Royal Travel Fund Auction at EK 12th Night

October 7, 2013

A grand auction for the East Kingdom Royal Travel Fund will be held during 12th Night. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Italian Community Center of Troy, N.Y.


While the details are not complete, it is expected the auction will combine silent auction, ticket-tray and live auction formals.

What is most important right now is that we reach out of donations so we know what we will have coming.

Their Royal Majesties, King Kenric, and Queen Avelina, will be making donations, and they ask that you do so if possible.

Please pass this on to local groups, guilds and newsletters and anyone else who might help.

From past experience, items that sell well include:

  • Hand-made items
  • Promissories for backlog scrolls and other work
  • Mugs and other feat-gear items
  • Pre-made SCA weaponry include shields
  • Lessons from fighters or artisans
  • Food items (do not have to be period) or promises of food or a formal dinner at an event.
  • Campwork at an event, including Pennsic.
  • Fabric
  • SCA-specific books
  • New or gently used clothing in good condition, especially children’s clothing.
  • Beef jerky or a promissory for it.
  • Admission to an upcoming event.
  • Promissory for a poem or story.
  • Or so many others.

Answers to some questions:

  • The best method of getting the item to us is to bring it to 12th Night after telling us in advance.
  • Or give it to someone going to 12th Night after telling us it is coming.
  • If you have something ready to go and are coming to Crown, you may bring it and hand it off to me there.
  • I also expect to be at Bjorn’s Ceilidh in Cohoes, N.Y., Saturday Nov. 9.
  • I expect Their Majesties will have someone on staff who can receive at any event, most likely Lord Fergus Redmead. Simply ask the head lady in waiting who to give it to.
  • You can ship it to Bill Toscano, 10 Knight St., Glens Falls, NY, 12801, and I will try to help with shipping.
  • If you have questions about the auction, items, whether we would want them or how to package them, please contact me at
  • Once you have decided for sure on donating (even if you have told me already), please send a note with full details on the donation and delivery method to Lady Wentlyanna at She will be the keeper of the list.

If you have ever been anywhere near a royal reign, you know how expensive it can get. Please, if there is any way you can help, please do.

Whether you can donate an item or not, please plan to come, bid early and bid often.

In service and for the glory of Their Majesties,

Master Liam St. Liam, Companion of the Order of the Pelican, 12th Tyger of the East

Pennsic Thoughts 1: Bardic

August 5, 2013

Trying to summarize Pennsic in a couple of blog posts is like trying to explain “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy in 15 minutes.

But I will do my best.

I’ll start by focusing on bardic events. I was fortunate enough to make it to our “Marauders at Home” bardic, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It had an interesting tone to it. There was not a lot of “war” bardic, but rather a lot about history and honor in the SCA. It may border on sexism, and I apologize, but it seemed more “feminine” than other bardic circles I have been in, such as the night before in Aethelmearc. It was great of Aethelmearc to host two bardic circles.

The last circle I went to was second Thursday at Calontir and was very much a traditional Calon bardic with many of the usual songs and the typical seemingly effortless harmonies the Calontiri are capable of.

It was great to hear “Stand Brother Stand” as an attempt to case “Summon King Lachlan,” and it worked. I wish I had thought to ask Ealdormere for “Rise.” Dolan Madoc seemed to be the happiest bard at war, especially regarding a circle at Darkyard.

I sadly missed many formal performances.

Cerian and friends put on a great performance.

Heather Dale, solo with no Ben, did six Arthurian songs, then two more, then gave way to an Ealdormerean bard, did two more and brought Lord Drake on stage to do two, including the song about the ladies of the Rose.

Heather did a couple more then turned to me and said, “Our next guest needs no introduction, because everyone knows Master Liam.”

There was some applause, then I said, “You can clap louder. I am not going to sing,” and the place busted loose.

I talked about honoring those we greatly respect, especially those we have lost, then told “You’re Do Dead,” “Leonete as Nataliia” and “Beating the King With Traffic Cones.” I stopped there, then Heather wanted more, and I told part of the developing “Vis Cycle,” ending with “They Can’t Beat Him Either.”

I was heart-stoppingly amazed.

Not a lot of new CDs out, other than Ealdormere’s Kitchen Party Part 3.

Heather was distributing her free CD, “Perpetual Gift,” which is available at or .

Really enjoyed a drum circle at Dun Phelan with two guys who had been playing together for years and reveled in the Calontiri marching past camp singing each day.

More to come.

Thirty Essential SCA songs

July 18, 2013

Important note: Again, this is a list of personal preference, and I likely could have doubled it. I am always open to suggestions for new ideas.

All-time Favorites

“Born on the Listfield”
Master Ivar Battleskald
“Song of the Shield Wall”
Malkin Gray/Peregrynne Windrider
“The Peasant Knight”
Mistress Rosalind Jehanne’Allen Garretson
“One of Us”
Heather Dale
Lucia Elena Braganza


“Flower of the Desert”
Baldwin of Erebor
Hector of the Black Height
“Stand Brother, Stand”
Truly Carmichael
“I Am of the North”
Aneleda Falconbridge
“Sons of the Dragon”
Garraed Gailbraith
“Shield My Kinsman”
Wyndreth Berginsdottir


Andrew of Wolvenwood
“Song of Roland”
Mistress Rosalind Jehanne
“Band of Brothers”
Ken Theriot
“Crusader Song”
Conn MacNall


“The Feast Song”
Ken Theriot
“Ban The Fencers”
Thomas Bordeaux
“Death, Doom and Gloom”
Cerian Cantwyr
“I’m a Duke, and You’re Not”
Thomas Bordeaux
“Seven Old Laurels”
Efenwealt Whystle/David Gunther

More Favorites

“InDUCKtion Song”
John Inchingham

“Non Nobis”
Psalm 115:1/ Patrick Doyle

“Burden of the Crown”
Baldwin of Erebor

“Stone Soup”
Heather Dale

“Drums Over Pennsic”
Lorelei Skye

“Fruit of the Yew”
James Treebull The Stubborn

“Compact Between Horse and Man
Dorcas Whitecastle

“Knight’s Leap”
Charles Kingsley/Leslie Fish

“My Old Man’s A . . .”
Valentine Warner/Efenwealt Whystle

“The Leaving Song”
Andrixos Seljukroctonis

Master Liam’s Favorite SCA Singers

July 18, 2013

Important note: This is not meant to be a definitive list of singers of the style of SCA folk  music (I call it SCA filk, but some of the musicians disagree), It’s not even a definitive list of  my favorites. If your favorite artist is not on here, please do not take it the wrong way. There will be time for sharing at the end of class.


Heather Dale: Perhaps the only SCA musician making a living with music, Heather has a wonderful voice and an amazingly dynamic stage presence. She and guitarist Ben Deschamps travel frequently, and they are always looking for house parties. Heather has a couple of SCA-specific CDs, including “Call The Names,” and is also distinguished as a singer of Arthurian lullabies. In fact, Mistress Marion of Heatherdale does not have a Laurel for performing music, but rather for her Arthurian research.


Hector of the Black Height: Chalk up another for Ealdormere Laurels. Hector, who also writes the most exquisite scroll texts, has done what I think of as perhaps the best SCA CD ever – “The Red Album” – which include the Ealdormere anthem “Rise,” the poignant, “Home To Ealdormere,” and some of the funniest songs you have ever heard.


John Inchingham: A Midrealm Laurel, first bard who ever gave me a CD. It was a present. John is also an amazing fencer. His five or so CDs are absolutely hilarious and include a number of other outstanding bards like Master Cerian Cantwyr.


Bryce de Byram: And in this corner, from Atlantia, a triple peer . . . (why is it all these people are peers?). Bryce is the voice of chivalry and honor. IN fact, his CD is called “Songs of Chivalry. “Great stuff from a great guy.


Ken Theriot: Not your average Ansteorran knight. (Is there such a thing?) If Hector’s is the  best SCA CD I own, Ken’s “Human History” is a very close second.


Lisa Theriot: Another Ansteorran bard of high renown , her CD based on the Canterbury

Tales ought to be in every high school teacher’s library. She also writes some of Ken’s songs.


Efenwealt Whystle: (He gets to write his) Efenwealt is the alter ego of singer/songwriter

Scott Vaughan. In his Efenwealt persona, he is a best described as a modern-day minstrel

with a comedic bent. He has been writing and  recording music since 1989. Most of

his original work is SCA, but he also does Harry Potter music with “The Blubbering



Baldwin of Erebor: One of the old-school SCA bards, his “Welcome to the Current Middle Ages” is a must-own CD.


And more: These are eight folks I listen to a lot. I asked my friends for more, and among those they listed were: Joe Bethancourt, Leslie Fish, Samantha Moore, the Whiskey Bards, Rosalind Jehanne, Mateo de Madris, Rosalnd Jehanne, John ap Wynn, Truly Carmichael, Wyndreth Berginsdottir and Aneleda of Falconridge. There are many more.

