Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pennsic XXXVIII 2009

By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

The story at Pennsic this year could have easily been the weather. The first week featured frequent cloudbursts that had rendered the parking areas and roads a muddy morass by the middle weekend.  Opening Ceremonies was actually moved to the barn because the field was so slippery, and parking enforcement was even stopped temporarily.  However, except for some overnight rain early in the week, the rest of the War featured ideal weather—sunny with moderate temperatures. Only on the final Saturday did rains finally make a return.

Pennsic XXXVIII will be remembered as the year with two wars in one—and Ealdormere was on the winning side both times.  The first conflict consisted of East and allies vs. Middle and allies, and with sides very closely matched, the East was victorious.   The second War was East and Middle vs. the Known World.  Again, in a close matchup, the Known World was the victor.  Of particular note was Ealdormere’s performance in the first two field battles, where at the end a number of Ealdormerians, including His Excellency Percival, walked off the field still alive.  Also, after the battles on Monday, Count Etian, Sir Evander and Countess Domhnail were added to the Scroll of Honour for their leadership on the field.  On that day, a boon was begged by Master Ruslan of the East Kingdom, and the next day Ealdormere gained its second female member of the Order of the Chivalry when Countess Kaylah was made a Lady Master on the field between the second and third field battles.

Septentria made an outstanding showing in Thrown Weapons this year, with Lady Catriona winning two tournaments.  Septentria also provided Ealdormere’s only participant in Archer Champions, THL Dafydd. 

The Roaming Roman party, now in its second year, was a rousing success, as the Romans managed to thwart a number of Celts intent on stealing Senex Crepitus’ banners. Senex Crepitus also made an appearance at the camp of Caesar later in the week to answer charges of wearing confusing headgear, false advertising, and “TBD”.  After a spirited defense by Viscountess Moria, intense consultations with Caesar, consumption of snack packs and Limoncello, confusing Latin phrases, and copious use of the words “Hail Caesar!” Baron Footus was acquitted of all charges.

Septentrian Court was held in Eoforwic’s camp, as has become traditional, and Lord Hans and House Marchmount once again provided the refreshments. Many stopped to marvel at the amazing solar powered two-tap drink cooler that was the focal point of the Eoforwic common tent.  Lord Hans was presented with the Baron and Baroness’ personal favour as well as an apron for his services.  Lord Thorolf was presented with a Bear’s Claw. The court was interrupted by a certain “Olympic Committee”, which presented  Lady Jocelyn with her “medal” (a crushed pop can) for “fastest 100 yard trash run.”   Later in the same court, she was taken as apprentice/protégé by Baroness Nicolaa.

Several hereditary arm rings were also passed on, before the traditional presentation of the Brass Balls of Septentria. Baron Percival presented them to Thorolfr for leading a can-can line on the last day of battle, but then he turned around, stated that “a great injustice had been done,” and called the armed might of Septentria forward. Lord Bjarn than spoke to the “brass balls” it had taken His Excellency to authorize and fight at Pennsic, and presented the Balls back to Baron Percival.  His Excellency was then mobbed by a group hug.   Master Hector then came forward to proclaim His Excellency as of the same blood of Aedan o Kincorra, Aedenesbrother.  Just as the court closed, Their Majesties hijacked the Baronial chairs to open their own Court and create Anne Tinker and Tiberius of Warwickshire as Court Barons. Beautiful stained-glass scrolls by THL Tarian were presented to their new Excellencies.

Just before the guests departed, two other things of note occurred. First, Viscountess Moria took Lady Catriona as her protégé and Countess Rylyn did the same with Lady Anneke. Second,  Lord Bjarn was serenaded with Pennsic Christmas carols. This was the final act of several deeds coordinated by Lady Jocelyn to give Bjarn Christmas at Pennsic. After he had departed for the Roman party on Monday, Lady Jocelyn and Baroness Nicolaa decorated his tent with a Christmas tree from Lady Catriona, ornaments from Countess Domhnaill, Thor’s Hammer gingerbread cookies by THL Asa,  twinking lights from Lady Jocelyn, and a stocking sewn by Asa and stocked with Viking toys (including beer, foam axes, duct tape, toy rhinos, and a complete set of “Viking” action figures) by Nicolaa. The carols were courtesy of  THL Asa and Lord Gunther.

Septentrians recognized at Kingdom Court included Baron Foote and Baroness Grainne, presented with Maiden’s Hearts for their fundraising work for Barony and Kingdom as well as their support of Pennsic fun.   Lord Bjarn’s auspicious week continued as he was made a Companion of the Order of Thorbjorn’s hammer and presented with a scroll in the form of an axe.  The culmination was the elevation of Baroness Gaerwen to the Order of the Laurel. Nine spoke on her behalf,including His Majesty Roak, Master Hector, Baroness Aibhilin and Baron Oakhammer, Duchess Rustique, Baron James, Baroness Kaiza, Baroness Nicolaa, Fred the Illegitimate from the swamp, and Baron Cynred.  After these words she was invested with the ring of the Order and presented with medallion and cloak.  Congratulations to Septentria’s newest Laurel!

As has become traditional, many Ealdormerians gathered at the water’s edge on Thursday night for the boat burning. This year, the boat was named in memory of Mistress Etaoin, who passed away earlier this year. This has been a hard year for many Septentrians in the loss of both friends and family members. Lady Mary Hannah’s flute playing added a note of gentle calm to the ceremonies, allowing all to remember those who had passed. The boat tried its hardest to cling to the shoreline, but was carried to the centre of the pond by a Trimarian pirate who braved the waters of Cooper’s Lake.  

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