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Barony of Cleftlands

Per bend sinister nebuly argent and azure, issuant from each projection of the line of division a flame proper, in canton a laurel wreath vert.
Founded:May 1978
Modern Location:Cleveland, OH metropolitan area

Cleftlands is a Barony in the Oaken Region of the Middle Kingdom. In precedence it is the 5th Barony of the Kingdom.

Cleftlands is bordered on the south by the Barony of Brendoken, and on the west by the shire of Falcon's Quarry. To the North is Lake Erie and to the East is the Shire of Eastwatch


Brief History

Created a Barony in May 1978, Cleftlands geographical location is north eastern Ohio, Cuyahoga County (which includes the city of Cleveland). While a fairly small barony geographically, Cleftlands boasts a large and active populace. A great many Kingdom Officers have come from the Cleftlands, six Kings, seven Queens (in eight Reigns) and many Peers of the realm.

Among Armored Combatants, the "Cleftlands Style" fighting is known to be a unique school of combat and the Middle Kingdom war cry "Draco Invictus" was given to the kingdom by the Cleftlands, as were the Ancient and Honorable Crowns of the MidRealm still worn to this day. The great sword of state, "Oathbinder", was made and presented in Cleftlands at the Coronation of Laurelen And Ithriliel in May, 1979. While Cleftlands boasts many Knights (12 as of A.S.44/2010), they are perhaps best known for their scribes guild which is well over 20 years old and boasts over 30 members at any given time and Cooks guild, which is even older.

The artisans of the barony are still counted among the greats in MidRealm, Warriors of the Cleftlands still come to win the Dragon Throne, and the blue and white nebuly of the Cleftlands Battle unit still strikes fear into its opponents on every field.


The Barony has several unique or semi-unique traditions that have developed over its long history including holding a combined business meeting wher the e all guilds, activities (save archery for obvious reasons) and all the populace is welcome. The Cleftlands Battle Unit, much respected and feared for decades on fields of war in the Knowne Worlde, has a lovely Battle Song written by Sir Ephraim (words available at:

By ancient tradition in the SCA, only the premiere Baron is called "Baron Cleftlands" meaning the current Baron and Baroness are properly called the Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands. A very small difference to some, but clearly important to others.

Baronial Sword of State

The Cleftlands sword of state was presented by Sir Rutgur in the reign of Edward and Milesent. He won the sword in a tournament in the Barony of Sternfeld so he named it Star Fire to reflect both its birthplace and its new home. The scabbard for the sword is wrapped in a nebuly card woven band made by Clairiel.

Their Excellencies Calum and Constanza started a tradition in 2014 of giving the Baronial Sword as a tournament prize; the tourney winner being given the honor of bearing the sword until the next tournament.

The Challenge Sword

Caius (now named Cohan) donated the Challenge sword to the Barony in the reign of Edward and Milesent. It is a wooden sword with "knowing we shall never yield" (a line from the Baronial Battle Song) inscribed on it in Latin. The first challenge placed on the sword was by Baron Edward who challenged his fellow Barons to meet at NOWM with a team of five fighters for a five man melee tournament.

Baronial Champions

There were Baronial Championship competitions annually from the beginning of the Barony's history, generally decided by combat but for several years it was an A&S competition. In 1992 Duke Syr Laurelen, Baron Cleftlands started a new tradition of a Standard Bearer as the Baronial champion. The competition is held as close to May 1st as possible. To compete in the Standard Bearer's tournament combatants must swear on their honor that they will fight for the Barony until the next spring and bring a tale on a subject of the Baron's choosing to the competition, usually related at the feast. The Standard bearer carries the Baronial standard into battle, staying by the Baron and acts as part of the command structure of the Baronial battle unit.

In 1998 three additional champions were added; the Champion d'Epeé (for Rapier combat), the Champion d'arc (for target archery) and the Champion d'arms (the combatant to best represent all martial arts). To compete for these titles, combatants are held to the same vow as the Standard Bearer combatants to practice their martial art for the Barony and to provide a tale.

It is Cleftlands tradition that past Standard Bearers and Champions are granted by the Baron and Baroness the privilege of wearing the full Baronial Arms.

A complete list of past champions and Standard Bearers is located on the baronial website at:

Baronial Awards

From its inception as a Barony, the Cleftlands had only one Baronial Award, the Winged Trine which was given for "Achieving the Impossible". Highly prestigious and much coveted, the premiere Baron of the Cleftlands, Laurelen Darksbane would hand engrave medallions for the inductees and by wish of Their Graces Laurelen and Ithriliel, no official record was kept of who was given this award. By Their Graces' request, the Award was closed after they resigned as Baron and Baroness.

Two new baronial awards were created by the second Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands, though these two awards were never officially named (having been rejected by the College of Heralds).

The Third Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands gave the Baronial Award a temporary name: The Order of Saint Clairiel and inducted Birna Gunnlaugsdottir as the premiere of the Order.

The Third Baroness of the Cleftlands, Milesent, has started a tradition of a Baroness's favor in the form of a detachable sleeve. Which favor was given for the first time to Ser Nikolai Grigorevich Petrov on July 11th, AS 42 (2007).

At the January event of 2012, Baron Edward and Baroness Milesent announced the creation of a second award, the Award of Saint Alfred. Being an award instead of an Order it can be given multiple times. Sorcha Fraser was the premiere of the Award.

Dessert Revel

The final meeting of the month is reserved for a Dessert revel, a tradition begun by Baroness Ithriliel in the earliest days of the Barony. In the Cleftlands a Dessert Revel is a regular meeting where there is no combat, the populace dresses in their best garb, brings desserts or snacks, there is dancing and socializing. The primary idea behind the Cleftlands Dessert Revel is to get the fighters, fencers, dancers, scribes, etc. to interact with each other and remain a cohesive group and also it acts as the traditional "Newcommers night". During the summer months it is common to allow fighting at Dessert revels if the weather is clement as preparations for Pennsic melees become increasingly important to the battle unit.


There are three traditional yearly events held in the Cleftlands:

  • A Regular Event in Cleftlands - tradition started by Sir Ephraim who stewarded the first, held at the end of January and also called "The January Event"
  • The Baronial Standard Bearer's Tournament - traditionally held in the spring as close to May 1st as possible. Tradition started by Syr Laurelen while he was baron.
  • Northern Oaken War Maneuvers - traditionally held in June, started by Lord Edward FitzRanulf.

These three will be occasionally joined by a fourth fall event, though the fourth event has yet to become a solid tradition. In the past there was a tradition of Armourer's and Needleworker's Symposium events.

Barons and Baronesses

Cleftlands Baronage

Laurelen and Ithriliel

The first Baron Cleftlands was Duke Laurelen Darksbane, who was simply Lord Laurelen at the time. Mistress Marixsa of Crawfordmuir was originally the most likely founding candidate, but declined as she was moving out of the area. His lady Duchess Ithriliel of Silverlake joined him as the first baroness two years later in 1981. The two remained Baron and Baroness together for 22 years until 2002. They established many of the best loved traditions of the Barony including the Dessert Revel and Standard Bearer.

In April 2002, a change in Midrealm law required a baronial poll of confidence -- thus beginning a very tumultuous period in the Barony. Much discussion was had as to who could participate in the polling (paid members only? Those technically within the Barony by zip code or anyone that played with the group?) The poll itself was considered deeply flawed by many in that it contained three separate sections:

  • I have/do not have confidence in the Baron
  • I have/do not have confidence in the Baroness
  • I have/do not have confidence in the Baron AND Baroness

On April 11, 2002 - Duke Laurelen and Duchess Ithriliel resigned as Baron and Baroness Cleftlands 4 weeks before 24th anniversary of the Barony, upon receiving a sudden and deposing directive from the Crown. Neither of the two had been directed, asked, or forced to resign. Their decision was made and carried out with courtesy, in private, and to the surprise of the Crown.

