Friday, March 23, 2007

Event Dates

Stormvale's Hallowe'en event, Harvest of Souls, has been creeping back farther in the month of October for a while. We had reached the middle of the month the last couple of times, and that was the plan this year as well, but apparently there is a conflict with the desired site. It was mentioned at the revel that the planners are thinking of moving back another week, to the 6th. I've been thinking about this, and I wonder if we ought not to consider some possible problems:

1st: This is pretty far from Hallowe'en. How far away do we get in time before the event doesn't make nearly as much sense? Shouldn't we consider getting closer to the date? The weekend of the 20th is Crown, but the weekend of the 27th is open, much closer to the appropriate date. We once had the event on the actual date of the holiday, and were worried that it would be a problem for attendance, but we did fine.

2nd: On the 6th, there are two other events fairly close by - Vineyard Raids in Westmere (Paw Paw, Michigan) and Pounce VI in Catteden (Findlay, OH). These are outside the 100-mile rule, so there is no problem with stepping on anyone's toes, but I wonder if three rather smallish events, the other two sponsored by sizable nearby baronies (Andelcrag and Red Spears) is not going to divide the event-going population in Pentamere that day pretty comprehensively. Aren't we trying to attract more people to this event?

3rd: Here's the clincher. I understand we feel it is necessary to send a letter to Andelcrag mentioning our plan and expressing our regret for having an event on the same day as one of theirs. I don't think anyone will think ill of us - they are on the other side of the state, but... if we think it is necessary to excuse our action, should we be taking the action to begin with? We're a long way out from October. We could use a different site, or move our date in the other direction, or even change to a different theme, in theory. If we were in a jam about the date or site, then ok, of course. But I'm not sure we're in a jam yet.

Just my idle thoughts on the topic.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Just took a look at the Coronation site. The event is taking place on April 28, 2007, and hosted by Roaring Wastes and Northwoods. I think this is very nearly a model site - I found all my questions quickly answered. I'm excited about both the unique (in my experience) noon feast and the rules for the bear-pit tourney, which incentivizes period display and armor rather than demanding them. Excellent idea in my opinion. I think I can meet all or virtually all of the rules, by then, too.

Clancy Day and Canadian Trips

Over on the Stormvale list, we're discussing Clancy Day and trips to Canada. Over the years, I have noticed there is perhaps a little less interaction between the SCA in Canada and the US than there used to be. When Ealdormere was part of the Middle Kingdom (indeed, at one time part of Pentamere), we used to head over pretty regularly. Even after the separation, it was no big deal to hop over the Blue Water Bridge into Sarnia for an event or a practice. Since 9/11 and the possibility of long lines and more intrusive checks at the border, there has perhaps been a little less contact.

Clancy Day is an event of very long standing held by the Shire of Starleaf Gate in Windsor. Starleaf Gate is the only Ontario group not to go with Ealdormere. Windsor is of course much closer to Roaring Wastes and Detroit than to the Ealdormere population center around Toronto. I don't know whether the Starleaf Gate crew feels a bit isolated since 9/11 or not - I actually haven't been to a Canadian event since the late 1990s. Melisande and I went quite frequently in those days and made good friends; our apartment hosted parties of event-goers from Toronto on a regular basis in return.

We never had any trouble going back and forth over the border. The only incident was one time, the Canadian border guard asked whether we had any weapons, and to my flabbergasted surprise, Melisande innocently volunteered the fact that she was carrying mace in her purse. Mace is illegal in Canada - it had never occurred to me that she might not have realized that. There was a brief delay at that point... but actually they didn't give us a hard time, just made us go back over the border and get rid of the mace and come back.

No passports are required yet unless you're flying, but I've been planning to get passports for us soon anyway. (Not before Clancy Day, obviously.) Strange that I've never had one, but I've never needed one, having travelled only in North and Central America. But we want to go to England in the forseeable future, Canada will be an issue sooner or later, and passports make remarkably good ID no matter where you are.

Not sure about Clancy Day. Definitely going to Coronation at the end of April.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

History Posters

Nothing quite medieval, but perhaps some of my readers might find something amusing.

March Stormvale Revel

Another delightful afternoon and evening at Lady Terryl's for the March revel! We met on Sunday afternoon, the 18th. We counted 30+ attendees. The food was wonderful - I saw (and in some cases sampled) sauerkraut and sausage, chicken, three kinds of cheese tarts, scotch eggs, meatballs and lots of other delightful things.

There were four heavy combatants and a couple of folks interested. I missed the youth combat, but I gather there was some. No fencing, as far as I know. Where are all the fencers?!

I was the recipient of a couple of gifts. Carrie gave me a splendid covered dish for feast gear. She told me she was sufficiently impressed with my feast gear talk, which featured several modern pieces that sufficiently resemble period items, to seek out her own. Having done so, she was kind enough to give me one, too! Thank you, Carrie! (She also gave me tips about how to find them on eBay - I'd had no luck at that for years.)

Later, THL Skalla-Geirmundr gave me two magnificent painted banner stands for Melisande (purple and black) and me (blue and white). Thank you, Geirmundr!

It wasn't even my birthday!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Pale Youth Issue

The March issue of The Pale came today, and it is loaded with useful information and articles on youth activities. This seems particularly interesting in Stormvale these days. For anyone who isn't subscribed and would like to read the articles, please let me know at

Good News for Pennsic

SCAToday reports that the Kingdom of Atlantia will be allied with the Middle this summer. Former MidRealm monarch Valharic is Atlantia's prince and will be king at Pennsic. Good news.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Is it time for Stormvale to rethink its habit of having most meetings in private homes?

We actually almost always met in public locations throughout most of our history. Revels were sometimes in private homes, but we were fortunate in being able to obtain meeting space at the University of Michigan-Flint, Red Dragon Hobby Shop, Mundy Presbyterian Church, Flint Public Library, Mott Middle College, and the Grand Blanc MacFarlane Library. We also met for a long time at the Black Dragon Farm location, although that was also a private home.

So our recent rotation of populace meetings and revels in private homes, with the occasional revel in semi-public rooms at the Collingwood Village Apartments in Davison, is a relative change. It doesn't seem to be a problem, exactly. For a long time, the SCA generally discouraged meetings of this kind simply because experience tends to show that it discourages some new members, who are more shy about introducing themselves in someone's home rather than a public place. I haven't heard complaints about this, but maybe we wouldn't.

A more immediate question is whether we may have literally outgrown the practice. There were a reported 17 attendees at the February 17 populace meeting, and about 33 people at the February 19 revel. There were 17 at a recent Artisan's Guild meeting, too. I haven't heard about attendance at either the February 24 meeting or tonight's March 2 meeting, but I wonder whether we may not have reached the point where we will effectively cap our membership at the number that will rationally fit in one of our homes!

I'm not suggesting a solution, just asking the question.