Have you ever read an event announcement, and when you finished laughing, cleared your schedule so that you could attend? After reading the Quintavian Iron Scribe announcement, several of your trusty EK Gazette editors did just that.

[Movie announcer voice]
IN A WORLD where the perg never dries right and the paint won’t mix properly, one small Shire is out to change the world!

Do you feel like the martial activities get all the tournaments?
Do you want a challenge and to stretch your scribal muscles?
Do you want to be considered a scribal superhero?
Do you want to help reduce the back log?
Do you have what it takes to prove that you are…  the ScribEast*?!?

Then we have an event for you!

[cue exciting chase scene music]
From the Shire that brought you Embroidery Schola, Scribal Schola, Schola in the Shire and many many Royal Progress Events, comes the silliest blockbuster event of the season.  IRON SCRIBE!

One Scribe, One Scroll, One Day!

The Great Quintavian Iron Scribe was an event full of laughter, ink, paint, productivity, and joy. Experienced and novice scribes alike stretched their skills, tried new things, and helped one another. Scribes called out asking for supplies, and others dug into their kits to help. Those not actively working helped others with new techniques.

The event came out of a conversation between autocrat Baroness Marieta Charay and competitor Lord Mikjal Bogmadr this summer. They were discussing the differences between thrown weapons and other martial activities and scribal activities. While even a novice in martial arts can compete and have a goal or an aim for improvement, other than working on kingdom scrolls, scribal doesn’t have that type of competition. Or, well, it didn’t.


Marieta and Thyra explain the rules

“What if there was a timed competition? Like, You! and You! scribe to to the death! We could call it scribal death match” They laughed, but it stuck in Marieta’s mind. She went to Baroness Æsa feilinn Jossursdottir and Duchess Thyra Eiriksdottir with, “So I have this idea…” and Iron Scribe was born.


The calligraphy choices are laid out. Competitors could choose any source from their skill level.


The advanced choices are laid out.

Scribes were given a piece to emulate, and 3 hours to calligraph or paint. The pieces were split into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.


Keziah works on her calligraphy entry

The day was split into two distinct parts, a morning calligraphy competition and an afternoon illumination competition. Competitors had the option to compete in one or both parts, or compete in a separate “Combat Scribe” category where they created an entire scroll from scratch in 6 hours. Everyone was required to break for a one hour lunch.

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Aradyn prepares to combat scribe

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The combat scribes get ready to work.

In addition to being a fun way for scribes to stretch their skills, the event was also designed to help with the backlog. While it is the intent of the kingdom and the signet for each recipient of an award to receive a scroll when they receive their award, circumstances sometimes mean that a scroll is created after the award is received.

The backlog is a list of scrolls that need to be created, some recent, and some decades old, although Feilinn, the backlog clerk has been working hard to get these assignments out and scrolls to these recipients. Each of the combat scribes was given an actual assignment to  complete in the day, and calligraphers and illuminators were given extra points if their entry resulted in a usable backlog. Four full scrolls were completed, 2 were calligraphed, and 4 backlogs were partially completed and sent home with scribes to complete.

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Natalia works on her calligraphy entry

The event was garb-optional and featured a delicious potluck, managed by non-scribe volunteer Mistress Eleanor le Brun, who made sure the food stayed in the kitchen and away from the scrolls.


Even the wordsmiths got in on the action

While the day was a competition, the creators were focused on a spirit of inclusion, and all competitors got to choose from a fabulous array of calligraphy and illumination supplies as prizes. Those with the most points in the rubric got to choose their prize first in each category, and a number of choice prizes were held back to be chosen only by combat scribes.


Illumination pieces handed in and ready for judging.

The winner of the calligraphy competition was Mistress Eva Woderose. The illumination competition was won by Mistress Fiona O’Maille, and Mistress Tola knitýr won the combat scribe competition, finishing an entire scroll in less than 6 hours.

Iron Scribe1

A completed combat scribe piece, post judging

The joy and artistic energy that emanated from the room made it clear that this type of event was a welcome addition to the arts and sciences community, and many are eager to see it run again.