On SCA Patrons of Bardic Arts

A question about Patrons in the SCA was raised on a bardic list I’m actively a part of.

“Is there a tradition anywhere out there about being a bardic Patron? I know some folks have students, and Laurels can take apprentices… but is anyone/does anyone have a patron? How has that worked? Thanks!”

I decided to post my own answer below.

I would say that patronage is fluid. I view Master Julien de la Pointe and his lady Mistress Carolyne as my first Patrons – it was he who put me in situations where I would be Heard by people beyond the campfire in my home shire. He asked me to perform in challenging locations (the exhibition area at King & Queens A&S, for example, as an exhibition) and at the well-attended Eastern scotch & cigar night at Pennsic. Those were likely the first times anyone heard me outside my little home. They helped me become better known outside my own circle by their work as Patrons. I worked because I wanted to please and entertain them, and that work set the ground for my next Patronage.

Afie (Amanda Lord) and Toki were my next Patrons of a sort, meeting me at Pennsic just three years back or so. They encouraged me greatly, and ultimately my work to become Eastern Bardic Champion was inspired by their encouragement. I still turn to them for advice and assistance. I suspect I ever will.

As Champion I found all of my monarchs to be excellent Patrons. They requested things of me, I complied, and it was quite formal feeling, as was proper and mostly as expected.

However I did have another person who I think really fit, for a time, a very specific role as patron. Shortly after I was named Champion, Baron Angus Pembridge really took on a role as Patron, I think, much more what would have been medieval in style. It was not formalized in a ceremony or anything, but he commissioned a piece not long after we became friends, and provided in exchange a rich muse in the fighting community, which remains a source of constant inspiration to me today. I wrote and performed for him – sometimes by request and sometimes at my own wish – at his encampment and others. He introduced me to many people in that community as a Patron would – taking me to small gatherings, introducing me to people on the field, asking for a performance after the woods battle, and so on. A strong political ally, he helped me navigate the larger sea of Kingdom-level involvement with better grace than I would have had on my own, certainly. (With added help from Toki and Afie.) I would certainly not be the bard I am now without his patronage. Now that I am better-known by the people he wanted me to know, I think that aspect of our relationship has changed from Patron to something more nebulous – but if I am a tower, he is certainly a cornerstone in my foundation.

I think Patronage does exist, formally for some, and less formally for others, but I found it invaluable in every instance and would hope that others have the opportunity to experience it with someone as well.

SCAvenger Hunt for Younglings

Visitors and SCAdians at Fort Knox in Maine. Photo by Ed Dumont.
Visitors and SCAdians at Fort Knox in Maine. Photo by Ed Dumont.

We have a big demo annually at a beautiful granite fort which is a state park. It brings between 1000-1700 members of the general public on a single Saturday in September who see a day of SCA activities, staged somewhat like a theatre show or a circus – there is a large green where the “performances” happen and the “audience” is around them.

We have a parade, fencing, music, dancing, and a pas d’armes – the set takes about 2.5 hours and there is a fashion show in the middle before the second set begins. We also have A&S displays and martial displays happening around the fort. All four of the SCA groups in Maine attend and assist at this demo and sometimes folks will come from even farther to play!

Singers perform near one of the gun bays. Photo by Ed Dumont.
Singers perform near one of the gun bays. Photo by Ed Dumont.

Because it can be overwhelming, one year I made a SCAvenger Hunt to help littler ones have a good experience. It worked really well! The next year we got neighboring Malagentia’s Mistress Carolyne de laPointe, to make a little scroll for us to give as a certificate. We photocopy them on cool paper and sign their name in calligraphy. We change some things every year and even adults get into the spirit of the thing!

  • it gives a goal and some focus
  • it ensures that visitors have an idea of all we do
  • people get a checklist of things to try
  • it is rewarding on its own; more with a token upon completion
  • it can be done on any timeframe (minutes or hours!)
  • it is easily adaptable
  • it is very inexpensive
  • it encourages people to interact with our SCA members and ask questions about the Society

Here is what we use – make some for your demo or event. We print them on half-pages of regular sized paper.

Or maybe give younglings a token when they complete the hunt!

This is our certificate:

Youth-Scroll-NO YEAR

SCAventer Hunt for 2011

There is a lot going on today! Do the things listed, and
get an SCA member initials beside what you’ve tried.
When you’re finished, come to the Info Point inside the
Fort for a special certificate!

Learn and say a medieval name.
Listen to a piece of music.
Touch something handmade.
Hold a piece of chain maile.
Touch a ballista.
Hold a sword.
Talk to someone in armor.
Count the feathers on an arrow.
Try on a helmet.
Find someone wearing a kirtle.

(These we print and cut to quarter-page.)


Truly A War of the Roses

Red the rose for passion, love, and beauty.
White the rose of honor, reverence, and truth.
Which rose to pluck from trembling stem?
Which rose shall I present my love?

This War of the Roses marks a special anniversary for me. It was the event when it was decided that I would take the field and bear a banner for King Lucan and Queen Jana for the East. (Also a time when I wondered what on earth I was getting myself into!) After time around the fire with unbelted champions who became my muses, it was the the time I began to wish to be a war bard for those who had lit a fire in my heart. To inspire with words and song, to share and increase the love of the field and the fighters upon it, to don the armor and bear the spear with those who would become my brothers and sisters – these were the seeds sown in my soul’s rich, spring soil.

And I did.

This Roses, one year later, was one of choices – to put on armor and hold spear on the field and fight (which I am not very good at) or join my friends in a bardic tournament on field’s edge on the theme of inspiration (which I’m much better at doing.)

At other times, I had a heart-war of wanting to be too many places at once, and having just so much me and just so much time. While I am always busy at events, and fluttering from here to there, this one was harder than most because the two places bring me very different kinds of joy. Red rose, white rose. I suppose my bright pink dress spoke well of my conflict – wanting both, feeling like I was neither.

In the end, I missed the bardic tournament due to the first two battle scenarios, and then missed the third due to war brothers and sisters who thought I was too red and not sweaty enough. (They were right.) Also, this battle I was not tenderly coddled by my brothers as tender bard-thing, taking the field for her King. I was a soldier of the Northern Army, with as much right to be beaten as anyone. Nobody would rescue me this time, though more sage warriors, knowing my skills, would make kindly suggestions like “Behind me would be a better place for you in this one.” But I knew that there would not be a gauntlet firmly pulling me back from danger. I would be bruised or not on my own merits. As it was, I killed some in the field battle, died some in the field battle, froze in immobile uselessness on the bridge as though I had never seen a spear at my arm before, and for it, earned no kills but two bruises. My helm was uncooperative, my gigantic spear nearly useless in my hands. My breathing labored. What on earth was I afraid of? I felt novice, and foolish, and frustrated and I wanted desperately to do my brothers and sisters better. I felt a poor war bard for a while — one with laryngitis of spirit, too tired and confused to raise her voice. (Later though, I was given great praise for taking the field and missing my singing, which had the irony of being greater inspiration to some than had I sung at all. Inspiration is a curious thing.)

That evening, all of the beauty of the chaos of joy surrounding the elevation of Aife to Mistress Aife, and the amazing bardic arranged by Master Toki for the occasion (for which I am touched and gladdened and humbled to have been a part), surrounded me. But my secret introvert was in full swing, and I both desperately wanted to stay and be a part of this amazing musical community, but also retreat to a quiet place, where I could avoid any attention. I realize that I do not like to be in the midst of things without a job to do. It is harder on me than one may think. Huge crowds – wonderful. Tiny groups – intimate and lovely. Inbetween – well nigh the stuff of nightmares, no matter how much I love the people around. I need a task to tend to in those, lest I go mad, or hide.

