Greetings wonderful populace of this glorious Kingdom of Æthelmearc!
I am Lady Vika Vyborgskaia, reign coordinator for our King Arnthor and Queen Ceirech. I want to say hello and introduce myself.
I also want to let you know that Their Majesties would like to continue the tradition of handing out mugs to all newcomers. However, the number of mugs is running low,
In addition, They will continue the tradition of the children’s toy box, but the supply for that is also low for their many upcoming events. If you can donate any mugs or toy box items, please reach out to me so I can arrange the delivery of your donation.
Greetings wonderful populace of this glorious Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
I am Lady Vika Vyborgskaia, Reign Coordinator for our current Prince Arnthor and Princess Ceirech. Coronation is approaching and I want to say hello and introduce myself.
I also want to let you know that Their Highnesses would like to continue the tradition of handing out mugs to all newcomers, however the number of mugs is running low, and they will continue the children’s toy box, but the supply is also low for their many upcoming events. If you can donate any mugs or toy box items please reach out to me so I can arrange the delivery of your donation.
In the glorious year of A.S. 47 during the reign of their Royal Majesties Andreas and Kallista, Maple, a Belgian mare, made her first appearance during the Kingdom Equestrian Championships in the Barony of the Endless Hills.
With thundering hooves and fierce demeaner she carried her warrior boldly through the challenging course, and a few minutes later during the same event, Maple was carrying another warrior with gentleness safely through the obstacle. This impressed the court and left them astounded. This massive 2000 lb war horse, strong as she could be, also demonstrated that she is also just a gentle giant who is here to protect and serve our glorious Kingdom and Mounted Warriors. That day Maple started her journey within the SCA.
Photo credit to Michelle Bauer
Over the recent years, Maple established a solid place in her Barony of the Debatable Lands. She has served her glorious kingdom of Æthelmearc by processing many Royals and Highnesses into Court over the past 10 years. She paraded proudly during the SCA 50 Year Anniversary and carried TRM Byron through the procession. His lovely wife was riding Maple’s friend Daisy, another war horse Maple shares her pastures with.
During the Middle Kingdom’s 50-year anniversary, the procession was cancelled due to weather, but Maple was present and stood happily for some Royal pictures. Of course, Maple did not miss the opportunity to participate in Æthelmearc’s 20-year anniversary celebrations and provide transportation for TRM into court.
Maple loves attention and enjoys making humans smile. She agreed to pose with the pasture sister Daisy for pictures during Debatable lands 12th night celebration in the winter of 2019. This picture opportunity was well appreciated and attended by all.
Marching in processions, parades and posing for photo opportunities is not what makes Maple a war horse. Her athletic skills during the equestrian games and in the jousting list is what earned her the title of Sylvan Horse of Æthelmearc. During the equestrian championship Maple carried four different riders through the challenge course and came out victorious. At the end of that day, King Byron called Maple into his court and bestowed her with the title “Sylvan Horse of Æthelmearc.”
Earlier this year, Maple aided His Highness Byron to claim his throne during spring coronation.
Since then, Maple has carried many riders to their victories in the baronial championship in her homeland. Since 2017 all the Barony of the Debatable Lands champions rode this wonderful strong and majestic war horse Maple. This fact earned Maple an Iron Comet during the Iris Festival earlier this year, from the Debatable Lands. Additionally, Maple has been mentoring and training new SCA equestrians, and was available for rider’s authorizations in games, mounted archery, and jousting. In fact, Maple was used to authorize over 20 riders, 7 mounted archers and 16 jousters between 2016 and 2019.
Today, Maple is over 25 years old, and enjoys her life with her equine friends on the farm in Gibsonia PA. She enjoys her trail rides and eating fresh grass and clover. She always appreciates additional treats like apples and carrots. Occasionally, she is making guest appearances at community events, and is always looking forward making others smile. After so many years in service, Maple is started a new adventure this summer. Since Pennsic, Maple has started training experienced archers, who are brave enough to join the Kingdom’s Cavalry, in the skill of mounted archery. We will be looking forward to the fruits of her new adventures!
Greetings! Unto the Populace of Æthelmearc, it is with great anticipation, that in one month we, Arnthor and Ceirech, Crown Prince and Princess, shall ascend the thrones of Æthelmearc. As the duty of the Crown to find and establish Heirs, we declare a glorious Crown Tournament to be held on October 8th, AS 57, in our Barony of Endless Hills to identify gentles to succeed us upon the thrones.
