Sunday, January 31, 2016

Competing for a Champion position!

Competing for a Champion position:

Her Excellency and I would like to try something different this year when it comes to selecting our Champions. Normally the outgoing champions run a tournament to determine a single winner. The winner is often (but not always) selected to be the new Champion. This year we want to move away from an “all or nothing tournament” format. Instead Miriel and I will be looking at the perspective new champions in the sense of “the big picture”.  Do they attend practices, meetings, and events, are they improving in their discipline(s) of choice, and are they well rounded members of the SCA?Please note this will only apply to the arts and science, heavy fighting, thrown weapons, fencing, bardic, and archery Champions. The Iron Man, Baronial Key Stone, Queen Anne memorial trophy, most improved fencer, most improved fighter, and chivalry positions are determined without a tournament.

So what is involved?

1) Declare your intent: People interested in competing for a position as one of our new champions must first declare themselves to us. A person can declare at any time up to and including the day of Champs, however waiting too long limits our ability to assess your progress and may impact our final choice. Declaring yourself as a candidate can be as simple as sending us an e-mail or more elaborate. The creativity of your declaration will be taken into consideration! Do not give gifts! This is not about that. We are looking for moving speeches, letters, etc. Please get creative and have fun. We will list the candidates as they declare so people know who is competing.

2) Participate: Once you have declared yourself as a candidate make sure to get out and demonstrate your talents. Her Excellency and I will be watching how people progress as well as consulting people (such as marshals) on their opinions of the candidates. Feel free to post about your experiences on Facebook, blogs, etc. Self-promotion is not a bad thing. Just because your specialty does not have a public practice (such as bardic) please feel free to show off when you can. Shoot a you- tube video and share it, perform casually at events, and so on.

What do we need?

We need eyes and ears! Her Excellency and I attend as much as we can but we can’t be everywhere. We encourage people to speak up about how the candidates are doing. Just like award recommendations we want to hear the opinions of the populace. These future champions represent us all! This can be done privately or publically. However we are not interested in negative public opinions. Please keep it friendly.

What do we need from the out-going Champions?

Normally it is the responsibility of the out-going to champion to run (or help run) the tournament to determine the new champions. We would like this to happen again this year but is not required to have a contest that has a single winner (or a contest at all). We are looking for people to have fun and take one last chance to show their skill (so Her Excellency and I can make our final choices). This does not have to be a contest or even a tournament. For example, if they heavy fighters want to run a day of melee battles that is fine. Fight, have fun, we will be looking. As we get closer Her Excellency and I will reach out to the out-going champions to clarify our wishes and discuss our plans.

So let the games begin!

If there are any questions or concerns please contact us.

Magnus and Miriel.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baronial Needs....

Baronial needs

As Miriel and I continue to sort the vast collection of Baronial stuff we figured it would be a good idea to post about what we don’t need. Due to the current and past generosity of the Barony we have a pretty large stock of items. We would hate to see people spend time and money on making things that in all honesty we won’t use. So to that end here is the current list of things we don’t need.

Items not needed:

  • Award medallion cording
  • Ribbon
  • Feast gear
  • Candle sticks
  • Mugs, goblets, glasses, etc.
  • Generic largess of any sort
  • Statues, busts, or generic nick-knacks
  • Games
  • Baskets
  • Boxes or trunks
  • Generic craft supplies such as beads, charms, etc.

What is needed?

What we are interest in is small hand crafted items that we can use for tournament prizes or in gift baskets. We are looking for items that a) people will enjoying making and b) displays local talents. There is no immediate need for these items. If the creative muse hits and people feel like working on something then please do. Otherwise it is neither a rush nor a requirement. Small hand crafted Baronial award medallions are also welcome. Currently we have plenty of VOID medallions and a handful of medallions for throwers. Once again we don’t need a ton of these. Making one or two is more than enough.

This can also be found here for future reference:

How Can I Help?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Baronial Champs...what is it all about?

Baronial Champs & the Seven Pearls!

Baronial Champs is quickly approaching but what does all this champion business really mean? I wrote this article for the Ice Dragon last year and thought it would be good to give it some new life for this year. 

The Seven Pearls.

At the heart of Baronial champs is a Kingdom-wide 
competition known as the Seven Pearls. The Seven Pearls takes its name from the seven Baronies in the Kingdom (and the pearls that decorate a Baronial coronet).  There is a Seven Pearls competition for each of the following activities: Arts and science, heavy fighting, thrown weapons, fencing, bardic, and archery. Each year every Barony in the Kingdom selects a champion for each category. This is typically done by holding a local Baronial champions tournament. Once selected the new champions travel to the seven pearls tournament to complete for the glory of their Barony and bragging rights for the year. The format of these contests can change from year to year, but for the most part the basic set up remains the same.

When and where are the Seven Pearls tournaments held?

The location of the Seven Pearl tournaments changes from year to year so please stay tuned for updates on times and locations. Before competing locally it is a good idea for people to check if they can travel to the Seven Pearls portion of the contest. This will not exclude them from the competitions but knowing ahead of time will help the Barony plan for a backup. If for some reason the current champion cannot attend the Seven Pearls event the Barony will most likely select a proxy to compete. The current champion does not lose their title if they cannot compete. Members of the Barony not competing are encouraged to show up to the Seven Pearls tournaments and cheer on the competitors.

Can new people compete in Baronial champs and the Seven Pearls?

Absolutely! The only real requirement is that you are a member of the Barony and be authorized (or otherwise cleared) to participate in the tournament of choice. Not only is competing on a local level a great way to get more involved with the Barony it is also a great way to experience the different activities the SCA has to offer. There is nothing wrong with trying your hand at something new. Don’t let being new or inexperienced in an activity dissuade you from entering. Win or lose the Seven Pearls is a wonderful experience. People are also encouraged to complete in multiple local contests but typically a person will only be asked to serve in one capacity as a champion (but one person competing in multiple Seven Pearls tournament has happened!).

Other than the Seven Pearls what are the responsibilities of a champion?

In addition to competing in the Seven Pears tournaments the champions continue to represent the Barony during the year. The champions are often invited to process into court with the Baron and Baroness and stand behind them in court. At the baronial champs the following year the outgoing champion is responsible for running (or helping to run) the tournament that helps determine the next champion. If the current champion is not a qualified Marshal (in the activities that require this) they can work with other local Marshal to run the tournament.  Don’t worry there is plenty of help and guidance available.

So what are these other awards that are handed out at Champs?

In addition to the activities mentioned above the Barony also hands out several other awards at champs. These awards are local to the Barony and not part of the Seven Pearls competition (but certainly no less of an honor). 

These include:

Iron Man: Awarded to the person who competes in the most tournaments at Baronial champs.

Baronial Key Stone: A Key Stone is a Kingdom level award for service. The Barony of the Rhydderich Hael was awarded its own Key Stone and each year a new person is selected to be the bearer of the Baronial Key Stone. The bearer of the Baronial Keys stone is given a Key Stone to wear for the year and is welcome to come forward when other members of the Order of the Keystone are called up in Kingdom court.

Queen Anne memorial trophy: This is awarded to people who have overcome great adversity during the year but still embody the spirit of the SCA and the Barony.

Most improved fencer: Awarded to the fencer that the other fencers have deemed most improved over the year. It is not required this go to a new person.

Most improved fighter: Awarded to the heavy fighter that the other fighters have deemed most improved over the year. It is not required this go to a new person.

Chivalry: Awarded to the person who the Barony considers a fine example of honor and Chivalry.

I hope this shed at least a little light on what it means to be a Baronial champion and encourages more people to step up and compete this year. If people have questions or just want to talk about the subject please free to contact us. Shortly we will post information on how we plan to pick our champions for the coming year. It will be a bit different than the past few years and we hope people enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gift Baskets and Investitures, oh my!!

Greetings good Populace, February is coming in our great Kingdom and two new sets of Barons and Baronesses will be Invested that month. His Excellency and I will hopefully be attending both Investitures (weather depending) and are in need of some donations for gift baskets to bring to our incoming cousins to help with their new reign. Items such as gas cards, coffee gift cards, small largess, and even persona based gifts are more than welcome. Help show the generosity of our Barony with your donations if you can.

However please know this is never an expected or required thing, just something that people can do to help their fellow Scadians if they are able.

Thank you and have a wonderful incoming February.

Your Baroness and Baron,

Miriel and Magnus.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Call to Service for Æthelmearc Twelfth Night and Saturnalia Celebration

Kingdom 12th Night and Saturnalia is just around the corner and our outstanding Chamberlain is working effortlessly to make us a wonderful set of Roman garb to meet Their Majesties garb challenge. However there was another challenge put out at our Investiture, a challenge for each barony in our Sylvan Æthelmearc to supply at least 3 hours of service to the event. Kitchen crew, brute squad (lifting heavy stuff), set up, clean up, etc. to add in the smooth running of this wonderful Kingdom event. Magnus and I will be there rolling up our sleeves to help where we can and we ask that whoever in our great barony is attending offer help as well. No huge effort is needed, just a moment of service to our beautiful Kingdom.

More information on 12th Night can be found here:

We are excited to see you all there and can not wait to experience the wonderful event and no doubt spectacular feast. 


Miriel and Magnus