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There will be both a morning court and evening court as well as opportunities for regular retaining during the day. Please contact me via Facebook Messenger or email to let me know if you’re available and what times work best for you.
The official announcement is on the kingdom webpage here.
Republished from a blog post by Olivia Baker (Kate Crandall). Used by permission.
Making an event happen, I mean really happen, is not simple or intuitive. I’m not talking about being an event manager or event steward, here. I’m talking about event promotion. I’m talking about getting your event in front of people who wouldn’t see it without the power of the internet. Now, take away any possibility of an advertising budget. Now add in the additional hurdle of being a group of medievalists.
This is what we, in the SCA face on a daily basis. We have grand thoughts and ideas. We have things we think others will be excited about, but we don’t always understand how best to get the word out to others about them.
Please note, not everything in this post is pertinent to every event. Some event stewards and social media deputies may choose to only implement one or two of the suggestions. However, even one or two of them is better than doing no event promotion at all.
Let me start with a bit of background. Mundanely, I am a small business owner. I began 14 years ago with some cake pans and a website. I started reading and learning and learning and reading. I began to optimize my website for search engines. I eventually learned how to promote my business through various free media outlets. From 2015 – 2016 the gross sales for my business nearly tripled due to optimization and social media promotion. I also did event promotion for Wars of the Roses in 2016, hosted by the Barony of Concordia of the Snows in the East Kingdom. Our attendance was nearly 150% of the previous year’s attendance (there were several other factors including weather and a new site, but the event promotion was also involved) I would like to share some of the knowledge that is applicable to the SCA with any and all who may be interested in promoting their own events.
There’s some terminology I’ll be using throughout the blog. Below are some definitions to help get you through the basics. Please take note, these are basic definitions and are not necessarily a complete explaination of each item. If you would like additional information, there are many resources available on the internet.
Throughout this post, I am making an assumption that your local group has the following:
If you do not have any of these, discuss with your local group the best way to implement them. Don’t forget to consult and follow the Society Social Media Policy as well as your Kingdom policy, if applicable, while doing so.
Now, let’s get into the actual event promotion. As an event steward (or social media deputy, if applicable), the first thing to do is to determine if your event should have a website. Ask yourself the following:
If you answer “yes” to at least one of these, you should consider creating an event website. If you decide to proceed with an event website, do you want your website to be an “official” website, where you can put all of the necessary information, that will be hosted on your Kingdom’s web server (this may not be applicable in all Kingdoms – contact your local or Kingdom webminister for more information)? Or would you prefer to have your site hosted on a private server?
If you would prefer an “official” website, contact your Kingdom Webminister to determine which programs are compatible with the web server. If this sounds like gibberish to you, that’s okay! Don’t be overwhelmed! Your webminister will help walk you through what you need to know.If you would prefer an “unofficial” website, there are multiple platforms that allow you to host your site without paying hosting charges. I highly recommend Google Sites, as there are many free templates, and it’s relatively simple to apply a specific domain to your website.
PICTURES!!! You want pictures! All of the pictures! If your event is a niche one-off event, find pictures applicable to your event. If you’re doing a viking event, find some public domain images of vikings and viking settings. If your event is a fighting event, work with a known photographer and get permission from them to use their photos on your website. The #1 rule to promoting your event is pictures. To reiterate, PICTURES!!!
Also, you want your website to be “mundane friendly.” If you use a lot of SCA terminology, have a New To the SCA? page that explains what the heck you’re talking about.
Once you’ve created your website, make sure your event announcement on the Kingdom list of events is updated with your website. Be sure to put your domain multiple places in your announcement. More often than not, people will skim the announcement looking for specific information. You want people to see your website and go there…and see pictures! (see what I did there?)
While we’re on the subject of Kingdom announcements, if your event is worthy of a webpage (see the 3 questions above), and you are located within a couple of hours of another Kingdom, get your event up on the other Kingdom’s event listing as well. Often, people are interested in traveling to events in other Kingdoms. Your event may be just the thing to get them there.
The next step is to create an event on your social media pages. Google + and Facebook both allow you to create events. Make sure to put a picture on the event page that will catch the eye. Also, make sure your event website is very easily found on the page. Next, invite all friends you think may be interested in attending. Share your events with your local group, surrounding groups, and your Kingdom group. Encourage others to invite their friends to the event as well. The more invitations that go out, the more people see your event. Additionally, be sure links to all of your social media sites are on your event website.
Now, for many events, particularly those hovering around the 100 person range, this is enough. However, if you’re really interested in getting attendance, the next steps are crucial.
At least once/week, create a post in the social media event pages sharing specific information. Are you having merchants? Highlight a merchant or two each week. Are you having court? Share the time court will be expected. Are you having dayboard? share a sneak peek of the dayboard menu (2-3 items are plenty). With each of these, make sure you include a photo and a link to the website. When you share your post with the Local and Kingdom groups, they are far more likely to be read if they have a picture, than if they do not. If you do not have a Social Media Deputy in your local group, ask for a volunteer to handle these posts for you, as the task can become cumbersome when you’re handling organizing the entire event.
Timing for these posts is also important. Posting at 6am or midnight doesn’t do you much good. Very few people will see it. You want to post during peak times: 8am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm. Think about the times you’re online the most: maybe before work, during your lunch break, after work, after dinner. These are the best times to post and get your post seen. Optimal time is from around noon – 6pm. These are the times you want the bulk of your posts to go out.
If you’re interested in getting a large amount of newcomers find out if your local community has a community calendar that will allow you to add events. Many newspapers and local publications will offer these free to the community. Get your website on there! If you do this, please make it VERY clear that we are unable to accept credit cards at this time (if applicable).
This is the next big thing: get social media support from your local group members! When you share the event post on your personal page, local group page, and kingdom page, the exposure is limited. However, when others share the post on their personal pages, they significantly increase the chances of your post being seen by others. The more your posts are seen, the more intrigued and excited people will get about your event.
The closer you get to your event, the more you want to post. If times change, post about it. If you’re going to have visiting royalty, post about it. If the weather looks like it’s going to be amazing, post about it. If it’s going to rain, post about it, reminding people to bring an extra pair of socks or two. Anything that may affect your potential attendees deserves a post.
If your event is a recurring event, be sure you have someone in charge of taking quality photos for next year’s event promotion. Also, if you are able, have someone in charge of on site social media updates (don’t forget the pictures!). Twitter is a particularly good platform for this. This may seem like a waste of time. I assure you it’s not. Many people who were unable to attend this year will see the fun people are having and will be more likely to attend the following year.
When I say, “Event promotion is not simple or intuitive,” I truly mean it. There is a lot of information and it is not the easiest to manage. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier. I wish you the best of luck with your future events! If you have any additional questions on event promotion, I’m happy to share all of the knowledge I have in the area!Bonus: Did you notice I used this blog post for event promotion? No? Look again!
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: event planning
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
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 email@example.com.
Filed under: Announcements, Events Tagged: announcements, bardic champions, events
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,
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.
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
Agenda Item 2. Old Business
Agenda Item 3. New BusinessAgenda 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 PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO EXCUSE EQUESTRIAN CHAMPS FROM THE REGION-EXCLUSION PROVISION DUE TO THE INCREASED CHALLENGES OF TRANSPORTING HORSES.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW THE CROWN TO GRANT VARIANCE TO THE REGION-EXCLUSION PROVISION IF NECESSARY.
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 AMENDED TO ALLOW THE WEBMINISTRY GREATER FLEXIBILITY.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO REMOVE THE LANGUAGE CONCERNING AUTOCRATS AND THEIR DEPUTIES (which will be handled via Seneschal policy instead).
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ACCOMMODATE MODERN 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
The Gazette asked Duke Christopher Rawlyns, Kingdom Seneschal, to answer a few questions about the new Earl Marshal changes.
Please describe the overall structural changes that have been made to the Marshalate.
What do you want this structural change to accomplish? What problem do you believe it solves, and/or what new opportunities does it offer?
Are there other Kingdoms who use this model? If so, do you have information on what their experience with it has been?
How will this new structure interact with the Society Earl Marshal’s office differently from in the past?
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
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 http://tinyurl.com/ekrapier2017 ), 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,
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
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.
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.
This is a friendly reminder that Q1 Webminister reports are due on February 15.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
EASTERN RESULTS FROM THE NOVEMBER 2016 LoAR
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 following results are from the October 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings.
Adrienne d’Evreus. Device. Azure, a fleur-de-lys argent and a bordure gules.
This design was well documented as an Individually Attested Pattern in French armory. The submitter provided more than sufficient evidence of azure fields with a low contrast gules bordure and a high contrast primary charge. She also provided evidence of the use of fleurs-de-lys in French armory.
Alexandre Saint Pierre. Badge. (Fieldless) In saltire a key Or and a quill pen argent.
Cailleach Dhé ingen Chiaráin. Name and device. Per pale argent and sable, two domestic cats sejant respectant counterchanged and on a chief azure three triquetras argent.
Ceinwen ferch Llewelyn ab Owain. Device. Azure, in pale three fleurs-de-lys argent.
Ciar of Skye. Name (see RETURNS for device).
This name is registerable either as the combination of an Old Irish Gaelic given name and the lingua Anglica form of an 8th century place name, or as the combination of a Gaelic saint’s name with a documented English spelling of a place name.
Elaria Grenway. Device. Gules, a mortar and pestle and on a chief embattled argent three sprigs of holly leaves vert fructed gules.
Elizabet Marshall. Badge. (Fieldless) On an acorn Or a capital letter E azure.
Hermina de Pagan. Device. Gules, a sheaf of three roses slipped and leaved and overall a skeletal hand fesswise reversed argent.
There is a step from period practice for the use of garden roses.
Jenna Childersley. Badge. Per pale vert and purpure, a cherub between eight arrows in annulo points to center argent.
There is a step from period practice for having charges in annulo not in their default orientation.
Ketilfastr Thorkilson. Name and device. Per bend sinister vert and argent, a griffin counterchanged.
Lillia de Vaux. Household name Bleu Crampette Inne.
Although the designator was spelled Inn in the Letter of Intent, that spelling was a typo. We have restored the designator to the submitted and documented Inne.
Magdalena von Kirschberg. Device. Per pale azure and gules, on a chevron Or three sprigs of cherries palewise gules slipped and leaved vert.
Please let the submitter know that the sprigs should not touch the edges of the chevron.
Millicent Rowan. Device. Argent, five gouttes de sang three and two and a trimount vert.
Sanceline de Bassan. Name and device. Per saltire azure and argent, a saltire indented between two moths Or and two trees azure.
The submitter requested authenticity for “French 14th century.” This request did not appear on the Letter of Intent. Fortunately, commenters provided sufficient information concerning authenticity. Lillia Pelican Emerita found the given name Sanceline in a mid-14th century list of names in Un scrutin au XIVe siècle, notice et documents lus à la séance du 19 juin 1852 by M. Félix Bourquelot (http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5467759t/f34.image). However, the byname de Bassan could not be found in French before the early 17th century. Thus, although this name is registerable, it is not authentic for the requested time period.
Þorin Úlfsson. Name and device. Azure, a dragon and a horse combattant argent.
Submitted as Þórin Úlfsson, we have dropped the accent from the given name to match the documentation. Thorin was documented as the Latinized form of an Old Norse name. As we have evidence of the use of a thorn (Þ) in Latinized Old English names such as Þurstanus (c. 1044) and Þeodredus (10th c.), we will give the submitter the benefit of the doubt that the spelling Þorin is plausible for a Latinized Old Norse name. If the submitter prefers the spelling Thorin, he may submit a request for reconsideration.
The submitter has permission to conflict with the device of Alvar Dax: Azure, a dragon and a coney combattant argent.
Þorin Úlfsson. Alternate name Lucas Merrick (see RETURNS for badge).
Nice 16th century English name!
Úlfeiðr Artudóttir. Name (see RETURNS for device).
The submitter requested authenticity for an unspecified time, place or language. Both name elements are in Old West Norse from the 11th-12th centuries. However, as we have not found evidence for both elements in a single place, we cannot say whether the name is authentic, but it is registerable.
Vika Grigina z Prahy. Badge. (Fieldless) An estoile per pale azure and Or.
Vika Grigina z Prahy. Badge. (Fieldless) On an estoile azure a bee Or.
Ciar of Skye. Device. Or, a fox salient proper and a gore sable.
This device is returned for conflict with the device of James the Fox: Or, a fox rampant guardant gules. There is one DC for the addition of the gore, but no DC for the difference between rampant and salient or the direction of the head. A fox proper is considered equivalent to a fox gules.
On redesign, please let the submitter know that the point of a gore should be at the center point of the shield.
There is a step from period practice for the use of a gore with another charge.
Þorin Úlfsson. Badge. Argent, on a pile sable, a Maltese cross argent, a bordure sable and overall a label gules.
This badge is returned for conflict with the device of Aaron of the Black Mountains: Argent, on a pile sable a Maltese cross argent, a bordure counterchanged. There is only one DC for adding the label. Only a small part of the bordure in Aaron’s device is not sable, so it is considered sable for conflict purposes.
The Letter of Intent reported that a Letter of Permission to Conflict was forthcoming, but it was not received by the Laurel office.
Úlfeiðr Artudóttir. Device. Sable, two ravens respectant and in base a wolf couchant argent.
This device is returned for conflict with the device of Kaðall Viðarsson: Sable, two ravens respectant and a bordure embattled argent. There is only one DC for changing the type of secondary charge.
Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: LoAR
By Unnr in elska á Fjárfella, of the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn.
Honey, a blend of simple sugars, amino acids, fibers and trace minerals, combined with water and yeast, transforms into wonderful honey wine. This honey wine, often called mead, was seen as a Nectar fit for the gods “And I have heard some of that nation [Welsh] defend, that it is the very Nectar which Iupiter and Iuno drank.” (Thomas Cogan, 1584). Aged mead is highly regarded and awarded many advantages, as eloquently put down by Charles Butler (1609): “a wine most agreeable to the stomake: it recoverth 1 the appetite being lost, it 2 oppeneth the passage of the spirit or breath, is 3 softeneth the bellie, it 4 is good for them that have the cough. 5 If a man take meth, now and then: he shal receive much benefit by it, against quartan agues, against cacexies, and against the diseases of the braine, as analepsie, & epilepsie, or the falling evill: for which wine is pernicious: it 6 cureth the yellow jaundise: it 7 is also good against henbane with milke, and against the winter-cherie, it 8 nourisheth the body, 9. So that many have attained to long old age, only by the nourishment of meth. 10 For being asked of Augustus the Emperor, by what meanes especially hee Pollio Romulus had so long preserved that vigour both of mind and body, his answere was, Intus mulso, foris oleo [honey within, oil without].”
References to mead in combination with medicinal herbs are found throughout history, from the early period Anglo-Saxon Leechdoms, or medical texts, to the 16th century Books of Secrets. Mead infused with herbs and spices, whether for medicinal use or to be enjoyed (or a bit of both), is so common it is referred to by its own term: metheglin. As explained by Charles Butler (1609), the name is obvious, as “Metheglen is meth compoūded with herbs: so called quasi Meth e glen, meth of the vallie, because it is made in the vallies, where is abundance and variety of holsome herbes.” The earliest recipe for metheglin known today is found in the 13th century Tractatus letters “And gif þu wilt make mede eglyn.”
Where there is Metheglin, thus there is Melomel?
There was no shortage of fermenting with fruit sugars in the past either: while honey wine is thought to have been the first fermented beverage, made by primitive people thousands of years before wine and beer, (Rasmussen) grape wine runs a close second and is well known from ancient history. Grapes have the highest sugar content of any fruit and are therefore the most suitable for making wine. (Hagen, 213) Fruit wines were known to be made by settlers of the foothills of the Alps as early as 2000 BCE from wild grapes, raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, bittersweet nightshade, and cornelian cherries. (Hagen, 224) Cider and perry, fermented apple, and pear juice are also well known and mentioned in numerous historic texts, including the Bible – and Peacock (1449) “without sider and wyn and meeth men and wommen myght lyve full long.” The Anglo-Saxon word beor, previously translating to beer (by way of bere for barley), is recently reconsidered to mean cider instead, which is made from apples. (Hagen, 200)
Unfortunately, the combination of fruit juice and honey is uncommon in our time of study…
But is it unknown? Fermenting with honey and fruit is not common in our period of study, and until recently, the only recipes generally available were from the out of period but copious 1669 brewing manual, “The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digby Knight Opened”. Unfortunately, many mead recipes mentioned in Digby use ingredients and techniques not yet found or commonly used in our period of study. For instance, the addition of citrus, like lemons, and the use of raisins, which is common in Digby, is not found in any of the pre-1600 recipes. And the technique of aging in the bottle, often for a sparkling beverage, is something that does not match with the medieval method of serving mead young or aging in wooden casks and barrels either. (Krupp) Fortunately, a couple of period recipes using different kinds of fruit juice in combination with honey and fermentation recently surfaced, for which, as a fruit-growing homesteader and avid melomel brewer, I am very grateful!
The 1st century manuscript Historia Naturalis mentions a grape must and honey ferment “Another wine of the sweet class is called honey-wine; it differs from mead because it is made from must” (Pliny), which is fermented together instead of using the honey to sweeten wine, which otherwise would make hippocras. The 10th century manuscript Geoponika also lists Oenomeli from must, fermenting (grape) must with honey. In A Profitable Instruction by Thomas Hyll (1579), oenomel is explained “as the drinke made with wine vnlayde, or without water, and hony, they aptly name Oenomel”, or undiluted fresh wine mixed with honey. The same looks to be the case for Geoponika’s Concerning Oenomeli, and offers two versions, of which one is “set it in the sun at the rising of the dog-star during forty days. Some call this nectar,” indicating fermentation. It is not obvious that oenomel is a fermented drink, but context would indicate it is, from using must or unfermented grape juice, fresh wine which can easily referment, and letting it sit in a warm place for a prolonged amount of time (40 days can mean literal 40 days, or can mean biblical 40 days, as in many, many days).
My personal favorite is also from the Geoponika: the Preparation of hydromel, which lists two versions of fermenting with apples and honey, one with crushed apples and one with pressed apple juice. The 1597 manuscript Van de Byen by Theodorus Clutius has two similar recipes, one To make wine-like honey-water with juice of quince and another To make red wine-like honey-water which back-ferments mead with added fruit juice “mix this together and set it to rise as above”, similar to our modern practice of adding fruit juice in secondary fermentation. The recipe is for a medicinal mead, using the juice of amarellen (sour, dark red cherries with long stems), and gives alternatives like the juice of currants, red and black cherries, grapes, apples, and pears. While the practice of fermenting honey with fruit juice is not common enough to have coined our modern term melomel quite yet, let alone the sub-terms of cyser for apple mead and pyment for grape mead, thankfully for us modern melomel enthusiasts, a handful of interesting early examples do exist.
The recipes which involve fruit and honey:
Historia Naturalis, Pliny the Elder, 77 CE.
Geoponika, translated from Ancient texts by various authors, 10th CE
Van de Byen by Theodorus Clutius, 1597.
For the complete recipes, and much more on medieval meads, check out my research paper Of Hony, a Collection of Mediaeval Brewing Recipes (which lists 39 period honey brews) ,
As a side note, archaeological evidence of the analysis of several bronze drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas (ca. 700 BCE) in central Turkey indicates an interesting combination of fruit, grain, and honey. Biomarkers for wine (tartaric acid), beer (beerstone), and mead/honey (beeswax) were found, postulating the theory that the vessels contained a mixture of grape wine, beer, and mead, making a sort of braggot or malt mead with grape wine. Unfortunately, as there is no direct evidence for honey fermentation, the honey could easily have been for sweetening only. It is feasible that since these were grave finds, the contents of the vessels might not have been intended for human drinking at all, and could have been a mix of separate brews, the best they had, specially made to please the gods. Except that the earliest known recipe for beer made in honor of Ninkasi (found on a Sumerian clay tablet dated to 1800 BCE) also mentions to add honey in combination with wine to a beer malt, indicating that the beer/wine/honey was fermented together and meant as a combined drink. Interestingly, while both sources indicate the addition of fermented grape wine, and the archaeologists assumed the honey was added in the form of mead, the grave find information itself is ambivalent, and the Ninkasi recipe speaks of straight honey, indicating the use of honey to back-sweeten instead of adding fermented honey or mead… but then again, as long as honey is added prior to fermentation, mead is bound to happen!
Butler, Charles. The Feminine Monarchie. 1609. Transcription by Susan Verberg.
Clutium, Theodorum. Van de Byen. Leyden: Jan Claesz van Dorp, Inde Vergulde Son, 1597.
Cogan, Thomas. The Haven of Health, 1584. London: Anne Griffin, 1636. Transcription by Susan Verberg.
Hagen, Ann. A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink: Production and Distribution. Norfolk, UK: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1995.
Krupp, Christina M. & Gillen, Bill. Making Medieval Mead, or Mead Before Digby The Compleat Anachronist #120. Milpitas: SCA Inc, 2003.
de Maricourt, Petrus Peregrinus. Tractatus de Magnetate et Operationibus eiu, Folio 20r. Reynolds Historical Library, University of Alabama.
Owen, Reverend T. (trans.) Geoponika; Agricultural Pursuits, Volume I. Of the Queen’s College at the University of Oxford. London: W. Spilsbury, 1805.
Rackham H., Jones W.H.S., Eichholtz D.E. (trans.). Pliny’s Natural History, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press & London: William Heinemann, 1949-54.
Rasmussen, S.C. The Quest for Aqua Vitae. SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry, 2014.
My term as Æthelmearc Events Coordinator is quickly coming to an end. Therefore, the Kingdom needs you as its next Kingdom Events Coordinator!
The Æ Event Coordinator is responsible for the following:
If you are interested, please email a letter of intent to email@example.com.
Market Day at Birka, in the Barony of Stonemarche, has a long history. This will be the 28th year of the event, and the 15th year since it moved to the Radisson Hotel and the Center of New Hampshire Expo Center in Manchester. Every four years the event scheduling gets a bit nerve-wracking because of the proximity of the traditional date to the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, and of course the potential for a catastrophic blizzard on the event weekend is always a background fear. It is the end of January in New Hampshire, after all.
This year when the autocrat, Mistress Fia Kareman, and the Seneschal of Stonemarche, Lady Tomyris of Stonemarche, approached the hotel to sign the contract for Birka 2017, the hotel management warned them that plans were afoot to renovate the ballroom, which is the traditional location for Heavy List and Royal Court. Renovations were expected to begin in December, and to continue through March.
This, as might be expected, caused considerable consternation. Mistress Fia and Lady Tomyris kept the news very close while they considered options, because they were concerned that rumors of the problem would run wild, and be difficult to combat, even after the matter was settled and facts could be presented in their place.
They considered a number of options, including whether it might be possible to rent additional space from other nearby buildings. That option proved to be unworkable, as no suitable space was available.
In the end, Mistress Fia went back to the hotel with a list of requests for concessions and options for alternate spaces which might be usable. The hotel management, mindful of their long and positive relationship with the event, made every effort to help Stonemarche find ways to squeeze in as many of the traditional activities as was remotely possible, including reserving for the event’s use parts of the hotel, such as the fireplace lounge area in the lobby, which in most years are considered public spaces, not part of the event space.
Even after a lot of outside-the-box thinking, and efforts to find usable spaces that are not normally rented by the event, there was still substantially less space available. Event staff tried to cut back on everything a little, to avoid completely dropping anyone’s favorite, traditional activity.
Heavy list was moved from the ballroom to the armory. Youth fighting was moved out of the armory into a meeting room, to make room for the heavy list. Evening Royal Court will be in the armory, as will the Ball. Because acoustics in the armory are so challenging, for the first time the event will be providing a sound system for Court. The Middle Eastern Hafla will be in the public space outside the Hale and Spaulding rooms in the Expo Center, as well as in the adjacent Pierce room, instead of the Armory.
By early May details were settled, the contract was signed, and the changes were made public to the event staff and via various electronic channels. While nothing was perfect, the essential parts of the event were preserved, and it is expected that things will return to their normal locations next year.
However the story doesn’t end there. Renovations rarely proceed exactly on schedule, as anyone who has been part of one knows. Approximately two weeks ago the hotel informed Mistress Fia that the work of refinishing the armory floor had been completed. This caused great stress to the staff, because Stonemarche knows from painful past experience how badly fighting heavy list can damage a floor. Again, the hotel worked with the event staff, and a fix was found. The hotel is supplying mats to protect the floor in the armory.
At the final pre-event planning meeting, held at the hotel on the 15th, it was noted that there seemed to be no access route to get from the hotel proper to the armory. This was seen as a significant issue, since it is January in New Hampshire, and weather could be anything. It was felt that event attendees should not have to go outside to get to the armory. Mistress Fia again went back to the hotel to seek a remedy. This time the proposed solution involved going through the Curriers room, which in past years has been the Royal Room. That presented its own challenges, as there were activities scheduled there, and now a home needed to be found for them.
The hotel offered the use of a suite in the attached office tower, which is space entirely new to the event. Youth fighting, Baronial Court, the Fashion Show, and the Bardic Circle will be held in that space. As this change was instituted after the site books had gone to the printer, there is an addendum to the site book and signs will be posted to help attendees find the new space.
The event staff hopes everyone will enjoy the event in spite of the challenges occasioned by the construction.
Filed under: Events Tagged: birka
East Kingdom Curia will be held 10:00 am on January 29, 2017 at the Market Day at Birka, in the Barony of Stonemarche (Manchester, NH).
New business to be discussed includes changes to kingdom event bid deadlines; champion tourneys; Earl Marshal/Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat; official email; establishing a new award (Silver Mantle); various clerical corrections; and a discussion of a potential East Kingdom 50-Year celebratory event.
The complete agenda for the day can be found at http://seneschal.eastkingdom.org/docs/EKCuria20170129agenda.pdf.
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: curia
The Gazette interviewed William Parris, OD, our new Earl Marshal.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the martial disciplines.
Why were the changes made to the Earl Marshal position?
Will the Heavy Weapons Marshal position take on the traditional duties of the Earl Marshal? How will the position be different?
The Pennsic Marshal position is something new. What specifically will the person be doing?
How much autonomy do the individual chief marshals have in the Kingdom?
What do you think the most positive aspect of this change will be?
Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Attention All Archers!!
The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands invites you to a Regional Muster celebrating Archery, Thrown Weapons, Arts & Sciences, and maybe some more at the Castle home of Earl Byron and Countess Ariella on April 9th. This is the day after Ice Dragon. The muster will begin at 10:00 in the morning and continue until 5:00 pm.
The archery and thrown weapons ranges will be open at 10:00 am and archery from the towers, led by THL Deryk Archer, will begin at 1:00 pm.
The main archery goal this day is to shoot and submit rounds for the Gwyntarian Winter Challenge which closes later that week. There will also be training if we have enough marshals. The Barony’s loaner gear will be available.
Please bring something for a pot luck lunch. We’re going to be there all day, so let’s eat. Pop, water, plates, bowls, and utensils will all be provided.
Byron and Ariella have asked that you dress in garb for the day.
The Castle address is 755 Stonegate Drive, Wexford PA 15090.
In service to the Barony-Marche and the Kingdom,
Mestari Urho Waltterinen
Per valde mustache adveho valde officium
A roundup of ten recent videos on Youtube for those interested in Medieval Studies
Andalusian Stories profiles Francisco Gutiérrez, who reproduces manuscripts and designs new miniatures applying the same techniques and materials used by master illuminators of the Middle Ages. You can also take a look at his website here.
Rowan Taylor, a blacksmith who works on the restoration and conservation of medieval iron wear, has uploaded this video showing how to create a medieval trowel.
Last year Jackson Crawford of the University of California at Berkeley began a series teaching about the Norse language and culture. His videos have been getting a strong number of viewers because of the great content and Crawford's straightforward style.
Richard Scott Nokes takes a look at the Saga of the Volsungs in his latest Professor Awesome video podcast
A pair of interviews with Christian Raffensperger, Associate Professor at Wittenberg University, about his books on medieval Rus.
Recording Archaeology has released dozens of videos in the last few weeks, covering a wide variety of topics related to Middle Ages. Here are three to check out.
And finally, our favourite band Stary Olsa, has released their cover of The Beatles song 'Yesterday'.