Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Hayless Horses and Roak Supreme (Lady Mary’s Memorial Tournament, 2002)

Wulfgang Donnerfaust

So this, then, is what it is like to entourage for a King.  An experience, to say the least, was Lady Mary, my first event since Coronation.
Rising Waters welcomed us to the same site that saw Aaron and Rustique step down and Sarnac and Joliecia accept the life-altering responsibility of becoming Khan and Khatun.  Not scheduled to be officially on duty until the afternoon, my good lady wife and I enjoyed a leisurely morning of fun and frivolity.  That is what they say about those kinds of experiences, right? That you can look back and laugh?  Due to a bit of poor planning, it was not discovered that our cart horses were low on hay until we had driven them onto the Great Road.  They coughed and sputtered and complained all the way to a feed stand belonging to the Esso family.  Like I said, fun and frivolity.  Just don’t ask my lady.
An event looks very different when you are working at it.  You miss some of the happenings that less duty and more freedom to wander would allow.  And yet, I am human with my foibles and my human nature, and being able to wield my tiny piece of authority in the name of the Great Khan is worth not being able to take part in the A&S competition, or attending the bardic circle, to cite two examples.  I know not what this indicates about my personality, but I do know that come September, I will feel a touch aimless at events without a King to attend.  No matter.  I intend to be authorized by then, anyway.
Roak ultimately won the Tournament.  Any attending could easily find this contest as it played out.  The lists were, in two words, densely populated.  Not surprisingly, the shaded trees that offered some protection from the sun were the most heavily occupied.  There was a thrown weapons range, which Sarnac himself took a turn at.  I believe I saw archery as well, but perhaps I was mistaking the axe targets for buttes.  Other eyes than mine could confirm this.  Lady Mary favours were handed out by the good ladies in attendance to their choice of combatant who, in their eyes, had carried themselves with the most dignity and honor that day.
Their Majesties opened court in the middle of the hall to present an award to a gentle who, by their account, was difficult to find at events.  No thrones, no rows of audience, no clearing away the event tables to “set up”.  Open, present, suspend.  You have to keep up to stay current with the Khan and Khatun.
It was mentioned to me that Their Majesty’s thrones should be moved in, as it became clear the fighting had ended and the outside events drew to a close.  There are those that claimed I was in a bit of a panic to get the job done, but I felt I was merely delegating.  Quickly.  I had, after all, been trained by someone with a tendency to move quickly when something needs doing.  But no matter.  The thrones and the rest of the regalia were inside and set up fairly rapidly, so I was content.  I learned later that there was a great deal of time between the suggestion and when it needed to be done, so perhaps I did not need to react with such insistence.  But the job got done, and done in only a few moments.  I will endeavor in the future to only panic when absolutely necessary.
With Their Majesties in very good hands for feast, Jean-Margaret and I had some time before our duties began again.  We took the opportunity to finally put our feet up.
Court followed feast, and during this court I learned an important lesson.  If you toss chocolate coins into the crowd, you will get a very rowdy audience when the sugar and caffeine kicks in.  The bubble blowing didn’t help.  But it was fun to watch, especially when a certain instigator, or perhaps a scapegoat, was grounded to the feet of Their Majesty’s throne until he could behave.  And so, after the consumption of sweets, the popping of many bubbles, the dancing doll, the awards, Baronial court, and the loss of feeling in my left ankle, court was closed and the day concluded.
I have been to enough events that they are not as awe-inspiring as I have reported in the past.  And yet, it is at events where the SCA really becomes what it is supposed to be.  This, at least, I am still able to witness.

As I tried to stay awake at the post-rev, between fetching my wife a birthday drink and puppeteering a stuffed monkey named Winston, I relived the day, coloured this time with the warm pink of hindsight.  Not just a hobby, this hobby of ours.  So much more than a game, this game we play.  A second, much larger family is what I have become a part of.

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