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First Word

Bitter cold and pouring rain rarely make for the ideal event situation, yet the recent Tourney of Ymir in Raleigh, NC couldnít have been more delightful for me. The natural exuberance I feel whenever Iím in House Corvus company was undaunted by uncooperative weather and the time I got to spend with Mistress Rhiannon, Lords Robert and Oshi, and Ladies Sine and Signy was a joy! We also had the pleasure of excellent companionship as many members of House Andover also traveled to the event.

More and more, SCA events seem to be the only opportunities I have to spend quality time with so many people whom I love. I appreciate everyoneís patience when it comes to having me racing around trying to spend a minute or two with so many people. It makes the meals we take together that much more special to me! I had so much fun at lunch and dinner!

Of course, youíd have thought that Iíd authorized in rapier myself the way I was acting on Saturday! Watching Lady Signy re-authorize at Ymir was awesome. Iíve been a marshal in the Society for almost a decade and Iíve never seen an authorization fight pursued with such skill, confidence, and control. While half the fun was watching Signy fight, the other half was watching all of the other people watching her fight. They were justifiably dazzled! Itís no wonder that King Amalric called Lady Signy in to Royal Court that evening just to congratulate her and comment on her prowess. He personally supervised the authorization!

Lady Signyís sister-in-law, Lady Elsa was on hand and snapped a few photos of the authorization, which weíll get online at the House Corvus website a.s.a.p. Actually, Iíd like to thank her for sharing so many of her wonderful photos with us. Many of the photographs you see on our website were taken by Elsa and shared with us!

As youíll read in Messer Giuseppeís letter, it looks like weíre all heading into our respective travel modes for the spring. Ireland and England notwithstanding, Iím thinking more of Gulf Wars and Atlantiaís and Trimarisí respective Coronations. All of these events will see many Corvites racing all over the place! Still, itís the events closer to home that keep us the busiest and also seem to put us at the most risk. Lord Eldred and Lady Ealdthrythís deer experience this weekend stands as a reminder that we all have to be careful while pursuing our SCA endeavors.

There were two different memorial services listed for SCA folk lost to car accidents posted to the Atlantia List last week. The fact of the matter is-- the nature of the SCA requires us all to do an awful lot of long-distance travel. And, especially after an event, we tend to drive home under less than ideal circumstances, often in a hurry to get home and usually overly tired. I know that Iím notorious for my own aggressive driving, but Iíve been working on re-thinking my own driving strategies. Slow down, take the extra time, and when youíre tired, just pull over. There are enough irresponsible and dangerous drivers out there without us adding to their ranks.

Iíll be headed to the UK for the annual London Film Criticís Circle awards dinner this weekend. Since I actually had several reviews published this year in London mags, I almost feel entitled to go! Once again, Mistress Aryanna Hawkins of Lochmere will be accompanying me. The dinner is also a fundraiser for an English charity similar to the ASPCA.

Immediately upon my return, Iíll be headed up to Kingdom Art/Sci for my poetry duel with Mistress Ceridwen. We are each writing nine poems (one for each century 800 to 1600) inspired by a specific Muse. Needless to say, the trip to London will be a working vacation!

With any luck at all, Iíll also have finished the four sets of Atlantian caparisons by Art/Sci. No matter what, they will be ready for Gulf Wars! Weíll be presenting them to the Crowns then. Speaking of Gulf Wars, I believe thatís also where Iíll be installed as Atlantiaís new Triton Principal Herald. Mistress Rhiannon has been checking on just which members of House Corvus are going to Gulf Wars. If you havenít checked in with her, please do. After two successive years without fighting at the War, Iím looking forward to hitting some people with Lords Robert and Aldrich this year! That is, from behind the suppressing arrow fire provided by Corvus archers!

Everyone should also have received the first packet of materials concerning the House Corvus Pennsic encampment by now as well. If you havenít, get in touch with Mistress Rhiannon a.s.a.p. Thatís it for now, anyway! See you at events, online, and here next month! -- BRAN

The Trimarian Word

Greetings unto my brothers and sisters across the Known World.

This time of year in Trimaris is easily the most lovely. For the local area, weíve actually had a colder season than the norm, being in the 50ís and 60ís. But nothing can describe the beauty of the Trimarian landscape in the winter. The blueness of the sky yields in its magnificence only to the glorious winter sunsets.

Among recent events, our new homebase of operation, Shire Storm, recently cratted Trimarian Winter Art-sci. The crat staff for this event was known to many of you, being mostly a combination of Alhard Manor and Corvus. Our own Dom Miguel served as Site Herald, Honorable Domina Collumella served as Autocrat, while Honorable Lord Leonidas and Milady Clotild de Soissons served as feastcrats. Bantiarna Mebh and I spent much of the weekend in our typical haunt - in the kitchen. And if I do say so myself, my hat must go off to Leonidas and Clotild who not only prepared wonderful food, but also ran one of the smoothest kitchens I have worked in. (Donít worry, Oshi. You are STILL da man!) The entire event ran as smoothly as could be, and the Kingdom is encouraging Storm to take on much larger event projects in the near future. HmmmmÖ

Coming out of the holidays, we have found ourselves readying for various and sundry. A few weeks back, we held our first Corvus sewing weekend. The plan was to create blue Corvus surcoats for work-wear and our annual Corvus ďfamily reunionĒ events. As Rowen was down south, and Mebh had to work, the sewing party was limited to Miguel and myself. But we enjoyed our afternoon cutting, recutting, repatterning, etc. Iíve said it once, and Iíll say it again - I HATE making T-tunics! It doesnít matter how long a person has been sewing, or how intricate the costuming, I believe all forms of sewing provide their own form of challenge. That having been said, I can at least take comfort in the fact that the Trimarian menfolk now have surcoats! Now to help the Ladies to catch up.

Among future plans, we would like to work on other projects such as banners, Corvus heraldic displays, etc. My vision is that someday Corvus will be as recognized a name in Trimaris as it is in Atlantia. It will take a lot of work and commitment, but thatís what makes our group strong in the first place.

On a mundane aside, I am counting the days until Mebh and I make our travel to Ireland! We will be leaving on March 3rd for a glorious 9 days abroad. Among some of our stops, we plan on visiting the Ring of Kerry, Newgrange, Waterford, Kells, some of the open-air museums, the National Museum, and several pubs along the way. Also, in my research, I discovered that in West Dublin, there is a particular Cathedral that we simply MUST visit. Aside from the fact that it contains a large mausoleum to the Guinness family (my mundane patron saints!), it is dedicated to none other than one of our household patrons, Saint Werburgh (yep, thatís the right spelling)!!!

I look forward to playing host to those of you who will be travelling down to the Trimarian Spring Coronation. In honor of the occasion, my apprentices and I will be hosting a luncheon for friends, family, and hungry passers-by. Also, I will have the extreme honor of apprenticing Milady Clotild de Soissons, my good friend and comrade in Alhard Manor. Aside from being my good friend and mundane co-worker, Clotild has assisted me for quite some time in just about every SCA capacity from editing letters, to set-ups, to research assistance, etc. I look forward to this new facet of our relation, and to her growth and future accomplishments within the SCA.

Until the next time, I remainÖ -- GIUSEPPE

A Rose By Any Other Name

Well, shucks... I'm really very happy that the Household is so pleased by this project and so many want to help! As Ealdthryth has noted, any weekend that we are home, anyone is welcome to visit and put in his or her bit of effort. I have wanted to make a really cool display like this for some time, and it's great to be able to make it come about successfully!

Here are a few more details on the basis of the project: Medieval stained glass was often donated to a church by a wealthy (and often armigerous) patron. The windows we observed on our trip to England in 1997 had many examples of armory incorporated into their designs. Rose windows did not have such secular themes, but generally were detailed with images of the life of Christ in the roundel portions and abstract patterns in the remainder of the "petals". OK, this is a gross generalization, but for the examples of specific style I have been looking at, this does hold true.

House Corvus's rose window is inspired by the rose window in the south transept of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral. There are many compromises that I had to make in the design, including severe compression of the petals (so we won't have as much in the way of abstract patterns) and I simplified the curves and lines for ease of reproduction. Since the SCA tends to frown upon excessive religious display, and I really wanted a cool heraldry display, I decided to merge the idea of secular armory and a rose window. I think the result is way cool (as does the rest of Corvus based on the comments I've seen )!

I need to write up some more formal documentation on this, but this is my quick synopsis... -- ELDRED

Moose! Deer! Cow!

Well, we had an adventure late last night on our way home from Cupid's Coup. We were about five miles from the site when a deer decided to go Subaru hunting..... Yep, our cute little Forester that is only 10 months old got nailed by a deer... We are uninjured but the car sustained damage to the passenger side: headlight, hood, fender and front door. I did not see the deer after the accident, so I assume it survived and ran back into the field it popped out of.

We called the Highway Patrol, and an officer showed up fairly quick. He was friendly and gave us a report to hand in to our insurance agent. He said they get a lot of these in Newberry County. He pronounced our car drive-able, so we continued on our way home and got in at about 3 am. (ugh!) We are dragging around a bit this morning, but we're still OK.

We're pretty impressed at how well the Subaru protected us and thankful we are uninjured! I'll be driving the Suburban to work for a while.

BTW, Cupid's Coup was a pretty nice event. The weather was sunny and warm but a bit breezy. Sir Kenneth and Mistress Adelaide nearly lost their pavilion a couple of times. They also entertained us with their music after feast. We even bought two of their CD's and one that a friend of theirs did (it has "Ban the Fencers" and "I'm a Duke and You're Not"). -- ELDRED & EALDTHRYTH

Counting the Beans

Sorry... I just can't help it. I noticed today that we have posted 365 to the House Corvus List this month [January], passing our previous high of 360 last February. And we still have a few days to go! So I got curious about which topics have generated the most messages. Here they are:

No Subject was first by a landslide, but since it was really several subjects, we won't count that.

#1 Philosophy (27) - started by Giuseppe on 11/4 about Lucky Charms changing.

#2 Congrats or Sympathy... your choice (23) - started by Rhiannon on 12/8 about Bran being selected Triton.

#3 House Corvus: The Movie (23) - started by Bran on 8/4.

#4 Pep Talk (23) - started by Giuseppe on 6/4 about mess in Trimaris.

#5 Survey (21) - started by Giuseppe on 11/5 about childhood icons . -- EALDTHRYTH

For Your Consideration

Mistress Rhiannon mentioned this on the e-list and I think it bears repeating here in the Roundtable. "First, I think it needs to be emphasized (for our newer members, who probably don't know this) that there are two basic criteria which potential House Corvus members should always meet.

We do not consider people who haven't been in the SCA for at least a year or that haven't already gotten their AoA's on their own merits. These two items are pretty much tied together and have a specific purpose. (1) It allows that we have sufficient time to assess where Joe Bob is headed and who they are. Sometimes people can fool you with a first impression, especially when they really want something from you, only to become something totally different later. (2) It allows them time to really get a feel for the SCA and be able to make a more informed decision about who and where they want to be in the Society.

I actually had somebody I wanted to bring up...

Candidate 1 - Comments omitted from online version.

Anyhoo, here's where I let you comment... -- RHIANNON

Take Your Best Shot

For those of you who are interested, Lady Signy's drill team won the rifle meet Saturday!

She was top shooter in the standing position and she received a medal and a nice trophy! Vivat! Let's hope that she can transfer that accuracy to the crossbow! Be very, very afraid! -- SINE

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