Wednesday 2 October 2013

Ealdormere’s Eastern Border Secure (Feast of the Hare and Border Spat, Nov 13, 2004)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

Thorfinna never got her sausage.

On our way to Feast of the Hare, in the Barony of Skraeling Althing, we had stopped at a McDonald’s to pick up some breakfast to go. Thorfinna ordered the big breakfast, which came with eggs (which she doesn’t really like), an English muffin, one hash brown and a sausage patty. When we got back in the truck, she ate the hash brown and gave the muffin to Syr Evander who was driving. When she opened her breakfast container to feast on her sausage she discovered that the store employee had failed to give her one. She managed to swallow one egg, but gave the other to me.

Then we missed our turn and ended up in Ottawa itself, now trying to find our way to the event site by the back route. Thorfinna and I had just read a Dragonspire story that was remarkably similar, which made this hour long detour slightly amusing instead of annoying.

When we arrived at the event site after our four hour drive we found that morning court was just concluding. I’m not sure of what all went down, but I did hear that Dame Sarra Elisabeth Graeham of Birnham had been put on Vigil for the Order of the Pelican.

Since court had either gone long or started later than originally planned, the first armoured tournament had not yet started. So we dragged in our gear and armoured up. The event was a bit of a MacLachlan family reunion for me, as all my squire-brothers but one were in attendance (with their significant others), as was Syr Evander’s former squire-brother, Baron Conrad Connor MacAllyn from the East Kingdom.

Just as the first tournament was about to begin, Their Majesties resumed Their court so they could induct Syr Evander into the noble Order of the Wain for all his service to the kingdom.

In the first tournament we were each given five pewter horses. The object was to win as many horses as possible by hitting your opponent in the head. If you hit them three times on other parts of the body you would win the fight, but not a horse. My squire-brothers did well, coming out even if not a little ahead, while Evander walked away as the over all winner. Me? Well, I never liked riding anyway.

The fighters then moved outside so the fencers could enjoy some warmth. With breath pluming out of our grills we lined up for a Royal Tournament. It was a speed tournament, where the combatants are placed in a line. The line is folded and you fight the person across from you. If you win you go to line A. If you loose, you go to line B. Both lines are then folded and you continue in this matter until you take your second loss, at which time you are out of the tournament. I was out after three fights. Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn was the winner of this tournament.

While we were fighting the fencers of Ealdormere and the East faced off in their annual Border Spat. As I was outside I cannot comment too much on the fencing, though one fencer later told me it had been a very good day in the fencing lists.

Pick-ups then ensued. In the end there were only MacLachlans left on the field as Tiberius and Conrad battled while Evander put me through some lessons. Once, when we were both down to one arm we came at each other and formed a human X. He got me hard across the buttocks while I labeled him flat across his back. Ouch!

Finally stripping our armour we lugged it out to the truck to make way for afternoon court. Unfortunately the acoustics in the hall prevented me from hearing most of what went on, so I can only report on a bit of it. I know that Lord Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn retired as Champion of Skraeling Althing, but was not allowed to leave the dais until Their Majesties had later given him an Award of the Maiden’s Heart. Lord Geffroi de Montreuil was then named as his successor as Champion. The Chalice of Skraeling Althing was given to Lord Ansfrid van de Muelne.

The autocrats announced the results of the Border Spat. Points had been earned for Ealdormere and the East from the day’s fencing, fighting and A&S activities. This year Ealdormere had earned the most points, so our border was once again secure.

The chairs were then quickly swept away and out came the feast tables. Though Conrad had to leave the rest of the MacLachlans sat together to eat, and it was an excellent feast. Unfortunately most of our dishes reached us a little cool, but the quality and quantity of food was amazing. I doubt anyone went home hungry from Hare. A feast indeed!

During feast we were graced with many fine entertainers including a woman who danced with a lit candelabra on her head, a sword dancer and Ivan the fire-breather! The crowd clapped and made riotious noise as Ivan would ignite flames on his arms and bald head, or placing burning torches in his mouth where he consumed the flames. When feast was over he went outside and performed many acts of fire-breathing for a very appreciative audience. As the flames erupted from his mouth the night was lit as if by the sun.

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