Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins (Pikeman’s Pleasure, June 1, 2002)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

Ah, Pikeman’s Pleasure: one of my favourite SCA events. Also, the anniversary of my first SCA sunburn. This year I had just the thing to combat the burning, searing sun: a hat. Yes, I’m a smart one all right.

Ardchreag’s populace turned out in force and set up two pavilions along the lovely river that ran through the event site. Still we had not enough room to house everyone. Those from the Chreag included: Thorfinna and myself, Berend, Mahault and Teah van der Eych, Gailana, Brandt and little Kyle, Iolanda, Olyfia, Ivanna, Wulfgang, Jean-Margaret, Tiarna, Vlad, Siegfried, Kenric, Tatiiana, Eirik and others that I’m likely forgetting. With us were four friends from down Greenhithe way: Misty, Wulfwyn, Aldred and Colin. (Strange to meet someone who’s mundane name is my SCA name. Colin’s middle name was Stewart.)

The wind that day gusted and swelled like a mad creature and the van der Eych pavilion could not take the buffeting. Eirik’s and ours survived the day though ours kept blowing out of its supports (we have to get some better pegs). Whenever a particularly harsh gust of wind blew everyone grabbed a leg of one of the tents to ensure they didn’t blow away. (Kind of like what happened at War Practice last year.)

Thorfinna took part in the Warlord Battle and ended up on Earl Sir David’s team by the end of it. (For those, like myself, who have never seen a Warlord Battle before, it is run thusly: two opponents face off. The victor is the Warlord, the other is their vassal. This team of two faces a similar team of two. The victorious Warlord now takes the other two as vassals. This continues until everyone is on two teams.) Thorfinna learned how to use her shield to good effect against Vlad’s spear as he battled her Warlord, under the gentle words of Earl Sir David. )”Push his spear, Thorfinna! Get in there! Block!” Earl Sir David led his team down to the river to face Sir Evander MacLachlan’s more experienced team. With Evander stood His Highness Roak, Duke Sir Finvarr, His Excellency Sir Menken, Sir Mordain, His Excellency Cynred, Aaron Jarl, Baron Siegfried and others equally skilled. Now, Earl Sir David’s team was a good one, but many were still newer fighters. Still, he lead them into glorious battle and they won almost as many engagements as their enemy. Still, in the end, it was Sir Evander who emerged victorious. Wassail Evander!

While the bridge battles raged, Berend and Iolanda shot the bow, Ivanna worked on a new Septentrian tabard and much conversation was had.

Later that day a Seven Deadly Sins Tournament has held, where a knight took on the part of each deadly sin. As there were only six knights on hand, Siegfried also portrayed a sin—that of Envy. My, how we all laughed to hear that. Eirik almost fell off his chair.

When the battles were all over, it was discovered that Cynred had not fallen in the water. For many years past he had always fallen in, giving the shallow river under the bridge the name of Cynred’s Bath. To rectify matters, Cynred walked upstream and flung himself into the water as it cascaded down a short falls and into a pool before the bridge. Not to let his Baron take a plunge he wouldn’t Stroenwald Wulfesbanna accompanied him. Both were still in full armour. I missed the plunge but as I was walking past the pong suddenly saw Stroenwald break the surface, quickly followed by the Baron.

At Baronial Court I was ensnared to ensure that the Baronial banner did not fly away and was given a Septentrian baldric to wear and a Septentrian patch as token. Kirstiken, former entourage of Countess Rustique and now entourage of Her Highness Arlette, gave us all chocolate as well. Seong, wearing her Champion’s collar, and Eirik stood behind the Thrones with Petrea Thule’s Seneschal Keja and Tiberius while we awaited the arrival of the herald, Stroenwald. Apparently, the bath hadn’t been good enough for him and he was in the shower. I suggested they have him herald court in a towel. Gaerwen engaged the crowd in conversation and Cynred regaled us with “Born on the List Field” until finally a calm, cool and casual Stroenwald strode up the hill. One young man had his Lady called up into court where he proposed to her! Many awards were handed out, though court had to get up and physically move inside as many of the Thuligans who were so awarded were inside working. Amongst the awards Melchior and Eileen were awarded Bear’s Hearts and Vlad was given a Bear’s Claw. Tempus Peregrinator was also given a Bear’s Claw and the Title of Officer of Misinformation for his efforts in confusing our southron neighbours with tales of Wallpaper Festivals, moose hatcheries and the like. When the call came for those who wanted to swear to the Isengesitha, Mahault van der Eych swore as a Scout.

Wulfgang and Jen-Margaret were invited to sit at head table during feast at Their Excellencies side.

While we feasted there was much entertainment. Earl Sir David had six roses, which he would give to those who stood and pontificated on the loveliness of their Ladies. I of course stood and won my Thorfinna a rose. (David had previously given Gailana a rose.)

Keja then called on all to come up and sing bawdy songs. Thorfinna, having written one only a few weeks past, was able to fulfill her obligation of opening a Septentrian hall, and sing a bawdy song at one and the same time. Although many fine songs and tales were told, at the end of the night Thorfinna’s was chosen as best and she received a CD entitled, “The Art of the Bawdy Song.”

Thorfinna later went to head table and told them a tale of her love for Septentria, which got quite an emotional reaction. Their Highnesses gave her a ring as token of her tale, and Gaerwen gave unto her a Septentrian patch and belt favour.

After dinner Eirik gathered up as many Chreaggers as he could find for group photographs. Thorfinna, Mahault, Gaerwen and I linked arms and sang, “We’re off to see the Wizard,” as we skipped from one location to another. As we all crammed on the bridge we hoped it would take the weight of so much camaraderie.


People began to hitch up their wagons as rain began to fall, and we eventually followed suit. When asked on my way out the door if I had enjoyed myself I laughed. It was one of the best events I have yet been to. For that I will always have a special place in my heart for Petrea Thule.

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