Thursday, 10 October 2013

Colyne’s SCA Diary 2003

January 2003

2003 began with an offer Thorfinna and I could not refuse. We had both been invited to the House de Taahe 12th Night, and at the party Finnvarr offered to take us, Berend and Mahault on as retainers for war and tourney for a year. He knew we would likely still want to fight for Septentria so part of our contract with him would be to fight at War as he ordered—and he’d order us to fight for Septentria. At the end of the year we would see how the association was going and decide if we wanted to dissolve it or make it more official. This sounded good to us as we have many friends in the household, and the others present all made us feel welcome and we were given several 12th Night gifts. It was a grand party and we stayed for many, many hours. Eanor took Wat on as a student, and Isotta was offered a retainership as well, though she needs to talk to Katsu before accepting.
            The next day there was an Isengesitha meeting at the home of Corwyn and Domhnail. Due to our new arrangement with Finnvarr we thought we would have to leave the Isen. Though Finnvarr had said we should still fight for Septentria, we didn’t want tangled loyalties. Finnvarr had retained our sword and shield so we would not want to swear an oath to another for armoured combat. However, at Gaerwen’s suggestion, the Isen, which will be known as the Iron Companions after Corwyn and Domhnail’s investiture, expanded its focus to include all martial activities. Therefore, we could swear an oath to support the barony as an Isen in, say, thrown weapons. We could still support the barony and Corwyn and Domhnail and stay true to our retainership to Finnvarr. Fighting with Master Hector’s mercenary unit, which will be fighting for Septentria, makes the package complete. We double-checked with Finnvarr that swearing to the Isen in a form other than sword and shield would be within the boundaries of our agreement and he concurred. So happily we will not be retiring from the Isen. We will both be swearing in as thrown weapons, and possibly archery in the near future.
            On the Monday the canton held its 12th Night, and the gift exchange attracted twenty-one gentles. Two gifts that almost everyone was trying to snag was a wooden box brought by Wulfgang and a spear kit from Raffe. At times small circles of gift-stealing would go on as two gifts were stolen back and forth between three people. In the end, Duchess Eanor unwrapped the last gift to end the madness, which left the spear in Mahault’s hands and the box in Thorfinna’s possession. I walked away with a Knightriders DVD. Wulfgang also gave me a book on world tartans that had been part of his present (which he had originally stolen from me).
            On Tuesday I finally decided to try my hand at sewing garb. Under Thorfinna’s watchful eye I made a new t-tunic (plaid of course) and a yellow hood. Both even had trim. They aren’t perfect, but they’re pretty good. I was rather pleased with myself. Plans are already underway for me to make a cotehardie under Mahault’s tutelage.

As plaid as plaid can be, you know.
Event Report: Septentrian 12th Night at Bad in Plaid 2
Laird Colyne Stewart, AS Jan AS 37

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. 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’. When I was done Sybil, who had come over the listen, then bragged to him, telling him that I was in her household. 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.

Sew What?
Garb Making for the Non-Sewer
Laird Colyne Stewart, Jan AS XXXVII

At the time I write this I have been a member of the Society for a month less than two years. In all that time I had never made any of my own garb. Luckily I had a lady who was willingly to make some for me, and she has been getting progressively more skilled. Beginning to feel a bit guilty about not helping out in the garb department I finally decided to try and sew something.
            Now, I hadn’t really sewn anything since public school, where I made a shark pillow in home-ec. I had tried to sew Thorfinna a favour once, but the result was so hideous that we buried it somewhere and it has not been seen since. So it was with trepidation that I began to plan.
            Sine my persona is actually 14th century I decided I should finally get a cotehardie, so with the help of Mahault van der Eych I made a cloth pattern. However, we both came to the realization that this was much too difficult for a beginner project so I will be making it in a few months, and I’ll be doing every step under her guidance. In the meantime I resolved to make some t-tunics and hoods.
            So one night I tore myself away from my third draft of the Septentrian history and went down to the sewing room. With Thorfinna’s help and support I then began to sew.
            First, I laid down the plaid fabric I wanted to use, and put a tunic on top of it to use as a pattern. I then cut two pieces to be my front and my back. I then laid the arm of the tunic onto the fabric, rolled the fabric over top so I had in effect the front and back of the arm and cut. I repeated this for the other arm.
            Then came the tedium. I had to sew the hems of the cuffs for the arms and the bottom of the front and back pieces. When I did the first arm I realized that I had sewn a short side, and not a long side. This was incorrect. The way we had cut the fabric meant that the long side would be the cuff so we unstitched the hem and did it over again. We used a double hem, which meant I folded the fabric over twice. This will make sure we don’t get any ragged looking edges in the future.
            We then marked out the neck hole and we did the double hem for that space.
            After doing those six hems I cut out trim and sewed it onto the arms, the front and the back, just over the hems. I made sure that they matched up as much as possible so that when the pieces were sewn together the trim would meet.
            Taking the front and back I placed them on top of each other backwards, so the trim was on the inside. I then sewed the shoulders together. I then laid the front and back out with the trim on top. The first arm was placed on top, centred on the neck hole, with its trim underneath. The arm was sewn on, and then the same procedure was repeated with the second arm.
            The arms were then pulled out flat and the tunic was laid out inside out. Doing this I found that the front was slightly wider than the back so I trimmed it down. I then sewed from the armpits down to the bottom hem, pulling the material tight so that the bottom hems would match up. When this was done I sewed the arms. I started sewing straight out from the cuff until I passed the trim, then went on an angle to the arm pit.
            We turned the tunic right-side out and I tried it on. It fit perfectly, though the boat-neck (as the style of neck I had done was called) stuck up a bit. To fix this we turned the tunic back inside out and rolled the neck hem once and sewed it. I then trimmed the excess off the arms, making sure to leave about an inch.
            The whole procedure took about two hours.
            Feeling lucky I decided I also wanted to make a hood. I pulled out some yellow material and laid it on the floor and traced a hood Thorfinna had made earlier. As I was cutting the material I realized that it had not been laying perfectly matched up underneath so my top and bottom piece did not quite match up. I simply trimmed the top piece until it resembled the bottom.
            I then had to do a double hem along the curved bottom of each side, and on the edge of the face hole. I rolled the face hem in and the bottom edge out. The face edge was a double hem, but the bottom edge was a single hem. I then sewed the trim onto the bottom edge on top of the hem, which would keep the hem from fraying and meant I didn’t have to lose any more fabric by doing the double hem. When I was halfway through putting the trim on the first side I realized that I was sewing it to the inside of the hood, and not the outside. As Thorfinna unstitched my mistake I did the other side.
            Once both sides were done I laid them on top of each other so the hood would be inside out and sewed from the bottom up to the face hole, then from the bottom up and around the crown of the head to the top of the face hole. My first seam was too rounded and when I tried the hood on it did not hold its shape. Turning it inside out again I sewed a straighter line from the back of the crown to the front and cut off the excess material. This looked much better. The hood took an hour to make.
            Neither piece came out perfectly, but both looked good for a first attempt. What’s more, I’ve overcome my fear of sewing and will be able to produce more of my own garb from now on. And that is a good feeling.

(We Fight for Septentria) Ursine Born
Laird Colyne Stewart, Jan AS XXXVII

Bears fight in the heat of a blazing sun
Bears fight in the chill of a winter morn
Bears fight for honour and they fight for fun
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

We stand on the field at the break of day
We charge on the field, our foe runs away
We cheer on the field as we take the day
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

Bears fight in the heat of a blazing sun
Bears fight in the chill of a winter morn
Bears fight for honour and they fight for fun
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

Finnvarr built the very first hall
The first Baroness, Gillian d’Uriel
The first northern colour scarlet all
They fought for Septentria, ursine born.

Aedan’s blood runs in our veins
Caffa’s spear with red blood stains
Well ruled Adrielle, first with Ieuan
They fought for Septentria, ursine born.

Bears fight in the heat of a blazing sun
Bears fight in the chill of a winter morn
Bears fight for honour and they fight for fun
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

D’Arnot shortly led they way
Cynred and Gaerwen later held sway
Now Galbraiths claim the day
They fight for Septentria, ursine born.

Of hero stock our race was bred
We bleed bright white and we bleed bright red
Our banner won’t fall unless we’re dead
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

Bears fight in the heat of a blazing sun
Bears fight in the chill of a winter morn
Bears fight for honour and they fight for fun
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

Bears fight in the heat of a blazing sun
Bears fight in the chill of a winter morn
Bears fight for honour and they fight for fun
We fight for Septentria, ursine born.

The following Monday saw Master Hector’s dojo meeting for the first time at Ardchreag’s weekly gathering. These dojo members are all folks, most, if not all, from the Skeldergate area, who want a more structured training experience than currently offered at Skeldergate. About of half of these folks will also be part of Hector’s mercenary unit at War this year.
            We were supposed to be sewing tabards and whatnot that night, but due to the rash of inclement weather Gailana did not get to the store. So instead Thorfinna and I suited up to fight with Kenric, Brandt, Wulfgang, Wat, Eanor and, eventually, Hector. Donovan also had armour that night but did not engage in combat. Instead he went through drills with Eanor, Kenric and Hector.
            The sequence of fights escapes me know, but I know I fought Wulfgang, Wat and Eanor. When fighting Eanor I did a snap return that left a big goose egg on her clavicle. Over all, I again felt competent but not excellent. However, Wat says he just cannot figure out what it is I’m doing out there and am continually surprising him. So that’s good.
            I suggested we do some two on two battles, which we did for a while. During the battles Wat would blow off my elbow and Kenric stuck me a good one on the back of my calf as I tried to pull back from his blow. I did well in theory in the two on twos but my blows still lack power at times so my foes just won’t die. I have to do some pell work I think and get some more hips in my blows. During the night I made use of three different shields, causing Eanor to call me Colyne Threeshields.
            There was a Snowed Inn planning meeting held at the same time.
            When we dropped our kits I counted all the repairs I had to make. Besides the blown elbow I busted a strap on my leg and half lost a flap over my hip. Hector then asked Thorfinna and I to be shieldwall commanders in his merc unit, and to be the unit’s memory. Apparently he’s recruiting from two non-SCA Celtic reenactment groups and he wants us to chronicle the event. Coming from a bard like him it’s a high compliment indeed. We also agreed to draw a design for dojo t-shirts. (A hand in a half-gauntlet holding a plate of spaghetti.)

I got this email the same day:
>----- Original Message -----
>To: "Todd Fischer" <>
>Sent: Monday, January 13, 2003 3:09 PM
>Subject: Bears
>Page 18 of the recent Ursus was wonderful! Actually, it was all awesome.
>Can we keep you forever and ever?

Ardchreag's meeting on the 20th was the type of meeting I love. We had Hector's dojo, which numbers around twelve and includes the next Baron of Septentria, were training in the back. Around seven fighters battled it out near the front while the rest of us worked assembly line fashion cutting, sewing and painting table clothes, baldrics and tabards for Snowed Inn. All told we had people from Ardchreag, Skeldergate, Greenhithe and Bastille du Lac and three Peers (Hector, Evander and Berus). Lots of activity, lots of people to talk to, lots of plans being made.
        Valizan (himself newly nominated for the Heirship of Ben Dunfirth) and I got into a discussion about protégées and apprentices. He told me that on the protégée list there is a Laurel who, when asked about whether prospective dependents should approach Peers or let Peers approach them, said "We aren't psychic." So, I finally talked to Hector about possibly becoming his apprentice. We had a long talk about my motives, my associations with others (like House de Taahe), my hopes and aims. In the end we agreed to try out a student-teacher relationship after February and see where that takes us. It may be the beginning of something very interesting.

The next night I decided to try and sew a banner for the Ursus. I was going to be selling them at a table at Brawl and wanted a visual sign for people to recognize. So I sewed myself a banner complete with loops and painted on a red bear. It actually turned out pretty good. I also made some subscription forms with receipts for the newsletter.
Quick and Dirty Banners
Laird Colyne Stewart, Jan AS 37
Here’s a down and dirty, step-by-step method to making attractive painted banners for display in the SCA. As I was going to be selling copies of The Ursus at a table at Berus’ Bar and Bar Room Brawl, I wanted a banner that would catch everybody’s eye. So I sat down one night and just made one.
·       fabric (weight?)
·       coloured thread (same as fabric)
·       thermoplast or heavy card stock
·       exacto knife
·       paint
·       brushes
·       yardstick
First I cut a piece of fabric that was about x X x”. As I looked at it I realized that my material was a tad thinner than I wanted, and the piece was two big. To fix this I simply folded the piece in half and cut it so I now had two x X x” pieces. I then took these pieces and sewed three edges together so it resembled an inside out pillowcase. The open edge was to be the top of the banner. This type of banner might have hung oddly as the back and front were two separate piece sonly joined on the edge, so I sewed three straight lines across it to hold the material in place. These stitches are invisible except for close scrutiny and will help the banner hold its shape. (If I had used a single piece of thicker material I would not have had to do any of this.) Setting this aside I went on to my hanging loops.
For the loops I cut four pieces of x X x” material and did a double hem on all four edges of each piece. My Lady has since suggested that I could have cut eight pieces and sewn two together to form four double-thick loops. They would have been sewn as the main banner, turned right-side out and had their open edges hemmed.
Whichever way you do it, take your main banner and pin a wide double hem on the open side. Then take two of your loops and pin them to either edge of this hem. Measure out about 5” from each one and pin the other two loops. Then stitch along the bottom and the top of the hem to ensure durability.
From the thermoplast a friend of mine had cut a stencil of the Septentrian bear with an exacto knife. I placed the stencil on the banner and painted it red. I then removed the stencil, let the paint dry and I had a completed banner.
The type of banner I made was technically called a XXXXX because of the way it hangs. If I wanted a banner that would be flown like a flag or standard I would have done exactly the same with a few variations. Firstly, I would have painted the two sides first, before sewing the two pieces of the main banner together. Second, The loops would be replaced by ties and be placed down the side of the banner (possibly with some along the top as well).
Stitching across a double-sided banner runs the risk of thread crossing paint of a different colour. I would suggest just trying to use thread that is light coloured and these stitches should be almost invisible except for close inspection.

Ealdormere’s Bright Knight
Event Report: Berus’ Bar and Bar Room Brawl V
Laird Colyne Stewart, Jan AS 37

On the 25th of January Sir Berus Jarl (or should that be Countess Marion FitzWilliam) invited all across the kingdom to come to their inn for a day of feasting and fighting. The day was chill but this did not dissuade the north folk and many filled the hall from all corners of the land. From Ardchreag there was: Colyne Stewart, Thorfinna gra’feldr, Eanor of Amberhall, Heloise of Amberhall, Donovan, Eirik Anderson, Ivanna the Oblivious, Rhys ap Bledri, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Isotta Gianfgliazzi, Fursto de Robnye, Katerina du nord, Lina Carville, Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Iolanda de Albornoz.
            For most of the day I sat at a table in the merchant area with my Lady Thorfinna, where we sold several back issues of the Ursus, and even managed to gain a few new subscribers to this august periodical. At times Thorfinna, busy embroidering a serpent nowed, would watch the table while I went on various errands.
            So many things happened throughout the day that I can by no means list them all, but I will share what I do remember. There was fighting, of course, with dozens of fighters battling at one end of the hall. Fencers also practiced their art, manner in exquisite green tabards. There were many merchants, offering wares ranging from swords tot rim, from laquered wooden boxes to shield blanks. The Daughters of the North sponsored a raffle with prizes donated by many good gentles across the kingdom. This raffle raised over $800 for the kingdom! Wassail for the generosity of Ealdormereans! A class on beading and embroidery was held in the same space where earlier our young ones were swinging boffer blades. Leif and Ymir, both of Skeldergate, were squired to Sir Berus.
            As I said, this is only a small sampling of what went on that day. There was simply too much for me to see it all.
            Perhaps the most exciting moment was when all present were bade to pay heed to the lists. Running over we found Count Aaron Preslee Worgansson on his knees in front of our king, Roak II. Master Worgan McGregor had asked for a boon, that Aaron be elevated into the Order of Chivalry. Aaron was then put on vigil, first a vigil of fire where he held the field against all comers, and then a vigil of contemplation where he would hear the wisdom of the populace. This announcement was meet with uproarious cheering and the clashing of sword on shield. Our Frog Prince was to become a knight!
            While Thorfinna very patiently watched the Ursus table—again—I attended Aaron’s vigil. When my time came to see him I told him of the esteem in which I hold him, for I had found him to be a good king, and a good and true person. At that time I passed on a ring that had been given to me by Lady Isotta Gianfgliazzi, which had been given to her by THL Aeneas Oakhammer. I asked Aaron to keep it, and one day pass it on to someone who inspires him as he inspires me. It was but a small part of the deserving bounty the good count would receive that day.
            After returning to the table, and letting Thorfinna actually get up and walk around, Naga-san, champion of Ramshaven, and I entered into a debate. We found we could not agree on the placement of Septentria and Ramshaven upon the great chain of being. Therefore Naga suggested he would convince me of his point of view on the field, where he would face me or any other Septentrian. Our friendly debate will continue at a future event.
            Throughout the day we had been enjoying the fare of the inn’s kitchens. Many members of the populace of Skeldergate were slaving in its heat, including our Heirs, Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith. When it came time to eat dinner I bought roast beast and gravy, pork sausages, mushrooms and onions and bread. It was good, hearty fare. As we shared a table with Master Hector of the Black Height there was—of course—singing. Hector raised his voice and soon a full bardic circle had begun with many good gentles surrounding the table.
            When court was called we took our seats and were treated to a grand display. King Roak and Queen Arlette marched into the hall, followed by Prince Edouard and Princess Genvieve. Next came Baroness Gaerwen and the Heirs, Corwyn and Domhnail. (Cynred, unfortunately, was ill that day.) Roak and Arlette then invited into their court Their Hignesses of the East Kingdom, Prince Darius and Princess Roxane. (Baron Davin and Baroness Martya of Ramshaven were gracious, and gave the use of their thrones to the visiting royalty.)
            Septentrian court was short, with only two pieces of business. First, the canton of Ardchreag paid its taxes and displayed the banner that I had forgotten to take to 12th Night. House Fenrir was then called into court and given a Bear’s Heart for their service to all at events across the barony and kingdom. Indeed, they were currently busy running the inn’s bar!
            The king and queen then opened their court by announcing Lord Gunnar Truthsinger the new kingdom thrown weapons marshal and Lady Tesla de Chardonne as the new kingdom signet. THL Rachel Katharine McLellan, the former signet, has now embarked upon the writing of a history of our fair kingdom.
            Sir Evander MacLachlan, newly returned from the far east, swore fealty to the Crown. He then proclaimed that while overseas he had claimed land there in the name of Ealdormere. This land he had collected in boxes, which he gave to Their Majesties and Their Highnesses Ealdormere. Previously, Evander has claimed lands in the far north and in Africa.
            The announcement of a teachers travel fund was announced. This fund will help teachers travel to and from Ealdormere. It was also announced that Sir Sarnac Bahadur will be heading up the training of the unbelted champions team for Pennsic.
            Their Highnesses of the East then bestowed many treasures upon our Majesties and Highnesses. Most notable was a lamp that Darius had won in a torch tourney. He asked that whenever this lamp stands between us and the darkness, that we think of the East fondly. This was met with thunderous applause and cries of “Vivat!” Darius and Roxane were then given gifts in return.
            Otto the Black, son of Baron Brand and Baroness Brianna of Ben Dunfirth, was given the Award of the Wolf’s Cub. Several good gentles then received their Awards of Arms, including: Snag Blacksword, Wat of Sarum, Tatiiana, Rhys ap Hart Meredin of House Fenrir, Lassarfhina of House Fenrir and Mung Lo.
            The Order of the Chivalry was then called into court, and Roak asked if Worgan still wished his squire, Aaron, to be made a member of their order. Worgan acknowledged that such was his wish. Aaron was then called into court.
            At his side strode his lady, Countess Rustique du Sorde, and was preceded by his man-at-arms Eogan de Moray bearing a banner. Other good gentles followed, but all eyes were upon Aaron as the populace leapt to their feet and the hall resounded with their applause and cries of “Wassail!”
            The ceremony was moving for all as Aaron received the marks of his new rank. First he received a belt. This came from Duke Sir Richard of the East. Richard said that the first time he fought Aaron he knew he would one day be a knight, and had made this belt against that day. Naga-san then gave Aaron a second belt, a woven belt once owned by Duke Sir Thorbjorn Osis Brandson. A third belt had been crafted by Master Trumbrand the Wanderer, being a wide belt with ‘Elvis. Written out on it in golden rivets.
            The chain of Ealdormere’s knights was then bestowed upon him by Master Trumbrand, who performed the duty for Sarnac, who could not be there. For his personal chain Aaron received a grand gift. For Prince Darius came before him, and told a tale of his chain. He had, he said, never removed his chain but once. He had given his chain unto his lady and told her not to return it until he had won one thousand fights in five days. It was this same chain he now gave to Aaron.
            Sir Richard then gave Aaron a new helm, for he said though Aaron was a great fighter his helm was hideous. Richard had begun the helm, intending it to be a gift for Osis. It sat unfinished until Richard’s squire, Lord Cet, completed it so that it may grace Aaron’s head.
            Aaron’s scroll was made of tooled leather, and a version of it had been made into bracers so he could wear it wherever he goes.
            In all Aaron received many great gifts, and this shows the esteem he is held in, not only by Ealdormereans, but by many beyond our borders as well.       He was then given the horn of the chivalry of Ealdormere, anointed by the king’s sword, and given the last blow he should take unanswered. Sir Aaron Preslee Worgansson then turned to face a cheering crowd.

At the meeting on Monday the regalia making continued. Hector gave me a lesson in polearm.

February 2003

The first meeting of February was wet with at times torrential freezing rain. Attendance took a hit because of this and only about fifteen people came out. There was a short business meeting which I did not attend (Thorfinna sat in for me). Thorfinna was voted in as the new canton chronicler. After I finished printing and folding the Ursus I armoured up for the first time in three weeks.
            Berus, Kenric, Wulfgang and Wat also put on their kits—Berus for the first time in a few months. I fought Kenric first and did my average against him, which is something like 35-40% victory. He won’t say it but I can tell he thinks I’m getting better because he takes longer to kill me now!
            My hand was bothering me that night so I sat down and stretched it for a while. I can’t remember the order of my remaining fights but I fought everyone once, Berus twice.
            My battles with Wat are a blur. With Wulfgang I kept legging him and then taking his head. He said I was owning him that night but I’m pretty sure he had almost as many victories against me. Both he and Wat have said I’m getting faster and they’re having troubles solving me. Since they both train so much I take that as a very nice compliment.
            Now Berus. I think Berus pretty much owned me though I did get the odd kill on him. I also got a lot of pointers from him that night. Staying out of range when setting up, pivoting while engaged, loosening my grip, etc. He said my hand problem would lighten up if I loosened my grip. He said I may loose my sword once in a while but so what. I’ve got a lanyard. Of course, my lanyard ending up breaking and I shot my sword half way across the warehouse. He managed to thrust me twice in my most tender bits, and hit me three times on the right clavicle so I have a nice bruise to remember the night by. (I swear, some days when I come into work I feel like I’m in Fight Club.) In return I caught his vambrace with a shot that tore some of the strapping off.
            Berus remarked on my speed, power and endurance, all of which had improved since we had last fought (which was months ago). It’s encouraging. Maybe I won’t be dog food at Pennsic this year. (Well, not all the time anyway.)

