Calontir Steel 6th Anniversary “Bash”

Summer Coronation 2019 was the sixth anniversary of Calontir Steel becoming an official activity.

To mark the occasion, Master Gavin Kappler organized a birthday celebration demonstration. Each combatant was to fight seven fights (six for the year and one to grow on!) with each other combatant.

The fighting was held at the park Saint Joseph’s Civic Center Park, just two blocks from the Coronation venue. Ample shade and a cool breeze made for a pleasant afternoon of fighting. And, afterward, there was cake!

photos courtesy Johann Steinarsson, video courtesy Mathurin Kerbusso

In Memoriam: Master Eadweard Boicewright

Courtesy The Knowne World Memorial Shield Project

Word came to us this week of the passing of Master Eadward Boicewright

Memorial services are being planned for the Kingdom and Society at large. Arrangements have also been made for a memento on the Memorial Ship at Pennsic this year.

Come gather ye pipers and long chanters blow
Fetch drum and a tabor and play a march slow.
I raise up my cup and I share drink with thee,
A cup of our tears to quench the dark sea.

I grieve with my cousins of Calontir and the Known World at the passing of Master Eadweard Boicewright, who has touched so many of us. I mourn with his lady wife Marcella, his family, and his household. I feel most keenly the loss of one of my dearest friends.

Courtesy The Calontiri Wiki

There was a time long ago when Queen Alethea asked me to make a strand of beads that would be given as Her Majesty’s token at the upcoming Queen’s Prize Tourney. I made the beads as Her Majesty asked and waited to see who would win them. When the beads were presented, I made it a point to meet the recipient after Court that evening. I’d wanted to know who would be wearing my art.

When I introduced myself to Lord Eadweard Boicewright that evening, I did not know that one day he would be a laurel, a Calontir legend, and one of my best friends. On that day, he was fairly new to the SCA and had just completed his second Queen’s Prize entry. I still hear people talk about the lathe that he entered that year. That day seems so long ago now, yet I still remember it clearly.

In the fullness of time, both of our roles in Calontir grew. Our friendship grew as well. Eadweard Boicewright brought his talent, his knowledge, his generosity, and his hospitality to the realm. He taught any would ask and he welcomed all to his camp. As a merchant, he sold practical wood wares and weaving tools. I have heard of many weavers who got their first loom from Eadweard. Many weaving instructors tell of how he would provide tools for their classes, often by donation. I couldn’t count the times when I would I be sitting in his camp at Lilies and someone would come in with a broken tent pole or other problem and ask “Eadward, can you fix this?” And he could and did.

Courtesy Johann Steinarsson

I spoke for the Order of the Laurel when Eadweard was elevated to the peerage. I spoke of ideals like courtesy and hospitality and how it was a Laurel’s duty to enrich the Kingdom. Eadweard would come to embody those ideals. There was always shade and refreshment at his camp. Many of our folk talk of  how Eadweard welcomed them when they were new to SCA, how he encouraged them, and how he helped them find their path. He was an inspiration to many and example to us all.

I often hear people speak of how the world is a little darker when someone who has touched us like Eadweard has pass. However, it is not. Grief makes us feel this way. When the grief fades and the loss is less keenly felt, we will see that the light has not dimmed. It glows in our memory and in the legacy of our lost friend. Eadweard’s light and legacy will live on in everyone whose life he touched, in Calontir and beyond. When we share that light with those around us, Eadward’s gift to us grows.

It is right and fitting that we mourn. Let Non-Nobis resound through the land. Let glasses be raised in honor and sorrow. Let us cry and feel our loss. Let us comfort one another and support our friends. But let us not forget that while we sorrow, we carry Master Eadweard in our hearts. Let us all strive to keep his example of courtesy, friendship, hospitality, and honor alive in the days and years ahead.

Master Mellitus of Rouncivale

Sing Non Nobis!


Podcast Review: The Saga Thing

Tacuina sanitatis 14th C. Public domain in the US

One of the first podcasts I started listening to when I first got into podcasts back in 2014 was The Saga Thing podcast. It is an episodic overview of the Iceland family sagas by two Medieval history professors who met when they were both in grad school. They have a love for the Norse sagas, and decided to create a podcast about a subset of them as a way to stay in touch with each other. Originally they thought that they would spend an hour or so discussing a saga and then pass judgement on it at a trial (hence the “thing” in the podcast’s name). It has turned out that they fail miserably at getting through any particular saga quickly, so a single saga will often take many episodes over many weeks, with another episode just for the judgments. In fact their very first episode was split into 3 parts, and I think only one saga was completed in a single episode. But the length of each episode is well worth it.

