The Second Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
Page 5 of 7
April A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1984)
On the IIIrd of this month, the stork did visit the de Taahe household and leave a boy. He was named Gavin de Taahe.
Lest it be thought that the folk of Eoforwic do ceaselessly fight and drink, here it should be said that this is not so, but they are practitioners of the arts and sciences to the highest degree, and thus the annual competitions in these fields are a focus of great activity.
Therefore the Regional Competition for practice in the arts and sciences came to pass on the XXII(nd) day of the month. Many wonderful things were to be seen and competition was fierce. Eoforwic hosted the Region, and Lady Bronwyn Meridith was autocrat. The Lady Fern de la Forêt, who was long a friend of Eoforwic, coordinated the judging, of which there was much to be overseen. Even as the feast was being served, some judges were still at their task. Eventually, all was done, and Court proceedings began with a Baronial Court, where were proclaimed the winners of the competition, and this was soon followed by a Royal Court, for in sooth, the Prince and Princess, Eliahu and Elen, were present. Awards were received by Ricard of Sabletree, who was received as a Companion of the Silver Oak for his skill in leatherworking, and by Helmut of Greenland, who was given the Order of the Purple Fret for his service. And then, Sylard of Eagleshaven was summoned to the Court, and there made Laurel, in view of the numerous and fine pieces of metalwork he had wrought. Thus was the third Peer of Eoforwic created, and the day made complete.
Lord Tarver served Amala-Sand die Sanfte as her liveried man-servant for the day.
A great marvel was seen this day: As the long scroll of winners in the Competition was being read out, Prince Eliahu slipped into the back of the Baronial Court. He was weary from conducting much Royal business, and he took the coronet from his brow, whereupon it appeared to sit so lightly, and set it gently upon a table. But so great is the weight of the Crown, that the table collapsed with a resounding crash beneath it! many saw this marvel, and all who saw it were amazed, and knew by it that Eliahu would someday be a truly great King.
May A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
Here began the reign of King Eliahu and Queen Elen.
With the arrival of Mayday and the start of the new Society year, it is usual for a change to come over the earth. And few can dispute that it was a great change indeed when House Inness abandoned its old holding and dispersed throughout the town. Alistair travelled East, and after some time was presumed dead by Bronwyn. Also, Geoffrey de Bellac was hereafter little seen. When the dust cleared, Alistair Kirk and Dierdre of Carlyle formed the new nucleus of House Inness.
In this month Lady Mordreth Colwyn took up the office of Regional Mistress of Arts, and Ragni Dzintara the office of Regional Seneschal. On the XIXth and XXth days, the Poculi Ludique Societas enacted the Chester Cycle of Mystery Plays, and many folk of Eoforwic were in attendance, and Rhiannon of Wye was seen to frolic.
Upon the XXVIth day of the month, the tournament to decide the heirs to the Crown was held in the Shire of St. carol on the Moor. Also to be held at this time and place was the judging of the Arts and Sciences of the entire Kingdom, where each of the lands of the Kingdom brought together their best works to be seen and judged by their peers. To this end did my Lord Robert. Master Sylard, his Lady Mordreth, and Lady Rose of Gryphonwood travel, for their own sake and on behalf of the entire region, for they carried with them many of the entries from the recent Regional contest. This was no mean feat, as their destination lay many leagues hence, and the road was treacherous, and they had to pass through fire and flood and past heavily armed natives ere they safely arrived.
The tournament proved to be of great interest, for as the Master Valerius Paen Calvus of Caer Anterth rose in the lists, it was discerned that the Lady whose favour he carried did not wish to become Queen. Upon some discussion the Lady Fern de la Forêt, who had herself just been defeated from the lists, stepped forward to hang her favour from Valerius's belt. With this, Valerius went on (to) win the tournament, defeating Sir Berengaer in the final bouts. in the meantime, the judging of the Arts and Sciences was completed, and the Region was seen to have captured many honours, and Lady Mordreth was found to have won the overall Championship, tied with the Lady Gwynfreya.
At the royal Court convened that evening, King Eliahu recognized Valerius as Tanist, and Fern stood at his side as Princess, and all those present raised their voices and gave loud acclaim to this unexpected, yet happy, turn of events. Thus the travellers returned to Eoforwic, somewhat weary but with much news and gladsome hearts.
June A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
fter such momentous events, the folk of Eoforwic retired to their lands and tended to their hearths and recouped their energies. On the evening of the VIIIth day of this month, some folk from the Canton gathered on Prince Arthur Street to demonstrate the martial and gentle arts at a fair put on the merchants of that quarter. It was here that the folk of Eoforwic discovered a fine public house under the sponsorship of the Duke of York.
On the XVIth day of the sixth month, the Canton of Ben Dunfirth proclaimed a tournament that would be held over two days to allow those present to train for readiness in the event of yet another Pennsic War. eager to hone their skills in waging war, Eoforwic joined other folk of the Barony and those of the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael of the East in raising their pavilions upon the practice field. A tournament was fought by teams of fighters in a series of melees and bridge battles from which the members of House Elandris of Rhydderich Hael, led by Barak Sir Hasdrubal, emerged victorious by dint of their abilities to work together as a team. Thus began the tradition of the Murder Melee in the Meadow. This event was remarkable for the amount of rain that fell, forcing the people there to assemble under a common shelter; it is ironic to note the inclemence of the weather became almost a tradition for this event. This was the occasion of the Three Miracles of St. Sylard, and it was to be Master Sylard's last appearance in the lists for a very long time. Also, Charles of Ham received an Award of Arms.
On the XXIIIrd day of the month, amidst the flurry of making ready for war, Lord Tarver the Pole went with Lord Myrddin and Lady Rhiannon to the forests north of the city. There, after a long search, they found a perfect ash tree, and after laying out sacrifices and singing songs to appease the wood spirits, Tarver cut this tree with a special axe etched with serpents and with runes. From this enchanted ashwood, Tarver fashioned a great spear. Also about this time, Tarver built a large shield press, and he produced a great number of shields of all different sizes for the warriors of Septentria. One of these was painted by Baroness Kaffa with the Queen's Arms, differenced by label, and was borne in battle by Princess Fern herself. Thus were first displayed the arms of the Princess of the Middle Kingdom.
Now, in these days it was to be seen that Eoforwic and its Environs had grown in many ways and become more self-sufficient, such that the local folk did no longer always have to journey far into the centre of the Kingdom to attend events, and their numbers had grown many fold, and there were many works of art and of service accomplished within our own lands. And a murmuring arose throughout the populace that there was sufficient cause for a new, separate land to be formed, that would serve the cause of the Society, yet be its own voice.
This had long been the dream of T'sivia bas Tamarra, but it was Ragni Dzintara, as Regional Seneschal, who called a great Moot to decide how this might be done, and how best to achieve it. The Moot was held in then original Amberhall, and to it came many known and respected voices from both the Baronies of Septentria and Skraeling Althing.
At the Moot it was decided that the Baronies of Septentria and Skraeling Althing, which is to say all the lands within the area known to some as Ontario, should formally become a Region. From these beginnings, the Region would grow to the status of a Principality, and become in time a Kingdom in its own right, with its own laws and customs, and freedom to do as it chose, and serve the Society in its own way. Also, it was decided that firstly some person from these lands should be chosen to represent the region, and would symbolize the virtues of the Region, and that this person would be known as the Champion of the Region
So it was decided that a great tournament should be proclaimed, and the winner thereof should become the first regional Champion, and an Honourable Committee was established to oversee the preparations for all these things.
The Honourable Committee the set forth to make certain that this Champion be virtuous in all things, and proclaimed that he should not be chosen solely through skills at arms but also should show some measure of other skills; and therefore he should enter some handiwork in the annual Arts and Sciences competition; and he should be an Armiger, for, it was reasoned, most people possessed with sufficient gravitas and dignitas for this honour would also have Arms; but if twelve good men and true stood forth, in Court, and vouched for someone who was not Armigerous, then that person too could enter the tournament, if he met the other requirements.
I this way the preparations began for establishing the foundations on which the folk of the Region were to build their future.
July A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
n the VIIth day, some folk of Eoforwic did again show forth their talents to the barbarian populace, this time at the Grange. There was a great deal of fighting on this day, and there was also an extensive market, notable for rare silks. Rhiannon and Monika sang to entertain the people, and by virtue of strange and marvelous enchantments, their melodious voices carried farther than ever before thought possible.
Some time after this, the Barony of Skraeling Althing proclaimed a Grand Crusade, to bring the ways of the East and the West together in one place. When the folk of Eoforwic arrived at the appointed place they found a bazaar full of wonderful things. Merchants and bellydancers vied for attention in the marketplace, and warriors both Christian and Saracen tested their mettle through challenges, the noble game of Bouskashi, and a tournament. Claude de la Beche, who had not been seen in Eoforwic for a short time, was there and all were astonished at the quantity of chainmail, leatherwork, and other crafts he had produced.
Also in this month, the time drew nigh at which it was customary for Eoforwic to host its annual mid-summer gathering. To this end, the House Teacht Cearta Mor invited the Known World to a day of Celtic Games. which were to be held upon that largest of the islands which lay in the lake bordering Eoforwic's south shore.
So it was that the sun shone fair upon the day when folk such as Saxons, Vikings, Celts, Jutes, Picts, Angles, and Goths crossed the Eoforwic waters and arrived upon the isle, where all showed their avowed prowess at such sports as spear casting, axe throwing, and foot races. Challenges and boasts were exchanged -- and rightly so, in the custom of our forebearers -- and joyful combat took place throughout the day. After a last-minute session of armouring, making use of whatever material came to hand, Gunnar of Lund authorised in the lists; many were astonished when he defeated Sir Mordain Blackcloak in his first fight thereafter.
With the westering of the sun upon the waters, all gathered together upon the ground and were served a feast of Viking and Celtic foods, expertly prepared byLady Mordreth. Then, in the light of torches, Court was convened; first a Baronial, then a Royal Court, for King Eliahu and Queen Elen had graced the day with their presence. They honoured both Lady Monika z Gniezno and my lord Robert of Two Cliffs with Companionship in the Order of the Willow. Here, too, Lady Rhiannon of Wye took up the office of Baronial Mistress of Sciences. Purple Frets were awarded to Megan of Silverthorn, Carolyn of Amberview, and Ivy, katrina, and Yusef of South Tower.
When it was proclaimed that Lord Frederick L'Avarre was also to be admitted to the Order of the Purple Fret, for his undying and indiscriminating service in Transportation, the dutiful lord could not be found to accept it, for he was in sooth plying the waters of the harbour, executing that same service!
Soon thereafter, it was time to return across the now dark lake waters, and a great exodus of people loaded low with all manner of goods ensued, and the boats were laden heavily. et, under the direction of Lord Frederick, all came safely to the homeward side, and from there did wend their ways home.
August A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
Again it was the height of the season, and again the need arose to push the East back from our borders. once more Eoforwic journeyed to the Debatable Lands to beat back the Eastern tide from our shore.
At this, the XIIIth Pennsic War, the Midrealm army saw itself defeated in the Field and Woods Battles, but in the Bridge Battle they were victorious due in no small part to the generalship of King Eliahu. Sir Mordain Blackcloak was Captain of the combined forces of Septentria and Skraeling Althing at this engagement, and he acquitted himself quite well, commanding the force which broke through the uppermost bridge even as the King singlehandedly contained the foe on the centre one. After the battle, king Eliahu was lifted by the victorious Midrealm army onto their shoulders and carried about in celebration: Indeed, few Kings of the Middle Kingdom have ever known such a great Triumph.
Among the very few survivors of this battle were two Septentrians, one of whom was Alasdair of Raasay, who had borrowed Tarver's very largest shield. Both of these worthies were awarded Bear's Claws for their exploits.
The Septentrian and Skraeling warriors had a rude surprise in the Woods when the back road they were guarding with a small force turned out to be the very one along which the entire Eastrealm army had chosen to advance. the defence of this road was glorious, but very, very brief. But when the Archers of the north took their places in three ranks, twelve abreast, this show of strength did cause the enemy to despair.
Lord Tarver had built a large pavillion this summer with the help of Lord Myrddin, Amala-Sand, and one William, a gentle who was increasingly seen in Amala-Sand's company. All weary travellers were welcome to stay in that tent at any hour. With Gunnar's collaboration, hospitality was extended to many, especially during the violent Pennsic storms. This was the year that the people of Septentria first befriended Lady Constance of Purneos, a living paradigm of courtesy, whose artistic talents are beyond recounting, who lived beyond the border Marches of the East Kingdom.
September A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
he harvest month of September was come again, and Eoforwic showed itself in full panoply upon the lawn of the great library in the University Quarter of the town, and there reaped another crop of new members, including two lords who already knew much of the Society, and had come to Eoforwic to further their studies: James Schoen MacAndrews vom Falkenshield, (who was called by those who knew him Jamie); and Rudrig mac Erc, (who was called by many Rory). And these two lords did greatly enhance the vitality of Eoforwic, and lend their talents in many ways, James most notably by his calligraphy and heraldry, Rudrig by his meadmaking and his great erudition as well as his knowledge of much excellent music, and both of them by dance.
Also on this occasion were first seen Genet of Ashertor, Belisarius Comnenus Anatolikoner, and Maraigha ni Sean de Sianan, and, a short time after this, D'vorah bat Yitzhak ha Levi.
