Here's today's favourite for language buffs.
It's excellent preparation for going to Double Wars.
Hey gothwalk: I think we've just found a great solution for the 'how do we convey nuances of meaning on social media' question... just refer them to SatW.
This writ was to mark HE aryanhwy's winning the kingdom arts and sciences competition. She is thus the kingdom artisan for the coming year. It's not really an award from the Crown because they didn't choose her - the judges did. So it's more a acknowledgement of her accomplishment.
To find a medieval example text, I used two texts from Henry V's chancery, one where he is similarly giving his royal assent to a decision made by others (the church making someone a bishop) 1417C81/1364/41Signet of Henry V , and another where he delegates an appointee's commission to his recipient 1417C81/1364/36Signet of Henry V, leaving the fine details for a trusted clerk to figure out.
12th night is also called Epiphany, so I used that description as a date, rather than the exact calendar date - there's only one 12th night per anno societatus.
The calligraphy is a bit wobbly, but the overall effect is what I was after - something fine and businesslike, little fuss and muss. I fell back on a fine metal nib, not a quill, for this piece - I'd spent a lot of time trimming my existing nibs to get them finer, but could not get any finer than just under 1 mm - it's ok, but not as fine as I wanted.
I hold one of the copies of the kingdom seal, and have used it regularly over several years; the other seal is my own, made by my lord Robert for me last year. It's made of silver, and has my arms and a motto from the opening of the gospel of John ('In the beginning was the word'), and Ary's pictures show them both beautifully.
Robert spent well over an hour fiddling with hot and cold beeswax to get a really good impression of these two seals - he deserves the credit for the way they turned out.
One of the things I make for regalia is small purses, modelled on (surprise!) surviving seal bags and reliquary bags. They use up scraps of velvet and silk, and are finished with embroidery floss fingerbraid and beads.
So for the first time, I had a seal bag handy...to really go over a seal. Unfortunately I couldn't fit a second bag over my own seal and fit it all in the package for mailing! so I wrapped it in card and crossed my fingers for transit.
The seal cord is silk fingerbraid, by HG Alessandre Melusine, a narrow wares mavin, who keeps me stocked on request.
Lovely closeup of the kingdom seal - you can even see the custom addition of cat fur in the velvet behind the seal...
View of my own seal, threaded on a scrap of scribbled-on vellum.
Nice view of the text. Proofreading it afterwards, I had to squeeze in the year - whoops.
Truthfully my back was aching, and I did go back to bed, to give myself some more down time.
I got up in time to grab a bite and attend an impromptu class on quill cutting. merlyn_gabriel had seen my wailing about quills and asked Mistress Caitlin to demonstrate, so we assembled in the scriptorium and had a very helpful session about how she cuts her quills. I took notes, and Mistress Aine took pictures, so I'm hoping to get in touch with her to develop an article.
It seems to be one of the skills best learned in person - all the reading I've done has given me the idea, but I still didn't have it right, and got the chance to walk through it not just with a scribe, but someone who uses quills exclusively.
From there, I dressed for dinner: feast was to start at 3pm in the respective halls (three halls needed to house everyone) so it was a hustle to get our feastgear etc in place. Happily we got to sit with friends, including Eufemia and Cadogan, and Caitlin and Otto and Ruth (Gaita at this event!), and hobbitomm and ormsweird as well. We tried absinthe (one of the Japanese members had given the bottle to Cadogan) and it was potent stuff.
Feast ran a bit long - it's hard to coordinate across three halls when you're cooking in yet another one! I wouldn't even want to try.
It occurred to me, on my way home, that in future I will schedule myself less so I can help and participate more.
By being booked with something every day, I didn't feel like I had a lot of time to hang out the way you'd think you would, over a four day event. Somehow I was always headed somewhere, so the opportunities to visit weren't as numerous as I'd hoped.
Nevertheless today was the day I had a class on calligraphy and I think it went ok. I have no idea how other peoples' classes went, and my hopes of getting to a few of them melted like my energy in the heat. I hope they went well!
