Sunday 27 October 2013

Feast of the Bear 2008

By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

After a year’s hiatus, Eoforwic again hosted Feast of the Bear, this time in a new site, St. Simon’s church on Bloor St. in Toronto.  While nothing can replace the ambience of Casa Loma, in many ways this new site comes close, while providing amenities (such as heat, a collocated kitchen, sufficient electricity, and indoor washrooms) that the old Stables site lacked.  The main hall featured a soaring vaulted ceiling and a large, simple stained glass window, while the outdoor fighting area benefited from the church’s gothic-style architecture. There was also ample room for a variety of activities.

After a short morning court, THLord Wat of Sarum sat his vigil for the Order of the Chivalry in the upstairs choir loft, beautifully decorated by his friends.  An ample spread of food greeted his guests.

The large turnout of fighters (both armoured and rapier combatants) enjoyed several tourneys throughout the day.  The armoured combatants took part in a plunder tourney, where bouts were decided over various items of plunder.  A speed tourney also took place.  Later in the day,  Baron Percival (in armour) and Baroness Christiana witnessed the successful White Bear Fian challenge of Lord Rattanicus. Meanwhile rapier combatants amused themselves with a tourney in which they were both required to hang on to the ends of a rope while fighting.

Inside, Lord Gunnar treated attendees to a fabulous lunch table spread, with all proceeds benefiting the Eoforwic winter fight site.  Also benefiting the payment of rent on the fight site was a raffle organized by Lord Gunther Wahlstadt featuring a number of desirable items, including a hand-made knife and an armour grab bag.

A&S classes were organized by Viscountess Morgon.  Lady Helena taught knitting, THL Asa taught Lindesfarne-style illumination and Lady Lyda taught Runes. In the main hall, Lord Darius and Lady Lynette taught a large group a number of dances.  The children were not forgotten, with activities organized by Lady Eithne.

Court was held before feast.  TRM Etain and Valfreya gave leave to Baron Percival and Baroness Christiana to hold their court.  THL Berend van der Eych was called forward to receive his Crucible scroll, given in absentia during the previous reign. They recognized Lady Sara of Swordcliffe with a Bear’s Claw for her baking and cheesemaking at Pennsic, and then witnessed the transfer of the office of Mayor of the Royal City of Eoforwic from Lady Joscelyne to Lord Grom.  Magistra Nicolaa and the citizens then completed payment of Eoforwic’s baronial taxes by presenting the completed embroidered arms of Eoforwic.

After conducting some brief business that saw Bleddyn of Eoforwic receive his Award of Arms and Lady Alof of Eoforwic recognized with an Orion for her Norse clothing, Their Majesties then turned to the main business of the day, the elevation of THL Wat of Sarum to the Order of the Chivalry.  Having released his squire from fealty in the morning ceremony, Count Sir Cennedi opened the ceremony.  Baron Corwyn spoke for Wat as a Laurel, Baroness Adrielle as a Pelican, and Duke Aaron and Duchess Rustique as Royal Peers. The new knight was clad in a new shirt of mail before his lady Oksana girded him with two belts. Both spurs and a sword were also presented before His Majesty dubbed the new knight, who then chose to receive the buffet as a slap to the face (which resounded across the hall).  Sir Wat was then presented with his scroll -  a stained glass window made by Lady Tarian - before being greeted by his Order and the cheering populace.

The evening’s activities were topped by the feast prepared by Lord Ludwig.  The food was plentiful and tasty, inducing what one of the Royals termed a “food coma.” A particular highlight was the carving of the perfectly-done beef roasts by THL Naga, who first artfully tied back his sleeves before slicing two huge roasts into portions for every table, which were then served by Lord Mayor Grom. The lemon sorbet was another particular favourite.   He and his staff were recognized with a standing ovation from the Royals and all present.

Eoforwic received a great deal of praise on the beauty of this new site.   Mark your calendars - the next Feast of the Bear will take place May 2, 2009 (with an Icelandic Althing taking place in the fall of 2009.) 

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