Ardchreag’s meeting on the 10th was better attended, and the last stages of Snowed Inn planning were hashed out. Gailana and others sewed three fabric walls that will be painted with Septentrian bears.
            I put my kit on almost first thing and was armoured before most people even arrived. I fought several bouts, at least once with everyone else in armour and by the end of the evening would have been happy to continue except for the slowly seeping strength of my shield arm. I had one of the best nights I’ve ever had. In no particular order:
            The first couple of fights with Wat were very quick. Double kills, head shots on the first blow. After that we decided not to fight like mirror images and we mixed it up. I could rarely leg Wat, and the kills I did get on him were head shots. Likewise, he rarely legged me. I think our fighting styles are becoming similar. We quite often would find our swords hitting each other in mid-stroke.
            Wulfgang is as strong as ever and when we did a bear pit he ran out on his turns like a charging bull. He seems to protect his head rather well but I legged him almost every fight and usually ended up killing him after that.
            Berus fought with a sword in his left hand and a dagger in his right. He would lean really far over on his left which I found a bit disconcerting. Generally he beat me, thanks in large part to his speed and my still shoddy shield work. I did however get a few kills on him, though, as I told him, I don’t actually count wins and losses. (He told me at one point I had more kills on him than he had on me, to which I just shrugged. I’m pretty sure by the end of the night he was well ahead of me.)
            I fought Eoin for the first time ever; we did shield and sword against shield and sword. He readily recognized my dippy shield point and took full advantage of it. I managed to get a few kills in but need to work on that shield. It is unfortunately a matter of strength and not just skill. As the night wears on my carpel wears on me and my shield dips more than ever. (It also costs me power on my sword blows.)
            After Hector and Eoin had fought I convinced Hector to keep his kit on for a few bouts with me. I had to use Wulfgang’s shield as somewhere during the night mine had received a crushing blow that splintered my top edge. It wasn’t quite slung right for me, and was slightly uncomfortable, but it fit (I couldn’t even get my arm through Wat’s straps). Hector fought with a bastard sword that has little balls on the hilt. At one point one of the balls got stuck in my baskethilt, which caused no small amount of mirth for those watching. I did well against Hector, and would guess we were relatively even. When he killed me it was generally on his second swing while I was taking my own swing at him. I would block his first strike, swing and not pay enough attention to his sword anymore.
            At one point during the night Wat, Wulfgang and I did a rotational two on one exercise that was a lot of fun. The team of two always won but it was good practice for when you end up alone on the field.
            So, I need to make a new heater. I just got the parts to make a round, but I need the heater more. My knee popped open again so I’m also going to have repair that. Neither will be done until after Snowed Inn as I have too much to do until then.

The Sewers’ Lament (One More Pattern)
Colyne Stewart and Thorfinna gra’feldr, Feb As 37

Based on “Eastrealm Battle Chant (One More Battle)” by Master Hector of the Black Height

One more pattern, one more fray,
One more cross-stitch, one more stay.
One more thimble on my thumb,
Eight more hours and I’ll be done.

Once again my thumb has bled,
My white tunic is stained red.
My only trim is pea soup green;
Just what does stay-stitching mean?

One more pattern, one more fray,
One more cross-stitch, one more stay.
One more thimble on my thumb,
Eight more days and I’ll be done.

Rolls of fabric on my floor
Wool and cotton, silk and more.
All of it I bought real cheap,
From Value Village up the street.

One more pattern, one more fray,
One more cross-stitch, one more stay.
One more thimble on my thumb,
Eight more weeks and I’ll be done.

To make my hood I sew a curve,
To fix the ends I use a surge.
I think its coming out all right
But in is out and left is right!

One more pattern, one more fray,
One more cross-stitch, one more stay.
One more thimble on my thumb,
Eight more months and I’ll be done.

Why’d I pick a cotehardie?
It is too advanced for me.
Look at all those buttoned sleeves!
I want to throw a fit and leave.

One more pattern, one more fray,
One more cross-stitch, one more stay.
One more thimble on my thumb,
Eight more years and I’ll be done!

Ravens with Ursine Hearts
Event Report: Snowed Inn II, the Baronial Investiture Edition (Ursus Version)
Laird Colyne Stewart, February AS 37

The day actually began the night before. I’m sure our keep was not the only one where folk were busy getting last minute touches done for Snowed Inn. Lord Eirik Andersen, Lina Varville and Lance Gailanasson had come over to help Thorfinna and I put ribbons on the site tokens and finish the SCA direction signs that Brandt and Berend had cut out. We ended up going to bed around two in the morning and getting up at 6:30.
            All our goods were piled buy the door so after a quick packing job we got to the site at 8. The hall’s people had put up a stage and set up chairs for court and tables for the populace so little moving of furniture had to be done. We placed a Septentrian wall, something our canton had been working on under the guidance of Lady Gailana Dunkel Pfere, on either side of the stage, and one behind the troll tables. Lord Wat of Sarum and Katerina du nord manned the troll table, while an actual troll, bearing Lord Wulfgang Donnerfaust’s ‘troll komplaint department’ site sat beside them. Wulfgang himself sat across from then, selling bar tickets. William the Younger and Lord Rhys of House Fenrir wandered the halls crying out for events and activities.
            People began to arrive and Their Majesties, Their Highnesses and their Excellencies Septentria were set up on the stage. All the other Barons and Baroness of the kingdom were in attendance, and most set up presences to either side of the stage. Many banners adorned the walls and fighters in glorious kits armed for the pas d’armes.
            Lady Mahault van der Eych, Berend van der Eych, Tarian verch Gadarn and Gailana toiled in the kitchen while Lady Iolanda de Albornoz set up tables draped in our new Ardchreag tablecloths to house the arts and sciences competitions. At another table were laid several Septentrian relics including: the first helm of Sir Hugo Graf, the first Ealdormerean born knight; the Cauldron of Ceredwyn, an ancestor of the Horn of Wessex, and a special award handed out by Aedan and Caffa, first Baron and second Baroness of Septentria; tunics incorporating pieces of Aedan’s old tunics; ancient Septentrian tabards featuring a golden rather than silver bear; and many more besides.
            When all was in readiness, the royalty processed into the hall and Baron Cynred and Baroness Gaerwen presided over their last court. The first order of business was the presentation of Greenhithe’s taxes, being a war banner. Their Excellencies then called up all those who led and planned the Casa Loma demo and gave them tokens for their hard work and dedication. (There were unfortunately too many of them for this poor scribe to record all their names.) The Canton of vest Yorvik, who had many members in attendance that day, presented the barony with $400.
            Personal baronial tokens were handed out to: Lady Christina MacNamara, Lord Percival de Laroque, Lady Seonag nic Thomais, Lord Streonwald Wulfesbana, Lady Gabriel de Champagne, Lord Normand Hauberkker, Lord Magnus Kjrr, Master Hector of the Black Height and Baroness Adrielle Kerrec. Lady Fursto de Robnye was recognized for her hard work in the casting of these tokens from the mold created by Lord Ulrich von der See, of beloved memory.
            Lord Druss of Dun Aengus, Lord Andree mac Byrne, Lord William Stalker, Lady Tarra Jade of Monadh and Lord Kenric Manning were awarded Bear’s Claws and Lady Katerina of Monadh was awarded a Bear’s Heart.
            Their Excellencies then called to them all their champions, martial and otherwise, and released us from their service. As we handed our regalia to the seneschal, Lord Raffe Scholemaystre, we were given tokens from Their Excellencies’ hands.
            Finally, the Isengesitha were all called, past and present. Those who had served in the past were acknowledged and thanked. Those still in service were released from their vows by handing their arm rings to Their Excellencies, who put them into the trust of the King and Queen. Lord Tiberius Justus Britannicus, who was the sword reeve of the Isen, was so acknowledged and thanked.
            Then, Cynred and Gaerwen knealt before Roak and Arlette and were released from their vows of fealty. After clasping Gwaylor, the Sword of Ealdormere, their coronets were taken into trust by Their Majesties. The tension of the moment, for it was an emotional event, was broken when, from out of a storage room, loomed an eight-foot high white bear wearing a trillium and Septentrian cape. The Great Bear of Septentria itself had come to bless Cynred and Gaerwen for the work they had done. The bear, being old and venerable, had a slight limp and was helped to court by Baron Halfdan Blackanvil and Master Konrad Mattias Jaeger. Upon seeing the limp Hector remarked that “he has a bad Foote.”
            Cynred and Gaerwen’s families then came to claim them. Hector, Gaerwen’s Pelican, said there was much laundry and washing of dishes awaiting her, though he admonished her not to fade his plaids. Master Sylard came for Cynred and placed in his hands a giant hammer and a lump of ore. He tasked Cynred to turn that ore into a blade, to which Cynred remarked that the work would not be completely true as he was not allowed to mine the ore himself! Roak, upon seeing Sylard, asked him just how he had been faring in his forge without his dwarf. Sir Edward the Red, speaking of behalf of Earl Syr David Martin Failsworth, claimed Cynred’s sword arm. Then, to much fanfare and applause, Cynred and Gaerwen departed, followed by the giant bear.
            Roak and Arlette then called for the Heirs, and Corwyn and Domhnail were processed into court, led by House Galbraith and House Hrogn, both of whom were wearing Septentrian tabards. In a short, dignified ceremony, Corwyn and Domhnail swore their fealty upon Gwaylor and were given their coronets from the hands of Their Lupine Majesties. When they were presented to the populace there was much cheering, clapping and stomping of feet.
            Girding themselves with new swords that had mysteriously appeared on their thrones, Corwyn and Domhnail opend a short court as Martya, Baroness of Ramshaven, wished to present them with gifts and words of encouragement.
            Their Majesties then called forward Wulfwyn of Greenhithe, and presented her with an Award of Arms for all the hard work she has done for her canton.
            With their new Excellencies of Septentria now invested the hall was cleared and the list poles erected so the pas d’armes could begin. One side, led by Lord Richard Larmer, fought to defend love, while the other, led by Lord Nigel McFarlane, fought for the death of love. Nigel, though on the side of death, still always fought for the love of his lady, Baroness Adrielle Kerric, announcing that they were soon to wed, and he was to come and live in Ealdormere. Duke Sir Finnvarr acted as King of Arms and Lina Carville acted as pas herald (it being her first heralding experience). The entire pas d’armes had been spearheaded by Volodymyr Blahuciak. Both sides fought long and hard with many victories for both sides. A large scale had been erected and with each win and loss the scales were adjusted as love would move towards death, and then away. Finally, the King of Arms declared the pas over, and that love and the death of love were tied. Tiberius was given the pas’ grand prize—a sword that he will return with next year for the coming pas d’armes.
            The lists were then opened to all and many challenged the pas fighters to combat. Most notably, Her Excellency Domhnail Galbraith battled with His Excellency of Skraeling Althing, Sir Menken Brechen.
            Combat of a different sort went on throughout the hall as the Games Guild, under the guidance of Raffe, and with the assistance of Lance, spread their wares for the enjoyment of all. The populace were given coins with which to gamble and at the end of the day, the person with the largest purse would win a plate painted with the Guild’s badge. The plate had been decorated by Lina, and was finally won by a good gentle from Eoforwic.
            A lunch counter was provided by the Canton of Greenhithe, under the guidance of Lady Nadja Kesali (formerly known as Ivanna the Oblivious). The food proved to be so popular it quickly ran out of wares.
            When the pas was over the populace met for a moot in a room at the end of a long and winding corridor in which many lost their way. Many turns needed to be negotiated, and many barbarians had to be passed before the moot room could be found. One such young barbarian commented that “Those are nice clothes you got there,” to which I replied, “You as well.” What topics exactly were discussed are unknown to me as I was busy with work in the main hall. I’m sure minutes of the moot will soon be made available.
            Just before feast I called together the twelve good gentles who had volunteered to slave under my as servers for feast. These included: Lina, Mistress Marian of Heatherdale, Lord Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza, Lady Wencendl of Rokesburg, Lord Gunnar skald Thorvaldsson, Nadja, Lord Rhys of House Fenrir, another member of House Fenrir whose name is unknown to me at this time, William the Younger, Lady Lassarfhina, Thorfinna and myself. We quickly discussed how feast was to be served, then entered the hall and had the populace clear the tables so they could be reoriented for feast. Etienne’s booming voice and bulging muscles were of great aid in this endeavour. A large space was left in the middle of the hall, for much entertainment was planned. Each table was draped with a green Ardchreag tablecloth. And the head table was set with plates displaying the Bear of Septentria, painted by Tarian, Mahault and Berend, which were gifts for those who used them. Likewise, the bowl from the first remove were decorated, this time with trilliums, for those at head table to keep.
            The menu was as follows: First Remove—Chilled Juice, Bear Borsht, Light Rye Bread and Tarragon Butter, Crustade, Capons in Salome with Potatoes, Blueberry Ice;
Second Remove—Chilled Juice, Mixed Greens with Raspberry Vinagrette, Dark Rye and Honey Butter, Smoked Salmon with Vidalia Onion Sauce, Orange Balsam Beans, Blueberry Honey'd Ham with Carrots, Calissons d'Aixm, Chocolate Hot Pot. The over all theme of the feast was food fit for a bear.
As the servers placed each course on their respective table they were congratulated on the scope, artistic display and taste of the feast—a testimonial to the talents of the chefs.
            As the first course was being served, Her Grace, Duchess Eanor, presented to Their Majesties living Septentrian relics, in the form of Duke Sir Finnvarr de Tahhe, Master Sylvard of Eagleshaven, Mistress Mordreth Llanelli Colwyn and many others.
            Thorfinna and I opened the hall bardicly for the last time as new Ursine Bards will be named by Corwyn and Domhnail. We read to the populace a poem for Cynred and Gaerwen the showed how they embodied the Heart and the Claw, two of our baronial awards. Drottin Gunnar de Blacwode performed a true Saxon piece in honour of Cynred, told from memory and containing many kennings. Gunnar showed that day that a true scope dwells within him. A band of dancers performed many dancers for the hall while Dante accompanied them musically. They even managed to drag Cynred Broccan and a kilted Sir Evander MacLachlin onto the dance floor. Many maidens in attendance were quite charmed with the plaid hip movements of the good knight.
            Iolanda de Albornoz, with the assistance of Streonwald Wulfesbana, announced the winners of the Arts and Sciences competitions. Lady Eve of Eoforwic won the advanced category for her Persian coat; Mahault and Gailana won the intermediate for their Elizabethan underclothes; and Thorfinna won in the beginner category for her illumination and nallbinding.
            Some of the relics of Septentria were then brought forth for judging by Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn. Master Hector displayed a tattered Septentrian tabard complete with tokens from various gentles dating back many years, Hamish Gunn showed the reliquary of House Galbraith, Eanor had what was arguably the first mailed teddy gear and a portrait of herself and her mother, Mistress Ragni Dzintari, by THL Robert of Two Cliffs, and THL Aeneas Oakhammer displayed Cynred’s spear, a relic still fresh and new. Siegfried judged the contest by the cheers of the populace and in the end Hector’s rather odiferous entry won the day, earning him two goblets.
            To close feast a large bardic circle gathered in the center of the hall and many great songs were sung by all.
            Unseen by most, three good gentles were slaving in the kitchen with the chefs. For the chefs needed the plates of each course returned and washed so they could be reused for coming course. To be so employed did Sheikh Valizan, Lady Roselinde FitzWilson and Ymir donate their time. Each server, and these three washers, were all given shot glasses graced with the arrows of Ardchreag, also painted by Lina. Lance, who had wandered the hall serving juice, was presented with a small cup featuring a bear’s paw.
            When feast was finally done the populace wandered and chatted while the royalty were again closeted in meetings, just one more in a long list of them that day. Lina’s cleavage did entertain several former Excellencies of Septentria, and Cynred earned the byname ‘Nimblefingers’ for the treasure he pulled from them. Hector and Master Garraed Galbraith entertained the crowd, sometimes together, sometimes tagging each other in and out in the middle of a song. Then the hearld’s cries were heard and all took to their feet and bowed.
            Their Majesties opened their court by hearing the fealty of Baroness Martya, who had not yet sworn for religious reasons. A compromise oath had been reached and all were content. The Laurels likewise swore fealty, and then Their Majesties handed the arm rings of the Isen to Corwyn and Domhnail.
            Their Excellencies then began court by asking Master Rufus of Stamford to reassume his role as the baronial harpist, a role which is a long standing tradition within Septentria. House Fenrir, squatters upon Septentrian soil, entered into a contract with Corwyn and Domhnail, and Cynred passed a blade to Corwyn which Ieuan, baron before him, had entrusted to him. As Cynred said, “From grandfather, to father, to son.”
            More gifts followed as Ardchreag donated seventeen bear tabards and five bear baldrics, and Baron Siegfried gave them a shield which had once graced the arm of Baron Aedan. Sir Berus Wolfsonn led the Hrogn fra Osis before the coronets and told them that the Hrogn had bled for the Tygre of the East, for the Dragon of the Middle and for the Trillium of Ealdormere but never for the Bear of Septentria. Now that would change. He handed them a sword and told Their Excellencies to command them for a year and a day.
            The arm rings were then brought forth and those who wished to swear to the new Septentrian army, now called the Iron Companions, were called forward. The Iron Companions was to be an army that encompassed all martial activities and was to include fighters, scouts, archers, fencers, thrown weapons and equestrian. Thorfinna and I both swore to the barony’s service by pledging our throwing axes.
            The matter of taxes was then discussed. Their Excellencies asked that each canton should submit a new wardoor, bearing the arms of said canton, upon the arm of a new fighter who would bear it at Pennsic.
            Cynred Broccan was then called into court and given a Bear’s Heart, for truly none has an ursine heart as he.
            Their Majesties resumed their court, and gave gifts unto Corwyn and Domhnail, including a new basket to house award tokens.
            Heloise, the daughter of Duchess Eanor of Amberhall, was called into court and given and Award of the Wolf’s Cub. Yvonne of Eoforwic and Erik the Mad Mongel were give their Awards of arms and Fursto de Robnye and Percival de Laroque were honoured with Maidens’ Hearts.
            Baron Brand and Baroness Brianna of Ben Dunfirth, and Their Highnesses Edouard and Genvieve bestowed more gifts upon Corwyn and Domhnail, including tokens that had once belonged to Aedan.
            To much applause, Cynred and Gaerwen were called back into court and given silver coronets bearing six pearls and made a baron and baroness of Their Majesties’ court.
            Finally, those who had helped construct the mead hall upon the lands of Duke Sir Finnvarr were placed upon the scroll of honour and the canton of Ardchreag was thanked for hosting the event and all the baronial and kingdom activities asked of them.
            At the conclusion of court Thorfinna and I loaded our wagon with any alcohol that had not been sold but could not be returned to the vinter’s and headed home to open the doors of our keep to the post-rev. Gentles came from Ardchreag, Vest Yorvik, Flaming Sky and points beyond. The revelry went until the wee hours of the morning as we toasted Gaerwen, who was in attendance. Finally, at some point, sleep claimed us all.

