Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the Debatable Lands’ Baronial Investiture.
Though the temperatures were bitterly cold outside and some gentles who traveled from northern climes like the Rhydderich Hael, Thescorre, Delftwood, and Coppertree battled snow squalls on their way, the warmth and friendship in the hall at the Investiture of Maistir Brandubh Ó Donnghaile and Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann as 8th Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands on February 13, A.S. L, more than made up for the weather.
The day began with Their Excellencies, Baron Uilliam mac an t’Saoir and Baroness Constance Glyn Dŵr, holding their last court. After bestowing Comets for service, arts, and martial skill on various gentles, they inducted THLord Jorundr hinn Rotinn into the Order of Copernicus, the Debatable Lands’ order for extraordinary service, in recognition of Jorundr’s diverse works as a cook, pursuivant, fencing marshal, archery marshal, and thrown weapons marshal. They then gave heartfelt thanks to the people of their barony for supporting them as Baron and Baroness, to which their populace responded with a standing ovation.
After praising their service, the Imperatori, Tindal Augustus and Etain Augusta, divested Liam and Constance of the Debatable Lands’ baronial coronets and bestowed Court Baronies upon them, with coronets made by THLady Summaya al Ghaziya and Don Anais Fenne.
Then, finding Their Barony-Marche lacking leaders, the Imperatori called forth the Seneschal of the Debatable Lands, Master Alaric MacConnal. He presented a petition, calligraphed by THLord Kieran MacRae and signed by a host of the Barony’s citizens, imploring the Crown to appoint Maistir Brandubh Ó Donnghaile and Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann as their new Baron and Baroness.
Finding the petition in order and the will of the populace clear, Their Majesties called the Baron- and Baroness-elect forth.
Maistir Brandubh and Mistress Hilderun processed in and swore their fealty on the sword of state. Their oath:
We Brandubh et Hilderun, eighth in the line of succession of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, do hereby swear to you, Tindal et Etain Augustus et Augusta Aethelmearcorum:
To serve and protect this Barony and its peoples, as stewards appointed by the Crown, and selected by its members; to represent the words of the Crown to the people of this Barony, its Canton and College; and to mobilize it to the defense and enrichment of the Kingdom.
We also swear to represent the populace to Crown, to voice their concerns, to praise their works, and to ensure that their rights and traditions are upheld. Hic sumus quia credunt. For we are here because they believe.
All of the past Barons of the Debatable Lands who were present, which included Prince Byron and Princess Ariella, gathered to witness as the Imperatori then crowned Brandubh and Hilderun as eighth Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands, to the cheers of the populace.
With royal court then suspended, gentles went in search of games, companionship, and the luncheon sideboard provided by THLady Cassandra Matis and her crew. There was a display of baronial history, an embroidery round table, order meetings for the Fleur and Millrind, and the Baronial Arts and Sciences Champion competition, which attracted many fine entries. Some of those entries are shown below.
Rings made by Lord O’no Kuma. Photo by Lady Valentina.
– Illumination by THLady Anlaith ingen Trena. Photo by Mistress Arianna.
Performance of John Downland’s “Say Love” by the Debatable Choir, video by Lord Robert Pour Maintenant.
Later, all of the Debatable Lands’ Barons who were present gathered for a portrait. Baron Brandubh wore a cloak owned by Baron Leonard the Younger, who could not attend, while Baroness Hilderun’s necklace included some beads that had belonged to the late Baroness Tatyana the Kushka.
Their Excellencies sat in state for much of the afternoon. Over the course of the day, there was also a raffle for various objects made or donated by members of the Barony, with numerous items ranging from hand woven trim to baskets of edible goodies to a massage. The raffle was organized by Lady Abbatissa of Banbury and Lady Alimé bint Yorgi.
The Debatable Choir performed a short concert of renaissance music, and afternoon court began with the new Baron and Baroness being granted leave by Their Majesties to hold their court.
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilderun gave Comets to various deserving gentles, and announced slight changes to the names of the baronial awards, as is traditional in the Debatable Lands when new Barons are invested. The arts award is now the Silver Comet, the martial award is now the Iron Comet, and the Green Comet given to friends of the barony is reverting to its old name of Cometis Amicus (though all three will retain their traditional colors of blue and silver, red, and green). The Gold Comet, for service, will continue with no change. As Their Excellencies gave each type of award, they had members of the populace who engaged in that area stand, and then presented them to the Crown as proof of the might, artistic talent, and service of the Debatable Lands.
Master William Parris and members of the Academy of Defense came forward, and with the sponsorship of Master Will, Mistress Irene von Schmetterling, and Don Corwyn Montgomery, they named Sir Kadan Chákhilgan Ger on Echen a Free Scholar of the Academy for his great skill and scholarship in rapier combat.
Their Excellencies then called Lady Hara Kikumatsu, their Baronial Arts and Sciences Champion, to discuss the competition to choose a new A&S Champion. They announced that the populace choice went to Duchess Siobhán inghean uí Liatháin for her Finnish spiral embroidery. Her Excellency was most impressed by the extensive documentation Her Grace included with her entry, and asked her to serve as alternate Baronial A&S Champion. The Baron and Baroness then announced that their choice as Champion: THLord Kieran MacRae, whose amazingly tiny calligraphed entry also included detailed documentation. His Lordship will represent the Barony in the Seven Pearls Champions’ Inter-Baronial competition in St. Swithin’s Bog in August.
Their Excellencies next requested the presence of the members of the Chivalry and Order of Defense from the Debatable Lands. Noting that they are the first non-combatant couple to rule the Barony-Marche, Brandubh and Hilderun asked the Knights and Master if they would advise Their Excellencies in matters of fighting and war, and also fight with the baronial unit in at least one battle at Pennsic, if they were able. They readily agreed, and were sung out of court by the choir’s performance of the new Baronial “Fight Song,” Marce Baroniae, with words in Latin by Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill.
Their Excellencies then called the Order of the Copernicus before them, to note with sadness that the person they wished to induct was no longer with us. Baroness Hilda explained that Countess Aidan ni Leir, who passed away last September, had not only been a pillar of their Canton of Steltonwald, and a proud member of the Barony, but also a prolific scribe. She reported that just in the past decade, over 400 scrolls had been given by the Barons and Baronesses of the Debatable Lands, and out of those, fully 1/5 had been crafted by Countess Aidan, with many more created for the Kingdom as well. To commemorate her induction into the Order of Copernicus, Their Excellencies called forth the scribes who had made scrolls for the day’s court, and Baroness Hilda bestowed upon them tokens for each scroll the scribe had made, a chain and a small letter A for Aidan, hung upon a comet-shaped wire hanger, made by Duchess Siobhán. Their Excellencies announced that they would be recognizing their scribes thus for the duration of their reign, in honor of Countess Aidan’s memory.
The Autocrat of the event, THLady Isabel Fleuretan, came forward to thank her staff and make a few announcements including the names of the winners of the raffle. The populace gasped and cheered when Her Ladyship further announced that the raffle had brought in over $900 for the barony’s coffers.
Baronial Court being ended, Their Majesties Tindal and Etain held Their Royal Court, bestowing awards on numerous worthy gentles. Notable among those was a Keystone given to Lady Alethea Cowle, age 13, who gives out scroll cases to award recipients at courts and helps in kitchens, having done so since she was very small.
They also called forth Duke Adhemar (formerly Duc Henri d’Artois), who had given up his Knight’s belt at Pennsic. After expressing contrition for acts he deemed unworthy, Duke Adhemar accepted the baldric of a Master at Arms and was re-admitted to the Order of Chivalry.
The Imperatori also recognized Lord Madison Morai and Lord Eoin MacPadraig as members of the Order of the Gage for their skill in rattan combat, and bestowed a belated scroll on THLord Darian Valski for the Gage he received at Pennsic in A.S. XLVIIII.
After Court, as some gentles headed out into the cold and snow for their treks home, many others remained to partake of the splendid feast cooked by THLady Cassandra Matis and her staff, which featured various smoked meats, spätzle, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, and pizzelles served with homemade marmalade and mascarpone cream.
Vivant to the new Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands, Brandubh and Hilderun!