Tag Archives: Calontir

Kingdom A&S Thoughts

Greetings all

Kingdom A&S was, as usual, lots of fun for me. I saw some interesting research, cool work, and was able to encourage some people. That always makes me feel good.

My two favorites were one I judged, a map of the SCA version of the Kansas City area by Hugo von Harlo, and one I didn’t, a fascinating collection and comparison of a variety of fectbuchs by Gawin Keppler. Neither was terribly ground-breaking, but they will increase the fun of our hobby while also providing stepping stones to further research.

The best of what we do in the SCA is academic-level work. Better, in some instances, because often academic work is purely theoretical and until one tries some re-creation archaeology, one can’t be sure the theory works.

Sadly, many academics look down on the SCA. Some of that criticism is justified. As I said, the best of what we do is excellent, but because of the “big-tent” approach the SCA adopted, there’s a huge spectrum of quality. The bottom level is worse than basic, it’s completely wrong. Fortunately, we’ve gradually improved overall so that the bottom level is becoming increasingly rare as anything but a stepping stone to better work.

The SCA is an entry drug to learning medieval archaeology. That’s a good thing. When done well, the SCA and those who went through the SCA and on to even more detailed research have pushed the boundaries of our understanding.

There’s no doubt peer-reviewing and gatekeeping has much value. Consistency can be a good thing, and theoretically those ensure that the bottom level of academic work is of consistent quality.

However, that consistency can sometimes create artificial limits. The beauty of Frost’s paths diverging in the woods is that each goes somewhere. There’s not a right path, merely one that makes all the difference.

Kingdom A&S is a yearly reminder of that.

Rob’s Update: Rainy Day Writin’

Week of 9-15 April

Greetings all

It’s been a great week so far, though it’s rainy today. Lots of progress writing. I’m about halfway done with the final pass of the draft of Where Now the Rider, and I’m enjoying the conclusion.

I’m here in Council Bluffs, Iowa this week with my sweetie as I await one of my favorite events, Calontir’s Kingdom Arts & Sciences championship. As a researcher, I often get asked to judge some of the more interesting entries. The entries that don’t fall into normal categories. Not surprisingly, I really enjoy such entries. This year I’ll be judging Japanese rice paper painting, a hand-drawn map, a story written in a variety of styles (sort of like comparing the Seven Samurai and the Magnificent Seven), and an Elizabethan sonnet. I’m excited.

I’ve also been working on my upcoming schedule, and I should have a number of additions to make soon. I’m not sure of all the details, but I do know the rest of 2017 is going to be busy and fun.

Quote of the Week

I’ve been very productive today, which is in some ways odd as I often struggle on rainy days. Maybe I followed John Wooden’s advice.

Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
– John Wooden
News and Works in Progress
  • Still pounding away at Where Now the Rider, but the light up ahead is no longer an oncoming train.
Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions
Upcoming Events
Spotlight

The last time I was at Estrella War in the Phoenix area, I met my evil twin. No really, he’s my twin. It turns out he’s a writer too. Here’s his author page: https://www.amazon.com/Spencer-Pierson/e/B01HCIE04O/

That really is not me.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works
  • A Lake Most Deep (Edward, Book 1)
  • The Eyes of a Doll (Edward, Book 2)
  • Where Now the Rider (Edward, Book 3) Forthcoming 2017
  • I Am a Wondrous Thing (The Kreisens, Book 1)
  • Brief Is My Flame (The Kreisens, Book 2) Forthcoming 2017
  • None Call Me Mother (The Kreisens, Book 3) Forthcoming 2018

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Mar – Silver Hammer

Greetings all

It’s become apparent that I’m too distracted by something on Sunday nights to regularly add scroll texts, so I’m just going to add them whenever I feel like it.

This particular text was given out last weekend at Calontir’s Crown Tournament. It’s a Silver Hammer for Mar, who lost in the finals to His Highness Damien MacGavin. The Silver Hammer is an award given to people who are skilled craftsmen in things like woodworking, brewing, metalwork, smithing, and such. In Mar’s case it was his crafting of musical instruments and coronets.

One of the most fun aspects of writing scroll texts for me is forcing myself to write in a poetic style that is not my normal style. My normal style, by the way, is Old English alliterative, as shown by the riddle at the end of I Am a Wondrous Thing.

Whenever I am asked to write a text for someone, my first question is, “What is their persona?” In other words, what time and place do they focus on? This tells me what poetic styles I should research in order to write a poem that suits the recipient. Mar’s persona is that of a Varangian, hence his award would come from a Byzantine emperor. So I look around at Byzantine poetic styles and in this case, I chose the 15-syllable iambic Byzantine epic style. Some choices are easier than others. Some are not. This was not.

As a side note, I am often asked why I don’t tend to write scroll texts in a more legal style. After all, these are legal documents. My answer is that legalese is legalese is legalese. The function of legal documents creates a dry structure that transcends time and place. I just think that poetry allows me the option of doing something far cooler than legalese. I can write in legalese, and I have, often enough, but it’s not my preference.

Anyway, back to Mar’s Silver Hammer text. Here it is, with some annotations. Like my annotated snippets, the annotations are indented and italicized.

Mar – Silver Hammer

Arrayed in heartland’s tagma are proud valiant cataphractoi

Tagma is a word meaning elite soldiers, like the Tagma ton Varangoi. Combined with the word cataphract, which is heavy armored cavalry, I’m referring to the chivalry of Calontir.

Ashir its Basileus strong leads spears and swords a-glitter

Its Basilissa Ashland rides beside as falcons soar high

Basileus and Basilissa are the words for Emperor and Empress.

Such that bold topoteretes like Már í Miklagarði,

Topoteretes is a leader in the tagma, again, a reference to him being a knight.

So deadly foes away full seven hundred paces fear him,

In Calontir’s constellation slight single star afar seem

But Warriors do not make realms whole, as known by rulers wise all

So clever Basileus grand and bright-eyed Basilissa

Bright-eyed here is a reference to Athena, which is totally anachronistic even for Byzantine but I thought it was fun.

Rejoice in Calontir adorned with elegance and honor,

Aflame in golden glories great and gowns in pearls bedecked fine

The rulers Chrysotriklinos well cherish all such treasure

Chrysotriklinos is the grand reception hall of the Great Palace of Constantinople. In this case, it’s a reference to Their Majesties.

Rewarding craftsmen skilled with gold and favors of the purple

In Byzantine times the purple was a reference to the Emperor. It seems to perfect not to use as a phrase for someone in Calontir getting something.

But certain jewels glittering surprise august Sebastoi

Ton Sebaston is a way to refer to the Emperor. In this case, I pluralized it to refer to both of Calontir’s Majesties. Also, the certain jewels is a reference to Mar’s metalwork.

And melodies radiant afloat from strings and woodcraft carved fair

A reference to some musical instruments Mar has made.

The artisan so skilled is known for dire hands sinister strong

Beloved of deathless northern rose and treasure of the falcon

So Calon Autokrators keen, the lords of running horses,

Autokrator is yet another term for Emperor, and lords of running horses is a reference to Their Mongol personas.

To Már í Miklagarði grant the title vestitor proud

Vestitors were officials of the Imperial wardrobe, and later this became a fairly low honorary title. They were also the wardens of the Imperial crown. Seemed like an appropriate Byzantine analogue for the Silver Hammers.

As called in Mar’s far northern home a skillful Silver Hammer.

Before all dignities whether proclaimed or once awarded

Titles in the Byzantine Empire were deemed proclaimed or awarded.

In Basileia ton Rhomaion, They decree forever

The Basileia ton Rhomaion was the Roman Empire.

Gulf Wars 2017 AAR

Shall we entitle this year’s Gulf Wars Gulfcicle? Maybe so. It was definitely the coldest Gulf I’ve been to, at least until Thursday. It was colder than several Estrellas I’ve attended, and those were routinely cold.

I never get cold, but this time I did. I could not get warm it seemed. Some of this was my spot in Drix’s booth, which was covered from sunshine but allowed the wind to come in. At night, I was fine in my bed, but during the days I even had to stop typing periodically because my hands were so cold.

I could have bought a hat, or another, heavier cloak, but I hate to buy things I would rarely use. Even if it’s that cold at Gulf next year, even if I knew it would be, I would not have spent money on something I won’t use until then. I did, however, buy my sweetie two yards of heavy wool to put over my chair.

Sales were not wonderful but not bad at all. I still don’t sell as much at Gulf Wars as I do at Kris Kinder, but sales were definitely up from last year. Of course, last year I did not have the opportunity to sell during the last day, but the pace was greater than it was on the earlier days. Overall, I netted more than enough to pay for site fee and gas to and from the Gulf Wars site. This is progress, especially since many of the sales were to people I’ve never met before.

During the week I was able to make a bunch of progress on Where Now the Rider. I had hoped to finish it while in Biloxi, but it’s trickier than I expected to get this paced right.

I’ve noticed on both Where Now the Rider and I Am a Wondrous Thing that it took me much longer than expected to deal with all the fiddly bits, especially the arrangement of chapters. I think it’s because I’m becoming a better writer and have more complex plots. A Lake Most Deep has a fairly straightforward plot. The Eyes of a Doll is less so, but still not particularly complex. Neither of those required as much time messing with the pacing. I just need to expect this time and adjust my preconceptions.

At this point I have about half of it locked into place, and about another third locked into place relative to a chapter before or behind it. I have about 3.5 chapters more to write to fill in some gaps I’ve found, and then cut some because it’ll be a bit long once those are done. Not much, though, as my editors always find some bloat. Shocking, I know.

I was pleased to have a couple of really good opportunities to sing. This year, the Calontir party was the same night as Moonlight Madness, and so I did not get to attend. I came back from selling and promptly went to bed. However, Thursday and Friday were wonderful. I expected more socializing on Saturday, but only because I did not anticipate getting packed out. However, with help, I was able to be on the road at 8ish and got to a hotel room in Jackson. It was so nice to be able to make it home yesterday, which I might not have been able to do if I’d packed down in the morning.

My only other SCA-like doings at Gulf Wars was judging in the A&S championship. I don’t actually know who won the championship, but I sure think one of the entries I judged could have. The person, I don’t know who yet, did a series of experiments making pigments for scrolls using period materials and techniques. It was fabulous re-creation archaeology. I don’t like giving perfect scores to any entrant, but it was truly amazing work and I was fascinated to read the process.

I’m hoping I can get in better shape that by next year I can add fighting back into my Gulf, without costing me too much shop time. We’ll see.

Overall, Drix’s booth has been an excellent place for me. I was able to work on the book, get a lot of traffic, and have all my needs covered. Miriam, Claudia, and Thyri are fun to work with. I do need to get a more mad tunic. Be afraid, be very afraid.

I came back to home to a busy week, added on to by the fact that my garage door broke while I was gone. I’ve a guy coming to fix it tomorrow, but I’ll just deal with my laundry in a day or so.

For now, though, it’s time to get back to Where Now the Rider.

 

Ashir and Maerwynn’s Preprints

A&S Challenge Day 3. To continue onwards, now I challenge Susan Carroll-Clark to provide examples of some Ealdormerian scroll texts. I think you’ve already been challenged, but I don’t think you did any scrolls texts. In any case, they don’t have to be yours, just some good examples.

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege or writing a great many preprint texts. My favorite set, probably my favorite set of any preprints mine or not, were the ones I wrote for Heath Clifton and Maerwynn Holme. The inspiration for these texts comes from the Cleaves translation of The Secret History of the Mongols (http://altaica.ru/shengl.htm).

My particular favorite is Iren Fyrd 1.

As a side note, if you’re looking at this as a template for writing a set of preprints yourself, I always write 3 Torses now. We give out more of them than the other AoA-level awards. Also, Ashir and Maerwynn ended each scroll with a standard ending, basically the legalese of date and place. You’ll want to make sure you account for that, either in the text or as a standard addendum.

AoA 1
The Qan Ashir has made thieves to beware and made all lies to be in vain.
His Qatan Maerwynn has divided wealth and judged proper judgments.
Now Ashir speaks and Maerwynn judges the fate of person’s name.
They decree that person’s name is a lord/lady of Calontir henceforth
and allow them to display their banner across the lands of this world.

AoA 2

We, Qan and Qatan, Ashir and Maerwynn, have seen that
person’s name has ridden loyally at Our side and
tarried not, at the moment when We were journeying;
journeyed not, at the moment when We were tarrying;
and We decree that your proven nobility shall be known
and bid all in this world to call you a lord/lady forevermore.

AoA 3

We, Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan, have ridden from the heights of Mount Burqan Qaldun to the shores of Tunggelig Stream leading Our people. We have watched Our people hunt the red deer and ride the black horses. We know Our people well and now tell to all of this world that person’s name is truly one of Our Calon Ordu, and shall evermore be known as lord/lady from all of the mountains to all of the rivers.

AoA 4

Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan were feasting beside their golden ger. Their anda approached and gave counsel. These great souls said that person’s name is a person who will never forsake you. These great souls said that person’s name is a person who should be regarded as a companion. Ashir and Maerwynn listened and now decree that person’s name will be forevermore be their companion and a lord/lady of the Falcon Throne.

AoA 5

Ashir Qan said to his Qatan: “I have seen Our people shatter the foe like lightning.”
Maerwynn Qatan said to her Qan: “I have heard Our people call for justice like thunder.”
Ashir Qan said: “person’s name has not been properly rewarded for his/her service to Our Ordu.”
Maerwynn Qatan said: “Then let person’s name be recognized henceforth as a lord/lady of Our Ordu.”

Iren Fyrd 1

You have made Our foemen’s hearts empty.
You have cut out parts of their liver.
You have made their beds become empty.
And you have made an end of their descendants.
For this, We Ashir and Maerwynn, Qan and Qatan
Join your spear to Our ranks of spears
And name person’s name a Fyrdman of Our Calon Ordu.

Iren Fyrd 2

Qatan Maerwynn spoke saying:
“person’s name became a shield for Us on the day of battle. He/she shattered stones when you assaulted the enemy.”
Qan Ashir spoke saying:
“person’s name became a shelter for Us against the enemy. He/she smashed cliffs when I led the charge.”
Together Qan and Qatan spoke saying:
“He/she must be added to Our Order of the Iren Fyrd. From this point forward let him/her bear the bright iron lance in Our service.”

Boga Fyrd 1

Qan Ashir spoke saying:
“Who then shot the arrow so as to break the back of my enemy?”
Qatan Maerwynn spoke saying:
“My Qan, it was person’s name who shot the arrow from the mountain.”
Together Qan and Qatan spoke saying:
“He/she is worthy among Our clan. Let him/her be given a quiver of bright arrows and placed within the ranks of Our Boga Fyrd that Our kinsmen shall be shielded.”

Boga Fyrd 2

Drawing his/her bow, person’s name has released his angyu’a arrow so as to pierce ten foes who are beyond the mountains and steppes.
Drawing his/her bow, person’s name has released his keyibur arrow so as to pierce twenty foes nine hundred alda away.
Qan Ashir and Qatan Maerwynn decree that such a man/woman of the falcon lands must from this day forward be a companion of Their Order of the Boga Fyrd.

Eo-fyrd 1
As Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan rode leading Their ordu into war
They spied one who rode the black horse even if their cheeks were pierced
They spied one whose standard flew in the wind even if their black blood flowed
They spied one who had a mouth full of fury and lungs full of heart
So Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan spooke after leading Their ordu into war
Person’s name rode swiftly against the foe, fearing no harm
We would now call person’s name one of Our külü’üd,
Stalwarts who are called in the far Western tongue eo-fyrd.

Eo-fyrd 2
Ashir Qan spoke saying: “My elder khevtuul who guarded me by night, what say you.”
The khevtuul spoke saying: “Person’s name has stood long in the cold which makes one shiver.”
Maerwynn Qatan spoke saying: “My vigilant torguud who guarded me by day, what say you.”
The torguud spoke saying: “Person’s name has faced the willow-bark quivers of our foes.”
Together khevtuul and torguud spoke saying: “Person’s name took no rest while guarding Your throne.”
Together Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan spoke saying: “Then, Our guardians, We now enlist him/her into Our kheshig, Our eo-fyrd, to protect Us until Erkhii Mergen shoots the seventh sun.

Torse 1

In the swift warfare, person’s name did not suffer Qan Ashir to spend the night empty in a night of rain.
In the face of Our enemy, person’s name did not suffer Qatan Maerwynn to spend the night without broth.
In the striking of Our lances, person’s name did not suffer Our people to be wanting of the fire that was red.
Hence, We shall not suffer any longer that the deeds of person’s name not be recognized and call the soaring falcon to deliver him/her the mantled Torse of purple and gold.

Torse 2

At the moment when Qatan Maerwynn was wearing a dell of gold thread, person’s name was tending to her black horses.
At the moment when Qan Ashir was eating the meat of the red deer, person’s name was pitching his ger.
At the moment when the people of the Qan and Qatan needed help, person’s name was there.
Hence, at this moment, the Qan and Qatan decree that under the sun and moon person’s name is a companion of Their Torse.

Swan 1

Even as seeing Mother Sun when the clouds become clear,
Even as finding the water of the river when the ice becomes clear,
Ashir Qan and Maerwynn Qatan have seen the beauty of person’s name’s art become clear,
And forevermore decree that the golden grace of this Calon Swan to all become clear.

Swan 2

Ashir Qan said to his Qatan: “Certain thoughts have entered my dreams in the black night.”
Maerwynn Qatan said to her Qan: “Certain thoughts have disturbed me in the bright day.”
Ashir Qan said: “person’s name has woven golden cloth to warm Our royal persons.”
Maerwynn Qatan said: “person’s name has sung silver songs to warm Our royal souls.”
Ashir Qan said: “Then let Us call him/her by the name that he/she has earned.”
And Maerwynn Qatan said: “Then we shall call person’s name a Golden Calon Swan.”

Mallet 1

From the time when the brown Earth was only the size of a clod,
From the time when the sea and rivers were only size of a stream,
We have needed wisdom to enrich this land for which We have fought
And have enriched those who fought for wisdom with their dreams.
Now We, Ashir and Maerwynn, Qan and Qatan, in heartlands we have trod
Bestow Leather Mallet to person’s name as token of Our esteem.

Mallet 2

These truths are recognized in all lands where the falcon soars:
Qatan Maerwynn needs those to make the golden bridles for her black horse,
Qan Ashir needs those to make the shining steel for his gleaming arrows.
Thus We name person’s name as one of the craftsmen of Our Calon Ordu
And bestow the symbol of the Leather Mallet as a sign of Our will.

Jorunn’s Baronial Text

Day 2 of the A&S challenge. First, I’m going to nominate Fernando Rodriguez de Falcon. Again, I’d like to see some scroll texts. In Fernando’s case, one in particular.

Today’s text is one of my favorite ever because of the challenge. This is Juli Kupperman‘s court baronage. It was not a scroll, but rather a law-ring made by Darren Jennings and Heather Green Jennings and what that meant for me is that I was limited to 250 characters or less.

Yes, that means this is essentially a phone text-length scroll text.

But I cheated. Here’s the version on the ring itself:

Before gallowslord I Tyrsring say that ᚨ beyond praise and I Freyjassmile heartlands goldbreakers for the ᚱ of ᛃ lordᚹ wailing wind and moonslove as ᚠgiver to seas grant the ᛟ warded by Gunnsᛖ with ᛒ and ᛇ against ᚻneed for her hearth until godsdoom according to peoples law Carved by Baldursguard and Sifslightgift

You’ll notice a lot of runes in there. Interestingly, the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons gave runes not only a letter value, but also a word value. Occasionally, they would flip back and forth using both types of values in the same document. So here’s the expanded version using the word values of the runes:

Before gallow’s lord, I Tyr’s-ring say that, Anton, beyond praise, and Isabeau, Freyja’s-smile, heartland’s gold-breakers, for the riding of Jorunn: lord-joy, wailing wind and moon’s-love, as wealth-giver to seas, grant the estate warded by Gunn’s-steed, with birch and yew against hail’s-need for her hearth until gods’ doom according to people’s law. Carved by Baldur’s-guard and Sif’s-lightgift.

By the way, Reimond is etymologically derived from “protector of wisdom” and Mirabel is etymologically derived from “uncommon beauty.” Apt for both of them, I think. Hence the two kennings at the end.

You get to figure out the other kennings yourself

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