The next day we awoke at the eleventh hour to greet those who had spent the night. With most of these we went to Montana’s for food, then to a theatre to see the Two Towers as Ceredwin had not yet seen it.
            Returning home Thorfinna and I thought to spend the night in rest but we ended up working on our armour. Throfinna finished embellishing her helm, though she had to use more rapid rivets than true bronze rivets if she wanted to be able to use it the next night. Together we pounded my knee back into shape and I cut down my polearm to just under six feet. I also did massive updates to the Septentrian webpage to reflect the changes that had taken place in the barony the day before, and began the March issue of the Ursus. Thorfinna worked on her first issue of the TankArd and it was again the wee hours before we found our beds.

The Snowed Inn tear down took a bit longer than I was hoping for, and after half an hour I left the meeting to armour up to fight. There were many fighters in attendance that night including Berus, Evander and Ziggy.
            Thorfinna and I had fixed my knee, but my shield was still toast and my sword I found was pulping so I had Thorfinna’s slung round and an older heavier, shorter sword. I used these to fight Scott (SCA name unknown to me), the first time I’ve ever fought him. He was likewise using a new sword and his arthritis was bothering him, as my carpel was bothering me, so we were quite the pair. I believe I did well, but I was still so tired from the weekend I don’t remember a lot. I do remember that I missed the points of my heater when fighting Scott, as he kept labeling me in the side.
            Kenric was next and he gave me one of his older, lighter swords to use instead of the club-like sword I was using. We only fought for a short time before he got me a good one in my sword-arm armpit. I said, “good,” then crumpled to the floor. I had to sit out for a while before armouring up again. The next day I had a huge stripe running across my armpit that was tender to the touch. Just moving my arm would make it hurt.
            My shield work was good against Wat and I think we were relatively even.
            Brandt used a sword and mace against me and I found that I did rather well against him. As the night progressed I got more used to the round and managed to generally keep Brandt’s mace behind it and leg him. It was then generally just a matter of time before I would kill him. I managed to get a few slot shots on him, which is something I’ve often had problems with in the past. I told Brandt that I was using the Menken School of Defense—letting my opponent swing while I blocked until I saw an opening. It helps conserve the strength in my arm.
            Next was Ymir, using my polearm. He did pretty well against me though I did well enough against him. What I generally tried to do was keep my shield way in front and push it against his blade or butt-spike (depending on which way he was holding the pole) and then using my sword to block any swing he’d make. I’d then try to rip my sword in on him on my return. In our last battle he tried to J-shot me but I saw it coming and got him in the head.
            For my next fight I used the pole against Wulfgang. Wulfy totally used the terrain against me. We were fighting in an aisle in the warehouse so I didn’t have a lot of room to manouver. He would duck behind his shield and come at my in an arc right against the side of the aisle. It left me with no real shots to take as he was completely covered and I couldn’t move around him.
            At the end of the night I actually got Kenric to admit that I was doing well considering I was using a round, which is high praise for him.
            Wulfgang and I have agreed to autocrat the next Snowed Inn and I managed to snooker Ziggy into being the head cook.

Singing and Sewing: Ealdormereans at the second Quest for the Golden Seamstress
Laird Colyne Stewart, Feb AS 37

A team of five good gentles from the canton of Ardchreag, within the barony of Septentria, within our glorious kingdom of Ealdormere, did set out one chill February morn for the barony of Roaring Wastes in the Kingdom of the Middle. The team consisted of Lady Mahault van der Eych, Lady Gailana Dunkel Pfere, Lady Thorfinna gra’feldr, Lina Carville and myself. Our journey was pleasant and the guards between the borders of our lands did not detain us. In fact, upon learning of the cause of our journey the guard looked at us in surprise and began to laugh.
            For we had come to sew; and this was to be no day in the parlour either, me lad. For we were to create a complete set of garb in seventeen hours, sleep being optional.
            We arrived in Roaring Wastes five hours before the site was to open and so traveled to a local book depository where we all exclaimed in joy and awe and crawled upon our hands and knees through the stacks and took home many treasures. A brief sojourn to a local eatery where the fare and service was sublime followed. We then gave our wagon into the care of a hosteller and unloaded our gear.
            We were still technically an hour early, but the event staff allowed us entry on the condition that we help them set up. This we gladly did, pulling out tables and chairs and making the acquaintance of a certain Jack Russell terrier named Indy.
            After setting up our area and changing into new clothing we watched as other teams began to arrive. One of them had two Ealdormerean members, being THL Anne Von Tolstadt and THL Maeve MacKellar from Ben Dunfirth. Anne was the leader of this team.
            When the time came to sew we fell to and worked until four in the morning. (Though your chronicler must admit that he succumbed to sleep two and a half hours earlier than that.) At eight in the morn we rose to continue our work.
            Our team was entered in the novice late period category, there being three categories (early, middle and late periods) and two skill levels (novice and advance). Our team leaders, Mahault and Gailana, had decided on an Elizabethan outfit worn by Pfalzgrafin Dorothea Sabina Von Neuberg when she was buried in 1598.  To be truthful these two did the brunt of all the work with the other three of us doing grunt work, some hand stitching, coffee grabbing and spirit raising. We sung many songs, including a special sewing filk Thorfinna and I had written with this event in mind. The other attendees found our singing unusual, in the fact that I don’t think they are used to people spontaneously bursting into song. When the autocrats later handed out their autocrat awards, our team was awarded for our bargain basement shopping (our dress cost about $65 US) and for our multi-part singing. The first time we finished a song I looked up to find a number of gentles that had wandered over to hear us better. Mav also cheered us with a “wassail!”
            Our tables were swarmed with Laurels who eagerly talked with Mahault and Gailana as they debated certain points of construction or documented sources. They said they were very impressed that we were willing to listen to them and seriously consider their advice. One of the Laurels in attendance was Mistress Joliecia of Litchfield, who had come to the event with Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust (the latter also of Ardchreag).
            Much food and drink was included with our entry fee and we were given donuts, bagels, coffee, tea, bits and bites and pop to get us through Friday night. Saturday morning we were fed fruit salad, quiche, toast and bagels. In the evening cake, chips and punch was provided. Lunch and dinner foods were available for an extra fee. We ate like the hearty northerners that we are.
            We ran into only a few problems. The under dress turned out to not fit together quite right and the under sleeves sagged. With some wrangling by Mahault and Gailana the under dress was banged into shape, and upon a Laurel’s suggestion bead work was added to the sleeves which held the lining and the sleeve proper from sagging. A hat was made and I spent a good chunk of time beading it (something I had never done before). Other than that things ran relatively smoothly.
            We finished with a bit of time to spare, and we fell into a pile on the floor. At six pm every groups sent their model up onto the stage and the Laurels and other judges critiqued them. Since the Laurels were interested in all manner of construction of the garb the models had to strip down tot heir skivvies. Since we were in the novice category we had been allowed to sew our underclothes off site, so we had brought out bloomers, chemise and farthingale (hoop skirt) with us. Some teams not only sewed their dress, cotehardie or blio on site, they even made shoes, belts, mirrored hats, sword sheathes and all many of accessories.
            When the fashions show was over the judges sequestered themselves for an hour as snow began to fall in abundance outside. The autocrats handed out their awards and announced the winners of a silent auction. Special acknowledgment was made of the ‘Hoodigans’ who had sewn one hundred hoods for the Midrealm army during the course of the event. We helped take down tables and Mahault vacuumed a large stretch of the hall.
            When the judges came down Mistress Rebekkah came over to tell us personally how impressed she was with our work. We joked that this meant we must not have won. Something along the lines of “you’re really good but…” She took our ribbing in the good nature in which it was intended.
            It was announced that the winner in the novice late period category was…us! I was, I’ll admit, a bit shocked. I new we had done well, but I thought he other teams in our category had done pretty well too. Rowen’s team, who had entered the advanced late period category won first place for that category! It was like the old days of Ealdormere, when it was not much more than Eoforwic, and its artisans would win many arts and science competitions in the Middle Kingdom. We were all of us very proud.
            The event was one of a kind, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone interested in costuming and garb. Plan now, recruit a team, and hopefully I’ll see you down in Roaring Wastes next year.

For about the fourth week in a row the weather on Monday was foul—hazy, blowing snow and traffic that crawled. Our trip from work to the warehouse for Ardchreag’s weekly meeting took twice as long as it should have. When we arrived we found a few familiar faces and a few new ones, as well as some visitors. Attendance promised to be low, but more and more folk arrived throughout the night. Dafydd ap Sion had come to get Thev’s fighting garb that had been left at Snowed Inn. He thought about sticking around but decided with the weather he wanted to get home. Andree mc Byrne and Druss of Dun Aengus had come to fight but almost left as no one else had brought their armour. Mine was in the car, but I had tot each a class, copy the Ursus and do a number of other things. Ceridwen of vest Yorvik was also there as she had been doing training for her work just around the corner from the warehouse.
            I took Wulfgang aside and explained why Thorfinna and I would not be able to attend Winter War. Instead I read him a poem I had written to mark the occasion.
            We had a quick meeting where we discussed a possible new War Practice site (Aurelia and Graem’s farm) and a few other things. Mahault gave Gailana, Lina, Thorfinna and I tokens for our work at the Golden Seamstress as well as copies of the judge’s comments and our autocrat award.
            The photocopier kept conking out on me so it took over an hour to get the issue printed. I had forgotten my stapler but Berend helped me fold them.
            I taught a quick class on bestiaries which people seemed to enjoy, and then did a bit of hand stitching under Mahault’s tutelage.
            When the Ursus was finally done it was 9:30. I wandered to the back and was watching Corwyn, Andree, Druss, Domhnail and Wulfgang fight and wondered aloud if it was worth getting into armour myself at that point. Wulfy told me if I did he for sure would fight me. It was a good thing I got his assurance, for as I got my armour on everyone else except him quit the field. (Corwyn looked massive in his armour and will be quite the sight on the battle field.)
            Wulfgang and I did some one on one. He used a center-boss round (his heater had been busted earlier that night) and I used a slung round. This made for some interesting fights. We were both tired (I really need about a week’s worth of sleep after Snowed Inn, the Golden Seamstress and staying up late every night working on the Ursus and the Septentrian history) so neither of us was quite on our game. We still had fun and I think we were fairly even.
            I was called to the front of the room to sing the filk Thorfinna and I had written about sewing. Hector said he liked it, and made special note of the cotehardie lines.
            At one point Brandt came back and we did a very short bear-pit as his mace kept breaking. I only fought him twice before he called it quits. He killed me in our first fight with a quick shot he had just learned from Count Brannos two days before. In the second we were both legged and I took his head as the tip of his mace flew across the room.
            Hector watched and gave advice as Wulfy and I continued without Brant. We went until Wulfgang had had enough (he had been fighting for an hour and a half before we began) and we stripped down.
            The rest of the evening was spent talking and gloating over treasure. The Ardchreag closet had been cleaned out and some old things had been handed out so they could be used again. Hector also gave Thorfinna a class in great sword.

The next night we went over to Corwyn and Domhnail’s to take pictures of ‘Septentrian Regalia, Relics and Artifacts’. These included Ieuan’s coronet, ancient banners, Corwyn and Domhnail’s swords and many other items. These pictures can be used on the webpage as a pictorial account of Septentrian items of historical import. They made us an outstanding dinner with the best roast beef I think I’ve ever had.

March 2003

We didn’t make it to Winter War where Wulfgang was being squired to Sarnac, but I wrote him this poem anyway.

For Wulfgang Donnerfaust, upon the occasion of his donning a red belt
(Winter War, March AS 37)
Laird Colyne Stewart, March AS 37

From forests black he came,
Tall strider with a gnarled staff,
Road-taken tokens glittering.
Eyes gentle but arms foe-rending.
At his side a life-scythe glinting.
As Woden looked when young
So does Wulfgang look now.

The path before him split—
The way of the warrior he trod.
In vulpine-borrowed helm he learned his art;
He let more blood than any barber.
His skill and passion plain to all,
Until a king saw the foes before him flee.
Wulfgang, proud, first took a test
‘gainst fellow German, lance-kennecht,
Sword-spun, blood-danced,
And Wulfgang walked from the field
An oath-swearing servant of the king.

When duty to his monarch passed
A count and knight he followed,
Fed the ravens red life-wine,
Showing mercy when foe’s honour shone.

The count now calls Wulfgang Wodanson,
A length of cow-hide in his hands,
Berry red, the red of honour,
To gird about his waist.

Wulfgang of the thundering fist,
Wulfgang of the flower,
Now a squire to a knight,
None more worthy,
None more proud.

Wulfgang walks a new road now,
Towards a rising sun.

Kingdom taxes, in the form of baronial histories were due by March 1st and I had sent Septentria’s in. I got the following two emails regarding it:

From: "robert harding" <>
To: "Todd Fischer" <>
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 11:27 AM
Subject: Thanks

> Hi Colyne!
> We wanted to tell you that Their Majesties are well pleased with your work.
> We were summoned into court and told of the taxes due, the taxes paid and
> the good work done. We owe it all to you and we said as much to His Majesty.
> Many thanks for your hard work, your well crafted tome of history and
> dedication to the Barony.
> Kindest regards always,
> Corwyn and Domhnail,
> Baron and Baroness Septentria

From: "Sarah Hughes" <>
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 7:11 AM
Subject: Thanks and History

> Greetings Dearest Colyne and Thorfinna,
> Just wanted to say that while I was speaking with Her Majesty yesterday,
> she suddenly remembered that taxes were due, turned to me and said that
> ours (Septentria's) was in and wonderful.  Just wanted to pass along the news.
>, in my retirement, I seem to have become very lax in writing and
> posting out my thank yous, I hope you will accept this very informal and
> tardy missive as I just wanted to thank you both again for making our
> stepping down so very special, and for the very unexpected gift.  The photo
> is lovely and the frame even more so.  Thank you.
> And I also wanted to say that it was an absolute pleasure working with you
> both.  It was great to have such steadfast people to depend upon.
> Big hugs and thanks again,
> Gaerwen

On the Sunday we went and checked out Aurelia and Graem’s farm as a potential site for this year’s War Practice. It looked very promising, very promising indeed. Since both autocrats and five canton officers were present we voted in favour right then and there.

At the Ardchreag meeting of March 10 I almost didn’t fight. I was tired and not really in the mood but I had missed the week before and didn’t want to go another week without practice. Only Donovan, Wat and I were in armour. We did some bear pit and then some simulated pas fights where each combatant could only throw two blows total. This was to get us to look for openings, try to create openings and fake out our opponents. We also did some knee work. I was again fighting with Thorfinna’s slung round and my old short sword. Wulfgang had his sword and shield present and ended up giving them to me to use. (When we were packing later I realized that Thorfinna’s round was broken. That’s two shields in a few weeks. Thor says its because I’m blocking better now, taking more shots on the shield and not the body. Still bugs me that I broke her shield, though.)
            I didn’t fight very well, but then none of us felt we did that night.
            Hector told me that he really liked the last issue of the Ursus and felt it was one of the better newsletters he’s ever seen. He tempered that by saying I need to spend more time proofing. (He’s right.) He went on to say that I’ll likely end up as Kingdom Chronicler some day, so I need to get proofing now. He’s offered to help me proof my material and I’ll likely take him up on it.
            Eirik announced that no one other than myself had offered to serve as the canton’s next seneschal. He said there would be a vote on whether I met with the canton’s approval in a week or two. He also announced that Iolanda was stepping down as Minister of A&S.

Spent the Ardchreag meeting fighting again. Wulfgang and I began with each other as no one else was kitted up yet. Eventually Gunnar came out I (his first time in armour) so Wulfgang and I gave him a few pointers. He fought with Wulfy and then with me. After that I fought with Berend for a little bit, and then ended up with Wulfgang again. To try to mix up opponents, Wulfy and I suggested a bear-pit. We were asked to start, Wulfgang saying, "Way to mix it up, Todd!" During the bear-pit I fought against Sieggy for the first time. I managed to leg him before he killed me and the next time I faced him he said, "Right, you're fast." We fought numerous times, and I actually managed to kill him two or three times. Once I was on my knees and he was trying to bait me into swinging but I just waited for him to swing and got past his guard and took his head. I also fought Isotta for the first time. We came out even on the night I think. One time she hesitated for some reason (which I can no longer recall) and she opened her guard. I lunged forward and took her head to calls of praise from the other fighters. When everyone else was done Wulfy and I were still on the field, and we only stopped because the hose clamps on my sword came loose for the third time that night. Siegfried told me that I am very fast and that I hit soundly. So my night was made. I had a lot of fun, got some praise, and did not feel winded or overly sore. My right shoulder broke and I was left with only a tied on cop which tended to flip over and offer me no protection whatsoever. It took a shot from both Sieg and Isotta right on that point giving me a small bruise.

We had visitors from Vest Yorvik that night, being Cereidwen, Sarah, and Evelyn, as well as Magnus who now plays in Monadh...Cereidwen had just had her last year's worth of photos printed out and had them for folks to look at...mon dieu she is an excellent photographer! Sarah brought rice crispy squares with her, though they were gone by the time fight practice was over...

Thorfinna printed off the April Fool's edition of the TankArd and folks stood in a circle, noses buried, repeating exploding into laughs or was very gratifying for her as she had put about 100 hours of work into it...I also printed the Ursus that night...

Eanor taught a class on courtly love but I missed it as I was fighting...I'm really trying to ensure that my skills don't degrade body memory is getting better, my endurance is improving, my speed and strength are picking up and my arms aren't hurting...its a good time for me...

My new shield performed got a good workout in one fight with Wulfgang when we were both on our lasted about six minutes...throw, block, throw, block, throw, block...Todd: Kill me...Wulf: I'm trying!...throw, block, throw, block, throw, block...Todd: Come on, kill me...Wulf: Well stop blocking!...throw, block, throw, block, throw, block...

After someone posted on the Drachenwald Bardic list about why most filks are about fighting, I posted “The sewer’s Lament” was met with enthusiasm, as evidenced by this email:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Colby" <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 9:06 PM
Subject: Your lovely song

Greetings my Lord:
   I so enjoyed the filk you and your lady wrote, "The Sewer's
Lament", as did my wife.  She works in the fabric department of a
Hobby Lobby store, in Ft. Collins, CO., and would like to take it to
work to show her friends and customers (some of which are SCA
members).  I hope you don't mind if she does this.  I am sure that it
will be greatly appreciated by all who read it.
Colb'an Itchfoot and Kolfinna Knytir

On the last Monday of the month a group from Ardchreag set out a keep in Vest Yorvik. Those who made the journey included: Lady Rosalinde FitzWilson, Katarina du nord, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lady Nadja Keasali, Master Hector of the Black Height, Thorfinna and myself. Their Excellencies Septentria, Corwyn and Domhnail, were also present. Hector was inticed to sing and tell tales, after which Drottin Gunnar de Blacwode gave a class on Norse shoe-making. A large contingent then went out to procure provisions. A good time was had by all, and the comaraderie strengthened the bonds of friendship between Ardchreag and Vest Yorvik.

April 2003

On Friday April 11 Thorfinna and I were invited to a cottage getaway by Ceiridwen from Vest Yorvik. We picked Eirik up at 5 pm and arrived at Ceiridwen's house around 7 pm. She, Sarah, Evelyn and Dagr were still packing and it was about another hour before we were on the road. In Guelph we met up with Cenedl and Kol and we caravanned it to Point Clark on the shore of Lake Huron. Wat and Iohannes arrived around 1 am.
    Over all it was a fun weekend though we did have some misadventures. We discovered that the shower stall leaked and water was pouring out into the crawlspace under the cottage. The toilet also got clogged and ended up overflowing. Though I was not responsible for the deed I got down and mopped the mess up. It was gross, but it did get me out of doing any other chores that weekend.
    For the most part people just futzed around. We played a few games, talked a lot, did runs into town, went for walks. Kol, Thorfinna and I went out to gather dead fall for a fire on Saturday and walked out to the shore. The waterline had receded exposing a plateau of rocks. We hopped across the muck between the sand and the rocks and walked out to the water. It was like an alien shore. At night you could hear coyotes, though Wat and Eirik swear they were Deyotes (because the only tracks we could find were deer tracks). A Sandsquatch was also heard but never seen.
    Monday was Ceiridwen's birthday so on Saturday we gave her a cake and sang happy birthday. She got some prezzies and some cards. Unfortunately she was sick all weekend.
    We left around 3:30 on Sunday afternoon and ate at Swiss Chalet in Guelph. We arrived home after dropping off Eirik at 9 pm.

On Monday we arrived at the warehouse to find Daphne, Brandt, Lance, Mahault, Berend, Eirik, Lina, Normand, Wulfgang and Jean-Margaret sealing bags for a big job Daph had received. One of her workers was supposed to have sealed 20, 000 over the weekend and even with her team of 5 she had only done 5, 000. (Daph, with a team of six had done her 20, 000 over the weekend.) So now Daph was scrambling. We sat down and helped for an hour and a half, at which time she kicked all the fighters out so we could play. Everyone who walked in the door helped for a bit, including Sancho, Nadja, Piero, Donovan, Wat, Berus, Mung Lo, Hector and Cenedl.
    Berus and Mung were the first out the gate. We did a lot of one on one fighting, and also did some reverse bear pit where the defeated keeps the field. Over the night I fought all six fighters that were in gear. Berus fought two stick and at one point had taken my arm and allowed me to switch. As he walked toward me, weapons out, he started to say, "So do you know what to do now?" when I clocked him on the helm. He chastised me a little for hitting him while he was talking, but truthfully I thought we were still engaged because he never dropped his weapons. So I told him not to take it and we keep going and I caught him in the head again. He told me that I'm getting fast, and every kill I had on him that night was due to the fact that I was swinging much faster than he was expecting.
    Fighting Wat was near to exhausting as he is much more maneuverable now that we're fighting outside again. One of our battles took about six minutes. We would circle each other, wait for the other to attack, then there would be a flurry of shots and blocks, we'd disengage and then do it again.
    Mung fights like a serpent. He stands kind of sideways, with his sword side shoulder facing you and slithers around the field. He is also a tiring fight as he is in constant movement. He was a lot of fun.
    I don't remember anything of interest from my fighting with Wulfgang or Donovan that night.
    Thorfinna was back in armour for the first time in many months that night. She was a bit rusty, and her shield work has slidden (she has to get used to having a center boss round and not a slung round). I'm confident that she'll learn to use the boss as well as the slung. She hates her armour though, which is a big reason why she hasn't been fighting. So hopefully we'll get some work on it done during the Easter weekend.
    So bruises. Well, Wulfgang hit me twice on the thigh right between my armour plates so I have some stripes there. My right pauldron broke a few weeks ago and Is till haven't fixed it. I wasn't that concerned since I had only ever been hit once in the shoulder. That night I was hit three or four times on that shoulder and I have purple splotches from close to my neck right down onto my bicep. (Wat caught me a good one right on the meat of my arm. I also blocked one of his blows with my sword, and he knocked it out of my hand!)
    My shieldwork must be improving because the poor thing takes such a beating these days. All four bolts holding on my arm strap had been knocked loose by the end of the night, one of them coming right off!

May 2003

On the 5th Piero taught a calligraphy class at the Ardchreag meeting. Siegfried, Isotta, Wulfgang, Worgan and Berus fought in the back. Wat, Thorfinna and I, all being injured, could only watch jealously. (Mel had hurt her leg at the previous Ardchreag fight practice, and I had bruised my ribs that same night in war door drills with Wulfgang.) I spent a goodly portion of the night debating with Siegfried who was upset about the EWP site being changed.

The next night Thorfinna and I began our Thrown Weapons MIT training at a practice run by Gunnar skald Thorvaldsson, hosted by Rosalinde FitzWilson. Besides them, Thorfinna and myself, only Iolanda was in attendance. (In effect, it became an Ardchreag practice instead of a Septentrian practice.) I had never thrown before, and found that I'm not to bad at it. I didn't hit the target every time, but I hit it at least every other time. With axes, anyway. I tried knives as well, and though I hit the target a couple of times none of the blades stuck. Thorfinna on the other hand would usually get three out of five knives in the stump.

The Ardchreag meeting on the 12th was small. There was about an hour of EWP planning, and then folk either worked on projects or played tafl (my games box happened to be in the car).

On the 13th Thorfinna and I attended our second night of thrown weapons training and Gunnarr declared we were ready to marshal.

Everyone in Rain Cloaks
Event Report: Spring Tune-Up
Laird Colyne Stewart, May AS 38

The day began wet and cold. This was not a good thing. Though the wise women and soothsayers had indeed been calling for rain we had been hoping they would be wrong (as the not infrequently are). For the canton of Caer Draeth was holding a revel that day, and much of the planned activities were for outdoors. Rain would ruin their plans. I consulted with one last prognosticator who promised thunderstorms and chose to ignore him. Thorfinna and I loaded our wagon in the rain and lumbered off to pick Eirik up from his keep.
The going was slow as the wagons laboured to move through the mud, and at times the mist and fog was so thick it was like moving through foam. We arrived at the hall two hours after it opened and were dismayed at how few wagons were already there. The threat of bad weather had apparently frightened many people off.
After signing in at the gate we went upstairs and sat for a time talking with Baron Auguste Valizan, Baroness Adrielle Kerrec and Baron Halfdan Blackanvil. Some of it was business, but most of it was fun. We watched Mistress Alyce de Sheppey and Lady Paitlin prepare for the Iron Chef cooking challenge while discussing matters serious and frivolous. To Halfdan I delivered an illuminated thank you note for shield blanks he had donated to fighters training at our canton.
A gaggle of Septentrians then went downstairs and watched as Baron Corwyn, His Excellency Septentria, donned his armour. Today he was to attempt his sword and shield authorization.
How can I describe the sight of my baron in armour? He is a mountain of metal, a bear in scarlet, an oak-thewed giant who will strike fear into the hearts of Septentria's enemies.
Lady Catharine of Ben Dunfiorth did him the honours of being his opponent, and we watched as their swords flashed and their shields leaped to their defense. When Master Worgan MacGregor announced that Corwyn had passed the hall erupted in cheers and thunderous applause. That however was not the end of Septentria's gains that day, for Petra Hall of Eoforwic did likewise authorize in sword and shield! Wassail to Corwyn! Wassail to Petra! Wassail to the fighters of Septentria!
His authorization over, Baron Corwyn quickly changed and rushed upstairs to sit as a judge for the Iron Chef competition. A group of Septentrians, known as Baron Corwyn's Cadre, and led by countess Marion FitzWilliam and myself, raised $170 to secure him a seat as a judge. Even though we only needed to use $80 to pay for our seat, such is the generosity of Septentrians that the full $170 was donated to the Teachers' Travel Fund. In a like vein, Noergate donated all the money they had raised, though their seat had been secured for less. The mystery ingredient for the challenge was turkey and the competition was fierce. When it was over Mistress Alyce was judged the winner, but only by a narrow margin of 4 points! (I am told by reliable sources that all the dishes were excellent!)
The fighting continued and by the end of the day three fighters emerged victorious. Baron Siegfriend Brandbeorn won the Atlantean Speed Tourney, while Master Worgan and Duke Sir Roak tied in the bear pit tourney.
By this time the sun had appeared and burned off the ever-present mist. The archers were first to embrace the sun, followed not long after by Drottin Gunnarr skald Thorvaldsson who set up a thrown weapons range. As his newest marshals, Thorfinna and I assisted him and spent most of our day at the range. The first Thrown Weapons Royal Rounds were thrown, Cera began her MIT training and much fun was had by all. A certain Lord Tim and Count Aaron Preslee Worgansson astounded all present with their skill. Lance Gailanasson, of Ardchreag, was also very adept at knives. The range was so popular that Ulvar scrounged up as third stump so more people could throw at once.
I managed to get to the archery range between their Royal Rounds and shot six arrows from a bow lent me by Lady Iolanda de Albornoz. I managed to hit the butte with five of the arrows, three of them actually hitting the target! It had been at least fifteen years since I had last shot a bow, and I so enjoyed it that arrangements were made for me to buy two bows in August.
Eventually the equestrian activities began as well and every activity that had been planned was therefore held. Ealdormerean spirits cannot be dampened, even by weather that does dampen our clothes.
At four o'clock Thorfinna and I went inside as I was to teach a class on period dice games. It started small, with just one participant, but by the end there were at least eight of us rolling the bones.
From there Thorfinna and I went behind the celtic trillium bedecked curtains to join the other servers for feast. As we had the most head table serving experience (having done it once at Snowed Inn II), we were asked to serve Her Majesty, Their Excellencies and Baron Siegfried and Lady Isotta Gianfgliazzi, who were Her Majesty's guests. The chef, Lady Seonag nic Thomais, heaped much food on the servers for their assistance and I can say from first hand experience that it truly was a feast fit for a Queen! Orange pork roast, mint peas, roast chicken, mushroom soup, pound cake with berries...the food just kept coming!
While we were serving Thorfinna was called on by Their Excellencies to sing a song. Since she had been planning to ask them if they wanted to hear one she was well prepared. She sung "Septentrian Battle March", her first totally original piece where she wrote not just the words but the tune as well. Lord Normand Hauberkker, sitting by her where she stood, began to pound his table and soon many around the hall were doing so. When she was done there was much clapping of hands, and she was given tokens by Baron Corwyn and Master Garraed Galbriath. Master Hector of the Black Height also sang many songs to the enjoyment of all.
A certain plaid wearing bard who wished to stay anonymous then asked Thorfinna to find out what drink Their Majesties would most wish to partake in. When he got his answer he came to me, pointed and said, "You'll do." I was given a platter with two Septentrian shot glasses full of gin, which I then presented to Their Excellencies. When asked who had generously sent them drinks I kept my silence and did not betray the completely anonymous plaid wearing bard.
As you give, so shall you receive. Ulvar then came over to me and filled the Horn of Wessex which Thorfinna and I have the privilege to bear for a year and a day. We were honoured for Ulvar, the autocrat of the event, to take time out to see to our needs.
Feast completed we all found our seats for court. Her Majesty has only a few items to announce, and then turned court over to Their Excellencies Septentria. It was announced that a tournament to select a new baronial archery champion had been held in the afternoon, but that the winner would not be announced until Pikeman's Pleasure. The Iron Companions were then called into court and Lord Hamish Gunn pledged his sword, Gunnarr pledged his axe, and Normand and Aodhan Longshafts pledged their bows. Domhnail then called Corwyn into court to much hooting and hollering. She praised him for his authorization that day and presented him with a beautiful favour. Hans Thorvaldsen of Eoforwic was then presented with a Bear's Claw for his martial efforts. Domhnail told him she had heard of the long ship being built in his garage and was planning to sail it to War this summer!
Court completed Master Worgan and Viscount Sir Edward the Red rounded up people to act as pieces for human chess. In the variant they were playing pieces must win at paper-rocks-scissors to capture. Thorfinna held the distinction of being the first piece captured. As for myself, well, a grinning Domhnail glided towards me where I stood before my king and brutally slew me to win the game.
Folk pulled up the tape used to mark the board and rolled it into balls. This led to about an hour's worth of impromptu baseball and dodge ball where Peer and untitled populace stood side-by-side laughing and bonding.
It was then that we learned of brigands who had entered the hall while we were so occupied and stole the bag of one of the guests. Those of us still on site searched the grounds to see if we could find any discarded items but to no avail (other than finding his empty wallet). The authorities were called and before the last people left the site they returned with the culprits in tow and much of the stolen property. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ulvar for his cool head in such a stressful time as he made arrangements with the authorities and helped see to the comfort of the victim of this crime. Ulvar did not find his bed until well into Sunday morning as he coordinated between witnesses, the victim and the authorities. Wassail Ulvar for your kindness and sense of duty and responsibilities!
    Though this was a dark moment, it too had a positive side. People who had never met each other before were working together to search the site, going so far as to go to pubs and restaurants in town and walk the streets looking for the culprits (whose appearance was known to at least one witness). From the amount of help he received the victim knows how much he is respected and just how many friends he has.
I should stress that this unhappy happenstance does not reflect on any way to the event, the event staff nor the hosting canton. The culprits walked right past many of us who either didn't see them or didn't challenge them, and it was the event staff who went out of their way to try to resolve this as quickly and as painlessly as they could. Wassail for Caer Draeth!
Except for this one moment it was a grand day, and Caer Draeth proved that they are excellent and generous hosts. Spring tune-Up has just ended, and already I am looking forward to the next!

At the Ardchreag meeting of May 26 there was a small fight practice. I first fought with Gunnar skald Thorvaldsson who is in training. We sparred for a long time as I gave him pointers and showed him things I was doing. One of the tactics we talked off was how most people he fought waited for him to throw the first shot and then kill him. I told him that is a common tactic, but he is just as welcome to play the waiting game as his opponent is. Alternatively, he can fake his first throw and draw out his opponent and then follow up with a sound shot. Though still learning Gunnarr is not too bad and I think he is improving steadily. He told me that he enjoyed my instructive fighting. Kolbjorn (from Ramshaven) had come up with Cenedl. He, Gunnarr and I did a bear pit for a while then, when Cenedl came out, he sparred with her until her armour broke. Berend and Mahault had been doing some basic drilling inside, then came outside to use my polearm. Gunnarr had previously allowed me to fight him with the pole, which I appreciated as I am going to try and authorize in it at Bonfield Battle in September. When Berend and Mahault were done I called out Berend whom I haven't fought for months. His first shot surprised me with how swift it was! I met him blow for blow and Wulfgang, who was watching, said we looked like two wolverines. I then gave Thorfinna and Berend a lesson in polearm (based on what Kenric and Hector have taught me).
    Inside Piero taught a well attended calligraphy class.

The Kid Comes Out to Play
Event Report: Ealdormere Crown Tournament XI
Laird Colyne Stewart, May 2003

The rains of May continued.

Their Royal Majesties had called for all who felt themselves worthy to come into Their Barony of Ben Dunfirth to partake in a tourney. The prize? To become heir of the kingdom, and to crown a consort.

The day of the Kingdom of Ealdormere's 11th Crown Tournament was wet. A drizzle greeted us upon awaking, and it did not stop all day long. Though, at times, it did intensify to the point where the sound of water pounding on the roof was as if one were standing under a waterfall. Cloaks recently dried out were called on again.

Thorfinna gra'feldr, Eirik Andersen (who we think was still in our wagon from the weekend before) and I arrive just after half past nine in the morning. We found ourselves a spot to sit behind Sir Berus Jarl, Serjant Malik abd al-Raman, Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn and Lady Isotta Gianglifiazzi. All four were preparing to fight in the tourney.

Many Septentrians were in attendance that day, including two past Baronesses of Septentria. Eirik, Septentria's unofficial Minister of Propaganda, circulated the new Septentrian Recruitment posters.

The combatants and consorts were called, and soon each was presented to Their Majesties. As listed in the event program, they were:

Berus Jarl for Countess Marion FitzWilliam
Baron Phaidrig McNeil for Mistress Etaoin O’Fearghail
Sir Rorry Cennedi the Kid for Mistress Susanna the Unyielding
Sheikh Sergeant Malik abd’ al Rahman for Maitresse Baronne Genevieve Chastellain d’Anjou
Master Konrad Matthias Jaegar for Dame Alyce de Sheppey
Dame Alyce de Sheppey for Master Konrad Matthias Jaeger
Sir Evander MacLachlan for THLady Melusine de la Rose
Master Trumbrand the Wanderer for THLady Kaylah the Cheerful
THL Kaylah the Cheerful for Master Trumbrand the Wanderer
Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn for Lady Isotta Gianfigliazzi
Lady Isotta Gianfigliazzi for Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn
THLord Tynne Duair ap Beul for Baroness Tabitha Dearval
Lord Yric de Mornay for Lady Brigit nic Larkin fra Galway
Lord Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn for Lady Brayla la Viennette

The last to come before Their Majesties was Grimroth Skullhammer, a fur clad barbarian. The Trillium Herald, Lord Erik of Longacres, when announcing him cried, "May I present Lord Grimroth Skullhammer who fights today for..." Here he paused and loudly whispered, "Who are you fighting for?" The barbarian appeared confused, and Her Majesty graciously explained that each fighter participating in the tournament must fight for a consort. Grimroth nodded his understanding, held up one finger to ask for a moment of time, then waded into a group of Ladies watching the procession. They wailed and ran at his approach but he was fast enough to catch one, and Countess Moria the Black was dragged before the Thrones of Ealdormere. Moria begged Her Majesty not to let this thing happen, but the Queen asked Moria to be Grimroth's consort for the good of the kingdom. To this wish Moria acceded.

The combatants then took their seats as the four lists were taken by heralds and marshals. The tournament was a round robin, best two out of three. This meant that each fighter had to face all other fighters and fight between two and three fights with each. Many though that this would make for a very long day, but so well prepared and run were the lists, that the tournament, from beginning to end, lasted no longer than approximately two and a half hours.

Both Berus and Malik had support staff, but neither Siegfried nor Isotta did. Therefore Lord Wat of Sarum, Lord Berend van der Eych and myself acted for them in this capacity, fixing swords, tying straps, adjusting armour and giving encouragement.

The tournament, from my vantage point, was fought with chivalry and honour. The number of questionable blows were low and no one's nose horn was very long. All of the combatants from Septentria did great honour to themselves, their consort and the kingdom that day. When the round robin was completed the two fighters with the best records were Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn and Sir Rory Cennedi the Kid.

The finals were three best of three rounds, the first with pole, the second with great sword and the third with sword and shield. Both men fought bravely and well and in the end Cennedi emerged victorious by defeating Siegfried in four straight fights. (He won two with pole and two with great sword, making the sword and shield round redundant.)

Cennedi and Susannah the Unyielding were then brought before Their Majesties and received the coronets of the Heirs of Ealdormere. Wassail to our new Prince and Princess!

June 2003

Thirteen Not so Unlucky
Event Report: Pikeman’s Pleasure XIII
Laird Colyne Stewart, June AS 38

A cloudy sky, a drizzle of rain. The morning of June 7 seemed to be continuing the weather patterns of May--cold, wet and damp. However, by the time my over-laden wagon rumbled into the site for Pikeman's Pleasure XIII the sun seemed to be battling the clouds. Undaunted by the threat of potential rain, several people began putting up sunshades at the top of the hill overlooking the small lake.
After getting our own shade set up, I lugged my armour bag up the hill and suited up for inspection. Today was to be a very busy and--at first--nerve wracking day for me. I was wearing about fifty percent new armour, consisting mainly of a new coat of plates that Thorfinna and I had been long labouring over. The benefits to the coat was its suppleness and maneuverability (which were both lacking in my old torso armour). However, plates don't absorb as much force as my solid bands did, so a gambeson was necessary (something I haven't worn since before I authorized). I find gambesons to be warm and constricting and they sop up sweat and smell real nice. I also had a new chain mail camail hanging on my helm which almost doubled its weight.
So, I had lots of new armour to try and get used to. To top things off, I had decided that I was going to try and authorize in polearm and spear (two-handed thrust) that day. My original goal was for Bonfield, but as that event takes place on grounds owned by my household, I thought I was being too 'safe'. So I decided to try for my authorizations at Pikeman's instead. When I was filling out the paperwork the marshal in charge, Lord Tiberius Justus Brittanicus, upon hearing I didn't have my single-hand thrust either suggested I try for it as well. Why not, I thought. Let's go all the way.
First I took the field, polearm in hand, to spar with Master Trumbrand the Wanderer. I think my nervousness was telling as I was not aggressive at all and my defense was next to non-existent. So, sadly, I did not pass that authorization.
Someone then took away my polearm and handed me a spear. I had just done some six-foot spear training a few weeks before so I felt more comfortable with the spear. I was aggressive and managed to hit Trumbrand a couple of times to show my calibration. Happily, that authorization I passed.
I then took a moment to pop my helm and drink some water while Pelayo of Eoforwic walked onto the field to face Trumbrand in his first authorization. Pelayo fought well, and I am proud to announce that Septentria has one new authorized fighter in its midst! Wassail Pelayo!
THLady Kaylah the Cheerful, bearing her customary two swords, then put me through the paces of a single-hand thrusting authorization. For some reason I pulled my shots that were not thrusts (perhaps because I was too concerned over the thrust and was not so concerned on whether my other blows struck). My thrusts had a tendency to drift to the left or the right and the marshals said that is sometimes the case for short-sighted fighters who don't wear contacts to fight (like me). Luckily, the thrusts I did land were deemed good calibration and so I passed that authorization as well.
I then took part in my first ever tournament, which just also happened to be a Kingdom Royal Tournament. All the fighters were placed in a line and folded in half. Everyone fought the person they were facing and then the winners made line A and the losers line B. Each line would again fold and pairs would fight. Losers from line A went down to line B, while losers from line B were out of the tournament. I thought I was in for a two fight, two loss tournament considering some of the folk on the field but to my great surprise I found myself one of the last three to be standing on line A. With me was Count Sir Aaron Preslee Worgansson and Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn. When we were told we'd have to do a round robin to see who dropped to line B, I joked that we could save time and just send me down. I fought Aaron and lost, and then repeated the performance against Sieggy and did indeed find myself on line B.
When line B folded I found myself facing Duke Sir Roak, so I knew my time had come. I was determined to try and make Roak work for the victory and I believe it took the good knight about five minutes to finally break through my shield and take my head. He seemed determined to leg me first and I was honestly astounded at how long I managed to block the fast and furious blows that kept coming my way. When he did finally slay me I was congratulated on my shield work by onlookers, which made me very happy since when I first began fighting my shield work was incredibly sloppy (just ask my original trainers, eh Berus). In the end, Sir Roak won the tournament.
Next up was a three-man melee tournament. Since I didn't have a team I asked his Excellency Corwyn if he'd care to have me. Together with the newly authorized Pelayo we were deemed "The Left Hand of Life", since Baroness Domhnail's team was "The Right Hand of Death." As luck would have it, the first two teams to face each other were Corwyn's and Domhnail’s. I had a six-foot spear, while Corwyn had a round and sword, and Pelayo had a tourney heater and a sword. Domhnail had a sword and warheater, while on one side stood Dame Alyce de Sheppey with a nine-foot spear and Lady Seonag nic Thomais with a bastard sword. I suggested to His Excellency that Pelayo take Alyce as her spear had more reach than mine, and Pelayo had a heater which offered him more coverage than Corwyn's round offered him. I said I would go for Seonag since I had more reach than her, while Corwyn charged his lady wife. To this plan Corwyn agreed, and after giving Pelayo a quick talk about facing a spear we took position. Immediately, Seonag and Alyce switched sides so Alyce faced me and Seonag faced Pelayo. When the call to lay on was given Pelayo quickly scuttled around the front of the baron while I went around behind him so we faced the opponents we wanted to face. I didn't see much of the beginning of the battle as I ran right for Seonag and she and I poked at each other. I just couldn't quite get a killing blow in on her and suddenly Domhnail's shield filled my vision and I was quickly running backwards trying desperately to defend against her fierce assault. She finally slew me and I stood back to watch the rest of the fight. Corwyn and Alyce lay dead, and Pelayo bravely stood against Seonag and Domhnail but in the end fell.
Techniquely, our plan was perfect and if I had managed to get through Seonag's defenses our side may have won. As it was, I found out that Pelayo had performed his part of the plan flawlessly and had run inside Alyce's guard and killed her swiftly. So impressed were Seonag and Alyce that they took Pelayo before Their Majesties and praised his skill. Again I cry, Wassail Pelayo!
A team consisting of Aaron, Siegfried and Lord Wat of Sarum then went on to win the three-man melee tournament.
I took a short break and took Thorfinna her lunch. While I was fighting she was running a thrown weapons range beside the archery range. During the course of the day she had a score of throwers and had seven people throw Royal Rounds. I then sauntered down to the island where a six-foot lance over a barrier tournament was to begin. Seventeen people had signed up, which meant there would have to be a by. When I was seen I was dragged in so the number would be a round one, and no by would be needed. When my turn came I found myself facing Lord Angus Albani, who had been my first opponent in the Royal Tournament. The spear fight was long and very tiring and in the end Angus beat me three points to one. I then took the opportunity to sit in the shade of a tree, drink water and enjoy a soldier's camaraderie with his mates. When the tournament was finally over, Aaron emerged victorious.
Roak and Siegfried were then made captains for a grand melee, and we were divided into two teams. It was a limited resurrection battle (everyone had three lives). I was on Sir Roak's side (as he needed shields and I was using my sword and shield for the melee). I found myself in a shieldwall of four consisting of myself, Baroness Domhnail, Pelayo and Lord Robert the Blue. Robert and Domhnail had wardoors, so they were placed on the end. Pelayo and I were the centre and I gave him a quick overview of what to do and expect as part of a shield wall. In the first engagement the wall did fairly well, but drifted apart a bit. Though our side was victorious I lost all three of my lives (I think His Majesty killed me at least twice--all I kept seeing was this giant yellow thrusting tip coming at me).
We ran the melee a second time and this time I took a more active role. I began braying out orders to the wall based on what was happening around us. At one point we had stopped our advance too far away for our spears to attack. Behind me I heard Alyce say she couldn't reach the opponents with her spear but no one actually gave the command to move forward so I did. We advanced forward three paces and locked. This time, which lots of yelling, we stayed together and slid together again whenever one of us was killed or came back from a resurrection. Near the end of the battle Domhnail, Pelayo and I were arrayed with I'm not sure how many of our side still behind us (to turn and look would have invited a swift death). Facing us were only Wat and Lord Tormod of Kirk Andreas. Sir Evander MacLachlan ordered the three of us to engage Wat and when we charged Wat ran around in front of Tormod to draw us all together. Pelayo and I pressed on Wat and pushed him away from Tormod and with a bit of satisfaction I managed to fell the Lord from Sarum. (Wat, whom I duel with often and is a good friend, now has the distinction of being my first non-practice melee kill. Thanks, Wat!) Pelayo and I then turned to find Domhnail madly swinging her sword at Tormod and then she was standing alone. In that battle the shieldwall had done extremely well.
Trudging back up the hill I took the opportunity to drink some fluids, then I dropped my kit and went over and helped Thorfinna tear down her range. We got back over to the cluster of shades and tents just in time for Their Majesties and Their Excellencies to process into court. Septentrian court was brief, with only a few pieces of business. First, Augustine of Petrea Thule was named the baronial archery champion. Raffe Scholemaystre handed over the office of baronial seneschal to Baroness Adrielle Kerrec. In recognition of his service, Raffe was given a gold sun dial and a ring made from a bone of a bear. Lord Volodomyr Blahuciak, called Vlad, was awarded a Bear's Heart and Lady Anne Tinker was announced as Petrea Thule's new seneschal.
Their Majesties then began their court, and it was lengthy as a great many were honoured that day. First THLord Dafydd ap Sion was named the new Kingdom Archery Marshal. A number of Awards of Arms were then presented to: Tim of Petrea Thule, Eileen Lemesurier, Alana of Dublin, Mahild of Petrea Thule, Savinia Queville, Augustine of Petrea Thule, and Rembo Touloussa. (I apologize for any misspellings.) A nice touch from Their Majesties was to stand and officially announce the new Lord or Lady. Lord Melchior the Carver and THLord Dafydd ap Sion were awarded with Maiden's Hearts, while Lady Anne Tinker and Lady Keja Tselebnika were both inducted into the Order of the Wain.
Those of us staying for feast then went inside and set up for a feast being prepared by Lady Eileen. The first course consisted of food considered unlucky and was begun with tomatoes and mushrooms (both once thought to be poisonous). Their Majesties refused to eat any until Adrielle Kerrec had tasted them and survived. Much good food then followed, with lucky foods making up the second course. During feast a story telling contest was held and I am sorry to say I do not remember the name of the good Lady who won with her tale of a fearful tiger. Prizes were handed out for the Arts and Sciences competition held that day, but I unfortunately cannot remember the winners (I was too busy eating).
Since the event fell upon our anniversary, I rose and asked the hall to toast Thorfinna for though the day's theme was unlucky thirteen, I counted myself a most lucky man. Thorfinna toasted me back, to be followed by Master Konrad Matthias Jaeger who told a tale of a Pikeman's past where he first kissed the woman who would one day become his wife. It is an excellent tale and I urge you to ask him to tell it to you as he will do it more justice than I could by repeating it here.
The tables were then cleared as dancers took to the floor, accompanied by live music. A combination of fighting, food and lack of sleep the night before made me asleep on my feet and Thorfinna and I departed not long thereafter.
It was again, as in the past, my pleasure to be at Pikeman's.

Ardchreag Meeting of June 7: Dafydd ap Sion came down from Petrea Thule to do a talk on archery. It must have been good because its all Thorfinna talked about on the way home. Evander and Scott (I can never remember his SCA name) came down to fight. Besides them and myself we had Donovan, Sancho, Wat and Brandt in kit. During the course of the night I fought everyone except Sancho. I did well against everyone and at one point when I was standing in the bearpit line with Evander he commented that he was going to have to bring out his special move next time we fought. When we did and he unleashed it, he caught me completely by surprise. My recently patched shield began to crack again and I almost stopped fighting but then thought, if its gonna blow, its gonna blow and went back out for another hour. The shield then stood up fine to the punishment, but I continually bust the hose clamps on my sword. At one point I did some pell work with my polearm, but Brandt's full gauntlets were uncomfortable and I didn't actually use it against a living target.
    Evander came over and asked me to end his night with some sparring and he gave me a couple of lessons on a new way to throw a wrap that shouldn't hurt my wrist. Basically you straighten out your sword behind your target, tip your sword slightly so the blade is facing your opponent and then rip it back like you're starting a lawn mower. Evander said I had improved a lot with my speed, my force and my shield work so I guess maybe he's been watching me because this was actually the first time we had ever fought.

On Thursday June 12 Ardchreag hosted its first Ard Troid (pronounced aard trej). It was to be the first in a series of alternating Thursday night melee training practices. No bear pits, no pickup fighting--melee unit training. I was the organizer, and Siegfried and Vlad had agreed to come out and teach if we met on Thursdays. Their Excellencies Septentria asked if our first troid could also be a Baronial Fight Practice, a request to which we agreed.
    In armour there was Corwyn, Domhnail, Thorfinna, myself, Siegfried, Isotta, Angus, Hector, Wat, Brandt, and Berus. Unarmoured attendees included Ysabeau, Marion, Len, Vlad and Luke.
    We were put through various drills such as:
    1. One on one with six-foot spears.
    2. Two on two with six-foot spears.
    3. Two shields and a polearm against two shields and two nine-foot spears.
    4. One shield and four pole/spear against one shield and four pole/spear.
    5. Two shields and a nine-foot spear against two shields and a nine-foot spear.
When we were done I was exhausted and my arms were rubber. Wat told me that I was swift death with a spear to which I disagreed, saying I thought I was too slow. Wat turned to Sieggy and asked him if I was slow. Sieggy said, "Slow is not a word I would use to describe Colyne." Cool.

(This diary is incomplete.)

No comments:

Post a Comment