The SCA: a view from middle school

What if we learned physics through weapons and armour? What if our physical education was through practice fighting with models of the same weapons and armour? What if we learned history from emulating history? I do many activities that other kids don’t do, including a more “full time” renaissance fair. The Society of Creative Anachronism(SCA) is dedicated to informing and teaching others about the world during the medieval era.

One thing I do is Youth combat, which is made to emulate Joust, which was not just about horseback riding and lances, but also just practice fighting in general. The way the base idea works is if you get hit on the head or the body, you’re dead. If you get hit on the arm, you lose that arm, and if you get hit above the knee, you lose that leg. I learned trough that, overtime, as people developed better armour and weapons, people would be given less and less mercy, as if you didn’t kill the other person first, then they would kill you. I also learned about a different way of fighting, hand to hand sarong fighting from indonesia and the philippines which relies on a scarf, belt, or other flexible piece of cloth. My mom learned how to make fabric and cord using 7 medieval techniques. My dad learned how to make a medieval “bender” tent. There are things for anyone who wants to join, if you want to learn how to cook food, fight, build, play games, or more. it’s also a good way to spend time with friends and family, as you can make some cool art, or weapon, or banner, or ring, or whatever you make, if there’s two or more people working on the same thing, together.

I also learned about physics from learning about weapons and armour. Celtic swords were heavy and unbalanced, not very useful for stabbing, but could swing strongly. From Celtic swords, Norman swords were lighter, more balanced, better at stabbing. Katanas were the bane of anyone foolish enough to get close – or not fast enough to get very far away to a samurai when unarmored, due to spreading out the force over the cut, and not one spot. Made as an stop all, end all solution to blades of all kinds, Plate armour was heavy, but good luck trying to kill the person in the armour with a bladed weapon. Due to the plates, you didn’t need a shield, and from that came the greatsword. To stop plates, there were the peasants, wielding mauls – giant hammers for wheat crops, useful for denting the armour. From that came double sided war hammers, half pick, half spiked hammer. It was an arms race, full of science the people using the weapons might not have fully understood, nor the builders. But it worked – and made some of the scariest weapons people had at that time, excluding war chariots. We don’t talk about the chariot, and definitely not the mongolian horses. Those are in their own category of weapons.

There are so many ways that people could use history to learn, not just about the past, but also about physics, languages, architecture, government, the arts, and even medicine.

Alaxandair wearing his shiny helmet.

Alaxandair helmed.

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Upcoming In & Around Østgarðr: March & April

Here are some upcoming local and nearby notable events & activities you might enjoy!  Please check the provincial calendar or the provided links for more details.

Thursday, March 8 at 7:30pm — Whyt Whey Evening in the Solar: Pysanky

Friday, March 9 at 7:00pm — Northern Ostgardr A&S: Garb

Friday–Sunday, March 9–11 — Known World A&S Symposium in Hartshorn-dale (Philadelphia)

Every Tuesday at 7:30pm — Lions End Bardic Circle

Friday, March 16 at 7:30pm — Ostgardr Commons in Northpass

Saturday, March 17 — Hrim Schola in Dragonship Haven (Middlefield, CT)

Saturday, March 17 at 11:00am — BrokenBridge Commons followed by A&S: Embroidery class

Sunday, March 18 at 1:00pm — A&S Workshop in Northpass

Friday, March 23 at 6:00pm — Archery Practice in Northpass

Saturday, March 24 — Mudthaw in Settmour Swamp (Roseland, NJ)

Saturday, March 31 at 12:00pm — Heraldic Symposium in Whyt Whey

Monday, April 2 at 7:30pm — Lions End Commons Meeting

Friday, April 6 at 7:00pm — Northern Østgarðr A&S

Saturday, April 7 — Coronation in Quintavia (Worcester, MA)

Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30pm — Northpass Commons

Thursday, April 12 at 7:00pm — Whyt Whey Commons followed by Evening in the Solar

Friday–Sunday, April 13–15 — Brew U in Northpass

Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm — Ostgardr Commons in Brokenbridge

Saturday, April 21 at 10:00am — Lions Awaken in Lions End

Saturday, April 21 — Balfar’s Challenge in Dragonship Haven (Meriden, CT)

Sunday, April 29 at 1:00pm — Picnic in the Ruins in Brokenbridge

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Commons Minutes for February 2018

The February commons meeting was held February 16 at the workplace of Ervald LaCoudre in Ostgardr. Here are the minutes as recorded by Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin. The officers’ reports are attached at the end.

