AEthelmearc Gazette

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Covering the Kingdom of Æthelmearc of the SCA
Updated: 31 min 20 sec ago

Classes Sought for Academy of the Rapier

Sun, 2017-03-26 19:21

Masters and Mistresses, Dons and Doñas, Warders and Companions, Lords and Ladies alike…Announcing the call for anyone interested in teaching fencing classes!

The Æthelmearc Defense Academy is hosting an Academy of the Rapier in Rome, NY on April 15, 2017.

While we invite our rattan cousins to join us and use the space that is available outside, this event will be fencing and Cut and Thrust intensive. At this time the teaching schedule is wide open, only a few slots are taken so we are very flexible as to when your class could be arranged. The closer to the event that it gets the more difficult it will be to have that happen.

All areas of fencing and Cut and Thrust study are available as topics at the site, which is a civic center. The main facility floor that we are able to use is an ice hockey rink (no ice. Sorry – no Musketeer re-enacting!) and the spaces around it including small classrooms and outdoor spaces.

This event is intentionally focused instructional and training time. Please have no expectation of a period experience.

There is no court or feast scheduled.

Anyone interested in teaching classes at either or both events should contact Countess Elena d’Artois or Master Diego Munoz (via FB Messenger).

We would love to have YOU come teach. Please let us know if you have other questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

(Facebook event page is here.)


Categories: SCA news sites

Duchess Morgen Receives Writ for Chivalry

Sat, 2017-03-25 16:48

Photo by Master Liam.

Maighstir Liam macan tSaoire reports that Duchess Morgen of Rye received a Writ of Summons to the Order of Chivalry today at The Donnan Party. Her vigil and elevation will be held at Ice Dragon.

Vivat Duchess Morgen!

Once elevated, she and Baroness Beatrix Krieger (who received her writ at Ædult Swim for elevation at Pennsic) will be the fourth and fifth female knights recognized in Æthelmearc, joining Duchess Sir Rowan de la Garnison, Countess Sir Ariella of Thornbury, and Mistress Sir Cunen Beornhelm.


Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Letters of Intent Due April 13

Sat, 2017-03-25 12:55

From the Kingdom Seneschal, Duke Christopher: 

This is a reminder to all Crown Tournament combatants and consorts that your letters of intent are due no later than April 13th. You may use the new online form, found here: http://ae.scaforms.org/view.php?id=31838, or email, mail, or hand deliver as outlined in Article III of Kingdom Law.

Please let me or Their Highnesses know if you have any questions.


Categories: SCA news sites

Donnan Party 2017: Schedule

Fri, 2017-03-24 16:19

In a fencing mood this weekend? Here’s the schedule for the Donnan Party:

9:00:

  • Troll opens for staff, Royals, retinue, merchants, and vigil staff

10:00:

  • Troll opens for public
  • Authorizations and pic ups for rapier and heavy weapons

10:30

  • Morning Court

11:00

  • Rapier pickups and authorizations continue
  • Heavy weapons muster begins
  • Rapier class: Polish Swaba
  • Rapier class: Introductory Agrippa
  • Archery range opens
  • Arts & Science set up

11:30

  • Rapier class: Tips to Control the Tip
  • Rapier class: Improving your practice

12:00

  • Birthday Smacks
  • Arts & Sciences on display for viewing and populace voting.
  • Sideboard begins

12:30

  • Rapier class: Vor and the Nach

1:00

  • Rapier melee work (or after birthday smacks)
  • Troll closes

1:30

  • Cut and Thrust Round Robyn Tourney

2:00

  • Youth combat

2:30

  • Meeting of the Æthelmearc Academy of Defense

3:00

  • Scholars Tourney
  • White Scarf meeting (Room 201)

4:00

  • MOD meeting (Room 201)
  • Sideboard closes
  • Heavy muster ends

4:30

  • Archery range closes

5:00 (or at their Majesties’ convenience)

  • Court

Official event announcement is here. Facebook event page is here.


Categories: SCA news sites

From Their Majesties: Funeral and GoFundMe for Baron Rodrigo de la Vega

Thu, 2017-03-23 21:45

Baron Rodrigo. Photo by Lord Brennan of Acre.

Good Kingdom,

It is with an incredibly heavy heart, and Baroness Rynea Ingen of Stormsport’s permission, that We announce the passing of Baron Rodrigo de la Vega.

Baron Rodrigo was a Baron of our Court and I personally enjoyed hospitality at his table more than once.  His goodness and friendship to those that have the privilege to call him friend and family will be missed. Our Kingdom is less because of his death.

Viewings will be held Sunday March 26th from 2-4 pm and 7-9pm. There will be a memorial mass on Monday March 27th at 11am with full military honors following the mass. The funeral home is: Elkin’s Funeral Home, 65 South Lake Street, North East, PA 16428.

Immediately following the Services on Monday there will be a wake at the VFW at 28 Vine Street, North East, PA 16428.

With great sorrow,

Margerite & Marcus

GoFundMe account has been set up to assist with funeral arrangements.


Categories: SCA news sites

Pen vs. Sword: Class List & Lunch

Thu, 2017-03-23 11:57

Class Schedule for The Shire of Angels Keep’s Pen vs. Sword, March 25:

10 a.m.

A Damaged Defense – Ly Fenris McGill

Quill Pen Making (2 hours) – THL Robert l’Etourdi

Using the Guidonian Hand Scroll for Gregorian Chant – THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne

Calligraphy 101 – THL Julianna Stafford

11 a.m.

Dagger for Dummies – Simon Caminante

Making Fencing Armor – Ly Fenris McGill

Gilded Letters Part 1 – Mistress Alicia Langland

Noon – LUNCH (from the kitchen of Bjorn Grimsson) 

  • Hare and barley soup
  • Fresh vegetable soup
  • Sweet and herb butters
  • Homemade breads
  • Vegetable and cheese platters
  • Viking porridge with apples and honey
  • Fruit-stuffed cupcakes

1 p.m.

ABCs of Youth Fencing – Baron Edward Harbinger & Baroness Anastasie de L’Amoure

Gouache 101 – Ly Felice de Thornton

Now What? Effective Documentation for Competition – Unnr in Elska a Fjarfella

At a Loss for Words – Baroness Ekaterina

2 p.m.

Basics of SCA Fencing – Pan Henryk Bogusz

Working with a Quill Pen – THL Robert l’Etourdi

Understanding Tournament Trees – Baroness Ekaterina

Ready, Set, Teach! – Mistress Alicia Langland & Mistress Cori Ghora

3 p.m.

Becoming a Fencing Marshal – Pan Henryk Bogusz

Shuji: Taking the Brush – Japanese Calligraphy (2 hours) – Mistress Sólveig Þróndardóttir

Illumination for the Artistically Inept – THL Julianna Stafford

Running the Gate/Troll – Baroness Anastasie de L’Amoure

4 p.m.

Your First Authorization – Pan Henryk Bogusz

A Guide to Field Heraldry – Ly Petronilla Goodwin

Gilded Letters Part 2 – Mistress Alicia Langland

(See the event announcement here. The Facebook event page is here.)


Categories: SCA news sites

Whilst the Cannons Fire: Pennsic and PTSD

Wed, 2017-03-22 20:59

Cannons firing at Pennsic. Photo by Amani.

(March 24 Update: Volunteers who wish to discuss the suggested SMS messaging system and/or help with data entry are invited to join the new Facebook group Pennsic Messaging System Progress.) 

Have you gone to Pennsic? Are there sounds and sensations at War that make the experience everything you had hoped for, making indelible memories that stay with you throughout the year until you can return? Have you fought on the field or walked through the merchant’s area and heard the cannons fire in the distance? You might flinch and look up, or you may do nothing at all.

Or, if you are like a rather large portion of the Pennsic population, you may dive for cover, start to sweat, or lose your field of vision as you are transported back to bad places you thought were still somewhere overseas.

