Prior News from their Excellencies

February 2024

Hello Altavia!

It’s been a rainy, wet start to the year, with practices as possible between the wet days. While Consorts Champion was sadly postponed due to the rain, we had a great Unbelted, with over 60 fighters!

We have a busy month coming up with tournament season continuing. We are looking forward to Rapier war this weekend, and hoping for mild weather. We are also planning on taking part in Lyondomere Arts and Archery on Feb 24th and Crown Tournament on March 2nd. We look forward to enjoying a nice variety of formats, and seeing a bunch of people there!

In service to the dream,
Baroness Amabel Radleigh
Baron Griffith von Bremen

January 2024

Greetings one and all.

It has been a relaxing month as far as events go, though I’m certain more than a few of us have been busy in preparation for upcoming events. Like the lovely Largesse that we were able to present to TRM’s. It was a nice break that helped most of us catch up with projects and temper our sense of decency in expectation of my ramblings. 😛

This last weekend was the Coronation of the newly established King and Queen, Tryggr & Mercedes. They’ll certainly put the T&M in TRM’s. It was a delightful (and tense) moment in the ceremony that had many of us at the edge of our seats in anticipation. We bid farewell to the former Crowns and welcomed the new in Caidan fashion.

We look forward to seeing what you accomplish at future events. Such as: Winter Weekend, Consort’s Champion, Unbelted, Festival of the Rose! We know you’ll make this Reign, one(among many) to remember.

Here in Audacious Service to the Dream
THL Griffith Von Bremen, RRE.
– – – and – – –
THL Amabel Radleigh, the Amazing.
(and not just because she let me write this unsupervis…*CLANG!*)

December 2023

Hello Altavia!

We started off the Yule season at Medieval Marketplace with some holiday shopping and a fun armored and rapier practice day.

Then began the many Yules! I know many of our populace attended celebrations in other Baronies, as well as our own shared Angles/Altavia Yule, which hosted many guests from other Baronies as well. The celebrations have brought a wonderful warmth and cheer to the end of the year.

We want to extend a thank you to everyone who made Angels/Altavia Yule amazing!

Griffith and I had a wonderful time seeing everyone, and getting to hear all of the bardic performances.

It was very special to get to present Briana MacCabe and Niko Phaistos with the Starre and Stone, which was greatly deserved by each of them. Lynette de Sandoval spoke at length on their many contributions to the society on behalf of the Order, and we presented the Starre and the Stone medallions which were made by Mistress Selene Colfox. We were able to add to the presentation with custom scrolls and dragons by E’tain inghean mhic Carthaigh for each of them.

Special thanks to Baron Jethro for feeding the head table and tons of other people as well, showing once again the generosity that lead to his receiving the Legion of Courtesy.

Thanks as well to Fara MacGregor, Niko Phaistos and Dame Gorandookkt Mamigonian for stewarding the event! A congratulations to Liam MacGregor who also received a Legion of Courtesy, and was seen throughout the event, always landing a hand and helping things run smoothly.

Coming up in the next month we have Coronation on January 6th in Angels, and we would like to put together a presentation of largesse for the incoming royals, as well as a thank you presentation to outgoing Royals. We would ask the populace to start thinking about what they would like to contribute to these. Please reach out to Baroness Amabel with any largess contributions or ideas. We are looking forward to the new year starting off with coronation.

In service to the dream,

Baroness Amabel

Baron Griffith

November 2023

Hello Altavia!

The last month brought many things, amongst them, our Agincourt Archery Tournament! We were thrilled to have a talented bunch of archers come out and compete and are proud to have Sibylla and Tomaso as our Archery and Thrown Weapons Champions.

The Fretted Fork was a delicious success, with Fyvie as our Period Division Champion, Cecilia as the Open Division Champion and Caterina as the People’s Choice Champion.

In addition, the Baronial family has grown again this month and we have new Cousins! While we were unable to make it down to Calafia to welcome in Torsteinn and Asa, we are excited to have them join the Baronage, and look forward to seeing the Barony continue to thrive under their leadership.

This past weekend a large contingent of Altavians traveled north to Naevehjem for their anniversary. Quite a few of us were hosted by the ever generous Trinity Abby, and we were joined by even more Altavians in our double stacked Altavia/Legion Dragonwing shades, which felt very appropriate for a Frost Dragon event. Thank you to all who made the journey, attending both the rapier and armored combat tournaments as well as the archery tournament the next day.

We are looking forward to the next month, which includes our joint Angles/Altavia Yule which we would love to see you all at.

I’m service to the dream,

Baroness Amabel
Baron Griffith

October 2023

Hello Altavia!

The last month brought us art, tournaments and War, as well as new Baronial Cousins.

We started off with Angles Anniversary, where we got to welcome Jethro and Katerina as the new Baron and Baroness of Angels. The day was wonderful, with fighting, and arts, as well as Peerages being offered to friends. It was a joy to see Baroness Rosin and Avenel be asked to join the Order of Defense, and Baroness Regnailt be asked to join the Order of the Pelican.

Before War, we had our monthly Arts and Sciences class, which Baron Christoph ran, and did a wonderful job of introducing us to screen printing, and giving us the chance to create Altavian favors. He will be running another class this month delving further into screen printing our own designs, and introducing block printing.

At Great Western War, we had a wonderfully full encampment, with many of the populace camping with us, and others dropping by to say hello and hang out under the merciful shade tree. Baron Griffith worked with one of our newest fighters, getting him authorized, and on the field to experience melee! We were well represented in tournaments, with our very own Don Nathaniel winning the Valkyrie Rose Tournament, which was debuting its new time slot on Friday afternoon to allow for more Roses to be present, and a long, full list of Roses and Fighters turned out for the new time.

On Saturday we got to not only watch Rosin be elevated to the Order of Defense, The Bards of Altavia sung the CAID fight song to herald her in upon request, and it was an honor to get to be part of such a wonderful ceremony, and our bards performed beautifully.

Thank you all for such wonderful memories at Great Western War, and we look forward to what the next month brings for us, starting with our yearly archery tournament at Agincourt this weekend.

In service to the dream,
Baroness Amabel
Baron Griffith

September 2023

The year moves on and brings us closer to War!

We’ve had one war (Highland!) But we’d like another! Great Western War is coming up, and we’re looking forward to seeing people there. We’ve got a bunch of people signed up to camp with Altavia, and it’s looking to be an exciting event.

We had a productive month, with our arts and sciences continuing with a tunic making class by Monique. We took an extra day and got them all assembled and ready to wear! Next class we’ll be meeting up with Christoph who will be teaching block printing. We’ll be decorating the tunics we just made, but if anyone would like to join us, bring something else you would like to stamp!

It was a busy month, with an event every weekend, and a great variety of events. Calafia Rapier tournament, Festival of the Rose, Pirate Tourney and Crown gave us a great variety, with something to interest everyone.

We will be welcoming our new cousins at Angles Anniversary and Investiture this weekend, and hope many of you will join us under the shade of the dragonwing and on the field in the tournament this weekend to welcome Jethro and Katerina as the new Baron and Baroness of Angels.

In service to the dream,
Baroness Amabel
Baron Griffith

August 2023

My fellow Altavians, Rejoice!

We’ve served as host to many guests and instructors from other baronies at our practices whose tutelage has inspired growth on both fields. Thus far with new people attending semi-regularly. As well as starting up our A&S in the first of a series of Tunic making & decorating classes, taught by our own Magnificent Monique.
Fret not, there’ll be plenty of upcoming events for Altavians to Represent. Such as Festival of the Rose, Academia, Pirate Tourney, Highland War, and Crown Tournament. We look forward to future events and the joy they bring you. Let us know if you need anything.

Here to Serve,
Your B&B besties, Griff & Amabel

July 2023

Hello Altavia!

We have had a busy month, from June into July, with lots of practices, activities, events and participation!

We started off with our first scribal get together in a while, with a small gathering to learn and chat. One of the scrolls that had illumination started that day was even presented at Coronation!

The next week we held a Largesse night, with members of the barony helping to create leather bottle holders to gift at crown to remind and help people to stay hydrated at events.

Gyldenholt Anniversary was a delightful, fun event with a great turnout of Altavians. We even had our own Niko Phaistos and Ceallach mac Uilliam, a frequent visitor at our fighter practices in the finals for rapier, with Niko winning the day and becoming the new champion for Gyldenholt.

Our first Arts and Sciences class was taught by Monique, who shared her knowledge of Canning with us, and walked us through steam canning apples. It was a fun day, and we’re so excited that we have a full schedule of arts and sciences classes scheduled for the upcoming months, thanks to Edith, who has recently stepped up as A&S officer.

And of course, to end off the month, we had Coronation down in Calafia, where we were able to watch Their Royal Highness Wilhelm Skallagrimmson and Lorissa du Griffin step up as our new King and Queen, as well as field two boastful (as requested) presentations of largesse to both incoming and outgoing Royals. Thanks to the people, vervelle and horn fanfares, flags, and speeches, we think we quite nicely embodied the Altavian motto of “Theater, not Drama”

We look forward to upcoming events with our wonderful Barony

In Service to the Dream,

Baron Griffith von Bremen
Baroness Amabel Radleigh

June 2023

One month in, and we’ve had a great, busy time!

First off, thank you everyone for your support, help and congratulations at Altavia Anniversary. It was such a fantastic day, with all sorts of arts and sciences being shown off, from Bardic to full clothing ensembles to illustrations and many more types. The Armored and Rapier fighters also shined, with tons of beautiful fights, and we are excited to have all of our new Champions.

Our Weekly fighter and bardic practices have been VERY well attended, with guests almost every week.

It’s been full weekends every single week. We started off with Wintermist Anniversary, and Lyondomere Anniversary and Investiture, and were thrilled to have a full Dragonwing, overflowing with Altavians and friends at both events.

Next up we had Potrero War, with a great encampment, where we all got to enjoy the long weekend with singing, fighting, and friends.

This last weekend in particular was incredibly busy, with Altavians and our Champions spread out over many events including Collegium, the Koroneburg Renaissance Festival Demo, the Getty Demo and the meet and beat.

Every event has been well represented with Altavians, and we are excited to see the energy and enthusiasm from everyone.

We’re looking forward to the next month, which is just as full of events, but Griffith and Amabel will be talking a little bit of a breather, and attending only Gyldenholt Anniversary, Coronation and Privy Council. We’d love to hit everything, but need to leave time for mundane life as well!

With such great support at events and practices we’re hoping we can find someone soon to step up as deputy Seneschal to take over for Sibylla when her term ends at the end of the year. The earlier we find the right person, the more time they’ll have to learn and shadow the position.

If you’re interested in stepping up as Seneschal, Armored Marshal, Chronicler or any of the deputy positions please reach out! We are happy to talk about what is needed, and what the different positions entail.

Here to serve,

Baron Griffith von Bremen
Baroness Amabel Radleigh

May 2023

Greetings, Altavia!

Well, it is May and a very special time for the SCA and for our barony in particular. This month we celebrate not only the 57th birthday of this game we all hold so dear but also the 40th birthday of the wonderful lands of Altavia! There is also more to celebrate this year…but we’ll come to that in a moment.

The last month saw His Excellency and I, as well as many Altavians, traveling to events around the kingdom. His Excellency made a solo trek out to Starkhafn Anniversary and then came right back so we could both attend Robin Hood Archery and Thrown Weapons tournament at Woodley Park. Angels announced their new heirs; and several of us made a little spot for some music under the trees while shooting and throwing was going on. Last weekend, His Excellency and I, along with our stalwart Altavians, Captain Cassandra and Eadric, headed up to Darach Anniversary. It was a lovely day with lovely weather and Baron Niko came out on top for the rapier tournament. There was some really great fighting from both him and our honorary Altavians, Ceallach and Saife!

So that catches us up to this week…which is a big one in Altavia. We’ll be talking about last minute plans for this Saturday’s Anniversary events in a few minutes, but His Excellency and I wanted to put down in writing what you’ve been hearing from us this week and will continue to hear from us until they get the shepherd’s crook and yank us off the stage on Saturday morning 😉

So…Thank you, Altavia, from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you for your faith in us, for your hard work, for your smiles, for sharing your ups and downs with us.

For sticking with us and with the Barony through both thick and thin (and there was a lot of both these last 5 years!)

Like Niko said last night, we were merely the cruise directors, making sure everyone had what they needed to enjoy our hobby to its fullest. It was you, all of you, that put in your ideas, your heart, your backs, and your souls into this game to make it work and to make Altavia the fun-loving land of Theater, Not Drama, that we are known to be throughout the Kingdom, and the Knowne World.

We truly hope that we are leaving Altavia in a better place than when we found it (though our baronial predecessors were all tough acts to follow!) and we know we are leaving it in good hands with Griffith and Amabel. Please continue to support them as they take the baronial thrones and lead us all into the future.

“And remember, fair Altavia, should you need us…yes, should you need us…”

We remain…

Always Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

April 2023

Greetings, Altavia!

Spring has sprung in Altavia and we finally have some lovely weather for our practices and events!

Since we last met, we had a lovely day out at Dun Or for their anniversary and to say “goodbye” to Baron Bjorn and Baroness Roisin and say “hello” to Baron Fadi and Baroness Raignault! It was truly a lovely day in the baronial “living room,” graciously provided this time by Giachino. Thank you to Eadric, Cassandra, Griffith, Amabel, and everyone else that helped move and set up our shade and space for the day! There was lots of fighting to be had in the traditional Dun Or bear pits and we had many Altavians mixing it up on both the Rapier and Armored side of things. Many congrats to Altavia practice stalwart, Ceallach, for making it to finals in Rapier and putting on an entertaining show for the populace along with Crow.

The next day a large crew of us got together in garb to watch the Dungeons & Dragons movie! The movie was great and the company was even better! Thank you to all who were able to join us. I left some Altavia flyers at Story Tavern where we had dinner afterwards and several of the staff sounded very intrigued. #alwaysbechatelaining

This last weekend was al-Sahid Anniversary in Helendale. We had a small Altavia contingent consisting of His Excellency and I and our heirs and we all had a great time! There were bunny melees and eggs hunts and much good fighting on both sides of the field. His Excellency Niko made the finals for rapier and I had a great time fighting many folks I’d never fought before, including the newly Rapier-authorized Earl Marshal, Sir Davin! On the way home, Niko and I had dinner with Their Excellencies of Dreibergen and family and a lovely time was had by all!

This Saturday is Starkhafn Anniversary and I believe His Excellency is planning on attending. A whole bunch of us plan to head out to Woodley on Sunday for Robin Hood Archery and Thrown Weapons tournament. After that, I believe the last event with planned Altavian attendance is Darach Anniversary on May 6; that is always a nice lowkey event right before our big day!

As it is getting into April now, many things are underway for Altavia Anniversary next month. Meliora has already hosted one sewing night for new baronial favors and another one is coming up. Keep your eyes peeled for details on the Book of Faces. I am also looking for any special items of largess you would like to present to Their Majesties and Their Highnesses in addition to everything I clear out of my stores of largess. There is also time still to volunteer to serve on court (either baronial or Their Highnesses) as well as get in those letters for deserving Altavians for both baronial and kingdom-level awards.

