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Estrella-msg - 6/19/08


The Estrella War, near Phoenix, AZ.


NOTE: See also the files: BPThingie-art, Pennsic-ideas-msg, GW-history-msg, camp-kitchens-msg, camp-showers-msg, insect-prtctn-msg, ticks-art, Mordona-arbed-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: sbloch at euler.ucsd.edu (Steve Bloch)

Date: 27 Nov 91 17:31:18 GMT


Beatriz de las Trenzas y del Morisco asked me about Estrella by email.

I started to reply, then found I was writing a full-scale article, so

I'm going to post it instead.  I've attended the past eight Pennsics

and the past three Estrellas, in case you're wondering about my basis

for saying this stuff.


The Estrella War differs from Pennsic in a number of ways. First,

it's somewhat smaller (I've heard figures from 1500 to 6000 for last

year; does anybody have authoritative figures?)  The site's

geography is less centralized -- there's no "downtown" corresponding

to the barn/troll/chirurgeons/heralds/merchants quarter at Pennsic,

but rather a troll booth over here, a Kingdom pavilion or two over

there, a merchants' quarter on the other side of the site, and ramadas

suitable for dancing, meetings, music, etc. sprinkled around the site.

In the center, surrounded by camping, is the "open battlefield", while

off to the side are the archery range and the "broken-field battlefield".

The SCA does not (or has not in past years) reserve the entire park, so

a certain number of mundanes may be strolling by, although they're mostly

at the other end of the park.  There is a hill overlooking the site,

steep enough that from its summit one can get an excellent panoramic view

of the campground and battlefields.  Parking lots, too, are decentral-

ized, so you can probably park within a hundred yards of your camp.

Camping space is not quite as tight as at Pennsic, and is still on a

first-come, first-served basis; I'm not sure when this starts.


Living conditions: The site is in a desert.  You probably won't need to

deal with mud, as at Pennsic, but everything you own will be covered with

fine brown dust (even things that never leave your tent). As is

typical in deserts, temperatures can vary widely: sometimes it's in the

90's in the daytime (although the humidity is quite low, so it's not

sticky-hot), and two years ago it dropped well below freezing the first

night.  It rains infrequently, but heavily, so be prepared for it.

There is drinkable water on site, but it's not delicious, and

more than one household has been known to show up with a fifty-gallon

barrel of water in the back of the truck.  That's probably going a little

far, but if you're going to drink water straight you should probably

pick up a few bottles of water at the grocery.  There is a bath-house

with flush toilets and hot showers, as well as a shower-truck and lots

of porta-potties brought for the War; lines for showers are perhaps a

little shorter than those at Pennsic, but not much.  There is very little

shade on site; bring sunscreen and a hat.  Daytime clothing should be

loose and light to breathe, long-sleeved to protect against sun, and

layered to adapt to changing temperatures.  Some of the plants on the

ground have burrs (although I don't remember any cactus), so boots are

preferable to sandals or moccasins, and dresses that drag the ground are



Entertainment: Various camps will have campfires, around which one can

swap stories and songs.  Belly-dancing is fairly popular, ranging from

"cabaret-style" (at the rowdier campfires) to plausibly authentic

(last year's belly-dancing contest had at least a score of entries,

many of which were fully-dressed, highly trained, and accompanied

by top-notch doumbek players).  Some of the ramadas will be reserved

in the evenings for typical SCA dance, some for instrumental music,

etc.  More large-scale entertainment is at the Atenveldt and Caid

Royal Pavilions, which are full-sized circus-tents or large ramadas

suitable for holding Royal Court or for large dance sets. There have

been at least two inns set up on site, serving whole meals, or a

meal plan for the duration, or you can just show up and see what

dancers, singers, or storytellers are performing.  During the day, in

addition to watching the bloodshed on the field, there are arts

classes (although not the multitude at Pennsic) and contests (which

count as a War Point.  No pre-registration is necessary this year, but

categories are limited to Armour, Heraldic Banner/Flag/Standard, and

Written War Story (Poetry or Prose); write me for further details.)

And of course there are merchants.


Oh, yeah.  "Ramada", n. A flat roof and a concrete floor held apart

by pillars and maybe a little bit of wall.  Typically 500-5000

square feet.  May be augmented with tarp "walls" as necessary to

shield against wind.


Stephen Bloch

Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib


sbloch at math.ucsd.edu



Subj: Estrella War

Date: 24 Feb 92

From: ford at tots.Logicon.COM (Ray Ford)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Logicon, Inc., San Diego, California


I've been watching the Rialto for just about two years now, and it seems

that Estrella War postings just don't seem to happen with the frequency

that the second largest war in the Known World deserves. It seems that

people just blow off Estrella as an 'insignificant other'.


There may be several reasons for this, like: People are just to busy to

post (which most of the time is my case) or that people don't care enough

to post.


Estrella is a 'Great War'. I don't know the gate numbers, but I could guess

that there was at least 2500 folk at the site. I know Pennsic is 'the War'

with its 8000 people and this and that, but I'll take Estrella any time. If

we get more involved maybe some day the west War can overtake Pennsic (It can happen!)


..... Now then, my war story ....


I arrived on Thursday in time to secure enough space for the Calafian brigade.

It was a little rainy in the morning and dried out by the afternoon. Friday

dawned a beautiful day. Two tourneys were held: the Outlands prize tourney with

the lists reading like a who's who of the known world, and a Warlord tourney

both of which were won by his Majesty, the King of An Tir. Friday night was

crystal clear with the sky full of the stars that the western deserts are known



Saturday three battles were fought: Aten-Caid vs. Allies, Open field and then

a 3 bridge battle. I've heard that there was about 450 Aten/Allies and about

550 Caid/Allies. Caid took the day. The battles ended by 3:00 and I swear no

less than 400 fighters stayed on the field to do pick-up battles (like a

resurrection-bridge battle, gawd what a * meat-grinder *). Saturday night we

received a little of mother nature's fury (a few reports of which you've heard



Sunday was sunny and dry. The battles of the day were Caid vs. Outlands at

about 9:00 in the morning (groan) and then a giant castle battle and then

two broken field/hay-bale battles. Estrella has been know for its awesome

broken field battles, but this year some developer had plowed down the broken

field (alas!) and we were forced to spread hay bales over the open field to

simulate a broken field (hah!). Caid took the day again. The last battle for

fun was a two hour resurrection battle (groan).


Come on folks, give us your war stories (real and imaginary). Estrella really

is a 'Great War' although you wouldn't know it by listening in on the Rialto.


                                           Living for West Wars

                                                I remain,


                                              Rian Greenoake

                                              Warband CORVUS

                                               Iron Brigade



Ray Ford                                |Internet: ford at tots.Logicon.COM

San Diego CA                            |



Subj: Estrella War_

Date: 24 Feb 92

From: am163fbx at sdcc15.ucsd.edu (The Black Bard)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: University of California, San Diego


        Greetings Gentles of the Rialto,

        We've been asked to post our war stories, so here goes:

I rode in with some people from Ulfgard, they were very kind, and on

Friday evening, immediately set out to find food and lodging.

(Being a Bard, I do my best to go through wars on my talents.)  The

Archer's campsite was very kind to me, and they treated me like a

bard should be treated.  (House Firefall of Calontir, and Black

Arrow of Atenveldt my thanks again!)  I immediately went to work,

and Ye Gods! did I work at this one.  I sang for three days straight

(I was hoarse) and played till I bruised my fingers and had the best

time of my life.  They had an excellent way of judging the Bardic

competition.  They gave everyone silver pennies and if you liked a

performer, you would "reward" him with your wealth.  The person who

acquired the most silver pennies was obviously the people's choice

and so won.  (Part of the reason I'm partial to this method of

judging is that I collected the most silver pennies.) Lord Big

Bear of Calontir won top honors at the archery competion.

        Supposedly there was a Meridian contingent; I looked for

three days and never found them.  My cousin's squire brother was

knighted and I regret that I missed it, but I'll try to catch the

next one.  I met Nikolai who is an excellent bard, Master Ioseph (As

the little bards say, "He's my herooo!") and Yonatan Von

Schwartzuberflek.  I never found a Rialto party, but found enough

other parties to almost make up for it.  There was a double wedding

at the Stronghold of Dun Meara Fianna (I think I spelled it right)

and I sang for it as one of my close friends was one of the prime

participants.  It was a great war.