The entire situation was made more emotional in that the sitting Tanists, Prince Valharic and Princess Alys, lived in the Cleftlands.

Laurelen's and Ithriliel's resignation made the Barony of Rivenstar the last Barony of the Midrealm to retain its premiere Baron.

On April 13,2002 the Coronation of Alys and Valharic was held in the Cleftlands. Laurelen informed His Majesty Ragnvaldr and His Highness Valharic that he and Ithriliel would not step down in court, nor hear testimonials of any sort, and did not wish to become Barons of the Court. The event went well as planned, despite many of the populace being shocked by the deposition of their Baron and Baroness. Rumors and tales of all sorts begin to circulate the event resulting in many Cleftlands people being visibly shaken and upset. Laurelen and Ithriliel calmly attended the event with Ithriliel spent the entire day running gate and check-in with Lady Clairiel as planned, sitting at feast that evening with their household.

On April 17, 2002 King Valharic and Queen Alys announced the resignation of Laurelen and Ithriliel in a Royal Court held at the regular Baronial meeting. No Vicar was named so they set an accelerated date of two weeks for members of the barony to write letters of intent for consideration for the position of Baron or Baroness.

Ephraim and Madelaine

The Barony shortly thereafter voted on new candidates for Baron and Baroness. These recommendations were given to The Crown, who selected Sir Ephraim ben Schlomo and Lady Madelaine Bouvier to be the second Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands. They were inducted into office under the Reign of Valharic and Alys in the fall of 2002.

The continuing situation following the loss of Ithriliel and Laurelen as Baron and Baroness was the most trying and "world-shaking" time in the history of Cleftlands from its beginning until that time in 2002. Cleftlands began a journey which made it different. The future, looked back from this point 8 years on in 2010, saw many trials, tribulations, and also good as well. Importantly, it has been seen that the past; the proud history of the Barony and all those many who, from the earliest days of the Barony, made it among the greatest, most influential, legendary in battle, and most storied; has continued, and indeed, many more have come to follow that same journey, maintaining the uniqueness and the remarkable vibrancy of the Barony of the Cleftlands.

Ephraim and Madelaine steered the troubled Barony forward. At the request of Laurelen and Ithriliel, their Baronial Award the Winged Trine was closed and Ephraim and Madelaine began the long, slow process of getting a new award name passed by the College of Heralds, sadly the name did not pass during their tenure as Baron and Baroness and so they gave out the "Award to be Named" intending to form two awards, they blurred together somewhat due to the lack of naming.

One area of marked improvement during their reign was the rapier community. Sir Ephraim took up fencing and inspired much growth and good will in that community.

Edward and Milesent

The investiture of the Third Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands, Edward Brackenburye and Milesent Vibert was June 2nd, 2007 at Northern Oaken War Maneuvers.

With five years distance from the upheaval of the removal of Laurelen and Ithriliel, Edward and Milesent had more freedom to enact changes than their predecessors Ephraim and Madelaine. While waiting for the College of Heralds to rule on the proposed award name, Edward and Milesent announced that they would be calling their award "The Order of St. Clairiel" named after the talented and hard working Clairiel du Vent Argent. And in time added a second award, the Award of St. Alfred.

They also started a tradition of having two formal tournaments at Dessert revels over the course of the year. A Rapier tournament in October and a Heavy Weapons tournament in February. The idea was to give combatants more experience with formal tournament fighting and also to get the general populace interested in what the fighters were doing and thus pull the combatants and non-combatants closer together.

They also created a tradition of a large end of the year Yule Revel.

Milesent created a Baroness's favor, which was a pair of loose over-sleeves. The right she gave to combatants and the left to non-combatants. She gave the non-combatant favor at Yule revel or January event and the combatant favor on the field at NOWM or a large summer fight practice.

During Edward and Milesent's reign as Baron and Baroness there were 3 local reigns of Kings and Queens in the Barony, adding greatly to general stress levels. Also Milesent was made Kingdom A&S Champion and later elevated to the Order of the Laurel, the first Laurel made in the Barony in over 15 years. The previous Laurel elevated was Master Talan Gwynek, noted Heraldry and Onomastics Laurel. So it can be claimed that it was a time of a flowering of the arts in the Cleftlands, though the Barony had always been very strong in the arts, it was towards the end of Edward and Milesent's reign that that flowering appeared to be getting some notice outside our borders. Two more Laurels were elevated after Milesent, with a third following within six months of the end of Edward and Milesent's reign.

Another notable achievement, before their Investiture there was much grumbling that "Cleftlands doesn't travel", Edward and Milesent made a concerted effort to attend important Kingdom events and neighboring events and by the end of their reign, that particular complaint was a thing of the past.

Calum and Constanza

The investiture of the Fourth Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands, Calum MacDhaibhidh and Constanza de Mendoza was on April 14th, 2012 at the North Oaken Regional Arts and Sciences Faire. Calum and Constanza furthered the dessert revel tournament tradition, however increased it to 4 times a year instead of twice and used the Baronial Sword as the tournament prize, allowing the tournament victor to wear the sword for 3 months until the next tournament. They also were known for washing dishes and sweeping event halls at the end of the day and giving out thank-you cards to everyone who volunteered at events.

Crispin and Gianna

The investiture of the Fifth Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands, Crispin de la Rochefoucauld and Gianna Vettori was on June 10th, 2017 at Northern Oaken War Maneuvers.

Pietro and Aurelia

The investiture of the Sixth Baron and Baroness of the Cleftlands, Pietro da San Tebaldo and Aurelia Rosetti was on April 9th, 2022 at Dressed to Kill: Armorers and Needleworkers Symposium.

Cantons and Shires

Cleftlands has no cantons currently, however in the past had fledgling cantons of Burg im Wald, Cote Nord and Kennisport and sponsoring the original formation and recent re-formation of the shire of Eastwatch.


While some groups in the kingdom are over-shadowed by powerful households in their midst, Cleftlands has always enjoyed a harmonious relationship with her houses.

Active Guilds

Cleftlands Resources

The Cleftlands website is located at:
View Cleftlands history at:

Midrealm Baronies: Andelcrag, Ayreton, Brendoken, Carraig Ban, Cleftlands, Cynnabar, Donnershafen, Fenix, Flame, Flaming Gryphon, Illiton, Middle Marches, Northwoods, Red Spears, Rivenstar, Roaring Wastes, Shadowed Stars, Shattered Crystal, Sternfeld

Midrealm Shires: Afonlyn, Altenberg, Aurea Ripae, Baile na Scolairi, Blackhawk, Caer Gwyn, Cuil Choluim, Dark River, Dragon's Vale, Dragonsmark, Eastwatch, Falcon's Quarry, Grenemere, Greyhope, Mynydd Seren, Narrental, Okenshield, Qal`at Ja`far, Ravenslake, Rivenvale, Riviere Constelle, Starleaf Gate, Steren Codha, Stormvale, Swordcliff, Talonval, White Waters

Midrealm Cantons: Alderford, Border Keep, Brackendelve, Castell Gwent, Catteden, Dernehealde, Dun Traigh, Ealdnordwuda, Fearann na Criche, Foxvale, Gleann Iaruinn, Grey Gargoyles, Gwyntarian, Havenholde, Hawkes Keye, Hrothgeirsfjorthr, Lochmorrow, Marshes, Mugmort, Norborough, Nordheim, Oakford, Pferdestadt, Rimsholt, Rokkehealden, Thistle, Three Hills, Three Towers, Three Walls, Tirnewydd, Tree-Girt-Sea, Unicorn, Vanished Wood, WealdLake, Westmere, Winged Hills

Other Territories: Riding: Hawkland Moor, College: Saint Brutus

Incipient and Proto-Incipient: Auenwald, Austrigatt, Cetus, Grenemere, Woods End

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