The First Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
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December A.S. X (C.E. 1975)
t Yule, Miriam of the Trillium Fields hosted a revel in her home, which was remarkable for good food, good feeling, and new dance music which Jowell had recently discovered. The revel was Miriam's last contribution to the shire.
In this period Sylard was encouraging his friends in Peterborough to form a shire. But although Sylard brought some of them to Eoforwic to be trained with sword and shield, the shire never came to be.
January A.S. X (C.E. 1976)
arly in this month news came to Eoforwic that a group of Society folk dwelt very near by. Tierr and Lilladrel had taken the first steps toward founding the shire of Noerlanda. Eoforwic had to be content with this bare news for some weeks, for a face-to-face meeting proved hard to arrange. Late in the month some Noerlanda folk found their way to Eoforwic and participated in dancing practice. Eoforwic returned the visit soon after. Finnvarr, Gillian, Jehanne, Hugo, and Lorenzo Toledero attended a shire meeting in Noerlanda, taught dancing, and demonstrated the rudiments of fighting.
February A.S. X (C.E. 1976)
In the same month, the folk of Eoforwic once again travelled to the shire of Eastmere. Jehanne, Jowell, and Hugo fought in the same lists there, although none had yet authorized in the Midrealm. Hugo and Jowell distinguished themselves by winning their initial contests; Hugo, in fact, was awarded a cloven helmet for the most dramatic death. Eoforwic's fighters, though bested in individual combat, beat Eastmere twice in melee. At the revels Jowell sang and he, Gillian and Finnvarr taught dance, an art yet unknown there. Eastmere had now grown far larger than Eoforwic, and its people were confident that they would soon become a barony. By a strange turn of fortune, this was not to be: Within half a year Eastmere was dispersed to the four winds.
Also, Eoforwic first heard from Caelwulf Longstrider. An inhabitant of Windsor, he had been introduced to the Society by Theoderic the Skeptical and Donalbain MacTague. Shortly afterwards Caelwulf, together with his lady Morgan of Lindisfarne, Donalbain, and his own cousin Wulfram Wulfscilding, who lived in Hamilton, formed House Fyve'O. Wulfram began to frequent Eoforwic and particularly Noerlanda.
March A.S. X (C.E. 1976)
arlier in the year the western part of North Woods had separated to become the barony of Andelcrag. Now the two baronies were planning to form a principality. The people of Eoforwic were concerned at this, for such a principality would lie between them and the rest of the Middle Kingdom. Therefore Finnvarr, Gillian and Jehanne went to Three Hills to take part in a great folk-moot which had been called to discuss the issue, and to see if it would be in Eoforwic's interest to join such a principality. The question never arose, for the people of Andelcrag and North Woods distrusted each other to the point that the moot quickly degenerated into fruitless argument. Its sole result was the name Pentamer, which some used later to refer to the land including Andelcrag, North Woods and Septentria.
On the XXVIIth of the same month, Noerlanda hosted the first Feast of the Bear. It was originally planned as a local event, but it attracted a number of travellers, including a coven of pagans from Hamilton and nine folk from North Woods who, by coincidence, had been visiting friends in Eoforwic. The food was good, and the feasters were entertained by a dancing bear (who, after the fact, provided a name for the event) and by the impromptu efforts of the North Woods Mummers.
It was in this period that Tsivia bas Tamara joined the shire of Noerlanda. This lady had some years earlier been a subject of the realm of Atenveldt, and thus was not unacquainted with the Society. Her enthusiasm was great, and it was not long before she was seneschal of Noerlanda.
Also, it was about this time that Jowell was affianced to a lady named Miriam. They were married in the summer. Jowell was seen less frequently thereafter, and eventually passed the herald's office to Hugo.
April A.S. X (C.E. 1976)
ith the return of spring weather the people of Eoforwic again began to travel. Jowell his lady, Jehanne, and Sylard attended a tourney in North Woods where for the first time skilled Eoforwic fighters found enough knights marshal present to authorize them for the lists. Both Jowell and Sylard were permitted to compete; Jehanne was not, but was commended on her improved skill.
