Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Historie of Ardchreag, Booke the Fourth

By THLaird Colyne Stewart. Credits: Contents © Todd Fischer, 2005.

Once again, upon the orders of my feudal laird, Colyne Stewart, do I, William Scrymgeour, whose brother Stephen has moved into legend, again resume the tale of the Canton of Ardchreag.

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January XXXIX (the beginning of the year mundanely known as 2005)

Laird Colyne Stewart and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr graciously opened the doors of their keep, Drew’s End, for the annual canton 12th Night celebrations on January 10. Those in attendance included Lord Eirik Anderson, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Lady Naja Kesali, Sof’ia Bardeva, Tarian verch Gadarn (and Ethan), Lady Iolanda de Albornoz, Drew, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Jennifer of Ardchreag, and Wat of Sarum. The gift giving—or should that be stealing—game went swiftly this year. At the insistence of the guests, the Shaft was once again awarded. The two main competitors were Siegfried and Snaebjorn. Siegfried’s tale of losing his keys at an event, only to find them later in the boots he was wearing, won by one vote.

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One week later the canton moved into its new meeting space, the Dillingham Keep. A quick business meeting took place, where Lady Naja Kesali took over from Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust as canton Arts and Sciences Minister. There was a very large turn-out to support the new location. In attendance were (from Ardchreag): Glynis, Lord Eirik Anderson, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lord Wat of Sarum, Count Sir Rory Cennedi, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Lord Berend van der Eych, Adelaide van der Eych, Marie de Chat Noir, Lady Naja Kesali, Sof’ia Bardeva, Tamara Sofiasdaughter, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Lord Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza, and Karin (an old time member); (from Petra Thule) Sir Nigel MacFarlane, Baroness Adrielle Kerrec; (from Bastille du Lac) Sir Evander MacLachlan, Chris, Jeff; (from Greenhithe) Lord Ludwig and Katherine von Eisengrim. As a highlight for the evening, Eirik put on armour and fought for the first time! After the meeting many of the assembled gentles went to the Inn of the Grizzly and ate excellent fare.

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Septentrian 12th Night was held on January 22. From Ardchreag to Skeldergate traveled  Colyne Stewart, Þorfinna gráfeldr, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Eirik Andersen, Wat of Sarum, Oksana, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Naja Kesali, Berend van der Eych, Mahault van der Eych, Adelaide van der Eych and Lorraine.

Ruprecht, the evil great troll of the North, who hates all things good and pure, sent his fury down upon the land, burying the world in snow and ice. However, the people of the northern lands have strong spirits and were not to be dissuaded from traveling. For lo, wagons lumbered forth across the roads, valleys and dales, and many braved the inclement weather. Indeed, travelers from the Barony of Rising Waters and Skraeling Althing did attend the celebrations, as did some from the Kingdom of AEthelmearc.

All these good gentles trudged through the blowing snow into the warmth of Skeldergate’s halls. Coats and robes were flung to a table and the sounds of merriment filled the room.

Somewhere in his cave Ruprecht raged.

Many games were played that day, and the stakes were high. For with every victory the winner would receive a token. These tokens would later be drawn for prizes from a laden and groaning table. The Games Guild of Ealdormere laid ‘serious’ games upon a table, and many present enjoyed a game of Glic, or Mills, or Nine-Man-Morris. Meanwhile, members of House Galbraith operated ‘silly’ games, such as pitching plague cows at castles and a bean bag toss.

A number of round devices called hula-hoops were also employed, and three charming (though beauty challenged) ladies entertained those present with their gymnastic routines. These Beard Sisters, who bore a striking resemblance to Lord Berend van der Eych, Laird Colyne Stewart and Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, hopped, skipped and cavorted with said hoops, challenging others to games of endurance and stamina. Many, including the knights Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn and Sir Evander MacLachlan accepted their challenges.

Hans and Brigid of Eoforwic, the King and Queen of Misrule, arrived, and Ruprecht raged the more, for with them arrived more fun and silliness. For the King and Queen were weighted down with tokens which one could win by entertaining them (indeed, the Beard Sisters were granted tokens based on their appearances alone) or by stealing them. The barbarians Grimroth and Tannan tried their hand at thievery, reaching down the bodice of one of the gentle Beard Sisters. Though they had been told she had many tokens, they did not find them on her person (she had hidden them in her lord’s sporran).

A mat was spread upon the floor, upon which had been painted circles of various colours. Up to six people at a time would meet upon the mat, contorting their bodies to try and touch the different coloured circles as the King of Misrule commanded them. The last to stand would win many tokens.

In the afternoon, a court was held, firstly conducted by Cromwell, Lord Protector of Misrule (who looked a lot like Arminius the Footsore). Cromwell did call before him all the men dressed as women, for from their ranks he would pick a consort. He tested their demure looks, their hips, and their singing voices, and finally chose a blond haired cotehardie wearing beauty with a scruffy chin.

Cromwell handed out several awards for garish clothing, unruly behaviour and the such, before calling before him the King and Queen of Misrule which had somehow survived an assassination attempt (one reportedly set in motion by Cromwell himself). It was a kangaroo court he said, so the prosecutor and defender would both have to be constantly jumping at least six inches off of the floor. A lord from Bastille called Edward was the prosecutor. This Edward was wearing a kilt, and he was wearing it in proper style, so that while he jumped he was forced to clutch the material between his knees. Mistress Nicolaa de Bracton did jump for the defense, wearing a head piece made of currency and a dress emblazoned with leaves and winged wheels (which represented some sort of sporting teams). Finding the King and Queen innocent, Cromwell abdicated and he and his consort left the dais.

Now the King and Queen of Misrule did reign, and conducted their business. Most notably, the Baron and Baroness of Rising Waters did come into court, and they did grace their cousins the Baron and Baroness of Septentria with the bounties of the lakes and rivers of their lands. Their Excellencies Rising Waters, protected by their guard salmon, gave many fishy treasures, including chocolate fish, a fish shaped menu, a baldric covered in little fishies and a box of crackers in the shape of fish.

After court a grand feast was held, one cooked by Their Excellencies of Septentria, and many were the sighs of pleasure as the diners devoured all placed before them. Their Excellencies, to show the wealth of their barony, did make manna fall from heaven, and soon bread was flying throughout the hall.

Feast was followed by a long slow withdrawal, as all those present prepared themselves to go back out into the cold and face Ruprecht’s wrath again. However, by this time his rage had subsided somewhat, his energy spent, and the snowfall was now slow and gentle. Goodbyes were said, wagons were loaded, and the celebrants headed for home.

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The Shire of the March of St. Martin hosted the traditional Season of the Wolf event on January 29. Many from the High Cliffs made the long trek, including Lord Eirik Andersen, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Wat of Sarum, Lady Oksana, Lord Berend van der Eych and Lady Mahault van der Eych, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Lady Naja Kesali and Drew. Several housed themselves within the keep of former Chreaggers Duchess Eanor of Amberhall and Lord William Donovan. At the event, Wulfgang’s squire brother—THLord Kasimir of Stargard—was put on vigil for the Order of Chivalry.

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February AS XXXIX

Ardchreag once again hosted its annual pas d’armes, this year on the 19th day of February. Locals attending included: Berend van der Eych, Rory Cennedi, Laird Colyne Stewart, Eirik Andersen, Iolanda de Albornoz, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Jennifer of Ardchreag, Mahault van der Eych, Naja Kesali, Rhys ap Bledri, Sarah, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Sof’ia Bardeva, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Tarian verch Gadarn, Þorfinna gráfeldr, Volodymyr ‘Vlad’ Blahuciak, Wat of Sarum and Wulfgang Donnerfaust.

Noble and redoubted knights, honored and gentle squires, I have come before you to advise, request and notify you on behalf of the Canton of Ardchreag of a very noble tourney and bouhort of arms that has recently been undertaken by them. These gentles have agreed together to welcome you over all others on account of the great fame of your valor, the renown of your intelligence and the praise of the virtues that have long endured in your noble persons. So, please join us, for much good may come of it.

So began the announcement, proclaiming the pas d’armes to be held at Snowed Inn IV, hosted by the Canton of Ardchreag. Once again the Company of the White Heart did ride forth and offer up a sword to the most worthy fighter of the day. A sword first won by Lord Tiberius of Warwickshire, then by THL Kasimir of Stargard, and then by Lord Etain de Neval.

The hall was large, with banners hung upon the walls, and rafters spanning high over head. To one side of the hall were arrayed many tables, where good gentles gathered and sat. Along one wall was spread an Arts and Sciences display and competition, beside which sat another table, this one laden with games for all to play, supplied by the Games Guild of Ealdormere.

The other side of the hall was given over to the tournament. A line of tables ran along one side of the list field, upon which each fighter placed their helm. On the opposite side of the lists was constructed a gallery, where the consorts of those taking part in the tournament might watch in comfort.

First, the Ladies of the Gallery did inspect the displayed helms, seeking for any belonging to a combatant they felt to be a rogue or in some other way unworthy to compete. No such recreant was discovered, and her Majesty Genevieve led the other Ladies onto the lists, where each was given a pole, upon which hung a gold or blue star. The King of Arms and his heralds called out all those who were to compete in the tournament, and those combatants then made an oath to fight in honour and with courtesy. For this was a tournament, an event of heraldry and comradeship, not a war battle. Oath made, each fighter then had to lance one of the stars with their sword to determine their team. The Ladies of course did not make this easy, juggling their poles and making the stars bounce and bob. Finally, all the stars were lanced, and the Azure and Or teams were formed.

The Ladies were then led to the gallery, being a raised dais where they sat in comfort, fed, watered and waited upon by Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr called Swordbreaker.

The tournament did then begin. First individual challenges were made, as fighters of the Or strode forth to the center of the lists, holding aloft their weapon of choice. When the Ladies had been satisfied, and when every combatant had fought at least once, a grand melee was held. The combatants battled until hit, at which point they returned to their end of the list and waded once again into battle. Again, this continued until the Ladies had been satisfied. After a short break a barrier was erected in the centre of the lists and the Blue team now made challenges to the Gold. After the barrier there was one more grand melee to conclude the pas.

The Ladies of the Gallery then entered the lists, and the combatants knelt about them. The Ladies then handed out several tokens to the combatants, to recognize certain deeds or talents. Count Sir Rory Cennedi was recognized for his energy and enthusiasm, Laird Colyne Stewart for his heraldic display, Edward and Argyle for being newly authorized and fighting with such eagerness in the tournament. Lord Tiberius of Warwickshire and Lord Tarquin Bjornnson were also given tokens. These were by no means the only tokens awarded, but only the ones that this chronicler can now recall. Also, the Sword, the grand prize of the tournament, was that day graced to His Excellency Ramshaven, Baron Konrad Matthias Jaegger von Dubrau, to hold for a year and a day, to be brought to Snowed Inn the following year where it would once again be sought after in the lists.

Following the pas there was a Royal Speed Tournament, as well as several individual challenges.

Court was then held, and many worthy gentles were recognized for their contributions to the kingdom. Their Excellencies of Septentria bestowed Awards of the Golden Bear upon Lord Berend and Lady Mahault van der Eych, and the Horn of Muinnin—Septentria’s preeminent award—upon Lady Christiana MacNamara and Lord Percival de Laroque. Her Majesty then called upon many for acknowledgment, including Tarian verch Gadarn, who was made a Lady, Lord Hans Thorvaldsson who was given an Award of the Scarlet Banner, and Baroness Gaerwen of Trafford, who was elevated to the Order of the Crucible. Duke Sir Finnvarr de Taahe’s knighting scroll was recognized by Her Majesty as a true relic of Ealdormere.

After court a most sumptuous feast was held, prepared by Lady Mahault and Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn. It consisted of: Squash Soup, Sautéed Mushrooms, Roast Onion Salad, Roast Chicken with Orange Sauce, Hungarian Torta, Ham with Winter Cameline Sauce, Torta Bolognese, Blancmange, Chireseye and Candied Orange Rinds. (This was in fact part of Mahault’s winning entry in the previous year’s Kingdom Arts  and Sciences Pentathlon.)

It was a grand finale to a glorious day in Ealdormere.

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On February 26, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, again organized a demonstration for those barbarians who are interested in fairy tales. Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Lord Berend van der Eych and Adelaide van der Eych represented Ardchreag. Friends from Skeldergate also came out, including: Duke Sir Berus Wulfesonne, Duchess Marion FitzWilliam, Baron Corwyn Galbraith, Baroness Domhnail Galbraith, Lord Hamish Gunn, Lady Ceridwyn y Anghofidig and Jordan of House Galbraith.

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That same day, Colyne Stewart was battling in the East Kingdom. Below is a transcription from his personal journal.

The trip to the East Kingdom’s Winter War began at 6 am. Up, out of bed and showered, and then off with Syr Evander MacLachlan to a lot located off the King’s Highway. There we were picked up by Lord Ludwig von Eisengard and Lady Katharine von Eisengard in their very large covered wain. We were soon trundling down the highway, making one brief stop to pick up Rattanicus and Edward (two of the new Bastille Boys) before heading for the Shire of Northern Outpost in the East Kingdom (known to the barbarians as Potsdam, New York). The trip was uneventful, the border crossing easy and brief, the time spent in pleasant conversation and the consuming of baked corn chips and Sir Timothy’s pastries.

We arrived at the event site around 11 am, and Evander was not out of the wain for more than a moment before running across his ex-squire brother, Baron Conrad Connor MacAllyn. The site had netting that had been lowered to enclose the centre of the hall. This would allow any combat archery or thrown weapons during melees without fear of injuring bystanders. We lugged in our gear, and went to pay at the gate, encountering our first cultural difference of the day. Namely, not having to sign the waiver at gate if you have your blue card. Thus signed in we quickly put on our kits. I was asked by a local squire (whose name unfortunately I have now forgotten) to do warm-ups.

Then, the melees began. To begin, they were impromptu pick-ups, but soon sides were chosen with fighters spread out as evenly as possible. Evander, Rattanicus, Edward, Ludwig and I were put on the left flank, along with fellow Ealdormereans Sir Rory Cennedi and his squires Iohannes and Hrothgar. Our orders were to try to either flank the other side, or stop them from flanking us. Generally what happened was that their flankers and ourselves ended up meeting off to the left of every battle. I found that the East tended to use more spears and pole-arms than Ealdormere (or, if they don’t, then they kept sending them all at me). I spent the majority of the day trying valiantly to block long-range weapons.

After the melees we did bridge battles, with a short (say, ten foot) bridge. With such a short bridge the teams used one of two tactics: just run blindly into the enemy, or sit back and let the long-range weapons pick each side apart piece by piece. Eventually this became an unlimited resurrection battle. If you died you went over and joined the other side. This made for interesting fighting as the teams kept changing.

We then did a Peers vs. the Known World scenario, where the eight knights in attendance took on the other twenty-seven or so fighters. I joined up with there others to form a four-man team. Our plan (which I believe was Rattanicus’) was simple. We would run at the knight in green (who’s name, I believe, was Sir Stephen). When the lay on was called we saw our man and ran right at him. I managed to get a shot in over his shield killing him as we came into range, but the valiant knight legged me at the same time. I was then left behind on my knees by my team-mates as they ran off after other knights. The knight chuckled and patted me on the shoulder as he walked off the field. (That would be my highlight of the day.)

Following the massacre of the chivalry (with such odds, victory was almost guaranteed to the Known World) they split us up by mundane country. The marshal told all of us from Canada to go to one side of the field, while those from America (which would be “most of us”) would take the other. We got quite a chuckle when it was discovered that Canadian fighters on the field actually out numbered the Americans by two. We evened the teams out, as the marshal explained the battle to come. It was called the meat grinder, and was unlimited resurrection. Red and black mats had been spread out over the field. Red mats were lava: if you touched them, you were dead. Black mats were tar: if you touched them you were stuck to them until someone killed you. This ran until everyone was too tired to continue. I finally called it quits near the end when I was skewered upon at two spears simultaneously, leaving me devoid of breath and with two broken ribs. (This just went to prove how ineffective my current harness was against thrusts from great weapons, and the following day a new kit was assembled. It was the final kick in the rear I needed to get the project done.)

His Majesty of the East, Sir Thorvald Halvorsen, was in attendance and held a court, but as we had not brought any garb with us, we watched from the sidelines where we unfortunately could not hear what was happening. Court was closed when His Majesty stood and ran at a mat, jumping in the air, and executing a body flip. This was met with great applause, and many good gentles followed his example.

We then loaded back up the wain, said our goodbyes and began the trek home, happily munching on a flavour of baked corn chip not available in Ealdormere at the time. This time we were stopped at the border, and the wain was searched. However, the guards of course found nothing, and we got to see their display case of confiscated weapons.

It was an excellent fighting event, and the folks of Northern Outpost are among the friendliest and most accommodating people I have met in my travels. I am sure I’ll be finding my way down for their Winter War again next year.

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During this time Wulfgang and Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust moved to the Shire of Trinovantia Nova. As a result, at this time Þorfinna gráfeldr became Deputy Seneschal, Naja Kesali Orekh became the Minister of Arts and Sciences, Colyne Stewart became Pursuivant, and Tarian verch Gadarn became Chatelaine. The position of Royalty Liaison was left vacant.

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On the 5th of March, the Shire of Trinovantia Nova again hosted the Winter War. From Ardchreag traveled: Berend van der Eych, Rory Cennedi, Colyne Stewart, Eirik Andersen, Mahault van der Eych, Naja Kesali, Rhys ap Bledri, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Sof’ia Bardeva, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Þorfinna gráfeldr, and Wat of Sarum.

There were many fighters on the field that day, including many visitors from the Middle Kingdom, including the newly knighted Sir Jocelyn le Jongleur, as well as the King and the Prince of the Middle, Sir Brannos and Sir Alaric le Fevre.

The first was Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, squire-brother to Kasimir, authorized in great sword that day. Nigel of House Galbraith authorized in sword and shield, while Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr was authorized in dagger and Anna became the second Galbraith to ever authorize in fencing.

The  bridge battle was an unlimited resurrection battle, which lasted for forty minutes and was a test of endurance for even the hardiest warriors.

The Honourable Lord Kasimir of Stargard had been placed on vigil, to be elevated into the grand Order of Chivalry. This is the same Kasimir who made such an excellent showing at the kingdom’s last Crown Tournament. And so the good Vendel did hold the field against all comers, and battle long and hard he did, until all were satisfied. He then retired to a yurt which the Rozakii had erected, and there he heard the words of wisdom from all those who came to visit him and wish him well. And in the evening he did serve, for this is how Sir Sarnac Bahadur, his knight, had spent his own vigil day.

When feast was done, Their Royal Lupine Majesties did hold Their court, where many good gentles were recognized for their skills and service. Finally, Kasimir, son of Sarnac, son of Roak, was brought before Their Majesties, preceded by his squire-brothers, who bore his shield and helm. There, many noble people did speak of his many virtues, and he was laden with gifts. For he was cloaked, and spurred, and given a sword. Also was he given a spear, for he was a Vendel. And, of course, he was given custody of the chain of the Ealdormere’s Order of Chivalry. His Majesty Malik then invited His Majesty Sir Brannos and Sir Sarnac to place their hands with His upon the Sword of State, and together they did dub Kasimir, and make him a Knight of the Realm.

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The Barony of Rhydderich Hael in the Kingdom of AEthelmearc observed the Passing of the Ice Dragon on March 19. From Ardchreag traveled Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Lord Eirik Andersen and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr. Many other good gentles from Ealdormere also made the journey, including Their Royal Majesties Malik and Genevieve, Sir Evander MacLachlan, Sheikh Auguste Valizan, Baron Tancred of Tanglewood, Dagmar of House Galbraith, Lord Rhisiart ap Meredudd, Lady Lassarfhina Inghean Uilleag, Edward Fuchyn dit Lyon and Rattanicus. Evander and Siegfried took second place in a two-man bear pit tournament.

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That same day Lady Naja Kesali Orekh went north-east to Petrea Thule for their annual Late Winter Shoot.

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Ramshaven again hosted Forward into the Past, this year held on April 9th. Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych and others from Ardchreag attended as teachers and students.

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On the 16th of April, trumpets blew in the Barony of Rising Waters to herald another Lady Mary Memorial Tournament. Among the attendees from Ardchreag were Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Wat of Sarum and Lady Sof’ia Bardeva.

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On April 18th, the Village of Ardchreag held its second manorial court. Each person wishing to participate brought with them a certain number of dry goods. For each item of dry goods they received one token with which they would be able to pay fines and bribes during the court. The amount of dry goods brought was up to each participant, and all goods brought went towards the canton’s baronial taxes (to raise the baron’s weight in food to be donated to a food bank at Feast of the Bear in November).

Unlike in the previous court, this time jurors could make charges as well as be charged themselves. They also sometimes acted as pledges.

The court scribe records the following persons as in attendance:

Corwyn Galbraith, Lord of the Manor
Marion FitzWilliam, Lady of the Manor
Berend van der Eych, flesh and fowl taster, member of the White Tithing
Colyne Stewart, ale taster, member of the White Tithing
Eirik Andersen, juror, village alderman, member of the White Tithing
Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, juror, member of the Green Tithing
Mahault van der Eych, brook looker, member of the Green Tithing
Naja Kesali Orekh, bailiff, member of the White Tithing
Nicolaa de Bracton, visiting dignitary from the Citie of Eoforwic
Siegfried Brandbeorn, Hayward, village alderman, member of the Green Tithing
Tarian verch Gadarn, beadle, member of the Green Tithing
Þorfinna gráfeldr, juror, member of the White Tithing
Wat of Sarum, ale taster, member of the Green Tithing

Also, Adelaide van der Eych, Marie de Chat Noir, and baby Ethan.

The lord and lady of the manor, and the jurors, sat at one end of the room on a dais representing the court. All others in attendance sat about the other three sides, leaving the centre of the room open. Someone wishing to lay a charge would respectfully step before the court and state their accusation. The accused would then step forward as well. Both would be instructed to gather pledges and between one and two minutes were allowed for this. During this time much money changed hands as pledges were bought, silences ensured and officials bribed. (Any bribe to a juror went right into the beadle's money jar.)

Both sides then presented their stories, and all pledges were allowed to speak. Rebuttals were allowed, though the court could stop them at any time. The court then discussed the testimony and settled on a verdict. Generally, if the defendant was found guilty they—and all their pledges—were fined. As well, generally, if the defendant was found innocent, the plaintiff and all their pledges were fined. There were of course cases where both sides were fined or only certain people on both or either side.

The charges and their results are below:

Colyne Stewart, ale taster, did accuse Wulfgang Donnerfaust of failing to pay chevage (a tax to move outside of the lord’s manor). Colyne said that his very absence proved the charge was true, and that his absence meant he was negligent in his duty as Chief Pledge of the White Tithing. Though the bailiff, Naja Kesali, and Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust tried to argue that Wulfgang was merely engaged in espionage in Trinovantia Nova on the lord’s behalf, he was found guilty. His estate (in the person of Jean-Margaret) was fined three gold.

Wat of Sarum, ale taster, charged Mahault van der Eych, brook looker, with stealing some of his ale, and having unseemly revels at her home. For pledge, Wat secured Siegfried Brandbeorn, Hayward and village alderman. For her defense, Mahault enlisted Berend van der Eych, flesh and fowl taster, Naja Kesali, bailiff, and Colyne Stewart, ale taster. They allege that Wat’s missing ale was in fact consumed by him, and further that he had left his ale under a bird’s nest to be fouled. At this point Wat accused Mahault of witchcraft! First Naja, then Colyne and Berend, threw themselves on the mercy of the court and admitted that Mahault was indeed a witch and had ensorcelled them to give testimony on her behalf. Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton, emissary from the Citie of Eoforwic, spoke as an expert witness having spent much time with the Dominicans. She is adept at spotting witches and assured the court that Mahault could very well be a witch. It is pointed out that Mahault spends much time with her horse and has many cats (having in fact recently acquired a third). Also, wearing her low-cut bodice revealed to all that she had a strange mark on her chest1. Siegfried alleged that she had for a time turned him into a dog (though he had gotten better). All this evidence weighed heavily upon Mahault, who was found guilty of stealing Wat’s ale and had to pay one gold. Further she was fined one gold for throwing revels to which the lord had not been invited, one gold for practicing witchcraft, and one gold per person she had ensorcelled. Her case was then sent to the church court for further prosecution. Wat was charged one gold for leaving his ale under a bird’s nest.2

Þorfinna gráfeldr, juror, charged Mahault and Berend van der Eych with harbouring a suspicious stranger. As pledge she brought Nicolaa de Bracton, emissary from Eoforwic, Wat of Sarum, ale taster, and Colyne Stewart, ale taster. In their defense the Van der Eychs brought Siegfried Brandbeorn, Hayward and village alderman. Wat claimed that this stranger, William Donovan, was scouting the lord’s manor in anticipation of an invasion by a large household to the south, and Nicolaa added that on her travels she had seen this household and knew that they were indeed mighty. Siegfried as a knight then spoke on behalf of William Donovan and this household in his capacity as an expert on military matters, saying that Donovan and the house are friends to the lord and his manor. In fact, the head of the household was king of the Middle Kingdom, and was therefore above reproach. When asked if William Donovan paid chevage when he moved to the south, it was pointed out that this tax would have been paid to the citie council of Eoforwic. The jurors, their pockets suspiciously jingling, found Berend and Mahault innocent. The lord also said that he had found the paperwork showing that William Donovan had indeed paid his chevage, though he had now lost said paperwork. Þorfinna, Wat and Colyne are all fined one token for bringing forward a false charge. However, Siegfried is also fined. He is fined one gold for giving false statement (for the king he had spoken of had in fact died two days earlier, his son now being king of the Middle). Also, he is fined one token for eating the lord’s paperwork regarding William Donovan’s chevage while transformed into a dog. The lord’s beadle, Tarian verch Gadarn, then says that the lord should be fined for loosing paperwork. Scowling, the lord fines the beadle for creating a disturbance in court and tells her to retake her seat.

Naja Kesali Orekh and Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust allege that, while at Lady Mary’s, they overheard Eirik Andersen and Siegfried Brandbeorn plotting to overthrow the lord of the manor! For their defense, Siegfried and Eirik call on Berend van der Eych, flesh and fowl taster, Mahault van der Eych, brook looker, Colyne Stewart, ale taster, and Wat of Sarum, ale taster. Eirik and Siegfried assert that they were indeed plotting, but their coup was aimed at the lands of Rising Waters, to increase the size of the lord’s manor. Eirik says that he never saw Naja or Jean-Margaret nearby at the event, so for them to overhear their words they would have had to use witchcraft! Wat then accuses Naja—a Rus—of being a gypsy! Naja and Jean-Margaret counter that Eirik is a witch, as he has a device that steals people’s images and places them on paper. In horror, Wat left Eirik’s side and went over to Naja and Jean-Margaret. The court found Eirik and Siegfried guilty and charged them each one gold. They also sent Eirik’s case up to the church court. They also found Naja guilty of witchcraft and fine her one gold. However, having no more money, she cast the evil eye on all present and fled the room!

As the court slowly came to order, Naja’s sister Ivanna the Oblivious—a member of the Russian Orthodox Church—arrived.

Irritated at Wat of Sarum’s head knuckling, the lord fined him six gold.

Tarian verch Gadarn, beadle, accuses Berend of sabotage in the name of vanity. She alleged that Berend taught her how to make mead for entry in the Annual Ulrich von der See Memorial Mead Competition, and that he sabotaged her batch. The lady of the manor speaks on Berend’s behalf, saying that sometimes a sound brewer will just have helpless pupils, intimating that she herself is such an inept pupil of the lord of the manor. Tarian called on Wat of Sarum, ale taster, Ivanna the Oblivious and Mahault van der Eych, brook looker. Wat asked how someone as talented as Tarian could make such bad mead as she displayed at the Competition. Mahault said that she was also taught by Berend, using the same supplies he provided, and that her batch also turned out foul. Ivanna said she heard Berend tell Tarian that her batch was fine for entry, which was patiently false. Mahault went on to say that Berend sabotaged their mead because of the sin of pride, as he is the usual winner of the competition. Berend was found guilty and fined one gold. He was also fined one gold for being a braggart and one gold for wasting honey. Tarian was fined one gold for not paying an apprenticing tax. The lady of the manor was fined two gold by the lord for rubbing salt in his old wounds.

Mahault van der Eych, brook looker, charges Colyne Stewart, ale taster, with poaching fish from the lord’s pond. As pledges Mahault provided Berend van der Eych, flesh and fowl taster, Ivanna the Oblivious, and Siegfried Brandbeorn, Hayward and village alderman. Colyne called on Eirik Andersen, juror and village alderman, and Wat of Sarum, fellow ale taster. Colyne said that he did not poach any fish as he does not eat fish at all. When Mahault asked if he did not eat fish on Friday, he replied that he fasts on Fridays. As proof of his fasting Wat pointed out the four stone in weight Colyne had recently lost, and Eirik told of a Friday recently past where Colyne sent his meal back to the kitchen rather than eating it. However, Berend, Ivanna and Siegfried prove that he often broke his fasts on Fridays and that fasting or not, that did not explain why they all saw him poaching fish. Colyne was fined seven gold!

Eirik Andersen, juror and village alderman, on behalf of Sir Evander MacLachlan, then charged Colyne Stewart, ale taster, with being a lazy lay-about squire for not having fought in over two months. Eirik brought forth Berend van der Eych, flesh and fowl taster, Mahault van der Eych, brook looker, Nicolaa de Bracton, emissary of Eoforwic, Tarian verch Gadarn, beadle, and Þorfinna gráfeldr, juror. Colyne presented Ivanna the Oblivious, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Hayward and village alderman, and Wat of Sarum, ale taster. Before anyone could speak, Þorfinna revealed that she had been bribed to speak against her husband, and gave the bribe money to the court. The Van der Eychs both also admitted to being bribed and change sides. Nicolaa then said that she is used to corruption, being from Eoforwic, and pulled her testimony completely. Siegfried asked Eirik if he believed strongly in the knight-squire relationship. Eirik answered that he did, so Siegfried told him to drop the case.3 Eirik did so, and was fined one gold for wasting the court’s time. However, Colyne was also fined one gold for being lazy.

Mahault van der Eych, brook looker, then asked that her sentence for stealing a lamb from the previous court be overturned as she had only been holding on to it to use in a stew for that year’s Snowed Inn feast. The jury decided that the meat in the stew could have been anything and Mahault was fined one gold for wasting the court’s time.

Jean-Margaret then paid her chevage as she would likely soon be moving to Trinovantia Nova to join her husband Wulfgang.

