Those of you who follow my personal Facebook feed will be aware that big things are afoot in my personal life, and that as part of dealing with that I’m getting involved with the Society for Creative Anachronism, SCA for short. These fine folk don historical garb from their favourite periods of history (up to about the 16th Century) and hold court and have tournaments and engage in hobbies and creative crafts and the like from the days of yore. This past weekend I was able to attend the Ealdormere Kingdom Arts & Science Faire. That means that folks from all across the kingdom – which encompasses the bulk of Ontario – could bring in the fruits of their labours to be evaluated and judged by experts in relevant skillsets, and awards may be handed out accordingly.
This was my first real SCA event, so suffice to say I was very much looking forward to it. Accordingly, you get a photodump.
I was met at the site by Pal Kat and Lostie MortymerXT. This was also their first event, so we were equal parts excited and nervous to meet folks and cast a critical eye on their endeavours. You thought High School was a jungle in terms of “Look at what she’s wearing”… now imagine EVERYONE in the room is wearing a homemade period costume… speaking of which…
Super proud of Pal Kat! She decided earlier in the week that she was going to make a dress for the event, so…. BAM! SHE DID! She had some wonderful opportunities to talk with some of the other SCA folk about dressmaking, etc, and may have even found herself a mentor.
An early highlight of the day was a demonstration of Meyer’s techniques for unarmed defense against an attacker armed with a dagger. We were treated to nine different techniques, with my new pal from Ramshaven, Albrecht, acting as the aggressor.
“Come at me, bro…”
“Whoops, broke your arm…”
“Whoops, broke your arm again”
“Whoops, there goes that arm again! Sorry, brah, my bad!”
“Here, let me crush your larynx and throw you back instead.”
“You didn’t need that side of your jawbone, right?”
Morning court was my first sighting of their Royal Majesties King Trumbrand and Queen Kayla. On the left, their Royal Highnesses Prince Steinnar and Princess Lidr, and on the right their Excellencies the Baron and Baroness of Ramshaven, who were hosting the event.
TRH Steinnar and Lidr held vigil throughout the day, meeting with the people of Ealdormere for private discussions about the hopes of the people for the kingdom under the reign of the incoming monarchs (their coronation is in two weeks).
Their Excellencies the Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth. We were drinking tea, it was cold outside as we waited for our chance to meet with the Prince and Princess.
I kid you not, this I overheard.
“And what do we say when someone asks what Soylent Green is? Soylent Green is people!”
Berenger has built his SCA persona around the Knights Templar. By virtue of his being one of the first few Scadians I interacted with, he’s one of my favourites.
I wish I knew all the names for things… Viking dress things! All hand made and awesome.
An amazing hand-illuminated map of Ben Dunfirth… which may or may not ignore Ben Dunfirth’s actual borders 😉
Experimental mead! Who wants to be a guinea pig?
Not entered into the Faire, but a remarkable piece of work in progress. Hand embroidered map of Middle Earth…
Folks milling as the judging was taking place.
Hand-detailed leather braces!
Afternoon court was a lengthier affair with awards being handed out, some members of the royal retinue being dismissed (in preparation for new members at the coronation in two weeks).
One of the biggest deals was Graf Siegfried being welcomed into the Order of the Pelican. The speeches promoting him were both touching and hilarious.
Following the court was the evening meal – my first feast! I was going to sit with Berenger (the Templar guy) and his lovely partner, but I was approached by the Princess’ head handmaiden moments before everything was due to start, and offered the opportunity to sit with the royal family at the head table. The feast was AMAZING. I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots of some of the most creatively displayed food I’ve seen in a long time.
What do you do when your turkey pie actually has a beak?
There was some debate at the table amongst the royal family as who would get head, and who would get tail tonight.
(Phrasing deliberate, in honour of some of the snickering that occurred).
I don’t recall exactly what made this quiche-ish pie green but the thistle and crown were awesome.
Dessert included pink backgammon cookie and macaroons!
Sugar dice from the backgammon set, emblazoned with the Trillium – one of the symbols of Ealdormere.
Now, after all the eating was done, the royal family called out those responsible for organizing the day and handling the feast and awarded them for their service with some token gifts… and then Her Royal Majesty Queen Kayla turned to me and said “And for our guest…”
I was gifted with a silk-screened flag bearing the Populace Badge of Ealdormere.
I was speechless. I had already been honored hugely by the crown by being invited to the head table despite my complete newbness, and then to receive a gift from Her Majesty? You could have bowled me over with a feather. Or, ya know, one of those dagger defense techniques. I’m gonna treasure this little square of material for a long time.
In the end, awesome day was had. I’m chuffed MortymerXT and Kat could be a part of it with me, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve got a fresh sunburn on the top of my noggin.
I’m looking forward to my next SCAdventure.