About me

My name is The Honourable Baroness Ceara Shionnach, resident of the Barony of Politarchopolis in the Kingdom of Lochac, member of House Burbage, and apprentice to Mistress Mathilde Adycote of Mynheniot since 2008.

I first joined the SCA through O-Week at the ANU, becoming a member of the College of St Aldhelm in February 2007.

I attended my first Festival in 2007 and have been every year since then. I attended my first GNW in 2008 and have been every year since then.

From the beginning, I’ve been interested in the Arts and Sciences. In 2007-2008, I participated in target archery each year and was authorised for combat archery (though, amusingly, I’ve never fought as a combat archer).

In mid-2008, I was first authorised as a heavy combatant and fought my first official tournament – the Flame Tourney  (an 8 round, ~40 person grand melee by fire light) – at GNW 2008. My first opponent was the towering Sir Gabriel de Beaumont. The Flame Tourney has always been my favourite. I fought in the first two La Prova Dura tournaments in Lochac. I also fought heavy combat in the wars at Pennsic 41 and Pennsic 42 – I particularly enjoyed wearing Lochac populace regalia (tabard and shields), and found the armoured woods battle ridiculously fun. The last time I fought heavy combat was the armoured woods battle at Pennsic 42 (August 2013).

I fondly remember when I got notification of my name and heraldry becoming officially registered. I was at Pennsic War 41 (July-Aug 2012) and got the message just before going to the Lochac dinner with Master Ruslan’s camp. I designed the initial form of my device in 2007, combining my favourite colour (green) with the most appealing field division to me (per saltire). I added counter-changed feathers because I was often at archery, and I was adamant that I wanted some kind of animal charge as well. I decided upon foxes because they were not relatively common in Lochac heraldry, and they were a ginger-coloured animal (given that I have ginger hair, I felt that would be appropriate). The second (and more passable version) of my device was based on the first, altered with the help of Count Stephen Aldred to include two foxes instead of one, and feathers crossed in saltire (like those used in the badge of the Black Prince!).

Ceara Shionnachs Device

The device I had passed in 2012 – “Per saltire argent and vert, two foxes passant proper and two pairs of feathers in saltire argent.”

My name – Ceara Shionnach – is an Irish Gaelic name. I had assistance by Baron Domhnall na Moicheirghe in arriving on the final variation of my name (it was originally Caera Sionnach, then Ceara inghen Shionnach, then Ceara inghen Lachtnan Ui Shionnach….). I chose Ceara because I liked the sound of it and somewhere I read that it means ‘bright’. I chose Shionnach because it is the word for fox, and I felt that was an appropriate link to my chosen heraldry.

In May 2013, I was first authorised in rapier combat. I absolutely adore fighting rapier, finding it ridiculously fun to travel around Lochac (and to Pennsic) to face as many opponents as possible. At Great Southern Gathering 2013, I successfully fought my Free Scholar Prize in sword and dagger. At Rowany Festival 2014, I successfully fought my Journeyman Prize in sword and dagger, sword and buckler and sword and cane. Sword and cane is certainly my favourite form, followed by sword and dagger. I would also like to learn case and sword and rotella, however, I’m currently working on single sword in both hands.

Notable Achievements

Officer Positions Held

  • Politarchopolis Arts and Sciences Officer (2008-2010)
    • Hosted weekly A&S meetings
    • List shields and list tree project
    • Began Baronial Frieze project
  • Politarchopolis Seneschal (2012)
  • Lochac Historian (March 2014-current)
  • Politarchopolis Chronicler (March 2015-current)
  • SCA’s 50th Anniversary, Lochac Kingdom Display Chair, February 2015 – current
  • SCA’s 50th Anniversary, Author of Lochac’s Kingdom History (10,000+ words), April 2014 – current

Household Positions

  • Head Lady in Waiting – Ginevra and Aonghus – Politarchopolis Baronial Household (2010-11)
  • Liveryman – Gabriel II and Constanzia II – Royal Household (2011)
  • King’s Guard – Henri and Beatrice – Royal Household (2012)
  • Royal Artisan and Queen’s Guard – Niall I and Liadan I – Royal Household (2013)
  • Lady in Waiting – Niall II and Liadan II – Royal Household (2014)
  • Kings Guard (rapier) – Steffan I and Branwen I – Royal Household (2016)
  • Skrifakona (writer/documenter) for Gilbert I and Bethony I – Royal Household (2016)
  • Chamberlain – Steffan II and Branwen II – Royal Household (2017)

Largesse

Kingdom Awards

  • AoA – Hugh and Theresa – 27/10/07
  • Golden Tear (one of two) Gabriel I and Constanzia I – 10/10/2009
Golden Tear token

Golden Tear token

  • Royal Cypher – Edmund and Leonore – 15/1/2011
  • Royal Cypher – Gabriel II and Constanzia II – 2/7/2011
Royal Cypher from Gabriel II and Constanzia II

Royal Cypher from Gabriel II and Constanzia II

  • Golden Tear (two of two) 18/2/2012
Golden Tear token

Golden Tear token

  • Star and Lily – Henri and Beatrice – 24/11/2012
My Star and Lily token. Queen Beatrice made the necklace with me in mind. She used green and white beads to match my heraldry and subtle octopus tokens as a personal touch from her.

My Star and Lily token. Queen Beatrice made the necklace with me in mind. She used green and white beads to match my heraldry and subtle octopus tokens as a personal touch from her.

  • Royal Cypher – Henri and Beatrice – 12/1/2013
Royal Cypher from Henri and Beatrice

Royal Cypher from Henri and Beatrice

  • Royal Cypher – Felix and Eva – 6/7/2013
Royal Cypher from Felix and Eva

Royal Cypher from Felix and Eva

  • Cockatrice – Niall and Liadan – 17/8/2013

Cockatrice

Cockatrice Scroll by Mistress Catherine de Arc

Cockatrice Scroll by Mistress Catherine de Arc

  • Queen’s Cypher – Liadan I – 11/1/2014
  • Golden Rapier – Kinggiyadai and Altani – 20/6/2015
  • Court Barony – Steffan and Branwen – 4/7/2015
  • Royal Cypher – Steffan and Branwen – 16/1/2017
  • Royal Cypher – Gilbert and Bethony – 9/7/2017

Baronial Awards

  • Order of the Burley Griffin (Arts) – Alessandro and Isobel (Politarchopolis)
Order of the Burley Griffin (Arts) token

Order of the Burley Griffin (Arts) token

  • Order of the Burley Griffin (Service) (Politarchopolis)
  • Baronial Cypher – Alessandro and Isobel (Politarchopolis) – 30/10/2010
Baronial Cypher from Alessandro and Isobel (Politarchopolis)

Baronial Cypher from Alessandro and Isobel (Politarchopolis)

  • Baronial Cypher – Aonghus and Ginevra (Politarchopolis) – 30/11/2013
Baronial Cypher from Aonghus and Ginevra(Politarchopolis)

Baronial Cypher from Aonghus and Ginevra(Politarchopolis)

  • Order of the Pilgrim’s Shell – William and Katherine (River Haven) – 7/6/2014
The token I received from Baron William and Baroness Katherine of River Haven for sustained service to the Barony at GNW.

The token I received from Baron William and Baroness Katherine of River Haven for sustained service to the Barony at GNW.

  • Order of the Bouget – Drake and Acacia (St Florian) – 10/6/2017

Tokens Received

  • Lochac ring token for service at GNW 2012 from Siridean II
Lochac ring from Siridean II

Lochac ring from Siridean II

  • Favour from Ladies of the Rose to fight heavy combat in the Virtues Rose Tourney
  • Rowany token for service – Gui and Aefled (B&B Rowany)
Token from Gui and Aefled (B&B Rowany)

Token from Gui and Aefled (B&B Rowany)

  • Squirrels from Queen of Aethelmearc – Pennsic 41
Squirrel belt favour (well worn, now) from Queen of Aethelmearc at Pennsic 41

Squirrel belt favour (well worn, now) from Queen of Aethelmearc at Pennsic 41

Squirrel ring (well worn, now) from Queen of Aethelmearc at Pennsic 41

Squirrel ring (well worn, now) from Queen of Aethelmearc at Pennsic 41

  • Prince Niall I – ring token for fencing
Ring token for fencing from Prince Niall

Ring token for fencing from Prince Niall

  • Liadan I – bag token
Bag token from Liadan I

Bag token from Liadan I

  • Liadan I – rose token to represent her in the Pennsic 42 Rose Tourney (rapier)
Rose favour from Liadan I

Rose favour from Liadan I

  • Wol token from Don Greybeard for rapier – Pennsic 42
Wol token from Don Greybeard

Wol token from Don Greybeard

  • Free Scholar’s Scarf – Yevan de Leed – GSG 2013
Free Scholar scarf from Master Yevan de Leed

Free Scholar scarf from Master Yevan de Leed

  • Fox tokens – shenanigans by Constanzia, Ursula and Cairistiona
Fox tokens from shenanigans

Fox tokens from shenanigans

  • Liadan II – token for fencing, personal token for making hoods
Pouch token from Liadan II

Pouch token from Liadan II

  • Journeyman Scarf – Don Owain Cantor ap Hughe – Festival 2014
  • Wol token from Guildmaster Don François Henri Guyon – Ultimate Fighter Tournament in Politarchopolis, 2015

Event Positions Held

  • Breakfast crew at Great Northern War – 2009 to 2014
  • Steward – Politarchopolis Valentines Event (Roman themed)
  • Steward – Politarchopolis Baronial Championships and Quest
  • Steward – Lochac’s Lady Rapier Tournament at Rowany Festival 2014
  • Volunteer announcement herald at Rowany Festival 2014
  • Volunteer constable – various years at Rowany Festival
  • Midwinter Crownanation July 2014 – second in charge, Kingdom A&S competition co-ordinator and Crown Tournament herald
  • November Crown 2014 in Torlyon – drop dead Herald in Charge and Crown tournament herald
  • Fencing deputy for GNW 2014 (ran a Valhalla tournament)
  • FoG 2014 – primary Court Herald for Niall II and Liadan II for the weekend
  • A&S Co-ordinator for FoG 2013
  • Royal court herald, FoG 2014
  • Feast hand (to assist the Feastocrat TH Lady Antoinette) at GNW 2014
  • May Crown 2015 in Ildhafn, Crown Tournament herald
  • Event team member – timetable co-ordinator, website content updater, event booklet editor, event advertisement, general event team communication and administration, GNW 2015
  • Herald in Charge of November Crown 2015 (see article about the herald system and scripts I wrote/used)
  • Co-Steward, Great Northern War 2016
  • Bookings Officer and Annunciator, Rowany Festival 2017
  • Annunciator and Herald in Charge, Great Northern War 2017

A&S Classes Taught

As at June 2017, I’ve taught 40 classes in three Kingdoms, eight Baronies, one Canton and two Colleges.

I’ve also made 9 classes available for download on my website under the Arts and Sciences Classes dropdown menu.

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