AEthelmearc Gazette

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Covering the Kingdom of Æthelmearc of the SCA
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Where Do You Stand? Check the OP!

Wed, 2016-09-28 15:31

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle! Following yesterday’s publication of the Crown Tournament list, I have received a few responses from people stating that someone’s title was incorrect, their name was misspelled, etc. First of all, thank you for this information, and please, if there are any more, let me know as soon as possible so that we can have everything correct and in order for this weekend’s tournament. However, my primary source of information when compiling this list is the Kingdom Order of Precedence (“OP”).

If someone’s information is wrong on the Crown Tournament list, chances are it is because their information is wrong (or missing!) in the Order of Precedence. (Of course, typos do happen as well, as evidenced by the consort who accidentally got the title of
“Ladu.” ^_^ But I digress…)

So please, take a moment and look for your entry in the OP:

Are you listed under the name that you’re currently using, and is all
your information correct? Excellent! Consider sending mail to the Precedence Clerk ( thanking him for the fantastic job that he’s doing, maintaining this invaluable resource for the Kingdom.

Are you not listed because you recently moved into Æthelmearc from another Kingdom? Then send mail to the Precedence Clerk with a link to your entry in the kingdom (or kingdoms!) in which you used to live, and he will make sure that our OP correctly reflects your awards.

Are you listed under another name than the one you’re currently using? Then send mail to the Precedence Clerk and inform him of the name that you’re using, the name (or, in some cases, names!) under which your previous awards are listed, and ask him to reconcile these entries.

Is some of your information missing? Accidents happen. Send mail to the Precedence Clerk and inform him of when you received an award that isn’t
listed, and our crack team of heralds will get to work confirming that your award is listed on a Court Report and then adding it to our database.

The OP is a critical resource for Royalty and populace alike, making sure that everyone gets credit for the recognition they have received, trying to make sure that people who deserve recognition aren’t overlooked, and trying to avoid the awkward situation of receiving an award twice because of a bookkeeping error. But that can’t happen without your help.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

For information on how to write award recommendations, please read our article on the subject.

How to Write a Recommendation Letter

Categories: SCA news sites

Kingdom Youth Combat Champion’s Tourney at Agincourt

Tue, 2016-09-27 18:16

Youth fighters of Æthelmearc, arm yourselves and gather at the Agincourt event in the Debatable Lands on October 29th, for Their Majesties seek new champions!

In just over one month’s time, King Marcus and Queen Margerite will hold Their Youth Champion’s Tournament, to find a successor for El Tigre, the current Kingdom Youth Champion. This is a chance for youth fighters to test their prowess against the best in the Kingdom and earn renown! Youth Champions receive tabards of their station and other regalia for the duration of their term, and are encouraged but not required to participate in court processions and attend Their Majesties in court. Their Majesties will be choosing up to three champions, one from each division, depending on the number of fighters in each division at the tournament.

Remember that courtesy and chivalry are as important as skill in Their Majesties’ choice of champions!

The tournament will be held in the early afternoon. The exact time will be announced once the event schedule is firmed up.

Youth fighters must be authorized to participate in the Kingdom Champion’s Tourney. Unauthorized youth fighters will have an opportunity to authorize before the tournament begins, but make sure to arrive early and be armored up and ready at the start time.

Limited loaner gear will be available.

If you have questions about the tourney, please contact Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope, Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal.

Categories: SCA news sites

Contenders for Crown Tournament

Mon, 2016-09-26 17:28

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle!

Below, please find the final list of entered combatants for Their Majesties Marcus and Margerite’s Crown Tournament, to take place this coming Saturday in the Barony of Rhydderich Hael. At the time of this publication, the roster of combatants stands at 31.

Duke Timothy of Arindale for Duchess Gabrielle van Nijenrode
Duke James Ahearn for Baroness Ekaterina Volkova
Duke Sven Gunnarsson for Duchess Siobhán inghean uí Liatháin
Duke Duncan von Halstern for Duchess Ilish O’Donovan
Earl Yngvar the Dismal for Countess Caryl Olesdattir
Baron Dominic McMorland for Countess Isabeau de l’Isle
Count Andreas Morgan for Countess Kallista Morgunova
Baron Maghnus an Chnoic na n’Iora for Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful
Sir Angus MacBain for Maîtresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon
Sir Murdoch Bayne for Baroness Rioghnach ni Rose
Sir Finn Marland O’Shannon for Lady Shirin of Susa
Sir Gareth Kincaid for Mistress Juliana Delamare
Master Tigernach Mac Cathail for Mistress Bronwyn MacFhionghuin
Lord Gregory Hillson for Mistress Kateryna ty Isaf
Sir Arnþorr inn sterki for Lady Ceirech na Hinnsi
THL Jairus of the Darklands for Baroness Rosemund von Glinde
Baron William Freskyn Murray for Baroness Katherine Kiersey
THL Ciaran Faxi Ullson for THL Renata Rouge
THL Ruslan Igorovich Voronov for Ladu Zinoviia Ivanova
THL Darri inn Valski for Lady Astridr Vigaskegg
Baroness Beatrix Zsofia Serilda Krieger and THL Thorsol Solinauga, each for
the other
THL Lothar Hügelmann for Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth
THL Rouland of Willowbrooke and Mistress Jenna Macpherson of Lions Tower,
each for the other
Lord Halfdan Rauþkinn for THL Ottilig Rappoltsweiler
Lord Leo Dietrich for Baroness Aemilia Soteria
Lord Cormacc mac Gilla Bridghe for Valgerdr inn rosti
Lord Fearghus mac Eoin for Mariss Muller
Lord Thomas de Haukesle for Meg MacNeil
Lord Laegaire Mac Conaill Meic Shiadahail for Mara of Heronter

Please send any corrections to me as soon as possible so that the errors may be fixed before the Tournament. Thank you, and best of luck to all combatants.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

From Maestro Brian of Leichester, Thoughts on an Æthelmearc 25th Year Celebration

Mon, 2016-09-26 08:13

Photo by Lady Fauna.

An Open Letter from Maestro Brian of Leichester Regarding Celebrating the Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary

If it may please The Crown and the Populace…

Greetings from Maestro Brian of Leichester [better known as “Scoop”]!

As we welcome Marcus and Marguerite as the 39th King and Queen, we are also beginning our 20th Year as a Kingdom, and our 27th since Tarbald won the Coronet for Cainder.

With that in mind… I would like to begin a dialogue with these Sylvan Lands.

It is true that I’ve mused in the past with plans for a 20th Anniversary Event in 2017 or 2018, which some of our fellow Sylvan Citizens noted as “being in the works”…

While I will be honored to attend such a 20th Anniversary celebration, the biggest thing I brought home with me from Societal 50th is that we need to take a few years to “do it right” by throwing a Big bash” for our 25th or “Sylvan Silver” Anniversary in 2022 or 2023…

This past June, I had the pleasure of attending the Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. This got me back to thinking about planning an event to celebrate our Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary celebration in September 2022 or 2023.

Towards this end, I share my thoughts relating what I experienced at SCA 50th to what I would love to see our Kingdom do to best celebrate such an august occasion.

In other words: What would I like to see in such an event?

PART ONE: A Wonderful Site

As I recall, it took several years to develop, plan, and schedule the Society’s 50th Anniversary Event. Finding a “Dream Site” is THE FIRST key to hosting a Major Anniversary event.

My hope is that we can find a site with the amenities and opportunities available at the Society’s 50th including:

  • A very ADA accessible site;
  • A good set of stables and an arena that hosted the Society’s largest equestrian event ever;
  • A hall that presented the treasures of the Known World;
  • Well air conditioned spaces for Arts & Sciences presentations and Classes;
  • Several halls for the Rattan and Rapier [adult and youth] as well as fields for archery, siege weapons, and thrown weapons, including classes, training, and tournaments;
  • Ample rest rooms with showers;
  • Ample space for members to camp with their respective Kingdoms;
  • Ample space for merchants to vend their wares;
  • Performing Arts spaces including a tavern setting;
  • Several food vendors, including two that were from AEthelmearc [a good taste of home];
  • Hotels and eateries within 15 miles of the site

There may be other things that I missed in the above, but the Society’s 50th set the “gold standard” for what we should strive for in planning an Anniversary Event.

Such a site should also be centrally located in our Kingdom so that it’d be equidistant from our most remote corners [i.e., Port Oasis, Coppertree] to travel there. I would think that we may want to look into the county fairgrounds in central Pennsylvania [i.e., Huntington, Center, Cambria, Clearfield counties]. I accept that securing such an “ideal site” for a week or two [to also account for set-up and close-down time for the event] may be a challenge, especially from a financial standpoint. This is another reason to begin the planning for a Kingdom 25th Anniversary Event in the very near future.

