Kseniia Nikolaeva Doch
Kseniia (foreground, kneeling) with her cadet brothers Raffaello (centre, kneeling) and Mr. McLaren (background, kneeling) during their cadetting ceremony at Quad War and Investiture 2013. Photo Credit: Mistress Linnet Kestrel
| 200 px|
Or, a double-headed eagle azure maintaining in its claws a closed scroll and a feather, a bordure gules.
- 16th Century Muscovite Rus persona
- Resident of the Barony of Borealis
- Member of the Household of the Toymaker (Ealdormere)
- Cadet to HE Don Reme the Burgundian, Baron of Borealis
Kseniia Nikolaeva doch’ was born on February 6, 1539 (according to the Julian calendar) to Boyar Nikolai Alexandrovich syn’ and his wife, Aga'fina Mikhailovna doch’ Nikolaeva in the northeastern city of Pskov. Kseniia’s name was chosen from her aunt, who was present for the girl’s birth, and St. Kseniia, whose feast day she was born on and in accordance with traditional naming practices in Russia.
After Pskov was taken back into the Russian Empire by Tsar Vasili the Third, her grandfather Aleksandr Petrovich syn’ was awarded Pskov as a thank you gift for his support in the war. Previously, he was a court boyar, which was seen as a not-as-prestigious position as a Boyar with lands. Kseniia’s grandfather opted to marry his oldest son (and Kseniia’s father) to a daughter of a local well-to-do family. Although this was not common practice, Aleksandr felt this marriage would help keep the people of Pskov loyal to the family, since their children would come from one of their own people.
Kseniia was the ninth of 11 children born to the Boyar and his wife, but the fifth and final one to survive past the age of five. As a child, her mother described her as happy and friendly, a kind child with a great deal of creativity.
Her eldest brother, Piotr, was groomed to succeed his father at court, and often spent time in Moscow with his father. Her second brother, Aleksander, was a merchant who travelled a great deal along the rivers near their home and far past Russia’s borders. Her only sister, Olga, took oaths at a convent near the family home when Kseniia was 7 years old. Her brother, Vladimir, was a captain in the Tsar’s army. All three of her brothers were married with children, and all their families lived in the family home, a large stone building near the centre of town and across the square from Trinity Cathedral, all within the walls of the Krom, or Kremlin.
As Kseniia grew older, her mother saw to her education in the womanly arts of household management, sewing and embroidery, and the less-traditional art of icon painting. With Pskov’s rich Icon history, Kseniia was able to study with some of the up and coming talents in the art. She was also educated in the reading, writing, simple maths and pious behaviour.
In 1560, Tsarina Anastasia Romanova Rurik, beloved wife of the Tsar and mother of the Tsarevich, died in Moscow. It wasn’t long after this tragic event that mysterious men, who she heard her mother once refer to in quiet as “The Tsar’s secret police,” began attending the home, bothering the family about her father’s place at court and the deeds of her father and grandfather. Three years after the Tsarina’s death, the soldiers stormed the house at night, threatening her father and brother with torture and death unless they admitted to crimes against the Tsar. In the ensuing argument, her father collapsed, dying on the spot. The soldiers fled the house and her brother promptly took up the mantle of Boyar.
Shortly after her father’s death, Kseniia’s brothers decided it was safer for her to leave their home and Russia. She joined Aleksander on a merchant’s ship, holding but a few clothes and a sword, a gift from Vladimir. The excuse given at court was that Kseniia was being considered for marriage by a noble in another country and wanted to see the lady first hand.
For Kseniia, the year is always 1566.
Within the SCA, Kseniia has lived in the Kingdoms of Ealdormere and An Tir. She has served as chatelaine for the Barony of Borealis, and is a Herald-At-Large in Avacal and An Tir. She currently has her AoA, Guidon du Sang (service award to the Barony of Ramshavn, Ealdormere) and Order of the Decorated Letter (service award to the Barony of Borealis). She received a Princess' Knott from HE Sina at February Investiture 2013.
If you ever see someone who looks like Kseniia wandering around in anything other than Rus clothing, that's her doppelganger Cecilia Gervaldsdottir. Cecilia is a 14th century Dane clotheshorse that wears everything Kseniia wouldn't.
- Martial: Rapier (tournament and wars), RBGs
- Arts and Sciences: Handsewing, embroidery, leatherworking, cloth and leather dyeing, illumination, 16th C. Russia