Please keep a lookout on the Book of Faces and the baronial Discord for more socializing opportunities in the near future. We are already scheduled to hit up karaoke at Rogue-like Tavern on Friday, April 28 and there may be a Guildhall night here soon as well. We’re always looking for more opportunities to hang with our baronial fam!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

March 2023

Greetings, Altavia!

As I write this note, the heavens are once again raining down on our fair lands. It has been a damp month, but our spirits are as high as ever, and there is lots going on here in Altavia and in Caid.

While Calafia-Gyldenholt Friendship tourney was unfortunately rained out (as was pretty much everything that weekend in our area), the following weekend was a lovely double event weekend. First up was a truly stellar Crown in Angels! Congratulations to all combatants, especially Altavia’s own Faelan, for wonderfully clean and well-communicated tournament, and thank you to Cassandra, Monique, Cecilia, Christof, Lord and Lady Altavia, Meliora, Matlens, and many, many more who joined us in the dragonwing for a lovely day! The finals were a nail biter between Sir Valentine and Duke Skalla with some really spectacular fighting. Congratulations to Their Royal Highnesses, Skalla and Lorissa. If you would like to serve on court for their upcoming reign, please reach out to His Excellency or I and we’ll put you in contact with the right people.

Sunday was a slightly soggy Consort’s Champion Archery Thrown Weapons here in Altavia at Woodley archery range. While a smaller event, Cecilia did a wonderful job running the event and arranging a fun and challenging tournament on the archery side, with Lord Conall running things on the thrown weapons side. Her Majesty seemed to enjoy the flock of ducks that showed up for her and even took to the field to shoot a crossbow bolt or two. Thank you to all who helped us run a smooth event, especially List Mistress, Tezar, and finish up quickly so Her Majesty could get back on the road before the snows hit the Grapevine. Congratulations to Miguel, Her Majesty’s new archery champion and Conall, her thrown weapons champion!

Last weekend while I was under the weather, His Excellency headed out to Dreibergen for the brand-new Academia Draconis. He’ll have to give all of the details on this event but from everything I read and all the pictures I’ve seen, it sounds like it was an amazing event and I look forward to attending it in the future.

From Baron Niko: Academica Draconis was truly wonderful. The classes, fighting and revelry were top notch. What I most appreciated is the time I had with a couple of new Altavians who took the time to sit and talk with me in the tavern. Thank you for the company, smiles and waves. I believe Joana was one of their names and I can’t remember the other. The old Baron has never been good with remembering names the first (hundred) time I am introduced. We hope to see you more at practice and events.

The next few months will be busy here as we get Lord and Lady Altavia, Grif and Amabel, ready to step up at Anniversary. There’s lots to do but we know that Altavia will rise to the occasion. Let’s all pitch in to make sure we throw a party full of Theater not Drama!

Until next month, love always…

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

February 2023

Greetings, Altavia!

It’s been a busy time in Caid since our last council meeting! The week after Coronation was quiet with only a few Altavians (not His Excellency or I) down at Winter Weekend but after that it was three weeks straight of tourneys and events.

First up was Consort’s Champion Martial in Dun Or. We had several Altavians in both the armored and rapier sides of the event including Lord Altavia, Griffith, and Phelan on the armored side and His Excellency, Caterina, and I on the rapier side of things. Congratulations to Sir Valentine and Master Tyndel, the champions of the day! Thank you to everyone at Dun Or that hosted a lovely day…especially Nafar and crew for serving up a donation lunch of yummy street tacos and of course to Cassandra, Monique, Eadric, Cat, Merlin, and everyone else who helped with set up and tear down.

The next weekend was a glorious day down in Gyldenholt for the Unbelted Tournament. We had many hands on deck to help with set up and tear down and Gyldenholt ran a glorious event as always. Altavia fielded three competitors, Griffith, Phelan, and Giachino. Out of a huge list (69 fighters) Phelan went all the way to the 7th round, Griffith to the 5th, and Giachino to the 3rd. Giachino was also named one of the most chivalrous fighters on the field by the Ladies of the Rose. Good job, all!

Next up was the arts and sciences-focused Festival of the Rose out in Ridgecrest. Myself and my ladies, Cassandra and Monique made the trek and had a wonderful day viewing the art and listening to performances, followed by dinner and karaoke fun with the Horsemen of Judgement Keep. Thanks to everyone in Naevehjem for running a wonderful event!

Rounding out recent events was Red Star Rapier War this last weekend up in Wintermist! While camping was chilly it was a wonderful event and Altavia fielded one of its largest war fighting contingents in recent years with His Excellency and I, Mistress Cecilia, Lyric, Caterina, Daniel, Phelan, and Master Alexander Baird taking the field for Altavia, with Merlin taking lots and lots of photos! We also had quite a few Altavians (Courtney, Anwyll, and Cora) helping Sir Master Jamal with his amazing feast entry. The fighting was fierce, the friendship was heart-warming, and the event was spectacular. I highly encourage everyone who can attend to do so in the future; the Horsemen put on a heck of a war!

This weekend (fates willing and the weather holds off) will be Calafia-Gyldenholt Friendship tourney down in Calafia. The following weekend is Crown in Angels and Consort’s Champion Archery Thrown Weapons here in Altavia at Woodley archery range. We will be at Crown cheering on all the combatants and ask anyone who is able to come out to Woodley on Sunday to please help out with set up and tear down.

Looking a little further down the road, there will be a baronial investiture in Dun Or at the beginning of April so please start sending largess my way. If you need ideas, please let me know.

Have a great month, Altavia, and remember…we love you, always!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

January 2023

Greetings, Altavia!

Welcome to the New Year! We hope that you all had a lovely holiday season full of fun times with the people that you love.

It has been quiet, event and practice-wise, since our last missive. With the holidays and much-needed rain hitting southern California, we have only had one fighter practice since the beginning of December 🙁 Many thanks to Sibylla for arranging and encouraging alternate hangouts on Discord during fighter practice time the past two weeks and to those that have joined the hangouts. It’s certainly not the same as getting out there and practicing but it’s a great spirit-lifter when “recess” gets cancelled for weather.

This past weekend was the Coronation of King Optimus and Queen Issa and Caid’s bi-annual Privy Council, and they were both full of important pageantry, conversations, and, at the end of the day, much love for the Kingdom we play in and the Game we play. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the bountiful largesse and amazing gifts we presented to their Outgoing and Incoming Majesties and thank you to all who processed in with us. As always, Master Colwyn creatively announced Altavia’s presence and entertained the assembled crowd. A highlight of the day was the beautiful and theatrical exit of their then Majesties and now Graces Adam and Staeina on amazingly decorated and kitted out Viking ships; more theater like this please! And, of course, many thanks and deepest gratitude to Duke Adam and Duchess Staeina for their calm and thoughtful leadership throughout their reign!

Many congratulations, also, to Altavia’s own Master Laertes who stepped up as Kingdom Seneschal during Saturday’s Coronation! He takes over from Sir Tiberius Finn who masterfully guided Caid through some of the darkest times. Thank you, Sir Tiberius, for your tireless service to the Kingdom of Caid and enjoy your well-earned break.

On Sunday, His Excellency and I attended Privy Council, skillfully run by our new Kingdom Seneschal, where many important and weighty subjects were discussed. A large part of the conversation was around officer burnout, recruiting, and how we can all help each other make sure our territories have what they need to keep going strong. If you have any ideas on how we can partner with other baronies and shires on events, demos, or other efforts, please bring them forward…no idea is too big or too small to be discussed. At the end of the meeting there was a difficult discussion around the investigative process in the SCA and what can be done during this process to help members of the populace that may not feel safe attending events.

While we don’t need to go into details here, we know there were many things that took place this weekend and leading up to this weekend that you may want to discuss further. Please know that His Excellency and I are always here to listen, to bring your concerns forward when needed, and to help you work on any solutions you might want to propose. At the end of the day, though we may have different opinions on many things, we ALL love this family we call the SCA and want to make sure it is a fun, safe, and inclusive space for all for years to come.

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

December 2022

Greetings everyone.

We had a great month, full of celebrations with family and friends. We had Thanksgiving and the beginning of Yule season. But first we commemorated Naevehjem Frost Dragon Anniversary. It was a bit chilly, but the kinship was warm and heart filling. Thank you all who made the long trek to welcome their new baronage,

The next week was Isles Anniversary. It is always a cozy, low key event with lots of fighting and friendship. Thank you all who came and celebrated with us.

After that was Thanksgiving and Medieval Marketplace. We hope you all got to be with the ones you love, and ate as much you wanted. Also, shopping and fighting at Marketplace was fantastic. The Baroness and I are so very thankful for all Altavians. You all make us look good.

Then Yule season started. Parties were had all over the kingdom and Altavians were among the party goers which means fun was had everywhere. Thank you to all who attended Gyldenholt/Lyondomere Yule with the Baron. Games were played and smiles were had.

Finally, and most importantly for us was Angels/Altavia Yule.Happy Yule! So much work was put in in recent months planning this party. Although we had building setbacks, it was a spectacular success. Thank you all for your hard work. The stewards, officers, decorators and people who cleaned up were vital to that success and fun. The bardic performers were stupendous and the table decorations looked gorgeous. The Toy-for-Tots table was overflowing with gifts and the games table was overflowing with competition. The food smelled delightful and the company was as well. Thank you again. Altavia Rocks!!

We now have heirs. Lord Griffith and Lady Amabel are now Lord and Lady Altavia. We know they will be great for the future of our barony.

We want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. We appreciate every single one of you. We will see you next year as we celebrate Coronation in January.

Thank you

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

November 2022

Hello Altavia and Happy Turkey Month!

The end of October was a busy time for the barony with one of our favorite events of the year, Agincourt Archery Tournament and Feast! We had lovely weather for the tourney at Woodley and a small but mighty crowd! His Majesty Adam was in attendance at the tourney and awarded Marianna Lightwood her award of arms…congrats Lady Marianna! We had a fun but challenging archery competition set up by Christof and won by Master Daffyd ap Thomas, congratulations! Over on Thrown Weapons, Cecilia set up a fun mushroom-based throw and Lady Sibylla strong-armed the competition to become our Thrown Weapons champion for the year. Thank you to Cecila, Christof, Pagnus, Tezar (Lists), Elle (Gate), Lynnette (Gate and Auction), Natalia (Auction and Fretted Fork), and our set up/tear down crew of Monique, Cassandra, Anne, and Giachino for all your help at the tourney!

That evening saw the return of the Agincourt feast and it was a wonderful meal and event. Many, many kudos to our cooks, Matlens and Giovanni, for a very tasty meal under some challenging circumstances! Thank you to Meliora and Eadric for helping out in the kitchen to make sure the cooks had the support they needed, to Lynnette for wrangling our servers and to Sibylla for running the logistics for the evening. During the feast, a brief court was held with His Majesty and Eadric was added to the Order of the Crescent for his cheerful service throughout the Kingdom. Congrats, Your Lordship! Thank you to everyone who joined us, including our Cousins Driebergen, for food, dancing, performances, and the surprisingly efficient clean up at the end of the evening. Special shout-outs to Xerus and Saystine for transporting and doing the bulk of the dishes in our “satellite location” 😊

The next weekend saw an Altavian contingent head out to Dreibergen’s Rocky Horror-themed anniversary event….SO MUCH FUN. Thank you to all who joined us in the dragonwing and congratulations to our dear Baron for being part of the winning final team in the Rapier lists!

This past weekend, a small contingent travelled down to Calafia for their Anniversary where we saw Baroness Danyel invited to join the Order of the Pelican, spoke to Master Oliver for his vigil for the Pelican and then ate some really good BBQ after the event. It’s a long trip, but always a lovely event.

The rest of November is going to be busy, busy, busy with Naevehjem Anniversary and Investiture this weekend, Isles Anniversary and the Laurelling of Master Todde next weekend, and then Medieval Marketplace the Saturday after Thanksgiving. There will be Altavian presence at all of these events, so please feel free to join us in the wing or designated pop-up 😊

Finally, Yule is almost here…yay! Please join us for a planning meeting this Thursday and start thinking about what you want to bring to share on the potluck table. Also, now would be a great time to get your baronial award recommendation letters in so we can honor all our wonderful Altavians!

His Excellency and I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families, either by blood or by choice, and know that we are very thankful to have all of you in our lives!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

October 2022

Greetings from the Baron and Baroness! We had a busy month and the next one seems to be even more packed with fun.

Angel’s Anniversary was the first event after our last meeting and it was a smash. We loved the fact that our dragonwing was packed with Altavians and guests. It warms our hearts to see so many of us out and having fun together. Thank you all who attended, especially the ones who  helped with the schlepping and dragon wing set up and tear down.

Of course the big shindig for the month was Great Western War. We had such a great time. The camp was packed and the people were splendid. We had plenty of firewood and great bardic entertainment. Thank you all who worked the gate shift with us on Wednesday and for volunteering elsewhere the entire war. A special thank you to Lady Sastine for decorating the camp so well for the Trick-or-Treaters. It was so Halloweeny! We were represented wonderfully on both battlefields as well as the archery and thrown weapons ranges. Sunday night, Altavia was the place to be as well. You are all to thank for Altavia’s hospitality. Altavia, Rocks!!

Caid Rapier, Archery and Thrown weapons opens were held next and Altavians once again turned some heads. Even though we were not hosting either event, Altavians jumped in and helped run the events and Altavians were a force to be reckoned with in all the competitions. Thank you for being such splendid people!!

Agincourt and Feast are coming up this week. Many of us have been working hard organizing both events and We know they will be terrific! Thank you all who attended the meetings and helped out with ideas and input.

Finally, Yule is just around the corner and we will need many volunteers to put on a great party!

You make us look good!

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

September 2022

Greetings good nobles of Altavia. We don’t want to bury the lead, so a great big congratulations to our new Prince and Princess. Sir Optimus won the crown tourney for his consort Lady Issa this past Saturday in a wet and humid tourney. We welcome the new leadership with open arms and look forward to the coming days of Their reign. On a more local note, our own the Honorable Lord Griffith fought most chivalrously and pretty well for the Honorable Lady Amabel. We had many other Altavians offering their service to the day as well. We saw Baroness Meleora and Don Nathaniel Herald the fighters, and Baroness Tezar run the lists. The Baronial Dragonwing was set up and packed up in no time with Baroness Cassandra at the helm. There were many more Altavians helping that day, and we thank you all.

Now let us comment on the heated events of August. The temperature was up, and so was the fun… Well, since we had our last council meeting on the 23rd there has only been one big event. Highland War was hot, hot, hot! Not too many Altavians went to war this year, but I believe His Lordship Griffith did day trip and got in some fighting before everyone melted. The Baroness and I could not attend, and we are sorry we missed it.

Looking forward, tonight’s baronial council meeting will feature our prospective baronial heirs. They will give us some of their ideas for the future and allow us to ask some well meaning questions. We encourage as many people to participate as possible.

Also, we will be having a Guildhall night on Thursday the 15th. This time, we will be in garb to try and entice some new recruits. It is always a lot of fun, and we encourage as many Altavians as possible to join us.

Great Western War is less than a month away and we welcome any and all Altavians to our baronial camp. This year’s theme is Halloween and Lady Saystine will be decorating the camp with ghoulish delight. She will need help though, so anyone who can bring Halloween decorations to war, please do. Help make Altavia the scariest, fun camp at the war. The Baroness has set a gate shift for us on Wednesday evening and it is always a blast. Come early to war and help the barony out.

After the war is over, we will be hosting our Agincourt Archery and Thrown Weapons tourney on October 23rd as well as our Agincourt feast. Come out, shoot and throw for our championship, and feast the day with us in the evening. Please look out for our Agincourt and Feast Facebook pages and sign up for feast early so we can get a good idea on how much food to prepare.

Looking into the not so distant future, Altavia/Angels Yule is right around the corner and we will need plenty of help with that. If you are interested in volunteering, please talk to us or the Seneschal soon.

Thank you all for being such wonderful people.

Yours in service,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

August 2022

Happy August, Altavia! Here’s hoping you’re all staying cool in these hottest days of summer!

Since we last met, His Excellency and I have had many adventures attending events around the kingdom. We both headed out to Consort’s Champion Armored/Rapier in al Sahid, where His Excellency and several others from the barony competed on the Rapier lists. We are very proud to say that the Rapier finals saw two fine Altavians, Master Laertes and Don Nathaniel facing off, with Nathaniel emerging victorious. Congratulations to him and to Sir Parmenio from Calafia for winner the armored lists.

The following weekend saw both of us heading out to Dreibergen Summer Arts where we saw some amazing art, bardic performances, and even had time to sneak in a rapier class led by His Excellency. This was followed the next weekend by Darach Pirate Tourney up in cool Camarillo, where a good time was had by all.

Finally, this past weekend we headed out to Dun Or for Her Majesty Staeina’s Festival of the Rose. While the temperatures were hot, the art was even hotter! Many congratulations go out to our very own Honorable Lady Courtney of the White Meadow who was named Her Majesty’s Arts and Sciences champion for her very impressive traveling merchant kit and accessories. We look forward to seeing some of these in action at GWW!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for any and all of these events; events are always made more special by getting to spend time with our baronial peeps at them.

There are a couple of events on the horizon. This weekend is Academia up in Nordwache and the following weekend is Highland War, out in al Sahid. Sadly, neither His Excellency nor I will be able to attend either of those events but we hope those that do go have a great time. Following that we have Crown Tournament up in Isles on Sept. 10 and Angels Anniversary on Sept. 17. Angels will be a baronial investiture so please be thinking of any largesse you might be able to contribute to the new leadership of our mother barony.

Speaking of new leadership, our call for letters of intent for couples interested in becoming the next Baron and Baroness of Altavia closed on August 13 and we received one letter from The Honorable Lord Griffith von Bremen and The Honorable Lady Amabel Radleigh. Over the next few weeks, the populace will have several chances to hear from them on what they bring to the barony and what the hope to do as Baron and Baroness. We are in the process of getting the polling process launched with kingdom so be on the lookout for your polling form soon.

Finally, as we’ll discuss later in the meeting, we are looking for ways to get more people involved in the running of the barony and more ways to keep in touch as an office team outside of these meetings. We both urge you to share any and all ideas on how to make things run better for everyone!

Have a great month and try and stay cool!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

July 2022

Welcome to July, Altavia! We hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and are getting to go on fabulous vacations like His Excellency or enjoying time with your families in and out of the SCA.

We’ve only had two events since the last meeting, Lyondemere Anniversary and this past weekend’s Coronation/Privy Council two-for-one. LyondemereAnniversary was a nice day full of many events for everyone to participate in. There was a silent auction, a snow cone booth, several arts & sciences classes, a bardic competition, and , or course, martial championships. Congrats to Altavia’s Taliesin (also known as Son of Santa 😉) for his win in the bardic competion and to Don Nathanial Longbow for his win over Papa Colwyn in the Rapier tournament. Thank you to all who helped with set up and tear down and kept us company in the baronial dragonwing.

This past weekend saw the peaceful transition of power from Valrik and Drada to Adam and Staeina. Thank you to everyone who attended and especially those who provided largesse for the royal couples. We had manywonderful things for both outgoing and incoming Royals and, with the help of Amabel, started HRM Staeina’s dice collection with a lovely set of golden rose dice! Saturday also saw Baroness Tezar step up as Kingdom Lists Officer and, at Privy Council the next day, Master Laertes was officially announced as deputy Kingdom Seneschal. He will take over from Sir Tiberius as Seneschal at Twelfth Night in January. We thank these and all Altavians that step up to serve not only the barony but the entire kingdom!

Coming up this weekend is Consort’s Champion Armored/Rapier in al Sahid. It’s going to be a warm onebut we’ll have the dragonwing for shade and will bring much cold water to share with all. I believe the shire will also have its misters out to help keep both combatants and spectators cool. The following weekend is an early-morning CC Ranged out in Starkhafn. Pennsic follows shortly and we wish Christof and Cecilia and any other Eastward travelers a safe journey and a great time! Finally, the first week in August is Darach Pirate Tourneyand I, for one, can’t wait to actually participate in their famous tavern and ship battles as a combatant for the first time this year!

We’d like to close out this month’s update on a couple of notes about service. As we reminded folks earlier this week, we are accepting Letters of Intent from those that wish to serve as the 9th Baron and Baroness of Altavia through Saturday, August 13. At the September council meeting, we encourage everyone to attend and ask questions of the prospective barons and baroness that have thrown their hats into the ring. We are looking forward to seeing the next generation of leaders for Altavia begin their journey.

Speaking of leaders, if you know anyone who is looking for a way to get more involved with the barony or you think needs a nudge to get more involved, please let myself, His Excellency, or Sybilla know. We are always looking for deputies to back up our officers and eventually step up into the officer role. We often hear that it’s the same few people trading office back and forth (this is NOT a problem limited to Altavia as we heard at privy council) but it doesn’t have to be that way. We know there are people out there that want to help but they just might not know how. We’re happy to chat with folks and point them in the right direction!

Have a great month, everyone, and try and stay cool!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

June 2022

Happy Summer, Altavia!

Warmer weather means busy days and we have seen a lot of activity since our last meeting! We had our first in-person anniversary in 3 years right after our last meeting and it was a glorious day full of Highland hi-jinks! There were Highland games, a silent auction and bake sale that helped raise much-needed funds for the barony and a snow cone sale that cooled us down on a worm day and helped raise funds for the kingdom! We have new champions – Duke Sven for Armored, Don Nathaniel for Rapier, Her Ladyship Amabel for Unarmored and Master Sir Niccolo for Arts and Sciences. Many thanks to Lady Amber for stewarding this event after a long delay and everyone who helped out before the event and day of, especially Dame Lynnette for running the auction, Lord Pieter for creating and running the Highland Games and especially Mistress Cecilia for all the little and big things you did to make sure this event happened. Everyone in the barony worked so hard to pull this event off and you should all be proud of the fun day we created for the kingdom.

After our anniversary event came Wintermist, where we saw yet another baronial changeover. We said thank you and “Job well done!” to Baron Einarr and Baroness Sunnifa and welcomed Baron Ajax and Baroness Fabia as the took over the helm of the lands to our north. It was a great day with much friendship and laughter and sharing of shade with our Cousins of Calafia.

The next week saw some of us traveling down south to Potrero War. We very much missed His Excellency (damn that plague!) but had a nice, if small, camp with our friends from Angels. It was great to get to know their Vicaress, Honoree, better as well as meet new friends Meggan and Rob…Camp Angeltavia was so much fun! We had a few folks out on the armored field and I even got out on the rapier field for a fun day of “sword tag” Thank you to all Altavians that camped with and for House Valentine being a home away from home on several evenings!

Following Potrero, a few of us travelled down to Gyldenholt where we once again combined forces with Angels for low-key hangout day. We once again missed His Excellency especially as we saw his protégé sister Morgana elevated to the Pelican that day.

Finally, this past Saturday, His Excellency, who we were so glad to see feeling better!, Our Captain and I travelled down to Gyldenholt once more for Collegium. It was a great day full of learning and hats off to Dame Gwen and her team for pulling off a lovely in-person Collegium once again.

On a much more somber note, we learned during Collegium that another shining light of Altavia and Caid has gone out. Baroness Aelfwyn Wodende, 3rd baroness of Altavia, passed away last week. While I didn’t have a chance to get to know her outside of Facebook as she was already out of kingdom when I started playing, I have heard so many wonderful stories of her time as baroness and all she did to help start the youth combat program here in Caid. I have been touched by the many remembrances I’ve seen posted since the news broke and our hearts go out to Baron Duryn, Dame Lynnette (her chief lady), and all who knew and held Aelfwyn dear. If we hear of any local plans to honor her or for memorials, we will keep you informed.

On a sadly similar topic, if you hadn’t already heard, Baron Llewellyn of Naevehjem passed away suddenly while were at Potrero. Our hearts go out to all in Naevehjem that have lost so much in the past few years, and we will likewise keep you apprised of any plans to honor him as well.

As always, we are here for you if you need to chat, need a hug, or any help in anyway. It is hard when we suffer loss but it also illuminates what a strong and loving community we have when we see how immediately people offer help and shoulders to cry on when these tragedies occur.

Never forget that we love you, Altavia, and we will be here for each other, always.

Yours in Service,

Baroness Briana MacCabe

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

May 2022

Happy Birthday, Altavia!

In just a few short days we will be celebrating our wondrous Barony’s 39th birthday with our first in-person Anniversary in three years! We are so looking forward to all the fun we’ll have and memories we’ll make at this Highland Games-themed event. As His Excellency is so fond of saying, it’s going to be a grrrrrrrreat day!

Looking back on April, we had quite the busy month starting out with Dun Or. It was a lovely yet breezy day…quite the theme in Caid these days as you’ll hear. Thanks to Amabel, we were able to present our Cousins with some lovely custom dice which they loved. Thanks to all who came out and helped and hung out with us!

The next week it was up to Wintermist for me and my ladies as we saw all the amazing artwork being produced in Caid. Our own seneschal, Sibylla, entered the costume review event in the arts&sciences faire and acquitted herself quite well!

The following weekend, His Excellency headed out to al-Sahid for their anniversary on yet another blustery day. However, the wind couldn’t keep our good Niko down and he came away with the title of al-Sahid’s rapier champion for the year!

The next two weeks saw His Excellency and I travelling to two back-to-back baronial investitures, first in Starkhafn and then in Nordwache. Starkhafn was a lovely day full of ceremony, humor, and yes, more wind. Nordwache was a calm and lovely day with much marshalling for Niko and much arting with our friends from Dreibergen for me. Our newest Cousins of Starkhafn, Thomas and Catylyn, and our newest Cousins of Nordwache, Cormac and Dalla, very much appreciated the market bags created by Edith, the chess sets created by Amabel and Edith and the lovely painted boxes by Sibylla and Marianna. Once again, thank you all for you generosity with your art.

Oh, I forgot to mention that on Sunday after Starkhafn, we spent a lovely day in our own backyard at Woodley Park celebrating Robin Hood Archery and Thrown Weapons tournament with our friends from Angels. It was a bitter-sweet day as we said good to our Cousins Johannes and Sophia who sadly needed to move out of kingdom. Honoree stepped in as Vicaress for Angels and there will be a full investiture of new baronage for Angels this September at their anniversary.

Last weekend, His Excellency and a few Altavians made their way out to Darach Anniversary. I hear it was a lovely day with a light breeze and much fun was had by all.

Coming up this month, besides this weekend’s momentous occasion, we have Wintermist Anniversary on May 21…. which is also an investiture. We hope that you will all be able to join us up there and while the site is small, we will still have some shade in the form of a pop-up.

Then, later that week, is something I think a lot of us have been look forward to for years…the return of Potrero War! I will be travelling down with Cassandra and Monique, your trusty camp mistress, and we are aiming to be there at noon on Thursday. Even if you are not camping with the Barony, please stop by camp and say, “Hi!” We’re hoping to have a potluck populace dinner in the dragonwing on Friday evening so look for more info on that on the Book of Faces as we get closer to war.

These notes are a bit epic already, so we’ll save more comments and thank yous for Saturday…save for one more. You might have already heard His Excellency and I mention this but on Saturday, after 4 eventful and joyful years of service, we begin our search for heirs. More will be posted about the details after the event but the general shape is that we will accept letter of intent through mid-August, do polling in the fall, announce heirs at Yule and then have the changeover next May. If you are interested, please feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We hope that there at least a couple of folks out there interested in taking on one of the best, most challenging, and rewarding jobs in the whole of the SCA.

Please know that we couldn’t do any of this without you and we are eternally grateful for the time you all give to the Barony and the trust you have placed in us as your Baron and Baroness.

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

April 2022

Spring has sprung. The COVID restrictions have been lightened. People are starting to gather together once again. The temperature has been optimal for outside activities. The birds are chirping and there is the songlike sound of swords bashing shields.

We started the month with Crown tourney. It was a spectacular spectacle of swordsmanship where His Highness, Prince Adam (not of Eternia) was victorious for his inspiration Her Highness, Princess Staena.

West Coast Culinary Symposium happened online this year.. It was well attended by individuals from around the Known Word. We are sure some great food and recipes were had. Excitement and fun flowed through Zoom and anticipation grew for the next live symposium in the West.

A number of Altavians went to Gulf Wars. From all the stories and photos that were taken, it looked like a great time was had. Our contribution of largess to the Crown was happily received and appreciated. The Queen was well looked after. Thank you for representing the Kingdom and the barony so well. Your hard work makes this game happen.

We had a great Arts and Science class this month where we made largess. It was a very productive evening.

Altavia knocked them over at Gyldenholt/Calafia Friendship tourney! Our kubb game was a big hit. We received so many compliments on how fun it was. We even saw a few Altavians helping people learn how to hit a pel. You guys are AWESOME!!

Dun Or Anniversary was a blast. We had a great many Altavians there to fight and have fun. And much fighting was had. THL Griffith and Lady Amabel fought valiantly in the heavies bear pits. We had a handful of rapier fighters, and Don Nathaniel Longbow made it to the rapier finals. It was a spectacular day.

Last weekend a small but mighty crew of Altavians headed up to Wintermist for Caid’s premier Arts and Science event, Pentathlon and Arts and Sciences faire. The arts we saw and heard and tasted up there was simply amazing! There are not enough words to describe the talent and the bravery of Caid’s artisans put themselves out there for all to see. Our very own seneschal, Lady Sibylla, entered her first Arts and Sciences faire in the Costume Review category with an amazing Burgundian gown. Congrats on a first place Journeyman placement on your very first entry, Sibylla!

We will be trying something new for our baronial council meeting this month. It will be both in person at a new venue as well as on Zoom. It should be lots of fun and we should be able to get through all the events on the agenda in a timely fashion. (Here’s hoping!)

Now we look to the future. Al Sahid and Starkhafn anniversaries are coming up as well as Robin Hood Archery Tournament. There are quite a few investatures this season and we plan on attending as many as we can.

Remember, if you want to come to an event, but don’t have a ride, talk to us. We will try to get people together for carpools to save on gas. As always, Thank you all for all your hard work and service. You are Barony and you make it shine!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

March 2022

Hello, Altavia!

Spring is just around the corner and, after a relatively quiet February, event season is about to go into high gear!

Since we last met, we’ve attended two events. The first ever Red Star Rapier War in Wintermist and last weekend’s Crown Tournament in Naevehjem.

Rapier War was a blast with many fun times both on and off the field! It was so much fun facing off with our baronial cousins from Dreibergen and then getting to laugh and dance and sing with everyone in the tavern at night. It was great community building event for the kingdom and we both highly recommend attending next year, even if you aren’t a rapier fighter. Thank you to all the Altavians that came out and played!

Crown Tournament was windy and cold, but all our hearts were warmed by the excellent fighting and chivalry shown on the field. We cheered on our marshal, THL Griffith and his lady, Amabel, in the lists and then watched as the finals came down to a three-way Many congratulations to TRH Adam and Staeina! Thank you to all who huddled with Altavia on that chilly day and to our Cousins of Dreibergen who provided hot drinks to all who needed them. On a personal note, thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday both online and in person and especially to all those that came out to karaoke at the Moose Lodge to celebrate with me!

Coming up this weekend is the start of Gulf Wars where TRM will be in attendance and the online West Coast Culinary Symposium. If you are interested in period cooking, I highly suggest checking it out (info is posted on the book of Faces) and consider moderating a session for them as I know they are still in need of people to help out with that.

The following weekend on the 19th of March is the Gyldenhot/Calafia Friendship event. While there will be some fighting, mainly in the form of melees, the focus of the day is the living history artisans village. Come hang out with us in the dragonwing and investigate some new skills during the day. We will bring the baronial kuub set and perhaps get a bit of a friendly tournament going on with that!

That will take us to the end of March but April promises to be busy with two baronial investitures at the end of the month plus lots of planning for our own Anniversary on the horizon. We will need a lot of largess in the coming months, and I have spoken to a few people on some special items. Thank you to all those that have already contributed largesse this year including Niko, Edith, Allesandra, Battista, Caterina, and many more!  I will also try and host a couple of ring-making events so we can get a good stock of those going and I am always happy to hear suggestions for other items we should be gifting. Please reach out if you’d like to help!

We hope that you all have a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat month and don’t forget to spring ahead this weekend.

We love you, Altavia!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

February 2022

Greeting Altavia

January and the first part of February were busy months for the Barony. We started off hosting Queen’s Champion Martial. It was an interesting day filled with ups and downs, literally. We had a few Altavians honored that day,including THL Monique with a Lux Caidis for costuming and THL Griffith with a Crescent for superior service to the kingdom. Don Nathaniel made it to the finals of rapier in which Don Ian was victorious. Dame Lynnette and Lady Bex ran a very successful fundraiser for the Kingdom and sold our Fret Knot shirts. It was the first kingdom event we had hosted in quite some time, yet it felt like we were home. The Baroness and I received many compliments regarding the barony and its people. We really do have a most friendly and welcoming populace.

The next day brought Queen’s Champion Ranged to our barony. Although we did not host it, it was within our borders. Mistress Cecilia, THL Cristof, Natalia and I competed in the day’s events, and we had a great time.

Unbelted was the next weekend in Gyldenholt and Altavia was well represented. THL Griffith, Lord Xeres and THL Amabel fought well, and one got to the later rounds of the tourney. Chivalry and Honor were the main focus of the day. Altavians hold those ideals to a high level, and it shows. That was truly an inspiring day!

Finally, we attended the Festival of the Dark Rose in Dreiburgen. So much fun and laughter amongst so much artistic talent! Lady Sybilla, her lord Sean, Lord Eadric and I learned Kubb from her Grace Kara and laughs were had by all. Cristof and Natalia got into the fun as well. THL Courtney won the people’s choice arts award and Saystine won the brewing contest for her wonderfully tasty syrups. Our Baroness Briana, Dame Lynnette, and Lady Bex all performed in the bardic as well. So much fun and comradery came out of the day. I was refueled by all the SCA positive energy, and I am sure most people felt the same way. Thank you Altavia for being so utterly AWESOME!

Potrero war pre-reg has been set up and THL Monique has graciously volunteered to be our camp master. Register early for the best prices. See you at war!

Looking to the future, Altavia has a camp for the new Wintermist Rest Star Rapier War. Please register for the weekend’s festivities and come out and enjoy the outside with us.

Our Anniversary is coming up as well. We need help with the planning and execution of the events of the day. Please help in any way you can. It looks like it is going to be a GREAT DAY!

To all Altavians and Altavian adjacent friends, I thank you for being so much fun and loving. See you all at an event soon!

In Service,

Baron Niko Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

January 2022

Happy New Year, Altavia!

His Excellency and I hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday season with the ones you love! Since the last time we wrote our monthly missive, we’ve only had one event..but it was a major one!

Last Saturday saw the coronation of our new King and Queen, Valrik and Drada. The day started with the last court of Queen Katherine and King Panza (who sadly had to miss the event). Many awards and honors were bestowed and, thanks to the efforts of Countess Batista and milady Maura (and the artisans of Altavia), the barony presented the outgoing queen with lovely thank you gifts. The afternoon saw the spectacular oathtaking on TRM Valrik and Drada…he spoke his in Russian and she sang hers in English. So very impressive and I am sure videos will surface soon. Thank you to all who attended and especially those who were there to be a part of my special day. It means more than you will ever know.

Looking ahead, we are still planning on hosting Queen’s Champion at Veteran’s Park next weekend. Plans continue apace for all the various activities of the day, led by our able event stewards, Mistress Cecilia and her Ladyship Amabel. We will hear more about what is still need a bit later in the meeting.

The next day is Queen’s Champion Archery and Thrown Weapons, being held at Woodley Park Archery Range here in Altavia but hosted by our friends in Lyondemere. Come out and shoot for the Queen!

The following Saturday is Gyldenholt Unbelted which is always a fun event with some spectacular fighting!

As you may have seen on the Book of Faces, there are a lot of discussions going on at both the Kingdom and Society level about whether we should be continuing to host events and practices right now. His Excellency and I will do our best to keep you informed on the latest decisions. Please know that we will try and make the best and safest decisions for Altavia and Altavian events based on the info we have at the time. Always remember that the SCA is a hobby and your health and safety come first; if you feel unsafe to attend an event for any reason, do what is best for you. No one should ever tell you or make you feel otherwise.

Just as before, we can get through these continued tough times together. I stand ready to host all the Zooms, should it become necessary, and both His Excellency and I are here if you need a listening ear or a virtual shoulder to cry on. Somehow, someday…this too shall pass.

We love you, Altavia.

Yours in Service,

Baroness Briana MacCabe

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

December 2021

And so another year slides into a close and November and December have been busy months for us, as usual!

On November 13, His Excellency and I traveled to Naevehjem for Frost Dragon. It was a beautiful day and we shared space with our friends from Dun Or, which is always lovely. Thank you to Lynnette and Tim and Griffith and Ambel for your help and checking in on us throughout the day. The Frost Dragon was battled but none were able to defeat him this year! We ended the day with a fun and raucous dinner with the Horsemen before making the long trek home.

The next weekend we headed out to Isles Anniversary and a wonderful, tree-shaded site. There was very good attendance for a shire event, with folks on both the armored and rapier fields traveling from far away for a day of fun and friendly fighting. Our Cousin, Baroness Kungund of Dreibergen, took to the rapier field for the very first time and was named Isles champion for her enthusiasm and fearlessness! Many thanks to Captain Cassandra for looking out for both His Excellency and I and to Grif and Amabel for once again checking in on us as well.

The first Saturday in December saw us traveling down to Gyldenholt to celebrate the joint Gyldenholt-Lyondemere Yule. It was a lovely outdoor event with a gift exchange, a cornhole tournament and much fun socializing. On a personal note, I want to thank everyone that help get my vigil setup and that helped in run smoothly; especially Baroness Cassandra for wrangling the whole thing, Baron Niko for running the book and being quick on the bell 12, to Lord Eadwine for ably standing guard and making for some great photos and to all of Flaxen Abbey who were able to help out! I am so blessed by having all of you as friends. Thank you for making my day as special as possible.

And, of course, our big event of the holiday season, Altavia-Angels Yule was last Saturday and it was SPECTACULAR! We had great attendance and there was so much joyous chatting and dancing and bardic and gifting! Thank you, again, to our event stewards, Griffith and Niko, for all your hard work putting the event together, our Cousins of Angels for once again helping us make this joint event a success, and everyone else who worked so hard to make this event happen. Please see the Baron’s note on Facebook for the full list of thank yous and awards!

We hope that you all have wonderful and safe plans for the rest of your holiday season! For those that are traveling, may your roads be clear, and may everyone get to be with the ones they love in this time of warmth and light. We hope to see you all at Coronation on January 8 for a very special day!

Yours in Service,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

November 2021

The year seems to be winding down ever so calmly since Great Western War… No wait! No it has not! We have had and will have plenty of excitement in these last couple of months. Nordwache Anniversary was a pleasant breather after GWW and a relaxing, intimate event. In addition, Caid Archery Open finally happened with smooth efficiency thanks to our friends in Dreibergen.
Speaking of, Dreiburgen Anniversary was a regular Hoot n’ Nanny with a hole lot of hoot and just a little bit of nanny. The Baronial dragon wing was the place to be. We had so many Altavians and guests that people thought it was our anniversary! (Just kidding). It was spectacular though! Fun, Friends and great conversations were had. Thank you Altavians for being so welcoming and fun. We gave a well-deserved farewell and great job to Baron Logan and Baroness Tyna. They are good people and need the rest. Their warm hearts and tireless work will not be forgotten. In addition, we welcomed a shiny new Baron and Baroness, Ramvaldus and Kungund. They are adorable and we look forward to all the great things they will do for our kingdom.
Calafia Anniversary saw another packed baronial dragon wing. This time only a few Altavians were present, but we hosted many people from Dreiburgen. We received so many compliments from their Excellencies and others of Altavia’s wonderful hospitality. Thank you all once again. Great work Altavia! There was a spectacular surprise during the day as well. Our Baroness, Briana, was asked to be a member of the Order of the Pelican, which she graciously accepted. A wonderful day was had by all.
In the upcoming months, Altavia will be hosting a few events that will be fun and exciting as well. First, December 11 will be our Yule celebration. We will have Angels as our guests and the theme will be the Arthurian Legends! Bring your device and banners to be hung in the hall. Decorate your table like it was the actual round table. Eat! Drink! (responsibly) and have loads of fun! We will not be having our usual potluck meal, but instead will have individual group dinners at each table. Altavia’s bardic and chess champions will be chosen and dancing will happen. Finally, we need volunteers for various duties (tee hee), so please contact Griffith Von Bremen or the Baron if you are willing to help.
On January 22, Altavia will be hosting Queen’s Champion Armored and Rapier. This will be an exciting event at Veteran’s park. We will be needing plenty of volunteers for the day and we know it will be epic! There is lots to be done and Altavians once again be the shining example to all the knowne world.
But before we host QC, we will travel to Nordwache to celebrate Coronation/12th Night in Notdwache. We need your help creating gifts and largesse for both the incoming and outgoing Majesties (more on that in a bit) and Her Excellency invites all Altavians who make the trip North to be a part of her Pelican procession.
As November is traditionally the month of giving thanks, we want to thank each and everyone of our officers, our court and guard and all Altavians for your hard work and your friendship. It has been another long year with many twists and turns but we made it through, together.
Yours in Service and with Much Love!
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

October 2021

Greetings Our Altavian Family!

How is it possible that it’s already October and 2021 is winding down? The month is only half over but so much good has already happened! Here’s a bit of a recap.

At the end of September, Crown Tournament was held in Dun Or. It was a lovely day and Griffith honorably represented both Altavia and his consort Amabel on the field. The end of the day saw Sir Valrik facing off with then-knight-vigilant Optimus in the finals with Sir Valrik winning the day for Lady Drada. We look forward to the Coronation of Their Royal Highnesses in January in Nordwache! Start thinking of some largesse we can create for them over the next couple of months!

With one week of down time (and a whole lotta prep), it was then time to head off to Great Western War! Altavia had a large and friendly encampment and it was a great time! A chief highlight of event, of course, was Baron (Master) Niko’s vigil and Pelican elevation! So many of you spent your Friday evening helping out at and attending the vigil and we marched into court as a barony to support our most awesome baron. I know he has many personal thank yous for this but I also want to thank you for helping create a very special couple of days for a very worthy person!

We’ve also got a whole bunch going on for the rest of October as well! Tomorrow sees the return of our unofficial game nights at Guildhall, which I hope can become a regular thing again. On Saturday, you have a choice of traveling to Dreibergen to participate in the Caid Archery and Thrown Weapons Open or sticking closer to home and helping create some largesse for the upcoming baronial investiture in Dreibergen.

Next Tuesday will be Arts and Sciences where I will teach how to make simple wire-wrapped rings for both personal tokens and largesse and then on Saturday, October 30, we will travel out to Dreibergen to celebrate their anniversary and see the investiture of their new Baron and Baroness, Ramvoldus and Kungund, and the baronial retirement of our dear Cousins, Logan and Tyne. We hope to see a really good-sized crew out there with us!

In closing, we would like to ask for everyone’s patience and flexibility when the new vaccine/testing requirements gointo effect on October 30. We will discuss that at greater length later in the meeting but we simply ask for patience as we figure out how this will work on the baronial level. Just know that all of this is to ensure we can keep playing safely and as comfortably as possible. We’ve gotten the band fully back together…let’s keep it that way!

Yours with much love and in service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

September 2021

Happy Fall Y’all!

August was still a relatively quiet month with only three events: Calafia’s Greatest Warrior (which His Excellency attended), HRM Katherine’s Festival of the Rose in Naevehjem which saw a small but mighty Altavian contingent and some hi-jinks involving His Excellency, and finally Nordwache Pirate Tourney which His Excellency also attended. Closer to home we also had many wonderful fighter practices and an excellent class on leather mask making taught by Amabel.

September started of with Highland “Not a War” and while neither His Excellency or I were able to attend, I believe we were well-represented by Griffith and Amabel. Last weekend was Caid Rapier Open up in Darach and it was a lovely day! Thank you to everyone that came out to fight, to serve, or just to hang out with us in the lovely Camarillo weather!

Coming up this weekend is Angels Virtual Anniversary. I haven’t seen an event posting yet but we’ll make sure to repost it in the baronial group as soon as it’s up.

After that it’s “all war prep, all the time!” as Great Western War is quickly approaching! If you’ve been waiting until the last minute to pre-reg, that last minute is now! Pre-reg closes at the end of the day tomorrow and you MUST be pre-regged to attend war, even as a day tripper. Please contact me if you run into any issues with the registration system. We’ll talk about some of the war prep opportunities coming up during officer reports and we hope to see all of you there. His Excellency’s vigil and Pelican ceremony will be at this war and I know it would mean so much to him to see you there!

We’ll discuss what’s going on for Agincourt, still tentatively scheduled for the end of October, a bit later in the meeting.

I know we’re beginning to sound like a broken record here but His Excellency and I really want to thank the entire populace and especially our officers and court and guard for your endless patience and resiliency during these crazy times that have gone on for far longer than anyone predicted or hoped. We know how frustrating and, frankly, scary it can be to not know if you get to do what you love or if you feel safe doing it. We realize that people’s comfort level with attending events has and will continue to evolve. Please know that there is absolutely no shaming in doing what is right for you and we will love you no matter when we get to see you in person again, be that next week or next year.

Be safe, be happy, be loved.


Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

August 2021

Happy August, Altavia!

The latter half of July was just as exciting as the first part with our first large tournament back, Queen’s Champion down in Gyldenholt! We had several competitors on both the armored and rapier field and so many people hanging out with Altavia that we ended up with some satellite pop-ups around the dragon wing. Thank you to everyone that came and hung out with us or dropped by to say “Hi!”; it was a truly wonderful day.

We also had our first in-person Arts & Sciences class back at the Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary’s. Arranged and taught by Allesandra, we had a fun evening of learning to eave chainmaille and even some of the children of the church’s clergy got in on the fun. Thank you from being an awesome teacher, Alessandra!

Looking ahead to what is coming up for the rest of the month, Festival of the Rose for Her Royal Majesty Queen Katherine will take place on August 21 in Naevehjem. His Excellency and I will both attend and if you are looking to carpool to the event, let us know and we will help you arrange something. Come share your art in celebration of our beautiful Queen!

After that is Nordwache’s Pirate Tourney on August 28 and Highland “Not-Quite-a-War” on September 4. I am not certain if His Excellency and I are planning on attending either, but we can still help arrange carpooling if you are interested. Caid Rapier Open is also coming up in mid-September in Darach and I can bet Altavia will have some solid representation there…possibly including my first attempt at tourney fighting, yikes!

A little further up the road is Crown Tourney in September and I know we have at least one couple throwing their hats in the ring from Altavia so that is exciting! Crown will be in Dun Or and the dragon wing will be out with plenty of Altavia banners and bling, so please come join us as we look to the future of Caid.

Finally, it is time to prep for two big events in October: GWW and Agincourt/Caid Archery Open. If you plan on attending GWW and camping with Altavia and you haven’t yet registered, please do so as soon as possible. Everyone must pre-reg this year (even day trippers) and registration closes on September 15. I’m sure we’ll be talking more about Agincourt later in the meeting, but we are going to need an event steward that can work with the event steward for Caid Archery Open to make sure everything runs smoothly. Just a reminder that due to the combining of events, Agincourt will be on a Saturday this year, not a Sunday.

In closing, His Excellency and I would like to thank everyone that came out to last night’s EPIC fighter practice (and celebration of His Excellency’s birthday). I’m sure Meliora and Sibylla have an exact count, but I heard we had between 60-70 people there at one point and a count of rapier fighters came up to 23! It was so nice to see so many happy people all in one place and we hope we can have many more like that in the future!

Yours in Service, Always.

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

July 2021

Greetings Altavia!

We are live again and practices have been happening for a month now. They have been well attended and lots of fun. Thank you to all the marshals, seneschals and chatelaines for keeping these days well-planned and following all the new and old guidelines properly.

Speaking of guidelines, we have been instructed by the Kingdom and Society to enforce certain rules at practices. Although pre-registration is no longer required, we still need a COVID tracing method. We will be continuing with the Google form for tracing purposes and people will be required to fill the form out either before or during practices.

Also, Blue cards are continued (this is an old rule) to be required for everyone at every event, class or practice. If you don’t have a blue card either physically or online, you can sign a waiver on site. This waiver is different from the COVID tracing Google form.

We had Coronation! It was great! We saw many friends for the first time in a year and a half, and it was like we never been parted. People hugged and talked and smiled and shared their love and friendship with each other. It was spectacular. Altavia had a strong presence as we processed with our presentation.

Thank you all who made largess for the kingdom. It was very well received, and very much appreciated. The games, bags and fans were beautiful and very well made. Thank you all once again for your Arts and Sciences talents and your giving nature.

On that topic, Arts and Sciences begins live this month with a chainmail class on the last Tuesday of the month. Look for a Facebook event soon.

Finally, we unfortunately could not secure the site reservation for QC Archery and Thrown Weapons for July 18th, so, in conjunction with TRM, the Kingdom Seneschal and the Kingdom Scheduler, we have postponed it to August 1st tentatively. No worries. We will have this event…eventually.

Good luck to all competitors in the upcoming events this and next month: QC Armor, Rapier, Unarmored, Archery, Thrown Weapons and FOTR Arts and Sciences! Know that all of Altavia is behind you and encouraging you to do your best.

Yours in Service,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

June 2021

Happy June, Altavia, and WELCOME BACK!!!

His Excellency and I are thrilled beyond belief that this month we get to start meeting again in the real world. Already, we have had a safe get-together to start putting together largesse for Their Royal Majesties and, just last night, we had our first fighter practice in over a year and three months. We want to thank everyone for their patience with all of the new rules and safety precautions we need to follow to ensure we are meeting safely and urge you to follow both the baronial and kingdom Facebook groups for all of the latest updates from the Kingdom Seneschal.

The very first kingdom event of the post-pandemic era is Carrag Wen Anniversary, coming up on June 19th. His Excellency is planning on going up and I am sure he would welcome any Altavians would also like to attend. Please remember that you MUST pre-register for events and that, until July 1, there is an attendance cap of 150. If you want to go, I suggest pre-regging as soon as possible.

Speaking of things we normally pre-reg for, Great Western War is a GO! We learned this wonderful news earlier this week and are already making plans for Camp Altavia! The Honorable Lady Monique has graciously volunteered to be camp mistress and general pre-reg should be opening in early July. Please keep an eye out for posts from the GWW Stewards and Publicity team with all the latest details. It’s going to be a great war with a very special celebration for someone we all love happening during Grand Court!

But before we go to War, we will officially coronate Their Royal Majesties, Panza and Katherine. This special coronation ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 10 in the Barony of Winternmist. With the new July rules, there will hopefully not be an attendance cap so all who want to attend may. I have heard that they are working on ways to broadcast the ceremony online as well for any who don’t feel quite up to a large in-person event yet. Altavia will be at the coronation, hopefully in full force, with and awesome group largesse project for HRM’s largess derby. We are putting together a period game set for each territory and I wish to thank Dame Lynnette, THL Edith, Lady Allesandra, Lady Sibylla, Lady Saystine, Dame Selene, Lord Christopher, THL Anne FitzAlla, Aðísla, Rivkah, Baroness Cecila, Condessa Battista, Theresa, Valerie (and anyone whose name escapes me at the moment) for helping out on this project on Sunday. In addition to the game sets, if anyone has largess that they have been working on over the quarantine that they would like to add to the Altavia presentation for coronation, please contact me to arrange a hand off.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again many times before our tenure is done, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done and continue to do to make Altavia a special place. This past year was one of unprecedented pain and challenges, but you found new ways of navigating and new reserves of strength to make it through. We are so proud of the way Altavia and Altavians rose to those challenges and can’t wait to watch the barony bloom again as we emerge from the Long Dark.

Laissez le Bon Temps Roule!

April 2021

Greetings, Altavia!

We would like to wish everyone a happy April and hope everyone had a nice Easter, Passover, Equinox, spring holiday of your choice 😊 Things continue to move in a positive direction for the Known World. By now, you should have seen the BoD announcement on the lifting of the in-person event suspension as of June 1. This is very exciting news indeed! Our tireless kingdom seneschal, Sir Tiberius, and the Caid COVID committee are hard at work determine exactly what this means for our kingdom and our events. We ask for and appreciate your continued patience as they work out all the details and will be sure to post/send all the latest and greatest official info your way as soon as we have it. In the meantime, if you have specific questions, please email them to or let His Excellency or me know and we will work to get you answers.

In just a few short weeks, on May 8, it will be time for our second (and hopefully last) virtual Anniversary celebration, Commedia dell’Altavia. Our mighty planning committee has lots of Italian Renaissance-inspired fun planned for the entire kingdom; check out the event page on Facebook for details. If you are interested in helping with last-minute planning, we are having an event meeting tomorrow night, thank you to everyone that has already given their time and creative energies to help plan a lovely virtual event!

Of course, with Anniversary coming up, we need your recommendations for baronial awards. Information on Altavia’s awards and our recommendation form can be found at: While we haven’t been able to meet in person for over a year, there are still plenty of people doing plenty of award-worthy things out there so get your recs in today!

Another online event that is coming up soon is the Technical Symposium for the Digital SCA, an event being spearheaded by Her Excellency of Dreibergen. This is now a two-day event on May 1 and 2 and will feature excellent classes on many tech topics such as Zoom, Google Docs, Discord, Facebook, website upkeep, Caid wiki page creation and more taught by Altavians such as Dame Lynnette and Master Laertes, Caidans and friends from throughout the Known World. Class proposals are being accepted through April 16 and a schedule of classes should be available real soon.

Finally, we wanted to tell everyone about a cool project going on in Altavia and thank those that are making it possible. Thanks to the urging of and coordination by Dame Lynnette, we are going to have Altavia populace badge face mask. These would not be possible without THL Edith acquiring the materials, Mistress Cecilia for providing the pattern and for sewing the masks and Lady Sibylla for getting the embroidery pattern of the populace badge digitized and for embroidering the masks. I’m so proud of this team effort and can’t wait to see the finished product. We’re starting with a small number of masks to see how long they take and to gauge interest but hope to be able to make one for everyone in the barony that wants one eventually.

As always, thank you to everyone that has stuck by Altavia through thick and thin, especially this year. We have hugs (for all who want them) penciled in for the very near future.

Until that most excellent day, we remain, as ever…

Yours in Service,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

March 2021

Happy March, Altavia!

Spring is almost here and with it, new hope for a return to “normal” is on the horizon! We are so happy to see everyone’s vaccination pics and are looking forward to the day when everyone in the barony is able to receive their vaccinations. On the Caidan front, kingdom officers and the COVID committee is hard at work to figure out how we can safely play in person, hopefully as soon as the beginning of June. In the meantime, please be patient and understand that in-person SCA events, including fighter practices, cannot take place until after May 31, 2021, no matter what tier California/Los Angeles might move into before then.

Plans have begun for our online anniversary event on May 8, Commedia dell’Altavia! We have many fun, Italian Renaissance-inspired theatrical events planned for the day on Zoom and some lead-up events the week before on Altavia’s Discord channel. For all the details on the event, see the FB event page or attend an upcoming planning meeting to help us plan more fun and frivolity for the barony and kingdom. We want to thank everyone that attended the first planning meeting for the event. We also want to give shout-outs to Sybilla and Saystine for their great ideas for both lead-up and day-of events for Anniversary and to Battista for once again agreeing to run the ever popular themed scavenger hunt!

For those that are working on largess projects for the barony/shire-themed largesse derby at Coronation, a reminder that some of us are meeting every other Wednesday to work on projects together and get ideas for future projects. At our next get-together on March 17, Her Excellency would really love to come up with a project we can do together as a barony. If you are interested in being a part of this, please join us! Details will be posted on the Altavia FB group and Discord.

Another online event that is coming up soon is the Technical Symposium for the Digital SCA, an event being spearheaded by Her Excellency of Dreibergen. The purpose of this one-day event is to help Caidans and the rest of the Known World take better advantage of tools like Zoom, Facebook, Discord, Google Docs and more. If you have any special knowledge in this area and would like to share it with the SCA, please let Baroness Briana know so I can pass your information on to the organizing committee.

In the coming months, we’ll start working on plans for in-person events. Right now, we are on tap for hosting Queen’s Champion Target Arts in July and we are hoping to be able to host Agincourt Archery and Thrown Weapons and Agincourt Feast in October as well as Yule in December. We’ll be on the lookout for event stewards so let us know if you are interested. We know we sound like a broken record, but hope is coming and with it, a return to in-person events. Things will look different and we don’t know the precise date when the floodgates will open but it is so nice to see that light at the end of the tunnel get brighter and brighter. Both of us are so grateful that you are all still here with us and that we have made it through the last year as we always do, together.

Yours in Service, Always –

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

February 2021

Greetings to all of our wonderful Altavians!

Since we haven’t met yet in 2021, welcome to a shiny new year! We hope that you all had a very happy and healthy holiday season. Before we move on to this new year though, we want to officially thank Meliora and everyone in the barony that helped run a truly wonderful virtual Yule event for Altavia and our friends in Angels. It was an evening full of fun, music, contests and, most importantly, friendship!

To start off the year, there was a January Caid court where we saw the ascension (but not coronation) of our new Majesties, Panza and Katherine and thanked their Graces, Alexander and Tahira, for their tireless service to the kingdom. Speaking of service, our very own Baron Niko was asked to join the Order of the Pelican! He said yes and we can’t want to celebrate his vigil and elevation in the hopefully nearish future.

As we move into the rest of the year, we hope to keep everyone involved and entertained while we look towards the day when we can meet in person again. Later in the meeting we’ll start discussing ideas for Altavia Anniversary. We were one of the first virtual anniversary events out of the gate last year and we know you all have some great ideas for new things to incorporate int this year’s event. In addition to this, we have online activities going on every week including our Monday night hangouts after “Live from Caid!”, the new bi-weekly crafting/largesse hangouts on Wednesday evenings and our monthly Arts & Sciences classes arranged by Lady Allessandra. Also, be on the lookout for a post on Altavia’s FB group from Lady Kungund, current Bard of Altavia, to gauge interest for a new monthly bardic circle!

Speaking of the Arts and Sciences, we want to thank all of the Altavians involved with running and teaching during Fiberuary, especially Dame Lynnette for wrangling all the cats. For those that weren’t aware, Fiberuary is a month-long series of classes taught by both SCA and non-SCA folks on the fiber arts, covering everything from lucet cord to tablet weaving to patterning your own Burgundian gown. Details can found at Fiburary! What a great way to keep the flames of the Arts and Sciences burning in the deep midwinter 😉

As always, we’re so grateful to everyone who is continuing to make time for the SCA during the on-going weirdness. We will continue to keep you updated on all the latest from the kingdom and the BoD on when we can meet in person again. May that time not be distant and, until then, we’ll see you on Facebook and Discord and Zoom and all the other creatively anachronistic mediums we are so lucky to have!

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

Baroness Briana MacCabe

December 2020

The Holidays are upon us. We hope everyone had a great and safe Thanksgiving Holiday. We know left overs are good for days and no one ever gets tired of turkey… It is sad that we could not celebrate like we all want too, but there will always be next year and we can all make the best of what we have. Reveling with the immediate household, and/or friends and family on line is a treat and we all should be thankful to have the opportunity. People who love us and whom we love should be cherished and celebrated. We are thankful to have you in our lives.

Angels/Altavia Yule is Saturday. Preparations have been going on for months and soon we will be together… virtually. So many people have worked hard to set it up and get it running. Games, contests, bardic, food, drink and companionship are waiting for us in just a few days. Our Baronies had some great ideas, and we know we will all have a great time . We would like to thank everyone who has helped and will continue to help. See you all on the 12th. Let’s a have a Cule Yule!

The end of the plague is near. There is sunlight at the end of the tunnel. Stay at home orders and other restrictions will soon come to an end. However, we still must be cautious and keep safety on our minds at all times. Until, we all get a vaccination, there is still a danger. As they say, don’t stumble so close to the finish line. Be careful. Be safe. The Board has extended the ban on in face, group events until May 31, and Caid will follow that edict. We will see each other face to face again soon, and when that happens there will be hugs and tears and laughter. We will get through this together, and we will be an in person Barony once again. LONG LIVE ALTAVIA!!!

