The Fifth Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
Page 5 of 6
Anno Societatis XXXIII
ay saw the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Barony
of Septentria, hosted by Eoforwic. Much planning had gone into this day, ably
coordinated by Cassandra. Many faces not seen for years were seen again that
day, including Alistair Kirk, who would once again become active and eventually
serve a term as Lord Mayor before moving to Ben Dunfirth and taking on the
office of Baron. A history table contained many artifacts, including the
complete Bayeaux Tapestry embroidery wrought by Baroness Kaffa showing the
founding of Eoforwic and Septentria. The embroidery was in two pieces—one owned
by Duke Finnvarr, and one owned by Kaffa and Aedan, who had long since ceased to
be seen in the Barony they once ruled. Their Coronets were also shown on the
table, and the Cauldron of Ceridwyn, which had once been Septentria’s highest
That month also saw the arrival of a famous ship in Eoforwic’s harbour. The Matthew was a masted ship that had plied the waters of the northern Atlantic and recreated a famous voyage. Many took the opportunity to visit, and agents of the Mayor were able to ensure that the ship was added to the roster of the navy of the Royal City. Also, Thomas took on the office Pursuivant when Eanor stepped down.
t Gathering of the Clans in Ben Dunfirth, a nefarious plot was uncovered. It had long been remarked that Tarketai had a brother, Katsu, who greatly resembled him. This Lord Katsu now came forward claiming that HE was the true baron, even though it was fairly clear that he was Evil. An Iron Mask was said to be involved. Murmurs of revolt circulated, and all wondered about the security of Ealdormere. Indeed, at Pikeman’s Pleasure, an arrow was found on the archery range marked "Kingdom of Ealdormere." This greatly puzzled Prince Berus and Princess Marion, since they knew of no "Kingdom" of Ealdormere, only the Principality they ruled. Could treason be afoot? Nonetheless, business continued as usual. Geoffrey was Awarded Arms at Pikeman’s Pleasure, and in Baronial Court, Nicolaa (in her capacity as Mayor) presented Adrielle with the Key to the Royal City. Also that day, Rhys was appointed by Adrielle as Champion of Septentria, and gifted with a collar of state.
Alas, the turmoil raised its head again at Murder Melee, when the captured pretender to the thrones of Ben Dunfirth was presented to the Prince and Princess, and consigned to wear the Iron Mask. But the pretender somehow escaped. The Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth, somewhat rattled, called forward Septentria to receive the prize for winning the archery tourney. The prize was an arrow—identical to that found on the range at Pikeman’s Pleasure, marked "Kingdom of Ealdormere." Clearly, something was afoot. At the same event, the Ealdormere Academy of Defence was endowed, and Alistair, who had only been once again seen in the Society for a month, authorized as a fencer. Also, Eoin was appointed Principality archery champion. And Duchess Caitlin extended her hospitality to all of Ealdormere, cooking a special dinner for all those attending.
fter the success of Septentrian 20th, however, Eoforwic began a troublesome period in its history. For some time, Thomas and Muirghein had impressed many by their tireless service; indeed, in this month, Muirghein took on the office of Baronial Chatelaine. She now held the position of both Baronial and canton Chatelaine, as well as Chronicler, while Thomas held the office of Eoforwic Pursuivant and Ealdormere Scout Marshal. Muirghein had strong views on how to recruit and retain newcomers, and took to dressing down those who preferred other methods. Meanwhile, Thomas had struck up a friendship with many of the fighters of House Hrogn, who were currently involved in a not-so-friendly rivalry with House de Taahe. Many of the de Taahe fighters, including Rhys, Hereward, and Edouard, had stopped coming to Eoforwic’s fighter practices and started attending those of Ardchreag, which had an excellent winter fighting site. It was voiced privately that another reason might have been the presence of Thomas, who was acting as if there were a vendetta against the Hrogn almost everywhere. During this period in Eoforwic’s history, it was a constant source of frustration to Angus, the long-time Marshal of Eoforwic, and other non-affiliated Eoforwic fighters that new fighters would come to Eoforwic and learn the basics, only to be "snapped up" by either de Taahe or the Hrogn. During one meeting, Gunthar made a joke about "yet another fighter being snapped up by a household" while running the meeting, only to be publicly berated by Thomas as being anti-Hrogn. (In fact, the fighter in question had joined de Taahe.) From this point forward, Thomas and Muirghein’s service looked less and less constructive and more and more contentious, to the detriment of the City.
eanwhile, talk of treason and revolt continued to circulate when yet another arrow was found on the archery field at Ealdormere War Practice. Berus and Marion presided over the Principality Moot. Behind their thrones, unseen by them but seen by the audience, David and Elina stole closer, hiding behind the archery butts when Berus turned around to check what all the giggling was about. Later that month, Gaerwen won the archery tourney at Monadh War Practice, where a baffling piece of cloth was found. It seemed to be a piece of a larger banner or map, and contained the legend "ELO" and the image of a hare. What could this mean?
The talk of treason and revolt were only cover for the real business of preparing for the creation of the Kingdom, now set for October 24 in Ben Dunfirth (Eoforwic’s bid had not been successful; it was never quite possible to work out the logistics in a pleasing manner with a site within the Royal City). After the yearly Forward Into The Past collegium in Bryniau Tywynogg, discussions were held with the populace and the Peerage orders about the future, including what sorts of awards would be presented in the new Kingdom. Work continued on the Coronation ceremony, as the committee worked to revise it to meet the desires of the Heirs, finishing it in early August.
Also in July, Perceval and James Douglass traveled to Trimaris for a time to work. Eanor gave birth to a daughter, which she and Edouard christened Heloise. Eoforwic also was asked to present a demo at the Ontario Renaissance Fair. Arts and Sciences and rapier fighting were demonstrated, and the organizers were greatly pleased.
t the 27th Pennsic War, Berus and Marion camped by Middle
Kingdom Royal, standing by the Dragon as a Principality for the last time.
Meanwhile, the Heirs camped in the traditional Ealdormere camp down the hill.
Eoforwic this year did not have their own camp, but chose to camp with
Ealdormere. James Douglas indeed made it a popular camp by installing hot
showers. He also completed Eoforwic’s Water Cow, which Nicolaa christened with a
bell before sending it on its way onto the fields of Pennsic.
Queen Kenna had christened Middle Kingdom Royal "Club Jafar" in the memory of her lord, and decorated it with flocks of pink flamingoes, her own personal symbol, resolving to celebrate Jafar’s life. The people of the Known World responded with great joy and enthusiasm, and the Known World Party that year, hosted at Middle Kingdom Royal, has entered legend.
At this Pennsic, Brand Thorwaldsson was elevated to the Order of the Pelican for his service as a Herald, in Middle Kingdom Court, which was conducted in the style of the Middle East, with carpets and cushions upon the dais. His was the last Peerage bestowed by the Middle Kingdom upon an Ealdormerian. Anastasia and Eoforwic also received a great honour when Anastasia’s "Lil of London" column was judged to be the best in all of the Middle Kingdom, and she was bestowed with an Augustine Prize.
Ealdormere’s fame in the bardic arts grew much this year. Master Hector took Marian and Gaerred Galbraith to visit the camp of the Great Dark Horde. There camped Master Ioseph of Locksley, a bard of great fame, and Marian and Gaerred performed for him and his Horde brothers. A great bardic circle was held this year on the final Saturday at the Ealdormere camp, with the final song being "Home," one of Hector’s newer songs. Eoforwic also extended hospitality to Septentria (and all others who would join) by providing the refreshments for a party after Septentrian Court, which Monadh cheerfully agreed to host on short notice when Eoforwic was told the party was not wanted in the Ealdormerian camp. (It should be noted that this was apparently the decision of a certain lady who shall remain nameless, and not reflective on the hospitality of the Ealdormerian encampment as a whole.)
he Middle Kingdom was joined by many allies at this War; they had been moved by the bravery of Queen Kenna, and the memory of Jafar. Kenna had authorized to fight so that she could lead her forces in person upon the field, and the Middle Kingdom’s numbers told the tale. The victory was marred on the final day of battle, when the King of the East and his forces abruptly left the field. Master Hector provides the following account of what happened:
With regard to Kenna's Pennsic and the debacle of the last battle, the way I heard the tale (and I bet there is no firm version of the truth at this stage), the sticking point was the bridge battle on the second-last day of fighting. If the centre point of a bridge was being contested at the end of the battle, the rules stated that a hold would be called at the end of the battle and all within nine feet (one spear's length) on either side of the centre of the bridge would be asked to fight it out; all others were not required. It seems the time ran out, the cannon sounded and the marshals went forward to determine who would be asked to stay on the centre bridge (the only bridge still being contested) and fight it out. At this stage something happened; perhaps extra Midrealmers were counted into the eighteen-foot zone, perhaps some Easterners stepped away at the end of a long battle and weren't counted. Anyway, there were great concerns about the fair and chivalrous application of the rules. Queen Kenna became involved in the discussions, which already included King Timothy of the East. As Kenna was a newly authorized fighter and not very knowledgeable about the application of such rules, her Chivalry and Royal Peerage sprang to her defence with great passion. Passionate argument after a long battle in armour on a sunny August day is not a good thing. The dispute escalated, unfortunate words were exchanged and people began to get angry. Sometime in this argument, Duke Dag and an Eastern Duke (I cannot remember which one for sure) disagreed with each other so vehemently that they immediately donned armour, stepped away from the bridge and had a vigorous, personal passage of arms. This solved nothing, of course, and made some of the debaters even more frustrated.
A temporary solution was worked out and the bridge was fought to its conclusion but I believe the East left the field thinking they had been cheated.
The next day there were two battles scheduled. We all fought the first one (I think a mountain pass) and it was a splendid fight. During and/or immediately after the fight the East deliberated and came to the conclusion that their foe was unchivalrous and therefore they would not cross swords with them again. The East and most of its allies formed column and marched off the field before the eyes of the Middle and its allies (including Ealdormere) who were awaiting the signal to form up for the final battle of the War. The East's column ended up at Eastrealm Royal camp where the Eastern populace enthusiastically endorsed their Crown's decision. Many swore fealty to the eastern Crown on the spot as token of support.
The only major Eastern ally that didn't leave the field was Ansteorra. After the East's column had cleared the field, the King of Ansteorra sent a messenger to the Queen of the Middle saying that he and his people had come to the field to fight and would hold their side of that field against all the Middle if need be, but the resulting battle would be brief and not very satisfying for either side. Perhaps the Crowns of the Known World could even the sides and allow the battle to commence in a more sporting manner? A hasty redistribution of allies took place and a splendid battle resulted, thanks to the King of Ansteorra's principles. All participants in that last battle were saddened, however, by the lack of so many Eastern friends and opponents. A pall hung over the War and there was much confusion. The scheduled closing ceremonies for Pennsic didn't happen; there was no thought that the East and its allies would leave their camps and the Midrealm just wandered off. Prince Berus and Princess Marion held court on the battlefield to mark Ealdormere's last day as a martial vassal of the Middle and Queen Kenna joined them to thank Ealdormere and its people for their service, at that war and in the years past. She then looked around, saw no other official acts taking place and used Ealdormere court to declare the War over.
This was a very hard day. Many Easterners (and squires of Eastern Chivalry, especially those squires resident in other Kingdoms) had their fealty tested sorely when ordered to leave the field with a foe awaiting their charge. In my opinion both sides were wrong and both sides acted with chivalry and sadness in their hearts. The saddest part of the whole argument was that the honour of Jafar was one of the factors in the argument, cited by both sides. I knew him well enough to say without hesitation that Jafar would have been appalled to have his name and honour used as a crowbar to pry apart a scheduled battle by honourable opponents.
That very day, people started talking about placing far more emphasis on fun and chivalry at Pennsic and far less on the final score (and the egos and personal interests of the Royalty). Indeed, the following War had no "War Points" and no "winner" or "loser", specifically as a response to this abortive last battle.
Master Hector penned the following poem just after these fateful events:
Queen Gabrielle's Lament (15 August, A.S. XXXIII, at Pennsic XXVII) Brother bound to brother, bonds near breaking, Fealty's true test so proudly tried. The swords we sheathed swing sadly in the scabbards The day no war was done, but something died. I cannot hear glad crashing in our column, Instead I hear bold battle far behind; Is joy behind us, or just sad confusion? I see our sadness: can they see my mind? 'Twas yesterday that tested each side's honour. Today we two decided to decide And now we stand within our crowded courtyard, For fealty's first-fruits herein abide. The standing stone bids no one strike in anger, The standing stone lets no one lie in pain; Beneath the hill-brow none can read the runestone. Which side was right? What sage could e'er explain? The cold winds of September will come swiftly. The legends may lose what we sought to find. Our choice has chased one brother from another; I fear our fate, for this tale is not kind. Oh I fear, for this tale is not kind.
fter returning from Pennsic, the citizens of Eoforwic gathered to elect a new Mayor and Sheriff. The decision had been made to delay the installation of the new Mayor and Sheriff until Market Day, which was scheduled for October, so that Nicolaa would be able to preside at a Market Day, as was customary. Elections had previously drawn as many as forty people. This year, only ten brought forward credentials and proxies. Perhaps it was that all were preoccupied with the future of Ealdormere, now in her last month as a Principality, but in hindsight it was a sign of the troubles that Eoforwic now faced. Albrecht emerged as the victor in the race for Mayor, and Anastasia as the Sheriff.
As it fell, Lady Mayor’s Market Day was the final event in the Principality of Ealdormere. Nicolaa, as Mayor, had found a hall used by the veterans of wars abroad that would work for an intimate event such as Market Day, and had organized the day’s activities. But many more attended than were originally expected, since many formalities needed to be observed in the final Principality Court. On that day did Cynred’s challenge into the White Bear Fian succeed.
Albrecht was installed as the new Mayor, and presented a sword to the Prince and Princess. The sword was found to have "Property of the Kingdom of Ealdormere’ and "Made in Septentria" on it. Baroness Adrielle claimed no knowledge. Foote staggered in with numerous arrows sticking out of his body, claiming that the rebels had given him yet another arrow marked "Kingdom of Ealdormere", another bit of the map, and a wooden box that the Prince and Princess had to sign for. They did so, still puzzled.
n the final Court of Berus and Marion, each Principality order was recognized when its last recipient was called, and then dissolved. The decision had been made that new awards and Orders would be created by the new Kingdom, and so all of the Principality Orders would be forever closed. Amongst these, Gunthar was inducted into the Order of the Bee for his work as seneschal, and became the last to be added to that Order. Berus and Marion became the last members of the Friendship of the Trillium when Lord Cerdic, the Trillium Herald, convened a special Regency Court to bestow that honour. Berus and Marion then released all of their retainers by giving them "pink slips." Finally, they bestowed six rings, each inscribed "B&M the end of the beginning," and wrought by Mistress Breanaidh to six who had been instrumental in the long history of Ealdormere up until that moment: Finnvarr. Ragni. Sylard. Moria. Caitlin. Hector. Ragni bestowed her ring on another who had also played a significant role, and Marion, hearing the tale, had her quietly presented with another. Some of these rings were later passed to others. Only one task remained, and it would wait for one more week.
n the twenty-fourth day of October, in the thirty-fourth year of the Society, people traveled from many, many miles to help celebrate a birthday. And indeed, Their Majesties Dag and Elayna had just wished Prince Berus a happy birthday and made to close Court, when a booming voice form the back of the hall shouted "Hold!"
In marched David and Elina. "We have business," continued David. With them was the Lawspeaker carrying a banner with the full achievement of arms of Ealdormere—not the Principality of Ealdormere, but the Kingdom, charged with the motto "Stabimus, Vincemus, Consurgemus."
Dag greeted them courteously. "What would you have of Us?" "We come to claim that which is ours," said David. Elina continued, "by the laws of the Society and declaration of the people…" David finished the thought. "We would lead Ealdormere hence, as a Laurel Kingdom in its own right."
Princess Marion arose, and spoke vehemently. "You! All along we suspected, but now you admit it!" The guards of the Middle Kingdom and the Prince began to reach for their weapons as she continued, " For many months we have heard tales of a Kingdom of Ealdormere, but none would confess to being the source of the sedition. Now rebellion gains a face and treason a name." She indicated a pile of arrows and pieces of a map. "We have collected much of your property this summer; these have appeared at each event we have attended within our lands. Take back your goods."
Berus stood up and moved towards David. "You stand before the Crown of the Middle! We hold these lands by Their right!" David moved to meet his challenge, but Elina cried " Hold! If you would fight, have you no better foe than each other, than ourselves? We would protect these lands; we would serve these people, as you have done. We would take your place over these lands, but we would have the freedom to act and no liege to swear to."
Dag’s face was grim. "This is a bold claim, and its consequences grave," he said. "Sir David, you are a member of Our Chivalry. Do you hold your fealty so cheap?" "On the contrary, Your Majesty," replied David, "my fealty is mine to hold; I believe it should be held in its proper place, in Ealdormere."
Dag paused for a moment, then spoke. "Know you this: you will prove this claim before Us. Now, Lord Dragon, assemble my counselors learned in the law."
The Dragon Herald then called forth the Curia of the Middle Kingdom, and the King told Baron Aaron, the seneschal of the Middle Kingdom, "We are confronted with an astounding claim, and must needs find if it be just or no." Baron Aaron looked puzzled. "This is most perplexing, and in all perplexing matters it is prudent to define the problem. He asked David and Elina, "Excellencies, do you dispute Their Draconian Majesties' right to sit the Dragon Throne?" "No; never," replied David. "Do you dispute the right of Their Majesties' Heirs to assume the Dragon Thrones when fate shall take Their Majesties from us (may that day never come)?" asked Baron Aaron. "We do not challenge their line," replied Elina.
After a moment, the Seneschal’s face lit up. "Aha!" said he, "High King and Queen, this is a case of secession. While rare, this is not unheard of in the laws of the land. There is an ancient precedent, when Chepe of the Line of Ternon, who was second son of Your Majesty's famed ancestor Hugo, did lead the people of Calontir to secede from the Middle." The Queen was perplexed and asked what that meant. Aaron explained. "Within the laws of Your Majesty's lands there is a recognized precedent for such a claim as put forth by Their Excellencies. Should Your Majesties find the claim is upheld by the facts attested to by witnesses, the claim must be honoured and a new Kingdom will be seen this day. Should the case be NOT proven, Your Majesty's justice will provide the outcome."
The king looked at David and Elina for a long moment, and then said, "Such are the stakes in the game you have chosen, Your Excellencies. Herald, summon the Chivalry of all lands. "
When the Chivalry had assembled, the King continued. "Sir David, as your claim must be judged, We are pleased to seek the counsel of your Peers. As a courtesy, We would receive counsel from Peers of your own Order. Good Sirs, We charge you to stand and be vigilant, and be true champions of the right. We would see justice upheld in this place."
rincess Marion was in a state of great consternation. "Are we forsworn?" she cried. "If David and Elina are rightful King and Queen here, has our loyalty been misdirected?" But Berus reassured her. "No! We have been true to Dag and Elayna as we were to Kenna before them. We will ever be true. As law may dictate, so shall we be guided. At day's end we shall serve the true King and Queen over Ealdormere. Let us trust in the wisdom of these counselors, as they have trusted in us."
King Dag then asked David and Elina to summon their witnesses and to make their case. David turned to the audience. "Who shall uphold our claim?" said he. "Who shall speak for the Northlands?"
Duke Finnvarr de Taahe came forward. Beside him, carrying the banner of Eoforwic, walked Albrecht Stampher, tenth Lord Mayor of the Royal City. "I am the first witness," said Finnvarr, "for mine was the first voice heard in Ealdormere, so many years ago. When I came to this place, there was but ignorance and savagery. On the beaches of the Inland Sea I raised the Laurel standard and gathered around me the first people of Eoforwic. From that hamlet we gazed outwards and saw promise. From the mists of Rising Waters to the beloved shires north of Skraeling Althing, that promise today is fulfilled. In the name of the Royal City that flourishes by the Inland Sea, we stand with Ealdormere."
After Finnvarr had retired and the banner moved to the side, Baroness Adrielle came forward, accompanied by the banner of Septentria. "Once my fief was all the lands that Duke Finnvarr found. The land grew and the people stood apart, in strength and pride. The spirit remains the same, wonder and joy, accomplishment and understanding." She paused only a second. "I stand for the people of Septentria. As Aeden and Kaffa's daughter, the past and present speak for the future. We stand with Ealdormere."
Then came forward Baron Erec and Baroness Xristina of Skraeling Althing, who said, "As Her Excellency Septentria says, so says Skraeling Althing, the ancient land where the Northern dawn begins." Baron Malik and Baroness Genevieve added, "So also says Rising Waters, vanguard of the North against all the Southron." Baron Vali and Baroness Ragnheithr continued, "So also says Ramshaven, bold in battle and defiant in peace," and finally, Baron Tarketai said "So also says Ben Dunfirth, the citadel of our freedom this day.," before descending from the dais to stand with the other baronies and their banners. Baroness Thyra added "We stand with our friends from across the North and together..." and all the Barons and Baronesses, past and present, said "We stand with Ealdormere." Not forgotten were the Shires of Ealdormere, who processed with their own banner. Mistress Ragni, Seneschal of Flaming Skies, said, "Like Their Excellencies, we of the Shires have held lands in direct service to the Crown. That service shall not change; today the Crown shall." The seneschals of all the shires then added, "We stand with Ealdormere."
"Your will is clear, said the Queen. "We would not have those bound to Us in service whose hearts lead them elsewhere." " We would deal justly with the desires of Our Barons and Baronesses," added the King. Then the Dragon Herald addressed them. "Well does the Crown appreciate the strength of the Baronies and Shires of this land. Your Baronies are the great stones that anchor a Kingdom, your Shires the keystones. Your people are the mortar that gives a Kingdom form and substance. Your Excellencies are architects of greatness. Their Majesties here thank you for your service and charge you to continue in this glad duty, as you have done until now. Will you do this?" And all replied, "We will, upon our honour." "Then, as you have done in Their Majesties' name and service, you are charged to continue offering your service where your hearts shall lead you."
he King and Queen held wide their arms. "We here release the Baronies and Shires of Ealdormere from their ties with Us. We here release the Barons and Baronesses of Ealdormere from their fealty to Us. We return to them their homage," said Dag. "The land is free, under the stewardship of people of wisdom and good faith, added Elayna. "We are content." Then the Barons and Baronesses removed their coronets and moved, along with the banner, to the side of the hall.
Then came forth the Prince’s Council. Mistress Moria, Seneschal of Ealdormere, said, "The rule of the land is based on the rule of law. By law and custom, the claim of David and Elina is just and unassailable." "In peace and war, with wisdom and toil, we shall strive to serve our true King and Queen," added Sergeant Konrad, the Earl Marshal of Ealdormere. Finally, Lord Aidan, the Chronicler of Ealdormere, said "We have heard the people in Canton and Shire. We have read their words and seen their devotion. At all levels, in all measures of service, whither they lead we follow." Then all the Great Officers said, "We stand with Ealdormere."
So Dag and Elayna released the Great Officers, and the Dragon Herald said, "By Their Majesties' command, those here assembled are no longer numbered among the Regional deputies in service to Their Majesties' Great Officers of State. Further, the record of this court will show that all the officers of the Middle Kingdom active within Their Majesties' Principality of Ealdormere have left the service of this Kingdom and of the Dragon Throne. This have they freely asked of the Crown; this do Their Majesties freely allow. The Chronicler of the Middle Kingdom shall strike their names from the rolls of Their Majesties' servants published in the Seneschallorum of this Kingdom. Having said this, Their Majesties charge you to hold yourselves in readiness, should your rightful Crown call upon you." "We will, upon our honour," said the officers. The King then thanked them and all the officers who had served in Ealdormere over the years, and the Great Officers moved to the rear of the dais.
