Thursday 3 October 2013

To Feast on Peppers and Chocolate! (Septentrian 12th Night, Jan 2006)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

Greetings unto all those who may read this missive, from Gonzalo mjöksiglandi, humble page (of the mixed up lineage) in the court of Their Majesties of Misrule, Gaerwen and Ulfhedin,

As you may be aware, recently a new land has been discovered far to the west (or, even farer to the east). It is a land of chocolate, peppers and gold, of towering pyramids and thick trees. I set sail to this new land, along with Dan the Dane, my fellow page (half-brother to Dagmar Halvdan), to wait upon Their Majesties of Misrule.

The winds were gusting up to 70 kilometers per hour on my voyage. The kilometer is a measurement of speed in this New World, I am told. In our terms the wind was blowing really, really, REALLY hard. It actually caught the door to my cabin aboard ship and half wrenched it from the frame. The boat was in danger of sinking from this storm, but we landed safely, and my fellow page and I made our way through the freezing winds and found shelter in a hall. This hall was within the boundaries of the Barony of Septentria, which was hosting a Twelfth Night celebration. Over this merriment, our Majesties Misrule were to…well…misrule.

His Majesty was resplendent in fine slit pantaloons, with tiger print hose, a white blouse and red vest. Upon his head perched a hat (also made of the skin of a local great cat) around which sat his crown, and from which sprouted green and white feathers. About his neck hung a necklace of peppers. Her Majesty was likewise radiant, in Norse garb complete with three sets of turtle broaches, and strings of pearls, bells, radishes and peppers strung across her chest. A large helm with mighty horns and thick braids sat atop her head. In their hands they held their scepters and orbs—sticks of wood, and a local fruit called a cocoanut.

Before them was spread a table of prizes. For throughout the day, those assembled would partake in games and challenges for tickets, and these tickets would then be drawn for these prizes. Beyond the prizes were set up tables for the general populace to use, and beside them were set tables for an A&S show and tell overseen by Lord Berend van der Eych and Lady Mahault van der Eych. Participants were encouraged to bring their greatest arts and sciences disaster.

At the end of the hall Lord Rhisiart ap Meredudd toiled in the bar. Beyond him and unseen were their Excellencies Septentria, and many other helpers, working in the kitchens. Overseeing all was Lady Lassarfhina inghean Uilleag, the event steward.

And yet this was but half the hall! On the other side Lord Perceval deLaroque and Lady Christiana MacNamara had spread out many tables of games. In the corner an oasis sprung up, complete with palm trees, drummers and dancers. One of the dancers looked remarkably like Baroness Alyce de Sheppey.

Dan the Dane, with his roving moustache (which moved all over his face, and sometimes onto other people’s faces), and I (wearing a cotehardie, a fez and plaid pants, with a dream catcher and an Aztec solar calendar hanging from my belt) sometimes helped out Their Majesties throughout the day, when and if we felt like it. For a time I had to flee for my life, as several local children (armed children!) thought I was a pirate, simply because I said I was. Luckily Berend slipped me an eye patch, which I held up to other people’s faces to send the children off after them.

Their Majesties appointed Lord William the Younger as the Captain of Their army on the merit of his silly walk. To decide upon their admiral, a group of sea-dogs came before them blustering and yelling, until Berend leapt upon the stage, kissed Her Majesty and stole the admiral’s hat. Not to be out done, Lady Rusalka of the Galbraiths kissed His Majesty, then Her Majesty, leaving Berend no choice but to kiss His Majesty. Both Berend and Rusalka were then appointed co-admirals.

In all the amorous campaigning, His Majesty’s chapeau was knocked to the ground, and though I managed to rescue the crown itself, the feathers were snatched by a self proclaimed enemy of the crown, dressed as a young Duke Hasdrubal. His Majesty appointed William to recruit a brute squad to retrieve the feathers. While he was doing so, the thief strode cockily before the thrones, wearing the feathers in her coronet. William snuck up behind her and plucked the feathers, whereupon she called for her own brute squad. It seemed the enemies of the crown outsized the loyal brute squad of Their Majesties, who scattered to the winds. Lords Petrus and Grimroth then abducted His Majesty, throne and all. Eventually His Majesty returned, but as I was one of those who scattered, I am not sure what he had to do to secure his release.

Tickets were handed out to people for passing potatoes between themselves, using only their elbows, chins and knees. Touching one with your hands meant you had to partake of the poor man’s lutefisk (sardines). Tickets were also awarded for eating the peppers on Their Majesties necklaces.

The members of Petrea Thule practiced at Glic in a back corner, preparing themselves for a Glic challenge at Snowed Inn in two weeks time.

A court was held where awards were handed out, but I do not know who won them, for I had been dragged into a game of Tablero with Baroness Adrielle Kerrec, who had just trounced Lord Rattanicus. When Adrielle had to step out, Baron Konrad Mattias Jaeger continued for her and we played until we were both well sauced.

Feast, with an Old World / New World theme was then served. The Spanish Remove: consisted of Olive and bread, Fava beans with serano ham, Chorizo empanadillas, Eggplant casserole, Venetian xinxanella, Roast pork with sweet and sour sauce and Fruit empanadas. The Mexican Remove consisted of: champurrado (chocolate drink), Tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole and frizoles, Prawns with pumpkin seed sauce, Potatoes with walnuts and eggs, Tamales with boar, Mole de polbano and Chocolates.

Two of the dishes were served from the deck of a large boat that was wheeled about the room on a trolley. Pirates from Ardchreag tried to raid the vessel, but it was under Her Highness Ealdormere’s protection, so the raid failed. Instead, they captured a smaller craft made of bread and manned by bears made of butter, and sailed past head table where His Excellency Septentria stood in his ocelot skin great kit and was showered with volley after volley of bread balls. Oh, if only His Excellency had more ships of his own to protect him!

After feast, Lassarfhina and Rhisart brought out a birthday cake for Gaerwen and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, which was cut up and shared with all still present in the hall.

The hall slowly emptied after that, as folk made their way for home. For those that remained a cloven Clementine made the rounds.

It was truly a fun day, with much merriment (more than one man distracted by tablero could possibly record).

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