Battle by Grimr
**With Splendor and Grace -- my first experience at a major event.**
Ah, the pageantry, the confusion of my first coronet... It was overwhelming, fantastic and memorable, but some, (many), of the details are a blur. Blame it on the cold I was recovering from, or the cold outside. It all began... But perhaps I should introduce myself first, no? I am very new to playing with the SCA, having been a participant a mere 5 months. My name is Tamitsa Katerina Evstokh'eva. I am a member of the College of St. Boniface in Winter's Gate. Currently, I have returned to my home on an isolated isle off the coast of the Shire of Grey Cliff's, where I am pursuing my studies to become an educator of the young. But, before I returned here to my home, I learned to live the dream in that far northern Barony. Whether dancing, watching fighter practice, attending solars or teas, learning heraldry, or practicing cross-stitch, I found a joy and delight in all the activities.
Thrilled, I learned that Coronet fit into travel plans I had already arranged. Lord Taran graciously agreed to carry my favor, he and Briana agreed to traveling with me, and I voraciously hunted down information about what to expect. Learning that this was a Important Event, I spent the Winter holidays researching and sewing together garments suitable for Court. And so, the time arrived and we headed off to Selveirgard.
As Friday neared it's end, I still had some trim to sew on, Lord Taran wished to finish his banner, and Briana was ready to rest. We decided against traveling on to Eskalya for the evening Bardic and took our rest for the night with Mistress Piasa. The evening passed quickly, and as we repaired to sleep, I thought ahead with anticipation to the coming two days.
Unfortunately, the first morning started off with Trouble. Our Beloved Baroness Morgana became trapped when the horses pulling her carriage failed her. We assisted her in returning to the house where she was able to begin having her horses healed, then with heavy hearts went ahead without her.
Upon our arrival, I was greeted pleasantly by a total stranger who graciously helped carry in our bags and baskets. He mysteriously disappeared when we finished. A bit stunned by all of the colorful garments, people milling about, noise and general strangeness, I was unable to stop him in time to thank him!
Lucky for us, Court on Saturday morning started a bit late. We missed nothing, and I had time to find my bearings. While awaiting Court, I took the time to assist my friends and traveling companions with arranging ourselves for the weekend. We set up our table: putting out oddments on top that we could use during the day, and hiding the rest beneath.
Several courteous and genial ladies finally helped me to relax and begin to enjoy myself, when they stopped me to praise my sarafan and volosnik. One even suggested I enter the Laurel's contest for Winter Garb. I had no documentation with me, but set my name down on the parchment for fun.
Finally, Court began. I had thought I was prepared for what was to happen. I can't even begin to describe the splendor and pageantry, which I witnessed during the several sessions of Court which happened. The first session was reasonably brief to allow the anxious fighters their moment of glory on the field.
I must say, the tournament itself was one of the scariest and most exciting moments of the whole weekend for me. I'll get to the other one a bit later... As I mentioned, Lord Taran de Montfort had agreed to fight for my Honor, and the obverse, of course, that I would stand as consort should he win. What neither of us expected was to be the sole representative's from Winter's Gate! But, due to many circumstances, that is what happened. I can not speak for Lord Taran, but was a proud burden for me. Winter's Gate has become a second home, and I enjoyed standing up for my many friends.
Lord Taran fought bravely and well. He performed a great feat for all of us from Winter's Gate by lasting well 'til the end of the fighting. He was one of the final three contestants!! What stimulation and exhilaration!!!! As you are all probably aware, Sir Georg, the sole knight on the field, won the honors of the day.
On a brief side note, the feastocrat is to be commended for holding warm food for the fighters. Briana was thoughtful and courteous, as she brought me my lunch of soup as I watched my Lord fight and became chilled with the cold. But the fighters could not partake of such amenities and welcomed the warm soup and delicious bread when they were done.
The afternoon was spent in various pleasures. I finished up a bit of sewing, taught Lord Colin a song from my homeland and wandered about talking with many gentles.
The evening feast was a magnificent meal of 3 courses. I truly enjoyed the sauces on the meats, and found the salad most interesting. My favorite course, however, was the pastry we had for dessert after evening Court -light, airy and flavorful!
Apparently, having Court between courses was a Last Minute Idea, but I found it to be a good choice. It gave a bit of a break between the dishes and there was still something to look forward to at the end. During evening Court, I was presented with an Award of Arms. I suspected something was afoot, but was brought to tears when Prince Nicholaus and Princess Alyssia described the many letters of support and friendship which led to my award. I had thought I was just having fun! By the end of Court, I had myself back undercontrol, therefore, I ate my dessert and cleaned up in preparation for Sunday's investiture ceremonies.
Sunday morning was busy and at moments, Court seemed to last all day! I learned early in the day that I had passed the initial training and so was placed on the Roster of the College of Heralds, official title: Pursuivant Extraordinary. As such, I was asked and graciously agreed to act as representative for Lord Bjarni as Stellanordica during the investiture. While it was not a large role, I was delighted to assist. At the urging of my fellows from Winter's Gate, I also stood in for Lady Natalia during the ceremonies when she was selected as a Lady of Chamber for our new princess -- Katarzina.
I was saddened that Lord Taran was unable to attend Court due to his duties as the new Principality Chirurgeon, but was quite proud of the honor he was accorded when selected as a member of the Princesses Escort. In ignorance, we sent one of our number forward to represent him, only to learn later that he had already arranged for a different person. The humor inherent in his possessing two baldrics was precious.
At some moments, I thought Court would never end, yet I wanted to see more. I was thrilled by all that I saw happening around me. It was truly history come to life! The banners upon the walls, garb upon the persons and settings upon the tables all contributed to the aura of yesteryear. I have many wonderful recollections. The swearing in of the Great Officers, Peers and on down to the populace was one such moment. With many others, I went forward during the ceremony and swore fealty as a member of the populace of the Principality of Oertha. I felt both humbled and proud.
It was truly a time that I will never forget. The chivalry and politeness shown to me during the entire time was memorable. I have made many new friends. I am even more strongly resolved than before to continue learning and playing with this group, and I haven't even begun to describe the music and joy at Sunday night's bardic! Suffice to say, that there was not enough room on the flying beast which was to bear me home and I therefore, stayed up much too late into the night singing and rejoicing.
I look forward with all my heart to Winter's Gate Collegium in three short months.
With humble thanks, joy, honor and delight, I am --
Lady Tamitsa Katerina Evstokh'eva
Einherar by Grimr
This form of Norse skaldic poetry is read across the two columns (i.e. the first line is "Enter this world .. with aethling spirit"). Most older Norse poetry emphasized alliteration and syllabic rhythm patterns much more than rhyme, however there are some cases, especially in the Shetlands, Orkney, and Heberdies Islands, where syllabic rhythm and rhyme were both used. It is a modification of this form that I use here. -Grimr
At their Court this Coronet past, their Highnesses Nicholaus and Alyssia were presented gifts of seal oil candles and flavored spoons, and a jar of soil from their future new lands of Moroedd Oer by myself with the help of Hafoc and Gwyneth. Candles were given unto the heirs, Georg and Katarzina, and Her Majesty Brynn was presented a stuff miniature Moose and a fine Ulu knife and jar of soil as well. The announcement was made that they had new lands forming in the north. North of Winter's Gate!
Before Coronet, not much was known of the lands of Moroedd Oer. Let me fill you in on some details. The members of the hopeful new branch of the SCA met and decided upon their name, which means "Cold/Icy Seas" in the Welsh tongue. The name may change in future, but the name at this time stands for the lands given unto our protection by Her Excellency, Morgana yr Oerfa, Baroness Winter's Gate. These lands include all of the coastal territories of the barony. If you are unfamiliar, find a map and look for the mundane village of Shaktoolik on the Norton Sound. Follow all of the coast up and around until you encounter the border of Canada (or An Tir). This, plus the Islands known as Diomede and St Lawrence. The Canton is centered in the Mundane city of Kotzebue, and also claims territory up and along the Kobuk River. From sources available, we will be the Northernmost branch of the SCA, 63 miles north of the next, which is in Drachenwald (Finland).
Four of our number in the Canton are not new to the SCA, in fact 2 being recently from Atenveldt, one from Trimaris, and myself, also from Trimaris originally, before moving to Oertha 5 years hence. Several other fine people have joined us in forming a small group and we hope to grow to further the arts, sciences and services of the high middle ages through dances, armed combat, medieval studies and demos.
Any help in researching names, devices and branch development will be heartily welcome. We will be filing a petition for branch status this month with the Kingdom Seneschal.