Welcome one and all!

Their Halberd Excellencies, Baron Gavin mac Giolla Ruaidh and Baroness Wentiliana le Chandeler, warmly welcome you to the virtual home of the Barony of Bryn Gwlad, in the Stellar Kingdom of Ansteorra! Bryn Gwlad is the Austin, TX chapter of the Society For Creative Anachronism. We are an inclusive community pursuing the research of and the re-creation of pre-1600 skills, arts, sciences, combat and more!

Are You New?

Join us for a free class series!

Want to join in?

Check our calendar or guild pages for upcoming activities!

Bryn Gwlad holds multiple types of activities and events throughout each week and month.
Our calendar always has the latest info!

Bryn Gwlad Landed Nobility Letters of Intent

The following pairs are applying for the B & B of Bryn Gwlad:

  • Ld. Liam m’Shemus MacSweeney & Baroness AEthelyan Moondragon
  • Maestro Orazio d’Assisi & Fruha kolfinna in kyrra Otarsdottir
  • Honorable Lord Tuathal O’Sheils & Honorable Lady Nadja Ramthuner
  • Riddari Vilhjalmr Þursasprengir & Centurion Ioannes Dalassenos

Timeline of events:

  • November 27th, 2023: Polling Occurs: We will allow up to 1 hour for Q&A session with the candidates and then we will provide the ballots if they do not wish to poll electronically. This poll will begin accepting responses after the Q&A night.
  • December 4th 2023: Absentee Polling Opinions are due.
  • December 2023 – Crown interviews baronial candidates
  • January 13th, 2024: HRM will announce who will be the next Baron and Baroness of Bryn Gwlad at Crown Tournament.
  • Saturday, February 3rd, 2024: Investiture of the new Landed Nobility.
Ld. Liam m’Shemus MacSweeney & Baroness AEthelyan Moondragon

Unto Your Stellar Majesty, Nicollet II

This letter is to state my intention to run as a Baronial Candidate for the Barony of Bryn Gwlad.  I do not know the procedures for this, however, after discussions with HE AEthelyan Moondragon, OP, if possible, she would like to take up the Halberd coronet and throne with me.   

We both understand that this is a minimum 3 year commitment to the Barony and to the Crown.  Her concern, is that with her memory the way it is, after her minor strokes 5 years ago, her speaking is not what it should be.  I hope that this will not be a concern.

HE AEthelyan has never been a Landed Baroness, however, for (as far as anyone can actually find, myself included) 17 years, herself and Tivar acted as, and did Crown business for the Shire of the Shadowlands.  As for what she has done in this Barony, and for this Kingdom, while her accolades and achievements are from long ago, she continues to support the Barony, and the Kingdom in everything she says, and everything she does, and most importantly in how she acts..   She was given a Court Barony in 1988, and elevated to the Order of the Pelican in 1992.  She is, from all accounts, one of three active members of the Barony that are in both Orders of the Halberd and Dreigiau Bryn of Bryn Gwlad.  She has both served as Baronial Seneschal, and Kingdom Chronicler.  Recently, she received her Augmentation of Arms one year ago in the Shadowlands, for everything she has contributed to the Shires, Baronies, and Ansteorra herself.  I know that she will serve this Barony with every fibre of her being, giving all that she has.  She doesn’t know any other way.

Myself, before my hiatus in 2009, I had been deputy Baronial Herald twice, both times under HL Pegasus Devona.  Almost immediately upon my return in 2021, I was the interim Baronial Webminister until Oct 2022.  I am currently the Baronial Herald (until Jan 15, 2024), as well as Arbalest Herald until the end of 2024 (Deputy to Star Principal Herald, began office May 15, 2022).  I am currently a Protege (to Mistress AEthelyan), an Apprentice (to Mistress Jalali), and a Cadet (to Don Hans Durrmast Von der Wanderlust).   I also currently serve as appointed Court Herald to Their Excellencies Elenor and Alusch of Bonwicke.  I go everywhere that I can, and I try to do my best to serve everyone the same.  Bryn Gwlad is my first home, and I will serve her the only way I know how, with every fibre of my being.

I have never written one of these letters before, in fact, until some months back, I had never thought to be a Landed Noble.  However, I don’t know of any other way to serve my Barony, and any other way to serve her populace, both the “old guard”, and the newcomers.

Yours in Service, always, to our SHARED Dream,
Ld. Liam m’Shemus MacSweeney (He/She/They/Him/Her/Them)
MKA M. Ciampi

Baroness AEthelyan Moondragon, OP, CSM, ODB, OHBG, Comet (Shadowlands), ACR (She/Her)
MKA E.B. Zakes

“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments.  The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” – Nikola Tesla
Maestro Orazio d’Assisi & Fruha kolfinna in kyrra Otarsdottir

Unto Her Most Illustrious and Sovereign Queen, Nicollet the Second, sole ruler of our Sable Star Kingdom; Their Halberd Excellencies of Bryn Gwlad and Lord and Lady of the Stronghold of Hellsgate, Gavin Mac Giolla Ruaidh and Wentiliana le Chandeler; the Kingdom Seneschal of Ansteorra, Mistress Myfanwy ferch Eifon; the Southern Regional Seneschal of Ansteorra, Honorable Lord Nikolai Vladislav; the Estimable Populace of Bryn Gwlad, Hellsgate, and Bardshal; and our friends and neighbors in the Southern Region of our Kingdom; We, Fruha kolfinna inn kyrra Otarsdottir and Maestro Orazio d’Assisi do send our heartfelt greetings.  

It is with humble hearts and a passion to serve that we submit our names for consideration as successors to Their Excellencies Gavin and Wentiliana to serve as the next Baron and Baroness of your Barony of Bryn Gwlad and Lord and Lady of the Stronghold of Hellsgate.  We have dedicated time and thoughtful consideration towards whether we would apply for this position and be willing to assume the responsibilities associated with this beautiful role of service.  This letter is our commitment that we are prepared to take up the duties and responsibilities as laid out in Corpora and Kingdom Law. 

Our experience and qualifications to fill this role are many.  Our modern world and SCA experiences allows us to be firmly seated to absorb the administrative, emotional, and financial responsibilities associated with this position.  In the modern world, kolfinna holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mathematics as well as multiple professional certifications in Scrum, Software Testing, and Cloud Security.  She has been consistently successful in her career and has experience in public education, technical government work, and private sector engineering, including a special skill in identifying and iteratively remediating pain points within processes and tools.  In parallel throughout her career she has also kept up the practice of teaching, creating training materials, and improving onboarding for highly technical roles. Orazio is former army infantry officer and has spent over a decade in project management and operations within the defense, logistics, and telecommunications industries.  Most recently he has worked as a senior program management consultant for T-Mobile.  This experience has refined his skills in strategic planning, process improvement, communication, conflict resolution, and risk management.

Within the SCA, we have both been active since August 2008.  We have each volunteered our time and skills in a range of service – from making largess to teaching classes, holding officer positions to helping with setup and tear down at events, mentoring newcomers to hosting crafting nights and revels.  The combination of Orazio’s strength in communication, organization, and creativity along with kolfinna’s strengths in administration, technical prowess, and enthusiasm for championing new and fun ideas allows us to operate very effectively as a team.  We know ourselves and each other well, and we use that to our advantage when it comes to supporting one another to accomplish our goals.

In our many years of participation and service in the SCA, we have been fortunate to gain many friends and mentors to whom we look for advice and assistance.  We each have those with whom we have entered formal student/teacher relationships.  Knowing that our first priority must be to the Barony, we have spoken with all of our current and former teachers to confirm that the only oaths of fealty and service we currently hold are the oaths we have sworn unto Crown and Kingdom.  All have agreed, save one.  It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have arranged for His Excellency Avery Shaw to be banished to a cozy retirement in Wales so we are free to serve however is required without encumbrance.

We have had the pleasure of observing and participating in much of our current landeds tenure and know that they leave a robust legacy of stewardship upon which we hope to build.  The vision we both share for the future of the SCA, Kingdom, and Bryn Gwlad in particular is informed by the following set of guiding principles

● Foster Growth
● Build Community
● Facilitate Communication
● Practice Adaptability
● Prioritize Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
● Make it easy to focus on Fun

We commit to using these guiding principles to inform these promises and goals that we make to you.  We Promise:

● To lead the barony as ceremonial figureheads, chief advocates, cheerleaders, and the voice of the crown in Bryn Gwlad and Hellsgate
● To make the study and recreation of pre 17th century history and life as accessible and inclusive as possible
● To prioritize growth and retention as the primary requirement for the health and long term survival of the SCA
● To always look for a path to “yes” for our populace’s ideas and to never assume previous failure ensures future outcomes
● To encourage and empower our officers as they carry out their responsibilities and to ensure that they are serving the populace as outlined in kingdom law
● To study and honor the work of our predecessors and all that they have built while looking towards and building the future of the society in the greater Austin Area
● To provide consultative advice and active support to the Stronghold of Hellsgate and to support and advocate for any groups and foci of activity within baronial lands, such as the outpost of Bardshal (Bastrop), as they grow and develop
● To encourage sustainable participation by all members and assist those who need it so we all can succeed
● To actively seek out, and graciously accept, the wisdom and advice of others
● To always assume we can do better

We are excited for the potential joy and challenges that this position would offer us, and we commit to supporting our Barony regardless of who is selected.

