By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton
For the Pennsic Independent
Nearly two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left many Society members destitute, lives are slowly being rebuilt with the help of friends. Society members have been generous in donating everyday items as well as things such as fabric and raw materials to help rebuild their medieval gear. But as those of us who have been in the Society many years know, some items are not easy to replace. Mistress Tatiana Marana Melville from the Kingdom of Northshield is coordinating a very special project to help meet these unique needs.
Mistress Tatiana saw the devastation wrought by the storms first hand when she and a number of Northshielders traveled to the Barony of Seleone to deliver a truckload of donations of fabric and other items a few months after the hurricanes. Other Northshielders continued the relief efforts at Gulf Wars, and it became clear that many had lost so much that they were having a hard time comprehending what they needed to replace in their regular lives—let alone their SCA lives. “My idea was to ask those who lost so much what one item from their SCA life that they would dearly love to replace,” said Mistress Tatiana. What makes this fundraiser different is that rather than replacing general items, it seeks to fulfill single wishes for unique items. Those who need the help have been nominated by friends or have mentioned their wishes in correspondence with Mistress Tatiana. Groups such as Baronies that have lost items are also eligible.
In speaking with renowned Northshield bard Mistress Wyndreth Berginsdottir, Mistress Tatiana learned that Mistress Wyndreth and a number of friends had put together a CD just after the disaster, but it had never been released. THL Finnr Bjornsson, Lady Aelfraeda of Shattered Oak and Mistress Wyndreth agreed to produce the CD, now entitled “For Those Who Face the Flooding: Benefit for Our Friends,” as a fundraiser for this project. Mistress Tatiana has also been collecting various other donations, offers of service, and funds from a variety of donors.
“The letters that the people have written in have been amazing and hard to describe,” said Mistress Tatiana. “They have had me in tears for what these people went through and lost…they write about it in a matter of fact manner but the feelings of what they felt then and what they feel now are so very clear. It brings warmth to my heart to know that we can help others get something that they could not get for themselves at this point.”
So far six people have been written in to the project. Some requests are for items that can be purchased, such as books; others are for handcrafted items. One request for two Books of Hours has already been fulfilled, and requests for scrolls, a corset and leather arm armour are in progress. Craftspeople who can make lucets and arrows are being sought for two more requests. Mistress Tatiana said that the project will continue as long as the letters keep coming in.
The CD can be found at the Sword Moon booth (#175). “Be prepared to be affected at the title song, “For those who face the Flooding”,” said Mistress Tatiana.” Mistress Wyndreth’s songs have a habit of making me cry and sending shivers down my spine and this song does both.” Craftspeople who would like to donate their services or those who would like to make monetary donations should contact Mistress Tatiana at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 262-513-1271. More information on the project, as well as how to make a nomination, can be found at http://www.tatianas-treasures.com/TT/tree.asp