Wednesday 2 October 2013

Ealdormere War Practice V: From the Files of the Skirmisher (June 27-30, 2003)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart and THLady Þorfinna gráfeldr

Court Proceedings, Saturday 28, AS 38

Septentrian Court:       Some offices changed hands. Ardchreag has a new Seneschal, Laird Colyne; and Septentria has a new Minister of Arts and Sciences, Lord Magnus.; and the Barony also has a new Archery Marshall, Lord Geoffrey.

Booty was awarded to the winners of the thrown weapons competition for Baronial Champion. Congratulations to Christiaan van Pietr who placed first and to Gunnarr who was named Baronial Thrown Weapons Champion by Their Excellencies.

William the Younger presented Toby (Son of Thomas) with a golden chalice as winner of the children’s quest.

Cynred and Gaerwen lamented the tired and old regalia of Septentria they’d left to their cousins upon their investiture, and presented Melchior the Carver, who brought forth the new thrones he had crafted for Their Excellencies. (Needless to say, they swapped chairs immediately).

Four new members swore to the Iron Companions.

Kingdom Court:          Their Majesties presented four new nobles to Ealdormere: Lady Ayla,  Lord Serion,  Lord Hans Thorvaldson and Lady Alaani.

Both Graem and Gaerwen were given the Award of the Orion for their great skills in the Arts and Sciences.

Three new warriors were added to complete the ranks of the Custos Regus—Kol for Ramshaven, Iohannes for Skraeling Althing and Eoin of Rising Waters—and each was given a sash and a ‘good Norman spear’ as a symbol of their station, along with Mistress Etoian who was named Kingdom Archery Champion.

Geoffrey Guiscart was made a member of the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer.

Her Majesty gave her Queen’s Favour to Lord Berend, Lord Konrad and Lord Trumbrand (who arrived in Court in a manner that delighted many of the Lady’s in the gallery!)

Aeron and Eleanor were welcomed from Ansteora.

Second Annual Mead Competition

Once again the Canton of Ardchreag hosted a mead competition, the Second Annual Lord Ulrich von der See Memorial Ealdormerean Mean Championship. The blind taste testing took place in the Ardchreag encampment on Saturday after court. A crowd of mead and cider enthusiasts clustered about a table presided over by Lady Mahault van der Eych. Bottles were poured, cups were raised and the competition was on.

The mead and cider was judged by all present, those worthy gentles including (but not being limited to): Uncle Justinian, Lady Seonag nic Thomais, Lady Iolanda de Albornoz, William the Younder, Lady Naja Kesali Orekov, Lord Hereward the Far-Dweller, and Lord Berend van der Eych.

None of the tasters were told whose entrants work they were enjoying during the judging.

When all the mead and cider had been poured Lord Berend van der Ecyh was named winner for mead (for the second year) and Lord Garth III was named the winner for the cider category.

Dependents Taken

Lord Tiberius Justus Brittanicus was squired during EWP to Sir Evander MacLachlan in the Petrea Thule encampment. Tiberius' familiar yellow boots now have silver spurs, and a silver chain graces his neck. Master Allen, who was Evander’s Master-of-Arms, was on hand to witness and take part in the squiring.

At the same time, THL Anne Tinker was taken as an apprentice by Dame Helen of Greyfells. As at her own apprenticing, Helen wrote a contract with Anne, which she then tore in two. One half is in her keeping, the other in Anne's.

Repeat Champions at the Galbraith Toss: Malik and Thorfinna once again win their categories

As in year's past, House Galbraith played host to a party on the Saturday evening of War Practice. The mead flowed like rain, and food was spread out upon the groaning tables. There was singing, talking, shouting and nipple twisting galore. (The nipple twisting was started by a certain Count, and a poor fellow from Sarum ended up being the brunt of much of it. By all accounts, by the end of the party half of Ealdormere had given him a purple nurple. He would cover his chest with his hands, but the second his guard faltered a hand would shoot out of the crowd and the victim was again nurpled.)

There was again a tossing game, where a forty-pound dummy was flung by members of the population as far as they can fling it. In past years the dummy has been dressed as a Viking, or a crusader, though this year's bore a remarkable likeness to His Excellency, Baron Corwyn of Septentria. Shiekh Malik abd al-Raman won the men's category for a second straight year with a throw off over 24 feet. Likewise, Lady Thorfinna gra'feldr won her second straight year in the women's category with a throw of over 10 feet. Kyle, son of Glynnis, won the under-18 category with a throw of around 14 feet. (Please note that all numbers are close to accurate but due to mead ingestion my memory may be a tad fuzzy. The heffalumps and woozles running across the field were also distracting.) Each victor was awarded a prize. Thorfinna won a carved horn, Malik won a belt and Kyle won something I did not see.

The Galbraiths, in a change from tradition, did not hold a scavenger hunt this year. Instead they held a treasure hunt, hiding keys about the site. Only by unraveling riddles could the true keys be found. I never did see what the treasure boxes unlocked by these keys contained, but considering they were donated by the Galbraiths I'm sure they were swanky.

Games Guild Tourney Winners

Lord Michel Wolffauer of the Shire of Hartshorn-dale traveled to the Ealdormere War Practice event this weekend past. He did so to graciously host the Games Guild tents at the event. One of the many things he did was run a day of tourneys on Sunday. Points were awarded for wins and for games played. We are pleased to announce the top seven players, their prizes and the donors of the prizes:

In first place, Stephen Scrymgeour, who won fabric donated by Freya.