Though she had long been studying music, Rhiannon of Wye had been without a harp. But, on the IVth day of this month, she returned to Eoforwic with a harp not only of her own, but also of her own construction, having been to Skraeling Althing to study for a short time under Nain Dyslandia, who is called the Harper.
At this time, Lady Megan of Silverthorne fell victim to the same Seneschal's Disease which had afflicted her predecessor, and so she retired to raise her new son, Brendan, who was born in this month. She passed the burden of the Seneschalate on to Aethelwold o'Mercia, and there was some concern lest he too should contract the Seneschal's Disease, but it was concluded that he was at worst a carrier, and would not succumb to the malady himself.
Also at this time, the folk of Eoforwic and the surrounding lands were overjoyed to hear of the betrothal of the Baroness of Skraeling Althing, Enid Aurelia of the Tin Isles, to Lord Henry of Linlithgow, and many did attend their marriage, which was held upon the VIIIth day of the month, and celebrated with a Renaissance-style feast.
It was also about this time that Draymore and his lady wife, Sile, ceased to be seen in Eoforwic.
On the XXIst day of this month the Canton of Der Welfengau did host the Region at a Collegium, whereat much knowledge of the arts and sciences was set forth in lectures and workshops led by those of the Region knowledgeable in those ways. many and varied were the topics of learning, and of the folk that did lead these workshops were Lady Searu Dracwyn, who told of illumination; my lord Robert, of calligraphy; Master Sylard, of decorative metalwork and acid etching; Baroness Kaffa, of woodcarving; and Baron Aedan, who of late had gained much expertise, to the lasting pleasure of his household, in the science of brewing.
October A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
Here begins the reign of King Valerius and Queen Fern. In sooth, great were the fortunes of Eoforwic and all of the region around, while these two worthies sat upon the Dragon Throne.
The Coronation of Valerius and Fern was held in the Barony of Northwoods, unto which several folk of Septentria did hasten. During the day two tourneys were fought, and from the lists of the novice tourney Lord Tarver the Pole emerged victorious, and it was noted that this was the young lord's first time competing in the lists of a Midrealm tournament; the prize he claimed was a long pole of rattan of exceptional quality. Sir Reynard the Brown, who won the other lists, was also competing for the first time in the Middle Kingdom, having recently arrived from the Barony of Storvik in Atlantia. Sir Reynard and Lord Tarver, as the two victors, both wore purple robes at the revels that evening.
When all assembled for Court, the Crowns were placed upon the heads of Valerius and Fern, and Eliahu and Elen were elevated to the rank of Count and Countess. On this occasion, two scrolls, which had been commissioned from my lord Robert by Princess Fern, were presented to their Excellencies; it is my belief that these went far in bringing my lord good fortune. at this time, Lady Tamarra stepped down as Baronial Mistress of Sciences and that office was taken by Rhiannon of Wye.
November A.S. XIX (C.E. 1984)
ith the coming of the grape harvest, the Canton of Rising Waters let it be known that it was their intent to strip the vine once more, and the third Feast of Bacchus was proclaimed, and it was celebrated on the IIIrd day of the month. the hall was graced by the presence of Queen Fern, who gave Awards of Arms to Jane of Hendon and Gunnar of Lund, though he was not there to receive the scroll himself; Lord Tsvetan Arinsson was entered into the Order of the Purple Fret for his efforts in the teaching of dance; and Searu Dracwyn and Rhiannon of Wye were made Companions of the Order of the Willow, for illumination and calligraphy and for skill in harping and music, respectively. A competition for children's toys was won by Lady Dominica, and Baron Aedan won the chess tournament. At this time, James MacAndrews swore fealty to Duke Finnvarr, took from him a red belt, and became his squire. Kyrille Andreskevitch made his first appearance. Again, the revels went on far into the night, and the grape was squeezed beyond caring. May we be granted as much wisdom in our lives as there has been wine in our cups!
On the Xth day of the month a lady by the name of Adriana, who wished to make the acquaintance of the Canton, did so in a most delightful way: She invited everyone to her hearth for a revel, and there served food which was worthy of the finest feast, although the hearth itself was not as good at clearing smoke from the room as it might have been. It was at this revel that Gunnar was presented with his Award of Arms scroll. Adriana was much liked by the folk of Eoforwic, and she showed great promise, but within several months she was called away by her studies, and travelled off into the world.
On the XIVth day, Charles d'Arnaud was married and thereafter little seen.
January A.S. XIX (C.E. 1985)
he folk of Eoforwic gathered to the hospitality of Robert of Two Cliffs and enjoyed a Twelfth Night celebration with a simple feast of winter foods prepared by Master Sylard. The subtlety was a pudding in the form of a blazing Yule log brought in by Lord Frederick L'Avarre. Banners bearing the devices of Septentria and Eoforwic were prepared by Lady Rose and Lady Mary Crystalmer. This night also saw the third passage of the Wren, led by Lady Monika.
On this night, Lord Tarver the Pole swore fealty to Sir Finnvarr, and through him to Baron Aedan, for the duke was himself Aedan's vassal. By thus becoming Finnvarr's squire, Tarver put behind him a year of liegeless mercenary endeavour; indeed, the very next time that he raised his sword in battle, the silver ring which he had received from Rhiannon for defending her good name broke, and fell from his hand. And so Rhiannon made for Tarver another silver ring, to wear as a token of friendship rather than payment.
A second Twelfth Night celebration was held upon the XIXth day of the month, when Noerlanda hosted the Barony and filled the day with games of all sorts, including a Family-Tree which was incomplete, whereat each person there present was given a note with a clue thereon, whereupon they were beholden to uncover their identity and proper place on the Tree, through consultation and query of the other gentles. But of all the games that were played that day, none can match the games invented by the Guild of Imps, which specialised in dancing around bewildered young men. Derek Dhooglais was at this time befuddled with the identity of Anneke, for whose favour he paid to Rhiannon the deed to Noerlanda.
Because it was feared that Rhiannon might have picked up some bad habits from her association with a certain Lady Monika the Loose, six gentle lords kept her constantly chaperoned, sheltered from the common merchants, shielded from lascivious influences, told many moral tales by Rudrig, and kept from the dangers of wine with her supper.
Court was convened before feast, whereat their Excellencies Kaffa and Aedan bestowed awards: Lady Fiona Averil of Maidenhead was given the Cauldron of Ceredwyn to hold for the next year, by reason of the excellence with which she evoked inspiration. Then Baron Aedan summoned the taxes to be brought before him, and each Canton of the Barony came forth bearing a spear, and each spear had a banneret attached, and each banneret bore the Arms of the Canton that bore that spear. And each of these took their places beside the seats of their Excellencies, so all could see the might and excellence of craftsmanship of the Barony. Eoforwic did not prepare a banneret in time, and so had to make do with a piece of parchment affixed to its spear. Master Sylard took his first apprentice, Ricard of Sabletree, and girded him with a fine green belt set with gleaming etched plates.
Also at this Court, those whose intent it was to compete for the Regional Championship came before the Court, and said aloud their Declaration of Intent, saying their names, and the names of their chosen Consort, and their reasons for declaring thus; for the date of the Regional Championship Tournament had been set by the Honourable Committee to coincide with the Decennial of Eoforwic in the upcoming summer.
March A.S. XIX (C.E. 1985)
n the IXth day of this month Rhiannon, Monika, James, Tarver, and Gunnar ventured to the lesser of the universities in Waterloo, near Dubhras, and there they met Alasdair of Raasey, who had with him several fighters whom he had trained, including one who then was called Cato, and a lady fighter. the fighters demonstrated the martial arts to the populace in hope of stirring up interest in the Society there, but in the end, the venture never spread beyond Alasdair's circle of friends.
Upon the Xth day of this month, a second Regional Moot was held at the hall of Sabletree, where was reviewed the status of the Region and the progress made thus far. here it was decided that the Baronial newsletter, Ursus, would become the newsletter of the new Region, for the readership was broad, and it was printed regularly. Some time before this, a plebiscite had been conducted to determine the name of the new region, and at this meeting EALDORMERE was decided upon, meaning Noble and Ancient Lakes.
Upon the XVIth of the month, folk from Eoforwic crossed again the Borders of the Midrealm, and ventured into the East to attend the Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon, which was grander than ever before, boasting an eighty-two man list, the largest ever seen, and also many marvellous works in the accompanying Arts and Sciences competition. Yet for all that, and somewhat to the annoyance of our Eastern neighbours, the artisans of Septentria again walked away with many of the prizes. Notable among the prizewinning works was Olaf Tarverson, a sword-wielding puppet which Lord Tarver had been made as a gift for Sir Raimund of the Strait.
Also at this event, Lord Tarver first used his new sword, Victory Taker, which he had fashioned from the rattan he had won in Northwoods. This sword and its scabbard were so wrought, that just before the grand melee an Eastern marshal became quite alarmed when he mistook it for live steel.
Text copyright 1989 R. Scott Caple and W. Ted Szwejkowski Illustrations copyright 1992 R. Scott Caple