How the Crown Prince of the Outlands
came to be known as The Dread Lord of Argonia

Some of you might care to know how this Argonia business came about and why it is one of the titles of the Crown Prince.

There are about seven different episodes that lead up to our Crown Prince being the "Dread Lord of Argonia."

Once upon a time, there were three young and fiery men drinking around a campfire at Grand outlandish XII (we are currently at GOT XXVI). They were talking big (you could say boasting) about their future careers in the SCA and they were attempting to define their personas to some extent. After several hours of this, they all decided that their personas would be that of young, displaced heirs to fortunes and lands far away (lands with made up names). The first young man decided to be Cathyn of Cathonia, the second young man decided to be Johann of Johannia, and the third young man decided to follow suit and be Argon of Argonia. Argon Skulcrusher (the third member of our little drunken band) was at that time a member of the Crimson Company and didn't really know any better. Thus the end of episode one and the tale of where the name for Argonia came from.

Some time later (the next morning), Johann of Johannia changed his name back to Johann von Balduinseck and within several months won the last coronet lists of the Outlands. The other two fellows decided it was pretty groovy to hang out with their cool prince friend, and would often go to events with him, sometimes driving him to and from said events. At one such event, young Argon performed some great favor for his Prince (I think he drove him to the liquor store) and for this great service Prince Johann promised his trusty servant whatever his heart could desire. Argon thought for a while, and asked humbly on bended knee, if Prince Johann would please change the name of the Principality of the Outlands to Argonia, for just one day, when we were all away at Estrella, so no one would notice. Johann of course agreed. And the next morning changed his mind. Argon was a touch disappointed, but he soon got over it (Johann let him carry the Axe in court). He never, however, forgot his dream of renaming the Outlands (or something) to Argonia.

Thus ends episode two where Argon wants to name the Outlands (or something) Argonia.

Some time later (fourteen months, but who's counting), young Argon got knighted, changed his name, and was victorious in Crown tournament. One of the many things he tried to do during that reign was attempt to start a war with Atenveldt (ok, you could say pick a fight, but whatever…). In order to start this momentous war, he traveled, with his Queen, to the far lands of the Pennsic war. Once there he had his herald, in Grand Court, announce that the Outlands had claimed all lands south of the Citadel of the Southern Pass. Thinking that this would infuriate King Brion of Atenveldt who would demand to have a war with the glorious Outlands. Also his herald informed the gathered crowns of the known world that these lands from that day forward would be called (you guessed it) Argonia.

Thus ends episode three where the King actually gets to name something Argonia.

Well, King Brion of Atenveldt could not have cared less about the proclamation, but King Seamus of Ansteorra was pretty grumpy about it, and he informed the Outlands King that we would have to fight for it. So, some times later (about two weeks, but I'm still not counting) King Seamus brought his army to Scorpions Hollow, where the Glorious Outlands Army defeated the Army of Ansteorra (with the help of Calontir) and thereby legitimized the Outlands claim to the lands of Argonia.

Thus ends episode four in which the Ansteorrans legitimize Argonia as belonging to the Outlands (since they were the only ones who cared).

Some time later (that winter) Blaise and the Outlands newest count were discussing whether princes or archdukes had more precedence. Since they could not agree they contacted the White Stag Herald, who at the time was Master Greyraven, and asked his expert opinion. He responded to the query with the sage answer, "Well, it depends." To which the count said, "Depends on what?" And Greyraven went on to describe how precedence works between different countries and time periods. One specific thing he did point out was that that Crown Prince of England and the Crown Prince of Spain are never referred to as such, but as the Prince of Wales and the Prince of the Asturias, respectively. The newest count thought, "Hey, that's really cool, we should do that."

Thus ends episode five in which the idea to change the title of the Outlands Crown Prince was first engendered.

Some time later (I know… it was fall crown in 1988, in Caerthe) the young count from the previous episode won crown tournament again. And decided to incorporate the "Prince of Wales" idea from the winter before. So at the next crown tournament, which Johann of Johannia, I mean Count Johann, won, he was for the first time described by his new title, "Prince of…" Well we didn't have a name. We needed something that no one was already using (so Trimaris was out) and something which wouldn't offend anyone, so we went with (once again you have guessed), Prince of "Argonia." And it didn't offend anyone, except Mistress Monika, who just hated it, but she liked the King more than she hated Argonia, so she never made a fuss.

Thus ends episode six in which the Crown Prince is first called Prince of Argonia.

So the King (from episode six) kind of expected this Argonia thing to die out, but he was this huge glory hog, and he kept winning crowns and he kept putting it back in the ceremony. After a while he began to lament the fact that one of the older (and to his thinking cooler) titles of the old prince of the Outlands was no longer used. So the third time he won crown he read an old copy of principality law in which it was stated that Dread Lord was an equivalent title for Prince. And so the "Prince of Wales" idea was modified to reflect Outlands history and the Prince of Argonia became the "Dread Lord" of Argonia. (Dread Lord by the way is a phrase Shakespeare used to describe a sovereign ruler.)

And the title has been held by every crown prince of the Outlands since, until as the King, he bestows it on his heir.

Thus ends episode seven and a really long and I hope not too boring story. Whether any of the above story is true or not, I'm not sure, but I would tend to go with it.

Thank you for your time,

Artan macAilin

(written in Spring 1999 for the Outlands list; republished in the Grand Outlandish issue of The Wolves Tale, of the College of Blaiddwyn that year.)

First transcribed on October 17, 2006.
Transcriptionist's note, October 28, 2006: As one of the authors of the aforementioned old copy of principality law, I wish to clarify that "Dread Lord" wasn't a title, but a form of address. Calling a guy (or addressing him as) "My Dread Lord" isn't the same as naming him "Dread Lord Joe-Bob." So in reference it would go "Our Dread Lord, Prince Gunwaldt" or better yet, "Gunwaldt, Dread Lord of the Outlands." As direct address, "My Dread Lord" was an alternative to "Your Highness." And although it's before my time, I do know from many sources that in the pre-principality days the Lords of the Outlands (winners of the tournaments that pre-dated the principality's approval) were referred to as "Dread Lord of the Outlands," and addressed as "my Dread Lord." The four Lords of the Outlands were Ton the Traveller, Bren Malokai, Ulrich von Matanuska and Stephan of Strathglyde. —AElflaed of Duckford

NOTE TO KINGDOM HISTORIANS: The reason this account exists is a shorter long story. Artan macAilin wrote it to correct misinformation, and Maria Sol de Leon published it in a newsletter . Years later, Artan remembered it was out there somewhere, Balthazar Tegero had his papers organized in such a way that he could find it, and AElflaed of Duckford didn't mind extracting it into a newly useable form.


From Cathyn Fitzgerald (one of the characters in the first section above):

Events came to pass exactly as described, save there was a further incident which legitimized the Outlands claim to Argonia. This occurs at the Pennsic following Episode Six.

King Johann did lead the Outlands forth once again to Pennsic War, accompained by many stalwarts. News of the bold claim to Argonia reached the ears of King Baldar of Trimaris, half of whose lands are in fact also south of the mouth of the Rio Grande. Rather than propose a massive battle, King Baldar challenged the Outlands to present a Champion to meet His to defend Argonia. Sadly for Trimaris, their Champion failed to show up for the challenge "at High Noon", and thus failing in defense, these lands too comprise part of Argonia, which having been defended twice are now indisputably part and parcel of the Outlands.

posted on the Outlands history list

More SCA writings