September Officer Reports

Posted on September 13, 2016 By


1. Pennsic

2. Champions and Commons

3. Barleycorn

4. Ending of Our Baronial term

1. Pennsic

This year’s Pennsic had both very good moments and some very difficult ones as well.

First the good moments. We would like to thank everyone who helped out in camp this year. All of your hard work and dedication went a long way to making this year another fun and comfortable one for everyone. We would like to give a special thank you to Darmon and Yoshi for doing the bulk of the work on the shower, and to everyone who helped put up the common area. We would also like to make special mention of Alex, who is new to the SCA, Bhakail and Pennsic. This year we had some new and bad issues with flooding, and Alex volunteered to trench the side of the camp on that end, which was the opposite side of where he was camped. To the best of our knowledge we did not have any more flooding issues after that. We would also like to thank Alianora who supplied us with hand made neck coolers and East Kingdom tissue holders. These definitely came in handy for this very hot Pennsic.

We would also like to thank everyone who helped to make both Our cocktail / Filk  night and Our Period Games and Bardic night so successful. Everyone pitched in to make the camp look lovely both nights. Special thanks go to Generica for helping organize folks and make everything look so lovely for Period night.  The Third Annual East vs. Mid chess match happened once more and the Mid won yet again, championed by their Barony of the Flaming Gryphon in the person of their newest Baron, Baron Edward Foxley.  We also entertained other friends from the Middle as part of the games night and look forward expanding things next Pennsic to include gaming champions from the East and Mid (and maybe elsewhere…). 

Sean O’Morain did a fantastic job of running the bardic circles both nights, and his participation helped to make the evenings run smoothly and delightfully. And of course, we could not have a Period Games night without Aurddeilen’s help and guidance. This night is near and dear to my heart,and I appreciate what he does more than I can say. In addition to the games Aurddeilen brings though, We need to thank Ottar and Raggi for providing the viking chests for the “viking chest game”. Bhakail was once again able to make complete, delightful specticals of ourselves, much to the delight and consternation of unsuspecting passer-bys.

Our champions, as always did an amazing job of representing the Barony in their comportement and demeanor. That being said, We would like to extend a special thanks to our former rapier champions, Berrick and Morwyl, and Iron Bog’s rapier champion Taka, for taking such good care of Her Excellency when she was overcome with heat stroke. Things would have gone much worse if not for their careful ministrations and timely request for EMS to help.

And this leads us into the bad. This year Pennsic was hot and humid to a dangerous degree. Many folks had various issues with the heat, including Her Excellency. We  would like to thank everyone who helped Us out, either by taking care of Her Excellency, helping Us pack, or just holding down the fort while one or both of us had to be away from camp. Special thanks go to Hedwigis for taking time out to drive down to EMS with Her Excellency on Saturday, and to Barry, Lillia, Rosie and John for doing a good deal of the heavy work of helping His Excellency pack up.  If we missed anyone, please understand it was very hectic at the end; we love and appreciate everyone who helped in big or small ways.  We wouldn’t have been able to get out on time if it weren’t for all of the help and certainly appreciate all of the efforts to keep us and one another hydrated throughout the War 🙂

2. Champions and Commons

Always a bittersweet time for us, our Rattan and Rapier Championship sees us relieving worthy gentles of their cloaks and baldrics and welcoming new Champions in their place.  This year was no exception and we’d like to thank all of our outgoing Champions and congratulate all of those incoming, and we look forward to your service – and serving the populace with you – over the coming year.

Egill Illugasson succeeded Baron Vachir Artslanjin as Rattan Champion

Usem al-Mohammed took the mantle of Lord Ragi Ottarson as Ladies’ Rattan Champion

Lord Eldritch Gaiman followed in Captain Berrick Grayveson’s role as Rapier Champion

Lady Ellynor Redpath was declared Ladies’ Rapier Champion, succeeding Lord Morwill MacShane

We also were honored to be able to recognize Lord Ian Douglas and Lord Eldritch by having them join the Company of the Flame and Salamander, our Baronial award for excellence in practicing and teaching rapier.  Lord Berrick, likewise, was invited to join the Order of the Harlequin for his skill in silk banner painting and leatherworking, and for being willing to teach others at many opportunities.

3. Feast of John Barleycorn and Crown Province of Ostgardr Investiture

Mael Eoin – escorted by Constable Cailin and Dayna – went to Ostgardr’s Investiture to welcome Our new Cousins, Viceroy Suuder and Vicereine Lada.  We presented a gift of Salamander-labeled wine from the Barony, which went over well, and enjoyed a wonderful weekend – if hot and humid – of seeing meeting new friends and seeing many others at a lovely site.  It is always a pleasure to convey the well-wishes to new Barons and Baronesses (or Viceregals in the case of Ostgardr) on behalf of the Barony, and if anyone wants to truly test their mettle, all rattan combatants should take Viscount Edward’s Challenge next year.  Fifty questions and you need to pass 60% in order to be eligible to fight.  Her Majesty Avelina secured second place in the written exam, and that was no easy test…it is quite the challenge and I hope to see some of our fighters test themselves in the challenge next year!

4. End of our Baronial term…

It is, officially, time for us to announce our intentions with regards to serving as Baron and Baroness, given we’re in our 4th year and are 9 months from the end of our default term.  We would be lying if we said it was an easy decision, and we would love to do two more years, especially with all of the people we’ve met, people and projects we’ve supported and especially all who have served alongside us either as Officers, Champions or especially retinue over the years.  Personal projects, both within and outside of the SCA are looking very appealing, so we hope to be spending more time on those endeavors in the future. To that end, we are stepping aside next year so that others will be able to take up the role of representing the Barony to the Crown and likewise, the Crown to the Barony, as needed.

We will continue championing the service and skills of all, within the Barony and without, and will have a new newcomer household that will benefit from the expertise and efforts of many from the Region.  More to come on that as it shapes up, but there’s a lot of ideas forming – primarily from those new to the SCA. who are giving great insight into what would be useful to them – and we hope to coordinate a number of efforts relating to newcomers, including demos, and help people craft their own experience with whatever support is needed as they join the Society 🙂

While there is no requirement to let us know of your intention to run for the position, if you would like to do so, we want to offer insight and advice into the role.  Whether you’d like to see what goes into planning Court, having a retinue, attending events in general, writing notes, reports and recommendations. etc., we’re available and interested in showing what goes on behind the scenes.  Any questions we might answer, feel free to ask!  We look forward to seeing who is interested and helping to facilitate “Meet the Candidates” gatherings throughout the Barony.  For anyone considering the role, we thank you ahead of time for wanting to serve in this way!  More to come on the technicalities of the process as this gets underway.

In Service,

Mael Eoin and Ysmay

Baron and Baroness of Bhakail


Upcoming events:

2016-12-10 Yule

2017-01-28 Bid received for Tavern

Call for Bids – note that bids can be workshopped after being presented:

Champions/Commons 2017 – preferred by September 2016 meeting. 

Yule 2017 preferred at or before September 2016 meeting.

Any new event idea is welcome and does not require a competing bid. 

I am including a communication from the Kingdom Seneschal this month.  This will not change our policies, since Bhakail has been doing all of this for a while now.  Nonetheless, I want to make sure that all our event stewards have this information going forward, especially since we have a lot of newer event stewards (vivat!).

From the Kingdom Seneschal:

To All Kingdom Seneschals,

This is a formal communication from the Vice President of Operations, SCA Inc. (Society Seneschal) and must be implemented immediately.

1.  In terms of contracts, only seneschals should be signing contracts for events or services.  If the seneschal chooses to designate the autocrat/steward (i.e. a deputy seneschal) as the signatory to a contract, that contract must first be completely read and reviewed by the ranking seneschal before the ranking seneschal gives authority IN WRITING to the designated deputy (autocrat/steward).  As such, the Kingdom Seneschal must review all contracts for Kingdom events, Principality Seneschal for Principality events or Baronial Seneschals for Baronial events; in terms of all other local events, the local group seneschal must review the contract for the event prior to granting the autocrat/steward the authority to sign the contract and this must b in writing.  In the event the seneschal wishes to designate a deputy (autocrat/steward) to sign the contract, that signatory must be an actual and recognized/authorized deputy Seneschal with a valid membership (i.e. autocrat/steward) and said contract must be first reviewed by the ranking Seneschal (Kingdom Seneschal, Principality Seneschal, Baronial Seneschal et al.).

2.  In terms of contracts calling for something other than the usual surety of a “named insured” insurance policy, the contract must be submitted to the Society Seneschal (V.P. of Operations), Renee (V.P. of Corporate Operations and the President of the SCA.  If the written contracts calls for any surety, indemnification, provision for repayment or action in furtherance of acting to bind the SCA Inc. to some known or unknown liability, then that contract must be submitted to the Society Seneschal, Renee and President.  This excludes security deposits.  We are currently dealing with a landowner who is requiring something other than a “named insured” policy and this requirement of indemnification/additional surety is causing a great deal of concern.  As such, if you see something in a contract that proposes that the SCA accept some form of liability (anticipated or not anticipated), acceptance of indemnification, offer of a surety– in short, anything that is not a simple and usual “named insured” policy– you must forward that contract.  If you are unsure about a contract, send it to me for review.  Trust me, no one wants to explain why the SCA is now on the hook for something either anticipated or not anticipated pursuant to a contract, i.e. in this case, it is paramount that permission is sought prior to the signing of this type of contract.

3.  This is a reminder in view of the theft of golf carts this year… always obtain insurance for all moveable items rented as anything moveable can be stolen; this includes but is not limited to golf carts, rented trailers, rented trucks et al.  If it has wheels, ask the renting agency to provide us with the opportunity to seek insurance.  Stolen moveable items are not covered by the SCA’s insurance and the cost of the stolen item will be the responsibility of the group hosting the event.

4.  Equestrian insurance if acquired if there are any horses present at any event or demo (demonstration); even if it is just one horse for people to view in an enclosed arena, equestrian insurance must be obtained.  Horses and their “accidents” are considered strict liability under the law because horses are inherently dangerous, i.e. even if we are not negligent, the SCA will be liable. Even if there is a single horse present at an event, Equestrian Insurance must be obtained.  If there is no equestrian insurance and someone wants to bring their horse to the event, that horse is prohibited from entry in terms of the event.  If you are unsure about the circumstances, please contact me immediately.

Please disseminate this information to all of your local group seneschals, autocrats/stewards of Inter-Kingdom Wars and all Equestrian Officers.

Follow-up is here:

The following was sent out by the Society Seneschal as a follow-up to his announcement of earlier this week. The original announcement can be found here.

Greetings to all Kingdom Seneschals,

There have been questions about this week’s policy requirements forwarded to all Kingdom Seneschals and I would like to address the answers to those individual questions to everyone.

First, these responsibilities for over-sight basically fall to the ranking Seneschal (i.e. the seneschal of the hosting group) in terms of events, e.g. Kingdom Seneschals need not review purchases by the Principal Herald, Marshal, Chatelaine et al. What we are talking about is acknowledging the responsibility and over-sight required of ranking seneschals when it comes to “event” contracts.

Second, all event coordinators (autocrats, stewards, et al.) are deputies to the Seneschal and as such, these individuals must be members in good standing as they are officers and agents of the SCA. In special cases, there may be a knowledgeable individual who is acting as the go between (i.e. the conduit between the SCA and the site owner/manage). In those cases, that individual must be made a deputy to the seneschal based upon their position. If an individual is working as a conduit between the Seneschal and the land owner/manager, the role of this individual must be defined, i.e. they are either the fiduciary of the SCA (an officer or agent of the SCA) or they are a fiduciary or agent of the land owner/manager. We want to avoid confusing situations. If the individual is a fiduciary of the SCA, said individual must be working exclusively to the benefit of the SCA; such a fiduciary is a person who holds a legal and ethical relationship of trust with the SCA. In short, said fiduciary is required to prudently act in the SCA’s best interest.

Third, in general, event coordinators and special deputies for an event do not need to be warranted nor must they be approved by the Crown; In some cases input into the selection of event coordinators is within the authority of the Crown or Crowns based upon multi-Kingdom treaties or specific Kingdom Law. If you are the Seneschal, you may select your deputies, but you are ultimately reasonably responsible for their actions. As such, the ranking seneschal has over-sight authority over all deputies to the office; furthermore, the ranking seneschal may replace the event coordinator for reasonable cause.

Fourth, when it comes to a review of a contract for sites or site related activities by the ranking Seneschal, the Seneschal is acting as a responsible party who has the authority and responsibility to over-see that everything is right and proper with the event. To quote Peter Parker’s uncle (Uncle Ben Parker) in Spiderman: “with great power comes great responsibility.”*

Fifth, when I speak of a Society review of a contract, we are only dealing with a very, very small percentage of contracts that require anything more than an “additional insured policy” and a security deposit. These should truly be few an far between. If there is a request for a surety or indemnification, then and only then, will the contract need to be forwarded to the Society Seneschal. In cases where there is an extraordinary request for a surety or indemnification, please allow a reasonable time for discussion between the President, VP of Corporate Operations and VP of Operations as well as our in house counsel and our insurance broker. We are not trying to be restrictive or time consuming, we are only acting to protect the SCA and your Kingdom.

Please feel free to disseminate this email. If there are any additional questions, please feel free to send those to your Kingdom Seneschal who will direct them to me.

Best regards,

A.J. Pongratz

Vice President of Operations

Society Seneschal


The spreadsheet will be attached when the official Salamander is released.


I am still seeking a deputy.

Articles will be accepted for the Fall Salamander until Sept 31.

Rapier Marshall

Practice continued to be held in the Mayfari Presbyterian Church in Northeast Philadelphia.  Practice was not hled at the beginning of the month due to Pennsic. Practice resumed without skipping any weeks immediately following Pennsic.

Attendence has been average, with some new potential fencers coming to practice.

-Don Melchior Kriebel

Chancellor Minor

I am not able to attend Barony meeting this month. Here is my report.

There will be Youth Activities at Yule, details about the activities will be coming soon.

If you are planning an event and would like to have youth activities please contact me at

Lady Roseia Poseia has graciously offered to be my deputy. She has all of the required paperwork and can stand in for me if I am unable to run activities.

In service to the Barony,

Lady Alesia de Maris

I sent in my final report for Commons to Mistress Suba who forwarded it to Lady Lianor for the Salamander.


Web Minister

Pennsic made the month of August busy, but despite that a number of changes were made.

Cleaned up old content from previous iterations of the website

Updated the blog and all associated content to their newest versions

Added various security controls to the blog

Added the Monthly Scribal Meet Up to the Bhakail Calendar

The Deputy Chatelaine has started tutorials to show the populace how to contribute content to the website.  When completed, these tutorials will be available under the Announcements Category

Last but definitely not least, the Barony of Bhakail has a new Deputy Webminister!  I would like to express my thanks and excitement to Ayleth Le Frye for volunteering to assist with the myriad activities Bhakail needs to have completed to improve, boost, and raise digital awareness about the Barony.

Officer Reports

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