We can certainly correspond with the exchequer for the Society’s 50-Year celebration regarding the cost of their site and look into the cost of a similar site within our Realm.

In summary: If we want to truly throw a big “Sylvan Silver Anniversary Celebration,” we really need to start looking for a site that can host all that Æthelmearc has to offer as soon as possible.


The second biggest thing I got out of the Society’s 50-Year celebration was that there’s a lot of organizational history that we can present in terms of the Kingdom and its Branches.

  1. There was a “Hall of History” where each Kingdom had a space to present:
  • Displays of their Regalia [i.e. Crowns, Coronets, Thrones, Vesting Cloaks, Swords of State and other Historic “Relics”];
  • Audio-visuals presentations of its history [i.e., Photos, Video, Audio of Kingdom songs, Scrolls, etc.];
  • Historic Maps of Their Kingdoms;
  • Have Docents present to answer questions

They also had a “Memorial Wall” where the names and some biographies of members of our Society who passed away, sorted by Kingdom, were enshrined.

There was also a space for panels to speak on topics ranging from “The Early Days” to “Our Organization’s Future.” There were also days devoted to Peerages, the Arts & Sciences, Inter-Kingdom Events, and Trans-Kingdom Groups [i.e., The Great Dark Horde, The Tuchux, etc.] among other topics.

It is no secret that I have strived to set up something on this order for an event during my tenure as Kingdom Historian. I referred to this as “The Treasure Room.”

We could do something similar at a Silver Anniversary event with the Kingdom and each barony, Shire, Canton, College, Dominion, etc. being provided a space in this “Treasure Room” to present their regalia and history.

For instance- Outside of Rhydderich Hael Baronial Investitures… How many have seen the Treasure Chest won by the Barony for its heraldic display at Pennsic XVIII?

I am certain each Branch has its unique “treasures” and individuals knowledgeable in their group’s histories to act as docents.

  1. It would also be nice to give due to the lost branches [i.e., RIversmeet, Lofty Mountain, Nemoralis Nocturna, Robledal, Beinn de na Preissan, Coombe Petroc, Riverrouge, Wintersedge, Dun Carrach] as well as to the Households [i.e., Clan Yamakaminari, Caer Cinnuint, The Confederation of Mountain Clans, Hus Faerhaga, Tuatha Theirin, Clovenshield, etc.].
  2.  It would also be nice to hear songs that hearken back to the birth of the Principality of Æthelmearc [i.e., Master Bertram’s Anthem, etc.]And our pre-history. Likewise, it would be a nice thing to hear the songs and tales from our local Branches and the Households.
  3.  It would also be nice to prepare a “Memorial Wall” derived from the Memorial Roll in a manner that the Estates of our fallen can agree upon to be our answer to The Vietnam Memorial [or our answer to “The AIDS Quilt” as one of those involved with the Wall at Societal 50-Year expressed it].
  4.  Another part of the History Hall at Society 50-Year was an effort to preserve oral history as part of “Story Corps™.” [Note- One of the people directly involved in this was Her Excellency, Viscountess Hodierna]. Likewise, it would be a wonderful thing to utilize this event as an opportunity to preserve our own oral history and prepare means of presenting it for the outside world and for our future membership… That our tale may continue to be told even when we are no longer here to present it in person.

In Summary: If we do want to go forward with a “Sylvan Silver Anniversary Celebration,” it would be an ideal event to showcase not merely the History of our Kingdom, but also the History of its Branches.

As I said, this is the beginning of a dialogue on this matter;  dialogue to which all in this Realm are cordially invited to participate. I hope to discuss more aspects of such an event in the near future.

I look forward to reading the thoughts of others in this matter via this Gazette.

If you wish to discuss them with me, feel free to write to me at: Brian of Leichester, C/o Brian P. Kujawa, 10963 Trevett Road, Springville, NY 14141-9615

Or e-mail me at:

Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: The Marshal’s Field Box

Fri, 2016-09-23 10:15

Many archers carry a field box, but the marshal’s box has a few more things in it. Looking at the picture below, let’s cover its contents from left to right.

We begin with a jar full of hardware. When you’re out setting up a walk-through range, you may need screws or nails, so have some handy, as well as a drill.

Some spare targets: above the jar of hardware is a styrofoam apple from the dollar store as well as some balloons. No matter how old you get, breaking balloons is fun.

Next we see a bottle of mosquito repellent. In front of that is super glue, spare arrow points, and some spare fletching .

Center top, we see some spare rope and note cards with a pen – you may forget to bring scorecards or you may have something happen that you will need to report while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Next: sunblock. If you’re going to be in the sun all day, reapply every hour.

The last item on the top is a four pound sledge hammer. You may have to drive spikes or hammer something together. Once, I was out on a range that was so windy it blew over a target and hundreds of dollars of arrows got broken. Remember, if it’s a windy day, lock it down.

Bottom row left to right, we start with a range marker. If you’re new to a range, you don’t want anybody losing their way. Next to the field marker is a first aid kit for yourself. When you’re out in the woods, it’s easy to get a small scratch or cut, so it never hurts to have a spare Band-Aid.

Next to the first aid kit is a multi-tool. This serves two purposes: it’s great to have spare tools in the field, or you can give it away as a prize.

Speaking of prizes, next to the multi-tool is a drinking mug, another great prize. Inside the mug is a spare bow string, yet another great prize. Next to the bowstring is a tent stake – remember what I said about locking things down.

Next we see a 100-foot measuring tape. Even if it’s walk-through range, keep the targets between 20 and 100 yards distance.

Last, spare arm guards and shooting gloves, and some fluorescent orange tape. Remember, when you’re a marshal, you have to help out the beginner. It’s always wise to have spare equipment and to mark your trails.

This month’s safety tip: go back and double-check that first aid kit.

I’ll be at Archers to the Wald, and I’d be happy to field questions or take any comments.

Till next month, in service….

Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Fundraiser for the Royal Travel Fund

Thu, 2016-09-22 20:49

In order to raise funds to support the upcoming reign of TRH Marcus and Margerite, Duchess Christence, Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey, and their cohorts will offer a variety of lovely items this weekend to part you from your coins. Due to recent changes in the State of New York with regards to games of chance, the format for the fundraiser will be a silent auction. All proceeds will go to the Kingdom Travel Fund. If you’d like to donate an item, please contact either Baroness Ellesbeth or Duchess Christence via Facebook.

Baroness Ellesbeth has set up a Facebook page here where you can view some of the items that have been donated and will be in the auction. You can also use this page to contact her or Duchess Christence about donating items.

Here are just a few samples of the items that have been donated for the auction, which include jewelry, buttons, woven trim, a hood, and two whimsical knitted “helmets” among other items. Photos courtesy of Baroness Ellesbeth.

Click to view slideshow.
Categories: SCA news sites

Dragonship Lands in Delftwood!

Thu, 2016-09-22 08:31

Enjoy this account of a Viking ship that visited  our lands, submitted by Lord Snaebjorn inn Danski, of the Barony of Delftwood:

In the final weekend of August, the shores of our fair Barony of Delftwood were subject to a surprising sight, one of the fierce dragonships of Viking raiders at our shore! Though we are used to seeing Viking warriors and tradesmen amongst us, never before has such a mighty vessel as the Draken Harald Harfagre been seen in our waters.

Sunday, August 28th, found many of the citizens of Delftwood heading to the pier in Oswego, NY, to look upon and take a tour of this long traveled craft. Joined there by friends from Thescorre, Coppertree and other groups throughout the northern lands of our fair kingdom. Many, if not most, even turned out in garb for the occasion and there are rumors of a betrothal as the ship was exited as well.

An impressive sight it was, as the magnificent craft was 114 feet in length from her fierce dragon headed prow to the very stern of the ship, and 26 feet wide at her widest point. Round shields adorned her rails, and the top of her mast stood nearly 80 feet. Built in the same manner as those ancient ships which once sailed the seas, she was even finished with a mixture of linseed oil and pine tar. Christian, the ship’s engineer and one of its longest serving crew members, told how the ship had been built as faithfully to the originals as possible with the exception of using saws to cut the planks instead of axes, and the careful hiding of a few modern additions such as an engine below deck for emergency use or, as would later become necessary during its trip through the New York canal system, when the sails could not be used.

The Draken Harald Harfagre (Har-fog-ra for those who may have trouble pronouncing such names) was built and launched 4 years ago by a private owner who wished to test the seaworthiness of the famed Viking longships. For two years it sailed along the Norwegian coasts before following the Viking raiding and trade routes to Ireland. It was then decided to recreate the famed voyage of Leif Ericsson from Greenland to North America.

