SCA news sites

The Hael has a (Masked) Ball

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2014-12-08 00:23

Long an annual tradition, the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael held Masked Ball on Saturday the 6th of December.

The author of this missive spent the day in the kitchen cooking the feast (which was well received; battle was almost fought over the leftover cheese gnocchi and the pâté-filled hedgehogs were only remnants in their nests of greens at evening’s end), but news was heralded in from all activities.

Masked Ball is about the dancing, and this year was no exception. Dance mistress Lady Maeve Ni Siurtain reported, “With some hesitation, I agreed to teach and run dancing at Masked Ball. I was very surprised when a fairly large group showed up for the instruction time in the afternoon! The room allotted was even a bit small for all the people wanting to learn. Brief instruction was given on some basic steps and movements and then we tried dancing Sellenger’sRound, an English country dance. There was a bit of confusion and some funny moments. What I thought would be about an hour of class turned into one and a half hours!

Lady Maeve leads the dancing,

After the tournaments were done, the main hall was available for dancing before court. We danced the Lorayne Almain, Hole in the Wall, and even Strip the Willow!  Every one, especially Their Excellencies Carolus and Isolde, enjoyed themselves. Their were two gentles who traveled from the Midrealm to come and dance, and there was at least one newcomer dancing as well.  I had great pleasure teaching and dancing with many good gentles, and would do so again if asked.”

The martial arts were also well-represented with heavy fighting and a fencing tournament. Children delighted in making gingerbread houses and joining in the dancing.

Many deserving gentles received awards in Baronial Court, but the one award that brought the populace to their feet was the awarding of the Tangled Rose to Baroness Morgan Elandris. This is an award for those who have given almost a lifetime of service to the Barony. Baron Carolus and Baroness Isolde spoke movingly of her service to the Hael from its very beginnings, and the Vivats could be heard well beyond the hall.

Baroness Morgan Elandris receives the Tangled Rose.

As the lights went down for feast, we rejoiced in a day well spent with friends, and dinner to come with our Hael family.

~submitted by Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin,
who thanks to the help of her amazing kitchen staff was out and finished before the clock struck 9 of the night.

(photos by Mikus)

Categories: SCA news sites

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Medieval Seals and the Sealing of Documents

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2014-12-07 23:50

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Medieval Seals                                         12/10/2014

Hello, everyone. Today I received a notice via FaceBook that Robert The Bruce’s desk seal was up for sale, and expected to fetch approximately 120,000 pounds sterling. Being the curious person I am, this lead to an investigation into historic seals and signets.

Below, you will find the fruits of my labors, including examples of historic seals from many cultures, and a how-to-make-seals offering, one in video format. While I myself am not much of a card enthusiast, I find that this year I am making an exception. This would be a cool addition to your holiday cards. Keep in mind however, that the Post Office dislikes sealing wax on the outside of envelopes. The wax gums up the automated sorting machines.

Such seals might make an awesome present, along with a colored candle or stick of actual sealing wax. Rumor has it that a crayon in a low-temp hot glue gun also works well as sealing wax. Hand-penned or -drawn holiday wishes for your historically minded friends will be so much more impressive with a dangling ribbon and wax pendant. Or, if you have wee ones anticipating a visit from Pere Noel, they would be thrilled to find a personal response to their Santa letter or plate of cookies, sealed with an old-fashioned holiday themed signet.

Wishing you and your kin a very calm and crafty holiday season. Please feel free to share this missive freely with others.



Dame Aoife Finn m/k/a Lisbeth Gelatt,
Hailing from the magnificent Barony of Endless Hills, in Sylvan Æthelmearc.

Connelly, Tony. Rare Robert the Bruce seals to fetch up to £120k, The Scottsman Sunday, online. Retrieved 12/04/2014 from:

Timeline Auctions in London is set to auction off this set of seals used in 1322 to stamp tax documents for Robert the Bruce of Scotland.

Like many intricate seals, it is necessary to see the positive image in order to appreciate the intricate carving. Most seals are created in negative image, so the wax seal would correctly register the imprint of letters and heraldic charges.

Trilling, Renee R. Medieval Seals. Medieval Institute Libray, Notre Dame University. Retrieved 12/04/2014 from:

The beautiful seal to the right belonged to the Abbey of Royaumont in France. Intricate seals such as this one were a (then) high-tech way for historic documents to prove the authenticity of the message contained inside. The above link from Notre Dame will lead you to a collection of online images featuring animals, plants, people, coats of arms and ships, all from a variety of cultures.



National Archives UK. Seals. Retrieved 12/03/2014 from:

This website, created by the British Government’s National archives service, details how to effectively search both on and offline for the various and sometimes hard to find seals in collections across the UK.

Government of Norfolk, UK. Exhibition Guide to Seals and Sealing. Retrieved 12/03/2014 from:

This comprehensive guide to a curated exhibit on seals and sealing wax not only details in word and image the seals themselves, but also the different ways in which seals were used including types of paper, ribbons, wax, methods of stamping the image, etc.

Lang Antiques. Signet Rings. Antique Jewelry University. Retrieved 12/04/2014 from:

Though this site details images such as the tailor’s signet, left, it also covers such marks and methods from early Mesopotamia through the 19th century. Please note the scholarly references at the bottom of the page for further research on the subject.


Victoria and Albert Museum. Search the Collections. Retrieved 12/04/2014 from:

Search the collection of antique signets from this page. The ring to the right is engraved with the name Aufret, and was made in the 7th century. Originally it was thought to belong to King Alfred, though recent advances in scholarship put some doubt on this possible explanation.



Insecula. Anneau sigillaire dit “De Saint Louis”. Louvre Museum. Retrieved 12/04/2014 from:

This museum website has images of several signet rings including the rings of Saint Louis, and The Black Prince. Several Merovingian signets are pictured. Search the page for seals reaching back throughout distant history.

Kalif, Will. Make a Medieval Seal. Retrieved 12/07/2014 from: Make a Medieval seal.
This video, from goes through the entire process of creating a unique seal, from design to carving, handle creation, and techniques for actually stamping the wax. This is a 10 minute video, plus a little bit, and includes a lot of tips and tricks. Well worth the time to watch how to shape a handle and carve a stamp by hand. Note: this technique produces a desk stamp with polymer clay.

Categories: SCA news sites

Chinese Yuan Dynasty Treasures at Freer Gallery - Sun, 2014-12-07 20:01

The Freer Gallery in Washington DC will showcase treasures from the Song and Yuan Dynasties this winter including ceramics and landscape paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Artisans Wanted for Winter Haven

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2014-12-07 16:57

The Shire of Coppertree is looking for artisans from around the kingdom to demonstrate their craft at Winter Haven-To Warm the Cold Days Ahead on February 14! If you’re interested, please e-mail by Dec. 17 and let us know what you would like to demonstrate.

In true Coppertree fashion, the event itself will be a laid-back day of fun and frivolity! Come as you “were” in your oldest garb. Show us your S.C.A.R.S. in our throwback A&S competition by submitting an older previous entry. Bring photos from early events to reminisce — and we’ll scan them for you to share with others (in reasonable quantities). Join in the silliness and fun of the tin hat competition (aluminum foil will be provided). We are also hoping to have some dancing in the afternoon.

For full details on the event click here.
Get event updates on Facebook here.

Categories: SCA news sites

Viking silver found in Scotland - Sun, 2014-12-07 15:09

Retired Ayrshire businessman Derek McLennan has made good use of his metal detector. In 2013, he discovered Scotland's biggest haul of medieval silver coins. Now he has unearthed a new hoard of more than 100 items, including a 9th century Christian cross and possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered. (photos and video)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Codex Chimalpahin to return to Mexico - Sun, 2014-12-07 11:43

The Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City is celebrating the return of the Codex Chimalpahin, a three-volume, hand-written, indigenous account vividly documenting the history of Aztec Mexico in Pre-Hispanic and 16th Century New Spain. Dan Colen of Art Daily has a feature story (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Second 13th century malting oven found in England - Sat, 2014-12-06 19:33

In July, archaeologists working on excavations in St John's Street in Northampton, England discovered a 13th century malting oven, used to roast grain for brewing. Now a second, even larger, oven has been found at the same site. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Estrella War XXXII Main Stewards - Fri, 2014-12-05 15:17

The Promotions Officer for Estrella War XXXII reports that organizers are seeking applicants for the position(s) of Main Steward(s).

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Categories: SCA news sites

Orri Vígleiksson elevated to Pelican in Lochac - Fri, 2014-12-05 10:56

Gunther Canon reports that at Their Mordenvale Malþing event, Their Majesties Niáll and Liadan, of the Kingdom of Lochac, offered elevation to the Order of the Pelican to Orri Vígleiksson.

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Categories: SCA news sites

New Central Regional Deputy Rapier Marshal Announced

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2014-12-05 09:58

Don Frasier MacLeod, East Kingdom’s Rapier Marshal, has announced the new Central Region Deputy Rapier Marshal.

“After much consideration I have decided to install Don Lotieri Malocchio as my new Deputy. I would ask you all to welcome him and give him whatever help he may need settling into his new position.”


Filed under: Fencing, Official Notices, Tidings

Submissions Welcome!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2014-12-04 23:47

Now that the Gazette is up and running, we’d like to encourage submissions!
For more detailed information, you can visit the submissions page by hitting the tab above.

The important points are these:
1. We welcome all submissions of interest to the populace of Æthelmearc. This includes court reports, event reports and announcements, officer and Royalty letters, and articles on subjects within the SCA time period.
2. Please send all submissions to us at Please do not embed photos in your articles; send them as separate attachments. For more on photo permissions, see the submissions page.

The Gazette is fast becoming the place to go for all the news of Æthelmearc – add your voice!




Categories: SCA news sites

Early image of Jesus found in Spain - Thu, 2014-12-04 14:41

Archaeologists and theologians are excited about the discovery of a 4th century engraved glass plate depicting an unbearded Jesus. The plate, discovered during an excavation near the southern Spanish city of Linares, is believed to be one of the earliest known images of Christ. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Marilyn Monroe: Still having a good time at the faire - Thu, 2014-12-04 10:31

Marilyn Monroe, News Editor of the Southwest Daily News in Sulphur, Texas, is still having fun at the Texas Renaissance Festival years after her actor boyfriend dragged her there. She reports on the Ren Faire world in an article for the Leesville Daily Leader.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Atsókn vetrar – Winter’s Attack

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2014-12-04 08:07

Atsókn vetrar – Winter’s Attack,
by Fridrikr Tomasson

This poem in Old Norse is in the form called dróttkvaett which has the following main characteristics:

  • Eight lines to a stanza
  • Six syllables to a line
  • Alliteration (repeating beginning sounds)
  • Internal rhyming (imperfect in the odd-numbered lines, perfect in the even-numbered lines)
  • Use of kennings (metaphorical figures)

This particular verse is intended to celebrate the coming of winter. Following the verse, there is a word-for-word translation, a prose version in proper English, and a list of kennings used in the poem.

Þagnaðu er þegnar
Þorra fuglar bruggað;
festar vetrar fastliga
fagra kæfaðu garða;
hremddu á hrímþursar
hringagrundar brúnhvítr;
jálkar frystat Jökulls
ýsna fyrir lýskála.

Prose order translation of the poem:

Grew silent when thegn of Thorri birds schemed; Chains of winter tightly fair choked fields; Clutched at rime-thurses rings of the ground white-browed; The mares froze of Jokull haddock’s over fish-hall.

Regular prose order translation:

Birds grew silent when Thorri’s thegn schemed. Chains of winter tightly choked fair fields. White-browed rime-thurses clutched at ground-rings. Jokull’s mares froze over the haddock’s fish-hall.

Kennings used in this poem:

þegna Þorra – Thora’s thegn – Thorri is the goddess of winter, her thegn is winter weather.

festar vetrar – chains of winter – snow drifts & ice.

hrímþursar – rime-thurses (ice-giants) – winter storms

hringagrundar – rings of the ground – fields

jálkar Jökulls – Jökul’s mare – ice floes. Jökull is the name given to the glaciers. His horse (mare) is the ice he rides into the valleys.

lýskála – fish-hall – a lake or pond.

Categories: SCA news sites

Two placed on vigil in AEthelmearc - Wed, 2014-12-03 19:19

Kameshima Zentarou Umakai, Silver Buccle Principal Herald, reports that at Their Court at Agincourt Their Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh of the Kingdom of AEthelmearc placed two of Their subjects on vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Pelican.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Elfsea Library Demo photos online - Wed, 2014-12-03 13:35

Master Caelin on Andrede reports that he has created an album of photos from the Barony of Elfsea's Library Demo which took place recently in the Kingdom of Ansteorra. The photos are available on Flickr.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Sylvan Bard Competition at Kingdom Twelfth Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2014-12-03 09:22

At Kingdom Twelfth Night, being held on January 10th in Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, the next Sylvan Bard of Æthelmearc will be decided. The following announcement concerning the competition is posted with the permission of Lady Alianora Bronhulle, the current Sylvan Bard. Greetings from the Sylvan Bard! Kingdom Twelfth Night (on January 10, 2015) is approaching, and the competition to choose the next Bardic Champion will be held at that time. Dust off your song books, tune up your instruments, and throw your name in the hat! The format will be as follows: For the competition, Their Royal Majesties stipulate that the participants rotate forms (like in the final round of crown), meaning that they cannot do two pieces of the same type in a row (i.e. two songs, stories, poems, etc.)

  • The first round for all interested participants will be a piece in the style of their choice with the theme of “courtly love”. This will occur before lunch.
  • Round two for all interested participants will be a piece composed on site based on a subject pulled from a hat. This round will be held mid-afternoon.
  • After Their Royal Majesties have heard the first two rounds and made their selections for the final round, round three will be for those chosen only and will be the bard’s choice of piece.

This round will be held before court. The Champion will be announced in court that evening. Please note that this is a 1-year term as Sylvan Bard, and you get some swanky regalia. Even if you don’t want to compete, there will be time and space available between rounds for performances…on a real stage! Come perform, or support those that are performing. It looks like it will be a very entertaining time. In service to bardic awesomeness, Lady Alianora Bronhulle

You can contact Lady Alianora at <e_whitcomb at yahoo dot com> with any questions about the competition The event announcement for Twelfth Night is here.

Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report: Ruantallan Baronial Investiture and Tir Mara Champions

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2014-12-02 17:22

The Court of our most excellent prince and lord, Edward, by right of arms most illustrious King of the East, third of that name, and Thyra, his Queen by agency of that same right, second of that name, held upon 28 November in the forty-ninth year of the Society in the Barony of Ruantallan; on which day were called all and sundry the lords of the realm and the great persons of the kingdom to hear the following publicly proclaimed:

Item. In the first sitting of Their Majesties’ Court, Their Majesties gave thanks to Donal O’Neill and Allessandra Francesca di Milano for their good, faithful and notable service holding the lands as Baron and Baroness of Ruantallan and, as tokens of their merit and great nobility, elevated the said Donal and the said Allessandra to the ranks of Baron and Baroness of the Court, and granted them Arms, the which deeds were confirmed in documents created by Nest verch Tangwistel, Alisay de Falaise and Margaret Twygge of Sky Hill.

Item. Their Majesties summoned before the Tyger Thrones the East Kingdom Seneschal, Dueña Mercedes Vera de Califia, who announced that the Incipient Shire of Avonmore had fulfilled all of the requirements for becoming a full and official Shire.

Briana Douglase is sent to vigil to contemplate joining the Order of the Pelican. Photo by Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood.

Item. Their Majesties called before them Briana Douglase and instructed her to go forth to the place prepared for her to sit vigil and prepare to answer the question whether she would join the Order of the Pelican.

Whereupon, Their Majesties adjourned their Court until the hour of tierce, at which time such further business was done and caused to be done:

Item: Their Majesties invested Guthfrith Yrlingsson as Baron of Ruantallan and Isobel Mowbray as Baroness of Ruantallen, and accepted the fealty of the same for the lands held of the Crown, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Mergriet van Wijenhorst.

Whereupon, with Their Majesties’ leave, Their Excellencies Baron Guthfrith and Baroness Isobel conducted such business as was necessary and fitting.

Whereupon, with the leave of Their Majesties, the Prince and Princess of Tir Mara, Darius and Etheldreda, did and caused the following to be done:

Item. The Prince and Princess of Tir Mara thanked their Rattan Champions, Robert Gower and Cornelia van der Brugge, for their worthy and excellent service, and dismissed them according to custom.

Item. The Prince of Tir Mara invested Spurius Genucius Rutilus as his Rattan Champion, the which deed was confirmed in a document calligraphed by Juliote de Castlenou d’Arry and illuminated by Conn Rosendubh.

Barom Pellandres is invested as Princess’ Rattan Champion of Tir Mara. Photo courtesy of Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood.

Item. The Princess of Tir Mara invested Pellandres dit le frère as her Rattan Champion, the which deed was confirmed in a document calligraphed by Juliote de Castlenou d’Arry and illuminated by Conn Rosendubh.

Item. The Prince and Princess of Tir Mara thanked their Arts and Sciences Champions, Mergriet van Wijenhorst and Katherine Murray, for their worthy and honorable service and, according to custom, dismissed them.

Item. The Princess of Tir Mara invested Inga Thorgansdottir as her Arts and Sciences Champion, the which deed was confirmed in document created by Mergriet van Wijenhorst.

Item. The Prince of Tir Mara invested Katherine Murray for a second time as his Arts and Sciences Champion, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Mergriet van Wijenhorst.

Whereupon, Their Majesties reconvened the Court previously adjourned and did and caused to be done the following:

Item. Their Majesties summoned the good lad Jack of Ynys Y Gwaed before the Court and inducted him into the Order of the Tyger’s Cub, the which deed was confirmed in document authored by Alys Mackyntoich, calligraphed by Eva Woderose and illuminated by Gianna di Aurelio.

Item. Their Majesties caused gifts of toys to be distributed to the children of the realm.

Guthfrith and Isobel, newly invested Baron and Baroness of Ruantallan swear fealty. Photo courtesy of Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood.

Item. Their Majesties summoned Onora Glencairn before the Court and homolgated the deed of Their ancestors of blessed memory, Brennan and Caoilfhionn, by awarding the said Onora Arms, the which deed was confirmed with a gift of embroidery created by Gwenlliana Vachan.

Item. Their Majesties brought before the Court the fair Artemizia di Niccolo della Fabro, to whom they then awarded Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Shadiyah al-Zahra’.

Item. Their Majesties brought Lloyd Smith before the Tyger Thrones and awarded him Arms.

Item. Their Majesties summoned before them the worthy Rozalin Vella and awarded her Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Alys Mackyntoich, calligraphed by Eva Woderose and illuminated by Aesa feilinn Josursdottir.

Item. Her Majesty called the noble Sarra Graeham of Birnham from her labors in the kitchens and, thanking her for her many good works, bestowed upon her the Queen’s Honor of Distinction.

Item. Their Majesties called Sage O’Rose before the Court and awarded Arms to that worthy

Item. Their Majesties called before them one Jonathan Rankin O’Rose, known to be a captain of ships, and endowed the said Jonathan with a license to seek out new and undiscovered lands and to claim and rule the said lands in the name of the East, with certain rights and responsibilities attendant thereupon, the which license was confirmed in a document authored by Alys Mackyntoich and calligraphed by Eleanor Catlyng.

Item. Their Majesties caused Isobel Bickerstaff to be brought before them, whereupon, praising her story-telling, they inducted her into the Order of the Troubadour, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Fiona O’Maille.

Item. Their Majesties called into the Court the good man Percival Gower and, praising his talents in shoe-making, invested the said Percival with the Order of the Maunche, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Sarra Graeham of Birnham.

Item. Their Majesties summoned into the Court the good lady Danuta Czarowna, and, praising her work in illumination and the scribal arts, inducted the said Danuta into the Order of the Maunche, the which deed was confirmed with the gift of a book created by Robin dit Dessaint, with text by Gwenhwyfar Dinas Emrys.

Hedda Bonesetter is Awarded the Queen’s Order of Courtesy. Photo courtesy of Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood.

Item. Her Majesty called into the Court the noble and gentle Hedda Bonesetter and endowed the said Hedda with the Queen’s Order of Courtesy, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Ygraine of Kellswood and calligraphed and illuminated by Eva Woderose.

Item. Their Majesties called the fine and worthy Castellanna Nazario d’Azzana before the Tyger Thrones and awarded her Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Marion of Ruantallan, calligraphed by Elena O Sirideain and illuminated by Isa of Ruantallan.

Item. Their Majesties invited into their presence the noble Theresa de Chats, whereupon they awarded Arms unto the said Theresa, the which deed was memorialized in a gift of a carved wooden plate created by Hawise ferch Meredith, with words by Eleanor Catlyng.

Item. Their Majesties brought into the Court the worthy lady Kat of Ruantallan and awarded her Arms, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Nest ferch Tangwystl.

Item. Their Majesties summoned into their presence the good man Rowan Fergus and, so doing, inducted him into the Order of the Silver Rapier, the which deed was confirmed in a document calligraphed by Constance de Saint Denis and illuminated by Marietta Charray.

Item. Their Majesties summoned Guthfrith Yrlingsson again into their presence and inducted the said Guthfrith into the Order of the Silver Rapier with the acclaim of the court.

Item. Their Majesties spoke of the good and notable deeds of Margaret Twygge of Sky Hill and granted Arms unto the said Margaret as a sign of her worth, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Kayleigh Mac Whyte.

Item. The excellent demoiselle Emma, daughter of Wolfgang, aged four years, presented unto His Majesty Edward artwork she had created for him.

Item. Their Majesties summoned Briana Douglase into the Court to hear her answer to the question before her; the said Briana answering in the affirmative, Their Majesties heard testimony from notable Peers of the Realm concerning the merits of the said Briana; upon that testimony, Their Majesties did then invest and endow the said Briana with the Order of the Pelican and Arms by letters Patent, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Zaneta Gavlinne Angioliere and calligraphed and illuminated by Danuta Czarowna.

I, Alys Mackyntoich, Eastern Crown Herald, wrote this to memorialize and make certain all such things that were done and caused to be done as above stated.


Lord Martyn de Haliwell
Lord Díarmaid Ó Bríain
Seigneur Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle

Filed under: Court, Events

Southern Watch Fencing Muster

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2014-12-02 16:13

November 30, A.S. XLIX in St. Swithin’s Bog

The Southern Watch fencing unit could once have been called the Dame Vivienne Marie de Beauvais Fan Club.

Don Quinn, Doña Emily, and Don Bastiano

According to Don Bastiano di Jacopo, the unit began almost 20 years ago in St. Swithin’s Bog in honor of Dame Vivienne, who was the first peer made in the Bog and is a former Baroness. “We were a ragtag group of fencers, not winning tourneys, none of us White Scarves, but we decided to form a team in Vivienne’s honor,” said DonBastiano. Don Quinn Kerr continued, “After teaching ourselves to fight as a unit, we went on to beat larger teams with better fencers, because we were focused on teamwork. That’s how the Romans ruled the world – they were all about teamwork.” The Bog’s fencers gained a lot of attention with their victories, and the results were clear at Pennsic 32 when a Rapier Battle was included in the War Point count for the first time.

Later, Don Donnan the Solitary, then Æthelmearc Rapier Marshal, asked the fencers of the Bog to form the nucleus of what is now the Southern Watch, which includes fencers from throughout southern Æthelmearc. “As time went on,” Don Quinn commented, “Fencers from the Midrealm would come to the Southern Watch musters to learn unit tactics from us.” Don Iago Benitez, current Baron of the Bog, added that individual Southern Watch members have gone to events in other areas and trained their fencers in the group’s unit ideas and commands.

This year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 16 fencers from the Bog, Steltonwald, Debatable Lands, Silva Vulcani, and Sylvan Glen gathered in Don Bastiano’s Johnstown, PA loft for their annual muster. According to Doña Emily of Dunvegan, the fall muster has been held for well over a decade. It started as a way to celebrate the birthdays of Don Quinn and Don Bastiano with the traditional fencers’ “birthday smacks.” Originally fencers were expected to fence as many bouts as their age, but a while ago Don Iago upped the ante by requiring the birthday fencers to win as many bouts as their age. This year, that meant 53 bouts won for Don Quinn and 55 for Don Bastiano.

In addition to the birthday smacks, the muster focused on melee tactics. Initially working without masks or blades, the group practiced closed and open unit formations and movement under the tutelage of Don Bastiano and Don Quinn. Then the combatants armed themselves and the outgoing commander of the Southern Watch, Doña Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen, ran them through melees in 3-, 4- and 5-man units while other White Scarves trained the newer fencers.

Over a potluck lunch, Doña Fredeburg said, “It’s about teaching newer fencers the melee basics, so we have a common language of commands and movements.” Doña Emily added, “We all need to be comfortable fighting together.” The group took the opportunity during the break to elect Don Quinn Kerr as the new Southern Watch commander.

Don Orlando di Bene del Vinta, who currently serves as Æthelmearc Rapier Warlord as well as Kingdom Rapier Champion, says there will be other musters over the next few months to take advantage of the winter off-season. He explained that they’ll mostly be stand-alone practices with a training focus like this one, since he doesn’t want to “hijack” regular events. He plans to encourage the development of small units that are accustomed to fencing as a team, which he believes is the key to winning Pennsic Rapier Battles. As Don Orlando told the Southern Watch fencers, “It’s not grand sneaky tactics by the entire army that win wars, it’s cohesive units in the right place.”

Or as Don Quinn stated, “We don’t want to be individual fencers on the battlefield, we want to be Æthelmearc.”

Submitted by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope




Categories: SCA news sites

Early Stories of the East from Count Jehan de la Marche - Tue, 2014-12-02 14:58

The Gazette asked Count Jehan de la Marche, eighth King of the East, for memories of some of his early SCA experiences.

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Categories: SCA news sites