Category Archives: SCA

Posts related to Rob’s participation in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Erich Hlodowechssun’s Chivalry Scroll

Over on Facebook, there’s been a post examples of you artwork meme. I thought I had made my Dodge roll, but I just barely missed. I I’ve been nominated for the 5 day art challenge by Juliana della Rena so here’s day 1. Get ready for some scroll texts, people, especially since I hope John Kostisin will put some of his texts amongst his 5 day challenge.

This is one I did that was, well, let’s just say, given as a backlog scroll. A back, back, back, backlog scroll. Written at the behest of Elasait Beaty-Schraer for Erich Schraer.

When the sky jewel sailed two score times
Since the maker of lists made a home for dreams
Calontir’s cyning and cwen called this proud son before them
An acorn that grew amidst a forest of falcons

A seedling of the heartland hailing from high oak’s hall
His roots were planted in the land he first plowed
Suðri’s shield warding against Surt’s sword
There he first became a feeder of ravens
Hastening on sea-steeds over swan-roads

He sought sword-storms and showers of spears
In eastern fields filled with shady trees
He defended dragons and defeated tigers
And proud warlords watched wondering at his courage
Naming him one of falcon’s first feared spear-wielders

Striking blows for freedom and striking for the land
He helped the heartland become a home for princes of legend
Bold ring-breakers bearing storm-cleavers
Gave him shining gifts of gold and steel
And forevermore he holds the falcon’s twelfth axe

Not only girded with steel, but also with Grimnir’s gifts,
His prowess and poetry served princes in war and peace
As they forged a kingdom from the bones of far firewyrms
Then his cold steel glistened in Calontir’s golden halls
Still he stands fiercely fighting to defend the king’s land

Wielding wound-hoes in western sands
Under the watchful eye of Arvak and Alsvid’s guide
Thus, We, Asgeirr and Miriam, wielders of scepter and sword,
Calontir’s fifth cyning and cwen
Call Erich Hlodowechssun, this ender of eagle’s hunger,

To kneel before Us and this day we make him a knight
This fifteenth of Hreðmonað, in the third year of falcon’s flight
Read in the halls of smælbera and runungspreca

2015

Well, here we are in a new year and here’s my first post.  One of my resolutions is to post more consistently. We’ll see, I’ve said that before.

So far, 2015 has started out well on several fronts, though writing has been tough. I’m anxious to publish my first book, A Lake Most Deep. Pretty much everything is ready to go except my editor has yet to return her marked up copy. I am a good writer, but there are many times that what I write makes perfect sense to me but isn’t necessarily as clear to others. I suppose this is true of every writer.

One nice thing is that I am relinquishing one of my SCA responsibilities this weekend. I have had a wonderful time serving as the court herald for Agamemnon and Gwen, but like every other reign I’ve served with, there’s a relief at the end. Now I don’t necessarily *have* to go to events and that means a few more empty weekends to focus on writing.

My goal in 2015 is 350,000 good words. That’s about 1,000 words per day after polishing them. It’s doable, and so far I’m on track, but it’s a major goal.

My hope is to have 3 novels per year published. My first novel is set in a my fantasy world and focuses on Edward Aethelredson. My plan  is to have one book about him each year and the second, tentatively titled The Eyes of a Doll, is well along in its draft. Edward, however, is merely one of several characters I have designed for this world. My plan is to also publish another novel set in this world each year as well as the Edward series.

Eventually, I have grand plans for the world, but for now I want to focus on the characters and the life as opposed to the great happenings.

My third book is a series of space operas / military SF. Yeah, I know so many people have done it better, but I’ve got a number of fun historical events to pull from that no one has ever done. I’m guessing that people are like me, we’ve read all of those out there repeatedly and want more.

This is the one that I have been focusing on most of this year. Most of my focus has been to get the basic physics background to create a believable and useful set of tactics and strategy. A fun learning experience and one that I suspect will never end.

Anyway, there’s enough for now. I’ll leave with the one last thing.

Go Cowboys!!!

A Full KWCB Report

I’m in an Old Chicago eating Italian Nachos recovering from Knowne World Cooks & Bards Symposium.

Lots of neat stuff happened. I met some people like Galeran of An Tir who is very impressive and I’d like to learn more from. I had a chance to get to know some acquaintances better, especially Fridrikr, Orilee, and Fiana. We ate an amazingly really epically huge feast. Or at least we tried to. Innumerable excellent performances in a wide variety of styles.

I entered a challenge, which I misunderstood but prefer my misunderstanding. I thought the challenge was to write a new piece relating to cooking or food at site during the event. So I did. It’s still raw, and Dolan and I will be smoothing the edges. I’m posting the lyrics on Facebook.

The challenge was actually just to prepare a piece related to cooking, not necessarily a new one and not at all necessarily written on site. Oh well. I’ve spent worse afternoons and it was a fun challenge my way.

I, of course, spent a goodly amount of time pushing Lilies 2015. Many thanks for HRM Elizabeth of Northshield to allow me the opportunity to speak in court about it. I think between HRM Gwen and I we put Lilies at least on the list of events to contemplate for a number of people.

The most interesting of these people was the gentleman who brought a Food Lab to the event. Basically, it’s a portable medieval cooking playground that would make a great addition, I think, to the A&S area. At some point, I might oughta tell Thora, who’s running A&S about this 🙂

There was also some Inter-kingdom Anthropology that was very striking to HRM Gwen and I that we discussed on the way home. I’ve got a couple of ideas I might see if I can’t sneak into the SCA 50th event.

Mostly though, it was a weekend of friends, writing, top-notch bardic circles, and cool medieval food. Not too shabby.

A Quick Post From KWCB

For those who don’t know, KWCB stands for Knowne World Cooks & Bards Symposium.

Basically, it’s an event that happens every year somewhere in the SCA that encourages cooks and bards to come learn, teach, and strut their stuff.

For me, I’ve spent most of the time writing a song. We’ll see how it goes.

Oh, and the final score at the feast:
Cooks: 10 kajillion and one
Feasters: Retired from the field in awe

Twelfth Night

I don’t often preen, but I am going to now because there’s quite I bit of things worthy of preening from Twelfth Night.

At the risk of sounding immodest, I was an A&S god at Twelfth Night (as if there’s a way that sentence could be anything but immodest).

I judged the bardic contest, and did some teaching related to that.

I entered and won the Requiem for a Huscarl-inspired A&S contest. I entered my attempt to re-write the song as if I had lived in 1067 and wanted to remember the battle. My version was in Old English, in the Anglo-Saxon alliterative poetic style, and I’m pretty pleased with it. I learned a ton about actually writing in Old English, and had a great deal of fun playing with words and word choices. It was a fun exercise in re-creation archaeology.

I wrote a pretty spiffy scroll text for Damien’s knighting. I thought it was pretty good, but the number of people that came up and said it was great has made me revise my opinion upwards. Damien said it was the best scroll text evah, though I still lean towards Maerwynn’s county scroll on that 🙂

I also performed a portion of Beowulf at feast for Maerwynn. This was the portion where Wealhtheow comes into the mead-hall and offers the cup in proper order to Hrothgar, Beowulf, and the lords in the hall. I did it in both Old and Modern English. I did not have time to properly memorize it, but I had gone over it enough that I was told it did not sound like I was simply reciting it. Several people told me they thought it was a great touch to feast, and that makes me preen a wee bit more. Maerwynn, however, chastised me, because she says she’s not perfect, as I said in the performance. In this one thing, Your Majesty, I am forced to disagree 🙂

For an Anglo-Saxon word-smith type, there’s not much more I could have done in one weekend. I worked in Old English, taking me one step closer to understanding what it is to be a scop, and I really think I made the event better for not just me, but for a number of others as well. For all of that, I think that this one time, I get some justifiable preening.

Lilies

Well, mostly recovered from another Lilies.

Apparently, I needed a vacation. I only fought once, and spent most of the mornings in bed asleep or reading. Part of it was undoubtedly not being next to the battlefield, as I can’t resist fighting when I see it going on, but some of it was the need for a rest.

The weather did not help either, as it was either rainy or hot. One of the least comfortable Lilies I’ve attended. Bleah.

Nevertheless, I had a great time, especially singing and performing. I really think that once I perform it a number of times the Curse of a Brother’s Love will be a really nice piece. I’ll do it at Trillies and possibly a number of times at Pennsic so hopefully it will have its rough edges smoothed a bit soon.

And I’m going to need it, given that I’ll have to perform more often than I already do. Their Majesties have seen fit to name me their Ollamh (Ollave), or Royal Bard. I’m excited and I hope that I can make it into a position that will continue and be a standard and expected retinue post. To that end, I’d like any of my readers who perform to send me their pieces that they are comfortable performing in a challenging environment like a feast hall, before court, or on the field. These are not easy environments, but the idea is to fill empty spaces whenever they crop up and add to the fun.

