‹From the event steward for Iris Festival and Kingdom Equestrian Champs, With Iron Comet Challenge, THL Hara Kikumatsu.
The Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands Iron Comet Challenge, Japanese Iris Festival, and Kingdom Equestrian Champs event is only a few days away, on June 4th. We hope for a beautiful, fun-filled day.
Last minute reminders:
1. SCA Covid protocols as of the event date will be enforced. Please be prepared to show your vaccination record or proof of a negative Covid test upon arrival at the event or at event setup Friday evening.
2. No food will be served, so bring food and drink. No glass bottles please.
3. Remember sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, a chair to sit on and, if you have one, a pop-up for shade.
4. There is handicap accessible parking, next to handicap restrooms, and an all gender changing tent. There are also separate Lords & Ladies changing tents.
5. Service animals only (other than the horses). They must be on a leash.
Iron Comet Challenge Rules:
1. For adults to be eligible for the iron comet challenge, you must enter the A&S competition, and have fought in at least 3 of the four non-equestrian martial tournaments.
2. Scoring will be done by tournament winner get 10 points, second 9 points, etc for each of the tournaments. The scores are added.
3. Youth iron comet winner will be determined by a combined archery, thrown weapons, and arts and sciences tournaments score.
4. Youth scores are tallied for only the youth, not as part of adult scores.
A Little More on the Event:
Here is the event page: http://debatablelands.org/events/2022-06-04%20Japanese%20Iris%20Festival.php. The event will have fencing, thrown weapons, heavy fighting, and archery tournaments. In addition there is kingdom equestrian champion tournament for horses and riders. There is also a arts and sciences competition with no theme. There is an equestrian arts and sciences competition. In addition to the arts and sciences competition, there is a arts and sciences display with an Asian theme.
The combined iron comet challenge is combination of the results from all the non-equestrian competitions.
The event will be held in the horse arena at Brady’s Run, 121 Brady’s Run Rd, Beaver Falls, PA 15010. Preregistration is closed, but you can pay at the door with cash or check.
Adult Event Registration: $12
Adult Member Discount Event Registration: $7
Youth 17 and under are free.
This Saturday, June 4th, The Debatable Lands welcomes Their Majesties and Highnesses to our Japanese Iris Festival as Their Majesties hold The Kingdom Equestrian Championship! This event has something for everyone – martial activities of all types, and A&S. And yes, even jousting! Check out the event announcement.
Cost for the event is super affordable and family-friendly: Adult registration (non-member) is $12. Adult member registration is $7. People age 17 and under are FREE.
This event also features the IRON COMET CHALLEGE (see below) and of course, Royal and Baronial Courts. Here’s the schedule for the day (tentative):
Site opens – 9 am
Part 1 Equestrian Champs – 10:30 am
Fencing tournament – 11 am
Thrown Weapons tournament – 12 noon
Arts and Sciences Competition – 1 pm
Part 2 Equestrian Champs – 1:30 pm
Heavy tournament – 2 pm
Archery tournament – 3 pm
Jousting (weather permitting) – 4 pm
Court – 5:30 pm
Tear-down after court
Have questions? Check out these FAQs:
Q. What’s the Iron Comet Challenge?
All are welcome to participate in the separate fighting, fencing, archery, and thrown weapons tournaments, as well as an A&S competition (no theme).
But for those elite few who want to test their skills as well-rounded medievalists, you can enter the Iron Comet Challenge – enter at least 3 out of the 4 martial competitions, and the A&S competition (required, all levels welcome), and be an Iron Comet Challenger competing for the highest composite score. Who will prove to be the best of the best?
You welcome to come and enjoy the competitions separately without competing in the Iron Comet Challenge, of course.
Q. Tell me more about the Arts and Sciences activities.
The competition has no theme, and all are welcome to enter it.
We are lucky enough to also have an A&S display – if you choose, there is a theme of Asian Arts and Sciences to celebrate the Japanese Iris Festival! Displays not adhering to the theme are also welcome.
There will also be a poetry competition for Japanese forms of poetry, including haiku, tanka, and if we feel brave, collaborative forms such as renga and renku.
Q. Will there be event-provided food?
Not this time, no, due to the pandemic. The event will not provide food. But please do bring your own and enjoy a picnic! (No glass bottles)
Q. What else should I know to prepare for the day?
The event is outside, but the weather forecast looks beautiful! There are a couple of shelters but you may want to bring chairs and maybe a pop-up for a place to relax.
There are three public changing tents – lords, ladies, and all gender. The all gender changing tent is next to accessible parking and accessible restrooms.
All COVID protocols will be enforced, so please remember your vaccination card (or picture of it) and ID (membership card is fine) or else your proof of negative COVID test.
Other than horses, only service animals allowed.
Q. Tell me a little about the Equestrian stuff.
The event is only open on Saturday, but those with horses are welcome to arrive Friday night. Contact THL Gesa for details.
For the Equestrian Champs, there are games and riding before prince activities hosted by Aethelmearc current Kingdom Equestrian Champion Gozen. There is also an A&S element. Contact Mistress Gozen for details, or check out the Aethelmearc Equestrian Facebook page. Activities are part of the kingdom equestrian championship, but it is open to all riders. There is also a jousting tournament!!
Populace in Focus today features King’s Bardic Champion Master Morien MacBain and Queen’s Bardic Champion, The Honorable Lady Maggie Rue.
Could you give a little background about how and when you started performing as part of the Bardic Arts community?
Morien: I found the SCA back in ‘86. The very first event I went to, in what is now Ballachlagan, had a bardic circle, like pretty much all events did in those days. Lord, they were fun! Lots of Irish rebel music, Sci-Fi/Fantasy Con filk, dirty puns, blood, and iron stuff. Pure joy! The bards that had the greatest impact on me back then were Donnan the Solitary and Morgan Caer Graeme. I learned a great deal from them and miss those performances and those songs.
Maggie Rue: In the SCA, this was really my first performance. While I have hung out around a few Bardic circles among households and groups, I generally don’t sing; it occurred to me at the onset of this competition that I may not need to. Surprise!
What types of Bardic arts performances do you enjoy doing?What is your most / least favorable type of performance?
Morien: I’m still primarily a bardic circle guy. I like the informality of it, the lack of pressure, the faces in the firelight, the willing audience, and the “renao” (which is a wonderful Mandarin word for the noise, happy chatting, laughter, and activity of life happening that forms a backdrop to a performance). My least favorite would have to be live bardic competitions. You usually only get to do one piece, impostor syndrome kicks in, and my will to compete is safer if the other person is wearing armor! If I’m going to fight to win, I want it to be with weapons, not a bit of my heart.
Maggie Rue: Not a great singer and my improv skills are more action-related than a lot of speech. So, I’d go with memorizing an old poem or writing a new one and reciting it as first and foremost. Least favorite would be improving a song. I could be wrong though—enough immersion into a subject and I might get better. We’ll see.
Have you done any type of performance arts outside of the SCA?
Morien: Sure! I sang in the church choir for years when I was in middle and high school, which was the best vocal training I’ve had. I did the school musical every year, plus summer theater, which were usually musicals. I’ve sung in a few bars, once on a tiny stage where Patsy Cline sang when she was starting out. That felt like a church. No one threw anything. I’ve done poetry slams in clubs a couple times. Now I am a high school English teacher, so a lot of my work is essentially storytelling to a tough audience!
Maggie Rue: Yes, indeed. I performed for a time as a character in Jesus Christ Superstar in Middletown NY for a couple of years, doing chorus parts and dancing. I’ve done a number of high school performances as well. During my years as a Game Designer, I ran the convention circuits and had to talk up game products—spiels, really—and became really good at impromptu game sessions. In addition, my parents were both members of the Philadelphia Folk Song Society and I went to a number of music Festivals in my early years… You’d be surprised as to how many SCA songs I’ve heard before in other places in different interpretations.
