SCA news sites

What It Takes to Rule a Kingdom

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-04-27 22:00

Crown Tournament is coming up this weekend. Good luck to all combatants who seek the Crown! But before you enter the list, you should know what you just might be getting yourself into. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope sought comments from past and current royalty on what it takes to be King and Queen of Æthelmearc. Here are their replies.

King Isenwulf crowns Andreas as Prince. Photo by Baron Friderich Schwartzwalder.

Duchess Morgen of Rye summed it up this way: “The most important thing to remember about winning crown is this: ONCE THE FINAL BLOW FALLS, IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT YOU!!! As the Crown, everything you do should be for the good of the Kingdom. Not so you can have a good time (although that certainly happens), not so you can give your friends awards (unless the orders or populace think it’s a good idea), not so you can feel important (although you will be – at least for 6 months)

So what is really needed for a good reign?


Being on the throne takes time, and lots of it. In addition to the time spent at and traveling to and from events, there are countless emails to read and write, phone calls to make, meetings to attend with officers, orders, and staff, and a LOT of planning. Being King and Queen is not a weekend hobby; it requires attention on weekdays as well.

Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle. Photo courtesy of Her Majesty.

Queen Gabrielle, now in her second reign as Queen of Æthelmearc and her fourth reign overall, said, “Those fighting in Crown should anticipate that they will be spending at least 30 hours a week handling correspondence and probably more like 40 to 50 hours.  Crowns can choose to delegate some of those responsibilities to other members of their staff, but it is still up to them to make sure it all gets done.” She continues, “It is critical for at least one pair of a reigning couple to have easy and frequent access to a computer and smart phone. Answers to questions and issues are expected to be handled in a timely fashion.”

Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh said, “Time was one of the biggest aspects of the “job”. A reign takes over your life. And then if you’re home for a weekend – [you’re] doing all the household chores you’ve neglected for a month, plus loads and loads of laundry!”

Count Andreas Morgan noted: “This really was like working a part-time (sometimes full-time) job. I cannot begin to count the hours that we spent in front of our computers. Kallista and I worked in tandem reading award recommendations, checking sources, consulting the OP, and preparing a docket spreadsheet for each event. All of this needed to happen well in advance of each event to ensure that the Signet could arrange for scrolls to be prepared. If one does not have clerical or secretarial skills, you will quickly acquire them.”

Duchess Morgen agreed: “We generally attended 3 [or sometimes 4] events per month (and maybe 2 -3 per month as heirs). Once you are King and Queen, EVENTS ARE NO LONGER OPTIONAL. Once you commit to an event, it becomes a Royal Progress and people are expecting you to be there. Gone are the days when you could decide not to attend an event because you had a headache that morning, had a rough week at work, felt a cold coming on, or just didn’t feel like going. Another consideration is how many weekends you have to devote to travel. If you work every other Saturday, that may be a problem. If you are often mandated to overtime, that may be a problem. If your children are committed to weekend activities and someone else can’t take them, that might be a problem.”

Duchess Morgen continued, “At events, your time is not your own. You need to be out and about at the event, watching things you don’t do, doing some (but not all) of the things you do, and generally “being on stage”.  It is your obligation to support all the things we do in the society and to do your best to give each person at an event the experience they want to have. That means you need to be visible and interested in ALL the activities that are going on, not just the ones you like.”


Royal couples can spend a lot of money being on the throne. Or they can spend a really huge amount of money. Yes, the Prince, Princess, King, and Queen receive stipends, and people often donate to the royal travel fund, but you should not expect those amounts to cover the entire cost.

Queen Gabrielle says, “Financially, you need to budget at least $5000 on top of what is reimbursed from the Kingdom for travel.”

Maynard and Liadain. Photo by Duchess Anna Blackleaf.

Duchess Liadain thinks it can be done for less – but believes that perhaps it shouldn’t be. “Financially, you can honestly do a reign somewhat inexpensively thanks to the generosity of the populace, but ultimately, a King and Queen should exude nobility and largess. As such, we spent the greatest portion of our funds on largess (favors, tokens, gifts), fabric and accessories. Also, county and ducal coronets are fairly expensive. You should plan accordingly if your budget is already tight.”

Duchess Morgen revealed, “This is not meant to scare you, but in a discussion among Royal Peers a few years back, the typical OUT OF POCKET (not reimbursed by the Kingdom) expense was about $5,000-$10,000 for a reign. Ok, maybe it is meant to scare you. This is an expensive endeavor. The Kingdom will reimburse for reasonable travel expenses for the royalty (usually gas, lodging, tolls) but there are caps for in-kingdom and out-of-kingdom expenses. Generally, the Royalty is “comped” for event costs, which helps, but that is a courtesy, not a rule. Any gifts, fabric, accessories, etc. that you purchase are by and large not reimbursable. Donations may be raised for these items sometimes, or for additional expenses, but that still needs to go through proper channels and there are limitations.”


If you’ve read past Gazette articles on being a Royal Retainer and serving on the Queen’s Guard, you know that Royalty need a staff. Those people don’t just materialize automatically. Sure, some of your friends may volunteer to help out during your reign, but you need to make sure you have people with organizational skills, and plenty of them, from a wide array of groups around the kingdom. You’ll also need some people willing to do the unglamorous “grunt” work of setting up and tearing down thrones and pavilions, gathering feast gear, babysitting kids, etc., because you’ll be too busy to do it yourself.

Royal retainers and guards. Photo by Mistress Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh.

