Zubeydah's Elevation to the Order of the Pelican

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On July 24, 2021, in morning court at the Barony of Eldern Hills' A Day In The Park Their Royal Majesties, Jason III and Marguerite III invited Her Excellency Zubeydah Al-Badawiyyah to sit in vigil and ponder an invitation to join the Right and Noble Order of the Pelican - her answer to be given that evening at closing court. This page documents elements of that day and that ceremony.

Procession Into Court

Seventeen the seasons
Seen, when first she served the
Stag’s Hall and her spirit
Sparked a joyous ember.
That flame would be fueled on the
Fire-sea when this Valkyrie
Brought warriors most weary
Wise words and cool support.

Beneath Star of Sable
Spoke love-sworn of home and
Friends by broken fireside
Found roots in glade and glen.
Then, Hersir and Herrin,
Honored Serpent-Knight and
Mother taught replete
Reward of duties’ price.

Eraic’s snare, called service -
Succor sweet in her hands.
Shared freely, lessons learned;
Leader bound in Sif’s hair
The thegns gift gatherer
Gleaned foreign regions
Sweet boons from distant seas
Swelled her name and stature

Belt-sworn to kinsman’s beloved
Broadened family by three.
Mentor’s service swift, but a
Sister stands in their stead.
Far flung chosen family,
Fear not the leagues between.
Scribe to Master’s savvy
Secure his precious lore

Muninn deemed her daughter
Dreams her treasure gathered.
Great feasts, and yet, greater
Glories are remembered.
Lion’s boon by thegn bestowed
Boomed loud the crowds acclaim
Odin’s laughter echoes and
All can witness his pride

Stars fixed in firmament,
Folkvang’s forgetting at bay.
Spider’s den held in drives
Denies the worm its feast.
Plague brings the raven’s prize
A Pall on heart and mind.
Vital was the vision:
Voices raised ‘round the fire

Now, from vaunted Vindheim
Visage of an Eclipse
Born proud upon her breast
Bulwarked by Keep’s walls
By sky-tail and by star
Sparkled art as service
Though the road reaches on,
Revel in this moment

Speakers on her Behalf

Order of the Chivalry

  • His Grace, Duke Jean Paul de Sens, CSS, KSCA, OP: : "Zubeydah, although I know I won't be the first to say this today - wait, I won't be the last - It is my extreme pleasure to speak for you today. You have the courage to stand up for others. The courage to help make people better. The courage to help give people faith in themselves. You are strong, but you are also kind and generous. Your Majesties, she is my peer."

  • His Excellency, Vladislav Strelec Pasha, CSS LXXXIV, KSCA: : "There is another, Your Majesties. I would speak for this woman today. There are many things that I could talk about, for you, but the one that I chose to focus on is heart. And you're going to have to excuse me, because I'm going to have to read this... There are many, as I said, characteristics that I could speak of, for this most Excellent woman. (Gives a thumbs up and grins, "You're welcome for that." (Vladislav was the Crown that elevated Zubeydah with a Court Barony)) The one that you have in spades, and the one that I am envious of is your heart. And the one that the populace can see, in each wiki entry, and the one that the populace can see, in each Fireside Chat, in each delectable confection is heart. The one that the Known World can see. In each thoughtful smile, and in each caring act, is your heart. Your Majesties, it is with the most joy that I can muster, to say this: Yes. Zubeyah is my peer."

  • His Excellency, Iarll Owen ap Aeddan ap Trahearn ap Llewellyn ap Gruffudd ap Gwent ap Bredd ap Camden ap Anarward, CSS, KSCA: "OH, GREAT JASON! MIGHTY KING OF ANSTEORRA! INSPIRED BY THE VERY BEAUTIFUL MARGUERITA, OUR QUEEN, WHO INSPIRES US ALL!! There is a tale from ancient times, where a young knight came into Arthur's court, and he came to serve. He was Royal blood. Sir Kay didn't like him, so he made him work in the kitchen with all the servants. And it was renowned throughout the castle what an amazing job he did in even the lowliest of tasks. And despite the fact that he was just a scullery lad in the kitchen, he was still knighted, because his noble heart shined through even the most terrible job that could be given to him. Zubeydah joined our Society at a sprint. And not only did she do great service - because great service is important - but she also made that service full of joy, and she made that service better. She is my peer."

