By THLaird Colyne Stewart
We almost didn’t go.
We had contemplated taking the weekend off from SCA pursuits, perhaps do some Christmas shopping, and perhaps do a bit more role-playing. We then realized however that if we did not go, then Mahault would win.
Our friend Lady Mahault van der Eych was entering her first A&S Pent Competition, in which participants must enter five items from different A&S categories. Mahault had been working long and hard on her entries and we knew we had to go to support her. This is after all the A&S equivalent of Crown Tourney.
So Saturday morning we hopped in the car with just garb and some cups, which was a nice change from the huge amount of gear we usually drag out to events. The drive to the event site was shorter than expected, though the rainy day made it seem longer.
When we arrived around 11:30 we found a vast array of Arts and Sciences displays set up. There was an armoured combat tourney, but I do not know who won, as I was caught up in the A&S end of things for once. Three fencers in attendance also fought a Royal Round.
I wandered through the displays, taking pictures. Other than Mahault’s entries, those that stood out to me were: THL Tynne Duair ap Beul’s illumination (including his video documentary), Baroness
of Trafford’s dying display, Syr Edward the Red’s shoes, and
Baron Corwyn and Baroness Domhnail Galbraith’s horns. There were many other
wonderful entries, ranging from food to clothing, but simply too many for me to
remember them all.
While I wandered the hall I got the opportunity to talk with many friends, some of whom I do not get to see often enough. I also got to see Lord Tosh authorize in sword and shield, which was an inspirational moment for all those watching. So much so, that Their Majesties Malik and Genevieve, inspired by his will and determination in over-coming an uncooperative leg in order to fight, gifted him with an axe.
Finally the time for the Pent judging arrived. Most pieces had already been judged individually, but the time had come for the pent entries to be judged as a whole. I helped schlep Mahault’s entries to the conservatory, carrying a dressmaker’s dummy wearing Lord Berend’s clothes, my one hand in a compromising position. I took a quick glance about the room at the other Pent displays, and then retreated from the ensuing A&S frenzy. I knew the competition would be fierce. There were ten entrants (one of whom—Lady Wencenedl inigena Jagomus of Rokesburg—had entered two displays) and there had been amazing evidence of the skill and talent of our artisans.
Going back out to the common area I once again talked with friends.
During the day both my Lady Thorfinna and Cenedl had finalized details with Baroness Adrielle Kerrec to become her first students. When Cenedl emerged from judging they quickly gathered and I snapped some pictures to mark the occasion.
Court then began, and they jumped quickly to the heart of the matter, announcing the winner of Pent. It was Mahault! Her entries had been a complete 14th C. Men's outfit, a 14th C. Silver Brooch (
Mid-Winter's Feast (all the dishes), a page from the Prayer Book of Mary Stuart
and a bottle of the mead that she had made for her handfasting at Pennsic in
2002. Last year’s winner, THL Asa Gormsdottir, presented her with her regalia
as the new Arts and Sciences Champion of Ealdormere, which included the silver
Bowl of Brenaidh. Museum
As court proceeded, many other worthy gentles were recognized for their contributions to the kingdom. As usual I cannot recall them all, but I do remember:
Sarafina of Ely received her Award of Arms.
Alexander Gladstone, one of Ealdormere’s two prominent photographers, received his Award of Arms.
THL Arnora Dunestan was inducted into the Order of the Wain.
Viscountess Moria the Black was inducted into the Order of the Crucible.
Also, Garraed Galbraith, Olagh, officially stepped down as Kingdom Minister of arts and Sciences, while Their Majesties invested Lord Magnus Kjrr with said office.
We could not stay for feast, so when court was over and we had finally finished our good-byes, we made our slow way home through dense fog, both Thorfinna and I already thinking about what we could possibly enter at next year’s A&S.