All combatants and their consorts must be citizens of Æthelmearc, and all consorts must be present throughout the tournament. All shields must be spannable from the armpit and held by the fingertips. Letters of intent must be submitted to us by September 8th (30 days prior to the tournament). You may submit a letter to us by email, or by using the online form. Letters should include full contact information for combatant and consort, authorization and membership cards, mundane age, and SCA and mundane names. Combatant couples are encouraged and should be clearly indicated in the letter. We look forward to a day of pageantry and chivalrous combat to determine Our Heirs!
Monica Gaudio / Illadore de Bedgrayne
Pennsic is nearly upon us and the Æthelmearc Brewers Guild is happy to announce that the Æ Royal Bar will be back once again this year!
Because of the unusual circumstances of this Pennsic and the precautions that are necessary to keep our populace safe, the bar will be running on a much shorter schedule than last Pennsic.
We hope to be open for Order meetings, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Court, Baronial dinner, and the Kingdom party; with the possible addition of a few more hours depending on need and interest.
That said, we need you. To make this happen we need bar staff to help us man the bar and keep the drinks flowing. We are looking for volunteers to work the events and times the bar is scheduled to be operating. There are time slots of 30 minutes but of course more is always appreciated; we know there are many opportunities to volunteer around Pennsic, and your time is precious to us.
If there are any Baronies / Shires / Households / groups or individuals that would like to staff the bar for certain events or certain days, please feel free to sign up as a group or singularly. We will need someone to be the point of contact for group sign-ups, and would ask for a contact method for anyone taking a solo shift. We need at least 2 people, but prefer 3 to cover each shift, so if there is an empty slot in the schedule, please feel free to take it – the more the merrier!
If you know your availability or if you have a preference for working a specific time frame, you may sign up for that slot now by contacting me via Facebook Messenger at Vick Presler, or via email or Elska via Facebook Messenger at Elska á Fjárfelli, or via email. During Pennsic, starting Peace Week, please contact Elska via text or call at 315-200-9738 or 607-351-5181 (Hrolfr) for any questions or to sign up for a shift.
THL Lasairfhiona inghen Aindriasa
Butler, Æthelmearc Brewers Guild
For the first time in many years, Ӕthelmearc has a Crown Prince and Princess who have never sat the thrones before.
Prince Arnthor inn Sterki and Princess Ceirech na Hinnsi live in the Shire of Hunter’s Home, in Lawrence County, PA, not far from Coopers’ Lake where the Pennsic War is held.
His Highness is a Knight and a member of the Orders of the Gage and Golden Alce, as well as a Companion of the Scarlet Battery for his work with siege weapons. He also has a Keystone and a Sycamore.
Her Highness received her AoA for tablet weaving and service in archery, and a Golden Alce for her work with siege weapons.
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope interviewed our new Crown Prince and Princess to learn more about them.
When and how did you find the SCA? What most attracted you to the Society?
Arnthor: I found it on the internet and knew it was for me. I was hooked on fighting heavy from our first event, Sunderoak’s summer picnic in 2003.
Ceirech: When I first began my Scadian adventure in 2003, it was for my husband, but after meeting people and discovering some of the opportunities that it offered, I grew an appreciation for it. I remember an early Pennsic experience of waking up to bagpipes in the distance and going to sleep that night to rhythmic drum beats. It was beautiful and it was those kinds of experiences, the ones that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, that got me really excited about the SCA.
Please tell me a little about your personas and how you chose them.
Arnthor: I am a Danish warrior who ended up in Rus. My (real-life) grandmother, who passed before I was born, was full-blooded Danish. I always thought that was interesting. I wanted to know as much about her home country as I could.
Ceirech: I chose a 5th century Irish name, but I had no specific persona when I chose it. I tend to decide what clothing style I will wear based on the season. I prefer layered Viking garb during the winter months and cooler Roman garb during the summer, but I’ve also worn Italian Ren and I’m currently looking at Rus. When it comes to garb, there are just too many beautiful and interesting things to wear for me not to learn about and indulge in as many styles as possible.
Photo by Baroness Ailianora Brunhulle
I hear that you are both members of a new fighting group. How did that get started?
Ceirech: Yes, we are very excited! Four of us friends formed our fighting group Bogatyr with a lot of thought and care. Arnthor has always dreamed of a fighting group where everyone is treated as an equal and accomplished fighters can invest in lifting up others who share the same or similar goals as him. I like that we are all individuals that can wear our own colors, but come together under a shared banner on the field as people who fight together and help each other realize our potential. I also like that people take turns being in leadership roles on the field, so if someone wants to try leading they will get that opportunity. We think this will help fighters who otherwise wouldn’t get the experience and they can receive feedback from the group that will help them grow.
Arnthor: We are not a household, we are the wandering chivalry of Ӕthelmearc. My squires (Winnardus, Patrokles, Raziel, and Brillo) are free to join or stay in any household they wish; they just need to fight with me. Other members can come from any household or no household at all to fight with us.
In addition, to stay active over the last year, I started holding fighter practices at my house with a group my wife called the “Vacc Pack” because everyone had to be vaccinated against Covid to participate. This became successful enough that others from the Vacc Pack group began hosting their own fight practices, and one of them even had twenty people.
Has either of you been an associate (squire, apprentice, protégé, etc.) to another peer?
Arnthor: Yes, I was squired to Sir Tarl MacLave. He was a friend and had been knighted in the fall of 2014. We already had a mentor type of relationship so I asked him to take me as his squire the following spring, because I wanted to be part of that lineage Tarl’s knight was Sir Reinhardt von Berchtesgaden, whose had been squired to Master Wulfgar of the Wood. Two weeks later I was knighted, at War Practice in 2015.
Ceirech: I’ve only begun my personal journey in the SCA in recent years, and there are so many things I enjoy, from operating a ballista to inkle weaving, that I have not focused on anything in particular yet. It has been my goal to experience as many things as I can for right now.
Arnthor or Arnþorr? Do you have a preferred spelling? And for Her Highness, can you explain how your name should be pronounced?
Arnthor: It’s Arnthor.
Ceirech: “Ceir” rhymes with “here” and “ech” rhymes with “deck.”
Photo by Baroness Miriel du Lac
You’ve both been involved in siege weapons. Can you discuss how that came about and what your part in it has been?
Arnthor: I was the spearhead and main builder of five ballistae. We gave one to the Kingdom and one was broken, but the other three were still in service at Pennsic 48. Her Highness and I are responsible for many of the Kingdom siege engineers becoming authorized.
Ceirech: For years I wanted to fight heavy, but I knew it wasn’t realistic for me due to my heart problems. My husband wanted to build a ballista, so it seemed the perfect fit to get me out there on the field. He built his first ballista for me, and then he built a few more with some assistance. I wasn’t able to work the ballista every Pennsic due to my health, so to stay involved, I became the Siege Commander for a couple of years, worked as a Siege Marshal, and helped with weapons inspections as well. I also enjoyed authorizing people, because seeing their faces when they got to shoot for the first time was very exciting for me.
I’ve read that Arnthor has done bone carving and Ceirech has done tablet weaving. Can you discuss some of the items you’ve made? What other arts are you both interested in?
Arnthor: I do enjoy antler carving (bone stinks too much for me). I have made many things, such as Thor’s hammers, combs, needle holders, and jewelry with amber stones mounted on them.
Ceirech: I love the arts. I’ve spent many hours over the years at tablet, stick, and inkle weaving. I’ve also made scrolls, done embroidery, learned sprang, and played around with repoussé and chasing.
I believe you have an adult daughter and son. Are they still involved in the SCA?
Ceirech: Our son and daughter started in the SCA about 19 years ago. I believe they were 8 and 6 years old. Our daughter, Freya, has always enjoyed the SCA and is becoming more active again as an adult. She has made lifelong friends in the Society, so we know the SCA has a permanent place in her life. Our son, Magnus, enjoyed some things about the SCA, but has other interests that take priority, so he has not been active for many years. He told me recently, though, that he may come back for a visit.
What goals do you have for your reign? What do you think is the most important aspect of sitting the thrones?
Arnthor: We want to see people get rewarded for their hard work and effort.
Ceirech: When my husband and I sat in court with the King and Queen for the first time at Crown Tourney, that new perspective allowed us to see the faces of the people receiving their awards and their happiness was very moving. I love that part of it and we are looking forward to seeing the happy smiles and happy tears throughout our reign.
