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Black Quill

Issue 27
March/April/02 XXXVI
Shire of Ravenweir
Quesnel, BC

Freom the Chronicler
Wasn't that a lovely event? I wanted to thank all those who helped out at the Court of Love and made out task a little easier. Special mention to Rowen and Maeve for all their help and Lord Warraw for his lively wit and booming voice at the auction.

Our winners are:

Lord of Hearts - Cynwrig Ap Owein
Lady of Hearts - Rhiannon of Griffins Gate

Best Song - Richard
Best Peon - Gwydion MacBairn
Best Story(Ballad) - Colin MacKay

Valentines Day Card
Adult - Alaxandria
Child - Eskya

I especially wanted to thank the gentlemen who responded so gallantly when needed to discourage some inebriated mundanes who were harassing out ladies. You alacrity in volunteering was equalled only by the speed with which they deserted the scene when faced by true gentlemen.
Lady Sigrid Arden

Kingdom Site -
Northern Principality site -

Take a look at this use of Book of the Kells!

From the Mistress of A & SC
and Deputy Chronicler

Greetings to the great shire of Ravensweir.
Once again I greet you as the editor of this fine newsletter, I hope that I am meeting the high standards of the populace. In this edition of the Quill I have added some new things. I sincerly hope that the new editions add a refreshing look to our newsletter.

I would like to thank those of you who joined us for the Persona Development workshop. I hope that everyone is working hard on developing their personas. Because, in my opinion, it is hard to play the part and retain the magic if you don't know who you are.

Here are some more historical facts to tickle your funy bone:
-In those days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food on it that had been there for quite a while - hence the rhyme "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot nine days old". Sometimes they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of a wealth that man "could bring home the bacon". They would cut off a little to share with guests and all sit and "chew the fat".

-Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content cause some of the lead to leach into the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This would happen most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous. Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trechers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped more like a bowl. Trenchers were often often from stale bread, which was so old and hard that they could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and bread. After eating off workmy, moldy trenchers, one would get "trench mouth". Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the familiy got the middle, and the guest got the top, or "upper crust".

Rowan's Rablings

Warmest Greetings good friends,

Huzzah Lad Sigrid and HL Robert!! With help from Rowena and other good gentles, they have pulled off an amazingly successful event. Good food, good fun and a lovely boost to the bank account too. Well done!!!

It certainly doesn't feel like it, but winter is on its stormy was out and tourney season fast approaches. We should all be doing our personna development research, working on garb and making preperation. (Mead anyone?)

Out lovely Chaleaine, Grizelda, has a library of some excellent books to assist in your searching and she can be counted on for some knowlagable garb fashioning advice as well. I am also available to offer assistance in this area. Please do not hesitate to call. Our beautiful Mistress of Arts and Sciences is anxious to see us with more rounded out personnas and I am sure that she has many suggestions that would be helpful. Don't be shy... there are many of us willing to help... all you need do is ask.

I look foreward to seeing you all soon
Rowan of Ravensweir
("Dragonlady" to some)

(only to those who fear and worship her - ed)

Those Were the Days

by Father Marcos de Foronda
to the tune of "Those Were the Days" by Mary Hopkins

Once upon a time there were some Kingdoms
Where chivalry was the thing to do
I read the books and I saw the movies
And thought about the great deed they would do

Chorus: Those were the days, my friend
Let's make them never end
We'll sing and dance, for ever and a day
We'll live this life we choose
We'll fight and never lose
Those were the days
Oh yes, those were the days
Lie die die die die die
die die die die die die die
la da da da, la da da da da da da da

Then the busy years wnet rushing by us
We lost our noble notions on the way
If civilization is the answer
The question was to much, I have to say

And then a small group formed together
And brought the days of glory back to life
In our world that's movng ever faster
They built a refuge from our daily strife

Just tonight I stood out in the shadows
And looked at the dream we try to lifve
In the dream I saw my own relection
Is there any more that I can give

In our dream I hear familiar lughter
I choose my past and then I choose my name
Oh my friends we're older, but no wiser
For in our hearts the dream is still the same


Lo there do I see my father,
Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers,
Lo there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning.
Lo they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
in the halls of Valhalla,
where the brave may live forever.

