Per fess gules and sable,
atop the line of division
a drakkar, mast stepped
and oars in action, in
base a laurel wreath Or.
Arms by Khevron Oktavii Tikhikovich Vorotnikov
History: The following are excerpts from an article on "Oerthan Firsts", see History of Oertha page for the whole article.
In May, AS XXXVIII (2003), Selveirgard became a Barony, merging with the former Canton of Inbhir na Dà Abhann. The armory is that of the original Selviergard.
Past Barons and Baronesses of Selviergard:
|Reign Began||Baron/ess and Consort (Baroness/Baron)|
|May, 2003||Fergus Mac Thomais and Margarita Catherine di Calvi (Founding Baron and Baroness)|
|July, 2004||Georg of Glacier's Edge and Katarzina Porajski (Castellans while Fergus and Margarita were Prince and Princess)|
|April, 2005||Georg of Glacier's Edge and Katarzina Porajski (Castellans/Baron and Baroness)|
|May, 2010||Fathir von Trier and Étaín O'Rowarke|
|August, 2014||Halfdan Ǫzurarson (aka Thomas of Selviergard)|
Location: Eagle River to the Mantanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska
Heralds' Title: The Selviergard Pursuivant (Nothing registered)
Submitted in EMail (April, 2007) by Marius do Parthia, Patriarch of Echoing Thunder, written by Flynx van Halen:
My Dear and Honorable Grandchildren Most Amiable,
So few are left among us who remember times ago when Rolling Thunder was new in the S.C.A and the Society itself was new to the world. Those years far gone now when everyone in Rolling Thunder was known to every other. The enchanted time when we really did “play act” the Middle Ages. Brother and Sister were more than just words blown through the air like dry autumn leaves. We really were family. We defended one another, and suffered for each individual's pain. Our honor and chivalry were worn on each person’s sleeve, each reflecting all the others for the world to see, to emulate and to envy. I ask that you humor me now, this tale of amelioration.
Our history officially begins on 18 August 1977 ce, Gregorian. I lived in a small house in the city of Anchorage, Alaska with my brother Larry of the Birchwood and wife Kimmel of the Sable Shire. It was Kimmel who was first Matriarch of Rolling Thunder in the S.C.A. Larry and I worked for the Alaska Railroad; Kimmel’s family had restaurants. Another brother, Patrick of the Caves was a forest firefighter and a student at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (U.A.A.)
One day Patrick came to visit after school and began to recount a most marvelous and fantastic tale of chivalry and honor, of knights and fair ladies, the Queen of Love and Beauty, and poets and bards, jongleurs and distant kingdoms, and best of all ARMORED COMBAT! Could fun at this level really exist? We wondered in awe. Like so many kids over the last thousand or so years, I said to myself, “YES!” Outwardly I was eventually able to ask, still with the shock and near disbelief, “Where do I sign up?”
I discovered next that our place of residence was no longer Anchorage, Alaska but the incipient shire Eskalya. The first actual SCAdian that I met was Eskalya’s first knight, Sir Ragnar Blackspruce of House Winterhaven. When he introduced himself he said, “Well met m’lord!” Sir Ragnar, much to his honor, was always exemplary of chivalry, courtesy, grace and a fine and true gentleman of the sort I’d always believed a knight to be. I was forever hooked. [NOTE: Ragnar was not, at this time, a Knight -- he was Knighted in 1980, and was indeed the first Knight in Oertha -- but at the time he was not yet a Knight. My recollection of Ragnar's honor, chivalry, courtesy, etc. matches Flynx's quite well.]
Through Sir Ragnar I met Viscount Master Ulrich von Matanuska and Sir Einrich Armpittsbane (who claimed he was a dwarf in spite of the obvious fact that he was over six feet in height and some two hundred plus pounds in mass). Both these impressive sounding (and looking) gentlemen were members of House van Dag from some place called the Principality of the Outlands which, I was told, was but a subdivision of a vast kingdom they called “the Atenveldt” which, they told me, meant “The Desert Place.” [NOTE: again, at the time Ulrich was neither a Viscount or a Master of Arms, and Einrich was not yet a Knight (or Duke) either ...]
Master Ulrich held classes at a local primary school in the evenings where he exuberantly taught many new people (or newbies) to sorta/kinda grasp an understanding of the concept of the “current Middle Ages”. He patiently spent many hours answering our hundreds of questions. The excitement of these classes was quite palpable.
Meanwhile, good Sir Ragnar held Saturday and Sunday afternoon fighter practice on the edge of the Blackspruce Swamp across the lane from his manor. Soon, about a dozen raw newbies began enthusiastically building combat armor from carpet, rope and duct tape and creating helms from non-rechargeable freon cans with chrome plated bars (appropriated from grocery store shopping carts) for grilles. We used “pre-owned” hockey gloves, pants and pads. Basketball pads were worn on elbows and knees with duct taped carped for grieves and gorget (this was about the time when we newbies began to truly realize the universe is held together with silver-tape). The only really good armor we had was a “nose guard”, purchased new, of course. In those first painful days we wore no thigh armor and no arm protection. Helms were held on by the tight cushy fit provided by layers of thick, open-cell foam padding. No chinstraps, they were still nearly a decade down the SCAdian road. As one can easily see, we were very much like current (A.S. XXXIII) Ansteorran warriors.
I once heard a “mundane” describe our dementia thus: “They put buckets on their heads and blankets on their shoulders and beat each other with baseball bats!” Not a completely inaccurate description.
My first fighting event was the Anchorage Renaissance Faire. Quite suddenly I found myself in a place and state of mind where, if I should squint my eyes just right I would time shift and poof-de-presto!, I was THERE, REALLY THERE on the Field of Glory in the 10th century ce. Hoo-Boy! This was as close as one gets to too much fun. No shit, there I was…dreaming the dream. The pavilions, the banners and pennons brightly colored rippling on the breeze. The ladies so beautiful and fair. The entire atmosphere seemed magically charged and everything made it the more wonderful by the manners and period speech of every gentle there, so easy it was to recognize those playing the game and the scant few who were merely “mundanes” in costume. Great Stuff!
It was at this same event where I discovered, for myself, the difference between Knights and mere men at arms… When Sir Einrich beat me up so bad I had to be carried from the field and could not walk nor even stand for hours.
In but a short time I discovered that nearly all the “newbies” had been asked/invited/drafted into either House van Dag or House Winterhaven… but of course, not me. So it was then I came to realize I already belonged to a great household and began to organize them (along with several members of van Dag and Winterhaven) into a shire we called Selveirgard which we took to mean “freehold”. And so it was that the House of Rolling Thunder came into the Society as not only a fully-fledged household but also a shire complete with infrastructure and officers. Thus was the melding of Rolling Thunder with the Society for Creative Anachronism. And there was much rejoicing.
In A.S. XII Viscount Ulrich von Matanuska was the reigning warlord over the entire land area north of the 55th parallel. We called that position the Lord Defender of the North. Consequently, Rolling Thunder was able to contribute greatly to the laws, customs and traditions of that entire sub-continental region of over six hundred thousand square miles. It was from this beginning (from what is currently the Principality of Oertha), the shire of Selveirgard dominated the battlefields of Oertha, for as Ulrich’s reign would draw to its end there was Einrich to rule for the next six months and so on. [NOTE: At this time, the Region of the North was not really a cohesive unit. The group in Winter's Gate (Fairbanks) hadn't started yet, nor the group in Earngyld (Juneau), so there really were just Eskalya and Selveirgard. Frankly, I don't think most of us outside of Selveirgard knew anything about Rolling Thunder except rumors out of the south. We did know a little about the Atenveldt Dwarves due to Einrich's talking about them, and of course the Selveirgard Trolls were an offshoot of that tradition.]
Eventually, Sir Einrich determined that Oertha no longer suited his taste and he yearned to return to his home in the high desert of al-Barran where the Principality of the Outlands was soon to become a Kingdom. Having stood so close for so long in the light and heat of the fire that was Rolling Thunder, he was forever changed. When he returned to his home in the Outlands, he took with him a spark from that fire and the Known Worlde shall never be the same. [NOTE: It would have been after Einrich moved that he was Knighted, and he eventually became King of Atenveldt ... Einrich is the one who made Ulrich a Master of Arms, with permission of the Crown of the West, as Ulrich was still living in Oertha, which at the time was called the "Region of the North". Ulrich was offered Knighthood by Einrich, but he would not accept Knighthood except from a King of the North. So he was then offered the parallel title of Master of Arms from Einrich, which he accepted. Ulrich's Viscounty title would have been after he eventually moved out of Oertha as well, as he was never a Prince in Oertha, although he was indeed one of, if not the, first Lord Defenders of the North. Not to disparage Flynx's memory, but I cannot find any record of Ulrich having reigned as a Prince anywhere in the Known World, and hence not a Viscount. The Title of Lord Defender of the North never carried a Viscounty title with it, but this may be what Flynx is thinking.]
[NOTE: The rest of this discussion is about Rolling Thunder ...] Once in al-Barran it was with fantastic speed that spark broke into a raging inferno. Sir Eldr, Sir Creon the Artisan, Sir Olaf Bear Crusher, Lady Myrby, Lady Merlina, Lord Hawk and the many fabled Birds of Prey, Lord Ox, Lord Ragnar, Gregor, Elisheva and scores more swelled the ranks of Rolling Thunder. Sir Einrich became King of Atenveldt and a short year later King again. (Pretty darn good considering he only ever entered two crown lists.)
Sir Eldr became Prince of the Outlands. Sir Einrich was the Great Motivator. Sir Eldr showed us better materials and better ways of mass-producing armor; how to fight as a team and destroy our enemies with spears. His efforts forever changed the way S.C.A. wars are fought. Sir Olaf Bear Crusher made our legendary kettledrums like “Scarface” and taught us to build others like Lady Teal’s “Rasputin”. Sir Creon the Artisan taught us that armor can be an art. He also taught us to play our drums both in “Middle Eastern” and “Tribal” styles. Elisheva, who nurtured us, fed us and listened to us, came to be called Mother Thunder by us.
We experienced unprecedented, explosive growth. Every where Rolling Thunder went, Rolling Thunder kicked ass. Rolling Thunder played the game better than anyone anywhere and so naturally almost everybody allasudden wanted to join Rolling Thunder. Ah fame! But at a heavy price. By the time Einrich became Duke Einrich the laws of Atenveldt and the Outlands were forever changed and in many places Rolling Thunder became a name synonymous with evil. The fact is, that at the time, Rolling Thunder comprised the largest, most mobile and most effective fighting force anywhere in SCAdia and was home to the best-trained and most effective SCAdian bureaucrats before or since not withstanding.
Duke Einrich then began a sabbatical of some eight years or so for reasons which nowadays have become all too clear to me. It was during this period (1986 ce.) that I first visited Rolling Thunder in the “lower 40”. [NOTE: normally called the "lower 48", as in the continental United States.] What I found was a people who though persecuted for their familial affiliation, were intensely proud of themselves as a group and very, very tight with one another.
Whether we came from this Kingdom or that, we always camped in a circular Thunder camp, fought as a single unit and destroyed any and all who were wont to test their mettle against the very best. These wonderful people talked the period talk and if they swaggered a bit when they proudly walked it was simply because they were the very best of their day. The world didn’t particularly like us…but they had to respect us, “lest we should stand on their chest till they don’t breath no more!”
Victory Through Intimidation came to mean Rolling Thunder. We styled ourselves “Nasty to the Bone” because our army with our leaders was invincible. Even our would-be enemies would say, “So goes Rolling Thunder, So goes the war.”
Rolling Thunder is so big and so diverse. How did this happen? Here I have attempted to draw for you a thumbnail sketch of early Rolling Thunder history. Perhaps others will now write and help add to the continuing story.
Every member of Rolling Thunder is responsible to every other.
[Notes inserted into the text by Hirsch von Henford, another former Oerthan, who was there, and who is also the West Kingdom Historian, and so on ... these were added sparingly, and just to keep a few minor facts straight based on dates ... more details on the Principality of Oertha and other branches there can be found both in the 'local branches' part of the History, and in the event descriptions ... Hirsch]
Description of the history of this branch is a summary from the small amount of information available, by Hirsch von Henford. Location information is from the back of The Page.
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).