Lady Naja Kesali
I was invited, one day, to come spend some time with my friends from Greenhithe. The Hounourable Lady Aurelia Gabraina and her Lord husband Graem de Liste de
Cherbourg had invited
many friends to their home in the country for a relaxing day of friendly
competition. I had offered to entertain the children that day and was honoured
to make the acquaintance of but three. So I found myself wandering the grounds
with not much to do.
I spent some time within the food pavilion speaking with the hard-working Lady Wulfwyn of Greenhithe and Aurelia's lady mother (forgive me, I know not your name) and I watched Lord Aldred at work, maintaining the pig which was roasting on a spit for the grand supper planned while he prepared the rest of the meal. I wandered over to a thrown weapons range where a Lord gentle was testing his newly bought throwing axes. (It seemed that a goodly merchant or two had also dropped by, having seen the gathering.)
I wandered further and found the fighters of the gathering competing with one another and just up from the list field a pair of fencers were battling with grace and style. I wondered at the variety of contests that took place that day and was directed to the archery range, just beyond a pavilion full of the works and studies of many talented artisans and scholars. I stopped to admire the many works displayed, which included a hand-stitched Viking dress, a hand-carved wooden chess set of remarkable detail, a helm of some beauty, and some very impressive chain mail. It was there I learned of the day's theme.
It was all based on a sharing of skills and talents within a team. The teams consisted of fighters, fencers, archers, artisans, and those with all manner of skills. Each team consisted of five members, each competing in a single category (categories consisting of Arts, Sciences, and any three of the following: Heavy Combat, Fencing, Archery, and Thrown Weapons. The competitors would be awarded points for their accomplishments and the team with the most points would win some rather lovely prizes crafted by the fine people of Greenhithe. The prizes (which numbered five, to be distributed within the winning team) were: a hand embroidered circular cloak (made by Aurelia and Wyn), hand made ceramic feast gear (Aurelia's own work), a rimmed drinking horn (a joint effort between Lord Graem, Lord Serion d’Ivri and Lady Corrina Rensealer, a hand made wooden chest (skilled Graem's efforts) and a tooled leather pouch (Aldred's work and contribution). The participating teams were named "The Royale Citie of Eoforwic", "Petrea Thule 1", "Petrea Thule 2", and "The Team Without a Name".
The day was, by most standards, a leisurely one and the guests all had a great time. It was a casual day as there were no visiting royalty, and, while we missed their presence, we had fun in our own, more homely way. Supper was announced—the pig we had all admired on the spit was ready with much more besides. The meal was a great success! During our meal the winning team of the day's competition was announced and they went off to split their booty.
A short bardic circle followed the meal, mostly lead by Lord Justinian Clarus. Duke Sir Roak shared a tale of a great Rozakii bonfire that took place at Pennsic one year. I had the honour of singing with young Miss Elizabeth and she also danced for us.the night ended earlier than some gatherings might, it was only because these were country folk after all, with work awaiting the early morning. All in all, my day in the country was an enjoyable, and educational day. I do believe that if I'm fortunate enough to be invited again, I shall be delighted to accept!