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by William Parris.
Only just recently did Their Royal Majesties announce the premier member of the Æthelmearc Order of Defence, Duchess Dorinda Courtenay. Now, around the Society, new members are being announced and placed on vigil.
Three were named at Estrella War for the Atenveldt Order of Defence: THL Takago, Master Malise, and Duchess Elzbieta. All shall stand vigil at Atenveldt’s Coronation on May 2nd.
In Northshield, three were also chosen to serve as the premier members; Don Niccolo, Don Ambrose, and Don Piero.
As May 1st draws near, other Kingdoms may reveal their choices as the newest peerage takes firm rooting in the Society.
This month features one of the biggest events held in Æthelmearc, The Grand Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon. Whether you go for the fighting, the fencing, the shopping, or just chilling out with friends, there is one thing that sets this event apart from all others: The Arts & Sciences Pentathlon, or the Pent.
For those interested in the arts and sciences of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a visit to the Pent is a fantastic way to see what folks are interested in and how they’ve made use of what they’ve discovered. Those who enter the Pent know that their documentation, together with their creations, serves as a way to teach others about their areas of interest. But most people don’t take advantage of one of the best opportunities to teach and learn at Ice Dragon: judging!
The Gazette asked the Pent Judge Coordinator, Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella, a few questions about judging at the Pent.
What qualifications do you need to be a judge? Anyone can be a judge. When looking for “quality judges” I look for people who can do the following: have an understanding of the item being judged and be able to understand the rubrics for that item or the general rubric for those items that do not currently have one. You need to be able to give clear thoughts and reasons for the scores you are marking and constructive comments if there is an area for improvement. Nothing hurts an entrant more than negative comments put poorly. When writing, think about how you would want someone to speak to you. Please take the time to write comments and not just numbers, it helps the entrant understand what number you picked and what they can do to improve upon that area. It is very helpful to have entered A&S before or to be active in A&S, but selection of Judges is not award-based.
What is a Rubric? A rubric is by definition: a guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests (merriam-webster.com). In the context that we use it there is a set number of areas the Judge looks at and a defined score for how the item ranks in each of these areas. To see the current rubrics, go here, and scroll down to the Kingdom of Æthelmearc A&S Rubrics.
Do you have to be a Laurel to judge? No you do not have to be a Laurel; however if you are one, please seriously consider judging, It is always nice for the entrants to have comments from the highest caliber in the arts and sciences that our Kingdom offers.
Is there a way for someone with less experience to be matched with a more experienced judge? Yes there is! We have a “shadow” a judge program, where you can be work with a Judge and go over along with them what each of the elements on the judge’s sheet is and what is important for that area. This enables a new person to ask a lot of questions and get a feel for what the Judge does and why.
How much time does it take to judge a category and just what is involved? There is no set time to allot time to allot per entry. Personally, I start with a quick look at the item, then read the documentation. After I’m done reading I compare the item to the documentation and the Rubric and start scoring on the judge’s sheet and writing comments. Some entries I go straight down the sheet, with other items I will jump around scoring the areas that strike me most. On average I spend about 15-20 minutes on an item. Some people will spend more or less depending on the documentation and item.
What is the timing/schedule? The timing is set by the Pent-coordinator and posted on the Ice Dragon Website. At this time there is a tentative schedule, but it may change depending on the number of entries, judges and space.
Why judge? I judge because I like to see what people are doing… what are the Kingdom Artisans up to? I have learned a lot from documentation that I wasn’t aware of; I’ve seen some really amazing processes for making an item; tasted some very yummy food and knock-your-socks-off beverages. The most memorable item I judged was period white face paint. I don’t remember the details of it, just that someone did it and that it was a very “wow” moment for me. The other reason I judge is to encourage people to keep going, keep digging into the documentation out there, keep digging into themselves for more ideas and to perfect what they’ve started. In my view there is no endpoint for art, it just keeps getting better and better.
There seems to be a misperception that you have to commit your entire day if you sign up to judge, and that it will all be very confusing. Don’t let the idea of judging (or entering for that matter) scare you! You are looking at each piece based on the Rubric and the documentation, you are not judging it against anything else on the table. You can also bounce thoughts off your fellow judges in the category.
If you know that you have a limited time, you can request to have only a couple items to look at, and always feel free to ask questions! I will be there all day for the judges and look forward to a fun and successful day.
This year, there are more than 20 categories. Many judges — preferably, at least 3 per category — are needed. Having so many judges per category ensures that entrants are more likely to receive meaningful commentary on their items. It also reduces the risk of burn-out by limiting the number of entries that have to be judged in the available timeframe. So consider signing up to judge the Pent – it will be a fun learning experience!
General event details can be found here.
The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard is undoubtedly some of the greatest news in archaeology in the past decade. The incredible collection of Anglo-Saxon gold is on display at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Now you can watch a time-lapse video of the construction of the exhibit.
