Royal University of the Midrealm hosted in Ayreton

The Barony of Ayreton was honored to host the kingdom’s most expansive educational event, The Royal University of the Midrealm, on November 18 in Hinsdale, IL. This event was held in the lovely gothic-style Union Church of Hinsdale, which added much ambiance.

This was an entirely educational one-day event, full of classes and with a keynote speech and court at the end of the evening. Magnus White Hair was honored with the title Mayor of Ayreton for the day. Her Royal Highness Tsarevna Katalena graced the event with her attendance and witnessed the generosity and service of our barony and of all those who attended to give instruction, service, and to bring their thirst for knowledge as students.

The emblem of the Royal University of the Midrealm, with the legend nam ignicular lux, loosely translated to "for the fiery light".

Among the classes, ranging from embroidery to Viking-age equine snowshoes to saree draping, was an extremely informative class on Bolognese Longsword Theory, taught by Master Raphael di Merisi. It was a broad overview of blows, guards, and footwork. He talked about style, custom, and history. It was a hands on class with swords graciously provided for students to try.

A few words from Her Excellency Baroness Hillary of Langforde

The Royal University of the Midrealm is an event that creates unity within our kingdom. People come together from all over the kingdom to teach areas of expertise in such an incredible array of topics.  People come from all over the kingdom to learn and create and do.  Mistress Aveline’s inspirational talk as the keynote speaker made mention of how we, as reenactors, as recreators of history are needed, and that the impact of our efforts are bridging into the academic world.  Creating ripples that spread out impacting others with like interests.

Matt Bevin said, “While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things are extraordinary.”   Each SCA community creates ripples that extend out and impact the larger society.  Within Ayreton there are smaller communities.  We are drawn together by friendships, in households, as peers and dependents and through shared interests, and individual cantons.   We work together within our smaller communities reaching out into Ayreton itself.  Then we come together as a whole to imagine, to plan and to create an event that welcomes others who visit Ayreton in order to  imagine and plan and create.  The gentles who came to the university, will go back to their own regions and share what they learned, show others what they learned, how to imagine and plan and create.  Every event is special, whether they are in our home or we reach out, traveling throughout the Midlands or into other regions within our kingdom. Each event needs people to make them happen.

It was an honor to work with Ayreton in order to make a few ripples, thank you Ayreton for all you do, for sending positive waves out into the world.

Greetings unto the good people of Ayreton,

It is with gratitude and pleasure that I write these words today about my visit to your lands and to the Royal University of the Midrealm.

Through the depth and breadth of classes taught at the Royal University of the Midrealm, it was a delight to witness the wide array of interests and skills of the people living within the Kingdom. The amount and level of knowledge shared within the day is hard to comprehend; some of the learning truly does rival what is offered and taught on modern university campuses across the world. I was happy to attend the Regional Command and the “Are Ewe Period” classes while also having lovely conversations with friends and members of the populace. 

Attending events around the Kingdom also gives me the opportunity to witness the acts of service that so many in our Kingdom undertake to help it grow and thrive. From the newest members to those who have stalwartly continued through the years, it is only through people’s work, interest, and skill that we continue onward in our Society. I saw this actively demonstrated during the Baronial court when so many of the new members were recognized for their hard work and participation.

Thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the day.

With warmest regards,


Mayor of Ayreton

We ask one parson to wear the Mayor’s chain at each baronial event in memory of the history of Ayreton when we were separate shires that worked together. That person is chosen for many reasons, but the overall idea is that it is someone who inspires unity and a sense of community, who has given service to the barony that has made an impact. Magnus’s inspiration for the site token and then leading us all as we worked together to create the tokens was an act that helped bring us together before the event.

The court report for Their Excellencies of Ayreton

Awards were given out to most deserving members of the populace to be recognized for their contributions to our barony and our larger society. Learn more about the baronial awards.

Astra Korinthia  - Pleiades for service scroll

Astra Korinthia – Award of the Pleiades – Service

Based on the Norse Edda Gylfaginning 
Scribe – THL Mikhail of Lubelska – Bill Michalski

Astra Korinthia drew from skills, gladly she retained 
Honoring nobles and royals, with energy boundless 
Svala drew from mind, brightly advising counsel
Sharing thoughts and plans, baronies strength grows
Astra, we draw from noblesse, a Pleiades we grant.
We honor the honorable, your praises we sing. 

Done this day, at the Royal University of the Midrealm, November 18, 2023 In the Barony of Ayreton A.S.  LVIII (58)

Kirk of Ayreton - Pleiades for Service scroll

Kirk of Ayreton – Award of the Pleiades – Service

Based on Caedmon’s Hymn (Old English poem, 656 – 680 AD) 
Scribe – Lord Vladimar son of Arne – Don Arneson

Come let us honor Ayreton’s service guardian. 
The might of the mover of thrones and hauler of casks.
First he, Kirk of Ayreton, entered Our Barony, 
In search of a home, 
And home he built the foundation with strong hands and strong back.
Volunteering, he built his walls with service.
Then he created the roof with time and perseverance as tents were erected and banners carried. 
Come let us honor Kirk of Ayreton, with a Pleiades.
Come let us honor Kirk of Ayreton, welcome him home!

Done this day, at the Royal University of the Midrealm, November 18, 2023 In the Barony of Ayreton A.S.  LVIII (58)

Susanna of Tree-Girt-Sea  - Pleiades for Service scroll

Susanna of Tree-Girt-Sea – Award of the Pleiades – Service

Based on the 14th C English poem Spring by Charles d’Orleans
Scribe – Dame Heather Hall – Heather Rocchi

Young stars, 
greeting generosity 
Young skies,
greeting selfless works.
Winds wing on kindness, ,
making cobblestones ring
with their wild leaps and arcs,
like ecstatic sparks
Praising the works of Susanna of Tree-Girt-Sea
A Pleiades is given, in honor of her 
For Ayreton and Kingdom 

Done this day, at the Royal University of the Midrealm, November 18, 2023 In the Barony of Ayreton A.S.  LVIII (58) 

Heracleia Pleiades for Service scroll

HeracleiaAward of the Pleiades – Service

Based on the 14th C poem From the Garden of Heaven by Hafez
Scribe – Mistress Saraswati man Ikkam – Diane Peterson-Dover

From the garden a western breeze
Blows through the trees of Our barony;
With joy We take our ease, 
For Heracleia, whose hands weave goodly works,
Like wheat in a ripening field, 
A tale of charity the meadows unfold-
Ah, Heracleia, we raise your fame,
And to grant a Pleiades for honor untold!

Done this day, at the Royal University of the Midrealm, November 18, 2023 In the Barony of Ayreton A.S.  LVIII (58)

Mangus White Hair - Pleiades for Arts scroll

Magnus White Hair – Award of the Pleiades – Arts

Based on Ibn Fadlan’s 10th C poem,  Ar-Risala, “The Journal” 
Scribe – Lady Ysabeau de Chaunteply – Diana Arneson

Lo, there do we see an artist.
Lo, there do we see a teacher.
And a leader and a giver of time.
Lo, there do we see our people.
Their talents, their skills, their joy. 
Lo, they do shine. 
The very stars do bid us, 
In the halls of Ayreton
Where the skilled Magnus White-Hair 
Builds and creates and crafts labors of love 
From leather. 
Lo, we are proud.
Magnus, White-Hair a Pleiades we grant you 
For your art brings Ayreton glory and fame.

Done this day, at the Royal University of the Midrealm, November 18, 2023 In the Barony of Ayreton A.S.  LVIII (58)