The Great Chronicle of Eoforwic has in the past been written by numerous scribes: The first being Etienne de L'Isle, the second being William of Roncesvalles, the third being Hyrcanos ben Jacob of Oporto, the fourth being Magnus of Iona. As that fourth account ends with the Accession of David and Tangwystl to the Dragon Thrones of the Middle and the final court of Baron Aedan and Baroness Caffa of Septentria, it is mete that this fifth book begin herein.
The deeds related in this chronicle are of the good people of Eoforwic, whose Lord Mayors have long been patrons of learning. And thus they did ask the Abbot at Blackfriars whether he knew of any man who could continue the chronicle in a style appropriate to the dignity of the City. And Father Simon said he knew of no man (for they were much busy with the preaching of a Crusade) and thus the task fell to me, Susanna Leycestrensis, a sister in the house of St. Brand, inside the Wall. I pray that God may deem me worthy of this task and inspire my words. For I well know the generosity of the people of Eoforwic whose walls have sheltered me well these years. I pray that St. Catherine guide my hand, Bede the Venerable my Mind, and St. Nicholas my heart, that this Chronicle might prove satisfactory to the townsfolk. And may this chronicle be a fitting tribute to the Patron of my House and of the City, whose many miracles have given testament to his most saintly character and most exalted position in the heavenly Order of Precedence. And let the reader forgive me if I err in my task, or do not give glory where it be due.
Where my memory has failed me, I have used the accounts of others: the Eoforwic broadsheets of Rigunth af Bern, Austrechild von Mondsee, Ines de Freytis, and James Douglas; the Septentrian broadsheets of Nicolaa de Bracton and Leonora da Lilliaceae, the intelligence gathering of Eoin o Beirne, and the wartime chronicles of Hector of the Black Height. For events at which I have not been present, I have relied on the reports of many untold citizens, as well as on gossip overheard on the Rialto and the Middlebridge.
This chronicle is dedicated to Gunthar Wallenstein, Third Lord Mayor of Eoforwic, and to the many cats who have kept me company in my cell, most particularly the chubby tortoiseshell named Caelin, who is oft nearby when she hears me sit down to compose.
At this time, the Principality of Ealdormere had reached its first birthday under its own Prince and Princess. The Trillium Thrones were then occupied by Osis of the Livery, about who it was often said that his name was an impediment to knighthood though his fighting skills were none, and his Princess Ragnheithr, called Heithr by all. King David and Queen Tangwystl, well beloved of the people of Ealdormere, sat upon the Dragon Thrones, the first from the North to do so since Hugo and Caitlin ten years before; and Prince Comar and Princess Lisa were the Heirs.
In Eoforwic, Sigridr Rognvaldsdottir was seneschal. And Edward Ungearu was marshal, and Lino da Napoli was Pursuivant. And the Mistress of Arts and Sciences was Anthea Lovatte, and the Exchequer was Stephan Alexander, the Chatelaine was Catriona Gower of York. And Rigunth aus Bern was chronicler. Gunnar of Lund was Dance Master, but he was better known as Lord Mayor, and the City sheriff was Luanmaise.
And Eoforwic was indeed a large city, with nearly one hundred members on the rolls, and fifty or more at the weekly gatherings. But once Eoforwic had held sway over all of the Northlands now called Ealdormere. Aedan and Caffa, Baron and Baroness of Septentria, had ruled one of the largest and most prosperous baronies in the Known World from Eoforwic, and great had been the fame of this canton for excellence in fighting, the arts, and service. But now Aedan and Caffa grew tired, and announced that they would retire from their duties. One by one, many of the names that had made Eoforwic great had moved away from the City, and many of those who had once been amongst its most active citizens were seen less and less. In the interim, both Septentria and Ealdormere had grown, giving birth to new towns full of fire and enthusiasm (often with the help of former Eoforwic members). Beside this young ardor, Eoforwic seemed moribund in comparison. Though individuals of the City continued to excel, they seldom carried the name of Eoforwic abroad as once they had. Sad it would be if this chronicle must needs tell of decline and dotage, but, mirabile dictu , that did not occur. This is a tale of rebirth, revival, and rebuilding, of new blood that rose to stand alongside long-term members long lost in the shuffle of famous names. This is the tale of a new civic spirit, and of the people who created it.
The Fifth Chronicle of Eoforwic
Hic incipit chronica quinta Eboracensis
June AS XXVI
It had been decided that the citizens of Eoforwic would gather together to commemorate the Crusades. As the City had recently played host to Baronial Twelfth Night, the festivities were to be laid back, and Elena da Valencia, the steward for the gathering, had not planned to hold a feast. But when no other event could be found in which to hold the Baronial Investiture, just two months before the event was to take place, Elena was notified that her small event would now attract many powerful nobles. Since the King and Queen and many dignitaries from around the Kingdom would be in attendance, hospitality must needs be extended. After many a frantic moment, Ancarett Nankivellis helped her obtain the services of the household cooks and servers attached to the scholars of Victoria College, as well as the use of their feasting hall, though at a dear price.
On the eighth day of June, a hot and humid, but sunny day, the canton and barony assembled in the City Square for their annual gathering. Merchants were abundant and attracted the eager eye of the Queen, who was well known for her fondness for browsing. At the gate was Carolyn of Amberhall, keeping a watchful eye on the troll table, as she had many times in the past. Elena had sent Rigunth aus Bern on a quest to unearth relics of many Saints in hopes that they might bring prosperity to the City, and she had found many wondrous things, which were to be found on display at a special table. Others, hoping to win a contest, had also brought relics, including a very large and very heavy strawberry said to be mystically connected with the Blessed St. Aedan. Sigridr had unearthed a tunic connected with this same Saint and was busily giving scraps of it to the faithful for small donations. Master Sylard bought the largest piece, which contained the embroidery wrought by the hand of the Blessed Mother of Septentria, and still wears it for luck to this day. A certain Brother Thomas made his first appearance, replacing the ill Brother Stephen at the last moment.
After the tournament, a melee team battle won by the "Templars", Aedan and Caffa held their last court on the steps of the City Square. Many from all around were in attendance and many eyes were tearful. The Cauldron of Ceridwyn, which for many years had been a most powerful symbol of Septentria and which was currently held by Master Frederic L'Avare, was retired forever. Mistress Rhiannon, for years the personal bard to Their Excellencies and Septentria, also resigned her post.
At this event was House Eagleshaven formally dissolved by Sylard. Most of its members had scattered far from Eoforwic, including Sylard himself, now dwelling in the vicinity of those lands now called Monadh.
That evening, Cordigan D'Arnot and Diane D'Arnot were invested as the new Baron and Baroness of Septentria. Though many were indeed saddened at the retirement of Aedan and Caffa, hopes were high for their successors. As members of the House Faringold, notorious for their love for ale, sheep, and good stick-bashing, they had a reputation as fun and easygoing people. Septentria was at this time a thriving barony, and its cantons were Eoforwic, Vest Yorvik, Petrea Thule, Skeldergate, Bryniau Tywynogg, der Welfengau, Afon Araf, Flaming Sky, and Nova Trinovantia. There was little to indicate that change would soon come. The new Baronial couple presented the seneschals of each group with new breeding stock--sheep, to replace the traditional cattle. The hall rang with bleating.
Grimwulf was presented with a holy grail ("not necessarily the holy grail", in the words of she who had found it) for sporting the best ecclesiastical robes, and one Bozena's relic of Milk of the Virgin Mary was judged to far outrank other relics there for view.
Gunthar Waldstadt (or Wallenstein) received his Award of Arms, as did Lino da Napoli and Catriona Gower of York. Aelfwine the Wanderer was presented with the Award of the Purple Fret for his behind-the-scenes service, and Bronwyn Meredith, recently retired Seneschal of Septentria, was likewise rewarded. Anthea Lovatte was inducted into the Order of the Willow for her costuming. And Aedan and Caffa, who had earlier taken off their Baronial coronets, received new ones, for now they were recognized as Barons of Court.
The rest of the month was unremarkable in comparison. Murder Melee was hot and humid, and may griped about the new site. Unfortunately, the old location had been taken over by Scots to play their horrid game involving tiny balls and club-like implements of wood and iron. Septentrians remember this one as the year the Rozakii told them they were too loud.
July AS XXVI
As preparations were underway for the campaigns into Pennsia, life in Eoforwic drifted along as the citizens rested from the previous month's excitement. Lord Mayor Gunnar, heretofore a relative nonentity in his office, came forth with his most generous offer to hire and pay for wagons to get the poorer citizens of Eoforwic to Pennsia, and to assemble cooks to help all who needed it. Also, there were many sheep jokes. The Eoforing printed a recipe for Sheep Dip, which went as follows:
3 barrells Sour Creme
4 busells Onyons
Place ingredients into large tub. Beat until mixture is creamy and stops bleating. Serves one village.
On the thirteenth day, Hector of the Black Height and Madinia O'Tuatail were married. It is sometimes said that this marriage was merely a Royal Whim by Tangwystl, who was Princess when the engagement was announced, and indeed, Hector himself is not loath to spread the story. He was currently Kingdom Bard, so the story was spread quite far. Tai Chin Wu caught the garter at the reception, which made many wonder.
The next week saw the wedding of Gunthar Wallenstein and Rigunth aus Bern. Many were astonished at this, since Rigunth had only come to Eoforwic some ten months earlier, but few were unhappy. Gunthar had earlier caused quite a ruckus in the streets of Eoforwic. This was the fault of one Wulf Borisson. The wedding was held in the chapel of the Hart House, and a great feast occurred thereafter on the large island that can be seen from the harbour. Many citizens of Eoforwic were there. It had been nearly ten years to the day since Duke Finnvarr de Taahe had wed Lady Ragni in the same location and journeyed to the same island for the wedding feast, as the Duke himself noted.
Also, Eadweard Ungearu left Eoforwic for the land of An Tir. Aelfwine the Wanderer succeeded him as Marshal. Around this time was Raffe Scholemaystre first seen in Eoforwic.
August AS XXVI
Many were the folk of Eoforwic who did follow their King to southern lands to meet the Eastern Host. Far fewer would they have been had it not been for the great generosity of the Lord Mayor. Eoforwic that year camped in the traditional Septentrian lands, though a few of its citizens camped across the lake by the swamp. And though the deeds that were done that year were glorious, with King David leading the Middle to a stunning victory; and though good times were held by all, the heart of Eoforwic was sad. Where were the fireside stories of yore, the gladsome conviviality of Tarver's tent, which now stood empty? Where were the eager ranks of untested fighters standing side by side with wise veterans, all ready to prove their mettle? Where, indeed, were all the things for which Septentria had long shone forth? It was in gazing upon this state of affairs that a new spirit arose from the ashes of Saturday night's campfire. Members of long standing and newer folk both pledged themselves to Eoforwic, making a pact that by the next summer's campaigns they would take their place in the shield wall. This pact would have great consequence in the future.
The campaigns of this year were not without their scenes of merriment. Grimwulf at one point was dragged before the assembled Royalty of twelve kingdoms and accused of poaching the King's deer. Greatly confused were the monarchs at this charge; one of them suggested that the accused write a poem to extricate himself --which all agreed would punish all but the criminal himself. It was left to Queen Tangwystl to take vengeance with her crossbow. At another occasion, Cospatric and Jamie were making the rounds trying to find Kings to cure their scrofula. In this year the camp of the Southwark Trayn'd Bands was established upon the lake in Pennsia, and oft did the bandsmen disport themselves in pike drill. It has been told in another chronicle of the creation of UMRA, and many members of that sect did camp with the Bands. In future years, many of these folk were seen amongst Society folk only at Pennsic, though as time passed, the group, renamed the Tabard Inn Society, did host many pleasing revels and fairs, and the earlier nastiness was mostly forgotten.
The Masked Ball that year celebrated the twentieth year of the great summer campaigns, and attendees were encouraged to come in the guise of the famous nobles of the past; indeed, Aethelwold borrowed coronet, houppelande and the famed Ducal Umbrella of Pennsic IV and portrayed Duke Sir Finnvarr. At the Ball, he not only met his consort, Duchess Caellyn, but also the real duchess--disguised as Jarl Sir Reynard. And finally, in sight of the populace was Sarra Graham elevated to the Order of the Laurel for her calligraphy, and here also were Frederic and Tamarra made Barons of the Court for their great and long service.
It was here that the sanctity of the Blessed Brand was made manifest, as attests one of the many Vitae Sanctis Brandis, by the pen of one Magnus: It was in the midst of the week when the venerable Brand sat on humility on the stairs of the bath-house in the Debatable Lands, and as he sat, passers-by did wonder as to his doings, for the night had fallen, and yet there was light about the venerable Brand in the depth of night, and as the night went on the light came to have a greater rosy blush from the venerable Brand's visage, and this was the first marvel. And many were the people who came to the bath-house for various purposes, and each was confronted by one of the venerable Brand's disciples, who did show them the value of a good coat of mail--yea, even the Steward of the Imperium and grumpy knights and small children whose fathers might require mail, but none girt in towels and bearing tooth-brushes did choose to trek to the market and buy mail wrought by the venerable Brand, and this was the second marvel, that Brand's humility did so affect these passers-by that none could be persuaded to buy mail and end Brand's poverty and humility. And finally, the venerable Brand did bid his two disciples depart, with many words of increasing harshness, and his disciples were so drawn by the saintliness of this man that they would not retire despite the venerable Brand's entreaties, and this was the third marvel, and thus was he recognized a Saint by Master Ricard of Sable Tree, who stood in the shadows and wondered. And thus, St. Brand came to his patronage of mail. His aid is often also sought in the retrieval of lost objects, and it is said that he also looks kindly on wayward women. His cult has ever had many followers in Eoforwic.
September AS XXVI
In this month Roak of the Rozakii won the coronet of Ealdormere for his lady, Tarkwyn of Balanjar. Some people complained loudly that it was not right for a mercenary to reign as Prince (though indeed the Rozakii had personally served as Prince David's guard at Ealdormere's first Pennsic), but others pointed out that Roak was a man possessed with a great sense of honour and chivalry on the field and would ornament the Coronet, and that the ways of the East and the steppes were misunderstood (for the Rozakii were of Khazaria, a most fascinating kingdom indeed). On that day Aelfwine the Wanderer received his second Purple Fret in four months, Ceallach received a Bear's Heart, and Gwynfyr and Cospatric were granted Bear's Claws.
