SCA news sites

Another update from the Webministry

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-11-28 13:02

Greetings again from the Webministry of the East Kingdom!

After this, I expect the frequency and volume of these updates to lessen, as we go from the excitement of getting started and transition in to the drudgery of just digging through everyone.  But that means we’re to that point!

Tonight we moved our third branch and we now have scheduled 7 more branches to move and an entire Kingdom Department. We haven’t yet tried to move 2 branches in a single evening, but tonight proved it is possible.  We’re also now making this available:

That’s the schedule of all the migrations as they fill in.  Once we receive the spreadsheet of user information from a branch, we create their accounts, send those folks their welcome letters, and then we can schedule their migration.  That’s when it goes on the calendar.  If your group isn’t on the calendar, we haven’t yet received the information we need to put you there.  Seneschals?  Get us info.  You can see the queue now, the power to get on that line is in your hands.

We’re also releasing the Frequently Asked Questions list, so you can see that (most likely) the questions you have are questions many people have… and see the answers, too!

Lastly for this time out, we’re getting questions about when all the rest of the features of GSuite will be available, and what features we’re getting.  Well, we’re getting a pretty full selection of the standard features (Mail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Sheets, Forms, etc.) but not Sites.  The “When”, on the other hand, is not yet.  The “price of admission” to use any of these features is having a login account and email address.  That’s how Google’s stuff works.  That’s why we’re pushing to get everyone migrated over to GMail first.  Once we have that process completely ironed out, including how we handle mailing lists (solved, but not ready for public consumption yet!) and officer transitions (we think we know how this one will work), then our crack Development Team (David Cortijo) will be able to start working on Team Drive so we can figure out how to do what is needed to safely, securely, and possibly most importantly easy to transition to a successor in the future, share files that need to be shared around a Branch, Kingdom Department, or the Kingdom as a whole.  But that largely means that this stuff, while wildly useful and needed, is going to take a backseat to the email migration that we really have to complete _first_.

In Service,
Joel Messerer
East Kingdom Deputy Webminister for Services

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: webminister

On Target: Christmas Gifts for Archers

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-11-27 19:17

It’s Christmas time again, so here are some tips for the Archer you love.

No matter how good a shot they are, new arrows are always a wonderful gift, along with a period-looking quiver, arm guard, or shooting glove. I prefer a Bear Paw glove because it breathes, so your hand doesn’t sweat.

Next, check out this pen that I found at the dollar store. It’s a stylus, a pen, a laser light, and a flashlight.

If you’ve had a long hot day on the range, how about this period-looking water cooler.

If your recipients don’t mind gag gifts, check out this Whitetail beer bottle opener.

Remember last year’s motto: GLG, which stands for Guys (and Girls) Love Gadgets! I found this multi tool with a small hatchet.

This month’s safety tip: whether you’re driving to the range or driving to Grandma’s for the holidays, these two things don’t mix.

In service, and happy holidays.

Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Icons: Why Their Style Never Changed

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2017-11-26 18:54

By Lady Grainne Rudha (formerly Miklos Magdolna)

Pronunciation: ‘I-“kän
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from Greek eikOn, from eikenai – “to resemble”
Date: 1572

  1. a usually pictorial representation: image
  2. [Late Greek eikOn, from Greek]: a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
  3. an object of uncritical devotion : idol
  4. emblem, symbol <the house became an icon of 1860’s residential architecture — Paul Goldberger>
  5. (a) a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning (b) a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that suggests the purpose of an available function

Christ Acheiropoietos (Image of Edessa), c.1100, from Wikimedia Commons.

This very bland definition from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary led me to wonder about this facet of church art in the early part of the Byzantium. I had run across references to icons and their symbolism during my research of triptychs and diptychs. In the readings, icons seemed rather dry and didn’t quite answer my basic questions regarding why their style never progressed like the other works of religious art work did with the advent of the Renaissance.

Then, serendipity happened. I found a business card on a corkboard at an art supply store for Darya Carney, Traditional Orthodox Iconography in Egg Tempera. This was the break I had been looking for; it turned out that Mrs. Carney was the wife of a Russian orthodox priest and had been painting icons for more than 10 years, all less than a mile from my house. When I met her, Darya showed me her work. That’s when I discovered that icons are a venerated object used for meditation and prayer. She showed me all the aspects of mixing the tempera, gesso, and gilding.

