Let me help you

One of the few actual requirements of being Baronial Minister of Arts and Sciences is my quarterly report to the Kingdom. Local reports are incorporated in into the Kingdom’s report up to the Society. So, if I want to promote the arts and research being done in this Barony to the larger Society, one of the most valuable things I can do is include your work in my report.

However, with the lack of events and complications around practices and meetings, there are fewer opportunities for you to let me know about your work. I know that some of you post often to your social media accounts, but I am not on most social media, and few people are on all of the media that are available.

You have probably seen my posts here on the blog where I have tried to promote some of the projects that I know about. I have not been able to do that for every project I have seen in the last three months, and I know there are many more projects I have not even seen.

Please let me know through email or Discord about your recent projects. I only need a sentence or two for my report, but more is always welcome. Maybe I can also post about your work here for the whole Barony to see.

November Stellar Tourneys!

Hello Debatable Lands!

The next Stellar Tournaments will be:

Sky List – Archery – Sunday, November 14th at practice
Sun List – Heavy Fighting – Sunday, November 21st, at practice
Moon List – Rapier Fighting – Sunday, November 21st, at practice

(Weather, permitting of course. If our marshals cancel practice, the tourneys will be likewise canceled.)

Read more about this month’s Sky List (Archery) here.

We have a special treat for November’s Sun and Moon List, in that both the heavy and rapier fighters will be competing in side-by-side lists!

This special cross-over is a great opportunity for fighters to observe similarities and differences in fighting styles, and enjoy each others’ camaraderie. This is likewise an opportunity for MoLs, Heralds, and Listrunners to gain experience in running multiple lists at once.

We will be breaking from Stellar Tournaments in December, but will resume (if safe) in the new year!

Sad Tidings – Lady Rowan ni Naradhaigh

Friends and Neighbors,

We are heartbroken to tell you that Lady Rowan ni Naradhaigh (Dawn Swidal) passed away suddenly early this morning, of pneumonia.

Lady Rowan was a valued member of our Barony for two decades. Though a little less active in recent years, you may remember her as the site liaison (along with her husband Lord Ffynthcor) for one of our favorite event sites, the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills. The site was last used for our Baronial Investiture, where Lady Rowan was recognized for her service to the Barony and the Pennsic Barony camp with a Keystone.

We will best remember her as an active and valued member of the Baronial encampment at Pennsic, where she and her family camped every year in recent years. We will remember her sweet smile and her gentle-yet-strong demeanor, her cooking and her friendly laughter, her eye for aesthetic decor, and her willingness to help out the camp, any campmate and neighbor. She was a joy to camp with and talk to. Our friend Rowan will be sorely missed.

Please join us in offering condolences, strength, and peace to Rowan’s husband, Ffynthcor, their family, and their friends and loved ones in the coming days. Should final arrangement details be made available, we will share them.

In Caritate,
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda

Royal News from Agincourt – VIVANT!

Hello Debatable Lands! Salve Accolens! From Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda!

Agincourt on Saturday was a great success indeed! We witnessed smiling faces, camaraderie, laughter, cooperation, and most of all, friendship. We have missed you all so much! Thank you to Meesteres Odriana and her staff for a splendid time, and particularly the amazing feast!

Thank you, too, to all the newcomers we were able to chat with, and everyone who made them all feel so welcome! And a special to Mistress Zoe Akropolotina for mentoring and encouraging in the area of combat archery, and to those that provided a fast and clear check-in experience in these odd times.

We’d also like to send a hearty and warm THANK YOU to Their Majesties (and Their staff) for attending, holding two Kingdom Championships, and gracing us with an amazing Royal Court. We bring news of these matter that involved Debatable Landers, from the official rolls:

-The new Kingdom Archery Champion is Yakub al-Musafir
-The new Kingdom Thrown Weapons Champion is Lady Tristan

-Well wishes to those with changing positions:
-Baron Brandubh as he steps down from Sigil Herald (Deputy Kingdom Herald)
-THL Nicola Beese as she became apprenticed to Mistress Graidhne ni Ruaidh

-Congratulations to those Barony members who received their Awards of Arms, and thus may call themselves Lord, Lady, Noble, or Armiger:
-Lord Thorinn of the Debatable Lands (Keith)
-Lord Niall Mac Raedwulf
-Lord Reinhard Regenbogen
-Lady Lartia Cerva
-Lady Scheiny of Dahlraidia
-Lady Fine Failain
-Lord Turlough Feolain

-Congratulations to those Barony members receiving Orders of Merit and similar:
Lord Li Chang, Order of the Golden Alce (martial)
Lady Rose O’Tierrany, Order of the Sycamore (A&S)
Katrina Beese, Order of the Silver Alce (youth martial)
Lemony of the Debatable Lands, Order of the Silve Alce (youth martial)
Lady Vika Vyborgskaia, Order of the Cornelian (courtesy)
Master Jussi Laplain, Order of the Keystone (service)
Lord Patrokles Athenaios, Order of the Golden Alce (martial)

-Congratulations to those Barony members receiving these Accolades:
The Honorable Lady Catherine O’Herlihy for her induction into the Order of the Millrind, the Order of High Merit for service
Baroness Muirgheal ingean Dubhghaill, our Seneschal, who was awarded a Court Barony


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

Finé’s Bycocket Hat Project

The bycocket (or chapel à bec) needs no introduction—a fashionable hat from the 14th to 16th century worn by men, women, and sometimes animals in period art. Bycockets come in many shapes, sizes, and colors with adornments such as feathers, brocade, colored liners, and beads. Finé ingen Fáeláin made her own bycocket using a wool felt hat blank using this tutorial on YouTube and a cloche hat blank from Amazon.

The basic construction steps (as elaborated on in the video) involve:

  1. Wetting and heating the wool with an iron
  2. Stretching the hat blank to fit your skull
  3. Creasing the folded brim of the hat with an iron
  4. Trimming the brim of the hat to your desired shape and height with chalk and some sharp scissors

One aspect of construction that is not explained in detail in the video is the forming of the skull-hugging portion of the hat. When pulling the hat blank over your skull, it’s important to pull from the sides of your head as well as the front and back. This ensures even stretching of the wool, and a head-shaped hat with a brim that doesn’t stick out awkwardly or sag away from the rest of the hat. Thankfully, if a hat is overstretched in one direction, more stretch can be added in the opposite direction to correct the shape.

Finé chose to leave herhat unlined and add a couple plague-edition pilgrim pins. Eventually, she would like to add at least a linen liner in case the felt dye decides to wander onto her veil or wimple, and perhaps also a contrasting brocade on the turned brim of the hat.

The finished (for now) product!

As fall approaches our Debatable Lands, fresh layers of warm garb are a welcome sight. This is Finé’s first felt project as well as her first non-sewn hat. It was a straightforward project that any beginner can make with household tools. Happy crafting!

Mellon Park Herb Garden

I recently received a flyer from the Point Breeze Organization about the Mellon Park Herb Garden:

The Elizabethan Herb Garden beds include culinary and medicinal herbs, a fragrance garden, a dye garden, a knot garden, a tea herb garden, a Shakespeare garden, and a rose garden. The Pittsburgh 250 Garden celebrates the 250th birthday of the city of Pittsburgh, and includes vegetables, fruits, and herbs that were grown at Fort Pitt (now Point State Park) at that time. This summer, a section with edible herbs and herbs native to Africa has been added.

Wikipedia lists the Mellon Park Shakespeare Garden/Elizabethan Herb Garden as one of only 34 such gardens in the world!

This garden is definitely worth a visit if you have the chance. Mellon Park is right along 5th Avenue, and quite near the practice site. On Sundays, you can park right on 5th Avenue!

Turlough’s Pouch Project

If you were able to attend the recent coronation event, or if you are an avid reader of Court Reports, you probably saw this item:

Her Majesty was very pleased by the Arts and Sciences display and wanted to recognize her choices for the day, Turlough Feolain and Douceline de la Hay, with rings from her hand.

Final Court of Maynard and Liadain Coronation, 25 September a.s. 56

Turlough is local to the Barony, but he and his spouse Finé (fee-nyuh) joined just before lockdown, so not everybody knows them well. Together they built the vardo camping trailer that you may have seen at the Barony meeting. So what was Turlough displaying at Coronation? I reached out to Turlough regarding this project and he sends:

This is a fancy kidney pouch with brass mounts and buckle. The body has “accordion” side panels that allow it to hold more than one would guess, a modern contrivance for cell phone accommodations. The fine black leather is layered with a second thicker leather for sturdiness. The pouch is decorated with red stitching and the closure strap has a simple tooling pattern for added visual interest.

Want to learn more about the SCA? Come chat with us tomorrow!

Welcome All Newcomers!

Tomorrow evening at 7pm the Debatable Lands is hosting a newcomer chat! Want to know what the SCA is all about? Curious about how you can get started? Join our Zoom chat as we give an intro presentation on the SCA and answer any questions you might have.

Come hear about all the SCA has to offer and how you can go forward into the past and enjoy these modern Middle Ages.

Hope to see you there!

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 829 1484 4943
Passcode: 603249

Award Recommendations Requested!

Salve Accolens! Hello Debatable Lands and neighbors!

The Debatable Lands event, Agincourt, on October 23rd, has been named a Royal Progress! And Their Highnesses (Who will be King and Queen then) are asking for award recommendations!

This means that the King and Queen are coming to our event and will be holding a Royal Court, during which they will be recognizing people (from anywhere, not just here!) for their contributions to the SCA, including the Kingdom and local groups.

But how do They know who to recognize with these awards? YOU recommend people! That’s right, our Royalty can’t see everyone and everything with their own eyes, so they rely on yours. You can write an Award Recommendation for deserving people you see, by going to the form and filling it out: https://aethelmearc.org/award-recommendation-form/

It’s OK to leave some stuff blank, but try to fill in as much as you can.

How to know what to recommend these folks for? First check to see what award might be appropriate for their activities and activity level. Check “Awards and Orders” HERE, or HERE, or see the links below.

Then you may want to check to see if they have the award already in the Order of Precedence, the list of awards people have (this part isn’t totally necessary, but it does help out the Royalty, and you can always ask a herald to help, too).

When should you do this? Right now! Or, as soon as possible! One of the beautiful things about our Kingdom is the personal scrolls given for nearly every award. Our talented and generous scribes need time to create these, and Agincourt is just around the corner!

Still confused and not sure what Award might be appropriate for the person you have in mind? Contact us at baron@debatablelands.org, or via our social media messages, and we’ll help you out, or just ask a trusted friend who might know.

Be sure to think of our neighbors across the Kingdom as well as Debatable Landers! If the person you’re writing in isn’t going to Agincourt, write them in anyway! There are other events coming up.

And if you’d like, drop us a line to let us know who you’ve recommended to Their Highnesses – it may help us, too!

Happy writing!

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

Some helpful links:

Kingdom Award Recommendation Link:

Order of Precedence (list of people’s awards) Link: http://heraldry.aethelmearc.org/precedence/

List of Kingdom Awards and What They’re For: http://heraldry.aethelmearc.org/resources/armory.html, or

There’s also some more detail about what awards are appropriate in the series of articles in the Althing from a few years ago. Here’s a quick link to the articles directly: http://bit.ly/AE-Awards. The articles are outdated by a few years (missing some awards, like the Peerage for Rapier!), but the general information is still handy.

If you need If you need some inspiration for Debatable Landers, scroll through the Dark Pages here: http://debatablelands.org/resources/darkpages.php

Would you like to recommend someone for a Baronial Award, too? Check out our blog post here for how-to: http://debatablelands.org/blog/?p=347

Crown: A Banner Day for the Debatable Lands!

Salve Accolens! Hello Debatable Lands!

I bring you news of Crown Tournament, held in the Shire of Misty Highlands on August 21st. VIVANT to the Kingdom’s new Heirs, Prince Gareth and Princess Juliana!!! So many wonderful things happened for and by our Barony members and former members. Time to share!

In Royal Court, Their Majesties in Their wisdom:

-Awarded Mistress Antoinette a Golden Escarbuncle and Baroness Shirin an Award of Excellence and wished them well as they transferred the office of Slyvan Signet to Master Jonathan

-Awarded now-Lady Forveleth Arms

– Awarded 3 other AoAs to Debatable Landers not present and bade Baroness Hilda to convey them. We will do so at our Baronial Court on Sept 11.

-Named the Moneyers’ Guild the Principal of a new order – the Order of Crowns Treasure, which is for those that go above and beyond in contributing largesse. The Guild is a Kingdom Guild, but many are Debatable Landers! The new Bookmaker activity at Crown Tourney, for example, was run and coins made by Earl Byron, THL Guillaume, Lady Violetta, Lady Argentia, THL Nicola (ooh, spoiler!) and our neighbors Master Ian and Master Annais.

-Awarded Lady Dorothea a Keystone for service

-Gave Lord Ronan a Cornelian, the Kingdom’s award for Courtesy

-Surprised His Excellency Baron Brandubh with an Augmentation of Arms, which allows the recipient to use elements of the Kingdom Arms in their own personal heraldry.

-Inducted THL Nicola Beese into the Order of the Fleur d’Aethelmearc, the Grant Order for Arts and Sciences

-Inducted our neighbor THL Sumayya al Ghaziyah into the Order of the Millrind, the Grant Order for Service.

-Inducted our former Baronial Seneschal (now Kingdom Seneschal) Mistress Illadore into the Order of the Pelican

-(and other wonderful things for our neighbors around the Kingdom!)

The Baron and I would like to thank the folks that contributed to the gift basket for the new Baron and Baroness of Blackstone Mountain: The Debatable Lands Brewers’ Guild, Lady Tristan for her beautiful embroidered napkins, and Mistress Arianna for her lovely handwoven trim! And to THL Hara and Lord Owen for retaining for us. Vivant!

A VERY special thank you to Master Ishiyama for handing me a HUGE stack of new Baronial stickers!! one with the black comet badge and one with our motto, Salve Accolens (which means “Hello Neighbors!”) on a yellow background. Ask me (or him) for them!

A BIG WELCOME to the folks for whom it was their first in-person SCA event: Rei, Eleanor, Austin, and Lady Forveleth (our Exchequer), and anyone I missed!

Also, to the Debatable Landers serving at the event, you rock! I’m sure I didn’t see everyone, so forgive me if I miss you: Meesteres Odriana and Baroness Soteria for MOLing; Lord Ronan, Baron Edward, THL Kuma, and Forveleth as Heralds for the tourney and procession; THL Boden, Master Ishiyama, THL Hara, and Otto as banner-bearers (Boden resplendent in his Defender of the Sun baldric!) Don Jorundr, Baron Brandubh, Lord Owen and Master Kieran for heralding for the Kingdom; the Moneyers Guild folks (above) for the new Bookmaker activity and the site tokens; the MANY folks who ran Mistress Illadore’s reception and provided reception food; Countess Ali, who provided social media updates; Duke Sven and Duchess Siobhan for serving as Their Majesties Chamberlains; many folks that helped set-up and tear-down (so many I didn’t write them down!) A special thank you to Otto, Makilah, Don Marcus, and THL Sumayya for helping with our personal pack-in and pack-out, too!

And of course, to the combatants and their inspirations who fought and inspired honorably: Count Byron and Countess Ariella for each other, Sir Maghnus for Brehyres Gwendolyn, our neighbor Syr Hagar for Baroness Anna Eisenkopf, our former members THL Lothar for THL Sumayya, and Lord Patrokles for Fox.

A Banner Day for the Barony! Celebrate!

In Levitate et Caritate,
Baroness Hilda