        I hope to see you all at Petrero in May.  Have a fine, fair


                                      Rathflaed DeTunin

                                      The Black Bard of Meridies

                       (pronounced Mare-id'-e-ays not Mare-id-ees)

                                      mka: Stephen R Melvin



Subj: Numbers at Estrella_

Date: 25 Feb 92

From: midzor at tramp.Colorado.EDU (~Parador Moon~)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder


Last number I heard at the gate was around 3500 gentles. Almost half way

to Pennsic!  (But not half the distance for us  :-(  .


                                             Serving the numbers

                                               Kaela Orion, DWS



Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 09:08:06 MST

From: "Trish Kvamme" <ladyoftherose at hotmail.com>

Subject: ANST - More information on Estrella

To: Ansteorra at ansteorra.org


Greetings Brave Estrella Questers!


I have received confirmation from the Atenveldt Interkingdom Royal Liaison

that our Ansteorran Royal encampment will be located in between the Outlands

and the Calontir encampment, so as we requested we will be close in with our

allies and privy to all the fun!


It is approximatley a 16.5 hour drive from the north Dallas area, so adjust

your travel time by your location.  The Phoenix ariport is 40 minuets give

or take to the site, and if you lost the shuttle information I forwarded to

the list, email me and I will resend it to you personally.


I also asked some of the local Ladies for their views on the site regarding

what to wear, I have toured the site many times, but not camped there, so I

have the following collective words of wisdom to share with you!


1.    Raw silk and the natural fabrics gather dust and grass like nothing

else.  Try to wear things that don't drag on the ground.  ( I feel this is a

personal challenge to me to make some new clothes *L*)


2.    Spraying anti-static spray on the skirt and around the

hems of gowns right before putting them on really helpes with how dirty they

will become, and how much dust and grass they will gather.


3.    The site is flat, so the wind can be bad, and so is the Arizona sun.

Sunscreen is a must, a hat is good.  Parasols are excellent, but may not

stand up to the wind (a canvas parasol was suggested if possible).


4.  Arizona weather is as amusing as Texas weather, it will be much colder

at night, and can get as high as the low 80's during the day, or be as chill

as the 50's and damp.  Come prepared for anything.


5.    For the battle pit, you really need boots of some kind, or something

that gives ankle support.  Again, it's the desert, so there can be scorpions

and snakes although during that time of year they are generally still in the



6.    The Queen's Tea and Laurel's prize were held in big tents on cement,

so court garb works there.  However, I would scotch guard your finer

fabrics, and in some cases, I have put a lining or a line of duct tape under

the hem of my gowns to protect them from snagging.


Expect to walk a lot.  I mean alot.  Estrella is spaced much farther apart

than Gulf war.  It also doesnt have the green fields or tree lines like Gulf

so be prepared for Desert Country.  They are seeding the site, and working

very hard to make sure there is grass and dust control, but think West

Texas!  Fighters, I promise you will love that battle pit!


Hope this helps!  As always, contact me directly if I can be of additional






Subject: ANST-Announce - ESTRELLA WAR -UPS Information

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 18:20:29 MST

From: "Master Raffaelle" <gyrony at hotmail.com>

To: sca-west at rogues.net, sca-east at indra.com, steps-announce at antir.sca.org, Ansteorra-Announce at ansteorra.org, outlands at onelist.com, artemisia at egroups.com, CAID-list at egroups.com, CALONTIR at crcvms.unl.edu, SCA-Caid at rogues.net, EstrellaWar at egroups.com, meridian-ty at onelist.com, atenveldt at egroups.com, NorthernOutlands at egroups.com


Greetings to The Knowne World!

Once again , Estrella War will have a UPS drop point. Full details will soon

be on the Estrella War Web Page (www.estrellawar.org)or by subscribing to

the Estrella War news group  (subscribe-estrellawar at egroups.com)


Information is also available from the UPS Coordinator:

Lady Damaris Saint Cloud

kims at chivalrysports.com

520-546-8223 during the day.





Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 19:34:31 EST

From: KallipygosRed at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Surviving Estrella War


stefan at texas.net writes:

> Aren't these a bit contradictory? How can it be "especially dry" and

> "rain at least one night"?


Not at all. Although to those who do not live in the Sonoran Desert may not

realize it, the desert is generally surounded by mountains, which the Indians

used to say, call the clouds into the basin. And these are not just any

mountains, these are The Rockies. Desert can change temp overnight as much as

70 degrees or better. During the day, due to desert growth, clear skies, and

such, the temperature in winter can get upwards of 90degrees. With a low

humidity rate, the dry heat can creep up on a person. People die here of Heat

Prostration in the *winter* as well as dehydration because of lack of water

intake. Ask any of the Mexican illegals that come across the border at night,

and then experience the heat of the day trying to cross into Arizona for the

United States *better way of life* dream they follow. They die from

*exposure* people...and for good reason. At night, the weather can get nippy

for someone dressed for the hot days. It can drop to freezing, and sometimes

slightly below in winter here. But the coldest month of the year, in terms of

freak snowstorms and icey rain, is April. We have had snow in April four

times in my lifetime. And I mean *snow*...with snowbanks, crashed cars

hitting trees that can't be seen, etc. Like the Pacific Rim snowstorms or

those of Binghamton, New York. After all, those of us native pack rats (the

Arizona term for *born* here) realize that the desert isn't called the desert

because of lack of weather extremes, but because of lack of *water*. Which

poses the second problem with cold weather that turns to wet weather or rain

here. Acidic soil doesn't absorb fluid like wonderful loamy soil in the East

and more wet climes. Consequently, it *runs*...it *floods*...it *pools*.  We

may only get 9" of waterfall, but that 9" joins with another 9" from farther

upstream and joins another, and quite literally can create the waterfall

*wall of water* that sweeps cars away and deposits them miles later under

much mud when the washes fill or flow.... And what could have been a dry wash

only an hour ago runs bank to bank with no warning. People die every year

here, visiting, because they don't realize that barrier signs saying not to

cross during wet or rainy weather means that you may die if you try.Because

we have high mountains that call in the rain, we pick up every Pacific Coast

cloudcover that is meandering by. So weather at night, with rain, can drop

drastically into the teens or single digits. Cold, folks. No matter how you

look at it. And there is never any warning, really, for us whether the

weather clouds of this morning that are idling by so beautifully among all

that blue will burn off into a clear night sky or jumble up into a kicker of

a storm.   If the day is 70 degrees and cloudy, you can guess it might be

warm...in the low 60s or high 50s, if it doesn't rain at night and we keep

the cloud cover. If the clouds go bye-bye, it might be in the 40s or high 30s

on toward morning. But if it rains, its gonna get flat out cold. And stay

that way until about 11am the next day.


As an example, today is January 27, 2001. Clouds came in last night about

10pm. This morning at 8am we had rain. By noon, we had sleet and hail and

temperatures, with wind, that felt icey and hovered about 38 degrees. Its now

5pm. The clouds are clearing off.  We have about an hour of light left. So,

temp may go up a few degrees and stabilize overnight. Tonight, we may be

about 30 or so at lowest...about 4am or so. But if no more clouds come back,

then tomorrow, after noon, we will be about 65-75 degrees. Maybe as high as

80 degrees by 4pm.


All this boils down to coming with clothes that can be layered on or taken

off as the case may be for the Estrella War. Skirts can be doubled or

trippled at night, and many of us have been known to wear long johns under

our Tudors. I have a cloak that doubles as a blanket, with thermal lining. I

have shirts I can wear over thermal undershirts and you can't tell. And I

have boots that are very dry and comfy....


And I drink plenty of fluids.


Larearsi de MacAvoy Morgan

Tucson, Arizona



Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2001 00:08:43 EST

From: KallipygosRed at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Surviving Estrella War


stefan at texas.net writes:

> If it usually rains at the Estrella War, then either 1/5 of an inch of

> rain is more rain than I think it is or a lot of weeks must not get

> any rain at all. So why with so many weeks of no rain, does it seem

> to rain on the one week of Estrella? Maybe the Rolling Thunder folks

> have the wrong beat or something.


Well, that's the point. Arizona has two seasons, you know: Brown and Dead. We

get horrible storms over two major times of the year, known as "monsoon

season" to visitors...and "ick, not again" to natives. We may only get a half

inch of rain in each storm (the weather people put the monitors on the

airport...under something....in the dark....in the shade....) so that we all  

natives doubt the actual to what we experience. But the monsoons go on for

days, and weeks, and there is rain every single day, usually at

non-predictable times.... Ten minutes later, nothing. Cleared up. These two

times of year are End of June to Mid-August...and, you guessed it, February

and March. Winter is the time when sane people flee the snow of north to our

balmy shores; because no one wants to come  visit in July when temps are 112

and 115 degrees at 4pm in the afternoon..... So, people tend to be in town

during the time of year when it rains.


And you're incorrect: Phoenix does indeed have sewer and run off systems. You

see the signs everywhere you go: City under construction. The problem is that

I've lived here off and on for 30 years...and they've *never* finished it.....


Lars--who doesn't mind driving in Phoenix, but glad she doesn't live




Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 23:36:02 -0800 (PST)

From: Nisha Martin <nishamartin at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - Estrella hot and cold


The two times I have been to estrella were opposite

weather wise. One year was really nasty hot, and one

we froze our butts off at night and two days of it it

was cold and rained. The other two days were

beautiful, and quite warm.

We lived south of Tucson for 2 years (MOns) and loved

it, but the temp extremes in Phoneix and the

surrounding area are very extreme. Even within a 24

hour period.  

I ran the camp kitchen for our barony one year, and we

always had a small cooler of cold sandwiches and a

large thermos of hot soup for people who were doing

security.  You never knew if it was going to be cold

enough for the soup or not, but we had it and it all

got usually got eaten by morning. :)

One other tip, dont forget to check your boots/shoes

for scorpions and/or spiders BEFORE you put them on.

They like to crawl into dark places and they dont seem

to mind stinky boots.





Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 04:50:01 -0700 (PDT)

From: Anne du Bosc <mordonna22 at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] No sh*t, there THEY were in my kitchen......


Estrella XIV is remembered by most of us as "The Monsoon War".


We'd set up camp in this lovely little glade with

honest-to-goodness TREES in it.  (not really a

common thing in the Valley of the Sun.  There

were two things wrong with it that were not

readily noticible when we set up:


1. It was infested with these little burrowing

mammals (chipmunks or groundhogs or prairie dogs,

I never was sure which) that had a tendency to

pop up in odd places, such as under the leg of a

heavily laden table, or right next to your face

as you were sleeping.


2. It became a rapidly flowing, 18 inch deep

creek when the rains came.


It was a sad sight to find the little ones

drowned in their holes the next morning amidst

the wreckage of our encampment.


Anne du Bosc

known as Mordonna the Cook

Pevensey Hall

Barony of Atenveldt

Kingdom of Atenveldt



Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 10:54:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: Pat <mordonna22 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Ovens at Estrella

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Stefan said:

> Estrella War is much closer to you than the other two, but I don't know

> if folks build ovens out there or not, as I haven't been to that event

> in 14 years or more.


Estrella has a "period arts" area that usually has two or three beehive  

ovens for the use of the populace.  In past years arrangements to use  

them have been through Lady Ann Busshenell of Tylehurst. I'm sure that  

if she isn't still the coordinator, she will know who is. Ann also  

builds the ovens for the War, and gives classes in oven construction at  

Estrella.  Since you are going to Estrella War, I suggest you may wish  

to contact Lady Ann.  Her contact information should be somewhere on  

the Estrella War website.



(who has sat up all night with Lady Ann Bushnell and Mistress Helen  

Jennet watching the firing of the ovens in the company of a drop or two  

of Mistress Helen's excellent cordials...)


Pat Griffin

Lady Anne du Bosc

known as Mordonna the Cook



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org