Friday 22 November 2013

Missive from an Apprentice and Squire to his Laurel and Knight, regarding the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Faire, AS 48 (Nov 16, 2013)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

To the most eminent and excellent, and to be named with the highest veneration Nigel and Adrielle, august king and queen, with all exertions and every affection of faithful service, I wish perennial prosperity and blessedness in Lady Ealdormere of the Secret Heart.

As while attending a re-enactment of the courts of the northmen I did sign and endorse a contract with her most gracious majesty, so did I wish to honour this commitment as her apprentice. To such an end I resolved to take par in the Queen’s Prize Tourney, the first of its kind in our Kingdom of Ealdormere.

As your most serene selves are aware, each entrant in the tourney was to be sponsored by either a member of the Order of the Crucible or the Order of the Laurel. As I had decided to enter texts I had devised for charters and patents that were handed out by yourselves to your most worthy subjects, I asked Her Excellency Mahault of Swynford, Baroness of Havencroft and Patroness of the Scriptorium where I ply my quill to be my sponsor. To this she readily agreed.

To this end I wrote a paper detailing how I researched the persona of award recipients, and found period sources that matched said personas, and then crafted a unique text wording for them based on those sources. I included many examples of the award texts I had written up to that point in time.

When the day came THL Þorfinna gráfeldr and I set out for the northern reaches of Arden, in the Canton of Ardchreag. In this land named after one of the canton’s founders, artisans from across the kingdom were to come and show their work. And come they did! One-hundred and eighty-two people attended the faire that day. As for the Queen’s Prize Tourney, fifty-eight people entered, including four children. There were twenty-four sponsors (with each able to sponsor up to five entrants) and sixty judges. The hall near over flowed.

Before the Tourney opened, Your Majesties held a court where you honoured several worthies with your favour. This included my poor self, upon whom you bestowed an Award of the Orion for the writing of award scroll texts. Likewise, Orlaith inghen Cinada meic Briain was given an Orion, while Zoe of House Marchmount was given an Award of the Wolf’s Cub.

The Order of the Laurel was then called, and a boon was begged for Jhone of Woodcote, who was then placed on Vigil. As Jhone was escorted out of court by the order and her ecstatic husband Wilfrid of Sweflingham, Your Majesty did call back one of said Laurels, being namely Mistress Ælwynn, your champion. Your Majesty demanded of her if she did not have a duty in court, which she sheepishly said she did. All attending thought you meant her duty holding your sword, but nay, her duty was to call another boon, this time for Wilfrid himself. And so both husband and wife had their own boon called, and both were placed on vigil for the Order of the Laurel.

With the conclusion of court, the Queen’s Prize Tourney began. I was one of the first to be judged, and I found Baron Brand, Magistra Nicolaa and Lord Evan Quicktongue awaiting me. We talked long and enthusiastically about my entry and they concurred that my work was not that of a beginner, but was of at least intermediate skill (if not higher). They encouraged me to expand my paper and submit it to the Society’s journal “The Complete Anachronist”. I am most pleased to report that I have now done so, and it has been accepted by the journal and is currently being reviewed for publication.

I then rushed outside where I was to be the marshal-in-charge for a spear tourney to honour His Majesty, who was victorious in His crown tournament wielding such a weapon. As the focus of the day was on the gentle arts, only four hardy individuals donned harness for the tourney. These were: Sir Steinnr, THL Gann, Lord Rurik and Jack the Pirate. Before the tourney could begin, both Rurik and Jack had to authorize in the great weapons form, at which they were successful.

Before His Majesty, I told the noble combatants that I had set the time limit of an hour for the tournament, on the assumption there would be more taking part, and if they wished we could shorten it to half an hour. However, I asked them if they wanted to prove their mettle to his Majesty and place themselves upon the anvil of virtue and still fight for the full hour. To this they did agree.

There then began the tourney. They fought in what is known in common tongue as a bear-pit, where the winner of a bout faces the next fighter in line. Each bout was fought over a barrier and was to three counted blows, with blows to the lower body not allowed.

Each of the four fought well and hard and showed each other much honour and courtesy. At the end of the hour, Gann, Rurik and Jack found themselves in a tie, each with seven victories. Consulting with Sir Steinnr, I declared that a final winner would be decided by fighting a round robin, where each fighter would face the other two. If any one of them won both their bouts, they would win the tournament. These bouts were also fought at the barrier, but were fought using standard Society fighting conventions. (Though shots to the lower body were still disallowed.)

Jack the Pirate first fought Gann, and emerged triumphant. I then sent in Rurik and both Sir Steinnr and I were quick to point out to Jack that if he were to defeat Rurik, he would carry the day. Jack faced this extra pressure with aplomb and indeed did proceed to defeat Rurik, winning the tourney. As a prize, he was awarded an arming bench crafted by Þorfinna, which he was pleased to find fit inside the steamer trunk he used to carry his army.

Other fighters then came on the field and began fighting pick-ups, while I retired to other duties. Or so I thought. I was to sit at the gate with Einar Inn Austrifera Josepson, but he waved me off and told me to enjoy the event. And so I was able to peruse some of the other Queen’s Prize entries, talk with good friends, and meet a traveling bardic Laurel from Æthelmearc.

Many meetings were held that day, but happily I can say I was not required to attend a one of them. After the meetings were concluded, you, good king, held a class on spear use on the field.

Before feast, another court was held. And this was the way of it:

Each entrant in the Queen’s Prize Tourney was given a prize by one of the sponsors (though not their own). I received a jar of candied almonds from Her Excellency Lucia. Lady Marguerite was then declared the Judges’ Choice winner of the Tourney for her pigments while Bethan MacFinnon won the Queen’s Choice for his 15th century stool. The baronies then presented prizes, each barony awarding a prize for a specific category of the arts and sciences. And herein I must cry pardon and fall on my knees in shame, for I did not record those winners and cannot grant them the word-fame they deserve.

And now I write of you, gracious queen. When you spoke to those assembled and thanked them for participating in this new idea, you were loudly lauded by all. Indeed, all those so assembled rose to their feet, and the applause was uproarious. Never have I seen such an accolade given. Most beauteous queen, you are a treasure of the north, and your people love you well.

The Royal Herbalist Guild then presented their taxes, before your majesties honoured more of your worth subjects with the following awards.

