Event Review - Northkeep Castellan 2004 - by Zubeydah
Q: Where were you when the lights went out?
A: In the dark!
The week before Castellan, there was a rather nasty storm that hit and left 80,000 homes and businesses in the Greater Tulsa area without any electricity. Abe and I were among them, making preparations for Castellan challenging at best. Fortunately, I had to go into the office for about four hours on Memorial Day and was thus allowed to leave work early on Friday... coincidentally the day we got our power back! This was a huge relief. Her Excellency, Baroness Michelle, had asked me the prior week to make some chocolate largess for their Majesties for Lillies War... and without power, I'd been unable to make them. I was positively wretched at the thought of having to tell her I hadn't been able to... but Fate was not so cruel as that.
Leaving work about two hours early, I rushed to the store, and purchased all the items for the waterbearers' station, then dashed home to start making chocolates, cookies, and pack! Unfortunately all my prep had to wait until the kitchen was cleaned up after three days with no power, and a fridge full of ruined food. (At least that left plenty of room for the chocolates!)
Abe took the entire day off, and headed up to the site early with Oxlade's beer (15 gallons of three different types of drinkable left over from the handfasting), half a rick of wood, and my waterbearer kitchen tote, as well as getting us checked into the hotel. This time, we were staying at the Budget ZZZ, instead of the much more preferable Skylark Hotel, which was full (They are less than a mile away from one another, but the difference in quality and environment is marked. You can reach the Skylark at 918-358-3523, and we highly recommend it for better budget-hotelling-it at events held in Cleveland... though I wouldn't want to go there on my honeymoon or anything). While he was at site, I started getting things organized and packed and cooked and such. Eggs boiled, chocolates made, garb pressed, toiletries fetched!
We finally made it up to the site around 9 PM and went straight back to the Glade, which was torch lit and beautifully set up as always. There, Hersir Thorgrim and Her Excellency Sigen welcomed us, along with Lord Katsutoshi. We settled down to some chatter and some of Oxlade's fine beer. [It should be noted that three kegs of Master Oxlade's beer, when allowed to ferment for an additional two months, in Abe's words, "advance to yet another level of sublime."] Much was spoke of as we watched the fireflies dance and listened to some Middle Eastern music Sigen had picked out just for my enjoyment.
Around ten we wandered down to the hall to find Gate. Just as we were all paid up, Amanda and Thormund Blackwolf strolled over with some bottles in hand. Thormund handed Abe a bottle, refusing to identify its contents but grinning proudly. Abe cautiously took a sip, then belted back a health swig, cussing appreciatively. It was Thormund's first batch, and was declared to be quite good. Abe described it as a "dark Erlanger, a few shades from a Weissen," whatever that means (can you tell I don't drink German or any other beer?) and that it was very tasty.
Shortly thereafter we headed back up to The Glade and were privileged to learn about Spider Monkey Attacks and Turtle defenses after a few rounds of Ox's beer... (you had to be there!) Midnight rolled around far too quickly, and we headed to the hotel after pausing on our way off site to chat with House Halfiras and of course Centurion Owen who had just arrived. I had the pleasure of getting a peek at his brand new baby, Henry, who seems to have his father's looks and his mother's temperament.
Our accommodations weren't exactly three star, but a roof, air conditioning, mattress and hot shower in the morning make for a better night than bugs, rain, and creepy night noises or drunken drumming. Early the next morning after being woken by the thunder, we crawled our way back to site; poor Abe usually works second shift, so getting up early is never fun for him. Our first priority was to check on our friends back at The Glade. Lady Bridget had arrived, and much to Abe's delight, had coffee hot and ready. After a bit of discussion, it was decided that they would wait for a dry spell in the rain and then strike the camp, having it packed and ready to go. Poor Bridget was not feeling well, but even the added cold, chill and wet (she was soaked) didn't dampen her spirits. HE Sigen had goose bumps on top of goose bumps, but had managed to stay dry for the most part.
All too soon, duty called, so we headed back to the Hall. There we found a large group huddled around the fireplace. Owen ap Aeddan had steam rising from his massive shoulders and a puddle pooled around his booted feet like some mythical creature, but even still seemed happy to be there. Various folks came and went, and I was allowed to snap a photo of some of those gathered.
While I was wandering through the hall, I heard a rather large amount of giggling coming from the Baronial thrones. There, I found three adorable nobles-to-be. They graciously permitted me to snap their picture, then each picked a treasure from my belt pouch of youth waterbearer largess - two chose a tumbled, polished amethyst and one received a similar piece of jasper. Much discussion ensued about finding a safe place for their rocks, with one finding its way into a pocket, one going to a parent, and the third being lost within about 5 minutes somewhere in the maze of tables and benches.
There were various groups assembled within the hall, and I was allowed to snap a few photos: Baroness Rhiannon was discussing bookbinding with another lady and let me photograph a work-in-progress. Another good lady was demonstrating the use of a spinning wheel to Northkeep’s Reeve and kindly posed. Something I’ve thought a few times about trying is doing inkle-loom work, so I grabbed a picture of one.
Outside, the weather was quite dreary, and everything was soaked. Puddles, reflecting the gray skies, dotted the list field. Most seemed uncertain whether or not the event would continue, but it was loudly declared at one point that unless lightning was pouring down Thor's rage upon the list field, there would be fighting that day!
I confirmed my spot for waterbearing with the autocrats, and they suggested a better location. Greg (I'm sorry, I don't know his SCA name) helped haul items over, and Owen ap Aeddan and his band of merry men, er, assistants, helped set up the pavilion after they finished assembling the tents for the list mistresses. Another group of three ladies helped me find a slightly more level spot, and soon the waterbearer tent was up and functional. Waterbearing volunteers began trickling in, and veggies and fruits were chopped, water was toted, lemonade and Gatorade mixed, and things went into full swing. The List Mistresses were in dire need, and so Aleson of House Halfiras asked if I could get by without her so she could help. I assured her that we could run a smidge faster and get all the bases covered, but that without List Mistresses, the fighting simply couldn't happen : It was a more important task, and she shouldn't feel worried about stepping up to help with it!
Morning Court was very short - just some brief announcements and a bit of a chat from HRH Alaric Drake. Though I've not had the opportunity to spend much time around the Heir to the Sable Throne, he gave the impression of being very likeable, and while it was clear he took his position very seriously, he didn't distance himself in any way from those around him. He seemed approachable and funny as he spoke.
Heavy Weapons armor inspection began, and folks signed up for the lists. While they were doing so, the Crown Prince stated his wish for some pick-up fights. I was able to snap a photo of HRH Drake fighting Squire Evan der Fultime of Northkeep. Soon it was time for the 'meatgrinder' to begin, and all the stalwart warriors of Ansteorra gathered to hear the rules and requirements of the bouts. (a few images can be found on the photos page) Before the actual fighting, I dashed over to speak to the MoC. I gave her a few last items for the children's gift baskets: a piece of amber that I requested go to the Youth Bardic champion, and a set of leather belt favors - enough for each winner to receive one - with the Northkeep badge upon them. She grinned and said that to her delight she'd gotten more prizes than she could actually use, and would have some in reserve for the following year.
For the greater part of the day, I stayed at the waterbearer tent, and watched over supplies, playing 'general' by directing my extremely capable troops. We had several delightfully fun moments, and truly enjoyed ourselves during the day chatting, singing, playing instruments, cooing over Owen & Dagmar's new baby boy, Henry, and visiting with and teasing the fighters. I did get a moment to slip away and chat with HL Gilyan of Mooneschadowe, who graciously allowed me to ogle the tent she and Sir Jean-Paul had recently purchased. It was HUGE, dry, and quite elegant. The period and dismantle-able bed that had been made by Master Oxlade amazed me. She was kind enough to let me photograph the quilt on her bed (Photo 1 / Photo 2) : it was made of event tee-shirts that were now far too large for her, and had been crafted by her mother. I also dropped off a small gift for Master Oxlade that he had forgotten at our handfasting, with Gilyan's kind assurances she'd make sure he got it.
