Herald’s Monkeying around @ MOL Table

While things were slow we got a chance to take a picture. 🙂

I am grateful to have a friend like Seraphina in my life who became a MOL and a Herald about the same time as me. She always helps me see another perspective on things and while I excelled in MOL-ing, she excelled in Heraldry.  I am glad we got to spend some time together this weekend and look forward to hanging out with her more at KWHSS.

Caer Mear Love

While I have never been a resident of the Barony of Caer Mear, it and it’s Gem Jousts will always hold a special place in my heart. 

When I joined the SCA my first event was Fall Crown Tournament 2009. I didn’t stay for the evening court going out to dinner with five people instead. At dinner, I remember being impressed with the family I sat across from engaging and including their young son at the table and with the table. They were kind and sweet playing with him and talking with the rest of us. It was that dinner that made up my mind that these people in my local group where people I wanted to know, spend time with. That dinner sealed the deal so to speak. 🙂

My next few events I go to and start discovering more of the SCA and actually get to a few courts and see the magic of the dream. One thing was calling of newcomers. My first court I felt odd, since while newish I had already been to an event (just not a court) and had been a paid member for 3 months prior to my first event. So I kept in my seat those courts. Then Saphire Joust XII came. I went to the Royal Court and the following day the  Baronial Court. 

At that court, Their Excellencies called forth all newcomers and those who it was their first time attending an event in the Barony of Caer Mear. Seeing as it was my first time at an Event in Caer Mear, I went up. I was given a small token of (8″ inches or so) blue & green cord of Kumihimo on a keyring. It immediately went onto my keys and stayed there until it kept falling off, at which point I tucked it away with my precious things from the SCA since I didn’t want to lose it.  A few years later, in 2014, at Ruby Joust III, I was honoured with an Opal.

I have worked at the Gem Jousts as a Minister of the lists since 2012 (I think, I have lost count and wasn’t documenting my service then). The past two years I have served at the table for the Rapier field, as the R-MIC is a member of my household and had asked me to serve (sorry, equestrian field: I miss you guys!). This year I quickly reached a state of punchy silliness due to lack of sleep over the weekend from circumstances outside of the event).

I knew the MOL-IC presence was requested at the Baronial Court, I attended to cheer on and support my friend. I was thrilled to see her given thanks then later honoured with The Merlon of Caer Mear, as I know she works her heart out to serve the fighters on the field as MOL. Feeling young a heart (no sleep stupid remember) I tried to go up with the childern, but my friend held me back, even though I had stolen her ‘wanted’ poster. What I didn’t expect was for her(the MOLIC), the RMIC and the ACMIC to call me out/nod to me for my service that weekend. Per Her Excellencies request in court, I met with her (after hiding a certain MOLIC’s wanted poster <angelic, innocent face>). There she was kind to give me another token from Caer Mear, a necklace that was handmade by one of her artisans.  

I do not know who made these pieces of Largess that have come to me via Caer Mear, but I want all artisans to know thank you. These two pieces are incredibly special to me since I am not from their barony, yet in their own way choose to be inclusive. So He’shaw to the Largess makers! For the little and large trinkets you made your Royalty does matter and is importent to those who receive it, even if you don’t know it. 

Post Ruby

As I breathe a sigh of relief that Fighters were able to fight and while there were a few first-round hiccups, the Rapier MOL table ran fabulously. I wish to thank the fighters for their patience and kindness during that hiccup.

He-shaw (or Ka’plaugh) to the Fighters of the event! 

To the MOLs at the rapier table: Thank you for your hard work and kindness to the fighters and to me. 

Thank you to Caer Mear for such a wonderful event.

I hope everyone made it home safely and with dry canvas. 

Ruby is a War…

I have attended the Gems Joust events since the last Saphire Joust. I have work 5 going on 6 of the Ruby Jousts as MOL (i have lost count at this point). I love helping others, it is in my nature I want to help. I enjoy being a Minister of the Lists, it is fun and for several years I worked with Equestrian field and now going into my second year aiding the Rapier field since the marshal specifically asked for my help.   The work that is undertaken pre-event and the long hours at the event are equivalent to a War in my opinion. 

I am just describing a typical Ruby Joust for me. I want people to know how much work MOLs put into this, there are MOLs that deserve recognition that have not gotten it. I just want to provide another prespective to the situation.

First Let’s look at the logistics. 4 fighter fields (Heavy, Rapier, Youth and Equestrian)  all need coverage; automatically to remain above board (every field needs two MOLs so no chance of bias occurs and redundancy isn’t bad).  Just look at Crown Tournaments, they require 4 to start with, unless your doing the round robin to double elimination then it is 3 MOLs per pod.

Then the Marshals of the Heavy indicate they want 6 to 8 round robin pods for their Gem Joust tournament and the Rapier marshal also wants to run 6 round robin pods too for their Gem Joust Tournament. Each of these fighter fields will field roughly 60 to 80 fighters each.  10 to 12 people in a pod.

Knowing the momunmental task it is to sign in and check authorization cards for roughly 180 people the day of, is daunting (don’t forget Equestrian and the youth). So we took to the internet, “Pre-sign up here!” I am sure you have seen us and some of our marshals beg for respsonses for the past two months. I am thankful that we have had 121 responses in our form including some duplicate and even a triplicate respondees (better safe than sorry, we love it!).  We have even had the heads of a few camps add more people to our lists, since they know who has pre-registered. 

To prevent down time for the fighters (so they don’t cool down too much or get bored), each pod should realistically have one MOL, in reality two (to double check results and pairings and with two you could actually take small privy breaks if needed).  

So logistically,  in a perfect world the MOL staff should be 16 strong for the heavy field, 12 strong for the rapier field, 2 for youth and 2 for equestrian for the tournaments, unless they are doing something special too. That is 32 people just to run the tournaments on one day. That doesn’t count the staff needed all day Friday to check people in  and run the Torchlight tourney or the staff needed in the early morning  and to fill out authorization forms as they occcur.  That doesn’t count Sunday where heavy has three tournaments planned, and rapier has a concurrent set of tournaments then a 3 Man Melee tourney and then a Team melee.  

Not every MOL can make it to Ruby or other events. In fact one MOL last year and the MOL in charge of Ruby this year has broken with the tradition of spending time with her family (her one easy shot a year to do so) so she can be of service to this incredible Kingdom and its fighters. People I have spoken to say the only place they find her is behind the MOL table. She works herself hard, many times a month so fighters can fight. Considering she just authorized on a marshalled field, I hope she gets a chance to fight at events soon. However I doubt it, since the second a calls goes out for MOLs within a reasonable travel distance, she is there with pen in hand to serve.

As Ruby approaches, since Sunday, May 19th, I have spent 8+ hour a day preparing. Finishing scrolls for Their Majesties, printing fighter card blanks for all the fields, checking fighter authorizations and marshal warrants, making multiple sign-in sheets, making labels so the fighter’s name will be legible for each field of battle, last night I tossed random garb into the washer then the dryer, before taking the remainder of the night off to try to relax. This morning I prepared my cat’s insulin shots for his caretaker while I am gone. Tonight I am waiting for scroll(s) delivery as I type this while eating dinner and I have already 1/2 packed my car since I finished work. I cann’t even begin to image the workload that the MOLIC for Ruby has done to prepare for this event, compared to what must be a comparatively trival amount that I have spent preparing.

I plan to be onsite by 2 PM so we can set up next to troll to check fighters in for the weekend, my shift won’t end until 10 PM and to my knowledge I will be working with only the head MOL of the event. After which I’ll get a chance to eat and go check-in to my hotel room, hopefully, they won’t give it away since I have fully prepaid for it. Once I shower I’ll have to force myself to sleep, which never seems to work as I am a night owl, since the fields of battle open at 8:30 that means at least a 7:00 AM wake up call to get up, shower, drive to site, eat and mozie over the fields. Where I will work with few breaks if any until evening court and I doubt I’ll get a break before it. After court I get a break to sit and eat by the fire and hang out for 2 to 4 hours before it is time to hit the sack.Sunday will be exactly the same with more of a chance for a break since yea Melees!

Every year I consider myself lucky if I get a small enough break to peruse the merchant area once. I am always grateful when court arrives because that means I finally might get a chance to go to the privy, unwind and eat. Sometimes it has been after court that I finally have my chance to use the privy in over 10 hours (this has happened to me several times and at several events not just Ruby).

All of this on a holiday weekend, where family’s get together and remember those that have been lost to them or friends of the family in the line of Military Duty.  So given the nature of the weekend and there are only 55 warranted MOLs within the Kingdom, you can see how a dedicated few work their hearts out, so others can fight theirs’ out.  

Minister of the Lists is an incredible and fun job that I love. At times it is stressful, but what job doesn’t have stress now and then? Many hands makes the load lighter. If you are looking for something to do during the day…. come check us out!

To the 3 or 4 MOLs (that count includes MOL-ITs) I heard was reported to have ran War of the Wings (2017) with as much grace and pressure under fire,  ya’ll are awesome! Had I known, I would have helped and please accept my humblest apologies for not stepping in to do so. Here I have talked about the logistics of Ruby, I can barely think of what they went through!

To the fighters, marshals and camp heads that have respsonded to our plea for signing up in advance for Ruby, I thank you. For now we only have to sign in 60 or so people on site. 

To the small army of MOLs that have helped and in the future will help at the side of all the lists in the land and at foriegn wars, I thank you. 

and to you my small number of readers; I thank you for letting me try and show you a lttile of what this small warranted group of MOLs goes through for a multi-day event.

To His Majesty, for your call out to Fighters to fight, I thank you.  

Happy 6th of May!

I have been helping the MOL-IC for Ruby Joust prepare for the event.  If you are a fighter please pre-sign in so the MOLs can get some of the work we need to do done ahead of time. Once on-site I will be chained to the Rapier field’s MOL table for the duration of the event.

The link is here.

After that, I will be taking my household to Known World Heraldry & Scribal Symposium.