The Fourth Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
Page 2 of 7
Of divers doings within the City.
hroughout these years as had been the custom in years gone by, the populace of Eoforwic gathered on a regular basis in Cumberland House, in years past the home of a rich burgher but later used as a meeting hall by the students of the University who had travelled from far lands to study.
When Ealdormere was proclaimed a Crown Principality Lady Gwynfyr an Sheoladair was Seneschal of Eoforwic. Lady Gwynfyr was an Eoforing of long standing, as long as His Worship Gunnar Halfdann (and that is very long indeed). In her youth she had worn boy's garb and sailed the Inland Seas for a time and had even wandered to the lands of the Skrael for a season or two, but Gwynfyr had returned to Eoforwic. Ashore she married a scholar named Joseph, who made his own bow strings as a hobby. Gwynfyr was a fine archer, so this husband pleased her well. She was so noted for her archery skills that over time she served Eoforwic, Septentria and even all of Ealdormere as Archery Marshal. From time to time Gwynfyr also served as Arts and Sciences Minister for all Septentria, when she needed a change from being Arts and Sciences Minister of Eoforwic. She also led occasional trips to a local village named Variety, where archers might shoot at the village's archery butts.
This is the same Lady Gwynfyr who was given the Award of the Purple Fret by good King Palymar II for her service to her Kingdom, and seldom has been an award earned so well by any of the Crown's subjects.
Gwynfyr was succeeded as Seneschal by Lady Carolyn of Amberview, who was also an Eoforing of long standing and devoted service, though originally she was from Noerlandia, which for some time had been deserted and now lay in ruins. After some time in office Lady Carolyn did buy some land in Vest Yorvik, well to the north of the harbour there so the stink of fish would not trouble her. She moved her goods out there and was infrequently seen in Eoforwic thereafter, though she was no stranger.
Carolyn was succeeded as Seneschal by Lady Sigridr Rognvaldsdottir. Sigridr was a Norse lady well pleased by amber and fine embroidery, so she did collect both in quantity. She did make Sylard's smithy ring with her orders for fine cooking utensils and these were well used when Eoforings went on campaign. Her hospitality was well-known and appreciated, for frequently did her home resound with revelry and dancing.
Many did wonder if these three Seneschals presented an omen for Eoforwic, for despite long and dedicated service by all three ladies to the Canton none was afflicted by the traditional symptoms of Seneschal's Disease. While this absence of symptoms did not in itself displease the three Ladies, it was agreed that times had changed when the most exciting news an Eoforwic Seneschal could announce was the Canton bank balance.
Of the domesticity of Master Sylard and Mistress Mortraeth.
n the autumn of this year Master Sylard and Mistress Mortraeth sold their small holdings in Eoforwic and moved far north to the lands beyond what would become Monadh, in the hamlet of Wareham. There Sylard built a new forge and was as content as he could ever be. His lands included what Sylard called a small lake and so on the shores of that lake he did burn a boat at the new year, as was his custom which he called Apell-y-a. He was not seen so often in Eoforwic after that, though his wares were often for sale. Mistress Mortraeth was also seen less often in the City, though she continued as Mistress of Arts for the Barony.
 Most would call it a pond, but the ways of the Norse are strange and it is not wise to question them unduly for they often carry swords and axes.
Good King Reynard and Beloved Queen Brynhildr make a trip into Ealdormere.
he King and Queen of the Middle, Reynard and Brynhildr, came into their Crown Principality and were received with joy and loyalty. They travelled to the lands of the Skrael on the twelfth day of November, Anno Societatis XXIII, for they had great business to do.
In their courts they did much business, and much of that concerned Eoforings. Lord Belisarius Anatolikon and his occasional employer Lord James Schoen MacAndrewes each received the Award of the Purple Fret. Lord Wulf Borisson was invited to join the Order of the Willow, also. As Wulf is mentioned elsewhere in this volume the reader must seek Wulf's praises elsewhere.
Lord Frederic L'Avarre was made a member of the Order of the Dragon's Heart, and all present were well-satisfied at the Crown's wisdom in recognizing such long-lived devotion.
Mistress TSivia bas Tamara V'Amberview was made a Baroness of Their Majesties' Court that day, and the noble Order of the Laurel gained two new members, Naon na Chruitire and Stephin Armstrang. Master Naon was a harper, whose music could make the angels themselves weep in purest joy. Unfortunately Master Naon did wander from time to time and he was not seen as often as many would like in the lands of the Skrael, let alone in far Eoforwic. He had an occasional student named Rhiannon of Wye who lived in the City.
