Wednesday 2 October 2013

Ealdormere’s Bright Knight (Berus’ Bar and Bar Room Brawl V, Jan 25, 2003)

THLaird Colyne Stewart

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.

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