I was also torn – for as kind as Vestfell was, and as good as their hospitality, I also missed my friends at Pembridge terribly, and I see them all so seldom. I traveled back for forth across the road many times, often thinking I ought to just lay down in the middle of it as a personal compromise.

So amid the wanting to be everywhere and nowhere, and torn between the field and the fire – I found myself in a quandary of great magnitude about the path I would take in the year before me…and how to assess if the path was what I wanted it to be.

The path of the past year had been that of an Eastern Champion, a role I loved and took to heart. I did whatever my Kings asked of me – I was blessed that they asked often and much. (Though had they asked me to go sit below the trees and be silent, that also would have been my job!) This year, there is less direction and so the path is wide, with many splits in the road. I have some favors and obligations to do, but they are all my choice. And at some point, I will have to choose one thing over another thing, for there is just one me.

But how to choose with care! I do not want to be a showboat, or a buffoon, though I can merrily play up those aspects when I choose. Neither am I suited to be a war-goddess, though I can be a singing simple footsoldier. I want to perform in a circle, but not too often, for I wish others to stand in the light. I want to inspire, not FOR me but THROUGH me – and how to achieve that delicate balance is something that I am searching to learn. How to be the conduit – so that it comes from me, but it is not about me.

When I hear that the rules of the list are watched on a hard day to cheer, or that a morning drive is shortened by a song simply but lovingly recorded, or that the memory of a song sung in armor on a hot day helps hold the line, or that I have made a warrior stronger by his weeping – I feel that perhaps I can manage it.

But now, with the bruises of spear-kisses on my arms from the bridge battle a ready memory of fingers damp with stewed mutton from the Pembridge cooking fires, and the wondrous elevation of my truly talented, beautiful friend, I have cause to consider the path I am on, and the path before me.

How to choose where to turn when the path splits? Left or right? High or low? Smooth or rocky?

I realized that really, when it came to the choosing of the larger path to find my role in the Society it boiled down to simple questions:

“Do I do this thing for the glory of the Kingdom or do I do this for the glory of me?”

Which will be the beneficiary of my action? The answer may be that it is good for both. Or for one. Or for the other. It may be that it is an act for self, but it benefits the kingdom. It could be that it benefits the kingdom at the expense of oneself. And if it is an action that only benefits oneself, it may be perfectly fine, but one needs be honest about it.

But the important part is to have considered the answer, then choose the action.

And one which I pray that I may heed in all things, and be honest about at all times.

It is a good lesson after a good war.

The white when pricked doth bloom with red
In time red’s beauty fades to white
Both fall snow-like to the ground
Their time known but to God above.

One Year Later – the trials of organizing the Bardic Champions Tourney of AS46

Below you shall see the letters of organization which passed between Aneleda, King’s Bard of the East, and her King, Gregor, as they planned the Bardic Championship. From these letters it is evident that His Majesty Gregor could have easily taken the path of silver-tongued words rather than silver-hilted swords.


November 7, AS 46
From the Royal Bards Aneleda and Jean to King Gregor and Queen Kiena

Greetings unto our beloved Majesties!

Jean and I have been going between each other to finesse a format and would like to have your input on our plan for Bardic….

First, we would like to have each competing performer give us a “bardic resume” on an index card, which would list their specialties and experience. It is helpful in selecting good candidates, but also makes the third round really interesting. =)

We know the Laurel meeting must happen, but we would really, really like you to be present for all rounds – for some, this may be the first opportunity that they will have had to perform for the the Presence, and it would be very meaningful for you to be there. We will do what we must to have you for all rounds if we can.

We propose this, knowing that there needs to be a break for Laurel meeting some time during the day:

Round One – A Period piece on a theme appropriate to the Season of Twelfth Night.  This leaves things quite open to interpretation, we feel, as it allows for songs of Christmas, Yule, the end of winter, and also winter in general. This opens many chances for easy selection of period pieces and stories set in period. Roughly half would go to the next round.