It was also about this time that Murphy the Sheep reappeared.
As was customary, the citizens of Eoforwic gathered this month in the Guild Hall to conduct their annual elections. For Mayor, three candidates stepped forth: Gunthar Wallenstein, who had lost the previous year's election on a coin toss, but now thought perhaps his marriage demonstrated his maturity; Fear Dubh, bassoonmeister of the Town, and Joleicia, Babe of Ealdormere (though an obvious Vest Yorvik plant). For sheriff, three candidates stepped forward: Guillaume di San Marino; a recent immigrant to the town by the name of Edward (later surnamed Beausoliel), and one "Gustavus Mercenarius", a candidate cloaked in mystery who refused to reveal his identity unless elected. While Gunthar was the runaway victor in the mayoral race, the contest for sheriff was not decided until the final few votes, when it was discovered that the Citizens had been consumed by curiosity and elected the aforementioned Gustavus, who was revealed to be Guynedd Morgant o Cawtref Mawr, Guillaume’s lady. While these two were at the resident in Vest Yorvik and many thought they smelt a fishy plot, the couple eventually called themselves members of Eoforwic.
October AS XXVI
In this month Rigunth af Bern incepted as a master at the great University in the town, and Ancarett Nankivellis gained the title of Doctor. Ancarett was apace married to one once called Belisarius, and she left Eoforwic to teach at a university north of Flaming Sky, close by the nickel mines. In lands far away, King David went away on Crusade, and Queen Tangwystl retired to a nunnery, leaving the Kingdom in the hands of Comar and Lisa. All remember their reign as one blessed with chivalry and grace, but after that time Countess Tangwystl was seldom seen in Ealdormere, on account that she and David had parted ways, and there was much sadness felt in this by many folk. Also in that month, Ronin of House Darkmoon won the right to lead the forces of the Middle the next time a campaign might prove necessary, and to have at his side Katya of Shadowed Stars.
Also in this month several citizens traveled to the lands known as Flaming Skies, for Duke Finnvarr had recently become a professor at a university hard by, and with his wife Ragni and Gavin, his son, had found lodgings there. Indeed, they comprised a veritable duchy, attested to by the many strawberry leaves found covering the ground where his warhorses were wont to roam. And the people of Flaming Skies were found to be full of hospitality, and once again the ancient game of Blind Man's Samurai was again played as in days of old.
November AS XXVI
It was about this time that Aethelwold Mierca was abducted on the way to Timbuctou by strange one-legged beings with no heads and faces in their chests. He was at the time looking for Prester John, and his story was related in the Eoforing by his brother Aethelstan, who looked so much like him that he was forever after addressed as "Aethel-whatsit".
This month in the canton of Drachenfaust, Richard Larmer was ennobled, and Duke Finnvarr awarded a Dragon's Heart. And at that court was Frederic L'Avare elevated into the Order of the Pelican, for his long service at all levels, from Eoforwic all the way up to the Society as a whole. Likewise raised to the rank of Companion of the Pelican were Ricard of Sabletree, who was the first seneschal of Ealdormere, and Henry of Linlithgow, known in Eoforwic as the Vipper Baron for his many nefarious plots and designs on more territory for his Barony of Skraeling Althing.
It was also in this month that Grimwulf first proposed the idea of an Eoforwic Militia, to be paid in beer.
December AS XXVI
Lord Mayor Gunthar was discovered to have an evil twin by the name of Otto who could be recognized by his ability to dominate Guild meetings and his great fear of the word "potato". The real Gunthar did commission a new banner for the city, which was hand embroidered in silk and wool. It was also about this time that Sigridr put forth her idea to have a great Althing the summer next, in the manner of her kin of Iceland. And all thought that this was a Good Thing indeed, though many of those who hailed from cultures where the Renaissance had reached were initially skeptical, but even they were eventually won over.
January AS XXVI
In this month, Baron Cordigan and Baroness Diane held court in Skeldergate, the college formed just a year before on the grounds of that universitas called York, where once had stood Noerlandia. It was there that Gunnar Halfdan of Lund, backed by a retinue he did not even realize he had (including both the Lord Mayor and the Baron), was presented with a splendid cloak of red, incrusted with jewels, by Sigridr Rognvaldsdottir. It had long been Gunnar's practice to go about in cold weather with his legs shamelessly uncovered, and Sigridr feared that this might corrupt some of the unmarried young women of the City. Thus was Gunnar bested in his own game of Viking Gift Warfare. At this event also was Catriona Gower of York presented with a Bear's Claw for her contributions of cover art to the Baronial Broadsheet.
Februarius AS XXVI
In this month a thing happened which shocked many of Eoforwic and Septentria. Long had the population of Septentria grown, and the number of her cantons ever increased, such that it was no longer possible for the Baron and Baroness to regularly travel thorough the Barony and to know all of their people. And so, at the behest of the Kingdom, Cordigan and Diane resolved to divide Septentria into two baronies: one in the west and one in the east. This caused many bad feelings at first, since the motion came not from the people of the affected groups, as is usual when a new Barony is created, but seemingly from the Baron and Baroness of Septentria. Not a few people whispered charges of disloyalty behind their backs, for though Septentria was indeed large, no one had seemed bothered by this before. Indeed, being a Septentrian had long been a badge of pride. In truth, though it be true that the initiative had not been that of the people of the west, nor even, as was later revealed, of Cordigan and Diane, it was more true that it was perhaps time for Septentria to produce a child. In time, most of Eoforwic and Septentria resigned themselves to this fact, and that the creation of a new barony would in no way diminish the friendships that had grown over the years. But for a few weeks, the proposition lay like an open wound, and for nearly a year Septentria virtually ceased to exist (in deed, rather in fact), as its leadership struggled to determine its future paths. The Baron and Baroness, who lived in a part of the Barony which, it was proposed, would be part of a new barony, threw themselves into the midst of the bureaucracy surrounding the process, leaving many in the east feeling forgotten and rejected. There would be little attempt this year to organize a baronial fighting force at Pennsic. More will be said about that later.
March AS XXVI
It was about this time that Tarver the Pole wrought a most marvelous device. Known now throughout the world (even into far Araby) for his trebuchet, he now laboured to build a medieval hoisting device, such that in the play of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Virgin might rise bodily into Heaven in a most authentic way. Despite fears that the Virgin would instead be catapulted over the audience, the device worked perfectly, and Tarver's fame spread even further.
April AS XXVI
The fifth Coronet Tourney was held this month in the Canton of Greyfells. The lists, though small, were well endowed with capable fighters. At the moment of the finals, the two remaining fighters surprised many. One was Cordigan d'Arnot, the Baron of Septentria. What should happen to Septentria, now at a crucial juncture in its history, should Cordigan become Prince? Some expressed dismay and said that he should not have entered; others cheered him on. The other fighter was Killdare Silverwolf, a virtually unknown fighter from Ben Dunfirth. However, it was quite apparent that his Rozakii brothers had trained him well. As usual, the finals went to three bouts. And Killdare emerged as the victor, and bestowed the Coronet upon Catherine Dupres, a lady of great spirit. He made Cordigan his Champion, and Catherine chose Tai Chin Wu as her Champion.
So great was the business before the Crown that Court was split into two halves. Rigunth aus Bern, Ceridwyn gan Gwynedd, and Mary Bailey all received Awards of Arms, and they all lived in the same house. Berengiere Fortescue of Vest Yorvik (but well known to Eoforwic) also was ennobled. Catriona Gower of York was inducted into the Order of the Willow for her many skills, and Thevenin, who was known by many of the City, received the Award of the Doe's Grace. And Gwynfyr an Sheoladair was inducted into the Order of the Dragon's Barb, and Grimwulf the Hairy and Ceallach cu Meallain into the Order of the Dragon's Heart. And Ursula na Clann na Rath received the award of the Purple Fret, and she did give the King a mighty hug.
And on this night an ancient wrong was put right. Kingdom law had recently been changed such that a poll of the members of the Order of the Rose was no longer needed to admit new members and that membership was automatically given to all former consorts. Indeed, many had long thought the old way of doing things had been used to punish former Queens who had not "kept their place,” and for some time the royalty and officers of the Midrealm had been pushing for change. Duke Sir Finnvarr de Taahe thus came forth to beg a boon, that Countess Caitlin Stuart be inducted into the Order of the Rose. Now Caitlin had not been seen in Eoforwic for many a year, but this is the truth of it: She had indeed stayed within the City walls, in the convent of St. Brand. Since profession as a nun was against her nature, she stayed there as a noble guest, which the sisters suffered because of the lady's great talents in divers arts. Baroness Caffa, Baroness Tamarra, and Baroness Enid, all apprentices or ladies-in-waiting to Caitlin in the past, came forth to attest to her good name. And then Caitlin herself was called forth. King Comar and Queen Lisa inducted her into the Order, and the three Baronesses presented her with armfuls of roses, including a great many from Graf Sir Hugo, from far An Tir. And afterwards those who had known her did the same, and all the populace did cheer. And thereafter Countess Caitlin left the House of St. Brand and was often seen in Ealdormere again, though most often in Skeldergate, outside the City Walls.
Later that month in Pont Y Saeth, Richard Larmer, Hoskuld, Ivar of the Black Lock, and Rhys ap Bledri joined the ranks as fully trained fighters, a sign of things to come.
May AS XXVII
In this month at Skeldergate was held the Artisan's Fair, and it was a hastily arranged affair, since the place previously appointed in Rising Waters had been overrun by barbarians. Gwynfyr, whose task it was to plan the Fair, luckily arranged with the scholars of York for the use of one of their halls. There were scarcely thirty entries, but the people of Eoforwic were well represented. Raffe Scholemaystre was placed in the first rank for his cotehardie, the first piece of garb he had ever made; Rigunth af Bern was likewise placed in the first rank for the dress she had worn at her wedding and for two research papers, and these were enough to make her Champion for all of Ealdormere. Killdare and Catherine made her Cupbearer for their reign.
In this month did Ronin and Katya take the Dragon Throne for their own; and at the great tourney on the next weekend Finn Rhydderi Herjolfson, who had been defeated in the finals twice before, at last prevailed in the lists, and presented the crown of the Princess of the Middle to Garlanda de Stanas.
And Rising Waters did hold the Lady Mary Memorial Tourney, which Duke Sir Palymar did win. On that day, Edward (later called Beausoliel) and Angus Albani were accepted officially as fighters.
June AS XXVII
The Lord Mayor had set the annual market day and fair as the second Saturday in June and had fulfilled his campaign promise by serving as autocrat, along with his wife. As Eoforwic was intensely preparing for the Althing to be held the next month, the fair was meant as a relaxing day for the populace. Elspeth staged a new play in the Eoforwic Cycle, this time a moral tale, in which Adam and Eve bore more than a passing resemblance to a certain former Baron and Baroness of Septentria. And as would become traditional, Ludwig von Neurenburg portrayed God. The play culminated in Eve (played by Catriona) giving an Angel of Vengeance (play by Lord Mayor Gunthar) a good kick in the pants.
This was the first year in which formal sumptuary laws were drafted by the Lord Mayor for enforcement by the Sheriff and her staff of torturers, who, led by Rhiannon, were quite up to the task and applied their whips with enthusiasm to the various miscreants who were unwilling to pay coin for a license from the Lord Mayor.
July AS XXVII
The people of Eoforwic did assemble this month for the Althing. Long had Sigridr and many others planned for this day, so that all might see and enjoy the culture and crafts of the Icelanders. Many of the Norse had indeed visited the Guildhall and shared their knowledge with the populace, including Brynhildr Jarla Kormaksdottir, whose tales of the ways of Norse women were a marvel to hear; indeed, they were printed in the Althingboke which Sigridr, with the help of Rigunth, did publish for the edification of the
populace. The fame of this book later spread far and wide.
Four chieftains came to the Althing, and they were Tarver, Ragnar, Gunthar, and Solvi. Each had over the preceding weeks gathered together followers, because they anticipated some disputes might be heard. Because of the great weight of the proceedings, two Lawspeakers learned in the lawcodes of Iceland were summoned to hear the cases, and they were Robert of Two Cliffs and Grimwulf the Hairy. The business between Gunthar and Ragnar concerned the carrying off of Arnora, a kinswoman of Gunthar, by Ragnar, without proper compensation to the family. Now Ragnar contended that the kin of Gunthar was without honour, as some of them, including his wife Rigunth, had of late adhered to the Christian religion, while Gunthar contended that religion should be no block to the lawful settlement of a marriage, and that the Christians in his family did not force their God upon others. After many heated words and testimony of witnesses, and after discerning that Arnora herself was not loath to the marriage, Robert declared that a simple feat of strength by the chieftains should prove their respective honours, as he could find no blot on the reputations of either, and as the marriage itself was not repulsive to either side. He decreed that both
Ragnar and Gunthar were to carry their wives on their backs around the perimeter of the Althing-place, which perhaps would break the tension among the chieftains.
But alas, Rigunth became tangled in the costly silks her husband had procured for her and fell to the ground as she climbed upon her husband's back, and was carried into a nearby tent in great pain. A substitute was found in the form of Anne, the small daughter of Richard Larmer, one of Gunthar's retinue, and it was no surprise that Gunthar traversed the course much faster than Ragnar. And so Ragnar gave over armrings and torcs of gold as a brideprice, and the two chieftains parted as friends. Rigunth later emerged from the tent, limping but happy at the settlement.
Meanwhile more weighty matters were dealt with. Vychata, brother of Solvi, brought a tale of woe wherein Signy, sister to his wife Solveig (a lady who greatly resembled a certain Tudor lady of York) and her only son were driven from their home by a fire set by raiders, led by one Artair of Orkney--a man of Tarver's district. Having set out for help, Signy and her son were caught by a storm; they were later found in the fields, frozen to death. Incensed at the needless death of her sister and nephew, Solveig had charged Solvi with bringing suit against this Artair before the Lawspeaker, for the penalty for such a crime is greater banishment, and Solvi had given the suit to his brother Vychata to bring, for he was unable make it to the Althing in time himself. When the parties came together before Grimwulf the Hairy, who had been appointed to give the law in this case, Solveig produced from beneath her apron her sister's badly singed dress, and threw it to the ground, demanding justice for her sister's death. Seeing this, so inflamed did Vychata become at the offense against his kin that he shoved Artair to the ground -- an offense itself punishable by greater banishment, and at once, swords appeared in hands amongst the retinues of both chieftains. Grimwulf stepped between the two men, and drew out Rhys from Tarver's retinue and Onami from Vychata's, to be held as hostages; should anyone move, they would both be killed. Then Grimwulf called for those not directly associated with the two adversaries to gather and decide their fate. Wise were the people, who deemed that it was Solveig's place, as the wronged kinswoman to decide whether Artair should be consigned to greater or to lesser banishment--but that whatever fate she chose, her own kinsman Vychata should share it. And thus, because of love for her knisman Vychata, she chose to be merciful and proscribe lesser banishment; and a bloodprice was given for the lives of her kin by Tarver and his retinue.
Prominent at the Althing was Aethelwin, a certain Anglo-Saxon missionary who greatly resembled various other Eoforwic residents with similar names. Confident in God's protection, Aethelwin went about promoting the new religion--a good thing, for certes--in a loud voice. Perhaps he was weighted down by the sin of Pride however, for he attracted the attention of a certain skald and was forced to leave the gathering in disgrace.
Not all things were so charged with controversy. Sylard had set up his forge nearby and was working on a sword; many folk participated in a game of chance to procure it, and Richard Larmer won, Hannorah brought a warp-weighted loom for the weaving of cloth, and Mortraeth worked on providing food for the masses. Also nearby men trained at arms, and Heoroweard was for the first time authorized to join them. And all marveled at the beauty of the surroundings, particularly the number of tents decorated in the Viking manner and the absence of those of strange fabrics wrought by Polly Esther.
Now as was traditional, the Althing-goers gathered together for feasting, and Mortraeth brought forth a plenitude of food.
And the folk took their seats on blankets; in order of the number of War seasons they had passed, with their chieftains at their head. And as the sun set, the folk passed the time in conversation and storytelling.
Now this Solvi of whom I have just spoken had only recently arrived in the City. He was a quiet lad of tender years, but was fair in speech and had many talents, most notably in the carving of wood and the making of clothes. It was later discovered that in fact his name was Jasper, and that he was really a Dutchman. Jasper was for several months the object of many sighs by the ladies of Eoforwic on account of his fair visage and long hair, but he soon took up with Catriona, and together they took on the task of caring for one Spike the Budgie.
It was in this month that the Canton Upon-the-Cliffs (later renamed Ardchreag) first met in the lands to the east of Eoforwic. Long had the residents of those parts made the arduous journey into the City to the Guild Hall, and though they liked the company, they disliked the journey. And so did Raffe Scholemaystre organize these citizens, and they began to meet in their own parts. And among these were Siegfried, Raedmund, Connor, and Rhys yr Saethydd, who had heretofore made the journey to Eoforwic; and there were others as well.
There was a great Fair held in the city of Orangeville to the North of Eoforwic, and many were the citizens who demonstrated their trades and fought in the tournament. It was after this great fair that the canton of Monadh came into being. The Monadhi were simple, yet talented folk, fond of archery and immensely proud of their beards. They kept safe a sacred field of thistles, which they memorialized on their arms. The Bearded Men of Monadh, who seemed to increase in number at every event (thanks, perhaps, in part to ready-made beards some enterprising merchants had prepared for purchase) were forever chastising the Faringolds letting their sheep wander into the sacred Field of Thistles, often publicly, thanks to the razor-sharp wit of one Foote the Potter. Some dubbed this group the Septentrian Retirement Home, due to the presence of many long-term members such as Sylard of Eagleshaven, but the observant noted that they were far from retiring.
August AS XXVII
This being a time of War, the citizens of Eoforwic made ready their baggage trains, and the Lord Mayor sent messengers ahead to insure that the populace might have a place to pitch their tents. But when the first scouts arrived, they discovered that a host bearing the banners of Trimaris had occupied their campsite and that they would now have to camp on hilly ground next to a swamp. Many recalled the time when the King of the East had turned the citizens of Septentria out of the selfsame space in order to cement an alliance, and they raged with fury against the Trimarians. Even greater was their rage when a rainstorm nearly washed away the camp. Only the sapping skills of Hector saved it from destruction. I must note that this summer was unusually chilly, which made the hills of Pennsia quite pleasant.
It is here that I turn to the creation of the Eoforwic City Militia and their exploits in times of War.
The levy this year had revealed a great number of untried fighters dwelt in the domains of Eoforwic and the College of Skeldergate. Though new to the arts of war, this group was possessed with an enthusiasm not seen in these parts for some years. Seeing this, Lord Grimwulf did form in his mind a Plan: that experienced fighters be induced to fight for the City, such that the newer swordsmen be guided by experienced leadership, and such that their shield wall be backed by other weapons. And Grimwulf did offer the Gold Coin of the Realm to all who would serve for four battles, and the Silver Coin to all who would serve as Scouts in the woods. Hearing this, the Lord Mayor decided that this worthy corps would not lack in support from the City, and opened the City treasuries to provide good ale for the militia, and recruited provisioners to staff a pavilion beside the field. And his wife created City badges for all the fighters.
The Militia drilled with Grimwulf and the other unit commanders, Aelfwine, Aedan, and Hector. And other notables were recruited, including Sir Mordain and several from the Skrael, Duke Sir Finnvarr, Frederic L'Avare, and others from the East and the far reaches of the Middle. And when the forces of Ealdormere processed to the field, nearly half wore the badge azure, on tower argent a sword sable. (The the heralds eventually returned it for conflict--though is this not appropriate for a martial badge?)
The legends that may be told about the Militia are legion. Indeed, they formed the single largest fighting block in the forces of the Prince of Ealdormere. And in the face of overwhelming odds--for the King of the East had levied two-thirds again as many fighters as had King Ronin-- they proved that inexperience was no hindrance to them. Few cares weighed their brows, and smiles were on their faces even in the face of death. So loud was their singing as they entered the town in the third battle that the Eastern forces were demoralized completely, and in close quarters on the bridge they held off Tuchux and Duke Merowald alike until the forces of de Taahe broke through and trapped their enemies from behind. And around the campfires the spirit of Eoforwic was reborn, and the singing was led Hector, who had led his forces on the field as a simple lord, but emerged in War Court as a Peer of the Realm, inducted by, it is said, unanimous vote of the other members of the Order of the Laurel for his great talents as a bard (although Grimwulf, dressed in sappers' garb and carrying a shovel, did offer mute testimony to Hector's other skills during the ceremony).
Great were the thanks of the Prince, such that he personally donned the badge of the Militia, and far and wide spread the tales of the conduct of the young fighters of Eoforwic, no longer a mere militia, but by Mayoral decree, the City Guard of Eoforwic.
That was the year in which fencers from Ealdormere first appeared in the Pennsic lists, including Rigunth and Hoskuld Thorleiksson. Now Hoskuld was a Norseman who had thought to make his way with more traditional Viking arms, but one day, he picked up a rapier and discovered that his skill was great with this weapon, and that year he won a novice tourney at Pennsic. It was also there that he met Eyrny Ormarsdottir, a Norse lady likewise fond of bright colours and long sharp swords, who would one day be his lady. It was these two gentles who were in the most responsible for the rise of the arts of defense in Ealdormere, and Hoskuld would become its first Principality Marshal of Fence.
It was also the year of the Green Man, a certain notorious inn on the far side of the lake, which was responsible for corrupting many an Eoforing.
A lady of great fame by the name of Sylvia du Soliel accompanied the townspeople that year. Sylvia had appeared at a meeting one night and been so enthused that she approached her patrons and asked if they might pay her way to Pennsia, for she was a talented artist in the composition of portraits in the modern manner and wished to chronicle the deeds of the Society for all to see. And so she traveled with the townsfolk and camped with them, and on the field of battle, Edward carried her favour. Such was her thanks that she composed a portrait of him in armour a merchant was exhibiting, and placed him on a prominent page on a local broadsheet, where men of handsome features were wont to be portrayed. And thus, Edward received the surname "du Soleil" in commemoration of this, which he later changed to Beausoliel; in the vernacular he is still known to this day as "Sunshine Boy". Sylvia's pictures brought great fame to Eoforwic, and she visited Eoforwic from time to time thereafter, often with pictures of Italy or other places she had visited.
September AS XXVII
In this month at Montforet the forces of the West of Septentria did revolt against their friends of the East, and some did say that this was contrived by Baron Cordigan to shame the East, whose interests he no longer held dear; others say it was peasants who fomented the revolt. In any case, when the men of the East beheld the forces of the West, their hearts leapt to their mouths, for they were greatly outnumbered; but they bravely fought on. When it came time to muster the forces for the next battle, Earl Sir David declared that there was no honour in such mismatched sides, and so the men were evenly divided, which was pleasing since most had no quarrel with each other.
The following week, in Trinovantia were Austrechild von Mondsee and Ihsan al-Kilwiyya made noble, and Feardubh was inducted into the Order of the Willow on account of his great skills as a musician. Ihsan was a Portugeuse lady who had dwelt for some time in far Araby, and had adopted a name in the local language; later, she returned to her home and her original name of Ines de Freytis and opened a notorious Inn called the Black Rose. Austrechild was a young lady raised in a monastery here she had learned to write in many hands. Feardubh and Roy War-Bassoon were known by everyone.
The next week was fought the sixth Coronet Tourney of Ealdormere, in Rising Waters. And the lists this time were filled with noble gentles, though none from Eoforwic fought. And in the finals were pitted Sir Belgar against Gunther von Weaselberg, who had twice before reached the finals. They were two gentles known throughout the world for courtesy and chivalry, and no one could say who would win. In the final bout Sir Belgar emerged victorious, to the delight of all.
On that day were Tarver and Rigunth made Companions of the Order of the Golden Otter, and Aelfwine was given the Award of the Wolf's Tooth, for his leadership at Pennsic. And Killdare and Catherine quit the Trillium thrones, that Sir Belgar and Andrea might take them up. And Laurelen, the daughter of the new Prince and Princess, did sleep soundly in her mother's arms through the whole ceremony.
The next week Rigunth and Hoskuld and several others from Septentria journeyed to Starleaf Gate for a great collegium on the art of defence, where Rigunth authorized in case of rapiers and thus became Eoforwic's first marshal in training in this art. And there also did Prince Finn gain approval to practice the art of the rapier.
The Michaelmas moot occurred soon thereafter, and it was held in the refectory of King's College, hard by the City Square. Thomas Grozier (who resembled Aethelstan in all but the bad puns), Edward du Soliel, and Tarver came forth to present their candidacy for Lord Mayor, and Gaerwen of Trafford and Eanor of Amberhall did vie for City Sheriff. Birstan (sometimes called Dann) had withdrawn from the race in exchange for a promise from Gaerwen that she would appoint him as Bailiff should she be elected. And then was Lauren made the returns officer. And then the guildmasters came forth, and all wondered that the City had so prospered that over two hundred guilds now existed.
And before the roll was called, Elspeth and the Player's Guild did present two Satires, one of which featured Ceridwyn as Edward and did raise much mirth on account of the socks stuffed into her tights.
And Tarver then stood and declared that he was removing himself from candidacy and giving his support to Thomas.
The vote taken, Thomas became the fourth Lord Mayor of Eoforwic, though the vote was very close. And Gaerwen was elected as Sheriff. Gunthar did then give Thomas the Ancient Chain of Eoforwic, and thus did his term end.
That month also did Ceridwyn begin the study of Science at the College of Skeldergate, and so Rigunth became sole chronicler for the Ursus.
October AS XXVII
In this month two visitors from Coppertree came to teach the art of the rapier to those of Skeldergate, Eoforwic, and Vest Yorvik, and one of them was Duke Morghun Sheridan, whose skill in all martial matters was known near and far.
Also, Finn Rhyderri Herjolfsson did claim the Dragon Throne for his own, and did make Garlanda de Stanas his Queen. The next week their heirs were determined, and their names were familiar to all -- Jarl Sir Dag and his lady, Countess Ilsa. Dag defeated Sir Jafar in the finals and so did win his place.
Also it was announced that the new Baron and Baroness of Septentria would be either Ieuan and Adrielle, or Grimwulf and Ursula, or Odd and Catherine. The people of the East were not told what was transpiring in the West, and all reports that arrived were garbled.
The people of Eoforwic once again assembled on the green to the south of King's College for the great fair which was customarily held at that time of year, that the barbarians might come to know civilization. And though it was cold and damp, they did enjoy themselves full well and greeted many.
It was also about this time that Aidan GreyLock, Elaine Middleton, and Senga were first seen in the City. Aidan was known for her skill with herbs. Elaine was a scholar at the university, skilled in the study of morality plays and saints' plays, and was first seen in a surcote of great beauty. Later her husband, one Vladimir, began to appear around the City as well. Senga was a Celtic lass, and she soon caught the eye of one Angus Albani, a sucker for tartan, but was seen less and less in favour of her apparent twin, a French lady called Ysabeau. At the great Bardic Circle customarily held near All Hallows' Eve, the Lord Mayor did appoint certain City Officials. Birstan was made Bailiff, and Lauren Antoine D'Artois was made Lord Admiral. Edward du Soliel was appointed Captain of the night Watch, and Gunnar was made Almoner. Angus was made Ensign and Senga made Seargent, and the Brute Squad formed of Conner and Duncan. And Rhiannon and Ivar were appointed to keep the gates, and Gunthar was made Forester for the Humber. And as some officials had become so proficient in their duties, they were reappointed: Gwynfyr as Harbourmaster, Luanmaise as ratcatcher, and Lassar as Executioner.
At this time did my sister Nicolaa first come to Eoforwic. For the title of Castellan had fallen to her on the death of our mother, and she had recently come to dwell beneath the towers the great castle called Feurklippe that Sir Hugo had once held, and it had become her duty to extend the hospitality of Eoforwic to travellers and strangers. The clever will note that she and Rigunth were never seen together, and in fact Rigunth was not seen so much after her arrival.