With gratitude for your consideration and the warm fuzzies of joyful service,
Fruha kolfinna inn kyrra Otarsdottir
Mundane Resume, SCA Resume
Maestro Orazio d’Assisi
Mundane Resume, SCA Resume
Honorable Lord Tuathal O’Sheils & Honorable Lady Nadja Ramthuner

Greetings unto Her Most Stellar Majesty Nicollet Deuville; her stewards of Bryn Gwlad, Their Halberd Excellencies Baron Gavin mac Giolla Ruaidh and Baroness Wentiliana le Chandeler; Kingdom Seneschal Mistress Myfanwy ferch Eifion; Bryn Gwlad Seneschal Honorable Lady Nicaize Maupetit; and her Majesty’s loyal subjects within Bryn Gwlad.

By this letter do we, the Honorable Lord Tuathal O’Sheils and the Honorable Lady Nadiha Ramthumer, present ourselves for consideration as the next Baron and Baroness of Bryn Gwlad.

Our desire to support the kingdom and our noble Barony has driven our actions during our many years living here, and it is this desire which spurs us onwards now.

To better inform the selection of heirs by The Crown, Your Excellencies, and their ministers, we present the following our credentials:

Honorable Nobles, we have been active within Bryn Gwlad since relocating here in 2017.

I Tuathal, would like to share with her Majesty and Her populace my lady’s credentials:
THL Nadja started with the SCA in 2016. Nadja came to the SCA by way of a passion for fencing, history, arts, and camaraderie that she embodies to this day with her service in Bryn Gwlad. Nadja began to show a love of serving her SCA community by helping with demos throughout the kingdom and supporting smaller groups such as shires and strongholds. She attended their practices to teach and to ensure that they had sufficient numbers of fighters to spar. Mundanely, Nadja professionally leads and manages a team of people to research, describe, and solve problems on a daily basis. She is an able communicator and excellent problem solver, as she shows in all that she does.

Upon moving to Bryn Gwlad Nadja dove headfirst into helping lead the barony acting as a deputy to the rapier marshal, taking on the role of the rapier marshal after the pandemic, working many tireless hours at the Sherwood Forest Faire Demo, teaching newcomers and leading warmups at practices, serving on the Newcomer’s Academy committee, and traveling to the Stronghold of Hellsgate to help at fighter practices. As a fighter she has worked hard to ensure health and safety at Bryn Gwlad practices by running and encouraging pre-practice warmups, helping teach new fighters, and learning about heat safety to prepare for hot summer practices while teaching our fighters about better heat safety practices. Nadja has run Bryn Gwlad Candlemas, helped steward feasts for Bjornsborg and Ffynnon Gath, and served tirelessly since joining the SCA. She has been awarded the Keeper of the Gate for her services to Hellsgate, and the Order of the Dragieu Bryn for her incredible service to the Barony. Nadja’s sense of fun and her focus on a safe, welcoming, and open community in Bryn Gwlad and the SCA guides her forward in all that she does within the society and she hopes to continue to share it with the rest of the Barony.

I, Nadja, should like to tell The Crown and Populace of my lord’s qualifications:
THL Tuathal has been a member of the SCA since 2008. Prior to residing in Bryn Gwlad, Tuathal was committed to growing local groups by attending and helping to run recruitment events and demonstrations in The Shire of the Shadowlands as well as the Barony of Bjornsborg; it was here that Tuathal embraced the philosophy of “every populace member a hospitaler.” Over twenty years ago in Bjornsborg, even before Tuathal was a member of the SCA, he, along with Mistress Debora of Durham, and others of his school staff and class, founded the Tejeda History Fair (and associated SCA demo) which continues to this very day. This focus on community involvement and cooperation Tuathal has carried into more recent endeavors.

Since moving to Bryn Gwlad with his Honorable Lady in 2017, Tuathal has continuously served the Barony, both as a designated baronial officer as well as a member of Baronial committees. As rapier marshal, Tuathal spearheaded actively teaching newcomers and leading drills for the betterment of the fighting populace. Tuathal led regular melee practices for baronial rapier fighters, and traveled to nearby shires to promote skill and joy in rapier fighting. Additionally during this time, Tuathal assisted in founding the recruitment and educational demonstration at Sherwood Forest Faire, as well as the Bryn Gwlad Newcomers Academy, establishing committees for both activities in order to continue the recruitment and teaching efforts. Tuathal has co-stewarded the Known World Dance and Music Symposium with Mistress Myfanwy, and, in spite of setbacks from the global pandemic, assisted in growing the Sherwood Forest Faire demo into the multi-baronial effort it is today.

As a partnership, we have worked together on many different tasks in our time in Bryn Gwlad. We have spent dozens of weekends planning and running the 8-week long Sherwood demo since 2019. We concentrated on working together as a team – setting up and taking down the demo, managing volunteers, and keeping things running smoothly. Together we have run events, co-stewarded feasts, and helped lead the charge (alongside our many other barony members) to recruit and retain members of our Barony and those of many other groups around the kingdom.

As Baron and Baroness we hope to grow our barony and create a welcoming and fun environment for all within. We are well acquainted with many members of the barony both new and old due to our time spent working with newcomers and working alongside other members of the barony in and out of our capacity as officers.

We have several major goals for our time serving the Barony should we be granted the honor:

First, we seek to cultivate a philosophy of “every member is a hospitaler”, emphasize the importance of recruitment and retention for the health of our game and its members, and create a fun and welcoming atmosphere for members new and old of our barony. We recognize the value in a diverse and active populace, not only considering service to the barony but those who simply wish to play; ensuring their thoughts and concerns are heard and addressed, and giving a voice to those who wish to do the same.

Second, we recognize the many financial difficulties that face the Barony and Society and want to make it a goal to seek new ways to solve these difficult problems and wish to empower others who seek to solve them as well. We hope to work closer with our neighboring groups to create joint events, work together on difficult projects such as demos and fundraising, and encourage the members of the populace to follow our example in doing so.

Finally, we seek to help reignite a passion for the fun and excitement that all of us first encountered when we found the SCA; reminding people that we may have jobs within the society at times but that this is meant to be our fun escape from the struggles of our daily lives. In all our pursuits we have endeavored to lead first by example and as Baron and Baroness shall continue to pursue this ideal.

We feel equal to these tasks, but recognize that we are only some of the dedicated nobles that Bryn Gwlad can offer.  We honor the importance of passing on the torch of leadership to those that will follow – thus, to ensure we act as good stewards and do our part to continue in this noble pursuit, we intend to serve three years as landed nobility .

Yours in Joyful Service,

Honorable Lord Tuathal O’Sheils, Order of the Iris of Merit, Order of the Star of Merit, Order of the Firebrand of Bjornsborg, Cadet to Her Excellency Dona Christiana Ivarsdottir. Protege to Maestra Catalina Ana de Salamanca, Apprentice to Mistress Oksana Goncharova

Honorable Lady Nadja Ramthuner, Order of the Blade of Merit, Order of the Dreigiau Bryn, Cadet to Master Phelim Gervais
Riddari Vilhjalmr Þursasprengir & Centurion Ioannes Dalassenos

Unto Her Stellar Majesty Nicollet II,

Know that we, Riddari Vilhjalmr Þursasprengir and Centurion Ioannes Dalassenos, do at this time wish to put forward our intent and submit our names for consideration as Baron and Baron of Bryn Gwlad.

Bryn Gwlad has been our home for decades, as we were both introduced to the
Society in Central Ansteorra. The primary reason we are seeking this position is for the love we have for our Home and a desire to help it grow.

The chief challenges, as we see it, facing the Barony are Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and
Belonging; Recruitment and Sustainability; and supporting the various communities within the Barony while not detracting from the basic unity of the Barony.

Regarding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, it is inescapable that we are both middle-aged Caucasian men. There are many people within the borders of this Barony who have lived experiences far different from our own. We understand the value in diversity and have the self-awareness to know that other people have different lifestyles and experiences. As a result, they have different concerns. We both have extensive mundane experience working with extremely diverse populations and we know how to actively seek guidance from those with differing viewpoints and listen to their thoughts.

Recruitment and long-term Sustainability is a challenge which affects our Society. The SCA must recruit among the younger generations to continue to prosper. Part of that is to ensure that we are welcoming to people of all backgrounds and identities, but we can’t be welcoming if potential members do not know we exist. The most important tool we have at our disposal is the Sherwood Forest Faire Demo, and as Barons we would be deeply involved in supporting that to the best of our ability. Further, we will actively encourage members to seek out other opportunities to put our Society in front of potential recruits. We also commit to reaching out to other Baronies which have seen significant growth in recent years and learn from their success.

When it comes to understanding and supporting the various communities which make up the Barony, we must stay flexible to develop plans and activities that address the needs of everyone. We also need to be willing to change, when necessary, as the needs change. Our first priority will be to reach out to the various leaders and members within these communities and to spark conversations about how best to support them. We don’t want to attempt to solve a problem with an incomplete understanding, and neither of us are arrogant enough to think we know everything. It is our intent to listen and understand before we speak or take actions so we can ensure the different viewpoints are represented in any solution we propose, as much as possible. We are active in several different communities within our Barony and understand that everyone needs to feel that they have been heard and understood, even if we choose a different path.

We both have a strong desire to continue serving both the Barony and the Stronghold. The Barony of Bryn Gwlad has many strengths and is in a good position to grow and continue to contribute to the Kingdom of Ansteorra. With thoughtful leadership, the Barony will achieve great things. We believe we can provide this leadership. It is for that end that we desire consideration as Bryn Gwlad’s next barons.