The Shadow Knows

October A.S. XXXII (A.D. 1997)


Newsletter for the Shire of the Shadowlands

Back to table of contents


What is the SCA?

The SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international non-profit oraganization dedicated to preserving the best of the Middle Ages without the plague, inquisitions, or peasants. We are all of noble birth. SCA "period" is defined as Western civilization after the fall of Rome to 1600 A.D. We dance, play music, cook, write scrolls, brew mead, clothe ourselves, and of course bash people with big sticks. The "Society" has been around since 1966 when it started in Berkeley, California (where else?). Since then, it has expanded exponentially (over 20,000 members) to the kingdoms of today in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Italy, Okinawa, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, and Spain and is still growing...


Officer's Reports

From the Seneschal

Greetings. My name is Alexandra and I am the seneschal of the Shire of the Shadowlands. That is the SCA way of saying that I am Terra Dassau and I am the president of this branch of the SCA. I would like to personally welcome all newcomers to SCA and the Shire of the Shadowlands.

I would like to put things in perspective for you and go back to the summer of 1996 (not very long ago) when I stood in your shoes. I was totally clueless of what to do. But, I assure you that while everything may seem overwhelming to you right now, with a little time, all this craziness will begin to make perfect sense.

As a fairly new member of SCA, I would like to offer you a few suggestions to make the transition into medieval life a little easier:

First and foremost, I urge you to take things at your own pace. In the Shire, we have lots to do, but don't feel pressured to do it all. Find a couple of things you really enjoy and get started in that. Don't try doing too much too much too soon, or you'll end up burnt out.

Don't feel that everything you do has to cost a fortune. There are numerous people in the Shire that can help you make garb or armor or whatever you feel you need and we also have loaner supplies for borrowing. Take advantage of this initially.

Don't be intimidated by other members of our group and of the entire SCA world. If you are curious about something, ask. Everyone is friendly and more than willing to pass on information to an interested person.

And, finally (yes, I could ramble on for years, but I think the chronicler would never offer to put me in the newsletter again if I did), get to know us. Come to dance, fighter practice, guilds, meetings, event, whatever you are interested in. I promise you, you will meet lots of fascinating people, have an excellent time and learn something about medieval life along the way.

I am always available to answer questions, talk or whatever you would need me for. Call me or e-mail if you need anything. I look forward to getting to know you.


From the Reeve

We spent money. We need money. Donations accepted. Signature cards in progress.

Lord Stefan

From the Knight Marshall

Heavy fighter practice is not currently meeting. It will resume Sunday, Sept. 14, at 12:30 in Brison Park.

Lord Krag

From the Chronicler

Greetings! I am Padric O'Mullan, the new acting chronicler. This is my first try at this, so, please, bear with me. This issue of The Shadow Knows is a special edition, devoted to the newcomers in the shire. In it, you will find a great deal of (hopefully) useful information. Some of the articles have appeared in previous newcomer's issues of The Shadow, or in other publications. Special thanks to Jilleighanne O'Bayern, my deputy chronicler, and to all the authors whose work appears herein. Also, I am adding some new items to The Shadow, which I hope will become regular features. However, for this to happen, I will need some input from you, the readers. If I have to write everything in The Shadow, it won't be long before you tire of my style and world view. So please, write something and submit it for publication.


From the Librarian

The library should be out of storage by the time this is printed. Most of the books are still in boxes in my spare room, but are available for use. If you have any old books that you are through using, please return them. We will be beginning an inventory of all Shire books soon. Contact Diego if you would like to help. If you need a book, let me know. We have a wide range of books covering everything from cooking in period to clothing to games.

Lady Abigail Pinel

From the Historian

I am the new Shire historian, and unlike the chronicler above, I met the kingdom historian at 20th year. I didn't have a long conversation (I didn't have a voice) but we gestured enough to get some paperwork looked at and addresses exchanged. Therefore, I now have forms to keep track of our history. Many thanks (I think) to the chronicler who volunteered me and also became my deputy historian. you see a trend here?

Jilleighanne O'Bayern

er... Jilleighanne the Bewildered

From the Hospitaller

The Hospitaller's job is to welcome people and to help people find the contacts they need for garb, weapons, armor, or anything else they might like to get started with in the Society. I am usually the primary contact between the public and the Society, and as such I work with the Seneschal on publicity for the local group. I am in charge of all demos, but I do have the option to delegate out the running of a demo to someone with a stronger contact in the group requesting the demo. I keep the loaner gear, this includes the loaner garb and loaner feast gear. Basically, my job is to answer any questions anyone may have about the Society or the Shire.

We just did open house, which went very well, thanks to Alexandra, Krag, Thomas, Stefan, Botolph, Brigid, Diego, and Cassandra, all of whom helped to staff our table.

We have a demo coming up on Saturday, September 27, at Central Park in College Station. It will run from 10ish to mid afternoon and will be for St. Joseph's Hospital's employee picnic. They are using a Renaissance theme this year and would like us to come out and help provide atmosphere. They will be providing food. You don't have to stay for the entire time, but we'd like all the people that we can get. We'll be dancing, playing some games, and will maybe have fighting demo.

Let me know if you know of any potential demos, or if anyone contacts you about a demo. I am happy to let other people run demos, but I need to know about them. Also, all demos and planned publicity need to get approval form the Seneschal.

If you have any loaner garb, or know of anyone with loaner garb, please get it returned to me. Over the last year many items have gone out, and the chest is getting a little bare. Also, if you have any old garb that you no longer wear, and want to get rid of, donations to the loaner chest are most welcome.

Lady Abigail Pinel

From the Archery Marshall

Yes we are having archery practice. Eleven a.m. Sundays on the archery field (across form Zachry). We have plenty of gear to loan out if you don't have your own, so come out and join us!

Lady Moreg Cochrane

From the Herald

Contact the Herald for information on your own personal device (like a coat of arms for non-scadian speakers)!!!

Lord Botolph

Guild Reports

From the Dance Guild

The Dance Guild has been passed on to Lady Brigid. We've had very good turnouts the last few Sundays, and I hope that we'll continue to see many people.

Lady Abigail Pinel

From the Engineer's Guild

We're meeting on odd Thursdays. We're just looking for information right now. I guess we'll meet at my place at 505 Ayreshire.

Lord Stefan

From the Middle Eastern Dance Guild

I now have the keeping to the Middle Eastern Dance (and whatever else) Guild. I will be coordinating with the drummers and William to be able to have live music.. We can also work with what tapes and CD's I have. Drummers will be drumming on the fifth Wednesdays, but we may want to meet more often than that. Give me a call. I am thinking about Tuesdays, or maybe off Wednesdays (that would be the even Wednesdays). As I also go to Musician's, but don't play any instrument, I can give lessons in Stefan's backyard, if I know people are coming, and remember to bring a portable tape player. I also have information on period Middle Eastern garb for both men and women, and Diego is tracking sown information on henna for me.

Lady Abigail Pinel

From the Musician's Guild

We're meeting on odd Wednesdays. Right now we're concentrating on Dance Music. We meet at 505 Ayreshire, south of campus.

Lord Stefan

From the Gaming Guild

Lots of games form the medieval and renaissance periods. Lots of fun to be had by all!!!Now meeting even mondays after the populace meeting at Double Dave's at Southgate.

Lord Botolph

Poetry Corner

I would like to start a new monthly feature called Poetry Corner. Items published in this space may include poetry written in the Middle Ages or the Current Middle Ages, and poetry written between the SCA time period and now, which deals with Period topics or themes. I currently have enough material for three or four issues. If you like this feature and would like to see it continued next year, Please submit! Having said that, here is the first entry in Poetry Corner.



The Lady at the Faire

by Padric O'Mullan

She had hair of blazing red and skin of alabaster white.
I am helpless to forget her look, she haunts my dreams at night.
I hope one day that I again may see her standing there,
Oh! The lady that I met whilst I was going to the Faire!
But she was not only pretty, she was gentle, she was sweet.
Aye, that lady was so lovely that my heart did skip a beat.
I dream that I may kiss her, but I wonder, would I dare?
Oh! The lady that I met whilst I was going to the Faire!
Oft I think about that lady, and it makes me want to cry,
For I know that such a one as she is not for such as I.
I wish that I could hold her tight and show her that I care.
Oh! The lady that I met whilst I was going to the Faire!
Well, I know I'll not forget her, so I shall not even try.
I must keep her memory with me 'til the moment that I die.
I long to see that lady with the shining, fiery hair!
Oh! The lady that I met whilst I was going to the Faire!



The Shadow Notes

The Shadow Knows grieves with all Ansteorra at the death of Master William Blackfox.

In celebration of the success of our recent event, rumor has it that Lord Stephen de Ble will be hosting a Revel at his dwelling place on Wednesday, September 24. He'll fire up the barbecue around 7:00 or so, bring your own carcass. There will be plenty of beer for those over 21, non-alcoholic beverages very welcome.

Congratulations to William of Shadowlands on his new name. Henceforth William shall be known as William the Chased (Did I spell that right?) Also congratulations to Jilleighanne O'Bayern, now Jilleighanne the Bewildered.

In the distant past, in the Shire of the Shadowlands, there was a guild devoted to the study of the night-time sky. The guild was known as the Sterregazers Geylde, and had its own registered badge. I, Padric O'Mullan, am interested in restarting this guild. If anyone is interested in astronomy, or learning the constellations,etc., please let me know.

Jilleighanne the Bewildered and Padric O'Mullan say, "Where are our cookies? We want our cookies!

The Shadow Knows wishes to thank "The Candle Which Casts our Shadow"!



Shadowlands Domesday Boke Registration

It is my intention to publish a Domesday Boke in the November issue of The Shadow Knows. If you live in or near the Shire of the Shadowlands and would like to be included in the Domesday, please fill out the information below and mail to:

Pat Mullins

506D Wellborn Rd.

College Station, Tx. 77840

or E-MAIL to:

SCA NAME______________________________________________

MUNDANE NAME_______________________________________


CITY, STATE, ZIP________________________________________

PHONE NUMBER________________________________________

E-MAIL ADDRESS_______________________________________




The Shadow Knows wishes to congratulate all those who recieved awards at our 20th Year Celebration.

Master Kenric- Pelican

Baroness Sarafina- Barony of the Court of Ansteorra

Lord Krag von Bergen- Thistle for metalworking

Jilleighanne the Bewildered- Companion of the Order of the Shadow

Padric O'Mullan- Companion of the Order of the Shadow

Baroness Catherine Sommerfield- Co-champion Bard of the Shadowlands

Leonardo Acquistapace- Co-champion Bard of the Shadowlands

Lady Isobel Grace Hadley- Artisan of the Shadowlands

Lord Timothius Kranisius(Lord Timo)- Winner of the Heavy Lists

Don Brendan- Winner of the Light Lists


20th Year a Success!

Sun burnt, wind-worn, thirsty, tired and smiling, Shadowlanders return from the lake having thrown a successful event. I’ve heard complements about the event. Although I was asked to turn the temperature down a few times, the overall response has been positive. Their Royal Majesties were present, as well as Master Robin of Gillwell, Avatar of Catsprey and others. The Pelicans met, as did the White Scarves. The brass content of the event was remarkable.

Kudo’s to all the Shadowlanders (current and former) who helped with the event. Good Job! You’re the kind of team that autocrats dream of.

--Lrd Stefan


Choosing A Name

or "Why Can't I be Henry Plantagenet?"

By Lord Dathi O'Coony

Choosing a name is one of the first things a new member is faced with upon joining the Society. It frequently relates to One's persona (ever hear of a Norman named "Abdul?"), and if done improperly, can lead to massive heartache if you should try to register the name through the College of Arms (something you must do, if you want a coat of arms). It's easier to do things right the first time. These guidelines should help you in your choice.

1. Don't choose a name until you're ready. Many people have picked a name, only to decide that they don't like it later (or find out that a duke has had it for twenty years... or...). Yes, you can pick a name and change it later, but expect people to continue using your old name for a long time (read a decade or more in some cases).

2. Names go better with personas. Expect people to be confusedif you are wearing cavalier garb, but have an Oriental name. Spend sone time thinking about your persona. Try out different types of garb, find a historical era that you are interested in, etc. (see the article by Lord Caradoc on personas for more information). When you have a time period and country chosen, a choice of name should be easier.

Consult with the Herald. Eventually, most people want to register their persona name. The herald can help you with both the rules and the research. The herald knows where to find the books to help you with your name research. Many are owned by the herald, the Shire, or by other locals. The herald also can insure that your name is unique (not used by either a person in the Society or a famous historical or fictional personage), acceptable to thew rules (is properly constructed for your time period, not objectionable, nor presumptuous), and will help you fill out the paperwork should you wish to register your name.

4. Register your name. Your name will not be protected unless it is registered by the College of Arms. Someone else, hearing your name, may submitit, get it registered, and prevent you from using it. Your name may be acceptable under the current rules, but rules change. Once your name is registered, it is yours, regardless of rules changes.


This article was originally published in The Shadow Knows October A.S. XXV (A.D. 1990)



Simple Garb I

The Simple T- Tunic

By Lady Cateau D'Ardennes

The T-tunic is an easy shirt to make and reflects the styles of early period garb. It can also be made to appear quite elegant with the right choice of fabrics and the addition of trim.

The length of your tuniccan be determined by measuring from your shoulder to the bottom of your favorite t-shirt. Double this length and add six inches(6"). This extra will allow for the hem and belting.

Buy shirting type fabrics. Broadcloth and other light weight wovens of solid colors or vertical stripes work best until you have a chance to research your time period. Forget stretch knits and obvious mundane prints. Widths of 45" will result in a 3/4 sleeve and widths of 60" are usually full length. You can use 45" fabric for full length sleeves but it requires extra sewing and trim.

NOTE: It is always best to wash and dry your fabric before cutting and sewing. This will prevent shrinking and fading faster.

Place selvage sides together by folding fabric lengthwise. Fold again in half placing cut ends together. All the selvaged (finished) edges should be on one side and the cut ends at the bottom.


Again using your favorite t-shirt, place your tee on the folded fabric lengthwise, raw fabric edges at the bottom. Center the collar at the top of the double fold and half the t-shirt over the folded edge of the fabric.

Take chalk and mark along the outside edge of the tee. Extend the sleeve to the finished edge of the fabric. Mark the collar curve. The shape of your tunic can now be modified as the examples show.

Cut along the chalk lines through all thicknesses of fabric. Cut the neck hole and shape of the t-shirt collar or modify by adding a slit in front or to one side. The opening can also be square.

Sew any trim such as a band around the sleeve or the hem before you sew front to back. It is much easier to work with while the garment is still flat.

Finish collar edge by either folding under twice and sewing down or apply bias tape of matching or contrasting color. Any trim for the collar should also be applied at this point.

With right sides together, match all edges and any applied trim. Sew the front to the back, starting at the cuff of the sleeve sewing to the hem of the tunic. Do this for both sides. Hem the tunic by folding over the bottom edge twice 1/2" to the inside so no raw edge shows. Sew along the edge of the fold. Do the same to the cuffs if the sleeves are too long or you can leave them unfinished with the selvage showing.

This article was originally published in The Shadow Knows in September, A.S. XXX (1995)


No Audience

by Cariadoc of the Bow

One of the oldest traditions of the Society is the requirement that everyone present at an event make some attempt at period dress. To me, this symbolizes the idea that there is no audience- everyone present is a participant. That is an essential difference between an event and a play. We are all inside the medieval fantasy. Some of us may be playing medieval fighters or actors while others are playing medieval spectators, but we're all playing.

I am reminded of this tradition when I hear someone complain after an event that it was boring- there was not enough entertainment. Such complaints are, I think, based on a fundamentally mistaken view of what an event is. They assume it is a show put on by someone else for our entertainment and that it is therefore that someone's fault if we, sitting in the audience, are bored.

But there is no audience. An event is not a play; it is a stage, on which we all are players. The hosts provide a place, a framework, decoration, usually food. The rest is up to you.

If you are a musician, find other musicians and go play something. If you are a storyteller, find some bored people and tell them stories. Start a game of nine man' morris. Gossip with some of your friends about the doings of others. Start an interesting conversation about something your persona might have talked about. Ask the fighter who has just taken off his armor to explain that beautiful blow that he won the fight with.

If you cannot play an instrument, or sing , or tell a story or poem, or play a period game, and are too shy to gossip, or start conversations or ask questions of fighters, do not despair. Somewhere in the building someone is cooking dinner, or setting up the hall for court, or doing some of the myriad things necessary to maintain the framework of the event. Another pair of hands will almost certainly be welcome. However shy you are, after an hour and a half of deboning chickens you should find it easy enough to strike up a conversation with your fellow workers.

Some time ago, I attended an event accompanied by an energetic eleven-year-old. Shortly after we arrived, he vanished. On further inquiry, I discovered that he had volunteered to help someone with something. When I asked him about it, he explained that he had discovered he had more fun that way.

The people who bear the loads, who make the Society work, are the people who create the events, write the poems, tell the stories, sing the songs, sew the clothing. If you have just spent two hours deboning chickensthen you are bearing your share of the load. If you are a card carrying member of the SCA Incorporated and come to every event expecting to be entertained, you are part of theload being born.

"What do you call the last man out of the kitchen at an event?"

"Your Majesty"

Old joke.


From Cariodoc's Miscellany, copyright (c) David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. This article was published in The Gargoyle's Tongue in 1988. Used by permission.


From the Middle Ages to the Cyber Ages

Check out these useful and informative sites on the Internet!


Calendar of Events

October 3-5 War Chieftain/Cavalier of the Bridge - Middleford (Killeen, TX)

Western Sentinal Tournement - Blacklake (Midland/Odessa, TX)

Tourney of the Golden Arrow - River Tree (Victoria, TX)

October 5 Archery Practice 11am behind Zachry

Fighter Practice 12:30pm Brison Park

Dance Practice 7pm MSC

October 6 Officers' Meeting 7pm TBA

October 10-12 Namron Protectorate - Namron (Norman, OK)

Tourney by the Loch - Loch Sollier (Clear Lake, TX)

Bjornsborg Baronial - Bjornsborg (San Antonio, TX)

October 12 Archery Practice 11am behind Zachry

Fighter Practice 12:30pm Brison Park

Dance Practice 7pm MSC

October 13 Populace Meeting 7pm Rudder

October 17-19 Crown Tournament - Northkeep (Tulsa, OK)

October 19 Archery Practice 11am behind Zachry

Fighter Practice 12:30pm Brison Park

Dance Practice 7pm MSC

October 24-26 Samhain - Eldern Hills (Lawton, OK)

Bryn Gwald Baronial Fair - Bryn Gwald (Austin, TX)

Battle of Three Kings - Rosenfeld (Tyler, TX)

October 26 Archery Practice 11am behind Zachry

Fighter Practice 12:30pm Brison Park

Dance Practice 7pm MSC

October 27 Populace Meeting 7pm Rudder

October 31 -

November 2 Samhain Stew - Tempio (Temple, TX)



The Shadow Knows

c/o Pat Mullins

506D Wellborn Rd.

College Station, Tx. 77840


This is The Shadow Knows, a publication of the Shire of the Shadowlands of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.(SCA). The Shadow Knows is available from Pat Mullins, 506D Wellborn Rd., College Station, Tx. 77840. It is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., and does not delineate SCA policies.

Copyright (c) 1997 Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. For information on reprinting articles and artwork from this publication, please contact the editor, who will assist you in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors.


Last updated 06/01/2007
Please see full disclaimer and copyright notices.
Copyright 2006 SCA/Shire of the Shadowlands
Contact the Shadowlands Virtual Scribe (Webmaster)

*Indicates a link to an entity outside the control of Virtual Scribe (Webmaster)

*Indicates a link to an entity outside the control of the SCA Shire of the Shadowlands.