Wednesday 2 October 2013

Gallstones and Flatulent Fish (Event Report: Septentrian 12th Night, Jan 12, 2002)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

Ugh. I woke up on January 12th not feeling so well. In fact, if 12th Night hadn’t been that day, if the Septentrian Performing Arts Troupe (of which I am a member) was not performing that day, I likely would have spent it in bed. However, I managed to lurch out of bed and donned Thorfinna’s garb, while she put on mine, and we traveled the monumental ten minutes from our keep to the event hall.

The site was actually the same as our first event ever (almost ten months to the day before), and the garb I was wearing was the garb Thorfinna had worn to that event. We remembered it as being small, and were happy to find that Ardchreag had been granted a small corner by the stage to create a mini-presence. This corner became one of the most populated and busy areas of the event, next to the Baronial presence across the hall. Ardchreag was well represented that day with over twenty Chreaggers in attendance. One of our newest canton-members, David of Ardchreag, plopped himself down on the floor and worked on his incredible chain mail coif, proving to us all again what a great catch he was.

We all kind of took the morning easy, wandering about, sitting on our butts, talking and socializing. As we sat eating our lunch I enquired of the time and discovered that it was already fifteen after one. The Troupe was performing at 1:45! We had to get ready! That’s when we discovered that one of the principle characters had not arrived. As a quarter to one came and passed, we decided as a Troupe to delay the play until our event Snowed Inn in February. We later discovered that our sick Troupe-mate had called the event staff to let us know he was sick and unable to attend but the message did not reach us until well after three o’clock.

The phallic-shaped Nose of Shame wound its way through the populace, gracing the necks or heads of many Chreaggers including, but not limited to, Wulfgang, Crispinus, Eirik, Thorfinna, Mort, Eanor and myself. Sheik Valizan was seen with it down his tight white pants at one point.

One new Chreagger in particular caused quite a splash, namely Gunter who came dressed as a Roman in a white toga that revealed much. Many Ladies were heard to remark that he was very easy on their eyes. He came armed with a cat-o’-nine-tails, though it was remarked that he should have a feather and then he could have been a vomitorium worker. He chuckled at the idea as he casually whiped people as they passed by.

Having discovered that we could pay to have people assassinated, Wulfgang and I decided to off our Seneschal, Eirik Andersen. When we went up to pay we discovered that he had already been targeted five times! Still, we paid again, upping it to six. Later, as we all sat in our corner, a conga-line approached, led by the bard Garraed. As they went past Eirik they each slapped a sticker on him that read, “You have been killed by the peasant army”. Money well spent!

The Fool’s court began around two, and it was hard to hear what all was going on. Iolanda, dressed as the Green Bison, took part in the Foolish Competitions, but was sadly eliminated. Wulfgang was caught with the Fish of Flatulence, and had to spend some time in the stocks.

Baronial and Kingdom court began fourish, with representatives of each canton lining up to present their taxes. Now, I’m going to editorialize a bit here. The hall that this event took place in is not the best acoustically, and it made matters worse that some people sat in the back and made a fair bit of noise. However, all the people yelling “Quiet!” and shushing them just made matters worse. Nobody listens to people shushing them. It just ticks them off. Finally, the Queen took matters into her own hands, stood up, and told the good gentles in the rear of the hall to either be quiet or go outside. Wassail! So folks, please leave it to the peers or Royalty to quiet the hall. Remember that every time you yell “Quiet!” or shush that you’re doing it in somebody’s ear right beside who is trying to listen just as much as you are. Anyway, back to the report.

All the cantons in attendance, presented a spear with a canton banner fluttering from its length, and a container of soil from our lands. (Our spear was eight feet long, while all the others were six. I heard it jokingly muttered that our Seneschal was compensating for something.) Skeldergate, though in attendance, had no spear or soil to present. Their Seneschal, Aenas Oakhammer, was called before them and chastised for forgetting their taxes. However, to great howls of laughter, Etienne, a fellow Skeldergater, came to his rescue by bearing into court the branch of an evergreen and a handful of topsoil he had scavenged from outside.

When it came time to present an award to the winner of the day’s Arts and Sciences competition it was, of course, our own Mahault van der Eych. Wassail!

The Horn of Wessex, which Eirik Andersen has been in possession of for the past year and a day, was then presented to Aenas Oakhammer for all his work for the Barony. The Baroness went to fill the horn with brew from House Mjollnr (our mercenary band from Pennsic) to find that Eirik had kept the horn well-stocked. So she swigged back the ale herself.

The Baron and Baroness began to hand out Bear’s Claws and Bear’s Hearts and just as I was preparing to go outside for a bit of air (and quiet), my head jerked up as Thorfinna and I were called before Their Excellencies. It seems that they had recently had their Baronial Bard “stolen” by Their Royal Majesties, and the position was now vacant. They asked if we would consider filling it. Still not quite believing it was happening, we said it would be our honour. We were charged by the Baroness to come up with a song to be sung at the Baron’s expense, over the matter of his extra wives.

We retook our seats (both of us trembling) and Kingdom Court began. Awards were being handed out when my name was again called. Totally incredulous, I kneeled before the Queen and King and received my Award of Arms for my work with the Games Guild of Ealdormere, and “that Chronicling stuff,” as the Queen put it. (When I first stepped up, Gaerwen asked if they were about to steal their Bard, again!)

I’m sure Court went on for a while after that, but I don’t remember. I was in a bit of a daze. As canton-mates came up to congratulate me it turned out they all knew before hand! (I can’t believe you guys all knew and kept it secret!)

They began to set up for feast, and Thorfinna and I decided we’d try to get seats and were lucky enough to find two available. As we all set up our feast gear we found that the table was smaller than on the sign-up sheet, so Normand went and grabbed a small table from somewhere and stuck it on the end. And little Joshua, the smallest Chreagger, and tiniest person in attendance that day, caused quite a stir as the autocrats did not want his stroller in the hall as they feared it would be a “tripping hazard”. Things were finally settled by Gailiana, who had a round table placed in the center of the hall, where Jennifer and Joshua could sit with her, Brandt and Kyle.

During feast the Baroness showed us the reliquary that the Galbraiths had made to house her gallstone and a piece of Cynred’s beard. As the story goes, demons attacked our lands and Gaerwen passed a magic stone that Cynred, using a slingshot made from his facial hair, used to beat off the vile creatures.

Unfortunately the feast was not to Thorfinna or my tastes, and one of the dishes actually made me sick. (Please note that this is not a fault of the feastocrat. Those of you who know me know I have a stomach disorder and one of the spices did not agree with me. As Eirik said, it wouldn’t be an event if I didn’t earn my nickname of ‘Colon’.)

We stayed a bit longer and talked with departing Chreaggers before heading upstairs to the bardic circle. I was forced to excuse myself for a few moments (damn stomach!) and missed Thorfinna singing her song ‘Armour Up!’ Not to be quieted, the demons in my gut forced us to take our leave and we went home form what had been, all in all, a great day.

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