Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the Debatable Lands’ Baronial Twelfth Night, held on January 23, A.S. L.

While portions of Æthelmearc, especially in West Virginia and central PA, were blanketed with many inches of snow during Snowzilla Jonas on January 23rd, the storm only sideswiped the Debatable Lands, and Baronial 12th Night went on as planned. Snowfall amounts varied drastically around the Barony-Marche, though, so folks in the northern areas near the site had a manageable 3-4″ while those in the city or southern suburbs had 6-10″ or even more, resulting in lighter than usual attendance at the event. For those who made it, however, the event featured the usual fun, games, and camaraderie.

The hall was decorated in holiday finery while merchants plied their wares and a large number of contributions to the pot luck lunch filled the downstairs kitchen, including the traditional “crockpot alley” of soups, stews, and other main dishes.

Elsa merchanting

Lady Elsa Taliard merchants her beeswax goods while chatting with Lady Fenna Rioux.


Urho cookie contest

Master Urho guards the cookie contest entries

Master Urho Waltterinen ran the cookie contest as usual, with winners chosen by the current and incoming Baron and Baroness as well as populace vote.

Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth ran a silent auction that had so many donations it needed three tables to hold them all, and brought in over $400 for the Barony’s coffers.

A second charitable effort was also successful as Baron Liam and Baroness Constance had solicited donations for the homeless in Pittsburgh through their organization, Carebox Pittsburgh. The donation box ended up full to overflowing by day’s end.

Lady Aibell ingen Chernacháin ran children’s activities including classes in basketmaking and building gingerbread houses, while a heraldic quest won by Lady Hara Kikumatsu encouraged gentles to seek out holders of various Kingdom and Society awards and ask them questions to learn more about those orders and what they meant to the recipients.

Carl gingerbread house

Carl approves of the gingerbread house building activity

i Genisii ran a “play date” in which gentles were encouraged to try their hands (and bodies) at improvisational theater under the guidance of the existing members of the troop, and the Debatable Choir performed a concert in the late afternoon (though shy a few basses and altos who couldn’t make it due to the weather). Lady Ceindrech verch Elidir marshalled a pillow fight tournament with fierce competitors young and old, which was won by Medea, age 9 (who also soundly beat her father, Lord Angus MacDougal, in a special challenge match after the tourney was over).

Pillow fight Carl and Xeno

Fierce pillow-fighting combatants

The irrepressible Master Ambros Kyrielle tramped a labyrinth into the snow, which a number of children and adults walked during the afternoon despite the cold.

Their Excellencies, Liam and Constance, and their successors-to-be, Maistir Brandubh and Mistress Hilderun, presided over competions to determine the next Baronial Brewing Champion (won by Master Bovi Farmađr) and Baronial Bard (won by THLady Bugga Bilibit).

Left: THLady Bugga singing in the bardic competition
Right: Maistir Brandubh and his apprentice, Lady Rivka bat Daniyel, tasting the brewing entries

As the day wound down, Their Excellencies held their penultimate court, heralded by Lord Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka, bestowing  a Copernicus for long-time exceptional service on Master William de Montegilt, and Gold Comets for service on Alister MacLeod, Arthes  MacLeod, and O’no Kuma.

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Their Excellencies also thanked the Autocrat, Hrafna-Erlendr inn rauði, and gave tokens to Erlendr’s son Owen and daughter Paige for their help with the event.


Hrafna-Erlendr inn rauði thanks the event attendees


Owen and Page tokens

Their Excellencies thank Owen and Paige for their service

All photos by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann except court photos, which were by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.