Cover of the March & April Gatekeeper


During evening court at the birthday celebration of the Baroness Sorcha, Baron Tancred announced to those gathered that An Tir has declared war upon the Barony of Eskalya. Lands which have long been neglected by those of An Tir have been claimed by the Barony and are being contested! Those gentles assembled were understandably upset by the declaration and murmurs of anger at An Tir's presumption and delight at the prospect of war filled the hall. The Baron stirred hearts and blood with a rousing invocation to join the war council. The Prince of Oertha rose as his court began and proclaimed the support of Oertha through sworn fealty. Members of Skyfyre pledged their support to the cause with the understanding that they will not be required to kill the brethren of their household. Maiming, well... The hall resounded with cries of "blood makes the grass grow" as the Oerthan war banner was unfurled.

Oertha is about to go to war!! The fighters of the Barony of Winter's Gate are urged by this lady, the Consort, Charm and Inspiration of the current Champion of St. Boniface, to arm and prepare for the upcoming battle. It shall be a glorious event, full of honor, chivalry and glory!!
Let us lend our support and strength to our fellow Oerthans in support of Eskalya!!!!

Lady Tamitsa Katerina Evstokh'eva of Pavlosk Gavan

See "War in the North" letter below


Greetings all,

At the Feb. business meeting in Eskalya I distributed a letter titled 'What's Wrong Here?' and brought forward my concerns about how the West has treated Oertha and Her people, especially in relation to fencing. Quite a bit of discussion followed. It was universally agreed that what had been done was not right. Not a lot of discussion about where to go from here occurred.

That discussion is on-going throughout the Principality, both in personal conversations and via some emails making the rounds.

Anyone who would like more information, including source material and the letters/email being circulated or would like to be included in the email list, please let me know. I can be reached at (907) 243-3013 and

While looking over my files, His Highness, Sir Georg was shown the start of the following essay. It had been written some time ago in an effort to get someone more involved in this issue, but never actually published. He asked that I finish it and send it out. It's relevance to how the West has dealt, and is dealing, with period fencing is pretty clear.

On The Balance
Some Thoughts from Alfonso d'Strada

The SCA, like any social group, has always had to balance focus with openness.

Too focused and we would become like countless small historical groups whose membership doesn't reach past a day's drive. The members of those groups have fun, and they learn things about history and themselves. But their interests are too specific, their activities too limiting, to form a society that can grow to 5,000 members and last for more than 30 years.

Too open and we would lack the common ground that binds us into a group at all. Without its historical focus providing a skeleton, a guideline, and a common baseline, the SCA would have long since drifted apart. There are no 'Generic Honor & Courtesy Clubs' with international chapters, weekly meetings and national events.

The SCA has thrived because it has struck the balance well. It has become a home to many in a mobile society. Members can build skills and friendships on the East Coast and know that those same skills and friendships will have meaning on the West. Generations can grow and stay in the SCA because our children's interests do not have to be exactly the same as ours. Good people can make friends with others of like temperament without having to share like skills. We are bound more by our dedication to honor and courtesy than by any single interest in dancing or fighting, England or France, the Middle Ages or the Renaissance.

The question is: Where is the balance? What does and doesn't fit? If the SCA is to thrive it is a vital question that must be asked, answered and asked again frequently. Just as importantly, it must be asked and answered in the proper forum.

That forum is the whole of the SCA. All of us must be a part of defining what the SCA is and will be. No other answer protects us from breaking into incompatible splinter groups, no other answer protects the faith members have put in the Society - that their skills can travel with them. No other answer could have built the SCA we are concerned for and with today.

The SCA offers far more opportunities than any one person could pursue. People are free to use or ignore these opportunities. But no individual, no Barony, no Kingdom can ever be free to deny those opportunities to others.

War in the North

Unto Their Majesties, the King and Queen of An Tir, and Their Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Avacal
Greetings from Tancred and Sorcha, Baron and Baroness of Eskalya.
There are considerable lands to the north of Your Kingdom and Principality which were claimed in the past by An Tir and Avacal. These lands have been annexed by the Barony of Eskalya and are being held in fief for the Principality of Oertha and the Kingdom of the West.
The lands shall hereby be known as "Eastern Eskalya", and previously accounted for approximately one-half of the claimed territories of Avacal and one-third those of An Tir.
We hold no grievance with Avacal nor An Tir directly, and know Your realms to be well and justly ruled, populated by brave and skilled nobles.
As denizens of northern climes we believe it is proper for us to develop those lands which You have not been able to, and have therefore taken such action. In consideration of our respect for An Tir, its principalities and populace, we have offered to determine the final ownership of the lands in a fashion suitable for chivalrous and noble folk, that being through combat on the field of honor between our respective forces. As the annexed lands are expensive and time-consuming for many to travel to, such a war shall be held in the great port city of our Barony of Eskalya on the 13th through 14th of June A.S.
XXXIII, that as many may attend as choose to do so. As the bards of the Known World have told for many years, An Tirans will find Eskalya and Oertha to be generous and gracious hosts, and yet formidable foes on the battle field.
If an An Tiran war band does not appear on the date of this contest we shall assume that any claim made to the lands by An Tir and its Principality of Avacal have been withdrawn, and we shall inform Their Highnesses of Oertha and Their Majesties of the West that the assimilation of "Eastern Eskalya" into Oertha and the West is now complete.
We thank You for Your gracious time and consideration of our words.
By our hand this First day of March in the Thirty-second year of the Kingdom of the West. Tancred de Fraser, OL, OP
Baron of Eskalya
Sorcha Careman, OL, OP
Baroness of Eskalya
cc: The King and Queen of the West
The Prince and Princess of Oertha
Seneschallate: Eskalya / Oertha / West
General Distribution to West / An Tir populace

Greetings from the Stellanordica Scribe

As most of you may or may not know, there is a serious backlog of scrolls. I will be attending Thursday (Eskalyan) fighter practices and will be bringing scrolls along with me. Anyone who wants to Illuminate or do calligraphy is welcome to do so. All paints and pens will be provided. For anyone interested in trying out their talents that does not live in Eskalya, please contact me and we can arrange for scrolls to be mailed. Thank you for your time!

In Service to the Dream,
-Sir Richenza von Schlagen,
Stellanordica Scribe
Tish Wilde, 8500 Golden St. #1 - Anchorage, AK 99502

From Winter's Gate Yule

I told Matt that I would let the Known World know that he had burnt a castle at the Yule event, so here is my "report" of the incident:

The Cypriot wine merchants always sailed past the Crusader castle on their way back from Tyre. One evening, on their way home to Cyprus, they noticed a commotion around the castle. Bringing the boat around, they sailed a bit closer to see what the disturbance was. One of them, Manolis, cried, "Look at that!" A single Viking warrior seemed to have taken the castle and driven the inhabitants out. Now he stood next to a beautiful Saracen woman, who was trying to light a torch. "They're going to burn it!" said another sailor, who could scarcely believe his own eyes. Indeed, the Saracen woman tried several times to light her torch, but could not succeed. The Viking gallantly managed to get the torch lit. He proceeded to set the castle on fire, and danced in unholy glee at the sight of the enormous conflagration. Manolis spat over the side of the boat. "God's curse on those barbarians," he snarled. His companions muttered agreement. Then Manolis continued, "They always get the pretty women."

- Natalia Tomasovna

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