Monday, 22 June 2015

Interview with Duchess Adrielle Kerrec, OP, OL

Photo by Master Eirik Andersen.
Duchess Adrielle Kerrec is well known within the Kingdom of Ealdormere, and in many other kingdoms besides. Recently she agreed to answer a few questions about her experiences in the SCA.

When did you first join the SCA?
I first learned of the SCA when I was in highschool.  My boyfriend at the time (eventual Baron of Septentria - Ieuan)  had been to Pennsic the year before and convinced me into going.  Pennsic was my first and second SCA event.  It was significantly smaller then. It was very humid my first Pennsic and we had to sleep in a VW Rabbit as the tent we had collapsed instantly in one of Pennsic's famous torrential downpours.  We didn't know the SCA existed at all in Ontario until that 2nd Pennsic when we met other Canadians - namely Cordigan, Aedan and a few others. Shortly thereafter we joined the SCA and founded Petrea Thule.

What activities do you enjoy most?
Hm, depends who you ask,  my husband would say politics :)    Other than that I'd say the social-ness of it.  I love the diversity of persons it has and the friendships I've made - through the SCA I have met so many friends who have become very important in my life - first and foremost Nigel.  I've been lucky enough to travel all over the world and meet people who I have developed real and lasting meaningful friendships with.  I am continually inspired by the people I meet - by their talents and generosity of skills and spirit. 

You are now a triple peer (a Laurel, a Pelican and a Royal Peer). How has becoming a Peer changed the game for you, for good or ill?
Not sure it has changed the game for me but I'm sure others would say it has.  I have always participated in the SCA for my own amusement first and foremost - perhaps that is selfish.  I refused long ago to jump through hoops, preferring to set fire to them if need be.  I am aware that as a Peer I need to be mindful of my actions and how they can be perceived and I also try not to knowingly rain on others' fun.  Some aspects of becoming a peer have been incredibly painful for me on a personal level and have made me question myself and others, but ultimately I prefer to see being a Peer is a gift, especially a Royal Peer.  One thing I think all persons in the SCA have in common is a childhood vision of what a King and Queen or Knight is.  As a Crown you are given the privilege of embodying someone's childhood vision - you can either bring their childhood dream to life or crush it.  I try to be a good example but my mischievous tendencies sometimes subvert that (ok often subvert that)

Were you ever a dependant to someone (an apprentice, protégée or squire)?
Yes, I was apprenticed to Mistress Dulcinea Maria Magdalena von Muhlberg y Aguilar, Baronesa.   We had a long distance student - peer relationship based soundly in friendship but she taught me a great deal about having fun and  following your bliss as well as the arts.  We remain friends to this day and she continues to be an active inspiration in the SCA.

I was also a student to Meriel de Blackwoode, called Myrra, who is a Mistress of the Pelican (and Laurel)  - I was not and am not comfortable with the concept of protégés but Myrra and I had a lot in common and I agreed to be her student.  She taught me a great deal about SCA administration and managing politics.   

You have several dependants of your own. What are your thoughts and traditions when it comes to taking on a dependant?
Hm what I thought when I first became a peer and what has actually transpired are somewhat different.  I was sure when I became a peer that I would not have many folks who would want to be my dependant. However, I have been humbled to have multiple students and apprentices, more than I planned in fact :)      I think we all are learning as we go.    As far as traditions go, I am a fan of not rushing into a relationship.  For me the student - peer relationship is a serious commitment and not to be entered into lightly.  I encourage folks to ask allot of questions of me and others and to define what they want from a student-peer relationship, including seeking out opinions from those they have no interest in being an associate of.  All of my dependants have been my student first for a period of time to make sure things work and that our expectations of each other are in line.  If the time comes that we both agree that an apprenticeship  is appropriate, we enter into a formal contract.   I would like to hope that my relationship with my dependants is one of mutual respect and affection and the willingness to bail one another out should the need arrise.   The Arrochar crew is pretty awesome and I am humbled and proud of the household that has developed.

Have you and your dependants formed a household?
Loaded question. The joke is that I don't have  household, but a household has me.  I have mixed feelings about households and feel they can undermine the fabric of a Kingdom/Barony/Group, something Master Pavel from Calontir taught me. That being said, we (Nigel and I)  have ended up with a household, Arrochar - we try to be mindful that the household's number one goal is to support the Canton/Barony/Kingdom first before the household.  This has been evident in the rolls and offices the members of Arrochar continue to take on - everything from local officers, autocrats, feastocrats, to landed Baronage, Kingdom Officers and Crown.   

What is your proudest moment in the SCA?
I am blessed to have a ton of such moments...............first is being a Knights lady and seeing Nigel elevated to the Chivalry and the day he won his first Crown.
Second would be the first QPT, the memory of which still brings tears to my eyes.  I was so proud to see how the Kingdom accepted the idea and has run with it
Third being Baroness of Septentria and my first Pennsic as Baroness.  Somehow Ieuan and I were blessed with having the support and affection of not just our Barony but the Kingdom and it resulted in a magical moment on the battlefield that I will never forget.  
Fourth being on the BoD and knowing I helped make the game better by helping remove some ugly parts and playing a part in the creation of equestrian armoured combat.
I've been lucky and proud to beg the boons for friends, to be granted foreign honours and earn the affection of others including those in our household.

You are a former Baroness of Septentria. How has the barony changed since that time? And what traditions did you begin that are still followed today?
It has changed in that as Ealdormere became a Kingdom, Septentria is not as 'grand' as it once was. That's not a bad thing, just a fact as prior to there being a Principality or Kingdom the Barony was the focus and the Baron and Baroness were the 'royalty' most of the populace had contact with.  The Crown of our parent Kingdom, the Middle, did not often make it to the Barony so its roll was different.  The Barony has gotten smaller over time with shires and other Baronies being split off her, folks are used to having a King and Queen and Prince and Princess they see often as well as their Baron and Baroness.   I like to think that the Barony continues to be the Heart of Ealdormere.    As far as traditions go, Kaffa once called me her 'true daughter'. With that comes a respect and appreciation of the old traditions - we carried on with our own Cup and the one we helped create was the giving of rings.  I have always liked the minimal number of awards Septentria has but that does not mean folks do not deserver recognition.  Ieuan and I felt that it was just as important for people to publically recognize one another and as such we encouraged folks to give rings in recognition of one another in our court.  I am thrilled that the practice has continued and there are countless 'legacy rings' in circulation. 

How invested are you with Septentria today?
Very much so.  If I wasn't I would not participate in each and every Baronial selection.  I like to keep up to date on the officers, cantons and happenings - good and bad.  If possible I help where I can and try to encourage and be a cheerleader.  I've had great fun hosting Baronial events including 12th night and the recent Baronial Investiture.   I love the Barony in its entirety

What about the kingdom?
Again I would say very much so.   I have been part of the Kingdom since the beginning and was the 2nd Kingdom Seneschal.  I was proud to be a Midrealmer and I am proud to be Ealdormerian and as with the Barony I try to help where I can, encourage and be a cheerleader for all activities.  I am very proud to have started several 'traditions' in the Kingdom including Rose Tourney and QPT.  One of my biggest joys while being Crown was being able to show off the people Ealdormere and their amazing talents to the Known World.

How important are traditions to you?
Very as they provide much of the continuity. That being said, I also strongly believe that there also needs to be the freedom to allow new traditions to develop and grow so long as they do so 'organically' and are not imposed.   

You once served on the Board of Directors. Would you care to comment on your experiences during that time, especially for our readers who may not have much knowledge of the BoD or exactly what it does?
I loved my time on the Board and would do it again in a heartbeat.  For me it was an opportunity to give back to the SCA and to help make it a better place - a chance to get rid of those who would crush other's dreams.  I got to see the birth of a new Kingdom, travelled to Drachenwald and made incredible deep and lasting friendships in my time on the Board.   It is a far more difficult job then many know, there are hard decisions to be made and folks are far quick to judge what the BoD does.  I wish there was better communication from the current Board with its decisions and thought process but it is what it is.  I try to seek answers, try not to complain without a suggestion for resolution  and share the information I am able to obtain.

You are well known for your sense of humour. What is one of the funniest moments you can recall?
Wow that is tough.  Humour can be very subjective so what I find amusing may not be so for others.  I am proud to be an OAF of Calontir - fun generators for lack of a better phrase.  In that capacity there have been some pretty awesome shenanigans here at home, and in other Kingdoms - the taco bar, fireworks at Lilies, chalk drawings at the Green Dragon, omelettes at Pennsic.  Prior to that there was the tale of Spot, quests for baby knights, the fez brigade, a tablero games and classic golf cart safaris and shenanigans.

Do you have any plans in the works you’d like to talk about?
World domination?  No really, I have no plans other than to keep enjoying the SCA with my friends and family.  I love what Arrochar as a group has become and look forward to what we can achieve.   I want to continue to be an active part of Ealdormere and Septentria in whatever capacity they will have me. I am hopeful to help add to and improve the Kingdom's regalia.  I'd happily serve as an Officer again and Crown should the gods deem it just.   I will continue to travel to other Kingdoms and drag anyone who shows interest along with me.  One of the greatest gifts the SCA provides is that of friendship and camaraderie beyond our Kingdom

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