PI Web Edition -- Thursday, August 18, 2005

This is the web edition for the Pennsic Independent for Thursday, August 18, 2005.

East dominates Middle in Thrown Weapons Champions

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent
In the sixth year of the non-war point Thrown Weapons Champions tourney, the East Kingdom and its allies brought the overall tally to three victories apiece by defeating the Midrealm and its allies on Wednesday.

Throwing at six targets with weapons provided by the thrown weapons staff - a twist that caught many of the participants by surprise - the two teams of 20 tested their skills with knife, axe and spear. At the end, the East Kingdom team scored 92 points to the Midrealm's 67, with Ld. Mikkel the Builder of the Barony of Dragonship Haven in the East being high points scorer with 14.

"[Thrown weapons] is the first thing I started in the SCA, so that's been six, five years," said Lord Mikkel, who is 19 and was the youngest thrown weapons champion in his barony.

He said he wasn't put off by the fact he couldn't use his own equipment, since he's won other tourneys with provided weapons.

"I'm used to throwing weird stuff," he laughed.

If not weird, "unusual" was probably the word for the tourney, with a mix of short spears, short and standard axes and knives provided, and targets featuring playing cards, a turkey, a fox, a groundhog and bales of hay with painted strike zones. The participants took it all in a good-natured stride, frequently ribbing and heckling their opponents - and their teammates - as each threw in turn. There was also lots of cheering from both sides for successful hits by anyone.

Lady Elayne Thorne, the head of thrown weapons, said that efforts have been underway for several years to try and establish a war point for the champions' throw.

"We're working on it," she said. "We want to see it become one - there's been six [champions' throws] and it's tied right now."

Earlier in the week, there was an open Known World Thrown Weapons competition, with 34 hurlers taking part. The winner with the knife was Alvcard from the Midrealm; axe was Dennis from ®thelmearc; spear was Owen from the Midrealm; and the overall winner was Ludwig from the East Kingdom.

It's never too late...

By: Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

Editor-in-Chief, Pennsic Independent

Lost something at Pennsic? A recent find in the woods proves it's never too late to check in with Lost and Found.

A pouch containing a variety of ID was found near the entrance to the woods battle area on Wednesday, and turned in to Lost and Found. That was not unusual. What is unusual is that this pouch dates back approximately 12 years. From the ID and other cards in the wallet in the pouch, the best guess is that it was lost in 1993 (Pennsic XXII). The contents clearly identify the owner of the pouch as Amy C. Roberts, known in the Society as Adrianna Miranda Vukovna (according to her SCA membership card and Meridies authorization card). She was a member of the US Air Force, probably based in Florida. Viscount Edward, head of Public Safety, was able to determine that she is not on site under either of those names. If she is onsite under a new name, or if someone knows her, Lost and Found has her ID, pouch, and hair scrunchy-slightly worse for wear, but recovered after many years.

Thanks to Master Vorlin for alerting us to this interesting find.

Life Is A Carnival: Atlantia Hosts 8th Annual Known World Children's Fete

By THL Asa Gormsdottir

"Yes, Virginia, there really is a Children's Pennsic..." Eagerly awaited by kids and parents alike, the 8th Annual Known World Children's Fete was held yesterday in the Barn from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Hosted by the Kingdom of Atlantia, the Fete was open to children 4-12 years old, with teenage helpers especially welcome.

Excited children lined up four lines deep with their parents in front of the Barn to have their medallion numbers registered and waivers signed before they were released into the maze of activities. Offering a dizzying array of well-stocked booths, refreshments and enthusiastic volunteers, the Fete was a kids' paradise.

There were activities to suit every age and temperament, all with a period theme. Physical games included 2-person tug-of-war (while balanced on little wooden footrests), beanbag and horseshoe tosses, and boffer fighting with aquanoodle swords. Young Jared, son of the Prince and Princess of Ealdormere, was observed vigorously clearing the adult opponents from the boffer field with a few well-chosen strokes!

A booth on the center dais offered face and body painting - and not pedestrian designs either, as proven by the two little warriors who walked past comparing the beautiful Celtic snakes coiling around their arms.

More quiet pursuits included Viking necklace construction, paper pinwheels, origami without the tantrums, and crepe paper rosettes for their own Lady of the Rose (aka Mom). There were giant games of Draughts (checkers) with outsize game pieces, and storytelling.

Others painted beautiful knotwork design bookmarks with little individual paint sets, painted "stained glass" pictures, or constructed Pennsic books/journals to take home, watched over by ridiculous squid-like balloon animals.

Especially appreciated were the Fletcher Puppeteers, whose topical tales and enthusiastic puppet action were hugely enjoyed. Here's one of their stories, "The Lion and the Mouse":

A Mouse met a Lion in the woods and asked to be his friend. The Lion (a King) roared, "Be my friend?! You're too small to be my lunch!" and the Mouse scurried off. Suddenly, the Tuchux appeared and captured the King with a net! The King called for his Champion (he was having a nap), his Knights (mending their armor), and his Retainers (out getting ice cream). No one came. Then, the Mouse came back. Snarling viciously, he tore the net away and beat off the Tuchux. The grateful King gave the Mouse an AOA. The moral: "Never too small to help".

The Fletcher Puppeteers are Remus Fletcher and his son Orion, of the Debatable Lands, AEthelmearc. Between acts, 12-year-old Orion explained, "I like stories that teach us lessons, funny stories." Pennsic XXXIV marks Orion's 7th year in puppetry!

Remarkably, despite the high traffic (over 200 children in attendance mid-afternoon), there was limited litter and no tear-stained faces. Everyone was clearly having a good time.

Duchesses Arielle the Golden and Ysabelle Grimault presided over the festivities. Duchess Arielle took a few moments to express her thanks to all the volunteers, particularly Lady Medb ingen Brian, Atlantia's Minister of Children, who was a great help in putting the Fete together, and the Barony of Sacred Stone who sponsored the refreshments. Congratulations on delivering such a successful event!

During the rest of the week, children can participate in various activities at Children's Point. Today, there is a Children's Theatre Performance at the Pavilion at 1 pm. Also, kids who missed a chance to learn about and draw a stained glass picture should come to Children's Point today at 1 pm. On Friday, Children's Point activities include Castles (10-12 pm), Intro to Cross Stitch (1-2 pm), and Stories and Puppet Show (2-3 pm). Dame Nicholaa Halden is this year's Youth Activities Coordinator and warmly welcomes all parents and children looking for a sheltered spot to learn and enjoy new activities. Water and baby wipes are provided to help keep little ones hydrated and clean. Donations are always welcome.

Activities geared to teenagers include the Teen Bardic Performance on Friday, August 19 at 2:00 pm, AEthelmearc Royal encampment, and the East Kingdom Teen Party III, also on Friday, from 7:00 - 11:00 pm at the East Kingdom Royal Encampment. Teens from 13 to 17 are welcome to join for food, music, games and fun with your friends!

Pennsic Historically Part 6: The Golden Day of Chivalry

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

There's a story I heard about last year's Pennsic that may or may not be true, but it bears repeating anyway. There was a knight, so the story goes, who was in the thick of the fighting during the last day's battle. As the combat neared it's close, the knight found himself hard pressed on every side, stabbing furiously with his pike. Enemies went down by the dozens, and at last one of the opposing fighters got close enough to strike this knight. Finally defeated, the knight hurled his weapon at the fighter who'd killed him and said, "My lord, I am inspired by your valor! Please take my lance in commemoration of this moment of skill and honor."

Then one of the nearby fighters said, "Sir knight, that was one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen!"
And the knight replied quietly, "Well, I'm flying home, and I can't take the spear with me, so I had to get rid of it. Why not make someone's day in the process?"

By the twilight of the Middle Ages, the knights of Europe, desperately seeking to establish their credentials as divine rulers in the face of a merchant class that was rapidly gaining the ability to buy and sell noble titles like PokŽmon cards, began to look back to a "golden age of chivalry" that might never have really existed. For some, this refurbished version of the knightly code was a license to commit all sorts of atrocities; for others it was an inspiration for truly great and worthy accomplishments.

As we reach the final days of the Pennsic War, we find ourselves in much the same position: Our version of the Middle Ages may be better in re-creation than it was in its original inception. We all admire tales of honor and glory from days past (whether they're real or not). Yet it's what happens when the costumes come off and the pavilions come down that really defines the success of our efforts at Pennsic.

For a week we get the privilege of living in a world where the conflicts are imaginary, where courtesy is applauded and where honor can be measured in coronets and award medallions. If only the real world was so simple - outside the gate of Pennsic is a place where real people may be called upon to put their reputations, fortunes and lives on the line to defend what's right with the firm knowledge that they may never rewarded or even recognized for what they do.

To paraphrase the author C.S. Lewis, what we do here at Pennsic -the make-believe battles and the leisure-time activities -does not require real chivalry, but we may practice real chivalry here if we choose to. We can judge how effective that practice is only by assessing how much of our chivalry remains when the Pennsic-party is over and we all go back to the real world of conflict, strife, grief and complacency.

As the people of Europe turned outward to explore the globe at the end of the Middle Ages, the ideals of chivalry provided a moral compass that they could use to navigate the rough waters ahead. May the golden days of Pennsic do the same for us as we prepare to launch our own voyages of exploration into that world beyond the gates of Cooper's Lake.

The full line of Guillaume's books and audio CDs, including "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" and "Bringing Chivalry to Life" are available in Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. Readers who have enjoyed Guillaume's columns in the Pennsic Independent may also want to visit his websties: