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Barony of Delftwood Walks in Relay for Life

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-04-26 18:49

On April 18th, from 5 PM to 5 AM, the Barony of Delftwood walked in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Twenty members of the Barony wore the clothes of their persona as they walked to raise money for cancer research. They did this to honor Lord Jarrah ibn Zakariya al-Hamandani, who passed away January 27th, as well as survivors, those still fighting, those who have passed, and caregivers. “Jarrah had a huge impact on the barony in the two short years he played in the SCA. He left a hole in this barony and our hearts. The Relay has been a healing experience for all of us,” said Mistress Othindisa Bykona.

Delftwood collected over $3,844 before the event. An additional $55 was raised at the Relay as Baron Benedict Fergus atte Mede gave fencing lessons, Lord Justin Lymner sold soaps, and Lady Genevieve de Chaumont sold peacock feathers as a tribute to Jarrah’s favorite bird. Other members of the Barony pitched in by helping with set-up and tear down or bringing refreshments for the group.

Other highlights included Lady Lijsbet de Keukere “walking” with a broken ankle, THL Ruslan Igotavich Voronov’s weapons display, and Delftwood being one of the last of two teams on the track. When asked what her favorite part of the night was, “The music,” said one of the barony’s youngest members and the youngest Relay participant, Vita Cincinnatus.

Delftwood would like to thank all those who gave donations to this important cause. Donations came from across the kingdom, including from Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle. It is inspirational that so many people outside the barony supported Delftwood. “We are so touched by the outpouring of support, both moral and financial, from all across the kingdom,” said Baroness Helene al-Zarqa. Delftwood finished in third place out of ninety-five teams.


Categories: SCA news sites

Viking blacksmith grave even greater than expected

History Blog - Sun, 2015-04-26 10:23

Last fall, farmer Leif Arne Nordheim borrowed his neighbor’s backhoe to remove some pesky flagstones from his garden in Sogndalsdalen on the southwestern coast of Norway. Lifting the last flagstone revealed tools — a hammer and tongs — which Nordheim first assumed were of relatively recent manufacture. When he found a bent blade, he realized it was likely archaeological and called in the county Cultural Department. Archaeologists from the University Museum of Bergen soon followed and an excavation of the find site ensued.

The find turned out to be far greater than originally realized, and the ancient blacksmith tools were impressive enough already. Archaeologists unearthed a large collection of forging tools and weapons, including three hammers of different sizes, two anvils, blacksmith tongs, coal tongs, a rake to remove coals, a tray used to add coals, a chisel, a scythe, a sickle, a drill, pieces of grindstone, nails, a single-edged sword, an axe, two arrows and a knife. Underneath the tools and products of the blacksmith trade archaeologists found more personal items: a razor, beard trimming scissors, tweezers, a frying pan and a poker.

The deepest layer of excavation contained ashes, charcoal and small bone fragments. The pieces of bone haven’t been identified yet, but archaeologists believe they are human remains, likely the blacksmith owner of the marvelous tools above. Between the ashes and bones fragments, researchers found the objects that the deceased was probably wearing when his body was cremated: beads and a bone comb.

In total the excavation yielded about 60 artifacts and 150 assorted fragments. Forging tools have been found in graves before, but this is an exceptionally rich collection for a blacksmith burial. Indeed, it’s the richest burial, blacksmith or not, found in the area in years.

“We think that the blacksmiths’ contemporaries wished to show how skilful he was in his work by including such an extensive amount of objects. He might have forged many of these tools himself.”

“The grave gives the impression that this was a local blacksmith and he enjoyed a high status in his society beyond being his trade,” says [co-leader the excavation Asle Bruen] Olsen.

The design of the axe and some of the other metal objects dated them to the 8th or 9th century A.D. Subsequent radiocarbon dating confirmed the date of the burial to be around 800 A.D.

The artifacts are currently being conserved by experts at the University Museum of Bergen. Once they’re stabilized they will go on display, possibly in a dedicated exhibition. Incidentally, the University Museum of Bergen has a neat Instagram account, incidentally. As always, I wish the pictures were bigger, but the highlights from the museum’s collection are fascinating.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

On Target: Making Styrofoam Heads

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-04-25 17:10

Archery season is upon us! This is the first in what we hope will be a series of articles by THLord Deryk Archer on how to make various types of novelty targets for SCA archery practices and competitions.

Greetings. I am THLord Deryk Archer, and I have been an archery marshal for 20 years.

As much fun as archery can be, shooting at novelty targets takes the sport to another level. Today I’ll start with how to make styrofoam heads.

THLord Deryk Archer with one of his styrofoam head targets. Photo by THLord Juan Miguel Cezar.


  • Styrofoam head
  • Duct tape in various colors
    • “Cookie Dough” for face, and black, brown, red, or yellow for hair
  • Masonry cord or other very sturdy rope
  • “Googly eyes”
  • Adhesive-backed Velcro
  • Carabiner, wooden skewer, or part of a broken arrow
  • Optional:
    • For a William Tell shoot:
      • Plastic apples to affix on top of the head
    • For a “hanged man” shoot:
      • Manila rope (~25’)
      • Clothes hanger
      • 2-3 Pool noodles
      • An old t-shirt

You can sometimes find styrofoam heads at thrift stores, or you can buy them inexpensively online. Male heads are thicker at the neck, while female heads are better for a “hanged man” scenario because they have thinner necks which are easier to get rope around.

Many people have tried to use foam heads for archery targets but found that they shatter. Duct tape is the answer. Wrap the entire head in duct tape to give it better structural integrity. “Cookie Dough Duck Tape” is similar to flesh tone, and black duct tape works for hair.

I like to add “googly eyes,” which you can buy at a craft store. I use adhesive-backed Velcro to attach the eyes to the head.

Velcro for googly eye attached. Photo by THLord Deryk Archer.

Googly eye attached. Photo by THLord Deryk.

Carabiner holding rope at the bottom of a styrofoam head. Photo by THL Deryk.

Usually a styrofoam head is suspended from above by a rope. Most Styrofoam heads are hollow, so it’s easy to add the rope. Punch a hole in the top of the head, then run a masonry cord down through the hole to the bottom of the neck. Tie the cord to a carabiner, wooden skewer, or piece of a broken arrow to hold it at the bottom of the head, then tie the top of the rope to a target or tree and you’re ready to shoot.

At first the head will be a little hard, but the more you shoot it, the more arrow-friendly the head becomes. When it’s been shot so much that it looks like it’s done, all it needs is a fresh retaping. I have a head I have retaped 15 times. When the inside becomes mulched, it can be restuffed with cut up pool noodles. Noses can be restored with old wine corks.

Apple attached to the head for a William Tell shoot. Photo by THL Deryk.

Once you’re good at hitting the head, you can add a plastic apple (available at Wal-Mart) on top by drilling a hole through the apple from top to bottom and running the cord that goes into the head through it. Then you have a William Tell shoot, where archers must shoot the apple without hitting the head. Get more then one apple, because people will love this shoot!

You can also do a “hanged man” shoot where archers try to shoot the rope that’s hanging their friend. Get about 25 feet of 1 in. rope. Tie a hangman’s noose around the neck of the Styrofoam head and hang the head from a tree or target. Whoever gets closest to the noose without hitting the man wins. For this target, you need to put some weight under the head, so I suggest creating a body. Attach the head to a clothes hanger with pool noodles tied to it for the shoulders. Cover the hanger and noodles with an old T shirt and add two more noodles to fill out the arms. The body will catch any misses.

“Hanged man” target. Photo by THL Deryk.

I hope you find these ideas fun and add them to your practice. If you have questions or ideas, contact me on Facebook.

Remember shoot safely, shoot often, and have fun!

Categories: SCA news sites

Liquid mercury found under Teotihuacan temple

History Blog - Sat, 2015-04-25 14:37

The excavations under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan have unearthed another exceptional find: large quantities of liquid mercury. Archaeologist Sergio Gómez and his team have been excavating the tunnel underneath the pre-Aztec pyramid, discovered by accident in 2003 when a sinkhole opened up in front of the temple, since 2009, using a robot to reveal three chambers at the end of the tunnel and last year discovering an enormous cache of 50,000 artifacts (sculptures, jade, rubber balls, obsidian blades, pyrite mirrors) and organic remains (animal bones, fur, plants, seeds, skin). It has taken so long to excavate it because the tunnel was filled to the brim with soil and rocks and sealed 1,800 years ago by the people of Teotihuacan about whom we know very little.

The mercury was found in one of the chambers discovered by the robot at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s something that completely surprised us,” Gomez said at the entrance to the tunnel below Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent, about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City.

Some archeologists believe the toxic element could herald what would be the first ruler’s tomb ever found in Teotihuacan, a contemporary of several ancient Maya cities, but so shrouded in mystery that its inhabitants still have no name.

Unsure why the mercury was put there, Gomez says the metal may have been used to symbolize an underworld river or lake.

(mercuric sulfide) is the most commonly found source of mercury ore and ancient Mesoamericans were intimately familiar with it both as a red pigment and for its mercury content. They knew how to extract mercury from crushed cinnabar — heating the ore separates the mercury from sulfur and the evaporated mercury can then be collected in a condensing column — and employed it as a gilding medium and possibly for ritual purposes. It was very difficult and dangerous to produce. Before now, traces of mercury have only been found at a two Maya sites and one Olmec site in Central America. This is the first time it has been discovered in Teotihuacan, and I suspect this is the first time it has been discovered in large amounts anywhere in ancient Mexico. (The exact quantities discovered under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent and at the other sites haven’t been reported.)

Reflective materials held a great deal of religious significance in Mesoamerican cultures. Mirrors were seen as conduits to the supernatural. A river of mercury would make one hugely expensive and ritually important conveyance to the underworld. Added to the exceptional finds already made in the tunnel, the presence of so much mercury indicates that if anybody was buried in these chambers, it would have to be someone of enormous importance in Teotihuacan society. It could be a king, but we don’t know what kind of governing system they had in Teotihuacan, so it could be a lord, several oligarchs or religious leaders. The hope is that this excavation and its unprecedented finds will answer many of the long-outstanding questions about the city of Teotihuacan.

I’m excited about this discovery because I’ve been fascinated by the notion of underground rivers of mercury since I first read about the ones reportedly created for the tomb of the first Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang. Better known today for the terracotta army found in pits around the emperor’s burial mound, the mausoleum itself was apparently a thing of shimmering splendour. Grand Historian to the Han emperor Sima Qian, writing a century after the Qin emperor’s death, described Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum in Volume Six of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian), China’s first official dynastic history.

