Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the merriment of Steltonwald 12th Night.
The Canton of Steltonwald held its Twelfth Night event on the last day of January. Steltonwald is best known for hosting Æthelmearc War Practice, at which the entire Canton puts in countless hours of work, so for their 12th Night they made the decision some years ago to let others handle the work and just enjoy themselves. Hence, each year the feast is catered by a local restaurant. A few years ago, the event was moved to the Hyeholde Restaurant, an upscale establishment built almost 80 years ago to look like a French chateau. For $40 per person, 12th Night attendees were provided with valet parking, servers offering drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and a gourmet meal held in a large and beautiful private dining area where they could all enjoy each other’s company at their leisure.
Their Majesties held a court that spanned the entire evening, pausing the festivities from time to time to bestow awards on various gentles. Notable among the recognition given was a Keystone to the autocrat, Lady Teresa Alvarez, a Fleur to THLady Madeleine de l’Este for her skill in costuming, and a Court Barony to Master Robert Marsden.
Late in the evening Their Majesties called forward Master Jacopo di Niccolo and Master Creature Twinedragon, called Creador, and enquired of the populace which of the two was the “most evil.” While Master Creador’s son, Lord Gunther Schwartzrosen, maintained that his father was clearly the more evil for the simple act of having unleashed Gunther on the world, many others cried that since it was well-known that everything is Master Jacopo’s fault, he was obviously the more evil. Accusations flew back and forth. but in the end it was agreed to much laughter that they both men were truly evil.
After dinner and court, Steltonwald’s infamous “Mongolian style” gift exchange began, with Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile and Master Kameshima Zentarou Umakai serving as masters of the ceremonies. Each participant had brought a wrapped gift which was placed on a table, and then received a number from Lady Teresa. As each number was called, the holder of that number could choose a gift from the table or steal a gift from another gentle. As usual, alcoholic items (especially several bottles of whiskey, rum, and gin) were hotly contested, but a highly decorated drinking horn, a beaded veil, and a bag of Japanese silks were also exchanged many times.
When the final gift from the table had been unwrapped, the heralds announced that the festivities were at an end, and gentles wound their way up the stairs to retrieve their vehicles. Some went home while others retired to a nearby hotel to continue their celebrations by the pools and hot tubs, cheered by a pleasant evening with friends.