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A Newcomer’s Guide to Pennsic, Part 1 of 3

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-06-24 19:35

About to attend her 38th Pennsic, Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope has compiled an array of tips and ideas on how to have the best possible experience at the War. In part one, she’ll list some things you can do now to prepare for Pennsic, including what to bring along and how to ensure that you’re ready.

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Pre-Pennsic Things to Do

  • Walk. Get used to it beforehand because you’ll do a lot of walking at Pennsic. A WHOLE lot. Walk at lunch or before/after work, and wear the shoes (you do have at least 2 pair, right?) that you’ll be wearing at Pennsic so you get them well broken in. Blisters do not a happy camper make.

We’re walking, we’re walking…. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato

  • Make lists. Keep a running list of the things you need to do, make and pack. You’d be surprised at the things you forget at first that pop up later, and you’ll need those lists to ensure that you have everything at packing time.
  • Sew. Concentrate on light-weight simple underclothes (shirts, shifts) of breathable, natural fabric, preferably linen or silk, though cotton will do. Make as many as you can (one for every day you’ll be at Pennsic, if you don’t want/plan to do laundry). Overtunics/gowns can be worn more than once if you have underclothes to soak up the perspiration. You can get cheap cotton at those Wal-Marts that still sell fabric or from the bargain racks at JoAnn Fabrics.
  • New fighters and fencers: authorize on time. If you are a fighter or fencer and are not yet authorized, you must get your authorization in at least one weapons form by Wednesday, July 15. If you are already authorized in at least one form, you can authorize in additional forms at Pennsic as long as an Æthelmearc Marshal is available with the appropriate paperwork. You may not use a weapons form in which you are not authorized in any Pennsic tournament or battle.

Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

  • Repair any damaged gear. If you’ve been in the SCA long enough for your armor, weapons, clothing, or other equipment to have some wear, check it for any needed repairs and then make them. Don’t wait until you get to Pennsic to discover that the buckle on your cuisses needs to be replaced or there’s a seam coming apart in your favorite gown. While you’re at it, set your tent up in the back yard and check it for any issues. If you’ve just bought a new tent, set it up at home in daylight and good weather so you know how it goes together. This will make it far easier if (when) you have to set it up in the dark and/or rain when you get to Pennsic.

Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato

  • Shop wisely. To avoid spending a fortune, keep an eye out for sales and/or shop at thrift stores and dollar stores.
    • Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane

      Thrift stores: candles, goblets/tankards and other feast gear, baskets, bedding, sometimes even camp stoves, bota bags, candle lanterns and hats.

    • Dollar stores: plastic totes, candles, sunscreen, toiletries, flashlights, canned and vacuum-sealed food items, small plastic tables for your tent, towel racks and sometimes folding chairs.
    • Some items become cheaper in late July, like folding camp chairs, while others become hard to find, like small propane canisters or inflatable wading pools.
    • Some things should not be economized on:
      • Buy a good sleeping bag or you may freeze if (when!) it gets really cold at night.
      • Get heavy tent stakes – not those rinky-dink little plastic ones, but long ones, preferably metal, so your tent doesn’t go rolling across the field in a strong wind.
      • Buy sturdy leather shoes and break them in before Pennsic, though flip-flops or crocs for midnight porta-john runs or showering are useful too.
      • Get a wool cloak. It will stay warm even when it’s wet. To economize, you can buy a big wool blanket or two at the thrift store and make it into a cloak.
  • Pack as much as you can as far in advance as you can. Don’t make yourself crazy packing at the last minute. As soon as you’ve attended your last pre-Pennsic event, pack the items you won’t use again until Pennsic in a tote and stick it in a corner until it’s time to load the car. Then check those items off your list. That way you won’t be wondering later whether you packed something or not.
  • Pre-register. It’s too late now, so if you haven’t pre-registered with a group, you will have to find a single-camping space. Single camper space is not for “single” (unmarried) people, it’s for people who did not pre-register with a group. For next year, I strongly recommend camping with a group like your household, shire or barony. Camping with a group often gives you access to amenities like an in-camp hot shower, a communal canopy and a fire pit, as well as neighbors who can lend a hand when needed. Random Scadians usually help each other in emergencies or when they see a need, but when you’re not feeling well or need a small favor, it’s easier to get assistance when you’re part of a group.
  • Pick your campmates very carefully. This is your time off, do not spend it with people who will annoy you.
  • Check the Pennsic website, www.pennsicwar.org. Look at it frequently, because its content changes over time! Study the map of the campground. Read the schedules, lists of activities, and classes. Create your own schedule (or even day planner) listing the events and activities you want to attend. There will be too many things to do, and it will be easy to forget the ones you want most if you don’t write them down.

  • Budget. Save ahead of time for Pennsic, remembering that you can apply grocery and entertainment money that you would have spent back home. Decide how much you are willing/able to spend on Pennsic, and stick to your budget or you will be paying for Pennsic until Christmas! Consider all the costs: entry fee, meals, drinks, gas, entertainment, and shopping. Decide what one or two big purchases you want to make AT Pennsic (A sword? Armor? A new gown or tunic? A particular book? A musical instrument?), and save up for them.

Helms for sale at Pennsic. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato

  • Waterproof. This includes your tent, the hem of your cloak, and your shoes. Even in the unlikely event that it doesn’t rain, there’s always dew. Scotchguard and Mink Oil are your friends. Pack socks and undies in ziplock bags, line all suitcases with plastic bags or use those plastic totes. Leave a full change of clothing, both warm and cold, locked in your car in case of monsoons.

Photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar

  • Protect yourself from your own stupidity. Almost every first-timer overspends. Leave enough money for gas/food to get you home locked in the glove compartment of your car, or make sure you have a credit card with room on it.
  • Trim your fingernails short immediately before leaving. They’ll probably get broken and dirty anyway, especially during set up/tear down of your tent. If you can’t bear the thought, ladies apply a thick coat of polish and/or acrylic nails to protect them.

What to Bring

  • Lots of people have packing lists, and they will vary widely from person to person. There’s a pretty good one at www.Pennsic.net.
  • Don’t stress too much about little stuff. The Cooper’s store carries batteries, rope, tent pegs, sunscreen, bug spray etc. along with food, drink, bottled water, propane. and ice. They even charge reasonable prices instead of gouging like a tourist trap.

The Coopers’ Store. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato

  • Bring drinking water. Pennsic water is safe to drink (don’t believe people who tell you otherwise; it’s been tested) but it is filled with a lot of minerals, especially iron, so it doesn’t taste good, doesn’t look appetizing as it turns orange in the sun when the iron precipitates out, and could upset your stomach if you’re sensitive. To save money, save up empty water jugs before Pennsic and fill them from the tap at home, but make sure they’re tightly capped to prevent spillage en route. Don’t try to clean milk jugs – it’s almost impossible to get them clean enough to avoid the sour milk smell and taste. Note that the Coopers are adding filtration to the water system but it hasn’t made it to all regions of the campground yet, and it may not do much for the iron issue.
  • Group your packing list by type of object, to make it easier to avoid missing items. I use the following categories:
    • Shelter (tent, tarp, dining fly, ropes, poles, stakes, hammer, etc.) It doesn’t need to be a pretty medieval pavilion; a modern nylon tent will do.
    • Bedding (air mattress or cot, sleeping bag, pillow, blankets, sheets)
    • Clothes (garb, modern clothes, hats, shoes, fans, and other accessories)
    • Cooking equipment (pots, pans, camp stove, dish detergent, feast gear including a mug on a strap to hang from your belt)
    • Food (cooler items including fruit, veggies and cold cuts, boxed/canned non-perishables, drinks including water and alcohol). The camp store has real food – fruits and veggies, bread, pastries, even some meat and dairy, and there’s a Super Wal-Mart about 20 minutes from the site, so don’t bring a week’s worth – it’ll only spoil in the heat and rain anyway. And yes, you can eat at the food court instead of cooking, but it will cost a lot more than making it yourself.