Baron Nikolaos Phaistos and Baroness Briana MacCabe

November 2020

Our Dear Altavians!

We want to start off by thanking everyone that helped make Dreibergen Anniversary and Altavia Agincourt Tourney a success last month.

  • Many thanks to Mistress Cecilia and Baron Christoph for running fun and engaging archery and thrown weapons tournaments, to Lord Arioch for designing cool site and champion tokens.
  • Congratulations to our winners, Ramvoludus Kroll (live shoot), Adelais de la Jupe Cramoisie (archery game), and Niall Mareschal (thrown weapons game)
  • Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun and help wish our cousins in Dreibergen a very happy anninversary.

In other news, we are looking for your stories and tales for an upcoming edition of the Crown Prints kingdom newsletter. The Kingdom Chronicler is asking baronies to take over an edition of the CP to let the rest of Caid know our tales and what it is to be an Altavian. Milady Sibylla de Haze has cheerfully taken on the task of gathering up your stories, songs, poems, art and other remembrances of Altavia. Please send your content to her at no later that November 30. If you have ideas but want some help putting them together, please reach out to His Excellency or I and we’d be happy to help.

We’re so excited to be planning a joint Yule once again with our cousins of Angels and look forward to a cozy and comforting holiday celebration. With Yule coming up, we’d love to read your Altavia award recommendation letters so we can recognize all those that are contributing to the barony through art, service and fighting in new and unique ways during the pandemic.

As always, Niko and I are both here to listen and to support the barony in anyway that is needed. If you need to talk or if you have ideas on fun things we should be doing as a barony, we are all ears. Email, message, text, call, send smoke signals…whatever your chosen medium, just please reach out if you need us.

We love you, Altavia!
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

October 2020

Sorry, we’re a little tired right now but thank you so much for all the work everyone has been doing, especially Cristof and Cecilia who have been working so hard on Agincourt. Yule planning is going well, A&S classes have started back up again. The Kingdom’s events are really slowing down and no one is doing archery except for us! It’s great that everyone is continuing to work. It is tremendous. Griffith, thank you for volunteering to work with people on their pells. Sibylla, you have been volunteering for everything and we’re so glad you’re back! Damien and Matlens, you don’t have much to report but thank you Altavia, you guys are great!

August 2020

Happy August, Altavia!

His Excellency and I hope that you and yours are doing well and are continuing to navigate this new world successfully. Here are the latest updates on what is going on in SCA, Caid and Altavia.

              State of the SCA

As you may have read in the Board of Directors’ (BoD) statement on August 8, the SCA is facing some financial challenges relating to COVID-19. While we may not have expenses relating to events and insurance for those events for a while, the Society still has annual operating expenses, which are usually covered by membership fees and non-member surcharges (NMS). With membership inevitably dropping and no NMS fees coming in, this is leaving a bit of a shortfall. Fortunately, there are many ways we can help cover this, including:

If you have other ideas for fundraising (at the baronial, kingdom, or Society-level), please bring them up here at Council or feel free to contact His Excellency or me in private. We would both like to thank all those that reached out to us with ideas and requests to help. The generosity of Altavia and Altavians never ceases to make us proud!

State of Caid

Another recent piece of news that has come down from the BoD is the suspension of all in-person SCA events in North America until January 13, 2021. His Majesty also confirmed this information in the latest and last (more on that in a moment) Royal Thursday last week. While of course this is not a happy thing to hear, it is the best and wisest decision at this point in time. We have also learned today that our neighbors in Atenveldt have made the difficult decision to postpone Estrella War 2021 to November of next year.

Caid will still maintain a schedule of online events until we are able to safely meet again. Going forward Caid will hold an online court once every other month with the next one scheduled for Saturday, August 29. “Live from Caid!” will continue to run every Monday evening, ably helmed by Altavia’s very own Master Laertes. Any information that needs to be passed along from the Crown outside of online court will be communicated through “Live from Caid!” as well as on the Kingdom of Caid FB group. Finally, right as of now, the next Coronation will happen as soon as we are able to meet in person, keep your eyes on all of Caid’s digital channels for information as it becomes available.

Baronies are still able and encouraged to hold online events and later tonight we’ll talk about what we might want to do for Agincourt as well as Yule.

State of Altavia

We hope that you have all been enjoying our weekly Zoom gatherings! We know it’s not an actual replacement for hitting our friends with sticks, but I know I am really enjoying getting to know current and former Altavians as well as old and new friends from throughout Caid and the Knowne World better! If you have any ideas for changing up our Monday nights (themes, contests, artisan showcases, or anything else), please let us know. OR if you have ideas for other online fun we can have outside of Monday nights (baronial gift exchanges, largess-ins, what-have-you), please speak up or at least let His Excellency and me know so we can help make your ideas into reality. Being isolated from all of you really, really sucks but we do have the opportunity to expand the Dreams in new ways we never considered before.

As always, please reach out to us and your fellow Altavians if you need a hand or need cheering up. Niko is ever ready with a bad dad joke or inspiring meme and you know you can count on me for a tune or two or a brain-storming partner. We love you, we miss you, and, to quote some notable fictional Angels, please remember to “Be Excellent to Each Other!”

Yours in Service to the Dream,
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

July 2020

Life has thrown us some serious challenges in the last three months, though many of us seem to be virtually fine. Virtually is a strange word. The dictionary definition is “most or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition.” I have to disagree. We have turned virtually into a reality, with most of the same feelings and experiences of life. Circumstances have manifested and our populace has responded. We have adapted, improvised and overcome. We have used our imagination, creativity and innovation. We have turned circumstances on their heads and made them conform to us. Through the course of the last few months, Altavians have proven over and over again that we cannot be beaten. I am proud to call myself a member of the Kingdom of Caid and an Altavian.

Masters Laertes McBride and Beorn of the Northern Seas designed, produced and starred in the Kingdom’s first talk show, “Live from Caid”. It has brought interesting and talented figures from around the Knowne World and shared them with us all. We have been kept up to date on our current state of affairs by people we know and respect. We have learned of new rules coming down from the Board, and new offices being created. We have heard music, songs and stories from our dear, close friends and from people thousands of miles away. We were even given the opportunity of being guided on tour of a SCA castle, which has been a lifetime in the making. It has entertained and informed us every Monday evening at 7:00 p.m., since the beginning of our current situation.

We were challenged by having event after event being cancelled. Then it was our Anniversary that faced cancellation. Instead of sitting in despair, we decided not to call off our most precious of events, Altavia Anniversary. We met online and discussed it. We had help from Dun Or (THL Philippe) and others who had tried this new way of celebrating in our Society, the virtual event. It became our Altavia Alt-aversary!

What we came up with was nothing short of amazing. Our wonderful populace thought up an extravaganza. We had a challenging and fun scavenger hunt made by Countess Battista. We had collectable site token and champion frames by Lord Arioch (Lee). We had competitions thought up by Lord Griffith, Mistress Cecila, and Master Colwyn. Our Arts and Sciences competition was set up and run by Lady Allessandra. Our opening and closing court was handled on Zoom by the spectacular Mistress Meliora and Master Laertes. We had bards from all over the Knowne World share their talents with us. Our innovations have become a blueprint for the rest of the Kingdom and Society.

What we made was truly something new and amazing. It was a work of art. It was fun and engaging. It allowed our friends to be a part of our lives again and, it was REAL! Thank you Altavia for renewing our faith in humanity once again. We hope that you will all continue to keep Altavia, Caid and the SCA in your hearts. There is only one way through all of this…and that’s together.

Baron Niko Phaistos and Baroness Briana McCabe

March 2020

This month has been full of events up in the great North of Caid. Newbie Knock About and Chiv in the Chest were wonderful, small events that no many of us went to. They were quaint and a great opportunity to get to know people better.Estrella War brought a few Altaivans into the fray. We had both fighters and no fighters attend. We were well represented on the field by Griffith and off by Amber. It was not as wet as in previous years, but it did end up a little damp.

Crown Tourney was Epic. We like to congratulate are new heirs, Lord Panza and Baroness Katherine. We know their reign will be fun. Again, Griffith represented us on the field and went up against three knights. He fought honorably and well and we are proud of his effort. In addition, we had many other Altavians in attendance and helping out. Thank you again to all who helped set up, take down and attend the Baroness. Thank you Mistress Meliora for being the kingdom’s eyes and ears by doing Media for the event. Baroness Cassandra and Dame Lynette attended the royals as well. We know we have forgotten other Altavian contributions of the day. We were so proud to be so well represented in service. You guys make the Barony look great!

Looking to the future, Altavia Anniversary planning is well in progress and we are very happy will what we have seen so far. We will be having a continuous discussion regarding Kingdom events that we are hosting as well as our Agincourt and Feast. A little birdy told us, we might have a guest chef for this year’s feast and it will be epic.

We are in need of filling some officer positions soon. We currently have or will have vacancies in the following offices: Constable, Webwright, Archery, Thrown Weapons, as well as Chronicler. There are also many deputy positions available as well. Please contact the Seneschal or one of us for more information. We thank everyone for all their hard work over years and we ask for your continued support.

February 2020

Happy February, Altavia! This month has a bit of a slower pace in Caid but there is still plenty to love about our Kingdom :)His Excellency and I want to thank everyone that came out and participated in events that took place since our last council meeting. Angel’s Melee had perfect weather and even though it was a shorter day, plenty of fun and fighting was had by all. Gyldenholt Unbelted was also a beautiful day and we’re very proud of our Altavians, Amabel and Griffith, who fought well and honorably in a very large field. The fighting that day was spectacular, even to someone like me who knows very little about armored combat. Finally, Festival of the Rose down in Calafia was a fun art-filled day and saw two Altavians honored by their Majesties. Our dual citizen of Altavia and Calafia, Bex of (sigh) Calafia, was awarded arms at closing court and His Excellency Niko was “honored” with the title “Royal Namer of Clouds” by His Majesty at opening court. We enjoyed talking with all of the artisans and viewing their art. It was a lovely, relaxing day and there was even some time for shenanigans with the Calafian trident 😉

We hope that anyone heading out to Estrella next week has a lovely time; according to sources, it looks like the weather is going to be a whole lot better this year! Closer to home, this weekend is Knewbie Knockabout up in Wintermist, Chiv in the Chest at the end of the month in Nordwache. His Excellency is looking to travel to Wintermist but neither of us will be attending the event in Nordwache.

The first weekend in March sees Caid’s Crown Tournament in Naevehjem. We hope to see many of you out there to cheer on all the combatants and we would love to see Altavians on the Crown list!

That’s all the news for now. We hope that you have a lovely February and, if you celebrate, a great Valentine’s day! We love you, Altavia!

Yours in Service to the Dream,
Baron Niko
Baroness Briana

January 2020

Welcome to 2020, Altavia! We’re off to a great and exciting start to the year with a spectacular Coronation event two weeks ago. Thank you to everyone from Altavia who attended and came up with us to present to the outgoing and incoming Majesties, especially to Master Colwyn who, as always, helped us live up to the baronial motto! Many congratulations to our cousins of Angels for a lovely event in a spectacular site (if you haven’t had a chance to look at the pictures in the Academy of St Veronica group on Facebook, go have a look…they are amazing!) and a hearty Huzzah to Baroness Sophia on her Laureling!

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t travel back to December and thank everyone for a wonderful Yule. Many thanks to Christof, Cecilia, and Tomaso for running a great event and for everyone that came early or stayed late to help decorate, set up, and clean. Congratulations to our new Bard of Altavia, Mistress Cecilia (and her able assistant, Natalya) and our Games champion, Baroness Tezar! I hope everyone had a great time and can I just say that the Captain Hook look quite suits my baron!

Moving back into January, thank you to everyone that joined Baron Niko at Queen’s Champion last Saturday and I apologize for having to miss it. I hear Altavia made a great showing and many congrats go out to Baron Christoph, the Queen’s Champion for Archery for this reign! Following quickly on the heels of this weekend’s event, we had a royal invasion of Horsemen at fighter practice last night as well as many friends from Dun Or, Isles, and other places around Caid. Niko and I hope everyone had a lot of fun and learning at last night’s practice. I received many compliments from our visitors on how welcoming and fun our practice is and we had quite a few newcomers drop by and fall in love! Good job, Altavia!

Coming up in the next couple of weeks are some really fun events including Angels Melee (this weekend), Gyldenholt Unbelted (next weekend), and Festival of the Rose (February 1). We hope to see many Altavians under the dragonwing for these events and look forward to hanging out and cheering folks on!

In closing, I wanted to put a challenge out there for all of you. Getting more people involved in volunteering has been a big topic of discussion on the Book of Faces this winter and that’s a topic near and dear to our hearts. I challenge us all to talk at least one newbie, at fighter practice or at an event, into volunteering in some way. It could be running list cards, it could be teaching a class, it could be taking on a deputy officer position. If they have interest in volunteering for something you aren’t familiar with, direct them to someone who is! We all know that the core group of people running any given barony is small and that can be tiring but we can and should do what we can to increase that pool of willing volunteers. We all have the ability to help grow our kingdom, our Caid, our family.

Yours, as always, in Service to the Dream,
Baron Niko
Baroness Briana

December 2019

Happy Holidays, Altavia!

It’s time to celebrate with all of our Caidan friends and family. This weekend, His Excellency and I and an Altavia contingent will be heading up to Dun Or to celebrate with them. Dreibergen Yule, Lyondemere/Gyldenholt Yule, and Calafia Winter Arts are also happening this weekend. If you’re traveling to any of these events we hope you have fun and travel successfully!

The following weekend is Altavia/Angels Yule and we hope to see all of you there. Christof, Cecilia, Tomaso, and all of the other folks working on the event have a merry maritime celebration planned for us all! We can’t wait to see the decorations and garb, eat all of the wonderful food, hear all of the wonderful bardic performances, and just get to hang out with all of you wonderful people! Please remember to send us your award recommendations as we are looking forward to recognizing deserving Altavians during court that evening.

To cap off the holiday/Yule season, Coronation/Twelfth Night is happening right next door in Angels on January 4. Join us as we thank TRH Wilhelm and Tsyra for all of their hard work during their reign and welcome TRH Alexander and Tahira as Caid’s newest monarchs! Please let us know if there’s anything you’d like to contribute for the presentations for the incoming and outgoing royalty. Watch Facebook for additional details on an upcoming craft night to create feast gear bags as part of our largesse for this and other upcoming events.

Niko and I both want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Blessed Yule, Merry Festivus, and many more happy holidays besides. Thank you for helping make Altavia a wonderland, winter, spring, summer or fall!

Yours in Service (always),
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

November 2019

It’s November and Altavia has a lot to be thankful for! At the end of the last month, we had two wonderful events, Agincourt Archery and Thrown Weapons Tournament and the 2nd iteration of the Agincourt Feast. Both events were amazing and we want to thank everyone that came out and helped run the event, especially our stewards, The Honorable Lady Monique (Tournament) and Dame Lynnette (Feast), and our head cook, The Honorable Lady Courtney and her able-bodied crew of sous chefs! All your hard work really showed and everything was delightful and tasty! Congratulations also to our new Archery champion, Adelais, new Thrown Weapons champion, Toro, and the newest recipient of the Sable Fret service award, Lady Kendra.

This month has already seen Calafia and Naevehjem Anniversary (thank you to those who came out to those events) and this weekend should be a nice laid-back time up in Goleta for Isles Anniversary. After these events, it’s time to start getting ready for Yule season! Baron Christoph and Baroness Cecilia are plotting a merry Maritime theme for our party with our Angelic cousins and I am particularly looking forward to seeing all the nautical decorations and garb that show up for this fun event. I’m sure will be hearing more about that in a few minutes. Speaking of Yule, please get your award letter recommendations in! His Excellency and I would love to recognize many Altavians for all they do to enhance the Barony and the Kingdom!

After Yule season (and remember, you can definitely go to more than one..I’ll be attending Dun Or’s the week before), it’s time for Coronation! This time, it’s just down the way a bit in Angels. If you have items that you would like to put in the presentation for either the outgoing or incoming royals, please let me know. As always, I would love to be able to showcase items made by Altavians in these baskets.

His Excellency and I hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving with your families, blog or chosen, and a wonderful start to your holiday season!

Yours in Service to the Dream,
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

October 2019

We started the month off with a hot time at Crown Tourney. Thank you to all the Altavians who volunteered, guarded, marshaled, heralded, reported and fought. The excitement melted our hearts and like a volcano erupted new heirs: Alexander and Tahira.

Then at Caid rapier open, Altavians we’re all over. We were fiber frolicking, heralding, marshaling, fighting and just having a great time. We had three Altavians in the quarter finals and they all fought admirably. The weather was glorious and so was the company.

Finally, Great Western War! What a wonderful week! Every Altavian we talked to said they had an excellent time! Bardic, fighting heavies or rapier, shopping, cooking, eating, archery, throwing weapons and SMORES! Every day and every night was filled with fun and laughter. So many things to do and watch. It was spectacular!

On a personal note, thank you all for the support and hugs you have given me, Niko, in these difficult days. I will be back in my feet soon enough.
Looking to the future, we have Agincourt and Agincourt Feast at the end of the month. Come on out and shoot, throw, cook and eat with us. It is sure to be a stupendous day.

Thank you all for being so Excellent!

The Baron and Baroness

September 2019

Happy September, Altavia!

Angels Anniversary was a totally rad blast from the 80s past! His Excellency and I want to thank everyone that helped to set up and tear down, especially our friends in the Horsemen, Captain Cassandra de Lorraine and our Flaxen Abbey brother and sister, Eadric The-Younger and Molly Marking.

Congrats to all who were recognized for their awesomeness including the newest court Baroness Fu Ching Lan and our two new Peers-to-Be, Baroness Sophia (Laurel) and THL Garrick  (Defense)!

Congrats, also, to the victors of the day’s contests including Duke Sven for armored, Altavia’s very own Don Nathaniel Longbow for rapier, and Sehket of the Horsemen for A&S (her second A&S win and only her third event…holy wow!)

I feel absolutely re-energized about the SCA after such a lovely day! We can’t wait to see who are new heirs will be next week at Crown and to spend a full week with our chosen family at GWW!

Love you all
Baroness Briana MacCabe
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos

August 2019

Greetings, Altavia!

We hope everyone is having a wonderful Summer and are ready for the event season to start heating up again!

Since our last Council meeting, we have a new King and Queen! TRM Wilhelm and Tsyra’s coronation was a lovely event filled with theater and laughter. Thank you to everyone who joined us and especially to those that contributed items to the baskets for TRM and for Count Adam and Countess Staeina.

There was a break in Kingdom events while Pennsic took place. We loved seeing the photos of all the Caidans out east, especially our baronial parents, Cecilia and Christoph. We’re happy to hear that everyone returned home to Caid safely and look forward to hearing all of their tales from War.

Coming up at the end of the month, over Labor Day weekend, is Highland War. Her Excellency will be attending and hopes that you can join her at this fun and laid-back event. There is much silliness to be had throughout the weekend and especially at the Torchlight Tourney (The words “bouncy joust” were mentioned at coronation court in relation to this event ;))

Beyond Highland, September and both Angels Anniversary and Fall Crown Tournament will be here before you know it. If you are planning on fighting in Crown, Letters of Intent are due by Saturday, August 24.

As a parting thought, we are always looking for new ideas to mix things up in Altavia. If you have an idea, of any sort, to improve the Barony, please don’t hesitate to come talk to Us or our seneschal, Meliora. No idea is too big or too small!

Yours in Service, Always
Baroness Briana MacCabe
Baron Niko Phaistos

July 2019

Greetings Altavia! It was a short month, but it was shaking! Queen’s Champion in Carreg Wen was so much fun and we want to thank all the Altavians who helped facilitate the competitions and helped set up and take down the dragon wing. It was warm, but beautiful.Lyondomere Anniversary was also warm and humid, but Altavia was represented in force. Thank you all who honored us with your appearance and especially those who brought pop-ups to this wonderful event. We had the most pop ups of any barony in attendance! Many thanks to Cecilia and Christoph for running a fun and popular “target arts” game as well. Altavia’s game was talked about in court.
This week is Coronation up in Wintermist and we hope to see as many of you there as possible. As always, we invite you to walk up with the Barony when we present to the courts.Finally, our thoughts go out to all of the people affected by the recent earthquakes. We hope people in need get the right help and we all give what we can. If you are looking for ways to help, please contact Mistress Aldgytha, Caid’s disaster response coordinator.Again, Altavians are great! Thank you so much for all your help and camaraderie

June 2019

Summer is here and things are heating up in Altavia!

First of all, His Excellency and I want to thank all of the Altavians that joined us for war at Potrero. The weather may not have been ideal but the company sure was! There were many good times around the fire pit and in the dining hall (dragon wing) and look forward to camping with everyone again this fall at GWW. Just a reminder, if you haven’t pre-regged yet, please do so by Sunday, June 30 to get 125 extra sq. ft. of land!

We also want to thank everyone that joined us for Wintermist and Gyldenholt Anniversaries and encourage you to come out the rest of June’s events including Queen’s Champion in Carrag Wen and Lyondemere Anniversary at the end of the month. Without your presence and help at these events, our days wouldn’t be quite as shiny. Thank you!

In less happy news, Caid has lost two shining lights in the past month, Countess Amsha of Calafia and Lord Bryan Gard of Yale from Nordwache. The loss of Bryan, Caid’s Minister of Thrown Weapons, was especially hard for our barony as he was a previous TW champion of ours and a good friend to many here in Altavia. For all those grieving, our hearts are with you and we wish you peace.

As we enter summer, it’s not too early to start thinking about and planning for upcoming Altavia events. If you or someone you know might be interested in steward Agincourt or Agincourt feast, cooking for Agincourt feast, or co-stewarding Angels/Altavia Yule, please let Meliora and/or His Excellency and I know! We look forward to an exciting fall event season here in Altavia!

Finally, as His Excellency posted on the Book of Faces this week, it’s always a good time to recommend your fellow Altavians and Caidans for awards! If you need help writing a letter or figuring out what to recommend someone for, just give a holler!

Yours in Service, Always
Baroness Briana MacCabe
Baron Niko Phaistos

May 2019

Altavia Anniversary was an Arabian delight! We received so much positive feedback and we have many people to thank for its success!

First off, thank you to our event stewards, Mistress Cecilia Medici and Lady Amber MacRae, for a wonderful event with such a fun theme! Everyone had so much fun with the scavenger hunt (thank you, Pieter!), camel races, and all the other little touches you put together. Special thanks goes to Baron Christoph  and Brother D for the absolutely gorgeous site tokens!

Thank you to Baroness Tezar of Aeolis   for running an organized and efficient court (record time!) and congrats to THL Damian von Baden for becoming a capital “H” herald!

Thanks, as always, to THL Elle Wynn of Essex for running gate and Baroness Morgaine for wrangling merchants and selling so many raffle tickets we had to send Lord Eadric the Younger out to buy more!

Speaking of which, thank you to everyone that donated, assisted with, or bought tickets for the opportunity drawing to benefit the Barony, especially Dame Lynnette  and THL Juanica Montanez.  Special thanks to Don Nathaniel Longbow and his lovely lady Elspeth for allowing us to stage raffle items at their house and making sure it all got to site yesterday. Thank you to Sir Gui and Countess Troy for their massive donation of items to the sale and raffle. The Barony’s coffers are greatly replenished by all your generosity.

Many thanks go again to Cecilia and all her helpers for wrangling the garb/jewelry/book/what-have-you sale to benefit the Kingdom. There were some really beautiful things over there and I’m happy that they got good homes and we are able to send another sizable donation of funds to the Kingdom. Thank you to everyone who donated! Thanks also to Unicorn Fiber Arts for hosting the space for the sale.

Thank you to our marshals, Lord Griffith Von Bremen (armored) and Don Nathaniel Longbow (Rapier) for running our championships. Thank you to Matlens and Giovanni from running lists and all the marshals and heralds that helped run the fields. Congrats to our Armored Champion Duke Sven Örfhendur and our Rapier Champion, Master Eógan Ua Confraích!

Arts and Sciences was a happening place with coffee, sweets, and (my favorite!) performances. Thank you to THL Juanica Montanez, THL Delphine de Montallieu, Lord Avranos el-Hac bin Yusif Kazim (I have access to the OP and am not afraid to use it!) and all the other helpers and performers for making the coffee house such a special place during the event. Congrats to Rycharde the Bowemon for becoming Altavia’s Arts and Sciences champion and to Dame Gorandookht Mamigonian for winning the special Baroness Bardic prize!

While I didn’t get a chance to get over there myself, I hear the donation lunch was delightful. Thank you to Dame Selene Colfox Susan Fox, Mistress Asakura Machime, and all of their assistants for feeding our hungry guests.

We received so many lovely gifts throughout the day, both from our baronial cousins and from the populace of Altavia. The Barony received lovely travel thrones from Master Colwyn Stagghorn and House Valentine, tasty, tasty sausages from Baron Vlad Kegelyten and the newly formed Runnymede Manor, and food for our baronial table from so many people including Her Excellency of Angels, Baroness Sophia de la Roche. On the topic of food, many thanks to THL Edith of Abroath for ensuring Their Majesties and Their Highness had a repast fit for royalty!

Finally, I want to thank our Court and Guard, and especially our mighty Captain, Baroness Cassandra de Lorrain, and the Baroness Whisperer, THL Monique Marie Sauniere, for keeping both of us well-watered, fed, and where we needed to be throughout the day and for all your hard work with set-up and tear down. We could not do this without everyone’s your hard work, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In non-Anniversary news, we wish to congratulate Don Nathaniel for becoming Darach’s champion at their Anniversary event on May the 4th (we had so much fun with that theme!) and send a shoutout to all those that joined us at al Sahid and Darach Anniversaries. Please join us this weekend at Wintermist and next week at Potrero. Yay War!

Salaam and In Service to the Dream,
Baroness Briana MacCabe
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Barony of Altavia

April 2019

Happy April, Altavia! His Excellency and I want to thank all the Altavians (and associated shire folk ? ) that shared our pavilion last Saturday at Dun Or Anniversary. Having you all there made a good day better and I hope our shenanigans brought a smile to your face as well.This Saturday is Starkhafn Anniversay and His Excellency is planning on attending. If anyone would like to carpool to the event with him and keep him company on the long road to Vegas, it would be mighty appreciated!

Next Tuesday is the next (last?) planning meeting for Altavia Anniversary. If you would like to attend, please contact Countess Batista for the address and directions. We would love to have your input on all the fun things we have planned for the day!

Other events coming up in April include al-Sahid Anniversary, Nordwache Anniversary and Robin Hood Archery Tournament the next day. The week before Altavia Annivesary, our neighbors to the north, Darachshire, are having a Star Wars-themed anniversary event (May the 4th) and I know that His Excellency and I are both very excited for this theme. Are you a Rebel or are you Imperial scum?

We also wanted to remind anyone who would like to camp with the barony for either Potrero or GWW (or both!) that registration is open for both events and to please land allocate with the barony.

Finally, please send in your award recommendations for both baronial and kingdom awards for Altavians that deserve recognition. We want recognize as many people as possible at Anniversary and we can only do that with your help. If you need help writing or submitting letters, please let me know and I’ll be glad to help.

Have a great month, everyone!

Yours in Service to the Dream,
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

March 2019

Greetings all. We have had a wet and wild month. Rainouts put a damper on a few practices and events this month, but it didn’t affect our festive mood. Those who braved Estrella this year, we salute you. You are true survivors! March promised some drier weather and some great events. Pentathlon/Art War was spectacular even with the wind. There was so much great art and fun competitions; we did not know where to start. We had some wonderful conversations with others on site and the SCA family feeling was spectacular. We left the event feeling closer to everyone and that’s the way it should be. Next was Kings hunt and Calafia/Gyldenholt Friendship Tourney. Isles was beautiful and Calafia was perfect fighting weather. Altavians flourished in the Rapier tourney and we all made it to finals (warlord). A great day and a great month! Crown tourney is coming up soon as well as Dun Or Anniversary and many others. Niko will not be at Crown. We hope as many Altavians can make it to these events and if possible carpool to save gas and space. Spring approaches and with that many wonderful events! Altavia Anniversary is just around the corner and 1001 Arabian Nights will need just as many volunteers to make it Magical! See the Event Stewards for details.

February 2019

It’s February and love is in the air! His Excellency and I want to say how much we love our Altavian family and everything we get to do together. From attending tourneys, like last month’s Queen’s Champion and Unbelted to working on arts together at A&S nights to just hanging out at fighter practice and Guildhall, we couldn’t think of a better group of people to have as our collective Valentines!

We hope everyone had fun at last month’s events and we’d like to congratulate Master Colwyn for becoming her Majesty’s Queen’s Champion. Master Colwyn and His Excellency represented Altavia very well in the finals and it was a very fun fight to watch! We also had at least one Altavian, Vigulfr, fight at Unbelted and thank you to everyone who came and hung out with us at both tourneys. Black Oak Lodge/Festival of the Rose was last weekend and we had a small but mighty Altavian contingent. It was a lovely day full of arts and food. Particularly exciting to me was seeing the first performance of a new Commedia troupe in Caid (I wanna play!).

Coming up in February is Chiv-N-the-Chest in Nordwache this Saturday and Lyondemere Arts and Archery on Sunday. The first weekend in March is Pentathalon in al-Sahid and this is always a great event. The second weekend in March has a couple of events going on with King’s Hunt up in Carreg Wen and Gyldenholt/Calafia Friendship Tourney down in Calafia. We hope to see folks at all of these upcoming events. Looking further down the road, we have Anniversary planning (we’ll be talking about that later) and Potrero War. Altavia has a baronial camp already on the books for Potrero but we are looking for someone to take on camp master/mistress duties.

We want to leave everyone with something to ponder as we start getting ready for our Anniversary event and other events throughout the year. What is something new that you’d like to see Altavia or Caid try or something that we haven’t done in a while that you’d like to see us try and bring back? Master Giuseppie started an awesome thread on the Book of Faces this week on that topic and, as your Baron and Baroness, we want to help you make your SCA dreams a reality. If you have an idea, no matter how small or large, feasible or pie-in-the-sky, come talk to us or bring your idea here to this council and let’s see what kinda magic we can make, together.

Yours in Service to the Dream,
Baron Nikolaos Phaistos
Baroness Briana MacCabe

January 2019

Happy New Year! His Excelleny and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to this year as much as we are. (Mistress Meliora is unable to be here tonight so His Excellency and I will be running the meeting. We’ll try to move things along as smoothly as possible)

Angels/Altavia Yule this past December was a blast as always. I loved seeing everyone’s inventive costumes and table décor and how much everyone was having so much fun. Niko and I want to thank everyone who put in hard work to make it success including Lynnette for stewarding, Meliora for her decorating magic, Elle for GETTING RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL to come run gate and everyone else who helped with set up and tear down. It was truly a Mythical Yuile

We want to thank everyone who joined us at Coronation/12th night. There were so many Altavians who walked up with the Barony for the presentations and the awesome heralds we had leading us (Adam Lindsey Greg Wylie ) that their Majesties has to comment and commend us. You all make the Barony look Great! In Addition, Many wonderful awards were given out including a Dolphin for Eadric the Younger and a court Barony to our own Cassandra de Lorrain! Congratulations and so well deserved. Your commitment to service is truly amazing. Those who stayed for feast made it fun and enjoyable. We had a blast!!! Thank you Altavia for being so Excellent!!!

Coming up this weekend is Angels Melee which is always a fun event. We always see a lot of Altavian participation in the rapier scenarios at this event and we hear there may be an Altavian team entering the heavies competition. Come out and watch the fighting or have some fun with string at the Fiber Playday or just hang out in the baronial dragonwing.

Next weekend is Queen’s Champion n Al Sahid, with the armored, rapier, unarmored, and youth combat tourneys taking place on Saturday and the archery and thrown weapons competitions happening on Sunday, We hope to see many Altavians out there in the lists and we look forward to cheering you on.

Rounding out the month of January is Gyldenholt Unbelted Tourney and we hope to see our newer armored fighters enter the list for this great event.

Have a great January, everyone!
Your Baron and Baroness,
Niko and Briana

December 2018

This month was spectacular. First and foremost, it was a time to be thankful. We are extremely thankful for the hard work and fun all Altavians have exhibited this year. We had so many compliments on how effectively we run events and how much enjoyment the populous experience when they visit our Barony. Thank you all for making Altavia shine!

There were also a few events this month as well. Beginning with Medieval Marketplace and culminating with a plethora of Yule celebrations, November and early December was 30 days of great frivolity. There were so many baronies and shires getting into the season these last few weeks, one couldn’t possibly attend them all. We hope as many Altavians took part in as many Yules as possible. If not, please think about going to other yules next year. They are all so much fun and great opportunities to get to know people in other locations.

Speaking of yules, our Yule is coming up this week. It will be Epic!!! So much planning and preparation have been going on these past months. Many people are making sure all of us have a great time. Remember to bring some food to feed a small group of people, a toy to donate, and most importantly your smiling, friendly faces. See you all there.

For all those who celebrate, have a most happy and safe holiday season. Thank you for being so Great!

Your Baron and Baroness,
Niko and Briana

November 2018

It’s the season to be thankful and His Excellency and I want to say how thankful we are for each and everyone of you. Altavians are a remarkable bunch of artisans, fighters, organizers, hard workers, creative thinkers and all-around awesome people. We are lucky to have you in our lives.

One thing we are especially grateful for is that all Altavians (that we are aware of) came through the recent fires unscathed. We know that there are quite a few SCA folk in the West that weren’t so lucky. Keep your eyes on Facebook for ways to help, if you are so inclined. Both His Majesty Dawid and Caid’s DRC Aldgytha have posted links on their personal pages regarding assistance efforts.

We are also very thankful for everyone who helped out at Agincourt Tourney and Feast a few weeks ago. Thank you to Cecilia and Christoph for event stewarding the tourney, Christoph for running the archery portion, Santiago for running thrown weapons, Cecilia for running the Fretted Fork. We also had our first feast in many years…many thanks to Meliora for running the front of the house and to Selene for cooking a wonderful feast. Many wonderful people helped Meliora with serving including Cecilia, Lynnette, and Rayne and Courtney, Hadassah, and Anne helped Selene in the kitchen. Wonderful job, all!

We’re entering a slower event season as we take time to celebrate with our non-SCA families. Isles Anniversary is coming up this weekend and His Excellency andI are both attending; we hope to see you there. Medieval Marketplace is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and is an excellent place to work on your holiday gift list. After that, we enter the season of Yules. Altavia and Angel’s Mythical Yule is on December 15 and we will hear a lot more about that coming. After that, the new year and a new reign will be upon us, sooner than any of us think!

We hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week with lots of family and food. We’re looking forward to a wonderful holiday season with all of you here in Altavia!

Yours in Service to the Dream,
THL Nikolaos Phaistos, Baron of Altavia
THL Briana MacCabe, Baroness of Altavia

October 2018

This has been a truly great month for Altavia. We accomplished many things in one small month. September 15th we hosted crown tourney. Everyone is so helpful with set up and tear down. The Stewards planned everything efficiently and our Marshals did their job to perfection. The List officers were fast and accurate. We should be proud of how we could contribute to the Kingdom and its future. Thank you.

On September 22nd, we hosted Caid Rapier Open in Angels. Again, Altavians came together for a Kingdom event. It turned out to be one of the biggest ones of recent history. The List officers got the event moving proficiently. The Altavian fighters and marshals did great. We had a little geographic fun with Their Excellencies of Angels too. As a Rapier fighter and a Baron, we thank you.

And of course we just finished Great Western War. The Baronial Camp Master mapped the camp out nicely and we all had quite enough space. We all got in some serious volunteer time as well. The fighters fought, the Artists arted, the shoppers shopped, the teachers taught, and funmakers had fun. Newcomers enjoyed their first war and veterans enjoyed each other’s company. Campfires and Ice cream socials were the theme of the war. Thank you all for a great Great western.

Looking ahead, we have Agincourt and Feast as well as Yule. Let’s get some serious advertising out for them. They need it. We will have some serious fun!!! Altavians are great and we are proud of you all. You make the Barony shine! 

Your Baron and Baroness,
Niko and Briana

September 2018

Fall is (almost) here and the Barony is kicking it into high gear.

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us for a wonderful day at Angels Anniversary. Congrats to our new younger cousins, Johannes and Sophia, and best wishes for a wonderful retirement for Liam and Fara! Special thanks to everyone and most especially to chief lady Juanica for helping to wrangle the largesse. All was very well received! Finally, congrats to Altavia’s Angels (Lynnette, Batista, and Cecilia) for winning the camaraderie contest!

Crown is coming this Saturday, we’ll be talking about it more later, but please join us in the baronial pavilion and help pitch in throughout the day. Remember, it takes a village to run a Barony. ?

Next Saturday is Caid Rapier Open in LaVerne. This will be a small event but there will be royal attendance. The dragonwing will be there so come on out and support the rapier community!

And, then, GWW will be upon us. I can’t currently access the camp list, but we have a total of 33 campers and 11,000 sq. ft. alloted. Rechinka and I will be gathering tent sizes shortly; be on the look out for posts and emails. Even if you aren’t camping with the barony, please swing by camp to say “Hi!” and hang out by the fire. Please also consider joining us for our baronial gate shift from 2-4 pm on Friday.

I apologize for missing the fact that last night should have been our second Monday of the month Birthday night. Never fear, there will be treats next week!

And now, some words from your Baron.

Thanks everyone for all the help this month! We are so proud and grateful for all Altavians who helped with all the unexpected happenings that had popped up this month. Thanks to Juanica, Monique and Alan for a great Arts and Sciences class. So many people came out to make pewter coins and did! It was a great night! Practices are picking up for Archery, Thrown Weapons, Armored and Rapier as well. What a great month!!!

Yours in Service to the Dream,
THL Nikolaos Phaistos, Baron of Altavia
THL Briana MacCabe, Baroness of Altavia

August 2018

Summer is almost over and the pace of events is about to pick back up! This weekend we have Festival of the Rose. I look forward to seeing Altavia well-represented in all of the arts and sciences displays.

Next weekend is Pirate tourney out in Darach and His Excellency and I are both looking forward to attending this always-fun event. The weather is lovely up in Darach and we get a chance to break out the fun pirate garb. Please join us if you can!

Highland War is at the end of August, over Labor Day weekend. I know that a couple of us are planning on going. If there is the desire for an Altavia plot of land, let me know and we’ll try and make sure that happens.

We have quite a few baronial investitures coming up in the next few months, starting with Angels investiture on September 8. If you have items you’d like to gift to either the outgoing or incoming Excellencies, please let me know so we can get our presentations together.

There are a few other things on the horizon that we’ll be talking about more at length during the rest of the meeting including Crown, Great Western War, Agincourt, and Yule. Fun and new things are afoot and, as always, if you have other ideas for things the Barony should be trying, please either come chat with us or drop us a line at

Finally, I want to personally thank everyone who came out to the clean-up for Charles over the past two weekends, who donated items, or who has sent him words of encouragement. This is what the SCA is all about and it makes me so happy to see the strength of our Altavian family in action. <3 Baronial Progress (July ­– September) 7/4 – 7/8: An Tir/West War — B&B will not attend 7/14: Royal Champion (Calafia) — B&B will attend 7/15: Royal Champion Archery & Thrown Weapons (Calafia) – B&B will attend 7/21: Lyondemere Anniversary – B&B will attend 7/27 – 8/12: Pennsic War – B&B will not attend 8/18: FOTR/Dreibergen Summer Arts – Baroness may possibly attend 8/25: Pirate Tournament (Darach) – B&B will attend 8/30 – 9/2: Highland War (Al Sahid) – Baroness may possibly attend 9/8: Angels Anniversary and Baronial Investiture – B&B will attend 9/15: Crown Tournament (Altavia Hosting) – B&B will attend 9/22: Caid Rapier Open (Angels) – B&B will attend

Yours in Service to the Dream,
THL Nikolaos Phaistos, Baron of Altavia
THL Briana MacCabe, Baroness of Altavia

July 2018

Greetings, Altavia!

We hope that you are having a great summer so far! We are only a couple of months into our tenure as your Baron and Baroness and many great things have happened in our Barony and the Kingdom. From hopping fighter practices to a wonderful encampment at Potrero War to the historic 40-Year Celebration and the historic Coronation of Caid’s first same-sex Royals, we have seen the love, hard work, and camaraderie of Altavia flourish. Thank you to everyone who continues to help make Altavia the land of Theatre, not Drama.

There are a lot of great events coming up over the rest of the summer. Here’s a list of the events happening through September; we hope to see you out there!

Baronial Progress (July ­– September)

7/4 – 7/8: An Tir/West War — B&B will not attend
7/14: Royal Champion (Calafia) — B&B will attend
7/15: Royal Champion Archery & Thrown Weapons (Calafia) – B&B will attend
7/21: Lyondemere Anniversary – B&B will attend
7/27 – 8/12: Pennsic War – B&B will not attend
8/18: FOTR/Dreibergen Summer Arts –  Baroness may possibly attend
8/25: Pirate Tournament (Darach) –  B&B will attend
8/30 – 9/2: Highland War (Al Sahid) – Baroness may possibly attend
9/8: Angels Anniversary and Baronial Investiture – B&B will attend
9/15: Crown Tournament (Altavia Hosting) – B&B will attend
9/22: Caid Rapier Open (Angels) – B&B will attend

Yours in Service to the Dream,
THL Nikolaos Phaistos, Baron of Altavia
THL Briana MacCabe, Baroness of Altavia

June 2018

Hi, Everyone! Niko and I are very excited to be at our first council meeting as Baron and
Baroness. A little info on how we plan to do these baronial comments; we’re going to switch off months where we’re the primary presenter, with the other half getting a chance to chime in at the end with anything that was left out or personal comments. As you might have already guessed, I chose to go up to bat first. I want to start off our comments by once again thanking all of you for your help with Anniversary. You took the idea of Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, fun, and whimsy and made an absolutely gorgeous day for the barony and kingdom. From the floral swags and crowns, to the fun theatre during court, and the buzzing bardic stage and arts & sciences area, to the exciting tournaments and games, it was a grand day! His Excellency and I have received many compliments from the populace of Caid on an event well-run; and that is all down to your hard-work…thank you, thank you, thank you.
The rest of May was a blur with Wintermist Anniversary, Altavia/Darach Equestrian, and
Potrero War. We had an excellent group of campers in Altavia for Potrero and I think we all had a lot of fun at camp; I particularly enjoyed sitting around the campfire Saturday evening, trading stories and alcohol with everyone…very cozy! I look forward to an even bigger encampment at GWW this fall and if anyone has ideas for activities you’d like us to do as a barony at that war, let Niko and I know.
This past weekend was Collegium and His Excellency and I attended on Saturday. Many great classes were had, including two taught by Altavians (a lucet class by Dame Lynnette and a rapier class by His Excellency). I highly suggest attending this event whenever it comes up on the calendar; I always learn so much! There are a couple of events happening in the next two weeks that His Excellency and I will not be attending including Treasure Chest in Nordwache and St. Corrigan’s Day in Dreibergen. These are both fun little camping events and I highly encourage you to go if you’re able!
Coming up at the end of June is a once-in-a-lifetime event, Caid’s 40 Year and Coronation
celebration. The event will take place from Thursday, June 21 through Monday, June 25 in
Victorville and will include tournaments, an Artisan’s village, merchants, a hall full of Caid’s 40 years of history, the historic night-time coronation of our first same-sex royal couple, and more! We’re hard at work on many things for this event. I’ll be attending as Altavia’s sole baronage representative because someone is going to be in the UK during the event. I hope you’ll all be able to join me at this historic event.
I want to close out my section of the baronial comments with a reminder. Niko and I both have an “open-door” policy. If there is anything you ever want to discuss with us, please feel free to find us at a fighter practice, event, or through social media or text. We are always here to listen, offer advice, or take constructive criticism. This is your barony and we want to do and be what you need to have the best possible SCA experience.

Briana MacCabe
Baroness of Altavia

May 2018

Today, I wanted nothing more than to thank all the people that helped make Altavia Anniversary such a wonderful and whimsical event yesterday. Sadly, yesterday’s joy is now tempered with the loss of a dear friend of Altavia, Her Ladyship Meala Caimbeul. I mourn with all those who hold this dancer, bard, rapier fighter, herald, beloved Caidan in their hearts. May her memory be a blessing.

But even through such sadness, the light of the love that was on display yesterday still shines. So many people worked so hard for so long to make a special day for Altavia. Your Excellencies, Cecilia and Christof, thank you for taking such good care of Altavia during your years and for helping guide Niko and I as we take our first steps in this role. Thank you to Madelena for stewarding the event and to our Seneschal, Meliora, for all the behind-the-scenes work that you do so very well. Thank you to Juanica for not only being an amazing Chief Lady but for running a very successful Arts & Sciences competition and for creating a space for bardic performance. Thank you to Cassandra for continuing to be the best Captain of the Guard a baroness could ask for. Thank you to Dame Selene and her new protégé, Haddassah, for ensuring the Royals had a lovely repast for lunch.

I know there are many others to thank and I hope to do so in person over the next coming events. Thank you to all who joined in the spirit of whimsy with flower crowns, wings, music, theatre, and even donkey ears. We could not have asked for a better day. I love you all.

Briana MacCabe
Baroness of Altavia