The icon makers feel that the work is God moving their hands with every stroke and that the icon is imbued with the sacred spirit. So, although she didn’t feel comfortable making an icon for someone who was not orthodox, she readily agreed to answer my questions so I could write an article on the subject; she and her husband were thrilled to share the information and allow me to use their extensive library.

It was while I spent time with this couple that I saw how important the art is to them and how invaluable it must have been to people all through the period we attempt to recreate. Our ancestors believed the icon was the embodiment of the spirit talking to the artist to open a window of God’s grace.

Where do icons come from?

Praying With Icons offers this origin: “The first icon was made when King Abgar of Osrone, dying of Leprosy, sent a message begging Jesus to visit him in Edessa and cure him.  Hurrying to Jerusalem and his crucifixion, Christ sent a healing gift, instead. He pressed his face against a linen cloth, causing the square of fabric to bear his image. The miraculous icon remained in Edessa until the tenth century until when it was brought to Constantinople. After the city was sacked by the Crusaders in 1204, it disappeared altogether.  Known as ‘not made by human hands’ or the ‘Holy Face,’ the icon has been reproduced over and over until today.”

This legend was intriguing but I had suspicions that the icon might have had its life in a pre-Christian history. This bore out when I remembered a three-paneled triptych that had a goddess and two gods from Romanised Egypt.

The concept of a sacred image to aid in prayer was around before the Byzantine Empire. This theory was confirmed in Origins of Christian Art:

“Another form of painting, especially associated with the Eastern Church, was that of the icon.  The icon may well have originated in Egypt, where the common pagan practice to adorn mummy cases with portraits of the dead, or to affix wooden plaques painted with their likeness over the shrouds of the less wealthy.

“For those portraits, the encaustic process of burning colored wax into the surface of the wood was used; a technique that which had the advantage of producing a very tough finish which, combined with the climate of Egypt, made the portraits well nigh indestructible.

“The earliest known Christian icons are examples from St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, so it seems not unlikely that the pagan Egyptians’ veneration of the likeness’ of there dead was later transferred to Christ and the Virgin.”

The author follows up later with this statement, “The earliest icon, of the sixth century, represents the Virgin, enthroned and wearing the imperial purple, as a young mother of highly individual features and positive personality.”

I confirmed this idea, in Byzantine Painting, which discusses the 6th century icons in Sinai and their resemblance to the wax funeral effigies in Egypt, and by consulting Dr. Alexander Boguslawski’s website on Russian art work (see References below).

So we have its origins and what it was used for, but why did the icon remain a stilted, unchanging style?

To sum it up, I offer this quote from, E. H. Gombrich’s The Story Of Art:

“The Egyptians had largely drawn what they knew to exist, the Greeks what they saw: in the Middle Ages, the artist also learned to express in his pictures what he felt.”

The artist didn’t feel the need to show the reality of a portrait, but instead the mystery and symbolism of the saint or religious figure — the feeling of the holy and the miraculous.

When I inquired to my resident icon maker regarding the unchanging nature of the art, Mrs. Carney said that the people who painted icons in the Middle Ages and earlier are closer to the time when the venerated walked this earth. To deviate from those images would be to go away from what the image is supposed to look like. The icon is to be meditated upon and, when combined with prayer, should cause you to reflect on that person’s work on this earth and the message of the kingdom of heaven. Icons are simple and unchanging; nothing to distract or to take focus away from their primary objective. The faces, while kind and somewhat stoic, are never to be sensual or beautiful enough to distract your mind from worship.

What happened to so many of the early icons?

I wondered why there were so few icons from the 10th century; why was there a gap in their history? Once again, Mrs. Carney had the answer and explained that they were ordered to be destroyed when they where thought to be too close to idol worshiping. I went to the library and learned  that between 726 and 843 AD, the Byzantine Empire was caught in a huge debate on whether the icon was a venerated object or an idol.

One side of the fence was the Iconoclasm: this word comes from the Greek eikon (icon) and klao (destroy). This group felt that icons and images of God, the saints, and apostles were idols. They felt that when God said to Moses, “Thou shalt not make an idol, thou shalt not bow down to (idols) nor serve them” (Exodus 40-4-5), that these icons were in violation of that decree and had to be destroyed.

The Iconophiles, or lovers of these images, were the ones who argued in support of their use. They formulated rules of icon painting and the prayers to govern their use. They cited stories of icons healing people in times of need and making wells run with water. “They must be blessed by God, if the miracles happen,” they argued.

In 725, this argument came to a head when Emperor Leo III began to write a document, Legos, to condemn the holy images.  He had serious problems with the new Arabic religion, Islam, rising at his back door. In 726, during the turmoil after an earthquake, the image of Christ was removed from the gates. It was said that a group of iconophiles killed the guards. Leo had had enough problems and he finally ordered all the icons removed from the churches in 730. He believed their use was angering God and the Moslems were God’s punishment. Strangely enough, the Moslem faith had restrictions on the human body in religious art as well.

The icon would have died out completely had it not been for Empress Irene, who convinced the Council of Nicaea to call the removal of icons a “detestable error” in 787. By 843, her son Emperor Michael III had the face of Christ replaced on the gates to the palace.

How are icons made?

When most people think of icons, they picture a wooden slab-like board with gesso and tempera paint. The truth is that the very early icons were made using a colored wax burned into wood. We also see icons made of frescos applied directly on walls, as well as cloisonné glass in a frame. There are even remnants of mosaic icons made with tiny ceramic tiles.

During the 10th century, the icon settled into the style we now generally consider its typical form: a slab of wood; sanded and squared; sized in an animal hide glue (sealed and making a base for the gesso to adhere); gessoed with a mixture of white alabaster or plaster and size (animal hide glues); painted with a mixture of tempera (a pigment suspended in egg yolk); and sealed with a copal resin varnish.

Why is Russia connected to icons?

The early Russian people, called  “Rus,” were Vikings settlers. They began visiting Constantinople in 838.  In 860, they attempted an aborted attack on the city. The Emperor negotiated monies for protection but it wasn’t until 988 that Emperor Bales listed his Rus troops at 6,000 (Prince Vladimir of Kiev).

The Rus had contact with the Byzantine Empire as the Varangian Guard. We know that Vladimir (ruler from 980 to 1015) converted to Orthodox Christianity.  This was accomplished through his sister Anna’s marriage to the Emperor Basil II around 989. The event was marked in the settlement of Kiev by a church being built, dedicated to the Holy Mother of God. Craftsmen from the Byzantine Empire were sent to build and decorate it.

This convergence of craftsmen was to continue as more churches where built. But when the Byzantine Empire became more riddled with civil war in 1321, the throne was eventually abdicated in 1328. The Empire was crumbling and the artists and crafts men could see the writing on the wall. In 1453, the Byzantine artists (particularly the icon makers) fled to Christian lands that would accept their icons. They knew the Moslem religion with its prohibitions on recreating the image of holy figures would not take kindly to them.

Stable and entrenched in the Orthodox Church, the Russians welcomed them in, as did Greece. By this time, the Church in Europe had moved to portable altar work for personal uses, such as triptychs and diptychs, and had left behind the stilted look of the Byzantine icons.

In Russia and Greece, the reproduction of icons never deviating from the original was respected and kept alive until modern times. Even today, you can purchase an icon made by a Russian icon maker with the appropriate prayers said over the work as it is painted, bearing the approved subject matter and symbols.


Merriam Webster Online Dictionary,

Boguslawski, Alexander, PhD (2002) Russian painting web site,

Forest, Jim (1977) “Praying With Icons” ISBN 1-57075-112-9

Gilbert, Stuart (1979) “Byzantine Painting” ISBN 0-8478-0225-6

Gombrich, E.H. (1979) “The Story Of Art” ISBN 071481208

Gough, Michael (1972) “The Origins of Christian Art” LCC 73-8233

Lowden, John (1997) “Early Christian & Byzantine Art” ISBN 0-7148-3168-9


Appendix: Prayers for the Iconographer

This was supplied to me by my resident icon maker. I do not know the age or history around this set of prayers. It has been established that, even in period, no icon was considered holy until prayers where performed for consecration and guidance of the iconographer’s hand.

A Prayer for Consecrating an Iconographer

from Mt. Athos

Thou Who hast so admirably imprinted Thy features on the cloth sent to King Abgar of Edessa, and hast so wonderfully inspired Luke Thy Evangelist: Enlighten my soul and that of Thy servant; Guide his hand that he may reproduce Thy features, those of the Holy Virgin and of all Thy saints, for the glory and peace of Thy Holy Church. Spare him from temptations and diabolical imaginations in the name of Thy Mother, St. Luke, and all the Saints. Amen.

