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First Word

I'll have to admit that I'm not particularly enjoying the phase of life into which I'm currently heading. The irony, of course, isn't lost on me. For the latter half of my current span of days, I've celebrated and reveled in an organization that glorifies life in the Middle Ages. And yet, as I find myself in my own, current middle age, the celebration is strangely muted.

It's not that I mind growing older (once you lose your hair, you honestly just don't stress over aging much... really!). But I do miss the loss of life around me. Three different friends of mine from college died over the past year. Beautiful, young, vibrant beings who will forever appear that way in my mind. Like so many people we know, they long ago faded from my everyday life. So, I never saw them age, never updated that mental image I now hold so dear. They remain unchanged for me.

On the one hand, it pleases me to recollect them that way. I shut my eyes and we're still sitting in a dorm hallway at 3am solving society's problems as only idealistic college students can. I blink and we're playing D&D for the third day in a row. "More pizza! More Coke from the machine downstairs! We can keep playing so long as we don't run out of quarters!"

Despite my seeming nostalgia, I don't especially miss those days, fun as they were. Living life is always about transition -- going from where we were to where we are going to be. What I do miss, though, is making that journey with them. Would our lives have been all that different had we stayed in touch? Probably not. But the possibility is always there. Until it's not.

Being together in House Corvus gives us an opportunity to remain a part of each other's lives. It keeps those possibilities alive. It gives us company on a road that isn't just better when traveled together, but is altogether grander from any we would travel alone. Sure, we can allow ourselves to drift apart. And I can always wax nostalgic and remember adventures we once shared together. I think of Isolde graduating and, I admit it, I have to reconcile the outstanding woman she has become with that little girl stepping out of her tent to proclaim, "Momma, look at all these men here to attend me!"

But, unlike my college memories and friends, preserved in a sort of mental amber, I've accompanied Isolde on her journey. As have we all. And it's a journey that's far from over.

I have enjoyed simply the most fantastic moments of my life in the SCA and in your collective company. But, it's simply not enough. Maybe I'm just selfish or greedy, but I want more. More of each and every one of you. We have so much more to experience together. "Drifting" simply isn't an option.

I'm hardly the only person in our household to be experiencing the pangs of time's passage. Several members of House Corvus have experienced the loss of family members over the past few months. And whether human or feline, close or estranged, there's never any joy to be found in a journey's end.

Still, it's hard to remain somber when the promise of new adventure looms so tantalizingly near. So many of us have so much going on in our lives. Academic graduations, career opportunities, new homes... hell, new hairdos! Each is a milestone to be celebrated and, yes, shared. What some may allow to become a distraction, I hope we will see as a chance to bring us closer together.

I hear this all the time in the SCA, "I had an attack of life." Certainly, non-SCA affairs can preoccupy many of us and, the reality is, sometimes the SCA just doesn't make the cut when setting our priorities. But it should. We're in the SCA. House Corvus only exists in an SCA context. And when the SCA subtly (or not so subtly) creeps out of your life, a lot of good things, and good people, fade with it. It's not just a shame, it's downright tragic. There are people that I love, that I LOVE for God's sake, that I barely communicate with anymore all for the loss of the SCA as our common ground. And, yes, I do realize that that's a damning commentary about me. I should have found a way to keep those relationships alive. But I didn't. Sometimes "real life" really does make it too hard.

Thankfully, we don't spend all of our time in our real lives, nor should we. In a culture besotted with distractions, we have mutually decided upon the SCA as our hobby of choice. Moreover, we have made a commitment to keeping the dream alive by banding together -- sharing the journey -- the adventure -- together. And, no, I'm not referring to that "Dream" the SCA is always throwing around (although, it is a good one!). I mean that simpler, more basic dream: that we can have fun in our lives.

The SCA provides us with an environment in which we can have fun if we want to. House Corvus surrounds us with people to have fun with if we want to. You don't really need one or the other, per se. But the synergy of House Corvus within the SCA can be more intoxicating than dollar margherita night.

There are lots of fun bits in this issue including a note and photo from Signy that 's been gracing my desk for months now. I was giddy to hear that Signy would be marshaling at Isolde and Siobhan's graduation. What a great evening for so many of us in Asheville. But it seems that was only prelude to the good times that Corvites had at the Feast of St. Hildegard.

