This is the sixth of the books of history of the Royal City of Eoforwic. The first was that of Etienne de L'Isle, the second was that of William of Roncesvalles, the third was that of Hyrcanos ben Jacob of Oporto, the fourth was that of Magnus of Iona, and the fifth was that of Susanna of Leicester, sister to my patroness. That fifth book concluded with the twentieth anniversary of Eoforwic, and was recorded not long after those events. Some ten years have passed since those happy days. Many citizens of the City have dispersed and traveled afar, or are no longer seen. Others, after a long absence, have been once again seen in the City’s streets, my patroness among them. Newer citizens, having read the first five books, have clamoured to hear what transpired in the ensuing ten years. And so Magistra Nicolaa, being civic-minded and intensely proud of the City in which she has again come to dwell, persuaded upon me to share the private chronicle that I had kept for many years and often shared with her in the days in which she traveled in southern lands, and longed for tales of her homeland and its people.
I shall confess that I shall leave the tale somewhat incomplete. It was in March of AS XXIII that I took leave of Eoforwic, along with the lady and lord in whose service I toil. It shall be left to another scribe to tell the tales of the dark days that followed, but also of the joy of rebirth. My Mistress returned to Eoforwic in January, AS XXXVII, and found it full of new townsmen and women, talented in the arts, full of zeal for martial activities, and extending hospitality and friendship to all who joined. If it were not for them, I would be loath to share this tale, which sees such soaring highs and crushing lows, and ends in pain and sorrow. Know, reader, that the seventh tome shall not end thusly.
Dedicated in the thirtieth year of the City of Eoforwic to the people of the Royal City, in the term of Gunnar Halfdan of Lund, thrice Mayor of the Royal City, anno Societatis XL.
© Copyright 2005, Susan Carroll-Clark. All rights reserved.
The Chronicle of Eoforwic of Amaury de Hinton
Being the sixth Chronicle of that Royal City
The sixth book of the histories of Eoforwic does here begin. It is said by the sages that six is the number of completion and of perfection, as God did create the world in six days. And yet, others say that there be great affinity between the number six and the Cross, labour, and servitude, as Christ suffered on the sixth day. Fortune’s wheel does ever turn; she raises some low and others high, and Justice is never an easy mistress.
I write these words far from home, in southern lands, remembering those years of change, the joys and sadness mingling to make me long for what was. Too often, my Mistress has come to me to ask me once again to tell a tale of the Royal City like those she has read in books, and finally she charged me to write what I knew down.
Anno Societatis XXX
In the summer of the thirtieth year of the Society, Eoforwic celebrated its twentieth year in great pageantry, as has been told in the Fifth Chronicle of Eoforwic. Gunnar Halfdan of Lund was Lord Mayor of the Royal City for the second time. King Osis sat the throne of the Middle Kingdom with Valthjona, his Queen. At the great Coronet Tourney, Zadok fought well, and Rhys ap Bledri advanced to the final six. In the final bout, Sir Mordain, fighting for his lady AElflaeda bested Lucius Aurelius Varus. Morgan Blackheart authorized, increasing the City Guard by one. But ill stars had shone on the reign of Osis and Valthjona, and they were rarely seen in the same place. It was here where banishment was proclaimed upon three gentles. Mistress Mortraeth and Mistress Rhiannon were banished from the Royal Presence and Master Sylard, from the Realm, by King Osis and Queen Valthjona. There is to this day much disagreement about whether these banishments were deserved or not, and for some time, many in the Principality chose sides in the dispute. As with all banishments, the reasons were not made public to all, but only given to those banished, but word soon travelled that they had much to do with breaking the confidence of the Peerage orders; to wit, Elizabeth Cadfan was told at a private dinner the night before she was to be vigilled by Queen Valthjona for the Order of the Laurel what the Crown intended to do. As with many disputes, each side has points in its favour. While it is true that the bond of trust between a Peerage order and the Crown was overstepped, others argue that in fact these bonds are often stretched when a candidate is due to be vigilled in order that family and friends might be present. Similarly, the King had asked the counsel of members of the Imperium as to what to do, and they had advised him that banishment was appropriate. However, these members were nearing the ends of their terms, and by the time the Imperium considered the banishment, the consensus had changed; now the banishment was seen as inappropriate and it was overturned. No matter what one's stand on the people and issues involved, it is true that the banishments caused an open wound amongst the people of Ealdormere.
The second-level banishment, in particular, forced members of Master Sylard's home canton into having to choose between following the rules and supporting a friend. Emotions ran very, very high and much long-term enmity resulted. While few in Eoforwic were directly effected, and even fewer knew what banishment entailed or what the reasons behind it actually were, one of the banished was Mistress Rhiannon, who had left for England before the banishment was pronounced, and who had many friends and apprentices in the City. Their Majesties subsequently lifted the banishment of Mistress Mortraeth, and that of Mistress Rhiannon allowed to lapse at the end of the reign because she no longer was a subject of the Middle Kingdom, but that of Sylard was renewed by King Tarquin and Queen Aibhilin, before ultimately being overturned by the Council.
The Royal City was also distressed because its very good friend, Elizabeth Cadfan, whom all agreed was worthy of a laurel wreath, was placed into limbo for more than two months while the Crown debated her elevation. It is said that she came quite close to declining the honour because of all the pain she had been put through, and only the words of her King eventually convinced her to accept. Although the entire story is not known, it is rumoured that the Queen and King had differing opinions on whether to proceed. All the while, Elizabeth Cadfan had continued her good work on behalf of the Kingdom, and many of Eoforwic spent an hour or two in her company, filing and polishing some of the two thousand thank-you tokens that Their Majesties had commissioned for Pennsic to be distributed to fighters and volunteers.
At War Practice that year, Master Hector, who had been put on vigil for the Order of the Pelican at Murder Melee, was elevated by King Osis. Due to a competing event, no member of the Order of the Pelican arrived to speak on behalf of Hector, so other worthy gentles spoke on his behalf. Some hours before the ceremony, it was discovered that the medallion Hector was supposed to receive was not present. Countess Caitlin, who had great skill at the making of incised metal medallions, undertook to make Hector a medallion in time for the ceremony, and in doing so cut her hand, making the drops of blood on the medallion all too real. This relic was later passed to Baroness Megan of Stonemarche of the East Kingdom, she who runs the Guild of Limners at Pennsic and sells wondrous things from her tiny house.
At the twenty-fourth Pennsic War, Dame Madinia was in charge of the troll booth, as Aedan and Kaffa had done years before, and because of a last-minute emergency, Master Hector assumed the position of one of three autocrats. He had been appointed Constable and presented with a war hammer crafted by Edward the Chaste, and had otherwise planned only to serve as “Master of Disaster” and to support his lady wife as Troll. When he took on the role of autocrat, he passed the hammer over to Sir Mordain, who stepped into the role and served the Coronet with great distinction despite the lack of notice. So busy were Hector and Madinia they that they were barely seen, although Hector found the time to fight a battle or two. Because of especial efforts and friendship between King Osis and King Timothy of the East, this War was not plagued by the personal conflict and enmity between East and Middle that had disturbed the two preceding Wars. Osis distributed Thor's hammers cast by Lady Elizabeth to every Middle Kingdom fighter, charging them to pass them on to someone who had inspired them. Great efforts were made to make the sides more even in the battles, and even though the East triumphed, no one went home unhappy.