Ulfgeir the Nice – Order of the Laurel

Wilhelm and Viena raised this stone to praise Ulfgeir smith forge-son and leaf-wearer on whom Ivaldi Brok and Eitri smile. Olaf carved.

That’s it.

This is the stone being laid out by Olaf. The stone was drawn, then runes placed, then carved by hand, and then painted.

In all seriousness, it’s the shortest thing I’ve ever written for an SCA project. Olaf Haraldson carved these words into a runestone for Ulfgir. I had a maximum of 126 characters.

Yes. Characters.

Using runes, anything that was doubled would be reduced to one, so there’s a little play.

At Court when this was presented, I read a framework for it to give it context and say all the “court stuff” like the event and the date and such, because those are not part of this scroll. I’ll write that down here at some point, but it ended with, “AND THE STONE READ…” and I read the stone.

But there’s also a second story. Many Norse runestones list the carver (many, many) and it’s standard. Olaf does not do this typically, because Olaf is modest. However, I added it because it is more true to authentic practice. We disagreed and then compromised: “Olaf carved” would be on the back.

However, when the stone was laid out, Olaf sent me a message. It had never happened to him but there were…10 extra spaces. He’d measured and planned precisely (it’s stone after all) but these 10 spaces were just – there. Know what fits in 10 spaces?

Olaf carved.

The Norns like period practice. 😉

Lord Ulfgeirr Ragnarrson, also known as Ulfgar the Nice is a 9th century Viking. I started my research by reading through roughly half of the texts of Norse runestones until I found the ones that fit a specific pattern that started to feel “common” and that I could work with. They were all very brief and factual: “Bjôrn and Gerðarr had this stone raised in memory of their brothers Víkingr and Sigfastr. Balli carved.”



Here are other sources I referenced:













And here’s the ugly Google Doc that shows my process: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v45k0m_8WWrIruhY4RWJmSrNyzzipWbPQoNRk57aFZo/edit?usp=sharing

Medhbh inghean ui Cheallaigh – Order of the Pelican

There came a woman to the court of the East, and all should care to hear tell of her. A match for a hundred workers was this mead-woman, and yet she asked for no wages.

Medhbh was the woman’s name, well-attended and generous. She cared for many, first at the request of the Ard Rí, and after, she served many more, moved by fierce loyalty that welled from her as water from a spring.

For the space of a dozen years and more she labored. Stout of heart, she took the mantle of leader for her cóiceda, handling grievances and important matters, sharing knowledge of the law, and voicing the needs of her people to the land-chiefs.

Red-maned Medhbd traveled often to soldier’s fields, to places where the sea could not be seen in any direction. She helped prepare camps for the chieftains to meet with their people and gather with their warriors. Her bright hands served all with respect, from the roughest shovel-lifter to the gentlest lady, offering a thousand welcomes to each who entered her care.  For these things, and more, six pearls from the sea were given to her to wear, gifts from chieftains in her honor.

One day, when the winds of Feabhra had blown for twenty-three days, one pearl fell into Medhbd’s lap as she worked. She instinctively cradled the salt-treasure to her breast. When she brought down her hand, she found the pearl transformed to garnet, red as blood and clear as water. Suddenly she was surrounded by many white-winged birds who pulled her toward their flock by their beaks and pushed her with their wings.

Thus was Medhbh inghean ui Cheallaigh blessed for her service by the pelicans. Her wages were paid in joy and tears, and she was granted a patent of arms bearing her icons, argent, a triskelion of spirals purpure and on a chief embattled vert three towers argent. It was the fifty-third year, on the day in which Wilhelm Ri and Vienna Ban Ri named the filid who would serve them and placed the new Ruiri in Dragonship Haven.

Saerlaith ingen Chennetig wrote and collected it from Athlæða Fálkribrú.

This piece is supposed to sound like a Celtic story. I read a lot of early Celtic works to hopefully make it sound right.

The last bit IN IRISH (I think): Saerlaith ingen Chennetig ro scrib in leborso ra thinoil a  Athlæða Fálkribrú was provided so Saerlaith could enscribe if she wanted to, in Gaelic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_kingdoms and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BAath

Thomas de Marr – Silver Crescent

Greate is the man and gret is the report;

We creddit him with muche and goodly change

He gives to all a lyfe of finest sport

To towers white this boldnes is not strange.

Nor vnto those in which great honour plant

Nor youthful mynds whose valeur he bringth in,

To him a crescent silver and arms grant

Quarterly sable and vert, a dragon

passant Or between in chief two crosses

of Santiago argent, an orle Or.

Queen Vienna and King Wilhem bid all see

Thomas de Marr honored before us all

On the 23rd of March, year fifty-three

At Bridge Barony’s beloved Black Rose Ball.

Words by Aneleda Falconbridge, for Thomas de Marr, 16th century Scottish gentleman

In the style of “VPON SIR GEORGE WHARTON” by William Fowler (1560?-1612), Scottish poet. (Scottish poetry is very hard to do in 100 +/- words!)


Greate was the wrong but gretar the report;

yet creddit was repayred with reuenge,

with loss of lyfe after such martial sort,

as to faint hartes this boldnes will seme strange.

But vnto those which ar to honour borne,

and mynds resents the valeur of there race,

suche noble harts which couardyce ay scorne

may well condoole our deathe but not disgrace


Lijsbet von Catwick – Silver Brooch

Artificael geesten, die na conste haect,
Niet en is gemaect dan uut rechter trouwen sterck;
Neemt hieraan gemere, opdat gjij die gunste smaect.*

Artistic tempers, with art on your minds
Nothing here but what in good faith was done.
Now knowing this, relish its affection even more.

We, Brion Rex and Anna Regina bid all Eastern subjects to note the deeds of art wrought by their loyal subject Lijsbet von Catwick. A woman of great artistic curiosity, she cheerfully explores with great abandon and success. Helpful herbs, crafted clothing, fine foods, shaped sugar, little lamps, hardscrabble houpalands — little escapes her interest.

As is fitting for one with a love of arts diverse and sundry, We hereby induct Lijsbet to the Order of the Silver Brooch and award her Arms for her to bear Per chevron inverted urdy purpure and argent semy of escallops purpure, in chief a sea-dragon naiant Or, making her this day a Lady of the Court.

Done by Our hand at the Crown Tournament in the Province of Malagentia on the fifth day of November, A.S. LI.

Brion Rex and Anna Regina

Calligraphy by The Honorable Lord Gwillim Kynith, Illumination by Mistress Agatha Wanderer, Words by Mistress Aneleda Falconbridge and **Anna Bijns (1493-1575) Middle High Dutch poem, translated by Kristaan Aercke. From “Women’s Writing from the Low Countries 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology” edited by Lia van Gemert.

November 5, 2016

What’s Worn Beneath The Kilt: The Scotsman Updated

The first time I heard “The Scotsman Song” written in 1979 by Mike Cross, I found it funny. I was young and the idea was kind of hilarious, a turnabout that was unexpected  and silly. I mean, who on earth would do that, right?

However, I’ve gotten older and I’ve gotten to know many men who wear kilts and who have had many questions about how they’re attired, at best, and have been groped for that discovery, at worst. Add to that that the gent in question is drunk and thereby nonconsensual…well, this song has become Very Problematic for me and I can’t stomach the original because it feels so inappropriate that I can’t find it funny any more.

Because it’s still a staple in the Ren Faire world and often performed in the SCA, I decided to write my OWN version, update to embrace the behavior I expect from others.

Please, feel free to adopt it into your own songbooks.

Download a binder-ready pdf version right here:  What’s Worn Beneath The Kilt_ The Scotsman Updated

“What’s Worn Beneath The Kilt: The Scotsman Updated”
– by Aneleda Falconbridge (mka Monique Bouchard) based on “The Scotsman Song” by Mike Cross, 1979

A Scotsman clad in kilt left the bar one evening fair
And one could tell by how he walked he’d drunk more than his share
He stumbled on until he could no longer keep his feet
Then staggered off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle i o deet
He staggered off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

Later on two young and lovely girls just happened by,
And one says to the other with a twinkle in her eye
You see yon sleeping Scotsman so strong and handsome built
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath their kilt.

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o  Ring di diddle i o dilt
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath their kilt.

They crept up to the sleeping Scot as quiet as could be
And at a decent distance they waited patiently
That they might discover if  beneath that Scottish skirt
Were boxers, stretchy Y fronts, or the clothes he’d worn at birth

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle i o dirth
Were boxers, stretchy Y fronts, or the clothes he’d worn at birth

They waited for a hour then one said we’d best be gone
The other wanted answers but they’d both begun to yawn
They took out blue silk ribbon, tied their hair up in a bow
So it wouldn’t be too tangled as they they slept in the meadow.

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle i o doh
So it wouldn’t be too tangled as they they slept in the meadow.

The Scotsman woke to nature’s call and stumbled toward the trees
Behind a bush he spied them, just waking in dawn’s breeze
With a cheery greeting the ladies caught his eyes
“Beg pardon, would you tell us of this garment o’er your thighs?”

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle io die
“Beg pardon, would you tell us of this garment o’er your thighs?”

“We’ve heard many a rumor ‘bout what’s worn beneath the plaid,
Would you please enlighten as how you might be clad?”
We’ve waited through the evening to ask you with respect
Which of the many rumors is the one that is correct.

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle i o dekt
Which of the many rumors is the one that is correct.

Thank you so for asking, the bonnie lad did say,
Rather than assuming things about my modesty
Surely I will tell you since you’ve waited since last night….

(spoken) AHEM. Well, there’s no Scottish Highlander’s Rulebook or anything and this subject is divided even among the most cultured Scots. As a matter of fact, according to a survey* of kilt wearing Scots, a full 55% wear shorts or briefs beneath their kilts. The rest do not. However, it’s worth noting that The Scottish Tartans Authority has decreed that refusing to wear underwear beneath the country’s national dress is “childish and unhygienic” but….

Depending on the kilt wearer, both answers may be right!

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle i o dite
But depending on the kilt wearer, both answers may be right!

The ladies rose and thanked him for the sharing of these facts
In turn he also thanked them for polite and civil acts

Please accept our ribbons for our views have been revised,

And we know more than we did before– knowledge ought be prized!

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o Ring di diddle i o diez
O we know more than we did before– knowledge ought be prized!


* https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/10/09/what-does-scotsman-wear-under-his-kilt/