Kingdom of Meridies,  SCA,  Scriptorium,  Scroll Peerage - Knighting,  Viking knighting scroll

Scriptorium – Kail’s viking knighting scroll – definitely not your normal knighting scroll…

2016-09 - Racaire - Kail's viking knighting scroll - SCA knighting scroll - runes - ravens - vikingI already mentioned in my previous postings that I was working on a very special scroll and here it is:

The viking knighting scroll for
Kaðall Viðarsson.

…and yes, before you ask, it is indeed a painted woodcut. Though the term “scroll” might actually not really apply here, it served all purposes of a scroll at a recent SCA event. Therefore I am quite inclined to keep on using the term “scroll”.

But actually the name of this finished project doesn’t really matter. The recipient, Kail, who got surprised with this scroll at his vigil, told me that he really loves his viking knighting scroll. And this makes me very happy as I am quite proud of the end result myself. However, I still find it hard to believe that I managed to accomplish this very special task so successfully.

Why? Well, let’s start at the beginning….

Requests for personal scrolls arrive me from time to time. And if I am not working on a time-sensitive project, I normally try to find some time for a special scroll commission. Therefore I didn’t hesitate much when a good friend asked me to make a knighting scroll for his squire who was going to be elevated.

So far so good – “business as usual”… Or so I thought until I received the specifications for the scroll. My friend wanted me to make a scroll for a viking persona! I read it once, I read it twice and still couldn’t believe my eyes. A viking knighting scroll?! No!!!!! Why me?! Seriously?! I’ve never done viking!! Really?!!!!!!

Well, as you can imagine, a wave of panic hit me immediately… This was quite outside of my comfort zone and not at all like the projects I finished in the past. And it took some time to calm down again. But then I started thinking…

Ok, I have seen viking artwork as well as viking projects of my friends before. And though viking forms didn’t seem to be that difficult, I knew that especially easy forms like these really depended on how you execute and combine the details. The more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself that it was a doable project. But I knew that I definitely needed more information for this project. Therefore I started to look around for period inspiration and even started to accumulate pictures of viking rune stones on pinterest. Just to see if I could come up with a good inspiration for a viking knighting scroll.

Well, many pictures and several hours later I finally had an idea and started working. And, to be honest, I was quite impressed with the final result myself:


Yeah, it is great when a plan comes together, isn’t it! 😀

And to not forget all the people who helped me with this project, I would like to thank my dear husband and our friend Ragnar Farfinngrimmr for their great support.

My sweetheart not only came up with the great idea to use a woodcut instead of paper, he also provided the woodcut for this quite special scroll project. And after I was finished painting the scroll, he also volunteered to apply several thin layers of clear sealer to protect the painted surface and helped me to mail it to Florida for the upcoming event. Not only that – my poor husband didn’t get to snuggle me for several nights as I was painting like a maniac to finish the scroll in time. But regardless how much he missed me, he was quite understanding, cheered me up and didn’t complain at all. Thanks and kisses my dear! I love you! :*

And last but not least l would also like to send a hearty and very personal thank you to Ragnar Farfinngrimmr. He translated the whole scroll text into runes in nearly no time and made this project possible! Thank you very much!

And now let’s take a closer look at the viking knighting scroll for Kail – enjoy! 😀


The two ravens in the top section of the scroll represent the coat of arms which Kail registered within the SCA.

When the scroll was initially commissioned, I got a picture of a nice viking version of his two ravens and the request to include them in the final scroll design. I really liked the submitted viking example and therefore decided to stay as close to the submitted original as possible. However, the rather angular design of the ravens didn’t work very well with the otherwise quite round design which I intended and therefore I had to alter some of the angular details to a round, more fluent shape.

To stay rather close to period viking design, I based the alterations of these details on artwork from actual viking rune stones. You can find these examples in my “viking” folder on pinterest. Following a hint of a good friend, who had worked with viking designs before,  I used three different colors to embellish the ravens – blue, green and red. According to my friend viking animals tend to have embellishments executed in three colors. Though I didn’t have the time to research this hint any further, I liked the idea and simply decided to follow his instructions and to incorporate three colors in the raven design to “set off” the dominant white color a little.

And here a closer look at the finished ravens:


One of the pictures I found showed an example of a hero stabbing a beast: “Sigurd kills the dragon“. I really liked the symbolism of this artwork but didn’t like to use the depiction of the viking fighter. Therefore I kept on looking and soon found something which suited my design much better: “The small figurine of Freya“.

I decided to merge both designs into one and to also incorporate a black & white fighting tunic I saw Kail wearing on some of his photos in order to create a mini version of Kail – now depicted as a viking hero stabbing the scroll text dragon while wearing his white belt which represents knighthood:


And last but not least, after asking the current Majesties of Meridies – Adhemar & Elina – for permission, I also included their signatures in runes on the scroll:


Well, this is not part of the normal procedure. However, given the special medium of the scroll and that it needed to be sealed with a clear coating as well as to spare Adhemar and Elina the hassle of having suitable paint and brushes at the event, we all deemed this way to be the best solution. This way Adhemar only had to make sure to bring the right glue to be able to mount the royal seals on the scroll. 🙂 

I hope you like the viking knighting scroll which I made for Kail with all its little details. And though I have much more to post about and can’t wait to show you pictures of my new 12th century dress and fillet, I have to go and pack for the Meridian Grand Tournament now. I’ll be back in a few days and wish you a wonderful and relaxing weekend in the meantime! 😀

Best regards Racaire