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First Word

Last day of the month, and I’m tempted to tear into this RoundTable with a sloppy gusto that, yes, would produce results, but wouldn’t necessarily be of any appreciable value. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I don’t publish the Raven RoundTable merely to hear myself talk, but because we have things to share. That’s when it comes together and that’s when we go to print.

You’d think that we couldn’t possibly be in better communication than we are. A more-or-less monthly newsletter, the dozens of daily posts on the House Corvus list, the instant gratification of e-mail, telephone, and, oh yes, SCA events… How could a group of people be more a part of each other’s lives than this? Yet, I know I sometimes feel detached. Even in a fraternity as rich as ours surely is, you can feel isolated, swept away by real life and concerns that you either don’t want to share or feel might be an unnecessary burden to your friends. And so, we edit our lives as surely as we omitted spurious night-out details to our parents when we were teens.

I used to think that people are somehow trapped by those years. That, once we start withholding, we never can truly open up again. And for quite a few years there, that certainly seemed true. Until you guys came along anyway.

We are a sharing group! We’ve all gone through so much just since New Year’s. Thank you for putting yourself out there with all of the good things, and the not-so-good things, the adventures, and even the failures you’ve endured. We all really do learn from each other’s experiences. If nothing else, we learn more about you. And that’s a good thing.

I’m so happy to officially welcome Lady Isabella Benalcázar into House Corvus. I know that Annie has been on the Corvus list and getting the RoundTable for sometime now. We always knew you were coming, but the anticipation as to just when exactly that might be kept us on pins and needles! As soon as Bright Hills’ event passed, it was Lady Sine who said it best, “Welcome to our circle.” How oddly apropos that Mistress Rhiannon and Lady Adeliza had something of a Twilight Zone hotel adventure during the trip. I’m sure we all have our own “unique” Corvus-related adventures. Now Isabella’s already a part of someone’s!

I’d like to thanks everyone who’s already responded to their Pennsic mailings. The House Corvus encampment is already shaping up to be something extraordinary this year. Along with some of our regular members, we have some exciting new additions as well! March 1st was your deadline to r.s.v.p. I hope everyone made it in time!

Needless to say, I had an awesome time at the House Corvus fighter practice earlier this month. It was great having Lord Aldrich and Aleksander down from Hawkwood for the weekend. Along with Lords Robert and Michael O’Comhdhain, we certainly got in a LOT of fighting. Holding the practice in downtown Charleston, we managed to expose a few people to the glories of the SCA! Fortunately, Lord Michael’s wife, Lady Krystyne McGowan, was on hand to answer questions for the onlookers. After a variety of sparring matches, we did a workout similar to the one we use in the dojo (not too unlike a bear pit) and managed to get in over sixty rounds together. It was tiring, but also a blast! It really got us all excited for Gulf Wars! Legendary fighter, Duke Olaf Askoldson, is on deck for the March’s practice on Saturday, March 10th. I was thinking that we could get together for practice and then those of us headed for Gulf Wars could caravan together on Sunday or Monday while the rest returned home.

My recent trip to London couldn’t have gone more smoothly and I’m very grateful for that. Mistress Susan, Lady Demetria, and her daughter Megan (members of House Andover) and Mistress Aryanna Hawkins all accompanied me on this outing. We met up in Charlotte and flew over on February 13th and stayed until the following Sunday. While I go over specifically for the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards dinner, we managed to pack in a number of sites and even took a train out to Windsor Castle one day. I hadn’t been there since the fire and I was completely stunned at how beautiful the restoration was! There’s a great hall with all of the heraldry of the members of the Order of the Garter and it literally took my breath away. Another restored room was so incredibly beautiful, it made my eyes tear up and it was all I could do not to weep.

It was also a truly SCA kind of trip. Not only were all of my traveling companions members, but we caught up with SCA Ombudsman and all around fun-person, Mistress Keilyn Fitzwarin. She’s living over there with her job now and we had a great time hitting some of her newly discovered haunts. One of those had Sir Aelfred of Kieraw’s son working there! And, as if that weren’t enough, one of the most charming women of Atlantia, Mistress Thjora Arnketilsdottir was also in town while we were there. And in a hotel right around the corner from us! --BRAN

The Trimarian Word

Hi guys, I finally have a moment to breathe, so I figured I would provide you with an update on two new associates of mine. This past weekend, I was very pleased to take on two apprentices, Lady Mairi Ceilidh, and her husband Lord Octavio de Flores.

Both Mairi Ceilidh and Octavio are die-hard service types in Trimaris, but they also exhibit wonderful talent. Mairi Ceilidh's interests lie in the area of cooking/food prep. She has distinguished herself both at feasts and at art-scis through her complex dishes taken from period sources, using as close-to-period-means as possible for her creations. Since period food has been such a highly controversial subject in Trimaris since the gourmand-ish reign of Anastasia, she has made it a personal commitment to work towards period food research, preparation, and presentation.

Lord Octavio also excels in the areas of the bardic arts. I have gotten to know him mostly through his playing for dance. He has the ability to lead the musicians (herding cats is the closest I can describe this accomplishment), and to play wonderfully. Further, he is a wonderful storyteller, who feels completely comfortable entertaining a crowd.

These two were belted during a tearful ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Originally, they were both to be belted to Mistress Sylvia the Landlady. Sadly, Mistress Sylvia was taken from this world about 2 weeks before the apprenticing was scheduled to occur. The last project Sylvia accomplished was hand-weaving their apprentice belts. Over the course of almost two years, I have made it a point to get to know both Mairi and Octavio. I had wanted to apprentice them when I first learned about the situation. But I wanted to make sure I was apprenticing them for their own accomplishments, and not just to finish the project of a dearly departed friend. Fortunately for all, her husband, Baron Romas, had kept the belts that Sylvia had woven. Romas graciously gave them to me to use for the ceremony. I added a silver acorn for Sylvia on each belt, and place my cherub above each acorn. The apprenticing itself was somber, but inspiring all the same. We were all saddened as we reminisced about Sylvia. But we were all very happy because we were friends, surrounded by more friends, all there for similar reasons.

Sine, we all thought of you as we posed for the Borgia family photo. Now you can razz Clotild about no longer being the baby! Ciao for now. Miss you all! --GIUSEPPE

For Your Consideration

We have been discussing this person online for a while now and I iterated my desire to speak with this candidate at Aire Faucon’s Inn on the Road event at the end of this month. While I normally don’t like prospective Corvites to know they’re under consideration, I think it’s best that I be able to speak candidly. I did, however, want to reprint the initial recommendation here in the Roundtable for members who may not be online so they know whom we’re talking about.

Candidate 1 - Comments omitted from online version.
Candidate 2 - Comments omitted from online version.
Candidate 3 - Comments omitted from online version.
Candidate 4 - Comments omitted from online version.

Mountain's Majesty

During the course of this year, I'll be writing a series of poems to accompany covers that I’ll also be illustrating for the Mountain Mayhem, Hidden Mountain’s baronial newsletter. Even though my tenure as Baronial Bard expires this May, Their Excellencies Julianna and Luqman and our Baronial Chronicler are allowing me the opportunity to experiment with this over the course of 2001. I’ve never really attempted a work of this nature, but I’m very excited about the prospect! Both the covers and their accompanying covers will be episodic, hopefully telling a complete story by year's end, specifically, by the Feast of Saint Andrew in December '01.

Each month's poems (actually, it's just one, big poem!) will be in seven stanzas with a seven-syllable abcb rhyme in the style of 9th century Irish poetry. Why this particular format, you ask? Well, I'll tell you!

Scotland's patron saint, Saint Andrew lends his name to my canton's Feast of Saint Andrew event in December. He also lent his name to another period Saint, Saint Andrew Scotus, or Andrew the Scot. St. Andrew the Scot was born at the beginning of the ninth century (he died about 877 AD). St. Andrew and his sister St. Bridget the Younger were born in Ireland of noble parents. There they studied under St. Donatus, an Irish scholar. When Donatus decided to make a long pilgrimage to the holy places of Italy, Andrew accompanied him. The poems I'm writing are fictitious verses ostensibly culled (and translated) from his journal.

So, I'm using a period Irish verse form that St. Andrew would have known and possibly utilized. As an added perk, it's the same form a young Bran Trefonnen would have used when he first joined the SCA and was a 9th c. Celt. True, I eventually settled into my 1068 niche, but it's nice to recall my own origins. Who knows? Maybe the 9th c. Bran Trefonnen and Andrew Scotus traveled together for a time throughout Italy.

I thought you guys might enjoy seeing how the project pans out so I’ll be adding the installments here in the Roundtable too, if you don’t mind. Since the Mountain Mayhem doesn’t really go outside Hidden Mountain, I’d be very interested in what you think of my work as it progresses.

From the Journal of Saint Andrew Scotus...

as translated by Bran Trefonnen

From the Journal of Saint Andrew Scotus, Part I. Copyright ©2001 Scot W. Myers

Part I.

I dream of a hidden mountain,
Some secret and special place,
Far from this monastic life,
Yet no less close to God's grace.

This hidden mountain stands strong,
Solemn in its dignity,
Towering o'er common men;
Monument to harmony.

In its shadow, men know joy,
Women, the virtues of love,
Children play with abandon,
Guarded by mountain above.

This blissful, hidden retreat,
Though shrouded in secrecy,
Hides no lie or deceit, but
Nurtures bless'd intimacy.

Conjure this place in your mind,
See it as clearly as prayer,
Surely, this place I can find,
Please, please, God, let me be there!

I travel on the morrow,
'Pon duties ecclesiastic;
Uncloud my eyes to see, Lord,
And spy this realm fantastic.

Set me to this task, my King,
Hear my plea most genuine--
Expose your greatest glory,
Reveal the hidden mountain.

Corvus Calendar

4th - Site visit for Atlantian Spring Crown.
9th - Robert completes first set of exams.
10th - Household Fighter Practice in Chas.
11th - Oshi’s birthday.
13th - Bran leaves for London.
18th - Bran returns home.
20th - Isolde’s birthday.
24th - Bright Hills Baronial Investiture.
28th - George’s birthday.

1st - Pennsic XXX r.s.v.p.’s due back.
10th - Household Fighter Practice in Chas.
11th - Leave for Gulf Wars X.
12th to 17th - Gulf Wars X.
20th - St. Cuthbert’s Day.
24th - Nottinghill Coill’s Baronial Birthday.
25th - Giuseppe’s birthday.
31st - Inn on the Road - Alys autocratting.
31st - Misty Marsh’s Marsh Madness.

Last modified on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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