They dug down deep to underground springs, pouring copper to place the outer casing of the coffin. Palaces and viewing towers housing a hundred officials were built and filled with treasures and rare artifacts. Workmen were instructed to make automatic crossbows primed to shoot at intruders. Mercury was used to simulate the hundred rivers, the Yangtze and Yellow River, and the great sea, and set to flow mechanically. Above, the heaven is depicted, below, the geographical features of the land.

As the emperor’s burial mound has not been excavated (just the environs), we don’t know if the rivers of flowing mercury really existed, but high levels of mercury have been found in soil samples taken from the tumulus so significant amounts of the heavy metal were certainly used for some purpose. I think it would be the coolest thing if the people of Teotihuacan created their own shimmering splendor of an underworld too.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic Teacher Registration Deadline Fast Approaching

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-04-25 12:36

Have you always wanted to teach at Pennsic? Are you a veteran teacher, but find yourself procrastinating this year? Don’t delay! While classes will be accepted right through Pennsic, the deadline to have your class appear in the Pennsic site book is May 1.


It’s a very easy process to sign up. A link for teacher registration appears on the Pennsic War home page. The registration process is very user friendly. With just a few clicks of the mouse you will be able to create your class.

Take a minute to look at all the wonderful classes that have already been scheduled. Then commit to sharing your knowledge and passion for the arts and sciences with the Pennsic populace. If you have questions about registering your class, contact Capt Elias Gedney, Chancellor, or THL Artimesia LaceBrayder, the Registrar.

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Pennsic Tagged: a&s, classes, Pennsic

A Missive from the Order of the White Scarf

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-24 21:18

To the populace of Sylvan Æthelmearc,

The Order of the White Scarf sends well wishes and greetings. We are reaching out to anyone who has ever considered joining us on the rapier field, but hesitated due to lack of equipment, not knowing who to talk to, or even just where to begin. To those people, and all who would believe that they cannot make a difference: You are who we want standing with us!

The Order of the White Scarf is a source of information, help, and guidance that is here for you. Even if you are unable to participate on the field, there are other avenues to help.  We welcome all who would be interested to contact us through our Clerk at whitescarf_clerk@aethelmearc.org after which one of the order will assist you as best we can.

In service to the Sylvan Kingdom,
Æhelmearc Order of the White Scarf
Categories: SCA news sites

Mystery of the Viking pot: Solved

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2015-04-24 16:40

In September 2014, metal detectorist Derek McLennan discovered over 100 artifacts in a field near Dumfries, Scotland. Among them was a 1,200-year-old Viking pot, heavy enough to contain something, but too fragile to open. Now archaeologists have been able to determine what is in the pot with the help of a CT scan. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Bacon & Brewing!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-24 16:30

This past Saturday, the Shire of Hunters Home hosted the second iteration of its popular Bacon and Brewing Bash.

Brewing activities were a featured part of this event, and well received. The brewers, vintners, meadhers, and apothecaries of Hunters Home and the surrounding area provided an even dozen beverages for the Tasters Tavern – a corner of the main hall where the populace could enjoy the beverages throughout the day. As part of the tavern, the populace was asked to vote on their favorite beverage. Additionally, a visiting guest from outside our organization was asked to make his choice of favorite.

Two competitions were also held: a Judges’ Choice, in which each competitor was required to judge all entries – including their own – using the kingdom’s A&S rubric for brewing; and a competition for “Best Brew with a Bacon Theme”. The winners were as follows:

Judges’ Choice: THL Madoc Arundel for his Riesling wine
Populace’s Choice: Baron Rauthbjorn Lothbroke for his blackberry melomel
Guest’s Choice: Lady Caolifhion of the Woods for her hard apple cider
Best Bacon Theme: Lord Geirolnir the Huntsman for his “Baconator” bacon bock

In addition, Lord Hundthor the Master Pintsman was presented his award of arms scroll for brewing excellence, read into the court record by Their (then) Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh at the Coronation of their heirs two weeks ago.

THL Madoc Arundel

Categories: SCA news sites

Gulf Wars 2015 photos online

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2015-04-24 11:31

Giovanni della Torre reports that his lady, Kathy, has posted photos from Gulf wars 2015. The photos are available to view on PhotoBucket.

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Categories: SCA news sites

The Founding of a Barony circa 1970

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-24 10:23

Tabitha of Windmoor, one of the first members of the Barony of Carolingia, graciously wrote this account about how the group got its start.  The Gazette thanks her for providing more information about the early years of the East Kingdom.

I was in the SCA from 1970 – 1975. Virtually all of my involvement was with the Barony of Carolingia. I was one of the founding members, more or less by chance.

In the fall of 1970 I started my sophomore year at Wellesley with a roommate selected by lottery. Lois and I were friends at once. We threw a party a couple of weeks into the school year for all our friends. Lois invited Patri Pugliese, a freshman roommate of her boyfriend. Pat and I became friends at that party where he also acquired a new girlfriend, Ann, who was one of my friends.

When Patri landed in the infirmary with a sore throat a few weeks later I stopped in to see him on my way to join Lois and her boyfriend for the Yale/Harvard game. While I was trying to cheer Pat up – he was very sick and things were already going bad with Ann – a guy neither of us knew just walked right into the room and asked “Are you Patri?” Upon being assured that the guy in the bed answered to that name, he introduced himself as Dan and said he had been told that Pat might be interested in helping him start a branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Neither Pat nor I had ever heard of it. Dan described it with great enthusiasm. I said it sounded like fun and would be interested in hearing more. Dan invited me to talk further at his place that evening and I went on to join the game watchers. Lois and I went to the post game party as well and had a bit more spiked cider than was consistent with any further activity than a long nap on boyfriend’s bed. We were awakened by Dan’s knock on the door and I did go off with him for further discussion of what he envisioned us doing – namely starting a barony. He was clear that he did not want to be baron and preferred merely to be seneschal (which he pronounced sennaskull, it was several months before I discovered the correct pronunciation).

Somehow, Dan’s clock “got mis-set” and by the time I realized that was the case I had missed the last bus back to Wellesley which in those days departed Harvard square at 11PM. Not being interested in Dan’s offer to spend the night I said I would walk home – it’s only about 12 miles. Dan insisted on walking me home where we arrived just in time for me to rush off to a Sunday morning babysitting job. Left on his own in my dorm room, he was surprised by Kathy (SCA name Giselle de Lavande, I think) who was looking to borrow something from me. He talked SCA to her too. She was our first mistress of arts and for a short time baron John Smythe of Isleoway’s girlfriend.

I think the organizational meeting of the barony took place in November. The meeting, attended by people from Wellesley, Harvard, and MIT, established a barony which after much discussion we named Carolingia because we were based around the Charles river, Carolus is latin for Charles, and besides it had a nice medieval sound to it (think Carolingian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire – started by Charles the Great – Carolus Magnus).

We did not have a baron. Dan from MIT (Daniel de Tankard) was to be Seneschal, Carl  from MIT (Chaim Elyhu ben David) Secretary of State, Patri  from Harvard (Patri des Tours Gris) Master of Sciences and Master of Arms, Dianne – not a student and don’t recall her SCA name – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lorraine from MIT (Lorimel the Gentle) Mistress of Equiries, and I was herald which mostly meant recording secretary back then. Pat was charged with finding a place and setting times for fighting practice. I was asked to design a barony coat of arms and I offered to create a newsletter. Dianne was set to raising funds – i.e. dues and we all were to figure out how and where to hold a first event.

Filed under: History Tagged: Carolingia

Possible remains of Napoleonic king of Naples to be DNA tested

History Blog - Fri, 2015-04-24 06:36

In his short life Joachim Murat rose from modest beginnings as an innkeeper’s son in the small southwestern French town of Labastide-Fortunière to the King of Naples at 41 years of age. In between he became one of Napoleon’s best generals and, after his marriage to Caroline Bonaparte, Prince and Grand Admiral of France and the Grand Duke of Berg. Famous for his daring cavalry charges and for his flamboyant dress sense involving as many buttons, gold tassels, medals and feathers as can be crammed onto a uniform, Murat fought in approximately 200 battles and looked great doing it.

In her memoirs, Caroline Murat, daughter of Joachim’s second son Prince Napoleon Lucien Charles Murat, described her grandfather’s dashing style of dress and fearlessness in combat.

His form was tall, his tread like that of a king, his face strikingly noble, while his piercing glance few men could bear. He had heavy black whiskers and long black locks, which contrasted singularly with his fiery blue eyes. He usually wore a three-cornered hat, with a magnificent white plume of ostrich feathers. [...]

My grandfather’s dazzling exterior made him a mark for the enemy’s bullets. The wonder is that, being so conspicuous, he was never shot down and was rarely wounded. At one battle a bullet grazed his cheek. Like lightning his sword punished the offender by carrying away two of his fingers. I have read that at the battle of Aboukir he charged with his cavalry straight through the Turkish ranks, driving column after column into the sea.

Murat’s ascent was too inextricably tied to Napoleon’s to survive his mentor’s fall. In the attempt to preserve his throne, he went so far as to enter into an alliance with Austria after France’s defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in October of 1813, but his Austrian allies turned out to be fair-weather friends at best, and when he realized they planned to remove him from the throne during the Hundred Days, he declared himself in favor of Italian independence and fought the Austrians in northern Italy. He was defeated and fled, first attempting to get his old job back but Napoleon wouldn’t even see him, a choice the emperor would come to regret bitterly. (On St. Helena he said: “at Waterloo Murat might have given us the victory. For what did we need? To break three or four English squares. Murat was just the man for the job.”) After Napoleon’s rejection, Murat went to Corsica and mustered up 250 or so men with whom he planned to reconquer the throne of Naples from the restored Bourbon king Ferdinand IV.

This was not a well conceived plan, needless to say. His three ships were scattered in a storm. The one carrying him and 26 men was blown off course and landed in the southern Italian town of Pizzo, Calabria, near the toe of the boot, where he was promptly captured by Bourbon forces. Napoleon noted dryly that “Murat has tried to reconquer with 200 men the territory he was unable to hold when he had 80,000 of them.” Ferdinand ordered a show trial — the judges were appointed on the same day the order for his execution was sent by telegraph — and on October 13th, 1815, Joachim Murat was convicted of insurrection and sentenced to death by firing squad.

He died how he lived — well dressed, vain and fearless. His last request was for a perfumed bath and the opportunity to write to his wife and children. He refused the offer of a stool to sit on and a blindfold and stood unblinking before the fusiliers, dressed to the nines and smelling terrific. The phrasing has come down in several versions, but his last words to his executioners were so epic people are still quoting them without realizing that they’re quoting anyone: “Soldiers, do your duty. Aim for my heart, but spare my face. Fire!”

