Wednesday, 2 October 2013

As plaid as plaid can be, you know (Septentrian 12th Night at Bad in Plaid 2, Jan 11, 2003)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart


Though we had been active in SCA circles over the holidays it had been almost three months since our last event when Thorfinna and I attended the Septentrian Twelfth Night celebrations hosted by the canton of Vest Yorvik. We had to dig our wagon out of a mountain of snow at our keep in Greenhithe territory that morning, but the weather cleared up once we reached the King’s Highway. We traveled even more swiftly than we had anticipated and we reached the event hall as it was planning to open.

We signed in and took a table where many others soon joined us from our home canton of Ardchreag, including some who had not been to an event in two years. (These included: Lady Mahault van der Eych, Lord Berend van der Eych, Teah van der Eych, Rhiannon van der Eych, Lina Carville, Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lady Isotta Gianfgliazzi, Duchess Eanor of Amberhall, Heloise of Amberhall, Lady Sybil of Amberhall, Dom Nicolae Cioranu, Wat of Sarum, Lord Rhys ap Bledri and Lady Ivanna the Oblivious. Raphael, who bore a resemblance to Lord Raffe Scholemaystre, stopped by to chat.) Some thought the end times were upon us for Wat was wearing new garb, as was I. Garb, in fact, that we had both sewn ourselves.

A game of glic ensued where small trinkets were used to gamble with instead of coins. As I had no trinkets with me I made up some bardic service scrip’s. By games end I had accumulated a small pile of treasure.

Throughout the day I got to talk to many people from all over the barony, as every canton was represented that day. I spent much time in pleasant conversation and in delivering The Ursus.

During the day many sheep were seen wandering through the hall, and the citizens of Eoforwic did herd them and pen them and those same citizens did rejoice.

For a time a number of us wondered at Hector’s clothing, which could, in truth have inspired the event’s theme. It was remarked that Hector has a colony of blind lepers who sew his garb for him, thus saving him from the ill effects of looking directly at the fabrics. It was wondered if these lepers were blind and leprous before they began to sew, or if their infirmaries were due to it.

A few brave souls came in costume, the most noteworthy being the life-size Punch doll, complete with hump, large club and big nose. The chin of his mask was hinged in such a way that his jaw moved when he talked and this caused Thorfinna many heebie-jeebies.

Since the Twelfth Night was held during Bad in Plaid, there was, as last year, a plaid fashion show. However, before the show could begin, Lady Liadin Teach Càirdeas protested on behalf of the heralds. She said that all this plaid had pushed heraldry into a corner, and so she did bestow upon Lord Normand Hauberker a heraldic plaid cloak upon which was a Wolfium, the Bear of Septentria, and markers of all the other baronies. The fashion show then began and many did strut and spin and make their plaid fashions surge and sway in ways designed to cross the eye. At its end, Baroness Gaerwen, Her Majesty Arlette and Sheikh Valizan did hand out many awards.

After the fashion show the winners of the silent auction were announced.

There then followed a baronial and kingdom court. Lord Richard Larmer had come dressed in a white shirt, heavy boots and a very short blue kilt that left little to the imagination. When he prepared for court by putting on his Queen’s Champion tabard I remarked that he had some lovely plaid trim, as only an inch or so of the kilt showed beneath it. He then threatened to take off the kilt and stand court in only the tabard, but Siegfried managed to dissuade him from that task.

To begin court the cantons were called alphabetically to pay their taxes—being a war banner. Ardchreag, though they had a finished banner, had neglected to bring it. I begged their Excellencies forgiveness, stating that not paying taxes on time was an honourd Ardchreag tradition, and promised to bring the banner to either Berus’ or Snowed Inn. In the meantime we filled their cup and horn with libations. Many other cantons had also forgotten their taxes, or, as in the case of Caer Draeth, were only partly done. The most impressive completed banner to be shown that day was the one crafted by the folk of the Royal Citie of Eoforwic. It was tall, almost touching the ceiling, and was brought into court with much pomp, preceded by musicians and followed by all Eoforings in attendance that day.

Lord Rhys ap Bledri had been given a parcel of land when he stepped down as baronial champion, and was likewise ready to pay taxes. He gave their Excellencies some of the fruit of his lands, and in return they gave him a Saxon hat.

The van der Eychs were then called into court and they presented their Excellencies with bottles of mead, in Septentrian boxes, to be used for the war effort. What is more, these bottles, when returned, will be filled in perpetuity. These bottles were then given to the Heirs for their safe keeping. Some members of Skeldergate said the van der Eychs were very trusting to give the bottles over to their Heirs’ retainers—that is to say, Skeldergatians.

Many awards and tokens were then presented, including: Lord Ulvar van der Nederlanden gave an arm ring to Catharine of Eoforwic, Lady Ysabeau de Vauvert gave an arm ring to Catharine of Eoforwic, Lord Tormod of Kirk Andreas gave Drogo of the Black Forge a ring for scoring seven points in his first war shoot, Tormod was given his copper arm ring as a former member of the Isengesitha, Lady Wencenedl of Rokesburg was given her Isen arm ring (which her brother Tormod had previously worn), Lord Percival de Laroque was given his Isen arm ring, the Isengesitha as a group gave an arm ring to Cynred, Lady Keja Tselebnika was given a personal baronial token, Lord Lachlan MacLean was given a Bear’s Claw for scouting, Dagr of Vest Yorvik was given a Bear’s Claw for scouting, Lady Christina MacNamara and Percival de Laroque were given Bear’s Hearts, Tormod was given a Bear’s Heart, Grainne de Bois and Foote the Potter were given Bear’s Hearts, Rosalia dei Querini and Rosalinde FitzWilson were given Bear’s Hearts for their planning of the Casa Loma project, and Lord Brian Goodheart was given his Isen arm ring.

THL Aenaes Oakhammer, former Skeldergate seneschal and current baronial thrown weapons marshal, was called into court. He came bearing a handcrafted box. He explained that he had held this box for some time, and upon receiving the Horn of Wessex the year before had found that they were both of a like size. He had then painted the box and was gifting it to the barony, so it could house the Horn ever after. For this Cynred and Gaerwen gave him a token. They then took the Horn and talked of its history and its symbolism as the highest award the barony could confer. When they were about to call this year’s recipient Aenaes stopped them and asked for the privilege. To this they agreed. Facing the crowd Aenaes told of how this would be the last time the Horn would be presented, as it would be retired when Cynred and Gaerwen stepped down as Baron and Baroness. As it had first been granted to a couple, so he said, should it be last granted to a couple. Then he called out for Thorfinna and I.

I sat stunned for a moment as I had had no inkling that we were in the running for the Horn. I stood up from where I had been sitting, writing down the events of court, and took Thorfinna’s hand, who had by then joined me. Aenaes explained that the populace should never let the Horn remain empty, and he would be the first to fill it. Corwyn and Domhnail were then called, as they had been the first to hold the Horn, and we seven all drank from it.

I was shaking as I retook my seat between Morgan and Lassarfhina of House Fenrir. To receive the Horn is an honour, and one that I hope Thorfinna and I will remain worthy of.

Cynred and Gaerwen, both wearing bear pajamas, then spoke of their Heirs. They said that the Heirs would be noble, dignified and courteous. They then called back into court Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith. Corwyn was dressed as Gaerwen, and Domhnail was in the guise of a certain bearded thegn. Their Majesties scribe then read their endorsement of Corwyn and Domhnail as Heirs and bade them attend the Snowed Inn where they would be invested as Baron and Baroness of Septentria. They were then presented to us formally, and they were met by the thunderous applause of a populace on its feet. The Cloak and Horn of Septentria were given to Corwyn and Domhnail as a sign of their status as the official and declared Heirs.

The kingdom court then began. Catrina von Gutenberg, Dagr of vest Yorvik and Edric Elginsen were awarded their AoAs; Lady Ceridwen of Vest Yorvik, Wencenedl of Rokesburg, Lady Elena of Vest Yorvik and Christina MacNamara were all given the Award of Orion for their Arts and Sciences skills; Lady Malachi the Babe was given the Award of the Maiden’s Heart and Lord Bruce son of Crim was given an Award of the Scarlet Banner.

After court, as I stood by Ardchreag’s table, a certain woman who bore a striking resemblance to Master Konrad Matthias Jaeger, did walk by. I told her that one of my companions (who shall at this time remain nameless, as I value my safety) had been admiring her from afar. The lady then began to flirt with this lord, touching his shoulder and cooing at him. I went on to explain that my friend had told me that he wished to steal a kiss but had not the words to ask. Eyes large, and darkening dangerously, my friend did ignore the lady’s proffered hand. At this point a man did arrive who bore a striking resemblance to Mistress Alyce de Sheppey. And I did tell this man how my friend refused to kiss her lady’s hand. This man then accosted my friend, hitting him in the shoulder, and demanding to know why he was insulting his lady by not kissing her. With murder promised in his eyes, my friend then took the lady’s hand and kissed her hairy knuckles.

The sheep, previously penned by Eoforwic, had by then escaped their prison and were again wandering the hall. I scooped one up under my arm just in time to come face to face with Master Hector of the Black Height, in whose unit I had recently enlisted. He looked at the sheep, looked at me and said he had had a job to give me, but did not truck with people who did to sheep what he presumed I was going to do to that sheep. I managed to convince him that my motives towards the sheep were pure, at which point he agreed to speak to me of the proposed job in the future. Ever mysterious is Hector.

The tables were then set for feast and we were served fine Scottish fare. Ah, food of my homeland. How long had it been since I had had haggis? Actually, even being Scottish I had never tried haggis before. However I found that it was rather good, tasting mostly like liver. There was also bread, heavy oatcakes with marmalade, pears in wine, bread pudding, mint peas, roast pork and a meat pie. There may have been more but I was not at my seat often, as I wandered a bit and read from my book to those willing to listen. I read ‘The Passing of the Khan of Ealdormere’ to Their Majesties, which Roak said he liked very much. To the thegn I recited ‘This Winter Night’. To the Vest Yorvik table I read my children’s rhyme about Hector, who was there entertaining them.

Hector sang a few songs for the hall, and Eanor sang many bawdy ditties for our table. A special dance was performed in honour of Twelfth Night and Her Grace began a game of oatcake bocce ball. A chorus line of large male dancers sprang up in one corner and it was remarked that men in kilts should not dance so.

After the tables had been cleared four activities took place in the hall. To one side many folk began to dance, while the bards gathered in a corner to sing. Some gentles began to battle with padded swords and a grid was laid out on the floor for live tablero. Having not ever played Tablero before, and being asked for assistance by Countess Rustique de Sorde, who is the patron of the Games Guild of Ealdormere, I played tablero. For sooth, I was one of the few people still in attendance who had dice. Wat and I faced each other as the players, using dice I had won earlier that day from Her Grace at glic. As playing pieces we had Paitlin, Rustique, Eogan, Lachlan, Mav, Elena and one other whose face escapes me at this time. The pieces would change at times over the night, and would include Count Aaron, Normand, Sarah, Delphina and Eithne. Wat would eventually retire and I battled with Thorwolf Smith. The pieces would often play the game with some fluidity of the rules, and young Rhiannon was quite irate that they were cheating. I tried to explain to her that the cheating was all part of the fun, then chastised the pieces for teaching our youngsters such bad habits. As the pieces moved about the board under their own will, Thorwolf and I abandoned the dice and began calling out arbitrary moves until we had lined up all seven pieces and the final game was ended.

The rest of the day was spent in more pleasant conversation, during which time His Majesty and I discussed the authenticity of tablero. Eventually we had to depart as the hall was closing. With glad spirits we loaded our wagon and began the journey home.


Though we had been active in SCA circles over the holidays it had been almost three months since our last event when Thorfinna and I attended the Septentrian Twelfth Night celebrations hosted by the canton of Vest Yorvik. We had to dig our wagon out of a mountain of snow at our keep in Greenhithe territory that morning, but the weather cleared up once we reached the King’s Highway. We traveled even more swiftly than we had anticipated and we reached the event hall as it was planning to open.
           
We signed in and took a table where many others soon joined us from our home canton of Ardchreag, including some who had not been to an event in two years. Some thought the end times were upon us for Wat was wearing new garb, as was I. Garb, in fact, that we had both sewn ourselves.

A game of glic ensued where small trinkets were used to gamble with instead of coins. As I had no trinkets with me I made up some bardic service scrip’s. By games end I had accumulated a small pile of treasure.

Throughout the day I got to talk to many people from all over the barony, as every canton was represented that day. I spent much time in pleasant conversation and in delivering The Ursus.

During the day many sheep were seen wandering through the hall, and the citizens of Eoforwic did herd them and pen them and those same citizens did rejoice.

For a time a number of us wondered at Hector’s clothing, which could, in truth have inspired the event’s theme. It was remarked that Hector has a colony of blind lepers who sew his garb for him, thus saving him from the ill effects of looking directly at the fabrics. It was wondered if these lepers were blind and leprous before they began to sew, or if their infirmaries were due to it.

A few brave souls came in costume, the most noteworthy being the life-size Punch doll, complete with hump, large club and big nose. The chin of his mask was hinged in such a way that his jaw moved when he talked and this caused Thorfinna many heebie-jeebies.

Since the Twelfth Night was held during Bad in Plaid, there was, as last year, a plaid fashion show. However, before the show could begin, Lady Liadin Teach Càirdeas protested on behalf of the heralds. She said that all this plaid had pushed heraldry into a corner, and so she did bestow upon Lord Normand Hauberker a heraldic plaid cloak upon which was a Wolfium, the Bear of Septentria, and markers of all the other baronies. The fashion show then began and many did strut and spin and make their plaid fashions surge and sway in ways designed to cross the eye. At its end, Baroness Gaerwen, Her Majesty Arlette and Sheikh Valizan did hand out many awards.

After the fashion show the winners of the silent auction were announced.

There then followed a baronial and kingdom court. Lord Richard Larmer had come dressed in a white shirt, heavy boots and a very short blue kilt that left little to the imagination. When he prepared for court by putting on his Queen’s Champion tabard I remarked that he had some lovely plaid trim, as only an inch or so of the kilt showed beneath it. He then threatened to take off the kilt and stand court in only the tabard, but Siegfried managed to dissuade him from that task.

To begin court the cantons were called alphabetically to pay their taxes—being a war banner. Ardchreag, though they had a finished banner, had neglected to bring it. I begged their Excellencies forgiveness, stating that not paying taxes on time was an honourd Ardchreag tradition, and promised to bring the banner to either Berus’ or Snowed Inn. In the meantime we filled their cup and horn with libations. Many other cantons had also forgotten their taxes, or, as in the case of Caer Draeth, were only partly done. The most impressive completed banner to be shown that day was the one crafted by the folk of the Royal Citie of Eoforwic. It was tall, almost touching the ceiling, and was brought into court with much pomp, preceded by musicians and followed by all Eoforings in attendance that day.

Lord Rhys ap Bledri had been given a parcel of land when he stepped down as baronial champion, and was likewise ready to pay taxes. He gave their Excellencies some of the fruit of his lands, and in return they gave him a Saxon hat.

The van der Eychs were then called into court and they presented their Excellencies with bottles of mead, in Septentrian boxes, to be used for the war effort. What is more, these bottles, when returned, will be filled in perpetuity. These bottles were then given to the Heirs for their safe keeping. Some members of Skeldergate said the van der Eychs were very trusting to give the bottles over to their Heirs’ retainers—that is to say, Skeldergatians.

Many awards and tokens were then presented, including: Lord Ulvar van der Nederlanden gave an arm ring to Catharine of Eoforwic, Lady Ysabeau de Vauvert gave an arm ring to Catharine of Eoforwic, Lord Tormod of Kirk Andreas gave Drogo of the Black Forge a ring for scoring seven points in his first war shoot, Tormod was given his copper arm ring as a former member of the Isengesitha, Lady Wencenedl of Rokesburg was given her Isen arm ring (which her brother Tormod had previously worn), Lord Percival de Laroque was given his Isen arm ring, the Isengesitha as a group gave an arm ring to Cynred, Lady Keja Tselebnika was given a personal baronial token, Lord Lachlan MacLean was given a Bear’s Claw for scouting, Dagr of Vest Yorvik was given a Bear’s Claw for scouting, Lady Christina MacNamara and Percival de Laroque were given Bear’s Hearts, Tormod was given a Bear’s Heart, Grainne de Bois and Foote the Potter were given Bear’s Hearts, Rosalia dei Querini and Rosalinde FitzWilson were given Bear’s Hearts for their planning of the Casa Loma project, and Lord Brian Goodheart was given his Isen arm ring.

THL Aenaes Oakhammer, former Skeldergate seneschal and current baronial thrown weapons marshal, was called into court. He came bearing a handcrafted box. He explained that he had held this box for some time, and upon receiving the Horn of Wessex the year before had found that they were both of a like size. He had then painted the box and was gifting it to the barony, so it could house the Horn ever after. For this Cynred and Gaerwen gave him a token. They then took the Horn and talked of its history and its symbolism as the highest award the barony could confer. When they were about to call this year’s recipient Aenaes stopped them and asked for the privilege. To this they agreed. Facing the crowd Aenaes told of how this would be the last time the Horn would be presented, as it would be retired when Cynred and Gaerwen stepped down as Baron and Baroness. As it had first been granted to a couple, so he said, should it be last granted to a couple. Then he called out for Thorfinna and I.

I sat stunned for a moment as I had had no inkling that we were in the running for the Horn. I stood up from where I had been sitting, writing down the events of court, and took Thorfinna’s hand, who had by then joined me. Aenaes explained that the populace should never let the Horn remain empty, and he would be the first to fill it. Corwyn and Domhnail were then called, as they had been the first to hold the Horn, and we seven all drank from it.

I was shaking as I retook my seat between Morgan and Lassarfhina of House Fenrir. To receive the Horn is an honour, and one that I hope Thorfinna and I will remain worthy of.

Cynred and Gaerwen, both wearing bear pajamas, then spoke of their Heirs. They said that the Heirs would be noble, dignified and courteous. They then called back into court Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith. Corwyn was dressed as Gaerwen, and Domhnail was in the guise of a certain bearded thegn. Their Majesties scribe then read their endorsement of Corwyn and Domhnail as Heirs and bade them attend the Snowed Inn where they would be invested as Baron and Baroness of Septentria. They were then presented to us formally, and they were met by the thunderous applause of a populace on its feet. The Cloak and Horn of Septentria were given to Corwyn and Domhnail as a sign of their status as the official and declared Heirs.

The kingdom court then began. Catrina von Gutenberg, Dagr of vest Yorvik and Edric Elginsen were awarded their AoAs; Lady Ceridwen of Vest Yorvik, Wencenedl of Rokesburg, Lady Elena of Vest Yorvik and Christina MacNamara were all given the Award of Orion for their Arts and Sciences skills; Lady Malachi the Babe was given the Award of the Maiden’s Heart and Lord Bruce son of Crim was given an Award of the Scarlet Banner.

After court, as I stood by Ardchreag’s table, a certain woman who bore a striking resemblance to Master Konrad Matthias Jaeger, did walk by. I told her that one of my companions (who shall at this time remain nameless, as I value my safety) had been admiring her from afar. The lady then began to flirt with this lord, touching his shoulder and cooing at him. I went on to explain that my friend had told me that he wished to steal a kiss but had not the words to ask. Eyes large, and darkening dangerously, my friend did ignore the lady’s proffered hand. At this point a man did arrive who bore a striking resemblance to Mistress Alyce de Sheppey. And I did tell this man how my friend refused to kiss her lady’s hand. This man then accosted my friend, hitting him in the shoulder, and demanding to know why he was insulting his lady by not kissing her. With murder promised in his eyes, my friend then took the lady’s hand and kissed her hairy knuckles.

The sheep, previously penned by Eoforwic, had by then escaped their prison and were again wandering the hall. I scooped one up under my arm just in time to come face to face with Master Hector of the Black Height, in whose unit I had recently enlisted. He looked at the sheep, looked at me and said he had had a job to give me, but did not truck with people who did to sheep what he presumed I was going to do to that sheep. I managed to convince him that my motives towards the sheep were pure, at which point he agreed to speak to me of the proposed job in the future. Ever mysterious is Hector.

The tables were then set for feast and we were served fine Scottish fare. Ah, food of my homeland. How long had it been since I had had haggis? Actually, even being Scottish I had never tried haggis before. However I found that it was rather good, tasting mostly like liver. There was also bread, heavy oatcakes with marmalade, pears in wine, bread pudding, mint peas, roast pork and a meat pie. There may have been more but I was not at my seat often, as I wandered a bit and read from my book to those willing to listen. I read ‘The Passing of the Khan of Ealdormere’ to Their Majesties, which Roak said he liked very much. To the thegn I recited ‘This Winter Night’. To the Vest Yorvik table I read my children’s rhyme about Hector, who was there entertaining them.

Hector sang a few songs for the hall, and Eanor sang many bawdy ditties for our table. A special dance was performed in honour of Twelfth Night and Her Grace began a game of oatcake bocce ball. A chorus line of large male dancers sprang up in one corner and it was remarked that men in kilts should not dance so.

After the tables had been cleared four activities took place in the hall. To one side many folk began to dance, while the bards gathered in a corner to sing. Some gentles began to battle with padded swords and a grid was laid out on the floor for live tablero. Having not ever played Tablero before, and being asked for assistance by Countess Rustique de Sorde, who is the patron of the Games Guild of Ealdormere, I played tablero. For sooth, I was one of the few people still in attendance who had dice. Wat and I faced each other as the players, using dice I had won earlier that day from Her Grace at glic. As playing pieces we had Paitlin, Rustique, Eogan, Lachlan, Mav, Elena and one other whose face escapes me at this time. The pieces would change at times over the night, and would include Count Aaron, Normand, Sarah, Delphina and Eithne. Wat would eventually retire and I battled with Thorwolf Smith. The pieces would often play the game with some fluidity of the rules, and young Rhiannon was quite irate that they were cheating. I tried to explain to her that the cheating was all part of the fun, then chastised the pieces for teaching our youngsters such bad habits. As the pieces moved about the board under their own will, Thorwolf and I abandoned the dice and began calling out arbitrary moves until we had lined up all seven pieces and the final game was ended.


The rest of the day was spent in more pleasant conversation, during which time His Majesty and I discussed the authenticity of tablero. Eventually we had to depart as the hall was closing. With glad spirits we loaded our wagon and began the journey home.

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