And it would come to pass that history would be made on that 2nd of November, in the 48th year of the Current Middle Ages, counted the 2013th year in the Common Era. Their Majesties Kenric II and Avelina II held a great Crown Tournament in Their Barony of Carolingia at which They would determine Their Heirs.
In the late morning, before the tourney began, Their Majesties opened Court and called for Lord Lucien de Pontivi. Lord Lucien was directed to sit in vigil and take the counsel of the Order of the Laurel and others and decide if he would accept the Crown’s offer to join that Order, and he was then led away to consider his answer.
The Crown then summoned Baron Brénainn mac Fergusa called Brennan mac Fearghus, who came and knelt and was asked for his answer to a question set to him at the Pennsic War by Their Majesties Gregor IV and Kiena II, to wit – would he accept the accolade of knighthood – and he affirmed that he would. His Majesty then summoned Duke Gregor and Duchess Kiena to stand with Him and then summoned the Order of Chivalry. Duke Lucan von Drachenklaue was called for, as Baron Brennan’s knight, and His Grace said that His Excellency could not be his man if he were another’s, and took from Brennan the red belt and silver chain that marked him as a squire.
His Majesty asked for a member of the Order of the Laurel to speak and Mistress Aelfgifu of the Hazel Thicket knelt next to Brennan and laid her hands upon his heart and called him her peer. Master Ferall von Halstern, called Kingmaker, spoke on behalf of the Order of the Pelican. Baron Brennan’s lineage and his mastery of the Way of the Crumpet was recounted by Duchess Jana von Drachenklaue, speaking for the Order of the Rose. Much choked with emotion, Sir Culann mac Cianian then spoke praise on behalf of the Order of Chivalry.
His Excellency was girded with the white belt of a knight by his lady, Baroness Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaoláin, with a belt that had belonged to Duke Lucan. His Grace then removed one of his garters and belted it upon Brennan’s leg. Duke Lucan offered his spurs and Duke Gregor affixed them to Brennan’s heels. King Kenric then called for the Sword of State and, with Duke Gregor at one hand and Duke Lucan at the other, dubbed him three times and named him Sir Brénainn mac Fergusa, a Knight and peer by Letters Patent. His Majesty then placed the sword before Sir Brennan, and upon that placed a gold chain, and the new knight swore his fealty upon those things and placed the chain around his neck. Sir Brennan rose, and King Kenric struck him stoutly across the face, the last blow Sir Brennan would accept unanswered.
A scroll recording these things, crafted by Sir Culann mac Cianian from the words of Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge, was read to the Court, and then a sword was presented to Sir Brennan by Sir Culann, and then the new knight was greeted by his Order.
There followed the reciting of the Rules of the List, sung as a mass, and then words from His Majesty, reminding the combatants of the need to travel to Tir Mara, and to fight with honour and good calibration. He then asked for words from His Earl Marshal and Sir Oskar of the Wood spoke thus – “Don’t be numb!”
The Court was then dismissed, and the combatants and their consorts presented to Their Majesties, and the grand tourney to determine the Heirs to the Eastrealm began. Such a tourney it was. When the day ended and the dust settled, the new knight Sir Brennan stood alone, victorious upon the field. With tears of joy in his eyes, King Kenric named Brénainn mac Fergusa the Prince of the East and placed the coronet upon his head. Queen Avelina, with tears in Her own eyes, gave to Prince Brennan the coronet of the Princess, and with great love and joy and reverence did Prince Brennan place it upon His wife’s brow and named Her Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaoláin, Princess of the East.
The Court was suspended once again that Their Highness compose themselves as benefited Their new station, and when Court resumed Prince Brennan was invested with a ring as the Crown Prince of Tir Mara, for it would be unmeet for Their Highnesses to be without land, and at the same time Princess Caoilfhionn was invested with a ring of Her own and thus She was named Crown Princess of Tir Mara.
