Crown Tourney List Rules List – in Gregorian Form

When the King calls, one must be always ready with an answer.

I had long ago decided, even before becoming the King’s champion, that I would be ready any time that I was asked to perform. (Thank you Coxcomb Academy!) That I would always have something up my sleeve, and that I would not refuse an opportunity or request when given one, no matter how off-guard, awkward, or surprised I might be. I have had the dubious excellent fortune to have served fine Kings who have given me ample opportunity to test my own promise to myself.

King Lucan called on me to perform without notice, quite regularly, starting with his Coronation, and so I always for him had something at the ready, or at least a thought in mind should he call upon me to serve. King Gregor has proven a canny and witty challenger and has nearly got me off my guard, especially at the fall Crown Tournament, when the above video was recorded, when he asked, in the middle of the reading of the list rules, that I sing them instead.

I have always thought that it would be a hoot to read the list rules, as a personal challenge, to see if people would listen to them, for they are indeed rote and dry.  So someone put a bug in the Brigantia Herald’s ear and I got to read them! King Gregor loomed over my shoulder as I read the first rule, and then stopped me, and, to my astonishment, asked that I sing them instead. I thought I’d had an auditory hallucination, but no, he had indeed asked me to sing them. Thankfully I didn’t stand there as slack-jawed as I felt apparently, and I replied, “Ah, well then, Your Majesty, would Gregorian suffice?” “Yes, that will do,” said His Majesty.

And so, deeply thankful for all those years as church cantor, I sang the rules of the list (with a few theatrics added). I was grateful to see that the lovely Mistress Kayeligh McWhyte had taken video of the thing as it happened, because I know it happened so quickly I scarcely remembered it. The choral “Amen” at the end just sealed it perfectly.

It will remain one of the most memorable performances I have ever had in the SCA, and the laughter of the crowd will be carried with me for many, many of the darkening days of winter. To add to the sweetness of this, Dutchess Aikaterine and Countess Althea gave me their token at the court, when the Ladies of the Rose recognize deeds they witnessed during the day. They are most often given to combatants, and so it was a great surprise to hear Althea’s musical voice speaking of the start of the day and the entertainment and cheer which the list rules brought. I am incredibly touched by that tiny golden rose, and grateful to King Gregor for giving me such an opportunity to entertain and amuse.

Below are the rules of the list, which were read and sung at Crown. I should have quizzed people later to see if they remembered them! For some reason, “No projectile weapons” is the one that sticks in my mind.

The Rules of the Lists are reprinted from Appendix B of the Corpora of the SCA.

1. Each fighter, recognizing the possibilities of physical injury to him or herself in such combat, shall assume unto himself or herself all risk and liability for harm suffered by means of such combat. No fighter shall engage in combat unless and until he or she has inspected the field of combat and satisfied himself or herself that it is suitable for combat. Other participants shall likewise recognize the risks involved in their presence on or near the field of combat, and shall assume unto themselves the liabilities thereof.

2. No person shall participate in Combat-Related Activities (including armored combat, period fencing, combat archery, scouting, and banner bearing in combat) outside of formal training sessions unless he or she shall have been properly authorized under Society and Kingdom procedures.

3. All combatants must be presented to, and be acceptable to, the Sovereign or his or her representative.

4. All combatants shall adhere to the appropriate armor and weapons standards of the Society, and to any additional standards of the Kingdom in which the event takes place. The Sovereign may waive the additional Kingdom standards.

5. The Sovereign or the Marshallate may bar any weapon or armor from use upon the field of combat. Should a warranted Marshal bar any weapon or armor, an appeal may be made to the Sovereign to allow the weapon or armor.

6. Combatants shall behave in a knightly and chivalrous manner, and shall fight according to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.

7. No one may be required to participate in Combat-Related Activities. Any combatant may, without dishonor or penalty, reject any challenge without specifying a reason. A fight in a tournament lists is not to be considered a challenge, and therefore may not be declined or rejected without forfeiting the bout.

8. Fighting with real weapons, whether fast or slow, is strictly forbidden at any Society event. This rule does not consider approved weaponry which meets the Society and Kingdom standards for traditional Society combat and/or Society period rapier combat, used in the context of mutual sport, to be real weaponry.

9. No projectile weapons shall be allowed and no weapons shall be thrown within the Lists of a tournament. The use of approved projectile weapons for melee, war, or combat archery shall conform to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.

Thus ends the Rules of the Lists. Amen.

The River Ran Red

Photo by Tannis Baldwin
Aneleda singing from the Pennsic Bridge #2, which was taken for the East in all three battles.

During the Valley Battle of Pennsic XKL, I stood with the banner atop my spear, watching the fight, not really ready to enter the fray. (By the end of the week, this was different!) I stood beside the bank where my good King Lucan told me to stand, and I watched the Chivalry in the “river” as the others were fighting on the “banks.” When it was done, King Lucan asked me what I had seen, and I told him I had seen brave men wading through swift waters filled with red. He responded that he would like to have a song about what I saw.

This is that song, which was first performed for Karl and Isme after EK Court. The second performance was a promise – if the Bridge Battle was won, I would sing it from one of the bridges. As it happened, it WAS won and I DID sing it. King Lucan finally got to hear it during a gathering at VDK’s encampment, late, late at night.

Here is a recording of it:

The River Ran Red

Brave crossed the knights
through the river swift
that ran between the cut of the valley.
Hot was the sun and cold were the waves
where the river ran red through the valley.

I watched from the bank
as my brother did charge
my eyes were filled with his promise to me,
“I will fight them down, and tear them from our home
though the river run red though the valley”

He held aloft a spear
astride that muddy bank,
running beside the company of knights.
The king himself, in raiment shining bright,
pushed ever on through the valley.

Knight and peasant both
were bloodied as they fought
the pikes and swords of the brutal warring force.
The king stood strong, reddened waves about his boots,
and they held off the line in the valley

I had lost him for a time
as the tangled hoards engaged
but his blue and gold sleeve and spear at last I saw.
He was wading on his knees through the river deep
that ran like time through the valley.

At last the battle broke
as the red retreat was called
and the blood ran down to the sea so far away.
With victory in their hands came my brother and our king
and the river ran clear in the valley.

Brave crossed the knights
through the river swift
that ran between the cut of the valley.
Hot was the sun and cold were the waves
and the river ran clear in the valley.

Brave crossed the knights
through the river swift
that ran between the cut of the valley.
Hot was the sun and cold were the waves
and the river ran clear in the valley.

Sing softly and carry a big stick…

Aneleda is a delicate flower of the Northern Army, posing in her SCA armor kit.
Another Delicate Flower of the Northern Army. And yes, that IS my authorization card in a plastic holder around my neck. And yes, I am a dork.

The Maiden Takes the Spear…Or is it the Nun Takes the Veil?  I can never remember…

Aneleda works with Thorson on her spear work
Aneleda shoots a bit high, and learns that Count Thorson obviously isn't Count because he was easy to hit...

But nuns and maidens aside, at the Great Northeastern War, Aneleda authorized in spear, and got a good run with Count Thorson in the process. A word to the wise – he is a) tall and b) hard to hit and c) not a good person to choose to start a spear duel with, if you’re ever thinking of throwing that gauntlet down.

The goal of the fight ultimately was for art, however, because the the King’s Champion really, really wanted to be the War Bard of Pennsic 40.

I think ultimately I can do more damage to the foe with my singing than with this spear, but we’ll see if the two of them can be a deadly motivational combination.

Since King Lucan offered an opportunity for his war bard to carry the Eastern Banner into battle, Aneleda has been excited and her modern counterpart has been busily getting kitted up, getting armor ready, trying to get more exercise and learning how to wield a weapon that’s a huge stick.

Aneleda in armor does not resemble Jean d'Arc.
Alas, I do not resemble Jean d'Arc, but in my own mind, apparently.

Because really, if you’re carrying a big stick into a battle (even if it IS the Eastern Banner), shouldn’t you be able to hit someone with it if you need to?





Photos courtesy of Syr Cedric of Thanet and Mistress Mira Fennor of Argyll.


Ode to the Eastern Army

Unto my liege lord and King, mighty Lucan, does your bard, Aneleda, send greetings and wishes for your continued strength and good-health. Unable to join you and my beloved Eastern Army, to see the fighting and noble horses bearing the hopes of the East in their hands and reigns.  I send the gracious Lady Aoife, noble bard, to deliver in my stead this missive, writ by my own hand for this preparation for war, unto you, and, if you will it, unto the army I love so well.

My King, you and the East are ever in my thoughts.  I remain you servant,

– Lady Aneleda

Eastern Army, thunder-bearers
pride of bards and of all men.
See the love the people have,
ever-bright, as stars and sun.

Pride of King and nation firm,
deepest love of land and home,
of war-song and battle-tale
to be echoed over time.

Fighting here as brethren
sisters, brothers, each in arms
fight beside them, fight before them,
for the fiercest love you bear.

Raise your weapons in their fierceness,
raise your standards on the field.
Born of man, endowed with glory,
inspire all whom you shall see.

Witness to this battle-love
bears the promise of the realm:
defeat of all who would see her humbled,
pride is earned when worn so well.

Bards forever write you love-songs
inspired by your battle mien,
from far-off land we feel the thunder
and hear the beating of your shields.

Eastern Army, Eastern Kinfolk –
hear this voice which sends great love
for your stomping, for your spear-dance
for all the might which you display.

Artist, seer, bowman, war-horse
singer, speaker, King and Queen,
each uphold the Eastern banner
each brighter than the gold that gleams.


(Written for the Northern Region War Camp, AS46)

We Wear the Purple and Gold

…”Next I would hear a song for the East.”  So saith my King Lucan unto me at Vinland Raids. And so, a song for the East, completed in time for our Southern War Practice. It is a softer song, one for the night before battle, when the camp is lit with fire and all sit, tell stories, sharpen swords and work at the forges. It is a lullaby of sorts, started out as a lullaby for an army which will split the very earth come morning, but it became a dance for the night before battle.

This song is featured on the CD “I Am of the North” available for purchase online at:

We wear the Purple and Gold
And fight for all we are worth
Follow the purple and gold
Tygers sharpen your claws on the earth

Our brothers we may all know
Our sisters fight here beside us
Tyger’s love is not for show
‘Tis the glory of battle that binds us

We wear the Purple and Gold

Take up the pike and the spear
Swords and shields gather around us
for honor of those who are here
for defeat of those who oppose us

We wear the Purple and Gold

Hear the blood pound in your ears
‘Tis the drum of the battle we seek
Azure paws stamp to the beat
Victory does not fall to the meek

We wear the Purple and Gold

Fight for your King and your land,
for your Queen and the day will be taken
Eastern pride all will withstand
those who fight us are clearly mistaken.

We wear the Purple and Gold
And fight for all we are worth
Follow the purple and gold
Tygers sharpen your claws on the earth
Tygers sharpen your claws on the earth
Tygers sharpen your claws on the earth!