Ides of March cancelled (March 16) - this is it's place


April 6th, 2002
Ferndale Community Hall
3595 Upper Fraser
Prince George, BC

Site Fee: adult $10, 13-18 $5, 12 and under free
Four Ice Cream pails and lots of pillows are a must to bring. Toga's are optional.

Come one, Come All and join us in dinning like the Roman's.
-Potluck to feed 6-8 people. Roman or Greek theme. Out o towners please bring a dessert

Come and test your skill in the Gladiator Games.
-knock the lion off his pedestal
-sword and board
-dice games

Ladies, how well can you feed your Lord his grapes. Prize for the best fed man.
Dust off your Shakespeare and participate in the best Quote.
Table decorating contest for those that are interested- Roman style.

Lady Brunn MacDonald (Donna Bader) 250-561-2830
Kitchen Supervisor:
Lady Iseabeau MacDonald (Fran Peters) 250-962-6575 or 612-5333

The site is located at Ferndale Community Hall, just outside of Prince George, BC. If coming from the East on Hwy 16, turn right just past Tabor Mtn Ski Hill, (approx 15km from Pr, Geo.) at Upper Fraser.

If coming from elsewhere go thru Pr. Geo. to Hwy 16 and go east towards Jasper. Turn left onto Upper Fraser, (base of Tabot Mtn.). Ferndale Hall is at 3595 Upper Fraser (approx 4km, down the road on the left side).

From the South, travel north on Hwy 97. Turn right onto the Old Cariboo Hwy. towards Jasper, about 18km north of Red Eock (14km south of Prince George), you go past Art Knapps Plantland. Carry on until you get to the control lights just past the airport. Turn right at the lights (go towards Jasper). Turn left onto the Upper Fraser, (base of Taber Mtn.) the hall is at 3595 Upper Fraser.

Cold Keep Heavy Champion's Tourney

May 25th, 2002
Ferndale Community Hall, 3595 Upper Fraser, Prince George, BC

Greetings unto the Known World, come join Cold Keep this day to participate or watch the Cold Keep Champion Heavy Tourney.

These are minimum requirements to compete for the Heavy Champion of the Shire of Cold Keep. 1) Combatant must be within a five hour drive of Cold Keep and reside in a full status shire. (champion's discretion on other)
2) If a combat championship, the fighter must be authorized
3) If a combat championship, the fighter must have a consort of the opposite sex present.
4) Must be willing to travel to swear fealty to the Prince and Princess of Avacal.
5) Must be willing to travel to any and all shire wars and lead out army on the field.
6) Must be willing to attend 3 Shire events and one council through time as champion.
7) Must be the tourneycrat to choose successor.
8) Must care for and add to the regalia of the shire championship.
Additional Requirements for this Tourney:
As I want this to be a pretty tournaent there will be no blatantly visible plastic on the field. My discretion. Fighters who wish to compete in this tourney please R.S.V.P. to Lord Gowan.

Lists open a 1-1:30pm, armor inspection 2:00pm, tourney will start approximately at 2:30pm. The site will be opening at 11:00 am. Closing time... we ill be hiring the hall for overnight. So bring along your jammies, bedding and something to contribute to the traditional Cold Keep mass breakfast in the morning. There will be a $2 overnight fee. Pillow fights a must.
Site fees:
Adults: $10
Adults prividing proof of membership $8
Children 14-18: $5
13 and under: Free

We, the autocrats, have decided to again continue the practice of putting out a food donation box for the local food bank. So please brig along any non-perishable food donations you have. Potluck dish to feed 8 to 10 people... the theme is Scottish in celebration of our outgoing champion Lord Gowan MacDonald.
Mask and hat competition for the smalls and gentles, and planned activities. We will be setting up a nook for the children as we had as Yule since it was such a grand success. M'Lord Richard has kindly offered to teach a Calligraphy class at this time at this event. A small fee of $5 will be asked to cover costs. This class is pre-register... so please contact M'Lord Richard. After dinner, M'Lord Richard will be hosting a bardic competition... more information on this later as we caught him by Anyone, interested please contact the autocrats or M'lord Richard.

