Event Review - Chemin Noir Fair of the Harvest 2005 - by Zubeydah

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This page contains an event review by Zubeydah. This represents solely her opinion and views/thoughts at the time of writing, and do NOT reflect upon her Barony, her Region, her mentors and friends, or anyone else.

The Incipient Canton of Chemin Noir’s premier event, Fair of the Harvest, was held close to home at Will Rogers Boy Scout Camp. Halfiras had pledged, upon the announcement of the event, to support them in any way possible, and I was happy to assist in that effort.

My own prep for the event began on Monday, October 10th, in kind of a bass-ackwards way. I’ve been working on a commission for Hersir Thorgrim & HE Sigen, Baron & Baroness Northkeep. Unfortunately, it’s not turning out as well as I’d like. So I decided to try and ‘refocus’ by doing something else for a little while. I’d recently found a copy of the “Heurs de Jean de France, Duc de Berry” at a yard sale, and using one of its folio pages as inspiration, I created an illuminated piece. I intended to use it as ornamentation on a poem I’d been working on, based on the origin of the name, Chemin Noir. So Monday and Tuesday, I finished the illumination. I planned to do the calligraphy on Wednesday. As I was painting on Tuesday, I had a thought, and emailed a question to one of the co-autocrats, Fintan o’Cuigg. His response, received on Wednesday, confirmed my fear: They did not have award scrolls for the event.

Wednesday night, I worked up a fairly simple but pretty original, and did the script as well. I took it to Kinkos and had it printed on a heavy card stock. That night, I painted up one of the scrolls, to see if the gouache would take on the card stock. It did! Thursday and Friday, I painted the remaining 5 scrolls. Alas, this meant I didn’t have time to finish my A&S entry.

Also on Friday night, I baked a pair of bacon, Swiss cheese and onion deep dish quiches, as well as a batch of spiced nuts for the gift baskets. I pulled out my kitchen, assembled my supplies, and generally made ready to get going in the morning.

The following day, I woke a half an hour before the alarm was due to go off. I crawled out of bed and began my preparations for departure. There were a variety of time-delays, but eventually I made it to the site just before 9am. While I was unloading, Karl and Geoffrey appeared. They assisted me in getting everything loaded onto my hand-cart, and Karl then pulled it over to the list field (Geoffrey had to go and set up the day’s archery events).

Arriving at the list field, I saw that Chemin Noir already had a pavilion up for their use, and another for the list mistresses. The Baronial pavilion was also erected, and a small list field had been set up. A small row of personal tents stretched along the tree line. It didn’t look like a very well attended event, much to my chagrin. I’d hoped more folks would come out and support Chemin Noir. There was no sign of Halfiras, who had talked previously of day-tripping.

I unloaded everything off the cart, and began setting things up on my own. Unfortunately, while I was trying to raise one corner of the pop-up, it slid down and whacked me in the head. Rikr saw this, and came over to help me, rousting up a few others to assist, including Renault and another gentleman. Once the tent was up, Rikr asked if there was anything else he could do to help. I asked if he could fill my water cooler with ice and water, and two buckets half full with water. He very kindly agreed to do so.

While he was doing that, I set about getting things sorted out. At the top of my list, was letting Chemin Noir know that I’d made scrolls for them. (At that point, I’d mentioned on Thursday that I was going to try, but couldn’t guarantee their completion.) I showed Fintan the six scrolls, and he seemed very pleased in a distracted, very busy sort of way. As I was returning to my tent, Lord Ottokar’s wife approached me about doing the name calligraphy for the children’s scrolls. I told her I’d be glad to do it, and showed her the adult scrolls I’d made.

A very charming young lady of Japanese persona from Calontir (the same one I’d met at Mooneschadowe Guardian: I *think* her name is Akiko (?)) offered to assist me decorate the tent. She approved of the purple and green and blue shades of fabric we swathed the pop-up in. As we were decorating, Rikr returned with the buckets. I thanked him for his aid, and asked him to stop by a little later when he had a spare moment, as there had been a call for armor inspection to begin.

About 15 minutes later, Halfiras arrived in masse. Their suburban was piled high with people and supplies for the day. They piled out, and immediately began erecting tents, sorting supplies, setting up tables, and generally leaping into action. The waterbearer in charge for the day was the ever lovely Mehpare, and she mobilized her troops well.

While they were unloading, the Warden contenders were introduced to the B&B of Northkeep. Some introduced themselves very simply; others were heralded in to much acclaim and flattery. I think Damon was first, escorting his Lady Ismet. He proclaimed his worthiness in that booming voice, clear as a bell and ringing with confidence. One gentleman, after being heralded and strutting about like a banty rooster, said he “had to have a cigarette after that intro!” Asric heralded Rikr and Aelfwyn, having much to say of the honor that Rikr would bring to the position of Warden. Ottokar of Chemin Noir’s armor was the focus of his introduction: the patriotic armor that would leave his foes seeing stars, and the stripes he’d leave all over his enemies. Lord Damon Xanthos of Northkeep was heralded in by a lady of Calontir, who spoke part of her introduction in Japanese. [At the event, I only caught his name as “Wookie”, and appreciate Kale’s providing me with a correction to that.]

I took a moment to hug Attiya and say hello to Halfiras, then continued getting things ready. I delivered the full cooler and the buckets for sanitizing. With that taken care of, I grabbed Attiya, plopped her down and gave her a small gift bag I’d put together, after hearing of some heroic action on her part. [Her mom had forgotten to eat after giving blood, and passed smooth out on the floor of the kitchen. Attiya remained calm, contacted an adult, and helped her mom get to the couch. She then used her waterbearer training, and brought her mom some water, some broth made from Raman noodle spices, and even a pickle! “You need salt, mom!” She also got her mom’s head elevated and a cool cloth on it. This young lady of Ansteorra is a shining example to others for keeping calm in a situation that might have frightened many adults, and I’m enormously proud of her.] In the bag was a small silk covered mirror, a matching beaded headscarf, beaded purse, two bejeweled boxes, and a lavender scented candle, which she swore not to light unless her mom was around. I got a big hug and a grin in return.

It was around this time that I realized I had misplaced my car keys. I searched around my tent, to no avail, and then retraced my steps to the car. It was firmly locked, with the keys nowhere in sight. I checked in at Gate to see if anyone had dropped them by – no luck – but they said they’d look out for them. Ack! I really didn’t want to call AAA, as when this had happened previously with my old car, the window seal had been permanently damaged in the effort to get the car open. I kept looking... then realized where I’d left them: At the list mistress’ table, where I’d stopped to show Fintan the scrolls! Yay!

Retrieving my keys, I headed for my car, only to get side tracked at the feast hall. I snuck a peek at the A&S competition. There were some beautiful entries. I tried taking some photos, but realized my camera batteries were quite dead. I headed back to camp to try and find some, but didn’t have the correct size. Asking around, I found a woman at the list mistress’ table that had some of the right size. She was having difficulties opening a bag of cubed cheese; if I could get the bag open, she’d trade me for the batteries. I was able to open the package using a knife from the waterbearing kitchen, and armed with batteries, immediately got started taking photos.

The waterbearers’ station was in full swing, though staffed a bit scantily in comparison to our usual throng. There was plenty of delicious fare; far more than the pickles and oranges we’d been budgeted. We waterbearers of the North understand that our job is more than just hydration – we help to create an atmosphere of welcome and hospitality, which, in turn, makes events more popular and helps with first impressions of new groups. Yelena had made a particularly delicious batch of fighter biscuits. I’d brought 5 cans of jumbo olives. Rayhanna & Mehpare and others in Halfiras had chipped in with some wonderful grapes, mixed nuts, and other delicacies. It was a proper offering, and I was proud of the effort Mehpare had made and organized, despite the challenges she was presented with. She had also made a gift of largess for each waterbearer: a braided necklace with a glass jewel. Mine had three, for all the help I’d given her, she explained. I proudly wore it all day.

I decided on a whim to enter the six scrolls in the A&S competition. There were a lot of extremely good entries, so I knew I had next to no chance to win, but what the heck – it was worth trying! I grabbed one of my veils and spread it out on the table, then laid all six scrolls out. There were small metal cups to place next to each entry, so I put one by mine.

On my way back to the station, I stopped by Gate and paid for the event. Including feast, it came to $18.00. I also got information on the interesting items displayed on one of the tables in the hall: It was for a raffle to raise money for Chemin Noir. Many of the items were very nice, so I made a mental note to let Halfiras know about them so folks could enter. I wish I’d known – I would have made or donated something. :-(

The format of the heavy list was unusual: 1 Warden-hopeful versus 3 Brigands. The description of the Warden's Challenge, as provided by the event staff, was as follows: "The Warden - Heavy. We wish to invite all fighters to join us for what should be a very exciting tourney. Because of the format of the competition it cannot be stressed more that we need as many people in armor as possible. At signup, you can declare your intent to claim the Warden title. If you do not wish to compete for the title then your name will go in to the Brigands column. This is a perfect way for new fighters and people with time constraints to get some practice. After the List closes, the Warden hopefuls will come before the crowd and introduce themselves (personal heralds are accepted). Each Warden hopeful will square off against 3 Brigands in a 1 vs.3 match. The Warden Hopeful will be awarded 0-4 points for the match. 1 point for each Brigand defeated and a Bonus point for surviving. After 2 matches for each Warden Hopeful, we will select the top 2 for the final round. The Field Battle will place the last Two Warden hopefuls in the role of War Band Leader. Anyone in armor that wishs to be part of the Field Battle may join in. The bands will be selected by the War leaders, one fighter at a time. [Editor's Note: it was picked randomly from a hat, at the event.] We hope that we can have combat Archery in this round. [Editor's note: As it turned out, there wasn't any.] During this battle, the two War leaders are just that, leaders. They cannot attack or be attacked. Only after a War leader has lost all of his men is he free to engage himself. The surviver will be our new Warden."

Each Warden-hopeful fought at least two fights – sometimes more, as they were short staffed on Brigands. At first, the fighting was a bit disorganized – but after someone yelled out from the side that the brigands were supposed to be working TOGETHER, the fighting tightened up. Those who were brigands had fun with the ‘role’, snarling and calling out imprecations upon those who dared challenge them. Ollj of Mooneschadowe was especially humorous, as well as being mightily deadly with a glaive. The heralds also seemed to enjoy adding to the flavor of the combats. I was able to snap a number of photos of the heavy matches, and it soon became apparent that Herr-Domr Damon Hroarson was leading the pack. His lady, Honorable Lady Ismet, attentively watched every fight, acknowledging his salutes. I like it when consorts do that.

I started teasing folks that turnout was low enough that I was going to have to harass them into eating more than usual – each person had to do their part! Asric mentioned that he was fine for food, but would be happy to get a hug. I did a bit of a hip wiggle and shimmy at one point while I was waterbearing to get a laugh from the Mooneschadin, which worked.

There was one ‘casualty’ of the day – a gentleman from Chemin Noir who is still somewhat new at fighting in the heavy list. He over-heated, and nearly collapsed on the side of the field. When I found out about it, I hurried over. Mehpare was already there, checking his pulse and temperature. The man was not sweating, which had me very concerned. We encouraged him to keep drinking Gatorade, and Mehpare tried lowering his temperature with some cold cloths. Unfortunately, he was wearing very heavy knit sweatpants, which, as Halldor mentioned, were deadly in the summer heat. The gentleman expressed his wish to simply lay quietly, and eventually moved to his tent – a decision he would not have gainsaid. Unfortunately, with that, we could no longer interfere. But we remained worried, and checked on him a few times throughout the day. Fintan twisted his knee in one fight, but was up and about after resting it for a bit.

The final bout was a large mass melee, with Damon leading one group and Randal Lee leading the others. The leaders were disallowed from combat until every last one of their men was slain. Randal was the last one standing from his team, facing off against a legged Ollj, a mobile Master Tarl, and of course, Damon. Damon encouraged and directed his remaining two men during a very long standoff that took longer than the rest of the battle. Mehpare and I were starting to grow concerned at the combat’s length, with most people being forced to stand around in the heat and watch. So I was very naughty and walked along the farthest edge of the combat area, and brought over a tray of food items, Gatorade, and water. In the end, Ollj was slain, but Master Tarl took down Randal, allowing Damon the win, but not before Randal got a lot of verbal taunting and teasing for his measured pace. I believe one comment made was, “Dude, you’re fighting a cripple and an old man! What’s the wait for!”

The hour was about noon-thirty when the heavy list combats ended. Folks decided to get some food and much needed rest before the rapier event started. I brought out the quiches I’d made, and sliced them up. I decided to check on folks around the field: Did they have something to eat? I mentioned the quiche to some of the Mooneschadin. One pair looked very disappointed – they’d just sent someone off to town to get Sonic fast food. Others accepted the offer. So I grabbed the quiches, some paper towels, and walked about offering folks some. Ollj and Mylicent seemed to enjoy it, and when my voice wasn’t strong enough to catch the attention of another fellow, Ollj had him galloping over with a shouted, “Asric! Food!” During the lunch hour, Rikr stopped by, and I gave him a bag of the spiced nuts for his help earlier. I also gave a bag to Mehpare, for being waterbearer in charge.

During lunch, I sang some verses of a song I’d been playing with for Mehpare. She seemed to like them, and said she wanted to learn the words. Lunch was a casual affair. I had two slices of quiche and a sandwich of cheese and turkey. Yum! Two mugs of Gatorade washed it down – I was being careful to eat and drink this event – and careful WHEN I ate and drink – there were hornets and swarming all over the event (though many folks kept calling them bees), flying into people’s drinks and on their food. In fact, Rayhanna and another individual were stung! Ouch!

The rapier folks weren’t quite ready to begin, so I wandered to the hall and took some photos of those assembled, and all the A&S. I was thrilled to see that I’d actually gotten five votes in the A&S, and was in second place, with two people tied for first! (They had 7 votes each) I checked on HL Elizabeth de Calais, who was a bit worn out from all her work in the kitchen. I got her to sit down for a few minutes, and with her permission, rubbed her feet for a while. They were swollen and sore from all her hard work. When her feet were a bit more comfortable, I found a pan and poured in some cool water. The chilled but not icy water was soothing on Elizabeth’s poor tootsies. I left her feeling a bit better, and after cleaning my hands well, headed back to waterbearing.

Rapier was in full swing and I didn’t see anyone waterbearing. So I grabbed a pair of bottles and started making a circuit. As I passed the list mistress’ table, I overheard a rather tacky comment: “Oh. The waterbearers are back. It’s about time.” I wasn’t able to fully identify the voice, but if the person who made the comment would like to discuss any issues with regards to the waterbearing face to face, I welcome their constructive criticism and suggestions on how to improve this volunteer service, and look forward to seeing them volunteer to help us out next time.

Attiya and I continued waterbearing for the rest of the rapier tournament. Many of the rapier fighters were extremely gracious and polite, but a lot of them had brought their own supplies and as a result, graciously refused our aid. The fights had some sort of odd theme: I heard something about ‘fighting with/for a friend’ but wasn’t sure how that was structured. Several times, when fighters were limbed, they refused to yield, as they were not fighting on their own behalf.

One young gentle from Calontir repeatedly offered an “honorable fight” whenever it was two people on his team versus a single opponent. I particularly liked the fights between Don Timothy and his wife, HL Therese. These two fighters are grace and poetry in motion, and are such a joy to watch. There was a lot of good natured teasing whenever they squared off, about spousal abuse and such – at one point, Therese caught Timothy’s white scarf on her blade and it tangled, and he teased her about wanting one for herself (Therese has not yet been accorded this honor, much to the bewilderment of most of those who have seen her fight). Eventually the bouts drew to a close: it was Don Timothy vs Tadg. It looked like Don Timothy had won, but the final point was contested. On the renewal of combat, Tadg won the next point, and took the tournament. Randal had Tadg’s full name ready to go, and I also collected Damon’s proper name and title as well.

Around this time, the children’s activities ended for the day. The gracious lady who had been in charge of the youth brought me a list of names of their winners. I let her know that I had a number of items for the gift baskets, but had found out from Fintan that the adults weren’t receiving baskets. I asked her if she’d like them for youth prizes, and she very happily accepted. (7 bags of spiced nuts I’d made previously.) Rikr stopped by around then for some water, and I asked him how he’d liked the nuts. He joked that Aelfwyn had run off with his nuts (which sparked a variety of teasing right back) but that he’d had a chance to sample the bag I gave Elizabeth, and said they were good.

During the last phase of the rapier combats, I started dismantling my tent. I was still undecided about participating in the bardic – which would be my only reason to stay for feast and court – and thought it better to be fully loaded and ready to go whenever it was that I decided to go. Several folks were kind enough to help me undecorate, pack, load, and otherwise prepare to get my stuff to the car. Attiya and Mehpare helped steady the load, though alas, half of it tumbled off the cart just as I got to the car. It didn’t take long to load everything, but while I was doing so, I decided to go ahead and stay.

I got everything put away except for my feast gear and the calligraphy equipment I’d need to do the scrolls. Just then, Geoffrey arrived with the information on both Archery and Thrown Weapons. As I’d gotten the Rapier and Heavy Weapons and A&S earlier, I was all set for information, except for Bardic, which hadn’t been held yet. I changed into nicer, non-work garb. Lady Elizabeth de Calais was kind enough to let me use her cabin, which had electricity.

I’ll be the first to admit that my own hand is not proper calligraphy at all. Knowing this, I’ve utilized period fonts made by the Scriptorium – David Nalle researches each and every historical font he makes to exacting standards. For the Chemin Noir scrolls, I printed out the text for the scrolls using the Collins Old English font. I then laid my scrolls over the printout, and using a light table, traced the text onto the scrolls. I did the same at the event to add people’s names. As I had no way of knowing who would win what, Friday night I had printed a ‘template’ for myself, with examples of each letter in upper and lower case. I used this template at the event to add the calligraphy.

It took me about 30 minutes to write in the categories of the competitions (“Premier Ranger,” “Premier Huntsman,” etc.) and the names, as well as some 8 scrolls for the youth activities. I was worried I was going to miss feast, which was starting at 6:00 pm, but didn’t want to hurry too much and make a mistake. At 6:03, I was done. I breathed on the scrolls to help them dry, packed them up, and headed for the feast hall.

There, I found it was quite crowded. I turned the scrolls over to the autocrat, who gave them to the herald, and breathed a sigh of relief. The raffle had already been held, and I had no idea to check to see if my ticket had been called. I found where my friends were sitting, but there wasn’t enough room at the Halfiras & Mooneschadowe table, so I found a less packed spot. This was the table shared by Masamune and his family, Ian dun Gillan, and several others. Renault joined me as well, which was nice.

Feast was quite a spectacle, with ‘dualing cooks’ Elizabeth and Kelandra preparing French and Irish courses. My own choices seemed to switch back and forth, though I’ll be honest, it leaned a bit more towards the French. The French onion soup was particularly delicious.

During Feast, the bardic competition was going on. The description of the competition, as provided by the event staff, was as follows:

"The Bardic competition will be held during feast. The feast hall will be divided in 3 parts (head table, left and right wings).There will be a judge in each of the areas. They will have a list of all the bards that signed up at gate. Each bard will perform a piece at some time during feast for each area. The time and subject of the performance will be up to the entertainer. The judge will give points for the overall performance as well as how you interact with the audience. Remember: you are not performing for the judge. The judge is grading you on how will you perform for the others in the room. To make it easier for the judge, please introduce yourself before you start. The feast will go on regardless of your performance. You will need to take charge of the time and make the people want to pay attention to you. This is how the Troubadour makes a living."

Right after the first course was served, I decided to break the ice. I walked to the head table and introduced myself, and the piece I’d chosen: my poem about Chemin Noir. Unfortunately, my voice is not very strong, and while I spoke as clearly and projected my best, poor Ismet had to crane her head and lean forward to hear me. I thanked them for the opportunity to perform, and headed back to my chair.

I was soon followed by HL Damon, who told a stirring piece straight from history about a battle of the English, which had to do with the gifts of princes and the honor of squires. He performed right in front of my table, in a booming, clear voice that’s a delight to listen to. Not to be outdone, Aderyn Gunnarsdottir performed her pieces while serving the tables.

As my second piece, I chose the song my sister wrote: “If I Should Meet a Saxon.” Sadly, this was a bad selection, as the judge at the table was of Saxon persona, and Mistress ‘Stacia humphed and grumbled throughout my performance (Alas, I had always thought she and Tarl were Norse). I fled back to my own table, quite embarrassed. There, I admitted to my gaffe, and they were kind enough to ask me to sing it for them. I did so, and then later, after the next course, followed it up with the poem I’d written for Chemin Noir. For Mooneschadowe & Halfiras’ table, I sang the Mooneschadowe Variant of “Harken Ansteorra,” saying I had to get it in while it was still accurate – being as how Mooneschadowe won’t be a Shire much longer. There were shouts of “HAIL MOG!” afterwards, and Akiko was wondering what the heck MOG was. I fetched her back to the table, and it was explained to her.

Around or about the fourth course, I headed to the Chemin Noir table, and performed the poem for them. They seemed to like it – later, their newsletter editor asked me for a copy so she could include it in their next issue.

Another bardic piece was done by a pair: The exuberant Calontiri fencer and the Japanese persona’d Akiko. Theirs was a duel of words between an angel and a fallen angel, and was very intriguing. Mehpare sat with me and we listened to it together. Elizabeth de Calais stepped out of the kitchen, and Mehpare began giving her a back rub. Then she and I each grabbed a hand, and set about making Elizabeth make happy noises. Kelandra emerged from the kitchen and said she was jealous, so of course, we had to give her a hand rub too!

By the time dessert rolled around (some amazing crepes with various sauces – I had to try three different sauces; blueberry, brandied cherry, and peach), I was growing weary from the toil of the day and the anxiety of performing. I could tell from the applause that I had done okay, but didn’t garner the same response that Aderyn was getting as she sang song after song. I was a little sad to have lost both competitions I’d entered that day, but since I’ve only done two bardics thus far, and no prior A&S, I couldn’t be too upset.

After feast, Fintan brought me the name of the Bardic winner: Aderyn. I brought the remaining scroll to a quiet spot, and did my best on the calligraphy, being as how I didn’t have the ability to use my light table. It came out a little crooked, as I’d not thought to trace a reference line previously, but her whole name fit okay. While I was writing in her name, Fintan mentioned that Halfiras had previously offered to do the dishes from feast. He asked if I knew if they were still planning on it; I wasn’t sure.

I brought my equipment and feast gear to the car, and then headed on to where Halfiras was camping. I asked if they were planning on doing the kitchen clean up. Some said they remembered offering, others didn’t, but I think folks headed that direction – I know Mehpare did. I headed back to the feast hall to get ready for court; I really wanted to see the scrolls being given out.

I got a good seat three rows back, and took pictures throughout Court. Here’s a list of those who won:

Adult Champions

  • Herr-Domr Damon Hroarsson received the axe of the Warden.
  • Tadg macAedain uiConchobahair received the rapier blade of the Rangers, assembled and crafted by Randal Lee.
  • Lady Sabine Lefevre d’Armagnac received the handsome Journal of the Inspectors, with which she could detail her project, and those of future Inspectors.
  • Lady Aderyn Gunnarsdottir received a feathered, betokened walking stick, along with a pouch with the device of the Canton, in which she could keep the monies she earns entertaining as Troubador.
  • Lord Ottokar Luthor von Holstein received a slim and deadly spear for his office of Sergeant.
  • Karl Thorgeirsson accepted a leather quiver - as the Caton’s Huntsman.

Children’s Events:

  • Dragon Hunt, 8 and under: Elizabeth
  • Dragon Hunt, 9 and older: Damon of House Halfiras
  • Gentle Hunt, 8 and under: Elizabeth
  • Gentle Hunt, 9 and older: Nehemiah
  • Sheep Stealing, 8 and under: Nehemiah
  • Sheep Stealing, 9 and older: Drake
  • Tossing Game, 8 and under: Morgan
  • Tossing Game, 9 and older: Drake
  • Children’s Archery: Drake received a huge jack o lantern of candy – which had been one of the targets that day – and a special mention was made of Chyryne, who was dressed as Snow White, for her efforts in the archery shoot. She received a mirror, in which Arthur Blackmoon said he hoped she would always see her dreams.

Arthur Blackmoon provided me with the following information about the Children’s Archery: “No one had planned a children's shoot, but I was asked by a couple of parents if there would be one. I got with Lord (Geoffrey) Makepeace, and we set up a foam jack-o-lantern, suspended from a string, off of a set of hay bales at approximately 10 yards. (Due to the age difference of two of the competitors, (if I remember right, 5 years and 6 years) we moved them up to approximately 5 yards. We had 4 competitors, up to 13 yrs of age. Each shot 3 arrows at the target, with only 13 yr old Drake and 5 yr old Chyryne hitting the target, once each. They then shot 3 more arrows each, with arrows coming close, but no hits. Then on the second shoot off, Drake hit with one arrow, and Chyryne missed all 3. Drake was impressive not only in the way he won, but also in the chivalrous way he acted afterward. Drake won a plastic jack o lantern that had been used as an adult target, so it was full of arrow holes, and full of candy. (Ulrich von Budigen paid for the candy, while Karl Thorgeirsson ran to town and picked it up.) Chyryne was impressive in that she had only touched a bow once before in her life. (She had previously shot 2 arrows, ever.) At her very first event, she got first place against someone over twice her age. I had left the house with out any children's prizes, but did have a couple of mirrors. I was impressed enough to want to reward Chyryne for doing such a good job.”

At the end of the event presentations (there were no kingdom or baronial awards given out), Honorable Laird Ian asked permission to address the populace. There was some teasing by Arthur Blackmoon as Ian wasn’t wearing shoes – Ian quickly shot back that at least he didn’t have an issue with his trews sagging, and a Black Moon, which evoked gales of laughter. Once order was restored, Ian asked all of Chemin Noir to come forward, and then presented them with the map that had been his A&S entry. It was well received, with shouts of VIVAT!

Immediately after court, I headed home, having promised my husband I would not tarry. I made it home just as the clock struck ten, exhausted and feeling vaguely wistful that the day had gone just a little bit better. Perhaps next time.