The First (Bouncing) Armor of Carolingia


arms CarolingiaTwo of the first members of the Barony of Carolingia, Tabitha of Windmoor and Wescott de Gwhite, shared their memories of with the Gazette of the first weapons created in Carolingia using nothing but rumors of what was required.

Tabitha of Windmoor :

Swords have a story all their own. Dan (Daniel de Tankard) had told us that SCA swords were made of rattan. The council set to work locating a rattan source. Poring through the Yellow Pages (no internet yet), we turned up The Rattan Store on Rte.9 in Wellesley. Dan, Patri and I set out from my dorm to find the place. Yes—we walked up to Rte. 9 and walked along it toward Natick until we found the place (no GPS either). The store sold rattan furniture from the country we still called Burma (Myanmar).

After much talk with the manager, we persuaded him to order us a dozen uncut lengths of the light weight, ridged canes that looked kind of like bamboo from his supplier. Patri opined that it looked too light and brittle to use as a blade, but Dan assured him that rattan was what was used, though he admitted that he had never seen an SCA weapon or combat, only heard about it.

Dan drove out when our order came, bungeed it to the roof of his little yellow car, and brought it back to Cambridge where Doug, Patri, Carl, and anyone who could lend a hand made crude short swords of it.

Wescott de Gwhite:

All of our armor was designed and built to work well against the smaller, lighter bamboo.  Patri made a beautiful shield from a piece of Homosote (cellulose wall board), covered in fiberglass and painted with a coat of arms.  I made detachable basket hilts that could swap out the bamboo blades quickly, and I fumigated my MIT dorm room making up a fiberglass helmet from scratch.  Garb was also fabricated, although it was pretty simple by today’s standards.

We arrived Saturday early afternoon at the event, looked around quickly and realized that we were in trouble.  The real rattan swords were a LOT bigger & heavier than our gear was designed for.  They were using steel freon tank helmets, which had big dents in them!  They offered to lend us use of some swords, but that the padding in the armor was an awful lot lighter than what they wanted to fight in.

They allowed that Patri could wear it if he wanted to.  They said the helmet would never do, which I took exception to.  I had built it with a lot of overkill for the bamboo, and thought it would probably still work OK (for a while).  Lord El said they wouldn’t allow Patri to use it unless he “tested” it first.

El set it upright on the ground and grabbed a large two handed sword.  He took a big swing and tried to come down right on the crown.  I’m sure he was convinced it was going to shatter, or at least crush, but he didn’t hit it quite square, and it basically flexed a bit & bounced into the air.  He was clearly disappointed, and insisted on another attempt to hit it more solidly.  He succeeded, but the result was
pretty much the same.  We examined it, and saw no sign of damage, and it was declared usable.

I believe Patri fought in a total of 3 bouts.  Thanks to his fencing background, he managed to hold his own reasonably well. I think he lost two & might have actually won one.  At that point, the helmet was showing signs of impending delamination, and it was retired.  Every place Patri’s shield had taken a solid blow to the edge looked like someone had taken a good bite out of it.

Society’s Guidelines for Youth Combat at Pennsic and Changes to PA Laws

The following information has been forwarded to the East Kingdom by Baron Sir Jibril al-Dakhil, Earl Marshal of the East Kingdom, on behalf of the Society Seneschal.

Greetings Unto the East Kingdom: Below is the Society’s Guidelines

A.J. Pongratz
Society Seneschal
Vice President of Operations, SCA Inc.

In reviewing the official website of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services and the recent statute with other officers and agents of the SCA, I have determined that this statute will not impact on Heavy Combat or Rapier Combat by minor children of the age of 16 or 17 nor youth activities. Continue reading

Update From the Earl Marshal Regarding Combat for Under 18 Years

Greetings unto the East Kingdom,

Pennsylvania Child Protective Act

After a productive conference call with the Society Seneschal and the Society Earl Marshal I am confident that we will have written guidance in the next few days, for dissemination, that will allow for full participation by the East Kingdom in Pennsylvania in all activities under the Office of the Earl Marshal.  I do not want to paraphrase or misquote anyone, but I will say that everyone can rest assured that this should not cause a disruption for more than a few more days and once we have the written guidance we can return to business as usual with direction of who must and how to comply with Pennsylvania law.

Baron Sir Jibril al-Dakhil,
Earl Marshal of the East Kingdom

Missive from Principal Herald regarding “Ask a Herald” link.

Greetings to all from Ryan Brigantia, Principal Herald of the Kingdom of the East.

We have recently discovered that the “Ask a Herald” link on the EK homepage was not properly forwarding requests. We are working to retreive any requests which may have been backlogged at this time. I know you have been patient in awaiting responses to your inquiries but I must ask for a little more time.

Organizational meeting for EK Heralds for Opening Ceremonies

From Ryan Mac Whyte, War Herald for the Kingdom of the East for Pennsic XLIV.

Greetings and every good thing to all to whom these letters come.

As we approach the coming campaign to… um… become closer to our fair friends of the Midrealm by acquiring lands adjacent to their lands, the Kingdom’s eyes turn Westward.

In just over a month the War Arrow shall be broken and the Horn shall sound. The populace of the known world shall gather on the field of Pennsic to bear witness.

