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First Word

House Corvus gained two new members in September! THL Isabella Benalcázar gave birth to her second daughter, Margaret Teresa, on September 4th, making her our current youngest Corvite! Margaret Teresa was born at 7:21 AM, weighing 9 1/2 lbs. and was 21 ½" long. Isabella had a complicated pregnancy but, fortunately, both mother and daughter are doing well. Still, because Margaret is a different-sized baby than her big sister Rebecca, many of Rebecca’s clothes may not fit, hindering Margaret’s ability to take advantage of hand-me-downs. I’m sure Isabella would appreciate any assistance we can give in that area, and I’m going to try and make a few baby-Corvus outfits this weekend to send.

Baroness Adeliza is probably in the same boat with little SarahAnn Rose. I doubt Dagar left many useful hand-me-downs for his little sister! Anything that Corvus members may have to help out either of our two, new girls, would be welcome, I’m sure.

Of course, we also inducted Mistress Rachel de Johnstone into House Corvus at Sacred Stone’s Baronial Birthday the following weekend. Oshi, Sine, Adeliza, Dagar, Alessandra, Þórgrímr, Rónán, Muriele, Cecilia, and SarahAnn Rose were all on hand to welcome her to our circle. It was a wonderful moment, made all the more special by the kind, thoughtful words expressed by everyone there. For me, it’s a dream come true. I can’t imagine an SCA without Rachel in it and Corvus is enhanced immeasurably by her being a member. Together we’re going to do great things. FUN THINGS! And that’s what it’s all about.

It’s funny how nervous both Rachel and I were on our way to the event. For Rachel, it’d been some ten years since she last attended an SCA event. For me, it was my first event being back in Kingdom. Yet, for two such experienced SCA participants, both having been the landed baronage of Sacred Stone, we both approached the event with great trepidation. It’s as if we felt that, having been away for so long, we’d “lost our place” in the SCA.

It seems that much of our comfort in attending events derives from repetition. Going to events regularly keeps you in synch with everyone else in the Society, to a degree. So that, when you take an extended period off, you hesitate to come back. There’s a feeling that you’ve lost your rhythm, so to speak.

Sadly, or luckily, that’s a misperception on our parts. Yes, the SCA has indeed gone on without us. However, where it’s going, we’ve already been. Moreover, we know how to get there. I guess that’s the glory of a historical society. Really, did the Middle Ages somehow change while we were on hiatus? Of course not. So, while some (but not many – indeed, not enough) faces have changed, the nature of the SCA remains unaltered. And, while it’s true that there may not be the exact same old slot waiting for us, we now have the opportunity to forge a new purpose in the Society. I don’t know about you, but I find that prospect more exciting than intimidating. Yes, I made a difference in the past. But how can I make a difference today?

What it comes down to is, no matter how long you’ve been doing other things, there’s no reason not to reintroduce yourself to the SCA and everything we’re still doing. All of the things that first drew you here remain. And all of the things you wanted to achieve in the Society, they’re still waiting for you to pursue them.

I can’t tell you though, how gratifying, indeed comforting, it is to have House Corvus to help ease us back into the swing of things. Our places here in Corvus are a constant with which regaining our SCA footing is made that much easier. So, if you haven’t been to an event in a while, come to one. We’re still here and we still want to be in your company. Times may change, but our fellowship is eternal.

All I’ve ever really required of House Corvus members is that, in order to be considered active, you attend one event a year. That can also be offset by holding an office or even attending Corvus work weekends. In all, it’s not a heavy burden. But more than wanting to see you as active members, I just want to see you! You were brought into House Corvus for a reason. And it wasn’t so that we could have more members. It’s because we wanted you! And, you know what? We still do! Let my return to Atlantia not just be a new beginning for me, but for all of us. Now is the time to rediscover what both the SCA and House Corvus are all about – and to redefine your role in both of them.

Speaking of Corvus work weekends... Mistress Sine brought up the prospect of hosting one at her and Master Oshi’s house in Winston-Salem. Sine suggested we do a silk banner workshop, which I think is a fantastic idea! Mistress Medb Renata is also a gifted practitioner in this arena and, if we go ahead and pin down a weekend, I can turn in a few frequent-flyer miles and have her come too. Corvus always has such a great time when we get together to work on projects. Let’s make these happen more frequently. Medb is also un caster extraordinaire and could help us create those one-sided Corvus plackets we’ve been talking about online. Whatever the projects, it’s always more fun to work on them in each other’s company. Get online and start throwing those dates out there (this means you, Sine!).