The food court at Pennsic. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

    • Toiletries (soap & shampoo, towels, medications, 1st aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, earplugs for light sleepers, safety pins, plastic trash bags, clothes pins to hang wet clothes, tissues)
    • Misc. (basket or tote bag, blank book or note book with a pen/pencil, folding table, candles, flashlight, batteries, banner, book to read and/or board games, plastic basin for washing your clothes, dishes and feet!)
    • “Toys” (armor & weapons, scribal supplies, musical instruments, embroidery, archery equipment, throwing weapons, etc.)
  • Leave room for the stuff you’ll buy at Pennsic to come home! If possible, come with your suitcases/totes about 1/4 empty – even if you don’t buy much, stuff never packs as tightly going home as it did getting there.

Yes, you can buy socks at Pennsic, in every color of the rainbow. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato

  • Ladies, expect your monthly cycle to get out of whack, so bring supplies even if you’re not expecting to need them.

In the next installment, we’ll discuss what you should do once you arrive at Pennsic.


Categories: SCA news sites

Elaborate clothing found in Ming Dynasty tomb

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2015-06-24 16:14

Ornately-decorated, well-preserved clothing was among the treasures found in a husband and wife tomb dating to the 16th century, in Taizhou City, China. The tomb is believed to belong to the Wang family of the Ming Dynasty. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: Æthelwald Proving Ground, June 20, A.S. 50, Shire of Sunderoak

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-06-24 07:35

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope attended the Æthelwald Proving Ground event in the Shire of Sunderoak on June 20, A.S. 50, and reports on the activities held there.

This was the Shire of Sunderoak’s second Æthelwald Proving Ground, which is focused primarily on martial activities. Despite some rain that began in the late morning and persisted for much of the afternoon, the gentles in attendance got a lot of good, fun practice in their respective areas.

Heavy Weapons

Sir Alonzio of the Peacemakers ran a class on spear, and then worked the fighters through a strategy he calls “Piggly Wiggly.” Why? “I’d been working on this strategy for a few years, and people told me I had to give it a name. I thought Piggly Wiggly would be memorable, and it kind of fits since I tend to be dancing around as I demonstrate the technique,” Sir Alonzio said.

Fighters executing the “Piggly Wiggly” strategy.

The Piggly Wiggly strategy is useful in a mixed line of spears and shields, as in a bridge or gate battle. The idea is that as the spears are fencing with each other, a shieldman who spots a weak point in the opposing line can charge through it and create a hole for his team to follow.

Heavy fighters spent the morning working on this technique using a resurrection bridge battle, and then took a break for lunch, returning to work on shield techniques and practice melees using that shieldwork. Sir Steffan Ulfkellson, the Kingdom Warlord, oversaw the heavy muster.

Rapier

After some individual warmup bouts, Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Kingdom Rapier Warlord, had the fencers focus on small unit techniques, and in particular how to fend off larger numbers. There were rounds of 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 fights, as well as a line battle in which each side’s goal was to push the other backward over a line across the center of the field in order to control that line. Lord Robert MacEwin described it as “kind of like tug of war but with stabbing instead of ropes.”

Countess Elena d’Artois, Lord Cyrus Augur, and Lord Jacob of Dunmore practicing 2-on-1 melees

After each round of fencing, Maestro Orlando had the fencers analyze and discuss what had happened and how to do better, then repeat the exercise so they could learn from the experience.

Maestro Orlando oversees the fencers practicing melee techniques

Youth Combat

Five youth fighters, all Division 1 (ages 6-9), armored up, three of them for their first time. Lady Ceindrech verch Elidir and Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope ran the kids through the rules and showed them how to throw blows and block with shields or weapons, then held an informal bear pit with assistance from Lord Weasel, so each fighter got plenty of bouts in.

New youth fighters learning the rules from Lady Ceindrech

Their spirits undampened by the rain, the youth fighters then fought a series of open field melees with teams in various combinations, including a final melee which was, by the fighters’ request, girls vs. boys. Youth fighting ended with brownies for the combatants and marshals. After removing their armor, the youth fighters announced that they were all friends now, and spent the rest of the afternoon playing together in cheerful camaraderie.

Youth fighter melee

Equestrian

THLady Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoghill, current King’s Equestrian Champion, organized the equestrian activities, designing and running the morning competition that mirrored the planned Kingdom Equestrian Champion’s course. Mistress Shoshido Tora Gozen commented, “It was a challenge course based on the Devonshire Tapestry, which depicts various hunting scenes through the woods, hunting swans, boars, etc. It included numerous obstacles as well as the traditional tests of skills like the rings and quintain. Riders were allotted a certain amount of time to complete the course, with penalties for going over and points gained for successful completion of each test.” Mistress Gozen won the competition while Lady Tommasa Isolana won the award for the most improvement between rounds one and two.

Mistress Shoshido Tora Gozen and THLady Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoghill. Photo by Kathleen of Sunderoak.

Unfortunately, the rain caused footing to become treacherous, curtailing the planned afternoon training activities in Mounted to Ground Combat. After the equestrians broke down the course, THL Meadhbh then took Lady Tommasa as her Equerry, or equestrian student, under the Golden Lance.

Lady Maeve ni Siurtain and Mistress Gozen. Photo by Kathleen of Sunderoak.

Cooking

The other big activities of the day were all food-related. The lady Jerngerd from Sunderoak provided a very tasty lunch consisting of mushroom pastries, honeyed chicken, beef stew, lemon cakes, ginger cake, bread, borscht, salt potatoes, various pickled veggies, and cucumbers. Anyone who went home hungry had only themselves to blame as the food was both delicious and plentiful.

In addition, Master Creador Twinedragon ran Creador’s Summer Cooking Challenge, a cooking competition to judge the best dish using summer ingredients based on a medieval recipe. There were two entrants, Rachel MacMichael and THLady Elss of Augsburg. THL Elss won with her Tart of Strawberye, found in Pleyn Delit, which did an excellent job of representing the summer theme. Elss won the prize of a day of service from Master Creador in the kitchen or otherwise. However, Master Creador was also impressed with the three Hungarian dishes of Chicken Paprikash, Nokedli, and Haluski that Rachel entered, so he decided to award her an unannounced prize of a consultation with him on an entry, menu, or research. “I look forward to working with both of them in the future,” said Master Creador.

Despite the rain, the autocrat, Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, was pleased with the event. “Everyone had fun, so I’m happy,” he said.

All photos not otherwise credited are by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.


Categories: SCA news sites

From the Midrealm Gazette: Pennsic Position Open

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-06-23 16:40

Not a combatant, but looking for a way to help out around the battlefield at Pennsic this year?

Baron Nicholas of Windreach, also known as “Signal 1″ or the guy in the castle tower with the flags and the official battle time, is looking for recruits to learn his position.

If you are interested in this challenging and important position at Pennsic, please feel free to contact Nicholas directly at PSCsignal1@gmail.com

Thanks,
Gregoire, Midrealm Kingdom Earl Marshal

With thanks,

(http://www.midrealmgazette.org/2015/06/22/pennsic-position-open/)


Filed under: Uncategorized

How Pennsic Champions are Chosen

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-06-23 08:00

Photo by Lord Darter the Chronicler.

Pennsic is coming up soon! Her Majesty, Queen Gabrielle, has been hard at work making baldrics for the gentles who will be chosen as Æthelmearc’s Champions in each of the War Points. Because our allies will also contribute Champions, Their Majesties don’t know yet exactly how many gentles from Æthelmearc will be participating, but there will be teams of skilled and inspirational gentles filling the following slots.

Heavy Weapons

His Majesty, King Timothy, says that He is working with Sir Stefan Ulfkellson, Kingdom Warlord, to choose fighters for the three Heavy Weapons Champion Battles. “Prowess alone will not get you a slot on the team,” His Majesty said. “Attendance matters. I’m looking for the people who put their heart and soul into going to every muster and really care about being on the team. I want the fighters who will be thrilled to receive a champion’s baldric and cherish it for the rest of their lives. There is no “entitlement” – being a hot stick won’t get you a slot on a Champions team if you don’t put in the effort to show up and work hard.” The three heavy weapons champions’ teams are listed below:

    • Unbelted Champions: the first War Point of Pennsic 44, this battle held immediately after Opening Ceremonies features a total of 40 fighters per side, none of whom may be Knights or Masters at Arms.
    • Belted Champions: immediately after the Unbelted Champions battle, it features 30 fighters per side, all of whom are either Knights or Masters at Arms.
    • Matched Champions: immediately after the Belted Champions battle, it features 30 fighters from each side who have not fought in either the belted or unbelted tournaments. In this battle, fighters are sent out in small groups of 1-5 fighters, with numbers matched by the opposing side.

Photo by Lady Valentina de la Volpe.

Arts and Sciences:

This war point will be held on Wednesday of War week throughout the day, and features 14 artisans per side. The A&S Champions may not be Laurels. Queen Gabrielle says “We are trying to showcase artisans from the more remote parts of the Kingdom who don’t have as much opportunity to have their work seen, although we also want to showcase some well-known artisans and challenge them to come up with something really special and unique.” To help Their Majesties find such skilled but lesser known artisans, the Kingdom A&S Ministers, Master Fridrikr Tomasson and Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona have been hosting A&S Displays at events around the kingdom, where artisans are encouraged to enter works in progress and seek feedback from other artisans and the populace. Her Majesty notes, “Rather than spending six months working on something and then find out that you could have done something different at the beginning, we thought it would be helpful for artisans to get feedback during the process of creating something. Master Fridrikr and Mistress Orianna printed up booklets for comments that We and they have been sharing with those who want to have their work displayed.” Mistress Euriol of Lothian, who is coordinating the A&S Champions for Pennsic, set up a Facebook page for the A&S Champions, where the artisans who have been selected so far are sharing their research, discussing their efforts to create or purchase supplies, equipment, tools, and ingredients for their projects, and generally encouraging each other.

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Archery Champions

There will be 30 Archery Champions per side, with the shoot held on Wednesday of War week. King Timothy has appointed THLord Juan Miguel Cézar as Captain of the Archery Champion’s Team, and tasked him with choosing the members of the team. His Lordship says, “Enthusiasm is definitely one of the criteria that His Majesty impressed upon me that he feels is an important attribute for each member of the Archery Champion’s team to have. The chance to shoot with some of the best archers in the Known World is both daunting and exhilarating at the same time, and can really make a huge impact on a person and their relationship with the SCA. An experience like this has a chance to take a blossoming archer and give them a long lasting sense of belonging in the archery community. That does not mean that skill and prowess are to be thrown out the window, it just means that such things are a secondary criterion. Also being considered is the disposition of the archer. We want to avoid people who are sore losers or cannot get along with the other archers. Often the champions shoot takes 6 to 8 hours to complete and that can be trying on anyone.” THL Juan Miguel also noted that the kinds of shoots that archers encounter in the Champion’s Tournament challenge archers in unusual ways. “One might think that Royal Round scores would serve as a good metric, but I have found that more often than not it is an untrue measure of skill. The Champions’ shoot tests an archer in ways a Royal Round never can. Once we have a list of potential archers, we will have them come out to the range one or two nights for some practice to be better able to gauge their aptitude for this type of competition. After that comes the hard part of choosing the candidates that have the best combination of spirit and skill to add to the team, and of course negotiating with our allies, who will also contribute archery champions.”

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Rapier

As Rapier Warlord, Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta will recommend the fencers who should represent Æthelmearc to Their Majesties. As with the other champions, Their Majesties have asked him to find people with enthusiasm and passion as well as skill. Maestro Orlando says, “I will be recommending individuals who demonstrate prowess as well as dedication to the rapier community through their participation and activity. Simply winning a particular tournament does not guarantee that a recommendation will follow, or that one will be named to the team. Additionally, Their Majesties and I will be looking at who would represent Æthelmearc well on the field; meaning a fencer who is very honorable in combat, comports themselves well on the field, and fights well.” There are two Rapier Champions’ Tournaments:

  • Rapier Champions: 20 fencers will represent each side in this battle, to be held on Wednesday at 11 am.
  • Rapier Heroic Champions: 12 fencers from each side will compete one-on-one in this War Point, with at least one of the bouts to be Cut & Thrust. It will be held immediately after the Rapier Champions Battle on Wednesday.

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Thrown Weapons

Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato will lead the Thrown Weapons team, choosing those throwers whose commitment as well as skill exemplifies the best of Æthelmearc and its allies. Twelve throwers from each side will compete in this war point to be held on Wednesday of War week from 3:00-6:00 pm. Master Giuseppe has contacted the Thrown Weapons Marshals of the Allied Kingdoms and asked them to send him a list of their all of their throwers who are going to Pennsic so he can reach out to them. He will be hosting a series of try-outs in the evenings early in the War. These try-outs will be open to everyone from Æthelmearc and our allied kingdoms. Throwers who are interested in trying out should look for a note regarding days and times at the Thrown Weapons tent. The prospective Champions will throw for a couple of hours at each try-out so they can be observed by the allied marshals. Master Giuseppe says they “will be looking for people who embody their Kingdoms down to their soul.” They want people who teach, work well with others, and learn from each other as well as exhibiting skill. He will choose the top 12 throwers plus three or four alternates for the Champion’s team. Master Giuseppe notes that three years ago, which was the last time Pennsic pitted Æthelmearc against the combined forces of the East and Middle, Æthelmearc and our allies outscored the other side by more than double. He is very proud of that, and expects our team to do equally well this year.

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope wrote this article with contributions from Their Majesties, King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle, THLord Juan Miguel Cezar, Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Master Fridrikr Tomasson, and Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.


Categories: SCA news sites

Officer Profile: The Kingdom Historian and Plans for Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-06-22 17:01

This is the first in a series of Kingdom Officer profiles. These dedicated people are often working behind the scenes, helping the Kingdom run smoothly. We’ll let them tell us more about what they do.

Name/Title: THL Hrefna Ulvarinnsdottir, Æthelmearc Kingdom Historian

What exactly does the Kingdom Historian’s office do? From policy: The Office of the Kingdom Historian shall be responsible for overseeing the compilation, preservation, and maintenance of historical information pertaining to the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, and facilitate means, including working in coordination with other Kingdom Officers and their duly designated deputies, of making said information accessible to the public. The Office shall also coordinate, promote, and foster Kingdom related research, projects, events, and displays at the Kingdom, Regional and Local levels.

What this boils down to is that the Kingdom Historian looks for ways to research, document, and preserve our Kingdom’s history. So far, I have established an Æthelmearc History group on Facebook along with an Æthelmearc history web site, I host Historian’s Points at events where I display artifacts and relics from our past, and I’ve started a written history of our group with the help of many, many kind gentles along the way. I’m always looking for new suggestions on how to research and document our history.

We understand big plans are afoot for Pennsic – fill us in!

The Silva Vulcani Shrine

A couple years ago Maynard III and Liadain II, hosted the Pilgrimage of Æthelmearc which encouraged every group in the kingdom holding events during Their reign to put together a historical display at their events and to supply fun facts on quarter page cards so we all would have the opportunity to learn a little more about the history of our kingdom. That project also included a display at Pennsic.

Recently, Her Majesty Gabrielle shared with me how much she enjoyed showing the Pennsic display to her children that year and has requested that I put together another one for this year’s Pennsic. The previous display was put together with items provided by many gentles from around the Kingdom. During my tenure as historian, I have amassed a small collection of artifacts, but I want to ask the populace of the Kingdom to loan items to this year’s display. Items do not have to be just Kingdom related things. Anything that illustrates the history of our local groups is most welcomed. Consider typing up a brief statement about what the item is and why it has historical value to your group. If you have something you might want to put in this display but are unsure if would be a good fit, email me at ae.historian@aethelmearc.org to discuss it.

Where can people find resources on Æthelmearc’s history? The AEthelmearc History group on Facebook can be found here. It is a great community of people interested in discussing and sharing our history with each other that is 530 members strong now. Come join us!

There is also an Æthelmearc History web site here that my web minister, THL Grimolfr Ormalfrson, and I have been slowly adding content to. I would love to have more articles, stories, songs, etc. to add to this site. One of my cherished project ideas is to start a book of remembrance section on the web site to honor and remember those we have lost. If anyone is interested in helping with this project, please contact me.

What kinds of things would the office like to have people donate or send?

Steltonwald Display

Anything that helps to illustrate our history. Right now, I have the Giant Spoon of Æthelmearc, coins commemorating the Coronation of Yngvar and Caryl, maps showing the changes and growth of our Kingdom, old photos and newsletters, the original Kingdom MOL banner, the tourney trees going back to Coronet I, and more.

All of these objects represent a piece of our history, and I believe that we all hold a piece of that history from the newest member to the long time players. When we bring those pieces together, we create a tapestry that tells our unique story. Again, if you have something you would like to put on loan or give to the Historian’s office but aren’t sure about, contact me.

What do you like best about your office? Oh, that’s a tough one! I love the interactions I have with people I would otherwise never have met who are sharing their stories that help fill in the details of our history and that moment when they say “Oh, I didn’t know that!” when I share something with them. I also love the research aspect and watching the story of our kingdom grow a little more with each detail unearthed. This job has given me a unique perspective on the development of our Kingdom, and I am honored to be bringing her story to the populace.

What do you have planned for the future beyond the Pennsic display? Over the next several months, I will be working with Countess Anna Leigh on the SCA 50th Display Committee for Æthelmearc and on a special project for the anniversary event.

I also plan to keep working on the history of Æthelmearc paper for the anniversary event. I am very near the 10,000 word limit that those papers are allotted, but I will continue my research and expand upon that paper to continue documenting our history.

I will also continue to look for new and fun ways to engage the populace and to carry on the quest for documenting our history.

How long have you been in the SCA, and what is one of your favorite moments? I have been in the SCA since 1998. One of my favorite moments was watching my lord husband, Grimolfr Ormalfrson, receive his Millrind at Pennsic 43 and getting to welcome him to the Order.

Are you looking for deputies? Always. During my tenure as Historian, I’ve had several promising discussions with gentles about becoming deputies but none of them have panned out. There’s a lot of years of history to track down and help would be greatly appreciated. I would especially like to find deputies to help with scanning and digitize the boxes and boxes of hard copies I now have and to search through them for historical details. If there is a group of people out there who would be willing to form a scanning guild, please let me know.

And then anything else you might think of! This year at Pennsic, I will be hosting a Known World Historians Meet and Greet on Tuesday, August 3, 2015 at 1 pm in Pennsic University Tent #12 in the hopes of connecting with other historians to compare notes on how they are going about the job of collecting and preserving history. I invite any reading this article with an interest in our history to join us.

If anyone reading this article has modern world experience as a historian, I would love to have the opportunity to discuss how the professionals go about their research, and I welcome suggestions from anyone who might have ideas on how to grow and move the Historian’s Office forward.


Categories: SCA news sites

Want to be Signal 1 at Pennsic?

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-06-22 08:59

Not a combatant, but looking for a way to help out around the battlefield at Pennsic this year?

Baron Nicholas of Windreach, also known as “Signal 1″ or the guy in the castle tower with the flags and the official battle time, is looking for recruits to learn his position.

If you are interested in this challenging and important position at Pennsic, please feel free to contact Nicholas directly at PSCsignal1@gmail.com.

Thanks,
Gregoire, Midrealm Kingdom Earl Marshal


Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: Improving Store-Bought Archery Targets

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-06-21 16:24

This is the third in THL Derk Archer’s series on making archery targets.

Here we have a 3D target of a chipmunk, made of a self-sealing foam. You can buy many different targets of animals like this one at Pennsic. The problem is, he is only 5 inches tall, hides in tall grass, if you miss you might lose your arrow, and when you hit ” chipy” he will tumble and break your arrow.

Here’s what you need to make him better:

  • Styrofoam sheet 12×12 inch
  • Camouflage duct tape
  • 2-inch wide self-adhesive Velcro
  • Plastic vines from the dollar store
  • A smaller piece of styrofoam 3×5 inches
  • Brown duct tape
  • Green string
  • 2 tent stakes
  • And, of course, you need “chipy”

First, tape the 12×12 foam sheet with the camouflage tape.

Then, cover the 3×5 piece of foam with the brown duct tape. You now have a small tree stump.

Cut the Velcro into two pieces. Attach one side of the first piece of Velcro to the tree stump and the other to the camo background. Attach one side of the second piece to Chipy’s back, and the other to the Camo-taped foam background.

Next, add the plastic vines to the foam background to make the target more outdoor-like.

Now tape a line of green string to the bottom of the back of the camo-taped foam, and spike the ends of the line into the ground with the tent stakes.

With the target secured to the ground, it will only fall straight back. Now you have to walk up to the target to see if you hit “chipy,” because when the target falls backward it’s as if he ran away when you hit the background.

Using mounted targets of a variety of different foam animals like the ones shown below, you can do a walk-through range of a hunting trip. Scoring can be 3 points for the background and 5 points for hitting the chipmunk, rabbit, turkey, and so on.

As always, I would like to hear from the archery community for feedback. You can contact me on Facebook.

My next installment will be on safety.

‘Til next time, be safe, have fun, shoot often.

Deryk

All photos by THLord Deryk.


Categories: SCA news sites

Gazette Editor Profile: Magnus de Lyons

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-06-20 21:15

The fifth in a series of Gazette editor profiles.

Staff Member: Lord Magnus de Lyons
Staff Title:  Region 4 (Western NY) and scheduling.

What made you want to join the Gazette staff?
The moment I heard about the project I wanted to be a part of it. To keep the SCA alive and vital we need a constant influx of new people and attracting these people in 2015 (and beyond) requires that the SCA keeps pace with modern technology. As the Chronicler for my local Barony I constantly struggle with getting information out to people in a timely fashion. In the hour I spend writing an event report for a monthly newsletter that same information has already hit social media and reached hundreds of people. The Gazette provides a modern user friendly gateway for information. The stories are up to the minute, fast paced, and visually exciting. It is the future and I am excited to be a part of it.

So what do you do for the Gazette?
Primarily I am the scheduler and make up the monthly schedule for the daily editors. Once a month I shoot out a message to the team asking the editors if they have any concerns, issues, conflicts, or days that can’t work. I also scan event calendars and plan the schedule around larger events (in multiple Kingdoms). Early on we set up a system for Holidays and “Event Holidays”. On these days we don’t schedule a daily editor to give the staff a chance to enjoy their families and events. Even with this system I don’t think we have missed a day (holiday or otherwise). The editors are a hard working bunch and often work during events, holidays, and multiple days during the month. I am also the editor for Region 4 (Western NY). Honestly the daily editors do such a great job covering the Kingdom as a whole I have not put this job title to much use.

What do you like most about being on the Gazette staff?
I like being surrounded by such a hardworking and involved group of people. They have a true love for what they are doing and it shows in their work. There is such a diverse set of skills and experience in the group you can’t help but learn from them. The Gazette staff is just another wonderful addition to my SCA family.

How has the Gazette been received in your area?
Honestly pretty seamlessly. My local group is a strong mix of tech savvy and newer people and they took to the idea of the Gazette really well and I don’t think this is unique to my area. Leading up to the formation of the Gazette there was already strong push to include social media in the SCA and the Gazette was just a natural progression of that change. The Gazette was well received because it was long overdue and people welcomed its arrival.

What kinds of articles would you like to encourage people to submit?
If I had to pick just one subject I would like to see more of it would be interest pieces on day to day life hacks for the SCA. Bits and pieces of information geared towards new people to help them grow and survive in the SCA. Subjects like what to do (and not do) in court, at a feast, or when attending certain types of tournaments. There are tons of little tricks and tips that many of us take for granted but might prove useful to others.

Interested in submitting articles to the Gazette, suggesting blogs to feature, or to be put on our roster of photographers whose work we have permission to use? Email us at aethgazette@gmail.com. Check out our submission guidelines here.


Categories: SCA news sites

From The Æthelmearc Gazette: Paladin’s Pantry Plans for Pennsic!

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-06-19 19:07

Paladin’s Pantry as reprinted from the Æthelmearc Gazette

An interview with Morien MacBain, the founder of Paladin’s Pantry. The Pantry is a charity rapidly having an effect across the Known World, providing donations for food banks at the ends of larger (and now smaller) SCA events.

Who are you?

Wow, tough one—right for the existential throat! I’m Morien MacBain, and like many Scadians, I tend to define myself through my associations and my activities. I have the honor to serve some very worthy gentles; I am squire to Count Sir Jehan de La Marche, now fostered to Baron Sir Graedwynn mab Teyrnon, I’m also protege to Her Grace Mistress Tessa the Huntress, and Equerry to Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen (that’s like a squire, but for mounted combat). I also have the honor to be the captain of the White Company, and the founder of Paladin’s Pantry. I am also a man richly blest with the women in his life.

What is Paladin’s Pantry?
It’s a charity based around three inescapable truths: SCAdians tend to be generous and open-hearted people, we tend to massively overbuy for camping events, and our stuff expands dramatically during events, making it more difficult to pack! We operate food drives at events which allow people to contribute their extra foodstuffs to local food banks (usually the one closest to the site). It’s a simple idea, but it’s really taken off.

When/How did it get started?
A few years ago we were packing to leave Pennsic, and we were trying to figure out what to do with our camp’s large amount of cans, boxes, jars, and  bottles of unopened pantrylogocomestibles, and casting wild surmises about who among us had even bought some of the items in the first place. I had run food drives at my school for years, so we wound up throwing it in the trailer and taking it back to donate. Leaving camp, we passed the Pennsic dumpsters, and saw the huge amounts of castoffs. On the way home, it occurred to me that it might be possible to reclaim some of that stuff for people in need. The next year, we got it off the ground. Most of the donations came from three groups from Aethelmearc and Atlantia (BMDL, the Chalk Man Pub, and the Lusty Wench Tavern). We only got about a trunk full, but it was a good proof of concept. The next year we started advertising, and got increasingly savvy about using social media to get the word out. Last Pennsic we collected an estimated four to five TONS of food and camping supplies. It’s just amazing! We’re the largest single donor the Portersville food bank has (including the government), and I know we can do even better! Last year, we spread our operations to Lilies War in Calontir, and this year we’ve had them at Gulf Wars, Blackstone Raids, and Lilies War, and of course we’ll be having them at Pennsic and War of the Wings in Atlantia as well. The idea really seems to resonate with people.

How does it work?
We usually contact an established food bank near the site, and arrange to have them send a pickup on a given day. Then as the event gets closer we do a full-court media press including Facebook, the on-site newpaper, if one exists, the cry heralds, flyers on the message boards, an ad in the site booklet, if one can be arranged–anything we can think of, really! We tend to post a list of donation sites, but we also provide a number which people can call or text to schedule a pick-up. We also have volunteers who go from camp to camp dragging armor carts and collecting face to face (Her Excellency Constance Glyn Dwr of the BMDL has had astounding success the last two years doing that). Then the driver arrives, I hop in the cab, and navigate him around to our various collection/staging areas around site. (We had eight last year.) We load everything up until the truck is full, then go unload at the food bank, and come back for more! Our volunteers are the best. It’s a great team effort!

What’s the deal for Pennsic this year?
This year we’ll be trying to break last years record, of course. We’ll be utilizing multiple drop-off points and plan to expand our number of camp-to-camp cart collectors. The number to schedule a pick up will remain the same (304-283-5640), although I’m going to try to delegate the phone-answering/pick-up scheduling job to someone else during battles and whatnot. We can accept all sorts of canned goods and non-perishables, but can also take relatively shelf-stable items like fresh fruit, eggs, cheese, cakes, pies, bread, and cured meats like ham or bacon. We also gladly collect still-serviceable tents, sleeping bags, rain gear, cots, flashlights, lighters, EZ-Logs, jackets and coats, and pretty much anything else that might help a homeless person out. Toiletries are a huge boon: toothbrushes, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, soaps and detergents, baby wipes, you name it! Pretty much the only things we don’t accept are alcohol, cash, and propane canisters.

What have some of the results been in the past?
As I mentioned, we collected over three pickup truck loads at Pennsic last year, which the staff at the food bank estimated at four to five tons.

Master Brandubh O Donnghaile ran the drive at Gulf Wars this year. He reported “This year was the first time that Palladin’s Pantry was active at Gulf Wars; though Morien couldn’t attend he made contact with the autocrats, publication staff and local food pantry for the food drive. The week started slow with a few bumps, but once camps started to tear down, donations poured in. The local food pantry filled up their pickup truck twice with all the donations, and were very pleased with the donations not just of food items, but also of camping gear.”

We’ve gotten some odd donations (macrame lemons spring to mind–no idea what those were in aid of), and some astonishing feats of generosity as well. I remember a 22-lb Virginia ham; I wonder who went home from the food bank with that monster? Overall, I’m always sure it’s going to be a disaster, and then the gentles of the SCA just rain down largesse, and we end up with mountains of charity. It’s quite a moving and hopeful sign, and never ceases to astonish.

Food Bano volunteers holding signs saying “Thank You Pennsic!”

Do you need volunteer help? How should people contact you?
We ALWAYS need help, and we’ll need more than ever this year to beat last year’s record! We’re also hoping to expand operations to Estrella War, Battle Moor, the Great Western War, and the Fifty-Year Celebration in 2016. Anyone who will be going to those events and wants to help out would be welcome. To get in touch, please feel free to call me at (304) 283-5640, email me at: svandevander@gmail.com and/or join the Paladin’s Pantry Food Drive group of Facebook.

Do you have a favorite story about the Pantry?
Last year there was so much that the food and flats of water and so on overflowed the shelves and covered the floor at the Portersville facility. We had to make little paths through it to allow access to the fridges and freezers, and it was still piling up in the parking bay. When Cindy Burns, the director of the food bank, saw it all she burst into tears. (They had been very close to a bare cupboard before Pennsic.) That place provides help to over seventy households in the area. Everyone thinks to donate around the holidays, but summer is a low time for donations usually. It was the largest one-day donation they had ever seen, by far. Pennsic made a huge difference in the quality of life for scores of families who never set foot on site!

Anything else you can think of?
It occurs to me that if each person at Pennsic donate just one pound of food, we’d be looking at over SIX tons! We’ve just begun to see what this sort of drive can do. Helping those in need is part of chivalrous behavior (in addition to one facet of basic human decency), and SCAdians are great at it! People we will never meet are hungry and need our help. Paladin’s Pantry to the rescue!

I also want to add a sincere vote of thanks to the most noble populace of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, especially their illustrious Excellencies Constance and Liam, who have been the cornerstone of the drive since its inception. Vivat!

Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr has enjoyed working with the Pantry. “The first year Morien told me what he was doing, I was all in from that moment on.” she says. “I knew how busy everyone is during pack up at Pennsic and figured people couldn’t spare the time to drag their extras to a location point that might be far from them. So I grabbed our armor wagon and just started walking around calling out for donations. I don’t know how many trips I made that first year but I we were overwhelmed with people’s generosity. A lot of people hadn’t heard what we were doing until I went by calling it out, so it helped get the word out for the next year. The second year we did it, which was lastlast year, several members of our camp helped out with the wagon collections, people were so excited to get to help it was really awesome to see.

Food collected at Blackstone Raids.

“This year it was my husband’s Baron Liam’s idea to take it to Blackstone Raids, where we also had a wonderful turn out.

“It’s so very heartwarming, to see some SCAdians who themselves don’t have a lot sometimes, chasing me down to give me items for the pantry. I have heard so many times ‘I’ve been there, and want to give back.’ It’s things like that, that keep me going, pulling that wagon around.

“We’ll be collecting at the BMDL camp again this year, so look for our device which is a green field with two white crossed swords with an apple chief.”

Paladin’s Pantry is the embodiment of what we are as SCAdians! Plan to help us – and others – at Pennsic this year.


Filed under: Pennsic, Tidings

Paladin’s Pantry Plans for Pennsic!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-06-19 17:38

An interview with Morien MacBain, the founder of Paladin’s Pantry. The Pantry is a charity rapidly having an effect across the Known World, providing donations for food banks at the ends of larger (and now smaller) SCA events.

Who are you?

Wow, tough one—right for the existential throat! I’m Morien MacBain, and like many Scadians, I tend to define myself through my associations and my activities. I have the honor to serve some very worthy gentles; I am squire to Count Sir Jehan de La Marche, now fostered to Baron Sir Graedwyn mab Teyrnon, I’m also protege to Her Grace Mistress Tessa the Huntress, and Equerry to Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen (that’s like a squire, but for mounted combat). I also have the honor to be the captain of the White Company, and the founder of Paladin’s Pantry. I am also a man richly blest with the women in his life.

What is Paladin’s Pantry?
It’s a charity based around three inescapable truths: SCAdians tend to be generous and open-hearted people, we tend to massively overbuy for camping events, and our stuff expands dramatically during events, making it more difficult to pack! We operate food drives at events which allow people to contribute their extra foodstuffs to local food banks (usually the one closest to the site). It’s a simple idea, but it’s really taken off.

When/How did it get started?
A few years ago we were packing to leave Pennsic, and we were trying to figure out what to do with our camp’s large amount of cans, boxes, jars, and bottles of unopened comestibles, and casting wild surmises about who among us had even bought some of the items in the first place. I had run food drives at my school for years, so we wound up throwing it in the trailer and taking it back to donate. Leaving camp, we passed the Pennsic dumpsters, and saw the huge amounts of castoffs. On the way home, it occurred to me that it might be possible to reclaim some of that stuff for people in need. The next year, we got it off the ground. Most of the donations came from three groups from Æthelmearc and Atlantia (Debatable Lands, the Chalk Man Pub, and the Lusty Wench Tavern). We only got about a trunk full, but it was a good proof of concept. The next year we started advertising, and got increasingly savvy about using social media to get the word out. Last Pennsic we collected an estimated four to five TONS of food and camping supplies. It’s just amazing! We’re the largest single donor the Portersville food bank has (including the government), and I know we can do even better! Last year, we spread our operations to Lilies War in Calontir, and this year we’ve had them at Gulf Wars, Blackstone Raids, and Lilies War, and of course we’ll be having them at Pennsic and War of the Wings in Atlantia as well. The idea really seems to resonate with people.

How does it work?
We usually contact an established food bank near the site, and arrange to have them send a pickup on a given day. Then as the event gets closer we do a full-court media press including Facebook, the on-site newpaper, if one exists, the cry heralds, flyers on the message boards, an ad in the site booklet, if one can be arranged–anything we can think of, really! We tend to post a list of donation sites, but we also provide a number which people can call or text to schedule a pick-up. We also have volunteers who go from camp to camp dragging armor carts and collecting face to face (Her Excellency Constance Glyn Dwr of the Debatable Lands has had astounding success the last two years doing that). Then the driver arrives, I hop in the cab, and navigate him around to our various collection/staging areas around site. (We had eight last year.) We load everything up until the truck is full, then go unload at the food bank, and come back for more! Our volunteers are the best. It’s a great team effort!

What’s the deal for Pennsic this year?
This year we’ll be trying to break last years record, of course. We’ll be utilizing multiple drop-off points and plan to expand our number of camp-to-camp cart collectors. The number to schedule a pick up will remain the same (304-283-5640), although I’m going to try to delegate the phone-answering/pick-up scheduling job to someone else during battles and whatnot. We can accept all sorts of canned goods and non-perishables, but can also take relatively shelf-stable items like fresh fruit, eggs, cheese, cakes, pies, bread, and cured meats like ham or bacon. We also gladly collect still-serviceable tents, sleeping bags, rain gear, cots, flashlights, lighters, EZ-Logs,  jackets and coats, and pretty much anything else that might help a homeless person out. Toiletries are a huge boon: toothbrushes, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels,  soaps and detergents, baby wipes, you name it! Pretty much the only things we don’t accept are alcohol, cash, and propane canisters.

What have some of the results been in the past?
As I mentioned, we collected over three pickup truck loads at Pennsic last year, which the staff at the food bank estimated at four to five tons.

Master Brandubh O Donnghaile ran the drive at Gulf Wars this year. He reported, “This year was the first time that Paladin’s Pantry was active at Gulf Wars; though Morien couldn’t attend he made contact with the autocrats, publication staff and local food pantry for the food drive. The week started slow with a few bumps, but once camps started to tear down, donations poured in. The local food pantry filled up their pickup truck twice with all the donations, and were very pleased with the donations not just of food items, but also of camping gear.” 

We’ve gotten some odd donations (macrame lemons spring to mind–no idea what those were in aid of), and some astonishing feats of generosity as well. I remember a 22-lb Virginia ham; I wonder who went home from the food bank with that monster? Overall, I’m always sure it’s going to be a disaster, and then the gentles of the SCA just rain down largesse, and we end up with mountains of  charity. It’s quite a moving and hopeful sign, and never ceases to astonish.

Do you need volunteer help? How should people contact you?
We ALWAYS need help, and we’ll need more than ever this year to beat last year’s record!  We’re also hoping to expand operations to Estrella War, Battle Moor, the Great Western War, and the Fifty-Year Celebration in 2016. Anyone who will be going to those events and wants to help out would be welcome. To get in touch, please feel free to call me at (304) 283-5640, email me at: svandevander@gmail.com and/or join the Paladin’s Pantry Food Drive group of Facebook.

Food Bano volunteers holding signs saying “Thank You Pennsic!”

Do you have a favorite story about the Pantry?
Last year there was so much that the food and flats of water and so on overflowed the shelves and covered the floor at the Portersville facility. We had to make little paths through it to allow access to the fridges and freezers, and it was still piling up in the parking bay. When Cindy Burns, the director of the food bank, saw it all she burst into tears. (They had been very close to a bare cupboard before Pennsic.) That place provides help to  over seventy households in the area. Everyone thinks to donate around the holidays, but summer is a low time for donations usually. It was the largest one-day donation they had ever seen, by far. Pennsic made a huge difference in the quality of life for scores of families who never set foot on site!

Anything else you can think of?
It occurs to me that if each person at Pennsic donate just one pound of food, we’d be looking at over SIX tons! We’ve just begun to see what this sort of drive can do. Helping those in need is part of chivalrous behavior (in addition to one facet of basic human decency), and SCAdians are great at it! People we will never meet are hungry and need our help. Paladin’s Pantry to the rescue!

