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Officer Profile: The Kingdom Historian and Plans for Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-06-22 17:01

This is the first in a series of Kingdom Officer profiles. These dedicated people are often working behind the scenes, helping the Kingdom run smoothly. We’ll let them tell us more about what they do.

Name/Title: THL Hrefna Ulvarinnsdottir, Æthelmearc Kingdom Historian

What exactly does the Kingdom Historian’s office do? From policy: The Office of the Kingdom Historian shall be responsible for overseeing the compilation, preservation, and maintenance of historical information pertaining to the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, and facilitate means, including working in coordination with other Kingdom Officers and their duly designated deputies, of making said information accessible to the public. The Office shall also coordinate, promote, and foster Kingdom related research, projects, events, and displays at the Kingdom, Regional and Local levels.

What this boils down to is that the Kingdom Historian looks for ways to research, document, and preserve our Kingdom’s history. So far, I have established an Æthelmearc History group on Facebook along with an Æthelmearc history web site, I host Historian’s Points at events where I display artifacts and relics from our past, and I’ve started a written history of our group with the help of many, many kind gentles along the way. I’m always looking for new suggestions on how to research and document our history.

We understand big plans are afoot for Pennsic – fill us in!

The Silva Vulcani Shrine

A couple years ago Maynard III and Liadain II, hosted the Pilgrimage of Æthelmearc which encouraged every group in the kingdom holding events during Their reign to put together a historical display at their events and to supply fun facts on quarter page cards so we all would have the opportunity to learn a little more about the history of our kingdom. That project also included a display at Pennsic.

Recently, Her Majesty Gabrielle shared with me how much she enjoyed showing the Pennsic display to her children that year and has requested that I put together another one for this year’s Pennsic. The previous display was put together with items provided by many gentles from around the Kingdom. During my tenure as historian, I have amassed a small collection of artifacts, but I want to ask the populace of the Kingdom to loan items to this year’s display. Items do not have to be just Kingdom related things. Anything that illustrates the history of our local groups is most welcomed. Consider typing up a brief statement about what the item is and why it has historical value to your group. If you have something you might want to put in this display but are unsure if would be a good fit, email me at to discuss it.

Where can people find resources on Æthelmearc’s history? The AEthelmearc History group on Facebook can be found here. It is a great community of people interested in discussing and sharing our history with each other that is 530 members strong now. Come join us!

There is also an Æthelmearc History web site here that my web minister, THL Grimolfr Ormalfrson, and I have been slowly adding content to. I would love to have more articles, stories, songs, etc. to add to this site. One of my cherished project ideas is to start a book of remembrance section on the web site to honor and remember those we have lost. If anyone is interested in helping with this project, please contact me.

What kinds of things would the office like to have people donate or send?

Steltonwald Display

Anything that helps to illustrate our history. Right now, I have the Giant Spoon of Æthelmearc, coins commemorating the Coronation of Yngvar and Caryl, maps showing the changes and growth of our Kingdom, old photos and newsletters, the original Kingdom MOL banner, the tourney trees going back to Coronet I, and more.

All of these objects represent a piece of our history, and I believe that we all hold a piece of that history from the newest member to the long time players. When we bring those pieces together, we create a tapestry that tells our unique story. Again, if you have something you would like to put on loan or give to the Historian’s office but aren’t sure about, contact me.

What do you like best about your office? Oh, that’s a tough one! I love the interactions I have with people I would otherwise never have met who are sharing their stories that help fill in the details of our history and that moment when they say “Oh, I didn’t know that!” when I share something with them. I also love the research aspect and watching the story of our kingdom grow a little more with each detail unearthed. This job has given me a unique perspective on the development of our Kingdom, and I am honored to be bringing her story to the populace.

What do you have planned for the future beyond the Pennsic display? Over the next several months, I will be working with Countess Anna Leigh on the SCA 50th Display Committee for Æthelmearc and on a special project for the anniversary event.

I also plan to keep working on the history of Æthelmearc paper for the anniversary event. I am very near the 10,000 word limit that those papers are allotted, but I will continue my research and expand upon that paper to continue documenting our history.

I will also continue to look for new and fun ways to engage the populace and to carry on the quest for documenting our history.

How long have you been in the SCA, and what is one of your favorite moments? I have been in the SCA since 1998. One of my favorite moments was watching my lord husband, Grimolfr Ormalfrson, receive his Millrind at Pennsic 43 and getting to welcome him to the Order.

