Flaming Gryphon 12th Night

January has been filled with SCA events for me; but they are only half over. This Saturday I’ll be going to another Twelfth Night celebration, this time in the Barony of Flaming Gryphon at the Marche of Havenholde, in a city about an hour from here, where my next-younger brother and his family live.

I’m catching a ride there with my friends Slany Bean Uillic and her husband, Uilleag Balbhán. They are featured, and pictured, in a recent post of mine:  Middle Marches Baronial 12th Night.  I taught a class there about Viking women in the Icelandic sagas, and Slany and Uilleag attended it.

Here is the website for Flaming Gryphon 12th Night:  The Spirit of Twelfth Night/Marche of Havenholde, Barony of Flaming Gryphon. There are no combat activities at this event, which is the same as the other 12th Night celebrations I’ve been to. Instead there are many other activities scheduled. I’m particularly looking forward to attending several classes that are being offered and to taking part in some Viking gambling.

And of course there’s Feast! The menu for this Feast is particularly interesting because rather than concentrating on Medieval food from a certain region, it instead assigns each course of the Feast to a different time period, starting at the earliest and proceeding to the end of the time period that the SCA involves:

A feast through the Ages. We will start with simple fare from the 6th century and will end with refined desserts from the ages going through the 17th Century.

On Table

  • Butter                    -V, GF
  • Fruit Preserves      -V, GF
  • Soft cheeses         -V, GF

Course 1 (7th to 9th Centuries)

  • Flat bread  (using Oat flour)  – GF
  • Porridge (millet)                  –V, GF
  • Leeks & Mushrooms           –V, GF
  • Fish Soup

Course 2 (10th to 12th Centuries)

  • Coarse Bread                               -V
  • Roast Rabbit with Plum Sauce
  • Herb dumplings                            –V
  • Compost of Root Vegetable           -V, GF

Course 3 (13th to 15th Centuries)

  • Sourdough White Bread
  • Venison and Beef Mince Pie
  • Paneer Biryani                   -V, GF
  • Garnished Turnips              -V, GF

Course 4 (16th Centuries)

  • Apple Frutours    -V,
  • Snowe                -V, GF
  • Lebkuchen          -V
  • Chardewardon     -V, GF


  • Lemonade
  • Sparkling Apple Juice
  • Sparkling Grape Juice

V = Vegetarian friendly dish

GF = Gluten Free dish

I’m looking forward to everything except the fish soup. Ugh! 😛

While I’m there I’ll be taking an embroidery class with Jerusha a’Laon to learn eight Medieval stitches. I am a rank beginner at embroidery, so I hope that Jerusha has plenty of patience! Jerusha also taught at Middle Marches Baronial 12th Night, and she spent the night with me afterwards. It was fun to get to know her a bit. You can see her photo in my earlier post as well:  Middle Marches Baronial 12th Night.

Slany is also teaching a class at Flaming Gryphon, using her vast depth of knowledge of food science. She heads that department at The Ohio State University. Her class at Twelfth Night will be set in the year 1600 (our cut-off year in the SCA, although there is some wiggle room) and is an Elizabethan guide to chocolate, which we Scadians will be tasting for the first time. Her class description bids us to, “Come learn all of the fascinating facts about this new delight.”  I can’t wait! 🙂

Luckily Slany’s class is after lunch, which is a Chili Cook-Off. There is also a bake sale and a collection of non-perishable food items for a local food pantry. So many fun and worthwhile activities at Flaming Gryphon’s 12th Night!

Gothic Paris: 1100 – 1300

Meanwhile, Spring Semester classes at Ohio State have started. I’m taking a class about two hundred years of the life of the city of Paris. It is both fascinating and somewhat difficult so far. The difficulties are common to any history class, I think: lots of information to memorize, names, places, dates, etc.

One thing we have to be able to do for a quiz coming up very soon is to draw a map of medieval Paris with all the important places in it–the Ile de la Cite, the Right and Left Banks, Notre Dame cathedral, other important churches, abbeys, the Royal Palace, the bridges across the river Seine, the markets, the University, the major streets, and so on. It is a lot to learn.

We had our first quiz yesterday, on the major historical and pre-historical periods of France and the dynasties concerned. All I can say about that quiz is that I’m very glad that as an auditor I don’t receive a grade!

But the material is so interesting, and it also informs my studies of medieval Iceland and the rest of Scandinavia. Speaking of which…

Old Norse/Icelandic Study Groups

I have just joined not one, but two study groups in which we will be translating texts from Old Norse or Old Icelandic (they are virtually the same) into English and vice-versa. One of the groups is sponsored by Hurstwic and meets at a bricks-and-mortar location in Massachusetts. But they also include in their monthly meetings folks who are online in a Google Group, which is how I will participate.

I initially discovered Hurstwic’s website when I was researching women in the Old Norse/Viking period. They have a very good article on the topic, and another extremely good one on clothing during that period. I was somewhat surprised to discover that their major focus is on combat, however, and they run combat training programs at their Massachusetts facility. Here is their website: Hurstwic.

After I signed up with Hurstwic’s Old Norse Study Group, I discovered that Ohio State will be offering one through its Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, which is the department that offers my Gothic Paris class and is also where my professor of Medieval literature from last semester is the associate director. Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at The Ohio State University.

When I contacted the head of Ohio State’s Old Norse Study Group, I discovered that he is a PhD student whose adviser is my professor from last semester! Sometimes it is a small world, even at such a huge university (over 50,000 students on the main campus in Columbus Ohio alone). Not only that, but he lived for a year in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland where I’ll be visiting in May. He has offered to give me tips on the best things to do there.

