Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter event schedule

The summer event season has ended but this does not mean we are slowing down. Her Excellency and I are planning to attend multiple events this winter and we welcome everyone to join us. The following is a tentative list of the events we are looking at attending. All attendance is subject to change based on weather and unforeseen issues. Please stay tuned for updates. For most of the events we are looking for guard and retainers (this is noted in the listing). If you are willing to volunteer for a few shift let us or our staff know. Ice Dragon will be a big one and our need for guards and retainers will be great (even more so for court). The more hands we have the easier the workload. Thanks ahead of time. If there are any questions please feel free to ask.

January - 2017

January 7, 2017 - Kingdom 12th Night 
Barony of Delftwood (With the Shire of Angels Keep)
Auburn, NY
Looking for retainers and guards: YES

January 28, 2017 - College of Three Ravens
Barony of Thescorre
Looking for retainers and guards: YES 

February - 2017

February 18, 2017 - February 19, 2017 - Adult Swim II
Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais
Looking for retainers and guards: NO
Kingdom event page does not have additional information. 

February 11, 2017 - Feast of the Seven Deadlie Sins
Barony of Delftwood
Syracuse, NY
Looking for retainers and guards: YES 

April - 2017

April 8, 2017 - The Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon
Barony of the Rhydderich Hael
Hamburg, NY
Looking for retainers and guards: YES (all hands on deck for this one). 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Welcome Home!

This month we had the great pleasure to welcome back two wonderful friends to the Barony. Lord Abdullah al-Rashid and Lady Genevieve O'Connor. Jobs and life took them to the Middle Kingdom for a short time (Barony of Red Spears in NW Ohio), but we are fortunate to have them back with us. As some of the newer folks might not have had the pleasure of meeting them, I decide to ask them some questions and they happily agreed.

Lord Abdullah al-Rashid

Real Name: Frank Conner.

SCA name and title: Lord (or Sergeant) Abdullah al-Rashid formerly of the Barony of Red Spears Canton of Catteden (Findlay, Ohio).

Number of years in the SCA: 10 years as a card bearing member, although I had come to practices at least a few years before (I think around 2002). 1st event was Ice Dragon 1992.

Persona: Ottoman Turk.  I like to research middle eastern culture and have a decent library.

Interests/achievements in the SCA: I am authorized in heavy weapons (Sergeant in Red Company*), fencing, archery, and combat archery. I also enjoy leather working and garb making.I have been a Baronial exchequer, Canton chatelaine, web minister,  and Knight Marshal. I am a Midrealm martial in heavy, fencing,  and combat archery. I would like to hold an office again.

SCA goals for 2017: One thing in 2017 would be to enhance my fighting kit.

 Lady Genevieve O'Connor

Real Name: Jennifer Conner.

SCA Name and title: Lady Genevieve O'Connor.

Number of Years in the SCA: 10 years as a card carrying member.  the first event I went to was Ice Dragon in 1992. I have been more active in the Society for the past 6 years.

Persona: I like to research the Ottoman and Viking eras and have some books to on Viking.

Interests/achievements in the SCA: I became a Lady in The Barony of Red Spears in 2011. I recieved my Willow in 2013 in Weaving.  In 2015 I received my Purple Fret for Service.  I have been an Exchequer, Seneschal, and Chatelaine for the Canton of Catteden, I have also Co-Autocrated Pounce for the last 5 years.  For the Baronial side I was the Baronial Minister of Arts and Sciences. I like to weave and make garb. I also do pottery and some embroidery. I became a Protege to Mistress Isgerder in 2016. I am a member of The Sisterhood of the Red Spear** (2014).

SCA goals for 2017: In 2017 I would like to get back to weaving more, hold an office again, and do more service.


*The Red Company is an Order of the Middle Kingdom. It is awarded to those who have shown proficiency and leadership in melee and/or tournament combat. 

**The Sisterhood of the Red Spear is more a service household than an actual award in the Barony of Red Spears and is headed by the current Baroness. The Sisters of the Red Spear are responsible for organizing a project within the Barony to assist each Queen during her reign.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rhydderich Hael Baronial 12th Night 2017!

Good friends and good times!
Come herald in the New Year at the Rhydderich Hael 12th night! Join us for a night of casual fun, laughs, food, good conversation, and contests. Everyone is welcome to join the festivities so feel free to invite non-SCA friend and family. This is a great chance to bring out new people to meet the Barony in a casual setting. Potluck not your thing? In addition to the party the normal practice site will be open for people who would rather swing stick and poke steel.

Event info:

When: Wednesday January 4th 2017, starting at 7:00 PM. There will be a quick business meeting (very quick), then it will be time to party! Clean up will start around 9 PM. Site closes at 10:00 PM.

Where: Lancaster Elks Lodge #1478, 33 Legion Parkway, Lancaster, NY, 14086. The party and meeting will be in the meeting hall behind the main Elk’s lodge bar. Practice will be in the normal gym spot. Please see the map provided for directions on how to enter.

Cost: The party and meeting are free to attend. There is the same 5 dollar (suggested) donation for people using the gym for martial activities.

What to bring: Potluck!! Bring your best dishes to share! Soups, casseroles, briskets, and don’t forget desserts. We won’t create a formal list of who is bringing what, but please post what you are bringing to Yahoo or Facebook so people have an idea what is needed. The Baron will be bringing his pot luck survival kit including plates, bowls, silverware, napkins, power strips for crock pots, and so on.

Drinks: All drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) must be purchased at the Elk’s lodge bar. This is Elk’s lodge policy and there are no exceptions. Prices are subject to change, please bring cash.
Garb: Garb is not expected or required.

Good loot from last year!
Gift giving: There is a long standing tradition of exchanging gifts at Baronial 12th night. Some people will exchange personal gifts between friends and some people may bring something small to hand out to everyone. Gifts are not required or expected. Please don’t feel obligated to bring something and don’t feel bad if you only exchange gifts between friends (or not at all). The greatest gift is fellowship so please come and enjoy the night.

Court: We are not going to promise there won’t be some court, but if there is it will be brief and to the point.


Oh that food coma look
We plan to have two contest this year.

Festive outfit contest: Wear your most festive (and family friendly) clothing, costume, hat, shoes, or similar adornment and compete in our second annual “feel the spirit” festive outfit contest. A celebrity judge will be selected to determine who has the best outfit and the winner will be awarded a super cool prize. Ties will be broken by Baronial death match. 

Largess (token) contest: This year we are going to try something new and it was suggested we have a largess/token contest. Participants are required to make some small token or piece of largess (think site token, favor, etc.). They do not have to be period. There is no set theme. Creativity is encouraged! It is asked that each participant make between 4 and 6 tokens (but can make more). 1-2 of the tokens will be donated to the Baron and Baroness for use as largess. The others can be exchanged between participants and other party guests as mementos of the night. The goal is that we have enough tokens that each person who comes to the party will get a memento to take home. The Baron and Baroness will pick a favorite among the entries and that person will win a super cool prize.

If there are questions about anything please ask otherwise see you all at the party!

What a bunch! 12th night 2016.
Magnus and Miriel

Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy one year anniversary Haelies!

Happy one year anniversary Haelies!

From Magnus: A year ago this month Miriel and I stepped up as Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael. While we have failed to produce the same fine weather as our investiture day, our first year has been very smooth (and in my opinion) successful. None of that success would have been possible without the help of our brave staff. Thank you to our Cofferer of the Wardrobe, Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, the Head of Retainers, Mistress Geirný Thorgrímsdóttir, Captain of the Guard, Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako (aka Saku), and our Court Herald, Baroness Ekaterina Volkova. In addition to the staff many thanks to the guards and retainers who helped us all year long. Having served as a Baronial guard myself I can say it is no easy task (likewise for retainers). With equal gratitude we recognize the officers, marshals, and other Baronial support folks who make the Barony run like a well-oiled machine. Without a strong Barony our rank as Baron and Baroness means nothing and your hard work and dedication continues to make the Barony strong! Lastly my personal thanks to my Baronial counterpart, Her Excellency, Miriel du Lac. I could not ask for a better partner in crime and I look forward to many more years of Baronial tom-foolery! It has been a pleasure to watch her grow into the role of Baroness as well as her continued dedication and success in the fencing lists. As many have often said “you cannot lead from the rear” and Miriel has certainly proven herself on the front line.

