Áshildr inn Hárfagri
At Norman Medieval Faire
|Order of Precedence
Purpure, a fleece argent, on a chief embattled Or a rapier sable.
Dona Áshildr in Hárfagri, WSA
Previously Known As:
Nickname(s): Ás, Bones, The Sheep Lady
Why "The Sheep Lady"?:
I joined the medieval fair of Norman in the fall of 2016. I had enough background in improvisation and interactive performance that I was given the role of Street cast, and told to come up with a Merchant-type character, but otherwise I had free reign. I knew I wanted an excuse to knit on site all weekend, so I decided to make a textile merchant, and goofed my way into the name Arkewright. I picked Margery because it sounds fairly close to my own name and didn't take too much getting used to. I made myself a little pouch to hold my yarn and some ribbon roses, and happened to put little fairisle sheep on it. Thus, Margery Arkewright was born. My primary shtick became asking patrons if they've seen my sheep, she was just here a minute ago, and then pointing to the little plain sheep on my bag for reference. "She doesn't look like this one, or this one, or this one....she kind of looks like this one!" So my first fair went great.
Second fair, I walk into the actors’ tent partway through day one to get some food and a drink and look into my basket and see a sheep. Weird, right? I fill up my mug and turn to go investigate the mystery sheep and now there's TWO sheep in my basket! I run outside to track down the members of court and ask if they know what's going on, and when I bring in Earl Marshall Margaret, she's giggling up a storm and lo and behold, there are THREE sheep in my basket!
Over the course of the day, people periodically get my attention and I obtain more sheep. One was sitting in the King's crown, one was sitting on my favorite bagpipe band's stage, several were surreptitiously deposited in whatever I was carrying, and one was lobbed to me by a stage storyteller in the middle of her story. By the end of the day, I had 16 identical sheep plushies.
The second day, I arrive at compound to see a shepherds crook wrapped in flowers leaned in my corner, with a note and my name on it. I hang a basket from it, and decide to carry around as many sheep as possible. The privateer I spend a lot of time schticking and dancing with develops a whole bit about making eye contact with the kids while very obviously removing sheep from my basket and hiding them behind her back while i ask the children for help in finding my sheep. We called it the liar test. In two full years of running the liar test and hundreds upon hundreds of children, only two kids ever snitched.
By the end of fair that weekend I had embraced my role as the sheep lady. At the Dead Dog Dinner, the ringleader of the sheepocalypse revealed herself, and there was much laughter and rejoicing.
I've since leaned into the role as the Sheep Lady, and Margery has become the Greatest Shepherdess in All Of Avalon, certainly helped by the fact she's the only one. She's ditzy, and can't count past 10, but she's so excited to be here and every single one of her sheep has names. One of them is Ceedee the Lamb and has been featured on national television. Last year after fair the Arthurian Order of Avalon cornered me after the Last Huzzah to pin a little "coat of arms" to me that was just a sable fleece with a pink and blue ribbon suspending it. I'm recognized as the sheep lady by repeat fairgoers, and even Elspeth's children refer to me almost exclusively as the sheep lady when I'm over for rapier practice.
Additional Registered Heraldry:
- Local Offices
- Principality Offices
- Kingdom Offices
- Kingdom Performing and Bardic Arts Deputy, October 2023 - Present
Joined the cast of the Medieval Fair of Norman in Fall 2016 as Margery Arkewright, the Shepherdess of Avalon. From there, Elspeth Monypenny lured me to the dark side (the SCA) with promises of swords and dancing, and I love swords and dancing very much. She started teaching me and a handful of others, who have become Elspeth's Goblins, to fight rapier, and shooed myself and another Goblin off to 40th with the promise of much dancing. There was, in fact, much dancing. My friend and I danced to Stary Olsa in an empty spot under the BFT long enough and I suppose well enough that we obtained the attention of Her Grace, Duchess Willow de Wisp and were gifted our very first largesse. The moment other people joined in our dancing was the moment the SCA gained a new member it can never get rid of.
So. Persona. You know, the question on every girl's heart: "Early Rus or middling Norwegian or Swedish viking"... Because - let's be real here, all that matters is the well-made shallow drafted boats...
- Colors that are altogether too bright
- Dancing to bagpipes
- Dancing well
- Dancing exceptionally poorly
- Dancing jigs
- Changing perfectly good dances
- General tomfoolery
Timeline of Activity:
- Joined the Medieval fair in fall 2016. (First SCA-adjacent activity ever)
- First event was Ansteorra's 40th anniversary
- Second event was Fall Coronation
- Got a sword December 2019
- Participated in HRM Elizabeth's Queen's Champion Tournament, November 2021
I didn't expect much of an adventure, BUT THERE I WAS. I'd offered to herald three processions. The Barony of Namron, because I'm the Namron herald, His Excellency, Micolay Haiduk, since he wanted to fight as the Baron of Namron, and Centurion Mícauley because he and Dýrfinna Mikaelsdóttir asked nicely and their vibes are immaculate. I spend days fretting about what to say, suddenly cutting down my scripts to a third of its length to fit new time requirements, showing up Friday to walk the site and become the unit of measurement for Annais and Ivo since I'm one of the shortest heralds in the north, and War of the Rams.
Day of. I herald Namron in, run back around, herald Micolay in, run back around, herald Mícauley in, and walk away shaking. I'd done it. It's fine. I did a good enough job, I made my Baron and Baronowa proud and my friends happy, I had herald shakes and was gonna have somebody hug the soul out of me. Then out of the blue I'm accosted by what feels like half my friends, led by Jason Drysdale, declaring the deadly bye needs heralding in. The deadly bye is also my friend! So of course! But I don't have something a page long written up! Never fear, says Jason. Its better to keep it short anyways, neither crown nor court herald knows we're doing this. I fret while we walk back to the start of procession area, I'm cued by the site heralds, and begin shouting over the court herald and striding towards the crown. If Floki sees fit to kick my butt, Jason will be my meatshield, I've decided. If HRM Elizabeth sees fit to kick my butt, I will simply die. Behind me the procession cowers in fear from the deadliest byfighter in the known world, fighting as the Dread Pirate Roberts. I deliver the shortest speech yet, present our deadly bye Bjorn hestr Hauksson to the crown, and skedaddle away to surprised laughter.
And that's how, for better or worse, I heralded 4 of the processions at the Vindheim Premier Coronet Tourney.
Gulf Wars 30: March 2022
So here's my designated sappy post. I may try to summarize everything, sorry not sorry. Gulf Wars 2022 took a lot of preparation, and a lot of factors tried very hard to make it not happen for us, so by golly I'm gonna document what I can.
En route to this most magnificent war, fierce weather and shoddy craftsmanship almost turned us back home. This journey was saved by quick thinking, a level head, and cavalier-related literature. Upon arrival we found we had taken with us the mighty storms of our home, without the tempering presence of the Baron and Baronowa of Namron. Winds whipped and rain soaked our humble lodgings, a night was spent in the vehicle, and once more we considered turning back, for the universe seemed set against us. But we persisted.
We drank, we shopped, we sang, we met friends new and old, made merry and memories. I laughed through my first full res battle at the Swashbuckler battle, apparently a sight so odd that the marshals were told.
I met one of my bardic idols, Ambra Michelli, and swapped songs with her and the new War Bard Champion. Lyra and I had once performed Song of the Shield Wall together in the finals of the Skorragarðr Bardic Competition, because of COURSE we had to make it a little more difficult for our Baron, so we were honored to sing with Ambra. Bardic dreams were fulfilled and musical itches were definitely scratched.
I fought in the heavy town battle as part of the king's guard and was *very* effectively babysat by Magnus under threat of my lady, and experienced the thrill of shields crashing, the pride of killing a duke, the conspiratorial giggling of tricking people into thinking you know what you're doing, and the utter relief of the shields of Mooneschadowe falling in at your side and saving you from being ground into a fine dust by a man built like a mountain. I fought beside the King, and I fought beside my Prince, and saw their prowess, ferocity, and dedication first hand. I fought beside and under Margery Heron's able command as she gathered forces where they needed to be. That was pretty awesome.
In the Lady Rapier tournament I fought and watched the prowess of my sisters and siblings in arms from Kingdoms far and wide. We were supported by brothers and friends who marshaled and who cheered us on (thank you Saevarr, Marcus von Furth, Darian De Shameless, Santi, and Orazio d'Assisi). When I saw the makeup of the semifinals was half Ansteorrans including myself, my lady, and my SCA cousin Lauren Zinn, I started planning how to extol to Her Stellar Majesty the glories of her Legion. When I saw my lady Halldóra Hrafnsdottir win, I very nearly bowled her over. You all should know, she's pretty fierce ;)
In the rapier town battle I was blessed to fight alongside my lady and my comrades of the Storm Weasels, and honored to see how well we fought. Bridges we took, we kept. Houses lost, we regained. I watched Halldóra relentlessly smile and return from every res quicker than the last (for marshals reading, it was definitely a power walk shhhh). I watched Saevarr keep a bridge almost on his own. I became the nuisance and a stumbling block I aspire to be in a melee, and received the ultimate honor of being called "respectfully, the most annoying person here." Holds called were friends made, those we had fought against in tournaments became allies in the terrible housing market of the town battle. I have stories upon stories, but know I had the time of my life.
On the rapier field battle, the Storm Weasels were among the last standing. Every time. I could not be more proud of us, of our teamwork, and how dang cool our demicapes look. Thank you Baronowa Uliana Haiduk!
And... my crown came out. Not IN a fight, but biting into an after fight snack. This became a recurring problem, solved by the be-toothed big red chicken, Magnus. thank you dude; weirdest repeat dental procedure I've ever had.
In the War Bard Competition I faced talented bards from around the known world, and added new songs to my repertoire. Looking forward to the new album from our champion 👀
The everyman tourney was a blast, I wish I'd remembered to bring one of our many tripods down to film all the fighting but cest la vie. Met some cool people, stabbed some cool people, made friends. That's what it's all about. The Rose Tourney nearly got rained out, but thanks to a little field refinagling and the hard work of our marshals (thank you Etienne de Montagu) we managed to still have it, and myself and Mr. Valeria (Abd al-Mahdi Jamal ibn Hakim) had the distinct honor of fighting for Duchess Valeria Richila Navarro, my cadet sister and the Rose with the coolest shoes, hands down. I may not have won, Your Grace, but I died stylishly.
We didn't accomplish *nearly* all we set out to do. In a stroke of ambition, I had intended to fight every heavy and rapier war point, but the weather-related rescheduling blew that plan away. We'd intended to take classes, go to the dances, volunteer. Heck, I'd intended to spend a good deal of time at Herald's Point, but even on the days when nothing seemed on the schedule I found myself busy and laughing.
But most importantly of all, Ansteorra's court. I did my due diligence for some pranks, I sat close and listened well, and did my damnedest to not let a friend walk unaccompanied into court. There are certain things kept secret before courts. It is unwise to sneak a peek at a herald's book, and it is silly to think you know what will happen. I knew two friends were getting elevated, I knew there was so much skill and joy and prowess shown this week that there would be a slew of awards and recognitions. I knew this would be a bit of a long court. What I did not know, what the whole of the barony, the majority of the kingdom, and a good deal of those outside our kingdom knew, is what had been planned for me.
See, my Lady knows full well that I like pomp and circumstance, that cult of Regina is part of what makes the magic for me, and that I love the Roses of Ansteorra. What I didn't know is that she had arranged a Conspiracy of the Roses. What I didn't know is she asked my white scarf, Doña Marie de Girau, and that a recording was set up for her and my swordmom to be part of the moment. What I didn't know is she had asked our crown for their permission. What I didn't know is why my white scarf's knight was present. What I didn't know is why Duchess Margherita de Mantua got choked up when she just talked about me being bouncy and fun around camp, nor why she turned me around after giving me a token. (And then yelled, "WOOOSH!!")
I turned around to see my love on one knee in the soft glow of the lanterns and torchlight and the box in her hand. For anyone wondering, I said yes.
So thank you to everyone who made this Gulf Wars so magical. Thank you Nicaize Maupetit, Rixende de Rouen, Gwenneth Bowynne of Glamorgan and Avery Shaw for support on and off the field. Thank you to the Company of St Michael and especially Sir Mingo for welcoming and supporting me, and sorry for being a garbage stunt liver. Thank you to the people of Namron and Wiesenfeuer, always ready with a helping hand and extra rope when your tarp wants to blow away. Thank you to photographers, water bearers, marshals, autocrats and landocrats. Thank you to a hundred people I can't tag, or facebook will mark this as spam.
Koia Karasova, Orazio, Margery, and Magnus, thank you for kicking my ass about drinking water, basically babysitting me on more than one occasion, and helping me find and do all kinds of neat stuff at gulf I wouldn't have otherwise done or seen. You're SUCH enablers.
Lyra, you're a blast to talk to, to sing with, and to live next to for a week. Can't wait to face off against you in more bardic competitions, we're gonna rock the world ;P
Darien and Marcus, you're great neighbors, excellent fighters and teachers, wonderful friends, and completely innocent cadets who could never scheme anything nope never not us we're totally innocent. Camp boot care and camp shopping trips need to be a thing more often.
Saevarr, my friend, the scariest swashbuckler on the field, thank you for letting us dress you nice, and thank you for taking care of my catastrophe butt. You're a good egg and a fearsome fighter.
Malkyn Hawke, my faithful and noble consort and my unwavering support, my designated RBF and oftentimes well-needed kick in the rear, I could not do half the things I do without you. I'm so glad you got to do some violence, and I'm so glad to call you my friend.
Halldora, my love, my inspiration, my champion, I would not do half the things I do without you. I am so grateful for that first day we crossed blades, and for every day since. I'm so proud of all that you do, and I'm so proud to be on your arm. I love you, and I'll never stop loving you.
Populace Provided Information:
Ashildr emanates joy. When I met her for the first time, she was So Excited to Do All the Things, and I am so fervently happy that she retains that excitement and joy. Whether she is carousing on the rapier field or impressing with her quick wit in a kenning competition or soaring to new heights in bardic performance, she transforms the experiences of those around her to something better. The SCA is a happier place with Ashildr in it.
Notable Contributions or Accomplishments:
- 2021 Ravenskald of Raven's Fort
- 2021 Bardic Champion of Skorragarðr
- 2022 Rapier Champion of Stargate
- Received the "Shaky Knees" at War of the Rams 2022
Non-Armigerous Awards and Recognitions:
- My better half: Lady Halldóra Hrafnsdóttir
- Prior Cadet to Marie de Girau
- One of Elspeth's Goblins (*)
- Swordmom - Elspeth Monypenny
- Sworddad - Kazimir Lyszkowycz Wylkowski
- Member of Valkyrie Company
- Member of the Valkyries of Vindheim (**)
* Elspeth Monypenny, who is cadet to Doña Marie de Girau. Elspeth’s goblins are her students.
** The "Valkyries of Vindheim" are mostly Elspeth's Goblins, and a couple others who are Not her goblins - but it's generally an all ladies rapier fighting group. Doña Marie Swordgrandma hath decreed, "practice!!" and we said, "Yes, ma'am."
A graduate of Computer Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Hit me up for a dance, a pickup fight, or perhaps a good story if you see me!.
In Case of Court: