Hello Debatable Lands! Salve Accolens!
Ballots for the current Baronial election are anticipated to be mailed by the beginning of February. They must be mailed back or hand delivered, sealed, in the provided envelope to Baron Brandubh, and received IN HAND by 4:30pm on Sunday, April 2nd. Do not write your name on the ballot. Please watch the blog for updates and reminders.
Below are statements from the three candidate pairs. To read the Baronial Election policy, see section VII.G. of our Baronial policies here. Contact Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda at Baron@debatablelands.org if you have questions.
We are Sir Maghnus de Cnoc an Iora (Joel Welling) and Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres (Lee Hillman).
Sir Maghnus (he/him) joined the SCA in 1979, while a graduate student at Pitt, and has lived in the Barony-Marche since then. Over his four-plus decades in the Barony, he has served as the Earl Marshal of Cour D'Or, the Seneschal of the Principality of Æthelmearc, Exchequer of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, and has "lost more Crown Tourneys than any combattant in the kingdom, a record that is likely to stand indefinitely." He was knighted in AS 25 (1989) and inducted into the Order of the Pelican in AS 34 (1999). His current interests still include heavy weapons fighting and siege. He is also a deputy kingdom seneschal for special projects (COVID safety).
Gwendolyn (she/her or he/him) (AKA Eiliueth verch Llewellyn Sutor de Gwynedd) encountered the SCA in 1989, in the Marche of the Thistle (Midrealm), spent summers in the Barony of Thescorre, and moved back to Thescorre permanently following a brief period in the Shire of Mynydd Seren (Midrealm). She has been at various times a pursuivant, chronicler, dance mistress, choir master, fencer, Baronial Bard, and Baronial Chatelaine, and served many reigns in Æthelmearc as retinue and Sylvan Bard. Despite spending 10 years outside of kingdom borders (Boston, MA area), she served as Clerk of the Fleur D'Æthelmearc for four years, and often traveled back to the Debatable Lands for visits. Gwen moved to Pittsburgh in 2014, joined the Choir, and has served as the social media deputy since about 2016. She is currently Clerk of the Laurel, (elevated AS 47 (2017)). In addition to the arts, Gwen is also a deputy seneschal for special projects, an active member of the siege community, and has twice been Fleur D'Æthelmearc Herald.
Maghnus: Look, none of this history stuff actually matters. It’s not like if we get elected, I’m going to be saying “Oh, this exact same thing happened back when I was Barony Exchequer way back before there were airplanes and computers!” The only thing I think you can get from our SCA resumés is that we’re enthusiastic about the Barony and have been for a long time. And we are, and we have. For my part, I think the big worry is that I’m really into combat and ballistas (ballistae?) but I might ignore the rest of the Barony. My statement now is that I won’t, or at least I’ll try my best not to. I promise. Please note that I do plan to continue entering Crown Tournaments, and you never know- it might go better than it did the previous 40 times.
Gwen: Other considerations in the "know what you're getting" category: My worry isn't that Maghnus "only" cares about fighting; it's that our organizational skills can be disjointed, since we don't co-habit and as many of you know, Maghnus's relationship with time and deadlines is…interesting. Also, we are pretty involved with our household and clan (Gwen more so than Maghnus), which will mean juggling responsibilities a bit more, especially at Pennsic. But we have some complementary skills, and for my part, I will make it my mission to make sure Maghnus doesn't sleep through court.
Maghnus: She will have her work cut out for her on this point.
Why we wish to serve: Quite simply, we felt a calling to serve in this way. We're at a point in our SCA lives and careers where we want to give back to the Barony some of the joy that it has brought us. We're quite aware of the work involved, the risks, and that we have different philosophies about what counts as "the fun parts," and yet, we did not drop out when given the opportunity. Maybe if we were more sensible, we would have withdrawn, but we felt compelled to run the risk of being entrusted with this responsibility. If elected, we will not be perfect representatives, but we will be conscientious stewards.
Plans for the Barony: Don't break anything? That's about it, though we're also interested in learning what people think is currently broken or could use a fresh perspective. If elected, we plan to stay for 3-4 years and probably not much more. One big change that election would mean for us personally is that we have never camped with the Barony; we will need support to help keep the camp at least as functional as it has been under the tenure of Master Broom as reeve. Maghnus would like to request baronial populace Flash Cards to help overcome his face-blindness and train up his tragically failing memory. Gwen would like to build on and expand our reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place.
Salve accolens most noble and esteemed people of the Barony of the Debatable Lands!
In the past eight years, we have participated in the SCA in vending, fencing, bardic, scribal, moneying, brewing, archery, and teaching. We've done these things because they bring us joy. Similarly, the opportunity to serve our Barony and the community we love brings us joy as well, which is why we decided to accept our nomination to this position.
As we are both members of the LGBTQ+ community, and Prima is a POC and has an invisible disability, the issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are close to our hearts. We both spend significant time in our personal lives to educate and advocate on these topics, and we would be happy to bring these skills and experiences with us as Baronesses. The BMDL has made tremendous strides in this direction already, and we hope to continue this through leading by example, making ourselves available to everyone who wants to talk about DEI or other issues, and other initiatives to encourage positive change.
We will do our best to pursue ways to serve the Barony and its populace, to grow the SCA, and give back to our beloved community.
We became active members of the barony in 2015. After attending a few months of archery practices, one of our first events was Pennsic, and we have been striving to make our group a fun, safe, comfortable place where everyone can enjoy it as much as we do.
Together, we have won the honor of calling ourselves Cast Iron Chefs. We have had the pleasure of baking period and mundane pies and cookies to feed the populace and for the barony's competitions. We have represented the Barony to the general public in the St. Patrick's day parade and at several demos.
Since then, Arthes has served as the deputy exchequer for 3 years and as the exchequer for 4 years, and is now working with the office of the chatelaine. Arthes has attained scored ranks with three different forms in archery and is a marshal in training. She has been head troll for many events. She has run the silent auction at 12th Night for several years. She has been the head cook for several events before COVID, and made sure we had a safe meal to eat at our barony party during this Pennsic. She is still a novice fighter, since taking some time off due to pregnancy, but she is eager to get back to it soon. While she does not sing alone, Arthes enjoys adding her voice to the chorus at bardic circles and at Pennsic.
Skjold has served as deputy chronicler for 2 years and as the chronicler for 4 years. Skjold has attained the rank of master Bowman on the archery field and has served as Barony archery champion and represented the Barony as at seven pearls and Pennsic. He served the community by becoming an MoL, and by being a marshal for archery and heavy fighting. He has been training in German longsword techniques, and is continuing his journey to mastering fencing. He has competed in the Iron Comet challenge, and to be the barony's bardic champion.
We are hoping as the seated representatives of the barony to ensure the language revolving around the office is inclusive to any member of the SCA.
We want to work with the populace to create more structure and recognition paths for our youth.
We want to support everyone to pursue their passions with regard to the SCA, and to share that with one another. There are many parts to this; but the most important is that we want to be there as much as possible to encourage both our martial communities and our artisans to showcase their work and skills and to make sure that everyone in the community is seen. We want to continue the monthly tournaments at martial practices to encourage community within the barony as a whole.
We want to support the kingdom, and our fellow baronies with the wealth of knowledge and service that the members of our barony have, to support the growth of all of Æthelmearc.
We want to work to help meet potential new members where they are. We want to empower the chatelaine's office to explore new routes to be visible. We want to work to include younger members of the SCA, especially those who may want to be involved but not have consistent weekends off. We want to work with other officers and the populace to find ways around the possible financial hurdles young adults may encounter when considering if our hobby is a good fit for them to encourage the continuing growth of our organization.
Most of all, we want to represent our populace well, and to be their champions and advocates to the rest of the known world.