Please advise us as to if you would prefer that this round be “strictly” period in style or if it should be “period/SCA appropriate” where, perhaps, someone might write a song about the Lord of Misrule that is modern but talks about a period practice, or theme.  Our own opinions differ on this a little, so we will let you be the tie breaker! (I think the topic is so broad that *anyone* should be able to find *one* piece that fits and is period.)

Round Two – Performer’s Choice. This round allows those who have advanced to choose a piece of their own – one they can really have practiced and know well. It is on no theme, and could be pretty broad. We feel this gives a performer a chance to show off their true gift and talent with a practiced and prepared piece. A minimum of four would advance.

Round Three (final round) – Their Majesty’s Choice. This would be based on something they’ve written on their card, which you would select and request. For example, I wrote that I compose and sing songs that I’ve written myself on many SCA appropriate themes. King Griffith asked for one, and wished it be a sad song. I think Tiberius wrote that he could boast as any Roman could, and was asked to do that. Jean wrote that he could ‘compose a – something- with but 10 minutes notice’ He *meant* something like a sonnet, but their Majesties asked for a song on a period theme – which he wrote – though they gave us all a blessed half an hour before we performed.

We think that also helps assess “think on your footedness”  – I believe that it has been that which has served us both best this year. From our first court with King Lucan calling for his bards to entertain quite out of the blue, we both have committed to be ready at the call of our King and Queen, with *something* entertaining in our pockets. That may not be how others like to play, and we do know some who really want to know they’re to perform in court beforehand, but we have discussed at length that this quality seems important to us in a bardic champion. (You, my beloved King, certainly are to be able to keep ME guessing at a moment’s notice! I dare not slack off with you around!) The third round may be sufficient for that, but it does bear thinking about as the day goes on.

From the final round the Champions are selected, to be announced during Court. Then we’ll be ex-bardic champions, and you’ll have new bards. And we’ll sing a sad song and cry a little. *sigh*

Judging will be Jean and I, for certain, and you may judge the rounds yourself or you can tell us to go find some others to judge, and leave you out of it until the last round. We’ll have scoring sheets, and I have been told by a couple of good former royal bards who are attending and are not competing that they would be willing to judge. You may also want to suggest someone to us who isn’t a bard at all, for a different perspective. Please advise!

We would also like to, at least to a small degree, codify for the Bardic Champions the expectations for the year. We pretty much were given good advice and had a good experience from which to draw, but your input would be very helpful. If there are things YOU think as royals and as people who have participated in many reigns before, that a bardic champion should be prepared for, we’ll add that to our “job description.”

And I mentioned it to His Majesty at Crown, but should you need Additional Bardic Support during your reign, like at Birka or another event when I am present, I remain joyfully at your service. I dare not speak for Jean, but I can’t fathom that he does not feel similarly.

So – that’s what we’ve come up with thus far!

We hope for comment from you on:
Theme / Format / Schedule
Suggestion of judges (yourselves, we pick, or you suggest someone/s)
Thoughts on what you want to see in a bardic champion
Comment on responsibilities of a bardic champion

Thank you both!


(and by association and conversation, Jean)


November 8, AS46
From King Gregor to Jeaneleda

The format sounds excellent, but I will review with Her Majesty and get back with confirmation.

We will schedule the Laurel meeting between rounds.

I am now thinking that we will conduct the first several rounds on that day and narrow the field to four. At that point they will have the rest of the reign to impress us with their skill. We will announce the winner just before we step down and they will assume their position then, leaving the current Champions in place until that time.

I love it when a plan comes together.


November 11, AS 46
From Jeaneleda unto King Gregor

Unto our Good and Gracious Majesties do your Bards Aneleda and Jean bear greetings and wishes for your continued prosperity.

We thank you for your consideration and acceptance of the schedule for the East Kingdom Bardic Championship to be held this coming Twelfth Night. Truly, we have felt the day coming with a sorrowful swiftness, and have looked upon it with grief in our hearts. Indeed, to leave the sides of Your Majesties is to leave a place of joy and honor. There is not time enough to satisfy our delight in you, our beloved Monarchs.

We are in no small way flattered by His Majesty’s most cunning suggestion for a final round. Indeed, a quartet of Bards working to impress Your Majesties over as many months would be a thing to behold. And while it would touch us deeply to be with you until the end of your Reign, to surrender our baldrics as we surrender our King and Queen to the populace – we fear it would be simply too much richness for our gentle sensibilities.

To keep you, our treasured Monarchs, to ourselves for so long past our time would be akin to a dragon’s selfish hoarding, and we, being brought up in your own sense of Chivalry and Kindness, would find it against all Eastern hospitality to cling to you when others long to share in your inspiring presence.

For it is a certain thing that King Gregor, fierce on the field and gentle upon the throne, and his Queen Kiena, of sparking eye and merry heart, serve as inspiration not to us alone, but indeed, to others as well – those who would dare to display and humble themselves before you, those who would submit to your challenges for the privilege of serving you as we have had the great honor of doing.

We have spent these many long months tilling the fine and rich Eastern soil, watering it with our sweat and tears, planting seeds of love for song and tale throughout the land, cultivating in the bardic community a passion for the Kingdom, and carefully tending each small shoot we have seen sprout from the earth.  We have toiled long that this crop grow and be pleasingly served before you, and earnestly hope that you will enjoy the fruits of this labor.

Thus we would ask humbly of our gracious Majesties that you consider choosing your Champions upon the Twelfth Night feast, that these new Champions may blossom under your fair warmth. We have served you with great love, and shall continue to serve you as your most loyal subjects. At any time when we are near in your Reign, you need only call on us and we will gladly serve with our voices and instruments, our humor and our affection, our wit and our work.

We beg that you think on the coming day of competition not as the day you would lose your Champions, but as the day that you renew and sustain the Eastern line of Champion Bards who will tend to Your Presence in their own gifted ways, and preserve the History of the Crown and Kingdom through your choosing of them.

Know that our love for you is vast as the sea. We bow to the wisdom of the Eastern Crown.

Your servants,
Lady Aneleda and Captain Jean


November 11, AS 46
From King Gregor unto the Royal Bards

My Dear Bards,

Your skill and talents are exceeded only by your selflessness and humility.

Your points are well taken but this idea has taken a life of its own. After consultation with Their Royal Highnesses, the newest plan is for there to be two rounds held at 12th night which will narrow the field down to eight. The field of eight will then have several months to travel the kingdom, performing for all Easterners until they perform at Coronation. At Coronation, four will be chosen to continue, two will be the Royal Choices, two will be the populace choices. Those four remaining finalists will then have until Pennsic to compose their Masterpieces, which they will perform at opening ceremonies and the Champions finally chosen.

Your roles, will be to Shepard and nurture this grand competition, making sure that the semi finalists travel and perform for as much of the populace as possible, and to ensure that we, your beloved King and Queen, are constantly surrounded by music as the Royal Court completes its progress. We know that this may seem like a duty somewhat beyond the scope of the original job description, but the duty of a champion is fraught with hardship and difficulties. Rest assured that we would not have chosen a completion on such a grand scale unless we knew that we had champions of the highest caliber, ones that shirk not from any challenge laid before them. Champions that relish the opportunity to push the bardic arts to a grander scale than any before witnessed. It is you, our dear bards, that have inspired us so. It is you, that have allowed us and Their Highnesses to push the boundaries due to your peerless skill, dedication and tenacity. We are indebted to you, great Skalds, for all you have done, and all you will do.

With tearful gratitude,



November 14, AS 46
From Baroness Hedewigis Ockenfüßin, EK Deputy Seneschal, unto King Gregor; cc’d to the Royal Bards

Unto Their Royal Majesties of the East, King Gregor von Heisler and Queen Kiena Stewert, does Baroness Hedewigis Ockenfüßin send greetings.

In response to your query regarding selection and appointment of Your champions, I find the following sections of East Kingdom Law to be applicable.  Specifically:  Section V.B.3.  provides that Your Champion “Will maintain their positions until the next tournament to choose their successors.”

My interpretation of the Law is that the Champions will step down at the Court that determines their successors.  However, Section V.B.2.b. specifies that the duties of the Champions include the provision to “Advise and assist the Crown in the organization of the tournaments to choose their successors.”  This does, indeed, leave the final decision regarding the succession up to the Crown.

In service,
~ Hedewigis
Baroness Hedewigis Ockenfüßin, OP

November 14, AS 26
King Gregor to Baroness Hedwegis


So your interpretation is that we do not need to alter kingdom law in order to proceed with our plan for Bardic Champions. That is good news but I want to make sure that we have this covered before Curia. Philip, could you weigh in on this matter?



November 17, AS46 2:30 pm
From a Bard of Some Renown, unto Aneleda

Hello Aneleda!  I hope you are well!

I’m writing to you hoping that you have some information on the format for the Bardic Champs competition.  Have the rules been decided on yet?  I’m not certain if I’ll be competing, but at least some of my apprentices will be.  We’d like to be preparing pieces but aren’t sure what would be best to work on.

I can’t believe it’s only two months away!  Are you going to be able to attend, or is it too far away from you?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

A Bard of Some Renown

November 17, AS 46 3:30 pm
From Aneleda unto a clutch of Eastern bards

I am pretty well, way up here. I sometimes feel drastically removed from my more southerly bardic friends, which I lament, but then I think of those even farther north than I, and count my blessings! I will be attending Bardic Championship, as will Jean, as it’s part of our job (and our delight!) as the current champions to assist in the competition to determine our successors. However, I’ll agree it’s a howling bear of a trip, and we’re hoping that Father January is kind to us when he shakes out the pillows that weekend! So set your mind on fair weather for us if you can!

The competition format has been submitted to their Majesties for consideration, has seen revision at the request of His Majesty, and we have submitted a revised format to The Crown. His Majesty has been expressing his desires and we are working to accommodate them. We hope to be able to make a formal announcement following the Thanksgiving holiday at the very latest.

I am comfortable however telling you that we fully expect the January 7th event to involve the requirement of one period piece on the theme (so they’ll have to wait for that) but there will be a category of “performer’s choice” (outside of the event theme) which ought to be SCA-appropriate pieces of under 10 minutes, for which anyone could start preparing.

I agree that I look in amazement myself that it approaches so quickly! It has been an amazing and wonderful year, full of events beyond my expectations, delights, surprises, and entertaining challenges and I am confident that it will remain so until the very last moment.

Please do encourage as many as you can to participate! (And you!!) I am sure we agree that even a relative novice performer can benefit from the opportunity to perform in a formal setting, and we have been given assurance that Their Majesties will attend each round, and so it also is a lovely opportunity to impress the Presence with gifts of song and story. Their Majesties Gregor and Kiena have a true appreciation of music and the bard’s arts, and Their Highnesses come from a household which holds such things in high esteem as well, so I truly cannot suggest strongly enough how good it would be to have many, many display their talents!

I will send you news as soon as the plans for the championship are confirmed by Their Majesties, I promise!

Thank you!



ps) How many from your neck o’th woods are considering entering? It would be helpful to know that a little in advance if we could. We’ve been informally inquiring so we can sort of guesstimate the first round length possibilities. Thank you!  – a


