When most people see members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), they think that we are Renaissance Fair actors. We are actors but only in our own mind. We participate in events for the sheer fun of it and to just get away from the world, if only for a weekend. The SCA is an older organization, we hold fighter practice, we give school demos, we participate in tournaments, and we go to war.
The SCA was started in 1966 by students studying the middle ages. We are a group of people who want to recreate the middle ages, not as it was, but how it should have been. Since we are recreating the middle ages in modern times, it is a anachronism (something “out of time”). The first Kingdom was the Kingdom of the West. The Kindom of the East and the Middle Kingdom were established as the SCA spread across the United States. Currently, there are Kingdoms covering the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Australia. Kingdoms are divided up into Principalities, Baronies, and Shires. We have branches established on military bases, naval ships and local colleges.
For most of us, the weekly fighter practice is a social gathering. The fighters start putting on their armor and spouces might bring out inkle looms, card weaving projects, or scrolls using caligraphy. Once the fighters have on their armor, we see them pick up the rattan weapons and engage in combat. The fighters all follow the code of chivalry and take the blows that either kill them or incapacitate a limb. On occasion, we get interested bystanders, and one of us will give them information on who we are and what we do. We have a well established social media presence as the SCA, and the Kingdoms all have groups established on Facebook.
During the school year, we get requests from schools that ask us to show the students what medieval combat might have been like and what type of crafts they might have done. We determine who is available and what activities we can bring. We try to have at least two fighters and several people doing arts and crafts. The children are encouraged to talk to the members and try doing some of the arts and crafts. They also get the opportunity to swing a boffer stick, (pvc pipe, wrapped in a pool noodle and duct tape), at the fighters.
Every six months in our kingdom, we hold a Crown Tourney. This is where our hard suit fighters enter a tournament to determine who will be the next King and Queen. The winner of Crown will serve three months as heirs and then “Step Up” at Coronation. Coronation is the closest thing that we have to a Ren Fair. The pagentry is splendid, and banners are displayed with pride as the new king is sworn in by the old king. When a King “Steps down” they are awarded the title of “Count” if was their first reign. If they win Crown a second time, they will get the title of “Duke”. We also run other tournaments during the year, some are fund raisers and others are to determine who will be the Baronial Defender.
Wars are where several hundred to several thousand people get together and set up camp for the weekend or even longer. Our local war is called Estrella War and is held annually during the last week of February. Our current location for the war is south of Phoenix and takes a large parcel of land. We have spaces for individual groups to camp, parking, battle fields, archery, arts and science, and the royal court. The primary reason for the war is to see which side will win the battles, but the real reason is to see friends from other kingdoms, buy food and clothes, and learn new skills. There are usually more activities going on after the sun sets than what occurs during the day. We all have campfires going, people playing drums, people telling stories and some roving entertainers going between the fires. Throughout the year, other kingdoms run wars as well. The most well-known ones are Pensic, Gulf Wars, Great Western War, and Antir–West War. We typically will have representatives from our kingdom at them.
We are not Renaissance Fair actors, but we do recreate the past as we would have liked it to be. Our audience is the members of the SCA. Weekly gatherings, demos, tournaments, and wars are just a small part of who we are. We participate because it is fun and allows us the chance to act out some of what were once just fantasies. This year we celebrated the fiftieth year of the organization and groups are still holding fighter practices, school demos, tournaments, and wars.
Posted in Reports by Johann der Becker
Working on getting the pages set up for the upcoming events, I will update them once the Kingdom posts the event info.
Next event for the Shire of Windale is out own Gaelic Games.
Posted in Reports by Johann der Becker
This is the November 2015 issue of The Windale Report, a publication of the Shire of Windale of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The Windale Report is available from Jekob Caudill, Chronicler, Shire of Windale. It is not a cooperate publication of the SCA, and does not delineate SCA, Inc. policies. Copyright 2015 Society for Creative Anachronism Inc. for information of reprinting photographs, articles, or artwork from this publication please contact the chronicler (email@example.com) who will assist you in contacting the original creator of the content. Please respect all legal rights of our contributors.
1. Coronation 11-07-15 to 11-08-15
As summer wains and winter approaches we celebrate the reign of Morgan and Elizabeth, and welcome their heirs as our new King and Queen. Please join us on November 7th 2015 at Heritage Elementary School (6805 N 125th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85307) for coronation. Site opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm and the gate fee is $10 for members and $15 for non members Youth under 17 are free. This site is very discreetly damp, please no visible containers and remove containers on your own. Site does have a playground and there will be a children’s corner. And join us on Sunday November 8th 2015 at Varney Park (11820 N 81st Ave, Peoria, AZ 85345) for King and Queens Champion tournaments. The site will be ours from 9 am to 6 pm, there is some shade available but please bring more shade to share and with alternate ways of securing because staking is not allowed. This site is very dry because it is a public park. There is a playground and park tables nearby. Contact Lady Emma Makeblise (Stacy Keller) (623) 332-1216 firstname.lastname@example.org or Lady Jacqueline de Bretaigne (Jackie Hoeffler) (850) 420-2872. Please no calls before or after 9 am/pm please. Directions to Heritage Elementary: from Phoenix take I-10 West from Phoenix to N Dysart Rd in Avondale (Exit 129), continue North on Dysart Rd. to West Glendale Ave, turn Right and continue East on W Glendale Ave to N 125th Ave, turn Right and continue into the School grounds on the left hand side. Directions to Varney Park: from Phoenix take I-10 west to Hwy 101 go north to the Peoria Ave exit and turn right (East) cross over the railroad tracks and turn left (North) on 83rd Ave. Turn right (East) on Cactus Rd and then right (South) on 81st Ave. The Park will be on the right hand side. Parking is in the Boys and Girls club parking.
2. Southern Crusades 11-11-15 to 11-16-15
SOUTHERN CRUSADES XVII Reconquista de Iberia Nov 12th – Nov 16th 2015 The Baronies of the South invite one and all to participate in the Reconquest of the Spanish Peninsula. Southern Crusades: The Reconquista will be held at the Western Heritage Arena in Marana AZ with numerous activities planned. We will have Armored Fighting, Rapier, Archery, Equestrian, Art & Sciences classes, etc. There will also be nighttime activities such as Hafla & Torchlight Tourneys Dates & Times: Site Opens Thursday Nov 12th at 8 am for those who have pre-registered, 12 pm (noon) for those who did not pre-register. Site Closes Monday Nov 16th at 12 pm (noon). SITE FEES: Pre-registration: $25 for Adults, $10 for Youth ages 5-17, $5 Non-Member Surcharge $5, $70 Family Max (2 Adults & 2 Children) At Gate: $30 for Adults, $10 for Youth ages 5-17, $5 Non-Member Surcharge SITE INFORMATION: Directions to Western Heritage Arena, Marana AZ. On I-10 take exit 236, from the north turn right and from the south turn left (do not cross the railroad tracks). Turn onto the eastbound frontage, just before the Chevron station. Go 1/2 mile east to Postvale Road, turn right and the entrance is immediately on the right EVENT STEWARD: Roberto Raimondo de los Montana de Trueno (Bobby Truelove) email@example.com (520)678-4247 PRE-REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Baroness Samara or Lord Domnall will be at all events so you can pre-register, Dragon’s Horde 23 – 25 Nov will the last event you can pre-register at.. If you want to Pre-register at an event, there will be a sign at Gate to let you know who to look for and where they will be located. Pre-registration can also be done by mail until 31 Oct 2015. Mailing information and the pre-registration form will be posted on the Southern Crusades Web site for those that want to pre-register by mail. Yes, it’s true, this year there will be Equestrian at Southern Crusades. Combat Cookery is alive and well, but the question is – Who will take home the Combat Cookery’s winners banner. If you are thinking of participating in this competition, now is the time to contact the Combat Cookery Steward (listed below) no later than 31 Oct 2015, however the sooner you register the better. For your shopping pleasure there will be a Merchant’s row. If you are interested in being a Merchant please contact the Merchant Steward (See Web Site for contact information).
News of the World
With the autumn season in full effect, the month of November has no shortage of glory in store for the faithfull dreamer. In the wind up for the holiday season, and hot on the heals of a sizzling samhain, we In the kingdom of the sun are primed for War and more. The elevation of a humble gladiator to honored Ceaser lauches us into a season of sharpened knives. The wolves are at the door, and in this month of declining temperatures, it is the heat of the blood that will see us throughone of the greatest wars in the known world.
We lauch the month with the coronation of a King. One of the oldest, and most honored warriors of the kingdom, recipient of a litany of awards and recomendations, made a free man by the grace of a king and the gift of a rudius, will be elevated to the highest post of servitude in the land. Their Royal Highnesses Casca and Melissa will be taking the throne of Atenveldt with all of the pagentry and ceremonies that entails. Shortly there after will champions for both King and Queen be selected by tournament.
Following the elevation, and the gathering of the guard, we plunge headlong into the heart of war. Southern Crusades will be upon us. This war offers some of the best fighting known in the kingdom of Atenveldt, while simultaniously giving rise to non fighting events such as the famous combat cookery. This is the war of quests, and stories. If you have never attended an SCA war this would be a fantastic starting point. Small enough to be comfortable, and large enough to get lost Souther Crusades still stands out as one of my favorite events. If you are attending please keep a look out for Tir Na Nog.
A Cultural Offering
The Irish Story and Legend of Cu Chulainn
Cu Chulainn is one of the most famous Irish mythological heroes. He appears in the stories of the Ulster Cycle, and Scottish and Manx folklore. He was said to be the son of Deichtine and the god Lugh, and the nephew of Conchobar mac Nessa, the King of Ulster. His given name at birth was Setanta but he gained the name Cu Chulainn, meaning ‘Culann’s Hound’ after he killed a ferocious guard dog belonging to a smith named Culann. Cu Chulainn offered to take the place of the guard dog until a replacement could be reared.
The stories of Cu Chulainn’s childhood, which date back to the 9th century, are many. It is said that as a small child, he had asked incessantly to be allowed to join the boy-troop at Emain Macha (today known as Navan Fort in County Armagh, Northern Ireland). According to the legend, he sets out on his own, and eventually runs onto the playing field at Emain, unaware of the custom of asking for protection. The other boys see this as a challenge, and attack Setanta, but he beats them all single-handedly as he carries the trait of ‘ríastrad’, in which he undergoes a sort of distortion, becoming an unrecognizable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. King Conchobar put a stop to the fight.
In the next part of the story, Culann the smith invites Conchobar to his home for a feast. At this point, Conchobar is so impressed by Setanta that he asks him to join the dinner. Setanta is unable to attend right away, but promises to join them at Culann’s house later. However, Conchobar forgets, and Culann lets loose his ferocious hound to protect his house. On arrival at their house, Setanta is forced to kill the guard dog in self-defense. Culann is devastated at the loss of his guard dog and Setanta feels so bad that he offers to rear a new one, and to guard Culann’s house until the new dog is ready to do so.
When Cu Chulainn is seven years old, he overhears a druid named Cathbad teaching pupils at Emain Macha. Cathbad states that any pupil who takes arms that day would have everlasting fame. Desiring everlasting fame, Cu Chulainn goes to King Conchobar to ask for arms. Conchobar gives Cu Chulainn many arms to try, but none can withstand Cu Chulainn’s strength until finally Conchobar gives him his own arms. Unfortunately, Cu Chulainn did not listen to Cathbad’s full prophecy, and he was unaware that a pupil who took arms that day would have everlasting fame, but a short life.
As Cu Chulainn gets older, he decides he would like to take Emer, daughter of Forgall Monach as a wife. However, Forgall is opposed to this, and tells Cu Chulainn that he should train with Scottish warrior-woman, Scáthach. Forgall’s true intent is that Cu Chulainn will be killed. While Cu Chulainn is gone, Forgall offers Emer to Lugaid mac Nóis, a king of Munster, but when the king learns that she loves Cu Chulainn, he refuses to take her hand.
Scáthach teaches Cu Chulainn all the arts of war. His fellow trainees include Ferdiad, who becomes Cú Chulainn’s best friend and foster-brother. During his training with Scáthach, Cu Chulainn comes to face Aife, Scáthach’s rival. Although the two are evenly matched, Cu Chulainn eventually seizes Aife, and demands that she bear him a son. While Aife is pregnant, Cu Chulainn leaves Scotland, and returns to his love Emer, but Forgall still refuses to allow the marriage. Enraged, Cu Chulainn storms Forgall’s fortress, kills twenty-four of his men, abducts Emer, and steals Forgall’s treasure. Forgall falls to his death.
King Conchobar fears the marriage of Cu Chulainn and Emer, because Conchobar has the “right of the first night” over all marriages and is afraid of Cu Chulainn’s reaction if he sleeps with Emer. On the other hand, Conchobar will lose all his power and authority over his subjects if he doesn’t. The druid Cathbad suggests that Conchobar sleep with Emer, but Cathbad sleep between them.
After eight years pass by, Cu Chulainn’s son by Aife, Connla, comes to find him. When Connla refuses to identify himself, Cu Chulainn kills him. As Connla dies, his final words are that he and Cu Chulainn could have “carried the flag of Ulster to the gates of Rome and beyond,” leaving Cu Chulainn grief-stricken.
Several years pass, and Cu Chulainn rides out to face a group of men who have conspired to kill him. They are all sons of men he had killed. On his way, he encounters three one-eyed hags eating a feast of roast dog. They invite him to join them. Cu Chulainn had several gessa, which are self-declared taboos which, if broken, would lead to his inevitable downfall. Two of his gessa were to never eat dog meat, and to never refuse hospitality. At this junction, he has no choice but to break one of his gessa. He takes one bite and places the bone under his thigh. The hand he used and his thigh are immediately weakened. Cu Chulainn continues on his journey, and is eventually killed while fighting his conspirators. When he received his fatal wound, he tied himself to a pillar so he would die standing and facing his enemies. As the prophecy foretold, Cu Chulainn had reached fame but died at a young age.
The legends of Cu Chulainn are still told to this day. As a mythological hero, the stories of his strength and power have lived on, re-told throughout the years in many ways. Today, the image of Cú Chulainn is invoked by both Irish and Ulster (Northern Ireland) nationalists. Irish nationalists see him as the most important Celtic Irish hero, while unionists see him as an Ulsterman defending the province from enemies to the south.
Posted in Reports by Malcolm the Bold
Good folk of the Shire, and indeed the Known World, I Malcolm the Bold, in the role of humble chronicler have secured an informant on the council of officers for the Shire of Windale. Whispers and rumblings of upcoming delights have been brought to me on the wings of this little bird. For their safety, and to facilitate their continued ability to supply insider information, this informant shall remain unknown to the world at large. The song sang by this industrious little bird, however, shall be recorded here for all to see and enjoy.
In hushed tones I has been conferred to me that the latest of Officer’s meetings was fairly standard Issue… Until. It seems the serving council has been discussing the latest and greatest developments in a planned celebration. Scheduled to happen over the first weekend of the last month of the year, 5th and 6th of December plainly speaking, this celebration is rumored to be a sort of mid winter revel. It is the word of my informant that this celebration has been given the working title of “Yule”. It seems the cadre of officers is planning a traditional theme, hearkening back to mid winter gift exchange events as old as time. If this weren’t intriguing enough, active rumor holds that the Baronies of Ered Sul, and Granite Mountain are enthusiastically participating in the planning and execution of this frosty bash! That’s right folks, you heard it here first, this has moved passed the stage of simply a clandestine kerfuffle, and has plunged headlong into the development of a full blown Kris Kringle conspiracy!
With absolute reliability I can assure the dear and gentle reader that this Solstice time celebration will include features that not only invite winsome whimsy, but rather insure the most bonny of bashes.
There will be an Arts and Sciences competition wherein applicants will be allowed to submit multiple items, optional documentation, and pretty much anything that will fit into a two foot by four foot table space, all to be judged as an “assembled body of work.” While my informant insures me that this competition will be limited to members of the three sponsoring groups, it is furthered guaranteed that there will be an separate, and equally thrilling “Artisans Showcase.” This will be an unjuged, bragging rights only, offering for the appreciation of the adoring masses. Two Arts and Sciences offerings! The sheer cheek of these people.
Also pumping through the veins of an A&S community already drunk with their own ambition is the revelation of a silent auction. Here, my most inquiring of minds, is were the real scandal lies. It seems this Tri-Lateral Union of groups is planning the creation of three, yes three, holiday stockings. These merry shoe liners are to be stuffed to bursting with donated goods. Already the word is being spread through channels both nefarious and mundane, that the shire will be taking donations of goods such as: Inkle, lucet, bead work, fiber arts, hand made candles, soap, traditional herbs and spices, wassail and mulling kits, traditional gifts, and any other of an assortment of heartfelt offerings. Contributers will be encouraged to donate hand made creations, but the paired baronies, and stalwart shire shall certainly not turn away modern store bought contributions, so long as they are appropriate to both season, and historical respectability.
Who, you might ask, could be the Bond villain/Mastermind behind this incomparable industry? That, my friends would be none other than The Mistress Arsenda of Calais, MOAS of the Shire of Windale. Deeply ensconced in her ivory tower, it is the intention of this pernicious peer to tap every aspect of the arts at her disposal, all with the goal of making this the one Yule to rule them all. Further whispers tell us she is recruiting. My little bird informs me that contributions, inquiries, and offers for support can be made using the “usual channels”. In my experience these usual channels refer to something called “facebook messenger” but this last detail is an unsubstantiated dalliance of my investigative arts.
If each of these revelations wasn’t shocking enough the topic of conversation soon turned to the food. Oh my friends… The food. It seems that one of the great names of gastronomical glory has been drawn into this web of intrigue. It has been confirmed that Lord Padraig McLaughlin, the Sultan of Soups, the Potentate of Presentation, the very Earl of the Entree, has attached himself to this enterprise. The Office of Chronicler, in official capacity was already aware of the involvement of the Caliph of the Kitchen, but his tasked list of duties were things such as the creation of site tokens, monitoring of a craft area (yet another arts based offering from the tag team of baronies and shire), Painting of heraldry, winding of wreaths, and a hundred other decorative touches. It was only recently revealed to my singular source, that this Baron of Breads would also be priming the pallets of all and sundry. Surely Ol’ Saint Nick could lend a few elves to the Captain of Creation for the completion of his many undertakings. Again it is rumored and reported to me that any helpful fair folk can offer services to the Dynamo of Delicacies through the afore mentioned “usual channels”
There is so much more to share from the confines of the officers meeting, but for now my loquacious listeners, I must part your company. The evening’s clandestine whisperings have made me suspicious, and a riderless horse has passed the window of my lonely writers garret three times in as many minutes. I fear I may be watched, so for now I must flee. May the dawn find you safe my dear and gentle reader, and as always I encourage you to seek the truth and share it out among the good and great.
In Service and Hiding
Malcolm the Bold
Chronicler; Shire of Windale
Posted in Events by Malcolm the Bold
The fall season (for as good as we get it here in Atenveldt) is upon us. Here in the wastelands the temps have dipped into the 60’s. This means that we can break out the fur and wool and begin the winter festivities. Winter brings with it myriad events keeping the children of the sun entertained as the light of our beloved star dwindles into the long dark nights of the solstace.
First in the month of october the kingdom will display its respendance in the kingdom Arts and Sciences competition. This assembly of Aten artisans highlights the works of the year. It seems tradition that Aten artisans are most prolific during the summer months. Perhaps it is the inspirational sight of our representative orb that drives the wonderfilled to create. Then again it may be the fact that we, as a kingdom, are generally hiding in doors, away from the blistering heat that inspires the surge in creative productivity. Either way the end result is a veritable cornicopia of wonderful creation. It would be a shame to miss out on this panoply of Aten talent. I encourage all and sundry to pursue the journey to the Barony of Twin Moons on October 3rd and 4th to enjoy and support. (that being said I am understanding of the fact that this release will be made public after the A&S competition has taken place, but mention of this wonderful event needed to be made, late being better than never.)
Once the wonders of the kingdom have been spread, the conversion of the non-believers by sword and fist will be undertaken in mass force. All able bodied men and women of the kingdom are encouraged to rally their households, and delve deep into the heart of proud Caid. There to pursue the yearly pillage that the locals have been kind enough to bill as the “Great Western War.” This event still holds a magical place in my heart as my first our of kingdom event. Memories of prayers offered to pagan gods for a refill on the Jager, mingle with some of the most brutal hangover fighting I have ever experienced. This roudy little war in the south of California has nothing much to offer excepting great fighting, wonderous revels, grand shopping, and some of the coolest names and faces that our game has to offer.
In the wake of the inevitable victory in Caid, a follow up celebration will be heald in the Shire of Granholme. This is typically known as the yearly event “Pillage Plunder Pluck and Poke”. Fun and frivolity are in high demand at this event, and surely the spoils of war will flow like wine as the riches of Caid are divided amongst the mighty houses of Atenveldt.
October closes with a massive slew of champion tournaments. Along with the event “Dragon’s Horde” these co-occuring events are sure to bring the roudy home, and determine the best of the hometown best as we charge headlong into Pre-War season. Check local listings and calanders for these wonderous tornaments, and the rules of competition for each.
October brings with it the chill of winter, the thrill of victory, and the looming thought that we will once again be repelling invaders in the thaw that follows the now deepening chill. A month of magic and wonder pleasently populated by some of the best events our kingdom has to offer. Sleep sweet Windalians, as the gloom darkens. Leave Almonds, honey, and cream for the fair folk, and enjoy this dwindling of winter as we brace for the oncoming winter.
Posted in Reports by Malcolm the Bold
Good folk of the shire, Crown is quickly coming upon us. Nestled in the high valleys of The Barony of Granite Mountain, the defining tournament of our kingdom will commence. This is a boon for those of us on the northern edge of the kingdom, being as Granite Mountain is a reasonably short drive for us. This means, I hope that many of us will be making the journey to our neighboring barony, and supporting the spectacle and splendor that is the Crown Tournament of Atenveldt. With that in mind, I, in position of chronicler, thought it might be a worthy exercise to discuss crown, the ways it differs, and the ways it is the same as other events, and what one should expect to see should they decide to make this their first Crown Tournament.
1: The Tournament of Tournaments.
For those who are attending for the first time you should know, Crown is the Tournament of Tournaments for the kingdom of Atenveldt. In many other kingdoms there is a highlight tournament fought every year or so, wherein aspiring fighters may rely on the vast attendance of their fellow combatants to showcase their skills. Atenveldt, though steeped in many fine venues throughout our year, lacks an event such as this. Tourneo, Known World, Outlands prize, the Cancer Tourney, and many others are wonderful opportunities for exhibition, but for some reason, in Atenveldt, it is Crown Tournament that has come to be where and when the best of the best come to showcase the very best they have to offer. What does this mean for the casual observer. Well, first expect those that are competing to be “in the zone” or “on their game”. Some competitors will go so far as to isolate themselves in a private pavilion between rounds. Many are distant and focused. Some, like myself, tend toward being nervous and spastic. The long and the short of it is this, crown tournament is the Atenveldt Superbowl. you wouldn’t expect a pro ball player to be his usual, casual self seconds before the big game. The same understanding should be extended to the competitors in Crown. The weight of their work is about to be measured in the next few hours. Expect them back at the end of the day, but for now, let them do what they have to do.
Second, there is generally an amount of reverence and respect that is expected during the fights. Even the first rounds of fighting border on the verge of being a sacred event, with the intensity only rising from there. Be quiet during the combats. Save comment for a private word aside. If you want to catch up with old friends or drink heavily, my usual choice for a crown in which I am not fighting, then do so casually, and if possible, away from the fighting. There is, by no means, a requirement that you not enjoy yourself. In fact just the opposite is recommended. There is, however, an understanding that this is a very big day, and the general rules of etiquette are more akin to grand court, than a night spent gambling with the Germans.
2: The Court of Courts.
One of the ways an Atenveldt Crown Tournament differs from nearly all other events is that it is basically the Court of Courts. The entire day is steeped in ceremony. In fact, the ceremony began more than a month before the tournament, when all of the combatants wrote their letter of intent to the crown. This is a quirky tradition held by some kingdoms, including but not limited to Atenveldt, wherein those wishing to participate in the day’s events must write a letter to the Crown, and Seneschal explaining who they are, who they are fighting for, proving their eligibility, and generally practicing formal speech. This means that the courtly tone has been set for the event a full month before the site even opens.
In the beginning there is often a grand procession. This is the organization of fighters and consorts by rank, a confusing and often frustrating nightmare of who outranks whom by the most narrow of margins. Once order has been determined, the combatants, their consorts, and retinue present themselves before the crown, announce themselves, and ask permission to compete in the tournament. In the case of non-belts, like myself, a knight used to be, though is not currently required to sponsor their petition. How does this translate to the spectator? expect to see a long line of armour clad figures, well dressed consorts, and attendants, sweating in the sun, attempting to keep order, cracking jokes, and eventually disappearing under the royal pavilion to have hushed words with the King and Queen. It may look a lot like nothing at all is going on, but believe me this a deeply ingrained and intrinsic part of the process.
Next you will likely see the call to glory. Again this is an Atenveldt specific tradition. In this piece of court/theater the fighters are split into two lines, and faced toward one another. In one line there stands the belted fighters of the kingdom (knights and masters at arms). The other line is composed of the “non-belts”. These are the fighters that are ranked below the level of knighthood. They have yet to earn their belt, chain, and spurs, so are therefore referred to as non-belts. Often the non-belts outnumber the belted fighters, and the King, Queen, or a representative thereof will walk the line of the non-belts selecting some few to “cross the line” and stand with the belted fighters. This is considered to be a rare and exclusive honor. It is rare indeed to be called up to stand with the ranks of the legendary Knights of Atenveldt, and the entire ceremony is usually conducted with a great deal of reverence and awe. Expect many to watch intently as the few are selected to cross the line. After this particular piece of theater is concluded, the call to glory begins in earnest. At this time the non-belts are allowed to choose any competitor from the belted line. This takes the form of a challenge, and can be anything from a polite request to a rousing and over the top performance. This challenge will determine who the non-belt fights in the first round. For instance, if I, a non-belt, have the floor and I elect to challenge Sir Ivan, I would go to him, announce my challenge in whatever way I see fit, and take our pairing, a set of wooden tiles bearing our devices, to the list mistress. Then, once order is determined, I would face Sir Ivan in the first round of crown tournament. How does this look to the casual observer? Pretty much like the grand procession did, except now instead of one line, you have two. The performances are sometimes entertaining, but generally it is acceptable to converse and cavort while the call to glory is going on so long as due respect is given to those issuing challenge, and those accepting.
Lastly there is the oath. At this time all combatants and consorts are called into the presence of the royalty. There they take an oath to remain honorable, fight well, respect all, and generally make the day awesome. This is accompanied by a revered silence. If you have taken it on yourself to start a rousing sing-along during the call to glory, this would be a good time to pause.
With all of this done, Letter of Intent, Procession, Call to glory, Oath, now the first round can be announced. Generally the fighters are just listening for the order and field on which they fight, since they already know who they will be fighting. This wouldn’t be a terrible time to restart that sing-along, but it might be smart to move away from the fighting field. Once the first round is announced, the day progresses much like any other tournament. Remember though that this is the biggest tournament of the circuit, and it is often considered polite to give the fighters, and the fighting due deference as the day progresses.
Just when you thought all the court stuff was over, NERP there is more! Slowly the tournament will progress through the rounds. eventually a field of well over 40 will be whittled down to a handful of stalwart warriors. This is when things start getting serious again. In the final rounds people will start speculating about possible victors, preparing for possible berths in the finals, and generally getting more and more into the tournament. Fights tend to last longer too. The combatants are tired and wary. They know how close they are to the ultimate accomplishment and are loath to throw it away on a careless move. These fights are typically peopled by the very best fighters the kingdom has to offer. fights can go on for seemingly impossible spans of time before one fighter scores the deciding blow. During this time it is the height of disrespect to comment on a fighter’s form, ability, or worthiness. The advice I was given years ago was to keep my teeth together and watch the best a work, or go far away, and be noisy there.
Eventually there will be the final round. At this point the field has been reduced to 2 or 3 fighters. A discussion will be made as to the format of the final round, and then announcements will begin. First the Crown will call all the Knights and Masters at Arms into the fighting aerik. There they will form a circle around the finalists, adding weight to the ceremony of the final fight. The knights will seat themselves on the perimeter of the fighting aerik, and from that time forward, only the finalists, their consort, and their retinue will be allowed to enter the aerik.
This is the cue for the announcements to begin. Heralds of the finalists will do their best to extol the virtues of their champions, and praises will be sung of consorts. During this time it is expected that one is either frozen in rapt attention, or far away talking to a tree.
The final itself is fought in hushed silence. These fights are often long, and populated by long spans of wary evaluation interspersed with sudden and violent clashes. Often gasps or murmurs can be heard in the crowd, but these are a byproduct of the importance of the event. Expect to be shushed into silence if you get too chatty during the finals. The tension is only broken by the thunderous cheer that goes up when the new prince/princess of atenveldt is determined.
Now for the last bit of ceremony. Before everyone breaks off, and hearty congratulations are exchanged, there is the crowning. At this point the King and Queen will bring the Princely coronet to the victor. There, in the aerik, surrounded by the Knights and Masters the victor will crown themselves Prince/Princess of Atenveldt. It goes without saying that this is another of the many moments that call for respectful silence and attention.
After all of this ceremony the day then dissolves into something closely resembling any other SCA event. There will often be celebration, Circles, and general relaxation followed by a closing court (yes, after all this court type stuff there is still a closing court.) Spirits are often high, and the day progresses into evening.
Ultimately, crown is unlike any other SCA event. Tournament of Tournaments, Court of Courts, and generally day of reverence, it enjoys something of a religious position in the Atenveldt calendar, and rightfully so. If this is going to be your first Crown, expect pageantry, wonder, and a healthy serving of stuffy formality. If not, well its nice to be reminded of what to expect anyway.
In Service to the Dream
Malcolm the Bold
Chronicler, Shire of Windale.
Posted in Reports by Malcolm the Bold
The shire discussed upcoming events that we would be attending.
Northern Combined Fighter Practice 10-26
Fall Coronation 11-01 through 11-02
Southern Crusades 11-13 through 11-17
Northern Yule 12-13
Posted in Reports by Johann der Becker
It will be held at Metcalf park in Kingman, AZ
Posted in Events by Johann der Becker