Brief Early History
The SCA actually began in the early 1960s, when David Thewilis (Duke Siegfried von Hoflich sheit) and Ken de Maiffe (Duke Fulk de Wyvern) met while studying languages at the AFB in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Their shared love of the Middle Ages led them to begin studying the art of sword-and-shield fighting. In February 1966, after returning to the U.S., they began practicing combat with wooden swords and plywood shields.
The fighting made Diana Paxson (Countess Diana Listmaker), a post-grad medieval history major, recall the fabled “last Tournament,” which had been held in Scotland in 1839.
Diana, David, and Ken decided to hold a medieval-themed going-away party for Diana who was entering the Peace Corps. The event included a “Protest March” against the 20th century along Telegraph Avenue. 18 months later, the single event had morphed into regular activities including tournaments, revels, and classes on various arts and sciences. The SCA as we know it was formalized on Januaru 6, 1968 at Twelfth Night and incorporated in July of that year.
SCA participants in Southern California drove up to the Bay area (Berkeley, San Francisco, etc.) to particpate in events. Beginning in 1970, events were also held in the local area (which at the time was mostly included in what was then the Barony of the Angels. From Angels came Calafia, Isles, and Dreiburgen. The four “Southern Baronies”, as they were known, gathered in Dreiburgen on April 20, 1974 for the Royal Tourney of Union 1974, and the Principality of Caid was born, with then-King of the West Andrew of Riga as its first Prince.
Four years later, the formal petition for Kingdom ststus was presented in January at West Kingdom 12th Night to TRMs Andrew of Riga and Patrice d’Cilla. Caid’s first Crown Tournament was held in April 1978, with the first Coronation held on June 6, 1978, at which Armand de Sevugny and Diana de Savigny were crowned King and Queen of Caid by the West’s only Caidan King and Queen Gregory of York and Bevin Fraser of Stirling.
The Kingdom Name
Way back when, people wrote the name of the Kingdom in capitals: “CAID” as a reference to the acronym for the four founding Baronies of Caid: Calafia, Angels, Isles (now a Shire), and Dreiburgen.
Some people spell the name in all caps, however this practise was abandoned some time ago, and the kingdom name should NOT be spelled in all capitals. (In fact, the kingdom’s officially-registered name is: Caid”, going back to February 1975).
In awards and ceremonies. “Caidis”, which means “of Caid” in Latin, is used. For example, “Regina Caidis” (Queen of Caid). “Collegium Caidis” and, of course, “Compendium Caidis”.
For a look at the current boundaries, view the Kingdom of Caid Map.
As of January 2015, Caid reaches from San Diego north to Fresno and from Las Vegas west to Hawai’I, with 11 Baronies, 12 Cantons, 5 Colleges and 5 Shires.
The Baronies of Angels and Lyondemere are sometimes referred to as “Central” or “Downtown” Caid.
The symbols of the kingdom are the crescent and the dolphin. And the kingdom’s colors are azure and argent (blue and silver).
While many of our traditions can be traced to the Kingdom of the West, we also have traditions that are uniquely Caidan:
Potrero War (annual war held in the spring in Calafia)
Great Western War (annual war held in October in Wintermist, which has grown into an SCA-wide event.
Talon Crescent Festival (annual fighting and A&S event held in Starkhafn)
Royal Recognition of Excelence, a non-armigerous award designated as RRE, and given by the Crown for “deeds or acts that bear recognition outside the regular structure of awards”.
The Laurel Cope, inspired by the Pelican Cope used in the Kingdom of Ochac.
The Kingdom has six major events:
Two (2) Crown Tourneys (March and August)
Two (2) Coronations (June and January)
12th Night in January
The Great Western War in October
Many of Caid’s ceremomies hearken back to its origins in the Kingdom of the West. Countess Bevin Fraser of Stirling wrote a number of the ceremonies still being used, including the one for the Dolphin, which includes the somewhat infamous response of “of Happy Memory” that follows the mention of Viscountess Vivian Aurore de la Mer’s name.
Visitors are often surprised to see that swearing fealty is part of the Cadian peerage elevation ceremony, which is not the case in other Kingdoms.
Caidian candidates for the peerage being called forward are notified in advance and given time to prepare for their elevation:
a) a vigil the evening before their elevation,
b) garb suitable for such an important ceremony,
c) a procession, and
d) any personalized additions to the ceremony, such as swearing fealty in their persona’s native language.
In addition to traditional Armored Combat, Caid is host to a thriving, active Rapier community. Participants also enjoy Archery (Single, Combat and Target), Thrown Weapons, and Unarmored Combat.
Caid – (Aabic: qa id “commander) also spelled kaid or caid, means “master” of “leader”. It was a title in the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, applied to palatine officials and members of the curia. Later the word was used in North Africa for the governor of a fortress or the warden of a prison, and also in Spain and Portugal in the form with the definite article, al-cayde The title alcaide was used to refer to the mayor of Spanish towns.
The Crown Prince is known as “al-Caid” (as a point of interest, the last star on the handle of the Big Dipper is named al-Caid)
The Crown Princess briefly had the unwieldy alternate title of “al-Caidessa” but is now referred to as “Lady Caid”.