CANTON OF CHARLESBURY CROSSING, ATLANTIA — The Kingdom of Atlantia has recently been rocked by scandal as a female squire is threatening a lawsuit in order to join the Order of the Chivalry.
Barone Johanna Ffeyrmayden, currently squired to Sir Thebald Valret, is preparing to file a request for reasonable accommodation to the Order of the Chivalry, based on comments made during her candidate discussion and shared with her by her Knight.
Knights during that meeting claimed to be “severely allergic” to the idea of a female knight, citing hives, congestion, headaches, coughs, and sore throats at the idea, and expressing concern at the possibility of stronger symptoms if a female candidate is elevated. A spokesman for the Order dismissed these comments as “boys being boys,” and “locker room talk.”
Barone Johanna’s complaint, which she says will be submitted to the Kingdom Seneschal within the week, states that the only feedback she has received is based on this claim of an allergic reaction, and that she meets every bar for inclusion otherwise. She also noted asking for reasonable accommodation in the form of the affected Knights taking over-the-counter allergy medication before seeing or interacting with a “Lady Knight”.
Attached to Johanna Ffeyrmayden’s complaint is an affidavit from her allergist, asserting that an allergy to female knights does not have a medical basis, and “sounds like a made-up condition.”
A concurrent petition is circulating among the populace for unrelated reasons, citing an overall desire to see some members of the Chivalry be more heavily medicated.
BARONY OF ADIANTUM, AN TIR — Kingdom and branch seneschals are left scrambling to undertake no end of damage control today, after a dispute between two members of the Order of the Chivalry culminated in a gruesome incident during the closing court for the Egil Skallgrimson Memorial Prize Tourney, or “Egil’s”.
At the center of the dispute is local fighter, Jǫrundr Narfason, an up-and-comer in the An Tir tournament circuit. Since he began fighting last year, Narfason has been noted to have developed informal coaching relationships with both Sir William Molyneux of Hastings and Jarlskona Guðríðr Fritjofsdottir. It has been widely assumed that Narfason would be taken as a squire by either one or the other before the end of the year.
As predicted, Sir William requested and was granted time during the closing court to announce his intention to take Narfason as his squire. Before the knight had finished his declaration, he was interrupted by Jarlskona Guðríðr, who angrily declared her intention to do the same. Onlookers reported that Narfason appeared “green around the gills” at this point. Their majesties did their best to smooth the dispute over with schtick, but the two knights were having none of it, calling for their swords and drowning out the protests of the Kingdom Earl Marshal.
Finally, His Majesty was struck by what can only be referred to as Not His Best Idea. An infrequent church-goer who is known among his fellow brethren for not having an attention span long enough to hear the point of the biblical parables, the king suggested that they look to the wisdom of Solomon in deciding who would take Narfason as squire. King Solomon, famed for his wisdom, once settled a dispute over a baby between two women, both of whom claimed to be the baby’s mother. Solomon responded by suggesting that they split the baby right down the middle and each woman could have half of the child. Not being familiar with the end of the story (in which the solution proved unnecessary) and the potential ramifications for Narfason, both Sir William and Jarlskona Guðríðr agreed to this solution. Jǫrundr Narfason, was not consulted and subsequently had to be restrained by his potential squire brothers from both knights.
When His Majesty, known for being a vocal proponent of following through immediately and the “Deeds, not Words” philosophy, demanded the Sword of State. As the Kingdom Seneschal brought him up to speed on the consequences of the proposal, His Majesty was seen to also go “green around the gills.” However, keeping true to his philosophy by proving his resolve through deed, the King made an unsuccessful attempt to follow through. Jǫrundr Narfason’s managed to evade the attempt, leaving everyone else relieved at the lack of necessary paperwork.
After the close of that disastrous court, it is reported that Sir William and Jarlskona Guðríðr decided to let bygones be bygones by going out for lunch together after leaving the site. Witnesses say that when the bill arrived, Sir William suggested they go halvsies, to which Jarlskona Guðríðr replied: “Too soon, dude.”
Friends report that Jǫrundr Narfason is on the mend and is expected to make a full, albeit slow, recovery. His doctors have declined to comment on his current condition or his ability to pass along the noble name of Narfason.
His Majesty has been suspended, pending investigations by both the local authorities and the Board of Directors, while Her Majesty has graciously agreed to finish out the remainder of their royal commitments single handedly.
Rumour has it that there is a growing vocal contingent advocating for the Solomonic solution to replace the buffet – a move that has surprised absolutely no one.
BARONY OF STERNFELD, THE MIDDLE – Shocked and horrified onlookers were forced to witness a spectacle never before seen in a Crown Tournament final this past weekend: Both competitors fought to what they decided was a “Draw” and mutually agreed to decide the outcome by increasingly harder cup shots, with only one left standing at the end, though likely irreparably damaged.
The finals, to be decided between Duke Fritz von Schmetterlingstrosse and newcomer and baby knight Sir Malcom Blakehalloc, were fought to an ugly draw when neither combatant could hit the other with a shot hard enough for the other to accept, with each claiming the other “just wasn’t getting there”. After a brief pause in the action, the two met alone at the center of the list and, after a short discussion, they threw down their shields and announced their intent to the marshals and populace. When the marshals approached the Crown, King Steffan Panzerschreck declared “I’ll allow it,” and the grim spectacle went on.
Each competitor hit the other firmly in the cup with increasingly more powerful shots, and more than a dozen spectators either passed out, vomited, or both, during the match. Local EMS was called, not for the finalists, but for the populace forced to witness the terrifying display. When asked for comment, the general consensus among the populace was something along the lines of “I mean, we really don’t want either of them reproducing, but this might be a little extreme, even for the Chiv.”
No word yet if the variance in the determination of the winner was allowed per the community standards.
Do you have a burning question about a situation that happened in the SCA and want to ask Goody? You can write to Goody at this form. Questions may be truncated for publication, and submitted questions may not be answered.
Dear Goody, I have a large empty space on my wall, which has been reserved for my Laurel and Pelican scrolls. After nearly 30 years of waiting for them, should I just give up and use the space for pictures of my grandchildren? Failing that, do you know any calligraphers/illuminators who’d be interested in a paying job? -Illuminated Admirer
If you have been a peer for 30 years and not gotten peerage scrolls, then yes, it is time to take matters into your own hands. Find out what your Kingdom requires for a scroll to be ‘official’. Gather the dates of elevations, events, and Crowns. Make a list of the things you like best- heraldry, colors, creatures, symbols, something to represent people who helped you. Have your full arms and blazon. Go look at what kind of art you like and make a collection of images with the book and page details for each manuscript. Then find a scribe.
Start with your kingdom scribal guild or college. Try Laurels in scribal arts. Throw the project out on social media with what you are seeking. If you don’t get local hits, there are multi kingdom and society wide interest groups for everything, including scribal arts and that will probably be a pond with many fish. If someone is interested, ask to see some of their previous work to make sure you like their styles. Not every scribe is the same. When you find the right person, negotiate and put together a contract that includes payment and deadlines. Give your scribe all of the information you have collected and talk with them about your likes and dislikes.
Together, you will make beautiful art.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, I entered an A&S competition and had a really bad experience. The judges didn’t know us much as I did about my project and didn’t give good feedback. I don’t want to compete anymore, but I’m not sure how else can I advance in my art and get recognition. Thanks, I had a Bad Experience
You had what Granny would call a learning experience. They suck. Hard. So, rather than a bad experience, you had an experience in which you discovered pitfalls of the arts and sciences program of the SCA. Judging is subjective. Each judge has a different opinion and bar they feel you need to exceed. Some judges are just dicks.
You have options, and a lot of them. So, time to choose your own adventure.