I also want to add a sincere vote of thanks to the most noble populace of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, especially their illustrious Excellencies Constance and Liam, who have been the cornerstone of the drive since its inception. Vivant!

Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr has enjoyed working with the Pantry. “The first year Morien told me what he was doing, I was all in from that moment on.” she says.  “I knew how busy everyone is during pack up at Pennsic and figured people couldn’t spare the time to drag their extras to a location point that might be far from them. So I grabbed our armor wagon and just started walking around calling out for donations.  I don’t know how many trips I made that first year but we were overwhelmed with people’s generosity. A lot of people hadn’t heard what we were doing until I went by calling it out, so it helped get the word out for the next year. The second year we did it, which was last year, several members of our camp helped out with the wagon collections, people were so excited to get to help it was really awesome to see.

Food collected at Blackstone Raids.

“This year it was my husband, Baron Liam’s, idea to take it to Blackstone Raids, where we also had a wonderful turn out.

“It’s so very heartwarming, to see some SCAdians who themselves don’t have a lot sometimes, chasing me down to give me items for the pantry. I have heard so many times ‘I’ve been there, and want to give back.’ It’s things like that, that keep me going, pulling that wagon around.

“We’ll be collecting at the Debatable Lands camp again this year (in N10), so look for the Paladin’s Pantry device, which is a green field with two white crossed swords with an apple chief.”

Paladin’s Pantry is the embodiment of what we are as SCAdians! Plan to help us – and others – at Pennsic this year.


Categories: SCA news sites

PENNSIC: Paid Pre-Reg deadline extended until midnight Saturday!

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:17

Paid pre-registration for Pennsic 44 will REMAIN OPEN until 11:59pm on Saturday, June 20th!

Pré-inscriptions payées pour Pennsic 44 va rester ouvert jusqu’à 23:59 le samedi 20 juin !


Filed under: En français, Pennsic, Tidings

Pennsic Pre-Registration Deadline Extended

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-06-19 08:59

Photo Credit: Lord Darter the Chronicler

The paid Pennsic pre-registration deadline, originally Wednesday,

June 17, 2015, has been extended until 11:59pm on Saturday, June 20, 2015.

You can pre-register on the Official Site of the Pennsic Registration Office.


Categories: SCA news sites

Special Election Web Page for the Debatable Lands

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-06-18 09:02

At the request of the chairman of the selection committee, a new web page has been added to the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands website to provide coverage for the upcoming Baronial elections.

You can find that page here and bookmark it for future reference. As the process continues, this page will host continuing status updates as well as links to pictures and profiles of the candidates.


Categories: SCA news sites

A Call to Fighters to Participate in Mounted to Ground Activities!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-06-17 21:48

Horses preparing to charge a line of ground fighters at last year’s Stormsport War Muster and Equestrian event.

This weekend the Shire of Sunderoak is hosting Æthelwald Proving Grounds and once again there will be horses on site. The day’s activities, under the apt leadership of THL Meadhbh, include a competition in the morning, and various training opportunities in the afternoon. These include experimental activities in Mounted to Ground Combat.

This activity involves mounted combatants engaging ground fighters and allows both sides to experience some of what combat between cavalry and infantry was like during the medieval period. Obviously, we cannot replicate every aspect of this combat, just as we do not in rattan fighting. The cavalry does not run down the ground fighters, who also do not spear the horses through the chest to stop their charges. But this activity allows both sides to explore what this type of combat was like, the special training that is required, and the complexity of this combat. As equestrians, we are able to develop training strategies in order to foster the horse’s courage and obedience in the face of armored forces advancing on them, making a lot of noise. And we work to train our horses to the level of a medieval warhorse that faced a variety of conditions on the battlefield. The ground fighters are able to work on strategies to defeat cavalry and engage a mounted force. Prior participants have exclaimed about the exciting experience of facing charging horses, with the ground rumbling beneath their feet at the approach of the horses.

Acclimating horses to the ground fighters.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved in, then we have the opportunity for you at APG this coming weekend. As the Experimental Deputy to the Kingdom Equestrian Officer, I will be conducting Mounted to Ground activities and encourage authorized fighters to join us on the equestrian field. We will be conducting some controlled charges similar to what was done at Stormsport’s event last year and fighters are needed to participate. This will also be a chance to screen future participants for the more advanced aspects of the Experiment. For that level of participation, we are looking for fighters with skill, as well as good common sense and some familiarity with horses. In these more advanced activities, we will be experimenting with a variety of combat scenarios and forms.

So, if you are interested in something a little different from the tourney or melee field, I encourage you to seek us out on the equestrian list field this Saturday at APG

–Shishido Tora (Gozen)

Photographs by THL Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndrvdwy


Categories: SCA news sites

"Re-creationists" meet amid the eucalypts and scrub near Mittagong

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2015-06-17 12:14

Easter weekend saw the annual pilgrimage to Mittagong, Australia for the Kingdom of Lochac's Rowany Festival, Australia's largest gathering of pre-17th century "recreationists." Peter Munro of the Sydney Morning Herald previewed the 2015 event with a look at life in the medieval village. (photos)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Gazette Editor Profile: Ursula of Rouen

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-06-17 07:09

This is the fourth in our series of Gazette editor profiles.

Name: THL Ursula of Rouen
Editor Area/Title: Region 1 Editor

What made you want to join the Gazette staff?
When I was presented with the opportunity, I thought that it would be a great way to showcase a lot of what the Kingdom and the SCA have to offer. I like that it’s free and open to anyone, so it could serve as a great “welcome mat” for the society.

What do you like most about being on the Gazette staff?
I don’t consider myself a writer, but being able to collaborate with several great writers to see ideas turn into stories from interesting perspectives is really fun. We all work really well together and have a great time discussing and sharing ideas, finding pictures, and digging up articles.

How has the Gazette been received in your area?
I think Region 1, mundanely West Virginia, has welcomed the Gazette with open arms. We like having up-to-the-minute news from events. Personally, I really enjoy the enhanced Court Reports we’ve been doing; it’s really nice to be able to put names and faces together for some of the regions we don’t get to travel to as often as we’d like.

What kinds of articles would you like to encourage people to submit?
ANYTHING! Seriously. If you have an idea and want to share it, please send it to us. We are really good at working with you to fill in details and find pictures that make it look polished. I really like the How-To articles that show you how simple some things really are to do as well. Even if you just have an idea, we’d love to hear it. We are here to serve Æthelmearc and want to publish articles the populace wants to read.

Interested in submitting articles to the Gazette, suggesting blogs to feature, or to be put on our roster of photographers whose work we have permission to use? Email us at aethgazette@gmail.com. Check out our submission guidelines here.

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Magna Carta Roundup

Medievalists.net - Tue, 2015-06-16 23:19
The 800th anniversary of the creation of Magna Carta was a major event, and here is a roundup of how newspapers and other media covered it.


[View the story "Magna Carta Roundup" on Storify]
Her Majesty The Queen unveils a plaque commemorating 800 years of Magna Carta - Photo courtesy Surrey County Council
Categories: History, SCA news sites

Event Report: Scarlet Guard Inn, Shire of Hornwood, June 12-14, A.S. 50rd

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-06-16 18:39

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope enjoyed the day at the Scarlet Guard Inn and reports on the doings there.

The Scarlet Guard Inn is one of a small number of archery-themed events held in Æthelmearc throughout the year. When the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais decided a few years ago that they would no longer run Will’s Revenge, the Companions of the Scarlet Guard, Æthelmearc’s grant-level archery order, persuaded the good folk of the Shire of Hornwood to fill the gap. This year’s third Scarlet Guard Inn was as much fun as ever, despite some occasional rain. A total of 57 archers participated in one or more of the shoots.

The event included camping from Friday night through Sunday for those who were interested, but the main activities were held on Saturday. Roving ranges, which required archers to walk through the woods and shoot at targets placed along the way, included one with archers shooting the damned souls of Dante’s Inferno, run by Lady Katherine Täntzel; another run by Alrekr Bergsson (who received his Award of Arms later that day) in which archers had to acquire the assistance of Mythic Heroes to kill the escaped Norse wolf, Fenrir; and a third in which Lady Marina Aragones de Navarre had archers take aim at natural objects like tree stumps, sometimes through tricky terrain.

Photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar

There were also several stationary ranges. Master Robert the Grey once again ran his “skeet shoot” which had a wooden machine that Queen Gabrielle described as “looking like something out of da Vinci’s notebooks.” It tossed disks into the air that archers had two chances to hit using “flu-flu” arrows. Master Robert also ran a Popinjay shoot that required archers to shoot nearly vertical to knock a stuffed bird off a wire many feet above them.

The Kingdom Archery Marshal, Baron Edward Harbinger, ran a charity shoot in which gentles could pay $1 per arrow to shoot at targets of Pelicans, Laurel wreaths, Knights, and Puss in Boots (for the Order of Defense), each sponsored by a peer of the appropriate order. The sponsoring peers matched the arrows shot at their targets to a maximum of $10, and those who were present could also “defend” their targets by shooting them, with each hit removing a point scored by another archer. Some targets were shared by multiple peers, which led to the amusing scenario of one peer defending their target while simultaneously adding points to another peer’s tally, only to have the peer sharing the target return the favor. The shoot brought in $393 for the Kingdom Trailer fund.

Count Andreas Morgan’s target loses an eye to the author’s arrow. Sorry, Your Excellency…

A third range, in which archers took aim at characters from the Princess Bride movie, was run by Lord Ru Cavorst. In addition, THLord Juan Miguel ran a 100-yard clout shoot with a dragon at the center, and there was also a standard Royal Round range available for those wishing to improve their scores or receive advice from the members of the Scarlet Guard.

Many of the ranges had members of the Scarlet Guard available to offer training to those who desired it, and some classes were also offered under the pavilion where the cooks of Hornwood provided an all-day sideboard of bread, fruits, veggies, soups, sweets, and drinks.

King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle each took turns at the archery range. Her Majesty, who has previously held the rank of Master Bowman, was shy a string for Her crossbow, so THLord Juan Miguel graciously loaned Her his crossbow.

Queen Gabrielle aims at the Royal Round targets

His Majesty shot a longbow, and despite His protestations of not being a very good archer, did a creditable job at the Royal Round targets. Their Majesties announced in court that night that They intend to arise early each day at Pennsic to participate in the populace shoot on all four days, to serve as an example to Their subjects and encourage everyone to shoot the Archery War Point. King Timothy has said several times that He believes this year the War may come down to the Archery War Point as the deciding competition.

His Majesty shooting with THLord Cynwulf Rendell, with THLord Brada Æthelward marshaling

Their Majesties chose the Inn as Their venue to select both the Kingdom Archery Champion and Their Thrown Weapons Champion. The outgoing Thrown Weapons Champion, THLord Gunther Grunbaum, ran the Thrown Weapons Tournament. The finalists were Master Tigernach mac Cathail, Baron Caleb Reynolds, Lady Aemelia Soteria, THLady Rois O’Faye (called Rosheen), and THLord Kenn the Just.

The Thrown Weapons finalists retrieving their weapons while THLord Gunther scores

The rounds included a variety of targets, including ones where the objective was to not hit certain portions of the target. After a hard fought final round, the winner was Master Tigernach mac Cathail, who was invested as the new Kingdom Thrown Weapons Champion at the evening court.

Master Tigernach is invested as Thrown Weapons Champion

The Kingdom Archery Champion’s Tournament was organized by the outgoing Champion, Lord Ichikiero Osoroshi. After a qualifying round, there were seven qualifying archers who were required to shoot six arrows alternating between the 20 and 30 yard targets, with speed as well as points a determining factor. After this round, the field was reduced to three: Lady Katherine Täntzel, Lord Ru Cavorst, and Lord Gawin Hawkseye. The semi-final round required the archers to perform the difficult task of hitting “snakes” that popped out of canisters when Lord Ichikiero pulled a string. It took at least six rounds but this then reduced the field to two finalists, Lady Katherine and Lord Ru.

Lord Ru and Lady Katherine shooting the final round of the Archery Champion’s Tourney

In the final round, the archers were required to hit paper plates affixed to a mechanical device that made them spin at varying rates of speed, which was another difficult challenge. Both archers performed well, but the winner was Lord Ru Cavorst.

Lord Ru is recognized as the new Archery Champion

That evening, Their Majesties held court, bestowing awards on a number of deserving individuals in addition to investing Their new Archery and Thrown Weapons Champions. They also welcomed Their outgoing Archery Champion, Lord Ichikiero Osoroshi, to the ranks of both Ludicrous Bowman (with a royal round average over 120), and the Order of the Golden Alce.

Lord Ichikiero Osoroshi steps down as Champion and is recognized as a Ludicrous Bowman and a Companion of the Golden Alce

THLord Juan Miguel announced the winner of the Scarlet Guard Challenge, which invited every Shire, Canton, College, Dominion, and Barony in the Kingdom or from other Kingdoms to send a champion to compete. Five groups sent a representative to this year’s Scarlet Guard Inn: the Debatable Lands, Rhydderich Hael, Steltonwald, Hunter’s Home and Delftwood. Since there were only five competitors, they all shot in both rounds of the competition. The first round consisted of shooting at the dragon in the clout range; each archer got 2 shots from 100 yards, 80 yards, 60 yards, and 40 yards. The second round was a timed shoot at the dragon from about 35 yards away, with the archers having to shoot through a castle window. At court, THLord Juan Miguel and his wife, Lady Marina, displayed the banner they had made, which features a white escarbuncle on red, the badge of the Scarlet Guard, and space to add the name of each group and its archer who wins the challenge going forward. This first year’s winner was Lord Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands.

The Scarlet Guard Challenge banner

THLord Juan Miguel also offered a challenge for all archers to complete all nine stations and roving ranges over the course of the day. As the archers completed each shoot, the marshal in charge gave them a sticker to place on a scorecard. Those who accumulated stickers for every shoot received a gray “Iron Tassel” crafted by THLord Juan Miguel, which included a small cast pewter rendition of a tassel as well as an actual yarn archery tassel. Quite a few archers accomplished this feat, with a few others coming very close. THLord Juan Miguel lists the following archers who received Iron Tassels:

Photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar

  • THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoghill
  • Lady Simonetta d’Alfassi
  • THL Aindreas mac Ghille Fhionntaigh
  • Greg Straub
  • Lady Miriel du Lac
  • Lord Robert MacEwin
  • Feya
  • Brandy Straub
  • Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth
  • Viscountess Lucilla Theresa de Courtenay
  • THL Madoc Arundel
  • Siobhan Readnait
  • Caelfind in Eich Gil
  • Lord Goffraid Cleireach
  • John Matichko

Gentles who earned an Iron Tassel, photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar

His Lordship says, “I’m already making plans for next year’s Iron Tassel, thinking of adding another range or having the archers attend a class.”

Saturday evening ended with gentles enjoying potables and good food around campfires. Despite the intermittent rain, which made it necessary for a few vehicles to be pushed out of the mud, everyone had a great time. Lady Katherine Täntzel said, “I can’t wait until next year!”

Companions of the Order of the Scarlet Guard with Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle. Photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar.

All photos not otherwise credited are by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.


Categories: SCA news sites

"Hatch" determined to be male

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-06-16 08:40

In 1981, the skeleton of a dog was discovered among human remains on the Tudor flagship Mary Rose. Since then, the dog, nicknamed "Hatch," was identified as a female, but new research shows that the remains are that of a "young male dog, most closely related to modern Jack Russell terriers, with a brown coat."

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Categories: SCA news sites