Event Review: Spring Coronation 2019 by Biatrichi Canzionari Di Palermo

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An exerpt from "The Chronicles of Biatrichi Canzionari Di Palermo"...

My father owns many olive groves and as my brother Rocco spends much of his time in the company of Cesare Borja, my father often sends me on errands to negotiate his concerns with foreign courts. This is not an unseemly job for a widow, and our groves have been abundant, the wheat thick as a carpet, and our cane the height of the towers at Cefalu. Such bounty made the need to find new markets.

One of the great trading centers of the known world is the Kingdom of Ansteorra. Ansteorra is a strange land, they choose their ruler not by that of blood but by the will of God and the will of the sword. I make my home there often as the climate is mild, the neighbors are peaceful and the beaches remind me of those of Taramina (but less littered with the filthy droves of Spanish invaders). This is a warrior’s land and it was known that the King was retiring, for his sword and the sword of his warrior queen had become weary and his life longed for the further comforts to be found in hunting, tournaments, and revelry. This was a state that was well earned, for his wise rule and was long overdue. I hope to see him again when I am next on the Dalmatian coast, seeing to my pirates, I mean retainers, but I digress.

There came from the east a Müsellem upon an Arabian steed and strong at arm, who won the hearts of the land. But he was far from home, and the ways of the land were known to be meaner than those from the high Ottoman courts. As Sultan needs a Sultana to guide him, he was lead to choose amongst the ladies that inspire. Not that his wife was not worthy, but she was also wise and practical in harmony with her beauty. She desired to raise his heirs in wisdom and truth and had no need to sit a throne, nor taste for the ceremony and travel that came from just rule. It was well known that there was a Countess, from another Eastern land, that had ruled justly and had come to live in these lands of Ansteorra for many years. She was beloved by many, even beyond those that venerate the rose and was wise both in mind and spirit.

One day as I was sitting at contracts with burghers and those that trade sugars to the barbarous north. I received a message from the court of the Sultan to be. “It is known that you play the instruments and music of the lands of my birth. These would be a comfort to me and mine as I ascend the sable throne.” As I had good friends in the Ottoman North, I did agree. My son Dante was tasked to finish negotiations for our goods and I traveled with my retinue and several other musicians to the cathedral of the coronation.

Most had to turn back, for the long journey had suffered misfortune. One lost their cart to the roads, poorly maintained since the time of the Caesars. Two found that the lands did not agree with their mounts nor hounds and returned to safer pastures. The last suffered the greatest of all, as their niece was taken with a sudden affliction and passed to the realm of our Lord. Their grief was too heavy to carry any further. I alone was able to complete the journey to the court accompanied by my faithful bodyguard, Don Etienne.

I was well situated upon the dais of the cathedral and near the thrones. It was a place well set to bear witness to the splendor that lay ahead. The Knights of the realm, swords at ready, the ladies of their inspiration clothed in cloaks of golden roses, and the wisest and greatest of the land. Stood in vigilance to protect the crown and sword of state from usurpers. It was then that I thanked the saints a, that my brother Rocco was safely back in Palermo. As he could never resist an unworn hat, unattended sword or empty throne. I would tell you of the time he was seized by a desire to wear the miter of the Pope himself, but that is a story for another day. The assembled were then approached by the chosen prince and his retinue. He was asked by the most venerable of the knights among them, presented a challenge. By what right did he approach the crown and sword? “By right of arms” was his reply and he was escorted to his rightful place and crowned upon the dais.

Then into the cathedral came the Countess and her court. She was known for her wisdom and comeliness but upon that day she shone like the sun of Atenveldt which rises upon the arms of this Kingdom. I was inspired to pay a song of my own making upon my Saz, though knowing that its sounds would pale by the comparison of the splendor of her court. As is custom in this wise kingdom, she placed the companion and equal crown upon her head and there they sat in state, Sultan and Queen.

The Sultan spoke and announcing that safe passage would be granted to all those that traveled through this land, even those of the Rom. I had not seen this spoken before, but as this is good for healthy trading, it was in my nature to assent to his wishes in the future. Then they called upon all those required to renew their oaths upon this day.

The Knights first came forth and swore upon their chain and upon the sword of state the oath of fealty. The oath was taken and then returned with great honor placed upon those assembled. One by one the great groups of the kingdom approached the throne, those of the arts, masters of the sword, those of the bureaucracy, and polity, those of the honor guard of the queen, and those who hold the lands of the kingdom in fief. As I am honored to be of rank in my adopted home, I swore upon the sword and with my Saz upon the foot of the Sultan, for in his kindness he knew of its worth and would not let its neck rest upon the floor as I knelt.

As a final act of the coronation, the herald cried loud to the remaining assembled offering those of other ranks that wished to swear upon the sword of state and stand in fealty to the crown of Ansteorra to rise and do so. It was then that all were inspired, the remaining throng rose en mass and approached, heads bowed, making an unbroken chain to the sword of state. There were so many in their number, that many could not arise from the cathedral pews to reach the aisles and had to remain seated as they formed the unbroken chain. The sounds of their words set to rattle the bonds of the stained glass. As the oath was returned, there was great joy amongst the court at the joy upon this coronation. For it seems that all had sworn their worth. I had seen nothing like it in all my days in performing, and it was then that the long journey fell away, and all were renewed.

It was later that I approached the thrones to thank them for the honor they bestowed upon me in allowing me to provide music for their court. It was then that they thanked me as if they had the greater pleasure in its hearing, but knowing in my heart, that it did not surpass the moments and the beauty greater than I would ever see again.