For many of us, the cannons are more than just a sound that signifies the start or end of a battle; they trigger an internal battle we have with post-traumatic stress (PTS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and/or anxiety.

I have heard many talking points while discussing the cannons with people over the past five years or so, ever since I stopped fighting and began watching the battle with the eyes of someone who’d been in it. I had just come off of several deployments, some of which were pretty hairy; others which were scary and anxiety riddled due to my line of work and the bodies I had to confront. I found fighting at Pennsic to be the exact outlet I needed and loved the camaraderie I encountered both on and off the field.

But as I came to know my friends and fellow fighters, I began to notice their tics and twitches, their wild-eyed looks, and the association of those reactions with the cannon fire.

I thought I was the only one who was twitchy before and after the battle, the only one who dropped low when the cannons went off, the only one who would sweat not from the heat but from the excessive beating of my heart.

I found that I would focus on one or two people during a battle and as long as they were nearby at the start of battle, I was good to go. Admittedly, this is not a good strategy for fighting, but it was a game and a way to play the game.

After I was injured and began my off-field fight with a physical handicap that prevented me from ever again taking to the field; I started to really focus on my friends and the environment around us. I started photographing them and the fighting.

That’s when I really saw it: the low, sudden head and shoulder drop, the hunched bodies, the jerkiness and wide glassy eyes when the cannons would fire.  I decided to find out if this was a real problem, or something that was minor and affecting only a few fighters on the sidelines of the field.

I want to clarify something first: I don’t have PTSD per se, since that is a non-specific umbrella term for a group of PTS-related conditions. What I have is designated “PTS with distinct triggers,” which sends me back to places or events that initiated the stress response.

(Editor’s Note: The following contains graphic description of real battle experiences.)

My stress issues originated from two events combined with a lot of other bad experiences that solidified the stressors in my psyche. The first event was dealing with mass graves while in Iraq. I was the only one on my team without kids in my family, so I was chosen to evaluate and document the remains of children killed during the al-Anfal campaign by Saddam Hussein. The tiny remains lay two per table, on every table in my pathology lab. Seventy-five percent of our forensic population were children under the age of 13, with an average of 24 bullet wounds per child. If this wasn’t stressful enough, we were shot at constantly and our lab was placed next to the base wall, along a road where IEDs were commonplace.

One day, an IED caught some Marines coming through the gate. After the cloud and debris settled, I found their engine block, along with pieces of the driver, deposited right outside my lab door. I had to process that by convincing myself it was, “Nothing to be upset about, just get back to work”, which I did…18 hours a day, seven days a week, for nearly two and a half years.

The second stressor makes being in large crowds difficult if I cannot see an exit. It’s because on our sister base, Camp Victory, there was a huge PX (imagine a mini-Walmart in the middle of a military base) where we would go to “relax” because it was away from the mass graves we were working on. We’d go to the PX and shop or eat junk food at the several trailer-sized fast food places parked outside the PX. One day while drinking coffee I saw an Iraqi man, who appeared to work in one of the trailers, counting his paces and then talking to someone on a phone. He did this several times and I pointed it out to my friend and one of the base soldiers. I was told to mind my own business. I watched this man for an hour and even got close to hear him pace counting under his breath. I reported him again to no avail. I left and went back to work feeling a little disturbed.

That night I was invited to a cookout for a unit that, after 18 months, was going home. I went to the party and sat down to eat burgers while hearing the stories of all the soldiers who were going home. One was Sergeant Ramos, a grizzled soldier in his mid-thirties who had described a rough deployment but said he had an 18-month-old baby girl at home who had been born after he’d deployed. He had never held her in his hands. He wanted something to take with him to give to her; so without remembering the Iraqi man, I told him about the stuffed teddy bears in the PX. It was 6 p.m. (1800 hours). He finished his burger and drove off to the PX to grab a bear before he had to report to the tarmac at 2000 hours. I received word at 18:30 that the PX had been mortared twice and there were heavy casualties. The PX was fully caved in on the one side… the side where the teddy bears were located. Sgt. Ramos died on impact with his side SAPI plates embedded in his chest wall.

I had sent him there.

To this day, I cannot be in big box stores without seeing the exits or knowing how to get out if something were to happen. Years have passed and I work to recognize what stresses me so I can avoid them. I am much, much, better than I used to be, and typically have no stress responses at all.

Merchanting: A New Perspective of the Problem

About three years ago, I became a merchant and set up shop along the side off the Darkyard encampment, near the North Gate. I was right across from the battlefield and was able to talk to fighters before battle and after, as well as able to see the fighting.

I was surprised at how LOUD the cannons were from where I was located. I dealt with the anxiety and kept note of the battle times, set an alarm on my phone… but somehow there was still cannon fire that I could not anticipate. I would be so stressed and tired at the end of the day that I’d pass out as soon as it was dark.

The following year, I had to determine if it was financially worth coming back, but with my business picking up I realized I couldn’t afford to skip Pennsic. So, I dealt with the cannons a second year.

I asked more and more people if they were bothered by the cannon fire and started hearing stories of people who were not fighters but who either couldn’t come to War (often, or every year) due to the cannons, or couldn’t bring people with them (like children) because of the sound.

I encountered people with service dogs who had to cage them for hours from their anxiety (which would then trap the human in camp with the dog), non-PTS sufferers who developed anxiety from the cannons and only experienced it at Pennsic, and even a gentleman who wore tight earplugs during battles and walked around War deaf in order to avoid the sounds of the blasts!

Pennsic War is one of those places I call “home.” I have been attending for 25 years and have loved every time I have gone. Two of those years I paid just so I could attend for one day before deploying again. I mentioned that I fought for a time, but most of my years were as a photographer and partier, and all-around “troublemaker.” I’m part of a house known as the “Drunks on the Hill” and I am the Instigator of Shenanigans. I have met so many people at War these 25 years and have the most amazing stories for each event.

I can honestly say that for most of my years after the deployments, I just dealt with the cannons and “sucked it up” with alcohol and bold stories. That is why I can say without reservation that I have been there, done that, heard it, and likely said it.

I understand all the reasons why we want the cannons to be at War, and all the reasons we also fear the noise.

But here is my one point, the one that sticks in my head, has led me down the path that I am undertaking, and the point of my story:

Pennsic is a vacation, a game, a home, and for many of us, a livelihood

In none of those descriptions should a sound negate our enjoyment or our ability to earn a living.

During my third year of merchanting, I was invited to move into a permanent spot directly across from the battlefield along Currie Road. I jumped at the chance to be in such a great spot and gave no thought to the cannons. I figured I’d be further away and therefore, would not hear them as much.

Boy, was I wrong.

The area where I am located is right in line with the cannons and in the direct trajectory of the sound blast, making me the recipient of an incredibly loud BOOM.

I had the best spot for a merchant, but the worst spot for someone with trigger-related stress.

I was grateful to have a neighbor who not only recognized what I was experiencing but also had observed the reaction of his friends and customers to sudden cannon fire. He too had been trying for years to figure out how to resolve the situation within the SCA. I had found an ally.

Pennsic has, on average, 11,000+ people in attendance. So, being a “fix it” person, I decided last year to undertake the discovery of a solution.

Alanus. Photo by Amani.

I began interviewing people so that I would have information to take to the cannoneers. My merchant neighbor Alan (Alanus) worked with me to figure out who we needed to speak to and what assets were available.

Our first try was to drive up to the hill and talk to the cannoneers. It was, for lack of a better term, unsuccessful. When a cannon was fired close to me, with only a short warning, I lost it (I do apologize for my language, gentlemen!). After seeing an example of the problem, the cannoneers volunteered several helpful suggestions.

