Cover of the January & February 1999 Gatekeeper

If you don't receive the paper copy of the Gatekeeper, you missed Da'ud Bob ibn Briggs'
review of the movies "Muppet Treasure Island", and "Elizabeth".

- - Announcement - -

Con mac Airt is on his way back to India to check on our claim that he made last year. On his way back he will be going to the great Holy Land, Israel. My Lord will check on how the crusades are proceeding. Please return to me safely. I love you! - Lady Conandil Glass

To "Pillage and Plunder", by Drottin Grimr

- 12th night in Winters Gate -


My family and I received a very warm welcome in the cold north. We arrived at the lovely home of Magda and Rutger, and met many of the nice people in Winter's Gate. The house was decorated beautifully for Christmas, and a sumptuous table awaited us. There were many delicious dishes, including various meat and vegetable dishes as well as Magda's wonderful monkey melon, the Baroness's shortbread, cherry/nut bread, and Jack Daniel brownies, yum.
There was a Chinese Auction, that was great fun. We have found that we are the only ones with children, and Conandil made sure that there were gifts that they too could enjoy.
After much visiting, feasting, and merriment. We made our way to our apartment, feeling that we have indeed found a new SCA home.
-Lady Taura

Feast of Long Nights Report

Moroedd Oer (Kotzebue, AK) Having occurred November 14-15, XXXIII (1998 c.e.) The Feast of Long Nights, the Canton of Moroedd Oer’s third event, was a smashing success. Originally proposed by Kareina and Autocratted by Khevron, a date was chosen in the event-light month of November, and firmed up after conspiring with Their Highnesses Richenza and Joseph to enable our first Royal presence! While Her Highness did not make it, His Highness arrived the morning of the event, having missed the medieval dance we held the night before.
The Feast was RSVP, although we accepted several reservations quite late, due to the enthusiasm. Strangely, due to scheduling and illness, much of our “active” populace couldn’t actually make the event. But, having publicly advertised the event, many new people turned up very interested, and our Troll Gate admitted 30! One reservation alone was for an extended family of 13! Seven paid SCA members were in attendance (not counting His Highness). Everyone present was in garb—those who didn’t have their own borrowed from Khevron, Kareina, and Shana. Masranna (Leslie) had borrowed a gown from Kareina the night before, but decided that it “looked easy” and quickly made one just like it for herself with material she had on hand. This left the original gown available for someone else to borrow.
The whole of the event went so well that the autocrat hardly had to do anything during the event. It was, of course, a primarily feasting event, and feasting we did! The feast was wonderful, and it was difficult not to stuff ourselves on the first remove, and even though the kitchen crew had planned to feed only 25 gentles, there was plenty to eat. Most of the dishes were raved over, and devoured accordingly. Khevron taught dances between removes, and Kareina also left the kitchen long enough to teach one. The Prince held a brief court, heralded by Camerlyn, during which he presented the award token for the Baronial Silver Swan Arts award to Kareina previously awarded token-less in Winter’s Gate. The Autocrat thanked the Prince for his gracing us with his presence, and presented “site tokens” to all of the participants in the form of miniature hand-made dagger-necklaces of steel and caribou antler, made by a local artisan/friend especially for the event. Some youngsters received leather shield-necklaces.
Many of the new faces at the event sound very interested in the SCA. In fact, one lady (Beverly) got into borrowed armor the Sunday after the event, whereat Prince Joseph lent his expertise to the canton’s several fighters in armor.
Those gentles in attendance who had previously heard of the SCA were invariably surprised to find an SCA branch here in Kotzebue! -Khevron –Autocrat

The Feast of Long Nights

a perspective from the Kitchen

For me the feast preparation started days in advance. Once we'd gone shopping to acquire all of the needed supplies there were chickens to boil to make the broth, bread to bake to make bread crumbs, and filling to mix for the tartlettes. The day of the feast I was on site early, around one o'clock to begin the actual cooking. I was joined by several volunteers, Camerlyn (Sherry), Masranna (Leslie), Lawrence (Santé), Phaedra, and Alora (Ariel). Without their diligent help and that of everyone else who contributed their time and effort, the feast would not have been possible!
The first order of business was turning the bread dough into rolls. From there the pace picked up a bit as the other dishes were started. Throughout the afternoon and evening kitchen was a hum of activity, with things being chopped, mixed, and cooked. Yet it all came together in time to begin serving. As the time for the event to open drew nigh we'd managed to get the first remove just about ready to serve.
We gave the populace an hour or so to get assembled, and I'm told that they played games or visited amongst themselves while they waited. Many more people wandered into the kitchen to volunteer for a few minutes, or for the evening. Minnie and several other students from the high school donned tabards and volunteered their time in exchange for classroom credit from the home economics teacher (thanks Stephanie for giving your students that incentive!).
With more volunteers from the populace, especially amongst the younger folk, the first remove was distributed to one and all. We kitchen crew got a short break to sample our efforts before returning to the kitchen once again to work on the next remove. I'm told that the populace was entertained by learning dances, and general merriment. Once again the servers carried forth a full meal, once again we left the kitchen to enjoy our food, and then again into the fray, the third and final remove to complete! All in all we kept food coming out for three solid hours, and although everyone was warned to eat lightly and save room for the later removes, I'm sure that there were a few full bellies before the last of the food was presented.
Additional thanks to Master Cariadoc
and his fine web-page for recipes used for this feast:

To "For Baron Tancred", by Drottin Grimr

An overview of the Evolution of Plate Armour

In the late 14th century, the Globose breastplate became the standard armour of the well to do. Along with a long sleeved Jupon (gambeson) full legs, and a pig faced bascinet, the Globose breastplate made up "knightly" armour of the late 14th century. In time, the smiths learned more complex methods, and a lower plackard and fauld were added to the globose breastplate to protect the wearer more fully. This necessitated the Jupon to be worn under the armour, rather than over it, and thus, the arming doublet was born. The early 1400s saw some of the first "true" plate armour. For the first time in history, knight truly wore "shining armour" onto the battlefield. One of these early surviving suits is simply a low plackard and fauld strapped to the upper breastplate with three straps in the front and back. Nothing like the more graceful suits from the mid to late 1400s, but it was a start. At this point in history, there were two major centers of armour production, Milan and Germany. Although armour had always been made in these places, the differences between the styles became so extreme as to warrant distinction.
Milanese armour from the mid 1400s was distinguished by smooth rounded lines and pure functionality, they were lightweight and practical fighting suits. Other distinguishing features are upper and lower breastplates which are strapped together with leather vertically, and hinged with steel front to back. In addition, the Germans used either the Armet, or the Great Sallet (mistakenly called a Barbute) or Venetian Sallet. Some big names in the Milanese armour industry were the Missaglia Family in the 1400s and the Negroli Family in the 1500s.
The Germans took a different direction, their armours were highly fluted, and ornamented with brass. The Germans also perfected the Sallet and Bevor. One important distinction between German and Milanese breastplates are the upper and lower pieces of the German breastplate were riveted together on a sliding rivet, allowing vertical movement, but not side to sie, and then the breast and back plates were strapped together with buckles. In general, German harnesses tended to have sharp lines and narrow waistlines, a reflection of contemporary artwork which is why this armour is also called Gothic Armour. In the field of Gothic armour Lorenz Helmschmied was a noted armourer whose work is probably the most famous example of this style.
In either case, both types of armour were designed to resist bladed weapons which still dominated the field in the mid to late 1400s. The triumph of gunpowder was fast approaching, and by the 1500s comfortable and eclectic plate and mail armours of the 1400s gave way to heavy, bulky armours "of Proof" which often had been tested against musket balls prior to their sale. The skill of the armour was pushed to its limit, and finally, the entire body could be covered with plate. Areas like the neck and the armpits which 15th century armourers had covered with mail, could be covered with well engineered and flexible plate defenses. In fact these armourers had pushed their skills so far ahead of their time that NASA studied an early 16th century foot combat harness of Henry VIII to learn how to cover a human completely with a rigid materiel. Guns quickly outperformed the skill of the armourer, and by the 17th century, most soldiers were only issued a pot helm and a thick breastplate. The knight in shining plate armour only existed for about two hundred years, from the late 1300s to the late 1500s, but despite his short appearance, the knight in shining armour has left his mark on the way we think about the mediaeval battlefield.

Brewers Guild Competitions for the next 13 Months!!

The Southern Branch of the Oerthan Brewers' Guild would like to announce brewing competitions for the next 3 Coronets.
Winter Coronet A.S. XXXIII (January, 1999) - Brews to Warm Ye - Warmed drinks (both an alcoholic and non category.)
Summer Coronet A.S. XXXIV (July, 1999) - Ales with separate categories for Pales, Ambers and Browns.
Winter Coronet A.S. XXXIV (January, 2000) - Meads and Melomels
Remember the mantra: Documentation, Documentation, Documentation.

Additionally, I would like to encourage entries to brewing competitions in Central Kingdom (as we hope to receive competition from outside.) In light of this, I am sponsoring a Fruit-flavored Cordial competition for Baroness' Birthday/Baronial Changeover February 6 to prepare us for the same competition at the Mists Spring Coronet (April 2-4); and Light Ales for St. George's Feast Day on April 24 to prepare for the Mists Spring Investiture (May 15.)
Good Brewing!
Seobhan Irvin of Drum,

End -- The Gatekeeper January & February, A.S. XXXIII (1999)

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