Along with this overall sense of renewal, I’m gratified to see several people being brought up on the FYC list. Oshi, Sine, Rhiannon, and the E’s have all mentioned potential Corvus members upon whom we should be keeping our eye. I myself am looking forward to attending events and seeing those people who I feel make a difference. As Rhiannon mentioned online, new members help to invigorate all of us. Keep your eyes open and suggest those people who strike you as being a good fit for Corvus online as an FYC candidate.

Lastly, I’ve been updating a lot of content on the website. Thank you to everyone who’s taken time to update the info on their individual pages. If you haven’t done so, please take a few minutes out of your day to send me some updates, new links, or a new photo! Also, I’ve been adding the events that people have autocratted or head cooked, which is quite an undertaking given how often Corvites do these things. Your input is crucial to recreating that information. --BRAN

Tourney of the Foxes

As of this October I will have been in the SCA for 20 years. Yeah, as with all members of the military, I've been physically in and out of Atlantia, but always an Atlantian. Over the last few years the SCA has been losing its luster and, to be honest, if it weren't for my good Lady-wife, I'd have been long gone from this Game.

Yesterday reminded me of why I got all starry-eyed when I first heard about this group of people who recreate the "middlestages" (as explained by the little young lady in "In Service to the Dream".

This is the tale as I heard it, but we all know how the fish grows each time the story is shared so remember that as you read these words...

Before the sun woke from its nightly slumber yesterday morning, the Baron of Hawkwood and his Armored Champion began a journey that would take them out of their Kingdom and into an unknown land, to the Kingdom that rests firmly on Atlantia's western border, and more pointedly on the western border of Hawkwood.

Though the journey was long, it was quite uneventful. It has been rumored for years that the Kings of Meridies have kept those border lands filled with spies and brigands, anxious to set upon un-suspecting travelers to rid them of their valuables. Well, if those ne'er-do-wells do exist, they let the Baron and his Champion pass without incident.

With the echoes of battle on the winds, the travelers made their way towards the sounds of ringing steel. Upon arrival, the area was quickly scouted and it was determined that it was a small skirmish between two shires over water rights. It was easy to see that it would be better if an agreement could be made to share the water but, as men would have it, each shire felt the water should be theirs and theirs alone. The information gathered during the short scouting mission relayed that the Shire of Owl's Nest was out-numbered and in need of a good water supply and would welcome the extra steel, even if it came from across the mountains wielded by Atlantians.

The day was perfect for combat; a comfortable but steady wind and a light mid-day shower that kept the heat of the day low enough to be comfortable even in armor. The site where the combat took place put both armies on level ground and provided enough shade for those who came to witness the event to stay safely out of harm's way. It was noted that there were even those merchants who profit from such events present. Several Atlantian merchants were able to make the journey and profit from the day.

Even though there was much at stake, the day was truly filled with light heartedness and comaraderie. One could not hear a chord of discontent even carried by the strongest of winds. The Meridian King stood on those grounds that day, as to be sure, no King would have fighting within their lands, especially when the fighting is between His own subjects. So, as to have no loss of life, it was decided that instead of war, a tournament of skill was agreed upon. In this way, His Majesty of Meridies was able to stay neutral and allow the people to decide the fate of the water.

Of course, His Majesty being born on a list field and a knight Himself did join in the day's test of skills. Not only did his presence remind all there that He is King for a reason, but it also showed His support for the decision to not shed blood. To prove His neutrally, as honors were paid prior to each bout, His Majesty would in kind acknowledge and return each and every salute given Him.

The day saw some sixty heavy armored, thirty light armored, and an unknown number of archers compete for the cherished water rights. As the tournaments of skill came to an end, a great many laughs could be heard; drinking vessels clacking together; stories being told and tips on technique being shared. Any who would have passed by that wooded glen at the time would never have been able to guess that over the last four and a half hours, warriors from three different Kingdoms had pitted skills against one another.

Even now, as these words are shared with you, it is still not clear who holds the rights to those sacred drops of water. Be sure to know though, all who took those fields yesterday [29 August] can hold their heads high. The water rights may have been in question, but those virtues that are held the highest were not.

During the trek back through the mountains to Lady Atlantia, the Baron and his Champion were able to share their own stories of the day. Both had many of the same stories of witnessing honorable acts, chivalrous combat, and good-hearted gentles. By the time Hawkwood's Baronial keep was in sight, the two travelers had decided that in the year to come, when those water rights are once again in question, another journey will be made and, with luck, not by steed but by caravan.

To speak plainly... When I started fencing, I not only learned those rules, but I started learning about the "spirit" of the rules. As heavy fighters, the rules say we are all to be considered to be wearing the same armor: a hauberk and an open faced helm, regardless of what you are actually wearing. Given that, how much force would it take to make someone disinclined to continue? All-in-all, what I am trying to say is that I found what it was I had lost. And I think I know what I need to do to enjoy the game I love so much. This doesn't mean I plan turning it back up to 42 events a year again... I'm going for quality over quantity.

