Our first dedicated to arts and sciences event post-plague will happen at the end of this month, in October! And we are very happy to announce it is a WET site too!
Come one, come all! Their Majesties Arnthor and Ceirech are very much looking forward to choose their Arts & Sciences Champions and implore any seamstresses, woodworkers, brewers, embroiderers, scribes, metalworkers, vintners &c. to show off their best at the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Championship to be hosted by the the Barony of Rhydderich Hael this October 22nd.
Youth entrant Simon á Fjárfelli explains all about his block printed Saxon tunic at the 2021 A&S Champs.
Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences Hrolfr á Fjárfelli is very happy to share the Kingdom once again can offer in-person competitions along the same lines as in the past! Candidates will be evaluated face-to-face and the scoring will be based on the kingdom A&S rubrics, which is available beforehand. In order to reduce the indoor face-to-face time for candidates and judges, we will limit this year’s competition to one 45-minute judging session with a panel of 2 or 3 judges. Although not a requirement, we ask that candidates register their entry online ahead of time, to help match judge to entrant a little easier!
But as we learned a few new tricks during the time of plague, we will also offer any candidates who are not able to join us at the event to submit their entry online. Keep in mind, one of the current Kingdom Champions entered virtual – you are not on the side lines! We now have a basic web form where you can securely upload some photos, your documentation and basic info. The virtual part of the competition will be held much along the lines of last year’s competition. Each candidate will meet face-to-face with a panel of judges over zoom for one 45-minute judging session during the week leading up to the event and their presentation and entry will be judged with the same rubric as used at the event.
Bacon & Eggs subtelty by Astridr Vigaskegg (no, that’s not really bacon, nor eggs!) at the 2021 A&S Champs.
For this year, please note that the site is discretely damp and we are excited and happy to accept alcoholic beverage entries at the event!
Would you like to participate, but have no project to enter? Please help judge! Polling order awards are not required to judge, and those new to judging can ask to be paired with an experienced judge for ‘training on the job,’ so to speak! Judges can also sign up online; please provide us with the area(s) you’re comfortable with judging so that we can match entrants and judges ahead of time.
The Medieval Kitchen and Herb Garden by Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir at the 2021 A&S Champs.
We want to emphasize that we totally love to see partial projects! It doesn’t have to be a completely finished entry to be eligible. As usual, you may also enter up to three related objects as a single entry. Prior entry in another competition or display does not disqualify you from entering, we love to see continued progress on existing projects.
Right now, we are planning to spread out the virtual judging between Monday, October 17th and Thursday October 20th. With that in mind, the deadline for virtual entries is midnight, Friday, October 14th. Although we really appreciate pre-registration for the in-person event, the deadline for in-person candidates is until 9:30am on the morning of the event.
Geeking over Lady Isolda de Leycester’s patterns with Æthelmearc’s shoe Master Robert of Ferness at the 2021 A&S Champs.
The scores will be tallied once all judging is completed (the combined online and in-person entries) and relayed to Their Majesties Arnthor and Ceirech, who will choose their champions and announce them at the event during Kingdom court.
Their Majesties and the Kingdom Office of Arts & Sciences very much look forward to seeing what our kingdom has to offer!
Archery has always been one of my more longer-term interests – as a teenager, I briefly shot Olympic-style archery, plus it’s how I found out about the SCA way back when; asking around for a place to shoot traditional-style longbow archery and finding the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn’s weekly practice. I vividly remember my husband saying after attending a handful of practices not to get too invested as he did not intend to drive me all over the place…! Boy, did he misread that situation… But then, during the plague, I was only one of many artisans who kinda sorta lost their groove and had a bit of a rough start getting back into things when events started happening again. Cycling back to my beginning, what really pulled me back to playing again was the archery range. Not only is it outside and people automatically keep their distance – especially since I shoot left-handed! – the ranges have become quite an interesting challenge and something to look forward to at many events.
Iron Will Junior posing with helpers THLord Bjarki and Akira Watanabe
Culminating this past weekend at Pax Interruptus, where I met my match and got foiled by Will, the Advancing Man. I shot at Will, but I did not get him… I must admit, while on the one hand I was disappointed to be eliminated from the finals that quickly, on the other, the visual of eight archers’ worth of arrows bouncing off a moving target wearing chain mail is quite a vivid sight to remember! The mastermind behind this target, and most of the ranges post-plague, is Baron Snorri skyti Bjarnarson from the Shire of Coppertree.
Baron Snorri has recently been elevated to the Scarlet Guard – the Kingdom’s grant-level award for prowess in archery – and of course he takes his job of promoting the arts of archery quite seriously. When I asked his thoughts on the archery community of Æthelmearc, he shared the following: “We’re lagging behind other kingdoms here, especially the East. We need our experienced shooters to come and shoot at practices and events, and our novice shooters to put in the hours of practice needed. Archery is first and foremost about prowess – no one calls light when you hit gold, and no one else gets to decide that your score was lacking in some subjective measure. It’s one thing to know, as a new archer, that Grand Master Bowmen exist in the SCA. That can seem unreal and unreachable, though! But when there’s one of them right next to you at practice, filling up the gold with shafts every round, you start to realize that it’s actually possible, it’s a real, attainable thing – this guy next to you on the range still puts on his pants one leg at a time, and if he can do it, you can too!”
And just as I enjoy upping my SCAdian game to make my wardrobe and brewing more plausibly period, Baron Snorri has a similar mindset in regards to archery. He feels that people doing archery in a medieval recreation society should actually be trying to do medieval plausible archery. “It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m a little bit of a purist (some would say a snob – and maybe, sometimes, justly) about shooting period bows and arrows in the SCA. So, to practice what I preach, I only shoot ‘period’ bows, and I only shoot ‘period’ arrows.” He puts “period” in quotes as he is well aware that what he is doing, and virtually everyone else shooting in the period divisions of the SCA, isn’t really shooting actual period equipment – just the draw weight itself is significantly lower and most bows, even period-looking horsebows, use modern glues and have fiberglass components.
To help the archery community define “period,” the Society Handbook includes a definition of a “period” bow and arrows for SCA context. The broad strokes are that the archer would shoot off their hand, meaning no cut-out rest in the riser (handle) of the bow, and shooting arrows with self-nocks, that is, the nock of the arrow is cut into the shaft of the arrow, rather than being a glued-on commercially-made plastic nock. Since all SCA archers have to shoot with wooden shafts and feather fletchings anyway, we’re already halfway, so this does not seem all that hard, right?
But in Baron Snorri’s experience, the vast majority of archers in the SCA cannot seem to quite get all the way there: most are still shooting what’s generally referred to as “traditional” or recurve archery equipment. In the before-time, pre-internet, it could be difficult to get a bow that met the period archery requirements. No one really made them outside of hobbyists, and the traditional archery scene in the USA is huge, so recurve types of bows are readily available – often at garage sales and secondhand shops for a near-pittance. But now that we have the internet, bows of a much more medieval form are available from a bunch of different places. Both horsebows and longbows that meet the SCA’s definition of “period,” as discussed above, can be had for around $100, and a dozen appropriate arrows can be had for as little as $40.
Now, certainly that’s not “let’s go try out archery” money for most people. For a beginner, telling them to fork out $150 to try out archery would most likely kill their interest immediately. But Baron Snorri is not trying to make the case that a beginning archer in the SCA should be shooting period gear – just like no one’s telling a fledgling fighter that they should be buying a $500 helmet before they can fight. But, just like with fighting, where when a fighter reaches a certain threshold of skill and time-in-grade, it’s time for them to surrender the ancient bascinet from the loaner pile and start looking at something that fits their own head and persona. And when archers reach a certain skill and dedication level, I feel like they ought to be looking to set down their Samick Sage or their 1978 Bear recurve, and start looking to move to a period longbow or horsebow.
He is unsure why many archers do not take their equipment to the next level (if you have an idea why, Baron Snorri asks to please reach out and tell him!). “My current working theory is, again, availability of equipment. Although availability of bows is largely a moot point now that vendors such as AliBow, Flagella Dei, Ringing Rocks Archery, and many others are selling longbows and horsebows that meet the SCA’s period requirements for very reasonable prices. However, availability of arrows may be an issue. Many, many archers in the SCA either make their own arrows, or personally know a person who is making their arrows for them, and if this is you, then you’re my target audience for this next section…” (see the first bullet point).
As the Scarlet Guard doesn’t have a “mission statement”, Baron Snorri made his own (which I think is worth sharing here):
It’s my duty as a member of the Scarlet Guard to:
Mentor new archers, whether by running practices, offering equipment to try, coaching, assisting with equipment acquisition, and teaching associated skills like fletching and leather working.
Challenge experienced archers by running challenging and exciting ranges, traveling to events that have archery, shooting in tournaments, and issuing personal challenges.
Represent the Kingdom of Æthelmearc and our archery community in a positive light, by competing for honors for our Kingdom in the Pennsic Champion’s Shoot, SSAC, GAT, GET, IKAC, and other inter-kingdom competitions.
Maintain my prowess by continuing to practice and improve in all disciplines: handbow, recurve, and crossbow.
Find and nurture archers to become new members of the Scarlet Guard, by taking Students.
To cycle back once again: Will the Advancing Man is both my nemesis, and a very well-done functional moving target. To entice other archers to challenge themselves against this wicked warrior – to shoot at Will! – I am letting you all know ahead of time this invader of our Sylvan Lands will make another appearance this coming weekend at Bog 3-Day! In the general shoot, the “easy” version is just a painted cardboard Viking warrior with a spear and a shield in the East Kingdom’s colors, attached to an upright backstop that’s about eight inches of closed-cell polyethylene foam on a 4-wheeled sled (want to make your own sled? Take a look at the Gallery of sled pics). Will the Advancing Man is shot as a 30 second timed end, with the sled starting about 40 yards out, and advancing to about 10-15 yards out. Hits to the warrior count for 3 points, hits to his shield or anything else are zero.
For the quarter finals, Iron Will Junior is something else: the cardboard Viking is removed and a “real” Viking is assembled by ‘dressing’ the backstop in a linen Bocksten tunic, a padded linen gambeson (worn backwards), and a real metal maille shirt. Snorri and his team added “arms” of duct-taped pool noodles with gloves on the ends, and a Styrofoam head. They glued a wig onto the head, and used expanding spray foam to securely attach a conical steel nasal helmet. The arms and head were attached to the body with 12” sticks of shaved rattan, just jammed between the layers of backstop foam. An old wooden shield was attached with a ratchet strap to cover his “legs.”
It is shot as a timed end in the same way as before, but at Pax all eight quarter finalists shot at the same time, with the four who stick the most shafts into him advancing to the semifinals.
Medieval armor piercing arrow heads, called bodkins, as available from 3 Rivers Archery Supply.
To give well-prepared ‘period’ archers a leg-up, Baron Snorri had posted in advance of Pax that he would allow non-target points for this portion of the shoot. He was disappointed to find that only THL Bjarki took him up on this, and he only brought rigging-cutters for the semi-finals (to cut the water-bags, another really cool target), not armor-piercing bodkin points for Iron Will Junior… As this was a brand-new target, I asked Baron Snorri how he thought it worked out: “I tested Iron Will Junior at home with a field point arrow shot at 20 yards from my 45-pound horsebow. I blew through the maille, actually destroying seven rings. I figured this would not be an issue for the other shooters. Spoiler: I was wrong. How it actually worked: less than half the shooters were able to pierce the maille. Some were unable to adjust and stuck no arrows – Forester Ælfric of the Midrealm was skilled enough to adjust his aim to the [tiny and helmeted] head and stuck two there. As this was meant to be an elimination round, that’s ultimately fine, but it’s a lot more fun if everyone can stick arrows!”
Will you do it again or tweak it? “One time is not a great test of anything. We’re going to run him exactly the same at Bog 3-Day this weekend and see how it goes. I do need to fix the “snowplow” on the front though. We put an angled piece of plywood on the front at the bottom, covered in 2’ insulation board foam and fake grass, so that no one shoots the tires (we don’t actually care about the tires, we shot one as a test and it was fine, because they’re not inflated tires – but if you shoot the wheels as it’s rolling, your arrows get broken), and the weight of the fully-armored Iron Will Junior pushed that down just enough that it dragged on the ground a tad and it bent. Minor adjustment is all it needs.”
What other archery events do you have planned? “In the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, I took over as Marshal-in-Charge from Naran Noyon of the Pennsic Period Bow Shoot. This will be the 8th Period Shoot at Pennsic, and it is running from 9 AM to noon on middle Saturday at the archery range. I have a collection of period targets from medieval Europe and Asia to shoot, and prizes for the best participants. We even have a fabulous period dayboard prepared by Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir and Baroness Annika Iosafova on the range immediately afterwards. It’s always a great time to come see all the different period missile weapons and garb everyone comes in.”
“Here’s a picture from the 6th Period Shoot: at least nine of those folks are Æthelmearcians, and we were fortunate that year to also be joined by Their Highnesses of Ealdomere. This shoot is an excellent time every year, and is always the highlight of my war. If the Archery Champion’s Shoot is the Super Bowl of SCA Archery, the Period Shoot is the Pro Bowl.”
Is there anything new happening in Kingdom? “This all JUST came together, and I’m SUPER EXCITED about it: the Æthelmearc Holiday Shoot! Big thanks to Master Denys the Decadent for finding the new site for the Holiday Shoot, and to THL Alrekr Bergsson for agreeing to be my co-Autocrat and setting this all up with his local shire, Hunter’s Home. I can’t even express how excited I am – HRH Arnthor is going to choose his next Archery Champion at this event, we’re going to have a HUGE prize table, the owners of the range are very excited to have us, and there are over EIGHTY targets at this indoor range to shoot at. We got a great price ($15 for members, NO CHARGE for non-shooters) and I’m ecstatic about this event. I’m expecting shooters from four or five kingdoms to be at this.”
And what about the very-near-future? Bog 3-Day this coming weekend! The archery range will include:
Woods hunt with 3D animals
Woods walk with a very challenging Spot Shoot
Some various flavors of bullseye targets at known distances, timed and untimed
A moving Advancing Man timed end
The eight best scores from all that will advance to the quarterfinals and shoot at Iron Will Junior, and the four who stick the most in him will advance to do falling water-bag duels!
Baron Snorri would like to thank the following gentles, who are always there to back him up: “Big shout-out to THLord Bjarki for always being game to help with whatever I’ve volunteered us for, as well as Lord Dalibor, Lord Halfdan, Lord Godzimir, Lord Gunnlaud, and everyone else in Ætt Skyti. I’m not a member of their household, but they’re always there to help and shoot.”
And thank you, Baron Snorri, for your help with this story but most importantly, for making the archery range something exciting to look forward to!
From our Kingdom Seneschal. Please share to any you know are attending Pennsic:
KINGDOM of AETHELMEARC
COVID POLICY – FOR PENNSIC WAR
Effective July 5th, 2022.
Greetings from the Æthelmearc Kingdom Seneschal;
Please read the below Covid policies update for The Kingdom of Æthelmearc, as we’ve made some very important and recent changes that will affect all Pennsic War attendees.
These policies have been discussed and coordinated with Duke Christopher, Æthelmearc’s Deputy Kingdom Seneschal for Pandemics, as well as Their Royal Majesties Æthelmearc, and the Mayor of Pennsic.
Aethelmearc has a two part masking policy.
Part 1 – OUTSIDE: Masks are no longer required – by anyone – outside. Vaccinated, unvaccinated, kids, grown-ups – no one is required to wear masks outside.
Part 2 – INSIDE: All unvaccinated individuals, over the age of 2 years, must wear a mask at all times inside. Also – everyone, vaccinated or not, must wear a mask inside, when Covid transmission is high or substantial on the CDC Transmission map (not the community level). Let us repeat – This is the CDC transmission map, not the Community Levels map. If the map has green on it, it is the wrong map.
Definitions for Pennsic War:
INSIDE – Troll, due to its high density and volume is considered inside and masks are required at Troll. The Great Hall/Big Giant Barn is considered inside if any of the doors are down, the laundry area, bathhouses, and trailers used by the SCA.
OUTSIDE – All outdoor areas in the Coopers Lake Event Park area and All Pennsic tents – (except Troll & The Great Hall if all of the doors are open)
PENNSIC UNIVERSITY CLASSES – The Presenter, lecturer or teacher presenting any class in any tented area of the Pennsic University may require attendee of that lecture to wear masks during the class.
THE COOPERS STORE & INTERNET CAFÉ: Are not part of the event and as such does fall under their own policy & rules.
PRIVATE CAMPS: Can and may set their own rules for mask wearing in their own camps / tent areas.
PARENTS PLEASE NOTE: The upper level of the Cooper shower house next to the Cooper Store will be closed and locked for Pennsic 49. The upper bathrooms will still be accessible from the deck. Please let families with older children and teenagers know that they will not be able to hangout and play games inside the shower house like they have in previous years.
COVIDSafe – Proof of vaccination or negative test.
We are following the SCA’s COVIDSafe policy. You can read it in full in the comments below, but the short summary is that everyone five years old and up must either show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of check-in, that has been issued by a medical facility. (It cannot be a regular home test.)
Some important points – This is required. If you do not have either a negative test or proof of vaccination, you will be turned away, regardless of how far you have travelled, or your status in the SCA. The local testing centres may be full. Your entry to Pennsic will likely be delayed hours, if not days. Please come prepared and please let others who do not do social media know as well. Electronic versions of proof of vaccination or a negative test are OK.
Two other quick points –
1/ There will be no menacing the CovidSafe checkers at Troll. Please be kind to these staff members. They are trying to help you get through the line as quickly as possible. Anyone that starts yelling at them, bullying, acting disrespectfully, or being abusive to them will be told to remove themself from the property immediately for the duration of Pennsic War.
2/ Please be advised that the SCA COVIDSafe policies are for attendees. The landowners, their staff, and some of the food vendors (who don’t participate in the event) are not covered under this policy or the mask policy. There will be no menacing, yelling, or bullying of them either.
What to do if you become sick at Pennsic.
If you get Covid or test positive for Covid while at Pennsic, you should immediately put on a mask, and return home.
If that is not possible (say due to plane tickets), you should Isolate in your tent/camp; notify your campmates for their own health and safety, do not participate in any activities such as martial, classes, A&S, court, and the like, and you can return to activities after 5 days of no symptoms and a negative Covid test issued from a licensed medical provider; or 10 days and a negative Covid test issued from a licensed medical provider if you have symptoms.
Again, this is ONLY if you cannot return home due to extenuating circumstances. We know that some of you do not agree with these policies and there is an added burden. We just want you to understand that our main goal here is to keep the greatest number of people at the lowest risk.
CovidSafe policy is in effect at Pennsic, you must show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative covid test, from a medical facility, taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Masks are required inside at all times by unvaccinated individuals 2 and up, and masks are required inside by *all* if transmission is substantial or high.
If you get sick or test positive at Pennsic, mask up and return home.
Thank you all so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful Pennsic War.
Starting January 4th, 2022, there will be monthly Virtual Equestrian Marshal Trainings. These training will be open to anyone interested in our known world.
Our virtual Equestrian Marshal in Training meetings will occur on the First Tuesday of the month at 7PM EST.
Each training session is designed to last 90 minutes, depending on questions. The monthly meetings will be posted on the SCA Equestrian Facebook page, and if possible, emails can be sent out with meeting agenda and log in information.
This virtual Equestrian Marshal in Training Program will primarily cover the SCA Equestrian Handbook, Weapon inspections, and Event / Practice planning including all required paperwork and marshal reports.
Each Kingdom will be responsible for adding additional information to this program which is specific for their Kingdom.
The Æthelmearc Equestrian Marshal in Training will be on a separate day to be announced. These virtual trainings will cover the theoretical sections of the Equestrian Marshal in Training program.
The program requires hands on sections as well. Please arrange hands on training (i.e. weapon inspection, mock authorization, organizing an event or marshaling a practice) with your Kingdom Equestrian Officer.
The goal to be is to record these trainings for future references and provide additional training videos as we move forward over the next few months.
Requirements for becoming an Equestrian Marshal in Training (EMIT):
Becoming an SCA Equestrian Marshal is not as easy as showing up and saying you want to be a Marshal.
Being an Equestrian Marshal requires a good knowledge of horses, horsemanship, riders, games and the SCA’s rules and regulations.
There are a number of steps which must be completed, under the supervision of an Equestrian Marshal (EQM) in good standing with the Kingdom, in order to become an Equestrian Marshal.
You must demonstrate your knowledge in all these areas in a defined sequence in order to be approved and warranted as an Equestrian Marshal.
1) Establish and maintain membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA).
2) Find an Equestrian Marshal to sponsor / train you and get another to recommend you. Both must sign your EMIT log to document this sponsorship.
3) Authorize as a General Rider and authorize to participate in Mounted Games and maintain these authorizations.
4) Approval of the Kingdom Equestrian Officer is required to become an Equestrian Marshal in Training
For more information, please visit the Facebook event page here
The Kingdom Authorization Clerk has introduced a new online option for filing your Authorization paperwork. The paper form will not be going away, this is an enhancement of the current process. There will still be physical Authorization Cards sent to each fighter.
Here is the new process:
You will fill out either the paper authorization form OR go online to fill out the online form.*
You will either tear off the top portion of the paper form to show at the MOL table OR you will need to have your email confirmation available on your phone to show to the MOL.
You will either send in the bottom portion of the paper form to the Authorization Clerk (remembering to include a SASE) OR the Authorization Clerk will pull the online information.
The Authorization Clerk will then issue you an Authorization Card and send it to you via USPS.
At the MOL table you will need to have your authorization card, a picture of your authorization card on your phone, the top portion of the paper form, or the email confirmation you received when filling out the online form.
With electronic delivery of the confirmation, you *must* have the email pulled up on your phone to show at the table. The MOLs will not be able to provide you with a device to log into your email to produce that information. You may want to consider taking screen shots of the email so you have a backup in the event that there is minimal or no bandwidth available at the event site.
Come join us to teach, learn, and support the arts on DECEMBER 11th, 2021 via ZOOM.
*Student registration is NOT REQUIRED – we’re making it easier than ever to access virtual AEcademy!*
To get information, inspiration, and more, please check out this amazing event page http://aeans.aethelmearc.org/aecad-f21/, courtesy of our wonderful Kingdom Ministers of Arts & Sciences Master (and Class Coordinator for this fall’s Virtual AEcademy) Hrólfr Á Fjárfelli and Mistress Elska Á Fjárfelli, and the gracious Webminister for the Arts & Sciences website, Master Robert of Ferness!
Questions? Contact Hrólfr, Elska, or myself and we’ll be happy to answer!
Gentles of Æthelmearc! Fellow lovers of performance and performing! Greetings!
The days of strangeness and plague continue in new and varied ways, but time moves on and so must we.
We – Bran and Gavin – have had the honor and delight of serving as your Sylvan Bard (dipartite) this year, and with Their Majesties Gareth and Juliana’s ascension to the Sylvan Throne, the time has come to determine who will take up the mantle next.
While Kingdom Tradition holds that the successor to the role is chosen by competition at the Kingdom 12th night celebration, the continued pestilence means we will be without that opportunity.
SO, we will create a new opportunity in its place!
**Beginning October 7th, and proceeding through the last day of December, we will be accepting shortish (say 3-7 minutes, hard limit of 10min) performance VIDEO RECORDINGS via the Sylvan Bard email – email here. (Please send us a link to a location we can download from, like dropbox or google drive)
Song! Story! Poem! Bring us your best delightful performance in celebration of the new year, rebirth and renewal, and an eventual return to our desired ways of doing things.
We will send you a receipt email, and will curate the performances together into a 12th night concert/competition, with performances by ourselves, and your wonderful personages, from which Their Majesties will select their new Bardic Champion.
Any questions may be directed to the sylvan bard email above. Thank you, break a leg, and be well and joyful!