With Ice Dragon looming and Arts & Sciences on our collective minds, the following poem seems to beautifully capture what many of us have gone through, are going through, and will go through, in our never-ending quest to make the thing. Enjoy!
Weaving your dreams
for Maestra Elisif Gydasdottir
The first time you saw it, You knew from the start That thing they were making It captured your heart Igniting your dreams, you had found your key “One day -I just know it- the maker will be me!”
Weaving your dreams with threads spun of gold, Until those dreams blossom, and a wreath then unfolds So heart all afire You set on your path, Materials were needed But God, what was what?You tried all the wrong things and some right ones too But all of a sudden, it was a thing you could do
Sewing your dreams, with fabric by the bolt Until those dreams blossom and a wreath then unfolds
Not perfect, not pretty That very first try But proud as a mother Until time passes by Then all of a sudden, flaws were all you could see And you started thinking, it may NOT be for me. Singing your dreams, with verses so old until those dreams blossom and a wreath then unfolds
But then someone saw you and all that you tried A hand on your shoulder always there when you cried They traveled along you, they shared their own art They gave you their time and a piece of their heart. Beading your dreams with glass bright and bold Until those dreams blossom and a wreath then unfolds
And all of a sudden Or after long years Your skills started flying More joy now than tears Some projects you bled on, or cursed, sometimes both But people were talking, they noticed your growth
Giving voice to your dreams with stories you told Until those dreams blossom and a wreath then unfolds
The project of doom Cost you nights without rest doubts, tears, and yet trust now Because it would be your best You knew the way forward, right from the start Because that thing you were making had captured your heart.
Weaving your dreams with threads spun of gold, Until those dreams blossom, and a wreath then unfolds
Your name is well known now your guidance they seek From student to teacher for the bold and the meek Who say as they sit and and they look at your art “That thing you are making has captured my heart.”
The poem was written by Baroness Machteld Cleine in 2020, for her friend Ellisif Gydasdottir who was given her writ to sit vigil at Gulf Wars to contemplate joining the order of the Laurel. Her friend had mentioned that while there were many songs in one way or another of the journey from squire to knighthood, there were none that came to mind about an apprentice’s journey to the becoming a master or mistress of their craft.
Baroness Machteld said “As a friend.. I had to try and fix that.” She wrote this poem, which has the wonderful potential to be put to music, to make the event special for her. It was intended to be performed on site, but due to the Plague has been shared on paper, for now. Baroness Machteld wants it to be also available for others, as well as honoring her mentor Mistress Marion Leoncina di Susa and all the other people who ‘guide’ along the road.
Our Kingdom’s Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney is so famous, we even received several entries from an out-of-kingdom wordsmith! Baron Jonathan Blackbow from our southern neighbor the Kingdom of Atlantia entered four pieces of original poetry. As we do not have the ability to converse with our entrants face to face, the Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney now offers the opportunity to drool over our entries right there on the Kingdom Ministry of Arts & Sciences website – even to leave feedback! And to learn a little more about the artisan and their thoughts behind their entry, the organizers decided to broaden our traditional entry of object and documentation with personal interviews.
Could you tell me a little about you, your persona.
In the real world my name is David Ritterskamp. I just turned 50 in January, and I’ve been in the SCA since about February of 1987. I write a lot of poetry (English and Viking Drottkvaett basically), as well as filks, songs, and stories. I wrote the PR for War of the Wings since the first year, and I just published (after about a decade) an unofficial sequel to The Last Starfighter.
In the SCA my name is Baron Jonathan Blackbow; I have an (unintentionally) ridiculously long OP entry because I fight heavy, do a lot of things for my kingdom (Atlantia), and also because of all the writing. As far as “persona” I’ll be brutally honest; I’ve never developed one. But enough other people have basically called me a warrior-bard that I use it when I play D&D (which is damn rare because I’m usually DMing the game, that being something else I’m good at, i.e., storytelling, keeping track of stats and stories, and a background in drama, ironically enough since I’m actually a professional desktop support expert) LOL. I have to admit, I was glad when the Red Dragon Disciple prestige class came along, because that’s what a fighter/bard can turn into. Most of what I’ve written over the years is webbed up at blackbow.trobaire.org.
What inspired you to make your entry?
I tend to enter my writing in any contest that makes sense to enter it in that I’m aware of. One of the poems was actually entered in a contest that Sylvan Glen ran several years ago. The Other Side Of The Wall At Pennsic made sense to enter because it’s centered around Pennsic which is in Æthelmearc. I could have entered twenty or thirty more poems and stories and such but I tried not to overload it. When I enter contests such as this it’s basically to get exposure, but not just for the sake of exposure if that makes sense; it’s also because the poems I write tend to elicit significant emotional responses (usually crying like a baby), and people like to see/read things like this because of the catharsis that comes along with it.
In short, people like my writing. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t put it out there.
What is your intention with your entry?
I’m a writer. I show my stuff because people like it.
Anything else you would like to share?
When you asked about me and my persona I concentrated on a few specific things, but if you want more, 1) I’m the reason for the zoombang (www.zoombang.com, look for the Maximum Coverage) shirt that has sold several thousand units for, among other people, heavy fighters in the SCA, 2) I built a town (and wrote it into the story) to use at War of the Wings (yes I named it Blackbowton)!
Thank you, Baron Jonathan Blackbow, for sharing your wonderful work with our Kingdom’s artisans and populace!
If you would like to see Baron Jonathan’s entries, follow this link to the Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney. And if you liked his work, have a question to ask, or a tip to share – please leave your comments with his entries! You can “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of the entry’s page. We have until Æthelmearc Æcademy on July the 11th, when Her Majesty will announce the winners in Virtual Court, to peruse, enjoy and interact with the entrants. Make use of the opportunity, if you can!
Fiona of Hartstone and Superman, photograph by Sidney Green
Save the Baroness Hilderun!
Six noble riders braved the challenges posed by the Dragon horde accused of somehow kidnapping our dear Baroness Hilderun from the Debatable Lands and leaving only a faint image of her in effigy. At least that was what her distressed husband, Baron Brandubh, alleged when he sought the help of those noble dragonslayers.
As he explained, the riders would have to endure the thorny thickets, enter the flaming cave of the dragon, slay the King dragon, slay the Mother Dragon, slaughter all of the baby dragons, and dance in their blood. If these tasks were accomplished, then the Baroness would be returned to the Baron.
The first noble riders set off with courage, chivalry, and enthusiasm to brave the challenge to slay all of the dragons, adults and cute little baby dragons alike, so that they might achieve the glory of returning the Baron’s beloved Baroness back to her rightful home.
First Victoria. She did brave the thorny thickets, but failed to kill either the King or Queen dragons. She did report that they were at best severely wounded and at least scared. However, she was very efficient at slaying all of the cute baby dragons and trampled through their gushing blood with zest. This was apparently enough to break the spell, and the lovely Baroness was indeed found back by her Baron’s side.
Lord Nohaaj was also summoned by the Baron with the same pitiful, impassioned plea for help to find his missing Baroness. Nohaaj also struck out into the wilderness, thrashing through the thorny thickets and diving into the fiery cave on his brave war horse Maple. He was successful in killing the Dragon King, but merely offended the Queen dragon with a poorly placed spear and an insult about her bony appearance leaving no suitable target. He wiped out the squealing and adorable baby dragons, and was shocked by the volumes of blood that pooled into the cave, with Maple trampling through the oozing blood. He returned to the Baron to find that his deeds were, if not perfect, enough for the Baroness to be found safe once again by her dedicated and concerned Baron’s side.
But, the Baron was forced to call out yet again for help, and another rider went valiantly up to perform the same challenge, for once again the Baroness had gone missing. Each respective rider performed honorably, and the Baroness would be returned. This process was repeated by Katja, Fiona, and yet again by Catrina. Each time, dragons were slain and the wandering Baroness returned.
When the Baron called out for the sixth time that he needed a noble soul to slay dragons to help retrieve his beloved Baroness, John, riding the majestic Superman, another great war horse, started to question the Baron. “Noble Baron” he queried, “Are you sure that the dragons are in fact the issue here?” He continued, “Just thinking outside the box, maybe a moat, some castle guards, even an ankle chain, might help…?”
But nonetheless, despite his nagging doubts, the noble John set off with his warhorse Superman, to slay dragons and return the Baroness once more to the Baron’s side. And he, too, was successful in driving the Dragon King to requiring therapy (PTSD from having so many errant spears chucked at him) scaring the Dragon Queen, and laying waste to the harmless, cute, defenseless, little baby dragons. Finally, he sloshed through their blood. Upon his return, he noted that the dragons seemed quite indifferent to the whereabouts of the Baroness, who happened to return to the baron’s side ONCE AGAIN, even though the required tasks were only partially accomplished. He observed that the dragon lair was a very large, spacious, and airy cave. He further noted that nowhere in his travels attempting to slay, and succeeding in scaring and abusing, these gentile creatures, did he notice any trace of the Baroness. He concluded: “Perhaps the noble Baron Brandubh should consider that the gentle dragons are not the cause of his beloved Baroness’ wandering tendencies, as alleged?!?”
Rider John recounts his quest to slay the dragons and rescue the Baroness
This shocking concept has caused the Baron to ponder the Dragons’ involvement, and indeed his beloved Baroness Hilderun’s story of alleged kidnapping. It is rumored that the Baron is planning another event to determine the truth. To be continued….
The Pentathlon Literary Entries deadline is coming!
Entries in Literary Arts must be received electronically or postmarked by March 1, 2019 .
Entries may be sent electronically to Mistress Cori or via hard copy in the mail. If you do not receive a confirmation email that an electronically submitted entry has been received within 24 hours of sending it, contact me. Please contact me in advance for the address if you are sending hard copy.
Lit1: Research paper
A research paper may be written in any style which the entrant chooses (EG Chicago, ALA, etc.) The judging of the paper is to be focused on the research presented, and any theories or conclusions presented. The entrant is strongly encouraged to be consistent in the use of the style they choose.
By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France)
Grimmy loves his new coat from Baroness Helene. Photo by Baroness Ekaterina.
Come on, you know you want to join the Æthelmearc Artisan Exchange!
You, creating that awesome, intriguing, engrossing, fun, beautiful art form.
Sign up to make it – whether an art form you’ve been developing for years or something you just started delving into, whether woodworking, sewing, brewing, metal smithing, leather working, cooking, etc. – for someone else.
