Awarded Arms, receiving a scroll by Ellesbeth Donofrey.

Their Majesties called into their court Ciar of Skye.  She was made a Lady of the court, and Awarded Arms, receiving a scroll by Æsa feilinn Jossursdottir.

Their majesties invited into court all those attending their first, second or third event.  An impressive number of newcomers came forward, and were presented with a token to remember the experience by.

A chorus of vivats welcomed them.

Brennan and Caoilfhionn called into court Lily MacRuarie.  Speaking of her long service, they named her a Lady of the court and Awarded her Arms.

Their Majesties inviting Ellesbeth Donofrey before them.  They congratulated her on her excellent fundraising campaign, and received the spoils of her hard work.

Akos Zekel was called into the court of Their Majesties.  His works noted, he was made a Lord of the court, and Awarded Arms, receiving a scroll with illumination by Melina al Andalusiyya, calligraphy by Robin dit Dessaint and words by Dankwert Bathory.

Brennan and Caoilfhionn invited into court Rademes of Surtr’s Brood.  The named him a Lord of their court, and Awarded him Arms.

Their Majesties invited Miles Bowemen before them.  Speaking of his service and prowess in archery,

they called forward the companions of the Order of the Sagitarius.  Thus they made him a member of the order.  Miles received a medallion and a scroll by þóra Eiríksdóttir with words by Phillip Reed the Facetious.

Their Majesties called forth Frederick von Eisenfaust.  They spoke of his many works and named him a Lord of the court.  He was Awarded Arms and presented a scroll with illumination by Lorita de Siena and calligraphy by Nest verch Tangwistel.

King Brennan and Queen Caoilfhionn invited into their court Caterina dei Gabrielli.  She was named a Lady of the Court.  Caterina was Awarded Arms and received a scroll by Mariette de Bretagne.

Her Majesty addressed His Majesty, and commented on the fact that while he was not a fencer, he had claimed the Carolingian Calivers as His Own Rapier Unit.  Citing her displeasure that he had taken such a bold move, she called forth The 404, and named them as Her Own Heavy Combat Unit.  King Brennan

did claim that he felt he had been sufficiently trumped.

Next Their Majesties invited before them Máel Eoin mac Caíndelbáin.  They Awarded him Arms, and made him a Lord of their Court.

Brennan and Caoilfhionn invited into court Vettorio Antonello.  Speaking of the many scrolls which they

had presented naming him as scribe, they called forth the Companions of the Order of the Maunche.

Their Majesties made Vettorio a companion of the Order.  He received a medallion and a scroll by Lada Monguligin with words by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.

His Majesty Tindal of Æthelmearc thanked his hosts for their hospitality.  Business concluded, the court

of Their Majesties Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri was closed.

Thank you to the court heralds – Phillip Reed, Ryan McWhyte, Jehane de Fenyk, and Liadin Ingen Chineada

In Service,

Malcolm Bowman, Eastern Crown Herald

Filed under: Court

BBM/Bergental Yule Schedule Available

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-11-24 08:54

Will you be coming to the Yule Event held by the Barony Beyond the Mountain and the Barony of Bergental on December 5th?  Their Majesties will be in attendance, and Curia will also be held.  The Event Steward, Ciara McRobbie, has provided a schedule so people can plan their day.  More information about the event can be found at the event announcement on the East Kingdom website.

Schedule for the Day:

7:30-9:00 Set-up
9:00 Site Opens
9:00 Archery Range Opens (weather permitting)
10-10:30am Morning Court
10:30-11:30 A&S Class: Middle-Class Elizabethan Women’s Garb: Show and Tell-The Worshipful Company of Their Majesties Underwear
10:30-11:30 A&S Class: Cross Stitch: SCA myths and extant examples-Lady Mariot Carllein
10:30-1:30 A&S Class: Making yarn dolls in period-Erszebet
10:30-1:30 Curia
10:30 Bergental Rapier Championship Tourney
11:00 Yule Spear Tourney
11:00-11:40 Family Activities-Make orange pomanders Madame Perronnelle de Croy
12:00-2:00 Dayboard
12:00 “A Yultide Fencing Tourney”
12:30 Bergental Heavy List Champions Tourney
1:00-3:00 Youth Combat List
1:30 Family Activities-Plague Rat Game Mdme Perronnelle de Croy (space/weather permitting)
1:30-2:30 A&S Class: Blackwork Embroidery-Sybill Teller
1:30-2:30 A&S Class: Basic leather work-Mistress Camma da Daraich
1:30-3:00 Heraldic Consultation
1:30-3:30 A&S Class: Build a laminated English longbow-Axel B. Boy
1:30-4:00 Athena’s Thimble Panel
1:30-3:30 Dancing
2:30-3:30 A&S Class: Beginning Brewing-Max the Executioner
4:00 Afternoon Court
6:00 Yule Ceremonies
6:30 Feast
9:00 Site Closes

Filed under: Events Tagged: Barony Beyond the Mountain, Bergental, curia

The Witch Girl, Medieval Churches and 25 Things about the Vikings - Mon, 2015-11-23 01:41
This week's medieval news round up...

[View the story "The Witch Girl, Medieval Churches and 25 Things about the Vikings" on Storify]

Our photo of the week comes Travelholic Path on Flickr, who took this image while at the Alcobaça Monastery in Portugal.

Categories: History, SCA news sites

Officer Profile: Silver Buccle Herald

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-11-22 19:17

Welcome to our interview with the Kingdom Herald, whose title is Silver Buccle Herald. This is the second in our series of interviews with Kingdom officers, to learn what they do. You can read the first, an interview with the Kingdom Historian, here

The Gazette wishes to thank Master Kameshima for his thoughtful and well-written answers to our questions!

What is your SCA Name and persona?

​Kameshima​ Zentarō Umakai is a government official in 16th century Japan, serving in the Department of State and Ceremony.

How did you become a herald?

​When Dame Elsbeth Anne Roth was Laurel Sovereign of Arms (the chief herald of the SCA), her staff mainly consisted ​of people from the Debatable Lands. She, along with Lady Juliana de Luna and Lady Richenda du Jardin, saw this as an excellent opportunity to train a new generation of heralds, and invited me to start attending her staff meetings. I fell in love with so-called “book heraldry” (the study of how names and coats of arms existed in period, and helping other SCAdians to design theirs) at those meetings.

My interest in Court Heraldry stemmed from my love of theater, which goes back to when I was a child. Mistress Giulietta da Venezia, who was Comet Pursuivant of the Debatable Lands at the time, helped teach me all the things I needed to know to conduct Baronial and Royal Courts.

Photo of Master Kameshima by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

What does the Kingdom Herald do?

​The Kingdom Herald is in charge of coordinating all the Heralds in the Kingdom (called the “College of Heralds”). This includes overseeing the process of name and armory submissions within the Kingdom, coordinating heralds to conduct Royal Courts, and making sure that martial tournaments such as Crown Tournament and the Queen’s Rapier Championship are called by heralds if they so desire.

Each Kingdom​’s College works a little differently. In Æthelmearc, at least for the last several years, the Kingdom Herald (who has the title of Silver Buccle Principal Herald in Æthelmearc) has had the responsibility of being the primary Court Herald, but that will be changing. Starting with Their Highnesses, each set of Royalty will have a primary Court Herald (who will have the title of “Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald”) as part of their Reign Staff.

What kinds of heraldry are there in the SCA?

​Heraldry in the SCA is divided into three major categories:

Book Heraldry is the study of names and armory as they were used throughout SCA period. Heralds help people come up with the names and coats of arms that they use ​in the SCA.

Court Heraldry is the practice of conducting Royal Court. That means a lot more than just reading scrolls out loud! There’s a lot of protocol and ceremony that goes along with Royal Court, plus you need to work with the Royalty to make sure that Court remains interesting and doesn’t drag on too long.

Tournament Heraldry is helping to “emcee” martial tournaments, which includes making sure that the fighters know when and in which “list” they’re going to be fighting, making sure the audience knows who’s fighting, and making sure that the traditions of the list are followed (like the conducting of “honors,” which are where the fighters pay honor to the Crown, to their inspirations, and so on).

Who are your deputies, and what are their roles?

​I have a lot of deputies! And most of them have titles that, like mine, are named after awards here in Æthelmearc.

There are Regional Deputies for each of the 5 Regions of the Kingdom who are in charge of keeping closer tabs on what’s going on with the local groups in their regions than I’m able to. Their titles are Millrind (Region 1), Gage (2), Scarlet Guard (3), White Horn​ (4) and Fleur d’Æthelmearc (5).

I also have deputies who are in charge of various specific aspects of heraldry. Garnet and her deputy Cornelian are in charge of the submissions process (which I’ll explain in more detail below). Keystone is my Education deputy, and he organizes heraldic education classes for Heralds & Scribes Symposiums and Æthelmearc Æcademies, as well as local educational opportunities. Sycamore is in charge of Tournaments, organizing heralds to emcee Crown and other tournaments. Their deputy Seedling is in charge of the Crown Tournament Shield Trees, from which you’ve seen the combatants’ armory hanging at Crown. Golden Alce is the deputy for the Order of Precedence, which is the list of who has what awards and when they got them.

​Finally, the College of Heralds has a Silent Heraldry deputy, in charge of providing sign language​ interpretation during Courts, a College Webminister, and, because we maintain our own bank account, a College Exchequer.

What is the College of Arms? How does it operate?

​The College of Arms is the collective name for all the heralds in the SCA!​ But you’re probably asking how the submission process works. When you submit a name or armory, first it gets sent to Garnet. Garnet puts it out on what’s called an “Internal Letter of Intent,” where heralds throughout Æthelmearc (and a few from other Kingdoms) get about a month to do extra research, make sure that the names and armory don’t “conflict” (they’re not too close to names and devices that are already registered), and so on. Then Garnet will decide whether it needs to be returned for more work, or whether it can get sent in an “External Letter of Intent” to the Laurel Queen at Arms and their deputies, the Pelican Herald (who makes name decisions) and the Wreath Herald (who makes armory decisions). Then heralds throughout the SCA get another chance to look at it, do more research, or anything else that is needed. Finally, Pelican and Wreath will make decisions on all the names and armory that were submitted in a given month from all around the SCA, whether it is returned, or registered for all time. A few months later, their decisions are published in a “Letter of Acceptances and Returns” (“LoAR”) which are posted on the LoAR page of the SCA heraldry website.

The whole process takes about 9 months. I know that sounds like a long time, but the SCA is a big place, and we want to make sure we get it right!

Do only Kingdom-level heralds get to do courts?

​Nope! While Silver Buccle does the majority of Courts (and the Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald will be taking over that job), that’s just so that the Royalty have a primary point of contact to develop a smooth working relationship. When I can’t make it to an event, I’ll ask one of the local heralds to conduct Court. And when I am at an event, usually I’ll have another herald assist me as a “Second Herald,” helping me to keep everything organized, read scrolls, and generally make Court interesting for the populace, and a special moment to remember for those getting recognized.​

​Anyone who’s interested in giving Court a try should ask Silver Buccle or Jewel of Æthelmearc. We’ll work with you and train you so you know the things you’ll need to know. How else do you think you get good at this job?

What kinds of things can people find on the Æthelmearc College of Heralds website?

​The College of Heralds website contains all sorts of heraldic resources, including submission forms, links to Internal and External Letters of Intent, the Order of Precedence, past Court Reports, and the Kingdom Roll of Arms, which contains pictures of all the names and coats of arms used by the Royalty, Groups​ and Populace of Æthelmearc. There’s also a Staff Roster of all the heralds in Æthelmearc.

The site’s going to be going through a lot of updates and upgrades in the next few months, which started with the brand new Order of Precedence page put in place a few months ago. Stay tuned!

What makes for good heraldic design?

​Good heraldic design, by and large, is simple. For most of period, coats of arms had one or two types of charges, and no more than two or three colors. Remember, not only did these need to be easily recognizable through a helmet while on horseback​, but people needed to remember the heraldry of the people they were fighting with, so they knew who was trying to kill them and who wasn’t. Here in the SCA, because we have so many people who have armory, sometimes our armory gets a little more complex than what you saw in period, so that it doesn’t conflict with someone else. But simpler is always better.

Heralds describe armory using a special language technique called blazoning. It’s a standardized way of describing the colors and charges of armory. A lot of people find it a little bit intimidating, but heralds love to teach people how to blazon heraldry!

What are the best ways to choose an SCA name?

​Start by talking to a herald. There are few things that make heralds sadder than having to tell someone that the name they picked out of a fantasy book can’t be registered. You should, however, have some general idea of where you want to start. Some people choose a time and culture (“I want to be Italian, maybe 15th century; I love the clothing!”), and heralds can show you lists of names that were used in that time and place. Some people choose a name (“My grandmother was named Anna, so that’s what I want my name to be”), and heralds can do their best to find times and places that name, or something like it, was used. Other people have a certain meaning they like (“I want a last name that means ‘dark wolf’), and heralds can help you translate that into different languages and try to find names that get close to that meaning.

My lady wife, Isabel, says the best advice she ever got about choosing a name in the SCA is “Make sure it’s something that you’ll answer to when you’re on fire.” Sound advice, but let’s hope we never have to test that out! ​

Photo by Mistress Rowena ni Donnchadh.

How can I become a herald?

​Just speak up. If your local group has a herald, talk to them and ask how you can help. If you want to learn book heraldry, Garnet holds her monthly decision meetings on Google Hangout, so if you have a Google account, you can get an invitation to sit in and listen. Not only will you learn a whole lot about name and armory research, but you’ll get an inside view on how the decision process is made. If you want to get involved in tournament heraldry, find a tournament that’s being heralded and ask to help. That includes Crown Tournament! If you want to give Court a shot, again, find Silver Buccle or Jewel of Æthelmearc and just ask. We LOVE getting new people involved in heraldry.​

If I’m not good at designing devices but I want to herald courts or tourneys, can I still be a herald? Or what if I like the device and name parts, but don’t want to do courts?

​Sure! Very few heralds do all three (much less do all three well). Some of the most famous heralds in the SCA have never heralded a Court or a tournament; others have never done any research into names or armory. It’s all about doing what you love, so find what you love and do it.

Why did my submission bounce, and what can I do about it?

​If your submission gets returned for any reason, the most important thing to remember is that you have one year to resubmit without having to pay again. We’re not in this for the money, our job is to get people historically reasonable names and armory that they like.

The most important thing to do is talk to a herald and show them the return letter that you got from Garnet. A lot of times, the reasons for return are written for heralds, and people who haven’t learned name or armory research might not understand what it means. ​Your local herald, or the herald that helped you with the original submission, can go over with you what went wrong, and what you can do to fix it and get it back into the process.

My device submission bounced but I still want to use it anyway. Will I get in trouble?

​Well, there’s not really all that much “trouble” you can get into. As cool as I think it would be to be the “heraldry police,” we tend to err on the side of playing nicely with each other. So, that being said, ​that depends on why it got returned. If it got returned because it can’t be registered, then at least you can be sure that nobody else is using it either. So yes, you can use it, and while heralds might look at it and try to teach you why it’s not registerable, nobody’s going to tell you that you can’t. If, on the other hand, it got returned because it was the same as, or too close to, someone else’s heraldry, ​then yes, that person does have the right to demand that you stop using that heraldry. You can refuse, of course — like I said, we’re not the heraldry police — but since the SCA is about promoting honor, courtesy and chivalry, that would be counter to the spirit of the game that we all play.

When does your term end? How will your successor be chosen?

​The Principal Herald, like all Kingdom officers, serves a maximum of two two-year terms. I started my second term this past May, so my term will end in May 2017. Also like all Kingdom officers, my successor will be chosen by whoever will be King and Queen for the Summer 2017 reign.

Where do you see heraldry in the SCA going? Are there any changes we should expect coming?

​I’ve already talked about the biggest change: the fact that Silver Buccle won’t be the primary Court Herald. As a result, I’ll have a lot more time to concentrate on two things that have always been very important to me as a herald: education and recruitment. The Regional Heralds will be working with local groups to encourage heraldic workshops, consultation tables, and other opportunities for more people to learn and practice heraldry.

Heraldry — be it the use of names, the display of armory, or the pageantry of Court and tournaments — is one of the primary ways of making what we do in the SCA feel more “real.” Just as a fighter likes their kit to be authentic, or someone who makes garb wants to get the garment right, or a scribe wants their scroll to look like it came out of a medieval manuscript, we heralds love to see banners hanging in the hall, and we love to hear names ring loud and clear through the hall. More than anything, though, we love to teach others what we’ve learned and encourage people to love heraldry as much as we do.

Why not give it a try?

All photos not otherwise credited are by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Categories: SCA news sites

Alamire: composer, scribe, musician, spy? - Sat, 2015-11-21 22:46

Bavarian composer Petrus Alamire was a man of many talents including, possibly, a spy. Last year, his choral work, composed for Henry VIII, came in at number 2 on the classical music charts with an album by the choral group Alamire. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

A Hearty Hael Welcome for the Investiture of Magnus & Miriel!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-11-19 19:54

Join us in the Illustrious Barony of the Rhydderich Hael for the Investiture of Magnus de Lyons and Miriel du Lac on December 12, 2015 from 10 – 9 pm. The event will be held at Wrights Corners Fire Company, 4043 Lake Avenue, Lockport NY 14094.

We bid a fond goodbye to Baroness Isolda filia Georgii and Baron Carolus Loke as they retire to their country land holdings and pass the coronets on to their successors.

Here are some of the highlights planned for the day (aside, of course, from the Investiture itself):

There will be a rapier tourney run by Baron Caleb, either a round robin or a bear pit depending on the number of fencers. The requirement for the tourney will be parry object and sword. In addition to the overall winner (for which the prize is a length of velvet suitable for a cape), there will be a prize for the best parry object representing the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael. Make a parry item that will show off the Barony (like a dragon), Beau Fleuve (like a griffin), or the Hael’s past Cantons (such as a Chevy Blazer for Winter’s Edge or a Question Mark for Duncarrigh). Or make something in honor of a past Baron or Baroness of the Hael (like a horse for our founding Baroness, Morgan Elandris; a peacock for our current Baroness, Isolda; or a large ham for Caleb). All parry items must meet the current Kingdom and Society rules for rapier parry objects. Other than that, let your imagination go wild.

For those fencers who do not have their parry auths, or who do not wish to fence with a parry object in the tourney, you can make a sock puppet. The sock puppet must not be so thick that the fencer cannot feel an incoming shot and the fencer must be able to wield their sword in their off-hand, if they lose their primary hand. Sock puppets will be judged by the same Hael-like criteria as the parry objects by our soon to be invested Magnus and Miriel.

Be it known to all heavy fighters of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc and those far beyond her borders that the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael will be holding a day of tournaments for the Investiture of Magnus and Miriel and the well-deserved retirement of Carolus and Isolda. Please join us for this joyous occasion and prove your might on the list field. If the weather holds we have the opportunity to hold field battles outside (including combat archery and melees). If the dread Ice Dragon should visit we will have plenty of indoor fighting space. More fighting information will be posted as the date approaches. Stay tuned for all the best heavy combat an Investiture can have.

Make sure to polish your armour and bring your banners to display your heraldry. Be prepared to prove your prowess and enjoy the other festivities. We will also as always in Hael spirit provide the opportunity for all new authorizations and secondary authorizations during the day. Our Barony would love to not only greet their new Baron and Baroness but also the Kingdom’s newest fighters. ~ Horatius

There will be an A&S competition with the theme of Rhydderich Hael Baronial Heraldry. Entries that could be given as largess afterward would be appreciated. This competition is wide open; EZ-DOC is acceptable for documentation. ( The competition will be judged by our new Baron and Baroness. Nothing with a Baronial theme? Bring your best work, as there will be a separate prize, given by Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, for a non-Baronial themed entry.

This is our traditional Masked Ball event so there will be dancing between removes of the feast, and afterward as well. Masks encouraged and a prize will be given for the Best Mask.

There will be scheduled activity for our younger members. Please remember that parents must be present or within eyesight of their minor child for these.

The site is wet (period containers please) and we encourage candles for dinner; please help us bring back the magic of feasting by candlelight.

The Head Chef is Lord Bovi Davidson. The repast will include the following:

Olives and assorted cheezes
Eyroun in Lentyn (Fake Egg)

First course:
Meat Pies
Spiced Cabage

Second Course:
Chykonys in Bruette (Chicken cooked in a spiced beer sauce)
Baked Stuffed Mushrooms
Trayne Roast of Skirwittes & Apples (Parsnips and Apples roasted and glazed with honey)

Payne Foundow (A version of Bread Pudding)

Autocrat is Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, 7132 Taylor Rd, Hamburg, NY 14075,, 716-860-1550.

Send reservations to: Melissa Hannon (THL Zofia Kowalewska), 53 Koester St, Buffalo, NY 14220,, 716-867-5550. Early reservations are encouraged as the feast is capped at 100 gentles. The only good reservation is a paid reservation.

Costs are as follows:
Site Fee
8.00                 Adults
5.00                 6-17
Free                 6 and under
20.00               Family Cap

Feast Fee
8.00                 adult
4.00                 4-17
Free                 4 and under, but must register if chair needed

$5 NMS fee will be charged to non-members. Make checks payable to SCA, NY Inc. Barony of Rhydderich Hael.

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Æthelmearc Æcademy in Riversedge, November 14, A.S. L

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-11-19 08:25

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain II, basileos kai basilissa Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Æthelmearc Æcademy, 14 November Anno Societatis L, in the Shire of Riversedge, accompanied by Their Highnesses Byron and Ariella, Prince and Princess of Æthelmearc. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, with the assistance of Lady Raven Whitehart.

In the morning:

Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn and Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona, the Kingdom Ministers of Arts and Sciences, swore their fealty as Kingdom Officers.

Master Fridrikr begged a boon of the Imperatori, for he felt there was a grave oversight to correct. There was one, he said, whose art had reached the entirety of the Pennsic Wars for many years. He draws labyrinths that touch the hearts of young and old alike, for as many reasons as there are those who walk his mazes. He begged that the Emperor and Empress recognize this man’s accomplishments by inducting him into Their Imperial Council of the Laurel. They agreed, convened the Council, and summoned forth THL Ambrose Kyrielle. They charged him to sit vigil and contemplate whether he would accept a seat on Their Imperial Council, and bade the Order escort him to the place of contemplation that had been set for him.

THLord Ambros Kyrielle is sent to vigil for the Order of the Laurel.

In the evening:

Sisu the  Strong was brought forth and recognized with the Order of the Silver Sycamore for her research into period felting and her teaching of classes to instruct others in that same art, and all at the age of 8. Scroll by Ursula of Rouen.

Sisu the Strong receives a Silver Sycamore.

Thora the Destroyer was awarded the Order of the Silver Buccle for her service in the kitchens and helping with demos and setup and cleanup at events, and for teaching classes. Scroll illuminated by Frusina Bahor and calligraphed by Kieran MacRae.

Thora the Destroyer is admitted to the Silver Buccle.

The children of the kingdom were brought forth and sent to play and enjoy themselves while the adults conducted the business of Court.

The Imperatori brought forth the Assassin’s Guild and presented them with a signed charter to create them as an official guild of the Kingdom, subject to certain rules and restrictions as outlined in said charter. Charter by Maggie Ru.

The Assassin’s Guild is chartered.

The Imperator agreed that with the presence of such assassins in His land, even despite their allegiance to the Throne, the strength and leadership of the Sylvan Army was paramount. He had bidden His Highness choose a Warlord that would lead Æthelmearc through his reign, and he called forth the current Warlord, Syr Steffan Ulfkelsson, with whom His Highness had consulted strongly. They announced that His Majesty Tindal Augustus would lead the Sylvan Army once He had retired from the throne.

Syr Steffan went on to announce that THL Thorsol Solinauga was victorious in the day’s Unbelted tournament. His prize, courtesy of Duke Duncan von Halstern, was a basket hilt that His Grace had himself received in a similar tournament from the hand of Sir Kadan Chakhilghan ger on Echen.

THLord Thorsol is recognized as the Unbelted Tourney winner.

Tiðfriðr Alfarinsdottir was Awarded Arms for her service setting up events, at troll, in kitchens, and cleaning up events, and for her work as Shire Chronicler. Scroll by Maria Christina de Cordoba.

The Imperatori present Lady Tiðfriðr Alfarinsdottir to the populace.

Lord Mael Daire ua Duinn was inducted into the Order of the Golden Alce for his skill on the heavy weapons field, most notably with axe and with sword and shield. Scroll illuminated by Tegrinus de Rhina and calligraphed by Baroness Alex.

Lord Mael Daire is inducted into the Golden Alce.

Duke Duncan von Halstern was created a Companion of the Sycamore for his study and practice of the arts of woodworking and Viking potmaking. Scroll by Caleb Reynolds.

Duke Duncan receives a Sycamore.

The autocrats of the day, Duchess Ilish O’Donovan and Lady Katelyn Rose, were brought forth to thank their staff.

The autocrats thanks their staff.

While Lady Katelyn was in the Imperial presence, The Imperatori elevated her to the Order of the Sycamore for her research and teaching into clothing making, especially St. Birgitta caps, and cordmaking. Scroll by Anlaith ingen Trena.

Lady Katelyn Rose receives a Sycamore.

Mistress Katla speaks for THLord Ambrose.

THL Ambrose Kyrielle was recalled before the Imperatori to answer the question that had been set before him that morning. He confirmed that the Council of the Laurel had advised him, and that he would accept elevation to the Council. Their Majesties convened the Council and asked for testimony from worthy Peers. Countess Elena d’Artois spoke of Ambrose’s peer-like qualities of grace, gentility, charisma and hospitality, which he has consistently displayed for over 15 years. Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter spoke of the chivalric virtue of humility, for Ambrose creates his art without seeking or taking credit, but now everyone will know his name. Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn of the Order of the Pelican spoke of the service that art provides, that the labyrinths that Ambrose creates are walked for many reasons, and that he provides the service of taking art and bringing it to the people. Mistress Katla Ulfheðinn of the Order of the Laurel spoke of Ambrose’s consistent teaching, and that every time she talks to him she learns something new. Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona bore the words of Mistress Brid nic Shéarlais of the East Kingdom, who had known Ambrose since he was a child and watched over him like a foster mother, and who had seen him grow and flourish in his study of labyrinths into a man whose hospitality and honor are renowned. Having heard such testimony, Magnus Tindal Augustus stated that he wished to see Ambrose bedecked in the raiment of a Councilor of the Laurel, and he was gifted with a medallion, a hood, a brooch, a wreath, and the traditional Laurel fruitcake. Now that he presented the visage of a Councilor, Magnus Tindal Augustus and Etain Augusta awarded Ambrose Arms by Letters Patent, and created Master Ambrose Kyrielle a Peer of the Realm and a Companion of the Laurel. Scroll illuminated and calligraphed by Una de Saint Luc upon wording by Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn.

Ambros Kyrielle is elevated to the Order of the Laurel.

Mistress Marsi of Hadley, the class coordinator, and Mistress Alicia Langland, the Chancellor of the Æcademy, were invited forth to thank all those who taught classes, as well as all those who helped to make the Æcademy a continuing success. Her Majesty presented them with Her tokens of inspiration on behalf of all the day’s teachers.

Mistress Alicia and Mistress Marsi address the populace.

All those who contributed to the day’s scribal efforts were asked to stand and be recognized.

There being no further business, this Court of Their Majesties was closed.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai 高貴国境の王国の治部卿 Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Categories: SCA news sites

Statement from Society Exchequer on the NMS Policy

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-11-18 10:06

Pertinent to recent discussions about the Non-Member Surcharge and when it is to be in force, The Society Exchequer has issued the following statement regarding when it is and is not appropriate for local groups to collect the non-member surcharge:

The Non-Member Surcharge of $5.00 (five dollars) shall be collected at every Society, Kingdom or Local group event where:
1. the event is advertised in either the Kingdom Newsletter or the Kingdom website and/or a local newsletter or local web site
2. where it is anticipated that the SCA’s insurance will be covering the Kingdom or local group and its officers/agents
3. where a site fee (or suggested donation) is being charged for admittance.
Any participant who attends such an event who does not possess a valid membership card must be charged a $5.00 (five dollars) Non-Member Surcharge (NMS) in addition to the site fee or suggested donation amount and that NMS shall be collected and submitted to the Kingdom Exchequer or their assigned deputy within 10 business days. The Kingdom Exchequer is responsible for submitting the NMS for both Kingdom and local group events by the end of the following month.

Limited exceptions to the NMS rule:

1. Demonstrations – if the Kingdom or local group is hosting a demo at a school, a Renaissance Faire or some other gathering run by another organization (either for-profit or non-profit), the collection of NMS is not necessary; however, if the Kingdom or local group is either hosting or co-hosting the event and charging either a site fee or suggesting a donation, NMS shall be collected.

2. Regular Occurring Meetings: No NMS need be collected at a weekly, monthly, quarterly or semi-annual re-occurring event, i.e. not at an officers meeting, a local group fighter practice, or regularly scheduled local arts & science meetings. If there is an officers meeting (or any other meeting or practice) at a published event charging a site fee or a suggested donation, this meeting/practice (as part of another event) does not negate the need to collect NMS.

Categories: SCA news sites

Non-Member Surcharge Clarifications

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-11-17 10:17

Recently, Kingdom officers have received a number of requests for clarification around the issue of the Non-Member Surcharge, following a discussion about this charge at the October Board of Directors meeting. The Society Exchequer has issued the following statement regarding when it is and is not appropriate for local groups to collect the non-member surcharge.

The Non Member Surcharge of $5.00 (five dollars) shall be collected at every Society, Kingdom or Local group event where:
1. the event is advertised in either the Kingdom Newsletter or the Kingdom website and/or a local newsletter or local web site
2. where it is anticipated that the SCA’s insurance will be covering the Kingdom or local group and its officers/agents
3. where a site fee (or suggested donation) is being charged for admittance.
Any participant who attends such an event who does not possess a valid membership card must be charged a $5.00 (five dollars) Non Member Surcharge (NMS) in addition to the site fee or suggested donation amount and that NMS shall be collected and submitted to the Kingdom Exchequer or their assigned deputy within 10 business days. The Kingdom Exchequer is responsible for submitting the NMS for both Kingdom and local group events by the end of the following month.

Limited exceptions to the NMS rule:

1. Demonstrations– if the Kingdom or local group is hosting a demo at a school, a Renaissance Faire or some other gathering run by another organization (either for-profit or non-profit), the collection of NMS is not necessary; however, if the Kingdom or local group is either hosting or co-hosting the event and charging either a site fee or suggesting a donation, NMS shall be collected.

2. Regular Occurring Meetings: No NMS need be collected at a weekly, monthly, quarterly or semi-annual re-occurring event, i.e. not at an officers meeting, a local group fighter practice, or regularly scheduled local arts & science meetings. If there is an officers meeting (or any other meeting or practice) at a published event charging a site fee or a suggested donation, this meeting/practice (as part of another event) does not negate the need to collect NMS

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Non-Member Surcharge

Evidence of Viking metalworkers found in Canada - Mon, 2015-11-16 23:25

A team of archaeologists has discovered early Norse artifacts in Canada and its Arctic islands, including what it believes is a stone crucible, with traces of bronze inside, used for metalworking. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Arts & Sciences Championship, October 31, A.S. L

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-11-16 18:04

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain II, basileos kai basilissa Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Kingdom Arts & Sciences Championship, 31 October Anno Societatis L, in the Shire of Angel’s Keep, accompanied by His Highness Byron, Prince of Æthelmearc. As recorded by Baronsfrú Oðindisa Býkona, Fleur d’Æthelmearc Herald, with the assistance of Lady Amalie Reinhardt.

Their Majesties thanked the entire populace of Angel’s Keep for their willingness to host the event and for the hard work they did to make a it great day.

Their Majesties enjoying the theme of the event.

Their Majesties invited the children forward. They then called Baroness Anastasie de Lamoure into court. Baroness Anastasie then escorted the children outside for fun and games.

Their Majesties called forward Baron Fridrikr Tomasson of Knusslig Hamn and Baroness Orianna Fridrikrskona. They talked about all the wonderful entries they saw. They thanked the entrants for entering. They also thanked the judges for the work they put into evaluate the entrants. Baron Fridrikr and Baroness Orianna then gave thank you gifts to the judges.

Their Majesties called forward the top five placers of the competition: Elska Fjarfell, THL Solveig Throndardottir, Mistress Gillian Llewelyn, Baron Artemis Andreas Magnus, and Lady Cassandra Matis. Her Majesty gave them Her token to mark their accomplishments.

Baron Fridrikr announced that Elska Fjarfell was the populace’s choice for the day. She was given a token to commemorate this.

His Highness spoke of the many hours of work and fine craftsmanship that Mistress Gillian Llewlyn had put into her embroidered slippers. He then gave her a token for being the Prince’s choice.

His Majesty spoke of Lady Cassandra Matis’s fine display of prosciutto and cheese. He admired her for the many months she spent making the prosciutto. For this, He named her King’s Choice and gave her a token.

Her Majesty spoke of Baron Artemis Andreas Magnus’ stained glass display. She remarked on the many hours of work that went into each piece as well as his extensive documentation. For this, She named him Queen’s Choice and gave him a token.

Their Majesties called forward THL Christina McGhriogair, Their current Arts & Sciences Champion. They thanked her for her service as Arts & Sciences Champion and divested her of the regalia. They then called forward Elska Fjarfell and named her Their new champion and placed the sash on her. Scroll by Lady Mairghhread Stoibheard Inghean ui Chionne.

Elska Fjarfell the new A&S Champion.

Their Majesties called forward Lady Margaret Grace. It was noted that she made beautiful clothes for the royal family. For this they created her an Imperial Seamstress. Scroll by Edle Herr Fridrich Flußmüllner.

Lady Margaret Grace, Imperial Seamstress.

Their Majesties also noted that she cared for the Royal Children both at events and in their raiment. For this, they bestowed her with an Award of Excellence. Scroll by Edle Herr Fridrich Flußmüllner.

Lady Margaret Grace, Award of Excellence.

Their Majesties called forward Lady Felice de Thornton. Her Majesty spoke of Felice’s beautiful scrolls entered in the competition. She was especially pleased when Felice donated them to the kingdom. For this, Her Majesty named her as Queen’s Inspiration for the day. She was then created a companion to the Order of the Sycamore for her skill and artistry. Illumination by Lady Gillian McGill. Wording and calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blackston.

Lady Felice de Thornton, named Queen’s Inspiration and inducted into the Order of the Sycamore.

Their Majesties called forward Lady Fenris McGill. Lady Fenris spoke of how the children’s activities box went missing after the sudden death of Lady Lassairfhiona. She then thanked the Barony of Delftwood, and especially Baroness Clarice Roan, for replacement items for the new box.

Lady Fenris McGill gives thanks.

The Majesties called forward THL Desiderata Drake. THL Desiderata talked about the scavenger hunt for the children. She thanked all those adults who helped make it a success and fun for the children. Their Majesties bid her stay a bit longer. They noted she helped revitalize websites so that information was more accessible to everyone. They spoke of her many years of service both as local, regional, and currently, the Kingdom Chatelaine. They then called forward Their Most Noble Order of the Pelican. They presented her with a writ to sit vigil for contemplation of entrance into this order. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova. Wording by Master Giles de Roet.

THL Desiderata Drake receives her writ.

Their Majesties asked that all those who contributed scrolls for the event please stand and be acknowledged. They then thanked them for contributions.

Their Majesties thanked the staff of the event again and also the populace for a wonderful day. They encouraged everyone in the further pursuit of the arts and sciences.

Oðindisa Fleur d’Æthelmearc asked for a moment in the Imperial Court, which Their Majesties granted. She then requested that Baroness Helene al-Zar’qa join her. She announced to one and all that Oðindisa’s term as Fleur d’Æthelmearc Herald had come to an end, and Silver Buccle had appointed Helene the new Fleur d’Æthelmearc Herald, responsible for regional heraldic matters in Region 5 of Æthelmearc. With the consent of the Imperatori, and by the authority granted her by Silver Buccle, Oðindisa placed the Fleur d’Æthelmearc tabard on Helene’s shoulders and named her Helene Fleur d’Æthelmearc.

Helene Fleur d’Æthelmearc.

There being no further business, this Court of Their Majesties was closed.

Categories: SCA news sites

"Groundbreaking" discovery may give insight into Fujiwara-kyo, Japan's first capital - Sun, 2015-11-15 08:44

Researchers from the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties are studying a series of square holes they believe may have held the foundation for an important building in Fujiwara-kyo, the nation's capital between 694 and 710.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report from Crown Tournament

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-11-13 17:46

Photo by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

Their Majesties Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri did visit their Barony of Bergental, and held a tournament to find their Heirs on 7 November 2015, AS L.

After a tournament filled with skillful and chivalrous combat, it came down to a best of five between Kenric ӕt Essex and Hrafn Bonesetter. After three rounds rotating from sword and shield to greatsword to polearm, Kenric emerged the victor.

His Majesty Brennan crowned Kenric ӕt Essex Prince of the East, and his heir. Her Majesty Caoilfhionn crowned Avelina Keyes Princess of the the East, and her heir. In court Their Highnesses would be formally named Prince and Princess Tir Mara.

Before the tourney began, however, Their Majesties called forth Benjamin Black. Noting his prowess in combat, and service as a marshal that day, they called in their Order of the Tyger’s Combatant. He was inducted into the order and presented a medallion and a scroll by Melisande of the Gryphon Wood.

At the start of evening court, a moment of silence for those who have passed was observed.

Hrafn Bonesetter was called before the court. He was named the Admiral of the Armies, as is tradition.

The Shield of Chivalry is presented to Simon Gwynn. Photo by Camille des Jardins

The Ladies of the Rose were invited to join Their Majesties. They presented tokens to Jibril al DakhilKetilfastr Thorkilson, Hrafn Bonesetter, Sigrun Soldottir, Gelleys Jaffery, Wilhelm von Ostenbrücke and Luis de Castilla. They then chose to present the Shield of Chivalry to Simon Gwyn.

Their Majesties next called before them Aeryn Fitzpatrick. Despite her youth, they spoke of her exceptional service. They called forth the Order of the Tyger’s Cub. She was inducted into the order, presented a medallion and a scroll by Katherine Stanhope.

Her Majesty invited before her those children who had taken part in her Service Initiative. Caleb, Emma, Courtney Rose and Catline were presented tokens for their participation.

The rest of the children present were invited into court. They proceeded to stampede in their pursuit of the toybox.

King Brennan and Queen Caoilfhionn invited before them Brynhildr Amvarsdottir. They spoke of her great service to themselves and the Kingdom, and made her a Lady of the court, Awarding her Arms with a scroll featuring illumination by Adrienne d’Evreaus, calligraphy by Alexander St. Pierre and words by Aneleda Falconbridge.

Cassandra Blondel de Saint Alban was called before the court. Their Majesties spoke well of her, and Awarded her Arms, making her a Lady of the Court and presenting her a scroll by Sorcha Dhocair inghean Ui Ruairc with words by Ulrich Reinhart.

Next were Leon d’Saint Aubin and Rudolf d’Saint Aubin called into court. Their hard work noted, Their Majesties Awarded them both Arms, and made them both Lords of their Court. Leon received a scroll featuring illumination Juliana de Essex and calligraphy and words by Nest verch tangwistel. Rudolf received a scroll by Eowyn Eilonwy of Alewife Brook.

Rudolf and Leon Receive AoAs. Photo by Lady Camille des Jardins

His Majesty Brennan next invited into court Astryda Browska and Stephan of Silverforge. He spoke highly of their tremendous attention to detail in their personas and their presentation, and inducted them each into the King’s Order of Excellence. Astryda received a scroll by Onóra ingheann Uí Rauirc.

Stephan received a scroll with illumination by Sunniva Ormstung, calligraphy by Elen Alswyth of Eriskay and words by Sunniva Ormstring & Elen Alswyth.

Their Majesties both asked Stephan of Silverforge to remain in their court. Speaking highly of his skills, they invited into their court the Companions of the Order of the Maunche. He was inducted into the order and presented a medallion.

Their Majesties called before their court Raina Iskremova. Brennan and Caoilfhionn spoke of the good they had heard of her, and made her a Lady of the Court, Awarding her Arms.

The citizens of the Hamlet of…well, frankly it was a really inscrutable piece of paper they gave the

Aneleda is asked a Question. Photo by Lady Raziya bint Rusa

Herald which appeared to read the Hamlet of Hepfulton. At any rate, the citizens asked Their Majesties for assistance, as they lacked leadership. His Majesty called forward his squire, Martin Wasserpeier. So it was Martin was named the Mayor of the newly renamed Hamlet of Helpfulltown, and presented a sash of office and a scroll with illumination by Elizabeth Eleanor Lovell and calligraphy by Alys Mackyntoich.

His Majesty demanded the presence of Aneleda Falconbridge. He was quite upset to have learned that she had composed a song not for him, but for his cousin of the Mid. Her Majesty pleaded on behalf of Aneleda, but Brennan was most wroth. He determined that a jury of her peers was necessary, and called them forth – The Companions of the Order of the Laurel. Analeda was given a writ to sit vigil at A Market Day at Birka, and on that day answer whether she would be elevated to the Peerage.

Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri called forth Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova.

She answered the question they had put before her at their Rapier Champions event in the affirmative, and thus they called before them the Companions of the Order of Defense. After hearing the words of representatives of each Peerage, they presented Nataliia with a cloak and a collar. The Queen then cast a gauntlet before Nataliia and challenged her to take up the duty of a Master of Defense. The challenge being accepted, she was made a companion of the Order. The new Master of Defense was also presented a scroll by Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus.

Natalia is invested as a Master of Defense. Photo by Lady Camille des Jardins

The future of the Kingdom of the East secured, Their Majesties closed their court. Long live the King and Queen! Long live the Prince and Princess! Long live the Kingdom of the East!

In service,

Malcolm Bowman, Eastern Crown Herald.

PS – Thank you to the Rowen Cloteworthy for organizing the Heralds for the Tournament, and to the heralds and runners for their hard work.

Thank you also to the heralds for court – Leonete d’Angely, Alesone Grey of Cranleigh, Maria von Ossenheim, Yehuda ben Moshe, Liadin Ingen Chineada, and Simona bat Leon.

Filed under: Court Tagged: court report, Crown Tournament

Event Report: A & E War (aka the Corn Maze)

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-11-11 21:11

This report was written by Lord Magnus de Lyons, Lady Miriel du Lac, Duke Timothy of Arindale.

From Lord Magnus:

On a chilly fall morning a small group of intrepid members from the Rhydderich Hael headed south to experience the A&E War (aka the Corn Maze) hosted by Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais. The event boasted “More fighting and fencing than anyone should ever do in a week, all in one weekend,” and let me tell you it did not disappoint. Sadly, due to time constraints I was only able to attend Saturday’s portion of the festivities but I certainly came away fulfilled.

The setting for the event was Ard’s Farm in Lewisburg Pennsylvania. Ard’s farm is a large farm market with a country store, gift shop, and full restaurant, but the key feature of the farm was the massive ten-acre corn maze that would provide the stage for the day’s martial activities (honestly the place would be a wonderful day trip just on its own). The corn maze was divided into two sections; a large section that was set aside for heavy combat and a small section reserved for fencing (don’t let the word small mislead you; it was just as confusing as the large section). Surrounding the corn maze was a small collection of tents and pavilions for the combatants and staff including a rather welcoming fire pit. This was a three day event, so for people looking to stay the duration the site offered primitive onsite camping.

Photo by Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey.

My choice of activity for the day was heavy combat in the larger maze. I have not had the chance to get into armor since Pennsic so I was excited to suit up and get into the action. Once I was in armor and inspected I was lucky enough to run into some friendly faces. Joining my friends on the red team we headed into the maze. Having no prior knowledge of the maze it was pretty easy to get turned around even when using visible landmarks on the outside of the maze. The “tunnels” of the maze offered a challenging but not overly restrictive area to fight and was ripe with choke points, pockets, and three or four way battle points. Spears seemed very useful and popular but I was able to wield my pole arm without difficulty. Combat archery was allowed in every battle and added a nice “stay vigilant or die” element to the scenarios. Hats off to the combat archers who participated and I hope they found all their ammo at the end of the day

Heavy Combat Report by Duke Timothy:

Are you tired of the typical melee event? Do you find yourself shortly before lay on is called saying: Field battle, bridge battle, field battle, bridge battle, boring, boring, boring, boring!  If you did not make it out to this years’ A/E War, you missed an opportunity to do something completely out of the ordinary. His Majesty Tindal and Their Highnesses Byron and Ariella joined nearly one hundred combatants gathered from five separate kingdoms at a small farm in Abhainn Ciach Ghlais.  There, these warriors fought and fenced battles that were anything but the ordinary.

A ten-acre maze carved out of a corn field featuring thousands of feet of corridors, each 6 to 8 feet wide, provided a battlefield that allowed for combat far outside everyone’s usual comfort zone. It wasn’t what anyone would describe as high medievalism, but everyone present seemed to have had a great time and they all left with a smile on their faces.

Photo by Ursus.

The initial heavy battle consisted of roughly thirty fighters per side playing a game we named “polearm polo.” Sir Timothy, Viceroy Gui, and His Lordship Brada dropped a “puck,” (a 3’ diameter rubber ball,) and both teams had to move it using just polearms and greatswords. A point was determined if the puck was moved outside of one of the four maze entrances.  Both sides had to take just the right mix of weapons to help score. To add an additional threat, both sides had combat archers. Archers Baron Friderich, Baron Fergus or any of the other combat archers spent the afternoon making the undefended or unprepared fighters’ day miserable. Polearm Polo raged for about an hour, creating numerous amusing situations. In one round, the last person left in a battle at the puck was a sword and shield fighter, and it took about 10 minutes before anyone from either side was able to locate him.

We next ran a five-man melee team free for all. Each team was given three flags, similar to what would have been used in flag football, and then instructed to disperse in the maze. No two teams could work together. After each engagement, all fighters were allowed to heal wounds or revive, and the winning team took one of the losing teams’ flags. This battle lasted for about an hour. A tie was the result, with two teams ending up with six flags each.

We next decided to play Capture the Flag. While every fighter knows how to organize and marshal a bridge or field battle, the marshals were pretty much flying blind. There was some confusion as we tweaked the scenario so that it would be the most fun. We decided to use both ends of a massive wooden bridge in the center of the maze as each team’s resurrection point. Just before lay on was called, a five-man banner unit from each side had thirty seconds to choose a spot to place their banner.  The first team to capture the other side’s banner and return it to the bridge received a point. After about an hour or so, we called it at a two to two tie. Of all the day’s events, this scenario seemed to be the highlight of everyone’s fighting.

Photo by Ursus.

At this point we had been fighting for four solid hours, and we allowed folks to take a dinner break. Considering how many people gorged themselves on ribs/brisket/steak, I was quite pleased to see how few folks had disappeared when we started to fight again a couple of hours later, under the massive banks of lights that the site provided. As is now traditional, we needed to select a corn maze winner to receive the lovely scroll produced by Nemenia filia Hweli, known as Nyfain merch Coel. Each fighter was given 3 resurrections, and we had a free for all in the so-called children’s section of the maze (kind of fitting, considering that many of the fighters were giggling like idiots). When the smoke cleared, Sir Havouc was the sole survivor. What is a maze without a Minotaur? Or in our case, several? We decided to take a few of the more senior fighters and give them special abilities and see how long they could last against the bulk of the fighters, who were given unlimited resurrection. Well, when you are allowed to literally walk through the maze walls and kill from behind, it can take quite a while. Our initial crew of 5 Minotaurs, HRM Magnus Tindal, Duke Gregor, Sir Tash, Master Wulfstan the Unshod, Sir Murdoc and Sir Havouc weren’t enough of a challenge, so we added a few more. This made for a laugh riot. The Minotaurs succumbed, but it took quite a while for 30 some heavies to kill 8 or 9 Minotaurs. We did a couple side A vs. side B meat grinders, but everyone was anxious for the grand finale, our now famous (or infamous) zombie scenario. Each fighter was given an unbroken glow stick, and instructed to wander into the maze and find a spot where that they were comfortable. Then once each person was given sufficient time to wander, they were allowed to break their glow sticks; red sticks/red team, blue sticks/blue team. As a marshal, from my vantage point safe on top of the bridge in the maze’s center, it was amusing to see the occasional red in a sea of blue and vice/versa. We used the bridge as a resurrection point, and just had the fighters fight for the sake of fighting. One fighter was coached that he was patient zero; when he died, he came back as a zombie, and all his kills joined his side. Once a sufficient number of zombies had been spawned, we declared humanity’s last stand, and everyone laughed as heavies with glow sticks were slowly swamped by fighters screaming “brains”. Around 10pm, the fighters declared that they had finally had enough, about 10 hours after the initial lay on. As I said before, not what I would call high medievalism, but everyone left with a smile.

Prince Byron. Photo by Ursus.

Fencing Report by Lady Miriel:

I have been excited about this event since I read people’s war stories from last year: the night-time zombie battles, BBQ, stories by the camp fire, and just being able to run around in a corn maze sounded like a spectacular time. So when I read that there would be fencing scenarios in the maze as well this year, I was sold!

The day of the event, we arrive and I get geared up and hustle over to the “field,” hoping that I haven’t missed anything. Thankfully I arrived just in time and Lord Andreas Jager von Holstein the fencing marshal for the day, was giving the low down for the first scenario.

Scenario One: The Buckler of Destiny and the Minotaurs.
Teams of three ventured into the maze in search of the mythical Buckler of Destiny. However, in their path stood two fearsome Minotaurs (Don Po Silvertop and His Majesty Magnus Tindel), hell bent on keeping the intrepid teams from ever finding the Buckler.
Many teams entered and fell to the foul beast, but finally the creatures were slain and the victorious team exited the maze with Buckler in hand. The scenario was run once again but with a Holy Mackerel and that item was retrieved by the very first team of three.

Photo by Baroness Ellesbeth.

Scenario Two: Attack and Defend
Two teams of six, with two resurrection points in the maze. One team entered the maze first and placed the Buckler of Destiny in the maze, then set themselves up to defend the Buckler from the attacking team. The defending team had two resurrections while the attacking team had infinite resurrections. Both teams took a turn at being defenders and attackers. The team that could retrieve the Buckler and get it out of the maze the fastest was the victor.

The first defending team decided to set up a kill pocket in an alcove within the maze, the Buckler and res point both directly behind them in the alcove. The attackers went to it, trying to break the defenders’ line and fend off attackers from behind who had lain in wait. Finally, when the defenders’ resurrections were spent, the attackers grabbed the Buckler and removed it from the maze.

When the teams reversed roles, the new defending team placed their buckler and resurrection point at the farthest end of the maze and decided to go with a retreating res. They created a cup of death at the near beginning of the maze and doing their best to just hold off the attackers as long as possible. When a defender fell, they ran to the res point and placed them selves not at the first line of defense but at a new one closer to the location of the Buckler. They did this for both of their resurrections, the last line of defense right at the opening to the alcove bearing the Buckler. It came down to one lone defender, the fierce HL Alianora Bronhulle, holding off the attackers for a good half a minute, giving her team the overall win.

Photo by Baroness Ellesbeth.

Scenario Three: The Adventures and the Zombies
Three noble adventurers entered the maze, going to the farthest point with whatever weapon combos they chose. Then, the zombies entered the maze one at a time every 20 (or so) seconds. Zombies were only able to use one weapon, but could be killed only with a poke to the head. The adventurers had to survive the advancing zombie and make it out of the maze.

Almost all of the three-man teams survived, fending off the brains-hungry zombies. Cries of “Brains’, “Urrr Argh” and “Ready Whip” filled the maze as each zombie was slain on the adventurers’ path out to safety.

The Zombie Scenario was run multiple times until the fighters grew hungry for more than just brains and went to lunch at the outstanding BBQ restaurant on site.

My time doing all of these scenarios was so much fun, I couldn’t have had a more outstanding day. I loved meeting and fighting beside fencers I’ve never had a chance to meet before. I enjoyed working with the teams and working out how to best help my fellow fencers achieve victory. I was able to have some one-on-one bouts with His Majesty, Don Po, Lord Andreas, and more. Each helped me to grow in my skills and just have a damn good fight! I highly enjoyed this event and cannot wait until next year to see what’s in store for the fencers of Æthelmearc and the East.

Categories: SCA news sites

Something for Everyone at Æcademy!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-11-11 07:02

Greetings unto the most talented and erudite Kingdom of Æthelmearc from Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy!

Good Gentles,

It is my great pleasure to inform you that the schedule for Saturday’s AEthelmearc AEcademy and War College is now available here.

Are you interested in classes on clothing and accessories?

• 16th-Century Coif Make-and-Take
• From Seeing to Sewing: Intro to Pattern Making
• German Renaissance Accessories
• Heavy Metal Embroidery: Finnish Style! (Part 1:  lecture;  Part 2:  hands-on)
• To Be Well Red

How about fiber arts?
• Beginning Netting
• Beginning Stick Weaving
• Brocaded Tablet Weaving
• Making Felt Balls
• Nalbinding
• Silk Banner Making

What about food and cooking?
• Beginning Butter Makin
• Cooking on a Fire for Beginners
• Finished Brewing? NO, Bread!  A Use for Spent Grain
• Food and Drink in Early Medieval Ireland
• What is a Perfectly Period Feast?

Maybe you prefer hands-on/how-to classes?
• Beginning Lampwork Bead Making
• Cabochons – How Are They Made?
• Introduction to Armouring
• Musical Manuscript using Period Tools, Methods and Materials
• Of Charcoal and Lye
• Printmaking Made Easy (For all ages)

Is history your thing?
• Constructing Commedia dell Arte Scenarios
• Marguerite Makes a Book- An Interactive Story
• Poisons and their Historical Uses
• Poisons/Medicines/Useful Plants in the Field
• “Segja Hvaða?!” Insults in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature
• Viking Art:Is it a Borre?
• Wars of the Roses, a primer
• Write Like A Viking

Are you musically inclined?
• The Ubiquitous Recorder
• Moving Beyond Recorders – Crumhorn, Cornamuse and Kortholt

Looking for ways to up your SCA game?
• Documentation: Form and Function
• Documenting Homebrew: What Digby never told you
• Finding an SCA name
• Judging an SCA Brewing Competition
• On Being a Signet
• Researching for a project and how to proceed
• Too Terrified to Teach? Riddikulus!

And don’t forget there is a host of WAR COLLEGE and GOLDEN CHAIN classes, too!
• Combat Archery:  Introduction to Combat Archery
• Fencing:  Une Pratique Sur les Angles – A Practice in Angles for Single Sword or Sword and Dagger
• Youth Combat:  Becoming a Youth Combat Marshal

• Basic Sword and Heater
• The Basics of Melee
• Beyond the Basic Shots
• Controlling the Fight
• Early period kits, and how to get them to look more SCA
• Footwork: More than Just Moving Your Feet
• How’s it Hanging, Your body and how your armour fits
• Impromptu combat and/or philosophy class
• Leadership
• The Left-handed Fighter
• Mentality: Path to overcoming doubt
• Polearm
• Spear
• Two-hand sword fighting, incorporating a more medieval style to the weapon form

Event details can be found at here.

After you’ve had a chance to check out the amazing array of classes, remember to tell all your Facebook friends that you’ll be there on the event page!
Looking forward to seeing YOU there!

Categories: SCA news sites

Bardic Profile: Bugga Bilibit

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-11-10 05:46

Hello again!
This month’s bardic profile is of Bugga Bilibit, a performer whom I have come to know and greatly esteem over the past couple of years.

What’s your full SCA name?
Bugga Bilibit æt Elediche. My camp has a sub-group dedicated to Anglo Saxon studies, ‘Bugga’ was the name of several abbesses in period, and ‘bilibit’ is a word made up by the Anglo Saxon monk, Aldhelm, it means ‘the sound of wine pouring’. ‘Elediche’ is the name of one of our camp’s ‘villages of legend’.

What attracted you to the bardic arts?
I’ve been a singer my whole life, and a musician. I joined the SCA because I was inspired by hearing the choir perform at a Newcomer’s meeting, though my family had already been going to Pennsic for about eight years at that point.

How long have you considered yourself a bard?
I think of myself as more of a minstrel, and beginning the process of choosing to see myself as a performer of any real sort in the SCA probably really started when I won my first Barony Bardic competition a few years ago.

What’s your primary form? Do you play any instruments, and if so, which?
I am primarily a singer, though I also play mandolin and guitar, a little recorder. I’d like to be doing more with those.

Where can we find your work?
Ask me when you see me! I’ll sing on the spot.

What sorts of pieces do you enjoy producing? What attracts you to that style?
I am passionately in love with period music, the earlier the better. I love singing in other languages, I love singing with others in weird and beautiful harmonies.

Describe a favorite performance of your own in the SCA. What makes it a highlight for you?
During the Kingdom for a Stage event last year I started off one performance playing, badly, ‘Gaudete’ on my recorder. I could feel the wincing from the audience, but then I broke into a filk of ‘Gaudete’, ‘Cows Say Hey’, written by my campmate Lichang. It got a good laugh. Unexpected incongruous things please my sense of humor very much.

Also in this category: teaching my Barony to sing a Latin drinking song at a meeting, and singing with three of the Kingdom’s top Bards processing it with Æthelmarc at Pennsic opening ceremonies.

Describe a performance by someone else that inspired you in the bardic arts. How did that performance guide you to improve your own art? What did it prompt you to do?
I am continually inspired by Aneleda Falconbridge (ed. note: Analeda just received a writ to be elevated to the Laurel in the East). Her songs and performances are so joyous and unpretentious. I heard her speak at one point about writing songs that others could sing and be inspired by, and I love her way of viewing a portion of her own art as having the goal of sing along. I think ‘I Am of the North’ is perhaps my favorite of hers, though I also heard her doing a contrafait based on John Dowland about life as a parent at Birka last year that I loved.  You can find it here.

What projects are you working on now?
I’m again teaching a class on singing in other languages, because I think it’s easier and way more fun than most people think. The feel of another language in your mouth in a song is like a postcard from far away; it opens up new stuff.

But my big obsession is the Pilgrimage Project. When I became Barony Bard I chose to use that award as an excuse to learn as much as I could about monophonic period music. I found the collections of pilgrimage songs to be such beautifully rich resources, particularly the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which are endless and so sing-able. I thought that Pennsic would be the perfect place to ‘go on pilgrimage’ and sing these songs. And it is! This year will be our third, and I’m trying to broaden the circle of invitation every year, this year by having a class during Peace Week to practice the songs. Meanwhile we practice them in my Barony most weekends leading up to Pennsic, drawing not only on the Cantigas but also heavily on the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat. It’s a whole different, magical experience to be banging along with our staves, pilgrim hats on, as we walk on the Serengeti singing at Pennsic.

Who are some of your favorite influences, either for your own research and composition, or for performing within the SCA?
I love the recordings that Philip Pickett and Istanpitta have made. I am eternally grateful to Al Cofrin’s books of music, available through the Istanpitta site; they are an amazing treasure that he created based on research done while he was doing graduate studies. I’m so glad that he chose to publish and share it with all of us.

What other types of performance do you particularly love to see / hear?
My tastes are fairly eclectic, I like all sorts of genres of performance. But I will admit to a slight preference for the singer who includes a sing along in their repetoire.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a bard?
Follow your passion. Start with what you love to do and learn to do it even better. Then see what avenues of discovery open off that beginning. Also: commit entirely to what you are doing, 100%. And breathe. Still learning from my own advice.

Is there anything you want to add?
Thanks for doing this, Gwen! You are inspirational!
(ed. note: Awww, thanks!)

Categories: SCA news sites