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Court Report: Æthelmearc War Practice

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-07-22 16:28

From the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of Æthelmearc, as recorded by Dame Kateryna ty Isaf, Jewel of AEthelmearc Herald with the assistance of Lord Arias Beltran del Valle,   Misty Highlands Herald, Master Liam Mac An TSaoir, Sycamore Herald, Drotin Jǫrundr hinn Rotinn, Golden Alce Herald and Master Fridrikr Tomasson, Gullskel Herald at War Practice in the Canton of Steltonwald on May 20, Anno Societatis LII.

The Court of Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle was opened upon the Fencing Field:

As Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, accompanied by Their Heirs, Gareth
and Julianna, observed the fencing melee They asked for the crowd to assemble. They discussed the pride They found in the tremendous forces assembled. They spoke of the joy They had in creating the first of the Masters of Defense and asked the members if they felt there was anyone missing from their rank. The Masters of Defense advised Their Majesties that there was such a lack. So counseled, Their Majesties called forth Emily of Dunvegan and asked she sit vigil and play her prize at a date of Their choosing so that she may be so elevated to this Order. Scroll calligraphed by Isabella Montoya upon wording by Mistress Gabrielle Winter.

At the Court in the Afternoon:

Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, accompanied by Their Heirs, Gareth
and Julianna, invited The Baron and Baroness of BMDL, Brandubh and Hilderun, to Their court.

Their Majesties invited Mistress Arianna Winthrope to speak regarding Their Youth Combat Championship. Mistress Arianna advised that there were two Youth who were victorious in their divisions, Fox and Katrina. Their Majesties being so advised did invest both Fox and Katrina as Their Youth Combat Champions. The outgoing Youth Combat Champions, Karl and Timothy of Arindale the Younger, were thanked for their service.

Fox and Katrina invested as Kingdom Champions. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

Their Majesties called forth Evelyn of Stormsport. For her work in helping with pre-cook for feasts, serving feast and especially her assistance with the Queen’s Tea, Their Majesties inducted her into the Order of the Silver Buccle. The scroll by Lady Edena the Red.

Their Majesties also called forth Alva Halfdansdottir. For her work as a List Runner at Crown Tournaments, kitchen assistance and serving at the Queen’s Tea, Their Majesties inducted her into the Order of the Silver Buccle.

Their Majesties called forth the rest of the children present. They asked the children to assist with singing Happy Birthday to someone before Lord Robert MacEwin took the toy chest and ran from the court. The children were instructed to take one toy each, beginning with the youngest child present.

Their Majesties called Meisteren Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen forth to be serenaded with the appropriate aforementioned song. Upon completion They asked her to remain a moment while the children departed. Once the children had left They asked her take a knee while the Order of the Master of Defense were invited before Their Majesties. Their Majesties advised Meisteren Fredeburg that she should present herself at a future date of Their choosing to sit vigil and play her prize so that she may be inducted into this most noble Order. Scroll calligraphed by Isabella Montoya upon wording by Mistress Gabrielle Winter.

Their Majesties invited to Their court His Majesty, King William of the MidRealm. His Majesty William thanked Their Majesties for a rousing day of fighting and advised that although He will take the field at Pennsic to oppose the armies of Æthelmearc, He yet counts Their Majesties as friends. Their Majesties presented Him with a gift basket in appreciation of His visit.

King William of the Middle. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

Their Majesties invited to Their court His Majesty, King Quilliam of Ealdormere. His Majesty Quilliam remarked on how enjoyed His day and looked forward to clashing with the might of Æthelmearc upon these very fields in the Pennsic War to come. Their Majesties presented Him with a gift basket to return home with and thanked Him for His visit.

Their Majesties gave leave to Their Excellencies of Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands to hold Their court.

Upon the completion of the Baronial court, Their Majesties invited before them Edelvrouw Lisbet de Keukere to discuss the Scarlet Apron competition this day. Edelvrouw Lisbet advised that there was a strong showing of competitors and was pleased to announce the populace choice was La Connectsion Frances and the Winners of the Scarlet Apron were Team Pel/Laurel comprised of Mistress Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon and Master Alastar Scott MacCrummin.

The Scarlet Apron is awarded to Master Alastar and Maistres Myfanwy. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

Their Majesties invited before Them Mistress Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon. Touched by her teaching of the tournament and hospitality in the galleries They rewarded her years of dedication her by adding her to Their Court as a Baroness. They asked Sir Aengus to attend Them so that he might present the Coronet to mark her station. The scroll was a work by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

Their Majesties called forth Baron Friderich Swartzwalder, Kingdom Deputy Earl Marshall for Combat Archery. They asked if he felt it was time to step down from the post he had held with great diligence and he advised that he agreed and had found a suitable replacement in Mistress Zoe Akropolitina. Their Majesties asked Mistress Zoe if she was willing to take on this role and having assented They received her oath of service.

Mistress Zoe swears fealty as Kingdom Combat Archery Marshal. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

Their Majesties next demanded the presence of the Wild Hunt. Countess Elena and Don Po came forward to announce the results of the Wild Hunt throughout the year and bestow gifts upon the winners. In third place was Lord Robert Hawkesworth, second place THLady Gytha Oggsdottir and first place went to Lord Ru Cavorst.

Lord Ru Cavorst collects his prizes as winner of the Wild Hunt. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

Their Majesties called forth Duncan MacCoulagh and Isabella of Steltonwald. For Duncan’s work in the archery community and blacksmithing, Their Majesties Awarded him Arms and made him a Lord of the court. For Isabella’s interest in cooking, help in the kitchens and with whatever tasks need done, Their Majesties Awarded her Arms and made her a Lady of the court. Both scrolls were created by Countess Anna Leigh.

Their Majesties called before Them Jack Falleinwell. His Majesty commented on how He could not help but smile at this gentleman’s name, since as a small lad, the great and intelligent hound Lassie had often been known to call for Him to find a gentle with this very last name. Their Majesties advised that such a man must be mighty indeed and found that his extensive work at the Pennsic Wars did indeed make him a mighty helper for the Pennsic staff and especially mayor. Having been advised of such accomplishments They conferred upon him the title of Lord and Awarded him Arms.

Their Majesties called forth Illyria of Delftwood and for her beautiful work on garb and accessories and her generously donated works for largess and fundraisers They Awarded her Arms making her a Lady of the court. Scroll by Lady Genevote Nau d’Anjou.

Their Majesties called Charlotte Starke to attend Them. For her work in crafting lovely garb and fencing bucklers and her participation in fencing They made her a Lady of the court by Awarding her Arms. Scroll by THLady Mary Elizabeth Clason with wording by Mistress Gabrielle Winter.

Their Majesties called forth Mathias Al Tabai. Because of his helpfulness including willingness to become an exchequer and his fencing acumen, Their Majesties saw fit to make him a Lord of the court with an Award of Arms. Scroll was created by Elspeth of Wormwald with wording by Mistress Gabrielle Winter.

Their Majesties called Salvador Moro de Medici to come before Them. For his skill both on the Heavy and fencing fields and his willingness to teach others, They Awarded unto him Arms, thus making him a Lord of the court. Scroll by THLady Felice de Thornton.

Their Majesties requested Lady Rebekah Whytebull come before Them. Praising her work as tolner, kitchen staff, water bearer and watching the children of the Realm, They noted her gentle and quiet smile was always a staple of her work. Seeing fit to recognize such work for the betterment of the Kingdom, They inducted her into the Order of the Keystone. Scroll was created by Lady Elena Modarovavnuka.

Their Majesties called forth Lady Alysoun of the Debatable Lands. They remarked upon her beautiful work as a scribe, delicious brews, and lovely voice. Knowing her to be an anchor of the Debatable Choir, They found it right to induct her into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll created by the hand of Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Their Majesties called before Them Lord Theowulf fitz Renault. Remarking upon his regular attendance at musters and notable prowess They adjudged him to be a dedicated fighter and saw fit to induct him into the Order of the Golden Alce. Their Majesties directed him to note that this scroll had been created by the hands of Countess Aidan in the 50th year of the society and while the date was incorrect, They could not in good conscience alter or amend what was likely the last scroll Her Excellency had produced for the court. They enjoined Lord Theowulf to treasure the great gift bestowed upon him.

 

Their Majesties called forth Lord Nicolo Loredan da Venesia. Noting that he had served for several years as the exchequer of Silva Vulcani and worked diligently as a fencing marshal, They inducted him into the Order of the Keystone. The scroll was by THLady Elyse la Bref.

Their Majesties called forth Lady Takasukasa Riku. They advised They had seen how she was a stalwart of the archery community and a heavy weapons fighter of skill. Such a Samurai, should be given recognition befitting her accomplishments and so They inducted her into the Order of the Golden Alce. The scroll was created by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.

Their Majesties invited before them Sir Arnthor inn sterki. For his tireless promotion of heavy weapons fighting and siege weapons, for his work as Regional Army commander, his service as Deputy Warlord and Shire Knight Marshal, Their Majesties inducted him into Their Order of the Keystone. The scroll was limned by Baron Caleb Reynolds and calligraphed by Baroness Graidhne ni Ruaidh.

Their Majesties invited before Them Maestro Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato. They noted how he creates clever thrown weapons targets. They remarked upon his creations such as the Rhydderich Hael gate and the fire ring and box for the Kingdom. Having seen the beautification of Their Kingdom done by his hands, They inducted him into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll was created by Baroness Rosamund von Glinde.

