The Fifth Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
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January A.S. XVIII (C.E. 1984)
n days of yore, the Known World was ruled by the Imperial Electors, sitting in majesty in the far-off ancestral lands of the West. But those days had long past, and while a conclave of elders still held sway from Milpitas, all knew that in the hands of the Royalty of each Kingdom lay the power to determine Law. Though this council of elders from time to time issued necessary pronouncements, few gave them much thought. But in this month a decree went out from the Council that in order to be deemed a true member of the civilized world, one should become a citizen, and each citizen owed a tax to the Exchequer in Milpitas. And uproar ensued amongst the populace. Some argued that it was each citizen's duty to pay this tax, since it would keep the treasury full and insure that society did not fall prey to barbarians. Others argued that requiring the tax went against the long-held traditions of hospitality to newcomers and the poor, and that citizenship should be earned by service, not just by payment of a tax. Far and wide the messengers flew, as the folk of the Known World, from Monarchs to common folk, debated the merits of this decree. But in the lands of Ealdormere, the people dwelt in ignorance, save for the scattered reports of those folk with connections in foreign lands, because the Council of Elders had neglected to pay their messengers enough coin to bring their missives across the border.
As was usual, the people of Septentria gathered to celebrate the festive season, and this year it took place in Bryniau Tywynogg, the last Septentrian Twelfth Night they would hold, as the creation of Ramshaven was though to be immanent. Here was Rhys ap Bledri made noble after much service, and here was Raimon given a Bear's Claw for service at Pennsic last.
Also did Hoskuld, Grimwulf, and Nicolaa received Bear's Hearts, for their many services to the Barony. And here did Ieuan and Adrielle create a new award, christened the Cup of Teacht Ceartha Mor, after the household of Aedan and Caffa, given to one who embodied generosity of spirit without expectation of reward, and to be given but once a year, at Twelfth Night. And Ines de Freytis, who had sat nearby making notes for the Eoforing (of which was now the editor) was shocked to hear her name called for this great honour, and all of Eoforwic was pleased.
Also in this month did Cordigan and Diane find their Heirs. Since the founding of Ealdormere, it had been the custom to invest the victors of Coronet Tourney as Prince and Princess on the very day of their victory. Their Serene Highnesses wisely reasoned that it might be better to give the Heirs time to ponder their upcoming reign and to make plans. Thus it was that in the March of St. Martins Gunther von Weaselburg at last triumphed in the lists, earning the right to eventually place the coronet upon the brow of his lady wife, Joliecia. At this event also was Thorbjorn Osis knighted, after discovering his true first name, for there were many who said that Osis was no name for a knight.
February A.S. XXVIII (C.E. 1994)
his month in Petrea Thule was held the Ealdormerian Parliament. Though many things were discussed, none was so much as the aforementioned Decree. There was much dissent amongst the populace herein, though all agreed that more information was needed. From about this time arose the first stirrings of the so-called ELO, or Ealdormerian Liberation Organization, for there were some amongst the populace who felt that the time had come to consider becoming a Kingdom. But at this point all was mostly rumour and speculation.
In this month Rhiannon did travel over the wide sea to the land of Albion, to see the city for which Eoforwic was named, leaving her apprentices in the charge of a certain Elizabeth of Cadfan, who did, once Rhiannon was safely aboard the ship, sell the said three apprentices--Aveline, Lassar, and Luanmaise--to Thomas Grozier for the sum of 60 cows. Now Rhiannon remaining apprentice was Beorthewine, or "Winna", and Kes laboured long to obtain a fair price, but could only obtain 2 cows from Gaerwen (despite the fact that the apprentice in question was most skilled at backrubs). Gaerwen had thought that she was in fact buying a certain Michel du Flambard in drag.
Also in this month did Lady Elaine contact the actors of the Poculi Ludique Societas, with the sponsorship of the scholars of the university, to present the play of the Conversion of St. Paul, and many of the City's citizens did attend and marveled at Vychata as God, Owain of Shrewsbury as a Knight, and Lord Michel du Flambard as Caiaphas sporting an oily smirk. Now Michel had come to the City from the barony of Ruantallan some months before, and was well known for fomenting trouble, especially with his bawdy songs. He was later to become a companion to the Sisters of St. Sylard, crafting for their sweet voices a round, which, though worded innocently, contained a hidden meaning of much ribaldry.
About Owain, little has been said to this point, but that is no mark against his character. Indeed, he would have long ago been given arms, but he made it know quietly he did not wish such an honour. All recognized him as a Lord regardless. He had been a member of several cantons before arriving in Eoforwic to study at the College of St. Michael. He was a handsome young man with a fondness for juggling and the colour purple, and as he pursued his studies, so did his character mature. So diligently did he pursue the study of Latin that he was accepted at a great university in far Albion, and so left Eoforwic.