Today was the day of great court, which their Majesties organised largely themselves, and sorted with their herald Efreydis, though I asked to run the Pelican ceremony. The court went very smoothly with their Majesties of East and An Tir processing in after Sven and Siobhan, being welcomed, and then the royal heads of Drachenwald being welcomed and giving their fealties each in turn.
Their majesties had asked for everyone to do something special, so Nordmark swore in Swedish(? I think?) Insulae draconis swore in Icelandic with Isabel speaking, Knight's crossing swore in 'Mafia' (their herald appeared to have come out of The Sopranos), Arnimetsa in Finnish. Styringheim had no herald but processed themselves in, and Gotvik promised to support the crown in 'anything fishy and anything silly'.
This was a long court - gifts, presentations, thank yous from TRM of East and An Tir, awards, short pieces of business for each region. Their excellencies of Styringheim had no business, which generated a huge cheer, and so Gotvik decided they had no business at that time either. :-) I was amazed at how patient everyone was, because it was in the full sun, and I watched the shade travel across the faces of the seated royals. I'm convinced that people will be patient for good court so long as they feel there's progress, that someone knows what's happening and there's a sense of purpose.
The ceremony for Ursula went well, and she was very well received by the circle and the populace.
Our P meeting followed immediately after court, so some people were noshing through the meeting and then went for seconds right afterward, and I got a chance to chat with Bertrik and Pietri for awhile. It meant some folks missed seeing the play, but we could hear the singing right up through the windows.
Afterward I shed a layer of wool and change headdresses (what else does one wear to a summer event in the middle of Germany but four layers of linen and a layer of wool plus a wimple and veil?) to go 'wench' in the tavern. It's the bordello night, and Baron Gottfried is raising funds for the kingdom by inviting people to 'go write recommendations' with assorted ladies of the kingdom, each emerging from the nook sweating and exhausted. It was hilarious, and I'm not certain who was having more fun, the donors or the ladies of negotiable virtue. I told Agilmar he'd succeeded in creating a medieval atmosphere like no other. :-) I haven't laughed that hard in ages.
On site there were some visiting journeymen: young craftsmen in a traditional journeyman apprenticeship, where they travel around the country for 3 years, working with whoever will hire them working in the building trades, and living on their earnings. They're not allowed to go home, carry a phone, or accumulate money during the period - it's strictly about gaining experience. They wear a traditional outfit of dark trousers, white shirt, grey vest (waistcoat) with a very 19th c cut swooping low in front, and a black brimmed hat. (The photo from the article shows them in black bellbottoms, but the guys I saw were in grey - didn't notice if they were flared.)
They were apparently working at the castle that week, and seemed pleased to find that a tavern selling beer for 1 Euro a bottle had opened for the weekend, though they were a bit alarmed to hear that it had its own brothel. :-) At least, til Gottfried got a chance to explain...
I love breakfasts at European events; it's not glamourous but it is savoury. Half a dozen different types of bread including ryes and black breads, meats and cheese, quark (kinda like yoghurt, but not), and the best coffee I've ever had out of an urn. I don't know what Germans do differently with large quantities of coffee, other than perhaps just add *lots* but it's nothing like 'conference coffee' in England. Yum.
So many fencers! and happily most of them are signed up to play in the very silly Brighthelm tourney, aka the circle of treachery - every one for themselves, but you can't kill the person immediately next to you. It's great fun, and while good fencers can do well, it can reward just about anyone lucky. We managed a few bouts of girls vs boys, but you can't rely on it! and Lady Lalli, a splendid Lanceknict lady, wins the best dressed competition. (She goes on to win the Albion tourney as well, so she's both lovely and dangerous.)
I stay around for some pickup but there's not a great deal - people are keen, but they're really feeling the heat, and even the keenest don't manage much more than 20 mins before pooping out.
Note to self: for future events, make more time to fence.
The rest of the day is mostly about court - preparing for court, changing court location at the last minute to move indoors - (spectacular thunderstorms that were threatening much of the day appear less than an hour before court), finding banners to hang in the vigil room, and lots and lots of standing.
