RIDING OF HOLLEKE TOR, KINGDOM OF AETHER – In response to some actual questions from putative readers of The SCAllion via our contact form, the Editor-in-Chief has authorized a short behind the scenes release into how some of the sausage is made. Not all of the sausage, of course, some mystery must be retained. Let us invite you now into the notional room where it happens.
The SCAllion, like any modern workplace, is divided into departments even if those departments are mostly vague conceptions in the minds of the staff, and any SCAllion org chart would resemble some sort of fractal bowl of particularly stringy pasta. However, today, after a short break for lunch, since we’ve suddenly become peckish, we’ll talk about one of the most critical departments: the Department for Whimsy And Related Fun.
DWARF is the department that lives in all of our heads and reminds us that, while venting vituperation on the vituperable and heaping scorn on the scorn-worthy is a healthy release and provides a positive social service, part of the point is to be funny. Not all articles have to be Pulitzer-contending exposés, some can just be whimsical explorations of some of the odd corners of the hobby which matters a great deal to us, or flights of fancy about how the SCA interacts with the larger world and culture. In short, while we are happy, nay, delighted to arouse righteous indignation, and skewer those topics, stereotypes, and sometimes even people which need a bit of deflation, we want it to be fun for us to write, and for you to read. We here at The SCAllion hope you have enjoyed this backstage tour of our DWARF. If there is a next time, we might talk about the Shenaniganery, another important string to our quiver.
BARONY-MARCHE OF DEBATABLE LANDS, ÆTHELMEARC — To a certain group of women in the SCA, status is everything. These women all run in the same circles. Their significant others attend the same tournaments, they attend the same Laurel meetings, and, in the summer, they all head to Pennsic, an event that embodies a complete concentration of SCA power and privilege. This year will be no exception, but the star power of these medieval luminaries will, for the first time, be showcased for the modern world; Pennsic 50 will play host to a Bravo camera crew, there to film a new, exciting series: The Real Duchesses of Pennsic.
The franchise, which follows the supposedly-real housewives from such centers of wealth as Orange County, California, and New York City, takes a look at another privileged group of women known for displaying their big personalities, luxurious garb, and elaborate camps. Among them are the spouses and girlfriends of multiple-tournament winners, shameless rhino-hiders, and knights made good. The cast is varied, but not particularly diverse; they are made up of five attractive, straight, white women from five kingdoms within the Knowne World.
The SCAllion asked. Find out how the other half lives:
Her Grace, Duchess Adolana of Strasbourg, former Queen of Ealdormere
Bio: A two-time queen of the kingdom of Ealdormere in its early days, this formidable dowager is a much beloved institution within the hearts of the loyal populace. Although seemingly graceful and generous during the hot Pennsic days, word has reached The SCAllion that she lets her inner wild-child out to play during the nights.
Tagline: “In the politics of SCA royal peerages, I always win the popular vote.”
Her Grace, Duchess Pierozza Parmesiniof Calontir Bio: Fresh off the progress of her second reign, Duchess Pierozza is known as much for her beauty as her penchant for non-persona garb. She might look Norse, but when it comes to the Pennsic social scene, she embodies the intrigue and glamor of the Italian renaissance.
Tagline: “I’m not just a fighter’s lady with a taste for somewhat appropriative summertime garb – I’m a legend.”
Her Grace, Duchess Sandrine Babiloine of Atenveldt
Bio: A three time queen who has ruled alongside three different kings, Duchess Sandrine causes a stir at every event she attends. It’s rumored that she’s going to be on the lookout for her next King ahead of Atenveldt’s summer crown tournament in late September. She has been overheard saying, “All those other inspirations better lock up their fighters!”
Tagline: “I have a taste for power and power has a taste for me.”
Her Excellency Countess Sile inghen Connoghor of the Outlands
Bio: Although she has only been queen once, Countess Sile runs with the other duchesses on the strength of her rigid control over her kingdom’s Laurel community. Under her influence, the Laurels of the Outlands have admitted only three people to their ranks in the last decade. Though many complaints about the Countess’ sway have emerged over the years, she takes it all in stride and does not let it bother her.
Tagline: “I never feel guilty about preserving our integrity; we don’t let in just anybody. If being a gatekeeper is so wrong, why does it feel so right?”
Her Grace, Duchess Johanna ffeyrmayden of Æthelmearc
Bio: Celebrated as the uncrowned queen of Pennsic since she debuted in the royal role over five years ago. Partying with this duchess at Pennsic is considered to be a sign that a member of the populace has arrived, socially. Always fun, always where the mead is, and always ready to jump into a Bardic circle with original songs, sensation and scandal follow wherever Duchess Johanna goes.
Tagline: “Pennsic is my playground and when evening arrives, I’m the real King of the Castle.”
Although Duchess Adolana was almost certainly recruited due to her connections to other royal peers throughout the Knowne World, the same sense of grace is not usually attributed to the other Duchesses. One can hardly forget about the amateur adult film that was released online following Pennsic 42. Although the performers could not be immediately identified, the Pennsic site and the royal regalia they wore was more than enough to reveal the lackluster performers were then-King Adalbret Clobeloch and his queen, Duchess Sandrine. While Adalbret earned an R&D over the incident, Duchess Sandrine had, by that time, moved on to her current paramour, Duke Thebald Valret, who is said to have exercised his influence to help her evade any society-imposed consequences.
Duchesses Johanna and Pierozza are also no strangers to controversy stirred up at Pennsic. The entire site was inundated with gossip after a seemingly private conversation was leaked. The topic of the leaked gossip was Countess Sile, the duchesses’ remarks on her lower title, her allegedly inauthentic garb, and her inability to admit anybody lacking at least one PhD into her kingdom’s broken branch of the Order of the Laurel. Though news of this gossip mildly offended the Countess, it was their harsh commentary of her oft-performed free-verse poem, entitled “Healing”, that she performs at every bardic circle she comes across, that ended up transforming the countess into the Drama Queen. Duchess Pierozza was overheard to remark, “That poem is not even remotely medieval in subject, language, or form. I’m pretty sure she wrote it in therapy.”
“No shit – and talk about cringy,” Duchess Johanna is said to have responded, “No need for firewood! The fire could be fuelled entirely by second-hand embarrassment. I feel sorry for her.”
Although the two deny it, they are credited with referring to the poem, which lasts for approximately 15 agonizing, soul-crushing minutes, as “the universally recognized death-throes of the bardic circle.”
It is reported that Countess Sile had her revenge when the QR code for Duchess Johanna’s previously private OnlyFans elbow-fetish site was painstakingly painted onto the portajohns. “F*ck with a Laurel, will they?!?” Countess Sile was purportedly heard to mutter, “I can paint detailed, photorealistic QR codes IN MY SLEEP!”
Given the established notoriety these Duchesses have earned at past Pennsic Wars, The SCAllion looks forward to seeing how they plan to top their current reputations.
KNOWNE WORLD – Across all of the kingdoms of the Knowne World, wordsmiths of the Society for Creative Anachronism are launching a sympathy strike with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). These “wordsmiths” of the Knowne World are those who provide texts for award scrolls and related documents, as well as ceremony heralds and royal schtick writers. Renowned wordsmith and poet, Magistra Virginia Lupa released a statement.
“So much of what we do in the Knowne World has been influenced by members of the WGA, whose work has informed and, if you will pardon a little scribal joke, illuminated our own work. While members of the WGA are striking over issues which affect their very livelihood, SCA wordsmiths and scribes can also suffer from difficult working conditions, and although our “pay” comes in social capital and wordfame, sometimes we don’t even get that. Supporting our sibling writers in the WGA seems only fair, after all they’ve given us.”
The strike has affected all the kingdoms, though some have been harder hit than others. Kingdoms which have standard texts for some awards have suffered less than those where all scrolls are unique. Some of those kingdoms have begun to look through older scroll texts to find those which can be depersonalised and recycled. Peerage scrolls are universally unique, causing some kingdoms to delay elevations while the strike is ongoing.
Some kingdoms have even resorted to scabs, with predictably poor results. Maestra Monica do Cabo Verde, elevated shortly after the strike began, was a victim. “The illumination is gorgeous, the calligraphy is fantastic, but the text.” Maestra Monica burst into tears before giving The SCAllion a transcription of the text, which is reproduced below in its entirety.
A woman stood out from the rest Her service was truly the best A Pelican she Really ought to be Signed , the King and the Queen of the West
The SCAllion supports the WGA and the Knowne World wordsmiths in their fight for fair treatment.
BARONY OF STORVIK, ATLANTIA – CNN reports that Republican Congressman George Santos has been charged by the United States Department of Justice in a federal criminal probe.
The indictment is sealed, so it is unclear whether The SCAllion‘s allegations that Santos falsely claimed various positions in the Society for Creative Anachronism including multiple reigns as King of Lochac are included in the charges. The SCAllion will be monitoring this story carefully.
As a follow-up to the original story, the Lochac College of Heralds responded back to Representative Santos’ claims as a prior king of Lochac. Barunin Carolina Faustina von Cologne, Mouse Volant Herald and representative of the Lochac College of Heralds stated, “While we have intensely researched Mr. Santos’ claims, it seems that while he insists that he is what he says he is, we can’t quite seem to locate him within Canon Lore, nor has he contacted Canon Herald, who maintains our order of precedence. Frankly, he got lost on a Maccas run, so, while we’re off the record, I think he’s just trying to pass a furphy around.”
Until a time where the indictment is unsealed, The SCAllion will continue to assume that lying about being Crown of a Society affiliate is not against community standards.
Hey, it’s us at The SCAllion again, breaking the fourth wall. We have been notified by Maximilian our Marking Intern that we have broken 2000 followers on Facebook. Wow.
When we started this project in January, it was because we wanted to have fun and remember the reasons that we started hanging out with these wonderful, snarky people who dress in funny clothes for their weekends. Little did we expect that our small side gig would turn into a blog read by thousands daily.
While on one hand we wish there hadn’t been quite so much drama to feed our pens, on the other hand, it has helped us process the events of these last four months. We hope it has helped you make sense of things as well and given you joy and laughter in the mix.
BARONY OF AYRETON, MIDDLE KINGDOM – In a story that has become entirely too common in today’s Society for Creative Anachronism, Their Majesties of the Midrealm pronounced a Banishment from the Realm for Jacob and Ellwood Blaüen on Saturday.
While the Board insists that officers and crowns do not disclose the reasons for a banishment, The SCAllion’s inside mole, Deep Gorget, says that the Blaüens were banished for advocating that people should punch Nazis when they announce themselves, and that Nazis and white supremacists should be removed from participating in the Society. Deep Gorget also made clear that Their Majesties and the Kingdom Seneschal of the Middle were given no choice about levying these sanctions – they were given a mandate from above.
Lords Jacob and Ellwood made their statements after a run-in with a visitor to the open bardic evening they hosted at their home last week: someone identifying himself only as “a newcomer” walked in wearing khaki fatigues with lightning bolt collar pins and armbands bearing the Nazi flag and the Confederate battle flag. According to witnesses, the brothers initially asked the person politely to leave their home. When the person asked why they should have to leave an open Baronial bardic event, Ellwood replied, “I hate Illinois Nazis, and I don’t want them in my home.” The person left after verbally insulting the brothers and their guests. The Blaüens then posted about the encounter on Facebook, as described above, leading to a bullying and harassment complaint being filed against them with the Society Seneschal’s office by the angry “newcomer”.
Opinions around the kingdom were largely in support of the brothers Blaüen, elevating them to status of folk heroes. Crown Princess Carolina Piscatrix loudly publicly disagreed with the sanction. “We must stand together as an alliance to protect our game from the harm being done by the few who want to use us to live out their white supremacist fantasies. Those people should have no place in our Society.”
After some cajoling, Deep Gorget revealed that the incident with the Blaüens is not the only example of the anti-bullying policy being weaponized by actual bullies and white supremacists. Sir Stephanus filius Rogeri of the East is facing a threat of banishment for posting the following on Facebook: “It’s our duty as peers, and especially as members of the Chivalry, to always punch Nazis.” Complaints of bullying have also been made against Princess Diana of Ephesos, the current Princess of the Mists, because her Facebook banner is an image of Wonder Woman punching Hitler from Wonder Woman #2 (1942).
“It’s a sad day,” Deep Gorget complained between drags on his unfiltered cigarette, “when wishing you could punch Nazis is punished more harshly than being a Nazi. But that’s where we are, at least until the BoD gets its head out of its ass.”
BARONY OF POLITARCHOPOLIS, LOCHAC – The Crown Prince and Princess of Lochac, Ruodeger Angist and Kiterna de Kaxtone, have stated that they were inspired by the example of King Charles III of England to call for all members of the Kingdom to swear an oath of allegiance at their upcoming coronation. “We thought it would be fun,” said Prince Ruodeger, “and since Charles had already scheduled his Coronation on top of ours, we felt fine about nicking his idea.”
