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First Word

It’s only appropriate that I’ve decided to write a new Raven Roundtable on Valentine’s Day. When I think of all the people I love, certainly, it is the members of House Corvus who come most eagerly to mind. And, while Valentine’s Day may be more devoted to celebrating eros, rather than agape, it’s still all about love and the people you choose to cherish. Whether it’s our sometimes spectacular highs, right down to some of our more devastating lows, the members of House Corvus have shared each other’s lives as surely as any spouse or family member. And, if that’s not one of the more comforting aspects of love and the bonds we share, then I don’t know what is.

While this is hardly recent anymore, I have received a number of e-mails from a few folks that weren’t aware of the Robert/Bran situation. Yes, it’s true that, after almost eighteen years, Robert terminated our relationship and has moved to Virginia. However, he specifically did not want to resign House Corvus and I think that’s a good thing. We’ve all shared so much of Robert’s journey (over half of his life), that I’m glad he doesn’t want to let go of the friendships he’s forged within our Household. His updated info is on the back and, while he was never one to make a whole lot of events, I hope we can all welcome him to one when his schedule allows.

In the last Raven Roundtable (has it really been so long ago?), I began a reorganization process for House Corvus. Everyone was invited to, essentially, rejoin the Household. I’m so very pleased that the overwhelming majority of our membership has decided to stick around and continue the bold and worthwhile endeavor that is House Corvus. Four members opted to resign the Household, three members were dropped from the roster because they’ve fallen off the face of the Earth, and five members opted for Emeritus status.

I’m especially excited about our Emeritus members because, what it says is, while the SCA is no longer a part of their (current) life plan, their dedication and love of House Corvus and its members makes them want to continue to be counted amongst our fraternity. While it relieves them of my one-event-a-year expectation, it means that they remain a part of us in spirit and, hopefully, may return to more active membership should circumstances ever allow it. Lord knows, we’ll be here with open arms and smiling faces whenever that occurs!

Emeritus members will remain on the House Corvus roster online. For now, their contact information will also remain on the back of the Raven Roundtable. While I may have to move them off that particular list as we continue to grow, I will make sure that we always have the means for all of our membership to share their contact information. The whole point of being Emeritus is that we’re not letting you fade from our lives! At the same time, I want to make sure that the Roundtable roster reflects the most useful information for our active membership, while they travel back and forth to events. The main reason that I need the most recent contact info, including home addresses, e-mail addresses, home phones, and cel numbers; is so that any of our members, while out and about, can get in touch if they need to. While certain information is kept off of the House Corvus website, all of your contact information is printed on the back of the Roundtable for the benefit of our membership. It is only printed there and the Roundtable is only mailed to House Corvus members. And, really, you want them to be able to reach you, right?

You’ll notice a few other changes to our roster on the back of this issue as well. At last Fall’s War of the Wings V, House Corvus welcomed three new members. Lord Robyn A’Dearg, Lady Aine O Grienan, and their son, Vilhjálmr bani, were all welcomed to our circle! It’s been so wonderful sharing in all that this wonderful family brings to the SCA, especially their Canton of Crois Brigte. But wait! At Nottinghill Coill’s Baronial Birthday, I took on Lady Murienne l'aloiere as my protege and we welcomed her into our circle as well! All are brilliant additions to House Corvus and an inspiring example of the Household’s renewed dedication to serving the good people of our Society.

After being away for so long, it was quite an adjustment returning to Atlantia. Personal matters occupied the majority of my attention hard upon my return. And then, becoming Triton Herald pulled me in still a different direction. But, being able to add, first Mistress Rachel de Johnstone, the Reids, and now Lady Murienne to our House Corvus family has been a wonderful reminder of what I joined (and remain) in the SCA for. Spending time in the company of honest, loving, dedicated people makes much (if not all) the BS of the SCA tolerable. I can see Peter shaking his head. But, no, really, it does! The members of House Corvus have always been a human shield in the on-going battle both within the SCA and without, between decent folk and jerks. Good people make a difference. And that’d be us.

The greatest thing is, we’ve never been in this battle alone. The SCA is filled with hard-working, well-meaning people who share our ideals and are truly dedicated to the Dream – not just in word, but in deed. While honor, courtesy, and chivalry are still our purported aims in the Society, the near-constant disillusionment inherent from so much of the SCA’s “leadership” certainly salts the earth. It can be wearying to sow the seeds of hope in that tainted soil. But, you have to admit, when you look back over the work and see that one, shining flower that grows in spite of, well, shall we say, over-fertilization... it’s a genuine joy. More than that, it’s a reminder that what we do has value. Maybe not to some, but definitely to the people who matter most.

Better, we continue to meet people who want to cultivate (oooh, look how I really extend the metaphor!) an SCA where people can still find, witness, and contribute to our ideals. House Corvus has two inductions on the horizon. Two more people who get It. And get Us. While their exact induction date hasn’t been determined, I know you’ll welcome these new additions to our family. At the same time, you should always be on the lookout for other people who share our SCA passions. No, not to expand our intrepid brotherhood. But to encourage, support, and inspire them. --BRAN

The Phoenix Reborn!

After an interminable wait, the news finally reached our ears that our own Matsudaira Kentarou Toshiyori Sensei and Mistress Sine ní Dheaghaidh have been named the heirs to the Barony of the Sacred Stone's coronet. Out of a very strong pool of candidates, Oshi and Sine will be invested as Baron and Baroness Sacred Stone on April 9th in Jamestown, NC at Sacred Stone's Anniversary & Investiture, autocratted by our own Lady Murienne l'aloiere. Please try and attend, if at all possible!

Several members of House Corvus have served as territorial barons and baronesses, not just of Sacred Stone, but also to Hidden Mountain, Hawkwood, and Trimaris' Wyvernwoode. So, we understand just how important the love, support, and understanding of your household can be while serving in that capacity. I know that we'll all be there to answer Their Nextellencies' call. Congratulations to Oshi and Sine!

A Hawkwood Gathering

Eighteen members of House Corvus got together in Hawkwood on March 5th to spend the daytogether, renew and reinvigorate friendships, and discuss a few ideas for House Corvus projects. Bran, Rhiannon, Isolde, Oshi, Sine, Siobhán, Mícheál, Krystyne, MacKenzie, Halfdan, Colin, Deirdre, Rónán, Muriele, Cecilia, Robyn, Aine, and Vilhjálmr all got together at the Oak Forest Presbyterian Chruch in Asheville, NC. Thank you to Rhiannon for getting us the space and to everyone for coming (including special guest, Gise!).

All sorts of A&S projects were tackled, both SCA and non-SCA. What a great and relaxing opportunity to hang out and just enjoy each other's company while also puttering with pet projects too long ignored. We also laid some valuable groundwork for upcoming Corvus Retreats (I prefer that term to "work day").

There's quite a lot of interest in creating silk banners. Sine is going to gather up all of the information we need to make a silk/dye order so that we can schedule another Corvus Retreat in Winston-Salem to work on personal and household banners. Stay tuned to the Corvus list for more information on what Sine will need from us as well as how much we need to give her towards supplies. We'll also get a date pinned down as to when we'll be getting together for this.

So, be looking at your calendars and let's start planning to spend a fun weekend in W-S dying silk! Maybe we can convince Medb Renata to visit since she also has a lot of experience in making silk banners as well!

Just What We Need...

One of the House Corvus goals we discusssed at March's Household Retreat (see how nice that sounds!), was an improved/increased House Corvus field presence at events.

After all but commandeering the Baelfire Dunn pavillion at Ymir, and an impromptu, but oh-so-satisfying, Corvus installment at Nottinghill Coill's Baronial Birthday, we were reminded just how much fun it is to have a Corvus presence at events. Not just because they add to the overall coolness factor of an event, but also because it's fun to have a place to hang out and provide hospitality at events. We used to be quite good at this (we miss you, Victoria and Griffith), but we've been less aggressive about planning and setting these things up. What we learned, though, was that we still have the desire to do this and, with a little planning, it's not too much of a burden on anyone. Thank you to THL Cecilia for suggesting it for Nottinghill Coill's Baronial Birthday and also to Lady Murienne and Lady Caitlin for tackling the food preparation!

What we also learned from the two aforementioned events events is that we could really use a new House Corvus pavillion. The 20' x 30' Corvus gather pavillion is too large for simple, day events and even most weekend events as well. However, the Gatehouse is just a tad too small for our needs at events where we have even a modest House Corvus attendance. What we need is a new marquis measuring 18' x 18' to host a typical Corvus presence.

To that end, we'd like to start a new Household Fund to purchase a new Corvus pavillion. Money is crazy tight for ALL of us anymore and I know that some of us simply won't be able to contribute. But, I also think that spreading the burden out amongst the lot of us will make it do-able and as painless as possible. Basically, we need to raise $40 for each of the 53 members in Corvus. Some can't contribute at all (I count the kids, which I know is silly, but I'm just averaging). But, where one can't contribute, perhaps someone might be able to cover someone else. All that I'm asking is that you donate what you comfortably can and I'll see to getting us a pavillion that we can get a lot more use out of in the years to come.

The Replacements

House Corvus currently uses household-specific feast gear at events where a number of us have on-board reservations. Mistress Rhiannon has two sets of six place-settings, while Bran has one six place-setting set. Dame Medb Renata also has (I think) service for four. Of course, all this was purchased some time ago and it recently came up that finding replacements for any of the service would be difficult. Well, hello, eBay... Not necessarily economical maybe, but also not too difficult.

Like our belts, medallions, livery, etc., House Corvus feast gear is an outward symbol of our group affiliation. While building two new sets of gear, it occurred to me that it might be handy for everyone in the Household to know just what to look for, should any of you like to ever put together feast gear for your own, personal use. Way back when, it was just “that cobalt glassware from Pier 1.” While looking for items to build the new sets, however, I’ve come across the actual information you would need to cruise eBay for your own items.

The Glasses are Libbey Premiere Cobalt Blue Wine or Water glasses. They were made by the Libbey Glass Co. in their Premiere Cobalt Blue pattern. These goblets have a tulip shape and have an 11 1/2 ounce capacity, 7 1/8 inch height, and a 2 3/4 inch rim diameter.

The Dinner Plates are in the Nicole pattern and were manufactured by the Mosser Glass Company in Cambridge, OH. All hand made in the USA, each has a back stamp of a different number em-bossed, example: 17. Plates are 10 1/8 inches in diameter.

The Salad Plates are in the same Nicole pattern and may also be referred to in searches as rimmed dessert or sandwich plates. They are 8 1/4 inches in diameter.

The Bowls are in the same Nicole pattern and may also be referred to in searches as fruit or dessert bowls. They are 5 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches high.

The Silverware is the consumer grade version of Oneida’s Needlepoint (aka Beaded Artistry) pattern. You want the “ONEIDACRAFT” imprint on that back rather than the higher end “ONEIDA” which is larger, heavier (and also more expensive!).

When I’m doing eBay searches, I usually look for “cobalt blue glass...” then include plate, or rimmed plate, bowls, goblets, etc. I almost always find the same dishes we’ve been using since we first started putting Corvus feastgear together. If you see an item that you’re not certain about, send me the link and I’ll check it out. I’ve gotten pretty good at separating very similar dishes from what we actually use.

Also, shoud you ever decide to seek out your own gear, I’ll be happy to do the Corvus badge etching or, better still, teach you how to do it!

Getting matching silverware is a bit trickier since Oneida is a major manufacturer that produced several dfifferent “grades” of their Needlepoint pattern. There’s an industrial grade that restaurants used, a silverware pattern for the home which is of good quality and then, of course, the lower-end stuff we bought at Target! They are all slightly different and getting a full service for six has been trickier than I expected. While all of it would, technically, “go” together, you all know my predilection for exactness. So, just use caution when looking.

Decameron Wrap-Up

After kicking off the House Corvus: Decameron competition at 2010’s Atlantian Twelfth Night (autocratted by our own Lady Victoria Pringle!), we managed to sponsor seven separate A&S competitions throughout the rest of the calendar year. While it wasn’t the ten we were initially shooting for, we still managed to promote the arts as we had intended. There were several very successful competitions and some very real enthusiasm was generated. So, I still consider it a successful endeavor. Of course, as with all new ideas, there were a few things I’d do differently should we ever decide to take on something like this again. But, overall, I was pleased with both the attention and results we received. It was very much a win for the arts and sciences as well as the people who strive to enrich both themselves and the SCA with their individual pursuits.

We sponsored Decameron events in seven different baronies (with one in Caid!) and awarded over $2500 in cash prizes, all to promote both the arts and artisans in our Society. I’d like to again thank Mistress Rachel de Johnstone for her incredibly beautiful (and period!) Decameron Purses, which she made for all three winners of every competition. I’d also like to thank Lord Robert of Caerleon for his assistance in providing some of the Decameron purse cash awards.

The final prize drawing, with its $1000 cash prize, was drawn at Windmasters’ Hill’s Tourney of Ymir in February 2011. A weighted drawing took place of all of 2010's Decameron winners. Chits were marked with the winners’ names and placed in a box: three for each First Place win, two for each Second Place win, and three for each Third Place win. In Ymir’s Royal Court, Her Majesty, Queen Brianna of Atlantia, drew the Grand Prize winner of the House Corvus: Decameron: Lady Nem Inghean Dochartaigh.

What makes Lady Nem’s win so especially noteworthy is that she was the Third Place winner of the very first Decameron event at Atlantia’s Kingdom Twelfth Night, held in the Canton of Falcon Cree on January 9, 2010. Her one entry won her the Grand Prize! Her prize is a first place prize match throughout 2011. That is, once a month, for ten months, she gets $100 to help her purrsue her art. Let’s hope that she inspires an entirely new generation of SCAdians with her work!

Last modified on Wednesday, March 15, 2011
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