Attending

  • Suuder Saran, Viceroy
  • Angelica di Nova Lipa, Exchequer
  • Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, Herald, Youth Combat, Deputy Webminister
  • Ervald LaCoudre, Armored Combat Marshal
  • Alec MacLachlan, Fencing Marshal, Deputy Seneschal
  • Richard the Poor of Ely, Historian, Deputy Exchequer
  • Wilhelm Larsson, Northpass Seneschal
  • Brekke Franksdottir, Lions End Seneschal
  • Brandr Aronsson, Brokenbridge Seneschal
  • Jacqueline
  • Thorfinnr Hrothgeirsson, Whyt Whey Deputy MoAS
  • Arnora Ketilsdottir, Brokenbridge Exchequer
  • Marion of York, Lions End Lieutenant of Fence
  • Ozurr the Bootgiver, Armored Combat Champion

Continue reading

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Symposium on the Basics of Book Heraldry

Are you interested in strengthening your skills as a branch or consulting herald? Or would you like to learn the trade so you can join the College of Arms?

Meet a small group of heralds in Østgarðr for a mini-schola on March 31, 2018, where you can review the consultation and submission process, and strengthen your armory design and name research skills.

We’ll gather on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in the space Whyt Whey uses for its A&S evenings: http://bit.ly/whytwheysolar

We’ll begin with a light lunch at noon and continue until around 5:00.

We’ll have talks on designing and checking arms and badges, researching names, working with consultation clients, and dealing with submissions paperwork.

Talks will alternate with Q&A periods and hands-on sessions in which you’ll have the opportunity to work on real or imaginary submissions, so please bring any incomplete registrations or other projects you’re currently working on.

If you have heraldry reference books or other materials you’d like to share with the group, we’d love to have a bit of show-and-tell time.

No fee; casual attire; feel free to bring a snack to share with the group.

Please repost this as appropriate; folks from neighboring groups would be welcome.

RSVP to herald@ostgardr.eastkingdom.org so we know to expect you and have enough handouts.

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Unclaimed Raffle Prizes from King’s and Queen’s A&S and Bardic competition

Three prizes went unclaimed from the raffle at the King’s and Queen’s A&S and Bardic competition on Saturday, February 10 2018 (AS 52). They are:

Lot Red 21 – Ticket Red ending -033: A Royal blue needle and sewing roll

Lot Red 4 (?) – Ticket Red ending -071: A dragon-head wrought-iron paper-knife

Lot Blue 17 – Ticket Blue ending -013: A body painting kit

Please contact the raffle organizer to arrange collection. After February 28, 2018, unclaimed prizes will return to the keep of the Kingdom to increase the store of largesse and gifts Their Royal Majesties may at their pleasure bestow.

 

 

 

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Commons Minutes for January 2018

The January commons meeting was held January 19 in Whyt Whey at the home of the seneschal’s father in law. Here are the minutes as recorded by Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin. The officers reports are attached at the end.

Attending

  • Suuder Saran, Viceroy
  • Lada Monguligin, Vicereine
  • Alienor Salton, Seneschal, Webminister
  • Angelica di Nova Lipa, Exchequer
  • Beatrice della Rocca, Chatelaine
  • Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, Minister of Arts & Sciences
  • Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, Herald, Youth Combat, Deputy Webminister
  • Ervald LaCoudre, Knight Marshal
  • Erich Guter Muth, Minister of Lists
  • Rufina Cambrensis, Chronicler
  • John Elys, Deputy Chronicler
  • Richard the Poor of Ely, Historian, Deputy Exchequer
  • Francesco Gaetano Greco d’Edessa, Deputy Historian
  • Wilhelm Larsson, Northpass Seneschal
  • Vika Grigina z Prahy, Whyt Whey Seneschal
  • Philip White, East Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences
  • Adam Trent
  • Simon Talbot
  • Branimira of the Isles
  • Seonaid inghean Mhic Aoidh

Continue reading

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Schedule for King’s and Queen’s A&S and Bardic Championships

On February 10, Østgarđr will host the Their Majesties of the East Kingdom for the occasion of selection of their new Arts and Sciences and Bardic Arts Champions.

The event will follow the schedule set forth below:

9:00am: Site and Troll open to all
Breakfast is served
10:30am: Morning Court
A&S and Bardic judges and competitors meetings (after court)
1st round of Dayboard is served
11am: Competitions Start
1pm: 2nd round of Dayboard is served
4pm: Bardic Competition ends
Closing A&S and Bardic judges and competitors meetings
Troll Closes
3rd round of Dayboard is served
4:30pm: Final Round of A&S competition
6pm: Evening Court
9pm: Site closes
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Upcoming in & around Østgarðr Jan & Feb

Here are some upcoming local and nearby notable events & activities you might enjoy!  Please check the provincial calendar or the provided links for more details.

Friday, January 19 at 7:30pm — Ostgardr Commons Meeting in Whyt Whey

Every Tuesday at 7:30pm — Lions End Bardic Circle

Wednesday, January 24 at 6:30pm — Dance practice in Whyt Whey

Friday, January 26 at 7:00pm — Lions End A&S: Constructing Simple Garb pt. 1
Saturday, January 27 at 11:00am — Constructing Simple Garb pt. 1 and 2 in Hawke’s Reache

Saturday, January 27, all day — Birka (shopping, fighting, dancing, classes….) in Stonemarche (5 hour drive)

Sunday, January 28 at 1:00pm — Northpass Embroidery Circle followed by Game Day

Friday, February 2 at 7:00pm — Northern Østgarðr A&S

Saturday, February 3rd, all day — At The Sign of the Dancing Fox (dancing!) in Nordenhal (1.5 hour drive)

Monday, February 5 at 7:30pm — Lions End Commons Meeting

Tuesday, February 6 at 7:30pm — Northpass Commons Meeting

Thursday, February 8 at 7:30pm — Whyt Whey Evening in the Solar: Spinning

Saturday, February 10 at 9:00am — Kings and Queens Arts and Sciences AND Bardic Championships

Friday, February 16 at 7:30pm — Ostgardr Commons Meeting

Saturday and Sunday, February 17-18 — Ædult Swim (armored combat and rapier practice) in Æthelmarc (3 hour drive)

Sunday, February 25 at 11:00am — Brokenbridge Commons Meeting followed by A&S: Embroidery

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Østgarđr’s History: 1998–2002

Fair Østgarđr, I hope you are warm and snug despite the wintery chill that besets us.

In these cold days, I ask those of you whom have been around for two decades to cast your memory back to the turn of the millenium.

Do you have stories from these years you can share? A box of photos from events in the back of your closet? Any suggestions on how to get in touch with notable folks from this time who’ve since dropped out of the game but whom we might be able to track down and chat with? Drop us a line here, comment on the individual annals, grab me at commons, etc.

A.S. XXXIII (May ’98 – April ’99)
Crown Tourney was held in Northpass on May 2… Brekke Franksdottir finally received her Laurel (she was supposed to get it many years ago, but her reign caused a postponement of the plans)… The Order of the Sea Dog, for service to the cantons, was founded at Agincourt on October 31… (236 more words)

A.S. XXXIV (May ’99 – April ’00)
John the Bear became the Provincial Champion… The Queens County Fair was held on Sept. 25 & 26, Agincourt was held on November 13, and the Brewers’ Collegium was held on Dec. 10-12… A celebration of Ian and Katherine’s twentieth year as Viceroy and Vicereine was held on January 22… (151 more words)

A.S. XXXV (May ’00 – April ’01)
Ervald the Optimistic, on his thirteenth attempt, became the Provincial Champion at the Huntington Ren Fair on May 27… On September 9, Boal Mergen became the Provincial Archery Champion… At Twelfth Night in Nordenhal on January 13, Eleanor the Fair was made a Court Baroness… (131 more words)

A.S. XXXVI (May ’01 – April ’02)
… At Barleycorn on Sept. 8, Lady Brianna McBain was inducted into the Order of the Seahorse, and Bleiddwan of House Three Skulls became the Provincial Archery Champion… At the Pirate’s Day of Love in Lions End on February 16, Elizabeth Cameron nic Ian was made a Companion of the Seahorse… (351 more words)

These seem to have been busy years in Østgarđr — help us capture that history!

— Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin
Seahorse Pursuivant, Crown Province of Østgarđr

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Court Report, Deck The Halls of Valhalla

On the thirteenth day of January, Anno Societatis 52, their excellencies Suuder Saran and Lada Monguligin, Il-Kha’an and Il-Khatun of the Il-Khanate of Østgarđr, did progress to Deck The Halls of Valhalla, held in the Old Stone House in their canton of Brokenbridge, and therein did they hold court.

Firstly his excellency Suuder addressed the populace and thanked them for their attendance in that hall.

Then the newcomers were called into court, being those for whom this was their first, second, or third event, and their excellencies did gift them each with candles in the form of the province’s badge, and bid them return again soon.

Their excellencies next did hear from the stewards of the event, Brandr Aronsson and Arnora Ketilsdottir, who thanked those who had taught classes, granting them tokens of the canton’s leporine emblem, and did give two bottles of mead to Cedar the Barefoot in appreciation of their entertainment on that day.

Lady Arnora was then seated but their excellencies did demand Lord Brandr return to their presence, speaking highly of all he had done there in Brokenbridge, teaching at his forge, laboring in the kitchens, and assisting all those who needed aid. In recognition of this work, they did summon the members of their Order of the Sea-Dog and bid they welcome Brandr into their ranks. A scroll was read and presented which did attest to his skills and generosity, written and illuminated with signs of meat and metal by Lady Beatrice della Rocca, who served the court that day as her Excellency’s retainer.

Their excellencies opined that the order was not yet complete and did call before them Lady Godiva de la Mer, thanking her for her service as Minister of Arts and Sciences in their canton of Whyt Whey, and bid her also join the Order there assembled. The flowery scroll which documented her success in arranging monthly classes in the canton had been prepared by Hlæfdige Alienor Salton, lately the Seneschal of said canton and well acquainted with those efforts.

The populace did then give cheer for Lord Brandr and Lady Godiva as they were welcomed by the members of the order they had joined.

Mistress Sofya Gianetta di Trieste then addressed the populace, asking for their assistance with preparations for the kingdom’s upcoming bardic and arts championships, and for the kingdom’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

Next Cedar the bard approached, bare of foot and fleet of tongue, and did graciously swear fealty to their excellencies, remembering days past spent together in Østgarđr’s feast halls, and bravely binding themself to stand ready at all times to taste for poison in their mead-cups. Lada and Suuder accepted their oath, promising that in Østgarđr they would always find a roof over their head and plenty of drink in need of testing.

Finally, their excellencies invited Lady Arnora Ketilsdottir to return to their court, which she did though burdened by her cherubic offspring. Suuder spoke of her years of service to Østgarđr, including her recent service as webminister of the province, and her willingness to increment their populace by the most miraculous of means, and for all of these reasons did induct her into the Order of the Seahorse. The order was called forth and Lord Brandr did present Lady Arnora with a medalion of of storied lineage. A beautiful scroll was presented with illumination and words by Anneke Walmarsdottir featuring calligraphy by Brian Smiley, and the populace did cheer thrice for Lady Arnora.

As the hour grew late, their Excellencies did thereupon declare their court to be closed, and passed thence with the approbation of all.

These were the events of the day as recorded by their servant,

— Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin
Seahorse Pursuivant

Declaration of fealty by Cedar the Barefoot.

Sea Dog scroll for Lord Brandr Aronsson. Words, calligraphy, and illumination by Lady Beatrice della Rocca.

Sea Dog scroll for Lady Godiva de la Mer. Words, calligraphy, and illumination by Hlæfdige Alienor Salton.

Seahorse scroll for Lady Arnora Ketilsdottir. Words and illumination by Lady Anneke Walmarsdottir; calligraphy by Brian Smiley.

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