BARONY OF I’ÎLE DU DRAGON DORMANT, TIR MARA, EAST – Heirs of the East, Princesses Melodie and Jade, have announced that the only awards for their reign will be non-polling only. The announcement comes after the Heirs’ revealed that the first 4 months of polling discussions broke both their email boxes and their sanity. When reached for comment by The SCAllion, Princess Melodie, KSCA stated that “No seated royal should have to deal with this level of absolute chaos during their reign.”
“There are plenty of ways to recognize good people and their service without having to deal with committee discussions for any award we want to give out. I have to deal with business by committee enough in the real world, this is just too much.” said Princess Jade, OL, OP, OD.
The announcement caused a firestorm on each of the East’s twelve polling order email lists. (No satire here, the East has twelve polling orders.) The lists stopped processing emails entirely after four hours. The SCAllion reached out to the East Kingdom Webministry, who provide the space for the mailing lists. When our call was answered we could only hear eldritch screams and distant fire alarms.
The East Kingdom’s College of Scribes are celebrating the move as they will finally catch six months of breathing room to explore other arts, as they anticipate only half the number of scrolls as usual for a reign. When The SCAllion noted that the Order of the Rose is a polling order in the East, Her Highness Jade stated “If Our heirs want to poll me for the Rose, fine. I’m a triple peer in my own right and in my mind, this decision should make me a shoo-in for the Rose anyway.”
BARONY OF UNSER HAFEN, OUTLANDS — Their Excellencies’ court at May Day in the Park descended into chaos as dozens of children present went into what emergency personnel who attended the scene are calling a photosensitive epileptic event. The incident, apparently triggered during a court presentation of artifacts of the Society for Creative Anachronism’s history, has parents demanding answers from the presenters of these items.
Although medical officials have yet to officially pinpoint the cause of these seizures, witnesses at the scene report that the first symptoms presented during the display of a unique textile artifact. Strangely, none of these dozens of witnesses have been able to give a description of the fabric in question that matches any other witness’ description. The only element of the description that all witnesses can agree on is that the pattern of the fabric was tartan.
“I wasn’t prepared for that cloth,” commented His Lordship Widukind of Corvey, “The whole thing was initially set up as schtick.”
“Yeah – they shouldn’t have just sprung it on us,” agreed Rosina O’Moran, “The artifacts were introduced as a walk down memory lane for long-time Society members, but nobody was prepared for… THAT. I’ve never seen anything like that plaid, and I’ll never be able to unsee it.”
Master Janus von Koelgs, the Laurel who created the presentation at the center of this controversy, claims that it was not his intention to put anyone at risk. Rather, he came up with the idea of displaying these items to the populace after coming across a previously unpacked box in his attic labeled: “LOST AND FOUND – PENNSIC 2002”. Master Janus alleges that his only goal was to achieve some cheap laughs.
Media experts contacted by The SCAllion have compared the event to the infamous Pokémon incident of 1997, during which hundreds of children across Japan experienced seizures in reaction to an animation sequence within an episode of the popular television show. Physicians who examined the tartan have theorized that the color combinations and pattern may have replicated the Japanese animation technique known as “paka paka,” which broadcasts alternating red and blue flashing lights at a rate of 12Hz for six seconds. This technique has been cited as the cause of the mass seizures in Japan.
Although no further updates have been provided at this time, sources report that the cloth has been identified by experts as a genuine piece of the notoriously gaudy MacBeighn plaid. According to the same sources, DNA testing is currently being carried out to determine exactly which MacBeighn left their armor bag at Pennsic, but the contents of the bag, which include, among other things, a red and black pickle-barrel chest plate fashioned in the style of the samurai, a soldering iron, and an Italian Renaissance codpiece so large and ornate that it would make Dr. Frank N. Furter squeamish, provide no answers.
The SCAllion will provide updates as more information emerges.
SHIRE OF ARDANROE, GLEANN ABHANN — History was made last week, when the rapier fighters of Ardanroe submitted a formal proposal to Kingdom that stipulated that use of the late-period garment known as trunk hose be limited to members of the rapier community. The proposal is making waves, as it is the first requested sumptuary law not based on regalia or modern sensibilities.
The origin of the proposal is largely attributed to one incident that took place at the Athenian Symposium of the Arts and Sciences. Ambitious apprentice, Lord Claude Tanquerel, created a spectacular entry centered around a pair of hand-created Bohemian trunk hose. Unfortunately, the quality of the research and garment did not garner the attention they both deserved so much as Squire Saebjorn Sørensen, Lord Tanquerel’s husband, who had graciously agreed to act as model for the trunk hose. Only ever seen in a T-tunic prior to the Symposium, attendees were astonished to discover that Sørensen possesses exceptionally attractive legs.
News of his shapely calves has quickly spread throughout the kingdom and currently has the rapier community in a state of panic. “I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen photos,” said Don Mariotto d’Agnolo, “We’re used to the Knowne World revolving around heavy fighters, but trunk hose? Trunk hose is our thing!”
“He’s not wrong,” agreed Awliff MacConnogh, “There’s a lot of belt-chasers out there. For many of us, all we have is our legs. If heavy fighters start edging in on our action, we might as well rebrand as a monastic order.”
When asked for comment, Sørensen appeared sheepish, “Look, I didn’t ask for all this attention! I was doing a favor for my husband. The focus should be on the hose, not the legs inside the hose!” It has been noted by various heavy fighters that this infamy may hamper Sørensen’s path to knighthood, as his knight is disturbed by the thought that he may be mentoring the Society equivalent of Pippa Middleton.In any case, The SCAllion very much looks forward to seeing the proposal debated among Kingdom officials. More updates to come as the situation develops.
Do you have a burning question about a situation that happened in the SCA and want to ask Goody? You can write to Goody at this form. Questions may be truncated for publication, and submitted questions may not be answered.
Dear Goody, I have a large empty space on my wall, which has been reserved for my Laurel and Pelican scrolls. After nearly 30 years of waiting for them, should I just give up and use the space for pictures of my grandchildren? Failing that, do you know any calligraphers/illuminators who’d be interested in a paying job? -Illuminated Admirer
If you have been a peer for 30 years and not gotten peerage scrolls, then yes, it is time to take matters into your own hands. Find out what your Kingdom requires for a scroll to be ‘official’. Gather the dates of elevations, events, and Crowns. Make a list of the things you like best- heraldry, colors, creatures, symbols, something to represent people who helped you. Have your full arms and blazon. Go look at what kind of art you like and make a collection of images with the book and page details for each manuscript. Then find a scribe.
Start with your kingdom scribal guild or college. Try Laurels in scribal arts. Throw the project out on social media with what you are seeking. If you don’t get local hits, there are multi kingdom and society wide interest groups for everything, including scribal arts and that will probably be a pond with many fish. If someone is interested, ask to see some of their previous work to make sure you like their styles. Not every scribe is the same. When you find the right person, negotiate and put together a contract that includes payment and deadlines. Give your scribe all of the information you have collected and talk with them about your likes and dislikes.
Together, you will make beautiful art.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, I entered an A&S competition and had a really bad experience. The judges didn’t know us much as I did about my project and didn’t give good feedback. I don’t want to compete anymore, but I’m not sure how else can I advance in my art and get recognition. Thanks, I had a Bad Experience
You had what Granny would call a learning experience. They suck. Hard. So, rather than a bad experience, you had an experience in which you discovered pitfalls of the arts and sciences program of the SCA. Judging is subjective. Each judge has a different opinion and bar they feel you need to exceed. Some judges are just dicks.
You have options, and a lot of them. So, time to choose your own adventure.
Work on your art or science by yourself and maybe meet some people along the way who also find it cool. Ignore the arts community at large and just become painfully skilled at what you do. This road is very lonely.
Seek out the others who also enjoy your art and join their guild or form a new one, even if it is informal. Work together to elevate the art and knowledge of every member and start teaching so you can catch new members for your group. Reel them in. Research. Become subject matter experts and fantastic at your art or craft. This is far less lonely and works better for extroverts.
You can find yourself a decent Laurel to work with. Having the protection of a peer can be very helpful when navigating the Art/Sci system. Improve and research and use the guidance and mentoring you are given to focus yourself and hone your work.
There are display only Art/Sci events. If you don’t have them near you, start one! No one is scored, but you can receive validation verbally if you stay with your entry. You may also receive tokens from those who pass by and enjoy your art. Some may have notes attached. Extensive notes. Make friends with those people and plot more exhibitions for artists.
Demos! At events, a small group of people or a single artist can demo their work by setting up a table or small area and working on their craft. You can just talk to people who walk up and are interested. Hang a sign that reads “[Insert art here], come talk to me/us!”. This actually works. Make sure to check with event stewards to obtain a spot at the event for your demo and to make sure that you can do what you want, or if you will just have to present static pieces and speak to people. Some sites prohibit water, flame, dyes, ink, glass and more.
Also, there is the option of changing the system from within. You can become part of the Art/Sci community that runs competitions and works with Art/Sci ministers. Start with paperwork or signup sheets and work your way up. Find solutions to problems and present them in a helpful way, rather than just state problems. You will gain much more traction this way.
So, there are a few options to get you started. Feel free to mix and match. Do be sure to surround yourself with the type of people who will help create positive change and new opportunities. Be the change you want to see in the SCA.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, I’ve been embezzling money from my local branch for years and the members have had the gall to bring charges against me. How do I convince them that fraud, embezzlement and theft are documented Period Practice? Sincerely, -Pending Laurel
Would you be so kind as to send me your contact information? Your research is fascinating and I want to make sure that you are recognized for your efforts! I am certain there are people who will deeply appreciate the depths of your endeavors. Let’s make sure you can receive the proper rewards for your deeds!
BARONY OF HIGHLAND FOORDE, ATLANTIA – In a moment that stunned the Knowne World, a Laurel has entered and won Crown List in Atlantia with the weapons form of a center-grip shield and three-ring binder of poetry documentation.
Her Highness Isolde, OL, presented herself at the field prior to Crown list and was told that she could both enter and use her documentation as a weapon by the Kingdom Earl Marshal, a giraffe with a 12th century Welsh persona. She then proceeded to wield that documentation flawlessly, coasting undefeated to the finals, where she bested Sir Ourri d’Atainville to become the new heir to Atlantia.
“I don’t even know what happened,” Sir Ourri told us. “How do you just show up one day for your first fight ever, and be allowed on the field with a weapon that looks like a phone book. It’s not in any rules I know.”
One bystander was more excited. “She entered and just cleaned up,” we were told. “Every time ‘lay on’ was called, Her Highness walked up to her opponent and just started beating them over the head with her documentation until they called it. It was beautiful.”
Sir Ourri plans to contest the results based on the nonstandard weapon and unusual authorization, but The SCAllion (and Mistress Isolde) can find no violation of the rules and policy interpretations recently laid down by the Board of Directors and Society Earl Marshal.
Mistress Isolde said of her victory:
Shall I lambast thee on a summer day? With just a binder full of notes and songs? Woulds’t thou prefer a troubadorish lay For me to give thee all of thy kabongs?
Sometimes too hot the poet’s eye doth shine As scorn it heaps upon its fearsome foe So call your shots, man up, and do not whine And by a poet’s rhymings be laid low.
My blows shall rain upon thy helm like rain For nothing is so like itself as rain. And now you find yourself in dreadful pain Since rain,rain, rain, rain, rain is this quatrain.
So long as one can breathe or eyes can see Fall down, you’re dead, at least please take a knee.
The SCAllion shall continue to track Princess Isolde’s upcoming reign with great interest.
KNOWNE WORLD – Across all of the kingdoms of the Knowne World, wordsmiths of the Society for Creative Anachronism are launching a sympathy strike with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). These “wordsmiths” of the Knowne World are those who provide texts for award scrolls and related documents, as well as ceremony heralds and royal schtick writers. Renowned wordsmith and poet, Magistra Virginia Lupa released a statement.
“So much of what we do in the Knowne World has been influenced by members of the WGA, whose work has informed and, if you will pardon a little scribal joke, illuminated our own work. While members of the WGA are striking over issues which affect their very livelihood, SCA wordsmiths and scribes can also suffer from difficult working conditions, and although our “pay” comes in social capital and wordfame, sometimes we don’t even get that. Supporting our sibling writers in the WGA seems only fair, after all they’ve given us.”
The strike has affected all the kingdoms, though some have been harder hit than others. Kingdoms which have standard texts for some awards have suffered less than those where all scrolls are unique. Some of those kingdoms have begun to look through older scroll texts to find those which can be depersonalised and recycled. Peerage scrolls are universally unique, causing some kingdoms to delay elevations while the strike is ongoing.
Some kingdoms have even resorted to scabs, with predictably poor results. Maestra Monica do Cabo Verde, elevated shortly after the strike began, was a victim. “The illumination is gorgeous, the calligraphy is fantastic, but the text.” Maestra Monica burst into tears before giving The SCAllion a transcription of the text, which is reproduced below in its entirety.
A woman stood out from the rest Her service was truly the best A Pelican she Really ought to be Signed , the King and the Queen of the West
The SCAllion supports the WGA and the Knowne World wordsmiths in their fight for fair treatment.
BARONY OF ONE THOUSAND EYES, ARTEMISIA – The King of Artemisia rocked the kingdom at an event this past weekend at Agincourt with the sudden elevation of his four year old daughter to the Order of the Laurel.
His Majesty Brion Wellesley was adamant that the Laurel was well deserved, and cited as his reasoning his daughter’s Barbie puppet show she put on in the royal room earlier in the day: “People need to understand, Isabelle is completely deserving of this accolade! She put on an entirely period Barbie show for everyone in the royal room this morning. Two of the peers present were even moved to tears! I immediately called the Laurels on site into a Laurel council together and they absolutely signed off on this. I don’t even know what nepotism means, why do you keep using that word? Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with what We did today.”
None of the five Laurels present at the event were willing to go on record with comments, but a Master of Defense did speak with The SCAllion on condition of anonymity. Master [redacted] said: “Shocking, but not unexpected. He is so wrapped around that kid’s finger it’s not even funny. He came to us and tried to tell us she deserved a collar because she was really good at Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I can’t even make his reasoning up, any version I would come up with would at least be believable. You wait, she’ll have a belt and chain before he’s off the throne.”
The SCAllion will remain nearby to monitor the ongoing saga of Isabelle and the apparent parade of awards she is likely to receive in the near future.
BARONY OF CASTLEMERE, TRIMARIS – An unusual island has appeared off the coast of Florida, east of Jacksonville, baffling oceanographers and geologists. The Kingdom of Trimaris and the Barony of Castlemere are not worried. Baroness Lucrezia di Sana of Castlemere has claimed the new island for Trimaris.
“We were actually the first people to reach the new island, even beating the Coast Guard,” said the Baroness. “Our seneschal has a little cigarette boat and since we knew where the island was going to be, we got the jump on everyone.”
When The SCAllion asked how they knew where the island was going to be, the Baroness replied, “We got the tip off from Kingdom, actually.”
The SCAllion approached King Alex the Cooper for comment, and received the following statement. “The Trimarian Royal Astrologer, Dame Isabella Arcati, was able to pinpoint the time and the location for us. According to Dame Isabella, “the stars were right” and the horoscope was incredibly detailed.”
The Barony of Castlemere has put in a bid for Crown tournament to be held on the new island, since “there are some very cool ruins” according to Baroness Lucrezia, “and we have high hopes for the future of our new canton of R’lyeh.”
BARONY OF SEAGIRT, AN TIR — It was a grim Tuesday evening when the Barony of Seagirt’s council met for the first time since learning the results of what was supposed to be an exercise in barony-bonding.
Reports say that Mistress Bruna Farfallini began the trend of DNA analysis when she shared her results from the Society for Creative Anachronism entrepreneurial startup, 1553 and Thee. Other populace members, intrigued by the idea of discovering their racial identity, getting a better idea of their ancestors’ migrations, and increasing their knowledge of family history, soon followed suit.
Although the results might say otherwise, members of the barony insist that there was no way of knowing that these seemingly harmless DNA tests would result in a maelstrom of betrayal and recrimination. As it is, the futures of more than a few long term marriages and relationships hang in the balance, as the 1553 and Thee tests have forced spouses to discuss details of their pasts that have, until recently, been shrouded in secrecy.
Not all of Seagirt’s populace is heartbroken, however. There are multiple reports of tidy profits made by winners of longstanding bets. It would appear that one gentle’s strife truly is another’s gain.
Still, all formal council business has been put aside as officers rush to create an accurate kinship chart of familial bonds within the barony. “Nobody likes the idea of having to make a kinship chart,” commented Seagirt’s seneschal, “But with increasingly unaffordable ferry fares, it’s more important than ever to have all the facts.”
For one member, the DNA test has resulted in a different sort of disappointment. Helgi Bjarnarson, noted fighter and proponent of Viking superiority was crushed to discover that his DNA does not indicate any ancestors from Scandinavia; rather, the test led him to discover that he is descended from a well-researched family line whose primary claim to fame is the successful business they ran in England, making exquisite lace ruffs for the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Sources say that Bjarnarson is not coping well, having isolated himself in his house clad only in a snuggie, consuming massive amounts of mead and watching The Thirteenth Warrior on repeat while hysterically ugly-crying.
Most affected are the younger members of the barony, as the DNA tests have revealed that second and third generation SCA members within the barony who were previously thought unrelated are, in fact, cousins and/or siblings.
“I wish my dad hadn’t done the test,” said 24 year old Lord Lambert de Notingeham, “Turns out that my real father is actually his long-time squire, a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who I’ve always called ‘The link that should have stayed missing.’”
“I’m lucky,” added 16 year old Alamandina of Tripoli, “I’ve been flirting with Sune Manngisson, for the past couple of weeks and it was looking like we were going to hook up. We found out we were brother and sister just in the nick of time. It’s disappointing, of course, because we still really like each other, but we’ve decided to cut off all contact and avoid each other altogether.”
Lord Lambert told The SCAllion that he has reached out to the creators of the Islendiga-App, a social app designed to help Icelandic youth avoid accidental incest. Having recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in computer science, Lord Lambert hopes to adapt the app for the members of the barony of Seagirt, the shire of Hartwood, and the Shire of False Isle (all locations on Vancouver Island and isolated portions of the adjacent mainland coastline). In the meantime, Seagirt Council has instructed younger members of the barony to “just be friends” until such time as the flow-chart has been verified and to avoid the works of V.C. Andrews altogether.
Dear Goody, Beer, cider, scotch, or cookies? I owe you. My knight read one of your pieces and backed off on his own. -grateful
Good Scotch, excellent cheese and decadent chocolate are always accepted. Or, just buy aSCAllion shirt and wear that shit loud and proud. Tell them all that Goody Advice sent you. That will give me a real hoot.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, I see people in the SCA doing some really cool and complex A&S projects such as casting metal and lamp working. I have no idea how to try this stuff and live in an apartment, so have no space for a workshop. Am I doomed to admire from afar or is there something I can do to learn these skills? -Lonely Artisan
The advice I have for you will solve two problems at once. To misquote John Donne: No artist is an island, Entire of itself; Every artist is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.
You do not have to do your art alone! You do not have to find all of your own supplies and sneak a whole workshop with a torch into a second floor apartment. In fact, please don’t try that. Smokey the Laurel states that “Only you can prevent craft fires.”
Instead, start by asking around your local group and those near to you. Find out who else participates in the artforms that interest you and ask them if they would be interested in teaching or sharing their workspace with someone who would like to learn in exchange for payment, barter or service. Not having to buy all of your own equipment is absolutely worth the price of a studio fee! You may even find yourself some new artsy friends solving both the ‘lonely’ and ‘artist’ parts of your query.
If there isn’t anyone in the Society local to you who is active in the art that interests you, look for modern guilds or other groups who work with historic arts. There are a fascinating number of these. You can find pottery studios, glass art studios, stained glass classes, metal work enthusiasts and blacksmith organizations where you can expand your circle of acquaintances, maybe make some friends and learn from people who may live and breathe their art as a part or full time gig. Local community centers and art groups in larger towns often have dedicated studio space for multiple arts and also teachers who guide sessions monthly or weekly.
Do not let the SCA be your limit. The size of your home is not a restriction to trying and finding and loving new arts. This is the part where you need to find the Creative in your anachronistic interests. Tap your local artisans and ask them for leads. We are all nerds down here and will happily talk your ear off if you show even a hint of interest. Use this to your advantage, network and art to your heart’s content.
Hope this helps,
Dear Goody, I read that article and I know it was about me. How dare you write such about me and put it online? Now I am real pissed and want to pay you a visit. -Angriest of All
Whichever article you read, I can assure you, it isn’t about you directly. However, let’s unpack this a bit and break the fourth wall.
The newsroom reprobates don’t really write about individual people. Editorial and Legal don’t approve stories like that. No one really wants the Editorial Board irritated with them, because they fear a column assignment like “Under the Shield Wall- an Expose of Sights and Smells” or “Most Alarming Period Recipes Prepared, Tested and Reviewed”. Being reassigned to a desk like that is the one of their few fears. They don’t have many nightmares, but here are the ones I have gleaned around the newsroom in ascending order of scary.
The end of all coffee
Cloaked and hooded members of the Editorial Board appearing to discuss one of your articles.
Finding a weathered sea glass bottle on your desk after lunch containing a tattered memo of “Dear writer, meet me at the beach at midnight. We need to talk. Come alone. -signed Jaws from Legal”
They write satire mostly about situations of current import, archetypes of people, unfortunate situations which seem to happen repeatedly and the just plain ridiculous.
But, if you still think an article is about you, I would like you to read this next bit slowly, with care and possibly out loud to yourself then really reflect on it:
It is unlikely The SCAllion writers know you. It is highly unlikely that The SCAllion writers think about you at all. If you identify strongly with a group that you feel has been wrongly satirized, you have no problem with the behavior being satirized and are proud of yourself for being part of that group or of exercising that behavior… then I am not someone who can help you with advice. Just lace up your asshole boots and wear those bitches loud and proud. Know that you will see a mirror of yourself in The SCAllion stories far more often than you will find comfortable and you should maybe have a long think on that if self examination ever becomes attainable for you as a person.