Count Andreas said, “First and foremost, when coming to Crown you will want to have your staff ready, because as soon as the coronets are placed on your heads you will need retainers and a chamberlain. We were fortunate that we had many friends on hand to step up and fill these roles. The retainers are needed to take care of you and the chamberlain will take care of loading all of your regalia (there is a lot of it: multiple coronets, thrones etc.).”

Duchess Morgen notes, “Having a large and active household helps a great deal. Having a reliable group of associates is essential. You need people that you trust with almost anything from regalia to private information or messages, to whom you can delegate things and know that they will be done and done correctly. At a minimum, you need a good Head Retainer and a good Captain of the Guard. You also need at least 10 staff people to cover a typical all-day event. Some of these can be recruited from the local populace, but some need to be individuals you are familiar with and who know your preferences and style well enough to take care of things while you are busy elsewhere.”


Sovereigns are expected to dress well. Remember that you do not just represent yourself – once you are wearing a coronet or crown, you are Æthelmearc, both to your populace and to other Crowns. No more wearing ratty T-tunics or running around in just your chemise on a hot day; you need to look good at all times in public. Most gentles do not have the sumptuous wardrobes of royalty, so be ready for a lot of sewing.

Duchess Morgen says, “The most common need, especially for first-time Royalty, is for appropriate garb. Even if you sew, you will not have time to do it all yourself. If you come from a mostly fighting household, you will need to recruit help on garb as soon as Crown is over. This may mean reaching out to friends and/or reaching out to the arts orders and community for help. Back to money, don’t expect others to give you cloth/trim/accessories. Expect to buy it, and be grateful when it is given.”


One of the cool things about being on the throne is that you get lots of stuff: thrones, crowns, pillows, feast gear, banners, even tents. One of the challenging things about being on the throne is that you have to store and transport all that stuff.

Queen Gabrielle says “Having a reliable large vehicle, preferably one with a tow hitch, is an absolute must.”

Duchess Morgen notes, “Regalia take up lots of room. If you live in a 2 bedroom apartment and drive a SmartCar, you will have to rely on others to store and transport all the stuff you need to pull off an event. Consider that your friend with the minivan may not want to let you use it all the time. You can’t just throw a tarp over the thrones in your yard and hope for the best.”

Political and Social Skills

Kings and Queens must work with a wide array of people, not all of whom will agree with everything the Monarchs want to do. Many will have concerns they want you to address, ideas they’d like to see implemented, or even arguments they want you to settle. Diplomacy is an important part of being on the throne. Being on the throne can also strain your personal life. Some Monarchs have found that it was hard on their friendships and even their marriages.

Andreas and Kallista. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

Count Andreas commented: “There are many social and political aspects of the job. You will find yourself being pulled in many directions at once as people will be constantly seeking your attention to address their concerns with the kingdom and the SCA. You will encounter people who wish to gain your influence regarding their own personal agendas. Some of this is bad and some is good. You must balance everything carefully. That being said, nobody can be perfect and you will undoubtedly step on someone’s toes. How you deal with that situation can be a great learning experience for both parties. The truest piece of advice that I received was “No matter how good of a King you are, you will piss people off.” So essentially you can’t let negative things deter you. You must carry on and do your job to your best capacity.”

Duchess Morgen agreed, “You need good basic social skills. Fortunately, you don’t have to go too far past Kindergarten to have the right ones under your belt. All it takes, really, is LISTENING, and saying PLEASE and THANK YOU. Very simple things, but critically important to the success or failure of any reign.”

Her Grace went on to note, “The Royalty are obligated to listen to the counsel of the Peers of the Realm. It is common to include hearing counsel as part of the Oath of Service that royalty swear on stepping up. That means when someone who is a peer wants to bend your ear about something, you need to listen. When you are in order meetings, you need to listen. Do you have to agree or do what someone suggests? No. But you have to listen. Seek and take counsel from those around you. Many of those who are in Peerage level orders have been around much longer than you and will likely be around long after you step down and take up skydiving or fly fishing. If you intend to stay active after your reign, remember you still have to play with these folks, so be respectful of their opinions even when you disagree. Thank people for sharing their thoughts with you, regardless.”

Finally, Her Grace said, “In addition to LISTENING, one of the most critical things you can do is to say “please” and “thank you”.  Many, many people will do a great deal to help make your reign the best it can be for you and for our Kingdom. Many of them will have donated time, talent, materials, monies — blood, sweat and tears. Many want little in return, but a sincere “thank you” from the Royalty can often feel really good at the end of an exhausting effort. Thank the kitchen staff by stopping by the kitchen (not just addressing the head cook). Thank the autocrat in person. Thank the marshals, tollners, etc. It may not seem like much, but taking time out to acknowledge the work of others is noticed and appreciated.”

Christopher and Morgen at their Coronation. Photo by Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepora Levi.

Being On Stage All the Time

Duchess Morgen notes, “There is no time when you are not the King/ Queen/ Prince/ Princess.  You represent the Kingdom now, and it is a responsibility to make Æthelmearc look good to the Known World and to inspire the subjects of Æthelmearc. There’s nothing inspiring about Royalty changing in public, being drunk at a party, or having a screaming fight with someone (even if they are a total butthead). When you win, you are Æthelmearc. Welcome to the fishbowl.”

Duchess Liadain noted that some people have the misconception that being on the throne is all about the glory, whereas it’s really hard work to have a good reign. “When you are in the public eye, everything you do or say is under scrutiny.”


Of course, one of the chief responsibilities of royalty is to attend events all over the Kingdom. While Æthelmearc is not as large as some Kingdoms, if you are from one of the far ends of the realm, you may end up driving as much as 10-12 hours to get to an event at the other end of Æthelmearc. Most weekends, you will be driving long distances, in good and bad weather. And remember all that regalia? Most of it needs to go with you on every trip.

Duchess Liadain says, “Some Kingdoms do not expect their royalty to attend events every weekend. Æthelmearc does. If your progress has a weekend free, expect serious pressure to travel to an event that weekend – and you will likely buckle! We also expect that our royalty will make it to each region of the Kingdom, so a reliable vehicle is a must – and preferably one that can fit a LOT of stuff.”

Count Andreas said, “Every set of Royals travel differently. We travelled extensively as Heirs to as many Royal Progress events as we could so that we could learn from watching our “parents.” As King and Queen, we really wanted to give the kingdom the presence it longed for. We were quite active, occasionally going to separate events on the same weekend. We literally went to eight events back to back, took a weekend off, then went to Pax Interruptus followed immediately by Pennsic.”

His Excellency continued, “Travelling like this isn’t always easy. It can be costly and require constant upkeep and maintenance of supplies and vehicles. There were a few saving graces that really helped us. We had several people and local groups who made contributions to our travel fund. The kingdom does provide funds for travel but that can quickly be exhausted depending on how much you travel. One of the greatest things was that everywhere we went people would offer crash space. Not only does this save you on hotels but it really gives you a chance to get to know your populace as well as give them an opportunity to get to know you with the hat off.”

Help When Reigning with Children

Adding children into the mix of being Sovereigns presents its own challenges. Several of our past Crowns have had children, sometimes very small ones, while ruling.

Christopher and Morgen with their daughter. Photo by Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepora Levi.

Queen Gabrielle comments, “Doing a reign with younger children is definitely a challenge. I wish I could say that our first reign in the East was easiest because we had no children yet, however I was pregnant with complications at a very hot Pennsic so I can’t recommend a pregnancy during a reign either. You do need to bring a babysitter with you to all events until your children are old enough to look after themselves without being a burden. In our situation, our older children enjoy events and the lure of earning money babysitting their siblings that they can then spend at the merchants is a perfect enticement.”

Summer vs. Winter Reigns

Winter and summer reigns each have their unique challenges.

Duchess Morgen points out, “The winter reign is actually longer than the summer – and most of it is spent in the snow belt!!!”

Duchess Liadain notes, “A summer reign is all about Pennsic. Everything builds up to that one epic event.”

Æthelmearc Royalty at Pennsic 42 Opening Ceremonies. Photo by Lady Marissa von Atzinger.

Count Andreas agreed, “The summer reign ultimately deals with planning for Pennsic. You will be dealing with royals from all over the globe soon after you become heirs. Negotiations can be tough but it is an experience I will cherish for a lifetime. I made friends with people that I probably never would have encountered otherwise. Not everyone plays nice in negotiations and it is imperative to be kind, understanding, and firm. You represent a great kingdom and have a lot of weight to throw around so don’t be bullied by folks who may have been around longer or have done this many times before.” Adding to the weight on the Crowns, His Excellency also believes, “It is also ultimately your responsibility to everyone that goes to Pennsic that they have the best experience possible.”

Making a Difference

Some royalty choose to have a particular theme or focus to their reign, like children, or the arts. Count Andreas says, “We felt that our focus was the populace itself, making everyone feel welcome, [that] they were an intrinsic part of the dream. My own pet project was the unbelted fighters. As the kingdom’s first unbelted king, I sought to encourage and inspire my fellow unbelts, to show them that there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. For Kallista, it was important for her to step up and represent the rapier army and to encourage its growth and renown and also to put emphasis on the Arts and Sciences.”

The Rewards

Some crown combatants may think the reward for winning Crown is that they get to wear fancy jewelry, have a lot of attention paid to them, and receive gifts from the populace, as well as advance in rank when the reign is over. The royals we spoke to found different aspects of their reigns to be the most rewarding.

Timothy and Gabrielle with THLord Brada Æthelward. Photo by Master Alaxandair Ó Conchobhair.

Her Majesty, Queen Gabrielle, said, “One of the most rewarding aspects of doing a reign is the opportunity to meet and interact with interesting gentles from all over the Kingdom. I would advise going to as many events as time and financing can afford. Although big events like Ice Dragon, War Practice, and Pennsic are grand and so exciting, often it is the smaller, more intimate events at out-of-the-way locales that remind you most of why you joined the Society in the first place. The joy and camaraderie is inspiring and makes you want to put even more miles on your car.”

Duchess Liadain focused on the things she learned in her time as Queen, noting that the most rewarding part of her reign was “Having the opportunity to experience the many different facets of our society. We tend to fall into and focus on our own niches. As royalty you are expected to participate or observe all aspects of your Kingdom. I was and still am constantly amazed by the talent, dedication and generosity of the people in our organization. The extensive travel, combined with a Crown and activities outside your comfort zone leads you to meet hundreds of people and gain incredible new insights. I truly enjoyed having the ability to recognize people’s good works in court, but truthfully, anyone can do that with a token or a kind word.”

For Duchess Morgen, the best part was being able to recognize deserving individuals by bestowing awards. “Nothing is more delightful than seeing the look of surprise/confusion/astonishment/humility when you have an order called up to induct a new member, give someone their first award, or give someone the award they have been hoping to earn. The worst part is knowing that, despite best efforts, you will disappoint or anger someone somewhere sometime during any given reign.”

Count Andreas recalls most fondly the new relationships he built during his time on the throne. “We gained many new long lasting friendships and strengthened many old ones. There was a time that we were having court and presenting an award when the recipient began to cry. This was an AoA for an older gentleman who essentially brought his family up in the SCA and taught many in his art. All this with no consideration of anything but making people happy and to know they were loved. When he looked up at us and we saw his tears, “The Dream” was fully revealed to us, and we were from then on clear of purpose and knew exactly what we were as Royalty and why we were there.”

Categories: SCA news sites

Last Chance to Book Your Classes & Meetings for War Practice!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-04-27 13:15

Students learning Book Binding from Master Michael Alewright
photo by Mistress Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh

War Practice Meetings:The deadline to have your meeting announced in the on-site booklet is this Thursday, 30 April. I can still book a space for your meeting after that, but it will only be listed on the website and on the information boards at War Practice. Spaces are still available all day Friday and some times on Saturday. Please send the following:

Name of order/office/guild/group
SCA and legal name of the clerk/officer/representative
E-mail address of the clerk/officer/representative
Preferred day and time requested
Amount of time requested

War Practice Classes:

First, thanks to all the good gentles who have volunteered to teach a class at this year’s War Practice. While this was a good start, there is still room for more.  If you have a class you would like to offer, in order to make it into the on-site booklet, I will need to have the information below by 30 April (this Thursday). I will still be able to book classes after that date, but your class will only be listed on the website and the information boards at War Practice.

Please send me:

Name of Teacher
Title of Class
Description of Class (brief, please, 75 words or less)
Class Length
Maximum Number of Students
Age Limit of Students
Fee, if any

Please include your legal name and e-mail address, and your preferred time for your class, as well as any special requirements you may have.  The schedule will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you volunteer, the more likely it will be that I can accomodate you.

There are still some spaces open on Saturday, and all day Friday.
Please send your request to me by 30 April:

E-mail:  helen.pinto (at) comcast (dot) net
Thanks in advance for you generous offers, and feel free to cross-post this announcement anywhere you think there may be interest.

-Aidan ni Leir

Categories: SCA news sites

Barony of Delftwood Walks in Relay for Life

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-04-26 18:49

On April 18th, from 5 PM to 5 AM, the Barony of Delftwood walked in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Twenty members of the Barony wore the clothes of their persona as they walked to raise money for cancer research. They did this to honor Lord Jarrah ibn Zakariya al-Hamandani, who passed away January 27th, as well as survivors, those still fighting, those who have passed, and caregivers. “Jarrah had a huge impact on the barony in the two short years he played in the SCA. He left a hole in this barony and our hearts. The Relay has been a healing experience for all of us,” said Mistress Othindisa Bykona.

Delftwood collected over $3,844 before the event. An additional $55 was raised at the Relay as Baron Benedict Fergus atte Mede gave fencing lessons, Lord Justin Lymner sold soaps, and Lady Genevieve de Chaumont sold peacock feathers as a tribute to Jarrah’s favorite bird. Other members of the Barony pitched in by helping with set-up and tear down or bringing refreshments for the group.

Other highlights included Lady Lijsbet de Keukere “walking” with a broken ankle, THL Ruslan Igotavich Voronov’s weapons display, and Delftwood being one of the last of two teams on the track. When asked what her favorite part of the night was, “The music,” said one of the barony’s youngest members and the youngest Relay participant, Vita Cincinnatus.

Delftwood would like to thank all those who gave donations to this important cause. Donations came from across the kingdom, including from Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle. It is inspirational that so many people outside the barony supported Delftwood. “We are so touched by the outpouring of support, both moral and financial, from all across the kingdom,” said Baroness Helene al-Zarqa. Delftwood finished in third place out of ninety-five teams.


Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: Making Styrofoam Heads

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-04-25 17:10

Archery season is upon us! This is the first in what we hope will be a series of articles by THLord Deryk Archer on how to make various types of novelty targets for SCA archery practices and competitions.

Greetings. I am THLord Deryk Archer, and I have been an archery marshal for 20 years.

As much fun as archery can be, shooting at novelty targets takes the sport to another level. Today I’ll start with how to make styrofoam heads.

THLord Deryk Archer with one of his styrofoam head targets. Photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar.


  • Styrofoam head
  • Duct tape in various colors
    • “Cookie Dough” for face, and black, brown, red, or yellow for hair
  • Masonry cord or other very sturdy rope
  • “Googly eyes”
  • Adhesive-backed Velcro
  • Carabiner, wooden skewer, or part of a broken arrow
  • Optional:
    • For a William Tell shoot:
      • Plastic apples to affix on top of the head
    • For a “hanged man” shoot:
      • Manila rope (~25’)
      • Clothes hanger
      • 2-3 Pool noodles
      • An old t-shirt

You can sometimes find styrofoam heads at thrift stores, or you can buy them inexpensively online. Male heads are thicker at the neck, while female heads are better for a “hanged man” scenario because they have thinner necks which are easier to get rope around.

Many people have tried to use foam heads for archery targets but found that they shatter. Duct tape is the answer. Wrap the entire head in duct tape to give it better structural integrity. “Cookie Dough Duck Tape” is similar to flesh tone, and black duct tape works for hair.

I like to add “googly eyes,” which you can buy at a craft store. I use adhesive-backed Velcro to attach the eyes to the head.

Velcro for googly eye attached. Photo by THLord Deryk Archer.

Googly eye attached. Photo by THLord Deryk.

Carabiner holding rope at the bottom of a styrofoam head. Photo by THL Deryk.

Usually a styrofoam head is suspended from above by a rope. Most Styrofoam heads are hollow, so it’s easy to add the rope. Punch a hole in the top of the head, then run a masonry cord down through the hole to the bottom of the neck. Tie the cord to a carabiner, wooden skewer, or piece of a broken arrow to hold it at the bottom of the head, then tie the top of the rope to a target or tree and you’re ready to shoot.

At first the head will be a little hard, but the more you shoot it, the more arrow-friendly the head becomes. When it’s been shot so much that it looks like it’s done, all it needs is a fresh retaping. I have a head I have retaped 15 times. When the inside becomes mulched, it can be restuffed with cut up pool noodles. Noses can be restored with old wine corks.

Apple attached to the head for a William Tell shoot. Photo by THL Deryk.

Once you’re good at hitting the head, you can add a plastic apple (available at Wal-Mart) on top by drilling a hole through the apple from top to bottom and running the cord that goes into the head through it. Then you have a William Tell shoot, where archers must shoot the apple without hitting the head. Get more then one apple, because people will love this shoot!

You can also do a “hanged man” shoot where archers try to shoot the rope that’s hanging their friend. Get about 25 feet of 1 in. rope. Tie a hangman’s noose around the neck of the Styrofoam head and hang the head from a tree or target. Whoever gets closest to the noose without hitting the man wins. For this target, you need to put some weight under the head, so I suggest creating a body. Attach the head to a clothes hanger with pool noodles tied to it for the shoulders. Cover the hanger and noodles with an old T shirt and add two more noodles to fill out the arms. The body will catch any misses.

“Hanged man” target. Photo by THL Deryk.

I hope you find these ideas fun and add them to your practice. If you have questions or ideas, contact me on Facebook.

Remember shoot safely, shoot often, and have fun!

Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic Teacher Registration Deadline Fast Approaching

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-04-25 12:36

Have you always wanted to teach at Pennsic? Are you a veteran teacher, but find yourself procrastinating this year? Don’t delay! While classes will be accepted right through Pennsic, the deadline to have your class appear in the Pennsic site book is May 1.


It’s a very easy process to sign up. A link for teacher registration appears on the Pennsic War home page. The registration process is very user friendly. With just a few clicks of the mouse you will be able to create your class.

Take a minute to look at all the wonderful classes that have already been scheduled. Then commit to sharing your knowledge and passion for the arts and sciences with the Pennsic populace. If you have questions about registering your class, contact Capt Elias Gedney, Chancellor, or THL Artimesia LaceBrayder, the Registrar.

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Pennsic Tagged: a&s, classes, Pennsic

A Missive from the Order of the White Scarf

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-24 21:18

To the populace of Sylvan Æthelmearc,

The Order of the White Scarf sends well wishes and greetings. We are reaching out to anyone who has ever considered joining us on the rapier field, but hesitated due to lack of equipment, not knowing who to talk to, or even just where to begin. To those people, and all who would believe that they cannot make a difference: You are who we want standing with us!

The Order of the White Scarf is a source of information, help, and guidance that is here for you. Even if you are unable to participate on the field, there are other avenues to help.  We welcome all who would be interested to contact us through our Clerk at after which one of the order will assist you as best we can.

In service to the Sylvan Kingdom,
Æhelmearc Order of the White Scarf
Categories: SCA news sites

Mystery of the Viking pot: Solved - Fri, 2015-04-24 16:40

In September 2014, metal detectorist Derek McLennan discovered over 100 artifacts in a field near Dumfries, Scotland. Among them was a 1,200-year-old Viking pot, heavy enough to contain something, but too fragile to open. Now archaeologists have been able to determine what is in the pot with the help of a CT scan. (photos)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Bacon & Brewing!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-24 16:30

This past Saturday, the Shire of Hunters Home hosted the second iteration of its popular Bacon and Brewing Bash.

Brewing activities were a featured part of this event, and well received. The brewers, vintners, meadhers, and apothecaries of Hunters Home and the surrounding area provided an even dozen beverages for the Tasters Tavern – a corner of the main hall where the populace could enjoy the beverages throughout the day. As part of the tavern, the populace was asked to vote on their favorite beverage. Additionally, a visiting guest from outside our organization was asked to make his choice of favorite.

Two competitions were also held: a Judges’ Choice, in which each competitor was required to judge all entries – including their own – using the kingdom’s A&S rubric for brewing; and a competition for “Best Brew with a Bacon Theme”. The winners were as follows:

Judges’ Choice: THL Madoc Arundel for his Riesling wine
Populace’s Choice: Baron Rauthbjorn Lothbroke for his blackberry melomel
Guest’s Choice: Lady Caolifhion of the Woods for her hard apple cider
Best Bacon Theme: Lord Geirolnir the Huntsman for his “Baconator” bacon bock

In addition, Lord Hundthor the Master Pintsman was presented his award of arms scroll for brewing excellence, read into the court record by Their (then) Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh at the Coronation of their heirs two weeks ago.

THL Madoc Arundel

Categories: SCA news sites

Gulf Wars 2015 photos online - Fri, 2015-04-24 11:31

Giovanni della Torre reports that his lady, Kathy, has posted photos from Gulf wars 2015. The photos are available to view on PhotoBucket.

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

The Founding of a Barony circa 1970

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-24 10:23

Tabitha of Windmoor, one of the first members of the Barony of Carolingia, graciously wrote this account about how the group got its start.  The Gazette thanks her for providing more information about the early years of the East Kingdom.

I was in the SCA from 1970 – 1975. Virtually all of my involvement was with the Barony of Carolingia. I was one of the founding members, more or less by chance.

In the fall of 1970 I started my sophomore year at Wellesley with a roommate selected by lottery. Lois and I were friends at once. We threw a party a couple of weeks into the school year for all our friends. Lois invited Patri Pugliese, a freshman roommate of her boyfriend. Pat and I became friends at that party where he also acquired a new girlfriend, Ann, who was one of my friends.

When Patri landed in the infirmary with a sore throat a few weeks later I stopped in to see him on my way to join Lois and her boyfriend for the Yale/Harvard game. While I was trying to cheer Pat up – he was very sick and things were already going bad with Ann – a guy neither of us knew just walked right into the room and asked “Are you Patri?” Upon being assured that the guy in the bed answered to that name, he introduced himself as Dan and said he had been told that Pat might be interested in helping him start a branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Neither Pat nor I had ever heard of it. Dan described it with great enthusiasm. I said it sounded like fun and would be interested in hearing more. Dan invited me to talk further at his place that evening and I went on to join the game watchers. Lois and I went to the post game party as well and had a bit more spiked cider than was consistent with any further activity than a long nap on boyfriend’s bed. We were awakened by Dan’s knock on the door and I did go off with him for further discussion of what he envisioned us doing – namely starting a barony. He was clear that he did not want to be baron and preferred merely to be seneschal (which he pronounced sennaskull, it was several months before I discovered the correct pronunciation).

Somehow, Dan’s clock “got mis-set” and by the time I realized that was the case I had missed the last bus back to Wellesley which in those days departed Harvard square at 11PM. Not being interested in Dan’s offer to spend the night I said I would walk home – it’s only about 12 miles. Dan insisted on walking me home where we arrived just in time for me to rush off to a Sunday morning babysitting job. Left on his own in my dorm room, he was surprised by Kathy (SCA name Giselle de Lavande, I think) who was looking to borrow something from me. He talked SCA to her too. She was our first mistress of arts and for a short time baron John Smythe of Isleoway’s girlfriend.

I think the organizational meeting of the barony took place in November. The meeting, attended by people from Wellesley, Harvard, and MIT, established a barony which after much discussion we named Carolingia because we were based around the Charles river, Carolus is latin for Charles, and besides it had a nice medieval sound to it (think Carolingian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire – started by Charles the Great – Carolus Magnus).

We did not have a baron. Dan from MIT (Daniel de Tankard) was to be Seneschal, Carl  from MIT (Chaim Elyhu ben David) Secretary of State, Patri  from Harvard (Patri des Tours Gris) Master of Sciences and Master of Arms, Dianne – not a student and don’t recall her SCA name – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lorraine from MIT (Lorimel the Gentle) Mistress of Equiries, and I was herald which mostly meant recording secretary back then. Pat was charged with finding a place and setting times for fighting practice. I was asked to design a barony coat of arms and I offered to create a newsletter. Dianne was set to raising funds – i.e. dues and we all were to figure out how and where to hold a first event.

Filed under: History Tagged: Carolingia

Une annonce au sujet de la Couronne Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2015-04-23 19:44

Cet article est maintenant disponible en Français. Veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous.

An announcement regarding Crown Tourney / Une annonce au sujet de la Couronne Tourney

(English Translation: The following article is now available in French. Please click on the link below.)

Filed under: Announcements, En français

Court Report: HRM Gabrielle Queen’s Rapier Championship 18 April A.S. 49

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-04-23 15:12






Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy & Gabrielle II, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Her Majesty’s Court at Queen’s Rapier Championship in the College of Silva Vulcani 18 April AS 49. As recorded by Drotinn Jorundr hinn Rotinn, Golden Alce Herald, with the assistance of Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.


Her Majesty wished to invite all the children who attended the event to take some treats that they might amuse themselves during court.


Her Majesty invited Don Orlando de Bene del Vinta, Her Rapier Champion, to attend Her. Orlando expressed how honored he was to have served these past months as Queen’s Rapier Champion, however he did this day host a grand tournament of 55 fencers to determine who would bear the honor of being his successor. The fighting was fierce, yet one did emerge through the double elimination tournament to prove victorious. Master Don Lodovick of Gray’s Inn was summoned to attend Her Majesty, after affirming his willingness to serve as Her Majesty’s sword and shield he was invested with the regalia of champion and invited to join Her Court. Scroll forthcoming.

Her Majesty next did invite Duchess Dorinda Courtenay to attend Her. The vigilants of the Order of Defense have a most noble and venerable tradition that has happened for each vigilant some time between the issuance of their writ and their sitting vigil, and Dorinda did wish this day to ensure that Don Orlando de Bene del Vinta did not miss out on this long and venerable tradition. Thus the Order of Defense delivered unto him a pie with a sword on it, as is the Order’s most venerable tradition. The pie was made by the hands of Baron Iago, and was made of apples.

Lord Magnus Bastiano di Vigo was commanded to present himself. Her Majesty did affirm with him that it was still his desire to join Her guard. Magnus did indeed still wish this, so Her Majesty placed upon him the baldric of Her guard and invited him to take his place in Her Court.

Their Excellencies of the Debatable Lands, Baron Uilliam mac an t’Saoir and Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr, were invited to present Themselves. They reaffirmed Their fealty to the Kingdom and to Their Majesties as the landed nobles of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands.

Her Majesty invited all who entered their first Queen’s Rapier Championship this day to present themselves with their consorts. She then gave each of them a rose and invited them to continue to enter tournaments, as their deeds of valor and chivalry did not go unnoticed.

Dona Gabrielle de Winter was invited to address the Court. She wished to thank her staff and the Shire of King’s Crossing for their assistance in hosting the College of Silva Vulcani’s first royal progress event. She further thanked Her Majesty for attending, and the populace for making the event such a success.

Murdoch Stewart was summoned to present himself to Her Majesty. Murdoch has jumped right into both fencing and rattan combat with much gusto and aspires to hold the chivalric virtues foremost in his mind. He furthermore volunteered to join Her Majesty’s guard that he might defend her from harm and is frequently seen helping happily. Thus Her Majesty felt moved to Award him Arms. Scroll by Master Jon Blaecstan.

Her Majesty wished to have words with Niccolo Salvietti. His love of fencing is great. He is often first on the training field and last off of it. He pushed himself to authorize for Queen’s Rapier Championship, that he might expand Her Majesty’s honor by competing. He further is a member of Her Majesty’s guard and assists around the College of Silva Vulcani where needed. Thus he was Awarded Arms. Scroll by Lady Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne.

Dromund Geirhjalmson did catch Her Majesty’s eye, and her subjects had spread word of his mighty deeds, such that it has reached Her noble ears. He is always volunteering to do every task. His love of fencing and rattan is obvious as he strives always to improve his skills. His good mood and enthusiasm permeates everything he does. For this and many more reasons did it please Her Majesty to bestow upon him an Award of Arms. Scroll by Lady Elizabeth of the Bog and Mistress Cynthia Love of the Tower.

Her Majesty Awarded Arms to Mollie O’Donnell in absentia for her work in sewing garb, and teaching others how to sew garb. Scroll illuminated by Lady Isabel Fleuretan with calligraphy by Kameshima-kyo Zentarō Umakai.

Dominique Von Weissenthurn was invited to attend her Majesty. Dominique is well known for making hoods and arming caps for the members of the Shire of Ballachlagan. She goes further to teach classes to share with others the skills she is learning. These actions please Her Majesty thus she was moved to bestow upon her an Award of Arms. Scroll calligraphed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova upon illumination by Gail Hope.


Lord Sergei Ratimirov was invited into court. Her Majesty wished to deliver to him the scroll and medallion marking his induction into the Order of the Golden Alce bestowed upon him last week at Her Coronation by Her predecessors Titus and Anna Leigh that he was not present to get directly.


Lord Bjorn Einarsson has shown great skill and enthusiasm for fencing as his skills continue to increase. This pleases Her Majesty thus She inducted Bjorn into the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll by Dona Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen.

Her Majesty wished to continue Her tradition of recognizing one who inspired her this day. On this day of much courtesy and inspiration Lord Jehan Le Blanc did impress Her Majesty with his comportment right from the first bout that she witnessed.

Her Majesty wished to recognize and thank all who had a hand in making the scrolls for this day, as Æthelmearc has many wondrous scribes, without whom the glory of court would be lessened.

Her Majesty thanked everyone who attended this day and all the fencers who vied to be her Champion. His Majesty wanted to be here, and was here in spirit and is eagerly awaiting the tales of chivalry and honor that arose from this day.

After Court, in the royalty room:
The College of Silva Vulcani wished to present to Her Majesty a gift basket full of the works of their hands.

There being no further business, Her Majesty’s Court was closed.

All photos in this article by Maistir Brandubh O Donnghaile 

Categories: SCA news sites

Spring Crown Tournament Schedule

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-04-23 08:23

photo by Ida Caroline Cliff

Greetings unto the populace of Æthelmearc, from the Autocrat for Spring Crown Tourney!

Here is the schedule of events for the day as it stands currently, and a few housekeeping notes too:

Æthelmearc Spring Crown Tournament A.S 50
Schedule of Events

8:30 am ~  Site Opens

8:30-11:30 am ~ Armor Inspection and Pavilion Set-up

11:00 am ~ Consort’s Tea  (Royal Pavilion)

12:00 pm ~ Morning Court

1:00pm ~ Tourney Begins

1:30-3:00 pm ~ Dayboard Served to Combatants and Populace*

12:00-4:30 pm ~ A&S Display available for viewing

5:00 pm ~ Evening Court (or 30 minutes after the end of the Tourney)

7:00 pm ~ Site Closed

*Populace will be served once, then Dayboard will be available in Cafeteria.

Please plan on tearing down pavilions by 6:30 pm so grounds may be cleared for clean-up.

And now for the note.  Please keep in mind that this site is mundanely a school facility and the rules of such must still be obeyed. There is no drinking of alcohol or smoking allowed on the grounds; this includes in your car in the parking lot. We must be out of the building and they prefer us to be done by 7pm, please plan accordingly with your setup and tear down requirements. COMBATANTS/CONSORTS: Please contact myself or Baroness Helene of Delftwood with the complete dimensions of your day shade/pavilion/gallery so we can map out your space ahead of time. Above all else, good luck and welcome!

Lady Lasairfhiona inghean Aindriasa
or find me on FaceBook – Vicki Presler

Categories: SCA news sites

Æthelmearc Youth Combat Champions’ Tourney at War Practice

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 21:34

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Youth Fighters, it’s time to spiff up your armor and put fresh duct tape on your swords! The Æthelmearc Youth Combat Champions’ Tourney will be held on May 16 at Æthelmearc War Practice in the Canton of Steltonwald. Anywhere from one to three Champions will be chosen by Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, based on their prowess and chivalry. Champions will receive the regalia from the current champions, Otto Brandulfarson (Division 1) and Stephen of Æthelmearc (Division 3), and serve as Kingdom Champions until the next tourney is held by Their Majesties’ successors.

Schedule for youth fighting at War Practice:

Friday night:
  • 6:30 pm to dark – authorizations and a “Try it” session, with loaner armor available. We encourage all youth fighters who are not yet authorized to attend this session if possible. This will give you a little extra practice before fighting in the tourney and help us get things started quickly Saturday morning.
Saturday morning:
  • 8:00 am – list opens for inspections
  • 9:00 – Authorizations
  • 9:30 – Youth Champion’s Tourney begins
  • 10:30-11:30 – Melees

The Youth Combat list will be on the main battlefield, to the east of the thrown weapons range and alongside Currie Road. Look for a blue pop-up canopy.

For more information on Æthelmearc War Practice, see the Steltonwald website.

If you have any questions about youth combat at Æthelmearc War Practice, please contact the Marshal-in-Charge, Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Categories: SCA news sites

An announcement from the Earl Marshal

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 19:17
Greetings Unto the East Kingdom!

As some of you may know, my first daughter is scheduled to be born the day before Crown. This will be happening in Colorado and as such I will not be able to act as the Marshal-in-Charge for the Crown tournament. In accordance with East Kingdom Law I have asked Duke Gregor Von Heiseler to be the Marshal-in-Charge and Their Royal Majesties have consented to the substitution. As such, Duke Gregor has graciously agreed to run the Crown tournament.

As Crown is rapidly approaching I ask all Chivalry and OTC marshals, who are not fighting, to make every effort to attend and stand ready to assist Duke Gregor as he deems fit. In addition, Olaf Haraldson, Deputy for Rules Clarification, has agreed to be my Drop-Dead. Being that I much prefer this side of the grass, I have no intention of dropping dead.  So I may be in the market for a food and wine taster at future events. While Olaf has a shifty look about him, he also has a keen sense of the rules and laws of our Kingdom and integrity beyond reproach.

I thank Their Majesties for trusting in my choices and both Gregor and Olaf for being willing to step up and serve our glorious and noble East Kingdom.

Yours In Service,
Baron Sir Jibril al-Dakhil, EK,EM

Filed under: Announcements

SCA Communications Survey

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 19:14

The following was posted to the Society for Creative Anachronism Facebook page. The original can be found here.

Please take a few minutes to complete a survey designed to gather data to assist us in the evolution of communications within the SCA.

We appreciate your time and the opportunity to gather information so we can best serve your needs in the future.…/1_ihUYVPNPJleoLyouPvSR0A…/viewform

Countess Honor of Restormel
Society Publications Manager

Filed under: Announcements

An announcement regarding Crown Tourney / Une annonce au sujet de la Couronne Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 19:10

Greetings to the combatants in the East Kingdom’s Spring Crown Tourney!

Their Majesties have informed us that They do not want to use list
trees and personal devices for this Crown Tourney. For those of you
who were planning to bring your device for the list tree, you are
encouraged but are not required to use the device for personal display
at the tournament. For those of you planning to make a device for the
list tree, you may delay that project to a later time. On the day of
the tourney, we’d ask your help in making sure the heralds are able to
be heard across the listfield so that we can get all combatants and
their consorts to the proper lists.

Lady Rosina von Schaffhausen, Jongleur Herald
Master Rowen Cloteworthy, Troubadour Herald

En français par leurs excellences Godfroy de Falaise et Alisay de Falaise

Salutations aux participants du Tournoi printanier de la Couronne.
Nos Majestés nous ont informés qu’ils ne souhaitaient pas que les participants au Tournoi de la Couronne présentent leurs armoiries dans la lice. Ceux qui souhaitaient le faire le pourront, mais cela n’est nullement obligatoire. Pour ceux qui souhaitaient fabriquer leurs armoiries pour être présentés, peuvent remettre ce projet à plus tard. La journée du tournoi, nous demandons votre plus grande collaboration pour vous assurer que les hérauts puissent être entendus d’un bout à l’autre des lices. De cette manière les combattants et leurs consorts pourront se présenter à la bonne lice.

Lady Rosina von Schaffhausen, Jongleur Herald
Master Rowen Cloteworthy, Troubadour Herald

Filed under: Announcements, En français

Missive From Their Majesties

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 16:47

All pay heed to these words from Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle:

BE IT KNOWN to all that profess arms that We, Timothy and Gabrielle, by right of Arms, King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc,  do honor and invite all to whom these words come – that We commend Dorinda Courtenay, Member of the Order of the White Scarf, Duchess of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, and Vigilant for the Society’s Order of Defense to play her Master’s Prize against all who might wield the Rapier in its subtile mysterie at these weapons, viz: rapier, rapier and dagger, rapier and parry item, case of rapier or longsword.  Each Gentle being offered three passes of their choice.  We would also provide gaming challenges for those who are not able to meet Her Grace on the rapier listfield. These words are to give notice that Our said Vigilant will be present beginning at 3:00 p.m. on the First day of May, at the appropriately entitled “Celebration of the Art of the Rapier” to perform and do her utter most for the achievement and bearing away of the prize.

Credits to Don Po Silvertop based on the writings from

Categories: SCA news sites

Richard III: Just misunderstood? - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:54

Members of the Richard III Society have long believed that the last medieval king of England got a bad rap from the conquering Tudors and their bard, William Shakespeare. Now, with the discovery of Richard's remains, others are beginning to reconsider the monarch. (audio interview)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites