Pennsic 34 (2005)

Bardicci to Host Subtlety Contest

All ye Makers and Patrons of the fine arts of table and board: Take Heed!
His Excellency Guglielmo Bardicci, a humble citizen and court Baron of the fair Sylvan Lands of Æthelmearc, Petitions Your Attention.

Continuing in his ever-expanding patronage of the arts and in celebration of four & thirty profitable years of war, Baron Bardicci once again sponsors

A Grand Subtlety Competition and Exhibition at this year’s Pennsic War open to all Denizens of the Known World.

A subtlety is an extravagant comestible designed to delight and deceive the senses. An ornate and edible artform often served at the culmination of a Feast or as part of the desert remove, it is a centerpiece of the sideboard.

All entries will be accecpted on Thursday morning of War Week and shall be on display throughout the day during the open house of CASA BARDICCI accompanied by period entertainment and gracious hospitality for all visitors.

Contestants should consider that this competion will take place at Pennsic where amenities are at a minimum. Field subtleties that can stand up to the rigors of war are highly recommended. Entrants may wish to consider that their creations will be displayed in a late-period Italian villa, amidst an opulent Venetian board. Imagination and well-researched works are highly encouraged.

Each contestant will receive a silver coin for entering our contest and the populace shall choose up to a dozen winners to receive a Bardicci Golden Token and an invitation to the Baron's High Society Soiree in Honor of the Arts. Two entries will be chosen from among the finalists to be awarded Highest Honors and receive a period silver spoon hand-crafted by Master Erwillian MacFergus and a fabulous period portrait platter crafted by Lady Genevieve de Chalfant.

Royalty, Peers and other influential Personages and Patrons of the Arts shall view and consume the exhibition at His Excellency's High Society Arts Party in the full splendor of Casa Bardicci at night.

Contact Master Erwillian the Bard's scribe Radha at

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Graybeard Heavy Weapons Tournament at Pennsic

In honor of all the tournaments that they have fought in, and in anticipation of Viscount Syr Bear's sixtieth Royal tournament, Viscount Syr Bear the Wallsbane and Earl Sir Bearengaer hinn Raudi will host a Graybeard heavy weapons double elimination tournament at Pennsic XXXIV, August 14, 2005, at 3:00 P.M. at the Red tourney Field. Entrants must meet the minimum age requirement of fifty years of age, and proof of age will be required. The tournament will be fought under the Combat Conventions of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc.

The tournament prize will be a scroll done by the hand of Mistress Yvianne de Castel d'Avignon, and the Sylvan Army Support Services will provide refreshments for the participants and spectators. Please contract Syr Bear
at for more information, if needed.

Baron Vladisla Nikulich (just Vlad),
Squired to Sir Reinhardt Von Berchtesgaden,
Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
Shire of Stormsport

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Living pieces of history: SCA History Night at Pennsic

By Sgt. Azrael ben Shemhazai

Hard as it may be to believe, we’re coming up on 40 years since the backyard party at Berkeley May 1, 1966, that marks the founding of the Society for Creative Anachronism. And in that time, just as in the Real Middle Ages, we in the Current Middle Ages have developed an impressive treasure trove of history, stories and adventures. And along with those stories we have our relics — real, physical evidence of days gone by.

To commemorate this upcoming Ruby Anniversary, the Middle Kingdom Historian’s Office will be sponsoring the First Annual SCA History Night at Pennsic XXXIV. Date and time have yet to be determined, though we’re expecting it to be in the evening sometime in the middle of War Week.

We invite participants and interested parties from all over the Known World to bring themselves, their stories, and their relics of times gone by so that we might all revel in our shared heritage. Attendees can expect spirited discussions and memories of the old days, a slide show/photo display of early Midrealm events, and a display of various items of interest.

This will also mark the first public display of the Middle Kingdom Reliquary, a semi-permanent traveling exhibit of great relics from the Midrealm’s collective past, whether they be carpet armor and freon helms from another age of fighting or legendary artifacts such as the sword carved from solid wood Duke Moonwulf carried to his first event.

It is our hope that this gathering inspires similar reliquaries and interest in SCA history around the Known World — and if it goes over well, you can certainly expect a Second Annual History Night at Pennsic XXXIV, right at the peak of the Society’s 40th Anniversary jubilee!

Lady Meliora Leuedai de Ardescote, Midrealm Historian, and Sgt. Azrael ben Shemhazai, Curator of the Reliquary, will be seeking out Midrealm relics at various events over the summer and beyond. Scrolls, armor, weapons, regalia, or any other significant elements of days past – all are welcome! And if there’s a story attached to the relic, so much the better. Lady Meliora will be at Baron Wars, Rose Tourney and Border War, and Azrael will be at Border Raids and Simple Day.

If you have something you wish to loan to the Reliquary, have any general questions about the project or the History Night, or wish to offer your services (we’ll be needing relic holders and displays, after all!) to this project, please contact Azrael at or Meliora at

Much more information and specifics will be forthcoming as the History Night and Reliquary concepts grow, so please watch this space for future developments!

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Merchant Planning for Pennsic 34!

Information on display ads for the Pennsic Independent are now available! Order early to get the Early Bird Rate!

It is time for us to prepare for Pennsic 34! Early Bird rates offer a significant discount over our regular rates (which aren't bad, either!). Order your advertising before June 1 to receive this discount.

Check for all the information you need to advertise in The Pennsic Independent.

We look forward to working with you again this year!

PI Hoping to Publish First Saturday

For years, there has been an interest in having The Pennsic Independent publish during the first week.

In a potential move toward doing so, the PI staff is exploring the possibility of publishing an issue on the first Saturday of War Week.

This special issue will be a welcome issue, with a summary of activities that take place during "Land Grab Week", the first week of Pennsic. This particular week has grown from several dozen land representatives to thousands of participants. More activities take place now than ever before. Merchants and the food court open, and classes and the battlefield are now scheduled during that week.

The issue will be on sale at Pennsic, but will only be included in the PDF subscriptions, sets, and mail-home subscriptions for the cost of an extra edition ($.75). If we find that we will be able to publish this, it will be reflected on the order form in early July.

We are hoping to get the support we need to publish this special issue. In order to do this, we have to have strong readership, advertising support, Urchins, and staff.

Most of our staff is unable to attend until the second week, and it takes some time to get properly set up to produce PI. Therfore, we are looking for folks to help us in the various tasks that must be completed. We need a couple of reporters, some strong arms, and front desk help. Please contact the Publisher, Heirusalem, if you would like to help us.

More than anything else, we need to know if you would be interested in purchasing this edition. Please fill out the poll on this page and let us know if you support this idea.

Thank you!

The PI Staff

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PI Publishing 8 Issues Again This Year!

More Pennsic news! More history!

In response to years of requests and last year's success, The Pennsic Indpendent is publishing a premier issue on the first Saturday of War Week again this year!

The new issue will summarize the activities of Land Grab week, with lots of photos and stories about what happens during that first week. Don't miss it!

Since we will be publishing eight issues, our prices for subscriptions have been adjusted accordingly. All subscription prices have been raised to cover the price of the extra issue. However: PDF subscribers will get a special deal this year, as the PDF subscription price has not changed! PDF subscribers will receive all eight issues for the same price as seven PDF subscriptions!

If you cannot make it to the War this year, or want to get your Pennsic Independent in color to print at home, the PDF subscription is your best deal this year!

As always, please remember that your early orders help us make our costs early in the War. We appreciate the great support you, our readers, have always shown us and look forward to seeing and hearing from you!

Subscribe today!

The Pennsic Independent Staff

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PI Web Edition -- Friday, August 19, 2005

Dragon outlasts Tyger, takes the Causeway Battle

By DonalBane of Blakmers

Battlefield Correspondent, Pennsic Independent

After 20 War Points: Midrealm Dragons 19,
East Tygers 1

A hot and bright morning greeted the two grand armies Thursday as the Midrealm and the East met to face each other in the causeway battle. This was the second straight year the fort hosted this rollicking affair.

Each side took turns attacking and defending the fort. Attackers got unlimited resurrections while the defenders received none as they attempted to overrun the opposing kings banner in the center of the fort. Whichever side held out the longest would receive three War Points.

The first fight saw the Midrealm on the defensive. The Dragon dispatched the forces from Atlantia to the east gate with Calontir, Outlands and Northshield in reserve. The Darkyard Legion and House Red Wing Lion took the west gate, with Ealdormere and AEthelmearc in reserve. In the center, Trimaris, House Darkmoon and House Stahlgeist held the battlements with the rest of the Midrealm army in central reserve.

As the first battle began, the Midrealm lines held firm and a solid wall of ballista and trebuchet fire made the causeway a dangerous place to be. For 20 minutes, the gate defenses held firm, but then the East was able to break through the defenses on the east gate. A rush of warriors from Markland, the Tuchux, Black Talon, and elements of the Northern Army, led by HRH Darius of the East, crashed into the remaining forces of the Midrealm King's Guard and the Oaken Army. HRM Alaric was soon overrun and the fort was surrendered at 22:53.

The two armies switched sides and the Tyger attempted to outlast the Midrealm's time. HRM Kelson deployed the Northern Army and Drachenwald to the east gate, while Black Talon and the Southern Army were sent to the east gate. The East's western allies and the Ironlance Company led the defense of the central gate, with Markland, the Tuchux and Rome and House Bloodguard in the reserve.

The west gate defenses were virtually unmovable as Black Talon and friends did not allow a single Midrealmer or ally inside the fort. The east gate also held firm early on. Surprisingly, the Midrealm seemed to gain an early foothold inside the central gate, despite this being the hardest gate to punch through in past battles. More and more reserves were committed to the central gate until a small group of Midrealm fighters bubbled out the side of the kill pocket. However, the East's final reserves closed the gap.

At the same time, the East's defenses at the east gate collapsed. An international coalition led by Northshield and containing Midrealm, Outlands, Calontir and AEthelmearc fighters descended on HRM Kelson like locusts. HRM Kelson waved the flag in surrender with 16:27 elapsed on the clock, giving the Midrealm the victory.

HRM Tarrach of Northshield assembled his fighters on the causeway after the fight.

"There was no hesitation this time," HRM Tarrach said. "We charged hard and we ended this battle quickly."

Friday's Big Battle

The Field of Honour

This is the big one. A fitting end to a week of mass melees as the East and Midrealm will meet for a final time in this non-resurrection, last man standing brawl. There will be three fights, each worth one War Point, and the last one will allow for combat archery.