November 17, AS 46 9:40 pm
From King Gregor unto Jeaneleda

My dear Bards,

I am overjoyed to inform you that the competition for the honor of becoming King and Queens bardic champions is reaching a level unprecedented in the history of not only our kingdom, but in the society. It seems that my idea is really picking up steam in other kingdoms. His Highness has been reaching out to his counterparts for potential allies as well as to HRH Middle for preliminary negotiations and during conversation has mentioned our idea of having the finals held at opening ceremonies. The Princes and Princesses of the known world have latched onto this idea and have taken it even further. They are proposing a Grand Bardic Procession at Pennsic. The idea would be that the Champions of each kingdom would be placed in pools, and these bardic pools would travel from one Royal encampment to another at appointed times, and hold Bardic circles. During the course of the week (Sunday thru Thursday), each pool would have visited each Royal encampment and performed for all the Royalty at Pennsic. Friday, the Royals will have voted and selected the finalists for the grand championship. The finalists (number undetermined as of yet) would then compete Friday evening at the castle. As you may be aware, Mistress Jovonne’s husband, Bob, stages outdoor events for a living and he has graciously volunteered to wire the castle for sound and provide lighting (tastefully, of course). Therefore, the known world will be invited to a Grand Bardic performance by the finest Bards in the known world. His Highness is under negotiations now to try to get this competition as a war point.

Your place in all this, as outgoing champions of the hosting kingdom, is to arrange the schedules of all the Royal encampments, to develop the pools and arrange their schedules so that each pool performs at each encampment. You are to capture the votes from all the Royals and to tally them to determine the finalists. In addition, you are to follow the finalists from the East as they make their grand bardic progress, support them and provide additional instrumentation and act as back up singers. (doo-wops, etc…). Additionally, you will MC the final competition at the castle on Friday night and fill any gaps with your fabulous talents. You will also formally relinquish your positions as Kings and Queens champions at the end of the final performance, just before the grand champions are announced. We believe that a farewell performance from the two of you would be most welcome but we will leave that to your discretion. Following the competition, you are to personally escort each Royal back to their encampment, singing songs for their enjoyment on the way. You will then return to the castle, help Bob take down the lighting and sound equipment, pick up any garbage left by the crowd and mow the lawn by candlelight (if the moon isn’t bright enough that night). At first light, you are to check the castle for any structural damage, shore up any weak spots, mix up some period mortar and fill all the gaps using period implements handmade for this purpose. You will be allowed to gain assistance in constructing the tools required to effect the repairs. Once that is done, you will be graciously allowed 2.5 hours of sleep before reporting to EK Royal to tear down the walls and the EK gate. Once the posts, walls and pavillion are safely transported and locked away in the EK trailer, you may report to ICOD encampment and kick me square in the jimmies while constructing an appropriate limerick.

In officio pro Oriente,

Gregor Rex

P.S. If this plan seems a bit much, we can always go back to just holding the entire competition at 12th night. What are your thoughts?


November 17, AS 46 11:58 pm
Aneleda to King Gregor

My beloved King,

Ars gratia artis!

A Bardic War Point is an excellent legacy for you and your Heirs to establish. You shall be blessed by bards for all your days for such a noble thing!

I am friends with some of the Midrealm bards, after last year’s East Mid Bardic, and indeed, am touched that the Kingdom could be brought together in song and story – a peace in the midst of war, championed by Art herself!
Also, Vey does lights and sound, as do several of the Unbelted Champions; I am confident that Bob need not work alone. I believe for such a spectacle we could easily recruit, though they might need to take time away from the army. Baron Angus Pembridge and DZ will likely aid in the castle rebuild. I believe that I could cajole the Northern Army to assist in cleanup and the tear down of EK royal. Jean’s booming voice is ideal for MC of the Grand Exhibition! At last, the Known World, gathered together in song! Ah! To bring together army and hammer and nail and art! (As for the mowing, we shall need to bring some sheep, for the mowers shall interrupt the melodious drumming of the Pennsic night….)

A Grand Idea, your Majesty!

To clarify: when you say the champions shall be placed in pools, does this mean we shall beat the Pennsic heat in magnificent Roman pools on chariots or litters, carried forth by the great warriors of the Kingdoms from encampment to encampment where we, like merfolk or sirens shall sing?

Because if so, I must immediately resign as your Champion, that I might again compete.

Two other questions: Do I get to list who pulls my pool around the Royal Encampments, and may Kiena join me in the Eastern Pool?

