Prior News from their Excellencies

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

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


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


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


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