A Brief History of the Barony of Castel Rouge

by Lord Torin of Hyrcania


In May of Anno Societatis V (called by the Christians A.D. 1970) was founded the Barony of Castel Rouge. It came about thusly.

A fair lady of mundane aspect, Ardy the Packer by name, sought entertainment at a Worldcon. She espied some Gentle Folk sparring with strange weapons, and approached them to see what transpired. We now know that she witnessed the Crown Tourney which saw Cariadoc become the first Crown Prince of the Midrealm.

Being an educated person, Ardythe immediately knew a Good Thing when she saw it, so she came home and started our Barony. (In those days, a Barony was created when a new group was too far from the centre of a Kingdom for weekly commerce. Nowadays we would have been started as a Shire.)

It came to pass that an Event was held in a park in June of A.S. V (A.D. 1970), at which time many mundane folk had a great time. Some of them decided to stay. Ardythe took upon herself the name of Alixe Pfau von Herscheid of Livonia, and became our first Seneschal.

In the early days, the Barony was small and disorganized. Members had tenuous correspondence with the Midrealm, but nobody knew aught about the peculiarity of the SCA — the Fighting. Our first demonstrations were merely mundane fencing and bake sales, our first events only potluck suppers and wine-and-cheese parties. All this was to change quite soon.

In May of A.S. VI came to Castel Rouge the Court of the Midrealm — that same King Cariadoc whom Lady Alixe had seen the previous year. He brought both fighters and ladies, and they showed us what was what. We found that the armour we had made was totally inadequate. I was stunned to discover that fighting meant I had to hit (and be hit). Real Hard. I bore the bruises for weeks.

Over the next two years, the Barony’s fortunes waxed and waned. The following year I fought in Crown Tournament. Some people joined us; others moved away. Then a second group formed in Killarney, Manitoba, calling itself the Shire of Ben Turtle, later Carraig na Cnoic. A canton at Brandon, Manitoba, called Red Oak, also formed. Grandiose dreams of a Region swam through our heads.

Alas, it was not to be. In time, Carraig na Cnoic and Red Oak faded away. Gradually the population of Castel Rouge dwindled to a mere four: even our Founder was away on Pilgrimage to India.

Then it dawned on us: Castel Rouge, a Barony in name, lacked leadership! We seized upon the concept, and began to petition the Lady Alixe to become our Baroness. Hard was the struggle, particularly as she was never here, but at last she accepted. Castel Rouge flourished again. Fighting men appeared once more; foremost among them was Evan Æthelwald, soon to be our first knight. We began to travel to events throughout the Kingdom, and our name was again heard in the Courts of the Midrealm.

It came to pass, therefore, that in A.S. XVI, ten years after the first Royal visit to Castel Rouge, Alixe was confirmed Baroness at the hand of Queen Caitlin. Shortly thereafter, Her Excellency Baroness Alixe bade us seek a replacement, citing pressures of Motherhood.

So in A.S. XIX did we elect Baron Thrym and Baroness Gabriela to lead us into the XX’s.

Some years have passed since then, and all to the good. Castel Rouge is now known as a bastion of the Midrealm, filled with mighty warriors, fair ladies, skilled artisans and artists, cooks, calligraphers, clothiers, brewers, and folk skilled in ways I cannot number.

I write this now in A.S. XXV, the Twenty-First year of Castel Rouge’s existence as a chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I have been here twenty of those years, and would not have spent them elsewhere.

Torin of Hyrcania, 3 March A.S. XXV (A.D. 1991)

Chronological History of Castel Rouge

Anno Societatis (A.S.) 4

7/4/1969 First Midrealm Crown is held at Wilmot Mountain, WI. This is the first event held within the borders of what will become Northshield.

10/30/1969 At a Tolkien Fantasy conference in Green Bay, WI, members of the early Middle Kingdom hold a Masked Ball. This is attended by the Midrealm Crown, and also by Alixe of Livonia (later Pflau vonHirschfield) who would become first Baroness of Castel Rouge.

A.S. 5

Under the guidance of Alixe of Livonia, Torin of Arcania, and others, the Barony of Castel Rouge is formed.The Castel Rouge Chronicle (the local newsletter begins publication and continues to this day one of the longest running newsletters in the SCA).

A.S. 8

8/1973 Barony of Castel Rouge and the Cantons of Red Oak(Brandon,MB) and Carraig naCnoic (Killarney, MB) hold a Tourney of the Earl of North(Forodwaithe).

A.S. 12

06/77 Barony of Castel Rouge, Baronial Order of the Silver Snowflake (L’Ordre du Flocon de Neige ) is the Barony’s first and only Baronial Honor. It was presented by Baroness Alixe to Torin of Hyrcania and Ellen of Neglimer and continues to this day with annual recipients.

A.S. 15

4/1981 Reiner von Radewurmwald is no longer listed as Castel Rouge Baron.

A.S. 19

8/84 Baroness Alixe Pfau von Herscheid retires as Founding Baroness of the Barony of Castel Rouge and is made a Baroness of the Court.

10/84 Baron Thrym Oddomsson and Baroness Gabriela Maria dei Clementini DíOrvieto are invested as the 2nd Baronage of Castel Rouge.

A.S. 21

6/1986 As part of efforts to combat perceived kingdom “regionalism”, the office of Deputy Kingdom Seneschal for Northshield is split by the kingdom into two territorial deputy offices. Baron Dughal of Caer Anterth remains Deputy Kingdom Seneschal for WI, MN, and SD, and Baron Cein of Castel Rouge becomes Seneschal for Man, ND and Sask

08/30/86 The Barony of Castel Rouge is presented with the Award of the Purple Fretty by the Midrealm Royalty.

A.S. 22

5/1987 Baron Cein (now Thrym Oddomson) becomes Middle Kingdom Seneschal, but retains the position of Deputy Seneschal for Sask, Man, and ND

A.S. 25

7/1990 Lady Cassandra adds Manitoba and ND to her responsibilities as Deputy Seneschal, replacing Baron Thrym Odomsson.

A.S. 26

08/15/1991 The Barony of Castel Rouge’s War Unit is presented with the Order of the Dragon’s Tooth by the Midrealm Royalty.

08/31/1991 The Barony of Castel Rouge’s Archery War Unit is presented with the Award of the Dragon’s Flight by the Midrealm Royalty.

4/1992 A royal progress by their majesties Comar and Lisa include stops in Caer Anterth, Falcon’s Keep, Castel Rouge, Border Downs, Schattentor, AvonGules and other Northern Highlands

A.S. 27

9/1992 A college of Seneschals meeting is held after a demo in Wadena, MN. Strong interest in Principality by the shires of the region leads to the decision to issue an unofficial straw poll to determine popular support.The Regional and Kingdom Seneschal give authorization for this straw poll. Barony of Castel Rouge attending supports the regions move toward greater co-operation and cohesion but refrains from interest in Principality Status.

A.S. 29

9/94 Barony of Castel Rouge incorporated into the Territorial Principality of Northshield by joint BOD and Midrealm Curia decision

A.S. 36

1/02 At Twelfth Night feast in Castel Rouge (Winnipeg, MB), Baron Thrym Oddomsson and Baroness Gabriella Maria dei Clementini DíOrvieto step down, and Sir Hreodbeorht of Harundell and Faerisa Gwynarden are invested as the new Baron and Baroness of Castel Rouge.

A.S. 37

08/31/02 The Barony of Castel Rouge is presented with the Award of the Dragon’s Flight by the Midrealm Royalty.

A.S. 39

10/16/2004  Siegfried von Kulmbach and Bridei nic Gillechattan are Crowned as the Premier King and Queen of the new Kingdom of Northshield.

Forming the backbone of the new Kingdom, five Baronies were Invested:

  • For Castel Rouge: Hreodbeorht of Harhundell and Faerisa Gwynarden
  • For Jaravellir: Eithni ingen Talorgain
  • For Caer Anterth Mawr: Valerius Paencalvus and Alice of Kent
  • For Nordskogen: Rodrigo de Montoya and Kateryn of Roseberry Topping   
  • For Windhaven:  Dagr Skorrison and Leaina De Gaeta

A.S. 42

1/17/2009 At A Big Herr-y Deal in Castel Rouge (Winnipeg, MB), Sir Hreodbeorht of Harundell and Baroness Faerisa Gwynarden step down. The Honorable Lady Berengaria of Outremer Steps up Vicar of Castel Rouge.

9/5/2009 At The Skye is the Limit in Castel Rouge (Winnipeg, MB), The Honorable Lady Berengaria of Outremer Steps down as Vicar of Castel Rouge. Baron James Erec of York and Lady Isobel atte Wode are invested as the new Baron and Baroness of Castel Rouge.

A.S. 45

5/2010 A new group forms in the Brandon, Manitoba area calling itself the Village of Heorot Denu.

A.S. 47

01/19/23 The Barony of Castel Rouge is presented with the Award of the Hearthstead by the Northshield Royals Yngvar and Luce.

A.S. 49

08/31/2014 At Battle of Clontarf 1000 Anniversary and Baronial Investiture in Castel Rouge (Winnipeg, MB), Baron James Erec of York and Baroness Isobel atte Wode step down. The Honerable Lord David DuPont and The Honorable Lady Clare Agatha MacLeod are invested as the new Baron and Baroness of Castel Rouge.

Data Sources: Northsield.org – History of Northshield.