Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

Oertha-hist-msg - 2/13/09


Histories of the Principality of Oertha, Kingdom of the West. (Alaska)


NOTE: See also the files: SCA-hist2-msg, West-hist-msg, SCA-stories2-msg, placenames-msg, snow-msg.





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: sandradodd at aol.com (SandraDodd)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Origin of "Oertha," channeled

Date: 9 Sep 1996 16:07:58 -0400


Subj:   Re: Names of Kingdoms

Date:   Mon, Sep 9, 1996 2:50 PM EDT

From:  ftamy at aurora.alaska.edu

To: sandradodd at aol.com


Unto Mistress Alflaed of Duckford

greetings from

Mistress Annora de Montfort of Shadowood in the Principality of Oertha.


My Lady,

It has been a long time since I was a newbie in Eskalya taking on the post

of seneschale and writing to you for advice. Much has happened since then,

including the ability to communicate with the rest of the SCA world via



I happened to be browsing the Rialto,(a new ability for me) and saw the

piece of the thread talking about place names. I wanted to pass on the

correct story of the naming of Oertha, but as I am not a subscriber to the

list (just thru my university) I thought I would pass it on to you.


In the early days, (1979) Alaska had two groups, Eskalya and Winter's

Gate. We were part of the Principality of Antir. When Antir petitioned for

kingdom status, Alaska asked to remain part of the West. That wish was

granted. We were then termed the Northern Marches. As we got closer to

principality status, the groups started thinking of a name for the whole

unit; the North being the odds on favorite. However, the heralds vetoed the

North and we went back to the drawing board. Enter Sir Kylson Skyfire. He

was returning by airplane from somewhere Outside, and was reading the

airline magazine. He says one of the articles talked about northern lands

and the word oertha. According to the article, oertha meant "guardian of

the North". He presented the name to the Council of the North and to the

populace where it was approved. Now comes the odd part. We never actually

had a copy of the magazine or the article. The language may be celtic...we

know it isn't Yupik or Inupiaq eskimo, but we're not sure anymore. There

is a welsh word for north or northern that sounds like it, but...


So, for the purposes of myth and legend, Oertha means Guardian of the




From: Megan nic Alister of Thornwood <megan at mail.wco.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: New Princess by Right of Arms

Date: 19 Jan 1997 01:18:01 GMT


Today, in the Principality of Oertha (mundanely Alaska) in the Kingdom of

the West, Virissa de Lighthaven won the Coronet Tournament for the honor

of her lord.  She will be invested as Princess tomorrow. Congratulations

to both her and her lord.


Countess Megan, West



Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 20:32:56 -0800

From: Sharron Albert <morgana at gci.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Tiki Torch Recall

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Here in the West, Tiki Torches (generic) are utterly totally

> thoroughly irrevocably forbidden at our events - since most are

> camping - and there's no reason to have then at the one-day events.

> --

> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

> the persona formerly known as Anahita


We don't use them much in Oertha (Alaska) either (G). Unless we're

down on the Kenai Peninsula or the Panhandle, it doesn't get dark

enough during the short summer camping season to use them, and it's

way too cold in the winter to do outdoor courts etc. I've done

needlework in mid-July at midnight with ambient light in Winter's

Gate (Fairbanks), which is a delightful feeling.


I do remember an evening court in An Tir once, that had the main

corridor flanked by Tiki Torches. It was definitely dramatic watching

people walk up to Their Majesties, to receive awards, etc.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Morgana yr Oerfa, OP

Winter's Gate/Oertha/West



Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 17:24:32 -0900

From: Sharron Albert <morgana at gci.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] OT: Weather in Oertha

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


>   I have friends from Oertha who said it was indeed a very chilly

> Coronet :) And here I was complaining of 20 degree mornings.


>   -Muiriath


Yeah. We often [think] you guys down in the states (what we call Outside) are

really wimps. A hint of rain and some people don't go to events, and

drive 50 miles, that's just too far (G). Our next closest group --

that you can drive to -- is nearly 400 miles away. And there are two

groups in Oertha you either only fly to (Kotzebue) or fly/take the

ferry (Kodiak). You gotta be a traveling fool to live in Alaska...



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Morgana yr Oerfa, OP

Winter's Gate/Oertha/West



Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 01:32:47 -0900

From: Sharron Albert <morgana at gci.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Blessed are the non-cooks

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


----- Original Message -----

From: Audrey Bergeron-Morin <audreybmorin at gmail.com>

>> Anybody who is willing to come in and deal with things when I am

>> brainfried and tired is SO BLESSED.


> Well, thank you :-) The local cooks' guild must thinks so too since

> they gave me an official apron and offered me to join...


One of my favorite times was at a small midwinter coronet in Juneau,  

Alaska. The local cooks had beaten themselves up providing an  

exquisite feast (not period, but this was years before we knew much  

about that), and had just taken themselves off the bed, muttering  

"we'll take care of it in the morning." The counters were covered  

with dirty dishes (although the food had been put away).


So I put some dishes in to soak, and then cleared a corner of the  

counter and set it up for draining/drying dishes. I washed the  

soaking ones, stacked them, and put more in to soak, then cleared the  

next area. And so on until I was done.


It was with great delight I heard the cooks in the morning, groaning  

in anticipation as they approached the kitchen, only to be faced with  

clean dishes waiting for them. I don't think anyone ever told them  

who did it, which made it all the more fun.


I've been on both sides, and always appreciated it when others came  

in to clean up.


Morgana yr Oerfa



Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 20:26:27 -0900

From: Sharron Albert <morgana at gci.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Feast costs/budgets

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Up in Oertha (Alaska), the head cooks for our twice-yearly coronets

are expected to coordinate a brunch on Saturday, a feast for Saturday

dinner, and a breakfast/brunch on Sunday. Brunch is usually

soup/stews and bread and fingerfoods. Especially in the winter, the

fighters need something warm after tourney and they come inside

(unless it below -15F, they usually fight outdoors).


Dinner is a regular feast, of varying periodness and courses,

according to who is cook. Sometimes the numbers are reservations

only, sometimes feast included in the event fee (with offboard for

those who know they're not feasting). Breakfast is usually warmed-up

feast leftovers, liquids and maybe muffins/breads. We might get

breakfast, but it's not fancy, at least in midwinter. Midsummer,

breakfast Saturday and Sunday is often a donations-accepted

fundraiser for the principality, cooked by Pied Powder Inn members

and friends, which includes pancakes and fixin's, juice/coffee,

sausage (often homemade from moose), bacon. I've never donated less

than $5 and that was over the event fees.


But when you consider people routinely drive nearly 400 miles to go

to coronet (or fly from Outside or the Juneau area), it helps if you

don't have to drag camping/cooking gear with you. And we obviously do

not camp outside in the January tourney. I certainly appreciate that

I, as a single older woman, don't have to worry about the food issue.


And, our feasts seldom reach 100 people, although we come close more

often than we used to. And having up to a 100 people scatter for

lunches and dinners really breaks up the mood of the events.


Different areas and climates, different customs. We started coronet

feasts nearly 30 years ago, before we were a principality and our

numbers might have reached 50 people at the event.


Morgana yr Oerfa



Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 21:53:15 -0900

From: Sharron Albert <morgana at gci.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Current farm prices and affects on feast


To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> Well, here in NoCal in the Central West, the fee for most period

> feasts is about $15, although some are less. We gradually raised the

> prices over the past few years because with the very high cost of

> sites, they just weren't doing so well... sometimes losing a bit of

> money, sometimes breaking even - when, i gather, the idea is to make

> a small amount as a cushion for those that don't break even - when

> the weather is rainy, often fewer folks show up than have RSVP'd.


>  Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

> the persona formerly known as Anahita


Our Barony usually does potluck dinners. But we hold one annual feast

in October, and it's as period as we can make it. We charge around

$15 a person, partly because food is expensive in Alaska, and partly

because indoor sites with good kitchens are mostly too expensive for

our small feast (50+). We almost always lose money, but it's not

much, and it's expected. We plan for it but making sure we make money

on other events and via fundraising year-round.


We're rather proud of this feast tradition, which goes back to about

AS XIV, and people travel the previously-mentioned 400 miles to eat

with us (G).


Morgana yr Oerfa, the Oerthan expert today (the other Oerthans hereon

are either returning from or recovering from Estrella)


<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