BARONY OF DARKWOOD, THE WEST – For the last three months, the Knowne World has been on pins and needles as the effects of the “Alligator Incident” of Pennsic 49 rippled outwards. The SCAllion has reported on this incident extensively. Now, in this latest chapter of the ongoing saga, a class action libel lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court of California, Santa Carla County, against the SCA, Inc. and several individuals involved in the issuing of sanctions against the lifeguards and watch personnel involved in the Alligator Incident.
The lead plaintiff has now been identified as Robin of Sundered Oak, resident of Æthelmearc, the lifeguard who tried to stop a Duke from bringing alligators to swim in the lake at Pennsic and was sanctioned by the Board of Directors for his enforcement of the rules. According to court filings, Robin and the other lifeguards and safety personnel similarly situated are seeking damages for published statements on the part of Reginbold Strubel, the Society Earl Marshal at the time of the incident and the initial issuer of sanctions, Merione Ferquair of Melby as the spokesperson for the Board of Directors, Board member Leon de Paris, Society Seneschal Gepheffray de la Bourdonnaye, and the Society for Creative Anachronism itself. The suit alleges that these defendants recklessly published false statements about the incident, about Robin, and about the lifeguards and watch personnel at Pennsic, including the claim that Robin had violated the community standards of the Society, as well as negative statements about the effectiveness and integrity of the safety staff at Pennsic.
The SCAllion will follow the news of this lawsuit very closely over the coming months.
PS: Jaws tells us we have to say that this is a fictional satire intended to make a point, and that no lawsuit actually has been filed against anyone. Nor is The SCAllion suggesting that a lawsuit could or should be filed.
PPS: Jaws also suggests we mention that, if you go to Santa Carla looking for a courthouse, watch out for the vampires.
BARONY-MARCHE OF DEBATABLE LANDS, ÆTHELMEARC — To a certain group of women in the SCA, status is everything. These women all run in the same circles. Their significant others attend the same tournaments, they attend the same Laurel meetings, and, in the summer, they all head to Pennsic, an event that embodies a complete concentration of SCA power and privilege. This year will be no exception, but the star power of these medieval luminaries will, for the first time, be showcased for the modern world; Pennsic 50 will play host to a Bravo camera crew, there to film a new, exciting series: The Real Duchesses of Pennsic.
The franchise, which follows the supposedly-real housewives from such centers of wealth as Orange County, California, and New York City, takes a look at another privileged group of women known for displaying their big personalities, luxurious garb, and elaborate camps. Among them are the spouses and girlfriends of multiple-tournament winners, shameless rhino-hiders, and knights made good. The cast is varied, but not particularly diverse; they are made up of five attractive, straight, white women from five kingdoms within the Knowne World.
The SCAllion asked. Find out how the other half lives:
Her Grace, Duchess Adolana of Strasbourg, former Queen of Ealdormere
Bio: A two-time queen of the kingdom of Ealdormere in its early days, this formidable dowager is a much beloved institution within the hearts of the loyal populace. Although seemingly graceful and generous during the hot Pennsic days, word has reached The SCAllion that she lets her inner wild-child out to play during the nights.
Tagline: “In the politics of SCA royal peerages, I always win the popular vote.”
Her Grace, Duchess Pierozza Parmesiniof Calontir Bio: Fresh off the progress of her second reign, Duchess Pierozza is known as much for her beauty as her penchant for non-persona garb. She might look Norse, but when it comes to the Pennsic social scene, she embodies the intrigue and glamor of the Italian renaissance.
Tagline: “I’m not just a fighter’s lady with a taste for somewhat appropriative summertime garb – I’m a legend.”
Her Grace, Duchess Sandrine Babiloine of Atenveldt
Bio: A three time queen who has ruled alongside three different kings, Duchess Sandrine causes a stir at every event she attends. It’s rumored that she’s going to be on the lookout for her next King ahead of Atenveldt’s summer crown tournament in late September. She has been overheard saying, “All those other inspirations better lock up their fighters!”
Tagline: “I have a taste for power and power has a taste for me.”
Her Excellency Countess Sile inghen Connoghor of the Outlands
Bio: Although she has only been queen once, Countess Sile runs with the other duchesses on the strength of her rigid control over her kingdom’s Laurel community. Under her influence, the Laurels of the Outlands have admitted only three people to their ranks in the last decade. Though many complaints about the Countess’ sway have emerged over the years, she takes it all in stride and does not let it bother her.
Tagline: “I never feel guilty about preserving our integrity; we don’t let in just anybody. If being a gatekeeper is so wrong, why does it feel so right?”
Her Grace, Duchess Johanna ffeyrmayden of Æthelmearc
Bio: Celebrated as the uncrowned queen of Pennsic since she debuted in the royal role over five years ago. Partying with this duchess at Pennsic is considered to be a sign that a member of the populace has arrived, socially. Always fun, always where the mead is, and always ready to jump into a Bardic circle with original songs, sensation and scandal follow wherever Duchess Johanna goes.
Tagline: “Pennsic is my playground and when evening arrives, I’m the real King of the Castle.”
Although Duchess Adolana was almost certainly recruited due to her connections to other royal peers throughout the Knowne World, the same sense of grace is not usually attributed to the other Duchesses. One can hardly forget about the amateur adult film that was released online following Pennsic 42. Although the performers could not be immediately identified, the Pennsic site and the royal regalia they wore was more than enough to reveal the lackluster performers were then-King Adalbret Clobeloch and his queen, Duchess Sandrine. While Adalbret earned an R&D over the incident, Duchess Sandrine had, by that time, moved on to her current paramour, Duke Thebald Valret, who is said to have exercised his influence to help her evade any society-imposed consequences.
Duchesses Johanna and Pierozza are also no strangers to controversy stirred up at Pennsic. The entire site was inundated with gossip after a seemingly private conversation was leaked. The topic of the leaked gossip was Countess Sile, the duchesses’ remarks on her lower title, her allegedly inauthentic garb, and her inability to admit anybody lacking at least one PhD into her kingdom’s broken branch of the Order of the Laurel. Though news of this gossip mildly offended the Countess, it was their harsh commentary of her oft-performed free-verse poem, entitled “Healing”, that she performs at every bardic circle she comes across, that ended up transforming the countess into the Drama Queen. Duchess Pierozza was overheard to remark, “That poem is not even remotely medieval in subject, language, or form. I’m pretty sure she wrote it in therapy.”
“No shit – and talk about cringy,” Duchess Johanna is said to have responded, “No need for firewood! The fire could be fuelled entirely by second-hand embarrassment. I feel sorry for her.”
Although the two deny it, they are credited with referring to the poem, which lasts for approximately 15 agonizing, soul-crushing minutes, as “the universally recognized death-throes of the bardic circle.”
It is reported that Countess Sile had her revenge when the QR code for Duchess Johanna’s previously private OnlyFans elbow-fetish site was painstakingly painted onto the portajohns. “F*ck with a Laurel, will they?!?” Countess Sile was purportedly heard to mutter, “I can paint detailed, photorealistic QR codes IN MY SLEEP!”
Given the established notoriety these Duchesses have earned at past Pennsic Wars, The SCAllion looks forward to seeing how they plan to top their current reputations.
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 RHYDDERICH HAEL, ÆTHELMEARC: At Ice Dragon last weekend, people witnessed an unusual and surprising revelation: Laurels were shocked when they came to the sudden realization that mean and nasty commentary during A&S judging wasn’t actually being at all helpful to the artists being judged.
Mistress Anastasia Potter was heard to say: “I just don’t get it. I really thought telling these artists their work was utter garbage was a good thing, you know? It was supposed to be encouragement to do better! I really never understood why people would just burst into tears, or throw their projects in the trash as they stormed out. We’re being helpful, right? Right?”
The matter came to light when several of the participants publicly petitioned the organizers at lunch to exclude Laurels from the judging pools. Her Majesty, to whom the petition was eventually brought, is a member of the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc (the GoA for Arts and Sciences in the kingdom). She agreed with the petitioners and the judging pools were hastily reconfigured.
“Why can’t people take valid criticism in the spirit it’s meant?” Master Aaron the Bagmaker objected. “When I was an apprentice, being told my art made the judges physically sick and violently angry made me want to make better art! Art is supposed to evoke an emotional reaction. Artisans at these things need to toughen up and take on board the critiques so that one day we will discuss them in the Laurel circle.”
The SCAllion hopes this new understanding regarding A&S judging spreads from here out beyond the borders of the Æthelmearc and can help Laurels of other kingdoms come to the same realization for themselves.
Hey all, Sir Guido di Orgoglioso here and I just got done with a week with some of the BEST FOOD in the Knowne Worlde! I’m talking pierogies, mutton, pickled catfish, you name it, someone here at Gulf Wars was making it! And I am gonna give you the 411 on all the best!
On Monday, I sat in for grub with a fantabulous Venetian dinner made by that infamous Laurel of AEthelmearc. Not gonna name drop, but honestly, you should know the one. That meal was bangin’! Her fish pies, the spices were just killer! She brings her game and that venison is GOOD! Cannot recommend highly enough, she is the Baroness of Flavourchestre.
Wednesday night was the annual pilgrimage to Ansteorra Chili Night. As usual, that line was long, but the chili was worth the wait. A true Festival of Dynamite. They wisely did not take sides in the Religious Chili Wars, instead opting to have beans on the side so folks could decide whether or not to commit heresy. With a large selection of hot sauces to choose from, folks could make things mild or as funkalicious as they desired. The only complaint would be that (as usual) the sour cream and cheese on the side ran out about 5 minutes into serving. Maybe one day they will have enough to go around!
And finally, the ever popular Knowne World Party last night. It being St. Patty’s Day, there was green EVERYWHERE! Booze, beer, food, several of the party goers. You name it, everywhere you looked, there was green. Personally, I loved the whole vibe. The green margaritas were bangin’. It felt like Mardi Gras decided to visit Ireland in South Mississippi! Always a fantastic time.
The only disappointment was the continued absence of the Green Rice Bowl. Nobody is ever gonna replace them for a quick and easy lunch at war!
The whole week was fun. It was bananas, and bananas are good. Post period, but good.
Stay tuned for our next report when we hit Lilies. I hear those Calontiri know how to throw a party, I am looking forward to finding out on our next issue of Ale-houses, Taverns, and Pubs!
BARONY OF THESCORRE, ÆTHELMEARC – Over the weekend, the Kingdom of Æthelmearc announced a dramatic move towards formally changing its name. In an effort to present a more modern approach to the public as a way to increase recruitment, the Kingdom has chosen to be named ‘Yinz’.
Baron William Ethelred, the Kingdom Seneschal, explained the reasoning behind this change. “Well, everyone in this region uses the phrase Yinz in everyday speech. We figured that Kingdom of Yinz would increase our public profile and exposure and our recruitment capability. While our SCA safety record is certainly better than the Steelers, we figured the crossover from football to heavy combat would not be hard for the public to make. If celebrities can do it, why not us?”
Heralds of the kingdom have documented Yins/Yinz as a surname to extremely late period England, thus keeping the original national origin of the name while updating for a more culturally relevant term for the people of the Pennsylvania/New York/West Virgina kingdom. “Yinz” is the regional second person plural – the local equivalent to “y’all”.
Media representative Issace Castellani said “Sure, some of the public will join the Kingdom of Yinz thinking it’s about football, but we figure we can cross them over. After all, the equivalent of the heavy combat Super Bowl takes place in the Kingdom every year, and what fan doesn’t want access to that? We figured something catchy would increase our footprint. Besides, this will mean we are no longer one of the dreaded ‘A’ Kingdoms.”
BARONY OF DEBATABLE LANDS, ÆTHELMEARC – Due to a freak carrier pigeon accident, a missive from last Pennsic has only just now reached The SCAllion’s offices. Witnesses report that, in a stunning chain of events, the head lifeguard was abruptly removed from office for enforcing the site and safety rules.
“Duke Eneas MacGillacahir appeared at the lake during open swim with two medium-size alligators, and attempted to put them in the water,” an observer on the scene told The SCAllion on condition of anonymity. “The lifeguard in charge saw the ‘gators, and immediately called a stop to it.” The lifeguard reportedly cited that it was a violation of the site’s rules to release hazardous invasive reptiles anywhere on the property, allowing the alligators in the lake would cause a safety hazard for all swimmers, and, after His Grace objected loudly and at length about his “rights”, and that Duke Eneas was not respecting the duly authorized authority of safety personnel.
Duke Eneas immediately called his Kingdom Seneschal, Master Jost von Hesselstein, who overruled the lifeguard over the phone, declaring that the alligators were permitted in the pool because they were Duke Eneas’s guests and hospitality is “a value to be held sacred.” Master Jost then fired the lifeguard who had sanctioned Duke Eneas and swimming was permitted to continue.
Master Jost does not swim, and has never been to Pennsic, much less in the lake.
In a closed session, the Board of Directors not only upheld Master Jost’s decision, it ruled that all lifeguards will be removed from their positions and prohibited from swimming themselves for six months. Reached for comment, spokesperson for the Board of Directors Duchess Merione Ferquair of Melby said that, of course Master Jost acted correctly, because Duke Eneas’s enjoyment of the water with his alligator guests was just as important as the combined safety of the rest of the swimming community.
When The SCAllion reached out to the former Pennsic lifeguard for comment, the lifeguard said that they had been forbidden by the Board of Directors from speaking about the sanction.
SHIRE OF NITHGAARD, ÆTHELMEARC – Duke William of Fossmore, who in modern life is a theoretical physics researcher at Penn State, recently returned after his first trip in his new time machine. He travelled to “get the real story” about the battle of Agincourt because “those archers are always claiming it was they who won it when we all know it really was just Harry’s Speech.”
His research assistants and grad students had a hard time getting the story out of Duke William, but it seems he materialized on the French side of the battle. When interviewed by The SCAllion they reported that he kept muttering “arrows… everywhere, arrows…” “They’re coming out of the goddamn trees!!” and “oh gods… they just slaughtered fallen knights not caring about ransom!” Once His Grace calmed down he immediately contacted the Society Board of Directors and gave a well-reasoned and passionate argument in support of the new archery/omnibus Peerage.
Duke William concluded his missive with: “My gods, maybe if they get the archery peerage it will calm them down enough so they don’t start taking daggers to us when we’re downed at Pennsic.” He immediately destroyed the time machine and all his research shortly thereafter because “there are things which are too upsetting to know the truth of.”
ROYAL PROVINCE OF OSTGARDR, EAST KINGDOM – The East Kingdom has been split up, thanks to the divorce of a power couple from House Wombat and a modern judge who has had enough of their divorce proceedings.
Court documents obtained by the SCAllion show that Judge Roderick Vale ended their ruling with the statement, “I don’t know what this group is, and I don’t care. You are directed to split the group up between you in whatever way the group agrees to. I have enough contacts in non-profit law to force a division of this kingdom-thing, so make it happen. Now get out of my courtroom.”
Dame Rowan Langholm was happy to consent to an interview. “F that household. F the Southern Region. F that dirtbag. Actually, don’t. I want his d*** to fall off! What? Right. I’m so happy to be back in my home Barony of Carolingia! I’m also pleased that the SocSen was so expedient in dividing the kingdom per the court’s order. I’ll be queen by right of arms within a year. YOU HEAR THAT, YOU PIECE OF S***?! YEAH, F YOU!”
“It sort of reminds me of the bad blood between Æthelmearc and the East when Æthelmearc went kingdom. I think I am getting flashbacks,” says Thrune Oakhammer of Æthelmearc, “Oh no, wait, that’s my blood pressure medication.”
Johnnes Schwartzwald, a squire to Sir Michel Fernandez, both from Panther Vale, was ecstatic. “My knight might actually be able to make the final 16 in Crown! This is amazing!”
Members of House Wombat refused to comment directly, but we heard one comment as he walked away, “I’m just glad we don’t need to leave the Southern Region anymore.”
Miryam bat Avraham, seneschal of Tir Mara, didn’t find out about the change until sending quarterly reports: “What? Someone could have bloody well told us this was going on!”
An event is being planned to determine which half will retain the name and heraldry of the East.
DOMINION OF MYRKFAELINN, ÆTHELMEARC – Duchess Karen von Katzenberg stopped by her local coffee joint to grab a triple-shot soy caramel macchiato latte earlier this week. She was shocked and dismayed when the barista rang her up and informed her that her total came to $5. Duchess Karen, aghast at being told that she had to pay for this, demanded to know if the barista knew exactly who she was.
The barista shrugged and said, “The woman who just ordered a $5 coffee”.
This fueled Duchess Karen’s righteous indignation as she declared, “I am a three-time Queen! I have ruled in two different kingdoms! One before you were even alive! I am Duchess Karen of Æthelmearc!”
The barista shrugged and said, “Okay, but that’s still $5 please.” Duchess Karen had no choice but to pay for her coffee and left in a steaming rage.
The SCAllion points out that this proves the old adage that a pointy hat and $5 will, in fact, get you a coffee.