A Love Letter from the Baroness

My Dear Friends,

It has been a difficult week or two for so many whose eyes rest upon these words. Our Barony is affected by difficult situations both from afar and near within the SCA. We are feeling the pain of loss, of division, even of disillusionment. So many of us feel lost… our hearts and our spirits ache with it.

My dear friends and chosen family, remember who we are….

We are the newcomer with eyes bright and interested at their first tourney, or choosing the language and script for our first scroll.

We are brothers- and sisters- in arms, fighting side by side in joy and companionship.

We are the camp that comes together to find shovels and ropes, drenched by a downpour, so that our neighbors’ Pennsic homes are saved.

We are the group that makes hot soup and tea for those bedraggled camp saviors.

We are the family that comes together to support a virtual stranger with food and hugs and tears in the time of the greatest grief.

We are the grizzled old-timer, telling stories around the fire, and lending wise words to open minds.

We are the gentle striving toward the Peerage, taking an inner journey to mold their spirit in courtesy and compassion.

We are the smiling, laughing dancers and singers, with music filling our hearts.

We are the Royal that spends countless at home hours facilitating appreciation and looking for ways to enhance Their peoples’ delight.

We are the artisan that falls into the rabbit hole of researching their passion, a journey of all shapes and times.

We are the circle of friends by the fire, in homes, in meeting halls, planning shenanigans and fun of all kinds.

We are the bards, the scribes, the fighters, the parents, the children, the craftspersons and artisans, the martial specialists, the officers, the teachers, the students, the family and friends that love and respect each other.

We are a community. We are the SCA. We are AEthelmearc. We are the Debatable Lands.

Remember who we are. Hold out your hands in friendship to those you don’t know, and those you do.

In reason and compassion, respect and forgiveness, joy and passion… remember who we are.

Support each other, nurture each other, enjoy each other.

I love you.

In Levitate et Caritate,
(Which means “with levity and affection”)
~Your Baroness Hilda

12 Things to Do at 12th Night

Celebrate Twelfth Night with us in the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands! All are Welcome on this day to enjoy music and song and dancing, good food, and good friends!

What is a Debatable Lands Twelfth Night like? Here are the top 11 things to do!

1. Bring some food to share. Our event is free, even the food! It’s a potluck. All kinds of food are welcome! (Mmmm, cheese balls)

2. Bring and/or taste some cookies! A perennial favorite, Master Urho runs our favorite cookie competition of the year. Bring some to enter, or just munch on the entries and vote for a populace choice winner!

3. Bring your A&S project to display! The event features the Debatable Lands’ Arts & Sciences Championship and Display. There are no limitations, bring your projects, old or new, finished or in progress, to display. You can even request feedback from our top artisans. And if you’re from the Debatable Lands, enter the competition!

4. Bring some beverages. Wet site. Nuff said.

5. Snowball fight! Jasmine of Clan Tarn has her elves working overtime making stuffed “snowballs” for an epic tourney for young and old alike!

6. Get ready to laugh. The Best Commedia dell’Arte troupe in the Knowne World – I Genesii – will be *cough* performing *cough* …multiple times. Don’t miss the most beloved court of Misrule.

7. Bards welcome – the Debatable Lands Bardic Championship is also taking place. Only Debatable Landers are eligible for the Championship, but all are welcome to perform. The theme is the Old and the New.

8. Speaking of performances, the Barony’s own Debatable Choir will perform at 5pm. Let their dulcet tones wash over your ears and hearts.

9. Stuff and cash, cash and stuff… our Twelfth Night Auction of Forgotten Treasures ™ will delight you with the garb, gear, stuff and do-dads available at this silent auction. Have stuff you don’t need? Bring it to donate! But wait, there’s more! We also have a few fine merchants.. peruse their artwork, chainmail, and more!

10. Courts and vigils and courts, oh my! The event features Mistress Graidhne’s vigil and induction into the Order of the Laurel, as well as many other awards, Kingdom and Baronial.

11. Stay for the dancing! After evening Court, our event always has one of the best dances of the season in the entire Kingdom. Don’t worry, we’ll teach you!

12. Bring a donation for Paladin’s Pantry! The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank needs food items, blankets, and more. Read more here!

See you there!

Giving Thanks

Hello Debatable Lands!

We wanted to take a moment on this holiday to say how very grateful we are to you all. This Barony is made of such an amazing group of people –  passionate, helpful, gracious, interested and interesting. We feel very lucky to be a part of such a vibrant community. Take a look around and really see who we are… the Debatable Lands is truly something special.

We love you all, and Happy Thanksgiving!

In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers!
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda

PS: See you at our Premier Baronial Equestrian Championship tomorrow!

News from 20th Year & Crown Tourney

Congratulations to Debatable Landers who had a remarkable weekend!

To Prince Sven and Princess Siobhan, new Heirs to the Sylvan Throne!

To Mistress Constance on her elevation to the Order of the Pelican.
To Mistress Graihne, on her writ to contemplate induction in the to Order of the Laurel, to be held at Debatable Lands 12th Night in January.
To Duke Malcolm, finalist in Crown Tourney, and new holder of the Shield of Chivalry.
To Lady Dorothea, for earning the Queen’s Inspiration for the day, and a Golden Escarbuncle.

To THL Muirgheal for masterminding and executing a truly incredible weekend for the people of this fine Kingdom! And her staff, who worked so hard and created so much joy for us all.

There are more thanks to come, of course, from every corner of the Barony. This was only a small bit of the revelry this weekend . You all worked hard, with smiles and generosity. You are truly the Jewel of AEthelmearc, and of the Knowne World.


Heavy and Rapier Champs Sunday (With Rain Date Info)

Hello Debatable Lands!

We are very much looking forward to Heavy Fighting and Rapier Fighting Champs Tourneys this Sunday at practice in the parklet at the corner of Washington Blvd and Allegheny River Blvd! Rapier starts at 2pm, Heavy at 3pm. Anyone residing in the Debatable Lands (including Steltonwald), or who has a Green or “Friend of the Barony” Comet is eligible to become champion, but we welcome all to participate for fun!  Champions and seconds are invited to attend the 7 Pearls Event in September in Endless Hills to compete for the glory of the Debatable Lands against the other Baronies! More info on formats below from the outgoing Champs.

RAIN DATE: Hopefully we can hold the tourneys this Sunday, but the weather is looking not great. If practice must be canceled, the tournaments will be held next SUNDAY, JUNE 4th

From our Rapier Champion:

Greetings my fellow Debatables!!!! The time has come again to find a new Rapier Champion. It saddens me greatly to step down as (albeit substitute) champion and I am extremely proud to have held the mantle for the time I was given. On Sunday 5/28 a tournament shall be held at the outside practice site (location information to be included in the comments) at 2pm. The tournament shall be open to all rapier authorized citizens of BMDL, the Canton of Steltonwald, and those who have been awarded a Green Comet as Friends of the Barony. The tournament format will be as follows…

Round Robin (everyone shall fight everyone)

Swiss Five (each fight shall be fought using a different form)
* those form shall be from the following list
** Single Sword
** Sword and Soft Parry
** Sword and Rigid Parry
** Sword and Dagger
** Case of Swords
** (optional forms) Those individuals who are authorized in either/both Cut and Thrust and Two-Handed Weapon forms may choose to fight with that form. This will only be done under the conditions that their opponent agrees to face said style (i.e. Two-Handed) or are also authorized in Cut and Thrust (Cut and Thrust opponents MUST match forms)

All combatants shall rotate through 5 forms before being allowed to repeat a form.
Any combatant who is not authorized in a form shall default to Single Sword.
Combatants are NOT required to match forms (Cut and Thrust being the only exception to this rule).
NO Combatant is required to agree to fight against Two-Handed or Cut and Thrust styles. If not agreed upon, combatants must select from one of the base 5 forms.

The finals shall be a Best of Five.
**Forms shall be matched
**Forms will be as follows-#1 Single Sword, #2 Sword and Parry (either soft or rigid), #3 Sword and Dagger, #4 Case of Swords, #5 (should it come to that) will be Baronial Choice.

Based on the number of combatants…
3-5 combatants = all combatants shall fight a best of 3, forms must still change to complete the swiss 5
6+ combatants = fights will be a single pass, forms to be changed with each fight until 5 forms have been reached.
if less than 3 opponents, their Excellencies shall decide what action shall be taken.

I look forward to hearing the results and future of my beloved BMDL.

Debatable in Service,
Lady Cairdha Eilis O’Coileain

From our Heavy Fighting Champion:

Fighters of the Debatable Lands! Your heavy weapons champion commands your attention.

My time as Baronial Champion comes to a close this Sunday, when a tournament to determine the next champion shall be held. All good and able fighters are invited and encouraged to armor up (and fix what needs fixing from War Practice!) and come to the Washington Blvd. practice site this Sunday, May 28th. The tournament will begin at 3pm! All fighters who reside in the BMDL are eligible to enter this tournament, by decree of Their Excellencies!

Depending on the number of entrants, the tournament format will be either Round Robin, or, in honor of my lovely wife Odriana, using a Dutch system*. Bring what weapons form you have, several will be called upon, and what you don’t have can be loaned to you that day.

What does it mean to be champion? Firstly, it means representing the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands with honor and chivalry! As champion, you are our entrant in the Seven Pearls Baronial Champions Tournament** in September, where you will fight AEthelmearc’s other baronial champions. You are also invited and encouraged to fight at the Baronial Champion’s tournament at Pennsic (should you be attending), which occurs during War Week.

It has been an honor to serve as your heavy weapons champion this past year. I eagerly await to see who’s hungry to step up and take my place!

Kieran MacRae

Seeking Archers to Represent the Debatable Lands at the Scarlet Guard Inn!

Hello Debatable Lands!

As many of our archers know the Scarlet Guard Inn is scheduled for June 9-11 and will feature the best archery experience in Aethelmearc. Prominently featured will be the Scarlet Guard Challenge where one archer from each group in the kingdom is invited to vie against all other group’s representatives in this kingdom wide challenge. How is that 1 representative chosen, you might ask?

Lord Ronan, who was the representative for the Barony at last year’s Scarlet Guard Inn, will host a challenge tournament on Sunday June 4 at Archery Practice, and invite the winner to compete in this intra-kingdom competition. So wax your strings and straighten your arrows, this will be fun and challenging!

Brandubh et Hilderun

Heavy and Rapier Fighting Champs – May 28th

Greetings Debatable Lands,

Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilderun send fond greetings to you on this fine May day. We wish to invite all Heavy Weapons Fighters and Fencers to join us at Practice on Sunday May 28th as we host tournaments to determine Our next Heavy weapons Champion and Fencing Champion. We will begin with the Fencing Championship to be held at 2:00 and then follow with the Heavy Weapons Championship at 3:00

All residents of the Barony are welcome to fight in either tournament, and any holders of the Comettus Amicus (Green Comet) are invited to compete as well. The winners and seconds will be expected to fight in the 7 Pearls Championships in Endless Hills on September 9. We look forward to the displays of skill and prowess!

Brandubh et Hilderun
In Levitate et Caritate

12th Night Top 10 from the Baroness

We had a wonderful time this past Saturday at 12th Night! Thank you to the autocrats, THL Elss and THL Muirgheal, and all your staff. It was a day of merriment and laughter! Here are some of out favorite moments, in no particular order:

  1. The Court of Misrule, administered skillfully and with maximum ridiculousness by the incomparable I Genesii. The King (Lord Kuma), and the Queen (Lady Aine) of Misrule declared many silly things, including calling all Peers “Monster” or “Monstress”, and voguing instead of bowing, among other silliness. It was fun!
  2. Our beautiful new red wool garb, made in just a week by Mistress Ts’vee’a. Thank you!
  3. The ball! An amazing time dancing, with so many dancers! One of the best balls in the Kingdom every year. Thank you to Lord Pavel and all the musicians! And thank you for allowing the Baron and Baroness a dance to ourselves (Rosiboli Gioioso) to end the night. It was lovely!
  4. The Amazing Auction of Highly Desirable Items. Always so much cool stuff, and again, raised enough to cover the cost of the event, so our yearly revel can remain free! Thank you for running it again, Baroness Elizabeth. And, uh, sorry about Otto and Carl bidding on everything… I’ll make sure to explain to them what a “minimum bid” is next time….
  5. The Baronial Bard competition was superb! You made me laugh so hard! Vivat to our new champ, THL Silence!
  6. The Pillow fights! The kids just kept going and going – so much fun! Thanks to THL Jorundr and Mistress Arianna for running it, and Lady Arthes for MOLing, plus THL Muirgheal stepping in to marshal when the kids wanted to keep going after time was up.
  7. Cookies! Thank you Meistari Urho for running the cookie competition again. They were tasty, tasty things! I picked Snickertangles as  my favorite. Snickerdoodles and Tang!! Lady Luceta plays to the audience. 🙂
  8. Court. Small and fun, and always a favorite, to recognize folks that give so much to our beloved Barony! A privilege and honor. And…ummm…. I’m really sorry about throwing the kisses so hard. Baronessing lesson #243: largesse tossing… always underhand!
  9. The wonderful A&S entries. Thanks to all that entered, and congratulations to the new champ, THL Bugga, for her beautiful knitted socks.
  10. The amazing rubbings activity run by Lady Maire. Just beautiful artwork! And thank you for providing an extra prize for Court!
  11. (What, so I can’t count…) The Brewers’ Tap Room. Mmmmmmm. ‘Nuff said.

And of course, the very best thing…all of you! A beautiful day of laughter and eating and drinking and frolicking and fun. Exactly what a 12th Night should be! Thank you all so much!

~Baroness Hilda

Winter Missive from the Baron & Baroness

Hello Debatable Lands!

As we write this, the weather is cold, but the days will soon be getting longer, and we are all enjoying the warmth of our hearths and homes. As our King and Queen have said, we know that this season can be difficult for some. Know that our thoughts are with you, you are valued, and you have friends to lean on; please do, if you need to.

Thanks to all our retainers, champions, scribes, those who make tokens, and everyone who has helped make our Courts this year fun and easy, particularly Lady Rivka, THL Rachel, and THL Jorundr. THL Jorundr has stepped down as Comet Pursuivant (Herald), and we thank him deeply for his years of fruitful service to the Barony. Welcome to Master Kieran, new Comet Pursuivant!

We are now looking forward to Baronial 12th Night on January 21st. The day is full of revelry, joy, fun activities and it is FREE! Ever wanted to introduce a friend or coworker to the SCA? Baronial 12th Night is the ideal event to bring them to! Read more here.

We are very excited to say that our new A&S Champion will be chosen at 12th Night. No theme, but bring your best! The Debatable Lands A&S Champs is a point of pride for us, as we do have the best artisans in the Knowne World after all….  All levels are encouraged to enter, and works-in-progress are welcome. There will be a display area for those not wishing to enter and thereby de-virginize their projects (Ice Dragon, it’s a thing…).

We’ll also be choosing the new Baronial Bardic Champion that fine day. The theme for the Bardic Champs is “Make Us Laugh, Make Us Cry, or Both!” Songs, stories and all bardic forms welcome!

Steltonwald 12th Night is coming up soon, too, on January 28th. A fun and unique event, a party at a restaurant. Read more here.

Additionally, we are very low on Comet award tokens. If anyone would like to donate some, we would appreciate it very much. We would very much prefer to give pouches as tokens, or other usable items, but medallions or belt favors are welcomed with gratitude. We also do need medallion/pouch strings. Let us know if you’d be able to help us with this, and we can give you more details.

Thank you all so much for being vibrant and integral to this amazing hobby of ours, that is so much more than a hobby. If you ever have and questions or comments, please do contact us by phone (See the Dark Pages) or email (baron@debatablelands.org, and baroness@debatablelands.org), or by social media (Hilda on Facebook, Brandubh on G+). We will see you soon!

In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers,
Baron Brandubh, and Baroness Hilda

Autumn Letter from the Baron & Baroness (Thanks, Champs, PIE, and Recommendations!)

Hello Debatable Lands!

It’s been a busy fall season so far, with both Archers to the Wald and Agincourt in October, and of course the practices and meetings we’ve all been enjoying. We want to thank the autocrats of our events, THL Aaliz and Baroness Constance, and their amazing staff members for putting on impressive events. Not only did the people of the Debatable Lands enjoy the days, but you showed the entire Kingdom what this Barony can do, as it hosted four of the Kingdom Championships. Vivant to you all!
Speaking of Champions… Congratulations to our new Baronial Champions this fall! Lord Ronan O’Connal is our Archery Champion, with Duncan MacCoulagh as second, Carl MacBranduibh is our Youth Archery Champion, and Lord Kuma is our new Thrown Weapons Champion, with Eorl Byron as his second. Vivant to you all, and we hope many Debatable Landers will join us in Endless Hills on Sept 9th, 2017, to cheer them on as they compete in the Seven Pearls Championships.
Thanks, too, to all our retainers, champions, scribes, those who make tokens, and everyone who has helped make our Courts fun and easy, particularly Lady Rivka, THL Jorundr, and THL Rachel.
We’re very much looking forward to our annual Harvest Revel and Barony Meeting coming up in November. Don’t forget to bring your PIE! For in PIE there, is GLORY!
As the weather cools, we are now looking forward to Baronial 12th Night on January 21st. We will be holding Court then, and we need Comet Recommendations! If you see someone working and playing here in the Debatable Lands, and you think they should be recognized in Baronial Court, don’t hesitate to write to us to let us know! baron@debatablelands.org, and baroness@debatablelands.org. Additionally, we are very low on Comet award tokens. If anyone would like to donate some, we would appreciate it very much. We prefer to give pouches as tokens, but other ideas are medallions or belt favors. Let us know if you’d be able to help us with this, and we can give you more details.
Thank you all so much for being vibrant and integral to this amazing hobby of ours, that is so much more than a hobby. If you ever have and questions or comments, please do contact us by phone or email (See the Dark Pages), or by social media (Hilda on Facebook, Brandubh on G+). We will see you soon!
In Levitate et Cartitate, and Cheers,
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda