Award of Arms July 31 AS 34 / 1999
Jambe de Lion (for Costuming) June 23 AS 36 / 2001
I had spent several years trying to find a place where I could play make-believe and live my fantasies of being swept up in the world of King Arthur and Camelot. I finally found the SCA, and joined shortly before Clinton War 1997.
Having always been a "clotheshorse" in mundanity, I was immediately drawn to the colourful costuming of the Game. Going from "costume wienie" to "costume nazi" -- er, "authenticity mavin" -- and challenging the first 3 ranks of the Costumers Guild eventually led to a Jambe de Lion.
As well, I took an early interest in all things "sharp and lethal", and soon began sporting a bow, in addition to the myriad visible and interestingly hidden daggers on my person, earning the titles of "Briarwood's BladesMistress" and "the Self-Appointed Walking Arsenal of Crimson Star".
My passion for Celtic harp and creative writing pushed me to begin exploring the bardic arts, where an interest in bellydancing and drumming was sparked. Becoming the Mistress of Arts and Sciences for the Canton of Lionsdale  was a natural progression, as I further explored the non-combative activities offered within the Society.
After a few seemingly brief years (time flies when you're having fun!) as Lionsdale's Arts and Sciences officer and autocratting Champions one year, some people figured I worked hard enough to earn a Lion's Claw (what the...? was that supposed to be work?!?) and Baron Master Siegfried the Immane deemed me fit to take me as his Protege.
I have been relatively inactive in the SCA since 2002.
Persona Story - Aislinn O'Connor
Aislinn's father was a wealthy merchant with property in Ireland. He traveled frequently, and met Aislinn's mother, an upper class English woman of good breeding, while passing through England. They married and maintained residence at his estate in Ireland, with many frequent travels to England to visit her family.
Aislinn was born in Ireland in 1619 (circa 1640, she is age 21). She spent her childhood being raised as a proper young lady of eloquent breeding, and being educated in the finer arts such as music (harp and bodhran) and the "civilized" sport of archery. She went on frequent trips to England with her parents and, therefore, she had regular access to the English courts and the modern fashions (1640 cavalier). However, she opted to adorn the more traditional Irish costumes of wool when residing in Ireland's colder climate.
She and her mother would often accompany her father on business trips to other countries, including India, Mongolia and Asia. Aislinn acquired various items of clothing, fabrics and jewelry from the middle east, as well as learned bellydancing. Due to her station and wealth, she was able to afford all manner of expensive fine items and textiles.
Aislinn's father arranged her marriage to an upper class gentleman in another country which is rarely visited and, therefore, difficult to locate easily. She packed all her belongings and a considerable sum of money as her dowry, and set sail on one of her father's ships, containing a small crew complement to act as her servants in her new home. They became lost in a storm and wound up in An Tir.
Not knowing how to return, Aislinn searched for other ships going to Ireland, so that they may sail along with them. She spent six months searching, to no avail, and released the small crew from her employ and sold her ship for cash.
Some time later, after being alone and unprotected in an unknown land and wanting the security of a household, she located a friendly "merchant" ship who also happened to include Ireland in their travel plans. This renewed her hope of returning to Ireland and her family. Disguising her wealth by wearing only her simplest clothing (hiding her money and finer belongings in a battered old trunk) and adopting the mannerisms of an uncultured lower class waif, she joined the mercenary crew of the Crimson Star.
During her travels through the Knowne World with Crimson Star, she made the acquaintance of a fellow Irishman, Pierce O'Briain, whose company made the trip more enjoyable. A relationship grew between the two of them, and Aislinn decided to leave off her attempts to return to Ireland and her loveless arranged marriage, and simply sent word to her parents via letter on ships traveling in that vicinity.
As their interests no longer matched those of the ship, Aislinn and Pierce left the crew of the Crimson Star after almost two years. Free of the mercenary crew and the scandalous other raiding ships at sea, Aislinn returned to displaying her wealth on her person and showing herself to be the educated and eloquent lady she was. She used her dowry and the money raised from selling her ship to purchase lands in Lionsdale , where she and Pierce set up residence.
Some time later, Aislinn began to experience involuntary episodes of past-life regression, as a result of the emotional and psychological trauma caused by being lost at sea and discovering that she would never return to her family and all that she knew. It was later determined that the past-life she was experiencing was that of one of her own ancestors, a Celtic woman living in Ireland in the 4th Century, just before the invasion of the Romans.
Overwhelmed by these past life experiences, Aislinn broke off her relationship with Pierce in order to pursue a better understanding of the person she once was.
Persona Story - Ancient Celt
(This is around 2002 when I took a hiatus from the SCA. I figure when I'm ready to get involved again, I can return with a new persona since it's more likely I'll be addressed by a new name if I've been inactive for a few years in between personas)
(not yet written; stay tuned...)
Arts and Sciences / Interests
I had wanted to learn to play the Celtic folk harp for the last ten years, at the very least. Upon joining the SCA in the summer of 1997 I couldn't seem to find many people who played harp or knew of where to acquire one. But at May Crown 1998 I found and purchased my first harp from the House of the SilverWinds. It was a small, inexpensive harp, but it was a great value to someone who had no more than 6 hours of musical experience (brief piano lessons at age 12).
During the next two years, I began learning how to play. I encountered a few wonderful gentles who took time out of their weekend to teach me, including Chrystiana at July Coronation 1998, Ursula at Clinton War 1998 and Lady Solais at Ursulmas 2000.
To this day, I still cannot read sheet music; I play by ear. So it has taken me far too long to learn much of anything on the harp. I look forward to events where there are other harpers in attendance, so that I may sit with and learn from them.
I progressed through a number of harps in the next two years. In 1999 I acquired a larger, deeper sounding harp that used to belong to Sibhaidh of Lough Neagh, former Pied Piper of the Barony of Lions Gate .
In 2000, I bought a very large harp from Lady Solais, whom I had met at Ursulmas.
In order to afford my new, larger harp from Solais, I sold my other two small harps to two wonderful ladies in Lions Gate who were interested in learning to play.
I hope they enjoy these harps as I have, and continue the legacy of, once outgrowing them, passing them on to other beginners so that the harps may inspire them, as well.