Call for Letters: Chronicler and Call for Content for the Althing

Greetings to the populace from your Chronicler, Silence!

I write with two missives. First, I am assembling the newsletter wrapping up the final quarter of 2023, and as we lost some dear members of our barony in this past calendar year, I would like to hold space in the Althing for photos, memories, or words the populace wishes to share to commemorate them. As I am formatting the newsletter this week, if you know you want to send something but aren’t sure what, please feel free to drop a line and say “Hey Silence, please save a spot for me,” and I will reach out before I publish, which I anticipate to be in two weeks.

Second, my 2-year term comes to an end, and I am formally issuing a call for letters of intent should anyone be interested in becoming the next Chronicler. I am seeking a second term and I am also seeking a deputy to train. The Chronicler is in charge of producing the Althing, the newsletter for the Barony. Past issues are available at for your perusal. Any gentles wishing to submit a letter of intent should email both seneschal [at] debatablelands [dot] org and chronicler [at] debatablelands [dot] org by the next business meeting, which will be February 7th. If you are interested in becoming Chronicler or becoming my deputy, please email me at chronicler [at] debatablelands [dot] org and I will be happy to discuss what that entails!

In Service and Song,

Chronicler position

My term is coming to an end and I am looking for a replacement when I step down. I’d like to hear from anyone interested in the position.

Email me at, or contact me on Facebook, if you have interest in the job yourself or if there’s anyone else you believe would do well at it please have them contact me.

Drottin Skjoldrbjorn

Chronicler Call for Letters

Good evening Debatable Lands!

The time has come to end my first term as Chronicler. While if no Gentle steps forward I will continue to serve as the Barony’s Chronicler, I am not actively seeking a second term and assuming someone else would like the experience I will happily discuss with them the responsibilities that accompany the office.

The next issue of the Althing will be the last of this term and I would like to thank everyone that helped me succeed. From officers submitting reports to those members of guilds and the general populace that have submitted content, thank you so much.

The vote for the next Chronicler of the Debatable Lands will be held at the December business meeting. This meeting is on December 4th and all are welcome to attend no matter if you’re an officer or not.

No matter the outcome I will hold the office until December 31st and the changing of the guard of the pen will happen with the turning of the new year.

All letters of intent are due to the Senechal Meesteress Odriana no later than 7 days prior to the meeting on November 27th. She can be reached by email at

Please contact me at if you have any questions regarding the position or, as always, to submit content if you’d like to include in my final issue.

As always, thank all of you for everything,

Drottin Skjoldrbjorn
Debatable Chronicler

Demo — August 30 — Save the Date!

Dear friends —

Save the date! I know everyone is super busy with Pennsic prep, but I wanted to let everyone know that we were invited to demo at the Children’s Museum Medieval Maker night on Thursday, August 30, from 6:30 to 9:30.

This is a 21 + event, so no clearances are required. They are looking for 20-25 demonstrators, and are looking for fiber artists (weavers, nalbinders, knitters, dyers, enbroiderers, and all the rest), calligraphers, illuminators, equestrians, fighters, fencers, siege engineers, musicians, singers, dancers, royalty – you name it!

i Genesii has been the first to step up, they will be running a play date and getting spectators involved! Who else will be there?

We had several makeshop demos with them, and they really like working with the SCA. They are very flexible and accommodating, so if you want to be a part of it, let me know!

More details to follow. It will be awesome!

THL Luceta di Cosimo

Find contact info on the award-winning Barony website, under the Resources drop-down, in the Dark Pages.

Who’s Who in Commedia del Arte

Who’s Who in Commedia del Arte – Maighstir Liam MacantSaoir

If you have attended some commedia del Arte performance at Pennsic or another event, you have probably noticed that some of the characters in different performances have the same names, no matter what commedia troupe you are seeing. Commedia del Arte has a set of stock characters that are essential to the art form. Commedia del Arte performances themselves are largely improvised but based on a structure written in advance.
The first group of stock characters are called the “Vecchi.” The Vecchi are the people of the upper class in Venice. These characters are usually the master of two different households. Pantalone is a shrewd business man who never wants to let money go. Pantalone is also known for being rather lecherous, chasing young women and visiting the local house of ill repute. Dottore is often a doctor and sometimes lawyer. Dottore is known for his vast knowledge that he gained in University, which may or may not be factual. Occasionally, Pantalone has a wife but most often he is a widower, or the wife does not appear in the play.
The second group of characters is the “Innamorati” (the lovers) these are characters that are the sons and daughters of Pantalone and Dottore. They are often very important to the plot, often looking for love, marriage and sex. The male characters are technically called “Innamorato” and the females “Inamorata.” The story of the lovers may be that they are looking for love, have ended their love affair, or are in competition with another for someone’s love. The story of the lovers may be complicated by siblings, their parents, or their servants. Both the Innamorato and Inamorata can vary in names and how they act. Some Innamorato are very masculine and virile, and some are the exact opposite, some may be very intelligent, and some may be incredibly unintelligent.
The third group of characters are the “Zanni.” The Zanni are the servant class, usually poorly clothed and perform menial jobs for the Innamorati and the Vecchi. The Zanni are the clowns of the show. The Zanni include such characters as Arlechino, who can be a servant for either household, he is usually dimwitted and food driven. Francheschina, who is usually a house maid for either house and often very frisky towards other Zanni characters. Brighella, who is often known as a freelance servant who will take care of things for anyone for a price, he can be the muscle, the thief or the murderer. The Zanni can have other names and serve in other roles to include the person that runs the local brothel, or other street urchins.
Commedia del Arte characters are still prevalent in many modern comedy television shows and movies today. Now that you understand who the characters are and what they do, I hope that you will see some commedia at Pennsic. The Pennsic University has a Commedia tract for anyone that is interested in learning more about commedia. In September, the forst ever Known World Commedia Symposium will take place in the Shire of Ballachlagan, less than an hours drive from the BMDL and it will host classes on Commedia and “All Things Italian.”
2013. Descriptions of Commedia Dell Arte Characters. Accessed May 2018.
Felix, Talia. n.d. La Commedia del Arte – La Commedia Inglese. Accessed May 2018.

