A History of the Shire of Amlesmore
Part 1 - Genesis
Begun in the reign of Their Majesties, Martino and Ariel, first of that name
Dedicated to the Officers and Populace of Amleth Moor, and to His Grace, Donngal Ericksson, duke of Wyvern Cliffe, count of Fitzroberts, and Knight of the Society of Creative Anachronism.
This History of the Shire of Amleth Moor is being set down fairly contemporaneously, in the hopes that memories which have already begun to get fuzzy can be preserved, and in the hopes that someone will want to read them years later, when our efforts have proven themselves worthy of the duration of time. The record here is begun on August 5th, 2002, being the 37th year of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. At the time of this writing (at least its beginning), Amleth Moor is not yet a "Shire" in the official sense, but I have decided to count as its beginning the time that it became something more than just an idea.
Footnotes in the document include the mundane names of places and people. Where individuals appear in the text, they are referred to by the rank they held and the name they were using at the time of the writing. Due to the fact that SCA status and names can change rather quickly, the exact social position and their subsequent written address may change during and throughout this history. Attempts have been made to make a note of the change at the first occurrence, but some may be missed.
I, the author, am Mark C. Abbott, known in the Society as lord Eric St. Leger, and formerly known as lord Eric Falconsbane, (before the national emblem of Calontir became the falcon). I joined the SCA in 1978, (A.S. XIII), and have taken long, intermittent leaves of absence.
Year OneIn the Beginning
It began in the summer of 2002 (A.S. XXXVII), during the reign of Martino I and Ariel, his Queen. It took three members to "start" a shire in the SCA. At least that was what could be gleaned from the various authorities on how such a thing was done. The laws of the SCA are arcane at best and conflicting at worst. There are many stages and hoops to jump through when starting a new local chapter. Not all of them are clear, and many have been set up by the different offices within the SCA in such a manner as they conflict with each other's requirements.
I believe that I can rightly lay claim to the idea of starting a shire in Hallsville, Missouri. I had toyed with the idea of coming back into the SCA as herald for Standing Stones. The position was listed as vacant right as I became active again after a long absence. Unfortunately, lady Arian Rose of Nairn had accepted the post just before I applied. Said occurrence may not have been so unfortunate though, as it is unlikely that the thought of a Hallsville group would have crossed my mind had I settled in to Stones yet again.
At any rate, I first spoke with my wife, lady Katrine Thorroffsdottir (a.k.a. lady Elizabeth de Clare du Beaumont) who was supportive, if cautious. I then ran the idea past His Grace, the duke Donngal and some of the others present during an informal "after the crown" party at the home of the aforesaid duke and Her Grace, duchess Aislin. Subsequently, I started kicking the idea around the local D&D Friday night group. Support materialized.
Most of the founding folks had some sort of roots in Standing Stones at the beginning of our SCA careers, and we wanted to continue that connection, or at least memorialize it. Lord Amleth MacAuleth was the founder of Standing Stones, and its first seneschal. He was also an important friend to many of us for various reasons I suggested the name Amleth Moor. It was approved by the lot of us and we pressed on.
Originally, lady Katrine (at right) was to be the exchequer, however, a Calontir law forbade the treasurer and the seneschal from residing in the same household. Mistress Rigela Alicia la Placida, then kingdom seneschal, informed us of this law at Lilies War 16, A.S. XXXVII. This Lilies was also the event where we first got the go ahead from Mistress Rigela to start reporting as a "contact group". As I was to be seneschal, this presented us with our first problem. It was soon resolved, by the gracious acquiescence of Constanza von Sievershausen to be exchequer. Our officer slate reported in July 2002. The first roster was as follows:
Lord Eric St. Leger - Seneschal
Lord Hendrick von Sievershausen, Companion of the Iren-Fyrd, - Pursuivant
Lady Katrine Thorroffsdottir - Minister of Arts and Science
Constanza von Sievershausen - Exchequer
Richard Dale - Knights Marshal
There was no actual Treasury report, as we were not allowed yet under SCA law to have a treasury! Also present as members of the initial populace were:
Of historical significance at this time: lady Katrine, who had been a fighter in days of yore, re-authorized at the above mentioned 16th Lilies War. She thus became the first evidence on paper of the existence, or at least attempt at existence, of the shire of Amleth Moor. She listed the shire as her "home group" on the authorization form, and it was forwarded to the Earl Marshal's office by Richard Dale.
Meetings at this time were rather unofficial. Most everyone involved appeared at Friday night D&D at the author's house, and we started to take care of some of the initial business then.
We forged ahead and came up with a large number of suggestions for a device. On Friday, July 26, 2002, a series of votes were taken and two devices were selected, one as a "first choice" as well as a back-up to send to the Kingdom college of Heralds. By consensus, the colors were to be crimson and gold. The blazons were:
1st choice: Quarterly, Gules and Or. A spear point palewise surrounded by a wreath of laurel all counterchanged.
2nd choice: ?
The choice of a spear point was another reference to Amleth MacAuleth. Lord Hendrick suggested the idea, pointing out that "MacAuleth" meant "son of Olaf", and "Olaf" meant "spear maker." The colors were chosen by consensus. The entire populace was present except for lord Ruben.
The following week, lord Ruben's signature was attached to our petition to the college, as well as that belonging to our newest member of the populace; Roderick. Another of Standing Stones' old members was beginning to express some interest, and while we considered him a part of the populace, we decided to lay low with that idea so as not to step on any (more) toes during our pre-natal tenure. However, for all intents and purposes, Hroar Redarm was one of us at this point in time as well.
Mention should be made of the important donation to the shire armory during this period. Master Tristram of Lindesfarne and Her Excellency, baroness Ursula, donated a large number of armor pieces to be used and/or completed in outfitting fighters. Getting enough armor to make fighter practices worthwhile is a difficult hurdle to overcome. The process of building up a loaner inventory is laboriously slow. Master Tristram and Her Excellency greatly sped things along for us. Several bascinet shells, various pieces of leg harness as well as other miscellaneous bits were loaded up and deposited in the shire armory (which at this point was located in the garage of the author). Master Tristram and baroness Ursula also allowed us to copy their extensive armor pattern library, which proved immensely useful. Without their help, gathering and experimenting with patterns would have taken a very long time.
In August of the founding year, members of the shire went off to Tribal Revelries. Lady Katrine, Richard Dale, Bartholomew, and the author made the journey. We also added a new populace member and she came along as well to her first event. This young lady was Anna.
The First Fighter Practice
The first real bona-fide fighter practice took place in Hallsville, Missouri at Tribble Park on August 29, 2002.
The Shire of Standing Stones as well as Wyvern Cliffe gave us great support and made a true practice possible. In attendance were the three fighters of Amleth Moor, namely lady Katrine, Richard Dale, and the author. A new fellow, who had authorized at War College previously, appeared as well. This fighter was known as Lucas. Living in the area, he became the newest member of Amleth Moor. Many members of our neighboring groups attended, among whom were lord Snorri, lord Aylwin, lady Alienor, and lord Arthur. Master Tristram also made an appearance in a non-combative, wise-hipster-dispenser-of-advice, sort of role.
The next event was the Valor Tourney in the barony of Vatavia. Lady Katrine and the author attended. Lady Katrine was not yet authorized in great sword or bastard sword, and was therefore unable to compete. The author fought in the tourney but was soundly thrashed twice after an initial victory in the first round. Lord Duncan Mac Torquill of Wyvern Cliffe was kind enough to haul us to the event.
At the end of August we were able to help out our northern parents and several of us attended Standing Stone's Landsknecht event to work in the kitchen, haul things about and run some errands. Though our help was minimal with the event, it was nice to do something in return for the support shown by Stones to our group. Just previous to this event we added a new member, John, who was also looking to put together armor and fight, thus swelling the ranks of the Amleth Moor army to five, with three actually authorized!
Amleth Moor moved along slowly into the Holiday Season. In November some of us attended the Toys for Tots tournament sponsored by Wyvern Cliffe (but held in Ashland). None of our fighters competed in the actual tournament but rather lounged about and enjoyed the event. Bartholomew Brightmere was ennobled by Their Majesties, king Chrystofer III and queen Margarette, receiving an Award of Arms for his services to the kingdom and his shire. This was the first award to be given to a member of the shire of Amleth Moor. Shortly afterward at the same court, the author was created a companion of the Order of the Leather Mallet for armoring.
We Get Cash
As alluded to previously, Calontir has, or had at this time, a curious and pain-in-the-ass law that forbids a contact group from having a bank account. This was another challenge along or path to Shiredom. We needed to be active to get recognized, but we needed some cash to get active. Swooping to our defense yet again was our "Mother Shire" Standing Stones. Amleth Moor was approached by Stones, specifically by lady Seonaid inghean Domnhaill, to run the Inn at Queen's Prize, scheduled to take place in Stones on January 11, A.S. XXXVIII.
Lady Katrine scoured the grocery stores in search of the cheapest food for the best value and planned a menu. Several pledges of assistance were either wrung out of or freely given by members of our populace. Also, a shire banner was completed a week before by the author, with assistance from lady Katrine, to aid in the propaganda effort and lord Snorri offered some loaner garb to clad some of our members (which was, of course, a great blessing as certainly no one wanted to see them unclothed. The names of the specific individuals have been left out of this writing to protect the author. . .).
The Inn was an unmitigated success. Many compliments were received and we actually made a profit. After paying for the food and purchasing coolers, pots and various other pieces of equipment, the group still came out around $200 in the black. Lady Katrine, Anna, lord Bartholomew, lord Ruben, lord Hendrick, Richard, Hroar, and the author all showed up to work. Etienne duBois and Conradus also were there. See the shire photo images/gallery.
Perhaps the brightest event at Queen's Prize was the recognition of another of our number. Lady Katrine was created a companion of the Order of the Leather Mallet by His Majesty king Chrystofer III and queen Margarette. With our success at this event behind us, some of us looked forward to slacking at the upcoming Crown Tourney.
The New Prince and Princess and the Rest of Winter
Crown Tourney in this year was fought on January 18, in the barony of Three Rivers. Several of us were present, including our newest member, Conradus. Their Majesties were blessed with heroic heirs, count Valens of Flatrock and duchess Susannah Griffon. Shortly after our return from Crown, we received the first complaints from the heralds regarding our group name. A response/appeal was fired off and we awaited further comments from the college of heralds. The response was basically "do more research . . . prove it." So we went back to the books.
Preparations now began in earnest for Lilies this next summer. We also started to discuss a more regular schedule, and some recruiting in earnest. Lilies war would be our "first birthday," so to speak, and we wanted to be ready to petition for incipient status. Lady Katrine dug into the garb so that we all would look better and some more equipment got purchased for the armory. Also during this time the author was accepted as a member of the SCA legal committee. Also around the same time, the author began to do some work as an heraldic commentator.
After some discussion regarding fighter practice, it was decided that we would try and do at least two a month, on Saturdays when there was no event close at hand. The practices in the local park were beginning to attract attention, and we thought that we needed to keep up that most visible of SCA activities.
Coronation of Valens and Susannah and their Gracious Reign
Shire members were off to the coronation of king Valens V in the shire of Oakheart. Lady Katrine, lord Bartholomew, Richard Dale, Anna, and the author made the trip as well a new young gentleman expressing an interest in the SCA, mundanely named Sinjun.
Year two started out with a flurry of activity. June and Lilies War 17 were on us again and a year had passed since the first steps towards shiredom had been taken. The author represented Amleth Moor in the field at Lilies. At Raid or Trade in Coeur D'Ennui, we were informed that Mistress Alina, then kingdom seneschal, would be moving our group from Contact status, to Incipient Shire if that was still the will of our populace. The author promised Mistress Alina a poll of Amleth Moor and sent in the same with the next quarterly report. The membership unanimously requested incipient status.
Shortly thereafter, Ulliam Dunshea, Temair of Mists Rising, and their children became "official" members of our unofficial group. On June 26, 2003, Temair accepted the office of chatelaine, the first such officer for Amleth Moor and Ulliam agreed to serve as deputy seneschal.
Also on this date, lord Bartholomew agreed to take on the Minister of Children position and jumped into it with a fervor. The next day lord Bartholomew went out and purchased material for the new "boffer" rules, allowing youth combat. He notified several of the children around the Moor as well as Stones and began organizing local interest. Boffer fighting at this time was a brand new concept in Calontir and lord Bartholomew had been involved on the ground floor.
August in the kingdom tends to be fairly uneventful. That is, unless you are planning on going to Pennsic War. Against all the arguments of reason, lady Katrine and the author decided to do that very thing. We sent out a general announcement that we would be going and anyone else who lacked judgment was invited to make the 15 hour road trip with us. Unfortunately, due to a ridiculous rule of Pennsic, Anna and lord Bartholomew were unable to attend.
Pennsic went well and we returned to Calontir. We made quite the large showing at Tribal Revelries in the shire of Lost Forest. Nine of us from the shire attended. Ulliam authorized at that event. Also authorizing was Ulf Proudhammer, an old SCA member that had moved back into the area and started activity again. The army of the Moor swelled to a thunderous horde of five!
We Become Less Unofficial and Jump Through an Important Hoop
With late August came the September Mews and we are first listed as an Incipient Shire. Everyone drew long breaths of relief followed by the ugly realization that we would now have to work even harder for full group status. The shirefolk responded with a large contingent headed off to Valor Tourney in the Barony of Vatavia. The rain was the victor of the tourney.
It was raining on Friday night when we got there and rained the rest of Saturday, right up until they cancelled the event. Lord Hendrick and lord Robert made a get away earlier on showing more sense than the rest of us. Many waited until the event itself was cancelled and barely got out in time. The highway leading back to Emporia was washed out and the members of one (not SCA) family were killed when their vehicle was swept off the road. Several SCA folk had to turn back, because highways were closed in all directions. It was fairly horrific.
The reign of Valens V ended with the coronation of king JoeAngus II and his queen Phaedra. Lord Bartholomew and Anna represented Amleth Moor at the event. Along with the new monarchy, the shire set forth into new territory as well. Temair of Mists Rising arranged for us to do a demo in Sturgeon, Missouri. This was to be our first real exposure to people in our area that had no idea what the SCA was about. The demo was scheduled during Sturgeon's annual "Fall Festival" at that town's fairgrounds. Great effort was assembled and various folk from outside the shire made plans to attend and help out. Then it rained...a lot... In a repeat of Valor Tourney (but thankfully without the tragedy of that weekend), the event in Sturgeon was cancelled and the demo with it. At least it had been a great "dress rehearsal".
was the next event, more correctly the "Martyrdom of Saint Andrixos".
Undeterred by the prospects of deluge, many flood surviving shire members
pressed on and made an appearance. Lady Katrine entered the arts and
sciences contest with a glorious icon of Saint Andrixos which won the
competition. Additionally, our shire and the kingdom was graced with
another nobleman. Richard Dale was elevated to "lord Richard", by an
award of arms for his service to the marshallate [see photos in the
images/gallery]. Specifically for his
service to Amleth Moor as Knights Marshal. Another appearance was made in
court by the author, who received the Order of the Torse. The shire made
a strong showing at the event with about a dozen of us there. We added a
new gentleman to our ranks as well as it was the first event for Josh. The next event attended by some of our folk was RUSH.
Lady Katrine made the trip with Temair, Anna Moore and it was the
introductory event for the newest shire member, Amber Koppi. This event was
followed quickly by Crown Tournament in the Shire of Ivory Keep where Sir Siridean MacLachlan and
Countess Sile O'Kyan were proven to be Crown Prince and Princess. Also at this event the author accepted a post with the
College of Heralds as Clerk of the Precedence. Further addition was made
to our Shire during this time, with two folks who, as it turned out, lived
a bit closer to us than Standing Stones and decided to announce themselves
as members of our populace. The Shire was more than happy to welcome the
Honorable Lord Snorri Bjornsson and his good wife Lady Alanora O'Keefe.
Lord Snorri had run War College for Stones in previous years and
volunteered to do so for us.
The next event attended by some of our folk was RUSH. Lady Katrine made the trip with Temair, Anna Moore and it was the introductory event for the newest shire member, Amber Koppi. This event was followed quickly by Crown Tournament in the Shire of Ivory Keep where Sir Siridean MacLachlan and Countess Sile O'Kyan were proven to be Crown Prince and Princess. Also at this event the author accepted a post with the College of Heralds as Clerk of the Precedence. Further addition was made to our Shire during this time, with two folks who, as it turned out, lived a bit closer to us than Standing Stones and decided to announce themselves as members of our populace. The Shire was more than happy to welcome the Honorable Lord Snorri Bjornsson and his good wife Lady Alanora O'Keefe. Lord Snorri had run War College for Stones in previous years and volunteered to do so for us.
We Continue to Develop
Toys for Tots tourney was attended by several of us in November. The tourney was the largest in Calontir history, with 90 fighters in the list. Preceding the tourney, lord Richard Dale authorized with sword and shield. Later at the close of the event, Their Majesties Joe Angus II and Queen Phaedra elevated Temair of Mists Rising and Ulliam Dunshea with awards of arms. Around this time a few of our folk developed a bit more into the SCA by choosing names. "Dirk", and Deirdre Dunshea. , Thomas of Blackheath.
The rest of the winter passed relatively uneventfully. Winter War Maneuvers was the next event seeing many Moorons. The event was usually held in the barony of Mag Mor, but this year a "one time exception" was occurring and it was being held much closer, in the shire of Spinning Winds. The army of the Moor increased in size as lord Bartholomew authorized at this event. Actually, this noble authorized twice. In the first fight our intrepid lord Bart fought Master Pavel Josevitch, and met expectations. The problem came in trying to turn in the paperwork. Bartholomew was under the age of 16, which meant that the Earl Marshal, or his/her deputy must be present at his authorization and actually witness the same. Sir Tarl Wintersson, deputy Earl Marshal, was at the event but had not witnessed the authorization. So, round two took place, but proved no issue as young lord Bartholomew authorized again.
The Great Calontir Land Grab
And lo it came to pass that the powers that be sent forth messengers across the land to know the length and breadth of their realm. The Great Calontir Land Grab was on. The honorable lord Martinos Draco Byzantios was charged to determine all the areas claimed by the shires, colleges, baronies and provinces of the kingdom, mapping out the borders by ZIP codes. After much scribbling, reverse ZIP code look-ups and map perusal, we came to determine what was thought to be a reasonable set of boundaries for our incipient group. Some of the ZIP codes we claimed (many) were already set down as Standing Stones territory, so the author and the then seneschal lord Aylwin MacDonal (now Aylwin Ruthwell), entered into negotiations and the disputes were quickly resolved. The result was that our new fledgling now had official borders, to wit: the ZIP codes 63352, 65282, 65236, 65239, 65240, 65243, 65244, 65246, 65247, 65255, 65257, 65258, 65259, 65260, 65261, 65263, 65264, 65265, 65270, 65275, 65278, 65280, 65281, 65282, 65283, 65284, 65285. (Better shown as the map below)
Amleth Moor is in red. The other boundaries are the shires of Standing Stones, in brown, and Wyvern Cliffe in blue, The Stronghold of Lost Forrest in yellow, College of Bellewode in orange, and the shire of Ivory Keep in pink. The grey areas are those lands that were unclaimed at this time by any particular group, but still the property of their Majesties and part of the kingdom of Calontir.
Estrella War XX
With February of 2004 came the call to arms to the 20th annual Estrella War, held in the Barony of SunDragon, Kingdom of Atenveldt. Amleth Moor answered with a fairly impressive contingent for our size. Lady Katrine, lords Bartholomew, Ulliam, and Richard, as well as Ulf Proudhammer and the author marched with the Calontir host. The fighting was as lady Katrine had told us it would be....fierce. Lord Bartholomew distinguished himself in his first war, receiving a token of honor from lord Eadric Huntington, the captain of the Iren-Fyrd. On the second day of battle the author was created a member of the Iren-Fyrd on the field. Lord Ulliam got himself a rather ugly injury and, despite his protests, was disallowed on the field for the remainder of the war. What this fierce lord did do with his time while the army was on the field...has been and is a matter of conjecture and speculation....
The annual Chieftains event followed and with it lord Bartholomew's first tournament. Actually it was that worthy's first tournaments, as he fought in the "Never Won a Tourney" Tourney as well as the traditional Mace Tourney. Interestingly enough, though our fine lad won his second fight in the Never Won, the list table recorded it wrong and his opponent advanced as he was passed.
Next for the group was the coronation of their Royal Majesties Siridean and Sile. Lord Ulliam authorized with greatsword at the event and we began hatching plans for the journey to Gulf Wars. Lady Katrine negotiated a price for a van and the roster began to form. Their Royal Majesties received the Crowns in a moving ceremony, followed by feast and then much...much drinking at the home of duke Garick von Kopke. Soon afterwards came the call to Gulf Wars and, unfortunately, this would be the first war since the inception of the shire that the Moor was not represented. From all accounts it was a glorious thing, but due to a series of unexpected events, none of our fighters were able to attend.
Having secured the throne, their Majesties Siridean and Sile set a tournament to secure themselves heirs. Crown tournament took place at their Majesty's command in their Barony of Coeur D'Ennui. The author became the first Mooron to fight in a crown tournament. As a direct result, the author achieved the honor of being the first of our group to be summarily thrashed at such an event.
Another original event occurred that day, as lady Katrine was the first of the Mooron to be fought for at a crown tourney. The author fought for the her ladyship Caillin MacKenzie. Lady Katrine was championed by Master Tristram of Lindesfarne. Fortunately for the honor and glory of our fair kingdom, no Mooron was destined to sit on the Falcon Throne that day. The noble duke Garick von Kopke and his lady wife viscountess Yasamin Al-Hadiyya won the day.
Our First Event and the Summer Season
War College came to the Moor. This event had usually been Standing Stone's sponsored and they, as we were still an incipient shire, were still technically the sponsors this year, though it was put on by our shire and held in Tribble Park (our fighter practice field).
Despite some minor rain, the day went splendidly. There was an immense amount of fighting, the food was excellent and it seemed that everyone enjoyed themselves greatly. Traditionally, War College was just a day event, but many folks were convinced to stay afterwards at a large bon-fire and post revel at the author's house. A rain storm late that night did not affect the merriment, but it did make it interesting removing folks' cars from the lawn the next day.
Invaluable in pulling off this event was the assistance of some brand new shire members, lady Katherine Blacklea, and her children Michael and Lucas. Others of note included both Ulf and lord Robert duBois, both tireless at the grill, as well as lady Alanora who along with lady Katrine organized all the food.
Later that evening at court, Anna Moore was elevated into the nobility by an award of arms from King Siridean. Lady Anna was not alone, however, as her elevation was quickly followed by another such award, this time to Ulf Proudhammer.
Swathed in the Glory of a successful first event, several of us then made the trip to an Arthurian Round table event in Forgotten Sea later that month. The author played Uriens and that team was graced with lords Richard and Bartholomew, as well as lady Katrine and the mighty huscarl Duncan Fathmbjorn MacPherson. Returning from this event half-drowned, tick- and spider-bitten and completely exhausted, we prepared for the rest of summer and the third year of the Moor.
The shire returned to Lilies War (the 18th), marking the beginning of our third year. Several of us made the journey. Lords Bartholomew, Richard, Ulliam, Robert, Hendrick and the author made the trip. Lady Katherine Blacklea undertook the "camp mom" position, and lady Katrine joined the army on the field as well. Lady Anna Moore, Deirdre, Dirk, Lucas, and Michael, the gentle Constantia and fair Bridget and the lady Temair all labored as waterbearers.
All served well at Lilies and generally had a good time. The weather certainly could have been better, as the first evening resulted in almost every tent in our encampment being blown down. Fortunate for us, the tent of his lordship Duncan Fathmbjorn MacPherson and lady Seonaid stood proof against the rather forceful wind and we all found some safety therein.
The rains continued to grace us with their presence almost every single evening and it made for a very wet event (something we were beginning to get used to...). Lord Robert's mead help keep up everyone's spirits, however, and we pressed on through the war. At the end of the conflict in the final court, lady Katrine was further honored by the crown by being received into the Order of the Torse.
While all the shire folk acquitted themselves well, there were some notable achievements at the war. One of these was accomplished by one of our younger fighters. Lord Bartholomew had only been authorized six months when he entered a number of list fields at the war. In the "Never Won a Tourney" tourney, lord Bart made the semi-finals. Shortly thereafter, he made the semi-finals again in an unbelted novice tournament, and came in second at the Fyrd-Invitational tournament the following day. Lord Bartholomew's impressive martial exploits did not go without notice. His Majesty Felix, Dragon King of the Middle, commented on our lad's abilities to the king of Calontir. Additionally, young Bart was awarded a fine pair of elbow cops for his chivalric deeds at the judgment of the aforesaid foreign king.
The ladies Katrine and Katherine Blacklea also did the shire proud. There was a cooking competition based on the premise that the competitors were residents of a besieged fortress. Minimal ingredients and time to prepare a feast that would impress the enemy commander was the challenge. The ingredients to be used were a secret until the clock started ticking at the competition. The author pitched into help and the shire team grew as Michael, his sister Erin of Grimfells, and lord Richard also joined in. Further, His Grace the duke Donngal, lent culinary expertise, manpower and an excellent set of heraldic feast-ware to the effort. The entire feast was carried to the judges on a period table top. None of our folk had ever entered into a cooking competition before, of any kind, and we took second, narrowly edged out by the winning team.
Then came the summer interlude, where most of the shire kept up with practices and projects, but not much event attendance. Our local activity did spur some interest among locals, however, and young Daumantas became a member of the Moor. Also, lady Temair organized a demo in Centralia, Missouri, which aroused some interest as well. Several of the Centralia folk came, as well as a reporter for that town's weekly paper, asking questions about the Society in general. Shortly after the demo, the author was contacted by a number of persons, expressing interest in SCA and asking about the next meeting of the shire. It was during this time that lord Freygeirr and Rowan joined our ranks. The demo also introduced us to Bob and Kim Brummel.
The Great Pennsic War
King Siridean called forth the muster of Calontir to fight alongside the Dragon Throne at Pennsic XXXIII. The war was a glorious affair. Lord Bartholomew and lady Katrine attended, as well as the author. Though an accomplished fighter, the conventions of Pennsic did not allow Bart to take the field as a combatant. Even so, lord Bartholomew bore water, weapons and gear to the field every day and every battle throughout the war.
Lady Katrine also won additional honor for herself and the shire. During our defense of the fortress on Mount Eislinn, Katrine was in the secondary ranks waiting to move up to the front with a scutum. After some time, the front line began to give under the rather merciless onslaught of the Tuchuck tribes, and Katrine was ordered in to fill a gap in the shield wall. Lady Katrine made here way across the wall, defending the line on her knees with the scutum held in front of the other fighters. First Mistress Rhianwen fell, and Katrine then crawled over to keep the king and others from being overrun. When the last of the defenders died, she made it back to the secondary line and fought there until the last of the Calontiri defenders had fallen. When, at last, Katrine herself was brought down, she was greeted by a great shout from the casualties on the side lines, yelling "Katrine...Katrine!". At the end of the battle, king Siridean called lady Katrine forth and told her that it was an honor to follow her into battle. He then created her a companion of the Order of the Sword of Calontir, a rare and much coveted decoration.
Though only three of the Moor had made the journey to Pennsic, five returned. We were all pleased to be introduced to the lady Tanwen ferch Gruffydd, who had just moved into our corner of the kingdom. Lady Tanwen and her young daughter Rachael ferch Tanwen and Ancelin became the 36th and 37th members of Amleth Moor. Young Rachael was also recognized by the crown, receiving the Queen's Chalice from our gracious monarch queen Sile.
A slew of events followed the return from the east. First, what was becoming a tradition with the Moor, we journeyed back to the annual Tribal Revelries. Several of our host picked up new authorizations there. This was swiftly followed by the great tournament of Valor in Vatavia and the coronation of His Grace, the duke Garick and Her Excellency, the viscountess Yasamin.
The Reign of Garick and Yasamin
As Yasamin had been a princess of Northshield, her call had gone out at Lilies War when she was princess, and was renewed at her coronation as our queen - namely to follow her back to Northshield to fight her former people at Armorgeddon. Unfortunately, Siridean had, in the distant past, won the guardianship of a small shire in the kingdom of Ansteorra. This shire had a long tradition that the guardian should return and hand over his mantle to the next person who would win the tournament. Siridean had already done this, with the Calontir huscarl Nazir Al-Tawil taking his place the following year. As two Calontiri had, in succession, sat as guardian, there was much debate and some boasting that we should do it again.
Not only was the guardianship up for grabs - but several other championships were created annually at this event as well. Chess, bardic, fencing, thrown weapons, arts and archery were also trophies to be won. Siridean, with the permission of their new Royal Majesties, asked all that could not go to the field of Armorgeddon to accompany him south to the shire of Mooneshadowe.
Siridean's host pulled off a rather stunning success, with His Grace, the duke JoeAngus winning the Guardianship. This was not the only victory, since Calontir took all of the other events as well, with the exception of archery, which we lost by one single point.
The Tournament of St. Dennis
Standing Stones held another one of their "high persona" events on October 9, 2004. This was the Grand Pas du Saint Denis, a 14th century pas d'armes. The tourney was a great success and our shire was enlisted by Stones to run another one of our Inns, much to the benefit of our coffers. This Inn was dubbed the "Inn of the Savory Mooron". Now with two Inns under our belt, much discussion was had about a permanent name for an Inn, and perhaps something a little more period and medieval sounding than our last choices. Several possibilities were discussed, but finally the suggestion of lady Katherine Blacklea emerged as the clear favorite. Thus, "Prince Amleth Inn" was born. Lady Constantia von Sievershausen designed a remarkable badge for the Inn and we all looked forward to seeing it displayed at the next opportunity.
The St. Dennis event also saw the numbers of our authorized fighter ranks grow. Ramona, though only 16, authorized in the presence of the Earl Marshal and her mother, Sarah, as required by kingdom law. She fought her authorization rounds with the illustrious person of His Grace, the duke Eringlen. Also authorizing at this event was Daumantas.
Viva La Revolution!!
The time had come for change. A local event and celebration was planned where the author and some of the other shire officers would step down from their duties and the reigns of shire administration would pass to others. The invitations to the party went out and the truckloads of bon-fire wood started rolling in as Amleth Moor prepared for what we hoped would be an ongoing tradition – the Giant Fire and Change of Command Party.
One of the day's festivities requires some background. As recorded here, at the previous Lilies War, lady Katrine had been elevated to the order of the Torse. In her letters of appointment, the crown gave her the right to keep 10 pigs on their booklands of the Moor. Almost immediately after the reading, one of the persons present at court, the young lady Nania, daughter of duke Eringlen, turned and pointed to some of us denizens of Amleth Moor and began counting off 1, 2 and so forth... Rather than being offended by young Nania's jest, the Moorons (has anyone ever need more proof of the justice of this appellation) took it to heart and started arguing over who should be "First Pig". That very day it was decided that during the change of command party there should be a tournament to determine precedence. The Order of the Pig was born and its coveted ranks limited to but 10 Companions of the Order of the Pig (COPs).
This resulted in the boffer tourney at the party to select the members and their status within this coveted Order. Even foreign folk from outside the shire showed to the contest. The great and the mean fought valiantly as the likes of duke Donngal battered at the likes of 12 year old Michael. In the end, one pig emerged supreme as First Among Swine. This was her ladyship Caillin MacKenzie. The rest of the pigs, in order were: Benjamin, lady Katherine Blacklea, Bridget Duncan, Master Tristram of Lindesfarne, His Grace duke Donngal Eriksson, lord Ulf Proudhammer, HL Snorri Bjornsson, lord Roibeard mac Auleth and lord Richard Dale.
The officer changes were made. Lord Richard stepped down as Marshal, to be succeeded by lord Ulliam Dunshea. Lady Temair and lord Bartholomew resigned as Chatelaine and Minister of Children, respectively. The new holder of the Chatelaine's office became lady Katherine and Ramona took over the Minister of Children's duties. The author addressed the officers of the shire, asking them ceremoniously their opinion of the chosen successor to the seneschalate, and invited the populace to speak their concerns, if any, as well. Finally, the village idiot, Ulf Proudhammer was consulted in his official capacity. Hearing nothing but affirmation, the author transferred the golden key of the seneschal's office to lord Richard who accepted, becoming the second seneschal of Amleth Moor.
As usual, the bonfire at the party was a spectacular sight, made even more so by the ceremony of its lighting. Bridget Duncan, our shire archery champion, ignited the fire with a flaming arrow loosed from her bow. This garnered the applause and satisfaction of the gathered assembly. Amleth Moor looked forward the new challenges ahead.
The time for change had not only overtaken Amleth Moor, but was gaining fast on the rest of the kingdom. Their Royal Majesties king Garick and queen Yasamin held Their Crown Tournament in Their barony of Forgotten Sea on November 6, 2004. The list was, as usual, a formidable one. As in the last Crown Tourney, Master Tristram of Lindesfarne asked lady Katrine as well as the author, if he might have the honor of fighting for this lady. As with the last time this request was made, it was lady Katrine's wish that it should be so and the author was more than honored to have such a noble fellow fight for my lady wife.
Singularly unlike the previous tournament of its kind, this time Master Tristram emerged victorious on the field and suddenly a Mooron and Derelict House member was among the Royal line of the kingdom. At the end of the day, all of us were thrilled to hail our friends as Their Royal Highnesses, the prince Tristram and princess Katrine, Crown Prince and Princess of Calontir and Heirs to the Falcon Throne.
The Winter of A.S. XXXIX
With a shire member now in line for the throne, Amleth Moor prepared for a busy winter. The first appearance of our new Prince and Princess was at the Caravans event in Ivory Keep. The event went well and Their Highnesses were able to ease into Their new role without too much trouble. Her ladyship Seonaid began serving as Chamberlain for the reign, with the other officers of the Royal Household invested in the person of Her Ladyship Caillin MacKenzie as Marshal of the Household and the author as Herald. Also, lady Katherine Blacklea became the Minister of Arts & Science as Her Highness resigned from that position and since the Chatelaine's position was now unfilled, lord Ulf Proudhammer stepped up and became the new shire Castellan.
Caravans was then quickly followed by a trip to the wilds of the kingdom of Northshield, where Their Highnesses and the retinue were received very graciously. Prince Tristram and Princess Katrine bestowed small gifts upon the Northshield Royals, including medieval buttons cast by lord Aylwin Ruthwell and a Saxon poem created and read by the Prince Himself, honoring the baroness of Caer Anterth Mawr, the barony where the event was held. The author also presented a sonnet in honor of Northshield's recent ascendancy to kingdom status.
Returning to Calontir saw the annual return of the holiday events of Toys for Tots tournament and the Kris Kinder Market. Both events kept everyone fairly busy. At Toys for Tots, several of the Moor were recognized by king Garick and queen Yasamin. Lord Richard Dale and lord Hendrick von Sievershausen were both elevated into the Order of the Torse. Deirdre Dunshea and Constantia von Sievershausen were ennobled by their Majesties with awards of arms. Additionally, young Michael of Amleth Moor became the second of our shire to receive the award of the Queen's Chalice. Kris Kinder Market was also the cause of some celebration, as the author was confirmed as Gold Falcon Principal Herald of Arms. With the author's promotion in the college of arms, lord Roibeard mac Auleth was appointed as the new kingdom Clerk of the Precedence. It was also at this event that, encouraged by the seneschalate of the kingdom to do so, lord Richard presented Amleth Moor's petition to become a full and official shire. The year of A.S. XXXIX (2004 in the mundane calendar) had been an eventful one indeed. The shire looked forward to what the next year and seasons of events would bring, especially in light of our petition for official status.
As we proceeded into 2005 (still A.S. XXXIX for the time being), it appeared that things were not quite ready to slow down. Two factors caused the shire folk to continue scurrying around at a rather desperate pace. One of these was just the amount of time and energy it was taking to get our new princess to the numerous events around the kingdom. The other issue was a great opportunity for fundraising.
The local science fiction fan group had been working sporting events at the University of Missouri for some time. The group used the funds generated from the effort to sponsor a local Sci-Fi convention, Konniption, on an annual basis. For various reasons, they had run short of people and graciously offered the shire a split of the profits if we could help supply people to work. This was a great opportunity, especially for a shire that was low on funds and just starting out. However, with so many of our people now involved in the new royal retinue, it posed some challenges as well.
Some very, very dedicated folks made it work and the shire was very well funded because of their efforts. Though several people put forth more than their fair share of effort, the shire's new seneschal, lord Richard Dale, was notable among them, working almost every game and sacrificing many event weekends.
Meanwhile the winter events moved on through War Maneuvers, Queen's Prize Tournament and Clothier's Seminar. Two of these event had special consequences for the Moor. At Queen's Prize, lord Roibeard mac Auleth was created a companion of the Order of the Torse for his work as shire web minister. Subsequent to said happy occasion we had another cause to celebrate. Clothier's Seminar in Forgotten Sea was the site of a meeting of Their Majesties' Witan. Among points of kingdom business discussed at this council, was the fate of Amleth Moor. At the suggestion of the kingdom seneschal, Mistress Alina Meraud Bryte, and the heartfelt approval of other members of the Witan as well as the king and queen, it was decided to proceed with full recognition of the incipient shire as an official branch.
Their Majesties gave the nod to let the populace of the Moor know that at the morning court of Coronation, on March 5, 2005, Amleth Moor would receive its recognition as a full fledged shire within the kingdom. The author told lord Richard the news, and he announced it during a Superbowl party at the author's house.
Estrella War XXI
Though new sovereigns and a new reign was eminent, there still remained a war in the Estrella desert to be dealt with before this much anticipated event could take place. Prince Tristram and Princess Katrine marshaled their household along with the rest of the army and Calontir headed south once again. From the Moor (or "More" as it would soon be referred to - see below) came lord Freygeirr. Also was Her Highness, lord Ulliam and the author. Lord Bartholomew had went ahead with an advance party in the household of his new knight and in the company of that knight's gracious lady, the duchess Aislinn.
The battles met the fierceness levels of expectation for an Estrella War if the weather did not. Unlike the usual chocking clouds of dust, we were met daily with mud and rain and gazed out on a desert carpet of greenery. Strange, wet, and cold were the burning sands of Estrella this year, but the fighting was good and the mirth and cheer were in no way lessened by the odd climate. Of particular note was the final day of the war. Their Majesties Garick and Yasamin held an evening court to settle some of the last business of the war. A part of the agenda concerned young lord Bartholomew. For his actions on that day and many others, Bart was created a companion of the Order of the Iren-Fyrd.
 Society and Kingdom standard - see Kingdom Law and the Corpora
 Columbia, Missouri. The author's original shire.
 D'Lisa Givens. She had been Pursuivant of Standing Stones at least twice in the past and was married to lord Donal Artair MacRorie, Fyrdman, (James Givens, Jr.), one of the first two squires made in Calontir, by the hand of Calontir's last Champion and first Knight.
 Catherine L. Abbott
 Carter J. Roberts
 Donngal and Aislin had just stepped down from the thrones of Calontir and their second reign.
 Kimberly Roberts
 Kevin McCauley
 Kevin was also the impetus and unifying force behind Derelict House (Domus Incuria), which survives him at the time of this writing. He died of complications brought about by leukemia on February 29, 1980. Derelict House still exists as a close group of friends in a very loose organization. Many of the members never knew Kevin, and the author was only marginally acquainted with him. The Derelicts gather every February 29 to celebrate a wake for this fellow. For more information see E. S. Wood's chronicles of D-House. You can find them if you need to know.
 Calontir Kingdom Law
 Nancy Belcher. This honorable Lady was an invaluable source of information and showered us with information at the Lilies War. Her kindness and support was greatly appreciated. Present at the initial meeting with her were the author, lady Katrine, and Richard Dale.
 "Contact" status is the first step or rung on the ladder.
 Mark C. Abbott
 Mark E. Sievert
 Catherine L. Abbott
 Connie Sievert
 Bruce A. Singer
 Alexandar W. Johnson
 E. Stanley Wood. This gentleman was a founder of Standing Stones and the first, current, and only head of Derelict House. As a resident of Standing Stones, there was some problem with his being officially counted in the populace, but we considered that the problem of the SCA, not ours. (See reference to Hroar Redarm later on)
 Brent Wilson
 P. Doug Miller. Another early member of Stones and D-House. Hroar had also been inactive for years and was part of the Friday D&D crowd.
 John Rucker
 Jeanette Tripp
 Brittany Johnson, sister to Alexandar Johnson
 Jefferson City, Missouri
 Lucas Davis
 Wichita, Kansas
 Brian Newby, a companion of the Iren-Fyrd at this time. This gracious lord is the brother-in-law of the author, husband to Her Excellency, the baroness Bronwyn NicDougal (LeAnne Newby).
 John Dunseith
 Sara Stewart. At this time she was the Exchequer of Standing Stones.
 Named "Moor for Less" at this event.
 D. Eric Wood
 James C. Meyer
 St. Louis, Missouri
 Michael Jackson. This mighty count had won four previous crowns, but eschewed the title "duke" for reasons of its origins clashing with his Visigoth persona.
 This committee served the board of directors in researching and issuing opinions on various matters of legal concern to the society.
 "Heraldic commentators" are those folks who help with the research involved in the approval of armorial submissions in the SCA. They act as advisors to the ultimate authorities on such matters, the Colleges of Arms of the various kingdoms and Laurel King-of-Arms at Society level.
 Tribble Park, about a block east from the main intersection in Hallsville, Missouri.
 Springfield, Missouri
 Des Moines, Iowa
 The aforementioned John Dunseith.
 Vicy Dunseith
 Pennsic is the largest of all SCA wars. A battle between the kingdoms of the East and the Middle and involving all the kingdoms of the known world on one side or the other. It is expensive, cramped, far, and tiring...but there is just no other event like it.
 T. J. Tompkins
 Wichita, Kansas
 Ruben Dubois changed his name around this time to "Robert DuBois".
 Joe Wilson
 Demo is short for "demonstration" and has been the standard SCA term for the same since time immemorial. The demo is an opportunity for a local group to show off the fighting, crafts, etc., of the SCA, attract new members, and generally make themselves known in the area.
 Master Andrixos Seljukroctonis, mundanely known as Steve Boyd. "Martyr" events started in Standing Stones in the early eighties. The events celebrate a well known figure in the kingdom and is sort of an SCA equivalent of a "roast". The first such martyr was Master Brom Blackhand (Jim Fleming) (on 15 Sep 83). The original event was the drunken brainchild of the author and Sir Andrew Lyon of Wolvenwood (Andy Pickard). After the Martyrdom of St. Brom, the idea took off and was repeated with different candidates/victims/honorees.
 Joshua Shane Moore. Josh did not have an SCA name at this point.
 Previously just known as and referred to herein as Anna.
 No SCA name at this point.
 Hannibal, Missouri
 Sheridon Glenn
 Patricia McQuitty
 Clark Winslow
 Denise Winslow
 This tourney may very well have been the second largest in the known world. It was said that a tournament at Pennsic War had the honor of the "largest tournament" at 100 combatants.
 Lincoln, Nebraska
 Topeka, Kansas
 Paul A. Byers
 Doug Winters
 Kevin Hughes
 Brian Romine
 Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
 Kirksville, Missouri
 Phoenix, Arizona
 "Authorization" is the process whereby a fighter proves they are relatively safe with a particular kind of weapon style, so they can then use that style in tournaments and wars. How many authorizations there are at any given time and what needs to be done to accomplish them varies through the years.
 This legendary vehicle was 'Big Bertha', the hallowed transport of HL Snorri and the Lady Alanora. Bertha was also known as the 'Fyrd Van'.
 Garick Chamberlain
 Des Moines, Iowa
 Sherri Wiles
 Lady Katherine is mundanely known as Catherine Corey. Her sons are mundanely known as Michael and Lucas, having no SCA names at the time of this event.
 Geof Foster
 Constantia von Sievershausen was the new name at this time for Constanza von Sievershausen.
 Bridget did not have an SCA name at this time. She is the daughter of lord Hendrick and Constantia von Sievershausen
 Daniel Golian
 Centralia at this time was "officially" a part of Amleth Moor. All SCA localities have specific ZIP code boundaries assigned to them. The town of Centralia fell within the boundaries of Amleth Moor, as did a number of rural communities in north Missouri.
 Orion Harmon
 Chris Holland
 Bob and Kim had no SCA names at this time.
 This large hill was named after an SCA duchess who died rather young and was much beloved of many kingdoms.
 The Tuchucks (also 'tuchux' and 'chucks') are a federation of several households, based loosely on the John Norman "Gor" series of fantasy books. They tend to wear minimal armor (though this has slowly evolved over the years to a preference for more) and fight in a rather savage style. I shall leave all other comments about the Chuks out, as such things are better determined for ones self.
 Joan Steurer
 Sandra Briggs
 Rachael Briggs-McQuitty. She was very young and her tentative SCA name at this point was really just her mundane name with her parents' names sort of "welshed" into it. Later her name was changed to simply Rachael of Standing Stones.
 Stephanie Skaff
 Northshield had been and still was a principality of the Middle-Kingdom at this time. At this time Northshield was geographically immense, covering northwestern Ontario and Manitoba in Canada, as well as North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the western half of upper Michigan. The principality was in the middle of transitioning into a kingdom and was created as such by the time that Armorgeddon occurred.
 Armorgeddon was an annual border conflict between Calontir and Northshield, taking place in South Dakota.
 This kingdom covered all of Oklahoma and most of Texas, excluding only that part of the state in the Mountain time zone.
 Stillwater, Oklahoma. The event was held outside Stillwater, however, at the Will Rogers Boy Scout camp.
 The aforementioned Amber Koppi
 Sara Koppi
 Jimmy Myers
 Robert duBois (Stan Wood) changed his name to Roibeard mac Auleth around the time of this event.
 This ceremony was an invention by the author. Though a long footnote, I have decided to briefly describe it here so that it might survive. First, the Herald is consulted as to whether he can vouch for and attest that the person to assume the seneschal office is of gentle birth. Second, the Marshal is asked if the person has knowledge of arms and, if not a fighter, do they none-the-less understand the use and deployment of soldiers to defend the king's lands. Third, the Minister of Arts and Sciences is asked if the seneschal is and will be a patron of artists and craftsmen. The Exchequer is consulted as to whether the new person has a reputation as careful and diligent with monies. Then the populace is addressed, telling them that they have been informed of the intention to pass the seneschalate to this individual and have not objected, and asking if any object now. The Minister of Children and the Chatelaine are called forth and being officers that serve at the pleasure of the seneschal, are asked if they are either willing to serve the new seneschal, or willing to assist in the training of their replacements. Finally, the village idiot, who sees beyond what normal men see, is asked about the much needed traits of humor and mercy, and if the candidate possess these gifts. All going well, the new seneschal receives the key and a box with the OP, history, law, and other documents and is presented to the populace.
 It should be noted, that the advice of fools is often cryptic, as befits their interesting perspective on life. When asked, Ulf said that "Well, he (lord Richard) tried to set me on fire once, I guess he's all right...".
 The aforementioned Bridget Sievert. Bridget had represented Amleth Moor at the recent Autumn Arrows event.