Master Morien McBain, hopes to foster a Forestry Guild here in our Kingdom, and is off to a great start, with online classes and lively discussions, plus and outdoor activities already in planning and even scheduled! He sat down with Gazette to answer our inquiries.
Tell us about yourself (name, title, etc.)
Hello! I’m Morien MacBain, and I really like to lurk about in the shrubbery, tie knots, and set things on fire. In addition, I’m a big fan of chopping things with axes, rowing about in boats, backpacking about, and eating plants and animals. I also ride – but do not eat – horses.
Tell us about the new group (name, goals, etc.)
At the moment, our group is called the Æthelmearc Wilderness Skills Study Group (find us on Facebook!), but we hope to soon be the Æthelmearc Royal Foresters when we become a chartered branch of the Known World Forester’s Guild!
How does one get involved?
Ideally, I’d say join our FB group, as well as the Known World Forester’s Guild and East Kingdom Royal Foresters groups. Then check out any and all documents in the “Files” sections that strike your fancy, but especially the New Member’s Guide . As well as Foresters 101.
Then, once all that woodsy goodness has blown your hair back, fill out the Forester’s Guild Application: https://ekfg.eastkingdom.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Foresters-Guild-Application.pdf. And shoot it off to Gwillim Kynith at: email@example.com
He’s a lovely fellow, and the Warden of the Guild of Foresters for the East Kingdom. You will be applying for an “affiliate” (out-of-kingdom) membership. Æthelmearc’s program is just getting started, so we’re operating under the aegis of the East’s program until we have our own set up, and getting as many affiliate members as possible operating in Aethelmearc is an important early step.
What are your hopes for how the Forestry community grows and functions here in our Kingdom?
Our application to the Guild for a “Letter Temporary” is in draft, and is making the rounds collecting signatures. We’ll have several members advancing to the rank of Forester by the end of the summer, I’d say. I anticipate we’ll be in a position to apply for Æthelmearc’s own Regional Charter by this time next year. Hopefully whoever is on the thrones at that point will sign our Charter! We will be patrolling and protecting all their Sylvan wilds, after all!
How does the East come into play?
We turned to the East Kingdom Royal Foresters since they have the best-established and most accomplished body of people doing this in the SCA. They’ve been instrumental in helping Atlantia, Meridies, and An Tir get their kingdom programs running, so working with them while we get our ducks in a row was the obvious choice. They have been incredibly supportive, and we look forward to working with them going forward, although of course I hope our progression to a full-fledged chartered kingdom program of our own will come quickly!
What specific kinds of things can people learn about, research, and do?
Good night, it’s astonishing the wealth of skills we can get up to!
-Period fire making
-Travel by boat, horse, and on foot
-Stealth and leave-no-trace camping
-Orienteering and celestial navigation
-Wilderness survival (including cold and wet environments)
-Foraging wild edibles
-Hunting, fishing, and trapping
-Skills challenge courses
-Weapons and gear of outdoor life
-Sign cutting and evasion
-Recreation of pilgrimages
-Preparation of period trail rations
-Identification of trees and herbs, and their many uses.
The list goes on, and people can go insanely hardcore, or just try a few things that interest them. Glorious stuff!
What got you interested in this?
I’ve been running around in the woods since I was six. I was in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, The Order of the Arrow (the Scouting national honor society), and I was in the Army, where I got to mess around in the woods in various places, so I’m a big fan! I’m also into the modern bushcraft movement, which involves watching lots of old-time wilderness skills being brought to modern people to keep them alive (both the skills and the people, I suppose).
What are your favorite pieces of forestry/wilderness advice for the re-enactor?
“Two is one; one is none,” meaning you should always have a backup for each crucial piece of gear you need in the woods (multiple blades, ways of starting a fire, methods to purify water, ways to signal for help, etc.). Also, hydrate like a crazy person when you’re thirsty, hungry, hot, cold, tired, irritable, being chased by wolves, whatever! DRINK WATER! Also, purify your water, even if the stream looks fresh. Waterborne illnesses like giardia are no joke! Essentially, read everything you kind find by Dave Canterbury and especially Mors Kochanski, that guy was a beast!
What’s the essential gear? Or how can I get started?
Essentially, you need some green garb, good boots, and a decent knife (preferably single-edged), and a desire to learn about the natural world and all the adventures, lessons, treasures, and mysteries it has for us!
Get online and find other Foresters near you, and start getting out in the woods and waters together (I love getting out there solo, but even I admit that a partner makes stuff safer and usually more fun.)
Here’s a clip on the topic by Llywd Forester, the founder of the Guild on the topic of gear and getting started. Good stuff!
Any parting thoughts?