What to watch for: One of the greatest spectacles in the Known World. The first charge of the field battle is always a sight to behold.

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Midrealm takes Rapier Champions War Point;Youth display skills in the AEthelmearc tourney

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

On a field crowded with Dons, White Scarves, Bronze Rings and others from the cream of the rapier community, it took 28 bouts to determine the victor in the Rapier Champions War Point. But when Warder Andrew Blackwood MacBain the Purple slew Lord Malcolm Bowman, that pushed the Midrealm to 16 victories, a majority among the 30 planned bouts.

The two sides split the remaining two bouts, giving the Middle Kingdom a 17-13 victory in the battle.

Using a heroic champions format, with each side taking turns selecting a fighter and the other choosing one from their team whose skills would best match, the fighting went on for more than two hours with only the occasional cloud cover to offer shade from the heat. However, spirits on both sides remained high, with shouts of encouragement and surprisingly well-organized cheerleaders egging the participants on.

The combatants being culled from the premier rapier artistes of the Known World, the fights were not wild and flashy affairs for the most part, though some had their moments. One of the more spectacular pitted two allied fencers: Baron Aedan Aylwyn, Provost of Atlantia, fighting for the Midrealm squared off with Don Robert McPharland of Ansteorra for the East. With the crowd loudly urging them to feats of valor, they clashed again and again until Don Robert scored a touch on Baron Aedan's leg.

"Do you wish to continue?" inquired Don Robert as Aedan settled to his knees.

"Yes!" riposted Baron Aedan. "You've given me better wounds than that!"

"An old gentleman in my kingdom once told me I get one lucky shot a day," Robert replied. "And I think that was it."

Don Robert threw a number of shots at Baron Aedan's sword arm, and after His Excellency repeated blocked them with his quillions the Don suggested, "If you would turn the bars a little bit, that would really facilitate this."

Finally, Don Robert landed a thrust to slay Baron Aedan and take the victory.

AEthelmearc Youth Tourney

There were only four participants, but there was plenty of fighting to go around at the AEthelmearc Youthk Rapier Tournament on Wednesday morning.

Entering the tourney were Jason of Atlantia, Grazia and Collette du Vollois of the Midrealm, and Simon of Ealdormere. They fought a double-elimination tournament, with each round being the best two out of three - and with the third bout being fought even if one fencer won the first two. Schlager was the weapon used by all participants.

Collette and Jason made their way to the finals, with Jason undefeated. In the first round, Jason (fighting sword and dagger) took the first fight but Collette (fighting case) came back with two victories to force a decisive match. Maintaining their weapon selections, the two went at it again with Collette taking both of Jason's arms for the win. In the second bout, the fencers double-killed, and in the third fight Jason took Collette's sword arm, then ran her through for the victory.

However, after conferring following the round, the two fighters decided they should be co-champions of the list. They also shared the "best death" award, as selected by the marshals, and Grazia was named "most chivalrous" for continually making sure her opponents were not facing the sun and comfortable when they lost their legs.

"With the numbers of youth fighters in their kingdom burgeoning," said Youth Marshal, Lady Gwyneth McClellan, "AEthelmearc is hoping to promote the activity by recognizing their own and other kingdoms' young rapier fighters."

The only thing that threatens to hold back the surge in youth rapier numbers is the fact they grow out of the 14- to 17-year-old age bracket. "The biggest threat to youth fighting is birthdays," cracked Ivan Pevcov, another AEthelmearc marshal. "And band camp," added his counterpart Lord John MacPherson of Badenoch.

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Pennsic Historically Part 7: One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

For all the similarities between the events of Pennsic and the events of the historical Middle Ages, there's one way in which the two things are very different. One of the prevailing concepts of the medieval era was a certain sense of change and ambition. The invading barbarian hordes (or whatever they're being called in academic circles these days - persons of migratory inclination, perhaps) wanted more of the Roman luxuries, the pilgrims of the 11th century wanted to see the Holy Land, consumers in Europe wanted more imports from the east, nobles wanted more authority over the tenants on their lands, knights wanted more lavish armor to impress the ladies who watched them in their tournaments (knights are kinda prima donnas that way). One of the hallmarks of Western society was that everyone, regardless of station, always seemed to want more.

Like the Middle Ages, the week of Pennsic can easily turn into a mad rush from one activity to the next: fight in the morning, then take a class, go shopping, have dinner, go party hopping ... and suddenly you wonder where the heck the week went. After fighting approximately seven zillion challenge fights the other day, I was laying there with my head on the thrusting tip of my great sword (which does not sound comfortable at all unless you've just fought seven zillion challenge fights) with barely enough energy left to stare at the sky and continue breathing. Then, a nice young lady came by and asked if she could take my picture. I'm not sure why she wanted a photo of a stinky, sweaty old fighter, but I was happy to let her use her camera as long as it didn't involve me having to get up.

She gave me a copy of the picture, and ironically she'd captured, not the sense of utter exhaustion that I felt at the time, but an image of something there isn't enough of at Pennsic, in medieval history or in the world at large: contentment. Sometimes it's easy to forget that not every moment needs to be full of getting, doing or learning more. Sometimes we need to take the time to lie back, look at the sky, and appreciate what we have - because what we have here in the SCA is pretty wonderful.

May you all find your own moment of contentment at Pennsic.

The full line of Guillaume's books and audio CDs, including "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" and "Bringing Chivalry to Life" are available in Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. Readers who have enjoyed Guillaume's columns in the Pennsic Independent may also want to visit his websites:

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PI Web Edition -- Monday, August 15, 2005

This is the web edition of the Pennsic Independent for Monday, August 15, 2005.

Pennsic Historically--Part 3: It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

The progression of the week of Pennsic War bears some striking similarities to the progression of the Middle Ages, and by the third day of the war, with everyone settled down to stay for a while, Pennsic moves into its Crusading phase.

Of course, we all know that by the beginning of the 11th century the people of Europe had survived the myriad threats of famine, plagues, apocalypses and Vikings and, with all these troubles behind them, Europeans decided that the best way to appreciate their situation was to go stir up trouble somewhere else. Thus, they turned their attention - and their swords - on their neighbors to the east.

This is not to say that the third day of Pennsic is the beginning of a campaign of religious intolerance, but rather it's a time when the value of good neighbors becomes very important. By Monday, camps that were once nothing but vast tracts of open land with herds of wildebeests grazing upon them are suddenly crowded with pavilions and tents of all shapes and sizes. It's a time to get to know one another better, a process that (as the real Crusades demonstrate) may or may not have entirely pleasant results.

Fortunately the neighborly spirit runs pretty strong on the block of land where we camp, which may be due to the fact that, when a bunch of clueless Caidans came to their first Pennsic about four years ago, our neighbors from the Hunter's Home camp fed us spaghetti and garlic bread for three days straight. Or it may be due to the fact that during set-up week Duke Rurik tends to run around with his crew of burly ®thelmearcian squires digging trenches and shower pits for everyone on the block without their shirts on, which is always a big hit with the ladies in camp.

But despite all the congeniality at the war, you have to be careful just how far you let this sense of neighborly sharing go: One year I allowed Sir Hansa of the West to talk me into "sharing" his skin-tight leather German landsknecht pants, which resulted in me being followed around by several Ladies of the Rose who were not, technically, my wife, trying to get pictures of me to use for future blackmail purposes. To this day I occasionally get a photo of myself wearing those pants in the mail along with an anonymous demand for huge sums of money in unmarked bills.

The third day of Pennsic, like the 11th century in Europe, is all about the neighbors. Perhaps if the Crusading knights had taken a bit of the Pennsic spirit with them to the Holy Land medieval history might have been filled with less battle and animosity and more shirtless dukes in tight-fitting leather German pants. Whether or not that's a good thing-well, I'll leave that to your imagination.

You don't have to go on a crusade to get a copy of "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" which features 25 of his best and funniest stories of life in the SCA. Just visit Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row to get your copy, or visit Guillaume's website at

Troll Works: From the Fire and Back Again

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

For Troll Works merchants Baron Gunnar the Smith and THLady Anna Longshanks of the East Kingdom, what they lost when their van caught fire last Sunday on the way to Pennsic cannot compare with the response they received once they arrived at the war.

"From the minute we got here, we've been treated like. . . it's just miraculous," said Baron Gunnar. "If there was any damage to our spirit, it was completely assuaged."

The couple, who live in the Barony of Concordia of the Snows, had been traveling for about three hours when their van started to experience problems. Eventually it started spouting smoke and as soon as they pulled off the road, His Excellency said, it caught fire. He and his lady were the only ones in the van and both escaped unharmed; however, most of their possessions, including the stock of jewelry for his merchant booth, were lost.

"We salvaged a basket load of clothes, a couple of chests," said Baron Gunnar. We lost 20 to 30 percent of our garb, but we've been doing this for 25 or 30 years, it's not like we don't have more garb."

Their 18-year-old daughter, Nyssa, though, managed to reach in and grab her father's broadsword out of the burning vehicle, earning his praise as a "smart Viking daughter."

Even before the couple got to Troll, he recounted, offers of assistance were already being made, for example, replacements for Baron Gunnar's armor, which was destroyed in the blaze.

"I wasn't even in the gate here at Pennsic, and Ice from Bloodguard, who I've fought with . . . came up and said, 'Your legs are in my booth,'" he said.

A member of Vykland, the Viking encampment the couple camps with, began making him a new body harness; their son, Aifor, gave up his Viking tent and bought a mundane tent so his parents would be spared the indignity of camping in a modern tent. Others have provided their meals, since their food and cooking supplies were destroyed.

And even before the couple arrived at site in the middle of last week, Vlad's Pleasure Pavilion had started taking donations to help the couple recover.

"His entire life as a Norse Viking is gone," said Vlad, who met Baron Gunnar 20 years ago.

Late last week, Vlad estimated some $1,300 had been collected, and he would continue accepting donations for the couple throughout the war.

THLady Anna said she was overwhelmed by "the outpouring of love and affection and caring" since they arrived at the site. "It helped make a terrible situation into something bearable," she said.

Standing in their tree-shaded encampment on Hill Road a week after the incident, the two gentles seemed remarkably well composed - even jolly - for people who suffered such a huge setback. But His Excellency said that on the day of the fire, after a few minutes of shock and upset, they had already put the incident in its proper perspective: No one was hurt, and that's what mattered.

"We saved our incense, our candles, our matches and two cheesecakes," he said. "We sat on the side of the road, eating cheesecake and making jokes as our van burned."

