The Coming of Ansteorra

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By Hrabia Jan w Orzeldom, Lion of Ansteorra, and Mistress Alisandre Oliphant.

Ansteorra was born, as so many things are, with excitement and hope, with pain and screaming. Each line below could be its own full story, but this is the tale swiftly told, and the years have smoothed many sharp edges. Listen, then.

We are born of the kingdom of Atenveldt, itself a child of the West. And the ancient traditions of Atenveldt hold that the Aten folk went armed to a coronation of the West Kingdom and demanded their independence. This was granted in 1971, but the West took a subtle revenge; Atenveldt, seeking only independence, was burdened with an unwieldy empire. The young kingdom of Atenveldt was vast, covering Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Texas, and more, for the West seized its chance to offload distant, hard-to-administer areas.

Like its parent, Ansteorra had a great taste for independence, even though much of our land was sparsely populated. Stargate (1972) and Steppes (1975) were the only baronies. But we wanted our own name and a crown closer than two states over. Many dedicated people laid the groundwork, most notably Sir Koris Natterhelm (OP). In that time before the internet, much mail was sent, many calls were made, and many long miles were traveled to set up a meeting in the shire of Bjornsborg to formally seek Principality and ultimately Kingdom status. The name “Ansteora” was born then, proposed by Aurelianne Rioghail (OP , as the Anglo-Saxon for “peerless (lone) star.” [The spelling later evolved into Ansteorra; it looks cooler and medieval spelling was flexible.]

Thus in 1976, a Crown of Atenveldt ventured for the first time into our lands, and at a cold November tournament in Bjornsborg, King Deaton Claymore and Queen Care Cherie of the Falling Stars raised Bjornsborg to baronial status, giving our area three baronies, and went on to decree that “Ansteora” was a duly constituted region in the Kingdom of Atenveldt.

In June 1977, Ton the Traveler and Elizabeth Karien ascended the throne of Atenveldt, and Ansteorra was operating with a full slate of regional officers. Local populace meetings and events were filled with discussions of what a principality would mean and what needed to be done. Sir Koris circulated several drafts of proposed principality laws, orders, ceremonies and such like. He was often laughed at but, as a skilled politician, he got things done. By the end of Ton and Elizabeth’s reign, Ansteorra was a full-fledged Principality.

In November of 1977, Ansteorra held two great tournaments: we hosted the Crown Tourney of Atenveldt in Bordermarch, and the first Ansteorran Coronet Tourney was in Bjornsborg. Sir Koris won the Aten crown, the first Ansteorran to sit a throne, and Sir Sean Mcflamm of Ravenswaard (OP), tenth Aten Warlord and Koris’ former squire, won the Coronet to become the first prince of Ansteorra. Katharina von Alyssin (OP) sat beside him as our princess.

Our first war as Ansteorrans was at Burro Creek against the West Kingdom, and Prince Sean, accompanied by Sir Simonn of Amber Isle and eight other warriors, won Ansteorra’s first renown in the Known World. King Koris reinforced the Ansteorran warriors and put us at the center of the Aten line on a slight but steep rise. The place of honor to his right was the Principality of the Sun, and to the left the outlandish warriors of al-Barran completed the Aten line. During the battle, Ansteorran fighters stood their ground as the other Aten teams fell away – the Sun and al-Barran fell beside us, then our “reinforcements” left us and were lost in a foolish attack. Alone, we held off wave after wave of attackers ere we fell, and Sir Simonn tells of the King of Caid saying, “the golden shieldwall of Ansteorra was the stuff of legends!” Young Ansteorra was recognized afar by royal decree and by fame of prowess – but still we were part of Atenveldt, and still we thirsted for independence.

Sir Randall von Nordlichwald and his lady Constance were our second Prince and Princess, then December 1978 saw Jonathan de Laufysson (OP) as the second Ansteorran king of Atenveldt, while Sir Simon of Amber won the Ansteorran Principality list. Simonn would be our last Prince, for Atenveldt was weary. They had sought their own independence being tired of being ruled from afar by the West. Now they were being ruled from afar by Ansteorrans. They began to sever the last ties.

At the Atenveldt crown tournament 1979 in Tir Ysgithr (Tucson), Jan w Orzeldom (OP), who had fought in the golden shieldwall, was knighted on the field. A month later Robert Helmansthal (OP, also part of the golden shieldwall, was also knighted. These two were the last Ansteorrans to be knights of Atenveldt.

At Tir Ysgithr, Sir Koris battled Sir Theo of Mightrainwood for the Aten crown, and Koris narrowly missed being the king to grant Ansteorra the independence he had worked so long for. But it was King Theo and his Queen Selene of Mightrainwood who ordered the first crown tournament of Ansteorra, held in Bryn Gwlad (made a Barony on the same day). Count Jonathan de Laufysson became Ansteorra’s first king. So that more of Ansteorra could share in the historic events, two separate coronations were held for the new king and queen, in Elfsea and Stargate respectively. At Elfsea, the knights of Ansteorra were released from fealty to Atenveldt, King Theo personally removing their chains and bidding them farewell. Then Ansteorra’s first Crown Prince arrived on horseback and we swore fealty to the land of the peerless star for the first time. New peers of Ansteorra were created. Later, in Stargate, Jonathan crowned his queen. Ansteorra, three years after being declared a region, assumed its place among the Kingdoms of the Known World.