Notes, a Letter to The Ambassador, The Kingdom of Gleann Abhann, November 2009
We arrived at King's Arrow Ranch MS for the Troll Fen event of October 3, 2009
AS XLIV assuming all was well with our King & Queen. Okay, the event was called
Coronation. With a disclaimer for youth, narrator Baron Thaddeus Camberwell told
of an encounter experienced by their Majesties Loric & Diana and most of Their
entourage. They came upon monstrous beings traveling home from an excellent
Competition of the Arts & Sciences at Loch Bais. I was so shocked by the tale
and the sight of the disheveled band who attended our King & Queen that I heard
little more. Entourage, who normally assist and protect Their Majesties grinned,
stared into space, and seemed to grow stranger by the moment. Most unnatural
were both the hue of their skin and their carriage as many lurched or dragged
one leg. Only Diana's Champion Sir James the Holy and Their Herald Lord Bran
Finn hua Neill seemed unaffected by the malady. Even when Their Majesties were
forced to slap hands or demand growling sounds cease, we did not think our
Royals unsafe. I can tell little more, although bloody zombies come to mind. At
one point Diana went into a "Mother" mode believing a stern talking was called
for. Ever noble, our Queen called for Kingdom Seneschal Ravenswar to hold Her
Crown while she dispensed a measure of discipline. Diana disappeared behind the
thrones and awful, frightening sounds were heard. This soldier of Gleann Abhann
was set upon by the horde. His Majesty Loric shed His Crown and responded to
Diana's call for help. Although it has been told that this Knight walks on
water, remembered for his unsoiled white boots and Captain Meridies, this
raucous pack overcome Him as well.
Again occupying Their thrones we saw the quick working effects of this sickness.
Some afflictions that had beset the entourage were now seen on Gleann Abhann's
Royal Pair. The voice of Her Majesty was especially changed. The words spoken
did not always make sense and the Populace was concerned. Then Ravenswar,
maintaining both Crowns, lured, coaxed and led them all away. And Their last
Court was closed. The day of Her Coronation Diana counted 37 years in the SCA.
The list that brought Them to the thrones was the forty-eighth tourney Loric had
fought for Her. Theirs was the eighth reign of the nineteenth Kingdom of the
Knowne World. Sir Robert of the Isles would surely have been proud.
The announcement was made that the Great Ram Thrones of Gleann Abhann were now
empty and Knights were called to guard them. A swift runner was sent to alert
the heirs William Fitzhugh de Cambria called Camric Greenshield and Onora
inghean mhic Cathain that the continuation of the Kingdom by means of Their
elevation was highly anticipated.
In true Viking splendor, oft' maintaining a fine throwing axe, William was
crowned as the fourth of that name to rule Gleann Abhann; twice as Prince of the
Principality, twice as King. Onora, once our Princess and twice Queen was
braided, beaded, broached, ringed and radiant. Both wore warm reds, clear blues
and earthy gold with distinctive accents of appliqués and embroidery. The ring
giver and His beauty, in the ninth reign of the River Valley Kingdom accepted
fealty from entourage, populace, Peers, landed Nobility and Kingdom Officers.
Loric Silvestris and Diana of the Iles were present for this second court. They
had visited an Axemoor witchdoctor who spoke healing words of "Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah
Aah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang" and they were "all better now".
Acknowledged as Earl and Countess, Diana was made a member of the Order of the
Rose. Only a few saw a tiny sparkling light or heard the tinkling of a bell.
The new Sword of State was displayed for all to see as the work of Sir Brian
McBrand, new Knight's Marshal and this day a Conditis recipient. Rejoicing and
laughter accompanied the elevation of one who wore the yellow Protégée' belt of
Mistress Eilidh nin Choinnich, but now displays the medallion and wreath of a
Laurel. All aspects of the elevation of Baroness Etheldred NicEoghainn (Dredda)
were well presented and the reception at the Green Dragon was exceptional.
Acknowledged as well deserved, shall we call her Dame? Receiving a Grant of Arms
from those obviously infected Sovereigns, Nigel is now The Honorable Baron Nigel
de Rothewelle'. The Sentry was once again claimed by THLord Wulfram Forrester,
who kept the Live Weapons title in the family succeeding son Shawn in the
position. THLord Dafydd ap y Kynith saw his arrows hit their mark and again
stands as Yeoman of Gleann Abhann. The Silver Lamp called for the inclusion of
Earl Loric. Baroness Anna Genevieve of Ancyra and THLord Frederick Alton were
called by the Diamond Chalice. Wulfram turned over the office of Rapier Marshal
to Frederick. The office of Chamberlain was transferred from THLord Cormac the
Bald to Duchess Mary-Grace. Many scribes created beautiful scrolls and the
Jeweled Rings were lovingly crafted by Lady Isabel of Axemoor. All awards
received this day will be listed by the herald
The Crown Princess of Ansteorra Genevria di Betto di Adriano was in attendance
and presented fine personal banners to William & Onora. Duke Seth, Duke
Maximillian & Duchess Lethrenn were part of a contingency from Meridies.
Maximillian defeated Lord Settimio dOlivio in the finals of the 26 member heavy
list. In honor of His Majesty's Viking heritage, the Holmganga, a formal Viking
duel was fought with the dagger of the Norse warrior, the Seax. Ten rapier
fighters competed and the point score for the finals revealed Christoff 7, Pol
Uto 8. The story for Barbara's guessing game was, as a fibula or penannular
broach "holds things together", so do our King & Queen. The count was 231 safety
pins. There was a delicious feast followed by dessert competition at the Ball &
Bardic Circle. Lord Broddi Raudskegga & Senor Mateo Lopez won with Bacon
Baklava. These two also spearheaded the fundraiser lunch. Event principals were
Autocrat Wulfram Forrester, Feast Steward Brigit Boyer, Judith Wilkinson,
reservations. Event attendance was estimated at 276. Members of our Kingdom's
oldest shire were wonderful hosts.
Images of the event may be viewed at www.brotherguido.com/blackmoor/Photos.htm
Baroness Barbara Sterling
The Rapier Story
In honor of His Majesty's Viking heritage, the Coronation rapier tourney was
designed to follow His Nordic tradition to the extent our rules permitted. As
most fencers' personae are of rather late in the Viking era, we adapted by using
the weapon in our arsenal closest to that of the Norse warrior; the dagger. er,
The formal Viking duel was called the Holmganga, fought on a small island or at
a crossroads. The combattants were limited to fighting on a cloak about nine
feet on a side, with the corners marked by hazel staves. The fighter whose foot
left the cloak was called nidingr, or 'he flees'. The holmgang was fought until
the first drop of blood fell on the cloak. Each fighter was allowed three
shields, as they did not tend to stand up well in combat.
The tourney at Coronation was fought with dagger. The oh-so-fragile shields were
simulated with Styrofoam bucklers, which lasted surprisingly well. We had 10
contestants: Damiano, Pol Uto, Mishuk Randwulf, Tomas mac Thighearnain, Karl Von
Zollern, Christof, Shimofuri, Alysia, Shoiel, and your humble correspondent.
Rose Eriksdottir served as Listmistress. We fought on a point system: one point
for a kill, two points for a wounding or making the other guy nidingr. Two
defeats meant elimination.
Bouts were very fast, as you'd expect, especially in such a small space. Deaths
accounted for only 1/3 of the defeats. Most of the victories were by blood,
rather than flight. We're a courageous lot in Gleann Abhann.
Pol Uto scored four woundings and only one defeat in his first five fights (most
of his opponents left the field bleeding from a cut above the right knee).
Shoiel followed closely but didn't quite make it to five fights. At the end, Pol
and Christoff were left standing, though Christoff had garnered but three
points. By acclamation, the final fight was best of three. Though Christoff drew
first blood twice, the final point score was Christoff 7, Pol 8.
In the fast world of the Seax, blows may easily be questioned or shrugged off. I
am proud to say there were no disagreements. We're an honorable lot in Gleann
Congratulations to Pol and to Christoff, and my thanks to all of the fighters
and the people who helped get the field set up.
Shire of Troll Fen
Thanks from the Autocrat
It is hard to compete with Lady Barbara's eloquent account of the events of the
day. I may add a few observations and thank yous.
The members of Shire Troll Fen, although few, worked hard to make this event
possible. Lady Judith and spouse Lord Thomas arranged reservations and organized
Troll with their usual skill. The marvelous Feast was the work of Troll Fen's
own Bridget who organized the kitchen staff as a Gleann Abhann General organizes
the Ram Army.
My thanks to my Lady wife, Lady Christine for organizing a full day of fun and
learning for Gleann Abhann's youth. Thanks to Her Grace, Mary Grace for her help
with the children. The nasty duties were handled by THL Rose Eriksdotter,
assisted by my son Sean. Thanks to both and to Sean for being my go to "slave"
and heavy lifter. He helped erect tents, live weapons targets, the list field
and more importantly helped tear them all down, take them home, and dry and
secure them for the next event. Thanks to Sir Ashi for running the heavy list,
and to his Lady Kimiko who helped event jobs as well as Court herald for the
day. Master Erik ran the archery for the Yeoman tourney. Mistress Bridget kept
all in line as usual. Many thanks to THL Aethen Dunmire. He was co autocrat and
general go-to guy. Not only did he help with troll, kitchen, and children's
activities, he also ran the Holmgange dagger/seax tourney. This was a rapier
dagger tourney fought under Viking duel rules (Well, not so much rules as
guidelines). Congrats to THL Pol Uto as the victor.
Thanks to the Shire of Blackmoor Keep for providing lunch as a fundraiser for
their kitchen supplies as well as providing the delicious award winning BACON
BACALAVA for the ball. Thank you to Lord Bran Finn hua Neill for running the
bardic circle that provided so much entertainment at the Ball.
And thanks to Their Majesties and to the Populace of Gleann Abhann for their
participation in making this event so special. Especially to those that just
jumped in to help lift tables or benches, clean the kitchen and lots of other
areas that just needed help to make everything easier for all.