Chronicle of Marixsa

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Once upon a time, Jamie Foxx discovered the SCA. He recruited his family and his friends, wrote the Board and wrote the King, applying for Baronial status for this first Society group in Ohio. Unfortunately, Jehan de la Marche had written a bit earlier so that Cleftlands did not become the baronial seat of the Middle Marches and Jamie did not become Baron. He became Margrave (ask six people what a margrave is and you will receive six answers). After this unprepossessing start, the new group went nowhere. It did not even have a name.

[See the Midrealm History for an interesting, different account of these events. -mlv]

Unbeknownst to the Margrave, there resided in his land another Anachronist of note. She went unnoticed because she was a member of an East Kingdom household, not because the Lady Erika could ever be unnoticed once noticed. If she and Jamie met, which they might have (ancient history being oral tradition and thus notoriously misty on details), they did not become fast friends and two tiny and mutually uncooperative forces developed in the nameless land.

Into this mixture came the mighty Jan Finder of the towel tunic. I know little of this man (although gossip tells me that he became later renowned for holding a SCA demo in Venice, Italy), but he must be the greatest single force in our Barony's history. It was he, who in 1971 (end of A.S. IV) arranged a Midwestern Tolkien Conference at Cleveland State University. It was he who publicized the event in SCA circles to draw here two kings and a Prince (more royalty than the Cleftlands saw for years to follow) and it was he who convinced Amron the Stygian from, I believe, a Bowling Green SCA group to run a small tournament for the Con-goers. For a tourney run from out-of-town, it was fairly impressive. I can remember seeing Cariadoc (in his diver's helm), Andrew of Seldom Rest, Achmed, King of the East, and Jehan all fighting and singing and reciting poetry, but, alas, there was still no Cleveland group.

But two months later there was, with Amron as a new and popular seneschal, Erika and Jamie could cooperate and the three attracted more. Stirling von Hamm, Neandir, Thiersa, Litvak of the many names, Eudaimon and myself all joined at this time. We had a shire!

The name Cleftlands was obvious even then. We had, as we do now, a group strongly divided between East and West siders and if the river ran through our lands, why should it not run through our banner. So we were named and our arms designed and it was even better when Erika, now our Dragonsbane Pursuivant, enflamed each fretty - What other group had a real genuine burning river? (Everyone in the Cleftlands, or in Cleveland for that matter, knew someone who had seen the river catch fire and knew how it had happened. Funny that the stories were all different.)

Things began to move smoothly. The first Cleftlands event was held in August of 1971. Cariadoc was king for the second time and Iriel (remember him?) was Tanist. This was, I elieve, the first event in the Middle Marches, and nothing terrible happened. The fighting was adequate, Amron predictably winning; the feast was reasonable warmed-up picnic food, but the revel was memorable.

At our first Cleftlands event our little impressionable group met Koumus, Irish music, Tully and the newly formed Horde. This group of hostile-looking oddly dressed people did [not?] remain strange long and thus began a long tradition of Horde fraternization by hard drinking, loud singing Cleftlanders that has never disappeared or been lived down. (Do we want to?) While the North Woods was forming New Gothic, Horde-killing armies, the Cleftlands began to assiduously study Ninja (SCA-syle)...

To be continued...

Asgard Years, or PensicGate III


This booklet is dedicated to all Cleftlanders who have gone over the wall in the last ten years and to we steady, hardy, sometimes boring survivors to whom they are only legends.

   To Jamie Foxx, the only margrave anyone ever met
   To Ozymandeous, the largest red velvet mountain
   To Swami, FFTE, who had to change his name when he left
   To Yosef Alaric, whose songs remember everything bigger and funnier than it was
   To Azarael, ditto
   To Yamato, and his Tully
   To Hedwig, and her cats, plants and other menagerie items
   To Irene, and the magical pea soup 

To these and all the other gone, but not forgotten alumni, this memory is dedicated. Marixsa of Crawfordmuir Chronicler


The March of the Cleftlands was established in A.S.V as the second march in the Barony of the Middle Marches under the Baron Jehan de la Marche. The march became a barony in A.S. XII with Laurelen Darksbane as Baron and Ithriliel as Baroness. The territory of the Barony is basically all of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The march's first event was held in August, 1971 during the reign of King Cariadoc of the Bow and Queen Diana Alene and our most recent event is held today, March 28, A.S. XV (1981), during the second reign of King Laurelen and Queen Ithriliel.