Are you looking for deputies? Always. During my tenure as Historian, I’ve had several promising discussions with gentles about becoming deputies but none of them have panned out. There’s a lot of years of history to track down and help would be greatly appreciated. I would especially like to find deputies to help with scanning and digitize the boxes and boxes of hard copies I now have and to search through them for historical details. If there is a group of people out there who would be willing to form a scanning guild, please let me know.

And then anything else you might think of! This year at Pennsic, I will be hosting a Known World Historians Meet and Greet on Tuesday, August 3, 2015 at 1 pm in Pennsic University Tent #12 in the hopes of connecting with other historians to compare notes on how they are going about the job of collecting and preserving history. I invite any reading this article with an interest in our history to join us.

If anyone reading this article has modern world experience as a historian, I would love to have the opportunity to discuss how the professionals go about their research, and I welcome suggestions from anyone who might have ideas on how to grow and move the Historian’s Office forward.

Categories: SCA news sites

Want to be Signal 1 at Pennsic?

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-06-22 08:59

Not a combatant, but looking for a way to help out around the battlefield at Pennsic this year?

Baron Nicholas of Windreach, also known as “Signal 1″ or the guy in the castle tower with the flags and the official battle time, is looking for recruits to learn his position.

If you are interested in this challenging and important position at Pennsic, please feel free to contact Nicholas directly at

Gregoire, Midrealm Kingdom Earl Marshal

Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: Improving Store-Bought Archery Targets

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-06-21 16:24

This is the third in THL Derk Archer’s series on making archery targets.

Here we have a 3D target of a chipmunk, made of a self-sealing foam. You can buy many different targets of animals like this one at Pennsic. The problem is, he is only 5 inches tall, hides in tall grass, if you miss you might lose your arrow, and when you hit ” chipy” he will tumble and break your arrow.

Here’s what you need to make him better:

  • Styrofoam sheet 12×12 inch
  • Camouflage duct tape
  • 2-inch wide self-adhesive Velcro
  • Plastic vines from the dollar store
  • A smaller piece of styrofoam 3×5 inches
  • Brown duct tape
  • Green string
  • 2 tent stakes
  • And, of course, you need “chipy”

First, tape the 12×12 foam sheet with the camouflage tape.

Then, cover the 3×5 piece of foam with the brown duct tape. You now have a small tree stump.

Cut the Velcro into two pieces. Attach one side of the first piece of Velcro to the tree stump and the other to the camo background. Attach one side of the second piece to Chipy’s back, and the other to the Camo-taped foam background.

Next, add the plastic vines to the foam background to make the target more outdoor-like.

Now tape a line of green string to the bottom of the back of the camo-taped foam, and spike the ends of the line into the ground with the tent stakes.

With the target secured to the ground, it will only fall straight back. Now you have to walk up to the target to see if you hit “chipy,” because when the target falls backward it’s as if he ran away when you hit the background.

Using mounted targets of a variety of different foam animals like the ones shown below, you can do a walk-through range of a hunting trip. Scoring can be 3 points for the background and 5 points for hitting the chipmunk, rabbit, turkey, and so on.

As always, I would like to hear from the archery community for feedback. You can contact me on Facebook.

My next installment will be on safety.

‘Til next time, be safe, have fun, shoot often.


All photos by THLord Deryk.

Categories: SCA news sites

Gazette Editor Profile: Magnus de Lyons

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-06-20 21:15

The fifth in a series of Gazette editor profiles.

Staff Member: Lord Magnus de Lyons
Staff Title:  Region 4 (Western NY) and scheduling.

What made you want to join the Gazette staff?
The moment I heard about the project I wanted to be a part of it. To keep the SCA alive and vital we need a constant influx of new people and attracting these people in 2015 (and beyond) requires that the SCA keeps pace with modern technology. As the Chronicler for my local Barony I constantly struggle with getting information out to people in a timely fashion. In the hour I spend writing an event report for a monthly newsletter that same information has already hit social media and reached hundreds of people. The Gazette provides a modern user friendly gateway for information. The stories are up to the minute, fast paced, and visually exciting. It is the future and I am excited to be a part of it.

So what do you do for the Gazette?
Primarily I am the scheduler and make up the monthly schedule for the daily editors. Once a month I shoot out a message to the team asking the editors if they have any concerns, issues, conflicts, or days that can’t work. I also scan event calendars and plan the schedule around larger events (in multiple Kingdoms). Early on we set up a system for Holidays and “Event Holidays”. On these days we don’t schedule a daily editor to give the staff a chance to enjoy their families and events. Even with this system I don’t think we have missed a day (holiday or otherwise). The editors are a hard working bunch and often work during events, holidays, and multiple days during the month. I am also the editor for Region 4 (Western NY). Honestly the daily editors do such a great job covering the Kingdom as a whole I have not put this job title to much use.

What do you like most about being on the Gazette staff?
I like being surrounded by such a hardworking and involved group of people. They have a true love for what they are doing and it shows in their work. There is such a diverse set of skills and experience in the group you can’t help but learn from them. The Gazette staff is just another wonderful addition to my SCA family.

How has the Gazette been received in your area?
Honestly pretty seamlessly. My local group is a strong mix of tech savvy and newer people and they took to the idea of the Gazette really well and I don’t think this is unique to my area. Leading up to the formation of the Gazette there was already strong push to include social media in the SCA and the Gazette was just a natural progression of that change. The Gazette was well received because it was long overdue and people welcomed its arrival.

What kinds of articles would you like to encourage people to submit?
If I had to pick just one subject I would like to see more of it would be interest pieces on day to day life hacks for the SCA. Bits and pieces of information geared towards new people to help them grow and survive in the SCA. Subjects like what to do (and not do) in court, at a feast, or when attending certain types of tournaments. There are tons of little tricks and tips that many of us take for granted but might prove useful to others.

Interested in submitting articles to the Gazette, suggesting blogs to feature, or to be put on our roster of photographers whose work we have permission to use? Email us at Check out our submission guidelines here.

Categories: SCA news sites

From The Æthelmearc Gazette: Paladin’s Pantry Plans for Pennsic!

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-06-19 19:07

Paladin’s Pantry as reprinted from the Æthelmearc Gazette

An interview with Morien MacBain, the founder of Paladin’s Pantry. The Pantry is a charity rapidly having an effect across the Known World, providing donations for food banks at the ends of larger (and now smaller) SCA events.

Who are you?

Wow, tough one—right for the existential throat! I’m Morien MacBain, and like many Scadians, I tend to define myself through my associations and my activities. I have the honor to serve some very worthy gentles; I am squire to Count Sir Jehan de La Marche, now fostered to Baron Sir Graedwynn mab Teyrnon, I’m also protege to Her Grace Mistress Tessa the Huntress, and Equerry to Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen (that’s like a squire, but for mounted combat). I also have the honor to be the captain of the White Company, and the founder of Paladin’s Pantry. I am also a man richly blest with the women in his life.

What is Paladin’s Pantry?
It’s a charity based around three inescapable truths: SCAdians tend to be generous and open-hearted people, we tend to massively overbuy for camping events, and our stuff expands dramatically during events, making it more difficult to pack! We operate food drives at events which allow people to contribute their extra foodstuffs to local food banks (usually the one closest to the site). It’s a simple idea, but it’s really taken off.

When/How did it get started?
A few years ago we were packing to leave Pennsic, and we were trying to figure out what to do with our camp’s large amount of cans, boxes, jars, and  bottles of unopened pantrylogocomestibles, and casting wild surmises about who among us had even bought some of the items in the first place. I had run food drives at my school for years, so we wound up throwing it in the trailer and taking it back to donate. Leaving camp, we passed the Pennsic dumpsters, and saw the huge amounts of castoffs. On the way home, it occurred to me that it might be possible to reclaim some of that stuff for people in need. The next year, we got it off the ground. Most of the donations came from three groups from Aethelmearc and Atlantia (BMDL, the Chalk Man Pub, and the Lusty Wench Tavern). We only got about a trunk full, but it was a good proof of concept. The next year we started advertising, and got increasingly savvy about using social media to get the word out. Last Pennsic we collected an estimated four to five TONS of food and camping supplies. It’s just amazing! We’re the largest single donor the Portersville food bank has (including the government), and I know we can do even better! Last year, we spread our operations to Lilies War in Calontir, and this year we’ve had them at Gulf Wars, Blackstone Raids, and Lilies War, and of course we’ll be having them at Pennsic and War of the Wings in Atlantia as well. The idea really seems to resonate with people.

How does it work?
We usually contact an established food bank near the site, and arrange to have them send a pickup on a given day. Then as the event gets closer we do a full-court media press including Facebook, the on-site newpaper, if one exists, the cry heralds, flyers on the message boards, an ad in the site booklet, if one can be arranged–anything we can think of, really! We tend to post a list of donation sites, but we also provide a number which people can call or text to schedule a pick-up. We also have volunteers who go from camp to camp dragging armor carts and collecting face to face (Her Excellency Constance Glyn Dwr of the BMDL has had astounding success the last two years doing that). Then the driver arrives, I hop in the cab, and navigate him around to our various collection/staging areas around site. (We had eight last year.) We load everything up until the truck is full, then go unload at the food bank, and come back for more! Our volunteers are the best. It’s a great team effort!

What’s the deal for Pennsic this year?
This year we’ll be trying to break last years record, of course. We’ll be utilizing multiple drop-off points and plan to expand our number of camp-to-camp cart collectors. The number to schedule a pick up will remain the same (304-283-5640), although I’m going to try to delegate the phone-answering/pick-up scheduling job to someone else during battles and whatnot. We can accept all sorts of canned goods and non-perishables, but can also take relatively shelf-stable items like fresh fruit, eggs, cheese, cakes, pies, bread, and cured meats like ham or bacon. We also gladly collect still-serviceable tents, sleeping bags, rain gear, cots, flashlights, lighters, EZ-Logs, jackets and coats, and pretty much anything else that might help a homeless person out. Toiletries are a huge boon: toothbrushes, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, soaps and detergents, baby wipes, you name it! Pretty much the only things we don’t accept are alcohol, cash, and propane canisters.

What have some of the results been in the past?
As I mentioned, we collected over three pickup truck loads at Pennsic last year, which the staff at the food bank estimated at four to five tons.

Master Brandubh O Donnghaile ran the drive at Gulf Wars this year. He reported “This year was the first time that Palladin’s Pantry was active at Gulf Wars; though Morien couldn’t attend he made contact with the autocrats, publication staff and local food pantry for the food drive. The week started slow with a few bumps, but once camps started to tear down, donations poured in. The local food pantry filled up their pickup truck twice with all the donations, and were very pleased with the donations not just of food items, but also of camping gear.”

We’ve gotten some odd donations (macrame lemons spring to mind–no idea what those were in aid of), and some astonishing feats of generosity as well. I remember a 22-lb Virginia ham; I wonder who went home from the food bank with that monster? Overall, I’m always sure it’s going to be a disaster, and then the gentles of the SCA just rain down largesse, and we end up with mountains of charity. It’s quite a moving and hopeful sign, and never ceases to astonish.

Food Bano volunteers holding signs saying “Thank You Pennsic!”

Do you need volunteer help? How should people contact you?
We ALWAYS need help, and we’ll need more than ever this year to beat last year’s record! We’re also hoping to expand operations to Estrella War, Battle Moor, the Great Western War, and the Fifty-Year Celebration in 2016. Anyone who will be going to those events and wants to help out would be welcome. To get in touch, please feel free to call me at (304) 283-5640, email me at: and/or join the Paladin’s Pantry Food Drive group of Facebook.

Do you have a favorite story about the Pantry?
Last year there was so much that the food and flats of water and so on overflowed the shelves and covered the floor at the Portersville facility. We had to make little paths through it to allow access to the fridges and freezers, and it was still piling up in the parking bay. When Cindy Burns, the director of the food bank, saw it all she burst into tears. (They had been very close to a bare cupboard before Pennsic.) That place provides help to over seventy households in the area. Everyone thinks to donate around the holidays, but summer is a low time for donations usually. It was the largest one-day donation they had ever seen, by far. Pennsic made a huge difference in the quality of life for scores of families who never set foot on site!

Anything else you can think of?
It occurs to me that if each person at Pennsic donate just one pound of food, we’d be looking at over SIX tons! We’ve just begun to see what this sort of drive can do. Helping those in need is part of chivalrous behavior (in addition to one facet of basic human decency), and SCAdians are great at it! People we will never meet are hungry and need our help. Paladin’s Pantry to the rescue!

I also want to add a sincere vote of thanks to the most noble populace of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, especially their illustrious Excellencies Constance and Liam, who have been the cornerstone of the drive since its inception. Vivat!

Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr has enjoyed working with the Pantry. “The first year Morien told me what he was doing, I was all in from that moment on.” she says. “I knew how busy everyone is during pack up at Pennsic and figured people couldn’t spare the time to drag their extras to a location point that might be far from them. So I grabbed our armor wagon and just started walking around calling out for donations. I don’t know how many trips I made that first year but I we were overwhelmed with people’s generosity. A lot of people hadn’t heard what we were doing until I went by calling it out, so it helped get the word out for the next year. The second year we did it, which was lastlast year, several members of our camp helped out with the wagon collections, people were so excited to get to help it was really awesome to see.

Food collected at Blackstone Raids.

“This year it was my husband’s Baron Liam’s idea to take it to Blackstone Raids, where we also had a wonderful turn out.

“It’s so very heartwarming, to see some SCAdians who themselves don’t have a lot sometimes, chasing me down to give me items for the pantry. I have heard so many times ‘I’ve been there, and want to give back.’ It’s things like that, that keep me going, pulling that wagon around.

“We’ll be collecting at the BMDL camp again this year, so look for our device which is a green field with two white crossed swords with an apple chief.”

Paladin’s Pantry is the embodiment of what we are as SCAdians! Plan to help us – and others – at Pennsic this year.

Filed under: Pennsic, Tidings

PENNSIC: Paid Pre-Reg deadline extended until midnight Saturday!

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:17

Paid pre-registration for Pennsic 44 will REMAIN OPEN until 11:59pm on Saturday, June 20th!

Pré-inscriptions payées pour Pennsic 44 va rester ouvert jusqu’à 23:59 le samedi 20 juin !

Filed under: En français, Pennsic, Tidings

New file in the PERSONAL CARE section: Hiccups-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Sat, 2014-01-18 19:34
Hiccops-art (6K) 12/28/13 "Medieval oddities: Hiccups" by Lady Catherine Ambrose.

New file in the PERIOD-THOUGHT section: E-Eglsh-Prose-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Sat, 2014-01-18 19:32
E-Eglsh-Prose-art(165K) 12/27/13 "Echoes of Oral Tradition in the Dialogues of Ælfric’s Natale Sancte Agnetis" by Detlef von Marburg. (Master's thesis)

New file in the PERFORMANCE ARTS section: Early-Keybrds-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Wed, 2014-01-15 20:54
Early-Keybrds-art (7K) 12/11/13 "Early Keyboards and Their Music" by Domhnall O'Dochartaigh.

Updated file in the FOOD-MEATS section: horse-recipes-msg

Stefan's Florilegium - Wed, 2014-01-15 20:51
horse-recipes-msg (61K) 12/13/13 Period horse recipes. References.

Updated file in the FOOD-DAIRY section: dairy-prod-msg

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:23
dairy-prod-msg (108K) 12/15/13 Dairy products. milk, butter, curds, cream.

New file in the FOOD-DAIRY section: milk-msg

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:22
milk-msg (31K) 12/15/13 Medieval and modern milk.

Updated file in the FOOD section: illusion-fds-msg

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:20
illusion-fds-msg (147K) 12/13/13 Medieval illusion foods. Disguised food.

New file in the CLOTHING section: Gaelic-Dress-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:18
Gaelic-Dress-art (81K) 11/30/13 "Gaelic Dress" by HL Finnacan Dub.

New file in the SCA-CAMPING section: Bear-Safety-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:16
Bear-Safety-art (6K) 12/22/13 "Bear Safety in Oertha" by Kurios Halfdan 'Two Bears' Ôzurrson.

Does anyone read this feed? Or should I discontinue it?

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 01:13
Does anyone read this feed? Or should I discontinue it?

It does take a fair amount of effort to keep doing, rather than simply uploading the new and updated files to the site.

If you use it and want it to continue, please email me at: StefanliRous at

Updated file in the Kvass-BEVERAGES section: kvass-msg

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 00:51
kvass-msg (78K) 12/13/13 Russian drink made from bread or grains.

New file in the ARCHERY section: Arch-H-Gntlet-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 00:49
Arch-H-Gntlet-art (4K) 12/23/13 "Archer's Half Gauntlet" by The Honorable Lord Jochen Schwalbe.

New file in the ARCHERY section: 16C-Arrow-Bag-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 00:47
16C-Arrow-Bag-art (4K) 11/30/13 "16th Century Arrow Bag" by Seamus O'Cearbhaill.

New file in the SCA-STORIES section: The-Eric-art

Stefan's Florilegium - Tue, 2014-01-07 00:45
The-Eric (6K) 12/10/13 "The Eric" by Lady Wystl de Tretower.