Thursday, 24 September 2020

The Chronicle of Eoforwic of Amaury de Hinton Being the sixth Chronicle of that Royal City




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.

This was a somewhat notorious war, as the Tuchux and Vlad (of Vlad’s Pleasure Pavilions) had had an ongoing dispute.  Enough concerns had been raised about the Tuchux that King Osis had sent Hector to AEthelmearc war practice to discuss the situation with representatives of the Tuchux and Jarl Haakon Oaktall, the chief of security. The dispute with Vlad’s camp erupted the Thursday night of War week with a physical confrontation that resulted in the police being called, charges being laid, and both camps kicked offsite by the Coopers. The Tuchux would never again camp on Tuchux hill; in subsequent years they camped at the far end of the campground.


Life for the Royal City was more pleasant, although it was not without its challenges. Lord Mayor Gunnar and Alderman Vychata arrived to discover they did not have enough land in their allotted space.  Negotiations were held with Duke Talymar to swap spaces, and the camp then had a new place—but one with very few trees. This was a very hot War, and the Cityfolk did suffer greatly. Lord Angus ended up commanding a banner guard in the Friendship Woods battle after the initial commanders were slain, and also served as Scutifer to Baroness Adrielle in the Field Battle. Vychata commanded the City Guard while Angus took on this latter duty.  They both helped Ealdormere break through the flanks and menace the Eastern rear, only to be told to return when the Kings ordered both armies to reform.  This year saw especial friendship between the City Guard and Rising Waters and Malik, its Baron; with the two forces working together in many battles and as a result discussions were held between Angus, Gunnar, and Malik on how to improve melee fighting.  As a result, Eoforwic became an enthusiastic participant in the “Bop ‘til you drop” practices Rising Waters began to host.


Many other Eoforwic fighters fought with de Taahe:  Travis, Nicolae, and Siegfried; Eanor and Rhys, who were squires of Mordain, fought with them.  Both Nicolae and Siegfried were injured at that Pennsic;  Nicolae broke both ankles.


Eoforwic saw a former citizen at last given her due when Ragni Dzintara was made a Pelican.  It is said that her name was brought up for the first time by Duke Finnvarr at the great Meeting of that Order at Pennsic, and so stunned were the members that she was not one of them that they recommended to the Crown that she be elevated immediately; and the Crown concurred. Also, Thanin and Alasdair, husband and wife and members of House de Taahe, were both elevated to the Order of the Laurel.  And Foote the Potter, who had foisted the Salmon of Knowledge upon the stunned City at the 20th Anniversary celebration, was made a Baron of Court, along with his gentle and forgiving wife, Grainne du Bois.  Also, Prince Roak appointed Albrecht Stampher his Rapier Champion, after many recommendations.


With the cooler days of autumn, as was usual, the burghers of the City gathered in the Guild Hall at Michaelmas to elect their Mayor and Sheriff.  For Mayor, Gaerwen of Trafford, Angus Albahni, and Ysabeau Herbier de Vauvert all stood; while for Sheriff, the candidates were Mercedes Heloise d’Abelard, Albrecht Stampher, and Raimon of Lower Lorraine.  Graft was particularly rampant this year, as many of the burghers had prospered of recent and eager to gain influence and standing by backing candidates.   In a close vote, Gaerwen narrowly defeated Angus, despite the wealth of some of Angus' backers; while Albrecht owed his narrow defeat of Mercedes to a sizable block vote that ultimately led him to victory.


In this month, Eoforwic hosted, along with Skeldergate, the Tournament of Queens.  Originally, it was designed as a birthday celebration and chance to authorize for Birstan of Tall Hills, Eoforwic's longest-standing fighter in training, but he was unable to do so because of an injury; indeed, his interests had turned elsewhere and soon he would depart for the great University in the western part of Ealdormere.  His sister, Austrechild von Mondsee, served as steward for the event, and the College of Skeldergate contributed funds and volunteers.


This event also saw the Investiture of Mordain and AElflaeda.  It had been noticed that in Court that morning that Prince Roak and Princess Tarkwyn were grey of hair and long of tooth, as were their entourage.  Indeed, Roak repeatedly forgot that he had granted a Golden Otter to Rhys ap Bledri, calling him into court some four times.  Austrechild was also granted a Golden Otter, and Finnvarr de Taahe and Marian of Heatherdale inducted into the Order of the Bee. King Osis also lifted the banishment of Mistress Mortraeth


For the day’s festivities, two "queens", White and Red (Aidan Greylock and Anthea Talbot Lovatte, who would soon be no longer seen about the City) sought their lost brother Honour by holding a great Tourney in the challenge style, with the combatants splitting into two teams.   And Viscount Roak appeared, suddenly looking much younger, and prevailed in the lists. This event was also the site of one of several Middle Kingdom Melee Championship tourneys.


It had finally been made known that at this event, Elizabeth Cadfan would at last be elevated to the Order of the Laurel, and the people of the city decided that they would pool their resources and present the lady with a Big Chest, overflowing with the bounty of the City, and make her an honourary citizen of the Royal Burgh, as she dwelt outside the walls.  These gifts she received with much gratitude.


The City received an especial honour that evening when King Osis held Court: the Award of the Purple Fretty, for its ability to work together as a group.  Indeed, the scroll specifically called Eoforwic a Royal City, and the wise realized that King Osis had again confirmed its special status, originally granted in the Great Charter of Cariadoc.


Many citizens and friends of the City were recognized that evening:  Mercedes and Raffe Scholemayster with Purple Frets; Gwendoline Rosamund (a lady who had recently moved to the City and who was apprenticed to Dame Madinia),  Pankratz Pugge (the great conjurer who was apprenticed jointly to Master Hector, Dame Madinia, and Master Aaron faheud Swiftrunner), and Nicolaa de Bracton with Willows, and Viscountess Kaellyn, Syr Menken, and Brand with Dragon's Hearts.  Brand's similarity with his saintly namesake had been recognized by Roak and Tarkwyn earlier in the day with his induction, along with Mistress Etaoin, into the Friendship of the Trillium, Ealdormere's highest honour.  Finally came the Laurelling of Elizabeth Cadfan, which caused many hankies to be brought forth. At this event, Nicolaa de Bracton assumed the office of Principality Chronicler on an interim basis.  She promptly left for England for three weeks.


In October, Tarquin and Aibhilin ascended to the Dragon Thrones, and at their Coronation, Elizabeth Mortimer was placed on vigil for the Order of the Chivalry.  Eoforwic, as in many years past, participated in the U of T Day event. Leila Brophy, a young and enthusiastic lady, came to Eoforwic as a result of this event.


November saw the end of an era. Henry and Enid stepped down as Baron and Baroness of Skraeling Althing, and the days of the Vipper Baron passed into history. They were succeeded by James and Xristinia. In this month, there were many baronial disputes. There was a contentious bridge battle between Septentria and Skraeling Althing, won by the Skraelings. At Scotchtoberfest, Baron Ieuan of Septentria had gotten Prince Mordain to grant him the land around Horseshoe Falls, with the taxes to go to Ramshaven.  But as it was discovered that this land by right belonged to Rising Waters and Rhyderrich Hael, and so in December Mordain reversed the edict—and ordered Ieaun to be silent in Principality Court.  At Wassail, held in the style of Outremer with the feast served in Eastern style while reclining on the floor, the great Moot of the people was held, and many issues concerning the future of Ealdormere were discussed.  Soon, it would be known that the quest for Kingdom status was beginning in earnest..


As January winds blew, so too did winds of coming changes. As Ealdormere had matured as a Principality, her people began to talk in earnest about what would be needed to advance to Kingdom status.  Master Hector, hearing this talk, published an article in the Tidings about what would be needed to take such a step. However, these discussions were temporarily pre-empted by the decision by the Council of Elders to impose a fee on all those who had not paid the necessary tax to the city of Milpitas for the right to call oneself a citizen of the Society.  In past years, said tax had always been optional.  Now the Elders sought to penalize those who did not pay the tax with a fee collected at every gathering of the Society.  This decision caused a great deal of discussion amongst the populace, and great confusion as to how it would be implemented, especially given the differing value of coin between Ealdormere and those lands to the South.


While debate raged, the tiff amongst the barons escalated.  At the great Twelfth Night festivities in Caer Draeth, where Gaerwen and Etian reigned as Queen and King of Fools, and Foote appeared with a giant wooden spoon, Baron Ieuan was heralded into Court as “He who keeps the peace of Ealdormere” and Baroness Adrielle as “She who speaks with the voice of the Bear.” Forward came the Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael to present a letter from their Prince and Princess complaining that Septentria had claimed their land. The Prince and Princess of AEthelmearc, as was their right in the lands over which they claimed dominion, imposed taxes, to be payable at the great Tournament known as Ice Dragon. These were to include a song about friendship, a champions’ bout at Ice Dragon, food, chocolate, and scotch. And if the debt were not honoured, it would turned over to the Guild Fannucci, and it was well known that neither Ieuan nor Adrielle had a “Get out of Fannucci Free” Card.”


Far to the west, a new Territorial Principality was created from the lands of the Middle that had given birth to Calontir—now a kingdom—and Ealdormere.  This was the Principality of Northshield, and with Prince Mordain and Princess AElflaeda in attendance, Sir Dafydd won the tourney for his lady Gwynedd, and they were invested as the first of the line of Northshield. 


Soon it became time for Mordain and AElflaeda to find Regents who might act if they were to pass on prematurely and their children still be minors.  Many from Eoforwic were well represented in the tournament. Richard Larmer fought for Ysabeau, Hereward for Lady Anthea, Zadok for Gwendoline, Nicolae for Sybille, and Etian for Madinia.  Of  Etian, more will be said presently. The finals were contested between Duke Finnvarr, fighting for his lady, Mistress Ragni, and Viscount Roak, fighting for his household sister, Baroness Moria the Black.  For the third time, Roak was victorious in the Coronet lists, and so he and Moria were invested as “regents.”


King Tarquin of the Middle was in attendance to witness these deeds, and heard tale of another deed of bravery.  In Court, he presented Etian au Naval with the Award of the Dragon’s Tooth. This award is normally granted for battlefield bravery, but the circumstances this time were somewhat different:  Etian had been sent by Lord James Douglas, who was tapster for the day, to procure more potables for the guests.  When Etian had arrived at the shop where such things were sold, he discovered a highwayman in the act of making off with the merchant's profits.  Lord Etian did chase down the highwayman and recover the money, injuring his arm in the process.  The King did hear of this bravery and thus rewarded Etian.


Baroness Rhianwen of the Barony of V'tavia in far Calontir brought gifts to Their Highnesses:  thirty marvelous tabards bearing the badge of Ealdormere to clothe the fighters of the Principality.  And there is a tale here.  Years ago, when Calontir had been but a region, their fighters had banded together and adopted matching tabards in time of war.  As Calontir grew to Principality and then to Kingdom, their splendid tabards of purple emblazoned with gold falcons grew to be famous, particularly after Master Pavel built the Shield Wall into an institution known throughout the Society.  Calontir had once been a Principality of the Middle, too, and eagerly extended friendship to its younger sister Ealdormere.  Long had the red tabards of Septentria and Skraeling, and more recently, Rising Waters, signified the presence of Ealdormere on the field. Now perhaps an army might take shape, much as had happened in Calontir, and wear tabards of Ealdormere.  Baroness Rhianwen had met many good folk of Ealdormere when they had journeyed south to Lilies War, amongst them Duke Finnvarr, Richard Larmer, and Hereward, and henceforth would be seen in Ealdormere from time to time, wearing her dragonfly coronet, and these and other Ealdormerians would likewise travel from time to time to Calontir, bringing greetings and friendship. 


In the same Court was Morgan Blackheart awarded Arms, for her great service as bar wench and Minister of Children, and Marian of Heatherdale received a Purple Fret. Mistress Ragni was the first (and only) recipient of a special award of “ “Me and the Prince are Like That” (fingers crossed).  King Tarquin also bestowed three other awards of significance.  Long ago, when Baron Aedan and Baroness Enid had held the titles of “Lord and Lady Lieutenant of Ealdormere” and been charged with guiding the Crown Principality of Ealdormere to the status of full Territorial Principality, they had been promised Grants of Arms when their long labours were finally at an end. These Grants had never been given.  King Tarquin rectified this error, which had endured for six years.   The other award of note was the knighting of Baroness Elizabeth Mortimer—after Countess Fern de Foret, only the second woman to be knighted in the Middle Kingdom.  The King permitted Mordain, whose squire Elizabeth had been, to hold the sword when she was dubbed, and all Ealdormere rejoiced that a woman of such prowess had been found in their midst.


As the winter wore on, Nicolaa, busy with her duties as Principality Chronicler, passed the duties of Principality Marshal of Fence on to Cerdic Weyfare.  Also, Austrechild took up the duties of Principality Signet. Eoforwic busied itself with the running of the first Northern War College, held within the confines of the University of Toronto.  Sir William of Fairhaven brought his library of visual tales of Pennsics past so that others could view and analyze them, and also taught about unit fighting.  A distinguished guest by the name of John Thompson from the Mackenzie Institute for Strategic Studies taught on the principles of warfare.  Master Hector also collected writings on combat from many authors and published them, where they influenced many a fighter for years. 


About this time, the Ealdormere Laws Committee, with Duke Finnvarr as advisor, began to meet to begin to draft the laws that would form the basis of the future Kingdom. Madinia and Rhys were among the members.  Rhys, who was known for his fine mead, had also recently started a brewers’ guild.


The charter for what would become the White Wolf Fian was also first drafted around this time.  This had grown from discussions (some held in the Eoforwic pub) about how to form a challenge order similar to the White Bear Fian for fighters.  Artisans would propose a project—something that would challenge them to extend their abilities—and have one year to complete it.  Once complete, the project would be presented to the Princess and the populace.  This would not be an award, and completing the project would give no rank or precedence. 


On a snowy day in early March, the guilds of Ealdormere gathered in Pont-y-Saeth for Guild Day.  Guilds were becoming more and more popular, and the various organized guilds, including needleworkers, fibre arts, brewers, and metalworkers, sponsored displays and classes.  Here did Dame Sarra Graeham beg a boon, and  Nicolaa de Bracton was placed on vigil for the Order of the Laurel by Princess AElflaeda, who had travelled south especially for that purpose.  The Crown had decided to do this nearly two months before, at Kingdom Twelfth Night, but there had been no opportune event in the meantime (Coronet being too busy), and the Laurels of Ealdormere were kept guessing as to when it would happen.  An amusing thing happened in that time.  Countess Caitlin had promised to teach Nicolaa to make a circlet, and had suggested that Willow leaves might make a pleasing motif with which to decorate it. Nicolaa concurred, as she had been made a Companion of the Order of the Willow recently, and Countess Caitlin helped her cut them out.  When the circlet was complete, she wore it to Guild Day, and several Laurels commented that the Willow leaves bore a striking resemblance to Laurel leaves, which Nicolaa, not wishing to offend, denied vociferously, not knowing, of course, what was in store (although she had guessed something might be afoot because her husband, Gunthar, had suddenly decided to attend the event; the last time that had happened, she had been awarded Arms; but had thought it might be a surprise birthday party). 


Brand Thorwaldsson had recently wed his lady, Brianna, and in celebration invited many guests to a wedding feast (dubbed the Feast of the Immaculate Chequey) later that same month, including several from Eoforwic.  A brief kerfuffle was caused here when a very pregnant Dame Cadfan appeared, supported by several ladies, claiming that Brand had been busy plowing other fields.  Contrite, he was forgiven by his lady and promised to do better next time. The feast itself, prepared by Lord Cameron, was remembered as one of the best in Ealdormerian history, the dishes all being tasty and appearing quickly. It was here that news first reached the ears of the people that in far Drachenwald, Edouard Beausoliel had triumphed in Crown Tourney and would rule at War alongside his lady Eanor.  Both were, of course, originally of the City of Eoforwic.


Many traveled south to the great festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon in the Rhydderich Hael.  Ines de Freytis, who held the position of Bard of Ealdormere had written a song to fulfill the challenge presented by Their Serene Highnesses of AEthelmearc at Twelfth Night.  The song, “Fleuve des Larmes,” was a beautiful tale of solidarity in the face of great loss, and was inspired by a tragic accident in Ansteorra.  Somewhere in the midst of the schtick, things went badly awry.  What transpired is not often spoken of, but suffice it to say that somehow the silly, contrived conflict was misconstrued as a real one.  A number of statements were issued afterwards to clarify that somehow the conflict had been misconstrued, and that no one was truly angry at anyone else.


In April, with Mercedes as autocrat, Gaerwen as Troll, Ysabeau coordinating the potluck and Nicolaa, the merchants, Eoforwic hosted the annual Arts and Sciences fair at St. Bridget's Church. Although not a success financially (the A&S fair seldom is), it did succeed in all other respects.  There were, due to the efforts of Countess Caitlin, plenty of qualified judges this year, each of whom was rewarded with a white rose.  There were also plenty of entrants, both in the bean count and the actual competition.  Dona Mercedes received a first place for her knitted stockings, and Anastasia won the bean count for her beadwork.  The pentathlon was won by Lady Caitrin of Chalcewell, from Vest Yorvik.


Later that same month, many from Eoforwic traveled to Vest Yorvik for the investiture of Moria and Roak, with Their Majesties of the Middle, Tarquin and Aibhilin, once again in attendance.   It was known, however, that Mordain and AElflaeda already had heirs—their young children—so Roak and Moria had been styled regents.  A friar (a certain “Justinian the Pure”) came before Mordain and AElflaeda while they sat in Court, preaching Crusade.  Mordain and AElflaeda decided to go, but needed money.  The friar offered gold, in exchange for a document—or mortgage—deeding ownership of Ealdormere.  Mordain and AElflaeda then dismissed all their court officers and made to leave.  Roak and Moria approached, and asked that Ealdormere not be given over to the Church, but to them for safekeeping.  (The mortgage would resurface nearly two years later…but that is a story for another time). Before departing, AElflaeda awarded Eoin o Beirne the Princess' Favour;  Edward the Chaste received a Bee, and Lothar von Eofowic was awarded arms. (Lothar was probably best known for a rather disturbing All Hallows’ Eve disguise involving a long coat and a rather strategically placed beer can). Master Hector also stepped down as Constable. Later, in Roak and Moria’s first court, Mordain was appointed to succeed him.


Moria and Roak were familiar to many as long-term Ealdormerians, but their Khazar culture was less well-known. Their reign would do much to spread knowledge about this culture, and their investituture, which was based on sources describing the investiture of a leader of the Khazars.  Roak was throttled by a silk scarf and forced to tell how long he would reign.  It was Khazar custom to kill their ruler at the end of this period.  But for now, things were joyful.  Eoforwic presented  trillium tabards to Moria and Roak by the City.  Lady Mayor Gaerwen had been doing much to raise funds by holding raffles and sales, and these were one of the gifts that resulted.


It was at this event that the Salmon of Knowledge at last swam back upstream to its master, Baron Foote.  It seems that the Salmon had been busy seeing the sights of Eoforwic, sometimes being seen on Queen St., and his keepers felt that body piercing and tattoos couldn't be to far off.  He'd also been busy spawning in the rivers of the City, and several women appeared with swollen bellies to that effect.  The City's men demanded that the big fish was a bad influence and thus should return home and spread his knowledge elsewhere, and thus did he return to Foote.


At this event Nicolaa sat her vigil, although she actually sat very little of it.  When Their Majesties that morning also placed Rosina del Bosco Chiaro on vigil for elevation to the Laurelate, Nicolaa opened her vigil to her canton sister.  Fine Riesling wine and strawberries, amongst other delicacies, had been procured for the vigil, although Nicolaa, being difficult to tie down in one place for any length of time, ended up giving most of it away. 


Rosina had come to the City from the East Kingdom where she had been awarded arms and inducted into the Order of the Troubadours.  For four years she had taught dance in Eoforwic, Skeldergate, and Ardchreag with great enthusiasm, but nowhere was she noticed so much as at Pennsic, where she discoursed on the Balli, which are a type of dance practiced by the Italians.  These classes brought her much fame, and her own Laurel, Master Sion, judged that she knew more than he did.  And thus it was her first Middle Kingdom award came to be her Laurel. 


The people of the City had, without Nicolaa's knowledge, taken a collection to purchase for her a fine gift--a silver and garnet brooch.  Likewise, they had taken up a collection for Rosina, although they were not told ahead of time who the second Laurel would be, and Dame Madinia and Master Hector had bought her silk of Laurel green, which Nicolaa later sewed into an Italian gown. 


Lady Nicolaa was raised to the Laurelate in the manner of University masters, with Duke Finnvarr advising on the path of Peerage, and immediately thereafter Lady Rosina was elevated as well.  Finally was Baron Menken Brechen made a Pelican, with twenty-odd people testifying to his great service, ending each account with "this, Menken has done"--which had been taken up as a refrain by the crowd at that point.


This was a day of many visitors and portents.  From Calontir came King Crystopher and Juan Macias, long squire to Finnvarr, amongst others.  As the day progressed, the skies darkened and crackled with lightening, and Master Sylard, making the trek south from Monadh, witnessed

a twister storm along the way.  These heralded a time of great preparation and change for Ealdormere, as it began in earnest to take the steps towards becoming a Kingdom.


Anno Societatis XXXI

In May, in far Drachenwald, Edouard Beausoliel was knighted. In Eoforwic, Market Day this year was held at the College of Skeldergate.  Eve of Eoforwic, who had only recently come to the City, served as Steward, with the help of Nicolaa, who organized the gate and cast tokens for the event.  As was usual, many merchants were in attendance, and much mirth was had as Gaerwen enthusiastically enforced the sumptuary laws.   Princess Moria, who was in attendance, asked Perceval Winnett Kempe to join her Wolfpack.  Perceval was also relatively new to Eoforwic, and was known for his enthusiasm in fighting and his great interest in illuminated manuscripts.


Far away in Northshield, Osis Jarl had travelled to fight in Crown Tourney, this time fighting for his lady, Countess Caitlin.  To the surprise of many, including Caitlin, who had been unable to accompany him, he triumphed in the lists.  Once again, history had repeated itself, for Caitlin had not been able to be present when Hugo had won Crown those many years before and made her Princess. 


For many years, the Lady Mary Memorial Tournament had been a venue of great prestige for armoured combatants.  Rapier combat had been growing in Ealdormere, and many fencers who had taught the art to Ealdormerians lived in the Rhydderich Hael, close by.  Baron Malik and Baroness Genevieve thus decided to add a rapier tournament, to be called the Swan Tourney, to the day’s festivities.  Nicolaa organized the tourney and served as marshal-in-charge, and Hoskuld, Eyrny, and Albrecht all fought with great distinction.


It was in this month that Mistress Rhiannon returned from England with her fiancé, Pete. Eoforwic rejoiced at her return, but knew the reasons for it were not so happy, as she had been , diagnosed with cancer, and was returning for treatment.


On the third day of the month of June, Hector and Madinia were delivered of a son, christened Calum, after many extra days of waiting. At Murder Melee Perceval Winnett Kempe was awarded arms by Moria and Roak, and Lady Ysabeau was recognized for her work as seneschal of Eoforwic by being inducted into the Order of the Bee.  Lady Marian of Heatherdale became Trillium Herald.  In the same month in far Drachenwald, Edouard and Eanor ascended to the thrones.  Eoforwic had sent a gift to its expatriates—twenty garters wrought in leather and pewter, for the royal couple to bestow as they wished.


As the preparations for Ealdormere’s Kingdom bid intensified, Master Hector took on the position of Kingdom Projects coordinator.  His duty would be to oversee the many various endeavours needed to become a kingdom, from regalia to the preparations for the first Crown Tourney and Coronation.  His protégée, Lady Gaerwen, was the keeper of the “list of stuff” and, according to her Pelican, did most of the work.


At Ealdormere War Practice in early July Mercedes was given the Golden Otter for her skill in needlework and cookery.  Later that same month, with King Edmund in attendance, the Coronet Tourney was fought.  Many from Eoforwic and its neighbors were seen in the lists.:  Hereward fought for Anthea, Eoin for Nicolaa, Nicolae for Sybille, Rhys for Marian, and Zadok for Gwendoline.  It was noted during the procession that Baroness Xristinia of Skraeling Althing and Mistress Nicolaa were wearing the same fabric, so when Baron Erec and Eoin met in the tourney, official ownership of the lovely red silk design was on the line. Baron Erec was victorious. 


The finals echoed a Crown Tournament in far Ansteorra some years later. Baroness Sir Elizabeth met her lord, Baron Sir Menken, and when the last blow was struck, Elizabeth emerged victorious.  She would reign as Ealdormere’s first Princess by Right of Arms.   Later that day, Baron Ieuan and Baroness Adrielle appointed Perceval and Colgar the Innocent as their scutifers.  When King Edmund held his court, Zadok was inducted into Order of the Red Company, Nicolae received a Willow for his costuming skills, and his lady Sybille received a Purple Fret for her services as Minister of Children. Cassandra was added to the Scroll of Honour for the many food drives she had coordinated at events.  Master Hector was inducted into the Friendship of the Trillium for his long service to the Coronet, often behind the scenes. And Caitlin was, at last, formally invested as Crown Princess, in front of her own people.


This year marked the twenty-fifth year of the Pennsic Wars, and indeed, those attending were given a gold watch (in fact, a functioning sundial) as a site token to mark the occasion.  Once again, Eoforwic returned to camp in the woods, close by the Ancestral Camping grounds.  But it was found that there was not nearly enough space for all those who had registered for the camp, because much of the allotted land was uncampable.  But camping beside Eoforwic was the Barony of Red Spears, and their baron, Taylor the Pure, or Taylor the Pooh as he was more commonly called.  Cassandra struck up a friendship with the people of the Barony and especially their Baron, and the two camps agreed to share space and resources, amalgamating into Upper and Lower Redwick.  Meanwhile, a nasty and unfounded rumour went about that Ealdormere Royal had asked, and Eoforwic had refused, to move to the Serengeti.


Also at this Pennsic was held the infamous milk and cordial challenge.  A year before, Mercedes had visited Lochac and made many friends.  When they had heard of the prowess of Osis with sword and tankard, they had resolved to offer a challenge that, like many things from Lochac, was passing strange, at a time when Osis and his household was no longer encumbered with the strains of Kingship.  And so Lochac and Hrogn--and the curious--gathered together for a drinking contest.  The drinks consisted of milk, and when no more milk could be drunk, raspberry cordial.  The combination created some very unique effects on the stomach.  The battle was epic, indeed, and the curious became more and more grateful that they were not participants.


The City also had dealings with Politarchopolis, a Barony of Lochac.  They had heard that Eoforwic was a unique place, with a mayor and a sheriff and City officers, and so they offered friendship to Mercedes when she visited.  At Pennsic, the Lady Mayor and the people of Eoforwic visited the Lochac camp.  Politarchopolis became Eoforwic's Sister City, and tokens of friendship were exchanged.  Pewter tokens of Politarchpolis’ Baronial awards were added to the Mayoral Chain of Eoforwic, and are there to this day.

International diplomacy continued when Edouard and Eanor, King and Queen of Drachenwald, presented Eoforwic with an ancient key "for the back gate” that they had recently “unearthed.”


This year the City Guard was small, consisting mainly of Angus, Hector, and Agnar the Goth.  The cantons of Vest Yorvik, Skeldergate, Ardchreag, and Eoforwic donated the Ealdormere war wagon, built by Raimond of Lower Lorraine, which would later become famous in song and legend.  The Middle Kingdom won the day in the fighting, although  Ealdormere fought one battle with the East to even up sides.


In this year, a famous party was held at the Calontir encampment, where in order to establish one’s credentials to drink the many fine beers and meads produced by that Kingdom, one had to be stamped with the Kingdom Seal. Many attendees found many creative places for these seals  Baroness Adrielle, noticing this, presented herself to the King and Queen of Calontir, who signed their names upon various parts of her body.  The Baroness thus became “a law unto herself.”


In Septentrian court, much business was done. Ysabeau and Angus presented armrings to James Douglas in token of their esteem. Bear’s Claws were given to Gunthar (who had fought well in his first Pennsic as a fighter), James Douglas (for his service as chirurgeon and builder of things), and Hector (for his many deeds.)  Hector then petitioned to have Nicolae given a Bear’s Claw as well, and it was done. He also appointed Angus as Champion for Calum, his young son. Hereward was inducted into the Order of Bear’s Heart for his service as Baronial herald and fighter for Septentria.  And finally, Lord Albrecht and Eve announced their engagement, and were loudly congratulated.


Each year, more and more of the Cityfolk made the long trek northwards to the ducal estates of Finnvarr de Taahe for Bonfield Battle.  This was the fourth year it was held.  Here were to be found equestrian games, much fighting, good hospitality, and no courts.  On the first subject, the Duke and Mistress Ragni owned several horses, which they allowed those who wished to play at rings and Saracen Heads to ride.  This year there were several battles, including a twelfth century tourney, an animal hunt (in which fighters were assigned an animal to portray), and on Sunday, the Grand Melee at the Barrier.


Before this occurred, in which Greater de Taahe would take on all comers, the long-brewing

Grudge Match between de Taahe and the cadet house of Blackcloak occurred, with Blackcloak

emerging victorious.  At the barrier appeared a ghost of the past.  Out of the mists stepped Graf Sir Hugo to challenge his former knight, and Finnvarr did accept the challenge and they struck the first blows.  (As it was revealed later, Hugo himself--now dwelling in An Tir--was unable to be present himself, so he sent his armour to represent his personage).  The ensuing melee was a grand thing.


One of the first to challenge de Taahe was the White Bear Fian, flower of Septentrian prowess;  followed by the Eoforwic City Guard, and they did fight well, with Angus Albahni in command.

Because the forces of greater de Taahe were outnumbered, the Dauphine and Dauphin of Ealdormere, Sir Elizabeth and Sir Menken, joined the forces of de Taahe.  The fighting continued until all were satisfied, and much chivalry was demonstrated that day.  After a break, the fighters returned to play at Mordain's Rings, a cunning game in which all fighters started in the middle of a great circle and each time they were defeated, moved out one ring, until they were finally out of the circle.  This was a great joy to watch, especially at one point in which two groups of fighters were engaged in a fight.  Angus and Gunthar, finding they had no one to fight, decided to come up behind one of the large groups of fighters and slowly, one by one, began picking them off as soon as they made eye contact.  Those from Eoforwic who had attended vowed to return.


Later in this month were Angus and Ysabeau married, and many Cityfolk witnessed the ceremony and were greatly amused when the newly-married couple cut the cake with a broadsword.


The late September day appointed for the Investiture of Elizabeth and Menken was unusually warm, and the hall in Ben Dunfirth was near overflowing.  Roak and Moria retired from the thrones in a most dramatic way:  Moria left with her household brothers and sisters, and then Roak was reminded that he had promised to rule only as long as he was needed.  The time of war being over, his goals accomplished, he would be removed in the way of the Khazars-- by having a silk cord wrapped around his neck.  But first, a successor must be found, and Elizabeth strode to the hall to claim the throne she had won the right to ascend.  Roak questioned the right of a woman to rule, and was presented with several examples of women from history and the Society who had done just that.  As Roak passed the Coronet to Elizabeth, her own personal banner was furled.  Menken was called to accept the Consort's coronet, which he did, his own banner being furled as well. That done, Roak was strangled, leaving all to wonder what would happen to the body. The wait was not long.  Baron Foote and a squad of Monadhi appeared in strange blue armour and bearing blue boxes, loudly proclaiming that they were the Viscount Recycling Crew.  Foote managed to revive Roak with a strange liquid procured from a spigot in his codpiece, and thence

the new Tricount was carried off in a blue box for future recycling. 


Later that day, when Elizabeth and Menken presented their first awards, Raimond was added to the Scroll of Honour for building the war wagon, and Marian received her Golden Otter for her skill in the bardic arts.  As he was now Prince, Menken also passed on the position of Principality Seneschal to Baroness Adrielle.


In late September, the guild masters and mistresses of Eoforwic converged at Michaelmas upon the guildhall for the yearly elections.  This year, Cassandra of Trilane, Gwendoline Rosamund, and Angus Albahni stood for Mayor, and Morgan Blackheart, Nicolaa de Bracton, James Douglas, and Raimon stood for Sheriff.  Gwen and Nicolaa ran as a team under the "Garb Slut" banner, distributing silk goodie bags of findings; Nicolaa wore her infamous heraldic hockey surcote and carried a hockey stick, promising to be the city enforcer if elected.  Cassandra and Morgan distributed cookies and flirted with the gentlemen, while Angus and James used the time-honoured bribe of beer to bring out the vote.  In the end, the beer told the tale (it was given out at Coronation) and both Angus and James were elected.  Gaerwen, by now exhausted by the fundraising and work she had done for the canton, gratefully passed on the chain of office, schaube, and the Trout of Knowledge to Angus.


In October, Elizabeth and Menken renamed the Order of the Peregrine the Order of St. Crispin.  This caused much controversy, since although the saint was well known and associated with the famous Battle of Agincourt, the choice was seen as too personal by many.


The Coronation of Osis and Caitlin was an effort by four groups--Vest Yorvik, Skeldergate, Ardchreag, and Monadh.  Astoundingly, the event was put together in only three months' time, through much hard work on the part of all the cantons involved.  James Douglas, as had become customary, would work the bar.  Baroness Ursula would arrange the feast.  Cassandra would take care of merchants, and Nicolaa would act as Royalty liaison.  Almost every other member of the canton was involved in something.


The weather for Coronation Day was fabulous.  It was a sunny, crisp early October day, with the leaves flaming into colour.  Rumours of the site's beauty had not been exaggerated. The ruins of the mill quite resembled those of a castle, and situated beside them was a lake. The park was on an area close by the Niagara Escarpment, making for some spectacular geographic features, including "potholes," sinkholes caused by retreating glaciers.


Their Majesties Edmund and Kateryn held their last court beside the ruins. When the time came for the heirs to claim the throne, Pankratz Pugge appeared and said that although he was not worthy to claim the throne, he had some skill at finding heirs. He then led the King and Queen and the assembled crowed to the side of the lake, and bade the King to give him Oathbinder, the sword of the Middle Kingdom.  This the King did, after some hesitation. Pankratz then flung the sword into the lake, causing a number of gasps of horror. (It was later revealed that this was in fact not the actual Sword of State, but a close double). At the moment that the sword hit the water, a horn was heard in the distance, and from around the bend a longship hove into view. As it drew nearer, leaving a trail on the water from the dripping oars, the crowd could see that it contained Jarl Thorbjorn Osis, Oathbinder held high. The boat drew nigh, and was brought ashore by Osis' squires, waiting with songs to greet him. He disembarked and announced his intention of claiming the throne. All followed him into the ruins, where he mounted the dais, took the crown of the Middle from the hands of Duchess Lisa, and put it upon his head. He was King.


 But he still needed a queen. One by one, six ladies came forth, carrying roses. They paralleled the six men who had come forth at Osis' first coronation. Each of the women - Dame Elizabeth Cadfan, Kingdom Arts and Sciences Minister Melisande, Countess Elaina of Oaklawn, Viscountess Moria the Black, Mistress Therica and Dame Madinia - had reasons why they could not be Osis' Queen. The King was thus left with six white roses--and no Queen. Pankratz then stepped forward, to many giggles, and said that he might be able to produce one if Osis would give him the six roses. Pankratz tossed the roses into the air. There was a flash of light, and then Caitlin Stepped forward, crowned in a wreath of roses.  Osis stuck Oathbinder into the dais, took the crown from Duchess Lisa, removed Caitlin's wreath to place it on the hilt of the sword, and then placed the crown on Caitlin's head. She was Queen.


The new King and Queen then accepted fealty from Princess Elizabeth and Prince Menken of Ealdormere, followed by the Territorial Barons, Knights, Laurels and Pelicans of the Kingdom. They were all bidden to stay to the side of the dais after they swore, and then Osis, as he had in his last Coronation, presented them to the people. After they had retired, those members of the populace who wished to swear were called forward as well. During this whole time, a steady stream of white roses had been piling at Caitlin's feet.


The ceremony over, the court retired. The Queen's Champion tourney took place within the walls of the ruins. Archery and children's classes also occurred, and about twenty merchants were on site to sell their wares.


Evening court was held before feast, again in the ruins. Osis was heralded in as “Fabio of the Fjords” by Brand, who then tried to distract him by offering beer. Ambassadors from Atlantia and Calontir presented gifts, and Caitlin expressed her joy particularly that Calontir, which she had helped make a Principality in her last reign, had grown into a Kingdom, and that she was greatly honoured by her small part in this. The winner of the Champion's Tourney, Jarl Thorbrand from Atlantia, was called forward. Since he was unable to serve as Champion himself, he was presented with the wreath of roses to crown his lady, Countess Eorunn, Queen of Love and Beauty for the day. Three other gentles were also called forward and thanked: Etienne au Naval, Jerek van der Vliet and Arslan of Northshield. Each of these, for various reasons, had been asked whether they might stand as Champion and had to refuse. Finally, Lord Raedmund d'Arden, newly minted member of the Red Company by the hand of King Edmund that morning, was called forward and asked whether he would accept the honour. He did, was presented with the tabard, and took his place behind the Queen.


A few awards were then presented--amongst others, a Purple Fret for James Douglass, an Award of the Order of Paws to Dizzy Berusdottir, who snapped up doggy treats from the mouth of the Queen herself, an induction into the Greenwood Company for Odd Grimsson, and a Dragon's Heart for Countess Elaina, who has served four kingdoms, including the Middle, in her years in the Society. Edmund and Kateryn were recognized as Earl and Countess, and Edmund was given the honour of taking up his own coronet, as he had granted Osis the honour of crowning himself King. He then put the coronet on Kateryn's brow, after which she was honoured as a Lady of the Rose.


Here also did Marian of Heatherdale discourse on the legends of King Arthur, and was thus admitted to the schola of Mistress Nicolaa as a bachelor and her first apprentice.


The feast, cooked by Baroness Ursula and staff, was very tasty, although many of the feasters were chilled to the bone by the dip in temperature. Here Eoforwic presented a gift to the Crown, this time specifically to Caitlin--10 goblets, and one for herself, to distribute those who did pleasing things in her sight.  Caitlin distributed most of them to bards who sang for her during her reign.  They also offered the recently refurbished Murphy the Sheep back to the safekeeping of Caitlin, his original Mom.  Caitlin gave him back to Eoforwic for care. John of Slaughterfield had come to the Coronation after many years of absence.  Since he had once served as a Royal champion, was inducted into the Order of the Royal Vanguard.  The new King and Queen also granted to Ealdormere the right to give Awards of Arms without consulting the Kingdom—a recognition of the growing maturity of the Principality.


It was about this time that Adeliz als Gernons was first seen.  She was a quiet lady with fair hair, interested in the domestic arts.  Also, Mistress Rhiannon married her lord, Pete. Her fight with cancer had once again flared up, and many were greatly concerned.


Edward the Chaste was known for his mail-making.  The Royal Ontario Museum, hearing of this, inquired as to whether they might obtain some as a display for the children who often visited the exhibits and wanted to handle “real chain mail.”  Edward agreed to donate several pieces to the museum, where they are still seen today.


At Scotchtoberfest Rhys ap Bledri was made a Companion of the Silver Oak for meadmaking and Marian of Heatherdale a Companion of the Willow for her bardic skills.  Moria the Black took over the reins as Principality Seneschal, and the formal process of writing the Kingdom bid began.


In November in the Canton of Ardchreag, Duke Sir Finnvarr celebrated the 25th anniversary of his knighting. A Tourney of the Notables took place in which combatants challenged a number of fighters who took on the roles of famous knights from history—including a certain Sir Finnvarr. During the feast, a delegation of the people of Eoforwic was convened to approach the Duke at High Table.  They carried with them a scroll and a banner--the scroll naming Finnvarr, founder of the Canton, as a City Alderman, and the banner--Eoforwic's oldest bearing its device--a gift of gratitude.  Finnvarr was deeply touched by the gesture.  His household also presented him with a new Ducal coronet, simply wrought.  His lady Ragni was there made first Equestrian Champion of Ealdormere.


Far to the south, in the heart of the Middle Kingdom, Viscountess Kaellyn was placed on vigil for the Order of the Pelican, for her service as exchequer and chirurgeon to Principality, Kingdom, and at Pennsic.


In December of that year, Fortune’s wheel again turned, and there was much turmoil.  It was made known in the City that Master Hector and Dame Madinia had decided to part ways.  Many were sad, as both had many friends in the City.  It was about this time that a painful division began to be apparent between the Princess and Prince.  They appeared less and less in each other's company, and it was learned that they had ceased to be a couple some time before.  The Princess had begun to keep company with a Knight from Trimaris, and Menken was seemingly heartsore at this.


At the same time, the City grew in numbers. It was about this time that Thomas the Inquisitive and his lady wife Teri (later to be named Muirghein Fionn) were first seen.  They immediately became enthusiastic members of the group; indeed, Thomas published a chronicle of the City's activities that was circulated by mysterious means to the whole wide world through the ether. 


Bryniau Tywynogg hosted the traditional Wassail and Moot of Ealdormere.  Only Her Highness was present, but many important matters were discussed concerning the laws of the future Kingdom and the progress of the many Committees. A rumour was leaked at the moot that Their Highnesses were going to call a referendum on whether fencing should be included in the future kingdom of Ealdormere.  Since this was not on the agenda at the Moot, speculation ran wild.  Only four people at the Moot were thought to have known the truth--Her Highness, Viscountess Moria (the Principality Seneschal), Mistress Nicolaa (the Principality Chronicler), and Baron Cordigan, who had learned of it from Elizabeth.  When the news was leaked to the fencers there present, Viscountess Moria managed to avert a major crisis by forcing Cordigan to admit it had been he who had told them, rather than Mistress Nicolaa, who had been instructed to reveal the matter to no one.


Now that the referendum was an open secret, Nicolaa debated about what to do with Their Highness' letter.  Torn by emotion over what she saw as a surprise attack on her and her friends, she sought the counsel of wiser, cooler heads, including Duke Finnvarr.  She considered resigning her office in protest at being asked to keep such a secret.  She spoke at length with Prince Menken, who agreed that the letter should now be made public so that the rumours would cease, and that a special moot on the issue should be called since it was not discussed at the earlier moot. The initial leak had now become a gaping hole, however, through both her own circulation of the letter amongst fencers and the efforts of others.  She was censured by both the Prince and Princess at Twelfth Night and indirectly by the Middle Kingdom for her actions in publishing background materials on the controversy in the Tidings; and a proper thing the censure was as she had used the Principality Newsletter as a platform for a personal agenda. Never again would Nicolaa take up rapier with the joy with which she once had wielded it. After much unpleasantness, the issue was finally settled; those who fenced had no problem with the possibility of a poll on fencing, but on the way the letter itself was worded and the manner it would have been pressed upon an unsuspecting populace by a Coronet openly hostile to fencing.  


It became increasingly clear that there was great enmity between the Prince and Princess.  Only great effort by the Prince's Council, particularly Viscountess Moria, and guidance from King Osis and Queen Caitlin kept the feud largely under wraps, although all who were friends of their Highnesses knew the truth.


It was around this time that first Septentrian cloak was completed by Lady Leonora.  This cloak was a thing of great beauty, exquisitely embroidered with gold and silk thread.  The arms of all the Cantons of Septentria were included, as well as the arms of all the former Barons and Baronesses and wonderfully detailed white bears.  No equal to it has ever been seen.


The sixteenth Coronet tourney again saw numerous entrants from Eoforwic. Angus Albahni fought for Cassandra and Richard Larmer for Ysabeau;  Rhys for Marian and Nicolae for Sybille.  In the finals, Edward the Red defeated Lucius Aurelius Varus and placed the Althegna's coronet on the brow of Rylyn Buchanan.  It was remarked that Edward and Rylyn would be the first Prince and Princess to be born and grow up entirely in the days of the Principality of Ealdormere. 


Their Majesties Osis and Caitlin were in attendance, and here was Kaellyn MacDermott elevated to the Order of the Pelican and given a marvelous embroidered tunic by the hand of Queen Caitlin, and here was Etaoin o Fearghaill called from the procession of Coronet entrants to be placed on vigil for the same honour.  Here was Leila Brophy of the City awarded arms, and Eoin o Beirne awarded a Purple Fret for his writing of chronicles. The many people who had planned and carried out Osis and Caitlin’s Coronation were called forward and presented with a Purple Fretty. And Tsharyl Larmer, though not present, was awarded a Willow for her great skill in embroidery, and a special medallion from the Queen herself, who was greatly impressed and claimed that Tsharyl's skills outstripped her own, for which she had been given a Laurel wreath.


And Glandydd Rhys Mordwyn was elevated to the Order of the Laurel for amouring to the loud cries of "God Bless Dad's Nuts!" Marian of Heatherdale first sang her song, “White Rose” about Queen Caitlin and the passing of the elves, at this event.  This brought tears to the eyes of the Queen, and later gained Marian a goblet from Her Majesty's hand. Here also was Eoin o Beirne taken as Nicolaa's second apprentice.


At Candlemas was held the great moot on the topic of fencing.  And person after person stood up and spoke in its favour, with only two dissenting voices, although some thought after that perhaps faced with such opposition, those who did not favour the arts of defence kept their counsel.  Also, here was Anastasia Angelos Corinthos made noble.


In this month was held a baronial archery challenge, in which because of a scheduling conflict Gaerwen and Nicolaa found themselves almost single-handedly representing Septentria.

Also in this month did Gwendoline and Zadok wed, and they hosted a party for all of their friends, where the potables flowed and the delicacies were many.


On the first day of the month of March, Osis and Caitlin lay aside their Royal Crowns and took up those of a Duke and Duchess.  Most agreed that they had ruled wisely and with great maturity, their reign untroubled by the problems of Osis' first reign. Later the same month, many of the City travelled to Bryniau Tywynogg for the second War College, and to hear the famous Master Pavel of Calontir offer discourse on the formation of an army, and many great ideas were born, including the Ealdormere Commissariat, formed on the spot from Cynred, Valizan, Eoin, and Nicolaa, with patronage of the Althegna.  Later, James Douglas and Aibhilin of Skye would also join their number. 


Also, Edouard Beausoliel and Eanor of Amberhall, now Earl and Countess, returned from Drachenwald, and were welcomed with a revel at the holding of Baron Torbin.


In this month the Poculi Ludique Societas presented the play Gammer Gurton's Needle, and many members of Eoforwic came to see the play dressed in their finery.  This was arranged by Elaine Middleton, seen often now in the company of Chet Scoville, a fellow scholar.  And Catriona and Jasper parted ways after many years.


The investiture of Edward and Rylyn was elegant and brief, with Elizabeth and Menken clearly tired and ready to set aside the Coronets.  It was a telling sign that Elizabeth and Menken had their Viscounties acknowledged separately.  Hereafter, Elizabeth was less seen in Ealdormere and seldom in armour. Eve was awarded Arms, Hereward awarded a Bee, and Inez Rosanera was made a Companion of the Golden Otter. And Morgan Blackheart was also admitted into the Order of the Bee, for many hours of work as a bar wench.  This event was notable in that every knight of Ealdormere was present and almost every one of them fought in the tourney.  Earl Sir Edouard was seen to wear an eyepatch at all times other than when fighting, and the reason was given that his lady would only permit him to remove it when she had witnessed him do a chivalrous deed.  Edouard also received from the hand of Elizabeth the gold chain that had been worn by every knight in Ealdormere.  Dona Mercedes served as head cook for the feast, which won great acclaim for tastiness.


Vest Yorvik hosted the Arts and Sciences fair in their Caledon castle.  Although there were few entries, many of these were exceedingly fine, especially those of Martin of Wismar, who won the Pentathlon the week after he was granted Arms.  Lady Gwendoline was placed first for her Elizabethan kirtle, sewn entirely by hand.  Discussions also began about what kind of Fair should be held should Ealdormere become a kingdom.


In Eoforwic, it was in this month of April that Ysabeau stepped down as Seneschal after three years' service and Gunthar Wahlstedt assumed the reins.  The wedding of Albrecht and Eve also took place.  And the first College of St. Nicholas was held at the meeting hall. The College was an idea Nicolaa had worked out to host small, regular symposiums on various topics in the Arts and Sciences.  This first occurrence focused on costuming, and Lady Arnora came from Bryniau Tywynogg to teach fitting. Other teachers were Ceridwyn, Ysabeau, Gwen, and Nicolaa, and all who attended learned much.


A great Straw Poll had been held amongst the populace, to determine whether Ealdormere should petition to advance to Kingdom status.  When the results were announced, they were overwhelmingly in favour of this step. Also announced were the results of the poll on the future of fencing in Ealdormere, and the results were strongly in favour. Never again would the status of fencing within Ealdormere be questioned. 


At the seventeenth Coronet Tourney in May, Syr Gunter von Weaselburg bested his squire, Ragnar fra Vinland, in the finals, and placed the Althegna's coronet upon the brow of Morgon the Fey Wanderer. Her Majesty Kateryn was in attendance, and in the sight of all, Mercedes was inducted into the Order of the Willow for her cooking and knitting skills, and Edward the Chaste became a member of the Order of the Silver Oak for his mailmaking.  Prince Edward and Princess Rylyn also held Court, and Lady Ines de Freytis received an Otter for her bardic skills and research.  In this month were Madeleine de Villemonde and Lord Vincent Greywolf wed.  Also, in Eoforwic, Cassandra passed the Pursuivant's tabard on to Countess Eanor.


Anno Societatis XXXII

The weddings continued in June, when Nicolae Cioranu wed Sybille of Amberhall.  And at the great War Practice held in Septentria in July, Nicolae did bid all fighting men, squires, and knights to display their arms at the Tavern there, and to meet in a grand melee, where many deeds of valour were done.  The night before, he and Sybille entertained their many friends with delicacies, Rhys' mead, and Ceallach's beer, and much mirth was had.  House Galbraith that same night celebrated their fifth anniversary with song and revelry. Here, as was usual, the folk gathered in a great moot, and no topic was closer at hand than the Kingdom Bid.  The proposed Laws for the Kingdom were now public, and a discussion of these was held later, as was a moot on the Fighters' Handbook and another on the A&S Fair.


On the twenty-sixth day of the same month, the citizenry convened at St. George the Martyr church within the City Walls to hold a market and a tourney hosted by the White Bear Fian. Lady Cassandra acted as steward, and almost every member of the City was involved in some activity or another. This was a site of much beauty, the market being held within the close of a ruined church, now grown over with flowers and greenery.  Fifteen merchants came to ply their wares, and a goodly company of fighting men and women turned out to meet the Fianna upon the field.  Four made formal challenge to the Fian.  Angus Albahni fought Katsu with polearm and was defeated.  Berus Wolfsonne met David Martin Failsworth with sword and shield, and fought nobly, but was also defeated.  Etian au Naval challenged Ceallach and was defeated, but only because he insisted on giving points of honour in the bout.  And Nicolae Cioranu met Duncan and was successful, and became one of the Fianna.  Also was Leila Brophy given leave to fight, and so impressed was Ceallach that he awarded her a large drinking goblet, which came with five gallons of his own brew.  The Fian met all challengers both in single combat and in melees, and spent time with many fighters in training.  Amongst the Fianna stood Prince Edward the Red, although he spent some time sitting in state with Princess Rylyn.  Both picnic baskets and merchants' goods were auctioned, as were other goods collected so that the Tidings might share knowledge of the arts and sciences throughout the Principality.  Inside, Mistress Rosina led much dancing, and works wrought by the hands of cityfolk and visitors were displayed for all to see.


Lord Perceval, overwhelmed with the celebrations, did nearly swoon, and was whisked away to the barber surgeons' for treatment.   And many strange spectres were seen that day:  Ancarett and Belisarius, Tarver the Pole, and Max all were seen within the market close.


Baron Ieaun and Baroness Adrielle reveled in the prowess of the Fian and the hospitality of the City.  In their Court, James Douglas gave an armring to Alan atta Highcliffs, and Nicolaa passed on the armring which Hector had gifted her with at Eoforwic 20th to Thomas the Inquisitive, providing a ring of her own for his lady wife Teri; for these two had impressed her much with their tireless service.  The Baron and Baroness gifted Cassandra with a ring as well, for arranging such a wonderful day.  Lord Uther, who had come all the way from Ruantullan just to attend and fight, presented Their Excellencies with a bottle of wine in thanks for their hospitality.  Lady Ysabeau was invested as Seneschal of Septentria, as Lord William stepped aside after years of service, and Gwendoline Rosamond took on the office of Minister of Arts and Sciences for the Barony, an office long left vacant.


But none could have predicted what happened next.  Baron Ieuan stood up, laid aside his Coronet, and took the cross and vow of a Crusader. “I go to die for Christ,” he said, and left. Adrielle bid him adieu with tears in her eyes, and all realized that this was no playacting--the Baron of Septentria was indeed stepping aside, and Adrielle would endeavour to follow in Gillian's footsteps and rule the Barony alone.  Silence fell, and all watched with sadness as their Baron departed.  In truth, things had been amiss between Ieaun and Adrielle for many, many months, although they had tried their best to rule together. At last, the cares of the world had pressed in upon Ieaun, and he had decided that Septentria would best be served without him.  Ieaun had been a good Baron, inspiring in War, dedicated to Septentria, and he would be missed; but few would gainsay the ability of Adrielle to continue as Baroness.


Later that summer, Ieaun’s men-at-arms returned to inform the people that the Baron had fallen at the walls of Acre, although it is said that the men-at-arms, having been suitably plied with beer, reveled that although he had died at the walls of Acre, it was in a rather notorious house of ladies of business, where he had been slain by the bouncer.  A certain Einar Cruikshank began to be seen about the City, causing many to startle at the resemblance to the departed Baron.


That Pennsic was the first year of the Ealdormere commissariat. James Douglas, who was one of the organizers of that endeavour, had had an idea to filter the Pennsic water to make it more appealing to fighters and their stomachs.  He constructed a wondrous device whereby three filters were suspended from a sawhorse.  And thus was born the first water cow, and so famous did it become that it provided water for all the battles.  Baroness Ursula coordinated the kitchen, Mistress Nicolaa coordinated the waterbearing, and Cynred organized the overall effort.  Such was the success that each year since the Commissariat has thrived and grown.   This was the year in which the Unbelted Champions’ Team, which included many Ealdormerians, won an inspiring victory, and was recognized by King Edmund both as a group with the Award of the Dragon’s Teeth, and individually with Awards of the Dragon’s Tooth.  In their court, Prince Edward and Princess Rylyn presented James Douglas with the Order of the Bee and Gwendoline with the Order of the Golden Otter.  Accursius, Countess Eanor, and Nicolae were all given the Wolf’s Tooth.  And Viscountess Moria, who had been tirelessly preparing the Kingdom bid, was sent on her vigil for the Order of the Pelican.


One night by the lake, Septentria gathered to pay farewell to Ieuan.  Master Hector, accompanied by the clashing of steel and the playing of Halfdan’s pipes cast an armring into the lake, and the people roared “Ieuan!”  The next day, Septentria strode into battle with the war cry of “Adrielle!”


This was also the first year of the Pennsic War Chronicle. Marion fitz William served as Editor-in-chief, and Mistress Nicolaa volunteered some time as a proofreader and writer. Nicolaa also took Perceval as her third apprentice by the lakeside, as clouds swirled overhead in shades of green.  Eoin, her second apprentice, had found himself in some difficulty when he had mislaid his apprentice belt.  To chastise him (although secretly, she suspected he would enjoy it), she sent him on a quest to talk to many Peers about the meaning of Peerage.  He far exceeded the number set to him, including Duke Sir Finn, Duke Sir Cariadoc, Master Andrixos, Sir Pieter, Duke Finnvarr, Baron Durr, Earl Sir David, Sir William of Fairhaven, Master Hector, Dame Madinia, and Sir Raimond of the Straits.  At the end of the Quest, Nicolaa presented him with a new belt-one that he has never lost.


In the month of September, several from Eoforwic traveled to AEthelmearc to see the creation of the sixteenth kingdom of the Known World.  As they did so, they thought to the future. The creation of AEthelmearc was a glorious occasion, with much pageantry—but the ceremony stretched for hours, and many a posterior was sore, indeed. But all were happy for their cousins, who had become a full Principality just before Ealdormere had; many felt great kinship for their friends across the straits.


In Eoforwic, a bid had been assembled for the 20th anniversary event of Septentria, with Cassandra as autocrat.  It was accepted, and planning began.  Another event of note took place at the Eoforwic meeting hall, when Marian presented a concert of her music—one of her first concerts, if not the first.  This would have great import for the future.


At Investiture, with King Edmund and Queen Kateryn in attendance, Edward and Rylyn retired as Prince and Princess, after a long and successful reign, and Gunther and Morgon took up the Coronets.  Zadok was appointed Princess’ Champion by Her Highness. The King and Queen then summoned the Chivalry forward and set Viscount Roak to his vigil for the accolade of knighthood.  In the evening court, the hard work of the Commissariat was recognized by an entry on the Scroll of Honour, and Gaerwen was inducted into the Order of the Bee.   Gunthar was presented with a Purple Fret for his work as seneschal and Quartermaster, and Cassandra received the same award for her service as Pursuivant and as an autocrat. Nicolaa was inducted into the Order of the Dragon’s Heart for her service as Chronicler at many levels.  And then finally, Viscountess Moria was inducted into the Order of the Pelican and Viscount Roak was knighted.


At the yearly Michaelmas elections, Nicolaa, Cassandra and Hydro stood for Mayor; Gwendoline, Anastasia, Arthur and Hector’s young son Calum stood for Sheriff. After much showing of credentials, Lord Angus took the position of returns officer. Much chocolate and bribery was exchanged, but none could surpass Mistress Nicolaa’s promise of the world-famous “buckeyes” and Latin mottoes to everyone, and so she became the ninth Mayor of Eoforwic. The race for Sheriff was very close, and in the end, Arthur was victorious.


To the south, Palymar and Aislinn were crowned as King and Queen of the Middle Kingdom, and Baron Aaron Swiftrunner became Seneschal of the Middle.  All knew these were great friends of Ealdormere—none so much as Palymar, who had once been the bearer of sad tidings for Ealdormere one cold March day and had long thought of the day he might make it right. At the eighteenth Coronet Tourney in Caer Draeth, Palymar made it known that he wished to preside over Ealdormere Crown.  The Kingdom bid had been long in the making, and now all knew that it would be presented at the January meeting of the Imperium.  The Kingdom bid activities increased to fever pitch. 


At that same Coronet, the finals were contested between Berus Wolfsonne and Earl Sir Edouard Beausoliel.  When Berus was victorious, he left a message for his lady Marion, since she had stepped out to attend a wedding, to be sure to return to the event-which she later did.  Many controversies were aired as well. Foote the Potter declared that there were a wolf and three sheep grazing the Monadh field of thistles, and placed the blame on the Barony of Ramshaven.  A friar not seen for many years came forward with a certain Mortgage on the Principality of Ealdormere, and Nicolaa was called forward to read the Latin, which was in an archaic dialect. Seeing the controversy, Trinovantia Nova paid it off for 1,000 gold pieces.  Two ladies of Eoforwic were honoured by TRM Palymar and Aislinn that day:  Ceridwyn with the Cavendish Knot, and Madinia with the Doe’s Grace. Also in that month in Eoforwic, Adeliz became the minister of Arts and Sciences, and Gwendoline began hosting a Solar to help the people of Eoforwic to construct clothing.


In this month, Cassandra took ill and retired to the hospital, where many did visit her and wish her well.  She later recovered and was soon seen again within the City.  Eoforwic also commemorated the fifth anniversary of the City Guard with special tokens wrought by Mistress Elizabeth Cadfan.  It was around this time that the Eoforwic gained its first web minister—Thomas the Inquisitive.  Also this month were the appointments to City offices made. Nicolaa, the new Mayor, named Cassandra as deputy Mayor, Gaerwen as warden of Ardchreag, Lothar as warden of Vest Yorvik, Adeliz as Dean of the Royal College, Gunthar as Lord High Admiral, Mercedes as Spanish Inquisition, Hydro as Land Claims Agent and Chief Waterbearer and Eoin as Special Envoy to Rising Waters.  Arthur, as Sheriff, appointed Lady Gwendoline as deputy Sheriff, Thomas as Chief Magistrate, Albrecht as Forest Warden of the Don, Adeliz as Warden of the Northern Marches, Muirghein as keeper of the gate, and Candace as City Torturer. Also, Eoforwic gifted Septentria with bear tabards and baldrics, and challenged other cantons to do so as well.  Geoffrey Guiscard, a tall Norman who had recently joined the group along with Margaret, his lady, began to coordinate archery practices at Variety Village.


Also in this month, the ballots for the vote to advance to Kingdom status were distributed. Many from Eoforwic were also participating on a committee to present a bid to host the first Coronation that met at Hector’s house.  The Ukrainian cultural centre was visited as a potential site.


In November, the second session of the College of St. Nicholas was held at a hall on the University campus and at the meeting hall.  This session was devoted to the scribal arts and attracted numerous teachers, including Gwynhyfyr (the current Eoforwic mistress of song and chatelaine). Liam (Gwynhyfyr’s husband), Dame Sarra, Ysabeau, Lady Red, and  Nicolaa.   Also, a trading circle took place, which was a great success.  A lady who would one day become known as Jocelyn visited the group that month, although she was not seen again for a long time.   And Nicolaa, with the work to prepare the kingdom bid now complete, handed the editorship of the Tidings over to Lord Aidan, although she would not step down as Principality Chronicler until January.


December was a time of great joy and great sorrow. A Yule party was held in Skeldergate, where a caber toss of a 6’ Christmas tree was a featured event, and many deeds to various villages were auctioned for charity, including “Melville East (Ardchreag), Melville West (Vest Yorvik) and Lower Melville Common (Eoforwic).  At Eoforwic’s own Yule party, Nicolaa delivered on her election promise of Buckeyes for the cityfolk.  


Eoforwic was also singled out for praise by Storm, the Ealdormere exchequer, as an example of timely reporting—an important thing, with the upcoming Kingdom bid.  Poll results were also released on the Kingdom question: 91% were in favour of going kingdom.  96% favoured retaining the name Ealdormere, and 80% favoured keeping the current heraldry.  A ceremonies committee was formed to begin drafting the various ceremonies needed for the kingdom—most important of those being the first Coronation ceremony.  Nicolaa, who had taken on the position of Calygreyhound Herald, coordinated the committee, which included Gwilym, Hector, Alyce, Edouard, Wilhelm von Pottruff, Marion, Cynred, Tsivia, and Nicolaa. 


But the celebrations were tinged with sadness. Prince Jafar of the Middle, heir to TRM Palymar and Aislinn, fell sick after an event. Many efforts were immediately undertaken to help raise funds for his care.  Baron Malik of Rising Waters appeared at an event stripped to the waist, his body oiled, and proceeded to sell kisses.  He was very successful. Alas, two weeks later, Prince Jafar died, leaving all in shock and his Princess, Kenna, to go on in his stead. All vowed their support for her reign.  Jafar was later granted his Ducal title posthumously. 


In January, Lady Cassandra confirmed the site for the Septentrian 20th  anniversary celebration in May as the Japanese Cultural Center.  Meanwhile, the Coronation bid committee continued the quest for a site, and looked at Christ Church, Deer Park.


At Septentrian 12th Night, Gunthar and Nicolaa reigned as King and Queen of Fools. Gunthar wore a counterchanged plaid cotehardie and crown; and Nicolaa was Queen of Love and Hockey, wearing her counterchanged Maple Leafs and Red Wings surcote (with matching tippets).  She appointed Cynred as her Enforcer and presented him with her hockey stick-shaped scepter. An auction was held to raise money for the Jafar fund, including titles to kingdoms such as Thighmeris, Calonbeer, Diddle Kingdom, and Least Kingdom, “awards” to foist upon unsuspecting friends. A groveling contest was won by Lord Damien and his “friend”, Lord Kermit the Frog. Baroness Adrielle dressed up like Baron Menken.  In Septentrian court, Eoforwic presented their taxes—a complete set of histories, including the beginnings of volume 6.  Skeldergate’s histories were presented in a box crafted by Corwyn and Domnhail with portraits of group members and events in history painted on it.   Thomas the Inquisitive was presented with a Bear’s Heart for his work as a scout and webminister. The Cup of Teach Ceartha Mor was passed from Nicolae to Cynred. And Siglinde was the first to present her completed Fian project—a complete Viking ensemble, including bone comb and ear spoon.


It was known that in far-away California, the Imperium was meeting to discuss the kingdom bid of Ealdormere, and Viscountess Moria had traveled there to present the bid in person. All waited anxiously for news, and the hour grew later and later. At dinner, a message came through on Thomas’ cell phone regarding the Kingdom bid. Thomas handed the phone to Prince Gunther.   Gunther looked concerned, and everyone clung to the edge of their seats, until he hung up the phone and made the announcement “We’re a Kingdom!”  And the hall resounded with joy.


At Court that evening, Muirghein and Thomas received their Awards of Arms, Gwinhyfyr received a Bee, and Albrecht was made a member of the Order of the Cavendish Knot for his skills in rapier combat.  Prince Gunther and Princess Morgon also officially renamed the Order of St. Crispin back to the Order of the Peregrine.


With the future of Ealdormere now set, preparations were made for the first Crown Tourney, to be held on the fourth day of April in Ramshaven.  It was now known that Berus and Marion would reign as the last Prince and Princess of the Principality of Ealdormere, for in the coming October a new Kingdom would be born.  Eoforwic also took on two regalia projects for the Kingdom—cloaks and tabards, coordinated by Nicolaa, and kingdom banner, to be sewn by Ceridwyn.  The Ceremonies committee began meeting in person to draft ideas for the ceremony, in order to have a draft ready for review by the new Heirs, once they were determined.  Meanwhile, life in Eoforwic continued apace, with the now-annual Death by Chocolate party in mid-February.  This was, as always, coordinated by James Douglas.


In March, the Coronation bid committee continued to investigate potential sites, and now looked at the United Church cathedral on Church St.  For a brief time, the fighting practices moved to a warehouse close to Landsdowne subway station.  This was coordinated by Steve and Michelle, two newer members who were active only briefly.  Meanwhile, Gwendoline coordinated a team of Eoforwicians to finish Gunther and Morgon’s stepping-down garb.


The administrative acumen of Eoforwic continued to be noted by Ealdormere, as Viscount Moria, Principality seneschal, singled out Gunthar’s Domesday report:  “Not only was his one of the first Domesdays in this year, it was so complete and well put together that the Kingdom Seneschal has mentioned using it as a guide for all future reports.  If there were a prize for the best Domesday of the year, it would go to Lord Gunthar.  Well done.”


 Later that month, Berus and Marion were invested as Prince and Princess.  On that day, Nicolaa presented her challenge into the White Wolf Fian—a complete set of 13th century clothes, including shoes and a hairnet—and became the second member of that group.  At Court that day, Ysabeau was recognized with a Purple Fret for her work as Eoforwic’s seneschal.


Also, Baron Foote and Baroness Grainne heard from Spoon, who had gone missing at the Fall Investiture.  He had traveled very far indeed and had many exciting adventures. He sent a map of his travels


In April, the people of Ealdormere gathered in Bryniau Tywynogg for the grand tournament that would select those who would reign as the first King and Queen of a new kingdom.  King Palymar and Queen Aislinn presided, and thus Palymar fulfilled his promise from the beginning of his reign and completed the circle:  he who had brought the people of Ealdormere the news of the banishment of their very name would now witness the selection of the future rulers of the kingdom bearing that same name. Few from the other parts Middle Kingdom were in attendance, but Earl Brannos and Countess Rebekah, ever great friends of Ealdormere, were among them.


 Forty-three combatants entered the list that day, and Eoforwic and her neighbors were well-represented, with Zadok fighting for Gwendoline, Gunthar fighting for Nicolaa, Angus fighting for Ysabeau, Rhys fighting for Marian, Edouard fighting for Eanor, Cynred fighting for Gaerwen, Eoin fighting for Aibhilin, Zadok fighting for Gwendoline, Hereward fighting for Adrielle, and Nicolae fighting for Sybille.  A shield tree was set up so that observers could follow the tournament, and each fighter was provided with a wooden box emblazoned with his or her name and that of his or her consort.  The charge to the combatants was made by Lady Marian of Heatherdale, who sang her song “Bow to the Crown.” It was a most splendid tournament, and Eoforwic thrilled to see both Angus and Cynred advance to the final 8.  Cynred’s feat was particularly notable since he fought in the Saxon manner with a round shield and spear, and had been given little chance of advancing. This was particularly pleasing to those who had laid wagers in the betting booths—it had been determined by the tourney organizers that betting was a fine Norse tradition, and so odds were given on each combatant, and coin provided so that those so inclined could wager, with prizes available to those who won the most coin in the wagering or in the playing of games during the day.  In the finals, Earl Sir David Martin Failsworth, who fought for Viscountess Elina de Braose, met Baron Malik abd’al-Rahman, who fought for Baroness Genevieve Chastellain d’Anjou.  As he had many years before, Earl Sir David won the day, and just as he had sat the throne as first Prince of Ealdormere, he would now reign as first King.


When it came time to invest the new Heirs with symbols of their coming status—they were not yet Prince and Princess, as the Kingdom did not yet exist, and Berus and Marion yet held claim to those titles—King Palymar and Queen Aislinn placed upon David and Elina’s heads the “Ancient and Honourable” coronets of the Middle Kingdom, traditionally used to invest the new Crown Prince and Princess of the Middle Kingdom at the conclusion of Crown Tourney.  This was no mere loan—the coronets were indeed given over to Ealdormere as a gift from their Middle Kingdom parents.  Nor was this the only gift given that day. Pankratz donated a Key for the office of seneschal, and it was noted that it had no chain. King Palymar removed his Knight’s chain and gave it to Viscountess Moria so that she might wear the new symbol. Later, when Moria sought to return the loaned chain, Palymar told her to keep it. 


Also on that day one Einar Cruikshank was made a Baron of the Court, by petition of the people of Septentria.  They saw in the visage of Einar some semblance to Ieaun, who had laid aside his Coronet to go on Crusade the summer before, and so wrote the Crown to bestow this honour in remembrance of a beloved Baron.  This Palymar and Aislinn did.


Later that month, King Palymar and Queen Aislinn stepped down, and Kenna was crowned Queen Regnant of the Middle Kingdom.  In the same month, Thomas the Inquisitive authorized as a fighter, and also took on the office of Ealdormerian Scout Marshal.


Anno Societatis XXXIII

May saw the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Barony of Septentria, hosted by Eoforwic.  Much planning had gone into this day, ably coordinated by Cassandra.   Many faces not seen for years were seen again that day, including Alistair Kirk, who would once again become active and eventually serve a term as Lord Mayor before moving to Ben Dunfirth and taking on the office of Baron.  A history table contained many artifacts, including the complete Bayeaux Tapestry embroidery wrought by Baroness Kaffa showing the founding of Eoforwic and Septentria.  The embroidery was in two pieces—one owned by Duke Finnvarr, and one owned by Kaffa and Aedan, who had long since ceased to be seen in the Barony they once ruled.  Their Coronets were also shown on the table, and the Cauldron of Ceridwyn, which had once been Septentria’s highest honour.


A Laurel Prize Tourney also took place, coordinated by Nicolaa and Adeliz.  Many delightful things were shown:  Robyn Whistler’s rumble pots, Alyce’s Japanese armour, Streonwold’s Damascus blades, many wonderful items by Aurelia Gabriana, Edward the Red’s helm and coif;  Adeliz’ knitting, Ysabeau’s dog pin, Anastasia’s pewter, Marian’s song (Tristan and Isolde), and Gwendoline’s bobbin lace, and the Laurels were generous with praise and tokens to all who entered.


Arthur, the Sheriff of Eoforwic, coordinated an auction that day that raised over $300, allowing Nicolaa, the Mayor, to pledge the funds for acquisition of one of James Douglas’ famous Water Cows for the Commissariat at Pennsic.   Many wonderful things happened at Court that day. Accursius, a certain fighter and bard most known for a scurrilous song about Osis, was awarded Arms, but not before being sent to the stocks because of the scandalous nature of his tights.  Master Hector was inducted into the Red Company especially for his many years’ work in training fighters, and Eoforwic presented him with a cloak as token of his new status. This cloak was in fact a relic from the famous Althing event many years before, newly charged with the badge of the Red Company, and Hector, being a patron of historians and a lover of history, was well pleased. When Baroness Adrielle held Baronial Court, Thomas passed on the armring gifted to him the summer before to Geoffrey, and Ysabeau presented an armring to Anastasia, who had made the pewter site tokens for the event.  Finally, Baroness Adrielle called forth the people of Eoforwic, and inducted the Royal City into the Order of the Bear’s Heart for their many years of support to Septentria.


That month also saw the arrival of a famous ship in Eoforwic’s harbour.  The Matthew was a masted ship that had plied the waters of the northern Atlantic and recreated a famous voyage.  Many took the opportunity to visit, and agents of the Mayor were able to ensure that the ship was added to the roster of the navy of the Royal City.  Also, Thomas took on the office Pursuivant when Eanor stepped down.


At Gathering of the Clans in Ben Dunfirth, a nefarious plot was uncovered.  It had long been remarked that Tarketai had a brother, Katsu, who greatly resembled him.  This Lord Katsu now came forward claiming that HE was the true baron, even though it was fairly clear that he was Evil. An Iron Mask was said to be involved.  Murmurs of revolt circulated, and all wondered about the security of Ealdormere.  Indeed, at Pikeman’s Pleasure, an arrow was found on the archery range marked “Kingdom of Ealdormere.”  This greatly puzzled Prince Berus and Princess Marion, since they knew of no “Kingdom” of Ealdormere, only the Principality they ruled.  Could treason be afoot?  Nonetheless, business continued as usual.  Geoffrey was Awarded Arms at Pikeman’s Pleasure, and in Baronial Court, Nicolaa (in her capacity as Mayor) presented Adrielle with the Key to the Royal City.  Also that day, Rhys was appointed by Adrielle as Champion of Septentria, and gifted with a collar of state.


Alas, the turmoil raised its head again at Murder Melee, when the captured pretender to the thrones of Ben Dunfirth was presented to the Prince and Princess, and consigned to wear the Iron Mask.  But the pretender somehow escaped. The Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth, somewhat rattled, called forward Septentria to receive the prize for winning the archery tourney.  The prize was an arrow—identical to that found on the range at Pikeman’s Pleasure, marked “Kingdom of Ealdormere.” Clearly, something was afoot.  At the same event, the Ealdormere Academy of Defence was endowed, and Alistair, who had only been once again seen in the Society for a month, authorized as a fencer.  Also, Eoin was appointed Principality archery champion. And Duchess Caitlin extended her hospitality to all of Ealdormere, cooking a special dinner for all those attending.


After the success of Septentrian 20th, however, Eoforwic began a troublesome period in its history.   For some time, Thomas and Muirghein had impressed many by their tireless service; indeed, in this month, Muirghein took on the office of Baronial Chatelaine.  She now held the position of both Baronial and canton Chatelaine, as well as Chronicler, while Thomas held the office of Eoforwic Pursuivant and Ealdormere Scout Marshal.  Muirghein had strong views on how to recruit and retain newcomers, and took to dressing down those who preferred other methods.  Meanwhile, Thomas had struck up a friendship with many of the fighters of House Hrogn, who were currently involved in a not-so-friendly rivalry with House de Taahe. Many of the de Taahe fighters, including Rhys, Hereward, and Edouard, had stopped coming to Eoforwic’s fighter practices and started attending those of Ardchreag, which had an excellent winter fighting site. It was voiced privately that another reason might have been the presence of Thomas, who was acting as if there were a vendetta against the Hrogn almost everywhere.  During this period in Eoforwic’s history, it was a constant source of frustration to Angus, the long-time Marshal of Eoforwic, and other non-affiliated Eoforwic fighters that new fighters would come to Eoforwic and learn the basics, only to be “snapped up” by either de Taahe or the Hrogn.   During one meeting, Gunthar made a joke about “yet another fighter being snapped up by a household” while running the meeting, only to be publicly berated by Thomas as being anti-Hrogn.  (In fact, the fighter in question had joined de Taahe.)  From this point forward, Thomas and Muirghein’s service looked less and less constructive and more and more contentious, to the detriment of the City.


Meanwhile, talk of treason and revolt continued to circulate when yet another arrow was found on the archery field at Ealdormere War Practice.  Berus and Marion presided over the Principality Moot. Behind their thrones, unseen by them but seen by the audience, David and Elina stole closer, hiding behind the archery butts when Berus turned around to check what all the giggling was about.  Later that month, Gaerwen won the archery tourney at Monadh War Practice, where a baffling piece of cloth was found.  It seemed to be a piece of a larger banner or map, and contained the legend “ELO” and the image of a hare.  What could this mean?


The talk of treason and revolt were only cover for the real business of preparing for the creation of the Kingdom, now set for October 24 in Ben Dunfirth (Eoforwic’s bid had not been successful; it was never quite possible to work out the logistics in a pleasing manner with a site within the Royal City).  After the yearly Forward Into The Past collegium in Bryniau Tywynogg, discussions were held with the populace and the Peerage orders about the future, including what sorts of awards would be presented in the new Kingdom.  Work continued on the Coronation ceremony, as the committee worked to revise it to meet the desires of the Heirs, finishing it in early August.


Also in July, Perceval and James Douglass traveled to Trimaris for a time to work.  Eanor gave birth to a daughter, which she and Edouard christened Heloise.  Eoforwic also was asked to present a demo at the Ontario Renaissance Fair.  Arts and Sciences and rapier fighting were demonstrated, and the organizers were greatly pleased.


At the 27th Pennsic War, Berus and Marion camped by Middle Kingdom Royal, standing by the Dragon as a Principality for the last time.  Meanwhile, the Heirs camped in the traditional Ealdormere camp down the hill.  Eoforwic this year did not have their own camp, but chose to camp with Ealdormere.  James Douglas indeed made it a popular camp by installing hot showers.  He also completed Eoforwic’s Water Cow, which Nicolaa christened with a bell before sending it on its way onto the fields of Pennsic.


It was a tumultuous Pennsic, as rumours of revolt continued to swirl. Baron Foote was found with another of the mysterious pieces of cloth, which now looked more and more like a map of some sort.  Berus and Marion, hearing rumours of traitors, raided the camp where spies told them they were to be found…but found only David and Elina alone with some of their retainers.  The next day, the Iron Mask of the pretender Baron of Ben Dunfirth appeared on the throne of the Princess.  Hoping to use it to his advantage, Berus put it on another spy, and asked him to sneak in amongst the rebels (with whom the pretender Baron had apparently been consorting.)  The spy returned with a list of names, which Berus asked him to read aloud—but the list was inadvertently set on fire when the spy held it too close to the torch he was using to read it. 

During Court, another piece of the map was found—it had been being used as a dishrag in the Skraeling Althing camp.  Having had enough, Berus and Marion called forward David and Elina, and charged them to find the rebels and bring them forward at the Prince’s Birthday Party—on October 24.


Queen Kenna had christened Middle Kingdom Royal “Club Jafar” in the memory of her lord, and decorated it with flocks of pink flamingoes, her own personal symbol, resolving to celebrate Jafar’s life. The people of the Known World responded with great joy and enthusiasm, and the Known World Party that year, hosted at Middle Kingdom Royal, has entered legend.


At this Pennsic, Brand Thorwaldsson was elevated to the Order of the Pelican for his service as a Herald, in Middle Kingdom Court, which was conducted in the style of the Middle East, with carpets and cushions upon the dais.  His was the last Peerage bestowed by the Middle Kingdom upon an Ealdormerian.   Anastasia and Eoforwic also received a great honour when Anastasia’s “Lil of London” column was judged to be the best in all of the Middle Kingdom, and she was bestowed with an Augustine Prize.


Ealdormere’s fame in the bardic arts grew much this year.  Master Hector took Marian and Gaerred Galbraith to visit the camp of the Great Dark Horde.  There camped Master Ioseph of Locksley, a bard of great fame, and Marian and Gaerred performed for him and his Horde brothers.  A great bardic circle was held this year on the final Saturday at the Ealdormere camp, with the final song being “Home,” one of Hector’s newer songs.  Eoforwic also extended hospitality to Septentria (and all others who would join) by providing the refreshments for a party after Septentrian Court, which Monadh cheerfully agreed to host on short notice when Eoforwic was told the party was not wanted in the Ealdormerian camp. (It should be noted that this was apparently the decision of a certain lady who shall remain nameless, and not reflective on the hospitality of the Ealdormerian encampment as a whole.)


The Middle Kingdom was joined by many allies at this War; they had been moved by the bravery of Queen Kenna, and the memory of Jafar.  Kenna had authorized to fight so that she could lead her forces in person upon the field, and the Middle Kingdom’s numbers told the tale.  The victory was marred on the final day of battle, when the King of the East and his forces abruptly left the field.   Master Hector provides the following account of what happened:


With regard to Kenna's Pennsic and the debacle of the last battle, the way I heard the tale (and I bet there is no firm version of the truth at this stage), the sticking point was the bridge battle on the second-last day of fighting. If the centre point of a bridge was being contested at the end of the battle, the rules stated that a hold would be called at the end of the battle and all within nine feet (one spear's length) on either side of the centre of the bridge would be asked to fight it out; all others were not required. It seems the time ran out, the cannon sounded and the marshals went forward to determine who would be asked to stay on the centre bridge (the only bridge still being contested) and fight it out. At this stage something happened; perhaps extra Midrealmers were counted into the eighteen-foot zone, perhaps some Easterners stepped away at the end of a long battle and weren't counted. Anyway, there were great concerns about the fair and chivalrous application of the rules. Queen Kenna became involved in the discussions, which already included King Timothy of the East. As Kenna was a newly authorized fighter and not very knowledgeable about the application of such rules, her Chivalry and Royal Peerage sprang to her defence with great passion. Passionate argument after a long battle in armour on a sunny August day is not a good thing. The dispute escalated, unfortunate words were exchanged and people began to get angry. Sometime in this argument, Duke Dag and an Eastern Duke (I cannot remember which one for sure) disagreed with each other so vehemently that they immediately donned armour, stepped away from the bridge and had a vigorous, personal passage of arms. This solved nothing, of course, and made some of the debaters even more frustrated.


A temporary solution was worked out and the bridge was fought to its conclusion but I believe the East left the field thinking they had been cheated.


The next day there were two battles scheduled. We all fought the first one (I think a mountain pass) and it was a splendid fight. During and/or immediately after the fight the East deliberated and came to the conclusion that their foe was unchivalrous and therefore they would not cross swords with them again. The East and most of its allies formed column and marched off the field before the eyes of the Middle and its allies (including Ealdormere) who were awaiting the signal to form up for the final battle of the War. The East's column ended up at Eastrealm Royal camp where the Eastern populace enthusiastically endorsed their Crown's decision. Many swore fealty to the eastern Crown on the spot as token of support.


The only major Eastern ally that didn't leave the field was Ansteorra. After the East's column had cleared the field, the King of Ansteorra sent a messenger to the Queen of the Middle saying that he and his people had come to the field to fight and would hold their side of that field against all the Middle if need be, but the resulting battle would be brief and not very satisfying for either side. Perhaps the Crowns of the Known World could even the sides and allow the battle to commence in a more sporting manner? A hasty redistribution of allies took place and a splendid battle resulted, thanks to the King of Ansteorra's principles. All participants in that last battle were saddened, however, by the lack of so many Eastern friends and opponents. A pall hung over the War and there was much confusion. The scheduled closing ceremonies for Pennsic didn't happen; there was no thought that the East and its allies would leave their camps and the Midrealm just wandered off. Prince Berus and Princess Marion held court on the battlefield to mark Ealdormere's last day as a martial vassal of the Middle and Queen Kenna joined them to thank Ealdormere and its people for their service, at that war and in the years past. She then looked around, saw no other official acts taking place and used Ealdormere court to declare the War over.


This was a very hard day. Many Easterners (and squires of Eastern Chivalry, especially those squires resident in other Kingdoms) had their fealty tested sorely when ordered to leave the field with a foe awaiting their charge. In my opinion both sides were wrong and both sides acted with chivalry and sadness in their hearts. The saddest part of the whole argument was that the honour of Jafar was one of the factors in the argument, cited by both sides. I knew him well enough to say without hesitation that Jafar would have been appalled to have his name and honour used as a crowbar to pry apart a scheduled battle by honourable opponents.


That very day, people started talking about placing far more emphasis on fun and chivalry at Pennsic and far less on the final score (and the egos and personal interests of the Royalty). Indeed, the following War had no "War Points" and no "winner" or "loser", specifically as a response to this abortive last battle.


Master Hector penned the following poem just after these fateful events:


Queen Gabrielle's Lament
(15 August, A.S. XXXIII, at Pennsic XXVII)

Brother bound to brother, bonds near breaking,
Fealty's true test so proudly tried.
The swords we sheathed swing sadly in the scabbards
The day no war was done, but something died.

I cannot hear glad crashing in our column,
Instead I hear bold battle far behind;
Is joy behind us, or just sad confusion?
I see our sadness: can they see my mind?

'Twas yesterday that tested each side's honour.
Today we two decided to decide
And now we stand within our crowded courtyard,
For fealty's first-fruits herein abide.

The standing stone bids no one strike in anger,
The standing stone lets no one lie in pain;
Beneath the hill-brow none can read the runestone.
Which side was right? What sage could e'er explain?

The cold winds of September will come swiftly.
The legends may lose what we sought to find.
Our choice has chased one brother from another;
I fear our fate, for this tale is not kind.
Oh I fear, for this tale is not kind.



After returning from Pennsic, the citizens of Eoforwic gathered to elect a new Mayor and Sheriff.  The decision had been made to delay the installation of the new Mayor and Sheriff until Market Day, which was scheduled for October, so that Nicolaa would be able to preside at a Market Day, as was customary.   Elections had previously drawn as many as forty people.  This year, only ten brought forward credentials and proxies.  Perhaps it was that all were preoccupied with the future of Ealdormere, now in her last month as a Principality, but in hindsight it was a sign of the troubles that Eoforwic now faced.   Albrecht emerged as the victor in the race for Mayor, and Anastasia as the Sheriff.


As it fell, Lady Mayor’s Market Day was the final event in the Principality of Ealdormere.  Nicolaa, as Mayor, had found a hall used by the veterans of wars abroad that would work for an intimate event such as Market Day, and had organized the day’s activities.  But many more attended than were originally expected, since many formalities needed to be observed in the final Principality Court.   On that day did Cynred’s challenge into the White Bear Fian succeed.


Albrecht was installed as the new Mayor, and presented a sword to the Prince and Princess.  The sword was found to have “Property of the Kingdom of Ealdormere’ and “Made in Septentria” on it.  Baroness Adrielle claimed no knowledge.   Foote staggered in with numerous arrows sticking out of his body, claiming that the rebels had given him yet another arrow marked “Kingdom of Ealdormere”, another bit of the map, and a wooden box that the Prince and Princess had to sign for.  They did so, still puzzled.


In the final Court of Berus and Marion, each Principality order was recognized when its last recipient was called, and then dissolved. The decision had been made that new awards and Orders would be created by the new Kingdom, and so all of the Principality Orders would be forever closed.  Amongst these, Gunthar was inducted into the Order of the Bee for his work as seneschal, and became the last to be added to that Order. Berus and Marion became the last members of the Friendship of the Trillium when Lord Cerdic, the Trillium Herald, convened a special Regency Court to bestow that honour. Berus and Marion then released all of their retainers by giving them “pink slips.”  Finally, they bestowed six rings, each inscribed “B&M the end of the beginning,” and wrought by Mistress Breanaidh to six who had been instrumental in the long history of Ealdormere up until that moment:  Finnvarr. Ragni. Sylard. Moria. Caitlin. Hector.  Ragni bestowed her ring on another who had also played a significant role, and Marion, hearing the tale, had her quietly presented with another.  Some of these rings were later passed to others.  Only one task remained, and it would wait for one more week.


On the twenty-fourth day of October, in the thirty-fourth year of the Society, people traveled from many, many miles to help celebrate a birthday. And indeed, Their Majesties Dag and Elayna had just wished Prince Berus a happy birthday and made to close Court, when a booming voice form the back of the hall shouted “Hold!”


In marched David and Elina. “We have business,” continued David.  With them was the Lawspeaker carrying a banner with the full achievement of arms of Ealdormere—not the Principality of Ealdormere, but the Kingdom, charged with the motto “Stabimus, Vincemus, Consurgemus.”


Dag greeted them courteously. “What would you have of Us?” “We come to claim that which is ours,” said David.  Elina continued, “by the laws of the Society and declaration of the people…” David finished the thought. “We would lead Ealdormere hence, as a Laurel Kingdom in its own right.”


Princess Marion arose, and spoke vehemently.  “You! All along we suspected, but now you admit it!”  The guards of the Middle Kingdom and the Prince began to reach for their weapons as she continued, “ For many months we have heard tales of a Kingdom of Ealdormere, but none would confess to being the source of the sedition. Now rebellion gains a face and treason a name.”  She indicated a pile of arrows and pieces of a map. “We have collected much of your property this summer; these have appeared at each event we have attended within our lands. Take back your goods.”


Berus stood up and moved towards David. “You stand before the Crown of the Middle! We hold these lands by Their right!” David moved to meet his challenge, but Elina cried “ Hold! If you would fight, have you no better foe than each other, than ourselves? We would protect these lands; we would serve these people, as you have done. We would take your place over these lands, but we would have the freedom to act and no liege to swear to.”


Dag’s face was grim. “This is a bold claim, and its consequences grave,” he said.  “Sir David, you are a member of Our Chivalry. Do you hold your fealty so cheap?” “On the contrary, Your Majesty,” replied David,  “my fealty is mine to hold; I believe it should be held in its proper place, in Ealdormere.”


Dag paused for a moment, then spoke. “Know you this: you will prove this claim before Us. Now, Lord Dragon, assemble my counselors learned in the law.” 


The Dragon Herald then called forth the Curia of the Middle Kingdom, and the King told Baron Aaron, the seneschal of the Middle Kingdom, “We are confronted with an astounding claim, and must needs find if it be just or no.”  Baron Aaron looked puzzled. “This is most perplexing, and in all perplexing matters it is prudent to define the problem.  He asked David and Elina, “Excellencies, do you dispute Their Draconian Majesties' right to sit the Dragon Throne?”  “No; never,” replied David.  “Do you dispute the right of Their Majesties' Heirs to assume the Dragon Thrones when fate shall take Their Majesties from us (may that day never come)?” asked Baron Aaron.  “We do not challenge their line,” replied Elina.


After a moment, the Seneschal’s face lit up. “Aha!” said he,  “High King and Queen, this is a case of secession. While rare, this is not unheard of in the laws of the land. There is an ancient precedent, when Chepe of the Line of Ternon, who was second son of Your Majesty's famed ancestor Hugo, did lead the people of Calontir to secede from the Middle.”  The Queen was perplexed and asked what that meant.  Aaron explained.  “Within the laws of Your Majesty's lands there is a recognized precedent for such a claim as put forth by Their Excellencies. Should Your Majesties find the claim is upheld by the facts attested to by witnesses, the claim must be honoured and a new Kingdom will be seen this day. Should the case be NOT proven, Your Majesty's justice will provide the outcome.”


The king looked at David and Elina for a long moment, and then said, “Such are the stakes in the game you have chosen, Your Excellencies.  Herald, summon the Chivalry of all lands. “

When the Chivalry had assembled, the King continued. “Sir David, as your claim must be judged, We are pleased to seek the counsel of your Peers. As a courtesy, We would receive counsel from Peers of your own Order. Good Sirs, We charge you to stand and be vigilant, and be true champions of the right. We would see justice upheld in this place.”


Princess Marion was in a state of great consternation. “Are we forsworn?” she cried. “If David and Elina are rightful King and Queen here, has our loyalty been misdirected?”  But Berus reassured her. “No! We have been true to Dag and Elayna as we were to Kenna before them. We will ever be true. As law may dictate, so shall we be guided. At day's end we shall serve the true King and Queen over Ealdormere. Let us trust in the wisdom of these counselors, as they have trusted in us.”


King Dag then asked David and Elina to summon their witnesses and to make their case. David turned to the audience. “Who shall uphold our claim?” said he.  “Who shall speak for the Northlands?”


Duke Finnvarr de Taahe came forward.  Beside him, carrying the banner of Eoforwic, walked Albrecht Stampher, tenth Lord Mayor of the Royal City. “I am the first witness,” said Finnvarr, “for mine was the first voice heard in Ealdormere, so many years ago. When I came to this place, there was but ignorance and savagery. On the beaches of the Inland Sea I raised the Laurel standard and gathered around me the first people of Eoforwic. From that hamlet we gazed outwards and saw promise. From the mists of Rising Waters to the beloved shires north of Skraeling Althing, that promise today is fulfilled. In the name of the Royal City that flourishes by the Inland Sea, we stand with Ealdormere.”   


After Finnvarr had retired and the banner moved to the side, Baroness Adrielle came forward, accompanied by the banner of Septentria. “Once my fief was all the lands that Duke Finnvarr found. The land grew and the people stood apart, in strength and pride. The spirit remains the same, wonder and joy, accomplishment and understanding.” She paused only a second. “I stand for the people of Septentria. As Aeden and Kaffa's daughter, the past and present speak for the future. We stand with Ealdormere.”


Then came forward Baron Erec and Baroness Xristina of Skraeling Althing, who said, “As Her Excellency Septentria says, so says Skraeling Althing, the ancient land where the Northern dawn begins.” Baron Malik and Baroness Genevieve added,  “So also says Rising Waters, vanguard of the North against all the Southron.”  Baron Vali and Baroness Ragnheithr continued, “So also says Ramshaven, bold in battle and defiant in peace,” and finally, Baron Tarketai said “So also says Ben Dunfirth, the citadel of our freedom this day.,” before descending from the dais to stand with the other baronies and their banners. Baroness Thyra added  “We stand with our friends from across the North and together...” and all the Barons and Baronesses, past and present, said “We stand with Ealdormere.”  Not forgotten were the Shires of Ealdormere, who processed with their own banner. Mistress Ragni, Seneschal of Flaming Skies, said, “Like Their Excellencies, we of the Shires have held lands in direct service to the Crown. That service shall not change; today the Crown shall.”  The seneschals of all the shires then added, “We stand with Ealdormere.”


“Your will is clear, said the Queen. “We would not have those bound to Us in service whose hearts lead them elsewhere.” “ We would deal justly with the desires of Our Barons and Baronesses,” added the King.  Then the Dragon Herald addressed them. “Well does the Crown appreciate the strength of the Baronies and Shires of this land. Your Baronies are the great stones that anchor a Kingdom, your Shires the keystones. Your people are the mortar that gives a Kingdom form and substance. Your Excellencies are architects of greatness. Their Majesties here thank you for your service and charge you to continue in this glad duty, as you have done until now. Will you do this?”  And all replied, “We will, upon our honour.”  “Then, as you have done in Their Majesties' name and service, you are charged to continue offering your service where your hearts shall lead you.”


The King and Queen held wide their arms. “We here release the Baronies and Shires of Ealdormere from their ties with Us. We here release the Barons and Baronesses of Ealdormere from their fealty to Us. We return to them their homage,” said Dag. “The land is free, under the stewardship of people of wisdom and good faith, added Elayna. “We are content.”  Then the Barons and Baronesses removed their coronets and moved, along with the banner, to the side of the hall.


 Then came forth the Prince’s Council. Mistress Moria, Seneschal of Ealdormere, said, “The rule of the land is based on the rule of law. By law and custom, the claim of David and Elina is just and unassailable.” “In peace and war, with wisdom and toil, we shall strive to serve our true King and Queen,” added Sergeant Konrad, the Earl Marshal of Ealdormere. Finally, Lord Aidan, the Chronicler of Ealdormere, said “We have heard the people in Canton and Shire. We have read their words and seen their devotion. At all levels, in all measures of service, whither they lead we follow.” Then all the Great Officers said, “We stand with Ealdormere.”


So Dag and Elayna released the Great Officers, and the Dragon Herald said,  “By Their Majesties' command, those here assembled are no longer numbered among the Regional deputies in service to Their Majesties' Great Officers of State.  Further, the record of this court will show that all the officers of the Middle Kingdom active within Their Majesties' Principality of Ealdormere have left the service of this Kingdom and of the Dragon Throne. This have they freely asked of the Crown; this do Their Majesties freely allow. The Chronicler of the Middle Kingdom shall strike their names from the rolls of Their Majesties' servants published in the Seneschallorum of this Kingdom. Having said this, Their Majesties charge you to hold yourselves in readiness, should your rightful Crown call upon you.” “We will, upon our honour,” said the officers.  The King then thanked them and all the officers who had served in Ealdormere over the years, and the Great Officers moved to the rear of the dais.


Next came the Royal Peers who dwelt in Ealdormere, accompanied by banners signifying the Royal coronets and the Order of the Rose.  “Their Majesties greet with love Their cousins,” said the Dragon Herald. “You have heard the claim of the pretender, Earl Failsworth, and the heartfelt counsel given by His Grace your cousin and by the landed Barony and officers of these lands. How say you in this matter?”


Duchess Caitlin addressed the King and Queen. “Your Majesties, fate gives the Royal Peers of our lands months in which their voices ring forth and years after to listen. Over many years we have heard the whispers of the few become the shouts of many. Today we hear the anthems of a Kingdom. We cannot shut our ears to the will of the people.” “We stand with Ealdormere,” said the Royal Peers in unison.


And Lord Dragon addressed them. “On this day of days the Crown, the Royal Family and this Kingdom owe Your Graces and Your Excellencies thanks for deeds past and services rendered for the good of all. Through your efforts across Our Society, all here have come to this moment. Such is your legacy, and Their Majesties' Kingdom shall not forget. Your place in the history of the Middle Kingdom is secure. You, the Duchy, County, Viscounty and the Ladies of the Rose, have been the pillars of Their Majesties' Kingdom; you shall be the foundation of your rightful Crown hereafter.”  And as they had before, the King and Queen held wide their hands and released them from their oaths of fealty to the Middle, and gave them leave to depart.


The Barons and Baronesses of Court were the next to appear, like the other groups accompanied by a banner. The Queen addressed them.  “Your Excellencies of Our Court, you are the epitome of grace, of courtly bearing and of nobility. Speak to Us of how your conscience guides you.”  Baroness Tamarra Amalthea de Romany spoke.  “Your Majesties, on behalf of Their Excellencies here assembled, I would hope to speak truly and with honour. We have served the Crown; we ever serve the people the Crown represents. Today and hereafter that Crown is David, Elina and their line.” “We stand with Ealdormere,” said those assembled.

The Dragon Herald addressed them. “The silver coronet of your station stands for excellence. For excellence of word and deed and heart were you elevated to this station. On this day of days Their Majesties charge you be faithful to your standard of excellence in manner, in dress, in deportment and in service which the Dragon Throne was pleased to recognize.” “Will you do this for us?” asked the King.  “We will, upon our honour,” said the Barons and Baronesses of Court.  “Then Our legacy is assured. Know that you are ever welcome in Our court hereafter,” said the Queen, giving them leave to depart.


The Peaceful Orders were next to appear, accompanied by banners emblazoned with the badges of the Laurel and Pelican. “ Good Masters and Mistresses of the Arts, the Sciences and of Service to all, as your Patroness We address you,” said Queen Elayna.  “You have heard the claim of Their Excellencies. As Peers of Our Realm, what say you?”  Baroness Tsivia spoke for the Laurels. “We are sworn to create, to craft and thus to serve. The labours of our hands and the wiles of our wits are the people's to call upon first, last and ever. We hear them; we heed them.”  Baroness Fiona spoke for the Pelicans. “ We are sworn to serve, and our wise counsel is the Crown's to call upon. You have called; hear us. Hear the people who are our life-blood and our cause. Like our brothers and sisters of the Laurel, we hear them; we heed them.” “We stand with Ealdormere,” said the members of both Orders together.


“So be it,” said the Queen. “ The arts and sciences are the epitome of truth, and We will not question the devotion or honour of the service of those gathered here. We are your Patroness; We abide by your will.”  Then the Dragon Herald spoke. “Gentle Masters and Mistresses, you have been the artists and artisans of beauty and function in Their Majesties' lands. You have laboured long and hard for the good of all. Today, as before, the Crown thanks you for that service. As days pass and other faces may gaze down upon your councils, Their Majesties charge you to be steadfast in your purpose and joyful in your process.”  Then, as they had before, the King and Queen released those Laurels and Pelicans who were bound to them in fealty by throwing wide their hands, and gave them gentle parting words. 


King Dag then summoned the Knights of Ealdormere. When they had gathered, bearing a banner, the Dragon Herald asked whether they were bound to Their Majesties in fealty and homage. “By oath and honour, I am,” they replied. “My Lords,” said the King, “rank upon rank your neighbours have chosen a path true to their hearts. What say you to the justice of this claim?”  Sir Mordain Blackcloak spoke. “King Dag, as good Knights and true we are sworn to defend the right. This we shall defend today. The ancient claim of rightful secession is upheld in this place by David and Elina, whose claim we support and whose right we shall uphold, now and ever. We stand by them.”  “We stand with Ealdormere,” said the Chivalry. And the King bade them return to their seats amongst the Chivalry of the Known World.


At last, Queen Elayna turned to the populace. Some thousand people had come to see this moment. “People of Ealdormere, you have heard the hearts and minds of your Nobles, but they serve you. We ask you now, good people of the North, where do you stand? “  The voice was thunderous. “We stand with Ealdormere.”  And all stood. And the Queen said, “Never will it be said that the Middle held any against their will.” She bade the Dragon Herald to release the populace from fealty, and he said,  “Their Majesties charge all those citizens of Their beloved Principality of Ealdormere who still are in fealty to the Crown of the Middle Kingdom to stand at this time.”  And all sat down.  Only Lord Justinian Clarus remained standing, as Dag and Elayna had not yet been to Ealdormere during their reign. So the Dragon Herald asked Justinian to place his hands together before him, and then the King and Queen held their arms apart, releasing him from fealty.


To the sound of drums, Thorgrim, Khagan of the Rozakii, and a representative of the Khan of the Great Dark Horde also came forward with banners and stated “We stand with Ealdormere.” Their banners were placed alongside all those that had come before.


Now, the Kings of AEthelmearc and Meridies also stood to pledge their friendship and say “We stand with Ealdormere.  Ambassadors from many lands, including the West, East, An Tir, and Calontir came forth as well and stated “We stand with Ealdormere.” And their banners joined the others.


At last, the King turned to the Prince and Princess. “Your Highnesses,” he said,  “this land was granted to you in fief, and We would defend your rights in it. We would hear your counsel in this matter.” “Indeed, Your people have made their will clear to Us,” added the Queen. “What say you?”


The Prince and Princess looked at each other, eyes shining, and Marion said, “All the world shall remember this day. When the tales are told, let it be said that the Prince and Princess of the North were loyal to the right above all else.”  Then they stood, removed their coronets, and lay them on their thrones.  Behind them, the banner of the Principality was furled. “ What claim have we beyond the people's claim?” asked Prince Berus.  “We ask Your Majesties what further service you would have of us.” 


“Kneel before Us, then, said the King.  “In recognition of service receive your due, and hear Our will.” Lord Dragon continued, “Since the days of the Princes of Calontir, it has been the custom that the Princes and Princesses of the Principalities of the Middle shall serve Their lands as law allows, and thereafter shall join the Viscounty. A Viscount and a Viscountess are persons of great worth, having given much to their Principality and its people. Their wisdom shall be at their Sovereign's call; their experience shall support the land they led. Henceforth they shall be called "Your Excellency" or "My Lord Viscount" or "My Lady Viscountess". They shall be known by their coronets of silver, embattled, and by their Achievements of Arms which may display a Dragon as a supporter.” And the King placed a coronet of embattled silver on the head of Berus, while the Queen did likewise to Marion. “Your Excellencies,” said the Dragon Herald, “it is the custom of this Kingdom that newly-made Royal Peers are offered the opportunity to swear fealty to the Crown. In the fullness of time, will you so swear?”  “Yes,” said the newly-recognized Viscount and Viscountess. 


 King Dag bade them to rise, and said, “By Our hands you are Viscount and Viscountess of Ealdormere, as is just; and with that act We end your line. The Middle Kingdom shall no more have cause to make a Prince in Ealdormere. My Lord Seneschal, mark Our will and record it for all time. My Lord Dragon, as of this day We elevate the Coronets of Northshield, heirs of the line of Daffydd and Gwynyth, to the station of second Princes of the Middle Kingdom, junior in this land only to Ourselves and Our Heir. Let all know Our will in this matter throughout the Middle Kingdom.”  


“Our oaths are echoes,” said Berus. “ The sovereignty of the Prince and Princess of a Principality called Ealdormere is done. The last are finished; the first await their destiny.” “ One chapter is closed; another begins,” added Marion.  “Let us take our place. Farewell, Dag and Elayna, Crown of the Middle. Our service to you is done; our service to the North begins anew.”  And Berus handed the Sword of State to David, and Marion handed the Calontir mace to Elina, and then turned to face the dais, saying together,  “We stand with Ealdormere.” The Queen gave them leave to depart.


“All that remains,” said the Queen,  “ is to hear the counsel of Sir David's Peers. Earl Marshal, what counsel do you give us this day?”  Sir Miles, the Earl Marshal of the Middle, asked the other knights to assemble, and briefly debated the matter. “Your Majesties,” he said,  “the evidence is vast, and the support Sir David and his Lady hold is unshakable. The law must side with the claim, as it did side with Chepe's claim so many years ago. Such is our counsel.” “We have heard the will of the people,” said King Dag, “and the Law is clear.”  He asked the Dragon Herald to call the Knights of Ealdormere, and drew out Oathbinder, the Sword of State of the Middle Kingdom. 


“This is the storied blade with which We, and many of you, were dubbed Knight,” said Dag to the assembled Chivalry. “Ours is the Crown whose line did accept your fealty and homage. One last time, brothers of the Chivalry of Ealdormere, join with Us in the rites of Our Order. We shall not require you to repeat the oath you have sworn, time and again, to Our Crown and Our Line. One last time We charge you be good Knights and true, reverent and generous, shields of the weak, obedient to your Liege-Lord, foremost in battle, courteous at all times, champions of the right and the good. With those words ringing in your ears and burning in your hearts, We release you from your fealty to Us and Our Line. We return to you your homage.”  “You have Our leave to depart,” added the Queen. “Beloved Knights, We shall miss you. Farewell.”


David then addressed his brother knights. “My friends and brothers in arms, attend your Crown now. In the names of the Order we are sworn to, and the people that Order serves, bear witness to great deeds.”  And the knights moved to the side of the dais.  King Dag then thanked the Chivalry of the Known World, and gave them leave to depart.


King Dag addressed his herald. “Master Dmitri, Let Us proceed with the making of a King and Queen. Baron Aaron, let your records mark this day as the second lawful secession in the history of the mighty Middle Kingdom.”


“A King and Queen have been made this day, before the eyes of all,” stated David. “What remains is the bestowing of the outward and visible signs of the spirit these good people harbour.” And then Elina asked that the Crowns of the North be brought forward, and Lord Thevenin, who had wrought them, brought them forth, and placed them in the hands of the King and Queen of the Middle.


“The time has come for you to take your rightful place and to assume the mantle of duty,” said the Queen to Elina. “The Crown is more than the circlet you bear, or this circlet in Our hands. It is the legacy of victory and the hope of the people it serves.”  The King directed his words to David. “Well have you spoken, Earl David. We release you from your Fealty. Your destiny is your own. Your people have created you a King, so We shall not. However, let Us remind you that as they have created you, so it is that your service is now to them.” 


Behind David and Elina, their retainers furled their personal banners, and the Chivalry, Great Offices, and Landed Barony who had stayed to witness the deed knelt.


David took the Crown from King Dag and crowned himself.


And all the banners dipped as the Landed Barons once again took up their Coronets of State.

”First needful deeds must be done, then needful words may be said,” said David, in the first moments, King of Ealdormere, but the deed not yet complete. The Kingdom would not exist until a Queen was crowned.  Queen Elayna handed him the Queen’s Crown. 


Elina knelt, and as David placed the Crown on her head, the banner of the Kingdom of Ealdormere was raised high on the dais, even higher than the banner of the Middle, which had so recently held rightful precedence, because in the place of the second-born Principality of the Middle Kingdom now stood the sixteenth sovereign Kingdom of the Known world.


And thus began the first Court of David and Elina, Rex et Regina Ealdormeris.  The Seneschal of Ealdormere and the Trillium Herald assumed their rightful places on the dais, as the Seneschal of the Middle and the Dragon Herald retired.


King David and Queen Elina knelt, the Sword of State between them, and swore an oath.

“This land to love.
Each gift to give.
Wise ways to cherish.
High trust to hold.

One rule of law.
Crown's to command it,
Law-made, law-making:
Trust taken freely.

Long line to enter,
Days due for glory.
New reign well numbered.
Our oath now bound.”

“We kneel this last time, before all Our people,” said King David, “and then We shall kneel no more.” “ As your King and Queen,” continued Elina as she and David stood, David holding high the sword of state, “We stand with Ealdormere.”


And the hall rang with the sounds of voices and bells.


The Thrones of the Kingdom were brought forth.  The Seneschal and the Trillium Herald stood in front of the thrones, blocking the way. “My Lord and my Lady,” said King David, “We would open Our first court, for We have a duty to perform and business to do. Accept from Our hands the warrants that empower you.” And the King and Queen handed the Seneschal and theTrillium Herald their warrants, thus creating the first Officers of the Kingdom, and they moved to their accustomed places after pledging their service. And Lord Cerdic. Trillium Herald, did say, “Here opens the court of David and Elina, lawful Monarchs over the Laurel Kingdom of Ealdormere. Their Majesties bid all seek what comfort they may.”


“The proper rites and rituals are accomplished, said the King. “The land has a new Queen to inspire her and a new King to lead her.”   “Let Us proceed with the business at hand,” said the Queen. “Let Us bind Ourselves to the land and the land to Us.”

And the Trillium Herald called forward the landed Barons and Baronesses, and together they swore an oath: “I here swear fealty and homage to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received, to be Your vassal.. I shall hold Your Barony in fief until the Crown releases me from this oath. I shall strive to ensure that the barony’s people prosper and its riches increase. I shall lead it in honour and shall bestow honour as is meet.”

And King David and Queen Elina replied,
”Your words We hear; their worth We know.
Your house We guard; your name We honour.
Your pledge We hold and with pride accept.
Your Sovereigns We stand and with grace will govern.”


The King and Queen then invited the Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth , in whose lands they currently sojourned, to join them on the dais, and gave the other Barons and Baronesses leave to depart.  Their banners followed them.


Next, Their Majesties summoned the Chivalry, who together swore their time-honoured oath: “ I here swear fealty and do homage to the Crown of Ealdormere, to ever be a good Knight and true, reverent and generous, shield of the weak, obedient to my liege-lord, foremost in battle, courteous at all times, champion of the right and the good. Thus swear I.”  And King David and Queen Elina returned their oath with the same words they had first said to the Barons and Baronesses, and gave the Knights leave to depart, and with them went their banner.


The Trillium Herald bade the Laurels who wished to swear fealty to come forward, and this was their oath: “ I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. The labours of my hands and the delight of my heart I pledge to the benefit of our Kingdom. May my word be true and my counsel wise. May Crown and people find me faithful to the ideals of this order. This do I swear.”  And King David and Queen Elina answered with their customary words, and gave the Laurels leave to depart, and with them their banner.


The Order of the Pelican was called forward next, and those who wished to swear fealty made an oath: “I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. The fruit of my labours and the joy of service I pledge to the benefit of our Kingdom. May my word be true and my counsel wise. May Crown and people find me faithful to the ideals of this order. This do I swear.” And the King and Queen answered with their customary words and then gave the Pelicans leave to depart, and with them their banner.


The Great Officers were the next to swear, and a bound copy of the Laws of Ealdormere was brought forward, and they touched it as they swore:  “I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, to sit among Your high counselors. I shall serve You with diligence, offering wisdom without reservation and truth without fear. I shall instruct my deputies as law requires and shall discharge my duties as best I can, for the good of Crown and Kingdom. Thus swear I.”  And after the customary response, Queen Elina asked the Exchequer and Chronicler to sit in Parliament on benches at the front of the dais, and gave the other officers leave to depart.


The Royal Peers were called forth, and swore: “I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. As I have been served, so may I serve. As I have held trust, may I be trusted. As I hold great station, may I be held in high regard by Crown and people, for good cause and in service of the great endeavour of Ealdormere. This is my oath.”  And after the customary response, the King asked the Royal Peers to also join him in Parliament.  Their banners were placed behind the benches.


Next, the Crown called the Barons and Baronesses of Court and declared they were welcome in their Court.  They then addressed those who wished to swear fealty, and gave the others leave to depart.  Those who remained swore this oath: “I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. By my honour as a Courtier I shall bring grace to every table I share and honour to every hall I enter. As I have been honoured, let me bring honour to others by word and deed, for the greater glory of Crown and Kingdom. Thus swear I.” And after the customary words, they, too, were given leave to depart, and with them their banner.


Their Majesties summoned next Mistress Etaoin, the Lawspeaker of the Kingdom “Gentle Mistress,” asked Lord Trillium. “ you have served this land and Their Majesty's line as Lawspeaker. Would you continue in this office, in service to Crown and people?” “I would and I will,” answered Mistress Etaoin. “This pleases Us well,” said the Queen. Lord Trillium continued. “ Their Majesties charge you to continue as you have begun. Let your sword be reason. Let your shield be the law. Let your words be the clarion of honour and the right. Their Majesties ask you now to sit among Their counselors in Parliament, continuing in your duties, with Their thanks and those of all the people of Ealdormere.”  And Etaoin took her place in Parliament.


Finally, the people came forth to pledge their fealty—first, the Great Houses, and then those not so affiliated. Nearly half of those in attendance came forward to swear, and they filled the aisles to the back of the hall.  Here was the oath of the people: I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, my lawful monarchs. As the Crown may lead, may I follow. As the Crown may call, may I answer. As the Crown sets the example, may I act. May I strive and seek, learn and excel, for the good of all and for the glory of Ealdormere. Thus swear I.”  And the King and Queen once again responded,
”Your words We hear; their worth We know.
Your house We guard; your name We honour.
Your pledge We hold and with pride accept.
Your Sovereigns We stand and with grace will govern.”

And Elina addressed them, saying, “Good Our people, yours is the most precious gift of all. We give you leave to depart, sure in the knowledge that should We call, you will answer Us.”  And the people returned to their seats.


King David then gestured to the benches at the front, and said, “Gentle friends, before you is assembled Our first Parliament, with representatives of the Estates of Our Kingdom, and all Our noble cousins of the Royal Peerage, in their various degrees. With the privilege of sitting in Our councils come the responsibilities of honest counsel and true relay of the concerns of the land, from Crown to people and from people to Crown.”  “May Our deliberations be wise; may Our acts thereafter uphold the right and strengthen the Northlands,” added the Queen.


“Your Majesties,” said the Trillium Herald,  “now that Your first order of business is completed and Your Parliament sits, I have a duty to perform. It is the law of the land and the requirement of Corpora that the laws of this Kingdom be read into the record, as Your Majesties' Seneschal has advised me.”  King David then charged him to commence this duty, and Lord Cerdic read the first law:

ARTICLE I - Preamble and General Provisions
I-100 All subjects and guests to the Kingdom of Ealdormere are bound by the Revised Statutes of Canada and Ontario, the By-laws and Corpora of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Inc., decisions of the Board of Directors and the Laws of Ealdormere.

I-200 The Sovereign and Consort are the premier peers of Ealdormere and, as such, are bound by the laws that follow, as surely as Their subjects are bound by them.


“Truly this is a goodly law,” said Queen Elina,  “and We are certain other laws may be just as goodly. However, it does not please Us to see all present seated in this hall throughout the recitation of this goodly law's siblings. In other quarters We would have read into the record the wisdom of Our counselors learned in law.” “We are indeed so minded,” added the King, “unless Our people would tarry here throughout all the recitation?”


The response of the crowd made it clear that the King and Queen had made a wise decision. “So be it,” said King David.  “To assist in this endeavour, We require the services of Our cousins the Duchy, County and Viscounty of Ealdormere.” They turned to their parliament. “Beloved and trusty cousins, We would ask a great service of you,” said the King. The Queen continued. “On this day of days there is much to be done, and We would accomplish more if We had other sets of ears to hear and other sets of hands to act. All of you have presided over courts; will you be Our hands and ears in a court this day?”  “We will, upon our honour,” said the Royal Peers.  The King and Queen then empowered them to hold a  Regency Court and to take turns in reading out the laws.


This settled, King David and Queen Elina greeted their Royal Cousins in attendance and received embassies, and shared bread and salt with the Great Households of the Great Dark Horde and the Rozakii.  Many gifts were given, among them a crossbow of marvelous design from their sister kingdom of Calontir and a gem of great size from the Hordesmen.


After all the guests had been greeted and gifts exchanged, King David said, “Much business has been done, and the time for all to revel, to tourney and to feast draws nigh.” “Are all needful words said? Are all needful deeds done?” asked the Queen, and the Lawspeaker stepped forward.

“One thing remains, High King and Queen,” said Mistress Etaoin.
”Let all know my rede, by my word and by the trust I hold from Crown and people both.
In the eyes of law and custom, what has been done is done.
In the eyes of great and common, what has been done is done.
In the annals of our land, what has been done is done, and done well.
May our true King reign forever!
May our true Queen ever sit by his side!
Waeshael David!
Waeshael Elina!
Waeshael Ealdormere!”


The Trillium Herald then began the words needed to suspend Court and commanded the people to rise, when a voice from the back of the hall shouted “Hold!”


It was Duke Talymar, along with Baron Frederic and and Baroness Tamarra.  A pledge made long ago by Duchess Eislinn of blessed memory was to be fulfilled. When Duchess Eislinn lay dying, she gave her ring to her husband,  and had him pledge to place it on the finger of the first Queen of Ealdormere. Duke Talymar had given this ring to Frederic and Tamarra for safekeeping.  The hall fell silent, as Duke Talymar placed the ring on Elina’s finger.  And tears filled the eyes of the Queen—and not a few others.


And so ended the morning’s business, as Their Majesties led the grand procession from the hall, followed by their Royal Cousins, the Parliament, and the Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth, along with all their banners.  At last, the Banner of the Kingdom of Ealdormere stood alone on the dais.

It was a great and glorious day of celebration, unlike any other, with some thousand people in attendance.  The Middle Kingdom presented the new Kingdom of Ealdormere with a generous gift of nearly $10,000 to ensure its prosperity.  It had been noted by many that in latter years, the Middle Kingdom had grown closer to its Principality, with the Kings and Queens of the Middle no longer in attendance only at Coronet Tourneys or Investitures, but at other events as well. The bitterness of the past was largely now a part of history.


 The Coronation ceremony had lasted just an hour and a half, leaving much time for visiting and tourneying.   Many from Eoforwic had contributed to the day.  Ceridwyn had painted the banner borne in with David and Elina.  Hector had written much of the ceremony, and Nicolaa had spent the ceremony at the back of the hall, orchestrating each procession.   She had also sewn new cloaks for the King and Queen, and Ysabeau had made enameled clasps for the cloaks. Eve had helped sew some of the banners of the various Orders, and Geoffrey and Raimon had made banner poles.


A history display was coordinated by Tsivia, who had written a history of Ealdormere and raised many funds for the kingdom thereby.   Visitors from the Middle Kingdom had brought along the Great Boke of Ceremonies of the Middle Kingdom, which included the work of Robert of Two Cliffs and other Ealdormerians. The first Coronets of Ealdormere were displayed, as was the One True Sword of Brusten de Bearsul—that weapon which had thrown the first blow in Eoforwic many years before.  An old banner and propaganda flyer from PACE was even displayed on the table.  


Marian of Heatherdale had laboured for many months to write a song appropriate for this day.  She had decided to tell the history of Ealdormere in song and verse, and so created an epic in the tradition of the bards of old, reading the histories of Eoforwic and Ealdormere, and drawing on the bardic tradition as it was handed down.  In the evening, in the midst of the feast, she was raised high on a table, and a hush shivered through the quiet as her voice soared.  The song ended as she described the events of that morning:


In song-softened silence the populace stood

And the will of the land intoned

Sweet was the harvest that grew from the past

When the seeds of the future were sown

Soft was the shining of Ealdormere’s eyes

Who had gathered to witness a birth

Bright was the legacy’s circle that passed

From the first to the last to the first


And so the day ended, and the future began.




Anno Societatis XXIII

Here begins the tale of Eoforwic, Royal City of the Kingdom of Ealdormere. 


As days grew colder, winds of change blew in Eoforwic and Septentria.  Baroness Adrielle announced her plans to step down from the thrones of Septentria, and the search began for her successors.   Gunthar’s term as Seneschal of Eoforwic drew to a close, and he passed the office on to Eve, while Magdalena took over from Eve as Exchequer.  Albrecht played his prize at Feast of the Hare and became a Free Scholar in the Ealdormere Academy of Defence.  And Geoffrey and Nicolaa were amongst the first members of the Yeomen of the Wolf, the Ealdormerian company of Archers.


The second Crown Tourney for the Kingdom of Ealdormere was held in conjunction with the Arts and Sciences fair.  The finals of the tourney were contested between Osis Jarl, fighting for Duchess Caitlin, and Earl Edouard Beausoliel, fighting for Countess Eanor. Osis was victorious, but the tourney laid bare some of the enmity between certain members of Houses Hrogn and de Taahe.  The Arts and Sciences Fair attracted many entrants under the new rules, which allowed artisans to select a level—novice, intermediate, or advanced—with face-to-face judging at all levels.  Lady Gwendoline beat out a strong field of entrants, including Dom Nicolae, with her entries, which included a stunning Elizabethan down and an example of Hebrew illumination


In December, the candidates for Baron and Baroness of Septentria were announced, and the polling began.  Those who put their names forward were Sybille and Nicolae, Berus and Marion, Gaerwen and Cynred, Cassandra and Hector, Marian and Rhys, and Eduoard and Eanor.  Eoforwic said goodbye once again to Hydro of the North, who this time deployed to Bosnia, promising (of course) to claim some water for the Royal City.


At Wassail, Heithr was made a member of the Order of the Laurel, and so became the first Peer created in the new Kingdom. The Order of the Laurel also began a new tradition, inspired by the hereditary Knight’s Chain passed on to each new Knight in Ealdormere. Together they raised money to create a ring of gold,  which Mistress Breannaidh designed and wrought.  Inside was inscribed the phrase “scientia consiliumque”, Latin for “knowledge and good counsel.”  Each existing member of the Order wore the ring for a short time before it was passed to Heithr, and all were given the opportunity to purchase their own copy of the ring in silver.


In January, Sylard and Mortraeth were made the first Baron and Baroness of the Court by King David and Queen Elina.  Also, the first set of names proposed for the Ealdormere awards were announced. 


At Septentrian Twelfth Night, Foote and Grainne reigned as King and Queen of Fools, and entered the hall, wearing the Royal Cloaks, announced as “The Royal Utensils” and “The Silverware of the North.”   Much merriment ensued, especially when they presented a package of ladies’ underclothes to Hector to send in a care package to Lord Hydro, who had been again sent on short notice to the tumultuous land of Bosnia (with strict instructions NOT to claim it for Ealdormere).  Once again, crowns to many kingdoms, such as Aethelmart, Can o’ Beer, and Yeast Kingdom (with accompanying “get out of second field battle free” card, in a reference to the events of the past summer’s Pennsic) were auctioned to the highest bidder, and soon the event teemed with Foolish Royalty.  Yet more turmoil ensued when it was discovered that a certain Peasant Army was about and assassinations were occurring at an alarming rate.


 In Septentrian Court, Gaerwen, who had spent most of the day dressed as Alistair Kirk, was given a Bear’s Heart.  The Cup of Teach Ceartha Mor was given to Sylard and Mortraeth. At the end of Court came the announcement many had been waiting for:  Adrielle’s successors to the honour of Septentria.  Eoforwic heard with great joy that their new Baroness would be one of their own, for Cynred and Gaerwen had been chosen to lead Septentria.  It was also at this event that Hector took Zahra as a protégé and Gaerred as an apprentice.


In February, Adrielle bid adieu as Baroness of Septentria and exchanged her gold coronet for one of silver. She was grated an augmentation of arms by David and Elina for her long labours.   Cynred and Gaerwen were invested as Baron and Baroness of Septentria by David and Elina.  Also was Nicolae given the Award of Merit for the Arts and Sciences (later called Orion) for his skills in costume, and Angus became the premier for the Award of Merit for Martial Activities, later called the Scarlet Banner.  And Viscount Edward the Red was given the accolade of knighthood, becoming the first Knight made by the new Kingdom.  Later that month, Viscountess AElflaeda became the first Pelican recognized by Ealdormere.


Adrielle’s Adieu also marked Nicolaa’s farewell to Ealdormere.  After many long years, her doctoral studies were drawing to a close, and she was moving south to be near her mother, who was ill and bedridden.  In Adrielle’s last court, she took off the ring she had worn to inspire her in her studies and passed it on to Zahra, who was assuming the position of Chronicler of Septentria, to likewise inspire her.  Adrielle gifted Nicolaa with one of the pewter bears like those on her coronet as a personal token.


Nicolaa’s final days in Eoforwic were marred by controversy. Lady Muirghein had disregarded the wishes of the group concerning the publication of the Eoforing, filling it with content taken from various discussion forums without obtaining the proper permissions.  Every month she tried to outdo herself in the length of the newsletter, and as result, began to run a deficit.  When she came to the group to ask for reimbursement, she was turned down, and later quit the post in protest.  It was now obvious that Eoforwic’s health as a viable group was not good, and every week, fewer and fewer people were seen in the meeting hall.   Matters were not helped when Nicolaa and Gunthar left the City in early March. I traveled south with them, to ensure that their library was maintained in a proper fashion, and did make several journeys to a fabled merchant near to the site of Pennsic to procure the proper shelves.


In April, at the Coronation of Osis and Caitlin, Moria stepped down as Kingdom Seneschal, and Adrielle took her place. The second Coronation in the Kingdom of Ealdormere was not quite such a milestone as the first, but was not without drama, as Osis and Caitlin planned to model their reign around the theme of the Knights of King Arthur.  David and Elina retired after a successful first reign.


Anno Societatis XXXIV

In early May was held the third Crown Tournament, in which Viscount Killdare, fighting for his lady Josephine, bested Roak.  Osis and Caitlin made Etaoin and Phadraig Court Barons, and Zahra received the Award of Merit for Service.  It was also in this month that Sylard became Lawspeaker of Ealdormere.  Nicolaa prepared to return to Ealdormere later that month to defend her doctoral thesis. Far to the South, she attended an event in the Oaken region known as Baron Wars. There she saw King Osis and several other Ealdormerians, and was reminded of the home she had left.  It was the next day, after returning to her father’s home, that she received a message from Duchess Lisa Dolorosa, who knew she had only recently left Ealdormere, telling her the news of a tragic accident which had felled Ealdormere’s king and a gentle lady who had traveled with him.  Fortune’s wheel had once again turned.


Here ends this sixth chronicle of Eoforwic.  Seven is a more auspicious number, being the number of Virtues and many other sacred things.  The first Chronicle of Eoforwic is the Chronicle of Faith, with the birth of a new group.  The second Chronicle is that of Fortitude, as Eoforwic grew in strength.  The third, that of Prudence, as wise counsel led to a bright future. The fourth, that of Temperance, as Eoforwic came of age. The fifth, that of Charity, as Eoforwic’s generosity bore fruit.  This sixth corresponds to that of Justice, ever a difficult virtue, but realized in the birth of a Kingdom, even as Eoforwic, the birthplace of Ealdormere, suffered losses of many kinds amongst the great joy.  The seventh virtue is Hope, and so it must be that Eoforwic shall complete the cycle and be reborn.


Aumaricus de Hinton hoc scripsit.

Justitia resurgam.


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