The populace was gathered for court, and an enormous astronomical clock was set before them. Drawn and calculated for Carillion, its two arms displayed a sun and a circle of darkness that slowly moved around its face.
Master Anton of Winteroak and Mistress Rozi frantically paced before the clock and were overheard talking about Anton having missed a clause in an old contract. He said it didn’t matter, but Rozi argued that “…or if the world end” was a clause Their Majesties should know about, especially since the contract also mentioned an “inner circle of darkness”. As Their Majesties procession approached the thrones, Anton dragged Rozi back behind the clock.
Their Majesties began a court full of thankful recognition of those who had served them. Among the favors bestowed, Aife ingen Chocnchobair in Derthaige was given and granted “safe passage throughout the lands of the East Kingdom, the which passage shall be guaranteed by the performance of a song or story by the aforenamed Aífe for us our the heirs of our body, to be tendered upon Candlemas each year hereafter that our line shall sit the Tyger Throne.”.
Their Majesties were interrupted when Rozi forced Anton before them. They were told that the predicted thousand years of their reign might not be true due to an error in the reading of portents and forecasts. Their Majesties sent Anton and Rozi off to find the contract permitting the collaboration of their two households so they could examine the exact wording.
As Their Majesties waited, they continued to give thanks to people, including Cassandra Grey of Lochleven. Because she “rendered noble and diligent service unto our person as clothier, counselor and companion, and for the love we bear to the aforenamed Cassandra, we do by these our present letters give, grant and endow the aforenamed Cassandra with the rights to use any such velvets, satins, laces and sundry other materials, as well as such kirtles, frocks, aprons and sundry other garments as may be found in our stores, so that she may outfit herself suitably, the which rights shall last for all the term of her life.”
Anton and Rozi reentered the court with the contract and a revelation. There is a conjunction that can only happen once every one thousand eighty-six years when the Sun’s splendor is effaced by an encroaching inner circle of darkness and eighteen comets strike the earth. If that happens, then the world could end and a king thought dead would walk again.
As the impossibility of this was pondered, the Company of Saint Adrian approached Their Majesties with an amazing story. They were under attack and facing defeat when a man appeared in their midst and saved their lives while in the process almost losing his own. They nursed him back to health for three months, and when he recovered he made one request of them – to be brought before Their Majesties. The man stood forward and revealed himself to the His Highness, Gregor von Heisler, once King of the East, who was been believed to have perished cruelly while abroad. Gregor announced that he had returned and initially hidden his presence, being confused by the changes brought to the land when he found the East allied in war with the Middle Kingdom. However, the time had come for him to reclaim his throne, a claim in which he was supported by the King of Atlantia who was ascending to the throne that very day. He retired to allow Their Majesties time to consider his words.
Once more, Their Majesties called before their thrones several more of their subjects whom they wished to thank for their services. Notable among these was Simon Gwyn, who was given and granted “license and immunity … from any and prosecution, assailment or molestation for such injuries to the English language as he is known to commit, the which license and immunity shall extend to all lands where our word shall hold the force of law and shall enjoy perpetual force”.
Anton and Rozi approached Their Majesties and pointed to the clock, where the dark hand was about to cover the light hand. The inner circle of darkness had eclipsed the splendid light, so comets would fall to Earth and their era will cease. At that moment, a volley of objects with streaming tails came flying over the pavilion that sheltered Their Majesties.
Observing the signs and portents foretold to them, Their Majesties acknowledged that Gregor had true right to the Tyger Throne and that they must step aside. Her Majesty, Thyra, dismissed her guard with heartfelt gratitude for their protection and service to her. His Majesty, Edward, turned to Thyra and removed the crown he had placed on her head only months before. Their gentle, tired smiles warmed the hearts of all those who watched them.
The Coronation of Gregor and Kiena
They remained standing together as Their Highnesses approached on horseback, accompanied by the Kingdom Seneschale, Earl Marshal, Brigantia Herald, representatives of the peerage and the Kings’ and Queens’ Champions.
Brigantia’s voice rang out over the field. “Duke Gregor Von Heisler, on the twenty-seventh day of October in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve, being the forty-seventh year of the Society, did partake in honorable combat with the Chivalry and Nobles of the East. By day’s end he stood acknowledged as champion of the field, and by the laws and customs of the East, was declared heir to the throne of the Kingdom of the East. King Edward, Ninetieth sovereign of the East, and Thyra, Queen and inspiration to His Majesty, did acknowledge Gregor as their successor, and crowned him Prince of Tir Mara and heir to the throne of the Kingdom of the East. On that day Gregor then asked his lady and inspiration, Mistress Kiena of Stewart, to rule by his side. This day Their Highneses come before the people of the East, their noble representatives, and the sovereign King and Queen of this glorious kingdom to be acknowledged.”
Gregor and Kiena knelt facing each other before the populace with Edward and Thyra standing behind them. The Seneschale affirmed their claim and Edward placed the unsheathed sword of state in between Gregor and Kiena, who grasped it. Edward then removed the crown from his own head and watched as representatives of the royal peers were called forth.
Duke Gaufred Kelson von Heidelberg, representing the Royal Peerage, approached Their Highnesses with a question. “Will you always guard these sovereign lands of the East?” Their Highnesses responded, “We shall”. As cloaks of state were laid on Gregor and Kiena, Brigantia called forth, “Your Graces and Your Excellencies, I here present unto you Gregor IV and Kiena II, your undoubted King and Queen, wherefore all you have come this day to do your homage and service, are you willing to do the same?” The Royal Peers present answered. “Long live King Gregor. Long live Queen Kiena. Long live the Kingdom of the East.” Cloaks trimmed with fur were then placed on Gregor and Kiena.
