Valor Canceled

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

Greetings to my brothers and sisters among our fair Kingdom,

It is with heavy heart that we send you news this day. At this time, the site of the Tournament of Valor is over 60% under water, including the main camping areas. The caretaker has informed us that while the river has not breached it’s banks at this time, the next two days of promised rain will do so, flooding the cabins as well. I cannot in good conscience have our friends and companions make the trip under these circumstances.

On speaking with the kingdom Reeve, the next realistic date to reschedule this event is Labor Day Weekend. As the camp site is allowing us to reschedule, we have requested permission to do so.

Your humble servant,
Lady Catlin Marie du Moretaine

Seneschal of Vatavia

Post expires at 2:12pm on Thursday May 30th, 2019

Bardic Bedlam Schedule

Bardic Bedlam will be held at St. George & the Dragon this year, on May 10-11 at the 7C’s Winery in Walnut Grove, MO. You can expect a day packed full of classes related to the bardic arts as well as a roaring bardic fire Saturday night. Bring your lunch or dinner over to the bardic pavilion and listen to (or better yet, participate in) themed performance challenges we call “flytes”.


Try something you might otherwise not have tried! No judging, no winners, and no need to worry about whether something is “good enough.” Jump in with both feet, because the goal is always to have fun. We have a busy day planned, so we’ll work the flytes in during lunch, dinner, and the evening bardic fire.

“Something for Everyone—A Comedy Tonight” sponsored by Honorable Lord (patent pending) Johann SteinarssonA flyte where the focus is on laughter and comedy, NOT death, doom and gloom.

“Songs that Need Singing and Tales that Need Telling” sponsored by Master Dolan Madoc. Share a new piece you have not had the chance to offer us very often or an old one we have not heard in a while.

“Calontir History” sponsored by Mistress Katriana op den Dijk. Share a song or story, about or from, Calontir’s history. It can be something you put together (like Dolan with his “Pavel Gets Hurt” saga) or something created by someone else (like the Pict Song popular in our rebel days).

“Unfinished Business” sponsored by Mistress Dorcas Whitecap. Come perform something that is incomplete, waiting around in your “works in progress” file.  Perhaps having others hear it will provide that last little motivation to “get ‘er done!”

“Some of Dulcibella’s Favorite Things” sponsored by Honorable Lady Dulcibella de Chateaurien. Share/compose a story, poem, or song that includes the following five words or phrases in some form: pirate. Eire. broken heart. magic mirror. and wayward.

“Ultreia y Suseia” sponsored by Honorable Lady Adalyde bint Junus al-zaarqa“Ultreia y suseia” translates loosely to “onward and upward”, which can mean many things to people. Share a performance that shows us what those words mean to you.

“On-site Contrafacta Challenge” sponsored by Honorable Lady Fiondel Songspinner. There will be a “hat” filled with themes for your filk song.  You will pick a random theme, and write a filk song on that theme, to be performed at the fire that evening.  I will provide a list of suggestions of period music (and, yes…I will have handy recordings of many of them, just in case you don’t know the melody).  Extra points will be given for using the period music.  But, if you want to “branch out” and use a melody of your own choice as the basis for your filk, you do you!  There will be prizes!  Come show us how creative, funny, heart-wrenching, or inspiring you can be!  You are a BARD! Dazzle us!




Friday 8:00 p.m.

“Bardic Fire Bootcamp” with Lady Elaisse de Garrigues. Come learn some of the most popular songs in Calontir so that you’re ready for Saturday night’s bardic fire. And if you’re an old pro, come sing along!


9:00 a.m.

“Tips for Vocal Performers” with Lady Cristabell Rose Alwin. Real world exercises to improve volume, diction, overcome stage fright, and protect your vocal instrument. Suitable for all levels. Also good for voice heralds and stage actors.

“Medieval Filks” with Honorable Lady Fiondel Songspinner. How often have you heard a song and thought, “I could write a really good filk of that!” But, then thought, “But filk songs aren’t really period, so maybe I shouldn’t.”  Take heart, oh creative Bard!  Filk songs ARE period.  In the middle ages, they were called “contrafacta” and they were very popular.  Not ONLY did they provide the “melody-creating-impaired bard” with a convenient way to write songs, but they frequently had the added bonus of annoying the church (because many of these filk songs were written to well-known hymns).  Come and learn about “period filk songs”!  We will discuss source materials, and places to find period music.

10:00 a.m.