Then reap the joy of that person receiving it, while you receive a personalized gift in return from another talented artisan in our kingdom.
What is the Artisan Exchange?
Unlike A&S competition, displays, classes, or other common artisan-oriented activities that are often competitive and scary to new artisans, the Exchange encourages artisans of all levels and abilities simply to practice an existing skill or explore a new one while creating something within roughly three months’ timeframe (and with a $25 limit on materials, not including shipping costs) for a fellow artisan in the exchange, at the end of which they will receive a gift in turn from another artisan. As in modern Secret Santa exchanges, only the Exchange coordinator knows which artisans she has matched up until the gifts are mailed and the effusive thanks begin. Artisans of all ages, skill levels, genders, etc. participate and the created items do not all have to be documented period items.
History of the Exchanges
Originally created as a Noblesse Largesse swap in Calontir by Lady Konstantia Kaloethina and HL Aline Swynbrook, those founders encouraged gentles in other kingdoms to use and expand the idea. Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir learned about the East Kingdom’s Swap (and then Exchange) while a resident of that kingdom and enjoyed participating in 10 exchanges over four years there: knitting shawls, painting and embroidering messenger bags and a Norman cloak, and sewing a silk banner and a Skoldhammim hood.
When she and her husband, Baron Friderich Swartzwalder, became citizens of Greater AEthelmearc a few years ago and began playing in the Nithgaard/Abhainn Ciach Ghlais area, she wanted to join our kingdom’s Exchange, which had been coordinated in 2013 by Janice Mullins Wagoner.
“I saw the amazing art being made in the East’s group, and knew that AE had or has many very talented artisans,” Her Excellency explained.
Block-printed feast gear bags from Mistress Fredeberg to Baroness Helene. Photo by Baroness Helene.
When Janice stepped down and offered the Exchange to Baroness Oddkatla, she talked to the Calontir founders for guidance with the process and forms and began coordinating the project in Fall 2015, which finished by Kingdom Twelfth Night in January 2016.
“The first exchange was very well received, and we had about 40 artisans participate. I try to have a new exchange start within about a month to six weeks after the previous on ends. Most of the time it works out to be two exchanges a year. Someday, maybe I can get a third one in or have two different exchanges running at the same time.”
At the beginning of each Exchange, Her Excellency asks participants to join the project’s Facebook group and fill out a survey detailing the participant’s home group, persona, color preferences, favorite activities, and art interests. After receiving all the surveys, Baroness Oddkatla randomly matches each artisan with another and privately sends each artisan the survey information for their matched artisan. She checks in frequently with the artisans via the Facebook group (and private emails, if necessary) on the progress and nudges everyone into mailing or personally handing every gift by the Exchange deadline.
The Exchange is primarily coordinated on the Facebook group, but Her Excellency notes that artisans do not need to be a Facebook member to join the Exchange; they can participate via email.
What outcome did you hope for the Exchange – just a fun Secret Santa gift swap or something more?
“When I first thought about starting an Exchange in AE, I had the dream of getting people together in a fun way to make and share art, whether the participant was a new person to the SCA or a Laurel who had years of making and creating art. The fun part (in my mind) was the fact that no one knew who was making the art for you. When I was taking part in the East Kingdom exchange, one of the best parts was anticipating what might arrive in the mail at the end of the exchange.”
How has the exchange changed/evolved since you began this?
“The exchange has grown by leaps and bounds since we first started. The Facebook group has 296 members with more artisans asking to join every swap. The first swap had 40 artisans and the more recent exchange that finished in December 2017 had 70.”
So far, 50 participants have joined the one that is in the survey stage right now. Baroness Oddkatla is hoping for 70 participants.
Woven belt/trim by Lady Zianna for Lady Catherine O’Herlihy. Photo by Lady Catherine.
What has gone well and was has been a challenge?
“The amazing creativity AE artisans have (has gone well)! A challenge has been getting the gifts delivered in a timely manner. One of the things about the exchange that dismays me is the need for extra time at the end of the exchange, as some need more time to finish. One of my goals is to have everyone mail their gifts on the scheduled mailing date. Usually, the extensions are given as an artisan has a “fail” and needs more time to finish. Please don’t misunderstand, most people mail on the date, and only a few need extensions.”
What have been some of the themes of past exchanges and what is the current one?
“Themes in the exchange have been varied. The first one was a Twelfth Night theme, with the gifts being something fancy that could be worn or used at Twelfth night. Themes since then have been “Spring/Camping” where each artisan was asked in the survey if they would like to receive a spring- or a camping-themed gift. The theme of the exchange that we just completed was “Heraldry,” and each artisan was asked to make a gift using their recipient’s arms or colors, or if the artisan did not have heraldry, the recipient’s household or Kingdom arms were used.
“This new exchange is a repeat of a past exchange called a “RED/WHITE” exchange. What this means is that the artisan can pick either the RED or WHITE part of the swap. RED gifts must be made with period methods, have documentation, and the dollar amount for supplies can be more than $25. WHITE gifts stick to the original rules of $25 being the top end of the amount each artisan can spend on supplies and no documentation or period methods necessary. Other than that nothing special needs to be done.”
What are some of the most notable gifts you’ve seen made?
