Covering the Kingdom of Æthelmearc of the SCA
Updated: 18 min 41 sec ago
Good Evening, my happy family of medievalists! I recently went to look at a manuscript as a primary source. I know, it’s a never ending exercise in frustration. When you pull out a manuscript (or more likely, photos of the pages) it sometimes seems like you are staring at another language even when it is written in English.
Guess what? Chances are good that it IS written in another language. Today’s Links list will educate you on the whys and hows of Medieval Cryptology, a past time that originated in the need to write quickly and condense a complicated language down to its essentials. This ancient basis for modern shorthand marks is the very reason your eyes get so tired attempting to decipher those medieval marks on the page. Read on (tank fully, in modern English), and learn how to cheat, and look like a pro at cryptology!
(All images come from the links preceding them in the text except where noted)
Dame Aoife Finn
(m/k/a author Lis Gelatt), writing from sunny Endless Hills in Æthelmearc.
Image source:Reading Medieval Script
English Language and Usage: How did 7 become the abbreviation for ‘and’ in Old English? Did you ever wonder how some abbreviations or shorthand characters came to be? The link above details how a common modern shorthand character found frequent usage.
Reading Medieval Script in Three Not-So-Easy Steps. Often, when we sit down to do research into a given subject we are confronted with several difficulties in period sources. This author addresses those difficulties so that you, the scholar, don’t end up looking like the fellow pictured after a day of primary source reading.
Arundel 490, fol. 81
How to Read Medieval Handwriting. There are many difficulties to medieval handwriting, not the least of which are the many “fonts.” Find out how to adjust yourself to these puzzling language characters at this link.
Medieval Abbreviations (I). Origin. Where did this peculiar need to abbreviate meaning in written word originate? At this link you will find out how and why medieval shorthand began. Yes, it is for the same reason we use shorthand today. You won’t believe how old shorthand really is, though.
Medieval Abbreviations (II). Medieval Period. Shorthand and abbreviations took a turn for the more complicated in the Medieval period. In a way, monks and scholars were hoarding information for themselves by creating and using this “secret language” known only to the initiated. Here’s how to crack that code for yourself.
The Ciphers of the Monks—A forgotten number notation of the middle ages. Yes, this is another secret language from the middle ages. And you thought the number system for referencing passages in the bible was convoluted!
Manuscript abbreviations in Latin and English. Use this handy guide as you read your source documents. It will prove invaluable in deciphering those abbreviations.
A Dictionary of Abbreviations in Medieval Manuscripts Here is another dictionary of words found abbreviated in medieval manuscripts. You’re welcome. I’m glad to have this on tap, myself!
Medieval Manuscript Manual. Originating as a class reference, this site has become a European scholarly site for references on all sorts of manuscript ephemera, and features manuscripts in many languages. The site itself is available in several languages to boot.
Cracking Codes in Medieval Books. This, it turns out, is quite a hobby in itself. If you want to research certain manuscripts, however, this will be an invaluable tool. Some scriptorium preferred certain symbols and abbreviations over others.
Tironian Notes. Socrates had a scribe whose family name was Tiro. Tiro devised a system for rapid note-taking, and Tironian notes (the first known shorthand) was born. Still in use by the late middle ages, Tironian notes allowed scholars to rapidly write spoken word as well as to write all over source material in a secret language, summing up the contents for themselves. These margin notes are fascinating to modern scholars. On this site, we see some of the system, which became incredibly complex, in action as well as several translation tables and examples of the marks in situ.
Medieval Cryptology–Aethelmearc’s own Mistress Phiala has a site dedicated to Medieval Cryptology, noting many ways medieval scribes made knowledge harder for modern scholars to interpret. This site is the Pennsic University basis for her class on the subject.
Decrypting the Most Mysterious Book in the World. If you thought any of the above was difficult, you should see the Voynich manuscript, a 600 year old book that NO ONE but the author understood. Until now….
The Seneschal of the Society sends greetings to my fellow SCA members and participants,
Based upon the fact that ACCEPS has now shut down, the need to remain silent to ensure the security of everyone’s credit card information on ACCEPS is no longer a concern and as such, I am able to divulge the following factual basis for the SCA’s ending of its relationship with ACCEPS in terms of all future events.
Please know that it was the Board of Directors and the Corporate Officers’ intention to allow ACCEPS to continue to serve the Kingdoms and the local groups in terms of those events that were currently being handled through ACCEPS and that the immediate shutting down of all ACCEPS activities was not anticipated by the Board of Directors or the Corporate Officers. The immediate termination of ACCEPS was a decision made solely by the ACCEPS staff.
Furthermore, I did not anticipate that my official memorandum to the Kingdom Seneschals (the same email was sent by the Corporate Treasurer to the Kingdom Exchequers) would be disseminated in whole or in part on Social Media feeds and as such, I feel that the following points need to be made.
1. It was reported to the Board of Directors that ACCEPS’ security structure could be compromised and that ACCEPS’s security must be updated; when this was reported to ACCEPS, the creator of the ACCEPS program refused to bolster and update security and make the necessary modifications to ACCEPS to protect participants and the SCA.
2. In an attempt to protect the members and participants of the SCA using ACCEPS, the Board of Directors decided, in conjunction with the President, Society Seneschal (i.e. myself) and Corporate Treasurer, decided to remove the SCA’s authorization to use ACCEPS in terms of any future events.
3. All Kingdom and local group events currently being served through ACCEPS would be allowed to continue to participate as active ACCEPS participants; however, it was determined by the Board of Directors, in conjunction with Corporate Officers, that no new events will be allowed to register with ACCEPS due to the financial risk to the SCA and its participants.
4. The Board of Directors and Corporate Officers determined that it was most prudent to protect the individuals who are still being served by ACCEPS by not drawing attention to the security weakness inherent in ACCEPS; to do so would have been to place the participants and their credit card information at risk in terms of credit card fraud.
