Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Historie of Ardchreag, Booke the Third

By THLaird Colyne Stewart. Credits: Contents © Todd Fischer, 2004. With thanks to Lady Iolanda de Albornóz for her editing skills. Any errors still remaining are the fault of the author.

The work of a scribe is never done. Once one tale is completed, another begins. So does the history of Ardchreag, the Canton-Upon-the-Cliffs, continue. I only hope that my skill with the pen is equal to the task.

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January XXXVIII (the beginning of the year mundanely known as 2004)
On January 3, the Shire of Bastille du Lac held a joint Septentria – Skraeling Althing 12th Night called Border Yule. Laird Colyne Stewart, who was dressed as a Mari Lwyd, or ‘grey mare’, and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr brought many games with them for the populace to play. The first was called ‘Bag the Bear’ in which contestants had to throw blue beanbags through a strategically placed cut-out in a picture of a bear. The second was ‘Ball the Bunnies’, which was a bowling game with bunnies for pins and a blue ball. They also brought several other more traditional games of chance.

These games and more there were, and all who played them earned points for their barony. For at the end of the day the barony with the most points would gain the services of Bastille du Lac for the coming year. In the end Septentria emerged victorious, and Their Excellencies of Septentria, Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith, were then the protectors of Bastille (for a year at least).

In the kitchen laboured Olga Axehammer, who looked very much like Sir Evander MacLachlan, and Sven, whom many mistook for Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn.

Other cliff-dwellers in attendance that day included Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Teah van der Eych, Lord Brandt das Lederwerker, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lady Fursto de Robnye, Lady Naja Kesali, Lord Raffe Scholemaystre, THL Rhys ap Bledri, Lady Sof’ia Bardeva, Lady Tarian verch Gadarn and Lord Wat of Sarum.

During Septentrian court, House van der Eych presented Their Excellencies with two cases of mead for war negotiations. Berend was called back into court and given a Bear’s Claw for using an enemy prince as a shield at the last Pennsic War.

In Skraeling Althing’s court, the canton’s ‘Scrolls for Skrael’ scribal team presented Baron Sir Menken and Baroness Dame Eleanor with seventy-two scroll blanks, as Þorfinna  had heard that their supply was low. The van der Eychs personally contributed fifty scrolls.

Their Excellencies heralds later brought forth this missive from Their hand:

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Canton of Ardchreag. 

At the Bonfield Battle, some of the Ardchreagers overheard Baroness Eleanor
mention in passing that we were running short on scrolls for Baronial
awards.  Without any prompting, they took it upon themselves to remedy this
situation, and this past weekend at 12th Night the Canton of Ardchreag
presented the Barony of Skraeling Althing with the gift of 72 (yes, that's
72, as in six dozen!) beautifully illuminated scroll blanks.  An extremely
generous gift, all the more appreciated since it was so totally unexpected.

The good gentles who worked on these scrolls were Berend and Mahault van der
Eych (who together donated a total of 50 scrolls!), Diane of Ardchreag,
Habib of Ardchreag, Iolanda de Albornoz, Lina Carville, Naja Kesali, Sof'ia
Bardeva, Þorfinna  gráfeldr , Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza, Wulfgang
Donnerfaust, and last but not least, honourary Ardchreager Baroness Domhnail

Many thanks to you all.  Your thoughtfulness and generosity touched us, and
serves as a warm reminder of the close relationship between Skraeling Althing
and our Septentrian cousins.

Menken and Eleanor
Baron and Baroness of Skraeling Althing

At court’s conclusion, the winner of the arts and sciences competition was declared being Teah van der Eych, for her favour.

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The following Monday, the canton met for the last time at the Donnerfaust Manor, for their own 12th Night celebrations. As usual, those gathered engaged in the annual gift stealing game, which this year was marked by a plethora of excellent quality gifts. New for this year was the first-ever Shaft Award. To be Shafted, gentles had to nominate themselves by telling an embarrassing story about themselves that occurred over the past year. Many in the room told such stories, and everyone then cast a secret ballot for the person they thought should be Shafted. Lord Wulfgang Donnerfaust and Lady Mahault van der Eych tied with the most votes. Wulfgang told how he had used the term ‘Garb Nazi’ while at an event in lands mundanely known as Germany, while Mahault regaled all with a take on trying to clean her fireplace with a new-fangled bit of machinery that ended up spraying soot throughout her home. There was then a Shaft-Off, where they then each had to reach back into their memories and relate one day from any point within their lives that was truly embarrassing. Wulfgang’s story this time told how at an event he asked a knight if he planned to authorize that day, and went to a Vigil for the Order of the Pelican and told the person on vigil how to be a good Laurel. Mahault spoke of a company picnic where her attire was not very supportive or concealing, which she wore while doing a race in front of her prospective new employer. This time Wulfgang won, but only by one vote. He was then presented with a scroll by Lady Tatiiana Belo’skaia and a broken arrow with green and black fletching.

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The meeting of January 12th saw the canton move to its new meeting space, a place of learning known as Commerce Keep, near the King's Highway. After the meeting, most present (twelve in total) went to a grand manor house, which had been converted into a pub. The establishment, known as the Fox and Fiddle, was so accommodating, and the food was of such excellent quality, that all present agreed that it would now be Ardchreag's official pub. (This especially pleased Colyne, as the fox is the charge in his heraldry.)

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The day of January 17th had begun early. Before the sun had risen, the members of Ardchreag had all been up and working. Tables had to be set, ovens had to be stoked, floors had to be cleaned. For it was again time for the pas d’armes at Snowed Inn. Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lady Mahault van der Eych and Lord Berend van der Eych, were labouring in one of the kitchens, preparing a great feast in the manner of far-off Italy. In the other kitchen, the Welsh dancer, Tarian verch Gadarn, stirred large pots of stew. The smell of bread permeated the hall, but no one had time to sneak a bite. Lady Naja Kesali and her team set up the gate, and many took a hand at putting together stands for decorative walls and banners.

The list poles were erected, and a gallery was set to one side. On another were placed the presences of Their Majesties, Their Highnesses, and Their Excellencies of Septentria and Ramshaven. On the third was set a row of tables, upon which all fighters present displayed their helms. One fighter, in particular, amazed all with his heraldic display of his helm. For it stood on a decorative stand, and was mantled and crested, and set before a banner bearing his arms. That good gentle was Lord Robert de Bray, new to Ardchreag’s lands, having moved from the Kingdom of Ansteorra.

A table of games was set in the back, under the eye of Lord Raffe Scholemaystre, while TH Lady Anne Tinker watched over the Arts and Sciences competition beside him. Both tables saw much activity throughout the day.

The tables filled up quick, and soon the hall was packed full of people. People were dancing, teaching classes, playing games, drinking, eating, singing and making merry.

The main focus for the day was a tournament: a pas d'armes. The Company of the White Hart had issued a challenge to meet all comers upon the field of honour at the inn. When the Company was introduced to Their Majesties, one of its members raised quite a stir. His name was Sir Nigel MacFarlane, and he was a knight of the Dragon, of the great Middle Kingdom. Ealdormere’s king, Sir Rory Cennedi, asked him if, as a foreign knight, those present had any need to fear him. The good Sir Nigel replied coolly that no Ealdormerean had need to fear him, as he was now living within our lands. And so our king and queen did grant this knight citizenship, and the kingdom was richer for it.

The Company then met in combat with the other fighters so assembled, numbering almost twenty. They fought in matched weapon forms, sometimes at a barrier. The ladies of these great fighters, their consorts, watched from the gallery, and when the fighters had all exhausted themselves, these ladies came onto the field and handed out tokens.

Count Sir Aaron Worgensson was recognized for his prowess; Robert for generosity, Lord Etian du Naval for his entertaining manner, Lord Tiberius Justus Brittanicus for his courtesy, Sir Nigel for his chivalry and the Honourable Lord Richard Larmer for his service.

At the end of the pas, Tiberius stepped forth clasping the Sword of the Company of the White Heart, and he spoke of its lineage. Of how it came to the northlands with Sir Nigel MacFarlane, of how it was given to him at a tournament in the south, of how he gave the sword to the Honourable Lord Kasmir of Stargard at Snowed Inn I as the grand champion of the day, of how he himself had been lucky enough to hold it after him. Then, that sword was given into the keeping of Lord Etian, amid great applause. For a year, Lord Etian was to hold the sword, and return to Snowed Inn in the following year so that another could win its blade.

That same Lord Robert was taken aside by the seneschal of Ardchreag, who told him of how it was a tradition in Ealdormere to give rings to those who are found to be inspiring. And he gave Robert such a ring for his heraldic display and his chivalry upon the field. Lord Robert's lady wife, Isabella of Ardchreag, was also given rings that day—two—and she served Their Excellencies of Septentria in court later that same evening. Truly, these two were also a great boon to our lands. Ansteorra’s loss was Ardchreag’s gain!

