SCA news sites

What's New With Vikings! and more medieval news - Thu, 2017-02-02 21:18
We are back with doing roundups of the medieval news! Let's start with a few recent pieces for fans of all things Norse...

[View the story "What's New With Vikings! and more medieval news" on Storify]

And our image of the week is this zodiac sign of Aquarius in a 13/14th century manuscript

Image from e-codices / Flickr
Categories: History, SCA news sites

It is February, Here is Yet Another Bardic Reminder

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-01 11:48

Yet Another Bardic Reminder

It’s February 1st. You have only six days (until February 6th) to preregister with Mistress Alys Mackyntoich if you want to compete in the King’s and Queen’s Bardic Competition.

Because A&S and Bardic are being combined into the same event this year, it is essential that you pre-register to compete. If you show up on the day of the event, without having contacted me in advance, you will not be able to compete.

You pre-register by e-mailing me your name and a statement that you wish to complete, to

Filed under: Announcements, Events Tagged: announcements, bardic champions, events

Gulf Wars Gift Basket Request from Their Majesties

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-01 11:43

Greetings, Æthelmearc.

Their Royal Majesties, Marcus and Margerite, prepare for Gulf Wars March 11-17th, and I have the privilege of showcasing the skill and largess of our noble artisans as the gift coordinator. Ours is a special honor, the host Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. There are several projects underway to ensure Our King and Queen are beautifully represented, and I would like to welcome anyone interested in participating in these projects or who wishes to make a contribution of their choosing to contact me. As it is said, many hands make light work. For inspiration, King Caillin’s persona is Viking Era Irish, and Her Majesty Queen Danielle is French in the time of Charlemagne. While the focus is the gift exchange, there will be many other opportunities for Our Royalty to bring joy through gift giving. Tokens of inspiration, recognition, and gifts of admiration, all of which are typically surprise moments, are always appreciated. It’s a beautiful thing to be over-prepared.

I  am happy to provide ideas and guidance if you have questions, and support and encouragement if needed. Please remember to provide your name and contact information, either with the item or by sending an email or Facebook message to me. If your item is consumable, when possible list ingredients and expected expiration date if applicable. Documentation is always a welcome addition- this is an appreciative audience, but please don’t fret or let it deter your participation. Ideally, all largess for Gulf Wars that requires transport will be received by Sunday, March 5th, to ensure proper packing and shipping. I will be present at Gulf Wars to coordinate on site as well.

Yours in Service,
Countess Anna Leigh
(Kimberly Gamrod, 2304 Candace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15216)

For inspiration, here are some gifts generously donated for the basket Her Majesty took to Birka. Click each image to enlarge it and scroll through them.

Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Notes from Birka Curia

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-01-31 15:49

Photograph courtesy of The Honorable Lord Hugh Tauerner

The Gazette is extremely grateful to Lord Andreiko Eferiev and Lady Tomyris of Stonemarche for taking notes and providing an account of the discussions and transactions during the Curia held at A Market Day at Birka, January 29, 2017.

Agenda Item 1. Curia Opening
The King introduced the meeting by stating that many of the changes proposed are the result of the conversations held with the order meetings at Pennsic.

Agenda Item 2. Old Business
There was no old business.

Agenda Item 3. New Business

Agenda Item 3.1 Events: Bid Deadlines (page 4)
Revision to VIII.A.1. to extend the bid period for certain Kingdom Events to 24 months before the event date.
One of the challenges we often face when holding very large events is that the number of sites able to hold ~400 people is a very limited field and we are competing with wedding planners for event venues at that point in time. HE Jeanne de Robin pointed out that Spring Crown 2016 was a bid 3 years in the making, with HdG giving advance notice of their intentions and request for support from the rest of Tir Mara before making the bid.
The goal of this change is to allow us to plan farther in advance than our current bid schedule does by allowing us to schedule events farther in advance.
IKA: The West Kingdom already runs most of their Kingdom-level events this way.
One of the challenges for the Royalty is that the uncertainty present in our bid schedule prevents them from committing to visit small local events due to the possibility that they may end up running against Kingdom Championships.
Spring Crown 2017 Autocrat Galefridus noted that some sites won’t let you bid more than 4 months in advance, so the opposite problem is also true.
This change does not require event bids be done so far in advance, so the goal is to increase our flexibility. It is hoped we do not need to legislate thoughtfulness.
If the site needs a response by X date, the sitting Crown and Heirs on X date will have to choose whether to accept the bid, even if they will not be on the Thrones on the actual event date.
Event Coordinator Deputy THL Mairghread Ghearr (of the Seneschal’s Office) pointed out that we will need to increase our support infrastructure for event bids to help with Kingdom-level follow-through for advance bids and to ensure local groups are continuing their own ramp-up. We would also need to modify our event bid forms to take into account the increased vagaries of advanced bids.
Future Discussion Topic: Do we wish to continue with the current relatively short time-frame scheduling for Kingdom-level events like Coronation and Crown Tournament?
PROPOSAL PASSED UNCHANGED. Agenda Item 3.2 Events: Champions’ Tourneys (pages 4-5)
Revisions to VIII.A.5. through A.11. to create a region-exclusion condition for bids for champions tourneys; to create greater flexibility in the tourney scheduling date ranges; and to create greater consistency in tourney bid and decision deadlines; also section reorganization.
King Brion asked us to increase flexibility in scheduling Championships by having the same deadline for all events in a given Reign and by allowing all Championships in a given Reign to be run any time during that Reign.
Event Bid Officer supported the increased flexibility in Championship timing and the one bid deadline.
HRH Ioannes informed us that the Summer Reign is substantively planned but that the Championships are lagging behind the Crown’s other obligations in setting hard dates. Local  groups have also had difficulty with their events being rendered no longer feasible due to a Championship being scheduled opposite their event.
Concern was raised that the region-exclusion provision may be too restrictive and make things too difficult to schedule events. It is also noted that often local groups are asked by the Crown to re-run a Championship for a second or third year because no bid was received.
Because K&Q A&S is always in the winter, some cooking ingredients are unavailable for use in the competition. There are other activities that sometimes are weather- or seasonally-dependent.
IKA: Atenveldt schedules ALL Kingdom events for the first weekend of the month, leaving the other 40 weeks of the year free to local groups.
IKA: Trimaris holds all Kingdom-level events at the same site.
Future Discussion Topic: Do we as a Kingdom wish to continue deciding our Champions through dedicated events or do we wish to empower the Crown to select their own Champions through their own means? Are these events becoming more of a problem than a pleasure?
THE AMENDED PROPOSAL PASSED. Agenda Item 3.3 Earl Marshal / Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat (pages 2-3)
Revisions to several sections to create the Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat as a new Lesser Office, and separating the duties of the KMAC from those of the Earl Marshal.
King Brion introduced the topic by discussing the history of the Marshalate and how all of the Combat Arts are under the Earl Marshal’s auspices but that the Earl Marshal retains the additional responsibility of being the chief Marshal of the Heavy List. This sort of change has already been made at the Society Level.
The Heavy List Marshal will be responsible for running Crown Tournament and will be empowered to raise concerns to the Crown through the Earl Marshal.
There was a bit of discussion about the role of the Warlord and whether they were responsible for Pennsic et al. combat in general or rattan combat in foreign wars in specific.
IKA: Aethelmearc’s current Earl Marshal is a combat archer who has done wonderful things for their Kingdom and her successor is a fencer.
Future Discussion Topic: How much of the Marshalate Structure should be specified in Kingdom Law vs. Marshalate Policy?
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO EMBRACE THE POWER OF “AND” AND THEN PASSED. Agenda Item 3.4 Official Email (page 6)Revision to X.J. to reflect the transition to EK-server hosting for all official email accounts. Mercedes introduced the topic by stating that we are updating the law to reflect current policy and her reticence of allowing someone to use a wildly inappropriate email address to speak to the public on behalf of the Society in an official capacity (yes, this has happened).
The Webministry pointed out that Kingdom Law should not mandate that we own the server, merely the method of communication.
A lawyer in the room pointed out that the use of “correspondence” had wider legal implications than was perhaps intended.
The applicability of this law change to events has numerous implications. One of these is what happens if the password is lost or needs resetting, potentially losing several weeks of vital event prep time. What remains unclear is which event volunteers will be required by Kingdom Policy to have official emails.
If you are receiving official email to your personal account, you need to forward it to your officer account. We have asked Society for clarification on what must be kept and they keep kicking it back to us. However, for internal discussion, it remains acceptable to compose from your personal email and cc your officer email. It is sometimes extremely difficult to force other people to contact you via your official email.
The existing system is cumbersome and its challenges make using it difficult. The Webministry is working on improving this process. Usefulness of the system does grow with experience. Please continue to try to use it.
Royal guilds have no authority.
We have a webministry helpdesk. Please use it. They will be adding a “Help Me” button to the EK front page.
Discussion Topic: Email is old-school. We should think forward about how future communication tools will affect and be affected by Kingdom Policy and Law.
THE PROPOSAL WAS PASSED AS AMENDED. Agenda Item 3.5 Awards: Silver Mantle (page 5)New section IX.C.7., establishing an armigerous order to include and provide recognition for martial activities other than rattan, rapier, and target archery. Agenda Item 3.6 Clerical Fixes (pages 2,3,5,6)
Revisions to various sections to add the Golden Mantle polling administrator, and to correct several typos and internal references.
Agenda Items 3.5 and 3.6 were discussed jointly.
King Brion introduced this topic by remind us of the history of our current award structure and the gap created by moving the Order of the Golden Mantle to the Orders of High Merit.
Prince Ionnes asked that we update our entries in the various lists of Awards and Orders of the Known World. Discussion was made of the various places where we store this information and how to improve them.
THE PROPOSALS PASSED. Agenda Item 3.7 Discussion of potential East Kingdom 50-Year celebratory event. The 50th anniversary of thefirst East Kingdom event is June 28, 2018. We’re looking at including everybody and having a great time. We have two bids and they are for different dates and locations. Agenda Item 4. Officer Reports Seneschal – The East Kingdom hasn’t blown up. We are looking at making a Canadian Affiliation like SCANZ. This has been several years in the works and is some time away from completion.
Brigantia – We had no emergencies.
Earl Marshal – Just stepped up and made some changes to Kingdom Law.
Exchequer – We are close to having a Canadian Bank account. We are also close to opening PayPal payments. Our PayPal policies were approved by the BoD at their last meeting. Currently looking for a Deputy who wishes to hold the Kingdom Office. We still have money.
MoAS – Champs is in 2 weeks. Term is up soon. The Crown is considering the new officer.
MoL – Officially retiring in a month. Mylisant is taking over then. Tir Maran residents can scan their authorization paperwork to reduce the losses incurred by the international postal system.
Signet –Natalia is taking over in 13 days. We got this.
Chatelaine – Our Chatelaines are doing an excellent job. We had a meeting here. We’re redesigning the Chatelaine webpage. We’ve identified a need for a Young Adult Liason: How do we keep our 12-17 year olds interested in the SCA?
Chancellor Minor – We have had a steady increase in local Chancellor Minors. We will be spending some time in the coming months reminding local groups of our policies. Seeking to fill Youth Clerk and Youth Combay Deputy offices. Term ends in September.
Rapier Marshal – We have ~530 Authorized Combatants and ~52 Authorized Cut and Thrust combatants. We will now be inspecting masks both while worn and while not worn to inspect for wear.
Webminister – There’s plenty of space for emails, come get your emails. We will be upgrading our email system to a Google backbone for improved usability and reliability. We are also working on an official document repository that can handle spreadsheets. Agenda Item 5. Curia Closure
Filed under: Law and Policy

Q&A on the new Earl Marshal Position

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-30 20:17

The Gazette asked Duke Christopher Rawlyns, Kingdom Seneschal, to answer a few questions about the new Earl Marshal changes.

photo by Master Thorpe

Please describe the overall structural changes that have been made to the Marshalate.
Prior to the change in the marshallate structure, the Earl Marshal had always been an experienced heavy weapons fighter, as the main job of the EM was to oversee rattan combat. Now we have added two positions. A Heavy Weapons Marshal has been added whose job will be to oversee rattan combat within the Kingdom. We have also added a Pennsic Marshal. This person will rotate through the marshallate structure at Pennsic over a three year period, with their last year in the job as Marshal in Charge of Pennsic.

What do you want this structural change to accomplish? What problem do you believe it solves, and/or what new opportunities does it offer?
This change will allow marshals of other disciplines to serve as Earl Marshal. A knowledge of rattan combat will be useful for sure, but, you will not need to be a senior rattan marshal to be the EM. This should allow for a broader pool of applicants for the EM job. It also allows the EM to be more of an administrator and have better oversight of all of the marshal disciplines as they will not have to concentrate that much effort on rattan combat. The addition of the Pennsic Marshal will allow that individual to focus solely on this rather time-consuming position.

Are there other Kingdoms who use this model? If so, do you have information on what their experience with it has been?
The Society Marshal’s office has been restructured in this manner and our neighbors in The Kingdom of Atlantia adopted this structure a few years ago. I have not heard of any difficulties as a result of this change.

How will this new structure interact with the Society Earl Marshal’s office differently from in the past?
Ultimately, the EM is responsible for the oversight of all martial activity in the Kingdom. This is no different than it has been in the past. Anyone participating in any martial endeavor should not notice any change in how they go about their chosen activities.

Categories: SCA news sites

Birka Bear Pit Tournament Results Published

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-30 16:43

Rapier Combat at A Market Day at Birka. Photo courtesy of Dutchess Caoilfhionn.

Results from both Armored and Rapier Tournaments at the 2017 Market Day at Birka have been posted to the Northern Army website.  Vivat to Douglas Henry  who placed first in the  Armored Combat bear pit, and to Robert of Anglespur who placed first in the  Rapier Combat Bear pit. Congratulations to everyone who competed!

Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Rapier Tagged: a market day at birka, Tour, Tournament Results

Pennsic Rapier Melee Tryouts Schedule Released

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-30 13:21
Don Eldrich Gaiman, Captain EK Champions Melee Team, has recently released the Pennsic melee champs tryout schedule for the first round. Below is his email. Eastern fencers interested in being considered for the team should fill out the sign-up form (listed below) and check out the team selection process that we published previously.

Greetings, Eastern fencers!

Based on the responses to the sign-up form (which is still available at ), I will be running the first round of tryouts for the Champions Melee Team at the following events through May. Southern Region Practice — Settmour Swamp February 5, 2017 Barony of Settmour Swamp Central Region Practice — Anglespur February 26, 2017 Barony of Anglespur Central Region Practice — Smoking Rocks March 4, 2017 Barony of Smoking Rocks Central Region Practice — Carolingia March 5, 2017 Barony of Carolingia Mudthaw March 25, 2017 Barony of Settmour Swamp Balfar’s Challenge April 22, 2017 Barony of Dragonship Haven Maybe May 13,2017 Barony of Iron Bog

Once again, my intent is to use these tryouts to identify the twenty or so finalists for the team. These finalists will be asked to participate at practices and events in the remaining time before Pennsic so that the team can train together, and so I may choose based on my observations which ten fencers will be asked to take the field for the Champions Melee battle in August.

I ask for everyone’s understanding, as this schedule is subject to being changed for many potential reasons (event changes and weather being the main fears). I will do my best to announce modifications as they happen, including possible additions to this list.

I encourage anyone interested in making or supporting the team to sign up at the link above if you haven’t, and to attend as many of the tryouts as you can comfortably attend.

Yours in Service to the East,
Don Eldrich Gaiman, Captain EK Champions Melee Team

P.S. I ask that you help disseminate this schedule by posting it to your local practices and local rapier community forums. Thanks!

Filed under: Events, Pennsic, Rapier

The Lady Protector of Æthelmearc

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2017-01-29 14:15

Yesterday a great lady finally received a scroll honoring her contributions to the lands of AEthelmearc. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reveals the history behind the scroll.

In the spring of Anno Societatis 24, the western region of the East Kingdom had held a vote, chosen a name and arms, and presented our proposal to the SCA Board of Directors asking to become a Principality. After due deliberation, our request was granted and we became the “Crown Principality” of Æthelmearc. A Crown Principality is one that has no Prince and Princess. A Coronet Tourney was scheduled for September with an Investiture in December, but in the intervening months, we still needed a leader. Upon the recommendation of the regional officers, the Board and the Crown of the East chose Mistress Cassadoria Finialla to serve as Lady Protector and ceremonial head of Æthelmearc. She served admirably in that role through the summer and fall of A.S. 24, including leading our people at Pennsic 18. Though she was not permitted to give awards, she became a rallying point and a symbol of the hopes and dreams of our fledgling Principality.

When the time came for Mistress Cassadoria to relinquish the reins of power to our first Prince and Princess, Tarbold and Cainder, at their investiture in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on December 2nd of A.S. 24, King Horic and Queen Lea of the East felt it only right and proper that Cassadoria be recognized for her service in a lasting way, and bestowed upon her a Court Barony.

Fast forward to early spring in the waning days of A.S. 50. I was tasked with persuading gentles from Æthelmearc to loan their “historic” SCA scrolls for a display at the SCA 50 Year Celebration in the Midrealm. I was fortunate to be permitted to borrow some of the most amazing and storied art of our Kingdom, from our first Viscountess, our first Count and Countess, our first Knight and Pelican, to our very recent first Master of Defense. But to my mind, the biggest prize of all would have been Mistress Cassadoria’s Court Barony scroll in recognition of her service as Lady Protector, the first feudal overlord of Æthelmearc.

There was just one catch. When I contacted Mistress Cassadoria, I was dismayed to learn that she had never received a scroll in recognition of that Court Barony. It had been 27 years, and she still had no scroll. “Oh,” she said to me when I told her that ought to be fixed, “It’s all right, I’d rather that newer people receive their scrolls first, I don’t need another one.”

Perhaps so, but I felt that the Kingdom needed to remember the work of this remarkable lady. And so it is that her apprentice, Baroness Cecily of Whitehaven, painted the illumination, while I penned the words, on the scroll that was finally presented by the Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands, Brandubh and Hilderun, with the gracious permission of Their Majesties, Marcus and Margerite, on January 27,  A.S. 51 at 12th Night in the Canton of Steltonwald, so that all will remember the glory of Æthelmearc’s founding, and Baroness Cassadoria’s role in its story.

Mistress Cassadoria with her Court Barony scroll at Steltonwald 12th Night, January 28, A.S. 51. Photo by Baroness Hilderun Hugelmann.

Here’s the text of the scroll:

Let all know that We, Horic and Lea, King and Queen of the East, have noted the grace with which our fair and right well-beloved Cassadoria Finialla has served as Lady Protector of Our Crown Principality of Æthelmearc, leading her people through a time of joyful change. Therefore do we invest her with a coronet of six pearls, signifying the dignity and splendor of a Baroness of Our Court. Done by Our hand and seal upon this 2nd day of December, A.S. 24, at the first Principality Investiture in Our Barony of the Rhydderich Hael.

Categories: SCA news sites

First Quarter Webminister Reports Due

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-01-28 19:08


This is a friendly reminder that Q1 Webminister reports are due on February 15.
Please fill out your report on webform found here.
Thank you for your attention and cooperation!

In service,
AE Webminster

Categories: SCA news sites

From the Kingdom Seneschal: Background Checks

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-01-28 15:58

Unto the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, Greetings from Duke Christopher, Seneschal.

At the request of the Corporate Office, I would ask that any request for a background check be directed specifically to me and only me. Please do not forward these requests independently of me to the Society. These must go to the Corporate Office only after they have been approved by me.

Background check request forms can be emailed to Email is preferred, but if necessary, they can be sent by USPS to me at Chadd Nesbit, 1437 Greystone, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to seek me out.


Categories: SCA news sites