During the combats, there was only one serious injury that I saw - a pulled muscle - though on a few occasions, fighters needed repairs to their armor and even shoes. We were glad to be able to supply ice for the injury, and duct tape and zip ties for the armor failures. There's a sense of accomplishment and usefulness that working a well-equipped waterbearer station brings that is hard to describe in terms that don't seem hokey. It feels good that folks know that whatever they need, they can come to a Northkeep WB station, and be taken care of. We had pickle juice, duct tape, or tweezers, fruit or more filling items, were happy to help adjust armor, tuck in tabards, do whatever was needed. When that happens, I know we've done our job well.
A couple of times, Sebastiana and Katya and Yalena made the long trek past The Glade to where the KAS & Archery was set up. There was a good spot with shade, and of course Lord Blackmoon had supplied water, which we supplemented with food items. There were reports of things being devoured quickly, so about once an hour we sent another well-loaded plate in their direction.
About midway through the morning, Their Excellencies Northkeep, Lady Bridget, Lord Katsutoshi and my own darling Abe came and set up chairs so they could observe the fights. I was glad to see my hubby for the first time in hours, and we positively disgusted everyone present with our 'lovey dovey' kisses and affection. At one point we were ordered to 'get a room,' at which point I quipped that we ‘already had one, thank you, and put it to good use’ and kept kissing my honey. <Yes, aren't newlyweds disgusting?>
One particularly sweet moment of the day (not involving Abe) was when Zaynah's daughter, Kya, came to volunteer. She gravely listened as I explained the basics of waterbearing, and dutifully slathered herself in anti-bacterial cleaning solution every time she stepped under the tent. As we were going to be serving food to the visiting Heirs and their entourage and their Excellencies of Northkeep, I taught her how to curtsey. It was absolutely adorable, but made even more so when she excitedly taught her mother to do so as well. Kya was a model waterbearer - more focused and attentive than some adults I've worked with! Vivat to this young servant of Ansteorra! She also played babysitter for a short while for Lady Dagmar, getting to hold Henry ap Owen.
During a lull in the combats, Kasha and I spoke about the upcoming Bardic competition. She encouraged me to participate, but I wasn't confident enough in my repertoire of one song to compete. She showed me the bags she had made for each entrant: black and red cloth with white tie-strings, with glass stones for the judging. They were nicely made, and I recalled seeing her work on them during a 'project night' at Halfiras. Mentioning that she needed to come up with a topic for the final round, she asked for suggestions. After bandying a few back and forth, she suggested Honor. I pondered a moment, then said, "Honor is a topic often overdone. But there's something very similar that's often overlooked: Integrity." I was pleased that she later used that as her selection for the competition.
After the Meatgrinder chivalric fights, there was a pause while the light weapon/rapier fighters readied themselves. The Heir very obviously made a point of meeting each of the chivalric fighters, and had quite a mob following him around, excited to be able to speak with him. I really didn't want to intrude, but had made a batch of chocolates for the crown Heirs, and for Lillies largess, and for the waterbearers -- and I wanted the Heirs and their entourage to have first pick. Sir Jean-Paul saw me standing nearby, and asked if I wanted to be introduced. I brought the chocolates over, and Prince Alaric made very nice comments about them when I explained what they were. He accepted one, and then suggested I bring the remainder to the royal pavilion and leave them upon the thrones. I worried aloud that doing so might encourage them to grow feet and wander off, and he chuckled and said it would take an individual of 'great intestinal fortitude' to take something off the very throne. I curtsied and departed, only to be called back by Sir Jean Paul and actually introduced.
As I was bringing over the plate of chocolates, Her Highness returned. I explained the gift, and then laid it upon the table for her enjoyment, and quickly scooted back to work. I guess I'm a little gun-shy about being thought a hanger-on or someone who was simply there to garner favor, after a crass comment made at the 2003 Crown Tournament. But in the brief few moments that HRH Sibri and I spoke, she gave the firm impression of a gracious lady who was warm and thoughtful, if maybe a teensy bit overwhelmed by all this Heir-to-the-Crown thing and meeting hordes of new folks. I then delivered the largess I'd promised to Her Excellency Baroness Michelle for Lillies War.
The day passed quickly, and with the help of many, we closed waterbearing services for the day, packed up our kitchen, dismantled our sunshade, and were off. Abe and I headed back to the hotel for a bit of rest, relaxation and a much-needed shower. We changed into our "fancy eatin' clothes" as Abe calls them (our handfasting garb), and headed back to site after grabbing a quick bite at Sonic. Abe did not intend to eat feast, and as I was serving, I knew I'd be too busy to get anything. Just as we arrived, they called for servers. I left him in the company of Hersir Thorgrim and scampered off. Baroness Adria of Eldern Hills was in charge of the servers, and she quickly got everyone organized and ready. The feast hall was full, and folks were anxious to partake of the wonderful smelling food. I found a table of predominantly Mooneschadeen and served them their first course with a saucy, "Hello, I'm Zubeydah, and I'll be your server this evening!" Though the tables weren't actually assigned to any one server in particular, I tried to make sure that the Mooneschadeen and the Merry Musicians of Mooneschadowe (who were performing) were taken care of.
It's tradition in Ansteorra that the eldest member of the chivalry present offer up the first toast. Sir Burke rose and spoke of this tradition, but deferred to the youngest member of the chivalry, just to put him on the spot: Sir Jean Paul. JP lifted his glass, and offered up the toast to The King, which the hall loudly toasted. Honorable Lord Elric Dracwin raised a toast to the Queen, speaking firmly and eloquently, his voice carrying across the hall. Again, the Ansteorrans echoed his sentiment.
At one point early in the feast, Oxlade tugged on my sleeve, blinked at me piteously, and said, "Um.. I heard.. That.. Um.. Abe has some of my beer! If you get a chance, could I have some?" I immediately commandeered a pitcher, and scampered out of the hall to Abe's truck, to try and figure out how to make the beer taps work. They were far beyond my ability to comprehend, so I ran across the road to House Halfiras' encampment to see if Abe was there. Instead, I found Eric, who volunteered to try and help and others who suggested Abe might be found on one of the benches along the pathway overlooking the field. While Eric tried to puzzle out the setup, I found Abe, and declared, "Oxlade needs beer! Now!" While this wasn't exactly a direct quote (okay, it wasn’t even close), I didn't want the Master Brewer to be sitting waiting overly long for some of his own crafting. Eventually the pitcher was filled, and I returned to the hall to a gleeful Oxlade, who very considerately asked that I bring some to Sir Jean-Paul as well. A few others at Jean-Paul's table received some of the beer, too, with loud cries of appreciation.
It was about this time that the final performances of the Bardic competition began. Here's the entry "Death in his Face" by Ly. Serena Dominicci, which I did not get to hear. I only got to hear one of them: Centurion Owen's piece on Integrity, and that, only spottily as I scurried between the kitchen and the hall. He spoke eloquently about someone who was an example to him of integrity, and cited several instances. Unfortunately, just as he was wrapping up his performance, I had to return to the kitchen and missed hearing who this example was. On my next trip out, I stopped and asked if I could see his notes and learn of whom he spoke. I shouldn't have had to ask; the example of Integrity that inspired him was Sir Jean-Paul. Owen also conveyed that His Highness had mentioned a desire for a revel to be held after court, and wanted to know if Abe and I would be willing to donate the remainder of the beer. I told him I couldn’t imagine Abe would object, but that I’d check with him.
Soon thereafter, the final course was served and my duties for the day were completely discharged. I made my way out of the hall and back to the park benches overlooking the field, and there I found Abe, Hersir Thorgrim and HE Sigen. It was nice to finally get off my feet and relax a bit, snuggling my honey. We chatted about the upcoming Court, and Sigen said that she wasn’t planning to attend; she wasn’t in proper garb. Abe teasingly commented, “Well, if you’re going to be hanging around us, you’ve got to get some better garb!” (For those unaware, the sheer irony of this comment is of an order of magnitude so as to be absurd. Thorgrim & Sigen’s formal garb is astoundingly lovely. Take a look at photos of our handfasting if you’d like to see examples.)
Court started in relatively short order, with people flocking out of the hall to set up chairs. There were even (blessedly) few bugs and the evening was cool and comfortable weather-wise, with a few stars glimmering overhead. As quickly as I could do so without being disruptive, I slid up to where House Halfiras was sitting from my spot on the benches in the back. I grinned conspiratorially at several other members… you see, we had sent in some recommendations to the Crown. Additionally, I had spoken to HE Ainar about presenting a Journeyman waterbearer’s badge to Zaynah, and had hoped it made the list of items for court. (Inadvertently, it did not.)
Court went smoothly and well, with no long pauses or delays. Their Highnesses were gracious and friendly as they spoke, and again, I got the impression that these were people aware of their station, but not of the impression they were ‘better’ than anyone else. . Noble, but not arrogant… and in some cases, damned funny! HRH Drake began court by relaying the tale of a mighty warrior who slew him on the field of battle at Gulf War… he, who had gone through two crown tournaments undefeated! He summoned this fighter into the court - William of Mooneschadowe, who had slain him by accident with a vicious pole arm thrust. His impression of William’s face when he realized he’d slain an Ansteorran knight had the entire populace giggling. William crawled into the Royal presence, and at Owen & JP’s urging, groveled thoroughly. William was commanded to sit upon a pillow at the feet of HE Lucan, who was heralding for the Court.
As well, His Royal Highness, Drake, announced that he was making Sir Jean-Paul his Master of Revelry, and stated that he wanted to see a focus on fun in Ansteorra. As such, he was encouraging the fine tradition of “sangin” (group singing) and revelry and drinking at the Royal Pavilion after court. He also named the Merry Musicians of Mooneschadowe as the Royal Musicians, and promised to spread their fame across Ansteorra. (YAY MOONESCHADOW!!!)
My recollections of all the things that happened in court are a bit jumbled, but some highlights included… Ian Dun Gillian winning the Artisan competition, and then promptly being given a Sable Thistle in map-making… Centurion Owen winning Bardic and his very spiffy new garb… Sir Jean Paul de Sens winning both the Meatgrinder Award and the title of Drighton with an amazing 24 bouts and 22 wins… Lady Olivia de Calais winning the Youth Rapier, and Youth Bardic (and looking totally stunning in her new black velvet hellsgate with a long flowing train)… Seeing Owen get Castellan was one of the best moments of the whole event. I know he’s been striving towards that goal for more than three years now. His face just glowed as his Lady Dagmar walked up with him, and we all clapped so hard our hands hurt afterward. Lots of woots and hoots and hollering ensued, cheering on this much-loved fellow.
One of the moments of anxiousness for Zaynah & I was when Aethelred kept fidgeting and leaving the area where court was being held. Since we both knew he’d been nominated for an Award of Arms, we were worried he’d be away when he was called. Fortunately, the other person we recommended (here’s the recommendation in PDF format) was Renault du Mont St. Michel, and he was on Guard duty and thus was right where he was needed when called into their Excellency’s presence. Renault really is an amazing contributor to the SCA in Talequah and Tulsa and this recognition was much deserved. Aethelred, as well, has been busting his butt. Here’s some things you might not have known about him…
But really, from an honestly, bluntly selfish prospective, nothing was quite as cool as getting called into court myself. *grin* Abe had showed up rather abruptly a short time before - he usually avoids court, not enjoying things of that nature. Because I was expecting to be doing a presentation to Zaynah, I thought the Baron & Baroness would be calling me into court and he confirmed that’s why he was there - to escort me up for that. When their Highnesses called me in, instead, I realized it didn’t have to do with waterbearing… but was somewhat confused as to what might be going to happen.
