The "Court Count" of the East Kingdom
Vardak Mirceavich Basarabov of Iloi was a stage actor who owned a pair of high-end stage "vampire teeth" from an acting role and had a persona as a Transylvanian vampire. (Yes, the SCA was different back in the early days). He was an early (the first?) Knight-Marshal of the Nameless Province, which became the Crown Province of Ostgardr. In reward for his service, he was named a Count -- it being appropriate to his persona, clearly -- during King Alpin's reign. I recall seeing some correspondence in the Brigantia files many years ago indicating that this was done by Alpin's "regent" and not by the king himself: it is said that Alpin did not attend many events during his reign. In any case, this was apparently before "Count" became the title for former kings; at this time, after your (first) reign you reverted to your previous rank. So later, when the Order of Precedence came to be, Vardak was variously listed as a Count, with the Court Baronage, in his own place, etc. He campaigned for a number of years to be recognized fully as a Count. I was the Brigantia Herald who finally got to adjudicate this. I felt that the ruling factor should be the intent of the Crown when the award was made, and it appeared that the intent was that he should, indeed, enjoy the title and trappings of same, whatever those might then or later be determined to be. To be quite clear, though, I bounced the question to Laurel King of Arms, and he to the BoD, who ruled that it was indeed the intent of the bestower that mattered. That was a potential problem, since even then, Alpin had long since left the Society. But he was known to live in Cambridge MA and to maintain connections with some old Carolingians. I never did have to contact Alpin, though, as Vardak dropped out soon after, and has since become a moot footnote in EK history.
Information gathered by -- Steffan ap Kennydd with input from Rosalinda la Mal Guardée
entered--Theodora Bryennissa called Treannah 22 April 2014