Court Reports: Iris Festival

Here begins the report of the Court of Andreas Morgan and Kallista Morgunova, Second of those names, 50th King and Queen of Æthelmearc at Japanese Iris Festival and Baronial Equestrian Championship held within the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands, June 10th AS 58. Po Silvertop, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald reporting. Æthereal Herald Lord Niall Mac Raedwulf filming.

In Morning court:

Their Majesties summoned Baroness Muirgheal ingen Dubhghaill, to ask if she was still prepared to undergo Elevation to the Order of the Pelican. They then convened the Order of Pelican and requested she be escorted to Vigil.

In Evening court:

Their Majesties welcomed all those who attended in the hopes that they had enjoyed the day.

Their Majesties invited all the newcomers present to come forward. They were given gifts of mugs made by the artisans of the Kingdom.

Their Majesties called forward the youth of the Kingdom present- and then chose Abby as the day’s sacrificial “runner of the toy chest”.

Their Majesties invited before them both Otto Brandulfarson and Carl Brandulfarson, each had impressed the Kingdom and the Crown with feats of devotion and service. In recognition, each was awarded Arms -Scrolls by Mistress Graidhne ni Ruaidh.

Their Majesties invited Morikawa Suzu (Morikawa Rei) to appear before them, and noting her wonderful art in many forms, inducted her into the Order of the Sycamore -Scroll by Ishiyama Shonagon Gen’tarou Yori’ie, Lady Nea Kimball, and Master Christofano.

Lady Finé Failain was called before the Crown and for her performance art, song, and acting ability, cast her into Their order of the Sycamore -Scroll by THL Gesa von Wallenstein with words by Master Caleb.

Lady Elinor Walden’s presence was demanded by Their Majesties, who wished to discuss the fineries of her fabric art. She was promptly enfolded into the Order of the Sycamore -Scroll by THL Gesa von Wallenstein, with pun-ishing words by Master Caleb.

Their Majesties requested Lady Forvelelth Dundee to be presented to Them. They spoke of her incredible art, including many scrolls… And recognized her by adding her to Their Order of the Sycamore -Scroll by Master Christofano and Mistress Sadira bint Wassouf.

Lord Niall Mac Raedwulf was beckoned from behind his camera to speak to Their Majesties – who recounted numerous stories of his courtesy, grace and fair play and welcomed him into Their order of the Cornelian -Scroll by Baron Bobby and Baroness Katherine Kiersey.

Ishiyama Shonagon Gen’tarou Yori’ie was invited into Court, where Their Majesties complimented him on the wonderful artistry and precision of his persona and appearance. They celebrated him by awarding him a Golden Mirror -Scroll by THL Eleanor Goodwin and Lord Morikawa Suzu

Baroness Muirgheal ingen Dubhghaill was invited back before Their Majesties to respond to Her writ of Elevation to the Order of the Pelican. Their Majesties requested testimony from the Peers of the Realm: Duchess Morgen of Rye sent words as a Royal Peer, Duchess Ariella of Thornbury sent words as a member of the Chivalry, Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepora Levi spoke as a member of the Laurel, Duchess Dorinda Courtenay sent words as a member of the order of Defense, and Mistress Amaryllis Coleman spoke as a member of the order of the Pelican.

Finding the testimony good, and that Her Excellency was therefore ready, she was then invested with the Ancestral Medallion, multiple Personal medallions, Cloak and Cap of Maintenance and a reliquary to contain it all, before swearing her Oath of Service.  -Scroll Illumination by Mistress Luceta di Cosimo, Calligraphy by THLady Ceindrech verch Elidir, Words by jorundr hinn rotinn.

Their Majesties invited all Scribes to come forward and receive gifts of appreciation for their efforts.

Her Majesty named THL Gesa as Her inspiration for the day.

Their Majesties thanked all for attending and making the day wonderful and reminded all that the great War loomed closer on the horizon and entreated all to prepare.

There being no further business, Court was then closed.

SCA for Newcomers


By Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Are you new to the SCA? Welcome!

We love helping newcomers learn to love the SCA as much as the rest of us do. But sometimes newcomers aren’t recognized as new and don’t get the assistance they deserve.

This is the first in a series of articles to help new members of the SCA become acclimated, and maybe teach some existing members a thing or two. We’ll help you dive into our medieval experience with confidence.

Find your local group

To find your local SCA group, go to the Kingdom website. Select Groups > Local Groups > Local Groups.

Click the Kingdom map link, zoom into your area on the map, then click the colored area that covers your home to see information about the group you live in. Most groups will have a link for their website, Facebook group, or both. A Barony is a large group, a Shire is a smaller group, a Canton is a small group affiliated with a Barony, and a College is a group based on a college campus.

Look up your local group on Facebook

If you have a Facebook account, search for your group by its name. It may have a Facebook group that you can join to keep up with local activities and events as well as connect with the people in your group.

Talk to the Chatelaine
Most SCA groups have an officer called a Chatelaine/Castellan who is specifically entrusted with helping newcomers get oriented into the SCA. Check your local group’s website for their contact information. If your group doesn’t have a Chatelaine, contact the group’s Seneschal for assistance.

Talk to the Gold Key officer

Most SCA groups have also an officer called the Gold Key, whose job it is to arrange for loaner costumes (called “garb”). Before attending your first official event, reach out to your local Gold Key to see if they can provide appropriate garb for you. Some Gold Key officers even have dinner place settings, called “feast gear,” that you can borrow. After borrowing clothing, please make sure you wash and return it promptly. If your group doesn’t have a Gold Key officer, ask the Chatelaine or Seneschal (group leader) about borrowing garb.

Local Activities

Most groups have two types of activities: meetings/practices, and official events. Unless specifically noted in announcements, you are not expected to wear garb to meetings or practices. Local activities are a great way to meet the people in your area, form friendships, and learn new skills.

Many, many local activities will have loaner gear available, so to start with, you probably don’t need to buy your own armor, bow and arrows, throwing axes, or fencing mask and weapon. Once you’ve had a chance to try something and decide you like it, the people in charge can guide you to get the right equipment of your own.

Thrown Weapons competition. Photo by Cat Clark.

Most people will tell you that you should try everything! Take advantage of local activities to find out what you like. You may find that you enjoy some activities you never dreamed of trying. Remember that you don’t need to be good at an activity, you just need to have fun! If you practice enough, you will improve.

What about the children?

If you have children, you’re in luck – the SCA is a great place to raise kids. School age kids and teens can participate in many of the same activities adults do, like archery and thrown weapons, arts and sciences (crafts, music, etc.), and service (i.e. helping out). Some groups have officers specifically for providing youth activities, and some events have them as well. Just remember that you’re still responsible for your kids, and youth activities at SCA events are not babysitting services. Some parents work together to take turns watching kids or hire an SCA teen to babysit so they can spend part of their events doing non-kid stuff.

What you’ll need to attend events and participate

We’ve already talked about getting loaner garb from the Gold Key, but there are other things you’ll also want to have. Fortunately, there are ways to get what you need reasonably cheaply. Some suggestions:

  • Feast gear – your local thrift store probably has wooden or metal bowls and plates. Some might even have pretty silverware. A goblet is nice but a plain mug (preferably without a sports team’s logo on it) works just fine. Tip: don’t spend a lot of money on a mug, because Æthelmearc has a lovely tradition where the royalty call newcomers into court and gift them a drinking vessel. So stick around for court at your first event where the King & Queen are present!
  • A belt – you’ll want something to belt in your tunic and hold a pouch (which we’ll talk about in a moment). Again, thrift stores are a great resource. Look for something made of leather or cloth that isn’t too flashy.
  • A cloak – at outdoor events in cold weather or at night, you’ll want something to wear over your garb that isn’t a hoodie. Fortunately, the thrift store may have a used wool blanket or large shawl that you can drape over your shoulders. You don’t need a cloak for indoor events or daytime in the summer.
  • A hat – in warm weather, you’ll want a medieval-ish hat to keep the sun off your face. You can usually find straw hats at department stores like Target in the women’s clothing section (it’s ok guys, no one in the SCA will judge you) or sometimes in the sporting goods section.
  • A basket or pouch – you’ll want something to carry your stuff in (wallet, phone, keys, etc.) that doesn’t look modern. Instead of a purse or backpack, you can use a wicker basket from a thrift store or make a pouch (drawstring bag) out of a small piece of cloth. You can buy solid color cloth at Joann’s or Walmart, or you can buy a cheap piece of clothing at a thrift store and cut it into a pouch. Here’s a tutorial for making a pouch.

Finding events to attend

For a list of local activities, check your group’s website. Your group website may also list local events, but for a list of events being held throughout the Kingdom, go to the Kingdom website, select Quick Links at the upper-left, and choose Events Calendar (Map View). That way you can see where upcoming events are being held and choose the ones near you that you want to attend. Over time, you’ll begin to recognize the names of the local groups and know where events are located based on the area of the group.

Planning before attending an event

Practices and meetings are where we find out about local happenings and get to learn and practice skills ranging from fighting and fencing to sewing garb and painting, but events are where the action is! Some events are centered around specific activities, like combat or fiber arts, while others have a little of everything. Before heading off to your first event, do the following:

  • Read the event announcement. Make sure you understand everything about the event, including:
    • Date and opening/closing times. Most events are held on Saturdays, but some span a full weekend from Friday through Sunday, and some big ones may begin on Wednesday or Thursday before the main weekend. If there’s a particular activity you’re interested in, check for the activity start time, if listed. You wouldn’t want to miss it!
    • Fees. Most events have a site fee for admission, and if there is a feast (dinner), there’s usually a separate fee for that. Some people skip the feast and go out for dinner, but you’d be missing some spectacular food and the full medieval experience. If you can, reserve a spot at the event in advance. It makes planning easier for the autocrat (person organizing the event) and cooks. Even if there’s no feast, most events have a day-board (lunch, usually a buffet, sometimes a boxed lunch).
      • Reservations. Unfortunately, at the moment there is no way to send an electronic payment for events. The SCA is working on it at the Society level, but in the meantime you can either send a check in the mail (I know, that’s so last century) with your name and email/phone, or add the group’s payee name (who checks should be made out to) into your online banking system and send it that way. Your bank will mail the check. If you go that route, make sure to email the reservations clerk to let them know you sent an electronic payment, because they’ll have to check with the group’s Exchequer (Treasurer) to verify that the payment was received.
    • Location. There should be an address for the site in the event announcement. Plug it into your phone so your GPS knows where to go. If the site is in a remote location, you may want to ensure that the directions are available off-line in case you don’t have a connection.
    • The schedule. Event announcements usually list when the site opens and closes, and sometimes list when various activities start.
    • Overnight accommodations. Some sites for events that span a weekend have cabins, but most events expect you to either bring a tent, sleeping bag, etc., get a hotel room, or “crash” with another SCA member who lives in that group. Arranging crash space is usually done with people you already know.
    • Any other restrictions. Some sites don’t allow alcohol or pets (except service animals, of course). Some sites are not handicapped accessible. Some events have an attendance limit due to the size of the site. Don’t show up at an event and be unpleasantly surprised!
    • Get authorized if you want to participate in fencing or heavy weapons combat. To fight either form at an event, you must be authorized, which means you’ve proven to the marshals (people in charge of the applicable combat form) that you understand the rules and are safe in the list (field of combat). You might be able to do this at an event, but more likely you’ll need to authorize at a practice before the event. No authorization is required for thrown weapons or archery, but it’s a good idea to attend local practices if they’re available so you understand how they work and can safely participate.
    • Borrow equipment if needed. If you’re borrowing armor/weapons at local practices, ask the marshal if you can borrow them for any events you want to participate at. Loaner gear is seldom available at events without pre-arrangement.

Photo by Lady Sinn Larensdotter.

You’re at your first Event!

Here’s a brief guide to what to expect at most events.

  • Check-in at the Troll. Yes, troll – it’s a silly pun on the word “toll” and has a long history in the SCA. You will pay your event fee there, and may need to sign a waiver saying you won’t sue the SCA if you get hurt, though the odds of that happening are low, even if you’re engaging in martial activities or working with knives in the kitchen.
  • Change into your garb. Some events have changing rooms or tents, others expect people to change in the restrooms. You can also put your garb on at home.
  • Check out all of the activities. Watch or participate in tourneys, shoot some arrows, throw some axes, check out an A&S display/competition, join the dancing or singing, take a class, just do things. This is what makes the SCA different from a Renaissance Faire – you are there to be a participant, not a spectator!

Photo by Lady Arianna dal Vallone.

  • Listen for the word “Hold.” It means something dangerous might be happening and everyone should stop what they’re doing and look for a person in charge to let you know what the issue is and when it’s safe to resume activities. It’s mostly used for heavy combat and rapier fighting, so if you’re not on the list field (where the fighting happens) you’re probably OK, but it’s also sometimes used when other hazards occur, like a child running onto the archery range or someone getting too close to a campfire.
  • Eat some lunch. Don’t forget to bring your feast gear, and sit down with other people, even if you don’t know them. They may become new friends!
  • Meet new people. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation. Most people will love telling you about their SCA activities. It may feel daunting to introduce yourself to a stranger, but you can learn a lot by talking with other Scadians (slang for SCA members). You might start by saying “Hi, I’m [name] and I’m new to the SCA. Could you explain [xyz]? If the person you’re talking with can’t answer your question, they can probably introduce you to someone who can.
  • Volunteer. The SCA runs on volunteers – everyone you see running an activity at the event is unpaid help. Most events need assistance with basic things like setting up tents, moving tables and chairs, cleaning up after lunch, cutting veggies in the kitchen, or putting gear away. We appreciate everyone who makes events happen for all of us!
  • Go to court. Court is when the King and Queen, or the local Baron and/or Baroness, sit in state and give awards to people who’ve done good things, whether it’s service to the SCA or skill in an activity like fighting or cooking, or having won a competition. Awards usually come with scrolls, which are illuminated (painted) documents with calligraphy describing the reason for the award. Not every event has a court, but it can be fun watching people be recognized for doing good things, and there’s often cool pageantry, like a trumpeter or musicians playing processionals, banners, and a herald making announcements. If you’re very new, you might want to ask an experienced member to sit with you to explain what’s happening as there are a lot of different awards with names that often don’t have anything obvious to do with what they’re bestowed for. Make sure to stand and bow when the King & Queen or Baron/Baroness enter and leave court.

There’s lots more to know about the SCA, but we’ll leave those for another article. In the meantime, here’s a handy glossary to explain some terms you may hear mentioned at SCA functions.

Court Report: Melee Madness



Here begins the report of the Court of Andreas Morgan and Kallista Morgunova, Second of those names, 50th King and Queen of Æthelmearc at Melee Madness held within the Barony of the Endless Hills, May 27th AS 58. Po Silvertop, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald reporting, with the assistance of Mistress Amalie Reinhardt.

In Morning court:

Their Majesties invited Their Excellencies Magge and Nicolo of the Endless Hills before them. Baroness Magge welcomed Their Majesties with a song.

Their Majesties summoned THL Gwydeon Ap Arden, to ask if he was still prepared to undergo Elevation to the Chivalry. They then convened the Order of Chivalry and requested that Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn release him from his Squire’s oath and regalia. THL Gwydeon was then escorted to Vigil.

In Evening Court:

Their Majesties invited Their Excellencies Magge and Nicolo to hold their Baronial Court.

At an opportune moment as Lady Abigail Greywolf was being recognized by Their Excellencies for her service, Their Majesties resumed Their Court and requested Lady Abigail attend the Sylvan throne.  For her service to Kingdom and Barony, as retainer and herald, for the creation of largesse, and as site liaison, Lady Abigail was inducted into the Order of the Keystone. Scroll by Baroness Katherine Kiersey.

As Master Po was finishing the prior piece of business, Meisterin Amalie usurped the Jewel Herald’s location in Court and called for Master Po Silvertop’s presence in front of Their Majesties. Their Majesties spoke of his frivolity, humor, and good-natured fun that he brings to Æthelmearc and beyond (and helping keep our Kingdom “not boring”) and, thus, awarded him with membership in the Order of the Howling Wolf. Scroll words by Baron Fergus atte Mede, additional joke provided by Baron Caleb Reynolds, and micrography by Baroness Amalie Reinhardt. And, after the friendly threat of retaliation, she returned the Jewel Herald’s “spot” back to Master Po.

Upon the resumption of Their Majesties’ court…

Their Majesties welcomed all those who attended in the hopes that they had enjoyed the day.

Their Majesties invited all the newcomers present to come forward. They were given gifts of mugs made by the artisans of the Kingdom.

Their Majesties called forward the youth of the Kingdom present- and then permitted Don Jehan LeBlanc to volunteer as the day’s sacrificial runner of the toychest.

Their Excellencies Endless Hills came before Their Majesties to renew their Oath of Fealty.

Before allowing His Excellency Nicolo to return to his throne, Their Majesties reunited him with a long-missing scroll, his Keystone for Service. Scroll by Baroness Antoinette DeLorraine upon a text by some guy in a hat.

Hilarius Tiedmann was invited before the Crown and awarded Arms for his service as waterbearer and as a novice rattan fighter. Scroll by Mistress Amalie Reinhardt.

Katla Hines was also invited before the Crown and awarded Arms for her service as waterbearer and as a novice rattan fighter.  Scroll by Sir Ardan Scot.

THL Gwydion was requested to attend Their Majesties and discuss his Man-at-arms Stirmir Ulfdor for her notable growing prowess on the rattan field and her service, and she was therefore awarded a Golden Alce with an AoA. Scroll by Lady Lisabetta de Rossi.

Their Majesties requested Lady Abby Rose come forward, and They spoke at length of her artistry, as a scribe, a creator of jewelry and as a chef, and for her accomplishments They inducted her into Their Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Sir Murdoch Bayne.

Their Majesties required Baron Stefan Verdi Luftskyn attend them and noted his numerous years of service, prior, during and following his term as Landed Baron of the Endless Hills, as rapier marshal, houndsmaster, and more. Recognizing his true devotion to the Kingdom, Their Majesties called forth Their Order of the Millrind and bade him join their number. Scroll by Dame Zosia Kowalewska.

While the Millrinds attended the Crown, Baron Perote Gormal Campbell was called forward. Their Majesties described with delight the many times that Baron Perote had served both Æthelmearc and the Kingdom of the East, both in the kitchen and on the field. They therefore inducted him into the Order of the Millrind as well. Scroll by Lady Kolfinna Jodisardottir & some guy in a hat.

Their Majesties then summoned THL Gwydeon ap Arden to request his response to his Writ. The Crown then heard testimony from Duchess Rowan de la Garnison as a Royal Peer, from Matt as a member of the populace, from Master Po Silvertop the Rogue as a Master of Defense, from Master Rian Gortyroyan as a member of the Laurel, from Dame Jennet the Gentle as member of the Pelican, and from Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn as a member of the Chivalry. Satisfied with the testimony of the Peerages, with THL Gwydeon’s assent, he was invested with the regalia (belt, spurs, and cloak, as well as the Æthelmearc ancestral chain, Oldcastle lineage chain and personal chain) of a Knight of the Society. Upon receiving the last unanswered buffet and proclaiming his oath of fealty, Gwydion was dubbed Sir Gwydeon ap Arden, a Knight of Æthelmearc.  Scroll by Sir Murdoch Bayne

Their Majesties invited all Scribes to come forward and receive gifts of appreciation for their efforts. At the Royal command, Master Po “ran” the scribal box, pursued (leisurely) by the scribes of the Kingdom.

Her Majesty then spoke of the courage of Matt, for the bravery to come forward and speak openly of the difficulties he and Sir Gwydion and others face each day, and named him as Her inspiration for the day.

Their Majesties thanked all for attending and making the day wonderful and reminded all that the great War loomed closer on the horizon and entreated all to make preparations.

There being no further business, Court was then closed.

Court reports: Æthelmearc War Practice

Here begins the report of the Court of Andreas Morgan and Kallista Morgunova, Second of those names, 50th King and Queen of Æthelmearc at AE War Practice held within the Shire of Steltonwald, May 19 & 20th AS 58. Po Silvertop, Jewel of Aethelmearc Herald reporting, with the assistance of jorundr hinn rotinn, Silver Buccle Herald, Baron Salvadore De La Torres, Master Kieran and Lady Magdelena Txoperena

Fri evening on the battlefield:

Their Majesties invited THL Enzo de Pazzi to attend them. Complimenting him on his artistry at metalwork and armor, They gave leave for Mistress Laurencia of Carlisle to release him from her service. They then called for the Order of the Laurel to escort him to his vigil.

Lord Halfdan Danielson (also known as Bones) was called before the Crown, and for his notable prowess was inducted into the order of the Gage. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds.

Their Majesties then requested the presence of THL Rhys of Myles End, and after being relieved of his squire’s chain by Sir Oliver Sutton and his protégé belt by Mistress Katla úlfheþinn. Their Majesties invited the Order of the Chivalry to convene and escort him to vigil.

Saturday afternoon, on the battlefield:

Their Majesties convened Their Order of the Chivalry and His Majesty spoke of the prowess and dedication of THL Angus the Bull, and for those attributes Their Majesties presented him with a Writ to contemplate Elevation to the Chivalry. Writ by THL Sophie Davenport.

Their Majesties then summoned THL Rhys of Myles End to request his response to his Writ. The Crown heard testimony from HRH Juliana Delaware as a Lady of the Rose, from Magnifico Elena d’Artois as a Master of Defense, from Baroness Amalie Reinhardt (sending words via Baroness Elena de Palma) as a member of the Pelican, from Mahin Banu Tabrizi as a member of the Laurel, from HRH Gareth Kincaid as a Royal Peer, and from Baroness Beatrix Krieger as a member of the Chivalry. Satisfied with the testimony of the Peerages, with THL Rhys’ assent, he was invested with the regalia (ancestral chain, lineage chain, coat, belt, and spurs) of a Knight of the Society. Upon receiving the last unanswered buffet and proclaiming his oath of fealty, Rhys was dubbed Sir Rhys, a Knight of Æthelmearc.  Scroll by Christofano.

Court was then suspended. 

Later Saturday on the field:

Upon the Pennsic Field did Their Majesties, Andreas and Kallista, call before them Lord Dagon Wrathmonger, noting his undeniable prowess and efforts in hosting a winter fighting site for heavy weapons fighters and fencers alike, and did award him a Golden Alce. This scroll was later presented in his camp. Upon completion, Their Majesties’ court was again suspended.

Still later Saturday, in the AE Royal encampment:

Their Majesties, Andreas Morgan and Kallista Morgunova, do hereby exile from the Kingdom Valarie Kelly and Known in the SCA as Raven Whiteheart for the duration of Their Reign, this twentieth day of May, AS 58, at Æthelmearc War Practice.

In Saturday Evening Court:

Their Majesties welcomed Their Heirs as well as the Landed Nobility to join them in Their court.

Their Majesties welcomed all those who attended in the hopes that they had enjoyed the day.