How much time do you spend researching bardic performances and practicing in preparation for doing a performance?
Morien: Most of my research for the last few years has been on the poetry side of my bardic practice. I work in a wide variety of forms from different periods and cultures, so there is always more to learn! However, I don’t really practice singing enough. I have a playlist of songs I am working up and sing along with it in the car. I have attempted to learn the hard, and suck quite badly at that. I should learn to drum much better, so I could accompany myself on a bodhran. I think I’ll get to work on that…
Maggie Rue: Given this was my first real SCA-based performance, I took two weeks to prepare.
What SCA events / Bardic competitions have you performed in previously and what types of performance did you do?
Morien: I’ve done bardic circles all over, and I’ve taught classes on writing poetry at SCA Fifty Year, Pennsic, AEthelmearc Academy, and Atlantia University. I’ve done “Music in the Key of D”, a bardic contest hosted by the Chalk Man Pub at Pennsic a few times. I also sing battle hype songs with fighters while we are on our way to the battlefield at Pennsic to get our blood up. On these former occasions, I find you seldom go wrong with Irish or Scottish rebel music, or filthy rugby songs.
Maggie Rue: This is it.
When you chose to participate in the Quest to be Sylvan Bard, did you do a type of performance that you have done before, or did you come up with a completely new performance?
Morien: I broke out two I had written before, “The Green Fields of Pennsic”, and “The Ballad of Big Bad Jehan”. Both are staples of the campfire music I like.
Maggie Rue: So, I took a number of courses in college that were medieval in nature and “Chaucer” was one of them. The teacher insisted we learn a number of lines in Middle English, taking out his personal recordings from the library to learn the lilts and rhythms. Seventeen years later, I still hear his voice. What I performed for the competition was longer than what he had us memorize, though, so I had to go find some recordings on which to base my own performance.
How did it feel to do a performance via the online community versus doing a live performance at an event?
Morien: I loved it! I liked that I got to strike and vanish like Zorro and could just focus on what I was doing. The competitive side with all its nasty thoughts and lust to win did not make an appearance!
Maggie Rue: It was actually pretty comfortable.
Did you face any challenges with performing in the sylvan bard competition?
Morien: Yep! I am a goofball at tech, and my performance of “Big Bad Jehan” kept turning out badly because I didn’t understand how to make my phone work, so I wound up just sending in “Green Fields of Pennsic” by itself.
Maggie Rue: None
Being one of the sylvan bards within the kingdom, can you share your plans / ideas for keeping the bardic arts alive in the kingdom during your tenure?
Morien: Heck yeah! We are looking at maintaining the practice of monthly online bardic hangouts on the first Tuesday of each month of the year starting at 8 in the evenings. Rue will be handling the tech, rest assured, although I will try to learn it as well. We’re also looking at starting a sort of “Bardic Boot Camp”, an ongoing series of classes (both online and in person) on subjects like vocal training, storytelling, playing instruments, poetic composition, and so on. We’ve already started reaching out to teachers from across the kingdom and the known world, and people seem enthusiastic! Also, I plan to start a FB group that should be an ongoing poetry writing workshop combined with a book study circle on various forms and skills from beginner to advanced. I’m working up a syllabus for it, and reaching out to established poets to participate, although the focus will be on bringing new aspiring poets into the field. So, COVID or not, we’ll be helping people along! We will also be working to ensure that live bardic circles and performances happen at in-person events, never fear!
Maggie Rue: So, there’s been talk of having a Novice Day like the one they had in the East Kingdom, which I attended, and one of the biggest beefs was that there was no Novice Bardic competition. So, we’re changing that. In addition, I’m going to incorporate Bardic Arts in my other A&S specialties, researching and performing songs that would also be of interest to the Herbal and Apothecary Guild as well as the Assassins’ Guild. Master Morien and I will continue the Bardic Competitions and we’ve got plans to get the Bardic Arts everywhere.
What advice would you give to other populace who would like to pursue the quest to be involved in bardic arts and perform in bardic arts competitions?
Morien: Come join us for the First Tuesday Onlines! Join in! If you aren’t ready, just listen for a while, and then pipe in! Join the FB groups for “AEthelmearc College of Bards”, “SCA Bardic Arts”, “AEthelmearc Arts & Sciences”, and the FB group for “Bardic Boot Camp” and “AEthelmearc Poetry Workshop”, once I get them running! Perform anywhere you can. Make a playlist of songs you want to learn and sing along with them in the car at high volume! Do NOT worry about what you sound or look like. Don’t listen to the haters. Read, listen, and watch good performances not just as an audience, but as a crafter, see what they are doing, and how they are doing it. Remember that you can learn as much from a bad performance as from a good one. A poet is one on whom NOTHING is wasted. I have a FAT list of books for you to get into if you like! LET’S DO THIS!!
More advice! Remember, your performance begins from the moment you are called, and doesn’t end until you are off the stage. Entrances and exits matter! Also, when in doubt, pretend to be slightly drunk, or more drunk than you in fact are. People like a drunken bard, and if you mess up, they will forgive you and enjoy it. Schadenfreude!
Oh, and one more piece of advice: When composing, even if you aren’t working in a purely alliterative form like Anglos-Saxon or 14th-century Alliterative Revival or something, get that alliteration in there. It’s like salt in cooking. People may not notice it, but they WILL like it!
Maggie Rue: Just do it. Get involved with everything sooner or later. I have been on a tear these past few years of just reaching out and getting involved. Look where it landed me. I don’t care if all you know are nursery rhymes: give it a try. Can’t sing? Me, neither. Let’s go learn stuff together.
Interested in participating in Populace in Focus? Find out how below:
We are so very excited for you to join us on this year’s Journey Reimagined as we celebrate newcomers to the SCA, celebrate those embracing new skills, and celebrate the journeys each of us took to get into our beloved Dream.
Thank you to every teacher, artisan, zoom-moderator, attendee, and member of our wonderful Society for helping to make this event happen!
The Kingdom of Arts & Sciences will organize at 7pm this coming Tuesday, February 22, a virtual A&S Consultation Table. We will have several helping hands (and brains) available to help answer any questions in regards to documentation in general and entering in Ice Dragon in specific.
The discussion leader will be Elska, supported by THL Renata Rouge, THL Eleanor Godwin and Master Hrolfr á Fjárfelli.
If you know what you are being judged on, you know what you have to do to create a winning entry. Always ask for the judging criteria when you are thinking of entering a competition (or being asked to judge one).
To get the most out of this discussion, it would be beneficial to have a copy of the Kingdom evaluation Rubrics available to refer to.
The Kingdom Ministry of Arts & Sciences has added numerous resources to the KMOAS website to help those artisans new to A&S. Here you can read about what to expect when entering your first arts & sciences competition, as well as how to document an A&S entry effective and efficiently. We also offer the EZ-Doc documentation form if you are unsure how to start your project documentation.
Please bring questions that you have about any project you are working on – whether for the Online College of Three Ravens A&S competition or the Passing of the Ice Dragon Pentathlon!
We will post the Zoom Room as soon as we have it both on the event page as well as on the Æthelmearc Arts & Sciences group.
Yours in service,
Kingdom Ministry of Æthelmearc A&S deputy
The Ice Dragon Arts & Sciences Pentathlon, often shortened to the Pent, is an arts and sciences competition dating back to the second Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon, held in 1978. But what exactly is this Pent? We’ve all seen arts & sciences displays at events, perhaps even entered a competition or two ourselves, but apparently the Pent different? While it has had many forms over the years, the most recognizable and often used is the current format of multiple categories anyone can enter and win individually. But what is unusual is that the Pent also has an overall competition among those who have chosen to enter a minimum of five different categories. And true to its name – a pentathlon is a sport that includes five different athletics events – entering the arts & sciences Pent can be quite the endeavor!
A wealth of judges and Her Majesty Margerite Eisenwald admiring a Scribal entry, at the 2017 Ice Dragon Pent.
The challenge here is more one of creative time management than of pure skill. Most artisans can’t plan a whole year, or more, to work on five separate high-level entries. What makes the Pent fun is to find those one, two or three entries that are complex enough on their own that their research and creation can be spread around several categories. The real challenge is to figure out how! Researched a unique beverage? Enter a Research Paper as well as a drinkable brew. Created a garment from scratch? Enter your garment in Fabric Construction, but enter the process of making the yarn, with nicely presented samples, in Fiber Arts. If you are especially nifty, you could even take a swing at an Applied Research Paper by documenting the dye used to color the yarn!
The pinch is that only entries from completely separate categories count towards the Pent (see the website for a list of the official categories). Anyone can enter up to five entries in any category, but only your highest scoring entry in that category will score towards your overall Pent score. Thankfully, entrants are allowed to cross enter one entry into one additional category, phew! Made a bag with wood handles? Enter the bag as a whole in Fabric Construction (formerly Accessories) and cross-enter the handles in Woodworking – voila, two entries!
Applied Research “Vinegaroon” entry by Lord Snorri skyti Bjarnarson at the 2018 Ice Dragon Pent
A category close to my heart, and quite useful in teasing out five separate Pent categories I find, is Applied Research. Extremely well researched items too simple or modest to compete fairly in a more traditional category fall under this. A fun category – experimental archaeology on a small scale – it is also one that does not seem to be utilized very often and why I wanted to spotlight it here. Some of the examples that come to mind are my entry of six simple soap ball recipes, accompanied by a veritable compendium of medieval soap research and recipes, as well as the unique Vinegaroon experiment, accompanied by ‘please try it!’ samples for the judges and general populace.
Be aware that due to the anticipated length of research papers (nothing to do with the soap compendium, I am sure), the paper/research portion of the Applied Research entry must be submitted in advance (received electronically or postmarked by February 15, 2022).
From a small local arts & sciences competition, the Pent outgrew its locale quickly to become a competition with Kingdom impact. Although, initially, not the kingdom you might think. Back then, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, our Sylvan Kingdom was only in the early planning stages and Ice Dragon was the premiere A&S event of the East Kingdom. It drew people from up and down the East Coast and could get in excess of 200 entries (so many judges…)!
Some of the more memorable entries, according to Pent autocrat Cori: the tiny dead people by (now Mistress) Luceta and the real poison (by THL Rue). And then there was the time John the Artificer entered his ferrets (I wonder if the populace could pet them?) and the agricultural entry that was a miniature of a rabbit warren (did the ferrets have anything to do with that?!). And then there was (now Mistress) Alizaunde de Bregeuf from the East who entered her upper torso covered with real woad… probably did not have trouble finding judges for that one. And what do you think (now Master) Clewin and (now Mistress) Fredeburg entered, “made with all authentic materials and processes”? They entered their newborn baby! With documentation. I can not confirm first hand how detailed, though, that you’d have to ask them.
Table of beautiful Fabric Construction entries at the 2019 Ice Dragon Pent.
Ice Dragon Pentathlon is for young (very young…) and old, for the beginner and the accomplished; even for the competing as well as the artisan more interested in display. The Pent organizers always arrange for a dedicated Display area. They also gladly make room for the infamous Misfit Table, brain child of Master Thorpe, for those projects that didn’t quite do what they were supposed to do. Now, if only we could enter a Misfit Experiment as a 5th Pent project… wouldn’t that make for an intriguing entry!
Greetings onto the Throwers of Æthelmearc do I, Baroness Anastasie, send greetings and put forth this competition.
This isn’t a big competition but one to help challenge you and to help get you back in the swing of everything. I know we have trained ourselves to aim for the center of the target, this however will be a little more of accuracy than aiming for what we have trained ourselves to do.
This is to be done on a normal Royal Round target, scoring is as follows:
3-inch circle equal to 4 points.
8-inch circle equal to 7 points.
14-inch circle equal to 10 points.
Outside of the 14-inch circle equal to 1 point.
So as you can tell, you want to aim for the 14” ring. The number of weapons will be the same, 4 axes and 4 knives from the 10’ line and 2 each from the 20’ line. This can be done at any thrown weapons practice, a normal Royal Round score sheet can be used and you can email me the scores. Please only score per practice, only exceptions would be if you wanted to do something like trying it off hand (mark with OF) or a separate spear Royal Round (mark with SP, special categories).
This will start June 1st and will continue June 30th. I know it’s not a whole lot of time but there will be more to come after that.
There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and first for offhand and spear if anyone does them.
Please remember to maintain social distancing, wear your masks, do your best and I look forward to seeing the scores.
This winter, join the Barony of Thescorre at our annual schola as we move our festivities to a virtual space for the year’s C3R…. The COVID Corvid College of Three Ravens!
We are gathering together on Saturday, February 27, 2021 and using Zoom, Facebook, and our Barony Website to organize and run the event! While we are still physically distanced from one another, this is an opportunity to join in classes, A&S, workshops, bardic activties, feasting, and court from the safety of our homes.
This year, we are celebrating all that we love about the SCA and we have the unique opportunity to share that love with any and all who want to participate. We hope that this virtual format will allow gentles from Æthelmearc and the Knowne World entire to join in our fun as we work to learn together and come together in the safest ways possible.
You must complete the Google forms appropriate (listed below) to get the Zoom log-in information.
To register to attend the event and access the ZOOM Rooms, please fill out this form.
To register to teach a class for C3R, please fill out this form.
To submit an entry for A&S or Largess, please full out this form.
(Entries can be traditional SCA projects OR can be projects you have worked on during the pandemic to help your neighbors using your SCA skills, such as mask making, cooking for neighbors, etc.)
To perform during our feast (singing, playing instruments, or storytelling to name a few things), please contact Torbjorn.
We look forward to seeing everyone in this digital platform this winter when we come together for this year’s COVID Corvid College of Three Ravens!
To the Known World,
This was a difficult decision, however Gulf Wars 29 is cancelled due to the risk of COVID-19. We, like you, are saddened but this is necessary as we follow the recommendations of the Mississippi Department of Health.
Per their recommendation:
Among new recommendations as of March 12, 2020:
–Avoid gatherings of 250 people or more, especially if there is evidence of transmission in your county or adjacent counties . If you do attend, remember to practice the hygiene and distancing steps above.
–To prevent illness in those most vulnerable, anyone 65 or older OR with a chronic medical condition should avoid any gathering of 50 people or more.
If you need a refund, please contact the Exchequer@GulfWars.org within 30 days. For other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at Autocrat@GulfWars.org and Seneschal@GleannAbhann.net
Thank you for your understanding and your support.
Master Erik, Master Stephan, and Mistress Kalisa
While there are no known or suspected cases of (COVID-19), novel coronavirus, at Genesee Community College, the College continues to monitor its potential risk to students, faculty, staff and guests.
In accordance with the guidance from Governor Cuomo, SUNY and CUNY campuses remain open, but will implement protocols in support of reducing density. As such, the Ice Dragon Festival scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 21 will now no longer be held.
Our Exchequer staff will be processing full refunds for all pre-registered guests and merchants over the course of the next couple weeks.