Work on your art or science by yourself and maybe meet some people along the way who also find it cool. Ignore the arts community at large and just become painfully skilled at what you do. This road is very lonely.
Seek out the others who also enjoy your art and join their guild or form a new one, even if it is informal. Work together to elevate the art and knowledge of every member and start teaching so you can catch new members for your group. Reel them in. Research. Become subject matter experts and fantastic at your art or craft. This is far less lonely and works better for extroverts.
You can find yourself a decent Laurel to work with. Having the protection of a peer can be very helpful when navigating the Art/Sci system. Improve and research and use the guidance and mentoring you are given to focus yourself and hone your work.
There are display only Art/Sci events. If you don’t have them near you, start one! No one is scored, but you can receive validation verbally if you stay with your entry. You may also receive tokens from those who pass by and enjoy your art. Some may have notes attached. Extensive notes. Make friends with those people and plot more exhibitions for artists.
Demos! At events, a small group of people or a single artist can demo their work by setting up a table or small area and working on their craft. You can just talk to people who walk up and are interested. Hang a sign that reads “[Insert art here], come talk to me/us!”. This actually works. Make sure to check with event stewards to obtain a spot at the event for your demo and to make sure that you can do what you want, or if you will just have to present static pieces and speak to people. Some sites prohibit water, flame, dyes, ink, glass and more.
Also, there is the option of changing the system from within. You can become part of the Art/Sci community that runs competitions and works with Art/Sci ministers. Start with paperwork or signup sheets and work your way up. Find solutions to problems and present them in a helpful way, rather than just state problems. You will gain much more traction this way.
So, there are a few options to get you started. Feel free to mix and match. Do be sure to surround yourself with the type of people who will help create positive change and new opportunities. Be the change you want to see in the SCA.
Hope this helps!
Dear Goody, I’ve been embezzling money from my local branch for years and the members have had the gall to bring charges against me. How do I convince them that fraud, embezzlement and theft are documented Period Practice? Sincerely, -Pending Laurel
Would you be so kind as to send me your contact information? Your research is fascinating and I want to make sure that you are recognized for your efforts! I am certain there are people who will deeply appreciate the depths of your endeavors. Let’s make sure you can receive the proper rewards for your deeds!
BARONY OF 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.”
BARONY OF BODLINGTONE, KINGDOM OF BODLANDIA — After years of silence and frustration, the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism finally will be releasing its requirements for a path to Peerage for any martial arts other than armored combat and rapier. Reporters for The SCAllion managed to obtain an advanced copy of the requirements document by meeting with their top-secret Board source, known only as “Deep Gorget,” in a parking garage in Barony of Storvik, where they traded period cast pewter tokens for information. The contents of the document are astounding.
Martial arts communities in the Society not already recognized with a Peerage will have to complete three out of a list of a possible twenty-seven tasks in order to earn the right to put a proposal for a new Peerage before the Board. The qualifying tasks range from merely difficult to flat-out impossible, including:
Empty Lake Jennings using only a thimble;
Cut down the mightiest tree in Allegheny National Forest with a herring;
Defeat the Kobayashi Maru simulation;
Manually clean and re-stock all of the portable toilets at Pennsic in a single night;
Find an acre of land between the salt water and the sea-strand, plough it with a lamb’s horn, and sow it all over with one peppercorn;
Create an A&S project from the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird; or
Destroy a Ring of Power by dropping it into the fires of Mount Doom without losing a finger.
Once three of the requisite tasks are completed, the petitioner(s) must appear before the Board in person, “not clothed, not naked, not riding, not walking, not in the road, and not out of the road, during a day without a night and a night without a day.”
Board spokesman Duke Orric de Mahomeriola explained these requirements: “The Board recognizes that it mishandled the creation of the Order of Defense by giving unclear and inconsistent instructions. We believe that these new standards provide the necessary clarity for any other martial community seeking a Peerage for their activity, as well as properly setting expectations as to how the Board will respond.” When questioned about the difficulty of the required tasks, Duke Orric responded, “Look, peerage requirements can be specific, measurable, or attainable. Pick two.”
Proponents of the “Omnibus Peerage” proposal are dismayed, but strangely relieved. “At least we know what the BoD expects from us now,” said Landgräfin Kunigunda Haigerloch, one of the co-authors of the Omnibus Peerage Proposal. “They’ve strung us along for so long that it’s a relief to get something, even if that something is utterly ridiculous.”
Master Thomas Roy MacGillewye, head of the Known World Equestrian Guild, described the mixed feelings of his community: “We’re disappointed, of course, but I think the Board underestimates how determined we are to see our fellow archers, throwers, equestrians, scouts and siege engineers recognized after all this time. The Board should be careful what it asks for, it just might get it.”
Landgräfin Kunigunda hinted that a group of archers already had a lead for renting some giant eagles, while Master Thomas noted that the Board’s requirements did not define the size and shape of a “thimble.” Neither representative would confirm or deny additional plans.
The SCAllion will keep track of this story as it develops.
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 TWIN MOONS, ATENVELDT — The Kingdom of Atenveldt has ground to standstill today as the Order of the Pelican, along with the Orders of the Beacon of the Desert and Light of Atenveldt, went on strike, an action described by the Kingdom Royalty as “a co-ordinated Denial of Service attack.”
Royal Chamberlain Maximillian von Siddown addressed the crisis. “With the service orders on strike, Atenveldt is operating on an extremely limited basis. While the strikers have pledged to file their next quarterly reports to prevent the Kingdom falling out of compliance at the Board level, events more complex than backyard practices have stopped almost completely. Representatives of the Crown and Territorial Nobility will be meeting with the head of the striking orders, James deHoffa, to try to resolve the issues.
Master deHoffa released a list of the complaints of the service orders to TheSCAllion, and we presume, other media outlets. The strikers complaints include some health and safety concerns:
Muddy boots in the hall making floors slippery and adding to clean-up time
Mockery of mask enforcement both as in “making a mockery of” and “mocking those who mask”
Lack of first aid care for those who cross the picket line to the kitchen (even scabs deserve health care)
Among other things, the strikers are asking for:
Some attempt by the Royalty to keep to the schedule
The fighters and fencers, too, they always run late
A commitment to starting feasts on time
Severe punishments for those who volunteer to help and then don’t
Master deHoffa clarified that he is referring in the last point to actual cookies, not the colloquial “cookies meaning awards,” although that would be fine, too.
The call to start feasts on time has drawn support from some members of the Orders of the Laurel, Flower of the Desert, and Fleur de Soleil. One member of the Fleur, speaking on condition of anonymity, asked how they were supposed to be recognised for their cooking skills if all the hot dishes had gone cold by the time they were served. Adding, “Lukewarm pottage? Blech!”
Atlantia has recently seen a succession of Crowns all belonging to a single household, with three of the five couples achieving their duchy. We sat down with the original duchess of the household, Her Grace Emmeline Neuburg, OL, to ask her how the household has managed seven consecutive reigns.
The SCAllion: Your Grace, the Neubergs have had seven reigns in a row, and today the seventh steps down from the throne. Duncan and Rhiannon are both members of the household, correct?
Emmeline Neuburg: Yes, they are. Duncan was my late husband’s squire, and Rhiannon is my apprentice.
S: How does it feel to be at the end of a four year run of your household supporting royalty?
EN: I think it has been very helpful to everyone in the household to understand exactly what it means to sit on the thrones before they fight in Crown, because we’ve all been very involved from the beginning. I’m just sorry that Michael passed away last spring and didn’t get to see our plan through.
S: Your plan?
EN: Of course. In many ways, this has been a culmination of both his training methods and my A&S project into appropriate period performance-enhancing supplements.
S: Can you explain further?
