Monday, July 21, 2008

New Monarchs and revised Kingdom Law

Bartholomew, Baron of Southron Gaard to the populace, greetings,

Be it known that just over a week ago in the Barony of Aneala, King
Berenger and Queen Bethan yielded the Throne of Lochac to Their
Majesties King Siridean and Queen Siban, whose likeness may be found

Their Majesties will be visiting our neighbours for the Bal d'Argent
and Ildhafn Baronial Investiture, to be held in Ildhafn in September.
Therefore please remember to forward to Them any recommendations you
may have been planning to write.

Be it also known that at Midwinter Coronation, a great many changes
to Kingdom Law were promulgated and first of one particular new award
- the Pride of Lochac (a household award) -- was granted.

The new Book of Kingdom Law may be found here:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Congratualtions to Mielikko

Oy-YouLot Oi-YouLot
(Which was how I started announcements at CollegeWar.)
We started with the forming of alliances for the war.

I gave a long long speech including reference to the relic I produced
from my pouch (a sprig of leafy greenness which sprouted forth from St
Aldhelm's staff having taken root during a similarly long sermon he
gave) and refered to a seriese of communications to and fro between
myself and your first Sen, about the possibility of the war being over
who is the coldest group in Lochac (Whereupon you lot got snowed in for
a week) and both of us fighting for the Blue and yellow (though I said
you were yellow and blue and we were blue and yellow - there is always
next year in Stormhold as St Bartholemew are running ) So St Kessog were
allied to St Aldhelm and the other colleges St Malachy, St Guildas the
Wise, St Bartholemew and St Heironemus (who were also absent but sent
entries) against St Ursula (boo) and St Augustine (also boo).

Your College entry
a Sonnet about Queen Bethan (an ex Ursulan)
by lord Mielikko

was read by Lord Anton de Stott and was

and I am not refering to the warm fireside we sat around while listening
-5deg outside.

The sonnet won first place in the written poem competition.
Can someone send me an address to where I can forward an event token and
A&S first prize button (instead of tassle) ?

Well Done Mielikko.
3 Chears for Mielikko
Winner of the bardic competition
Hip Hip
Gabrielle of the Marshes

Sonnet in Praise of the Queen

In Praise of Bethan

Behold our Faerie Queen of southern lands,
More regal than the jewels of star-lit crown
Her throne so fair endures while Lochac stands;
Across the seas her beauty births renown.
Her wisdom turns most bitter strife to peace,
Yet master is this maid with singing bow:
In battle-storm her aim will never cease
To fell bold knights and bring stout foemen low.
The might of badger-folk is at her call
The strong of Brockwood strive at her behest
While gallant huntsmen thunder round her hall
In fabled song of fateful vulpine quest.
When six-month summer draws to final close
This Kingdom shall long mourn this queenly rose.

(Sonnet type: Shakesperian. Fourteen line iambic pentameter with rhyme
scheme ababcdcdefefgg).


Persona Development

From the Baroness:

Greetings good gentles,
There was some interest at Stuff Night last night, as part of Lady
Veronica's most excellently thorough discourse on heraldry, on the nature of
persona and how to go about shaping that.
I can throughly recommend as a very thought-provoking introduction, the
Who Are You? The Art of Persona Development, by Lady Arnora Dunestan

Available from:

It's a really good look at how to approach persona play, from the very
beginnings of thinking about when and where and who you are right through to
considering all manner of details of your period life.
Don't feel you have to do it all, by any means, but one of the things that
having a persona story can do is provide some direction for A&S projects,
both small and large.
Something as simple as finding out what coins you would have used can be fun,
as well as giving you a greater sense of connection to a period time andplace.
Check it out -- and remember, it's fun!


Friday, July 4, 2008

Mielikko's Mid-afternoon Reflections

The Dunedin Public Library was running a little event to encourage poetry
among the public, by providing a little bit of card to submit a poem on
(the idea being that you put the card in a box, so that this weekend it
will appear on a 'poetry curtain'). I took one of the cards to work with
me, and ended up writing the following sonnet on it. Basically, it's a
description of the view from an ODT window at 4:30 p.m. on a typical
Dunedin day in late June/early July.

Mid-afternoon Reflections

Beyond grey battlements and towers' frown
The sleepy winter sun has bade farewell
While night-time rides to claim its starry crown
And interregnum twilight casts its spell.
The wafting currents, land of flags and gulls,
Invade and harry hapless city street:
They pillage inbetween the briefest lulls
And pounce upon the prey they chance to meet.
So far above, the madman's brush-stroke clouds
Are scattered 'cross the sky like battle-slain:
So tugged and torn, these shreds of tomb-grey shrouds,
These phantoms of some long-forgotten rain.
While desk is lit with glint of dusky gleam,
My mind's ablaze with fiery sparks of dream.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From Wynflaed's Blog - Castleburn's Cockatrice Weekend June '08

Finally something to brighten the Bleak Midwinter! Castleburn's Midwinter Festival, Cockatrice, was held in Dunedin city this year to take advantage of/participate in the Dunedin Festivities. This was great for me, as it meant it was cheap to attend, I didn't have to travel, and I could just potter along to things as suited.
Events began on Friday night, with a 'A Midwinter Feast of Medieval and Renaissance Delights": a concert in the crypt of St Pauls'. A lot of people put in a big effort and there was also a sizeable turnout of paying public, which was good to see.
Saturday there were classes all day, which I mostly did not attend as I'd been along when they were first run at Canterbury Faire. I did, however, attend Lord Tristram's Gregorian Chant Class, to learn the Latin song we'd be performing in the lantern parade.
After classes was an encore performance of the puppet play of Dr Faustus, again very well attended. I reprised my cameo as Lechery - and it was just amazing how many boys came up to talk to me afterwards...

Then we headed down to assemble for the lantern parade. I took my chances while we were milling around to take some pics of other groups who would be performing in the parade. The giant lanterns are always a highlight, but there were stilt walkers, dancers, all sorts.

The parade itself was a success as far as I could tell - I was squinting at my songsheet in the dark the whole time while trying not to trip over or run into the person in front of me. After the fireworks had finished, we went off to feast. Another delicious meal in lovely company. The highlights were the 'roast peacock' and an encore performance of the Cockatrice shadow play. I reprised Constance's song 'The Wearing of the Garb'.

On Sunday we met at St Lees for rapier and heavy fighting. I stood by to tend to the slain, but alas, there were none. Ignatius authorised in rapier, and Lady Eydis got started in heavy, which was exciting.

From Wynflaed's Blog - Castleburn's St Patricks Weekend March '08

Just got back from Castleburn's most excellent St Patrick's weekend camp. We went for Friday night-Sunday early afternoon to Waianakarua - about 50 mins north or Dunedin and 15 mins out of Oamaru. The campsite was based around what I guess was once a big old homestead, but now houses the main camp facilities (kitchen,dining etc) and then there were other prefab bunkrooms/shower blocks dotted round the site.

Here is the main house:

The site was really lovely - trees around the main house and then a big paddock near a river. Only 10 of us actually stayed the whole time which meant we just about each had a bunkroom to ourselves. I know some people still had trouble sleeping on the bedwetter-protected plastic mattresses but I slept pretty well both nights which was a pleasant surprise.

Friday was mostly setting up and mucking around. After soup and rolls we had some dancing outside (by the light of some braziers - too dark to take photos) culminating, naturally, in a period performance of the 'Time Warp'; and an Irish joke telling session that was pretty appalling. Here is our jester, Giome, looking horrifyingly jocund:

On Saturday morning we had the 'hunt for the last serpent in Ireland' in the 'leprechaun forest'. Alisdair found the serpent. Here he is looking smug:

The rest of us found clues and small treasures. After getting fed up with skidding down the hillside in my superslippy leather shoes, I was directed to find a silver four leaf clover necklace that I am most chuffed with. Other people found chocolate coins, a pin cushion, a trinket box and other such bits and pieces.

Midday Saturday we had a most excellent picnic down by the river. Here are pics of the repast and the picnickers.

After lunch we were entertained by a most superlative puppet show of Dr Faustus:

Once upon a time there was a learned man called Dr Faustus. He had conquered all conventional fields of knowledge and considered taking up magic. Here the good angel is trying to encourage him to give up the idea while the bad angel is egging him on.

He decides to go for it and summons up a devil, Mephistopholes, with whom he signs a contract - Mephistopholes will supply him with everything he wants for a specified time after which he will have to surrender up his soul. Here he is with Mephistopholes and with the devil wife he is offered.

Lucifer shows up (the big red guy in the background of the next shot) and the seven deadly sins are paraded for Faustus's entertainment. Here Constance is being pride and waving her fan, Emilio is ready to be wrath with his case of rapiers, and Wynflaed in her mask was Lechery - oh the unjust typecasting! Then Dr Faustus rides around the world on his dragon.

Then he gets Mephistopholes to make him invisible so he can go to Rome and play a naughty joke on the Pope. Here is the Pope and the legates. The joke goes wrong and Dr F kills the Pope and then is cursed by these monks (he is under his invisibility cloak - think Harry Potter).

Around about this time Dr F's time runs out and the devils come and take him to hell.

After the puppets, people practiced fencing and archery while I did some embroidery and waited patiently for them to injure each other - but ah, it was not to be.

All the while, our most magnificent cook, Margret, was preparing the feast. She takes dressing up to a whole new level. Here are a couple of her outfits:

Apparently the long overdresses with gaping holes at the sides were called 'The Gates of Hell'. Gotta get me one of those, sounds like a vital accessory for Lechery anywhere... I

Anyway, we had a most excellent and 'high proportion of green' feast:

After dinner we had songs - including a very clever one written by Constance to the tune of 'The Wearing of the Green'.

Historically authentic garb is worn in SCA
I planned to make a stunning gown and show it off today
No more cotton, no synthetics, silk and linen are for me
For garb should mingle elegance with authenticity.

I went to all the fabric shops, I searched all over town
And bought expensive fabric for a grand Renaissance gown
But I spilled my cup of coffee, and it left an ugly stain
Alas for my Venetian gown with sweeping skirt and train

So I made a linen tunic - it wasn't very grand
But at least it was authentic, for I sewed it all by hand
But I used last summer's pattern, and I've put some kilos on
So the tunic didn't fit me when I came to try it on

I still had scraps of fabric so I made a Tudor hat
But when I wasn't looking it was eaten by the cat
No more fabric, no more money - I was tearing out my hair
I couldn't face St Patrick's Day with no new garb to wear

Then up popped a leprechaun who said "Why this distress?"
You already have authentic garb beneath your modern dress
Come, lay aside your needle, and let your spirits lift
Medieval girls wore skin like yours beneath the linen shift."

As you see, my dress is cotton, my shift's sewn by machine
But the layer beneath's authentic, although it can't be seen
It was good enough in time gone by, it's good enough for me
Skin was worn by every body in every century.

From Wynflaed's Blog - Kessog's First Feast March '08

Things went really well, which was a big relief. Wynflaed was Stewarding the event, which meant being in charge of organising and problem-solving, so it could have been really stressful if things didn't go smoothly. However, we had lots of helpers so had everything pretty much set up by 12 then could concentrate on the cooking. Wynflaed forgot to take a change of clothes to cook in and didn't want to get grease on her party dress so had to cook in her underwear to the scandal of all present. It was, like, practically porn...

The Open Day (afternoon) sessions seemed to go really well with only a few hiccups and folks seemed to have a really good time.

Rapier class:

Heavy Combat Demonstration:

Sewing class:


Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out at this point so I can't show you any photos of the actual feast, but as it was by candlelight pics wouldn't have come out that well anyway. Lord Kotek (and his assistants incl. Wynflaed) prepared a most excellent repast - vege soup with fresh bread and pot cheese (grated cheese and grated butter mixed together - too damn good), a main course of chicken pies, roast beef, beetroot salad, fried onion, mushrooms etc, and a dessert (which I had a lot of difficulty not eating) of homemade nougat/brittle stuff with fruit roasted in honey (tried a little - delicious) and custard.
We had a really good turn out - about 32 I think - and everyone seemed to have a good time. So huzzah!

From Wynflaed's Blog - The Black Swan Revel Dec '07

Castleburn held it's Christmas party out at Hooper's Inlet by the shores of Black Swan Lake:

Our trusty Seneschal Ignatius and Chatelaine, Lady Fridda, made an immense effort and we had a long day of merriment followed by a most excellent feast.

First we set up and ate lunch - the guys on one bench and the girls on the other (although Finnr bravely ventured into neutral territory by sitting on the porch).

The festivities began with an archery Practice (Not a contest, as a contest would require a marshal and all sorts of official stuff we didn't have, but a Practice), then Medieval Pass the Parcel and Medieval Musical Chairs.

Medieval Pass-the-Parcel involved multiple layers of fabric tied up with ribbons, passed around the circle. Some layers contained tiny favours (Wynflaed received a metre of brown velvet ribbon, Lorraine has something she received on her lap but I can't remember what it was), others contained medieval themed limericks as you can see Alistair [Gawain] reading out here. Although many amusing limericks were composed for the occasion by Constance, Lady Fridda and Ignatius, the most memorable would have to be one by Ogden Nash:

A crusader's wife slipped from the garrison,
And had an affair with a Saracen;
She was not over-sexed,
Or jealous or vexed,
She just wanted to make a comparison.

Medieval musical chairs was effectively normal musical chairs but to bagpipe music.

After games we had some dancing, and practises for the evening's festivities.
The menu for the most excellent feast was as follows:

Starter - mulled wine or pomegranate cordial with hot nuts
Soup - carrot and lentil
Main - potato and kumara fritters, roast pork with apple sauce, roast vegetables, broad beans with garlic and herbs, buttered worts and mushroom pasties.
Desert - flaming plum duff, brownies baked in effigy, muscovite pears (canned pears in vodka).

We had previously booked the hall for the Saturday but so had the brownies (junior version of Girl Guides) and so somehow our booking got bumped which caused much inconvenience, hence we ate slaughtered brownie gingerbread.

Between the courses, we had various entertainments. We played the chickpea game (the first part of which is completely authentic) - each person was given a piece of bread with chickpeas baked in it and had to count how many chickpeas were in their slice (like a very sixpence populated plum pudding). Then each person was asked an embarassing question of some kind, and was compelled to reply only with the number of chickpeas in their slice. So, Constance had given 22 unfortunates the pox, while Wynflaed had been put in the stocks 34 times for lewd behaviour. She should be ashamed of herself... I sang a couple of duets with Giome (The Cherry tree Carol, The Boar's Head Carol), Finnr read his Black Swan poem, and so forth. After dinner we had a most excellent shadow puppet play - this is the cockatrice being chased out of the tree by the weasel.

We managed to get a bit of a Christmas feel to the occasion - these are Margaret's "completely authentic" Christmas earrings, and Ignatius's very cool Christmas tea lights.