Next came the Royal Peers who dwelt in Ealdormere, accompanied by banners signifying the Royal coronets and the Order of the Rose. "Their Majesties greet with love Their cousins," said the
Dragon Herald. "You have heard the claim of the pretender, Earl Failsworth, and the heartfelt counsel given by His Grace your cousin and by the landed Barony and officers of these lands. How say you in this matter?"
Duchess Caitlin addressed the King and Queen. "Your Majesties, fate gives the Royal Peers of our lands months in which their voices ring forth and years after to listen. Over many years we have heard the whispers of the few become the shouts of many. Today we hear the anthems of a Kingdom. We cannot shut our ears to the will of the people." "We stand with Ealdormere," said the Royal Peers in unison.
And Lord Dragon addressed them. "On this day of days the Crown, the Royal Family and this Kingdom owe Your Graces and Your Excellencies thanks for deeds past and services rendered for the good of all. Through your efforts across Our Society, all here have come to this moment. Such is your legacy, and Their Majesties' Kingdom shall not forget. Your place in the history of the Middle Kingdom is secure. You, the Duchy, County, Viscounty and the Ladies of the Rose, have been the pillars of Their Majesties' Kingdom; you shall be the foundation of your rightful Crown hereafter." And as they had before, the King and Queen held wide their hands and released them from their oaths of fealty to the Middle, and gave them leave to depart.
he Barons and Baronesses of Court were the next to appear, like the other groups accompanied by a banner. The Queen addressed them. "Your Excellencies of Our Court, you are the epitome of grace, of courtly bearing and of nobility. Speak to Us of how your conscience guides you." Baroness Tamarra Amalthea de Romany spoke. "Your Majesties, on behalf of Their Excellencies here assembled, I would hope to speak truly and with honour. We have served the Crown; we ever serve the people the Crown represents. Today and hereafter that Crown is David, Elina and their line." "We stand with Ealdormere," said those assembled.
The Dragon Herald addressed them. "The silver coronet of your station stands for excellence. For excellence of word and deed and heart were you elevated to this station. On this day of days Their Majesties charge you be faithful to your standard of excellence in manner, in dress, in deportment and in service which the Dragon Throne was pleased to recognize." "Will you do this for us?" asked the King. "We will, upon our honour," said the Barons and Baronesses of Court. "Then Our legacy is assured. Know that you are ever welcome in Our court hereafter," said the Queen, giving them leave to depart.
The Peaceful Orders were next to appear, accompanied by banners emblazoned with the badges of the Laurel and Pelican. " Good Masters and Mistresses of the Arts, the Sciences and of Service to all, as your Patroness We address you," said Queen Elayna. "You have heard the claim of Their Excellencies. As Peers of Our Realm, what say you?" Baroness Tsivia spoke for the Laurels. "We are sworn to create, to craft and thus to serve. The labours of our hands and the wiles of our wits are the people's to call upon first, last and ever. We hear them; we heed them." Baroness Fiona spoke for the Pelicans. " We are sworn to serve, and our wise counsel is the Crown's to call upon. You have called; hear us. Hear the people who are our life-blood and our cause. Like our brothers and sisters of the Laurel, we hear them; we heed them." "We stand with Ealdormere," said the members of both Orders together.
"So be it," said the Queen. " The arts and sciences are the epitome of truth, and We will not question the devotion or honour of the service of those gathered here. We are your Patroness; We abide by your will." Then the Dragon Herald spoke. "Gentle Masters and Mistresses, you have been the artists and artisans of beauty and function in Their Majesties' lands. You have laboured long and hard for the good of all. Today, as before, the Crown thanks you for that service. As days pass and other faces may gaze down upon your councils, Their Majesties charge you to be steadfast in your purpose and joyful in your process." Then, as they had before, the King and Queen released those Laurels and Pelicans who were bound to them in fealty by throwing wide their hands, and gave them gentle parting words.
ing Dag then summoned the Knights of Ealdormere. When they had gathered, bearing a banner, the Dragon Herald asked whether they were bound to Their Majesties in fealty and homage. "By oath and honour, I am," they replied. "My Lords," said the King, "rank upon rank your neighbours have chosen a path true to their hearts. What say you to the justice of this claim?" Sir Mordain Blackcloak spoke. "King Dag, as good Knights and true we are sworn to defend the right. This we shall defend today. The ancient claim of rightful secession is upheld in this place by David and Elina, whose claim we support and whose right we shall uphold, now and ever. We stand by them." "We stand with Ealdormere," said the Chivalry. And the King bade them return to their seats amongst the Chivalry of the Known World.
At last, Queen Elayna turned to the populace. Some thousand people had come to see this moment. "People of Ealdormere, you have heard the hearts and minds of your Nobles, but they serve you. We ask you now, good people of the North, where do you stand? " The voice was thunderous. "We stand with Ealdormere." And all stood. And the Queen said, "Never will it be said that the Middle held any against their will." She bade the Dragon Herald to release the populace from fealty, and he said, "Their Majesties charge all those citizens of Their beloved Principality of Ealdormere who still are in fealty to the Crown of the Middle Kingdom to stand at this time." And all sat down. Only Lord Justinian Clarus remained standing, as Dag and Elayna had not yet been to Ealdormere during their reign. So the Dragon Herald asked Justinian to place his hands together before him, and then the King and Queen held their arms apart, releasing him from fealty.
To the sound of drums, Thorgrim, Khagan of the Rozakii, and a representative of the Khan of the Great Dark Horde also came forward with banners and stated "We stand with Ealdormere." Their banners were placed alongside all those that had come before.
Now, the Kings of AEthelmearc and Meridies also stood to pledge their friendship and say "We stand with Ealdormere. Ambassadors from many lands, including the West, East, An Tir, and Calontir came forth as well and stated "We stand with Ealdormere." And their banners joined the others.
At last, the King turned to the Prince and Princess. "Your Highnesses," he said, "this land was granted to you in fief, and We would defend your rights in it. We would hear your counsel in this matter." "Indeed, Your people have made their will clear to Us," added the Queen. "What say you?"
he Prince and Princess looked at each other, eyes shining, and Marion said, "All the world shall remember this day. When the tales are told, let it be said that the Prince and Princess of the North were loyal to the right above all else." Then they stood, removed their coronets, and lay them on their thrones. Behind them, the banner of the Principality was furled. " What claim have we beyond the people's claim?" asked Prince Berus. "We ask Your Majesties what further service you would have of us." "Kneel before Us, then, said the King. "In recognition of service receive your due, and hear Our will." Lord Dragon continued, "Since the days of the Princes of Calontir, it has been the custom that the Princes and Princesses of the Principalities of the Middle shall serve Their lands as law allows, and thereafter shall join the Viscounty. A Viscount and a Viscountess are persons of great worth, having given much to their Principality and its people. Their wisdom shall be at their Sovereign's call; their experience shall support the land they led. Henceforth they shall be called "Your Excellency" or "My Lord Viscount" or "My Lady Viscountess". They shall be known by their coronets of silver, embattled, and by their Achievements of Arms which may display a Dragon as a supporter." And the King placed a coronet of embattled silver on the head of Berus, while the Queen did likewise to Marion. "Your Excellencies," said the Dragon Herald, "it is the custom of this Kingdom that newly-made Royal Peers are offered the opportunity to swear fealty to the Crown. In the fullness of time, will you so swear?" "Yes," said the newly-recognized Viscount and Viscountess.
King Dag bade them to rise, and said, "By Our hands you are Viscount and Viscountess of Ealdormere, as is just; and with that act We end your line. The Middle Kingdom shall no more have cause to make a Prince in Ealdormere. My Lord Seneschal, mark Our will and record it for all time. My Lord Dragon, as of this day We elevate the Coronets of Northshield, heirs of the line of Daffydd and Gwynyth, to the station of second Princes of the Middle Kingdom, junior in this land only to Ourselves and Our Heir. Let all know Our will in this matter throughout the Middle Kingdom."
"Our oaths are echoes," said Berus. " The sovereignty of the Prince and Princess of a Principality called Ealdormere is done. The last are finished; the first await their destiny." " One chapter is closed; another begins," added Marion. "Let us take our place. Farewell, Dag and Elayna, Crown of the Middle. Our service to you is done; our service to the North begins anew." And Berus handed the Sword of State to David, and Marion handed the Calontir mace to Elina, and then turned to face the dais, saying together, "We stand with Ealdormere." The Queen gave them leave to depart.
"All that remains," said the Queen, " is to hear the counsel of Sir David's Peers. Earl Marshal, what counsel do you give us this day?" Sir Miles, the Earl Marshal of the Middle, asked the other knights to assemble, and briefly debated the matter. "Your Majesties," he said, "the evidence is vast, and the support Sir David and his Lady hold is unshakable. The law must side with the claim, as it did side with Chepe's claim so many years ago. Such is our counsel." "We have heard the will of the people," said King Dag, "and the Law is clear." He asked the Dragon Herald to call the Knights of Ealdormere, and drew out Oathbinder, the Sword of State of the Middle Kingdom.
"This is the storied blade with which We, and many of you, were dubbed Knight," said Dag to the assembled Chivalry. "Ours is the Crown whose line did accept your fealty and homage. One last time, brothers of the Chivalry of Ealdormere, join with Us in the rites of Our Order. We shall not require you to repeat the oath you have sworn, time and again, to Our Crown and Our Line. One last time We charge you be good Knights and true, reverent and generous, shields of the weak, obedient to your Liege-Lord, foremost in battle, courteous at all times, champions of the right and the good. With those words ringing in your ears and burning in your hearts, We release you from your fealty to Us and Our Line. We return to you your homage." "You have Our leave to depart," added the Queen. "Beloved Knights, We shall miss you. Farewell."
avid then addressed his brother knights. "My friends and brothers in arms, attend your Crown now. In the names of the Order we are sworn to, and the people that Order serves, bear witness to great deeds." And the knights moved to the side of the dais. King Dag then thanked the Chivalry of the Known World, and gave them leave to depart.
King Dag addressed his herald. "Master Dmitri, Let Us proceed with the making of a King and Queen. Baron Aaron, let your records mark this day as the second lawful secession in the history of the mighty Middle Kingdom."
"A King and Queen have been made this day, before the eyes of all," stated David. "What remains is the bestowing of the outward and visible signs of the spirit these good people harbour." And then Elina asked that the Crowns of the North be brought forward, and Lord Thevenin, who had wrought them, brought them forth, and placed them in the hands of the King and Queen of the Middle.
"The time has come for you to take your rightful place and to assume the mantle of duty," said the Queen to Elina. "The Crown is more than the circlet you bear, or this circlet in Our hands. It is the legacy of victory and the hope of the people it serves." The King directed his words to David. "Well have you spoken, Earl David. We release you from your Fealty. Your destiny is your own. Your people have created you a King, so We shall not. However, let Us remind you that as they have created you, so it is that your service is now to them."
Behind David and Elina, their retainers furled their personal banners, and the Chivalry, Great Offices, and Landed Barony who had stayed to witness the deed knelt.
David took the Crown from King Dag and crowned himself.
And all the banners dipped as the Landed Barons once again took up their Coronets of State.
"First needful deeds must be done, then needful words may be said," said David, in the first moments, King of Ealdormere, but the deed not yet complete. The Kingdom would not exist until a Queen was crowned. Queen Elayna handed him the Queen’s Crown.
Elina knelt, and as David placed the Crown on her head, the banner of the Kingdom of Ealdormere was raised high on the dais, even higher than the banner of the Middle, which had so recently held rightful precedence, because in the place of the second-born Principality of the Middle Kingdom now stood the sixteenth sovereign Kingdom of the Known world.
And thus began the first Court of David and Elina, Rex et Regina Ealdormeris. The Seneschal of Ealdormere and the Trillium Herald assumed their rightful places on the dais, as the Seneschal of the Middle and the Dragon Herald retired.
ing David and Queen Elina knelt, the Sword of State between them, and swore an oath.
"This land to love. Each gift to give. Wise ways to cherish. High trust to hold.
One rule of law. Crown's to command it,
Law-made, law-making: Trust taken freely.
Long line to enter, Days due for glory. New reign well numbered. Our oath now bound."
"We kneel this last time, before all Our people," said King David, "and then We shall kneel no more." " As your King and Queen," continued Elina as she and David stood, David holding high the sword of state, "We stand with Ealdormere."
And the hall rang with the sounds of voices and bells.
The Thrones of the Kingdom were brought forth. The Seneschal and the Trillium Herald stood in front of the thrones, blocking the way. "My Lord and my Lady," said King David, "We would open Our first court, for We have a duty to perform and business to do. Accept from Our hands the warrants that empower you." And the King and Queen handed the Seneschal and theTrillium Herald their warrants, thus creating the first Officers of the Kingdom, and they moved to their accustomed places after pledging their service. And Lord Cerdic. Trillium Herald, did say, "Here opens the court of David and Elina, lawful Monarchs over the Laurel Kingdom of Ealdormere. Their Majesties bid all seek what comfort they may."
"The proper rites and rituals are accomplished, said the King. "The land has a new Queen to inspire her and a new King to lead her." "Let Us proceed with the business at hand," said the Queen. "Let Us bind Ourselves to the land and the land to Us."
And the Trillium Herald called forward the landed Barons and Baronesses, and together they swore an oath: "I here swear fealty and homage to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received, to be Your vassal.. I shall hold Your Barony in fief until the Crown releases me from this oath. I shall strive to ensure that the barony’s people prosper and its riches increase. I shall lead it in honour and shall bestow honour as is meet."
And King David and Queen Elina replied, "Your words We hear; their worth We know. Your house We guard; your name We honour. Your pledge We hold and with pride accept. Your Sovereigns We stand and with grace will govern."
The King and Queen then invited the Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth , in whose lands they currently sojourned, to join them on the dais, and gave the other Barons and Baronesses leave to depart. Their banners followed them.
Next, Their Majesties summoned the Chivalry, who together swore their time-honoured oath: " I here swear fealty and do homage to the Crown of Ealdormere, to ever be a good Knight and true, reverent and generous, shield of the weak, obedient to my liege-lord, foremost in battle, courteous at all times, champion of the right and the good. Thus swear I." And King David and Queen Elina returned their oath with the same words they had first said to the Barons and Baronesses, and gave the Knights leave to depart, and with them went their banner.
The Trillium Herald bade the Laurels who wished to swear fealty to come forward, and this was their oath: " I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received.
The labours of my hands and the delight of my heart I pledge to the benefit of our Kingdom. May my word be true and my counsel wise. May Crown and people find me faithful to the ideals of this order. This do I swear." And King David and Queen Elina answered with their customary words, and gave the Laurels leave to depart, and with them their banner.
The Order of the Pelican was called forward next, and those who wished to swear fealty made an oath: "I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. The fruit of my labours and the joy of service I pledge to the benefit of our Kingdom. May my word be true and my counsel wise. May Crown and people find me faithful to the ideals of this order. This do I swear." And the King and Queen answered with their customary words and then gave the Pelicans leave to depart, and with them their banner.
he Great Officers were the next to swear, and a bound copy of the Laws of Ealdormere was brought forward, and they touched it as they swore: "I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, to sit among Your high counselors. I shall serve You with diligence, offering wisdom without reservation and truth without fear. I shall instruct my deputies as law requires and shall discharge my duties as best I can, for the good of Crown and Kingdom. Thus swear I." And after the customary response, Queen Elina asked the Exchequer and Chronicler to sit in Parliament on benches at the front of the dais, and gave the other officers leave to depart.
The Royal Peers were called forth, and swore: "I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. As I have been served, so may I serve. As I have held trust, may I be trusted. As I hold great station, may I be held in high regard by Crown and people, for good cause and in service of the great endeavour of Ealdormere. This is my oath." And after the customary response, the King asked the Royal Peers to also join him in Parliament. Their banners were placed behind the benches.
Next, the Crown called the Barons and Baronesses of Court and declared they were welcome in their Court. They then addressed those who wished to swear fealty, and gave the others leave to depart. Those who remained swore this oath: "I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, in faith with oaths given and received. By my honour as a Courtier I shall bring grace to every table I share and honour to every hall I enter. As I have been honoured, let me bring honour to others by word and deed, for the greater glory of Crown and Kingdom. Thus swear I." And after the customary words, they, too, were given leave to depart, and with them their banner.
Their Majesties summoned next Mistress Etaoin, the Lawspeaker of the Kingdom "Gentle Mistress," asked Lord Trillium. " you have served this land and Their Majesty's line as Lawspeaker. Would you continue in this office, in service to Crown and people?" "I would and I will," answered Mistress Etaoin. "This pleases Us well," said the Queen. Lord Trillium continued. " Their Majesties charge you to continue as you have begun. Let your sword be reason. Let your shield be the law. Let your words be the clarion of honour and the right. Their Majesties ask you now to sit among Their counselors in Parliament, continuing in your duties, with Their thanks and those of all the people of Ealdormere." And Etaoin took her place in Parliament.
Finally, the people came forth to pledge their fealty—first, the Great Houses, and then those not so affiliated. Nearly half of those in attendance came forward to swear, and they filled the aisles to the back of the hall. Here was the oath of the people: I here swear fealty to the Crown of Ealdormere, my lawful monarchs. As the Crown may lead, may I follow. As the Crown may call, may I answer.
As the Crown sets the example, may I act. May I strive and seek, learn and excel, for the good of all and for the glory of Ealdormere. Thus swear I." And the King and Queen once again responded, "Your words We hear; their worth We know. Your house We guard; your name We honour. Your pledge We hold and with pride accept. Your Sovereigns We stand and with grace will govern."
And Elina addressed them, saying, "Good Our people, yours is the most precious gift of all. We give you leave to depart, sure in the knowledge that should We call, you will answer Us." And the people returned to their seats.
ing David then gestured to the benches at the front, and said, "Gentle friends, before you is assembled Our first Parliament, with representatives of the Estates of Our Kingdom, and all Our noble cousins of the Royal Peerage, in their various degrees. With the privilege of sitting in Our councils come the responsibilities of honest counsel and true relay of the concerns of the land, from Crown to people and from people to Crown." "May Our deliberations be wise; may Our acts thereafter uphold the right and strengthen the Northlands," added the Queen.
"Your Majesties," said the Trillium Herald, "now that Your first order of business is completed and Your Parliament sits, I have a duty to perform. It is the law of the land and the requirement of Corpora that the laws of this Kingdom be read into the record, as Your Majesties' Seneschal has advised me." King David then charged him to commence this duty, and Lord Cerdic read the first law:
RTICLE I - Preamble and General Provisions I-100 All subjects and guests to the Kingdom of Ealdormere are bound by the Revised Statutes of Canada and Ontario, the By-laws and Corpora of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Inc., decisions of the Board of Directors and the Laws of Ealdormere.
I-200 The Sovereign and Consort are the premier peers of Ealdormere and, as such, are bound by the laws that follow, as surely as Their subjects are bound by them.
"Truly this is a goodly law," said Queen Elina, "and We are certain other laws may be just as goodly. However, it does not please Us to see all present seated in this hall throughout the recitation of this goodly law's siblings. In other quarters We would have read into the record the wisdom of Our counselors learned in law." "We are indeed so minded," added the King, "unless Our people would tarry here throughout all the recitation?"
The response of the crowd made it clear that the King and Queen had made a wise decision. "So be it," said King David. "To assist in this endeavour, We require the services of Our cousins the Duchy, County and Viscounty of Ealdormere." They turned to their parliament. "Beloved and trusty cousins, We would ask a great service of you," said the King. The Queen continued. "On this day of days there is much to be done, and We would accomplish more if We had other sets of ears to hear and other sets of hands to act. All of you have presided over courts; will you be Our hands and ears in a court this day?" "We will, upon our honour," said the Royal Peers. The King and Queen then empowered them to hold a Regency Court and to take turns in reading out the laws.
his settled, King David and Queen Elina greeted their Royal Cousins in attendance and received embassies, and shared bread and salt with the Great Households of the Great Dark Horde and the
Rozakii. Many gifts were given, among them a crossbow of marvelous design from their sister kingdom of Calontir and a gem of great size from the Hordesmen.
After all the guests had been greeted and gifts exchanged, King David said, "Much business has been done, and the time for all to revel, to tourney and to feast draws nigh." "Are all needful words said? Are all needful deeds done?" asked the Queen, and the Lawspeaker stepped forward.
"One thing remains, High King and Queen," said Mistress Etaoin. "Let all know my rede, by my word and by the trust I hold from Crown and people both. In the eyes of law and custom, what has been done is done. In the eyes of great and common, what has been done is done. In the annals of our land, what has been done is done, and done well. May our true King reign forever! May our true Queen ever sit by his side! Waeshael David! Waeshael Elina! Waeshael Ealdormere!"
he Trillium Herald then began the words needed to suspend Court and commanded the people to rise, when a voice from the back of the hall shouted "Hold!"
It was Duke Talymar, along with Baron Frederic and and Baroness Tamarra. A pledge made long ago by Duchess Eislinn of blessed memory was to be fulfilled. When Duchess Eislinn lay dying, she gave her ring to her husband, and had him pledge to place it on the finger of the first Queen of Ealdormere. Duke Talymar had given this ring to Frederic and Tamarra for safekeeping. The hall fell silent, as Duke Talymar placed the ring on Elina’s finger. And tears filled the eyes of the Queen—and not a few others.
And so ended the morning’s business, as Their Majesties led the grand procession from the hall, followed by their Royal Cousins, the Parliament, and the Baron and Baroness of Ben Dunfirth, along with all their banners. At last, the Banner of the Kingdom of Ealdormere stood alone on the dais.
It was a great and glorious day of celebration, unlike any other, with some thousand people in attendance. The Middle Kingdom presented the new Kingdom of Ealdormere with a generous gift of nearly $10,000 to ensure its prosperity. It had been noted by many that in latter years, the Middle Kingdom had grown closer to its Principality, with the Kings and Queens of the Middle no longer in attendance only at Coronet Tourneys or Investitures, but at other events as well. The bitterness of the past was largely now a part of history.
he Coronation ceremony had lasted just an hour and a half, leaving much time for visiting and tourneying. Many from Eoforwic had contributed to the day. Ceridwyn had painted the banner borne in with David and Elina. Hector had written much of the ceremony, and Nicolaa had spent the ceremony at the back of the hall, orchestrating each procession. She had also sewn new cloaks for the King and Queen, and Ysabeau had made enameled clasps for the cloaks. Eve had helped sew some of the banners of the various Orders, and Geoffrey and Raimon had made banner poles.
A history display was coordinated by Tsivia, who had written a history of Ealdormere and raised many funds for the kingdom thereby. Visitors from the Middle Kingdom had brought along the Great Boke of Ceremonies of the Middle Kingdom, which included the work of Robert of Two Cliffs and other Ealdormerians. The first Coronets of Ealdormere were displayed, as was the One True Sword of Brusten de Bearsul—that weapon which had thrown the first blow in Eoforwic many years before. An old banner and propaganda flyer from PACE was even displayed on the table.
Marian of Heatherdale had laboured for many months to write a song appropriate for this day. She had decided to tell the history of Ealdormere in song and verse, and so created an epic in the tradition of the bards of old, reading the histories of Eoforwic and Ealdormere, and drawing on the bardic tradition as it was handed down. In the evening, in the midst of the feast, she was raised high on a table, and a hush shivered through the quiet as her voice soared. The song ended as she described the events of that morning:
In song-softened silence the populace stood
And the will of the land intoned
Sweet was the harvest that grew from the past
When the seeds of the future were sown
Soft was the shining of Ealdormere’s eyes
Who had gathered to witness a birth
Bright was the legacy’s circle that passed
From the first to the last to the first
And so the day ended, and the future began.
© Copyright 2005, Susan Carroll-Clark. All rights reserved.