Why yes, we were fencing, heavy fighting, and shooting archery outside, in December, in the Rhydderich Hael! A more amazing day could not possibly have been ordered (although rumor has it that the autocrat put in a special request for her soon-to-be invested protégé and apprentice). It was a day filled with pageantry, many of the activities we all enjoy, and fabulous feasting.
Highlights of the day included Their Excellencies Carolus and Isolda holding their final court and bidding farewell to the populace as they went into well-deserved retirement, the actual Investiture of Magnus de Lyons and Miriel du Lac, the vigil and elevation of Baron Meszaros Janos to the Order of the Laurel, and simply enjoying time with all of our friends.
On the martial front the Heavy fighters enjoyed a Roman Melee put together by Sir Callidus and Lord Horatius. The Rapier Fighters had a two- hour bear pit run by Baron Caleb. Overall winner was Master Fergus atte Meade with 150 points, plus he marshaled. For archery, THL Rendell and his son Gawin Hawkseye put together a last minute range, since the weather was so nice. Theme was “Revenge of the Ranges”, using 6 of the most recent challenge ranges in the Hael. Gawin won. (See more information in the court reports below.)
In the words of our new Baron, Magnus de Lyons:
“For me Investiture was exactly the sort of event I wanted to mark the start of our reign with and something we can take very little credit for. Her Excellency Miriel and I share the belief that at any event fun should come first and Investiture was a wonderful example of this. During the day people enjoyed heavy combat, fencing, and even (I still can’t believe it given the time of year) an archery tournament! Inside we had a modest Art and Science contest, scrumptious side board, and a visually stunning vigil set up. All this was drawn to a conclusion with a stomach busting feast! I think the only complaint I had is not having the time to jump in and personally enjoy all the activities myself! Granted a lot of this was at the whim of Mother Nature and the fortuitous luck we had with the weather but the efforts of the event staff played an equal if not larger part.
Having said that, I think enough other people will talk about the activities. Instead I wanted to speak to the hard work and dedication of the people behind the scenes. It always amazes me when I see the effort people put forward to make an event like this happen. When done properly (as it was at Investiture) the result is virtually seamless and often as a result this effort remains largely unseen (but certainly not unacknowledged). Countless hours are clocked preparing garb, promoting the event, preparing the food, coordinating the equipment
required to run the event, volunteers manning posts such as Troll, scribes preparingscrolls, preparing the royalty room, setting up the site, and even when the energy is almost drained staying to clean up. This effort even extends beyond the confines of the event site as numerous people (including our autocrat) open their homes to out of town guests. Providing a complete list of names that deserve thanks would looks like the rolling end credits of a Martin Scorsese film.
As this is an event report I feel I should pick and speak about a highlight from the day. For me it has to be the wonderful feast crafted and presented by Lord Bóvi Davíðsson and his team. Lord Bóvi is such a talented cook and I was excited when he instantly volunteered to do the feast for Investiture. The food was exceptional as always but it was really the fine details that set this apart for me. Months before hand we had talked about wanting to try a meat pie made with eel and Lord Bóvi not only remembered this but made a special eel meat pie for high table. My one request for feast was that the glasses at high table remain constantly full and as a result there was steady flow of helpers running drinks back and forth. All of this was delivered with a humorous wit and energy that kept the crowd laughing in between bites. So hats off to Lord Bóvi and his team. They made an already wonderful day a memory I won’t soon forget. Vivant!”
Kingdom Court Report:
Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain II, basileos kai basilissa Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Baronial Investiture, 12 December Anno Societatis L, in the Barony of Rhydderich Hael. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, with the assistance of THL Sophie Davenport, Seedling Herald.
In the morning, accompanied by Their Excellencies Carolus and Isolda, Baron and Baroness of Rhydderich Hael:
The Imperatori granted leave to Their Excellencies to perform their final business.
The Imperatori then called Their Excellencies before Them and confirmed that it was their wish to retire to their estates, for while their time serving the Barony was something they would always treasure, the Coronets had come to weigh heavy upon their heads. The Emperor and Empress then removed the Coronets from their heads and bid them retire.
The Ice Dragon thrones sitting empty, and with the Ice Dragon approaching (though, it was noted, far more mildly than normal), The Imperatori then called upon the Baronial Seneschal’s office, and Tiarna Padraig Ó Branduibh produced a petition from the populace requesting that They invest Lord Magnus de Lyons and Lady Miriel du Lac as Baron and Baroness of Rhydderich Hael.
Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin came forth and proclaimed that, as she does not demand fealty from her dependents, she would not be releasing Magnus as her protégé and
apprentice. The so named Lord Magnus and Lady Miriel were then summoned before the Imperial presence, invested as Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael, and swore their fealty to the Crown and Kingdom before taking their place upon the Ice Dragon thrones.
Lord Carolus Loke and THL Isolda filia Georgii were recalled to the Royal Court and in recognition of the service they had rendered unto the Sylvan Thrones as Baron and Baroness of Rhydderich Hael, were elevated to the station of Baron and Baroness of the Court, and Lord Carolus was also Granted Arms. Scrolls by Mistress Sthurrim Caithness.
Baron Meszaros Janos was called before Their Majesties, for he had received a Writ of Summons to sit vigil in contemplation of ascension to the Imperial Council of the Laurel. Mistress Cori Ghora, to whom Janos had been protegé and apprentice, came forward, released him from his service to her, and reclaimed the belt that marked him as her dependent. Thus released, he was free to contemplate the offer before him as a free man, and was remanded into the custody of the Council of the Laurel to escort him to the place that had been set for him.
In the evening, accompanied by Their Excellencies Magnus and Miriel, Baron and Baroness of Rhydderich Hael:
The Imperatori gave leave to Their Excellencies to conduct the business of their opening Court.
Mistress Cori Ghora was invited to announce that she has issued a challenge to the Landed Barons and Baronesses of Æthelmearc to provide 3 person-hours of service towards site cleanup for the upcoming Kingdom 12th Night celebration on January 9th in Abhain Ciach Ghlais.
Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin and Maestro Filippo de Sancto Martino were invited forth and presented with the scrolls commemorating their elevation to the Peerage: Ysabeau to the Council of the Laurel, Filippo to that of the Pelican. Ysabeau’s scroll by Mistress Sthurrim Caithness upon words by Master Caleb Reynolds; Filippo’s scroll by Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin.
Lady Astrid vigaskegg was given long-overdue recognition for her research and skill at multiple artistic endeavors, including cooking, sewing, embroidery and Viking culture, with induction into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Meisterin Felicitas Flußmüllnerin.
Lady Maeve ni Siurtain was Granted Arms and elevated to the Order of the Millrind for her service to the Kingdom equestrian community, as well as serving as Baronial Chatelaine. Scroll illuminated by Lord Jacques of Sylvan Glen and calligraphed by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.
Tiarna Padraig Ó Branduibh was Granted Arms and admitted into the Order of the Millrind for his service as Baronial Seneschal as well as his service to the Kingdom running the Hospitality Tent at multiple Pennsic Wars. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.
Mistress Sthurrim Caithness was welcomed to the Order of the Millrind for her multiple areas of service to Barony and Kingdom, most notably as one of the most reliable scribes. Scroll a work in progress by THL Renata Rouge.
The Imperatori recalled Baron Mezsaros Janos and confirmed that he had received good words from the Council of the Laurel and others of their Empire, and that armed with this knowledge, he was now ready to be named to that Council. The Emperor and Empress called for testimony from Peers of the Realm as to his good qualities. Duchess Thyra of the East Kingdom spoke of his hospitality, generosity and graciousness, and recalled an incident where he taught her something about what it means to be Royalty. Dame Bronwyn MacFhionghuinn carried the words of Duke Timothy, who spoke of the inspiration Janos provides to Pennsic through the Food Lab. Mistress Cori Ghora carried the words of Countess Beatrice of Lochac, who talked of the courage of his heart, unyielding in the face of adversity. Sir Vladisla Nikulich remembered the joy that Janos brought to the service of Queen’s Guard. Dame Bronwyn MacFhionghuinn of the Council of the Pelican recalled several of his good qualities while testifying to his abundant and obvious service. Mistress Margaret Fitzwilliam of Kent of the Council of the Laurel of Northshield spotlighted his endless enthusiasm, for when he learns of something new, he must learn everything about it, and then he must teach everything about it. Duchess Rowan de la Garnisson, 2nd Jewel of Æthelmearc, compared a Jewel, which draws the eye and shows others the joy of the SCA, to Janos, who takes frightening things and makes them accessible to all. Moved by these testimonies, the Imperatori presented Janos with regalia befitting a Councillor of the Laurel: two medallions, a cloak, a wreath, and the traditional Laurel fruitcake. They then elevated Mezaros Janos to the Peerage of the Society and named him to Their Council of the Laurel, and received Mester Janos’s oath of fealty. Scroll a work in progress by Mistress Gillian Llewellyn of Ravenspur upon wording by Mistress Cori Ghora.
Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle, who has mastered the art of the creation of garb, was served with a Writ of Summons to contemplate elevation to the Council of the Laurel, and commanded to answer this writ at the Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon.
Her Majesty awarded her Token of Inspiration to THL Cynwulf Rendell for his creative and enjoyable archery ranges that he had designed and executed, and all celebrated the lovely weather that had graced Their Excellencies’ Investiture that the Kingdom’s archers might take advantage of the opportunity.
All those who contributed to the day’s scrolls and medallions were asked to stand and be recognized.
There being no further business, this Imperial Court was closed.
Baronial Court Report of Carolus and Isolda:
The Court Report of Their Excellencies, Carolus and Isolda, Baron and Baroness of The Rhydderich Hael, held at Baronial Investiture on December 12, AS. 50, as witnessed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova, Ice Dragon Pursuivant.
Their Excellencies welcomed all who came to witness the investiture of Their Heirs. They then called forth those children present to receive gifts and asked that they adjourn to the back of the hall to enjoy them.
Their Excellencies spoke of the courtesy of Master Otfried Ammerthaler and how it is known well beyond the borders of the Rhydderich Hael. Her Excellency talked of how he is welcoming to newcomers and helps them find a place within the Society. He was then made a member of the Noble Union of Lords and Ladies in absentia. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds and Mistress Gillian Llewelyn.
Sibohan Readnait and Lady Simonetta D’Alfassi were invited into court. Both ladies were presented with scrolls to commemorate that they were both selected to represent the Rhydderich Hael as Baronial Chivalry Champions. Scrolls by illuminated by Baroness Rosamund von Glinde and calligraphed by Mistress Sthurrim Caithnes.
However, Their Excellencies were not finished with these two ladies. Siobhan Readnait came back to the Barony a little over a year ago and jumped right in to help as an event lunch coordinator, create Baronial favors and support the Hael Hounds. Because of all this, she was named a member of the Dragon’s Concordium. Scroll Illuminated by Mistress Sthurrim Caithnes and calligraphed by Tiarna Padraig O’Branduibh.
Lady Simonetta has been seen making favors, helping in kitchens, helping with event set up and tear down as well as assisting on the archery range. For her enthusiasm and help she was named a member of the Dragon’s Concordium.Scroll illuminated by Baroness Rosamund von Glinde and calligraphed by Mistress Sthurrim Caithness.
Seeing that the Order of the Dragon’s Concordium was still missing someone, Their Excellencies called before them Freya. They spoke of how she readily embraced the ideals of friendship and service that the Society holds and asked her to join the Order. Scroll by THL Zofia Kowalewska, upon words by Baron Caleb Reynolds.
But still the Order of the Dragon’s Concordium was lacking. His Excellency spoke of one who crafts fine armor to help protect the warriors of the Barony and encourages others to try making armor as well. For this was Lord Enzo de Pazzi invited into the order. Metal scroll etched by Jace.
Their Excellencies they asked Lord Wulfgang Starke to join them. He has become known as a fine brewer as well as crafter of tasty feasts both for the Barony and abroad. For this his was named to the Order of the Golden Bee. Scroll by Baroness Juliana Rosalia Dolce da Siena and Tiarna Padraig O’Branduibh.
Their Excellencies then presented Dragon Pins to the following people in recognition of their service as retainers and guards during Their Term as Baron and Baroness: THL Zofia Kowalski, Lord Magnus De Lyons, Lord Meuric ap Gwillim, Mistress Sthurrim Caithnes, Master Charles of Alden, Lady Katerin Starke, Curia, Lord Ursus Epicureous, THL Eleanor Godwin, Lady Isabetta Orsini, Lord Bovi Daviddson, Lord Avelina filia Isolda, Seraphina, Honnoria, Bernadette, Lord Horatius Cincinnatus, Mistress Gillian Llwelyn of Ravenspur, THL Mary Elizabeth Clason, THL Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndyfrdwy, Joseph the Silent, and Lady Miriel Du Lac and Baroness Katherine Kiersey.
Their Excellencies spoke of the love they have for, and received from the Barony and the Kingdom. They took great honor in serving and will retire with wonderful memories.
The final court of Baron Carolus and Baroness Isolda was then closed.
Court Report of Magnus and Miriel:
The Court Report of Their Excellencies, Magnus and Miriel, Baron and Baroness of The Rhydderich Hael, held at Baronial Investiture on December 12, AS. 50, as witnessed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova, Ice Dragon Pursuivant.
Their Excellencies extended Their thanks to the Barony and the Kingdom for asking them to represent the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael.
As a token of gratitude and welcome, Their Excellencies presented Their Majesties, Magnus Tindal and Etain, with a gift basket of things that represent the Barony and the region.
Those children present, were called forward and gifted with coloring books.
Their Majesties then asked that all members of the populace, for whom this was their first event, to come forward and receive a token of welcome from the hands of Their Excellencies.
Her Excellency spoke of how it is impossible to do the job alone and that a support staff would be needed. Mistress Geirny Thorgrimsdottir was called forward and appointed Head Retainer for Their Excellencies.
Lord Meuric ap Gwillim was then asked to come forth. His Excellency spoke that he spends his life, mundanely and in the Society, guarding others and one who has stood by his side was Lord Meuric and there is no other that he could ask to serve as Captain of the Baronial Guard. Lord Meuric accepted the position and took his place in court.
Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin was then called into court to speak as autocrat for the day’s event. She thanked all those who assisted in some way, from set up, to troll, to cook, to marshal, to those that will stay and help tear down. She could not do it without them.
She then asked THL Cynwulf Rendell to come forward. He organized and ran an archery tournament, something unexpected for Northwest Æthelmearc in December. Lord Gawin Hawkseye was proclaimed the overall winner of the tournament.
Baron Caleb Reynolds was asked then to join Mistress Tiercelin and speak as Fencing Marshal. Three tournaments were held Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede was named overall winner. Don Behrand Elmendorf was named winner of the Funny Parry Object Competition and Rolff was chosen as Best Hand Puppet winner.
Mistress Tiercelin then spoke of the day’s Arts and Sciences competitions. Baron Caleb Reynolds was declared the victor of the Baronial theme competition for his Venerable Order of the Ice Dragon scroll. Prize scroll by the hand of THL Eleanor Godwin. THL Eleanor Godwin was announced as a winner of the non-Baronial themed competition and was awarded a gift of amber.
The Tribe of Tuatha Fieren asked for time in court to present Their Excellencies with gifts of fabric and trim so that They may make clothing as befits their new station. They also addressed the populace and said that they are still looking for volunteers to take over the War Practice Pick-a-Prize auction.
Their Excellencies asked that Baroness Rosamund von Glinde join them in court. Her Excellency spoke of Rosamund’s unending courtesy and how she welcomes new people to the Barony with a warm and generous heart and smile on her face. Because of this, they invited her to join the members of the Noble Union of Lords and Ladies. Scroll illuminated by Lady Rozalia Krawczykowa and calligrahed by THL Mary Elizabeth Clason.
The first court of Their Excellencies, Magnus and Miriel was then closed.
photos by Michael J. Matlock and Mistress Hilda.