From Ansteorra History Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Ansteorran Story Corps: February 19, 2020: Share a memory or bit of history or lore about an example of art created within the Society that inspired you - whether it was a static or performance piece.

Thomas de Groet

I am a relatively young bard, as is reckoned in the Society, but never let it be said that I lack ambition. I found out that, during the reign of Vladislav and Margaret, they would be holding the Premier Bard competition at Queen's Champion, an event that I would already be attending, so I decided to enter. The field was small, but very strong, including one of the greatest Ansteorran bards, Robin of Gilwell. He was only in the room for his performances, because he was simultaneously fighting in Queen's Champion, an even more impressive feat. He finished each of the three rounds. His first piece was "The Story of Robin," a stirring account of his own story within the Society. I, who started each round, had to follow it, which I did with a humorous story of my own devising. His second piece, however, is the piece that inspired me to write this story, and I am forever grateful that there was an intermission after it, because I could not follow it without one. He performed the piece he is, perhaps, best known for, "The Baron." His performance was superb, he had people who, I am sure, had heard that piece many times before in tears. When he finished, paused, and inclined his head in the barest of bows, the room was silent. I knew that I had no chance to win the competition at that moment. A couple of weeks later, at Steppes Warlord, I found Robin and spoke with him about the competition. I asked his permission to learn The Baron for my own use at competitions. Robin, ever gracious, not only gave his blessing, but pointed me towards his own performance notes on the piece. And then, I told him that, when I had learned it, I wished to perform it at competition against him. Robin was visibly touched, and told of the tradition in the Rapier community of fighting with one's opponent's best, and how honored and touched he was that a (relatively) young bard would not only ask to perform his piece, but to bring his best against him in the bardic realm, too.