I assist jpgsawyer with ThorvaldR and Tofa's last court, and step in after their business ends, and before Efreydis opens their Majesties Sven and Siobhan's court. Robert processes in, in his full bishop-ish regalia to mix the oil and soil from the corners of the kingdom, and his presence changes the pace of court, and helps mark the change of royal heads very effectively.
He uses his own ampulla to hold soil, lifting each one to announce it before mixing it with oil.
Once more, I get to see some very glorious scrolls in the process, which always reminds me why I started scribing in the first place. The one on real parchment is just a delight to fondle!
At this court TRM invest aryanhwy as Schwarzdrachen, with my cyclas (so she isn't swamped in one of the monster tabards) and with a baptism, as is appropriate. Happily we'd had a chance to test the cyclas and managed to get her vested reasonably gracefully!
And of course, I'm in prime position to see Viscountess Ursula invted to vigil: she really didn't know why she was called up, and when both their majesties stood to greet her, she was puzzled...til they called the order of the Pelican.
Even after the storm it's still very warm, and the dusk brings out mosquitoes. We swap sunscreen for bugspray on necks and ankles up to knees. I feel like I'm drinking gallons of water; I'd love to know exactly how much I do drink, but it's hard to tell.
I think it's on Thursday night/Friday morning that Vitus' tent collapses in the high wind. This is usually a very sound pavilion (large wedge with 'bell' on each side) but apparently not all the ropes were staked as usual in the hurry to get everything up, and so down it comes in the wee hours.
Vitus and Isabel were actually in a room in the castle, and Paul and Anne were using the tent. There was apparently a huge commotion with the whole camp awake trying to haul stuff out, stashing P&A in jpgsawyer and edith_hedingham's pavilion floor, divers alarums, etc. etc.
Why 'apparently'? Because I slept through the lot. I use earplugs when camping, and was so soundly asleep I entirely missed Anne sticking her head in our pavilion bellowing for help. (Robert was out and about visiting so wasn't on hand either - if he'd gotten up I'd possibly have noticed.)
So it was a shock to find a monster flop of a pavilion out the door in the morning.
Happily noone was hurt - it was a sort of slow-moving accident, on the accident scale. The big loss was the pottery, all carefully stored on the shelving unit, which went over in the wind, smashing lots. There will be a round of replacement shopping come autumn markets.
Frankfurt is one of the civilised cities that has a train station *at* the airport, making the next part painless too, though it's stinking hot. We spot Sir Peregrine in the airport and manage the train ticket machine ok, though with too little time to visit with him or with Ozbeg and Kat, who are somewhere in the airport.
Instead we bump into Duncan and Helena from Harplestane, who have backtracked when their train didn't go to the expected destination and are standing on a platform halfway to Witzenhausen Nord, on our way to Burg Ludwigstein.
Arriving we find the castle shuttle waiting and hand our bags in, and the shuttle drops us off in town to browse. It's a picturesque town built on a hill, with cobbled streets and small boutiques in the highstreet, and no chain stores I can see. (The Aldi, Lidl and other grocery store are on the flat wide ground on the other side of the river.)
For some reason, it feels like every fourth shop is an apothek - a pharmacy - not just here, but in Worms too, where we wrap up our trip (more later). None of them seems very large, and they're all airy and have most of their stock behind the counter - about as unlike a Boots, chock full of toiletries and cosmetics as you could picture. Apparently pharmacists here don't muck about selling makeup and shampoo, unless it's medicated. And a very helpful lady at one points out where to find lamp oil and the best groceries.
I don't know if the Germans are very concerned about their health, or they just don't have chain pharmacies that are halfway to being grocery stores the way they are in London. Certainly from the numbers, there's no shortage of pharmacists to consult.
So on to the castle - it's melting hot, high 20s C and very humid. The castle is, unsurprisingly, on a steep hill, and the valley is full of cherry trees - this is apparently the cherry capital of Germany, with a cherry queen and festival and all. edith_hedingham and jpgsawyer find cherries by the kg on the roadside, and they're beautifully sweet.