Their Majesties invited the Autocrats, Mistress Alessandra d’Avignon and THL Aaliz de Gant to speak about the day and to thank the event staff.

Their Majesties permitted Their Jewel Herald, Master Po to make a plea to the populace for both donations of scroll cases for future courts as well as prizes for the upcoming Pennsic Novice Tourney.

Their Majesties invited all the newcomers present to come forward. They were given gifts of mugs made by the artisans of the Kingdom.

Rhys Dunlop was welcomed into Court, where he requested official residency as a member of the Æthelmearc populace, respectfully renouncing his prior Midrealm residency.

Their Majesties called forward the youth of the Kingdom present- and then chose Abby as the day’s sacrificial “runner of the toy chest”.

Their Majesties requested Lord Matthias Weasle come forward to discuss the day’s youth Champions tourneys. Hearing of the displays of prowess, they then welcomed Felix as Division 2 champion and Ragnar in Roude as Division 3 champion. Regalia was presented to each, including prize scrolls by Mistress Arianna of Winthorpe.

Mistress Elska a Fjarfelli was invited to discuss the day’s Kingdom Archery championship. While many displayed wonderful ability, the day’s winner and new Kingdom champion was determined to be Master Hrolfr a Fjarfelli. He accepted the prize quiver and Kingdom regalia and accepted a place amongst TRM’s Champions in Court.

Their Majesties welcomed an anonymous distinguished envoy Guest from the Pleasure Pavilions, who brought both an invitation and a challenge: that the Known World and Pennsic itself had lost touch with the mirth that once characterized the Society. Accusing Æthelmearc of allowing itself to become boring, the Pleasure Pavilions threw down a (borrowed, 6 fingered) gauntlet and challenged Æthelmearc to send “the Kingdom’s greatest fool” to defend the Kingdom against this accusation at a “Feast of Fools” competition to be held at Pennsic. Retrieving the gauntlet, Her Majesty mused aloud where She might find such a defender.

Upon vocal agreement between the Crown and Court, Their Majesties called Their Jewel Herald before Them and bestowed upon him a jester’s cap, asking him to accept the challenge.

Lord Winardis of Borderwatch was called before Their Majesties and for his Service was inducted into the Order of the Keystone. Scroll by Forveleth Dundee

Their Majesties requested the presence of Lord Daithi Mor Mac Cernaich and speaking of his prowess on the field inducted him into the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll by Eleanor Goodwin

The Crown then asked Lord Thorir of Aett Skyti to attend Them and for his enthusiasm and fearsomeness on the field added him to Their Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll by Cassia Carataca

Siuirtan O’cais was invited before the Crown and for his notable prowess upon the field they did induct Siuirtan into the Order of the Golden Alce with AOA. Scroll by Lady Zafira, calligraphy by Lady Marsaili Mac Lochlainn & words by some guy in a hat.

While admiring the micrography of Lord Siuirtan’s scroll, Their Majesties requested the responsible scribe come forward, they spoke to Lady Zafira bint Benjamin ibn Ibrahim of her myriad labors in service to the Crown and for such created her a Court Baroness. Scroll and Coronet by Angellin the Bookmaker

Scott of Delftwood was invited to appear before the Crown. Though new to the Society his Service has been great, and he was therefore awarded Arms.  Scroll by Lady Kolfinna Jodisardotti and some guy in a hat.

Lady Avitoria Vidua was requested by the Crown who spoke at length of her wonderful art for which she was inducted into the Order of the Fleur d’Aethelmearc. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Their Majesties called Mistress Alfrun Ketta before them, as They had come across a long-lost scroll detailing the incredible research and detail of her clothing, for which They inducted her into the Order of the Golden Mirror. Scroll by Forveleth Dunde.

Their Majesties invited Mistress Liadhain na Clerigh na Coilte to attend them and discussed with her the notable amount of Service she is known for and the reputation she has that goes beyond the Sylvan borders, for such accomplishments They offered her a Writ for Elevation to the Order of the Pelican. Writ by Graidhne ni Ruaidh.

Their Majesties then summoned THL Enzo de Pazzi to request his response to his Writ. The Crown heard testimony from Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh who spoke as a Jewel of Æthelmearc, Baron Magnus de Lyons who spoke as member of the Order Pelican, Duke Maynard von dem Steiner who spoke as Captain of the French, Duke Laurelen Darksbane of the Midrealm spoke as a Royal Peer, Sir Otto of Westphalia spoke as a member of the Chivalry, and Mistress Laurencia of Carlisle spoke on behalf of the Order of the Laurel. Finding such testimony worthy, the Honorable Lord was invested with regalia fit for his new station; cloak, hood, and medallion – and then swearing Fealty he was elevated to Master of the Laurel. Scroll by Kieran MacRae

Their Majesties invited all Scribes to come forward and receive gifts of appreciation for their efforts. Don Salvadore was chosen to run the scribal box.

The Honorable Lady Gesa von Wellenstein came forward to return a pouch containing golden acorns that she had found, fearing that they were the Royal Nuts gone missing…

Their Majesties thanked all for attending and making the day wonderful.

His Highness Prince Gareth reminded all that the great War loomed closer on the horizon and entreated all to make preparations.

There being no further business, Court was then closed.

— “Ex Adversum adveho continuo Schtick”

Scott H. Werbin (aka Master Po Silvertop the Rogue, OD)

Baron of Æthelmearc and the Kingdom of the East.
White Scarf of Æthelmearc Herald.
Æthelmearc Kingdom Deputy Rapier Marshal.
Licensed Renaissance Rogue #131
Renaissance Mercenary #305, Privateer #460



Introducing Our New Crown Prince and Princess, Murdoch & Rioghnach!


Photo by Mistress Amalie Reinhardt.

Prince Murdoch Bayne is a Knight, a Pelican, a Laurel in scribal arts, and a Court Baron. Princess Rioghnach ni Rose is a Pelican and a Court Baroness. They live in the Barony of Endless Hills, where they have both held multiple baronial offices and cooked many a feast. They are members of Hus Faerhaga, the household of Earl Yngvar the Dismal and Countess Caryl Olesdatter. As others have noted, Prince Murdoch came in second in multiple Crown Tournaments before emerging victorious this fall, finally vanquishing his “always a bridesmaid” past.

Their Highnesses sat down for an interview with Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

When and how did you find the SCA?

Murdoch: Like many Scadians, I’m a fan of Tolkien, D&D, and medieval fantasy. One day I was at a gaming shop playing Magic the Gathering when two people showed up in armor looking for recruits. My ears perked up at the idea of real fighting. I went home to Rioghnach and said “You have got to see this!”

Rioghnach: We started participating in local activities and attended our first event, Melee Madness, a year later, in 1996.

Please tell us about your personas.

Murdoch: I initially wanted to do Arthurian, 5th c. Romano-Celt, but then learned more history and less fantasy. After a brief stint with a Scottish persona, I settled on 12th c. English. I particularly love the clothes from that period.

Rioghnach: I’m 11th-13th c. Irish. My persona is less developed, since I’m not as much of a history buff. I primarily love all the things I can do and help to organize in the SCA, so my persona wis partly based on what I could wear while working in the kitchen.

Rioghnach, let’s clarify how to pronounce your name, and also how to spell it since it’s in the Order of Precedence as “ny Rise” but I’ve mostly seen it elsewhere as “ni Rose.”

Rioghnach: It’s pronounced Ree-oh-na, like the song “My Sharona.” The heralds changed my surname when I submitted my device, but I prefer “ni Rose”

Has either of you been an associate (squire, apprentice, protégé, etc.) to another peer?

Murdoch: I was squired to Earl Yngvar starting around 1998.

TRH with their daughter Abby Rose after winning Crown.

Your daughter, Abby Rose, is very involved in the SCA and received a Keystone last year. What should we know about her?

Rioghnach: Abby Rose is 21 and was born into the SCA. I love that she has the best of both of us: a service orientation and artistic flair. She knows what needs to be done, respects people’s titles, but has no peer fear.

Murdoch: Mundanely, she is in grad school, working on a Master’s degree in Art Therapy.

Murdoch is a scribe and a cook, and currently serves as Baronial Pursuivant, while Rioghnach is Baronial Exchequer and has autocratted events and worked in kitchens, served as Region 3 exchequer & seneschal, and has been local Seneschale, MoL, Pursuivant, and Minister of Youth. Whew, that’s a lot, but are there any other SCA activities you participate in?

Murdoch: I love doing everything, and never get bored with all the ways to do things in the SCA.

Rioghnach: I’m picking scribal back up after having originally gotten Murdoch into it.

Scroll by His Highness. The upside down text says “Murdoch”

People may not know that Murdoch’s scrolls often have secret messages, with upside-down letters at the ends of some lines which, if read from the end of the scroll to the beginning, reveal a joke or other saying. Why did you decide to do that?

Murdoch: I love hiding things in the scroll that are personal to the recipient, but I also like to make the lines of text fully justified so the right-hand margin is even.

What goals do you have for your reign? What do you think is the most important aspect of sitting the thrones?

Rioghnach: I want to ensure that we live up to the responsibility and the faith people have in us to do a good job.

Murdoch: We know that burnout is inevitable for some people, but when it’s coupled with “I don’t want to do this anymore” it’s our job to remind people that the SCA is a good thing. We can’t make everyone happy, but if we can help people remember that this is a fun, worthwhile thing, then we did our job. I would love to see more music, and more fun. To an extent, we are nostalgic for an SCA we were never involved in. When we first joined, we got a copy of the Known World Handbook, which was in many ways about an older, smaller SCA where you only saw your chosen family once every two months or so instead of all the time online.

Rioghnach: The Known World Handbook gave us a sense of wonder at the possibilities in the SCA, especially the camaraderie and friendship. We want to rekindle that sense of wonder folks get when they first join and “find their people,” because they may not fit the mold in the modern world, but there are people in the SCA just like them who can encourage them to have fun.

You’re a little unusual for Royalty in that you’re both Pelicans and His Highness is a Laurel. How do you think this will impact your approach to your reign and to working with the polling orders?

Murdoch: The polling orders aren’t unfamiliar to us, so we’re ahead of the learning curve. We have been around long enough to understand that there is an administrative side and a game side to the SCA which don’t always mesh. Not everyone’s going to be happy with a decision, but people need to be grounded in an understanding of what’s right and balanced. Royals are their own people, they have their own opinions, but they need to consider more than that.

Rioghnach: We plan to consider award recommendations on a case-by-case basis, looking at what kind of support a candidate has from the order. While we’re still figuring out what that looks like from the Crown side, we hope our experience as members of the orders will help.

With Duke Magnus Tindal winning Eastern Crown for Master Emerson True a few weeks ago, this may be the first time that Kings from the same household (Hus Faerhaga) will reign over two different Kingdoms at Pennsic. Presumably this will make Pennsic negotiations a little easier. Have you had a chance to talk to your counterparts in the Middle yet?

Rioghnach: the funny thing is, we already knew of Tsarevich Ivan and Tsarevna Katalena because their daughter ran the Pennsic internship program this past year, and our daughter, Abby Rose, was a participant. The two girls became close, and exchanged excited text messages when their parents both won Crown. We’ve had some email correspondence with Their Highnesses of the Middle, and they’re coming to our Kingdom 12th Night.

Murdoch: regardless of which side we’re on at Pennsic, we love the idea of encouraging the royal kids to spend time together. We’ve all encountered the concern in Endless Hills and our household that we need younger folks to take on responsibility and offices. The SCA is aging out and we need to encourage younger people to consider what the SCA has to offer.

Pennsic reigns are special beasts unto themselves, and a huge amount of work for the Crown. Have you had a chance to think about what you would like to do at Pennsic that might be different from past reigns?

Rioghnach: Since the day we won Crown, I wanted to get my head on straight about what it meant to be Pennsic Crowns, because the reign and Pennsic are two separate things. Right now, we’re focusing on the reign, including getting staff in place. Baroness Helena Mützhasenin will be our reign coordinator, Lady Abby Rose will be our head retainer, and THLady Æsa Hegulfsdottir is our garb coordinator.

Murdoch: We haven’t seen Pennsic from the Royal side much, so we’re talking with past Royalty, asking what they did, what they wish they had done differently, things like that. We’ve had a lot of offers of help and advice from former Royals, which is great because we don’t know what we don’t know.

This will be the first time Endless Hills has been home to Royalty. How do think that will impact the Barony?

Murdoch: There are a lot of households represented in the Barony, like Black Priory and Arindale, who’ve been involved with reigns before, so we’ve gotten a lot of advice from them. Endless Hills folks aren’t starstruck by us, but they are by the role of Prince and Princess.

Rioghnach: We have always lived in Endless Hills. Murdoch was first knight in the Barony. It’s a large group geographically, but not by population. Being on the outer edge of kingdom, we might have started off at a disadvantage, but there’s been lots of growth over last 25 years. We have many peers now, and lots of folks have been in the SCA a long time and stayed, mentoring others and expanding into households. We hope our reign will be helpful to the Barony in terms of growth, helping others to see what’s possible. Once you get the first peer in your Barony, you can envision getting others. We hope that being the first royalty from Endless Hills may kick the door open for others to believe they can be royalty, too.

What are you most looking forward to about your time as Heirs and eventually Sovereigns of Ӕthelmearc?

Rioghnach: Recognizing people, because we’ve been behind the scenes and know what to look for to find out who needs to be recognized. You’re always going to be someone’s King & Queen, the ones who had that impact and were an inspiration, which is what we want to be.

Murdoch: Wearing the Crowns and having new garb is cool – of course we care about that – but the best part of the job is what we can do for the kingdom. We’re very happy and excited.

What do you do mundanely?

A drinking vessel made by His Highness.

Murdoch: I was a baker for 13 years, but multiple different shifts in same week caused burnout. Then I took a physical plant job at the university when Abby Rose was in high school so she could go to college tuition-free. Now all three of us are in college; I’m a ceramics major.

Rioghnach: I’ve been working in corporate America with an insurance company for 22 years. I’m currently a junior in college, studying psychology, and hoping for a career change to better be able to help people. Working full time with school a couple of nights a week plus the SCA is a lot, but we’ve managed to structure our schedule so we have weekends free.

Ask Another Laurel: Water, Water Everywhere


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by Caleb Reynolds, who takes you for a walk in the woods and points out the rabbit holes…

Is it true that no one in medieval Europe drank plain water because they didn’t trust it?

Wax well in Middlesex, dates back to 1274.

The short answer is “no”.

The long answer is “noooooooooooo”.

But, weren’t prisoners given only bread and water as a punishment? Well, yes. In a way. Being confined to bread and water was a standard method of treating prisoners, and it was a punishment used by the church levied on people who broke ecclesiastical law or who committed cardinal sins. For example, the 11th-century writer Burchard of Worms offers this penalty against people who swore against God:

“If thou hast sworn by God’s hair or by His head or made use of any other blasphemous expression against God, if thou hast done so but once unwittingly, thou shalt do penance for seven days on bread and water. If after having been upbraided for it thou hast done it a second or a third time, thou shalt do penance for fifteen days on bread and water.”

The Penitential of Columban states that a cleric who begets a child must do penance of seven years pilgrimage, with only bread and water for sustenance.

But we must remember that the punishment wasn’t the bread and water: for the most part, the bread and water was of good quality. There are plenty of cases where the bread was moldy or the water was stagnant or dirty, but those were the exception rather than the rule. Most people who were confined to bread and water were expected to live through the punishment, so they weren’t poisoned; mostly, it was a temporary punishment. But, again, the punishment wasn’t the bread and water; the punishment was not having anything better. No bacon, no ale, no wine, no mocha frappuccinos. Only the basic food and drink to keep you alive.

Skinner’s Well.

Water was, is, and always has been, the most important beverage for every living person that ever existed. It was not only the most important ingredient in cooking and brewing, but it was consumed straight up. Yes, there are more references to drinking beer, wine, mead, etc. than to drinking water because water was so common. If you were to read through a year’s worth of cooking magazines, you will find a thousand references to beer, wine, spirits, tea, and coffee for each reference to drinking plain water. Future historians might assume that water was rarely consumed, on its own, in our lifetimes, if they only had access to Bon Appétit. But, the words of our ancestors do clearly tell us that they drank water. Ovid wrote in Epistoloe Ex Ponto (12-13AD), “There is no small pleasure in sweet water. [Lat., Est in aqua dulci non invidiosa voluptas.]”

From Baccaccio’s 14th century The Decameron: “And when they descended to inspect the huge, sunlit courtyard, the cellars stocked with excellent wines, and the well containing abundant supplies of fresh, ice-cold water, they praised [their lodgings] even more.” Ælfric of Eynsham wrote in the 10th century, “Ale if I have any, or water if I have no ale.” A Brother Leonard of the monastery of St. Jacques, in Liège, wrote, in the 14th century, “Avoid small and strong ale and beer, unless very old or sour. But wine or water and the like, however, take as drink.” In the 6th century, the monastery of St. Gwenolé’s at Landevenec in Brittany, required that the monks were only to drink “water and what could be made of the fruit of woodland or wild trees” and that they were to drink “no liquor of grapes nor honey, neither milk nor ale”.

A Swiss Friar, named Felix Fabri, wrote a lengthy account of his pilgrimage to Jerusalem (late 15th Century). He wrote that water is the usual drink of the ordinary pilgrim, although those rich enough brought their own wine. He also recommended avoiding the strong wines of Cyprus, unless they were watered down. He recommended that pilgrims carry at least two bottles; one for water and the other well hidden for wine to avoid the disapproval of the Muslims, once they arrived in Palestine. Friar Felix frequently commented on the flavor of various streams and wells that they stopped at, on their way to and from the Holy Land. Some of them he spoke of highly. The water of the Jordan River, however, had little to recommend it except the religious connections: “It was not very pleasant to drink, being warm, and as muddy as a swamp.” Very well-off pilgrims were instructed to buy three nice barrels: two for wine and one for water. “The best water for keeping is to drawn at St. Nicholas, and when that is used fill the barrel again at any port of call.” “The Pilgrims Guide To Santiago De Compostela”, written in the 12th Century, is a travel guide for pilgrims telling of dangers to avoid and sites to see on your pilgrimage. It tells which rivers you can safely drink from and which are unsafe.

Coldbath spring.

Water was the requisite drink during fasts, particularly the more solemn ones, when only bread and water were consumed.  Again, they were giving up everything that would have tasted better; they were not trying to poison themselves with foul water. People categorized the quality sources such as rain, spring, well, river, lake, snow, and ice. Pure spring water was considered the best and stagnant water was the worst. Bartholomew the Englishman, in the 1200’s, ranked spring water from a northward flowing spring as being the best water to drink; in decreasing order came river water, lake water, pond water, and then swamp water. With these came the warning that water not from a spring was often poisonous and should always be boiled, which clearly means that Bartholomew understood that bad water could be made good, if it was boiled, although we can assume that he knew nothing of pathological microbiology.

Soldiers and sailors took considerable time and effort to make sure that fresh water was barreled and transported while on the march or at sea. Early long-distance sailing was made up of short hops from one source of fresh water to another, so that the ships would not have to carry more than a few days worth of water. Modern recommendations for soldiers in the field call for two to 10 liters of water per soldier per day, depending on the environment, temperature and activity. There is no reason to assume that these quantities would be any less for medieval soldiers or sailors. These amounts of water would take up a lot of space aboard a ship or require a long baggage train to carry. Journeys were planned on where to get fresh water to refill stock for the next leg of the journey.

Crusaders lost the Battle of Hattin (1187) because they did not bring enough water for the journey from Sapphorie towards Tiberias. Experts on modern logistics calculated that only enough water was brought for a journey of three days; the time it would take a fast horse and rider to make the journey. But an army of 20 to 30,000 infantry would have needed at least a week to cover the same distance. A common tactic, in desert warfare, was to fortify water sources to prevent the enemy from reaching it, which is what Saladin did at the Horns of Hattin. Extreme warfare called for poisoning the water to sicken or kill large numbers of the enemy.

Natural springs, sometimes called holy wells, were common and well used. London had 20 such holy wells at the time of the Norman Conquest. William FitzStephen, a monk, wrote around 1180, “There are also in the northern suburbs of London springs of high quality, with water that is sweet, wholesome, clear, and whose runnels ripple amid pebbles bright. Among which Holywell, Clerkenwell and St. Clement’s Well have a particular reputation; they receive throngs of visitors and are especially frequented by students and young men of the city, who head out on summer evenings to take the country air.” The Lady Well was close to Ladywell Road, west of the river Ravensbourne. It had probably been a holy well dedicated, like the nearby church, to St Mary the Virgin. The first known record of it dates from 1592. It supplied water to the nearby buildings until the building of a sewer in Ladywell Road in 1855 caused it to run dry.

An Italian food and health manual from the 14th century recommends water in the following fashion: “Warm Water (Aqua Calida) Nature: Cold and humid in the second degree. Optimum: Lukewarm and sweet. Usefulness: It cleans the stomach lining. Dangers: It weakens the mechanism of digestion. Neutralization of the dangers: By mixing it with rose water.”

In addition, we have quite a number of laws that were written to protect the water supply. A regulation from Paris in 1296, for example, stipulated that no cloth was to be bleached within six feet of any well. Laws were written, in various towns and cities, dictating where laundry could be washed; where tanners could set up shop; where butchers could dump their offal: all downstream of where people got their drinking water. Regulations from the Roman Legions, in force up until the 5th century AD, clearly detailed the punishments for letting horses, donkeys, or oxen drink water upstream of where soldiers collected their drinking water.

De re aedificatoria, title page of the 1541 edition.

Records across Europe indicate the importance of clean drinking water, as well as the time and effort spent in providing easy access to it. The Franciscan Friary, in Southampton, built a sophisticated system of pipes, in 1304, to transport water over almost 2km from a natural spring. The delivery system provided enough water for the Friary’s brewery, kitchen, fountains, water mills and laundry with enough left over to provide fresh water to the village of Southampton. Archaeological evidence indicates that vast sums were spent on water delivery systems to towns and cities. In addition to the ancient Roman and Greek aqueducts, many of which were in constant use up until the 20th century, new aqueducts were built in the Middle Ages. Castelnau, in the south of France, built an aqueduct to provide water to the village, in 1433. Sometime between then and 1665 the aqueduct was expanded and a water pond was built to catch and hold rainwater.

Leon Battista Alberti, a 15th century engineer, wrote the following in “De Re Aedificatoria”, “Since a city requires a large amount of water not only for drinking, but also for washing, for gardens, tanners and fullers, and drains, and — this is very important — in case of sudden outbreak of fire, the best should be reserved for drinking, and the remainder distributed according to need.” In the 12th century, the Belgian town of Ypres built 23km of pipes that supplied 891 public and private cisterns. Excavations in 1847 uncovered wood and lead pipes up to 11.5cm in diameter. Town records in 1280 show that the town appointed four pipemasters to oversee the water system and to issue fines to anyone who polluted the water system. In 13th century London, the city council began constructions on what was then called “The Great Conduit”, which was a complex network of pipes and pumps that brought water from a fresh spring at Tyburn to large cisterns at Cheapside, which then fed local cisterns and wells all across London. Most people either drew their water from the nearest well or paid a “water cob”, or water-carrier, to bring them water in a pair of three-gallon buckets suspended from a yoke carried across the cob’s shoulders.

The Venerable Bede wrote that King Edwin of Northumbria “established a benefit for his people in that in many places where clear springs or streams ran by well-used roads, where they were most frequented he ordered posts with bronze bowls hung on them to be set up for the refreshment of travelers.” Michelangelo, the famous Renaissance artist and turtle, was advised to drink water from a spring outside of Rome. “I am much better than I have been.” he wrote to his doctor. “Morning and evening I have been drinking the water from a spring about forty miles from Rome, which breaks up the [kidney] stone … I have had to lay in a supply at home and cannot drink or cook with anything else.” Lupus Servatus, the 9th century Abbot of Ferrieres, in Bordeaux, wrote, “Let us make use of a healthy, natural drink which will sometimes be of benefit to both body and soul … if it is drawn not from a muddy cistern but from a clear well or the current of a transparent brook.”

We must acknowledge that given a choice, most people would choose a flavored beverage over plain water, but we all drink water. We must also acknowledge that in the days before modern water treatment, drinking plain water could be hazardous to one’s health: microscopic pathogens can sicken and kill a person even if that person doesn’t know a thing about germ theory. Our medieval ancestors might not have understood the mechanisms of invisible water borne diseases, but they knew that if the water was cloudy, or smelled, it was probably not safe to drink. Boiling the water to make soup, ale, mead, or much later, coffee and tea, made the water safer to drink. But I am confident that if we were to offer a cup of clean, cold water to a random person anytime in the far past, it would be much appreciated.

One last note, and a spark to light one’s imagination: London’s “Great Conduit” was so sophisticated that the water could be shut off for any given area, not only for repairs, but for public celebrations. We have records of the cisterns being filled with wine and pumped out to all local wells in celebration of Edward I’s return from Crusade as well as for the coronation of Richard II. So much wine was used that all citizens of London could drink their fill all day long. If anyone is looking for a research project: enjoy.

Second Court Report of Andreas and Kallista at Their Coronation April 1, 2023

Here begins the report of the second (evening) court of Andreas Morgan and Kallista Morganova, second of those names, 50th King and Queen of Æthelmearc at Coronation held within the College of Silva Vulcani, April 1st AS 57. Po Silvertop, Jewel of Aethelmearc Herald reporting, with the assistance of Jorundr Hinn Rotinn, Silver Buccle Herald, Nichola Beese, and Gytha Oggsdottir, Silver Sycamore Herald.

Their Majesties welcomed all and thanked the populace for attending.

Their Majesties invited all the newcomers present to come forward. They were given gifts of mugs made by the artisans of the Kingdom.

Their Majesties called forward those present who were young or young-at-heart and then chose Abby as the day’s sacrificial “runner of the toy chest.”

Their Majesties requested the presence of the Autocrat, Mistress Gabrielle de Winter, who thanked everyone for coming and thanked her staff for assisting in making the event happen.  She also discussed the results of the Largesse competition: Silva Vulcani (first attempt at a new art), Pennsic 50 Largesse (tie- Lord Rhys Talon & Lady Ragna Haakonardottir of Skara), and the overall winner Lady Charlotte Stark

His Majesty discussed the Sylvan Rattan Championship Tourney and announced the winner: Duke Ionnes Aurelius Serpentius. His Grace came forward and swore fealty and agreed to bear the Sword of State in Court.

Their Majesties called forward Lady Charlotte Stark and for her service in event preparation and the creation of largesse and inducted her into the Order of the Keystone (Scroll by THL Nichola Beese)   The Moneyer’s Guild was allowed to present a gift of coins to commemorate this Coronation to Their Majesties.

Their Majesties demanded the presence of Lord Liam of Erin who belatedly attended The Crown and was eventually recognized with induction into the Order of the Golden Alce for his growing prowess in multiple forms of combat. (scroll illuminated by Baron Ixac ben Simone, using line art by Baroness Eleanor of Grey, with text and Calligraphy by Meisterin Amalie Reinhardt)

Their Majesties requested the presence of Baroness Graidhne ni Ruaidh, and for her welcoming, generous, and courteous nature, awarded her inclusion into the Order of the Cornelian (Scroll by THL Nichola Beese)

Their Majesties called forward Lord Godzimir the Golden and for his prowess with all things sharp, pointy and thrown, granted him into Their Order of the White Horn (Scroll by Meisterin Amalie Reinhardt)Their Majesties called forward Baroness Katerina McGilledoroughe, and marveling at the sheer mount of service she does throughout the kingdom as well as at Pennsic insisted on numbering her amongst the Order of the Millrind. (Scroll by Master Jon Blaecstan)Their Majesties then asked for the attendance THL Rachel Dalicieux, and for her work in the Signet’s office, added her to the Order of the Millrind (Scroll by Sir Arden Scot)Their Majesties called forward Lady Bryanna Eileen Taith-lach and for her Service with hospitality and crafts inducted her into the Order of the Millrind (Scroll by Sir Arden Scot)

Their Majesties requested the attendance of any representatives of the Shire of Sterlynge Vayle’s Rattan Community.  Upon his approach THL Gwydeon ap Arden was found to be in possession of an illicit substance: “Sprinkles”.  To determine the legality of his possession, The Crown consulted with Their Order of the Chivalry- and subsequently bestowed upon that gentle a Writ for the Order of the Chivalry. (Scroll by Baroness Sophie Davenport)Their Majesties then demanded Don Cyrus Augur be brought before them to answer the charges that he had participated in numerous illegal duels and afterwards that he had fled the Kingdom.  Her Majesty Kallista Morganova herself testified as a Lady of the Rose.  Duke Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn spoke as a Member of the Chivalry.  Mistress Gabrielle de Winter and Master Diego Miguel Munoz de Castilla argued on behalf of the Order of the Pelican. Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen spoke as member of the Order of the Laurel.  Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe bore witness as the Father of the Sylvan Rapier Army.  Further testimony from the Order of Defense was provided both by Master Jacob Martinson and Master Po Silvertop. Final evidence was offered by his mentor, Comtesse Elena d’Artois le Tailleur. Taking all testimony and evidence into account, Their Majesties did invest Don Cyrus with the regalia Cloak, and the book and box of the Æthelmearc Order of Defense, the ancestral collar of Æthelmearc, a lineage collar, and a personal collar. After Don Cyrus swore fealty, he received a final unanswered buffet from Her Majesty and was pronounced Master Cyrus Augur, the newest Master of Defense.  (scroll by THL Mei lan, upon a text by Comtesse Elena and Mistress Gabrielle)

Her Majesty called THL Bjarki Rikarðarson and for his prowess on the field, named him Queen’s Inspiration and gave him a token.

Their Majesties called all the scribes, wordsmiths, and regalia-wrights to join them for thanks, and naming the work of THL Nicola Beese as their favorite for the day bestowed upon her the honor of running the scribal box.

Their Majesties thanked all those for attending.

Here closes the Court Record

In Memoriam: THLord Kenn the Just



Lady Katya with THLord Kenn

THLord Kenn the Just of the Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog passed away on October 7th of a brain tumor.

His Lordship was instrumental in establishing thrown weapons in St. Swithin’s Bog. He also participated in rapier combat and archery, for which he held the rank of Master Bowman. He was a recipient of both the Order of the Millrind for service and the Order of the White Horn for thrown weapons.

His wife, Lady Katerina de la Marne, known as Katya, said “Kenn and I were married for 30 years. He was quiet and had the patience of a Saint. He was wicked smart and a fantastic partner for trivia. Loved my girls as his own and was proud of each of their accomplishments. He was so incredibly proud of [his] grandsons, and would sit for hours to watch them at horse shows, football or baseball games.

Kenn devoted his life to children on the autistic spectrum, often working with a child from elementary school through aging out of the system.
Kenn treated me like a queen. I will forever be grateful for his love. He helped me through too many health scares over our 30 years. I had the honor of being by his side these last 14 weeks as he battled with glioblastoma. He was brave and valued quality of life over quantity.”

Lady Katya continued “Kenn never liked attention on what he did. He did it (teaching fencing archery or thrown weapons) because he enjoyed watching others learn. The look on the grandsons’ faces when they started to stick the axes in the target. And the first bullseye deserved a treat and a photo. Kenn was so extremely proud when we took the 2 eldest grandsons to War practice and Damian went over to get his bow inspected and then shoot without him . It was a moment of pride for both of them.”

Dame Caroline of Burgundy says ” I wouldn’t be where I am today without THL Kenn the Just.

Thirty years ago on a Sunday afternoon I happened to attend a medieval demonstration in the Shire of St. Swithin’s Bog. It was the last day of their annual Three Day Event and it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I was watching the fencing demonstration and Kenn handed me an epee and said, “I think you can do this”…. and I did, and it was the coolest thing I had ever done. I started going to regular practices & meetings and one day Kenn said, “I think you should become the Bog fencing marshal”…. and I did, and it was the most rewarding thing I had ever done. Kenn was an accomplished swordsman, an excellent teacher, and an inspiring friend. I owe my entire SCA career to a great man who said many times along my journey…. “You can do this”…. and I did.”

Mistress Rosheen o Faye, former Baroness of St. Swithin’s Bog, recalls, “THL Kenn the Just is the main reason I got into thrown weapons. I remember I attended a Baronial Champs held at Tower and Cynthia’s house. Kenn had the thrown weapons range set up and asked if I wanted to throw? I said no, since I never threw before and didn’t want to get in the way of those throwing for Champs. Kenn insisted. I threw a few practice throws and I did ok. He said I should throw for a Royal Round score. I’ll never forget that first score as long as I live. I got a 19/120. I thought I did terrible, but Kenn must have seen something in me.

For years after that day, a bunch of us would meet at Kenn and Katya’s house every Friday night for thrown weapons and archery practice. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in the SCA. We threw together, we grew together, we heckled one another, and we practiced. We even nicknamed ourselves the “Metal Flingers”. After practices, we would stick around and talk and laugh around the fire, or in the kitchen when it was too cold, or the weather didn’t cooperate.

Our hobby brings us together because we share a common purpose. We want to learn how to fight, or shoot archery, or throw or sew or brew. So we meet up with like-minded people to do the thing. If we’re lucky, sometimes those chosen things turn into something more. Kenn turned our weekly practices into something more. We would start planning vacations and outings and dinners together to NOT do the thing. Kenn was the reason friendships blossomed and grew. He was the center of that world for a really long time, and I can’t thank him enough for being the person we were all drawn to. I will miss him dearly.”

Master Ian Campbell said “When I joined the SCA in 1992 Kenn was one of the first persons I met. At the time he was still fencing and would graciously teach anyone who wanted to learn. Years later he turned his sights to archery and thrown weapons. His enthusiasm for thrown weapons led to the surge and prowess of Bog throwers. For years Kenn and Katya opened their home every Friday for archery and thrown weapons practices.

Kenn was one of the most honorable and just persons I have known. He was a patient and caring teacher in and out of the society. He will be sorely missed. Rest easy my friend, keep the bonfire lit. We’ll all be there in time.“

Donations to assist his family with medical bills can be made at Kenn’s GoFundMe.

Memorial Shield by Konstantia Kaloethina

Populace in Focus: Lady Niamh bean Bhrain ui Labhradha

Name:  Diana Lowry

SCA Name & title:  Lady Niamh bean Bhrain ui Labhradha

Years in the SCA:  22 years

How did you find out about the SCA?  A friend took me to Pennsic. It was my first event. I attended two more Pennsics on my own and found out what Kingdom and local group I belonged to. I became a member and started attending local events.

Where did you start, what was your first event?  My first event was technically Pennsic, but my first event as a member of the SCA was Vikings in the Snow held by the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands in the winter of 2002. I was mesmerized and immediately hooked.

What is your persona?  I am of Irish Gaelic persona living as a 10th century Norse Viking.

Why did you pick this persona? I joined a household that was primarily Viking persona. I found the garb practical and comfortable. I started to read more about Viking history and life and became more and more drawn into that persona.

Do you have any group or household affiliations?  Yes. I’m a non-resident member of the Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog and a resident member of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands. I’m a member, Treasurer, and Camp Mom for the Household Talbots Keep.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA.  I’m a licensed Social Worker and a Certified Case Manager for a Medicaid Insurance Company. I work from home and absolutely love my job. I get to help others and solve problems. I have been a social worker for 19 years. I have a husband who also actively participates in the SCA and an awesome son, who is currently a sophomore in high school. I have two dogs and a big family who loves to get together. I love spending time with my friends and family and consider myself a very social person.

What SCA activities do you or have you participated in?  I started off with archery which led to combat archery and siege both of which I still participate in and love to do. I really love event planning, coordinating activities, working Troll, retaining, helping at events, hanging by a campfire, taking classes, and shopping.

Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.)   I was the Exchequer for the Shire of Griffon’s Keep for 7 years. I’m currently Treasurer and Camp Mom for the Household, Talbots Keep, and I am Deputy social media Officer for the Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog.

When you started in the SCA what goals did you have?  When I started, I didn’t really have any goals for myself. I was initially just having a great time and primarily focused on my husband’s goals. Since I have become more involved with my local groups and household, I have really started to come into my own niche and formulate my own aspirations.

What are your goals now?  Currently my goal is to become more involved on the Service path. I recently became Protege to Dame Ursula and I am very excited for this new opportunity and adventure.

What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA?  At first, I found it intimidating to approach individuals who were maybe on the Throne or peers. I have since become much more comfortable and confident and enjoy meeting people, making new friends, and making others feel welcome in Society.

After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA? Getting back to events!

If you could accomplish only one thing in the SCA in the next year, what would it be?  I would love to be either a Reign Coordinator or Head Retainer. I have good organizational skills and feel I would do well in either of those roles.

What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself what question would you ask and who would you ask it of?  The advice I would give to a new person would be to have fun! This is supposed to be fun, not stressful or a hardship. Find something you enjoy doing and give yourself time to find what you enjoy doing. And always remember to help and include others whenever you can.

If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be?  To control the Weather.

Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why. An Order of the Howlings Wolf. I think I’m fun, I love to spread cheer, have a good time, and make others laugh. I try to include others in fun and revelry whenever I can.

Interested in participating in Populace in Focus? Find out how below:

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Pandemic Deputy Position Ending


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Greetings from your newly minted Kingdom Seneschal.

In consultation with Duke Christopher Rawlyns and The Crown, I have decided to shutter the pandemic deputy position. This decision is largely based on there being no CDC or SCA Inc directives for us to follow as an organization at this time, and people’s continued sensitivity to the safety of others.

I would like to thank His Grace for being an important part of our pandemic response that carried us through the trying times of the shutdown. Difficult decisions had to be made, but in the end we are still hale and whole as a kingdom, and in the end that is the most important consideration. He has been an inspiration to me as a former kingdom seneschal, and no small part of why I offered my services to the kingdom.

Though we will not have a pandemic deputy at this time, know that we remain ever vigilant concerning this and any emerging public health concerns. The health and safety of the populace is of paramount importance.

In Service to the Dream,

Patrick DeWind

Kingdom Seneschal, Æthelmearc

Barún Pádraig Ó Branduibh

Pronouns: He/Him