Long an annual tradition, the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael held Masked Ball on Saturday the 6th of December.

hedgeThe author of this missive spent the day in the kitchen cooking the feast (which was well received; battle was almost fought over the leftover cheese gnocchi and the pâté-filled hedgehogs were only remnants in their nests of greens at evening’s end), but news was heralded in from all activities.

Masked Ball is about the dancing, and this year was no exception. Dance mistress Lady Maeve Ni Siurtain reported, “With some hesitation, I agreed to teach and run dancing at Masked Ball. I was very surprised when a fairly large group showed up for the instruction time in the afternoon! The room allotted was even a bit small for all the people wanting to learn. Brief instruction was given on some basic steps and movements and then we tried dancing Sellenger’sRound, an English country dance. There was a bit of confusion and some funny moments. What I thought would be about an hour of class turned into one and a half hours!

Lady Maeve leads the dancing,

Lady Maeve leads the dancing,

After the tournaments were done, the main hall was available for dancing before court. We danced the Lorayne Almain, Hole in the Wall, and even Strip the Willow!  Every one, especially Their Excellencies Carolus and Isolde, enjoyed themselves. Their were two gentles who traveled from the Midrealm to come and dance, and there was at least one newcomer dancing as well.  I had great pleasure teaching and dancing with many good gentles, and would do so again if asked.”

fightThe martial arts were also well-represented with heavy fighting and a fencing tournament. Children delighted in making gingerbread houses and joining in the dancing.

Many deserving gentles received awards in Baronial Court, but the one award that brought the populace to their feet was the awarding of the Tangled Rose to Baroness Morgan Elandris. This is an award for those who have given almost a lifetime of service to the Barony. Baron Carolus and Baroness Isolde spoke movingly of her service to the Hael from its very beginnings, and the Vivats could be heard well beyond the hall.

Baroness Morgan Elandris receives the Tangled Rose.

Baroness Morgan Elandris receives the Tangled Rose.

As the lights went down for feast, we rejoiced in a day well spent with friends, and dinner to come with our Hael family.

~submitted by Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin,
who thanks to the help of her amazing kitchen staff was out and finished before the clock struck 9 of the night.

(photos by Mikus)