Sedalia MacNare walks the market as autocrat of Pennsic XIX.

Maggie Rue

Editor-in-Chief, PI

Sedalia MacNare, twice Queen of the East, once EK Seneschal, and first Society Seneschal wants to be remembered most for shaping how Pennsic has developed over the years. As Autocrat (Mayor) of Pennsic six times and major deputy staff for several more, her experiences are uncountable. Still, there are many memories this legendary figure was able to share with us.

When asked about her first Pennsic, she had to admit, “The first Pennsic I was at, I was not there for the entire event.” She explains further this strange tale. “I was living in the Barony-Marche at the time, I was the deputy Seneschal for the group at that time, getting ready to step up in a bit over a month. It was Pennsic VIII. While the event was only a weekend long, I got there later than I hoped. See, I didn’t have a car and didn’t drive, so I was at the mercy of John the Artificer. John was still pretty new to the SCA (as was I), but he was very sure that whatever he thought was absolute.

He was wrong about where Cooper’s Lake was, not to mention Slippery Rock. He was positive it was north of Erie, which would have put it in New York. So, we got there [Pennsic] pretty late. I remember watching the Champions’ Battle the most; it was held on the long circle across from the long side of the barn. I was thrilled to have Count Bertrand de Flammepong wearing my favour on his hip (and I have the old newspaper pictures to prove it). I was a scout in the Woods Battle and managed to slip and tumble down the embankment and get a concussion (good thing I wasn’t driving, huh?).

The first Pennsic I attended the entire event was Pennsic IX, and I was running it, and making a lot of it up as I went along. The SCA portion of the entrance fee was a whopping $.50 per person, and when you arrived you checked in at both the SCA table and then paid Cooper’s Lake separately. Even though Pennsic was just a pregnant weekend then, I still needed to swing buy the Troll periodically to empty out the file box. You would be amazed just how many quarters I could carry in my bra. Eventually I got Mac to agree to let me stash money with them. One of my most cherished memories from the event was Sunday afternoon when Duke Cariadoc of the Bow stopped me outside the Barn after closing Court to tell me I had done a good job.

Pennsic has played a huge role in my life. I got to know the man I was married to for 20 years putting Pennsic IX together (he was the King of the East). I got engaged at Pennsic XI. Got married at Pennsic XII (while being Crown Princess of the East no less, and the man I married was NOT the Crown Prince, lol).” 

Asked about her favorite memories, she goes on.

“I was Queen of the East for Pennsic XVII. I had long wanted to fight in a battle at Pennsic and I finally got to at that event. That was not a sure thing. I have some health issues, one of which was a major mobility problem, but Chirurgeons were involved in the design and construction of my armor. A facsimile of the Eastern Crown was added to my helm and I was placed in Duke Aonghais’ company. His Majesty Gavin Kilkenny of Kilcarren did NOT sport a Coronet or crown of any type on his helm. The idea was to hope that a large portion of the opposing armies (and just about everyone was on the Middle’s side that year) would commit to coming after me.

It worked, from the first ‘lay on’ the Kingdom of Meridies came right for the unit I was with, allowing Gavin and his smaller group to swing around behind the mass of the Middle army. Just after we engaged Aonghais called for the unit to swing left. I went to the other left, commonly called ‘the right’ (hey, I’m dyslexic, sue me). John the Bearkiller (I am pretty sure he was King of Meridies) laid a very good blow to my head (but I got his arm), and the marshal by the unit called a hold. See, the way my armor was constructed, I was not able to fall down dead. As I started to leave one of the Meridians shouted out that they had killed the King of the East. Duke Aonghais (who had his visor up and was drinking water) laughed and said, ‘No, you killed the Queen of the East!’ And the Meridians all cheered. My current profile picture on FB was taken right after I was stripped out of my armor at the side of the field. It was a moment of pure exaltation.

And upon further reflection, I’ll stick with that one so that Duke Gavin and Graf Viktor do not hunt me down and kill me, since the other involves a midnight kiss and mistaken identities.”

Asked about her future in the SCA, Duchess Sedalia admits, “These days my SCA participation is greatly curtailed. I am 68 and in failing health. So, these days I help folks most at a distance, but my dream is to get back to Pennsic, even if it is just one more time. I just hope that along the way I may have inspired a few folks along the way and hope to be remembered fondly.”