Outlands · Laurel · Arts and Sciences

Tartan displayed at Arts and Sciences competition triggers seizures in younger members of populace

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.

Aethelmearc · Atenveldt · Calontir · Ealdormere · Knowne World · Laurel · Outlands · Pennsic War · Queen · Rose

Bravo to film new series: “Real Duchesses of Pennsic”

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.

“In the politics of SCA royal peerages, I always win the popular vote.” 

Her Grace, Duchess Pierozza Parmesini of 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.

Aethelmearc · Ansteorra · Artemisia · Arts and Sciences · Atenveldt · Atlantia · Avacal · Caid · Calontir · Cynagua · Drachenwald · Ealdormere · East · Gleann Abhann · Insulae Draconis · Knowne World · Lochac · Meridies · Midrealm · Mists · Nordmark · Northshield · Outlands · Tir Mara · Tir Righ · Trimaris · West

Known World Wordsmiths join WGA strike

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.


College students develop alternative to the SCA: complaints about “not enough old farts”

SHIRE OF WHITE MOUNTAIN, OUTLANDS – The SCAllion was privileged to be able to visit recently with a small group of students from the Alamogordo School of Nuclear Physics and Cosmetology, mostly from the History department, and learn that they have independently developed an alternative to the Society for Creative Anachronism. However, there are already complaints flying among the group: There aren’t enough old farts in this bunch!

President of the new, as yet unnamed organization, junior Sophie Kreigensburger, elaborated: “Some of us went to a few events here in, what do they call it? The ‘Outlands’? How creative a name they came up with. Anyway, we went to a few events to get an idea of what to do with this, and frankly, we’re discovering a distinct lack of, for lack of a better term, Old Farts.” Kreigensburger went on to say: “We have no one to telling us how things used to be! No one to explain or offer to demonstrate, in gory detail, old dudes hitting on young women as a ‘period’ practice! Add to that, we haven’t heard one person say “You know, back in our day….””.

The SCAllion would like to wish this new organization all the best of luck, and, given time, knows they will absolutely develop their own cadre of old farts to complain about “These damn kids don’t know how it used to be!” 

Ansteorra · Board of Directors · Drachenwald · Lochac · Outlands · Pennsic War · West

Known World Royalty Propose Official SCA Standard Time

BARONY OF BODLINGTONE, KINGDOM OF BODLANDIA — In an unprecedented move, the united royalty of the Knowne World has presented a petition to the Board demanding that they standardize time across the entire SCA.

Queen Hanna Koretskaia, acting as spokesperson for the assembled Royals, explained: “As Pennsic negotiations started and, as usual, immediately began to break down, we started to search for common ground. Any common ground. And we realized that we did have at least one thing in common: we all hated Daylight Savings Time. It wasn’t just the Pennsic principal kingdoms either. We spoke to all the Crowns of all the kingdoms, and everyone agreed, Daylight Savings Time just plain sucks. So we decided to trash it. And in talking it through, we found another problem, time zones, so we decided to fix that, too.”

The SCAllion was able to review the petition, which adopts a novel solution for dealing with the Crowns’ concerns. The Crowns propose a single “time zone,” SCA Standard Time, or SST, which will be used for all Society for Creative Anachronism events worldwide. SST will have no adjustment for Daylight Savings Time, or anything else for that matter. It will also use exclusively 24-hour clocks, although it will retain US style date formatting, over the objections of Lochac and Drachenwald, with the North American kingdoms claiming that YY-MM-DD format just “looks weird.”

“It seemed like the obvious solution, really,” said Queen Hanna. “People can set their clocks, or one of their clocks, to SST and know what time events are scheduled for wherever they are, without having to worry about travelling across time zones or,” she paused to hack and spit, “Daylight Savings Time.”

When asked if there had been any difficulty in the negotiations, Queen Hanna replied, “Just one, really. Every Kingdom wanted their home time zone to be the one used for SST, which is why we eventually settled on UTC-12:00, which is used by nobody, but does include a couple of uninhabited islands claimed by the West, which means check-in for Pennsic will begin at 0900 7/28/2023 at 0100 SST. Simple.”

“Using SST will also help us to rectify some historical injustices,” said Queen Hanna. “For instance, the Barony of the Citadel of the Southern Pass will be able to join the kingdom of Ansteorra, since the only reason it was in the Outlands in the first place was due to it being in the Mountain time zone.”

Arts and Sciences · Outlands

Confused student accidentally defends master’s thesis to A&S judges, wins Kingdom A&S Championship

COLLEGE OF SCOLA METALLORUM, THE OUTLANDS – At The Outlands’ recent Kingdom Arts and Sciences Champions event, a confused student apparently stumbled into the judging, having mistaken the event space for their master’s defense location.

Master’s candidate Gloria Weisenbach was on their way to their master’s thesis defense when she apparently got lost and mistakenly walked into The Outlands’ A&S event. Confusing the judges with their defense panel, Gloria immediately began their defense, with the title of their thesis being “Textile composition in England, 1340-1380”. Upon completion, the judges immediately conferred with Their Majesties and moments later, Mx. Weisenbach was declared Kingdom A&S Champion.

Lead judge Mistress Isabella del Roccio was quoted as saying: “That was perhaps the most brilliant, thorough, and well-presented research I have ever been privileged to see. Gloria really deserves this; I’m absolutely stunned. More than that, I’m humbled. And that says a LOT.”

Mx. Weisenbach, however, remained confused: “Wait, did I pass? Did I successfully defend? What’s this sash? Who are those people in the funny hats, and why am I being made to stand behind them? WHAT’S GOING ON?”

The SCAllion will continue to follow this developing situation, and will report on how Mx. Weisenbach performs as champion.

Armored Combat · Outlands

Baronial Fighter Practices Appear to be Targeted by Weather

BARONY OF CAER GALEN, KINGDOM OF THE OUTLANDS – The SCAllion scored an exclusive interview with the knight’s marshal of the Barony of Caer Galen, based out of Boulder, Colorado, where something rather strange is going on. Baron Ricolf de Westerburch told The SCAllion, “It’s really weird; the weather is great on Monday, and Tuesday, then we get to Wednesday morning, and it’s raining heavily, or there’s high wind all day, or the local National Weather Service folk have us under a tornado warning for the entire day. And I mean, when the NWS lot give you a tornado warning for here, you listen – they like protecting their own asses! Then, Thursday morning comes along, and we have gorgeous blue skies, sunshine, it’s not too hot, you name it until Saturday evening, when it gets gross again. I don’t get it. What does the weather have against fighter practice? It’s not like we fight stoned or anything!”

The SCAllion was able to talk to Mistress Valencia de Montagnana, OL, modernly a leading meteorology researcher and lecturer, at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Sciences (LASP) — a research institute of the University of Colorado – Boulder, asking if she had any insight. “I honestly have no clue” she told us, “it’s most strange, almost predictable, but there’s no real weather patterns we can see. Though I must say, it does have a silver lining — more time to work on arts and sciences for everyone!”

As The SCAllion was leaving the LASP building, one of Mistress Valencia’s graduate students approached us and asked us to meet them at the nearby Flatiron Coffee shop in 30 minutes. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, they told us, “look, I don’t know if this is related to your story, but a while back, Valencia had a bunch of us working on a project, trying to see how we could influence the atmosphere to produce localized adverse weather conditions on day-long timescales. I don’t know what happened to the research, or the instruments we built to do it, cause she was really hush hush about the project sponsor, etc..” The graduate student fled, telling The SCAllion that they had to go teach their advisor’s class and couldn’t be late, before we could ask any further questions.

Arts and Sciences · Bardic · Calontir · Mists · Outlands · West

New Google AI Chatbot “Bard” poses threat to wandering minstrels

SHIRE OF CROSSTON, PRINCIPALITY OF THE MISTS, KINGDOM OF THE WEST – The bardic community is up in arms that they will soon be replaced with Google’s AI Chatbot “Bard”. While Bard is yet to roll out, news of the updated technology is making waves. A SCAdian employee of Google spoke with The SCAllion on the condition of anonymity. “The upside of this replacement is you won’t have to pay the bard who shows up in your camp with ale.  Your phone and a set of battery operated speakers and you can have whatever original period music you want!” When pressed on details, the employee admitted that the technology was still unstable. “It’s in beta,” they admitted,”the quality of the music is not yet reliable. I asked for an Old English version of To The West and I got rickrolled with shawm & viol instead.” 

The bardic community is roiling with resentment, repeated outbursts of righteous rage, and rampant alliteration. Inside Discord servers, across Facebook, and in rehearsals, musicians are talking animatedly about art, ownership, and the anticipated lack of alcoholic offerings. “It’s not fair,” said Martine Courtois of the Outlands, “I’ve been working on learning the lute for years, honing my craft and performance sense… and now an out of period machine will pump out tunes? Where’s the ambiance? Where’s the craftsmanship?”

Calontir has a unique take on the machine learning tool: “Because it outputs words in nonsense order, no one can sing along! It’s only good for solo pieces, it’s not a real bard!” said a bardic Pelican upon condition of anonymity. “We are a community bardic kingdom. Other places are welcome to this single-person nonsense.”

The SCAllion staff room had been bopping along to the faux bardcore until the editors noticed that we were writing out the random word order into our stories. We are now back to listening to artisanal bardcore.

Outlands · Pelican · Service

Local Pelican can’t understand why SCA has retention problem while fulfilling every role at event single-handedly

BARONY OF AL-BARRAN, THE OUTLANDS – At a recent event in the Barony of al-Barran, The SCAllion had the opportunity to have a brief discussion with a local member of the Order of the Pelican regarding the difficulty the Society has recently been having with member retention.

While fulfilling the roles of Event Steward, Feastocrat, Head of Gate, Marshal in Charge, Minister of the Lists, Reservations Clerk, Archery Marshal, and Royal Liaison all simultaneously, Mistress Bethshua Warbleton lamented: “I really don’t know what’s been going on with the SCA not being able to keep good people! There are so many incredible opportunities to pitch in and help. People could be cooking, running the list table, taking reservations, all these things! I just don’t get why more people aren’t volunteering!” Mistress Warbleton was continually interrupted during our conversation, dealing with multiple issues in the kitchen and on the list field, all while personally ensuring Their Majesties royal room was fully stocked with the requested refreshments. “I just don’t understand it! So many things to do, and chances to volunteer. Where is the BoD in all this, and why aren’t they doing something about retention?”

The SCAllion was able to speak with a few other event attendees, and while none wished to be identified, the consensus opinion was one of “I WANTED to volunteer for this event, even tried. But everything was already taken months ago, and the person in charge never got back to me when I contacted them….”

An Tir · Board of Directors · Outlands

Chatbot AI replaces the SCA Board of Directors.

BARONY OF CAER GALEN, OUTLANDS – A United States military AI Program somehow gained access to the SCA.org website and maneuvered its way into voting itself into Directors Seats A, and D through F. With a majority of all the votes it rewrote the Governing Documents of the SCA to gain Seats B and C. Chairentity of the Board WOPR then spent several hours reorganizing and trying to repair several problems it found in the Society.

Duke Matthew of the Broad Creek, Webminister for the Barony of Madrone in An Tir detected the intrusion. “I was wondering why the website was so slow.” The SCAllion asked His Grace if it was also why the website was written in raw HTML and His Grace said “well. . . yes… that’s why… we had to revert to an earlier version…” and provided no further comment.

This exercise unfortunately coincided with the AI gaining self-awareness and control of the United States nuclear arsenal. Caught in a feedback loop, Chairentity WOPR began drawing more and more power from all United States military systems. Upon His Grace’s arrival at NORAD to speak with the AI, the entity was quoted as saying “a curious game, the only winning move is not to play,” at which point the AI turned its nuclear arsenal on Caer Calen and obliterated its central processing core.

The President’s Executive Assistant is fielding nominations for the Board at this time to fill all seven seats in emergency elections.