Blessedly the early arrivals have set up our pavilion, so we only have to set up our own bed and hangings to make it all mod con. And we have the excellent company of terafan, who is catching up with his pavalino-mates in the mostly-Insulae-Draconis encampment. It was like old times, sliding straight back into company chatting and laughing and hearing about how people recognise his stuff from the internet ('are you sure you didn't buy that? cause I saw one just like it on the internet, on this website called greydragon.org') and have no idea who he is.
He's the premier of the equestrian order in Atlantia (one of his many earlier homelands) and is one of the leading lights in equestrian activities at Gulf Wars. The opening procession, with all the royals on horseback, starts *on time* when he's in charge :-), much to the shock of some participants!
I've told him if he ever stewards the event from horseback, the way he wants to, I'll go to Gulf Wars myself to see it. It would bring the game to a new level to have the guy in charge of the encampment of a war supervising from horseback - NO GOLF CARTS.
We had the happy chance to drive with him from the site on to Worms on Sunday, and visit in the car the way we used to on long trips around Drachenwald - that alone was almost worth the price of admission.
Absolutely sweltering. It's hard to lace into a fitted gown but the skirt is cooler than my jeans.
Dinner is in the dining hall in the castle and it's our first real look at the site - again, perched on a hill, with steep stairs everywhere. Even the closest outbuilding, where breakfast and lunch are served and near the tourney field, is several steep sets of stairs from the castle. It has a small courtyard with buildings all round, and one is the indoor kitchen and dining hall, where we have great slabs of meat, sausages, pasta, and pickled salads.
We catch up there with Bartholomew and katherine from Southron Guard, who are on an extended visit travelling round Europe (unfortunately their colds caught up with them too, and they're voiceless for almost all the event, with K feeling particularly low). And see many others, including Etienne and Melisende. Etienne and Cernac are beginning to resemble each other in a way I'd never have have guessed when I met them. :-)
The Two Barons tavern, in the cellar of the main building and shaded from all directions, proves to be the coolest spot in the whole site! though I'm told the swimming was wonderfully cooling for those who were starting to suffer from the heat. To me, it felt like a heatwave, but it felt *right* - it's late June, it should be hot.
With this month's LoAR, three titles were registered, for myself, my lord Robert, and nusbacher:
- Rouge Maunche
- Sans Merci Herault
respectively. These titles were bestowed on us all by Vitus and Eleanora, our current king and queen's predecessors.
I think we nicely illustrate the popular historic heraldic title options: charge, locative (Caversham is a village adjascent to Reading, where we lived for about 18 months) and motto. :-)
On top of that exmoor_cat's arms have passed, as have armillary's, and the name of the new shire in Bulgaria is now registered as College of St John of Rila, which I think is delightful.
I look forward to seeing these registered arms added to the shire bunting!
I love visiting Nordmark; I love the delight in making things that I find there. The caliber of craftsmanship, and craftswomanship, is very high, and the resulting clothing and textile accessories are just beautiful.
Maybe it's a cultural thing, that Swedes simply like making stuff, I'm not certain - I do know it's still part of their school curriculum, in a way that it was not in my own schooling. I once explained to a Swedish highschool teacher that I'd had one year of home-ec/industrial arts at age 13 (grade 7), and she said, 'oh that's far too late to start learning! we spend just a year on knitting', implying that you do the knitting well before the age of 13.
There seem to be a lot of teachers in Nordmark, more than you find even in the average SCA population; this trip I met someone who was starting their art teaching career. She had a degree specialising in 'ancient' crafts - I think she meant heritage crafts. And she could get a job, in Sweden. How cool is that?
( Read more... )
Notes on the little event that grew...
Yule Ball proved to be a lovely wrap-up of the year's events. I had more fun than I expected and of course greatly enjoyed seeing Sir Alaric elevated to the Order of the Laurel. He was completely taken unawares, and was his ususal modest, cheerful and honest self throughout the weekend.