Order of the Laurel

  • Mistress Alisandre Oliphant, OL: "Well, now that you know I speak the truth: I am Alisandre Oliphant, and I will tell you two true things. One is that Zubeydah is the most selfless person I know. I haven’t known her as long as some of you, but I’ve worked with her on several things, and seen her in many different activities, and it’s not even that she puts herself last on the list. She’s not even ON the list. She’s not even there. (Vladislav is nodding and laughing). The other true thing is that a culture and a people are in their stories. Most Pelicans serve their kingdoms, but she is serving all of YOU, serving all of the people. She is capturing your history, the stories and memories that are fading by the day. Orm’s barony – if she had been in Court, she would have been talking to Orm the moment he stepped out – he might not even have gotten OUT of court (general laughter as Alisandre turns to Zubeydah for confirmation, who grins and says, "No lies.") Her gift to all of you is yourselves, your history. Yes, I love what she makes – I love cookies, I love chocolate, but she is making Ansteorra live forever, and I love that the most. She is a Peer. She has been my Peer for as long as I have known her. Thank you, Pelicans, for finally realizing it."

  • Her Excellency, Baroness Beatrix Alfraye, OL, OP, Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream: "Your Majesties, I am Beatrix Alfray, and I taught a class in Tulsa once. There was this person kind of off to the side, kind of in the back, and she was very, very interested in what was going on. Then she lit her torch. I could see the light come on in her eyes, and the happiness filled her soul. She took it and she ran with it. Her art has graced our Kingdom. Not just glass - not just cookies - not just jewelry - not just all the things that you do for us that is sweet, to make us feel good about ourselves. But you took it, and you've made art of service. You have shown that art fills us with joy. But her service fills her with joy - and in turn, it fills us all with joy. Zubeydah, you are my peer. Your Majesties - she is my peer."

Masters of Defense

  • His Excellency, Master Phelim Gervase, OP, OL, CSS, WSA, MOD, Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream: "Aye, your Majesty. I am Phelim Gervase, known as Pug. I am but two weeks old. I'm a baby. I want to speak of this gentle's devotion. We are based on history, but it is not just the history of old, it is the history of now. This gentle pulls those stories from us before they are lost - because we are losing our history - so that it is kept forever. She is my peer."

Order of the Rose

  • Her Grace, Duchess Margaret ny Connor, OP: "Yes, Your Majesty. I am Margaret ny Connor, Duchess - Thanks, Vlad! (Vlad calls out, "I finally did something right!") - and I would speak for this lady. So much of what we have heard, from the laurels, from the knights, speaks to the gentler arts, also. I think what I noticed about you first as a Pelican, was that you were relentless. But you were relentless in encouragement. You were relentless in making people feel good about themselves. About making people want to share. Making people want to do. So, your relentlessness has been leavened with the joy that you provide to the people that you are pushing into doing the things that they didn't know they wanted to do... but they did. And you never take credit. We give you that. Because you deserve it. And you are my peer."

  • Her Excellency, Countess Drahomira von Augsburg, BQC: "Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies. Today I speak for my sister. Sorry, I have to read it, because I'm a very emotional person. Zubeydah and I haven't gotten to know each other really well up close - because until a few months ago, I lived in the Outlands, and she lived in Ansteorra. But we've been sisters, and we've contacted, and kept in communication. She is the most amazing and insanely talented person I have ever met. And last year, when we were all stuck in our homes, and getting down and depressed, did it get her down? No. She sent out boxes of love that are known as cookies and truffles and caramels. She did it all in her own way, and in her own love - and sent it not only throughout Ansteorra, but to the Outlands and to all the other Kingdoms of the Known World. Anyone who needed a little boost - she was there. She is just the most amazing person, and she is my sister, and always will be. And she has always been a peer in my eyes."

  • Her Excellency, Countess Michelle Chantal de Charente, OP, Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream: "Your Majesties, I would also speak for this woman. I would speak to her generosity. Many of us have had the opportunity to partake of her generosity! Not only in the form of your art, jewelry, delectable delights - chocolate, cookies - You have generosity of spirit. Your willingness in ..in lifting people up. Not keeping them down. Helping them be the best that they can be. That is your true gift to this land, to this Kingdom, and I am so pleased you'll be a Peer of this Kingdom. Your Majesties, she is my peer."

Lion of Ansteorra

  • His Excellency, Master Ivarr runamagi, OP, Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream: "Yes, your Majesty! (as an aside: "You're just jealous!" - said to someone who didn't get up to speak first.) "Zubeydah, a Lion of Ansteorra is called a Defender of the Dream. There are many different dreams because everyone's dream is different. You are saving our dreams. You are doing more than defending our dreams, you are making them so that we all can see what everyone's dreams are - by the work that you do and the love in your heart. In my mind, you have every one of the characteristics that a Lion of Ansteorra should have. And your Majesties - this amazing lady is my peer."

