The East Kingdom had our first virtual Coronation on Saturday, August 15, when Margarita De’ Siena completed her unprecedented and eventful reign, and Magnus Tindal and Alberic von Ron Rostock became the new Consules of the Eastern Empire. Grim as Sovereign’s Bard, and I as Consort’s Bard, asked their then-Highnesses what, if any, service we might provide to add to the ceremonies they were planning. As luck would have it, Tindal had a number of thoughts that played well to my strengths, and one that provided Grim and me a joint opportunity.
Hi everyone. This continues to be a challenging time, and finding the energy and will to blog regularly is much heavier. And I’m pushing through that today, because there are some recent developments I think are worth taking the time to share.
Recently, I have made a significant change around my moderation duties on Facebook. After eight glorious years, I have handed over the reins of the SCA Bardic Arts group to my long-time co-moderator Aneleda Falconbridge, and recruited a new team of moderators to help keep the group thriving into the future (more on that below). I’ve done this to provide me time and space to focus on a new FB I’ve just launched, SCA Neurodiversity. The group has been operating for nearly 3 weeks, and I’m very pleased with the growth and the responses from new members.
Today is June 19, or Juneteenth, as it’s celebrated the Black community in America. I had started a lengthy post…and I’m deleting it. You don’t need to hear me talk about this stuff today. (Not familiar with Juneteenth? You can find anything you want to know with a quick Google search.)
If you want insights around race and the SCA, I invite you to spend some time with these accomplished gentlemen:
Also, I’ll mention that I’m donating any proceeds from my solo music (including the new remaster, which is dropping a day early) to the NAACP Defense Fund through the end of 2020. But that feels like the least I can do.
As of this weekend, I have been Queen’s Bard of the East for a full three months–a quarter of the year that champions are supposed to serve. I continue to be honored and deeply humbled at this opportunity, and recognize the good fortune and privilege that allowed me to compete and to serve. With that said, I need to level with you about something:
This position does not look like it did on the brochure.
For those who don’t know, the kingdoms of the SCA have been creating videos of each populace dancing to popular songs as a way to stay connected and keep our spirits up during this time of being stuck at home.
The East Kingdom just brought it. This is my kingdom. East is the Beast.
My friends (those I know and those I don’t yet):
If you wish to perform a song of mine on a livestream, in an online bardic circle, or in a video, know that you have my blessing and permission, as long as it isn’t for money, and you credit me as the author. (This was true prior to the current crisis, and will be true after it is over.)
Feel free to check the Bardic Work page for the full list.
Drake Oranwood, Queen’s Bard of the East
(Thanks to my friend Mistress Aife for modeling this offer.)
Saturday was my first Crown Tourney in a while. I had missed serving as a list herald, which is as combat-adjacent as I get using my particular skillset (i.e., my voice). It was a busy event, albeit a cold one (thank you, Suba, for the loan of your pink gloves partway through the event, for which I received many fashion compliments!).
This past week, a beautiful, vibrant, and much-loved young woman, Debbie Waldinger, known in the SCA as Catalina Beatriz de las Torres, was taken from us. The events surrounding her loss have shaken the East Kingdom to its core, along with the rest of the Society.
I had only just started getting to know Cat, and can only imagine how her many close friends and family must feel. They are in my thoughts. I offer our Queen my support, as do so many in our kingdom and the SCA at large, as she continues her new reign on her own.
Out of respect for the loss and the feelings of everyone in our community, I have de-listed the song page and the video for the filk that I wrote and performed for our royalty recently. I do not wish it to be a distraction in this time of grief and sorrow.
We headed up to Carolingia (Massachusetts) on Saturday for Falling Leaves. There were two primary reasons we ventured so far from home. The first was that our Marauders campmate Eadgyth æt Stæningum was on vigil for the Order of the Pelican. And the second? Well, I had accepted a challenge from her Highness Margarita, and had agreed to answer it in court, resulting in a new filk, “Prince Luis”
(the page has lyrics, backstory, and documentation, because I had the time and couldn’t resist)
[UPDATE 10/13/19: In light of recent events, I have removed the song page and the video from public listings.]
Last weekend’s 8th Known World Cooks and Bards event, held in the Barony of Shattered Crystal in the Middle Kingdom, was absolutely wonderful. (I’ll do my best to avoid excuses for taking so long to write about it, though I am looking at the fading bug bites all over my arms and legs, and reflecting on recovering from a general lack of sleep. Still wouldn’t be the first time it took me a week to post about an event.) It was my first time traveling by plane to an out of kingdom event, and indeed, the first SCA event I’ve attended that wasn’t held in my home kingdom of the East, or neighboring AEthelmearc. It was also my first KWCB, since the last one was held five years ago.