“Every gift that is made is very special! I have a few favorites, from all the different exchanges. Some memorable ones are the amazing painted box Abigail Kelhoge made for Anna Leigh, inspired by an illumination; a blackwork embroidered coif Rhys Penbras ap Dafydd made for Elisabeth Johanna von der Flossenburg; and the angel gift Rynea von Lingen made for Astridr Vigodottir, known as Ashling.
Painted box by Lady Abigail Kelhoge for Countess Anna Leigh. Photo by Countess Anna.
“There are many, many gifts I love, way too many to list here!
“You’re probably wondering what an Angel gift is? An Angel gift gets made when an artisan cannot complete their gift. I put out a call for someone to make a gift, and then when I get an angel, I send them the information they need and they make a gift for the artisan that did not get a gift due to their artisan not being able to finish their gift.
“I make sure that everyone who joins to make a gift gets a gift. I feel that every artisan needs to be able to have something to show for the hard work they have done.”
How much time each week during the exchange do you spend coordinating this and what is involved on your end? Is anyone else involved in the coordination?
“There is a fair amount of work that I do to get the exchange up and running. Starting with writing and developing a survey all the artisans must take to be included in the exchange. After the surveys have been taken and it has been closed, when I have the number of artisans that I need to run the exchange, the real work begins. I take each artisan and give them a number, and then using a blind draw, I assign artisan to artisan. Then I send each artisan an email with their recipient in the email. I ask each artisan to send me an email back so that I know they have received their artisan’s name and survey information.
“At this point, the progress of the exchange is up to the artisans. My part slows down a bit as I just make sure I am a cheerleader to keep people motivated and working. I let everyone know that I am here to answer their questions. One of the rules is that no one contact their recipient. If they need help for something they would like to know, they need to contact me either by email or private message on Facebook.
“I put in about 20 to 30 hours at the beginning getting the exchange started and then about two hours a week answering questions from artisans. When the gifts are due to be mailed, I do a bit more making sure that artisans have mailed their gifts. I ask that they send me a photo of their mailing receipt, so that I know their gift has been mailed; there’s a bit more work if anyone asks for extensions. By the end of the exchange, I’m usually putting in anywhere from four to six hours a week. I am the sole person running the AE Artisan Exchange. I have had people ask if I need help, which I usually thank them for, but decline. “
What are your future plans or hopes for this exchange?
“I hope the exchange will continue to grow, and that AE continues to show how talented her artisans are. “
Quiver by Lord Wladislaw Poznanski.
When is the deadline for the current one?
“Deadline to mail this Exchange’s gift is April 15, 2018. Deadline to withdraw from the Exchange is March 1, 2018, barring last-minute major project failure, for which an extension may be granted. If for any reason you need to bow out of an Exchange it must be done via the Gmail account, not Facebook message.”
What do you say to artisans who are intrigued but unsure about participating?
“I tell people who contact me about participating in the exchange, that they may have doubts about playing with us, but each and every one of us can art. We each have special talents that I know are there, and that all they have to do is fill out a survey, and ask questions. I turn NO ONE AWAY!!! Everyone is welcome, and I will make sure they have help if they think they may not do as well as others that participate in the exchange.”
Anything else you’d like to add?
“This is a lot of fun! I have made many new friends, and encourage all that may have an interest to come and join us!”
Lady Magge singing for the Crown. Photo courtesy of Master Tigernach ma Cathail.
By Lady Magge Illefoster and Lord Gregory Hillson.
These are the lyrics of the song that was performed at the Coronation of Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle. So many people asked for the words and if I would please publish them, so those who wished to learn it could. I am humbled and pleased to present them to you now. ~ Lady Magge
The Rose of Arindale
(Sung to the Tune “The Rose of Allendale”)
When’er I travel east or west,
To every knowned land,
The goodness of our own dear Queen
Is known to every man.
With an unassuming dignity
And a backbone made of stone,
The brightest jewel in Æthelmearc,
Gabrielle van Nijenrode.
Our Rose of Arindale,
Sweet Rose of Arindale,
The fairest flower in all the land,
Is the Rose of Arindale!
Her laughter bright, her gaze is clear,
Her countenance is fair
With a temperament that is so mild,
And wise beyond compare.
She listens e’er she speaks her mind
Her words are soft and few
When you see her with our own good King,
You know their love is true.
When a highway man of little wit,
Did try them to waylay,
Our gentle Queen, our quiet Rose,
Did not give into dismay.
Her courage swelled within her heart
To protect both kith and kin,
A thorned Rose she proved to be
A fighter deep within.
Against the vast assorted host,
Upon the Pennsic field,
Her inspiration spurs all on,
That they should never yield.
Be they fencer, archer, artisan
Or fight with sword and shield,
Our courageous Queen reminds us all
So our best should be revealed.
But the one she does inspire most
The very best to be,
Is the one who fought to make her Queen,
Beloved by all and he.
His life had been adrift at sea
With no star to guide his trail
Had fate not linked his love to hers,
His Grace of Arindale.
Greetings from the Ice Dragon Pentathlon Coordinators!
We want to share a brief reminder that the Literary Arts category has a special deadline and entry rules.