Finally, I shall sit with you and we shall make a budget during dinner at Tir Mara, perhaps immediately after I sing this to you, an Ode, which I have writ for you on this joyful and exciting occasion:

A Song for King Gregor’s Private Ears
(to the tune of Barrett’s Privateers)
by Aneleda

Oh, the year was AS 46,
How we long for Malaweardia….
A letter of marque came from the king,
To test the bardic champions’ spleen…

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

Oh Jeaneleda cried the town,
How we long for Malaweardia….
For all the brave performers who
would make for them a competitive crew.

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

The Champion list was a wearying sight
How we long for Malaweardia….
We’d twenty skalds put in their tags
And eight Arlecchinos dressed in rags….

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

On the King’s picked date we brought them in
How we long for Malaweardia….
We had 91 performers for the day
Keening like madmen all the way

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

On the 96th day we met again,
How we long for Malaweardia….
With Coronation now in sight
And a field of eight prepared to write…

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

They vied each for the cloth of gold,
How we long for Malaweardia….
There were fine Shakespearian turns of phrase
But to listen to them all took up two whole days

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

Then at length we stood four people away,
How we long for Malaweardia….
Cornamuse and pipes made and awful din
As we waited and longed for someone to win…

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

Four masterpieces were applied,
How we long for Malaweardia….
There were Roman boasts, and Saxon begs
And a tall Tudor bass who gave us jellied legs,

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

So here we’ve lain for over a year
How we long for Malaweardia….
It’s been sixteen months since that fated day
And we just got new Champions yesterday…

Ah zounds and all!
I was told we’d cruise the East in baldrics of gold
We’d sing our songs for all ears!
Now we’re exhausted bards (though in pretty good cheer)
Six months past our bardic year….

Yes we’re retired bards and in pretty good cheer…
(Now where’s my King’s posterior?)

LATER in Tir Mara after Thanksgiving….

Aneleda is chatting with Queen Kiena in the royal room, as she laughs and muses about their trick on their bards, and she recounted this conversation, which the King and she had while reading the letters back and forth, in utter enjoyment of the whole thing. The exchange of which went something like this:

(laughter at the merry expense of their stressed out and beloved champions)
Gregor: Wait. I just realized something…
Kiena: What is that dear?
Gregor: I am only King for six months…………But they are bards – – – – forever. (pause)
Kiena: You’re only just realizing this now?
Gregor: Um, yes.
Kiena: And you didn’t think of that when you started all this, dear?
Gregor: Uh, no.

One can imagine the Queen’s expression as she tells this tale, especially the last bit, with her brows raised in amusement.

Of course, a nearby herald who overheard the tale quipped at its finish, “do not piss off the bard, for your name scans well to greensleeves….” to which I laughed *just* a little.

However, the rules, ALL the rules, to the Tournament that winter were, of course, limericks.

Museum Display

Part of a display case of misc. items

Our small local museum offered us space to have a display of SCA-made goods, which we eagerly assembled!  Below are some of the photos of the exhibits.  We included a stack of business cards, and while we didn’t get too many new member interest hits, we did make a very good local impression, showing how gifted many local artists and recreators are.


spice display
Period spices, many strange to the modern eye and palate.
museum display SCA
Part of a case at the museum.
Museum display SCA
Part of a display case with scrolls and other work displayed.
Clothing on display, dress and man's costume
A wool and linen dress and a 15th c. man's costume on display.
Part of a display case of misc. items
Weaving, nalbinding, spices and other items in a display case.
SCA items in a display case.
Leg wraps, a gemshorn, a doll based on the Bayeux Tapestry, a turned bowl and nalbinding in a display case.


Items by Mathias Fletcher, Lady Petra von Mumph, Master Mathias Plattninson, Master Cedric of Thanet, Mistress Mira Finovarr of Argyl, Lord Gwilim Kynith, Lady Aneleda Falconbridge and Lady Camille Dejardins were in the display, as were items on loan from Lady Bryn Millar, and Lord Griffyth Abernathy.