Mikael of Monmouthshire
Photo by Caelin on Andrade.
Taken at King's College, Hosted by the Shire of Mooneschadowe, for the Elevation to the Chivalry of Rikardr Sveinsson.
|Order of Precedence|
Per bend sinister azure and gules, a bend sinister and a chief embattled Or.
- 1 His Grace, Duke Mikael of Monmouthshire
- 1.1 Additional Registered Heraldry:
- 1.2 Offices:
- 1.3 Persona History:
- 1.4 Interests:
- 1.5 Timeline of Activity:
- 1.6 Populace Provided Information:
- 1.7 Notable Contributions or Accomplishments:
- 1.8 Stories:
- 1.9 Trivia:
- 1.10 Affiliations:
- 1.11 Mundane Information:
His Grace, Duke Mikael of Monmouthshire
Previously Known As:
Nickname(s): Mikey, The Surfer King: "At my first coronation there was a skate ramp, and I jumped off the throne, hopped onto the skate board, and off I went."
Alternate Personas: Jacque leStrat (for when fighting rapier), Mad Michael
Additional Registered Heraldry:
The following badge associated with this name was registered in March of 1990 (via Ansteorra): Per pale azure and gules, a sword inverted palewise throughout Or.
Mantling 1: Gules / Mantling 2: Azure
Helm: 13th Century Roundtop Great Helm Argent, faces Dexter
Crest: Horned owl displayed wings inverted proper
Coronet: Ducal with strawberry leaves
Dexter Supporter: Dragon gules
Sinister Supporter: Wolf Sable
Motto: Exites facies meus (Translation: [Y'all] Get out of my face (Latin))
- Local Offices Held
- Knight Marshal of the Shire of Eldern Hills – “It was a requirement at the time to hold an office prior to fighting in Crown Tournament, and I wanted to be King. So I took the job.”
- Second Baron of the Barony of Eldern Hills (10/27/1990-06/20/1992)
- Regional Offices Held
- Kingdom Offices Held
Welshman in the 1200s.
- Loved to fight - heavy and rapier - both tournaments or melee. “It didn't matter: I would put on my armor in the morning, and leave it on all day, maybe pause for a bite to eat, but fighting until I couldn't. I would fight for 7 to 8 hours and be happy.”
- Blacksmithing – “Me and Charlie the Bastard were one of the first folks doing blacksmithing work with coal fired forges. There was another fellow from Elfsea who did it as well, so the three of us enjoyed doing that. I worked Damascus steel. My Sable Thistle is in Knifemaking, but it should have been blacksmithing.”
- Drumming – “I'd put two or three doumbeks between my legs, and I'd just kick it, man.”
- Longbow Archery
Timeline of Activity:
- My first event was the 7th Eldern Hills. I was playing music at the time, so it was off and on until the band broke up. I went full time around 1985.
- My first tournament was at Eldern Hills Samhain, 1985. I won!
- Attended Pennsic three times, once as Crown.
- Attended Gulf Wars one through nine, went back for Gulf Wars 25. I didn't recognize anything, it had changed so much.
- Attended each of the Tourneys of the Lion. Sometimes when attending Lyoness, I attended as Mad Michael (an alternate persona), but I played different characters throughout the weekend. It was a very tough tournament for me to fight in - I was being a goofy idiot, tripping over things, flirting with women on the sidelines. I would be talking to someone on the sidelines, see their eyes widen, and make a grand gesture, 'accidentally' hitting the person coming up on me in the face!
Populace Provided Information:
The first time I fought Duke Mikey, I waded into him florentine (2 swords) ... we did a flurry... a long flurry to my count. As we finished the pass, he cocked his head sideways, smiled, and I wondered if I missed calling a shot. We circled a bit, then moved for the second pass. It was much the same as the first pass, but over twice as long... he wrapped me up and hit me... then 3 more hits to boot.
After the fight I thanked him and asked if I had missed a hit on the first pass. He said, "Oh no, not at all... you’re just the first person in a long time to survive a five-shot combo. I haven’t gotten to throw a 10 shot combo in a couple years!"
Me, being young and dumb, said, "If it matters to you, you killed me on 7, 8,9, & 10." His reply was, "Sorry man, it was already in motion... great dance though." I’ve referred to it as a dance ever since... that was 1995-ish. This exchange was the makings of a lot of happy for a nobody fighter for a LONG time afterwards.
At my first event in 1991, someone pointed out who he was. (A former king of Ansteorra) During the event, he served feast with other servers and that pretty much set my expectations of royals: after serving as crowns, they should continue to serve. There was also an instance at that event where he was dancing on a table — but I don’t have a lot of memory about how that all happened...
Mikael was the King at the event where I met my now-husband. It was one of my first Ansteorran events (hosted by Eldern Hills, held in Brad Leah) and he came into court in a doublet and flowered surfer shorts. Before they got started, he took the throne, had the Crown hanging from the back of the throne, and one leg thrown over the side of the chair. He was so relaxed and laid back. It amused me and made me realize that maybe the Crown (here in Ansteorra) wasn't as scary and stuffy as I was used to from Caid.
I was at a House Wolfstar event - it was the one where there was a troupe that was putting on "A Man For All Seasons." I had drove up to the event with Inman MacMoore, and he complained on the way up there that he had won the tournament the year before, and had never been paid. He said, "I'm going to have some fun with Daniel in court!" Mikael and Mikaela were the Crown. They got to the end of court. When I got to the part where they asked, "Does anyone else have any business?" Inman walks up in Full Ducal Splendor and asks for Daniel Black Axe. He complains about not being paid well. Daniel had payment in the form of a two liter bottle of home brewed beer from Frederick. Inman goes over to the side and says, "Any who fought with me last year, please come share in the reward." Then he opened the beer. That was NOT a good idea; it was a very carbonated beer, and it started to make a beer geyser! Inman didn't want it getting on the ladies, so he put his mouth over it to try to control the flow. I will swear it was bubbling through his beard, his mustache, and out his nose. The hall was laughing, and then we looked up to the Thrones to see that Mikael had fallen out of the throne, he was laughing so hard. The crown was lopsided on his head, and he was pounding the floor, with how hard he was laughing. The Queen was still on the throne, but she was holding her head, laughing. We all had a lot of trouble trying to decide which was more funny - Inman with the gushing geyser of beer, or His Majesty Mikael on the floor, with the crown lopsided on his head. I'll always remember that.
This tale is from one year at OU’s Medieval Fair. The armored folks were doing a bear pit session to entertain the folks and Michael had been on the field for some time when his next opponent walked out to fight. I do not recall who it was, but have a recollection that they were fairly inexperienced. The bout began and the opponent was able to shield block several of Michael’s shots.
Michael began working on his opponent’s right side obviously with the intention of breaking the pattern by throwing a wrap shot to the left to hit the back of the helm. The trap was laid and Michael feinted to the right and reversed his motion the throw the wrap. What happened next is priceless. For some unknown reason at that exact instant the opponent ducked, the wrap shot whistled through the air and smacked Michael right across the eye slots. He paused for just an instant, hollered out “Yeah, that’s good”and proceeded to fall backwards like a log tipping over. Needless the roars of laughter from the crowd were deafening.
My tale is of two years ago at Namron Beltane (2018). Mikael had come in for the knighting ceremony for Daniel, who was a squire of his lineage. It was a noteworthy trip, to travel in from the Pacific Northwest. I was there at the event, and was visiting with Orm and Megan at the pavilion. All of a sudden, just behind me, I hear this high, squeaky voice coming from the dark. "Be very afraid! Because you cannot see where the voice is coming from!" I turned, and there he was, crouched down, holding a leafy tree branch before him. This was a standard Prootwaddle tactic, you see, to get a branch and hide behind it. "You can't see me! Be very afraid!" he said. It was his way of referencing decades back to the Barbarian event. He has a prootwaddle connection! (You have heard Ivarr runamagi explain where his name comes from - this was also the Prootwaddles at the Bjornsborg events.)
Mikeal was king when I was Baron of the Steppes. We were working together, organizing the Steppes 12th Night court. It was made complicated, because there was an award going to the Royal herald. There was an award going to OUR herald. There was an award going to the woman who was doing all the scrolls. (The awards could not be on the printed list for court, as would normally be the case, because the recipients would see it.) Mikael let me take care of this arranging.
I gave Dau'd a story - you are going to call for Tadgh at this point - and that there was a cue which I would give. I explained for Tadhg that he waas going to call up Dau'd, and I would have a signal. Of course, I couldn't tell him that the real signal would be him receiving his award! I will give you a cue, I told him. I told Gwenlian, here's the list of all the awards. And of course, someone else was doing the calligraphy on the one for her.
I had this wonderful, Richeleiu feeling, as I'm having to get all these stories going, until near the end of that court, when *I* was called up! Mikael had listend to me talking about enjoying keeping all of my stoies straight, and the intrigue... and that's how I became Lion of Ansteorra!
Mikael liked to fight with me because we had similiar backgrounds and we weren't afraid of one another in the slightest. We could really turn it up. There are few fights in this game that you can pull out all the stops. But we could, and it was fun.
- At Mikael's third coronation, there was a fire breathing dragon, the princess was produced by a wizard (Malakai Dracwin), and the Heir to the Throne drew a sword from a stone.
- The autocrat for Mikael's fourth Coronation was Gunhilda Adeleva Amberstar. The event was held at the Castle of Muskogee, and somewhere close to 700 people were in attendance. A professional bagpipe group called The Red Lion Band led the Royal procession into court. Other performers at the event included The Tinkers (a group of dummers, musicians, jugglers, stilt-walkers from the Kingdom of the Outlands). (Provided by Rhiannon Redwulf, Gunhilda, and Katrionna Heather MacLochlainn.
- Mikael's coronet in his profile photo above was made by Her Grace, Athena Mawrcan Derwen Ddu.
Notable Contributions or Accomplishments:
- Reigned 4 times
- Only Ansteorran Knight at the time to be inducted into the Premier Knights of the Society - there were 37, then. “This happened at SCA 25th Grand Court. The Premier Knights were originally created by Duke Duke Olaf Askoldssonn. I hadn't been able to fight all week, and I finally got out there. It was just my day -- They came to me, I took ‘em them out. I just didn't lose that day. If I took an opponent's arm, I dropped my shield. If I took their leg, I dropped to the ground, too - I kept no advantage - but I kept winning. I saw some folks watching me from the side, which started weirding me out. After we finished fighting, I asked Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon, who was King of the Atenveldt, at the time about them. He told me who they were. Earlier in the event, I had gotten into trouble with Rowan for shooting water balloons into a Pelican circle... Ragnar and Ivar were there also.... We got this giant slingshot, and were launching balloons over the trees into the circle. Here comes Rowan! She comes right up and starts chewing out the Bjornsborg crew. I was laughing. "What the hell were you thinking, giving Mikael this thing?!” I tried to get out of there, but she turns and says to me, “You, Mister, are going to hold the sword of state throughout the entirety of Grand Court. No breaks, no relief, you're gonna stand there the whole time.” I thought, well then, if I have to do that, I'd better stop drinkin! So that night at court, Olaf and the guys came up and did a big speech about what they’d seen and heard. Hector, who was king, turned and looked at me, and said, "They don't know you!" I said, "I know!" So I tossed him them the sword, and went up to where Olaf and them were. They gave me some accoutrements and words, and then we walked off. I could hear Rowen in the background calling me back, but I kept walking.
- “I was also a light fighter - rapier fighting - Don Eadric and Don Juan and a couple of others ; we would go off to the side and fight with schlagers. That caused a big ruckus in the White Scarf community - they were very against it. I pushed it and pushed it and pushed it. With my first reign with Mikayla, we wrote up the rules for schlager. Finally, I told the Dons, "Stop. This is gonna happen. Get used to it." We put schlagers in - now look at what they're fighting with! Inch and a half blades and armor! The battles I had to fight to make it happen. I expected as much. I had two dons that didn't much like me and the way I fought. I'd do blade traps with my arms and stuff. I never did get my White Scarf. I can kick their ass, I don't need a scarf. I can take 'em. They know who I am. Passing the schlager, and seeing what it's developed into - that's a source of pride for me. I get a kick out of that. Looking back, the old man in his memories, I would have liked to have gotten a White Scarf. But at that point, I was too tired of the fighting and politics.”
- Created the Order of the Sable Garland of Ansteorra: The idea was sort of based on the Premier Knight of the Society.
- Held multiple group heavy championships. When Robin of Gilwell, was Baron of the Steppes, he had a dispute with the Baron of Bryn Gwlad. They both had mustaches and "argued" about who’s was better. There was a Moustache War. I was Defender of one group and Champion of the other. They were plotting to see who I would fight for. Instead, I won Crown, so I didn't have to fight for either.
Non-Armigerous Awards and Recognitions:
- Drowned Rat of Eldern Hills
- Member of the Pride of the Lions – named to the Pride at his first time attending Lions.
- On becoming a Master at Arms: "I told the Crown Gunthar Jonsson, "I cannot be a Knight any more. If you call me up and tell me, "Mikael, I need you to do this," whatever it is, I can't guarantee I can do it. So I felt I needed to give back the belt, because that's part of the job."
- On the Peers he made: "My only regret is not making Malaki Dracwine a Laurel for prestidigitation - but we were friends and I didn't want anyone to give him trouble about that. I expected another Crown would do it, but that didn't happen. He should have been. I blew it."
- On What the Lions are: "The Lion instills into that Crown's reign what their (the Crown's) definition of the Game is."
- On the creation of Gulf Wars: Inman invented Gulf Wars at his kitchen table, one weekend when I was down there. "Ansteorra needs something." "Like what, a war?" "What, you want me to start some trouble?" ...and that's how Gulf Wars started! We sat down at the table and brainstormed the initial concept. It was Inman's idea, truly. Athena was the one who had the idea for war points for Arts & Sciences and Bardic.
- Prior to winning his first Crown Tournament, Mikael went to Malakai during a fighter practice, where Malakai was doing Tarot readings. Without revealing his question, he asked for a reading. Malakai did so, and said that the question was surely related to his chivalric prowess. He said, "You are doing well, and if you continue with it, you will be King." The next Crown Tournament, Mikael won. For all of his reigns, Mikael named Malaki his Court Magician.
- Previously married to Mikaela of Monmouthshire
- Previously married to Rebekka die Blonde
- Sergeant at Arms to Master Lloyd von Eaker: He was perfect for me. He has an insight into combat that I needed. I came out of the Army. It's not like I knew how to fight; I knew how to kill. I would get drunk, and go to events, and say, "put me up against anyone with a white belt" and I'd take them out. I was very aggressive. Gerard MacEanruig got me into things, and he sent me to talk to Lloyd. What Lloyd did wasn't so much teaching me to fight, but to help me to ease down from being a soldier, and tempered it all. He made my skills fit into the society. I don't know how he did it, but over time, he'd get these knights and he'd cycle me through them. Like a bear pit. When I would start getting too instinctive, he'd stop me, and tell me to think about what I was doing. I’d be like, “I can’t, man. I can’t think about it.” He’d tell me I had to. He came up with these little exercises and plans. He molded me, so I could fight. It was like the first time I fought: they put me in armor and told me to go fight some guy, and win. I ducked under his sword, hit him in the face with basket hilt, knocked him down, and punched him in the face a bunch of times. They all ran in yelling, ‘Whoah! Whoah!! Let me explain chivalry to you." I said, "But you told me to WIN". If it wasn't for Lloyd, I would have been in for two or three years and that’s it. Lloyd taught me HOW to train people. My skill level was at such, there wasn't any way I could just tell people how to do this. I would train them, and I'd fight them for about a month, and then decide if I'd take them as a squire. After that month, I knew their nuances. I could tell within the first 10 seconds how I was going to fight them - so that's what I taught my squires. It's made quite a legacy.
- Prior Alpha of House Wolfstar: “There was a time back in the 80s that most of the kingdom didn't like Wolfstar. They wanted to ban the House. I was already an Earl, having sat the Throne. Daniel said, "Hey, Mikey, I'm gonna put you in charge of Wolfstar, because this is happening.” I was Alpha for about a year, until the grumbling died down. I stepped down as Wolfstar Alpha when I won my second Crown. I would invite Wolfstar into my Courts. That took care of the problem. I took 17 Wolfstar fighters to an Estrella War one year. The bidding between Atenveldt and CAID for our help was.. wow. I couldn't even drink a beer in peach - there were so many messengers coming back and forth. Every fighter got an ounce of silver, a coin of gold, we got 2 staves of rattan, a killer Jager sword, dinner on Saturday and drinks... When the song says, "Wolfstar for sale or rent," we really did that! The household doesn't do that as much any more.”
- Earl Dafydd Whitacer
- Duke Richard de Chinon: They wouldn't let him fight in Crown after he returned to Meridies. So I called up (Duke John) Bearkiller and was like, “Man, what’s goin’ on with that?” Eventually they let him fight, and he won twice.
- Earl Barn Silveraxe
- Sir Conrad of Castleton
- Ridder Balvin Thorfinnsson
- Jarl Timotheos Kalamanos
“I’m a musician. I can't complain - I've had one hell of a life. If I passed tonight, I'd be happy. I've been able to walk away from so many situations that others didn't. “
In Case of Court: