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First Word

It was nice to finally have the chance to check out Sacred Stoneís War of the Wings event. Iíve read a lot about it, seen photos, and deleted seemingly ubiquitous advertisements promoting it for it for years now. With a little over 1000 people attending, I found the event charming. It had a very comfortable feel to it, despite it being a primitive event. But I think that only added to the overall effect. Thereís something very ďold schoolĒ SCA about a primitive event, made up of all tents. I suspect it was very much like strolling the streets of Pennsic one or two.

It was a very easy drive, being only about 90 minutes straight up I-77. So, I expect Iíll be attending again next year, though probably still not braving the actual tenting of it, as did Oshi and Sine! Iím still pretty much a day-trip kind of guy Ė hotel if I must. I pretty much reserve my camping for Pennsic. But, weíll see. I thought both the Crois Brigte and Charlesbury Crossing encampments were really very friendly and either could have lured me in pretty successfully.

The bottom line is, if youíve never before attended this event, I highly recommend it. While still in its infancy, you have a great opportunity to enjoy something that has a lot of potential to become ďthe next big thing.Ē

Of course, the Fall beauty was in full swing just a few weeks later when we had occasion to drive up to Asheville for Hawkwoodís Son of the Hawkwood Howl event. I had a noon Troll shift that I thought Iíd allowed myself plenty of time to make. But itís been a long time since Iíve driven to Hawkwood and my timing was all wrong. What Iíd budgeted 2 hours for actually ended up taking nearly three and half hours. I arrived at the end of my intended Troll shift to find that Lady Cecilia Blythe had generously taken my spot with Mistress Ealdthryth. Thank you for stepping up!

I felt awful for being so late. But my guilt was somewhat diminished when I swear I saw Master Peter exchanging money with someone. Apparently, various people were making book on just when Iíd actually arrive on site! Iím glad someone can find something pleasurable regarding my seeming propensity for tardiness. I tried, I really tried! Le sigh.

I have to admit that I was a bit overwhelmed with the House Corvus showing at Howl. Even with a competing Hogwartís Halloween party in Aire Faucon, there were twenty-nine members of House Corvus at Howl. We managed to get twenty-seven of them in a group photo! Thatís got to be some kind of a record. Woohoo!

I realize that a majority of Corvus members live in Hawkwood, but I think itís wonderful that so many people turned out to support the event. Along with the guests we brought, we accounted for thirty-two people at the event overall or 20% of the eventís attendance. How insane is that?!?!? It was so amazing to see everyone after so long. And look how much our younger generation is growing up! Several people came up to me and suggested the caption ďHouse Corvus: The Next GenerationĒ after our group photo experience.

Especially dazzling at the event were the various Corvus-inspired projects shown off by Clann O Comhdhain. They attended the event from Meridies with spiffy House Corvus garb (the kids looked amazing) and Mikeís new shield was truly an inspiration. Lady Krystyne and Mistress Rhiannon shared much of their shield painting experiences with us on the House Corvus e-list and Iím really looking forward to painting a shield of my own to match Mikeís new styling. Basically, Krystyne painted a Corvus belt around the perimeter of Mikeís device on the shield. The effect was stunning!

During the weekend I had free between Howl and next weekendís Crown Tournament, I worked on a few projects. The first was cutting out a variety of new House Corvus banners to be used at the aforementioned Pennsic this summer. The second was a bit more involved, but definitely fun.

Robert and I met up with Baroness Eliska in Greensboro and then picked up Baroness Makai and drove up to check out a possible site for Atlantian 30-Year in 2011. Iíve been contemplating putting together a bid for the event. As always, I have a ton of ideas, the vast majority of which I could probably bring to fruition. Of course, Iím not committed to anything just yet, merely exploring my options and seeing what inspirations I have regarding such a singular event. Iíll definitely keep you all posted if I decide to pursue anything. Especially since Iíll be counting on a lot of you to help me!

Looming on the horizon is Atlantian Fall Crown Tournament with our own Rhiannon being entered as a consort. It should be a fun day and I hope to see as many of you there as can comfortably make it. The event is fairly remote, but itís always fun to see someone in House Corvus fighting in Crown. Remember, you have a whole core of us to call upon whenever such an opportunity arises. If nothing else, itís a great excuse to set up a hospitality pavilion, right? But processing is always fun and I encourage members to enjoy the unique experience that participating in a Crown Tourney affords.

Of course, in addition to Mistress Rhiannon being fought for in Crown, there are several other Friends of CorvusTM participating and weíre there to support them too! Itís always especially fun when someone you know and like wins Crown. Sure, weíre willing to work hard for every Crown, but that service is even more joyful when the Crown happens to be someone you love.

Whoever wins next weekend, there will be ample opportunities for House Corvus to serve. Our members bring a wealth of experience and ideas to any reign and pretty much any and everything we offer only adds to the overall enrichment of the SCA. Thatís not arrogance, thatís the truth. But itís also a big responsibility. When people count on you, itís important to bring your best work to bear. Thatís true for Kings as well as commoners. House Corvus always strives to bring its A-game to the table. Keep up the great work! --BRAN

Atlantian University

University has long been one of my favorite events. The mere fact that so many people are gathered together sharing what they know with other people is terrific. Sure, most of the SCA is about the tourneys and the pageantry, but there's a lot of knowledge, history, and skill that goes into putting on those things. University is a convenient place to get a cross-section of that information as well as get ideas for how to do things better. Sure, most of us could go to Wikipedia or the library and read about our favorite subject area, but there are also a lot of us that don't absorb information that way (either we inherently don't, or we have long fallen out of "student" habits). Being able to interact with someone knowledgeable often spurs us to think about things a different way or be inspired by their enthusiasm for the subject.

For my own part, I find that when I prepare for teaching a class, I learn my subject a little better and I usually have at least one student that gets inspired enough to go out and exceed whatever I've done or go into it much further in depth than I originally was interested in doing. I love that--it makes me understand why some teachers love their profession in spite of the hassle and bureaucracy. If there is even one person who "gets it" and then goes off to excel, that makes it worthwhile. Luckily, at University of Atlantia, most people attending a class are there because they already are interested and (forgive my presumption) are looking for further inspiration.

So, Friday, I took a vacation day. The site is 6 hours from my house and one of the classes I was going to teach was scheduled at 10am. Poor Ealdthryth had been feeling a little under the weather mid-week and began making noises indicating that she was planning to stay home. She recovered and the fact it was an opportunity to travel with Bran, she decided to come along. It was quite entertaining, because we had plenty to talk about. The miles flew by without us really noticing. Most of our trips with just the two of us involve Ealdthryth and I rehashing stuff that has been hashed many times before-- I guess we don't get out much. Bran claims to be a "bad passenger," preferring to do the driving himself, but we had him either so intent or laughing so much that he completely did not notice that he was a passenger.

It has been a while since the last time I taught or gave a presentation outside of the office, so my lecture skills are a little rusty. The rose window class seemed to go well, and I had a good turnout for a class scheduled first thing in the morning. No one snored, so I guess I did OK....8^)

Hrothny was teaching a card game to fill in for a class that had gotten cancelled, so I checked it out-- just so I could have additional games for people to try at Kingdom Twelfth Night. Bran had been scheduled for two classes, so I attended the one on "what to do with your heraldry.Ē Now, in fairness, I know a good bit about heraldry, so I shouldn't be too surprised that most people only think about heraldry being for shields and banners. Even when you aren't teaching, it is great to watch the proverbial light bulb go on over people's heads when they are introduced to a new idea that they can apply.

Alas, by waiting until the last moment to offer class proposals, I ended up bookending the day. I got to teach the first hour and the last hour. That isn't so bad in and of itself, but it just made for a long day. The second class I taught was on cordials. Yes, I wrote about both of the classes in an earlier posting. I wasn't as comfortable with the brewing topic since I don't really brew very frequently. I'm afraid that I was a little more rambling in my approach (and I apologize to my students). However, they walked away with recipes, good advice, and a load of encouragement to experiment. I saw a couple of people perk up at things I mentioned, so I did what I set out to do.

Ealdthryth and Genevieve d'Aquitaine contrived to keep me on-site at lunch time to ensure that I would attend Convocation. How difficult was that? Honestly, not very. Convocation is similar to Court, and I, as a long-time Court Herald, am a Court Junkieô. It was deemed necessary because Genevieve bestowed an honorary Doctorate upon me. Rhonwen ferch Tudor made a gorgeous certificate for the occasion, and I have to find a good spot for it. Since most of our wall space is hidden by bookshelves, actual pictures and the like hanging from the wall are rather rare. Last night, I think I may have found a good place for it. You like me, you really like me!

As usual, though, we ended up staying on-site until nearly everyone else was gone. Bran had a lot of catching up with people to do. It didn't really make us terribly late getting back to Charlotte, though. The trip back was, in some ways, even more entertaining than the trip to University. Of course, that could have been dangerous. At one point, we were all laughing so hard I nearly ran off the road. EEEK! Even so, we made it home safely. --ELDRED

Corvus Calendar

NOVEMBER 2009
1st - Murieleís Birthday
7th - Atlantia: Fall Crown Tournament in Marinus (Spring Grove, VA)
7th - Caid: Coronation in Gyldenholt (Laguna Hills, CA)
11th - VETERAN'S DAY!
14th - Trimaris: Martinmas Moot in Wyvernwoode (Camp Ocala, Altoona, FL)
17th - Queen Elizabeth I took throne (1558)
18th - William Tell Shot the Apple (1307)
23rd - Rebeccaís Birthday
24th - McKenzieís Birthday
26th - THANKSGIVING DAY!
28th - Ferdinand Magellan passed through Magellan Strait (1520)

DECEMBER 2009
2nd - Sine & Oshiís Anniversary
4th - Branís Birthday
4th - Giueseppe & Gilesí Anniversary
5th - Bran & Robertís Anniversary
5th - Atlantia: Unevent in Middlegate (Winston-Salem, NC) and hosted by House Corvus and House Lochswan
6th - Robertís Birthday
7th - Julianna & Luqmanís Anniversary
11th - Hanukkah Begins at Sundown
12th - Atlantia: Mongols, Mayhem, and Murder! in Crois Brigte (Winston-Salem, NC)
18th - Victoriaís Birthday
19th - Atlantia: Yule Toy Tourney IV in St. Georges (Pickens, SC)
25th - CHRISTMAS DAY!
31st - Helenaís Birthday

Oshi's New Protegť

Saturday evening after Court at War of the Wings, Master Oshi had occasion to take a new protegť! She definitely has an amazing energy and I think she has real Corvus potential (apprentices and protegťs arenít necessarily automatically Corvus members, as you all know). So, you should all make it a point to meet and get to know this outstanding person. Her name is Lady Aine A'Grian and she currently serves as Chatelaine for the Canton of Crois Brigte. While her husband Robin doesnít make it to all of the events that she does, youíll often see her traveling with their son William.

Corvites at Howl

Itís certainly true that we all rely upon one another to help pull off our events. Still, everywhere you turned at Hawkwoodís Son of the Hawkwood Howl, there were Corvus people helping to make the event a success. The most obvious case would be our own Mistress Rhiannon autocratting the event (and Branís somewhat abortive efforts to help out in that capacity). Lady Alessandra Ruscello cooked a wonderful feast for the event (working so hard that she was unable to make the Corvus group photo). Mistress Deirdre helped to run the Halloween party on Friday night. Lord Ronan and THL Muriele helped to set-up and teardown the field as well as organize the pavilion set-ups. Master Oshi was the Minister of the Lists for the combat. Ronan also marshaled the rapier and heralded Their Excellencies Court that evening. Of course, Their Excellencies Hawkwood are Corvus and were very gracious hosts for the event.

Lord Dagobert pointed out on the Hawkwood list that our own Lord Halfdan put Hawkwood on the field wearing his baronial colors. And all around you could spy Lord Robert and Dagr moving tables, running errands, and helping out, along with many other Corvites, to help things go just a little bit better.

House Corvus: DECAMERON

Each month in 2010, House Corvus is sponsoring an A&S prize at one or more SCA events.1 The first, second, and third place winners in any given A&S competition at the event will be awarded a Decameron Purse. The physical purse itself is the only prize actually given by the SCA event. Western tradition maintains, however, that it's bad luck to give a purse or wallet that is empty. Therefore, wholly privately, and not affiliated with the SCA in any way, House Corvus will place a first, second, and third place "award" inside each purse to encourage the continuance of that art.2 Our own THL Victoria Pringle, autocrat to 2010ís Atlantian Twelfth Night has graciously allowed that event to be the official off of the Decameron.

In addition, at Atlantian Twelfth Night in January 2011, an overall Grand Prize weighted drawing will take place of all of 2010's Decameron winners.3 For each First Place win, three (3) chances will be entered in that person's name in the drawing. For each Second Place win, two (2) chances will be entered in that person's name in the drawing. For each Third Place win, one (1) chance will be entered in that person's name in the drawing. The Grand Prize will be something quite special.

As you can see, this has evolved quite a bit from the ďhow can we make better tournaments in the SCA?Ē origins of the Decameron idea we all discussed several months ago. Still, the more I reviewed the SCA -- Atlantia in particular, well, itís clear that fighters already gain the lionís share of awards, prizes, and overall recognition the SCA has to offer. So why not do something to encourage the arts a bit? Thank you to Victoria for setting my mind in this direction initially.

Mistress Rachel is already working with me to design and manufacture all of the many award prize-purses weíll be needing for the duration of the Decameron. Thank you for helping me to realize my vision for this!

Mistress Medb Renata has already suggested some events in Caid for Decameron sponsorship and thatís great! There will be one event a month sponsored in Atlantia and, ideally, one non-Atlantian event sponsorship. So, basically, any event that has a House Corvus person in attendance, regardless of Kingdom, would be eligible for Decameron sponsorship. But, I need to know ahead of time since the eventís autocrat and A&S person will need to be fully on board. So, please, look at your calendars NOW and make suggestions for Decameron events.

Iím very excited that this is finally beginning! Weíve always planned it for 2010, but itís great when a plan finally comes together and is enacted.

1 Limit of one competition in Atlantia per month. One Atlantian event plus one non-Atlantian event, max.

2 The SCA does not award cash prizes. The Decameron Purse awards are solely and privately provided by House Corvus. First Place award is $100. Second Place award is $75. Third Place award is $50. While these awards don't begin to cover the expenses SCA artisans continually expend on projects that benefit the entirety of the SCA, the members of House Corvus wish to encourage and support the continued excellence demonstrated by the SCA's arts and sciences community.

3 Winner need not be present to win.

4 Members of House Corvus are eligible to enter any Decameron-affiliated A&S competition so long as none of the judges for that competition are in House Corvus.


Last modified on Wednesday, November 4, 2009
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