Saturday, January 21, 2012

Minor correction

I was mistaken when I said Prince Lucian and his lady would reign at Pennsic.

Calontir is changing Crown dates. This will be a four-month reign, and there will be a Crown Tournament, in May.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New prince and princess of Ansteorra

Hrafn Olafsson and  Elizabeta di Valore della Rosawill reign as Ansteorra's king and queen at Pennsic for the second time in four years as a result of today's crown tournament.
The prince defeated Iarrl Owen ap Trahaerne in the finals, after besting Jarl Jean Paul de Sens to advance. Jean Paul eliminated Duke Ulstead the Unsteady in the other semifinal.

Calontir, like the Midrealm and the East, will have a first-time king.

(On a personal note, squee!!!!)

Sir Marius Lucian Fidelis, fighting for Mistress Conna Ingen Ui Chearbhaill defeated Duke Sir Dongal Erikson, fighting for Her Ladyship Catalina de Azazuri, in the final of Calontir crown.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

From another angle

As I thought about the inter-kingdom differences in people's views of Pennsic, I also realized there were differences regardless of kingdoms.

Several of my friends have already pointed out that the switching of alliances doesn't impact them at all. These are folks who come strictly to run their camps or teach or shop or display their A&S work. They are not married to -- or family of -- fighters, and the battles that many of us care so much about, don't mean anything to them.

I ma also unsure what impact the change have for folks outside the Midrealm and the East. After all, Atlantia and Aethelmearc have fought together and against each other before. So have, I assume, all of the other kingdoms. It seems to me there may have even been a year Calontir fought alongside the East.

This change and the reactions to it are reminding me that we all see the SCA through different prisms. I have talked about this before.

I think a lot of your experience in the SCA stems from where you break in and who you know when you start. I also find that I tend to look at people as I knew them when I came in. Lucan, say, was a knight and a king when I came in. Prince Kenric, on the other hand, was a newbie with me, so even though he will be king at Pennsic, I tend to look at him as a peer (with a small "p"). I hold certain views based on the views of people I respected when I broke in and of the people in the places where I live.

I am always fascinated in analyzing the SCA experience.

More Pennsic thoughts

One of the aspects of the discussion about the new alliances at Pennsic is that it's an interesting example of inter-kingdom anthropology.

For most of the folks in my immediate and extended circles, Pennsic is central to our SCA experience. Obviously, this is more true for some than others, but for the most part, it's a bug deal.

The reason is fairly obvious. I have always lived in areas that are no more than, say, 10 hours from Pennsic, and the folks I know well tend to be from the East, Aethelmearc, Ealdormere and Atlantia, all of which tend to lie within that circle or perhaps an hour more. These are the folks I know, and like me, Pennsic tends to be a yearly, or almost yearly ritual.

Obviously, the closer to Cooper's Lake you live, the more likely it is you'll be able to go. (Unless there are other issues). If I think about places that are farther away, but are still well-represented, I can think of pretty solid groups from Portland, Maine, Boston, Montreal and Ottawa, Raleigh, NC, and Burlington, Vt. It's hard to think of places beyond those -- which are all under 12 hours from Pennsic -- that are well-represented.

There are a couple of others that are farther away, such as Minneapolis, 14 hours, and parts of Texas, such as Austin, 23 hours, but those tend to be smaller groups. There are always dedicated travelers from Caid and the West, as well as Australia.

As I look at those who regularly attend, I also examine why folks from farther away, say outside six or eight hours are there. Some of this applies for those within an easy drive, too. (Only for Pennsic is six to eight hours and "easy" drive).

Obviously you have the serious fighters, who really live for a week of solid tournaments and battles. You also tend to see people who are very active on the kingdom and Society levels, especially officers. Obviously, you see merchants in that mix as well. One thing I have seen is that people who are consistently involved with royal activities -- either having been on the throne or worked multiple royal households -- are often drawn in from farther away. That is certainly the case for me and my wife. Sometimes, it's a household or local group pull. "Everyone else" is going.

The farther away, the less of an impact. Certainly for the "average" Scadian outside the six- to eight-hour window, there's less chance of coming, and the farther west you get -- note that most of the places I mentioned do not involve crossing the Mississippi Rover -- the less important Pennsic becomes. True also for Drachenwald.

I find I often forget that other people's SCA experiences are not at all structured like mine, and for a vast part of the Society, Pennsic doesn't matter at all.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thoughts about the new Pennsic

Here are some immediate reactions to the new alliances at Pennsic.

First of all, it's a creative, bold idea, and I think it will revitalize the war. Things had gotten into a rut.

Personally, I think it's great that we get to ally with the Midrealm, plan with them, fight with them and drink with them. For two long, fighters in the East have been told to dislike the Midrealm and beat Midrealmers at Pennsic. This will bind the kingdoms better.

I do not fear losing friendships with Atlantia and Aethelmearc, which were once part of the East. Those relationships are solid.

In terms of fighting and war points -- assuming those are in the plan -- it's all going to come down to additional allies. Ealdormere and Ansteorra will be among the keys. They tend to bring good, solid armies. In the past, Calontir has allied with Ansteorra by treaty. How about if Bloodguard is fighting behind the Calon Shield Wall? Norhshield will also carry some importance, and it will be interesting to see where the other kingdoms go.

In fencing, I feel even more strong that Ansteorra can change the tide. I hope they do fencing as they have been -- two mass battles and a champions' battle.

Ok, now to think some more.

What do you think?

This changes everything

I had decided to start blogging here again.

there is a lot going in the SCA, and I am working on publicity for Team USA for Battle of the Nations (more to come).

So I am thinking about what to post, then it falls in my lap.

Here's how I put it for the Pennsic Independent, which asked me to get something together.

Pennsic XLI is going to be different from any Pennsic before it.

For the first time, the traditional opponents, the East Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom, will be fighting as allies, against Aethelmearc, in whose lands Pennsic lies, and Atlantia.

The alliances were announced at courts in the four kingdoms' on Saturday, Jan. 7.
At East Kingdom Twelfth Night in the Barony of Carillion, Prince Kenric announced the alliance, as did Prince Savaric at the Midrealm's 12th Night in the Barony of Northwoods. Both men will be sitting the throne for the first time.
Prince  Bryan and Princess Brianna of Atlantia made their announcement the at Winter Ball in their Barony of Bright Hills.  Andreas Morgan, prince of Aethelmearc, made his announcement at 12th Night in the Shire of Sylvan Glen. 

He, like the prince and princess of the Midrealm and the East, will be on the throne for the first time. Prince Bryan has reigned before.

Pennsic has traditionally, for the last four decades, been a war between the East and the Middle with the other kingdoms allying on either sides. Some kingdoms do have treaties or agreements on who they will fight alongside at Pennsic. The announcements of the sides is a major part of Opening Ceremonies, even though most of the decisions have been agreed upon by them.

Details of the war points and battles have not yet been announced. Additional alliances have not been announced either.

Pennsic will take place from July 27 to August 12, 2012, at Cooper's Lake Campground in Pennsylvania.

Analysis to come.