From Miriel: Well a year has gone by since I knelt beside His Excellency and we took our oath to become Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael. I couldn’t have imagined then how much I would learn about the people of the Hael and the barony itself in the coming year. Going to our Barony’s events and watching the busy beehive that is the autocrat and their team all working together to make the event come out great through highs and lows, always with pride and hard work. Staying with the Barony for Pennsic, the friendship and care people had for each other over those two HOT weeks. The beautiful quiet moments where food was enjoyed and music was played and we were together as a group, with friends from other lands to share it. Our Baronial Champions showing their perseverance, pride, and skills at the first Seven Pearl Championship. How they drove themselves to prove how outstanding they already were to the kingdom and other baronies. I was honored as their Baroness being able to stand with them, to show my support and pure joy in their deeds. Of course the quiet things we forget to mention sometimes, the meetings, the practices, and the get togethers, where we as a people grew and advanced with each other. Dance, Archery, A&S, Heavy, Fencing, Thrown, Food, and many more!! As I said in closing in the lovely video of Magnus and I’s Investiture last year, I still “Can’t Wait” to see what the future will hold for the Barony and me as its Baroness in the next coming years. Bring it on Rhydderich Hael, I’m ready!!

So what is next? The next Baronial event is Baronial 12th night, followed by Ice Dragon (and our return to the Erie County Fair Ground) in April 2017. Need more events? Winter is studded with tons of good out of Barony events. Please take a look at our Baronial schedule for the events we plan to attend…Kingdom 12th night, Adult swim, Three Ravens, and Feast of the Seven Deadly sins.

So in parting, may the snows replenish our lands and then quickly depart opening the passes with the warmth of spring once again heralding the arrival of the arrival of the great host of the Rhydderich Hael..oh and as always...Hael Yeah!

Magnus and Miriel

Was it already a year ago...A look back to a year ago

Monday, December 5, 2016

That is a Hael of a lot of Bacon!

THL Cynwulf Rendell
On December 2 our noble archer Captain THL Cynwulf Rendell called all archers to practice to compete for glory, to compete for honor, but most importantly to compete for Bacon! Eleven archers let fly at a series of pig and bacon themed targets with one goal in mind…win the coveted almighty bacon…did I mention there was bacon? I had a great deal of fun at the tourney and snapped a few photos to share with everyone who was not able to attend.

Rendell reported the results of the tourney: “Good archery practice and Bacon Tourney! With 11 archers practicing and competing in the tourney. Magnus (de Lyons) was first and won double smoke bacon, Theodoric (of York) was second and won discount store bacon, and in third place was Caleb (Reynolds) who won bologna for fried bologna”.

An honorable mention must be given to THL Eleanore Godwin who not only assists in the general organization of practice, but took a bath in bacon grease cooking the tasty snacks for the tournament that night (but that was some good bacon).

This tourney was a fine example of the hard work and imagination that Rendell puts into the Hael archery program. Under his watchful eye the archery program has grown to fantastic numbers and continues to flourish. He is a credit to both the Barony and the Kingdom. If you have not had a chance to come out to archery practice please consider joining us.

Now if you will excuse me I have some bacon to eat…hmmmm tastes like victory!

Don't hit that Bacon!
Hit the goat...negative points!

Out of the pan and into the fire!

Just when you thought there wasn't any more bacon!

Our Brave Team!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New Award - Companion of the Golden Scale

Earlier this summer Her Excellency and I decided we wanted to create a new award for the Barony. The name of this award is "Companion of the Golden Scale". This award is intended for people who are not only dedicated to the SCA but also regularly support the Barony even though they call other lands home. 

Read the full article about the award here...

We decided to hold a contest to determine the design of the symbol and medallion for the award. We received a handful of  submission, but in the end choose only one. So please give a loud Vivat to THL Rhiannon Elandris the winner of our contest. We hope to award the first Companion of the Golden Scale at Summers End next week and we hope you will join us. 

Summers End 2016 event info...

Part of the contest was to create a symbol for the new award as well as a first medallion. Here are the willing selections.

We also asked that for a fictional story telling the take of why and how the award was created. Please read the words of Rhiannon Elandris


In the distant past when the Rhydderich Hael was not too old but old enough there came a special day in which this tale took place. It was high summer with all the flowers in bloom. In early afternoon a noble your lord from a land to the east was riding along the cliffs that border our great lake.  He rode near the point where the rocky shoreline is blocked by a wall of stone that turns into sandy beach on the other side. Tall and thin, of hair blond, eyes blue, he road with the ease of a trained horseman. He stopped for a moment watching the waves reach the shore. 

“Help me young lord” the voice was low and deep, almost with a smoky feel “help me or I might perish without aid”. “Where are you? I see no one” the lord cried. “I will help if I but know where you are”. 

“To the left lord, on the other side of the stony point. Please hurry. I have been here long already”. Quickly the lord spurred his horse to the left. Once past the stony point he looked down upon the beach, stopped, and stared, for below him was a dragon. A golden dragon. Well to be truthful part of a dragon for only his head and part of his back could be seen above the water.

“Good, can you see me now"? The low voice was coming from the dragon “Please my lord help for I am sinking”. “What? Down there so you may eat me and them my horse? I hope I may tell a trap when I see one” spoke the lord. 

“A trap it is not” rumbled the dragon. “I do not eat people for they taste funny, very sour like bad pickles. I give you my word, the word of a great Dragon” (which we all know is a very truthful word). 

So upon hearing this and knowing it to be true, the young lord dismounted. Tying his horse to a nearby bush he made his way to the beach by the old swimming path. Once there he could see why the dragon was stuck in the water. He was covered by a great fishing net. “What happened to you then”? The young lord said as he unsheathed his sword. 

“Have a care with that toothpick lord” said the Dragon. “I was greedy. I dived in after a great silvery fish I spotted from atop the point. (Yes some dragons do not swim) I forgot today was fishing day and not only that, I forgot about the old shipwreck and have damaged by wing". 

Having finally cut the dragon loose the young lord watched him struggle onto the beach. Now he could see him clearly. The dragon was golden all over, tall as an apple tree, with bright blue eyes which showed pain as he dragged his damaged wing. The elbow joint on the left was cut badly and swollen. 

 “I have nothing to bind it with” said the young lord. 

“The people of the Rhydderich Hael, who I am protector of, will help me. However I cannot fly and the hall is five leagues distant. I have asked much of you I know, but could I trouble you to help me further”? The Dragon seemed so very tired and his bright gold had turned a little gray. 

So the young lord helped the dragon up the path, balancing the left wing on the top of his head. Now you think that dragons stink of brimstone, but truthfully they smell quite spicy. Upon reaching the top the poor horse began to neigh and tried very hard to pull away from the bush. The lord being a well-trained horseman, and the horse being well trained, the lord soon had not only calmed his steed he even convinced the stallion to allow the wing of the dragon to rest balanced across his back. As so in this fashion, discussing chivalry, dragons, and most of all food they walked five leagues to the hall. 

As the hall appeared before them a great trumpet call was heard. The large doors opened wide and of out of them did pour the entire Rhydderich Hael left by the Baron and Baroness. 

“You poor old thing” said the Baroness to the Dragon. “You are hurt. No matter for we shall make you well again. Ladies, to the herb garden with him”. So they did lead him away. “I must thank you for the help you have given our old friend” said the Baron to the young lord. “Not many would do so. Be welcome in the Rhydderich Hael. You may tell of your travels over dinner, but in the meantime whatever we have is yours”. 

So the Baron led the young lord away into the Hael. The noble stallion was groomed, stabled, and well fed. The lord was bathed, presented with new clothes and then brought to the hall for a feast.  

The hall was well lit, with many bright banner hanging. Near the head of the table the young lord was surprised to see what he thought was a wall was actually two large open doors. Within them on soft feather pillows was the dragon, wing bandaged. 

They feasted on venison, boar, and pheasant (and anchovies and armadillos). They did drink of wine, beer, and ale (and Molson’s and Timmy Hortons). When the feasting was done and the lord had told his tale the young Baron stood with a raised glass and spoke. 

“Most noble lord, you have done us great service this day. You have saved our beloved dragon. For this service we give you most humble thanks and give you the freedom of all our lands. We would have you spend time with us, as much as you wish. To come and go whenever you please. We will always be happy to see you”. So saying he did raise his glass and drank a toast. And so likewise did everyone. 

“I too have a gift” said that low smoky voice of the Dragon. The Dragon had enjoyed the feast, loved being fussed over and was feeling much better. “My lord you showed much courage to approach an old dragon like me. Kindness and care too you gave freely. Without your help I might have become lost to these good people and so I give you this”. 

Where upon the dragon handed the young lord a golden scale from his coat (they shed them you know). “Wear this always” The dragon said (as he brushed away a tear). “This will show to all, human and dragon-kind your noble spirit. With this you will be a trusted friend to all in the Hael as we all wish to be your friend". “I would wish the same friendship great dragon” said the young lord as he rested his hand on the great yellow claw. 

“Have it now” stated the Baron. “Our most beloved Saint Morgan did always enjoin her heirs to cherish and hold close all friendships from outside our borders. I will create a great fellowship of these friends, be they man, woman, or child. I therefore state that I and all my heirs to come will call these honored friends companions.  Long may they be known as the Companions of the Golden Scale”. 

Then he made it so. 

The end. 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Seven Pearls..."Hael" to the Champions!

On the sunny weekend of August 20th Her Excellency and I had the pleasure of attending the first (now annual) Seven Pearls Championships. This year the event was hosted by the Barony of St. Swithin's Bog. Normally the Seven Pearls competitions are held at separate events during the year, but it was decided recently to combine these into a single event. Running an event (let alone a new event) is no easy task. Adding to that was the challenge of running an event the week after Pennsic. It is easy to think such an event could end in disaster, but not so in this case! The Barony of St. Swithin's Bog stepped up to the task and ran a successful, well organized, and fun event.

The event was designed to showcase each competition individually and the Baronage and populace moved from spot to spot to watch each tournament in turn. Normally at events there is so much going on at once it is easy to miss things, but here each tourney was given its own time and spectators did not have to pick and choose what they watched. Not only was this nice for the spectators, but it gave all the champions the full attention they deserved. The pace was relaxed and allowed for a fair amount of pageantry as each champion was processed and heralded into their tournament.

In addition to the tournaments the day was filled with great food, served both list-side and in the hall during lunch. If you went home hungry it was your own fault. The Barony of St. Swithin's Bog also hand crafted banners (pictured upper right) for each of the Barony's that not only served to decorate the list fields but then was presented as gifts to the Barons and Baronesses. The meal was topped off with a wonderful cake that displayed the heraldry of each Barony done in sugar candy. Both elements created such a personal touch to the pageantry of the day and  a great keepsake.

Even with six competitions to complete all the fun was handily wrapped up (even stopping for a lunch break) in time for court. Court was certainly a treat as each of the Seven Baronies held a small court during which each Barony handed out a scroll for one of the tournaments. I think it is safe to say the tradition of this new event will continue on next year as the hosting duty moved to the Barony of Endless Hills. I am disappointed that I will not be on the throne when the event finally makes it way to the Rhydderich Hael (but honestly I am thinking of autocrating).

A personal note to each of our competing champions: 

Heavy Weapons: Duke Sir Maynard von dem Steine

Magnus: Your Grace it was truly a pleasure to have you represent the Barony in the heavy weapons tournament. As always you conducted yourself with honor and skill, and your words to us at the end I will always remember. Thanking you for taking time out of your busy weekend to do us proud and congratulations on your victory!

Miriel: What really moved me was seeing the joy on your face as you lined up with us as the champions were herald in for the heavy competition, with each victory on the list your heartfelt bow to his Excellency and I, and true passion and excitement in your eyes as you spoke to us when the tourney was complete. Emotion has always been a big part of my experiences in the society and your journey that day will always be a highlight for me.

Bardic: Lady Brigette de Sainte Mere-Église

Magnus: Lady Brigette your performance was powerful and moving as I knew it would be. You delivered your song with not only skill but with passion, and while I am not a bard I know that is not easy to do in front of a crowd. You did the Barony proud that day!

Miriel: Your song took my breath away! When we spoke about what you should chose to sing and you picked the one you did, I read the words and never realized how they would affect me when performed by you. Thank you for the thought and emotion you gave to us in your performance, you made my heart quake for just a few moments and I will never forget it.

Fencing: Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako

Magnus: Saku I know the day did not go the way you wanted it to but you conducted yourself with honor and grace. You may have not won the day, but you won the hearts of the people. This is the second time I have seen you compete and the second time you received recognition for your talent and dedication. We could not have asked for more in a Champion. Vivat!

Miriel: So much was said to you as the day progressed, so I know you have heard all about your strength and determination. I want to speak about how when your were at a low, all of the people who came to your aid. You shine so brightly and have affected so many, they flocked to see that you were cared for, never forget the reach your spirit has to the people around you, it is seen.

Thrown weapons: THL Eleanore Godwin 

Magnus: Eleanore your performance was truly one to behold. Not only did you throw with a high level of skill (tying for second in the tourney) but I could tell you had a great time doing it. Everything about you that day showed your confidence and pride.

Miriel: You joked that You and another thrower were the "oldest" competitors out there, but I think you missed; experience, skilled, dedicated.. etc. I loved watching as you got a good throw and you would swagger to the target knowing that you had thrown your best. You showed how you knew your skill and were never afraid to be proud of it, something I love to see in any female competitor in any martial skill.

Arts & Science: Lord Wolfgang Starcke 

Magnus: I was very happy to see your skill as brewer represented in the Arts and Science competition. I know it is an uphill battle for brewers when it comes to finding venues to display your work. You did not disappoint. It was agreed on during the judging that the skill of each competitor made it hard to make a choice.You should be proud, we are.

Miriel: Wolfgang you listened to your crazed Baroness and submitted a beverage, that alone makes you awesome (and it tasted so good to, I need a bottle). I wanted the brewing arts to have a representative and knew you would be the best one to do it.  However there is more, the fact that you drove so far and were right there to set up our thrones before you even thought to set up your own display was not lost to me, you are always there serving before yourself. Thank you!

Archery: Lady Siobhan Readnait 

Magnus: Lady Siobhan I know you had a a nervous day but you performed wonderfully. I have a personal connection to the archery part of the Seven Pearls having stumbled into being champion not long ago. I was equally nervous but unlike me you displayed a great level of skill (I'm not sure I hit a single target when I did it). I am proud of you and the Barony should be as well.

Miriel: I knew from the moment you declared yourself as wanting to be our archery Champion you would excel. What I loved the most was you being our champion caused you to push yourself, learn more, and shot harder then you ever have. To see a champion grow because they wanted to do us proud, is something I love to see as a Baroness and hope to see more of in the future. The day of Seven Pearls you had nothing to fear because you had already shown how wonderful a Champion and archer you were. Vivat!

Great job everyone and Hael Yeah!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Magnus's Pennsic 2016 top ten!

1: Fighting and fencing in all the major battles. I set a goal to not only fight heavy but also to fence in all the major battles during Pennsic. A bit better planning might have saved me some back and forth trips to camp but in the end I was able to achieve that goal.

2: Hael Camp: I was really looking forward to camping this year. It was not only my first year camping with the Hael but it was also my first year as the Baron of the Hael. Camp was well run, casual, and a ton of fun. We had more than one setback that might have broken the morale of lesser camps, but the Hael stepped up and made it happen. I look forward to camping there again next year.

3: Vanessa made it! My girlfriend Vanessa is new to the SCA and this Pennsic was meant to be her first. Sadly her new job limited her time off and she almost didn't make it. Happily we managed to get her there for a weekend and we enjoyed some archery, some shopping, and some sights.

4: Baronial Pot-Luck: Okay most people who know me know how I feel about pot lucks…that being said the Hael Pot Luck dinner Thursday of war week was one my war favorites. Food was great, company was great, and we even had a wonderful musician perform during dinner.

5: New Guy Troy! In the months
leading up to Pennsic Troy and I excitedly planned to fight side by side wearing Hael colors. Troy had a hell of a Pennsic. His tent leaked, everything he owned got soaked, he threw his shoulder out, and I think his leg armor broke. I mean it was a dog pile of bad news. However it did not keep him down. He helped in camp, helped us in Kingdom court, carried our gear to the Seven Pearls dinner, and still managed to sneak in a last day of fighting.

6:  Fencing with the “Hael Cats”: So this year Her Excellency had the idea of forming a Hael fencing unit and Pennsic was the first time the unit took the field. This was certainly her brain child and was organized under the watchful eye of the unit’s Commander Wolfgang Starke. For my part it was great to see the unit line up and hit the field the first time. I had a blast running around with them, though I suspect I was the undisciplined wild child of the group. One Highlight of the fencing that week was fighting alongside Sean Lapham. It was his first time out in a melee and we had a blast chilling people. Quote of the fencing: “Magnus: Pick a fight that looks good and then we are going to walk in there like we own the joint”…and in we go!

7: That hot steamy weather!...no just kidding f*ck you weather.

8: Seeing so many friends: In my short time in the SCA I have made friends from all over the world and Pennsic is the one time I am guaranteed to see most of them. I know I didn’t get to everyone, which makes me sad. Oddly enough some of people who live closest to home I missed and a couple I didn’t even know made it Pennsic. Such a big and small world simultaneously.  Oh well next year!

9: Seven Pearls dinner: This was my second year attending the Seven Pearls Dinner and this year did not disappoint. This year the dinner was hosted by the Barony of Blackstone Mountain and they pulled off a heck of a shindig. Not sure I had a need to eat for two days. When I finally step down I will miss the Pearls diner and in a way I am sad the Hael will not host it while I reign.

10: That first shower when I got home: Hey why lie? There is nothing better than that first shower with no need for shower shoes and no worry about cold water.

Great Pennsic everyone! See you all next year.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

More than just a fight with sticks...

On the week of July 20th 2016 the Barony held a tournament to determine the Baronial Heavy Weapons Champion for the year. The tournament was held on the night of the normal Baronial fighter practice. The tournament consisted of three elements…A fifteen minute bear pit with wounds retained, a Viking cloak battle, and finally a single elimination tournament (this was originally a double elimination, but was reduced for time). Ultimately His Grace Duke Sir Maynard von dem Steine won out over many and was awarded the position of Baronial Heavy Weapons Champion! As the tournament unfolded I watched each of the fighters interact not only as combatants but as friends. Some of the fighters that arrived to practice did not even know a tournament was scheduled, but armored up without hesitation and eagerly joined the list. There was a mix of experience and skill levels, and for some this was among one of the first tournaments they entered if not the first. Every fight was conducted with honor, filled with cheers, and concluded in good spirit.

However this missive is not really about the details of the tournament, it is about the experience. Under all of the normal trappings and sights of the tournament was another element, an experience that I often call “the magic”. That moment when all the little modern anachronisms seem to fade away if even for a second. For me it is sort of a tunnel vision that blocks out the modern gym walls or the odd bit of “sports equipment” armor. You see only the look of determination on the faces of the fighters, the respect given and received, the moment a new fighter earns that story that he will carry for years, and the bond that makes this hobby so much more than a simple fight with sticks. Sometimes this only lasts for a second and can only be experienced in person. It is said that the role of a Baron is to inspire the spirit of the SCA in people. Perhaps that is true, however on this day it was the people who inspired that spirit in me. Thank you all for giving me one more moment of “the magic” to remember and cherish. Vivat to all! 

Special thanks to Lord Horatius for running the tourney and Lady Brigette for acting as MOL. 

Back Row left to right: David, Grim, Gerardo, Bovi, Maximo, Troy, Ed, Alexi, Fearghus. Front Row left to right Wolfgang, Maynard. Fighting but not pictured was His Excellency Baron Richard from Rising Waters. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vivat to our New Baronial Heavy Champion!

After a tourney filled with fun moments and outstanding chivalry, our Barony's new Baronial Heavy Champion has stood victorious over all others.

Vivat to Duke Sir Maynard von dem Steine

We can not wait to watch His Grace and all of our other Champions compete in the Baronial 7 Pearls Competition in the Barony of St. Swithin's Bog August 20, 2016.

Stay tuned for more about the tourney in another blog post by His Excellency Magnus. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Congratulating our new Baronial Bardic Champion!

Please join us in congratulating our new Baronial Bardic Champion Lady Brigette de Sainte Mere-Église. Lady Bridgette made a wonderful showing at our Bardic competition (held on July 17th at the Baronial Hael Storm). It was a tough choice but in the end she prevailed in our eyes.

Make sure to come and support her and all our Champions at the Seven Pearls Event, Hosted by The Barony of St. Swithin's Bog August 19 - August 21 2016.

Seven Pearls Event information - Click Here!

Our final champion, that being Heavy Weapons, will be determined by a tournament to be held on July 20th as part of our normal practice. Please come out and cheer on the fighters. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our Baronial Champs So Far!

Last month on May 28th our barony held Palfreys and Polearms which was when His excellency and I named some of our baronial Champions and Award winners, a few of these chosen will represent our barony at the 7 Pearls Competitions coming up August 16th, 2016 in St. Swithin's Bog in Summerhill PA. 

Our Fencing Champion

Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako

Our Thrown Weapons Champion

THL Eleanore Godwin 

Our Arts & Sciences Champion

Lord Wolfgang Starcke

Our First Equestrian Champion

Lord Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndrvdwy

Our Chivalry Champion and Most Improved Fighter of the Year

Lord Tadhg Mag Uidhir

Our Baronial Keystone Holder

Lord Rhys Penbras ap Daffyd

Our Iron Man Champion

Fionnbhar (the horse)

Then because there are were many members of the Barony who could not be present at the event but had declared for Champion positions, we decided that the Titles of Baronial Champions of Heavy Weapons, Bardic and Archery would be announced at a later date.

At Hornwood Scarlet Guard Inn on June 11th, 2016 we had the chance to name our Archery Champion.

Our Archery Champion

Lady Siobhan Readnait 

There will be more info to come on Our Heavy and Bardic Champions, keep your eyes open!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Companions of the Golden Scale

Her Excellency and I are honored with the privilege of creating new awards for the Barony. It is a chance to put our mark on the legacy of the Baronial court and we are excited to do so. After some discussion we decided that the award the Barony was lacking was something that recognized people from outside our borders. People who are not only dedicated to the SCA but also regularly support the Barony even though they call other lands home. The name of this new award will be “Companion of the Golden Scale”. We would like to share the creation of this new award with our Populace by sponsoring a two part contest. The first part of the contest is Bardic/A&S. We are looking for poems, songs, or written work that brings to life the “fictional” story behind the award (more on that below). The second part is the creation of a “token” that we will hand out to the recipients of this award. The deadline for this contest is August 20th. People may enter one or both contests. We will display everything submitted, but we will choose only one (one story and one token) as the final winners. Each winner’s work will become part of the history of the Barony.

The story part of the contest: We are looking for poems, songs, or written work that brings to life the “fictional” story behind the award. Other forms of creative work are acceptable, but primarily we are looking for a story we can read/sing/recite. We don’t want to restrict this too much, but keeping the time required to read/perform the story to under five minutes or so would be good. The basic inspiration in our mind is as follows. Please use it as a starting point for your work:

“At some time in the past a traveler not of our lands wandered into the Barony. This person wandered into the lair of the Ice Dragon and faced certain death. However this person did something that so inspired the Ice Dragon that the Dragon plucked a scale from his own body and gifted it to the traveler. This token was a sign that the person was allowed safe travel in the land”.

The token part of the contest: This award will not include a scroll when it is handed out. The recipient is given a token to display. We are looking for people to design and create the token we will hand out. The token should be something people can wear (medallion is best) and something that can be recreated by people other than the designer for later awards. We ask that the person creates at least one of their tokens to enter into the contest. The winning token will be the first one we hand out.

We look forward to seeing your work. If there are any questions please ask us.

Magnus & Miriel

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Bardic Hopeful Declares with Dulcet Tones!

A few days ago Lady Brigette de Sainte Mere-Église declared herself to us as a bardic champion hopeful, and sang this beautiful song for us as a part of her declaration. Here is the lyrics and her simple statement. 

"My lord my champion you'll be 
For your valor and courage won't wavier. 
Your purpose is noble I see 
With my love do I offer my favor. 
Please wear this small token for me 
With. So the greatest of might for my honor 
From the righteous cause do not flee. 
May your greatness be known the world over.

Fight for my honor and fight for the glory 
And fight for the king of the land. 
Fight from the heart and I'll give you my love, 
Till the end of the world is at hand.

For you my task it shall be 
To provide you with true inspiration, 
I’ll stand by you with gentility 
To sustain you through hell and damnation. 
Your behavior will reflect upon me
Be it ever befitting your station, 
By example of true courtesy 
We will both make our mark on this nation.
When this day into battle you go To defend the poor folk of the land, In this war you must vanquish our foe For the right of our king you must stand. My love will go with you, you know as you enter the field sword in hand With the lord protecting you so May you return with the victory grand CH
In the days of quiet and peace To the tournament fields you will end You will fight with whomever you please Be it noble or neighbor or friend You will perform with the grace and the ease That my love's inspiration might send Your opponent's will drop to their knees And declare you the victor again.

With this song of courtly love written by Lady Maeve Ronan, I declare my intent to be your Baronial Bard."