  • His Excellency, Master Beorhlic Folcwineson, OL, OP, Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream: "I haight Beorhlic, son of Folcwine, Lion of Ansteorra, and I have known this woman for many years. I would speak on her character. A character that has been forged against the walls of political intrigue, against the joys of due recognition and acceptance. The pains of sometimes having backs turned. Yet that character has come through as has been said - stubbornly, indomitably, and deep from within her soul is a wellspring of kindness and of generosity. What she brings is uplifting to all of us, for that is what she does. Your Majesties, this woman IS my peer."

  • His Excellency, Master Avery Shaw, OP, MOD, WSA, Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream: "Your Majesties, I would claim my right as a Lion to speak in your court. A year and a half ago, we all went to hell. I had a front row seat. We exist as a game, partly because of the work of this woman. When everything went sideways, when we didn't have a way to see each other. When we could not be with our family - our chosen family - the work that this woman did, and others like her - made it so that we could. I am Avery Shaw, Lion of Ansteorra. I was Seneschal of this Kingdom when we went to hell. This was a light that saw us through. She IS my peer."

  • His Excellency, Count Sir Simonn of Amber Isle, OP, OL, MOD, Defender of the Dream: "Majesties, we've heard a great deal of her background, her talents. I would say it simply: The best is yet to come."

Members of the Populace

His Majesty, Jason Drysdale: "We've had the chance to hear from many peers of our Realm, from the inspirational Ladies of the Rose, and the Defenders of the Dream. But most of the time, this wonderful lady served our populace. Is it possible, there is a member of the populace that would speak for this lady?"

Centurion Charles the Grey of Mooneschadowe calls out, "I'm a member of the Populace!" but Honorable Lady Rebekah Aleyn (who is short and nimble) dashes into court first.

  • Honorable Lady Rebekah Aleyn: (takes Zubeydah's hands) "This is so well deserved. My name is Rebekah Aleyn. I'm a member of the populace. My very, very first memory of this lady as at Coronation, when I was serving entourage for Their Majesties. I have served entourage more times than I can count. This lady was the first one, the first person, to recognize those of us who give our time as doing entourage. This lady recognized the work that we did, and brought treats for the entourage. It was the first time I had ever had anyone acknowledge the fact that I have done entourage, and for that, this woman is my peer. Er, except the crown!"

  • Centurion Charles the Grey of Mooneschadowe: "Her service makes the good we do, better. She is - her service is the bubbles in our beer. It is the curve in our scutum. It is the point of our fishbat. It is the HAIL in MOG! (many shouts) Ultimately, as a member of the populace, her service benefitted everyone equally, regardless of rank and station." (a crowd member says, "Yeah, it did!")

  • Kouria Kale Kourtikina: "ooh, that's hard to follow. I am Kale Kourtikina, daughter of Ansteorra. I was called out of kingdom two years ago, and I am not -technically!- a part of this populace. And yet, when the pandemic hit, and times got very, very dark for a lot of us, in multiple kingdoms. This lady stepped up. A kingdom is only as strong as its weakest players, and its struggling players. She made sure those struggling had hope. They had a light in the darkness, and something to look forward to. Her service to this populace - and others - helped them survive. She is a peer of the populace."

Award Insignia and other Presentations during Court

Post Event Thank-Yous

To Ansteorra and Her Firstborn, Vindheim, with full heart, I greet you.

I am still reeling and walking on air from the events of last Saturday. While I offered brief if heartfelt acknowledgement, further words are entirely necessary. Please forgive any inadvertent and unintentional absences from this missive - I appreciate each and every one of the many contributions even if I was too dazed in the whirlwind of the day to realize them at the time. Please reach out and let me know so that I can correct and amend this list!

My path, my service, my joy, all stems from the unconditional support and encouragement of the love of my life, Abe. (The "Odin-looking Dude") He is the firm foundation that lifts me up and empowers me to do all that I do. He went to tremendous effort negotiating with his employer and team to be there, up until 5 minutes before we headed out the door, and it meant the world.

The trust and faith of Their Majesties, Jason and Marguerita, humbles me. My oath is yours. The support and belief in me by the Pelican Circle profoundly touches me to my core; I will work hard to continue to be worthy of it.

Appreciation and acknowledgement must be proffered to Their Excellencies of Eldern Hills, Gassion and Delesse, who saw a small, simple gathering metamorphize a 400 participant extravaganza, and to the Event Stewards - Fionn, Adria, and Delesse - who rolled with the additions and made it seamlessly smooth.

