Announcement: Seneschal’s Handbook – Youth Policies

Detail from the Hunterian Psalter, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 229 (U.3.2) circa 1170. Public domain in the US

The SCA Board of Directors has approved the language below to be used in the Society Seneschal’s Handbook.  While we believe this to be a functional policy we wish to consult subject matter experts in the area of youth activities and further changes may be made in the future. We greatly appreciate thoughtful suggestions to policy language and welcome commentary.

Commentary may be sent to  Please use the title “Seneschal’s Handbook – Youth Policies” in the subject line.  Please make sure that all comments are contained in the body of the email.  This email does not accept attachments and will not forward emails containing attachments.


Motion by John St. Dennis that Section X.3 “Dealing With Minor/Youth -Related Policies of the Seneschal’s Handbook be replaced with the following language effective immediately:

Parents or guardians of minors shall have ultimate responsibility for the welfare and behavior of their children at all times.  It is the responsibility of the adult who brings a minor to an event to ensure that the minor is safe and not in danger.  At events in which youth participate in any way, participating minors must either have a parent or legal guardian present at the event, or an accompanying adult present in possession of a properly executed “Medical Authorization Form for Minors.” 

Notification of this change to the membership should be accompanied by the following announcement:  “The SCA Board of Directors has approved the language below to be used in the Society Seneschals Handbook.  While we believe this to be a functional policy we wish to consult subject matter experts in the area of youth activities and further changes may be made in the future. We greatly appreciate thoughtful suggestions to policy language and welcome commentary.”

Second by Dan Watson.  In favor: Natalie Degerstrom T.S. Morgan, Vandy Pacetti-Donelson, Richard Sherman, John St. Dennis, Dan Watson.  Opposed: None.  Chairman Craig Carter exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion.  Motion carried 7-0.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:

SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email

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.

Kingdom A&S Championship event court summary, July 20, A.S. 54

In evening court:
Nicola Bramante – AoA
Sigvarðr Skarfr – AoA
Gwyneth Rorrigsdottir – Golden Calon Swan

Other court tidings:
2 newcomers received mugs.
Their Excellencies Søren atte Raven and Rúadán del Wich begged leave of Their Majesties to retire from the Baronial seat of Forgotten Sea.
Duchess Aislinn Morcroft and Countess Elena Moreno del Mar are Their Majesties’ Thegns.
Her Excellency Rebecca Beaumont won the Judges’ Choice prize.
Honorable Lady Izza al Zarqa is the new Kingdom A&S Champion.

Woodblock from Ulstadt’s 1525 work, Coelum philosophorum seu de secretis naturae liber. Public domain in the US

Nesscia’s Missives: 19 July A.S. LIV

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

Letters from the South
Written 19 July Anno Societatus LIV
Being 2019 of the Common Era

Unto Chozek does Nesscia send dearest greetings.

I have traversed the long miles to arrive this day into the southern reaches of my fair kingdom.

Worried I have been with the horses trudging the miles in the searing heat which has held sway these recent weeks o’er the lands. Water in plenty we carried for there are many long stretches between where we normally find our ease.

Upon our arrival, I felt greatly relieved that I had to push them no further.

Their Majesties are holding a grand celebration of the Arts and Sciences here in Their charming Shire of Oakheart. They wish to pick a Champion to show off the grandeur which is Calontir.

I have worked in secret on a project with which to present to the judges. I fear I have not the skills to try for grand champion. Though in my heart I hope that my art may please our Rainbow Queen, Yseult, and She may have a kind word for me.

For in the end, my project will be a gift for one of my countrywoman. It would please me if I had our Queen’s smile upon it when I present it to my friend.

As I look around, methinks there is a grand gathering at the local monastery as there are robed friars and priests and nuns aplenty walking about. I fear for my very soul that I shall do or say something and be condemned to suffer in purgatory over long for a misstep.

I write this note quickly, and will send it on its way with a messenger to your high kingdom, to make its way to your estate. My room at the local inn shall soon be ready, and I must attend to my belongings and be out of the way.

It is my fondest wish to visit with you, and look upon your beauteous countenance. Mayhap it won’t be long.

Until that time, I remain ever your friend.

Nesscia inghean Chearnaigh

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

Court summaries from the Coronation of Anton IV and Yseult, July 13, A.S. 54

Final business of Donngal and Catalina:
Cooks Guild – Order of the Falcon’s Heart
Galen MacColmain – King’s Favor
Tristram of Lindesfarne – Queen’s Endorsement of Distinction for Chivalry
Sibilla Swaine – Queen’s Endorsement of Distinction for Courtesy
Huscarl Hotel – Queen’s Endorsement of Distinction for Ideals of the Society
Rhodri ap Hywel – Court Baronage

Other court tidings:
A change to Kingdom Law was read into court.

First court of Anton and Yseult:
Duke Hirsch Ross Eichman is the new King’s Champion.
Count Marius Lucian Fidelis is the new Queen’s Champion.
Master Isengrim Sleggja is TRM’s Chamberlain.

Evening court:
Jurgen Weiter von Landstuhl – Calon Cross
Adelaide Dewey – Torse
Catalina de Arazuri – Duchy
Ivan Porvinin – Leather Mallet

Other court tidings:
A boon was begged for Donngal Eriksson to join the Order of the Pelican.
Honorable Lord Janos Katona won a William Blackfox Award for Best Poetry or Short Fiction for his original song, “The Vow”.
Other Blackfox Award nominees were recognized.
8 newcomers received mugs.

Edward II of England receiving his crown. 1307-27

How do I create a coat of arms?  Part three, ingredients.

This is the sixth in a series of educational articles about heraldry in Calontir. 

Previously, we discussed inspiration and general principles for your coat-of-arms.  Now lets look at the key ingredients.


“Tincture” is the term heralds use for color.  There are seven standard tinctures used in heraldry.  Technically, the term “color” is only for the darker colors: blue, red, purple, black and green.  The term “metal” is used for the light colors: white and yellow (aka silver, gold).  The only time we can use other colors like orange or brown is if they’re the natural color of the object, such the wooden handle of a hammer.


Identifiably requires good contrast, so we need to avoid putting dark things on a dark background (color-on-color) and light things on a light background (metal-on-metal).


The 1st layer of your design is the background.  Heralds call it the field.  It is possible to have a coat of arms that is just a field!

The 2nd layer is made up of the primary, secondary, and/or peripheral charges.

Primary charges are the main motif/s in the central area of the shield, whether a stripe down the middle or a dozen caltrops scattered on the field.

Secondary charges are motifs around the primary charge, for example a circle of stars around a sun.  This gets tricky, because that same circle of stars becomes the “primary charge group” if we remove the sun from the design.

Peripheral charges are motifs that are part of the edge of the shield such as a border or, in this case, a base.  They can never be a primary charge because they can never be in the central area of the shield.  It is possible to have a coat of arms that only has peripheral charges on the field, so they are different from secondary charges.

The 3rd layer is made up of the tertiary charges.  Tertiary charges are motifs that are layered on other motifs, such as rings on a base or a heart on a sun.  [Quaternary charges are not allowed.]

Overall charges are special.  They’re a bit like overgrown tertiary charges that overlap the field.  They have weird rules because of that, and it’s hard to make good designs with overall charges – they have to overlap the field enough, they can’t cover up too much of the other charges, etc.  In this case, it’s hard to see that there’s a sun hiding underneath the cross.

If this is starting to get confusing, there are lots of resources to help.  See “Heraldic Helpers“, come meet us at a consult table near you, or try out the Virtual Consult Table!


At your service,


Sofya la Rus, Habicht Herald

Calontir Heraldic Education Deputy

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.