March A.S. XXVIII (C.E. 1994)
n this month Baron Aedan, who had virtually retired from Society life after many years of service, was badly injured in a fall down a flight of stairs. Though he eventually fully recovered, he was seen even less thereafter. The fall is said to have destroyed his taste for both coffee and ale.
Also in this month more sad tidings reached the ears of Eoforings. Jessica de Tournai (once called Catherine de Harcourt) from Vest Yorvik was killed in a waggon accident along one of the King's Highways as she stopped to help a fellow traveler.
April A.S. XXVIII (C.E. 1994)
n this month Gunther and Joliecia assumed the Lupine thrones as Cordigan and Diane retired, returning to their labours in bringing forth a new barony. Much business was transacted at the Investiture. Lord Gunnar was given the Award of the Doe's Grace, not for his service to one Queen, but for his courtesy and goodwill to many crowned heads over the years. The award was announced in song by Lady Austrechild. Also, a marvelous thing was done. Lady Elizabeth of Cadfan, called Kestrell, had been seen for many years in stunning garb and accessories. She practiced many arts, including calligraphy and illumination, and divers sciences, including metalwork, lapidary, and leatherwork, and had most recently been seen vending certain pewter cast "dickie birds" that were becoming notorious throughout the land. So far did her fame spread that on this day a cunning stunt was pulled and she was inducted into both the Order of the Silver Oak and the Order of the Willow. Mistress Rhiannon illuminated for her a most bawdy scroll. And also at the same court, Mistress Tamarra was inducted into the Order of the Pelican for her long service to the Kingdom; and her scroll was covered with hundreds of strawberries, each containing the face of a friend. (Some say that a certain Elvis, called "the King", could be found amongst the berries).
Also in this month did Sigridr step down as seneschal after three and a half years of service, handing her keys to Ysabeau Herbier de Vauvert. Also in this month did Luanmaise Ceantine disappear, though a lady named Margaret with flaming red hair quite like unto Luanmaise's suddenly appeared and assumed the office of Pursuivant from Lino da Napoli. And also did King Finn decree that the arts of defence were no longer to be practiced in secret, but openly, with the blessing of the Crown, and Nicolaa de Bracton thus became the first marshal of fence in Eoforwic history.
The Council of Elders, hearing the great distress of the populace over the new tax, rescinded their previous decree, but promulgated a new Bull. The tax was now only voluntary; but to encourage payment, a poll tax would be levied on each citizen who had not paid the tax at each bridge they crossed to attend a gathering. This decision was also loudly debated, particularly in Ealdormere, where the coin of the realm was worth less than in Southern lands, and some folk refused to collect the tax.
May A.S. XXIX (C.E. 1994)
n this month Catriona Gower of York laid aside the double medallions of the Ministry of Arts and Sciences, and Mercedes d'Abelard, who had recently relocated to the City, took them up. Mercedes was skilled in several arts, but most notably in cooking, and was a founding member of the Ealdormerian Cook's Guild. Also, Margaret accepted Cassandra of Trilane as deputy Pursuivant. Cassandra, a gentle lady of Italia who had arrived in the city just a month before, did not realize that in doing so, she would inherit the office in a month's time. This would come as a great surprise to her.
It was about this time that an interest in superstition overswept the city, such that suddenly the air was full of talk of Magic. Strangely, it was mostly the menfolk who were affected, and they clumped together in corners trading cards that were said to contain spells and practicing their wizardry on each other.
In this month Finn and Garlanda ascended the Dragon Thrones, and as was custom, assured their successors with a grand tournament, which was won by Brannos o'Iongadril, fighting for the most gracious and sweet lady, Rebekah mac Tiernan.
June A.S. XXIX (C.E. 1994)
Several of the City made their way to Petrea Thule, where upon an island, a battle took place, while the archers did shoot at a purple dragon called Barney.
It was late in this month that the cityfolk gathered outside Eoforwic for an event centering on the city of Novgorod. Vychata Igoravich had told many tales of the lands of the Rus', and this had inspired the City greatly. Nicolaa assembled a great book of the ways of the Rus' so that all could understand what would transpire. It seemed that two men, both called Vladimir, wished to claim overlordship over Novgorod. Now the older Vladimir (called Ofeigr by his Norse friends) had been away a-viking these many years, and in the interim his father had married formally and produced another so, also called Vladimir, who had been raised in Kiev and considered himself to be a cultured man. At the assembly or veche held outside the city, both claimed the title, and was customary, the sides retired to the Volkov bridge to settle the matter, in which the younger Vladimir was victorious. The event was lightly attended because of rain, but many Vikings and Monadhi were present, and there was extra food for all, thanks to Ysabeau's skill and the weather. Here Sylard introduced a new practice, in which those with goods they wished to trade brought them to a circle and much haggling occurred as each participant in turn offered their goods. Such was the success that trading circles were thereafter a regular practice in Eoforwic. Much mirth was also had with the trading of various commodities.
Also there was a short Court, in which Gunther and Joliecia inducted Foote the Potter and Grainne du Bois into the Friendship of the Trillium. And Cassandra was Herald, and she had been in the Society just two months.
July A.S. XXIX (C.E. 1994)
he forces of Septentria massed in Ardchreag to prepare once again for War. Aveline de la Rose amazed all with her beautiful birds of prey, and was also inducted into the Order of the Willow in an impromptu court by Queen Garlanda because of her skills with the harp. Also were Elaine Middleton and Jihad ibn Musa given arms, the former for her costuming skills and research into medieval drama, the latter for his service as exchequer and seneschal, though he must have served in the latter capacity when no one was looking! Also Eduoard Beausoliel was inducted into the Order of the Peregrine by Gunther and Joliecia.
The next week saw several of the folk of Eoforwic venture to the Collegium in Bryniau to teach various things. Many of the Society, as was traditional, attended the great Fair in Monadh, which was seemingly successful.
Later that month, in the tenth Coronet Tourney of Ealdormere, the victor was the same as that of the first--David Martin Failsworth, who surpassed Viscount Roak in the finals. This time he fought for Elina de Braose, a kindly and plain-spoken lady of Norman descent--the same lady with whom he had been matched at Eoforwic's Italian event the summer before.
August A.S. XXIX (C.E. 1994)
s the folk of the City prepared for Pennsic, a trading circle was held in which much merchandise changed hands. This year many Citizens were kept from the pilgrimage to Pennsia by lack of funds or other duties. Indeed, it was a most unusual War. Fierce storms had lashed the Eastern lands, and the beginning of the week witnessed the passing of a storm of such epic proportions that the professors of natural sciences gave it the name of Beryl. After passing the last year on the Serengetti plains, much care had been taken to find a new site for the City. But alas! When Vychata, Lord Mayor of Eoforwic arrived to survey the site, he found it sadly lacking and far too small. The good people of Venshaven donated part of their land and so the site was salvaged, though Vychata was forced to build a bridge over some of the swirling waters left by Beryl (thus earning the epithet "Pontius Maximus--Builder of Bridges). Though all were sorely soaked to the bone, much good fellowship was had. On the field, though, the picture was grey. Some say that Finn and Lucan, Kings of the Middle and East, had forgotten the phrase "Eternal Friends; Annual Enemies" and did take the battles far too seriously. Others say that it was not the fault of the Crowned Heads, but due to the overwhelming odds facing the Middle, which allowed unchivalrous behaviour to slip through.
Still others lay the blame at the feet of the Tuchux, who seemed beyond the control of their leaders. In any case, though there were many tales of individual prowess and chivalry, an atmosphere of tension lay thick in the air; indeed, some say that nearly 4 in 10 Ealdormerian fighters were injured on the field that year.
Amongst them was Duke Finnvarr, founder of the City of Eoforwic, who led his Lance de Taahe on campaign for the twenty-third time, for he had attended every Pennsic War and while at War had fought in every battle, a record matched by no man living or dead. And the first battle of the acrimonious XXIIIrd War was a Friendship Battle, and some later called it a battle like a well-chewed haunch of mutton. (For indeed this most confusing battle was like unto a dog's breakfast for all participants, and none knew what side the other was on and no doubt friend did slay friend in cursed ignorance, for all helms were marked alike.)
And in this battle His Grace Finnvarr received a churlish blow upon his gauntlet and his hand was injured and his knuckle was dislocated. His Grace was in much pain, and he came off the field aggrieved and muttering epithets. A Chirurgeon did bandage his hand in a great many yards of swaddling and His Grace was carted by his squires Richard and Heoroweard to the hospice in the town of Butler, that a barber might see to his hand. And this was the first time in all those many years that His Grace had cause to see a barber-surgeon while in the Debatable Lands, for while the Noble Order had been closed by King Finnvarr, surely Duke Finnvarr did finally suffer a Gaping Wound.
And while his squires of the body did seek a cart and did yet strip their Knight's armour from him at the side of the field, His Grace did cry out to his vassals. His Grace did bid them seek in camp a swordsman who was left-handed and to require from that swordsman his shield, that His Grace might bind his injured hand into that shield and fight with his sword set in his own left hand, that His Grace might take the field the next day for his King and not miss a battle. This His Grace did, and never has he yet missed taking a Knight's proper place in battle at the Pennsic War, not even unto the days of our own King Osis and his Queen Valthjona.
But for Ealdormere a few good things came from this war. Both Baron Menken and Prince Gunther were knighted on the field just before the great battle, and many rejoiced that the Middle Kingdom had finally recognized the chivalry of these two gentlemen, whom Ealdormere had known to be worthy for so long. And also did Madinia join her husband Hector in the Order of the Laurel, for her great skill in Elizabethan costume. Also, many were guests at the wedding feast of Hoskuld Thorleiksson and Eyrny Ormarsdottir, conducted in the Norse tradition.
September A.S. XXIX (C.E. 1994)
n this month Edward the Chaste returned to the City after a long sojourn in the East, and he was soon to assume the post of Chatelain. Also did Eanor and Edouard Beausoliel depart for far Drachenwald, where Eanor was to become a scholar. Some months later it reached the ear of the City that Eduoard had won for himself the title of King's Champion of Drachenwald.
Also in this month the artisans of the City gathered for the annual Market Day, this time held in the Guild Hall, for University College had decided its cloisters were available only for the resident monks. Here for the first time the merchants from the Silk Road displayed their wares, and much money changed hands. A small ransomed horse tourney was won by Nicolae, who was much in the company of Sybille of Amberhall, though it was later found that Osis had in fact collected the most horses. Sybille was ennobled that day by Gunther and Joliecia, as was Mary Anne Ruadh "for putting up with Ceallach". All agreed that this was well deserved.
In this month David and Elina claimed the Trillium Thrones, and issued many challenges to the populace. One was to produce items for the War Chest in exchange for specially minted coinage. Likewise, they also issued challenges to the groups of Ealdormere to challenge each other in a friendly Civil War, and they took hostages to insure the civility of these deeds. It was here that Countess Caitlin stood up and on behalf of House Hrogn (also called "Spawn"), a notorious band of Vikings, challenged Eoforwic at deeds of arms and arts. It seems she had rescued a certain Murphy the Sheep, left unloved and forgotten at Market Day, and as his mother, she felt Eoforwic should not regain him without a fight. The tale of that fight will be told apace.
And as the month concluded, the great moot of the Guilds of the City took place. For mayor both Gunnar and Vychata stepped forth, which caused great controversy, for Eoforwic had not yet ever had a two-term mayor. The race was indeed close, with ample bribes being extend by both candidates, who sought the honour of the Mayor Chair at Eoforwic's 20th anniversary event, but in the end the ample chocolate and even more ample coin proffered by Gunnar told the tale. And Aveline de la Rose was elected as sheriff--and promptly disappeared.
October A.S. XXIX (C.E. 1994)
n this month did Brannos and Rebekah assume the Dragon Thrones, and from thence hosted a grand tourney in the Canton of Ben Dunfirth. Many of Eoforwic were in attendance, for not in many years had such a tourney been held within the bounds of Ealdormere. Gunnar, in his new role as Lord Mayor, hosted a lunch spread so spectacular that the citizens of Eoforwic resorted to grabbing passers-by and pressing food into their hands. Most remarkable was a loaf of bread of incredible size which the Lord Mayor had had baked on his command at the Market of St. Lawrence. The populace turned out in their finery, not the least of which was Lady Ysabeau's Elizabethan gown, made with the assistance of Dame Madinia, who had taken her as an apprentice. And many from Ealdormere fought with distinction that day, for a great prize was to be won--the right to one day ascend to the Dragon Throne.
Amongst the fighters was one Viscount Thorbjorn Osis, a knight, but most importantly, a Viking. Some time before, one Sir Coley Cuthbert had welcomed him at his feast table, and they had shared many a drinking horn since. Sir Coley was brave of heart and still could wield a sword with skill, but his health was failing, and with each year his dream--that his lady wife, Mistress Valthjona, reign as Queen--seemed further and further from his grasp. Mistress Valthjona was a gentle lady, skilled at the arts of the needle, and she, like Osis, came from the North. To the Norse, there are no stronger bonds than those of friendship, kinship, and honour, so few were surprised when Osis offered to carry Valthjona's favour. Several times he had fought well in the Crown lists on her behalf, but ultimate victory had eluded him. But on this day, in front of the people he had once ruled as Prince, Osis bested Sir Stephen Edgermont, and a great cheer went up from the crowd. Once again a wolf of the North would ascend the Dragon throne, and Sir Coley would see his lady crowned Queen of the Middle. There were few dry eyes as he set the princely coronet on her head, thanking her for her patience; few had dreamed a Viking of simple speech could be so eloquent. And then, with Their Majesties' leave, he brought forth another lady. This was Countess Mistress Caitlin, his own lady, and in front all, asked for her hand in marriage, and a great profusion of handkerchiefs were once again brought forth.
It was here that Ursula na Clann na Rath was taken as protege by Frederic l'Avare, and that Zadok ibn Alfakhar was given leave to use the tile of "Don". Also elevated was Elizabeth, lady wife of Terrence Kirkpatrick, who was not only given arms (she had been missed in a grievous oversight) but also inducted into the Order of the Willow for her skills at dance.
Susanna Leycestrensis 1991