It is with a heavy heart, that I am cancelling Ædult Swim 2022.
It is my deepest wish that this will be the last necessary cancellation and we, of the great family of the SCA, may again pick up friendships and empassioned activities, safely, within the near future.
Being the Chronicle of the Courts of Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc, held on the fifteenth day of February, AS 54 (2020), at the world-renowned Ædult Swim practice, in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais. Submitted by Lord Snorri skyti Bjarnarson, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald.
The fifteenth Court of Their Majesties’ reign was a discreet affair. Their Majesties, having generously chosen to allow Their populace all the fighting time possible, called to order several small, roving courts in the afternoon.
This Roving Court first sought out the Lady Fede de Fiore and her peerless paramour, Lord Cassiano da Castello. The Queen spoke glowingly of all the various services this pair had done for her this reign, a constant presence as guards and retainers, as ready and willing hands before and after events, and as crafters of clothing. For these services, and many others, She saw fit to award them each with an Æthelmearc Award of Excellence, and gifts from her own hand as tokens of such.
Next, the Roving Court looked for and found Lord Jakob Krahe and Lady Jan Al-Tha’lab (called Fox), after they were lured into a back corner by a masterful subterfuge from Master Silvester. Their Majesties spoke gratefully of the work of Lord Jakob as their Captain of the Queen’s Guards, and for his dedication and care in performing this duty, made him a Baron of Their Court. They then turned to Lady Fox, and noted her many years of quiet, dedicated service, not only to the Royal household and the Duchy of Arindale, but also to the Sylvan Kingdom as a whole, as a provider of food and drink, and especially battlefield refreshments. For these, and sundry other small, and thought unnoticed, services, They named her a Baroness of Their Court.
There being no further business, the Sylvan Court of Æthelmearc was closed, and the Royal Household, with sundry retainers, courtiers, and various visiting dignitaries and Royalty, proceeded hence to Hoss’s, for victuals and deserts – with sprinkles for those such as were appropriate.
Tomorrow (Saturday, August 3) will be a very busy day for AEthelmearc. Here is a summary of the Kingdom-specific events that are scheduled:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Ædult Swim, South Battlefield
9 to 10 a.m.: Order of the Fleur meeting, Æ Royal
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Order of Defense vigil for Po Silvertop, Rapier List 4
10 to noon: Order of the Pelican meeting, Æ Royal
1 to 3 p.m.: Order of the Laurel meeting, Æ Royal
2 to 6 p.m.: Stone Beer Brewing Workshop, Æ Royal
3 p.m.: Elevation Court for Po, Rapier List 4
3 to 4 p.m.: Order of the Millrind meeting, Æ Royal
5 p.m.: Muster for Baronies for Opening Ceremonies, Æ Royal
5 p.m.: Æthelmearc Moneyers Guild meeting, Æ Royal
5:30 p.m.: Procession from Æ Royal to Battlefield
6 to 7 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies, Main Battlefield
7 p.m. – end: Pelican Reception/Vigil for Malcolm MacEoghainn, Black Legion/Pride’s Keep (N17)
8 to 10:30 p.m.: Royal Cocktail Party, Æ Royal
Her Majesty Juliana said she and His Majesty would love to have as many gentles as possible come out with their baronies, their shires, their cantons to support their Kingdom in the procession to Opening Ceremonies tomorrow. All are welcome to muster in AE Royal between 5 and 5:30 p.m.
Royal Cocktail Party
The Royal Cocktail Party is not the annual AEthelmearc party that is open to all — that has been moved to Thursday night.
The Cocktail party is designed for our Crown to welcome the Royalty from other lands to our Kingdom. Set-up will be from 6 to 8 p.m., clean-up is from 10:30 to 11 p.m., and volunteers for either are very welcome.
Master Creador, who is coordinating the food for tomorrow’s party, said we have plenty of drinks but still need some snacks and other comestibles. All food donationsare welcome. Donations can be dropped off at Hospitality up until 4 p.m. and then again from 7 to 8 p.m. — he asked that gentles not drop off items during Opening Ceremonies.
For those research-oriented people who are going to Ædult Swim, we will have a Browsing Library available there, allowing everyone to examine and make notes from the books during the entire day.
All attendees — especially those joining in the A&S activities — are invited to bring their favorite research books to Ædult Swim to share them with others.
We are a Society that believes in researching and in recreating our findings to the best of our ability. Collectively, we have built up an amazing collection of private libraries in our homes. We invite all of you to bring out some of these books to share with a wider audience so that other researchers (especially those who may be new to research in a particular field) can become aware of all of the resources that are around them. Bring out your favorite sources so we all can benefit from them!
If you are interested in participating, please contact Baroness Fiadnata ahead of time (either via Private Message on Facebook or email) so we can have some idea of the space we will need for all of the books. And if you are bringing books and happen to have SCA business cards, please bring along a small stack. We want to connect those who are interested in a particular book with the owner of the book, if possible.
Baroness Fiadnata ó Gleann Àlainn
Royal University of the Midrealm Librarian
Here continues the Record of the Reign of Gareth and Juliana, King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc at Ædult Swim, Feburary 17, AS 52, in Their Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais; as recorded by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald.
During the afternoon:
Their Majesties Gareth and Juliana called before them Her Ladyship Gytha Oggsdottir. They spoke highly of her long service to Their Kingdom, serving as Silent Herald and assisting those in the fencing field, in all things making the dream of the Society more real and more accessible for many.
Having so heard of these deeds, Their Majesties then summoned before them those members present of Their Most Noble Order of the Pelican and after issuing a writ to join the number of that august Order, set Her Ladyship the task of determining a date on which she should sit vigil to do so.
Photo by Lady Aine
There being no further business before Their Majesties, Their Court was then closed.
This year, Ædult Swim on February 17-18 in Abhainn Ciach Ghlais will be expanding the Arts and Sciences opportunities as we strive to be more “epic.” Keeping with the practice mindset of the original Ædult Swim, we are hosting both structured classes and unstructured time with experts in different fields. If you have been struggling with a work in progress, bring it along! Odds are, you will find someone who can help.
The Garb Workroom will be open all day Saturday for anyone who needs another pair of hands or some outside advice. Sunday will have an open class on making a gothic fitted gown. The Fiber Salon will have experts in weaving, spinning, and nalbinding. In addition, the Scribal Studio is offering both beginner and advanced classes, as well as an open studio space.
An A&S display is in the works with several entries already set. There is no theme or required documentation, just the art you wish to show off! If you would like to participate, contact Lady Syele.
Nearby will be an A&S Consultation Table. This is a chance for artisans to get advice and personalized commentary in relation to the Æthelmearc rubrics for judging in competitions. Those from out of kingdom are welcome to stop by for questions. We can always suggest someone who may have more information if we don’t have the answers.
Offsite, Master Gille will be creating a historical-based beer, brewed on modern equipment. All are invited to stop by to discuss the process, ingredients, and the recipe.
What to do when your significant other is getting black and blue? You go off to see the Arts Display or take a class or two!
For those good gentles who would like a more structured setting, there will be classes on SCA topics such as Fundraising and Teaching. There are also classes on working with chocolate and a chocolate-tasting to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. Finally, if anyone has ogled the garb worn by TRMs Æthelmearc, the sessions discussing their 12th C. and Viking outfits will be a perfect fit.
Are you interested in teaching? There is still time to sign up to teach! Click the link for the Teacher Sign-Up Page at the Æcademy Website.
If you have questions about the classes, or are interested in being listed as an Expert on Hand for one of the Workshop areas, contact the Class Coordinator, Lady Margareta le Sayre.
By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chis Adler-France).
How do you top a fight practice that draws over 400 fighters and fencers from 12 kingdoms?
You do it a year later, and this time draw over 500 from every single kingdom in the SCA except three (Avacal, Atenveldt, and Calontir).
His Highness Timothy’s goal next year? To offer even more activities, draw more SCAdians, and completely fill the site!
If you’re not martially inclined, you may be wondering just exactly what was that really huge martial practice in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais that every fighter and fencer you know has been talking about for the past several weeks?