May A.S. XI (C.E. 1976)
n May first the Decennial of our Society was commemorated at a tournament in the Three Hills. Hugo, Jowell, Jehanne, Gillian, and Finnvarr attended this occasion, and Finnvarr took part in the Championship Tourney and in the many fine bridge battles that occurred there. Although only a few folk from other kingdoms came, those who did were well worth meeting, and the Eoforings returned home with many books and pamphlets from foreign parts.
Jehanne was informed that due to her mastery of traditional forms of verse she had placed highly in the Midrealm Poetry Contest.
Following the Decennial, Finnvarr went to North Woods to visit Caellyn and his other friends in the barony. He took this opportunity to match his fighting skills against the local warriors, who were then the best in the realm. This was excellent preparation for the Crown Lists, which were held there on the XXIXth of that month: Finnvarr was runner-up in the tourney, being defeated only by the victor, Earl Dagan du Darregonne. Tierr and Tsivia attended the event, and Tsivia became immediately notorious for her lengthy rendition of the Camel Story during the feast. Tsivia was often asked to repeat it by those who had missed previous tellings.
Hugo von Feuerklippe authorized for the Midrealm lists. It was noted at the time that he was as good a fighter as his experienced opponent.
June A.S. XI (C.E. 1976)
t this time Eoforwic and Noerlanda entered into several co-operative ventures. The shires decided to hold summer meetings in common. Noerlanda wished to hold a tournament in August and asked the more experienced members of Eoforwic for some aid in the matter. In return Count Finnvarr asked Noerlanda for help in obtaining fields and halls for an Arthurian tourney in the autumn. Ironically, at the same time a certain distrust began to grow up between the two shires. Partly the distrust resulted from purely personal conflicts. There was also a rivalry of the kind which always occurs between new groups and their more-established neighbors. But finally there was a conflict of ideals which became more evident with the passage of time. Tsivia, unlike those raised in the Midrealm, believed that the Society should take its inspiration not just from the past ages of chivalry, but also from various books of prophecy then popular. Under her leadership most of the people of Noerlanda adopted this faith. Her ideas found no sympathy in Eoforwic, and so the two groups began to pull farther apart.
July A.S. XI (C.E. 1976)
Sylard of Eagleshaven attached himself to Count Finnvarr's household as a mercenary warrior. Before this time there had been no households in Eoforwic.
At the end of the month, several folk of Eoforwic went to North Woods to help Baron Thorvald suppress the annual Scots revolt. Although Thorvald's loyalists were defeated, the Eoforings long remembered this as a glorious day. Jehanne fought in this battle, for she had now authorized for the Midrealm lists, the first of many women of Eoforwic to do so.
August A.S. XI (C.E. 1976)
n the VIIth Tsivia and Lilladrel hosted the first tourney to be held in Noerlanda. Folk from Eoforwic, Withermoor, North Woods, and House Fyve'Ottended. Hugo won the round-robin list, and a novice of house Fyve'O, Redbeard Lonewolf, distinguished himself. There was also a small war practice. In the late afternoon. Lady Gillian provided an entertainment, a Quest for Belphoebe's apple, in which the gentle questors had to overcome Anger and Lechery and exercise Justice and Charity. The efforts of Tsivia, Mord the Obscure, Countess Caellyn and others contributed greatly to its success. In the evening Tsivia and Jehanne ran a small claims court, trying various people for humorous and imaginary faults. On that occasion Gillian, Hugo and Jehanne were formally admitted to House de Taahe. The latter two became Finnvarr's squires.
By chance news of this tourney came to Torbin and Ragni of Amberhall and their daughter Eanor. Torbin and Ragni had discovered the Society in the West and loved it so much that they had recreated it, giving feasts and revels for their friends in York. On discovering Eoforwic they and Eanor became enthusiastic members. All three were known for wit, creativity, and generosity. Through their influence life in the shire gained a new gentility.
This month the Midrealm decisively defeated the East and its Meridian allies at the fifth Pennsic War. Finnvarr, Hugo, and Jehanne formed the first war-company to come from Eoforwic.
September A.S. XI (C.E. 1976)
t this time Wolfram Wolfscilding began the shire of Ben Dunfirth. This month and the next also saw a great growth in Eoforwic. Among those who joined were Dubadaessa of Kilkerry, a lady from the Atlantic coast who possessed many practical talents; Liliane d'Alezane, a musician who had been seen briefly in the spring, and who now returned from a summer in Thescorre; the infamous Nicholas Tiercel, also a musician; Conrad von Wollenrodt, a southerner who came to York to study the sciences; Maelstrom, also a southerner, a scribe, indeed a man of many talents; and finally Strygor von Tolmetz, a most interesting man who had made his living both as a warrior and as a travelling player. He struck up a close friendship with Sylard and eventually joined his household. All these folk, save one, were worthy additions to the shire, which was never so small again.
On the VIIIth Count Finnvarr, with the assistance of both Eoforwic and Noerlanda, hosted a Round Table. This was a tourney in the style of Arthur's day, in which Finnvarr invited the chivalry and men-at-arms of the Known World to participate. He himself, as host, took the part of Arthur, and challenged all others to match the deeds of the Round Table. The challenge was provocative, and many took it up. From the Midrealm, a great company came from North Woods, including Their Highnesses Dagan and Catherine, and folk from the Cleftlands were there as well; from the East came Duke Asbjorn of Roed, twice war-leader of his people; from the West appeared Bolverk of Momchilavitch, a diminutive woman warrior from Lion's Gate I Far Columbia. Still unknown in the Middle Kingdom, she would soon be famous throughout the Known World as a traveller, newsbearer, and campaigner.
Finnvarr, in his role as Arthur, greeted the warriors and gave each the name of a knight of British legend. They then competed in wrestling, rock-throwing, chess, and all the attested recreations of Arthur's knights. The warriors played one game where a single knight armed with a sword and chessboard and his lady using the chessmen as missiles held off six attackers at a castle gate; thus re-enacting the great feat which Wolfram von Eschenbach attributed to Gawain. In everything, virtue and prowess were amply displayed.
At one point, however, this new Camelot was troubled by rebellion. The King of a Hundred Knights, who looked much like Hugo, kidnapped the Lady of the Lake -- Gillian -- and several damsels, and defied Arthur to take them back. Arthur quickly assembled a company of valiant knights who overcame the rebels with ease. Unfortunately the victory went to their heads and Arthur's knights began boasting and quarrelling. Challenges were issued, and swaggering rogues attempted to wrest possession of the tourney field, or parts of it, from its rightful owner, whoever that may have been at the moment. It was a grievous and bloody display of might making right -- sic transit gloria Camelotis. Fortunately peace and friendship was restored among the knights, and the entire company retired to dinner.
In the evening Arthur ended his brief return by convoking the Round Table. The worthy warriors of the day were called forth and seated in the circle, and each was given a medallion, designed by Sylard and Jowell, that commemorated the day. the last called forward was Sir Tristan -- Squire Elestron of Tower West -- who was proclaimed best knight of the day. Then the circle was dissolved, each took again his proper name, and the revels began.
Some say that Saint Fionnbarr, bishop of Ireland, appeared that evening and, as a token of his presence, turned the hair of several ladies the color of gold. Others claim that it was all a jest devised by Fern de la Foret, who with several other ladies donned false hair and claimed that the blessing of the good Count had changed their color. The truth of this matter is known only to Sylard.
The Round Table was a great success, and both shires were pleased by their part in it; Count Finnvarr was later admitted to the Order of the Purple Fret on this account, among others. Another result was that Noerlanda began planning the Book of Pages for January and a Grand Crusading Tourney for May.
A little before this time Finnvarr and Jehanne took over responsibility for Eoforing. They sent it to all Society folk in the Northland, and obtained the support of both Eoforwic and Noerlanda, and later Ben Dunfirthshire, for this venture.
Copyright 1982 Steve Muhlberger