Sebastian was the founding Baron of Darkwood, was a Knight of the West, a member of the Order of the Pelican, held a Grant of Arms, was a member of the Order of the Leaf of Merit, was a Baron of the Court of the West, held an Award of Arms, and was a Defender of the West. In addition, he was admitted to the Order of the Corollae Nebulorum with both a Corolla Aulica and a Corolla Muralis, was the recipient of a Princess' Favor, and was on several Queen's and Princess' guards.
"Around 11 or 12 years ago, Lord Sebastian was concerned about the isolation of the local SCA groups in the southern Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey County areas. Several times, small local groups had started and faltered within these areas. It was Sebastian's vision to take the small shires of Caer Darth and Hawks Haven, and a straggling group of Monterey students known as MaClich Na Clavver Nah (No Gossip Here) and create a Barony; a place where we could "all play together". People who could not transport themselves to attend Kingdom or Principality events could still have (smaller) events to attend, and if all the groups worked together, none could fail.
Darkwood was chartered at Twelfth Night 1987. The Canton of Montaigne du Roi had sinced replaced No Gossip Here; in subsequent years the canton of Koenigstadt was founded and the Barony of Darkwood and its Huscarls became a fighting force of some renown in the West. After Sebastian received his knighthood, he stepped down as our Baron, and his Seneschal, Lord (now Master) Wilhelm von Zweikopfiegen Falke [Wilhelm von Zweikopfieg Falke] stepped up in his place. Sebastian was made a Court Baron and will forever be the only holder of the title Baron Darkwood.
(Much of the above information is summarized from an article narrated by Sebastian and recorded by Eoin Torr an Dhragoin, entitled "An Oral History of Darkwood".)
To us, Sebastian is a leader, a role model, someone to look up to. We in Darkwood feel about Sebastian the way the An Tirians felt about Janeltis Starfollower; it's just one of those things. He is our "dad" and we love him."
-- Lady Caitlin O'Byrne, email 4/25/97 --
"Sebastian is a truly good man. I know of no one who could argue that. I know only that those of us who have been privileged to know him for many many years have never heard him say a bad thing about anyone or to anyone. He looks for the good, and inspires good in others. I had the privilege to be the Queen to put the white belt of Knighthood on Sebastian von Baden, and I can think of few that I believe deserve it more."
-- Linda of the Lakelands, email 4/25/97 --
"With regards to Sebastian von Baden:
It is hard to take the measure of Sebastian. You could look at the order of precedence and know that he was a pel, a knight, and the founding baron of Darkwood. That might at least tell you that he had survived the oven roaster of the chiv council and the pressure cooker of the pel council. It wouldn't tell you about the mistakes he made while principality seneschal, nor would it tell you of what his detractors said regarding the personality fights behind the founding of Darkwood. It would never tell you about the lonely man looking for someone to share his life with, or about his shyness and frustration in approaching women. You would never see the anger in his eyes over being born a fireplug in a society which values tall and trim. You would never discover his wicked and pointed humor, nor his very gentle wit which he shared with his close friends. You would never hear the funny story about his vigil for knighthood, going for breakfast at 4 in the morning with a handful of very drunk friends. You would never see the hair which refused to stay in place, nor the beard which resisted discipline. You would never know that he was a fun fight, nor that he would patiently point out to a new fighter all the different ways you had just missed to kill him. He always had much patience with those struggling to learn, and little patience for the vain, the self-important or the unjustly proud. He was a much deeper man than many gave him credit for. He laughed two different ways: loudly and thoughtfully. How many of us could say the same about ourselves?
It is hard to take the measure of someone like Sebastian. I only know that many of his friends were my friends, that many of his detractors were my detractors too, and that he could make me laugh not boisterously (as is my wont) but thoughtfully. I will never know him well enough."
-- email 4/25/97 --
"Today at 1:30 Darkwood lost a friend and founder. He died peaceably in his sleep surrounded by friends and family. As I told his father, if there is a heaven, Sebastian is there watching us all and planning a campaign to start a canton of Darkwood there. We will always remember Master Sir Sebastian von Baden as our friend and founder."
-- Baron Wilhelm von Zweikopfiegen Falke, email 4/26/97 --
"For any of you who have not heard, Sebastian passed away in his sleep at 1:32pm Saturday, April 26, 1997. He knew he was dying and given the choice between several days of slow agonizing death as his body functions ceased operation, and simply having his blood pressure medication stopped, he chose the latter. He was told after the medication was stopped, his blood pressure would drop and he would be dead within the hour. Sebastian, true to form, stayed awake for an hour and a half and took another hour and a half to expire."
-- Brocc of Alderden email 4/27/97 --
"I've known Sebastian for quite a while now, and though we haven't had much recent contact due to my inactivity in the SCA, I always liked him and enjoyed his company. I remember him as one of the more interesting people I've ever fought with his odd weapons style (sword and spear). It was always necessary to remember that the spear was the dangerous item, not the sword, and it was always a fun fight with him.
I remember a conversation with an An Tir knight once where we were comparing our upcoming opponents in the next round of the crown lists. He told me my opponent was pretty good and I told him that his (Sebastian) was also pretty good and to especially watch out for the spear. Both of our opponents won and Sebastian did get him with a spear thrust.
Of course, I also remember the Tourney in Hell in King City some years ago that Sebastian autocratted. The site was picked out in Spring when it was a beautiful bowl in rolling hills covered with lovely green grass. Unfortunately, the tourney was later in the summer when it was a sun- blasted brown wasteland covered in cow patties with a howling wind going by and temperatures around 90 degrees.
Sebastian survived the tourney without being lynched, for as Duke Frederick pointed out, they couldn't hang him since there were no trees.
It sounds pompous, but speaking as one of the founders of the SCA, Sebastian was the sort of person this group was made for, and whether a miracle happens or not, he is and will remain one of us and and example of the best of the SCA."
-- email 4/28/97 --
Special thanks to Quentyn Siobhan O'Riordain, Webminister for Darkwood. I used these with permission. Barony of Darkwood website.
Beltane Coronation (May 5-6, 1984, AS XIX)
Beltane Coronation (May 5-6, 1984, AS XIX)
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