The gaming box will be available. PLease feel free to bring along any games, songs, stories that you wish to share. We are doing a Beltaine theme in the decorating, so feel free in joining in with the decorating of your table.

For further information contact autocrats:
Lady Iseabau MacDonald;
Cerridwen Maelwedd;
Champion and Master of Stables:
Lord Gowan MacDonald
Calligraphy & Bardic competition:
M'Lord Richard

Directions for the Hall: The site is located at Ferndale Community Hall, just outside of Prince George, B.C. If coming from the East on HWY 16, turn right just past Tabor Mtn Ski Kill, (approx 15 km from Pr. Geo.) at upper Fraser, (base of Tabor Mtn.). Ferndale Hall is at 3595 Upper Fraser (approx 4 km down rd on left side). From the South, travel North on Hwy 97. Turn right onto the Old Cariboo Hwy, towards Jasper, about 18 km North of Red Rock (14 kn south of Prince George), you go past Art Knapps Plantland. Carry on until you get to the control lights just past the airport. Turn right at the lights (go towards Jasper. Turn left onto Upper Fraser, (base of Tabor Mtn.) the hall is at 3595 Upper Fraser.
Brian Boru, the Emperor
of All the Irish
In his own language, Brian Borumha. Brian probably comes from Bran, meaning Raven, or Bre, meaning hill. Borumha means tribute. Pronounced as: both: brn, brn; broo, bro. Modern variation of the family name: O'Brian, Brian, Brien, Bryant. Current clan mottoa (as there are a huge number of his descendants around): Lamh Laidir Ad Uachdar (The strong hand uppermost).

Boru was born into a Christian Munster family in about 940A.D., one of twelve brothers, and grew up to be a brilliant warrior and tactician. Like all Irish heroes, he is reputed to have been a tall, strong, red-headed man. A clan prince, he succeeded his brother Mathghamhain, who had seized the throne of Munster from the Eogharacht rulers in 963.

In 968 he retookk Cashel from the Danes and restored is as th seat of the Kings of Munster. On the death of his brother in 976 Boru had become King of the province and by 984 had gained supremacy over the whole of the south of Ireland. Because os his skille as a warrior and leader of men, his relationship, and so that of his country with the Danes, grew worse and worse. He was not content to allow Danish pillaging and raidning to continue as it had. He managed to achieve a most unusual and important gaol - to get a Celtic people to unite to fiht a common enemy. The Celts seem o be happy to fight enybody, anywhere, and most especially amonst themselves!

In 1002, after a series of battles with Malachy (who ruled the northern provinces from Tara), he gained control of the whole country and was crowned 'Ard Ri'cr the High King of Ireland.

For the first time the country was united under one leadership and from this it prospered with many of the war damaged monastaries being repaired and extended. Boru also had may forts built, and somewhat in Alfred the Greats line, encouraged learning and the arts.

Like Alfred the Great, he liked to do his own reconnitring. On one such foray, he encountered and Irish woman crying because her Danish husband bidden her kill her child for food, there being none to cook ue to ravages of war. Brian gave her food and in return she was able to give the password of the strong-hold, which enabled him to overcome his foe. He is said to have introduced to plover into Ireland because of its facility for warning of enemy attack.

In 1005 AD Boru reached Armagh, leading several armies from, Munster, Leinster, Meath, Connacht and Norse Dublin. He had come to the North two time previously, only o be repelled by the Ulster kings. The Church had recognized Boru's claim to supremay after he paid 20 ounces of gold to have the Curch inscribe his name in the Book of Armagh as the "Emperor of All the Irish". (And yes, one might view this acceptance with a certain amount of cynicism). A year later he enforced his claim with a circuit around Ulster. But Brian had difficulties, as previously mentioned, and the Leinster and Dublin armies called in their allies from the Viking world, creating the situation for the battle that would lead to Brian's death.

Sitric, king of the Bublin Norse, had formed against Brian a coalition of the Norse of Ireland, the Hebrides, the Orkneys, and Iceland as well as Brian's Irish enemies.

On Good Friday in the year 1014, the battle lasted from sunrise to sunset. The battle was called the "Battle of Clontarf" and was also known as the Battle of Brian, and it ended the domination of the Ui Neill, the ancestors of the O'Neills ot Tyrone and Clandeboye.

Brian Boru, who was 74 by the time of the battle, was killed in his tent, by King Brodar of Man. 4000 other Irishmen also died that day, but still King Brian was considered triumphant. He was killed along with Sigurd, who was Earl of the Orkneys; the King oof Leinster; and two Connacht kings. Brian Boru's son, Murchadh were all killed along with many ohter of noble blood. But Brian Boru's troop in their turn reportedly killed as many as 7000 Danes, and it was never seen as a victory for those who carried the day.

The battle broke the Norse power in Ireland forever, but Ireland fell into anarchy.

Brian Boru is remembered as one of the greated heros of all Ireland because he ended any hope of the Norse ever capturing Ireland. He reportedly had 4 wives and 30 concubines (not surprising, I suppose, given his long life) and so many, many Irish families can trace their ancestral heritage to Brian Boru.

Eskya's Corner

Children in the Middle Ages
by Janet Scheltema (from Tournaments Illuminated)

If You Were a Baby...
You would have been born at home in your mother's bed. SHe would have had some of her friends and a midwife with her. A midwife was a woman who helped all the women in the village give birth.

You would be baptised as soon as possible. Many babies in the first few days after birth so parents would want to make sure their child was buried as a Christian by having the child baptised.

You would be wrappped in swaddling clothes. Swaddling is a long, six inch strip of cloth. It would be tightly wound around you, starting under your arms and ending at your feet. People thought it would help babies grow straight.

You parents would have a lot of babies to make sre some o them would grow up to be adults.

If You were Three... If you were three in the Middle Ages and a girl, you would wear long a skirt and petticoats. If you were a boy, you would wear the same as girls.

Your toys would include rattles, teething rings, pup huns and frums. You would also have cloth or wooden dolls to play with.

You would know nursery rhymes such as "Hush a Bye Baby", "Three Blind Mice", "The Frog He would a Wooing go", "Old Mother Hubbard", "Little Jack Horner" and "Tom Thumb".

You would probably have at least three ot four brother and sister by now. You would all sleep in the same bed.

If your parents had enough money, you may already have a tutor. Some children even went to a school at three year old, but most waited until five.

To be continued....

Hold Tag

(an SCA game)
by Ercil Howar-Wroth (from Tournements Illuminated)
Start by making a list files. Mark an entrance for the children's list field and have the children use it. Children learn by doing so use the same rules that the real list field uses. You can use this area to gather the children together, start quests, end quests, teach classes en masse, tell stories, play game, and boffer tourneys (here is another article unto itself), you can adopt activities such as pillow tourneys.

The goal of this game is to learn list field etiquette and some SCA vocabulary. Many safetly issue are learned through this game. First you need to rope off a children's list field. Don't do it next to the real list field for safety. I use yarn to rope off an area. stretching it between any trees, tables ot other stationary object (because I don't have access to extra list field poles). I staple paper pennants over the yarn. The children can make their own pennants, and take them home at the end of the day.

Essentailly, this game is modified freeze tag. There is a moderator. Someone is chosex to be "it". "It" and the other players wait until the moderator calls out "Lay On". The Players then attempt to tag "It". At random moments the moderator calls "Hold" abd players freeze. When "Lay On" is called again they unfreeze and carry on with their tag. Alternate the calls of "Lay On" and "Hold". The kids love this game. If it is chilly out, this will warm them up. If they are restless, this will get it out of their systems. At the same time they are learing the very important etiquette and safety rules of the list field. If they are children attending SCA field events, then this is imperative for their continued safety and enjoyment of field events.
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