In order to facilitate Opening Ceremonies an organizational meeting of the Kingdom War Heralds will be held in EK Royal at 4pm on Saturday August 1st. Following the War Heralds’ meeting at 5pm will be a organizational meeting for all those East Kingdom Territorial Heralds who will be leading their Provinces, Baronies, and Shires in opening ceremonies. I am STRONGLY encouraging all groups who wish to be represented in the procession to send a representative to this meeting. As the principal participants of the War are changing this year the ceremony will be unlike any before it.

Opening Ceremonies will be starting at 9am on Sunday August 2nd. The Royal procession will be stepping off from EK Royal at approximately 8:45am. I am asking that all groups be present and ready to go at 8:30am.

Deadline to submit recommendations for the first polling of TRH Brennan & Caoilfhionn

Greetings all,
Recommendations to be considered for the first polling of Brennan & Caoilfhionn will be accepted through the end of Sunday 7/12. Recommendations received after that time will be considered for the 2nd polling.
Please remember that you need not be a member of an order to recommend someone you consider deserving. If you know someone you feel strongly about, please recommend them via
Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you.
In Service to the East,
Brennan and Caoilfhionn

A&S Research Paper #1. ‘A smoke of cameryke, wrought with blake worke’: An overview of monochromatic embroidery in Early Modern England during the reign of Elizabeth I


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Greetings, and welcome to the East Kingdom Gazette’s new feature: A&S Research Papers! Our first article comes to us from Mistress Amy Webbe, of the Shire of Barren Sands, who is presenting her article on monochromatic embroidery. The paper was presented initially to the East Kingdom Embroiderer’s Guild, the Keepers of Athena’s Thimble. Thank you, Mistress Amy, for starting off the new feature so well! (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

‘A smoke of cameryke, wrought with blake worke’: An overview of monochromatic embroidery in Early Modern England during the reign of Elizabeth I

Woman's coif, circa 1600 - Museum of Fine Arts, BostonA woman’s coif, circa 1600, accession number 1996.51. Image from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Abstract: Monochromatic embroidery in counted forms was prevalent throughout the medieval Islamic world. Subsequent contact with southern European cultures introduced this form into mainland Europe, where it spread throughout Christendom. The arrival of the Reformation in England 1534, and the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558 allowed this art form to develop in uniquely English ways, establishing a unique aesthetic specific to the time and place. This paper will examine the aesthetics and techniques of monochromatic embroidery during the 16th century, focusing primarily on England, where this style of embroidery enjoyed its heyday.

Continue reading

From the Chancellor Minor

Greetings to the Families of the East Kingdom,

Due to the child protection laws going into effect in Pennsylvania on July 1st, all formal youth activities in the state of PA must cease until the SCA makes a definitive ruling on how this law effects our youth activities. Family activities with parental supervision may still occur in PA. I will make a more specific ruling about Pennsic in the coming days. Please contact me with any questions.

Baroness Leonete D’Angely
East Kingdom Chancellor Minor

From the Earl Marshal Regarding Youth Combat and Play

Greetings Unto the East Kingdom,

Youth Play and Combat

If the youths are old enough to be in any of the youth divisions and are conducting sword fighting at an SCA event – a cornerstone of which is sword fighting – then it needs to comply with the requirements of youth combat regardless of whether the weapons are constructed at home or commercially constructed.   This includes proper armor, technique, safety and a youth marshal.  The youth marshal shall then determine if the “nerf” sword complies with standards for the appropriate division before any contact between youths.

Yours in Service,
Baron Sir Jibril al-Dakhil,
East Kingdom Earl Marshal

From the Earl Marshal Regarding Combat for Under 18 Years

Greetings Unto the East Kingdom,

Pennsylvania Child Protective Act
One of the first things I heard about upon taking this position in January 2015 was the change in Pennsylvania law. I was informed we would get guidance from the BoD. That has not happened to date.

In the event that legal guidance is not provided that indicates what, if any, provisions of SCA and East Kingdom laws needs to be changed to bring us in full compliance with Pennsylvania law is not given before July 1, 2015, I am left with no alternative but to suspend all activities under the office of the Earl Marshal of the East Kingdom that allows participation by anyone under the age of 18 in the state of Pennsylvania and to bar any East Kingdom marshal from participating, as a marshal, in the state of Pennsylvania where anyone under the age of 18 is allowed to participate in any marshal activities.

The sanctions faced for failure to comply with Pennsylvania law include civil and criminal prosecution. Anyone who supervises or comes into regular contact with persons under the age of 18 are subject to these sanctions. This affects all marshals as well as all chivalry. It is imperative that this issue be resolved immediately, considering that provisions of the law are already in effect.

Pennsic Issues
Furthermore, the current Pennsic Accord that seeks to subvert authority for field saftey from the Society Earl Marshal and place the Pennsic marshallate under control of the Deputy Mayor for Battlefield Activities is improper. The current accord violates the clear and long standing chain of command from SEM, to KEM, to DEM, etc. The Earl Marshals must continue to have free authority, subject to the rules of the Society and answerable to the Society Earl Marshal in all combat related activities and not to the Deputy Mayor for Battlefield Activities unless the BoD directs otherwise.

Yours in Service,
Baron Sir Jibril al-Dakhil,
East Kingdom Earl Marshal


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