SCA news sites
Maighstir Liam macan tSaoire reports that Duchess Morgen of Rye received a Writ of Summons to the Order of Chivalry today at The Donnan Party. Her vigil and elevation will be held at Ice Dragon.
Vivat Duchess Morgen!
Once elevated, she and Baroness Beatrix Krieger (who received her writ at Ædult Swim for elevation at Pennsic) will be the fourth and fifth female knights recognized in Æthelmearc, joining Duchess Sir Rowan de la Garnison, Countess Sir Ariella of Thornbury, and Mistress Sir Cunen Beornhelm.
This is a reminder to all Crown Tournament combatants and consorts that your letters of intent are due no later than April 13th. You may use the new online form, found here: http://ae.scaforms.org/view.php?id=31838, or email, mail, or hand deliver as outlined in Article III of Kingdom Law.
Please let me or Their Highnesses know if you have any questions.
5:00 (or at their Majesties’ convenience)
Queen Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon is currently sitting her 10th reign as a Queen ( plus one reign as Princess of the then-Principality of Artemesia) in the SCA. According to the Royal Geneaology of the Known World, Her majesty has sat on the throne more times than any other Queen. She graciously agreed to grant the Gazette an interview about her extraordinary experience.
Over the course of 10 reigns, she has seen much change in the Society, especially in the technologies that we use to communicate with each other and in the amount of information available to us for documentation of the things we do.She’s also seen many geographic differences across the SCA, from the West where the King’s word is law, to here in the East where things are much more “democratic” and cooperative. Greater access to information has also lead to an increase in the seriousness of the game for many.
Faster communication and busier schedules have lead to a decrease in spontaneity in many aspects of the SCA, and yet much has remained the same. The passion that people have for whatever it is that they pursue in the society has always remained a constant that Her Majesty admires. In addition, she adds “The look on someone’s face when you give them an award is still the same today as it was years ago”
Another constant over the years has been her perception of her role as Queen. Before allowing His Majesty Brion to fight for her in a Crown Tournament for the first time, she wisely asked him what he expected from her as Queen. One of the things he asked from her was for her to “Look and act like a Queen” and she has always tried to live up to the ideals of grace, courtesy, and comportment that define Queenliness.
No matter the Kingdom, people want their Queen to be someone who is kind and caring and holds genuine love in her heart for the people of her Kingdom. She knows from experience that people “will do anything for you if you honestly love them.“
One might imagine that it is difficult to find a fresh approach to each reign, having reigned as many times as Her Majesty has. For Queen Anna, the new people that are involved with each reign keep her engaged and full of love for the role and the Kingdom. Her current Court include 10 people she had never met before she and His Majesty took the thrones for this current reign. Seeing the Society and the mechanics of running a Reign through their eyes, eyes that are still bright and shiny and full of wonder at this game we play, is something that fills Her Majesty’s own heart and eyes with love.
Another topic that lights up Her Majesty’s face, and something she describes as “one of the best parts of being a Queen” is seeing the look on people’s faces as you recognize them for their hard work by giving them an award.
Having the privilege of creating moments for people is one of the most important and best part of being Queen for Anna. To those who would aspire to wear the crown some day Her Majesty would remind them that though it is a great job, a fun job, it is still a job, and it requires engagement seven days a week to support and sustain “the dream” for an entire kingdom. It’s not all “parties and prezzies and awards”
One lesson that she has learned over the years is that “People are far more capable and willing to do things than you think they are…all you have to do is ask them nice… Just be kind.”
When asked what inspires her to keep returning to this role, she answers simply, and with a sincere, warm smile in her eyes: “My Duke…” later she would elaborate and say “I am very grateful for the love and respect that Brion shows in me that he keeps doing this… that he keeps asking me to join him.”
Filed under: History, Interviews Tagged: History, HRM Anna, Royal History, royals, royalty
It is with an incredibly heavy heart, and Baroness Rynea Ingen of Stormsport’s permission, that We announce the passing of Baron Rodrigo de la Vega.
Baron Rodrigo was a Baron of our Court and I personally enjoyed hospitality at his table more than once. His goodness and friendship to those that have the privilege to call him friend and family will be missed. Our Kingdom is less because of his death.
Viewings will be held Sunday March 26th from 2-4 pm and 7-9pm. There will be a memorial mass on Monday March 27th at 11am with full military honors following the mass. The funeral home is: Elkin’s Funeral Home, 65 South Lake Street, North East, PA 16428.
Immediately following the Services on Monday there will be a wake at the VFW at 28 Vine Street, North East, PA 16428.
With great sorrow,
Margerite & MarcusA GoFundMe account has been set up to assist with funeral arrangements.
Cannon fire to start and end the major battles at Pennsic is a long-standing and well loved tradition at Pennsic, but in recent years concerns have been repeatedly raised that it is distressing to some of our military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder or related issues as a result of their service.
A compromise is being proposed, in which a warning would be broadcast to gentles who request it shortly before the cannon fires so that they can be prepared for the sound rather than being startled by it. The organizers are seeking volunteers to help implement the system at Pennsic this year.
In brief, the plan involves using a messaging application to deliver alerts in real time to people who sign up to receive them, either as email or as SMS (text) messages. One will be sent out very shortly before each round of cannon fire.
The volunteers are needed primarily to assist with the process of getting the phone numbers/emails entered into a database which the application will use to disseminate the alerts.
This information comes to us courtesy of the Aethelmearc Gazette. For more information read the complete article on their site: https://aethelmearcgazette.com/2017/03/22/whilst-the-cannons-fire-pennsic-and-ptsd/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true
It discusses both the application to be used, the process by which the organizers came to settle on this approach, and the motivations and experience of the organizers. It’s an eye-opening and graphic window into the effects of the cannon fire on people for whom explosions are a stress trigger.
If you wish to support the effort, contact information for the organizers can be found there as well.
Filed under: Pennsic Tagged: cannon, Pennsic
A Damaged Defense – Ly Fenris McGill
Quill Pen Making (2 hours) – THL Robert l’Etourdi
Using the Guidonian Hand Scroll for Gregorian Chant – THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne
Calligraphy 101 – THL Julianna Stafford
Dagger for Dummies – Simon Caminante
Making Fencing Armor – Ly Fenris McGill
Gilded Letters Part 1 – Mistress Alicia Langland
Noon – LUNCH (from the kitchen of Bjorn Grimsson)
ABCs of Youth Fencing – Baron Edward Harbinger & Baroness Anastasie de L’Amoure
Gouache 101 – Ly Felice de Thornton
Now What? Effective Documentation for Competition – Unnr in Elska a Fjarfella
At a Loss for Words – Baroness Ekaterina
Basics of SCA Fencing – Pan Henryk Bogusz
Working with a Quill Pen – THL Robert l’Etourdi
Understanding Tournament Trees – Baroness Ekaterina
Ready, Set, Teach! – Mistress Alicia Langland & Mistress Cori Ghora
Becoming a Fencing Marshal – Pan Henryk Bogusz
Shuji: Taking the Brush – Japanese Calligraphy (2 hours) – Mistress Sólveig Þróndardóttir
Illumination for the Artistically Inept – THL Julianna Stafford
Running the Gate/Troll – Baroness Anastasie de L’Amoure
Your First Authorization – Pan Henryk Bogusz
A Guide to Field Heraldry – Ly Petronilla Goodwin
Gilded Letters Part 2 – Mistress Alicia Langland
Thus it was that Their Majesties, Brion and Anna, did travel far, and attend the twenty-sixth Gulf Wars in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann.
During their visit to such far lands, they did see fit to hold a court.
The following gentles were named to the Company of the Pennon of the East:
Cristoff Gockerhan von Loch, called “Clockwork”
Tysha Z Kieva
Fortune St. Keyne
Elizabeth Elenore Lovell
His Highness Ioannes Aurelius Serpentius
Her Highness Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt
Samuel Peter DeBump, called “Speedbump”
Their Majesties Brion and Anna proceeded then to exchange with their cousins Roger and Zanobia, King and Queen of the West, many wonderful gifts.
Their Majesties called into their court Brannat Dub, called “Raven”. They spoke of her long service to waterbearing and general fighter support, and named her a Baroness of their Court.
This closed the court of Their Majesties, Brion and Anna.
Other crowns in attendance did hold courts at Gulf Wars. At the court of the Kingdom of the Middle, Their Majesties Edmund and Kateryn did call Elizabeth Elenore Lovell. They spoke of her efforts on the rapier field, and awarded her a Dragon’s Tooth.
It has been my privilege to record the honors received by many who travelled such a long ways from home.
Malcolm Bowman, Brigantia Principal Herald
Filed under: Court Tagged: court report, Gulf Wars
A few days ago, Duchess Avelina made changes to the Awards Recommendation form to make the recommendation process more user friendly.
1) Users now have the option to print their submissions for their records. At the end of the survey, there is a link “Print Your Answers”. If the user clicks this link, a *.PDF will open. The user can then either print or save that file for their records. It was asked if we could have email notifications, but the software had some issues with that. This should give users the confirmation of submissions. It should be noted that, submission does not mean that the Royalty *will* take action. It is only confirmation that the recommendation was received.
2) In response to some loved ones of awards recipients not being notified, a field was added: “Does this candidate have a spouse/partner/other loved one that should be notified should the Royalty act on this recommendation?”
Any questions or concerns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: awards
Master Philip announces the 5th Annual Unoffical Pennsic Half Marathon! Will you join us? Princess Signy Heri of Atlantia and Countess Thora Heri of The Outlands started this fun run five years ago as a way to encourage fitness in a fun and challenging way.
Their inspiration for the race? If you can run 13.1 miles before the start of war week then you will be fully prepared to have as much fun as you want the rest of the war. You will have the stamina to enjoy all pick up fights, and bouts, and battles. Dance all you need. Shop at all the places. Walk all over Pennsic for all the parties. Rune Stone Hill would not even slow you down.
What’s the course look like?
The estimated 13-mile course (it is medievally inexact!) consists of three loops around the entire Pennsic campground, plus one smaller loop around the Serengeti. Runners meet in front of the old Chirurgeon’s Point (Services Area) at 8 am on Saturday August 5th. Thanks to Mistress Genoveva von Lübeck of the Middle we also have a course map for runners to review in advance. Check it out: halfmarathonmap2
Water is available from the Services Area (old Chirurgeon’s Point)…but runners are expected to supply their own water /sports drink/snack needs. We will pass the Services Area (old Chirurgeon’s Point) three times at roughly 4.5 mile intervals.
Are there pace requirements? Not at all! If 13.1 miles sounds like too much, that’s okay! Join us for one loop. Or even two! Everyone is welcome! Walkers also!
This is a group run, not a race. No times will be kept. The goal is fitness as part of the SCAdian lifestyle. All are welcome. Wearing medieval-style tunics instead of modern running clothes is encouraged.
Last year we had over 40 people start and do some amount of activity. And we amazingly had over 20 finishers!
Is there a medal? Of course there is a medal! Pictured is the Half Finishers Medal made in the style of a pilgrim’s badge by Mistress Serafina Alamanni from the Kingdom of Meridies. She is already in the planning stages of making the one for this year.
Now is a great time to start training. Here are some things to consider:
* Try to get outside and start getting adjusted to the heat. It will be hot!
* Get used to running in the sun! Wear sunscreen and consider a hat.
* Run some hills. We will be tackling a *lot* of hills.
* Don’t rely on a treadmill. Make sure you are getting used to running on the roads. It makes a difference.
Join the fun on Social Media too. We have a Facebook group under “Unofficial Pennsic Half Marathon”. Send a request and join!
We look forward to walking or running with you soon!
Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic Tagged: Pennsic
(March 24 Update: Volunteers who wish to discuss the suggested SMS messaging system and/or help with data entry are invited to join the new Facebook group Pennsic Messaging System Progress.)
Have you gone to Pennsic? Are there sounds and sensations at War that make the experience everything you had hoped for, making indelible memories that stay with you throughout the year until you can return? Have you fought on the field or walked through the merchant’s area and heard the cannons fire in the distance? You might flinch and look up, or you may do nothing at all.
Or, if you are like a rather large portion of the Pennsic population, you may dive for cover, start to sweat, or lose your field of vision as you are transported back to bad places you thought were still somewhere overseas.
For many of us, the cannons are more than just a sound that signifies the start or end of a battle; they trigger an internal battle we have with post-traumatic stress (PTS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and/or anxiety.
I have heard many talking points while discussing the cannons with people over the past five years or so, ever since I stopped fighting and began watching the battle with the eyes of someone who’d been in it. I had just come off of several deployments, some of which were pretty hairy; others which were scary and anxiety riddled due to my line of work and the bodies I had to confront. I found fighting at Pennsic to be the exact outlet I needed and loved the camaraderie I encountered both on and off the field.
But as I came to know my friends and fellow fighters, I began to notice their tics and twitches, their wild-eyed looks, and the association of those reactions with the cannon fire.
I thought I was the only one who was twitchy before and after the battle, the only one who dropped low when the cannons went off, the only one who would sweat not from the heat but from the excessive beating of my heart.
I found that I would focus on one or two people during a battle and as long as they were nearby at the start of battle, I was good to go. Admittedly, this is not a good strategy for fighting, but it was a game and a way to play the game.
After I was injured and began my off-field fight with a physical handicap that prevented me from ever again taking to the field; I started to really focus on my friends and the environment around us. I started photographing them and the fighting.
That’s when I really saw it: the low, sudden head and shoulder drop, the hunched bodies, the jerkiness and wide glassy eyes when the cannons would fire. I decided to find out if this was a real problem, or something that was minor and affecting only a few fighters on the sidelines of the field.
I want to clarify something first: I don’t have PTSD per se, since that is a non-specific umbrella term for a group of PTS-related conditions. What I have is designated “PTS with distinct triggers,” which sends me back to places or events that initiated the stress response.
(Editor’s Note: The following contains graphic description of real battle experiences.)
My stress issues originated from two events combined with a lot of other bad experiences that solidified the stressors in my psyche. The first event was dealing with mass graves while in Iraq. I was the only one on my team without kids in my family, so I was chosen to evaluate and document the remains of children killed during the al-Anfal campaign by Saddam Hussein. The tiny remains lay two per table, on every table in my pathology lab. Seventy-five percent of our forensic population were children under the age of 13, with an average of 24 bullet wounds per child. If this wasn’t stressful enough, we were shot at constantly and our lab was placed next to the base wall, along a road where IEDs were commonplace.
One day, an IED caught some Marines coming through the gate. After the cloud and debris settled, I found their engine block, along with pieces of the driver, deposited right outside my lab door. I had to process that by convincing myself it was, “Nothing to be upset about, just get back to work”, which I did…18 hours a day, seven days a week, for nearly two and a half years.
The second stressor makes being in large crowds difficult if I cannot see an exit. It’s because on our sister base, Camp Victory, there was a huge PX (imagine a mini-Walmart in the middle of a military base) where we would go to “relax” because it was away from the mass graves we were working on. We’d go to the PX and shop or eat junk food at the several trailer-sized fast food places parked outside the PX. One day while drinking coffee I saw an Iraqi man, who appeared to work in one of the trailers, counting his paces and then talking to someone on a phone. He did this several times and I pointed it out to my friend and one of the base soldiers. I was told to mind my own business. I watched this man for an hour and even got close to hear him pace counting under his breath. I reported him again to no avail. I left and went back to work feeling a little disturbed.
That night I was invited to a cookout for a unit that, after 18 months, was going home. I went to the party and sat down to eat burgers while hearing the stories of all the soldiers who were going home. One was Sergeant Ramos, a grizzled soldier in his mid-thirties who had described a rough deployment but said he had an 18-month-old baby girl at home who had been born after he’d deployed. He had never held her in his hands. He wanted something to take with him to give to her; so without remembering the Iraqi man, I told him about the stuffed teddy bears in the PX. It was 6 p.m. (1800 hours). He finished his burger and drove off to the PX to grab a bear before he had to report to the tarmac at 2000 hours. I received word at 18:30 that the PX had been mortared twice and there were heavy casualties. The PX was fully caved in on the one side… the side where the teddy bears were located. Sgt. Ramos died on impact with his side SAPI plates embedded in his chest wall.
I had sent him there.
To this day, I cannot be in big box stores without seeing the exits or knowing how to get out if something were to happen. Years have passed and I work to recognize what stresses me so I can avoid them. I am much, much, better than I used to be, and typically have no stress responses at all.
Merchanting: A New Perspective of the Problem
About three years ago, I became a merchant and set up shop along the side off the Darkyard encampment, near the North Gate. I was right across from the battlefield and was able to talk to fighters before battle and after, as well as able to see the fighting.
I was surprised at how LOUD the cannons were from where I was located. I dealt with the anxiety and kept note of the battle times, set an alarm on my phone… but somehow there was still cannon fire that I could not anticipate. I would be so stressed and tired at the end of the day that I’d pass out as soon as it was dark.
The following year, I had to determine if it was financially worth coming back, but with my business picking up I realized I couldn’t afford to skip Pennsic. So, I dealt with the cannons a second year.
I asked more and more people if they were bothered by the cannon fire and started hearing stories of people who were not fighters but who either couldn’t come to War (often, or every year) due to the cannons, or couldn’t bring people with them (like children) because of the sound.
I encountered people with service dogs who had to cage them for hours from their anxiety (which would then trap the human in camp with the dog), non-PTS sufferers who developed anxiety from the cannons and only experienced it at Pennsic, and even a gentleman who wore tight earplugs during battles and walked around War deaf in order to avoid the sounds of the blasts!
Pennsic War is one of those places I call “home.” I have been attending for 25 years and have loved every time I have gone. Two of those years I paid just so I could attend for one day before deploying again. I mentioned that I fought for a time, but most of my years were as a photographer and partier, and all-around “troublemaker.” I’m part of a house known as the “Drunks on the Hill” and I am the Instigator of Shenanigans. I have met so many people at War these 25 years and have the most amazing stories for each event.
I can honestly say that for most of my years after the deployments, I just dealt with the cannons and “sucked it up” with alcohol and bold stories. That is why I can say without reservation that I have been there, done that, heard it, and likely said it.
I understand all the reasons why we want the cannons to be at War, and all the reasons we also fear the noise.
But here is my one point, the one that sticks in my head, has led me down the path that I am undertaking, and the point of my story:
Pennsic is a vacation, a game, a home, and for many of us, a livelihood.
In none of those descriptions should a sound negate our enjoyment or our ability to earn a living.
During my third year of merchanting, I was invited to move into a permanent spot directly across from the battlefield along Currie Road. I jumped at the chance to be in such a great spot and gave no thought to the cannons. I figured I’d be further away and therefore, would not hear them as much.
Boy, was I wrong.
The area where I am located is right in line with the cannons and in the direct trajectory of the sound blast, making me the recipient of an incredibly loud BOOM.
I had the best spot for a merchant, but the worst spot for someone with trigger-related stress.
I was grateful to have a neighbor who not only recognized what I was experiencing but also had observed the reaction of his friends and customers to sudden cannon fire. He too had been trying for years to figure out how to resolve the situation within the SCA. I had found an ally.
Pennsic has, on average, 11,000+ people in attendance. So, being a “fix it” person, I decided last year to undertake the discovery of a solution.
I began interviewing people so that I would have information to take to the cannoneers. My merchant neighbor Alan (Alanus) worked with me to figure out who we needed to speak to and what assets were available.
Our first try was to drive up to the hill and talk to the cannoneers. It was, for lack of a better term, unsuccessful. When a cannon was fired close to me, with only a short warning, I lost it (I do apologize for my language, gentlemen!). After seeing an example of the problem, the cannoneers volunteered several helpful suggestions.
So, Alan and I took this information to the Mayor of Pennsic to find out ways to proceed. We spoke with him at length over cigarettes (his, not mine), and he agreed that a signal system would be a good method of notification since the usual means of communication like the newspaper, posters, and several different sound-based signal systems had been tried in the past and had not worked. The Mayor told us whom we needed to speak with for next year and told us he was scheduled to be the Deputy Mayor for Martial Activities (which includes the oversight of the logistics for the Gunners) for the battles at Pennsic War 46. This was a great start; we just needed to find the method for notification delivery.
Alan and I spent the rest of Pennsic 45 figuring out ways to warn people of impending cannon fire, what the timing was between a marshal’s call to end the battle, radio time for the Signal Corps to notify the cannoneers, and the time it took to fire the cannons.
Alan and I had several people in our booths who’d come in to shop and instead found themselves taking cover under our tables. The worst was when the cannons fired outside regularly scheduled times. I found myself losing customers either due to my “zoning out” or having full anxiety attacks and having to have an employee take over while I left the booth to de-stress.
I don’t drink much, at least not anymore, but at this War I was downing bottles of wine as fast as I could in order to calm down. That isn’t a solution I was willing to continue or prescribe for anyone else. The situation just strengthened my resolve. I dug in my heels.
Understand this: I don’t want the cannons to go away.
Nor do I want the fun of the cannoneers, the Signals Corps, or the fighters to be subdued.
What I want is a notification system to be put in place so that people like me — my neighbors, the veterans, the handicapped people with service dogs that freak out, the attendees with minor autism, the victims of violent crimes, and the hundreds of others I have encountered — can attend and enjoy Pennsic but with proper notification so that they can brace themselves or prepare for the sounds.
What is intolerable is any discussion that includes the words “If it bothers you that much, just stop coming to Pennsic.”
I started a Facebook thread (on the Pennsic War 45 group) asking for ideas. I wanted to know how far the sound travelled across the site and who was affected by the noise. I will say that for every post on Facebook where I was told “go home,” “if you can’t handle it, don’t play,” or “suck it up,” there were many more that encouraged me to find a solution for the benefit of all who consider Pennsic an important part of their life. I concluded we weren’t going to make everyone happy, and both Alan and I are okay with that.
At the end of Pennsic 45, the bottom line was that a solution would be found, the cannons would continue to signal the beginning and end of battles, and notice would be given to those who need it in order to enjoy Pennsic.
The Proposed Solution: A New Beginning
After Pennsic was over, Alan and I kept in touch and continued to talk with those who would be involved in the notification system. All we were missing was a method of delivering an alert.
I am a member of the military reserves; one day at drill, our communications officer came to me to sign up for our new messaging system. I gave him my email, responded once I received the message from him; then download the app so I could receive instant texts. The messaging service is the same one used by several airlines to message their flight crews with notifications and flight time changes.
After testing the app, I wondered if it would work at Pennsic. I contacted Alan. He downloaded the app, created a test group, and found that we received notifications between five and 10 seconds after they were sent!
The messaging service will alert via the app or text via SMS, so the application does not have to be downloaded by the message recipient for the system to work. We then tested various locations to verify that cellular reception was not a problem. We received both text and online messages, which can be set to produce an audible warning, with a mere few seconds of delay!
Alan wrote step-by-step instructions on how to deploy the system and presented them to the rest of our SCA project team for comment. The system can handle a communications group of several thousand individuals and will require only someone to collect and upload the phone numbers of participants. The notification of impending cannon fire will need to be sent by a Signal Corps member or by a cannoneer a short time before the cannon is fired.
Mind you, when Alan and I were testing this application I was in Virginia and he was in a remote cabin in Washington State. We know the time given to participants in the messaging system will be enough for them to set down their drinks, cage a cannon-sensitive dog, hold a child, go into a quiet place, or do whatever they need to do to prepare.
We need volunteers willing to manually enter phone numbers into laptop database either at registration or at troll.
The system admin will upload data to a dedicated cellphone the weekend before War Week with upload of additional phone numbers daily throughout War Week. We know this will work and we know there is room for improvement, but it’s the start of a solution.
With all the very best intentions for the Society and the greater comfort of the citizens of Pennsic. We remain,
Amani Ahmed Mash’al al-Sabti al-Dulaymi of the Most Glorious Ottoman Empire, owner and proprietor of Silvertree Souq
Alanus of Bunghea, owner and proprietor of Nordic Trader
(For more information or to get involved in the project, email Amani.)
Doña Gabrielle de Winter invites gentles from throughout Æthelmearc to join the good folk of the Shire of Silva Vulcani at some upcoming demonstrations.
California University of Pennsylvania is full of demo opportunities this April. I thought it would be an excellent time to give you the low-down, in case you are free and would like to participate.
Diada de Sant Jordi, April 27th, 10:00-3:00 (Thursday)
Saint George’s day is a very important holiday in Spain – a day of books, roses, and romance. Last year, we had dancing, arts and sciences, and fencing, and were considered one of the most important aspects of the event. This year, we already have wonderful scribal talent from the Bog, fencers, and dancers have already signed up to come, but we would be thrilled to welcome more people. High school students will be bused in, so the age range is high school to college.
A Trip Through Time, April 29th, 11:00-4:00 (Saturday)
This is a major reenactment event, advertised to schools, public libraries, VFWs, and more. The age range is open – anyone with an interest in history is invited. We already have a Civil War Encampment, Scottish dancers will be joining our medieval ones, people portraying French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, hands-on demos of primitive food preparation, and fencing. I would love to add anything to this mix – to introduce the people coming here to the wide range of reenactment and living history opportunities.
There are reasons why these came so close together. Several people were given minor grants in order to have events on campus to help assist with bringing people to Cal U and recruiting new students. Unfortunately, all of our timelines came together (I started planning mine in November). It also means that I had to grab what space I could, and so had to pick a rather unfortunate date that coincided with Blackstone Raids. I understand that there is a lot going on, but I could not pass up any opportunity to both bring the SCA to a new audience and show the University how useful and awesome the College of Silva Vulcani (known to them as the Medieval Club and the Fencing Club) is and how we support the university. If you can come to any of these, I would be grateful, because the more support we have, maybe the more people we will recruit? In any case, it will be lovely to see you.
On March 5th, the Fiber Guild of the Barony-Marche of Debatable Lands (BMDL) conducted a demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This was the second demo conducted at this site by the Barony within the last three months. The theme this time was medieval weaving and was held in the Museum’s MAKESHOP. MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.
The Guild members were honored to be invited to be the guest artisans for the weaving program. Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi of Sunderoak and Lady Beatrix of Anglesey of Ballachlagan demonstrated medieval weaving techniques to curious kids and their grown-ups, assisted by Lady Luceta di Cosimo of the Debatable Lands.
We displayed a full size warp-weighted loom, a tablet weaving set up, and a sprang frame, as well as pre-made samples. The kids and adults who wanted to take something home could make little cardboard looms and weave with bits of yarn.
There were dozens of visitors, weaving samples, playing with the looms and asking questions. One of the MAKESHOP staff artists was a tablet weaver himself. He was particularly interested in learning how to weave letters and Mistress Mahin taught an impromptu tablet weaving class.
It was wonderful to be back at the Museum, and we are looking forward to more skill demos at this location. Thanks go out to the Museum staff for inviting us and sharing their MAKESHOP space, to Mistress Mahin and Lady Beatrix for sharing their skills, and to Sydney, Jacob, and Karl of Sunderoak for warping the looms for the demo, even though they couldn’t be there the day of the demo.
A related article written by WORKSHOP staff member Colin Williams can be found here.
The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.
An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.
The results from the December 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings can be found here.
Filed under: Announcements, Heraldry
I’ve always felt archery was more fun with 3D or moving targets.
Like the squirrel that falls over, this whole target is only 12 inches tall. Thinking bigger would be better, I made a multiple fish target that was over 3 feet tall.
In my backyard, which is wind free, it worked perfectly, but on an open range I found out it didn’t work quite so well. Every time the wind blew, the target fell over, and I realized I had built a giant sail. I took it home and added more weight to the base. In the next two pictures you can see that, when struck, it would rock backward but not completely fall over.
But sometimes it would rock forward, fall over, and break any arrows already stuck in it. Not good!
Finally, I realized that anything over a foot tall just doesn’t work properly. This was one of those times I learned more from making a mistake. So when you’re building, make sure the target won’t damage other archers’ equipment.
I just want to remind everybody that I’ll be at the unofficial Archery Muster at Earl Byron and Countess Ariella’s castle in Wexford on April 9. In addition, I will be Marshal-in-Charge at Blackstone Raid, where the prize is a bow and all the extra equipment to go with it.
I have been asked if people can repost my articles, and the answer is yes! The things I write are for the enjoyment and the safety of all archers of all kingdoms, so feel free to use any information I put in this article.
This month’s safety tip: be sure to warm up if you’re going out to shoot for the first time, and don’t shoot for more than 30 minutes until you get back into shape.
‘Til next month, in service,
THL Derek Archer
From Countess Elena d’Artois:
[Thursday] morning in the Everyman tourney Mathias made it out of his round robin pool only to be taken out in the top 8 of a 40 person tourney!!
[Thursday] afternoon the rapier army of 11 from Æthelmearc had one job. Get the right-hand flag and keep it.
We. Did. Our. Job.
At the outset of the melee, Robert Hawksworth and Mathias Al Tabai set the pace ! They were the first to the flag and they slowed the opponents long enough for our main force to approach and take possession for the lion’s share of the battle. The combined forces of Trimaris, Northsheild, Meridies, Atlantia and Æthelmearc took home a decisive victory, but our worthy opponents truly made us work for it.
Acts of heroism and prowess included Mistress Illadore and Countess Elena each rolling the enemy lines at separate times to retake flags that had been lost. Count Byron of Haverford, Master Anias Fenne, and Duke Titus Germanicus used their melee expertise and leadership to solidly control the flag we were assigned. Kudos to Kara Burkhart, Don Jacob of Dunmore, Brehan Lapidario, and Lady Cairdha Eilis O’Coileain on their battlefield awareness and willingness to go wherever there was a problem, to support and hold weak points and, in many cases, turn the tide.
Our contingent was small but mighty. We worked extremely well with our friends from Trimaris.
And an especial kudos to all who fought this war point. The combat was tactically brilliant, well planned and chivalric. All were a joy to fight.
Many of the rapier army participated in the Rose tourney [Friday] morning. I do not know how all of them did. When i find put i will post a supplement.
On the rattan field our unit was asked to gain and hold a bridge until such time as help could come from the back field. Each time we united with either the Midrealm or Northshield to do just that. We did “fight in the shade” in 2 passes as we were peppered by combat archers. We were successful in our mission. Those times we did have breakouts on our bridge we beat them back successfully. Kudos especially to Sir Marek on his hero moment facing 3 enemies and besting them in the backfield. Kudos to Baroness Beatrix on her field command. Kudos to Master Anias on his spear work in the last bridge. And kudos to Sir Maghnus in the fort for taking out the enemy King with his first ballista shot!
We are small, but we are mighty. Vivant to all the combatants!!
Final report from the cabin [on Saturday morning]. We have quit the field. Camp is broken down and clear. The wagon is loaded and intrepid heroes are on their various paths home.
Safe and brief travels to all. We anticipate arrival in the Debatable Lands in the wee hours of the morning not too terribly long after sunrise.
A good war. Ending with the only truly hot shower of the entire week. Simple joys.
From Baroness Beatrix Krieger:
Æthelmearc was small, mighty, and gallant in the Ravine. Recognized throughout the Known World for our cause. Well done!
Æthelmearc stood bravely in the Ravine with Clovenshield, Trimaris, Northshield, Atlantia, and [our] Allies, and faced a vast army of Calontir, Midrealm, East, Western Alliance, and their Allies, who stood to take possession of banners. The small but mighty contingent of Æthelmearc repelled our foes time and time again, and helped push the enemies back against the tides of shields, arrows, and spears. We were divided for a period to aid in two places, and we were able to stave off the mighty enemy. Though we numbered thirteen on the field, the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was recognized time and time again for melee skills, command, capability, and honor.
[On Friday] Æthelmearc fought on the bridges with our allies, the Mid and Northshield, with ferocity, helping to press the enemy and duel with our foes. We would hold off their pulses, buying time for our allies to sweep the center bridge. Our battalion was small but useful. We served our allies well, helping to acquire 3 victories to gain the point for Trimaris. The last battle, for fun, was also a victory for Trimaris.
One of the coolest moments at any SCA event, war, etc., EVER was something I got to watch [Friday] and something I had nothing to do with in any capacity. Between the bridges and the fort battles, they held a youth bridge battle. The children had an opportunity to fight two bridge battles against members of the chivalry. It was amazing. The kids stepped up without fear, and closed against the chivalry with a desire to crush the opposing forces. In both passes, the chivalry were slain to the last man, and each of the kids, varying in age, fought with courtesy, chivalry, and skill. It was a privilege to watch, it embodied the dream of the Society. Absolutely amazing.
We fought in the Fort battles, first attacking, then defending. Our numbers had dwindled somewhat, but nonetheless we fought bravely. Æthelmearc divided to aid our allies and crashed the shields in the side doors. To defend, Æthelmearc fought well, dying to the last man defending the side gates. We were not successful in taking the castle in the fastest time.
Æthelmearc: be proud of those who came on Crusade. To those who stood fiercely with our allies and served their Crowns, their kingdom, and each other with honor, be proud. You humbled and honored me.
Many have departed, including your Gulf Wars Warlord, for home. Safe drive for all, see you soon. War ends [Saturday], and the warriors of Sylvan Æthelmearc will be back to defend their homeland from invaders soon enough.
Names to remember for standing on the field: Baroness Gwen, THL Thorsol, THL Roland, Countess Elena, Sir Angus, Duke Titus, Duchess Morgen, Master Robert, Count Byron, Sir Marek, Master Anias, Sir Maghnus, Sir Koredono, Lord Random, Sir Graedwyn (in spirit), Nissan, Ben, THL Edward, and Master Jussie.
From Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne:
[On Wednesday], we had a tragedy! The oven for pie baking had an issue due to an o-ring, so we did not have pie. We made apples in wine instead.
[Thursday] was a great day – entirely due to to Æthelmearc ‘s amazing skill and strategy, our side also won both the heavy and rapier Ravine War Point. Thursday was also steak night, with THLady Pippi in charge. We also served fettuccini with parmesan and butter, spinach salad, more snow, and finally cheese and fruit slices for dessert. Friday night was chicken in orange glaze, farfalle with green sauce (pesto), and bread pudding with berries for dessert.
All combatants and consorts wishing to participate in the Crown Tournament of Ioannes and Honig are reminded that letters of intent are due in two weeks, by April 1.
Details of the submission process were previously published in the Gazette as follows:
Filed under: Announcements
Unto glorious Æthelmearc do Timothy and Gabrielle, Prince and Princess send warm greetings,
Prior to moving here, the SCA had lost much of its magic for us. Once we got to Æthelmearc , we found ourselves once again enjoying all the wonders that the Society has to offer. But we understand that isn’t the experience that everyone has here. Like any large organization it can be easy to feel left out or left behind if you aren’t part of the “in” crowd. We have always endeavored to treat everyone, regardless of rank, with courtesy and kindness, and are pleased that so very many of everyone in this kingdom does the same.
However, with many thousands of members, sometimes personality conflicts arise. Members with different ideas of how things should be compete with one another and typically, one comes out on top. This can cause many fine people to become disillusioned and leave, taking with them a little piece of our magic. We have solicited for ideas, and continue to do so, as to what we can do to bring people back into the fold. As you can imagine, we received quite a bit of feedback. There were many ideas, many of which (big surprise) were in direct conflict with one another. Setting those aside for now, there was one large, over-arching theme, the cliquish nature of the organization makes our warm welcome, while not the sole exception, far from the norm, even for people whose first experience with the society is in Æthelmearc .
There are several steps we would like to implement to try and correct this situation. First and simplest, for the duration of our reign, we would welcome those with Peerages into the Grant level order meeting along that track Knight/Gage, Pelican/Millrind, Laurel/Fleur, Mod/WS. Further, we invite those who have the equivalent Grant level award from other kingdoms to join us in our order meetings. We welcome PMs discussing this matter, as we will be considering adding this to kingdom law. These members have valuable contributions, and why should we exclude them simply because they have not had the good fortune to spend their entire SCA career in Æthelmearc?
Second, and more difficult, concerns the single largest facet of the cliquish nature of our organization. There is no polite way to say this, so we will be blunt. There are more times than any of us care to admit that some of the more strong willed members of our polling orders can effectively and thoroughly block someone who is deserving of recognition in perpetuity. We clearly don’t know every personality conflict, we haven’t been present at every conversation where someone spoke rashly, or when a sentence was taken out of context. In the past, We have given awards to gentles we are familiar enough with to recognize that they have been blocked unfairly. As King and Queen, we had that right, and as Prince and Princess, we soon will once again, but not everyone is afforded the opportunity to correct injustices they perceive. So we would ask our citizens this: if you feel someone has been unfairly victimized in this fashion, make your best case to us. We certainly will not grant all of these requests, but we will honestly listen. It is easier to go into an order meeting and discuss a candidate if we understand some of the background and personality conflicts before people voice their opinions. Just please do this prior to our order meetings, so we have time to look into the background, and your case.
Finally, we want to see members of our polling orders actively fostering others. If you are a knight, or would like to be, go out and train newer fighter, whether they are your squire or not. If you are a Laurel or a Fleur, why wait for an Æcademy? Run a workshop or a guild. In short, mentor people. We should be shepherds, nurturing folks as they grow, rather than serving as goaltenders keeping them out of our Orders.
In service to Æthelmearc,
Timothy and Gabrielle
From craftsman to Queen, in the Middle Ages embroidery was part of the fiber of everyday life. Using materials from earthy wools to ethereal silk, gold, pearls, and precious stones, women as well as men devoted uncounted hours to embellishing and enriching their fabrics. The organizers of The Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: MORE Stitches in Time invite stitchers of all skill levels to spend the weekend of March 31-April 2 immersing themselves in the study and practice of these exquisite techniques. This unique all-you-can-embroider event offers short classes on specialized topics, long detailed “kit” classes on beloved styles, and a chance to spend time with others who love the art of the needle. This year’s classes will feature a both a Beginners’ Track and a Scandinavian Track.
Those arriving Friday night may choose to spend the evening chatting and stitching in the large meeting room. It’s a great chance to share favorite suppliers, talk about tools in your embroidery kit, and get to know others from far away. (FUN FACT: Last year’s attendees came from five Kingdoms!). A hearty breakfast will set the stage for Saturday’s activities, which begin with a Keynote Address — “Dismantling Musiaphobia: learning to approach museum collections with confidence” — by Patrikia Maria Agrissa Sgourina. Maria, herself a life-long stitcher, is interested in embroidery styles that span the centuries, from early- to late-period. She received her Laurel in 2004 for her research, especially in Byzantine and Sassanid clothing and culture before the year 1000 CE. A full day of learning follows, starting with these one-hour classes Saturday morning:
After a break for lunch, students will spend the afternoon in their pre-selected “kit” class, where they will not only learn the skills needed to complete their hands-on project but will also spend ample time working on the project. “Kit” class options include:
To enable instructors to provide students individual attention, “kit” classes have size limits. Once a class is filled, no more students will be accepted in that class. Some classes are nearly filled, so for the best selection, we encourage you to mail your event registration today. (Please note that the “kit” classes require pre-payment; we will email you instructions on how to register for your “kit” class upon receiving your event registration.)
In addition to the classes, the event will also offer an all-day Embroidery Display Area, where entrants can get feedback on their work and where everyone can be inspired. A Reference Library of on-loan embroidery books will be available to peruse all day. (The library will be staffed, and books will not leave the library area.). In the afternoon, the Stitching Solar will give students an option to sit and stitch in good company while others are in class. Returning from last year by popular request, we will break for Tea after the “kit” classes end. Following the tea, the Embroidery Display Show-and-Tell will allow us the chance to chat with those whose work we admire.
To help defray our out-of-Kingdom teachers’ travel expenses, a Silent Auction will be held. Attendees are encouraged to bring excess and unwanted embroidery supplies and books – or SCAdianly-useful items — for the auction. (After all, your no-longer-wanted items might be just what someone is looking for!) All proceeds from the Silent Auction will be split among the out-of-Kingdom teachers.
After Feast – once again prepared under the direction of Lady Elizabetta Tempesta, our Head Cook from last year — an Embroidered Fashions Show will let us hear about the lovely garments we’ve been admiring all day. Those who didn’t get their fill of stitching during the day will be welcome to spend what’s left of the evening stitching and schmoozing in the large meeting room.
On Sunday morning, following breakfast, Lady Shirin of Susa will offer a class on Teaching Fiber Arts.
Does this sound like the event you’ve been dreaming of? Then please mail your event registration TODAY!Event registration (includes 4 meals, served family-style, plus lodging) is as follows:
Feast spaces are nearly full, so we urge you to mail your event registration today to avoid disappointment!
Please make your check payable to “SCA PA Inc. — Shire of ACG” and send it, along with the requested information listed below, to THL Aibell ingen Dairmata, c/o Lea Wittie, 913 Colonial Lane, Lewisburg PA 17837.
Kindly include the following with your event registration:
Bunk spaces in the heated cabins are filled on a first-paid, first-served basis. Those needing access to electricity should request a bottom bunk near an outlet.
The event will be held at the same site as last year, Boy Scout Camp Karoondinha, 225 Thomas Dam Road, Millmont PA 17845-9448 (GPS Coordinates: 40.85630, -77.2547) Please note that the site does not permit alcohol.
Questions? Please contact the autocrat, Mistress Alicia Langland (email@example.com)
Want more info? Visit:
Countess Elena d’Artois reports:
An uneasy truce has been called to rest the troops and tend the wounded. In the quiet of mid-day our heroic champions on each side tested themselves upon the prowess and chivalry of the noble best that our cousins to the west had to offer. For rapier, Duke Titus Germanicus, the death bringer and Dark Knight of Æthelmearc, stood for our side. He fought valiantly and with great chivalry, but was bested after a very long exchange. In the Meridian Rose Tourney THLord Thorsol Solinauga fought for me and did fabulously well. He made it past the first round successfully against a formidable opponent. The second round saw him bested but he made the poor chap pay dearly for the victory. He fought with honor and courtesy. A spectacular showing!!
Wednesday morning Robert Hawksworth, Don Jacob of Dunmore, and I started the day early at 9 am fighting in the street brawl in Verona. I was on the Capulet’s team and the gentlemen were on the Montegue’s team. Good melee. Good schticky fun. Good fellowship. Both of the gentlemen did a great job, including Don Jacob shanking me with his dagger as I tried to hide my weapons from the Night Watch. Karma came back to bite him as I killed him from behind in the next round.
Photos of the Street Brawl in Verona by Brehan Lapidario.
Baroness Beatrix Krieger reports:
Æthelmearc fought with ferocity and honor, with a troop fewer than 15 today to stand with our allies. Sides were evened and the Field Battles were on after opening ceremonies. The small battalion of Æthelmearc showed chivalry, bravery, and prowess on the battefield, and fought to the last man more than once. Æthelmearc was able to help win two of the five melees and stand with Trimaris, Northshield, and allies. It is a beautiful, cool, and sunny day, and while the day was not a victory for us or our noble allies on the heavy field, Æthelmearc was recognized by many to be a force to be reckoned with in every engagement.
Duke Titus Germanicus fought for Æthelmearc as the fencing representative for Heroic Champions [on Wednesday]. He was fierce, quick, and honorable, but was ultimately thwarted. Although he was not called upon to the heavy lyst for Champions, THL Thorsol Solinagua was to stand for the Allies for Æthelmearc. Afterwards, Thorsol represented Countess Elena in the Rose Tourney. He fought with ferocity, honor, and courtesy. He was eliminated, but fought for his Rose very well.
[Thursday] is the Ravine Battle at 11am. Vivat Æthelmearc!
Brahen Lapidario reports:
Since I didn’t make it to [the rapier] War Point, I took the opportunity to attend a class that compared meads made with ale yeast to those made with wine yeast. It was very interesting and I learned a lot (and drank a bit more than I learned, perhaps). But, I was a little disappointed that the experiment wasn’t better designed. The gentleman doing it used one recipe for all the meads made with ale yeast, and another recipe for those made with wine yeast. Thus, it was possible to compare ale yeast to ale yeast & wine yeast to wine yeast, but not ale yeast to wine yeast (which was the primary reason I attended the class).
There’s only one thing to do about it: run the experiment myself!
Milord Brehan also sent some photos, including Merchants’ Row, the Gode Bakery (run by Master Alastar Scott MacCrummin with assistance from his lady wife, Maistres Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon, and Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile), and the dog-powered “Great Machine” first unveiled at SCA 50 Year.Click to view slideshow.
Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne reports:
[On Tuesday], once again, Trimaris and her allies (including Æthelmearc) lost in the heavy battles, again in part due to superior numbers. However, the fighters enjoyed the battle and were happy to get hit people. On the rapier side, once again. Æthelmearc was victorious!
Æthelmearc won the Ballista Target competition [on Wednesday] with Sir Maghnus de Cnoc an Iora and Bryheres Gwendolyn the Graceful manning the ballista.Click to view slideshow.
Several rapier fighters also participated in the Green Tavern Brawl for fun.
The three AE Baronesses decide to try to win the Shopping Warpoint for Aethelmearc. [Wednesday] night’s dinner was again from Scappi; I’m cooking From Scappi all week and have requested that all participants come up with “Pope Facts” to discuss during dinner, as Scappi cooked for two Popes and several cardinals. Dinner included Beef stew, lentils with pepper and cinnamon, macaroni and cheese (its period!) marzipan, and pear and cheese pie.
One of the biggest factors is how cold it is. [Tuesday] night it dropped into the 30s. However, we are making do and are looking forward to it warming up later in the week