Over the weekend of February 18 and 19, Ædult Swim II helped over 485 fighters and fencers to take hands-on classes, authorize in new forms, and otherwise play with friends they normally see only annually at Pennsic or other large wars. (Roughly 100 to 150 nonmartial SCAdians also attended the event to take a scribal class, support their fighters or fencers, or just hang out with friends and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.)
Master Raeve teaches a rapier class. Photo by Baroness Katja.
The practice took place at the Milton Shoe Factory, a cavernous three-floor building built in 1907 that boasts 14-foot-high ceilings. While both fighting and fencing last year were confined to the 120-foot by 300-foot second floor, this year fencing moved up to the third floor to give both activities more room. A last-minute addition, the Scribal Tour added a stop at the practice and offered a Visconti workshop on the third floor in a separate, fairly quiet but chilly area from the fencing classes and bouts.
The Gazette talked to Prince Timothy of Arindale (who created the practice last year and autocratted it both times) to find out what inspired the first practice last year, how it differed this year, and where he hopes it will go…
Q:Where did the name “Ædult Swim” come from?
A: The name originated from my youth. We lived in an apartment complex as a kid, and the community pool had a 15-minute period every hour where the adults got to use the pool. For whatever reason, this seemed like a good name, even though in hindsight I think it might discourage the very people I most want to benefit from the event.
Q: What inspired you to create this practice/event?
A: When I moved to Æthelmearc, I found there was a disconnect between many of the isolated pockets of newer fighters and the more-experienced fighters. Neither group really seemed willing to travel to meet with the other. It is a cultural thing in this geographic area that I still don’t understand. I spent a couple months traveling to far-flung practices to work with folks and rapidly realized that there were far more people than I could possibly adequately work with.
Duke Malcolm thanks his opponent after an energetic bout. Photo by Baroness Katja.
I talked to a bunch of friends in the Chivalry and tried to get them to come out and help teach. We had a BBQ/practice in ACG in April 2013. With a few weeks’ notice, and with the promise of a dozen or so Chiv willing to work with folks, we ended up with about 75 heavies, 14 of whom were Chivalry as I recall. We kept doing regional musters during our last reign, with much the same response. Those less-experienced fighters who wanted to learn, traveled. I remember folks from Morgantown, VA coming all the way to Syracuse to a regional on a Sunday during a snowstorm.
Countess Ariella faces an opponent on the rapier floor. Photo by Baroness Katja.
The global nature of Ædult Swim was a direct response to actions that happened between the East and Middle Kingdoms a few years back. The animosity between the East and Middle monarchs, and by extension their Chivalry, had gotten so bad that quite literally the two monarchs had one of their knights (who is mundanely an arbiter) host a joint Chivalry meeting to discuss their issues. One of the things suggested (by Duke, now King) Edmund of the Middle was that an annual joint East/Middle fight practice would help us get past decades of animosity. Duke Eliahu ben Itzhak and I were invited as former East and Middle monarchs in the hopes that we could help moderate. Once this item was put on the table, I realized how perfectly located my shire was as a half-way point between the two kingdoms.
King Marcus strides out onto the floor to play. Photo by Lord Sa’d al’Nizari.
Q: What was involved in getting people to come to the first Ædult Swim? I recall you mentioning it at the end of a couple of your Courts last fall and winter.
A: I spent the six months prior to the event browbeating, cajoling, begging, and pleading folks to come. We caught lightning in a bottle when I had the good fortune to take a business trip to Dallas, and I managed to convince the then-King and Prince of Ansteorra to make the trip. Those two, Dukes Sven and Lochlen, were the tipping point. At that point, we were able to use the “all the cool kids are coming” marketing to get folks to come out. Dukes Sean and Timmur from Artemesia also agreed to come out, and that opened the floodgates.
I had asked several members of the fencing community to set up the rapier half of it and they all dropped the ball. With about two or three weeks left, I asked Countess Elena d’Artois le Tailleur, who was amazing. She got all the folks she did with almost no notice, even though it was competing against a major event of interest to the Atlantian fencing community. I cannot possibly praise her efforts enough.
(Last year’s attendance included 260 heavy fighters, 75 fencers, and 40 royalty from the Known World. Lord Christian Goldenlok’s event report is here.)
Q:What did you want to do differently this year and what do you want to add next year? You had mentioned adding A&S classes in the various small rooms on the site.
A: The first year had a stiff learning curve, as I hadn’t anticipated many issues that we had. First, pretty well everyone entered the door within a 15-minute span of time. (Editor’s note: the site stairwells are narrow, and the only elevator, a freight one, was not available.) The line at troll was atrocious. We had six or eight folks at Troll and it was still a disaster. We got around that by asking for donations to pay for the site. Once our exchequer told me we would be able to ignore the nonmember surcharge/membership discount (this year), it only made it that sweeter.
A scribe enjoying the Visconti workshop. Photo by Baroness Katja.
The next part of our learning curve was the Saturday evening dinner. (Editor: After the practice each year, over 200 SCAdians enjoyed a post revel-type meal at the nearby Hotel Edison. See cake story here.) I spent half my time, and Lady Greer Wallace from ACG spent all her time, on Saturday collecting money from folks and tracking them down. THL Ariadne Flaxenhair of Dragon’s End and Sir Cunen Beornhelm set it up as a web-based document this year, which eliminated 90% of that chaos.
This year, we made some changes to simplify things. We added a second floor. The heavy fighting occupied the entire floor we had last year, and the fencers had the next floor up. (Editor: There was a $2 entry fee last year; several people graciously offered donations to make the practice a free event this year.)
As for next year, I am hoping to move it back a couple months into the late April to early June timeframe and, with the help of Mistress Alicia Langland, greatly build on our arts offerings. If anyone wants this in your event rotation next year, please private message me typical dates in your late spring calendar that I need to avoid. Also PM me the contact info for your kingdom calendar officer, so we can get it up early and block of dates.
(The event) has grown beyond my very limited organizational skills, and next year we will have a new autocrat, Lord Leo Dietrich. He and his staff are already planning next year. Mistress Alicia spent her Saturday this year wandering around planning where we can put more artisans next year. It should be a blast!
Baron Eric Grenier de laBarre watches a cut & thrust authorization. Photo by Lord Mikus.
A: We had a side room on the main fighting floor where we did have some small, structured classes ongoing this year, but not as many as we did at Æ Swim I. The heavy classes will be much more formal next year. I found the informal nature didn’t work out this year.
Q: What kind of specific heavy classes do you want for next year?
A: It’s more of what classes do folks want. I had about 35 or 40 requests to teach last year and I told people (this year) to just announce them and folks would come. But it was too damn loud in the heavy section. Interestingly enough, at the first one, we actually considered the playing of music a la “Knights Tale” during the practice. I am so glad we didn’t, I had no idea how bad the acoustics were!
Q: Besides those gentles you already mentioned, who else do you want to thank for their help with this event?
A: There are so many people to thank I am certain I will be missing some.
Without doubt, this could not have happened without the support of Gabrielle. Every time I get an idea, she lets me run with it, knowing folks will have fun, even though most times it throws our family in chaos for the week or so immediately before and during the event. When you see her next, please say thanks.
Sir Diablu happily greeted many friends at the event. Photo by Baroness Katja.
THL Alianora Bronhulle and Baron Ichijo Honen, you greatly exceeded my very high expectations for the dessert. It really was the crown jewel in what was a spectacular weekend.
Baroness Aemelia Soteria, you ran a smooth and efficient MOL/troll. You, Baroness Oddkatla, Baroness Rynea, Baroness Oddkatla, Baroness Ellesbeth, Baroness Euriol, THL Astrid, and Lady Bella, Countess Allanda, and others pretty much eliminated that bottleneck this year! Bella also worked her tail off at the MOL/Troll and was the one who hooked us up with the hotels
Mistress Antoinette de la Croix, your scribal workshop was a nice touch of arts to a weekend of carnage. Thank you.
Tommaso, for your kindness and generosity, thank you.
Meghan Beck for providing two venues that made all this possible, thank you. Megan and most of all, next years autocrat, Leo, thank you for covering for my complete lack of any appreciable organizational skills.
My usual stalwart crew of enablers, Silvester Burchardt, Ron Cudworth, Austin Smith, Lou McBride, and Elena de la Palma.