Ancient history expert Prof. Garrett Fagan of Pennsylvania State University knows a lot about gladiators and shared some of his knowledge at a 2014 conference. Included in the discussion was his research on Roman gladiatorial combat, more spectacle than blood bath, he found.
by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres.
In my previous article, I touched on the observation that so-called “SCA Bardic music” contains a preponderance of modern music in various forms. There have been countless classes and round tables at Pennsic and elsewhere devoted to discussions of the “types” of songs found within the SCAdian repertoire, which ones are and aren’t “period,” and what the difference is among “Period,” “Perioid,” “Traditional,” “Folk,” “Filk,” and “Original” music in the SCA.
This article is another brief discussion of that topic.
Curiously, a similar discussion broke out recently on the SCA Bards Facebook group (period vs. non-period). While it was presented as a choice, most all the participants took a “yes, and, both” approach to the question. Though there was a huge amount of variation in terms of what people thought enhanced the SCA experience and what people thought detracted.
This is not a discussion of what’s preferable or which types of pieces are appropriate for various settings. That’s topic for another day. This is more of a survey of the sorts of music one can find being performed within the SCA bardic community these days.
“Filk” was supposedly a typo once upon a once, when someone trying to put a “folk music circle” into a con program misspelled it. The misspelling stuck. So “filk” as it is used outside of the SCA is not confined to rewritten lyrics to an existing tune. In the Sci-Fi-Fantasy Convention circuit, “Filk” is a catchall term meant to include any and all music of interest to the subculture. But in the SCA, “filk” is also considered by many to be a pejorative term. I believe the major reason it elicits that reaction is that “filk” in the SCA has become synonymous with works that are not as serious, or not as appropriate, or that otherwise “break” the medieval experience for other listeners. I think it’s unfair to paint all “filk” with the same brush, but I’ll cover that another time.
Whatever it’s called, however, the essence of a contrefait is that it takes a tune someone else wrote and rewrites the lyrics. Songs like this are often humorous and fall under the heading of parody, but not all are meant to be funny. However, almost all contrefait with a modern melody do pick the original tune for some reason that puts an ironic or meaningful twist of some kind into the new lyrics. (And that’s often easier said than done.)
I will have a whole article on contrefaits and filk and such at a later date. For now, suffice to say, contrefaits can be “period” if they borrow a tune from period, but since it’s always new lyrics, those are always going to be post-period, but might be perioid.
Original (Historical) / Perioid
Without making value judgments as to which type of music is “more” appropriate, since all of them have appropriate places, uses, and audiences, it’s easy to see why so much bardic music “feels” modern. However, consider that original music of both historial or SCA subject matter can be “perioid” – if it’s done well, it can almost pass for period. At the very least, it doesn’t “jar” one out of a medieval context. Some contrefait can be written to actual period tunes, leaving only the lyrics to alert the listener to modern use of language (and again, depending on the lyrics, that may be indistinguishable, too). So the types of music one can encounter really can intermingle.
And regardless of the choice of piece, the three key elements to success for any bard are these:
Without those three things, it doesn’t matter whether the piece is period, perioid, or written last week. And it’s those considerations that dictate the appropriateness of a specific piece for a specific venue.
More on that… in another article
In a discussion on Linked In, SCA member Jeff Johnston reports that he has published his research on medieval games on his HubPages website. The article is entitled Researching Medieval Games.
Many SCA members were concerned when the Society’s Board of Directors decided at their January meeting not to create the Rapier Peerage that so many people were expecting. A lot of letters were written and many discussions were held on social media about what people thought the BoD should do going forward. One of the options a fair number of gentles suggested was an omnibus martial peerage to cover all of the non-rattan martial arts.
When the BoD surprised everyone by reversing course at their Feb. 2nd meeting and creating the Order of Defence, many people in the other non-rattan martial arts communities, while happy for their friends in rapier, were deeply disappointed that they were once again left out. A few decided to take action, and formed the Martial Peerage Facebook group as a way to organize support for an omnibus martial peerage. The leader in this effort is Æthelmearc’s Earl Marshal, Duchess Tessa the Huntress.
Duchess Tessa joined the SCA in the Canton of Cydllain Downs (Columbia, SC), in the Kingdom of Atlantia, in 1983. She said, “Combat archery and history are what drew me in. I’ve done heavy fighting, helped to start target archery in the southern part of Atlantia, and participated in the first equestrian games in Atlantia in 1985.” She moved to Æthelmearc in A.S. XXXII (1998).
In 2002, Her Grace became the first Society Deputy Earl Marshal for Combat Archery. In that position, Duchess Tessa reached out to all of the Kingdoms’ archery communities, working with them to create testing procedures, spread the practice of Combat Archery throughout the kingdoms, and standardized combat archery rules across the society. Her Grace was elevated to the Pelican for that work in A.S. XLII. She became Earl Marshal of Æthelmearc in January of A.S. XLVI.
Interspersed with her work in Combat Archery, Her Grace managed to find time to reign as Queen of Æthelmearc three times with her husband, Duke Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn. She remembers, “When I was Queen last time, there were people in our kingdom who I felt were peers, but because their martial skill was not a rattan weapons form, they didn’t fit in the Chivalry. We tried to see if they could fit in the Laurel. and it became clear that they could for their research, but not for martial skill alone. This meant we had people in several martial communities who we couldn’t recognize [with a peerage]. I felt that was wrong. Since then, I have talked to a lot of people and realized that many people in those communities felt that their activities weren’t as appreciated as others, since their best couldn’t be recognized as peers.”
Her Grace pointed out that the idea for an omnibus peerage is not new. She explained, “Sir Jon FitzRauf [of the West Kingdom], former Archery Marshal of the Society, wrote the first proposal for an omnibus martial peerage back in 1999. He formed a group to work with him on it, open to anyone. It started with combat archery and target archery, but as he talked to people he realized there were other communities in the same boat, so his proposal grew to include all non-rattan martial activities. That proposal got no response from the BoD, but he has continued working on it and refining it, resubmitting new proposals four more times.”
After the BoD’s announcement of the new Order of Defence, Duchess Tessa said, “When I read the letter from the BOD, it upset me a great deal. I had hoped they would see the big picture and create something that included all martial activities. The part about other martial areas not having the community the fencers did – I believe they could have chosen their words more carefully, and perhaps they didn’t understand how it would affect those of us who do those other martial activities. In my opinion, it said that we weren’t worthy, that we didn’t have the numbers or the community to deserve equal recognition. That disappointed me.”
Her Grace said that, after sleeping on it, “I decided that it was time that I stepped up and helped to make the change that I wanted to see. So, I made a post on my Facebook page and tried to reach out to people in each martial community and across the Society. One of the first people I reached out to was Sir Jon. He started this movement and I wanted him to work with me, if he could. I’ve gotten to meet him, he’s an awesome person. He was thrilled that I had picked up the banner and was running with it. He thanked me for inviting him.”
Tessa decided to create a Facebook group.
She started with Sir Jon and about a dozen people in Æthelmearc, and then reached out to 20 more people in other kingdoms. She still has connections throughout the Society in the archery and CA communities, and others in the initial group had connections with equestrian, thrown weapons, and siege. Her Grace tagged someone in each kingdom, told them what she was doing and why, and asked them to spread the word. Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin set up a link for people to join the group, which the initial members shared. “The first day we had over 100 people. It spread so much quicker than I anticipated, because so many people helped.”
By the third day, the group had members in all 19 Kingdoms of the Society, and it has continued to grow from there. As of the writing of this article, the Martial Peerage Facebook group has over 780 members.
With such a large group, how does Tessa keep the discussions organized and productive? “We have a set mission: an omnibus peerage. We told everyone to keep it polite. At about 400 members we hit growing pains and I couldn’t keep up with all of the different threads, so I asked for suggestions and decided to make topic threads. It made a huge difference, helping to organize the conversations.”
Early on, Mistress Tiercelin created the group’s symbol, a Gothic capital “O” for Omnibus in gold on a purple background. Tessa said it’s been a big hit, noting that “People rally to symbols.” Tiercelin commented, “People were asking for something they could use to show support for the omnibus peerage – not the heraldic badge that will eventually be approved, but just a symbol to show that they are in favor of the creation of the new peerage. It started with a simple O, but then I added symbols for each of our activities. We have a horse for the equestrians, an arrow for the archers, arrow/horse combo for mounted archery, catapult for siege, and axe for thrown weapons.” A few of those symbols are shown here:
Tiercelin notes, “So far we have seen the O being used as a Facebook profile picture, a smaller PicBadge on a regular profile picture, and in many forms of belt favors, tokens, brooches, and even earrings. The King and Queen of the East sported arm favors with the O at a recent event. We will have wooden pins available at Ice Dragon [in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on March 21st] with the various versions; stop by the Equestrian Encampment to pick one up.”
When asked how the group plans to make its case to the Board, Duchess Tessa said, “[One of the things] we have focused on is participation numbers and collecting data on existing awards for our martial activities, trying to show depth and breath.” Master Dirk Edward of Frisia from the Middle Kingdom helped compile the following statistics on current participation among all martial arts in the Society across all of the kingdoms:
This comes to a total of 13,998 participants in the martial areas that would be covered by the omnibus peerage. Her Grace admits that there is some overlap in people who participate in more than one area, but said these are conservative numbers for target and thrown weapons, and there are still three kingdoms that haven’t reported.
She also noted that “In the past 5 years, all of our martial activities have gained people [except] the heavy community, which has lost participants.” When asked if she thought this is because the Society is aging and heavy weapons combat is hard on the body, Tessa agreed that was possible. She also thinks that in the past few years movies [like Brave and The Hunger Games] have greatly boosted archery numbers.
When asked what she thought the primary objections to an omnibus martial peerage are, Tessa said, “A lot of people mistakenly believe this is about people wanting to get a peerage for themselves. I think at least 3/4 of the people who are in the Martial Peerage Facebook group either don’t want a peerage for themselves or think they will never reach that level, but want to see those they respect and look up to recognized. In my opinion, it’s more about equal acceptance.”
As a result of the group’s discussions, a proposal is being crafted that will be sent to the Board in early March for consideration at their April meeting. While it is still a work in progress that is being developed by a steering committee comprised of people from each kingdom, here are some of its key elements:
Duchess Tessa plans to attend the April BoD meeting, which will be held in Covington, KY on April 18, and says she will do her best to get other members of the group to go, too. She knows this issue is not likely to be decided quickly, but says, “My plan is to present our proposal to the BOD and see what feedback we get from them. I believe the BOD would like to get this resolved, and if they don’t like part of the proposal, they will let us know and may create a committee to look into it. Several kingdoms already have omnibus Grant or AoA level awards for martial activities [like Æthelmearc’s Golden Alce], and I see this following a similar path.”
Her Grace says she has been impressed with how well the group has been working together. “Sir Jon has worked with dozens of people on this for years. He should be recognized for his vision and hard work. The Facebook group has the numbers and growth it has because of the people like him who are part of it. They have inspired me. This effort would have no chance of success if we weren’t all working together. I have also been touched by those people who don’t do these activities but have stepped forward to support us. I just want to thank them, too.”
In closing, Duchess Tessa said, “I think it’s important that everyone feels they are welcome in the SCA and that their work and their activity is appreciated. As a Society, we need to make certain those members who have mastered the skills in these martial activities and are peers in every other way can be recognized appropriately as the peers that they are.”
From Sir Jon FitzRauf:
“I first started working on the idea of peerage recognition for the non-rattan martial activities (NRMA) back in 1999. I formed a Yahoo group of like-minded Society members and we put together the first proposal to create a new peerage that would allow recognition of those that excel in the martial activities that were not covered by the Chivalry, the Laurel, or the Pelican. That was presented to the BoD in 2000 and turned down by them.
I have continued working toward this idea for the last fifteen years. Because I believed that there are outstanding individuals that excel in the skills of these activities and who have the required peerage level qualifications who are unable to be recognized for these skills by the Crowns that would wish to do so. Since there is no current peerage that is open to them this excellence, the Crowns are unable to recognize them properly.
The BoD’s recent creation of the Order of the Masters of Defence finally allows the Crowns to recognize the outstanding rapier and cut and thrust participants. Nevertheless, it still left the other non-rattan martial activities without a deserved means of peerage level recognition. However, the discussion brought about by its creation did create further interest and support in the recognition of the NRMA across the Society.
The current Omnibus Peerage Proposal being put forth by Duchess Tessa and our group is based in part on my previous submissions to the BoD. If accepted, it will allow the Crowns to recognize those that are deserving. It will also allow the recognition of any future martial activities that would be recognized by the Marshalate without the BoD having to repeat this entire process again for each new activity.
I strongly suggest that everyone read the Omnibus Proposal and send a letter of support to the BoD.
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have worked so hard toward obtaining peerage recognition for the NRMA for the last fifteen years. Their efforts and your support may finally make this possible.
Sir Jon FitzRauf, West. OL, OP.
Caleigh Fleming enjoys medieval combat, and also having a safe place to enjoy "nerd" activities, so she helped to bring the Galahad Medieval Combat Society to Columbia University in Chicago. The group takes part in a medieval combat game known as Belegarth. The Columbia Chronicle has the story. (photo)
COURT OF THEIR MAJESTIES EDWARD III AND THYRA II
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 21 February in the forty-ninth year of the Society in the Barony of Dragonship Haven; 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: Their Majesties thanked Baron Adhemar de Villarquemada for his lengthy and honorable service to the Kingdom and the Barony of Dragonship Haven, in witness of which Their Majesties awarded him a good and proper pension, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Eloise of Coulter.
Whereupon Their Majesties relieved the good Baron Adhemar of his duties and summoned before the Court Joseph of the Red Griffin and Bronwen Rose Greylyng
Item. Their Majesties invested Joseph of the Red Griffin as Baron of Dragonship Haven, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Emma Makilmone and Henna Sinclair.
Item. Their Majesties invested Bronwen Rose Greylyng as Baroness of Dragonship Haven, the which deed was memorialized in a document authored by Grim the Skald, calligraphed by Alexandre Saint Pierre and illuminated by Camille des Jardins.
Item. Their Majesties accepted the fealty of the new Baron and Baroness of Dragonship Haven.
Item. Their Majesties sent Aildreda de Tamworthe to sit vigil to decide whether she would accept the accolade of the Order of the Laurel.
Item. Their Majesties sent Ysemay Sterling to sit vigil to decide whether she would accept the accolade of the Order of the Laurel.
Whereupon Their Majesties adjourned their Court until the afternoon, when the following was done and caused to be done:
Item. Their Majesties made gifts of toys to the children of the East.
Item. Their Majesties summoned Reinne Chevalet la Mareschale before the Court and thereupon awarded her Arms, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Cezilia Raposa.
Item. Their Majesties caused Amis Mwyn to be brought before the Tyger Thrones and, so doing, awarded the said Amis Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Aesa feilinn Jossursdottir.
Item. Their Majesties commanded Geoffrey Hart to appear before them, whereupon they awarded him Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Onóra inghean Uí Ruairc.
Item. Their Majesties commanded Leon the Navigator to attend upon them and, praising his labors and his skills in matters of thrown weapons, inducted him into the Order of the Golden Mantle, the which deed was memorialized in a document authored by Colin Mackenzie and calligraphed and illuminated by Sorcha Dhocair inghean Uí Ruairc.
Item. Their Majesties summoned the noble and good Johanna de Glastingburi to appear before the Court, whereupon they inducted her into the Order of the Silver Crescent, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Aleksei Dmitriev.
Item. Their Majesties gave tokens of welcome to newcomers to the Society.
Item. Their Majesties made Awards of the Golden Lyre to the following musicians who had played for the dancing this day: Deonna von Aachen, Rufina Cambrensis, John Elys, and Isabeau d’Orleans.
Item. Their Majesties awarded Arms to Aleksei of Nordenhalle.
Item. Their Majesties caused the good lady Isabeau du Valle to be brought before the Tyger Thrones and, praising her skills in beadwork and other noble arts, inducted the said Isabeau into the Order of the Maunche, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Katherine Stanhope.
Item. Their Majesties summoned from among their musicians the good man Rufus Bowie and, praising his skills in music, endowed him with the Order of the Maunche, the which deed was confirmed by a gift of glass created by Solskinn of Smoking Rocks with words by Nest verch Tangwistel.
Item. Their Majesties called Lavina Attewode before the Court and awarded her Arms, the which deed was memorialized in a document authored by Lucius Aurelius Varus and calligraphed and illuminated by Saerlaith ingen Chennetig.
Item. Their Majesties awarded arms to Tegwen ferch Cydifor ap Bleddyd, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Eowyn Eilonwy of Alewife Brook.
Item. Their Majesties called Hedinn inn Raudi before the assembled Court and, praising his valor and skills upon the list, endowed him with the Order of the Tygers Combatant, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Lada Monguligin.
Item. Their Majesties consulted their learned astrologer, Master Anton of Winteroak, to determine the just and proper course of their reign.
Item. Their Majesties summoned the good and noble Aildreda de Tamworthe to hear her answer to the question before her; Their Majesties then took testimony from noteworthy Peers of the Realm concerning the said Aildreda; and finding it just, fitting and right that the said Aildreda be elevated to the Peerage, caused the said Aildreda to be inducted into the Order of the Laurel and awarded Arms by Letters Patent, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Lucien de Pontivi and Peregrine the Illuminator, and calligraphed and illuminated by Isabel Chamberlaine.
Item. Their Majesties called before them the right and honorable Ysemay Sterling to hear her answer to the question before her; Their Majesties then took testimony from honored Peers of the Realm concerning the said Ysemay; and finding it just, fitting and right that the said Ysemay be elevated to the Peerage, caused the said Ysemay to be inducted into the Order of the Laurel and awarded Arms by Letters patent, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Toki Redbeard and calligraphed and illuminated by Fiona O Maille.
Item. Their Majesties thanked the musicians who had played for both Courts and during the day’s festivities.
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.
Filed under: Court Tagged: Dragonship Haven
Greetings unto the Exchequers of Æthelmearc,
The Kingdom Exchequer’s office is being reorganized to better serve the Kingdom. I would like to thank THL Alina Marie de Valenciennes for her years of service as the Regional Exchequer for Region 4. Taking effect immediately, Regional Exchequers are changing. Baron Tofi is stepping out of the role of Regional deputy to get ready for taking over the Kingdom office as of Pennsic.
Please begin sending reporting to your new Regional deputies. The NMS Secretary THL Etaine Eame is not changing, but she is taking over additional duties as the Region 1 deputy. Baron Bataar and Baroness Anastasie are moving to different regional deputiships and I would like to welcome Countess Etain and Lady Laurentia of Caladonia as new regional deputies.
As always, any changes in signature cards should start with an email to me of the Bank Account Request form, so that we can provide this to the Society. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your continued service,
Region 1 and NMS Secretary
Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France), with assistance from Lady Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne, autocrat, reported on the College of Three Ravens.
For the 37th year, Thescorre celebrated its annual winter schola with 180 gentles attending despite the worst efforts of the still-roaring Ice Dragon.
The classes were the star of the day!
Hosted in the Avian Barony on February 21 at the Western Presbyterian Church in Palmyra, NY, the College of Three Ravens boasted 25 instructors teaching 37 classes, organized by class chancellor Lady Kadlin Sigvaldakona.
A Little History and Lots of A&S
Originally dubbed UWEKAT (The University of the Western East Kingdom at Thescorre) in 1979, the event was renamed in 1999 soon after AEthelmearc stepped away from the East to became a kingdom in its own right. The College fetes Thescorre’s three ravens: Huginn (Norse symbol of thought), Muninn (Norse symbol of memory) and Bob (“Bob Reaf!” which is “Fear Bob!’ backwards); the birds are featured on the Baronial heraldry in their avian splendor.
Instruction at the College this year included classes on stained glass, needlework and fiber arts, literary arts, bardic arts, woodworking, cooking, card games, scribal arts, and many other wonderful branches of the Arts & Sciences.
“The classes were the star of the day!” His Royal Highness, Timothy of Arindale, remarked while enjoying the day.
“A boggart is what we fear most,” Mistress Alicia Langland explained at the beginning of her class, “Too Terrified to Teach? Riddikulus!” using an example from the popular Harry Potter series.
“We need to take whatever scares us most and defeat it with laughter,” as she coaxed attendees to list whatever prevented them from attempting to teach, some of which included fears of teaching whole classrooms as opposed to one-on-one instruction, preferring advanced “301 level” classes to “101” style intro courses, overly enthusiastic students who “take over” the class, not knowing how to answer questions they didn’t know, or just totally screwing up and doing something wrong.
After nonjudgmental discussion of each fear, Alicia walked each student through suggestions and strategies for preventing, preparing to deal with, or resolutions for their concerns. Hearing that the attendees found this very helpful, she plans to teach this new workshop again at future scholas.
Wood, Fire & Iron
“How we cook and what we cook is really affected by the atmosphere in which we cook and the tools available to us,” Baron Janos Meszaros summarized at the beginning of his overview of food technology throughout history, joking he would cover “10,000 years in 50 minutes!”
He visually walked listeners from firepit cooking to hearths and stoves and from wood & clay pots to metal pans. Once humans progressed from hunter-gatherers foraging for food to settled villagers pursuing agriculture, he noted, this allowed potterers to make ceramic pots, which allowed for food to be stored, which led to the development of cuisine, which led to more food being grown, which led to larger populations, which led to the growth of cities… and so on.
Court and Yummy Food
This was the last College to be hosted by the current Avian Excellencies, Baron Aquila and Baroness Bronwyn, since they are stepping down in June.
Our Baroness-Elect, Mistress Sadira Bint Wassouf, was inducted into the barony arts order, the Broche, during their Baronial Court. (Her Excellency and her husband, the late Baron Saleem, were Thescorre’s second baron & baroness two decades ago.) She also planned and coordinated the delicious lunch, which offered a delightful range of period German dishes (cheese flouden) juxtaposed with period Arabic dishes (red lentil soup, meat pies).
“I decided to highlight my two cultures,” Her Excellency explained. “I’m half Syrian and half German, and I’ve done several feasts focusing on recipes from either one, but this time I wanted to do them together. The flouden – very thinly rolled bread dough filled with slices of Swiss cheese – were incredibly popular throughout the lunch hour. The amazing shortbread cookies, flavored with lavender Her Excellency grows at her home, were another high point of the delicious lunch!
‘It’s very important to me that food taste good and that people get enough to eat,” she smiled while watching gentles gobble up seconds and thirds.
The head cook, Baroness Nuzha bint Saleem, was inducted into the Millrind during Regency Court for her years of cooking (often with her mother, Sadira), teaching, retaining, and many other forms of service.
Her Excellency had an intriguing theme for the evening’s meal, “A Tour across Europe,” which sold out at 96 seats. Having started helping in SCA kitchens when she was six and served as head cook when she was only 15, Nuzha found that in 20 years of cooking single-themed feasts there were individual recipes that she really liked and wanted to do again, or just never had gotten to make because they didn’t fit into a past feast.
Plus, her two great friends and assistant cooks, Lord Andrew of Thescorre and Lady Elzbieta Triadenyte “chose ones that they had always wanted to try or loved as well. I figured that they shouldn’t have to wait 20 years to get to do the things they’d always wanted to do. And we found that even doing a feast where we could make ‘anything we wanted,’ there were still many things that we ended up NOT making. Which was odd!”
So, the dishes ranged from Portuguese to French to English to Roman and finally to German. While all dishes were warmly received and inhaled, Her Excellency said she was most happy with the custard tart included in the dessert selections. “It is one of my personal recipes that I make for people at my home and I was very happy that everyone seemed to enjoy it.”
In addition to the normal challenges head cooks face, Her Excellency spent the last week attempting to buy ingredients and prep this feast while closing on her new house and packing to move!
Despite repeated near-blizzards that pummeled the area throughout the week, industrious gentles drove to her house several times to help, including Baroness Bronwyn and her daughter, Lady Venetia. “Your help those days made the feast happen. Without you both, I would not have completed my prep. I was certain I would have to cut items out of the meal. Your help allowed me to ADD the pork roast (to the menu). Thank you!”
Although both cooks have always offered recipe books with past meals, their recent busyness understandably prevented them from having such available at the event. They expect to post the recipes soon to the Barony webpage or social media.
While diners enjoyed the sumptuous meal, Mistress Daedez and Lady Elen Woderose entertained them with tales and songs.
In additional court news, Lady Elzbieta was inducted into the barony’s martial order, the Black Talon, while in Regency Court, Lady Vistalia joined the Keystone, and Duchess Ilish O’Donovan took Baroness Clarice Roan as her apprentice.
Lastly, Lord Simon Peregrine offered a gratis portrait session all day in the sanctuary for event attendees, the photos from which he has posted to his Facebook account for all to enjoy. He hopes to procure a space to offer another photography studio at Ice Dragon.
What do you enjoy about this activity?
Do you have a goal for your term?
Are you currently looking for any deputies?
What was your first event? And what made you stay?
Which people made an impact on you in the SCA and why?
Filed under: Equestrian, Interviews
In Æthelmearc, the Kingdom Equestrian Champions are chosen once a year instead of every reign. This is because of the fact that during the winter reign there are few events which include equestrian activities. During the winter, the footing in most outdoor arenas is too dangerous for horses and unlike the other martial activities of the SCA, it is not as easy to bring equestrian activities indoors. Most sites cannot provide a large enough indoor space for horses. And because equestrian activities are usually added to existing events, most event organizers are not willing to rent an arena or conduct their other activities outside in one, even if it is covered. Therefore, it was decided several years ago that the Equestrian Championship would be held once a year in the early part of the riding season. Another difference between the equestrian champions and the champions of the other martial disciplines is that there is both a King’s and Queen’s Champion. The King is guided in his selection of a champion by the results of a competition which is run by the current King’s Champion. In the event the King’s Equestrian Champion is unable to perform this task, the responsibility passes to the Queen’s Champion, or the Kingdom Equestrian Officer. The Queen’s Champion is chosen by the Queen, strictly at her whim, though is usually based on such traits as chivalric behavior or courageous effort.
The first Æthelmearc Equestrian Championship was held at Melee Madness on May 31, AS 43 (2008) in the Barony of the Endless Hills. The winner of that competition was Lady Rhiannon filia Catell who was declared the King’s Equestrian Champion. Khalek Shuurag Od was the King at that time. The Queen, Branwyn ferch Gwythyr, chose her champion – Lady Alexandra Caithnes. (Note: Titles for royalty are omitted here, as it can be assumed their titles were King and Queen at the time).
The next year, during the reign of Maynard Von Dem Steine and Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh, the championship was held in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael at The Brass Ring Thing demo and event on June 6th, AS 44 (2009). Viscountess Rannveigr Haakonardottir was named the King’s Equestrian Champion and Lady Ragnailt in Eich was chosen by the Queen to be her champion.
The Equestrian Championship was again hosted in the Barony of the Endless Hills in AS 45 (2010, on June 5th). Lady Marcan an Fhasaigh won the day’s competition and was named the King’s Equestrian Champion and Lady Alexandra Caithnes was called forth by the Queen to stand as her Equestrian Champion. Malcolm MacEoghain and Tessa the Huntress sat upon the Sylvan Thrones that day.
The Equestrian Championship of AS 46 (2011) was hosted by the Shire of Stormsport at their Tournaments Through the Ages event in Albion, Pennsylvania. On that 18th day of June, Lady Rhiannon filia Catell was declared the King’s Equestrian Champion and Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin was named the Queen’s Champion. (She was an Honorable Lady at that time, as this preceded her Elevation to the Peerage.) This was during the reign of Christopher Rawlyns and Morgen of Rye. The following year the Equestrian Championship was again held at Melee Madness in the Barony of the Endless Hills. This event occurred on June 2, AS 47 (2012) and Andreas Morgan and Kallista Morganova, were King and Queen. Master (then THL) Tigernach mac Cathail was declared the King’s Equestrian Champion and the Queen chose Lady Gesa von Wellenstein as her champion. On June 22, AS 48 (2013), the Equestrian Championship was hosted by the Shire of Stormsport at Army Muster. Mistress (then THL) Shishido Tora (Gozen) won the day’s competition and was declared by Maynard von dem Steine to stand as his champion. Liadain ni Dheirdre Chaomhanaigh chose THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoghill to be her champion. The most recent Equestrian Championship was held during the reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain ingen Dalaig. The event was the Æthelwald Proving Grounds which was held on June 14, AS 49 (2014). This was the first time that the Shire of Sunderoak had hosted the Equestrian Championship THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoghill proved victorious in the day’s competition and was named the King’s Equestrian Champion. The Queen chose THL Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndyfrdwy as her champion This year’s Equestrian Championship will be held once again in the Shire of Stormsport, at the Spring 2015 Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College event. This will take place on July 4, AS 50 in Albion, Pennsylvania at the Albion Borough Park and Fairgrounds. Once again, the sounds of thundering hooves will be heard as the riders of Æthelmearc vie with each other for the glory and honor of being named the King’s or Queen’s Equestrian Champion. Won’t you join us for a day of pageantry and equestrian excellence?
By Mistress Shishido Tora (Gozen).
"Archaeology is an evolving process so you always learn more and more," said archaeologist Paul Logue from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, about new discoveries on the 16th century Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits in County Fermanagh, Ireland.
The SCA Board of Directors is requesting commentary on a proposal to amend Corpora to close the office of the Chirurgeonate.
Currently open for commentary is a proposal for the closure of the office of the chirurgeonate. The language for this proposal can be found below. The Board of Directors recognizes that this topic is controversial and would like to emphasize that commentary is being accepted until July 1, 2015, and would strongly recommend that all members forward their opinions for consideration.
WARRANT TO APPOINTMENT OF OFFICE
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to: SCA Inc. Box 360789 Milpitas, CA 95036 You may also email email@example.com. This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.
Filed under: Corporate
Currently open for commentary is a proposal for the closure of the office of the chirurgeonate. The language for this proposal can be found below. The Board of Directors recognizes that this topic is controversial and would like to emphasize that commentary is being accepted until July 1, 2015, and would strongly recommend that all members forward their opinions for consideration.
Over the last number of years, issues have been brought to the attention of the Board and Society Officers regarding the chirurgeonate as it is currently organized. These issues included numerous disputes between chirurgeons regarding availability of over-the-counter medications, interactions between chirurgeons and contracted EMS personnel at large events, interactions between event participants and chirurgeons, and differences between first aid provider credentials available in different states, provinces and countries. The frequency of issues and the potential for liability to the SCA as an organization prompted the President to ask the SCA’s insurance carrier to clarify whether the duties of the Society Chirurgeon, as described in Corpora, are covered by the SCA’s policy. In addition, a request for opinion was made to outside counsel to consider whether the risk of not having an office of the chirurgeonate created more liability for the SCA than keeping the existing office of the chirurgeonate. The response from the insurance carrier was that the duties of the Society Chirurgeon, as defined in Corpora, were not covered under the insurance policy, and there was not an available option for coverage of those duties. The response from outside counsel was that there is more liability to the SCA if the SCA has an office of the chirurgeonate.
The Board requested that a committee of current chirurgeons from across multiple North American kingdoms consider options: revising the existing office; evaluating insurance options specific to that office; eliminating that office. Given the recommendations from that committee, the following Corpora changes are proposed.
WARRANT TO APPOINTMENT OF OFFICE
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.
"During 10 days in June 2016, the SCA will transform the entire fairgrounds into a scene out of medieval Europe, complete with feasts, dancing, blacksmithing, jousting and archery competitions," writes Anthony Schoettle of the Indiana Business Journal about the Society for Creative Anachronism’s 50th anniversary celebration.
In 2003, Richard Mason, a builder from Rothbury, England discovery a pottery jug in the foundation of a Lindisfarne house. The jug, and its contents of gold and silver coins dating to Tudor times, will now be on permanent display at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, thanks to public donations and heritage grants. (photo)
Baron Uilliam Mac-an-tSaoir reported on the most recent Heavy Weapons Muster.
On February 15th, a muster was held in the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands to continue the task of preparing Æthelmearc’s forces for War. 48 unbelted fighters and 13 members of the Chivalry gathered at an indoor site for the muster, which was hosted by Sir Thomas Byron of Haverford and Sir Ariella of Thornbury.
The day began with a round robin tournament for 30 of the unbelted fighters. Though some of the combatants didn’t get to fight everyone, over 500 fights took place in an hour. This was a great warm-up for the scenarios that would follow.
- Video courtesy of Licia.
Sir Stefan Ulfkelsson, Kingdom Warlord, called the fighters to the center of the hall, stating that Æthelmearc had shown its strength and tenacity in bridge and limited front battles, so we would work on improving our open field tactics. With that, the fighters were divided into those from Æthelwald on one side and those from Langstrand and Mearcfells on the other.
- Video courtesy of Baron Torvaldr Torgarson.
After several open field melees, we moved on to small unit scrambles. The fighters were divided up into smaller units and each unit was given a number. As the numbers were called, the units with those numbers crossed the field to fight each other. Once a team had won, they would have to quickly regroup and prepare for the next challenger.
Later, we used those same small units to reinforce each other and build on the tactics we learned, both in field battles and limited front battles.
At the end of the day, Their Majesties arrived and bestowed award scrolls on some gentles they had missed in courts earlier in the reign, including an Award of Arms for Lady Angel of Gabriel’s Landing. All in all, there was plenty of fighting and a great opportunity to learn and grow as an army.