Cariadoc of the Bow

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Cariadoc of the Bow.jpg
Cariadoc of the Bow marshalling at Western Crown in March 2001.
Preferred title: Not specified
Their Pronouns: Not specified
Resides: West
Status: Active
Awards: Visit the Caid Order of Precedence
Arms-Cariadoc of the Bow.jpg
AR, a griffin segreant AZ drawing a bow VE, in chief an increscent Or, fimbriated sable.
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Duke Cariadoc of the Bow, KSCA, OP, OL, is a legendary figure in the SCA. He is a triple peer and a Duke. Among other things he is credited as the man who declared war on himself, accepted the challange, and lost, thus starting the Pennsic Wars. (See below for the debunking of this myth.) He was the first to propose the idea of Enchanted Ground. He was an early translator of medieval cookbooks, and source for the same. He is believed to be the Premier Pelican of the SCA.

Offices & Positions

  • First Earl Marshal of the Middle Kingdom
  • First King of the Middle Kingdom with Diana Alene, September, 1969 – October, 1970
  • Third King of the Middle Kingdom with Diana Alene, May, 1971 – October, 1971
  • Eighth King of the East Kingdom with Diana Alene, July 8, 1972 – October 15, 1972
  • Fourteenth King of the East Kingdom with Diana Alene, October 19, 1974 – April 19, 1975

Classes Taught

Pennsic War

According to An Incomplete History of Pennsic,

"One day, almost 30 years ago, Cariadoc of the Bow, the King of the Middle, got bored with peace and declared war upon the East, loser to take Pittsburgh. The King of the East read the declaration of war, filed it away and forgot about it. Time passed. Cariadoc moved to New York and subsequently became King of the East, whereupon he retrieved the declaration from the file cabinet and said, 'Let’s fight.' The Middle won, and Cariadoc has the distinction of being the only king who declared war upon himself and lost." (F.L. Watkins (Fólki Þorgilsson). 2005. HERSTAĐR-SAGA: An Incomplete History of Pennsic © Folump Enterprises)

Contrary to this myth, the Pennsic Wars were not caused by Cariadoc challenging himself to a war and losing. The challenge for the Pennsic war was initially issued by King Irial and Queen Morna of the Middle Kingdom, with the stated causes being both the ownership of a new group forming in Pittsburgh, called the Debatable Lands, and an earnest desire to have fun and “engage in chivalric combat of the highest”. The letter containing the challenge along with an arrow of war was carried by Duke Cariadoc, as a herald of King Irial, to King Rakkuri and Queen Maureen of the East who accepted the challenge and broke the war arrow. The preparations for the war, such as locating a suitable site, determining the rules for combat and etc. dragged on long enough that by the time the war was actually held, neither Irial and Morna nor Rakkuri and Maureen were still on the thrones. The Midrealm was ruled by Andrew and Anne, and the East was ruled by Cariadoc and Diana, who had moved to the East during the negotations.

The board of directors ruled a few weeks before Pennsic I that since Pittsburgh was in the same state as an existing group, in Philadelphia, that it had to belong to the same kingdom. It was considered impossible to split a state between two kingdoms at that time. Thus, the Debatable Lands were assigned to the East Kingdom prior to Pennsic being fought, which rendered moot the initial reason for the war. Since the stated purpose of the war was to determine which kingdom got Pittsburgh and the Midrealm decisively won Pennsic I, it became popular mythology that ‘the loser got Pittsburgh.’