[Ravensfort] Quoth Autocrat's Update

byzytym byzytym at att.net
Sat May 3 07:03:39 PDT 2008

Greetings from the Autocrat of Defender of the Fort,

Printed below is the update printed in the May Quoth the Raven newsletter.  There is a little repetition of earlier post, but a lot of new info too.  A couple of new things came up at populace, but most was minor.  Klar has volunteered to do the script for the seven scrolls for Defender and work nights will be held at Alaric Sweinbrothar and Baroness Chrystal's.  Many thanks to all of them.

As always, uncontrollable outside influences and individuals ( not to mention the "r" word ) can cause major problems so we must always stay on our toes and keep a sharp eye out for stumbling and roadblocks.  I feel sure that the good people of our Barony will be able to handle anything that is thrown at them.  Almost anything can be overcome if we continue to work together as a team.  

Keep the faith.


"what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul ?"

Greetings and Peace to all from the Autocrat of Defender of the Fort,


First let me thank the Seneschal and the Baron and Baroness for trusting me to spearhead the Barony's yearly highbrow event.  I look forward to working with as many of my Baronial brothers and sisters as possible.  I have already talked with several individuals about taking on key roles.  Here is a list with the contact numbers that I have and of course you can always give the Raven's Fort list a try for email.

* Autocrat - Volodymyr of the Black Isle (Marius) - 281-367-3409 cell or 281-419-2167 home

* Head Troll - Alaric Sweinbrothar -936-232-0278 home

* Site Foreman - The Lord of the Manor, Saint David Saint David -936-295-9453 home

* Culinary Consultant - Musashi no Domai "Kitsune" -936-291-0734 home

* Brass Hat Lunch - Marie de Meaux ( called Axe Foot )

If you have something specific in mind that you would like to volunteer for please give me a call and we can talk.  


You might note that the Autocrat name listed on the official records will be Lord Volodymyr of the Black Isle.  That is the official name that I was born into the SCA with over two and a half decades ago.  It is the name by which I hold offices and receive awards, such as my Crane.  My second name Marius Atreidae was created (for obvious reasons) when I started working with The Assassins Guild of Ansteorra.  The Assassins game became very popular with everyone from the King to the commoner and my work as a guild liaison became so wide spread that most people now address me as my dark persona.  Defender of the Fort is an event that plays up the chivalrous aspects of the Barony so it seemed appropriate to dust off my original persona and answer to the pet name my very old time friends called me, "Vlad NotVlad".  Don't worry, when called I will still answer to Marius.


Defender Feast will run slightly different than it has in the past.  Due to the nature of the feast structure there will be no Feastocrat for this event.  Instead, individuals will prepare the individual dishes on their own and bring them to the site ready to be served.  Only a minimal of cooking will be done on site.  Once the food reaches the site, a serving coordinator and crew will oversee feeding the populace.  After feast a cleanup crew will take over to see that everything is put away clean.  By splitting up the duties I am trying to ensure that no one is worn down by a full day of work.  Even the cooks should be able to sit down with the rest of the populace to eat.  


I will now relay to you a quick history lesson that I received from the events' Culinary Consultant, Kitsune.  Kitsune wrote, "Maitre d'Hotel is the term for the one who supervises all the serving duties as well as all the domestics in charge of serving and cleaning.  Ecuyer de (insert noun) is the person in charge of a particular duty like slicing the meat at the table etc.  Not a cook, nor a domestic, it was actually a honor to be asked to be an ecuyer.  Remember the term gave us "esquire".  The Grand Ecuyer is in charge of all the ecuyers and the kitchen help.  But not in charge of the Maitre de Queux the head chef or any of the other queux.  Nor the boss of the Maitre d'Hotel.  So Maitre d'Hotel is the most appropriate title for what we've got in mind.  But he would also have some of the duties of the Grand Ecuyer.  Which still sounds so much better!   Hope this helps!   ZH,   Dom"


That said, I give you the Feast Staff

* The Grand Maitre d'Hotel Ecuyer - Pasquale Pace  -903-536-3336

De Queux

* Smoked Pork Roast - Sigrid Sweinbroathar

* White Stew - Alaric Sweinbroathar

* Rice - Musashi no Domai Kitsune

* Persian Slaw - Musashi no Domai Kutsune

* Gobbler Cobbler - Devin Phelan O'Donnabhain  

We will also be serving Dark Breads, Herb Butters and Ice Cream for the Cobbler.

* Volunteers that serve and clean will receive feast free. 


BERRIES !!!  The dessert at Defender will be cobbler al la mode.  We, as a Barony, are trying to collect as many local berries as we can to help hold down the cost and to make at least a part of the feast a true offering of our land.  Baron Saint David Saint David is keeping an eye on the berries at The Stones, plus our Seneschal and our Baron and Baroness are donating the harvest from their private lands.   When the berries turn deep purple and black, announcements will be made on the list.  If you can drop what you are doing and join a harvest team, I can promise that the time you spend will be enjoyable and fruitful...  Ha, Ha, get it ?  "fruitful"  Ok, sorry about that.  Devin will oversee the baking for the "Gobbler Cobbler ".  It's going to take a lot of cooks and we plan to start far ahead of time.  If you're good with cobbler, please help.


For feast Baron Brian and Baroness Fionna will be extending an invitation to last year's Champions and their significant others to share a place of honor seated at tables on either side of them.  Vivat for our returning Champions.  We have already started contacting last year's winners to get their preferences for this year's competition scenarios.  I may send out an APB if we can't locate all of their contact numbers.   

As always, the Baronial Officers will be running the competitions that are associated with their offices.  Here is an incomplete list of our local Officers / Guild Heads / Draftees:

* A&S - Marie de Meaux

* Chivalric - It is my understanding that we'll have a new local Marshal any day now.  

* Rapier - Don Charles of Lizard Keep

* Archery - Lucien ( who also happens to be last year's Champion )

* Brewer / Vintner - Don Charles of Lizard Keep

* Equestrian - We have no local equestrian representative so I plan to contact last year's Champion to inquire after a Marshal suggestion.  Failing that I will contact the Kingdom Equestrian for advice.

* Bardic - The job of Marshal for Bardic truly is an all day commitment so we have been slow to lay this at the feet of anyone.  I have someone in mind that I know would be great, but I have not built up the courage to approach the person yet.  By my next update I hope to have both these last two posts filled.

* Waterbearer - I would be amiss if I did not mention that Elke is the new head of our Waterbearers Guild and as such could use any help offered.


Of course we have seven scrolls to make for these seven competitions.  With any luck we will be having a Scribes Guild Night for painting and play.  If you are good with a brush or quill ( or entertaining ) watch for times and dates.


Mister Meaux ( Jeremy ) has a plan for the Site Tokens.  I am guessing that soon half the Barony will know how to do a cool little weave with a groovy color play.   We are expecting an attendance larger than originally planned.  For this reason we will be making 400 Site Tokens and 175 Feast Tokens.  A feast token has not been settled on yet.  At one time in the past there as a push to create a whole place setting with just Raven's Fort Defender Feast Tokens.  There has been napkin rings, forks, spoons, shakers with salt & red / black pepper and a few other things.  Or we can go another way .  I am open for suggestions.  


There are three good reasons that our site, The Stones of Raven's Fort, should look particularly spotless this year.  It appears that we will be graced with the presence of the Crown at our event.  That always put a thrill into an Autocrat and makes 'em a little nervous.  We will also have the honor of hosting a Pelican Circle of our Kingdoms' longest and hardest workers. And if that is not enough, there is a strong possibility that our site and event will be chosen for the Fall Royal Huntsman Tournament.  We are submitting a bid, so that is not a done deal yet.  If it does work out, we will have hunters from one end of the site to the other.


There is a bit of work to do at the site.  There are no site work days planned yet.  When the Site Foreman, Saint David Saint David, and I have put together a full list of work and dates they will be posted.  Here is a short list of a few big things:

*The largest task is the yearly mowing of the fields.  If you have a tractor with blades please come out and help.  As always the Equestrian and list fields will take special attention.

*I have talked with the ranch hands at the V-bar ranch and they would still like us to burn the large piles that they pushed up with their bulldozers.  If we will torch the piles on a prearranged Friday of one of our site work weekends, they will take over responsibility when we leave on Sunday.  It would help them out and be an excellent chance for us to have a nice weekend.    

*When event time nears we will need help moving things around in the kitchen area.  Feast will be set up right against the kitchen and store room this time, so a good cleaning and regrouping of the miscellaneous stuff is a must.  The kitchen water-tower will be moved to the other side of the kitchen at least for this one event.  This will open a nice view to the list field from where the B&B and the Crown will be sitting.  I am hoping that the reed fences we have and hung Celtic bedspreads will give the area a tidy, coordinated look.  

*The petite ladies in our group will be glad to know that your complaints have finally been heeded.  The heavy "mouse trap" doors on the kitchen and store room will be changed to a sideways swing with detachable springs to hold them closed.  Anyone will be able to operate them.

*We will need to set up a place that is private and out of the sun for the Pelican Circle to meet.  I am thinking that the old tavern / Rose Garden area may just fit the needs.  


As for Saturday night after Court celebrations, I am urging all our individual groups to gather in one place as we did in years past.  Let's show the Kingdom what Raven's Fort unity is.  The Sweinbroathars always throw a hell of a party ( they sure did last year ), but I would coax even them to come up the hill.  Although Don Charles already has some Homebrew at hand, there is another Defender Brew Day planned for Sunday, May 18th at the Lizard Keep. ( Call for directions )  When the brewing is finished, and day turns to night, the gathering will turn into a Happy B.S. Party for all of the Taurus and Gemini in the Barony. ( And there are quite a few of us )  Please come and join the camaraderie. 


I am sure that I have left things off this already long list.  We have lots of work to do, but plenty of time still.  I am always looking for suggestions that will make our event run smoother and be more interesting.  Our Baron and Baroness have selected 9th century Norse as the event theme.  When I receive more specifics I will pass the on to you.  I believe that events should be largely about research.  If you have something that you think I should see, please forward it on.  I need ammo for the event announcements.  If you have ideas or would like to volunteer, do not hesitate to contact any of us at the numbers listed above.  


In closing, I would like to give many thanks to those individuals who stepped forward immediately to serve their Barony.  Since Officers Meeting I have been busy collecting names and numbers and making contacts.  Almost without fail everyone that I've talked to has jumped at the chance to work on this event.  Some even volunteered before I had a chance to ask.  It seems that all are of one mind, making Raven's Fort a place that everyone wants to visit.  Lots of good ideas.  Thanks to everyone in advance for all the hard work you will be putting in.  Your love for Raven's Fort clearly shows through.  
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