Habilements Raiments – Garments – Vestments – Clothing – Garb – Costume – Attire – Habits – Drapery

Sat 14 Mar 15

Baronial Election Fall Anno Societatis XLIX (2014)

Filed under: — admin @ 4:09 PM

Candidate Introduction – Candidates Running for Baron and/or Baroness of Carolingia

Click here for Baron Colin and Maitresse Nicolette

Click here for Baroness Rufinia

Click here for Lady Elena and Lord Dedric


NOTE: Per the request of Safiya, the Seneschale, please help to get the word out – in order to participate in the final vote to decide the polling, you must be a paid member of the SCA per Kingdom Law.  This is the website to get a membership or renew a membership:




Colin and Nicolette

Introduction: Candidates for Baron and Baroness of Carolingia

Baron Colin Ursell and Maitresse Nicolette Bonhomme

colin at bearatrest dot com

nb at nicolettebonhomme dot com


Pictures from left to right: Colin at Gulf Wars as part of Duchess Avelina’s Queen’s Guard, Nicolette “all spiffied up” getting ready to speak at Sir Antonio’s knighting, and Nicolette fencing Diego at Mudthaw.

ColinPortrait_01     NicoletteInElizabethan  NicoletteFencingDiego

Over the past few months we have had the opportunity to speak with many members of the Barony about what they would like to see happen and about issues they perceive. We have listened carefully, thought about what we have heard, discussed it together, and, as a result, wish to share the following:

Regarding Events

Folks have expressed an interest in themed events. They are something interesting to look forward to and something for guilds to research: the time/place’s food, music, dance, garb, tournament styles, you-name-it.

Therefore we propose to champion, at minimum, the following three theme events:

1) An early period event. Carolingia: focusing on the court and society of Charlemagne. We would encourage people to read “Two Lives of Charlemagne” – a short and sometimes delightfully tart read, inexpensive, and available for e-readers as well. For such an event, we would propose a Warlord Tourney, in honour of Charlemagne, who fancied himself a great warlord. The format of this tourney has several advantages: every fighter/fencer fights in every round regardless of skill level; each participant experiences one-on-one, two-on-two, four-on-four, and so on; it affords many people with the opportunity to command a small unit; it is excellent practice for Pennsic. The winner has the (purely ceremonial) title of Warlord of Carolingia 🙂

2)   A later period event. Elizabethan: afternoon desert potluck, dancing to live music in the evening, and possibly classes as well. This event would give significant lead time (at least a year) so that classes and workshops could be organized to assist people in constructing Elizabethan-era garb. Note: we wish to be clear that, for attendees, folks are invited to wear Elizabethan-era garb, but certainly not required. If that type of garb is not your thing, come and dance anyway!

3) Ambassadorial. Folks with non-Western-European personas are invited to the Court of Carolingia as Ambassadors of foreign royalty, to be welcomed into Court and given a token of friendship from the Baron and Baroness. For people so inclined, bring friends along also wearing garb from your time and place as part of your diplomatic party! Research who was on the throne in your time and place, their titles, their methods of addressing nobility, so that you can bear greetings from them. The event could include tasting foreign food, listening to foreign music, watching exotic dance, and an arts display. Leading up to the event we could classes in non-Western-European garb, food, language, culture, you-name-it! There are people in the Society interested in Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Arabian, Islamic, Persian, Turkish, and such, whom we hope would enjoy this opportunity to demonstrate their cultural interests


Another issue that many people have discussed with us is that there is a belief that the flame of the Barony, which burned so brightly two or three decades ago, is sputtering a little these days.

Why is that?

We believe that the two most significant issues are:

One: We no longer have the burroughs to funnel in a constant flow of new folks and new energy. We believe that this is because the college experience has changed over the last quarter century – a larger percentage of students now need jobs to make ends meet, leaving them less free time, and social media is another terrific time sink.

Potential Solution: Have demos where the soil is more fertile, such as GeekFest in Cambridge, Arisia, LARP cons, science fiction and fantasy cons, and the like. We need to find groups of people who, among other things, actually read for pleasure 🙂 Note: we are not averse to demos on college campuses, and would be happy to participate in such, but we believe ideas about demos need to be widened.

