The Editor of The Pale – May 2020 Letter

My dear people of the Middle Kingdom; family, friends and those I look forward to meeting someday, too.

What a time we are living in. I know that for most of us (all of us?), we are still processing and trying to figure out just how to function in this ‘new normal’ that the world has presented us. Across the Kingdom we are seeing so many people juggling life right now, and the effect of this pandemic runs the gamut for the populace. It is an uncertain time, as well as an ever-changing one.

What I see most, however, trickling through the stress and frustration, is a community that has risen to this challenge. People are creating virtual watch parties, classes, and other gatherings to help everyone connect. I have seen people reach out for help and have so much assistance offered that my heart fills with joy just knowing the incredible generosity of spirit that we have in this wonderful Kingdom. And, most wonderful of all, is the support and hope given when someone needs it most.

We in the Middle Kingdom are a tribe. We collectively represent five states and two countries.  We are thousands of people strong, with an amazing collective experience.

So, I ask you to look around.

Look at the amazing way this Kingdom has pulled together, weathering changes more strongly, more resolutely and with an uncommon grace and understanding.

Know that the virtual arms of the friends and family–
Of this great culture– are here for you.
Be brave and let yourself feel.
Be courageous and let yourself break.
Know strength, by allowing yourself to show weakness.
Show your weaknesses, and let others be strong for you,
And then, when you are settled, you can be so for them.

We are all here.
We are all scared.
And yet, we are also all so incredibly blessed.
In this strange time that mimics the long-ago history that we have studied for years,
See that they, too, recovered.
The world survived, then.
We will, too.

And, yes, while we have loss, and fear,
We will also find joy and friendship.
We will fight this and grow together.
Our bonds will strengthen.
Our love will persevere,
And we will be together again.

This is you.
This is us.
This is our shared sadness and
Our celebrated joy, even across barriers.
This is our support.
This is our friendship, and
This…. Is our love.

This is your Tribe.

JahanAra
Editor of The Pale

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

Kingdom Chatelain- March letter in The Pale

Greetings, Midrealmers, both old and new!

As you’ve most likely heard, the Kingdom recently eliminated the “pay to play” requirement for combatants in the Middle. This got me thinking about membership and, more importantly, what it means to belong to something.

It used to be that your membership gave you a subscription to The Pale, which was critical for event planning, directions, and generally staying in the know about what’s happening within the Kingdom.

But now that every event has its own website, Google maps gives you directions without having to break out the atlas, and Kingdom news is shared first on the Facebook group—why would anyone remain a member?

I’ve heard from many long-time participants that membership used to be more important. That they felt more engaged as a member. And it’s easy to understand why: If you found the Society in the ‘70s or early ‘80s, you really were on the ground floor of actively inventing the traditions that we take for granted today. With 50 years of history behind us, I can understand why it might feel like things progress in a manner so rote and immutable that you’re less a contributing member and more just along for the ride.

However, I’d argue that there has never been a more exciting time to be a member of the SCA. Our grasp of the real history behind our actions is greater than ever before, and members are reenacting that history in new and exciting ways. From deeds of arms to persona-specific gatherings to households championing a particular time and place in the world, we are bringing history alive in ways that were previously unattainable. And I dismiss the naysayers who claim the SCA used to be more “fun.” I’ve seen tacky garb contests, Disney character parties, brawls using ridiculous weapons, and a rumored tiara party at Pennsic this year.

This is the benefit of belonging to the SCA today: a benefit that goes beyond saving a couple bucks at the gate or holding an office. When you’re a card-carrying member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, you have declared your intention and put your money where your mouth is, all to be part of what our organization stands for—the historical, the scholarly and the wacky.

Side note: of COURSE, you can be an active contributing member of the Society without being a member. It happens every day. I’m not saying that membership makes you a better SCA participant. Save your angry emails.

I encourage everyone to be a member of the Society. There’s a certain thrill of being able to produce that blue card that identifies you as belonging to this wonderful, unusual, unexpected and deeply nerdy organization we all love.

No adjustment to Kingdom law can ever change that.

In service,

Thuban Herald – March letter in The Pale

Greetings unto the Populace of the Middle Kingdom,

It is with great pleasure that I once again take up the mantle of Thuban Herald for the Kingdom. I’m responsible for providing or coordinating the provision of services for members of our populace who are D/deaf or hard of hearing. Sign Heralds, in general, are individuals who volunteer to use signed language or oral interpreting to communicate information to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing members of the populace during court, classes, and meetings.

Any member of the populace who has the desire can become a Sign Herald. As an individual builds their language skills and becomes more comfortable, they may decide to sign increasingly long or difficult material. Someone with fingerspelling knowledge may feel most comfortable at the gate while those with more extensive knowledge may choose to assist with court or classes.

Any individual who wishes to have a Sign Herald present for a specific event or activity at an event should contact me via email (thuban@midrealm.org) with the request including event name, date, and location. I will do my best to provide services based on the availability of a Sign Herald.

Please visit https://midrealm.org/herald/thuban/ for additional information on learning American Sign Language, deafness, or Sign Heraldry.

In service to the Kingdom,

Master Katalena

Attention Marshals and authorized participants: Kingdom Law Change

Attention Marshals and authorized participants:

Kingdom law has been changed.The law requiring membership in the Society to authorize or maintain an authorization in the Midrealm has been removed. Paid membership, or sometimes referred to as pay-to-play, will no longer be required to authorize, fight at events, or maintain an authorization in the Middle Kingdom as of March 31, 2020.
This law has been changed in accordance with Kingdom Law as determined by the Crown and Supported by Curia.

After MARCH 31, 2020 Here is what you need to know!!

  • An authorizing person must sign an individual waiver prior to authorizing, and present this to the MIC. This waiver must be sent to the Clerk of the Roster of the Middle Kingdom!
  • Everyone signs the roster waiver (UBER FORM). Everytime! Every official event/practice/war
  • An authorized person does not have to maintain a membership to maintain the authorization, but must have an individual waiver on file with the Clerk of the Roster of the Middle Kingdom!
  • All Marshals and Group Officers MUST MAINTAIN A SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP!!!!!
  • An INDIVIDUAL WAIVER must be signed prior to any person authorizing.
  • A SIGNED INDIVIDUAL WAIVER must be on file with the Clerk of the Roster. Send all signed Individual waivers to the Midrealm Clerk of the Roster!
  • All Official SCA/MIDREALM events, practices, tournaments, and wars will have a roster waiver (UBER FORM ) signed by all participants. Everyone signs the roster waiver, everytime!
  • A blue membership card is proof of membership. BUT NOT PROOF OF A SIGNED WAIVER ON FILE WITH THE CLERK OF THE ROSTER. A signed individual waiver must still be sent to , and on file with the Clerk of the Roster for the Middle Kingdom
  • The database will be updated to add a “WAIVER ON FILE” tile. The Clerk of the Roster will activate this tile when your waiver is officially on file with that office.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1) I’m a marshal, do I have to be a member?
YES!

2) When does this take effect?
March , 31 2020

3) I’m ready to authorize, do I need to have proof of membership?
After March 31, 2020 No. But you must sign a waiver and present it to the MIC of the event . This waiver will be sent to the Clerk of the Roster.

4) Do I need a membership to be a group officer?
YES!

5) I don’t have a waiver on file with the Clerk of the Roster, but I want to fight/ride. What do I do? SIGN A WAIVER at the event. Be sure that a waiver is sent to the Clerk of the Roster immediately.

6) I’m an MIC , what waiver forms do I need to have at my event after March 31, 2020??Individual waivers ( to be sent to the Clerk of the Roster), and the UBER FORM as a roster waiver.
All normal authorization paperwork and a copy of the handbook are also required.

7) I’m an MIC and my event is over. Where do I send my paperwork?
All paperwork from your event is to be sent to your Regional Marshal. Any individual waivers you have in your possession must end up with the Clerk of the Roster. Regionals will forward these on for you if postage is a problem. DON”T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR ROSTER WAIVER AND INDIVIDUAL WAIVERS!!!

8) Do I need to sign a waiver at my first Practice?
YES! Your Group marshal will keep this on file. You may be asked to sign other waivers at your authorization. I know this sounds redundant , and it is.

9) Will there be changes to the online authorization database as part of this change?
YES. A “waiver on file” tile will be added to show that the Clerk of the Roster has your waiver on file.This will help streamline our List Table process!

Also, we will be adding a line for your mundane name. This will help when you travel out of kingdom and there must be proof of identity.

10) Who do I contact for questions?
Your Regional Marshal is first!
Waiver questions may be directed to the Clerk of the Roster
Questions concerning your martial discipline in general should be directed at the Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal of your discipline.

Finally, if you have a question that cannot be answered by the Armored, Rapier, Equestrian, and youth DKEMS, please contact the Kingdom Earl marshal. Marshal@midrealm.org
I have been redundant in the above information because it is important.

Thank you,
Duke Ullr, Midrealm KEM

Do you have what it takes?

I have been in the position of Web Minister for close to five years now.  I am insanely proud of the systems that have arisen and the army of people that have come together to make it all possible.  I am also at a point now where I feel confident that another can step into the role of Kingdom Web Minister and not be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of technology that must be managed on top of managing the administrative side of things. 

To that end, I am seeking applications for my eventual replacement.  If you are interested in serving as Kingdom Web Minister, please send me an email at webminister@midrealm.org with your pertinent qualifications.  I would like to make a decision by the end of January and have that person shadow me through Coronation and Crown tournament.

Secondly, I have an opportunity for someone to gain real world IT experience and learn the inner workings of the Kingdom Services portal that has been built on an Oracle Database and Oracle’s Application Express (APEX) tool.  This is an apprenticeship where I will teach a person the basics of database administration, application development with APEX and Oracle’s PL/SQL Programming language, technologies that are used in many corporate environments.  I am hoping to build up the knowledge base of the Kingdom such that not all of the knowledge of how things run under the hood is concentrated in one place, and to allow someone to learn modern data administration in a less stressful environment than business yet has a relevancy beyond the very basics. 

If you are up for this challenge, or have questions about what it will entail, please send me an email at webminsiter@midrealm.org and I would be happy to discuss things with you.
In service, I remain,Baron Rijckaert vanUtrecht, OPKingdom Web Minister

Job Posting – Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences

The Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences shall have the responsibility for the encouragement and organization of the study and practice of all Arts and Sciences within the Middle Kingdom.. They will oversee, with their deputies, the administration of the A&S Faires and the Royal University of the Midrealm.  

They will need to travel and attend Curia meetings at least 4 times a year, as well as the Kingdom A&S Events, and should have a good knowledge base of the Kingdom and Society rules pertaining to the Arts and Sciences.Those interested should send their modern and SCA resume to kmoas@midrealm.org and TRM@midrealm.org and should be received by January 10th. The person chosen would start training in February 2020 and assume duties in September 2020.