The LITERARY ARTS category consists of the following:
Lit1: Research Paper
Lit2: Musical Arrangement & Composition
Lit3: Poetry & Prose Written Entries
Entries in Literary Arts must be received by the Pent Coordinator no later than March 5. Entries must be sent electronically to carnabyservices at yahoo dot com (email link also here). If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of sending, contact the Pent coordinator. You may attach your entry as a Word document or as a pdf.
Please make sure your name IS NOT on your entry.
Send the following information with your email and use “Pent Literary Entry” as your subject line:
Title of Work
The works will be assigned an entrant number (for blind judging purposes) and then forwarded to the judges. If you are entering the Literary Arts Category, we will automatically pre-register you and assign your general entrant number; this number will also be used for any other entries you have for the event.
General Pent information can be found on the Pent website.
In the opening years of the 11th Century, a monk, living at Wiltshire Abbey, constructed a flying machine and leapt from one of the abbey’s towers. Fantastically, the monk, named Eilmer of Malmesbury, did not die, but soared like a bird. A hundred and twenty years later, the historian William of Malmesbury recorded the following lines:
“Wherefore a certain Monk of our Monastery, by name Eilmer … was a man learned for those times, of mature age and in his youth had hazarded an attempt of singular temerity. He had by some contrivance fastened wings to his hands and feet so that, mistaking fable for true, he might fly like Daedalus, and, collecting the breeze on the summit of a tower, he flew for more than the distance of a furlong.  But, agitated by the violence of the wind and the swirling of air, as well as by awareness of his rashness, he fell, broke his legs, and was lame ever after. He used to relate as the cause of his failure his forgetting to provide himself a tail.” 
The abbot forbade Eilmer from ever experimenting with flight again, and thus human flight was curtailed for centuries.  But, dear reader, do not think of Eilmer’s attempt as a failure. The tower Eilmer launched himself from is no longer standing, but the present abbey is of a similar height: 25 meters. Local legend states that Eilmer landed in Oliver Lane, some 200 meters from the present day abbey. An impressive first attempt. The flight might have been longer if not for the wind. “But William says that Eilmer flew “spatio stadii et plus,” or more than 600 feet,” before falling.” 
So, Eilmer either glided 200 meters straight into the ground, breaking both of his legs on landing, or flew for 200 meters, lost control and fell from some height and then broke both of his legs. In either case, quite impressive, and quite inspiring. The flight of Eilmer was told and retold by historians. First by William of Malmesbury  who would have had access to the abbey’s records and would have spoken to people whose parents or grandparents might have seen the flight with their own eyes.
Helinand quotes William verbatim in the 1299 “Chronicon,” as does Alberic of Trois-Fontaines in 1241. Vincent of Beauvais re-told Eilmer’s story in 1250 in “Speculum.” In 1352 Ralph Higden, in his Polychronicon, renamed the monk Oliver due to a mistranslation. Henry Knighton and John of Trevisa, did write about “Oliver’s” flight in their histories. Roger Bacon did not mention Eilmer by name, but in his discussions on human flight wrote, “Such devices have long since been made, as well as in our own day, and it is certain that there is a flying machine. I have not seen one, nor have I known anyone who has seen one. But I know a wise man who has designed one.”  Personally, I think that that is a mistranslation: there is no evidence of any medieval flyers during Bacon’s life  and the final line, of the quote, might have been “But I know OF a wise man who has designed one.”
The amazing thing was not that one monk managed to fly for 200 meters, some 1100 years ago, the truly amazing thing was that it took so long for another European to make another attempt. 
“There is, however, no evidence that memory of Eilmer’s feat helped to stimulate the new burst of speculation and experiment about aviation which occurred in Italy in the later fifteenth century. Even before 1449 the engineer Giovanni da Fontana rejects the idea of ascent by hot-air balloons as too hazardous of fire, but expresses entire confidence that human flight can be achieved with mechanical wings. Indeed, he has thought of making some himself, “sed aliis distractus occupationibus non perfeci.” Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of parachutes and flying devices are well known but none appears to have been constructed. The evidence that in the 1490’s Giovanni Battista Danti of Perugia flew in a glider over Lake Trasimeno has as yet emerged in no document earlier than 1648. But we must assume that when, in October 1507, an Italian named Giovanni Damiani, who in 1504 had been appointed Abbot of Tungland, a Premonstratensian monastery in Galloway, garbed himself in wings made of feathers, took flight from the walls of Stirling Castle, plummeted, and broke his leg, he was inspired by experiments in his native land rather than by Eilmer’s example. Damiani sardonically announced that his error had been to include hens’ feathers in his wings, since hens have more at scratching in dunghills than for soaring to the heavens.” 
 220 yards
 Woosnam, p3-4
 Jones, p132
 White (2), p98
 “Gesta regum Anglorum”, 1125
 De secretis operibus, cap. 4, in Opera quaedam hactenus inedita, ed. J. S. Brewer (London, 1859), p. 533. For the date, cf. S. C. Easton, Roger Bacon and His Search for a Universal Science (New York, 1952), p. 111 – quoted from various sources
 The Iranian philospher al-Jauhari, died in a similar flight attempt in Khorosan, sometime between 1003 and 1008 and there is evidence of men flying while strapped to large kites, in China, around the same time.
 White (2), p103-4 Bibliography
“Mystery Files – Leonardo da Vinci”: National Geographic. TV Program. Season 1, Episode 8
“Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives.” TV Program. Season 1 Episode 5. The Philosopher
Anderson, Roberta; Bellenger, Dominic. “Medieval Worlds: A Sourcebook.” Routledge, 2013
Huitson, Toby. Stairway to Heaven: The Functions of Medieval Upper Spaces. Oxbow Books. 2014
Kealey, Edward J. “Harvesting the Air: Windmill Pioneers in Twelfth-century England.” University of California Press, 1987
Lienhard, John H. “The Engines of Our Ingenuity.” Episode 3: “The Flying Monk.” Radio program; produced by Houston Public Media.
Lienhard, John H. “The Engines of Our Ingenuity.” Episode 1142: “Legend and Flight.” Radio program; produced by Houston Public Media.
Paz, James. “The Falling Body of Eilmer the Flying Monk: Religious Belief and Technological Innovation in Late Anglo-Saxon England.” King’s College London. London Anglo-Saxon Symposium 2014
Sharpe, John. “William of Malmesbury’s Chronicle of the kings of England. From the earliest period to the reign of King Stephen.” London, H. G. Bohn. 1847. Archive.Org: Digitizing sponsor: Northeastern University, Snell Library.
White, Lynn, Jr. (1) “Medieval Religion and Technology: Collected Essays.” University of California Press, 1978
White, Lynn, Jr. (2) “Eilmer of Malmesbury, An Eleventh Century Aviator. Medieval Religion and Technology.” Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978, Chapter 4.
White, Lynn, Jr. (3) “Eilmer of Malmesbury, an Eleventh Century Aviator: A Case Study of Technological Innovation, Its Context and Tradition. Technology and Culture.” Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring, 1961), pp. 97-111 The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Society for the History of Technology
Woosnam, Maxwell. “Eilmer, The Flight and The Comet.” Malmesbury, UK: Friends of Malmesbury Abbey. 1986
Today, February 12th, is Duke Morguhn’s birthday. In his memory, I present the erfidrapa I wrote for him. The title comes from the witness he bore at Ekaterina Volkova’s Pelican elevation. The kennings are pretty easy. The last line in each stef (refrain) means “Morguhn’s spirit over the land.”
Morguhn drapa inn Langferðamaðr
(Drapa for Morguhn the Long Road Walker)
by Fridrikr Tomasson
(Pennsic 38, July-August 2009)
Met in boldest battle
Better sword not yet found
Great duke merry mighty
Morguhns ǫnd ofar lǫndum
Saw I flame haired fighter
Field stand never yielding
Brash youth green clad granted
Great knights swift deaths eight-fold
Fought from dawn til dark fall
Dragon tors’d fed corse hawks
Conquered Manfred mighty
Made Rowan his first queen
Saw I fiercesome fighters
forty seeking glory
Grass clad Morguhn mighty
Mowed down those who stood there
Met there turquoise tyger
Tribesman Randall gliding
Shadows minion stalwart
Stood til Morguhn slew him
Laughter rang out loudly
Light heart sang in bright eyes
Keep his memory mighty
Morguhns ǫnd ofar lǫndum
Saw I Dragon’s doomsman
Delve lords guide to Hel’s door
Crossing river’s rock span
that roaring Calon horde kept
Four great giants joined there
Jarred loose rock-scarred foeman
Charging woeful warriors
Wedge from rock’s edge threw them.
Saw I Pennsic pastures
Potent Gavin great king
Brought his knights to kneel there
Noble Morguhn summoned
Round his waist the white belt
Wedded spurs to high boots
Chain of gold was given
Green clad lord thus knighted
Saw I lord of leaf’d round
Longed to hear the swan’s song
Soaring heaven highward
Hied to tourney’s violence.
Verdant Morguhn met there
Mighty western belt-lord
Ronald’s head was hewn there
High born Morguhn won crown.
Met in boldest battle
Better sword not yet found
Great duke merry mighty
Morguhns ǫnd ofar lǫndum
Saw I realm made royal
Ruled by Princes truly
Leaf clad leaf lord led them
Loved by clear-voiced Meirwen
Four times stood he stalwart
Staid by none nor laid low
Fairly reigned by right hand
Ring lord by his prowess
Saw I oak-strong Aethling
Evil’s eye struck death blow
Stood the berry browed lord
Brave til battles ending
Long road walker wanders
Whither no wight follows
We go to join his journey
Gentle Morguhn leads us
Laughter rang out loudly
Light heart sang in bright eyes
Keep his memory mighty
Morguhns ǫnd ofar lǫndum
Kingdom Twelfth Night featured an amazing array of Arts & Sciences activities. Here’s a report on the highlights, submitted by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.
At Æthelmearc Kingdom Twelfth Night, in the morning court, the office of Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences passed from Mistress Alianor de Ravenglas to Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn, assisted by his lady, Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona. Master Fridrikr and Mistress Orianna, both from the Barony of Thescorre, have stated that their goals in the office are to promote the Arts & Sciences within Æthelmearc, expand the opportunities for artists, scientists, and artisans to practice and promote their crafts, and to support the on-going mission of the Æcademy to provide educational opportunities for all of Æthelmearc.
Master Fridrikr swearing fealty as Kingdom Minister of A&S. Photo by Master Alaxandair O’Conchobhair
Lady Teresa Alvarez with her Sycamore scroll. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.
Their Majesties wore some beautiful new clothing to Their Twelfth Night celebration. His Majesty, King Titus, was arrayed in an intricate German Landsknecht outfit with slashed and interlaced breeches in red, black, and white, made by Lady Madeleine de l”Este.
Her Majesty, Queen Anna Leigh, drew all eyes in a beautiful green wool German gown crafted by Lady Teresa Alvarez, who put over 120 hours into embroidering the stunning bodice and sleeves with flowers in white silk. She based the gown on a portrait of Kunigunde Stammbaum der Babenberger from the Babenberg Family Tree triptych at Klosterneuburg Monastery (Hans Part, 1489-1492), shown below. The embroidery on Her Majesty’s gown, farther below, is Lady Teresa’s own design – she used a stylized edelweiss flower because the Babenberg family was from Austria. Lady Teresa was inducted into the Order of the Sycamore at court that evening for her skill in costuming and embroidery.
Portrait of Kunigunde Stammbaum der Babenberger courtesy of Lady Teresa Alvarez.
Queen Anna Leigh’s embroidered gown. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.
The Æthelmearc Sylvan Bard Competition
After the morning court, six performers vied for the honor of becoming Sylvan Bard. Pictured below are the competitors along with our Monarchs: Lady Bugga Bilibit, Master Ruaidhri an Cu, Baroness Gwendolyn the Graceful, Her Majesty Queen Anna Leigh, Lady Cairdha Eilis O’Coileain, His Majesty King Titus, Master William de Montegilt, and Lady Aibinn Mhor Inghean Rioghbhardain.
Sylvan Bard competitors with Their Majesties. Photo by Mistress Hilderun
The competition, which was hosted by the outgoing Sylvan Bard, Lady Alianora Bronhulle, and past Sylvan Bard, Don Orlando di Bene del Vinta, featured three rounds. In the first round, entrants were asked to perform a piece on the theme of Courtly Love. All of the bards chose to sing; some did period pieces, others sang filks or original compositions. Then in the second round, the performers were given an hour or two to write a new piece on a theme chosen by the Crown. The competitors gathered in a circle around Their Majesties to learn in secret what that theme would be before going on their way to scribble madly.
Baroness Gwen reciting a sonnet for Don Orlando for his birthday. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope
Only when the second round performances began was it revealed that the bards were told to write their new pieces on the numerous knightly virtues of… Don Orlando! His birthday had been celebrated only a few days earlier, so Their Majesties bade Don Orlando sit on the steps of the stage so that each bard could perform directly to him.
The competitors were also required to choose a different performance medium from the one they had used in the first round, so for Round 2, most recited poems or told stories, many of them humorous in nature. There was a rhyme improvised on the spot by Lady Cairdha and a “doggerel” by Master William that was greeted with much laughter:
Don Orlando comes from far away
To celebrate with us his natal day,
‘Tis of his knightly virtues I would sing,
But I must choose just one! So says the King.
He sings of courtly love and such,
And eager ladies seek his touch.
Of chastity, Orlando is sans peer,
And so no ladies his amours must fear.
But truly chaste, he does rebuff
Their pleas and sighs and even tears,
Because he knows, though it be tough,
Once a king, always a king,
But once a (k)night is enough.
Master Ruaidhri. Photo by Arianna
Master Ruaidhri an Cu then followed. Although he lives in Atlantia, Master Ruaidhri had received permission from Their Sylvan Majesties to join the competition. As he began his second round entry, he said that since he did not have enough time to compose great verse (with an aside of “Damn you, William!”), he’d fallen back on the old Scottish plan of drinking heavily. He then told a story of Don Orlando having taken a vow of temperance, but being gifted with alcohol by an unnamed Baron who Master Ruaidhri admitted was, in fact, present in the room. Baron Gunnar of Endless Hills and Baron Ichijo of Blackstone Mountain, who were sitting together, looked at each other, laughed, and said “That leaves only the two of us…” In the story Master Ruaidhri recounted, the unnamed Baron repeatedly tempted Orlando by sending him gifts of various types of potables, at which the Baron’s wife complained to her husband that Orlando would do the Baron bodily harm for such insults. In the end, though, the unnamed Baron told his wife that it would be fine, as he had put Baron Ichijo’s name on the gifts.
Lady Bugga performed an interpretive dance in honor of Don Orlando’s humility while reciting verse interpersed with singing, for her Majesty Anna Leigh had informed the competitors that she would look with favor on such performances. Indeed, later during a brief intermission in the evening Court His Majesty commanded a round of interpretive dance in the middle of the hall, which was later dubbed a Mosh Pit.
Mosh Pit of interpretive dance during the intermission at evening Court. Photo by Master Alaxandair.
Lady Aibinn told a story of a young man who sought the definition of valor, which he learned was to slay a dragon. So he went to where a dragon was reputed to be, but found only a woman. She told him the dragon was away, but demanded various things of the man before consenting to be “saved. “ This took many years, as each time the man returned the following year with the items she requested, the lady insisted on more, culminating in a requirement for his allegiance. The man then requested her name, which she told him was Valor. As the man swore his fealty, night fell and the lady transformed, revealing herself to be the dragon. The man paused, said, “A knight is sworn to Valor” and completed his oath, at which point the dragon was vanquished, and the lady reverted to human form and departed the dragon’s lair with him forever.
Baroness Gwen then recited a sonnet on the theme of honor, extolling Don Orlando’s skill with both his rapier and his voice:
In January, winter’s frost doth bite;
The wind whips cloak and cuts through woolen hose.
Yet to the season one was born who fights
With blade as sharp as any wind that blows.
It flashes, ever dancing, but fear not,
For honor guides this fencer, and no foe
Could e’er complain of one excessive shot,
But merrily unto their deaths they go.
And afterward, he’ll sing us songs most sweet
Of knights and ladies, love and chivalry,
Or something of less lofty goals, of cheats
And vagabonds, and joyful ribaldry.
Therefore, Orlando, think this no mean trick:
We honor you, and not upon you pick.
At the completion of the second round of the competition, Their Majesties selected three finalists to continue to the third and final round: Baroness Gwendolyn, Master Ruaidhri, and Master William.
Don Braennan. Photo by Arianna.
Master William sang a humorous filk to the Song of Shield Wall in which a group of men struggled to erect their Pennsic camp’s sheetwall against various impediments, only to finish just as closing ceremonies began. Master Ruadhri performed an original piece called “The Wrath of the Bard” about the perils of offending bards, while Baroness Gwen sang more than twenty spellbinding verses of her own composition about the story of Tam Lin.
After the finals, Lady Alianora announced that Don Braennan MacEarnan, called the Misguided, had arrived at the event too late to compete, but still wished to sing, and Their Majesties granted his request. Don Braennen then performed “Tom O’Bedlam” about the residents of Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane in London. His singing ranged from lyrical to disturbing and creepy as he feigned a variety of mentally ill people, at one point even crawling on the floor. It was a memorable performance.
Their Majesties announced at Court that evening that They had chosen Baroness Gwendolyn the Graceful as Their Bardic Champion. Baroness Gwen was invested with the baldric of her new office.
The new Sylvan Bard, Baroness Gwendolyn the Graceful. Photo by Arianna
Their Majesties thanked Their outgoing Bardic Champion, Lady Alianora Bronhulle, for her service, then before she could escape, They seized her and inducted her into the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc for her skill in the bardic arts.
Lady Alianora Bronhulle, newest member of the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc. Photo by Arianna
Yet More Arts and Sciences!
In addition to the Bardic competition, there was a performance by the Sylvan Singers of the Shire of Sylvan Glen, directed by Don Orlando di Bene del Vinta. They sang an array of choral pieces including We Be Three Poor Mariners and Since First I Saw Your Face, then were joined by members of the Debatable Choir in performing three Yuletide songs.
The Sylvan Singers. Photo by Arianna.
At the evening court, Baroness Ekaterina Volkova, Sylvan Signet, announced the winner of the first round of the Scroll Blank Challenge, in which the scribes of Æthelmearc were asked to submit illuminated borders to be used for Kingdom award scrolls. THLord Ishiyama Gen’tarou Yori’ie submitted the highest number of scrolls: 59 painted blanks, all on documented Japanese designs. The Scroll Blank Challenge will continue, with the next collection point happening at the Festival of the Ice Dragon in the Rhydderich Hael on March 21st.
THLord Ishiyama. Photo by Arianna.
Baron Rauthbjorn Lothbroke won both the Queen’s Choice and the Period Brewing competitions at Twelfth Night. He also contributed to the Taster’s Tavern organized by THLord Madoc Arundel and Lord Kyoshiro Kumagai, working with the Kingdom Brewers’ Guild. The Tavern offered gentles over the age of 21 with ID the opportunity to partake of potables donated by the brewers of the Kingdom. The Tavern was a big hit, and many gentles are looking forward to Debatable Lands Twelfth Night on the 17th when THLord Madoc will host a second such tavern.
Baron Rauthbjorn with his prize scrolls, both calligraphed by Lady Lara Sukhadrev. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.
Event goers then retired to an elaborate and tasty feast prepared under the direction of three different cooks:
— Master Gille MacDhomnuill was responsible for the First Course (lunchtime);
— THL Byrghida Zajacszowa was in charge of the Second Course (mid-afternoon); and
— Master Thorsten Christiansen Ronnow directed the preparation of the Third Course (evening).
The host of servers needed to serve all this food was ably managed by Baron Meszaros Janos. As the kitchen’s “point person,” Dame Bronwyn MacFhionghuin was responsible for non-cooking duties: keeping track of guests’ food allergies, preparing the feast booklet and table menus, and ensuring the kitchen ran smoothly.
The Children’s Feast was prepared by Lady Maacah Sitt al Galb. For more information on how the feast was designed, see the article “Q&A: Savor the Feast at Twelfth Night, No Waiting!”
Another amazing item that debuted at the Twelfth Night feast was a baldequin designed and built by Baron Robert of Sugar Grove with furnishings by THLady Jacqueline de Molieres.
Baldequin by Baron Robert and THL Jacqueline. Photo by Mistress Hilderun
Congratulations to the Autocrat, Mistress Alicia Langland, and the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, for hosting a truly wondrous Twelfth Night!