The Third Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
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February A.S. XXII (C.E. 1988)
It was in this month that the canker which tortured Duchess Eislinn became too painful for her to bear, and she gave up the ghost. May peace be upon her, and may she come to her just share in the world to come.
Eoforwic welcomed Sara Mac Lean this month, and she was Richard Tempeste's lady.
March A.S. XXII (C.E. 1988)
n this month there was a competition of the arts and sciences at Skraeling Althing, and Sarra Graeham, a new immigrant from Seashire who lived in Greyfells on the ruins of Castle Royal, won great honour. And she proceeded to make a thriving canton in Greyfells. Anthaea Lovat first came to Eoforwic at this time.
April A.S. XXII (C.E. 1988)
t the Clancy Day feast at Starleaf Gate, King Eliahu made Bealdgar Thorbjornsson of the Welfengau a Knight of the Society, and in Septentria there was much joy for few Septentrians had been knighted before. The first Septentrian knight was Fionnbarr, who was knighted in Northwoods first by Thorvald in Grimmi and then by King Iriel and who was the seventh knight of the Middle Kingdom. The next was his squire Hugo von Feuerklippe, who was the first native of Eoforwic to be a knight of the Society. Seamus was a knight from elsewhere who moved to An Tir after a stay in Eoforwic, and he was later king of An Tir under a different name. And Torbin was Seamus's' squire, so was Artair mac Artair of Afon Araf. Mordain Blackcloak was the next knight, and he was Fionnbarr's squire. After that Hasdrubal came to Ealdormere and he had been a knight in the East Kingdom. At the time Bealdgar was knighted there were but the two dukes, Hasdrubal and Fionnbarr to stand as Knights of the Society in Ealdormere.
Also here was Kestrell Cadfan awarded arms.
At this time, the King instructed Thrym Odomsson that he ought to nominate a successor, and that the successor ought to be Myrra de Blackwoode. And like Belshazzar, Thrym saw the writing on the wall; and like Daniel, he could read it. So Thrym Odomsson appointed Myrra of Blackwoode to be his successor, and then he resigned his position as the King's Seneschal. In Ealdormere, where he was seen as the last of a dynasty of seneschals, the same dynasty that produced Genevieve and the Washroom Curia, there was contentment. Now Rising Waters was furthered in its desire to be a barony, and Myrra, a sympathetic lady with many friends in Ealdormere was Seneschal.
May A.S. XXIII (C.E. 1988)
ow was the crown given unto Corwin Dragonstar, and unto his lady, Shoshana Taleh who was called by all Shana. And the coronation was in the Shire of Shattered Crystal, many days' journey from Eoforwic; on the very edge of the Great River facing Calontir. Vittoria Riola, who had lived in Vest Yorvik but who spent a great deal of time in Eoforwic, and Branwen and Guilhelm de la Plegn made the journey, and so did Cospatric of Annan Water and Madeleine de l'Este.
And soon after there was a Crown Tournament in the Middle Marches. And several from Eoforwic went, including some of the finest dancers from the canton who sought honour for their skills. And the honour was won. And many prayed that Sir Reynard the Brown of Northwoods (called by some the Forest Fox) would be the victor, sin that he was stout of soul and limb, kind of heart and a great man indeed; and also that his lady was a woman of generous spirit, gladsome mien and vast scholarship. The victory was given to Reynard, and although the custom of the Society forbade attributing victory in the lists to the Divine, so did James MacAndrews make bold to do. And Reynard was made Prince and Brynhildr was made Princess, and all the kingdom was glad.
And at near the same time was Earl Gavin Kilkenny of Kilcarren crowned King of the East, and he was the second Gavin to rule in that kingdom. And King Gavin's queen was Sedalia McNair, a large and fierce Irishwoman, whose name was the same as that Sedalia who had ruled years before as consort to King Viktor.
In this May were the Eoforings invited to play a play for the townsfolk, as one of a cycle of plays from an unknown English town. And Shoni did direct the players in the play of Cain and Abel. And Arthur ap Idwal was God, and Aedan was Adam and Grimwulf was Abel and James was Cain. And folk from Cynnabar and even from Ansteorra came to act other plays in the cycle. Many of the Eoforings came out to see the plays and to dance and to revel, for the days were fine indeed.
In memory of Mary Campbell of Inverary, the Canton of Rising Waters hosted a tournament and feast. And the prize for the tournament was a great silver rose bowl, to be engraved with the victor's name and to kept for a year. And at this tournament of the roses was there a lieutenancy court, and Aedan and Kaffa represented the King and Queen. They awarded arms to Arwen St. Amour, Wülf Borisson, Cormar mac an Bhaird and Edward the Unready. They awarded Gunnar of Lund and Genet of Ashertor the Purple Fret, they created Madeleine de l'Este a companion of the Willow and Aedan created himself, by the King's order, a companion of the Dragon's Barb. And Duke Talymar came from his lands and feasted with the Septentrians.
June A.S. XXIII (C.E. 1988)
enet of Ashertor ended her days in Eoforwic, and she departed for her old home in Lancashire, and there was sadness. Now did the Canton of Ben Dunfirth hold its annual war practice. And Reynard the Prince and Brynhildr the Princess and their entourage did progress from Northwoods to Dunmark near Ancaster. There in Dunmark there was much fighting, and howling winds, and hot sun, and swimming in the lake. And there was merriment.
The Eoforwic Musicians began to play together at this time, under the tutelage of Rudrig mac Erc.
July A.S. XXIII (C.E. 1988)
n the month of July it was warmed than any summer previous, and there was a great drought. It was said that all the soil of Calontir had turned to dust, and likewise the soil near Myrgan Wood and westward unto Borealis. But the famine was not so heavy that many starved; and all the nobles and gentles had plenty to eat and drink. And it was the warmest summer in living memory.
In this warm summer month did Etienne de Chez Tonnerre hold him a tournament and feast in the quadrangle of University College. And great misfortune came upon the planning of the feast, and the castellan of Strachan Hall, which the Eoforings had been wont to feast in for years, gave the hall instead to the feast of a wedding in the church that adjoined the hall, there at Trinity College. So Shoni Otomo did cause a feast to be cooked over an open fire in the quadrangle, and Etienne caused tables to be brought, and there was merriment. During the day there was tourneying and James MacAndrews caused a game of foot-ball to be played with a ball made by Arthur ap Idwal. And there was much tearing of clothing and rolling on the round, and some blood as well. And there was a game with rats to be thrown through holes in a board, and an archery target as well. And Anthaea succoured the thirsty with a drink made from lemons, brought from Trimaris at great expense. Tarver came with timbers and bolts, and set up a trebuchet in the quadrangle, and he used it to throw some of the rats from the game. Kestrell of Cadfan brought her falconer, to demonstrate the art of the birds. And one of the falcons became lost, and although the falconer did find it atop The White Tower, it took the rest of the day to coax the hawk down. The falconer had a vulture as well, and at the feast it sat upon Rudrig's plate, and upon another man's pate. And the feast was delectable, and many were surfeited. Sin that the day was so warm, many became sated quickly, and there was much beef and many gallons of brandied peaches remaining when the feasters were done. So Duke Fionnbarr did cause his slaveys to collect the spare hogsheads of peaches and joints of beef, to put in his waggon to be taken back to his holding on Mount Albert, where they would be preserved for winter.
Later in the month several Eoforings journeyed southwards to the Debatable Lands, to a tournament in honour of Queen Sedalia's birthday. There they guested with Tsvia who came oft to Ealdormere to visit. And it was a hot day in the Debatable Lands, half so hot as boiling water. And there also from the Midrealm was Graidhne ni Ruadh and some of her friends. At the beginning of the day, as Sedalia sat to watch the fighters compete to be her guard at Pennsic War, for she sought to fight there, James came into her presence and offered her a dozen roses on behalf of his house. And he said that even the queen of so pathetic and provincial kingdom as the East did deserve the roses due her estate. And in court, as James and John the Pell drank smoke outside the hall they heard Mistress Graidhne presenting the War Arrow to King Gavin as of old. And King Gavin accepted the arrow from the Middle, calling that august kingdom a provincial principality, mocking James's earlier words of mockery. For, King Gavin claimed, the Middle was once, for a quarter of an hour, a principality of the East. Legal scholars discount this, however, saying that sin no Eastern King's writ ever ran in the Middle, and sin that no Eastern king e'er collected taxes west of the Debatable Lands, the Middle was a principality in name only and not in the sight of God and man. And Mistress Graidhne presented Queen Sedalia with candied strawberries in honour of her birthday. And in all that day which was to honour the Eastern Queen's birthday only James and Graidhne gave her gifts, and they were not her subjects.
At that court was a lord knighted who knew Duke Fionnbarr from of old, and his name was Alaric Basiliscus. And sin that "Basiliscus" be the Greek word for King, the heralds said long before that he ought not to call himself Alaric Basiliscus, for it meant "King Alaric." So, since the heralds were concerned with the writing of a name and not its speaking, his patent of arms read "Alaric Smith," though it was pronounced "Basiliscus." And many said that it made no difference to Sir Alaric for he was an unlettered gladiator.
