BARONY OF SKRAELING ALTHING, EALDORMERE – Local Barony member Launslote du Letch was inducted into the brand new Ordre de l’Escalier Manquant by Her Majesty Ruxandra Zabellyska of Ealdormere. Since he did not have an Award of Arms, Launslote was thrilled with his new status, as he believed inclusion in the order automatically conferred an AoA. The Queen did not disabuse him of the notion.
In an exclusive interview with The SCAllion, Her Majesty said, “We’ve had problems with du Letch for years. He has caused several uncomfortable situations with femme and non-binary members of my kingdom, but his behavior usually does not cross the line into a reportable offense, and when it does, his victims are too traumatized or frightened to report it. Unfortunately, Launslote is a member of Duke Bedyvere Brasenhed’s household and calling out a friend of the Once and Future King is seen as politically problematic for a lot of vulnerable people.”
The Ordre de l’Escalier Manquant is a new award for the Kingdom and does not confer any precedence. Meistari Bosi Englandsfari, the Principal Herald of Ealdormere explained how the award came to be, “Before she was a peer, Ruxandra never received an explicit confirmation from the Kingdom Seneschal as to whether the SCAdian who had attacked her at a camping event had been officially reprimanded or if he faced any repercussions. Because she felt the “business side” of the Society never supported her and due to various other incidents she and I have observed in our 20+ years in the SCA, at her Curia she created this new order, the Ordre de l’Escalier Manquant. The award recipients are receiving appropriate recognition for actions and behaviors below the threshold of action for the ‘business side’, but she has also created a way for others to recognize those who may exhibit problematic behaviors.”
“Marginalized people usually have a way of communicating about bad actors,” Queen Ruxandra said tiredly. “The Kingdom’s policies about secrecy make it hard to protect ourselves. Since they will be listed in the Kingdom OP, I just made it easier to figure out who they are.”
Princess Quiteria Cerrada, the Queen’s heir, seeing the success of the new Order has vowed to create an additional order called the “Ordre de l‘Escalier Cassé” as a step down for the recipients of the previous award. “Let them think they are getting a Grant of Arms,” Princess Quiteria said, “I am tired of creepers being a part and parcel of The Dream.” The Ordre de l’Escalier Cassé comes with a banishment from the presence unless a higher level banishment is currently in force.
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 SEPTENTRIA, EALDORMERE – As the Society for Creative Anachronism prepares to celebrate its 58th birthday, more and more members have been stunned to learn that the SCA is a part of the Baby Boomer age group, but solidly Generation X.
One example is a TikTok video posted by Hernando Panpan. “Happy 58th birthday and OK Boomer,” the video started. Offscreen, someone points out that the organization was solidly Gen X, they reacted with confusion. “What? That’s not right. What about the mild technophobia, the inflexibility, the indifference to younger generations? I thought they had to be Boomers. Huh.”
Nor was this the only example. One Reddit user known only as ‘titlelessthrowaway” posted “Well huh. I was going to wish the SCA a Happy Boomer Birthday, but it’s …not? It’s Gen X? Happy Gen X birthday, I guess.”
We here at The SCAllion fully understand the confusion and frustration caused by members of Generation X now being in their late 50s. We’re excited to see the organization stop doing stereotypically Boomer shit and get on with some of the Generation X trademarks of flexibility and technological adeptness.
From all of us here at The SCAllion, Happy birthday, Society for Creative Anachronism!
BARONY OF RISING WATERS, EALDORMERE – A cinematic debate about Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film, Spartacus, turned ugly this weekend at Kingdom A&S. Lady Publia Hostilia Asina was the center of the controversy, as she asserted that if Spartacus felt his freedom was important enough to instigate the slave revolt, he should at least sign his name to it.
When it was pointed out that the film made it explicit that Spartacus’ insecurities about his own lack of education prevented him from signing his name to anything, Lady Asina responded with: “There were proper channels to pursue if a slave wanted to be freed. If Spartacus wanted social change, he should have owned his words. Otherwise, he should have kept his trap shut and not upset the other slaves.”
Lady Asina took a very different perspective than most viewers of the film, stating, “If he’s instigating rebellions and gaining traction at the expense of the Roman Empire, he should have grown a pair and at least named himself as leader.”
When it was pointed out that if they had spoken up, non-Roman slaves would almost certainly have been crucified on the spot, Lady Asina scoffed. “Other people suggested methods of affecting change in Imperial Roman society and could not have done it anonymously with any success. Had I been in Spartacus’ place, I would never have tried to instigate a rebellion while concealing my name. That method would never have worked in real life.”
One Spartacus fan asked whether her opinions about political anonymity extended to voting. Lady Asina answered, “Absolutely. If you have any political opinion, you should own it. This idea that identifying yourself will lead to censure and social consequences is ridiculous. There’s a reason that the Roman Empire was so much more successful than the Republic – people always owned their political opinions. Always.”
When another fan brought up the question of whether or not the Roman Empire was really as successful as Lady Asina claimed, she responded: “Without a doubt – and it was in no small part due to heroes like Crassus who stood up to anonymous troublemakers who only wanted to stir up dissention through anonymity, by wisely crucifying the whole lot.”
SHIRE OF BASTILLE DU LAC, EALDORMERE – His Majesty Gnaagh has made SCA history by becoming the first reigning monarch with a dinosaur persona, specifically a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
“This is inevitable once you realize there’s no start date for SCA personas,” Gnaagh’s Chamberlain Snaawl told us. “Someone was always going to go for a Jurassic reign, and I’m actually excited to be part of making history with it.”
While most of the populace is taking things in good humor, some admit it’s taken getting used to. Lord Alardus dictus Renart, a seven year veteran of the Society spoke with The SCAllion regarding having a crown with a persona from the Upper Cretaceous. “It’s only a little harder to pay attention to court when most of the talking is the King making dinosaur noises. And of course, His Majesty closing court by playing the Jurassic Park music and attacking the audience has had a real effect. People’s cardio has gotten quite a bit better, though I suppose the music for Jurassic Park isn’t quite the right period.”
Gnaagh has claimed to have done extensive persona research, and worked hard to develop a fighting style that was effective despite his shortened forearms. “It was really exciting helping him research and craft this persona,” said Snaawl. “About the only place things have really taken a stretch is that he wanted a Jurassic reign, and of course, the T. rex is documentable to the Cretaceous. It’s moments like that which bring the ‘creative’ part to ‘creative anachronism’.”
SHIRE OF AR N-EILEAN-NE, TIR MARA, EAST KINGDOM – Due to rising inflation and costs of goods, the Board of Directors has issued a variance for Canadian members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. These members were named informally at the last Board meeting as “SCAnadians,” much to the furor of those present in the call.
The official statement, published February 2nd, reads: “We recognise that money is tight for our northern members, and that the exchange rate between CAD and USD fluctuates significantly, and we therefore decided to search out a way to enable Canadians to maintain their memberships while relying on something more stable.”
Canadian members may now pay for international membership using one of the following methods:
A 1-litre jug of maple syrup
4 XL Tim Hortons double-doubles and a 40-pack of TimBits
10 Coffee Crisps
5 2-litre bottles of Coca-Cola (must be purchased in Canada)
This decision has met with generally positive responses, as the change means membership costs for Canadians will be decreased overall, but as the Ealdormere Kingdom Seneschal pointed out, the difference will be made up by Canada Post shipping charges to send the chosen items to Milpitas San Diego.
One Board of Directors member, who omitted to specify that their remarks were off the record, made a comment within earshot of The SCAllion to the effect of, “We’re going to be swimming in syrup, and who’s going to drink all that coffee? This was a mistake.”
BARONY OF ONE THOUSAND EYES, ARTEMISIA – At their annual conclave this past weekend, the Order of the Pelican approved a bold new proposal to change the name and insignia of their order from Pelican to Albatross. The new symbol, narrowly beating out the Ostrich and the Dodo, was deemed the perfect choice to encapsulate the ideals of the Order in its current form.
Order secretary Dame Lemmie Duit Miwhey, of Ealdormere, explained the reasoning behind the proposal. “If you think about it, the symbol of the pelican is a terrible one for a service order. Rather than going out to find fish and bringing it back to her young, the pelican in her piety instead stabs herself in the breast and tries to feed her own blood to her children. Not only is it gross, but it also encourages in our protégés the least effective and most harmful techniques of service. And we do that well enough on our own, thank you very much!”
Dame Lemmie went on to explain how the new symbol was much more appropriate for the Order. “It’s still a bloody seabird hung around our necks, but this new symbol borrows from ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’ Like the poem’s narrator, we all saw membership in the Order to be a stroke of luck when we were first offered, but have since come to see it as a burden that we regret undertaking, a mark of shame that causes everyone else to blame us for things going wrong. It’s been this way since I was elevated decades ago, and it’s time we were honest about it with the rest of the Knowne World.”
Public reactions to this new proposal were mixed. Many disapproved of changing anything about the Society, with the Crown of the West declaring “It was good enough in 1966, and it’s good eno…wait, when was the Pelican created again?” Other critics questioned the new symbol, calling the Albatross a “glorified seagull” and “a pretentious post-period literary reference” that “was so dramatic that it was better suited to the Laurels.”
However, most commenters have embraced the new branding for the Order. “I like the new name and symbols! They feel more honest. Beautiful, really. I feel like I can relate to a name like that,” said Albert Ross, exchequer for the Shire of Stonegate.
Changes to Corpora and kingdom law will be put into place in coming months to reflect the newly rebranded Order of the Albatross. In the meantime, heralds of all kingdoms are advised to rework their scripts into common meter, and incorporate the new regalia: An albatross displayed inverted, vulned of a crossbow bolt, trussed and hung from a hemp rope collar.
The SCAllion reached out to the Board of Directors for comment, but per ancient and perhaps honorable tradition, have received no reply.
EOFORWIC, EALDORMERE – The Royal Citie of Eoforwic has plans this evening to honor their Scottish-persona members by having a Burns Night dinner in the most exclusive spot in town – their seneschal’s basement.
“Och, of course we do this every year!” said Angus MacDuncan, the group chatelaine and the cook for the evening’s dinner. “I make a fine black pudding and haggis, and Moira makes the shortbread for dessert. Bobby Burns talks about all three things in his poetry.”
The participants dress up in kilts and plaid tunics, and the local Musician’s Guild takes the opportunity to play fine medieval Scottish ballads such as Loch Lomond and Scotland the Brave. “We’re very careful about our documentation of such things,” says the guild leader Dale mec Angus, “that’s why the poetry is such an important part of the evening!”
Repeated attempts to point out that Robert Burns is considerably post-SCA period were dismissed as “How very un-Scottish of you.”