Alais de Poitiers (pronounced A-lais, not Alay) is a minor noble in late 12th century Aquitaine. She spent part of her adolescence in the Court of Eleanor of Aquitaine in Poitiers in the 1170s and so has some elevated concepts regarding the education and societal roles of women. Sent to Antioch to live with an uncle (her only remaining relative) and ideally find a husband, she then moved on to Jerusalem, and finally returned to Aquitaine as part of the ransom from Sa’aladin in 1187. She has remained in Poitiers, where she is employed at the Court of the Duke of Aquitaine. She is widely regarded as unmarriable, but greatly valued by the ladies of higher rank.
Alais joined the SCA at the age of 19, when she came to Ottawa to start post-secondary at Carleton University. A new friend brought her to see the heavy fighting practice that was being held in the Architecture Building, and she was suitably impressed. Alais had planned to go to the Fall Formal dance (“I missed my high school prom”), but on hearing about Feast of the Hare, decided to go to the SCA event instead - much less expensive and you got to wear a costume! That was it; she was hooked.
Alais ran the Medieval Club at Carleton University for three years, held a couple of officer positions in the local SCA group (before Skraeling Althing was a Barony, while Ealdormere was still a Principality, while there were still dinosaurs in Algonquin Park, etc); was autocrat for many events, and then graduated from University, got a job in big box retail, lost her fiance (“Good riddance!”) and burned out quite heavily trying to make her SCA commitments and real life work together.
A four- or five-year hiatus ensued while Alais tried to be a mundane person. Fortunately for all of us, it didn't take.
Alais came back and hasn't left since. She has managed to drag her husband, Michael Corviser, into it too. In her own words, she's become much more of an Arts & Sciences person this time around, having been asked by Mistress Siglinde Harfnerstochter to be her apprentice at Autocrat's Day Off in A.S.46. She's entered Pentathlon three times now, and won the second time! Alais, along with Marguerite Gingraix were approached in AS 42 to produce scrolls, and has been illuminating ever since. Alais has found so many wonderful ways to apply her love of research to practical use. She recently participated in the Trillium Exchange and the White Wolf Fian.
“Essentially I seem to grow a new interest every three years or so and I find that it rarely matches my original persona. Alais is also a very late period 16th century upper-middle-class Englishwoman (matches my husband, a late period English merchant/smuggler), a mid-16th century Flemish marketwoman (due to garb research), a Tudor yeoman’s wife around the year 1500 (due to gardening and herbalism research), and a late 15th century French shepherdess (due to a White Wolf Fian project in costuming and tool-making). I have been tempted to try Tang Dynasty, German, or Norse. I seem, however, to avoid the 13th and 14th centuries altogether.”
Alais and Micheal run a “pub” called the Hare and Hound at Feast of the Hare every year that the group can run it's own cash bar. In a sense, that's the closest they have to their own household. At an event, Alais can most likely find me hanging out with friends, knitting, sewing, or running a scriptorium table - when not literally running around with her little boy, Wolfgang (to be known in the Society as “Michael Kluchert”, a name he chose so he could be like both his Dads).