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First Word

Tomorrow, I start packing to drive down to Trimaris so that I might attend their Fall Coronation. Iím looking forward to it for a variety of reasons. Foremost is that Iíll have the opportunity to visit with my grandmother in Orlando. Sheís not far from the event and Iíll actually be staying with her and simply day-tripping Coronation on Saturday. In addition to this, though, Iíll have the opportunity to visit with Corvus South (as our Trimarian kinsmen have come to be known) once again. This follows hard upon our gathering just a few weekends ago at Mabinogi: The Once and Future King in Sacred Stone. The weekend immediately prior to that wonderful encounter, I also got to spend time with THL Rowen at Trimarisí Panhandle Skirmishes. What an amazing Fall this has been! While itís true Iíve been wearing myself a tad thin with travel, itís been an overwhelming opportunity to spend time with all of you. I wouldnít change it for the world!

Panhandle Skirmishes was simply marvelous for me. Only two weekends after my extraordinary trip out to see Lady Medb Renata at Caidís Great Western War, I traveled out-Kingdom once again to a foreign war. This time, I was fortunate enough to be the guest of Their Trimarian Majesties, King Bytor and Queen Astrith. Frankly, my experience there lent a whole new definition to the word Ďhospitality.í

HRM Bytor wasnít kidding when he said I was his guest. When I arrived at Troll, someone Iíve never met greeted me with, ďOh, youíre Bran from Atlantia-- here.Ē I was handed a packet that contained everything I would need for the event, including my being fully prepaid. In it was also a site map with a highlighted line that traced me directly from Troll to my hotel room on-site! Waiting for me there were amenities provided by Countess Maisie of Dumbarton, who pretty much saw to all my needs the entire weekend. No sooner did I get my things unloaded from the car then HRM Bytorís outside my door saying, ďCome get some steaks for supper!Ē I had to laugh when I looked at the names on the half dozen rooms all there in a rowÖ ďCrown of Meridies, Crown of Ansteorra, Crown of the Middle, Bran Trefonnen of Atlantia, ÖĒ You get my drift. I was embarrassed but giddy all at the same time! I wish that more of House Corvus could have accompanied me and indulged in Trimarisí warmth and courtesy. Fortunately, THL Rowen and Lord Leonidas of House Alhard were able to share it with me.

Donít doubt for one second that this display of camaraderie and friendship wasnít directly related to all of House Corvusí efforts at Pennsic XXIX this past summer on Their (then) Highnessesí parts. Thank you again to everyone who made our two dinners with Bytor and Astrith a success.

Saturday saw me out on the battlefield bright and early. It was a bit daunting as I was the only Atlantian fighter there! (HRM Anton was attending but could only marshal due to an injury). There were seven battles to be fought in a very ambitious schedule set by Bytor. We started exactly on time and I fought throughout the day in the company of my good friend Duke Baldar and House Asgard. During the field and bridge battles, I served as Baldarís shield man and got to experiment with a new aluminum pavise-like war shield of Asgardís design. It was phenomenal in lightness, size, and durability. We may be acquiring a few of these for House Corvus if all goes well.

Certainly, the highlight of the event for me (and there were so very many!), was the live chess tournament held by torchlight Saturday evening. Iíve always wanted to try something like this but Iím afraid now that Iíll never manage to accomplish something as grand, exciting, and wondrous as what they achieved there on that night. The match was positively riveting with the crowdís enthusiasm and fervor never waning throughout the entire chess game. I was actually on the edge of my seat several times! Iím fortunate to have shared in that success. At least now, should I ever attempt something like that in Atlantia, I have a standard to rise up and attempt to meet.

In addition to the SCA diversions of the event, I also managed to catch up with some old friends while there and Rowen and I even had the chance to sup with our good friend, Sir Karl Kyburg. To be quite honest, it was one of the best times Iíve ever had at an SCA event! Itís nice to be reminded every now and again ďthis is why Iím in the SCA.Ē Itís a feeling I get whenever House Corvus is gathered together but a definite rarity when Iím not in your company. How exciting to know that there are people, places, and events that can still get me as excited as when I first discovered these Current Middle Ages. And what a perfect thing to happen the weekend before going into the final Mabinogi event: The Once and Future King.