With that, I’ll merely make one other comment. This was definitely the Bacon Lilies.

Quest for the Grail / Three Rivers Carousel

I’m combining my event reports for Quest for the Grail and Three Rivers Carousel because these two events tried to do something similar, though the execution was very different. Both of these events had people engage in a variety of engagements and both were similar to an event idea I’ve been tossing around. I’m very glad to have gone to these as I’ve learned how to improve my own event.

The Quest for the Grail was in Forgotten Sea on Memorial Day at the Lilies site. It was sort of a Lilies test-run. The fighting on Saturday was structured around a series of fights in the woods. Each team consisted of 3 or more people, with 3 fighters active at a time. We proceeded down the path of the woods, encountering opposing fighters, many with different attributes, puzzles, or demeanors. Overall, the opponents represented the seven deadly sins. Most interesting was Sir Thjo’s team who were Anger and Sir Duncan Bruce of Logan’s team which was Sloth. Can’t forget Her Excellency Yasamin, and a horde of beautiful women represented Lust. Most humorous was Sir Colin who was given an immense amount of padding making him look fat as he was gluttony.

It was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods. The teams were allowed into the woods separately and we were one of the last teams in. We were read a preliminary bit and given a shield with a white cloth. We then proceeded in the woods. The white cloth was given so that whenever we lost a fight, or in other words lost to a deadly sin. If you were pure and innocent, like Galahad, your shield remained white. If not, your shield was marked up and unclean. So after every fight we lost, the winning sin would write something on the shield. These writings were supposed to hint at the fact that they were a deadly sin.

At the end, we were quizzed by the final guardians, St. Peter and two archangels. We were asked by them what the nature of the fighting had been. We hadn’t been smart enough to look at the big picture, nor had we been smart enough to read what had been written on our shield, so when we were asked if we knew that our opponents had been the seven deadly sins, we had no clue. We weren’t the only ones, as I don’t know if anyone guessed it correctly. Nevertheless, it was a very good time, but during the trek I couldn’t help but wish that more of the fighting encounters were also puzzles where we could talk our way through them. I suppose that’s me.

The Carousel event was a series of games. We did pretty well in every event, not necessarily the best in each event, but consistently scored well. In the end, we won.We started with Bardic part, which was their take on Whose Line Is It Anyway. They tasked us with coming up with a Irish Hoedown. They said we got bonus points if we involved beer and pretzels, so I gave them each a beer. That sort of started the day off in the manner it deserved, with our team cheating, bribing, and doing whatever we could to win.

The other events was playing a large version of Cathedral, a jousting game where blindfolded people pushed a blindfolded rider on this wagon horse guided by other team members to hit a ring, a spear contest hitting a series of targets in numerical order (including pi), a sheep-herding game using shepherd’s crooks to get balloons into a pen at the end of a maze, and shooting a trebuchet at a giant troll. We did pretty well in the Calontir trivia, answering questions that Master Brummbar developed and some of the questions were very obscure, like who was the first native Calontir peer and who was the first Calontir Pelican. We didn’t do as well in the Speed Heraldry, which was kind of surprising but it was a very tough event. We did pretty well in the both the target archery and the combat archery, which since we had Baron Jon Tristram was not too surprising.

The fighting portion was a combination of several things. It was ultimately a fight between the team and three previous Baronial fighting champions. We were asked trivia questions about Three Rivers, which the more we answered limited the weapons the fighting champions could use. We answered all 3, limiting the champions to single sword. Also, you could shoot at a target to try and take limbs away from the fighters. As many team members could shoot 3 shots as you wanted, but the baronial archer champions got 2 shots per team shooters to restore the limbs. Tristram hit one leg and so did Ben, who was a teenager who joined us midway through, but the archer champion restored them. We then fought, with Dongal and I facing Eric, Raud, and Josef. I killed Eric with a thrust to the throat with my axe, but I really was suffering in the heat. I had done 3 pickups with Dongal prior to the fighting as I was overheating. It was 97 and very humid with little wind and I was suffering. At about the same time I killed Eric, a hold was called. I decided to stop fighting because I was feeling nauseous.

Despite my wussiness, I don’t think there’s enough fighting. Part of the problem is that I was in armor running around doing other events for a couple of hours before we got to the fighting. I should have fought earlier, and done the games later.

Somewhere between the Grail and Carousel is a wonderful, balanced event. I’m going to play around and see if I can come up with it.