Court was then concluded. All the remaining tokens were collected and counted to give a rough count of the number of dry goods collected (as each item was worth one coin). It was discovered that 154 coins had been used throughout the court’s proceedings, meaning that roughly 154 items for the canton’s taxes to the barony had been raised.

1.                  Her military tattoo.
2.                  This whole case, devised by Siegfried, is a parody of the witch trial from Blackadder. Nicolaa was playing the part of the Witchfinder Pursuivant.
3.                  Eirik was soon to become Siegfried’s squire.

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The 23rd day of April marked the Coronation of Edouard III and Genevieve II. Before they left the thrones to go out into the field and aid their parents in battle, TRMs Malik and Genevieve did hold a final court in the Barony of Skraeling Althing on a cold and rainy day. In that court they did recognize the skill and service of several, including THL Kaylah the Cheerful for her efforts in Ealdormere’s armed forces, and THL Richard Larmer, whom they made a Baron of Their Court. Taking up Their weapons They then removed Their crowns and left the thrones vacant. The Barons and Baronesses of Ealdormere did then hold the lands of Ealdormere, until Edouard and Genevieve appeared, and bid them give the stewardship of Ealdormere up to them, or there would be civil unrest and fire. Their Excellencies gave consent, and Edouard and Genevieve then went on to prove their claim over and over to receive each item of regalia to prove their king- and queen-ship. Once fully ordained, they held a court in which they called forth His Excellency Ramshaven, Baron Konrad Matthias Jaeggar von Dubrau, whom they placed on vigil for elevation into the Order of Chivalry. Konrad’s knight, Sir Belgar, not seen in our lands for many years, was on hand to personally beg the boon.

Those from the Cliffs who attended included: Count Sir Rory Cennedi, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Adelaide van der Eych; as well as former Chreagers Lady Elaine leMesurier, Lord Melchior Carver, and Lord William Donovan.

At this event Þorfinna was taken on by Cennedi as a man-at-arms for a year.

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New village appointments were filled on the meeting of April 25th.

Bailiff: Colyne
Reeve: Eirik
Woodward: Naja
Juror 1: Siegfried
Juror 2: Mahault
Juror 3: Berend
Claviger: Þorfinna
Hornblower: Wat
Flesh and fowl taster: Eileen LeMesurier

The tithings stood thusly:

Green: Berend, Siegfried, Naja, Wat, Eirik

White: Þorfinna, Mahault, Eileen, Colyne

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On April 30th, Lord Wat of Sarum and Lady Oksana z Morivy traveled with TRMs to the Stronghold of Tor Brandt to participate in the annual Dandelion Festival.

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That same day, Greater De Taahe did hold a brewing day at the home of the Van der Eychs. Those from Ardchreag who did attend included: Count Sir Rory Cennedi, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Lord Eirik Andersen, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr. Other guests included: Baroness Adrielle Kerrec, Sir Nigel MacFarlane, Lord Melchior the Carver, Lady Eileen leMesurier and Kuni.

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On the 7th of May, the Lord Mayor of the Citie of Eoforwic invited all who wished to attend, to come and partake of a Market Day. From Ardchreag traveled Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn (who won first place in a Royal Tournament), Lady Naja Kesali Orekh and Lady Sof’ia Bardeva.

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At the meeting on the 9th of May, Lord Berend van der Eych stepped down as the canton’s seneschal. Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr was unanimously picked to replace him. Jennifer of Ardchreag took over as exchequer from Sof’ia. Also it was agreed to split the fight practice and A&S to two separate nights again. Fight practice would continue to be held on Mondays, while A&S would be done in members’ homes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays (which ever day best suited that week’s host).

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The Canton of Skeldergate held a demonstration of the Society’s aims and skills at a place of learning called Newtonbrook Secondary on the 12th day of May. Many gentles from around the barony, including Eoforwic and Caer Draeth, came to assist the Skeldergaters in their noble endeavour. From Ardchreag did come Axayacatl—who bore a striking resemblance to Gunnar skald Thorvaldsson, called Truthsinger—who displayed axes, knives and other implements of thrown weapons; Berend van der Eych, Mahault van der Eych and Adelaide van der Eych who acted as greeters, resplendent in gowns and cotes; Siegfried Brandbeorn, Colyne Stewart, Þorfinna gráfeldr and Wat of Sarum who participated on the list field showcasing the fine art of armoured combat.

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While traveling through the Citie of Eoforwic on the 14th day of May, Their Excellencies Septentria, Corwyn and Domhnail, Their Graces Berus and Marion, and their traveling companions did chance to stop at a local tavern named Cassidy's for refreshment. While there, they met Lord Sam Forkbeard, one of those who had first settled upon the Cliffs in Ardchreag fourteen long years ago. Sam had been little seen for many years, and Their Excellencies and Their Graces took delight in sharing news from long ago and recent with him. Then, in a showing of Ardchreag hospitality, Sam Forkbeard did cover all the company's expenses from his jingling purse in the name of his old canton upon the cliffs.

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On Sunday May 15, Lord Eirik Andersen did travel to the royal Citie of Eoforwic to participate in an armoured combat practice. While there marshals did take him and have him battle with Bjarn styrmirson, and he did emerge from this battle as Ardchreag’s newest authorized fighter.

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Construction of a canton barrier for pas d’armes challenges was begun by the Ardchreag Engineering Corps on May 18th. Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Eirik Andersen, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lady Sof’ia Bardeva and Lady Tarian verch Gadarn met at Drew’s End to work on the project.

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On the 28th day of May, a grand tournament was held in the lands of Septentria, within the canton of Caer Draeth. There, the following good gentles did cross swords to determine who would be the new Prince and Princess of Ealdormere:

Mistress Aelfwyn of Longwood for THL Hereward the Far Dweller
THL Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn for Lady Brayla la Vienette
Lord Corrig Bjornsson for THL Emer nic Aidan
Lord Derfel Malory for Lady Melisande du Rocher
Viscount Edward the Red for Viscountess Rylyn Buchanan
Sir Evander MacLachlan for THL Melusine de la Rose
THL Kayla the Cheerful for Sir Trumbrand the Wanderer
Lord Lothar the Gregarious for Lady Katherine of Renfrewshire
Baron Phaidrig McNeil for Baroness Etaoin O'Fearghail
Count Sarnac Ba'adur for Countess Joleicia of Litchfield
Lord Tarquin Bjornsson for Lady Caitlin inghean Tomais ui Dhuibihir
Master Trumbrand the Wanderer for THL Kayla the Cheerful
Baron Tynne Duair ap Beul for Baroness Tabitha Dearval
Lord Wat of Sarum for Lady Oksana z Moravy
Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust for Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust

The tournament was a best of five round robin, which lasted for over five hours. In the end, Viscount Edward the Red (who was undefeated) and Count Sarnac Ba’adur (who had only lost to Edward) faced each other in the finals. The finals were to be three best of five rounds. The first round was polearm, which was won by Edward. The second was sword and shield, which was won by Sarnac. The final round was in great sword. Both Edward and Sarnac won two fights in the third round, leaving the balance of the tournament in one final clash of arms. Edward was to emerge victorious, and he and Rylyn were recognized as Ealdormere’s new heirs.

Many from Ardchreag were in attendance to witness this grand event, including: Count Sir Rory Cennedi, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, THL Rhys ap Bledri, THL Hereward the Fardweller, Lord Vlad Blahuciak, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lady Naja Kesali Orekh, Lord Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lord Wat of Sarum, Lady Sof’ia Bardeva, Lady Oksana z Moravy, Lady Tarian verch Gadarn, Randy of Ardchreag, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Jennifer of Ardchreag and baby Ethan. Tarian erected a shade tent and fed all Chreaggers present with lamb stew and other victuals which were wolfed down with much glee.

In the evening a brief court was held after a sumptuous feast. At this court, Tarquin (who was caught napping) was awarded a Scarlet Banner. Also, Baron Eric of Longacres retired from the position of Trillium Herald, with Lord Percival deLaroque being sworn in as his successor.

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June AS LX
The Canton of Petrea Thule again hosted Pikeman’s Pleasure, this year upon the 4th of June. At this event Lord William Donovan, formerly of Ardchreag, won an unbelted Royal Tournament, while Count Sir Rory Cennedi won the main Royal Tournament. Laird Colyne Stewart successfully challenged into the White Bear Fian—Septentria’s fighting order—defeating Baron Konrad Matthias Jaegger von Dubrau. Cennedi also challenged into the Fian, defeating Sir Evander MacLachlan. Baron Sir Siegfried founded his new house at this event, taking THL Dafyyd ap Sion and Lord Eirik Andersen as squires, and Lord Augustyn of Ely as a man-at-arms. Lady Mahault van der Eych authorized in spear.

In all, there were thirteen from the Cliffs in attendance: Siegfried, Cennedi, Colyne, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Eirik, Snæbjörn, Berend van der Eych, Mahault, Iolanda de Albornoz, THL Raffe Scholemaystre, Lord Vlad Blahuciak, Lady Naja Kesali Orekh and Lady Sof’ia Bardeva, as well as former members such as Lady Tatiiana, Lord Kenric Manning and Donovan.

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On the 6th of June the canton moved its fight practices outside to a park in the lands of Pickering, called Alex Robertson.

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The Canton of Skeldergate held an event on June 11 in honour of one of its members who had passed away. In the summer of AS XXXIV, Sir Thorbjorn Osis, while reigning as king of Ealdormere, was returning from an out-of-kingdom event when he was involved in a car accident that claimed his life (and the life of fellow passenger Lady Bernadette of Lauren). To celebrate the life of this King of Ealdormere, this former king of the Middle, this knight, the Canton of Skeldergate held an Osis-style event. The planned activities for the day included (as the event flyer stated): “FIGHTING – Also…watching fighting, talking about fighting, fighting classes, heavy weapons authorizations, even more fighting…” All of this fighting was to be followed by a dinner of wings and home brewed beer.

Over fifty fighters came out to celebrate Osis’ life by hitting each other with sticks, including Duke Brannos O'Iongardail and Duchess Rebekah MacTiernan of the Middle Kingdom, and Duke Sir Rurik Longsword and his squire Lord Stevan Ulfkellson from Æthelmearc. From our own kingdom there were fighters present from every barony and from the shires. From Ardchreag many came to toast Osis memory, including: Count Sir Rory Cennedi, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lady Isotta Gianfgliazzi, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr and Lady Sof’ia Bardeva.

Many tournaments were held, and true to their words there was much fighting to be had. Once all were tired out from the heat and humidity, those still present went upstairs to a banquet hall.

After toasting Osis’ memory Osis was further honoured by the crowd engaging in one of his favourite pastimes—the signing of bruises. Those who had particularly lovely bruises stood up on chairs and showed them off, while the person who delivered them signed them with a red felt tip pen. There were several bruises signed, perhaps the most memorable being the bruise Baron Sir Siegfried managed to give Duke Sir Brannos on his leg (as Duke Sir Berus said, even gods sometimes get labeled). Siegfried said he would only sign Brannos’ bruise, if His Grace would then sign the bruise he had given to Siegfried in return! So they both pulled up their shorts and signed each others’ leg.

A game of hide Siegfried’s keys soon ensued after he put them on a table to chase Sir Evander around the room (a chase which ended with Evander tripping and sliding into a table and chairs, luckily unhurt). Evander faced further mishap later as he walked past Lady Mahault van der Eych who made a wide hand gesture that smacked him in a most delicate area and caused him to collapse in a chair. Mahault continued her accidental campaign against knightly genitalia later while standing in a circle of people, bouncing an Indian rubber ball back and forth, when she managed to hit Duke Sir Rurik in the crotch. (Rurik got her back later by managing to bounce the ball against the back of her head while she was walking down the hall.)

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On the 18th of June, the Barony of Ben Dunfirth did once again hold Murder Melee, this year’s event marking the twenty-second occurrence. From Ardchreag came Count Sir Rory Cennedi, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn and Lord Wat of Sarum, who fought on the team called ‘Baldric’s Cunning Plan’. With them fought Count Sir Aaron Preslee Worganson, Viscount Sir Mordain Blackcloak, Baron Sir Menken Brechen, Sir Evander MacLachlan, Lord Derfel Mallory, THL Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn, Lord Iohannes of Skraeling Althing, and Lord Benedict de Charteris. Also from Ardchreag went Laird Colyne Stewart, who fought on the Unbelted team, and Lady Sof’ia Bardeva. Baldric’s Cunning Plan went undefeated; the Unbelts went 5 and 3.

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On the 25th of June, under a blazing hot sun, the Canton of Ardchreag hosted a demo in the lands known as Oshawa for a library called Northview. Though helmed by members of Ardchreag, people came to help from the Barony of Ben Dunfirth, the Canton of Skeldergate, the Canton of Eoforwic, the Shire of Bastille du Lac and the Barony of Septentria at large. When you first entered the site you were greeted by wonderful posters created by Lady Tarian verch Gadarn, displaying various aspects of the Society, from fighting to garb. You could then follow the wall of the library around the back to a treed park where the library staff had erected a tent under which they sold provisions (and did a very brisk business). Beside this tent was the Welcome to the SCA tent, where Lady Isotta Gianfgliazzi, Lady Tarian verch Gadarn, her baby son Ethan, and Jennifer of Ardchreag answered questions, handed out flyers and had a large portfolio of Lord Eirik Andersen’s pictures to be looked at, as well as copies of Ardchreag’s Newcomer’s Handbook. Across from them, Lord Hamish Gunn and his young daughter Jordan spread out a blanket and laid out books about various medieval subjects and a carved Galbraith horn.

Master Rufus of Sewell also spread a blanket on the ground, where he displayed chain mail and weaving. Beside him was another table, at which Colin of Greenhithe, Lady Naja Kesali Orekh and Lord Ludwig von Eisengrim spread out chain mail, weaving and other crafts. Next to them Lord Normand Hauberkker had a table also displaying chain mail, and other crafts. Lady Eithne bjarnsdottir and Glynis of Ardchreag wandered the site, talking to visitors.

The line of exhibits then turned away from the library wall, to where Lady Unnr of Eoforwic and Lord James of Eoforwic had their blanket, upon which they sat and played music or taught arts and sciences. Next to them was another tent, under which Lord Serion d’Ivri and Lady Ayla d’Ivri stood watch over several other arts and sciences displays, including illumination, shoe making and naalbinding.

The final A&S tent was a large canvas shade, under which Lord Berend van der Eych and Lady Mahault van der Eych had set up an armouring shop, with pieces of armour on display, and the chance for visitors to actually dish some armour.

To finish things off there was the Lists, upon which Lord Iago della Zagatto, Lady Dagmar halvdan, Lady þorfinna gráfeldr, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Amelius Claudius Rattanicus, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, and Lord Thorolfr smithr battled throughout the day under the eye of Laird Colyne Stewart, who acted as King of Arms and List Minister. The fighters battled not just each other but the searing heat as they met over a barricade painted with the knightly virtues, fought in a grand melee and worked their way through two tournaments. After the barrier fighting, Colyne handed out tokens to the crowd that they could present to their fighter of choice. The most popular recipient was the dashing Sir Siegfried, with many young maidens giving him their tokens. In the final tournament of the day, each fighter picked a member of the crowd to fight for. Sir Siegfried, having won, presented his inspiration with three metal cups. Sir Siegfried himself, as winner of the earlier tournament, was presented a wooden box from the hands of about two dozen eager youngsters.

Thanks went out to Naja, Tarian and Colyne for donating the tokens and prizes. Many of the fighters distributed the tokens they had won amongst the attendees, and at least one young girl was heard to say she needed a chain for it because she would wear it forever.

In between battles, dances were had in the Lists, and the young ones got to fight with boffer swords and talk to the fighters with awed looks in their faces.

Estimates placed the crowd at about two hundred people.

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July AS LX
Every summer for the past twelve years, the Canton of Ardchreag has hosted an event on the Canada Day long weekend. Originally, it was called Septentrian War Practice, named after the barony Ardchreag resides in. Then, when Ealdormere was formed, the name was changed to Ealdormere War Practice (perhaps better known as EWP). This year the event evolved yet again. As Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr put it, the past twelve years were practice—this year, it was war!

The theme for the first War of the Trillium (or Trillium War, as most people ended up calling it) was early Period versus Late Period. To captain the Early Period, the canton contracted Mistress Ælfwyn of Longwood. To captain the Late Period, the canton asked Sir Edward the Red. However, Edward had to withdraw as he had become the Crown Prince. To replace him stepped forward Baron Konrad Mattias Jaegger von Dubrau, a most worthy gentle indeed.

To win the War, each captain had to earn war points, which were to be awarded in a number of ways. Each captain was given six war points that they could hand out as they saw fit, in the hopes that the person they gave the point too would go to the gate and allocate the point to their side. Points were also awarded for archery, children’s activities, the mead competition, fencing and so forth. Of course, both Periods also faced off in many armoured combat battles, which were each worth between 7 and 10 war points.

Ælfwyn, who arrived on site early, began her campaign quickly, and soon promotional posters bearing legends such as “Vote Often! Vote Ælfwyn!” and “If there is 4 digits in the date, it’s Late!” began to appear all over the event site.

The summer event had moved back to Ardchreag’s traditional site, after being held on a farm for the past two years. For those who have never been there, you enter the site by driving for about five minutes down a winding tree shrouded road, emerging onto a laneway. To the right is a picnic shelter, which Lady Tarian verch Gadarn and I had transformed into the gate, complete with blowing banners and a fan for those suffering from the heat. Straight ahead there were outhouses, beside which THL Garwig der Waffenschmidt, had once again erected the Mad Saxon Showers. To the left was a line of trees. If you follow the laneway, it turns left and takes you past a large tree dotted field where the various encampments sprung up. At the end of the laneway are two more outhouses, the A&S tent and another picnic shelter, overlooking a second field. This field is split between archery, thrown weapons, fencing and armoured combat.

A game of soccer, originally organized as a children’s activity, erupted in the space between the De Taahe and Petrea Thule encampments, which resulted in several war points being allocated to Ælfwyn, who had captained one of the teams.

The Silver Wheel Inn, operated by House Teach Cairdeas, was again in operation this year. However, this year they did not just offer coffee and morning snacks, but prepared full fledged breakfasts consisting of bacon, eggs, ham, pancakes and so on. The McPercy’s were especially popular, and the hospitable staff of the Wheel had to make many runs into town for fresh supplies.

The Squires’ Lounge (a large canvas shade tent that in a previous life had been Baron Richard Larmer’s pavilion) was erected in the De Taahe encampment. Over the weekend many people from all over the event site would sit for a short spell, or many hours, under its red-trimmed roof. That night was especially memorable as it saw Lady Mahault van der Eych demonstrate control holds on Lord Tarquin Bjornnson.

The Late and Early Period armoured fighters met in the woods for a fierce battle that saw the Early Period victorious. They then moved to the battle field, where the Late Period won the Bridge Battles.

Archery, fencing, thrown weapons, A&S, children’s activities and youth combat were in full swing. A children’s garb swap was organized by Lady Lassarfhina Inghean Uilleag.

At seven o’clock, the Iron(age) Chef challenge was met by many in the A&S tent.

That evening many things were happening, and as such the armoured combat Torchlight Tourney was cancelled. However, folks consoled themselves by partaking in the numerous other night time activities.

Baron Konrad had been taken by Their Majesties and the Order of Chivalry from his camp, and placed in a pavilion on the battle field to sit his vigil. For it was Their will that he become a knight. Many stood in line for long periods of time to be able to speak with Konrad on this special night. He did not seek his bed until 5:30 in the morning.

The archers got to enjoy one of Lord Tosh’s night time shoots, where glow sticks are affixed to arrows and targets. This gave those waiting to see Konrad something to watch as glowing arrows sped through the night towards illumined targets.

While her lord was away contemplating the virtues, Baroness Alyce de Sheppey held a Ladies’ Bacchanalia in her camp which was attended by many, including male attendants in togas, and at least one shaggy satyr.

On Saturday morning, Lady Tarian organized a Flea Market and Pillage along Merchants’ Row. People were encouraged to bring items they wished to relocate to the homes of others and spread them out on blankets. At the end of the market, anything not sold, but that the owner did not want to take home, could be left behind. When “Pillage!” was called, it was a free-for-all, first come first served, grabbing of goodies.

At the same time, some hound coursing was being conducted on the battle field.

Around eleven o’clock, Their Majesties called for a court on the battle field. They took back Their writ from Sir Edward, naming him Their general, as he now had other duties as Their heir. As Their new general, they called on Baron Konrad. Sir Bealdgar Thorbeornsson, then reiterated his boon, asking that Konrad be knighted, and the good baron was again called before Their Majesties. He was adorned with his symbols of rank and estate in an emotional court. When the king struck the buffet—the last blow Konrad was to take unanswered—the blow was so mighty that it cracked one of Konrad’s ribs! When the ceremony was over there was much rejoicing, for Konrad is a man well loved by the people of the kingdom.

Around noon the armoured combat began again, with two Royal Tournaments. This was followed by an Unbelts Practice were the poor unbelts faced a team made almost completely of knights and masters-of-arms. It was challenging fighting, to say the least!

After a brief rest two picnic tables were pulled onto the field to form a gate. The Early Period was then given a banner to protect, and the Late Period had to steal it. You could not fight over the tables, only between them. The Early Period won this first encounter very convincingly (though it must be pointed out that they also had a significantly larger force than the poor belaboured Late Period fighters). The Late Period then successfully protected their banner, winning the second bout. The banner was then removed from play, and the fighters went down to a last man standing scenario for the third bout.

A series of field battles between the Late and Early Periods were then fought.

Sir Nigel MacFarlane’s planned Anvil of Virtue 3-man melee 3-hour resurrection tournament was cancelled due to lack of time.

Archery, fencing, thrown weapons, A&S, children’s activities and youth combat were again going strong.

After everyone who had engaged in martial activities had a chance to cool down and change, Their Majesties Edouard and Genevieve held court in the battle field shelter. Laird Colyne Stewart was called before Their Excellencies Septentria and introduced as their new seneschal. Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr was then called into court and given an Award of the Golden Bear for her A&S endeavours.

When Their Excellencies Septentria were done, Their Majesties resumed Their court. Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr received his Award of Arms, and Þorfinna her Award of the Maiden’s Heart. Lady Lassarfhina’s illumination skills were recognized with an Award of the Orion, and Her Grace, Duchess Marion FitzWilliam was placed on vigil for the Order of the Pelican.

Following court there was held the Fourth Annual Lord Ulrich von der See Memorial Ealdormerean Brewing Competition, which saw many sitting under the A&S tent getting (as Uncle J would say) “pleasantly blind.” Lady Marian Golightly won the grand prize for her cordials and that TLH Corrig McKail won the mead category.

This year the Galbraith party was held on the battle field and was a great success. As in years past, mead flowed like water, as did beer left over from the Osis Memorial Fighting Day event. A bardic circle sprung up around the fire and Eric the Monkey and Colyne ran the traditional body toss game. This year the entrants had to throw an effigy of Her Grace Marion, holding a black cat in her hands (dubbed the Cat-a-pult). The winner of the men’s throw was Lord Augustyn of Ely (with a throw of 48’10”) and the winner of the women’s throw was a Lady Rhiannon (with a throw somewhere around 25’). Baroness Alyce got a special prize for throwing exactly 13’ (as it was House Galbraith’s 13th birthday).

Thirteen prize bags had been made up, and were handed out to those who were the first to bring certain items to the Galbraiths. Bjarn won a bag for bringing Lady Ceridwyn y Anghofidig a Buddha, which entailed him ripping off his shirt and taking a contemplative pose at her feet. He later came stomping over wearing a snood from his gift bag asking what the hell he was supposed to do with it and the comb it had come with! (Bjarn is almost, if not completely, bald.)

The winner of the War was announced at the party, and it was no surprise that the Early Period carried the day. If only the Late Period Captain hadn’t got to site so, well, late…

The party went on for several hours, and many folk were entertained by the various uses of chocolate.

Sunday began the long slow process of clean up. The last of the War of the Trillium shirts (designed by Lady Tarian verch Gadarn) sold out. The Silver Wheel pumped coffee into tired travelers before they left site. Ardchreaggers and friends scoured the site for garbage and to check on fire pits.

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On Monday July 25, a face from the past made an appearance at the Ardchreag fight practice. Lord Ceallac cu Meallian, one of the first members of the White Bear Fian and old time Chreagger, briefly stopped by. He was on a quest for Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, who unfortunately was not in attendance that night as he had been wounded on the weekend battling with a great aquatic mammal in Star Leaf’s Gate.

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August XL

Between August 5 and August 21, the Kingdom of AEthelmearc once again played host to the Pennsic War. This year Ealdormere fought for the Dragon of the Middle Kingdom, and many from Ardchreag marched south to War, including: Lord Berend van der Eych, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lord Eirik Andersen, Drottin Gunnarr Truthsinger, Lady Isotta Gianfgliazzi, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Mistress Marian of Heatherdale, Lady Naja Kesali Orekhov, Lord Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza, THL Rhys ap Bledri, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lord Volodymyr Blahuciak and Lord Wat of Sarum. Only Marian and Piero actually camped in the Ardchreag encampment, which had one again shrunk as neighbouring Never-Never Land grew bigger.

On Sunday the 14th, after Opening Ceremonies, the Unbelted tourney was held, with six kingdoms represented. Ealdormere’s team consisted of: AElfwyn, THL Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn, Laird Colyne Stewart, THL Corrig McKail, Baroness Domhnail Galbraith, THL Etain au Naval, THL Hereward the Fardweller, Lord Hugh de Rose, Lord Ioannes, THL Kaylah the Cheerful, Lord Lothar the Gregarious, Lord Naga-san, Lord Tarquin Bjornnson, Lord Tiberius of Warwickshire, Lord Tormod of Kirk Andreas (who unfortunately could not make the event), Baron Tynne Duair ap Beul, Lord Ulvar van der Nederlanden, Lord Volodymyr ‘Vlad’ Blahuciak, and Lord Wat of Sarum.

Ealdormere’s team fought very well, but only went 1-4. Unfortunately they fought too much like the polite Ealdormereans that they were, assuming people were dead when they hit them, and not swinging again to make sure. This meant that they would hit someone, and move away looking for a new target. A lot of time though, the people they hit did not think the blow was hard enough, and hit back, killing Ealdormere’s Unbelts. Live and learn. When the tourney was over His Majesty Edouard praised the team’s sportsmanship and execution.

Later that day, Duke Sir Barak Hasdrubal won the Graybeard Tourney (for fighters over 50 years old) and THL Kaylah the Cheerful won the Iron Rose Tourney (for female fighters). Amelius Claudius Rattanicus of Bastille du Lac won the Known World Novice Tourney (for fighters with less than two year’s experience).

Monday morning saw the Bridge Battle held. Ealdormere was asked to lead the forces on the bridge farthest from the castle. In the first run through the Unbelts fought as a unit and were placed in the front lines. They were facing the Western Alliance which included something like seven spear wielding kings and various knights. In this run through the East pulled right off the bridge and tried to create a killing pocket but Ealdormere would not be baited. In the last minute the East made a push but they were held off.

Now perhaps is a good time to make brief mention of the numbers. The Midlands forces vastly out numbered the East, so it is no surprise that the Middle consistently did well during the War. Kudos must be given to the hardy fighters of the East and their allies who continued to come out battle after battle, day after day, continuing the fight even after the War had been lost. And they did it with smiles on their faces.

In the second battle De Taahe was put in the front line, with Colyne, Eirik, Mahault, Rhys, Siegfried, Þorfinna, Vlad and Wat amongst them. This time the East pressed harder faster but was still held off the half way point. In the third battle they came out hard and pushed Ealdormere almost right off the bridge, but Ealdormere pushed back and the East found itself caught in a vise as other Midland forces broke through another bridge and came up behind them. Though the official bridge battles were then over, the Western Alliance asked Ealdormere to continue fighting, as they had five people on their team who had come from Japan for the event, and they were trying to get in as much fighting as they could. Ealdormere agreed, and most of her fighters stayed out to run through two more bridge battles. In both of these the Western Alliance emerged victorious.

That night was Duchess Marion FitzWilliams’ vigil in the House Galbraith/Hrogn camp.

During the night it poured rain, and the dawn of the Woods Battle was damp. The Middle won the Woods, and Ealdormere fought extremely well. So well in fact that later in court, His Majesty had the army placed on the Scroll of Honour for their actions in the Woods.

That night there was a traveling wine and cheese party in honour of Marion’s imminent elevation.

Wednesday saw the Mountain Pass Battle. The field had three passes marked out on it, with siege weapons set up in the back fields. Ealdormere was to form a column and sweep up the right pass and harry the back field. Ealdormere’s forces easily broke through the line (again, superior numbers) and took out much of their siege weaponry. the Ealdormere tried to leave at least fifty feet of space between our line and the rez point so the East could build up forces to fight with. Ealdormere did not want to just push them right off the field. There would be no honour (or fun) in that for either side. Ealdormere and its Mid Realm allies periodically threw off assaults or sent out skirmishers, but there was still very little fighting. Some of the East fighters then began calling out for singles, and Colyne fought with Lord Boldo, which resulted in double kill.

Septentrian court was held that evening. Among those honoured were Lord Hamish Gunn and Lady Ceridwyn y Anghofidig, who were given Bear’s Hearts. Afterward Their Excellencies treated all present to a barbeque.

Berend, who had to wear an eye patch all War due to eye surgery, was seen walking through Midnight Madness wearing a second eye patch over his good eye (with a small hole so he could see) and a flamboyant pirate’s hat. He was introduced as Pimp Daddy Yar, but everyone ended up calling him the Blind Pirate. We then wondered who would win in a fight: the Blind Pirate or the Visible Ninja that had been sighted earlier in the week.

The Causeway Battle was held Thursday morning. The Middle started inside the castle, while the East had to walk up a causeway (like a wide bridge) and then fan out to attack the three gates). The attackers got unlimited resurrections, while the defenders got none. It was a little boring inside, as there was not much fighting, but it was great fun watching ballista bolts fly overhead to land outside, and blocking arrows and dodging ballista bolts coming in. Baron Richard Larmer was killed by an arrow about two minutes into the battle. He said, “I’m dead,” and walked off the field. (Later, he was presented with the arrow that had killed him by a friend, and he tracked down the archer and gave him a gift of beer.) When we finally faced the push from the East a hold was called, and Þorfinna found herself completely surrounded by grinning Easterners. Cadogan of Petrea Thule caught a ballista seconds before he would have been able to swing a sword, saving Tiberius and Colyne from getting hit with the missile instead. The gate Ealdormere helped bolster was the last gate to fall.

The Middle then mounted an assault and the East defended. Ealdormere’s general, Baron Sir Konrad Matthias Jaeger von Dubrau, told his forces to go up the causeway and assault the east gate. Holds were frequently called as the bodies piled up rapidly at the gates. During the holds, the heads of Easterners would pop over the walls, and both sides would trade witticisms. The press of bodies was awful. The people fighting at the front were pushing backwards on those behind them so they had room, while people behind were pushing forward yelling, “Advance!” Eventually the castle fell and the Mid had won the War Point.

Wat then fought in the Heroic Champions battle fought along with Sir Evander MacLachlan, Duke Sir Roak of Ealdormere, Master Trumbrand the Wanderer and Baldric representing Ealdormere. Duke Sir Barak Hasdrubal had also been selected for the team, but as the East had trouble meeting the numbers, he unfortunately did not get to actually fight. The battle was a 21 minute resurrection battle. Every seven minutes a hold would be called, and whichever side had more people close to two hay bails set on the field would get a point. The Middle won 4 points to 2.

Kingdom Court was held that evening in the Barn. Hereward was called before Their Majesties as Master Andrixos Seljukroctonis, OL, OP, Huscarl of Calontir, entered and began chanting in Latin. To great applause, Hereward was made a Court Baron. Duchess Marion was then called forward and she was elevated to the Order of the Pelican in a short, elegant ceremony. The King and Queen of the Middle then came into Court and presented Ealdormere with many gifts, most striking of which was a beautiful War banner.

That night House No House hosted the Booze and Smores party in their encampment.

The last large war point battle was the Field Battle, held on Friday. In the third battle, all the Chivalry on the Middle’s side fought as one massed unit. From accounts I heard afterwards His Majesty Edouard was the first member of the Chivalry to smash into the enemy forces.

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Around this time both Naja and Sof’ia departed for the Royal Citie of Eoforwic.

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September AS XL

The Canton of Flaming Sky held it’s second tournament at Baron’s Howe between September 2nd and 5th. Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Thane Hereward the Fardweller, THL Rhys ap Bledri, Lord Eirik Andersen, Laird Colyne Stewart and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr attended.

On the Friday night they learned why the locals called their land Flaming Sky. For the sky was aflame with flickering green lights that flowed across the horizon and left everyone in awe of nature’s majesty.

Colyne and Þorfinna later walked over to the Calontir Embassy. As they approached Thane Hereward the Fardweller called them in. Colyne was then reunited with the evil bartender from the Calontir party at Pennsic (whose name is the Honorable Lord Jack Banyard). As well they were introduced to Sir Kirk fitz David and Lady Cara. Lord Raudr Ottarson, whom they had met at a previous Bonfield event was also there. They told them that Jack had just read Colyne’s short history of Pennsic XXXIV, and Colyne was then told that Sir Vitus had left a remark regarding him on a spontaneous illumination of himself from that same Pennsic in Lord Eirik’s ethereal collection. Apparently Vitus had said that Colyne looked like “a gallant and preaux squire.” Colyne was to take much ribbing over this comment during the course of the weekend.

The next morning the woods battle was fought, but a deluge of rain cancelled the fort battle. Still, some hardy equestrian riders tromped into the bowl to ride, and soaked archers shot at the range.

That night Baroness Eleanor Cadfan, Her Excellency Skrael, held a baronial court within the mead hall. Mistress Ragni Dzintari of Amberhall presented Her Excellency with a live unfettered cock. After the court a blazing bonfire was lit and people stood and sat around it telling tales and singing songs.

Sunday began cold but soon warmed up just in time for fighting. The first Royal Tournament was won by Siegfried, while the second Unbelted Tournament was won by Lord Raudr. Since Colyne was watching, and not fighting (because his wrists had swollen over night), he got a lot of “gallant and preaux” cat calls. Colyne may not have been able to fight, but his good cousin Richard Stewart got into action, as did Eirik’s cousin Travis Andersen.

After the Royal Tournaments the fighters partook in challenges at the barrier and in a grand melee. The Captains were Sir Nigel MacFarlane and Lord Raudr, and when they finally paused to breath, the Captains each chose one fighter from the opposing side who had inspired and impressed them that day. Ruadr chose THL Wilfred of Sweflingham, and Nigel chose THL Phelan Gann.

There then followed two run-throughs of Mordain’s Rings. The marshals stood in a circle upon the field while around the circle are three rings; all fighters stood in the first ring. If you lost a fight you had to move into the next ring until you were out all together. You can also be pushed out of a ring. Treachery was the name of the game in the ring as alliances sprang up and were broken continuously. The prize: three beers for the holder of the first ring, two beers for holding the second and one for the third. There were two runnings of the rings, the first of which was won by Siegfried by clearing the rings. In the second, Tiberius was in the middle ring, Sir Nigel was in the second and Sir Siegfried was in the third. Sir Nigel tried to persuade Tiberius—who had just fought Nigel to put him in the second ring in the first place—to come out and fight him. Tiberius, saying he was not a selfish man and that he was happy with his three beers, stayed put. So Nigel went out to the third ring and was knocked out Siegfried.

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On September 10th, Lord Wat of Sarum and Lady Oksana z Moravy were wed. Many folk from Ardchreag did attend, along with friends from Petrea Thule and Skeldergate.

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September 24th say the Investiture of Edward the Red and Rylyn Buchanan as the King and Queen of Ealdormere. Baron Sir Siegfried and Lord Eirik Andersen attended, and Siegfried took Amelius Claudius Rattanicus of Bastille du Lac as a man-at-arms.

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October AS XL
On the first day of October the Shire of Bastille du Lac held A Day of Piracy IV. It was attended by Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn (the constable of Ardchreag), THL Raffe Scholemaystre and three pirates who bore striking resemblances to Lord Eirik Andersen, Laird Colyne Stewart and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr.

From the Letters of Cap’n Bloodfox

I think the last the world had heard o’ me and me mates was when I was captured by them archers o’ Thule last year. Me woman, Cap’n Widow, led them right to me in a bid for her own freedom. At first I was sore at her, but when she later slunk into the gaol and set me and the lads free, well, I just had to forgive her.

That Constable o’ Bastille—name o’ Evander—was after us in moments and we were forced to sail south for a year to avoid him and the ships of Her Majesty’s navy. Plundering the southron kingdoms is fun and all, but home is where the heart is. As soon as we could, we sets sail for the northlands again.

As we’re on our way homeward we hears that the Shire o’ Bastille du Lac is holding an event, a jaunty party inland, where they figure privateers will let them be. I’m not a man to let an opportunity for revenge pass me by, so’s I tell me Navigator Mr. Andersen to plot a course.

You remember Mr. Andersen I trust? This Norwegian fella who tells me he’s a Viking? Yar, that’s the bloke. Well, he manages to run the Interceptor aground. We beached, well and good. I almost string him up then and there, but I can be a merciful fellow and I only cut off a digit or two. The Clever Wife—me woman’s ship—weighs anchor without incident o’ course.


So I leaves some men to try and get me ship back in the blue, and the rest start creeping through the trees towards the lodge where this here gathering is supposed to be happening.

That Constable and the shire’s seneschal—Edward Fuchyn—must o’ had scouts out in the woods, for they found out we were coming. Worried for the safety of his people, Fuchyn knows he needs to call fer some help, but who to call? If he calls for help to Septentria to the west, or to Skraeling Althing to the east, whose to say they’ll leave having gained a foothold in his shire? So he does the only thing he can think of, and that is to send messengers to both o’ them baronies begging for aid.

Now me men managed to intercept most o’ them messengers heading west, and Widow took most o’ them heading east, but some must have managed to slip through. For when we finally reached the outskirts o’ the lodge what do we see but representatives o’ both them baronies.

Bah, we thinks. We just sailed and then walked all this way. Are we gonna be run off now? By gar we’d show them what for!

So me woman and me, draped in our flags, cutlasses drawn, stride outta the trees. Soon we have us a three way showdown with the forces o’Skrael, and Septentria and our crews facing off.

Now That Constable wanted to avoid bloodshed it seems, so he asked us all to sheath our weapons and take part in a contest. Out on the water he’s got a boat at the end of the pier, and he wants us all to take turns fighting on it. Each person has got to face the other fifteen fighters once, to see who the best fighter of the day is. Not one to back down from a challenge we and our crew say we’re in.

At the same time, on another pier, some more o’ the three groups fence with blades long and short. Lady Rusalka o’ the Galbraiths in fine pirate fashions crossed blades with THL Wilhelm von Pottruff and THL Cristabel Wensleydale of Skraeling, and Lord Robert o’Septentria.
Some o’ our forces were taken through the woods by THL Dafydd ap Sion and Lord Augustyn o’ Ely to shoot at roving targets. (Both Thulish archers, ar!) I did not have a change to wander the course meself, but I did hear that there were targets representing both Baron Corwyn o’ Septentria and Baron Menken o’ Skrael. (Me thinks from reports that Menken had a few more holes in him than Corwyn did.) Also, several folks threw axes and knives at butts on another range.
But back to the boat. Since each fighter present had to battle fifteen times it was a long way to go to the final. Some of the more memorable incidents included: me lady Widow knocking a parrot of the helm o’ Lord Derfel Mallory; a clankety German pirate in full metal armour who fought on the tiny dingy with a harpoon (and who fell over board at least once); and my own victory over the Constable o’Ardchreag. When all was said and done I had managed to send nine down to Davy Jones’ Locker, having been sent down meself six times.
In the end a parrot-less Lord Derfel faced off with another Constable, name o’ Roak who came from the east. In a well fought battle Derfel took the day. Derfel presented his parrot to Widow, and it was discovered that the poor birdie had lost his beak in the battles. He was dubbed Peckerless Pete, and plans were drawn to replace his beak with a hook.
With a maniacal glint in his eyes, that Constable Evander o’ Bastille draws five circles on the ground and in each circle he places some swag, ranging in size from a small brown bag to a large wooden box. What he wants is for each barony to take a turn coming ashore in the boat and getting the swag into the boat while the other barony defends the goods. You could only carry the booty if you wore a full gauntlet, and either side could handle it. If you got yerself killed you had to run back to yer side to resurrect and rejoin the fray.

So Septentria is set to defend first, and I manage to sidle into that side fighting alongside Her Excellency Domhnail Galbraith, Mr. Tibs, Argyle o’ Bastille and Constable Siegfried Brandbeorn. His Excellency Menken secures the arms of Constable Roak, Lady Jocea, Lord Derfel and a bloke whose name I never did catch. Everyone else was apparently too worn out from the round robin to participate.

So Skrael comes off the boat and we all fight like madmen, and let me tell you that was one tiring ordeal! People were legged and left to crawl about on their knees until finally one of their own teammates took pity and killed them so they could resurrect and be more effective. Every time a raider bent down to pick up a piece o’ swag, he was clocked by a defender. In the end Roak, on his knees, was backing up like a scuttling crab dragging a box after him. That Constable o’ Bastille declares that Skrael’s time was 5 minutes and 19 seconds and we all falls over out o’ breath. Evander—the bastard—wants to send us back in after five minutes, but we manage to convince him that ten would be better.

Then Septentria is placed in the boat, and we has to run ashore and grab the booty. We did well off the bat, and it all came down to this here little brown bag that kept sliding out o’ our carriers’ hands. Roak then manages to grab the bag and he retreats with it to the furthest circle from the boat, at which point we had exceeded Skrael’s time so we stopped the pillage o’ the village.

I then dropped me kit off with the lads and suited up in me finest apparel: brown pants, red and white striped socks, red sash, brown belt, black baldric, white shirt and purple and red velvet greatcoat. A hat with a black and a red feather sat atop me head. Widow dressed herself up as well: gold hoop earrings, black skirt, white blouse, black bodice, green jacket, a brown hat with white and black feathers, and a gold cross sitting upon her bosom.

We and the other lads and ladies of our crews walked about with impunity, and no force o’ Septentria, nor force o’ the Skrael tried to arrest us.  Likely that was because That Constable’s truce was still going, but I prefer to think it was our bloody reputation. Yar.

As we sauntered about we made a few small ‘acquisitions’ so the day was not a complete loss. In fact, though we were going to leave to see my brother Shane o’ the Fish, we received a missive that he could not make the rendezvous. As such we were invited to stay and the Baroness o’ Septentria herself gave us coin to reserve a seat for supper.

The tables for feast were all decorated with pirate flags crafted by the young’ uns who had been present throughout the day, and mighty fine flags they were too! Dinner was delicious (and well it should be what with folk like Lady Melusine de la Rose in the kitchen). It was also a riotous affair, with gifts of rum being passed out by both sets of Excellencies. In the spirit of things I grabbed me a woman passing by—her name was Lady Safrida Axehammer—and I abducted her to the next room where I planned to get to know her better. Unfortunately for me I suffered a case of ‘low tide’. As we walked back into the main hall I tells her, “Yar, I swear baby, that’s never happened to me before,” to which she replies, “That’s what they all say.”

Now this lady is the lady o’ Dafydd ap Sion, who came and clamped a large hand on me shoulder and told me to watch meself. Now, trying to protect me honour (har, what honour?) the lady had not told him about me ‘lowered sails’, so’s I spill the beans and it saves me life I’m sure. Mr. Andersen, who looks mightily like Dafydd’s squire brother, watched the whole thing from beginning to end. Dafydd, thinking his squire-brother had just stood by and watched a pirate abduct his lady, had almost smashed poor Mr. Andersen to bits before his true identity was made known. Gar, I was looking forward to seeing a good thrashing. (One that didn’t involve me, at any rate.)

The food, as I believe I’ve said, was excellent. We feasted on bread with honey butter, greens, mushroom and barley soup, spinach quiche, mushroom and cheese tart, ham with honey mustard sauce, lamb, mussels and a type o’ cheese cake glazed in honey. We was all quite full to burstin’.

After dinner a bonfire was lit outside, while some folk danced in a side room. Downstairs a pirate who bore a striking resemblance to Derfel sang for the little ‘uns and later for us big folk too. A local man, who had come to witness the happenings o’ the day for a local broadsheet, played a fiddle on the front steps. It was a lovely, relaxing way to while away the evening. THL Baldric (o’ the really long last name) asked us to come by his home for drinks as he was hosting a party, but we had a long walk back to ships so set off into the trees, followed by our crews.

It was then that I realized that we had spent more than we had earned on this expedition, and when we got back to our landing I found me ship still beached. And I cursed the gods o’ the sea and swore that I would have my revenge!

One o’ these days.

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The 3rd day of October saw Ardchreag take up residence in their new meeting space, Lincoln Keep. Attending the first joint meeting/fight practice were Count Sir Rory Cennedi, the Honourable Baron Richard Larmer, Lord Eirik Andersen, Laird Colyne Stewart and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr.

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On the 15th, Ealdormere saw its new heirs chosen: Count Aaron and Countess Rustique. Several from the Cliffs were present, including Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn and Lord Eirik Andersen. THL Hereward the Far-dweller fought for Mistress AElfwyn of Longwood.

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On October 24, the Scola Durus Maleus visited Ardchreag’s fight practice. Lord Derfel Mallory, the preceptor of the Schola, arranged for Sir Cennedi to teach a class on hitting with power. The practice was well attended, and guests came from Petrea Thule and Bastille du Lac. After the practice most of the attendees retired to Sir Casey’s Inn for food and drink.

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On Wednesday October 26th, Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych and Lady Tarian verch Gadarn traveled to the northern reaches of Ardchreag (the lands mundanely known as Markham) to teach the children at the Woodbourne Public School about the middle ages.

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November AS XL
On Nov 5, the City of Eoforwic again hosted the Feast of the Bear in Graf Hugh’s Castle. Numerous events occurred, including: Baroness Adrielle Kerrec took her first apprentice, Lady Wencenedl of Rokseberg; Lord Tormod of Kirk Andreas successfully entered the White Bear Fian; Lord Gareth of Eoforwic was named Baronial Rapier Champion, Edward Fuchyn of Bastille du Lac received his Award of Arms; and Amelius Claudius Rattanicus of Bastille du Lac received his Award of Arms. The Cantons of Septentria presented Their Excellencies with taxes, being at least the Baron’s weight in dried goods for the hungry (280 pounds). Septentria actually raised 4000 pounds of food.

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The Canton of Greyfells once again hosted the Feast of the Hare on November 12. At this event Count Sir Rory Cennedi took on Lord Wat of Sarum as a squire. Also, Lord Eirik Andersen was presented with an Order of the Friends of the Hare for his work in documenting the history of Ealdormere through pictures. (Lord Alexander Gladstone was likewise honoured.) Both Eirik and Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn were involved in a wain accident on their way to the event. Luckily no one was hurt. Other Chreaggers in attendance included: Thegn Hereward the Far-dweller, THL Rhys ap Bledri, Laird Colyne Stewart, and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr.

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The Barony of Rising Waters invested a new Baron and Baroness on November 26. Aeneas Oakhammer and Aibhilin fra Skye were elevated to the High Seats of the Barony.

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December AS XL
At this time Lord William Donovan moved back from the lands of the southron, to the Cliffside estates of Ardchreag. For a time he acted as the Barony of roaring Wastes baronial ambassador.

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During this month Mahault van der Eych once again became the canton’s exchequer.

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Also at this time Joe of Ardchreag and Anna of Ardchreag were first seen.

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On the 12th day of December, the Lord and Lady of Havencroft opened the doors of their manse to host the canton’s annual wassail. Since the Lincoln Keep was unavailable, advantage was taken of this night to also host the canton’s 12th Night (meaning they would not have to loose a night in January when the keep would be available for fighting).

In attendance were: Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, THL Volodymyr ‘Vlad’ Blahuciak, Lord Eirik Andersen, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Lord Wat of Sarum, Lord William Donovan, Lady Oksana z Moravy, Lady Tarian verch Gadarn, Lord Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Adelaide van der Eych, Marie de Chat Noir, Randy of Ardchreag, Jennifer of Ardchreag, baby Ethan, Drew, Joe of Ardchreag and Anna of Ardchreag.

One of the most sought after gifts was the hide of a deer.

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The 19th of December saw the holding of the first Ardchreag Yuletide Tournament (also called the Chreagger Cliffside Challenge). Ardchreag’s bailiff—Laird Colyne Stewart—sent out a call to all fighters who would attend, to come to the Lincoln Keep and participate in a series of tournaments, to see who would be awarded the Yuletide Chalice. One point would be awarded to a participant for taking part in a tournament, while bonus points would be awarded for placing first or second in each tourney.

Ardchreag fielded only three fighters that night, due to illness, injury and work. They were Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Wat of Sarum and Lord Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr. Sir Nigel MacFarlane came down from Petrea Thule, while the Bastille Boys were out in force (Sir Evander, Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus, Lord Edward Fuchyn, Argyle and Cameron).

Also attending—though not fighting—were Colyne, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, Lady Oksana z Moravy, Lady Tarian verch Gadarn, and newcomers Joe and Anna. Several local mundanes also stopped by to watch the fighting.

The first tournament was single elimination, with single sword to three counted blows. In the finals, Sir Nigel emerged victorious over Edward.

This was followed by a warlord tournament where Edward’s warband defeated Rattanicus’ team.

Next was a double elimination tournament, where Sir Siegfried beat Sir Evander in the finals.

Lastly there was a bear pit tournament. Sir Siegfried had the most wins, while there was a three-way tie for second. Since Siegfried’s wins equaled all the wins of the three second place fighters put together (and there was no time to continue the bear pit to break the tie), no points were awarded for second place in this tournament.

All three groups present had one fighter in the top three of the night. Sir Nigel from Thule came in third with 6 points. Edward of Bastille came in second with 7 points. Sir Siegfried came in first over all with 8 points.

Tarian then presented Sir Siegfried with the Yuletide Chalice, overflowing with candy and confections. Siegfried then practiced the noble virtue of largesse and handed out candy to all present.

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It is now Christmas Eve, and a mix of snow and rain falls outside the manor. The members of Ardchreag are occupied with traveling to the keeps and manses of their friends and families. Soon I must go out to the stable and hitch up the sleigh, so that milord Colyne and milady Þorfinna may cross the Greenhithe Territory to visit Colyne’s ancestral home, where Lord Snæbjörn and the rest of his family awaits them.

May the peace of the season be upon us all.

I remain as always, the most loyal,


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