Launched on April 26th from its homeport in Norway, the Harfagre followed the traditional routes westward to Greenland and from there followed what is believed to be the same route Leif Ericsson would have taken. On June 1st the ship reached Saint Anthony, Newfoundland, and proceeded up to land in L’Anse aux Meadows, just as Leif Ericcson had over one thousand years ago.

Since then it has traveled down into the Great Lakes and competed in a series of races and port visits as part of the Tall Ships Challenge. She then headed down through the canal system to Albany, where she once more had her mast set and her sails opened to sail down the Hudson to Kingston and New York City. She is now heading to her winter berth in the lands of our Eastern cousins within the Barony Beyond the Mountain (Mystic, CT).

It was during this trip down the canals though that the Draken Harald Harfagre met another ship on its own journey to test the capabilities of its ancestors. On the shores of Coppertree’s Sylvan Beach, the fierce dragonship docked side by side with the Hokule’a, a replica catamaran built in the style of those ships used to settle the Pacific islands such as Samoa or Hawaii. The Hokule’a, is a much smaller craft and contains no engine at all, but is nearing completion of an even more impressive journey.

Launched in May of 2014, the Hokule’a has been circumnavigating the globe for over 2 years. Sailing west from Hawaii it has made stops in Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand, Bali, Mozambique, South Africa, Brazil, and the Virgin Islands. It has sailed the entire eastern seaboard and is now heading up through the canals to the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway before it turned around and headed back down through the canals and began the final leg of its journey down through the Gulf Coast and Panama Canal to get back home.

For further information about either of these ships, their routes, or their missions you can visit their websites; and

Lady Ghita Rinaldi de Amici and Bella de Amici, of Delftwood

Photos courtesy of Lord Snaebjorn

Categories: SCA news sites

Curious About Curia?

Wed, 2016-09-21 20:07

As you may have seen, the First Curia of Marcus and Margerite will be held this Sunday, the 25th, at Their Coronation site in the main hall at 10am. Some of you may be wondering, what the heck is “Curia” anyway? As always, the Gazette is here to answer your questions!

What is Curia?
The term “Curia” is used as shorthand for the Curia Regis. Basically, it’s the Royal Council – a gathering of people, led by the King and Queen, held to conduct the Kingdom’s business. It’s a business meeting for the Kingdom, in other words. It’s held at least once per reign. Depending on the business that needs to happen, Their Majesties may choose to hold more than one during Their Reign.

Who is on this council?
The King and Queen lead it. Their Heirs have seats, of course. All of the Officers of the Kingdom have seats, as well as the landed Barons and Baronesses, the Peers of the Realm, and all the local Seneschals.

What does it mean to “have a seat” on the Curia Regis?
It means that those who are members, or have a seat, have a voice in whatever decisions are being made, or topics that come up.

So the people on the Curia Regis vote on things?
Nope. The King and Queen make all the decisions. The folks on the Curia Regis are there to advise them. Rarely, the Royalty may take a quick poll to gauge public opinion, but it’s not a vote.

What do they actually do during the meeting?
Either the sitting Royalty or the Kingdom Seneschal preside over the meeting, depending on the wishes of Their Majesties. Minutes are normally taken. When discussion happens, it’s directed by whomever the King and Queen wish to direct it, usually Themselves or the Kingdom Seneschal. They may decide to limit discussions on some topics, for time considerations.

The actual goings-on really depend on what the King and Queen want to do, but there are a few things that must be brought before the Curia Regis. The Kingdom Officers report. By Law, each Kingdom Officer must submit a written report to the Crown on the state of the Office at or just before Curia. Curia is also where law changes happen, if needed. Any changes to Law must be brought before the Curia Regis (the Kingdom Seneschal must be present), as wells as any changes to Kingdom financial policy. The approved yearly budget is submitted to the Curia Regis, as are any large budget changes that come up during the year. Finally, if the Royalty want to create any new awards or honors for the Kingdom, They must consult with the Curia Regis first.

How do I know when the Curia meets?
It will always be published in our Kingdom newsletter at least in the issue in the month it is to be held. This is usually announced by the Crown or the Kingdom Seneschal, and often both. You’ll see it via various electronic communication methods, too.

If I don’t have a seat on the Curia Regis, can I still go?
Absolutely! Curia is always open to the public. However, if you don’t have a seat, you shouldn’t expect to participate in discussion. But the Royalty may choose to permit members of the populace (that’s you) to speak, if They wish.

It’s great when people are interested in the running of things! And it’s good to know what’s going on in the Kingdom.

If you want to come to Curia this Sunday, but can’t come to the event, the Event Steward says you can come on Sunday free of charge. You’ll need to sign in, so that means show proof of membership or sign a waiver. See you there!


Categories: SCA news sites

Happy Æthelmearc Day!

Tue, 2016-09-20 17:34

On this day in A.S. XXXII (1997), the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was born. Happy Æthelmearc Day!

“So it was in the presence of the Crowns of the East, Hanse and Moruadh, and the Crowns of Atlantia, CuÆn III and Bera, Susan of Fox Meadow witnessed as Sir Yngvar the Dismal, 2nd and 14th Viscount of Æthelmearc, prevailed over a field of 41 entrants to win the Crown for his soon-to-be-bride, Caryl Olesdottir, 14th Viscountess of Æthelmearc. Finally, on September 20, A.S. XXXII (1997), Hanse and Moruadh, King and Queen of the East held Their final court in the Principality of Æthelmearc. They released the landed Barons & Baronesses, peers, and officers of Æthelmearc from their oaths of fealty; They awarded Arms to Bethoc of Ravenswood; and created Susan of Fox Meadow as the last Viscountess and last Lady of the Garnet. With this business being taken care of, Hanse and Moruadh then closed the Principality.”

From An Introduction to the History of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, by THL Hfrena Ulfvarrinsdottir.

In addition (though a matter of the Principality but still our history) the following was just presented to The Barony of the Rhydderich Hael by Sir Dedawyr of Avaricum at Summers End. It is a Principality Poll by Sir Hak (1988).

(Images provided by Land of the Golden Dragon)


















































Categories: SCA news sites

Learn Sign Language Day by Day

Sat, 2016-09-17 18:37

By THL Gytha Oggsdottir, Kingdom Silent Herald.

Why in the world is that person standing up in court flailing around?

If it’s a Silent Herald, what she or he is doing is translating what is happening in court into American Sign Language (ASL). How much he or she  translates depends on the amount of sign that herald knows.  Why she or he translates is for many reasons:

  1. Our society is getting older. More and more of us are losing some to all of our hearing.
  2. Acoustics in many halls are terrible. How often are you in the back of the hall and can’t hear what is being said in court?
  3. We want our dream to be accessible to all.

But what if you are hard of hearing or sitting in the back of court and you do not know sign language?

Luckily, ASL is a very expressive language and many signs are similar to gestures you would use to explain something. Even not knowing sign, many people can gain a better concept of what is happening in court by watching a Silent Herald.  I am often approached by people who say they do not know sign, yet my presence as a Silent Herald made court more understandable.

I cannot count how many times people have told me that they wish they knew sign language. I am also approached by people who do know some sign but do not feel like they know enough to become a Silent Herald themselves.  This made me start thinking about how I could help spread the knowledge to others. I started teaching at scholas and academies, but that was clearly not filling the need.

I then came up with the idea of a sign-a-day Facebook group and created it.  (Æthelmearc Sign A Day)  The concept behind it was that it was a place where I would post a link to a video each day showing a sign. I would start with signs that the Society created for ourselves, then move to signs specific to Æthelmearc, and finally move to signs that are used often in court. In this manner people could get exposure to the signs that are used by Silent Heralds.

My hope is through this Facebook group that more people will learn ASL. That more people will understand what Silent Heralds are signing. And perhaps that one or two will be willing through the knowledge gained to stand in the front and sign themselves.

Categories: SCA news sites

Agincourt Feast Will Be A Canterbury Tales Experience

Fri, 2016-09-16 12:18

By Meesteres Odriana vander Brugghe, Head Cook.

The Agincourt feast this year is based on the Canterbury Tales. I have taken a few liberties with the menu to ensure proper balance and variety of dishes. We will be doing a few things differently this time around and hope that you will enjoy the experience.

When you enter the hall, you will see that the tables have been arranged in a “U” formation. The Royalty will be seated at a table located at the bottom of the U. This is an approximation of what may be seen in medieval illuminations.

The tables will be covered in white linen and a small pitcher, bowl, and a linen towel will be placed every few feet. This is for handwashing prior to dinner.

In accordance with period practice, seating will be done by precedence. When you sign up for dinner, we are requesting that you provide your title to facilitate creating the final seating chart.

This is not something that we do often and there may be some concerns because it’s new to most people. When we organize the seating, we will be keeping families together so that small children are not seated separately from their parents. Seating by precedence gives you the opportunity to spend time with old friends and acquaintances as well as meeting new people and sharing a meal with them.

Because of the available seating in the hall, we will be seating people both on the inside and outside of the tables. It will look something like this:

A herald will announce the diners, including High Table. As each person is announced, she or he will then be lead to their seats by a server. Once everyone is seated, diners are encouraged to take advantage of the water, pitcher, and towel to wash their hands before dining. Handwashing before a meal was done before feasts during our period of study in order to assure their fellow diners that their hands were clean (diners were expected to come to the table with hands and nails clean). Handwashing would often be done at a separate basin or the pitcher and basin would be brought to each guest in turn based on his or her rank.

The handwashing water is the handwashing water described in Le Ménagier de Paris using the recipe created by Christianne Muusers.

Pour faire eaue a laver mains sur table mectez boulir de la sauge, puis coulez l’eaue et faictes reffroidier jusques a plus que tiedes. Ou vous mectez comme dessus camomille et marjolaine, ou vous mectez du rommarin, et cuire avec l’escorche d’orenge. Et aussi feuilles de lorier y sont bonnes.

To make water for washing hands at the table. Boil sage, strain the water and let cool to a little more than tepid. Or take camomille and marjoram in stead [of sage], or rosemary, and boil with orange peel. Bay leaves are also good.

Once handwashing is complete, the feast will commence.

The Readings & Menu

Before each course, there will be a reading from the Canterbury Tales. The reading will be from the introductory poem for the character whose tale the course is based upon. This is entirely done for time considerations.

Here Begynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury

(read by Master Morien MacBain)

When April with his showers sweet with fruit

The drought of March has pierced unto the root

And bathed each vein with liquor that has power

To generate therein and sire the flower;

When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath,

Quickened again, in every holt and heath,

The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun

Into the Ram one half his course has run,

And many little birds make melody

That sleep through all the night with open eye

(So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)-

Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage,

And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,

To distant shrines well known in sundry lands.

And specially from every shire’s end

Of England they to Canterbury wend,

The holy blessed martyr there to seek

Who helped them when they lay so ill and weal

Befell that, in that season, on a day

In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay

Ready to start upon my pilgrimage

To Canterbury, full of devout homage,

There came at nightfall to that hostelry

Some nine and twenty in a company

Of sundry persons who had chanced to fall

In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all

That toward Canterbury town would ride.

The rooms and stables spacious were and wide,

And well we there were eased, and of the best.

And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest,

So had I spoken with them, every one,

That I was of their fellowship anon,

And made agreement that we’d early rise

To take the road, as you I will apprise.

But none the less, whilst I have time and space,

Before yet farther in this tale I pace,

It seems to me accordant with reason

To inform you of the state of every one

Of all of these, as it appeared to me,

And who they were, and what was their degree,

And even how arrayed there at the inn

And with a knight thus will I first begin.

The First Course

The Franklin’s Portrait

(Read by Count Thomas Byron of Havorford)

There was a franklin in his company;

White was his beard as is the white daisy.

Of sanguine temperament by every sign,

He loved right well his morning sop in wine.

Delightful living was the goal he’d won,

For he was Epicurus’ very son,

That held opinion that a full delight

Was true felicity, perfect and right.

A householder, and that a great, was he;

Saint Julian he was in his own country.

His bread and ale were always right well done;

A man with better cellars there was none.

Baked meat was never wanting in his house,

Of fish and flesh, and that so plenteous

It seemed to snow therein both food and drink

Of every dainty that a man could think.

According to the season of the year

He changed his diet and his means of cheer.

Full many a fattened partridge did he mew,

And many a bream and pike in fish-pond too.

Woe to his cook, except the sauces were

Poignant and sharp, and ready all his gear.

His table, waiting in his hall alway,

Stood ready covered through the livelong day.

At county sessions was he lord and sire,

And often acted as a knight of shire.

A dagger and a trinket-bag of silk

Hung from his girdle, white as morning milk.

He had been sheriff and been auditor;

And nowhere was a worthier vavasor.

The Cook’s Portrait 

(read by Meesteres Odriana vander Brugghe)

A cook they had with them, just for the nonce,

To boil the chickens with the marrow-bones,

And flavour tartly and with galingale.

Well could he tell a draught of London ale.

And he could roast and seethe and broil and fry,

And make a good thick soup, and bake a pie.

But very ill it was, it seemed to me,

That on his shin a deadly sore had he;

For sweet blanc-mange, he made it with the best.

First Course Menu

Barley Water: Since we can’t provide ale and no alcohol is allowed on site

Bread: Locally made white bread. A gluten-free bread will be available.

Sowpys dory: Minced onions fried in oil with rice milk ladled over trenchers.

Hennys in bruet: Chicken and pork with salt, pepper, and cumin colored with saffron.

Tarlett: A pork tart with saffron, eggs, currants, powder douce, salt


The Summoner

“A buckler he had made him of a cake”

Second Course

The Manciple

(read by Baron Brandubh O’Donnghaile)

There was a manciple from an inn of court,

To whom all buyers might quite well resort

To learn the art of buying food and drink;

For whether he paid cash or not, I think

That he so knew the markets, when to buy,

He never found himself left high and dry.

Now is it not of God a full fair grace

That such a vulgar man has wit to pace

The wisdom of a crowd of learned men?

Of masters had he more than three times ten,

Who were in law expert and curious;

Whereof there were a dozen in that house

Fit to be stewards of both rent and land

Of any lord in England who would stand

Upon his own and live in manner good,

In honour, debtless (save his head were wood),

Or live as frugally as he might desire;

These men were able to have helped a shire

In any case that ever might befall;

And yet this manciple outguessed them all.

Second Course Menu

Berandyles: Chicken simmered in beef broth flavored with ginger, sugar, pomegranate seeds, and cloves.

Sawce madame: A sauce with a chicken broth base flavored with quince, pears, garlic, grapes, galingale, and poudre douce.

Perrey of pesown: White beans with vegetable broth, onions, oil, sugar, salt, and saffron.

Blomanger: Rice, cow’s milk , chicken, and saffron.

Tart de Bry: A tart of eggs, cheese, sugar, saffron, salt, and ginger. A gluten-free version of this dish will be available.

Final Course

The Miller’s Portrait

(read by Maister Liam Mac an tSoir)

The miller was a stout churl, be it known,

Hardy and big of brawn and big of bone;

Which was well proved, for when he went on lam

At wrestling, never failed he of the ram.

He was a chunky fellow, broad of build;

He’d heave a door from hinges if he willed,

Or break it through, by running, with his head.

His beard, as any sow or fox, was red,

And broad it was as if it were a spade.

Upon the coping of his nose he had

A wart, and thereon stood a tuft of hairs,

Red as the bristles in an old sow’s ears;

His nostrils they were black and very wide.

A sword and buckler bore he by his side.

His mouth was like a furnace door for size.

He was a jester and could poetize,

But mostly all of sin and ribaldries.

He could steal corn and full thrice charge his fees;

And yet he had a thumb of gold, begad.

A white coat and blue hood he wore, this lad.

A bagpipe he could blow well, be it known,

And with that same he brought us out of town.

Final Course Menu

‘Spiced Ale’: Because of the alcohol-free site, we will be serving spiced apple cider.

Wafers: Thin cookies made in an iron. A gluten-free option will be available.

Honeycomb: Squares of honeycomb.

Honey: Local honey.

Cheese: A fresh-made ricotta-like cheese.

The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands will host Agincourt Friday, October 28 to Sunday, October 30. See the Barony’s website for the event announcement.

See Odriana’s original blog posting here.

Are you preparing or did you recently cook a period feast? Contact The Æthelmearc Gazette to share your recipe booklet, website musings, or blog posting.

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Siege of Glengary

Thu, 2016-09-15 16:50

Court Reports of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Thomas Byron and Ariella

September 3, AS 51 (2016)

Siege of Glengary

Shire of Sylvan Glen

Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron et Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Their Majesties’ Royal Court at the Siege of Glengary, September 3, AS LI, in the Shire of Sylvan Glen.  As recorded by Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, with the assistance of THL Alianora Bronhulle and Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald.

Their Majesties invited Their cousins from the Kingdom of Atlantia, Fergus and Glynis, Baron and Baroness of the Barony of Highland Foorde, to join Them in Their court.

Next, Their Majesties called for the children of Æthelmearc where They, and Princess Leah, bestowed upon them gifts and trinkets of amusement.

Having seen that the children were properly cared for, Their Majesties then summoned into Their Court the autocrat, Lady Laurentia of Caledonia, where upon They bid her share the reports of day’s events and activities. Lady Laurentia reported that the day’s thrown weapons tourney was won by Lord Kuma, the Arts and Sciences competition was won by Lady Samin, Maestro Orlando won the morning rapier tournament, and Lord Dromund won the rapier longsword tournament. THLord Tegrinus was the winner of the rattan tournament. The autocrat then thanked her staff, Their Majesties, and all who attended the event this day.

Next, Their Majesties gave leave to Fergus and Glynis to conduct business of their Court.

Lord Bertrand Martel’s AoA

Their Majesties summoned Bertrand Martel and THL Ursula of Rouen presented herself on his behalf. Their Majesties and spoke of his skill in armored combat and thrown weapons, his efforts in creation of his own armor, and his assistance with demos. Being pleased with Their subject They did award him arms and raise him to the ranks of the nobility. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Rachel Dalicieux.



Maddoc MacRoyri was awarded arms in absentia. Scroll by Mistress Maria Cristina de Cordoba.

Lord Maddoc MacRoyri’s AoA.

Lady Safia bint Da’ud Al’Zarqa’s AoA.

Their Majesties then called for Safia bint Da’ud Al’Zarqa. On her behalf, her husband Lord Dromund presented himself before The Throne. Speaking proudly of Safia’s labors as the arts & sciences officer and seneschal for the College of Silva Vulcani, Their Majesties did award her arms and name her Lady Safia. Scroll calligraphed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova and illuminated by Anna Ianka Lisitsina.

Lord Thomas Niring’s AoA.

Next, Their Majesties wished to speak with Thomas Niring. Being not present, a member of the populace came forward on his behalf.

Their Majesties spoke of his virtuous deeds and of his craftsmanship in creating a full steel fighting harness.

Satisfied by the industriousness of Their subject saw fit to name him Lord by awarding him arms.

Scroll unsigned.



Lord Hunter’s Silver Sycamore.

Their Majesties then, having heard of the passions of Hunter of Sylvan Glen did call him forward. He also being not present, his father presented himself before Their Majesties. Their Majesties shared knowledge of Hunter’s efforts in chainmail and the creation of an avantale that he entered into and arts & sciences competition. They spoke of his growing talent in the art of calligraphy. Being pleased with this youthful subject of Their kingdom did induct him into the Order of the Silver Sycamore. Calligraphy by Eilionora inghean an Bhaird and illumination by Eilionora inghean an Bhaird and THL Rachel Dalicieux.


Lord Dromund’s Golden Alce.

Looking out over the populace gathered, Their Majesties spied Lord Dromund Geirhjalmson and once again bade him come forward. They hailed his prowess with rapier to Their Court. They spoke of his knowledge of the steel arts and talked of the longsword tournament this very day in which he emerged victorious over all other combatants. Well pleased with his prowess and skill did They name him a Companion of Golden Alce. Pyrography scroll by Maighstir Liam MacantSaoir.

Lord Leonardis’ Golden Alce.

Lord Leonardis Hebenstreit was inducted into the Order of the Golden Alce in absentia. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Eleanore Godwin.

Lord Leo Dietrich’s Golden Alce.

Leo Dietrich was created a Companion of the Golden Alce and Awarded Arms in absentia.  Scroll by Lord Angellino the Bookmaker.

Lord Otto Boese’s Sycamore.

Lord Otto Boese was then called before Their Majesties and a member of the populace came forward of his behalf. They told Their Court of Lord Otto’s craftsmanship in leather, of his making of arming sword sheathes and period archery items. They also spoke of his win in the novice category at Ice Dragon for these same items. Their Majesties then inducted him into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix with text by The Honorable Lord Gunther Grunbaum.

Her Majesty then sought to be attended by Master Robert of Sugar Grove. She told of how She was pleased by his giving of himself that day; to spend four hours teaching a class and to work with the youth. She praised him for his selflessness and how his efforts lead to the enrichment of the kingdom. Thus, in the tradition of Queens before Her, She did name him Her inspiration and presented him with Her token.

Their Majesties recognized all those who contributed scrolls, medallions, and regalia for those recognized in Court this day. They thanked those who worked to make the event successful and those who had attended, and They thanked the Shire of Sylvan Glen for their generosity and hospitality.

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

Faithfully submitted,

Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta

All photos by Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta

Categories: SCA news sites

The Art of Pre-Registering for Events, Demystified

Wed, 2016-09-14 19:45

Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Event Announcements

With the the busy fall event season kicking into high gear, reservations clerks, head cooks, gate keepers, and autocrats across the Kingdom are waiting with bated breath for friendly little envelopes full of your money. How can you bring joyous smiles to these hard-working peoples’ faces, with minimal effort on your part?

The Æthelmearc Gazette is here to help! We’ll answer all your burning questions, including:

  • Why Pre-Register at all?
  • How do I know what to pay, especially with this new wording?
  • Sometimes I’m confused about how much to pay. What do I do?
  • Who do I make the check out to?
  • What do I include with my check?
  • How do I know they got my check?
  • When can I expect the check to be cashed?
  • Can I pay any other way besides a check?
  • How else can I make the process go smoothly?
  • Advanced class: Why did the wording change in the money section of event announcements?
  • Advanced class: So, what happened to the NMS (non-member surcharge) then? They said it was important, are they not collecting it?

Been around for 40 years and think you know all these answers? Well, they may surprise you! Read on!

Why Pre-Register at all?
On your end, it makes check-in super fast and easy. Sometimes there’s even a separate line for those who have pre-registered. Skip to the head of the class! Sometimes space is limited for feast, lunch, or the nice camping facilities… if you don’t pre-reg, you could (and for some events, will) miss out on fabulous food, or a warm, dry bed for the weekend.

On the event staff end, it is so, so, soooo much easier to plan if they know how many people are coming! Really. Planning ahead can mean the difference between losing money and making money for the local group (which they need for supplies and so forth). Help them out!

Planning is particularly important for the food. Ever been to an event that has a lunch that runs out of food, or there seems to be way too much? It’s because they didn’t know how many people to plan for. Be part of the solution! Sometimes, the feast cook will adjust how many people he or she is cooking for, based on the number of pre-regs. If you pre-reg, more people can eat! It will warm the cockles of our cooks’ hearts.

How do I know what to pay, especially with this new wording?
It’s right in the event announcement! Handy! Skim down to the money bit of the announcement. If you’ve been around a while you will notice that it looks different now than it did a few months ago. The Corporate Office asked the local groups to change the way we word the money bits. (More on that below). But don’t worry, read it carefully, and it will make sense. Here’s the important part:

If you are a member of the SCA, you qualify for the member discount! Yay! So send that amount (“Adult Member Discount Registration” usually), not what we are referring to as the “Adult Registration” amount. That is for non-members.

Also, pay attention to what the registration pays for… don’t stop at the number. Most event announcements will say. It’s common for the registration amount to pay for entry and maybe lunch, but it won’t include feast. That’s usually a separate line, and you have to keep reading to get to it. Same for camping or cabin fees, if there are any.

For example: The event announcement says, “Adult Event Registration, $15. Adult Member Discount Registration, $10. Registration includes lunch. Feast is an additional $10”. What do you send?

  • If you are a member of the SCA over 18, and you want to eat feast, you send a check for $20.
  • If you are a member over 18 and don’t want feast, you send a check for $10.
  • If you are not a member, are over 18, and you want to eat feast, you send a check for $25.
  • If you not a member, are over 18, and you don’t want feast, you send $15.

Sometimes I’m confused about how much to pay. What do I do?
Don’t guess! Just send a quick email or message to the reservations clerk or autocrat and ask. Or call. That’s just a few minutes of your and their time. Easy and fast.

Guessing and getting it wrong, or being incautious with the math and getting it wrong, can cause a headache for the reservations clerk, gatekeeper, possibly the exchequer, and you when you arrive at the event. Confusion and time wasted! It will make the gate folks sad. No one likes sad trolls! If you’re not sure, ask before you send the reservation.

Who do I make the check out to?
That’s in the event announcement, too! Take a quick look at it. Scan for the money section – it’s usually before or after that. You’ll see the phrase “Make checks payable to: SCA [state] Inc, – [Name of local group].” Never make a check out to the name of the autocrat or reservations clerk. It’ll always be to a group. A couple examples: SCA NY, Inc – Shire of Coppertree; SCA PA, Inc – Debatable Lands; SCA WV, Inc – Shire of Sylvan Glen.

While you’re writing the check, don’t forget to sign and date it! And it can be helpful to write your phone number on it, too (if you’re so inclined), in case the reservations clerk has questions. It will make his or her eyes sparkle with joy.

What should I include with my check?
You should include a note saying who you are and what you’re paying for. Don’t laugh! People don’t! Please do send a note. It should include the full mundane names of everyone you’re paying for, their SCA names if they got ’em, exactly what you think you’re paying for, and the amounts (this helps with your math, too!). If you’re paying for kids, it’s also helpful to include their ages. Also, your contact info – phone number and email address.

Here’s a bad example (don’t do this!):
Hey, looking forward to it, bringing the kids and mom, see you then! Love, Mary [includes a check for $89]

Here’s a good example:
Enclosed is a check for $89 for the Feast of Awesome on Oct 1:
Lady Mariah du Jardin (Mary Contrary-Smythe): $12 + $ 8 feast ($20)
Lord Hugo Oaksplitter (Jack Contrary): $12 + $8 feast ($20)
(no SCA name) (Evelyn Smythe): $17 (non member) + $8 feast ($25)
Bucky Oaksplitter (Bucky Contrary, age 9), $6 + $8 feast ($14)
Mimi Oaksplitter (Mimi Contrary, age 3), $0 + $0 feast, will need a feast seat, please
Also, 5 beds in a cabin for one night (Saturday), 5 x $2 ($10)
Any questions, please call (412) 555-5555 or email We’ll show our membership cards at the door. Thanks!

Send something like that, and you may get a smiley face and a star next to your name. The gatekeeper might even wink at you in appreciation.

How do I know if they got my check?
You won’t necessarily. But if you include a polite note with your check (for example, “Can you please email or FB message me when you get this?”), most reservations clerks are happy to take a moment and drop you a note.

When can I expect the check to be cashed?
Within a week of when it is received. That’s what’s supposed to happen. In reality, sometimes it can take longer. Feel free to contact the autocrat, exchequer, or seneschal of the group holding the event, if something seems to have gone awry.

Is there any other way to pay besides a check?
If you’re mailing it, you’ll have to write a check. Or you could send a money order. Sending cash through the mail isn’t a good idea. If the person taking pre-regs is local to you, they may be willing to take cash in person.

We know, we know… you can pay online for, like, everything these days, why not events? Short answer: it’s against SCA policy for local groups to set up that sort of thing, so we don’t. There’s a PayPal experiment going on in other Kingdoms right now. If it works out, we may implement here, but it’s still in a testing phase right now.

An alternative to physically writing check is to ask your bank if you can do online requests for physical checks to be sent. Basically, you enter the info on their website, and the reservations clerk will get a physical check in the mail. This service does exist, and some banks do it. You need to enter the “payable to” and physical address correctly! And please do request it in enough time, since it sends a check through the mail… Not as fast as PayPal, but hey, it’s online!

What else can I do to make the process work smoothly?
The best thing you can do is send your pre-registration in early enough. Feast (or cabin) spaces can sell out pretty fast, and event staff really hates to disappoint people. In fact, the number of feast spaces available may be dependent on how many pre-regs there are! And if you’ve asked if there’s space and they say “yes”, don’t dawdle! There may be space that day, but if you wait a week to send your check, it may be sold out by then. Ensure a cheerful check-in and send in early!

Advanced class: Why did the wording change in the money section of event announcements?
The short answer: so that the SCA isn’t taxed by states inappropriately.

There was a state that wanted to tax SCA event fees, since the wording of the event announcement made it sound like we do entertainment stuff, like Ren Faires. Entertainment stuff can be taxed. As you all know, we are not entertainment; we are a participatory organization. Such things are not taxed. The change was needed in order to make it super clear that our events are participatory in nature, not entertainment or some other taxable thing. SCA Corporate rolled it out to all the Kingdoms because, as we learned from creating subsidiaries, such things (like new ways to levy taxes) tend to spread from state to state, and they wanted to head it off at the pass.

Bonus is that the new wording is friendlier to new folks, and more inclusive than “non-member surcharge”. That’s been a Corporate-level discussion for years. It was a good time to make the change.

Advanced class: So, what happened to the NMS (non-member surcharge) then? They said it was important, are they not collecting it?
Remember how the NMS was $5? Well, you may notice that the “adult event registration” prices and the “adult member discount registration” prices are exactly $5 different! This is not a coincidence!

That difference of $5 per non-member is still collected and sent to Corporate, just like the NMS was. On the back end (that the exchequers, autocrats, and seneschals worry about), it gets reported and sent the same way it always has. They’re renaming it to NMR (non-member registration). It’s just a front end nomenclature change, and it doesn’t change the way we’re collecting and reporting anything. It’ll take some getting used to, but we’ll get there!

This article was written by Baroness Hilda Hugelmann, so any mistakes are hers. Thanks to Master Bataar Sogdo, Deputy Kingdom Exchequer, for contributing information used in writing the advanced class information, and to Duchess Dorinda Courtenay for ideas and FAQs.

Categories: SCA news sites

Angels Keep Fall Schola Cancelled

Wed, 2016-09-14 13:07

Greetings to All from Lady Fenris McGill fer Bleddyn, Seneschal of Angels Keep!

It is with deep regret that we need to cancel our Fall Schola on November 5, 2016.  It seems we’re up against too many large Kingdom events, both before, during and after.

We had many long discussions between ourselves before we decided to cancel the Schola, and it was an agonizing decision that we made.

We’re very concerned that we’re not going to be pulling enough teachers and attendants to be able to give everyone a quality educational event, as well as pay for the site.

We look forward to serving the SCA community a future time, as well as with our signature event, Pen vs Sword.

Categories: SCA news sites

Call for Letters for Silver Buccle Herald

Wed, 2016-09-14 08:33

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle!

It has been nearly 3½ years since Their Majesties Maynard III and Liadain II graced me with the opportunity to serve the Kingdom as Silver Buccle Principal Herald. However, time marches ever on, and it is nearing time for me to pass this responsibility to another. Thus, Their Highnesses — once they are determined at Crown Tournament — and I are accepting letters of intent for the position of Principal Herald. This office holds a 2-year term, commencing at Spring Crown 2017, serving through Spring Crown 2019.

The position requires:
* Valid SCA membership;
* An extensive knowledge of the workings of the Æthelmearc College of Heralds as well as the SCA College of Arms;
* Strength and skill in vocal heraldry;
* Sufficient knowledge of the heraldic submission process to communicate with submitters as well as oversee the workings of the submission office, including how to use the online Ordinary and Armorial;
* Knowledge of the awards of Æthelmearc, the structure of award precedence, and how to use the online Order of Precedence;
* Reliable access to, and proficient usage of, e-mail (approximately 8-10 hours a week);
* The ability to manage the Æthelmearc College of Heralds in all of its various duties;
* The communication and diplomatic skills to appropriately serve as Æthelmearc’s liaison to the College of Arms as well as foreign royalty, heralds and ambassadors.

As per Æthelmearc Financial Policy, the Principal Herald holds one vote on the Kingdom Financial Committee. For more details of the responsibilities of the office of Principal Herald, see The Corpora of the SCA and The Administrative Handbook of the SCA College of Arms.

The deadline for applications is *2017 Kingdom 12th Night* (currently unscheduled as of the writing of this announcement) or *January 15, 2017*, *whichever
comes first*. Applications should be sent to Their Majesties, Their Highnesses and myself at

If you have any questions about the duties of this office, please contact me privately at

In Honor and Service,
Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

How to Write a Recommendation Letter

Mon, 2016-09-12 17:46

This article was written by Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, and updated by Baroness Hilda Hugelmann:

One of the greatest joys of the Crown is the opportunity to give awards to the deserving populace, but it is not always easy to determine who is deserving in any given reign. No two people can know everyone in a Kingdom, and this is why the Royalty needs the help of the people to advise them on the good work of their subjects. The best way to do this is via a letter of recommendation.

Without your input, the Royalty will be unable to recognize those individuals who have given of themselves for the good of the Society. They look forward to hearing from you!

Who Should Write?

Everyone! There are often misconceptions that only Peers can write letters of recommendation, or that a person should not write a recommendation for an award that they do not have. Neither of these is true. While it may be true that those with higher level awards may have special insight into the criteria and requirements for an award, the knowledge and insight of even the newest member of the Society is welcomed by the Royalty. Anyone who feels strongly that they know someone who is worthy of recognition should write. And write often!

If you live in a Barony, don’t forget to write to your Baron and/or Baroness for Baronial awards, too!

When Should We Write?

The sooner the better! One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to write the Royalty the week before their local event and try to get awards for local folks. This is a disservice to everyone involved. The Royalty does not have proper time to determine if They wish to give the award. If They make a rush decision to give the award, the poor scribe has only days to get a scroll prepared. There may not be time to get a medallion or other items ready. If the Royalty decide to give the award at a later event, those people close to the recipient may not be present to see the award. If the Royalty decide not to give the award at all, then the person who recommended the potential recipient will be angry, and the potential recipient may not get the recognition they deserve.