"It was definitely the best fire I've ever seen," added daughter Nyssa. "The pyro in me was going, 'Yeah, burn! Burn!'"

As for Gunnar and Anna, they say that this year has suddenly become their first real vacation Pennsic in a long time.

"We actually went strolling together during the day!" exclaimed THLady Anna. "That hasn't happened since we started merchanting 15 years ago. It's wonderful!"

And thanks to the donations of armor, Baron Gunnar says he won't have to miss a single War Week battle. What's more, he'll be able to replace all of his tools without waiting for an insurance settlement, so he can get back to his craft as soon as the war is over. The generosity of their Vykland compatriots, Vlad and others has been incredible to behold, he said.

"I'm just stunned," he said. "This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, our best war ever.

"Everything that has ever been said about chivalry and honor in the SCA, I can tell you it is true."

Editorial Note: The annual Concert for Unknown Charity, held by Duke Moonwulf StarKaadarson, voted to donate the proceeds from passing the hat to Trollworks on Monday night.

You Realize, of Course, This Means WAR!!!

By DonalBane of Blakmers

Battlefield Correspondent, Pennsic Independent

The Great Pennsic War XXXIV officially got underway Sunday morning as a large multitude of the populace assembled for Opening Ceremonies. As has become custom, the populace of AEthelmearc was the first to assemble, with TRMs Malcolm and Tessa preparing to welcome the rest of the kingdoms to their land. Songs of the glory of ®thelmearc rang out as Their Majesties awaited their guests.

After about 20 minutes, the grand columns from both the East Kingdom and the Midrealm marched in shoulder-to-shoulder, followed by representatives from every other kingdom in the Known World in order of their date of founding. It was TRMs Tarrach and Fina of Northshield that drew the biggest applause, as this will be the first war Northshield will participate in as a kingdom.

Once all of Their Majesties had arrived, HRM Malcolm welcomed the populace in a full voice.
"The sun shines brightly on this morning," HRM Malcolm said. "We hope this leads to a week of great camaraderie."

Malcolm then yielded to the kings of the belligerent nations. HRM Kelson of the East, leading the Tyger to war for the second straight Pennsic, spoke first.

"I find the entire concept of fighting my cousin here foolish," HRM Kelson said. Kelson then presented his court jester to the crowd and said he was willing to fight a fool.

HRM Alaric of the Midrealm was not fooling around, however.

"I am sure the forces of the Midrealm will be here to meet you on this field," HRM Alaric said."

"We will then pledge to do as we have always done: to keep the fight clean and honorable," HRM Kelson said.

"We must remember always what is written on the Runestone," HRM Alaric said. "Let no one fight in anger; Let no one fight in pain."

Alaric then produced the war arrow and broke it before presenting it to Kelson. As he did, cannons sounded drawing great applause from the crowd. Kelson then asked Alaric to keep the arrow, although he showed that Alaric would look excellent with the arrow sticking in his breastplate. Alaric countered that he would hold onto the arrow's barb to ensure no foul play.

The heralds of both the Midrealm and the East then alternated in calling out the names of the kingdoms and asking that they declare their allegiance to either the Dragon or the Tyger.

After HRM Thorfinn of the West and HRM Eduard of Atenveldt declared for the East, HRM Maximillan of Meridies was asked to declare.

"Well, I do declare!" HRM Maximillan said, drawing much laughter from the crowd. Saying he wanted to repel "the Yankee menace," HRM Maximillan declared for the Middle.

HRM Dietrich of Caid and HRM Uther of An Tir both then declared for the East, with HRM Uther indicating the East served him well when he was a novice fighter and he would repay the debt.

HRM Robert of Atlantia then broke with tradition as he declared his kingdom would fight alongside the Midrealm. HRM Jason of Ansteorra then declared for their traditional allies with the East.

HRM Tristan of Calontir then pulled a bit of a swerve, as he said he would repay the hospitality of the new Kingdom of Northshield by fighting alongside them. An emissary from The Outlands later said his kingdom would follow suit.

HRM Baldar of Trimaris, who is celebrating his kingdom's 20th anniversary, said he pledged "our weather and our arms to the Midrealm." HRM Cornelius of Lochac later would reply that it was snowing in his homeland and that Trimaris "can keep its weather" before declaring for the East. Drachenwald and Artemesia also declared for the East.

It was then ®thelmearc's turn and HRM Malcolm said, while he remembered his kingdom's heritage with the East, HRM Alaric had impressed him and AEthelmearc would fight with the Middle. HRM Edouard of Ealdormere then said he would honor his heritage and that his kingdom would follow the Middle.

Finally, Northshield took the stage for the first time and, with three kingdom armies at his disposal, HRM Tarrach declared he would fight alongside his former kingdom brothers in the Midrealm.

After all the SCA kingdoms had declared, representatives from the Holy Kingdom of Acre came forth and declared for their traditional allies of the East. Khan Rowena of Avalon, Khan of the Great Dark Horde then approached and said HRM Alaric had welcomed her people "with open arms, open minds and open pocketbooks." She then gave an arrow to Alaric, signifying the Horde's alliance with the Midrealm.

House Darkyard then came forth, bearing the Pennsic War Horn. HRM Alaric then played a scale on the horn before his consort, HRM Noelle, gave her own high blast.

It was HRM Alaric who had the last word of the ceremony.

"Let you all come to what fields that you may," said HRM Alaric. "Be it with rapier, archery or at heavy fighting, may you come with victory in your hearts and honor for your noble opponents. Until that time that we see you on the field, we will greet you."

PI Web Edition -- Saturday, August 13, 2005

This is the Pennsic Independent web edition for Saturday, August 13, 2005.

Creating History

by Lord Stephan Calvert deGrey

Asst. Editor, Pennsic Independent

If it were not for various bouts of mundania, this would be my twentieth Pennsic. I was squired right down the road from here in a small camp at the corner of Low and Chandler's back at Pennsic XV in what is now humorlessly called E02 and was gladly taken into my knight's household. It was my first Pennsic and I had been in the SCA for about two years. My sword brother had been my best friend since we were nine and he was the one who brought me into this barely controlled insanity.

The War was a lot smaller then. There was no Serengeti. Dragon Trace was where the parking lot started. My kingdom (AEthelmearc) didn't even exist then, not even in anyone's imagination. The Woods Battle was fought down by the Bog. There might have been 2500 people onsite and most came on Friday and left on Sunday. We fenced in a thunderstorm and hid under the shade of the trees. Like many others at their first Pennsic before and since, I met a cute girl. The next year she was my wife. Nineteen years and two children later, she still is, and our youngest is best known for crashing an ice wagon down the very hill where his parents first found their love for each other.

Some things don't change. Some things do. Today, the War is not small. We now have over 11,000 people here at Pennsic scattered among eighteen (and soon to be nineteen) kingdoms. The War is now on officially neutral ground. Instead of a couple of dozen merchants we have over three hundred. The most splendiferous camps of Pennsic XV would be hopelessly primitive by today's standards and the constructions of today would marvel our forebears and the people we were twenty years ago. We've grown and matured far beyond what anyone could have imagined back in A.S. XXI. I'm no longer a bright-eyed idealistic young squire. Somewhere along the way I turned into what is commonly referred to as a "dinosaur." I don't even know how it happened. It happened to my wife and a lot of my friends as well. It will probably happen to a lot of you, too.

The SCA is a medieval re-creation society. It says so right there in Corpora. Many, if not most of us have done some rather impressive work in this regard wherever we have traveled. Many of us have traveled far but still we are all drawn here, like moths to a flickering tiki torch. So I'm forced to ask myself, what makes this place different? What makes this place special?

We have our own local events in hundreds of places scattered over five continents (six if you count Southern Wastes) but why do so many of us come here every August? It's certainly not the weather. Western Pennsylvania in summertime can often be a bizarre cross between west Texas, south Florida and Mount Olympus with scorching heat, oppressive humidity and godlike thunderstorms.

Although we may be a re-creation society this is not the place where we simulate history. This is the place where we make our own. Every single one of the tens of thousands of us who has ever been here has done their share in making this place special. Events that have happened here have become legend. Many of us have been fortunate enough to see and participate in some of those legends. I remember seeing the Ansteorran Army singing "Non Nobis" while leaving the Field Battle fourteen years ago. I remember cheerfully marching to certain doom in another Field Battle where the entire Knowne Worlde fought against us for the honor of the brave queen whose name now adorns Pennsic's most prominent hill. I remember being chased out of the Woods Battle by a bee swarm. I remember seeing many of my closest and dearest friends elevated to the Peerage here, several of them last year alone. Some of my friends are no longer with us, forever ensuring their status as legends. Some of yours probably aren't either. I remember music and dancing and fighting and drinking and drumming until four in the morning and wondering what bargains I can get on Wednesday nights. All of you do too.

We think about it all year long. That is why this place is special, some would even say sacred to us. Here, history isn't just what happened centuries ago in dusty books sitting in the library or on our bookshelves at home. Here, history is what we made. It is accessible to us. "There we were" isn't just the start of yet another tall tale, it is the living history of Pennsic made alive by all of us who have ever been here. We are as much a part of this place as this place is a part of each and every one of us.

All of us have created history in this magical place over the twenty-nine years Pennsic has been at Cooper's Lake. When you step on the field or go to the merchants or sit in a court or go to a party or look at the dancers or any of the countless varied things you can't do the same way anywhere else, remember that you are making more history. You are creating the history and legends of tomorrow. When you live the dream, dream big, then go out and do better. Someone will remember.

Early Bird Rapier Tourney

By Ld. Peregrine Fairchylde
Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

The 25-odd rapier fighters who took the field this past Thursday had brought their blades, their bucklers, their cloaks, their masks, their rigid and soft parry devices.
But for what marshal-in-charge Lord Maximilian der Zauberben had in mind for the Early Bird Rapier Tourney, they needed one more item: A pen.
Lord Maximilian was determined the participants would take away more than a won-loss tally at the end of the tourney.
"The idea of the Early Bird is to get to know people," he announced to the combatants, while holding a shovel marked with black and yellow marshal's stripes. "I want talking, not just fighting . . . . You are to get one interesting fact about each opponent."
To that end, he produced worksheets for each duelist that included a space in which to write in some obscure fact about each opponent, eliciting a buzz of humorous speculation from the group.
"I smell like what?" one gentle suggested. "What if there's nothing interesting about me?" another joked.
"They're making us write? I can't believe we have to work," quipped Krieger from Tirnewydd in the Midrealm. "This is supposed to be just killing."
Yet as the fighters paired off on the field, it quickly became evident that each was taken up by the spirit of the tourney, as there was frequently as much talking as fighting going on.
"We tried this last year. My son tried running it," Lord Maximilian, who lives in the Barony of the Roaring Wastes, said. "We got mostly Midrealmers. This year we put it a little bit later in the day and hopefully we'll get a better cross-kingdom turnout."
The turnout included veterans of rapier fighting as well as relative newcomers. Krieger, who had been fighting for about a year, was enthusiastic about the format.
"This is incredible," he said. "This makes meeting people incredibly easy and darned fun."
Gillian de Whittemere of the East Kingdom found a bout partner and drew him to the picnic table under the pavilion.
"First the paperwork, then the bloodshed!" she declared.
With about six bouts happening at any one time, there was copious laughter and lots of conversation both on the field and off of it. Lord Maximilian, who was Midrealm Rapier Marshal last year and commander for the first rapier war point battle, said he wanted gentles in the rapier community to get to know the people behind the masks.
"You never know when you'll say, 'Hey, I do that, too!'" he said. "You recognize faces; this gives you the chance to put names to faces."
And that, he hopes, will reinforce the camaraderie and healthy rivalry that he has seen develop amongst rapier fighters across kingdoms, and encourage them to spend more time with each other off the field, as well.
For his part, Lord Maximilian said, an interesting fact about himself he'd share would be that he has an alternate persona, "Corporate Bob," a magician whose deadpan routine has been featured at the Coxcomb Academy's performances in years past.
Doffing his gear after declaring himself done for the day after a half-dozen bouts, Richard van Utrecht of the Midrealm had high praise for the Early Bird Tourney.
"I love the format, love the idea of having to go out and meet new people," he said. "It makes you think, especially in the heat."
One interesting tidbit he'd learned, he said, was that one of his opponents had made a helmet and entered it in an A&S competition, only to have the helmet go missing.
After 45 minutes of fighting, the tourney was called to a halt and Lord Maximilian sought to select a victor - which, he had warned in advance, might go to the person with the most victories, or the most opponents, or who had learned the most interesting fact.
And what had the fencers learned? "His house is full of Portuguese flags," one offered. "He single-handedly set back East Kingdom fencing five years," said another. "He's building a pagan community center," proclaimed a third, and a fourth proclaimed, "He was struck by lightning last year and was out partying the next night."
In the end, Phoebus Craythorne of the Shire of Mirage Forest in the Middle Kingdom was proclaimed the winner, and received a stuffed parrot for his efforts.
"I got the bird at Pennsic!" he exulted.


Pennsic Historically

Part 1: The Great Pennsic Migration
By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique
It has often been observed by wise and revered people who are, technically, me, that the SCA is more than an enjoyable historical re-creation society. The Society is also a replay of history in a microcosm. Our organization had some pretty barbaric tendencies at that party in Berkeley 39 years ago; today we are an enlightened culture full of beauty, service and chivalry who only occasionally put on chain mail bikinis.
But if the SCA itself is a high-speed facsimile of medieval culture, Pennsic War might be considered a portrait of the Middle Ages painted at warp speed. For seven days we all, in essence, relive a little re-creation of medieval Europe right here on the shores of Cooper's Lake every year, and that's what I'd like to explore with you day-by-day on the pages of this paper.
This concept occurred to me as my traveling companion, Baroness Ceridwen, and I were on our Pennsic cross-country driving sojourn because, the fact of the matter is, after spending five or six or seventy-three hours driving across New Mexico, you start to think up some pretty weird stuff. But the gist of my idea was this: From land grab to the end-of-the-world party, the days of Pennsic mimics the events and eras of the Middle Ages. For example, Pennsic always begins with a great migration.
Long ago, at the dawn of the Middle Ages, the nomadic tribes of the Asian steppes, such as the Goths, Huns, Lombards, Chandels, Osmonds, Bu–elos, etc. started to feel a longing, an urge deep down in their bones to get the heck away from home and go and kill something for goodness sake! Similarly, round about mid-June we too begin to feel a primal urge to venture away from our familiar surroundings. So, like those barbarian hordes of the dim past, we load up our armor, costumes and pavilions into our SUVs and rental trucks and set out for a new and different place. (Of course, the ancient barbarians didn't have the luxury of modern modes of conveyance; they had to make do with sport-utility donkeys and rental camels.)
Making the great Pennsic migration from California is certainly an interesting experience. Ceridwen and I have a running contest each year to see who will spot the first SCA car on the freeway. She was the winner this year when she saw a pick-up on I-40 near Oklahoma City with an Outlands bumper sticker. By the time we found ourselves calmly following a double-axle trailer carrying a pirate ship down the highway in Missouri, we knew we were pretty much being swept along in the irresistible force of the Pennsic migration.
Ceridwen and I thought we were being pretty sly, cruising along the road without any trace of our SCA-ness showing to the outside world - that is, until we stopped for gas in Effingham, Indiana, and the guy at the next pump said, "Hey, y'all headed for Pennsic?" Then we realized that when we'd stealthily packed our camper, the last things we'd fit in as were closing the rear window glass were my tournament shield, emblazoned with my heraldry, and the illuminated sign for her merchant booth. We'd basically been a rolling billboard for Pennsic for the past 2,000 miles.
All of us, like those barbarian migrants long ago, aren't quite sure what we'll find at the end of the journey each year, but we know it will be something wonderful. And we, at least, can take comfort in the fact that no matter what our great migration holds, there's chocolate milk, a cool lake and days of glorious battle waiting for us at the end of the trip.

"Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" is a brand-new book of Guillaume's hilarious and irreverent tales of life in and around the SCA. Get your copy at Ceridwen's Closet at space #74 in merchants row. Those of you playing along at home can buy Guillaume's books and CDs by migrating to his website at

PI Web Edition -- Saturday, August 20, 2005

"They met on the Field of Honour"

By DonalBane of the Blakmers

Battlefield Correspondent, Pennsic Independent

Final Tally:

Midrealm Dragons 26,

East Tygers 1

The Grand Armies of the Midrealm and the East met for the final time Friday under overcast skies for The Field of Honour. The grand spectacle of the field battle brought out loads of spectators to cheer on their respective kingdoms.

Once again, the East lined its forces up on the western side of the battlefield determined to fight to the last man. House Bloodguard, Rome, the Tuchux, and the Northern Army held the north side of the field, while the Southern Army, Black Talon, the Bog Alliance and Ironlance held the center. The western allied kingdoms deployed themselves to the south.

The Dragon's armies lined up for the last time this war on the east side of the battlefield. Forces from AEthelmearc, Calontir, Ealdormere, Northshield and Outlands held the north, while the bulk of the Midrealm army deployed itself to the center. Forces from Atlantia, the Great Dark Horde and Trimaris held the south of the battlefield.

When the cannon sounded for the first fight, more than 1,000 gentles charged proudly into each other. The bulk of the East's forces held their own initially in the north and center, but the combined forces of Trimaris and Atlantia proved to be too much for the outnumbered fighter from the western kingdoms. The right side of the East line was flanked and the Atlantian forces began to charge north. Slowly, the whole of the outnumbered East line began to crumble until the remaining Tyger forces were trapped the northwest corner of the battlefield and wore down.

The second fight took a similar path, although the East's forces seemed to be more compact and organized in this fight. The Tyger held back some units in attempt to countercharge the surging Dragon armies. Unfortunately for the East, the Midrealm's surge could only be delayed and the battle once again collapsed until the Tuchux found themselves fighting against most of the Known World in the northwest corner of the battlefield.

The third fight allowed for combat archery and siege weapons, although many fewer siege weapons were used than the previous day on the causeway. The fight in the north followed the same path as the first two fights, but the fight to the south saw a reversal of fortunes. A tightly bunched group of the East's western allies were able to roll over forces from Trimaris in the initial charge. This same force then turned back and decimated the remains of the Atlanitan army in the south. Having cleared the southern battlefield, the western allies turned their attentions to the brawl to the north. They were greeted by a host of Midrealmers, anchored by the Darkyard Legion and House Darkmoon. It became a dark time for the outnumbered westerners as they were beaten in the final grand melee of the war.

Saturday's Big Battle: The flight of the dragons through the gates!

Seriously, HOOBAH, VIVAT, WASSAIL and HUZZAH to all the warriors and warrior watchers of the great Pennsic War. Hope to see you in a years' time for Pennsic XXXV.

Populace Archery Shoot Results (total for all three points):

Midrealm: 2,401

East: 1,261

All three populace archery points went to the Middle.

Rapier Woods Battle Results:

The Middle Kingdom took all five banners and so won the war point.

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Pennsic Historically Part 8: Too Long, Too Far From Home

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

At the end of the Middle Ages, the great thinkers of Western society began an outward expansion to uncover new lands and resources for the thriving sense of industry and liberty that were blooming in that time. This is a really high-brow way of saying that by the beginning of the 17th century, anyone with half a brain was trying to get the heck out of Europe. They sailed south and west, and they traveled east by caravan, to discover new cultures, new people and new lands - most of which were getting along just fine by themselves and were completely unaware that they were in need of 'discovery.'

In a similar vein, this morning begins an outward migration of a population that has happily called Pennsic home for the past week or two. Like those European explorers such as Columbus, Magellan, the Navigator formerly known as Prince Henry, De Soto, Mitsubishi, and Carl Sagan, as we all begin to break camp, we look to the road ahead with anticipation and uncertainty. Who knows what the coming year will bring?

The last day of Pennsic is always a bittersweet moment for me. I love all of my friends here (new and old) very much, but there are many friends at home, in Caid and in Calafia, who I've been missing for the past two weeks. Like an explorer turning for home, I look forward to bringing a little bit of this year's war back to my 'everyday' life with me - the only difference being that I'm returning home carrying T-shirts and new basket hilts, rather than gold, spices and tobacco.

The bubble of our magic Pennsic world cannot last forever. The battles are now fought, the shopping is shopped and the parties are all reveled out. We are too long, too far from home, and it is time to let the winds carry us away from Pennsic for another year. Fortunately smiles, laughter and friendship are the resources we take away from this land, and those cargoes can sustain us for the coming year, until it's time to begin another year of Pennsic history.

Wherever your journeys take you, you can always enjoy more of Guillaume's humorous stories about life in the SCA and his reflections on the concepts of chivalry, honor and ethics at his websites:


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Women work the wires at AEthelmearc tourney

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

The Kingdom of AEthelmearc welcomed 20 ladies from around the known world to its second Ladies' Rapier Tournament on Friday, and everyone took away a prize thanks to the "treasure chest" format where each entrant provided a gift for the marshal's table.

After running through four pools of five fighters each, the top finisher from each pool - Warder Brighid MacCumhal of the Middle Kingdom, Lady Arnaz from Trimaris, Tamara of the Light from Ealdormere and Carol Roche from the East - fought a single-elimination bracket to determine the overall winner.

In the finals, Lady Arnaz planted a thrust onto the mask of Warder Brighid to emerge victorious and take, among other prizes, a scroll made by Do–a Sasha Grey of AEthelmearc, one of the organizers of the event, and a gift certificate to Gipsy Peddler. Warder Brighid was offered a bottle of Scotch to help her console herself, and she also took home a tablet-woven belt.

Lady Arnaz said she hopes to bring the same enthusiasm for fencing to the ladies in her home kingdom.

"I'm trying to get the ladies in our kingdom to fight, and hope we can do this at Gulf Wars," she announced.

Warder Brighid noted that she skipped the heavy weapons battle to fight in the ladies' tourney, and also would like to see the Midrealm reach the point one day where the East Kingdom is now, with close to half of its rapier champions being women. Warder Brighid was the sole lady on the Midrealm's team.

Tamara of the Light, an Ealdormearean fencer, said she was extremely pleased to have made the final four.

"This is my first tournament I've actually placed in," said Tamara, who's been fighting for about three years. "It was fun. It was nice to fight gentle ladies who take their shots. [There was] a nice skill level and no thuggery."

Lady Illadore de Bedegrayne, the other organizer of the tournament, said she was very pleased to have exceeded last year's turnout of 14 participants.

"We started this because we thought it would be fun," said Lady Illadore.

"In the past couple of years at Pennsic we've seen lots more women fencing," added Do–a Sasha.

The activity is still growing, and Lady Illadore noted that in their kingdom about 30 percent of all rapier fighters are women. They hoped that through tourneys like this one and another held at Estrella War for the past 10 years that more ladies will be encouraged to try out rapier fighting.

"I would have to say the rapier community is very accepting of everyone and we are delighted to have as many strong women on the field," said Lady Illadore.

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PI Web Edition -- Sunday, August 14, 2005

This is the Pennsic Independent Web Edition for Sunday, August 14, 2005.

Pennsic Historically Part 2--The Flowery Day of Urban Renewal

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

How is the week of Pennsic War like the history of the Middle Ages? There are many similarities that I'll explore throughout the week on the pages of this paper in a real and sincere effort to prevent myself from having to go out into the hot sun and actually doing some real journalism work.

The second day of Pennsic mirrors the era of urban renewal that took place in the 9th and 10th centuries. In the Early Middle Ages, the primary method for finding a place to live was pretty much, "kill your neighbor, take his house." But by the turn of the first millennium, people were tired of living in buildings made primarily of mud, straw and dead sheep. They realized there were all these Roman buildings lying around made of perfectly good rocks and bricks that no one seemed to be using. Suddenly a huge array of cathedrals, monasteries and palaces were springing up from Bruges to Provence, thus transforming Europe from the "trailer park of world history" into a beautiful, architecturally rich region where every petty, tin-pot feudal overlord had a castle of his own.

By the second day of Pennsic, a similar transformation has taken place throughout the campground. All of the campsites with their walls, buildings, roads and decorations have sprung up seemingly overnight. Regular Pennsic attendees may be somewhat blasŽ about this, but speaking as one of those visitors from "out west," I must say that Pennsic's urban development phase is nothing short of phenomenal. Our wars are essentially two-day events where "lay on" is called about 15 minutes after the site opens, and dumping waste water on the ground is an offense punishable by five years in a federal penitentiary.
So, for us, being able build and dig and actually alter the landscape is a unique luxury. (If you want to see something really funny, stop by the Caidan camp when someone is digging a drainage pit for a shower - every time the shovel goes into the ground, everyone reflexively looks around to see if a park ranger is watching.) In fact, for me, this aspect of Pennsic is almost more intriguing than the fighting - which may explain why, last year, when the armies were marching out to battle, Countess Albra walked through the camp and was surprised to find me in full armor, watering flowers in front of my pavilion. Albra watched me clanking around with my watering can for a while, then she said, "Well, I think that's one of the more surreal things I've ever seen."
Hey, in my world, there are a lot of opportunities to fight, but cultivating a flower garden in front of your camp isn't an everyday occurrence.

As the Middle Ages got into full swing, the people of Europe took new pride in making their land beautiful and habitable; much the same thing happens on the second day of Pennsic. Today is a good reminder that we should never let the sweep of history make us forget to stop and enjoy the flowers.

Your can beautify your campsite with a copy of "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" a new book filled with some of Guillaume's most memorable tales of life in and around the SCA, available at Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. You can also beautify your computer screen by visiting Guillaume's website at

Release the Hounds!

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Pennsic Independent Staff Writer

About a dozen dogs, including fleet greyhounds, petite Italian greyhounds and a pair of massive Irish wolfhounds, delighted a large crowd of spectators on the battlefield Saturday during a demonstration of coursing.

Lady Katla Ulfhedinn, the AEthelmearc Hound Mistress and one of the demo's organizers, who has been coursing for some five years, said the intent of the demonstration was to help familiarize more people with the period activity and help encourage coursing at other events.

But as for turning Pennsic into a place where gentles bring their hounds with them for the war, Lady Katla said that wasn't the goal.

"Honestly, no. I think there's too much health risk for the people and the hounds, as well," she explained. "I think what the Coopers are doing for us is fantastic, letting the dogs out here for a day and letting people see them."

While most kingdoms have coursing to some degree and many have kingdom officers over the activity, the opportunity for royalty from around the Known World to see it at Pennsic may help spread it further, he added.

"This gives their kings and queens a chance to come down and see what we're doing," said THL Corin the Huntsman, master of the recently chartered Hunt Guild of the Midrealm.
Indeed, several of the Known World's queens processed to the demo, escorted by the hounds and their handlers, and were the first to release hounds to chase the lure - in this case, a couple of plastic grocery bags tied to a line that was propelled around a series of turns and straightaways by a motorized winch.

Each greyhound and Italian ran the course in their own fashion, some tracking the lures closely, others swinging wide in the corners, and some even cutting across the route to head off their targets.

THL Corin said the light bulb-shaped course was designed for "couch potato" dogs like most of those present. Hounds that are in top shape would be given a more vigorous challenge, with many cuts and turns along the course.

Standing out from the sleek and streamlined greyhounds were the pair of Irish wolfhounds brought by Dr. Kimberly Berry, a veterinarian from Butler, and Tommasa de la Heil of AEthelmearc, one of her vet techs who introduced her recently to the SCA. Dr. Berry had already been coursing with her dogs.

"They do agility, obedience, coursing," she said of 6-year-old Erin and 2-year-old Dublin, a mother-son pair.

Once all the greyhounds had been run, the course was lengthened for the wolfhounds. With their curly, blonde fur and long legs, they put on a very different display from the greyhounds - long, loping strides with a rolling gait that, while less smooth than the greyhounds, nonetheless gobbled up huge distances. And while 135-pound Dublin didn't corner well, his more experienced dam neatly kept pace with the bags, eagerly grabbing up one as she came to the finish of the course.

Her Majesty of Drachenwald, Queen Eufemia, was among the royals to take part and said that she hopes to make coursing part of her life.

"I think it's marvelous because, being an Italian persona, I've been looking at Italian hunting scenes, and they all have Italian greyhounds," said Her Majesty, who had already been planing to acquire a dog. "I'm very excited to find the perfect accessory to my Italian hunting garb."

Lady Katla emphasized that most any dog, even if not a sighthound like a greyhound, can be trained for coursing, and THL Corin said an easy way to see if a dog was interested was to tie a plastic grocery bag to a line on a fishing pole and swing it around in circles. Gentles interested in pursuing coursing in the SCA should contact their kingdom hound master, he advised.

State Police Investigating Reported Assault on Woman

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer Pennsic Independent

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a report of an assault on a woman at Pennsic from last Wednesday.

Viscount Sir Edward Zifran of Gendy, Commissioner of Public Safety and Captain of the Watch, said Friday that the incident was reported directly to the State Police and not the Pennsic Watch, and that his department will provide whatever cooperation law enforcement authorities request of them - which, for the time being, is to let the police handle everything.

"They asked us to get the hell out of the way and give them an air conditioned room in which to talk to the alleged victim, which we did," said Viscount Edward.

State Police officers did "go and look at some areas" while they were here, His Excellency said, but added that, since he was not party to any part of the interview or the investigation, he didn't have any more information about the alleged incident.
Calling local law enforcement authorities is the proper procedure for the populace to take in cases of violations of law, said His Excellency.

"They are encouraged [to call the police], if they feel a crime was committed against them, and we will cooperate in any way the public officials wish us to do."


PI Web Edition -- Thursday, August 18, 2005

This is the web edition for the Pennsic Independent for Thursday, August 18, 2005.

East dominates Middle in Thrown Weapons Champions

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

In the sixth year of the non-war point Thrown Weapons Champions tourney, the East Kingdom and its allies brought the overall tally to three victories apiece by defeating the Midrealm and its allies on Wednesday.

Throwing at six targets with weapons provided by the thrown weapons staff - a twist that caught many of the participants by surprise - the two teams of 20 tested their skills with knife, axe and spear. At the end, the East Kingdom team scored 92 points to the Midrealm's 67, with Ld. Mikkel the Builder of the Barony of Dragonship Haven in the East being high points scorer with 14.

"[Thrown weapons] is the first thing I started in the SCA, so that's been six, five years," said Lord Mikkel, who is 19 and was the youngest thrown weapons champion in his barony.

He said he wasn't put off by the fact he couldn't use his own equipment, since he's won other tourneys with provided weapons.

"I'm used to throwing weird stuff," he laughed.

If not weird, "unusual" was probably the word for the tourney, with a mix of short spears, short and standard axes and knives provided, and targets featuring playing cards, a turkey, a fox, a groundhog and bales of hay with painted strike zones. The participants took it all in a good-natured stride, frequently ribbing and heckling their opponents - and their teammates - as each threw in turn. There was also lots of cheering from both sides for successful hits by anyone.

Lady Elayne Thorne, the head of thrown weapons, said that efforts have been underway for several years to try and establish a war point for the champions' throw.

"We're working on it," she said. "We want to see it become one - there's been six [champions' throws] and it's tied right now."

Earlier in the week, there was an open Known World Thrown Weapons competition, with 34 hurlers taking part. The winner with the knife was Alvcard from the Midrealm; axe was Dennis from ®thelmearc; spear was Owen from the Midrealm; and the overall winner was Ludwig from the East Kingdom.

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It's never too late...

By: Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

Editor-in-Chief, Pennsic Independent

Lost something at Pennsic? A recent find in the woods proves it's never too late to check in with Lost and Found.

A pouch containing a variety of ID was found near the entrance to the woods battle area on Wednesday, and turned in to Lost and Found. That was not unusual. What is unusual is that this pouch dates back approximately 12 years. From the ID and other cards in the wallet in the pouch, the best guess is that it was lost in 1993 (Pennsic XXII). The contents clearly identify the owner of the pouch as Amy C. Roberts, known in the Society as Adrianna Miranda Vukovna (according to her SCA membership card and Meridies authorization card). She was a member of the US Air Force, probably based in Florida. Viscount Edward, head of Public Safety, was able to determine that she is not on site under either of those names. If she is onsite under a new name, or if someone knows her, Lost and Found has her ID, pouch, and hair scrunchy-slightly worse for wear, but recovered after many years.

Thanks to Master Vorlin for alerting us to this interesting find.

Life Is A Carnival: Atlantia Hosts 8th Annual Known World Children's Fete

By THL Asa Gormsdottir

"Yes, Virginia, there really is a Children's Pennsic..." Eagerly awaited by kids and parents alike, the 8th Annual Known World Children's Fete was held yesterday in the Barn from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Hosted by the Kingdom of Atlantia, the Fete was open to children 4-12 years old, with teenage helpers especially welcome.

Excited children lined up four lines deep with their parents in front of the Barn to have their medallion numbers registered and waivers signed before they were released into the maze of activities. Offering a dizzying array of well-stocked booths, refreshments and enthusiastic volunteers, the Fete was a kids' paradise.

There were activities to suit every age and temperament, all with a period theme. Physical games included 2-person tug-of-war (while balanced on little wooden footrests), beanbag and horseshoe tosses, and boffer fighting with aquanoodle swords. Young Jared, son of the Prince and Princess of Ealdormere, was observed vigorously clearing the adult opponents from the boffer field with a few well-chosen strokes!

A booth on the center dais offered face and body painting - and not pedestrian designs either, as proven by the two little warriors who walked past comparing the beautiful Celtic snakes coiling around their arms.

More quiet pursuits included Viking necklace construction, paper pinwheels, origami without the tantrums, and crepe paper rosettes for their own Lady of the Rose (aka Mom). There were giant games of Draughts (checkers) with outsize game pieces, and storytelling.

Others painted beautiful knotwork design bookmarks with little individual paint sets, painted "stained glass" pictures, or constructed Pennsic books/journals to take home, watched over by ridiculous squid-like balloon animals.

Especially appreciated were the Fletcher Puppeteers, whose topical tales and enthusiastic puppet action were hugely enjoyed. Here's one of their stories, "The Lion and the Mouse":

A Mouse met a Lion in the woods and asked to be his friend. The Lion (a King) roared, "Be my friend?! You're too small to be my lunch!" and the Mouse scurried off. Suddenly, the Tuchux appeared and captured the King with a net! The King called for his Champion (he was having a nap), his Knights (mending their armor), and his Retainers (out getting ice cream). No one came. Then, the Mouse came back. Snarling viciously, he tore the net away and beat off the Tuchux. The grateful King gave the Mouse an AOA. The moral: "Never too small to help".

The Fletcher Puppeteers are Remus Fletcher and his son Orion, of the Debatable Lands, AEthelmearc. Between acts, 12-year-old Orion explained, "I like stories that teach us lessons, funny stories." Pennsic XXXIV marks Orion's 7th year in puppetry!

Remarkably, despite the high traffic (over 200 children in attendance mid-afternoon), there was limited litter and no tear-stained faces. Everyone was clearly having a good time.

Duchesses Arielle the Golden and Ysabelle Grimault presided over the festivities. Duchess Arielle took a few moments to express her thanks to all the volunteers, particularly Lady Medb ingen Brian, Atlantia's Minister of Children, who was a great help in putting the Fete together, and the Barony of Sacred Stone who sponsored the refreshments. Congratulations on delivering such a successful event!

During the rest of the week, children can participate in various activities at Children's Point. Today, there is a Children's Theatre Performance at the Pavilion at 1 pm. Also, kids who missed a chance to learn about and draw a stained glass picture should come to Children's Point today at 1 pm. On Friday, Children's Point activities include Castles (10-12 pm), Intro to Cross Stitch (1-2 pm), and Stories and Puppet Show (2-3 pm). Dame Nicholaa Halden is this year's Youth Activities Coordinator and warmly welcomes all parents and children looking for a sheltered spot to learn and enjoy new activities. Water and baby wipes are provided to help keep little ones hydrated and clean. Donations are always welcome.

Activities geared to teenagers include the Teen Bardic Performance on Friday, August 19 at 2:00 pm, AEthelmearc Royal encampment, and the East Kingdom Teen Party III, also on Friday, from 7:00 - 11:00 pm at the East Kingdom Royal Encampment. Teens from 13 to 17 are welcome to join for food, music, games and fun with your friends!


Pennsic Historically Part 6: The Golden Day of Chivalry

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

There's a story I heard about last year's Pennsic that may or may not be true, but it bears repeating anyway. There was a knight, so the story goes, who was in the thick of the fighting during the last day's battle. As the combat neared it's close, the knight found himself hard pressed on every side, stabbing furiously with his pike. Enemies went down by the dozens, and at last one of the opposing fighters got close enough to strike this knight. Finally defeated, the knight hurled his weapon at the fighter who'd killed him and said, "My lord, I am inspired by your valor! Please take my lance in commemoration of this moment of skill and honor."

Then one of the nearby fighters said, "Sir knight, that was one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen!"
And the knight replied quietly, "Well, I'm flying home, and I can't take the spear with me, so I had to get rid of it. Why not make someone's day in the process?"

By the twilight of the Middle Ages, the knights of Europe, desperately seeking to establish their credentials as divine rulers in the face of a merchant class that was rapidly gaining the ability to buy and sell noble titles like PokŽmon cards, began to look back to a "golden age of chivalry" that might never have really existed. For some, this refurbished version of the knightly code was a license to commit all sorts of atrocities; for others it was an inspiration for truly great and worthy accomplishments.

As we reach the final days of the Pennsic War, we find ourselves in much the same position: Our version of the Middle Ages may be better in re-creation than it was in its original inception. We all admire tales of honor and glory from days past (whether they're real or not). Yet it's what happens when the costumes come off and the pavilions come down that really defines the success of our efforts at Pennsic.

For a week we get the privilege of living in a world where the conflicts are imaginary, where courtesy is applauded and where honor can be measured in coronets and award medallions. If only the real world was so simple - outside the gate of Pennsic is a place where real people may be called upon to put their reputations, fortunes and lives on the line to defend what's right with the firm knowledge that they may never rewarded or even recognized for what they do.

To paraphrase the author C.S. Lewis, what we do here at Pennsic -the make-believe battles and the leisure-time activities -does not require real chivalry, but we may practice real chivalry here if we choose to. We can judge how effective that practice is only by assessing how much of our chivalry remains when the Pennsic-party is over and we all go back to the real world of conflict, strife, grief and complacency.

As the people of Europe turned outward to explore the globe at the end of the Middle Ages, the ideals of chivalry provided a moral compass that they could use to navigate the rough waters ahead. May the golden days of Pennsic do the same for us as we prepare to launch our own voyages of exploration into that world beyond the gates of Cooper's Lake.

The full line of Guillaume's books and audio CDs, including "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" and "Bringing Chivalry to Life" are available in Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. Readers who have enjoyed Guillaume's columns in the Pennsic Independent may also want to visit his websties:

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PI Web Edition -- Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This is the web edition of the Pennsic Independent for Tuesday, August 16, 2005.

DonalBane's Battlefield Numbers

Midrealm 6

East Kingdom 0

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Dragon flames Tyger in Archery Champions

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

The top archers of the Middle Kingdom and its allies found their marks more often and defeated their counterparts from the East Kingdom and its allies to take the Archery Champions War Point on Monday by a score of 708 to 585.

The two teams of 30 archers vied against one another in three formats: The walk-up shoot, the friend and foe shoot, and a woods walk. The Midrealm archers won all three events.

The friend and foe was the most straightforward of the shoots. Archers were faced with a target depicting two warriors: One on his knees with his back to the archers was an ally, one standing beyond the ally and facing the archers was an enemy. The object of the timed shoot was to put as many arrows into the enemy as possible while not shooting the ally. The Midrealm side tallied 84 points while the Eastern side tallied 45.

Once beyond that shoot, however, things took a fanciful turn, with all the shoots having a fairy tale theme.
The targets in the walk-up shoot were Puss-In-Boots and the Seven Dwarves, arrayed in a group a great distance from the firing line - a distance that was unknown to the archers when they started. At that furthest line, some archers could only see the tops of the targets. After each team member shot two arrows, they then moved up to another line an unspecified distance closer. There were six such lines, each progressively closer, ranging from about 120 to about 35 yards from the targets. The Middle Kingdom and allied archers scored 267 points to the East and allies, 244.

The teams then split up into groups of three, with an East and a Middle trio paired together for the 10 stations of the woods walk. The targets, also all at unspecified distances, included such themes as protecting the Three Little Pigs from the Big, Bad Wolf; shooting the poisoned apple from the Wicked Witch's hand; and taking out the troll so the Billy Goats Gruff could cross the bridge. The woods walk had the additional challenge of dappled light and shade, as well as many targets being partially or totally obscured by vegetation, in come cases requiring archers to fire between close trunks of trees to strike the target. Once all the archers had shot all 10 stations, the Middle Kingdom again prevailed, 357 to 296.

The archery range was closed to the populace all day on Monday for the shoot but will be open again for practice from 9-11 a.m. today, and populace War Point shooting will commence at 11 a.m. for the rest of the day.

Gentles wishing to shoot but wanting to avoid an unnecessary trip up Mount Eislinn should look for the range flag - with a yellow square at the hoist and a red pennon on the fly - which is raised when the range is open and down when it is closed.

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French Fortress Falls to Fiercely Fighting Fencers

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

For the fifth year in a row, the fortress of La Rochelle fell on the Pennsic battlefield.

In a re-staging of the late period attack on the French city, almost 200 rapier fighters from around the Known World converged on the fort to take turns seeing how long they could hold off the inevitable. With the attackers having unlimited resurrections and the defenders limited to only two, it came down to a matter of how long the defenders could hold out. In the first battle, the defenders managed to stay alive for about half an hour, but when the two sides switched the overtaking tide was more swift, sweeping the defenders aside in about 18 minutes.

Warder Uadahlrich von Sassmannshausen of the Barony of Fenix in the Middle Kingdom, who founded the battle, said the purpose was simply to bring rapier fighters together to have fun and not to try and make it an East vs. Middle contest.

"We try to hodge-podge the teams together," he explained. "If people like to fight together, we try to put them on the same side."

Firearms, in the form of rubber band guns, were allowed in the battle, and many participants held a pistol or rifle along with their sword. The Midrealm's Barony of Cleftlands even brought out a cannon, which shot eight giant rubber bands made of surgical tubing. Lord Miguel D'Servasa, a marshal for the battle who also hails from Cleftlands, explained that the cannon always belongs to the attackers, though it can be moved during the battle and, in the past, has actually wound up inside.

The attackers were also armed with a petard, or bomb, which had to be placed at the gate in order to "blow it open" and allow the invaders to storm the fortification.

In both battles, strategy was fairly similar and straightforward: A group surrounded the person holding the petard and rushed the gate under a hail of gunfire. Once the bomb was set, a 10-second countdown was given and then the gates were opened. The defenders then formed a cup on the inside of the tunnel and did their best to keep the attackers at bay. "Leg them and leave them!" was a common cry among the defenders, who tried to bottle up the gateway so the attackers couldn't advance. On several occasions, the cannon was rolled up to fire through the gate, sending attackers scurrying and defenders stepping hastily backwards.

At the sally port, where only three attackers could fit inside at once, the fighting was just as furious if on a smaller scale. With a dozen defenders arrayed and waiting, little progress was made even when sharpshooters took out one or two of the fighters inside.

Eventually, though, the limited resurrections for defenders took their toll. The main gate fell and attackers rushed in, attempting to come up behind the sally port defenders - only to be frustrated by a hold. Once they were back on their feet, though, it was fairly quick work to clear the side gate. Defenders concentrated themselves in towers as the attackers tried to mop up, and the superior numbers eventually told the tale.

In the second battle, the defenders-turned-attackers used their superior numbers of guns to their advantage early, wearing down the defenders' cup formation inside the gate. In a much shorter time frame, both gates fell and all that was left was the mopping up.

With the two main fights out of the way, Warder Uadahlrich invited all the White Scarves, Brass Rings and other premier rapier award holders to defend the fort against the remaining combatants - with no guns, no resurrections for the defenders, and only one for the attackers. Once the sides were set, the premier fighters decided not to hang around inside the walls - all but a couple burst forth and took the fight to their challengers, while two holed up in a tower to await the search parties who came to clear out the fort. With the odds about four to one in favor of the attackers, the premier fighters met their demise within just a few minutes.

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Pennsic Historically

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

There are some amazing similarities between the history of the Middle Ages and the week of Pennsic War. For example, in the 12th century, the knights of Europe embarked on a grand quest to deliver the lands of the Middle East from the ravages of public sanitation, scientific advances and edible cuisine. When they finally reached their destination, they looked around and said to themselves, "Hey, they've got some pretty cool stuff here. Let's take some of it home." And thus began one of the most productive periods of cultural exchange every seen in Western history: Before you knew it, traders and merchants were returning from the east with textiles, spices, books and other luxury goods, hoping that they could get all this stuff imported into Europe before the knights started some huge battle and messed everything up.

Similarly, Pennsic is a place for all of us heavily armed pilgrims to share diverse thoughts, views and practices that we've all brought from our homes. One of the most culturally enlightening moments I ever experienced at Pennsic came several years ago, at the resurrection point of the woods battle. At the time I was lounging around with the massive Army of Caid (eight guys and a banner bearer), doing what we were all used to doing in such a situation: Abusing the hospitality of the water-bearers.

Now, on the sidelines at the wars we have out west, you find lots of lovely, generous water-bearers bringing refreshments to the fighters: water, sports drinks, sometimes even a slice of fruit that hasn't been too desiccated by the desert sun. So, we weren't too surprised when one of the Pennsic water-bearers came by with a tray full of oranges, bananas and strawberries. We were a bit surprised when another came by a few minutes later with a tray loaded with finger sandwiches. Then, we heard a third water-bearer offering hot dogs and popsicles to the waiting fighters. Finally someone came by carrying a platter of - I swear to you I'm not making this up - dim sum and California rolls, and I said to the rest of the Caidans: "We've got to get some of this at our wars."

Pennsic is, of course, a great place to exchange information, ideas and even materiel, which, in turn, we can all use to make our shires, baronies and kingdoms nicer places - and thus, by extension, improving the whole SCA. There is lots of inspiration to be shared here, among the merchants, the artisans and even the fighters. Personally, I'm pretty inspired to go back and see what kind of snacks are being served at the resurrection point this year.

Experience what little culture Guillaume claims he has absorbed in his new book, "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" which features 25 of his best and funniest stories of life in the SCA, sold at Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. You can also marvel at Guillaume's lack of culture by making a visit to his website at

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PI Web Edition -- Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This is the web edition for the Pennsic Independent for August 17, 2005

Donalbane's Battlefield Numbers

Middle - 10

East - 1

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Midrealm reverses history, Rules the Woods

By DonalBane of Blakmers

Battlefield Correspondent, Pennsic Independent

After nine War Points: Midrealm Dragons 9, East Tygers 0

A Pennsic original played out under cloudy skies and temperate temperatures Tuesday as the Woods Battle was fought. Through the years, the East has dominated this fight and HRM Kelson and Co. lined up at the southern entrance. Looking to press their advantage after an excellent first day, the Midrealm and its allies lined up at the northern entrance.

At the sound of the cannon, the fighters charged into the fight with vigor. Reports of the front lines indicated that the East initially took two banners, but the Midrealm's superior forces were eventually able to claim all three banners in the first 30 minutes of the fight.

At the hour mark, fighters reported the East had claimed the central banner and, despite being outnumbered, was making pushes on all fronts. Warriors described the fight as "intense," "a meat grinder" and "hard, but fair."

With consorts urging them on, gentles charged up the hills until the moment the cannon sounded. The first banner to emerge from the woods was the East's banner, which was seized by an international coalition of fighters led by Duke Christopher of AEthelmearc. The Midrealm and central banners soon followed in the hands of the HRM Alaric and HRH Edmund of the Midrealm. According to HRH Edmund, fighters from Atlantia and the Midrealm King's Guard seized the Midrealm's banner, while Count Valharic of Atlantia said the Barony of the Debatable Lands led the charge for the central banner.

Assembling his troops with all three banners on a pickup dragon, HRM Alaric and his allies addressed the masses.

"This comes from everyone of you who sucked it up and got back out there until the end. Your royal majesty Malcolm of AEthelmearc, these banners are yours."

"This a singular moment in Midrealm history," HRM Alaric said. "Today is a great day. Having all three of these banners, I can finally say 'I saw a banner in the woods.'"

HRM Alaric, like many others, gave the East credit for putting up a superb fight.

"Meet your adversaries from the East with honor," HRM Alaric instructed his troops. "Their might gave us a tremendous fight this day."

Heroic Champions Battle

Two more War Points were up for grabs in the Heroic Champions Battle, a series of 20 individual bouts between some of the best fighters of the Midrealm, East, and their respective allies. The fights were honorable and fierce, but in the end, the Dragon and her allies won 13 bouts to the East's 7, claiming their second heavy fighting win of the day.

Passage of the Three Seas

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the kingdom's founding, the Kingdom of Trimaris hosted the Passage of the Three Seas at its battlefield pavilion. The Passage has been going on since Saturday, HRH Judith of Trimaris said. HRM Baldar and HRH Gaston both sought to fight 1,500 combats against warriors throughout the Known World in celebration. Trimaris knights also manned a third list in the pavilion at various times during the Passage. Fighters were given the opportunity to face the Trimarans in five or 10-fight batches with one weapons form per day.

HRM Baldar said the Passage had been a success from his perspective.

"I got to fight warriors from every Kingdom in the Known World," HRM Baldar said, noting he was about 100 fights short of his goal by midday on Monday. "Fighters from as far away as Lochac, Drachenwald and some from An Tir have come. We've had a very good turnout this week."

HRM Baldar can claim to be piece of Trimaris history himself, having served as king in the first, 10th, and 20th years of Trimaris' existence.

Ladies of the Rose Tournament

By DonalBane of Blakmers and Master Liam St. Liam

A great multitude of gentles, including virtually all of the reigning Queens of the Known World, turned out Monday for the Ladies of the Rose Tournament. A total of 57 unbelted heavy fighters took part in the tournament, fighting for the favor of individual queens, princesses, duchesses or countesses. Many great bouts were fought and Lord Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus of the East emerged as the winner. He was sponsored by Duchess Katherine Stanhope.

Lord Edward defeated Lord Aaron Rebellinus of Atlantia in a long and chivalrous final. Lord Aaron was sponsored by Duchess Luned of Snowden.

The other semifinalists were Lord Kilian von Fendrich of the Middle, who was sponsored by Countessa Tamara di Firenza, and Lord Henry West of Atlantia. He was fighting for Duchess Kynneburh Boithule.

The tournament was organized by Countess Svava Thorgeirrsdottir and Duchessa Isabella of York, both of the East.

Wednesday's Big Battle: The Mountain Pass Battle

It's back to the main battlefield today as the Mountain Pass battle will begin at 11 p.m. This one-hour, unlimited resurrection fight will be contested for three banners around a "mountain" in the center of the battlefield. A War Point will be given to the kingdom, which possesses each banner at the end of one hour. This battle allows for combat archery and siege weapons throughout.

What to watch for: Stray ballista bolts!! Seriously, combat archery and siege weapons will be used and arrows don't care who they hit once launched. As such, the marshals will likely ask the watching populace to stay a good distance behind the hay bales. On the field, unlimited resurrection battles tend to lead to sporadic fights, but when they get going, they are a sight to behold.