When the tournament was completed, the hall was set in order for feast. While those feasting clashed their utensils, many good gentles entertained them with dance, song and story. Her Excellency, Dame Alyce de Sheppey, Baroness of Ramshaven, presented an entry for Her Majesty Susanna's bardic challenge. The winners of the arts and sciences competition were announced, and they were Lady Mahault van der Eych for beginner's belt buckle, Lady Lassarfhina Inghean Uilleag for her intermediate bone carving and Lady Deirdre of Carlyle for her stitch work. Many raved over the feast dishes, especially the lamb stew and sausages.

At the end of the meal court was held. Their Excellencies of Septentria first called for their taxes to be presented. Each canton in attendance then sent a representative forward carrying a Septentrian wardoor with their canton’s arms in the chief. That plaid wearing bard, that Hector fellow, he also paid some taxes, in the form of a sword. Pleased, Their Excellencies then set Their taxes for the following year; they asked that each canton send an entry to the Pennsic War A&S display. Lady Catharine of Eoforwic, continuing the ring-giving tradition, gave such a ring to Dame Tsivia bas Tamara V’Amberview. The barony's army—the Iron Companions—were called into court to renew or make their pledge of service. The van der Eychs, Mahault and Berend, were then inducted into the Order of the Bear's Heart and Lord Tiberius made a formal challenge to the White Bear Fian.  Finally, Laird Colyne Stewart and Þorfinna  gra'felr returned the Horn of Wessex, at which time it was retired and given into the care of Baroness Gaerwen of Trafford. At that time, Corwyn and Domhnail unveiled the Horn of Wessex's successor—the Horn of Muninn. The Horn was to be presented to an exemplary Septentrian, who inspired others in all their deeds, to be carried by the recipient for one year. To mighty applause, the Honourable Lord Ulvar van der Nederlanden was called for to be the first bearer of the Horn of Muninn. All Septentrians were then charged to keep the Horn full.

Their Majesties then held Their court. The Brewers and Vintners Guild put in an application for a charter from Their Majesties. Lady Corrina van Rensealer and Ihvon Thorne were called into Their presence and awarded with an Award of Arms. (And, though Corrina had previously received an AoA at Ealdormere War Practice, the king and queen could not be wrong, and Corinna was called Lady Lady by many.) Both Lady Deirdre of Carlyle and Laird Colyne Stewart received Awards of the Maiden's Hearts, while Lord Wat of Sarum had his martial skills recognized with an Award of the Scarlet Banner. Lord Raffe Scholemaystre was inducted into the Order of the Wain (making him an Honourable Lord), while Lord Berend and Lady Mahault van der Eych and Lord Volodymyr Blahuciak received Awards of the Orion.

At court's conclusion people began again to dance or converse, and generally carry on until past midnight, at which point they left to the home of Robert de Bray and Isabella where a post-revel was held.
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February XXXVIII
On the 7th day of February, many gentles from the cliffs traveled to the inn of His Highness, Berus Wolfesonne. They included Lady Iolanda de Albornoz, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Berend van der Eych, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust and Lord Eirik Andersen. Evelyn of Vest Yorvik, also claimed by Ardchreag, received her Award of Arms that day. Lord Tiberius Justus Brittanicus, of Petrea Thule, successfully challenged into the White Bear Fian, defeating Sir Edward the Red.
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The following Tuesday, several envoys set off for the Royal Citie of Eoforwic. Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr , Lord Eirik Andersen, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust and Lord Wat of Sarum were greeted most graciously and treated to a talk about Courts of Love.

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On the meeting of the 16th, the first appointments of the ‘village of Ardchreag’ were handed out. A proclamation from the seneschal explained things thusly:

            Ardchreag Canton Persona
Laird Colyne Stewart, February 16, 2004


There has been talk, presently and in the near past, of crafting for Ardchreag a ‘persona’ of its own, not unlike our neighbouring Canton of Eoforwic. However, while Eoforwic calls itself the Royal Citie, it has been agreed that Ardchreag is more of a town, or village, in scope.

But what kind of village?

Let us start with the name. Ardchreag (Ard Creag) is Gaelic for ‘high cliffs’, which gives the canton an Irish or Highland Scotland bend. If we then assume that Ardchreag has such an ancestry, it would explain the presence of all those Norse we see around today too (for at times both the Irish and the Scots had great contact with the Norse).

The founders of Ardchreag were known as archers, and that fact is represented in the device of the canton: vert, four arrows in cross points to center, on a chief indented argent a mountain couped gules between two laurel wreaths vert. Mundanely, Ardchreag is located along bluffs and cliffs, with large tracts of forest and woodland. Both these facts give a frontier flavour to the canton. It calls up images of rangers and woodsmen, of woodcutters and outlaws, of wise women living deep in the thickets and prowling wolves close at hand.

So let us then say that within our fine kingdom, the Canton of Ardchreag, which is spread over a great deal of land, is a series of forts and villages and lone peasant huts. It sits atop a high series of cliffs, which descend to Mare Ontarium at certain points in which ports have grown. It is a frontier, a border town, for across the inland sea lies the Barony of Rhydderich Hael, a territory of the Kingdom of AEthelmarc. It is up to the populace of Ardchreag to patrol this border, to ensure that the waterways and paths throughout the thick forests are safe for merchants and travelers, to protect it all in the name of His Majesty. They must stand on their own, for the Sheriff of the Royal Citie, or the Guard of Petrea Thule, lie many miles away. They must support themselves, in all ways.

Now, how does such a community conduct itself? How does it work? In a Society context, our canton has several officers which help us find meeting spaces, organize our practices, schedule classes, and so on. This is administration. What type of people really would have lived in such a village in period?

The village positions:

Herein we will look at what occupations would have been held in a similar village in period. For simplicity, I will be using a village from Elton (circa 1300 CE) as my sample.

For our canton persona, we will be making village appointments that were actually made in our period model. We are not assigning occupations (miller, baker, etc), not social position per se (such as village idiot or hedge-witch). We are looking at positions to which villagers were appointed from amongst their own number. (Villagers do not elect the blacksmith, not the town drunk.)

In period, only men held village positions, except for ale tasters (who were mostly women). However, in our experiment, anyone can hold any position, regardless of sex. We will be selecting the canton appointments thusly this year: Everyone interested in a position will place their name in a hat. A name will be pulled, and that person will hold that position for a year. Once someone has a position, they may not put their name in for another.

If someone wishes to apply for any positions, but cannot be present for the meeting at which they are being chosen, they can, if they wish, send the seneschal a list of their preferred positions, and they will be appointed by proxy. Please note that if you do this you may not get the exact position you may want, but you will definitely get a position.

The headman in the village would have been the steward, or seneschal. As we use the term seneschal as the ‘president’ of our branches within the SCA, we will not be using this position in our experiment. Rather, the actual group seneschal will automatically also be the village seneschal. The village seneschal was the lord’s direct authority within the village and was the only position not chosen by the villagers themselves. If the group seneschal wants to obtain a canton appointment, s/he should not be the bailiff, reeve or beadle.

The bailiff was usually chosen at the seneschal’s recommendation (though that will not come into play in our experiment) and acted as his deputy. He was usually a member of the gentry or from a well-off peasant family and was literate. The bailiff was in charge of maintaining the law, and also acted as a business manager for the manor. For our purposes, the bailiff will be the head of the Cliffguard and the Yeoman of the White Arrow. (Though s/he does not actually have to be a fighter or an archer, it should be encouraged that s/he be both). The group’s seneschal will pull the name for the person appointed as the bailiff. The bailiff will pull the names for the rest of the positions.

One of the bailiff’s deputies was the reeve, who ensured that villagers who owed labour services showed up for work. He supervised the formation of plow teams, mended his lord’s fences, saw to the penning and folding of the lord’s livestock and had many other duties as well. For our canton’s persona, the reeve’s ‘duties’ are currently undefined, and will evolve over time.

The beadle, also sometimes called a hayward, was a deputy to the reeve. The beadle collected rents and fines levied in court and oversaw the preservation of seed, the performance of plowmen and ensured the villains did their reaping and mowing. For our experiment, the beadle’s ‘duties’ are currently undefined, and will evolve over time.

The woodward was the person who ensured that no one took from the lord’s lands anything except what they were entitled to by custom or payment. For our purposes, I foresee several opportunities for shtick (especially at Ealdormere war Practice).

Ale tasters assessed the quality and monitored the price of ale sold to the public. You could be fined for selling ale without first going through the ale tasters. For our experiment, ale tasters will likely be brewers themselves, and will act as the canton’s authority on brewing. This is one of the positions which more than one person can fill.

In manorial court, the jurors, chosen from amongst the villagers, collected and presented evidence and laid out fines. In period, a “jury of presentment” would have six, nine or twelve jurors. In our experiment, once a year we will hold a manorial court, where the jurors will sit in judgment upon those accused of crimes. (These crimes will all be facetious, and based upon real period crimes in a medieval village. It may be a good opportunity for some canton fundraising.) This is one of the positions which more than one person can fill.

Within a village, every man over the age of twelve was placed in a frankpledge (or tithing) of ten or twelve members. Each member was responsible for the conduct of his pledge-mates. Each year, a review of the tithings was held, watched over by the seneschal. The head of a frankpledge was called a Chief Pledge. The chief pledges were deemed important men in the village. For our purposes, the position will be mainly ceremonial, but they will be encouraged to carry themselves nobly in all ways, and inspire the rest of the canton to do so as well. This is one of the positions which more than one person can fill.

So, the positions we will be filling are: bailiff, reeve, beadle, woodward, ale taster (up to 4), juror (up to 3) and chief pledge (up to 4). (If we have more than thirteen people who wish to participate, we can either have more ale tasters and jurors, or we can add some of the more minor village appointments to the slate, such as the wardens of autumn and the claviger.)

We will also be recognizing the Cliffguard and the Yeoman of the White Arrow. (The Yeomen would encompass archers and thrown weapons, the Cliffguard would encompass armoured combat, scouting, equestrian and fencing.) These two groups would ‘keep the peace’ within our canton and be our protectors. Anyone can be a member of either, and it would not impinge on any other duties they may have militarily. (This is also mostly just for fun. Duties to the kingdom, barony or Peer take precedence.) The seneschal will be looking into getting some patches or tokens made up for members of these two groups to carry.

Nota Bene:

Is not Ardchreag then negligent in its duties if it does not fill positions such as these? I would say yes. As seneschal, I am therefore making, in the name of our liege-lord, the following appointments. These appointments shall be held for a year, at which point they shall be reassigned as the current seneschal deems best. I would charge all of those given such an appointment to fill it well, to the best of your ability, and to enforce your duty and charge at meetings and events as you will. Remember though, that in all things you represent our village, so use your best judgment.

(Please note that all these positions are for fun. They hold no real power or responsibility within our canton, our barony, our kingdom or in the SCA as a whole. The Officers of Ardchreag are our duly elected representatives. These canton ‘positions’ are meant to enhance our game, to add a layer of realism, and to encourage people to research the occupation they are granted. Let’s have some fun with this.)

The appointments:

Therefore, having found our canton to be deficient in the matter of the aforementioned occupations and positions, do I, Laird Colyne Stewart, currently the Seneschal of the Canton of Ardchreag, in the name of our liege, His Majesty Sir Rory Cennedi, hereby grant the following appointments:

Gunnarr skald Thorvaldsson, Bailiff

Lee, Reeve

Thomas, Beadle

Þorfinna  gra’felder, Woodward

Colyne Stewart, Naja Kesali, Keelyn, Jurors

Tarian verch Gadarn, Berend van der Eych, Mahault van der Eych, Sof’ia Bardeva, Ale Tasters

Robert deBray, Wat of Sarum, Chief Pledges

Also, Colyne Stewart and Þorfinna  gráfeldr  are recognized as members of the Cliffguard, while Gunnarr Skald Thorvaldsson, Naja Kesali, Iolanda de Albornoz, Colyne and Þorfinna  are recognized as members of the Yeoman of the White Arrow.

Further more, several members of the village have been divided into Robert and Wat’s tithings. As of this time, Wat's tithing contains Þorfinna , Gunnarr, Mahault, Thomas, Colyne and Naja, while Robert's tithing has Berend, Keelyn, Lee, Tarian and Sof'ia.

Signed this sixteenth day of February, in the 38th year of the Society,

Colyne Stewart, Seneschal of the Canton of Ardchreag and Juror of the Village of Ardchreag

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On the weekend of the 21st through the 23rd, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn did again organize a demo, held at a gathering of barbarians interested in fairy tales.

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At Season of the Wolf on February 28, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust received an Award of the Maiden’s Heart.

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By the end of this month, Yosho had joined the Cliffguard. Eirik and Stephen had joined Wat’s tithing (the Green Tithing), while Lina and Jean-Margaret had joined Robert’s (the White Tithing).

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At Winter War on March 6, Laird Colyne Stewart stepped down as the Chronicler of Septentria, while Lady Naja Kesali took over the office for him.

Aside from Colyne and Naja, representatives from Ardchreag included Brandt das Lederwerker, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Volodymyr Blahuciak, Mahault van der Eych, Berend van der Eych, Eirik Andersen, Stephen Scrymgeour, Jennifer of Ardchreag, Fursto de Robnye, Robert deBray and Isabella of Ardchreag.

The event took place in a great hall of stone. It was simple in its construction but was hung with many glorious banners. Beside the hall was spread a market-place where local inhabitants bought and sold fresh produce.

As the weather without was foul, the day's events were all to happen indoors. The hall was a great rectangle, and though we had arrived early in the morning, already the room was crowded. To the left, several tents were set up beside which sat several musicians. Beside these tents merchants displayed their wares; several tables, most already full of people, were spread about the tents and merchants. In the centre of the hall was a dais, upon which rested the thrones of Their Majesties of Ealdormere, Cennedi and Susanna. Behind this dais was another tent, presumably one for the royals to retreat to should they need to rest or confer in private.

To the left of the dais a small section of the room had been roped off. Within this area men and women engaged in the art of fencing. The entire right half of the hall was likewise roped, and within it many, many men and women fought with a variety of weapons. Many did not lay down their arms until it was time to feast.

Throughout the day the hall was filled with music and dancing, much of it Eastern in flavour, to honour the hero of the day.

Their Majesties of Ealdormere were brought before the crowd and they called for the attention of all. A few awards and titles were bestowed, including an induction into the Order of the Crucible, to one known by many as 'Uncle J'. His Majesty was heard to remark that this J was now the 'Honourable Uncle'.

As well, Rakkas al-Bassim, Ra'ee al-Saleh Sheikh al-Zubeyd al-Sharef Valizan ibn Fredeh was brought before Their thrones. He was asked if he had thought long and hard on whether or not he wished to be elevated to the Order of the Pelican, and this good man said that he had indeed thought long and hard, and that he was willing to accept the honour and burden this represented. The Order, and a knight, escorted him to the clutch of tents set to the one side of the hall. There he sat in contemplation and was visited by many. Beside the tents, the musicians played long and loud.

Soon it was time to dine. The meal was exquisite Persian fare, and many complimented it as one of the finest meals they had ever had. Throughout the meal there was dancing and music. It was a most entertaining and satisfying time.

When the tables had been cleared, Their Majesties again held court. They handed out more honours and awards, a few of which will be spoken of here.

One man, a bearded northerner, was told to come into Their Majesties' presence, and bring with him his thrall. They were told that his thrall had been acting above her station, and that this would not do. The king then fined the man one mark of silver for this indiscretion. Then, so that the thrall would no longer act above her station, they raised her station and bestowed upon her the title of Lady, thus freeing her. Having now deprived the northern man of his thrall, the king compensated him by paying him one mark of silver. The once-thrall has been given a new byname, as her old one exclaimed her bondage. Her new byname is 'little Mrs. fancy pants'.

As well, the Order of the Crucible was called before Their Majesties, as a Saxon, known as Sir Ed the Red, and a local baroness, Alyce de Sheppey, were added to their number.

Finally, the Order of the Pelican was called forth, and Valizan was led through the crowd of onlookers, preceded by a woman who spoke for him, and followed by his banner, which bore a proud peacock. As he slowly approached the thrones, he was ceremoniously stripped of his outer garments and jewelry, and was adorned with oil. All this was done by representatives of the Kingdoms of AEthelmarc, Atlantia, the East and the Middle.

Finally, he stood before his King and Queen . The King told Valizan to bare his breast, as a pelican bares its breast for its young. Valizan opened his shirt, but this was not enough for His Majesty, who strode forward and ripped the garment from Valizan's body.

Placating himself at Their Majesties feet, Valizan then heard the words of many who would speak on his behalf that day, praising his deeds and great worth. The king's sword of state--Gwaylor--was brought forth, but before the king would allow Valizan to swear fealty and accept induction into the Order, he was to be outfitted with symbols of his rank. He was dressed in new clothing, and given medallions and cloaks. Now elevated, the newest Pelican turned to be greeted by an audience on their feet.

When the court was over, Master Hector of the Black Height, was handing out pieces of Valizan's torn shirt. Colyne, Stephen and Eirik all got relics of this garment. Eirik took his to Valizan and had it daubed in the good man’s sweat to increase its value.

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On the 14th day of March, the good canton of Petrea Thule again hosted the Late Winter Shoot. Chreaggers in attendance included Wat of Sarum, Diane of Ardchreag, Volodymyr Blahuciak, Ceiridwen of Ard Yorvik, Evelyn Karnat, Colyne Stewart and Þorfinna  gráfeldr .

Many good gentles won prizes for their skill with bow or crossbow, and everyone was stuffed with food thanks to the legendary generosity and hospitality of the Thule. The highlight of the day for many (based on the giggles, grins and enthusiasm witnessed in the participants), was the novelty shoot. The archers were split into six teams of six to compete. Each team was shooting at a board with sixteen balloons set in a grid. Behind each balloon was a picture of a pirate. Fourteen of the pictures were generic pirates. One was of a captain—either Bloodfox or Widow (who bore a strong resemblance to Colyne and Þorfinna )—while the last was a first mate—Mister Andersen or Mister Tibs (who looked like Eirik Andersen and Tiberius Justus Britannicus). The game was much like bingo. The object was to get a completed line of four pirates that included the captain and the first mate. It was possible to get them in the same line, or you could get a separate line for each (each archer’s strategy would of course depend on what balloons they had, so far, managed to pop before uncovering a captain or first mate). Each member of each team shot one arrow, then they would all scamper to the targets to see what pirate they had caught. Even after the first, second and third place prizes had been handed out for the shoot, archers kept at it until every balloon on every target had been popped! It was a most enjoyable day.

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The following day, Thule hosted a Septentrian Baronial Fight Practice which attracted fighters from Ben Dunfirth and Skraeling Althing (including three knights).

Approximately fourteen fighters met on the field in one-on-one challenges, and many participated in the spear class taught by Sir Nigel MacFarlane and Baroness Adrielle Kerrec.

Wat of Sarum, Colne Stewart and Þorfinna  gráfeldr  represented the Cliffs upon the field.

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By the middle of this month, Colyne was the Deputy Seneschal of Septentria, while Berend and Wulfgang were both Deputy Seneschals for Ardchreag.

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On March 19-20, Ben Dunfirth hosted the first Ealdormerean Golden Seamstress Competition. The Wyrd Sisters (a team comprised of Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Sof’ia Bardeva, Tarian verch Gadarn and Naja Kesali) won the novice division with a brown and gold houppelande. At the event, Wulfgang was honoured with an Award of the Scarlet Banner.

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At the canton meeting held on the 21st day of March, a certain Arthur of Fleming (who bore a striking resemblance to Master Hector of the Black Height) paid a visit. He brought with him a game of trivia where the White Tithing faced off against the Green Tithing. A strange twist emerged when Vlad and Siegfried united to form the Red Tithing. With Vlad's encyclopedic knowledge, the Red Tithing easily coasted to victory.

After the meeting, ten intrepid souls set out to the pub to find it closed. They then traveled to a second pub to find it crowded. Then they went to the eatery next-door and discovered it was closing in ten minutes. Finally, they found succor at a restaurant owned by a man named Denny.

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On the 20th of April, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr , Lord Wat of Sarum, Lord Robert deBray, Lady Iolanda de Albornoz and Lady Naja Kesali traveled to Scarborough, to educate the youths of the Tam O’Shanter School in the ways of medieval life.

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On April 24, Berus II and Marion II were crowned as the King and Queen of Ealdormere. Court was called, and Their Majesties Cennedi and Susanna took the dais. They presented many awards, prominent among them being: the awarding of the title of lord to William Meriic, Evander's presentation of a King's Favour, Erick of Longacres and Tesla de Chardon made a Baron and Baroness of the Court, and, of course, Baroness Eleanor Cadfan elevated into the Order of the Pelican. Their Majesties then agreed that suitable Heirs to the throne had been found, and that by the oath given at Their coronation, this meant they must now lay aside the crowns. They did so, leaving their crowns and the thrones in the care of the Order of Chivalry.

Marion II then swept regally into the room, followed by four of her sons, and their uncle Lord Etienne du Naval. She confronted the Order of Chivalry, pressed her claim on the throne, and told them that they stood between Her and something that was Hers. The knights quickly made way as Marion approached the throne. She laid a crown upon Her own brow, and was recognized as Her Dread Majesty. A rabble (comprised of many Galbraiths saying "Rabble, rabble") then walked by, with Berus II walking with them. He stopped shocked at seeing His lady wife crowned upon the dais and approached her to ask what transpired. She explained to Him that she had claimed the throne, and that Her need of him was no more. Like a spurned lovesick puppy, Berus turned to go, but Their sons raised such a ruckus that Marion II called Her husband back to Her side, and acknowledged that She could not reign without Him. He then kneeled and She placed the crown upon his head.

When court was suspended until the evening, the fighters headed for a bridge that had been erected in the hall. (This bridge was to become known as Dame Eleanor's bridge, upon Lord Baldric's suggestion, in honour of Her Excellency.) However, before the battle commenced, Sir Finnvarr called together those who wished to witness the squiring of Berend and Mahault van der Eych. They gave their oath of fealty and were presented with the belts Þorfinna  gráfeldr  had crafted for them. They were also presented with tools with which to take care of their steeds (brushes, etc) and a length of fabric.

A long battle then ensued, as thirty fighters took turn upon the bridge to face opponent after opponent. It was a long process, and in the end, Lord Baldric was the last to stand upon the bridge, though Sir Nigel MacFarlane had the longest run of victories.

At the end of the bridge battle, Evander called for witnesses to Colyne’s squiring. He was presented with spurs crafted by Lord Verenko (that were exact duplicates of Evander's, though silver instead of gold), a chain crafted by Lord Brandt das Lederwerker (another squire-brother), and a belt crafted by Berend, Mahault and Brandt. Colyne then knelt, clasped Evander's sword, and swore his oath. At this point, Colyne’s eldest squire-brother, Tiberius Justus Britannicus, pulled a mount from his belt and gave it to Colyne as a gift. He told everyone present that Colyne was currently challenging into the White Bear Fian, the Septentrian fighting order. Tiberius took a knife and cut the belt end from his belt. He presented Colyne with it, saying he would not replace it until Colyne had successfully entered the Fian, as he knew he someday would.

Feast was a glorious affair, though the hall was crowded. During feast, many songs were sung and stories told, and Houses Hrogn and Galbraith presented the new Monarchs with many, many, MANY gifts for them to use during Their reign.

At feast's conclusion Berus II and Marion II continued Their court, and created Cennedi and Susanna as a Count and Countess of Ealdormere. Susanna was also made a Lady of the Rose. This was all met with a standing ovation.

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The beginning of the new year was cold and damp, more like November than May. In fact, in some parts there had been snow!

The annual Spring Tune-up, held in the Canton of Caer Draeth, was being held on New Year's Day, and there was to be a masked ball to celebrate. It was a damp, foggy day, though some brave archers did brave the wet.

There was armoured combat, but much of it seemed strained, and raised voices in the lists were common that day.

Feast consisted of hummus, sausages, chicken, fried tomatoes, beef in a coffin and many other dishes. A few brave souls stood up to entertain the crowd during the meal, singing jolly songs.

After the meal there was a court. Their Majesties Ealdormere processed to the front of the hall, and they asked Their Excellencies Septentria to join them, praising them for the work they had done maintaining the lands they held for the Crown. Their Excellencies Ramshaven were also invited to sit by Their royal side.

Perhaps the most memorable moment during the court was when Baroness Ursula na Clan na Rath was called for. Her Excellency was actually in a room overlooking the court. A page went forth to tell Her Excellency that she had been summoned, and all present witnessed the resulting reaction. Namely, her jumping up and throwing her arms around the hall's bar. Deciding that more force than the page was required, Her Majesty Marion II, followed by spear bearers, went to persuade Ursula to come to court. His Majesty Berus II, seeing that even this persuasion was failing, decided that if the baroness would not come to court, court would come to the baroness. Therefore Baroness Ursula was inducted into the Order of the Wain in the bar. His Majesty, announcing that there was no further business, and that the bar was open for business, then closed court.

A masked ball was then held under the guidance of Lord Darius the Dancer and Lady Catharine of Eoforwic, both clad in green-man masks gifted to them by Their Majesties. Many good gentles danced the better part of the night away, clad in masks they had purchased or created that very day.

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The next day, having procured seed from the Hayward, Colyne, Þorfinna , Eirik, Randy, Tarian, Wulfgang and Jean-Margaret went to the damp War Practice site. There they did spread said seed, getting only a part of it stuck to their boots and coats.

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On the 10th of May, Berend, Mahault and Naja—along with a few members of Greenhithe—instructed the youths of the T. R. McEwen School on matters of medieval life.