Sigridr, Lino, and Tarver made the long journey north to the land of the Flaming Sky, where a wondrous thing did happen. After the trial at the Althing, Sylard had decided upon a course of action, aided by the wise counsel of Robert of Two Cliffs. Long ago Sylard and Finnvarr had made a pact to share in whatever good things the Norns might bring them. As King Finnvarr had gifted him with one-tenth of his lands, those being all territories to the north of the street on which the house of the Poor Clares was situated, Sylard had become rich and prosperous. Now that Duke Finnvarr dwelled in the North, Sylard decided to deed him one-tenth of his own lands, and this was described as the Shire of Flaming Sky and all land within two days' ride. And this is how Finnvarr enlarged his Duchy. Sylard gave Finnvarr a land marker made in the Viking manner and inscribed with runes, that all might know that Finnvarr was master of these lands. Also on this day was Tarver taken as apprentice by Master Sylard, the first since the dissolution of Eagleshaven.
November AS XXVII
In this month the Royal University of the Midrealm did convene at Skeldergate, and many from Eoforwic did attend and teach. Anthea did give discourse on gemstones, and Nicolaa did talk about the ways of a scholar. Many of the tailors of Eoforwic were greatly excited at the two master tailors who had journeyed from the South to discuss their art. Mistress Diana, who had brought society out of the pit of ignorance so long ago, did talk about the early years. Tales of the work of the people of Eoforwic had reached the ear of King Finn, and so in sight of the people were Luanmaise Ceantine, Lassar, Birstan, and Edward du Soliel made noble. Luanmaise was specially recognized for her work in ridding the City of vermin, and a poem detailing Edward's heroic conduct written by Master Hector was read before the populace. Also Guynedd was inducted into the Order of the Willow, though there was much confusion since her first name had been left off the scroll, and so the populace puzzled over the mystery Willow.
At the Feast of the Hare the next week there was held a great Moot of the people of Ealdormere. And Prince Belgar took off his crown and said that all should speak their mind, since now he was no Prince, but an ordinary man. And many things of great import were discussed, but nothing decided. And the tourney was won by Cennedi of the Skrael and Raedmund of Ard Creag.
December AS XXVII
In this month the citizens did hear a discussion on the mysteries of stonecarving by an itinerant artisan, and many were full well impressed.
The age-old tradition of parading through the town as mummers was this year revived with the help of Elspeth and Eanor.
Many of the populace had heard great tales of the works of Dante Alligheri, and so Sigridr, Lino, Rhiannon, and Gunnar, who were all that time living in the vill of Hazleburn, resolved to host a revel in honor of the poet. And thus the lodgings of Gunnar became Paradise, and he himself took on the guise of Our Lord (with miraculously-printed cards to attest to that fact.) And the lodgings of the others became the Inferno, Limbo, and Purgatory. Indeed a great number of the populace came in the guise of various personages, virtues, and vices. Ludwig reprised his role as God, though he was constantly to be found in Hell's Kitchen. Lino once again portrayed Satan. Other guests included, among others, Beatrice (of the long red hair), Lilith, several angels (including the Archangel Muriel), the virtues of Penitence, Chastity (who was to be seen dispensing backrubs throughout the night) and Purity (who was expecting a child), Vergil, John Milton (who spoke in iambic pentameter for the whole evening, then gave up at the stroke of midnight...with great relief on the part of all), the vices of Pride, Lust, Glechery (a combination of Gluttony and Lechery), and Envy; Rudolf I of Habsburg, Vannifucci, Guy de Montfort, Hubricia, a Fury, the spirit of Fire, Temptation, various symbolic Beasts, and of course Dante himself. Steve McQueen and Charlton Heston showed up, thinking that the Inferno was of the towering variety. Unfortunately, twelve of these guests on the way to the wedding of Hubricia and Muriel spent a great deal of time stuck in Purgatory (the vill's hoisting device) singing strange verses of doggerel (many from the disastrous decade of the 70's) under the pretense that Elevator Music was necessary in these circumstances. Rudolf I was eventually able to pry open the door and release these hap(sburg)less souls.
January AS XXVII
In this month did the City hold its Twelfth Night festivities, and Thomas Grozier was made King of Fools and Rhiannon was his Queen, by the vote of the bean-cake. Rhiannon did cause Ludwig that night to imitate all manner of beasts and other objects solely at her whim. (Ludwig disappeared a short time after, not to reemerge until sometime later, attempting to show the folk of his hometown on the shores of the great Northern Inland Sea the ways of the Society. Of that, little has come since. ) And many marvelous Sotelties were brought forth by the populace, including a sleeping dragon done by Eanor and some "magic nuts” from the exotic land of Ohio proffered by Nicolaa.
The Twelfth Night festival by the Barony of Septentria did follow apace, and many of Eoforwic made the journey north to Petrea Thule for what was to be the last Twelfth Night for a united Barony. Great mirth was had when the Lord Mayor hired the singers of that canton and those of Greyfells to perform his scurrilous lyrics to the famous tune Sumer is icumen in. Earl Syr David in a strange twist was declared best flirt and best loudmouth. But strangest of all was the absence of the Baron at his own Twelfth Night, though Baroness Diane did graciously hold court by candlelight and bestowed upon Edward, Gunnar, Anthea, Ceridwyn, Rhys ap Bledri, Constantine, and Birstan the Bear's Claw. It was later made known that Baron Cordigan had followed his Prince south to the Province of Tree-Girt-Sea for the Twelfth Night Court of Their Majesties Finn and Garlanda.
It was in this month that Thomas Grozier and Catriona Gower of York were formally apprenticed to Robert of Two Cliffs, and given their indentures.
February AS XXVII
The populace of Septentria was faced with yet another delay in deciding their future. It had been hoped that the new Baron and Baroness would be announced at the event on the last day of January. This was not to be, though all three couples did meet with their Majesties. The populace was told that the first week of March would be the latest a decision would be announced, and Investiture would definitely happen at the Spring Coronet tourney.
Thomas Grozier did give an excellent dissertation on Guilds, followed by the announcement that he was forming a social guild devoted to St. Thomas of Canterbury. Though this was a fine idea, nothing came of it. And Tarver stood up at that meeting and announced his engagement to a lady named Dace, and the populace marveled at the speed of his mind, that he could find such a soulmate in so short a time.
This month also was Catriona inducted into the Order of the Golden Otter, for her great skill at artwork.
March A.S. XXVII
The Queen of the Middle Kingdom did travel this month north to hold a great Moot of the folk of Ealdormere. And there was much discussion about the nature of Kingship that day. And after she had already departed, Sigridr was called into court by Queen Garlanda, who had heard great tales of the knowledge of that Lady in matters pertaining to the Norsemen, and for that she inducted Sigridr into the Order of the Silver Oak.
Several of the folk of Eoforwic traveled south later that month to the great Passing of the Ice Dragon in the Rhydderich Hael. Nicolaa and Hoskuld fought with rapiers, and Aelfwine, Richard Larmer, Eduoard, Raedmund, and Siegfried fought as a team in the melee tournament, wearing the red tabards of Ealdormere. This tournament was presided over by the child Princess Jaqueline, who was most gracious in her bearing and attracted the attention of many of the Royals there attending the War Council. Plans of a Great Southern Alliance surfaced, and in anticipation Hector did perform the Salt Ceremony with Thorgrim, the great leader of the House of Rozakii, in order to enlist the help of that valourous household in the training of the Eoforwic forces. Some say that the charms of a certain young lady of Tara had a part in forging the alliance, but this is but rumour. Also at this event was the favour in the Bayeux tapestry style that Nicolaa had made for Gunthar was selected as the Baroness' Choice in the Arts and Sciences exhibition.
This month also were many Deputies created: Luanmaise as deputy Pursuivant, and Aidan and Senga as deputy chatelaines. And public complaint was made against the Lord Mayor in the town broadsheet in the following manner: "The Lord Maior is not answering his people! He skulks around in Pubs and Guldhalls and never says what he's doing with our Moneys! The Maior had better talk or he shall be Peached! That is an Oath from the People's Committe for Responsible Town Government. PS. The Committee will look for him at the Carnival and with many Peaches if he remains silent!!!! Beware!" Despite the complaint, no Peachings followed upon this warning.
April A.S. XXVII
At the great Artisans Fair held in Afon Araf, many of the artisans of Eoforwic exhibited their work, and there were far more exhibits than the year before. And the skill of Eoforwic and her neighbors at the Arts and Sciences was once again made manifest, as several gentles received first places, including Catriona for her costuming and illumination, Madinia for several items (including her green Elizabethan dress), Nicolaa for her embroidery, costuming, and research, and most of all, Catherine de Guise, who was declared as the Pentathalon champion.
Also that day was it announced that Ieuan and Adrielle would be invested as Baron and Baroness of Septentria at Coronet, and Prince Belgar admitted Grimwulf the Hairy into the Order of the Peregrine for his great leadership at Pennsic.
Later that same month, the seventh Coronet Tournament of Ealdormere was fought in Trinovantia Nova, and for the first time, several from Eoforwic and her neighbors were among the combatants. Eduoard Beausoliel fought for Anthea (who made for him a most wondrous garter as a favour), Elise Morgan ferch Owen fought for Master Hector (and Hector fought for Madinia), Richard Larmer fought for Tsharyl, his lady wife, and Raedmund d'Arden from Ardchreag fought for Morrigan. And indeed, these valourous fighters, many of whom had only one campaign season behind them, acquitted themselves quite well; Eduoard and Raedmund reached the final six before being at last defeated. The winner of the tourney was Viscount Killdare, who defeated Hogarth Tyrson in the finals, and crowned his lady Lella as Princess. And the Eoforwic Guard was well pleased, as Killdare was an honourary member of their lot, and so presented him with a gold coin of the Realm, as those of the City Guard had received upon pledging service at that evening's court.
And that day also were Ieuan and Adrielle invested as Baron and Baroness of Septentria, though the western cantons had not yet taken their leave of the Barony. And at their side as Pursuivant stood Vladimir Blahuciak, who had returned to the Society after some fifteen years' sojourn. And many were glad that the long days of waiting were finally over. Also was Balderick of the Pathless Wastes made a Peer of the Realm and a Master of the Laurel for his skills in making parchment, though all were forced to wait as he was called forth from the lavatory. And Dathi Thorfinsson, protege to Baroness Fiona of Rising Waters, was himself elevated to the Order of the Pelican, for his great service to the College of Heralds. Soon thereafter, he departed for Calontir.
And of the folk of Eoforwic, Heoroward the Feorobuend and Vincent Travis Greywolf were awarded arms, as was Raffe the Scholemaystre,who had dwelt in Eoforwic before founding the canton of Ardchreag; and Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester was given the Award of the Purple Fret for her wide-ranging service, particularly as the Chronicler of Septentria.
May AS XXVIII
The new year saw Finn and Garlanda relinquish the Dragon Thrones to their successors, Dag and Ilsa, who in turn held a great tournament in the south to find a Prince and Princess. Sir Jafar bested Duke Palymar, to whom he had once been squired, in the final battle, and thus bestowed the Princess' coronet on his lady, Mistress Catherine de la Rose. Viscount Thorbjorn Osis particularly distinguished himself in the lists, advancing as far as the semi-finals.
Many from the City journeyed south to the Barony of Rising Waters, where the tournament in honour of the Lady Mary Campbell was once again held, and Duke Eliahu was the victor, fighting for Countess Tangwystl, who none had seen in many months. And on that day, the first anniversary of his authorization, Eduoard Beausoliel was made Prince's Champion by Prince Killdare.
Also in this month the City formed a delegation to visit the nearby canton of Ardchreag, and presented them with much clothing, for they were new in Society ways and had no collection with which to clothe visitors.
June AS XXVIII
The canton of Eoforwic managed to host two celebrations this month. Market Day was held at the Market Square again and featured many past favourites, including plenty of sumptuary laws, mostly for wearing purple. Sheriff Gaerwen presided over a crack squad of torturers, including Rhiannon and Morrigan. Certain gentles were actually trying to get put in the stocks and thrashed. However, when Gaerwen attempted to prosecute Konrad of Bryniau Tywynogg for wearing too much fur, he ate the list of rules. Also presented was Elspeth's latest play, this one a pantomime called "Aristotle and Phyllis". Many gentles, but mostly of the town, attended the gathering. There was much controversy this year, because the Market had conflicted with an event hosted by a new group some hours away, and though there was no fighting nor feast at the Market, many claimed that haughty Eoforwic purposely paid no heed to the travails of a new group. This caused many in the City some pain, as the gathering had been meant mostly for cityfolk.
Now, this pointed out a great problem: it seemed that many believed that Eoforwic felt itself to be Centre of the Known World, and thus did not deign to associate with other groups, nor did it pay the Calendar any heed when scheduling events. It was oftimes muttered by those from without that those from Eoforwic did not bother to travel to the feasts and celebrations of others. Why, said they, does not Eoforwic become a Barony, since she is so large in population, but so isolationist in nature? Alas, these things grieved many of the townsfolk much. It was true that many of the citizens could not venture far from home, but that was because many lacked waggons. But then it was realized that time was indeed passing, and the great names who had made Eoforwic great had moved away, or retired, or simply were no longer seen so much. In vain those of other cantons searched for these faces; not finding them, they concluded that Eoforwic was not present. The younger townsfolk had not yet gained recognition as Eoforwicians. Much was done in the next years to rectify this problem.
Later that month, with Murder Melee come and gone (and not without a most amusing dance involving a most sheer chemise, performed by Glandydd in honour of Ceallach's upcoming nuptials), the square of Trinity College was transformed into the city of Venice. This celebration had been the idea of Ceridwyn, and though more lightly attended than Market Day, was one of the most beautiful events in Eoforwic history. Many of the populace had endeavored to sew clothing in the Italian style, and the square was bedecked with colourful silks. Here for the first time did Elizabeth Cadfan, called Kestrel, produce tokens of pewter, in the shape of a dolphin. Here was also contested a horse race without horses, featuring Prince Killdare as Trillium Boy and Syr David as Northern Dancer, though both were bested by Raimond, who wagerers had rated the longest shot in the race. Here also was seen Guillaume di San Marino distributing cigars, for Guynedd had given birth that very day to a boy, christened Peter Francis. There was dancing all day, and the feastcooked by Thomas Grozier and the Temperance Society, surpassed even the beauty of the hall in which it was held. And here a betrothal was arranged between Syr David and Elina, a young lady of noble birth, after much bargaining by her overanxious parents. This would have consequences for the future.
July A.S. XXVIII
It was this month in which Tarver the Pole and Dace were wed publicly in the park named after the Holy Trinity. It was a most unusual ceremony, done in the custom of Latvia, and many of both Eoforwic and of that land were present, including Finnvarr and Ragni, who stood as sponsors to the groom. And Elspeth did present the play "EveryTarver", in which the hero was forced to overcome his multitudinous sins in order to obtain redemption and wed his lady.
This year the folk of the City were contracted by the city of Orangeville (called Monadh by Society folk) to watch the tollgate at the great festival there. And Robert of Two Cliffs ran the tourney, to exhibit the great chivalry of the fighters, and Sylard and Hannorah set up a Norse camp of exquisite perfection. A company of jousters traveled there from Southern lands, and the most exquisite forms of the jousters did much amuse Morrigan. Some things passing strange were seen, as John of Slaughterfield and Lothar von Wulfing both returned to the field and were approved for combat, though nothing came of this.
August AS XXVIII
Once again the people of Eoforwic did wend their way south to the plains of Pennsia, where a great battle was brewing. Alas, the waggon bearing the advance guard of the City did break down, and Hector and Madinia did not arrive in time to claim the City's allotted space. Rather, the townsfolk were forced to make their camp on the outskirts of town, close by the roaring sea, which crashed and clanged night and day. This place was dusty and treeless, and hard by the waggon trains of all the inhabitants of Pennsic Town. Many citizens abandoned these grounds and found lodgings with friends elsewhere, but a hardy few remained. In that year the winds had blown hot and humid air over Pennsia, such that one could barely stand a moment in one's tent.
Once again the Eoforwic Guard took the field, but this time under the banner of Septentria and Baron Ieuan and Baroness Adrielle, fighters both, and once again the Lord Mayor's treasury provided ample refreshments for those who fought. This year when the East and Middle took to the field, the sides were evenly matched, and a grand sight it was to see the bold flanking moves of the armies at the first horn, to see Grimwulf leading the Guard through a hole in the lines, to see the banners of Septentria and de Taahe riding high in the midst of the fray. Though the battle went to the East, once again, few units showed better discipline than that of Septentria and the Eoforwic Guard, together the largest unit in the army of Ealdormere. In the woods battle the next day, the Midrealm again went down to defeat, but there was a marvelous story told. It seems that Duke Talymar, the Midrealm commander, took a force of 150 into the woods near the end of the battle, to see if he could espy the elusive Eastern banner, and Hector accompanied him as spearman. Gradually, the Midrealmers were killed, until only the Duke and Hector remained. Coming upon some more Easterners, the Duke revealed his identity and promised them a fair fight--but he wished to see the elusive banner before he died. The Easterners complied. Coming upon the Eastern Shield wall and the banner, the Duke announced that he was the commander of the Midrealm forces, and then allowed the Easterners to attack. First the Duke, and then Hector were dispatched, just as the final cannon signaled the end of the battle--meaning that the Easterner who had dispatched Hector had the distinction of defeating "the entire Midrealm army" single-handedly.
Fortunes turned for the Midrealm the next day, in battles fought over bridges and in the town. Just before the town battle, the King and Queen of Calontir requested the presence of the Prince and Princess of Ealdormere. When Killdare and Lella arrived, their bard lauded Ealdormere in a song of three verses, adding the postscript that Ealdormere now had the task of adding three verses of its own--and Justinian and Hector did so, on the spot! Calontir then gifted Ealdormere with a fine sceptre adorned with brass wolves' heads, with the hope that one day it should become the first piece of regalia for the Kingdom of Ealdormere. When examined more closely and swung just so, this "sceptre" was revealed to be a very cunningly wrought mace, and indeed, Killdare was so pleased that the gift was seldom out of his sight. And Tsuranaga, King of the East, was overheard to say after the defeat in the Bridge battle, to paraphrase, " I said it was OK to let Trimaris or Meridies or Darkmoon behind you....but NEVER let those guys in the red get behind you!" Though the final tally showed a victory for the East, much good fellowship was had by all, as evidenced by the rousing rendition of "Strip the Willow" danced by many of the fighters of Septentria--in the midst of the Town Battle (NOT during a hold, in the middle of battle).
The heat of the Serengetti did not dampen the spirit of Eoforwic. One night in Tarver's tent there was a Viking Beer Ceremony, in which the participants had to entertain the others or drink some of the local plonk. Here was seen for the first time Eoin o Beirne, then called Sean, and he had wondrous Riesling. Morrigan won the "wet chemise" contest, and Stephen Edgermont the "wet braies" competition, and the next day he was knighted on the field of battle. There were present this year a contingent of very large fighters from Skeldergate, dubbed by popular wit "Hugo, Huger, and Hugest". They would later form the core of House Hrogn, also called the Spawn.
This year was also paraded the miraculous Shroud of Padua, discovered by St. Ajax the Tombsweeper in the tomb of Our Lord as he bent to leave a mint on the pillow. Also in this year did Nicolaa give public discourse on the life of her liege lady, Eleanor Plantagenet, Countess of Leicester.
Pitying the exile of the townsfolk, Baron Ieuan and Baroness Adrielle held court within the camp. Before court, Rhiannon took Luanmaise and Lassar as apprentices, promising to instruct them in "everything she knows", causing several of the populace to tremble in fear. As the sun dipped over the horizon and a crescent moon appeared in the west, candles were lit and a box containing soil and stones from the Northlands were brought forth such that Court could properly be held on Septentrian soil. First, Aveline de la Rose was accepted as harper to the Baron and Baroness. Then a lovely lady in waiting, demure and dressed in pink, was brought forth, to serve the Baroness in whatever her will. It was noted that her husky voice resembled much that of a certain Raedmund. Then a box in the shape of a castle was given to Ieuan and Adrielle, from the people of Eoforwic. This box was wrought by Raimon of Lower Lorraine; meant to sit between their thrones, the castle came to adorn the Baronial manor. Many Bear's Claws were awarded: to Raffe Scholemaystre, bearer of the Baronial standard; to Ysabeau, for sewing Baronial tabards, to the aforementioned Skeldergate fighters (Etienne, Worrigan and Sexton), to Lord Sean of the far South, who had fought with the City Guard two years now, to Raedmund for his valour on the field, to House Rowanhall, and to Gwynfyr, Alan of the High Cliffs, and Ulvar, who also formed the core of a new archery corps. Austrechild von Mondsee also publicly petitioned for a Bear's Claw for Raimon, who was not present; thus it was given at a later date. Also here was reborn House de Taahe, as Finnvarr accepted Richard Larmer, Heoroweard, Edouard Beausoleil, and Paul as squires. In subsequent years, the de Taahe Lance would once again play a prominent part in the defence of the Northlands.
September AS XXVIII.
Having bested Sir Mordain in the lists, Cordigan d'Arnot emerged victorious at Coronet Tourney, thus winning the right to crown his lady wife, Diane, as Princess of Ealdormere.
Michaelmas term commenced with the annual elections in Eoforwic. One by one the guildmasters presented their credentials, among them the Guild of Evil Icelandic Women Who Goad their Men into Action; the Guild of Dirty Latin Phrase-Writers, the Guild of Dark Ale-Quaffing Viscountesses, the Guild of Attractive Lady Torturers, the Ealdormerian People Against Gossip (who eventually abstained--for once), the Brotherhood of Stupids, and the Confraternity of St. Doug of Gilmour (exhibiting a miraculous tunic inscribed with the mystic number 93). And four candidates stepped forward for mayor: Gwynfyr, Elspeth, Vychata Igoravich, and Rhiannon; and Birstan and Rhiannon ran for sheriff. Elspeth, who traditionally had made available her services as satirist to candidates, was commissioned by Vychata--to satirize herself, and it was exceedingly well done. In the midst of the campaign Justinian Clarus, who was visiting the city, fell dead asleep and, oblivious, was piled high with the outer wraps of the townsfolk. It was indeed a strange campaign, and for some reason erstwhile Mayor Gunthar even received some votes, but in the end, Vychata received the chain of office from Thomas Grozier, who was immediately placed in the stocks by Birstan, the new sheriff, for breaking his pledge not to pun during his term of office. It was about this time that the Lady Rosina was first seen in Septentria. Greatly skilled in the art of dance in the Italian manner and acclaimed throughout the Known World, she came first to Ardchreag. As her fame grew, she visited Eoforwic more often, and eventually became its Mistress of Dance.
Also in this month did the great scholar of costume Janet Arnold come to the city and discourse on the wardrobe of Elizabeth I, and many of the town tailors did attend, for none was judged so knowledgeable in all the world. And it is said that Madinia prostrated herself at this great lady's feet; indeed, she did attend the same lecture twice on successive nights.
October AS XXVIII
In this month did Eoforwic celebrate the wedding of Ceallach and Mary Anne with a day of festivities near the scholars' lodgings at the Market Square. While the fighters challenged each other in feats of glory (for a while in the cloisters, where oft was heard the cry "watch the window!"), more genteel sorts avoided the drizzle and danced away the time inside. Portions of the Eoforwic Gold Key collection were torn to ribbons when most of the men and some of the ladies organized a game of "boar's head" in the Market green, which at this point resembled a pit of mud. The day's highlight was the telling of tales in praise of the newly wed couple, won by Baroness Elizabeth. The day concluded with a marvelous feast cooked by Mistress Tamarra, and seldom have so many coronets been seen in one room before.
And in this month did Robert of Two Cliffs depart Ealdormere once again, this time for the far West, to help illustrate the tale of one Quasimodo for Master Disney. And all were sorely sad to see him go, for he was a paragon of chivalry and grace.
November A.S. XXVIII
In this month a feast to celebrate the reconquest of Spain was held within the walls of Vest Yorvik. On that day Ysabeau de Vauvert and Angus Albani were ennobled, and the charters attesting to this were identical. Also honoured were Morrigan of Tara and Raimond of Lower Lorraine, as well as a fifth gentle whose name has been forgotten in the mists of time. Said gentle had appeared briefly the summer before, and assisted with the waggons on one day, then vanished before anyone learned his Society name. It is said that the scroll is still in the holding of one of the Citizens of the city.
December A.S. XVIII
In this month in Afon Araf was held the annual Wassail, where Albrecht Stampher finished second in the fencing tourney and the ladies of the city prospered on a mission to discover garnets and other things in the town.
It was in this month that Monika z Gneizno, once of Eoforwic and now of Castel Rouge, was put on vigil for the Order of the Laurel. This was done in a special ceremony before her friends while she sojourned in Eoforwic.
January AS XVIII
In days of yore, the Known World was ruled by the Imperial Electors, sitting in majesty in the far-off ancestral lands of the West. But those days had long past, and while a conclave of elders still held sway from Milpitas, all knew that in the hands of the Royalty of each Kingdom lay the power to determine Law. Though this council of elders from time to time issued necessary pronouncements, few gave them much thought. But in this month a decree went out from the Council that in order to be deemed a true member of the civilized world, one should become a citizen, and each citizen owed a tax to the Exchequer in Milpitas. And uproar ensued amongst the populace. Some argued that it was each citizen's duty to pay this tax, since it would keep the treasury full and insure that society did not fall prey to barbarians. Others argued that requiring the tax went against the long-held traditions of hospitality to newcomers and the poor, and that citizenship should be earned by service, not just by payment of a tax. Far and wide the messengers flew, as the folk of the Known World, from Monarchs to common folk, debated the merits of this decree. But in the lands of Ealdormere, the people dwelt in ignorance, save for the scattered reports of those folk with connections in foreign lands, because the Council of Elders had neglected to pay their messengers enough coin to bring their missives across the border.
As was usual, the people of Septentria gathered to celebrate the festive season, and this year it took place in Bryniau Tywynogg, the last Septentrian Twelfth Night they would hold, as the creation of Ramshaven was though to be immanent. Here was Rhys ap Bledri made noble after much service, and here was Raimon given a Bear's Claw for service at Pennsic last.
Also did Hoskuld, Grimwulf, and Nicolaa received Bear's Hearts, for their many services to the Barony. And here did Ieuan and Adrielle create a new award, christened the Cup of Teacht Ceartha Mor, after the household of Aedan and Caffa, given to one who embodied generosity of spirit without expectation of reward, and to be given but once a year, at Twelfth Night. And Ines de Freytis, who had sat nearby making notes for the Eoforing (of which was now the editor) was shocked to hear her name called for this great honour, and all of Eoforwic was pleased.
Also in this month did Cordigan and Diane find their Heirs. Since the founding of Ealdormere, it had been the custom to invest the victors of Coronet Tourney as Prince and Princess on the very day of their victory. Their Serene Highnesses wisely reasoned that it might be better to give the Heirs time to ponder their upcoming reign and to make plans. Thus it was that in the March of St. Martins Gunther von Weaselburg at last triumphed in the lists, earning the right to eventually place the coronet upon the brow of his lady wife, Joliecia. At this event also was Thorbjorn Osis knighted, after discovering his true first name, for there were many who said that Osis was no name for a knight.
February AS XXVIII
This month in Petrea Thule was held the Ealdormerian Parliament. Though many things were discussed, none was so much as the aforementioned Decree. There was much dissent amongst the populace herein, though all agreed that more information was needed. From about this time arose the first stirrings of the so-called ELO, or Ealdormerian Liberation Organization, for there were some amongst the populace who felt that the time had come to consider becoming a Kingdom. But at this point all was mostly rumour and speculation.
In this month Rhiannon did travel over the wide sea to the land of Albion, to see the city for which Eoforwic was named, leaving her apprentices in the charge of a certain Elizabeth of Cadfan, who did, once Rhiannon was safely aboard the ship, sell the said three apprentices--Aveline, Lassar, and Luanmaise--to Thomas Grozier for the sum of 60 cows. Now Rhiannon remaining apprentice was Beorthewine, or "Winna", and Kes laboured long to obtain a fair price, but could only obtain 2 cows from Gaerwen (despite the fact that the apprentice in question was most skilled at backrubs). Gaerwen had thought that she was in fact buying a certain Michel du Flambard in drag.
Also in this month did Lady Elaine contact the actors of the Poculi Ludique Societas, with the sponsorship of the scholars of the university, to present the play of the Conversion of St. Paul, and many of the City's citizens did attend and marveled at Vychata as God, Owain of Shrewsbury as a Knight, and Lord Michel du Flambard as Caiaphas sporting an oily smirk. Now Michel had come to the City from the barony of Ruantallan some months before, and was well known for fomenting trouble, especially with his bawdy songs. He was later to become a companion to the Sisters of St. Sylard, crafting for their sweet voices a round, which, though worded innocently, contained a hidden meaning of much ribaldry.
About Owain, little has been said to this point, but that is no mark against his character. Indeed, he would have long ago been given arms, but he made it know quietly he did not wish such an honour. All recognized him as a Lord regardless. He had been a member of several cantons before arriving in Eoforwic to study at the College of St. Michael. He was a handsome young man with a fondness for juggling and the colour purple, and as he pursued his studies, so did his character mature. So diligently did he pursue the study of Latin that he was accepted at a great university in far Albion, and so left Eoforwic.
March A.S. XXVIII
In this month Baron Aedan, who had virtually retired from Society life after many years of service, was badly injured in a fall down a flight of stairs. Though he eventually fully recovered, he was seen even less thereafter. The fall is said to have destroyed his taste for both coffee and ale.
Also in this month more sad tidings reached the ears of Eoforings. Jessica de Tournai (once called Catherine de Harcourt) from Vest Yorvik was killed in a waggon accident along one of the King's Highways as she stopped to help a fellow traveler.
April A.S. XXVIII
In this month Gunther and Joliecia assumed the Lupine thrones as Cordigan and Diane retired, returning to their labours in bringing forth a new barony. Much business was transacted at the Investiture. Lord Gunnar was given the Award of the Doe's Grace, not for his service to one Queen, but for his courtesy and goodwill to many crowned heads over the years. The award was announced in song by Lady Austrechild. Also, a marvelous thing was done. Lady Elizabeth of Cadfan, called Kestrell, had been seen for many years in stunning garb and accessories. She practiced many arts, including calligraphy and illumination, and divers sciences, including metalwork, lapidary, and leatherwork, and had most recently been seen vending certain pewter cast "dickie birds” that were becoming notorious throughout the land. So far did her fame spread that on this day a cunning stunt was pulled and she was inducted into both the Order of the Silver Oak and the Order of the Willow. Mistress Rhiannon illuminated for her a most bawdy scroll. And also at the same court, Mistress Tamarra was inducted into the Order of the Pelican for her long service to the Kingdom; and her scroll was covered with hundreds of strawberries, each containing the face of a friend. (Some say that a certain Elvis, called "the King", could be found amongst the berries).
Also in this month did Sigridr step down as seneschal after three and a half years of service, handing her keys to Ysabeau Herbier de Vauvert. Also in this month did Luanmaise Ceantine disappear, though a lady named Margaret with flaming red hair quite like unto Luanmaise's suddenly appeared and assumed the office of Pursuivant from Lino da Napoli. And also did King Finn decree that the arts of defence were no longer to be practiced in secret, but openly, with the blessing of the Crown, and Nicolaa de Bracton thus became the first marshal of fence in Eoforwic history.
The Council of Elders, hearing the great distress of the populace over the new tax, rescinded their previous decree, but promulgated a new Bull. The tax was now only voluntary; but to encourage payment, a poll tax would be levied on each citizen who had not paid the tax at each bridge they crossed to attend a gathering. This decision was also loudly debated, particularly in Ealdormere, where the coin of the realm was worth less than in Southern lands, and some folk refused to collect the tax.
May A.S. XXIX
In this month Catriona Gower of York laid aside the double medallions of the Ministry of Arts and Sciences, and Mercedes d'Abelard, who had recently relocated to the City, took them up. Mercedes was skilled in several arts, but most notably in cooking, and was a founding member of the Ealdormerian Cook's Guild. Also, Margaret accepted Cassandra of Trilane as deputy Pursuivant. Cassandra, a gentle lady of Italia who had arrived in the city just a month before, did not realize that in doing so, she would inherit the office in a month's time. This would come as a great surprise to her.
It was about this time that an interest in superstition overswept the city, such that suddenly the air was full of talk of Magic. Strangely, it was mostly the menfolk who were affected, and they clumped together in corners trading cards that were said to contain spells and practicing their wizardry on each other.
In this month Finn and Garlanda ascended the Dragon Thrones, and as was custom, assured their successors with a grand tournament, which was won by Brannos o'Iongadril, fighting for the most gracious and sweet lady, Rebekah mac Tiernan.
June AS XXIX
Several of the City made their way to Petrea Thule, where upon an island, a battle took place, while the archers did shoot at a purple dragon called Barney.
It was late in this month that the cityfolk gathered outside Eoforwic for an event centering on the city of Novgorod. Vychata Igoravich had told many tales of the lands of the Rus', and this had inspired the City greatly. Nicolaa assembled a great book of the ways of the Rus' so that all could understand what would transpire. It seemed that two men, both called Vladimir, wished to claim overlordship over Novgorod. Now the older Vladimir (called Ofeigr by his Norse friends) had been away a-viking these many years, and in the interim his father had married formally and produced another so, also called Vladimir, who had been raised in Kiev and considered himself to be a cultured man. At the assembly or veche held outside the city, both claimed the title, and was customary, the sides retired to the Volkov bridge to settle the matter, in which the younger Vladimir was victorious. The event was lightly attended because of rain, but many Vikings and Monadhi were present, and there was extra food for all, thanks to Ysabeau's skill and the weather. Here Sylard introduced a new practice, in which those with goods they wished to trade brought them to a circle and much haggling occurred as each participant in turn offered their goods. Such was the success that trading circles were thereafter a regular practice in Eoforwic. Much mirth was also had with the trading of various commodities.
Also there was a short Court, in which Gunther and Joliecia inducted Foote the Potter and Grainne du Bois into the Friendship of the Trillium. And Cassandra was Herald, and she had been in the Society just two months.
July AS XXIX
The forces of Septentria massed in Ardchreag to prepare once again for War. Aveline de la Rose amazed all with her beautiful birds of prey, and was also inducted into the Order of the Willow in an impromptu court by Queen Garlanda because of her skills with the harp. Also were Elaine Middleton and Jihad ibn Musa given arms, the former for her costuming skills and research into medieval drama, the latter for his service as exchequer and seneschal, though he must have served in the latter capacity when no one was looking! Also Eduoard Beausoliel was inducted into the Order of the Peregrine by Gunther and Joliecia.
The next week saw several of the folk of Eoforwic venture to the Collegium in Bryniau to teach various things. Many of the Society, as was traditional, attended the great Fair in Monadh, which was seemingly successful.
Later that month, in the tenth Coronet Tourney of Ealdormere, the victor was the same as that of the first--David Martin Failsworth, who surpassed Viscount Roak in the finals. This time he fought for Elina de Braose, a kindly and plain-spoken lady of Norman descent--the same lady with whom he had been matched at Eoforwic's Italian event the summer before.
August A.S. XXIX
As the folk of the City prepared for Pennsic, a trading circle was held in which much merchandise changed hands. This year many Citizens were kept from the pilgrimage to Pennsia by lack of funds or other duties. Indeed, it was a most unusual War. Fierce storms had lashed the Eastern lands, and the beginning of the week witnessed the passing of a storm of such epic proportions that the professors of natural sciences gave it the name of Beryl. After passing the last year on the Serengetti plains, much care had been taken to find a new site for the City. But alas! When Vychata, Lord Mayor of Eoforwic arrived to survey the site, he found it sadly lacking and far too small. The good people of Venshaven donated part of their land and so the site was salvaged, though Vychata was forced to build a bridge over some of the swirling waters left by Beryl (thus earning the epithet "Pontius Maximus--Builder of Bridges). Though all were sorely soaked to the bone, much good fellowship was had. On the field, though, the picture was grey. Some say that Finn and Lucan, Kings of the Middle and East, had forgotten the phrase "Eternal Friends; Annual Enemies" and did take the battles far too seriously. Others say that it was not the fault of the Crowned Heads, but due to the overwhelming odds facing the Middle, which allowed unchivalrous behaviour to slip through.
Still others lay the blame at the feet of the Tuchux, who seemed beyond the control of their leaders. In any case, though there were many tales of individual prowess and chivalry, an atmosphere of tension lay thick in the air; indeed, some say that nearly 4 in 10 Ealdormerian fighters were injured on the field that year.
Amongst them was Duke Finnvarr, founder of the City of Eoforwic, who led his Lance de Taahe on campaign for the twenty-third time, for he had attended every Pennsic War and while at War had fought in every battle, a record matched by no man living or dead. And the first battle of the acrimonious XXIIIrd War was a Friendship Battle, and some later called it a battle like a well-chewed haunch of mutton. (For indeed this most confusing battle was like unto a dog's breakfast for all participants, and none knew what side the other was on and no doubt friend did slay friend in cursed ignorance, for all helms were marked alike.)
And in this battle His Grace Finnvarr received a churlish blow upon his gauntlet and his hand was injured and his knuckle was dislocated. His Grace was in much pain, and he came off the field aggrieved and muttering epithets. A Chirurgeon did bandage his hand in a great many yards of swaddling and His Grace was carted by his squires Richard and Heoroweard to the hospice in the town of Butler, that a barber might see to his hand. And this was the first time in all those many years that His Grace had cause to see a barber-surgeon while in the Debatable Lands, for while the Noble Order had been closed by King Finnvarr, surely Duke Finnvarr did finally suffer a Gaping Wound.
And while his squires of the body did seek a cart and did yet strip their Knight's armour from him at the side of the field, His Grace did cry out to his vassals. His Grace did bid them seek in camp a swordsman who was left-handed and to require from that swordsman his shield, that His Grace might bind his injured hand into that shield and fight with his sword set in his own left hand, that His Grace might take the field the next day for his King and not miss a battle. This His Grace did, and never has he yet missed taking a Knight's proper place in battle at the Pennsic War, not even unto the days of our own King Osis and his Queen Valthjona.
But for Ealdormere a few good things came from this war. Both Baron Menken and Prince Gunther were knighted on the field just before the great battle, and many rejoiced that the Middle Kingdom had finally recognized the chivalry of these two gentlemen, whom Ealdormere had known to be worthy for so long. And also did Madinia join her husband Hector in the Order of the Laurel, for her great skill in Elizabethan costume. Also, many were guests at the wedding feast of Hoskuld Thorleiksson and Eyrny Ormarsdottir, conducted in the Norse tradition.
Septembris A.S. XXIX
In this month Edward the Chaste returned to the City after a long sojourn in the East, and he was soon to assume the post of Chatelain. Also did Eanor and Edouard Beausoliel depart for far Drachenwald, where Eanor was to become a scholar. Some months later it reached the ear of the City that Eduoard had won for himself the title of King's Champion of Drachenwald.
Also in this month the artisans of the City gathered for the annual Market Day, this time held in the Guild Hall, for University College had decided its cloisters were available only for the resident monks. Here for the first time the merchants from the Silk Road displayed their wares, and much money changed hands. A small ransomed horse tourney was won by Nicolae, who was much in the company of Sybille of Amberhall, though it was later found that Osis had in fact collected the most horses. Sybille was ennobled that day by Gunther and Joliecia, as was Mary Anne Ruadh "for putting up with Ceallach". All agreed that this was well deserved.
In this month David and Elina claimed the Trillium Thrones, and issued many challenges to the populace. One was to produce items for the War Chest in exchange for specially minted coinage. Likewise, they also issued challenges to the groups of Ealdormere to challenge each other in a friendly Civil War, and they took hostages to insure the civility of these deeds. It was here that Countess Caitlin stood up and on behalf of House Hrogn (also called "Spawn"), a notorious band of Vikings, challenged Eoforwic at deeds of arms and arts. It seems she had rescued a certain Murphy the Sheep, left unloved and forgotten at Market Day, and as his mother, she felt Eoforwic should not regain him without a fight. The tale of that fight will be told apace.
And as the month concluded, the great moot of the Guilds of the City took place. For mayor both Gunnar and Vychata stepped forth, which caused great controversy, for Eoforwic had not yet ever had a two-term mayor. The race was indeed close, with ample bribes being extend by both candidates, who sought the honour of the Mayor Chair at Eoforwic's 20th anniversary event, but in the end the ample chocolate and even more ample coin proffered by Gunnar told the tale. And Aveline de la Rose was elected as sheriff--and promptly disappeared.
October AS XXIX
In this month did Brannos and Rebekah assume the Dragon Thrones, and from thence hosted a grand tourney in the Canton of Ben Dunfirth. Many of Eoforwic were in attendance, for not in many years had such a tourney been held within the bounds of Ealdormere. Gunnar, in his new role as Lord Mayor, hosted a lunch spread so spectacular that the citizens of Eoforwic resorted to grabbing passers-by and pressing food into their hands. Most remarkable was a loaf of bread of incredible size which the Lord Mayor had had baked on his command at the Market of St. Lawrence. The populace turned out in their finery, not the least of which was Lady Ysabeau's Elizabethan gown, made with the assistance of Dame Madinia, who had taken her as an apprentice. And many from Ealdormere fought with distinction that day, for a great prize was to be won--the right to one day ascend to the Dragon Throne.
Amongst the fighters was one Viscount Thorbjorn Osis, a knight, but most importantly, a Viking. Some time before, one Sir Coley Cuthbert had welcomed him at his feast table, and they had shared many a drinking horn since. Sir Coley was brave of heart and still could wield a sword with skill, but his health was failing, and with each year his dream--that his lady wife, Mistress Valthjona, reign as Queen--seemed further and further from his grasp. Mistress Valthjona was a gentle lady, skilled at the arts of the needle, and she, like Osis, came from the North. To the Norse, there are no stronger bonds than those of friendship, kinship, and honour, so few were surprised when Osis offered to carry Valthjona's favour. Several times he had fought well in the Crown lists on her behalf, but ultimate victory had eluded him. But on this day, in front of the people he had once ruled as Prince, Osis bested Sir Stephen Edgermont, and a great cheer went up from the crowd. Once again a wolf of the North would ascend the Dragon throne, and Sir Coley would see his lady crowned Queen of the Middle. There were few dry eyes as he set the princely coronet on her head, thanking her for her patience; few had dreamed a Viking of simple speech could be so eloquent. And then, with Their Majesties' leave, he brought forth another lady. This was Countess Mistress Caitlin, his own lady, and in front all, asked for her hand in marriage, and a great profusion of handkerchiefs were once again brought forth.
It was here that Ursula na Clann na Rath was taken as protege by Frederic l'Avare, and that Zadok ibn Alfakhar was given leave to use the tile of "Don". Also elevated was Elizabeth, lady wife of Terrence Kirkpatrick, who was not only given arms (she had been missed in a grievous oversight) but also inducted into the Order of the Willow for her skills at dance.
November AS XXIX
It was in this month that Eoforwic celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its first formal meeting, which was held in the Guild Hall of the International Students, where it is to this day. In actual fact, the anniversary passed without notice from the populace, and this month indeed was singularly unexciting. My sister Nicolaa did make a pilgrimage to the place of her birth far to the south, and among Society folk there did attract notice for her red robe in the Spanish fashion, and received a silver dragon pendant for her efforts, which she oft may be seen wearing, and in those parts she met up with Brand Thorwaldsson and Caitrin and Dafydd of Chalcewell, who happened to be passing by.
In fact, word had come to Eoforwic that longships had been spotted up the coast, and folk were loathe to leave their homes behind and spent the time sharpening swords lest they be caught unawares.
December AS XXIX
It was in this month that the dreaded longships were seen in the Inland Seas, and fierce Norsemen came ashore to raid the City. Their first deed was to raid the countryside, taking as captive a certain Murphy the Sheep, whose birth had been made possible by Countess Caitlin, now consorting with the Viking host. Having heard advance warning of the Viking menace, Angus, Marshal of the White Tower, with the help of Hector and others had searched the land for skilled fighters to help defend the City walls. Though the Vikings were lead by Prince Osis and counted many talented young fighters on their side, the City managed to augment their smaller ranks with no less than Duke Hasdrubal himself, along with members of all the premier fighting households of Ealdormere, though the Faringolds were conspicuous by their absence on either side. Vikings and the augmented City Guard fought from boats and on the beaches, on bridges and in the town. Champions in each of five weapons forms met each other on the field, and those skilled with rapier defended the marketplace, using whatever came to hand, such as fish and bread, to parry blows. And apart from the fighting, artisans exhibited their creations, some busily embroidering napkins for Their Highnesses. And an odd thing happened. Laughter was heard on the field of battle, and afterwards, though the Vikings had won, both sides clasped hands in friendship and shared drinking horns replete with Ceallach's specially brewed ale. At Court, David and Elina commended the fighters for their chivalry on the field, especially Lord Rhys, to whom they gave a special blue garter. And Nicolaa won for herself some garnets for her embroidery, which had caught the Princess' eye, while Ysabeau's candied orange peels proved the most popular (and tastiest) arts entry. Also did Gunnar repeat his success with arranging a splendid repast (with requite large loaf of bread), and Osis provided a hearty soup. And ever after were Skeldergate and Eoforwic even closer friends.
January A.S. XXIX
In this month within the City Walls did sojourn the Baron and Baroness of Septentria, and here, in the Black Rose Inn of Ines de Freytis, did hold Twelfth Night festivities. Many strange doppelgangers were seen at this event, and Lord Kes and Lady Glandydd presided over a Court of Fools. Many gentles who broke the rules were forced to wear the Nose of Shame. Ursula had made for Countess Caitlin a huge pot of marzipan, and Caitlin sponsored a sotelty contest with prizes for "most patriotic" and "most bloody"--though the latter category was misunderstood as "most bawdy"--resulting in numerous unsubtle sotelties, including that of Madeline de la Villemonde, who won the contest. This Madeline was the twin of Schierlin of Freiburg, who had been driven away by excessive mispronunciation of her name, especially by a certain Lord Larmer, and by Catriona, who had handed her prophylactics emblazoned with "Feel the Sheerlon difference". Also on that day did Nicolaa hand the Giant Stapler over to Leonora da Lilliaceae, thus stepping down as Ursus editor, for she had recently assumed the mantle of Deputy Principality Marshal of Fence. From this time Albrecht Stampfer, a gentle of German birth, now had charge of the salle des armes of Eoforwic. And here also was Elaine Middleton (who had parted company with Vladimir, and that day met a certain Maximilian of Eoforwic, which would have future consequences) taken as apprentice by Madinia, and Viscountess Heithr apprenticed to Hector. Two customs of old were here revived. In the days of Aedan and Caffa, it had been customary, in times of peace, to set up a Point of Honour wherein all were enjoined to place all weapons longer than a forearm, to be watched by an appointed guard. Likewise, it had long been the custom to collect Baronial Taxes at Twelfth Night, and thus the cantons of Septentria--most of them--stepped forward with a spear, from which was hung a canton banner, carried by a newly trained archer, fencer, or fighter. Lady Ysabeau, a new archer, presented Ieuan and Adrielle with the very spear that Eoforwic had once given to Aedan and Caffa on a similar occasion. The Canton of Monadh, having no spear of great antiquity, presented a new spear--and marvelous it was to see, with a point wrought by Master Sylard, a banner woven by the ladies of the canton, and many other beautiful details. So pleased were the Baron and Baroness that they took it everywhere with them after that time. Also,
the Cup of Teacht Cearta Mor passed from Ines de Freytis to Thevenin de la Cote d'Azur, known everywhere by his kind and generous nature and great chivalry on and off the field of honour.
February A.S. XXIX
In this month David and Elina held a grand tourney to chose their heirs. Each entrant had previously presented himself and his lady (for all the entrants were male) in Court with twelve good folk representing fighters, fencers, archers, artisans, and bureaucrats, and representing all three baronies, to attest to their good names. Sixteen fighters entered the lists that day, and in the end Viscount Roak bested Rory Cenneddi from the Skrael (who that day bore an uncanny, though smaller, resemblance to Prince Osis), thus winning for himself and Viscountess Tarkwyn the new-coined titles of Althegn and Althegna of Ealdormere.
Nearly three years to the day that Cordigan and Diane had first announced their intention to pursue the division of Septentria, the process was finally completed with the proclamation of the Barony of Ramshaven, consisting of the cantons of Trinovantia Nova, Afon Araf, Bryniau Tywynogg, and der Welfengau, and the investiture of Cordigan and Diane as Baron and Baroness. The new barony had existed in all but name for some time now. Also on that day was the Canton of Petrea Thule raised to full status after many years of argument with the College of Heralds over their group name. Also at this event was Etaoin o Fearghail elevated to the Order of the Laurel for skill in spinning and dying. During the feast, a group of Eoforings presented the Thuligans with Ancient Regalia created at the time of the group's initial formation, along with a Mayoral Bull worded by Hector and signed by the populace, congratulating the group. Also during the feast was Gaerwen of Trafford spirited away by one of the Bearded Men of Monadh. It seems that Gaerwen had come to be betrothed to Graeme Larmer, and had been heard complaining that it would be many years before they might marry, owing to Graeme's tender age, and so this particular Monadhi had come to better the offer. Though Gaerwen was carried from the hall over his shoulder, she did not appear to struggle much.
It was also in this month that James Douglas assumed the editorial duties for the Eoforing from Ines de Freytis and produced his first issue, which had a chocolate truffle stuck to the cover. He received many compliments, and thenceforth, chocolate was plentiful. Also it was decided to forgo a Court of Love near the feast of St. Valentine in favour of a Court of Chocolate, and many excess pounds were gained by the populace as a result.
March AS XXIX
In this month the Artisans held their Fair in the canton of Dinas Gardd, where a great miracle was witnessed. A scholar from the university in Bryniau Tywynogg had spent many years with needle and wool reproducing the great tapestry of Bayeux. Now, his labours almost complete, he had been convinced by Eyrny Ormarsdottir to bring a goodly portion to the fair for display. When unfolded, it covered three walls of the feast hall. Seldom has such a wonder been seen in the Known World, and Prince David and Princess Elina gifted him with a goblet for his inspiration. Also at the competition did Nicolaa finish high in the Pentathalon, despite the fact that one of her entries was an extraordinarily silly "Charm against the Plague" consisting of a vial of Catnip, which Ysabeau had convinced her to enter. Ysabeau was later that day summoned from the lavatory to be inducted into the Order of the Golden Otter for her skill at costuming.
Many citizens of Eoforwic packed a local inn this month to see a play called "Ydelness and Occupacion", presented by the Poculi Ludique Societas, whose bonds with Eoforwic continued to grow strong. The play featured the triumph of a very fearsome Doctrine (loudly hissed by the crowd) over Ydelness, with the help of Occupacion.
It was about this time that Morgan Blackheart formally took over the Ministry of the Exchequer, though in truth she had long been performing many of its duties. Morgan had long red hair and the cleverness of a fox, and was very tenacious at raising funds, most particularly for the upcoming anniversary celebration. She also was in training to fight for the Eoforwic guard, as were a number of the ladies of the City, who aspired to become the "Bear-Chested Women of Eoforwic".
April A.S. XXIX
Whilst planning for the Eoforwic twentieth anniversary, it was decided by the citizens that it would be most mete to bedeck the City with the devices of the citizens, and so all were summoned to the Guild Hall to paint said devices upon small shields. And Jasper was commissioned to carve a sign, so that the display might be used as a Pennsic Gate as well.
And the aforementioned Master Stonecutter did return to the Guild Hall one evening, and regaled the populace with tales and pictures of the architecture of Spain and France.
Not a few of the townsfolk traveled to the canton of Vest Yorvik, and though the stench of fish was nigh unbearable, they enjoyed themselves much, in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Principality of Ealdormere. Word traveled through the hall of a secret P.A.C.E. plot to register the recently-vacated heraldic device of a certain Huge Eastern European Nation, as "they didn't need it anymore". It was here that four of the townsfolk--Madeline de Villemonde, Albrecht Stampher, Jasper Vrakkink, and Vychata Igoravich (Chin of Victory, etc.) were ennobled, and that Nicolaa de Bracton was inducted into the Order of the Peregrine, the first fencer to be so honoured. And also Hector, bynamed by the Guild Fannucci as "who gets no Prezzies", was presented with Princess Elina's personal favour, and he vowed he would sew it to his war-torn bear tabard.
Two weeks later, the people of Ealdormere gathered in Ben Dunfirth for the most auspicious tourney named after Lady Mary Campbell. All knew that on that day that Baron Byron and Baroness Fiona would retire from their thrones in Rising Waters, and that also on that day Ben Dunfirth would be raised to Baronial status. But few dreamed that in the midst of Court Prince David and Princess Elina would suddenly fall dead of poisoning. Since no Principality may be without a Prince and Princess, Roak stepped forward to claim the Coronet, escorted by an armed guard and numerous dancing ladies of the East. The City of Eoforwic provided him with seventeen polearms for his escort (many wrought by Glorimere Galbraith, who was becoming well known for such things and for his other skills, especially explosions of various sorts). When it came time to bring forth his consort, he lifted the helm from one of his escort to reveal Tarkwyn of Balanjar. Their first act as Prince and Princess was to appoint Onami as Sheriff (with the appropriate regalia) with the charge of finding the murderer of Their now very Serene and Supine Highnesses, whose ghosts were seen walking the grounds the rest of the day, looking quite pale and rattling chains.
As was the custom, a most chivalrous tourney was waged, which was won by Tarquin the Red, Champion to King Brannos, foreshadowing events to come. But few surpassed Don Zadok for gentility, for he fought for Countess Elaina (a lady originally of the East) and his retinue comprised the Flowers of Ealdormere, including Laurels, Principality officers, fencers, archers, artisans, and others of merit, and there were some twenty of them.
Later that day indeed did Baron Byron and Baroness Fiona retire, deeding their coronets to Genevieve and Malik, along with various regalia, including a most curious duck. Many eyes were teary, for Fiona and Byron had touched many lives. Then the people of Ben Dunfirth were called forward and the canton was elevated to baronial status, and Tarkatai and Thyra created as its first Baron and Baroness, and Baron Malik and Baroness Genevieve gave them their first regalia-- including the aforementioned duck. The City of Eoforwic gave fine shields to each new Baronial couple in honour of the occasion. On this day also were three of the City honoured with Purple Frets: Gaerwen of Trafford, for her long term service; Ines de Freytis for her work on a guide to the merchants of Ealdormere and as autocrat; and Rhys ap Bledri, for his services as a herald and general all-around volunteer.
May AS XXX
The first weekend of the new year saw the citizens of Eoforwic take different paths. Two of the scholars, Nicolaa and Elaine, traveled to that place known in the vernacular as "K'zoo" to present their findings to the world, and there they found much mirth and cheap wine, along with Jarla Brynhildr, now dwelling in lands far to the west.
Others of the City followed Prince Osis a-viking to Red Spears. And what transpired there was this: Brannos, the King, received word that in the East, trouble brewed, and so donning his helm, he made the vow of the Crusader. Setting aside his crown for a Crusader's badge, he gave Rebekah, his Queen, into the safekeeping of the Sisters of the Snood, that she might await his return in the sanctuary of a nunnery. Prince Roak now found himself nominally in charge, which caused a muffled giggle. And thus sat the Crowns of State on the Thrones for several hours, under the watchful eye of Duchess Lisa, Seneschale of the Midrealm, and there was an Interregnum. That evening it seemed appropriate that one be found to rule, and so the herald called for one who could claim the crown. Six hooded figures stepped forward--each claiming to possess one, but not all of the attributes of kingship. Then stepped forth a seventh--who was revealed to be Thorbjorn Osis Brandsson, clothed in black and white, the colours of his household, and wearing upon his arm a ring given to him by the people of Eoforwic. As he pulled forth his knighting sword, it was apparent to all that here was a worthy king, and so he took the crown, and then the sword called Oathbinder, and then did call forth Mistress Valthjona. "Here", he was heard to say as he placed the crown on her brow, "is the first of my gifts to the Middle".
At the point in the ceremony in which Knights are called forth to swear fealty, King Osis also called forth Laurels, Pelicans, Royal Peers, and the Baronage, so that all might be deemed equal in the sight of the populace, and after they had sworn, he bade them face the people and declared "These are your Peers. Use them well". And later he gave his armring to Sigurd the Bard, who had devised this ceremony for him. This was one of twenty such rings, one for each year of Eoforwic's existence, which had been presented to Osis and Valthjona, for it is the Viking way to give gifts, and a Viking king should have an ample supply on hand. Many of the folk of Eoforwic had contributed to the making of these gifts, and the King's thanks were later expressed in a royal missive to the City.
