Wednesday 2 October 2013

Great Sarnac’s Ghost (Coronation of Roak and Arlette, September 2002)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

On September 28 there was a hunt held in the Canton of Caer Draeth. The Khan and his Kashek (personal guard) were hunting deer, in anticipation of feeding venison to the masses at feast that night. Good gentles from across Ealdormere, and from points beyond, gathered in anticipation. Thorfinna and I waded through the crowd on various missions. I had Ursi to deliver, and subscriptions to hound for, specific photographs to take, officers to speak to and rattan to buy. As I was perusing the stock of the excellent Syr Ed the Red, a herald announced that court was to be held imminently behind the hall. Paying Ed for his wares, Thorfinna and I found members of Ardchreag with which to sit. (Several from the Chreag were in attendance that day, including: Wat of Sarum, Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Berend and Mahault van der Eych, Eanor of Amberhall, Siegfriend Brandbeorn, Rhys ap Bledri, Vlad Blahuciak, Kennric Manning, Tatiiana, Iolanda de Albornoz, Eirik Andersen, Ivanna the Oblivious, Brandt das Lederwerker, Gailana Dunkel Pfere, Katerina du Nord, Alaani, Damara of Stormhaven, Fursto de Robnye, Raffe Scholemaystre, Luke Wolfsonne, Marian of Heatherdale, Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza, William the Younger, Thorfinna and myself.)

    The Khaton arrived and bide us sit. She said that the Khan was still on the hunt with Their Highnesses but was expected soon. Before long Prince Roak and Princess Arlette arrived on horseback and seemed surprised that Sarnac Khan was not already in court. They said he had ridden ahead of them. Her Majesty Joliecia was not concerned, for as she said, the Khan had his Kashek and his Champion with him, so his safety was assured.

            The Kingdom bard, THL Gwerydd verch Rhys, then sang a song of the hunt, and as she finished Eanor of Amberhall, Khan’s Champion, rode into court and threw herself at the Khaton’s feet. She groveled and debased herself, for, she said, something terrible had happened. The Kashek then came into view carrying a body on a shield. The body was clad in the Khan’s armour and an arrow had pierced his helm.

            Kayla the Cheerful, Queen’s Champion, chastised Eanor for failing in her duties to protect her Sovereign, and took the sheath from her axe as a repentant Eanor bore her neck for execution. Then, suddenly, Sarnac’s spirit, dressed all in white, appeared from nowhere and called for Kayla to hold her hand. He said that he had died through no fault of his Champion for the arrow had been born of the darkness and no mortal could have thwarted it. His ancestors had granted him permission to come back to complete unfinished business and the last court of Sarnac and Joliecia began.

            Three gentles from Ardchreag were granted their Award of Arms that day, being Wulfgang and Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust and Crispinus Spellar. THL Aenaes Oakhammer presented Their Majesties with handcrafted boxes to store the Crowns of State. Lady Alyce de Sheppey was inducted into the Order of the Wain, Tabitha the Cook was given a grant of Arms, Yoshikuri Nagayo Dono, Lady Cera of the Middle Kingdom and Count Kildare Silverwolf Thorkillson were given a Scarlet Banner, THL Randwulf Widefarer, Master Hector of the Black Height, Eanor of Amberhall and Lady Rachael Catherine McLellan were given a personal augmentation of arms, THL Kayla the Cheerful was given a Queen’s favour, Master Konrad Mattias Jaegar was inducted into the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer and Trumbrand the Wanderer was inducted into the Order of the Chivalry as a Master-of-Arms.

            It was not the most orderly court, as many people were quite spooked by having a shade sitting on the throne. The mammoth wandering about behind the Royal walls was also disconcerting. Earl Syr David ran into court at one point to announce that Valharic Aurelius Caligula, Caesar of the Middle, had died. As such, all agreements between Sarnac and Valharic were broken. This pleased Lady Rachael Catherine McLellan greatly as it meant her daughter, who had been claimed by Valharic as his concubine, could return home to take up her chores again. There was apparently a large pile of laundry awaiting her.

            The Khan and Khaton then released their Champions. Roak and Arlette were sworn in as Their Majesties of Ealdormere, hearing the oaths of the Barons, Baronesses and Peers of our Kingdom. Sarnac Khan was then taken to be laid to rest.

            Word has a way of traveling fast, and soon Sarnac’s northern cousin, a Norseman who looked remarkable like him, had arrived to investigate his kinsman’s death.

            Though the populace was sad to loose their Khan and Khaton they were pleased with their Majesties Roak and Arlette and the rest of the day was spent in merriment. There were equestrian activities, archery, thrown weapons, fencing, fighting and much more. Thorfinna and I had to actually leave court before it was completed as we had promised to do some children’s activities for two hours. We sat upstairs in the hall, surrounded by rambunctious youngsters and played games and told stories until finally they all left in Quest of the Purple dragon.

            We then wandered outside and watched some of the armoured combat. Both Wulfgang Donnerfaust and Wat of Sarum made it to the final five in the newbie tournament, though the final came down to a young lord named Tarkwyn and Eogan de Moray. In the two out of three final bout Tarkwyn emerged victorious. In the ribbon tournament Baron Siegfriend Brandbeorn took the day with eighteen victories.

            We spent the rest of the day visiting and talking until it was time for feast. Alaani, Berend, Mahault, Thorfinna and I sat together while Her Grace Eanor served us. It was an excellent meal, prepared by Lady Seonag nicThomais and Lord Streonwald Wulfsbana and was so large that no one went away hungry. The food wouldn’t stop coming!

            I then helped schlep dirty dishes up the kitchen and was done in time for evening court. Their Majesties and Their Excellencies of Septentria had an interesting court—for a while they took turns handing out awards. Very odd. Those handed out by Cynred Thegn and Baroness Gaerwen included: personal Baronial tokens for THL Aenaes Oakhammer and Hughie of Monadh, a Bear’s Claw for Charles the Clerk and a Bear’s Heart for Maggie Brodie. Those handed out by Their Majesties Roak and Arlette included: Sarnac and Joliecia’s County, Count Aaron Worgansson named King’s Champion, Lord Richard Larmer named Queen’s Champion, Lady Chiara de Montepulciano named kingdom bard, THL Anne Grey’s induction into the White Wolf Fian, Mistress AElfwyn of Longwood’s re-induction into the White Wolf Fian, Sage of Ben Dunfirth given her Award of arms, Lord Ulvar van der Nederlanden’s induction into the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer and Countess Joleicia’s induction into the Order of the Rose.

            Two matters of international relations occurred during these courts. Master Kiernan and William the Black, both of the new Kingdom of Lochac, brought greetings from Their Majesties Alfar and Elspeth, as well as the gift of a kangaroo. These diplomats and their words of thanks for Ealdormere’s gifts and thoughts during Lochan’s first coronations were treated to much wassailing and cheering. Cynred and Gaerwen gave them both tokens, for themselves and for Their Majesties Lochac. Also, Katerina du Nord read a letter from Prince Raynar of the Principality of Cynagua (of the West Kingdom) pledging his eternal friendship with Ealdormere. This was also greeted with much cheering.

            Once court ended I handed out a few more promotional Ursi, talked with Hughie of Monadh about his canton’s history and finally left (most reluctantly).

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