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.”

http://www.runesdb.eu/find-list/d/fa/q////6/f/7149/c/21d01df39edd50d0dc23a78cafa55e4e/

http://www.runesdb.eu/find-list/d/fa/q////6/f/4848/c/51d196db2c29b9672331d4de74b9bcb6/

Here are other sources I referenced:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rundata

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6k_runestone

http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/language/English-Old_Norse.pdf

http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONMensNames.shtml

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_runes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyrby_Runestone

https://norse-mythology.net/brokkr-and-eitri-master-blacksmith-in-norse-mythology/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brokkr

http://www.thesauruslex.com/sprak/engrune.htm

http://www.runesdb.eu/find-list/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlevi_Runestone

http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~alvismal/4list.pdf

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.

Sources:
https://celt.ucc.ie//published/T106500D/index.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_kingdoms and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BAath
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelic_calendar
https://celt.ucc.ie//published/G106500D/index.html
https://celt.ucc.ie//published/T106500D/index.html
https://celt.ucc.ie//earlypoetry.html
https://www.vanhamel.nl/codecs/Flanagan_(M.-T.)_1998a
to
https://books.google.com/books?id=uPFjLITLW7YC&pg=PR7&lpg=PR7&dq=Flanagan,+Marie-Therese,+%E2%80%9CThe+context+and+uses+of+the+Latin+charter+in+twelfth-century+Ireland%E2%80%9D,&source=bl&ots=Fe0hpttfJH&sig=ACfU3U2-4HY34IK9L59AkqD33t5181USjw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj5gKjj1ajgAhUOT98KHXkRBegQ6AEwA3oECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Flanagan%2C%20Marie-Therese%2C%20%E2%80%9CThe%20context%20and%20uses%20of%20the%20Latin%20charter%20in%20twelfth-century%20Ireland%E2%80%9D%2C&f=false
https://findwords.info/term/curran
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kildare_Abbey
https://www.focloir.ie/en/dictionary/ei/north-east

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!)

VPON SIR GEORGE WHARTON

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

http://xtf.lib.virginia.edu/xtf/view?docId=chadwyck_ep/uvaGenText/tei/chep_1.0828.xml;chunk.id=d184;toc.depth=1;toc.id=d184;brand=default


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


Sir Cedric of Thanet – Order of the Silver Mantle

quocunque jeceris stabit*

We offreth with gret reverence,
And aske in open audience
To Thanet set your eyes o friend,
That you sall see what alle we sende
Syr Cedric, who on knee doth grette,
A knight, both comly and sae sweete.
He picked an axe and lette it fly
To see where it lande from the sky,
It does not strike the goal by chaunce
But strength and minde in keene balance.
At every chance he did rehearse
Thrown items of nature diverse.
His skill brought many for to seche
He undertook them alle to teache.
With tone so calm and speache so blythe
He showed the way to throw als swithe.
Unto the ladies hihe and loude;
to  knyhtes that ben yonge and proude,
To little childe and mighty lord,
And all who came of good accord.
A maister of the sharpened blade
So many strikes Syr Cedric made.
And building boards and making things
And teaching folk and serving Kinges,
The skill in each he seemed to finde
With gentyl manner ever kinde.
He who most worthi was of dede
Receive he scholde a certein mede
A Silver Mantle we now give
That he may bear long as he live.

This is done by the hand of Basilissa Caoilfhionn & Basileus Brennan at their Court in the Province of Malagentia at the Great Northeastern War on July 14, anno sociatis fifty-three.

illuminated manuscript with the poem in this page


Syr Cedric is a part of my house, Thanet, and a kind friend and mentor for many years. I was thrilled to be asked to create words for his inclusion in the Order of the Silver Mantle for his prowess and teaching of thrown weapons.

It’s been a while since I have fully created a new work rather than adapting an existing one to some degree or other. For this piece I chose Middle English and the style is that of the octosyllabic English couplet which was favored by John Gower (1330 – 1408) who wrote during the time that Syr Cedric would have lived. To learn more, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gower

I made a strong effort to use only end-rhymes that would have appeared in Gower’s time period.

The motto at the top “quocunque jeceris stabit” is “whithersoever you throw it, it will stand” — the motto of the Isle of Man which is at least in Britannia. I thought that it worked really well as a motto for this piece too, since it’s been very much Cedric’s ability! 

Lady Keziah and I had a brief turnaround time for this piece, so it’s 231 words.