Master Stephin was a Scotsman who hailed from the border country. He carved wood with skill and passion, and for this he was invited by Mistress Brynhildr the Queen to join her Order. As well, Master Stephin was a kind and patient man and well loved. Some noted that he bore a striking resemblance to a Norseman named Thorgrimmr who had been seen in the lands of the Skrael some time before, but none ever asked Master Stephin of this. It is well-known in all civilized lands that the Norse have from time to time wandered in Scotland and so it is impolite to ask a Scotsman the roots of any resemblance to a Viking, for bastardy is a slur best forgotten and violation is a crime and sin long remembered.
The Creation of the Barony of Rising Waters.
he people of the south-western portion of the Barony of Septentria petitioned the Crown for advancement in status, as a Barony in their own right. None in the main body of Septentria found reason to challenge this desire, and in truth the Baron and Baroness were content to see this growing populace served by nobility located closer to them. The City of Eoforwic was content to see this new Barony established, for new Baronies mean new nobility and new nobility always means more money and more money often means trade. Unfortunately the burghers of the City did not always recognize that expanding wealth and power may establish new centres of commerce; rather they waited for the new nobility to bring commerce and trade to them. Such a passive attitude by the burghers of Eoforwic may in part account for the City's eventual slide in influence and fortune.
The first Baron and Baroness of the new Barony of Rising Waters were Lord Byron Mikhail Woodroffe, a member of the local gentry, and his friend the Baroness of Court Fiona Averylle O'Connor of Maidenhead. This was the same Baroness Fiona who had been Dragon Herald of the Middle Kingdom. Her mother was the Lady Mary of Inverarry, of beloved memory, for whom the Lady Mary Memorial Tourney was named.
On the twenty-sixth day of November, in the twenty-third year of the Society, good King Reynard and wise Queen Brynhildr again travelled into their Crown Principality of Ealdormere to make a third Barony in the lands North of the Inland Seas. As well as doing this, their court was filled with other business. Lorraine Innes Kirk was awarded the Dragon's Treasure and her mother, Bronwyn Meredith, was well pleased.
To Lord Shoni Otomo, called Otomo no Shoni no Yukio in his own language, was made an award of the Purple Fret. Shoni was a faithful Eoforing with a love of sharp knives. He did employ large swords on the battlefield, to good effect, and he consorted with Grimwulf the Hairy in an endeavour called Samurai Sous-Chef. This was a successful consortium as many well-fed Eoforings had cause to admit. Shoni introduced Lord John of Slaughterfield to various customs of the far east, and it was strange to see John, that most parfait and chivalrous man at arms, sipping hot rice wine and eating raw fish, which even the Norse would cook before eating.
Lord Mungo Sheepshanks of the Hill was also awarded a Purple Fret that day, in recognition of his service. Mungo was one of the three principals of the Award of the Dragon's Treasure and had thereafter grown in knowledge and wisdom. In future years he would become an apprentice to Master Ricard of Sable Tree, then would succumb to a mysterious ailment common to apprentices of leather-workers and glass-blowers  and would leave the City. He was missed, for his wit was ready and his company was ever welcome.
 This was called "Go-Go Dancer's Syndrome." Master Ricard and Master AElred the glass-blower each lost and apprentice to this condition, which causes the apprentice to forsake his craft and take up dancing for profit instead.
The West Yorvik chirurgeon Lady Kaellyn mac Dermott of Leinster also received a Purple Fret. While her service to the sick, halt and lame was notable, she would distinguish herself in greater ways in the months to come, for this is the same lady who would later become the second Princess of Ealdormere.
The Crown also made new companions of the Order of the Dragon's Barb (Lord Robert Wilmot), the Silver Oak (Sir Bealdgar Thorbeornsson) and the Willow, so Ealdormere as a whole - and Septentria in particular - was well served by Their Majesties Reynard and Brynhildr.
Finally the Crown saw fit to reward devotion of long standing and great worth, and did induct His Excellency Torbin of Amberhall into the Order of the Dragon's Heart. This was cause for great rejoicing in the City, for Baron Torbin had been an active Eoforing for many years, loyal to Baron and King, and had earned great honours many times over.
Of Countess Caitlin Stuart.
n these times Caitlin Stuart, who had been Queen to Hugo many years before and had won by her divers labours the title of a Mistress of the Laurel was not seen. Some said she had taken sanctuary with a cloistered order to the west of the City and did not venture forth. No witness could disprove this, not even on market day when all took to the streets.
 Countess Caitlin had not yet been recognized as a Lady of the Rose at this time. This I attest true for I, Brother Magnus of Iona, do well know the names of the Roses.
Of Archer Baronesses.
n the twenty-first day of January, Anno Societatis XXIII the Crown was minded to make Baroness Kaffa a member of the Order of the Dragon's Barb, for both she and Baron Aedan were enthusiastic proponents of the sport and art of archery. So do the Chronicles of Saint Brand relate.
During these years the archers of the city had two butts at which to shoot. From time to time Lady Gwynfyr led trips to the village of Variety, and also Eoforings wandered over to the Ealdormere Alchemical Centre overlooking the valley of the Don, which adjoined a common butts. These common butts were only open in clement weather.
Of a Southroner named Ronin.
n that same twenty-first day of January in the twenty-third year of the Society, the Crown was minded to make armigerous one Ronin of Darkmoon, who lived south of the Inland Seas. He would in later years distinguish himself as a warrior and Knight. So say the Chronicles of Saint Brand, patron of armourers and mail-makers.
Of the wanderings of various Eoforings and the affairs of various Houses.
t was before this time that Edward the Chaste left Eoforwic for the far lands of An Tir, not to return for many years. Cold-eyed Lord Alexandru von Talmetz, better known as Strigor, the "bringer of death"lso travelled to An Tir, in the shadow of the famed Lion's Gate. He did sojourn with his Lady Mary Crystalmer, who ever did clothe him most splendidly. They settled in the far west and Strigor founded a school of fence whose fame spread even as far as Eoforwic and beyond. In Strigor's absence did many well-mannered customs fade from memory in Septentria. Many came armed to the feast table when Strigor and Sylard were not present to remind them of their manners, and this state of affairs did please no-one. It was about this time that Lady Rose of Gryphonwood was seen no more. She was sore missed for, like her friend Mary, she was a right comely lady with most elegant clothing.
 For that is the meaning of the sobriquet "Strigor" in the tongue of far Wallachia.
Lady Rose and Lady Mary are the same two Ladies who were made members of the Order of the Willow at the final court of good King Reynard and beloved Queen Brynhildr in Eoforwic, and for right good cause.
About this time the famed House Inness dissolved. Otomo no Shoni no Yukio left Eoforwic and began his extended travels in the far east. Alastair Kirk of Inness was not seen, nor was Deirdre of Carlysle, so with Shoni's departure Inness fell at last from prominence. John of Slaughterfield also was seen less often, though he stayed in touch with Sylard and attended the great summer Market Day from time to time in years to come. This was grieved by many, for John had a mighty arm on the list field and was well-loved. However the joy John had displayed in battle, which had brought him to the station of Queen's Champion to Brynhildr, had faded and none would see such a brave heart forced down a path now tiresome.
The many de Taahe squires were scattered across the North. The once-mighty war-band of Rhys Mordwyn had also lost much of its strength, though from time to time the cry of "Rhys Mordwyn: God bless Dad's nuts!"  could be heard at events. There were some Faeringolds in Eoforwic, but their chieftain was Cordigan and he lived far away. Eagleshaven also was faded from prominence as its members scattered and Sylard worked his forge in Wareham. The only one of the old Houses still able to influence events in Eoforwic was Teacht Ceartha Mhor, Aedan's and Kaffa's household, and Aedan and Kaffa were tired.
 So cried because Glandydd Rhys Mordwyn, a great but slightly mad man (and fine armourer) who attracted other silly folk, was sworn to server Baron Aedan. A cry of "God bless Aedan's lunatics!" does not sound as fine on a still, dark night and there was ever a touch of the poet in Glandydd, as suits a Welshman.
As the second volume of the Chronicle relates, there were once seven great Houses active in Eoforwic; de Taahe, Eagleshaven, Teacht Ceartha Mor, Amberhall, Inness, Trahaus and Winnan Blowan. By this time, Trahaus was no more, as Graf Hugo was departed. Winnan Blowan was no more, for Charles d'Arnaud had not been seen in many years. Amberhall was dormant, though Baron Torbin still danced Morris in May. Of the other Houses I have spoken already.
As the old Houses passed from the scene, new ones arose. Perhaps the most important of these was the House (or Clan) of Faeringold, founded by Lord Cordigan de Arnot who did then hail from Petrea Thule, though in years to come he and his Lady would make a great name for themselves and settle in der Welfengau. The Faeringolds were dedicated to the pursuit and preservation of a good party, and many brewers were known to rub their hands with glee when warning of a Faeringold celebration reached their ears.
Such occasions did not always please Cordigan's Lady-wife Diane, who did save withering smiles for the most sheepish among the revellers afterwards (which may explain the Faeringolds' alleged fascination with sheep). Though many of the Faeringolds were interested in parties and revels there were a few who also did fight with skill. One of these was Cordigan, who from his Faeringolds assembled a war-band; another was a strapping lad named Osis of the Livery, whose name was meant as a joke on the Chivalry should he ever be dubbed Knight. This did not amuse the heralds, though Cordigan did enjoy the incipient pun. He and Osis were good friends.
Tales from the Chronicles of Saint Brand.
he Chronicles of Saint Brandecord that on the eighteenth day of March, Anno Societatis twenty-three the Crown did ennoble a paynim named Jafar al-Safa, who did adopt the manner of Europe's courts as Mallory tells us Sir Palomides did Camelot. This is the same Jafar who was an esquire to King Palymar II and later did win for himself and the gracious Mistress Catherine de la Rose great fame.
 Hagiographers indicate that Saint Brand was a very formal Saint, with a great interest in and encyclopedic knowledge of Orders of Precedence. It is this very attention to detail which probably made him such a proficient mail-maker.
Those same Chronicles do reveal that on the twenty-fifth day of March in the twenty-third year of the Society, the Crown did make Lord Elwyth the Grey a member of the Order of the Silver Oak. Elwyth lived in the border marches at the south-west of Ealdormere, where he slew some beasts of the forest with his bow, skinned them and worked the leather he there acquired. He was seldom seen in Eoforwic, though he and his lady-wife would attain distinction in years to come.
The same Chronicles of Saint Brand, patron of armourers and mail-makers and a saint to whom great miracles are attributed, do also record that on the twenty-ninth day of April in the twenty-third year of the Society, the Crown did invite Barak Elandris
Hasdrubal to join the Order of the Dragon's Tooth. This is the same Hasdrubal the Carthaginian who was a Knight of the East Kingdom and a Duke by his own hand in those lands. Sir Hasdrubal lived in the border marches of Rising Waters and had sworn men, who he called his Marines, on both sides of the Inland Seas. While he was a belted Knight in sworn service to the Crown of the East, he would often offer armed assistance to his Ealdormeran neighbours and helped train many Northern fighters. His counsel was wise and freely given and with soft words he won great respect among many. He was ever welcome in the City.
Of the Coronation of Palymar II and Katherine II, which must follow the final court of the City's beloved Southron Monarchs Reynard and Brynhildr, and of the Prince of Ealdormere's Septentrian Guard.
mong the most notable events in the glorious history of Eoforwic was the Coronation of Palymar II and Katherine II as King and Queen of the Middle. This was held on the thirteenth day of May in the twenty-fourth year of the Society, a beautiful, bright day. The populace gathered in the cloistered quadrangle of University College, not far from the white-washed walls of Fort Book which loom over the City, which was a favourite site for Civic events. Their Royal Majesties Reynard and Brynhildr - firm friends of the Northlands and well loved for their wisdom, kindness and three angelic children - held court in the morning.
In that morning court many good folk were honoured for accomplishments and good works. Three awards of arms were given by the Crown, to Lord Ieuan McKellmore, Lord Cordigan de Arnot and Lady Adrielle Kerrec, all of whom would serve the Barony of Septentria well in later years. Lord Ceallac cu Meallian, Baron Aedan and Baroness Kaffa were made members of the Kingdom's Order of the Dragon's Tooth for their fighting prowess. None who have read the chronicles of the battles fought by the Northmen in the Debatable Lands need question the Crown's wisdom in this matter. Lord Grimwulf the Hairy also received bounty from the Crown, an award of the Purple Fret, and there was much rejoicing among the Eoforings there present.
In that last of their courts, Reynard and Brynhildr were minded to create two Barons of their Court, which they did. These two were Their Excellencies Dathi Thorfinnsson and Aethelhawk Keyfinder, and both were well honoured.
Finally, Reynard and Brynhildr were minded to make Ricard of Sable Tree, Master Sylard's first apprentice, a Master of the Order of the Laurel for leather-working. Ricard resided in Eoforwic's neighbour West Yorvik and, remarkably enough, none of his fine leather-work smelled of rotten fish (as all know things in West Yorvik are wont to do) nor did his famed Sable Tree mead taste at all like salt cod. As there was nothing fishy about Ricard's qualifications he was elevated to the Laurelate and there was much jubilation, among both that noble Order which welcomed him into its ranks and the populace as a whole.
Lord James Schoen MacAndrewes Rutledge Falkenshield de Taahe, a squire to Duke Finnvarr, had gone to some trouble in the preceding months to investigate the process and form of a Royal warrant. Jamie did create such a warrant and proffered it to King Reynard. This warrant did create a "Prince of Ealdormere's Septentrian Guard", with Jamie commissioned as its Captain - which surprised few - and other Eoforwic notables warranted as a Petty Captain (Grimwulf, of which much has been said and more will be said in this chronicle), an Ensign (Cospatrick of Annan Water, a handsome and cheery man well loved by all and a fighter of great enthusiasm and vigour --  ) and a Musician (Rory mac Erc, a drummer with a serious bent). There was even a Sapper to lean up the mess his betters left. King Reynard did sign this warrant, having fond memories of a night at Pennsic XVII when a guard of Septentrians under Cap'n Jamie's command did escort his Royal person to various camps, said escort singing the ancient air of the Clan Glenwhorple with gusto and occasional loud whooping. Accordingly, King Reynard the Prince of Ealdormere had been escorted into court that fine spring morning by his Septentrian Guard, which on this occasion refrained from singing.
 This is the same Cospatrick who was made armigerous by good King Reynard and wise Queen Brynhildr, and at Pennsic XVIII was the last man to stand on the bridge when Ealdormere led the glorious charge which brought Calontir time to form its shieldwall.
When the time came for morning court to end and a reign with it, King Reynard's Heir, Crown Prince Palymar, bade the proceedings stop in a loud voice, that he might approach and claim his Throne. Cap'n Jamie ordered the Guard to block the aisle and protect King Reynard, but upon seeing the merits of Sir Palymar's case (and noting the Prince's suit of gleaming cap-a-pie plate and efficient-looking broadsword) MacAndrewes ordered his warriors to order their arms and let the next King pass. First good King Palymar and then Queen Katherine was crowned, and while all grieved at the end of a good reign, all rejoiced at the splendour and grace of the new King and Queen of the Midrealm.
The day proceeded apace, as feasts and festivals are wont to proceed, and that night the new King and Queen held court. As court promised to be long and halls tend to become stuffy, Baron Aedan left the hall to stand outside and enjoy the night air  . As he left, he told his friends that someone should come and get him if the King was going to give him a Pelican. This remark caused some amusement.
 With the rest of the smokers.
Indeed the Crown had much business to do that night and Eoforings were among the recipients of the fruits of the Crown's labours.
Lord Ivar of the Black Loch, noted for both the sheen of his sword (which in later years he would wield with distinction in the City Militia) and the gleam of the silver jewellery he made, was awarded Arms, as was Lady Anthea Talbot Lovatt, of whom more is spoken elsewhere in this volume. Also awarded Arms in that court were Lady Olwen de Montgomery, a fair and kindly chirurgeon from West Yorvik, and Lord Gunther von Weaselberg, who in later years would both distinguish himself in service to Ealdormere did win his spurs.
Lord Lothar von Wulfing was made a member of the Order of the Willow, to general approval. Lord Lothar is mentioned elsewhere in this volume, so the reader may read there of his many virtues.
The Order of the Willow was also enriched that evening by the newly-declared companionship of the Lady Elspeth Jacquetta of Sherbourne. This Lady was a minstrel of great talent in the City, though as minstrels are wont she wandered from time to time and picked up new names as she travelled, to suit her performance and to enhance the receipts of her busking. Elspeth finally called herself Elspeth Esclairamon, which was a much more important name than Elspeth of Sherbourne. Indeed a maker of musical instruments (including her beloved hurdy-gurdies), a player of those same instruments and others besides, a poet, playwright and a singer should have a name worthy of note. That so many splendid talents could be packed into one slim body was indeed a miracle, the lady worked in the City writing and producing miracle plays.
Finally, Aedan and Kaffa were called into court to be made members of the Order of the Pelican for their long service to all the Northlands. There was great and general amusement as two of Aedan's sworn men, Wulf Borisson and Edward Unraed, raced outsideand escorted him in - as indeed Aedan had ordered - to do some business in court. There was even greater amusement when Baron Aedan finally figured out why he was kneeling before the Crown, which took a couple more minutes yet. All rejoiced that Aedan and Kaffa had been so elevated to a second order of Peerage (both of course being Laurels), for it was seen as a just and deserved honour. Without their leadership and guidance Septentria could not have flourished and Ealdormere could not have survived its stormy origins. Their honours capped a glorious day in the history of the Midrealm and of Eoforwic.
Copyright Arthur McLean 1995.