Butterfly War

Ray Katz scurlock at io.com
Fri Oct 18 00:35:53 PDT 1996

Gunnora wrote:

>Hooray for genuine Ansteorra history.

Here is another piece of the history of the "Butterfly Altercation" 
that you may enjoy.

I was very new to the SCA and about a dozen or so of the Bryn Gwlad 
fencers had joined me in a brigand household called Piper's Grove.  
Because I was heading a criminal household, I was playing a lot with 
Edwina Dirk Stern, the mistress of the local Guild of Assassins.

The word had gotten out that assassination would be allowed at the event, 
and it appears that Alex AND Bjorn had both contracted with Edwina to 
murder each other. As Edwina did not have the manpower to fulfill 
both contracts, she telephoned me to ask if I would be willing to 
take over the contract on Bjorn's life.  I readily agreed and 
immediately called a household meeting.

I appeared at the meeting with a small crock full of Tullamore dew, 
and having no idea of the forces I was about to set in motion, I told 
them that Bjorn was the target for the weekend and that whoever 
killed him first would get the Tully.  Familial obligations required 
that I travel to my hometown on the weekend of the war, so I was
not able to attend the event.

When I returned to Bryn Gwlad, I went to a fighter practice at 
Waterloo Park.  HE Seanna De Fraser was there.  I had not been there 
long when I heard Seanna's distinctive articulation carrying my way 
on the breeze.  "SCURLOCK!!!", she cried, "JEREMY SCURLOCK!!!"  I 
turned, she approached.  More quietly she said, "Scurlock, I would 
like a word with you."  There was something in the way she hung on to 
that last "you" that gripped my attention.  (We joke about this now, 
but at the time, there was murder in her eyes.)  We walked a short way 
together and sat down.  She then told me the following tale, which 
was later corroborated by other members of my house:

Alan of the Dark Wood arrived on Saturday morning and immediately 
began to plot Bjorn's untimely demise.  Actually, a number of my 
household members were doing exactly the same thing, but because I 
had put them in a kind of competition with one another, they were not 
sharing their plans. (This will become important later.)  Alan had 
brought with him a boffer bottle made by Iolo Fitzowen.  The label 
read "Olde Frothingslosh, the pale, stale ale with the foam at the 

It begins,

Sometime following the fighting, Alan, armed with his bottle, stalked Bjorn 
out to the parking lot.  When Bjorn stopped near a truck, Alan crept 
upon him on his blind side and cried, "Your Excellency!"  As Bjorn 
turned toward him, Alan slammed the bottle down on the truck's 
bumper, in simulation of breaking it, and then jammed it at Bjorn's 
head.  Bjorn fell and Alan ran away, ready to claim his Tully.

Back at the parking lot,

Alan's attack had swept Bjorn's glasses off of his face and to the 
ground, where they broke.  God bless him, Bjorn was always stone 
blind without his glasses.  Bjorn began to feel about the ground on 
all fours, crying, "My glasses! I can't see!"  To his credit, Alan 
returned and attempted to aid Bjorn as best he could,  thus making 
his capture easy for Bjorn's enraged entourage.  Alan was dragged to the 
Bryn Gwlad tavern tent and securely bound to one of the supporting 

HE Vargskol Halfblood was present, and angrily demanded that Alan 
reveal just who had put him up to this assassination attempt.  At first, 
Alan was loathe to tell him that it was me.  Varg began to stamp about 
the large tent, while suggesting that poor Alan be "put to the question." 
Jan was watching all of this, getting angrier by the minute.

While elsewhere in camp,

Bjorn went back to his tent to get his extra pair of glasses.  
Unbeknownst to him, another member of my house who was unaware of 
earlier developments on site, had secreted herself on a tree branch 
which overhung the entrance to Bjorn's tent, armed with a "poisoned" 
dagger.  As Bjorn emerged from his tent, she dropped straight down 
upon him, with a loud shout.  As they both went to the ground, Bjorn 
cried out, and his entourage, already alerted by Alan's earlier attempt 
on Bjorn's person, handily made the arrest.

She was likewise dragged to the tavern tent, where the questioning
began anew. Pretty soon, it came out that I was somehow at the
bottom of all of this.  I don't think Varg was at all surprised. 
Jan was coming to a nice, rolling boil.

Meanwhile, at Alex's,

Alex caught a mouthful of salted wine, courtesy of Edwina, and began 
writhing on the ground in loudly feigned death throes. 


Jan called one of the very few Courts of the Realm this kingdom has 
ever known, right then and there.  The upshot of all of this was that 
the truth came out,  both Alex and Bjorn were busted to peasant 
first-class for the remainder of the event, my friends narrowly escaped 
banishment, and I was in the dog house for a very long time. 

Ah, for the days when events were more, er, spontaneous.

Actually, I carried a bit of guilt about this for some years.  I ran 
into Bjorn again a couple of years before he died and confessed my 
culpability, and apologized.  He was quite gracious about it.

Now that is Ansteorran history with a small "h".

Thus ends the tale,

                                Jeremy Scurlock


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