Elen Alswyth of Eriskay
Alswyth at Birka
Argent, three passion nails and on a chief indented gules an estoile of seven rays argent
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I came into the SCA because a college friend read about it in a Poul Anderson book, and knowing I was into medieval stuff, asked me if I had heard of it. As it happens, I had, because a good friend of mine had been a member, though he was no longer active. Under his guidance, a group of us decided to form the group known as Myrkfaelinn, and I became Seneschal. Being ignorant of political niceties, such as the differences between Baronies and Shires, I made some gaffes, which resulted in the group becoming a Dominion. (Most of us had Icelandic Norse personae, and we didn't understand these Courtly distinctions). But I acknowledged that the King of the East was a good guy, and in the name of the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn, swore eternal friendship to him.
One day a group of us set off to go to the Pennsic War, and because we were in a very small vehicle, we stopped to change position every couple of hours. At each stop, we laid claim to the surrounding area, creating a corridor all the way from Myrkfaelinn to the Pennsic war site. Apparently it worked; I see that to this day that corridor is part of a new Kingdom, that our group is a part of.
Anyway. A few years later, I went to the Middle Kingdom to study, in the Barony of Three Rivers. There I fell in with a Welsh household, Caer Digon Rhaff. The household encouraged me in both metalwork and music, which led to some minor accomplishments - I made a coronet for the Prince, and won a bardic competition. This led to me being inducted into the Midrealm Order of the Willow, and it became necessary to add a sobriquet to my name. Apparently, single names, however unique, were not longer acceptable. And so, I became known as Alsvid (or Alsvith) Annarin. This simply meant "the other one"; I adopted it because people kept mishearing "Alsvi∂" as "Elspeth".
After completing my studies in the Midrealm, I moved back to the East, to the Barony of Carolingia. After a year I moved north to the Shire of Vatnaskva∂sta∂ir, which soon joined with two other Shires to form the Barony of Stonemarche. I joined Haus Eberhorn, and enjoyed trying out "Divers Arts" with the Dabbler's Guild, but focused on Archery, Dance, and the Scribal Arts. As a scribe, I am apprenticed to Mistress Sunniva Ormstunge.
My household urged me to register my arms, and in the process found that Alsvi∂ (Anglicized as Alswyth) was not considered a "real" name. It was, however, acceptable as a sobriquet, so I became Elen Alswyth of Eriskay.
I still, however, prefer to be called Alswyth (pronounced ALL-svith. For the sv- sound, just think of the name Sven. Same sound.)
More recently, I have taken up rapier, which has been completely transformed my SCA experience. I now have many new friends to stab (and who stab me)!
I have evolved somewhat over the years.
Alsvi∂ - my original name - lived in Iceland in the early 12th century CE. Being literate, studious, and desirous of adventure, I was recruited by Ari the Wise to collect information for his writings. This gave me the opportunity to travel. At times I served as an envoy, and at other times earned my keep as a traveling musician and scribe. My mother was from Eriskay, a fairly obscure island in the Outer Hebrides, and in my travels I often found it best to claim Eriskay as my homeland rather than Iceland.
I spent some time in Wales, joining a Welsh household and focused for a century or so on making music and learning to draw a bow. Shortly after leaving Wales, I took the name "Elen" as a nod to my sojourn with this Welsh household, and the locative "of Eriskay" to celebrate my connection with the Hebrides.
In the second half of the 13th century, I became a scribe in a lay scriptorium in Northumbria, not far from York. I once again took the opportunity to travel, this time on behalf of the scriptorium, going to places of learning all over Europe to copy and transport books. I was fascinated by the Universities being founded in numerous places, and tried as best I could to learn things like the new Sciences and Medicine coming in from the Saracens.
Although usually grounded in the 13th century, I sometimes slide forward in time a bit, so that I can use later scribal hands, or dance, play music, or make musical instruments. I sometimes creep as far forward as the 16th century. Most recently I have taken up fencing.
Sometimes 12th-century Alsvi∂ wonders if this is all some strange dream. Soon, I think, I will become - at least sometimes - an entirely different person, one who is at home in this different era.
Offices & Positions
I am apprenticed to Mistress Sunniva Ormstung. (Is that a position? Does that go here?)
Founding Seneschal of the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn. Our first event occurred when Asbjorn was King of the East. (At the time, Myrkfaelinn was part of the East Kingdom. Now, the group is in the Kingdom of Aethelmearc.)
- Name of Position, Name of Event, mm/dd/yyyy
- List in Chronological order, oldest to newest
Projects & Publications
- Name of Project/Publication, Other info, mm/dd/yyyy
- List in Chronological order, oldest to newest
In Case of Court
In case of court - Uh,I guess notify Baroness Aine Callaghan. She'll make sure I'm there, at least.