SCA news sites

"Magical mud" of Novgorod reveals treasures - Fri, 2015-01-09 12:58

“Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric. If I am alive, I will pay for it,” wrote a 14th century father, Onus, to his son, Danilo, in the block letters of Old Novgorod language on a birch bark scroll. The note, among a dozen others, was discovered recently in the "magicial mud" of Veliky Novgorod, Russia.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Early Stories of the East from Count Jehan de la Marche

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:05
This is the first part of a two-part article
re-printed from our friends at the East Kingdom Gazette.

The East Kingdom Gazette asked Count Jehan de la Marche, eighth King of the East, for memories of some of his early SCA experiences. He sent us this first installment with the note that it is written from memory and others may well remember events differently.

Count Jehan fighting in a Freon can helm, soft basketball elbow and knee pads, and hockey gloves. He is using a mace nicknamed “Feather” which was made by Duke Andrew of Seldom Rest from a hickory axe handle and a roll of toilet paper plus lots of tape. It weighed between 4.5 and 5 pounds.

I witnessed the beginning of the Pennsic Wars (which has often been retold wrongly). Cariadoc had moved to the East and been named the Ambassador to the East by the reigning Middle King Iriel of Branoch. At MK Twelfth Night, Cariadoc came back and recited a long poem of his own composition inciting war with the East — I recall he mentioned that the border barons (meaning me) wanted war, and the poem ended with “My word is war.” and we all banged out tankards on the table and shouted “War, War, War!” and King Iriel gave the War Arrow to Duke Cariadoc to take to Rakkurai, who was Shogun of the East at that time.

I was not present for the reception of the arrow in the East, but I understand Rakkurai duly received and broke it to accept the challenge. Cariadoc stepped up and won the East Kingdom Spring Crown Tourney. (In those days there were no limitations on how long one had to have lived in a kingdom before competing for the Crown).

I did not come to the East until the summer of 1972, when I moved to New Haven, CT to enter Yale Graduate School (working for a Ph.D. in medieval studies, naturally). My first official event was a tournament in the Barony Beyond the Mountain (which at the time was responsible for all of Connecticut), and led by Baron Balin the Fairhaired (later one of the first Eastern Pelicans). I recall that it looked like rain and Mistress Elfrida recited a Norse prayer for rain which she said worked in reverse for her, and apparently it did. The rain held off long enough to get in the tourney fighting. All I really remember of the fighting was that I lost a fight to Garanhir of Ness who was later knighted, and is now the second senior-most knight in Æthelmearc after me.

The next event I recall was the summer Crown Tourney (in those days there were supposed to be three Crown Tourneys a year, though the actual sequence was somewhat irregular). As I said, there were no residency limitations on fighting for the Crown and Cariadoc encouraged me to enter. It was a small field, essentially an 8-man single elimination tourney, I believe. My first round I defeated Garanhir (benefiting from having fought him before). My second round I met a very active young warrior from Duke Akbar’s household (I think the future Sir Ismael). He came out very fast and nearly got me, but I was able to take him after a very brisk fight. The third and final round, I met Shlomo ben Shlomo, whose persona was a Palestinian mercenary of Roman times — he fought Roman-style, with a shield and short-sword. In those days, I always fought mace and shield, so we had a very active fight at close quarters. At one point he narrowly grazed my groin cup, and Cariadoc, who was marshaling, ruled I was still alive though perhaps without the prospect of progeny. I think as the rules are interpreted nowadays, I would have been dead. Then I came charging in — Shlomo went for my leg and got a very hard stroke on my knee as I came in; knowing it was knee, I kept coming and got him a solid blow in the side with my mace. He agreed that my blow was a killing blow, but wondered whether he had gotten my leg first, so the current Seneschal of the East, El of the Two Knives (another of the first Pelicans later), took me into men’s room and examined my leg. I had a very obvious purple bruise on my knee (in those days the only leg armor I wore was a soft basketball knee pad) and he said to me in effect “You’re the Prince of the East, and you’d better get some ice on that leg.”

Count Jehan doing boffer fighting at Pennsic with a member of House Sable Maul, which is led by his former Squire Sir Gareth Kincaid. Count Jehan retired from heavy combat in 2009.

At the feast that night, I toasted Shlomo’s valor and we had a long celebration. I recall a lady singing “Follow the Bonnets of Bonny Dundee” — not quite period, but lively.  So we had the curious situation that both the King and the Prince of the East were from the Middle, but we were committed to war with the Middle.

By that time the King of the Middle was Andrew of Seldom Rest and the Prince was Sir Bearengaer hin Raudi (who went on to be a sovereign Prince of Drachenwald when it was a principality, and died some years ago as the senior knight of Æthelmearc).

The “war” itself consisted of a woods battle. The East was badly outnumbered, despite the aid of the Dark Horde led by Yang the Nauseating/Robert Asprin. The battle was a timed event (I think one hour) and so the Eastern strategy was to go into the woods, find a hidden defensible position (largely protected by fallen trees) and hope to hold it till the end of the hour. It nearly worked, as it took most of the hour for the Middle to find us, but the Middle found us with about ten minutes to go. A partly fallen tree formed a sort of natural gateway to the Eastern position, which Asbjorn the Fairhaired held very gallantly for a long time (for which I later knighted him; he went on to become a Duke). Andrew of Seldom Rest speared King Cariadoc and called out “The King is dead!” and I shouted “The King is dead, long live the King” and three Middle knights came over me in a wave, so that was the end of my fight. The last Eastern fighter standing was Alain du Rocher of the barony of Myrkwood (Baltimore) — a large man who fought mace and buckler. He got up on a little mound and held the Middle off as long as he could, but finally fell, and the Middle had won the war. It had rained, so we then spent a long time digging the cars out of the mud.

(to be continued….)

Categories: SCA news sites

Memorable Bits of Eastern History by Duke Akbar

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2015-01-08 20:21

His Grace Akbar and Her Grace Khadijah in a modern yet historic setting

The Gazette asked Duke Akbar ibn Murad al-ben ibn Hakim, third King of the East, for memories of the early days of the East Kingdom.  The following are his words. 

The Memorable Bits
by Duke Akbar

There is a wonderful lampoon of British history called 1066 and All That which is dedicated to the proposition that history is what is memorable.  These are (some of) my memorable bits:

If this were a traditional old East Kingdom war story it would begin thus: No shit, there we were…  in a small conference room at the American Museum of Natural History at the monthly meeting of the New York chapter of the National Speleological Society,  Count Murad, Sir Aeiolf, Sir Rakkurai, Sir Koppel and myself.  Of course, we had not acquired those names and titles yet.  (While I suppose it is generally known that the EK formed after Marion Zimmer Bradley (Lady Elfrida) moved from the west coast to Staten Island and recruited mainly from science fiction fandom, but it is probably less well known that five of the first six EK knights were spelunkers.)   I think it was the summer of 1968 that my father and I learned from our friends Barry and Kenny (hereafter refered to as Rakkurai and Koppel) about this medieval group that was just starting up and after about six months spent making clothing, weapons, and rudimentary armor, we and my best friend (later known as Sir Ismael) showed up at the first EK Twelfth Night feast, at an apartment somewhere in the vicinity of Hacketstown, New Jersey, about a hundred mile drive from our hometown on Long Island.  Bruce of Cloves was King, the first to be elected by combat.  The three of us, having arrived in matching gear, were appointed the king’s own janissarys and my father Murad made captain of the guard. Ismael and myself were about sixteen  then.  Later that night Aeiolf and Rakkurai were knighted by King Bruce who had himself been knighted while visiting the West Kingdom.  John of Brook Lynn was the Herald.  Frederic Feolyldwyn (called the Silent) recited a poem the subject of which I cannot recall with certainty but probably described Bruce’s crown tourney with all his usual flourishes.  I cannot recall whether Frederic was made baron at this event or later that year  (the rules were somewhat different then).

I recall attending a meeting of the Aulic Council later that year.  This was the precursor to the curia regis, or king’s council.  I don’t know what the custom is now, but at that time anyone could attend and everyone had a vote, even the king.  It took a very long time for most people to start thinking and acting in medieval terms.  Even then, there were many different ideas as to what the SCA was  and what it should become.  I suspect the situation hasn’t changed much.

That summer, the second EK Crown Tourney was held in Rumsen, NJ.  I recall besting Maragorn, who had been appointed the first King of the East without a crown tourney (yes, the rules were quite different then) but losing to Alpin MacGregor, who won the crown.  Murad won the archery competition.  Khadijah, whom I had not yet met, performed with a troupe of puppeteers.  Vardak of Iloi and his troupe of actors performed the final scene from Hamlet without introduction, so it was rather startling until everyone recognized it.  Vardak was later made a count (yes, yes i know). In those days, it was the custom to hold a grand procession where everyone would be presented to their Majesties, in order of precedence.  This took a great deal of time and argument to establish and to run and within the next half dozen reigns became totally unwieldy,  but was great fun while it lasted.

Alpin, I believe, was attending MIT in pre-Carolingia Boston and appeared at only one or two events after that.  As a result of his absence it was a whole year before the next crown tourney was organized.  It was at this time, I believe, that Sir Rakkurai became kingdom seneschal and Koppel became brigantia herald.  There were a number of smaller tourneys as well as fighting practices and feasts at Green Walls, Lady Elfrida’s home on Staten Island, that year.  It was at one of theses events that King Alpin decided to test his court by challenging each of his officers and the captain of his guard.  Only Murad defeated his majesty.

In those days the only armor requirement for SCA combat was a helm.  Most helm designs were pretty sketchy.  Some looked like erector set projects gone awry.  Then Rakkurai found out someone in the West was making helms from propane tanks, which were good but quite heavy.  Murad got the idea of using freon tanks, which at 16 guage, were a bit lighter.  These became very popular until actual period armoring techniques were worked out.  It was a consequence of breaking my thumb at a training session that gauntlets became required, I learned not to drop my shield, Rakkurai stopped training with a hardwood boken, and rattan swords became the standard.

After one of these events at Green Walls, a group was traveling homeward via public transport while still dressed in SCA garb, when they were attacked by a local gang.  They were trapped at the end of a fenced in train platform.  While one gentleman hoisted the ladies over the fence, Koppel, armed only with courage and a very flimsy letter opener, held the platform against the gang.  Although he sustained numerous injuries, the rest escaped safely.  As a result, traveling in garb was made illegal and Koppel was knighted.

In the late summer or fall of that year the world science fiction convention was held in St. Louis, and it was determined that a number of people from both the East and West Kingdoms as well as the principality of the Middle would attend.  King Alpen attended, as well as a dozen or so people from the East.  Ismael and myself represented House Hakkim and served, as was becoming traditional, as the royal guards.  I remenber seeing Sir Bela of Eastmarch, his wife Lady Karina (who was the senior herald present), Master Edwin Bersark (Lady Elfrida’s brother) among others from the West.  Also present was Sir Caridoc of the Bow, who had recently won the tournament making him reigning prince of the Principality Under the Mountain, part of the EK.  As the BoD had recently seen fit to elevate the principality to kingdom status,  Sir Cariadoc was to be elevated to King without benefit of a further crown tourney, (thereby setting no precedent whatever).  This was accomplished at the WorldCon when King Alpin (of the East) crowned Sir Cariadoc king of the Middle Kingdom.

The third crown tourney was held on Staten Island.  I finaled against Sir Aeiolf, and quite surprisingly, won.  I was seventeen then.  The East Kingdom in theory spanned almost half the US, but in fact the membership really was mostly in the NY/NJ area.  The next crown was won by my father Murad and I took over as captain of the guard and also began serving as the deputy earl marshall under Count Vardak.  During Murad’s reign we began negotiations with the Middle to set up what would become the Pennsic war.  At the Tolkien conference in Cleveland that year, we sat down with the Middle marshallate who I recall included Andrew of Seldom Rest (not yet knighted), Sir Franz von Blinkend-lichten, and Prince Cariadoc (now awaiting his second coronation). I  think everyone knows how Duke Cariadoc moved to the east coast, carried the war arrow to the court of Rakkurai, won the next eastern crown tourney (the seventh) and was King of the East for what was later called Pennsic I.

Filed under: History Tagged: Crown Tourney, Duke Akbar, Pennsic

Pennsic Registration is Open

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-01-08 20:02

Registration for Pennsic 44 is now open.

Mail-in registration closes May 25, online paid registration closes June 17, and online unpaid registration closes July 10.

Visit the Pennsic War website or the Pennsic Registration Office page for more information.

Categories: SCA news sites

From Magna Carta to Monty Python: Medieval News Roundup - Thu, 2015-01-08 12:46
A few great news pieces and blog posts we came across in the last couple of weeks, including two historians writing about the Magna Carta...

[View the story "From Magna Carta to Monty Python: Medieval News Roundup" on Storify]

Categories: History, SCA news sites

Staffordshire Hoard teaches lesson in Anglo-Saxon metallurgy - Thu, 2015-01-08 11:04

Gold was believed to have magical powers in Anglo-Saxon society, which may have led to discovery of special processes to make the metal appear "more golden than gold." These findings are part of a new study of the Staffordshire Hoard which "showed goldsmiths knew how to remove alloyed metals such as copper and silver from the surface of objects."

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Categories: SCA news sites

Rhydderich Hael Celebrates 12th Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-01-08 07:49

The Barony of the Rhydderich Hael celebrated their annual Twelfth Night this past Tuesday, January 6th, which ironically occurred on 12th Night. The celebration was held at the Elks Club of Lancaster, where the Barony holds its officer meetings and practices. Some fifty members of the Hael were in attendance for a night of friendship, gifts, food and good cheer. A good time was had by all.

That concludes the version my Communications professor from back in the day would have liked. My Business communications professor would have been nodding her head in agreement, but all the while my Marketing professor would have been shouting, “Sell the sizzle man, sell the sizzle.” And as usual I stared blankly into the abyss and grinned that mischievous grin that panics my wife and thrills those who know me better. You took the time to click on this link. You deserve better than just the traditional answering of the standard seven “W”s.

What do I love about Baronial 12th Night? It’s all about the Barony baby. Now, I loved being your Happy Go-Lucky Get Down Tonight Kingdom Chronicler, and getting to see and report what was going on all over these most awesome Sylvan Lands, but my heart is in the Hael. The most common phrase I used for two years was that I looked forward to spending more time involved in the Hael. I love yelling out “Hael Yeah!” I love heralding my Baron and Baroness in to large courts. I love Ice Dragon. I love the Green and Black and most of all I love the people and my friends there. Baronial 12th Night is that night that we all get together and break bread and enjoy each others’ company without every one running all over the place being official. This is the core of a Hael 12th Night.

At how many events do you really get to spend significant amounts of time with all your friends? In the Hael the average local event is spent with every one running in different directions to various competitions, meetings, event tasks and work, work, work. After a full day of that, where you rarely get to see everyone, you then have to do break down, while everyone else leaves the event as fast as they can. Sometimes I think they hold Court to keep 75% of the people from leaving after their activity is done, and that Feast helps keep the other 40% that didn’t leave right after Court and the other 10% are still there at the end to help clean up. I like 12th Night because I get to hang out for three hours with everyone.

I remember when the Barony shifted the format of the usual Monthly Officer Slash Business Meeting from focusing on the officers to focusing on food and cheer. If you want to introduce a new person to the SCA do not invite them to an Officer Slash Business Meeting, as they may want to slash something else ten minutes in. Opt for the food and cheer every time. It’s been over ten years sine this celebration replaced the traditional meeting and it has been a success ever since.

Rhydderich Hael Twelfth Night was announced to start at six thirty. Now many of you may be saying that if proper “SCA-dian Time” is applied the celebration might have doors open at six, but start time might actually be closer to seven. Do not be fooled. Always remember to “never get involved in a land war in Asia” and “SCA-dian time is always trumped by potluck”. I was running a little late, by about 12 minutes. Coincidence? I think not. Fate has a funny way of amusing me, or at least it gives me the opportunity to laugh when I would rather cry.

I walked into a well-attended hall and placed my two packages of warm fried chicken on the nearly full five tables lined up end to end to hold the celebratory bounty. Being a veteran of such things I did do a quick look at the table to see the flow of the types of food from appetizers to desserts and then parallel parked the chicken in front of a row crock pots and pizza\wing boxes. When over fifty people stock a potluck, the diversity is most awesome. Who ever brought the box of tacos, you are a genius. That box was empty in no time as were the two boxes of fried chicken I brought. You can’t go wrong with fried chicken at a potluck.

Having set up my food contribution, I took care of the next important Baronial 12th Night task. I went to the bar and bought a pitcher of pop and a pitcher of beer and a number of glasses. 12th Night is all about sharing. Beverages taken care of, I joined my fellow Haelies for food, drink and laughs. The room was packed. People love a good local get together that involves food. If you want to enhance the cameraderie and well-being of your local group, do not underestimate the power of the potluck. I suggest you have them quarterly and outlaw all practicing, meetings and projects. Save those for other times.

There is a not a strict agenda to the evening. In early days, a quick meeting was held immediately with all officers called upon by the Seneschal and then quickly declining to give reports as to get to the celebration as fast as possible, Imagine a Seneschal standing in between a grand pot luck buffet and a room full of people looking past him hungrily. Seeing that most Seneschals do have good survival instinct to make up for the insanity that led them to wanting such an office, ours realized that they should get themselves out of the line of fire and allow the Barony to eat first. Not only that, but our Seneschal Padraig O’Branduibh was wise enough to announce the Buffet was open while standing at a safe distance. Not that such an announcement was necessary, as the first container had been opened maybe 12 minutes before. Yes, he may have been operating on SCA-dian time by announcing potluck open, but he that was trumped 12 minutes before. Why? Because “Put Luck always trumps SCA-dian time”

Gift giving began after the first servings. I was late to the line so I was happily eating, drinking and laughing, as I am prone to do while fellow members of the Hael were delivering little gifts. The tradition of bringing a little gift goes back beyond my being a member. I did not know about it my first year which was a bit embarrassing as people handed me candies, candles, tea bags, knick knacks and the like and I didn’t have anything to return in exchange. Lesson learned. It’s a joy to watch people wander about like merchants opening their small sacks to distribute the treasures to others.. All in all it is fun and light-hearted. Things get tough when people give larger gifts. That still takes me by surprise and I am never prepared. I have received some very well thought out little gifts over the years. Some of my favorites are tree ornaments. I enjoy decorating the tree and having great memories of my SCA-dian friends who gave them to us at 12th Night.

Eventually, a short business meeting was held. Our Seneschal Padraig O’Branduibh continued to show his wisdom by acknowledging that a meeting should happen, but that Baron Carolus and Baroness Isolda were still handing out gifts to guards, retainers and Champions so he decided the meeting could wait. And we did, which allowed for some more gifts, seconds on main courses and runs at the ever-growing dessert table. I knew Their Excellencies wanted to distribute these gifts while the recipients were still in the hall. You don’t want to make your Baron and Baroness have to track down people at a years’ worth of practices and events to hand out stockings full of now stale or wrinkled 12th Night joy.

Business was kept to a minimum with Padraig calling for some event bids including a small event called “Ice Dragon” and mentioning that Baronial elections would be coming soon. Many of us shook in fear and then comforted ourselves with drink and pastry. The Baron and Baroness thanked everyone for all the help they have received over the last two years and welcomed people to run for their office as they are in their last year. They also presented nice gifts to officers who had finished their terms over the past year. The gifts were so nice many current officers tried to quit. They were informed no gifts for quitters and kept their offices begrudgingly. The Baron and Baroness also reminded everyone of the on-going tradition of the “It’s your 1st Event” token given by the B-n-B. The person who receives this token because it is their first event then gives it to whomever they felt was the most helpful to them at said event. The meeting ended quickly without much incident other than the comical scolding of an imaginary heckler fictionally hidden behind a non-imaginary screen. Let it be noted that since everyone was giddy from food, beverage, gifts and good company that Padraig could mention “Ice Dragon bids” and “Elections” without risk of people fleeing the hall in sheer terror.

Eating, drinking and good cheer continued until the time limit on use of the room expired. Reports seen on trendy social networking sites supported allegations of a good time had by all. In conclusion, no one was hurt by Rollos being hurled about the hall as trivia prizes and I look forward to using the Pink Himalayan Sea Salt that “Not So Evil” Jill gifted me as well as the home made Polish Pastry Zosia gave me. Till Next 12th Night my friends, “Hael Yeah”

~submitted by That Guy Phil



Categories: SCA news sites

Award Recommendations for Their Highnesses

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-01-07 16:11

From Their Highnesses:


Greetings to the Populace of the East! We will be putting together our first set of pollings. The deadline for recommendations will be February 1, with the plan to have those sent out mid-February and therefore ending Mid-March. Our second polling deadline will be the week after Coronation. We only intend to send out two pollings for our reign so please plan accordingly. The award recommendation system has been inconsistent so please submit via the system but also email it to Remember award recommendations should include the full SCA name of the individual, why they are deserving of the award, any pertinent details necessary for a scroll should we decide to move forward with awarding the individual, at least two potential events for the award and the name and email address of a contact person. Please also remember that if the person is in fealty (squired, apprenticed or proteged to a Peer) to check with the Peer prior to writing them in for any award.

Non-polling award recommendations still go to Their Majesties at this time.

Feel free to share with other Orders/lists. Thank you!

In Service to the East,

Prince Omega and Princess Etheldreda

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tir Mara Resident Needed on Council of the Exchequer

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-01-07 11:34

From the Kingdom Exchequer:

Financial Council of the Exchequer:   There is a most immediate need is for a Tir Mara resident on the Council of the Exchequer.     The main criteria for these positions is that you must live in the region you would be representing.  The initial term on the council is two years.  This position entails reviewing financial matters that come before the kingdom.  The council approves the annual Kingdom and Officer budgets, changes to kingdom financial policy, and other kingdom expenditures that are not covered in the annual budgets.

Applicant letters and questions should be sent to

In Service,

Maestra Ignacia la Ciega,

East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer

Filed under: Law and Policy

Call for Resumes: Experimental Deputy to Kingdom Rapier Marshal

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-01-07 11:32
Unto the Kingdom of the East do I, Don Frasier MacLeod send greetings,    To start off the new year I am calling for resumes for my Experimental Deputy.  This deputy would be responsible for coordinating all the wacky ideas people talk about and seeing if any of them can actually be put into use in a safe and fun manner.  I will be leaning heavily on this Deputy for the Rapier Spear discussion and any experimentation that might take place with it, as well as a host of other ideas floating around.  If you would like to be considered for this position, please send your SCA resume to me at the Kingdom Rapier Marshal e-mail on the EK Website.      In Service,      Don Frasier MacLeod, KRM, East
Filed under: Fencing

Richard III burial timetable and appeal for funds - Wed, 2015-01-07 10:50

As the reburial of King Richard III approaches, the city of Leicester, England and Leicester Cathedral prepare for the festivities by calling on the locals to help with fundraising. The diocese has raised only UK£1.9m of the £2.5m cost of the celebration.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Some Fun Æthelmearc Websites

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-01-06 17:20

Just about every Shire, Canton, and Barony in Æthelmearc has a website, as do many other groups like the scribes, heralds, and marshals. Many have useful resources, interesting information, or fun photos or stories. Here are some highlights:

Barony of Thescorre: known as the “Industrious Barony of Thescorre,” their website includes a wonderful manual on how to present various types of demos, many aimed at school children. Three gentles from Thescorre, Mistress Daedra McBeth a Gryphon, Mistress Sadira bint Wassouf, and Lady Cerridwyn of Raventree, call themselves the Academic Demo & Educational Presentations Team (or ADEPT). Their manual covers all kinds of demos that the SCA can present, including Displays, Bardic Circles, Talk Panels, and “Taking a Persona to School.” The ADEPT Handbook can be downloaded as a single file or viewed by section on the baronial website.

Barony of Delftwood: The Barony known for its Windmill has a beautifully designed recruiting brochure that does a great job of explaining what the Society is and does. They also have a page called A&S Handouts that includes articles on various topics like “Turnshoes” by Sir Óláfr Þorvarðarson, “Plying Your Homespun Yarn” by Lady Genevieve de Chaumont, and many articles on costuming by  Meisterin Felicitas Flußmüllnerin.

Shire of Coppertree: this shire, located east of Delftwood, has a storied past and is populated by many notable peers of the realm. Speaking of stories, on the shire website there’s a humorous one about the origins of the name of their Shire herald, the Red Squid Pursuivant.

Shire of Sylvan Glen: The southeastern-most shire in the Kingdom has a wonderful page for the Sylvan Glen Scriptorium with an enormous array of useful information for scribes, including links to sites with period manuscripts, or instructional materials on how to paint in various styles or do various calligraphic hands, as well as line drawings that can be used to create scroll blanks.

Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands: the Meetings & Activities page has links to separate pages for each of the regular activities offered in the Barony – not just when and where practices and workshops are held, but photos and detailed information including things like videos of choir performances, information on how to build youth combat armor and weapons, and links to related websites on heraldic resources or scribal standards from the baronial signet.

Shire of King’s Crossing: their website includes something every new Scadian needs: a Lexicon called “Good Grief, what do they mean by that?” This article explains the mysteries of words like Chirurgeon, Seneschal, Porta-castle and Troll Booth.

Kingdom of Æthelmearc: of course the Kingdom website has all kinds of useful information, including the Kingdom calendar, lists of Kingdom officers and royalty, links to local groups, and contacts for polling orders and mailing lists. But to my mind the most useful page is the Online Award Recommendation Form. If you know people who are doing great things for your group, whether in martial arts, service, or as artisans, then you should recommend them for appropriate awards. You don’t have to possess an award to recommend someone for it.

Æthelmearc Heralds: before you write that award recommendation, check the Order of Precedence on the Kingdom’s College of Heralds website to see what awards the person already has. Under Tools and Links, you can find a link to the Awards of Æthelmearc which can help you understand which awards to recommend your friends for. The Roll of Arms is a great place to find the registered names and Arms of the citizens of AEthelmearc, so if you’re handy with needle and thread and want to give a friend a gift, consider making them a banner using the image on the roll of arms!

Æthelmearc Rapier Combat: you can read the Kingdom Rapier rules, see a list of the White Scarfs of Æthelmearc and learn about the history of the order, find out who the past Kingdom Rapier Champions are all the way back to the founding of the Kingdom, and access links to all things rapier-related.

Æthelmearc Earl Marshal: for links to all things martial, whether heavy weapons, rapier, thrown weapons, target and combat archery, equestrian, youth combat, or siege, this is your best starting place.

Æthelmearc Archery Scores: want to see your current Royal Round average, learn how to run an IKAC, or find out who the Grandmaster Bowmen of the Kingdom are? This is your site. It’s actually a “child” site under an SCA-wide archery site, but the scores for Æthelmearc are maintained by the Kingdom Archery Scorekeeper.

Æthelmearc College of Bards: this site lists bards from all over the Kingdom, the history of bardic arts in Æthelmearc, lyrics and audio files of original songs about our Kingdom, and links to sites of bardic interest.

Æthelmearc College of Scribes: this site offers an array of resources for calligraphers and illuminators, including a list of current scribes, links to resources for scribes, the policies of the Kingdom Signet, and the Red Book that provides guidelines, advice, and scroll wordings for scribes.

Map of Æthelmearc: this site superimposes a map of Æthelmearc on a map of the U.S. You can zoom in and click an area on the map to see a pop-up window listing the name of the Shire, Canton, or Barony in that area, along with its region and a link to its website, if available.

submitted by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Categories: SCA news sites

Sad Tidings: THLord Ambrosius filius Merlinus

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-01-06 09:17

photo of Merlin by Karen Mensch DeMichiei

If you have ever visited the archery range at Pennsic, the Honorable Lord Ambrosius filius Merlinus, called Merlin, was hard to miss. A wiry man with a graying ponytail and beard who looked decades younger than his 80+ years, he was a fixture on archery ranges throughout the SCA, but especially at the Pennsic War. Despite being wheelchair-bound, he went everywhere and did more than many Scadians half his age.

THL Merlin passed away on Sunday, January 4th, at 9:50pm at home in the care of his friends. He was a very active member of the Shire of Eastwatch, located in northeastern Ohio near the Barony of Cleftlands, serving as Deputy Seneschal and Archery Marshal for the Shire as well as Northern Oaken Regional Archery Marshal. Merlin was also a member of House Draigcalon.

Much honored by the Midrealm, he was the recipient of the Order of the Dragon’s Heart and the Purple Fret for service, the Greenwood Company and the Dragon’s Barb for skill and service in archery, and the Silver Oak for arts and sciences. He was a Dragon Archer (roughly equivalent to Grandmaster Bowman in Æthelmearc) with a Royal Round average of 107, and a marshal who spent countless hours on the range inspecting equipment and training adults and children. He also built arrows and period bows that experienced archers say are worth every penny they paid him and more. THLord Lochlainn mac Faoláin Bháin of the Shire of Gryffyn’s Keep comments, “I have the honor of owning the last bow he built. Thank you, Merlin, for getting me on my way to a period kit.”

Master Dirk Edward of Frisia of the Shire of Rivenvale (in northeastern Ohio) said, “Merlin became an important member of our archery community, a skilled artisan and mentor, dedicated and hardworking. His loss will be felt for some time by many people throughout the SCA.”

Merlin and Gandalfr at Pennsic 39, photo by Jo-Ann Sheffer

Lady Siri Toivosdottir of the Barony of Roaring Wastes (Detroit) remembers, “Merlin taught my then-11-year-old son, Gandalfr, how to shoot a bow at Pennsic 39. On Gandalfr’s second day of Pennsic Archery after lessons with Merlin, he shot a tight cluster and Merlin kicked him off the kids’ range. He went on to hit the center target in the clout (100 yards away), and the nose on the third advancing man target.”

Master Denys the Decadent recalls, “Merlin was a tireless worker at the Archery Tent at Pennsic, inspecting, instructing, and sharing his knowledge. He had a tremendous determination to shoot – he did not let his physical limitations stop him. His legacy [and] his energy promoting archery will continue. ”

Despite his age and disabilities, THLord Merlin was tremendously strong. Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill pulled arrows from the target for Merlin at an archery muster in the Debatable Lands last spring. “His bow was so heavy, it was like a bazooka. Those arrows were buried so deep in the target I had a really tough time getting them out.” Sir Ariella of Thornbury remembers that at that same muster, which was held at her castle in northern Debatable Lands, “He was the only person ever to lift himself up the spiral staircase with his arms alone to shoot from the parapets. We will really miss him at our Archery musters.”

In addition to his skills as an archer, Merlin was also quite a good cook. Mistress Alexandra dei Campagnella, who lived in the Midrealm before moving to Æthelmearc, says “Every Pennsic, he would stop at Midrealm Royal and drop off a cheesecake for their Majesties. They always raved about his cooking. He was all smiles when he would give them the treat and they would spend a lot of time bragging on his skill in baking as well as archery.”

There will be no funeral. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

-Submitted by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic 44 Pre-registration Website is Live

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-05 19:30

The Pennsic 44 pre-registration system opened for business January 1, 2015.

Mailed registration closes May 25, online paid registration closes June 17, and online UNpaid registration closes July 10.

Visit the Pennsic War website or the Pennsic Registration Office page for more information.

Filed under: Events, Pennsic Tagged: pre-registration, registration

The Æthelmearc A&S Rubrics Project

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-05 19:00

More than ten years ago, Fridrikr Tomasson took a training course on Educative Assessments at the University of Rochester. At that time, he was introduced to the idea of Authentic Assessment, which may be defined as a tool for judging a student’s achievement in multiple subjects through performance on a “real-life” project that incorporates knowledge of many different subjects. Instead of a pen-and-paper test, a student plans and executes a project. As an example, in a middle school assessment, a student or group of students, might be asked to plan and make a vegetable garden, operate the garden for a season, and sell their produce. The project would show their knowledge of math, science, language arts, and, perhaps, art, as well as team work and communications. The group would then be judged by a set of criteria that they would know ahead of time (aka, a rubric) which would describe what their work would look like at a variety of skill levels, from beginner to expert.

When working on this class, Fridrikr began to realize that in the SCA we do Authentic Assessment much of time, when we make clothing, cook meals, build furniture or boxes or armor, etc. This was the spark which caused him to propose using rubrics for judging to the Pentathlon Coordinator for the Festival of the Ice Dragon. She accepted and that was the beginning of the A&S Rubrics Project.

Fast forward ten-plus years to 2015. Today, the project still exists, under new leadership. The purpose has changed, too. The project’s goal now is to develop rubrics that can be used throughout Æthelmearc and beyond, primarily as a teaching and learning tool. Their use as a judging tool is secondary. With that in mind, the new project coordinator, THLady Beatrice de Winter, has developed an ambitious plan for writing and revising the Æthelmearc Arts and Sciences Rubrics. Speaking of the project, she said, “I ultimately hope to make the rubrics more useful to the artisan who wishes to further evolve his or her skills within a particular field. For those who are just beginning, as well as those who are advanced, the rubrics are meant to help provide a road map for improvement. Even for those who have “Mastered” an art, there is always room for improvement or advancement.”

When speaking of the educational aspect, she said, “Ideally, I’d like to see [the rubrics] used in classes as a teaching tool as often as possible such that a teacher/mentor can help evaluate a student’s progress in order to illustrate what kinds of things need to be done in order to reach the next level and then help them understand how to achieve this goal.”

The A&S Rubrics project will be an on-going interest of the incoming Kingdom A&S Ministers, Baron Fridrikr and Baroness Orianna. They have said that they hope to see the rubrics being used throughout the Kingdom and, perhaps, in other Kingdoms as well. With THLady Beatrice’s permission, we present the structure of the rubrics project here, for the first time. Just as the rubrics are always a work in progress, so to the rubrics project will undoubtedly change over time. For now, however, the guidelines for the rubrics project are as follows:

1. All Official Æthelmearc Kingdom rubrics shall be considered property of the Æthelmearc A&S Minister’s Office, not of any one individual or group of individuals. They shall be free for any group or person to utilize.

2. A small subset of the A&S rubrics (no more than 5-6) will be selected to be reviewed, potentially updated, or newly created, every two years by the A&S Rubrics Deputy along with other trusted members of the A&S community at his/her discretion. At any time anyone is welcome to make suggestions as to which rubrics will be reviewed or created, but the final decision ultimately resides with the A&S Rubrics Deputy.

3. The topics selected to be reviewed/potentially updated/newly created will be posted on the A&S website on or as close to April 1 of the beginning of that cycle.

4. At any time, anyone from the A&S community is welcome to request to work on a particular rubric when it’s time, but preference will be given to those who have the most knowledge of the subject in question.

5. Each rubric needing updates/creation will be assigned to a person or persons for review/potential update/creation by the A&S Rubric Deputy with consultation from trusted members of the A&S community, but the final decision resides with the A&S Rubrics Deputy.

6. As part of this assignment, the person(s) assigned to review/update the particular rubric must consult with at least 2-3 other members of the A&S community who specialize in the topic in question.

7. The assignee(s) will have one year from the date they are given the assignment in which to work on the review/update/creation of the assigned rubric.

8. Once the person(s) assigned to review/update the particular rubric in have completed their review/modifications/creation, it shall be returned to the A&S Rubrics Deputy along with a list of the additional members of the A&S community who were consulted for input.

9. The Assistant to the A&S Rubrics Deputy shall regularly follow up with each person(s) assigned to a rubric in order to monitor the status of the process and communicate this information to the A&S Rubrics Deputy.

10. Once the A&S Rubrics Deputy receives the rubric, he/she shall have up to one month to review it for basic grammar, spelling, and overall general rubric syntax and make adjustments as needed. He or she shall consult with the assignee(s) if any significant changes must be made.

11. Once the rubric seems acceptable to both the A&S Rubrics Deputy and the assignee(s), a draft will be made available publicly for a period of one month. During this time, notification will be made indicating that any members of the society who wish to do so are requested to provide commentary.

12. All comments will be reviewed by the A&S Rubrics Deputy and considered for change/inclusion where applicable. At the end of the comment period, the comments will be frozen.

13. Based on the public commentary, the A&S Rubrics Deputy will consider whether further modifications are required and consult the original assignee(s) as well as the other members who had previously been consulted, along with other trusted members of the A&S community before the rubric is finalized. If necessary he/she will return it to the original assignee(s) for modification.

14. Based on this feedback, the A&S Rubrics Deputy will finalize the final draft of the rubric in question and publish it on the A&S web site on or as close to April 1 two years after the cycle began as possible.

This project will require the sharing of knowledge and ideas of many people. If you want to participate, please contact THL Beatrice at her e-mail <cende at buffalo dot edu>.

Categories: SCA news sites

Another Anglo-Saxon Hoard Found

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-05 17:30

King Canute

King AEthelred

On December 21, Paul Coleman, a member of the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club, discovered a hoard of 5,251 coins. They were buried in a lead bucket in a field near Aylesbury. The coins include specimens dating to the 11th century, and an observer reported that they are in very good “almost uncirculated” condition; many bear the likenesses of King Æthelred the Unready and King Canute.

Read the BBC News Report of January 2, 2015 or today’s UK Daily Mail Report.

Filed under: Tidings Tagged: coins, hoard

Schedule for EK Twelfth Night & Carillion Investiture

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-05 15:55

Overall Schedule:
10:00 – Site Opens
11:00 – Embroidery Class
11:30 – Dayboard
12:00 – First Court
12:30 – Athena’s Thimble Meeting & Panel
1:00 – Viking Wire Weaving Class
1:00 – Gaming Contest
1:30 – Southern Region Herald’s Meeting
2:00 – Children’s Activity
2:30 – Baronial Arm Wrestling Tourney
3:00 – Second Court
5:00 – Feast

Details and Activities:
The Barony of Carillion invites one and all to a wonderful celebration! Rejoice in their Majesties Twelfth Night festivities! Revel in our baronial birthday celebrations. Join us in welcoming our new Baron and Baroness at their investiture!!

A fun filled day is being planned. There will be a gaming competition with prizes for young and old. A wonderful Arts & Sciences competition and display. Children’s activities are being planned. Plans are being made for a heraldic consulting table. There is space for merchants and entertainers are always welcome!

