Saturday, December 30, 2017

Populace in focus - Lady Malleen Fenella Menzies (AKA Rivin)

A while back Her Excellency and I started a tradition of interviewing members of the populace for the blog. The goal was to slowly introduce members of the Barony, new and old, in an attempt to foster new connections. Normally, when a possible interview candidate was found Her Excellency or myself contacted them with a standard interview form, asked for some pictures, and then made a blog post. This time around is a bit different. As Chronicler it is a constant challenge to find material for the newsletter. However one member of the populace has made that job so much easier for me and that is Lady Malleen Fenella Menzies (AKA Rivin). This quiet kind woman is often seen at practice sitting at the table working on this or that. I was very familiar with her artwork and when she offered to draw things for the newsletter I quickly accepted. Recently she started on a project of creating page boarders in the form of scrolls. The finished product was amazing, but what was shocking is that when other artists started to see her work they could not believe she was sitting on such a hidden talent. So I quickly formed a plan to put her on the spot with a blog post that showcases her talents. To that end please enjoy some of the work she has done for the Barony over the past several months. I thank her for her efforts and I know we will see more from her in the future.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Baronial 12th Night 2018!

Please join us at the Hael for our annual 12th Night celebration at the Elks Lodge! Bring your friends who want to check out the SCA at a more relaxed event. We have food, friendship, fun and fighting all lined up. This will be Our last 12th night as your Baron and Baroness, we hope to have it go wonderfully and for everyone to have an outstanding time.

Event info:

When: Wednesday January 3rd, 2018, 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. The Barony will be buying an assortment of soft drinks from the bar this year to offer to all of our 12th Night Guests.

Garb: Garb is not expected or required.

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.


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. 

SCA exchange/swap: 

This year in addition to the usual Twelfth Night festivities of food and merriment, there will be an SCA exchange/swap of garb and gear taking place. If you have garb that no longer fits or gear you no longer use then bring it with you to exchange/swap with someone who may be in need of it. Monetary dealings if any will be strictly between those individuals. And area will be set aside for this activity. 

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

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Calling All Orders!

Her Excellency and I would like to poll our Orders one last time before the end of our Reign.  Please feel free to make use of e-mail, Facebook, and even texts to contact us. We are not opposed to meeting in person but please don’t let distance or scheduling stop you from participating. We want to hear from as many of you as possible! Not in an Order? Not a problem. Contact us with your aware recommendations anyway. 

Here is what we are looking for: If you are a member of an order please respond to us in person or via e-mail/facebook/etc. and provide the following:

If you have feedback please provide:
  1. Your SCA name.
  2. What orders you belong to.
  3. The SCA names of people you feel should be included in your order (please note which order for which people and why).
If you have no feedback at this time please provide:
  1. Your SCA name.
  2. Simply state you are checking in and have no feedback at this time.

Not a member of an order? If you are not a member of an order but feel a person(s) you know should be, please contact us and give us your suggestions. If you don't understand what this process is about please contact us and ask questions. We are happy to explain. 

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Orders of Hael:

Orders carrying precedence:

The Venerable Order of the Ice Dragon (VOID): This Award recognizes extensive service within or on behalf of the Barony and Canton(s).

The Venerable Order of the Ice Dragon

The Noble Union of Lords and Ladies (NULL): This Award recognizes exemplars of Courtesy and Chivalry.  

The Noble Union of Lords and Ladies

The Order of the Golden Bee: This Award recognizes exemplars of Arts and Sciences.

The Order of the Golden Bee

The Order of the Dragon Combatant (ODC): This Award recognizes exemplars of martial skills. There is no badge for this award. 

Order of the Dragon's Concordium: This award recognizes new members of the Rhydderich Hael who have embraced the fabric of our society and delight in the wonders of the known world, look to help with activities of the Barony whenever they can, display kindness and chivalrous comportment, and seek to learn in the areas of Arts, Martial activities, Event planning, and other areas of Baronial function. There is no badge for this award. 

Orders not carrying precedence:

The Baronial Order for Creative Engineering Submissions: This Award recognizes exemplars of unique engineering projects benefiting the Barony and its members. There is no badge for this award. 

The Order of the Portcullis: This Award recognizes exemplars of a singular act of service to the Barony that went above and beyond all expectations. There is no badge for this award. 

The Tangled Rose: This award that recognizes decades of service to the Rhydderich Hael. There is no badge for this award. 

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. 

Companion of the Golden Scale

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Remembering a Lost Friend to the Hael

This month we mourn the loss of Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato, simply known as Joe the Just, and mundanely known as Joe Piselli. A passing is always a shock, but to lose such a young and vital person seems to hit home a little more. Joe was a fixture in our Society, constantly working in front of and behind the scenes to make the Society a better place for others. Perhaps it was this singular dedication and drive that makes his passing so hard to imagine. Joe never stopped and no one expected he ever would.
Master Joe had a long and distinguished career in the Society. Among his accomplishments are: Master of the Pelican, Companion of the White Horn, Companion of the Millrind, Court Baron, Companion of the Golden Alce, Companion of the Keystone, Companion of the Sycamore, Companion of the Cornelian, Companion of the Golden Thorn, Sigil of Æthelmearc, Companion of the Amber Crystal (Rising Waters, Ealdormere), Companion of the Ice Dragon (Rhydderich Hael, Service), Companion of the Dragon Combattant, (Rhydderich Hael, Martial), and Companion of the Chalice Crystal (Rising Waters, Ealdormere).
Most recently Master Joe was the Seneschal and web minister for the Canton of Beau Fleuve, the Steward and Captain of Thrown Weapons for the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael, and the Chamberlin for the Kingdom of Æthelmearc. These offices are honestly just a sample of the years of service granted us by Master Joe. 

While not an official office, Joe’s camera never stopped clicking and so much of the rich history of the Society was captured through his lens. Her Excellency Rhydderich Hael recently commented, “Joe I have seen many people share photos that you captured of them, when they felt at their best you caught that for them and showed the world”. 

Master Joe was truly at home on the thrown weapons range, holding numerous Kingdom and Baronial champion positions, as well as winning a mile long list of tournaments. It was often questioned if there was anything he couldn’t throw and stick in a target. His service was represented here as well, freely offering his knowledge as a teacher and his time as a Marshal. Countless students have gone on to their own accomplishment under the guidance of Master Joe. It is truly a legacy he shared with us all.

However the greatest position he held was in the hearts of the people all over the Kingdom and the Society. Stories about Master Giuseppe's generosity, perseverance, kindness, and dedication to others are already filling social media. With pictures and tales people are remembering Joe at his best - the man who made a lasting impression in their lives in one way or another. It is often said that people will “never forget the memory of a lost friend”, but with Joe it is more than that. We won’t just remember him, but instead we will never stop looking for him. Be it on the thrown weapon range (missing his shirt of course), in court, or around the camp fires at Pennsic. Our eyes will stare down the path looking for that big white bus to pull up and Joe to step out ready to start some new project. May you find peace in your journey, Master Joe, and we know wherever you are now you are probably already building a platform for your tent. Keep the torches lit until we meet again.
With love, a grateful Society

Monday, September 18, 2017

Presenting the final 2017 Champs and Baronial award holders

After a long and exciting Season Her Excellency and I finally determined the last of our 2017 Baronial Champs and award holders. Please take a moment to congratulate them and thank them for their service. 

Full list of current 2017 Champions and Award Holders

Lady Thalia Papillon - Iron Man
 (competed in the most Baronial Champ events)

THL Maeve Ni Siurtain - Equestrian

Lord Chebe - Chivalry

THL Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako - Queen Ann
(Chivalry and participation even when faced with difficulties)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hard to believe that time has come already. What a ride it has been!

This fall Her Excellency and I are required to decide if we will ask for the one year extension to our three year reign. Policy indicates this choice be made no later than November of this year, however after a lengthy discussion we have decided to announce our decision early. After talking about it at length, Her Excellency and I have decided to end our reign at three years and not ask for the extension. This was not an easy choice for either of us. The past two years have been a wonderful experience for both of us. We thought back to our first event, the Investiture of Carolus and Isolda, when Miriel and I had barely cut our teeth in the SCA, to our years of service as retainer, guard, and herald. As new members of the Barony we helped craft the very thrones in which we would later sit. It is something we will remember for the rest of our time in the SCA and our lives. Very shortly the process will begin to find our Heirs, and Her Excellency look forward to seeing who that will be and watching them make their own mark on the Barony. Her Excellency and I are available to talk to interested people and answer questions as we are able. We encourage everyone with an interest to think about running. It is a wonderful job, yes there are some hard days, but it is worth every minute. We will save further thanks for later because we are not done yet and we have no intention of slowing down! This choice was not made due to a lack of energy, interest, or pride in the Barony. We have a year to go and we are already making plans for next year.

