by Ursula the Widow
Reviews Editor, Pennsic Independent
J. T. Sibley, aka spice merchant and beloved dinosaur Auntie Arwen, says her new book The Divine Thunderstorm: Missiles of the Gods is about the folklore surrounding the phenomena of thunder and lightning. That's not so much an outright lie as it is a drastic understatement.
The book, based on Sibley's dissertation but greatly expanded, does indeed address folk belief and myth surrounding thunderbolts, from the Ice Age to the 20th century and from Persia to America. However, like Sir James Frazier in The Golden Bough, Sibley treats her core myth as a point of departure and exploration.
The Divine Thunderbolt has the same relationship to Sibley's recent magico-historical novel, Hammer of the Smith, that the King James Bible has to the Chronicles of Narnia. For those who like their history straight up, here is the one-hundred-proof undiluted stuff.
Sibley investigates specifically and in detail thunderbolt beliefs and associated artwork, mythmaking and tales for a long list of Indo-European cultures. If you ever wondered what your persona thought about thunder, it's in here. While individual cultural beliefs are addressed, the connections between them are also made plain. The reader's sense of widespread shared understandings gradually grows until he or she can virtually see our ancestors, thousands of miles apart but all gazing with the same awe at the same sky.
The value of this work to SCA members, however, will not be limited to pure theory or persona development. The many figures and drawing that illustrate Sibley's intensive research will furnish a rich source imagery for the embroiderer, the goldsmith, and the scribe, while the substance of the volume could keep a clan of storytellers well fed for a lifetime. Linguists will enjoy her excursions into etymology; archers will speculate about the real wood of the arrow that slew Baldur.
Although writing here as a scholar rather than a storyteller, Sibley never drones or obfuscates. She simply tells it like it was in a refreshingly plain style.
Auntie Arwen's books are available at her spice shop, Booth XXX.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
Battlefield Reporter, Pennsic Independent
The rapier combatants of the Known World got melee season officially underway Saturday morning with the 10th annual Storming of La Rochelle.
About 200 rapier warriors from across the Known World assembled at the Pennsic fort on a perfect summer morning. These forces were split into those with orange tape (“The Dutch”) and those without.
Under the watchful eye of head marshal Uadhalrich von Sassmanchausen, the two forces were each given a chance to defend the fort with the defenders given one resurrection and the attackers having unlimited resurrection. Whichever side held out the longest would claim victory.
Rubber band guns were in full force during the melee and a petard was used to “blow the gates” by both squads.
The Dutch army defended the fort first and put up a determined wall of fire with its rubber band guns. The defending snipers on the battlements proved so effective that the attacking armies needed three attempts to place its petard.
Eventually, an earth-shattering kaboom blew the gates open, but the Dutch resistance inside proved stubborn. A kill pocket at the main gate, manned by forces from Atlantia, Pentamere and the Southern Watch, held the attacking forces at bay for more than 10 minutes, despite repeated charges from Brendoken, Wednesday Company and the Thieves of Hearts.
Meanwhile, defenders from the East and attackers from Æthelmearc battled over the western gate ferociously.
It took heavy fighting, but the attackers finally overwhelmed the Dutch. The Dutch army held out for 13:51.
After the two armies changed sides, the Dutch threw everything they had at the main gate – including one fighter who spider-crawled his way under a shield wall to set the petard.
With a second earth-shattering kaboom achieved, the Dutch army began an efficient assault on their foes, with Midrealm and Atlantian fighters keeping constant pressure on the kill pocket.
Within minutes the kill pocket was perforated, and Dutch forces spread out to sweep the fort. Last stands were made by forces from Brendoken in the two towers, but the Dutch forces cleared the fort in 8:50, claiming the win.
A third battle ensued with Warders, White Scarves and members of other top rapier orders taking on the remaining rapier fighters.
Despite being outnumbered by what appeared to a 5-to-1 ratio, the warders used careful placement and superior skill to hold off and then seize the battle.
The end came when the warders in the east tower broke out and encircled the forces assaulting the western tower. Wednesday Company was the last force to fall with Vindis the Sigtnygson being the last man to fall before the warders’ blades.
By Lord DonalBane of Blakmers
Battlefield Reporter, Pennsic Independent
Dwarves vs. Giants Tourney
Duke Cariadoc of the Bow hosted this annual fun tournament, pitting gentles 5-foot-6 and under (dwarves) against those 6-foot-3 and taller (giants). This year, the dwarves were not only short on stature, but also on numbers as seven giants competed against six dwarves.
Despite the brief defection of Duke Edmund of Hertford, the dwarves were overwhelmed 3-0 in melees. Numerous thrown insults led to single combats and much fun was had by all.
Second Generation Tournament
The Kingdom of Lochac hosted the inaugural Second Generation Tournament early Saturday afternoon. Six second-generation fighters took part in this round-robin affair, which was watched over by their parents and TRM Edmund and Lenore of Lochac.
In the finals, Vidarr Einarsson of the Midrealm scored two straight wins over Erik de Tyr to claim the title.
Things got sinister on the Pennsic battlefield Saturday as the third Left-Handed Tournament took place, sponsored by House Aedis Vesperis. A total of 16 gentles participated in a rotating round-robin tournament, including two right-handed fighters who switched hands for the afternoon.
One of those right-handers-gone-sinister was Duke Edmund of Hertford, who won 13 bouts to take the tournament title.
Tarl’s Little Polearm Tournament
This well-attended tournament, hosted by the Shire of Hunter’s Home, drew more than 50 gentles Saturday. All fighters fought in a bear-pit style tournament with polearms, which is the favored weapon of THL Tarl Shadowraven. Each fighter earned two points for a win and one point for a loss in the bear pits.
The tournament finished with its first repeat winner as Duke Maynard von dem Steine won the tournament with 124 points. Duke Maynard then bested Tarl 3-1 in a best-of-five bout fight to claim the overall title.
By Lady Mary of Montevale
Features Reporter, Pennsic Independent
Baroness Betha, an instructor at Viking Wire Weaving Day in Artisan’s Row, first got into the craft when a friend visited a reconstructed Viking village in Denmark, saw samples of wire weaving and picked her up a set of directions (in Danish). The directions were delivered with this accompanying remark, “Here, I think this is up your alley.”
Twenty years later…
Her Excellency has written a book on wire weaving (see her web page at ancientwire.com), teaches frequent classes at Pennsic, and was prepared on Saturday to spend all day teaching at Artisan’s Row because, in her own words, “Say ‘wire’ to me and I don’t stop.”
Archibald of Stoke-on-Trent (Æthelmearc) knew when he read about the Artisan’s Row that he had to come to the Viking Wire Weaving Day because he could “stay here all day until I get it right.” (His last attempt at wire weaving was at Pennsic about ten years ago.) He loves the format of the Artisan’s Row.
So did about a dozen other gentles, ranging in age from 9 to 63, as they worked with #2 pencils and 24-gauge copper wire (available at any craft store) in their initial attempts to wind the wire in a spiral around the pencil (a dowel could also be used) and then threading the wire through all the spirals to keep them connected. The trick is not to lose your place in the threading and not miss any of the spirals.
Sabine Eastwind (East), who’d never tried wire weaving before, admitted that while starting was a little tricky, once she got the idea, it was pretty easy…definitely fun!
After threading the wire through all the loops, you remove the piece from the pencil and pull it through a special draw plate to compress and stretch everything. As Archibald pointed out with a smile, “After that you won’t see your imperfections and joinings of wire.”
The draw plate can be made of wood or bone. The wooden one looks like a paddle with neat rows of drilled holes in successively smaller sizes. The more often the wire “chain” is drawn through a series of smaller holes, the more its appearance will change.
Period Pavilions™ for sale or rent, some on site for immediate delivery. New + used, plain + decorated, simple + elaborate. Custom pavilions- we create exactly what you want. Free color brochure + catalog. See our ad in the gatebook. Mediaeval Miscellanea Space 28.
Real Gold Thread - Kamibari was $40 now $30 a Skein Terra Incognita # 171.
Songs of Rosalind Jehanne vol 1 on CD! Featuring performances by Ken & LIsa Theriot, Efenwealt Wystle, John Lyttleton, Bryce de Byram & more! Camelot Treasures booth 30
Tailor w/sewing machine - mending garb while you wait N35 Dau meet @ barn Sat & Sun 12-6pm 412-874-4314
Weld, Woad, Madder, Cochineal, Brazilwood, Longwood-dyes to die for. Guild of Limners #26.
FOR SALE- Tentsmith 9x12 Marquee Slant wall w/fly-complete set up package; contact Sir William @ N31 Mountains Keep Camp to see tent-$645
“Pennsic for Dummies” by Claus the Toymaker - scurrilous, tongue-in-cheek fun, everything you need to know to complete your Pennsic experience.
Wolfram’s Wonderous Wares 134 Plunder Lane- Pouches, cloak clasps, diverse goodes, feast gear etc.
Yes! Pennsic does get chilly so we have cloaks & shoulder warmers for you. Space 28.
Benefit the Chirurgeons--buy an original Pennsic XXXIX T-shirt. $10. Available from Claus of Burzee, #26 Merchants Row.
Yes, there’s quality real cheesecloth at Dragon’s Magic #27.
Your Device/Arms/Picture on a Banner up to 3 ft square. Custom done. Select Kingdoms in stock. Visit Misty Tower in Space 28.
Yurt 16ft set up in Argent Co. N17 $1,500 obo 571-330-8390. Great space comfy and dry.
For Sale Vellum - opaline vellum (sheepskin) direct from England. Finest Quality sale price $20 per sheet. Lovely Dutch sheepskin parchment whole skins $125 can be cut smaller. The Guild of Limners #26, across from the barn.
Yurts 4 Sale! Many sizes. Contact Pente/Wookie. Camp Infinity E01 EASY TO SET UP! 919-360-0048. Possible Trade for Enclosed Trailer. Must Sell.
Bad Garb Old Maid card game- Yes we have ‘em!- from Claus the Toymaker (Who else?)
12 Step Meeting daily 4:00 p.m. E07 off Great Eastern Highway Denys the Decadent’s Camp AA NA OA SA all welcome.
A Day of Fiber-y Goodness: Spinning & Fiber Prep.: “Visit us on Artisans Row, and find out how flax and wool get transformed into those fine threads that make up the fabric of your garb.”
Battery charging available at Mystic Mail. Free for Internet Customers. SD memory cards for sale.
Drum making workshop hosts wanted, Drum & flute repairs Richspiritdrums.com Drums avlb. 254-652-7522
For Sale Good Gentles......How much have you spent on your armor? How much have you spent on your garb? How much have you spent on your children? This has been a public service announcement from Claus of Burzee Toymaker.
Intrigue, scandal + thwarted romance- the story develops as Pennsic progresses. Come see the diorama daily at Mediaeval Miscellanea, Space 28.
Knives sharpened, repairs, sheaths made. CLOAK & DAGGER #13.
Lost: Dragon, answers(?) to Sushi. Last seen munching pirates.
Natural Dyeing: “Come over to Artisans Row, and see how the plants around us can color our world in new and beautiful ways! Witness the brilliant colors as they emerge from our dyepots.”
See Auntie Arwen space 185 and ask if she is drinking WATER! <3 Fabric Dragon
SF author Michael Z. Williamson signing copies of his books. CLOAK & DAGGER #13.
Weaving in all forms: “Come weave with us on Artisans Row! Witness a warp-weighted loom in action. Play on an Oseberg loom, a tapestry loom or a 4-harness loom. Work with us to create an intricate web of thread.”
WANTED CHILD CARE FOR 3 GIRLS: 12, 10, 7 1/2 afternoons. If interested contact Jamie Blackrose Merch. # 143.
Lost & Found
4 inch amethyst crystal lost zero night. If found please return to House Vondraken Block E12. Ask for Aleksander or Tatiana. Reward offered by Aleksander.
Lost: Belt with rampant lion buckle, belt pouch, has drivers license and medallion inside. Any info please contact Moresca #140 or call 718-702-4342.
Agnes Daunce mka Nellie Miller 1938-2010. Hicjace + Agnessa, optimus quondam optimusque futurus.
Baroness Judith Enjoy the tea! Love Your Secret Pal
Beatrice of Hartshorn-dale Have a great war!
Remember To Always Activate Safely!
Sir Crispin Bucher to Ian - Your table is at By My Hand Designs #143 on Battle Rd.
Something Wrong? Blame Angus.
Taoist Tai Chi Society Members! Want to meet others? Stop by House Fallen Star N12 and ask for Alzbeta.
Wanted to Buy
Need center-grip round shield approx. 30’ with center cut out. Contact Kjyl at Gabriel’s Landing E17.