I also think it’s my duty to help be a voice for those with disabilities. My reign may end up looking different than those before me, and I think that should be OK. I may not be able to do everything expected of me in the way people are used to seeing it done. I think it’s important for people to see those differences and to understand that someone’s health can change from day to day, even moment to moment, depending on the person’s specific issue or issues. I would like to see a society that is more knowledgeable about and mindful of people with disabilities. I believe awareness, especially concerning invisible illnesses, can and will improve the experience for everyone.
Have you had a chance to assemble a staff yet?
Ceirech and Arnthor: Yes, we knew from the start who we wanted to run our reign (Lady Vika Vyborgskaia) and be our Head Retainer (Baroness Aine ny Allane). The rest have been falling into place.
Given that Covid-19 doesn’t seem likely to go away any time soon, a winter reign is likely to be challenging. King Gareth and Queen Juliana had to deal with many canceled and rescheduled events because of Omicron, and of course almost all of King Maynard and Queen Liadain’s very long reign was virtual. Have you thought about ways to handle those issues during your time on the thrones if Covid does remain an issue?
Arnthor: Both couples you mentioned provided an excellent road map on how to navigate the pandemic. Her Highness’s health makes her very vulnerable to the worst effects of Covid. So it is of the utmost importance to us that we do the best we can to ensure everyone is safe.
Photo by THLady Silence de Cherbourg
Princess Ceirech, you have mentioned your health issues and the need to use a walker or wheelchair sometimes. Can you tell us more about this?
Ceirech: I have a progressive, incurable, genetic heart disease that wasn’t diagnosed until I was 46 years old. The main heart problem I have is Apical Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It’s usually pretty benign, but in my case, it is the very opposite, and I have a lot of severe symptoms like congestive heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias. Due to scar tissue building up inside my heart, the signal to tell my heart to beat can no longer travel throughout my heart, so I have a pacemaker to make the bottom chambers of my heart beat and a defibrillator to help protect me from going into cardiac arrest from the arrhythmias I experience.
My heart is actually strong with a good solid beat, but due to my type of heart disease, the wall around my left ventricle is severely thickened and does not like to relax to allow blood to fill that chamber before it’s constricting again. I take medication to slow my heart rate down and give that chamber more time to fill, to get more oxygen into my body. With a heart that stays at a slower beat no matter what I’m trying to do, I run out of physical and mental energy quickly, get dizzy a lot, and struggle to catch my breath. Breathing is also complicated by the fluid I retain from my congestive heart failure.
When I’m feeling my best, I can walk with no assistance in short bouts fairly well, but most often I use a walker to allow myself to sit down if I become breathless. The walker also gives me some help with balance. On my worst days, or when I know I will be traveling around a lot, I use a wheelchair. Pennsic, and any medium to large event sites are where a wheelchair is most needed, so I have freedom to get around. That gives me some semblance of normalcy.
I think it’s imperative that the populace know that, when I’m experiencing a heart arrhythmia, I get dizzy and breathless very quickly. I will drop to my knees immediately. Getting close to the ground is for safety, not necessarily because I’m passing out, although it does feel like that to me. The majority of the time, after giving myself a minute or two, my heart will return to its normal rhythm and I’m able to get back to whatever I was doing, though with a little less spunk.
I also have 2 rods and 6 screws in my lower back, and my back gets stiff and tired. Having the walker keeps that from happening as quickly.
What do you do mundanely?
Arnthor: I do background checks for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA).
Ceirech: My education is to be a Secondary History teacher, and when pursuing my Masters I acquired my certification in Special Education. However, due to my health, my dream of being a teacher in the classroom never came to fruition, so drawing upon my creative side, I turned to arts and crafts. The pandemic halted plans I had with a friend to do some vending at craft shows, so with my love of home decorating and photography, I’ve laid the foundation to do ads for home-goods companies. Last year I was approached to start selling my art as prints, even my simple watercolor art I did for Christmas cards and tags, so that is another venue I’ve been pursuing.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to about your time as Heirs and eventually Sovereigns of Ӕthelmearc?
Arnthor and Ceirech: Seeing areas of the SCA that we never would have seen and experienced otherwise, and meeting the people who make them up. We also look forward to recognizing people’s efforts and making any improvements we can, no matter how small, because the most important thing is that Æthelmearc is running smoothly and the populace is content and happy.
Unto the populace of Æthelmearc do I, Renata Rouge, send fond greetings!
As has been rumored for some time, the drums of war beat distantly on the horizon as we edge ever closer to summer. In preparation for the oncoming Great Pennsic War, Her Royal Highness Ariella will be in need to favors with which to inspire and thank our beautiful kingdom!
The previous reign’s favor design by Maggie Rue. Keeping it simple is a good strategy for a successful design! Note the winged heart, part of Her Highness’s badge.
Therefore, She is seeking a design for Her personal favors. In Her previous reign, the Queen’s favor design was based on Her personal badge; this reign, She is seeking a design that could be based on her heraldry, badge or in some way representative of Her reign. The main parameter is that the design be something easily replicated in various mediums (embroidery, paint, etc,) and not overly complex.
If you are interested in participating in this favor competition, please send an outline via electronic submissions to Her Highness email here as well as to myself at email here by March 25. The winning design will be chosen at the Festival Passing of the Ice Dragon in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on March 26, 2022. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!
View the Kingdom of Æthelmearc Roll of Arms for Her Royal Highness Ariella of Thornbury here (Blazon: Gyronny Or and vert, a chief vairy argent and sable).
Announcing opportunity to help out Portersville Food pantry until September 30, 2021.
Their Royal Majesties, Maynard and Liadain, have offered to match the first $2000 dollars of donations by Aethelmearc subjects to the Portersville Food Pantry dollar for dollar! Aethelmearc–we put the LARGE in Largesse! Donate now, if you can. Donations can be sent via paypal or Venmo to the Portersville Food Pantry.
After making a donation, please fill out the following form below so that Their majesties may match any donations made. The form to fill out to match donations can be found here.
Live donation links may be found near the bottom of the 100k From the SCA webpage here.
The Portersville Food Pantry serves 75-100 families in the Pennsic War area, providing wholesome food, clean water, toiletries, and child care supplies to individuals and families in need. They focus on doing business with local farmers and vendors so that the effect of each dollar is magnified in the community that has made us so welcome over the years!
The deadline for sending in a letter of intent to fight in our crown tournament is tomorrow, Wednesday July 21st. Please be sure to get your letters in or fill out the online form before the end of the day tomorrow.
This announcement is from the Kingdom Seneschal, Master Illadore de Bedegrayne.
Greetings to the Populace of Æthelmearc!
SHORT VERSION: Crown to be held in Misty Highlands, August 21st , 2021, letters due to Their Majesties by July 21st, Coronation to be held hopefully in September, with an October Crown following. If you plan on entering this tournament, please listen to this video/read this email in full, as it has specific requirements.
First and foremost, Letters of Intent to Their Majesties must be provided no later than 30 days prior to Crown Tourney- so by July 21, 2021. We highly recommend using the online form on the Kingdom website. The form will be turned on within a few days by our Kingdom Webminister. You may also use email or regular mail but we recommend sending that in quickly.
As we are limited to 150 people who may attend an event, pre-registration to Crown Tourney for those other than Their Majesties, required officers, staff, or entrants will open after July 21st date. Pre-registration will be required. Crown tourney will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend. A more formal event announcement will be forthcoming. Please understand that if the BOD does not lift the 150 person rule, if you are not a combatant couple or staff, you might not be able to attend.
Coronation: The preferred date for Coronation is September 25, 2021. Alternate dates may include September 18 or October 1. New Heirs will have the option of having their Coronation online, at a small local event (say in a park), or another event scheduled in September. Should none of these options be viable, Coronation will occur on the morning of October Crown Tournament. Heirs will need to choose which option they would prefer on the day of their victory. This is not the norm as most Æthelmearc heirs have several months to make Coronation happen. This decision was made due to our desire to get back on track as a Kingdom.
October Crown: It is our intent to have another Crown in October, with letters due to The Heirs 30 days prior to the event. The details for October Crown are still being determined but the preferred date will be October 16th or later. The October Heirs would step up in April 2022.
As you can see, Combatants and Consorts who enter the August 2021 Crown tournament need to consider not only what it means to be Royalty during a pandemic but also the time commitment for the quick turnaround for Coronation and the next Crown Tourney.
I know you may have many questions. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer them.
Illadore de Bedegrayne
A video version of this announcement is available here.