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Five days later, Their Majesties Ealdormere held Their Crown Tournament. It was held in the Shire of Trinovantia Nova. The combatants were:

Lord Grimmroth Skullhammer for Viscountess Moria the Black

Baron Menken Brechen for Baroness Eleanor Cadfan

Baron Phaidrig McNeil for Mistress Etaoin O'fearghail

Baron Sergeant Malik 'abd al-Rahman for Maitresse Baronne Genevieve
Chastellain d'Anjou

TH Lady Arwyn of Leicester for Master Cerdic O'Cuilleamhain

Sir Evander MacLachlan for TH Lady Melusine De La Rose

Master Trumbrand the Wanderer for TH Lady Kaylah the Cheerful

TH Lady Kaylah the Cheerful for Master Trumbrand the Wanderer

Sir Nigel MacFarlane for Baroness Adrielle Kerrec

TH Lord Etian au Naval for Lady Valfreya Greenspeare

Tiarna Eoin au Beirne for al-Shariifa Zahra bint al-Nahr al-Ishbiiliya

TH Lord Corrig McKail for Lady Emer nic Aidan

Lord Mung Lo for Prydyddes Gwerydd verch Rhys

Lord Tiberius Justus for TH Lady Anne Tinker

TH Lord Wilheem Caimbeul for Lady Skallagrim Worgenson

Streonwold Wulfesbana, Hlaford for Lady Seonag Nic Thomais

Lady Seonag Nic Thomais for Streonwold Wulfesbana, Hlaford

Leif of House Hrogn for Lady Morrigan of Temair

Lord Ymir, the thinnest Viking, for Lady Rosalind Fitzwilson

The crowd was unfortunately small, perhaps because of the weather, perhaps because of the Baron Wars to the south, perhaps because of the close-by Crowning of the new King of the Middle.

Regardless of the size of the crowd, it was attentive, and the fighters found themselves the centre of rapt attention. The tournament was done as a double elimination tournament, with a number of bye fights, which were fought with Baron Konrad Mathias Jaeger von Dubrau, His Excellency Ramshaven. The fighters paired off, the winners staying on the A-list, whilst those defeated moved to the B-list. This continued until only three fighters remained undefeated. These were Baron Malik, Sir Evander and Sir Nigel.

These three then fought a round-robin, which was taken by Baron Malik, forcing Evander and Nigel to the B-list. Those fighters on the B-list were then paired again. Any fighter on the B-line who lost, left the tournament, until only one remained. And it was thus that Master Trumbrand met Baron Malik in the finals.

The final was to be three best of three rounds. The first round was fought sword and shield, the second with polearm, the weapon of the third remained unknown, as the third round was not needed. For though both combatants fought bravely and well, with skill and chivalry, both the first and the second round were taken by the same man—Baron Malik.

Malik, who had been in the Crown finals twice before, one of those times being Ealdormere's first Crown tourney. Malik, serjant of the Red Company. Malik, baron of the court. Malik, first baron of Rising Waters.

And so, Malik was brought before Their Majesties Berus II and Marion II and a new princely crown was placed upon his head. And he, in turn, placed a crown upon the brow of his lady love, Genevieve. Genevieve, Mistress of the Pelican. Genevieve, baroness of the court. Genevieve, first Baroness of Rising Waters.

And so was the Royal line preserved and strengthened. And so does it continue.

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On June 5, in the Canton of Petrea Thule at the event of Pikeman’s Pleasure, the pennons fluttered overhead in the breeze that blows off the waters at Cynred's Bath. The good baron was not in attendance at the annual tournaments held that day by the watercourse that has taken his name, but many of the warriors present laughed as they related tales of Cynred and his habit of tumbling into the waves. They sat and stood on an island surrounded by a tributary of a small goose ridden lake, at the base of a short waterfall. Though a breeze did blow, it was not cool, and the sun was warm upon their heads. On the shore of the lake, on a rise above them, spread a small sea of pavilions and shades, under which lounged lords and ladies of the realm. Around the curve of the body of water, stretched the thrown weapons and archery ranges, already crowded with axe wielders and archers.
Upon the island a fighter stood with a spear, being Lord Berend van der Eych, and he is of the house of De Taahe. Under the watchful eyes of several marshals he sparred with a second fighter. The marshals gathered and converse, and then nod. Berend was now authorized in spear.
Eventually, all of the warriors were present, and the tournaments began. The first was a Warlord Tourney, held on the bridge that connects the island with the mainland. The first two warriors to battle were Her Excellency Ramshaven, Alyce de Sheppey, and the young Scottish squire, Laird Colyne Stewart (called by the list minister 'Alice' and 'Cain' respectively). Her Excellency won the bout, and became the first Warlord of the day. Once all the pairs had fought, these teams of two battled, until all the warriors were divided into two teams. The first, holding the island, were led by Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn. The second force was holding the mainland. For the last battle the object was not to slay all those on the opposing side, but to get one fighter off the bridge onto the land claimed by the opposing side. Siegfried deployed his team defensively, with four fighters on the bridge, two held back as reserves, and four on the shoreline with poles and spears. The mainland forces elected to place all their fighters upon the bridge in an effort to storm right through Siegfried's line. This gambit would likely have paid off, if Lord Etienne du Naval, holder of the Sword of the Company of the White Hart, had not been part of that line. Turning his pole arm sideways, the hulking warrior pushed forward against his shieldmen, stopping the other side's charge and even pushing them back. Slowly, inexorably, the mainland’s fighters were slain or forced backwards until Siegfried's forces had claimed the shore.
The next tournament was counted blows, with spears. Sir Nigel MacFarlane eventually emerged as the victor of this long-fought tournament.
Following was a counted blows tournament with polearms. As with the spears, the fighting was long and hard. Duke Sir Edouard Beausoliel was the day's polearm champion.
The Baron and Baroness of Septentria, Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith, called for all to pay heed, as Their White Bear Fian were to take the field. Colyne Stewart was to once again face His Excellency of Ramshaven, Konrad Matthias Jager von Dubrau, in the lists, for admittance to the Fian's ranks. Unlike his first attempt, Colyne fared much better, and it came down to one blow. The challenge was a best two out of three. Konrad won the first bout, Colyne the second. In the third, both warriors had been legged and armed (though this chronicler would point out that Konrad had given up his arm as a point of honour). The final blow was struck by Konrad, and the laird was laid out upon the ground. When it was over, it was remarked that Colyne had failed in his attempt, but Konrad loudly proclaimed that he had not failed. He indeed would not fail until he stopped trying and came no more upon the lists to challenge himself and the order.
Two more tournaments were to follow. The first was a counted blow buckler tournament. This was won by Sir Nigel MacFarlane. The second was a bastard sword tourney, with Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn emerging as the champion.
With the battles done, some of the warriors continued to spar, whilst others began the laborious task of taking off their armour.
A Royal and a Baronial pavilion were set up on the shore of the lake, and many moved their own shades closer so that they might sit in comfort when attending upon the words of Their Majesties and Their Excellencies. The courts were brief, but many good gentles were recognized for their good deeds in various disciplines.
With court completed, those present hurried into the hall, for the feast had been prepared by THL Melusine de la Rose, who is renowned for her culinary skill. Truly, many remarked that it was one of the best meals they had ever eaten.
During the meal, the prizes for the day's tournaments were awarded. These were wooden chests, hand crafted by Lord Augustyn of Thule, and are truly breath-taking to behold.
Also during the meal, the fate of Misha was to be decided. Misha, a local inhabitant of Petrea Thule, had been accused of stealing a horse. People were called forth to defend or condemn poor Misha, and in the end, the words of Lady Mahault van der Eych were found most compelling by Their Majesties. (In truth, by His Majesty, who was not feeling lenient to one who had likely stolen—not just a horse—but a nobleman's horse.) As Misha was led away by a hooded executioner, Mahault was presented with an engraved flask filled with scotch.
As usual at Pikeman's, dancing followed the feast, and laughter carried late into the night.

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On June 7, Ardchreag acted out a manorial court. Each person wishing to participate brought with them a certain number of gold coins. The amount of money brought was up to each participant, and was not to be any more than they would be willing to have donated to the canton. (This exercise was, in part, a fundraiser for the canton after all.)

In attendance that night were:

Corwyn Galbraith, Lord of the Manor
Domhnail Galbraith, Lady of the Manor
Colyne Stewart, juror, member of the Green Tithing, Yeoman of the White Arrow, member of the Cliffguard
Keelyn, juror, member of the White Tithing, member of the Cliffguard
Naja Kesali, juror, member of the Green Tithing, Yeoman of the White Arrow
Yosho, reeve, member of the White Tithing, member of the Cliffguard
Thomas, beadle, member of the Green Tithing
Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Chief Pledge of the White Tithing, member of the Cliffguard
Lina Carville, member of the White Tithing
Pierre, representative of the Royal Court
Þorfinna  gráfeldr , woodward, member of the Green Tithing, Yeoman of the White Arrow, member of the Cliffguard
Iolanda de Albornoz, Yeoman of the White Arrow
Wat of Sarum, Chief Pledge of the Green Tithing
Eirik Andersen, village alderman, member of the Green Tithing
Mahault van der Eych, ale taster, member of the Green Tithing, member of the Cliffguard
Berend van der Eych, ale taster, member of the White Tithing, member of the Cliffguard
Tarian verch Gadarn, ale taster, member of the White Tithing
Sof'ia Bardeva, ale taster, member of the White Tithing
Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, member of the White Tithing
Siegfried Brandbeorn, village alderman

The lord and lady of the manor and the jurors, sat at one end of the room representing the court. One of the jurors also acted as the clerk, writing down the charges, the results of the case, and the fines. 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.

Most of the cases brought forth were entirely facetious (such as Berend's tryst with Tarian) whilst others (like the wandering lamb) were based on fact. Anyone thinking of running such a manorial court themselves may want to consider which charges to allow and disallow beforehand so as not to possibly upset someone (some might not find the idea of being charged as a fornicatrix funny, not even in jest).

The charges and their results are below:

Wat of Sarum, Chief Pledge of the Green Tithing, charged Berend van der Eych with reaping some of his grain. As pledges, Wat presented Sof'ia Bardeva, an ale taster, and Mahault, also an ale taster and 'the much abused wife' of Berend. In his defence, Berend called on yet another ale taster, Tarian verch Gadarn. Wat alleged that he arose late one morning, after a night spent at a tavern, to find that Berend had reaped some of his grain. Berend, who said that—while he was being charged with stealing grain—was obviously the victim of Wat stealing his wife, and successfully argued that Wat was a drunken sot, and by Tarian's testimony proved this. Berend was found innocent, and Wat was fined one gold piece for bringing a false charge before the court, plus another gold coin for improper management of his field. He was fined a further gold coin for pointing in a threatening manner at one of the jurors.

Iolanda de Albornoz, a Yeoman of the White Arrow, claiming to be the village forester, charged Eirik Andersen, a village alderman, with killing a deer. As pledges she brought Lina Carville and Thomas the beadle. Eirik's pledges were Þorfinna , the village woodward, and Wat of Sarum, Chief Pledge of the Green Tithing. Iolanda claimed that she had found a dead deer in the woods, and believed that Eirik had slain it, as Lina had seen Eirik walking near the area where the deer was found, and Thomas had overheard him speaking of venison. However, Eirik proved his innocence through Þorfinna , who was the real forester for the village (being its woodward). The deer, she said, had died of natural causes, and Eirik, acting as her deputy, was in the area as he was going to fetch a cart to bring it to the lord's manorial officers. Upon his return however, the deer was gone. The matter of the deer's whereabouts was not solved. When Þorfinna  was asked why she had not reported this dead deer to the reeve or beadle, the reeve agreed with her that reports were due later that very evening. Iolanda was fined one gold piece for bringing a false charge before the court, and a further gold piece for usurping another's village appointment.

Mahault van der Eych charged her husband, Berend van der Eych, with making a fornicatrix out of the unmarried and pregnant Tarin verch Gadarn. As pledges, Mahault presented Wulfgang Donnerfaust, the Chief Pledge of the White Tithing, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Sof'ia Bardeva the ale taster and Wat of Sarum, Chief Pledge of the Green Tithing. Tarian brought Eirik Andersen, village alderman, whilst Berend brought forth Yosho, the reeve. This case got very convoluted as many accusations were thrown. In a surprise testimony, Yosho revealed that Tarian's unborn child was his own, not Berend's (and he quickly paid the beadle a marriage tax). Berend was therefore found innocent of making a fornicatrix out of Tarian. However, many women present had apparently been beset by him after having been in his cups, and he paid one gold piece for every one present who so accused him. Also, Eirik Andersen was remanded to the Royal Court for later trial for having—by his own admission—given Tarian cod liver oil, which is an abortive.

Þorfinna  gráfeldr , the woodward, charged the Donnerfaust family with poaching a lamb, and the van der Eych family for concealing it. As pledges Þorfinna  presented Tarian verch Gadarn, ale taster, Wat of Sarum, chief Pledge of the Green Tithing, Eirik Andersen, village alderman, and Thomas the beadle. The defendents presented Sof'ia Bardeva, ale taster, Iolanda de Albornoz, Yeoman of the White Arrow, Lina Carville, and Siegfried Brandbeorn, village alderman. As with the previous case, many extra charges were leveled by pledges against each other, the plaintiff and the accused. In this case everyone was charged with one gold coin. The defendants were charged, as three separate stories of how the lamb came to be in their possession were presented by them as truth. However, the plaintiff was also charged for not having already seized the lamb. (Plus, charging both sides, with so many pledges, brought much extra revenue into the lord's coffer.)

A representative of the Royal Court, Pierre, then announced that he had been authorized on behalf of the Crown to prosecute a case of murder. Sof'ia Bardeva, ale taster, charged Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Chief Pledge of the White Tithing, with murder, having killed her husband, Francisco Deceasi. Sof'ia's pledges were Mahault van der Eych, ale taster, and Lina Carville. Wulfgang's pledges were Wat of Sarum, Chief Pledge of the Green Tithing, Þorfinna  gráfeldr , woodward, Yosho the reeve and Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust. The court heard how Wulfgang had allegedly slain Francisco by stabbing him in the back with a knife, and later bragging of the dead and of the strength of his arm. His pledges countered that Francisco was indeed still alive, as he had been seen recently, and that Sof'ia herself had been heard plotting his death. The court asked if a death tax had been paid on Francisco and was told that it had been paid. And, as Francisco was not present to prove that he was indeed alive, Wulfgang was found guilty and sentenced to be hung by the neck until dead. The Crown seized his land and goods (all his remaining gold coins) and in its magnanimity, donated them back to the lord and lady of the manor. Sof'ia then had to pay an inheritance tax on her land. (This also meant that Wulfgang could not participate as a pledge in the last case of the night, as his village persona was now dead.)

Thomas the beadle charged Eirik Andersen, village alderman, with not doing his share of the reaping. As pledge, Thomas presented Yosho the reeve. For his pledge, Eirik presented Þorfinna  gráfeldr , woodward. Thomas and Yosho alleged that Eirik had not done his share of the reaping, and that he had attempted to bribe Yosho to keep the matter out of court. Yosho presented the alleged bribe money to the court and gave it into the care of the beadle. Þorfinna  and Eirik countered that, as a Viking, Eirik lived on a boat in the lord's harbour, and did not own land, and therefore could not reap. Instead, he paid a yearly tax in lieu of that service. The money that the reeve alleged was a bribe was in fact Eirik's tax money. The lord and lady of the manor, worried over apparent corruption in their officers, stepped forward and said that Eirik was innocent, and Thomas and Yosho had to pay a fine of one gold coin for corruption.

Before the court could be closed, Pierre, on behalf of the Crown, after hearing so much perjury that day, ordered everyone to pay further fines to the manor (in effect, any gold coins they still had on their person).

All in all, the experiment was a great success. Everyone had fun and over one hundred dollars were raised to help defray canton event costs.

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On the 14th, new canton appointments were drawn. They were: Naja Kesali, Bailiff; Sof'ia Bardeva, Reeve; Tarian verch Gadarn, Beadle; Þorfinna  gráfeldr , Woodward; Eirik Andersen, Iolanda de Albornoz, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, jurors; Volodymyr ‘Vlad’ Blahuciak, Chief Pledge of the Green Tithing; Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Chief Pledge of the White Tithing; Siegfried Brandbeorn, Hayward; Keelyn, Claviger (or macebearer;  this position is a deputy to the bailiff, generally ceremonial, but in some cases would accompany a hornblower, likely to protect him); Mahault van der Eych, Brooklooker (basically a woodward of the waterways, who was in charge of ponds, lakes, brooks, fish and water fowl); Thomas, Hornblower (a night watchman who carried a horn, blowing it in case of danger); Colyne Stewart, Yosho, Wat of Sarum, Ale Tasters; Berend van der Eych, Flesh and Fowl Taster.

As well, the tithings were re-drawn, and they stood thusly:

Green: Vlad, Sof'ia, Tarian, Iolanda, Jean-Margaret, Siegfried, Mahault, Thomas, Wat.
White: Wulfgang, Naja, Þorfinna , Eirik, Keelyn, Colyne, Yosho, Berend.

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Mid-month, the Barony of Ben Dunferth again hosted Murder Melee in the Meadow, and many warriors came to prove themselves in the lists. Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Wat of Sarum and Laird Colyne Stewart fought with Sir Evander MacLachlan, who was fighting with the team for the Barony of Skraeling Althing. Colyne was heard to comment that he never thought he would see the day when we wore a Skrael favour onto the field. Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust fought with the Rozakii, and indeed was upon the team that won the day.

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Once again, the canton of Ardchreag hosted the Ealdormere War Practice at the beginning of July, and as usual much occurred.

This year saw many classes being taught at EWP. For those with a martial leaning, beginners classes in thrown weapons, fighting, fencing and archery were offered. As well, many, many classes were offered throughout the weekend in the A&S tent. Perhaps the most popular was the Onion Skin Dying class held by Her Excellency, Gaerwen of Trafford, on Thursday. Even the rain could not drive away the large crowd gathered to watch and participate as cloth was dyed in various colours and hung upon ropes to 'dry' (it was raining, after all). Classes were also held in bow making, Celtic clothing, tablet weaving, sprang and on many other subjects.

On Friday night, His Majesty, Berus II, hosted a torchlight tournament. Over twenty fighters armoured up to compete. It was a standard double elimination tournament, with the King's line and the Baron's line. Those who won their first battle moved to the King's line, whilst the vanquished moved to the Baron's line. Anyone losing a battle whilst on the Baron's line was knocked out of the tournament. In the end, Sir Edward the Red was the last standing in the King's line, and Sir Evander MacLachlan was the last in the Baron's line. In a pitched final, Sir Ed emerged victorious. Sir Ed was presented with a spear by His Majesty. There then followed several five-man melees between the 'red' team and the 'not-red' team. (Teams determined by colours on tabards.)

On Saturday morning, Lady Alana Greywood, Baronial Hound Mistress of Ben Dunfirth, set up a hound coursing track on the list field. Many good gentles gathered to watch as various Ealdormerean dogs ran the course. Their Majesties, sitting under the Royal shade, whilst speaking with the Orders of the Pelican and Laurel, were situated so as to be able to watch the fun.

On Saturday, a court was held. At the Septentrian Baronial Court, the following occurred:  Lady Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust received an Award of the Golden Bear; The Royal Citie of Eoforwic pledged the City Guard and Night Watch to fight with Their Excellencies at Pennsic; Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr  stepped down as Baronial Bard and Lord Gunnarr skald Thorvaldsson was appointed the new Baronial Bard; Lord Wat of Sarum and Þorfinna , autocrats of the event, were given gifts of thanks (by Their Majesties as well).

In the Ealdormerean Royal Court, the following occurred: TH Lord Richard Larmer received the Award of the Orion; Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr  received the Award of the Orion; Rose of Greenwood received her Award of Arms; Baroness Adrielle Kerrec was put on vigil for the Order of the Laurel; Sir Evander MacLachlan and Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn handed in their Shearin’ funds.

Many good gentles authorized in various forms of weaponry upon the list field during EWP this year. One, however, stands out as unique. Stephen Scrymgeour, from the Canton of Ardchreag, and brother to Laird Colyne Stewart, took to the lists for his first authorization. He was armed with a sword made from rattan that had been gifted to him by a certain Excellency. Unbeknownst to all, that rattan was slightly older than it appeared. When the call came to lay on, Stephen swung his sword with such verve that it snapped clean in half upon his opponent's shield. "When the call to hold came, I thought I had failed after one blow," said a chagrined Stephen. Luckily, Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust was standing close by and gave Stephen a sturdier sword for the rest of his authorization. From there on, things went smoothly, and when it was announced that he had passed, he was hailed as 'Stephen Swordbreaker'.

Of the many authorizations at EWP, the most notable was that of Her Lupine Highness, Genevieve. Armed with a crossbow, she took to the field and suitably impressed the marshals with her skill. This would allow her to take the field at Pennsic that summer, and rain arrows down upon the heads of Ealdormere’s foes.

During a lull in the fighting on Saturday, Their Majesties and Their Highnesses processed onto the field. They had come to award an axe to Lord Benedict for his skill upon the field. When they turned to leave, Sir Sarnac Ba'adur and Sir Hasdrubal begged them to wait. Addressing His Majesty, they said that the Order of Chivalry was lacking and that this error had to be rectified. The King called the Order to him, and a boon was begged. The boon was to place Prince Malik, upon vigil for elevation into the Order of Chivalry.  This announcement was met with much cheering, and the clashing of sword upon shield. The elevation, it was announced, would occur at Pennsic War. His Highness then held the field for an hour, before being led away to bathe and begin his vigil.

The Third Annual Lord Ulrich von der See Memorial Ealdormerean Brewing Competition was held across from the Ardchreag encampment after court, on July 3. That year, the number of categories had been extended to three, being: mead, cordials and spirits and beer. Over thirty bottles were entered in the competition. Competitors and spectators sat in the shade and sipped from each bottle, while plates of cheese and crackers were circulated to cleanse the palate. Once all the bottles had been sampled, winners were chosen based on flavour, appearance, scent and other factors. This year's winners were: For cordials and spirits: Lady Mahault van der Eych; For beer: TH Lord Justinian Clarus; For mead: three-time champion, Lord Berend van der Eych. A special award was presented to Lady Marion Golightly for "best overall effect". Prizes were donated by the Canton of Ardchreag. This competition is held every year at Ealdormere War Practice to honour the memory of Lord Ulrich von der See, a member of the Cantons of Ardchreag and Greenhithe. Ulrich passed away due to medicinal complications a few weeks before EWP in 2001. He was well known for (amongst other things) his passion for brewing.

As the sun began to set after court on Saturday night, many good gentles gathered in the Galbraith encampment to witness the shaving of two members of Ealdormere's Order of Chivalry. Back at the Coronation of Berus II and Marian II, Sir Evander MacLachlan had challenged Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn to a contest. If Evander could raise $500 to be split between Kingdom Scribal and Ealdormere Commissariat, then Siegfried would have his long locks shorn. Siegfried agreed, but with two conditions. First, the amount must be raised to $1000. Second, if he could raise $1000 himself, to be split between Kingdom Chirurgeonate and Regalia, then Evander would be shaved from the waist up (sparing only his eyebrows). Evander agreed. In court at EWP, Evander proudly proclaimed that he had raised his $1000, but Siegfried, holding a small, rattling tin, sadly informed everyone present that he had been lax in his collecting and did not have the necessary funds. Sir Mordain Blackcloak then came forward with his credit card, and Master Hector of the Black Height put money in the tin. However, Siegfried was still short of his $1000 goal. Not wanting to see one of his knights fail in a quest, His Majesty donated the remainder of the needed funds. An hour later, Siegfried was sitting on a chair in the Galbraith encampment, his hair braided and ready to be cut. Tickets were being sold to see who would get to shave each knight. (This raised over $50 for the Royal Travel Fund.) The first lucky contestants cut off Siegfried's four braids (which were placed in a sealed bag to be donated to the Cancer Society to make wigs for children with cancer). His hair was then shorn down to stubble with a razor. A much balder Siegfried then gave up his seat of honour to Evander, who's hair was cut off completely. His back and chest were likewise shaved, even his armpits were not safe. (Nor were his squires, Lord Tiberius of Warwick and Laird Colyne Stewart, who were 'volunteered' into shaving them.) Both knights then posed for photographs and let people rub their scalps. Truly, this kingdom is blessed to have such self sacrificing people as these two knights.

The Galbraiths again opened their encampment for their traditional War Practice party. The tokens were resin-cast discs emblazoned with a griffon. As the flames leapt and the mead flowed, many took a turn at the infamous Galbraith toss. This year, entitled 'Pitch the Persian', the object of the toss looked remarkably like a certain newly recognized Pelican within our kingdom. The winner of the men's toss was Osgard, a visitor from foreign lands (with a throw over 29 feet), whilst Baroness Adrielle Kerrec won the women's toss (with a throw over 15 feet). Around the fire, Master Hector of the Black Height called for his family (and others interested) to witness as he took a new protégée: Lord Gunnar Halfdan of Lund, he of the bag full of chocolate. Before the party, both Colyne and Þorfinna  drank Black Eye Mead and were recognized as Galbraiths.

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In August, Ardchreag once again marched to the southron lands to take part in the Great Pennsic War. This year our King and Queen, Berus II and Marion II, did ally themselves with the Middle. Our warriors and archers fought bravely, though it was the tygre of the East who emerged victorious. Still, it was a grand War for the kingdom, who was presented with a new sword of state—called Ceuntvold—by the emerging kingdom of Northshield. These swords were a gift of the kingdom of Calontir, who had a sister-sword to those gifted. It was said that the hope was that these swords, belonging to the children of the Dragon, would never be struck against each other, and that we would always remain friends.

Two Ardchreaggers distinguished themselves at War. The first was Lady Mahault van der Eych, of House De Taahe, who was commended by a Middle Kingdom knight for her leadership in the woods battle. The other was Lord Wat of Sarum, fighting with House MacLachlan, who was a member of the Unbelted Team and the Allied Champion Team.

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While many were away at the War, a missive arrived from Lord Robert deBray and Isabella of Ardchreag, who were moving to the Shire of Gray Gargoyles in the Middle Kingdom. It read in part:

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone we’ve met here.  Everyone here has been amazing, inspiring, on so many levels.  Truly, if anywhere in the world the dream still lives on it would be within the lands of Ardchreag and Ealdormere.  Though our stay here was cut short, we both leave with memories we will cherish forever.  Your hospitality, kindness and friendliness made us feel right at home.  As I have said on many occasions, these traits are sometimes hard to find in the SCA.  In my opinion, the people of Ardchreag, and those we’ve come to know within Ealdormere, are a treasure.

I only wish that we had more time to get to know everyone much better.  To participate on a broader scale than our short time allowed.  But, if any of you ever find yourself in Chicago you’ve got a place to stay.  We’ll only be there for two years, and who knows where after that, but we’ll be back as often as we can.  Certainly we’ll try to get back for Snowed Inn next year.  We’ll stay in touch and let folks know how to get in touch with us once we’re settled in.

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September AS XXXIX

At the beginning of the month, many from the Cliffs traveled north to Ravenhill Farm, to attend the Tournament at Baron’s Howe.

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The following week, members of the Canton went to a Day in the Country, hosted by the neighbouring Canton of Greenhithe. The Wyrd Sisters—Jean-Margaret, Naja Kesali and Sof’ia Bardeva— ran the lunch counter. A certain gentle known as MacTable had an incredible day, getting his Award of Arms, being taken as an apprentice by Master Rufus of Stamford and being seen fighting, fencing, arching and dancing.

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On Sep 18, in the Barony of Ramshaven, a messenger came before Their Majesties Berus II and Marion II, with a plea from Harold Hardrada in Norway. Harold asked for the help of thirteen brave souls, and several stood forward to pledge their swords. The first was Sir Malik ‘abd al-Rahman ibn al-Safa al-Kariim, the Crown Prince. He was followed by the King’s Champion—THL Etienne du Naval—and the Queen’s Champion—Sir Nigel MacFarlane—and several others (two of whom bore striking resemblances to Colyne and Wat). Finally, both the Queen and the King also decided to go, and Berus asked Malik to stay behind instead and rule over the lupine lands. Once his parents had departed, Malik made many strong oaths upon Ceuntvold, as did his lady wife Genevieve Chastellain d’Anjou.

At this event, Oksana—who bore a striking resemblance to Diane of Ardchreag—received her Award of Arms for her efforts in illumination, and in putting up with her fiancée, Watt of Sarum. Said Wat that day became a man-at-arms to Sir Rory Cennedi.

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During this month, Lord Berend van der Eych gradually took over as seneschal. Also, Lord Eirik Andersen became Chronicler, Lady Sof’ia Bardeva became Exchequer and Lord Wulfgang Donnerfaust became Pursuivant.

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October AS XXXIX

On the first Monday of October, Ardchreag celebrated the Feast of St. Crispinus with food from the Far East. At this feast, Colyne officially stepped down as seneschal, and Berend van der Eych became seneschal.

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Near the end of the month, on the twenty-third day of October, the Barony of Ben Dunfirth was host to Ealdormere’s fourteenth Crown Tournament. Lord Wat of Sarum, fighting for Lady Oksana z Moravy, and Laird Colyne Stewart, fighting for Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr , took part. The full list of combatants and consorts was:

Hlafdige Aelfwyn et Langenwuda for Baron James the Mercer
TH Lady Arwyn of Leicester for Master Cerdic O’Cuileamhain
Lord Ceycil des Manches Argents for Contessa Tangwsytl d'Courci
Laird Colyne Stewart for Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr
Tighern Corrig 'Mor for Banfili Emer Nic Aidan
Syr Edouard Beausoleil for Contesse Genevieve de Rosse
Tiarna Eoin ua Beirne for Al-Shariifa Zahra bint al-Nahr al-Ishbiiliyah
Sir Evander MacLachlan for TH Lady Melusine De La Rose
Lord Geoffroi de Montreuil for Lady Dubhease ingen Lavidheach
Lord Grimmroth Skullhammer for Viscountess Moria the Black
Lord Gyric of Otershaghe for Lady Joia de Noel
TH Lord Kasimir of Stargard for Lady Tryphena von Stargard
TH Lady Kaylah the Cheerful for Master Trumbrand the Wanderer
Lord Lothar the Gregarious for Lady Katerina of Renfrewshire
Sir Nigel MacFarlane for Baroness Adrielle Kerrec
Baron Phaidrig McNeil for Mistress Etaoin O'Fearghail
TH Lord Phelan Gann for Lady Maiwen Scarbrow
Count Sarnac Ba’adur for Countess Joleicia of Litchfield
Master Trumbrand the Wanderer for TH Lady Kaylah the Cheerful
TH Lord Tynne Duair Ap Beul for Mistress Tabitha Dearval
Lord Wat of Sarum for Lady Oksana z Moravy
Master Worgan MacGregor for Baroness Anne Talstadt
Lord Yvon DuBois for Lady Robyn O'Connor
The tournament was long and hard fought, and took around five hours to complete. THL Kasimir of Stargard, squire-brother to Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust, found himself in the semi-finals against Lord Ceycil des Manches Argents. Ceycil had not lost a match all day, while Kasimir has lost one. Therefore, to advance to the finals, Kasimir had to beat Ceycil in two best-of-three rounds. Their battle was long, as Ceycil tried to bait Kasimir by stomping, posing, and quipping. However, these tactics did not work, and Kasimir was unflustered. With slow precision he whittled Ceycil down, beating him two bouts straight to take the first round. He then beat Ceycil again, and then took his first loss. It now came down to one fight. Whoever threw the one last good shot would go to the finals. Again Ceycil tried to distract his opponent, and again it did not work. As Ceycil hit the floor, the hall exploded with cheers for the exhausted Vendel.

Kasimir then advanced to the finals, to face Duke Sir Edouard Beausoliel, who had beaten Kasimir’s knight, Sir Sarnac Bahadur, to advance. Edouard bested Kasimir in two best-of-three rounds to place the Crown of the Princess of Ealdormere upon the brow of Genevieve de la Rose. A happy Queen pronounced that it was a joyous day, as she had given birth to heirs. To mark the occasion, she decided to name her daughter after herself!

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At the canton meeting the following Monday, the group found itself standing outside Commerce Keep with the doors barred and the gate unmanned. Unperturbed, the Chreaggers went to the Fox and Fiddle Manor where a rousing discussion took place and many plans were laid for future projects. Tova the Terrible—the group’s newest member, and one who would soon vanish—gave her opinions on Crown (which was her first event) and on the group itself from a newcomer’s perspective. Also, news reached the group that the Middlefield Keep was being rebuilt, and if things went well, Ardchreag might be able to move back in.

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November AS XXXIX

On November 6, the Royal Citie of Eforwic celebrated its 30th anniversary at Feast of the Bear in Hugo Graf’s Keep. Many from the Cliffs traveled to the Royal Citie to be present that day.

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On November 13, many from Ardchreag made the northern trek to the Barony of Skraleing Althing for the annual Feast of the Hare. These included Lord Eirik Anderson, Lord Brandt das Lederwerker, Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Laird Colyne Stewart, and Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr .

In morning court, Dame Sarra Elisabeth Graeham of Birnham was put on Vigil for the Order of the Pelican.

Since court had either gone long or started later than originally planned, the first armoured tournament had not yet started. So the fighters dragged in their gear and armoured up.

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

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

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

Inside, the fencers of Ealdormere and the East faced off in their annual Border Spat.

During the afternoon court, the contributions of many good gentles were recognized, including Lord Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn retiring as Champion of Skraeling Althing, but not being allowed to leave the dais until Their Majesties had later given him an Award of the Maiden’s Heart; Lord Geffroi de Montreuil being named as his successor as Champion; the Chalice of Skraeling Althing being given to Lord Ansfrid van de Muelne.

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

The chairs were then quickly swept away and out came the feast tables. The quality and quantity of food was amazing. It is doubtful that anyone went home hungry from Hare. A feast indeed!

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

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On the same day, at 2:30 pm, Tarian verch Gadarn gave birth to Ethan Daniel Albert Helliwell.

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On November 17, news of a new meeting site was disclosed.

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At the Kingdom Arts and Sciences event, hosted by the Barony of Rising Waters on November 20, Lady Mahault van der Eych was recognized as the winner of Kingdom Pent! Also, Lady Þorfinna  gráfeldr  and Lady Wencenedl inigena Jagomus of Rokesburg were taken as students by Baroness Adrielle Kerrec.

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On November 27, the Canton of Westbellford hosted a tournament at their Day with the Troubadors event. Several from the Chreag attended, including: Lord Berend van der Eych, Lady Mahault van der Eych, Adelaide van der Eych (formerly called Teah), Lord Eirik Andersen and Baron Sir Siegfriend Brandbeorn.

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December AS XXXIX

On December 20, Lord Eirik Anderson opened his keep for the canton Wassail. Those present included Berend van der Eych, Mahault van der Eych, Siegfried Brandbeorn, Snaebjorn (who bore a striking resemblance to Stephen Scrymgeour), Wulfgang Donnerfaust, Jean-Margaret Donnerfaust, Naja Kesali, and many others. It was a pleasant evening of feasting and singing.

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So concludes this third book of the Historie of Ardchreag. My task now done, I lay down my pen for a well-deserved rest.


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