Also in this month was a daughter born to Feardubh and his lady Barbara, and she was called Seren. Those who saw her saw she had the hands of a bassoonist. Also in the far lands of the North was Ancarett Nankivellis delivered of a girl baby, called Eleanor.
Far to the South, in the lists to determine a Heirs to the Dragon Throne, Tarquin the Red prevailed and set the coronet on the brow of his lady Aoibhilen. Tarquin, though not yet a knight, had stood as champion to King Brannos and was well known as a most chivalrous man, though it was said that he was sorely shocked to have prevailed that day, and that his lady nearly swooned in shock. Also on that weekend was the great Arts and Sciences Fair, where Nicolaa took a first place in Research.
June AS XXX
As was customary, Petrea Thule hosted a tourney and revel at the opening of the month, this time in honour of Sir Menken, who had reached his fortieth year. Great tales were told there of the fame of this good knight, and many wore garments of black and white chequey in honour of him. Sir Menken himself fought forty challenges that day, and each who bested him was allowed to select a gift from his vast treasury. The final challenge was offered by Ceallach, and the two fought an epic battle with greatsword. Because of the inclement weather, all retired to an indoor arena where a certain sport was practiced, and heralds did cry "Armour inspection at centre ice!" The tourney itself was in the warlord format, and won by Don Zadok. And Albrecht was judged the most flamboyant fencer, and received as a prize a most flamboyant hat.
It was also about the time that Mistress Rhiannon announced that she would soon leave for the land of Albion again, there to visit her true love (whom all agreed was a pleasing sight), and perhaps to stay forever. Meanwhile, those of the City continued to marvel at the speed of Lothar at the art of mail-making. He was making a shirt of wondrous construction for Madeline, who hoped the wearing of it would rouse young gentlemen to give alms to the poor. This Lothar was not the Lothar of earlier Eoforwic history, but another gentle altogether. He had at this time been regularly seen in Eoforwic for about a year.
I have heretofore only alluded to the preparations for Eoforwic's Twentieth Anniversary celebration. According to the first Chronicle, the first Tourney in Eoforwic was held in March A.S. IX, the first meeting having taken place many months before. It was decided that the first tourney, not the first meeting, should be commemorated, and that July was a more pleasing month than March. Thus, endeavors were made to secure the great Hall at Trinity College, where City revels had oft been held. Alas, but the scholar monks there no longer offered their hospitality so freely, and so the City was forced to look elsewhere. It was at this point that Cassandra stepped forward. It seemed that the grounds of a local grammar school with whom she was employed might prove suitable and inexpensive. This was important: For several months now, the people of Eoforwic had been donating the fruits of their labours to raffles to raise money so that Eoforwic's hospitality could be extended free of any gate tolls. The site was eventually procured, and thus the planning began in earnest. As in days of old, Mistress Tamarra would cook the feast. Great tourneys with both knightly weapons and those of the courtier would be offered, with splendid prizes to the victors and those judged most chivalrous, and an exhibition of the arts and sciences would also be held, with similarly spectacular prizes. Elspeth had formed a friendship with a troupe of actors from Carolingia, and had arranged for them to visit with a commedia play. A display of relics from Eoforwic history was also planned, and many contests with many prizes. (Hector had volunteered his services for procuring these, and he had elicited many donations). Gwynfyr had taken on the duties as steward, though the majority of the planning was done by a committee of many of the folk of the City. There was hardly a citizen who did not have an assigned task of some sort.
And lo! Though for most the spring the air had been cooler than normal, Saint Swithin (he who is patron of weather) did from his heavenly seat espy the people of Ealdormere traveling to Ben Dunfirth, and said, "it must be Murder Melee again", and lo! while it was pleasing fair weather, some part of Hell near to that Barony opened wide and spewed forth great heat, and the folk were forced to cavort in their underwear. That day Aibhilen of Skye, whose cooking and skill with herbs had won wide acclaim, was elevated that day. And Master Hector was placed on vigil by the Order of the Pelican, to his great surprise. Also was Nicolaa de Bracton inducted into the Order of the Bee (becoming only the second person admitted to the Bee, Golden Otter, and Peregrine, as testify the Chronicles of St. Brand), and Eoin o Beirne of the Two Baronies made noble.
July AS XXX
As was now customary, the fighters of Septentria gathered in the lands of Ardchreag to prepare for the upcoming conflict. And here they trained in many areas--on bridges and fields, in woods and town. It was here noted that the Cult of St. Brand was spreading far and wide, as one could now visit his shrine and purchase pilgrimage tokens of chequey sable and or. And Ursula once again provided wondrous food for all, and so concerned with these duties was she that King Osis sent emissaries to ensure she was brought to his Court--where she was made a Baroness of that Court, not so much by him, but by the acclaim of all the folk there assembled. Here also was Hector raised to the Order of the Pelican, and many folk spoke on his behalf, and twice he was nearly moved to tears. And since no medallion had been provided in advance, a short time before the ceremony Countess Caitlin undertook to make one from cut metal, and did cut herself in the doing of it; the blood may still be seen on that medallion today.
Also were challenges presented to the White Bear Fian by many folk, and a most amusing challenge presented to House Hrogn by some folk of Lochac by Mercedes, who had acted as ambassador to those parts. Thinking it a more traditional drinking challenge, Osis readily accepted on behalf of his household. It involved downing large quantities of milk and saying "Wah Hoo" whilst making odd gestures resembling moose antlers with ones' hands if successful, and switching to raspberry cordial when the milk ran out, and truly was a test of ones' manhood. The challenge was set for Pennsic XXV, at which time Osis would hopefully not be encumbered by Kingdom business.
And--mirabile visu--here occurred another miracle of the Blessed Brand, for Dona Mercedes' money pouch went astray that day. After appealing to Our Saint, whose patronage is lost objects, the pouch did reappear in Mercedes' waggon; in thanks
she did proffer at his shrine fresh strawberries, which Brand had often said made the toils of a saintly life most bearable.
The day appointed for Eoforwic's Anniversary celebration approached rapidly, and many of the citizenry were thrown into a frenzy of final preparations, not the least of which was the titanic struggle of Mercedes and James Douglas against the Byzantinesque bureaucracy of the modern town authorities to gain approval for the beer tent. Since James was particularly distracted by these cares and had little time to think of clothing himself for the celebration, Nicolaa and Ysabeau conspired to construct for him two tunics, one for work and one for dress, which they presented to him the week before. And many folk came to Hector's house to paint signs and etch armrings, and in the midst of this Hector asked Gaerwen of Trafford to consider becoming his first protege.
And what of the Twentieth Anniversary celebration itself? The day itself dawned bright and sunny, but oppressively hot, though this kept only a few revelers away. And many old and newer friends came from far away: Robert of Two Cliffs and Jane of Hendon from the far West; Duke Finnvarr de Taahe and Ragni from the North, Master Brusten de Bearsul, who had been at the first Eoforwic Demo, from the South, and Master Bertram of Bearington and Viscount Haakon Oaktall and Viscountess Eleanor from the East. And many names of Eoforwic historical fame were seen about once again: Mistress Mortraeth (who brought the greetings of Master Sylard, who was detained that weekend by his blacksmithy), Jamie Nusbacher, Torbin of Amberhall, and Tarver the Pole, among others. Master Brusten brought with him the True stick of Eoforwic, which had thrown the first blow in that first demo many years ago, and wore for part of the day a surcote dating from that time as well. (And Christine Demerchant fashioned a fabulous reliquary for a piece of the True Stick--a silver locket cradled in a painted box--for which she gained not only a prize of her choice, but a precious splinter of the Stick). And other relics were displayed as well--Sylard's AoA scroll and the second knife he ever etched, a helm first worn by Graf Hugo and by many others in subsequent years, the original coronets of Aedan and Caffa, favours exchanged by Torbin and Ragni in the second year of Eoforwic, a favour embroidered by Caitlin Stuart, the sword "Victory-taker" belonging to Tarver the Pole, copies of plays performed over the years in Eoforwic (one entitled, rather prophetically, "Sir Rosis of Liver"), copies of the Eoforwic Charter and of sumptuary laws from past years, the mayoral Schaube of Gunthar Wallenstein, which was subsequently donated to the City regalia, and many personal scrapbooks. Of Murphy the Sheep more will be said later.
Those who came to the celebration were greeted by a table nigh bursting with prizes donated by the folk of Eoforwic and their friends. And many brought their crafts to display on a special table, and few had seen so many wondrous items in one place before--it was indeed hard to choose which was the best.
But in the end a leather pouch by Dragolen, who had traveled far for the celebration, was admired most, and he won for himself a special machine wrought by Dremel. And Tsharyl Larmer's intricate embroidery, Lothar’s dress of mail, Marcan's carved and painted bow box, and Nicolaa's red dress were also chosen to receive prizes. But one of the most glorious creations was erected outside--the gate of Eoforwic, carved by Jasper, from which was suspended small shields bearing the arms of the City folk.
Though it was almost unbearably hot, great things were done on the field that day. Rhys ap Bledri successfully challenged into the White Bear Fian, and both Percival and Albrecht Stampher were commissioned as fighters. And Duke Finnvarr and Master Brusten then stepped forward, both wearing several items which dated back twenty years, and fought a first bout, reenacting the first Eoforwic demo so many years before, and Brusten fought with the True Stick, as he had on that day. Next, a tournament in the warlord style was waged, and in the end, the team led by a man of Araby (now of the Rhydderich Hael) bested that led by Berus Wolfsson. And he chose as a prize a knife wrought by Douglas, and Berus a stocked wooden feast chest. Then the fighters did amuse themselves in a Bear Pit, which was won by Rori Cennedi, called "The Kid". And finally, a random fighter was chosen to receive a prize, and thus did Sir Menken gain a beautiful spear.
Upon another field, the rapier fighters held forth, and once again, many folk had traveled a great distance to participate. Before the tournament, a mock brawl was held, and great mirth was had as the fencers fought with mock sausages, hams, a doumbek and a viol, fish and cats, and a huge axe, mallet, and anvil. Then the challenge tourney began. In the end, Hoskuld and Andreas wagered all their earnings on a single series of bouts--which Andreas won, thus claiming the rapier Glorimere Galbraith had fashioned as a prize. Ottar Finnson was second, and took home a parry cloak sewn by Nicolaa, and Gareth took home a mail glove wrought by Edward the Chaste. A random name was drawn as well, and Illaria--who said she'd never won anything--took home a small axe.
Later that day, Hoskuld decided to retire from his burden as Principality Marshal of Fence, and asked Nicolaa to take his place.
In the afternoon, the troupe I Sebastiani, who had traveled to Eoforwic from the East on the invitation of Elspeth, presented a play in the Commedia style, which was greeted by a standing ovation. The actors had been sponsored by the folk of Eoforwic, and indeed, were commemorated in the play itself.
Because of the great heat, the evening's feast was moved outside. It was cooked, as in many years past, by Tamarra, and was delicious to eat. A vendor of dessert ices happened by in the middle of the dinner, and many enjoyed his wares. As the feast wore on, a competition developed amongst the servers to most creatively announce the availability of water, and indeed two of them held a race from the rear of the tables to the seat of Prince Roak--who then asked that they dump some over his head. One of these gentles, attending his first event, was dubbed "Hydro of Eoforwic" and given a writ by Alderman Vychata, acting in the Lord Mayor's stead, after the festivities to carry the banner of Eoforwic abroad and claim what territories he might, although it was thought that should he claim that turbulent land of Bosnia that it be presented to Drachenwald as a gift.
In the interval between courses, the infamous Foote the Potter gifted the City with a very large fish, supposedly the "Salmon of Knowledge", and Eoforwic set about the business of fish-farming apace.
After dinner, the revelers retired to close by the beer tent for Court, where several things were done. First, Baron Ieuan and Baroness Adrielle held forth. Rhys was formally inducted into the White Bear Fian. Hector stepped forward then and presented an armring, which had been gifted to to him by King Osis, to Nicolaa, for the service she had given in preparation for the festivities. Angus Albani was taken as a scutifer by the Baron and Baroness. Then Glandydd and Kes were called forward, and given a new award--the Award of the Bear's Blue Balls. (the observant noted it greatly resembled in shape the infamous Nose of Shame from the Twelfth Night past). And finally, one of Eoforwic's oldest members was given a Bear's Heart--Murphy the Sheep. Also, as the Lord Mayor could not be found, Alderman Gunthar stepped forward to thank all on the occasion of this s auspicious anniversary. Later, Gunnar did step forward, and apologized for his lateness, presenting gifts to the Crowned Heads in Court, as is his wont.
Prince Roak also held a short court, in which Cassandra and James Douglas were both made armigerous, a pleasing end to a long day of work for both of these good folk. Also was Gaerwen of Trafford formally made the protege of Hector that day.
Thus did the first twenty years of Eoforwic draw to a close. And thus on the occasion of the anniversary of the first tourney in Eoforwic, these were the officers: Ysabeau de Vauvert was seneschal, and Morgan Blackheart exchequer and minister of children. Angus Albahni was knight marshal, and Albrecht Stampher marshal of fence, and Gaerwen of Trafford archery lieutenant. And Mercedes d'Abelard was Minister of arts and Sciences, and Zara her deputy. And Cassandra Nannina Losiseral was Pursuivant, and Tristan her deputy. Rosina was the Mistress of Dance. Edward the Chaste was Chatelain. And Gunnar Halfdan of Lund was Lord Mayor, the sixth of his line, and Aveline de la Rose was sherrif. And Anthea Lovatte held the City Treasury. It is thus a great indicator of the changes in the City that but one official had held her office during the four years traversed by this Chronicle, and that was Lady Anthea. Indeed, while Eoforwic of old was still held in fond memory by many, in truth those days were past, and a new generation now sallied forth, doing deeds worthy of song, restoring Eoforwic to her high estate, a solid link in the chains of fealty to the Kingdom, a glittering sapphire in the Coronets of Ealdormere, a welcoming fire in the hearth of Septentria, no Muddy York, but rather a City of Queens.
And here ends this fifth chronicle. It shall be the task of another to record the momentous events of the succeeding months, of the War fought by King Osis on the plains of Pennsia and the deeds of Cityfolk there, of how Her Utsilency was joined by His Footsilency, of the elevation to the Peerage of Ragni Dzintara, and of other such things.