I first like to thank everyone from all the Kingdoms around the Known World that have been in communication with myself and our Crown and our landed nobility in the areas hit by Harvey.  Your concern and generosity has been nothing less than inspiring.  Thank you for all you continue to do to walk beside us in our time of need.

I want to thank everyone for wanting to step up and help.  I know of several fundraisers in the works.  I know of collection jars at events for gift cards at events in many Kingdoms.  The generosity of our SCAdian family always touches my heart and I am always in awe of how we help our own find their feet in these situations.

I would also like to thank the populace of our Kingdom for opening their homes during this time.  As of right now, everyone who is evacuated currently has a place to stay.  As this is a fluid situation and things will continue to change, I am keeping a list of everyone who has offered their home on the chance that as people continue to be evacuated or as people are allowed home, we need to utilize your home for those who find themselves without a place to go.  If you have crash space, or if you find yourself without a place to go (or you know of a family that doesn’t have somewhere to go – sometimes our newer families don’t always know how to reach out for help), please let me know so we can make the necessary arrangements.

I have received the names of several individuals who have been directly impacted by the storms, and a few have been in touch with me directly.  If you have been impacted by the storm and will need help, or you know of someone who has been impacted by the storm and you think they may need help (because some SCA people are hard headed and won’t volunteer they need help even when their house has blown down), please send me their information.  Names will remain confidential unless they tell me I may release them.  All I need is a name and an email address and I can do the rest.  They can even tell me they don’t feel they want or need help (I will just redistribute what would have been allocated to them to the others).  Once we know most people have a fairly clear idea of losses, we will start working on if anyone has “stuff” needs and/or SCA equipment or regalia we need to address.

To address immediate needs, we are taking gift cards and PayPal/cash donations.

We will have a collection jar at Braggart’s War this weekend.

For collection jars in a Kingdom near you, check your Kingdom pages.

PayPal address for donations: AnsteorraTwister@gmail.com

The account only has monies donated for Hurricane Harvey Victims given by individuals for other individuals.  No donations given are tax deductible.

Mail Donations to: Brandy Merrell, 629 Unbridled Lane, Keller, TX 76248

Again, I want to reiterate a very big thank you to everyone for the response to this situation. It is truly overwhelming and a little humbling, even for someone who has worked a major disaster before.


Yours in Service,


Marion, DRC Ansteorra

Greetings from Ansteorra!

As everyone knows, The Kingdom has been visited by Hurricane Harvey.  It has ravaged our coastline and many of our Baronies and Shires in that group have taken more than 20” of rain with more on the way.  Many people have evacuated, and some are still in the process of being evacuated.  It will be some time before we know the full extent of the damage Harvey has left.

Their Majesties, their Highnesses, and their Excellencies Bonwicke, their Excellencies Elfsea, and their Excellencies Steppes, and the autocrat of Braggart’s War this weekend have been very gracious in allowing me to place a collection container at the gate table to collect gift cards and cash for the victims of this storm. Please do not bring stuff. We are not ready to accept donations other than gift cards or cash, there is nowhere to store the stuff (the rain is still falling and everyone is still evacuated).  We will do another collection for this at a later time.

At this point, we are going to limit donations to gift cards, cash, and PayPal donations. Once people have returned to their homes and begun to assess the damage, we will begin to start a list (physical and amazon wish-type) of “stuff” that needs to be replaced, but we will only do that once the rain has stopped, Harvey has left, and they have a place to put it.

The only monies in the PayPal account are relief funds. Any cash received will be added to the PayPal account for accounting/accountability purposes. It is not an SCA affiliated account, nor are the donations tax deductible. All monies need to be given by individuals to help those who want to help those affected. All donations will be used to help the affected, and any excess money (after the tornado, we split all monies equitably, and I foresee this being the same situation with no excess) will be given equally to Red Cross, Salvation Army, TX Food Bank, and the Humane Society.

We could also use gift cards to help fill immediate needs and help with clean-up. The best gift cards are Generic Visa/MC, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, HEB, PetCo, and other big box stores.

Donations can be sent to the PayPal address AnsteorraTwister@gmail.com.

Mail (and gift card) donations can be sent to me:

Brandy Merrell
629 Unbridled Lane

Keller, TX 76248

I will send them on to where they will be most helpful.

Anyone can feel free to contact me for more information or clarification: Brandy.Merrell@gmail.com.

In Service,

Lady Marion inghean ui Ruanadha
DRC Ansteorra


The Monthly Roundup: September 2017 (a quick summary of the calendar listed events)

By HL Ivo Blackhawk
Deputy Editor

The fall season is shaping up to be a busy one this year, with no less than nine events or activities spread across five weekends in the month on the kingdom calendar.

Starting off the month in style, Braggart’s War will run from September 1st through the 4th, taking advantage of the Labor Day holiday to give the camping event an extra day of competitions and activities. This war will see the baronies of Bonwicke, Elfsea, and Steppes come together in a three-way competition involving thrown weapons, target and combat archery, chivalric, and rapier combat, as well as numerous other activities, including a largess derby. The event will also have a plethora of Kingdom level activity as there will be both the crown and heirs present at the event. They will be hosting a Centurions circle and a White Scarf circle as well. The hosting site is Sid Richardson Scout Ranch, located approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes North West of Fort Worth. Event registration is $25 for adults and children 6-17 are $10. Children under 6 are free of charge.

On Sunday the 4th, there will be an entirely different activity, as Shadowlands hosts an Open House demo in conjunction with the Texas A&M Student Organization. As outreach to the local community is important to the SCA, anyone in the Texas A&M area that day is encouraged to reach out to Shadowlands and see if they can help with the display. Please remember that as the demo is on a college campus, weapons and alcohol restrictions do apply. College Station is, interestingly enough, roughly equidistant, about an hour and a half, from Waco, Houston, and Austin, Texas.

On a much more formal note, on Tuesday the 5th, the Barony of Eldern Hills will be conducting a baronial polling, held on the campus of Cameron University in Lawton, OK. If you are a member of the barony or have a vested interest in this process, please look for details on the kingdom calendar to help decide if you should attend.

On Saturday, September the 9th, Bryn Gwlad will host this year’s Laurel’s Prize tournament. This one-day, kingdom-level competition will see artistic displays judged or just commented on by some of the kingdom’s best artistic minds. Artisans are encouraged to attend, and those interested in feedback are encouraged to display or enter the competition. A lunchtime sideboard will be included with your site registration. The all-day, indoor event will take place at VFW Bell Post 1820, in Temple, TX, approximately an hour south of Waco.

September the 15th through the 18th will see two events, one in the north, and one in the south.

Starting with Raven’s Fort, the barony will be hosting its annual “Defender of the Fort” event. Competitions will include championships in Chivalric, Rapier, Bardic, and archery, as well as  A&S, with a separate title for brewing. Additionally, there will be three age groups for non-adult competitions will be held in Bardic, Arts & Sciences, Rapier and youth chivalric. The local Minister of Children will also be running non-competitive activities. Feast will be served Saturday night, and the crown prince will be in attendance at this event. Site is considered primitive with barrel water and port-a-potties for facilities. Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring their own drinking water. There is no event address, but directions can be found on the Raven’s Fort event page, as well as in the Black Star. Registration costs for the event are $15 for adults, $10 for children 6-17. Feast cost is $8 per head for the first hundred people to purchase. Children 5 and under are free admission. The location shows as one hour, fifteen minutes north of Houston, TX.

Moving north, the Province of Mooneschadowe will host the 12th Provincial Triumph of the Eclipse event. The weekend camping event will include competitions to select Championships in chivalric combat, rapier, target archery, thrown weapons, and bardic, as well as Children’s championships in youth heavy weapons, archery, and bardic.  The event will also host equestrian games, with riders expected from both Ansteorra and Calontir. The Crown will be in attendance, and will also host a Masters of Defense Circle, as well as meeting of the Order of the Golden Lance. The event stewards also want people to know that taverns will be open Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday for lunch. The event takes place at Will Rodger’s Boy Scout Camp, in Cleveland Oklahoma, approximately 45 minutes west of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Site registration is $15 for adults, $5 for children 7-17, and free for children under 6.

September 29th through October 1st is listed as Bryn Gwlad’s fall baronial event and shows both the crown and heirs in attendance.

Saturday, October 1th will see the Barony of Elfsea host its Baronial College. The indoor, day event, themed “Newcomers are the future”, will see a full day of classes along all levels of interest, as well as hosting the prince and princess. Additionally, the baron and baroness will be selecting their Arts & Sciences Champion. The event will be held at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church, in Fort Worth, TX.

More information about each of these events can be found on the kingdom calendar, including links to maps, contact information for the stewards, and more detailed breakdown of site registrations, family maximums, and details about membership discounts. Visit the Kingdom calendar at  http://www.ansteorra.org/events.php 

The great Baronies of Bonwicke, Elfsea and Steppes have declared their differences cannot be settled by any means but on the battlefield and in the halls of competition. All negotiations have ceased and the great armies will clash Sept. 1 to 4 on the great field at Sid Richardson’s Boy Scout Camp, Pvt Rd. 1706, Lake Bridgeport, TX 76426 (near Bridgeport, TX).

All Ansteorrans are urged to muster their fighters, artisans, bards, volunteers and all competitors as the baronies vie for glory and victory in all areas of mastery.

Event registration is $25 with SCA Member Discount of $20 , Youth (ages 6-17) of $10 and Children age 5 & under are admitted free.

The schedule is as follows:

Friday September 1, 2017

4:00pm: Site Opens
6:00pm: Travelers Feast provided by Dragon’s Fire Tor

Saturday September 2, 2017

9:00 am: Morning Court
Following Court: Vigil for Amalot Lisette to the Order of the Pelican
9:30 am: Armor Inspection
Chivalric and Combat Archery: Melee Field
Rapier: List Field
10:00 am: Chivalric Melee – With Combat Archery (War Point)
10:00 am: Rapier Tournament (War Point)
10:30 am: Thrown Weapons(War Point)
11:00 am: A&S Competition Opens (War Point)
1:00 pm: Bonwick’s Baronial Champions – Rapier Tournament
Or 30 Minutes Following end of War Point
2:00pm: Bonwick’s Baronial Champions – Thrown Weapons
Or 30 Minutes Following end of War Point
2:30 pm: Youth Combat Armor Inspection
3:00 pm: Youth Combat Melees
3:00 pm: Centurion Circle
4:00 pm: A&S Competition Closes
4:00 pm: White Scarf Circle
6:00 pm: Evening Court – Amalot Lissette’s elevation to the Order of the Pelican
Following Court: Vigil for Colleen O’Kelly to the Order of the Pelican
Following Court: Potluck dinner hosted by Lord Ravenger Wulfkin and Lady Caristiona Mac Laine
Following Potluck: Bardic Circle
Following Bardic: Hafla

Sunday September 3, 2017

9:00 am: Morning Court – Colleen O’Kelly’s elevation to the Order of the Pelican
9:30 am: Armor Inspection
Chivalric: List Field
Rapier: Melee Field
9:30 am: Youth Combat Armor Inspection
10:00 am: Youth Combat Tournament
10:00 am: Rapier Melee (War Point)
10:00 am: Chivalric Tournament (War Point)
10:30 a.m.: Archery (War Point)
11:00 am: Largess Derby Opens
11:00 am: Centurion Meet and Beat
11:30 am: Performing Arts Point
1:00 pm: Bonwick’s Baronial Champions – Chivalric Tournament
Or 30 Minutes Following end of War Point
2:00 pm: Bonwick’s Baronial Champions – Archery Tournament
Or 30 Minutes Following end of War Point
4:0 0am: Largess Derby Closes
6:00 pm: Evening Court

Monday September 4, 2017

11:00 am: Site Closes

Laurel’s Prize Tourney is fast approaching and is an opportunity for Kingdom artisans to gain valuable feedback of work without the stress of competition and without a judging sheet.

Artisans will have the chance to sit and gain one-on-one face to face insight, to ask questions and to have direct access to others with a wealth of knowledge. The event is also an opportunity to meet with other artisans fro around the kingdom and see their projects as well.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to pre-register and remaining space will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Visit to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NSFCSZB to pre-register.

Laurel’s Prize Tourney is set for 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 9 at VFW Bell Post 1820 (Old Post)3302 Airport Rd, Temple, TX 76504. The Lord and Lady of Hellsgate, Baron and Baroness of Bryn Gwlad are pleased on behalf of the Stellar Kingdom of Ansteorra to host in the lands of the Stronghold of Hellsgate.

A Sideboard Luncheon is included in the site fee. Site is wet in period containers for tasting purposes only. Alcohol for personal consumption may be purchased through the Post Tavern.

The Canton of Skorragardr will host the annual event to choose a champion for the title of Axeman in atraditional Axe and Plank Tournament. The event will be held Nov. 3 to 5 at Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma Camp Dakani, 3309 E. Hefner Road in Oklahoma City.

Addition competitions for both youth and adult include:
• Archery
• Bardic
• Rapier
• Thrown Weapons
• Arts & Sciences*

Other activities planned include:
• Helga Ball for valiant Norsewomen
• Norse games of strength and dexterity
• Youth and Family activities

Norse-themed entries for the Arts & Sciences are welcomed, but not required and will not influence judging. However, note card documentation is a minimum requirement for participation.

Alcohol in period containers only. Dogs must be on a leash and only service animals are permitted at registration.

Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. They may also attend with a 21 year or older adult with a signed and notarized Minor Event Waiver Form from the parents.

Event registrations:
Adult Registration: $15
Adult Member Discount Registration: $10
Child Registration (Ages 12-17): $5
Youth Registration (11 & Under): Free
Family Max $45
Member Family Max $30
Please make checks payable to: SCA Inc./ Canton of Skorragardr

by Ivo Blackheart

Sir Riccardo Di Pissa

To hear those who knew Sir Riccardo Di Pissa speak of him is to hear a string of absolutes glued together by places and names.

Described as “the largest personality,” “the loudest,” “the most fun” and “the archetypal Lion,” people said when Riccardo set foot on site, he embraced the game with both arms and was determined to live his SCA life to the fullest, having as much fun as humanly possible while doing it.

Knighted in summer of 1981, Riccardo was one of the informal group of knights considered a first generation of native chivalry by today’s standards. The Kingdom, not even five years old at the time, was still in its infancy with new members learning what it was to be Ansteorra, and longer-standing members learning the same following the kingdom’s separation from Atenveldt.

Riccardo came into his element as an energetic prankster, fighter, bombast, royalist, flirt, and ad hoc thespian. Those who knew him said he never turned down a chance to have fun, or to encourage others to do the same with him. The energy and enthusiasm he put into both the the society and the people around him was recognized for its full worth in 1982 when he was made a Lion by King Lloyd II & Queen Joselyn II.

Count Jan, Riccardo’s knight and third king of Ansteorra, spoke of the man’s antics and accomplishments during a recent interview.

One such adventure saw Ricardo travel to Atenveldt as royal entourage with the specific intent of winning the prize for best death that day, a dramatic flare that the Atenveldt crown was actively encouraging. Towards that end, Ricardo fell to the ground in several dramatic ways that day. But, Jan recalled, the theatrics did not stop with the tournament.

That night at feast, Riccado took on the role of poison tester, tasting every piece of food and sipping every glass that was presented before the Ansteorra crown. When not taking on the role of poison tester, he stood at the King’s side throughout the meal, rather than sit down and join in the meal.

The example set by Riccardo had a dramatic effect on the presence of the feasters that night. As the meal went on, Knights rose to stand next to their king or nobles in like fashion, some even tasting the food as well. What had started as a friendly meal had taken on a distinct level of formality, fun, and a distinct medieval flair by the last remove.

In the tournament of Lyons in Bejornsburg, Jan was unable to attend due to health considerations, but Riccardo didn’t pass up an opportunity. Riccardo impersonated his knight so that Jan’s presence would not be missed. Those present later agreed that the man’s gestures, swagger, attitude, and speech were a worthy invocation of the kingdom’s third monarch.

During a later crown tournament, he entered court with his squires flanking him and a group of hired drummers in tow, adding musical accompaniment to his entrance. And at another Crown, he sent his letter of intent in calligraphied Italian. No one in the court could actually read it, but it was still considered both impressive and typical of Riccardo.

The man’s larger-than-life presence was not limited to the list field or the event,.

“He played his persona to the hilt,” said Jan, saying he was also a fun-loving “dirty old man” who never hesitated to compliment a woman, but always knew when to end the joke before someone was truly offended.

At a fighter practice, he ambushed the local heavy fighters by armoring some of the local rapier community and giving them spears, leading them in a surprise attack on the unsuspecting chivalric fighters.

“The marshals today would have a conniption fit if we did something like that,” Jan said.

One contemporary recalled his frequently greeting acquaintances with “Hello, my name is Sir Riccardo di Pisa. Oh, I see you’ve heard of me? Good, that is how it should be!”

Even within artistic fields, humor did not escape him. When Riccardo’s arms were passed, he commissioned a pair of leggings to be made with heraldic flame down the sides. During the process, the seamstress used red and black markers to outline where the stitching had to go. The side effect of this was the permanent marker bled through and stained his skin, leaving the bombastic knight with red and black flames to explain any time anyone saw his bare legs.

Jan also pointed out that Riccardo’s enthusiasm was strongly credited with helping to make Gulf Wars the success it had become today. He was seen and remembered for his loud, encouraging proclamations of a pending war and a call to rally the troops.

Riccardo’s love of courts played well to this endeavor. He was boisterous, and he would take on a “fundamentalist preacher” persona to try and rally the troops. People asked for “brother Riccardo to come speak with us” to help recruit the troops. The efforts, though best remembered for Gulf Wars, were also put forward for many other, smaller, wars or events over the years.

The campaign helped Ansteorra muster large forces during the early years of the war, creating the building blocks that we see today where attendance at the great event is part of the kingdom culture.

But perhaps the single longest lasting aspect of Riccardo is an artefact that is now all but enshrined in the kingdom culture.

Cynric of Bedwyn, one of Riccardo’s Squires recently recounted how in the early 1990s, Riccardo forged his own sword with the aid of Master Peter of the Golden Isle in Bryn Gwlad. In 1995, Riccardo’s health declined, and he received a liver transplant, curtailing his time in armour. After his discharge, he passed the sword to his Cynric, who held it for two years.

In the fall of 1997, the Ansteorran Sword of State was stolen from the king’s vehicle following his return home from an event. This would set the backdrop for events to follow later that reign.

In spring of 1998, Riccardo had minor surgery, but complications from the procedure would ultimately prove to be more than he could overcome. He passed away less than two weeks from the start of Gulf Wars 7.

Jan recounted that Riccardo’s death was among the first of its type for the kingdom, the loss of a figure that well known and that largely respected was a new chapter for a then young kingdom still working to fully form its own identity. The word of his death was the undercurrent for nearly every battle and court held in Ansteorra that war.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Cynric recounted, he reach out to the kingdom and offered Riccardo’s sword to the Ansteorra as a long term loan so long as it was in use as the Sword of State. The process started at Gulf War that year.

When a new member asked about Sir Riccardo at the war, one of the crown’s attendants, a man who’s name is lost to antiquity, would summarize the knight’s story with, “he was a hero, from a kingdom of heroes!”

In the intervening two decades, the sword would be used for oaths of fealty and service by the crown, and to this day, the sword of Riccardo Di Pissa is still held by the court and is part of the tools of state used for official business. Later still, a road at the Gulf War’s site, in the Ansteorran encampment, was named Sir Riccardo Di Pissa Way in his honor.

“Even Riccardo’s detractors considered him a quintessential Lion,” said Jan. “Riccardo knew how to play the game. It came to him naturally, and when he played it, other people felt better. Come to a campfire and talk about Riccardo with people who knew him. Riccardo was a flawed man, but was a great spirit.”

And thus, from a Kingdom of heroes came Sir Riccardo Di Pissa.

At the last Round Table, a new addition to the Kingdom Seneschal’s Handbook was signed. The Kingdom Seneschal has been tasked to initiate a baronial opinion survey on behalf of the Crown every three years after every major change of Landed Nobility. This is a chance for members of a baronial populace to provide any and all thoughts and feedback directly to the Crown on the health of their group. It is not a formal action, nor are there any formalized follow-up actions.

The first batch of baronies to be surveyed will be Namron, Bonwicke, and Bjornsborg. More will follow at a later date.

Please send all feedback directly to the Crown ONLY at crown@ansteorra.org. Please be sure to put the words “Baronial Survey – [name of your Barony]” in the subject line of your missive. Your opinions and feedback will be held in the strictest confidence by the Crown. The feedback period is open immediately, and runs until the end of September.

Modius, Kingdom Seneschal

Please send all feedback ONLY to CROWN@ANSTEORRA.ORG.

Have feedback for the Kingdom Webminister? Email them at kingdom@webminister.ansteorra.org.