HRH Sibri had some really nice things to say about my work as the Northern Regional WBIC, and running waterbearing at events, and working on chocolate and other largess… and then the Herald read a scroll (painted by Ly. Marguerite du Bois), and it was a SABLE CRANE!!!! I was floored! I think I kept mumbling, “oh wow! Oh my goodness! Oh wow!” which probably didn’t sound very intelligent. Her Highness handed me the parchment, then pinned the crane on my waterbearer’s sash, and I floated my way over to Abe who helped me get back to my chair. (Reminder to self: Shorten the hems on formal garb - I kept stepping and tripping on my skirt!) Almost everything that happened after that point is a blur.
It was kind of neat that in the presentations of Court Baron/ess rank to Elizabeta & Beohrtlic, their old friends Mistress Stacia and Master Tarl were involved. Mistress Stacia asked that her coronet be used to crown Elizabeta, and Master Tarl gave Beohrtlic a coronet crafted by Beohrtlic’s brother-apprentice. I like the tradition and added value of ‘passed-down’ regalia… which was my own happy experience: The Sable Crane presented to me was the same one given to Baroness Michelle - she donated it that very day when she heard that I was receiving the Crane. It’s a beautiful piece of embroidery set upon a brooch, with a top ring so it could be worn either as a pin or a pendant.
Their Highnesses were very clever in arranging awards for the same person or consort of a person called into court to flow one after the other, to keep Court moving quickly. Their Herald, Baron Lucase, was easily heard and spoke clearly; it was nice to be able to understand everything being said, and not have long waits between things happening. It was the best court I’ve attended, without question, logistics-wise.
After court, I presented Zaynah with her Journeyman’s water-star badge, and explained the snafu. Abe and I said our goodbyes to Thorgrim & Sigen, who were heading home for the evening, then checked in with Owen. While the guys brought the beer kegs and setup from Abe’s truck, I got to hold Owen & Dagmar’s new baby, Henry, for a bit, amidst a bit of teasing from an onlooker that it looked ‘just way too natural’ for someone with no babies of their own. Henry seems like a very sweet lad, but he’s definitely got his daddy’s lungs.
Moments later, I noticed that Kasha Ivanova of House Halfiras was looking on the verge of tears. I went over to her and knelt in front of her, taking her hands in mine, and gently asked her what was wrong. This brave lady has had a lot of turmoil in her life lately, none of which is my place to speak of in detail. But one part she had made publicly known, was that she would soon be moving away from Northkeep, accepting a scholarship to a university in Texas. She expressed that she would miss all of her new-found friends in the SCA. I reassured her that we wouldn’t forget her, or let her forget us: there was the NK and Halfiras email lists to keep in contact, and plenty of events both here and there that folks could visit. I promised her that all of Halfiras supported her choice, and, indeed, we all knew it was a waste of her amazing voice to let it molder away in Tulsa and not have the opportunities for more growth. She seemed to cheer up a bit, and I made her two promises: One, that I would increase my one-song repertoire and compete in next year’s Castellan Bardic, and two, that I would march over to where the “sangin” was going on, and sing a song in her honor.
She and I strolled over just as things were getting started, then got separated. I didn’t know most of the songs, but they seemed pretty fun. During a break in the songs (most of which were led by Mooneschadowe), I asked HRH if it would be okay if I sang “The Saxon Song” song in Kasha’s honor. They gently demurred, saying they were looking for songs that the whole group could participate in, and since “The Saxon Song” doesn’t have a chorus, they would prefer otherwise. I totally understood: It was outside the scope of the experience they were looking to build. . . so later that evening, I sang it for Kasha at the Halfiras campfire, to keep my promise.