His old friend and administrator of his duchy Jean-Michel Agar, the Count of Mosburg, eulogized him poetically: “He knew how to win. He knew how to rule. He knew how to die.” Napoleon’s final assessment was a tad harsher: “In battle he was perhaps the bravest man in the world; left to himself, he was an imbecile without judgment.”

Murat’s remains are thought to have been interred in a mass grave underneath Pizzo’s Church of St. George, but there were rumors that they had been spirited away to France. There’s a memorial grave for Joachim Murat and his family in Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery. In 1899, his granddaughter Countess Letizia Rasponi Murat tried to find his remains in the St. George crypt so they could rebury them with dignity in the Certosa di Bologna cemetery. They were not successful. In 1976, the crypt was exposed during repairs to the church floor. Photographs were taken through a foot-wide hole in the trap door but all they captured was the basement full of bones and humus. Determining which parts belonged to Murat would seem a fool’s errand.

In April of 2007, Professor Pino Pagnotta, president of the Joachim Murat Association, got a hold of the pictures from the 70s and studied them closely. He had them enlarged and enhanced and was able to see more than 1976 photographic technology had allowed. He spied a broken casket made of a plain wood with a cord entwined in the boards. This matches contemporary eye-witness accounts like the one of Antonino Condoleo, a youth of 15 in 1815, who assisted in the burial of Joachim Murat. Condoleo describes a mishap on the way to the church when the plain fir casket containing Murat’s body was dropped and broken. They hastily tied the casket back together with a long cord and got it to St. George’s church where it was dumped unceremoniously in the crypt.

The discovery made news at the time and the Joachim Murat Association advocated strenuously that the remains in and/or around the broken coffin be DNA tested. Eight years later, they’ve finally gotten all the various authorities clerical and secular to sign on to the project. (I suspect Richard III was not far from their minds. Pizzo’s main tourist draw is the 15th century castle built by Frederick I of Aragon in which Murat was tried and executed. The castle was renamed after him and now receives thousands of visitors a year.)

In May, the heavy marble slab sealing the basement will be moved and biologist Sergio Romano will be lowered into the crypt where he will take pictures and samples from the broken casket. If DNA can be extracted from the samples — a very big if — it can be tested against Murat’s many descendants, among then his three times great-grandson actor René Auberjonois, aka the shapeshifter Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, whose late mother was Princess Laure Louise Napoléone Eugénie Caroline Murat.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Une annonce au sujet de la Couronne Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2015-04-23 19:44

Cet article est maintenant disponible en Français. Veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous.

An announcement regarding Crown Tourney / Une annonce au sujet de la Couronne Tourney

(English Translation: The following article is now available in French. Please click on the link below.)

Filed under: Announcements, En français

Court Report: HRM Gabrielle Queen’s Rapier Championship 18 April A.S. 49

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-04-23 15:12






Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy & Gabrielle II, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Her Majesty’s Court at Queen’s Rapier Championship in the College of Silva Vulcani 18 April AS 49. As recorded by Drotinn Jorundr hinn Rotinn, Golden Alce Herald, with the assistance of Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.


Her Majesty wished to invite all the children who attended the event to take some treats that they might amuse themselves during court.


Her Majesty invited Don Orlando de Bene del Vinta, Her Rapier Champion, to attend Her. Orlando expressed how honored he was to have served these past months as Queen’s Rapier Champion, however he did this day host a grand tournament of 55 fencers to determine who would bear the honor of being his successor. The fighting was fierce, yet one did emerge through the double elimination tournament to prove victorious. Master Don Lodovick of Gray’s Inn was summoned to attend Her Majesty, after affirming his willingness to serve as Her Majesty’s sword and shield he was invested with the regalia of champion and invited to join Her Court. Scroll forthcoming.

Her Majesty next did invite Duchess Dorinda Courtenay to attend Her. The vigilants of the Order of Defense have a most noble and venerable tradition that has happened for each vigilant some time between the issuance of their writ and their sitting vigil, and Dorinda did wish this day to ensure that Don Orlando de Bene del Vinta did not miss out on this long and venerable tradition. Thus the Order of Defense delivered unto him a pie with a sword on it, as is the Order’s most venerable tradition. The pie was made by the hands of Baron Iago, and was made of apples.

Lord Magnus Bastiano di Vigo was commanded to present himself. Her Majesty did affirm with him that it was still his desire to join Her guard. Magnus did indeed still wish this, so Her Majesty placed upon him the baldric of Her guard and invited him to take his place in Her Court.

Their Excellencies of the Debatable Lands, Baron Uilliam mac an t’Saoir and Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr, were invited to present Themselves. They reaffirmed Their fealty to the Kingdom and to Their Majesties as the landed nobles of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands.

Her Majesty invited all who entered their first Queen’s Rapier Championship this day to present themselves with their consorts. She then gave each of them a rose and invited them to continue to enter tournaments, as their deeds of valor and chivalry did not go unnoticed.

Dona Gabrielle de Winter was invited to address the Court. She wished to thank her staff and the Shire of King’s Crossing for their assistance in hosting the College of Silva Vulcani’s first royal progress event. She further thanked Her Majesty for attending, and the populace for making the event such a success.

Murdoch Stewart was summoned to present himself to Her Majesty. Murdoch has jumped right into both fencing and rattan combat with much gusto and aspires to hold the chivalric virtues foremost in his mind. He furthermore volunteered to join Her Majesty’s guard that he might defend her from harm and is frequently seen helping happily. Thus Her Majesty felt moved to Award him Arms. Scroll by Master Jon Blaecstan.

Her Majesty wished to have words with Niccolo Salvietti. His love of fencing is great. He is often first on the training field and last off of it. He pushed himself to authorize for Queen’s Rapier Championship, that he might expand Her Majesty’s honor by competing. He further is a member of Her Majesty’s guard and assists around the College of Silva Vulcani where needed. Thus he was Awarded Arms. Scroll by Lady Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne.

Dromund Geirhjalmson did catch Her Majesty’s eye, and her subjects had spread word of his mighty deeds, such that it has reached Her noble ears. He is always volunteering to do every task. His love of fencing and rattan is obvious as he strives always to improve his skills. His good mood and enthusiasm permeates everything he does. For this and many more reasons did it please Her Majesty to bestow upon him an Award of Arms. Scroll by Lady Elizabeth of the Bog and Mistress Cynthia Love of the Tower.

Her Majesty Awarded Arms to Mollie O’Donnell in absentia for her work in sewing garb, and teaching others how to sew garb. Scroll illuminated by Lady Isabel Fleuretan with calligraphy by Kameshima-kyo Zentarō Umakai.

Dominique Von Weissenthurn was invited to attend her Majesty. Dominique is well known for making hoods and arming caps for the members of the Shire of Ballachlagan. She goes further to teach classes to share with others the skills she is learning. These actions please Her Majesty thus she was moved to bestow upon her an Award of Arms. Scroll calligraphed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova upon illumination by Gail Hope.


Lord Sergei Ratimirov was invited into court. Her Majesty wished to deliver to him the scroll and medallion marking his induction into the Order of the Golden Alce bestowed upon him last week at Her Coronation by Her predecessors Titus and Anna Leigh that he was not present to get directly.


Lord Bjorn Einarsson has shown great skill and enthusiasm for fencing as his skills continue to increase. This pleases Her Majesty thus She inducted Bjorn into the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll by Dona Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen.

Her Majesty wished to continue Her tradition of recognizing one who inspired her this day. On this day of much courtesy and inspiration Lord Jehan Le Blanc did impress Her Majesty with his comportment right from the first bout that she witnessed.

Her Majesty wished to recognize and thank all who had a hand in making the scrolls for this day, as Æthelmearc has many wondrous scribes, without whom the glory of court would be lessened.

Her Majesty thanked everyone who attended this day and all the fencers who vied to be her Champion. His Majesty wanted to be here, and was here in spirit and is eagerly awaiting the tales of chivalry and honor that arose from this day.

After Court, in the royalty room:
The College of Silva Vulcani wished to present to Her Majesty a gift basket full of the works of their hands.

There being no further business, Her Majesty’s Court was closed.

All photos in this article by Maistir Brandubh O Donnghaile 

Categories: SCA news sites

Spring Crown Tournament Schedule

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-04-23 08:23

photo by Ida Caroline Cliff

Greetings unto the populace of Æthelmearc, from the Autocrat for Spring Crown Tourney!

Here is the schedule of events for the day as it stands currently, and a few housekeeping notes too:

Æthelmearc Spring Crown Tournament A.S 50
Schedule of Events

8:30 am ~  Site Opens

8:30-11:30 am ~ Armor Inspection and Pavilion Set-up

11:00 am ~ Consort’s Tea  (Royal Pavilion)

12:00 pm ~ Morning Court

1:00pm ~ Tourney Begins

1:30-3:00 pm ~ Dayboard Served to Combatants and Populace*

12:00-4:30 pm ~ A&S Display available for viewing

5:00 pm ~ Evening Court (or 30 minutes after the end of the Tourney)

7:00 pm ~ Site Closed

*Populace will be served once, then Dayboard will be available in Cafeteria.

Please plan on tearing down pavilions by 6:30 pm so grounds may be cleared for clean-up.

And now for the note.  Please keep in mind that this site is mundanely a school facility and the rules of such must still be obeyed. There is no drinking of alcohol or smoking allowed on the grounds; this includes in your car in the parking lot. We must be out of the building and they prefer us to be done by 7pm, please plan accordingly with your setup and tear down requirements. COMBATANTS/CONSORTS: Please contact myself or Baroness Helene of Delftwood with the complete dimensions of your day shade/pavilion/gallery so we can map out your space ahead of time. Above all else, good luck and welcome!

Lady Lasairfhiona inghean Aindriasa
or find me on FaceBook – Vicki Presler

Categories: SCA news sites

Roman owl fibula found on Danish island

History Blog - Thu, 2015-04-23 03:44

Last summer, archaeologists excavating an Iron Age settlement on the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark, unearthed a rare enameled brooch in the shape of an owl. The excavation of the Lavegaard settlement on the outskirts of the town of Nexø was carried out in advance of construction of a daycare center. The archaeological team from Bornholms Museum has found large quantities of pottery, the remains of workshop ovens, hearths, clay and daub construction, traces of iron smelting and ceramics firing and more than 1,300 postholes. The owl pin was found by metal detectorists working with the archaeologists a few meters from an ancient home in the Roman Iron Age layer. Its design and composition date it to the middle of the 1st century through the end of the 3rd century A.D.