A good letter of recommendation for AOAs and Orders of Merit (the Sycamore, Keystone and Golden Alce, etc) will be delivered to the Royalty no later than eight weeks before the date of the event where the award is to be given. Six weeks is sometimes acceptable. Letters of recommendation for Peerages and orders of High Merit (the Fleur, Millrind, White Scarf, Gage, Scarlet Guard, White Horn, Golden Lance, and Scarlet Battery) should be delivered almost as soon as the Heirs are victorious in Crown Tourney. This is necessary because the Royalty need to consult these Orders before making a final decision to give an award. This may require several weeks as they wait for the Orders to meet and discuss the candidate that was recommended.

To Whom Should We Write?

When in doubt, write to everyone! Our Kingdom has an Award Recommendation Form online that delivers to all the appropriate parties, so it should be nice and easy for you!

If you prefer to send a direct email (or snail mail letter), here’s a good guideline: early in a reign, letters may be sent to King and Queen. After Crown Tournament, the Heirs should also receive a copy of all letters (At some point in a reign, the King and Queen may request that all further letters be sent to Their Heirs). In addition to the Royalty, it does not hurt to send a copy of the recommendation for a Peerage or Order of High Merit to the Principal and the Clerk of the applicable Order. This way, the Order can get a head start on discussing the candidate. All the emails you need can be found on the Kingdom Website.

If you’re writing folks in for a local Baronial award, just write to the Baron and/or Baroness.

How exactly do I write a letter and what should it include?

Recommendations should not be verbal! Use the Award Recommendation Form online, send an email (copying all the people mentioned above), or you can use good ol’ US Post Office Mail, if you like. Addresses are in the AEstel. All the email addresses you need can be found on the Kingdom Website.

If you decide to write a free form email or letter, it should include:

  • SCA name of the potential recipient
  • Modern name of the potential recipient
  • Home group of the potential recipient
  • Award for which you are recommending
  • Detailed explanation of why they deserve the award — may include past awards, offices held, competitions won, work done and more
  • A list of events you believe they will be attending
  • Other information about the potential recipient, such as their persona, how long they’ve been in the SCA, any Peer/associate relationships, etc.
  • Your SCA and mundane names, your contact information, and any relevant awards and offices/positions you hold.

How do I know what to write them in for? 


A list of our Kingdom’s Awards and Honors can be found on the College of Heralds’ website. A few years ago, there was a series of articles in the AEstel with more details. Things have changed a bit since then, with more awards now available (including a new Peerage!), but copies of the articles are available here. If you’re still not sure, you can ask your local officers (like your local Baron and/or Baroness, Seneschal, Herald, etc), Peers, or anyone who’s been around a while.

It’s also a good idea to check and see if they already have the award! The College of Heralds keeps a list of everyone who’s gotten awards, called the Order of Precedence. Just look the potential recipient up there. Go to the alphabetical list, and scroll or Ctrl+F will work fine.

Why Was the Award Not Given?

Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, a person will not receive the award you recommended. Why is that? There can be several reasons.

Some Royalty requires that more than one letter is received. It can’t hurt to encourage your friends to join in a letter writing campaign to get someone an award. Individual letters are better than petitions, but a petition is better than no letter.

Your letter may have arrived too late for Their reign or not at all. (It’s a good idea to keep copies of your sent emails, or a screen shot or copy of what you wrote on the online form).

Your friend may just not be ready for the award yet. This is a tough one to accept, because we see all the work that our loved ones have done and we want them recognized. However, there are many criteria for receiving an award and they must all be met.

What are some examples of letters, poor and good?

Poor Example

To Byron and Ariella, King and Queen of AEthelmearc,

I  would  like  to  recommend  my  brother  Charles  Norris for a fighting award.  He is an excellent fighter and should be recognized.

Thank you, Mary


  • We don’t know whom this letter is from. What is her full name? How can we contact her with questions? Does she have any credentials?
  • The letter should contain the potential recipients SCA and modern names. Which is this?
  • The letter does not clearly state which award level is appropriate for the recipient.
  • There are no details around why the person should receive an award. Is the fact that he is her brother the only reason for the letter?
  • At this point, it is a bit late to write the King and Queen – Their decisions are almost certainly already made.

Golden Alce

Better Example

To  Byron and  Ariella,  King  and Queen of AEthelmearc, Marcus and Margerite, Heir and Heiress, and Sir Koredono, Clerk of the Order of  the Gage, does Lady Mary of London, Knight Marshal for your Shire of Endless Valleys send fond greetings.

I would like to recommend my brother, Lord Charles the Bloodthirsty  (m.k.a.  Charles Norris) for induction into the Order of the Gage. Charles has been an active heavy weapons fighter for the last six years, and his skills have increased significantly during that time.  He is currently squired to Sir Robin of the Hood.  He recently made it the quarterfinals of your Crown Tourney, and he won two local  tournaments  – one here in Endless Valleys and one in your Barony of Ashland – this past month.  I feel his fighting skill is on par with those who have been previously inducted into the Gage, and I ask that you consider him.

Charles is also our local Minister of Arts and Sciences, and a fine brewer and embroiderer.  He is active in our local group, and he never fails to work at a local event.  Last, but definitely not least, he is courteous and kind, and he brings honor to everything he touches.

Charles will almost certainly be attending all of the upcoming War Practices, the Turnip event in Endless Valleys and the annual Anvil Festival in the Canton of Worpshire. 

If  you are  in need of any additional info, please feel free to contact me at (176) 555-5555, email:, or by Facebook or G+, screen name Mary Norris Smyth.

Categories: SCA news sites

Event Announcement: Heralds and Scribes, October 8th

Sat, 2016-09-10 19:00

The Shire of Coppertree is pleased to announce Heralds and Scribes to be held Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016!
The Shire will offer a day of classes and good company at the First United Methodist Church, 400 N. George St., Rome, NY 13440.

Those interested in teaching on topics including illumination and calligraphy, heraldic designs, calling court and tourneys, submitting and passing heraldry, and more please contact:

– Heraldry class coordinator THL Solveig Throndardottir (Barbara Nostrand) at

– Scribal class coordinator, Maîtresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon (Pauline Hassinger) at

E-mails should include your name, contact information, class name, class length, and a short class description. Please note if there is any cost to the participants, or if you have any other special requests. There are a limited number of class slots available, so register your classes early.

A delectable day board will be prepared by Rowan de la Garnison. Menu includes: Beef and Onion Pasties, Chicken and Leek Pasties. Fresh fruit, cheese, hard boiled eggs, bread, butters, dill pickles, Cold Pickled Salad (Compost), Welsh tea cakes, and Shortbread.

Merchants are welcome. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

The site is “dry” and handicap accessible. Adult event registration is $15, or $10 for SCA members. Please show proof of membership at the door. Registration for ages 7-17 is $8, children age 6 and under are guests of the shire. Checks may be made payable to “SCA-NY Inc – Shire of Coppertree” and sent to Shire of Coppertree, c/o Susan Schiffer, 9658 Elpis Road, Camden, NY 13316.

Autocrats for the event are: Ewa of Caer Cinniuint (Naomi Starsiak),, 315-527-8902 (no calls after 9:30 p.m. please), 121 Cider St. Oriskany, NY 13424; a nd Aerin Wen (Jen DeVincenzo),, 6333 Overhill Drive, Rome, NY 13440.

Directions: Take your best route to the NYS Thruway. From points west, take exit 33 Verona/Rome/Oneida and take 365 east to South James St. Turn left onto Erie Blvd. West, then right onto N. George St. From points east, take exit 31 Utica and take the right hand route toward Route 49 West. Once on Route 49 W., take the Routes 49, 69 W / 26 N. exit toward downtown Rome onto Erie Blvd East. Continue straight onto Erie Blvd W. Turn right onto N. George St. The church will be on your right.

After the event:
Dining options in Rome:
Caribbean Restaurant: 401 W. Dominick St.
Coalyard Charlie’s (steak and seafood): 100 Depeyster St.
DiCastro’s (Italian): 615 Erie Blvd W.
Franklin Hotel (Italian): 301 S. James St.
Kings Buffet (Chinese buffet): 1142 Erie Blvd W.
Mitsuba (sushi): Mohawk Acres, 1790 Black River Blvd
The Savoy (fine dining): 255 E. Dominick St.

For overnight accommodations, Rome has a Hampton Inn, 1352 Floyd Ave., and a Wingate By Wyndham at 90 Dart Circle. (please avoid the Relax Inn). There are also a variety of hotels and dining options off Thruway Exit 33 in Verona, and Exit 31 in Utica.

Online Announcement

Categories: SCA news sites

Officer Profile: Kingdom Seneschal

Thu, 2016-09-08 22:51

As part of our on-going series of Kingdom Officer profiles (see below), the Gazette interviewed Duke Christopher Rawlyns, the Kingdom Seneschal.

