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

Laurel – Agatha Wanderer

Laurel scroll image for Agatha Wanderer,To all gathered We, König Kenric und Königin Avelina, now state our opinion on the matter of our subject Agatha Wanderer and her works.

As every art with which mankind is concerned must have an ordered rule according to which the students of this art must exercise themselves so that they can from day to day, and the longer the more effectively, grasp the correct foundation and understanding of their chosen art, so shall and must even the most praiseworthy supportive and gracious art of German tailoring, which was evolved by the most clever and creative women, such as pattern makers, weavers, spinners, sprangers, needleworkers, and others of wisdom both rich and poor, possess a fundamental code to which noblewomen and seamstresses can refer and learn what the ordering of the right and true art may be.

And as there also exist many and various sewers and scholars who perhaps regard wise words and views with disfavor, it has been thought necessary to set forth the correct articles and tablatures as they have been communicated to use by their ancient inventors so that one may judge, understand, and comprehend with or without fault, and what earns praise or blame. **

Therefore, as does the Meistersanger reproduce in song and verse, does Agatha Wanderer show what can be reproduced in cloth and thread, that it be recorded in the tablature, and that she may wear the wreath of laurel leaves as dictated by Our tradition.

As such, she is granted letters patent and will bear these arms, Or, a schnecke issuant from sinister chief purpure.

After the time of recommendation was completed by the Order, and with the full and strong agreement of Us, König und Königin, for the ninth of July in the fifty-first year of the Society was this schulzettel posted that all might see Meisterin Agatha be joined to the Order of the Laurel.

Semper ubi, sub ubi.

Kenric        Avelina

** here includes marginalia saying, “Because we are German, there must be rules.” 

Inspired by a translation of the Wasengeil’s Tabulatur, the codified rules of the Meistersanger of Neurenburg, Germany. Johann Christoph Wagenseil (1633 – 1705) the first researcher of the rules of the German Meistersanger tradition which flourished from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Wagenseil based his Tabulatur on the documents from several cities who had formal contest-performances of this art in the Middle High German period. Late 15th century Nuremberg, Agatha’s home, was also home to one of these traditional song-schools.

Meistersangers were known for their reproduction of strict traditional forms, any deviation from which was noted as an error.  Additionally, these artists eschewed printed books and lasting written forms, so modernly the overwhelming majority of their works are unknown, save for a few author-composers. Poetry was viewed as a mechanical art, one learned through diligent study, wholly independent of divine inspiration. More technical than inspirational or emotional, these works were carefully crafted and those who crafted perfectly were well-regarded.

This is much like the work Agatha Wanderer performs with the reproduction of the Lengenberg Bra. Despite that there were likely very many of these garments, the existing ones are few. She is tasked with reproducing this item, without deviation from the prior form. She must follow strict rules in terms of style and material. She may not deviate from them for her art. At the same time, she must also face many judges who have differing opinions on the style of the item and how it was crafted, not unlike the Meistersangers who were formally and informally judged themselves.

Much of her art of the reproduction of much German clothing is like this, and while she is, at heart, a creative artist, in this area she has taken her creativity in a narrow, technical direction to excel at this task.

As a final note, the winning Meistersanger of the contest was crowned with a wreath of leaves, which was hung at the start of the challenge and given to the winner at its close, in addition to being considered a little more immortal than his fellows. It is fitting that Agatha is so crowned and thus added to the rolls of immortality in the Society.


Laurel for Anna Mikel von Salm

This Scroll is actually a book. The text is written as a series of poems in ryme royal – a form introduced by Chaucer in the 1380s which was considered one of the standards for narrative poetry during the Middle Ages. It is a seven-line iambic pentameter rhyming poem with the structure of ababbcc.

Mikel’s persona is 16c German, and so I used relevant German aphorisms for the headings for each poem. They are probably not period but they are appropriate and fun, and help tie this to her persona more tightly.  (I’m ok with it.)

The scroll-poems each took two pages. The official text itself is followed by a set of poems about specific arts that Mikel enjoys: dance, dabbling, music, and ink. They are written by Baron Jean Corbeau de Montaigne, Baroness Sylvia du Vey, and me.

a set of hand-calligraphed pages for a book
Some of the pages of the book by Lady Camille des Jardins.


Allwissend bin ich nicht; doch viel ist mir bewusst
“I do not know everything; still many things I understand”


Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus.
“Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.”

Join Eastern people and rejoice today
As Empire’s Crown doth call you gather here
Now harken all, listen well as you may.
So shall we strive to make our meaning clear
As we lay wreath upon our subject dear
We muse upon the sweet Anna Mikel –
And how the pow’r of Art doth her impel.

Anfangen ist leicht, beharren eine Kunst.
“To begin is easy, to persist is art.”

Upon that holy road few can compete
with melodies that issue note by note,
with work of thread and cloth ever so neat,
from tiny works to luxuri’ous coat.
From letters on the page that she hath wrote,
to dancing merrily, to living well
within the glor’ious tent where she oft dwell.

Within the house which she hath built with love,
Her handiwork enlivens Wanderstamm,
that look’d like heav’n had brought it from above-
bright braziers, bocce, or softly sung psalm,
a place where work is seen as cheerful balm,
as joyful as a rousing roundelay
industri’ous devotion to this play.

Das beste is gut genug
“The best is good enough”

To Anne Mikel von Salm, no art do daunt
so we bestow these arms that she may bear
Argent, on (a) pale sable a rose argent,
a bordure gules, by letters patent rare.
Lay on her curling corona of hair
or on her shoulder place the sacred wreath
that all may ken the artist underneath.

Bedenke das Ende.
“In your every endeavor reflect the end.”

Acknowledged hereforth as a Laurel fine
from this the twelfth day of merry July
anno sociatis forty nine
Brennan, Augustus, declares it true and nigh
Cailfhionn Augusta joins with her reply
at the Malagent’s great northeastern war
Mistress Mikel be known forever more.


On Dance

Je toller, desto besser.
“The more the merrier.”

She glides with subtle grace across the floor.
Her cheerful word and ready laugh they hear.
She welcomes those who seek for Terpsichore,
and bids youth and experience draw near.

And should the fearsome enemy’s head rear,
her feet will flow from glade and ballroom hence,
to use her agile art in East’s defense!

–  Baron Jean Corbeau de Montaigne

On Dabbling

Beispiele tun oft mehr als viel Wort’ und Lehr’ .
“Examples often do much more than words and teachers.”

Here we hath praise for one of great talent
praise many things, for she loves to dabble
the pen, the bow, the sword, the dance gallant,
music for kings and for cheerful rabble,
kind in her words, indisposed to brabble,
teaching, dancing, or leading the choral,
lo, it is shown, she ought be a laurel.

– Mistress Sylvia du Vey

On Ink

Das Word verhallt, die Schrift bleibt.
“The word dies away, the written remains.”

Language’s power each neat stroke contains,
beauty immortal pours forth from her pen.
The word dies away, the written remains,
Every inflection she makes live again.
Alighting on pages soft as the wren
lands in the forest, but with gall and gold,
she captures our words and stories we’ve told.

– Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge

On Music

Wie die Alten singen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen.
“As the old ones sing, so do the young ones chirp.”

The fine lady gathered folk round the stems,
and pulled forth fine blossoms out of carved wood,
She transformed musicians into sweet friends
who lightened all hearts where-ever they stood.

Her music, so lovely, does nought but good.
Voices raised heavenward, feet made to dance,
Euphony infuses life with romance.

– Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge

Mistress Sylvia du Vey – Order of the Laurel

Laurel Scroll for Mistress Sylvia du Vey; Calligraphy by Jamin Brown, illumination by Camille desJardins
Laurel Scroll for Mistress Sylvia du Vey; Calligraphy by Jamin Brown, illumination by Camille DesJardins

Gentles be greeted by your Crown, most earnest King Gregor and steadfast Queen Kiena as We enjoin you to make note of Sylvia du Vey, who has served most faithfully, ensuring that Our kingdom is rich beyond all others in its cup-fillers — for so willingly she teaches and inspires that Our cups indeed runneth over.  Thus, as do drink and song are boon companions, We offer her a verse:

As barm and honey do become a mead,
while gruit and malt together good beer,
as fruit with time alone transforms to wine,
lady and knowledge emerge a Peer.

Round her head with Laurel greens;
the Order with her present now convenes.
Arms by Letters Patent she may bear
Writ eternal as by Pliny, see them there:

Per pale purpure and vert, a horse passant
contourny and on a chief argent
an arrow inverted bendwise sinister
‘tween two fleurs-de-lys invert’d purpure

Now raise we all “wes heil” in song of joy
to Mistress Sylvia whose gifts we oft employ!

With great delight do we honor Mistress Sylvia du Vey as a member of the Order of the Laurel, witnessed by the assembly at the Great Northeastern War in the Province of Malagentia on this summer day, the thirteenth of July, in the year of the Society XLVIII.

Gregor Rex
Kiena Regina

Laurel Scroll for Dutchess Aikaterine

Calligraphy by Howard Stith, Words by Monique Bouchard and illumination by Jana Brooks. Inspired by the portrait of Roger Mortimer, (d 1398), in the Robes of the Garter. 15th century document.
Laurel Scroll for Dutchess Aikaterina. Calligraphy by Howard Stith, Words by Monique Bouchard and illumination by Jana Brooks. Inspired by the portrait of Roger Mortimer, (d 1398), in the Robes of the Garter. 15th century document.

Kaffaud paub y teithi. llauen vi bri brython.
Kenhittor kirrn eluch. kathil hetuch a hinon.***

As dart verdant dragonflies
such rare grace her gifts supplies
swiftly do her fine hands sing
where threads do bloom sweet as spring

at the border, thread of gold
stitched o’re hours ‘ere untold
Fearsome tyger rampant there
golden roses twined in pair

bedeck her now greenly here
she whose talents do endear
on her brow place leaves supine –
laurels for our lady fine

laurel order stand and speak
of this gentle lady meek
Praise to Aikaterine
Saith Rex and Regina

Thus is Dutchess Aikaterine FitzWilliam brought into the Order of the Laurel at ** event/date/TBA** AS 46, by the hand of King Gregor and Queen Kiena.


Kaffaud paub y teithi. llauen vi bri brython.
Kenhittor kirrn eluch. kathil hetuch a hinon.

*** From the Black Book of Carmarthen, c.1250
All Britons rejoice, sounding joyful horns.
Chanting songs of happiness and peace!
also translated as:
Everyone shall have his due, happy will be the Briton’s fame;
Horns of rejoycing will be sounded, and songs of peace and of fair weather.


**I chose this style to reflect the location of residence for the FitzWilliam personae, on the border of Wales and England. Since Aikaterine was born in the Holy Roman Empire, so I am working on the premise that she is herself a Briton. The celebratory text of the Welsh and the Welsh verse style in English blend the two cultures.  The Cywydd deuair hyrion form I use is somewhat loose in form, my rhyming stresses are far from perfect.**

Cywydd deuair hyrion (read CR Ward’s excellent description on it and other forms at her website…)

The most common variation is the cywydd deuair hyrion (cuh’-with day’-air her’-yon). It is made up of rhyming couplets of seven syllables each, with the accent differing on the rhyming words. This differing accentuation is called cynghanedd, which is a term for a system of alliteration and internal rhyme. There may be any number of couplets. The first line finishes with a stressed syllable and the second with an unstressed syllable. There is no set length.

x x x x x x a
x x x x x x a
x x x x x x b
x x x x x x b


The scroll could only be so long, so I edited the original work to fit the space that was available. I sent the scribe both options.


As dart verdant dragonflies
such rare grace her gifts supplies
swiftly do her fine hands sing
where threads do bloom sweet as spring

linen, wool for dress and cote
heraldic charge each denote
Fearsome tyger rampant there
golden roses twined in pair

at the border thread of gold
stitched o’re hours ‘ere untold
this bouquet of skills afford
an armorial award

bedeck her now greenly here
she whose talents do endear
on her brow place leaves supine –
laurels for our lady fine

laurel order stand and speak
of this gentle lady meek
Praise to Aikaterine
Saith Rex and Regina