The Fifth Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
Page 2 of 7
June A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1991)
t had been decided that the citizens of Eoforwic would gather together to commemorate the Crusades. As the City had recently played host to Baronial Twelfth Night, the festivities were to be laid back, and Elena da Valencia, the steward for the gathering, had not planned to hold a feast. But when no other event could be found in which to hold the Baronial Investiture, just two months before the event was to take place, Elena was notified that her small event would now attract many powerful nobles. Since the King and Queen and many dignitaries from around the Kingdom would be in attendance, hospitality must needs be extended. After many a frantic moment, Ancarett Nankivellis helped her obtain the services of the household cooks and servers attached to the scholars of Victoria College, as well as the use of their feasting hall, though at a dear price.
On the eighth day of June, a hot and humid, but sunny day, the canton and barony assembled in the City Square for their annual gathering. Merchants were abundant and attracted the eager eye of the Queen, who was well known for her fondness for browsing. At the gate was Carolyn of Amberhall, keeping a watchful eye on the troll table, as she had many times in the past. Elena had sent Rigunth aus Bern on a quest to unearth relics of many Saints in hopes that they might bring prosperity to the City, and she had found many wondrous things, which were to be found on display at a special table. Others, hoping to win a contest, had also brought relics, including a very large and very heavy strawberry said to be mystically connected with the Blessed St. Aedan. Sigridr had unearthed a tunic connected with this same Saint and was busily giving scraps of it to the faithful for small donations. Master Sylard bought the largest piece, which contained the embroidery wrought by the hand of the Blessed Mother of Septentria, and still wears it for luck to this day. A certain Brother Thomas made his first appearance, replacing the ill Brother Stephen at the last moment.
After the tournament, a melee team battle won by the "Templars", Aedan and Caffa held their last court on the steps of the City Square. Many from all around were in attendance and many eyes were tearful. The Cauldron of Ceridwyn, which for many years had been a most powerful symbol of Septentria and which was currently held by Master Frederic L'Avare, was retired forever. Mistress Rhiannon, for years the personal bard to Their Excellencies and Septentria, also resigned her post.
At this event was House Eagleshaven formally dissolved by Sylard. Most of its members had scattered far from Eoforwic, including Sylard himself, now dwelling in the vicinity of those lands now called Monadh.
That evening, Cordigan D'Arnot and Diane D'Arnot were invested as the new Baron and Baroness of Septentria. Though many were indeed saddened at the retirement of Aedan and Caffa, hopes were high for their successors. As members of the House Faringold, notorious for their love for ale, sheep, and good stick-bashing, they had a reputation as fun and easygoing people. Septentria was at this time a thriving barony, and its cantons were Eoforwic, Vest Yorvik, Petrea Thule, Skeldergate, Bryniau Tywynogg, der Welfengau, Afon Araf, Flaming Sky, and Nova Trinovantia. There was little to indicate that change would soon come. The new Baronial couple presented the seneschals of each group with new breeding stock--sheep, to replace the traditional cattle. The hall rang with bleating.
Grimwulf was presented with a holy grail ("not necessarily the holy grail", in the words of she who had found it) for sporting the best ecclesiastical robes, and one Bozena's relic of Milk of the Virgin Mary was judged to far outrank other relics there for view.
Gunthar Waldstadt (or Wallenstein) received his Award of Arms, as did Lino da Napoli and Catriona Gower of York. Aelfwine the Wanderer was presented with the Award of the Purple Fret for his behind-the-scenes service, and Bronwyn Meredith, recently retired Seneschal of Septentria, was likewise rewarded. Anthea Lovatte was inducted into the Order of the Willow for her costuming. And Aedan and Caffa, who had earlier taken off their Baronial coronets, received new ones, for now they were recognized as Barons of Court.
The rest of the month was unremarkable in comparison. Murder Melee was hot and humid, and may griped about the new site. Unfortunately, the old location had been taken over by Scots to play their horrid game involving tiny balls and club-like implements of wood and iron. Septentrians remember this one as the year the Rozakii told them they were too loud.
July A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1991)
s preparations were underway for the campaigns into Pennsia, life in Eoforwic drifted along as the citizens rested from the previous month's excitement. Lord Mayor Gunnar, heretofore a relative nonentity in his office, came forth with his most generous offer to hire and pay for wagons to get the poorer citizens of Eoforwic to Pennsia, and to assemble cooks to help all who needed it. Also, there were many sheep jokes. The Eoforing printed a recipe for Sheep Dip, which went as follows:
Place ingredients into large tub. Beat until mixture is creamy and stops bleating. Serves one village.
On the thirteenth day, Hector of the Black Height and Madinia O'Tuatail were married. It is sometimes said that this marriage was merely a Royal Whim by Tangwystl, who was Princess when the engagement was announced, and indeed, Hector himself is not loath to spread the story. He was currently Kingdom Bard, so the story was spread quite far. Tai Chin Wu caught the garter at the reception, which made many wonder.
The next week saw the wedding of Gunthar Wallenstein and Rigunth aus Bern. Many were astonished at this, since Rigunth had only come to Eoforwic some ten months earlier, but few were unhappy. Gunthar had earlier caused quite a ruckus in the streets of Eoforwic. This was the fault of one Wulf Borisson. The wedding was held in the chapel of the Hart House, and a great feast occurred thereafter on the large island that can be seen from the harbour. Many citizens of Eoforwic were there. It had been nearly ten years to the day since Duke Finnvarr de Taahe had wed Lady Ragni in the same location and journeyed to the same island for the wedding feast, as the Duke himself noted.
Also, Eadweard Ungearu left Eoforwic for the land of An Tir. Aelfwine the Wanderer succeeded him as Marshal. Around this time was Raffe Scholemaystre first seen in Eoforwic.
August A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1991)
any were the folk of Eoforwic who did follow their King to southern lands to meet the Eastern Host. Far fewer would they have been had it not been for the great generosity of the Lord Mayor. Eoforwic that year camped in the traditional Septentrian lands, though a few of its citizens camped across the lake by the swamp. And though the deeds that were done that year were glorious, with King David leading the Middle to a stunning victory; and though good times were held by all, the heart of Eoforwic was sad. Where were the fireside stories of yore, the gladsome conviviality of Tarver's tent, which now stood empty? Where were the eager ranks of untested fighters standing side by side with wise veterans, all ready to prove their mettle? Where, indeed, were all the things for which Septentria had long shone forth? It was in gazing upon this state of affairs that a new spirit arose from the ashes of Saturday night's campfire. Members of long standing and newer folk both pledged themselves to Eoforwic, making a pact that by the next summer's campaigns they would take their place in the shield wall. This pact would have great consequence in the future.
The campaigns of this year were not without their scenes of merriment. Grimwulf at one point was dragged before the assembled Royalty of twelve kingdoms and accused of poaching the King's deer. Greatly confused were the monarchs at this charge; one of them suggested that the accused write a poem to extricate himself --which all agreed would punish all but the criminal himself. It was left to Queen Tangwystl to take vengeance with her crossbow. At another occasion, Cospatric and Jamie were making the rounds trying to find Kings to cure their scrofula. In this year the camp of the Southwark Trayn'd Bands was established upon the lake in Pennsia, and oft did the bandsmen disport themselves in pike drill. It has been told in another chronicle of the creation of UMRA, and many members of that sect did camp with the Bands. In future years, many of these folk were seen amongst Society folk only at Pennsic, though as time passed, the group, renamed the Tabard Inn Society, did host many pleasing revels and fairs, and the earlier nastiness was mostly forgotten.
The Masked Ball that year celebrated the twentieth year of the great summer campaigns, and attendees were encouraged to come in the guise of the famous nobles of the past; indeed, Aethelwold borrowed coronet, houppelande and the famed Ducal Umbrella of Pennsic IV and portrayed Duke Sir Finnvarr. At the Ball, he not only met his consort, Duchess Caellyn, but also the real duchess--disguised as Jarl Sir Reynard. And finally, in sight of the populace was Sarra Graham elevated to the Order of the Laurel for her calligraphy, and here also were Frederic and Tamarra made Barons of the Court for their great and long service.
It was here that the sanctity of the Blessed Brand was made manifest, as attests one of the many Vitae Sanctis Brandis, by the pen of one Magnus: It was in the midst of the week when the venerable Brand sat on humility on the stairs of the bath-house in the Debatable Lands, and as he sat, passers-by did wonder as to his doings, for the night had fallen, and yet there was light about the venerable Brand in the depth of night, and as the night went on the light came to have a greater rosy blush from the venerable Brand's visage, and this was the first marvel. And many were the people who came to the bath-house for various purposes, and each was confronted by one of the venerable Brand's disciples, who did show them the value of a good coat of mail--yea, even the Steward of the Imperium and grumpy knights and small children whose fathers might require mail, but none girt in towels and bearing tooth-brushes did choose to trek to the market and buy mail wrought by the venerable Brand, and this was the second marvel, that Brand's humility did so affect these passers-by that none could be persuaded to buy mail and end Brand's poverty and humility. And finally, the venerable Brand did bid his two disciples depart, with many words of increasing harshness, and his disciples were so drawn by the saintliness of this man that they would not retire despite the venerable Brand's entreaties, and this was the third marvel, and thus was he recognized a Saint by Master Ricard of Sable Tree, who stood in the shadows and wondered. And thus, St. Brand came to his patronage of mail. His aid is often also sought in the retrieval of lost objects, and it is said that he also looks kindly on wayward women. His cult has ever had many followers in Eoforwic.
September A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1991)
n this month Roak of the Rozakii won the coronet of Ealdormere for his lady, Tarkwyn of Balanjar. Some people complained loudly that it was not right for a mercenary to reign as Prince (though indeed the Rozakii had personally served as Prince David's guard at Ealdormere's first Pennsic), but others pointed out that Roak was a man possessed with a great sense of honour and chivalry on the field and would ornament the Coronet, and that the ways of the East and the steppes were misunderstood (for the Rozakii were of Khazaria, a most fascinating kingdom indeed). On that day Aelfwine the Wanderer received his second Purple Fret in four months, Ceallach received a Bear's Heart, and Gwynfyr and Cospatric were granted Bear's Claws.
It was also about this time that Murphy the Sheep reappeared.
As was customary, the citizens of Eoforwic gathered this month in the Guild Hall to conduct their annual elections. For Mayor, three candidates stepped forth: Gunthar Wallenstein, who had lost the previous year's election on a coin toss, but now thought perhaps his marriage demonstrated his maturity; Fear Dubh, bassoonmeister of the Town, and Joleicia, Babe of Ealdormere (though an obvious Vest Yorvik plant). For sheriff, three candidates stepped forward: Guillaume di San Marino; a recent immigrant to the town by the name of Edward (later surnamed Beausoliel), and one "Gustavus Mercenarius", a candidate cloaked in mystery who refused to reveal his identity unless elected. While Gunthar was the runaway victor in the mayoral race, the contest for sheriff was not decided until the final few votes, when it was discovered that the Citizens had been consumed by curiosity and elected the aforementioned Gustavus, who was revealed to be Guynedd Morgant o Cawtref Mawr, Guillaume's lady. While these two were at the resident in Vest Yorvik and many thought they smelt a fishy plot, the couple eventually called themselves members of Eoforwic. October AS XXVI
In this month Rigunth af Bern incepted as a master at the great University in the town, and Ancarett Nankivellis gained the title of Doctor. Ancarett was apace married to one once called Belisarius, and she left Eoforwic to teach at a university north of Flaming Sky, close by the nickel mines. In lands far away, King David went away on Crusade, and Queen Tangwystl retired to a nunnery, leaving the Kingdom in the hands of Comar and Lisa. All remember their reign as one blessed with chivalry and grace, but after that time Countess Tangwystl was seldom seen in Ealdormere, on account that she and David had parted ways, and there was much sadness felt in this by many folk. Also in that month, Ronin of House Darkmoon won the right to lead the forces of the Middle the next time a campaign might prove necessary, and to have at his side Katya of Shadowed Stars.
Also in this month several citizens traveled to the lands known as Flaming Skies, for Duke Finnvarr had recently become a professor at a university hard by, and with his wife Ragni and Gavin, his son, had found lodgings there. Indeed, they comprised a veritable duchy, attested to by the many strawberry leaves found covering the ground where his warhorses were wont to roam. And the people of Flaming Skies were found to be full of hospitality, and once again the ancient game of Blind Man's Samurai was again played as in days of old.
November A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1991)
t was about this time that Aethelwold Mierca was abducted on the way to Timbuctou by strange one-legged beings with no heads and faces in their chests. He was at the time looking for Prester John, and his story was related in the Eoforing by his brother Aethelstan, who looked so much like him that he was forever after addressed as "Aethel-whatsit".
This month in the canton of Drachenfaust, Richard Larmer was ennobled, and Duke Finnvarr awarded a Dragon's Heart. And at that court was Frederic L'Avare elevated into the Order of the Pelican, for his long service at all levels, from Eoforwic all the way up to the Society as a whole. Likewise raised to the rank of Companion of the Pelican were Ricard of Sabletree, who was the first seneschal of Ealdormere, and Henry of Linlithgow, known in Eoforwic as the Vipper Baron for his many nefarious plots and designs on more territory for his Barony of Skraeling Althing.
It was also in this month that Grimwulf first proposed the idea of an Eoforwic Militia, to be paid in beer.
December A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1991)
ord Mayor Gunthar was discovered to have an evil twin by the name of Otto who could be recognized by his ability to dominate Guild meetings and his great fear of the word "potato". The real Gunthar did commission a new banner for the city, which was hand embroidered in silk and wool. It was also about this time that Sigridr put forth her idea to have a great Althing the summer next, in the manner of her kin of Iceland. And all thought that this was a Good Thing indeed, though many of those who hailed from cultures where the Renaissance had reached were initially skeptical, but even they were eventually won over.
January A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1992)
n this month, Baron Cordigan and Baroness Diane held court in Skeldergate, the college formed just a year before on the grounds of that universitas called York, where once had stood Noerlandia. It was there that Gunnar Halfdan of Lund, backed by a retinue he did not even realize he had (including both the Lord Mayor and the Baron), was presented with a splendid cloak of red, incrusted with jewels, by Sigridr Rognvaldsdottir. It had long been Gunnar's practice to go about in cold weather with his legs shamelessly uncovered, and Sigridr feared that this might corrupt some of the unmarried young women of the City. Thus was Gunnar bested in his own game of Viking Gift Warfare. At this event also was Catriona Gower of York presented with a Bear's Claw for her contributions of cover art to the Baronial Broadsheet.
February A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1992)
n this month a thing happened which shocked many of Eoforwic and Septentria. Long had the population of Septentria grown, and the number of her cantons ever increased, such that it was no longer possible for the Baron and Baroness to regularly travel thorough the Barony and to know all of their people. And so, at the behest of the Kingdom, Cordigan and Diane resolved to divide Septentria into two baronies: one in the west and one in the east. This caused many bad feelings at first, since the motion came not from the people of the affected groups, as is usual when a new Barony is created, but seemingly from the Baron and Baroness of Septentria. Not a few people whispered charges of disloyalty behind their backs, for though Septentria was indeed large, no one had seemed bothered by this before. Indeed, being a Septentrian had long been a badge of pride. In truth, though it be true that the initiative had not been that of the people of the west, nor even, as was later revealed, of Cordigan and Diane, it was more true that it was perhaps time for Septentria to produce a child. In time, most of Eoforwic and Septentria resigned themselves to this fact, and that the creation of a new barony would in no way diminish the friendships that had grown over the years. But for a few weeks, the proposition lay like an open wound, and for nearly a year Septentria virtually ceased to exist (in deed, rather in fact), as its leadership struggled to determine its future paths. The Baron and Baroness, who lived in a part of the Barony which, it was proposed, would be part of a new barony, threw themselves into the midst of the bureaucracy surrounding the process, leaving many in the east feeling forgotten and rejected. There would be little attempt this year to organize a baronial fighting force at Pennsic. More will be said about that later.
March A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1992)
t was about this time that Tarver the Pole wrought a most marvelous device. Known now throughout the world (even into far Araby) for his trebuchet, he now laboured to build a medieval hoisting device, such that in the play of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Virgin might rise bodily into Heaven in a most authentic way. Despite fears that the Virgin would instead be catapulted over the audience, the device worked perfectly, and Tarver's fame spread even further.
April A.S. XXVI (C.E. 1992)
he fifth Coronet Tourney was held this month in the Canton of Greyfells. The lists, though small, were well endowed with capable fighters. At the moment of the finals, the two remaining fighters surprised many. One was Cordigan d'Arnot, the Baron of Septentria. What should happen to Septentria, now at a crucial juncture in its history, should Cordigan become Prince? Some expressed dismay and said that he should not have entered; others cheered him on. The other fighter was Killdare Silverwolf, a virtually unknown fighter from Ben Dunfirth. However, it was quite apparent that his Rozakii brothers had trained him well. As usual, the finals went to three bouts. And Killdare emerged as the victor, and bestowed the Coronet upon Catherine Dupres, a lady of great spirit. He made Cordigan his Champion, and Catherine chose Tai Chin Wu as her Champion.
So great was the business before the Crown that Court was split into two halves. Rigunth aus Bern, Ceridwyn gan Gwynedd, and Mary Bailey all received Awards of Arms, and they all lived in the same house. Berengiere Fortescue of Vest Yorvik (but well known to Eoforwic) also was ennobled. Catriona Gower of York was inducted into the Order of the Willow for her many skills, and Thevenin, who was known by many of the City, received the Award of the Doe's Grace. And Gwynfyr an Sheoladair was inducted into the Order of the Dragon's Barb, and Grimwulf the Hairy and Ceallach cu Meallain into the Order of the Dragon's Heart. And Ursula na Clann na Rath received the award of the Purple Fret, and she did give the King a mighty hug.
And on this night an ancient wrong was put right. Kingdom law had recently been changed such that a poll of the members of the Order of the Rose was no longer needed to admit new members and that membership was automatically given to all former consorts. Indeed, many had long thought the old way of doing things had been used to punish former Queens who had not "kept their place," and for some time the royalty and officers of the Midrealm had been pushing for change. Duke Sir Finnvarr de Taahe thus came forth to beg a boon, that Countess Caitlin Stuart be inducted into the Order of the Rose. Now Caitlin had not been seen in Eoforwic for many a year, but this is the truth of it: She had indeed stayed within the City walls, in the convent of St. Brand. Since profession as a nun was against her nature, she stayed there as a noble guest, which the sisters suffered because of the lady's great talents in divers arts. Baroness Caffa, Baroness Tamarra, and Baroness Enid, all apprentices or ladies-in-waiting to Caitlin in the past, came forth to attest to her good name. And then Caitlin herself was called forth. King Comar and Queen Lisa inducted her into the Order, and the three Baronesses presented her with armfuls of roses, including a great many from Graf Sir Hugo, from far An Tir. And afterwards those who had known her did the same, and all the populace did cheer. And thereafter Countess Caitlin left the House of St. Brand and was often seen in Ealdormere again, though most often in Skeldergate, outside the City Walls.
Later that month in Pont Y Saeth, Richard Larmer, Hoskuld, Ivar of the Black Lock, and Rhys ap Bledri joined the ranks as fully trained fighters, a sign of things to come.
Susanna Leycestrensis 1991