Event Review: 2019 Beltane and Castellan by Owen ap Aeddan

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Too long has it been for me to chronicle where I have been and what I have witnessed. I will remedy that now.

My oldest son Henry had managed to let his affairs get the better of him, and instead of travelling to the Tournament hosted by the Barony of Wiesenfeuer, we attended to his out of control affairs. I have heard much greatness that was the day, and a good man now bears the title of Chivalric Champion of Wiesenfeuer.

Namron’s Beltane

Much work was completed on my son’s affairs, however, his actions from later that week caused him to miss the gathering at Namron Beltane. There, a great and noble man was elevated to the rank and estate of Knighthood, which I had to bear witness to - for long have I attended to the path that he was on, for I longed for his companionship within that august order. I took with me my youngest son Adair, and swiftly did we travel so that we could visit with Daniel while he sat vigil. Glorious was it to see His Grace Mikael of Monmouthshire after so many years, and great was the wisdom shared with the knight candidate Daniel. My son and I retired late, looking forward to the festivities on the morrow.

We returned to the festivities the next day having missed the morning court, Their Excellencies Kyna and Andrew are expecting another child and will be stepping down as Baroness and Baron of Namron. Such glorious news - as they already have a history of making smart and beautiful children, as her family is want to do. I am unsure how I feel about them stepping down. They are much loved and it is probably the best for them, but my selfish side wants them to stay on longer. As one should at Beltane, I spent the day in revelry and visited with friends from afar who also had journeyed to bear witness to Daniel’s elevation. Adair spent the day running dogs to exhaustion for various owners. Many dog owners were thankful, as was his father, who wanted him to sleep as well.

At Court, many fine words were spoken about the great man who is Daniel and he rose a Knight and much rejoicing was done. My son and I headed home, saying good bye to our many friends, closer because of the time together, with new friends and old.

Northkeep’s Castellan

I readied my kit, checked my weapons, and called forth both of my heirs, Henry and Adair. Then we met up with my dear friend and first Knight, Baghadur Orion. Together, we travelled to the fair lands of Northkeep, to test my skill with great weapon, single weapon, as well as sword and shield, in my favorite tournament in all of the Kingdom -- the Drighton tournament. I have won this tournament once before, and I have won the meat grinder portion three times. I modelled my Champions tournament off of the format the Northkeep uses. I have been remiss in attending Castellan, and felt that it had been far too long. Also, as Henry is Guardian of the King’s Dream and the King was going to be there. Finally my son Henry could take care of his responsibilities.

We arrived Friday and the welcome was as it always is in the lovely Barony of Northkeep - hugs and shared libations and offers of food and more libations. Truly, anyone who visits this fine barony knows what fellowship and good company is. Upon hearing that the tournament was not to start until late in the day, I may have stayed up later than intended, but the company was too great to leave. Such a wonderful time with such wonderful people.

I was awakened by my oldest heir proclaiming that the tournament had been cancelled due to the great storms that had come in. Because of his nature, he had failed to tell me that he had been awarded the Aquila Aurea in morning court. Thankfully, many folks shared with me not only that he received the award but the words spoken by our great and generous Sultan Vladislav. As my son and oldest heir (who had been out playing in the rain) stood before our mighty Sultan, dripping wet, he proclaimed that he was not sure how he got so wet, he was reminded that he was in fact playing in the rain outside. It was also duly noted that Henry ap Owen was given this award due to martial prowess and not in his critical thinking skills.

I asked around, trying to determine if the tournament had been cancelled and thankfully it was not! Now this tournament is not for the faint of heart. The hardiness of every combatant is tested and only those with a belly full of fire can withstand the intensity of this tournament -- and that is when the weather is fair and enjoyable. This tournament was going to be fought in the rain. I can attest to the greatness of each combatant who trudged through the mud and the rain out to the fort, ready to do glorious battle. I was honored to be in such fine company and true warriors.

We began the tournament with great weapons. I chose to use a 6 foot long glaive, as I felt the tarp above us did not need me using a 7 foot glaive. I did not embarrass myself with this style, which is nice. Really, more tournaments should be great weapon only! Much glory was had and much skill was displayed. Count Romanius was a killing machine and his apparent joy as he fought was awesome. He was gracious in victory as well as defeat. After the third round was finished, the joy of glorious combat was felt in every limb of every combatant. The glory of the day, will live on within the hearts of all who were there and bore witness. After everyone gathered themselves and refreshed, every single non-knighted fighter did pick up fights with Count Romanius and were also given pointers and insights from Bahadur Orion and myself. Truly, it was a glorious time.

I was lucky enough to sit at the wonderful and beautiful Koke Gan’s table for feast, which started off amazing and just kept getting better and better as the courses came out quickly and hot. Our server was the wonderful and super awesome Seren ferch Bleddyn and the children who were keeping drinks filled did an amazing job! Not only was the food super incredible as Northkeep feasts just are, but the discussions and company with Koke and a gentle named Daniel were pleasant and made for an awesome time as many glorious gentles stopped by to share stories of the day. Getting to see HE Mistress Rhiannon Redwulf, and share in the wonderful Blueberry Melomel that was so delicious and made by an old friend named Godric. Every bite of the feast was fantastic but my favorite was the chicken kabobs and the awesome sauce that came with it. Every bite was so good I never wanted to stop eating it.

Court quickly followed feast and others can speak upon the glory that was witnessed by all who attended. I will only remark on a couple of things: Romanius finally winning the meat grinder tournament was epic! Many great awards were given and it pleases me to have been there to witness such fine things.

I witnessed all of these things and my life is better for it. By my hand.

Iarll Owen ap Aeddan
Marchog of Ansteorra