Also thanks to Mistress Fredeburg vonKatzenellenbogen, who carved a block print that went out to those who donated. It is stunning. When I can breathe, I am sending mine out to be framed.
Thank you for all the help. I love our society.
One final thing. I would like nothing more than to fill every inch of the building we were in. Bring friends…
To see many of the uploaded videos and photos shared from this year’s event, see the Facebook event group here.
By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France).
After a long, happy, sweaty day of friendly fighting and fencing at Ædult Swim on February 18, approximately 200 SCAdians left the Milton Shoe Factory site to enjoy a meal at the nearby historic Hotel Edison in Sunbury.
Although some may have preregistered for the meal due to the lure of prime rib and post-revel camaraderie, a highlight of the evening was not on the menu nor at the bar.
It was a cake. A truly impressive cake.
It was a massive 60-inch-long, 31-inch-wide, 31-inch-tall castle of chocolate, yellow, red velvet, and strawberry cake that induced many of the attendees to gawk and snap photos before diving into their respective slices with relish. Hand-painted sugar banners representing all 20 kingdoms decorated its sides.
As a special request by His Highness Timothy of Arindale to celebrate the second Ædult Swim, THL Alianora Bronhulle and Baron Ichijo Honen created the cake. It was their largest project yet for their six-month-old bakery in Winchester, VA, Edible Elegance by Erin.
“I, personally, have been making cakes like this for almost 15 years… I will say that this is the largest and most intricate cake I’ve ever done,” Her Ladyship shared after the meal.
The cake was comprised of 32 layers, she said, weighed over 250 pounds, served 350 slices, and contained:
16 dozen eggs
30 pounds of sugar
60 pounds of powdered sugar
14 pounds of butter
20 pounds of shortening
2 pounds of cocoa powder
25 pounds of flour
2 pounds of gelatin
How long did the cake take to bake? Fourteen hours.
The walls and towers, all of pastillage, required 10 days of drying.
Her Ladyship and His Excellency spent a whole day creating the banners, plus three more days to draw, paint the kingdom arms on them, and dry them.
Plus, driving the cake from their bakery to the hotel restaurant? Three hours.
“We love a challenge, so we would consider doing SCA-oriented desserts for any occasion. HRH Timothy asked us to do this one, suggested a castle as the starting point, and turned us loose with full creative license. He had no idea what he was getting until he walked in at the dinner.”
Her Ladyship thanked her baking crew: Sarah Piecknick, Vikki Farra, Jessica Walker and Brett Bernard. “Without them, this cake would not have been possible!”
For the past half year, the fledgling business has been selling baked goods at the local farmers markets while their bakery shop is still under construction. (A GoFundMe campaign to support the bakery is here.)
By Duke Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn, originally posted on Facebook
Photo of Duke Malcolm at last year’s AEdult Swim by Ursus.
I have read more than a few comments about anxiety and concerns by folks asking for fights, and I’d like to address that a wee bit. Let’s start with me sharing something that I don’t often share: I suffer from social anxiety. I don’t say that lightly as it’s one of those things that I just don’t talk about, but in this instance I think it’s important as it sets the tone for what I think I plan to say next. Just walking in the door to something like Ædult Swim is a non-minor victory for me. People I do not know intimidate me, and I never feel comfortable initiating a conversation. Ever.
So, I only say that to set the tone for making suggestions, and most of these suggestions apply to any situation, although in an environment like Ædult Swim or practices, even more so.
Primarily, remember why you are there. This is not Crown or a proving ground. Yes, there are times you see some of those Duke-types go at each other like it is, but believe me, they aren’t. They’re having fun, they’re playing, they’re testing each other and themselves. They are Duke-practicing. They are doing the same thing you are, they’re learning new things. It might not be obvious, but that’s what’s happening. It’s the same thing for you: you have nothing to prove except to yourself. Learn. Pick something that you need to know, and work on it. Or, and this is where the anxiety part comes in, ask someone to help you with that.
Fighters go to things like Æ-Swim to learn from resources that are not normally available. You can’t often get to spend time fighting someone from Lochac and the Midrealm and Caid all back to back. That usually only happens at major wars when there are a thousand other things going on. Practice is just that- practice. People expect to fight. The only reason people get turned down is because someone is waiting for someone else to finish arming and come out. And then, they’re likely to be willing to fight you next.
While I can only say this about myself, in conversations with fellow fighters of my level I feel confident that this next bit applies nearly universally: I love all my fights. At Æ-Swim II, I fought all level of fighters, from those fighting their first few months to those who have forgotten more than I will ever learn. I never.. EVER.. had the thought that “Gee, I wish I didn’t fight this person.” I was glad for each and every moment. For me, seeing the eyes light up as a newer fighter starts to see something gel is a thrill. Just as it’s exciting to see that look of “I got ya” in the eyes of the Superduke. At practice, every fight I teach, every fight I learn, every fight I practice. That no-ego, no-worries free exchange of knowledge is the beauty of Æ-Swim and practices.
And, for those of use who do suffer from anxiety, it is an opportunity to practice something else: courage. If you struggle with it, you get to practice enduring. You can practice your public skills and add that to your fight. With every encounter, and every moment, you take yet another step toward controlling the anxiety rather than allowing it to control you. I am not going to tell you to “not be afraid,” because that’s just not possible. I’ll tell you to go ahead and be afraid, be anxious, but do it anyway. That makes you stronger. Trust me on this one.
Lastly, let me give you this: you are a gift. You are a gift to yourself, and you are a gift to those who know you. If you are skilled, then learn more, push more, and share your skill. If you are learning, keep learning, and give the gift of practice to everyone you meet. While you may find some very few who do not accept your gift, they will be few and far between.
When you are at a practice, at a pick-up field, or something like Æ-Swim… grab that opportunity. Be the fighter, and go fight. Go learn. And if you see some chucklehead standing on the field by her- or himself, then go acquaint them with your friendship and ask for a dance. You got this.
Photo by THL Ursula of Rouen of the 2016 attendees
Prince Timothy recently shared the tentative schedule of rapier and cut & thrust classes planned for Ædult Swim 2017 on the AEthelmearc Rapier Army Facebook page. The free event will be February 18 and 19 at Milton Shoe Factory 700 Hepburn St. Milton, PA 17847.
Master Raev/Benjamin Cooper – Cuts and Destreza
Warder Philipp Reimer von Wolfenbüttel – I.33 Sword and Buckler Methods and Philosophy
11:00 AM (90 min block)
Master Aeron Harper/David Biggs – Making Italian Rapier work at speed
Mistress Alesone Gray of Cranleigh/Wendy Marques – Combat strategies for cut and thrust
12:30 PM (90 min block)
Master Aedan Aylwyn – A Practical Understanding of tempo and measure
Jonathan Robert Bucci and Broken Plow – HEMA Presentation
Master Aedan Aylwyn – Control & Kill your opponent, the Italian way
Master Clewin Kupferhelberlink/Wayne M. Canne – Cut and Thrust Sparring (will continue as long as people are interested)
Master Connor Livingston/Damn Connor- Psyching out and sizing up your quarry
Master Will Paris – Swetnam: Chopping the Thrust; Hybridizing attack mechanics
Master Caitilín Inghean Fheichín – Training for performance
Master Aeron Harper – Coming to grips with Bolognese C & T
Mistress Irene/Wendy I Colbert – Techniques for Avoiding Injury and Physical Therapy
Master Caitilín Inghean Fheichín – Goal Setting as a tool for mental focus
Mistress Fredeberg/Karen Heike Spieler Canne – Vor and Nach: Controlling the fightwith a German Mindset
Lord Jacob Martinson – The Cone of Defense
2 open class slots
The site opens at 8 A.M. each day, with marshal inspections beginning at 8:30 and sparring at 9 A.M.
His Highness added: “I would encourage the Rattan community to participate in the C&T classes and sparring… I intend to be there for my 8 A.M. slow work and footwork that I do. You are welcome to join me…”
On the class list, he remarked “Lots of fabulous skill in that list of teachers. Looking forward to all of the classes! Go get some! We will have the entire 3rd floor to work with. There will be singles fighting all day. We can also get a series of Bear pits going if folks are interested. Lots of good focused training time. See you all in the lists.”