Drach-hist-msg - 9/7/09
Histories of the Kingdom of Drachenwald.
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).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: mabr at sweden.hp.com (Morgan "the Dreamer" Broman)
Subject: Re: SCAdians authors (and authors who include SCA in their works)
Date: 31 Aug 1994 11:12:12 GMT
Organization: HP/SCA/SKA/FSTS/AMTS/SLRP/ETC Sweden
Dorothy J Heydt (djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu) wrote:
: rosalyn rice <rorice at bronze.ucs.indiana.edu> wrote:
: > .... also if you want to add
: >authors of fantasy role-playing games to the list you can include the
: >creators of Runequest ....
: Oh, my goodness, yes. Count Stefan de Lorraine and Duke Stephen
: MacEanruig, two-thirds of the Runequest team, started writing
: Runequest after a few years in the SCA showed them how inaccurate
: the sword- and other fighting in D&D was.
That was how SCA came to Sweden, a couple of guys role-playing
found the adress in the cover of the game. (I think it was RQ..;) )
They wrote to Milpitas....no answer...they wrote again, got an answer and
found out about Drachenwald (Americans based in Europe). Now Sweden makes
up over a third of the Kingdom....
What goes around comes around..;)
....x-prince, x-king, x-cited..;) !
HP : Morgan Broman mabr at sweden.hp.com
From: kroussea at mail.cc.trincoll.EDU (kroussea)
Subject: Re: SCA Authors <long>
Date: 14 Dec 1994 20:27:46 -0500
Organization: The Internet
It seems to me that i've posted this three or four times already but here
A glaring omission from this list is Katherine Kurtz!
I quote from the About the Author page of my tenth printing paperback
copy of _High Deryini_ (March 1983) inside back page, last paragraph:
"Miss Kurtz is active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, an
organization which attempts to recreate the middle ages and rennaissance
through tournamentsm banquets, revels, and classes in medieval arts and
sciences. As Bevin Fraser of Stirling in the SCA, she is an accomplished
costumer, calligrapher and illuminator, herald, and expert on court
protocol, as well as a student of medieval fighting forms (from the
sidelines only; she bruises easily)."
In addition to this, she and her husband, Scott McMillan were two of the
six necessary paid members for Lough Devnaree, Drachenwald (Ireland)'s
original application for incipiency. Seamus, could you please verify this?
The last peice of information I have is that someone once told me that
Katherine is a former Steward. I'm sure there are records (and
oldtimers) who could verify this.
Sorry for opening this thread again, but the AtA in the Camber books was
the first place I heard about the Society.
Casey ap Cennedd Casey Rousseau
Bowman's Rest, Beyond the Mountain, East Trinity College, Hartford, CT
<kroussea at mail.trincoll.edu>
From: Jo_Grant.LOTUSINT.LOTUS at crd.lotus.COM
Subject: Re: SCA Authors <Katherine Kurtz>
Date: 16 Dec 1994 04:37:31 -0500
Organization: The Internet
The following was forwarded on to my by Casey ap Cennedd:
>In addition to this, she and her husband, Scott McMillan were
>two of the six necessary paid members for Lough Devnaree,
>Drachenwald (Ireland)'s original application for incipiency.
>Seamus, could you please verify this?
Countess Bevin and Scott have been an inspiration and
help to us in Lough Devnaree (Ireland) from the very start
back in 1986. They have not had time to be particularly active
but they have been generous enough to let us use their house
(mansion?) occasionally for events. (If you look at the
sequel to Gone With the Wind they use her house as the set
for the new Tara :-).
Countess Bevin is the "oldest" peer in Drachenwald...
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 22:43:20 -0500
From: Paul Mitchell <pmitchel at flash.net>
To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG
Subject: Re: ANST - group names
RAISYA at aol.com wrote:
> If you're collecting group names for the Knowne World generally:
> Perilous Journey - Berlin, Germany named in the days that getting in and out
> of the city WAS a perilous journey. It was a shire, I'm not sure what it is
> these days.
Actually, Perilous Journey went defunct a few years after I left there.
The name came actually from one of Duke Merowald's maps of the Known World,
which showed a shire in the far east of Drachenwald called "Perilous Journey".
I thought it had to be Berlin, but when I got there, there was no shire in
Berlin, and Drachenwald had never had a Shire of Perilous Journey. So I
founded the shire in Berlin, using the name from the map; it was the
only SCA branch behind the Iron Curtain.
- Galen of Bristol
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 16:49:01 MST
From: Paul Mitchell <pmitchel at flash.net>
Subject: Re: ANST - Patents
To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG
CraigCC at aol.com wrote:
> timden at lcc.net writes:
> << So my questions are:
> What is the difference in having a Royal Patent or not?
> Why are we one of the very few (only?) Kingdoms that dont give them out?
> Would it be in the Kingdom's best interest to give out Royal Patents to
> those stepping down?
> Sir Timo Kalamanos >>
> I am very interested in discussion on this topic.
> HRH Alaric
Well, my lord Prince, I offer the following as my first service
As we all know, the Royal Peerages are the ranks of Duke,
Count, and Viscount, and their feminine equivalents.
Shortly before I became Prince of Drachenwald (my Investiture was
in January of 1984), the Board of Directors observed that the
kingdoms and principalities, by long tradition, were granting
patents of arms with the Royal Peerages, or to their Ladies of
the Rose in some kingdoms. The Board issued a ruling, still
in effect so far as I know, that patents of arms could not be
granted with royal peerage titles unless the incoming ruler
polled their patent-holding predecessors on whether the
current/outgoing rulers met the requirements in _Corpora_
for patents of arms.
For this reason, Kaylitha and I polled the four resident
holders of Viscounty rank in Drachenwald on the question
of whether Prince Alexander and Princess Katya should be
given patents of arms. Alexander and Katya had not
ruled the satisfaction of these four, and we were told
unanimously they should not be granted patents of arms.
And so their viscounty rank did not and today does not
include patents of arms. In my opinion, following this
counsel was the worst mistake I made as Prince of Drachenwald,
perpetrating a terrible and lasting public injustice against
two friends who certainly deserved better. Viscount Alexander
and Viscountess Katya today are well-liked and participating
members of our home Barony of Elfsea, as Your Highness knows.
Six months down the road, and my successor (who was also
one of my predecessors) consulted the other three and
they agreed that I, too, had not ruled to their satisfaction,
and so Kaylitha and I also did not receive patents of arms
with our Viscounty rank. Viscountess Kaylitha today lives
in Bryn Gwlad and is only peripherally involved with the
SCA. I received a patent of arms with my knighthood.
Granting patents of arms with royal peerage rank serves
no positive purpose. It is solely a method to punish the
I beg you to maintain the Ansteorran practice as it is.
- Galen of Bristol
From: "Wanda Pease" <wandap at hevanet.com>
To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Authenticity Police: since we're castigating
extremists anyway.. .
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 17:27:28 -0700
Elaine Koogler said:
> The only other society-wide sumptuary restrictions are for hats...6 pearls for
> barons, 15 (I think) for viscounts, crenelated for counts and strawberry
> leaves for dukes.
Err. Kiri, I believe we get our ideas for hats from Fox Davies. At any
rate when I read it the "rule" was 6 pearls for a Baron and 8+ for a
Viscount/ess. For a while it was the fashion in Drachenwald to put the number
of pearls that equaled what number Prince or Princess you had been. Therefore the 9th Viscount/ess used 9 Pearls.
Viscountess Regina Romsey
(5th Princess, but with 8 pearls)
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 14:52:52 +0930
From: "Anwyn Davies" <anwyn at internode.on.net>
Subject: [Lochac] How do Other Kingdoms Do It - Drachenwald
To: "'The Shambles, the SCA Lochac mailing list'" <lochac at sca.org.au>
Talking about Drachenwald as a whole, is problematic, because culturally it
is very diverse indeed, although all of the Kingdom has one thing in common
- how you do it where you come from is NOT how we do it here, and we don't
particularly like hearing you go on about it. Here is here, and what happens
now is how we do it.
That stemmed originally from the large number of Americans, usually
servicemen and their families, coming to Drachenwald for a year or two and
going on and on about 'in our Kingdom, we do...' Drachenwalders understand
that the rest of the world has its own style, but the general feel is that
while in Drachenwald, THIS is your kingdom, and you need to learn what
happens here. It continues not just because of socially inept visitors, but
because of Drachenwald's unique issues; within the various regions of
Drachenwald, the same applies.
First, you have to remember just how BIG the Kingdom is: it covers Iceland,
the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium,
France, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece,
Israel, South Africa and has people and proto-groups in Afghanistan, Kuwait,
Iraq, Romania, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Now, add to
distance the mundane issues: the EU covers a lot of those places, but you
have to factor that each place will have its own laws, languages (over 20),
'normal' customs with regard to dress and appropriate behaviour and possibly
currency. Plus some of those places have a recent/current history of
violence and unrest, which causes its own unique issues (funnily enough,
carrying armour isn't generally one of them.)
Language IS a huge issue. English is the language of default, and will get
you by in most places, but don't visit Nordmark (Scandinavian Principality)
and expect to have an evening surrounded by English conversation in a funny
accent. Sure as hell don't expect the Herald or the Principality court to
operate in it. They do sometimes, depending on the situation, but the
fastest way to annoy them is to *expect* English to be spoken. Kingdom
events are generally recognised to have English as the lingua franca (boom
boom) but don't *expect* English anywhere. Even Insula Draconis, which is
the Crown Principality in the British Isles isn't a guarantee; the Welsh,
Scottish and Irish will all speak English even if they can also speak their
own native languages, but Iceland is also part of ID and at an event there,
once more, you have no guarantees...
Next, factor in the occasional appearance of 'real life' Royalty and
aristocracy. The was a heraldic crisis when Crown Princess Victoria of
Sweden attended an SCA event in Nordmark with regards to how she would be
addressed. With quick consultations, the King and Queen of Drachenwald and
the Prince and Princess of Nordmark were pleased to be introduced to the
'visiting' Princess Victoria of Sweden (who was gracious enough to be
introduced as an 'equal' to the fake royalty of a fake kingdom in her own
country.) Tricky stuff. Again, this is where 'foreigners' laying down the
law on 'how we do it in MY kingdom' is not appreciated - various
semi-apocryphal and some quite true and barely embroidered tales abound of
snotty American Heralds/someone-with-heraldic-knowledge raking down some
'newby' for daring to appropriate some real person's title or arms, only to
be told through gritted teeth by a rather annoyed Drachenwalder that this
*is* the real person with every right to be called by their real title and
use their real arms.
Real History is something of an issue too. Go back and look at the list of
countries that are in Drachenwald. Now think about their shared history.
Jokes about 'didn't the French take a beating at Agincourt' might go down
well in London, not so well Bruges and even less in Paris. Generally people
don't let the past interfere with the present, so to speak, but you do have
to remember that the six foot tall Spanish persona you are talking to may In
Real Life be a Dublin rugby player who doesn't appreciate Irish jokes, or
the big bearded be-tartaned Scot who is looking at you blankly when you
start talking about Rabbie Burns is probably a native of downtown
Again, if you embrace the Drachenwald mind-set of 'how we do it right here
and now is how it's done' you will be fine. If you come barreling in as
though you know better than anyone else, you run into trouble. I got to see
that one in action myself - a visiting American Laurel was talking to a new
member at her second or third event, and commenting on her rather lovely
linen dress, her first attempt at making her own garb. Now, the Laurel was
being very nice, with emphasis on the constructive and helpful end of
criticism, and said something like 'but if you want a more authentic cut,
you need to place your pattern on the grain differently...' which was met
with a blank 'huh?' from the newby and muffled giggles from her friends. The
Laurel started to explain what she knew, and was quite innocently put in her
place when the newby said 'but that's how the dress in the museum was cut.'
She'd gone down to her local museum, talked to the curator who had taken an
original dress (found in a bog, if I recall correctly) out of its case, laid
it out under controlled conditions for her, she had laid her linen down next
to it and matched it panel for panel. Duke Elfinn's laughing comment to the
red faced Laurel was 'we have *real* documentation here.'
To paraphrase Eddie Izzard, this is where the history comes from. Someone at
their very first event, wearing the equivalent of a tea-towel tunic, may
very well know more that the best Laurel on a given subject. You can talk
about Tudor architecture all you like, it won't impress someone who lives in
a Tudor house (and has to put up with the very awkward plumbing). Assume
nothing about anyone!
Ok, having said all that, I'll try to follow Katherine's line of 'nuts and
bolts', but I'll have to stress that this is based on my experience of
living in what is now Insula Draconis several years ago:
Size of event - anywhere from 15 to 300. Often in a period location. Because
people will travel from their own group to anywhere in ID, usually runs with
expectation that people will stay the night, and often makes accommodation
for those who wish to sleep in the feasting hall or a nearby hall on the
Saturday night (those with more money/older backs tend to head to local B&Bs
but still come back for breakfast on Sunday.)
Combat archery - enough ex-pat Locharchers and American knights make this a
contentious issue. Use US style huge blunts. When I was living there, a
fight would blow up about every 8 months on whether combat archery should
continue or not. The resolution was that combat archery would stay as it
was, and the bigger US style blunts remain, not for the sake of the archers
but for the safety of the historic sites wars tend to be in (stupid, true,
but the site caretakers tend to be happier with it.)
Fencing - very popular, more so that heavy in some places, but when I was
there, that was possibly because of training difficulties if you weren't in
an area where there were other heavies (there are quite a few different
non-SCA groups that do historic fencing). Make rude comments about fencers
at your peril - remember the large Irish Spaniard and the Danish lad in
tartan I mentioned before? If they don't fence, a good drinking buddy
Internal interaction... see above. Convoluted, complicated, issue laden, and
all done with a spirit of 'it'll all work'. There is a reason why
Drachenwalders laugh at us for grumbling about our problems with '1 kingdom,
2 countries.' They laugh at the Americans even harder. Generally dealt with
the minimum fuss and an assumption that any perceived cock up was
unintentional. Lots of travelling; most groups are small and reasonably
isolated. New groups tend to get a lot of support. Because so many people
travel to other groups to play, in lots of places a group will only run one
or two events per year. ID certainly had (and I think still has) the
situation where the local group will be nominally running the event, but
lots of people from other groups will be involved.
Yelled in Court - vivat. Custom taken directly from the East Kingdom (parent
kingdom) I believe.
Types of group that are favoured - shires, definitely shires. There are
maybe half a dozen Baronies in the whole kingdom? Not many (any? Not sure
these days; the only one I knew of was folding when I left) colleges.
Calendar - it's a thing with days on it. No matter what time of the year,
Drachenwald is big enough that somewhere it'll be nice to do what you want.
There was (again, don't know if it's still true) a culture of trying to
rotate the four Kingdom crown events through the three 'big' areas -
Nordmark, Insula Draconis and 'Central Europe' (mostly heavily populated in
Dance culture - no idea. They did it. Call for any dance and expect half a
dozen different variations depending on where the various dancers learnt it.
Food culture - serve non-period food at your peril. Serve *bad* food at your
peril. Simple is acceptable, poorly researched or badly cooked is not.
Because (in ID at least) people were at the feast hall for the night, the
concept of 'if I don't like it, I can nip out and get a burger or something
after) doesn't exist. If you didn't get stuffed fuller than a full thing at
the feast, there was a problem and the cooks will be mortified.
Use of candles - absolutely! Because events are often in historical sites,
there are *sometimes* very strict regulations about naked flames, but the
SCA has a VERY good reputation with bodies like CADW, the National Trust,
etc, and so allowances are usually made. I think I went to one electric lit
event in my entire time in Drachenwald, and that was in a modern hall.
Acceptability of alcohol - it's Europe, the concept of a dry site is
bewilderingly foreign to most people. However, in the new Middle Eastern
proto-groups, that's not a given, of course.
Frequency of Royal visits - not too bad. But then again, I lived in ID,
where a lot of those who had the skills to win crown live. Given the spread
of the kingdom, I suspect many places see royalty all too infrequently.
Award culture - has almost no GOA level awards. AoA level specific awards
are bloody hard to get (not an AoA itself though, I should clarify); there
is a debate going on at the moment as to whether the kingdom should
introduce GOA awards, or shufty its current awards up to GOA level and
create some new AoA level awards that are more likely to be given at that
The PCP, or Principle Company of Sojourners, is given to every inhabitant of
Drachenwald who leaves the kingdom; a recognition of how many people of the
kingdom are there temporarily. It's that cultural thing again; no matter
where you come from, while you are in Drachenwald you ARE a Drachenwalder,
and when you leave, you will always have ties to the kingdom and be welcomed
home with open arms.
Peerages - not a damn clue. Wasn't one, didn't play with them much while I
was there. All the laurels I met were Laurels when they got there. Wolfram,
Genna, any comments?
Approach to Royalty - very laid back indeed.
Equality of Kings and Queens - absolutely! Some *very* strong Queens in
Drachenwald's history (and some very, very laid back Kings - Hi Elfinn!!)
A&S competitions - er...ask Nina. Sorry. As I vaguely remember, variable and
not very topic specific.
Language - tricky. Again, so much of the population started in the SCA
elsewhere that it's tricky to nail it down. I heard eric, list, listfield,
tourney field, ground, field and display all used. Autocrat often, but
Steward pushing its way in. A Cook is a Cook is a Cook; 'feastocrat' marked
you out as 'foreign' in an instant. Through in any other language variant of
the above and you start to get an idea.
Golf carts - would get you laughed at. A pony trap or a goat cart would be
looked at with speculation and much planning, however :D
Types of event - ID was mainly fight during the day (tourney or war) and
feast at night. Drachenwald has some truly historic wars with some truly
stupid causes (whether one should butter a Ryvita-style biscuit on the flat
side or the holey side; which of two baronies grows the better horseradish;
are home-made or shop-bought 'cookies' better?) The numbers are smaller - 20
to 100 fighters, but you've never been to war until you got to watch it from
the walls of a 12th century castle. Nyah! ;)
Because of the distances people travel, nearly always cover the weekend. Day
events are rare.
Density of groups and effects on event - as covered before - population
spread out, lots of travelling, lots of staying overnight (and lots of
locals throwing their doors open to stragglers before and after, too.)
Everyone does everything and gets involved in everything on one level or
One other thing I'll add to Katherine's list, and that is bought-or-made:
'Medieval Fairs' are commonplace all over Drachenwald, and are NOT like the
US RenFaires; there is usually some serious re-enactment, often of a battle,
attached, and a lot of merchants selling some high-quality stuff at not too
expensive prices. In addition, many 'native born' Drachenwalders also play
in 'real' re-enactment groups, with very high standards, and come to the SCA
as a bit of a relief, with an option to play in more than one time and
place. So you will see some VERY high standards of garb and kit, that may or
may not have been made by the wearer or bought straight off the rack. It
also means that Laurel-standards are VERY high - you have huge amounts of
primary documentation within easy reach, and LOTS of people making stuff to
SCA Laurel standards as 'basic kit' in non-SCA games.
I can only stress, that was my experience of Drachenwald. There are others
on the list who are perhaps better qualified to speak, having been Peers
while they were there, or a certain northern Baron who is a native
Blodeuwedd y Gath, PCP.