I wrote up an account of the ceremony for SCA today, if you're interested in the proceedings. (Unfortunately I find that the DML mailer mangles text now. Yahoo won't let me mail completely plain text (rich text or HTML only) and so anything I read on the list is full of annoying codes. This version's easier to read.)
I got to teach a bit of dancing, both in the afternoon and doing reminders in the ball - with only a few gentle steers by Mistress Judith. :-) People gamely followed along, and didn't lose themselves hopelessly.
The ball itself was a delight, with a steady flow of dances, with music provided both eletronically and by Mistresses Kiriel and Nerissa. (Poor Kiriel had the journey from Hell - delayed flight meant that the cal rental agency she'd booked with had closed when she arrived, and she had to pay an outrageous amount to hire a car on the spot from the only agency still open after midnight. She was hoping to recoup from the airline afterward! For anyone other than Alaric, I think she would have turned around and gone home to Geneva again...)
Watching HE Judith and Lady Valeria dancing together, warmed with passionate looks and gestures, was enough to raise anyone's blood pressure, regardless of their orientation. Hubba hubba.
I enjoyed the time spent in the scriptorium - got to help a couple of ladies try their hand, and proved to be a source of diversion for a stream of very young demoisels using my inks, though I was rebuked for not having enough interesting colours. I think aryanhwy spoiled them at Coronet having an exellent set of water-based inks in six bright colours.
HE Ursula commented that I was brave to let them play with the ink. I figured that the ink is water-soluble, and would eventually come off the girls if you wrung them out firmly enough.
Once more the Flintheath children were a delight - excellent, self-entertaining playmates for Sir Vitus' children, and nusbacher 's demoisel Anjelica. I'm always impressed by Crispin and Ceara's brood of girls; they're not perfect, but they seem very happy together, and are willing to help even before being asked. I find it brilliant that the youngest volunteers to do dishes.
Sir Vitus had brought his local tribe of three (H aged 11, MC aged 5 and T aged 10 months - his teen son F lives in Germany).
The elder two play well together, and are loving having a younger brother to dote on, drag around and generally maul to bits with hugs and cuddles. T, in his turn, clearly watches them very carefully and is learning fast. He's already walking quite fearlessly, and wants to play with his brother's and sister's toys. Their boffer swords are especially welcome - when you're not swinging them around, you can chew on the handles.
In fact, young T nearly upstaged the court business, while sitting on his father's lap. As TRM were managing court business, and Sir Vitus was sat next to them as Heir, T got hold of nusbacher 's white herald's staff. T knows what you do with a long stick - you swing it! and the staff was light and fit in his hand.
He promptly started swinging with gusto, bopping Dad, Angelica, anyone within reach, and his joy was clearly writ to see. There was, of course, a great howl when he was finally deprived of this excellent toy, but it's just as well, because those watching couldn't keep a straight face for court.
Lady Ceara did an excellent job for her first feast - we had a chat during the next day's cleanup, and she was still bubbling with great pleaure about how she'd sourced local supplies, considered seasonal food availability, and managed not to panic when her first booked shipment of venison couldn't reach her in the sudden snowfall. I encouraged her to write up her concept and execution for the ID newsletter, and was really pleased to see she'd done so with this month's edition.
She did something I'd gladly see in many SCA feasts - chose two excellent game meat dishes (rabbit, slow-cooked til it fell off the bone) and a venison stew, and supported them with several veg and grain dishes, including a tangy apple soup. The game was wonderfully savoury and special, and stood out memorably. I'd much prefer cooks spent on a couple of unusual meats and served less meat overall, than bring in a series of bigger beef, pork and chicken dishes, which anyone can get any day of the week at home.
I realise it's not perfectly medieval (we were looking through a 15th c menu for London brewers guild recently, and the only veg across 20+ dishes was onions and garlic for sauces!), but SCA feasts are always a necessary tradeoff between medieval and modern. I suppose all our arts are, but feasts are front and centre to many people's experience of the game.
Lady Valeria brought a very delicious 'lambs wool' (ale or cider, cooked apples, plus christmas spices - a foamy warm boozy drink) to the brewing contest. I could drink this all day long, though it probably wouldn't be good for me!
pogbody has a great way with managing events. She has a very light hand in directing, but her moralsuasion is quite powerful. She's also in one of the hardest-working shires; Flintheath folk are always 'doing', and rarely let others do without pitching in.
One interesting idea of hers, that worked beautifully, was a gift exchange - feast attendees were asked to bring a small gift, either £5 or less, or 'something they wanted to pass on'. It seems many folks followed the latter course - I scored a beautifully finished lined linen hood, exmoor_cat found himself with a carved drinking horn, and many other gifts were greatly generous and surprising. Sir Vitus acted as the Yule King, with Robert as his crabbed and crochety assistant.
A blessing of a local event - getting home easily!
Please pass this along to your own kingdom lists, and assorted news-sharing circles, particularly for those attending Estrella.
Unto All those members of the Popular Company of Sojourners, and eke those members of the Ancient and Honourable Principality Company of Sojourners, From Prince Vitus of Drachenwald, Greeting.
Right trusty and wellbeloved we greet you well and would have you know you all that we Prince Vitus, - who shall by right of arms and in Accordance with Law, Custom and Tradition succeede to the Throne of Drachenwald this Twelfth night coming - will make the pilgrimage to Estrella this coming year and that there, as is our right, We shall raise the banner of the aforesaid companies of sojourners, both Popular and Principalitine, that those members of the afoersaid companies who are are free to do so may take the field once more with their Kingdom of old, and fight with Us under the banners of Drachenwald and the Popular and Principality Company of Sojourners, to do new deeds of arms, and to hold faith with that charge that was laid upon them at their admission to the company, to glorify its name, and spread the reknown of the Kingdom of Drachenwald. Those who present themselves to Us, The Crown of Drachenwald, shall be accoutred with a token of the badge of the order, that they may display to all their right and achievement in and of that glorious Company.
So Speaks His Highness Vitus, Prince of Drachenwald.
Robertus Cantabriensis, Vox Princeps Drachenwaldensis
Going to Estrella? You got your PCS from Drachenwald? Come and fight with (Soon to be) King Vitus of Drachenwald!
(Not the Archive Vitus - the 'Real German Vitus'™, you know, the one who used to be a punk rocker....
(Hm... that doesn't help does it. ))
If you can wriggle out of your feudal obligations, then come and muster under the PCS Banner, fight once more for Drachenwald, and get a new cool Shiny pewter stone-cast, enameled, PCS Token.
If you could forward this to your Kingdom, Principality or Baronial Mailing list, I would be much Obliged.
There are 601 members of the company. How many will take the field at this coming Estrella?
Look for the good news on scatoday in a couple of days.
This Friday evening 3rd October at Civil War in the Shire of Juneborg in Nordmark, Baroness Dorothea Weberin, sometimes known as Raven, was sent to Vigil for Knighthood by their Majesties UlfR and Caoimhe.
At lunchtime on Saturday, before the commencement of the war, she was summoned to court, arriving escorted by a parade of landsknechts with drum and banners. There on the war field, before the assembled fighters and populace, incuding a great many of her friends, she was elevated to the Chivalry.
Her Knight, Sir Cormac and her Laurel, Mistress Alienor, spoke for her and I had the honour to speak for her as a Pelican. Lord Sigismund Jaeger
gave words for Dorothea as a member of the populace.
Sir Rian vested Dorothea with his spurs, in memory of when she had girded him with his knight's belt at his knighting.
Her lord, Sir Ivan, girded her with the belt of Sir Raim, the first knight of Drachenwald. Sir Cormac passed on his chain, which had been given to him by Duke Elffin O Mona, who had received it in turn from Duke Jade of Starfall.
Thus was elevated the first female knight in Drachenwald, as well as the first fighter in Ireland to be knighted.
For Sir Dorothea, VIVAT! HUZZAH! WOOT!
And photos, courstesy of Edricus: