Cadet Pranks

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Ansteorran Cadets have a history of pulling off some rather amusing and elaborate pranks to bedevil their Dons from time to time. Here are some of them.


Dupre's Ducks

This one will take a bit of explaining. Shamino Salle Dacil is, mundanely, Richard Garriot, also known as Lord British, the designer of (among other things) the Ultima computer games. When he was working on Ultima I, he decided to include various local SCA folks as game characters. One of the people he included was Don Christian Richard Dupre. Due to the limitations of the technology of the time, most characters could only say one thing. Dupre's character line was "Want to buy a duck?"

Shamino was also Dupre's cadet. A couple of years later at HRM Sieglinde's second Queen's Champion Tournament, Dupre awoke to find a small enclosure next to his tent containing several live ducks, signs posted around the campsite advertising his ducks for sale, as well as wooden cutout ducks everywhere. There were also several signs boasting of Dupre's prowess as a fighter and claiming that he and his cadets could defeat any other Don and his cadets.

Here is a recent video of Shamino and Dupre reminiscing about that incident (as well as several others; the duck section starts at about 2:30.)

And this is one of the cutout ducks:
One of the cutout ducks.

The Great Bedevilment

At the Queen's Champion for HRM Arrowyn III, in February of AS 19, the Cadets pulled off what came to be known as the Great Bedevilment. Presents were given to all the Dons--I received a set of black-and-red baby clothes, because AEthelyan was expecting our first child at that point; Don Donald (who was about to move to Hawaii) received a fighting-legal aloha shirt, Don Durmast (who is commonly called Dormouse) had a set of mouse ears, nose, whiskers and tail attached to his mask; Dona Gwenllian (a noted horsewoman) received a stick-horse, Don Alaric received a pennant with the words "Die you Zulu bastard" upon it, etc.

The second part of the Great Bedevilment was the following song, by then-cadet Alden Pharamond. Each verse was about a specific Don, and at the end of the verse, Alden would hand that Don a 3 x 5 card. Here's mine:

Tivar's verse card


And here's the entire song (to the tune of 'C'Est Moi" from "Camelot"):


C'EST TOI

Alden Pharamond

What is a Don? What is a Don? We know the question all too well:

What is a Don? What is a Don? The answer I think I can tell!

I know in my soul what ev'ry Don should be;

I'll tell it to you without fee. . . .


A Don of the SCA must be invincible;

Succeed when a less fantastic man would scream.

Wear the clothes no one else would wear,

Say the things no one else would dare,

And in mud when the rest are filthy is pristine.

No matter the insult, he must stay unflappable;

Come back with a scathing taunt as recompense.

But where in the land is there such a man

Whose ego is so immense? Gino


C'est toi! C'est toi! I'm forced to admit:

'Tis thee, all know that it's true.

That mortal who these marvels can do,

C'est toi, c'est toi, 'tis you!


The soul of a Don should be a thing remarkable:

His mind and his body pure as morning sky.

Drain a keg no one else can find,

Woo the ladies in record time,

And in water when others sink he will float high (quack)

His temper must be the model of tranquility

And practical jokes must bear without complaint.

But where in the land is there such a man--

The picture of all restraint? Dupre


Chorus


A Don of the SCA must be both hale and strong,

A man whose heroic presence none deny.

The most notable man in view

Who can parry an arrow, too.

Make him mad and you'll find yourself squashed like a fly!

To face him would daunt the bravest of all warriors,

Though were he to confess such truths I'm sure he'd blush.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who loves gourmet food so much? Alaric


Chorus


A Don should have knowledge of all things both great and small;

The picture of education at its prime.

And will lecture to all who hear,

With an occasional lech'rous leer,

And then sit back and look so smugly fine.

And swift as the lightning is he on the battlefield;

So quick that the dead can never touch their foe.

But where in the land is there such a man

That can kill from a mile or so? Iolo


Chorus


The conduct of a Don must be impeccable:

All follow his actions with the proper care.

Leap through windows with blinding speed

When he's caught in an artless deed,

And pays well for assassination of a Bear.

All women admire him for his lofty attributes,

And men all applaud his actions when he died.

But where in the land is there such a man

So poised and self-satisfied? Jeremy


Chorus


A Don should be able to commend all other folk;

In matters of leadership he should be wise.

Instill bravery in those who quail;

Let no man fall behind or fail,

Drink more beer than can anyone three times his size.

His dress should reflect his aura of authority,

And kilts are the proudest clothing of them all.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who sits down in a drafty hall? Robbie


Chorus


The word of a Don should not be subject to debate;

His honour demands that only truth he tell.

Praise the folk who give valued time

And berate those who only whine,

And when praising his Kingdom's name, does aught but yell.

The honesty of his statements should be known by all,

There's none that I know who would deny his claim.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who calls knaves by their proper name? Sigmund


Chorus


A Don should be conscious of a lady's happiness;

A girl all alone should never so remain.

So his duty is plainly clear:

He must strive to uplift her cheer,

But a kiss or a backrub he would not disdain.

The Don has, of course, sworn fealty to our lady Queen,

And seeks to perform requests of every sort.

But where in the land is there such a man

Too shy to wear tights in Court? Sentri


Chorus


The pose of a Don should be most unreproachable

That those all around should render him his due.

He is proud when the rest would fall,

And in face of defeat, stands tall,

And his name should reflect his valiant manner, too!

He must be a man whose bearing sets him from the rest

Without being egotistic, rude, or loud.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who stands out in any crowd? Durmast


Chorus


The skills of a Don should not be only of the blade--

He should have other wond'rous crafts at his command:

Build a rapier of worth so high

It's the envy of every eye,

And his daggers should be a joy to every hand.

No labourer common is he to appear begrimed,

But a Master of craft whose clothes are always fair.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who's got such amazing hair? Eldric


Chorus


A Don should perform his work with quiet diligence;

His duties he fulfills without a stir.

Teaches students both new and old,

Rewrites rules a hundred-fold,

And when standing upon the field is so demure.

But this demeanor hides the fire of Cyrano:

A man who can walk back-alleys so gallant.

But where in the land is there such a man

Whose dagger is his right-hand "main"? Donald


Chorus


Our Dona is a match for any man about.

This lady with endless skill is quite a find.

She who fights with wond'rous flair

With a cloak or a rapier pair,

Or a dog, when her glasses break and she is blind.

Her deftness at costuming equals all her skills at war.

Her knowledge of her persona is the same.

But where in the WORLD is there such a GIRL

Whose name is a herald's bane? Gwenllian


Chorus


Moderation is a trait the Don holds over all.

He knows that fools rush in where wise men fear.

This will show when he's in a fight:

Simply waits 'til the time is right,

And destroys his opponent with a trusty spear.

This notion applies above all else to alcohol,

For liquor we know can well destroy the mind.

But where in the land is there such a man

Whose scarf he can never find? David


Chorus


A Don should dress so as to be quite fashionable

And for a Landsknechter there's no hitch:

Puffs and slashes from here to there,

Lace and ribbons and perfumed hair,

And a rapier to prove he really isn't "swish."

And he should, of course, have folk on whom he can depend,

Who'll fight on for him when he must cry, "Enough!"

But where in the land is there such a man

Whose friends are like hand-in-glove? Falke


Chorus


A Don should be composed both on and off the field.

When given a problem, he would never fail.

On the question, he thinks a bit,

Takes his pipe out & gets it lit,

And ensures his solution pleases one and all.

But should wisdom be unable to prevail at last,

He must have a means to keep his foes at bay.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who fights from eight feet away? Dinaris


Chorus


A Don of the SCA should be quite genial.

he's charming and amusing from the start.

If you're liked, you'll know it soon

As he sneaks from across the room

And then from your behind removes a tiny part.

But don't mistake his nature when upon the field:

His skills in fighting are by all acclaimed.

But where in the land is there such a man

Whose wiggle is so well-famed? Simonn


Chorus


What else should a Don be so as to complete himself?

Of course, he must be a fighter first and last.

Now his thrusts should kill every foe,

And his parries should fairly glow,

And above all the other things, he must be fast.

No matter his age, he ought to be unconquerable;

A veritable God of War among his peers.

But where in the land is there such a man

So feared despite all his years? Tivar


Chorus


(Final verse written by AEthelyan Moondragon, after Alden was elevated)

A Don who's a Herald needs a voice which can be heard:

Through forest and field, his words must fill the air

To wake gentry for court and war,

Or speak over a dragon's roar

With a flair and panache that's quite extraordinaire.

A bard he should be, who captivates all with a song.

Sing of praise and fame to any he might meet.

But where in the land is there such a man

Who talks so well 'round both feet? Alden


Now here they are, my ladies and lords,

The best in the swashing game.

Accomplished both at graces and swords.

(The latter I fear will maim . . .)

C'est toi! C'est toi! I blush to disclose

I'm far too stupid to flee.

The folk in whom these qualities bloom

I've told unto you (at risk of my doom)

That group, of course, 'tis thee.

C'est toi!

The Don Cards

In AS 24, the cadets put together a set of cards with pictures and statistics (similar to baseball cards) for all the White Scarves. They were completely irreverent and full of in-jokes.

Front Cover
Inside Front Cover
1. Tivar Moondragon
2. Luigino di Donate
3. David Gallowglass
4. Christian Richard Dupre
5. Robin of Gilwell
6. Hans Duerremast von der Wanderlust
7. Sigmund the Wingfooted
8. Robert Simon Fraser
9. Iolo FitzOwen
10. Dominic Sentre
11. Jeremy James Scurlock
12. Alaric Greythorn of Glen Mor
13. Eldric de Charbonneau
14. Gwenllina Gwalch Gaeaf
15. Donald Armstrong
16. Matthias von Rheinfels
17. Asa Lee Durant
18. Dinaris the Wanderer
19. Simonn of Amber Isle
20. Blayne atte Wood the Juggler
21. Eule von Haginbald
22. Lorelle Joyan de Besancon
23. Maelgwyn Dda
24. Gerrod Allana Mac Ruari
25. Ignatius Phillip Santiago
26. Alden Pharamond
27. Ericus the Silverhand
28. Shamino Salle Dacil
29. Gilbert Gastonnay
30. Galen Niccoli
31. Giovanni Lorenzo da Montefiori
32. Julianna de Bern


And three years later, in AS 27, They did a second set, with slightly different stats and--when they could get them--different pictures.

Second Set, Front Cover
Second Set, Inside Cover
1. Tivar Moondragon
2. Luigino di Donate
3. David Gallowglass
4. Christian Richard Dupre
5. Robin of Gilwell
6. Hans Duerrmast von der Wanderlust
7. Sigmund the Wingfooted
8. Robert Simon Fraser
9. Iolo FitzOwen
10. Dominic Sentre
11. Jeremy James Scurlock
12. Alaric Greythorn of Glen Mor
13. Eldric de Charbonneau
14. Gwenllian Gwalch Gaeaf
15. Donald Armstrong
16. Matthias von Rheinfels
17. Asa Lee Durant
18. Dinars the Wanderer
19. Simonn of Amber Isle
20. Blayne atte Wood the Juggler
21. Eule von Haginbald
22. Lorelle Joyan de Besancon
23. Maelgwyn Dda
24. Gerrod Allana Mac Ruari
25. Ignatius Phillip Santiago
26. Alden Pharamond
27. Ericus the Silverhand
28. Shamino Salle Dacil
29. Gilbert Gastonnay
30. Galen Niccoli
31. Giovanni Lorenzo da Montefiori
32. Julianna de Bern
33.Diarmuid mac Ruis
34. Gaspard du Lac
35. Sebastian Eton Frobishire
36. Giacomo Datini da Venezia
37. Aubrey de Baudricourt
38. Eadric of Wolfstar
39. Robert Michael McPharlan (back when he was still going by Horoun)
40. Gwenneth Bowynne of Glamorgan


The Honest Don Tivar stickers

The SCA's 25th Anniversary event was held in Ansteorra. Since it was so close to home, a lot of Ansteorrans attended the week-long event. One night, midway through the event, a gang of cadets (and, possibly, fellow conspirators) went through the Ansteorran camp, putting barcode stickers on everything they could lay their hands upon--tables, chairs, fighting gear, Iolo's lute, they even managed to put stickers on both Royal Crowns and the Great Sword of State.

Tivar's helm.

This was a continuation of the joke that had been running in the Don Cards--the notion that I owned pretty much everything in Ansteorra, and loaned it out to everybody else. Many years later, when I started doing a small fighter practice in a park near my home, I made a sign "advertising" it.

Honest Don Tivar's Academy of Defence

The Mastodons

These are pictures from their most recent prank: They got a batch of stuffed mastodons, and decorated them appropriately for all the Master- (and Mistress) Dons who were at Queen's Champion in May of AS 46 (2011.)

All the Mastodons
Tivar's Mastodon
Showing my black-and-red trunkhose.


Robin's Mastodon

Robin of Gilwell's moustache is famous (or pehaps notorious is a better word, since it was once used as an excuse to start an inter-baronial war.) It's even displayed on his coat of arms.


Simonn's Mastodon
Eule's Mastodon
Robert's Mastodon
Don Robert has a very nice set of red leather boots.


Gwenneth's Mastodon
Ansgar's Mastodon
Some years back, it was noticed that Don Ansgar bears a disturbing resemblance to General Zod from the 1980 movie Superman II.


Modius's Mastodon
Don Modius is famous for only wearing black and white, including a rather impressive feathered hat.


Duncan Hepburn's Mastodon
Don Duncan is currently the Baron of The Steppes in Ansteorra. Part of the barony's device is an oak tree, hence the squirrels.


Iago's Mastodon
Conal's Mastodon