By THL Mairghread Stoibheard inghean ui Choinne, with additional reporting by Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.
Pax Interruptus XL began Friday evening with the Thescorre camping event’s annual heavy weapons torchlight tournament.
Despite it being “late at night, very hot, very sweaty, and very tough,” according to Duke Sir Khalek Shuurag Od, THL Thorsol Solinauga was victorious after fighting with great skill and grace.
The threat of rain on Saturday, July 9, held off for most of the day as gentles faced instead brisk winds.
The cooling breezes were a balm to the marshals and the heavy fighters, fencers, archers, throwers, combat archers, and gentles watching, working, or otherwise enjoying the event at the Genesee Country Campground… but everything had to be taped or tied down to avoid flying across away! Several tents, including the Tollner table, had walls or tops nearly blown off and stakes pulled out of the ground by the nigh-constant buffeting.
Martial Preparation for Pennsic
His Grace Magnus Tindal, Pennsic Warlord, started the heavy fighters off with some pickups, then ran them through melees – no tournaments — for the whole day until court. “We’re building off of last year, and will continue to build an army that functions at the upper levels of effectiveness at Pennsic,” he said.
With War just three weeks away, he explained, he wanted fighters to focus on small unit communication. “At the end of the day, with the helmets on, people don’t always hear the actual commands. So, with practice, they more effectively guess what the commanders want them to do.”
“My objective is for everyone to have as much fun as possible with their friends,” said Lord Corbinus de Cuvis, marshal-in-charge of the event, while watching the melee lines begin to form upon the battlefield. He, too, expressed hope that the concentrated melee practice would help the army “hone our skills today so that we can obliterate our opponents at Pennsic.”
Over on the fencing field, Lord Michael Gladwyne and Lord Heero Himoura were two of several out-of-barony marshals who kindly agreed to run competitions so that Thescorreans could enter rather than run them. After allowing everyone (including Her Majesty Ariella) to warm up with pickups, the annual baronial rapier champion tournament was opened to all fencers present at the event, although only Thescorreans were eligible to be named the local champion.
Of the four Thescorreans who entered the 13-person single-elimination tree, Lord Padraig Ua Céileachair won the baronial title, while Lord Jacob Martinson, the current kingdom champion, won the overall tourney.
After the champion tourney ended, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede ran those present through several melees, including a warlord tourney. He chose that specific format, he said, because it improves situational awareness and team forming on the fly. “Our warlord tourney ended up with three teams facing each other, which help fencers to be aware of attacks from more than one angle. At Pennsic, your kill is very rarely directly in front of you. This forces you to work the sides.”
Lord Heero noted at the end of the day that “despite the heat and intense wind, everyone did a phenomenal job. Several people did better here today than they did at recent events.”
Princess Margerite, watching the melee, agreed. “I’m really impressed with the comportment and skill of our armies, fencers, archers, and throwers. And I appreciate the opportunity to shoot and throw today!”
Far back on the throwing range, Sir Aquila d’Athos and THL Govindi dera Carr offered a fun competition for axe, knife, and atlatl at 10- and 15-foot ranges, with three normal royal round targets and one target with negative points. Her goal for the day, she said, was to offer everyone lots of throwing practice with all three weapon forms, especially for gentles who had thrown for a while.
The archers nearby, meanwhile, faced numerous whimsical targets and challenges. Lord Corwin Alexander Templeton offered a standard five-color target at 20 yards for warm ups, then guided archers through a timed window shoot with a target behind the window, a wand shoot with a markings on a three-inch-thick pole (which included a special 10-point bonus if you hit the blue dinosaur head on the wand), and another window shoot aiming at a foam “Saracen head.” He also included two special targets at 30 and 40 yards: the first, a “money shoot,” invited archers to hit specific denominations of paper money; the second included head photographs of various villains from A Game of Thrones. (Yes, Joffrey was the most popular target on that board.)
“You never know what kind of competition you’ll face at Pennsic, so my goal today is to offer a variety of shoots at different ranges, different types, different targets, beyond just lots of royal round shoots, to help our archers get ready,” Lord Corwin explained.
He announced later that afternoon in court that 10 entrants broke the 100-point barrier for the day and one broke the 200-point barrier – Master Jacopo di Niccolo, who eliminated himself from winning. Second-highest-scoring archer and thus winner for the day – and the only one to hit the dinosaur head – was Master Caleb Reynolds with 185 points.
Lunch and the Gentle Arts
At noon, Lord Andrew of Thescorre and members of the Cauldron Bleu Cooks Guild served grab-and-go bag lunches to those who preregistered for the meal. In addition to individual spiced meatloaf “hedgehogs” hot off the grill, gentles enjoyed a portable, neat repast of personal-sized Ember Day tarts, plus gingerbrede, savory fried chickpeas, carrot sticks, and pickles, all tied inside a cloth napkin.
In the A&S area, next to several merchants, the Thescorre Scribes and Clan Blackheart both set up garage sales that symbiotically fueled each other. The scribes, led by Mistress Roberta McMorland, raised $236.75 for the kingdom scribal coffers; the goal had been $150!
The Barony also hosted an arts & sciences display at the event, with about dozen participants showing off their completed and in-progress projects: Viking/Norman threadwork (including hooded capelets with striking embroidered trims), embroidered liturgical shoes from later-period France, a Japanese cookery text in Old Japanese translated to modern Japanese and then to English, later-period German aprons, a carved horn vessel, hand-wrought pins, scrolls both gilded and gessoed (one based on the Codex Manesse and the second on The Visconti Book of Hours), and an icon of the Archangel Gabriel.
THL Otelia d’Alsace created the icon, based on the 1408 work of Andrei Rublyev, which won the populace choice. This lovely first attempt at iconography was painted on wood using tempera and period pigments (except for the white and blue).
In an emotional highlight of the Baronial Court — while the wind picked up harder and storm clouds began covering the sky overhead — Baroness Sadira bint Wassouf shared that this event, on this day, marked 30 years since she was first invested Baroness of Thescorre.
She remarked with a wry smile that she and her late husband, Master Saleem, did not name Bob (the third raven in Thescorre’s heraldry) but were responsible for several other baronial traditions, such as the policies & procedures, the Mathom, and the baronage creating Pennsic favors to hand out to baronial members at Pax.
She and Saleem were also responsible, she continued, for creating a repeatable barony award, the Raven’s Egg, which is given at the whim of the baronage for anything that furthers The Dream.
“So this year, for the first and only time, I decided to give every single person in the Barony of Thescorre a Raven’s Egg because it is my deep and abiding belief that EVERY SINGLE PERSON has done something to build the Dream, and that those contributions are worthy of notice. Everyone, at one time or another, has done something worthy of notice that has gone unremarked and unrecognized, so for this one moment, this one time, I am saying, ‘You have been noticed; you are worthy; you are appreciated; you have been recognized… There is no Dream or SCA without you’.”
The gathering clouds darkened and rain started falling as Kingdom Court began; after a brief consideration, Their Majesties decided to continue without moving to another location and proceeded to hand out several awards of arms and other recognitions. Lord Quintin Lawless, who had just stepped down as baronial rapier champion and praised by Baroness Sadira for his graceful dance-like fencing as she inducted him into the baronial martial order, the Black Talon, was inducted by Their Majesties in the Order of the Golden Alce.
Their Majesties called THL Mairghread into court to receive her backlog Fleur scroll and called in the Order to greet her, then promptly grinned and inducted her into the Order of the Millrind, calling in that Order as well, which caused a merry mob as both orders wetly swirled and hugged. In addition, They welcomed THL Zofia Kowaleska into the Fleur and THL Cynwulf Rendell into the Scarlet Guard.
Sir Murdoch Bayne, who had sat vigil for consideration of the Order of the Pelican all day, presented himself and listened in the rain to effusive praise of his decades of service by Earl Yngvar and Countess
Caryl as Royal Peers, Duke Christopher Rawlyns of the Chivalry (conveyed by Duke Sir Magnus Tindal), Sir Aengus MacBain of the Laurel (conveyed by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova), Duchess Dorinda Courtenay of the Order of Defense, and Dame Kateryna ty Isaf of the Pelican. Sir Murdoch was elevated with Countess Caryl’s Pelican medallion and a hood adorned with the badge of the order.
Before allowing the Order to welcome Sir Murdoch, Their Majesties presented a writ to THL Juan Miguel Cezar, commanding him to prepare to sit vigil at St. Swithin’s Bog’s 3-day the following weekend for consideration of elevation to the Pelican.
Lady Marguerite de Neufchastau, event steward, was tired but thrilled at the end of the long day. “I want to thank everyone who helped with this, I was very lucky with that my staff was so willing to help pull off this great event, because only with teamwork will this Dream work.”