So, Alan and I took this information to the Mayor of Pennsic to find out ways to proceed. We spoke with him at length over cigarettes (his, not mine), and he agreed that a signal system would be a good method of notification since the usual means of communication like the newspaper, posters, and several different sound-based signal systems had been tried in the past and had not worked. The Mayor told us whom we needed to speak with for next year and told us he was scheduled to be the Deputy Mayor for Martial Activities (which includes the oversight of the logistics for the Gunners) for the battles at Pennsic War 46. This was a great start; we just needed to find the method for notification delivery.

Alan and I spent the rest of Pennsic 45 figuring out ways to warn people of impending cannon fire, what the timing was between a marshal’s call to end the battle, radio time for the Signal Corps to notify the cannoneers, and the time it took to fire the cannons.

Alan and I had several people in our booths who’d come in to shop and instead found themselves taking cover under our tables. The worst was when the cannons fired outside regularly scheduled times. I found myself losing customers either due to my “zoning out” or having full anxiety attacks and having to have an employee take over while I left the booth to de-stress.

I don’t drink much, at least not anymore, but at this War I was downing bottles of wine as fast as I could in order to calm down. That isn’t a solution I was willing to continue or prescribe for anyone else. The situation just strengthened my resolve.  I dug in my heels.

Amani

Understand this: I don’t want the cannons to go away.

Nor do I want the fun of the cannoneers, the Signals Corps, or the fighters to be subdued.

What I want is a notification system to be put in place so that people like me — my neighbors, the veterans, the handicapped people with service dogs that freak out, the attendees with minor autism, the victims of violent crimes, and the hundreds of others I have encountered — can attend and enjoy Pennsic but with proper notification so that they can brace themselves or prepare for the sounds.

What is intolerable is any discussion that includes the words “If it bothers you that much, just stop coming to Pennsic.”

I started a Facebook thread (on the Pennsic War 45 group) asking for ideas. I wanted to know how far the sound travelled across the site and who was affected by the noise.  I will say that for every post on Facebook where I was told “go home,” “if you can’t handle it, don’t play,” or “suck it up,” there were many more that encouraged me to find a solution for the benefit of all who consider Pennsic an important part of their life. I concluded we weren’t going to make everyone happy, and both Alan and I are okay with that.

At the end of Pennsic 45, the bottom line was that a solution would be found, the cannons would continue to signal the beginning and end of battles, and notice would be given to those who need it in order to enjoy Pennsic.

The Proposed Solution: A New Beginning

After Pennsic was over, Alan and I kept in touch and continued to talk with those who would be involved in the notification system. All we were missing was a method of delivering an alert.

I am a member of the military reserves; one day at drill, our communications officer came to me to sign up for our new messaging system. I gave him my email, responded once I received the message from him; then download the app so I could receive instant texts. The messaging service is the same one used by several airlines to message their flight crews with notifications and flight time changes.

After testing the app, I wondered if it would work at Pennsic. I contacted Alan. He downloaded the app, created a test group, and found that we received notifications between five and 10 seconds after they were sent!

The messaging service will alert via the app or text via SMS, so the application does not have to be downloaded by the message recipient for the system to work. We then tested various locations to verify that cellular reception was not a problem. We received both text and online messages, which can be set to produce an audible warning, with a mere few seconds of delay!

Alan wrote step-by-step instructions on how to deploy the system and presented them to the rest of our SCA project team for comment. The system can handle a communications group of several thousand individuals and will require only someone to collect and upload the phone numbers of participants. The notification of impending cannon fire will need to be sent by a Signal Corps member or by a cannoneer a short time before the cannon is fired.

Mind you, when Alan and I were testing this application I was in Virginia and he was in a remote cabin in Washington State. We know the time given to participants in the messaging system will be enough for them to set down their drinks, cage a cannon-sensitive dog, hold a child, go into a quiet place, or do whatever they need to do to prepare.

We need volunteers willing to manually enter phone numbers into laptop database either at registration or at troll.

The system admin will upload data to a dedicated cellphone the weekend before War Week with upload of additional phone numbers daily throughout War Week. We know this will work and we know there is room for improvement, but it’s the start of a solution.

With all the very best intentions for the Society and the greater comfort of the citizens of Pennsic. We remain,

Amani Ahmed Mash’al al-Sabti al-Dulaymi of the Most Glorious Ottoman Empire, owner and proprietor of Silvertree Souq

Alanus of Bunghea, owner and proprietor of Nordic Trader

(For more information or to get involved in the project, email Amani.)


Categories: SCA news sites

Upcoming Demos at Silva Vulcani

Wed, 2017-03-22 13:33

The Silva Vulcani Shrine

Doña Gabrielle de Winter invites gentles from throughout Æthelmearc to join the good folk of the Shire of Silva Vulcani at some upcoming demonstrations.

California University of Pennsylvania is full of demo opportunities this April. I thought it would be an excellent time to give you the low-down, in case you are free and would like to participate.

Diada de Sant Jordi,  April 27th, 10:00-3:00  (Thursday)

Saint George’s day is a very important holiday in Spain – a day of books, roses, and romance. Last year, we had dancing, arts and sciences, and fencing, and were considered one of the most important aspects of the event. This year, we already have wonderful scribal talent from the Bog, fencers, and dancers have already signed up to come, but we would be thrilled to welcome more people. High school students will be bused in, so the age range is high school to college.

A Trip Through Time,  April 29th, 11:00-4:00  (Saturday)

This is a major reenactment event, advertised to schools, public libraries, VFWs, and more. The age range is open – anyone with an interest in history is invited.  We already have a Civil War Encampment, Scottish dancers will be joining our medieval ones, people portraying French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, hands-on demos of primitive food preparation, and fencing. I would love to add anything to this mix – to introduce the people coming here to the wide range of reenactment and living history opportunities.

There are reasons why these came so close together. Several people were given minor grants in order to have events on campus to help assist with bringing people to Cal U and recruiting new students. Unfortunately, all of our timelines came together (I started planning mine in November). It also means that I had to grab what space I could, and so had to pick a rather unfortunate date that coincided with Blackstone Raids. I understand that there is a lot going on, but I could not pass up any opportunity to both bring the SCA to a new audience and show the University how useful and awesome the College of Silva Vulcani (known to them as the Medieval Club and the Fencing Club) is and how we support the university. If you can come to any of these, I would be grateful, because the more support we have, maybe the more people we will recruit? In any case, it will be lovely to see you.


Categories: SCA news sites

Debatable Lands Weaving Demonstration – Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Mon, 2017-03-20 18:27

The following article was written by Lady Luceta di Cosimo about the Fiber Guild of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands’ recent demonstration in Pittsburgh:

On March 5th, the Fiber Guild of the Barony-Marche of Debatable Lands (BMDL) conducted a demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This was the second demo conducted at this site by the Barony within the last three months. The theme this time was medieval weaving and was held in the Museum’s MAKESHOP. MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.

The Guild members were honored to be invited to be the guest artisans for the weaving program. Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi of Sunderoak and Lady Beatrix of Anglesey of Ballachlagan demonstrated medieval weaving techniques to curious kids and their grown-ups, assisted by Lady Luceta di Cosimo of the Debatable Lands.

Lady Beatrix of Anglesey and Lady Luceta di Cosimo setting up the sprange frame. Mistress Mahin is in the background speaking with an attendee.

We displayed a full size warp-weighted loom, a tablet weaving set up, and a sprang frame, as well as pre-made samples. The kids and adults who wanted to take something home could make little cardboard looms and weave with bits of yarn.

There were dozens of visitors, weaving samples, playing with the looms and asking questions. One of the MAKESHOP staff artists was a tablet weaver himself. He was particularly interested in learning how to weave letters and Mistress Mahin taught an impromptu tablet weaving class.

It was wonderful to be back at the Museum, and we are looking forward to more skill demos at this location. Thanks go out to the Museum staff for inviting us and sharing their MAKESHOP space, to Mistress Mahin and Lady Beatrix for sharing their skills, and to Sydney, Jacob, and Karl of Sunderoak for warping the looms for the demo, even though they couldn’t be there the day of the demo.