August A.S. XXIII (C.E. 1988)
ow once again did the Middle Kingdom march to war with the East. And it was the hottest war in memory, and hardly a drop of rain did fall, and only on the last night did it grow cold. And the Middle Kingdom fought well, and though their belted champions were ignominiously defeated (only Duke Fionnbarr and Duke Hasdrubal fighting well), and though the Woods Battle was lost, the Middle yet emerged victorious. And the Woods Battle was lost thus. It had been the custom of long years standing for the armies to parade their banners before entering the woods, so that their rivals would know them. It had also been the custom of the Easterners for many years to carry many banners in the woods, to confuse the Midrealm. Indeed, there was great currency once in the east to the tale of King Hugo leading a great army against the disciplined troops of Morgan Elandris, mistaking their black banner for the eastern purpure. So this year, the East did not parade their banner, and they displayed many banners in the woods, and the Midrealm scouts were confused. So it was a long while before the Midrealm officers knew where the banner was, and it was on the same high place where Septentria had held and lost the banner so many years before. And sin that there were no generals to lead the soldiers of the Middle, the soldiers marched a great distance to come to the high place, and they discovered that they were attacking across a steep gully. And the Eastern soldiers were standing on the brow of the opposite side, though the Prince of Drachenwald made a glorious foray through the bottom of the ravine. And the soldiers of the Midrealm attacked furiously, and they died in their hundreds. And the dry sands of Pennsia were watered with gore, and the bottom of the gully did flow red with a brook of blood. After the battle, Duke Talymar sent ale to the enemy to ransom the banner of the King of Ansteorra. On the battle of the bridges was there much carnage, and Prince Reynard had to be restrained by his squires from charging into the affray. After a great interval of some skirmishing and a great deal of waiting, a mighty force of the Middle broke through the Eastern wall, and there was a slaughter of the Easterners. When only five were left with their lives, one was Cedric the Trimarian who bore the banner of his King, being dragged through the dust as he clung to the banner pole. And just as several Midrealm soldiers were about to cleave him from nave to chops and take from him the banner, master Feral von Halstern, General of the East, did surrender. He did not wish such valiant survivors to be slaughtered. So Cedric and his comrades were held prisoner and ransomed.
It came to pass at this war that Graidhne did speak with Fionnaidh Averylle, who was the Dragon Herald, and they said that the King, and the King's Seneschal might agree at that very court to create a Principality of Ealdormere. First Fionnaidh Averylle did call on Graidhne to procure a charter. And Graidhne called on James MacAndrews, and asked him to draught a charter for a crown principality, and in him there was great joy for he had proposed this once before, as Graidhne well knew. And he did draw up a charter, and he did pass it to Graidhne, and she was pleased. And she did pass it to Fionnaidh Averylle, who was pleased. And Fionnaidh Averylle did pass it to Myrra of Black Wood, who was pleased. And Myrra of Black Wood did go unto the King, and did beg to be allowed to have a charter draughted for a Crown Principality in Ealdormere, for it is the way of kings that they prefer to believe all good ideas to be their own. And the King assented, and the King's Council did discuss the charter, and make some amends, and they did discuss the charter with Baron Aedan and Baroness Caffa, and with Baroness Enid of Skraeling Althing. When this was done, they consulted the Steward of the Society, Sir Hilary of Serendip, and Sir Hilary did assent, and it was she who many years ago first suggested the idea of Crown Principality to James. And then they called upon Kyril Andreyeskevitch to scriven the charter, and this he did. And at the great court of Pennsic War did Corwin, the King of the Middle create himself the Prince of Ealdormere, and his queen the Princess. And they allowed their heirs to be styled the Prince and Princess of Ealdormere. And they created Aedan the Lord Lieutenant of Ealdormere, and Enid Aurelia the Lady Lieutenant. And both Baron Aedan and Baroness Enid were granted seats on the King's Council. And there was light and happiness and rejoycing and glee, and the folk of Ealdormere shouted for joy and the folk of the Known World shouted with them. And if any were gnashing their teeth in envy or spite they could not be heard in that happy bedlam. And in the Septentrian camp there was much shouting and drinking of healths, and the cry "Wes Hael" rang out from many throats, accompanied by the gurgling of many bottles of ale, of aquavit and of wine. And Duke Eliahu and Duchess Elen came, and Duke Cariadoc and others. Thorin, King of An Tir, who had once lived in Ealdormere under the name of Sir Seamus was there, and the King of the Middle sent word that the folk of Ealdormere need not take up their perennial guard posts, though a Septentrian stood guard that night as always. The noble Duke Fionnbarr danced a gigue that night, and he was sober as a judge: It was elation and nothing else that motivated him to dance around the fire. Just above the horizon, ascending towards her place in the winter sky was Ealdormere. And she heard the parts of her secret heart crying out in jubilation from among her people, and she was glad too. And the parts of Ealdormere's heart that had been scattered were once again joined never to be sundered. And all was right in the sight of God and man.
Copyright (c) 1989 A.J.S. Nusbacher