The owl’s most prominent features are its huge round eyes with bright orange irises around a black pupil. Its body has a wing decoration filled with green enamel inset with five circles, each containing concentric rings of red, yellow and black. The bird’s tail feathers are marked with semi-circular indentations and its neck is encircled by a rope design. All the colors are made of enamel.

The artifact is a plate or disk fibula, a pin used to fasten garments made from a flat disk that could be shaped into a variety of designs, including zoomorphic ones. It was made of bronze and decorated with multi-colored enamel accents. The enamel in the piece was created by applying various colors of powdered glass onto the glass rods you see in millefiori designs (that’s how those concentric circles in the eyes and on the body were made) and then firing the brooch until the powder fused into enamel. The technique used to make the owl so colorful is known as pit enamel because the surface of the enamel becomes uneven upon subsequent firings done to harden the enamel.

Roman enamel came in a variety of colors — orange, red, azure, dark blue, green, yellow, white, black — but it rarely survives in brilliant condition. Many enameled fibulae found today have seen their colors fade or change into a yellowish brown. The owl’s colors are still diverse and bright because it was preserved by archaeological layers topped by a thick clay sealing layer. Also, the area was not ploughed anytime in the recent past which saved the little owl from being churned up and potentially damaged by heavy equipment.

While enameled fibulae do not appear to have been very popular north of the Germanic border — Scandinavia had excellent artisans of its own, particularly metalworkers, and the fashion was to leave metal jewelry as is rather than putting lots of color on it — more of them have been found on the island of Bornholm than anywhere else in Scandinavia, about a dozen of them so far. This is the only owl fibula known to have been found in Scandinavia. They’re rare anyway, and the few that have been found were unearthed in German frontier forts or closer to the heart of the empire in what are today Belgium, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

Somebody must have loved this colorful owl, perhaps appreciating its rare design or symbolic significance, enough to take it home. Archaeologists believe it was likely to have been brought to Bornholm by a mercenary returning from a stint in the Roman army rather than openly traded.

Owls have a keen sense of night vision, enabling these highly skilled silent hunters to catch their prey unawares. This notion of owls as intelligent and wise animals is one that has endured throughout the ages as famous companions to both Athena, the Greek Goddess of war, and later to Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, art, trade, and war.

In fact, Minerva was often depicted with an owl on her shoulder as a symbol of wisdom, making it a highly desirable animal for a Roman soldier.

We do not know if the Germanic perception of the owl was the same as the Romans, but many of them would have been mercenaries in the Roman territories and developed a deep insight into the Roman mentality and culture. It is likely that they also adopted Roman traditions of symbolic jewellery.

The brooch must have been something quite special at the time, both because of its unusual shape and bright colours. It must have given the wearer a great level of prestige.

In Danish the word for owl fibula is uglefiblen which is, I think we can all agree, extremely adorable. The uglefiblen is now on display at the National Museum of Denmark along with other treasures discovered in 2014.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Æthelmearc Youth Combat Champions’ Tourney at War Practice

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 21:34

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Youth Fighters, it’s time to spiff up your armor and put fresh duct tape on your swords! The Æthelmearc Youth Combat Champions’ Tourney will be held on May 16 at Æthelmearc War Practice in the Canton of Steltonwald. Anywhere from one to three Champions will be chosen by Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, based on their prowess and chivalry. Champions will receive the regalia from the current champions, Otto Brandulfarson (Division 1) and Stephen of Æthelmearc (Division 3), and serve as Kingdom Champions until the next tourney is held by Their Majesties’ successors.

Schedule for youth fighting at War Practice:

Friday night:
  • 6:30 pm to dark – authorizations and a “Try it” session, with loaner armor available. We encourage all youth fighters who are not yet authorized to attend this session if possible. This will give you a little extra practice before fighting in the tourney and help us get things started quickly Saturday morning.
Saturday morning:
  • 8:00 am – list opens for inspections
  • 9:00 – Authorizations
  • 9:30 – Youth Champion’s Tourney begins
  • 10:30-11:30 – Melees

The Youth Combat list will be on the main battlefield, to the east of the thrown weapons range and alongside Currie Road. Look for a blue pop-up canopy.

For more information on Æthelmearc War Practice, see the Steltonwald website.

If you have any questions about youth combat at Æthelmearc War Practice, please contact the Marshal-in-Charge, Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Categories: SCA news sites


Trimaris (Kingdom) - Wed, 2015-04-22 21:29

1. Fill out this form with the information required.
2. Within 48 hours you will receive an invoice via PayPal. Click on the Payment button and pay either using your PayPal account, credit card or e-check.
3. You will get a confirmation of payment and an email notification of payment will be sent to the PayPal Deputy Excheuqer.
4. Once the PayPal Deputy Exchequer receives confirmation of payment your reservation will be forwarded to the Reservationist for that particular event.
5. PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY VIA PAYPAL WITHOUT RECEIVING AN INVOICE FIRST! Certain information on the invoice determines which group gets the money.
6. Selecting Feast doesn't guarantee feast. If feast is still available, it will be reflected on your invoice.
7. Do not include any credit card information in this form.

