The Second Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
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May A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
n this month began the reign of King Corin and Queen Myfanwy. Also at this time my lord Robert journeyed to the far away and fabled lands of Cathay, where he saw much and marvelled greatly. The tales of his travels and the things he saw would themselves fill a whole volume.
June A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
On the XXth of this month Lord Clancy Longstrider, Award of Paws, Master of Sciences of Starleaf Gate, died. It was around this time that Francis of Skye came to Eoforwic from Dubras.
July A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
or some long time, Graf Hugo had surveyed the state of Events that he had of late experienced, and he was sore displeased, and resolved to stem the ebb-tide which he perceived. Thus it came to pass that the Known World was invited to take part in a day at the court of Castiglione, where the splendour of the Italian Renaissance would be seen. This day saw many great things enacted. The gentle folk attending wore garb appropriate to that court, and deported themselves very much as Italians, though there were some few to whom this prospect was distasteful, and they did not come. Rather than a tournament, there were challenges, fighting at the bar, Giocho del Ponte (which are bridge battles), and a naval battle with a melee between two ships and those on board.
Base lucre ruled the day, for a monopoly of the Mint had been granted to a wealthy banker, Tarverio of Siena, and the entire populace was given 1000 ducats apiece. The fortunes of each house were to be counted up at the end of the day, and all hastened to amass as much wealth as possible: A blind eye was turned toward gambling and bribes, and even the Sisters from the Convent of Our Lady of perpetual Gratification were collecting money to replace their beds, which they claimed were worn out. In the end, the Lady Tamarra claimed to be the wealthiest, until it was revealed that her lord Ricardo had stolen much of the wealth on her behalf during the counting, for which crime she was condemned to pay Kingdom taxes for the following year.
In the gentler aspects of the day, the Publicus Absurdus Commedia del Ebriosas, under the guidance of Breanaidh and Mordreth, performed two plays in the wise of the Commedia dell Arte; these were entitled "The Comedy," or "Fionn for Doge;" and "The Tragedy," or "A Tale of Two Households." The latter of these, despite its title, contained more mirth than the former, for even though everyone died at the end, they were all miraculously cured even of this affliction by a mysterious Dottore Bob.
Al(i)stair's role was particularly memorable, for he played the beauteous Isabella, a maiden whose purity was very much in doubt. Even here base gold held sway, as the populace constantly bribed the players to mention their names upon the stage.
Each City State had been instructed to select a candidate for Doge, who would be elected by popular vote to preside over the feast that night. Alas, by feast time all but four of the candidates had been assassinated, despite bodyguards and clever subterfuge. the candidates made speeches, and pledged, variously, to lower taxes, strengthen the Army or sponsor the Arts. Tarverio, speaking on behalf of a mystery candidate who had avoided assassination by the devise of anonymity, persuaded the electors to chose his man, though only by a narrow margin, by promising to abolish taxes, producing his own armed force, doubling the pay in the Actor's Guild, and then throwing fistsful of 1000 ducat coins at the electors. The runner up in the election, one Serena Lucia del Pace, was invited to sit as Consort of the newly elected Doge, Stepanno. The feast saw ten City States seated at ten tables, served in a grand procession by ten gonfaloniers, each wearing a tabard emblazoned with the arms of his City, and each bearing a great pie with the same arms to be seen thereon. Lady Ragni cooked this feast, and she and Duke Finnvarr planned all this panoply. It was, in truth, a wonderful sight to behold, and a most delicious and plentiful feast to enjoy.
Certes, this was the most ambitious event that Eoforwic had ever attempted. And there must be great tribute given to Graf Hugo, for his leadership and tenacity saw that it was one of the most successful as well, which set high the standard for subsequent occasions.
Another happening of great note transpired this month, in which many folk of Eoforwic participated: a neighbouring guild of the town re-staged the Coronation of Richard III, King of England, upon the 500th anniversary of that event. This was done with meticulous attention to detail, right down to the stuffiness of the cathedral; for Gunnar of Lund, who played the Archbishop's crozier bearer, fainted from the heat. Lord Alistair Kirk of Inness played well the role of the King, and the lavish feast served that evening was prepared and supervised by Lady Rose of Gryphonwood, as well as Mordreth and Ragni. John Broadbottom, a cleric, joined the Canton at this time.
August A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
n the VIth day of this month, the Ladies Mordreth and Rose invited the Canton to High Park to assist in a peaceful Quest for the Sleeping Hero. And so, that evening, the quest began and continued long after dark. In the end, the questors had almost as much trouble finding each other as that which they sought, but there were strange charms in the air that night, and many marvels were seen, and afterwards all agreed that the quest had been well worth the effort.
Alas, even if there is peace at home, men are quarrelsome abroad, and dip(lo)macy again failed to reconcile the differences between the east and the Middle Kingdoms. And so the folk of Eoforwic put upon a grim visage and journeyed to the Debatable (L)ands, and there joined the war camp of the Midrealm. This was the XIIth Pennsic War.
Mention should be made of the size and duration of the Pennsic War, which during the past few campaigns had increased an hundredfold from its humble origins. The camp that Eoforwic beheld was vast, with thousands of warriors and their kin and their households and their followers, with hundreds of pavilion-tops to be seen covering the hillsides, and a riot of colour and pageantry and heraldry and devices, splendid to be seen. The length of the war had also grown, so that a few brave folk would spend an entire fortnight upon the war-camp fields. So it was that the custom grew in Eoforwic for one household to precede the others to the site, in order that camping space might be claimed and available for those wagons following behind.
Also at this war, the Ladies Rose of Gryphonwood and Dea of Carlisle grumbled that they did not have a thing to wear as they were called to become Companions of the Order of the Willow, by virtue of their skill in costuming and embroidery. This was at the very end, alas, of one of the most tedious Courts ever endured by humankind.
September A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
oforwic at this time was certes populous and prosperous, but yet it was thought advantageous to let other folk of like mind be aware of the existence of the Society. Thus it was on the XVIIth day of the month that there was held a tourney and day of revels, organized by Lord Tarver. Many crafts were demonstrated: Sylard even brought a forge in a satchel, and then cooked a meal over the coals and demonstrating the techniques of blacksmithing. This was the last time that Eoforwic sought new members at the traditional place, on the Philosopher's Walk.
>From this effort, several new folk did indeed come and swell the ranks of Eoforwic. Among these were Maraigha ni Sean de Sianan, a lady skilled in drama, and surpassing in courtesy; Amala-Sand die Sanfte, a lady small of stature but great of heart; and Charles de Montfichet of Ham, a veritable giant, half a head taller even than Lord Tarver, and every inch a gentleman. Also at this time, Lord Myrddin Llygoden came to Eoforwic to join the great community of scholars. He had bee forced to flee his native land because of an incident involving some verses about a seneschal and her cinnamon stick.
Draymore von Dreikof became the Marshal of Eoforwic at this time.
October A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
In this month began the reign of King Alen and Queen Genevieve. There was, on the first day of this month, a Collegium held for the edification of the Barony by the Canton of Der Welfengau.
November A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
n the Vth day of this month the Canton of Rising Waters celebrated the Feast of Bacchus. Lady Ragni and Duke Finnvarr sported wine-coloured robes and garlands of vines in honour of the occasion. Graf Hugo won the tournament, and Lady Tamarra Amalthea sponsored a Baronial Arts and Sciences contest.
Upon the XIXth day of the month, some folk of Eoforwic journeyed to observe the Feast of the Hare in Skraeling Althing. Illtyd the Apostate, who had not been seen for some time, was present; and all rejoiced merrily, for in his absence he had become a fully fledged Doctor of Philosophy.
December A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1983)
n this month, Bronwyn Meredith Kirk passed the Seneschal's Key on to Megan of Silverthorne. Also in this month, an edition of the No Name Newsletter appeared as the New Name Noseletter. Some time later, the confusion spread, and when the rolls of the Eoforwic membership were passed from the keeping of House Inness to the Eoforwic Chronicler, they began to appear as the No News Nameletter. Eanor of Amberhall was held responsible for the latter title.
January A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1984)
he wheel of time rides hard, and Twelfth Night was again upon the land. The Barony was hosted by the Canton of Der Welfengau this year upon the XIVth day, and saw these events: the bestowing of the Cauldron of Caradwyn upon Duke Finnvarr, and the declaration by the Baron of the taxes that would be due one year from that day. From each Canton of the Barony he demanded a spear, that those spears should be full wrought and well, and that each spear should have a banneret showing the arms of its Canton, and that they should appear at each Twelfth Night, so that all should thereby know the power of the Barony.
Sir Hugo had recently resolved to travel far and long to the lands of An Tir. Being a just and honourable man, he therefore publicly offered to release any of his squires from their oaths of fealty without shame or stigma, so that in his extended absence, they would not be bound to a liege lord whom they could not serve, and from whom they could not learn the arts of courtesy and combat. Though it greatly saddened his heart, Tarver accepted the offer, and, in the Baronial Court the Knight duly and solemnly released his Squire from every oath except the one to always behave as the Peer he hoped to become. As a parting gift, Sir Hugo returned to Tarver his red belt and permitted him to style himself a "squire at large" until he found a new liege lord.
After this, the Baron did knit his brow, as one who is minded of dark thoughts, and called forth the name of Dragmore, outlaw, the villain who had so offended the Barony; for it was in this wise, that this certain Dragmore had stolen some (of) the wealth of the Barony, and the Baron had previously commanded his head. Alas, neither Dragmore's head, no(r) any part of him was to be seen that night, at which the Baron waxed wroth, and demanded that the head of Dragmore should be at his feet upon the feast of Twelfth Night to be held in Eoforwic a fortnight hence, lest other heads should roll.
So it was that upon the XXIst day of the month Eoforwic celebrated Twelfth Night, and Dierdre of Carlisle did arrange the festivities. At the appointed time, the Baron again demanded the head of Dragmore, whereupon a tumult arose, and there was borne unto the Head Table, not only one head, but two, and these followed hard upon by a nose, a thumb, and then several other pieces of human flesh best not thought on. Thus the wrath of Aedan was appeased, and Dragmore was seen no more, although some say he escaped, and the gory details were merely those of some hapless slave.
On this night. Lord Frederick (l)'Avarre brought in a most wondrous subtlety, a night paying vigil by a fountain of wine. And it was seen that the wealth of Eoforwic is so great, that Eoforings can not only afford to charge their glasses with wine, but they also can fill their fountains and even mop their floors with it.
Also on this night, Lord Frederick passed the Baldric of Office of the Eoforwic Pursuivant on to Lord Tarver the Pole.
It was about this time that Graf Hugo and Lady Rowena left the boundaries of Eoforwic and Septentria and travelled west to the Kingdom of An Tir. They were the last to inhabit Albany House, and when they left, it stood abandoned. Lady Dea continued to live nearby for some time, however.
March A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1984)
he Canton of Ben Dunfirth temporarily changed its name to New Farthing, and celebrated the feast of St. David upon the IIIrd day of the month. A tourney and feast were attended by many folk from Eoforwic and other reaches of the Barony. The infamous House Three Coins flourished briefly about this time in those parts.
In this month, the folk of Eoforwic lent aid to yet another guild of the town, that of the Harbourfront, to help educate young lords and ladies in the ways of the Middle Ages. Lady Bronwyn Meredith Kirk did organize the activities and direct those others involved, who were many: Robert of Two Cliffs, Tarver the Pole, Gunnar of Lund, Amala-Sand die Sanfte, Rhiannon of Wye, Lothar von Wulfing, Draymore von Dreikof, Anneka, and also Finnvarr, Eanor, Rose of Gryphonwood, Rickard of Sabletree, and Torbin of Amberhall. Each day for a week, from the XIIth unto the XVIth, the young ones learned of heraldry, dancing, singing, and acting out plays, and used their newly acquired courtiership to entertain some local kingling and his queen, Alfred and Ann. At the end of the week, the volunteers descended on my Lord Robert's hall to celebrate a job well done.
On the XVIIth day of this month, the Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon was held in Rhydderich Hael. Lord Tarver was authorized in the lists in the Eastrealm, even though he was still to young to fight legally in the Middle Kingdom. Tarver wore the Baronial Favour, and was the last Septentrian to be defeated from the lists. The fighting was hard: one Eastern Duke was seen to break his sword over an opponent's head, retire for a fresh weapon, and then return for the kill. In the Arts and Sciences competition, a portrait of Lady Ragni and Eanor from the scriptorium of my lord Robert of Two Cliffs won a prize.
About this time, in spite of Draymore's efforts as Marshal, fighting space had grown sparse. The proprietors of the magistri artium had started to demand great sums of money, and the fighters found this burden excessive. And so, the fighters wandered from hall to hall looking for a place to train. The welcome extended to the fighters of Eoforwic by Cowan Hall expired in a particularly dramatic manner when Draymore attempted to wield a pole-arm in plate gauntlets of his own construction which were poorly made and fit too loosely. He was struck on the left hand with such great force by a bastard sword that the end of his smallest finger was verily cleaved in twain, and the bone did shatter into splinters. In truth, when the proprietor of the hall found Baron Aedan trying to mop the blood off the walls, the fighters found themselves once again without a place to practice.
Text copyright 1989 R. Scott Caple and W. Ted Szwejkowski Illustrations copyright 1992 R. Scott Caple