Yesterday a great lady finally received a scroll honoring her contributions to the lands of AEthelmearc. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reveals the history behind the scroll.
In the spring of Anno Societatis 24, the western region of the East Kingdom had held a vote, chosen a name and arms, and presented our proposal to the SCA Board of Directors asking to become a Principality. After due deliberation, our request was granted and we became the “Crown Principality” of Æthelmearc. A Crown Principality is one that has no Prince and Princess. A Coronet Tourney was scheduled for September with an Investiture in December, but in the intervening months, we still needed a leader. Upon the recommendation of the regional officers, the Board and the Crown of the East chose Mistress Cassadoria Finialla to serve as Lady Protector and ceremonial head of Æthelmearc. She served admirably in that role through the summer and fall of A.S. 24, including leading our people at Pennsic 18. Though she was not permitted to give awards, she became a rallying point and a symbol of the hopes and dreams of our fledgling Principality.
When the time came for Mistress Cassadoria to relinquish the reins of power to our first Prince and Princess, Tarbold and Cainder, at their investiture in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on December 2nd of A.S. 24, King Horic and Queen Lea of the East felt it only right and proper that Cassadoria be recognized for her service in a lasting way, and bestowed upon her a Court Barony.
Fast forward to early spring in the waning days of A.S. 50. I was tasked with persuading gentles from Æthelmearc to loan their “historic” SCA scrolls for a display at the SCA 50 Year Celebration in the Midrealm. I was fortunate to be permitted to borrow some of the most amazing and storied art of our Kingdom, from our first Viscountess, our first Count and Countess, our first Knight and Pelican, to our very recent first Master of Defense. But to my mind, the biggest prize of all would have been Mistress Cassadoria’s Court Barony scroll in recognition of her service as Lady Protector, the first feudal overlord of Æthelmearc.
There was just one catch. When I contacted Mistress Cassadoria, I was dismayed to learn that she had never received a scroll in recognition of that Court Barony. It had been 27 years, and she still had no scroll. “Oh,” she said to me when I told her that ought to be fixed, “It’s all right, I’d rather that newer people receive their scrolls first, I don’t need another one.”
Perhaps so, but I felt that the Kingdom needed to remember the work of this remarkable lady. And so it is that her apprentice, Baroness Cecily of Whitehaven, painted the illumination, while I penned the words, on the scroll that was finally presented by the Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands, Brandubh and Hilderun, with the gracious permission of Their Majesties, Marcus and Margerite, on January 27, A.S. 51 at 12th Night in the Canton of Steltonwald, so that all will remember the glory of Æthelmearc’s founding, and Baroness Cassadoria’s role in its story.
Here’s the text of the scroll:
Let all know that We, Horic and Lea, King and Queen of the East, have noted the grace with which our fair and right well-beloved Cassadoria Finialla has served as Lady Protector of Our Crown Principality of Æthelmearc, leading her people through a time of joyful change. Therefore do we invest her with a coronet of six pearls, signifying the dignity and splendor of a Baroness of Our Court. Done by Our hand and seal upon this 2nd day of December, A.S. 24, at the first Principality Investiture in Our Barony of the Rhydderich Hael.