The Barony of Politarchopolis

The Society for Creative Anachronism in Canberra, Australia

Commentary Period – Provisional New Seneschal Announced

Good evening gentles.

As you are all no doubt aware two weeks ago I put in a call for expressions of interest regarding the role of Seneschal of Politarchopolis as I was planning to step down.

It is my pleasure to announce that Lady Anne de Tournai has been provisionally chosen to be the new Seneschal.

As of today there begins a two week commentary period in which members of the populace may email myself at seneschal.polit@gmail.com or the Kingdom Seneschal at seneschal@lochac.org.au with any comments or concerns you may have.

At the end of that period, unless any insurmountable issues arise the office will pass shortly thereafter at a suitable event.

Warm regards

Semyon

Seneschal

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Royal Etiquette 101

This is a very limited guide, which I wrote a few years ago. It has been requested that it be published again, and that does seem a good idea.  There is much more which could be said, but if you are looking for a basic plan for how to behave at fancy events, this will do.  Hope it is helpful to someone!

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Considering the Royal Visit coming up VERY soon, here are a few words on SCA etiquette…

In the SCA, we have various levels of hierarchy, from Kings, nobles and merchants, right down to those who portray themselves as peasants. We all play at being medieval, and knowing how to behave in a medieval setting is part of that.

Deference towards one’s social superiors was basic to medieval culture. It was very important to understand your place in the hierarchy, and your place was confirmed by the way people behaved towards you. There were many rules and customs about the way people should speak and move in each other’s presence. In essence, it comes down to this – you served those more important than yourself, and expected service from those less important.

The peasant served the lord served the knight served the earl served the duke served the king. There was no shame in serving those higher up than yourself; in fact, it was an honour, and the road to honours.

Nowadays we all feel far more equal to each other, and there is much less formality in our dealings with other people. To recreate medieval life, we have to adjust our modern mindset. We don’t expect everyone to behave perfectly. Just do your best to know the guidelines and observe them as much as you can.

In the SCA, we show respect to the holders of various positions. Some of these have obvious medieval status, such as Baronesses or Kings. Other positions are administrative, such as Seneschals and Reeves. All the people filling these positions are working very hard to make the game better for all of us, and they deserve our respect. However, the ceremonial ranks get extra deference at events, because that enhances the game for everyone.

If you met a real live king, would you jostle him out of the way to get at the food? Certainly not! That would just be rude.

As a newcomer to the SCA, it can be hard to know what is expected, especially if you haven’t been to ‘important’ events before, where formal courts are happening and everyone is on their best behaviour. So, for those who may be a little unsure, here are some basic notes on SCA etiquette…

The King and Queen are top of the heap (followed by the Crown Prince and Princess if they have been chosen). Under them come the landed Barons and Baronesses – that’s Joan and Crispin for Politarchopolis. There are some other levels, but they are much less of an issue.

The King and Queen are addressed as “Your Majesty”, the B&B as “Your Excellency”. Everyone else can generally be addressed as “my Lord” or “my Lady”, and you won’t go too far wrong.

There are conventions about how people behave around the ‘Pointy Hats’ – that’s anyone with a crown or coronet (coronets are like crowns, but less so). Whenever you pass near these people, you should bow or curtsey. When you approach them (or they approach you), curtsey again before conversation begins.

Anywhere there is an official spot set up for the Pointy Hats, bow when you pass it. Even if no one is there! This includes their dinner table – if you are passing within about ten feet of it, bow to the pointy hatted ones. Even if no one is sitting there, bow just the same. (If they are there, be extra polite!) The same goes for thrones, indoors and outdoors.

Remember that Pointy Hats have a lot of work to do at an event – they’re not just standing about looking pretty and receiving curtseys! They have to attend meetings, arrange courts, deal with all kinds of problems while you are having fun. And look good at the same time. And keep their tempers. So…

If Pointy Hats are talking to someone, don’t interrupt – it’s quite likely they are having a vital meeting. Wait and see if it’s okay for you to join the conversation. Pointy Hats usually have various people looking after them at an event – guards, ladies in waiting, chamberlains, pages. If you want to ask something, hand something over, or just socialize, try approaching one of their attendants. The attendants may be able to solve your problem, and will have some idea whether the Pointy Hats have time to talk to you just then.

Give the Pointy Hats precedence – this means they get first go at the food (they probably have people to arrange this). They also go through doors ahead of ordinary folk, and are seated first. It is polite to wait for permission before seating yourself in their presence. It is okay to ask for that permission.

Give them some privacy – if there is a room or a tent set up for their use, keep out unless you are asked in. Find somewhere else to dump your gear. If you are invited in, don’t overstay your welcome. They may need to chat privately with somebody, or just get away from everyone for a short time.

During court, or at the beginning of a meal, everyone will stand until the Pointy Hats are in place. As they pass through the hall, everyone bows. After the Pointy Hats are seated, the populace will be told they can also sit. Likewise at the end of the meal or court, everyone should stand (and bow) while the bigwigs leave the area. During the event, there should be lots of bowing and scraping every time anyone goes near a Pointy Hat – or near their thrones.

It’s not so hard really. Just take note of anyone with a crown or coronet, remember to bow any time you are near them, and give them some space to do their jobs.

In service,

Joan Sutton

 

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Midwinter taxes

Greetings, Politarchopolis!

As Midwinter approaches, the Barony is preparing to play host to the Crown and Kingdom. It is customary to offer taxes to the Royals on such occasions, and in true feudal style, we would like to collect these taxes from among our populace. :)

If you are relatively new to the Society, ‘taxes’ usually take the form of small gifts which the Crown can re-gift at their pleasure. They should be easy to store and transport – not too heavy, not too bulky, not too fragile, non-perishable. They can be any small medieval thing you have made or purchased.

These items need not cost much, but they should be worthwhile gifts. Think about what you would like to receive, if the King or Queen were to give you a thanks token.

Suitable choices include: small items of jewellery, cords (at least 90 cm long, in all colours), lengths of lace or braid, pouches, buckles, calligraphy tools, small books, beads, trinket boxes…there are lots of ideas.

Taxes should be given direct to your Baron and Baroness – if you wish to contribute but don’t see us regularly, message us and something can be arranged.

We have a few weeks before Midwinter, so we look forward to seeing plenty of tax revenue between now and then!

Regards,
Joan and Crispin. 

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Coming Events

Greetings Populace,

While Ultimate Fighter has been cancelled, there are still some exciting events in the coming month:

This coming Saturday sees us travelling to the lands of Rowany, for the Feast of the Pheasants in their canton of Okewaite. We hope to see many of you there with us, showing support for our neighbours and partaking of their hospitality.

http://okewaite.wordpress.com/

And on the 5th and 6th of July we will host Midwinter Coronation for the crowning of Cornelius and Elizabeth, the next King and Queen of Lochac. There are currently 136 people booked for this auspicious event, with a price rise on the 22nd of June. The feast is capped at 200 people so please book to avoid disappointment.

If you are able to help out for set-up, pack-down or serving, please let Crispin know.

http://politarchopolis.lochac.sca.org/midwinter2014

Baron Crispin and Baroness Joan

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Baronial Retinue

starting at Fields of Gold 2013

Champions -

Heavy – Lord Gabriel van Dorne
Fencing – Lord Clement Valentin der Spieler
Archery – Lord Sigmund Spelman

Arts and Sciences – Lady Alexandra Hartshorne

Guards -

Baroness Alesia du Cheval Blanc (Sergeant)
Lady Conciata Delacita Delvecchia
Lord Robin of Ambledune

Attendants -

Mistress Isobel le Bretoun
Violet Fleur
Lady Elisabeth Saunders
Isabella ni Paiden

Art – Arthur
Science – Scientia

As at May 2014:

Champions -

Heavy – Lord Ben the Undecided
Fencing – Don Francois Henri Guyon
Archery – Lord Sigmund Spelman

Arts and Sciences – Lady Alexandra Hartshorne

Guards -

Sir Ysambart Courtin (Sergeant)
Lady Conciata Delacita Delvecchia
Lord Robin of Ambledune

Attendants -

Lady Elisabeth Saunders
Violet Fleur
Jack Argent
Saffiya Fiore de Rabatta (Cup-bearer)

Art -Arthur
Science – Scientia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Notes from the Rapier Championship

On Saturday last (May 24) we were entertained by a rapier tournament, during which we chose Don François Henri Guyon to replace Lord Clement as our Rapier Champion for the next year.

We were joined by Their Highnesses Elizabeth and Cornelius, as well as a goodly number of our populace, and several newcomers. Several people did a wonderful job talking to passers-by about what we were up to in the park, which is much to be commended.

Two courts were held during the afternoon. New Officers were publicly announced, being Lord Gabriel van Dorne (Hospitaller, with thanks to Countess Liadan who preceded him), Lady Iseldis (Chirurgeon) and Lord Fionghuine (Lists).

Sophia van Dorne was thanked for her exemplary service as A&S Officer, and Lady Anne de Tournais was announced as Acting in this position, as Sophia’s replacement is not currently able to take up the office.

The Baroness and sundry others jumped merrily into a Leaf Pile which appeared on the tourney field.

Mistress Isobel retired from the Baronial Retinue.

Baroness Alesia also retired, being replaced by Sir Ysambart Courtin as Sergeant of our Guard.

Jack Argent and Saffiya swore homage and became members of the retinue. Saffiya has the title of Cup-bearer, while Jack is Lord-in-Waiting.

Lord Ben the Undecided received a Burly Griffin for service, and Lord Owen of Torlyon received one for his prowess on the fencing field.

Lord Lorccan Ruadh was the victor of the tournament, following two rounds of tie-breaking melee between the four top contenders.

The day was fine and the company excellent. The gingerbread was also excellent. We thank Lord Clement as steward of the event, and all those who helped him make the afternoon so enjoyable. We look forward to seeing everyone next time!

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Rapier Championship

Greetings unto the populace

Come this Saturday 24th of May to join with their Excellencies, the Baron and Baroness of Politarchopolis for a Quarter Court and Picnic in the park as they choose their next Rapier Champion. There will a Tournament for all of those who wish to display their skill at arms.

The event will open at 12:00 noon and the Tournament will start at 1:30.

…Admission is $5 for members $10 for non members, no booking is required.

Location: Nara Park, Flynn Parade, behind the Hyatt

Contact Clement on clem.avenell@gmail.com if you have any queries.

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Baronial Meeting

Baronial monthly meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, May 4th, between 2 and 3pm at the Ainslie Scout Hall, cnr Ebden and Hassall Street, Ainslie.

Officers who are unable to attend are asked to provide the Seneschal with a brief update.

There will be important info on how we need to manage event financials, so stewards for upcoming events may want to attend, or make sure to check the minutes when available.

Sorry for the late notice! We are all trying to keep meetings regular and well advertised, but Festival happened. Hopefully, from June we will be back on track for meeting on the second Sunday each month.

By baroness | Officers, Seneschal | Tagged: , , | Link

Some Rowany Festival 2014 news for those unable to attend…

Overall, the new site seems to be a success. The weather was clement, and cold enough to enjoy wearing proper garb. No rain, and one windy afternoon which saw a few tents in need of rescue. There will be more toilets next year, and the map will doubtless be tweaked so that everyone has the space they need.

Three knightings – our own Sir Niall among them.

His Majesty knights Count Niall

His Majesty knights Count Niall

One new laurel – Elena le Bruestere from Innilgard.

No new pelicans.

The War Procession went off very well, with an excellent show from each contingent. The Royal Seer made a dramatic appearance, in order to prevent excessive bloodshed.

 

 

We won the Olympiad. There were various games – fencing (won for us by Don Galbraith, provided by

The Baron at war

The Baron at war

Northern Reaches), archery (won for us by Sigmund Spelman), running in armour (won for us by Draco), running unarmoured (lost, but a fine run by Claire from Descartes), shotput (won by a full metre for us, by Redfox from Okewaite)), javelin (Alex MacAlpin, in fine form and beaten by only about six inches), tug-of-war (won decisively by Descartes) and discus. Apologies, I can’t remember who the discus thrower was. From Innilgard maybe?

The war scenarios pitted Greeks against Persians. We fought bravely as the Persians, but the Greeks had the victory by a narrow margin.

Rowany was declared the overall winner, and the King made peace between the warring Barons.

There was a forge on site where a number of people learned some smithing and came home with useful things they had made. There were lots of classes on all sorts of topics – what did you learn?

Greesispoone fed many people and was much appreciated.

 

Ceara fencing

Ceara fencing

There was a LOT of fencing. Robin of Ambledune won the Newcomer’s Tourney. Ceara was awarded the prize for her chivalry and enthusiasm in the Baronesses’ Rapier Tourney.

Our archers did well (of course). Isobel le Bretoun won the Period Division. For the first time, we undertook archery during court, and (fortunately?) both Barons missed the herald. Baron Crispin shot a pavilion, Baron Loyola shot a chair, and in the end both shot gold. Loyola’s gold was shinier than Crispin’s, and so the Royal force joined Rowany for the Olympiad and wargames. 

We had combat archers! Hopefully there will be even more next year, as there were a number of people who were not quite ready this time.

The Baron shoots for the Crown's support

The Baron shoots for the Crown’s support

 

Andronicus is no longer incipient, but is now a full College.

 

The Baronial Brunch seemed to go down well. Accipiter, Whyte Company, Burbage and Aldhelm members all helped with preparation and cooking, keeping the pancakes coming despite the breeze which kept trying to interfere. Many others came to feast and socialise. Thanks to all who joined us for the morning, and we hope to see even more of you next year.

Our college members (both Andronicus and Aldhelm) were complimented many times for their courtesy towards other members of the populace, in fetching and carrying, babysitting, minding the troll tent, heralding and more. They were also prominent in assisting us throughout the event.

Our first Festival as B&B has been rewarding as well as busy. We offer congratulations to all who had success in their endeavours, and thanks to all who helped us in ways small and large. We hope you all had at least as much fun as we did, and are already planning for next year…because Festival is only two weeks away!

Regards,

Joan and Crispin.

 

Their Excellencies present a sugar gryphon to their Cousins, Baron and Baroness Rowany

Their Excellencies present a sugar gryphon to their Cousins, Baron and Baroness Rowany

By politnews | Uncategorized | Link

Baronial Stickers available

Greetings, Polit!

We have laid in a supply of baronial stickers. They are the same as already sported by a number of vehicles around the Barony.

The stickers cost $3.00 each, and are available directly from your B&B.

We will have them at Ainslie hall this afternoon. Profits will be donated to the baronial coffers.

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