Mistress Mahin teaching tablet weaving.

Additional information regarding the Children’s Museum WORKSHOP can be found here and here.

A related article written by WORKSHOP staff member Colin Williams can be found here.

Lady Beatrix of Anglesey demonstrating weaving on the warp-weighted loom.


Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: Going Back to the Drawing Board

Sun, 2017-03-19 19:27

I’ve always felt archery was more fun with 3D or moving targets.

Like the squirrel that falls over, this whole target is only 12 inches tall. Thinking bigger would be better, I made a multiple fish target that was over 3 feet tall.

In my backyard, which is wind free, it worked perfectly, but on an open range I found out it didn’t work quite so well. Every time the wind blew, the target fell over, and I realized I had built a giant sail. I took it home and added more weight to the base. In the next two pictures you can see that, when struck, it would rock backward but not completely fall over.

But sometimes it would rock forward, fall over, and break any arrows already stuck in it. Not good!

Finally, I realized that anything over a foot tall just doesn’t work properly. This was one of those times I learned more from making a mistake. So when you’re building, make sure the target won’t damage other archers’ equipment.

I just want to remind everybody that I’ll be at the unofficial Archery Muster at Earl Byron and Countess Ariella’s castle in Wexford on April 9. In addition, I will be Marshal-in-Charge at Blackstone Raid, where the prize is a bow and all the extra equipment to go with it.

I have been asked if people can repost my articles, and the answer is yes! The things I write are for the enjoyment and the safety of all archers of all kingdoms, so feel free to use any information I put in this article.

This month’s safety tip: be sure to warm up if you’re going out to shoot for the first time, and don’t shoot for more than 30 minutes until you get back into shape.

‘Til next month, in service,

THL Derek Archer

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Tales from Gulf Wars: Days 4, 5 & 6

Sat, 2017-03-18 19:44

From Countess Elena d’Artois:

[Thursday] morning in the Everyman tourney Mathias made it out of his round robin pool only to be taken out in the top 8 of a 40 person tourney!!

[Thursday] afternoon the rapier army of 11 from Æthelmearc had one job. Get the right-hand flag and keep it.

We. Did. Our. Job.

At the outset of the melee, Robert Hawksworth and Mathias Al Tabai set the pace ! They were the first to the flag and they slowed the opponents long enough for our main force to approach and take possession for the lion’s share of the battle. The combined forces of Trimaris, Northsheild, Meridies, Atlantia and Æthelmearc took home a decisive victory, but our worthy opponents truly made us work for it.

Acts of heroism and prowess included Mistress Illadore and Countess Elena each rolling the enemy lines at separate times to retake flags that had been lost. Count Byron of Haverford, Master Anias Fenne, and Duke Titus Germanicus used their melee expertise and leadership to solidly control the flag we were assigned. Kudos to Kara Burkhart, Don Jacob of Dunmore, Brehan Lapidario, and Lady Cairdha Eilis O’Coileain on their battlefield awareness and willingness to go wherever there was a problem, to support and hold weak points and, in many cases, turn the tide.

Our contingent was small but mighty. We worked extremely well with our friends from Trimaris.

And an especial kudos to all who fought this war point. The combat was tactically brilliant, well planned and chivalric. All were a joy to fight.

Many of the rapier army participated in the Rose tourney [Friday] morning. I do not know how all of them did. When i find put i will post a supplement.

On the rattan field our unit was asked to gain and hold a bridge until such time as help could come from the back field. Each time we united with either the Midrealm or Northshield to do just that. We did “fight in the shade” in 2 passes as we were peppered by combat archers. We were successful in our mission. Those times we did have breakouts on our bridge we beat them back successfully. Kudos especially to Sir Marek on his hero moment facing 3 enemies and besting them in the backfield. Kudos to Baroness Beatrix on her field command. Kudos to Master Anias on his spear work in the last bridge. And kudos to Sir Maghnus in the fort for taking out the enemy King with his first ballista shot!

We are small, but we are mighty. Vivant to all the combatants!!

 

Mistress Illadore takes a selfie with some several members of the Æthelmearc rapier melee unit.

Final report from the cabin [on Saturday morning]. We have quit the field. Camp is broken down and clear. The wagon is loaded and intrepid heroes are on their various paths home.

Safe and brief travels to all. We anticipate arrival in the Debatable Lands in the wee hours of the morning not too terribly long after sunrise.

A good war. Ending with the only truly hot shower of the entire week. Simple joys.

From Baroness Beatrix Krieger:

Æthelmearc was small, mighty, and gallant in the Ravine. Recognized throughout the Known World for our cause. Well done!

Æthelmearc stood bravely in the Ravine with Clovenshield, Trimaris, Northshield, Atlantia, and [our] Allies, and faced a vast army of Calontir, Midrealm, East, Western Alliance, and their Allies, who stood to take possession of banners. The small but mighty contingent of Æthelmearc repelled our foes time and time again, and helped push the enemies back against the tides of shields, arrows, and spears. We were divided for a period to aid in two places, and we were able to stave off the mighty enemy. Though we numbered thirteen on the field, the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was recognized time and time again for melee skills, command, capability, and honor.

[On Friday] Æthelmearc fought on the bridges with our allies, the Mid and Northshield, with ferocity, helping to press the enemy and duel with our foes. We would hold off their pulses, buying time for our allies to sweep the center bridge. Our battalion was small but useful. We served our allies well, helping to acquire 3 victories to gain the point for Trimaris. The last battle, for fun, was also a victory for Trimaris.

One of the coolest moments at any SCA event, war, etc., EVER was something I got to watch [Friday] and something I had nothing to do with in any capacity. Between the bridges and the fort battles, they held a youth bridge battle. The children had an opportunity to fight two bridge battles against members of the chivalry. It was amazing. The kids stepped up without fear, and closed against the chivalry with a desire to crush the opposing forces. In both passes, the chivalry were slain to the last man, and each of the kids, varying in age, fought with courtesy, chivalry, and skill. It was a privilege to watch, it embodied the dream of the Society. Absolutely amazing.

We fought in the Fort battles, first attacking, then defending. Our numbers had dwindled somewhat, but nonetheless we fought bravely. Æthelmearc divided to aid our allies and crashed the shields in the side doors. To defend, Æthelmearc fought well, dying to the last man defending the side gates. We were not successful in taking the castle in the fastest time.

Æthelmearc: be proud of those who came on Crusade. To those who stood fiercely with our allies and served their Crowns, their kingdom, and each other with honor, be proud. You humbled and honored me.

Many have departed, including your Gulf Wars Warlord, for home. Safe drive for all, see you soon. War ends [Saturday], and the warriors of Sylvan Æthelmearc will be back to defend their homeland from invaders soon enough.

Names to remember for standing on the field: Baroness Gwen, THL Thorsol, THL Roland, Countess Elena, Sir Angus, Duke Titus, Duchess Morgen, Master Robert, Count Byron, Sir Marek, Master Anias, Sir Maghnus, Sir Koredono, Lord Random, Sir Graedwyn (in spirit), Nissan, Ben, THL Edward, and Master Jussie.

From Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne:

[On Wednesday], we had a tragedy! The oven for pie baking had an issue due to an o-ring, so we did not have pie. We made apples in wine instead.

Mistress Illadore’s “press gang” helping with meal prep

[Thursday] was a great day – entirely due to to Æthelmearc ‘s amazing skill and strategy, our side also won both the heavy and rapier Ravine War Point. Thursday was also steak night, with THLady Pippi in charge. We also served fettuccini with parmesan and butter, spinach salad, more snow, and finally cheese and fruit slices for dessert. Friday night was chicken in orange glaze, farfalle with green sauce (pesto), and bread pudding with berries for dessert.

The final Gulf Wars camp dinner


Categories: SCA news sites

A Missive From Their Highnesses

Thu, 2017-03-16 19:33

King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle. Photo by Christina Mary Lowe, called Jinx.