I just received my copy of A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic as well as a couple of Old Norse/Icelandic grammars, so I’m ready to start!

Lots of reading and learning to do. But I really want to read the Icelandic Sagas in the original language, because I have heard that they are so much better that way. Wish me luck!

Modern Icelandic

On top of trying to learn Old Norse/Icelandic, I’m also attempting to learn at least a little bit of Modern Icelandic for my trip. I have two self-study programs to help me with that. But I am having some difficulties with both of them. Maybe I’m too old to learn a new language that is spoken by contemporary people, as opposed to a “dead language” like Old Norse? However, learning some Modern Icelandic will not only help during my trip, but also will help my studies of Old Norse. So once again, please wish me luck!

Here are my Modern Icelandic study programs and dictionary:

So far I haven’t gotten much further than Hello, Thanks, and Yes. LOL! 😛

The Court of Love and Death

The last weekend of January I’ll be going up to Cleveland, in the northeastern part of the state of Ohio (I live in the central section). There is a big annual SCA event held near there that is called, rather strangely I think, “A Regular Event in the Cleftlands”. Here is its website for this year’s event:  The Court of Love and Death. The motto is “In the eternal battle of Love vs. Death, only you can decide who wins.”

There will be combat activities there, as well as dancing, classes in the arts and sciences, youth activities, a craftperson’s faire, merchants, divers competitions, and a Court session held by the King and Queen of the Midrealm Kingdom. Here is the schedule for the day:


9:00 Site Opens
Armored & Rapier: Inspections, Authorizations, etc. Gym
10:00 Class: European Leather Pattents Classroom 1
Class: Ostenstitch Classroom 2
Class: SCA 101 Classroom 3
11:00 Rapier: Atlantian Speed Tournament Gym, Rapier
Youth Point Opens 2nd Floor, Youth Point
A&S: Craftperson’s Faire Opens
Class: Could Sleeping Beauty Really Have Pricked Her Finger on a Spinning Wheel and other Spinning “Yarns” Classroom 2
Class: The SCA and Your Resume Classroom 3
Laurel Meeting 2nd Floor, Royalty Rm
11:30 Armored: Tournament a Plaisance Gym, Armored
Lunch Tavern Opens Food Court
12:00 Class: Being the Exchequer and What that Means Classroom 1
1:00 Dance: Open Dancing Begins 2nd Floor, Dance
Class: Fundamentals of Voice Production Classroom 3
1:30 Armored: Ladder of Renown Tournament Gym, Armored
Lunch Tavern Closes
2:00 Rapier: Valhalla Circle of Love (or Death) Gym, Rapier
Class: Mead 101 Classroom 1
Class: Intro to Performing Arts Classroom 1
3:00 Baroness Constanza’s Court of Love and Death 2nd Floor, Feast Hall
A&S: Craftperson’s Faire Closes
Class: Cordials 101 Classroom 1
Class: Bookbinding Classroom 2
Class: Medieval Surgery 101 Classroom 3
Dance: Open Dancing Closes
4:00 Armored & Rapier: Lists Close
4:15 Youth Point Closes
4:30 Superhero and Villains Heraldic Clothing Challenge (TBD) TBD
5:30 Court (TBD) Gym
6:30 Feast 2nd Floor, Feast Hall
9:00 Site Closes


Plenty of things to do! I’m going to be performing at 3:00 at Baroness Constanza de Mendoza’s Court of Love and Death. Once again, as at Kingdom Twelfth Night earlier this month, I’ll be playing the Renaissance lute and singing. But this time I’ll be singing happy love songs: “O Mistresse Mine,” from Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night with music by Thomas Morley, and “Of All the Birdes That I Do Knowe,” lyrics by George Gascoigne and music by John Bartlet, from his Book of Ayres, 1603.

Here is what the site has to say about the Court of Love and Death:

Baroness Constanza’s Court of Love and Death

Attention all Singers, Storytellers, Actors, Musicians and others who live by their wit and nimbleness in The Knowne World. The Baroness Constanza has agreed to serve as Patron for a Court to determine who will triumph on the day of “Regular Event in Cleftlands (January 28th, Barony of Cleftlands) – Love or Death. The finest performers are invited to defend Love, Death or both, to a Gallery of esteemed ladies chosen by the Baroness. These good ladies will determine at the Court’s end which of these is triumphant over us.

The challenge will take place at 3:00 PM on the second floor of the event site.

Rules are as follows:

  • Each entrant will prepare two pieces of no more than five minutes duration TOTAL in defense of love or death.
  • Each entrant may choose to defend love or death in both pieces, or “go bipartisan” and perform one piece in defense of each.
  • All entrants will receive a token for their participation.
  • The Ladies of the Gallery may, at their discretion, provide recognition of an individual performer (perhaps based on eloquence, delivery, nice garb, etc…..)

I’ve been encouraging other musicians to enter the contest of the Court of Love and Death, and so far I think that at least Breddelwyn the Harper will do so. Here he is at Kingdom 12th Night:

Breddelwynn Kingdom 12th Night 2017

Juhi and Amol!

I am excited not only about the SCA event that last weekend this month, but also because I will be staying with my great friends Juhi and Amol while I am up there. They moved last week to northeastern Ohio, and I miss them so much! Here we are at one of the last entertainments we went to together, the Trans Siberian Orchestra at Nationwide Arena on December 30th, 2016:



That concert was a real blast.  I can’t wait to see them again at their new apartment!

Well, that is about it for now from me. What’s happening in your part of the world–what are you looking forward to? Please let me know. 🙂 ❤