The Time that Wasn't Like Any Other
In 2020, Ansteorra (along with the rest of the world) was hit by the Covid-19 virus. As a result, the Crown and Seneshal had to make difficult decisions, as guided by the SCA Board of Directors. This page documents the official communications and timeline of The Time That Wasn't Like Any Other.
- 1 Quick Reference Table
- 2 March
- 3 April
- 4 May
Quick Reference Table
|Date||Group||Event Name & Facebook Event Page Link|
|April 15||The Shire of Graywood||The Pandemic E-Vent|
|May 2||The Barony of Namron||Virtual Beltane|
|May 16||The Barony of Northkeep||Can't-stellan|
The SCA Board Of Directors provides guidance on event cancellations.
Gulf Wars is cancelled, as much of Ansteorra is in packing mode, is en-route, or for some, already on site.
March 16 Communication from the Seneshal
Greetings Ansteorra from Master Avery Shaw, Kingdom Seneschal,
This is not the message I want to send, but sometimes we have that choice taken away from us.
Yesterday, the Center for Disease Control issued new guidelines regarding gatherings. I have listed the link for this notification below. These guidelines state "for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States." Having talked with The Crown and Heirs and getting their agreement, in order to comply with this request, as Kingdom Seneschal I am cancelling all Kingdom Calendar Events until at least April 30th, 2020. Please note, with the limit being 50 people, this does not include local gatherings such as fighter practices, guild meetings, and such. I am still stating that each group is free to decide what is proper for them regarding smaller gatherings. If your group feels comfortable having a practice or whatever, please do so. Permission is not required to cancel or continue small, local meetings. This cancellation only applies to those events on the Kingdom Calendar. I have contacted the Autocrats and/or Seneschals for each of the events affected, they are aware and have started plans accordingly.
So, a few things. First, yes, this means that Coronation will be postponed. I have sent a letter to the Society Seneschal requesting a variance to allow this, he has already approved several other Kingdom's request for the same, I do not see a problem with this request. The current plan is that we will try to have our first events back the weekend of May 1-3. That will be Namron Beltane and Coastal Grand Baronial. I say plan because this will technically be week 7 of the 8 weeks in the CDC guidelines. We are hoping that things will be good at this point, but please note that we cannot guarantee. The following weekend, May 8-10, 2020, would be the 8th week, currently that is Queen's Champion. Discussing with The Crown and Heirs, the idea as of now is that we will combine events and that weekend will be Coronation, Queen's Champion, and King's Champion. This is a lot, I know, but we have done this before (Kein and Alisha II as well as Romanius and Deanna). With the situation changing as rapidly as it is, again, I cannot guarantee this is what will happen, but this is what we are planning for.
Second, all events that have been cancelled, both The Crown and Heirs have stated that they would be happy for those events to be rescheduled once we are back to normal again. I would ask that we wait a couple of weeks to see where we are before we start that process, but please know, we want these events to happen if possible.
I ask all of you to please be careful. Take care of each other. For now, continue to meet and practice and work and play. As the situation moves forward, I will be actively keeping all posted where we are and how things are progressing. If you have questions, please ask them, either of myself or the regional deputies. I may not have an immediate answer, but will do my best to respond as quickly as possible.
This is not a missive I have ever thought I would have to pen. This is going to be difficult, I know. But we are Ansteorra. All of us. And we are strong. And we will help each other. And we will make this work. We love to use the phrase "Because that's what Heroes do!" and normally, we are referring to the bravery of those who stand in the center of battle and show the Knowne World the glory and prowess that is Ansteorra. But sometimes, the Heroes are the ones who simply make things work. Who check on their brothers and sisters and make sure they are ok. Who can be placed in front of a situation that is beyond reasonable and is not going to be easy or fun...and who straighten their shoulders, set their minds, and who then move forward and MAKE IT WORK. This is such a time.
We are Ansteorra. And we will be stronger than this. I know we will.
In Service to Ansteorra, always,
Master Avery Shaw - MoD, Pel, WSA, Lion
March 16, part II Communication from the Seneshal
New CDC guidelines as of today. No gatherings over 10 people for next 14 days. Per this directive, as Kingdom Seneschal, I am cancelling ALL Official SCA activity in person for the next 2 weeks. That is until March 30th. No practices, guilds, meetings. This is per Federal Government guidelines.
This is changing quickly, I am sorry for the short notice. But til Monday, March 30, please limit official functions to online communication only.
Please feel free to forward as appropriate.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
March 26 Communication from the Seneshal
I hope all are well and finding ways to deal with our mutual isolation. Thank you to all who have been helping put out content for people to enjoy and to all the groups having virtual meetings. Connection is still needs, glad to see folks doing so.
Originally, we had announced that all SCA Official activities would not happen in Ansteorra until March 30. Given that the situation is what it is, and mostly that it is so fluid and not predictable, I, in agreement with the Crown, am going to change that statement to not include an end date. For now, we will continue the "no official activities" for as long as needed. We will wait and see how things are looking, we will comply with government directives. I will make sure to update as we move forward. Let me know if you have questions.
We are still planning on Coronation to happen, along with Queen's Champion and King's Champion, on May 9th. We have been given permission by Society to hold a Virtual Event for Coronation, if needed. This permission also includes the ability of the Crown to give awards at that time, up to and including Peerages. Hopefully, we will not have to do that, but it is good to already have permission if needed.
Take care of each other, stay safe. We are Ansteorra, we are stronger than anything this situation can throw at us. We will rise again.
The Medieval Fair in Norman demo and Elfsea Defender is cancelled.
Wiesenfeuer holds its first virtual populace meeting.
Spring Coronation is Postponed, with no firm date set at that time.
April 16: Communication from Her Majesty
Greetings Ansteorra, His Majesty and I will be holding virtual courts on April 25th and May 2nd. We were greatly sadden by the cancelling of Gulf Wars, Hellsgate, and Elfsea events and have many members of the populace that were going to be honored with awards and elevations to Peerages that we are organizing these virtual events plus our step down and Coronation of TRH on May 9th. Stay tune for more information from Kinddom Seneschal with help from Kingdom Webminister and Social Media Deputy. Thank you, you three and your team for your help.
EXTRA/SPOILER ALERT We will also be OFFICIALLY announcing HE Sarra Asshton of York for elevation to the Pelican, which was supposed to happen at Gulf Wars and has been added to the Gazette.
We very much hope that you and yours are safe during these sad and frustrating times. I see many posts that show you are a caring and wonderful Kingdom. I encourage everyone to reach out to each other with a kind word or funny pic. The ones I have received have got me through some difficult hours. Thank you.
Your in Service,
Cristyana and Sven III
Queen and King of Ansteorra
The BEST of Kingdoms
The Shire of Graywood holds The Pandemic E-Vent
Fearghus Hawthorne, the event autocrat, provides the following review:
After the outbreak of Covid 19 effectively shut the SCA down most of us were bummed. I brought the idea of doing a Plague E-vent or digital event to all the officers and active members of our shire. Everyone was interested so I created some preliminary mockups and ideas and had Killian MacRaith of the Ironshell put together some artwork for a banner. Everyone was on board - assuming I thought I could make it happen. As our interim Web minister and our social media officer, I had a bit of experience dealing with our promotion and creating of events and felt that it was entirely possible. A couple of local members volunteered to teach a class (Rose Hawthorne and Tawny of Graywood) and Killian made Digital scrolls for our A&S and Bardic competitions. The event was posted in as many groups as I could manage within the SCA Facebook world, both in Ansteorra and some of the other kingdoms. We even posted a couple invites in some LARPing groups. We were blessed to have classes all day thanks to the help of some very helpful Scadians.
The turnout for the event was far better than I expected, and we had very few issues. The only significant one was that I scheduled nothing from 10:30 - 11:00. Other than that, it was just a couple issues getting people streaming on Facebook.
The numbers are hard to calculate but the event listed more than 80 as going to the event. And we maintained over 10 in every class. The bardic competition was held in a Zoom meeting and had 5 participants and several attending. It was a very close competition but Ysabel de Picard was named Plague Bard. We also hosted an A&S competition which had a couple participants and Meg Sterling was named our Plague Artisan
Squires, Cadets and Arcarius, and Wiesenfeuer Baronial is cancelled.
A virtual Test Court is held. Some past business is addressed: Dane of Ironlance - a Sable Falcon granted by Lochlan. (Charter painted in 2011 by Devin); Margaret Knott - an Award of Arms from Lochlan & Gwen. (Charter painted in 2017 by Rayne of Stargate); Yamamoto Kagekatsu - an Award of Arms from Lochlan & Gwen (Charter by Ayesha de Warwick of Namron); Jerik Slayer - Sable Thistle in Bagpiping from Miguel & Conal (Charter by Emma Farewyll). And from the current reign: the first ever current award given virtually, Christiana del Norte - Sable Thistle of Calligraphy.
The same day, the first ever Online Pelican Circle is held, reportedly with over 60 participants.
- Glaslyn's Defender of the Flame is cancelled.
A Virtual Court is held, and broadcast to the kingdom via Facebook Live, through the technical assistance of the Kingdom Webminister. During this court, Livia da Nicolosi (Laurel), Zahira de la Sara (Pelican), and Sarra Asshton of York (Pelican) are elevated to the Peerage. OP
After cancelling our in-person Beltane event due to local and SCA restrictions, Their Excellencies of Namron and the baronial Seneschal approached our event steward, Bantiarna Cailleach Dhé inghean Uí Chaerbhaill about running a virtual version of the event and she agreed! While the baronial championships were moved to Namron’s fall Protectorate event, Cailleach tried to maintain as much of the original event as possible in the new online setting.
The event included a downloadable origami spang (Namron’s mythical frog creature) site token, 10 hours of classes, activities from the barony’s Minister of Children, social activities, courts and competitions! Classes were held on Zoom and covered a variety of topics. Lady Dýrfinna Mikaelsdottír, the baronial Minister of Children, gave six presentations throughout the day, including making a mini-maypole (the maypole dance is a standard activity at Beltane), reading a book on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (to tie into the original event theme of the Roman Floralia celebration), and a volcano demonstration.
The social activities included a cookie swap to replace the planned cookie competition, in which interested parties were given the name and address of another person to deliver cookies to. The event also had a Friday night fireside tavern hosted by the Privateers of the Dark Horse, a Saturday afternoon bardic circle, and a Saturday evening social time, all hosted on Zoom.
The event include a morning welcome court, an evening court (attended by Her Highness Margherita) to announce the winners of the day’s competitions, and several pop-up courts throughout the day where Their Excellencies surprised individuals in the barony by setting up a small court in front of their houses to give awards (on Facebook Live), while maintaining social distancing protocols.
The day’s competitions included a flower arranging competition, a spang decorating competition, and an Iron Artisan competition where participants were asked to create an entry in any medium using the theme of “flowers” and materials they already had on hand. The competition ran from 9 am to 5 pm. These competitions each had three age categories to encourage additional participation.
The in-person event was going to include a mock-gladiator fight so the virtual event had the “Beltane Brawl” – a virtual tournament utilizing Roll20 and run by Baron Donnchadh Beag mac Griogair and Lord Mani Alfsson. Cailleach also included several engagement activities throughout the day, including a custom Facebook profile picture frame, “His Excellency Says” posts, and a photo scavenger hunt.
The event was a lot of fun! While it is hard to tell exactly how many people participated in the event, Facebook shows that the event group had 321 active members and around 4,000 posts, comments and reactions the week of the event.
Uliana Haiduk, Baroness of Namron, Lady of Skorragardr
- Ansteorra rocks the jailhouse and joins the Known World Dance Party, due to the hard work of Valka Flokadottir
- A Virtual Royal Court is held, including the elevation of Floki Geirrekkson to the Order of Chivalry, Rhiannon verch Bryan to the Order of the Pelican, and Elena Wyth to the Order of the Laurel. Elizabeth Caton & Orazio d'Assisi are inducted into the order of the White Scarf. (OP)
- The Final Court of TRMs Sven and Cristyana is held virtually. At that time, Osanna van der Linden is elevated to the Order of the Laurel, and Stephen Crowley is elevated to the Masters of Defense.
- The Coronation of TRMs Jason and Marguerite is held virtually. At that time, Maestro Orlando Giovanni de Gilead swears an oath to serve as Queen's Champion until such time as the Tourney can be held or the current Queen's Champion can fulfill his duties, and Sir Vincenti da Murano swears an oath to serve as King's Champion, under the same conditions. As the Sword of State is not available, oaths are sworn on Storm Singer, the blade usually carried by the Protectors of Namron, of which, His Majesty Jason has been one in the past.
- YouTube video of both events can be found HERE.
May 13: Communication from the Kingdom Earl Marshal
Greetings unto the populace of Ansteorra, I’m writing to let the populace know that the kingdom is developing a plan for resumption of SCA activities. I have been consulting with Master Avery Shaw, the Kingdom Seneschal, to make sure the plan is well reasoned and phased in alignment with CDC guidance. Of course we don’t want anyone to put themselves at risk if they are uncomfortable with the plan, but we feel it important to serve our membership by slowly resuming activities. When we finalize the criteria , procedures, and have the approval of the Crown, we will make a full announcement. In service, Phelim Gervase called Pug - Earl Marshal
- Royal & Baronial Courts: YouTube Link - The Sword of State is presented by the Lions to Their Majesties. The Landed Barons & Baronesses swear their Oaths of Fealty.
May 20, 2020: From His Majesty
Attention Ansteorra! Today I bring you the summer crown format. If there are any questions feel free to pm me.
All Pairings for initial Rounds will be random drawings by members of the populace.
Round 1 - Best 2 out of 3 - Dane Axe - Maximum Weapon Length of 5’, Single Edge, Butt spikes and back spikes will not be counted.
Round 2 - Best 2 out 3 - Glave, maximum length 7’ 6”, Butt spikes are allowed. Fighters are also allowed to carry and use a side arm, maximum length of 24”
Round 3 - Best 2 out of 3 - Great Sword, maximum length 6’, no Butt spikes allowed.
Round 4 or 5 - Best 2 out of 3, Bring your best. All Rounds and weapons are subject to change at the discretion of the Crown.
Best of luck everyone and I look forward to finding our heirs.