Thursday, August 30, 2012

Recent Projects

Greetings.  Well, An Tir’s September Crown Tourney is nearly upon us.  Our family will be attending together with Lady Elewys Cuylter of Finchingefeld and her daughter, Lottie Blacksmith, and also Elizabeth of Fernhill with her husband and little children.  As I write, Lady Avelyn is busy making herself a new apron dress (in the Viking style).  Our group has reserved camping space under the name House Finchingefeld.

I have recently made myself a green belt favor with the yellow crossed trumpets of the herald’s badge hand-embroidered upon it.

Also, I have been working on preparing to teach a "What Can Your Herald Do for You?" class at the upcoming Midhaven Fall Ithra.  This will be my first time teaching an Ithra class, and is intended to cover the things that heralds do, and the things that heralds could do if asked.  I am also eager for the other heraldry classes that will be offered.

(Fieldless.)  A cinquefoil pierced
per pale purpure and vert.
On the subject of heraldry, I have volunteered to do early morning town cries on the Saturday and Sunday of September Crown, and may be joined for at least one of these by Libuše Makovička, who is a relatively new member from Midhaven.  She has been interested in voice heraldry and tried it out a couple times over this summer.  She and I may also assist a bit with field heraldry and perhaps even court heraldry, as well.

I have also been working with Lord Bryson MacLachlan and my wife, Lady Avelyn de Mowbray, to develop personal badges.  Lady Avelyn has settled upon a rather elegant badge (IMHO) which has now been submitted for registration by the SCA College of Arms.

In addition, I have recently been working on a redesign of a couple of badges that the Shire of Midhaven has already unsuccessfully tried to register.  One, for the populace is now,  Argent, on a pale azure, cotised sable, a tulip slipped and leaved argent.  The other, for the Company of the Tulip, is (Fieldless.)  A tulip slipped, leaved, and conjoined at the base within a billet voided argent.
proposed redesign of
Midhaven’s populace badge
proposed redesign of badge for the
Company of the Tulip

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An Illustration of Chivalry

The concept of chivalry comes from the knights of the high middle ages.  While one need not be a knight in order to act chivalrously, I will use a knight for an example in discussing this quality.  In this illustration, our knight’s behavior also shows honor, loyalty, courtesy (the behavior expected of courtiers), and noblesse oblige (the obligation of the nobility towards their social inferiors).

Our example knight has pledged his service to a lord.  This service requires his obedience to the lord’s commands, but also gives the knight a claim upon his lord for protection.  If the lord goes to war, the knight brings his soldiers and follows his lord into battle.  The knight is bound to defend his lord even unto death.

At home, perhaps our knight holds an office of responsibility in the service of his lord.  He does his best job at whatever he is charged with, and always gives his lord relevant information and honest counsel, but then supports his lord’s ultimate decision, and does his best to see it fulfilled.

The knight is fierce against opponents, never yielding while there is strength in his arm or wit in his mind.  His courage against all odds is heroic.  He expects the best from his servants, squires, and peers alike, and faithfully exemplifies noble virtue.

As fierce as he is toward his enemies, he is gentlemanly, but not patronizing, towards the ladies.  Though a stout warrior on the field of battle, he is nevertheless a poet at heart who dances with grace and gives alms to the poor.

Finally, although our knight leaves his household from time to time on errands for his lord, and may be gone for months or years without his family, his most constant companion is his horse.  He would never, but in the greatest need, push his mount beyond a healthy pace, or use his steed for labors below its worthy station.  He will care for his horse, so that his horse will care for him.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Demo at Stanwood-Camano Fair

On Friday evening, 3 August 2012 the Barony of Aquaterra, by invitation, put on a demo for the fairgoers at the Stanwood-Camano Fair.

The demo began late, due to the need for the Fair to bulldoze the equestrian arena and prep area.  Sir Brand deus-Leons, KSCA, OP, was a great chatelaine, chatting up the assembled audience, one bleacher at a time, while everyone was waiting for the show to get underway.  Once the bulldozer finished, the demo kicked off with a processession onto the field led by Countess Sinéidin Baroness Aquaterra and the other riders and followed by Baron Steinolfr, the heavy fighters, and the support crews, on foot.

Field heraldry was a bit unusual, as the layout of the venue was rather too large for the crowd to hear a voice herald from the field.  It did, however, have an announcer's booth with a public address system.  Still, I spent the heavy demo with a walkie-talkie to communicate with the announcer's booth as needed.  So, in the best tradition of functional heraldry, I facilitated communication between the combatants, the announcers, the Baroness, and (later on) the equestrians.

All in all, there was a pretty good crowd, not packed, but sizable.  Several people were quite eager and interested.

There were eight heavy fighters who participated, at first, taking turns with one-on-one scenarios, then after taking a break to talk to the audience and show them their armor and weapons up close, a grand melee.

After the fighting demo, we had an equestrian demo, with a few riders jousting at quintains, then at successively smaller rings.

Overall, the demo was a success, although neither highly organized, nor without injury.  (One lady was taken by ambulance after her horse was spooked.)  Still, we had fun, the audience seemed to enjoy it, I expect the fair will want us back next year, and we now have the experience to know what to do differently next time.