Their Majesties then called for Duke Konrad von Ulm, who had fought Prince Brennan in the final round of the Tourney. Though His Grace was not present, by tradition he was named Admiral of the Armies.
The Ladies of the Rose then came forward and they gifted Princess Caoilfhionn with a rose then they offered tokens in recognition of acts of chivalry. Countess Svava Þorgeirsdóttir gave her token to Lord Erik Hemeor von Welzin. Countess Marguerite ingen Lachlainn presented hers to the Honourable Lord Ávaldr Valbjarnarson. Countess Þóra Eiríksdóttir called Thyra gave hers to Lord Mathew MacGyver. Lastly, Duchess Katherine Stanhope gave a token to Baroness Leonete d’Angely.
Her Majesty called for the Shield of Chivalry, and its last bearer, Baron Matthew Moraveous Avdenmork, brought it forth. Her Majesty dismissed him with Her thanks and then She called for Lord Ionaes Aurelius Serpentius and said that many had spoken of his courtesy upon the field, and named Lord Ionaes newest bearer of the Shield.
King Kenric then took a moment to inform His Highness that new Heirs had been found in both the Kingdoms of Atlantia and Calontir and His Highness mentioned that he would speak to them for there were whispers of war coming in the summer.
Lord Wilham de Broc, Captain of the Queen’s Guard, and Lady Isabel Chamberlaine were asked to attend Her Majesty. Lord Wilham was presented a baldric made for his squire brother, Lord Duncan Thorfinnsson of blessed memory, when he was Captain of Queen Morgen’s guard and Lady Isabel was named Queen’s Rapier Champion Designate for this Court in Don Davius St. Jacques’ absence.
Her Majesty then said that She would normally ask Lady Isabel to take her place at Her Majesty’s side, but that would place Isabel perhaps too close to Baron Jean Paul Ducasse and that instead she should stand on His Majesty’s side of the dias. His Excellency agreed that this was a smart idea.
Baroness Leonette D’Angely was summoned to attend Their Majesties, and she swore her fealty as the new Kingdom Chancellor Minor.
Next, Christopher Michaelson and Eric Michaelson were called for. Their Majesties spoke then of their proficiency with thrown weapons and archery at such a young age and wished to recognise them for such things, and the named them to the Order of the Gawain. King Kenric removed two green garters from his arm and presented one to each young man, then called for Jarl Thorvald Halversson called Thorson, who at the Crown’s request had made throwing spears for them, one named Tyger’s Claw, a gift of Avelina, the other Tyger’s Fang, a gift of Kenric. Scrolls were read then, one penned for Christopher by Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte from Latin written by Gregory of York, and another by Mistress Constance de Saint Denis, with words also by Gregory of York, for Eric.
His Majesty summoned the Kingdom’s Archery Scorekeeper, Mistress Ygraine of Kellswood, saying that He had business with her. He mentioned His dear departed cousin Kenric, and that one had given gifts of beer to those favoured by him, but that none were gifted to Mistress Ygraine, though one should have been. Her Majesty, affronted by Her late husband’s carelessness, may have been heard to exclaim, “That jerk! …of blessed memory…” His Majesty continued, then, saying that Mistress Ygraine would never have an empty cup at His table and gifted her a bottle of mead.
That business concluded, Mistress Ygraine had the herald summon Katelin of Carolingia who had, on the good Mistress’ own range, attained the rank of Master Bowman. Congratulations were offered by the Crown and Katelin departed.
Sorcha Dhocair was called before the Crown, who spoke of her aid to Carolingia and to rapier community and her training there to become a marshal, and she was elevated to a Lady of the Court, and given a scroll citing that, penned by Baroness Brighid MacCumhal from the words of Lord Thomas of Effingham.
In a brief interlude, Their Excellencies Carolingia reconvened Their Court, and there They recognized the accomplishment of Lord Kazimierz of Carolingia and his attainment of the standing of Expert Thrower in a Thrown Weapons Royal Round, being only the second person to have done so.
Their Majesties then asked for Lord Gundormr Dengir, who is much regarded for his teaching of dance, and They praised him for his works and his research in that field, and His Majesty called for His Order of the Maunche and bade Lord Gundormr take his place among that company, and gave to him words stating such on a scroll created by Mistress Rhonwen Glyn Conwy with words written by Master Justin du Coeur.
The Canton of the Towers then came before the King and the Queen, and gave to them a handmade bag filled with coins gathered from the people to be accounted part of the Royal Travel Fund, and they were much thanked for their generosity.
The hour growing late, Their Majesties summoned Master Jehan du Lac, who spoke to Them of his apprentice Lord Lucien de Pontivi, that he might be recognized for his accomplishments. So then was Lord Lucien called and he came, lead by a procession of singers. His Majesty indicated that Lucien still had business with his Master, and so Lucien relinquished the belt of an apprentice, returning it with words of humility and gratitude. His Majesty then asked for Lucien’s response to the question of peerage set before him, and he accepted. Lord Lucien knelt, and the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Laurel was summoned.
Sir Michael of York spoke on behalf of the Order of Chivalry. Words came from the Order of the Pelican and Master Steffan ap Cenydd of Silverwing, read by Mistress Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka. Her Excellency Countess Þóra Eiríksdóttir called Thyra offered the confirmation of the Order of the Rose. Last spoke Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd Fôr on behalf of the Order of the Laurel.
Lucien was given a medallion which had belonged to his Master, Jehan, and had been made for him by Master Luke Knowlton, Jehan’s sworn companion. He was draped in a mantle, then, that Jehan made and Maîtress Nicolette de Bonhomme embroidered. Lastly was placed on his head a wreath of laurels crafted by his Lady, Aildreda Tamwurth called Dreda. Dreda began singing the words of the elevation then in the tongue of the Anglo-Normans, and the words of Master Jehan and Lady Dreda naming Lucien a Laurel by Letters Patent were repeated in English from the scroll that Mistress Eva Woderose made.
The new Master Lucien then gave fealty to the Crown and made to rise to greet his Order, but Master Jehan asked for one more moment with his former apprentice. He was concerned that Master Lucien’s trews would fall down now that he had no belt, and he wished that to be corrected. And so he gave to the new Master an old belt to be worn as new and it was a thing of lineage, for this belt belonged to Marian of Edwinstowe of blessed memory called Old Marian, who was the second to be named to the Order of the Laurel in the East. In those days, a belt was given to Laurels as belts were given to knights, and this belt was made for Marian by the king who elevated her and he was named Cariadoc of the Bow.
The business of the Court concluded, King Kenric spoke to His people. He said he was approached that morning by Sir Arnwulf Æthelreding, who made a pronouncement that the world would change today. His Majesty considered those words through the day, though he said that Sir Arnwulf makes many pronouncements and not all come to pass. His Majesty said also that the squire Baron Brennan came to him that morning and spoke of a similar dream, though he did not name himself. His Majesty said he could not have been happier with the events of the day and he thanked all involved.
His Highness spoke then and thanked the people for what was a remarkably good event in his opinion and mentioned that He had certainly had worse days. He thanked all the people of His beloved kingdom, which gave Their Majesties’ some moment of pause before they asked him “Whose kingdom?” Prince Brennan quickly replied, “Yours, Your Kingdom, Your Majesties,”. Princess Caoilfhionn offered words of assurance to sooth the Crown and Prince Brennan indicated that she was the smart one while he sometimes needed help. There being no further business but for His Highness proclaiming his love of Tir Mara as embodied by His new ring, Court was closed and Their Majesties and Their Highnesses recessed from the throne room.
These are the events of the day as I recall them. My thanks to all who helped herald the lists and Court, and to everyone else who gave of themselves and their time and their resources to make the event the great success and display of chivalry that it was.
Pray know I remain,
In service to Crown and College,
- Baron Rowen Cloteworthy