It was great news to learn that Baroness Julianna's surgery went so well for her and that the large mass her doctor detected didn't appear at all cancerous. It may be a few days before Julianna is feeling ready to party, but I know we're all relieved at the good word. The same goes for Una's updates on Osric. I know that we're all there for one another when the news is grim, but it's nice to get positive follow ups.

Speaking of which, I have a sort of mixed bag. My grandmother is safely home from the hospital after her dog attack but my sister went in for a few days last week after collapsing at work. She's home as well now but will continue tests over the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted. Keep yourselves healthy and I'll be in touch very soon. I love you! --BRAN

Rhiannon on the Road

I hadn't planned to go to Sacred Stone's Novice/Investiture until Wednesday night. It was rainy when I got up and I nearly bailed... Good thing I didn't, 'cause it turned out to be the most interesting event I think I've ever been to...

I had some kind of time warp thing going, and set my alarm for the wrong time, so I arrived at 10am, which was when the divestiture court was supposed to happen. I checked in, then went back to change my clothes. Then, I wandered casually back to the hall, where I discover not only has court not started, but there's a perfect seat for me right beside Adeliza! Yay! The table in front of us was loaded with baronage, Duncan, Eyrick, Liam, Julien, Benefse and Dame Anne. Naturally, since it was an investiture, I had my coronet and while waiting for court, I polished it up, then plopped it on my head. Suddenly, Duke Olaf came and plopped down on Adeliza's other side. We were a virtual plethora of hats! It was made clear we were waiting for TRM Michael and Seonaid, which amused the hell out of me. All these other people were wigging out about them being late, and I was having a self-satisfied, relaxed trip into the past! Sometimes, it's good to go home...

Anyhoo, Kisiaya's divestiture court was the fastest on record. She gave out nearly no awards, cleared her people in one lump mass, and said goodbye and thanks for all the fish, basically. Then, TRM's did the investiture and *boom*, court was done.

My post-investiture court was spent wondering what I was gonna do with myself, but I did plan to swear fealty, as I thought this would be a good, low-key opportunity to do so. HA!

I visited with our Cherokee folk bit and then decided to hike down to the bathhouse, where I found the worst possible state of affairs I have EVER seen at a camp. There was a lake in the middle of the floor and 3 of the 4 toilets were totally fouled. So, after I accomplished my business, I took off for the kitchen to ask Fiona who the site steward was. She took my report and said she thought Susanna was the person to inform, so I departed with the intent to let Susanna know, but...

I ran into the rest of Hawkwood's officers and was informed we had been ordered to report to TRM's cabin immediately. I passed on the duty to Alison (from Baelfire Dunn) and went with the group to the cabin. None of them would go in, so I decided I didn't care and barged on in, to find HRM Seonaid in attendance with the baby and Dame Anne, sitting beside her. There was a circle of benches and I (and the straggling group behind me) were invited to sit. Then, she began to explain why we were there. She said that the commentary on the polling responses had concerned them greatly, and that they wanted to seek out more information. She asked each of us to tell her who we were and what position we held (sans me, of course).

Then HRM Michael came in with the guys he'd pulled off the field and round we went again. We were eventually dismissed and they then sent for Their Excellencies to talk to them. Well, we all went out with a *whew*, but much relieved that they obviously had taken our words seriously and we were heard. HRM Michael said our problems weren't anything different from what all new baronies go through and not to worry, dissolving the group was NOT an option they would consider at this time. They also said that one thing was predominant throughout the commentary; that we all cared very much for each other. Michael said that there was NO negative criticism; only positive and that they were very impressed. He also asked if we could all be available to meet again later, and we said sure.

I returned to the field to find Ealdthryth and Eldred had finally arrived! Of course, I had to harass them about being late!

Then, we went to evening court, where I paid absolutely no attention, playing instead with Etain an Cenlis Mor's beautiful toddler, Arianna. At the end of court, two things happened. Duke Olaf asked if I'd be his guest for feast (at high table); and TRM's said they wanted to meet with the barony of Hawkwood outside. So, off we trooped to the canteen building, where we were told that TE's had been renewed for a second term and that we were to complete several dictates, to include the installation of a Baronial armored champion and a warlord, both items that had concerned the populace.

The final request was that he wanted to meet with me privately at feast, between courses. Then he asked if I was on-board and was informed that I was sitting at high table as His Grace's guest! (LOL) His reaction was quite amusing; he nearly clapped his hands! And said, "Oh good! It will be wonderful to have you, and we won't have to wait until between courses!"

Off to find Duke Olaf I went and then to high table, where HRM Michael immediately took me out on the little side porch (ah, shades of yesteryear! A Michael-smoking-talk!) to discuss matters further. We went back in to eat, which was kinda boring as Duke Olaf spent most of his time talking to HRM Michael, but the food was pretty good and I've already emailed Fiona to ask for her chicken recipe! High table is usually only entertaining if I can cut up anyway, and there wasn't anybody on my side of the hall to annoy... I didn't figure the family in the new, all-matching garb at the next table over, was going to be into my impishness... Feast lasted a really long time, and for an event I was just going to drive-by, I ended up staying 12 hours! I didn't leave until 10 p.m.! But that's o.k., because it brought back a lot of good memories and old times. You just can't beat that. -- RHIANNON

Consort Recollections

I've always thought there was something magical about Crown Tourney. Aside from the obvious symbolism, there is the visual pomp and the heraldic display, and the electricity in the air is always palpable. As a participant in the Crown List, those feelings are magnified tenfold. Here is my take on being a consort in Atlantia's Spring Crown Tournament.

I drove to Raleigh-Durham to pick up Baron Alejandro, and after several stops for various supplies, we headed to the event. The drive up seemed to fly by, as we chatted about all sorts of things. We got to the site and set up the pavilion, keeping an eye on the darkening skies. We decided to leave the pretty stuff till morning, so it wouldn't get rained on. We headed to the hotel, then out to a Mexican restaurant for Cinco de Mayo. Alejandro asked the mariachi to sing a song about battles or fighting... but alas, he didn't know any. He had a beer, and I had a jumbo margarita. Relaxed, and in good spirits, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. We slept in later than anticipated, but still had plenty of time to run to the store for fruit and munchies for our hospitality table before heading to site.

We got to site, and unloaded, then got into garb. Alejandro's cadets, Brianna and Kelric, met up with us, as did House Corvus's own Baron Peter Hawkyns and Lady Anne-Marie de Lucy. With so many helping hands, the banners and pennons went up quickly. Brianna had the food arranged on the silver trays before I knew it. Everyone was so helpful and things went smooth as silk. Alejandro had proclaimed that, should we win, we would declare our reign to be stress free. The day was starting off in just that way. Smooth, relaxed, no tension.

It was time to check in. We got our blue cards and headed to the MoL's pavilion, which, conveniently enough, was right next door. THL Adeliza was beaming as she showed us where to sign and wished us luck! That done, we went back and chatted a bit more with those gathered at our pavilion. Spirits were high, and much laughter could be heard. People ooh-ed and aah-ed over the copy of the calligraphed letter of intent on display.

Alejandro and I finished getting our finery on just before the procession was to start. I pulled out the favors I had made for us to wear bearing our mantra for the day: Deus adiuvantum omnes (God help them all). Alejandro got real serious and said to me, "You know, I really would make you Queen if I could." He told me how he thought I deserved to be Queen, and how he hoped someone else would step up and do it who could "get the job done." I fought back tears and told him as best I could how touched I was that he felt that way, then tied the favor to his arm as he knelt before me.

As is tradition, the procession lined up in reverse order of precedence, making us fourteenth out of twenty two in line. To keep us out of the sun as long as possible, the heralds lined up only a few at a time. The shade of the pavilion provided welcome shelter whilst our herald, Hamisch, held our place in line. When it was time, Alejandro took my arm. It was all happening so fast. The reality was sinking in, and I asked "We're really going to do this, huh?" To which he replied, "Well, what do you think we're here for?" Our entourage lined up according to plan, all decked out in heraldic dress.... Brianna and Kelric in their red capes with Alejandro's badge, and Peter and Ann in blue Corvus tabards. Hamisch announced us in his booming baritone voice.... "Baroness Julianna Fiorentini championed by Baron Alejandro Mateo Ramirez....." I was a bit taken aback hearing my name announced first. But I couldn't think of that now, we were walking up to greet Their Majesties, who wished us luck and thanked us for participating. We were ushered to the right to stand in the circle with the others. Her Grace, Duchess Padraigin handed me a yellow rose.... my favorite color! It seemed everything was perfect. We watched as the remainder of the participants processed. Perhaps I was biased, but I thought our entourage was the best looking of the bunch! Their Majesties asked the consorts and others to take our leisure, and asked the combatants to take four steps forward into a tight circle. The testosterone was apparent as they sized each other up, and the rules of the list read before they were dismissed.

Soon we found out that Christian Thomas of York would challenge Alejandro for his spot, and he busied himself preparing his armor. Already, other consorts were coming by the pavilion bringing gifts. Lots of hugs and smiles and laughter to go around, as excitement filled the air. Alejandro's name was called out, and we proceeded to the list. Walking to the left corner of the field, I suddenly felt my stomach tighten. Nerves! Up to this point, I had been completely relaxed, carefree. But now... nervous excitement filled me. Again I heard Hamisch announcing us. There were those words again: championed by. I looked at Alejandro. This man was championing me. Fighting for my honor. Fighting to make me Queen. Because in his eyes, I am deserving. Worthy. This man was prepared to give his all to make that happen. He had spent months getting ready. New armor. New garb. Practicing. Preparing. And it all came down to this. He was stepping on the field calm, confident, proud... the kind of calm self assurance that comes with having a purpose you believe in. He was stepping out there before everyone, willing to sacrifice everything... for me. Suddenly I felt transported to a time and place of days gone by. Of knights and chivalry and courtly love. Here was my champion, wearing my favor...prepared to fight to the death to defend my honor. I felt such a strong sense of pride... as though I would burst.

Anne was busy taking pictures to capture the day on film. Oh my! I was so nervous, someone needed to hold my hand. Peter! Please, hold my hand! He took my arm and held my hand, and gave it a squeeze. Alejandro was stunning. His new armor and helm crest were trés spiff. Stylin. He looked majestic... like a Spanish conquistador right out of a painting. He bowed as he paid his respects to me, then turned his attention to his opponent. Alejandro was aggressive, but Christian's defense was too tight. Nothing was getting through. Then Christian stepped up, struck, and Alejandro fell.

As we walked back to our pavilion, our eyes met. I tried to keep smiling, letting him know it was ok. I wanted him to know how proud I was of him.... win or lose... it didn't matter to me. I was already a winner... for this proud and honorable man was my friend. And it is something I shall treasure always.

I started making the rounds handing out my consort gifts. More hugs and smiles and laughter. Seeing old friends, meeting new ones. Sharing in the excitement of the day. As the tournament started, though, the atmosphere seemed to change before our eyes. You could feel it. The looks on many of the faces changed. The tension became palpable. But not for us. We stayed calm, relaxed, lighthearted.

Alejandro was once again on the field... and we rushed over to stand at the list. Gifts had been presented to his opponent before the fight... a sword for him, and a silk veil for his lady. Jurgen came over and kissed my hand, thanking me for the honor of fighting my Lord.

Again, the announcements, the honors, then Lay On!! In one blow it was over, and Jurgen fell at Alejandro's feet. Anne-Marie's eyes lit up as she said "I just got the perfect shot just as he killed him!" Someone (was it Anne?) said "You're one step closer, Julianna!" Oh my! "God help them all" raced through my mind.

I rushed to Alejandro as he exited the field, and gave him a hug as others helped him with his weapons. The menfolk slapped him on the back, and he was beaming. The pride that shone on his face at that moment was obvious. We knew realistically we would not make it all the way through. His one goal was to win at least one fight. To get to the third round. He had done it. He had made it to the round of 16. He'd met his goal. We were so elated! We had done what we set out to do and more. It was all gravy from this point.

The second-best looking fighter on the field was Miguel, dressed in white head to toe. Turns out, that is who Alejandro would fight in his third bout. Once more the gifts are sent, the announcements made. We stand at the list. They were really well matched, and the fight was incredible to watch. Alejandro struck a blow to Miguel's head, and he stumbled and fell. But he was stumbling before the blow struck, and there wasn't enough force for the kill. They start again. Miguel quickly got the upper hand, and Alejandro fell. We're done.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing, laughing, and enjoying the company of friends. Alejandro escorted me to the Queen's tea "because I didn't fight for nothin'." It was terribly hot, and the Harry and David truffles melted into a ooey gooey puddle on the silver tray. To steal a line from Alejandro... "When life melts your chocolate, make fondue!" So we dipped oranges and bananas and such into the chocolate for a delightful treat.

Many hands pitched in to take down the pavilion and load it into the van (thank you!). Then we all went to Outback for more laughter and relaxation before heading home.

The day was surreal and fun and memorable. The pride I felt to have had such a dear friend proclaim publicly that I was worthy of being placed on a pedestal... of being made Queen... is something I shall always treasure. It was such a rush... as long as you don't expect something out of it, which I didn't. Everyone was so sweet, and so helpful. The day was perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. -- JULIANNA

Baroness Julianna Fiorentini and Baron Alejandro Mateo Ramirez at Atlantia's Spring Crown Tournament (05/06/06)

Isabella on Elevations

The Honorable Lady Isabella Benalcázar recollects her experience at Atlantia's Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival on March 4, 2006 whereat her Laurel, Master Tristan Alexander was elevated to the Order of the Pelican.

He said yes. Believe it or not we were all concerned that he'd say no. My Master has long said that his service is part of his being a Laurel and that if offered a Pelican before a worthy gentle he knows, he'd likely refuse it. So I went to this event rather worried that Master Tristan would say no in court to a Pelican.

The thing is I didn't get to see him made a Laurel - it was at a Pennsic Great Court. I was at Pennsic! Heck, no one told the shire anything so only four members were at Great Court other than Tristan -- and I've long wished I could have been there.

About a week ago I got an e-mail from a Pelican who knew this who said "Something good is going to happen to someone you care about. You need to be at KASF." Well it was only one of two things and I hadn't seen a friend's name on the Golden Dolphin list lately, so I did what any responsible apprentice would do.

I emailed my Pelican. I knew she couldn't tell me outright, but if it was Tristan getting a Pel - and if I asked her if there was a good reason for me to go to KASF after telling her of that e-mail I got then I had my answer and would convince Rouland to drive with me. She told me that yes there was a very good reason to go. So I went to Rouland and said if Rhiannon says I need to be there, then I need to be there and so I'm going. Rouland didn't want to go and I hate to drive 2 or more hours by myself especially if I don't know where I'm going but Tristan already had a ride as far as I knew.

Well the issue now was if I showed up at an event that as far as Tristan knew I wasn't going to and didn't offer to give him a ride it would seem strange to him, so I emailed him, pointed out that a mutual friend was getting his Golden Dolphin and so I was going to KASF - did he want a ride? Tristan emailed me that he had a ride but would rather go with me and so I was to pick him up in time to get to the event by 10 am.

Rouland always sets his alarm when we go places on the weekend because he wants to shower before me - I take longer you see (I have hair that needs washing - he doesn't). So I didn't set my alarm. I roll over at 6:50 and realize something is wrong here as the alarm should have gone off at 6 am. I get up and start to get ready when Rouland wakes up, tells me that he didn't sleep all night, and that he wants to stay home, Pelican or no Pelican. Since he was grumpy, it was better to let him sleep.

Unfortunately, this meant repacking everything as there was no need to take his big basket if it was just me - and I didn't' need to take the bag of both of our garb. So I put it all into a $3 canvas bag from Wal-mart, showered, and left to pick up Tristan - 15 minutes late. I picked up Tristan who was tired - Don had gotten up very early to "do something at the church that he volunteered to do" and this meant Tristan was pulled out of bed far too early for him. We started out, with Tristan reading the directions that said go to I-95 south.

So from Westminster, MD, I drove to Baltimore, picked up 95 south, and we were on our way. We made only one bathroom stop for Tristan. It was almost 10am and not only were we not near the site but we were still in Maryland! 10:30 came and went.

11:00 came and went and, boy, was I getting antsy. Tristan kept telling me that he had only 3 scrolls, that others were bringing scrolls, and that TRM would simply do court without his 3 scrolls and not to worry. I couldn't say anything.

11:15 came and Tristan's cell phone rang. It was one of Janos' people asking where Tristan was and how soon he'd be at the site. Tristan told him to go ahead with court but the person on the phone said TRM wanted to use one of his scrolls, so they'd hold court for him to arrive. So now, not only am I nervous about being late in the first place, now thanks to my not checking the directions I was given, I AM NOW HOLDING UP AN ENTIRE ROYAL COURT.

Okay, so Tristan has no clue why I am trying to not shake. He keeps telling me that I am obsessing about this and it isn't my fault - and that TRM could've gone ahead without him...(well of course they couldn't - not today). We pull in to the parking lot, change by the car, and then carry his stuff in. He leaves me with a banner and his scroll case while he goes to troll and check in with TRM. As we walk by a woman I don't' know says audibly "Thank God. Master Tristan is here."

Tristan says by now he knew something was up. Master Chirhart who never bothers with full garb these days was in full regalia. I was going to an event that I had specifically said earlier I didn't have the time to go to since grades are due Monday. Don's church never requires him to leave at 6:30 am for anything. And the people for whom he had scrolls he knew were not leaving early so their awards could have been given later.

Court began with Janos apologizing to the populace, claiming that they were waiting for scrolls to arrive. I don't care what anyone says - I will always believe that I personally am responsible for that court starting 30 minutes late.

They did Their other business. Then they called Tristan into court, supposedly to discuss a KAE. Janos then says "You never got to sit vigil for your Laurel. Will you sit vigil today for a Pelican?" Tristan was blindsided and said yes he would. Janos and Rachel lead him and the Pels to the vigil room. I followed behind - making sure I was several feet behind the last Pelican so that no one would confuse me with a Peer. After all, I wasn't sure that I really should have gone into the vigil room not being a Peer, but Rhiannon said that it would be okay. I got to the room. Figured I'd wait as they were all in the room behind closed doors. Then they all came out and Tristan was changing into a long white shift. And Don came out of the room - he had gotten a ride to the event with Lady Martel! It was perfect.

Janos was asking about standing guard at the vigil site and I knew instantly what my job was. The herald's table didn't need me and even if it did my place was there, holding the tall pointy thing guarding Tristan's door. I told Master Chirhart that I'd stand guard the entire day. He told Janos this and Herveus pointed out that I shouldn't have to do this all so the Pels all said they'd send their proteges to help out.

Well if Master Herveus and Master Evan and Baron Ivan of Stierbach and our own Master Eldred and Mistress Cerwiden are all proteges, something has changed! I held one pointy object and they all took turns holding the other one. I let it go only to go into the vigil room, when Herveus realized that I was on the list but was sending in any peer before me (they had priority in there after all) and that if nothing else, Tristan would want to know that before I was handed the big pointy stick, Janos had me follow him with Tristan's scroll case into the Royal Room to get out all scrolls and blanks. Tristan would want to know that that had been taken care of and that I brought his banner into the vigil area so that Don could carry it in when the two of them went into court. So I got to go in, give the stuffed Pelican, tell him administrative foo, and then ask if he was going to say yes. And he said he didn't know. He really wasn't sure.

I went out from the room, went to the rest room, ran an errand for Mistress Chryse who was organizing his ceremony, and then took my pointy stick back from Master Eldred who by now had it. I told Eldred that he had to convince Tristan to say yes.

Finally the time came for Court to start. Tristan decided that since his other apprentice had gone home sick, that I would carry his banner in and Don would escort him in. I've never been involved in a peerage ceremony before like this - it was cool. I just assumed I'd be on the side taking pictures - with the flash turned off of course (Kingdom Law after all).

Tristan got dressed, we went to Court, and watched what was going on as there were two awards he wanted to see happen. Tristan realized he didn't have a hairbrush or comb, neither did I or Don, nor Baroness Rowan or Auntie Brenna. So he said he was going in scruffy. We did the best we could with fingers.

They called him in. The banner was so long that I had to hold it up over my face and I just knew I'd trip but I didn't. Tristan knelt before TRM Janos and Rachel and when asked if he would accept gave a long enough answer that we were all afraid he was about to turn it down. He finally said yes. Ivan says I looked totally relieved (so actually did Don - it wasn't just me).

Then they called in the Pelicans. Her Grace, Duchess Simone spoke for the Order of the Rose; Sir Richard from Storvik for the Chivalry. Then Master Eldred started to speak for the Laurels and he made me cry. Then Mistress Alisoun spoke for the Pelicans - and said she had known of his service for 20 years. It was lovely. He got an embroidered satchel, a medallion, and a cloak that will definitely keep him warm.

After Court, I followed Tristan to the Royal Room and packed up what was left of his stuff. It was very windy and I barely got it to the car. I changed and was on my way back to help him get the rest of his stuff when he and Don both showed up, changed and ready to go. Don was riding home with us, and we were going to go to Martel's house for them to pick up their car. We wound up eating at a Ruby Tuesday's not too far from the site and many others showed up soon after we got there.

I wish I had been able to spend time with my fellow Corvites Master Eldred, Master Peter, Lady Anne, Lady Adeliza and Lord Ţórgrímr; as they were all there. I saw Rob at the start of the vigil. I passed Anne in the hallway during one of my many manic runs to fetch what needed to be fetched at the start of the thing. Eldred and Peter came back to talk to Tristan for the vigil, but I never did get to see Anna.

All in all, after I calmed down about holding up a Royal Court and about taking a full hour longer than I thought it would take to get there, it was a good day.

I hope one of these days to be at an event with my Corvus family where I can actually talk to and be with my Corvus family. It hasn't' happened yet but one day... -- ISABELLA

Courtly Virtues

('shi-väl-ree, from O.Fr. chevalerie, c.1292)

What I think about Chivalry is a pretty open-ended question. I will assume from the context of the message that you are not seeking the definition of the term, but rather its expression, and how it should be applied.

Chivalry, in the more historic sense, was simply a term used to define mounted warriors, more specifically, the behavior which could be expected of them. This expected behavior is much different than what we would expect in these more modern times. The "Code of Chivalry" has changed greatly, and has been romanticized until it only vaguely resembles its humble beginnings.

My personal feelings on Chivalry lean heavily in the direction of the more romantic notion, which was greatly influenced by the church. I am less interested in the ideals of "courtly love" than I am in the virtues of knighthood. So, to me, Chivalry is defined by the virtues which combine to make one whole.

The virtues of which I speak are Prowess, Humility, Charity, Faith, Courage, Temperance, and Love. These virtues combine to become the very foundation of Chivalry. Without even one of these virtues, there can be no Chivalry, in my opinion.

There have been many debates on which of these virtues are greatest. Personally, I believe that none of them can really take precedence over the others, but for the sake of exploration, I will discuss them with you.

Prowess, which is probably the most hotly debated virtue, is not limited to deeds of valor on the battlefield. Prowess can be shown in any area of endeavor, such as service to one's Kingdom, or in the arts. Prowess is simply striving to be greater than we are. For in that attempt, we are made greater for the effort.

Humility is a commonly misunderstood virtue. Humility is the opposite of arrogance or excessive pride, both of which are dangerous vices. Being humble does not intend that one lacks confidence in one's abilities, but rather intends that one need not call attention to one's own actions. Humility also intends that we understand that we all serve each other, and are better served for that understanding.

The virtue of Charity is the opposite of selfishness. To be open and giving. To be willing to share that which you have gained, without expecting a return. For it is through such actions that we understand the true value of ourselves.

Faith is a very important virtue to me. The virtue of Faith does not necessarily imply the belief in the divine, but rather the willingness to believe. If one lacks belief, then there can be no hope, which lends credence to the voices of despair. Cowardice is born in the Faithless, for they have nothing in which to believe.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the understanding of fear and doing what must be done regardless. A fearless man is not courageous, for he has never known fear, and when fear finally grips him, he will be useless. The courageous man knows fear, but is inspired to conquer it through virtue.

Temperance is understanding. As simple as that sounds, it can be really rather complicated. With wisdom comes understanding, which is how true knowledge is gained. The man, who is rash, makes poor choices for they are without understanding. It never behooves us to close our minds, as there will always be other options to consider.

Lastly, but not least, is the virtue of Love. It is argued that Love is the well from which all virtue is drawn. I suppose there is some merit to that argument, however I prefer to think of it as an integral part of the whole. Love takes many forms. It can be your passion for your endeavors, or that indefinable feeling which binds you to others or ideals. Love allows us to feel the pain of others, or their needs, which can in turn inspire one to acts of other virtues such as Charity or Courage.

Allowing these virtues to guide you in your endeavors will certainly be viewed as "Chivalrous". Other terms which may apply are "courteous" and "honorable". In my opinion, however, these are three distinctly different terms, although they are often confused in common usage. Again in my opinion, "Chivalry" implies that one embraces all of the virtues which I have discussed, whereas the "courteous" or "honorable" man has embraced but a few. Certainly there is nothing wrong with being honorable or courteous, as they are worthy, even admirable goals, however being both of those and more makes the person chivalrous.

What "Chivalry" means to me is a way of life. It is a moral compass which guides me in the darkest of times, and aids me in becoming the best person I can possibly be. It is a never-ending path which leads me to a greater understanding of both myself and those around me.

Yours in service --MITTION

Mistress Rhiannon recently asked Duke Mittion von Weald, KSCA, OWST, OTAT, OSST, OBL, OES, COG, etc... of Trimaris about an article that she had read some time back on the Seven Virtues of Knighthood. As the Barony of Hawkwood was hosting its second birthday with that theme, she wanted to obtain a copy of His Grace's article. Duke Mittion graciously offered Rhiannon his article along with his permission to use it for any purposes she deemed most useful. Fortunately, Rhi passed the article along to me and I thought it would make a grand addition to our on-going series of articles on Courtly Virtues here. Thank you to Baroness Julianna for first creating this series. Thank you to Mistress Rhiannon for gaining permission for us to reprint it here. And a special thank you to Duke Mittion (Timothy M. Opfer - for his generosity and insight.

Signy Speaks!

I've been out of the SCA loop for so long that I feel like I hardly exist anymore. Thanks for remembering me!

So, as to how I'm doing... I would say well. I'm probably two, or perhaps three semesters from my Associate's Degree and I have a 4.0 GPA so far. I'm hoping I can keep it so that I can get a scholarship to UNC-A. I've been having to work while going to school, but if I get the scholarship, I might be able to go to school fulltime.

I think my plan at this point is to get my Master's Degree and become a librarian. My aunt is a librarian and I've talked to Baroness Deirdre about it, too. It sounds like a fun gig and something that I would really enjoy.

The llamas are doing well, too. We only have one now. The other (the one that was a butthead) we sold to a guy that mom [Baroness Sine] knows in Winston-Salem who has goats. He's a guard llama now and protects the goats from local dogs. The other one, Shaman, who is friendly, lives in the field with Kyle's parent's horses. We've discovered that he has a fondness for rabbit food (the pellets that come in a bag). If you're ever in town, you're welcome to meet him. I think you'll laugh -- most people do! He's a pretty funny looking animal.

I don't know when I'll have the opportunity to go to an event. My weekdays are so filled with school and work that I end up doing laundry and housework and things like that on the weekends. We go hiking and camping a lot when the weather's nice but the SCA's been kind of pushed to the side in favor of school and making a living. I miss it though. -- SIGNY

Signy with her beau Kyle, cat Poncho, and dog Jeb!

Raimondo Phones Home

So, year one of grad school is almost gone. It has been a very interesting experience. I have learned a lot about myself and why I am compelled to make things. I passed my first year review yesterday, which means that they are going to let me come back next year. I am also being offered a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, which will help me pay rent, as well as finally giving me an opportunity to teach metalsmithing, which is what I truly would like to do with my life.

For the past month or so, I have been developing my website, and although there are still a number of features to be implemented, it is online. Everything that you see is functional, but there will be updates coming soon with more stuff. (

I will be coming back to SC for a week and a half in June for my sister's wedding, and I will have some time to hang out. Hopefully I will get a chance to see at least some of you. -- RAIMONDO

Corvus Calendar

MAY 2006
1st - Anno Societas XL (40).
6th - Atlantia: Spring Crown Tournament in Tir-y-Don (Williamsburg, VA).
9th - Antonia's Birthday.
10th - Thorgrimr's Birthday.
10th - Anne-Marie's Birthday.
12th - Alys's Birthday.
12th - Isolde & Siobhan Graduate!
13th - Atlantia: Feast of St. Hildegard in Falcon Cree (Marietta, SC).
15th - Helfdane's Birthday.
18th - Cassan's Birthday.
20th - Atlantia: Baronial Birthday in Hawkwood (Arden, NC).
27th - Atlantia: Baronial Birthday in Hidden Mountain (Summerville, SC).
27th - Atlantia: Sapphire Joust in Caer Mear (Amelia, VA).
27th - Caid: Spring Potrero War in Calafia (Potrero, CA).
30th - Luqman's Birthday.

JUNE 2006
3rd - Atlantia: Atlantian University in Isenfir (Charlottesville, VA).
4th - Rowan's Birthday.
10th - Caid: Principality of Caid Tournament in Sylmar, CA.
15th - Online registration deadline for Pennsic 35 at
24th - Atlantia: Wastelands in Hindscroft (Boone, NC).
24th - Atlantia: Seneschal/Exchequer Symposium in Caer Mear (Richmond, VA).
24th - Caid: Gyldenholt Anniversary in Gyldenholt (Fountain Valley, CA).
25th - Joseph's Birthday.
26th - Krystyne's Birthday.
29th - Isabella & Rouland's Anniversary.
30th - Alessandra's Birthday.
30th - Atlantia: All Things Marshal in Bright Hills (Elkton, MD).
30th - Dr. Robert Coffee finishes the second year of his residency!

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