Event Name * Your Email Address * Reservation Mundane Name SCA Name Membership Number You will still need to provide proof when you check in at the event. If you don't have a current membership please list N/A. Days Attending - None -1 Day1 Night2 Night3 Night4 Night Reservation Type - None -CabinTentDay Trip For TMT cabin Reservation can not be done with this form. The new site this will allow you to use this form. Adult or Child - None -AdultChild Child Age If child, please list age Feast NoSaturdaySundayBoth Addtional People Mundane Name SCA Name Membership Number You will still need to provide proof when you check in at the event. If you don't have a current membership please list N/A. Days Attending - None -1 Day1 Night2 Night3 Night4 Night Reservation Type - None -CabinTentDay Trip For TMT cabin Reservation can not be done with this form. The new site this will allow you to use this form. Adult or Child - None -AdultChild Child Age If child, please list age Feast NoSaturdaySundayBoth Addtional People Mundane Name SCA Name Membership Number You will still need to provide proof when you check in at the event. If you don't have a current membership please list N/A. Days Attending - None -1 Day1 Night2 Night3 Night4 Night Reservation Type - None -CabinTentDay Trip For TMT cabin Reservation can not be done with this form. The new site this will allow you to use this form. Adult or Child - None -AdultChild Child Age If child, please list age Feast NoSaturdaySundayBoth Addtional People Mundane Name SCA Name Membership Number You will still need to provide proof when you check in at the event. If you don't have a current membership please list N/A. Days Attending - None -1 Day1 Night2 Night3 Night4 Night Reservation Type - None -CabinTentDay Trip For TMT cabin Reservation can not be done with this form. The new site this will allow you to use this form. Adult or Child - None -AdultChild Child Age If child, please list age Feast NoSaturdaySundayBoth Addtional People Mundane Name SCA Name Membership Number You will still need to provide proof when you check in at the event. If you don't have a current membership please list N/A. Days Attending - None -1 Day1 Night2 Night3 Night4 Night Reservation Type - None -CabinTentDay Trip For TMT cabin Reservation can not be done with this form. The new site this will allow you to use this form. Adult or Child - None -AdultChild Child Age If child, please list age Feast NoSaturdaySundayBoth Notes

An announcement from the Earl Marshal

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 19:17
Greetings Unto the East Kingdom!

As some of you may know, my first daughter is scheduled to be born the day before Crown. This will be happening in Colorado and as such I will not be able to act as the Marshal-in-Charge for the Crown tournament. In accordance with East Kingdom Law I have asked Duke Gregor Von Heiseler to be the Marshal-in-Charge and Their Royal Majesties have consented to the substitution. As such, Duke Gregor has graciously agreed to run the Crown tournament.

As Crown is rapidly approaching I ask all Chivalry and OTC marshals, who are not fighting, to make every effort to attend and stand ready to assist Duke Gregor as he deems fit. In addition, Olaf Haraldson, Deputy for Rules Clarification, has agreed to be my Drop-Dead. Being that I much prefer this side of the grass, I have no intention of dropping dead.  So I may be in the market for a food and wine taster at future events. While Olaf has a shifty look about him, he also has a keen sense of the rules and laws of our Kingdom and integrity beyond reproach.

I thank Their Majesties for trusting in my choices and both Gregor and Olaf for being willing to step up and serve our glorious and noble East Kingdom.

Yours In Service,
Baron Sir Jibril al-Dakhil, EK,EM

Filed under: Announcements

SCA Communications Survey

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 19:14

The following was posted to the Society for Creative Anachronism Facebook page. The original can be found here.

Please take a few minutes to complete a survey designed to gather data to assist us in the evolution of communications within the SCA.

We appreciate your time and the opportunity to gather information so we can best serve your needs in the future.


Countess Honor of Restormel
Society Publications Manager

Filed under: Announcements

An announcement regarding Crown Tourney / Une annonce au sujet de la Couronne Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-22 19:10

Greetings to the combatants in the East Kingdom’s Spring Crown Tourney!

Their Majesties have informed us that They do not want to use list
trees and personal devices for this Crown Tourney. For those of you
who were planning to bring your device for the list tree, you are
encouraged but are not required to use the device for personal display
at the tournament. For those of you planning to make a device for the
list tree, you may delay that project to a later time. On the day of
the tourney, we’d ask your help in making sure the heralds are able to
be heard across the listfield so that we can get all combatants and
their consorts to the proper lists.

Lady Rosina von Schaffhausen, Jongleur Herald
Master Rowen Cloteworthy, Troubadour Herald

En français par leurs excellences Godfroy de Falaise et Alisay de Falaise

Salutations aux participants du Tournoi printanier de la Couronne.
Nos Majestés nous ont informés qu’ils ne souhaitaient pas que les participants au Tournoi de la Couronne présentent leurs armoiries dans la lice. Ceux qui souhaitaient le faire le pourront, mais cela n’est nullement obligatoire. Pour ceux qui souhaitaient fabriquer leurs armoiries pour être présentés, peuvent remettre ce projet à plus tard. La journée du tournoi, nous demandons votre plus grande collaboration pour vous assurer que les hérauts puissent être entendus d’un bout à l’autre des lices. De cette manière les combattants et leurs consorts pourront se présenter à la bonne lice.

Lady Rosina von Schaffhausen, Jongleur Herald
Master Rowen Cloteworthy, Troubadour Herald

Filed under: Announcements, En français