Baronial A&S Challenge:
Bells, Pearls and Period Birds! All gentles are invited to create something for our challenge. There will also be an A&S display for any who wish to display instead of compete. There may also be classes – info to follow!

Athena’s Thimble Activities:
This upcoming EK 12th Night is the 30th anniversary of the official founding of the guild! The original petition was presented to TRMs Hanno and Kunnegunda at 12th Night in AS XIX. Come celebrate the works of art created by the guild members. There will be a display of old and new works as well as a possible challenge. Paneling opportunities may also be available. For information please contact Guild Mistress: Mistress Briony of Chatham

Gaming for Gemstones:
Run by Lord Mithgiladan the Herald
Alquerques: Battlefield tactics on the table top.
My Lords and Ladies, Gamers all! Come play for gemstones. Alquerques was brought to western Europe by returning Crusaders, and is the grandfather to “Draughts”, called “Checkers” in this modern world. But in addition to a challenging game, Alquerques is a study in forming and moving blocks and formations on a field. Can you move your pieces to advantage? Can you trap your foe into unfortunate moves or even to refuse a jump?
The competition will be three 30 minute rounds. The winner will be that person who has captured the most of their foe’s pieces in all their games.
If you do not know how to play this game, learn here: Alquerques
The winner will be awarded a pair of faceted gemstones in Carillion’s gold and black!
A 29.8 Ct. Oval Cut Black Tourmaline
A 14.7 Ct. Fine Emerald Golden Yellow Citrine

A fundraiser will be held to benefit the Children’s Fete for Pennsic!

There will be a light dayboard prepared by Baroness Mary the Hun
Lady Anna of Carillion will prepare a sumptuous feast!!

First Remove
Savory Toasted Cheese
Seasonal Fruit
Cheese Wheel

Second Remove
Mushroom Pie
Heathen Cakes

Third Remove
Cucumber Salad
Root Vegetables
Egg Noodles with Butter

Fourth Remove
Yeast Cake with Blueberries
Yeast Cake with Plums
Yeast Cake with Cheese
Drunken Apples

The full official event announcement can be seen here: Twelfth Night

Filed under: Events Tagged: Carillion, Twelfth Night

"One of the most important Viking hoards ever found in Scotland" unearthed near Dumfriesshire - Mon, 2015-01-05 09:39

September 2014 was a great month for British metal detector enthusiast Derek McLennan. The retired businessman discovered "one of the most important Viking hoards ever found in Scotland" in a field in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. (photos)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Curia of Titus and Anna Leigh is Scheduled!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-05 08:14

From the Kingdom Seneschal’s office:

The First Curia of Titus and Anna Leigh – Agenda

There will be a short Curia at Twelfth Night January 10, 2015 at 9:00am in ACG. Curia is opened by the King’s Herald opening Court. This allows us to make any required declarations immediately instead of repeating them later in another Court.

A. WRITTEN Officer Reports ONLY – Please have them to Their Majesties, Their Highnesses, and me by the event. They will be published on the web site and other electronic venues.

B. Kingdom Budget for 2015

C. Changes to Kingdom Financial Policy – second presentation. The initial presentation of the changes to the Financial Policy was at the Curia of Tindal and Etain this past summer. We then had several months for public comment. After this second presentation at Curia, the updated Financial Policy will be signed off by the Financial Committee and sent to the Board of Directors for ratification. This extended ratification process is in place because Kingdom Financial Policy is Society Policy and is higher in precedent than Kingdom Law.

D. Announcement of changes to Seneschal Policy:

The lead time for soliciting resumes will be moved from 6 months to 15 months before the current Seneschal steps down. The choice will be made by the Royalty seated one year prior to the change, so as to allow for an extended training time for the new Seneschal. This brings practice into line with the Exchequer’s Office.

Seneschal Policy, as all Officer Policy, is not required to go before Curia. As this is a major change to the way we currently do things, we are announcing it now and again at Curia in order to get feedback OUTSIDE Curia both in person, and via email and other communication venues before a final decision is made.

E. Change to Kingdom Law :

Their Majesties wish to change the deadline for Crown Letters of Intent from 1 month postmarked or hand delivered to Coronation postmarked or hand delivered. It cuts off a week lead time. We are putting this out ahead of time to try to get some of the discussion done before Twelfth Night as our time for Curia is very limited.


III-600 Letters of intent must be sent to the Crown. They must include the following elements for both entrants:
• SCA names
• Legal names
• Addresses
• Telephone numbers
• E-mail addresses
• Proofs of membership
• Age (proof to be supplied at Crown Tournament)

To facilitate complete letters of intent, a form is available on the Kingdom website as well as from the Crown and the Seneschal on request. Prospective entrants are encouraged but not required to use this form to ensure a complete letter. ***Letters of intent must be postmarked, e- mailed, or hand-delivered to the Crown no later than 30 days prior to the Crown Tournament. ***The Kingdom Seneschal shall verify eligibility as defined in the Bylaws and Corpora.

***Letters of intent must be postmarked, e- mailed, or hand-delivered to the Crown no later than the Coronation immediately prior to the Crown Tournament.***

Categories: SCA news sites

Lady Silence de Cherbourg and Family Welcome New Baby

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-01-04 19:36

Lady Silence de Cherbourg (Carson Grey Lutchansky) and her husband Nathan, along with big brother Adrian, welcomed a baby boy on New Year’s Day in the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands.

Parker Avery Lutchansky weighed 8lbs, and was 20″long. Mother and baby are home and doing great.

Congratulations to Lady Silence, Nathan, and Adrian, and welcome Parker!

- submitted by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Categories: SCA news sites