The Fifth Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
The Great Chronicle of Eoforwic has in the past been written by numerous scribes: The first being Etienne de L'Isle, the second being William of Roncesvalles, the third being Hyrcanos ben Jacob of Oporto, the fourth being Magnus of Iona. As that fourth account ends with the Accession of David and Tangwystl to the Dragon Thrones of the Middle and the final court of Baron Aedan and Baroness Caffa of Septentria, it is mete that this fifth book begin herein.
The deeds related in this chronicle are of the good people of Eoforwic, whose Lord Mayors have long been patrons of learning. And thus they did ask the Abbot at Blackfriars whether he knew of any man who could continue the chronicle in a style appropriate to the dignity of the City. And Father Simon said he knew of no man (for they were much busy with the preaching of a Crusade) and thus the task fell to me, Susanna Leycestrensis, a sister in the house of St. Brand, inside the Wall. I pray that God may deem me worthy of this task and inspire my words. For I well know the generosity of the people of Eoforwic whose walls have sheltered me well these years. I pray that St. Catherine guide my hand, Bede the Venerable my Mind, and St. Nicholas my heart, that this Chronicle might prove satisfactory to the townsfolk. And may this chronicle be a fitting tribute to the Patron of my House and of the City, whose many miracles have given testament to his most saintly character and most exalted position in the heavenly Order of Precedence. And let the reader forgive me if I err in my task, or do not give glory where it be due.
Where my memory has failed me, I have used the accounts of others: the Eoforwic broadsheets of Rigunth af Bern, Austrechild von Mondsee, Ines de Freytis, and James Douglas; the Septentrian broadsheets of Nicolaa de Bracton and Leonora da Lilliaceae, the intelligence gathering of Eoin o Beirne, and the wartime chronicles of Hector of the Black Height. For events at which I have not been present, I have relied on the reports of many untold citizens, as well as on gossip overheard on the Rialto and the Middlebridge.
This chronicle is dedicated to Gunthar Wallenstein, Third Lord Mayor of Eoforwic, and to the many cats who have kept me company in my cell, most particularly the chubby tortoiseshell named Caelin, who is oft nearby when she hears me sit down to compose.
At this time, the Principality of Ealdormere had reached its first birthday under its own Prince and Princess. The Trillium Thrones were then occupied by Osis of the Livery, about who it was often said that his name was an impediment to knighthood though his fighting skills were none, and his Princess Ragnheithr, called Heithr by all. King David and Queen Tangwystl, well beloved of the people of Ealdormere, sat upon the Dragon Thrones, the first from the North to do so since Hugo and Caitlin ten years before; and Prince Comar and Princess Lisa were the Heirs. In Eoforwic, Sigridr Rognvaldsdottir was seneschal. And Edward Ungearu was marshal, and Lino da Napoli was Pursuivant. And the Mistress of Arts and Sciences was Anthea Lovatte, and the Exchequer was Stephan Alexander, the Chatelaine was Catriona Gower of York. And Rigunth aus Bern was chronicler. Gunnar of Lund was Dance Master, but he was better known as Lord Mayor, and the City sheriff was Luanmaise.
And Eoforwic was indeed a large city, with nearly one hundred members on the rolls, and fifty or more at the weekly gatherings. But once Eoforwic had held sway over all of the Northlands now called Ealdormere. Aedan and Caffa, Baron and Baroness of Septentria, had ruled one of the largest and most prosperous baronies in the Known World from Eoforwic, and great had been the fame of this canton for excellence in fighting, the arts, and service. But now Aedan and Caffa grew tired, and announced that they would retire from their duties. One by one, many of the names that had made Eoforwic great had moved away from the City, and many of those who had once been amongst its most active citizens were seen less and less. In the interim, both Septentria and Ealdormere had grown, giving birth to new towns full of fire and enthusiasm (often with the help of former Eoforwic members). Beside this young ardor, Eoforwic seemed moribund in comparison. Though individuals of the City continued to excel, they seldom carried the name of Eoforwic abroad as once they had. Sad it would be if this chronicle must needs tell of decline and dotage, but, mirabile dictu , that did not occur. This is a tale of rebirth, revival, and rebuilding, of new blood that rose to stand alongside long-term members long lost in the shuffle of famous names. This is the tale of a new civic spirit, and of the people who created it.
Susanna Leycestrensis 1991