To Mistress Myfanwy and her merry band of helpers (Mistress Beatrix, Mistress Adria and Mistress Adena) who put together a vigil site before I was able to dazedly stumble from court to my pavilion - you created a gracious space that allowed me to feel entirely at home and cherished and surrounded by meaningful parts of my SCA life. To Mistress Zahira and Mistress Seuilla for coming so that I would have the support of family, for sharing your insights and help to make that vigil perfect, and for manning the vigil book all day - thank you! To Master Elric and his beloved, Honorable Lady Dominique, who instantly rearranged his vigil sideboard support plans so that I could step away - thank you for your graciousness! Later in the day, after all was done, there was a veritable army of folks who showed up with many hands to make light work of tear down and packing up my vehicle. Bless you, bless you, bless you.

Several people traveled hundreds, and in some cases thousands of miles, from four different kingdoms and across the breadth and depth of ours, to be there to give me their love made tangible and their unwavering support: Kale, Zahira, Seuilla, Mordrake, Nathaniel ... Ivarr, Jan, Alisandre and so many others. Thank you, Mooneschadowe and Northkeep, for appearing en mass! To Duchess Slaine of the Outlands (whose Cipher I proudly bear) who sent a missive from those distant lands - your letter touched me deeply and I will treasure it.

Generosity and kindness abounded - I was honored with the labor of many hands and hearts which were on display during the Vigil. Mistress Zahira crafted the pelican necklace with so many meaningful elements that I was presented with in court, with two others of loving significance gifted during the day by Mistress Myfanwy and Viscountess Violet. Mistress Adalia made a Viking apron that was purposefully durable - not something delicate that had to be put away on a shelf, but instead, was lovely and strong and capable of standing up to work - a model for the Peer I will strive to be. Lady Kale ventured into new territory, making and embroidering a Viking cap of maintenance with assistance and guidance from Baroness Aline Swynbrook. Vladislav Pasha commissioned an exquisite silk Tarpush of Maintenance for those times in which I dress to match my name, which was presented to me during his visit. Mistress Alisandre Oliphant created an amazing rendering of my full Achievement, which is just a joy and delight. I also received kind and thoughtfully sweet gifts from others during my vigil, and many words of wisdom, all of which I will treasure. (Roana, it was such a delight to meet you in person after all of the Historian's Chats!! Thank you!)

I appreciate the wisdom, advice and guidance provided by Their Majesties, and the kindness and welcome expressed by their Highnesses. I treasure both.

For the ceremony itself: Mistress Myfanwy coordinated much of my actual elevation ceremony, including reaching out to the many worthies who were willing to speak on my behalf, with contributions from Mistresses Zahira and Seuilla. Maighstir Donnchadh lent his melodious voice as Herald. The words he spoke were turned from the dross I had quickly cobbled together into purest gold by Kennari Fionn in next to no time whatsoever. Liondragon Guard Captain Turpin and Taidhgin were banner-bearers for Ansteorra and the Incipient Principality of Vindheim (which were graciously loaned by Master Elric after his ceremony), with my brother Honorable Lord Nathaniel carried my personal banner. My Baronial coronet was born by Kale the Instigator of Many Shenanigans, escorted by Vladislav Pasha. My award festoon was carried by my brother, Master Mordrake. Mistress Elsa processed with my Master Waterbearer sash, and Armiger Nalka displayed some of my artwork. I was joined by as much of Mooneschadowe as could do so, and their presence was a joy.

To Duke Jean-Paul, Vladislav Pasha, Iarl Owen, Mistress Beatrix, Mistress Alisandre, Master Phelim, Count Simon, Master Beorthlic, Master Ivarr, Master Avery, Countess Drahomira, Duchess Margaret, Countess Michelle, Honorable Lady Rebekka, Centurion Charles, and Lady Kale, who all stepped forward to speak on my behalf - I am humbled beyond words for the torrent of praise and kindness that you unleashed with such passion. I will mindfully strive to remain worthy of, and grow towards exceeding them.

At the end of the Elevation, I received a scroll that must be seen to be believed: In a mere three weeks, Lady Francesca di Lucca and Lord Thomas de Groet combined their crafts to make a Turkish themed Patent of Arms that brought tears to my eyes. It is utterly, exquisitely perfect, and I praise and thank them for this labor of love.

Thank you to those who captured all of these precious moments: Susan Russell-Stewart, Villana Palazolo, Katie Gilroy, Richard Threlkeld, Kelley McKinnon, and anyone else who is willing to tag me in the photos they took. 😀 😀

To their Majesties and their Highnesses, again, my thanks for granting me this signal honor.

So many of you have been a part of my journey to that moment. So many of you have inspired me, whether you knew it or not - whether it was by example, or a chance thing you said at just the moment I needed that clarity. Sometimes it was words of forgiveness when I thoroughly messed up, or advice on how to be more aware that my passions aren't necessarily everyone else's. Were I to list all who have guided me, knowingly or not, this missive would go on for pages; all of them are enclosed in my heart - and from its depths, I say thank you.

- Zubeydah Hanim