They take a lighthearted approach, sharing jokes back and forth, and making LOTS of modern cultural references (e.g Princess Bride, Star Wars, the Vikings TV show, etc.). This keeps the tone light and the digressions interesting. After a few episodes I felt like I knew these guys personally. They describe what happens in a saga (or a portion thereof, typically), and then talk about its significance to the overall story, to other sagas, and even to other Medieval literature. They often contrast what the author is claiming happened versus what they know from studying other contemporaneous texts, always keeping in mind that the Icelandic sagas were written WELL after the fact.

They are currently going through Egil’s Saga. They are 8 episodes in, and are guessing it will take more than twice that to finish. When they read portions of the actual saga (typically in translation, but sometimes in Old Norse) they come up with interesting voices for the different characters, and do a credible job of using the same voice for the same character from episode to episode.This helps keep the podcasts entertaining, and leads to more banter and teasing between the two of them.

When they “judge” a saga, they have several criteria that they use:

  • Best Bloodshed (Best battle scene description)
  • Body Count (Number of unnatural deaths)
  • Nicknames (Best nickname of a character)
  • Notable Witticisms (Most quote-able line spoken by a character)
  • Outlawry (Which character should be banished from Iceland)
  • Thingmen (Which character joins one of the hosts band of brothers (and sisters))
  • Final Ratings

They have come up with several unique measurements over the years, several based on the first saga they reviewed, Hrafnkel’s Saga. Things like length and body count are both compared with that saga to give some perspective on the different themes the different sagas take. Some are less bloody than others, for example, so they want to provide an easy indication of just how blood filled a saga was for it’s length.

In addition to reviewing sagas, they also have created many “Saga Briefs”, in which they spend an episode talking about things related to Medieval Iceland that aren’t directly from a saga. Two relatively recent ones were about the recent “female viking warrior” find and Medieval archery. In both they interviewed experts in the field and presented scholarly findings, rather than click-bait headlines. There have also been several relating to the Vikings TV show, and comparing what is happening there with both the sagas and other historical accounts. They have gotten much better in the past year or so about posting new podcasts more regularly, so you can look forward to new content every couple of weeks, or so.

If you are at all interested in Norse history or saga literature, then you will enjoy listening to these podcasts. While it isn’t necessary to start at the beginning, I would recommend at least starting at the beginning of a particular saga, rather than partway through. Even though they provide a summary of what went before at the start of each podcast, they usually only cover the one just before, not a recap from the beginning of the saga.

— Logan goði —

P.S. It was this podcast that inspired me to use goði as my County equivalent.

Guy Windsor on Head Injury

Detail of fol. 5r from Royal Armouries Ms. I.33, circa 1300. Public domain in the US

This was shared on the Calonlist by HE Duncan Bruce of Logan and further shared on Facebook. It applies to all fighters, but especially to longsword in the Stile community.

This is something we have just begun to work on and, as Guy points out, like HEMA, we are probably not doing an adequate job of it. Especially the point that fencing masks are absolutely not sufficient to protect from concussions, especially the microconcussions that can lead to CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Adding padding to them actually makes the problem worse.

The second problem is that of perception of risk; that the more safe we perceive something is, the more risk we are willing to accept. This is the nature of human beings and, in our case as in HEMA, leads to excessive blow calibration. The Society has dealt with this by requiring padding to head protection and requiring rigid hand protection for longsword bouts. But, again, this is not sufficient for fencing masks.

He also gives a shout out to SCA rattan fighting for having addressed these issues already.

Definitely worth viewing and discussing.


In Memoriam: The Passing of Anlon McMatha





Word came to us this week of the passing of Lord Anlon McMatha

Many of you will remember Anlon from his many years at Cornucopia at Lilies or as a steadfast pillar of the Shire of Dun Ard.

The THL Tola Rufusdóhtor remembers

Anlon, proprietor of Cornucopia. My friend.

I met Anlon 8 years ago at an event in Lost Moor. With his ready smile he was selling his wares. He often referred to that store, Cornucopia, as “Lilies General Store”.

He was always ready to make a person laugh or listen when seas troubled. He was never too busy. At Corucopia he always had a drink and a shady spot for anyone who needed a rest. Such was his generous heart.

Our world is a dimmer place now, as Anlon crosses to that place where there is no pain or suffering. He was loved by many and will be sorely missed.

Visitation for Anlon (Melvin Rice) will be at 10 am with services following at 11 am on Saturday, June 29 at the Belden-Larkin funeral home in Leavenworth KS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Smithsonian Institution.

James Smithsonian Society
Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012, MRC 712
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Sing Non Nobis!




From Their Royal Majesties: Consent

Kingdom of Calontir, as King and Queen it is our responsibility to protect our populace. At times, that means asking all of our members to be aware, vigilant, and full of honesty in their interactions.

At this Lilies War, We, in conjunction with Their Highnesses, had a conversation with all of our polling orders about Consent, and talking about it openly among our people. We no longer want these conversations to be hidden, swept under the rug, or not discussed at all.

As unfortunate as it is, the mundane world does find its way into what we all want to be the safest place. We asked all, in all of our order meetings: to watch out for those who may find themselves in a compromising situation; to walk up and be sure our friends are talking to someone they want to talk to; to offer an escort late at night, to someone who might not want to be alone; to be a safe haven to someone who might need to gently find an escape.

As friends and especially for those of us who are Peers of the Realm, we should always be open to listen. In listening, we need to be able to hear all sides of a story. If something illegal has been done, we must encourage those who have been wronged to call the mundane authorities with no fear of retaliation. If nothing illegal has taken place, but inappropriate behavior is thought to have happened, please approach our Kingdom Advocate; take down the information from all parties and follow Society protocol for resolving issues.

This is not only something We are talking about in Kingdom, this is something that is being discussed on the Society level and within all mundane communities as well. We want to create as safe a space as possible for all of our members.

To that end, We had Duchess Isabeau print up the Society approved posters and had them posted around camp. Our Heirs, Prince Anton and Princess Yseult, fully agreed with the importance and intent of this message and did discuss this topic with all of our order meetings for which We were not in attendance. This is just the beginning of the conversation, but it is vital that we ALL participate, so that this Society which we all love can truly be the safe haven that we want it to be. With Love, Donngal and Catalina

In Memoriam: The Passing of Genevieve Darroch


Lady Moire inghean Neill, via the Calontir Bards email list:

It is with a heavy heart that I must pass this word along; HL Genevieve Darroch passed away last night in the Outlands.  She was one of the founding members of the Shire of Flinthyll, Apprentice to Mistress Lucie, Master Mikal and Master Eadward. She was one of the first bards I interacted with and the one who presented me with the “big damn stick” and pronounced me the Bardic Champion these many years ago. She was a bright person who was full of joy and laughter. Though she had moved to the Outlands she is still remembered in the halls of Calontir.

Ed. Note:  I recall Genevieve from our time on the archery field together. She was always a joy to shoot with and to be around. I had lost track  of her when she moved, and am deeply saddened to hear of her passing –Mathurin

Announcement: Director Elect, Seat A

Men harvesting wheat, Queen Mary’s Psalter, circa 1310. Public domain in the US

The Board of Directors would like to announce the appointment of Gigi Coulson, M. S. (Giata Magdalena Alberti, OL) as Director-Elect  – Seat A.

 Ms. Coulson, M.S. worked for the federal government for over 15 years as an interdisciplinary sociologist and biologist. She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative social assessments, environmental impact statements, diversity initiatives, program management, environmental justice, conflict resolution, policy creation, and training program development. She has a passion for sociocultural anthropology, living history, learning, and teaching. She is a complete Italophile and tries to visit Italy each year.
Giata  Magdalena Alberti, OL is a late 15th-century Florentine living in Venice. She passes her time spending her condottieri husbands’ money and entertaining the visitors of her father’s house in Venice by hosting weekly salons. Her hobbies include working on her  herbal experiments, occasional hawking, mediating contests of skill and chance, and traveling to Mantua, Milan, and Ferrara to visit her friends at court.

Ms. Coulson may be contacted via

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

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This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.