The account below is used with permission of Mistress Clare RosMuire St. John. The introduction is by Mistress Tessa of the Gardens. If you have something to add please add it as a comment below this account rather than editing their words.
The sword “Friendbringer” is remembered and described by one of the founding members of the “Region” of Ansteorra in the 1970s when a part of the greater Kingdom of Atenveldt, before the Principality era and certainly before Kingdom status. Mistress Clare RosMuire St. John began her SCA participation in Bjornsborg where she played for many year. She now resides in Bryn Gwlad. Clare is a Mistress of the Pelican and Mistress of the Laurel. Sir Michael of Moria and Master Ioseph of Locksley are some of the giants of Atenveldt upon whose shoulders we fledgling Ansteorrans stood.
Friendbringer was one of the early traditions of Atenveldt that made its way to Ansteorra. It was a sword that was unique in that it was always to remain sheathed and never to be drawn, to symbolize peace and friendship among strong people, particularly newcomers who served the land proudly. Friendbringer (says the history of it) “knows no territorial bonds, household alliances, branch loyalties or any such restrictions. Friendbringer is a personal acknowledgment, man to man, of a relative newcomer’s dedication and contribution to the Spirit of the SCA.” Originally, Friendbringer was owned and christened by Michael of Moria (KSCA, Baron Atenveldt and former Kingdom Seneschal of Atenveldt) and was sheathed in a scabbard with a baldric (inscribed with MOIA in the Irish tongue), given to Michael by Master Joseph of Locksley, OL (and then Laurel King of Arms) in token of:
- 1. Michael’s newness to the SCA, and
- 2. Michael’s dedication to the ideals of the SCA, above politics or his own personal advancement.
For the same reasons, Michael presented the Sword to his squire, Curlew of Drogheda, with the charge to seek out another man who satisfied the same conditions, or return Friendbringer to Michael within six months.
Curlew was unsuccessful in his search and returned the blade to Michael at the Firebird Festival in the Barony of Atenveldt (Phoenix, Arizona). At this same festival, Michael presented the blade to Lord Myrddyn ap Rhys, Baron Stargate. Approximately eight months later, Myrddin presented the sword to Lord Ross of Prenez Gard also of Stargate.
Having secured permission from Michael to hold the blade longer than the six month span, Lord Ross passed the sword to Aren of Rivenhorn (who later became a Laurel) at his first opportunity, the Tournament of the Lost Lake held in Bjornsborg. At the River Revel, also held in Bjornsborg, Aren passed the sword to Orm Skjoldbidig (who also became a Laurel later), with the charge to find a man to fulfill the traditional conditions of stewardship. At the following Twelfth Night held in the Barony of the Steppes, Orm passed the Sword to Brother Lupus of the Order of St. Ethelbert of the Wolf, with a wish that he would seek to serve the Sword well. Brother Lupus lived in the Steppes. Friendbringer was presented to Tessa of the Gardens (later Companion of the Pelican, Viscountess, and Countess), at Steppes Warlord in May of A.S XII. She was the first woman to become Steward of the Sword. She presented the Sword to Lord Kubric Spelldragon, who became Principality Seneschal. After that there was a vague rumor that Friendbringer left Ansteorra and wandered to Meridies. If anyone hears of it or finds any additional information, I’d love to hear it.
The Oath of Friendbringer:
You, as bearer of Friendbringer, bear the following charge:
- 1. Whenever someone asks about the Sword, he is to be told the full story of its history.
- 2. While he bears Friendbringer, a man is under bond to establish and adhere to his own personal code of honor and chivalry.
- 3. The bearer of Friendbringer must seek out an appropriate successor, or return the Sword to Michael at the end of six months.
Mistress Clare RosMuire St. John
Comment by Robert Fitzmorgan
Below is an excerpt from the August XIV issue of the Black Star telling of the Coronation of Willow I as Queen of Ansteorra on July 14, 1979. the quote is from Vargskol Halfblood, Kingdom Chronicler.
"Roderick Levellance passed the sword Friendbringer to Stefan Galvanyzed,"