Unto Their Royal Majesties Alfar and Angharat do Sir ThorolfR Brandtsson, called Olfuss, and Her Ladyship Halla Vinagjafar Hrafnsdottir send greetings.
Three years have passed since we sailed the swan road from AnTir and came to the shores of Stormhold. This jewel of Lochac shone brightly and we have settled here among good friends who share the ideals of chivalry, courtesy, and honour, our Dream of the Middle Ages as they should have been. Please allow us to introduce ourselves more fully to your Royal Majesties in the interests of the Barony of Stormhold.
Sir ThorolfR began playing in the SCA as a young man in the Principality of Drachenwald, in Anno Societatus XXIV. His experience spans twenty-four years, serving and fighting his way through nine kingdoms as Baronial and Principality officers and warranted fighter and marshall. His passion for heavy armoured combat culminated in his elevation to the Chivalry, bestowed by AnTiran King Cedric Rolfsson in A.S. XLIII. While a squire to Sir Baron Brandt Sturrock, he earned the rank of Sergeant of Wealdsmere to Baroness Kelta nic Sturrock, which required ever increasing sacrifice of personal time in service to the Dream.
Sir ThorolfR is committed to serving his local group and kingdom, improving and teaching heavy armoured combat, applying himself to medieval Arts & Sciences, and gathering wordfame for himself, his Crew, his King and in honour of his lady wife.
Honorable Lady Halla Vinagjafar Hrafnsdottir was introduced to the SCA in A.S. XXXV by some university friends and fell in love with the atmosphere and camaraderie she found. It wasn't long before she found herself serving as list mistress and deputy seneschal to the Barony of Wealdsmere, volunteering to autocrat (steward) events, and caring for fighters and spectators as a waterbearer. A few years later she became a warranted fighter and squire to Sir Styrkarr Jarlskald, current Baron of Wastekeep in AnTir. Through the years, she has served on six royal retinues and studied Corpora and other governing documents thoroughly as she prepared to enter the trials for Sergeant of Wealdsmere prior to the move to Lochac. Her current research interests include sewing and other textile related arts of the Viking era, and motherhood.
With eyes wide open, do we hereby declare our intent to stand for Baron and Baroness of the Barony of Stormhold; to act for the Crown of Lochac in their absence, uphold her honour in word and deed, to protect and nurture her citizenry, enlarge her territory by encouraging new members and events, respecting her traditions, and strengthening her with a new perspective.
Unto the Populace of Stormhold do Sir ThorolfR Brandtsson, called Olfuss, and Her Ladyship Halla Vinagjafar Hrafnsdottir do send these words in response to the queries about their future intentions as Baron and Baroness of Stormhold, in service to the Dream and the Kingdom of Lochac.
How would you define a strong Barony and how would you go about strengthening Stormhold?
A Barony’s strength lies in its people. When you have committed players and dedicated members, it becomes possible to host regular events that appeal to a wide range of interests and caters for a variety of activities. A strong Barony has the support of its membership who share the responsibility of service and draws in new members by showing their genuine enjoyment of the SCA through demos, events and other activities.
To strengthen Stormhold, we intend to play to the Barony’s strengths – we have an enthusiastic martial community who can draw attention at demonstrations, and if this activity is supported by pageantry and displays of current and past research projects then we create opportunities for engagement with spectators. Through this engagement, we invite new members into the Society and introduce them to our Dream, which enables the group to continually develop and improve.
What are your short term plans for Stormhold?
Thinking of “short term” as being the first six months of our tenure, our focus will be on ensuring that our members are having fun in service to the Dream. Once we establish a foundation of fun, we can work together with officers and members to build this Barony with a shared vision.
What are your thoughts on Inspirational Equality and would it be acknowledged in your Court?
It would be unconscionable to consider excluding someone’s consort and inspiration, considering mundane and Society anti-discrimination legislation/policies and the inclusive nature of the SCA. We do not feel it is the place of the Baron and Baroness to dictate the source of inspiration for a person, but it is the place of the Baron and Baroness to act graciously and courteously to all as representatives of the Crown of Lochac.
Do you feel comfortable asking the Barony for help to not only fulfil your ceremonial duties, but to keep the group dynamic vibrant?
Not only do we feel comfortable asking the Barony for help, but we see it as our primary function to be in touch with the membership to present a shared vision. The Baron and Baroness are supported by the officers and people of Stormhold, so if we did not seek input from the group we would expect a certain amount of dissatisfaction.
To keep the group dynamic and vibrant, we need to know what the people of Stormhold see as valuable, entertaining and enjoyable. We would require recommendations from the people of Stormhold to ensure we recognise those who deserve it, and getting people to participate in our Court would be crucial to attracting people into these Current Middle Ages.
Where, as B&B, would you see the line between being responsible for the entire group, and people being responsible for their own interests/foci?
As Baron and Baroness, we represent the Crown to the group and the group to the Crown; meaning we provide local, familiar guidance to the Barony as the Crown changes every six months, and we provide updates to the Crown of the goings-on within their land. Since the SCA covers a broad range of interests, eras and cultures, we don’t feel the Baron & Baroness are responsible for the interests of individuals, but should encourage people to discover what interests them the best. As Baron and Baroness, we would support any and all interests of the people of Stormhold, facilitating events and activities that provide opportunities for new experiences.
What specific plans do you have involving attracting and keeping young people in the SCA?
As Baron and Baroness we intend to work with officers and players to develop events and activities that will appeal to a wide of interests, supporting the exploration of new ideas and programs that encourage youth participation which have seen success in other kingdoms of the Knowne World such as Youth Armoured Combat and School of Pages.
How will you support and encourage newcomers/growth?
One successful idea we have seen in action is to call forward and recognize those for whom it is their first SCA event, which includes the newcomer in the pageantry of the SCA and allows them to feel involved where they might otherwise feel like simply a spectator. As Baron and Baroness we can only pursue growth for the group with the support of the existing participants. As long as there are volunteers willing to put in the effort, we will support any and all activities directed to demonstrations or growing membership.
What teaching and learning events will be done?
As previously stated, we will support any event or activities that the group wants to host –Baroness Antonia conducted a survey which indicated interest in specific themes and so we will seek volunteers willing to teach or host those workshops or activities from within our local group and the wider kingdom.
Your tenure length?
In order to provide stability to the group, we would commit to an initial three year tenure as Baron and Baroness. At the beginning of the third year, we would submit ourselves to a polling of the populace to gauge the confidence in our conduct and whether the group would like us to continue as Baron and Baroness or to step down.
How would you deal with inappropriate or bullying behaviour from members of the populace to yourselves or others within Stormhold if it occurred?
Our first action would be to discuss the situation with all involved parties and if it becomes evident that the issue is not a mundane legal matter or dealt with in SCA policy, then we will proceed according to the dispute resolution process outlined in Lochac Kingdom Law.
How would you like to see bullying issues and bullies dealt with in the Kingdom?
We believe that Corpora and the SCA Sanction Guide, and the Kingdom Dispute resolution procedure are effective tools for a volunteer organisation to handle such matters. If the procedures are followed, there is authority at the Kingdom and Society level to intervene where necessary. If the bullying situation is extreme, it could be handled by mundane authorities as our corporate policies are subject to mundane law in all cases.
What/who would be your major supports during your time as B&B?
Primarily, we would expect the Officers of the Barony to be a major support as they are responsible for encouraging individual areas of the game within the group. We would rely heavily on Peers who reside within Stormhold’s boundaries for counsel and would actively seek positive relationship with each incoming Crown to ensure efficient communication. Aside from that, we recognise the support of all the residents of Stormhold is vital to our success as Baron and Baroness because, as we stated earlier, the strength of this Barony lies within its people.
What are your plans for encouraging the joining and retention of members with children to the Barony?
We would like to investigate the possibility of starting a Youth Armoured Combat program for school-aged children as well as the School of Pages which is designed to engage children through service and participation in the arts and sciences, instilling in them the values of the SCA from an early age. This participation is facilitated through the engagement of families, as this will not be operated as a child care system, but will simply provide some age-appropriate activities at SCA events.
What are your plans for activities and resources to entertain, educate and develop, children in the Barony, including pre-schoolers, junior primary school age, tweens, teens and older teens?
Similar to our response to the “teaching and learning events” question, we are committed to pursuing activities that the group is willing to support. If there are enough children of a certain age group regularly attending events, we will encourage volunteers to organise appropriate activities. However, we feel children are best served by the engagement of their parents, so we will seek the support of those families who would benefit from such activities.
What are your plans for the development and support of the outlying Cantons (e.g. Cairn Fell Ballarat) and the possible development of new outlying Cantons (e.g. Bendigo etc.)?
We would like to encourage growth whenever possible, so we would meet regularly with the Colleges, Canton, and prospective incipient groups to discuss how the Barony can support and sustain them. Similar to growth plans for the Barony, it will depend on the availability of the participants to conduct demonstrations and events where newcomers might attend, and as Baron and Baroness we would attend wherever possible to add pageantry and share our enthusiasm for the SCA.
What are your thoughts on the promotion and support of both target &/or combat archery within Stormhold?
As archery is a medieval pursuit, we support the inclusion and continued improvement for target and combat archery within Stormhold. There is always a large crowd at Monthly Bash wanting to shoot arrows at something or someone, so as Baron and Baroness we will continue to encourage participation, and creative formats for choosing the Baronial Archery Champion to challenge our expert shooters.