Northkeep Castellan

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Please see the Castellan page on the Northkeep Baronial Site for a list of past competition winners.

General Information:

The Northkeep Castellan event is generally held in May or June and is the Baronial Champions event. It was first held in April, 1990.

The Castellan event is unique in that there are individual champions for each category, as well as an overall champion. The Castellan of Northkeep is judged to be the best overall person to defend the Barony, based on their skills over several categories of competition - with a minimum of three categories entered. The individual categories for the Castellan competitions are:


Category Title Format
Heavy Weapons Drighton A "meatgrinder" style competition. Name taken from Drighten -an Old Norse Word used to mean a leader of a war band (specifically meaning someone who had a group of warriors who had oaths of allegiance to him. (Source: Saga of Jomsvikings))
Rapier Provost Format varies from year to year
Thrown Weapons Marksman format can vary
Archery Archer Standard ICAC format
Bardic Title Bard Usually a 'challenge' format with final competitions presented during Feast or a special Court
Arts & Sciences Artisan Open competition utilizing the Ansteorran A&S judging forms

To win the Castellan title, an individual must enter a minimum of three categories, one of which must be martial and one of which must be of the arts & sciences or Bardic. Points are earned for placement in any of the competitions, and this total is divided by the number of competitions entered. The individual with the highest points wins the title of Castellan.

Castellan Chronology:

Year Notes
2019 Castellan of Northkeep: Caterina Cavalieri, Drighton of Northkeep: Romanius Vesperianus, Provost of Northkeep: Lionhart von Furth, Archer of Northkeep: Margherita de Mantua, Marksman of Northkeep: Romanius Vesperianus, Artisan of Northkeep: Matthew Mac Cille Fhaoláin, Title Bard of Northkeep: Charles of Portsmouth
2011 Event Stewards: Ainar Magnusson and Thorvald Egilsson. Feast Steward: Therese Maria Giovanni
2010 Event Stewards: Muirenn Nia ingen Nath-I and Wynfrith of Mooneschadowe.
An auction is held to raise funds for the new Baronial Beautification Project. Damon Xanthus and Megan Flower el Wal are wed at the event, and share their joyous wedding dinner with all attending by sponsoring the entire feast. Several notable events occur at court: Kevin Michael Keary is made a Baron of the Court, Ainar Magnusson is made a Pelican, Beorhlic Folcwineson is made a Lion and Etienne de St. Amaranth is announced (in ninja form) for the order of the Pelican.
2009 The 20th Castellan event. Event Stewarts: Zahava batHannah and Amadeo.
The archery tournament is held in the form of a special Castle Shoot, which was witnessed by HRM the Queen and Their Excellencies. In this scenario, the Queen and her faithful hound were set upon by brigands, and the archers rained down arrows in her defense. Northkeep's own Samuel ap Dewi vanquished all eight foes in less than 60 seconds. Bardic is held Friday, and the format is changed from the traditional challenge style, to a circle-around-a-fire style event. A servers auction is held on Friday as well, after the Bardic competition, to benefit the Blackwolf family, as well as a raffle, which includes two pristine copies of "Vixen's Keep" by William Blackfox, donated by Alanna of Caer du Pard. Diarmait ua Dhuinn hosts a formal photography session for any who would like portraits done. Annabelle Fizsimmons hosts a bardic circle, in honor of her 50th birthday.
2008 Event Stewards: Elodie & Montega Black Dragon. Feast Stewards: Elisabeth Christianne de Calais & Nichol MacKnokard.
A huge storm hits the event Saturday night. Elisaveta af Isefjord is made a Pelican. Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyyah hosts a Young Gentleman's Salle.
Event Review - Northkeep Castellan 2008 - by Ian Dun Gillan
2007 Event Stewards: Aurora and Olivia de Calais. Feast Steward: Talbot.
Nearly thirty youth and children compete in the Castellan Competitions for their age ranges. Rhiannon Redwulf's Laurel Vigil is held during the day and she is elevated at evening Court. A Young Ladies Salon is hosted by Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyyah
Event Review - Northkeep Castellan 2007 - by Zubeydah
2006 Event Stewards: Beorhlic Folcwineson and Wilhelm. Feast Steward: Keigan.
Event Review - Northkeep Castellan 2006 - by Ian Dun Gillan
2005 Castellan XVI - Ian dun Gillan announces a new format for the Youth Castellan Competition, for those who are ages 12-18.
Event Review - Northkeep Castellan 2005 - by Zubeydah
2004 Event Stewards: Kelandra Carmichael, Faolan MacFarland, and Marta Dormani. Feast Steward: Elisabeth Christianne de Calais

Rain at the event. Over 20 fighters entered the Heavy and Rapier lists, and 20 children participated in the youth activities. Feast Menu: Light Cheese and Dried Fruit, Lentil Soup, Cabbage Rolls, Saugee (Cold Pork with Sage Sauce), Mixed Green Salad with a Vinaigrette Dressing, a Turkish dish of Meate, Baked Squash, and Potato Pie with Cream.)
Event Review - Northkeep Castellan 2004 - by Zubeydah

2003 Event Stewards: Beorhlic Folcwineson and Diethelm Waltorfer. Feast Steward: Amanda Blackwolf.
2002 Castellan XII: Event Stewards: Ainar Magnusson and Faolan MacFarland. Feast Steward: Lynn the Inquisitive.
Feast Menu: Fresh veggies of the season, Cheeses & Breads & Smoked Salmon Pâté, Chicken Marsala (chicken with mushrooms in Marsala wine sauce), Späztle (tiny dumplings), Cooked vegetable of the season, Carmel-topped apple tart)
2001 Event Steward: Robert Fitzmorgan
1997 See the Event Announcement (with an incorrect event number) on the Kingdom Email List!
1996 Per Diarmait's post to the Kingdom Email list... "They changed the format for Castellan this year to be a number ofcategories, each with a title, and only awarding the title of Castellan ONLY to the person who excelled in all the categories. The heavy weapons championship (I forget the title, but I suspect that Damon will remind me :) ) was won by Maerik Vilderhar, for which he received a pass down prize of a sword. The Provost, or light weapons award) was given to Lady Theresa (whose complete name escapes me), and her pass-down prize was a rather spiffy Main-gauche. Since I was busy comparing the pattern of his Highness' trousers with that of the throne cushions, I missed hearing who won the projectile competition (edited to add: Ld. Andrew Selwyn), but they were awarded with a pass-down quiver. The "Artisan and Scientist" was awarded to... Well, ok, I was looking for my feast token, which had fallen off my badge, so I missed this one too (edit: Maeve Kelley de Navarre), but I know the pass-down prize was a carved chunk of amber the size of half a coffee cup. A similar carved bit of amber was the pass down prize (as well as the traditional cloak) for the Bard, which was again won by Robert FitzMorgan. No one, however, excelled enough to with the Castellan title, and all the goodies (most of which they get to keep) that will be added to for next year."

Castellan Memories:

Castellan I, II & III - Provided by Damon Hroarson

Disclaimer: I wrote this several years ago for submission to the historian when I was trying to capture memories before they got so jumbled I couldn’t keep them somewhat straight. I bounced it off Diarmaid at the time, so the order should be somewhat correct. - Damon Hroarson

First Castellan was held at Allen ranch. It rained the 4 days preceding the event, making the site a quagmire. There was an elevated rectangular area where the ground was firm enough to fight on. I marshaled and I think Livia (then Rianwyn) ran the list. Many vehicles and people had to be pulled out of the deep mud. I think several folks had their shoes eaten. Oh yeah, one other thing. They have a dirt bike area at Allen. We spent the entire day having our ears ground to mush by the noise of those bloody dirt bikes. We discussed having a novelty shoot for the archers...didn't have enough arrows. Oh well.

I was still Knight Marshal so I didn't compete. Jonathan and Willow attended this Castellan and the second as well. The categories were Arts (which included Heraldic Display and Bardic), Sciences (If it hurts when you drop it on your toe, it's a Science.), and Martial. Why did we have it that way? Well, I'd come from Calontir and that's the way they do things so that's how I proposed it. Somewhere around Castellan 3 or 4 this was brought into line with the Ansteorran norm by blending A&S. I know we didn't have any Rapier there, I don't recall if it was allowed at the time. Daniel Blackaxe won handily and, afterward, when I heard people talking about 'did you see the xxxx that so-and-so brought...I didn't know (s)he did stuff like that.' I felt the basic concept vindicated. There were a lot of people who'd been previously thought of as one dimensional "Just another stick jock", etc. that were now recognized as craftsmen as well.

Second Castellan was at the Shriners campground on Lake Keystone. That event also saw a Bardic competition where the competitors pulled out a piece of paper with one of the seven deadly sins as their topic. Duchess Willow and Catherine judged. There were a lot of good performances but the one that sticks out was so good it colored the perceptions of a lot of people for a long, long time concerning the individual who gave it. The performance was titled "Where's my Cookie". The emotion, the specific references used, the delivery might have just been bloody good bard craft. But I can probably name a dozen people who walked out of that tent and evaluated everything he'd done 'till then and much that came after by the light of that performance. I'm ashamed to admit I was one of them.

A funny anecdote from that second Castellan. I think this may have been one of Thorgrim and Sigyn's (then Anais) first events. Thorgrim & company set up away from the central camp not too far from one of the permanent resident's trailers. Thorgrim went to the trailer Sat. a.m. to apologize for all the loud partying the night before and promised to keep it down that night. The resident replied "Son, your party didn't bother me none.'re talking to a Shriner."

The second and third Castellan were held out there and the fourth was planned for there. It rained a lot the week prior to the event so the day before the event the road to the site, and most of the the site itself site was under several feet of water. IIRC the following month Blackfox did a Saga cover with just the tip of a mast sticking up out of the water and a banner labeled 'Castellan'. Decent site. IIRC the drawback was an utter lack of kitchen facilities for feast. There was a great wooded area we fighters thought would be great to have a hunt in.

Oh Boy, now I get to brag about someone I like to talk about...That fall, Northkeep held a revel out at Lake Keystone. Robert was Northkeep's bard at the time and decided we should do the Bardic competition at the revel. Come time for the competition, Robert came over and strong armed Ismet into participating. Now, you have to understand a couple things about Ismet. She doesn't like competitions. Around her family, games and competitions are not a pretty sight. Safer just not to play. Secondly, while she enjoys writing songs and stories she's sure others don't like them. What she writes isn't high style or fancy. We call it "bardic for the masses". Little tales and ditties that appeal to people because of their simplicity. And, in her belief, they are unworthy of being judged against the works of many of our great Bards. However, this particular time, she'd had...well...a little wine. Sufficiently pickled she does a real good job of bardic performance. That's the year she won Titled Bard of Northkeep. She still carries her Bard Book with her periodically, but never competes, and since we usually did early morning fire watch etc. we rarely make it to any kind of Bardic Fire.