Tuesday, 15 September 2020

A Short Tale of Skeldergate's Past

 Uncredited. [archived source]

Gather round, good gentles, if you would hear the history of the College of Skeldergate. This is as near to the full tale as can be obtained, and is the result of much hounding of the good Baroness Ursula na Clan na Rath until her brain revealed the history you are about to read. Many thanks are therefore due her, not only for the account you find here, but also for the critical role she played in the creation of Skeldergate.

In the beginning, Skeldergate was not named Skeldergate, nor was it a College. Rather, it was originally the Canton of Noerlanda. This was in the days before the presence of the Barony of Septentria made itself known, marry, even before the surrounding lands came to be known as Ealdormere. And so, the only neighbouring area to Noerlanda was the Canton of Eoforwic. Alas, despite being host to a few events, Noerlanda failed to thrive. Much rivalry arose between the northerly canton and Eoforwic, and in the end, Noerlanda was disbanded by the Kingdom.

But then, years later, when Michel d'Arques and Kaellyn Mac Dermott of Leinster were Prince and Princess of Ealdormere, did interest spring up once again. A student by the name of Osric Caerfinn na Conchullain, accompanied by his lady, Cualgne, had traveled from Ben Dunfirth (Hamilton) to attend the college where Noerlanda had been born so long ago. He became possessed of a determination to start the group anew, and to this end approached the fair Ursula na Clan na Rath, one of the original Noerlandans, on how to go about this great task. Thus a new group was formed.

On the advice of the local Baron, it was created as a College for the increased flexibility such a title conveyed. As to a name for this new College, it was determined that the name of "Noerlanda", carrying as it did so many old connotations (and not a few of them disadvantageous), was never to be spoken again. And so, the members of the new College hunted far and wide for a suitable name to apply to themselves. Among those considered were Albion, Yorvik and Eboracum, but none of these were to the liking of the intrepid pioneers. Then word came that there was a bridge in the city of York in the old lands of England which went by the name of Skeldergate. This appealed so much to the members of the College that they applied it, after a vote, to themselves. Thus was Skeldergate born.

Skeldergate owed its success to the supreme efforts of its first members. Cualgne played a greatly supportive role, and the group was joined by students of art by the names of Bertram and Archibald Wetherford III, described decisively by Baroness Ursula as "funky". Also among the early members was a gentle by the name of Sigurd the Bard. They all worked hard, despite natural inclinations towards mischievous shenanigans, and started the group off well. The three original officers were Ursula, the seneschal; Osric, the herald; and Archibald, who assumed the tasks of both Minister of Arts and Sciences and Chronicler. In his Chronicler capacity he did put out a newsletter by the name of Skattered Notes.

Not long after, at an Ice Dragon event, Ursula was heard to have spoken the forbidden name of Noerlanda. Accordingly, her fellow members of Skeldergate put her on trial. She was found to be quite guilty and was sentenced to turn around three times, spit in a corridor, swear, and ask for permission to enter again. Most uncomfortable was she with the notion of spitting in a corridor, but it was a deed that had to be done, and so she was readmitted to the College.

The population of Skeldergate had its ups and downs, and so it did not apply for full status immediately. However, its events met with great success. The first Skeldergate event was a Baronial Twelfth Night, and Osric and Cualgne were the autocrats. Next came the Royal University of the Midrealm (RUM), autocratted by Madinia, another success, attracting gentles from far and wide. It was around this time that Hector of the Black Height became the Marshal. His great talent at teaching caused Skeldergate to become known for having fighters of quality. The next event was A Knight in the Country, a dance event, for which the College brought in a laurel from the mundane lands of California. Following that was a Viking Raid on Eoforwic, where Thorbjorn Osis Brandsson and his household were the major Skeldergate force against the Eoforwic group.

In the following year, Skeldergate revived the tradition of "social Sundays", when gentles of the College gather to play games, dance, do projects and talk amongst themselves. These mini-events were based on the group meetings known in the early days of Skeldergate.

Following that, Skeldergate was host to the Midrealm Coronation, where the College's own Thorbjorn Osis Brandsson was (again) crowned King of the Middle Kingdom. This event was a great success, and caused the name of Skeldergate to be known throughout the kingdom.

At the Wassail event in AS XXXIII, Their Majesties David and Elina of Ealdormere announced in Their court that Skeldergate was now full status. Thus the College of Skeldergate was created. Now that this is accomplished, who can say how great Skeldergate may become.

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