Two: Death By Email. Twenty percent of communication in a conversation is from the words spoken. The other eighty percent is from facial movements, body language, tone of voice, and the like. That eighty percent is lost in email. Moreover, we need to be able to put names to faces as well as being exposed to various activities to be able to tell if one is interested. For example, I did not know what bobbin lace was until I saw Mistress Ilaine de Cameron with her lace pillow and her bobbins clicking as she made gorgeous lace. People need to see period fencing, hear swords hit shields and helmets, watch a spinning wheel spin, and experience with all their senses the magic activities which give us so much pleasure in order to know what gives a person that visceral feeling of “Wow! I want to do that!” This is also something we are missing by not all coming to Council monthly. We got to see all the guild heads stand up, introduce themselves, and talk about their next meeting; see who the heads of all the chartered households were; ask for help with gate or set-up or clean-up for an upcoming event; ask for help with moving and write the new address on the board; see all the Baronial officers; get together for dinner before or after with friends.

Potential Solution: MIT used to be our “clubhouse” where we could hold meetings, dance practice, classes, you-name-it. That is no longer available. However, we know that having a regular get-together in a multi-use space works well for other groups: Quintavia has their fencing practice in a multi-use building, and while fencing practice is going on downstairs, folks gather upstairs to work on projects and socialize. People have talked off and on over the years about a “clubhouse” for Carolingia but gave up on it because such a multi-use space is hard to find in the greater Boston area, likely to be expensive, both needs to be on public transportation AND not be so far in to the city the folks outside the city don’t want to drive in, have to have ample parking, have sufficient space for multiple activities simultaneously, etc. In short, it’s an extremely difficult thing to find. However, we believe that such a thing has become critical to the health of the Barony. If elected we commit to absolutely positively keep looking until we find a reasonable space for a Baronial “clubhouse” where we can meet monthly, have guild meetings, autocrat’s round table, practices, classes, workshops, room for children’s activities, a quiet/nap room, you-name-it. We can’t promise we will find this magic place overnight, but we will not stop looking until we have found something that works!



We believe that having retainers is a great way to involve folks in the activities of the Barony.

Colin has separate ideas about retainers – following are ideas about how Nicolette would invite folks to “join the fun” 🙂

Minimum of two at any time:

– One who is more experienced

– One who is newer (second event, or never been a retainer, or new to the Barony, etc.)

Rotate retainers in shifts so that no one person is running around for too long as well as to give more people a chance to participate.

Retainer duties:

– Carry something to drink, something to nibble on, timekeeper, my medications, writing implement, blank book.

– Keep written copy of the day’s schedule and any other commitments.

– Record, if requested, any conversations that require follow-up, any requests for appointments or things to add to the calendar, and anything that should have a thank-you note written afterward.

– Help keep the event on schedule.






Why we would like to run for this office:

We have, collectively, lived in and been active in the Barony for over 50 years and we love being part of this Barony!

We believe that one of the important qualities of any baron or baroness of a group, but especially for such a diverse barony as Carolingia, is to give care, TLC, and support to all aspects of the group. Between us, we have been active in many aspects of the barony and the kingdom: archery, heavy list, fencing, the arts, and service, and thus feel we are aware of and able to discuss and understand the needs of all aspects of activity in the group. How this manifests could be different for every group: some examples are attending guild meetings, attending practices, encouraging teaching in unit fighting prior to Pennsic, encouraging the fielding of a Baronial unit in melee, and sponsoring arts displays at events.

We take lessons from the successes of previous barons and baronesses: among other things, we concur with Fergus that attending events and baronial court should be fun, with Imigla in support of the arts, especially teaching, with Jehan in making our best attempt at authenticity in a way that is inclusive rather than exclusive, with Johanna and Aquel that good barons and baronesses manifest their genuine love for the barony and its people, with Patri and Barbara in a love of dance, especially with period live music.

Also, like Fergus and Imigla, should we be elected, we would plan to step down in three years. The reason for this is to do our best job for a short period, rather than doing it for a longer period of time, which could risk burn-out. In order to make things fun for others, it should be fun for us, too! We believe the best way to ensure that is to declare ahead of time the desire to be in the role for a specific time and then hand it over to fresh candidates.

Between us, we have attended events in Atlantia, Aethelmearc, Meridies, Caid, An Tir, and Atenveldt, which has been great fun, but also has made it clear to us how lucky we are to come home to Carolingia!

Highlights of our SCA participation:

Colin: active in the archery community for many years,  15+ years as a warranted archery marshal, member of Kingdom Archery Champions Team for most of the last 20 years, Central Region Archery Marshall (as of Nov 2014), current baronial archery champion (third time), currently serving as baronial steward for the second time, currently Principal of the Order of the Perseus, member of the Queen’s Guard for Avelina II, recently made Court Baron by Kenric and Avelina, frequently part of land grab and set-up for various Pennsic camping groups over the years, member of the Order of the Silver Crescent and Sagittarius, Grand Master Bowman in crossbow and Master Bowman in recurve, member of Orders of the Perseus and the Daystar, currently living in the Canton of the Towers.

Nicolette: has served as baronial secretary and Guildmistress of Needleworkers as well as Guildmistress of Soothsayers (including making it a chartered guild), currently Mistress of Arts and Sciences (looking for a replacement), Principal of the Daystars (second time), taking on Minister of Lists, former Central Region Seneschale and Deputy Kingdom Seneschale, served as part of royal retinue for Darius and Roxane as well as for Bjorn and Morgan, recipient of Bjorn’s Cypher, shared duties of Chief of Staff for Bjorn and Morgan including at Thirty Year Celebration in Portland, recipient of Seamstress to the Crown from Roxane, did scrolls for over 20 years until eyesight issues made it too difficult to continue, teach fiber-related subjects locally and at Pennsic for many years, published textile archaeology research in Tournaments Illuminated and on my website, participated in events as part of set up, clean up, gate, serving feasts, and in kitchens, organized the Carolingian encampment one year (took camp fees, bought firewood, etc.), cook annual period dinner for campmates and neighbors at Pennsic, former squire to Bjorn (returned baldric after health prevented me from participating in martial activities and he ceased to be active in the SCA), former heavy list fighter and warranted heavy list marshall, former fencer, currently continuing to shoot archery, member of the Orders of the Manche and Laurel, member of Orders of the Daystar and Moon, one of the founding members of the Canton of Aschehyrst, currently live in the Canton of the Towers. I have two apprentices, one in Washington DC (that I, sadly, don’t see very often) and one local.


In the spirit of transparency, I understand that people may have questions about Nicolette’s health, which is a perfectly reasonable concern. Therefore, I will share that it is true that I am not as healthy or energetic as I used to be due to multiple hospitalizations for life-threatening infections. I work closely with my team of doctors to keep myself in the best shape possible, and I have additional preparations for events: getting extra sleep beforehand, changing my medication regimen at events to help to cope with the pain, taking time over several days to prepare and pre-pack, and using crutches and an electric scooter (especially at camping events and Pennsic ) to make sure I can get where I need to go even if my leg is having a bad day. This most recent Pennsic, I was able to get to the archery range to shoot war points, teach four classes at the A&S area, attend a Commedia performance in the Performing Arts tent, and cook (with Colin) an eleven-dish period meal for our campmates and neighbors.



Baroness Rufinia


Hello!  I am Baroness Aurelia Rufinia, and I am running for Baroness of Carolingia.

I believe the Baron and/or Baroness should be a cheerleader for the Barony- someone who supports activities with enthusiasm and attention, who can welcome new people, and has the pulse of what’s going on.  As Baroness, I would make an effort to attend every activity in the barony at least once a quarter, just to check in, meet people, see what’s going on, and try new things!  I would also like to see us have a regularly occurring yearly event, such as Falling Leaves (in Exile!) to bring people together.

I also believe the biggest influx of new blood in the barony is families with children, and encouraging activities for parents and children is a vital part of keeping the barony going.  I think the biggest challenge facing Carolingia isn’t attrition, its fragmentation.  The Baron and/or Baroness needs to be a force for cross-pollination, encouraging people to try new things and meet new people along the way.

I’ve been a member of Carolingia for the past 11 years, and in the SCA since for 17.  I love this Barony and how it’s shaped my idea of what the SCA can be.  I started my SCA life in the Middle Kingdom, in the Principality of Northshield and the Barony of Nordskogen and Shire of Inner Sea, and once I graduated from college, came to Carolingia, and have been here ever since.  I am a companion of the Manche and of the Silver Crescent, as well as the Moon and the Daystar, and a Baroness of the Court of Valharic and Alys Katherine, the 65th King and Queen of the Middle Kingdom.

I am most interested in persona research, specifically Roman, and you can find me making and pontificating on Roman garb, weaving, leatherworking, researching hair styles, food, and legal aspects of Roman life.

I have cooked feasts, been head retainer for a royal reign, on staff for three others.  In Carolingia, I’ve served as Baronial Secretary, Minister of the Fencing Lists, am currently a Deputy Seneschal, and I chaired the committee for our new by-laws.  I’ve cooked feasts,  I have performed with i Sebastiani, and am deeply involved with the East Kingdom Cavalry.  The SCA is a profoundly important part of my life, as is this barony, and I hope I can earn your support and trust over the next few months.



Elena and Dedric

Introduction: Lady Elena and Lord Dedric


SCA Resumes

Dedric’s SCA Resume: 

Started playing in 2008 in the Rhydderich Hael


o AoA

o Keystone (Aethelmearc Kingdom Level award for Service)

o Queen Anne (Rhydderich Hael Baronial Level award for Chivalry)

o Order of the Void (Baronial Level award for Service)


o Knight Marshal of the Rhydderich Hael for two years immediately preceding move to Carolingia.


o Heavy List (fought at the 2008 Pennsic after having been playing for only a few weeks)

o Illuminations

o Weaving

o Service

o Field Marshaling fighting events

o Field Marshaling for Youth Fighting, although he does not hold an active Warrant for this.


Elena’s SCA Resume: 

Started playing in 2001 in Carolingia


o AoA

o Daystar


o Secretary of Great Council from ~2004-2009 or so (I’m fuzzy on the dates-left right around move to Christopher’s for council)

o Minister of Lists from ~2009-2014

Interests (Past & Present)

o Embroidery

o Spinning

o Weaving

o Thrown Weapons

o Dance


On being Baron & Baroness: 


Best thing about the Society & Carolingia 

Dedric: The best thing in my mind is that the Society is built upon the idea of service towards others, and that that service is appreciated and recognized by the populous.

Elena: The ability to meet others who share a similar interest in history, and the ability to take that interest as far as the individual wants.  Not everyone has to play with the idea of becoming a Pelican, Knight, or a Laurel, but can still have fun learning & practicing the different activities in the Society.


“Magic Moments”

Dedric: When Elena walked across Pennsic the day after we met looking for me, not knowing exactly where I was camping, and having had to ask people for directions along the way.

Elena: Finding a person within the Society who truly has made me a better person in every way imaginable.


How should/would the Baron & Baroness be involved in the huge variety of activities in Carolingia? 

They should make an effort to rotate through all the activities at least twice a year, and develop an understanding of what efforts participants in the various activities put into their personal craft and how they use their activity to provide service to the barony.

They should actively solicit input from the members of the different activities as to which members might be eligible or long overdue for an award or other recognition that has not come to the attention of the Daystars, Moons, or Perseus.


How would you as Baron & Baroness use retainers? 

They would in some ways be our eyes & ears around the Barony to help us see things that are happening that we wouldn’t otherwise know about.

Help allow private conversations to take place at events as needed.

Provide support during court, including processing in and out.


How long would you plan to serve in this role?

We would plan to be in these positions for three years, and if we are still truly enjoying the experience at the end of that term, we would run again, allowing the populous to voice their opinion as well.  We feel a regular turnover or election process can only benefit Carolingia as a whole, as it allows new people, ideas, and structures a voice in the process.


Why do you think you would be good at these roles? 

We feel that between the two of us, we have an active interest in many different aspects of the Barony & Society as a whole, with Dedric being very active in Heavy List and Elena in non-competitive A&S activities, while both of us also have interests in other aspects as well.

We serve as a good partnership as we bounce ideas off of each other, with one partner putting every possible scenario on the table while the other provides a reality check, so to speak.


Thoughts on Carolingia: 


What do you feel the barony does well? 

A&S-extremely detailed & well researched

Being accepting of new people who have moved from another area

Face to face communication


What do you feel the barony needs to improve upon, how would you as Baron & Baroness work towards that 


o Rotating council between Towers, Boston proper, & Aschehyrst

o Have dedicated A&S time after council where people can bring dinner & schmooze

o Focusing on one form of web based communication-be it the FB group or the official Carolingian page, and if the bulk of our online presence is on the FB page, create a more visible link on the Carolingian page to allow newcomers easier access.

o Try & migrate the multitude of mailing lists to one discussion & one announcement list, barring those for polling orders, as was done in the past.  This would allow for everyone to see the huge variety of activities offered in Carolingia, and would hopefully encourage people to attend new to them practices and activities.

o Increasing the number of Carolingian events that are similar in nature to what Falling

Leaves & Mayday did for the Barony did in the past-all/many activities happening in one location, lots of time to schmooze & get involved.  Recent events at the German Club as well as the Georgetown site have gone a long way towards this, the Children’s Event in particular.

o Bringing in newcomers/retaining members who have had children or moved here from out of barony

o More children focused events/children’s activities happening at regular events so that it is not only a children v. non children event.

o Continuing the practice of welcoming newcomers into court & giving them a token.

o Giving newcomers a token at the beginning of the day when they check in that would be given during court to the established person who was the most welcoming or helped them the most during the day-the person who collects the  most of these during the year gets a special something at a specified event later in the year.

o Start a periodic baronial projects day for the populous to work on projects needed by the barony (thrones, banners, TW equipment, Archery targets, list ropes, etc.)  The idea is to be working TOGETHER during the day on a common project.

o Offer newcomers a $5 coupon to use at their next event off the regular site fee to offset the NMS in addition to the token given at court for being new.




Event Fees: 

We feel that a family cap on event fees is essential, as we want to encourage those with children to continue attending events.

Remind gate staff about who is exempt from NMS (children, students?, College students? Military?)

Is the NMS fund still in existence? If it is, how could we publicize it a bit more, if it isn’t, what can we do to mitigate this expense for the first 1-2 events a newcomer attends?  (This idea is still in the thought process, but we wanted to get it out there.)



We feel that it should be far easier to get a local baronial award than a kingdom award, and we would encourage the Carolingian orders to continue to induct all appropriate people.

Perhaps we need a less prestigious award than the Moon, Daystar, or Perseus that is given for service to the baron or baroness or the barony as a whole that is not a polling order, but is at the discretion of the current baron & baroness to acknowledge those who spend their time at events doing service at the expense of other activities they might enjoy. This could be for one exceptional bout of service to the barony or baron and baroness, or it could be for something that takes place over a period of time.

We would like to see a series of awards for children to promote good behavior, service, A&S, etc.  Perhaps a jr. version of the Daystar, Moon, Perseus specifically for those under 18, as right now the only explicit children’s award Carolingian children are up for is the Tyger’s Cub, which is Kingdom Level.  We want to encourage those with children to keep playing, and provide something for the kids in question to work towards so they in turn want to keep coming to events, which allows their parents to come to events.



Have non-children-specific events where children are encouraged to participate wherever it is safe for them to do so.

Have youth fighting at regular events

Have youth divisions of A&S displays (children would still be allowed & encouraged to participate in adult displays & competitions as well)

A baronial children’s champion, for one child who participates in & wins any children’s version of the adult championships-sort of a best in show.  They would not have to be proficient or interested in all activities, but show interest and dedication to one particular activity.

o Ideas: Potentially, if the Children’s Champion is for Archery, that child could be steward for current Archery Champion?  Same if they were chosen for the A&S activities. (This is very much a work in progress idea right now) See thoughts in awards.


If you could change three things, what would they be? 

More all encompassing local events

More weeknight practices that happen at the same location/time to allow for different groups to socialize together

Merging the mailing lists to allow for everyone to see what is going on with the huge variety of different activities in the barony.





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