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.
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-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.
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.
BARONY OF SETTMOUR SWAMP, THE EAST — In a move which has been met with surprise and astonishment, the combined peerage orders of the Kingdom of the East have unanimously approved a standard fealty oath for use by all peers throughout the kingdom who wish to swear fealty.
According to sources in-Kingdom, King Báetán mac Fergaile and Queen Coblaith ingen Fechtnaig asked their peerage orders to create a standardised oath in the aftermath of the specialised, incredibly lengthy, fully-documented period oath given to them this weekend by Magistra Ahelissa de Glack. Now known widely as The Oath of Two Score Terms And Twelve, it was 20 minutes long and kept Their Majesties from badly-needed bathroom breaks.
The official form of the new standard oath is recorded in several languages, to enable some flexibility for peers of different cultural personae.
For example, the Latin form of the oath is thus:
Non te dedam Non te deficiam Non vagabor et deseram te Non te lacrimabit Non dicam vale Non mendiar et laedam te
For those peers with Jewish personae, the Hebrew form of the oath reads:
לעולם לא אוותר עלייך לעולם לא אאכזב אותך לעולם לא אתרוצץ סביב ואעזוב אותך לעולם לא אגרום לך לבכות לעולם לא אומר להתראות לעולם לא אספר שקר ואפגע בך
Peers from the Arabic-speaking regions may enjoy this version:
لن أتخلى عن الأمل فيك لن أخذلك لن أركض وأتركك لن أجعلك تبكي لن أقول وداعا لن أقول لك كذبة وأجرحك
The Middle English form of the oath is as follows:
Ich schall relinquishe þe nevere Ich schall faile þe nevere Ich schall rave awei nevere, nor leve þe Ich schall encausen þe wepest nevere Ich schall sprece ileve niminge nevere Ich schall sprece gabbe nevere nor bane þe
Translations in other languages are available from Baroness Theodhild, Brigantia Herald.
Asked to explain the words chosen, Lærifaðir Gunni Stillingr, a member of the Order of Laurel who assisted with the translations explained, “It’s not that strange a move, it’s important that everyone involved knows what the rules are. Fealty is about making a full commitment.”
Despite the unanimous vote, some peers are not entirely on board with the new standard wording. “This is against all the traditions of the East,” complained Baron Estienne Flambard, a long-time Pelican. “But their Majesties know the game, they’re going to play it, and we have to go along. If you ask me how I’m feeling about this whole situation, well, my heart’s been aching since it was announced.”
Master Ricardus de Asteleghe, a Bardic Laurel, was more enthusiastic. “We’ve known this move was coming for so long,” he gushed. “I love it, and I’m not too shy to say it. I never want to give this up.”
Sources close to Theodhild Brigantia report that she spent the day after the announcement staring into the middle distance with a bottle of wine, muttering, “So it’s come to this.”
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, My spouse recently passed away and suddenly SCAdians we haven’t spoken to in five years are messaging me asking for their belongings and saying things such as, “They would have wanted me to have this.” I have no intention of giving them anyway, but what is the courteous way of telling the populace to stand down? This is very overwhelming and I’m ready to just quit and set it all on fire. – Mistress Arson
So, there is no courteous response to this largely because you are not being extended any courtesy. When others stop being polite to the point of being offensive, trying to insert themselves into the process of grief and shove through it as vultures must do when going out for supper, you are not required to be sweet to them and speak with kind words. Keep those for other people that you randomly meet on the street or in line getting coffee. They probably need it more.
The possessions of your spouse are yours. Period. End of statement.
Letting go of the belongings of a loved one is an emotional minefield with lots of extra and nasty surprises. You’ll find feelings and memories you did not know you had, or had entirely forgotten. It will break you over and over again. You have a lot of work ahead, so let’s address how to handle them. You only need to use a single word, written or spoken.
The word is No.
If you have to, say it louder. Type it in a bigger font. Use all caps and comic sans at the same time. You do not need to justify anything. Simply say no at the person until they go away. Ask your friends to do the same in support. I bet they will. If this happens at an SCA event or meeting and the person seems especially dense, say NO very loudly and repeatedly. With gusto. From the diaphragm. Project. Become a spectacle if you must because that will bring all the medieval kids to the yard and then bad behavior is on glorious display for everyone to see.
When a large number of people are staring at you and look horrified, it usually cuts poor requests off. Or, someone may help them along with finding their quiet. Remember that one word. Just say no to assholes.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, It’s the SCA’s birthday and I’d like to celebrate, but I have a crisis. If I make a cake there won’t be enough people sharing it. Like, less than one half of one percent of the membership. That is so not fair. What do I do? -Pondering
That is quite a pickle! Maybe just make a cake that is not very large? Perhaps cookies or cupcakes? Mini bundt cakes might be an option! It is easier to parcel out whole items if they don’t get eaten at your next SCA celebration. Handing out slices of cut cake to people who did not see the cake be cut is just very strange. Skip that. I believe petit fours are your best answer.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, I joined the SCA because I have an interest in history and historic costume, yet, every time I go on a group to ask a question about how to improve my garb a bevy of screechers descend upon me shrieking about how it’s only about having fun and how it doesn’t matter. This IS my fun, and I am at a loss about how to enjoy my game when I cannot have a conversation about history with others over that perpetual, unpleasant din. -Loves Historic Garb
Dear Historic Garb,
Oh my, you found the screechers. Back away from them slowly and quietly. They are attracted to noise and motion. Once they have found a new target, run for the hills. Go straight to the Arts and Sciences person for your local group, or at your Kingdom level. Get on social media and look for your tribe. Ask if there is a tailors or garb guild of some sort. If there isn’t, ask to be pointed at the rabid garb Laurels. There are LOTS of them. Soon you will find yourself surrounded by improved company and having elevated conversations about historic costuming. Some of them may have to be paid, bribed or given baked goods to stop talking. I think you will be quite happy.
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 HOLLEKE TOR, KINGDOM OF AETHER – In the northern hemisphere, it is coming up on the Serious Outdoor Event Season (Sorry, Lochac, enjoy your winter). As our contribution to the most common activity of the Society while sitting around with your beverage of choice – people watching – we present to you: Good Garb Bingo.
Many are the tales of Bad Garb Bingo, played at wars and large events throughout the SCA. We here at The SCAllion are much more about encouraging people to be their best selves, and if we can enable that by finding things to praise about the efforts of those strolling by on a quiet summer afternoon, all the better.
At the link below are 30 randomized bingo cards, with positive things to spot about other people’s clothing. We suggest that someone only counts for one square per outfit – while that Elizabethan Laurel could give you bingo all on their own, pick the one that you feel is the best choice for that set of apparel. (For example: His Highness walking by in three different outfits can be counted for three squares, once per set of garb.)
We highly encourage folks to bring these to their local events! Get to meet the well-dressed people in your kingdom neighborhoods!
If someone really impresses you with their dress, why don’t you tell them? Ask questions about who created what aspects and how, and make notes on your bingo card of people to write in for awards. Praise and recognize people for their efforts, and you, too, will shortly be able to yell “bingo!” from under your awning.
SHIRE OF PONT ALARCH, PRINCIPALITY OF INSULAE DRACONIS, DRACHENWALD – Mistress Hildegard von Bongen, a cooking Laurel from a shire which is located in the north of England, has praised the effect that Brexit has had on the authenticity of feasts in the Principality.
At a class at a recent University event, she told attendees, “Before Brexit, people were very casual about the authenticity of the feasts they served. It was, frankly, a bit slapdash. They would talk about wanting people to ‘enjoy the feast’ and that medieval recipes were boring. Brexit has forced them to level up their planning. Not only are tomatoes impossible to find in England right now, but most New World foods have become so expensive that they are also off the menu.”
She went on to point out that the UK environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has already told modern Britons they should “be eating turnips right now, rather than thinking necessarily about aspects of lettuce and tomatoes” and SCA cooks should be doing the same.
She then outlined her plan for a feast to be served at the next Principality Coronet tourney which featured turnips prepared nine different ways.