Stefan of the Wanderers
twice Baron of al-Barran, once Prince of the Outlands,
Knight of the Society, Master of the Pelican and of the Laurel
Walker of the Way

award details and device on Wimble Herald page

Introduction by Mistress AElflaed of Duckford

Stefan's first event was the first Burro Creek War, in February 1978. When his feet touched the ground there, he didn't stop, but soon became knight marshal of al-Barran, and then seneschal, and before long baron, creating enthusiasm and innovation and growth.

I met Stefan at that Burro Creek War (the predecessor to the Estrella War), and a year and a half later recommended him for knighthood (though I know I wasn't the only one to do so). The text is hard to read in the copy, but what I wrote October 2, 1979 was:
text transcribed at left

NOTES ON THE LETTER ITSELF AND SOME HISTORY, not just on Stefan for a moment:

That was carbon paper on thin yellow "carbon set" paper. The scanner didn't want to preserve the yellow. For the younger readers, the way carbon paper worked is it preserved every strike from the typewriter. The real letter, which was on stationery or nice paper, could be corrected with strike-over (if the typewriter was so equipped, which this one was—so it put white "ink" over the error and then the correct character could be typed) or with white-out (Liquid Paper or equivalent) which is what went over the unindented "The" in the third paragraph, and some other errors

I misspelled "Stefan" in the first paragraph and may or may not have corrected it on the paper copy. Sometimes when a letter was left out, it was simple to add it with a pen to the original, and not worth noting on the copy. Modern equipment is fantastically better.

One of the requirements for peerage was that the candidate had "practiced hospitality according to his means." I documented that hospitality heavily; there's no such requirement remaining for peers these days, and it's an interesting question whether those who became peers in older days have greater obligations than newer peers. Correction: The requirement is still there, but lighter and less emphasized these days. The focus and expectation were larger when Stefan was knighted, though.

Stefan had a blue panel van and a big black dog named Buddy (a.k.a. "Buddy the Wonderdog"), in case you want to picture "riding in the back with Buddy."

That's a good photo of Buddy, and part of Stefan, pulled from a group portrait from the first Dwarven Invitational Tournament July 30, 1978 (a.s.XIII), in Santa Clara Canyon. Two views of the group are here.

Back to the letter commentary...
The "baronial thrones" was a heavy piece of furniture created by Heinrich and Gunwaldt. It was a massive wooden puzzle, set together with one last peg (the center armrest). One chair couldn't be set up without the other. The tallest side was maybe seven feet tall. Too big. But they were interesting and got a great deal of use. Nobody sat in them who either wasn't supposed to or was tacky-rude. We stayed out. While they were stored at Stefan's house, he didn't sit in them. When photos are located that show them well, I'll put them up. They were used for whoever was the ranking royalty at the moment, if there weren't other thrones at hand, and so they often seemed to be principality thrones.

Eventually other thrones were made, and stained glass panels were inset in these. The chairs themselves didn't survive, but Stefan still has the stained glass, which I think was the work of Mistress Irminsul and/or Jarl Heinrich.

My last two comments are that I'm sorry Stefan became shy about singing, and that when I knew more about writing in a period style I stopped capitalizing pronouns for kings, and mostly stopped using pronouns for kings. I should have used "your Majesties" in the last paragraph instead, so don't learn to write from my 1979 writings. Go here: Writing in the SCA

—AElflaed

Unto their Royal Majesties, Koris and Leah Kasmira, King and Queen of Atenveldt

Your Majesties,

I wish to recommend Stefan of the Wanderers for knighthood. Of course I have no direct knowledge of his skills as a fighter, nor of his chivalry on the field, but I have seen other virtues displayed.

From the first event Stefan attended, his manner was courteous and noble. He always has tried to maintain fine costumes and armor, and has been willing to share his costumes and his fighting equipment with newcomers.

The hospitality Stefan and his Lady show is often witnessed. Several baronial events have been held in Stefan's house, and many baronial citizens' meetings. They've housed out-of-town guests. (The've furnished rides to events to anyone willing to ride with Buddy in the back.)

I know from my position as Kingdom Seneschal that Stefan's doing an excellent job as seneschal of al-Barran. He's been warranted in that position for over a year now. Not only has he been obedient to Kingdom Law and Corpora, he's studied them well and is able to advise citizens of the barony on legal matters. As to his respect for the crown, I've never seen him display any disrespect, even in jest (except he did dare me to sit on the baronial thrones at his house, but I wouldn't).

Stefan knows some ballads and can sing them in an authentic manner. He plays chess, dances, etc., and encourages others to do so as well.

I think no one could speak ill of Stefan's courtly graces. His service to his barony is excellent. For those reasons I beg You consider Stefan for peerage.

Your humble servant,
AElflaed of Duckford

It felt good to correct a few 27-year-old typos. Other notes on the letter appear at right.

Stefan has been a great autocrat of large events, and a secret rescuer of several less fortunate autocrats.

Beyond his extensive baronial service, Stefan was the first Chirurgeon of the Outlands, when it was a principality and the chirurgeon's office was new. He came in second in the first Crown Tournament of the Outlands, and was Earl Marshal for a time.





Guest Fest
al-Barran
various SCA stuff