Brewer’s Guild update

Exciting news for anyone who likes to brew (or drink): the Brewers Guild is up and running again! Lady Alysoun of the Debatable Lands is taking over as Guildmistress, and Lord Ronan O’Conall is her Deputy.

After polling the populace for interest, we have received 15 responses so far from people who would like to be involved in the guild. They range from beginners to experts and hail largely from BMDL, though some are further afield. We have also had great support from the Æthelmearc Brewers Guild, which is pushing out our news to their network as well.

Any and all interested parties are welcome to join the monthly meetings, which will be held at Alysoun’s home in Pleasant Hills. They will take place at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise noted.

At the time of this update, we are looking forward to our first meeting, which will be held on May 2 and will serve as a planning session to determine how best to create value for our members and the society at large. Please look for additional updates on the barony blog and on Facebook as we get organized. You can always reach Alysoun here with questions:

Chatelaine election and call for letters

Dear BMDL,

My term as Chatelaine will be coming to an end in June, and I will be seeking a second term, however, I am calling for letters. Send your letter to the Baronage and to me – baron(at), baroness(at), seneschal(at), and chatelaine(at)

The deadline for letters is May 31st 2018 to allow sufficient time for your letter to be reviewed by the Officers’ prior to the June Business Meeting.

In Service,

Lady Elizabeth (Libby) Parker

The Dos and Don’ts of vigils

In the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, we are amazingly blessed with many dedicated servants to the Crown and the SCA community. Frequently, our friends and neighbors are recognized by the Crown and offered membership in the Peerage order as appropriate to the candidate’s area of expertise. These are the Order of Chivalry, the Order of Defense, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of the Pelican.

Usually, to celebrate the occasion, just before the elevation to their order, there is a celebration during which the candidate sits in a private or quiet corner, and ponders the upcoming honor with the advice and words of encouragement and inspiration from others. This vigil can be as simple or as elaborate as the candidate desires, and is overseen by friends and supporters.

A big question is: who can visit a vigil? Absolutely anyone can visit the person that is sitting in vigil, whether you know them or not. However, as always, courtesy and respect matter. Here are some recommendations from Her Esteemed Ladyship, The Honorable Lady Mannerly of Knowsalot:

DON’T snarf the food. DO appreciate the attractive and appetizing array of food, but delay eating until after you have spoken with the candidate.

DON’T barge into the candidate’s sitting area. DO find the person who is keeping track of the people waiting to enter and have your name put onto the list of visitors.

DO try to remain in (or return to) the general area so as to be available when you are called.

DO be happy for the candidate! They are receiving an award for their outstanding work in a field they love. Ask about their work, ask about their plans for future endeavors, and above all, if you have words of encouragement, advice, or affection, say them.

After the visit, DO help yourself to the food, chat with the others around, visit with friends, meet new people. There may be a book for people to sign and leave a message, so feel free to do so. Otherwise, go and enjoy the rest of the event.

In service to the Dream,
Elss of Augsburg

“But how do I know about…”

But How Do I Know About……………

…… is usually one of the first questions a new person asks! There are so many things to learn and discover that it is difficult to figure it all out. If you like to do research by reading, then I have a rabbit hole for you to dive down:

This is an amazingly HUGE collection of articles and discussion threads, organized by topic. It won’t answer your every question, but it will give you some guidelines, some further directions, some things to think about. Check out the Newcomers link on the left, or just go to your topic directly.

Wondering what to wear? Try “Generic Clothes – Tunic, Skirt, Shirt, and Pants” by Caitlin nic Raighne, or maybe “Easy T-Tunics” by THL George Anne.

Going to an event and want to look like you know what you are doing? Read “Event Etiquette” by Master Donal Mac Ruiseart.

Court? What’s court? Here’s an interesting read from people in other kingdoms. Nothing specifically AEthelmearcian, but it’s pretty close to what we do: “Comments about SCA Courts for newcomers.”

My first event was Agincourt, and I was so new that I didn’t know you had to bring your own table setting if you were going to eat in the evening. Feasts in this area are delicious, filling, generous, and usually have something for everyone. Before going, I certainly wish I had read this: “Orts It All About, Alfred? – (Attending your first year or two of SCA Feasts)” by Lady Caterina della Pieri.

So you have been around for a bit and want to start diving in to your favorite topic. How about…..

Beverages — wine, mead, coffee, beer, ale, cordials, ciders, caudles, possets, sekanjabin, water, tea, chocolate, and by our good friend, “Did you know you can malt acorns? Part 1” by THL Madoc Arundel.

There are thirteen (yes, 13) topics on Food of various kinds, 14 topics if you count Feasts.

Interested in Plants, Herbs, and Spices? There are articles from ambergris to woad.

These articles are written by all sorts of people, and some are new and some are old. But those I have read have stood the test of time and are still valuable today (except the Humor topic. Just don’t. Well, you’ve been warned.).

Elss Augsburg