Their Majesties invited before them Lady Vivienne of Yardley. Their Majesties then called forth the Order of the Fleur d’Aethelmearc to attend Them. Speaking of how the works of art created with pen and brush grace many halls and homes in Their Kingdom and how her ability is recognized throughout the Kingdom, They were moved to induct her into the Order of the Fleur d’Aethelmearc upon this day. The scroll was limned by Master Caoinlean n Seachaidh, also known as Tower, and calligraphed by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix.

Their Majesties called before them Baroness Anna Eisenkopf. Their Majesties advised They had been counseled that an order was missing a member. Their Majesties then called for the Most Noble Order of the Pelican to attend Them. They advised that her work as Mistress of the Lists, at crown tournaments and Pennsic, as well as at smaller events had been seen for many years. Her support for the Thrown Weapons community was known to all. She was never seen idling for an event when hands were needed. For all this, They would have her sit vigil upon a date of her choosing to contemplate induction into the Order of the Pelican. The scroll was by the hand of Baroness Graidhne ni Ruaidh.

Their Majesties were asked for a boon from Mistress Morgana bro Morganwg of Ealdomere. She asked that Their Majesties consider Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful as worthy of the Laurel Leaves and peerage for her gifts of song heard throughout the Known World. Assenting to her request, Their Majesties called Brehyres Gwendolyn forth. Accompanied by song as always, she presented herself unto Their Majesties. They asked her if having heard the counsel of her peers and bards, she agreed to proceed. Having her answer They called forth the Most Noble Order of the Laurel to attend Them.

Brehyres Gwendolyn is asked if she will accept elevation to the Laurel. Photo by Lady Aine.

From the Kingdom of the West, the words of Duke Frederick of Holland speaking as a Royal Peer were read by Countess Margerite Eisenwald. From the Kingdom of Ansterorra, Sir Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tombermory speaking for the Order of the Chivalry were read by Count Jehan de la Marche. From the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, speaking for the Order of the Master of Defense, the words of Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta were read by Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne. From the Kingdom of Trimaris, the words of Master John Lyttleton speaking for the Order of the Pelican, were read by Countess Caryl Olesdattir. From the Kingdom of Ealdormere, Mistress Morgana bro Morganwg spoke finally for the Order of the Laurel. All these bards, accomplished in every aspect of the Society, spoke to the depth of impact that Gwendolyn has had upon the bardic arts throughout the Known World.

With joyful hearts, Their Majesties received this wise council and agreed that Gwendolyn should be recognized as a member of the Order of the Laurel and so elevated her to that noble station with the Laurel leaves to mark her forevermore a peer. A cloak to warm her during bardic circles deep into the night was laid upon her shoulders. The ancestral fruitcake of the Order of the Laurel was presented to her. She was further advised that her name and arms will be added to the book of the Order of the Laurel ennobled in Æthelmearc. There were two scrolls in process of creation, one with words by Master Fridikr being limned by Lady Raven Whiteheart and the other by Lady Emer nic Aidan of Ealdormere.

Their Majesties asked that all scribes who contributed to the scrolls given during the courts today stand and be recognized.

Her Majesty asked Lord Tassin to come before Her. She spoke of how there is a great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes and is rarely noticed unless it is not done. Her Majesty was moved to recognize Lord Tassin as Her inspiration of the day and bestowed upon him the Golden Escarbuncle because of all he had done to ensure the Kingdom encampment was built from the ground up, including the driving of well over a hundred stakes for the pavilions.

Lord Tassin receives a Golden Escarbuncle. Photo by Lady Aine.

There being no further business this day, Their Majesties’ court was thus concluded.​


Categories: SCA news sites

Shire of Hunters Home- Demo Report

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-07-22 16:13

On July 1st, the Shire of Hunters Home met for a day of fighting in Venango County. First we offered a fighting demo for the Utica Festival Days, offering the audience a chance to pick their heroes and receiving free snow cones when their fighters won.

Later that afternoon, the Shire participated in Franklin’s Independence Day Parade, themed “Fairytales and Fantasy”. Franklin may have expected a normal march down their main drag known as Liberty Street, but what they got was a series of fighting bouts, with a melee topping the excitement. The crowds went wild and the fighters made it look good. To top off a great day the Shire won third Place for best presentation!

Maggie Rue

Click to view slideshow.
Categories: SCA news sites

BOD Seeks Nominations for Committee Members

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2017-07-21 21:14

The Board of Directors is seeking nominations from the populace for individuals to serve as members of the following Board Committees:

Youth Activities Committee
Mission: Completion of design and implementation of YAFA programs.

Risk Management Committee
Mission: to oversee insurance, legal, and related matters.

If you are interested in serving on any of these Committees, please send a letter of interest, together with your SCA and mundane resumes to Richard Sherman (rsherman@director.sca.org).

If you would like additional information, or have any questions about the Committees or the nomination process please contact Mr. Sherman or the Corporate Office.


Filed under: Announcements, Corporate

Paladin’s Pantry at Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-07-21 19:31

PALADIN’S PANTRY RIDES AGAIN!

Dear Gentles,

Have you ever found yourself with more to pack at the end of Pennsic then you did when you set out from home, only to find that your vehicle seems to have shrunk? Is your kitchen area full of boxes of cereal, pasta, jars of peanut butter, and jugs of bottled water you can’t remember buying?

Never fear! The annual Paladin’s Pantry Food Drive is here to help by conveying your camp’s extra food and drink to a local food bank. Just drop any unopened foodstuffs or beverages (no alcohol, please) at one of our handy collection points:

  • Æthelmearc Royal (N04) Next to Pennsic University
  • Atlantia Royal (N40) Near the Gothic Abbey
  • Northshield Royal (E02) Across from Soalr Showers
  • Trimaris Royal (W17) Runestone and Great Middle Highway
  • Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands (N10) Central Serengeti
  • Barony of Bhakail (N11) Corner of Brewer’s and Fletcher
  • House Sable Maul (N29) Count Jehan’s Bounty
  • Puffin’s Rock Inn (N01) Next to Great Hall
  • Barony of Blackstone Mountain (E04)
  • Venshavn (E24) Next to Wulfden’s Back Door
  • Clan Blue Feather (E12) Slope of Horde Hill
  • House Akeru Thunder (E17) Hill Road
  • The Lusty Wench Tavern (E17) Across from Chalk Man Pub
  • The Chalk Man Pub (E17) Hill Road and Good Intentions
  • House Finisterre (B09) Far West Side
  • House Iron Lance (W13) Base of Runestone Hill
  • Maison Rive (Merchant Space 23) Across from Cooper’s Store
  • Offices of the Pennsic Independent –Top of Runestone Hill
  • Herald’s Point (Low Road, next to playground)

In addition, this year the program will be collecting used tents, sleeping bags, cots, and rain gear, (especially those in child sizes), which will serve no one in a dumpster, to benefit the homeless.

Exercise your charity, lighten your load, and help members of the community that has made us so welcome over the years!

Please direct any questions to Lord Alexander of Ayr (301.401.2045) or Master Morien MacBain (304.283.5640).

Paladin’s Pantry: We put the “large” in “largesse”!


Categories: SCA news sites

Date Change for Pennsic First Authorizations

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-07-21 08:29

The last date to authorize in heavy combat for Pennsic has been changed to Saturday, July 22, per the Pennsic website here.

You have two more days!

Note: The Æthelmearc Authorizations Clerk, THLady Ursula of Rouen, says if you authorize this weekend, she cannot guarantee that you’ll receive your authorization card before Pennsic, so you should plan to bring the paper copy with you. To speed processing, you can scan your paperwork, including the signed waiver, and email it to her at ursula.of.rouen@gmail.com.

Fighters at Pennsic. Photo by Lady Àine ny Allane.


Categories: SCA news sites

Æthelmearc Royal Setup and Breakdown

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-07-20 20:20

Aethelmearc Royal encampment, a few years past. Photo credit, Aoife

A call for volunteers from the Æthelmearc War Chamberlain, Master Janos:

It is the end of July. The smell of fresh duct tape and the cursing of people sewing permeates the air… War looms on the horizon. SCAdians across the globe check lists, pack, re-pack and hope that their travel plans will get them all the way to Cooper’s Lake for yet another Pennsic War.

The Kingdom of Æthelmearc will yet again set up its own presence to create a space where meetings can be held, stories can be told, artisans can show off their skills and scribes can teach their techniques. Creating this environment takes some effort; effort made easier when many hands come out to help.

This year, we are continuing a system set up last year that seemed to work very well, minimizing the impact on volunteers’ time while also allowing Æthelmearc Royal to be set up quickly and efficiently. Æthelmearc needs you to help out with the following:

Sunday July 30th
9:30AM to 12:00PM (Noon)

Truck Crew at the Trailer
Needed: 8 Persons (able to lift and carry)

This team meets out at the Æthelmearc Trailer (near the archery field) to offload the big trailer into the box truck that has been rented to shuttle things over to N04 (Royal). We offload the whole trailer; so this team quickly moves items to the truck, and waits while a small team empties the rental truck at N04 and then returns. This process usually takes about three trips and this team is be released at noon.

11:30 AM to 4:30PM

Ground Crew at Æthelmearc Royal
Needed: Many Hands Make Light Work (all skills and abilities)

This team meets at Æthelmearc Royal and sets up the encampment according to an orchestrated plan. Individuals set up pavilions, dig a sump, and finally erect the sheet wall that proudly identifies Æthelmearc’s heart at Pennsic. The Scribal tents, the main gate, meeting tent and other community spaces are created during this time. Refreshments are provided to keep this small army of workers hydrated and this activity will end at 4:30PM, allowing those that need to drive home or finish up things at their home encampments time to do so before supper.

Friday August 11th
10:00AM to 3:00PM

Ground Crew at Æthelmearc Royal
Needed: Many Hands Make Light Work (all skills and abilities)

We undo all the work done at set up, carefully packing and stowing the canvas and walls for another year of time in the trailer. Orchestrated again by a “foreperson” on the ground, items are made ready to be loaded back onto the rental truck to make the trip back to the trailer. As before, refreshments will be provided to keep workers safe. This session often has fewer people show up as there are battles and other morning activities still happening on Friday. Thus we need more folks to show up to this so that the camp can be packed up before people start heading home.

1:30PM to 4:00PM

Truck Crew
Needed: 8 Persons (able to lift and carry)

The encampment having been packed up, needs to be picked up and transported back to the trailer. A small crew rides the truck to assist with loading at Æthelmearc Royal as the rest of the crew waits at the trailer to pack things back away. We are trying to schedule this so that those who have had fought in the morning will have time to grab a bite to eat to help out afterwards.

Æthelmearc needs your help to set up and break down this communal space. If you are able and willing to assist please reach out to Master Janos (caseyodonovan@yahoo.com), especially if you want to be on the truck crews. You need not pre-register for this, though! Come on by during the ground crew times to assist! Thank you in advance for your help, and we look forward to seeing you in a few weeks. Until then safe journeys!


Categories: SCA news sites

From Their Majesties: the SCA Anti-Harassment Policy

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-07-20 10:21

Their Majesties have made the following announcement regarding the new SCA Anti-Harassment policy:

Unto Æthelmearc do Timothy and Gabrielle send greetings,

By now you are likely at least aware that the Society’s Board of Directors has issued a policy on harassment. While it is a bit broad and vague, We feel it is a necessary thing, and a good first step.

I have heard many voice a concern We share, that of the potential for this policy to be abused.

We would like to try and set those concerns at rest, if possible. In Æthelmearc, our Seneschal is Duke Christopher. It is his responsibility to handle these cases. It has been our experience that he is not prone to rash decisions or snap judgments. Hopefully long before his term is up, this policy has been fleshed out a bit, and he will have written policies for his office that make the chain of escalation one that will permanently set our minds at ease.

This is a good thing, and long overdue.

Timothy and Gabrielle

The policy may be found here: 

The SCA Harassment and Bullying Policy

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Æthelmearc Rocks!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-07-20 09:07

By Dame Aoife Finn

This summer across the country and around the world, people in random communities are sharing a hide and seek art project with complete and unknown strangers, to delight and support one another. A seemingly simple idea has had far reaching consequences. For some, it is a fun game. For some, an act of mindfulness. One participant just last week posted a message on Facebook telling her story, that she suffered with a chronic pain disorder, and had found a little painted stone in a public place with a simple but direct supportive message. That stone interrupted her thoughts of self-harm. You never know who will find your work, or what it might mean to them.

This whole movement, of leaving painted or decorated rocks for others to find, began in memory of two small girls from Oregon, aged 6 and 11. You can read the story of Anna and Abigail here. But it blossomed from there. My own town, Honesdale, PA, participates in a big way, an estimated 10% of the population following the Facebook page. Towns and cities outside the county began to join in. Soon, people traveling began painting and hiding and moving found rocks to other communities, sometimes many hundreds of miles away as they traveled.

As I watched my little town embrace the larger ideal, the sharing of mutual, anonymous delight and art and love for fellow humans that Love Rocks has become, an idea was born. You see, the issue being expressed in the Love Rocks movement is that love never dies. Perhaps your love is for your art, or for your dog, for your favorite shoes, for your past-times, for your kids or spouse or ancestry. Or maybe your love is for the annual vacation you take at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Pennsylvania every year.

One of the biggest acts of love, for lack of a better phrase, that happens every year, is Pennsic. Volunteers, attendees, and merchants from around the globe all come here, to the sponsoring Kingdom of Æthelmearc, to participate in something they love to do with the people they adore, in ways that are difficult to explain to the world. That’s okay, we do it, we work and volunteer and welcome the world because we love it, too. From no kingdom are there more participants and volunteers than here at Pennsic’s home, Æthelmearc, though it’s often a very close race. Thinking about our hard-working kingdom, often dubbed “The Friendliest Kingdom in the Known World,” the idea of Æthelmearc Rocks was born. If folks can leave Love Rocks in Greece, in Paris, in Africa, and on the Great Wall of China, why not at Pennsic? It’s all about our love of the unique community we purposefully create every year at Cooper’s Lake.

Isabelle and Elizabeth Von Halstern model the Æthelmearc Rocks they created to bring to Pennsic. (Photos courtesy of their mother, Duchess Ilish Von Halstern). Rock-painting will be just one activity available at the always-awesome Æthelmearc Children’s Party on Sunday August 6th in Æthelmearc Royal Encampment, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.

What is Æthelmearc Rocks? It’s two things, actually. It’s an artistic hide and seek game at Pennsic, and it’s a Facebook page dedicated to the game.

Who can play? Anyone who wishes can play. Any age, any interested, any family-friendly message or artwork or sentiment.

How do you play? Anyone who happens upon a decorated rock at Pennsic can relocate that rock, and the hope is that they will be inspired to decorate another rock in family friendly style (children will be playing, too) to hide in whimsical places in plain sight for others to find. Every other part of the game is optional. People are free to keep one or two of their favorite rocks, and should feel free to post selfies with a found rock or hints about new locations. Anyone can create decorated rocks, as many as they want, at any skill level of decoration. Rocks should be placed in public areas only, and should be out of the common footpath to avoid falls. There are no prizes, it’s all about sharing appreciation and art (and bragging rights). For a better description, see the FaceBook page, “Æthelmearc Rocks!

How do you make the Rocks? Rocks may be any easy to carry size, and can be decorated in many different ways from paint to permanent marker to decoupage to incised. You can decorate rocks at home to bring, or paint some at Pennsic while you’re there. Rocks should be weather-resistant enough to stay colorful for the 2 weeks of Pennsic. Many people find acrylic paint an inexpensive medium for their rocks.

We ask two items be included on every rock:

Any skill level of decoration is welcome.

1. As a thank you to the Kingdom of Æthelmearc for hosting Pennsic and its citizens for working so hard every year, please make an Escarbuncle a part of the design in some fashion, large or small. An Escarbuncle looks a lot like an eight armed snowflake (or the Chaos symbol) when big or an asterisk when small. Find an Æthelmearc banner, and you’ll find an Escarbuncle. Other than that, decorate as you wish in some sort of SCA or related historical style, but please keep it PG-13. If you want your rock to live on after Pennsic, a light coat of clear acrylic, polyurethane, or clear nail polish would be a good idea. That rock may travel to other kingdoms!

2. On the back or side of the rock (marker may be easiest), please write “Facebook: Æthelmearc Rocks!” so folks have a chance to look up the game if they don’t know about it and happen upon your decorated treasure. Small rocks may need the word Facebook abbreviated to “FB.”

What happens to the rocks? Most rocks go unsigned, so artists may have posted their works on the FaceBook page as well, hoping to follow their progress from hand to hand. At the end of Pennsic you can leave your rocks in place or take some home. It’s up to you.

These rocks await a clear coat to protect the art from the weather.


Categories: SCA news sites

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #20: Knit Purses in 14thC Switzerland

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-07-19 16:08

Our twentieth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Lady Tola knitýr, of the Shire of Quintavia. She examines the history and background of these beautiful small purses, and then demonstrates how they can be made by a skilled modern craftsperson. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Knit Purses in 14thC Switzerland

Detail of Lady Tola’s reconstruction of a fourteenth-century knitted purse.

Table of Contents
I. Historical Overview of Knitting
II. Textiles and Religion
III. The Knit Purses of Sion and Chur
IV. Recreating a Sion-style purse
V. Conclusion
VI. References

I. Historical Overview of Knitting

The oldest items that can be truly defined as knit (rather than made with naalbinding techniques), are knitted cotton fragments from Egypt, approximately 11th to 12th Century.  Slightly later, but still in Egypt, knit cotton socks appear, with museum authorities estimating that they were made somewhere from 1200-1500.  These Egyptian pieces were the first knit in stockinette stitch in the round, where a tube is knit with needles that are pointed on both ends.  In The History of Handknitting, Richard Rutt indicates that these were almost certainly knit with rods, that may have been hooked.  Very few extant knitting needles have been found, which may be a result of the simplicity of double-pointed needles, but an excavation in York discovered two copper alloy rods with a rounded point on each end, dated to the late 14th century, that scholars suggest may have been used as knitting needles.

Copper alloy knitting needles, photo from The Archaeology of York 17/15, Finds from Medieval York, Craft, Industry and Everyday Life, Patrick Ottaway and Nicola Rogers, p. 2743.

In Europe, the earliest knit pieces appeared in the mid to late 13th century, as a Spanish glove, Spanish cushion covers, and a mitten fragment from Estonia. Following these pieces are five knitted purses from Sion, Switzerland and a sixth purse found in Chur, in the German-speaking eastern Switzerland.  All six are dated to the 14th century.  The purses were all knit with silk thread, very finely knitted from the top down, closed at the bottom with a three-needle bind-off, and usually used two colors at a time to create a pattern.

A number of paintings in the middle ages show Mary, mother of Jesus, knitting with double pointed needles.  The “knitting Madonnas” lead me to believe that at this time, knitting was done by women in the home, rather than in guilds, as was the case towards the end of the Middle Ages.

Detail from the right panel of the Buxtehude Altar, Master Bertram, c. 1400

“Madonna dell’Umiltà”, Vitale da Bologna, c. 1353.

