The Office of the Seneschal - Kingdom of Lochac

Reports

Seneschal's Report, Kingdom of Lochac

March 2006 (AS XXXX).

Greetings,

This is my first Domesday report as Kingdom Seneschal, and is also the quarterly report for March 2006. .

The report covers some items that have been going on in the Kingdom over the last year, as well as the ups and downs of the office in general.

Summary:

This reporting period (Dec/Jan/Feb) has been a fairly quiet period in the Kingdom of Lochac. It's summer and fairly hot throughout most of the Kingdom, and SCA activities tend to be somewhat low key. The major events were the 12th Night coronation of King Ædward and Queen Yolande , which also included the inauguration of the first Duke and Duchess of Lochac Cornelius and Morwynna and Canterbury Fayre. Canterbury Fayre is held in the South Island of New Zealand, one of the few places in Lochac where it's temperate enough to have an outdoor / fighting event in February.

Issues

Banishments: Two Level 2 Banishments have been enacted by their majesties this quarter. The details have been sent to the Board of Directors with the recommendation that they be escalated to a level 3 banishment.

Kingdom Procedures Manual:

Revision of the Kingdom Procedures Manual has started with the creation of the Baronial selection procedure. Next will be the selection procedure for Group Seneschal and other group Officers as this requirement has been highlighted by recent Seneschal appointments.

Kingdom Finances:

Finances are still an issue within the Kingdom. Groups are not paying the Kingdom levy on a regular basis and are waiting until the Kingdom Exchequer chases them up usually for the third time. Prod prod.

Recent Correspondence

Equestrian Rules I have been alerted by some New Zealand riders with inherent problems with the current Society Equestrian rules. In brief the society rules are really written to Kingdom level and contain a large amount of USA specific standards and rules. I will be discussing this with the Kingdom Equestrian Marshall at Rowany Festival and will then provide a proposed solution.

Kingdom Officers

Arts and Sciences

A&S has been running very well within the kingdom. Many impressive classes and pieces of work are being produced across the kingdom.

The last three months have been relatively quiet for A&S, with the holiday period. The new format for judging seems to have gone smoothly, only a minor alteration to the forms is required. I am attending May Crown and will (finally) have the opportunity to run an A&S competition myself, which is good – I’ll be able to test the system. I have had a suggestion to have any entry count towards the kingdom championship, regardless of whether the competition actually runs. The rationale is to encourage more entries, so at least people know their entry won’t be ‘in vain’ if the individual comp doesn’t run. I will be discussing this on the list and hopefully at Festival.

I also have a number of judging forms to be returned, from both Midwinter and 12th night. The procedure which I’m trying for is that the judging forms are given back on the day, with just the KMOAS Competition form being returned to myself. This should help in getting people feedback without delay.

Guild Ascension Day was held in Krae Glas on 4 February. It was a small event, approximately 40 persons, but with the Fibre, Cooks’ WCOB, Scribes, Woodworkers, Entertainers and Silver Roundel guilds represented.

Marshal

Margie has been reinstated as Earl Marshal towards the end of this quarter. and is now able to see out the term of her warrant as Earl Marshal, May Crown 2006. There have been three applications for the position: Sir Philippe, Mater Piers of Malmsbury and Lord Vandel Lynchea.

To my knowledge there have been two injuries reported during this quarter: a shield that penetrated a face plate causing bleeding but only minor injury, and a blow to the neck that caused a combatant to withdraw with a minor concussion.

There has been no ongoing reporting of testing with talhoffer axe heads from any of the approved testers which is very disappointing as this was what was requested for the testing to go ahead. The review at 12th Night did not go ahead as Quarter Court was not held. Unofficial reports (not from the testers) suggest that the talhoffers contribute to an overuse of power, and when modified for more flexibility the way in which they strike is inconsistent.

Bows at festival this year will be checked for draw weight, and arrows for length.

The number of reports not received this quarter is very disappointing, especially considering only baronies are required to report at this time.

The Deputy for Heavy Combat has reported that the issue of Minors wishing to take up heavy combat has caused a review of the paperwork procedure for Minors. Additionally the issue of boffer tournaments has been raised. We have no formal boffer runes in the Kingdom and there needs to be some discussion re how we or if we should run boffer tournaments.

The deputy for siege reported on the Siege event run in Southron Gaard. By all accounts an excellent and well run event.

Reports received from the Kingdom indicate a number of well run events. Note however that reporting was poor. The following Baronial Marshals did not report.

Mordenvale (no report received) Riverhaven (no report received) Rowany (no report received) St Florians (no report received) Stormhold (no report received)

Rapier Marshal The past quarter has seen a revolution in rapier and SCA combat society wide, with the approval of Cut and Thrust Rapier (C&T) by the USBoD. It is controlled by the Society rapier marshallate, and promises to add greatly to the ability of SCA combat to be used as a study and competition forum for period swordplay. The current stage for Lochac lies with me and the creation of a Lochac set of rules incorporating C&T. The SRM has permitted official practicing of C&T under basic society rules following a policy statement from me authorizing and defining such activities and participants. I have not yet released such a policy statement, although I intend to do so with the permission of the Crown and Earl Marshal after I have done preliminary work on the new rules set.

Several legislative issues to deal with. The rapier rules still do not include the changes made during the reign of Cornelius and Morwynna, for various mundane and society reasons. The recent approval of the society rapier rules revision now paves the way for a rules rewrite, and the addition of C&T rapier giving an extra challenge for me. In Lochac, unlike many other kingdoms, rapier just means rapier, with just one set of weaponry and rules. Now with C&T, we have two sets of weapons and rules which makes a big change for us compared to the other kingdoms who ‘merely’ get yet another choice of styles to use.

Multiple events being run across the Kingdom with no issues reported.

NB Rapier reporting was far more consistent than the Heavy marshals reporting.

Lists

Reports received for December to February. Reporting is variable from many groups. A wide range of generally smaller tournaments were run all across the Kingdom during this period.

The authorization's arm of the office seem to be ticking over well and all cards received have been processed. The standard of paperwork received of late has improved and I would class it as good-high and I'm hoping this trend continues during the pre-Festival rush. The money side of things appear to be meeting the cost of the office.

Herald The Consort's device. As you all know, last reign we ran a poll to determine the level of support for changing the Consort's device. The results of the poll did not reach the level that Laurel indicated would be required to make the change, so I am afraid that we have some thinking to do.

CanonLore CanonLore is not yet fully functional and Karl has declined to do significantly more work on it. There are two problems with the system as it stands. The first is that Karl hasn't finished the code to allow “normal” people to enter data into the database. The second and more serious problem is that the database is seriously out-of-date. Because of this I am trying to put together an alternate OP that you can use until the on-line version is fully functional.

Precedence There are several matters of precedence that we should really clarify. 1. Royal peers No SCA document explicitly ranks the various forms of Royal peer. I think everybody knows that a Duchess outranks a Viscount, but it would probably be good to say so explicitly. 2. Imported “special” grants Where do the Caidan grant level awards fit into the Lochac OP? Kingdom law says that imported awards are counted as “the equivalent Lochac award”. For these awards there is no equivalent award, so the situation is not entirely obvious. 3. Landed baron/esses Different Kingdoms put landed baron/esses in different places in the OP. In the West the situation was vague. 4. Where do greater officers fit into the OP? It is also not clear where Greater Officers sit in the OP. Discussions with a collection of random people has indicated that people think they sit either immediately before, or immediately after the landed Baron/esses. Again, I can't find much in the way of SCA evidence for either case.

Names for New Zealand and Australia We collected a set of names for New Zealand and Australia about six months ago with the intent of coming up with something official to name the countries. My plan for the next phase of that project was that the College of Heralds would attempt to document the various names. However nobody much seemed willing or able to do said documentation. Since I simply couldn't do it all on my own, the process stalled.

Group Submissions I have had a number of discussions with various people about the registration of names and/or devices for new groups. I think we are now organised for Colles Ardorum's submission, though their herald has been very busy and hasn't yet finished the forms. I have had preliminary discussions with Radburne, the proposed group in central western NSW. Their name seems fine and the design for their device is wonderful. I had some trouble with processing Cairnfell's name submission. The documentation they provided was pretty awful, so I had to do the documentation myself. This has taken a while, but it is now with Laurel.

Succession My time as Crux is now drawing to a close as my warrant expires at mid-winter. I do not intend to seek an extension. I firmly believe that this job has now grown sufficiently unwieldy that it cannot be adequately handled by one person. I know that I could not have managed without the massive efforts of Massaria to keep my head above water.

Exchequer Still some confusion over the Kingdom Levy. This is being clarified in the next issue of Pegasus. A more formal report on the Kingdom finances is being generated for Rowany Festival for the Kingdom Seneschal and Crown to review.

Chronicler Pegasus running well with a couple of large issues recently. Still looking for a successor.

Chirurgeon The ranks of the Chirurgeonate are starting to swell! We now have confirmed in all but two groups Chirurgeons will to take on the office. The other two I’m working on and hope to have the issue resolved by Festival (Easter). The Website is currently being updated, Yah The issue about the minor medical indemnity form continues. I have emailed our BoD and as yet I am awaiting a reply. For the time being the original format continues to be used. I have sent to them a copy of the changes that I recommend and hope to have some news shortly. I will keep you in the loop.

Constable

Politarchopolis Könusch Von Eltz All well - Stepping down soon Bordescros Francesco de Falco de Petrio Aviati Vinattiere All well Agaricus Marit the Wanderer All is well Rowany Aeron Lasair All is well Stormhold (Wystan of Wallsende) No report received St Florian Raphael du Noir All well, no events held recently Arrowsreach Adam of Arrowsreach All well. Clarification sought on minors - see below Aneala Nyssa Ducret All is well. Will be stepping down soon Innilgard Hugh De Beaumont All is well. Has since handed on the office Mordenvale Malachi von Riga No report received, but he was in contact with regard to stepping down Southron Gaard Fraser Coney No report received. New constable Ildhafn (??) No report received Riverhaven Thomas Points No report received Ynys Fawr Darius Atash Akbar No report received

A late report was received from Dismal Fogs for November with profuse apologies.

I will be following up with the groups who have not reported. While Ynys Fawr, Southron Gaard and Riverhaven have new Constables, Ildhafn has not reported for some time and Stormhold has not reported since Wystan stepped into the role. I shall consult with those groups about the unsatisfactory reporting. On the positive side, Arrowsreach and Bordescros both reported despite it being optional for Shires to report in this period.

There has been a fair amount of discussion, spurred by the local Arrowsreach Constable, about minors and guardianship. After further consultation with the BOD I shall post to the Constables' list and put something in Pegasus clearing up the state of play with regard to minors. I will also be having a Constabulary meeting with the constables present at Rowany Festival.

Regalia No Report

Hospitaller Current project rewriting the new "Forward Into the Past" to fit in with Lochac points of view and the Hospitallers Handbook are also on the back-burner for a while due to personal circumstances. The office is running well and recent Pegasus articles by the Kingdom Seneschal has generated a lot of activity on the Hospitallers Mail-List. Kingdom wide the Office is running well with reasonably good reporting. Many groups however to not fill this office as it is optional. They are missing out as a good Hospitaller can make a world of difference to the recruiting strategies and hence long term success of a group.

Foreign Minister From 25 Feb -2 March 2006 the kingdom of Lochac was visited by Baron Mac, Baroness Betty, Baron Dave and Lady Anita from the Barony of the Debatable Lands. They are better known as the Barons Cooper, the owners of Coopers Lake Camp Ground where the Pennsic War is held every year. They visited Sydney for two days, Adelaide for 3 days and then Perth for 8 Days. In that time as your foreign minister I took car of them and showed then around West Australia. They enjoyed their stay and offered an invitation to all in Lochac to attend Pennsic this year.

Local Groups

ACT

Politarchopolis & St Aldhelms:

The group has a strong level of activity with 6 - 7 things happening each week and has run 3 recent events including a newcomers' event for the college.

They are having problems finding a replacement chandler as they have quite a bit of stuff that needs to be stored with this office. They are currently trimming down the stuff to make life easier.

They have plans to run a monthly baronial gathering similar to the one in Stormhold and the one planned for Southron Gaard.

All of their officers are reporting OK.

NSW

Agaricus:

No report required (shire).

Bordescros:

No report required (shire).

Colles Ardorum (new group):

No report required (shire).

Dismal Fogs:

No report required (shire).

Mordenvale:

The group has about 2-3 weekly activities and has run 3 events including one for the college (newcomers' event) recently. The group has also bid for the next 12th Night event as well as having plans for their two big annual events around Midwinter and Spring War.

All of the officers are reporting OK. The group is financially OK at the moment but is running at a slight loss due to some events making no profit. The reeve is looking at turning this around.

The college of St Crispin is going along OK and has had a change of seneschal recently. I haven't heard anything about the college of St Genesius (new one in the north of the state) so that will be something to follow up for next report.

Rowany:

Activity level strong as usual, with 6 - 8 weekly activities and a few recent events. The group's main problem lies with finding venues to fit the number of people that turn up to its events, at a reasonable price, and has been faced with price rises in several of its venues recently. Rowany is in a city where real estate is very expensive (I should know), and this is a continual problem.

The group needs some assistance with setting up bank accounts for some cantons and sub groups. I have prodded the Kingdom exchequer on this.

Torlyon:

Regular shire meetings are now taking place. There is some more enthusiasm in the shire since the local festival, at which they had a display.

Has one regular meeting per month and ran one recent event, which is about normal for this (quite small) group. Their monthly meeting is a combined on on the 1st sunday of the month and cover a&s, fighting, shire news etc.

NZ

Darton:

No report required (shire).

Ildhafn:

Ildhafn reports a quiet summer, and hoping for an increase in attendance once that's over. They ran a successful November Crown tournament, and have also had one other local event.

The group needs a college and has plans for one (probably a combined group supported by the SCA and some of the metal weapons groups), as it needs more recruitment happening.

Southron Gaard:

Running 1 or 2 regular activities per week, which are ramping up slowly at the moment. A few successful events including a Xmas revel, and Canterbury Fayre which was quite successful (150 people including many travellers). There are still a number of issues in the group with discourtesy which are being addressed by the Crown and through grievance procedure (past history of this group shows a tendency towards ignoring grievance procedure but this is being addressed).

Arts and sciences appear to be going along strongly in the group as evidenced by a fairly extensive A&S report. There are 3 guilds holding regular meetings and activities. The group has also started running a monthly Baronial tourney along a similar model to the successful one in Stormhold.

QLD

Bacchus Wood:

No report required (shire).

River Haven:

The Barony of River Haven is usually quiet at this time of the year due to the heat. There has been some activity recently, however, after their end of year break. They are advertising for a new A&S officer, the previous one having to stand down due to real world commitments. The group activity in terms of meetings and events has been fairly quiet, with one event only, which had attendance from all of the cantons. More activity expected in the cooler months, with a fairly full schedule of events planned for April and May. All of the group offices appear to be functioning well at Barony and canton level.

The canton of Burnfield (despite a short period of abeyance due to some reeve problems) is now an official canton, although has little to report at this time of the year.

There is some movement about a new shire starting in Mackay, in North Queensland. That will probably be a shire although should have some contact with Burnfield, their nearest group to the south.

The college of St Heironymous has gone through a period of being in limbo due to their seneschal resigning and being unable to find a replacement, but one has recently come forwards and the group is happening again.

Several of the cantons are looking to increase membership through demos and public events. Hopefully this will result in continued strong growth for the Barony.

St Florian de la Riviere:

The group activity levels are strong with 3-4 weekly activities but only one recent event due to the heat.

The seneschal is looking at rebuilding the weekly A&S activity to be more social. It has been moved into peoples' houses which he sees as somewhat negative as it can discourage attendance.

The main focus of the group at the moment is the upcoming May Crown tournament.

All officers are reporting OK although they recently had to have their herald removed from office. The group is doing OK financially.

SA

Innilgard:

The seneschal reports that activity has been doing well over the summer with approximately 5 weekly activities and the usual schedule of monthly tournaments, but no major events recently. They are gearing up for Midwinter, a Baronial Investiture, and some other activities later in the year.

Rapier activity is particularly strong in this group. They continue to find new and interesting ideas such as teams tournies, experimentation with RBGs and other weapons forms, etc. They have had a few calibration problems recently but things appear to be mostly under control.

All of the officers are reporting well, and A&S activity also appears to be quite strong. Recruiting through the college appears to be going well.

TAS

Ynys Fawr:

Ynys Fawr is quite busy (one of the few groups in the Kingdom that doesn't suffer from the heat during the summer). Regular meetings are happening around the group on a weekly and monthly basis, and they have set up a system of phone conferencing to bring some of the separate wards together as the group is quite widely spread geographically. They have had 5 events over the summer with more planned for March and April.

The marshal report from this group has been late although the seneschal mentions that the group has lots of new fighter and light authorisations going through so stuff must be happening.

VIC

Arrowsreach:

Recently the group ran a successful 12th night which we hope to return a profit to the Kingdom as we need the money. There were a few last minute difficulties but nothing that couldn't be easily resolved.

I have brought one item in their seneschal's report to the direct notice of the Crown as I feel it needs to be dealt with from there.

Krae Glas:

No report required (shire).

Stormhold:

The group reports a strong level of activity with 4 - 6 weekly activities plus some stuff happening in private homes. Also one major event recently along with their continued program of monthly bashes.

The group continues to be marred by some personality clashes. The seneschal reports that "Progress mainly consists of new ways to be somewhat disfunctional" which sums things up nicely. I believe that the Crown and the Baron and Baroness are discussing things. Despite this, the group appears to be running OK, it may just be a matter of a few people being Spoken To as is the case in a few other groups that spring to mind.

WA

Aneala:

This group has approximately 1-2 weekly activities and 3 events in the recent quarter. This is fairly quiet for Aneala (they normally have a fairly full calendar) but is expected at this time of the year due to the excessive heat that hits that part of the country during the summer.

They are hoping for more group enthusiasm as the weather cools.

The seneschal reports that she will be standing down in May/June and has advertised for a successor, with a few applications coming in already.

The group is financially sound and all officers are reporting, although all reporting reduced activity recently as can be expected.

Yours in Service,
Emrys Tudur
Seneschal, Kingdom of Lochac

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