Her Grace Endures

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Reign #1: Atenveldt 1986

Queen Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon is currently sitting her 10th reign as a Queen ( plus one reign as Princess of the then-Principality of Artemesia) in the SCA. According to the Royal Geneaology of the Known World, Her majesty has sat on the throne more times than any other Queen. She graciously agreed to grant the Gazette an interview about her extraordinary experience.

Reign #2: Atenveldt 1987

Over the course of 10 reigns, she has seen much change in the Society, especially in the technologies that we use to communicate with each other and in the amount of information available to us for documentation of the things we do.She’s also seen many geographic differences across the SCA, from the West where the King’s word is law, to here in the East where things are much more “democratic” and cooperative. Greater access to information has also lead to an increase in the seriousness of the game for many.

AnnaRegina 1988

Reign #3: Atenveldt 1988

Faster communication and busier schedules have lead to a decrease in spontaneity in many aspects of the SCA, and yet much has remained the same. The passion that people have for whatever it is that they pursue in the society has always remained a constant that Her Majesty admires.  In addition, she adds “The look on someone’s face when you give them an award is still the same today as it was years ago”

Reign #4: Atenveldt 1989

Another constant over the years has been her perception of her role as Queen. Before allowing His Majesty Brion to fight for her in a Crown Tournament for the first time, she wisely asked him what he expected from her as Queen. One of the things he asked from her was for her to “Look and act like a Queen” and she has always tried to live up to the ideals of grace, courtesy, and comportment that define Queenliness.

Reign #5: Atenveldt 1991

No matter the Kingdom, people want their Queen to be someone who is kind and caring and holds genuine love in her heart for the people of her Kingdom. She knows from experience that people “will do anything for you if you honestly love them.“

Reign #6: Atenveldt 1994

One might imagine that it is difficult to find a fresh approach to each reign, having reigned as many times as Her Majesty has.  For Queen Anna, the new people that are involved with each reign keep her engaged and full of love for the role and the Kingdom. Her current Court include 10 people she had never met before she and His Majesty took the thrones for this current reign. Seeing the Society and the mechanics of running a Reign through their eyes, eyes that are still bright and shiny and full of wonder at this game we play, is something that fills Her Majesty’s own heart and eyes with love.

Reign #7: Atenveldt 1996

Another topic that lights up Her Majesty’s face, and something she describes as “one of the best parts of being a Queen” is seeing the look on people’s faces as you recognize them for their hard work by giving them an award.

Reign #8: East 1998

Having the privilege of creating moments for people is one of the most important and best part of being Queen for Anna. To those who would aspire to wear the crown some day Her Majesty would remind them that though it is a great job, a fun job, it is still a job, and it requires engagement seven days a week to support and sustain “the dream” for an entire kingdom. It’s not all “parties and prezzies and awards”

Reign #9: East 2006

One lesson that she has learned over the years is that “People are far more capable and willing to do things than you think they are…all you have to do is ask them nice… Just be kind.”

When asked what inspires her to keep returning to this role, she answers simply, and with a sincere, warm smile in her eyes: “My Duke…” later she would elaborate and say  “I am very grateful for the love and respect that Brion shows in me that he keeps doing this… that he keeps asking me to join him.”

Reign #10: East 2016

Cannon Fire Warning Service at Pennsic Seeks Volunteers

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Cannon fire to start and end the major battles at Pennsic is a long-standing and well loved tradition at Pennsic, but in recent years  concerns have been repeatedly raised that it is distressing to some of our military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder or related issues as a result of their service.

A compromise is being proposed, in which a warning would be broadcast to  gentles who request it shortly before the cannon fires so that they can be prepared for the sound rather than being startled by it.  The organizers are seeking volunteers to help implement the system at Pennsic this year.

In brief, the plan involves using a messaging application to deliver alerts in real time to people who sign up to receive them, either as email or as SMS (text) messages. One will be sent out very shortly before each round of cannon fire.

The volunteers are needed primarily to assist with the process of getting the phone numbers/emails entered into a database which the application will use to disseminate the alerts.

This information comes to us courtesy of the Aethelmearc Gazette. For more information read the complete article on their site: https://aethelmearcgazette.com/2017/03/22/whilst-the-cannons-fire-pennsic-and-ptsd/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

It discusses both the application to be used, the process by which the organizers came to settle on this approach, and the motivations and experience of the organizers. It’s an eye-opening and graphic window into the effects of the cannon fire on people for whom explosions are a stress trigger.

If you wish to support the effort, contact information for the organizers can be found there as well.

 

Unofficial Court Report – Gulf Wars

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Thus it was that Their Majesties, Brion and Anna, did travel far, and attend the twenty-sixth Gulf Wars in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann.

During their visit to such far lands, they did see fit to hold a court.

The following gentles were named to the Company of the Pennon of the East:

Duncan Kerr

Cristoff Gockerhan von Loch, called “Clockwork”

Tysha Z Kieva

Fortune St. Keyne

Æthelhawk Keyfinder

Siubhan Wallace

Bianca Anguissola

Elizabeth Elenore Lovell

His Highness Ioannes Aurelius Serpentius

Her Highness Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt

Samuel Peter DeBump, called “Speedbump”

Wynefryd Bredhers

Malcolm Bowman

Their Majesties Brion and Anna proceeded then to exchange with their cousins Roger and Zanobia, King and Queen of the West, many wonderful gifts.

Their Majesties called into their court Brannat Dub, called “Raven”.  They spoke of her long service to waterbearing and general fighter support, and named her a Baroness of their Court.

This closed the court of Their Majesties, Brion and Anna.

Other crowns in attendance did hold courts at Gulf Wars.  At the court of the Kingdom of the Middle, Their Majesties Edmund and Kateryn did call Elizabeth Elenore Lovell.  They spoke of her efforts on the rapier field, and awarded her a Dragon’s Tooth.

It has been my privilege to record the honors received by many who travelled such a long ways from home.

In service,

Malcolm Bowman, Brigantia Principal Herald

New Awards Recommendation Form

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A few days ago, Duchess Avelina made changes to the Awards Recommendation form to make the recommendation process more user friendly.

1) Users now have the option to print their submissions for their records. At the end of the survey, there is a link “Print Your Answers”. If the user clicks this link, a *.PDF will open. The user can then either print or save that file for their records. It was asked if we could have email notifications, but the software had some issues with that. This should give users the confirmation of submissions. It should be noted that, submission does not mean that the Royalty *will* take action. It is only confirmation that the recommendation was received.

2) In response to some loved ones of awards recipients not being notified, a field was added: “Does this candidate have a spouse/partner/other loved one that should be notified should the Royalty act on this recommendation?”

Any questions or concerns can be sent to web_pollingadmin@eastkingdom.org

Announcing the 5th Annual Unoffical Pennsic Half Marathon!

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Master Philip announces the 5th Annual Unoffical Pennsic Half Marathon! Will you join us? Princess Signy Heri of Atlantia and Countess Thora Heri of The Outlands started this fun run five years ago as a way to encourage fitness in a fun and challenging way.

Their inspiration for the race? If you can run 13.1 miles before the start of war week then you will be fully prepared to have as much fun as you want the rest of the war. You will have the stamina to enjoy all pick up fights, and bouts, and battles. Dance all you need. Shop at all the places. Walk all over Pennsic for all the parties. Rune Stone Hill would not even slow you down.

What’s the course look like?

The estimated 13-mile course (it is medievally inexact!) consists of three loops around the entire Pennsic campground, plus one smaller loop around the Serengeti. Runners meet in front of the old Chirurgeon’s Point (Services Area) at 8 am on Saturday August 5th. Thanks to Mistress Genoveva von Lübeck of the Middle we also have a course map for runners to review in advance. Check it out: halfmarathonmap2

Water is available from the Services Area (old Chirurgeon’s Point)…but runners are expected to supply their own water /sports drink/snack needs. We will pass the Services Area (old Chirurgeon’s Point) three times at roughly 4.5 mile intervals.

Are there pace requirements? Not at all! If 13.1 miles sounds like too much, that’s okay! Join us for one loop. Or even two! Everyone is welcome! Walkers also!

This is a group run, not a race. No times will be kept. The goal is fitness as part of the SCAdian lifestyle. All are welcome. Wearing medieval-style tunics instead of modern running clothes is encouraged.

Last year we had over 40 people start and do some amount of activity. And we amazingly had over 20 finishers!

Is there a medal? Of course there is a medal! Pictured is the Half Finishers Medal made in the style of a pilgrim’s badge by Mistress Serafina Alamanni from the Kingdom of Meridies. She is already in the planning stages of making the one for this year.

Now is a great time to start training. Here are some things to consider:

* Try to get outside and start getting adjusted to the heat. It will be hot!

* Get used to running in the sun! Wear sunscreen and consider a hat.

* Run some hills. We will be tackling a *lot* of hills.

* Don’t rely on a treadmill. Make sure you are getting used to running on the roads. It makes a difference.

Join the fun on Social Media too. We have a Facebook group under “Unofficial Pennsic Half Marathon”. Send a request and join!

We look forward to walking or running with you soon!

December 2016 Heraldry Decisions

The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The results from the December 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings can be found here.

 

Pennsic Singles Rapier Champs Tryouts Announcement

East Kingdom!

This year, similar to last year, I will be running a series of Pennsic Singles Rapier Champions Qualifier Tournaments. All of these will be single-pass, double-elimination, bring-your-best tournaments, to select the best rapier fighters in the East for our Champions team. The current plan is to re-fight double-kills once, and then have dead count as dead. Additionally, losses will be forgiven in the finals. These considerations may change or be elaborated upon, as the tournaments progress.

The events at which I currently plan to run these qualifiers are:

*Mudthaw (March 25)
Balfar’s Challenge (April 22)
War of the Roses (May 26-27)
Southern Region War Camp (June 10)
Northern Region War Camp (June 30-July 2)
*Great Northeast War (July 7-9)

For Mudthaw, I plan to run a singles tournament and additionally consider the results of the traditional Mudthaw cut-and-thrust tournament for Champs.

At GNE, I plan to run both a normal tournament and a Cut-and-Thrust tournament, because we will be less pressed for time.

This year, Rapier Singles Champs will be 17 fights, two of which will be cut-and-thrust. The East gets 8 of those fights, of which only four may be MoDs. Given that one of those fights goes to the King’s Champion (me) and another goes to the Queen’s Champion (Master Lottieri Malocchio), this leaves six slots, of which only three may be Masters of Defense.

This means that more than last year, winning does not necessarily guarantee a slot on the team. However, my choices for primaries and alternates will be strongly informed by the results of these tournaments. Good luck, and may the best, most courteous rapier fighters win!

His Highness, as many royals before him have done, has also asked that those who wish to be champions seek him out, in order to demonstrate to him their prowess.

Please feel free to forward this message to any local lists or other social media, in order to get the word out.

In service,
Don Lupold Hass,
Pennsic Rapier Champions Coordinator,
King’s Rapier Champion of the East,
OGR

Mudthaw Announcement

The schedule for Mudthaw had changed significantly from what was originally published in the event announcement. Due to all the wonderful things happening at Mudthaw the morning is quite hectic and, in particular, Marshal Activities will be starting earlier than is traditional for this event.

We strongly recommend Pre-registering (you have until 3/15/17 to do so) if you will be participating in either Heavy Weapons or Rapier combat, since this will allow you to process through Gate much more quickly.

If pre-registering isn’t possible for someone participating in those activities, we would then encourage them to arrive early. Gate will open at 9:30 am in order to help facilitate getting fighters and fencers to the field on time.

Mudthaw Schedule
9:00 – Merchant setup
9:30 – Site Opens
10:00 – Merchants Open – Merchant Row – Side hall
10:15 – OGR meeting – Corner Table, Main hall
10:30 – A&S Entries Open – Main hall
11:00 – Morning Royal Court – Main hall
11:30 – Artisans’ Village Opens – Main hall
11:30 – Armored Combat Tournament begins – outside/back parking lot
11:30 – Cut & Thrust Tournament – outside/back parking lot
12:30 – Athena’s Thimble – Corner Table, Main hall
12 noon – Youth combat starts – outside/back parking lot
12:15 – Heavy Rapier/Pennsic Champs Qualifier – outside/back parking lot
12:30 – A&S Competition Begins – Main hall
2:00 – Pennsic Rapier Melee Qualifier – outside/back parking lot
2:30 – Artisans’ Village Closes
2:30 – A&S Judging Closes (please pick up your entries)
3:30 – All Marshal Activities End
3:30 – Main Hall Reset for Court
4:00 – Baronial Court & Baronial Investiture – Main hall
4:30 – Evening Royal Court – Main hall
5:00 – Merchants Close
6:30 – Main Hall Reset for Feast
7:00 – Feast – Main hall
9:00 – Feast Ends
9:30 – Site Closes

** Please Note: Their Majesties will be holding a half-hour Afternoon Royal Court, outside by the List Fields, sometime mid-afternoon. **

Baroness Treannah, Mudthaw Co-Autocrat

Post-Contest Comment Analysis of K&Qs A&S Champs Competition 2017

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The Gazette thanks Mistress Bronwen Rose of Greyling for this thoughtful article. 

This article discusses commentary from this year’s King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championships, where twenty-seven bold A&S entrants brought their A-game to the Barony of Concordia in February. (K&Q’s Bardic Championships were held concurrently but are not discussed here.) When looking to improve any repeating event, some thoughtful post-event contemplation and information-sharing is helpful. As a part of that post-contest analysis, here is a summary of written judges’ comments that may be helpful to future K&Q’s A&S competitors and judges.

This year’s contest featured face-to-face judging using score sheets that can be found at http://www.kqchamps.org/a-s-competition/judging-as under General Rubric and Research Paper Rubric. The contest format, organization, and scoring were developed by the Kingdom Champions, Mistress Lissa Underhill and Master Magnus hvalmagi, who built on the experience of Champions, entrants, and judges from the past several K&Q’s A&S Championships.

Numerical scores averaged 17.8 of a possible 25 points, but numbers tell only a small part of the story. Some judges gave in-person verbal feedback, and organizers expect this to be standard going forward. Written comments were also given to every entrant on Feedback forms. These comments remarked on successful strategies and suggested ways to make entries more understandable, relevant, and comprehensive.

Feedback form comments give a good idea of what the judges were looking for and what future participants may expect. To keep the true flavor of the written feedback, direct quotes from the forms are reproduced below in italics although identifying info has been removed. Judges’ comments have been organized into some common themes to provide guidance for artisans not able to attend the event and those who have aspirations to enter it next year.

Delight was evident. “I wanted to sit down with a knife and fork and eat. ♦ Crazy-good project. ♦ Thank you for entering. You showed great courage to put yourself and your work out there. ♦ You did a wonderful job of thinking outside the box to come up with solutions in the process. ♦ Super fun! Huge project. Massive undertaking especially with your tools. Love it! ♦ We appreciate you traveling to us and taking the risks—it shows you care about your art and are reaching out to others with your knowledge.”

Judges were excited by excellence in technique, great workmanship, home-made tools, and elegant experiments. “Gorgeous execution. ♦ Great level of detail. ♦ You show a clear understanding of medieval aesthetic. ♦ Making and showing your tools is also great. ♦Your skills are exquisite! ♦ You made the “thing” to make the “thing”—and then you made the “thing.” We were so excited! ♦ Your enthusiasm is contagious and your knowledge of subject matter is thorough.”

Feedback frequently gave specific advice to entrants about improving their entry.

Describe as clearly as you can what would have been done in period. Also describe what you have done. Try to include images of period examples that you used for inspiration. Photos of your work during the phases of construction help people visualize what you have done to create the work before them. “Be clear about what materials were used in period and whether or not you used those materials. ♦ Include photos of the extant items you are trying to reproduce. ♦ Document process as you go—process photos. ♦ Try to recreate an extant example and include a photo of that for comparison. ♦ Pay close attention to details in your inspiration piece. ♦ Compare your creations (i.e. how did they work?). ♦ The in-process ‘failures’ are wonderful. Please keep them. Your explanation of the process is vivid and exciting and absolutely brings your project to life.”

Historical Background is vital to your judges and spectators who want to understand your work. Imagine you are telling a friend what you’ve found out about the construction and importance of your entry in its time and culture. “Give some historical context. ♦ In your documentation please include more references on what you are emulating. ♦ We would like you to describe how [this] was used, significance, the historical impact, in the time period. ♦ Provide documentation for more of the ingredients.”

Sources help your reader follow your journey to your conclusions. “Try including in-text citations to improve your documentation and/or annotated bibliography. ♦ It would be very helpful to link your “works consulted” more explicitly into the body of your documentation. ♦ Great sources!”

Go deeper. Find ways to make your work broader, more thorough, more period-focused.

  • Find more source material “Look at additional translations. Try multiple batches and/or find another source
  • Investigate a related culture. “Have you considered comparing a similar [item] as interpreted by different countries?”
  • Work towards understanding more period processes. “Try experimenting with period methods. Use more period materials. Try working with a quill. Wed like to see some work done in a period manner using original artwork.
  • Aim for the stars:Challenge yourself with additional ornamentation, be it in accessories or trim. We would love to see a more complex final piece to highlight your skills. Keep practicing and improving. You are going in the right direction by focusing on the details and process.

Get some help from researchers, artisans, editors, scientists, and other experts around the SCA. “Society” is our first name–so ask around–there’s bound to be someone who has interests and experiences related to what you’re doing. It’s a big Kingdom and its people can be amazingly generous with their help.

  • For practical help look around for info on who’s good at something related to your interests—i.e. pottery, metalwork, dyeing, languages. Ask locally and at events. Ask at workshops and classes. Ask around on Facebook’s SCA East Kingdom and SCA Library of Alexandria “For additional [help] see if you can find a mentor. Get more references from practicing experts with experience in your field to help you make better choices.
  • For written documentation ask for pointers from experienced researchers and librarians. They really are there to help. “Discuss your research with librarians or research experts to better support your decisions and your next steps and to enlarge your knowledge base. Understand the chemistry involved. Focus on scholarly research.
  • For proofreading, find an intelligent, motivated friend who doesn’t know all about your work. (!) Get your friend to read your written documentation aloud to you so you can hear what you said instead of what you were trying to say. (This is all-but-impossible to do for yourself.) “Get people to read [your work] aloud for you. Connect with people who can help you with your documentation and prepare for next competition. Show more examples to make points clearer.
  • Find an editor, an experienced writer, or teacher to help you organize your thoughts and express them clearly so you and your readers have more fun. It is not simple to write a clear and comprehensive account of what you did and how that fits into medieval life. If somebody offers to help you, don’t be shy. Contact them right away and see if they have the time and skills to benefit your project. “Your work should be more analysis rather than just doing a report. Provide a clearer and earlier hypothesis in your research paper. We would have liked to see a more specific thesis statement with supporting conclusions.” You’ll know your written work is hitting the mark when you read “Paper was well-organized and easy to read. Clear and accessible to the non-professional. The graphic work was excellent. Depth of knowledge is very evident. You explain it very clearly in person. Practicality and usefulness is impressive.

Consider contest strategy.

  • Read the rules and documents of the contest carefully. Put yourself in your judges’ place: try scoring your entry using the contest score sheet. If you can’t find a specific score sheet for the contest you plan to enter, use the K&Q’s A&S rubric https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FxAc78rj92ampicDVYRWxnRGc/view from this year. Scoring your own entry will help you see your work in a different light.
  • Edit your entry. Bring only items representing your very best work AND directly contributing to the “story” you are presenting. Focus your documentation on your entry today. “Target documentation on what specifically you are presenting. Tie your documentation to each pieces in a clear and concise manner. Pictures are good but only show ones that support the pieces you have.”
  • Presentation is important. An A&S Contest is about much more than a score. Most of the people who will view your work are not judges so try to make your work easily accessible to a spectator. “Work on presentation. This didn’t impact your score but would jazz it up.” Try to devise an eye-catching and intriguing display. Think about background, arrangement, illustrations, diagrams, or cards like you see in a museum with a few words in large print to label the items in your entry for the casual observer. What kind of excitement might you spark in a spectator?
  • Ask an experienced judge or competitor to go over your work with you a few weeks before the contest.
  • Look for the A&S Consultants table at an event near you. This is a brand new Kingdom Arts and Sciences initiative planned to connect you with experienced A&S judges to discuss your work. They’ll be there to provide insight and guidance. Use them.

Judges and populace simply cannot wait to see what the future of these researchers and artists will bring. “We have seen lots of growth and look forward to future projects! ♦ You are clearly passionate about your topic. ♦ Enthusiasm was plain to see. Keep going. ♦ We look forward to seeing more of your work. ♦ Rock on! ♦ Your excitement is inspiring. ♦ You have promising skill and we would love to see future work. ♦ Can’t wait to see what you show us next time.”

Entrants, spectators, royalty, and judges all seemed to have a rockin’ good time. Let’s do it again next year. Between now and then, let’s fan the fires of enthusiasm and vigorously support the artisans and researchers around our Kingdom. It’ll be exciting to see who enters the contest next year and what beautiful and fascinating knowledge they bring.