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Pennsic Historically Part 5: A Renaissance of Pennsic Proportions

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

Being at Pennsic is a lot like living through the whole chronology of the Middle Ages, condensed into a week's time. We migrate and settle during the "Dark Ages" of land grab, then we establish boundaries and open channels of trade, and by Wednesday we are ready to begin what might be referred to as "the Pennsic Renaissance."

During the 14th and 15th centuries, European culture experienced a period of reinvigoration as Flemish traders, funded by Italian bankers, hired Spanish navigators to satisfy the commercial tastes of French aristocrats. Adding to this was a rediscovery of the art and culture of the Classical world, which sparked a new trend in aesthetic sensibilities as crowned heads throughout Europe cheerfully celebrated advances in architecture, music, fashion and cuisine through obscene displays of wealth, prestige and authority.

At Pennsic, the Renaissance comes not in a rediscovery of lost knowledge and artistry, but in the realization of just how many talented people there are in the SCA. This phase of the war develops slowly over the course of several days, beginning with the A&S display on Monday. With so many talented artisans showing the results of their work and research, those of us mortals who thought we had a handle on this whole re-creation thing suddenly begin to feel like chimpanzees throwing mud at a ceiling and calling it the Sistine Chapel. The armor, garb and accessories that we thought were acceptable just a few days ago now seem plain and amateurish; we all begin to scheme and plan on ways to upgrade our SCA equipment.

Luckily we can begin that process immediately by flocking to the numerous arts and sciences classes that are offered during the course of the war, and which seem to be filling up rapidly by the middle of the week. At last year's Pennsic, although my main goal in coming to the war was basically to have the chance to hit all of my friends in the head with a stick, by Wednesday I was voluntarily bypassing battles and tournaments in order to take classes on 14th century head wear, turn shoe making, Shakespearian acting and the history of Bogomilist dogma in the development of Western spiritual thought. Soon I was wondering how I'd survived so long in the SCA wearing nothing but T-tunics and hiking boots, and I vowed that when I returned back home I'd refurbish my entire harness to a museum-quality replica of knightly splendor.

Of course, as always, I've fallen a bit short of that goal in the ensuing year (please don't look too closely at the shoes I'm wearing - I discovered that the reason they call them 'turn' shoes is that making them 'turns' out to be a lot harder than it looks). But still, sometimes the inspiration is just as important as the execution. All it takes is a new idea, a bit of enthusiasm and a colorful imagination to begin a Renaissance, and all of those things are in plentiful supply at Pennsic.

Experience what little culture Guillaume claims he has absorbed in his new book, "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" which features 25 of his best and funniest stories of life in the SCA, sold at Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. You can also marvel at Guillaume's lack of culture by making a visit to his website at

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Quick, ugly and over: Midrealm takes Rapier Broken Field Battle

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

That didn't take long.

With the East Kingdom and allies outnumbered three, four, even six to one - depending upon whose estimates you accepted - the outcome of the Rapier Broken Field Battle was virtually preordained, and the Middle Kingdom's army and allies easily took the first two battles and the war point on Tuesday.

While the best two of three scenario was scheduled to take 20 minutes per battle, neither of the two scenarios lasted 10 minutes as the Midrealm's forces were able to quickly surround and then crush the Eastern army.

In the first battle, the East decided to attempt to defend only a small corner of the field, and managed to hold their lines initially as the Middle army faced them four deep along both fronts, more in places. A hold barely a minute into the fight only delayed matters shortly, and once the battle resumed the Eastern side began to suffer attrition at an alarming rate. Pressed by Northshield on their eastern line and Atlantia on their northern flank, the defenders were soon overwhelmed and the Middle took the battle.

The Eastern commanders tried to at least delay the inevitable in the second battle, sending small groups racing out to draw off or possibly flank the advancing Midrealmers. But again, there was little doubt of the end result.

"It was more fun, even if we didn't live longer," said a grinning Baron Fergus MacRae of the East, who led one of the small squadrons. "If you know you're going to die, go out fast, get killed fast, get out of your mask and get some water."

A third battle was fought with some units from the Midrealm crossing over to assist the East, but with similar results. However, the finale of that clash was a dramatic pair of duels between Don Robert McPharland of Ansteorra, fighting for the East Kingdom, and first King Malcolm of AEthelmearc then Duke Palymar.

With dozens of surviving Midrealm fighters surrounding them on the field, and dozens of deceased Easterners on the sidelines, Don Robert and King Malcolm faced off with single swords. After a series of quick lunges between the two combatants, Don Robert took His Majesty's sword arm. King Malcolm then fought left-handed and held off the white scarf for a time, but soon Don Robert had taken His Majesty's remaining arm, and King Malcolm conceded. Don Robert won a rousing round of applause from the onlookers for his skill.

Duke Palymar then stepped forward, also fighting single-sword, and the two faced off quickly amidst the eager armies. Their skills proved evenly matched that day as, mere moments into the duel, each struck a killing blow upon the other and they fell to the ground amidst loud cheers.

After the conclusion of the battle, King Malcolm addressed the Eastern forces on their sideline.

"Many are the days I have taken the field when a landslide was about to fall on me," he declared to the kneeling fighters. "I salute every man and woman who did so today. You brought courage, you brought honor, you brought guts. I thank you all!"

His praise was seconded by Her Majesty Noelle, Queen of the Midrealm, who saluted the Eastern army for their efforts.

Master Alexander d'Avigne of Ostgardr, who had directed the Eastern efforts, also had praise for his troops after the fighting was done.

"We stood against an army that dwarfed us," he told them. You did well, you fought well, but sometimes the bear eats you!"

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PI on the Move Again!

Due to expansion of the Pennsic Food Court, The Pennsic Independent is once again on the move.

Our new home is on the Great Middle Highway, at the top of Rune Stone Hill, next to the Middle Eastern Dance Tent. (Across from Rune Stone Park and the Middle Kingdom Encampment.) Please watch for The Pennsic Independent sign and banner with the black eagle.

As with any move, this poses a challenge to those who want to find us. We hope our friends will help us spread the word by posting this message to various mailing lists. Those already covered are the Middle Bridge, SCA-West, and Servicenet.

Of course, you can still get your paper from the fine merchants who carry it, as well as from our wonderful Urchins.

Since we are now at the tip-top of the hill, we also invite anyone who would like to stop by and get a drink of water after making the trip up the hill. Please stop by, rest your feet, and share your stories.

Finally, would the group or groups who use the Amphitheater please contact us? We will be close neighbors and want to know how we can best accommodate each other.

We look forward to another wonderful year at Pennsic! Subscribe now to avoid last minute rushes!

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Pennsic Fools Parade 2005!

Come all fools! All jesters! All silly people at heart!

Come join your fellow foolish friends and parade through the streets of
Pennsic on Tuesday, August 16th, in a celebration of your joyous spirit!
Every Pennsic camper is welcome! No rehearsed performance is required, and
you need fulfill no pre-requisites for your performance, costume, or props -
only that you walk along in a responsible and safe manner.

Visit for details!

There is a required safety briefing directly before the parade. If you miss
the safety brief, you *must* personally speak to the Fool in Charge, Sophia
the Orange, before you join the parade.

We muster at 5:30 at the Barn - after all the cool performing classes for
the day have finished and before all the cool performances in the evening

If you would like to arrange for an "invasion" of or a polite visit to your
encampment from the Fools' Parade, and your encampment is close to the
merchants' area, please email me!

Please fwd this email and/or the URL above as far and wide as possible!
Please help me reach the non-middle kingdom lists! Every Pennsic attendee
is encouraged to come participate!

Fool in Charge,
Sophia the Orange

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Pennsic Independent staffer honored

We are pleased to announce that Pennsic Independent typesetter Lady Beatrice de Winter was honored by TRMs Rurik and Angelik of Æthelmearc at the 29th Annual Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael on March 19th, A.S. XXXIX and made a member of the Order of the Keystone, primarily for her work as the chronicler of the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael and publisher of the newsletter The Ice Dragon. She currently serves as Rhydderich Hael Baronial Mistress of the Lists.

Vivat to our own Lady Beatrice!

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Quest for a Cure for Children's Leukemia at Pennsic

By Lord Gilbert le braceeur de Dijon

Greetings to all Noble Gentles and Comrades in Arms.

Following the example of Sir Dilan Mac AnTsaier and his Quest for the Pink Ribbon Deed of Arms do I, Lord Gilebert le braceeur de Dijon, present to you a week-long Deed of Arms benefiting those who cannot defend themselves.

I speak of some of the most courageous and strongest people. The people we all must protect, whether healthy or ill. I speak of our children, the future of us all. Most of our youth are healthy and strong, but there are those that are afflicted with a dread disease. This disease has no real cure, though it will go into remission with proper treatment. However, that treatment is long, costly and painful, and causes much suffering and hardship to the children and their families.

In the spirit of Sir Dilan's Quest, I have decided to undertake a Deed of Arms in an effort to raise a donation for the cause of fighting children's leukemia. To meet this effort, I will be taking the field each day during war week at Pennsic War XXXIV and will stand ready to meet all those who are willing.

I have been granted the White Tourney Field between the hours of 4pm and 5pm during War Week (Sunday, Aug 14 – Friday, Aug 19).

I will be donating $0.25 per bout (best of 3) that I fight. Donations from my fellow combatants are welcome and each person will receive a receipt for their donation. Donations may be a genreal donation, for a set number of bouts or for as many as I may perform.

Please contact me at

An accounting of the Deed will be kept and a record of the donations so that a tally may be made when finished.

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Construction Warnings for Routes Near Pennsic

One thing I've discovered from traveling to Cooper’s Lake this year, and from other folks arriving over the past couple of days is that there is construction along almost every route. Be prepared for delays. Keep your gas tank full. Be patient. We'll wait for you.
There is a zone of construction along 422 eastbound between New Castle and Cooper’s Lake. This is roughly the same area as last year’s torn up road, and the marked lanes are narrow with workers just inside the baracades. Be extra cautious in this area.
Johnson Sisters Cafe offers a nice new surprise along this route. This small cafe has taken up residence where the old B&B Bar and Grill used to be. The cooking is home fare with some exceptional home baked goods. They have home made cinnamon rolls and apple dumplings the size of your head! It is worth checking out for a stopover before moving in. Of course, Eppingers is still just a few minutes away on SR 19 South, as well.
Happy travels and we'll see you when you get here!

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