Beltane, the Celtic
feast day of May Eve heralded the return of the sun following the dark half of
the year. On April 25, 2009 AS XLIV the Barony of Grey Niche celebrated the
thirty-third event of that name. This one-day event was The Truce Of Engaddi
and this letter was the prologue.
To his exulted highness Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Anyub, Sultan of Egypt and Syria,
Commander of the armies of Islam.
From Richard I, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitane, and Count of
Your messenger bearing your offer of a truce and a peaceful gathering to
celebrate our mutual holy day has reached my encampment. I am in agreement that
a truce and a gathering may help to foster a better understanding between our
peoples. I therefore accept your entreaty for a truce and gathering at the
oasis near Engaddi.
I suggest that the gathering occur in the latter part of the month of April to
allow both of our camps to properly prepare. My heralds, who bear this missive,
have been given the authority to negotiate on my behalf to ensure the details
required for a gathering of this nature to occur.
I look forward to this truce and gathering, and hope this will help lead to a
more lasting peace in these lands, which are holy to us both.
Richard I, called the Lion Hearted
The event Principals were: Autocrat: Uilleam MacUilleam (Waffle/Keith Gage)
Reservations were handled by Alysia Gabrielle de Fougeres (Mazelle Attiya)
Feastocrat: Amelia van Hemessen (Alexis Loft) firstname.lastname@example.org
The site was: Piersol Group Camp in Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park 910 Riddick
Road, Millington, TN This annual event was attended by approximately 225. The
token, a coin cast of lead-free solder by Aethelric was suspended on a cord.
Silver for regular attendees, gold for those eating feast. It featured two olive
branches in pale between a lion rampant courtorny and an eagle displayed. On the
reverse was the slogan for the event “NOI CONTHCA IN PACE”, AS XLIV.
On 3/20/2009 just prior to battle at Gulf War XVIII and just moments following
the elevation of Jon the Tall to Knighthood, James the Holiman was called before
their Majesties Havordh and Mary-Grace who announced his future elevation to
that same noble order. That time of tribute had now arrived and would be the
only business of the morning court of TRM Loric and Diana, being the eighth
reign of Gleann Abhann. With pleasant weather, court was held on the field.
Court herald was Lord Eduin le Younghe. Also sitting Court were Their
Excellences Dagan al-Mahdi ibn Yusuf ib Hilal & Mahsheed Leily, celebrating one
year on the thrones of Grey Niche. Having sat Vigil Friday night and with a
procession of five banners, James the Holy began his entry into court. In the
company of eleven knights there would now be challenges from fourteen who stood
in his path. The first to confront James was one who might be called a legend,
Duke John the Bearkiller. He was knighted in Atenveldt’s Principality of
Meridies and was first King (and third, seventh, twentieth and twenty-ninth) of
our Mother Kingdom of Meridies. And there was legacy. James was the squire to
Padruig who had been squire to Bearkiller who had been squire to Count Francois
Duvant, who, as the myth is told, sprang fully formed from the head of Zeus.
A second Knight to challenge was Luther von Zeimer, then Royal Roses, Kenna von
Zeimer and Jane Falada followed suit. James next faced Laurels Damiano Elie
Bellini, who removed James’ Apprentice belt and Anna Nikolaevna Petrakova.
Representing the Pelicans, Alysia Gabrielle de Fougeres and Miriel du Bois, put
James to his next tests. Challenges were then made by Royal Peers Michael of
the Mace and Brenna. Entry was next barred by populace members Cormac the Bald
and Lasairfhiona ingean ni Sheachnasaigh. The last to confront James were his
sponsor Knight and his Knight’s lady, Padruig, who removed James’ squire chain
and weapon, and Linnet. To each challenge James promised to act in all manners
as a Knight, with Courage, Nobility, Hope, Justice, Mercy, Generosity and Faith.
Other Knights present were Leto and Kane who placed spurs upon the candidate and
Rey who brought forth a belt of purest white and passed it to Lady Joan of Ooc
who fastened this most prominent symbol of a knight. Gleann Abhann’s first
knight Uther von Zeimer presented the weapon, a sword and sheath. It was the
nimble fingers of Gwyneth Carr who had created the cloak that was placed over
his shoulders. It was the cloak of an early Hospitaler, sable, bearing a cross
formee dovetail argent. Padruig presented the knight’s chain. It was wrapped
‘round the sword on which his oath was made. As James, who had received the
Wreath of Chivalry as Queen’s Champion, knelt before Their Majesties, Loric
placed that chain around his neck. The nervous anticipation of participants and
witnesses was noted when Her Majesty giggled as she read a “this is serious”
passage in the ceremony. His Majesty Loric also had a slip of the tongue,
titling himself, “We, Loric, Queen of….” Then once, twice and three times,
shoulder, shoulder, head, the King dubbed the candidate with sword. “Once in
Honor, twice in Service, and three times for all that The Crown, Kingdom, and
People hold sacred, Knight of Our Realm and of the Society.” For the buffet,
Loric said, “Let this be the last strike you ever receive unanswered” and did
firmly and loudly strike James across the face. Then came the embrace between
the King and Gleann Abhann’s newest Knight. Amid cheers, congratulations were
given to Sir James, the ninth Knight made in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann, from
Rashid, Wernherus and the rest of the Knights present. The framed scroll was
calligraphed and illuminated by Sir Leto. And the call was heard, “Awe Hail
An elevation to the Order of the Pelican would take place at the second court.
That afternoon, following the list, Her Excellency Genevote Villeneuve de la
Fleche (Barony of Small Gray Bear) was placed on vigil near the field. THLady
Juliana Bonaire de Cherbourg coordinated the vigil with refreshments in the
shade. Genevote was eternally grateful to all who lent many hands to make it
happen. Following vigil tradition, Genevote wore a white shift as she listened
to advice and the well wishes of many friends. She kept her hands busy with
Having seen Genevote wearing the green apprentice belt of Mistress Isolde die
Grau aus dem Lebendhertz for thirteen years, how did she arrive at this point ?
Taking the yellow belt of a protégé had been proposed and accepted but time and
circumstances just never allowed. Christmas Revel 12/7/2008 celebrated
Axemoor’s 30 years as a Barony and hosted the first Grand Tournament of
Champions. Laurels and Pelicans held meetings. No secrets revealed, but it is
obvious that names were brought before the circle; calls and decisions were
made. One of those decisions elicited sounds of great delight when TRM Havordh
and Mary-Grace announced Genevote’s future elevation to the Pelican. Then, when
family illness caused postponement of a planned Gulf War elevation, there was
more time for sewing.
And it came time for court. Son Luc was safely playing with other children,
likely unaware of the accolade about to be laid upon his mother. With an
approximate 1527 timeline Her Excellency processed into court on the arm of her
husband Sheik Rahsid. Her gown was a wonderful French Tudor of navy blue cotton
velveteen with faux sleeves and front panel of maroon. It was worn over a light
blue kirtle with gold trim and there were pearls. Now before Their Majesties,
who would speak? Sadly, not all who had championed Genevote could be present
this day and it was Countess Lailliane who graciously stepped into the vacant
role as her sponsor. With an estimated nine Pelican to bear witness the ceremony
proceeded thusly. Mistress Jane Beaumont spoke for the Pelicans and Mistress
Julian for the Laurels. It was Sir John the Bearkiller who spoke for the
Knights and Vicountess Brenna for the Royal Peers. Small Gray Bear’s Baronesa
Brianna created a Spanish ropa as mantle. Baroness Mahsheed created the
scroll. A medallion had been chosen for the elevation and was worn by several
Pelicans at Gulf War XVIII to give it a bit of history and love. Unfortunately,
an accident following Atheneum saw that medallion lost. Genevote still felt
greatly honored with a backup pendant from the regalia box and the Pelicans were
pleased to welcome her to the nest as the seventh Pelican made in Kingdom.
Court also included: Award of Arms to Sughiara no Naome and Ogawa no Ryugo
Uchiharo; Silver Ram to Zhara um Nikko
Order of the Sable Banner (which includes a Grant of Arms) to
Michael of the Mace and William of Glen Lyon.
Not only a day of elevations, it was a day for Laurels giving green belts. One
each from Mistress Anna Nikolaevna Petrakova to Gwyneth Carr (Small Gray Bear),
from Mistress Alysia to Sughiara no Naome, and Mistress Saita Vashti al Coya to
Juan Carlos (Small Gray Bear)
Both Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria and Richard I called the Lion Hearted
were in attendance and overseeing the proceedings. It was amazing how closely
Richard resembled our own King Loric. The Sultan also looked familiar, very
much like the Niche’s Baron Dagan.
The Arts and Sciences display, themed around items common to both Crusaders and
Islam while on campaign, was organized by Cormac the Bald.
Caedmon of Jorvik, Knights Marshal of Grey Niche oversaw The Silver Torc
Tourney. This was one of four baronial lists with the top two finishers
receiving an invitation to the Grand Tournament of Champions this autumn. In
this Grey Niche edition, thirty-two fighters took part. They fought in four
fields of eight fighters apiece, each field fought round robin with rotating
weapon styles, and so everyone fought at least seven times. The winners of the
four fields were Sir Rey, Sir Luther, THL Mika'il (Dex) and Lord Hjelmr. Those
four went to a four-man round robin that came to a tie between Rey and Dex, both
at 2-1. They fought a 2 out of 3 final that was won by Sir Rey. We shall look
forward to seeing Rey and Dex take part in this year’s ToC.
Nine arrived for the Rapier Tourney, a round robin with Magnus the Black,
Damiano Elie Bellini, Leon Jeronimo Suarez, Juan Carlos, Mark of Grey Niche,
Alysia Gabrielle de Fougéres, Pete the Bosun, Savelli Bastiani, and Sean-Patrick
who remembered getting into an awesome knife fight with one he called a Filthy
Spaniard, Juan-Carlos. Leon Jeronimo Suarez out of Meridies was the victor of
the tournament. He is reported to have swept the field fighting beautifully.
Alysia Gabrielle de Fougéres challenged Savelli for the Iron Ring of Gleann
Abhann. At the end of the challenge, Sevelli Bastiani still maintained "The
Precious". The fighters maintain a list of such Iron Ring challenges.
Due to the absence of interested youth, there was no Youth Combat Tourney. It is
hoped that the interest level will shift for the better. THL Ali al-Maghreb
passed the office of Youth Marshal at this event.
The Herbal Guild held a meeting.
Classes featured common European and Middle Eastern subjects-comparing methods
and techniques and included:
Lady Eoran -- European Dance
Mistress Anna Nikolaevna Petrakova -- A Comparison of European and Middle
Eastern Calligraphy Styles
Lord Angus de Gordon Siege Authorization
With thanks to Sughiara no Naome, the hall was magnificently decorated using
chiefly middle-eastern style and décor.
Amelia’s feast was well received with very little food left over. It was
accompanied by much amusement and festive noise and featured these dishes of
both European and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Caramelized onion chutney
Bifteck de flanc bourré
Lentils du puy
A combined Hafla and European ball was planned to follow feast. Just before
the event Their Excellencies decided they would rather have a revel with dancing
to celebrate and honor both of the new peers that had been elevated. It was a
very informal affair with both types of dancing.
Feastocrat Amelia van Hemessen sent post-event thanks to: Sir Jean Claude and
Lady Genevera Brembati who drove in from Ft. Campbell and Iron Mountain just to
work in the kitchen, Mistress Arielle for the incredible desert table, Lady
Sugihara no Naome for the incredible hall decorations, Lord Juan Carlos, Paul
the Small, THL Ida de Lorca, Elspet O' Donnell, Mistress Alysia, Susanna, Baron
Guillermo Berenguer de los Almogavers (Hoppy) , Chance and Deb, Neal, Anne,
Cameron, Lady Sile Linet O'Loughlin, Robert MacInnes of Skye, and countless
others. I do not remember all the names of the kind volunteers who gave their
time and effort in service, you know who you are. So many of you worked your
butts off and I thank you. I most sincerely request your assistance.
*Silver Torq Rules
The Silver Torq Tournament at Beltane 2009 was a rotating weapon forms list.
Each fighter fought with at least three different weapon forms before a form
could be repeated. Which weapon forms, and how many, forms a fighter used in the
list was their choice, as long as three different forms were used before a form
repeated. It was the fighters' responsibility to keep up with the weapon forms
they had fought.
Weapon Forms Definitions:
1. Weapon and Shield- Any weapon and shield, from buckler to war shield, in
combination with any weapon.
2. Two Weapons (Florentine)- Any two weapons used in conjunction with each other
at the same time.
3. Pole Arm- Any shafted weapon, cutting or crushing, with or with out a
thrusting tip, other than a sword, that measures between 6 and 7 ½ feet.
4. Spear- Any shafted weapon that may only be used for thrusting that measures
between 6 and 9 feet.
5. Hand and a half/ Great Swords- Any sword with an overall length of 4 to 6
feet. This includes katanas if used alone, and primarily two-handed.
6. Hafted Weapons- Any shafted weapon, other than swords, with an overall length
of 4 to less than 6 feet that is primarily used two handed.
7. Single Handed Weapon- Any weapon, including swords, with an overall length of
4 feet or less that is used with one hand.
The idea of this tournament is to do something different from the norm, give the
fighters as much fighting as they can stand, and to give them something of a
It is guaranteed that every fighter will use at least three weapon forms in this
Site Specifics: Piersol Group Camp in Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park. 910
Riddick Road, Millington, TN 38053 136 Beds available. (A map link was
provided.) Being a Tennessee State Park, this is a DRY site. No Camping allowed
in the group camp area, but available at the park's Dogwood Ridge 49 site public
campground. Each has paved parking, water, electricity, a picnic table, grill
and an open, aboveground fire pit. The campground has a modern bathhouse (hot
and cold water) showers and restrooms. The campground is approximately one mile
from the group camp. Shuttles will run periodically from the group camp to the
campground for persons needing transportation back and forth. Sites are $18 per
night.(Three tents and up to 10 people allowed per site.) Persons who camp will
only have to pay the first cut-off daytrip fee.
Reservations were sent to: Beltane/ c/o Barony of Grey Niche PO Box 11184
Memphis TN 38111 with checks payable to: SCA Inc, Barony of Grey Niche.
Reservations for the early price must be postmarked no later than April 1,2009
with these first cut-off prices: Non-members add $3.00 to fee.
Weekend With Feast- $19.00
Weekend Off Board- $14.00
Daytrip With Feast- $14.00
Daytrip Off Board- $ 9.00
Weekend With Feast- $10.00
Weekend Off Board- $ 7.00
Daytrip With Feast- $ 7.00
Daytrip Off Board- $ 5.00
After April 1, 2009 and at the door. Non-members add $3.00 to fee.
Weekend With Feast- $22.00
Weekend Off Board- $17.00
Daytrip With Feast- $17.00
Daytrip Off Board- $ 12.00
Weekend With Feast- $11.00
Weekend Off Board- $ 9.00
Daytrip With Feast- $ 9.00
Daytrip Off Board- $ 6.00
This report was compiled by Baroness Barbara Sterling, Gleann Abhann Historian.
As Her Excellency could not be present at the event, she much appreciates the
information supplied by Caedmon of Jarvic, William of Glen Lyon, Uilleam,
Gwyneth Carr, Jane Beaumont, Genevote, Cormac, Teagan, Ali, HE Dagan and many
Date completed: 7/29/2009
It was a nice day in Grey Niche.