Tales of Lucais du Belier
Since I heard of Master Lucais’s passing, I have been sitting and thinking about what he meant to me, as probably many of us are doing.
I pulled out the court baronacy coronet that he gave me. It was made by HL Malaki for Lucais when he was made a court baron. Around the circlet is a music staff with the notes for “A Dance for the Baroness” engraved on it. A mix of laughter with honor. A good reminder of Lucais.
When I first began playing, I remember him singing a song he had composed for his traveling companion, “May Wren,” as well as “Star of the County Down.” I remember him coming into court dressed as “Lucasia” and asking the king for redress because “she” had been captured by Visigoths. (And for the following year, Lucais would read update letters on Lucasia’s adventures.)
I remember finding him in a three-piece baby blue suit, putting up his tent in pouring rain. When I stopped to help he said, “Well I can BUY another suit, but if I ruin my garb, where will I get more?”
I remember the two of us always offering a kiss of peace whenever we saw each other. How he sat patiently all one long afternoon by the list field keeping me amused and in temper, as I restrung a recalcitrant harp. I remember standing with him in mundane clothing over and over in the year of grief. I remember listening to his words at the grave of Subodai and creating my own song out of his words.
I remember him pushing a wheel barrow of drums and a single recorder to a drumming circle, and telling me that when he was made a laurel, he didn’t think he really deserved it, and had been learning skills ever since, trying to live up to it.
I remember him appearing in the kitchen after a Mooneschadowe Guardian because he heard us singing Dona Nobis, and just had to delay his trip to the garderobe, so that he could sing round after round with us.
All of us have special people that are touchstones for us. Gentles who embody the game to us. The people who shaped and created the game before we came, and who invited us in. Lucais is one of those people to me.
I never sang a song in his presence that he didn’t praise it. I never told a funny story that he did not laugh uproariously. The best of audiences. The best of performers. The best of companions. The most beloved of men. A true lion of Ansteorra.
Shakespeare was a master of the written word, but Lucais was a master of the spoken. He turned the ordinary into poetry, the tragic into to laughter; he could warm the coldest heart with an elegant turn of phrase or compliment.
He came to a Mooneschadowe event, one of, if not his first, in Ansteorra, and entered our bardic competition. He won, of course. I knew after hearing him perform that he was special. A ray of light. You couldn’t help but know it. He was.... EXTRAORDINARY, so very, very talented with words. A gifted entertainer. It’s not often you meet a Shakespeare in the flesh.
Lucais coupled his talent with the kindest heart and boundless joy in life. He befriended everyone. He made us laugh. To me, he was sunshine.
He would not want us to grieve too long. His memory must warm us, his example light our way. But, oh, how hard that is for ordinary mortals like myself, without him here to guide me with his wit, philosophy, and humble example.