Magnus and Miriel

Saturday, September 2, 2017

We present Your Current Champions!

Current Rhydderich Hael Baronial Champions - 2017

Her Excellency and I are proud to present the current compiled list of the Rhyderrich Hael Baronial Champs and award holders for 2017. We have a few more to hand out at Summers End, but since the 7 Pearls event is coming up before that date, we wanted to acknowledge the current champions and thank them for their service. We look forward to seeing everyone at Seven Pearls! 

Lord Tadhg Mag Uidhir- Heavy

THL Wolfgang Starcke- Rapier

THL Eleanore Godwin - Arts & Sciences

Lady Simonetta di Alfassi- Archery

Lord Akayuma Yatarou Kage’o - Thrown weapons

 Éadaoin Gaelach Rua - Bardic (Winner 7 Pearls Bardic Champ)

THL Maeve Ni Siurtain - Equestrian

Rhydderich Hael Baronial award holders- 2017 

Lady Artemisia da Manarola- Baronial Keystone

Lady Thalia Papillon- Most Improved - Rapier &  Iron Man
 (competed in the most Baronial Champ events)

THL Jairus of the Darklands (right)- Most Improved- Heavy

THL Minamoto Roku-i Sakurako - Queen Ann
(Chivalry and participation even when faced with difficulties)

Lord Chebe - Chivalry

Monday, August 21, 2017

Announcement - New Baronial Siege Captain appointed

Lord Chebe
Over the summer myself, Lord Chebe, and Lady Thalia Papillon had the pleasure of attending a siege muster in the Barony of St. Swithin's Bog. The three of us came away from the event with our authorizations in siege and a new interest in developing siege in the Barony. Lord Chebe quickly took the lead, and soon after, the Hael had its first working siege engine. Lord Chebe continued to build interest by demoing the machine at local events, educating people on siege, and encouraging people to give it a try. At Pennsic Chebe and Thalia fought in their first battles as siege engineers. Her Excellency and I spoke with the current Captain of Siege, Master Filipo de Sancto Martino, on his feelings and interest in holding the position. Master Filipo expressed an interest in participating in siege but agreed that appointing a new Captain would help to foster the local siege program. At Pennsic on the night of the Baronial Pot luck Her Excellency and I offered the position of Siege Captain to Lord Chebe, and he happily accepted. Lord Chebe is currently working on forming an official Hael siege unit as well as a local muster. Look for more information on this shortly. Her Excellency and I are confident the future of siege in the Barony is in good hands.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Magnus’s Pennsic 2017 top ten!

1: Thalia made it again! Last year one of my top ten moments included my girlfriend Vanessa (Lady Thalia Papillon) making it to her first Pennsic. She could only stay a couple days last year, but this year she was able to come for all of War Week. We had a great week and it was a pleasure watching her embrace new paths in the SCA. In addition to repeating many of our activities from last year, Thalia also participated in her first Pennsic fencing melee, the siege and combat archery battle, the rapier novice tourney, the Pennsic archery champs, and retained for Their Majesties. I was seriously proud of her.

2: The Last Charge of the Hael brigade! The fighting highlight of the week for me was during one of the heavy field battles. Our line was charged with smashing into a hard hitting enemy unit, but as we started to move across the battle field the unit read our intention and moved away from us. Seeing the need to react, our line commander called for a charge…and simply put…our line did not move. Inspired by blood lust (or stupidity) I decided to charge forward anyway, running on my own across the battle field calling for others to follow. After a bit I noticed I had failed in my attempt to inspire the charge and figured, “what the hell I’m going for it anyway” and continued my run. What I did not notice at first was that Lord Chebe had decided to follow me into battle. Bravely the two of us ran up to the enemy line. The sight of two screaming short white guys running into a whole army must have confused them because it took several minutes before three skirmishers left the ranks to fight us. Shortly after, and with the rest of the army still well to our rear, Lord Chebe and fell to hail of pain! I am not sure the charge will go down in Pennsic history but I will always remember it, and if one must die it is best to do it with a good friend at your side.

 3: Space Wagon! Last year I was determined to get a wagon to haul all my stuff around in. So the week before Pennsic I bought a little blue wagon with big wheels. It was quickly dubbed “Space Wagon” and accompanied us during our adventures. It seriously made my Pennsic 100% better, plus we got to scream “Space Wagon!” all week.

4: Camping with the Hael (second year in a row): Camp was a ton of fun this year. The camp was well organized and relaxed thanks to the efforts of our Camp Master Govindi as well as the many hands that helped with set up and tear down. Set up was so smooth this year (and happened so quickly) I honestly felt guilty for not helping more. Vivat to all! The Baronial pot luck was another success, with great food, entertainment, and fellowship (did I mention the food?)! The thing that struck me the most this year was the multiple generations of the Hael present at the party. Ranging from veterans to people attending their first Pennsic. It created such a sense of tradition and history I had to stop a couple of times just to take it in.

5: The tokens of adventure! One thing I cherish the most from my time in the SCA are the small tokens I receive and the memories they come with. This year I was proud to receive several. The first three are a pearl and favor from Her Majesty Gabrielle (left), a personal token from Lady Elena de la Palma (the feather). I received the pearl and feather for an impromptu assignment as a court herald...during an elevation of all things (a story best told in person). I also received a token from Duchess Dorinda Courtenay (the ring). Her Grace was handing these out to the fencers prior to battle. Such a nice touch to the atmosphere of the day. Lastly is a wonderful handmade favor from Lady Alexia Cavalieri (the lion). Thank you all for taking the time to make Pennsic special. 

6: Bring on the heat! After the hot house weather last year I have to give a nod to the fantastic weather this year. It was warm, but not too hot, and the nights a “blanket cuddling” level of cool. Bravo weather. I forgive you for last year. 

7: Seven Pearls dinner (see what I did there): This was my third year attending the Seven Pearls Dinner and this year continued to deliver. This year the dinner was hosted by the Barony of Endless Hills and once again it was an act I am glad I won’t have to follow. I reached a point where I thought the food would keep coming forever and on top of all that we received gifts of mead!

8: Hael Yeah! I was extremely proud of all the Hael people I saw making Pennsic happen. Everywhere I went I saw people from the Hael pitching in. Guarding, retaining, security, gate guards, making scrolls for court, marshals, newcomers point, assisting merchants, teaching, and so on. Great job everyone!

9: That first shower when I got home: Who am I kidding? There is nothing better than that first shower with no need for shower shoes and no worry about cold water.

10: Life beyond being Baron: Number ten is a bit of a mixed bag. About mid-week I was reminded that my time as Baron of the Hael is almost half over. It went so quickly. This might seem like a bad memory, but it is just the opposite. Having that quick glimpse of life after the coronet really gave me a sense of how proud I am of my Barony. After that point in my week I really started to look at all the great friends I have made and at the people that might wear the coronet when the time comes. Whoever that is I know the Hael will be in good hands.

Another great Pennsic everyone…and of course Hael Yeah!


With a song....The Hael Welcomes a new Bardic Champion!

Éadaoin Gaelach Rua
On June 16th, fresh on the heels of Pennsic, the Hael gathered for the annual "Post Pennsic Pot Luck"! In addition to the piles of fine food and Pennsic stories, Her Excellency and I also took the chance to hold our Bardic Champion competition. It was a fine night of song and story, with a total of five people competing (as well as performances in addition to the main competition). Determining the winner was based on populace vote, the vote of our outgoing champion, and if needed, a tie breaker from Her Excellency and I. However in the end all of the voices agreed and Éadaoin Gaelach Rua was named (and accepted) the position of Hael Bardic Champion! We look forward to Her performance at Seven Pearls!

Her Excellency and I would like to thank our outgoing champion THL Brigette de Sainte Mere-Église for her service and truly moving performances last year.

Her Excellency and I invite everyone who is able to join us at the Seven Pearls event and help cheer on The Champions! We hope to hand out and announce the remaining Baronial champs (Iron man & Chivalry) and award holders at Summers End.

...and of course Hael Yeah!

The competitors: Back row left to right,THL Jairus of the Darklands, Lady Thalia Papillon, THFool Dagonell, Éadaoin Gaelach Rua (Her Excellency and I did not perform). Front: Master Filipo de Sancto Martino.