I was worried the few weekdays I had leading up to Mabinogi. I hadnít heard from several members of House Corvus and wasnít even sure just who was coming. In fact, several deafening silences on the House Corvus List had me making alternate provisions for several staff members to the event, just in case. While itís true that I do always have back-ups for events, going incommunicado the week before an event is never a good idea. Believe me, I know. Iíve made that mistake myself in the distant past!

But who could have foreseen just how perfectly the event would unfold? In my wildest dreams, Iíve never imagined an event going off so easily and without incident or duress. I tried to work it so that no one really had to do any one thing for more than a couple hours at a pop. Of course, some people just didnít want to stop. But there were so many people caught up in the Mabinogi spirit that people simply came out of the woodwork to play and help out. It was a living example of the philosophy that House Corvus holds so dearÖ the more people who shoulder a burden, the lighter it is on everyone.

For everyone in House Corvus who helped bear some of this eventís load, I am so very, very grateful. I hope you had fun along the way! I know that I did just watching it all come together. From Mistress Rhiannonís and Lady Adelizaís expert supervision of Troll; Messer Giuseppeís dance classes; Lord Michaelís and Lord Alrikerís work on the Dragon; Baron Peterís and Lord Williamís hilarious characters; Don Miguelís help with the quest; Lord Robertís, Lady Medb Renataís and Lady Signyís help with feast; well, it goes on and onÖ And every time my eyes met someone in House Corvus contributing to the event, I saw a smile on their faces and it made me mirror that same warm smile! It filled me with a pride so enormous that it must somehow have been sinful. But Iíd happily risk the Inferno to have had the chance to stand with you all that weekend. And, no, thatís not mere hyperbole.

I have to single out for especial praise the phenomenal effort that Lady Alys, Herrin Una, Lady (Judy) Medb, and THL Rowen poured into the Mabinogi Tavern. It was a huge success and guaranteed the eventís profitability. Iím humbled to know that youíre in my Household and that we share this SCA family. God! God! That goes for all of you!

When we came together Saturday evening to do our Corvus Circle, I was so filled with joy at seeing our Household assemblage. What amazing company! And what a grand event to induct our two newest members, Lord Joseph and Lady Sarah. With the exception of our fabulous Birds, the rest of House Corvus was there! When we gather like that, I do mean all the words I speak about our Household and what it means for me to be there in your company-- to stand in that Circle. Moreover, it makes my neck hairs tingle when I hear each of you speak about being in House Corvus as we pass the medallions of our inductees. But itís not the words that move me the most. Itís just standing there, looking at you all and knowing that we stand there togetherÖ that we STAND for something-- and that what we stand for is GOOD. Itís a powerful thing, being in House Corvus. Thank you for the blessing of your friendship.

Another grand surprise at the event was actually getting to see the progress on the House Corvus Rose Window. THL Eldred, Lady Ealdthryth, Oshi San, Lady Sine, and Lady Signy have done so much work on it and it was beautiful! Getting to actually see it was as shocking and fabulous as seeing Lord Cassan in new garb!

Iíve been following the Rose Windowís progress on the Corvus website all this time and was already stunned just from the pictures. But seeing it in real life was simply phenomenal. What an extraordinary effort and what a glorious work of art for us all to share someday. If seeing that didnít motivate everyone to finish up armory and get it submitted, then thereís something wrong with you!

It would be a terrible miscarriage of justice, however, to think that Mabinogiís success was solely the fruit of our labor. For it certainly was not. Dozens of people contributed in every arena of the event. If not for many giving members of the Cantons of Hawkwood, Baelfire Dunn, Aire Faucon, and Crois Brid, the event would have suffered enormously. Of all this diligent assemblage, though, Lady Elsa Grettasdottir proved herself, once again, to be an absolutely crucial factor to the eventís success. It was a painful reminder of just how much I miss her being in House Corvus. At the same time, Iím grateful that we continue to share such a great rapport and that she still brings so much to all we do. Sheís a rare and precious gift. We should never fail to remind her just how much sheís appreciated. --BRAN

For Your Consideration

Hello to my Corvus family. It was a complete and total blast to see almost everyone at Mabinogi: The Once and Future King. However, I miss you all now-- so this has to happen more often. I can honestly say that Mabinogi was my favorite event all year! And being with you guys was a huge part of the reason why. It's a beautiful feeling to be a part of that Circle, no matter how small or large it is at the time. But, at Mabinogi, all I could say was ....WOW!

After we held the Corvus Circle...

Candidate 1 - Comments omitted from online version.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don't over eat more than two or three times. I already know one thing I'm thankful for, an awesome family of friends. Until we meet again. Smiles! --ADELIZA

Corvus in Court

Mabinogi: The Once and Future King saw more than a grand gathering of the Household. It also saw several members of House Corvus being recognized for the special things they bring to the SCA. Please join me in celebrating the accomplishments of our Housemates!

Lady Signy was made a member of the Queenís Guard, recognizing her skill on the rapier field. Lord Michael was inducted into the Queenís Order of Courtesy! Baron Peter was inducted into the Order of the Golden Dolphin for his longtime service to Atlantia. Lord Alriker was inducted into Sacred Stoneís Order of the Phoenixí Heart for being an outstanding example of courtesy and chivalry. Vivat Corvus!

Lord Alriker receives his Order of the Phoenixí Heart from His Excellency, Baron Duncan and Her Majesty, Queen Emer at Mabinogi: OAFK.

T-Shirts and Tents

As most everyone knows, Sineís getting new rates worked up for the House Corvus t-shirts. Keep your eyes tuned to the House Corvus e-list or the Roundtable for developments about this on-going effort. Everyone should have gotten an order form in the mail and thereís also one available in line at the House Corvus website. Just use the dropdown menus, print the form, and send it to Sine with your payment.

I originally drew the t-shirts as a fundraiser for the Household pavilion fund and a portion of the money collected for the t-shirts is supposed to go towards that fund. However, no one is compelled to contribute if they donít want to. You can deduct five dollars from the t-shirt fees if you donít desire to contribute or if moneyís a little tight right now. Donít stress over it.

Along that same line, I received a copy of Pantherís Winter Catalog the other day which announced their tent prices are being raised after New Yearís by 10-20% across the board. Since enthusiasm seems to have quieted on the Household gather tent since Pennsic, it may not be feasible to try to get the new pavilion for next year after all. This may, instead, become a longer-term project.

If thatís the case, weíll need ideas for other fundraisers to help cover the cost. Personally, Iíve always been a fan of direct contributions. It only takes all of us a few dollars a month for a few months to raise the money we talked about. Iíve always found a little bit of money over a long period of time to be far more painless than a bake sale! But if anyone has better ideas on how to raise the money, please donít be shy! Just donít make it too complex!

Not having achieved our goal for a new House Corvus gather tent this year will also increase our camp fees for Pennsic XXX so weíll all need to plan accordingly.

Speaking of Pennsic XXX

Mistress Rhiannon, Oshi San, and I have already started working on plans for next Pennsicís House Corvus encampment and weíll be getting information and invitations out shortly after Thanksgiving.

As after every Pennsic experience, weíll be trying some new refinements this year, so please read the invitations carefully and definitely ask questions! Believe me, itís not too soon to be thinking about this, folks! Pre-registration deadlines will be here sooner than you think.

Oshiís setting up a special Corvus-only Pennsic XXX web page for us to check our progress, review camp chores, policies, as well as access a variety of other useful information for our mutual camping enjoyment! The URL to that page will be included in your pre-registration packets as well as distributed on the Corvus e-list.


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