EN: I’m a Laurel now, but when Michael and I were first getting serious about Crown Tournament, I hadn’t found where I wanted to focus my research. Now, being a Queen is disruptive to actually getting research done, but after the first time, I decided I wanted to look at the work of women herbalists and midwives. I found one “recipe for soldiers” that I thought looked interesting, and made a batch to enter at Pennsic A&S. Well, Michael, bless his heart, grabbed the wrong bottle just before the field battle. He came back in sucha good mood and not at all tired!
S: So, the effect was to give him more energy?
EN: In so many ways. He’d fought in the front of every battle and said it was like he’d just finished warm ups. Of course, now I didn’t have an entry, but we’d found something worth knowing.
I kept refining the recipe, looking at other similar examples, and he used it before every Crown he fought in and won.
About 5 years ago, his former squires were starting to get really serious about Crown, so he stepped up the household practices and we talked about what it would look like to have a solid bloc of royalty with the same philosophy about reigning and the continuity we could bring. We had also never tried “Duke Juice” on anyone else!
S: This is when you brought the rest of the household in on your secret?
EN: it wasn’t really a secret, most people just didn’t believe it was a period recipe, or if it was, that it did anything! Getting the correct dosage such that someone gets the benefits but not the side effects has turned out to be a little trickier than we thought, but we experimented first at fighter practices, then events and war. It was at war when their ladies started coming to me too – it let them party half the night and still be up to go to 9am classes or volunteer all day.
At which point, the household got together and decided that we were going to see if we could put together a ruling bloc for long enough to effect real change in Atlantia.
S: What were your goals, then?
EN: Oh, making sure that most of the household got their peerages as soon as possible, and that we had fewer restrictions on the marshal orders. Some minor changes in law and policy- I can’t remember all of them now, we changed them over 3 years ago, and people have become accustomed to the new ways of doing things
S: I take it your entire household is on “Duke Juice”, then?
EN: Yes! At different dosages and concentrations, that’s a lot of what my research has been! I’ve refined the recipe, now it’s about the effects on a wider group! And, really, we wouldn’t have survived four years of always having someone on the thrones without something.
S: So, what’s in your Duke Juice?
EN: I mean, my research is entered in Kingdom A&S tomorrow, so I can tell you that it’s an alcohol extraction of arctic root, Siberian ginseng, hemp, valerian root, rose root, and willow bark. It helps with anxiety, pain, energy, and the ability to get things done! I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the kingdom does with it!
BARONY OF AXEMOOR, GLEANN ABHANN – Newly minted Laurel Mestre Antoni Bourdelain (of recent dysentery spread fame) has expanded his infectious disease spread research to include the famed Black Death, also known as the bubonic plague.
Bubonic plague, also known by its scientific name Yersinia pestis, is primarily transmitted by flea-bitten rats, but also found in other forms of wildlife such as chipmunks and other rodents. Bourdelain’s expanded research, centered on his home barony’s main city of New Orleans, is reaping immediate results, with the city and state’s public health authorities responding in a mass wave of quarantine and isolation for Axemoor’s environs. In detailing his research, Bourdelain explained that he had released three rats, a nutria, and a chipmunk, all humanely trapped using period methods, and would track them with a bit of modern technology: GPS trackers attached to period medieval collars.
The SCAllion interviewed New Orleans’ director of public health, who explained that she had “never seen anything on this scale since 1921,” and that research to find the correct trash collection bins from that period would contribute heavily in stopping the spread of the disease.
However, Gleann Abhann’s royalty and Laurels were duly impressed with the depth and commitment to live research which Mestre Bourdelain was so clearly displaying. It was noted, however, that much of the circle was unavailable for comment due to quarantine measures.
When contacted by phone in a later interview, Mestre Antoni’s response was the following: “Aw, shucks. I was just tryin’ a new recipe with scavenged resources, in this case, rat. Who knew THIS was’a gonna happen . . . again?”.