AEthelmearc Gazette

Syndicate content The Æthelmearc Gazette
Covering the Kingdom of Æthelmearc of the SCA
Updated: 7 min 49 sec ago

Pax Fundraiser for the Kingdom’s Scribes!

Tue, 2016-06-28 15:38

The Barony of Thescorre is having a “garage sale” to benefit the scribes of the Kingdom. Anyone who has received an award scroll can see the time and effort put into each work of art. Supplies for our beautiful scrolls are expensive, and the money earned will allow more scribes to do their art for Æthelmearc. 

Please bring your SCA-related items that you no longer use to Pax for the sale. Pre-pricing items is helpful. There will be a tent set up in the merchant area.

Need items for Pennsic? Then come and shop! You never know what kind of bargains you will find.

(And the favor of stopping by at the end to retrieve unsold items would be greatly appreciated.)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly via Facebook (Pamela McDermott) message or email.
Mistress Roberta McMorland

Categories: SCA news sites

Scented Soap Balls, the Tudor Way!

Sat, 2016-06-25 21:02

by Lady Elska á Fjárfelli

Using bar soap to make something else is a time-honored tradition. In the 16th century in Tudor times, grated soap could be bought from an apothecary as an ingredient for scented soap balls (and rather strange medicines). Intriguing recipes of that time exist with quite curious ingredients, such as oil of spike (a type of lavender) and civet (an excretion of the civet cat, used in perfumery). If it smelled nice, or otherwise helped a woman’s self-image by bleaching (white hands), scrubbing (calluses), coloring (rosy cheeks) or smoothing (wrinkles), pretty much anything went.

Children enjoyed making soap balls at College of Three Ravens. Photo by Lady Elska.

White soap was known for many centuries but it was not until the Middle Ages that it came into widespread use. White soap had two distinct advantages over soft soap, or black soap. Its basic ingredient, olive oil, was easy and pleasant to work with compared to animal fat of questionable age and hygiene. It also sets into solid bars and therefore can be shredded, which makes it possible for a customer to mold and scent soaps to the customers’ personal taste.

Despite the general modern belief that people back then did not bathe much at all, people of the Tudor age did keep themselves clean … by continuously changing and laundering their underclothes and by sponge bathing. Henry VIII and other royals had permanent plumbed-in bathrooms, like those built at Hampton Court and Whitehall. Of course, these magnificent bathrooms were great luxuries.

Bathing for the average person meant having to fill a wooden tub with water, which was time consuming without indoor plumbing or gas ranges and was not something they would bother to do regularly. An interest in personal cleanliness did develop around that time as Tudor-style clothes were tight fitting and often of not-easy-to-clean fabrics, as shown by various toiletry soaps and stain removal recipes that began to show up in various household instruction manuals of that time.

Sir Hugh Plat, in his Delightes for Ladies to adorne their Persons, Tables, Closets, and Distillatories with Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes & Water (1609), shares a great recipe for “a delicate washing bal”:

Take three ounces of Orace, half an ounce of Cypres, two ounces of Calamus Aromaticus, one ounce of Rose leaves, two ounces of Lavender flowres: beat all these together in a mortar, searching them thorow a fine Searce, then scrape some castill sope, and dissolve it with some Rose-water, then incorporate all your powders therewith, by labouring of them well in a mortar.

Another nice recipe comes from The secretes of the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount (1558) by Girolamo Ruscelli, on how to make “Vvhite musked Sope”:

Take Sope scraped or grated, as much as you will the whiche (when ye haue well stieped and tempered in rose water) leaue it eight dais in the sunne: Than you shall adde to it an vnce of the water or milk of Macaleb, twlue graines of Muske, and sixe graines of Ciuet, and reducinge all the whole into the fourme and maner of harde past, you shall make therof very excellent balles.

Making your own soap balls is easy, since all one needs to do is grate soap into slivers (by hand or with a kitchen machine), add a tiny bit of water or milk to make the slivers sticky, knead a bit by hand and then roll the sticky mass into a ball. Dry for a few days and the soap is ready to be used. Plain olive oil-based soap like Castile soap would be close to period.

Grinding ingredients at A&S Faire. Photo by Lady Elska.

This project also makes for quite a fun kid’s activity, especially when they get to hand-grind smelly botanicals to add to their own kid-sized shaped balls of soap. Check out your local Asian store for a coarse stone mortar and pestle, pick up some herbs and spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, lily flowers, or rose buds, and with the help of your energetic kids grind up a pinch of this and that, then knead into your sticky mass before shaping. The bits and pieces will also add scrubbing ability to your soap, along with an amazing handmade scent. Your kids might actually be inspired to wash their hands before dinner now they’ve made their own soap… a win-win situation if you ask me!

What are plausible ingredients for period washing balls?

You can try dried moss for a scrubbing soap; cedarwood, sandalwood, musk, and civet essential oils for a spicy woodsy scent; (distilled) rosewater, ground rose petals or buds, ground lavender buds, or lily flowers for a nice floral scent; dried herbs like mint, lemon balm, rosemary, or sage for that clean herbal scent. There are also some less usual but very period ingredients: Orace (orris, or Iris rhizome), Cypres (not cypress, but Aram or jack in the pulpit), Calamus Aromaticus (sweet sedge), amber grease (ambergris),  Benjamin (benzoin), Macaleb (Prumus maheleb), Sandali citrini (yellow saunders wood), gum Oldanum (frankincense), Storax, and my personal favorite; oil of Spike (Lavendula spica essential oil).

So, the next time you are shopping online for kitchen spices or visiting an international market, check out the botanicals to see what unusual scrubs and scents they might have… and make yourself a set of scented balls the Tudor way!


Ashenburg K (2007) The Dirt on Clean, an unsanitized history, North Point Press, NY

Plat, Sir Hugh (1609) Delightes for Ladies to adorne their Persons, Tables, Closets, and Distillatories with Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes & Water EEBO

Ruscelli, Girolamo (1558) The secretes of the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount EEBO

My personal database of soap-related Materia Medica.

Categories: SCA news sites

More SCA 50 Year News!

Fri, 2016-06-24 12:03

The SCA 50 Year Celebration continues in the Middle Kingdom with a variety of activities. Thanks to Viscountess Hodierna Miriglee of Lincludin, who was the second Princess of Æthelmearc, and to THLady Rachel Dalicieux for their reports and photos!

Alas, rain on Tuesday and Wednesday caused the closure of some venues including archery and siege, but participants enjoyed many other activities in the many buildings and arenas available on the fairground site. There were crafts in the arts building including pottery, fiber arts, and block printing, as well as numerous children’s activities.

One record already set by the 50 Year Celebration is that it currently holds the largest gathering of equestrians in the history of the Known World. There were mounted combat tournaments and other competitions over the course of the week.

Equestrians at SCA 50 Year. Photo by THLady Maeve ni Siurtain.

Mounted combat. Photo by THLady Maeve ni Siurtain.

The Queens of the Known World participated in one particularly unusual equestrian competition. They were driven in horse-drawn chariots and had to complete tasks much as in normal equestrian competitions, knocking over artificial “enemies” with beanbags.  So of course the Æthelmearc contingent in the stands took the opportunity to cheer Queen Ariella on with chants of “Oh, No, Rock to the Face!” each time she struck a target. While our queen acquitted herself well, the winner of the competition was Queen Adrielle of Ealdormere.

Queen Ariella in the chariot tournament. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

One of the marvels on site was the “Great Machine.” Powered by dogs, it can do a variety of work. One of its creators, Master Sylard of Eagleshaven from Ealdormere, demonstrated using it to drive a Da Vinci Hammer and transform a bog iron bloom to iron that can be worked.

Click to view slideshow.

Sir Stefan Ulfkelsson of Æthelmearc also spent some time working bog iron at 50 Year, though without the benefit of the machine. Instead, he had assistants working a bellows to heat a charcoal fire so he could smelt the bog ore into iron using a Viking-era bloom forge. He reports that he was able to achieve about 25% efficiency of product in to iron out, which is very good for this technique.

Photos by Master Fridrikr Tomasson.

Other indoor activities have included a Boat Battle, a Squire’s Tournament, a Known World Hafla, and Children’s A&S Day.

Of interest to both scribes and bards, SCA 50 Year marked the unveiling of a book that was created by a group of over 50 Midrealm artisans in a project called “Calf to Codex.” Spearheaded by Master Johannes von Narrenstein, they began five years ago with deer that were butchered by hand and their hides processed into parchment. The parchment was then distributed to numerous scribes who painted and calligraphed the text using handmade oak gall ink and period pigments, and in some cases even handmade paint brushes and of course, quill pens. The text includes Midrealm history, stories, and songs written by a score of bards of the Middle, including such luminaries as Mistress Marian of Heatherdale, Duke Finvarr de Taahe, and Duke Laurelen Darksbane. Once complete, the parchment pages were gathered into quires, sewn together to form a book, and bound using hand-planed quarter-sawn oak panels and a tooled leather cover with handmade metal reinforcements and clasps. The threads used to sew the book together were made from flax grown, harvested, combed, and spun by members of the Society. Even the tools used to line the leather cover were hand-made. At SCA 50 Year, Master Johannes presented the 112-page book at a performance area where bards performed music and stories from it.

Master Johannes says of the book’s purpose: “It will be used like a book should be – read from, to us, at events and gatherings. We will have a custodian to take care of it, and invite readers to read to us from it.”

The photos below, by Viscountess Elashava bas Riva, are stunning. Gentles interested in a closer look at the project can learn more on the group’s Facebook page.

Click to view slideshow.

One of the more popular events of 50 Year was the “Founders Meet and Greet.” A group of five gentles who were present at the first tournament, including its hostess, Countess Diana Listmaker, told stories of the Society’s founding and early days and answered questions. They are undoubtedly the celebrities of the event and have graciously had their pictures taken with scores of people from all over the Known World.

Some of the Society’s Founders at SCA 50 Year. Back Row: Countess Diana Listmaker, Duke Henrik of Havn, Count Stefan de Lorraine, and Baroness Marianna of Silversea. Front row: Viscountess Hodierna and Duke Frederick of Holland. Photo courtesy of Viscountess Hodierna.

Categories: SCA news sites

Royal Thanks: Æcademy and War College

Thu, 2016-06-23 14:13

Their Majesties in Japanese outfits made by Her Ladyship Hara Kikumatsu, and His Lordship Ishiyama Gen’tarou Yori’ie. Photo by THL Ishiyama.

Unto the artisans and scientists of Æthelmearc do Byron and Ariella, King and Queen, send Greetings.

We have returned from Our travels to Our beloved Shire of Ballachlagan (beloved particularly by the cicadas this year).  We saw so many good artistic acts and thoughtful, insightful classes at the Æthelmearc.  We extend Our thanks to all of the artisans and teachers who made the day so special, and to Mistress Alicia for organizing the Æcademy classes.  We were pleased to witness the largest Cut and Thrust tournament ever sponsored in this Kingdom, and Our thanks go to Master Will Parris for organizing the tournament.  Vivant to Don Clewin, who will soon become a Master of Defense, for winning the tournament.

THL Aelric and all the members of Ballachlagan should be very proud of the event; it went off beautifully and was an excellent showcase for martial and artistic pursuits.  We attended many of the classes (at least in part) and were impressed with the quality and depth of the teaching.  We also spent time in the Arts and Sciences display, where all of the entries were exceptional, and it was difficult to choose favorites.  Furthermore, We thank everyone who made Ian Aetheling and Princess Leah welcome in their classes.

It is indeed a blessing to have Heirs who work so well with Us, and Our thanks go to Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite for their support in numerous ways.

In Service to the Dream,

Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College

Wed, 2016-06-22 22:35

Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Their Majesties’ Royal Court at the Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College, 28 May, Anno Societatis LI, in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, accompanied by Their Heirs, Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite. As recorded by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with the assistance of Lord Pavel Dudoladov.

In the morning. Their Majesties invited Mistress Alicia Langland to address the populace. She welcomed all to the event, especially those who gave of their time to teach throughout the day, and made a few announcements of changes to the classes. She also announced the inauguration of a new stipend in the memory and honor of the late Countess Aidan ni Lir, and named its first honoree: Lady Edana the Red.

THL Sion’s Fleur. Photo by Brehyres Gwendolyn.

Their Majesties next called before Them His Lordship Sionn the Lost, and Lady Lelija Barnasiewicz-Tancerka. His Majesty spoke of the singular joy that is dance, particularly when one’s partner is also one’s love. A couple so dedicated and so infectious in their love of their art does not escape the notice of others.

Thus, Their Majesties invited before Them Their Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc, who acclaimed Their Majesties’ will to induct The Honorable Lord Sionn and Lady Lelija into that company, and to Grant Lelija Arms. His Lordship’s scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova; Her Ladyship’s scroll is a work in progress.


Viscountess Rosalind sent on vigil.

Next did Their Majesties desire words with Mistress Phiala O’Ceallaigh. She brought unto Their Majesties works of exquisite skill and artistry, woven not by her own hand, but that of her apprentice, Viscountess Rosalind Ashworthe. So greatly impressed were Their Majesties that Her Majesty was tempted to keep a sample for Herself, but instead chose to have Her Excellency brought before the Throne. Thereupon did Their Majesties seek the counsel of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel, and instructed Her Excellency to go forward with that Order and sit the remainder of the day in vigil to contemplate elevation into their company. Mistress Phiala asked Viscountess Rosalind to return her apprentice belt, that she might make her decision independently. Her Excellency was escorted to her Vigil, and Court was suspended.

Court resumed in the evening. Their Majesties asked the children forward and invited them to amuse themselves with activities provided by Princess Leia at the rear of the hall.

Then Their Majesties gave leave to The Honorable Lady Clarissa da Svizzera to address the populace. Her Ladyship invited all to Pax Interruptus in the Barony of Thescorre, and announced a scribal fundraiser to be held at the event. She encouraged all to help support the scribes by bringing “SCA Yard Sale” items to donate, and to shop the yard sale during the day.

Their Majesties next received Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope to install her as the Kingdom Youth Fighting Marshal. Although Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, outgoing Marshal, was not able to attend, Their Majesties thanked him in absentia for his service, and entrusted Mistress Arianna with the charge to continue training Their Kingdom’s youth.

Mistress Arianna takes the oath of office.

Their Majesties invited the Silver Buccle, Kameshima Zentarou Umakai, forward. With Their Majesties’ permission, he inducted Maighstir Liam MacantSaoir as the new Sycamore Herald. He also sought applications for the position of Keystone Herald, in charge of education, to replace the late Baron Malcolm FitzWilliam.

Maighstir Liam becomes Sycamore Herald

Their Majesties gave leave to The Honorable Lord Aelric Ravenshaw, autocrat for the day’s event, to address the populace. His Lordship thanked his staff, the staff of the Æcademy, the teachers, the cooks, and all those who helped bring the event to success.

Mistress Alicia.

Mistress Alicia Langland was once again invited to offer her own thanks for the teachers and students. She particularly acknowledged those who taught at Æcademy for the first time, and those who had had their first-ever teaching experience. She further explained that in the teachers’ gift bags were Medieval-style candle-lighting tools, known in period as a “clue,” and that additional “clues” will go to teachers at future events. Thus, if one teaches sufficient classes at upcoming Æcademy sessions, one might be so lucky as to earn a “clue-by-four.” The next opportunity to amass more “clues” will be Æcademy in the fall, currently proposed for November 12.

Master Will Parris announces the results of the Cut and Thrust Tourney.

Then Their Majesties called Master William Parris forward to name the winner of the cut-and-thrust tournament held that day. Master William explained that cut-and-thrust has long been a growing interest within the rapier community, and that the Masters of Defence have made it their particular brief to encourage and foster it. He announced the final placements: in third place, Master Annanias Fenne; in second, Countess Elena D’Artois; and the winner, Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc. Don Clewin was called forward to receive his prize: a Royal favor to wear and pass on as additional sponsored cut-and-thrust tournaments are held in the Kingdom.

Their Majesties called before Them Fenna Rioux. They noted her willingness to retain, and spoke of the glowing reports They had received of her other efforts in her Shire and for her Household. This, along with Their first-hand knowledge of her courtesy and nobility, moved Them to Award her Arms. Scroll was a work in progress by Baroness Mahin Banu Tabrizi and Lady Raven Whitehart.

Lady Fenna Rioux received an Award of Arms

Their Majesties also summoned Jarngerd of Stormhaven to attend Them. Her Majesty said that She first took notice of Jarngerd in Her home, where she was hard at work in the kitchens, and later learned of this lady’s practices in her own home, including raising rabbits for food and fur, as well as her efforts retaining and serving her household. In recognition of these things and more, Their Majesties named her a Companion of the Order of the Keystone and further Awarded her Arms. Scroll by Lady Raven Whitehart with wording by Baroness Mahin Bany Tabrizi.

Their Majesties next sought Lady Elena de la Palma and complimented her on her splendid attire. Her Majesty noted that all who see this lady can be in no doubt of her skills as a clothier, but also her attention to the details of her presentation, as well as her other creative ability. Thus did Their Majesties proclaim Their mind to name her a Companion of the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Lord Oliver Sutton.

Baron Silvester Burchardt was brought before the Sylvan Throne, where Their Majesties assured him of Their admiration for his weaving. Their Majesties also assured him that the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc enthusiastically agreed and encouraged Them in Their present course, which was to once again convene the Order, and name him one of their Companions. Scroll by THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne.

Next did Their Majesties desire to address Baroness Amelia Soteria. Although she came before the Thrones from her position behind them as Their Thrown Weapons Champion, Her Majesty pointed out that she might as easily have been standing behind Them as Their retainer. Rarely is this lady found not working, as Mistress of the Lists, or in fighter support, or in any number of ways great and small where she tirelessly serves. Her prodigious efforts commanded the notice not only of Their Majesties, but of the Order of the Millrind. Thus with that Order’s acclaim, Their Majesties did name her a Companion of the Millrind, and gave unto her two medallions that had been provided by members eager to welcome her among them. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

Viscountess Rosalind is asked if she will accept elevation to the Laurel. 

Their Majesties called for Viscountess Rosalind Ashworthe to come before Them and give answer whether she had chosen to undertake elevation. Upon her assent, the Most Noble Order of the Laurel was invited forward. Words from Duchess Rowan de la Garnison were conveyed by Countess Alexandra of Clan Donald. Her Grace cited the way Her Excellency wove her own patterns on her travels and left her mark upon the Kingdom. Master Wulfgar of the Wood spoke on behalf of the Order of Chivalry, saying that he has known Her Excellency almost all her life and never seen a better example of chivalry or courtesy. Her Highness Margerite read the words of Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, as a representative of the Order of Defense. Her Grace wrote of the work Her Excellency has done for the arts community, not loudly, but quietly, with little fanfare, but with great patience, and proclaimed that now is the time for the kingdom to speak loudly to proclaim her a Peer. Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi, also, attested to the service inherent in every instance that Her Excellency offered to teach, or to help, or guide another artisan on their path. Master Victor of Shrewsbury reflected on the way the threads of one’s life intertwine and twist, for Her Excellency introduced him and his late lady to the Society, ultimately setting them on the path that led to their own inductions into the Order of the Laurel. With the testimony of these Noble Worthies to confirm Their Majesties’ wish, Her Excellency was then bedecked with the medallion given to Mistress Phiala by her own Laurel, Master Ruadhan O’Ceallaigh, and with a hood adorned by a laurel wreath, wrought for her by Lady Beautrice Hammeltoune. Then did Mistress Laurencia bestow into her keeping the reliquary fruitcake of the Order of the Laurels of Æthelmearc. Mistress Rosalind swore her oath of service to the Crown and was proclaimed by Letters Patent to be a Peer of the Realm and a Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel. Scroll by Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn.

Their Majesties called for the attendance of His Lordship Jussie Laplein. His Majesty declared that He knows this man well, for he comes to practice at Their Majesties’ home most weeks, and thus They have both crossed swords with him many, many times. With great pleasure, Their Majesties requested the presence of Their Most Noble Order of Chivalry to attend Them. They then commanded His Lordship to sit vigil at a mutually agreed date and contemplate elevation into the Chivalry. Scroll by Hrefna Fruþikona Þorgrimsdottir.

Prince Marcus announces his fundraiser to benefit the scribes. Photo by Master Tigernach.

His Highness, Prince Marcus, addressed the populace. Moved by the ongoing efforts to support and bolster the scribes of Æthelmearc, His Highness announced his intention to sponsor a silent auction at the Kingdom Party at Pennsic. His Highness will create a full Landsknecht ensemble for the winner (who must also provide His Highness with the materials); the proceeds will benefit the scribes.

Her Majesty then named Her inspiration for the day: Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria. Her Majesty spoke of his impressive efforts as a new Thrown Weapons marshal and a craftsman, but what captured Her attention on this day was that, while he normally attires himself in Japanese clothing, on this very hot day, he was in full Elizabethan garb. He chose to make himself this outfit on the occasion of becoming an apprentice, in honor of his Laurel, Mistress Anne Greye, whose persona is of that period. As he had already departed, Mistress Anne accepted Her Majesty’s token on his behalf and pledged to convey Her words to him.

Their Majesties recognized all those scribes who contributed scrolls, and announced that today and going forward, They have thank-you gifts in the form of scribal supplies. For the duration of the reign, scribes turning in scrolls may select an item from the scribal goodie stash, to help resupply them and provide them with materials they need to produce additional work.

There being no further business, the Coram Regibus was closed.

Faithfully Submitted,

Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres

Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald

All photos of people by Master Tigernach mac Cathail. All photos of scrolls by Breyhyres Gwendolyn.

Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: First Cut-and-Thrust Tourney

Wed, 2016-06-22 14:05

by THL Donnchadh Dubh Ghlas

THL Duncan faces tourney winner Don Clewin, while second-place tourney entrant Comtesse Elena walks by on the left. Photo by Princess Leah.

History was made on June 11 at the Æthelmearc Æcademy & War College in Ballachlagan: the first-ever Order of Defense-sponsored Cut-and-Thrust Tournament in the Kingdom occurred.

Nine combatants entered in the tourney, arrayed themselves in a semi-circle around the inside of the list field. The format for the tournament was round-robin style. Each pair of combatants met in the center of the circle, exchanged introductions, and proceeded to take their guard. The combat ensued under the watchful eyes of our Sylvan Majesties, Thomas and Ariella, and the marshal-in-charge, Master William Parris.

Many feats of valor and acts of chivalry were exchanged in the crossing of swords. In the end, Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc bested all comers and was victorious. Second place was Comtesse Elena d’Artois le Tailleur and third place Master Anias Fenne.

As one of the combatants, it is my wish that these Tournaments continue, and my hope that they draw more worthy fighters into the fray.

Categories: SCA news sites

SCA 50 Year Opening Ceremonies

Wed, 2016-06-22 07:50

Thanks to Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann and THLady Rachel Dalicieux for continued photos and commentary on the SCA 50 Year Celebration.

The SCA 50 Year Celebration opened on Sunday with Countess Diana Listmaker, who hosted the first SCA event, telling the tale of the first event.

Countess Diana Listmaker tells the tale of the first tournament. Photo by Viscountess Elashava bas Riva.

Countess Diana and Astrid at the first event.

Duke Siegfried von Hoflichskeit and Fulk at the first event.

A group of founders joined Countess Diana on the dais. One of them, Duke Master Frederick of Holland (known as Flieg), heralded in the royalty of the Known World, reciting each Kingdom’s lineage in turn.

Duke Frederick of Holland (Flieg) heralds the Kingdoms in with the lineage of each realm. Other founders sit on the dais. Photo by Viscountess Elashava.

There were then demonstrations of heavy fighting and fencing, as well as a procession of people in clothing from many times and places.

The processional also included the first same-sex couple to rule a Barony, recently retired Barons of the Barony of Gyldenholt in Caid, Master Giles Hill and Master Giuseppe Francesco de Borgia. Musical entertainment was provided by Wolgemut.

Wolgemut performing at SCA 50 Year. Photo by Viscountess Elashava.

There was also a demonstration of jousting, using lances with balsa wood ends.

Video by Lena Erickson

On Monday, June 20, the Æthelmearc Pas d’Arms was held. This tournament was jointly sponsored by King Byron and Queen Ariella, with Their Royal Majesties of Ansteorra, Gabriel and Sonja. It was originally the brainchild of Duke Timothy of Arindale, who was unfortunately detained by llamas somewhere near Machu Picchu and could not attend.

Our King and Queen proudly held the field for four hours in the hottest part of the day, challenging the entire Known World to test their mettle against Their steely resolve. 30 fighters, some from as far away as Drachenwald and the West, met together in the list. At last, Thervald, squire to Sir Devon of the Midrealm, emerged victorious.

Our own Lady Cynewyn Æthelweardsdohter received a Token of Inspiration from King Gabriel for her enthusiasm during the combat.

King Byron at the Pas d’Armes. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

Queen Ariella at the Pas d’Armes. Photo by Viscountess Elashava bas Riva.

A support group from Æthelmearc assisted with organizing the Pas d’Armes.

Countess Genevieve, THLady Hara, and Baroness Elizabeth helping run the Pas d’Armes. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann..

The Gode Bakery, run by Master Alastar Scott MacCrummin and Maistres Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon with assistance from Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile, serves meals to hungry gentles.

Maistir Brandubh serves customers at the bakery at SCA 50 Year. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Other subjects of Æthelmearc have likewise been enjoying themselves despite the heat.

Watch for more SCA 50 Year coverage as the week goes on!


Categories: SCA news sites

Hutspot, Vla, and Nettle Soup: The Dutch Foods at Myrkfaelinn War Practice

Mon, 2016-06-20 14:00

by Lady Elska á Fjárfelli

Pate. Photo by Lady Elska.

As fairly new residents to our fair Dominion of Myrkfaelinn (though not so new to this side of the pond), for our War Practice dayboard I drew my inspiration from foods of my Dutch heritage… which does tend to mean lots of dairy and potatoes.

While serving the lunch, my husband Hrolfr and I were asked what these different foods were — were they Dutch, and were they period? And while most of what you tasted would be perfectly at home at a Dutch event in modern times (with exception to the processed snack cheese and fake french bread, obviously), a lot of what I choose to serve also has its place in our history.

Take for instance hutspot, our main dish of mashed potato, carrot, onion, and bacon. According to legend, the recipe came from the cooked bits of potato left behind by hastily departing Spanish soldiers in the night of the 2nd to 3rd of October, 1574 on the downtown Lammenschans during their Siege of Leiden as part of the Eighty Years’ War. When the liberators breached the dikes of the lower lying polders surrounding the city, they flooded all the fields around the city with about a foot of water. And as there were few, if any, high points, the Spanish soldiers camping in the fields were essentially flushed out.  Hutspot is normally cooked together with “klapstuk” in the same vessel. Klapstuk is a cut of beef from the rib section, is marbled with fat and responds well to slow cooking as part of the hutspot. If klapstuk is not available, then smoked bacon is commonly substituted. The carrots used are generally of the type known as winterpeen (winter carrots), which give the dish its distinctive flavor ordinary carrots cannot match but unfortunately are not available in the New World (as far as I know). The first European record of the potato is as early as 1537, but its consumption spread quite slowly throughout Europe from thereon. It was not until the 18th century that potatoes became a staple food in Europe. The original legend likely refers to what the Dutch call a ‘sweet potato’ or pastinaak, which is a parsnip; this vegetable played a similar role in Dutch cuisine prior to the use of the potato.

Goat cheese. Photo by Lady Elska.

Soups, of course, are ubiquitous throughout history, as are lentils. On the other hand, nettle soup has a distinct European flair as stinging nettle tends to grow everywhere in northern and eastern Europe. Nettle soup is a cream soup made with the leaves of stinging nettle, mostly the Large Nettle or Urtica dioica (I have starts, if interested). Especially in Sweden, Iran, and Ireland the soup is rather popular; in Sweden, it is often served with a cooked egg. Archaeologists found traces in Stone Age England of the consumption of nettle as early as 3000 years ago.

Goat cheese had its start several thousand of years before Christ, and the Greek and Romans especially were enthusiastic goat cheese connoisseurs. In modern times, the Dutch are known for their cheese-making abilities, especially hard cheeses, and bred for this specific purpose the Dutch White Goat (Nederlandse witte geit) by crossing the high-production Saanen (from Switzerland) with the local Dutch Landgoat (landgeit), a heritage breed that can be traced back to the 16th century. Our small Ithacan flock is also based on Saanen, with the occasional Boer or Nubian crossbred, which we keep using traditional homesteading techniques (which often are surprisingly medieval). For instance, the use of the deep litter system (by cleaning once or twice a year the raising floor self composts, generating heat and thus keeping the goats warm in winter) and by keeping the kids with the does during the day but not at night, to milk in the morning, and have healthy large kids for the family come fall. My cheese is made with raw milk, as it should be.

Lord Hrolfr and Lady Elska serving the sideboard. Photo by Hannah Amberge.

My personal favorite was the coarse farmers pate, a perfect blend of meat, bacon, and liver slow baked in the oven. Growing up in the Netherlands, pates in many shapes and tastes are a general part of life, and I missed the availability and choices when moving to this side of the pond. Luckily, I brought my trusty Dutch Grandmothers Cook Book (Grootmoeders kook boek) with me, a book which pretty much every kid receives a copy when leaving home (it explains in detail how to boil potatoes, for instance) and which has a wonderful coarse pate recipe. I had more trouble finding period examples of Dutch pate, or even French pate, as it appears like its name is a fairly recent adoption (from France), and the way of eating it (cold, in the shape of a loaf). I have several Dutch recipes that with a little creative interpretation could be considered a pate, but only one English recipe will also look like one: the 14th century collection Curye on Inglysch has one recipe for meat & liver mortrew that should be standing (“loke that it be stondyng”) when done. I figured that was the end of it, until I recently received my modern Nordic Cook Book by mail, and found Norse culture has many different pate recipes. Pate might be more of a Northern European food culture than I thought!

My families’ favorite, and the one most dayboard tasters remember, is the vla. This is another modern Dutch staple, with a surprising history – and is available in every Dutch grocery store in multiple flavors so it can be poured into your bowl straight out of a carton. I vaguely wondered while living in the Netherlands why vla (custard) and vlaai (pie) sound so similar; in tracking down the history of vla, I stumbled right into vlaai. It turns out that vla (as a thick custard) could historically have been the filling of the pie vlaai. The medieval Dutch cookbooks on list several types of vla, or vlade as it is called in middle Dutch. It is not clear to me, since these recipes do not list to use a crust, if these vlades are meant to be eaten as a pudding or should be part of a pie – or maybe both – but then, the apple pie recipes do not list using a crust either, as everyone had their favorite crust recipes, and using a crust would be seen as kinda obvious to the experienced medieval cook! I did find, in the same book as the pate, a 14th century English recipe for a milk, egg, and sugar pudding cooked with wheat that would be eaten as a pudding, so it is conceivable vlade would be as well. It is also possible that medieval vlade underwent a regional change, as in one part of the country, vlade became to mean vla, and in another, vlade became to mean vlaai… As a side note, English custard and Dutch vla, even though made similarly with similar ingredients, do not taste the same – as the lunchers at my dayboard can attest!

I was surprised to find that rhubarb compote also is not really well known here. But then again, I’d never heard of strawberry rhubarb pie!

I enjoy the historic aspect of SCA dayboard cooking and had a lot of fun sharing yummy food examples from our Dutch heritage! Thank you for coming to eat with me, and I hope we’ll see you at the next Myrkfaelinn event – with vla, and possibly pate!

General information on hutspot, see here and here.

General information on nettle soup, see here.
General information on goat cheese, see here and here.

General information on vla, see here (use the translate button for the Dutch language sites).

Categories: SCA news sites

New College of Heralds Website!

Mon, 2016-06-20 09:22

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle!

The Silver Buccle and Golden Thorn (ÆCoH Webminister) offices, in conjunction with the Kingdom Webminister, are proud to announce that the Æthelmearc College of Heralds website, which has been undergoing a complete site redesign for approximately the last month and a half, is now live with our brand new, more interactive, site design.

The College of Heralds website address has not changed; you can find it here. And you’ll still find all of the references you’ve come to expect: the Order of Precedence, the Roll of Arms, the archive of Court Reports, and more. But the user experience has been brought more in line with modern web standards and mobile device compatibility, and (we hope!) the site has been better organized, with more new helpful features for both experienced heralds, and those taking their first peek into matters heraldic.

As always, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, the Silver Buccle office stands ready to assist; please direct any emails off-list.
In Honor and Service,
Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

History on Display at the SCA 50 Year Celebration

Sun, 2016-06-19 21:00

The SCA 50 Year Celebration has begun in the Barony of Sternfeld, Middle Kingdom!

Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann, Baroness of the Debatable Lands, is there and sends us photos of the SCA History display. Each kingdom has a display area with items from banners and crowns to clothing and armor. Let’s begin at the beginning…

The flyer for the first SCA event, organized by (now-Countess) Diana Listmaker.

A sample flyer for the first year’s events. This one dates from March, 1967

Gown worn by Diana Listmaker at the first tournament. She notes that it was made of flannel because she expected to need it for only one tournament, and then use it as a nightgown afterward.

Examples of very early SCA armor.

Early issues of Tournaments Illuminated

Early SCA helmets and a cap of maintenance.

The slideshow below has photos of the historic displays of each participating kingdom.

Click to view slideshow.

There is also a display of historical scrolls. Here are the ones sent by Æthelmearc.

Click to view slideshow.

Various artisans have made works in celebration of the SCA’s 50th anniversary. Perhaps the most impressive is an embroidered history of the entire Society in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, created by Lady Jadwiga Wlodzislawska of the Middle Kingdom.  Years in the making,  the completed tapestry is on display at the SCA 50 Year event in the photo below, or you can get an up close look at the tapestry on Lady Jadwiga’s website.

Other artisans have also rendered SCA history in beautiful ways, as shown in the photos below.

Check back over the coming week for more news from the SCA 50 Year Celebration!

Categories: SCA news sites

Artisan Profile: Cassandra Matis

Sat, 2016-06-18 20:21

The next in our series of Æthelmearc Artisan Profiles, from Meesteres Odriana vander Brugghe: Cassandra Matis

When faced with a gift basket filled with a variety of bacon that was vacuum-packed, uncooked and still in perfect condition, Her Ladyship Cassandra Matis started on a path that has led to her being a recognized expert in meat curing. We were fortunate that she came to live here in Æthelmearc and has been as generous with her knowledge as she has been with her tasty bacon and cured ham.

Cas, as she prefers to be called, is originally from Massachusetts. Her first real cooking job was at Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum that focuses on the Plymouth Colony. While she has always had an interest in cooking it was that gift basket that really changed everything. Cas realized that she could learn how to make everything in that basket and with the encouragement of her late husband, she started learning how to cure meat.

Curing is a preservation method that can use salting, drying, or smoking. The most commonly known cured meats are salami, jerky, bacon, and prosciutto. Curing encompasses not only meat but vegetables, which Cas also makes. She describes curing as “a combination of chemistry, biology, art, and science”, particularly when dealing with medieval meat curing recipes, which can be maddeningly vague (“..until it takes the salt well.”) and then suddenly specific, usually with time and ingredients.

The immediate difference that Cas noticed with homemade cured meats was that the taste was significantly better than that of store bought cured meats. As she gained a certain degree of skill, she began sharing her cured meats through dayboards to make it more approachable for the average Scadian.

When asked about how she determined success, Cas told me that it was “getting to the end of the process as there is potential for failure at every step”. With that being said, she also admitted that through her years of experience she now has a nearly 100% success rate with what she makes. At the time that we spoke, she had about 75 pounds of meat in various stages of curing in her house.

Her love of all things cured has meant that when she bought her new home, one of the first things that she had done was having a meat-curing room installed in her basement so that she would no longer have to use dorm refrigerators and a variety of regular refrigerators to store her curing meat.

While meat curing is certainly what she is best known for, Cas is extremely proud of her cheese, beer, and bread-making. In fact, she loves making beer as much as she loves making cured meats. She makes her bread using a 21-year-old yeast starter she calls “Herm” and credits with being the longest relationship she’s had in her life.

Cas focuses on German culture during our period of study, Sabina Welserin, in particular. She has even found that there is an Italian primary source of the same vintage as Welserin that has much of the same information and has been doing research into that. She also uses Scappi a great deal in her cooking research. She loves using medieval curing methods, but will make concessions to ensure food safety such as using plastic tubs rather than wooden boxes to cure meats.

Her modern cooking heroes cut across all cuisines and, of course, includes Michael Ruhlman, the father of the modern artisan charcuterie movement and whom she refers to as the “Dale Chihuly of Charcuterie”[1]. Her other culinary heroes are Jacques Pepin, Alton Brown (“He made it cool to be geeky about food.”), Jasper Cook, Anthony Bourdain (“I admire his ability to travel and eat anything.”), Gordon Ramsey, and Peter Reinhart.

Her Scadian inspiration is Master Basilius Phocas, the Midrealm Laurel best known for his work with Byzantine food and culture.

When asked about her future plans, Cas said that she would very much like to be making her living making a variety of cured meats, have a smoke house/spring house on her property, and expand her knowledge and work as a sausage maker. I have no doubt that she will be achieving these goals as well as any others she sets her mind towards.

[1] For those unfamiliar with Chihuly’s work, his glass sculptures are considered fully unique to the blown glass field due to the composition and scale of his work. Particularly considering there are myriad technical difficulties when working with blown glass and large-scale works like Chihuly’s, moreso. For more information about Dale Chihuly, please visit his website:

Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: A Pig Hunt

Fri, 2016-06-17 23:56

This month’s On Target is a pig hunt. I found this target a lot of fun to shoot, but like other store-bought targets, he had a tendency to tumble. Also, he was a little expensive, so to buy several of them for a hunt would cost a lot of money. So I made my own.

Using him as a stencil, I cut out seven layers of cardboard and one layer of political sign. The top layer is white foam board, which you can leave white or color pink or blue.

Using the wires from the political sign, you can make the pigs stand up in a natural position. I recommend putting some kind of a mark over the shoulder to use as a vital hit area.

This target is fun for all ages; children will enjoy shooting it at 15 to 20 yards, while more advanced shooters can try it at 35 – 50 yards.

Now, just for fun, go to the dollar store, where you can buy a pair of fairy wings. Attach the wings to a heavy cardboard tube and zip tie it to the pig target. Run a clothesline between two trees, and all day long you can shoot when pigs fly.

This month’s safety tip, with Pennsic not far away, add to the crest on your arrows. I recommend putting on an extra ring and your initials. A lot of archers may have the exact same crest you have and if you accidentally shoot a light arrow out of a heavier bow, it could shatter and cause an injury.

‘Til next time,

Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Palfreys and Polearms

Tue, 2016-06-14 21:18

Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of His Majesty’s Royal Court at Palfreys and Polearms, 28 May, Anno Societatis LI, in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael, as recorded by Dagonell Whitehorn and Cigfran Heronter

His Majesty asked for a moment of silent remembrance in honor of Baron Malcolm Fitzwilliam.

His Majesty commanded that Maple be brought into His presence and He declared her to be a Sylvan Steed of Æthelmearc.  Yes, Maple is a horse.

His Majesty called THL Maeve ni Siurtain into court and declared that, with the advisement of The Princess Royale Leah, she had been chosen as Queen’s Equestrian Champion.  Scroll by Rowena Moore, Baroness Alex, and Ana Ianka Lisitsina.

His Majesty called Lady Aaliz de Gant into court and proclaimed her the winner of the equestrian competition and King’s Equestrian Champion.  Scroll by Rowena Moore, Baroness Alex, and Ana Ianka Lisitsina.

When Lady Aaliz rose to leave, His Majesty bid her stay as he was not quite done with her yet.  Having heard of her great skill in the equestrian arts, he inducted her into The Order of the Golden Lance.  Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina.

Her Majesty gave leave to Their Excellencies Magnus and Miriel of the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael to hold court.  When the skies turned black, both courts were suspended and resumed 10 minutes thereafter in the great horse barn.

When royal court resumed, His Majesty commanded that due to the dirt and … other things… on the floor of the horse barn, his subjects were forbidden to kneel.

It should be noted that Rhys Benbras ap Dafydd had been called into baronial court and made Chancellor of the Exchequer for the barony. His Majesty declared that this was not proper and a commoner should not be allowed to handle money. Therefore His Majesty had no choice but to award him arms and declare him Lord Rhys for his hard work in setup, cleanup, and as troll and reservations clerk at previous events. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina.

His Majesty desired words with Tadgh Mag Uidhir. Having heard words of his great prowess with heavy weapons, skill with armor making, and the general enthusiasm he brought to every event, His Majesty awarded him Arms.  Scroll by Theodulf FitzRenault.

Lord Wolfgang Starke was summoned before His Majesty.  For his fine skill in fencing, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Golden Alce.  Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.

His Majesty requested that THL Govindi Dera Ghazi Khan come before him.  Having heard of her many works in organizing and running events, holding baronial offices, marshalling thrown weapons, and creating scrolls he was moved to induct her into the Order of the Millrind.  Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina.

His Majesty commanded the presence of Mistress Irene von Schmetterling.  For her many fine works in the fiber arts – sewing, wool spinning, and dyeing – she was presented with a writ for the Order of the Laurel.  Writ by Jacqueline de Molieres, Janos Meszaros, and Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen.

The Princess Royale Leah entered court and spoke of the gentle who had most inspired her that day.   Not only was today the first time that m’lady Isobel Johnson had entered an equestrian competition, it was also her very first SCA event.  She was given a token of remembrance by Her Highness.

His Majesty thanked the staff of the event for all their hard work and asked that all the scribes, illuminators, and calligraphers rise in their seats that they might be cheered by the populace.  Gentles who had received scrolls in either court were reminded to take a scroll carrier to protect their scroll and to have their scroll photographed before leaving.  There being no further business before the court, His Majesty’s Court was closed.

Categories: SCA news sites

Royal Processions Planned for this Summer

Mon, 2016-06-13 17:17

Their Majesties have asked the Gazette to share the following with the populace:

The Royal Family: Ian Ætheling, King Byron, Queen Ariella, Princess Leah, and Joshua Ætheling. Photo by Duchess Siobhán.

Unto the Good Gentles of Sylvan Æthelmearc do King Byron and Queen Ariella send Fond Greetings!

Summer has come to Our Sylvan lands, and with it a string of joyful events.  In the month of July, We shall be traveling to Pax Interruptus, St. Swithin’s Bog 3-Day Celebration, and, at the very end of the month, the Pennsic War will begin with Land Grab on the final weekend of July.

It is Our goal to set up Our Royal camp on the Sunday of Land Grab (July 31).  We will be working from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and We ask that all the people of AEthelmearc who are available that weekend spend an hour or two helping Us to make the Royal encampment an inviting and enjoyable place.  Many hands make light work!  Bring your friends!  Bring your campmates!

At the end of War, We will tear down the pavilions and tents, probably on Saturday morning.

The Wild Hunt for fencing has begun!  Seek out the strongest fencers in our Kingdom and challenge them to a pass or two.  Report your wins at  We remind you that We are each worth 5 points – come and get Us!

We extend a hearty Vivant to the new Kingdom champions who distinguished themselves in June:

  • Lord Jacob Martinson (Rapier)
  • Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-dono (Archery)
  • Baroness Amelia Soteria (Thrown Weapons)
  • THL Aaliz de Gant (King’s Equestrian)
  • THL Maeve Ni Siurtain (Queen’s Equestrian)
  • El Tigre (Youth Combat)
  • Duke Timothy of Arindale (Shield of Chivalry)

Yours In Service to the Dream,

Byron and Ariella

King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: Queen’s Rapier Championship

Mon, 2016-06-13 10:40

Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France) reports on spring Queen’s Rapier Championship:

On a boiling-hot early summer day, Æthelmearc’s fencers arrived at the event site in Abhainn Ciach Ghlais to find… the wonderful surprise of an indoor, air-conditioned  list!

While His Majesty was on the northwestern side of the kingdom at the equestrian championship, Palfreys and Polearms, on May 28th, Her Majesty observed her rapier championship in comparative coolness and shade.

Everyone needs to watch out for these two. Neither are White Scarves but they’re definitely both fencing badasses! I’m really glad they got to shine and showcase themselves today.

After receiving encouragement and roses from Queen Ariella, 21 fencers of all skill levels entered the tournament, which began with three pools of round robins.  Double kills were counted as a loss for both combatants. The top two combatants from each pool were promoted to a double elimination round, along with two fencers selected by Her Majesty.

The brackets progressed swiftly to the top eight total from the three pools, who were culled by double-elimination rounds to the semi-finals of best two-out-of-three rounds: Don Po Silvertop, Lord Jacob Martinson, Master William Parris, and Lord Durante de Caravaggio de Florenza.

In a rather rare occurrence in this kingdom’s history, neither of the two finalists were members of the Order of the White Scarf (or equivalent or higher rank): Lords Jacob and Durante.

Lord Jacob steps up as Kingdom Rapier Champion. Photo by Lady Wilhelmina Marion Bodnar.

In a final best three-out-of-five rounds, Lord Jacob Martinson won case, single, and rigid parry rounds, while Lord Durante won a case round.

Outgoing kingdom champion Doña Fiora d’Artusio applauded the tournament for being “ridiculously smooth” and all the combatants for being “particularly courteous.” She was happy that the tournament format gave each entrant as many fights as possible before elimination.

“Everyone needs to watch out for these two,” she remarked of Lords Jacob and Durante. “Neither are White Scarves but they’re definitely both fencing badasses! I’m really glad they got to shine and showcase themselves today.”

“It’s great we had two finalists who weren’t White Scarves. This keeps the Scarves and MoDs accountable,” agreed Master Will, head of the Academy of Defense. He noted that the tournament had a wide variety of entrants from Award of Arms-level of recognition to Masters of Defense. He was especially happy to see “people adapting, learning, changing their game when they lost a bout, which meant that some of the finalists came out of the losers list.”

“Whoa, what a day!” Lord Jacob enthused after the tourney. “First and foremost, thank you to the Queen of Æthelmearc, Ariella of Thornbury, for granting me the opportunity to be her fencing champion. I will do my best to represent our kingdom to the best of my abilities, and will protect her at all costs with my steel.”

In addition to thanking the shire for hosting a great event, and Countess Elena d’Artois le Tailleur and Duke Titus Scipio Germanicus for training him, Jacob expressed deep gratitude to his inspirations: “My wonderful wife, and our children, who put up with me stabbing all the things and constantly running off to practices or events.”

Bearpit and Food

Her Majesty Ariella faces Lord Jacob in the list. Photo by Lady Wilhelmina Maron Bodnar

A relaxed bearpit tournament followed the championship, with marshals continuously crying “Table for one!” when a combatant needed a new “dancing partner” and “Table for two!” when both combatants died or a combatant successfully held the list five times in a row. Queen Ariella good-naturedly accepted challenges in a separate list, offering fencers who are participating in the Wild Hunt the opportunity to nab the highest score, a five-point kill (since royalty are worth even more than Masters of Defense).

“My Rapier Championship had many highly skilled and chivalrous fencers compete,” Her Majesty commented after the event. “They honored Æthelmearc and Me in entering the tournament and it was a pleasure to watch.  As My outgoing Champion, Doña Fiora, said, it was a very courteous tournament but with intensity as well.  Congratulations to My new Champion, Lord Jacob Martinson, and to the other finalist, Lord Durante!  Thank you to the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais for hosting such a well-run, enjoyable event!  It will be a meaningful, good Royal memory for Me.  As a bonus, I had the opportunity to fence almost everyone in the tournament and some who marshaled, which gave Me joy.”

Throughout most of the day, the St. Lawrence Guild of Cooks offered a copious repast of tasty finger foods, including sliced Pyes of Paris and spinach pies, several different kinds of marinated hard-cooked eggs, sliced cold cuts and cheeses, bread, dried fruit, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and a variety of pickled  vegetables. (The delicious pickled onions and carrots were lacto-fermented in whey.)

Court and Wild Hunt

After opening Court with a moment in remembrance of Baron Malcolm Fitzwilliam, and allowing a brief Endless Hills baronial court, Her Majesty awarded a Silver Buccle, Golden Alce, and Keystone. (See Court Report.)

Countess Elena and Master William presented prizes (including a copy of Talhoffer’s Medieval Combat) to the three top three bearpit entrants: Lord Durante, Lord Andreas von Halstern, and Don Po. Master Diego Miguel Munoz de Castilla, one of the four coordinators of the Wild Hunt, reminded everyone that both the bearpit and championship that day counted toward the year-long competition.

“Don’t worry about the math about how much someone is worth, we’ll do that for you,” he said. “Just remember who you fought and email us that.”

Categories: SCA news sites

Herald’s Thanks for Palfreys and Polearms

Sun, 2016-06-12 08:27

Master Dagonell, Whitehorn Herald for Western New York region, asked the Gazette to share the following with the populace:

photo by THL Rhiannon

I had the honor last weekend to serve as Royal Herald at Palfreys and Polearms, which was both the Rhydderich Hael’s Champions event and the Royal Equestrian Championship.

Attending an SCA event is like watching a swan floating across a pond. On top, all is peaceful, calm, beautiful, and serene. Under the surface, things are churning like mad to make it that way. Royal Court ran like a well-oiled machine and I owe it all to the many volunteers who worked hard to make it that way.

First, my thanks to Baroness Ekaterina, the current Ice Dragon Herald. The changes to the court docket started a week before the event and ended as we were lining up for court. She took every curveball I tossed and rolled with it. Court went off as though everything had been set it stone from the start. As we processed in, her brag not only beat mine but out-did a number of former Silver Buccles I’ve heard. Whoever is running Heralds and Scribes this fall: make her teach a class on Heraldic Boasting.

A big thank-you also to Baroness Gwendolyn, Jewel Herald, who provided me the docket prior to the event, and helped to coordinate with Baroness Ekat so that everyone was on the same page.

The biggest headache for a herald is getting all the scrolls in one place. My thanks to Baroness Alex and Baroness Juliana, Sylvan and Ice Dragon Signet Clerks respectively, who took over the tasks and gathered all the scrolls and carriers for both courts. I didn’t need to touch a scroll until it came time for them to be signed.

To the artists, scribes, calligraphers, and illuminators who produced all the scrolls for this weekend, I am in awe. I saw so much gorgeous artwork at this event, I was starting to wonder if Their Excellencies were holding the entire Order of the Laurel hostage.

[An aside to Baron Caleb: I always find a private place before court and read the scroll aloud quietly to myself. This helps me catch any exotic names or unusual turns of phrase that might give me a problem. I caught the horrid pun you inserted in the middle of the scroll documentation hoping I’d read it aloud in court. I’m still trying to decide if I should warn the other heralds about you or stand by quietly and see who you catch the next time. ]

My thanks to THL Renata and to m’lady Mina, Baroness Miriel’s young daughter, who took very seriously her job of handing out scroll carriers to protect the lovely scrolls. As each recipient was being cheered, Mina took a carrier from Ren, walked up to stand behind them in court and, when they turned to leave, gave them the carrier and escorted them to Joe the Just (Maestro Giuseppe) to have their picture taken. Speaking of which, His Majesty requested that all scrolls be photographed. Maestro Giuseppe volunteered to photograph each scroll, and each recipient with their scroll, for both royal and baronial courts. Thank you so much.

My second for court was Lady Cigfran, Heronter Herald, my wife of a quarter century and my other right hand. If court functioned like a Swiss watch, it was due to her organization, not mine. She declined to stand in court, but it wouldn’t have happened nearly so smoothly if not for her.

And, while it is not the place of a herald to thank the Royalty he serves, let me just say that His Majesty, King Byron is a joy to work for.

Finally, my thanks to all the volunteers who made offers to help, either in general or with specific tasks, that I had to turn down because it was already taken care of. We heralds talk about this sort of thing on the Heraldry FB pages and people think we’re BSing them, because everyone “knows” that heralds have to beg for help and end up doing most of work themselves. I’m proud to live in Æthelmearc, a shining jewel in the SCA.

Categories: SCA news sites

Royal Thanks: QRC

Sat, 2016-06-11 20:47

Her Majesty has asked the Gazette to share the following with the populace:

Lord Jacob Martinson receives a rose from Her Majesty before winning her tournament. Photo by Lady Antoinette de Lorraine.

Unto the Good Gentles of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais and all who staffed the Queen’s Rapier Championship does Ariella, Regina, send fond Thanks!

The Queen’s Rapier event went wonderfully, with much delicious food and gracious event staff.  The air-conditioned site was so welcome and held the four large Kingdom lists perfectly.  Lady Antoinette de Lorraine, the autocrat, can be proud of her staff, including the Royalty Liaison, for taking care of all Royal needs.  The Rose Garden special reception and welcoming drinks for all further enhanced the hospitality of your Shire.

The Championship tournament and further bear pit tournaments were efficiently run thanks to the marshals and the MOL, Baroness Aemelia Soteria.  All the fencers showed chivalry.

Vivant to all who entered and vivat to My new Champion Lord Jacob Martinson!
Ariella, Regina

Categories: SCA news sites

Æthelmearc Æcademy Class List

Wed, 2016-06-08 17:18

Greetings unto the most talented and erudite Kingdom of AEthelmearc from Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy!

Good Gentles,

If you have been wanting to learn a new skill or perfect a technique you haven’t quite mastered, I invite you to attend Saturday’s AEthelmearc AEcademy and War College, hosted by the hospitable Shire of Ballachlagan.

With nearly 60 classes offered, you will surely enjoy a day of learning and doing!

Do you brew?  Do you want to?

  • Documenting Homebrew. What Digby never told you
  • Medieval Malting

Are you interested in classes on clothing and accessories?

  • A Brief History of Undergarments: The Pair of Bodies and the Farthingale
  • Hitatare Kamishimo, Fancy Japanese Menswear
  • Hoods for Everyone
  • Ladies Japanese Outfit
  • Making a Norse Hat or Sewing 101  (Youth-friendly class!)
  • Yorkshire and Doublet Buttons

Does a good brawl set your toes a-tapping?

  • Bransles/Brawls of Arbeau f1589
  • Bring Your Own Feet Dance Practice
  • Three 15th century Italian dances

Want to embellish garments that others will envy?

  • Hand Applique
  • To Knot or Not To Knot (Youth-friendly class!)

How about fiber arts?

  • Felted Mitten Fun!  (Youth-friendly class!)
  • Fingerloop  (Youth-friendly class!)
  • Inkle Loom Make&Take
  • Inkle set-up and beginning weaving
  • Tablet Weaving Play Time

What about food and cooking?

  • Butter Making Experiment for Children (Youth-friendly class!)
  • Grain Milling for Children (Youth-friendly class!)
  • In Charge of the Feast
  • Lunch, Feast, or Sideboard
  • Period Feasts for a Picky Palate
  • Potage Practicum

Maybe you prefer hands-on/how-to classes?

  • Armour Pattern Making
  • Beginning Pewter – Cold and Hot Pewter Look the Same
  • Introduction to Dovetails

Is history your thing?

  • Bling Out Your Dead
  • A Brief History of Carriages
  • I Came, I Saw, I Cocked It Up: Great Military Blunders, And What They Can Teach Us
  • If Not By Prowess Then By Poison
  • Medieval Metrosexual?
  • One Monarch, Two Interments
  • Vampires – Separating fiction from fiction
  • The Way of Saint James: The Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage Then and Now

Are you musically inclined?

  • The Ubiquitous Recorder (Youth-friendly class!)
  • Moving Beyond Recorders – Other Period Instruments

Love drawing and painting?

  • Applying gold leaf using period materials
  • Basic Paint Techniques
  • Illumination Play Time
  • Italian White Vine: A Hands-on Introduction
  • Lefties Loving their Letters
  • Wax on, wax off calligraphy

Looking for ways to up your SCA game?

  • Designing armory from period examples
  • Drafting the Sun
  • Fairy tales workshop – composition in performance
  • Heraldry BINGO! (Youth-friendly class!)
  • On Being a Signet
  • Sharing the Wealth: creating a presentation of your work
  • Using Technology to Gather and Organize Documentation
  • Using Technology to Create Images for Documentation

And don’t forget there’s a host of WAR COLLEGE classes, too!

  • Basics of the Japanese Sword
  • Japanese Short Staff
  • Melee For Fencing, how to go from mob to unit
  • Shield man’s survival guide to melee
  • So you want to be a combat archer
  • So you want to be a Thrown Weapons Marshal

Event details can be found at

Looking forward to seeing YOU there!

Categories: SCA news sites

Display your Arts at Æthelmearc Æcademy

Wed, 2016-06-08 10:41

Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of AEthelmearc Æcademy, asked to share the following with the populace:

Their Majesties are proud of Their artists and artisans! They enjoy viewing all of the items created and crafted by the hands of the citizens of Æthelmearc.

To that end, a display will be available at Æthelmearc Æcademy on June 11 in the Shire of Ballachlagan, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please bring your works in progress to display.

Registration and set up will open at 10:00 in the Library.

Please provide the following information with your project:

  • Name (optional)
  • Item info (what is it, geographic period location, when would it have been found in period)?
  • What inspired you?
  • What did you learn in the making of this item?

Commentary/feedback sheets will be provided for entrants who request them. The display will be attended through out the day. Entrants are welcome to sit with their items as well.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Baroness Rowena Moore at sodtigger AT gmail DOT com.

Categories: SCA news sites

Royal Thanks for NOWM

Mon, 2016-06-06 21:06

Their Highnesses have asked the Gazette to share the following with the populace:

Photo by Master John Michael Thorpe.

We would like to thank everyone who came out to support His Highness and myself at Northern Oaken War Maneuvers (in Ohio). Thank you to TRM & TRH of the Middle as well as Their Excellencies Cleftlands (and their people) for the incredible hospitality. Spending the day with TRM Æthelmearc and their staff only made the day brighter.

It was great to see old friends and make new.

We hope everyone had a good day regardless of their pursuit and we are enjoying seeing pictures on Facebook of the prowess shown in Myrkfaelinn and in the Endless Hills.

Marcus & Margerite

PS: Ingrid thanks Josie. (As do I!)

Categories: SCA news sites