Ground Rules

This is THL Jerusha a'laon, your Virtual Herald.

This is my own space and the opinions on this blog are my own and are not in any way, shape or form those of the officers, Crowns and Coronets of Atenveldt. This is a free and open space for anyone who is interested in additional content from the Virtual Herald.

I'm not interested in having this blog become a political battleground. I just want to be able to serve my kingdom as well as have an outlet for the journalism and photography degree I got from Northern Arizona University. Please respect that.

All comments are subject to moderation and removal.


Grand Tournament of the Unicorn - The Virtual Herald moves to the Middle Kingdom!


As I announced on my Facebook page earlier, I have packed up my stuff and made my way to Celina, Ohio, which is part of he Middle Kingdom.  I now live within the borders of the Barony of Flaming Gryphon, Marche of Norborough.

This past weekend was the Grand Tournament of the Unicorn (GTU), which is a yearly event hosted by the Marche of the Unicorn, which comprises of the area around Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, which is about an hour and a half away from where we live.

I got us all prepared and we headed out early in the morning.  I had volunteered to help with Troll and had also signed up to retain for Her Majesty Serena.

I have decided to wait until I have several Midrealm events under my belt before doing any live coverage.  It's very important to me to understand how my new kingdom works before I feel comfortable reporting.

We got there and boy, am I glad I paid for parking!   The event was packed and there were also other events going on at the school that day.

One of the best ways to meet new people is to volunteer.  Hence the two hours I put in at the Event Registration table (oops, gotta start using the right terminology, ya know...;).  I got to meet Lady (now Baroness) Allegra, Master Phillip, HL Fiadnata and other folks who I've only interacted with online.

After my stint at Troll, I met up with Baron Zephyr, who took me to the lunch tavern and bought me a hot dog and some chips.  The event was in full swing, but the weather was a bit chillier than I was used to, so I went inside to eat my lunch.  I had the chance to meet Lady Muirenn ingen Fáelchon Uí Clerígh from the Barony of Shadowed Stars, which I learned is about the same distance as Flaming Gryphon and has practices on Sundays, which fits my schedule.
After that, it was time for me to find Her Majesty and start my first ever retainer shift.  I got to spend time with Her and His Majesty, who were very nice to me and made me feel welcome.  I also got reacquaint myself with Baroness Rosamund, who I met many years ago when I attended my first Pennsic and camped with her and her household.My shift mostly comprised of visiting the various vigils that were taking place at the event.  There were four elevations that day; two for the Pelican and one for the Chivalry and the Order of Defense. Machanna of Dark River, I got a chance to take pictures of his vigil book.  The gentle who made it did a great job and I especially liked seeing the translation that was provided.

 Once Their Majesties were done with visiting the vigilants, Her Majesty headed back to the Royal Room to get dressed in her court garb.  My replacement came in and I was released.

Back downstairs, I hung out with Baron Zephyr. He and I go *way* back and I hope that my moving out here will get him to come out and play some more.   In the meantime, he did what he does best, be sociable, helpful...and funny.

I had *planned* to go to the meet up with the Midrealm Photographers Guild, but the weather was beginning to act up and folks were starting to tear down and congregate at the hall where the classes were.  It was just as well.  I got to meet and have a lovely conversation with Baron Maximillian von Fallingbostel, who is the current Landed Baron of the Barony of Shattered Crystal. He was wearing the most splendid outfit.  The hat was pretty freakin' awesome too.

Soon, it was time to head over to Kumler Chapel, which was about a 20 minute walk from our current location, for court.  We chose to drive and when we got there... Holy S**t.  It is a beautiful Building.

We took our places and watched the processional.  I ended up sitting in the middle, as most of the front seats had already been taken when we showed up.  I'm going to try to get better seats in the future because while I could hear most of what happened (the acoustics are pretty awesome) I really couldn't see.  Thus, I only took a couple of pictures of the beginning of court, as well as the obligatory Court Selfie

There were definite differences between Court in the Middle Kingdom and in Atenveldt.  One of the first was that before court started, we were handed out a little pamphlet with the Russian and English translation of a traditional bylina that was sung during the processional.  It was based on Their Majesties' adventures at Gulf War XXV, which ended up being quite epic.  It was sung beautifully and I hope someone recorded it.

After the event, we cleared out pretty quickly, since we were hoping to get dinner and hang out with Baron Zephyr before heading home.  Unfortunately, the weather conspired against us and we ended up getting Wendy's drive through.  
Overall, I enjoyed my first event.  It felt odd not being in full Virtual Herald mode, but at the same time, I had the time to explore the event on my own terms.  For all the differences in style and wording, the same themes of Courtesy, Chivalry, and Camaraderie were in full effect.  Thank you to all who spoke with me and made my husband and I feel so welcome.  We hope to fully participate with time.

Next up is Keep Calm and Ceilidh On, which is at the end of April.  I'll be doing more work there, as I am the Herald in Charge as well as teaching a class.  

Until Next Time,

Jerusha VH 


The Virtual Herald Blogging, that is.

It's been almost two years since I've made a blog post.

After much thought, I realized that it's because I have figured out that the Face Book page format is the one that works best with the type of reporting I do.  Plus, if I need to do a post event court report (due to no internet reception or other considerations), I can simply type it out as a post.

Last month marked my fifth anniversary as The Virtual Herald and I'm just so tickled that something I started on a whim (and because I wanted to use my smartphone in court... thanks, Master Godfrey!) has blown up and become such an integral part of the Kingdom as well as the inspiration for other folks in other kingdoms as well.

Truly, it feels awesome to be The First (as far as I can tell).

So, with that, I figured I'd go back to blogging again.  I'd like to share my experiences with the SCA and my Kingdom that don't necessarily fit the format of the page.

Outside of the Virtual Herald, I'm quite the nerd/geek and also do a lot of service for both Atenveldt and Society.

So, feel free to read what I have to say and interact with me here.  I look forward to sharing #MySCA with all of you.

Jerusha VH


Mace and Greatsword 2013 Court Report

It was a crisp, cool day in the Barony March of Mons Tonitrus.  The night before had brought rain, but the day was looking to be clear and pleasant.  After getting up the various pavilions needed to house the populace, the various Coronets and the Crown, court was called to order.

The Barons and Baronesses processed in, Their heralds extolling their great qualities, followed by Their Majesties processional.

After some introductory announcements, the first ordTonitruser of business was the elevation of Lady Caoilfhionn to the venerable order of the Laurel.  This humble herald was able to secure footage of the ceremony and shares it with all.  Please forgive any errors in it's creation, for they are my own.  You can see the footage here.

Following this, Their Majesties chose to recognize Lady Francesca d'Aymonet for her tireless work in the background by making her a companion of the Light of Atenveldt.

Celestria inghean Rhodan was then called forth and recognized for her diligent efforts in photography and capturing the history of this kingdom (something I am all for!) and made her a Lady of Atenveldt.

Their Royal Majesties then recessed their court and Heinrich and Juliana opened their final court as Baron and Baroness of Mons Tonitrus.  After words of welcome, Their Excellencies got down to the task of recognizing and thanking all of the people who helped them during their reign.  Her Excellency gave personal items to exchanged for a more formal gift later to various members that were of invaluable service to her, including Bannthegn Christine and THL Wolfgang.

Then it was His Excellency's turn.  He gave out copper etched coins to various people whom he thanked, including Master Thomas de Lacy and Lord Takago.

Another member of the populace, Lady Miako, was made to stay so that she could be inducted into the Order of the Silver Morion for her efforts and skill in the art of rapier.

Following this, the Ladies in Waiting were called forward and thanked for their service.  Each was given a copper etched coin and released from service.  Lady Isabelle inghean Alastair was made to stay and inducted into the Order of the Sable Arrows for her efforts in target archery.

After the Baronial Guard was called forth and released with a gift of a copper etched coin, the various Barons and Baronesses in attendance came forth to present Heinrich and Juliana with parting gifts.  Highlights included a woven basket in the shape of a ship by Their Excellenies Zhigmund and Aleyd from Tir Ysgthir as well as lots and LOTS of booze.

In between presentations, the Baronial Officer Corps and Baronial Champions were called forth and released, each receiving a copper etched coin as a token of thanks.

Finally, when all was said and done, Heinrich and Julianna stood alone at their thrones.  They began to take off their coronets, when they were stopped by Their Majesties.  The Royal Court reopened and They bade their subjects to kneel before them.  A heartfelt moment was shared as Their Majesties, who have once held baronial thrones themselves, gave their most sincere thanks to Heinrich and Juliana for their service to the Kingdom and Barony.  They then removed the coronets from their brow and they process out to the acclaim of the audience.

After the audience calmed down, the Herald called forth the heirs.  A processional began as the Herald read out the names of all of the previous Barons and Baroness of Mons Tonitrus:

Heinrich and Juliana
Egan and Meadhbh
Charles and Christine
Seamus and Gwenlillian
Odinel and Judith
Philip and Selina
Duncan and Moire
Morgan and Angelica
Alwyn and Constance
Uchdred and Constance

As the names were called, either the former nobility walked past or a member of the populace holding the shield of one of the above named.  When they all entered the Royal Presence, those Thegns and Bannthegns present gathered around in a circle as Finn and Briged were called forth to take their place among them.  Finn and Briged were invested as the newest Baron and Baroness, but not before relinquishing their household and student obligations, which were done with tears of joy and promises to return.  The Baronial Mace was passed around to all the former nobility and then handed to His Excellency as a symbol of authority.  They took their oaths and swore fealty to the Barony and Kingdom.  Then, they stood and were introduced to the crowd with raucous applause.  Once they took their places on the Baronial thrones, The Royal Herald called for a ten minute recess before continuing on.

During this time, a group photograph was taken of the Barony's Lineage:

When Royal Court reopened, Their Majesties recalled Heinrich and Juliana and recognized them as Thegn and Bannthegn to the approval of the populace.

Then, Finn and Briged opened their first court.

It was a standard opening court, with words of welcome,the installation of the Court and Champions and the swearing in of the Baronial Officer Corps. Their Excellencies also received presentations from several of the attendant Barons and Baronesses as well. Highlights included Glow in the Dark Duct Tape, Baronial feast gear, and a cachet of scrolls for them to use for their awards.  They also installed Heinrich and Juliana to the Order of the Defenders of Mons Tonitrus.  They kept it short and sweet, stating that the would be going around throughout the day and thanking people in person for the assistance received for their investiture.

Once again, Royal Court opened and Their Majesties announced they had a couple of pieces of business that they wished to complete before beginning the day's tournaments.  They thanked the members of the military that were present as visitors to the Current Middle Ages and a round of applause was given for their service.

Duchess Larissa, an emissary from the Kingdom of Trimaris, came forth and provided a small token to Their Majesties from Their cousins in Trimaris.  She then spoke to the populace and gave an open invitation to all to attend Gulf Wars as guests of Trimaris.  She was then lauded by Master Sim the Herald, who kneeled down and advsised her that she was no foriegner, but at true woman of Atenveldt.  This was met with Fierce applause.

THL Johan Wolfgang von Hess was recognized for his dedication to the Arts and Sciences and was given a Fleur de Soleil.

Morrigan o' Menith was called forth and recognized for her 37 years in the Society with a LONG OVERDUE Award of Arms.

Finally, Lady Catherine Schlagel, Matriach of House DeLacy and one of the noblest, kindest women you could ever meet, was made a Commander of the Queen's Grace.

Court was closed and the tournaments began.  Congratulations to all those so honored.



Call for Panelists at Phoenix Comicon 2013!

I'm sending this out to all who might be interested in presenting at this year's Phoenix Comiccon! The Costuming Department is *very* interested in having panels in their schedule about SCA and Historical Costuming in general. They have asked me to put the word out to the Kingdom and Knowne Worlde! 

If you would like to present, please click on the link below and submit your proposal. Be Sure you put a note in the Scheduling section that Jo Stomel sent you. That way, it can get forwarded much faster. If you have any questions, please contact me via FB or email. I can't wait to see what the SCA can offer Phoenix Comicon!


Jo Stomel/Jerusha a'Laon


Congratulations to Crown Prince Ivan and Crown Princess Ian'ka of Atenveldt!


Atenveldt Crown Tourney Round 1: Call to Glory

The Chivalry lined up in OP order on one side, the non belts on the other.  His Majesty invited the following non belted fighters to move to the Chivalry side of the Roster:

Lord Marek the Jew
Master Thomas Godefroy
Lord Einar (aka Bamm Bamm)

Once the Chivalry side intoduced themselves and their consorts, the non betlts came forth, introduced their consorts, and chose their first fight.  All of the consorts recieved a rose from Her Majesty to commemorate their participation in the Tournament.

The list of bouts are as follows:

THL Franbald vs. Sir Casca
Lord Stefan vs. Duke Arthur
Lord Nikita vs. Sir Donnegal
Lord Alister vs. Sir Ivan
Lord Maghus vs. Count Thomas
Lord Jakob vs. Thegn Morgan
Lord Osric vs. Sir Oslaf
Lord Michael vs. Duke Eduard
Lord Ingvarr vs. Viscount Sterling
Sayidda Mariyah vs. Sir Silvestro
Lord Seved vs. Sir Valora
Lord Ruadhan vs. Lord Einar (Bamm Bamm)
Lord Tiberius vs. Lord Marek
M'lord Alaric vs. Master Thomas

M'lord Marcus, who is the last fighter on the list, introduced his consort.  With the Crown's permission, Sir Brian the Pious, Baron Granite Mountain, came forth and honored him with a red belt, making him his squire, much to his suprise.

His Majesty then called forth Duke Phelan, who will serve as the *destructive* by-fighter for the first round.  Since Phelan was the one who Knighted Sir Brian, this was looked upon by the populace with approval.


Fall Coronation Report - the Ascension of Tristan II and Damiana II


Right after Her Majesty Damiana was crowned and proclaimed, I realized I wouldn't have enough power in my device to report on their opening court.

As is tradition in this kingdom, once the Queen is proclaimed, the various oaths of service and fealty were administered.  Their Majesties began with the Landed Barons and Baronesses, explaining that they felt it was important to acknowledge their role as stewards of the Crown's lands.

Following this, the Peerage made their oaths, starting with the Chivalry.  Those peers who do not swear fealty but wish to acknowledge and wish the Crown well came forth and shared drink, with Master Balldrich, the sole Master of Arms in attendance, making a short speech.

The populace came forth to swear their oaths, followed by the officers of the kingdom.

Once the Coronation court was closed, the official court was opened and Their Majesties were proclaimed by the crowd.  His Majesty Tristan came forth and spoke of the themes he wished to express during his reign.

He began by acknowledging that the King of the East was the true Storm King, due to a little girl named Sandy that packed a nice punch (and delayed the delivery of Countess Ilora's scroll, made in its entirety by Maestra Alex the Scribe, Signet Emeritus of Atenveldt).  Being the good sport that He is, he decided to name his reign the "Revenge of the Weather King" instead, the acclaim of the populace.  To start out his reign, He and Her Majesty gave out little packages containing ponchos to the Barons and Baronesses as well as the crowd.

After the laughs died down, talk became more serious.  He spoke of how the Society is a huge family and the difference between Blood and Chosen Family.  He reminded the people that we as a Kingdom are a large chosen family and to enjoy each other and never forget to acknowledge and thank them for being part of your life.  He spoke in sadness of those who could not join us and asked us to keep them in our hearts.

Following this, the Senior Members of the court were introduced and the Guards and Ladies asked to come forward to receive their favors, which were blue satchels with the Aten Sun painted on the cover.

Her Majesty Damiana came forward and spoke.  She stated that They would make a concerted effort to ensure that as many people as possible were thanked for their work in the Kingdom, whether at court or in private.  She then called forward the gentles that worked on the garb that Their Majesties were wearing today.  Mistress Francesca, who was the lead for the project, was given a book of patterns for her service.  Lady Rosamand and Lady Margaret who worked on the embroidery, were given jewelery.  Also thanked and given largesse were Baroness Eahba for her work in making the guard and lady favors for the court  as well and Lady Norah for her services as Site Steward and Baroness Saba for organizing the Soup Kitchen lunch for the day.

Thegn Morgan and Bannthegn Elizabeth came forth with a small presentation of a little snowglobe with a monkey in it.  His Majesty made a great show of playing with it.

Thomas and Illora came forth to collect their due for having served the kingdom with their first reign.  Count Thomas' scroll was made in its entirety by Mistress Dairine and Countess Ilora was inducted into the Ladies of the Rose by the assembled Royal Peeresses, being given several rose pendants to begin her collection.

Finally, Their Majesties spoke of Estrella War and their wish for all of the troops to be a sea of blue and yellow.  As an incentive, they stated that they would be looking to give out the Esprit de Corps award to the best dressed fighting unit at this year's war.  They rolled out the fabulous banner made by Sir Valora that would be given to the winning unit.  They also stressed that this award was NOT limited to units from Atenveldt and that ANY UNIT from ANY KINGDOM was eligible to win the prize.  This made Princess Mari of Cynagua smile.

Court was then recessed.  Before doing so, Their Majesties stressed that court would not close until the end of their reign.  Court could happen at Any Time during a Kingdom Event.