Update on April Events (Cancelled) from Kingdom Seneschal

Dear Members of the Midrealm,

As the Dragon protects its treasure so do We, the Crown and Great Officers of State wish to protect the great Populace of the Midrealm. Thus, with a heavy heart, do We here proclaim the following:

All events (weekend events, business meetings, practices, other official SCA activity, etc.) are hereby cancelled, effective immediately through the end of APRIL. We will evaluate the situation at the end of April to determine the next appropriate steps.

This determination was not made lightly. However, under recent guidance from the CDC that activities with over 50 attendees be postponed and recent closures and actions by state officials We feel this is the best course of action for the safety of the Populace. If you’d like to see the referenced guidance:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

As previously announced pre-registration of events through PayPal will be disable until further notice. It is recommended that local branches stop offering a pre-registration option to avoid potential issues with refunds due to cancelled events or requests due to illness. To help ease the potential impact of these decisions, the Middle Kingdom will be making the following financial policy changes:

For local branches hosting events, the Middle Kingdom will assist local groups who provide site refunds to individuals who request one due to them or a family member being ill. Such requests would have to occur on or before the event. Policy to be re-evaluated in 60 days.

Local groups forced to cancel the use of a venue by government, venue, the Board of Directors of SCA, Inc. or by the Middle Kingdom: If the venue does not offer a full refund of the deposit and the forfeiture of the deposit would result in the group having a balance of less than $500 in their account, the Kingdom will assist to ensure a minimum of $500 remains in the group’s accounts for ordinary operational costs. Policy to be re-evaluated in 30 days.

You may find the most current, official, word at the following sites:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
Ohio: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
Indiana: http://www.state.in.us/isdh/
Illinois: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/
Kentucky: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/pages/covid19.aspx
Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
Iowa: https://idph.iowa.gov/
Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/

Remember, PROTECT YOUR FRIENDS, WASH THY HANDS! The plague was so 1347!

Yours in Service,
Master Cerridwen verch Ioreword
Middle Kingdom Seneschal

Pennsic War 49 – COVID-19 update

G’Day Everyone,

From the Mayor, Pennsic 49.

First of all, I want to reassure you all that the Pennsic 49 Senior Executive Group, the Pennsic Seneschal’s Group, Pennsic 49 Staff and the Management Group of Coopers Lake Camp Ground will continue to consider all precautions to protect Pennsic 49 attendees as much as possible from the current health Issue sweeping our countries, the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic outbreak. 

We are still about 4.3 months away from Pennsic and therefore have plenty of time to access and re-assess the risk to attendees and organisers alike as we get closer to Pennsic 49 start date. 

Pennsic War is a unique event for attendees who come face-to-face with one another every day. The Pennsic 49 executive is focused on delivering a safe, healthy event site by planning to adopt various precautions that are sustainable and safe for Pennsic 49 attendee’s long-term welfare in mind.  

I have already been in discussions with the James Brezel of the Coopers Lake Management group and we are progressing plans should a worst case situation develop. 

The Pennsic 49, Executive Management Group will remain alert to any increased risk and ensure that we take all precautions for the safety, health and wellbeing of all those who attend Pennsic. You will be advised of any future developments as they come to hand. However, it must be noted that at this stage there is no plan to cancel Pennsic 49. 

That being said, some decisions maybe be out of our hands. We have no control over the SCA, State or Federal Government bodies that may enforce closure of these types of events in the interest of public safety. However, we will plan and act accordingly as per that direction or advice from these bodies. 

At this time the SCA is approaching the issue of COVID-19 on a monthly basis and that is the plan for Pennsic 49. We are “NOT” pressing the panic button and Pennsic 49 is “NOT” being cancelled. 

We are now at Stage 1 only. 

Stage 1. Proceed with Planning for Pennsic49 as per usual.

Stage 2. In the event that Aethelmarc War Practice is cancelled, Pennsic 49 Executive Staff still plan to meet and continue the planning for Pennsic 49, however this will be with reduced numbers with essential staff members only, attending the meeting or appearing by Vidcom link to the meeting.

I promise I will keep everyone advised with the facts as they come to hand. If you don’t hear it from me, it has not been said. 

Kind regards
Greg Turkich
(Sir Gregory of Loch Swan)
Mayor
Pennsic 49 

From the Kingdom Seneshal on Covid-19

Dear Children of the Dragon,

In these troubled times we seek to do our best to protect and defend. Sometimes that means making difficult decisions for the health and safety of those that need it most. Thus on behalf of the Crown and the Great Officers of State, hear and know the following:
Gulf Wars has been officially cancelled.

All events (weekend events, business meetings, and practices, etc.) are hereby cancelled, effective immediately through the end of March. We will evaluate the situation at the end of March to determine the next appropriate steps.

Pre-registration of events through PayPal will be disable until further notice. It is recommended that local branches stop offering a pre-registration option to avoid potential issues with refunds due to cancelled events or requests due to illness. To help ease the potential impact of these decisions, the Middle Kingdom will be making the following financial policy changes:

For local branches hosting events, the Middle Kingdom will assist local groups who provide site refunds to individuals who request one due to them or a family member being ill. Such requests would have to occur on or before the event. Policy to be re-evaluated in 60 days.

Local groups forced to cancel the use of a venue by government, venue, the Board of Directors of SCA, Inc. or by the Middle Kingdom: If the venue does not offer a full refund of the deposit and the forfeiture of the deposit would result in the group having a balance of less than $500 in their account, the Kingdom will assist to ensure a minimum of $500 remains in the group’s accounts for ordinary operational costs. Policy to be re-evaluated in 30 days.

You may find the most current, official, word at the following sites:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
Ohio: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
Indiana: http://www.state.in.us/isdh/
Illinois: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/
Kentucky: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/pages/covid19.aspx
Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
Iowa: https://idph.iowa.gov/
Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/

Remember, PROTECT YOUR FRIENDS, WASH THY HANDS! The plague was so 1347!

Yours in Service,
Master Cerridwen verch Ioreword
Middle Kingdom Seneschal

Their Majesties’ April Letter in The Pale

Salutations, Midrealm,

This is Our last Pale letter for Our Reign and We cannot say thank you enough for the privilege of this year. It has been absolutely a delight being able to travel to so many different groups and recognize good works publicly. We are so thankful for all the largesse and overall support We have been given. We are especially thankful for Our predecessors, Duke Edmund and Duchess Kateryn, and Our Heirs, Felix and Madeleina. Without their direct guidance We would not have been able to serve you as well and We thank them for Their Service to the Kingdom.

We also want to give a special thank you to Our Chamberlains – Baron Wilhelm and Baroness Alzbeta. They were Outstanding and truly made this intense year as painless as it could have been. Additional staff that We wish to publicly commend are Our regional Staff: Evzenie, Antonia, Sarah, Hypathia, and Aya. Additional members of Our Staff who were irreplaceable: Emmiken and Zahra.

We are adding one event to the last month of Our Royal Progress which will be Martial Rum to be held April 11, 2020, in the Barony of Sternfeld. Finally, we hope many of you can come to the Coronation of Felix and Madeleina, May 2, as it promises to be a beautiful celebration of Our Kingdom and traditions.

DRACO INVICTUS!
-Seto and Ynes

Their Highness’s April Letter in The Pale

Greetings!

Noble subjects of the Middle Kingdom, spring is upon the Realm. We have returned safe from campaign in the lands to the south and We hope that Gulf Wars was a time of fellowship and fond memories for everyone. As spring is a time of change, We too must speak of change. The timing of these publications is challenging, and We do not wish to overstep Our current station. We have been encouraged by Their Royal Majesties to address these topics, and by Their leave We shall speak to them.

In Our minds, Coronation and Crown Lists are the paramount celebration of the Middle Kingdom. We would encourage all to attend and participate in these celebrations. At Coronation We would invite people to don appropriate masks during the day if it pleases them. This was a custom of Court in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and we seek only to allow people a bit of fun. Her Highness and I will be sponsoring a King’s and Queen’s Tournament. All those who are of worth, seek renown, or seek to please the King or Queen should present themselves in armor of good repair with no rust or garments that are torn, and fight to be recognized as a champion of the day. Many honors and prizes shall be given in the evening Court, before feast.

We look to have an evening revel after Court at a local inn. Please come enjoy the day, smile, laugh, have fun, and share in the joy that is The Middle Kingdom. Crown List combatants and consorts, please read the requirements and abide by them. The standards for this tournament are the highest. Doing the minimum isn’t the goal. Being an example to the Known
World is the goal. We will hold all who vie to be Our Heirs accountable for their actions and presentation and shall name you unworthy should you fail in comportment, calibration or presentation. Aspiring to this great privilege is no easy thing; the responsibilities are vast and demanding. This is your first test in your aspirations. Prepare well and good luck; We and the populace are watching.

Know in advance, the space around the list field at Crown shall be reserved for those who have medieval period tents, pavilions and shades. We ask that you keep all modern items from view in these areas. This includes chairs, cans, coolers, tables and an endless number of other items. We are striving very hard for a medieval tournament. We have made Our wishes known to the event steward and the list coordinator. Please work with them as they arrange this difficult task. We would like to thank Their Royal Majesties Seto and Ynes. They have been kind to Us and allowed Us to have a great deal of room to maneuver for Pennsic preparations. They have encouraged Us to be vocal and act as We see fit. We wish Them well in all things and are grateful for Their service to this Kingdom.

We love this Kingdom. We are grateful for the privilege to lead and serve this greatest of Realms. Be kind when you can, find joy in what you do, work to make The Kingdom a better community.

Go in peace,
Felix et Madeleina

KMOAS – April Letter in The Pale

My first month as KMOAS has been very exciting and very busy! On February 22, we had the first Queen’s Prize Tournament in the Midrealm, with 27 entrants! I have heard many positive comments and we are hoping that future Queens will be interested in supporting this event as well.

Additionally, the first A&S Faire of the Season was February 29 in the South Oaken region and had 14 entries! I am looking forward to the rest of this Fair Season!

Finally, both the Constellation and South Oaken Regional MOAS position will be available this summer. Please check out the job postings on the Kingdom Jobs page.

Maestra Sarai Tindall Sogliano
Midrealm KMOAS
kmoas@midrealm.org

Dragon Herald – April Letter in The Pale

Greetings unto the Middle Kingdom,

As the winter days turn longer, we see that it is time we sow the seeds of heraldry and try to grow some new heralds, particularly in the field of book heraldry. If you are interested, please speak with me, Estelle Rouge Scarpe, or Ragna Escutcheon.

Speaking of Rouge Scarpe, Dame Estelle has decided it is time for her to step down. The Rouge Scarpe is the External Submissions herald. To do this job you must have OSCAR access and be willing to learn how to do the back-end parts of that website. Must possess good email communication skills and be able to work in a timely manner to review submissions, make decisions on names and armory, and create a monthly letter on OSCAR, as well as schedule and host online decision meetings on Slack.com. Basic graphic arts skills and basic heraldic knowledge are highly suggested. Training before stepping up, and support after assuming the office, will be provided for OSCAR and Slack. Applications will be accepted until 1 May 2020. Please sent them to herald@midrealm.org and rougescarpe@midrealm.org.

In Service to Crown and College
I remain,

Jean Yves de Chierebourg
Dragon Herald

Kingdom Exchequer – April Letter in The Pale

Greetings unto the Exchequers and populace of the most glorious Middle Kingdom,

I am pleased to announce that my successor to the office of Kingdom Exchequer has been chosen. Please help to welcome Baroness Eilis the Stone as the new Kingdom Exchequer. She will begin her tenure at Spring Coronation 2020. I have the utmost faith in her ability to see to the financial state of the kingdom.

Some reminders:
Our monthly reports are due on the LAST day of the month following the reporting month (example: May Report – Due June 30). Any two months of late reports will result in your group being put on financial probation.

Your NMS reports are due within 10 business days from the event and can be mailed with the check to Rhiannon Jones, 2358 Westbrook Drive, Toledo, Ohio 43613. If your event is donation, free, or cancelled, please email me at exchequer@midrealm.org to let me know. Failure to report will result in financial probation for your group with removal of all events on the calendar, and the group being unable to use their funds. Waivers get emailed to waivers@midrealm.org and are due within 30 days of your event.

Every exchequer should be part of the email list. The link is under “Useful Links” on the Exchequer page of midrealm.org.

Thank you, everyone, for all your continued hard work and dedication to the Dream. Should you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, I am always available to listen and provide any aid within my power to give.


In Service to Kingdom and Crown,
Rhiannon Blaiddwen
Kingdom Exchequer

Kingdom Chatelain – – April Letter in The Pale

Greetings, Midrealmers, both new and old!
The SCA is, by and large, a welcoming, friendly and inclusive organization. However, there is one subset of the SCA that I have seen regularly shunned, ignored and denigrated. To help address this inequity, I invited a member of that subset to pen a letter outlining their experiences and beliefs. That letter follows.

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

While this quote has been attributed to Abe Lincoln, Samuel Johnson, Mark Twain, Confucius, and countless others, my limited research indicates that we should credit “unknown.” While this statement is useful when applied to intellect, what if we paraphrase using emotional language: “Better to remain stoic and be though uncaring than to express and remove all doubt”? While imperfect, this phrase represents a reasonable starting point to discuss the challenges of being politically conservative in the SCA.

I should note that the greater challenge of being an open conservative is in regard to the eSCA, as opposed to active participation at events. Recently, the SCA published a “Statement of Core Values” for members and participants in all events and activities of the SCA. Ironically, the statement does not explicitly address the eSCA (unless one considers online discussions “events and activities”). At events, there is much to do that allows one to avoid spirited discussions of personal politics.

The SCA, in my opinion, is a structural meritocracy where the value is assigned to us as individuals who may eventually result in recognition by the Crown in the form of awards and the elevation to orders [of merit]. While baronial or AoA level awards and orders of merit emphasize what we do rather than how we do it, the Peerage Orders require intangible “peer-like qualities.” This adds a layer of the subjective to be considered alongside the objective measures of accomplishment. Meaning that at some point it is no longer enough to have “done the thing” well; rather, there is the need to impress the right people (i.e., those who have the ear of the Crown). However, those people certainly have personal opinions of the intangibles as various as their preference for scrambled eggs, ambient temperature or hue of lavender.

As a conservative thinker, the idea we can be objectively measured by what we do appeals to me. The challenge is applying one’s personal measurement of the intangibles to another individual without judgment of their personal politics. Even worse is to formulate opinion based on a caricature of said politics. Worst of all is to make assumptions without a discussion with the individual of how they came to their beliefs.

Overall, my experience is that liberal opinions are far more readily accepted than conservative opinions, especially in the eSCA. And since the eSCA is a reflection of social media in general, it contains the many of the same unsavory aspects, including (but not limited to) “cancel culture.” For those unfamiliar with the term, “cancel culture” is the radical idea that certain political opinions are not just wrong, but that individuals should not be allowed to express them and that those who do should be silenced, fired from their jobs and otherwise publicly shamed—effectively “cancelling” someone not because of what they have expressed, rather for what they think.

While we all hope that the SCA’s principles of chivalry, courtesy, and learning would preclude anyone from “cancelling” another because of their political views, there is a definite risk of expressing politics that clash with the majority, especially when you are walking upon the path to Peerage. For this reason, conservatives are more likely to keep their political opinions to themselves. Those few that are more expressive are often Peers already or are simply not interested in the active pursuit of Peerage.

In the end, every political persuasion wants what is best for society (not the SCA, in this case). Unfortunately, there is a perception by conservatives that having the “wrong” opinion (that is, counter to the majority liberal perspective) may be detrimental to their success in the SCA and would reduce their overall enjoyment in their chosen hobby. They are willing to risk silence, with all the accoutrements; and that is the greatest of their challenges.

Anonymous

I have no pithy epilogue for this topic, only to point out that it is perhaps telling that the author requested to remain anonymous.

In service,
Nikolai

Kingdom Seneschal – April Letter in The Pale

Greetings, Midrealm!

In light of current events and the regular flu season,  Please remember to wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, eyes (and, yes, those are all on your face). Cough into your shoulder or elbow. Wipe surfaces down with disinfectant. If you are sick, stay home from events, even if you don’t think you are contagious. If you attend an event and appear to be exhibiting symptoms that pose a serious health concern, you may be asked to leave due to safety of everyone around you. We recreate many things; the plague need not be one of them!

Master Cerridwen
Middle Kingdom Seneschal