kingdom achievement

While the society and the Kingdom strive for greatness in many things, it is important that it also remember to love what its does.

This fundamental concept is embodied wholesale with our next subject. Originally from the Province of Mooneschaodwe, and a perpetual citizen of the north, his has risen from the ranks of aspiring fighter to become one of the of the backbone of the kingdom’s fighting arm while also embracing the spirit of hard work, generosity, and comradery.

Perhaps only one thing typifies this man more than his foolish grin, and that the spirit of enjoyment he carries with him nearly all the time at events and meetings.

From a Kingdom of Heroes comes Sör Vladislav “Vlad” Strelec

 

Introduction

What is your full SCA name and full title? Also, what do you prefer to go by at events?

Answer: Sör Vladislav Strelec, KSCA. Vlad is always preferred.

How long have you been playing in the SCA (also, how long have you been in Ansteorra)?

Answer: I have been playing in the SCA since the fall of 2003. I have lived in Ansteorra for the entirety of my SCA life.

 

How did you come into the SCA?

Answer: How did I come into the SCA? I hope you are ready for a good one. My sophomore year of college at Ok. State I was living in the dorms. One of the friends that I had made on my floor was a member of the SCA and had constantly harped and nagged and pleaded for me to come out and give it a try. Honestly, I wanted to but felt that I didn’t have the time. One day I saw my friend coming down the hall towards my room. He always entered a la Kramer from Seinfeld, so I locked the door and let him run smooth into it. After I got done laughing I let him in while I started working on an assignment. He just stood there in silence watching me type. A little fact about said friend, he had the ability to pass gas at will. So, while I was typing he decided to call upon this ability and let it rip. I was beyond irritated and told him to get out of my room or we were going to fight. He said this, “Okay, let’s do it. K-D lawn at noon on Sunday” and walked out of the room. I just stood there wondering if I had just been called out to duel Old West style. So, I showed up at the aforementioned date and time, saw a bunch of people having the time of their life, found my friend, suited up, and fought for what felt like hours (in actuality, was only about 5 minutes). I. Was. Hooked. The fighting brought me in, but the people that I met that day were what kept me. To this day they are still some of the best friends that I have and I would not be where I am today if not for them.

 

What is your (current) persona?

Answer: Short Answer: 1358 Ottoman Turkish

Long Answer: Romany, rounded up in the Wallachian slave trade, sold to the Ottomans, rose up through the devsirme to become a Turkish Spahi and timar holder.

 

What is your local SCA group? Have you played in any other groups previously?

Answer: Currently I have the pleasure to reside in the Barony of Wiesenfeuer. I started playing in the Province, then Shire, of Mooneschadowe, and had a brief yet very enjoyable stay in the Barony of Eldern Hills. Northern Region boy, through and through.

 

Are you an officer, deputy, or in another type of leadership role? (please feel free to elaborate on any of these you feel comfortable with, including time in, the job, and your favorite parts of the job)

Answer: Currently I am not an officer, but I have been Deputy Knight Marshall and Hospitaler during my time in Mooneschadowe. Being the Hospitaler was probably the most rewarding position I have ever had. Being able to see the spark in someone’s eye when you get to tell them all the wonderful things that we get to do with (and to) our friends.

 

Skillsets within the SCA

What activates do you most often participate in at events?

Answer: Fighting is primarily what I do at events, be it tournaments, melees or teaching during pick-ups. I have been known to pick up a bow or a throwing spear (I’ll leave the axes and knives to the professionals). And generally anything that anyone needs done I am more than happy to oblige.

 

What activities do you most often participate in with your local group?

Answer: Weekly fighter practices and when my schedule permits I like to help with the pop-up shed clean outs or work days.

 

What awards do you have, and why/how did you receive them?

Answer: I have an AoA, Sable Talon, Sable Comet (from Mooneschadowe), Centurion of the Sable Star, Sable Falcon, Knight of the Society, Flame of Chivalry (from Their Excellencies Ciarn and Branislava, Wiesenfeuer), and have held the King’s Blade of Chivalry two times (Lochlan III and Gabriel I).

 

Do any of your awards have a particular emotional significance to you?

Answer: Becoming a Knight of the Society was a pinnacle achievement for me and I strive to be worthy of that accolade every day. Being awarded the honor of carrying the King’s Blade of Chivalry also holds a great deal of significance for me. All of the devices on that scabbard and baldric are of very skilled, honorable, and great members of this Dream and I count myself lucky to be among them.

 

If someone were to see you at an event during the day, what would you most likely be doing?

Answer: Morning time they would see me hammering tent stakes or holding pavilion poles. Mid-day they would more than likely see me in armor and on the field or loving on my Lady and our child. In the afternoon if you don’t still see me in armor, I would be in the showers.

 

If someone were to see you at an event in the evening, what would you most likely be doing?

Answer: Either washing dishes and singing, talking with my friends and family, or sitting in the hafla playing my drum.

 

Have you tried a new activity recently, and if so, what was it and what were the results?

Answer: I attempted Knife, Axe, and Spear recently. Spear went great… Knife and Axe however were complete and utter failures. I don’t know if more practice would even help me. It was honestly that bad.

 

What is something in the SCA that you love to talk about?

Answer: I love delving into the history. Be it actual history or just listening to people recount their favorite moments in the SCA. That is something that keeps the fire burning for me.

 

Are there any SCA activities that you would like to learn more about?

Answer: Is all of them a good answer? My goodness, there are so many skilled people in this Kingdom and you can see they love what they do. It makes you want to do it too!

 

What do you feel is one of your strongest skills in the SCA?

Answer: I am a fighter and I love to fight.

 

What do you feel is a skill that you want to grow more in the SCA?

Answer: Leatherwork and woodworking are two things that I have always been interested in. When and if I have the time I would like to focus more on making those two things an actual skill set.

 

The Person

If someone wanted to talk with you at an event, or at a meeting, but didn’t know you, how would you like them to approach you and address you?

Answer: I am a very informal guy. If someone just came up to me, introduced themselves, and asked a question or we could talk about whatever they wanted to. As far as how they should address me, Vlad is just fine.

 

Do you consider yourself approachable, or perhaps a little intimidating?

Answer: I consider myself very approachable. One of the things I try to have with me at all times is a smile.

 

Could you talk about some of your SCA relationships? (students, teachers, friends, formal or informal).

Answer: Oh man. I had SO many people take me under their wing when I first started. Mooneschadowe was like my family. As far as formal relationships go, I was squired to Duke Jean Paul de Sens and Duchess Gilyan Alienora of Clonmacnoise. Jean Paul was one of the people that I met at my very first practice. I started just before he was announced to the Order of the Chivalry. When he was elevated I vowed to be their first squire. Sadly, I was number 2 or 3 (I have a squire twin). They helped shape me into the man I am today (in and out of the SCA) and continue to support and encourage me in my future. I now have a squire, Fynn Alreksson. He is a great guy that pushes me every week to be a better fighter, teacher, Knight, and person. To get someone like him as my first squire makes me feel very lucky. I am also a member of House Whitacre. Every one of my family in the SCA is like family to me outside of it. Honestly, I don’t think there is enough time or paper for you to print all the people that I hold in high regard.

 

Do you usually go to court? (why or why not)

Answer: Usually, yes. I go to cheer like a fool for awards and recognition of deserving individuals of the populace.

 

Some big issues

What is something about the current SCA that you would like to change, and why?

Answer: Recruitment. If you aren’t growing, then you are dying.

 

What do you feel is your biggest current contribution to the SCA?

Answer: I and my lovely bride had a beautiful baby girl recently. So, bolstering Ansteorra’s numbers one child at a time!

Ansteorran Achievement

When travelling the north, there can be no denying that strength of character or the determination embodied in the Barony of Namron. The barony’s people share the group’s lineage and heritage as the oldest barony in the northern region, and a work ethic rivaled only by its energetic embrace of both revels and haflas. it could be said that Namron and its people burn the candle at both ends and are proud of it every second of the day.

And likewise, it was no surprise that when the call went out for submissions to the Gazette, Namron’s people were some of the first to throw their hands up. So, it is against this background the Gazette introduces another Namron local to the kingdom. She is one of the kingdom’s newer members, but also one who embraced the society with both arms and a running leap.

From a Kingdome of Heroes comes Lady Villana Palazolo.

Introduction

Question: What is your full SCA name and full title? Also, what do you prefer to go by at events?
Answer: Lady Villana Palazolo, Villana

Question: How long have you been playing in the SCA (also, how long have you been in Ansteorra)?
Answer: Five years, all in Ansteorra

Question: How did you come into the SCA?
Answer: I had heard about it from a friend from high school. I started dating someone in the SCA and started coming out to Art and Sciences nights with him and also to events.

Question: What is your (current) persona?
Answer: I really don’t have an actual persona. My name in Italian, but I mainly wear Viking and Turkish.

Question: What is your local SCA group? Have you played in any other groups previously?
Answer: Barony of Namron is where I have always played

Question: Are you an officer, deputy, or in another type of leadership role? (please feel free to elaborate on any of these you feel comfortable with, including time in, the job, and your favorite parts of the job)

Answer: Northern Regional Hospitaler – I have been in this position for about 6 months.

Kingdom Armillary Herald – I have been in this position for about a year and a half. My job is to educate the populace of heraldry through classes and consultations. My favorite part of this job is helping people come up with their names and especially their devices.

Deputy to Northern Regional Herald – a few months

 

Skill sets within the SCA

Question: What activates do you most often participate in at events?
Answer: I like to autocrat, waterbearing, entourage and help wherever else is needed. If I am not working, I am usually hanging out with friends under the baronial pavilion working on some A&S craft.

Question: What activities do you most often participate in with your local group?
Answer: Heraldry, autocratting, scribal

Question: What awards do you have, and why/how did you receive them?
Answer: AoA, Sable Thistle – Lampworking, Sable Crane, Torsade of Namron

Question: Do any of your awards have a particular emotional significance to you?
Answer: My Sable Thistle – I felt like I was still a beginner in the field of lampworking when I got it, so knowing that people felt I had “expertise” in the field was quite a great feeling.

Question: If someone were to see you at an event during the day, what would you most likely be doing?
Answer: Helping someone with something.

Question: If someone were to see you at an event in the evening, what would you most likely be doing?
Answer: Sitting at court or hanging with friends somewhere… often going to bed early

Question: Have you tried a new activity recently, and if so, what was it and what were the results?
Answer: Lucet – it was fun, not sure it if for me though.

Question: What is something in the SCA that you love to talk about?
Answer: Heraldry

Question: Are there any SCA activities that you would like to learn more about?
Answer: Calligraphy

Question: What do you feel is one of your strongest skills in the SCA?
Answer- Service – I enjoy helping people in any way I can.

Question: What do you feel is a skill that you want to grow more in the SCA?
Answer – Scribal and calligraphy as well as heraldry.

The Person

Question: If someone wanted to talk with you at an event, or at a meeting, but didn’t know you, how would you like them to approach you and address you?
Answer: Just come up and say hi! I’ve been told I am can seem intimidating at first, but I really am not.

Question: Do you consider yourself approachable, or perhaps a little intimidating?
Answer: I would like to think I am approachable.

Question: Could you talk about some of your SCA relationships? (students, teachers, friends, formal or informal).
Answer: My only formal relationship is to Duchess Vanessa. I am her Protégé and have been for just over six months.
I met my husband, Diarmuid, better known as Jer, through the SCA singles page on Facebook and moved him out here from Aethelmarc.
I have come to know many of my friends in the SCA as my chosen family. We do not just spend time together at events, but many times throughout the week and on non-event weekends.

Question: Do you usually go to court? (why or why not)
Answer: Yes, because seeing people recognized for their hard work in their chosen field is wonderful. I love being on entourage for court shifts because you get to see look of surprise on the faces of the people who are receiving awards.

Some big issues

Question: What is something about the current SCA that you would like to change, and why?
Answer: The negative responses to those who are not perfectly period. Not everyone can afford to have their entire kit exactly period. While we are a group dedicated to recreating history, all we ask is that people make an attempt, and there is a better way to suggest to someone how they can improve their kits without being negative or rude. I’m big on “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

Question: What do you feel is your biggest current contribution to the SCA?
Answer: Currently, my biggest contributions are serving in multiple ways including autocratting, painting charters, and helping those develop their names and devices.

Ansteorran Achievement

From the Barony of Namron, the Ansteorran Gazette is honored to feature a lifelong member of the society and fixture of the northern region. For many in Namron, some of their earliest memories include a pleasant greeting from Adena, and if anyone had ever served feast in Narmon, its hard to imagine not running into her with a tray in one hand, and a pitcher of tea or water in the other.

From a Kingdom of Heroes comes Her Excellency, Adena Terricsdottir


Introduction

Question: What is your full SCA name and full title? Also, what do you prefer to go by at events?
Answer: Baroness Adena Terricsdottir, OP Adena is fine

Question: How long have you been playing in the SCA (also, how long have you been in Ansteorra)?
Answer: I have been in the SCA since I was born, so 35 years. My first event was a Namron Medieval Fair, and I was about a month old.

Question: How did you come into the SCA?
Answer: My mother, and that entire side of the family, has been in the SCA since the last 70’s. My Mother, Grandfather, 2 uncles and 2 aunts were all at Pennsic IV. My father began playing in the late 70s as well, with both of my parents in Caer Mear (where I still have a cousin who play), they moved to Ansteorra in 1980, and I was born in 1982. I have always lived in Namron, and always played in Ansteorra.

Question: What is your (current) persona?
Answer: 11th Century Norse

Question: What is your local SCA group? Have you played in any other groups previously?
Answer: Namron, Ansteorra. Always

Question: Are you an officer, deputy, or in another type of leadership role? (please feel free to elaborate on any of these you feel comfortable with, including time in, the job, and your favorite parts of the job)
Answer: I am a Pelican (which I think counts as a leadership role), but I am also currently the Namron Treasurer.

Skillsets within the SCA
Question: What activates do you most often participate in at events?
Answer: List Mistressing, feast serving, and Waterbearing. I have been working on learning new things, so I have recently been spending a lot of time under a pavilion learning from others.

Question: What activities do you most often participate in with your local group?
Answer: I always attend populace meeting (as an officer) and I sometimes attend A and S classes.

Question: What awards do you have, and why/how did you receive them?
Answer: My list is long, so without naming them ALL, I have mostly service awards, with a smattering of A and S awards in there too. I love being of service, and have done many types of service. Working with Kids was always a favorite, and I soon will be doing more there, I am sure. I enjoy doing work that is fast paced, but also organized (feast serving and list mistressing), and I love teaching others to do those same services.

Question: Do any of your awards have a particular emotional significance to you?
Answer: I was honored to receive a Compass Rose when I was young (for work with Children). I have always loved doing that, but it has fallen more towards the wayside as I got older. My elevation to Pelican will always hold a very special place in my heart, as will my Court Barony.

Question: If someone were to see you at an event during the day, what would you most likely be doing?
Answer: Sitting and nahlbinding or embroidering.

Question: If someone were to see you at an event in the evening, what would you most likely be doing?
Answer: Eating feast, or perhaps helping with court.

Question: Have you tried a new activity recently, and if so, what was it and what were the results?
Answer: Card weaving… so far, not so good.

Question: What is something in the SCA that you love to talk about?
Answer: The hand skills that we have. The way that artisans can take ordinary items (thread or metal) and make truly amazing and inspiring items out of them!

Question: Are there any SCA activities that you would like to learn more about?
Answer: metalworking and pottery are both on my list of things I want to learn.

Question: What do you feel is one of your strongest skills in the SCA?
Answer: My ability to talk to people, and to make people feel included (I HOPE)

Question: What do you feel is a skill that you want to grow more in the SCA?
Answer: My art. I say now that I am crafty, but not artsy. I want to work more on artsy.
The Person

Question: If someone wanted to talk with you at an event, or at a meeting, but didn’t know you, how would you like them to approach you and address you?
Answer: I think that I am approachable, but I know that the titles and hat can intimidate some people. If someone chooses to address me as Mistress or Baroness, that is fine, but certainly not something I would ever chastise someone for not doing. I think that just approaching me and asking me for time would suffice.

Question: Do you consider yourself approachable, or perhaps a little intimidating?
Answer: See above. I don’t usually think of myself as such, but some people do find certain ranks intimidating. Please approach me!

Question: Could you talk about some of your SCA relationships? (students, teachers, friends, formal or informal).
Answer: Sometimes, it feels like all of my relationships are SCA. I am lucky to be in a very close knit group of SCA friends. Many weekends, if we aren’t at an event, we still find ourselves at a movie, house party or a birthday party with the same people. We have much more in common than just the SCA; reading interests, movie interests, humor, intelligence. I think that these friendships might have started out as SCA, but have evolved into true, mundane friendships as well.

Question: Do you usually go to court? (why or why not)
Answer: Yes, anytime I am at an event, I am at court. I love seeing those I know being recognized for the good that they have done. I think that recognition really helps people keep going and doing what they love, and I like being able to support that.

Some big issues
Question: What is something about the current SCA that you would like to change, and why?
Answer: I wish we (myself included) made an effort at being more period. I think that includes upgrading every-day items, less talking about totally mundane things (movies or politics), moving cars out of line of sight…

Question: What do you feel is your biggest current contribution to the SCA?
Answer: I hope that it is making people feel welcome and keeping them in the SCA.

 

kingdom achievement

Twenty years ago, Ansteorra learned of the passing of Sir Riccardo Di Pissa, who was described at the time as “a hero, from the kingdom of heroes.”

For many, no other quote has as accurately formed Ansteorran’s perception of the Kingdom than those few words. From Ansteorrans who helped shape the Kingdom to the newest member, every person has heroic qualities and each, in their own way, makes this society all the better for it.

When The Ansteorra Gazette set out to make a series highlighting the “Kingdom of Heroes,” a call to members was announced. The response has been astounding.

For the second instalment, from a Kingdom of Heroes comes Honorable Lady Magdalena Cortez.

Introduction

Q: What is your full SCA name and full title? Also, what do you prefer to go by at events?

A:  Honourable Lady Magdalena Cortez, but everyone pretty much calls me Dena. I ask in formal introductions to be addressed properly; otherwise Dena is sufficient.

 

Q: How long have you been playing in the SCA (also, how long have you been in Ansteorra)?

A: I started playing when I was 17, so roughly 1990/1991,  but I didn’t take the SCA seriously until I moved to Ansteorra  in 2005.

 

Q: How did you come into the SCA?

A: Some friends were fringe players in California and took me to an event one evening. I fell in love with the drumming and dancing.

 

Q: What is your (current) persona?

A: 16th Century Spanish

 

Q: What is your local SCA group? Have you played in any other groups previously?

A: Bryn Gwlad out of Austin, Texas. I played in the Barony of Carolingia in the East Kingdom briefly. Before that, I didn’t pay much attention to what groups were in the area.

 

Q: Are you an officer, deputy, or in another type of leadership role? (please feel free to elaborate on any of these you feel comfortable with, including time in, the job, and your favorite parts of the job)

A: At this time, I am a deputy Seneschal for Bryn Gwlad.

 

Skillsets within the SCA

Q: What activates do you most often participate in at events?

A: Working. All the working! Also rapier fighting. And of course socializing with friends and family.

 

Q: What activities do you most often participate in with your local group?

A: I live quite a distance from my local group so I primarily keep an eye on the FB group, post notifications for the business meetings and attend business meetings as time/finances allow.

 

Q: What awards do you have, and why/how did you receive them?

A: AOA, Sable Talon (for killing Countess Gwen at BAM), Queen Rapier from Countess Lisette, Golden Martlet, Drageiau Bryn (Service award for BG), Sable Crane, Star of Merit from Duke Lochlan and Countess Michelle

 

Q: Do any of your awards have a particular emotional significance to you?

A: My QR was awarded to me on the field and was the one Countess Lisette wore. Receiving my Star of Merit from Lochlan and Michelle as well as my Sable Talon all carry pretty deep emotions with them.

 

Q: If someone were to see you at an event during the day, what would you most likely be doing?

A: Working or fighting – that’s all I seem to have time to do at events!

 

Q: If someone were to see you at an event in the evening, what would you most likely be doing?

A: It really depends on how the day went. I have been known to be out and about with my friends, or fast asleep by 8 p.m.!

 

Q: Have you tried a new activity recently, and if so, what was it and what were the results?

A: I have recently taken up knitting. I’m still in the newbie stage which means lots of frustration and throwing of yarn.

 

Q: What is something in the SCA that you love to talk about?

A: Silk banner painting and brewing. I am certainly not the master in either but I love talking about them.

 

Q: Are there any SCA activities that you would like to learn more about?

A: Knitting, Bobbin lace making and Viking wire weaving. They have all peaked my interest and I would like to learn more about how to do them.

 

Q: What do you feel is one of your strongest skills in the SCA?

A: I am always willing to jump in to help accomplish a task. I am always willing to work.

 

Q: What do you feel is a skill that you want to grow more in the SCA?

A: I need to hone the skill of patience, especially when something doesn’t go according to plan, especially with projects I am working on or learning.

 

The Person

Q: If someone wanted to talk with you at an event, or at a meeting, but didn’t know you, how would you like them to approach you and address you?

A: Time and place are important. During a tournament may get them a short response or reception because I am trying to focus on the tournament. But afterwards, I am all ears and happy to sit and talk. I especially love to talk while working so roll up those sleeves and let’s get to work!

 

Q: Do you consider yourself approachable, or perhaps a little intimidating?

A: I like to think I am approachable but have been told on several occasions that I am incredibly intimidating. I am not sure how best to combat that. I do have a strong personality but I am always willing to talk and help.

 

Q: Could you talk about some of your SCA relationships? (students, teachers, friends, formal or informal)?

A: I have been a protégé to Mistress Myfanwy for seven years now  (I think, may be eight now) and I am cadet to Don Pieter Raush for four years. I am married to Centurion Vasilii and have friends scattered across the Kingdom. .

 

Q: Do you usually go to court? (why or why not)

A: I initially didn’t. My very first court was an eight-hour court, so that left me with a sour taste but since coming to Ansteorra, I tend to enjoy them much better and love seeing friends getting recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Some big issues

 

Q: What do you feel is your biggest current contribution to the SCA?

A: I really am not sure, but my trustworthiness when tasked with a job I think is my biggest contribution. People know that if they ask for my help, I will see it done.

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.

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