Which was fortunate. That first event was so popular that the participants (from the beginning, the group was geared toward participants rather than spectators, and medieval costume was required almost from the very beginning) made plans to hold regular medieval events. By July of that year, not only had a name been given the organization (by Marian Zimmer Bradley, who needed a name to put on an application form for use of a local park) but the basic procedures of the organization were well on their way to becoming tradition.
Many of the early members of the SCA were also members of science fiction fandom, and it was through Fandom that the early SCA spread. Within a year, it was incorporated and slowly began to extend itself beyond its old boundaries. In the summer of 1968, a group was formed in New York City. This became the nucleus of the East Kingdom (the West Kingdom had, of course, become the West Kingdom or, alternately, the Kingdom of the Mists).
It is unknown where most of the founders of the MidRealm heard about the Society, although it is likely that most of them became aware of it through Fandom and 1968's Baycon World Science Fiction Convention. The first event was held on 4 July 1969, at Wilcon, a private science-fiction convention held at Wilmot Mountain, Wisconsin. At it, David Friedman--now known as Cariadoc of the Bow--won the tourney to become the first prince of the incipient Kingdom. The MidRealm was first known as the Barony (or Principality) Under the Mountain, a branch of the East Kingdom. But at the World Science Fiction Convention in St. Louis in 1969, Cariadoc was crowned King. The Middle Kingdom was born.
The first group centered around Chicago, for many of the early members were students at the University of Chicago. The branch was known as the Capital Province and, later, Treegirtsea. A second group had formed in East Lansing, Michigan but had not informed Chicago of its existence. It was known variously as the Lost Barony (because its registration papers had been lost) and as North Woods. By the time Chicago became aware of its existence, the East Lansing group had become an established branch; and differences between the personalities of the two groups formed much of early Kingdom politics.
For some time, the Middle Kingdom rested on a tripod formed by Treegirtsea, North Woods and a third group, founded in Ohio and called the Middle Marches. Other groups soon followed, and the Kingdom began to expand into Canada and Kentucky and across the MidWest.
In the beginning, the first branch in any state automatically became a barony, and early baronies such as Great Bear often found an insufficient foundation and failed. By 1972, this policy was changed, and requirements were published for advancement of a group to baronial status.
The Middle Kingdom has, at one point or another, consisted of all or parts of [Alberta,]1 Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Ontario, [Saskatchewan,]2 South Dakota and Wisconsin, although some territories have been lost by treaty or the creation of a new Kingdom (Calontir). As of May 1994, the Middle Kingdom contains all or parts of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, [Nebraska,]3 North Dakota, Ohio, Ontario, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
(c) 1994 Folump Enterprises
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