SCA 101: A Pennsic class from Duchess Kalissa Aleksandrovna and Master Liam St. Liam

July 18, 2013


  • The Society For Creative Anachronism has its roots in  a backyard graduation party in Berkeley, Calif., and held by science fiction author Diana Paxson.  The name SCA was coined by another science fiction author, Marion Zimmer Bradley, when the group needed to reserve a place in a public park for an event.
  • In 1968, Bradley moved to Staten Island, NY, and the SCA had two kingdoms — East and West. Both kingdoms would establish groups in Chicago, starting the Middle Kingdom
  • Over the years, kingdoms have continued to sub-divide, and now there are 19.
  • In 1974, groups began a weekend war near Pittsburgh, Pa., which has grown into the Pennsic War, which draws 10,000 to 11,000 yearly


  • Everyone in the SCA takes a persona, a role they play as a person from prior to 1600.
  • You can be as basic or as intricate as you want with your persona, though you cannot portray a real historic person.
  • Many people will first look at a place or a style of clothing and draw their persona, including name, from there. Some folks look at their own family history or their national background.
  • Developing your persona, like all the other things in the SCA, is supposed to be fun. Have a good time with it, be creative. Try different things if you would like


  • There are 19 kingdoms in the Known World
  • Almost all of those kingdoms are either entirely in the U.S. or in the U.S. and Canada
  • The two that are not are Lochac (Australia) and Drachenwald (Europe, South Africa and Israel)
  • The West is the oldest kingdom, starting in 1966, followed by the East and the Middle Kingdom. (All by 1969). The youngest is Gleann Abhann, which was created in 2005 and includes Mississippi, Louisiana, most of Arkansas and the Memphis, Tenn., area.



  • There are a lot of ways to approach receiving awards in the SCA. Many people simply choose to do what they enjoy and let things grow from there.
  • The first award most people receive in the SCA is the Award of Arms or AoA. It allows you to use the title “Lady” or “Lord” (or a variant).
  • There are baronial-level awards and kingdom-level awards. The baron and/or baroness give out baronial awards, and the king and queen bestow kingdom-level awards. (Not everyone lives in a barony).
  • Awards vary from kingdom to kingdom, but there are three Sociey-wide awards that individual kingdoms bestow. These are the peerages — the Order of the Chivalry (or knighthood)  for fighting, the Pelican for service and the Laurel for Arts & Science. Members of Chivalry can use “Sir” or “Master” and the others use Master/Mistress.



  • Each kingdom holds at least two Crown Tournaments annually, and the winning fighter and his/her consort become king and queen for a reign.
  • In most kingdoms, that reign is six months, though a few have shorter reigns.
  • Kings and queens have the ability to bestow awards ranging from simple “thank-yous” to peerages. They hold regular courts at events to do this.
  • Some kingdoms, such as the West and An Tir have a king and queen/prince and princess at the local level and also have sub-groups called principalities, which have Coronet Tournaments to crown a prince and princess.

Local Groups

  • As noted, there are 19 kingdoms, which are divided into regions and many smaller local groups.
  • The three most common groups are baronies, cantons and shires. A barony is the largest local sub-group, and its smaller branches are called cantons.
  • Shires are smaller local groups, usually not big enough to be baronies.
  • Names can vary by kingdom, but ridings are local groups in provinces. Colleges or boroughs are school-based local groups. Strongholds and ports are military-based groups.


  • In the SCA, heralds are the folks who understand period naming practices and period devices (the shields knights carried on the field or used in other ways to identify themselves.
  • Heralds will consult with you on your wishes, and they will help you with the paperwork you need to officially register your name and device in the SCA.
  • They will also work with you to help you have the name and arms you desire, within the rules of the SCA and have access to records to make sure your name and device do not conflict with anyone else’s already registered.
  • Heralds also serve as “the voice of the Crown,” speaking for the king and queen in royal court.


  • While the king and queen are the more visible leaders, the SCA is run by a group of volunteer officers.
  • Every local group, no matter how big or small, has a seneschal, basically the club president, who is the legal representative and runs local meetings.
  • There are minimum requirements for each level of group and some positions, such as seneschal, are mandated. Some of the other offices include the exchequer, who is the local treasurer, the knight marshal, who runs fighting, the chronicler, archery and fencing and the chatelaine, or newcomer officer.
  • Each kingdom has a set of kingdom-level officers and usually regional deputies, and the Society has a set of kingdom-level officers and a Board of Directors, which meets four times a year.

Ten Things to do at Your First Pennsic — or, really, any Pennsic

July 18, 2013

SATURDAY: Go to Opening Ceremonies

One of the cool things about the SCA is the pageantry.