Sir Maximilian Delmonico, representing the Chivalry, asked, “Your Highnesses, will you always guard the principles of Chivalry?” As mantles were placed on Gregor and Kiena, Brigantia spoke words similar to what he had spoken to the Royal Peers to the Chivalry, who answered as the Royal Peers had done.
Duchess Katherine Stanhope then stood forward representing the Laurels of the East and asked, “Will you always guard the honor of the peers of the East?” After they answered, chains of estate were placed on them and Brigantia spoke to the Laurels as he had to the other orders.
Mistress Eleanor FitzPatrick came forward to represent the Pelicans of the East and asked, “Will you protect rigorously the rights of all the subjects of the Crown of the East?” Brigantia again spoke to the Pelicans as he had to the other orders.
The Barons and Baronesses then rose, and Brigantia spoke. “Your Highnesses, the northern borders of your kingdom extend as far as the eye can see. The lands of the Kings and Princes of the Aethelmearc and Ealdormere touch the western borders of your kingdom. The mighty armies of our good ally Atlantia are upon your southern borders. The eastern borders of your kingdom are the seas upon which the sons of your kingdom live in the Kingdom of Drachenwald. Protecting the lands of this kingdom are the baronies, shires, and provinces of the Kingdom of the East. Here before you this day are the people of the glorious Kingdom of the East represented by your barons and baronesses. People of the East, I here present unto you, King Gregor IV and Queen Kiena II, your undoubted King and Queen. Wherefore all you have come this day to do your homage and service, are you willing to do the same? The Barons, Baronesses and populace all answered “Long live King Gregor. Long live Queen Kiena. Long live the Kingdom of the East.”
Gregor and Kiena remained on their knees as Brigantia called forward the Greater Officers of State, who knelt around them and placed their hands on Gregor’s and Kiena’s shoulders. Brigantia then called forth each of the following groups, who came forward to kneel and place their hands on the shoulders of the person before them – the peers, the landed nobility, the unlanded members of the nobility and the populace of the East.
In the midst of this joined crowd, Edward placed the crown on the head of Gregor IV, ninety-first King of the East, and the crowd called out “Vivat”. Gregor then placed the crown of the Queen on Kiena, declaring that she would rule by his side until they depart the thrones, death takes them or the world ends. The populace again rejoiced with “Vivat”.
The King’s Champions then came before Their Majesties and were charged with proclaiming Their Majesties ascension. The champions declared the following. “If there be any manner of man, of whatever estate, degree or condition, whosoever he be that will say and maintain that our Sovereign Lord King this day here present is not the rightful and undoubted inheritor to the Crown of the East, that of right he ought not be crowned King, here is his champion who saith that he lieth and is a false traitor, and I am ready to maintain with him while I have breath in my body, whether now at this time, or any whensoever it shall please the King’s Majesty to appoint, and therefore I cast down my gage.”
The Great Officers then swore oaths to serve the Crown and Kingdom, as did the attending landed Barons and Baronesses. Then the populace who wished to share in an oath of affirmation also stood forth. The ceremony ended with the cry of “Long live the King. Long live the Queen. Long live these sovereign lands of the East.”
The Investiture of Edward and Thyra
Their Majesties called before them Earl Edward Grey. Gregor praised his reign and was so moved to recognize by making Edward a Duke. The Earl Marshal came forward and asked Edward, “Do you swear to protect the people of the East. Will you defend the defenseless and aid those in need?” After Edward answered yes, a sword was girded onto him by Gregor and Kiena. The Seneschale then asked, “Edward Grey, do you swear to uphold the laws of the East and the Society. Will you defend the rights of the people, of all stations, under these laws?” After he answered yes, Kiena placed a chain of state on Edward.
Lastly, Gregor stepped forward with a coronet in his hands. He asked, “Edward Grey, do you swear to up hold the dignity and responsibilities of your rank. To use this rank and the privilege it confers wisely and justly. To counsel your Monarchs in times of peace and raise armies to defend your Kingdom in times of war?” After Edward answered yes, Gregor called forth his former squire and Edward’s former knight, Duke Griffyth, to assist him in placing the coronet, after which Edward offered his oath of fealty.
Thyra Eiriksdottir was then called into court, and Queen Kiena spoke of her admiration for Thyra. Members of the Chivalry, Laurel, Pelicans and Ladies of the Rose then came forth to also testify to Thyra’s virtues.
The Exchequer stepped forward to ask Thyra, “Do you swear to protect the people of the East, to shield them from harm and aid those in need?” After she answered yes, Kiena along with Gregor placed a mantle upon Thyra’s shoulders. The Seneschale then asked, “Thyra Eiriksdottir, do you swear to uphold the laws of the East and the Society. Will you defend the rights of the people, of all stations, under these laws?” After she said yes, Gregor and Kiena placed a chain of state on her. Kiena then stood before Thyra and asked, “Thyra Eiriksdottir, do you swear to up hold the dignity and responsibilities of your rank. To use this rank and the privilege it confers wisely and justly. To counsel your Monarchs in times of peace, to support and inspire their armies in times of war?”
After Thyra agreed, the coronet was placed upon her head and a letter read from Marguarete Valdemarsdottier, Queen of Denmark and the Three Kingdoms, saying that her noble sister Thyra was sorely missed. The letter ended thusly. “There is a grace and warmth and a miracle before you, flowering red as the life-river. Thyra departed our heart-home an archer, a dancer, and a friend. Let her return across the swan-road, a Rose”.
All photos by Cateline la Broderesse