New for Pennsic 2006: The Knowne World Sewer Apprentice's Support Group!
Are you broken? Shattered? Apprenticed to the most evil Attack Laurel of all time? Come share your experiences in a supportive, non-videotaped/bugged venue with other apprentices that feel your pain. It is time to find out that you are truly not alone!
Every night of War Week on the Battlefield (after your Laurels have gone to sleep/drunk themselves into a coma). Sample activities include:
* Group venting rituals; authentic French-African voodoo dolls and documentation provided, so bring a scrap of your Laurel's clothing (led by Lord Brodnax the Destroyer, who is apprenticed to what everyone agrees is the evilest Laurel ever)
* Frank discussion of non-period things your Laurels do; notes will be taken for future blackmail projects (led by Ralph the Sneaky)
* Learn to write revenge fantasies and horror stories in period verse form so you can vent without your Laurel finding out (led by Salmonella the MinneSinger)
* Support group for apprentices of clothing Laurels who "have to wear sneakers and shorts for health reasons", but demand total authenticity at all times from their apprentices (led by Lady Roomba Mousebane, who was forced by her Laurel to hand-carve crutches and use period splinting techniques for her 10th Century persona when she broke her ankle)
Bonfire Ritual Friday night for projects that were ruined because they didn't live up to your Laurel's impossibly high standards.
Project Difficulty Rating Scale
A number of apprentices had been asking for advance notice of how difficult a project assigned by their Laurel will be1, so after we punished them for asking questions, we created a handy reference chart for at-a-glance assessment by apprentices. Read 'em and weep:
One laurel wreath: A new apprentice could do the project with a 50/50 chance of success, and an experienced apprentice could do it easily. Related project skills will likely be taught at any random Atlantian University, and materials will be available at your local craft store.
Two laurel wreaths: An older apprentice with mild cognitive issues might have some small problems with executing the project, but someone with a serious kingdom level award jones will battle through with a reasonable rate of success. Topic will be taught every now and then at a University. Project materials will be easily available through specialty catalogs, and documentation will be available with minimal book/internet research.
Three laurel wreaths: Difficult enough that you will draw blood at least once, and call up your Laurel crying at least twice. Project materials will be expensive and require special ordering, and documentation may be harder to find, neccessitating a trip to a major library.
Four laurel wreaths: You'll be throwing this project out and starting over from scratch at least once, and you might end up needing stitches/a trip to the emergency room for accidental poisoning. Materials will have to be adapted/gathered in raw form and processed, and the documentation, while locatable in a modern book, has to be translated from another language.
Five Laurel wreaths: Experienced Laurels have tried this project and failed, but if you can live with missing fingers and a slight but noticable limp, this project will make your reputation. Materials will be life-endangeringly difficult to make, and all existing documentation is encased in the rare books section of a library in a foreign country2.
1. All attack Laurels are expected to assign their apprentices projects at the four-wreath level and up only. Other Laurels can do what they like. It's not like we care, anyway.
2. Bonus points if that country is currently in the middle of a revolution/civil war/invasion by U.N. forces.
What's coming up this month on Attack Laurel TV?
Atlantia Inc., the massive media conglomerate that brought you such hits as "Attack Laurels on Parade" and "Extreme Squire Makeover" is proud to present:
Watch as 20 eager young SCA newbies vie to be the newest apprentice picked by the most notorious Laurel in Atlantia - The Bedingfield. Each contender will undergo a series of trials and tests to find out which of them is truly Bedingfield apprentice material.
The contestants, none higher in rank than AoA, are vieing for the ultimate in apprentice positions - guaranteed Kingdom level arts award in five years, a shot at Laurel, and all the non-period items they can eat. There's no money involved, but they have the chance to find out if an award medallion and fifty cents really *will* buy them a cup of coffee.
This twenty-episode series will show the ups and downs of rank-pulling, sucking up, and backstabbing.
(Why twenty episodes? Twenty contestants, one handed over to the ravening Attack Laurels at the end of each episode = twenty episodes. Duh.)
See the would-be apprentices tackle such challenges as:
**Costume 101 - see the contenders create a Tempore Atlantia-winning outfit in the period of their choice using only a roll of toilet paper and five squares of Atlantian Blue Duck Brand[tm] Painting Tape. They'll be given 24 hours to create an outfit worthy of 12th Night, and the one who fails the worst will be put into a swimming pool teeming with Attack Laurels that haven't been fed for several days.
**Cooking a Coronation Feast - Armed only with $75 and a wrinkled, food-stained copy of "How to Cook Forsoothly" (with strategic pages torn out), the apprentice hopefuls will create a completely period feast. As an added twist, they won't have any advance prep time, and will be forced to buy food from the only store within 200 miles - "Bob's Country Ham Store and Bait Emporium (We Sell Beer)".
**Judging a 12th Night A&S Competition - Laugh along with our team as they try to rate entries in time-periods they have no knowledge of, and see the tension as at least one proto-apprentice experiences a psychotic break from all the pressure, and tries to set fire to the ceramics display.
It's twenty weeks of thrills, blood, guts, and gore! The extra fear induced by knowing 19 of them will die! Stress and misery make for great television! Attack Laurels at their finest! And, of course, the wisdom of The Bedingfield:
(Sponsored by Duck Brand[tm] tapes, the Atlantian Chapter of Attack Laurels [accredited], and Bob's Country Ham Store and Bait Emporium [We Sell Beer].)
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.