Prior News from their Excellencies

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

! 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