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Stories Not in the History:
The Not So Secret History Of Plotter’s Anonymous

by His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)
Orignally published in the December 2006, A.S. XLI issue of the Dragonflyre, a publication of the Barony of Vatavia.

Plotter’s Anonymous is a joke that will not die. Initially it had nothing to do with the SCA, and more then a decade after its last “operation” it continues to be a source of conversation. Plotter’s Anonymous, usually referred to as PA is one of those things that just happened, there was no conscience effort to bring it into existence. As a result, many of the details of its origins are forgotten because their significance was not recognized at the time. What follows are the highlights of the key events that form the legend of Plotter’s Anonymous.

Before there was Plotter’s Anonymous there was the dreaded two-headed friar. The principals of PA were Eoin Scott na Daigniche and myself, though other individuals would occasionally take part. Our first escapade occurred at a local event known as “A Quest for the Pleasures of 1000 Nights” which occurred on August 5, 1984 held as Sim Park. This was a quest style event with a half dozen stations. One of these stations was a boar encounter that took place across the road from the other stations. To cross the road you had to go through another station and answer a riddle. This was my station. Eoin, who had just recently joined, arrived too late to get on any of the quest teams, so he volunteered to help at one of the stations. He was wearing a friar habit. So he was naturally paired with me. Now the boar turned out to be exceptionally fatal, which meant that the quest team had to go back to a resurrection point, then come back, answered another riddle, so they could attempted the boar. My initial store of riddles was quickly exhausted, and so Eoin and I were busy making up riddles on the spot. Some the teams were not amused. But it was the start of a long friendship.

Sometime later Eoin and myself got involved doing role-playing games with other members of the barony. And I toyed with the idea of doing a run that was more then a then standard dungeon crawl. And I was bouncing ideas off Eoin. And some of these ideas were exotic, such as one room being a tesseract, which is a four-dimensional analog of a cube (think of an Escher print). Now one member of our playing group, one Christianna Beauchasteau, was having difficulty processing some of these ideas, and accused us of playing with her mind. During this same time dance practice was at Redmond Recreation Center on McConnell AFB, after which many would go to the Village Inn at Harry and Rock. At one of these evenings, after most had left to go home, Eoin and myself found ourselves at one end of the row of tables while Christianna was at the other. Now Eoin and I were having a conversation on some innocuous topic. However, Christianna was convinced that we were discussing my proposed dungeon and we could use it to mess with her mind. When informed of this, we started giving her knowing smiles, but not saying anything. And this was the start of PA. In the end nothing came of the dungeon.

The thing with the pineapples also initially had nothing to do with PA. On June 5, 1988 there was another Baronial mini-event in North Linwood Park. This event featured a box lunch auction. The idea was that each lady in the barony would create a box lunch and the lords would bid for the lunch, which they would share with the lady who created it. Christianna created such a lunch and as a bid enticer put in a pint of Hagen-Diaz ice cream. At the last minute she tossed in a fresh pineapple. As fate would have it, Eoin and myself have a fondness for pineapple. So when Christianna’s lunch came up to bid, we got into a bidding war because of the pineapple. We ended it with a joint bid. The ironic ending was that Eoin had a cold sore, and the acidity of the pineapple made it painful for him to eat it, so he got very little of it. From this arose the idea that PA was paid in pineapples.

Where the name Plotter’s Anonymous came from, who suggested it, when was it first use are all pieces lost in time. The basic conceit of PA was that we created plots; we did not carry them out. A number of marriage quests of this period were thought up by PA. Our most frequent “victim” was Baron Tederick von Wolfschatten. Not only was he an easy target, he once tried to pay off PA with an ordinary apple that was studded with pine needles.

As an example of typical schtick was when Caithlenn ni Ruaidhri, when she was seneschal felt slighted by something that Baron Tederick had said. So in court she had PA called up and gave the representative a pineapple as payment for a commission for a plot. A month or so later fulfilled that commission by handing Caithlenn, in court, a piece of paper. The paper had nothing more then the words: “A Plot” written on it, but people’s imagination made much more of it.

A great example for this effect occurred on November12, 1988 at a Champion Tourney at Kiwanis Park. Eoin and I wished to discuss some topic that had nothing to do with the SCA. So to avoid breaking the atmosphere of the occasion, we went to a nearby swing-set to have it. And when we were done we wondered back to the building. There we noticed that people were a bit nervous around us. It turned out that it was noticed that Eoin and I were off by ourselves, and it was assumed that we were plotting.

The ultimate such non-plot occurred on December 29, 1990 at a Yule feast at Minisa Park. Eoin as his contribution to the potluck was a fresh pineapple. Halfway through the feast, he noticed that the kitchen staff had overlooked it, and not put it out. So he went into the kitchen and fetched it, cut it up, and passed it out among those sitting near him. Now Sir Tederick, who had just stepped down as baron, was sitting at the high table when he noticed that a bunch of us were eating pineapple. Suspicious, he sent his then girlfriend, now wife, Hrafnihldr o Llandyssul, or Raven, down see what was going on. When informed of his paranoia, we all, including Raven, raised a piece of pineapple in his direction to toast him. His head hit the table as he cried, “I’m a dead man”. He then called his squires to him to protect him from whatever nefarious plot that was being hatched. But, of course, it was already too late.

Soon after this, for various reasons, Eoin stopped playing in the SCA. For a while I allowed the idea of PA to live on, but the tenor of the requests changed, and they became more vindictive. At one point I was offered seven pineapples, and more, to come up with a way to drive someone off. So I quietly ignored these entreaties, and tried to let PA die. A number of years later I would resurrect the basic gimmick of PA, this time under the rubric of “church business”, where I would impose “penance” on those I accused of some transgression. Yet I remain haunted by PA, though I do enjoy the resulting pineapple.

 

Copyright © 2006 - present His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.

 

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