Detail from “The Holy Family”, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, c. 1345

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II. Textiles and Religion

Across Europe, the Roman Catholic church was a vital part of life in the Middle Ages.  The papal states in Italy were the seat of power, and became independent from the Holy Roman Empire, which allowed the church to hold land as a sovereign entity. Massive landholdings as well as financial gifts to the church in the form of tithing helped the church become powerful politically.  Because of the great importance and wealth of the church, the finest materials were used in furnishing churches and clothing the clergy.  Precious metals like gold and silver, as well as luxurious silk, ivory, and gems, were crafted into decorations, vestments, and reliquaries used to hold the remains of holy places, saints, or items they had touched.  Because of the importance of the church to this day, many textiles in the form of garments and reliquaries were preserved through the ages.

Detail from “Altarpiece of the Virgin and Saint George”, c. 1400, Lluis Borrassa, showing girls working on embroideries for the Church.

Many of these textiles were created by women, both nuns and laywomen, to show their piety and devotion to the church.  Because of the importance of the textiles, which were largely in the form of intricate embroidered items, the Church kept detailed records of many of these donations.  In some cases, it is unclear as to whether the names of the women who donated the textile items were the artisans, or commissioned the pieces for the church.  Many Queens, such as Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, are listed as the donors of embroidered items.  Queen Margaret of Scotland even established a workshop for noble women to gather and create religious textiles.  While embroidery gets most of the attention in historical study and recreation, a number of church textiles were also knitted items.

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III. The knit purses of Sion and Chur

The city of Sion is home to the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Switzerland.  Historical records reflect bishops there as early as the 4th Century.  Several churches have stood in Sion over the centuries, and construction on the present-day cathedral began in 1450.

In the early 20th Century, Ernst Alfred Stückelberg was granted access to relics in the treasury of the cathedral of Sion.  Stückelberg was a professor of Christian antiquarian studies at the University of Basel as well as a researcher and lecturer of Christian archaeology and monuments.  Stückelberg’s essays do not detail the excavation of the artifacts, which could provide greater context for the items, but we do know that one of the items that he found was a wooden chest studded with gold-plated silver, which contained five knitted purses.  During the Middle Ages, purses were used for both secular and religious purposes.  The Sion purses are thought to have been used as reliquary bags, to hold the remains of saints.

Sion chest, from Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz: Katalog, p. 283.

The Sion purses appear in Richard Rutt’s A History of Handknitting, but were first studied by Brigitta Schmedding in Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz (Medieval Textiles in Churches and Monasteries of Switzerland).  Schmedding had a doctorate from the University of Freiburg, having written her dissertation on the Romanesque Madonnas of Switzerland in the 12th and 13th century, and also graduated from the Abegg Foundation’s three-year training in textile preservation.  The purses are currently located in the Château de Valère, the historical museum in Sion.  I have attempted to contact the staff of the museum to obtain color pictures of the purses, but have not received any response.

Schmedding also studied a sixth purse, found in Chur, Switzerland, which is generally referred to as the Chur purse and is strikingly similar to the Sion purses.  Both Schmedding and Rutt conclude that the purses likely came from the same creator or workshop due to the similarities.  I believe that these purses were likely knit by one woman, who then gave them to the church, since they are very similar and could represent devotion to the church.

The purses were all knit with silk thread, very finely knitted from the top down, closed at the bottom with a three-needle bind-off, and usually used two colors at a time to create a pattern.  Schmedding indicates that the threads are s-spun (spun in a clockwise manner), but does not indicate whether they were singles or plied.  Silk thread from the same time period used in embroidery and sewing was 2-ply, with the single threads Z-spun and the two threads plied together with an S-spin.

Diagram of yarn structure, courtesy Britannica Online.

For the technique, Schmedding describes the knit in the round technique, describes the bottom of the purse being laid flat and knit together, and indicates that it was probably knit on a frame.  Her description of the bottom of the purse matches the technique of a three-needle bind off, which is a technique used to join two pieces of knitting that are still on the needles, essentially binding off the stitches and seaming them together at the same time.  With regard to Schmedding’s suggestion of a frame, the stocking knitting frame was not invented until 1589.  There are, however, images of double-pointed knitting needles in art from the Middle Ages, as referenced earlier, so I would conclude that these purses were likely knit on double-pointed knitting needles.

The following analysis relies mostly on Schmedding, but also references Rutt.  Since Rutt’s names for the bags are simpler, each bag is referenced first with Rutt’s naming convention, then Schmedding’s, with the associated catalog number.  I also created my own charts, because I found that I was not satisfied with Rutt’s interpretations (and Schmedding doesn’t have any charts).  Rutt’s charts can serve as a starting point, but close examination of photos often reveals mistakes or omissions.  There is even a case where he indicates different colors on a purse than Schmedding describes, and as Schmedding had documented hands-on experience restoring the purses, I am inclined to trust her conclusions over his. All photos are taken from Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz: Katalog; the charts that follow each description are my own.

Sion relic-purse I (268 Reliquary bag), p. 285

Measurements: Bag is 27 cm x 24 cm (10.6” x 9.4”) Fringe is 17 cm (6.7”) Pattern repeat is 2.7 cm x 1.6 cm (1.1” x 0.6”)
Gauge: 70 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”) (a note about gauge – knitting gauge is measured by the number of stitches and the number of rows in a 10 cm x 10 cm or 4” x 4” square)
Colors: Red, light green, light blue, white, beige

                                                                                                                              Sion relic-purse II (271 Reliquary bag), p. 287


Measurements: Bag is 31.5 cm x 26 cm (12.4” x 10.2”) Fringe is 16 cm (6.3”)
Gauge: 80 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Violet, red, light green, white, beige, light blue

Sion relic-purse III (269 Reliquary bag), p. 286

Measurements: Bag is 23 cm x 19.5 cm (9.1” x 7.7”) Fringe is 16 cm (6.3”) Pattern repeat is 7.4 cm x 1.9 cm (2.9” x 0.75”)
Gauge: 50-60 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Violet, red, light green, light blue, white, beige

Sion relic-purse IV (272 Reliquary bag), p. 288

Measurements: Bag is 20.6 cm x 19 cm (8.1” x 7.5”) Fringe is 14 cm (5.5”) Pattern repeat is 3 cm x 1.7 cm (1.2” x 0.67”)
Gauge: 70 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Violet, white, beige, light green

Sion relic-purse V (270 Fragment of a reliquary bag), p. 287

Measurements: Fragment is 20.5 cm x 21.8 cm (8.1” x 8.6”) Fringe is not present, because the lower half of the bag is missing. Pattern repeat is 6.5 cm x 2.3 cm (2.6” x 0.9”)
Gauge: 75 stitches and 90 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Red, light green, beige, white, violet, light blue

Chur purse (92 Reliquary bag), p. 91

Measurements: Bag is 34 cm x 24.5 cm (13.4” x 9.6”) Fringe is 13 cm (5.1”) Pattern repeat is 12 cm x 12-13 cm (4.7” x 5.1”)
Gauge: 90 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Red, light blue, dark blue, white, beige, green

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IV. Recreating a Sion-style purse

I chose Sion relic-purse III for my first attempt at recreating one of the Sion purses.  To get the appropriate gauge (50-60 st to 10 cm/4”), I needed to use size 00000 (5/0) needles, which are 1 mm in diameter.  For reference, the knitting website Ravelry has a database of over 400,000 patterns, with the largest percentage of patterns using size 6 needles.  On size 6 needles, a knitter could reasonably expect to get 21-24 stitches to 10 centimeters.  When using standard commercial yarn, even the smallest common gauge range, for size 000-1 needles, is approximately 33-40 stitches to 10 centimeters.

Detail of Sion III reconstruction with penny for scale. Photo by Lady Tola knitýr.

For the thread, I chose Halcyon Yarn’s 2/30 Gemstone Silk.  The 2/30 designation indicates that it is 2-ply and the single plies equal 30 times the standard length of 560 yards, or 16,800 yards.  The larger the second number is, the thinner the yarn is. This yarn was also spun in the same way as silk threads from the time period of the Sion purses, with a Z-spun single and the two threads plied together with an S-spin.

With metal knitting needles and silk thread, there is little resistance to keep the stitches on the needles.  The needles I had on hand were 4” long, so I would recommend longer needles or a circular needle (though not period, it makes things a lot easier) to alleviate the slipping issues.  There are also not point protectors in small enough sizes for 5/0 needles, so I cut pieces of a cork to use for that purpose.

About halfway through knitting the bag, I realized that working the ends of the yarn in as I knit the bag would save me a lot of weaving in work in the end.  There are multiple ways of doing this, but my main technique was just carrying the ends along as if they were part of the colorwork, and twisting them behind the working yarn every three or so stitches.  Some of the different ways to work the ends in can be found here.

To finish the bag, I wove in and trimmed all of the ends, and then blocked the bag.  Blocking serves two purposes – to gently shape the knit object, and to even out stitches.  To block the bag, I soaked it in water and then used metal rods woven through the stitches to shape it into an even rectangle, then let it air dry.  The blocking made a big difference in the appearance of the purse.  After it was blocked, I attached 12 tassels, then used fingerloop braiding to make a drawstring and a carrying loop.  The only pictures I have found of this particular purse are in black and white, but a picture of the Chur purse shows that the tassels, drawstring, and loop were all made of multiple colors, so I concluded that they could be the same on this purse.  It is unclear from the pictures what technique was used to make the strings, so I decided to use fingerloop braiding, since I already knew how to fingerloop braid.  The drawstrings are “A Round Lace of 5 Loops” and the carrying loop is “A Broad Lace of 5 Loops,” both of which were found on medieval purses.

Sion III reconstruction, complete.  Photo by Lady Tola knitýr.

After completing the purse, I discovered that my purse measured considerably smaller than the original.  Sion Purse III measured approximately 9.1″ x 7.7″ and my recreation measured 5.75″ x 5.25″.  The vertical repeats were the same, the horizontal repeats were the same.  I measured the gauge of my purse, and it had a gauge of 88 st and 92 rows = 4″.  The extant piece had a gauge of 50-60 st and 70 rows = 4″.  I realized that the gauge swatch I had knit was in one color.  When knitting colorwork (two or more colors), the knitting will tend to have tighter gauge than when knitting with a single color.  Lesson learned: Knit your gauge swatch in the same manner as you will knit your project.  If it’s in the round, do it in the round (which I did).  If it’s colorwork, do it in colorwork (which I did not).  I could have knit this project with needles the next size up, if not larger.  However, The Sion and Chur purses do vary in gauge, and one purse has gauge of 75 st and 90 rows = 4″ while another has gauge of 90 st and 70 rows = 4″.  So while my gauge is not accurate for the specific purse I was recreating, it is historically accurate for other knit purses.

My next goal is handspinning silk to knit a purse of my own design.  Silkworm cocoons have been used to make silk for thousands of years, and there are two basic varieties: wild and cultivated.  Wild silkworms, since they feed on whatever leaves happen to be available, do not produce a uniform fiber.  They are also usually harvested after the silkworm has emerged from its cocoon, so the cocoon can not be harvested as a single thread, but results in multiple pieces and makes it more difficult to process for spinning purposes.  Cultivated silkworms may be referred to as Bombyx (their scientific name) or Mulberry (after their food source), and produce a much finer and smoother fiber.  These silkworms have been bred in controlled environments for over 5,000 years.  Since they only eat Mulberry leaves, there is much greater consistency across cocoons, and the silk is harvested before the silkworm emerges, so the cocoon can be processed in one unbroken strand.  I was interested in what the difference really looked like when thread was spun and knit, so I tested it out.  In the below picture, the reddish pink is a wild silk, and the white is a cultivated silk.  The difference between the two types is readily apparent when presented side-by-side.  To make the most reliable comparison, I spun and plied each silk within days of each other, trying for the thinnest spin I could manage without breaking, and knit them on the same size needles.  The wild silk was more difficult to spin, and spun thicker despite my attempts to draft it to a smaller thread.  It was dyed, which the cultivated was not, but it was commercially dyed, so the process shouldn’t have affected the fibers in an adverse manner.

Detail of knitted handspun silk sample, with penny for scale.  Photo by Lady Tola knitýr.

In addition to the handspinning, I also decided to try my hand at natural dyeing.  I have done a couple experiments with natural dyes, namely with black walnut hulls, alkanet root, and onion skins, using alum as a mordant.  Mordants are used to help dyes adhere to the fiber, and alum was a commonly used mordant in the middle ages.  All three of the dyestuffs I used were available and used during the middle ages.  The alkanet root and black walnut hulls were purchased as powders, and I gathered the onion skins to create the dyebath myself.  In the below images, the smaller skeins are commercially spun silk while the larger skeins are my handspun.  From left to right, the colors were obtained with alkanet root, black walnut hulls, and onion skins.  My next step with this project will be charting a design with a medieval aesthetic and knitting a purse with my own handspun and natural dyed silk.

Commercial and handspun silk skeins. The purple is dyed with alkanet root, the pale brown with black walnut hulls.  Photo by Lady Tola knitýr.

Commercial and handspun silk skein, dyed with onion skins. Photo by Lady Tola knitýr.

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V. Conclusion

The knit purses that were found in Sion and Chur, Switzerland and dated to the 14th Century were likely reliquary bags, used to hold important religious objects.  They were made from silk, a prized material, and were found with other religious items in cathedrals.  Because several paintings of the same period depict Madonna knitting, I believe that they are the work of a woman, who made them to show her devotion to the church.  Because they have slightly different gauges, they were likely knit over many years, or with different sized needles.  They are intricately designed, finely knit, and show a high level of skill.  The knitter who created them likely also made other objects, since colorwork knitting and knitting on very small needles are skills that take considerable time and practice to get to a competent level.

VI. References

Barber, E.J.W. Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991.

Benns, Elizabeth, and Gina Barrett. Tak v Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined. Great Britain: Soper Lane, 2005.

Boehm, Barbara Drake. “Relics and Reliquaries in Medieval Christianity.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (originally published October 2001, last revised April 2011). 14 May 2017.

Crowfoot, Elisabeth, Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland. Textiles and Clothing, C.1150-c.1450. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell, 2006.

Gilbert, Rosalie. “Medieval Dyestuffs, Dyeing & Colour Names.” Rosalie’s Medieval Woman. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.

Historic Enterprises. “Colors.” Historic Enterprises. Historic Enterprises, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.

Laning, Chris. “Medieval Masterpieces: The Purses of Sion.” Knitting Traditions Spring 2013: 74-76.

Lins, Joseph. “Sion.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 16 May 2017.

Logan, F. Donald. A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. London: Routledge, 2013. Web. 14 May 2017.

Ottaway, Patrick, and Nicola S.H. Rogers. Craft, industry and everyday life: finds from Medieval York. York: Council for British Archaeology, 2002.

Rutt, Richard. A History of Handknitting. Interweave, 1987.

Schmedding, Brigitta. Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz: Katalog. Bern: Stämpfli, 1978.

Schulenburg, Jane Tibbetts.  Holy Women and the Needle Arts: Piety, Devotion, and Stitching the Sacred, ca. 500- 1150. In Katherine Allen Smith and Scott Wells (Ed.), Negotiating Community and Difference in Medieval Europe: Gender, Power, Patronage, and the Authority of Religion in Latin Christendom (pp. 83-110), 2009.

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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

On Target: Backyard Backstops

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-07-19 11:22

This month, we have a question and answer from Hereward of Richmond. Hereward wrote me about do-it-yourself backstops.

I use four sheets of cardboard and one sheet of Coroplast, a corrugated plastic used for signs. It’s slightly stronger than cardboard and is water resistant. The pictures below show how they go together with zip ties. Note that in this picture there are only three sheets of cardboard, but I found since making this backstop that four is much better.

Remember, glue makes the cardboard harder and less arrow friendly, so you don’t want to use it. Coroplast can be found on most street corners for free because church fish fries, gun bashes, and political signs are never removed after the event. By law, the signs should be removed 10 days after the event, so on the 11th day, if you take them, you’re performing a public service.

Carefully remove the wires from the Coroplast sign before adding it to your cardboard. Then, with a little cutting and artistry, you can have a ninja.

After completing your target, take the sign wires and push them back into the Coroplast at the bottom where the ninja’s legs are. Zip tie everything together and then push the ninja into the ground standing upright.

In the picture below, we have a dark, gloomy scene on the left and a bright, sunny day on the right, both of which are backstops for the ninja.In the video below, I’m shooting a 35 pound bow at full draw at less than 10 yards into the ninja. It stops all the kinetic energy. Even if you have a blow through, the backstops behind the target stop what little energy the arrow has left.

Once again, thank you, Hereward, for the question. Next month, I’ll do even more on backyard backstops.

This month’s safety tip pertains to situations that happen at Pennsic when you have a large number of archers. If people go looking for arrows behind the nets used to stop arrows that miss the targets, they will seem to disappear, so marshals need to be alert. Here’s an example of why this is important.

Note: the arrow in this video was NOT actually fired, it was pushed through the target by hand for the purpose of demonstrating the danger to people hidden behind targets. Obviously, archers should not be firing when someone is standing behind the target.

‘Til next month.

In service,

Deryk Archer


Categories: SCA news sites

Several Society Level Positions Open

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-07-18 18:44

The SCA is seeking candidates for several Society-level positions: Society Seneschal and Vice President of Operations, Society Minister of Arts and Sciences, and Society Webminister.  The full job descriptions as well as details about applying for the positions for each are listed below. 

Society Seneschal and Vice President of Operations.

The Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism is now accepting applications for the position of Society Seneschal (Vice-President for Operations). This is a part-time, paid position, which requires approximately thirty plus hours per week.

Applicants must possess strong telephone skills, and be very capable of interacting with unique SCA personalities. The ability to process and distill large amounts of information from different sources is a requirement. Organizational and problem solving skills are essential. Having held a Kingdom Seneschal position, while not required, is preferred. Applicants must possess enough space at home for a medium sized office, have immediate access to internet, PC and printer, and possess word processing skills.

Position Requirements and Responsibilities:
–Prior experience in a position of leadership within the SCA or leading volunteer organizations
–Oversee directly and indirectly the planning and implementation of all game side activities.
–Good working knowledge of current SCA corporate documents
–Investigative skills
–Ensure confidentiality of all investigations
–Mediation skills
–Executive management
–Quarterly review of all Kingdom Seneschal Reports
–Interface as a corporate spokesperson for information management
–Explore, evaluate and create new documentation as needed to ensure a positive game side experience
— Management experience with both volunteers and employees
–Report to the Chairman and President regarding matters of significant importance to the SCA, Inc.
–Office, Project and Resource management
–Excellent communication skills both written and oral
–Writing to a mass audience and speaking publicly
–The ability to connect to internet/communicate via internet is required

The Society Seneschal deals with large amounts of correspondence (mostly electronic, some telephone and a portion written) with a wide number of individuals including, but not limited to all kingdom seneschals, royalty, and corporate level offices, especially the President, Vice-President for Corporate Operations and the Executive Assistant to the Board of Directors.

Applicants must be available for the four quarterly Board Discussion Sessions per year (typically held on Fridays), held in addition to the four Board meeting days per year (typically on Saturdays). As Thursdays and Sundays tend to be travel days, each applicant must have sixteen days available per year, of which eight are week days. Additional traveling may be required. Availability for up to eight evening conference calls per year (generally starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time) is also required.

The successful candidate will plan, organize, and facilitate regular Kingdom Seneschals Meetings held via Go To Meeting for purposes of training as needed.

The successful candidate must be available to provide periodic advice to the Seneschals, the Crowns and Their Heirs in the 20 Kingdoms. This will incur a degree of time on the telephone and electronic mail.

The Society Seneschal-Vice President of Operations is responsible for supervising sanction activity as described in Section X of Corpora, and the Uniform Sanction Procedure as noted in the Seneschal handbook and the current Sanction Guide.

Resumes (professional and medieval, including awards and titles) must be sent to SCA Inc., Box 360789, Milpitas CA 95036, or resumes@sca.org, no later than October 31, 2017. You may also email comments http://lists.sca.org/listinfo/announcements. This is an official announcement by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.; permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Society Minister of Arts and Sciences

The Society for Creative Anachronism is seeking candidates for the position of Society Minister of Arts and Sciences (MOAS), which is a warranted 3-year term of service.
The Minister of Arts and Sciences is the officer responsible for reporting on the artistic programs of the SCA, fostering the study of medieval culture and technology, and for promoting methods for producing historically inspired artifacts and performances.

Duties and responsibilities include:
• coordinating the efforts of kingdom officers in the field;
• promoting the dissemination of accurate information;
• responding to inquiries from the membership and artisans in a courteous and timely manner;
• constructive problem solving;
• ensuring accurate and consistent reporting from A&S officers to meet the SCA’s audited charitable reporting requirements;
• reporting quarterly on the artistic programs of the SCA.
• performing other duties assigned by the Board.

This is an unpaid position. Applicants should be paid members of the Society and able to travel to other kingdoms as approved by the board, and have easy access to phone, computer, mail and e-mail. Experience in both the practice and coordination of the Arts and Sciences as practiced in the SCA is strongly preferred.

Hard copies of résumés (both professional and SCA related, including offices held and honors) must be sent to the attention of ‘The Board of Directors’, SCA, Inc., P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789. Electronic courtesy copies should also be sent to resumes@sca.org by October 1, 2017.

Society Webminister.

This position reports to the SCA Board of Directors.
The Society Webminister is a supervisory position, and is not involved in maintenance of the Corporate website (www.sca.org).

The Society Webminister is responsible for the following duties:

1. Ongoing development and revision of the Society Webminister’s policies and procedures, as detailed in the Society Webminister Handbook.
Said work will not only include making sure that solutions are provided for current issues, but will also include observing trends, being aware of potential issues and streamlining the Webministry as a whole to provide better service to the SCA and potential members thereof.

2. Warranting of kingdom-level Webministers, where necessary.

3. Supervision of all kingdom-level websites, including proper use of domain names, monitoring content, regular reporting from Kingdom Webministers, and enforcement of the Society Webministry policies and procedures.

4. Working with Kingdom Webministers to ensure they develop and
enforce clear guidelines for local SCA group websites based on the standards found in the Society Webminister’s Handbook.

5. Acting as a subject matter expert and resource regarding issues related to electronic publications and websites at the kingdom and local levels, including, but not limited to: copyright issues, privacy issues, and technology-related issues.

6. Quarterly reporting to the Board of Directors for the SCA, Inc.

Required for this position are: dependable email access; dependable phone access; moderate to expert proficiency in web-related technologies(e.g. HTML, Java, PSP, ASP, web hosting issues, etc.); moderate Microsoft Word proficiency; and the ability to clearly communicate via email, phone, and in written reports.

Prior experience as a Webminister in the SCA is required; prior experience as a kingdom webminister is highly desired.

Those interested in the Position of Society Webminister should submit their SCA and modern era resumes to both resumes@sca.org and it@sca.org. The deadline for applications is extended until October 1, 2017.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.


Filed under: Announcements, Official Notices

Staff Positions Available for EK 5Oth Event / Positions disponibles pour l’événement du 50ième anniversaire du Royaume de l’Est

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-07-18 17:31

En français

Greetings!

As the autocrat for the East Kingdom 50 Year Celebration to be held next
year, I have a few staff positions that I need to fill.

If you are interested in any of these positions, please e-mail your
intent and list of qualifications to: autocrat@50year.eastkingdom.org

Please keep in mind that each department head will also be needing their
own staffs.  If you are interested in being on staff, please keep an eye
on 50year.eastkingdom.org.  We will be updating the staff listing and
activating email accounts for each department head.

OPEN POSITIONS:

Merchant Coordinator (hard goods)– This person will be responsible for
coordinating merchants who would like to vend at the event.  Ideally,
this person would be familiar with NYS regulations regarding permits,
etc. (This would include spice merchants as they do not fall under food
below.)

Merchant Coordinator (food)– This person will be responsible for
coordinating any food merchants who would like to vend at this event.
Reaching out to food truck vendors in the Albany area would also be a
plus. Ideally, this person would also be familiar with NYS regulations
as pertains to food vending at an event.

Fencing MiC– This person would be in charge of all fencing related
activites at the event.  Coordinating tournies or melees, managing
marshalls and inspections. Set up and tear down of the fencing area.

Disability services– This person would be responsible for coordinating
space in disability camping, coordinating access to medically necessary
charging stations and any other issues that would arise.

Media liaison– This person will be responsible for escorting media thru
the site and managing any other issues as pertains to that position.
Publicity, etc.

Event herald– This person would be responsible for coordinating with TRM
and event staff as to time and place of Opening and Closing Ceremonies,
as well as any processions or other ceremonial functions to happen at
the event outside of normal Court operations.

Royal liaison– This person would be responsible for helping Our and
visiting Royalty with their needs onsite, such as camping space (in
tandem with the Land Office), schedules, setting up viewing
pavilions/sitting areas, etc.

Again, if you are interested in any of these positions, send your
intent, along with contact info and any relevant experience to:
autocrat@50YC.eastkingdom.org

In Service to the Crown and Realm,
I remain,
Avelina

 
En français
Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Salutations !

En tant qu’Intendante des Célébrations du 50ième anniversaire du Royaume de l’Est, qui auront lieu l’année prochaine, nous sommes toujours à la recherche de personnes pour combler quelques positions restantes.

Si une de ces positions vous intéresse, veuillez envoyer votre lettre d’intention et la liste de vos qualifications par courriel au: autocrat@50years.eastkingdom.org

Veuillez garder en mémoire que chaque chef de département devra aussi se trouver du personnel. Si vous aimeriez faire partie du personnel, gardez un oeil sur 50year.eastkingdom.org. Nous mettrons à jour la liste du personnel et activerons des addresses courriel pour chaque chef de département.

POSITIONS DISPONIBLES:

Coordonnateur des marchands (marchandise)– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner les marchands qui souhaitent vendre à l’événement. Idéalement, cette personne serait familière avec les lois et régulations de l’État de New York au regard des permis requis, etc. (Ceci inclus les marchands d’épices, comme ils ne tombent pas sous la régulation s’appliquant à la nourriture, ci-dessous.)

Coordonnateur des marchands (nourriture)– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner tous les vendeurs de nourriture qui aimeraient vendre leurs produits à l’événement. Joindre des propriétaires de camions de bouffe de rue dans la région d’Albany serait un plus. Idéalement, cette personne serait familière avec les lois et régulations de l’État de New York au regard de la vente d’aliments à un événement.

Maréchal en charge de l’Escrime– Cette personne sera en charge de toutes les activités reliées à l’escrime pendant l’événement. Ceci inclus coordonner les tournois ou les mêlées, gérer les maréchaux présents, ainsi que les inspections. Il serait aussi responsable d’organiser la mise en place et le démontage de l’espace réservé à l’escrime.

Services d’invalidité– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner l’espace disponible pour le campement handicapé, coordonner l’accès aux stations de chargement pour besoins médicaux et toute autre situation reliée se présentant.

Liaison avec les médias– Cette personne sera responsable d’escorter les médias au travers du site et de gérer toute autre situation pertinente à cette position. Cette personne sera aussi en charge de la publicité entourant l’événement, etc.

Héraut d’événement– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner avec Leurs Royales Majestés et le personnel de l’événement le moment et l’endroit ou auront lieu les Cérémonies d’Ouverture et de Fermeture, ainsi que toute procession ou autre fonction cérémonielle se tenant en dehors des planifications de Cour régulières.

Liaison Royale– Cette personne sera responsable d’aider Notre Royauté, ainsi que toute Royauté visitant notre événement avec leurs besoins sur le site, comme aider avec l’espace de campement (en tandem avec l’Office du Terrain), les horaires, monter des pavillons/espaces de repos, etc.

Encore une fois, si vous êtes intéressés par n’importe laquelle de ces positions, envoyez votre intention, avec vos informations de contact et toute expérience pertinente à:
autocrat@50YC.eastkingdom.org

En Service à la Couronne et au Royaume,
Je demeure,
Avelina


Filed under: Uncategorized

Kingdom Authorizations Clerk – call for letters of intent

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-07-18 17:03

To the most sylvan Kingdom of Æthelmearc and her most noble populace does your Authorization Clerk send warm greetings! The time has come for my second term in office to come to a close. As such, I am putting a call out for letters of intent for those that might be interested in pursuing the office of Kingdom Authorizations Clerk. I am requesting letters from interested parties to be submitted no later than December 31, 2017. The next term will begin at Kingdom 12th Night in January 2018 (no set date yet) and lasts for two years (01/2018-01/2020).

The office of Authorizations Clerk is a tedious, yet rewarding office. It falls under the Kingdom Earl Marshal and works very closely with all marshals, fighters, fencers, and riders of our ferocious army. On average the office requires between 3-15 hours of work per week, with very serious peaks prior to large events, especially Pennsic. Skills required for the office are primarily Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, with a healthy dose of people skills and handwriting deciphering thrown in for good measure. The main responsibilities for the office of Authorization Clerk include:

  • Creating and distributing all Æthelmearc authorization cards.
  • Maintaining electronic and paper files of all authorizations (for 4 years).
  • Ensuring that the Kingdom Earl Marshal has access to fighter database if needed
    Reporting to the Kingdom Earl Marshal at regular intervals (quarterly) with copies being forwarded to the Kingdom Marshal of Fence, Chancellor of the Youth Martial Academy, Youth Fencing Provost, and others as requested. This report should include the following: total number of current adult and youth authorizations in the kingdom, number of authorized rattan, number of authorized rapier, number of authorized equestrian, number of authorized youth, any other information upon request.

I am available to discuss any questions you may have about the office via email (ursula.of.rouen@gmail.com) or phone(540-287-1748).

Letters of intent should be sent to the following gentles: Their Royal Hignesses (ae.prince@aethelmearc.org, ae.princess@aethelmearc.org), His Grace, Duke Christopher (aethelmearc.seneschal@gmail.com), Master William Paris (ae.marshal@aethelmearc.org) and myself (ursula.of.rouen@gmail.com) no later than December 31, 2017.

Yours,
Ursula

THLady Ursula of Rouen
mka: Danielle M. Duvall


Categories: SCA news sites

SCA, Inc. publishes SCA Harassment Policy

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-07-18 11:07

The SCA Harassment and Bullying Policy

From the Society Seneschals Handbook:

XXIV. SOCIETY SENESCHAL POLICIES & INTERPRETATIONS 4. Harassment and Bullying The SCA prohibits harassment and bullying of all individuals and groups.

Harassment and bullying includes, but is not limited to the following: offensive or lewd verbal comments directed to an individual; the display of explicit images (drawn or photographic) depicting an individual in an inappropriate manner; photographing or recording individuals inappropriately to abuse or harass the individual; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; or retaliation for reporting harassment and/or bullying. Participants violating these rules are subject to appropriate sanctions. If an individual feels subjected to harassment, bullying or retaliation, they should contact a seneschal, President of the SCA, or the Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman. If a participant of the SCA becomes aware that someone is being harassed or bullied, they have a responsibility pursuant to the SCA Code of Conduct to come forward and report this behavior to a seneschal, President of the SCA or Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ The following statement must be posted at gate/troll at every SCA event in a size large enough for people to see it as they enter our events.  This language must likewise be quoted in ALL site handouts at every event a site were a handout is made available.
  • THE SCA PROHIBITS HARASSMENT AND BULLYING OF ALL INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS.
  • Participants engaging in this behavior are subject to appropriate sanctions.
  • If you are subjected to harassment, bullying or retaliation, or if you become aware of anyone being harassed or bullied, contact a seneschal, President of the SCA, or your Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman.

Per the Society Seneschal July 17, 2017

 


Filed under: Announcements, Corporate, Official Notices

Pennsic Blood Drive 2017

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-07-17 16:49

Greeting good gentles of the Known World.

The Pennsic War will soon be upon us, and while we are ‘playing war’ with our friends, many others are fighting one for their lives. Every blood donation is a chance to save a life, so please remember there will be a Red Cross blood drive during Pennsic.

Place: Zion Baptist Church, 148 Curry Road, Slippery Rock, PA
Dates: Friday, August 4th and Monday, August 7th
Times: 10 am to 3:30 pm

The church is within walking distance of the Pennsic site, but the Red Cross will run a shuttle van (leaving from the south end of the battlefield). We encourage you to ride the van so that you arrive with normal pulse and blood and are not turned away from donating!

Pre-registration: 

If you would like to pre-register to donate, volunteer to help, or would just like more information, please contact me by July 27th.

E-mail to: scahedgehog@gmail.com

You can also preregister on-line. Search for blood drives in zip code 16057, select August 4th or 7th, and choose your appointment time. (Note: we are in the process of registering our drive.)

preregister on-line here

Once War is underway, you can sign up at First Aid Point. Walk in’s are welcome, however, the Red Cross bases their staffing on preregistration numbers, so the more people who preregister before War, the more staff we may get.

Identification is now required for all Red Cross Blood donors.
Preferred methods of ID are:

  • American Red Cross donor card
  • Driver’s license
  • State ID
  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • INS “green” card
  • A student ID, corporate ID, or credit card is also acceptable if it contains a photo. There is a secondary list of acceptable identification, available at First Aid Point or you can e-mail me.

Together, we can make a difference. So, “Be a Hero, Save a Life at Pennsic War.”

In Service and Thanks,
Baroness Angelique d’Herisson
(mka: Renee LeVeque)
Pennsic Blood Drive Liaison
Middle Kingdom – SCA


Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic Cannon Fire: Messaging Project Goes Live This Pennsic

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-07-16 18:18

“Gentles who expressed interest in the messaging project proposed in the [Æthelmearc] Gazette article Whilst the Cannons Fire: Pennsic and PTSD likely will be pleased to learn about the project’s plans for War in two weeks.” Read the rest of this article at The Æthelmearc Gazette.


Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic

Greetings from the East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer/Salutations de la part de la Chancelière de l’Échiquier du Royaume

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-07-16 11:24

En français

Greetings from the East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer,

Many hands make light work.  The office of the Exchequer is once again understaffed and in need of more hands.  Constance De Saint Denis and Jaquelinne Sauvageon have served us well as the Central and Northern region deputies and I thank them both for the time they put into those offices.

The East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer is now accepting applications for the following positions:
Northern Region Deputy
Central Region Deputy
Western Region Deputy (PA/DE)
Warranting Deputy
Training (new exchequers)
Pennsic Steward
Council of the Exchequer (financial committee) – several seats available
Paypal assistants – several positions available
Domesday assistant – end of year consolidated reporting

I am not including descriptions of each position in this letter. Descriptions can be found in the SCA governing docs, EK Law and Financial policy of the East.  For all positions please send letters of interest to the Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer (exchequer@eastkingdom.org), along with proof of legal age (ex: drivers license) and current SCA membership.  For the Pennsic Steward applicants, you should cc their Majesties at TRM@eastkingom.org.  For ALL applications please include in the SUBJECT line ‘Application for ’  and the position name.

Once there are enough regional applicants, I would like to reorganize the areas that the regional deputies cover, as the exchequer office has to deal with groups by state rather than by the regions defined by the East Kingdom.  Each regional deputy covers between 10 and 15 groups.

In Service,
Maestra Ignacia la Ciega,
East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer
exchequer@eastkingdom.org

En français
Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Salutations de la part de la Chancelière de l’Échiquier du Royaume,

De nombreuses mains rendent le travail aisé. L’office de l’Échiquier est encore une fois en manque de personnel et aurait besoin d’autres mains. Constance de Saint Denis et Jaquelinne Sauvageon nous ont bien servies en tant que députées des régions Centrales et Nord, et je les remercie toutes deux pour le temps qu’elles ont consacré à ces offices.

Le Chancelier de l’Échiquier du Royaume accepte maintenant les candidatures pour les positions suivantes:
Député de la Région du Nord
Député de la Région Centrale
Député de la Région Ouest (PA/DE)
Député aux Accréditations
Éducation (Nouveaux Échiquiers)
Intendant de Pennsic
Conseil de l’Échiquier (comité financier) – plusieurs sièges disponibles
Assistants Paypal – plusieurs positions disponibles
Assistant au Domesday – Consolidation de fin d’année

Je n’inclus pas les descriptions de chaque position dans cette lettre. Les descriptions peuvent être trouvées dans les documents de gouvernance de la SCA, la Loi du Royaume de l’Est, ainsi que dans les Politiques financières de l’Est. Pour toutes ces positions, veuillez envoyer une lettre d’intérêt au Chancelier de l’Échiquier du Royaume (exchequer@eastkingdom.org), avec une preuve de votre âge légal (ex: permis de conduire) et votre carte de membre SCA valide. Pour la position d’Intendant de Pennsic, vous devriez aussi mettre leurs Majestés en copie conforme a TRM@eastkingdom.org. Pour TOUTES les candidatures, veuillez inclure dans la ligne SUJET “Candidature pour” suivi du nom de la position.

Une fois que nous auront reçu assez d’applications pour les postes régionaux, j’aimerais réorganiser les régions dont les députés régionaux s’occupent avec des groupes par état au lieu des régions telles que définies par le Royaume de l’Est. Chaque député régional couvre entre 10 et 15 groupes.

En Service,
Maestra Ignacia la Ciega,
Chancelière de l’Échiquier du Royaume
exchequer@eastkingdom.org

 


Filed under: Announcements, Official Notices, Tidings Tagged: Exchequer, help wanted

Pennsic Cannon Fire: Messaging Project Goes Live This Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-07-14 14:47

Gentles who expressed interest in the messaging project proposed in the Gazette article Whilst the Cannons Fire: Pennsic and PTSD likely will be pleased to learn about the project’s plans for War in two weeks.

According to project co-organizer Amani Ahmed Mash’al al-Sabti al-Dulaymi on the Facebook group Pennsic Messaging System Progress:

  1. The sign-up will be at Silvertree Souq, merchant spot 98, next to Nordic Trader.
  2. We will have you sign a hold/no-harm form to participate. This will be a simple form releasing any of us from liability in the event that your identity becomes known.
  3. We will only collect names on those forms. The messaging system sign-up will only be a telephone number. I will not need names for the actual system.
  4. We are working on getting volunteers to stand with Signal Corps to post the messages as the cannoneers get signals from the marshals to fire. Our volunteers will stand wherever the Signal Corps wishes, as long as they can see or be informed when to send the SMS. Cannoneers/Signal Corps- please contact me ASAP to work this out.
  5. We have one dedicated person to do data entry, but volunteers who wish to help out, please come to the Souq to sign up or help.
  6. Signs will be posted at the shop and we will advertise in the Pennsic Independent. Any donations or help for that is appreciated.
  7. We have phones and a laptop. However, FYI: the current laptop is not great and a little persnickity. It’s an old Macbook that has been on two deployments, so she’s cranky. We will be using Excel to enter numbers. There will also be a notebook sign-up for new numbers. This notebook will be destroyed via fire at the end of War.
  8. I am trying to acquire a box of earplugs for folks. This seems reasonably possible. They will be available at the Souq. I may charge 25 cents to 50 cents for them, or they may be free. All depends on cost.

This is what we have for now. This is the first year, so there are bound to be hiccups. However, the system we are using has been repeatedly tested and works GREAT! You will get a small “ding-dong” or other sound notification. Nothing crazy, but if you are looking out for this sound you will know to brace yourself or comfort your dog/child/spouse/friend/self.

At the end of Pennsic, I will post a brief AAR on this board and will look forward to the feedback from users on how to improve the system.

(Reported by Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France))


Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic Newcomers Pointe Needs Volunteers

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-07-14 14:20

Greetings from the Pennsic Newcomers’ Point Coordinator,

This year, we are coordinating the return of the Newcomers Point, which will be part of the Pennsic Event Resources.

Our goal is to have a place that is open and available to newcomers, where they can feel comfortable and learn more about the event and the SCA in general. Newcomers’ Point will be a set place where Newcomers can come to ask questions or get information about the SCA and/or Pennsic. We will also be able to help Newcomers get involved with their local group after Pennsic.

The Pointe will be will be located under the same tent as the Pennsic Watch (seated at the table, in the shade, with electricity!), and we will need your help staffing the tent. Already Æthelmearc has chosen to sponsor a day, and the Midrealm has too.

Most shifts are still open, and we especially need people during Peace Week. Please email me to volunteer for a shift and help make this a huge success.

  • Sunday, July 30, 2017: 11am – 3pm
  • Monday, July 31, 2017: 11am – 3pm
  • Tuesday, August 1, 2017: 11am – 3pm
  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017: 11am – 3pm
  • Thursday, August 3, 2017: 11am – 3pm
  • Friday, August 4, 2017: 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday, August 5, 2017: 10am – 6pm – Sponsored by Æthelmearc
  • Sunday, August 6, 2017: 10am – 6pm – Sponsored by the Midrealm
  • Monday, August 7, 2017: 10am – 6pm
  • Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 11am – 4pm
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2017: 11am – 4pm
  • Thursday, August 10, 2017: 11am – 4pm

In Service to the Dream,
Baroness Desiderata Drake, OP
Newcomer Point Coordinator, Pennsic 46


Categories: SCA news sites

After the Writ

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-07-13 14:15

from Mistress Elisabeth Johanna von der Flossenburg

photo by Rob Westfall.

It was Pax Interruptus 2002 (and I did look this up in the order of precedence since I mistakenly keep saying it was 14 years ago). James II and Elina II were sitting the Sylvan Thrones. Baroness Katryne of Bakestonden and I were having a conversation outside the hall, trying to justify ditching court. Since we were both Court Baronesses, we finally decided that we would be setting a bad example and snuck into the back. None too soon either, for I was called before Their Majesties.

Queen Elina started talking to me about how I had promised her that I would make some clothing, and that she had now made a decision as to what she wanted me to make. I was surprised and astonished, for I did not feel that this needed to be discussed in court. It really was nobody’s business other than hers and mine. Then she pulled out this bolt of white fabric with Laurel Wreath all over it, and all I am thinking is: “But Your Majesty what are you doing, You are not a Laurel, I cannot make a Laurel dress for you, the Order will be so angry!” No, I did not say it, but these are the words that went thru my head. They are truly burnt into my memory. 

At this point Master Edmund Tregelles, the herald, called in the Order of the Laurel. It still did not hit me until Her Majesty said “I want you to make a dress with this fabric to wear for your vigil.” It slowly started sinking in. “But I am not worthy. I am not ready for this. I cannot accept this. I am not good enough.” Those were my thoughts as I was being escorted from court. 

In the back of court all the Laurels congratulated me and told me they would see me at Pennsic for the elevation. “But I do not know if I can accept this,” I kept saying. Mistress Alison of the Many Isles was asking me if I would accept her help with my ceremony along with my peer? I was belted to Mistress Rose Marian of Edgewater, a Pelican. And I kept saying “I do not know if I will accept this.” Yes, I put those two peers through hell.

I came from Drachenwald where at that time writs were unknown. You were called into court in the morning, sent to vigil and elevated the same afternoon or evening. Your friends and peers had been notified and they had everything ready for you. I did not realize I had the right to have input into my ceremony, so needless to say I concentrated on whether or not I would accept the accolade, and my oath of fealty. Everything else I left up to the two peers. Yes, I did say I would make my own dress and that I would want other artisans to shine for my ceremony. I finally said who I wanted for my worthies IF I accepted and that remained if for a long time. 

I made the two Ladies plan a vigil and a ceremony without knowing if I would say yes or no! Much later I realized how horrible I was. 

While they were jumping through all kinds of hoops for me I was trying to decide whether or not to accept. I wrote to friends back in Drachenwald for advice. And I started planning, embroidering and sewing the dress I would wear IF I were to accept. Many sleepless nights followed and I just could not decide: Am I worthy? Am I good enough to be a Laurel? Am I ready to accept the responsibility of being a Peer. What IS a Peer? What IS expected of me? I received a lot of good advice and quite a few dressings down for my unwillingness to decide from my friends back in the old Kingdom.

It was getting closer and closer to Pennsic. My dress of course was a Cranach German in my colors, red with gold bands and my SCA history and arms embroidered into the bands and guards, including household affiliations and awards. No, there was no Laurel wreath because for one I was not yet elevated and for two I still had not decided. I am sure the two peers were thinking I was a brat and actually not worthy to be elevated!

The decision however I made was: I will finish the dress which other than the embroidery design was an exact replica of a Cranach painting – down to the beading design on the Brustfleck (the decorated band between the two fronts) – and I will show this dress to a mundane artisan friend who will be the judge. If my dress was museum worthy then I was ready to be a Laurel, if not than I would have to improve my skill, and could accept the award. 

Today I know that this last paragraph shows I really did not fully comprehend what it means to be a Peer. It is not just skill; it is also those elusive hard to define Peerlike qualities that make a Peer and I do not think that anyone can understand what they are until they have been a Peer, and even then they are really really hard to define. It has to do with the responsibilities we take on. The Leadership role we accept when becoming a Peer, trying to always be gracious and encouraging, and critical without hurting feelings. The inspiring without taking over, the knowing when to step back and let others take over, the letting non-Peers make mistakes to learn from and helping to guide them in fixing said mistakes, the gentle guidance and helping newcomers and oldtimers on their way to the goals they set for themselves, and many more things that I cannot even start to name.

But back to my story:
I did present my dress to our friend along with the picture of the painting I used as my inspiration. And our friend says: “Elisabeth I am disappointed in you!” My heart dropped, because I really had gotten used to the idea of being a Mistress of the Laurel, I just needed that final stamp of approval that did not seem to be coming. He went on with: “I really expected more from you! Where is your creativity? This is an exact copy, it could be in a museum as a dress from the 1500s Anyone can do that! I expected you to create a new design something spectacular, not a copy!” I started laughing, which upset him and then I explained the whole thing. And he told me of course you must accept the accolade. And you must teach, but do not forget about the Creativity. Thus, my decision was made and I let the two Peers know.

Fast Forward to Pax Interruptus 2017. Again, I am called into court. Again, I am surprised with a writ. Again, I am escorted by an Order out of the court. This time I know a little bit more what is expected and what I am allowed to do. And no I will not put my peer Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin and others through the “will she accept or not” hell. Yes, I will accept the accolade. This time I hope I know what is expected of a Peer. I have been one for 15 years. 

However I have a request to all SCAdians who know me or know of me. I would like to hear from you. I would like a report card as to what I did well as a Peer the last 15 years but even more importantly, what I can improve. The date of my elevation will not be until the fall. But I hope that many of you will seek me out in person when you see me or by email (bostonhahn at aol dot com) or whichever way you feel comfortable counseling me. Because I would really like to use the time from now until my elevation to contemplate on what I can improve. For I am here to serve to the best of my ability. And yes, I know I am blunt and straight-forward and at times intimidating. Please believe me, I am working on that, but it is hard to teach an old dog a new trick.

I hope my story gives you a little insight into what happens after the writ and I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Elisabeth Johanna von der Flossenburg

 


Categories: SCA news sites