Prayer Before Beginning an Icon

O DIVINE LORD of all that exists, Thou hast illumined the Apostle and Evangelist Luke with Thy Holy Spirit, thereby enabling him to represent Thy most Holy Mother, the One who held Thee in her arms and said: The Grace of Him Who has been born of me is spread throught the world! Enlighten and direct my soul, my heart and my spirit. Guide the hands of Thine unworthy servant so that I may worthily and perfectly portray Thine Icon, that of Thy Mother, and all the Saints, for the glory, joy and adornment of Thy Holy Church. Forgive my sins and the sins of those who will venerate these icons and who, kneeling devoutly before them, give homage to those they represent. Protect them from all evil and instruct them with good counsel. This I ask through the intercession of Thy most Holy Mother, the Apostle Luke, and all the Saints. Amen.

Prayer After Completing an Icon

Thou, Thyself, O LORD, art the fulfillment and completion of all good things. Fill my soul with joy and gladness, for Thou alone art the Lover of mankind. Let Thy grace sanctify and dwell within this icon, that it may edify and inspire those who gaze upon it and venerate it; that in glorifying the one depicted, they may be repentant of their sins and strengthened against every attack of the adversary. Through the prayers of the Theotokos, the holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, and all the Saints, O Savior, save us! Amen


Excellent Internet Sites


Categories: SCA news sites

Things to Know about Yule in the Barony Beyond the Mountain

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-11-26 14:57

For many years now, the Barony Beyond the Mountain has celebrated
certain traditions as part of our Yule feast. In more recent times we
have been pleased and honored to bring them to a joint Yule with our
cousins of Bergental. If you are planning to attend Yule feast this year on December 2 or in the future, a quick read will help you to enjoy your time with us.

The first thing is that we ask everyone to please refrain from lighting their own candles. The provision of light for the tables is part of the

At the beginning of the feast before the food is served, First Foot, a
child embodying the spirit of the season enters the hall and leaps over
the yule log which will be set before High Table. After taking a flame
from the yule log, First Foot asks the populace “Would you have the
spirit of the season enter this hall?” The proper response is “Aye.”
First Foot lights the candles at High Table, and then proceeds
throughout the hall, lighting a candle for each table. It is traditional
to offer First Foot a coin for luck, which are provided on each table.

A pitcher of scented water is presented to High Table, that Their
Majesties, Their Highnesses, and Their Exellencies may refresh their
hands prior to presentation of the feast.

Salt is formally presented to the High Table. If Their Excellencies in
consultation with Their exchequers have determined that Their lands have
prospered in the prior year, salt is also provided to the populace to
season their meals.

The pantler presents a specially baked loaf of bread to High Table, and
slices and serves it to Their Majesties, Their Highnesses and Their

The butler presents drink to the High Table. To ensure the quality of
the bottle, s/he will open it and sample the contents to confirm its worth.

The toasts are offered during the meal as is traditional in the Kingdom.
However, in honor of the holiday season, the customary response of
“vivant” is replaced by “wassail!”

During the feast, the boar’s head is processed through the hall while
the “Boar’s Head Carol” is sung.

Should the nobles and populace of the hall be deemed to be generous,
hospitable, and welcoming, there is a gift, in the form of twelve
sterling silver rings. Should you find one, it represents luck for the
coming year.

A Little History or Where on Earth Did They GET This Stuff?

The Barony Beyond the Mountain has celebrated our Yule feast with some
variation of these traditions and ceremonies for over thirty years. But
what do they mean? Where do they come from? All of them are grounded (if
loosely) in some part of history, although over the years things have
changed and shifted to suit the people and the event, and while the
history is still visible through the cracks, it is now a tradition of
our own.

First Foot: First Foot is a tradition of Scotland/Northern England,
which says that the first person to set foot over the threshold of a
home on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune for the coming year. In
the original tradition, First Foot brings gifts.

Yule Log: Current tradition holds that the Yule log has its origins in
the fire ceremonies of pre-Christian paganism that celebrate the return
of the sun at the turn of the year. As most sites do not have a hearth
suitable for the day-long burning of a log, the barony utilizes a
symbolic representation.

Hand-washing: Medieval books of manners describe ritual hand-washing
both before and after the meal. The water and towels were presented in
order of the social standing of the guest, and it was an honor to thus
serve a king or great noble.

Salt: Salt has been a valuable commodity throughout history. Universally
valuable for both seasoning and food preservation, salt was mined,
produced, transported, taxed, sold, and sometimes used as currency.
Hence it was a demonstration of wealth on the medieval table, and in the
great houses would be served in ornate salt cellars and nefs that were
placed in front of the host or most honored guest.

Pantler: The pantler (from the Middle English pantelere) was the servant
of a great house who was in charge of the bread and the pantry. When
bread is baked in a wood fired oven, the upper portion is more
desirable, as it will not be ashy or over-baked. Interestingly, the
phrase “upper crust” does not appear to have been applied to *people*
until the nineteenth century.

Butler: the butler (from the Anglo-Norman buteler, a variant of the Old
Norman butelier and Old French botellier – all variants on
boteille/bottle) was the servant of a great house who was in charge of
the service and care of the household’s beverages, whether in barrels or

Wassail: from the Old English wæs hæl – “be you healthy,” and associated
with the drinking tradition of wassailing in Southern England which is
done to ensure a good cider apple harvest for the following year.

Boar’s Head: the hunting and serving of boar is ancient. The procession
of the boar’s head to the singing of the “Boar’s Head Carol” originated
at Queen’s College in Oxford England. It has continued to this day.

Rings: In England the Christmas cake/pudding sometimes had coins added
as good luck touch pieces at least as far back as the 19th century. Even
if no older than that, it is a charming tradition.

– Article submitted by Baroness Eloise of Coulter

Filed under: Events Tagged: Barony Beyond the Mountain, Yule

Polling Deadline is Tonight at Midnight

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-11-26 10:00

Responses to the second poll of Their Majesties Ivan and Matilde need to be sent before midnight TONIGHT – Sunday, November 26. The polls close at 11:59 pm, and the polling link will be inactive after that time.

Polls are sent to the members of the Orders of High Merit and the Peerages so that they may provide input to the Crown on future members.  Orders which conduct polls include the Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican, Defense, Silver Crescent, Tygers Combatant, Sagittarius, Maunche, Golden Rapier, and Golden Lance.

If you are a member of one of the Orders of High Merit or the Peerage and are not currently receiving polling emails, please sign up via the instructions on the East Kingdom Polling Lists page. Please note that the discussion lists and the polling lists must be subscribed separately.

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: polling deadlines, polling orders, pollings, polls

Service Shines at Crown Tournament

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2017-11-25 22:53

At the Crown Tournament to determine the heirs of Tsar Ivan and Tsaritsa Matilde, fighters of the East Kingdom vied for the right to be heir to the Tyger throne. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, many hands were hard at work to make a the day a success for all.

Mistress Suba heralding to the crowd assembled

Crown Tournament is fairly unique in its great need for heralds and list runners in order for the Mistress of the Lists to do her job and run the tournament. Mistress Suba al Hadid is the Troubador Herald, in charge of vocal heraldry for tournaments such as Crown Tournament. She and her deputies are the reason that those on the sidelines know who is fighting who, and those who are fighting know which list they should report to. They are assisted by list runners who are responsible for getting cards with fighters’ names on them from the Mistress of the List and her staff, and bringing them to the heralds to announce.

Throughout the chilly day, the lists were heralded by Mistress Suba, Deputy Troubadour Herald Don Lucien de Wyntere, Lord Agapios Cargos, Lady Jehannette Bouchart, Baroness Tasha Medvedeva, Allie Drovich, Lord Drake Oranwood, Lady Sisuile Butler, Bronwyn of Wentworth, Master Ryan McWhyte, Robert Tytes, Baron Yehuda ben Moshe, Baroness Maria Von Osseheim, Edmund Beneyt, Master Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen, Lady Oriana Volpe della Octavia de Venizia, Audrye Beneyt, Lord Justinius Alexander Eternus, Mistress Sabine de Kerbriant, Lord Declan Gobha, Master Rowen Cloteworthy and Behi Kirsa Oyutai.

Charlotte takes a quick pause from her list running duties for a photograph.

The list runners who assisted included Baroness Alanna of Skye, Baroness Jocelyn del Espada, Wentlyanna Bengrek, Simona bat Leone, Roseeia Posaeia, Master Colin Monro, Elian of the Fellsword, Charlotte Coulter, Bartholomew of Northampton, Lady, Siobhan ni Dhonnabhain, Evan, Caleb Patrassio, Emma Lovell, Mistress Eowyn Eilonhwy of Alewife Brook, Rodrigo Medina De La Mar, Eryn FitzPatrick, and Zachary Kerr.

Mistress Suba pointed out that at least eight of her staff were under the age of eighteen, and worked hard to make sure that cards were delivered, fighters heralded, and they day treated with the pomp and circumstance it deserved.

On the other side of the event, Boyar Aleksei Dmitriev and  Lord Fergus Redmead worked tirelessly to cook a delicious dayboard, and chose to tackle a huge challenge to better support the focus of the day. “We said at the same time, we wanted to something special for the fighters and consorts to make it easier for them and bring lunch to them,” Aleksei explained, having cooked dayboard for two Crown Tournaments prior to this one. “I always wanted to do this, but I needed a co-cook just as excited as me about it.”

A “boxed lunch” provided for fighters and consorts

Aleksei, Fergus, and their team prepared approximately 100 boxed lunches for fighters and their consorts, so that those who were focused on the tournament would not need to leave the field in order to eat lunch.

Fergus’s idea was to label each box with the heraldry and name of the combatant or consort. This added the ability to deal with with special dietary needs. Aleksei put out the call to those competing that they could send in their needs, and the dayboard team would do their best to accommodate. Aleksei explained that approximately 20 people took advantage of this to let him know about gluten-free, vegetarian, and other needs in advance.

When Lady Aikaterine reached out with the offer for youth fighters who were attending to help out by delivering the boxes, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place. Several youth delivered dozens of boxes, and also helped put together the lunches, assembly line style.

Photo provided by Sir Alexander de Hautville

The teens ran joyfully through the crowd, matching the shields on the boxes to the shield trees in an attempt to find the gentles whose lunches they held. Discussions about matching heraldry to clothing and banners were held, and the youth seemed to benefit as much from the heraldic education as the combatants and consorts did from the food. “No, that’s a griffin, we’re looking for a tyger!,” was overheard as the youth worked to deliver dozens of meals.

“The kids were a crucial element,” said Aleksei, “We couldn’t have done this without them.” Fergus echoed the sentiment, complimenting four youths in particular who toiled throughout the day

Ulf and Ragnard hard at work at the smokers. -Photo by Fiona

Ulf and Ragnar ran the smokers, and helped to smoke 120 lbs of chicken and 20 lbs of trout, while Emma Lovell and Caleb Patrasso worked inside to prepare the meal. The kitchen was filled with youth and newcomers to the society, joyfully preparing food for the attendees of the event.

All photos by Brendan Crane, unless otherwise indicated

Filed under: Events Tagged: Crown

Court Report: Fabric, Fiber, and Fighting

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-11-25 10:09

The report of Their Royal Majesties Gareth and Juliana at the Fabric, Fiber, and Fighting event held in their Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais on the 17th day of November Anno Societatis Fifty-Two. Maighstir Uilliam MacantSaoir, Sycamore Herald, reporting.

Their Majesties bid welcome to the populace and invited all who were attending their first event to come forward. Their Majesties welcomed the newcomers by giving them a drinking vessel so that they could enjoy themselves at future events.

Their Majesties gift those gentles at their first event with drinking vessels.

Their Majesties invited Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill and Lord Robert Hawksworth before them, Robert and Robert having served the kingdom as Bearers of the Toybox. They bid Their Majesties that another should have this honor, and at the suggestion of the Roberts, Their Majesties bestowed this honor on Lord Eustacius. Their Majesties gave Lord Eustacius di Mecina the toybox and gave him ample time to run before releasing the children.

Their Majesties asked for Baroness Elena de la Palma to come forward. It being her birthday, Their Majesties bid the populace sing to her for her birthday. Upon finishing the song, Their Majesties spoke of Elena’s overwhelmingly generous spirit, her care and dedication to helping people in the SCA and for the purest of courtesy. With that Their Majesties entered her name into the roles of the Order of the Cornelian and gave her a token from Countess Margerite Eisenwald that had been gifted to her by an artisan in the Kingdom of Drachenwald.

Baroness Elena receives a Cornelian

Their Majesties welcomed Lady Dierdre Kildare, seneschal of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais to their presence. Lady Dierdre presented Their Majesties with a gift basket from the Shire to thank them for visiting.

The Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais brings gifts for Their Majesties

Their Majesties invited the Autocrat, Her Ladyship Elys la Bref before them. Elys thanked everyone for attending and called forth Master Bedwyr Danwen, giving him a token for service to the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais for his work with helping at the event for many years.

THLady Elys gives Master Bedwyr a shire service token

Their Majesties welcomed Mistress Alicia Langland forward, Mistress Alicia begged a boon of Their Majesties to take Elys la Bref as her protegé. This was done in the presence of Their Majesties’ Court.

Mistress Alicia takes THLady Elys as her protégé

Their Majesties then welcomed Baroness Therasa du Domremy, who took on Lady Serena as a student and asked for permission to revisit Their Majesties at Twelfth Night with a charter to begin a Milliners’ Guild.

Baroness Therasa takes Lady Serena as her student

Their Majesties requested the presence of Mistress Phiala O’ Ceallaigh. Mistress Phiala spoke of the wonders of those who came to teach and learn at the event. She then asked Master Bedwyr Danwen, Mistress Rhiannon y Bwa and Mistress Rosalinde Ashworth forward, naming these gentles Fellows of Fabric, Fiber, and Fighting.

Mistress Phiala then begged a boon of Their Majesties, Mistress Phiala stated that as a Mistress of the Laurel, it is her job to notify the royalty when they believe a person is prepared to be a member of the order and how there is a person present that has worked hard for the Fiber Arts, both creating and teaching others and asked Their Majesties to consider this candidate.

Their Majesties asked for this candidate to come forward and summoned Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi into Their court. Their Majesties then asked for Their Order of the Laurel, Their Majesties spoke of the good works Mistress Mahin has given to the Fiber and Arts community. Mistress Mahin was then given a writ to consider entrance into the most noble Order of the Laurel. (Scroll by Mistress Graidhne ni Ruaidh). Note: Mistress Mahin’s elevation will take place at Ice Dragon in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael. 

Mistress Mahin receives a Writ for the Laurel

Their Majesties called for Katharina of the Twin Moons. Their Majesties also sought Katharina’s children, who were not present this day. Their Majesties spoke of the work of Katharina, that she has done amazing blackwork embroidery and embroidered items of largesse for the Royalty. For this, Katharina was entered into the Order of the Sycamore and Awarded Arms. (Scroll by Lady Kadlin).

Katharina receives a Sycamore with Arms, and accepts AoAs for her children

Their Majesties then asked Lady Katharina to carry these words to her children, Krystalis Caopziello da Napoli for her work at demos, armoring and heavy fighting, was awarded Arms. (Scroll by Mellen Fenella, Calligraphed by Isabella Montoya)

Rowhan is a heavy fighter, helps at demos and opens his shop to others to help make armor. For this, Their Majesties award him Arms. (Scroll by Mellen Fenella, calligraphed by Isabella Montoya)

Their Majesties again called for Mistress Phiala O’Ceallaigh. Their Majesties spoke of over 25 years of service to the Fiber and Arts community, of her starting the Fabric, Fiber, and Fighting event, and of her work in the Shire of Nithgard and as a local and Regional Seneschal. For her work and dedication, Mistress Phiala was granted an Augmentation of Arms. (Scroll calligraphed by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix, words by Duke Malcolm and Mistress Rosalinde)

Mistress Phiala receives an Augmentation of Arms

Their Majesties ordered the presence of Lord Hrolfr Fjarfell. Lord Hrolfr is well known for his work in Viking age textiles and fiber arts, so much so that there are those who wished to speak with him about his work. Their Majesties then called for Their Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc. Lord Hrolfr was granted entry into this order.( Scroll painted by Elys la Bref, Words by Master Fridrikr, Caligraphy by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix)

Lord Hrolfr receives a Fleur medallion from his Laurel, Master Fridrikr

Their Majesties saw Her Ladyship Elska Fjarfelli as she was leaving with the Order of the Fleur and asked her to come forward. Their Majesties complimented her on her research, teaching, and creation of items from the Viking age. Their Majesties then called for their most noble Order of the Laurel. Her Ladyship was then given a writ to consider elevation to this order at a time of her choosing.

THLady Elska reecives a Writ for the Laurel

Her Majesty then asked for Lady Antoinette deLorraine to come forward. Her Majesty thanked Antoinette for the hard work that she had done to make sure that Their Majesties were comfortable and had anything they needed. Her Majesty then gave Antoinette a Golden Escarbuncle, naming her the Queen’s Inspiration for the day.

His Majesty addressed the populace, thanking all who taught through the day and for the fighters who attended the Gage fighting that day. His Majesty reminded the populace that a Crusade was fast approaching and to prepare to travel to the southern lands of the continent at Gulf Wars and show Æthelmearc’s spirit there.

His Majesty exhorts the populace to attend Gulf Wars

Their Majesties’ Court was then closed.

All photos by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Categories: SCA news sites

2017 Battle of the Nations – Barcelona ~ Así es la vida

PainBank - Thu, 2017-05-11 21:51
La Monumental

As I sit here on the plane and reflect on my 6th year of campaigning in Europe at medieval tournaments, I ponder where to next and how shall I commit.  I am over traveling alone.  I have not the drive to do it myself any more.  Having someone with you to just talk with, assist you when confused on how things should work in an unknown place or even to decide on where to eat is an immeasurable bonus and happiness.  Then there is the question of what happens should you get hurt, who can assist you with the heavy stuff and getting to the airport or perhaps even home from the hospital?  These are the things to consider, which you might not even think of, until it is too late.

Trying to travel with armor sucks.  How do you pack? Where does it all go?  This makes things very difficult. What if you have a pole ax or halberd?  What is the length of the poles?  Can you buy a pole to put it on at the site?  Or do you get (my current usage) a snowboard bag and attach then axe head on site?  Then can you get it off, should you need to, for getting it home?  Is it now long enough to compete properly, 6.5 foot or 7 foot?  Of course, there is always the questions that occur from the airlines when you check it in!  What is this?  Sports equipment… then there is some waving of hands and attempts to explain it to them.  Of course, there is always questions, but usually they let you go.  I also pack in about 1/3 of my armor in the snowboard bag as well.  Of course, that is now two bags, so there is a cost to take it over, then one to bring it back.  So now you are looking at about a $200 extra cost for flying and returning. 

Then there are the emotions.  What is the greatest about fighting is also the worse.  The highs are followed by lows to the same degree.  Expectations, anticipations and preparations, which having lead one to the tournament, build you up to a climax that is an amazing experience.  This is something that is slightly different for every person and every tournament.  It is part of the sport and I am yet unsure how to suggest one cope with it.  Ride the emotional wave and enjoy life.

Then there is the fighting.  Every tournament except Battle of the Nations (BotN) seems to be pretty lax on armor and weapons requirements.  (I’m not sure about Dynamo Cup) And weapons for that matter, although they still check those out pretty well.  The actually marshaling to address safety concerns seems to be at a fairly high level all around.  There always seems to be some kind of issue that gets raised or set of issues at and I suppose there always will be until the sport matures to a professional degree.  Something like where you check in/out your arms and/or armor or some such.  But the logistics of that is pretty significant.  They were up to the old ways of running things some.  late rule changes, odd enforcements both in the list and out of the list for registration.  There are definitely some improvements to be made, but overall it is getting better a little by a little.  My #1 suggestion to improve this is for them to schedule things more sooner and to let teams supply volunteers to join in in making some of the stuff happen.

I would say one the biggest disappointment I have seen from BotN is the lake of catering to the fans or new fans of the sport.  They price the event out of the range of average folks that want to enjoy the show.  They could have probably filled 10k+ fans into the arena in Barcelona, however, by charging 30 euro per session or half day, per person, that made it 60 euros for someone to watch just one day of action.  Yup, not many families or other coming out.  What is the right price, maybe 20 euro for the day.  In Belmonte, the price being 30 euros kept the crowd pretty low, compared to the IMCF championship where the price was like 10-20 euro for the day, which had a huge crowd.  Until this sport is completely filling arenas, we should be keeping those ticket prices good for all.   

Barcelona was a wonderful city to visit, which I wish I had more time to explore.  Maybe one day I’ll return just to enjoy the city.  Walking through the gothic quarter it was easy to image what walking through Diagon Alley in Harry Potter might have felt like or perhaps walking through Waterdeep.  I’ll be back, but not sure how much I want to go to Battle of Nations again verse attending other potential tournaments, as there could be a lot of fun at smaller ones as well.  It all depends upon where my travel companions wish to go and have fun at.  Look for me in the list though as I will be there again.  I’m also leaning toward doing more singles fights too.  Hell, I’ll fight in as much as I can.

Categories: SCA news sites