“Together and/or Apart” with Honorable Lady Vǫlu-Ingibiǫrg. Learn songs that sound good alone but can become something more complex if someone else at the fire knows them. We’ll include songs that can be rounds, such as “Lifeblood: a Viking Drinking Song” (a.k.a. “Drink for the Wind Blows Cold”), and songs that make harmony, such as “Stella Splendens in Monte.”

“All About Sonnets” with Honorable Lady Dulcibella de Chateaurien. We will explore what sonnets are, their history, different types of sonnets, the technical and artistic aspects of sonnets, and how to write a sonnet.


11:00 a.m.

“Performance Feedback” with Lady Cristabell Rose Alwin and Master Ravasz Janos. Bring one to two pieces ready to perform for feedback from Lady Christabell, a professional singer/actress with 35+ years stage experience, and Master Ravasz, Calontir’s acting Laurel, with decades of experience in Commedia, comedy and mime, as director, teacher, and performer.

“Music Theory for Medieval People” with Honorable Lord Janos Katona. An explanation of music theory from the perspective of period practice.  Covered will be the Circle of Fifths,
a brief look at period musical notation, and some exploration of harmony and modes and scales.

Lunch and Flytes

1:30 p.m.

“Open Discussion on the Bardic Arts in the SCA” with Master Dolan Madoc.

“Poetic Meters for Songwriters” with Mistress Dorcas Whitecap. Poetic meters are ways to talk about the rhythms found in poems or song lyrics.  This class will cover the different poetic “feet”, with lots of examples to help you remember them.  Learn what iambic pentameter means, and understand why it’s great for a sonnet, but not so good for a song.  Learn the secret of ballad meter, and why it makes a song linger in the mind long after the last note is sung.

2:30 p.m.

“Calontir Canon” with Mistress Dorcas Whitecap. A roundtable discussion on songs that are important to Calontir and why.

“Songwriting 101” with Honorable Lady Adalyde bint Junus al-zaarqa. Learn about songwriting from the creator of some of Calontir’s favorite songs, including “Drums of War” and “Lady in Blue”.

3:30 p.m.

“Roundtable Discussion about the CD-Making Process and Experience” with Honorable Lady Adalyde bint Junus al-zaarqa. Hear about Lady Adalyde’s experience recording and releasing her debut album, “Ultreia”.

“Calontir—A Bardic Telling of History and Culture” with Lord Jon CheseyCome learn of the history and culture of Calontir by hearing (and singing) the songs that define it.

Following court, grab your dinner and join us for more flytes and the bedlam of a Calontir bardic fire!

Questions? Contact the Bardocrat, Lady Elaisse de, FB Sharon Keeling Davis, text (417) 827-7800.

Post expires at 10:54am on Tuesday May 28th, 2019

Nesscia’s Missives: 17th of March AS LIII

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Written this 17th day of March, AS LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

Dear Sweet Roise,

On this feast day of Saint Patrick, I have at long last arrived to my estates in the Hills of Ponca.

When last we parted, we both looked to the highways intent on return to our own country far to the north of the recently ended War of the Gulf.

Your company and agreeable disposition was ever a comfort to me during our time in those southern lands of Gleann Abhann.

Well pleased am I to have made your acquaintance with our good countrywoman, Mathilde. As she spoke of bread baking and shared her secrets, your elation outspread to all within earshot of your voice. My mouth waters recalling the toothsome taste, and anticipate when next you bake and I am close at hand.

You may recall my scathed ankle which received injury. You asked after it when we parted. Alas, it vexes me yet. A kind gentle known to me practices leechcraft and if it becomes wearisome, I shall seek her aid. I trust when next we meet, my stars shall be aligned once again.

Fie! The calamitous flooding in the northern territories of Calontir indeed brings fearsome worry to my mind.

As I drove my wagon north, many of the highways and bridges failed. I turned more oft to the byroads and smaller laneways, all crowded with wagons and carts also searching for safe passage. At long last I turned my wagon onto the lane leading to my own estate. Fortunate I was to pass unscathed with wheels intact. My good husband and untiring countrymen will labor many weeks to make the roadways safe again for passage.

My heart rejoiced upon learning our kith and kin and countyfolk hereabouts all remain safe and warm and dry. Alas, many of the livestock and cattle and beasts are lost to the waters. Long will be the travails which lie ahead for the countryside to return to our customary state.

I pray you arrived safely to your own estates and you and yours remain shielded from danger.

My friend, I must needs put aside pen and parchment, for my bed calls to me to rest these weary old bones. Indeed, as I recall my time with you and your sweet smile, my spirit warms.

Ever I look to times we may visit again.

Until that time, I remain your friend,


Nesscia’s Missives: 15th of March AS LIII

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Written this 15th day of March, AS LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

My Dear Vashti,

The war’s end draws nigh and the encampments begin to pack up and turn their wains and wagons toward their homelands. Long faretheewells and pledges to visit echo from tent to tent. Many an elbow shall be bent this night and many headaches in the morn.

The ephemeral merchants and smiths and taverns so recently sprung, swiftly fade into memory as they move on to more lucrative possibilities. Many of our countryfolk have been glad for the opportunity to obtain the exotic goods available from the trade caravans. Admittedly, I too found the temptation too great, and procured fabrics and silks for gifts and clothing and weaving and embroidery.

I have heard it told that this day, the Ides of March, bodes ill, I say nay, tis not! For the mention of the Calontir Army forever more strikes fear in the hearts of every foe! So well did our warriors fight that all from mighty King to common soldier received salutes from every quarter. Truely a wonder to behold.

Your Cian fought well, and remains unscathed from this southern war. He shall soon return to you, rest assured.

Rumor has reached my ears Calontir’s northern borders flood in the spring thaws. My own estates have been surrounded. I trust afore I draw nigh, the waters recede and the passages clear.

Good fortune smiles upon me, as many good gentles along my way are known to me. I shall have good company and warm lodgings should the way remain blocked and my return delayed.
Therefore, upon the morrow, I shall finish packing my own wagon and set out north for my own estates.

I pray the time is not over long before our paths cross once more and we may sit side by side and visit again.

As ever, I remain your friend,


Nesscia’s Missives: 14th of March, AS LIII

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Letter from Gulf War
Written this 14th day of March, AS LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

My dearest friend, Cristina,

Ever do you bring light to my heart! Your most welcome missive was delivered to my hand and I read it under the stars by lamp light. By the end of the reading my eyes were wet. From your words or the smoke of the lamp, I know not which.

The movements of rain and wind and snow are a mystery, are they not? By your words to me they indeed remain beyond my ken. Yet truly does my heart gladden to hear the spring planting is anon.

The pottage and salates and tasty bits from your kitchens ever fill me with warmth and delight!

A recent missive from my good husband informed of the trials of the recent storms. The cellars have flooded and the roads have become impassable. Your news brings hope that his exertion and travails will be fruitful.

The conflict here in these southern lands continue. Our fighters and archers and all our kith and kin represent our kingdom well. Their chivalry and behavior and consideration of others continue unparalleled amongst the people of the known world.

Daily, my skill with needle and thread are put to use mending tunics or sewing bandages. Alas, my cooking skills are limited to fire starting and tending, though more oft than not, is enough to buy my dinner.

Well aware am I of your concern for my well being when I journey on campaign and you do not. Worry not for me, as I have been welcome in every camp and gathering. Kind Baroness Sung and Baron Uldin of Vatavia especially bring me in and assure I eat with others rather than alone in my wagon.

I miss you, my friend. My heart is set, when I return to our own lands, upon sitting in your gardens near your new pond, in the sunshine, sharing tales of our adventures and bending the elbow together.

Until that time,

Nesscia’s Missives: A Missive Received

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Letters From Home:

To the most knowledgeable Mistress Nesscia inghean Chearnaigh does your humble friend Cristina send greetings and glad tidings of spring from the lands of the Lonely Tower.

Dear friend what strange times are these. My dearest hope is that this missive finds you ere you arrive home–thusly lessening the shock that may wrack your being.

Not a fortnight ago, upon your leaving our fair lands, did a winter storm take hold and coat all far and wide in a thick blanket of snow and ice. Winds so cold as to cause the flesh of my hands to whiten within moments dare I venture out of doors without gloves. Grateful we were for solid walls and a strong hearth.

But, just the other night, I swore I heard rain pouring down from the heavens. And lo, when I awoke, the sun was shining!

Mysterious movements of wind, rain, and sun are not why I write to you though, precious friend. Today, the snow melted from my pottage field. Truth, I mislead you not. If I were to see my precious herbals springing forth from the earth within the week I would no longer feel surprise.

Spring, oh that long lost pleasure! Do not doubt that green will be your fields upon your return. Look not for the snowy hills and icy peaks for they will shortly have vanished. Seek instead the sprouting knolls and flowering meadows of a new season.

Forthwith I will be planting the beans and other pulses, greens for glorious salates, and some of the new plants discovered on our mutual journeys. To see the small leaves of seedlings does give me hope. Surely your kind husband will be sowing the fields soon as well–spring mud notwithstanding.

Fairer still, I have convinced my good husband to sacrifice a small part of the field to a new pond. My fervent hope is to lure the toads and birds in close to remove those horrid vermin that have wreaked such havoc on my garden previously. You remember them, I trust, those bilious green spotted beasties especially. A few fish found from a nearby stream will aid in averting nasty biting insects too, I dream. What fun it will be!

Mayhap we can sit in the sun soon and share stories of travels and friends.
So missed you have been over this long, cold season. Your infectious laugh and smiling countenance are longed for overmuch. Be safe on the roads home to us.

Til next we meet, I will remain your stalwart friend.

Nesscia’s Missives: Missive from Gulf

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Written this 12th day of March, AS LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

My Dear Solveig,

Your note arrived yester noontide. Thank you kindly for thinking of me.

I did see your new husband, Ivar, in the morning, he is indeed well and free of pestilence. Fear not for his well being, for he remains a great fighter and his stalwart companions of the sword unite together when battle comes.

King Donngal and Queen Catalina arrived on site after the blackguards waylaid Them on the long road south. Yester morn the Calon Host followed Them onto the field, where They gathered the populace for brief tidings. They spoke of Their deep gratitude to Calontir for providing for Them since Their trials of the road. The host cheered! for our Royals are safe once again.

Then Master Gawin arose and spoke of one of august talent and service, begging the boon for Master Alan to be awarded the Master of Defense! Great tidings!

Upon completion of court, Brian MacDougall hosted a cut & thrust tournament for all the assembled warriors. Such prowess and skill with the blade!

With the armies gathering and the nobility palavering of peace or war, the soldiers grow restless. Tournaments help sharpen skills and keep combatants from mischief.

While the armies prepare, the non fighters who have gathered also make ready. As well, a transient hamlet of canvas pavilions has sprung up of chapmen and peddlers and blacksmiths and inns. The common folk teach their trade and ply their wares. Fabrics and bijoux and tarts and bumpers and armor and weapons and all manner of niceties and fandangles are available for a price.

During our fleeting moments of leisure, oft times I wander the encampments with one or another of our countryfolk. Forsooth, seeing the vast array of gathered folks and learning new skills and tasting foriegn foods continues as a great entertainment to us.

At the time of returning to my wagon yester eve my weary old bones sought the comfort of my bedding. Upon waking, I lit a lantern and remained inside as to pen this missive.

Ah! I see the dawn breaking on the horizon, and harken the birdsong of the morn. I have tarried overlong thinking of our visits. I must needs put aside pen and parchment and begin my day.

I pray this missive finds you well, I shall send it off with one of the supply trains returning north. I look forward to when again we meet and I can look upon your fair countenance.

Until that time, I remain your friend,

Nesscia’s Missives: Letter from Gulf War

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Written this ninth day of March, AS LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

Dearest Brialen,

By lantern light, I set pen to parchment from the southern reaches of the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. As you may know, many good gentles from around the known world gather here to defend against injustices and tyranny.

When word reached me that you join not our kith and kin on this southern campaign, I felt my spirits dampen. When far from home, to see your lovely smile brings joy to my heart. Though needs must some of our countryfolk remain home to watch o’re our fair lands and keep it safe from marauders and ruffians. Still, you shall be missed.

Alas! On the long journey south our Royal Majesties stopped at an inn to rest Themselves. They traveled not with entourage, preferring to travel simply and swiftly to the southernmost lands to join the CalonHost. While They bridled Their hunger and slaked Their thirst, some reavers absconded with Their wagons! Such an egregious rankle!

When last I heard, the sheriff had not yet apprehended the brigands. Word and watchmen have been dispatched far and wide in search of the wagons and rich raiments and crown jewels. Tidings of the insult traveled quickly across the miles and reached the muster point ahead of our King and Queen.

Most were outraged to hear of such a blatant affront against the royal family. Their Majesty’s Chamberlain, Mistress Gabriella, worked tirelessly to coordinate efforts on Their behalf.

Immediately, word was sent for fresh supplies and clothing. Swift tailors gathered goods and set needles to work. So many willing hands from around the known world to assist our beloved Crowns.

And just this very day the throngs from the kingdoms started to arrive. Hour after hour, I saw many of our countryfolk reach journey’s end in wagons and carts and wains. After tending to my own encampment, I did what I might to give assistance in the unloading and setting up.

Still, the Calon host has not yet fully mustered. Even as I write this missive, the pitching of tents and the pounding of stakes and the gathering of armies can be heard throughout the encampments. Though the sun has set, the wagons continue to roll through the gates.

As you know, I find canvas cover o’re my head unpleasant. I much prefer the hard sides and covering of my wagon, so I remain slightly apart from our kingdom’s encampment. As well, this area allows for passing quieter nights.

The hour grows late, my friend, and the lantern oil runs low. Upon the morrow, I shall send this off with a runner.
I pray you are well, and that we meet again soonest, by the grace of the gods.

Until then, I remain you friend,

Nesscia’s Missives: Traveling to Gulf War

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Written this 8th day of March, AS LIII

Being 2019 of the Common Era
My Dear Tola,
My journey south continues. As you know, husband and I packed the wagon when King Donngal and Queen Catalina called Calontir to arms.
As we trekked south, though still cold, the green of the meadows and the early spring flowers made my heart glad. I know how the snows fly still in our homelands.
We saw many towns and villages along our route. With the air so chill, we took advantage of the inns along the way. We have stayed but one night in our wagon.
We tarried a few days in the new city of Orleans. I heard once the Count of Provence, Charles Anjou, mention the days before the eve of meat fast “the joyous days of carnival.” Indeed!
The last of the winter stores were heaped upon plates. The music and dancing spilled from the halls onto the streets. The good gentlefolk wore masks while men wore dresses and women wore trousers! Many exchanged trinkets and beads for a glimpse at what normally remains hidden! All in joyous celebration before our fourty day fast. Husband and I enjoyed the revelry knowing the toils of the battles ahead.
Then, alas, he departed for home. We knew at the onset of our journey he could not be gone over long from our estates. We left our landholding in capable hands, he had kibbled the grain for the livestock and fowl, he had laid in a stock of wood for the fires. Nonetheless, his mind is not easy when away from his own demesne.
So this very morn we said our farewells. He turned his way toward the north. Dare I say, he will fairly fly o’re the lands in his eagerness to see his home. And I, in my turn, will veer now towards the battles which lay ahead.
Your presence shall be missed, as I know well the responsibilities which keep you in your own shire. I shall lift a glass in your direction and drink to your continued good health.
Please do give Elspeth my warmest regards. And I pray that soon we shall bend the elbow together.
Ever I remain your friend,

Nesscia’s Missives: Traveling to Gulf War

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Dated this second day of March
Anno Societatus LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

Dearest Kezia,

As you know, Our Most Royal Majesties Calontir travel to aid Their Southern Cousins in a fearsome campaign. They have called the populace to Them to lend support in Their time of need.

Eager to do my duty to Crown and Kingdom, I gathered supplies and packed my wagon. My good husband and I knew our estates were secure in the capable charge of the lead herdsman and manor caretaker and we prepared for our leave taking.

Though snow covered the hills and our breath billowed, the sun shone on the day of our departure. The horses pulled the wagon through the drifts to the main road and we made our way towards the south and east. At eventide, we found ourselves in the Shire of Standing Stones, and stayed at a small inn there. Though the wagon is comfortable, the air held the chill and we preferred the warmth of the inn.

Upon rising, heavily laden clouds stretched horizon to horizon. As we drove through the lands of Three Rivers, falling ice soon coated all we could see. I dare say, it reminded me of the sugar glaze cook drizzels on the sweet breads.

My dereling husband asked me to drive, as he tends to drive the horses too hard and we wanted to stay the course without incident. I am ever grateful for the shelter the enclosed wagon affords us.

The weather improved as our homelands fell behind and we came at last into the Kingdom of Meridies.

We arrived eventually to the lands near the Ville of Nash. There we sought succor from longtime friends. Once safe upon their estates, the men assessed the repairs needed to the wagon and worked vigilantly to ensure all was well before we went further towards the conflicts in the south.

At last we bid farewell, and started on our way again. We made a brief stop to purchase needed supplies, when fortune’s goddess brought to us other friends, Annalies and Gavan. We broke our fast with them, and though time was short, seeing her lovely countenance warmed my heart.

Upon our farewells, we again turned our wagon south.

The rumors of war reach us on our travels, and we are anxious to do what we can to lend aid. The conflict is yet some distance, and this night we found a red roofed inn within the boundaries of a small village in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann.

I know how your heart longs to travel south with our countrymen and women. There are those who needs must assist those who stay behind and prepare the fibers and stitch the cloth. I, for my part, appreciate all you do in the staying. And I set pen to parchment to ease your mind from worry as to my wellbeing.

When morning comes, I will find a carrier to bring you this missive soonest. I pray this finds you and your good husband well and warm and secure in your estates.

Ever your friend,