Get up to the fort at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday and watch hundreds of people from the SCA’s 19 kingdoms march in, wearing their finest clothes, and listen as the kings and queens of the Known World announce which side they will fight for. (Drink water)

SUNDAY:  Check out some of the best Arts & Sciences displays in the SCA

When you think about “war,” you might not think about exquisitely handmade beads, breath-taking scrolls and dresses that look as though they should be in a museum, but you will find those and so many more things in the Great Hall from, 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. This exhibition of  what our artisans have to offer is one of the best things about Pennsic. It’s a great chance to ask people about there work and to find out how to get started yourself. (Drink water)

MONDAY: Go watch the field battle

There will be fighting going on all week, from one-on-one tournaments to the Field Battle at 10 a.m. Monday. This is the battle people talk about when they talk about Pennsic. Thousands of fighters in their full gear rushing at each other. Find a good vantage point, stand with some folks who seem to know what’s going on and take in one of the highlights of the two weeks of Pennsic. (Drink water)

TUESDAY: Go watch, help at or play in the Water Battle

Kids of all ages will be at the fort on the battlefield from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the decidedly non-period but absolutely wonderful annual Water Battle featuring squirt guns, water balloons and other ways to soak your opponent. (Drink water)

WEDNESDAY: Go shopping! Maybe you have already, but time is getting short, and Wednesday is “Midnight Madness, when the merchants are open very, very late. Smile and be kind to them. They have had a very long week. It will be a year until you get another chance for shopping like this. (Drink water)

WEDNESDAY: Yes, this is a double-dip. But you get the morning and part of the afternoon off. You may get busy shopping, but at some point get yourself down to the Performing Arts Pavilion. At 7 p.m. Cerian Cantwyr and friends (with friends like these . . . ) will be performing some of the funniest SCA songs you will ever here. There may even be a serious song or two in there. A 9 p.m., Heather Dale, in my book the pre-eminent SCA performer will take the stage. Heather puts on one of the best shows ever. She will make you laugh and think. She’ll also have friends along. (Drink water)

THURSDAY: Take some classes! Here’s hoping you got to classes already, but this would be a terrific day to check out some more. The all-day Artisans’ Row tents will feature Medieval Animals (well, information about animals in period), Book Arts and Lacemaking. If you liked Master Cerian the night before, he’s teaching “Writing Humorous Songs.” There are beginner classes in the game Go, belly dancing, engraving and psyanky, decorating eggshells with bright colors in the Ukrainian style. There is a “fool school” and a class on period feasts. Go. Learn. (Drink water)

FRIDAY: Besides packing, you should reconnect with folks you met and exchange contact information, thank people who helped you during the war and find time to help for an hour or two if you can. The final war point battle, the Bridge Battle, is at 10 a.m., and closing ceremonies will follow. (Drink water)

SATURDAY: Go see the Runestone. It’s at the top of Runestone Hill (convenient, that). If you are walking down the hill, with Midrealm Royal on your right, you will pass a small field with a copse of trees. The carved Runestone, runes on one side and the Roman alphabet on the other, has been there since Pennsic 10. It shows a dragon the Midrealm symbol) fighting with the Eastern Tyger. (If you are leaving site before this, then do it during the week.) (Drink water)

AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN: Volunteer! That’s what the SCA in general and Pennsic in particular, are all about. People pull together to make things happen. There is a huge need for volunteers in every area throughout the war. Some of the most popular are working troll or security, manning information point or disability point or the Pennsic University information booth. You can carry water on the battlefield, help tear down on Friday and to help at herald’s point, all you have to do is be able to color or to collate. You will meet cool people and learn a lot of things. (Drink water)

A LITTLE PENNSIC HISTORY: This is Pennsic 42. (It’s the 48th year of the SCA, which gives you an idea of how historic Pennsic is.)
The canonical legend of the start of the Pennsic War says King Cariadoc declared war on himself and the loser got Pittsburgh. Legends can be fun if not always true. You may, by the way, run into Cariadoc, who keeps an in-period camp called the “Enchanted Ground.”

The first Pennsic was held in 1972, at Newton’s Campground (now Shorehaven Campground) in Waterford, Pa., and it moved yearly until Pennsic VI landed here at Cooper’s Lake. There have been massive changes over the years. Find anyone who been at 30 or more, and you won’t be able to stop the stories.

Since Pennsic XXV (1996) yearly attendance has top 10,000. SCA members are not the only people who attend. There other historical re-enactment groups such as Markland and Acre, martial arts-based organizations, such as the Tuchux or Rome and many others. (Drink water)