Unto glorious Æthelmearc do Timothy and Gabrielle, Prince and Princess send warm greetings,

Prior to moving here, the SCA had lost much of its magic for us. Once we got to Æthelmearc , we found ourselves once again enjoying all the wonders that the Society has to offer. But we understand that isn’t the experience that everyone has here. Like any large organization it can be easy to feel left out or left behind if you aren’t part of the “in” crowd. We have always endeavored to treat everyone, regardless of rank, with courtesy and kindness, and are pleased that so very many of everyone in this kingdom does the same.

However, with many thousands of members, sometimes personality conflicts arise. Members with different ideas of how things should be compete with one another and typically, one comes out on top. This can cause many fine people to become disillusioned and leave, taking with them a little piece of our magic. We have solicited for ideas, and continue to do so, as to what we can do to bring people back into the fold. As you can imagine, we received quite a bit of feedback. There were many ideas, many of which (big surprise) were in direct conflict with one another. Setting those aside for now, there was one large, over-arching theme, the cliquish nature of the organization makes our warm welcome, while not the sole exception, far from the norm, even for people whose first experience with the society is in Æthelmearc .

There are several steps we would like to implement to try and correct this situation. First and simplest, for the duration of our reign, we would welcome those with Peerages into the Grant level order meeting along that track Knight/Gage, Pelican/Millrind, Laurel/Fleur, Mod/WS. Further, we invite those who have the equivalent Grant level award from other kingdoms to join us in our order meetings. We welcome PMs discussing this matter, as we will be considering adding this to kingdom law. These members have valuable contributions, and why should we exclude them simply because they have not had the good fortune to spend their entire SCA career in Æthelmearc?

Second, and more difficult, concerns the single largest facet of the cliquish nature of our organization. There is no polite way to say this, so we will be blunt. There are more times than any of us care to admit that some of the more strong willed members of our polling orders can effectively and thoroughly block someone who is deserving of recognition in perpetuity. We clearly don’t know every personality conflict, we haven’t been present at every conversation where someone spoke rashly, or when a sentence was taken out of context. In the past, We have given awards to gentles we are familiar enough with to recognize that they have been blocked unfairly. As King and Queen, we had that right, and as Prince and Princess, we soon will once again, but not everyone is afforded the opportunity to correct injustices they perceive. So we would ask our citizens this: if you feel someone has been unfairly victimized in this fashion, make your best case to us. We certainly will not grant all of these requests, but we will honestly listen. It is easier to go into an order meeting and discuss a candidate if we understand some of the background and personality conflicts before people voice their opinions. Just please do this prior to our order meetings, so we have time to look into the background, and your case.

Finally, we want to see members of our polling orders actively fostering others. If you are a knight, or would like to be, go out and train newer fighter, whether they are your squire or not. If you are a Laurel or a Fleur, why wait for an Æcademy? Run a workshop or a guild. In short, mentor people. We should be shepherds, nurturing folks as they grow, rather than serving as goaltenders keeping them out of our Orders.

In service to Æthelmearc,

Timothy and Gabrielle


Categories: SCA news sites

The Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: MORE Stitches in Time

Thu, 2017-03-16 16:59

From craftsman to Queen, in the Middle Ages embroidery was part of the fiber of everyday life.  Using materials from earthy wools to ethereal silk, gold, pearls, and precious stones, women as well as men devoted uncounted hours to embellishing and enriching their fabrics.  The organizers of The Academy of St. Clare of Assisi:  MORE Stitches in Time invite stitchers of all skill levels to spend the weekend of March 31-April 2 immersing themselves in the study and practice of these exquisite techniques. This unique all-you-can-embroider event offers short classes on specialized topics, long detailed “kit” classes on beloved styles, and a chance to spend time with others who love the art of the needle.  This year’s classes will feature a both a Beginners’ Track and a Scandinavian Track.

Those arriving Friday night may choose to spend the evening chatting and stitching in the large meeting room.  It’s a great chance to share favorite suppliers, talk about tools in your embroidery kit, and get to know others from far away.  (FUN FACT:  Last year’s attendees came from five Kingdoms!). A hearty breakfast will set the stage for Saturday’s activities, which begin with a Keynote Address — “Dismantling Musiaphobia: learning to approach museum collections with confidence” — by Patrikia Maria Agrissa Sgourina.  Maria, herself a life-long stitcher, is interested in embroidery styles that span the centuries, from early- to late-period.  She received her Laurel in 2004 for her research, especially in Byzantine and Sassanid clothing and culture before the year 1000 CE. A full day of learning follows, starting with these one-hour classes Saturday morning:  

  • Embroidery for beginners by Baroness Bronwyn nic Gregor (Beginners Track)
  • Research for beginners by Gillian Llywellyn (Beginners Track)
  • Intermediate Embroidery by Gillian Llywellyn
  • Some Basics on Gold and How It Relates to Embroidery by THL Jaqueline de Molieres (Goldwork Track)
  • CANCELLED – Goldwork by Lady Megryth Allisonsdottir (Goldwork Track)
  • NEW!  Viking Embroidery by Hrefna fruþikona Þorgrímsdottir (Scandinavian Track)
  • Heavy Metal Embroidery: Finnish Style! by Duchess Siobhan (Scandinavian Track)
  • 14th century embroidered purses by Lady Vika Grigina z Prahy
  • Would You Know a Saint If You Met One? by Lady Johanna Lemercer

After a break for lunch, students will spend the afternoon in their pre-selected “kit” class, where they will not only learn the skills needed to complete their hands-on project but will also spend ample time working on the project.  “Kit” class options include:

  • Bead Embroidery by Mistress Jeanmaire Ilaria Beatrice du Domrémy
  • Embroidered Book Covers by THL Cristina inghean Ghriogair
  • Late Period English Slips by Hrefna fruþikona Þorgrímsdottir
  • Elegant Embellished Cuffs by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix (Beginners)
  • Make Your Own Wood-Handled Haithabu Bag by Lady Elska á Fjárfelli

To enable instructors to provide students individual attention, “kit” classes have size limits.  Once a class is filled, no more students will be accepted in that class.  Some classes are nearly filled, so for the best selection, we encourage you to mail your event registration today.  (Please note that the “kit” classes require pre-payment;  we will email you instructions on how to register for your “kit” class upon receiving your event registration.)

In addition to the classes, the event will also offer an all-day Embroidery Display Area, where entrants can get feedback on their work and where everyone can be inspired. A Reference Library of on-loan embroidery books will be available to peruse all day.  (The library will be staffed, and books will not leave the library area.). In the afternoon, the Stitching Solar will give students an option to sit and stitch in good company while others are in class. Returning from last year by popular request, we will break for Tea after the “kit” classes end. Following the tea, the Embroidery Display Show-and-Tell will allow us the chance to chat with those whose work we admire.

To help defray our out-of-Kingdom teachers’ travel expenses, a Silent Auction will be held.  Attendees are encouraged to bring excess and unwanted embroidery supplies and books – or SCAdianly-useful items — for the auction.  (After all, your no-longer-wanted items might be just what someone is looking for!)  All proceeds from the Silent Auction will be split among the out-of-Kingdom teachers.

After Feast – once again prepared under the direction of Lady Elizabetta Tempesta, our Head Cook from last year — an Embroidered Fashions Show will let us hear about the lovely garments we’ve been admiring all day. Those who didn’t get their fill of stitching during the day will be welcome to spend what’s left of the evening stitching and schmoozing in the large meeting room.

On Sunday morning, following breakfast, Lady Shirin of Susa will offer a class on Teaching Fiber Arts.  

Does this sound like the event you’ve been dreaming of?  Then please mail your event registration TODAY!

Event registration (includes 4 meals, served family-style, plus lodging) is as follows:
  • Adult Event Registration:  $35.00
  • Adult Member Discount Event Registration: $30.00 (Include a photocopy of your current SCA membership card.)

Feast spaces are nearly full, so we urge you to mail your event registration today to avoid disappointment!  

Please make your check payable to “SCA PA Inc. — Shire of ACG” and send it, along with the requested information listed below, to THL Aibell ingen Dairmata, c/o Lea Wittie, 913 Colonial Lane, Lewisburg PA 17837.

Kindly include the following with your event registration:

  • SCA name
  • modern name
  • email address (so we can send you “kit class” payment information)
  • food allergies (if applicable)
  • mobility concerns (if applicable)
  • bunk space required for 2 nights / 1 night (specify Friday or Saturday) / 0 nights
  • Are you interested in attending an afternoon “kit class”?  YES / NO

Bunk spaces in the heated cabins are filled on a first-paid, first-served basis. Those needing access to electricity should request a bottom bunk near an outlet.

The event will be held at the same site as last year, Boy Scout Camp Karoondinha, 225 Thomas Dam Road, Millmont PA 17845-9448 (GPS Coordinates: 40.85630, -77.2547)  Please note that the site does not permit alcohol.

Questions?  Please contact the autocrat, Mistress Alicia Langland (hutchnsn@bucknell.edu)

Want more info?  Visit: 

 http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~acg/Events/SiT.html


Categories: SCA news sites

Stories from Gulf Wars XXVI: Days 2 and 3

Wed, 2017-03-15 23:43

Countess Elena d’Artois reports:

An uneasy truce has been called to rest the troops and tend the wounded. In the quiet of mid-day our heroic champions on each side tested themselves upon the prowess and chivalry of the noble best that our cousins to the west had to offer. For rapier, Duke Titus Germanicus, the death bringer and Dark Knight of Æthelmearc, stood for our side. He fought valiantly and with great chivalry, but was bested after a very long exchange. In the Meridian Rose Tourney THLord Thorsol Solinauga fought for me and did fabulously well. He made it past the first round successfully against a formidable opponent. The second round saw him bested but he made the poor chap pay dearly for the victory. He fought with honor and courtesy. A spectacular showing!!

Wednesday morning Robert Hawksworth, Don Jacob of Dunmore, and I started the day early at 9 am fighting in the street brawl in Verona. I was on the Capulet’s team and the gentlemen were on the Montegue’s team. Good melee. Good schticky fun. Good fellowship. Both of the gentlemen did a great job, including Don Jacob shanking me with his dagger as I tried to hide my weapons from the Night Watch. Karma came back to bite him as I killed him from behind in the next round.

Photos of the Street Brawl in Verona by Brehan Lapidario.

Baroness Beatrix Krieger reports:

Æthelmearc fought with ferocity and honor, with a troop fewer than 15 today to stand with our allies. Sides were evened and the Field Battles were on after opening ceremonies. The small battalion of Æthelmearc showed chivalry, bravery, and prowess on the battefield, and fought to the last man more than once. Æthelmearc was able to help win two of the five melees and stand with Trimaris, Northshield, and allies. It is a beautiful, cool, and sunny day, and while the day was not a victory for us or our noble allies on the heavy field, Æthelmearc was recognized by many to be a force to be reckoned with in every engagement.

Duke Titus Germanicus fought for Æthelmearc as the fencing representative for Heroic Champions [on Wednesday]. He was fierce, quick, and honorable, but was ultimately thwarted. Although he was not called upon to the heavy lyst for Champions, THL Thorsol Solinagua was to stand for the Allies for Æthelmearc. Afterwards, Thorsol represented Countess Elena in the Rose Tourney. He fought with ferocity, honor, and courtesy. He was eliminated, but fought for his Rose very well.

[Thursday] is the Ravine Battle at 11am. Vivat Æthelmearc!

Brahen Lapidario reports:

Since I didn’t make it to [the rapier] War Point, I took the opportunity to attend a class that compared meads made with ale yeast to those made with wine yeast. It was very interesting and I learned a lot (and drank a bit more than I learned, perhaps). But, I was a little disappointed that the experiment wasn’t better designed. The gentleman doing it used one recipe for all the meads made with ale yeast, and another recipe for those made with wine yeast. Thus, it was possible to compare ale yeast to ale yeast & wine yeast to wine yeast, but not ale yeast to wine yeast (which was the primary reason I attended the class).

There’s only one thing to do about it: run the experiment myself!

Milord Brehan also sent some photos, including Merchants’ Row, the Gode Bakery (run by Master Alastar Scott MacCrummin with assistance from his lady wife, Maistres Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon, and Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile), and the dog-powered “Great Machine” first unveiled at SCA 50 Year.

Click to view slideshow.

Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne reports:

[On Tuesday], once again, Trimaris and her allies (including Æthelmearc) lost in the heavy battles, again in part due to superior numbers. However, the fighters enjoyed the battle and were happy to get hit people. On the rapier side, once again. Æthelmearc was victorious!

Æthelmearc won the Ballista Target competition [on Wednesday] with Sir Maghnus de Cnoc an Iora and Bryheres Gwendolyn the Graceful manning the ballista.

Click to view slideshow.

Several rapier fighters also participated in the Green Tavern Brawl for fun.

The three AE Baronesses decide to try to win the Shopping Warpoint for Aethelmearc. [Wednesday] night’s dinner was again from Scappi; I’m cooking From Scappi all week and have requested that all participants come up with “Pope Facts” to discuss during dinner, as Scappi cooked for two Popes and several cardinals. Dinner included Beef stew, lentils with pepper and cinnamon, macaroni and cheese (its period!) marzipan, and pear and cheese pie.

One of the biggest factors is how cold it is. [Tuesday] night it dropped into the 30s. However, we are making do and are looking forward to it warming up later in the week

Mistress Illadore, Brehyres Gwendolyn, and Baroness Kelda contemplating shenanigans at Gulf Wars. Photo by Mistress Illadore.


Categories: SCA news sites

Register to Teach at the Scribal College at Pennsic!

Wed, 2017-03-15 14:33

A snow day is the perfect time to think about teaching at the Scribal College at Pennsic!

It’s fun and rewarding and there’s nothing to shovel.

If you’re a scribe you know something that someone else wants to learn, so consider sharing your knowledge, talent and a little bit of your time with the Known World at Pennsic this year. You’ll be glad you did! Register your class here.


Categories: SCA news sites

A Wish List for Heralds & Scribes

Wed, 2017-03-15 11:23

Noble Cousins!

Would people in your area like to learn more about designing and executing beautiful scrolls, serving as herald in court or during a tournament, how to design premodern names and heraldic devices, how to incorporate your armory into your clothing and equipment, or how to participate in the name and armory review process?

Or maybe you would just like to hang out for a day with a bunch of interesting people from across the kingdom and even a few other kingdoms? The preferred time is after Labor Day this year and ideally not in the same month as Æcademy.

Heralds & Scribes is a fun and fairly easy event for which to serve as autocrat. I am about to give you a wish list. However, a lot of different sites can be made to work.

Basically, you need to secure a site with plenty of classrooms and provide lunch. Typically, the more classrooms the better. The scribes particularly like to have a scriptorium where they can practice calligraphy together. Scribes also like to have a display area for samples of their work. It would be good to have a display area for heraldic objects as well. Ideally, several of the classrooms should accommodate projection equipment. The scriptorium and at least one of the classrooms should accommodate “messy classes” where scribes actually practice their art. Built in internet access is nice, but we can probably find people with hotspots.

Beyond the various classroom areas, there should be a commons area for people to hang out and eat lunch. The most recent collegium had heraldic activities running from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the last two hours of which were devoted to a Q&A session with a College of Arms officer followed by a general meeting of the Æthelmearc College of Heralds. The event staff cleaned and restored the other classrooms during this period.

Who to contact:

Note: There will be a staff change with at least the office of Silver Buccle this Spring. However, please do not let that deter you. Please provide the new staff people with an excellent site for this Autumn! Please send in event proposals as soon as you can.

Thank you very much for considering my request.

In service to Æthelmearc, Sólveig


Categories: SCA news sites

Stories from Gulf Wars XXVI: Day 1

Tue, 2017-03-14 09:31

Countess Elena d’Artois, Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne, and Baroness Beatrix Krieger report from Gulf Wars in Gleann Ahann.

From Countess Elena:

Monday’s Rapier Town Battle was brisk. Our side was outnumbered by 10, but we still emerged victorious through the plans and strategies of our general, Doña Miriam d’Hawke [of Trimaris]. Since our side won the war point in the first two iterations of the scenario, we fought the third round to the last man. Great teamwork [was] displayed by Master Anias Fenne and Duke Titus Germanicus, holding a group from flanking us and turning the tide to roll the enemy’s edge. Kudos to Kara Burkhart, Robert Hawksworth, and Lord Nicolo Loredan da Venesia, [who] especially did a great job screening so that we were able to help our buddies achieve the victory condition.

Thanks to Lady Racheldis of Swansmere for serving as marshal today for the rapier field.

From Baroness Beatrix:

Today was the Town Battle. We were small in number but very, very good. We killed many; we united with parts of Trimaris and Atlantia on one of the bridges to hold our foes off as they tried to push through our line. We repelled them as best we could and reinforced small buildings all throughout the battle. Our chivalry crossed and pressed them at the river, and together our army held them at bay for as long as we could. We could not keep the hordes from overrunning us, and while Ansteorra and their allies were victorious, Æthelmearc fought with great skill, courtesy, and with tremendous honor.

Tomorrow: field battles after opening ceremonies.

From Mistress Illadore:

Today saw Æthelmearc fighting with Trimaris, apparently highly outnumbered on the heavy side in the Town Battle. Our fighters fought valiantly and enjoyed the target rich environment. On the rapier side, Æthelmearc won the day!! Alright, alright, we had help. The Rapier Town Battle included finding the right chest inside the “town” and getting it out through the front gates of the fort, best two out of three.

Click to view slideshow.

After the Town Battle, much of the camp enjoyed the first of [several planned] meals based on the Opera of Bartolommeo Scappi’s, with the main entree being roast chicken with pomegranate sauce. Peach pie was for dessert. [Ed. Note: Mistress Illadore is the camp cook for Gulf Wars.]

 

Baroness Kelda wrangling chickens for dinner

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Spring Coronation: The Menus and Schedule

Mon, 2017-03-13 15:55

Lord Andrew of Thescorre announces his planned lunch and feast menus for the Spring Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle, which will be April 22 in Thescorre:

LUNCH

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Pickles
  • Cheese
  • Tasty Maghmuma (beef pie)
  • Another Maghmuma (chicken pie)
  • A Vegetable Dish (gourd soup)
  • Aqras (cookies)
  • Peach drink

FEAST

1st Course

  • Cold Dish of Beans
  • Fresh Yogurt 
  • Cucumber
  • Flatbread (Nabatean Water Bread)
  • Olives
  • Figs

2nd Course

  • Another Barida (chicken with mustard sauce)
  • Pomegranate sauce
  • Dressed Carrots
  • Rice and Beans

3rd Course

  • Sikbaj (roasted beef)
  • Bazmaward (rolled sandwich)
  • Tardin (thin lamb patties)
  • A Turnip Dish
  • Greens

4th Course

  • Judhaba of Bananas 
  • Halwa Mahshuwwa (cookies stuffed with nuts)

Coffee, tea, water and grape juice served throughout. 
All dishes subject to change to to cost or availability.
Gluten-free and vegetarian versions will be available. (Prior notification of allergy/dietary needs are greatly appreciated.)
Any questions or allergy concerns should be emailed to the cook.

Preliminary schedule for the day:

  • 9 am site opens
  • 10:30 am Last Court of Their Majesties Marcus and Margerite, followed by the Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle
  • 12:00 to 1:00 lunch
  • 1:00 Lists open for heavy and fencing tournaments on the lawn (weather permitting); gaming and other diverse arts in the hall; Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle sit in state 
  • 4:30 First Court of Timothy & Gabrielle
  • 6:30 Feast
  • 9:00 site closes

The event Facebook page is here.

The official announcement is here.


Categories: SCA news sites

Ædult Swim II: Its Origins and Future Plans

Sat, 2017-03-11 20:16

Photo courtesy of Lord Mikus.

By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.

How do you top a fight practice that draws over 400 fighters and fencers from 12 kingdoms?

You do it again, and this time draw over 500 from every single SCA kingdom except three (Avacal, Atenveldt, and Calontir).

And His Highness Timothy’s goal is to offer even more activities, draw more SCAdians, and completely fill the site next year!

Click to view slideshow.

If you’re not martially inclined, you may be wondering just exactly what was that really huge martial practice in Abhainn Ciach Ghlais that every fighter and fencer you know has been talking about?

Over the weekend of February 18 and 19, Ædult Swim II helped over 485 fighters and fencers to take hands-on classes, authorize, and otherwise play with friends they normally see only annually at Pennsic or other large wars. (Roughly 100 to 150 nonmartial SCAdians also attended the event to take a scribal class, support their fighters or fencers, or just hang out with friends and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.)

Master Raeve teaches a rapier class. Photo by Baroness Katja.

The practice took place at the Milton Shoe Factory, a huge three-floor building built in 1907 that boasts 14-feet-high ceilings. While both fighting and fencing last year were confined to the 120-foot by 300-foot second floor, this year  fencing moved up to the third floor to give both activities more room. A last-minute addition, the Scribal Tour added a stop at the practice and offered a Visconti workshop on the third floor, separated from the fencing classes and bouts.

The Gazette talked to Prince Timothy to find out what inspired the first practice last year, how it differed this year, and where he hopes it will go…

Q: Where did the name “Ædult Swim” come from?

A: The name originated from my youth. We lived in an apartment complex as a kid, and the community pool had a 15-minute period every hour where the adults got to use the pool. For whatever reason, this seemed like a good name, even though in hindsight, I think it might discourage the very people I most want to benefit from the event.

Q: What inspired you to create this practice/event?

A: When I moved to Æthelmearc, I found there was a disconnect between many of the isolated pockets of newer fighters and the more-experienced fighters. Neither group really seemed willing to travel to meet with the other. It is a cultural thing in this geographic area that I still don’t understand. I spent a couple months traveling to far-flung practices to work with folks and rapidly realized that there were far more people than I could possibly adequately work with.

Duke Malcolm thanks his opponent after an energetic bout. Photo by Baroness Katja.

I talked to a bunch of friends in the Chivalry and tried to get them to come out and help teach. We had a BBQ/practice in ACG in April 2013. With a few weeks’ notice, and with the promise of a dozen or so Chiv willing to work with folks, we ended up with about 75 heavies, 14 of whom were Chivalry as I recall. We kept doing regional musters during our last reign, with much the same response. Those less-experienced fighters who wanted to learn, traveled. I remember folks from Morgantown, VA coming all the way to Syracuse to a regional on a Sunday during a snowstorm.

Countess Ariella faces an opponent on the rapier floor. Photo by Baroness Katja.

The global nature of Ædult Swim was a direct response to actions that happened between the East and Middle Kingdoms a few years back. The animosity between the East and Middle monarchs, and by extension their Chivalry, had gotten so bad that quite literally the two monarchs had one of their knights (who is mundanely an arbiter) host a joint chivalry meeting to discuss their issues. One of the things suggested (by Duke, now King) Edmund of the Middle was that an annual joint East/Middle fight practice would help us get past decades of animosity. Duke Eliahu ben Itzhak and I were invited as former East and Middle monarchs in the hopes that we could help moderate. Once this item was put on the table, I realized how perfectly located my shire was as a half-way point between the two kingdoms.

King Marcus strides out onto the floor to play. Photo by Lord Sa’d al’Nizari.

Q: What was involved in getting people to come to the first Ædult Swim? I recall you mentioning it at the end of a couple of your Courts.

A: I spent the six months prior to the event browbeating, cajoling, begging, and pleading folks to come. We caught lightning in a bottle when I had the good fortune to take a business trip to Dallas, and I managed to convince the then-king and prince of Ansteorra to make the trip. Those two, Dukes Sven and Lochlen, were the tipping point. At that point, we were able to use the “all the cool kids are coming” (type of) marketing to get folks to come out. Dukes Sean and Timmur from Artemesia also agreed to come out, and that opened the floodgates.

I had asked several members of the fencing community to set up the rapier half of it and they all dropped the ball. With about two or three weeks left, I asked Countess Elena d’Artois le Tailleur, who was amazing. She got all the folks she did with almost no notice, even though it was competing against a major event of interest to the Atlantian fencing community. I cannot possibly praise her efforts enough.

(Last year’s attendance included 260 heavy fighters, 75 fencers, and 40 royalty from the Known World. Lord Christian Goldenlok’s article on it is here.)

Q: What did you want to do differently this year and what do you want to add next year? You had mentioned adding A&S classes in the various small rooms on the site.

A: The first year had a stiff learning curve, as I hadn’t anticipated many issues that we had. First, pretty well everyone entered the door within a 15-minute span of time. (Editor’s note: the site stairwells are narrow, and the only elevator, the freight one, was not working.) The line at troll was atrocious. We had six or eight folks at Troll and it was still a disaster. We got around that by asking for donations to pay for the site. Once our exchequer told me we would be able to ignore the nonmember surcharge/membership discount (this year), it only made it that sweeter.

A scribe enjoying the Visconti workshop. Photo by Baroness Katja.

The next part of our learning curve was the Saturday evening dinner. I spent half my time, and Lady Greer Wallace from ACG spent all her time, on Saturday collecting money from folks and tracking them down. THL Ariadne Flaxenhair of Dragon’s End and Sir Cunen Beornhelm set it up as a web-based document this year, which eliminated 90% of that chaos.

This year, we made some changes to simplify things. We added a second floor. The heavy fighting will occupy the entire floor we had last year, and the fencers will have the next floor up. (There was a $2 entry fee last year; several people graciously offered donations to make the practice a free event this year.)

(The event) has grown beyond my very limited organizational skills, and next year we will have a new autocrat, Lord Leo Dietrich. He and his staff are already planning next year. Mistress Alicia Langland spent her Saturday this year wandering around planning where we can put more artisans next year. It should be a blast!

As for next year, I am hoping to move it back a couple months, into the late April to early June timeframe, and with the help of Mistress Alicia, greatly build on our arts offerings. If anyone wants this in your event rotation next year, please private message me typical dates in your late spring calendar that I need to avoid. Also PM me the contact info for your kingdom calendar officer, so we can get it up early and block of dates.

Q: The first Ædult Swim had a number of fighting classes announced beforehand and only a few fencing ones. This year, there was full roster of fencing and cut-and-thrust classes, but no formal fighting ones announced beforehand. Why?

Baron Eric Grenier de laBarre carefully watches a cut & thrust authorization. Photo by Lord Mikus.

A: We had a side room on the main fighting floor where we did have some small, structured classes ongoing this year, but not as many as we did at Æ Swim I. The heavy classes will be much more formal next year. I found the informal nature didn’t work out this year.

Q: What kind of specific heavy classes do you want for next year?

A: It’s more of what classes do folks want. I had about 35 or 40 requests to teach last year and I told people to just announce them and folks would come. But it was too damn loud in the heavy section. Interestingly enough, at the first one, we actually considered the playing of music a la “knights tale” during the practice. I am so glad we didn’t, I had no idea how bad the acoustics were.

Q: Besides those you already mentioned, who else do you want to thank for their help with this event?

A: There are so many people to thank I am certain I will be missing some.

Without doubt, this could not have happened without the support of Gabrielle. Every time I get an idea, she lets me run with it, knowing folks will have fun, even though most times it throws our family in chaos for the week or so immediately before and during the event. When you see her next, please say thanks.

Sir Diablu happily greeted many friends at the event. Photo by Baroness Katja.

THL Alianora Bronhulle and Baron Ichijo Honen, you greatly exceeded my very high expectations for the dessert. It really was the crown jewel in what was a spectacular weekend.

Baroness Aemelia Soteria, you ran a smooth and efficient MOL/troll. You, Baroness Oddkatla, Baroness Rynea, Baroness Oddkatla, Baroness Ellesbeth, Baroness Euriol, THL Astrid, and Lady Bella,  Countess Allanda, and others pretty much eliminated that bottleneck this year! Thanks. Bella also worked her tail off at the MOL/Troll and was the one who hooked us up with the hotels

Mistress Antoinette de la Croix, your scribal workshop was a nice touch of arts to a weekend of carnage. Thank you.

Tommaso, for your kindness and generosity.

Meghan Beck for providing two venues that made all this possible.

My usual, stalwart crew of enablers, Silvester Burchardt, Ron Cudworth, Austin Smith, Lou McBride, and Elena de la Palma.

Megan and most of all, next years autocrat, Leo, thank you for covering for my complete lack of any appreciable organizational skills.

Also Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen carved a block print that went out to those who donated. It is stunning. When I can breath, I am sending mine out to be framed.

Thank you for all the help. I love our society.

One final thing. I would like nothing more than to fill every inch of the building we were in. Bring friends…

To see many of the uploaded videos and photos shared from this year’s event, see the Facebook event group here.


Categories: SCA news sites

Ædult Swim: The Cake

Sat, 2017-03-11 12:56

By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.

After a long, happy, sweaty day of friendly fighting and fencing at Ædult Swim on February 18, approximately 200 SCAdians left the Milton Shoe Factory site to enjoy a meal at the nearby historic Hotel Edison in Sunbury.

Although some may have preregistered for the meal due to the lure of prime rib and post-revel camaraderie, a highlight of the evening was not on the menu nor at the bar.

It was a cake. A really amazing cake.

A massive 60-inch-long, 31-inch-wide, 31-inch-tall castle of chocolate, yellow, red velvet, and strawberry creation that induced many of the attendees to gawking and snapping photos before diving into their respective slices with relish. Hand-painted sugar banners representing all 20 kingdoms decorated its sides.

As a special request by His Highness Timothy to celebrate the second Ædult Swim, THL Alianora Bronhulle and Baron Ichijo Honen created the cake as their largest project yet for their six-month-old bakery in Winchester, VA, Edible Elegance by Erin.

“I, personally, have been making cakes like this for almost 15 years… I will say that this is the largest and most intricate cake I’ve ever done,” Her Ladyship said after the meal.

Click to view slideshow.

The cake was comprised of 32 layers, she said, weighed over 250 pounds, served 350, and contained:

  • 16 dozen eggs
  • 30 pounds of sugar
  • 60 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 14 pounds of butter
  • 20 pounds of shortening
  • 2 pounds of cocoa powder
  • 25 pounds of flour
  • 2 pounds of gelatin

How long did the cake take to bake? Fourteen hours.

The walls and towers, all of pastillage, required 10 days of drying.

And it took Her Ladyship and His Excellency a day to make the banners, plus three more days to draw, paint, and dry the kingdom arms.

Plus, driving the cake from their bakery to the Hotel Edison? Three hours.

“We love a challenge, so we would consider doing SCA-oriented desserts for any occasion. HRH Timothy asked us to do this one, suggested a castle as the starting point, and turned us loose with full creative license. He had no idea what he was getting until he walked in at the dinner.”

Her Ladyship thanked her baking crew: Sarah Piecknick, Vikki Farra, Jessica Walker and Brett Bernard. “Without them, this cake would not have been possible!”

For the past half year, the fledgling business has been selling baked goods at the local farmers markets while their bakery shop is still under construction. (A GoFundMe campaign to support the bakery is here.)


Categories: SCA news sites