Photo by Master Thorpe

SCA Name/Persona
Christopher Rawlyns.  I’m a mid 14th century English Knight serving Edward of Woodstock, who many of you will know as the Black Prince.

How did you become interested in becoming Seneschal?
Mistress Cori [the previous Kingdom Seneschal] asked me. I figured I could do the job, as I had been Earl Marshal and had three reigns as King, so I had a pretty decent idea of how the Kingdom ran.  I also had a good working knowledge of the SCA governing documents.

What exactly do Seneschals do? What does the Kingdom Seneschal do?
Seneschals are basically the chapter presidents in the eyes of the Corporate side of the SCA. The Kingdom Seneschal oversees the local and regional Seneschals and works with the Crown to maintain Law and assure that the Kingdom operates within the Governing Documents of the Society. The Seneschal also works very closely with the Exchequer to assure that Society and Kingdom financial policy are followed.

Do you have a general philosophy about how you do your job?
In general, I tend to be a minimalist.  I would prefer that I never be involved in any aspects of operations of local groups. However, that is sometimes unavoidable.  I would prefer to help people problem-solve on their own rather than “fixing” problems when they get to my desk.

Who are your deputies, and what are their roles?
I have deputy seneschals for each region, as well as a Law and Policy Deputy.  They are responsible for each of the regions of the Kingdom in the case of the Regional Deputies. The Law and Policy Deputy keeps track of changes to Law and Policy that are made at Curias. [ed. note: The Curia Regis is a meeting held by the Crown at least once per Reign, for the purpose of conducting the Kingdom’s business.]

What is the Æthelmearc Kingdom Seneschal’s role for Pennsic?
The Æthelmearc Seneschal is part of the Pennsic Seneschal Group for the Seneschals of Æthelmearc, the East and the Middle work to formulate the policy within which the Pennsic War functions.  The host kingdom Seneschal is the ultimate legal authority for Pennsic. The role of the Æthelmearc Seneschal is unique here. At Pennsic 47 (2018) the Seneschal of Æthelmearc will be the Seneschal of both the host and sponsoring Kingdoms as Pennsic takes place on Æthelmearc land. Also, the Æthelmearc Seneschal is the only Seneschal who may remove Society sanction from the event, as Pennsic takes place in this Kingdom.

How would someone get involved in the seneschalate? Why would they want to?
If you are interested in being a seneschal, I would suggest that you speak to your local seneschal. They are often looking for deputies who may eventually replace them when they step down.

Being a seneschal is simply another means of serving the society. Most of this service is to the “non-game” side of the Society though. Nonetheless, it is vital to the functioning of the Society. It is service that is often done “behind the scenes”, although, at Kingdom events such as Crown and Coronation, the Kingdom Seneschal often has a very visible role in the proceedings.

What is an example of something you think the general populace should know, but don’t?
Most issues should be solved on a local level by the people who understand them the best.

Are there any changes coming?
We are going to start taking an in-depth look at the zip codes that belong to each group within the Kingdom. Before the end of my term, I would like each group to have a definitive set of zip codes that clearly belong to that group. It is my goal to resolve any “shared” zip codes within this Kingdom. Local seneschals should look for upcoming emails about this from their regional. Ideally they should also dust off their zip code list as we will soon be asking for them.


Articles in our Officer Profile series:

Categories: SCA news sites

Event Update: A&S Championship, October 15th

Thu, 2016-09-08 10:25

From the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Fridrikr:

Gentles All,

Æthelmearc’s Kingdom A&S Championship is coming up on October 15th in Sunderoak.  See the online Event Announcement.

ENTER the competition! It’s fun, exciting, and educational! Note that this year, brewing and vinting entries are welcome!

JUDGE – If you’re a Laurel or a Fleur (or the equivalent), help us out by donating your day to JUDGE the competition.

REGISTRATION FORMS can be found here.

Come to the Championship and see the finest artisans of Æthelmearc!

In service,

Categories: SCA news sites

An Interview with Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite

Wed, 2016-09-07 19:24

On September 24th in the Shire of Heronter, Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite will be crowned King and Queen of Æthelmearc. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope interviewed Their Highnesses to learn more about them, their SCA careers, and their personas.

Prince Marcus Eisenwald joined the Society in 1993 in his native Nordmark, aka Stockhlolm, Sweden, though he had participated with boffer groups as early as 1987. His persona is that of a German Landsknecht foot soldier from 1523-1525. During that time period, he says, younger sons of nobility could gain experience and money serving as officers in the military. He received his AoA in 1996 and was made a Court Baron in 1997 after serving as the second and last Governor of the Crown Principality of Nordmark before it became a full Principality. Marcus reigned as King of Drachenwald in the summer and fall of 2003, and then again in the winter and spring of 2009. In between, in 2007, he was knighted. He also did a stint as Earl Marshal of Drachenwald.

Marcus’ interests include German costuming and scribal arts as well as fighting. While still in Nordmark, he served as Scroll Clerk (Signet) for the Principality. He also enjoys woodwork and other arts; he currently has his sights set on learning to make shoes. He appreciates people who really go the extra mile to be authentic, and says he would love to camp in the Enchanted Ground some day, though currently having a young child and being royalty makes that impractical.

As a former Drachenwalder, His Highness has a unique perspective on Æthelmearc. He notes that both Kingdoms have distinct differences in culture and atmosphere. He appreciates the fact that Æthelmearc has so many people willing to step up and make things happen, and admires the energy and service he sees on display in our Kingdom. The thing he misses most about Drachenwald is the easy access to museums with actual period artifacts, which makes it much easier to do research.

Photo by Lady Christina Mary Lowe, aka Jinx

Princess Margerite Eisenwald joined the SCA in 1992, and is looking forward to being Queen on her 25th anniversary in the Society at next March’s Ice Dragon. She found the SCA through Duchess Liadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh, who she’s known since they were in 6th grade. Her persona is primarily late Roman, though she has forays into other periods and places and believes in taking the best from a variety of cultures. Once the protégé of the late Mistress Michaele del Vaga, and a member of Count Robyn Wallace and Countess Isabeau de L’Isle’s household, Anephedros, Her Highness received her AoA in 1994 and was made a Court Baroness in 2005. Over the years she has served as a local and Kingdom officer, including a stint as Kingdom Seneschale, and has autocratted and served as head tollner or cook for numerous events. She is currently the Kingdom Minister of Youth, but will be passing that office to THLady Cordelia Colton before she is crowned Queen.

Margerite claims she is “not arts inclined” but admits to enjoying costuming, cooking, and beadwork. She says Mistress Michaele taught her how to plan a feast, and credits Michaele with persuading her to run a feast at the first Æthelmearc Æcademy with Mistress Mathilde des Pyrenees.

Marcus and Margerite first met at Pennsic. Duchess Anna Blackleaf introduced them because they had both been through gastric bypass surgery and Her Grace thought they might be interested in sharing their experiences. Obviously they hit it off, and while the distance proved a bit of a barrier, Marcus says they had a few visits back and forth as well as a lot of Skyping before deciding to get married. Then they faced the choice of where to live: in the U.S. or Sweden. At the time, Marcus was working for Swedish TV while Margerite had a Master’s degree and worked as a teacher here. They decided it would be too difficult for Margerite to get work in Sweden, and His Highness was looking for a career change, so he moved to the Shire of Heronter and went back to school there, studying mental health counseling. He now works as a drug and alcohol counselor while Her Highness continues teaching 4th graders.

Prince Marcus with Ingrid. Photo by Jinx.

Their Highnesses have a daughter named Ingrid who is a very energetic four-year-old. Sometimes jokingly referred to as “The Dread Empress,” Marcus notes that, if she’s not sleeping, Ingrid is constantly on the move. Although a little shy with adults she doesn’t know well, Margerite says Ingrid enjoys playing with other children. Her Highness said she and Prince Marcus are “fairly strict” parents who want Ingrid to grow up successful and good-natured.

When asked about their goals for their upcoming reign, Princess Marguerite said they want to see their subjects shine. She encourages people to take risks and try new things, working outside their comfort zone. Prince Marcus believes that many people worry too much about failing. For fighters, he recommends that they try new weapons forms, fighting in tourneys with their least favorite weapon because they will learn more from the experience.

Princess Margerite says she would like people to know that they welcome help from gentles across the realm. Since they don’t have a large household, they will be looking for people in the groups they visit to assist them, especially as retainers, which they hope will be a good way for them to meet new people and for their subjects to get to know them better. They and their daughter have no food allergies or dietary restrictions (though, like many young children, Ingrid can be somewhat particular about her food), and look forward to attending feasts throughout the Kingdom.

Categories: SCA news sites