Abe was worn out, so around midnight we headed back to the hotel to collapse exhaustedly into bed, another fine event over.
Here’s the official list of awards from Masamune-san, Northkeep’s Herald:
Awards presented by Baron Ainar & Baroness Mercedes:
Fenton O'Quigg Crimson Star
Ottokar Luther von Holstein Crimson Star
Renault du Mont St. Michel Award of Arms
Katrine la Escolpiera Award of Arms
Aethelred of the Broken Shield Award of Arms
Facon du Pray Compass Rose
Lucan Silverwolf Sable Thistle (Woodworking)
Dairmaid O'Dunn the Lion's Paw of Kenmare
Presented by Their Highnesses
Arthur Blackmoon King's Archer
Deborah of Lemburg Award of Arms
Damon Yanthus Award of Arms
Angus Mchaid Gunn Sable Thistle (Armoring)
Kelandra Carmichael Sable Thistle (Iconography)
Ian Dunn Gillan Sable Thistle (Cartography)
Zubeydah the Wanderer Sable Crane (*whooohoooo!!*)
Llewelyn Briddid ap Dafydd Hen Iris of Merit
Elizabetta af Isefjord Court Barony
Beohrtlic Folcwineson Court Barony
Children's Castellan (Younger) Colton
Children's Castellan (Older) Kelrich
Youth Rapier Olivia de Calais
Drighton Sir Jean Paul de Sens
Provost James Navarre
Archer Arthur Blackmoon
Marksman Grayden Mongo's man
Bard Owen ap Adden
Artisan Ian Dunn Gillan
CASTELLAN Centurion Owen ap Aeddan
As time passes from an event, I often remember little snippets of things or learn about perspectives of other attendees and like to add them. Here's just a couple more things about Castellan:
- Zavaha batHannah, who was a co-Autocrat of the event, is very succeptaible to a ninja foot rub attack. I made her turn into a pile of goo. She was worried about the condition of her tootsies ... I reassured her that I've rubbed fighter feet fresh off the battlefield, and there was positively nothing horrid about her toes.
- Sir Jean-Paul de Sens is the first individual to win the Drighton tournament TWICE!
- This is the hand-written notes (posted with permission of both Owen and Sir Jean-Paul) of Centurion Owen's final-round bardic piece, written on "Integrity."
"One word and I am at his side.
When he speaks you know it is the truth.
When he stands for something you know it is right.
I would follow him to the gates of Hell.
I have fought next to him in four kingdoms, and some of them seemed like Hell.
When he fights he is poetry in motion, his skill is great.
Every day he inspires me to be better.
When I am asked about integrity one person immediately comes to mind:
Sir Jean Paul de Sens"
Castellan 2004 Wordfame
(As posted to the Northkeep email list, 6/7/04)
I wanted to give wordfame to several who put service to others before their own enjoyment at Castellan:
Thank you to Greg (I'm sorry, I don't know your SCA name), who was kind enough to help me carry items over to the waterbearers set up area.
Thank you to Lord Gauvin d'Aigues Mortes, of House Halfiras, who repeatedly dropped whatever he was doing to lift heavy items, fetch more water, fill more buckets, break down the site, etc. He is a gentleman, always, and was never too busy to assist us, on top of his other duties for the day.
Thank you to Centurion Castellan Squire Owen ap Aeddan ap ap ap, who, along with his pages and other assistants, put up our shade pavilion. Three other individuals, both ladies whose names I did not get, or whose faces I did not know, helped us move the pavilion four or five times, trying to find that perfect, level spot.
Thank you to Kasha Ivanova and to Sebastiana de Montfort of House Halfiras, who not only provided waterbearer service, but also sang and played the flute for the enjoyment of those around them. They both served the entire day, and were flexibly willing to help not just one field of activity, but several, hiking all the way down to the archery area several times to make sure the archers and KAS folks were attended to.
Thank you to Yelena Novgoroda of House Halfiras, who prepped, chopped, toted, mixed, and ably served all day. Her quick smile and persistence convinced many a fighter to stop what they were doing and drink. Her humor kept me sane, and her willingness was much appreciated.
Thank you to Kya Wilkie, who took a quick waterbearing instruction class, and then gleefully and cheerfully and ADORABLY assisted with waterbearing and serving food to the spectator. She also learned how to curtsey, then taught her mom. :-) (Kya is one of our youth from Talequah)
Thank you to LORD Renault du Mont Saint-Michel (and gratzies!!!) of House Halfiras who was another of our 'lift that, fetch that, bring more' folks, all while preparing to fight in the rapier battles himself.
Thank you to Bolvine of House Halfiras for additional 'tote and carry' service.
Thank you to Adorna MacGregor, who helped waterbear for the first time, despite being a bit nervous and unsure of herself. She did well, and helped many prevent heat injury. She has a quick hand with a chopping knife!
Thank you to Lady Elizabeth de Calais, for letting us use the kitchen to make those items that power loss at my house prevented better preparation of. Thanks to her also for understanding and forgiving a thoughtless word on my part, and for her grace under pressure as always (and for an amazingly yummy feast). She was also kind enough to provide us with pots and pans and various other implements from the kitchen which she probably had need of for feast, but let us use anyway.
Thank you to the incomparable, amazing Zaynah, HouseMomma of Halfiras, who was cheerful, capable, always ready with good humor and willing hands, and enormously effective at getting the fighters to drink. Thanks also to her for allowing her daughter Kya to waterbear, for loaning us items needed at the last minute, and making House Halfiras at our disposal for whatever was needed. Congratulations are also in order, as she was made a Journeyman waterbearer at the event.
Thank you to the fighters and gentles who took a moment to give thanks to the waterbearers in reward for their service. It can sometimes be a long and tiring job, and a kind word lifts the heart and makes the day shorter.
But most of all, Thank You to my darling husband, Abe Vivitar Von Gebric, without whom I could not participate in the SCA at all... who patiently packs, unpacks, drives, arranges, supports, wards, escorts, and generally keeps me (somewhat) sane. . . and basically gives up his wife for the weekend so that I can have fun caring for the fighters of Ansteorra, all without complaint, but simply quiet loving support.
Baroness Sigen's Words
A short time after I posted the email above, Sigen, Baroness Northkeep, posted a response which really touched me. I hope it's not too geeky to post it here, as well, which I do so with her permission.
In a message dated 6/7/2004 9:37:04 AM Central Standard Time,
snip wonderful tribute to those who helped with the waterbearing at Castellan:
> But most of all, Thank You to my darling husband, Abe Vivitar Von Gebric, without whom I could not participate in the SCA at all... who patiently packs, unpacks, drives, arranges, supports, wards, escorts, and generally keeps me (somewhat) sane. . . and basically gives up his wife for the weekend so that I can have fun caring for the fighters of Ansteorra, all without complaint, but simply quiet loving support
> in service,
Lady Zubeydah is very kind to recognize all of those whose help made Castellan a very nice event, and is also more than modest. Her description of her Husband's help, also describes her own support to those who help her.
The Crown, in it's infinite wisdom, and through Their Heirs, did give honest recognition where it was rightfully earned and deserved, by awarding Lady Zubeydah the Sable Crane of Ansteorra.
This kind lady hit the ground running in Northkeep, and has never slowed down. She has tirelessly provided for the needs of the fighters of the North without fail. She has also provided for the needs of the Crown and Kingdom, in the form of a more than wonderful gift basket for the Kingdom of Ealdomere, and chocolates that were distributed among the Crowned Heads of the Known World, among other things. She has never failed to answer the call for help, regardless of any difficulties she may have had to overcome to answer that call.
Zubeydah is the embodiment of selfless service, and an inspiration for the Kingdom. I am proud to call her friend.
Vivat Ansteorra's newest Sable Crane!!
- beam* Thank you, Sigen...