5. The Society Seneschal and Corporate Treasurer drafted an official letter to Kingdom Seneschals and Kingdom Exchequers to not use ACCEPS in the future, that to violate this rule would result in a suspended warrant (i.e. there was a real consequence to not following this directive) and that those events that were currently being served by ACCEPS may continue, but not be extended. The potential sanction for any Seneschal and Exchequer not following this directive was commensurate with putting the SCA’s membership at risk.
6. A courtesy copy of these official letters (to Kingdom Seneschals and Exchequers) were sent to ACCEPS. As such, ACCEPS was informed that the SCA was terminating its relationship ACCEPS in terms of any new events; however, it was clear from the letter that the SCA would continue to allow the Kingdoms and local group to maintain all current events handled by ACCEPS.
7. The treasurer of ACCEPS contacted the Corporate Treasurer on the evening of April 18, 2015 which was the genesis of a conference call between the treasurer for ACCEPS, the President of the SCA, the Corporate Treasurer and I (as Society Seneschal), immediately after receiving the courtesy copy of the official email sent to all Kingdom Seneschals and Exchequers. The terms of the SCA’s response to ACCEPS were reviewed orally during this phone call, i.e. that the current events already being handled on ACCEPS would be allowed to proceed until fruition, but there would be no further events handled on ACCEPS.
8. Not only did ACCEPS refuse, previous to this past weekend’s Board of Director’s Meeting, to take steps to protect individuals which forced the hand of the Board of Directors and Corporate Officers, but later that evening, after the Board Meeting and after the conference call with Corporate Officers, ACCEPS chose to terminate their services to each Kingdom and local group in terms of all of the current events being handled by ACCEPS.
9. Later that evening, statements were made on Social Media quoting portions of the official communication to SCA Seneschals and Exchequers and this generated a great deal of negative comments in terms of the Board of Director’s and Corporate Officers; however, the Board of Directors and Corporate Officers were unable to comment on these until this opportunity. To do otherwise would be to expose the weaknesses in security in terms of the ACCEPS system and put the credit card information of the members and participants at risk. This posting is a response to all of those comments. A number of comments received by the Board of Directors and Corporate Officers and I will be responding to each of these now that ACCEPS has been shut down.
10. PayPal is currently being utilized by several test Kingdoms and while the vast majority of the other Kingdoms are not currently ready to employ PayPal; however, the Board and Corporate Officers were compelled to act swiftly to minimize the opportunity for fraud in view of the refusal by ACCEPS’ owner/creator to make proper updates and enhancements to protect credit card information. I believe that we all understood that this would be inconvenient to Kingdoms and local groups, but in view of the world wide threat of credit card fraud and identity theft, the Board acted to protect individual participants who could be compromised by utilizing ACCEPS in the future.
If anyone has any questions regarding this matter, I can be reached at email@example.com. I am unable to participate in Social Media due to the nature of my mundane employment; as such, if you are interested in actually discussing this matter, I invite you to send me an email.
Sir Tiberius Pinarius Varro for Duchess Anna Blackleaf
My friends, I bring joyous news. I share with you the words of Her Royal Majesty of Ansteorra, Queen Antigone:
Greetings to Our cousins in the north, Their Majesties of Æthelmearc!
We have good tidings for You from Ansteorra. Having heard Your plea for assistance in the coming Pennsic War. We shall be in attendance and stand with Your Majesties defending Your lands!
Let all of Æthelmearc rejoice!
This year’s regional archery muster, held at the castle of Sir Byron and Sir Ariella, drew a small but enthusiastic group of archers and throwers. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the activities there.
The weather was lovely with warm temperatures, light breezes, and just enough overcast to keep the sun out of the archers’ eyes. The day began with bowmen testing themselves against the Gwyntarian Winter Challenge at the lower level of the castle, while weapons were being thrown on the driveway in front of the castle.
After a pot luck lunch with drinks provided by our hosts, the main action moved up to the parapets, where archers shot at an array of inventive targets provided by THLord Deryk the Archer. This year’s novelty targets featured a pirate theme, with doubloons, ships, ghosts, kegs of ale, and shipboard rats. The ghost and a whale moved (thanks to assistants pulling them along on a rope) to provide extra challenges.
In the Great Hall, a table of items donated by gentles of the Debatable Lands was offered in a silent auction to benefit the Barony-Marche. The auction, run by THLady Elss of Augsburg and Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth, netted $170.
Their Excellencies, Byron and Ariella, were also pleased to welcome a visitor from the soon-to-be-Kingdom of Avacal, Lord Peregrine Falconer, who was in the Debatable Lands on business and attended the muster after reading about the castle in the Gazette.
The organizer of the muster, Master Urho Waltterinen, looks forward to running it again next year.
The Board of Directors of SCA, Inc. believes that there are better options in terms of electronic payments in the SCA; the corporate office is moving towards an alternative payment service as rapidly as possible. As such, the Board of Directors is discontinuing its relationship with ACCEPS and no longer approves the usage of ACCEPS as of midnight April 18, 2015. As such, I am directing all Kingdom and Local Group Seneschals to follow the decision of the Board, Corporate Treasurer and Society Seneschal to not utilize ACCEPS. If anyone makes the unfortunate mistake of not being in compliance with this directive, the officer in question’s warrant will be immediately suspended.
As for all current ACCEPS related events, these will be allowed to go to completion; however, there will be no time extension in terms of these same events.
In a field of 55 fencers, believed to be one of the largest Æthelmearc Queen’s Rapier Champion Tournaments ever, Master Lodovick of Grays Inn defeated Don William Parris in the finals to claim victory and the position of Rapier Champion for the reign of Queen Gabrielle.
The Queen’s Rapier Champion Tournament was held on April 18, A.S. XLIX, in the Shire of Silva Vulcani.
Master Lodovick, who resides in the Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog, was inducted to the White Scarf in the reign of Henri I. He became a Master of the Pelican last summer for his service to the Bog.
While His Majesty King Timothy was in Ansteorra on business, hoping to secure the Ansteorran army as Pennsic allies, Queen Gabrielle presided over the tournament and held court.
Congratulations to Doña Gabrielle de Winter, the autocrat of the QRC, and her staff from Silva Vulcani on another successful event.
I look back on my term as Sylvan Signet of the Glorious Kingdom of Æthelmearc in wonder. Through the position I have met and worked with some of the most amazing and talented artists in the Known World.
This started 5 years ago when Duncan von Halstern and Ilish O’Donovan said “Sure, let’s hire her” when my name was presented to them to take over for the Retiring Gillian. They have the first of my thanks. I also give thanks to all the Royalty that I have served under: Christopher and Morgen, Isenwulf and Rosalinda, Andreas and Kallista, Khalek and Branwyn, Maynard and Liadain, Timothy and Gabrielle, Tindal and Etain; and Titus Germanicus and Anna Leigh. I learned a great deal from all of them and hope that they too feel that a friendship has formed.
But I could not have done the job without my various deputies. To Marija Kotok, Giana di Aurelio, and Sthurrim Caithness, who at some point stood as my drop deads, I told you I wouldn’t do it. To my education deputies Giana and Yvianne, thank you for coordinating classes for Heralds and Scribes. To my Pennsic University Coordinator Matilda Bosvyle, you were a godsend, thank you for helping to increase the reputation of the scribes of our Kingdom. To Filippo and Anna Leigh, who were my fund raising deputies – because of your works we were able to host the known world at Pennsic. And to Giana and Juliana Rosalia Dolce di Sienna, my webministers, thank you for the work you did to make our website better.
Also a big thank you to my Heralds, Master Brandubh and Master Kamishima – thank you for being the Yang to my Yin in making court happen smoothly and being a sounding board when I needed.
To Kayleigh MacWhyte, Marguerite Louise Gingraix and Augusta Weyfare – fellow Signets who helped me at times throughout my terms.
A big thank you to Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella, who agreed to take this job after me. I know I leave the office and its people in good hands.
And finally, a thank you to the ones I could not have done this without… my scribes. I am awe at the skill, talent, dedication and generosity that you have all shared. The scribes of Æthelmearc are the Kingdom’s true jewels. These fine folks have produced 1599 scrolls in the last 4.25 years. They worked under all kinds of pressure, usually short notice being the biggest. They were given an average of 37 days to make unique one of a kind scrolls (more often than not, it was closer to 15 or fewer days) to help make someone’s special moment even more special. These are the unsung heroes that deserve the praise and rewards for my term. No matter how long I am gone from the office I will always think of you as MY scribes. I can only hope that I was able to serve you well.
To the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, my home and the best Kingdom a person could hope to live and work in, I thank you for being you and appreciating the scribal arts as strongly as you do. Don’t forget to thank your scribe.
Court Reports: Last Court of Titus and Anna Leigh, and First Court of Timothy and Gabrielle, April 11, A.S. XLIX
Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Coronation in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais 11 April AS 49, accompanied by His Excellency Liam, Baron of Debatable Lands; Their Excellencies Aquila and Bronwyn, Baron and Baroness of Thescorre; Their Excellencies Carolus and Isolda, Baron and Baroness of Rhydderich Hael; Their Excellencies Fergus and Helene, Baron and Baroness of Delftwood; Their Excellencies Ichijo and Cerridwen, Baron and Baroness of Blackstone Mountain; Their Excellencies Gunnar and Barbary Rose, Baron and Baroness of Endless Hills; and Their Excellencies Iago and Emilia, Baron and Baroness of St. Swithin’s Bog. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, with the assistance of THL Madoc Arundel, Shrike Herald.
Baron Robert of Sugargrove came before Their Majesties to present, as promised, new Heirs’ thrones for the Kingdom of Æthelmearc. After consulting with the populace as well as Their herald, Their Majesties named the new thrones as Laurel and Branch, for They knew well the skill and research that Baron Robert had done into all manner of period woodworking. And being so impressed that They felt this worthy of recognition, They charged Baron Robert, with the accompaniment of Their Order of the Laurel, to choose a time and place in consultation with Their Heirs that he might sit Vigil in contemplation of accepting elevation to that Order. Scroll forthcoming.
THL Morien MacBain presented a cake and miniature catapult to Their Majesties on behalf of the Order of the Scarlet Battery.
Hundthor the Master Pintsman was Awarded Arms in absentia for his skill and promotion of the brewer’s art in his Shire and Kingdom.Scroll by Dame Margaret Makafee.
Lord Blue Star was Granted Arms and inducted into the Order of the Gage for the joy and skill he relentlessly displays on the heavy weapons field. Scroll forthcoming.
Matthias Lachlann was Awarded Arms in absentia for his donation of garb to his local Gold Key and his skill at leatherworking. Scroll by Baroness Alex.
Lord Andros Duran was created a Companion of the Golden Alce in absentia for serving as a teacher and marshal, and for his skills in thrown weapons and combat archery. Scroll by Countess Aidin ni Leir.
Lord Sergei Ratminov was elevated to the Order of the Golden Alce for his proficiency in both heavy weapons and fencing combat. Scroll by Countess Kallista Morgunova upon wording by Count Sir Andreas Morgan.
Lady Tamarra of Dragon’s End was welcomed to the Order of the Golden Alce for the enthusiasm and bravery she shows on the heavy weapons list, taking up arms in Crown Tournament and never fearing to challenge the best fighter on the field. Scroll in process by THL Gwydion ap Arden.
Lord Edward of St. Swithin’s Bog was inducted into the Order of the Sycamore in absentia for the delight he brings to the populace through his music. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.
Lord Hanse Drachensone was created a Companion of the Sycamore in absentia for his skill in weaponsmithing and other metalworking. Scroll illuminated by Lady Edana the Red and calligraphed by THL Fiora d’Artusio upon wording by Don William Parris.
Baroness Katerina McGilledoroughe was elevated to the Order of the Sycamore for her many and varied interests among the gentle arts, including trim weaving, jewelrymaking, illumination, sewing, and leatherwork. Scroll forthcoming.
THL Caellin Athlone was inducted into the Order of the Keystone for her service as retainer to Their Majesties Christopher and Morgen, as head retainer to Their Excellencies Liam and Constance of the Debatable Lands, and as largesse coordinator for Their Majesties. Scroll forthcoming.
Lady Teresa Luisa Alvarez was Granted Arms and inducted into the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc for her research and execution of period clothing and embroidery. Scroll by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix.
Minamoto-dono Kumamoto Sakurako was elevated to the Senior Sixth Court rank, Granted Arms and welcomed into the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc for her study and creation of period ink, arrows and other Japanese arts. Scroll forthcoming.
Lord Vigo di Napoli was Granted Arms and named a Don of the Order of the White Scarf for his tireless devotion to the fencing community of Æthelmearc and the Known World, as well as the fierce skill he demonstrates when he takes the field. Scroll forthcoming.
Their Excellencies, Ichijo and Cerridwen, were inducted into the Order of the Cornelian in celebration of the courtesy and welcoming spirit that they show to all members of the Society, both new and old. Scrolls forthcoming.
Her Excellency, Mistress Ekaterina Volkova, petitioned Their Majesties to release her from her position as Sylvan Signet, for she had toiled for many years in that role and it was time for new leadership of the Kingdom’s scribes. Their Majesties thanked her for her service and released her.
Lady Geirdis Riurikova likewise petitioned Their Majesties to release her from her position as Kingdom Chamberlain. Their Majesties did so, and in recognition of the service that she had performed in her role, Granted her Arms and created her a Baroness of the Court. Scroll forthcoming.
Maistir Brandubh Ó Donnghaile and Mistress Hilderun Hügelmann, Their Majesties’ Reign Coordinators, were elevated to the station of Baron and Baroness of the Court for the unfathomable service they had done to Their Majesties over the course of Their reign. Scrolls illuminated by Lady Maria Adriane and calligraphed by Mistress Alheydis von Körckhingen.
Mistress Kateryna Ty Isaf, the Kingdom Exchequer, in celebration of her diligent work in that role and especially in the recent renegotiation of the Pennsic Treaty, was created a Baroness of the Court. Scroll forthcoming.
Their Majesties announced that, in recognition of their attendance upon Their Majesties at the recent Estrella War, the following gentles were hereby inducted into the Order of the Golden Thorn: Master Alaric MacConnal, Master Bovi farmaðr, Hara-dono Kikumatsu, Mistress Hilderun Hügelmann and Ishiyama-roku-i Gen’tarou Yori’ie.
Their Majesties awarded the Sigil of Æthelmearc to a great number of gentles. For the complete list and information on how to get your scroll if you received a Sigil, click here.
Their Majesties invited Their Heir, Prince Timothy, who spoke His claim for the Sylvan Throne. Mistress Cori Ghora, Kingdom Seneschale, testified that the Crown Tournament was held in accordance with all Kingdom Laws. The Silver Buccle Herald spoke in the name of the Earl Marshal, that the tournament was held according to the highest standards of martial prowess. Baroness Ekaterina spoke on behalf of the Minister of Lists, that His Highness was indeed the right and proper victor of the day. Kameshima-kyō, Silver Buccle Herald, stated that Their Majesties had indeed named His Highness as Their Heir, and that His Highness’s patents of nobility had been confirmed.
Her Majesty called for the Captain of Her Guard, Doña Gabrielle Winter, who dismissed Her Majesty’s Guard before being herself dismissed. Her Majesty then called for Her Head Retainer, Baroness Katerina McGilledoroughe, who dismissed the Royal Retinue before being herself dismissed.
His Majesty thanked Her Majesty for being His inspiration before removing the Royal Crown from her head and giving it into the safe keeping of the Kingdom. He then removed the Crown from his own head and, as his last act as King, crowned Timothy of Arindale the 36th King of Æthelmearc.
Here ends the Scrolls of the Reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, 35th in the line of monarchs of the Sylvan Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
In Honor and Service,
Thus begins the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy and Gabrielle II, King and Queen of Æthelmearc. Documented: the Business of Their Court at Coronation, 11 April Anno Societatis XLIX, in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai, with the assistance of THL Madoc Arundel, Shrike Herald.
In the morning:
King Timothy invited His Princess, Gabrielle, before him and crowned her Queen, second of that name, of Æthelmearc.
The lineage of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was read.
Their Majesties received oaths of fealty and service from the Great Officers of State, the landed Barons and Baronesses, the Royal Peers, those who had received Writs of Summons for the Order of Defense, the Order of the Pelican, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of Chivalry.
Duke Sir Titus Scipio Germanicus and Lady Anna Leigh were summoned before Their Majesties. His Grace’s status as a Duke was reaffirmed, and Lady Anna Leigh was granted Arms by Letters Patent, and named the 19th Countess of Æthelmearc and a Lady of the Rose. Scrolls in progress illuminated by THL Fiora d’Artusio and calligraphed by THL Sophie Davenport upon wording by Don William Paris.
Sir Ariella of Thornbury was invited before Their Majesties and installed as the Chivalry Advisor of Her Majesty’s Guard. Lord Silvester Burchardt was called before Her Majesty and named the Captain of Her Guard.
In the afternoon, in the Royalty Room:
Their Majesties proclaimed that Her Excellency, Countess Genevieve du Vent Argent, was hereby reinstated as a Lady of the Rose, with all rights and responsibilities thereto appertaining.
Their Majesties affirmed that all business done by Their Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh at the Masque de la Fou event in the Midrealm on March 28, A.S. XLIX, was heretofore read into the Kingdom record as documented in the Court Report from that event.
In the evening:
Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella was invited before Their Majesties and installed as the new Sylvan Signet for the Kingdom. Baroness Ekaterina, her predecessor, presented her with the Kingdom Seal of Æthelmearc and entrusted it into her possession.
Mistress Euriol of Lothian was installed as the Interim Kingdom Chamberlain and invited any and all who might be interested in performing this very necessary service to the Kingdom to speak to her privately.
Marius Sittius was called before Their Majesties and, in recognition of his devotion to the fencing program in his home Shire of Hartstone, They presented him with a collection of fencing armor and equipment that had been collected and donated by the Order of the White Scarf of Æthelmearc.
Brokkr the Vangarian was Awarded Arms for his assistance to his Shire in setting up and clearing of events, as well as his service as an armorer. Scroll by Meisterin Felicity Flußmüllnerin upon wording by Herr Fredrich Flußmüllner.
Greer Wallace was Awarded Arms for her enthusiasm in making garb, serving as tollner and volunteering at demos. Scroll by THL Anlaith ingen Trena upon wording by Baroness Alex.
Lord Silvester Burchardt was inducted into the Order of the Keystone for his support of his shire and household and his reputation for getting done what needs to be done. Scroll by Countess Aidin ni Leir.
Lord Leofr Grimr was created a Companion of the Sycamore for his extensive research into period food and beverage arts, most notably sausage making, the preparation of game meats, and brewing. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.
The children of Æthelmearc there present were summoned and sent to play.
The Peers of the Realm were invited into Their Majesties’ Court, who then asked His Excellency, Don Quinn Kerr to step forward. Being so moved by his years of devotion to the fencing community, and knowing well his love for his Kingdom, They charged him to select a time and place that he might sit Vigil and contemplate being named the next Master of Defense of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc. Scroll in progress by Baroness Cynthia Love of the Tower.
Duchess Christence Heiseler called Blackmoore of the East Kingdom was invited before Their Majesties to report upon the proceeds raised by the day’s Auction Fundraiser for Their Majesties’ Travel Fund. Her Grace, being to that point unaware of the final total, shared joy with populace upon learning and revealing that over $1,000 had been raised. Their Majesties, being confident in Their own funds, requested the permission of Their Kingdom Exchequer to divert the money from the Travel Fund into starting a fund for a Kingdom Storage Trailer. Such permission being received, it was so ordered.
The Seneschale’s office announced that Mistress Cori’s successor had been chosen, and Duke Sir Christopher Rawlyns was named as the next Seneschal of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin reminded all those assembled that the Æthelmearc Gazette happily accepts articles from Kingdom Officers, Peers, and any other members of the populace who wish to contribute.
Their Majesties thanked all those assembled who helped make Their Coronation a glorious event for the Kingdom.
Her Majesty, reviving the tradition started by her predecessor, Duchess Liadain, stated that She would be giving out a Token of Inspiration at each Court where She was in attendance to that gentle who most impressed and inspired Her that day. That day, She had noted well the inspiration given by Baroness Morgan Argante Elandris of Cantref Gwaelon, not only to Her Majesty, but to all those who encountered Her Excellency.
There being no further business, Their Majesties’ Court was closed.
In Honor and Service,
Greetings! I would like to introduce myself. I am THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoighill, and I have recently taken on the office of Kingdom Equestrian Officer of Æthelmearc. I live in Sunderoak, and have been in the SCA for about six years now. I am a lifelong horse(wo)man, having been sat up on a horse for the first time at about six months of age. I bought the first horse I owned myself at age eleven, and I never looked back. I have spent a (long!) lifetime training/retraining horses and riders, showing hunters, fox hunting, trail riding, riding sidesaddle, and, more recently, carriage driving, as well as dabbling briefly in a few other things, such as polo and endurance riding. I currently own two horses – both bays – an Arabian gelding, Cien, and his half sister, an Anglo-Arabian mare, Mouse, who is my usual SCA mount.I actually joined the SCA without even realizing that there was much in the way of equestrian going on. As it happens, I love fiber arts (especially weaving), making cheese, making soap, leatherwork, and wood carving. After listening for many years to people telling me that since I did all of these things, I really needed to join “this organization called the SCA”, I finally did so, and was delighted to find whole bunches of people who like the same things I do!
The equestrian program is going through some huge changes at present. We are holding experimental activities in the Kingdom, including wood lance jousting, mounted to ground combat, and now cut & thrust. I am hoping to see some growth in driving, as well as in mounted archery and driven archery. We are currently training several new marshals, and there are more riders showing an interest in becoming part of our group. I hope that I can keep the Æthelmearc equestrian program balanced and moving steadily ahead while I hold the reins. I would like to thank Mistress Gozen for all of her hard work and dedication to the program while she held the office. She’ll be a tough act to follow! But take heart, folks, she’s not going anywhere! Gozen will actually be taking on the job of Experimental Deputy, and she is in charge of the experimental activities that are happening in the Kingdom now. I would also like to welcome Lady Aaliz de Gant as Deputy KEO. She is officially in charge of keeping me on the straight and narrow, and I know she’ll do a wonderful job of that!
Meanwhile, there are equestrian practices going on throughout the Kingdom. Mistress Gozen is hosting practices at her farm. Sunderoak is sponsoring practices at my farm, and in Sylvan Glen, one of our new MIT’s, Lady Roana River of Sylvan Glen, is hosting practices with the very able assistance of Lady Alienor de Bathe. It’s really great to see that we now actually have enough practices going on that we have to schedule around each other to avoid conflicts.
The Æthelmearc Equestrian Championships will be held on the Fourth of July in Stormsport. We hope to welcome in- and out-of-kingdom riders to compete at the Championships. The King’s and Queen’s Champions, of course, will be chosen from among the Æthelmearc riders, but there will be an individual prize for the highest scoring horse and rider pair of the day, regardless of their citizenship.
Æthelwald Proving Grounds will once again showcase equestrian activities June 19-21 in Sunderoak, and there will be more equestrian events to come as the year rolls on.
We hope to see many of you at these events, and I would like to thank all of the local groups and individuals who are making these practices and events possible.
THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoighill, Æthelmearc KEO
The Æthelmearc Gazette is pleased to share this missive from Aidan ni Leir, the Class Coordinator for Æthelmearc War Practice.
The event is only four weeks away; the deadline for the on-site booklet is just over two weeks out (30 April).
I am very sad to report that as of today, I have only FIVE offers so far. While it is traditional to wait until the last minute to volunteer, these numbers are way below what I have had on the schedule at this point for the last several years. Surely, at an event which has an average attendance of over 1200 gentles, there are more than FIVE volunteers? I know there are many capable teachers with much to offer in this Kingdom, so if you available, please send the following information for the website and booklet:
Please include your legal name and e-mail address, and your preferred time for your class, as well as any special requirements you may have. The schedule will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you volunteer, the more likely it will be that I can accommodate you.
Space is available from 9am-8pm on Friday and 9am-6pm on Saturday in one of three large tents (with tables and chairs), the upper bathhouse (also with tables and chairs, plus electricity and access to water), and the Great Hall.
If you are an officer who would like to hold a staff meeting, or you represent an order or a guild who would like to hold a meeting, you will need to send me the following information so I can book you a space:
Space is available from 9am to 8pm on Friday and from 9am to 6pm on Saturday in one of three large tents (with tables and chairs) or the upper bathhouse (also with tables and chairs, plus electricity). Please be flexible; classes will have priority on the space.
Please send your class or meeting request to me by 30 April:
Thanks in advance for your generous offers, and feel free to cross-post this announcement anywhere you think there may be interest.
This article was submitted by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Principal Herald.
Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle!
This past weekend, shortly before departing the thrones, Their Majesties presented an unprecedented 98 Sigils of Æthelmearc to Their subjects, as well as several subjects of foreign lands whose aid was invaluable during Their reign.
So, Kameshima, what is a Sigil of Æthelmearc?
A Sigil of Æthelmearc (or “Sigil” for short) is a non-precedence-bearing award that is given by the Crown, usually at the end of Their reign, as a “thank you” to all those who gave above and beyond to assist Them while They sat the thrones. A “non-precedence-bearing” award means that recipients don’t get any special title (like “Lord/Lady” or “Master/Mistress”) from getting the award, and having it doesn’t move you any higher in the Order of Precedence. It’s just a nice “thank you” present from the Royalty.
And 98 is a lot?
Yes, and it’s a wonderful demonstration of the industriousness of this Kingdom that Their Majesties thought that so many people deserved this recognition. A Royal Reign is a lot of work, not only for the Crown, but for Their staff, retainers, guards, and chamberlains, as well as the Kingdom Officers. “Many hands make light work” is an old adage that is proven every day here in Æthelmearc, but never more so than helping our Royalty help our Kingdom to look its best.
Is there a nifty scroll or medallion or something that goes along with it?
Whether or not to give scrolls or tokens is a personal choice of the Royalty. Their Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh chose to give block-printed scrolls made by the hand of Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen.
What if I’m on the list, but wasn’t at Court? Did I miss the chance to get my scroll?
Not at all! Maistir Brandubh Ó Donnghaile, who served as one of Their Majesties’ Reign Coordinators and also stands the post of Sigil Herald (appropriately enough!), has volunteered to organize the distribution of Sigil scrolls for anyone who was given the Sigil but was not at Court. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enough chatter, get to the list!
As you wish. ^_^
Lady Abbatissa Dreye de Banneberi
In Honor and Service,
Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Greetings Æthelmearc Army,
In your preparations for Blackstone Raids on the weekend of April 24-26, I would like to ask something of you. Every year Baroness Constance and the waterbearing staff make very sure that there is hydration available. The staff of Blackstone Raids provides a budget for water and supplies for the water bearers which goes against the bottom line of running the event.
So here is my challenge to the fighters, fencers, archers and throwers of the kingdom. In your packing, plan to bring something to help the staff.
If you arrive Thursday or Friday you can drop them at the main lodge. If you arrive Saturday you can drop them off at the water bearers tent on the battle field.
Help support the whole army and keep them well-nourished and hydrated!!
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Event Report: Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle, April 11, A.S. XLIX, Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle which was held on a bright, sunny day in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais.
The Coronation event really began on Friday night, when Prince Timothy sat vigil at the site, having invited the populace to seek him out and give him their counsel. Unfortunately the weather conspired against His Highness, with rain and wind forcing him indoors, which then caused the vigil to be cut shorter than previously planned. However, Prince Timothy commented on the following day that it had been a very valuable experience that He recommended to any future monarchs.
On Saturday morning, a choir of gentles from all over the Kingdom sang Their Majesties, Titus and Anna Leigh, along with the assembled Barons of every Barony in the Realm, into the lovely sanctuary for Their Last Court.
Their Majesties bestowed numerous awards on deserving gentles, most notably a Court Barony on the outgoing Kingdom Chamberlain, Lady Geirdis Riurikova, and another Court Barony on the Kingdom Exchequer, Mistress Kateryna Ty Isaf. Their Majesties noted that among Mistress Kat’s many achievements, she renegotiated the Pennsic Treaty so that Æthelmearc will now receive 1/3 of the profits from the Pennsic War instead of the 20% it received previously.
Mistress Ekaterina Volkova asked Their Majesties’ permission to retire as Sylvan Signet, as she had reached the end of her term. They thanked her for all of her hard work with the scribes of Æthelmearc and granted her leave to step down.
Their Majesties summoned Baron Robert of Sugar Grove, who crafted the Kingdom Throne (nicknamed “Armando”) as well as the new Prince and Princess’ thrones. After praising his skill in woodworking and carving, Their Majesties called for the Order of the Laurel and informed Baron Robert that he was to present himself on a date mutually agreeable to himself and Their Heirs at which he was to answer whether he would accept elevation to the Order of the Laurel.
After numerous other awards were given, including Court Baronies to Their Heads of Court, Maistir Brandubh Ó Donnghaile and Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann, as well as Sigils to a large number of lords and ladies who had given of their time and talents to the reign (with Sigil scrolls woodblock-printed by Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen), Their Majesties thanked the populace, walking out into the aisle to speak more closely to the people about how much They enjoyed Their time on the thrones and appreciated the support of the people of Æthelmearc.
They then called for Their Heir, Prince Timothy of Arindale. Once His Highness’ right to the Crown was confirmed by the Kingdom officers, Their Majesties released the Queen’s Guard and Their retainers, and then King Titus crowned Prince Timothy as King of Æthelmearc. Queen Anna Leigh relinquished her crown to King Timothy, and Duke Titus and Lady Anna Leigh departed the court.
King Timothy then proclaimed that the Kingdom should not be ruled by one person alone, and called forth his lady and inspiration, Princess Gabrielle, to the music of the choir and much praise from Her herald. He crowned Gabrielle as His Queen, after which the Silver Buccle Herald, Master Kameshima Zentarō Umakai, read the roll of Kings and Queens of Æthelmearc.
Their Majesties accepted the fealty of the Kingdom Officers, the Landed Barons, and the Peerage including the vigilants for the incipient Order of Defense (of which only Don Orlando was present).
Their Majesties then called for their predecessors. They thanked Duke Titus for his service, then asked the Silver Buccle Herald to present a special message to His Grace. Master Kameshima stepped from behind the thrones, bent toward Duke Titus, and said “Knock-knock.” After the expected reply from his Grace, Master Kameshima said “Amish.” When His Grace gave the usual response, Master Kameshima said “Awwww, we’ll miss you too,” at which the populace broke into laughter, groans, and applause.
Their Majesties then summoned the Ladies of the Rose, who requested that Comes Tindal bring forth the Rose cloak, which they draped upon Anna Leigh’s shoulders as she was inducted into their Order. Their Majesties handed an embattled coronet to Duke Titus, who placed it on Anna Leigh’s brow as the herald named her a Countess of Æthelmearc, to the cheers of the populace.
Their Majesties next appointed Sir Ariella of Thornbury as the Queen’s Guard’s Chivalry Advisor, and Lord Silvester Burchardt as Captain of the Guard. The Guards were then called in and given their baldrics of office.
Court was recessed so that gentles could enjoy a hearty lunch created by THLady Byrghida Zajacowa and her kitchen crew, followed by the various amusements of the day, which included a Gold Chain Tournament and Unbelted Meet & Beat organized by Sir Hauoc the Wild, a Rapier Tournament run by Doña Gabrielle de Winter in which fencers were invited to test themselves against the White Scarves of the realm, and dancing organized by THLord Sionn the Lost. There were also merchants, a Kingdom History display by the Kingdom Historian, THLady Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir, a table of period desserts for gentles to taste, and an auction of many fine items arranged by Duchess Christence Blackmoore and Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey with assistance from Lady Syele Pfefferin and THLady Astrid Olafsdattir (friends of Their Majesties from nearby portions of the East Kingdom) to benefit the Royal Travel Fund.
Though the day was windy, the temperatures were warm and the sun was shining, so the fighters and fencers enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the list outdoors.
At the First Court of King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle, many deserving gentles were recognized. Shortly before court began, the tickets for the auction had been drawn and items given to the winners, so Their Majesties called for Duchess Christence to announce the total collected for the Travel Fund. The crowd gasped as Her Grace proclaimed that the auction had brought in $1,058, the highest she had ever seen for a single-day charity auction at an SCA event.
His Majesty thanked Her Grace, the other organizers of the auction, and all who donated the spectactular items to it, as well as the populace for their generosity. He suggested that, rather than Their Majesties using that money to fund Their own travel, the donations should be used to purchase a trailer for future Crowns to transport royal regalia.
Other notable items of afternoon court included the appointment of Mistress Alexandra dei Campagnella to the office of Sylvan Signet. Mistress Ekat was called forward to pass on the portfolios and wished her successor well in the post.
Their Majesties also appointed Mistress Euriol of Lothian as interim Chamberlain; Her Excellency made it known that she is seeking a permanent replacement in that office.
It was also announced that the next Kingdom Seneschal upon Mistress Cori’s retirement in September will be Duke Christopher Rawlyns.
Later in the court, King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle called for all of the peers of the realm to witness the bestowing of Æthelmearc’s third Writ for the Order of Defense, which was given to Don Quinn Kerr. King Timothy noted that numerous people had advised Their Majesties that the Order of Defense could not be complete without Don Quinn. He is not only a member of the White Scarf, but also has a Laurel for research into period fencing practice, and serves as commander of the Southern Watch. He hales from the Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog, of which he is a former Baron. Don Quinn was instructed to determine a suitable date and place for his elevation. The populace expressed their pleasure at this Writ with great applause.
At the conclusion of court, gentles retired to a splendid feast by Lord Leioolfr Grimr and crew. Toward the end of the feast, Their Majesties requested the presence of the cooks, who received a standing ovation from the feasters along with King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle’s great thanks.
Congratulations to the autocrat, Maître Gilles de Beauchamps, and the good folk of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, for hosting another memorable and well-run event!
Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle happily announce that Their Royal Cousins Tom and Sigrid will stand with the might of the army of Northshield at the side of our Sylvan Kingdom in the Pennsic Wars.
Surely with such allies as are joining our Kingdom, victory will be assured!
Vivat to the Kingdom of Northshield! We salute you!
One of the most important areas at the annual Pennsic War is the Pennsic University. The University is a place where teachers and students from across the Known World come together to share knowledge and inspiration, to teach and learn, to share their passions for all things medieval and Scadian.
You don’t have to be a Laurel or a Pelican, a Knight or a Master, to teach at Pennsic. ANYONE can teach, from the newest beginner to the most experienced veteran. All volunteers are welcomed with open arms (and a nifty gift).
This year, as in years past, the registration for classes in on-line at the Pennsic War website. As Kingdom Ministers of Arts and Sciences, Baroness Orianna and I strongly encourage you – yes, you – to teach at the Pennsic University.
You can sign up your class by going to Pennsic War any time prior to the week or so before the War.
However, if you want your class to appear in the Pennsic booklet, which greatly increases the possibility of having many students and much word-fame, you must register your class by MAY FIRST!
So, come along and teach at Pennsic. You won’t be sorry you did so.
Fridrikr Tomasson, Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences.
Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, have released the Pennsic War Points and Battle Schedules and Plans.
Complete and detailed information about how the war points will be fought, plus related regulations and schedules can be found here – Pennsic War Point Details and Regulations.
WAR POINTS SUMMARY
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2
MONDAY, AUGUST 3
TUESDAY, AUGUST 4
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8
ONGOING DURING WAR WEEK
Countess Elena d’Artois is a Companion of the Order of the White Scarf. This article is from a Facebook post in which she contemplated the relationship between Æthelmearc’s Ladies of the Rose and Garnet and the rapier fighters, most especially the White Scarves.
The Queens of Æthelmearc, Roses, and Garnets have a very special and ever-changing relationship with the White Scarves and fencing community. Their paths have changed from guardian, to guide, to confidante, to dear friend, to momma bear, and who is in what role changes as the community changes.
When I was a terrified first time princess, three White Scarves especially changed my path. They helped me to understand the art that is fencing (which I still don’t understand as well as I would like…. but we all grow, every day, together). They and the fencers welcomed me and supported me in that role, so much so that I have stayed and now serve in that community. Don Bastiano, Don Corwin, Don Christian and others were wonderful guides at that time. They taught me the Cult of the Queen, the honor of being a target, a courtier, a scholar, and a soldier. These are integral to the role of the fencer in the Society and those things that we learn in our art martial are skills that help us be successful in life. Focus. Determination. Discipline. Respect. Service. Pursuit of excellence. Kindness. Standing for what is right. A kind word can mean the difference to someone, and you never know who you touch. The art of defense can be elegant. One need not be a brute to eviscerate an enemy. Those are the things that the fencers taught a Rose-to-be.
As a fencer I watch the Roses. Those qualities that they embody and protect are those that we aspire to. Service to a greater community. Excellence and Chivalry are more important than victory. Gentility. The impact of words we speak. Inspiration. Loyalty. Honor. Grace. The responsibility of position doesn’t end when you leave the field. Leading by example in all things. Those are the things that I learn from the Roses I watch. So much yet to learn.
Our kingdom’s Queen’s Rapier Championship Tournament is coming. Take this opportunity to look at your Queen and the Ladies of the Rose who support you. Spoil them. Revere them. Respect them. They are the Ninjas of Æthelmearc. Do something nice for a Lady of the Rose when you see them next. Coronation is this weekend. What a wonderful opportunity to share a drink or a piece of chocolate.
That said – if you would do those wonderful things for a Lady of the Rose – also do those things for someone you don’t know. Reach out to a new person and say hello. Offer a stranger a beer. Give a piece of chocolate to someone who might like it. You don’t have to be a Rose to appreciate a kind word, a drink, or a sweet. Those skills we learn in our game are the same skills that help us to make a better world in every area of our life. We serve a larger community. Kindness and respect are universal. But if learning to do it for one person or group of people teaches us how to do that better, then we have truly learned and grown as a people.
My fellow fencers, what do you see as the relationship between the Roses and the fencers? How do they inspire you?
This is the first in a series of profiles featuring the bards of Æthelmearc, from Baroness Gwendolyn the Graceful, our current Sylvan Bard.
What’s your full SCA name (and anything else you typically use to introduce yourself)?
What attracted you to the bardic arts?
How long have you considered yourself a bard / scop / scyld / minstrel / term-of-choice?
What’s your primary form (singer, storyteller, poet, etc.)? Do you play any instruments, and if so, which?
Where can we find your work? Do you have a brief sample you’d like to share?
What sorts of pieces do you enjoy producing? What attracts you to that style?I like a variety of music. Everything from the funny to serious, filks and period pieces, love songs and war songs. I most enjoy something with a drum to accompany because it changes the feel of the piece. The best performance of ‘The Minstrel Boy’ I ever did was the first time Don Brennan the Misguided accompanied me with his bodhrán. I’ll never forget how it felt.
Describe a favorite performance of your own in the SCA. What makes it a highlight for you?
Describe a performance by someone else that inspired you in the bardic arts. How did that performance guide you to improve your own art? What did it prompt you to do?
What projects are you working on now?
Who are some of your favorite influences, either for your own research and composition, or for performing within the SCA?
What other types of performance do you particularly love to see / hear?
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a bard?
Is there anything you want to add?