I’d like to add that forestry has opened up a sweet new dimension in my Scadian life, and that wealth of skills that one can study and practice can be a real ornament to a life and balm and oil to a weary heart! There’s been a rich air of mystery and romance around people with the skills to live and thrive in the wilderness for centuries, and recapturing, practicing, and transmitting those skills to new generations connects us with a profoundly human part of ourselves which many of us have almost forgotten was there!
We’re not the Sylvan Kingdom for nothing. Æthelmearc is covered by woods, and we have deep wells of wilderness skills in our area. We have some amazing people coming together to train and share skills. Come and join us!
The Barony of Delftwood invites you to our Virtual Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins on February 20th beginning at 9:30 AM!
The Main Room will be a virtual Troll where you can get help with Zoom and put your name in the hat for door prizes (yes, everything is free)!
Three breakout rooms will be open from 9:30 AM to 4 PM for a variety of activities:
A Fencing room with classes and roundtables, including:
-Intro to Fabris and Italian Rapier with Don Brendan Firebow of the East Kingdom
-Providing the Unexpected: the use of untraditional parry items, misdirection, and other mind games on the listfield, a roundtable led by Master Po Silvertop
-Solo Training Schola hosted by Aethelmearc Defense Academy
-An Introduction to Japanese Swordsmanship in SCA Rapier with Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede
An A&S room with:
-Classes on Roman Cosmetics with Alexis of Drachenwald
-A Cook Along with Lady Keara Caitlin MacLeod
-A Virtual Feast with Their Excellencies Baron Ixac ben Simone and Baroness Amalie Reinhardt (yes, the site is wet!)
-An A&S Show & Tell led by Lady Glenna Cholmondeley – You can enter ahead of time and we’ll post your work, or bring it the day of and tell us all about it, no documentation required! Details here: http://delftwood.org/events/seven-deadly-sins-2021/7-deadlies-as-demo/
-A Fashion Show with Lord Justin Lymner, with fun largesse prizes!
And a Room of Sloth for open-ended socializing and hanging out!
Baronial Court will be held at 4 PM, with a Bardic led by our Baronial Bardic Champion Lady Ania Mhoireach to finish out the evening.
Link to main schedule: https://rb.gy/dlhljb
Baronial Event page: http://delftwood.org/events/seven-deadly-sins-2021/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2889497124605140
To attend: Zoom links will be sent out to the Aethelmearc Announcements and Delftwood mailing lists. You can also get the zoom links by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
An online memorial gathering in honor of Master Remus Fletcher will be held this Saturday, January 16th, from 3pm to 4pm, as part of the virtual 12th Night Social, via Zoom.
Master Remus loved songs, voice and instrument, good stories, humor, and Loud Band at Pennsic. Chat in good company about Remus, music, story, humor, or anything he would have liked. Or bring your story and song to share. Let’s all enjoy some good cheer in his memory.
The gathering is being facilitated by Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepora Levi. Link to the Zoom meeting will be available the morning of the event via the event schedule: http://bit.ly/12thNight21
Read the Gazette’s In Memoriam Article about Master Remus here.
From Lady Isabetta Orsini, Their Majesties’ Special Project Coordinator:
Greetings unto all who read this,
Their Royal Majesties wish to begin a new, and hopefully fun, activity for the populace of Æthelmearc. As such, I hereby introduce #AERoamingRoyals to all. While unable to be with you in person, They would still like to see what you are up to. The link below will take you to the full directions and your own set of Royalty. Color Them as you’d like, cut the picture out, put it on a stick, and take Them with you on various ventures. Post your pictures on social media using the tag #AERoamingRoyals so that the Kingdom can all enjoy.
Hear the words of the King and Queen:
Although unable to physically gather within Our Sylvan Lands at this time, We still wish to make an appearance wherever you may be. So please take this opportunity to decorate your own set of Royalty and take Us with you on your various undertakings. Snap a picture of Us joining you on a quest, whether it be a simple undertaking, or more involved.
So far They have been to see Glenn Falls, Einstein, braved a beehive, almost been devoured by a ravenous bunny, saved by two subjects in glorious garb, took part in a meeting in New Zealand, looked over the local wares, assisted one of our youths in tree climbing, and ended this set of adventures around the fire pit with friends. Let’s see what these Two can get up to out there next!
Please feel free to send any questions to me either by message on Facebook or by email at email@example.com
Unto the Kingdom of Æthelmearc does Duchess Ilish O’Donovan send fond greetings
Their Majesties, Gareth and Juliana, have given me the honor to create a fun-filled event for youth of our fair kingdom and their families. It is Their Majesties’ wish to have an evening of merriment and games, face painting, crafts, prizes, treats, and snacks for all who attend.
The party will be held on Monday, August 5th from 5:30 to 7:30 in Æthelmearc Royal. Please feel free to come by and play a game, paint rocks to hide at Pennsic, enjoy some snacks, and share in the fun.
To ensure all who attend find much joy, I am reaching out to the kingdom for support to make the Æthelmearc Youth and Family Party a fabulous time for all.
So, what could your barony, shire, canton, household or as an individual do to help? There is a great need for volunteers to run games, crafts and face painters. There is also a need for prizes for grab bags and pre-packaged snacks.
Donations toward the party help support and defray the costs and help create an evening of fun!
Ideas for donations:
- Prizes for games: foam swords, necklaces, glow sticks, items you may find at a carnival. Such items can often be found at Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Oriental Trading Company.
- Food ideas: Pre-packaged, gummies, fish crackers, cookies, candies etc…
Volunteers are needed to help run games, crafts, and entertainment for youth and their families.
These are just a few quick ideas. There are so many ways to help make the Æthelmearc Youth and Family Party Youth and Family Party a success. If you have any questions or are willing to make a donation or offer help, please feel free to contact me. Donations can also be dropped off at hospitality in AE Royal.
More information is available on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/305838883691902/?active_tab=about
Thank you from Their Majesties and myself,
Duchess Ilish O’Donovan
illish_o at hotmail dot com
The Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade is right around the corner on Saturday, March 16th. This will be the 4th year the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands will be manning a float, and we want you to join us!
Every year we have a fabulous time with friends, riding, walking and, yes, even fighting in the streets of the ‘Burgh. We welcome musicians, fighters, and anyone who would like to ride in our carriage decked out in your finest (and warmest) garb.
We march, we show off our garb and our crafts and when the parade slows up a bit, our armored fighters give the crowds a heck of a display. Last year the Crown Prince fought almost every step of the way and the crowds went crazy!
We start on Liberty Ave, the exact cross street will be given to us about a week before the parade. The route is about 1 1/2 miles to the Blvd at Stanwix.
There is space on the float so you don’t have to walk the whole way.
Children are welcome. Boffers, too!
For more information please don’t hesitate to contact Lady Kit Fixis at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook event page
P.S.: And there’s pizza afterwards, too!
Celebrating Italian Culture – Late Sixteenth century Rapier, Food, Clothing, Music, Dance, Art, and all the culture that brought Commedia dell’ Arte to life!
Do you love to laugh? Do you wish you could go to an event when laughing is what it is all about? Do I have a deal for you.
Æthelmearc’s own Shire of Ballachlagan will be hosting the Known World Commedia Symposium. Not only will there be commedia troupes from all over the known world, but the weekend will be a celebration of Renaissance Italian Culture, with classes on Italian dance, fencing, mask making, and more! There will be an authentic period Italian feast, and of course PERFORMANCES! So many performances you might just want to have an extra chair just for all the sitting and laughing you will do!
Where is this going to happen? Tomlinson Run State Park in New Manchester WV
When is this Going to Happen? September 20th 5:00 pm to September 23 11:00 am
How much will it cost?
-Adult Event registration 15.00
-Adult member discount registration 10.00.
-Feast is and additional 10.00
-Cabin space for the weekend (while available) is 2.00 per person.
Who do I pay? Pantalone, the man holding the money for the event will be played by Ælric Ravenshaw: Russ Schultz 107 N. 10 th St Wheeling, WV. 26003 email@example.com Please include an e-mail address with reservations for confirmation purposes. Make check payable to “SCA West Virginia Inc. – Shire of Ballachlagan”
Cabin space is available. Cabins do have limited electrical outlets, but do not have running water. Please reserve ahead for cabin space. There is no tent camping at the event site allowed, however the park does have a separate tent camping area.
Any Questions may be directed to the autocrat. Donnan MacDubhsidhe (JL Lash) 803 Oxford Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952 (304) 281-8528 donnanbard@ yahoo.com e-mail preferred.
What to expect:
Commedia performances Friday and Saturday nights! Three shows per night; 45 minute time slots per show.
Commedia classes and workshops all day:
Portable Stage Backgrounds
Short Roundtables on Sunday
History of Commedia
Italian Fencing Tournaments!
Italian Fencing Classes!
Hosted by the Shire of Ballachlagan and the commedia troupe, i Genesii!
See the website for more info: https://knownworldcommedia.wordpress.com/
By Mistress Elska á Fjárfelli of the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn
An interview with the creator of Coffee and Cartoons, featuring SCAdian Shelley and her pet bunny, Mister Fluffers.
Talented Grainne Rudha – formerly of Sterlynge Vayle, now of Delftwood — has entertained a selected few via numerous Book of Faces posts with her early morning marginalia (cartoons), holding up a mirror to our Current Middle Ages. Even though her hands are troubled by extensive nerve damage, resulting in debilitating carpal tunnel, her urge to draw is as strong as ever and her joy to share boundless.
For those gentles not familiar with these magical marginalia, here follows a short account of the Life and Works of Lady Grainne.
How did you get started in cartooning?
Coffee and Cartoons started as me drawing silly cartoons to amuse my friends on Facebook. As I posted people, asked me for more and more cartoons and most of the ones people like are related to my most favorite hobby: the Society for Creative Anachronism.
How does the SCA feature in your cartoons?
The SCA is important aspect of my life as it is the family I chose. Just as I have a cast of people in my life, the strip also has a cast. Shelley is a kid whose parents accept her love of the SCA but don’t participate. She is fortunate in that they trust and love Auntie, who is essentially everyone’s SCA Aunt. Shelly loves all aspects of the SCA and is the straight man to a funny rabbit, Mister Fluffers.
- Mister Fluffers. He’s an American Lop (he refuses to be a French Lop) and is very vain. He loves his human Shelley but has low tolerance for linen-look fabric or sari draping and is often seen in the company of Nick McStabbity, Unicorn for Justice.
- Nick McStabity. He is a unicorn and freelance server of justice. He and his horn live to write wrongs and point out any BS he encounters along the way.
- Auntie, the countess. She was made a countess way back in the day and while her beloved Eddie has passed on, Auntie celebrates the time she had with Eddie while still missing him a lot. She and her coronet offer advice, encouragement, and tough love as needed to the younguns.
- Doug the DM. Doug is dungeon master of a Dungeons & Dragons game and is very shy. From behind his DM screen, he is the commanding deity of his world. Shelley drags him out from behind his screen to SCA events.
- Lady T. She is Shelley’s BFF. Her parents also don’t play SCA but that is due to them opening a restaurant diner called “May the Fork be With You.”
What supporting characters do you enjoy playing with?
The Devil and the Hell Machine 3000. Mister Fluffers used a spell book he got from Ebay to summon the devil to buy him a sewing machine for making the perfect garb. The Hell Machine, however, is evil and refuses to work with anything but 100% natural fabrics and authentic patterns. Beelzebubba was re-summoned to take back his horrible machine but then refused to leave. Occasionally you’ll see him at events, strictly monitored by Auntie.
What else would you like the reader to know?
I could draw long before I could read! I just like art and drawing; when I make other people smile that’s a bonus! I have an ongoing fundraiser to help me buy a drawing tablet. That technology would help me create art much more easily and frequently in spite of the nerve damage and carpel tunnel that affects my hands. When I do illustrations for papers, class handouts, articles etc., I can use the tablet to make my work look better; digital editing would be built-in instead of taking hours. (Note: she’s halfway to her goal.)
Meet Shelley and Mister Fluffers here and follow them on their newest adventures.
By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France)
Have you ever snapped a photo at an event that looked like it was a medieval painting come to life?
Duchess Dorinda Courtenay wants your photos!
Specifically, she wants your entries for the Summer A.S. 53 Photography contest, an unofficial, fun competition she created due to her personal desire to encourage citizens of Æthelmearc to share photographs that remind us of the time periods we celebrate.
A couple of years ago, Her Grace was scrolling through Facebook and saw a particularly lovely photo of Drachenwald’s Twelfth Night.
“It was more like a painting than a photo, and it really highlighted how a beautiful photo could show the magic of what we do. I wanted to recognize those who used their skills to best display the arts of the kingdom. To do that, I started this contest!”
This is the third randomly scheduled contest; Her Grace has sponsored one roughly every nine months. The first contest received over 40 entries, while the second one received over 30. Her Grace noted that some gentles entered five photos and some only one.
As in the past contests, AEthelmearc citizens are welcome to enter up to five photos – candid or posed — in the contest on the Facebook group page, AEthelmearc Summer A.S. 53 Photography Contest. (Please post the photos, rather than sharing them to the group, and make each photo its own post so that the judges – Master Orlando, Master Raev, and Her Grace – can find them more easily when judging.)
Entrants who have submitted five photos and wish to submit a better photo may do so, but must remove one of their previous photos from the Facebook page.
She urges entrants to avoid including or to crop out cars, fire extinguishers, soda cans, and other modern items from their entries, so that we can “share the magic of old times through modern technology.”
“Photos will be judged not only for standard photographic excellence, but also how much they evoke the time we study,” she added.
All of the photos remain the sole property of the photographer and cannot be used without her/his permission.
When is the deadline for this contest? June 1.
“We really want people too enter, and we really want them to focus on eliminating the modern. We look forward to you all sharing your memories with us in this forum.”