As I remember it... --THORGRIMR

THL Michael O Adds...

It is always nerve racking to go to an event in a new Kingdom but this one was pretty easy. We got to see and spend time with no less than four other Corvites! Thorgrimr very eloquently captured the day and I could not begin to add to his recounting. But I will say that he is being very humble, as many of you would expect him to be.

The rapier contest was three-man teams, and Thorgrimr fought alongside two other gentles having never met them before. His team took second place overall, only losing to the eventual winning team. Now let me explain. The winning team is a husband, wife, and friend; all white scarf caliber fencers who have won this challenge, I believe, the past four or so years.

Their fight ended with Thorgrimr facing the husband, losing his leg and, when fully extending and just touching the opponent's gorget, disputing his opponent's acceptance of the blow, because it was not good. He also faced three separate three-on-ones, challenging each team to single combat: the first two accepting and losing, the third team, knowing who Thorgrimr was said, "Nay," and chased him around the field, but all for naught as they too fell to his swift blade. He was mistaken for a Duke from Atlantia! Thankfully Helfdan, who was on His Majesty's team was able to inform the King that no, Thorgrimr is no Duke from Atlantia, he is better: he is my Baron.

Meridies is very interesting. To marshal the field, you just have to be an authorized fighter. You only have to sign in at the MoL table if you are a Heavy or Rapier fighter. I saw and heard more, "Milord, please do not take that blow," or, "I am sorry that was way too hard." And some of the shots I saw called off as too hard were actually very hard.

I saw more conversations about blows. I had heard Meridies took lighter than Atlantia, I am not sure about that one yet, I have been hit pretty good here. The only difference I can tell so far is the face thrust.

The Shire of Vulpine Reach outpointed the opposing Shire of Owl's Nest, but His Majesty, King Godwine pointed out that it was actually His river, so He has the rights.

It's good to be the King. --MICHAEL

[NOTE: Michael, Krystyne, Mackenzie, and Colin will all be traveling from Meridies to attend Son of the Hawkwood Howl the last weekend in October. Come say hi!]

Corvus Calendar

2nd - Griffith’s Birthday
4th - Deirdre’s Birthday
5th - Atlantia: Performers Revel South in Salesberie Glen (Salisbury, NC)
6th - Star Trek debuted on TV (1966)
7th - LABOR DAY!
12th - Atlantia: Baronial Birthday in Sacred Stone (Blacksburg, SC)
12th - Atlantia: Journey to the Crusades in Caer Gelynniog (Palmyra, VA)
18th - Eldred’s Birthday
19th - Peter’s Birthday
19th - Atlantia: Nottinghill Coill War Practice in Ritterwald (New Ellenton, SC)
19th - Atlantia: Midnight at the Oasis II in Nimenefeld (Apex, NC)
20th - Ealdthryth & Eldred’s Anniversary
21st - Victoria & Griffith’s Anniversary
26th - Atlantia: Harvest Hunt in Border Vale Keep (Augusta, GA)

6th - Alrekr’s Birthday
6th - 12th - Caid: Great Western War XII (Taft, CA)
9th - Leif Erikson Day
10th - Atlantia: War of the Wings IV in Sacred Stone (Booneville, NC)
11th - Siobhan’s Birthday
12th - Caelen’s Birthday
14th - Battle of Hastings fought (1066)
16th - Isabella’s Birthday
19th - Jason Michael’s Birthday
23rd - Signy’s Birthday
24th - Atlantia: Son of the Hawkwood Howl in Hawkwood (Arden, NC) Rhiannon & Bran autocrats.
25th - Michael O’s Birthday
26th - Medb ingen Gillai-Brigte’s Birthday
27th - Rhiannon’s Birthday

Crossword Solution

Did you know that, anytime there’s a crossword puzzle in the Roundtable, the solution is online at the House Corvus website? In the online edition of our newsletter, rather than print the crossword puzzle, we simply post the solution. So, if you’re ever stumped or just want to see how you did, you don’t have to wait for the next print issue.

Solution to crossword appearing in Issue #49.

Where in the World is Raimondo?

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, aka The Way of Saint James, is a collection of old pilgrimage routes which cover all Europe. They all have Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain as their final destination. For more than 1000 years pilgrims have been walking along the Camino de Santiago.

The main Camino route is the Camino Frances. This part of the Camino de Santiago starts in St. Jean Pied de Port and finishes in Santiago de Compostela about 780km later, after traveling the breadth of Northern Spain.

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Last modified on Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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