There were treats for me as steward.
I got the castle gate key to keep overnight, and it honestly was about 6 inches? 8 inches? long - the biggest key I've ever seen. There were standard padlocks on most of the bolts on the doors in the site, but the castle gate still had this whacking great enormous
key, and it was fun to use.
The castle has bits of modern retrofitted into the old; storage for a hall full of banquet tables and chairs for instance, is squeezed into the base of one of the towers. So you go through one pointy arched door way, past the spiral stair entrance, unlock the door in front of you, and promptly plunge into complete
darkness to reach the inner door, with another bolt...but fortunately you know where the light switch is, and it goes from a mysterious medieval entrance to an utterly banal and modern storage room - though it's round, and in the base of a turret.
A young man introduced himself to me with his SCA membership card - kingdom of Lochac. Milord Huw was on his gap year travels from Politicopolis, staying in Cardiff, and his folks had phoned him to tell him to get his butt to Caerphilly
, there was an event on he should go to. So he rolled up with nothing but eyes like dinnerplates and a huge smile of pleasure.
He was prepared to be a punter, I think, but two expat antepodeans, Duncan Kerr and Countess Portia, promptly took him under their wing, found him a gown and feastgear and we added him to feast, and he spent the day basking in a castle, as well as being useful. His delight was palpable, and it made me and everyone around me smile.
We held court in the barbican apartment, which is a large room up a long flight of spiral stairs. Fortunately there was already some benches in the room (strategic, I think, to put seats at the top of a lot of stairs), and though I only carried up 2 benches myself the rest materialised in time for court. This allowed us to dress tables for feast, while running court at the same time.
In the late afternoon sun, their Royal Highnesses, newly invested in court, were facing into the light and squinting, trying not to shade their eyes to look at people. Robert got up and stood in the window, making himself as wide as he could, and provided shade for the 15 minutes or so it took for the sun to move out of their faces. Her Highness Cecilia's coronet sparkled and caught the light like a disco ball.
Court business was brief and to the point - investiture, and some local awards, including an AoA for H, Sir Vitus' son (my callig, artwork by Katherine of Great Chesterford - need to get a scan) and a Fox for HG Alessandre Melusine
(my callig, blank by badgersandjam).
The hedgepig scroll
was presented, and read in, which was well received, and seems to be gaining a life of its own.
Lady Auriana was given a Lindquistringes, as well as Lady Gwenllian my co-steward - Lady Sarah Asshton's Lindquistringe was presented at feast because she was in the kitchen. I didn't see Auri's scroll but Wenny's was dripping with gold, made by Meisterin Katheryn H.
When you're in court (royal or populace) it's very satisfying to hear approval of awards given, and there was a very rewarding positive murmur when Lady Catherine Weaver was made a member of the Panache - not present, but announced and read in.
TRM gave out Dragon's tears
to those who supported the 20 year event. I now hold three Tears (1 for the first Caerphilly event I stewarded, 1 for Raglan, and one now for 20 year), and hope to commission a jeweller of my acquiaintance to make me some enormous medieval brooch for them. :-)
The comedy of court was provided by Sir Clancy, accompanied by his son Jr and Sir Nasr, dressed in their finest 'southern US' regalia, who, in the broadest Texan accent possible, y'all, presented a basket of ;educational goods' to his Majesty. Apparently Sir Sven had travelled with Clancy through southern states, and had asked a lot of questions about local culture.
The goods included a pair of his own overalls, a copy of the Roadkill Cookbook, a Confederate flag, and a white belt painted with Confederate flags - a treasure surely only available in the finest outfitters.
The flags of course prompted hissing from northern US expats, and I don't expect Sven will wear the belt - though he modelled it for the chivalry meeting.
Sunday's activities were quieter than I'd expected, and hoped. Only a few folks decided to fight and fence, and while I had offered to marshal archery, I had not brought loaner equipment, so the Sunday archery didn't happen.
This was disappointing mainly because it was yet another glorious day; I think we need more keen promotion to help a second day of activity after Crown.
The cleanup on Sunday was excellent: I was really pleased, and grateful, for all the help people put in to wash up, pack and break down. It went far faster than I expected, and we had fewer forgotten items than I'd thought we would considering how huge the site was.