Second, Jennifer of Ardchreag, who won a combination backgammon/checkerboard set donated by Lady Iolanda de Albornoz.

Third, Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza, who won a knucklebone set donated by Iolanda de Albornoz.

Fourth, Beth (mundanely of Mississauga), who won a woman's shirt donated by A Step Aside.

Fifth, Thorfinna gra'feldr, who won a nine-man-morris set donated by Fettered Cock Pewters.

Sixth, Serion d’Ivri, who won a glic set donated by Iolanda de Albornoz.

And seventh, Wulfgang Donnerfaust, who won a rune set donated by Ivy Keep.


When reporting the names of the new Lords and Ladies recognized by the Crown at Kingdom Court one name was accidentally left off our list. Congratulations to Lady Corrina von Rensealer, of the Canton of Greenhithe, for receiving her Award of Arms.

It was also announced that during Septentrian Court four people swore to the Iron Companions. They were: Baroness Gaerwen of Trafford (archery), Lady Robyn O’Connor (archery and thrown weapons), Lord Yvon de Bois (armoured combat) and Lord Agustyn of Thule (archery).

Rain Can’t Dampen Singing Spirit 

A religious debate exploded on Sunday afternoon between early period and late period personas. During a terrible downpour that battered tents and made the sky turn yellow, Lord Thorulfr smithr and Lady Rosalia dei Querini quarrelled over the source of the storm. Thorulfr was convinced that Thor was showing his power by trying to flood the event site, while Rosalia asked God to forgive her pagan companion's heathen beliefs. Some folk muttered that Sir Sarnac Ba'adur had said "AElthelmarc" again. This could not be confirmed, but his squire, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, had been heard mentioning that kingdom's name. Some things are genetic, and it would appear that the father has passed this peculiar gift down to his son.

Whatever the cause, there was rain. A lot of rain. To be blunt, we got soaked. However, the storm was short lived and the sandy soil quickly slurped up all the rain and puddles were scarce. A rainbow burned through the clouds, one end of it rising from the tent of thegn Cynred Broccan. When a group of us ran over and demanded his gold he told us he was a gnome, not a leprechaun.

Their Excellencies Septentria returned from off site looking very dry. Lord Brandt das Lederwerker therefore gave Her Excellency Domhnail a bear hug to share the gift of being damp. When I spread my arms and approached Baron Corwyn he stuck out his arm to hold me back, but did not see Brandt who caught him from behind.

People asked if the bardic circle would still occur, and seemed eager for it to do so. Therefore work crews were set out to gather all available shades and bring them to the Galbraith encampment, which had been vacated earlier that morning. The shades were set in a semi-circle and three fires were lit. (Luckily the wood had been stored in a trailer and was dry.) As the sun sank the bards began to sing and the circle lasted well into the morning. I know it was still going when I finally succombed to sleep at 2:30 am.

I know of at least three tokens given during the circle. The first was given to THL Eleanor Fairchild of Ansteorra (that's Texas, y'all) by Dame Tsivia bas Tamara v'Amberview. The second was given by Eleanor to THL Gwerydd verch Rhys, which consisted of three flavours of American Mountain Dew (can you say caffeine?). The third was a ring passed to Lady Thorfinna gra'feldr by Lady Emer Nic Aidan (which had originally been given to her by Lord Ivhon Thorne).

There were songs, stories and poems performed by various bards from about the known world. (We had visitors from AEthelmarc, the East, Calontir, Ansteorra and Northshield attending EWP.) However, I think my favourite moment of the night was Master Garraed Galbraith singing his song "Sons of the Dragon" which praised Calontir, Ealdormere and Northshield, all children of the Middle Kingdom. (The Principality of Northshield has recently voted to move to kingdom status and is moving through the process.) Lord Rhodri from Calontir was called on to perform many times, and Master Owen Alun pleased the crowd with renditions of "Doom and Gloom" and his Beowulf song ("He was hairy, he was scary, he was very, very tall...").

Armoured Combat Tournament Winners

Being that the event was a practice for war, there were many fighting activates during the weekend. Fencers fenced, archers arched and throwers threw.

Upon the armoured combat lists there was an unbelted practice and a barony versus non-barony melee.

There was also a Royal Tournament and a Newbies Tournament. The winner of the Royal Tournament was Sir Aaron Preslee Worgansson, while Donovan of House De Taahe was undefeated in the newbie's tourney. Thorfinn of House Blacksword came in second place in the newbie’s tournament..

Ealdormere Musters its Forces again for TRMs

Once again a military muster/review was held where the military might of the kingdom draws itself up into ranks to display themselves to their majesties. The Barony of Ramshaven, the Barony of Skraeling Althing, the Custo Regius and House De Taahe all had representatives upon the field, but most impressive of all was the Barony of Septentria. Due in large part to the inclusion of House Hrogn, House Galbraith and the Iron Companions, Septentria was a sea of scarlet upon the fighting field numbering into the dozens. Almost every free hand either carried an emblazoned shield or a banner and Septentria's argent bear was displayed proudly by her fighters. Their Majesties Edouard and Genevieve, and Her Highness Sussannah, addressed the troops and were answered by cries of Wassail. The king then called for a Wassail to Ealdormere and the trees shook with shooting.

The muster was planned and executed by Her Grace, Duchess Eanor of Amberhall.

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