The idea has not been well received, either in the UK or in Lochac. However, it seems likely that more people would be willing to swear such an oath in Lochac than in the UK, since a SCAllion poll suggests that as many as 15 Lochacians said they might consider it, which is a significantly higher number than in the United Kingdom.
The most common response on the poll in both Lochac and the UK was “I’m on smoko, leave me alone.”
The Kingdom of Avacal also has a coronation in May, and The SCAllion asked them to comment. Oddly enough, they didn’t seem to care. The East does not have a coronation in May. The SCAllion did not ask them to comment, but they keep calling and leaving messages on our voicemail saying that the East, too, is on smoko.
BARONY BEYOND THE MOUNTAIN, THE EAST – The AS LVII Knowne World Exchequer Symposium at The Meadows Casino, Resort, and Spa, recently became a week-long vacation for the SCA’s hardest-working, longest-suffering volunteers was held at a casino in Connecticut that caters specifically to people in positions that are not appreciated enough. Reporting from the resort is our embedded journalist, who is also an exchequer for a barony in a midwestern kingdom.
“We checked in on a Saturday and the first thing scheduled was a sauna, followed by a massage. They gave us drinks of our choice, so I had about a gallon of Pamplemousse La Croix in the sauna. I could feel the stress of 15 years in the exchequer job start to melt away. The crook in my back started to release during my massage and I felt the strain of staring at Excel spreadsheets leave my eyes.
“On Saturday night, we all hit the casino and we realized that several of us were quite talented in blackjack and poker. By the first night, they had won over a thousand dollars. Sunday morning we realized that the Society Exchequer and Treasurer had both forgotten about the symposium and we were on our own without an itinerary. When we checked on the reservations, we realized we were at an all-inclusive resort so our days were a whirlwind of spa treatments and our nights were spent in the casino. By Tuesday, we started pooling our casino winnings. On Wednesday, an Exchequer from Starkhafn met the resort owner who was having financial difficulties and looking to sell off the property. One of the Kingdom Exchequers was a paralegal at a tax firm and offered to set up an LLC. By Friday, we had a bank account in the Bahamas, an LLC, and a dream.”
The reporter and the rest of the Exchequers have all decided to quit their Society positions and dayjobs and work at the resort where they are treated better by their clients than they ever were by the Society for Creative Anachronism.
BARONY OF SEPTENTRIA, EALDORMERE – As the Society for Creative Anachronism prepares to celebrate its 58th birthday, more and more members have been stunned to learn that the SCA is a part of the Baby Boomer age group, but solidly Generation X.
One example is a TikTok video posted by Hernando Panpan. “Happy 58th birthday and OK Boomer,” the video started. Offscreen, someone points out that the organization was solidly Gen X, they reacted with confusion. “What? That’s not right. What about the mild technophobia, the inflexibility, the indifference to younger generations? I thought they had to be Boomers. Huh.”
Nor was this the only example. One Reddit user known only as ‘titlelessthrowaway” posted “Well huh. I was going to wish the SCA a Happy Boomer Birthday, but it’s …not? It’s Gen X? Happy Gen X birthday, I guess.”
We here at The SCAllion fully understand the confusion and frustration caused by members of Generation X now being in their late 50s. We’re excited to see the organization stop doing stereotypically Boomer shit and get on with some of the Generation X trademarks of flexibility and technological adeptness.
From all of us here at The SCAllion, Happy birthday, Society for Creative Anachronism!
[Letters contained herein are completely made up and unreflective of the actual letters we have received. If you would like to contribute your own Letter to the Editor to be answered, you may send in your Letter to the Editor here:]
I find myself in the unenviable position of writing you a missive of complaint. How dare you suggest that the royalty of the known world would attempt to set a universal time for the SCA. That is utterly ridiculous, since we’ve already done it. Everyone knows that SCA standard time is “about 45 minutes after the schedule says it is”
Please let me know how things go when every war court is late, and you hear the grumblings of children and the lamentations of their mothers as a nine-o’clock bedtime rolls near.
As you can tell from the email, I am Jack Bearhunter, the SCA president. I need you to do a chore for me – to purchase Google Play gift cards from Target or any other nearby store. Let me know when you receive this email for the amount and denominations you are to purchase then look forward to my response. Could you please email me back?
Normally, I wouldn’t respond to this sort of email, instead, it would go straight into the spam folder.
That said, we just got contacted for the United Nations Democracy Fund, and in the interest of bringing democracy to the SCA, we actually just gave them your cards.
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