Exiled for the Good of the Realm

We find ourselves in strange times. Strange times indeed…

Almost five months ago now, Phelippe and I, along with most in the SCA, went into “exile.” With a worldwide pandemic raging, we watched as all of the SCA events we had been working on and planning to attend slowly disappeared off the event calendar. At first there was hope for a Memorial Day weekend event, then maybe summer, then fall held our hopes, and now even the spring of 2021 is starting to look doubtful. “Dark and Difficult Times…” indeed.

However, we know that the SCA is not the events, but rather the people. The community. And the community continues to evolve and find new ways to thrive. It may seem oxymoronic to imagine a medieval recreation based society to thrive in a virtual era, but yet here we are– truly wonderful things are happening all the time. For our small part, Phelippe and I are trying to contribute to these wonderful things. This blog post will provide some insight into what has been keeping us busy and connected to the community during this time of isolation.

To begin, we both have had some ongoing personal projects. I managed to finish a new Viking-inspired outfit (pictured above) and Phelippe built his first cote (I helped a little 😉).

I also completed the tan colored hood you see pictured here with the cote. Speaking of hoods, I am also well into another blue wool hood (also pictured below). It should be of note that Phelippe made all of the beautiful inkle-woven trim in my Viking outfit. I’m so thankful for his weaving skills.

In process. In this photo I was planning my embroidery planning pieces.

After working on these hoods, I had several good gentles reach out to me for information. I put together an introductory presentation for them. Here is a link to the google slides presentation:

Phelippe also put together a presentation. He participated in Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina’s (OD, OL, OP) Laurel Challenge. She had asked participants to prepare a mini-lesson on a martial related topic. Phelippe came up with a really interesting and novel presentation on Divination using martial weapons. I’ll share the slides with you here:

Over the pandemic, Phelippe and I have also been acquiring some video editing skills. We had a lot of fun participating in the East Kingdom Glow Challenge. Here is our magical transformation:

We have been able to take these same video editing skills and create new content for our Barony, Settmour Swamp. Our Barony has hosted two large virtual events. The first was to celebrate our canceled event “Quest”. For this event, I was able to put together a slide show video of past Quest Memories. Click here to view the video on youtube.

Last night, we hosted another online event, this time to mourn/celebrate the loss of the Pennsic War. As many of you know, the Pennsic War is annual summer event that Phelippe and I attend for two weeks in western Pennsylvania. It is a camping event often attended by 10,000 people. For obvious reasons, this year’s event was cancelled, but this didn’t stop us from helping to host what was an awesome event online. We had exciting and fun video content, a trivia game, a bardic circle, and, through the vision of the incomparable Stephanie MacGregor and Lord Jon Renwick, a virtual auction which raised $3000 for the United Negro College Fund of NJ.

One of my favorite pieces to create for this event was my inaugural episode of “The Peerlywed Game.” This spoof on the Newlywed Game, was so much fun to film and edit. I was able to sucker in a Peer and Dependent pairing from each order into participating. I hope to maybe be able to create future episodes if I can find other interested pairings. The full video can be viewed here. I think it is hilarious and well worth the watch. Enjoy!

Thanks again to all of the good sports that participated in this video… Jonathan Miles, Markus Farmaðr, Orlando Sforza, Ciaran Ua Meic Thire, Margreþa La Fauvelle, Phelippe le Vigneron, Alexander MacGregor, and Natal’ia Bolotnikova.

We were able to participate in last night’s online event with our new pavilion setup! That’s right; Phelippe and I are expanding our camping setup (yes, it’s probably an addiction at this point).

We still have our lovely encampment pictured below, but we have also managed to acquire a Panther Primitives 10′-0″ round pavilion (above). Our goal is to spruce it up a bit (I have so many painting and decorating ideas) and use it for smaller events. We’d also love to find someone to rent it from us for future Pennsics (we will deliver and setup)! I’ll be excited to share more pics of this ongoing renovation.

Other smaller projects have also kept us busy. I received the opportunity to collaborate on our Barony’s most recent issue of our newsletter, “The Mudpuppy.” Here’s a link to the issue. Phelippe and I also made some instructional videos for my school (to introduce the SCA). We were able to teach my students how to play Nine Men’s Morris. Here’s a link to the tutorials:

We also have been playing a lot of chess. We actually took an online Masterclass. Look out, 😂.

Additionally, I’ve been helping to create some online challenges and conversation starters on the baronial Facebook page, and Phelippe is elbow deep in knitting and weaving projects. He is also about to begin collaborating on a musical production project with Drake Oranwood and Laila al-Sanna’ al-Andalusiyya (no spoilers). Meanwhile, I’m playing in the dirt… I am an avid gardener and have been working to greatly expand the number of medieval plants I’m growing. Some of my favorites are our old world roses…

Lastly, we’ve loved attending virtual courts and online classes.

Attending our first East Kingdom Virtual Court

All of this to say, we are keeping busy. I think perhaps this helps keep our mind off things. Missing the SCA, our community, is certainly a vast void, but we will continue to try to feed this void just a little with SCA-related projects. They are helping to keep our spirits up and it is our sincere hope that we are able to help lift the spirits of others.

Until we can all be together again…

All our love,

Phellipe and Emeline

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