LoI: THL Nikolaos Phaistos and THL Briana MacCabe

Unto their Excellencies, Cristofanus Castellani and Cecilia Medici, Baron and Baroness of Altavia, Mistress Meliora Deverel, Seneschal of Altavia, and to the Populace of Altavia, do we send our warmest greetings!

It has been announced by Your heralds that You do seek heirs to take over the safekeeping of Your pleasant and peaceful lands. Therefore, do we, the Honorable Lord Nikolaos Phaistos and the Honorable Lady Briana MacCabe, humbly submit ourselves as candidates to be Your successors. In this letter and attached documents we shall describe what Altavia means to us, what we would do to keep the barony on its high road, and give You an insight into what we believe qualifies us to wear the coronets of Altavia.

Having both found our separate ways to the SCA slightly over seven years ago, Altavia and Caid almost immediately claimed a place in our hearts. Through our years of service on the archery and thrown weapons ranges and running events, on courts both kingdom and baronial, as kingdom and baronial officers, as Your chief lady and captain of Your guard, and through meeting and becoming friends with the people of Altavia and throughout Caid, our love for this game and the people that play it has only grown stronger. We see taking on the mantle of Baron and Baroness, should it come to us, as the ultimate service to the people we love, the people of Altavia.

Should we be chosen as the next Baron and Baroness of Altavia, there are three areas we would concentrate on to keep Altavia as friendly and successful a barony as it has always been, thanks to the wisdom and hard work of Your Excellencies and Your predecessors. These areas are continued growth and stability, improved communication, and helping everyone find their place in the Dream.

  • Continued Growth and Stability: We are both strong proponents of using technology to help recruit and maintain membership. Having seen the success of Meetup, we know that technology will be a critical tool for bringing in the next generation of the SCA. We would look to work closely with our social media officers and the Kingdom social media team for more and better ways to use these tools to the benefit of the Barony. At the same time, we are aware that not everyone is as comfortable with these communication methods as us, and we would strive to make certain that no one is left out-of-the-loop if they choose not to be on social media or other technology platforms.
  • Improved Communication: A barony is a big place with many moving parts and it is easy for people to feel like they have gotten lost in the shuffle. We feel that clear and frequent communication, through as many methods as possible, is key to creating as inclusive a group as possible. To that end, we would plan on sending out weekly updates on what is going on in Altavia and Caid through as many platforms as possible, encouraging greater populace attendance at Baronial council meetings, and, most importantly, ensure that one or, preferably, both of us is available at every fighter practice, arts and sciences night, and event to listen and speak to whoever in the Barony has need of us.
  • Helping Everyone Find Their Place in the Dream: The SCA is a rich and varied dream and while that makes it a wonderful hobby it also makes it one that’s a little daunting when you are new. We both see one of the primary roles of the baronial couple as concierge; to help others find their path into the heart of the Society. As Baron and Baroness, we would use our connections throughout the Barony and Kingdom to connect fighters, artisans, and volunteers to the mentors they need to succeed.

In addition to these areas of focus, we would strive to maintain and expand our roster of baronial officers, filling the gaps that we may have and working towards having a deputy for every position. We believe we have a strong core group of people working for the barony but that it is vital to bring in some newer people, both to get them involved and to avoid burning out the officers we do have.

We have spoken at great length with each other about the commitment and duties that are involved in leading a barony.  We sincerely believe being a non-romantic baronial couple can only help us better shoulder the emotional, mental, and financial burdens of the job. While we both know that this is not an easy path we are asking to walk down, we know that together we can make it a joyful journey for us, for the Barony, and for Caid.

We sincerely hope that we will be allowed to serve Altavia as her next Baron and Baroness. No matter the outcome of Your decision, know that we will always be here to serve Altavia and her people in whatever manner is needed.

In Service to the Dream,

THL Nikolaos Phaistos (Nicholas Sumandra, Member #199687)

THL Briana MacCabe (Alana Beltzer, Member #200939)

Here follows an accounting of the persona history, skills, offices, and awards of the Honorable Lord and Lady, Nikolaos Phaistos and Briana MacCabe


The Honorable Lord Nikolaos Phaistos

Persona History

Niko is a 15th Century Greek Archer from the island of Crete. He could not find work on the island, so he took a merchant ship to Venice. There he began to learn the art of the rapier. After winning some notoriety as an archer, he was hired by the Medici family. His last job was to hunt down their wayward daughter, Cecilia Medici, and bring her back. He caught up with her in Persia, but she captured him. Even though she was a skilled assassin, she spared his life.


Non-SCA Skills

Leadership/Organization– From the age of eleven until twenty-five I worked at a summer day camp. I started as Jr. Counselor and worked my way up to camp director. As a director, I supervised 16-18 teen counselors each summer as well as organized ten weeks of camp activities for up to 150 campers. During that time, I learned to work with a diverse group of people and delegate many tasks and responsibilities.

Public Speaking- I have been a Sign Language Interpreter for twenty years. Most of my assignments were interpreting in front of 30 to 200 people. I am comfortable and highly experienced addressing crowds of people.

Improvisation/Initiative– With both my careers, improvising and taking the initiative are key to success. Things go wrong all the time when working with so many kids or deaf clients in so many situations. When problems arise, I can make quick decisions. I am comfortable acting when something needs to be done, even when no one else acts.


Kingdom/Baronial Offices and Positions Held


Deputy to the Kingdom Minister of Archers 2012-2013

Kingdom Earl Marshal of Archery 2013-2016

Kingdom Earl Marshal of Thrown Weapons 6/2016-Present


Archery Range Marshal, 12/10/10-Present

Thrown Weapons Range Marshal, 09/19/11-Present

Heavy Rapier Marshal, 07/17/2012-Present

Senior Archery Range Marshal-10/15/2013-Present


Member of the Queen’s Guard (Eleanor) 2010

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Cassandra) 2011

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Kara II) 2012

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Eilidh) 2012-13

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Cassandra II) 2013

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Aisha) 2013-2014

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Bridget) 2014

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Eilidh) 2014-15

Member of the Queen’s Guard (Sigrid) 2015

Lt. of the Queen’s Guard (Aisha) 2016

Lt. of the Queen’s Guard (Bridget II) 2017



Captain of the Altavian Guard, 05/12/2013 – 05/09/2015

Lt. of the Altavian Guard, 05/10/11- 2013

Lt. of the Altavian Archers, 05/10/11-05/12/12

Captain of Altavian Archers, 05/12/12- 06/02/2013

Altavia Thrown Weapons Captain 2013-6/2016

Altavia Deputy Rapier Marshal, 05/12/12-Present

Altavia Unarmored Marshal 2014-Present


Awards and Heraldry


Arms:  Sable, on a demi-sun issuant from base Or a Russian Orthodox cross sable, in sinister chief on a bezant two arrows inverted in saltire sable.



Order of the Chiron – 2012-06-23

Crescent – 2014-05-10

Argent Blade – 2016-09-17



AoA – 2011-05-07

Dolphin – 2013-05-11

Duelist – 2014-10-26


Non-Armigerous Kingdom Level

Signum Regni – Caid (Sven III and Cassandra) – (AM) 2012-06-02

Signum Regni – Caid (Mansur and Eididh) – (AM) 2013-06-01

Signum Regni – Caid (Sven IV and Cassandra II) – (AM) 2013-11-02

Signum Regni – Caid (Mansur II and Eilidh II) – (AM) 2015-06-06

Signum Regni – Caid (Conrad III and A’isha II) – (AM) 2016-07-16

Sigillum Regis – Caid (Oz) – (AM) 2017-01-07


Non-Armigerous Baronial Level

Sable Fret

  • 2012-05-12
  • 2015-05-09; 2016-05-14 (Augmentations)

Vert Fret (Rapier) – 2012-05-12

Vert Fret (Archery) – 2014-10-26

Vert Fret (Thrown Weapons) – 2015-05-09

Vert Fret (Unarmored) – 2016-05-14


The Honorable Lady Briana MacCabe

Persona History

The Honorable Lady Briana MacCabe was born in West Breifne, Ireland, in 1564. Her father, Michael, was bard and poet to Brian O’Rourke, the chieftain of West Breifne, and Briana followed in her father’s footsteps. After the recent troubles the O’Rourkes ran into with the English, Briana wisely removed herself to her adopted homeland of Caid and is working on making a name as a bard in the Crescent kingdom.

Her motto is “Seirbhís. Ceol. Croí.” This is Irish Gaelic for “Service. Music. Heart.”


Non-SCA Skills

Leadership/Organization: In addition to the several officer positions I have held in the SCA, I helped form and lead a student performers’ guild for the annual ren faire held at the Ohio State University. Through this position, I helped ensure that the then-20-year-old faire continued and created a new wintertime Madrigal feast. Being involved in this organization not only strengthened my leadership skills but also my diplomacy when dealing with opposing creative forces.

Communication: I am a senior editor for the IT department at USC where I write public communications for a wide variety of audiences. Because of the skills I have learned on this job, I am very comfortable with communicating complex and sometimes uncomfortable information, both in the written word and in person.

Improv/Theatre: Having spent several years on cast at a variety of renaissance faires, I am both comfortable with speaking in front of a large crowd and making what I say entertaining. As a bardic type, I have a flair for the dramatic that can help make our courts fun (as appropriate), especially in combination with my potential Baron’s sense of humor. Theatrum non dramatis!


Kingdom/Baronial Offices and Positions Held


Deputy Publicity Steward for Great Western War 2016–Present

Lady-in-Waiting (1 of 4 rotating Chief Ladies) (Bridget II) 2017

Lady-in-Waiting (Sigridr) 2015



Lady-in-Waiting for Meliora Deverel, 10/2011 – 05/2014

Deputy Webwright, 12/2013 – 02/2015

Chief Lady-in-Waiting for Cecilia Medici, 05/2014 – 02/2015

Deputy Seneschal for Social Media, 01/2014 – 02/2015

Bardic Champion, 12/2014–12/2015

Seneschal, 02/2015 – 05/2017

Lady-in-Waiting for Cecilia Medici, 02/2015 – Present

Deputy Seneschal for Social Media, 05/2017 – Present


Awards and Heraldry


Arms: Or, a lion rampant guardant and in chief two candles purpure lit gules.




Order of the Crescent – 2016-05-14


AoA – 2011-12-10

Order of the Dolphin – 2015-05-09


Non-Armigerous Baronial Level

Sable Fret – 2013-12-07

  • Augmentation – 2014-10-26
  • Augmentation – 2016-05-14
  • Augmentation – 2017-05-13