By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton
As has become customary, Winter War was the first large event of the spring and the first chance for armoured combatants to begin to practice their melee skills for the upcoming warm weather campaigns.
Ten teams entered the melee round robin tourney. Eight of these teams consisted of five unbelted fighters and two more were all-Chivalry teams of four fighters. Three of the unbelt teams (Septentria-Bjarn, Septentria-Tiberius, and Skeldergate) were from Septentria, as well as one of the Chivalry teams (consisting of His Majesty Etian, Berus, Nigel, and Worgen). Other teams included the second Chivalry team headed by His Highness Roak, two teams from Ramshaven, one from Ben Dunfirth, one from Trinovantia, and one from Rising Waters.
Commenting on the fighting, THL Justinian, who coordinated the tourneys, mentioned that all fought with chivalry and grace, with few harsh words in the midst of some very hard fighting.
The team commanded by Lord Bjarn was victorious in the round robin section, followed closely by THL Tiberius’ team. The tourney was particularly remarkable for the appearance of Baron Percival in his first melee tourney. His report is included below.
Another highlight was the squiring of THL Berend to Sir Nigel. Berend is Nigel’s first squire, and the ceremony also marked the foundation of Nigel’s new household. Their Majesties also made Guillaume, lord to Countess Jolecia (and as of very recently, her husband) a citizen of Ealdormere. He went on to assist with the tourney, and will likely be seen frequently from now on.
Fighting was not the only attraction, however; Baroness Tsivia spent the day sitting her vigil for the Order of the Pelican. THL Anne Tinker coordinated the vigil, including lovely food and special “mouchoir” attendants with tissues in case the vigilee happened to get teary-eyed. (They were needed a number of times during the day and during the subsequent ceremony itself). A number of dignitaries from as far away as An Tir and Calontir made the journey to take part in Tsivia’s elevation, and she was showered by many fabulous gifts.
A large number of rapier fighters also turned out to play all day in a large list. The Daughters of the North ran their yearly fundraising raffle. A number of A&S classes were offered, and for much of the day, the band Talbot’s Cross provided live music to event-goers.
The highlight of Court was, of course, Tsivia’s elevation. She processed down the aisle, resplendent in a red cotehardie, under a canopy of crossed banners held by members of the Chirugeonate. Seven speakers spoke to the virtues of faith, hope, charity, temperance, justice, fortitude, and prudence, and with each virtue came the presentation of a gift. Mistress Fiona was there in spirit, as a member of her household carried an urn with some of her ashes, and Tsivia was invested with a medallion that once she had worn. The ladies with the tissues were very busy during the ceremony. When it came time to read the scroll, it was revealed that there were in fact two scrolls, technically “promissories” — one with text in the shape of a Pelican by Lady Cerridwyn, and the other, consisting of text only, by Tsivia’s old friend Master Robert of Two Cliffs (which nearly caused Tsivia to fall over when she heard the name).
One comment heard during the ceremony was that many enjoyed the “old style” approach with lots of pomp and circumstance. Congratulations to the newest Pelican and way-back Septentrian!