Liam of House Marchmount was given an Award of the Wolf’s Cub.
Leisle Woolmonger was given an Award of Arms.
Rhiannon of Eoforwic was given an Award of the Maiden’s Heart
Kaisa of Petrea Thule was given an Award of Arms
Einar Inn Austrifera Josepson was given an Award of Arms.
Aurik Burnsson was given an Award of the Orion.
Orla O’Shannahan was given an Award of the Orion.
Lyda Langrackrsdottir was inducted into the Order of the Crucible.

Court was concluded by calling Ailis de la Marche out of the kitchen where she had been working, to act as Royal Bard. When her song was done, your majesties surprised her by giving her an Award of the Orion.

The hall was then set up for feast, and I retired to the front hall to meet with other good gentles who had agreed to act as servers.

THL Hans Thorvaldson then presented a feast of five removes, each one representing a barony, and each one accompanied by a poem read by Lord Pelayo. This was greeted with great enthusiasm by the one-hundred people who dined upon it. During feast you honoured the event steward, Eeva the Restless, with an Award of the Maiden’s Heart.

I hope this record of the day does please your majesties. Truly Lady Ealdormere alone knows with what purity of mind and from how much devotion of heart I shall have been and am faithful to you and desire always to be. 

Based on a letter from an anonymous nobleman to Ermengard of Tours, 840-842 CE.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

A Longship for Burning

In Memory of Malcolm Ernest Harris

By THL Asa Gormsdottir (mka Eve Harris)

For about a decade a Canadian named Wulfric has handcrafted and delivered a miniature Viking longship to Pennsic, the two-week SCA event held each August in Cooper’s Lake, Pennsylvania.

About 6’ long, the beautifully built ship with linen sail and rigging is armed with painted wooden shields and tokens of lost loved ones and brought to the shores of Cooper’s Lake at sunset, where it is dedicated and set adrift to burn in a Viking funeral.

This open-but-private event is well known but somehow secret. I had known about it for years but of course had never gone to the lake on that night. Death chooses its attendees.

Last year at Pennsic I decided to go.

One of the Pennsic merchants, a woodworker from Canada, makes and sells plain wooden bosse shields for the ship. They are about 2.5” across. He also sells little paint sets to decorate them. Sometimes if the person is poor he gives them a kit for free. I bought a shield and gave him extra.

During a lull the next day I went to our tent, pulled out my illumination box and painted the shield. A black emphatic M in Lindisfarne script with knotwork terminals. The center wooden bosse painted with a small red-black-and-white chequey design (in imitation of millefiori glass studs found in important Anglo-Saxon and Celtic pieces, such as the Ardagh Chalice and the Lismore Crozier). The ground in white. The rim of the shield in red.

The paint dried quickly in the hot weather and I slipped the little shield into a scrounged ziplock bag in my purse.

Later that day I was on Runestone Hill and a party of three marched up the hill with the wooden ship on their shoulders. I asked them if they were accepting the shields now. The leader nodded, and told his crew, “Present Deck!” They turned and presented the deck of the ship to me and I hurriedly scrabbled the shield out of my purse and placed it on the deck, where some others were already waiting. Before the ceremony all the shields would be carefully nailed along the topmost strake on both sides (the area now known as the gunwales).

After finishing my shift at the Pennsic Independent that afternoon I went back to the tent and changed out of my fine blue Gothic dress, made from the silk Holly bought me in Afghanistan. Instead I put on a green linen tunic, a herringbone apron dress and pewter tortoise brooches, braided my hair and put on desert boots. David changed into Norman wool.

Thus plainly arrayed as a Norsewoman, Asa Gormsdottir, I went down to the water’s edge in the steadily failing light, to stand with my friends of this night. They flowed in, quiet, discreet ripples, so imperceptibly filling the small clearing below the watchtower trees. Other than a short greeting, no one really spoke with one another.

Unnr Hringsdottir, another Canadian (it’s amazing how we create and infiltrate) led the ceremony with her plump and healthy babe in arms. She was in childbed in Toronto when her father died in Ottawa and could not go to his funeral.

Unnr has studied the Norse language and sagas at length, aided by the surviving Icelandic tongue, and can speak like a proper skald.

She spoke for a few minutes in Norse. I do not know what she said but it seemed to be a solemn invocation. I remember the fireflies were coming out. One hovered above her head for a few moments, slowly sparking, and I thought it was a blessing. I imagined they were the souls of the dead come to be honoured.

Then she led us in the words of the Viking funeral, made famous by the movie, The 13th Warrior.

Lo there do I see my father
Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers
Lo there do I see the line of my people
Back to the beginning
Lo, they do call to me
They bid me take my place among them
In the Halls of Valhalla
Where the brave may live

Each person called out clearly the full name of the one they mourned. It was now quite dark.

A sudden stir as the men brought up the boat. I snaked my way through with my flash-and-smash camera to the port side where there weren’t as many people. The brave little shields were nailed fast to the sides of the ship. I found Daddy’s shield and took pictures. One shield bore the Eye of Horus; another, the symbol for infinity. People came up and laid personal tokens and little boxes of ashes onboard. I saw the linen sail, painted with a SCAdian device. I didn’t know whose heraldry it was. There were about a dozen candles. I secured a place as a candle bearer.

Some frigging and fooling around getting the ship ready.

At last the ship was brought down the bank. We lit our candles with splinters and stuck them in the special wells on the ship. Then the ship was placed onto the water as the candles flickered and wax hissed and spat on the deck. There wasn’t much wind and it was hard to get the ship off the beach. The builder included a hidden motor to help but it was fouled by weeds almost instantly.

The ship wasn’t moving; in fact, the waves were bringing it back in to shore, so I got into the lake with another guy and we walked the boat deeper into the water. A third man stripped off and swam the boat deep into the center of the lake, out of the lea of the hill.

Finally, gloriously the longship caught fire. The proud flames rose fiercely into the night, consuming the boat and its burden of painted prayers.

The torches from nearby camps softly answered, winking in the dark.

I was hauled back up the bank by the arms of weeping women I didn’t know. We huddled together, anonymous and free to cry without shame.

The boat’s champion stayed in the water. By tradition any pieces left floating would later be collected and burned at the campsite known as Enchanted Ground, where the modern world may not enter in word or deed.

As the ship burned lower, the group began to break up. My shoes were filled with water and rather than loudly squelch my way back to camp I took them off and walked barefoot down the stony hill to the path. Later I would find dried sand caked into the hems of my clothes, holy sand I was curiously reluctant to wash away.

Eve Harris

Saturday 9 November 2013

Recitation Of the History Of the Axe Of Heroes

by Master Hector of the Black Height

Lord Rannulf Smith of West Yorvik, Ealdormere forged the axe. Also he was a noted bastard-swordsman in his day.

Baron Corwyn Galbraith of Ealdormere, Uncle to Viscountess Bushra, Current Baron of Septentria in Ealdormere, married to Domhnail (#17) crafted the axe haft in his workshop. He also first used the axe, to split wood for a carved spoon.

Lord Grimwulf the Hairy of Ealdormere, was the third owner of the axe. He is the second-finest field commander Septentria has ever produced (the finest is Baron Aeden o Kincora, who taught Grimwulf).

Fourth to own the axe was Duke Barak Hasdrubal the Carthaginian, Knight of Ealdormere. A Duke of the Eastrealm, one of the finest battle commanders ever at the Pennsic Wars, particularly in the woods.

Viscount Mordain Blackcloak, Knight of Ealdormere, the fifth to carry the axe. Warlord of Ealdormere’s forces at Pennsic XIII and at Pennsic XXXIII. Was squired to Sir Finnvarr (#71).

Thegn Cynred Broccan of Ealdormere, sixth owner of the axe. Former Baron of Septentria, he sat the Ursine thrones beside Bushra’s sister Gaerwen. Squired to Sir David (#24).

The seventh owner, Sir Evander McLachlan of Ealdormere, was a brilliant swordsman and joyous soul, he crusaded in the Middle East two years ago.

Viscount Menken Brechen, Knight, Master of the Pelican, Baron of Ealdormere, and Current Baron of Skraeling Althing in Ealdormere, the eighth owner, sat on the Board of Directors of the Society.

The axe then passed to its ninth holder, Lord Streonwald Wulfesbana of Ealdormere, Squired to Sir Berus (#65). Also a fine smith, he provided a sharpening steel for the axe.

Lord Etien au Neval, of Ealdormere tenth holder of the axe of heroes, Step-brother to Viscountess Bushra, and King’s Champion of Ealdormere. Squire-brother to Sir Berus (#65) and Master Worgen (#14). Last Bard to the Courts of the Principality of Ealdormere, he does a frighteningly accurate imitation of a large ape.

Count Sarnac Bahadur, Knight of Ealdormere, and eleventh holder of the axe of heroes, Was squired to Sir Roak (#12), an inspiring and passionate commander.

The twelveth holder of the axe was Duke Roak of Ealdormere, Knight of Ealdormere. A Rozakii (see #91), famed for his prowess with mace and greatsword. Also a highly capable operational commander.

Master Trumbrand the Wanderer, Master of Arms in Ealdormere, was the thirteenth holder of the axe. A Rozakii (see #91), second MSCA ever elevated in Ealdormere, also a fine armourer. Married to Kayla (#22)

Master Worgen MacGreggor, Master of Arms in Ealdormere, the fourteenth holder of the axe, and Step-brother to Viscountess Bushra, was the First MSCA ever elevated in Ealdormere. Squire-brother to Sir Berus (#65) and Etien (#10). Universally beloved for his sweet nature, he also fights an amazing mace.

Duke Edouard Beausoleil, Knight of Ealdormere, and the fifteenth to hold the axe of heroes; was squired to Sir Finnvarr (#71). In his first mass battle at Pennsic he saved Kaellyn (#50) from serious injury or death, when her chinstrap failed and her helmet went flying, by throwing himself between her and an advancing army.

Lord Wulfgang Donnerfaust of Ealdormere, the sixteenth person to carry the axe, First squire to Sir Sarnac (#10), he has the makings.

The seventeenth holder of the axe of heroes was Baroness Domhnail Galbraith of Ealdormere, Aunt to Viscountess Bushra, and Current Baroness of Septentria in Ealdormere, married to Corwin (#2). Squired to Master Worgen (#14).

Lord Graeme de Liste of Ealdormere, was the eighteenth holder of the axe. He is married to Viscountess Bushra's niece Aurelia (who made Bushra's Coptic fillet). A fine teacher of new fighters.

Lord Ralf of Oaklawn the nineteenth and oldest person to carry the axe of Heros, from Outlands, and brother to Viscountess Bushra, He holds a valid heavy fighter authorization card at age 81.

Viscount Edward Zifram of Gendy, Knight, Master of the Laurel and the Pelican East, 45th Knight ever elevated in the Society, autocrat of Pennsic XXXIII, was the twentieth person to carry the axe.

Twenty-first holder of the axe was, his Royal Highness Sir Rurik, Crown Prince of Aethelmearc. A valiant warrior and most gracious Prince.

The Twenty-second was Lady Kayla the Cheerful of Ealdormere. Former King’s Champion of Ealdormere, a joyous fighter and generous soul. A Rozakii, married to Master Trumbrand (#13).

Taog of Concusare, Uncle to Viscountess Bushra, Warlord of Concusare, a non-SCA group of pre-600 AD Iberian Celts was the twenty third holder of the axe. He understands deeply things Celtic.

Earl David Martin Failsworth, Knight, and Duke of Ealdormere. First prince of the Principality of Ealdormere; also first King of the Kingdom of Ealdormere. One of the Nine Worthies of the Known World. He was the twenty fourth to hold the axe.

The twenty fifth holder of the axe was Sir Gregory of Loch Swan, Master of the Pelican in Lochac. A faithful Pennsic participant who flies up from Australia every summer.

Duchess Elina of Beckenham, Mistress of the Laurel and the Pelican, Lady of the Rose of the Middle Kingdom was the twenty-sixth to hold the axe. She is author of the “Iron Rose” essays and book, a singularly graceful lady. I believe she is married to Duke Steven (#106)

Twenty-seventh was Lord Axayacatl the Tlacuilo of Ealdormere. Distinguished bard to the Baron of Septentria (#2), formerly known as Gunnar Truthsinger, he has embraced his Mexica (“Aztec”) persona despite objections from Eurocentric SCAdians.

The axe then went to it's twenty eighth owner, Lady Seonid nic Thomas of Ealdormere, Baronial Champion of Septentria. Married to Streonwald (#9).

Lady Isotta Gianfigliazzi of Ealdormere, the twenty ninth holder, is a fine spear-fighter with a charming singing voice.

The thirtith holder of the axe was Lord Evan Quicktongue of Ealdormere Squired to Sir Katsu Okaiwa, he is known for a quick wit and generous nature.

Her Royal Majesty Marion II, Lady of the Rose, Queen of Ealdormere, was the thirty first to hold the axe of heros. Married to Sir Berus (#65), she is a noted combat archer.

It's Thirty-second holder was Master Brusten de Bearsul, Master of the Laurel and the Pelican of Middle Kingdom. A former Knight of the Middle Kingdom, he threw the first blow at the first demo in what became Ealdormere. Also a former War Chirurgeon at Pennsic.

Sir Ustad Hassan the Dredd of the Middle kindgom, and thiry-third to hold the axe, was the first Islamic persona to perform the Pennsic pilgrimage, the Penjj, he was squired to Sir Lothar (#47). He is an inspiring fighter to watch and a soul of vast generosity and kindness.

Lord Drust mhic Arleth of the Middle Kingdom, the thirty fourth person to hold the axe is first squire to Sir Ustad (#32). He has the makings.

35 Baron Tancred of Tanglewood of Ealdormere. Foremer Baron of Rising Waters in Ealdormere and a noted craftsman, he is a wise fighter who fights single combat only, heeding his body’s limitations.

36 Baron Andrixos Seljukroctonis, Master of the Pelican and the Laurel, Huskarl Calontir. A noted Byzantine warrior, he teaches Latin to the army of Calontir on the field (example: “Ave, marinus”, “Hello, sailor”).

37 His Royal Highness Brannos, Knight and Master of the Pelican, Crown Prince of the Middle Kingdom. One of the Nine Worthies of the Known World, considered the finest swordsman on the east side of the continent, he is the finest coach of fighting in the Society. Married to Mistress Rebekka (#108).

38 Master Feral von Halstern, Master of Arms in Eastrealm. A senior commander within the Great Northern Army of the Eastrealm, one of the finest field commanders at the Pennsic Wars.

39 Viscount Haakon Oaktall, Knight, Master of the Pelican in Aethelmearc Uncle to Viscountess Bushra, Warlord of Clan Yama Kaminari, he walks the talk and carves legends with his spear. See #85.

40 Lord Ardal of Antioch in Aethelmearc, Cousin to Viscountess Bushra, Squire to Sir Haakon (#39), a convivial companion.

41 Sir Trelogin Tavistock, Master of the Pelican and the Laurel of the Middle Kingdom. A truly joyous man, he begged the boon for Viscountess Bushra’s Laurel when he was placed on vigil for the Pelican. Interestingly, his first of three Peerages was his Pelican.

42 Sir Osric Eisenwulf of the Middle Kingdom. Head of a famous Midrealm fighting house, House Ironwolf, his generosity is well-known.

43 Baron Dur al-Jabal ak Mufti of Aethelmearc. Uncle to Viscountess Bushra. Father and guiding light of the Society’s Mozarab renaissance, he named Bushra al-Jazeeri bint al-Nahr.

44 Badger of Anglesey; Another non-SCA Celt and fine warrior, he casts bronze.

45 Countess Elina de Braose, Lady of the Rose, First Queen of Ealdormere, she led her army on the field, sword in hand.

46 Sir Aengus MacBain of Aethelmearc, Uncle to Viscountess Bushra. Knighted at Pennsic XXXIII – he held the axe before he knew he was to be knighted -- he was squired to Sir Haakon (#38). Married to Mistress Yvianne (#47). A truly generous, joyous man.

47 Maitresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon, Mistress of the Laurel of Aethelmearc. Married to her uncle Sir Aengus (#46) Scutifer to her husband, the previous summer she was injured on the field protecting him. After surgery she returned to the field to fight beside him.

48 Baron Lothar von Drachenstein, Knight, Master of the Laurel and the Pelican of the Middle Kingdom. Noted Knight and artisan. His “Drachenstein Treasures” is one of the leading SCA jewellers of the Known World.

49 Master Efenwealt Wystle, Master of the Laurel in Atlantia. Once killed the King of Ealdormere at Gulf Wars with his spear and wrote a song about it. He is mad, utterly mad.

50 Viscountess Kaellyn MacDermott, Mistress of the Pelican in Ealdormere. Second Princess of Ealdormere, War Chirurgeon, Pennsic XXV. Also a faithful friend and advisor to Bushra during her reign. She cannot stop working and serving.

51 Count Ruslan Novgorodcev, Master of Arms, Master of the Pelican of the East. Warlord of the East at Pennsic XXXIII. A fine field commander, his quick thinking saved Pennsic War XXIII from crisis and collapse on the field.

52 Baron Malachi von Uri, Knight of Calontir. In service to Queen Sile II (#101).

53 Viscount Bear the Wallsbane, Knight of Aethelmearc. Famed Aethelmearc warrior known for tenacity on the field.

54 Lord Justinian Clarus of Ealdormere. Uncle to Viscountess Bushra. Past Bard to the Court of Ealdormere, as a shieldman in the line he has used his voice to command whole armies when the generals were silent.

55 Count Valharic Caligula Aurelius, Knight of the Middle. King of the Middle at Pennsic XXXI, he learned much during his reign.

56 Lord Fian mhic Kennedy of House Darkyard of the Middle. Man-at-arms to Sir Valharic (#55). He has the makings.

57 The High Lord Barak Petreus Marinus Comitatus of Ealdormere. Squire to Barak Sir Hasdrubal (#4), a distinguished small-unit tactician and tenacious patriot.

58 The High Lord Richard Larmer of Ealdormere. Squire to Sir Finnvarr (#71), a distinguished participant in and organizer of high medieval tournament companies.

59 Duke Alaric von Drachenklaue, Knight of Caid. A gracious Peer and noted film student, and therein lies a tale.

60 Ritter Brion Landgraff von Bellatrix, Knight of the West Kingdom. Viscount and Knight. A Bellatrix of the blood, son of Duke Paul Bellatrix.

61 Viscount Atai Yoshina, Knight of Aethelmearc. A wandering Knight due to his previous employment in the service of his demanding uncle Samuel, the Society at large is his home.

62 Lord Dietrich von Berne of the East. Proprietor of “Dark Victory Armoury” maker of black plastic harness. He has put 1,000 fighters on the field.

63 Master Wulfgar o’the Wood, Master of Arms in the East. Noble head of a glorious house; the squire reflects the Master and the Master is most impressive indeed. He understands kin, profoundly.

64 Lord Eric Polynares East Squire to Master Wulfgar (#62), a noble and generous heart. His Master held the axe on his behalf.

65 His Royal Majesty Berus II, Knight, King of Ealdormere. Squire-brother to Master Worgen (#14) and Etien (#10), married to Marion (# 31), he made Bushra’s gold Viscounty coronet.

66 Sir Hrymgnar Aeulfsson of the East. Long-time merchant at Pennsic, his goods are reliable and priced fairly.

67 Count Aaron Preslee Worgensson, Knight of Ealdormere. Uncle to Viscountess Bushra. Was squired to Master Worgen (#13). Also known as “Iron Aaron of the Thousand Battles”, he fought 1,000 bouts at Pennsic XXXII. His kindness, patience and common sense all are treasures.

68 Sir Ivar the Black Knight of An Tir, who fought for Ealdormere at Pennsic XXXIII at the Princess of Avacal’s request.

69 Baron Ephraim ben Shlomo, Knight of the Middle. Baron of the Cleftlands, one of the Nine Worthies of the Known World. Perhaps the single most humble and gracious Knight in the Society.

70 Lord Hamish Gunn of Ealdormere. Grand-nephew to Viscountess Bushra. A member of House Galbraith, calls Bushra’s Laurel “Grandpa” through her brother Master Garraed Galbraith.

71 Duke Finnvarr de Taahe, Knight, Master of the Pelican and the Laurel in Ealdormere. Only fighter to have fought in every war-point battle in every Pennsic War. One of the Nine Worthies of the Known World. Sat on the Board of Directors of the Society.

72 The High Lord Hereward Feorbend of Ealdormere, Squire to Sir Finnvarr (#71), beloved of the Kingdom of Calontir.

73 Lord Travis Greywolf of Ealdormere. Squire to Sir Finnvarr (#71), he enjoys fighting with short pole weapons.

74 Lord Wat of Sarum in Ealdormere. A steady fighter and gentle man with a wicked sense of humour.

75 Sir Nigel Macfarlane of Ealdormere. Very effective Ealdormere field commander, Pennsic XXXIII. The axe rested on the Runestone immediately before Sir Nigel’s wife, Baroness Adrielle Kerrec OP OL (herself a fine warrior), sat vigil for the Laurel at Pennsic XXXIII.

76 Lord Angus Albhanni of Ealdormere. Uncle to Viscountess Bushra. Captain of the Black Tower and Head of the Eoforwic City Guard, he served as group marshal of a group without a permanent fight practice site for a decade, which is an act of vast dedication in the face of insurmountable frustration.

77 Master John the Pell, Master of Arms of the East. One of the legendary large-force commanders of the Pennsic War.

78 Duke Siegfried von Halstern, Knight of the East. Founder of the renowned Eastern Haus von Halstern.

79 Countess Kenna Harve, Mistress of the Pelican, Lady of the Rose of the Middle. Ruled the Middle alone after the death of her consort, Prince Jafar. She authorized as a heavy fighter after his death so the Crown could be on the field with her troops.

80 Lord Chengir abu Bene Said of Aethelmearc. The greatest Mozarab storyteller in the Known World.

81 Viscount Gunther von Wieselburg, Knight of Trimaris, Uncle to Viscountess Bushra. The finest War Prince Ealdormere ever had lead it into the field.

82 Duke Dagan du Darregonne, Knight, Master of the Pelican in the Middle Kingdom. A distinguished Master of the Pelican, he has a strong conscience and great sense of personal honour.

83 Lord Simon Ivanovich Tzarakov of Aethelmearc. Cousin to Viscountess Bushra. Squired to Sir Haakon (#39), a dedicated servant.

84 Lord Damian Haakonsson of Aethelmearc. Cousin to Viscountess Bushra. Squired to Sir Haakon (#39). He has the makings.

85 Sir Dirk MacMartin, Huskarl Calontir. Cousin to Viscountess Bushra. Was squired to Sir Haakon (#39), a generous and joyous warrior.

86 Sir Ogami Akira of Aethelmearc. Head of Clan Yama Kaminari (“Clan Mountain Lightning)”, he does very detailed samurai. Also head of Security, Pennsic XXXIII.

87 Sir Magarichi no Kordono of Aethelmearc. Was squired to Sir Ogami (#85), he does his knight honour.

88 Lord Kataura Hachirou of Aethelmearc. Squired to Sir Ogami (#85), a very proficient senior squire to a very demanding knight.

89 Duke Ronald Wilmot, Knight of the East. Took a tragic relic, a helmet half-made for the late Sir Thorbjorn Osis, and turned it into a joyous gift for Sir Aaron Preslee’s knighting.

90 His Grace Tribune Darius Aurelius Serpentius, Knight of the East. While King of the East at Pennsic XXXI was voted the title “Imperator” by his army on the field. Fought 1,000 bouts at Pennsic (circa Pennsic XXIX). Married to Roxane (#90).

91 Her Grace Roxane Arabi Shahzadch, Mistress of the Laurel, Lady of the Rose in the East. While Queen at Pennsic XXXI was awarded the East’s Blue Tiger (martial award) for her abilities as a field commander. Married to Darius (#89).

92 Baron Thorgrim of the Rozakii of Aethelmearc. Khagan (head) of the Rozakii, a famed Khazari fighting house that has produced many great warriors.

93 Lord Garth Halfdan of the Marines of An Tir. In service to Duke Sir Hasdrubal (#4) he travels from An Tir every summer to fight alongside his kin; he calls himself “the Westernmost Ealdormerian”.

94 His Royal Majesty Siridean, Knight, King of Calontir. A most gracious and patient Knight.

95 Duke Talymar gan y Llewyn, Knight, Master of the Pelican of the Middle. Famed as “Hammer of the Tiger”, the Middle’s greatest field general ever. Also a fine friend to Ealdormere in its darkest hours.

96 Baron Brand Thorwaldsson, Master of the Pelican of Ealdormere. One of the best heralds in the Known World, a well-feared greatswordsman and, in his spare time, both patron saint of armourers and mailmakers and father of his Barony.

97 His Royal Highness Malik, Knight, Crown Prince of Ealdormere. He held the axe while doing his Penjj as part of his vigil, prior to being knighted at Pennsic XXXIII.

98 Duke Eliahu ben Itzhak, Knight, Master of the Pelican of the Middle. A firm friend of the Northlands.

99 Baron Thomas Damian Blackmoor of Aethelmearc. He once fought in an AIDS benefit tourney at Pennsic while recovering from heat exhaustion because the tourney was under-subscribed.

100 Serjeant the Lady Sigrid de Mere of the Middle. Squire to Sir Eliahu (#97).

101 Lord Kasimir of Staargard of Ealdormere. Second squire to Sir Sarnac (#10). His Knight held the axe on his behalf.

102 Her Royal Majesty Sile II, Mistress of the Laurel, Lady of the Rose, Queen of Calontir. Queen of Calontir at Pennsic XX. An old and dear friend of the Northlands.

103 Duke Christofer Kensor, Knight, Master of the Pelican of Calontir. A Knight of colourful origins who has learned much and become a stalwart of his Kingdom.

104 Duke Palymar of the Two Baronies, Knight, Master of the Pelican in the Middle. A firm friend of the Northlands, he both delivered the Midrealm proscription of the word “Ealdormere” and presided over Ealdormere’s first Crown Tournament.

105 Sir Jehane de la Batarde of the East. Former head of Security, circa Pennsic XXVII.

106 Lord Agnar the Goth of Ealdormere. Faithful Northman, fought in every Pennsic, starting about Pennsic XVI.

107 Duke Stephen of Beckenham, Knight, Master of the Laurel and the Pelican of the Middle. I believe he is married to Duchess Elina (#26). Reputed one of the finest swords of the Society.

108 Morgana of Concusare. Lady of Bushra's uncle Taog (#22). A deadly spear-woman amidst a clan of gallant and passionate warriors.

109 Her Royal Highness Rebekka, Mistress of the Laurel and the Pelican, Lady of the Rose, Crown Princess of the Middle. Married to Sir Brannos (#37), she is the only non-fighter within this roll. She went to Pennsic XXXIII while completing a course of chemotherapy. Of all this roll of heroes, she shines most brightly.

110 Sir Alan Culross, Master of the Pelican of the Middle. Former Earl Marshal of the Middle. Once spent fifteen hours in his car driving to a Coronation site, driving to the outgoing Crown’s home to recover a forgotten piece of regalia and returned to the event site (across the US/Canada border). A very patient man.

111 Lord Ulvar van der Nederlander of Ealdormere. One of the finest scouts in the woods battle, Pennsic XXXIII.

112 Lord Lucius Aurelius Varus of the East. A former Rozakii moved afar, renowned for his swordsmanship.

113 The High Lord Tynne Duair ap Beul of Ealdormere. A Rozakii, apprenticed in illumination to Princess Genevieve of Ealdormere.

114 Tigearn Corrig Mhor of Ealdormere. A deadly spear fighter with a decidedly early Irish bent.

115 Lord Rhodri ap Ieuan ap Hywel, Fyrdman Calontir. A Calontiri who lived in Ealdormere for a year, he both learned and taught much.

116 Lord Thorolfr inn Smithr of Ealdormere. A member of the Eoforwic City Guard, well-reputed amongst the Calontiri.

117 Lord Pelayo of Eoforwic of Ealdormere. A member of the Eoforwic City Guard.

118 Lady Sara of Eoforwic of Ealdormere. A member of the Eoforwic City Guard.

119 Bjarn Styrmirsson of Ealdormere. A member of the Eoforwic City Guard.

120 His Worship the Lord Hans Thorwaldsson of Ealdormere. Lord Mayor of the Royal City of Eoforwic and a member of the Eoforwic City Guard.

121 Lady Bridget of Eoforwic of Ealdormere. A member of the Eoforwic City Guard.

122 James MacDonald of Eoforwic of Ealdormere. A member of the Eoforwic City Guard.

123 The High Lord Dafydd ap Sion of Ealdormere. Archery Champion to Their Majesties Ealdormere and a faithful friend to those in grief and need.

124 Lord Augustine Ely of Ealdormere. A new fighter with eyesight challenges, he fought fearlessly in the woods while holding a great and pure faith in those around him.

125 Baron Colin James MacLachlan, Knight, Master of the Pelican, Huskarl Calontir. He held the axe while sitting vigil on his elevation to the Chivalry at Pennsic XXXIII, at the Runestone. Sat on the Board of Directors of the Society.

126 Master Charles Oakley, Master of the Pelican of the Middle. Current Seneschal of the Middle Kingdom.

127 Baron Konrad Matthais Jaeger, Master of the Pelican of Ealdormere. Commanded troops brilliantly on the Pennsic XXXIII bridges.

128 Lord Eoin o Berne of Ealdormere. Married to her sister Zahra Man-at-arms to Sir Malik (#96), former Baronial Champion of the Barony of Rising Waters in Ealdormere.

129 Viscount Kitakaze Tatsu Raito, Knight of the Middle. Viscount of Northshield, he is cutting the jewels for that land’s first Crowns.

130 Beothuk of the Beothuk of An Tir. Faithful friend to Viscountess Bushra. Last of the roll of heroes and by no means least.

The Axe of heroes was held by:
Four sitting Kings and Queens
Four Crown Princes and Princesses
Seventeen Dukes and Duchesses
Six Counts and Countesses
Seven Ladies of the Rose
Ten Viscounts and Viscountesses
Fifty Knights
Six Masters of Arms
Twenty-nine Peers of one or both of the Peaceful Orders
Fourteen Barons and Baronesses
Eighteen direct relations to Viscountess Bushra

The axe rested on the Pennsic Runestone

Thursday 7 November 2013

East Kingdom Winter War, Feb 26, 2005

By Ludwig von Eisengrim

As posted to the Legio Draconis site.

During the weekend of Feb 26th, I went to the Winter War in the East Kingdom, along with my wife Leslie (who patiently drove the RV in seriously crappy winter weather), Sir Evander, Laird Colyne Stewart from Ard Chreag, and two fighters from Bastille du Lac named Ratanicus and Edward dit Lion. I carried a message to the East Kingdom's King Thorson from Her Illustrious Majesty Queen Genevieve, and sent Her the return message. When I offered to tell Their Majesties about the event, They took me up on it. So, I wrote an Epic Style tale about it. They really liked it, and I'll post parts of it here if anyone is interested.

I didn't know until a few days ago that Laird Colyne broke two ribs that day in his last fight, due to the simultaneous landing of two serious spear thrusts to his chest.

My apologies for the funky spacing and such, since this is a cut-and-paste transfer, obviously.

Ratanicus is a recent member of the Legio site.


Ealdormerean deeds done at Winter War in the East

We set out on our journey before the sun had begun to climb into the
sky. Our eyes were full of swirling snow as I and my forbearing wife
Lady Katherine fared our way. We were soon to meet the redoubtable
Knight, Sir Evander and his unfaltering Squire, Laird Colyne Stewart.
These two adroit nobles would soon rain steely blows upon the fearsome
warriors of the Eastern Realm.

We continued our wintery course, and were joined by two of Sir
Evander's stalwart serjeants, Edward dit Lion and Ratanicus. One would
be hard-pressed to find two other footmen more doughty and bold than

With our company now numbering six, our contingent travelled towards
the Land of the Tiger, the Eastern Kingdom. Keeping a watchful eye for
the venturesome troop led by valiant Sir Cennedi, we slipped across
the Border Fords, and wound our way to the Winter War. To embolden our
hearts, I read the missive sent by Her Majesty to her forces, and our
spirits soared at Her inspiring words.

It was with ardent and earnest rejoicing that Sir Evander was greeted
by his companions from the East. It was soon apparent to me that there
must have been a schism in the East Kingdom. The Eastern Warriors were
divided, and forming up on opposite sides of the field.

Our side was led by the renowned Baron Conrad, one of the comrades of
Sir Evander. With other nobles of high birth and rank, he scanned the
field and planned his campaign.

The other side was commanded by the Ruler of the East himself, the
indomitable King Thorson. The ground shuddered beneath His mighty
tread as he reviewed his warriors.

Donning our armour, grasping our weapons tightly, our company
followed puissant Sir Evander, the Captain of the Ealdormerean forces
that day. The scarlet-clad Lupine Warriors would soon show their true

Clutching my polearm, I peered out at the enemy line that faced us,
and waited for our signal. The Ealdormerean forces were arrayed on the
left flank of the line. We were to counter any outflanking maneuver to
that side, and charge forth to outflank them if the opportunity arose.

That opportunity did not come. Obviously, the Eastern Army remembered
the might and prowess of the Ealdormereans, and a full quarter of
their line turned to engage us, racing to surround us. We fought
bravely, but were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of their desperate
fury. I saw my companions turning blow after blow away as a forest
spears were thrust towards them and a legion of pollaxes began to
decend. Alas, I was dispatched by a well-aimed spear, and I fell to
the cold ground with only the thoughts of my Kingdom and my dearest
wife to comfort me.

I was revived, and went back to regroup with my company. The lines
were forming again. The plan of attack was the same, with the
Ealdormereans forming the left flank, with the same objectives. We
discussed our performance, and vowed to present a more unified front.
I glanced at my polearm, wishing that I had more length to it, since
it was originally constructed for use in tournament.

The lines met twice more then, with Your loyal troop resisting any
attempt to outflank our lines. Each time we clashed, we were able to
stand our ground longer before being crushed by sheer weight of
numbers. The javelins whistled through the air, falling to the ground
behind us, and yet we resisted to the last remnants of our strength.
Our presence there prodded the chagrin of the opposing force, for they
knew that we would fall furiously apon their flank if given the
smallest chance.

Brave Sir Evander's flashing blade eagerly bit into the helms and
hauberks of his enemies, cleaving them in half as their ruined corpses
fell. His squire Colyne struck down the foes before him as a smith
beats with his hammer- strong, sure, unerring, and unfailing. The two
serjeants Edward and Ratanicus pressed ever forward, like waves that
flash and race to the shore, slicing and carving deep rents into
Eastern flesh. As for myself, I fought behind my steely barricade of
comrades, keeping the East-Realmers back where I could, thrusting my
polearm into astonished faces before me.

The lines then broke into a general brawl. I found myself before a
shieldman, and closed with him. Entangling his sword with my polearm,
I reached for the mace that swung by my side and grasped it firmly. My
arm rose and fell, smashing my weapon down towards his helm and hip.
Alas, my mace must have found no solid purchase, and I tasted his
sword before falling into a confused heap of the dead and dying.

The lines reformed, and as I did glance to the side I was overjoyed
to behold the arrival of valorous Sir Cennedi, accompanied by two of
his squires. He had been deceived by a false and confusing map, a
cowardly ploy by those who despaired before his renowned prowess. It
is well that such a misguided plot failed, as must all that stand
against such dauntless courage. Even so, he had been delayed, and had
striven to arrive with great swiftness.

With the increased might of our troop, we were even more fearsome on
the field. I had been given a long spear by the gracious Baron Conrad,
and one of Sir Cennedi's squires held a long polearm. Our company
resolved to quickly do some flanking maneuvers of our own! At the
onset of the next charge, we drove deeply into their right. The two
Knights charged to their right, and a counter-attack was launched
against us. I was beset apon by three enemy warriors, and as I strove
to thrust into the face of a foe pressing Edward, I was struck down by
multiple blows.

All this while, my wife Lady Katherine busied herself by bringing
water to the Ealdormerean forces during those lulls when we were
regrouping. She was also keeping a keen eye on the movements of the
opposing army. It was not long before she discerned that the Eastern
King Thorson personally led each flanking thrust. He was going so far
as to bend his body and hide behind the line of his men as he moved to
the side that the flanking attack would be launched, so as to deceive
our commanders. She brought this observation to me, which was then
relayed to Sir Cennedi. The honoured Knight then moved to the
Commanders, informing them of this new intelligence.

While I was not able to see it myself, my Lady wife reported later
that the Commanders kept a close eye on the movements of the Eastern
King, keeping adequate forces aside to counter his movements. There
were two more engagements, and our army was victorious in those.

The last charge was a shining moment for Ealdormerean forces. More
swiftly than ever before, we hastened across the field to our left,
then turning sharply and plunging into the back of the enemy line.
Smiting down any enemies as they passed them, the Ealdormerean Company
tore into the flank of the enemy line, filling their hearts with
dismay. With skill and fortitude worthy of any Ealdormerean, Ratanicus
slew King Thorson before the ashen faces of his men.

It was worth noting that the Eastern warriors are savage in melee,
even breaking past their own shieldmen with a barbaric lust to smite
and crush their enemies. Even so, they attack in force, outnumbering
exposed opponents, and as I can well testify, seeking to overwhelm
opposing polearms and spears. They have a great many Great weapons,
which they wield in groups with practiced and deadly proficiency.

During this break between battles, I had the opportunity to approach
King Thorson with the warm greetings sent by Your Graceful Majesty.
Since I have already told of that exchange, I will spare you those
details. He struck me as being a very good-natured man, full of lively
mirth and robust spirit.

The battle then moved to the bridges. I was disheartened by the lack
of spears on our side, but we made plans for "pulse charges". We felt
that if we could break through their lines, that we could swiftly slay
any opposition.

Those of us with two swords, small shields, greatswords, and shorter
polearms waited behind the shieldmen and spears for the command to
charge. Our commander was eagerly collecting javelins and hurling them
back at the enemy spearmen. Sadly, the command to Charge did not come
forth, and as the shieldmen fell, our Squad went forward to fill the
gap, where we were quickly speared.

At the second bridge, we once again waited for our signal as the
spearmen on both sides did their deadly work. A signal was given, but
was only heard by a few, brave Sir Cennedi being one of those. He
leapt forward with two others, crashing into the enemy line with great
fury, striking down two enemies before falling in front of their
shields. Ratanicus was then speared in the leg, and fell to his knees.
Our line had been pushed back, so that I was to his right at the edge
of the bridge. He began to shuffle forward on his knees as enemy
spears began to be leveled at his face. I leaned forward, slapping
down the spears that I could reach with my polearm as he continued to
cross the bridge. Brave and resolute, he went beyond the reach of my
polearm, and he struggled on tenaciously, fending off the thrusts that
pushed and rang against his shield and upraised sword. It was all too
soon that his left side became exposed during that onslaught. He was
pierced by a cross-thrust, and perished on that bridge.

Another call for a charge came, and I answered, pushing across the
bridge with another warrior. We advanced, disrupting the spearmen's
attacks. My polearm battered the heads and faces of the opponents
before me, until I received a crushing blow on my helm, and stumbling
back, toppled, fell, and rolled off the bridge into the water. I
cannot say how effective that charge was, although my wife swears that
two enemies fell as well.

We moved back onto the third bridge, and this time, we wasted no
effort on a half-charge. The entire line moved forward, and broke
through the enemy. We swarmed through the gap, and chaos and confusion
reigned as enemies struggled and swirled around each other. I found
myself face-to-face with Sir Richard, and I began a swift series of
smashing blows to his head and shoulders with my choked-up polearm as
he tried a glancing blow against my leg. With each strike, he cried
out "not dead, not dead"... which puzzled me greatly. Nonetheless, I
continued my assault as he fell to his knees with another cry of "not
dead..." I felt a sharp rap on my helmet, and retired from the field,
although I was unsure of where the shot had come from. To say that the
Rules of Engagement were being badly bent would be an understatement,
but that is often the nature of war. Shortly thereafter, Sir Richard
came over and laughingly said that the first shot I had thrown had
been good, and that he had been saying "I'm dead! I'm dead!" as I
continued my flurry of blows. We chuckled together and parted to
briefly rest.

There then came a bridge battle that was very confusing, if the truth
be told. It was agreed that if a warrior was killed, be should be
revived and join the side that had killed him! There were men in blue
fighting beside men in red, and when a charge was successful none
truly knew who was his friend or his foe.

I took my confusion to be a sign to retire from the field. My lady
wife insisted that I rest and recover from the battles, and I
respected her wise words. My back had received wounds too great to
allow me to continue.

The next battle pitched the Peers against the Knowne World. When the
sides were arrayed, the Knights faced four enemies apiece. The
non-Knights charged, chasing their quarry across the field. Sir
Evander held his ground with two Brother Knights before finally
falling under the rain of incoming blows. I was unable to see his fate
due to the mass of warriors that surrounded them. King Thorson ran
around the perimeter of the field, out-pacing most and eventually
taking a defensive corner position. Sir Cennedi also hastened around
the perimeter, but was slowed by a squad of five foes. He managed to
slay all five as he passed them. Swiftly, he joined the King of the
East. The throng of warriors fell on them as a swarm of locusts on the
grain. The pair fought bravely, but were slain together, surrounded by
a hill of the dead.

There was an "endless resurrection" battle at the last. The large
soft blocks that served as our bridge were now spaced out and
transformed into lava. A touch of one of those bubbling tools was
instant death to any unlucky soul. The lines formed and a general
brawl ensued. Again and again the soldiers fell, went back to their
line, and began their assault anew. Groups flowed and ebbed like
tides, breaking apart as the soldiers were slain, and re-forming in
new formations. The Ealdormereans fought on as I watched, bravely
engaging their immortal foes without pause. Edward engaged one enemy
several different times, culminating in an intricate and viscious
duel. He was eventually bested, yet as his opponent back away and
began to rejoice in his hard-fought victory, he toppled into a lava
pool. Such is the way of life.

The Ealdormerean forces all fought with great honour, fortitude, and
prowess. There was great wonder in the Eastern Realm at the number and
skill of the Ealdormereans, and we were given many sincere invitations
to return. It should be noted in passing that as we observed the East
Realm holding court, we observed the Royal Family and Retainers
turning somersaults on those large spongey blocks. We were sore amazed
to see such acrobatics during court, but reasoned that it must be an
East Kingdom custom of celebration after war.

The journey home was filled with much snow and ice, and our arrival
was later than we had anticipated. Regardless, the time was filled
with much merriment and telling of tales. It was due to the efforts of
my good Lady Wife that we came to be home safely. Save for a bruised
knee for Edward and a sore back for me, we were all exhausted but whole.