The populace of the East Kingdom gathered together in the Shire of Rusted Woodlands on the 4th of the month of May Anno Societatis 48, called in the Common Era, 2013, to witness the great feats of it’s own warriors as they competed for the honor of being the King’s or Queen’s Champion of Arms. As befits an event which is the first of a fresh new year, the air was filled with the fresh promise of Spring and the sights of many where fixed upon great new potential. The format for the day’s competition was explained, as the scent of fire and meat filled the air from the day board offerings. His Majesty gathered all around to speak of the meaning of that for which they fought this day. Drawing the sword of state from it’s sheath as it was held by his soon to be retired champion, Brennan mac Fearghus, he read the motto etched upon it, Justitia Virtutum Regina recited it’s translation, Justice is Queen of Virtues, and then discussed the deeper meaning and great honor behind the statement.
And then the competition began. With a great many pairs of fighters upon the field at once as first they fought each of the four designated weapons forms, Great Weapons, Two Weapon, Single Sword and Sword and Shield. As victories and losses where noted, some were done for this day and fewer then before moved on. Round after round where then fought, and the numbers dwindled to two. Sir Culann mac Cianain and Duke Konrad von Ulm where left – at most five clashes of arms left between them and the possible attainment of the honor of being King’s Champion this day. First a win by Sir Culann, the next by Duke Konrad, and again they each took one more to bring the tally to two apiece and one left to be fought. Fighter’s choice of weapon this round. Duke Konrad chose his sword and shield and Sir Culann, his pole arm. They measured and they fought, until Duke Konrad emerged victorious – The new King’s Champion of Arms had been found.
The Queen now had a great decision upon her shoulders – for She, and She alone could select who among the fierce and noble fighters seen that day, could be named Her Champion.
As the shadows lengthened but yet the warmth of sun still shone, Their Majesties court was called upon the very grassy field where heartfelt ferocity had been witnessed from so many that day.
First Her Majesty had Baron Wulfgar Silverbraid called into her presence. For she had happened upon a conversation of his that day that displeased her, and She desired of him both explanation and penance. When asked the subject of his discussion he responded quite simply with “We spoke of Sean Connery Your Majesty.” And She conceded that this would gain him a small amount of Her forgiveness, but She also required that he kneel in penance throughout court that day.
Then Their Majesties were on to the business about which this day was centered. His Majesty had called into court the winners from each of the four weapons forms initially fought. Sir Culann mac Cianain was called for his victory in Great Weapons, Pan Jan Janowicz Bodanski was called for his victory in Two Weapon, and Duke Konrad von Ulm had emerged victorious in both Single Sword and Sword and Shield that day. His Majesty spoke of His pride in each of them, He spoke in earnest about how important He found it to be that the fighters of His Kingdom, and specifically His Champion, be able to fight with a multitude of weapons. Sighting even the weapon of tankard, should a fierce tavern brawl ensue. He then honored each of them with His token for their martial achievements.
Now it was time to bid farewell and give thanks to the retiring Champions and make
official each of the new Champions. His Majesty called forth Baron Brennan mac
Fearghus and spoke to him of how proud He was of the work he had done as
Champion, both for Him and for His predecessors. Then the King took back from his care, the
Sword of State and followed that by taking from His own leg, a white garter and
buckling it upon Brennan’s leg Himself. Speaking as He did so of the right he now had to wear it, as a former
King’s Champion. With that his term was ended, and Duke Konrad von Ulm was called forward to bare the duties and
responsibilities of King’s Champion. With words about the long line of great men he was honored to follow,
Konrad swore fealty as a Knight and as King’s Champion and taking up the Sword
of State, was given a beautiful scroll done by Palotzi Marti as he took his
place upon the dais. Then Her Majesty rose from Her throne and called forward Her outgoing Champion, Honorable Lord Ávaldr
Valbjarnarson, and thanked him earnestly for his service, and reluctantly took from him the vestments of the
She then spoke of Her right to choose Her own Champion, and of how difficult a choice it had been today. So many truly great choices had been shown to Her on the field, but She called forward Sir Tanaka and told him She had chosen one of his squires to be her Champion, and that since She did not know him well She would require his introduction. Confused, he mentioned that in his great fortune he had more then one squire who had competed that day, and therefor he was unsure of which squire She had chosen. The Queen replied “Introduce me to the beautiful Samurai.” And Sir Tanaka called forward his squire Ryouko’Jin of Iron Skies. Her Majesty congratulated Ryouko’Jin on all that She had seen of him that day, and as She placed the Queen’s Champion tabard on him, mentioned that perhaps they should arrange for something that better suited the attire of his persona, but that for now this would do. Ryouku’Jin accepted with honor, and was given a scroll that matched the King’s Champion scroll, for it had been done by the same scribe, Palotzi Marti. Ryouku’Jin then assumed his place on the dias.
Their Majesties next order of business was to call for the presence of two young boys, Kyle and Leo of O’Choda. The boys arrived, escorted by their parents, before Their Majesties and where welcomed warmly. So many fine things had been heard about them. About how much they helped, and how highly they were valued by those that knew them, and so Their Majesties saw fit to call forward Their Order of the Tygers Cub and add these two to their numbers. With a pair of scrolls, one designed specifically for each boy, written by their own mother, Cateline la Braderesse and created by Ysemay Sterling, and with a pair of medallions, made for them and carried into court by two friends who were already members of the Order, it was done.
Next the cry went up for Sorcha de Barry to present herself before Their Majesties. There was much laughter and good humor from the friends with whom she had been sitting, for she clearly did not expect for her name to be called. His Majesty asked if the information He had received about her was true, if she truly spent hours on end entertaining and helping with the children of His Kingdom? She replied that it was a task she enjoyed and that she did indeed choose to do so with much of her time. His Majesty praised her for this, and discussed how important it was to have people such as she, who would spend thankless time with something as important as the children. And so she was made a Lady of Their Court, with a scroll made for her by Ian Raven of Tadcaster and lettered for her by Annys Wolf of Wharram Percy. But, His Majesty did not allow her to leave Their presence just yet. He had a chest brought forth, and called upon all the children present in court and bade Lady Sorcha de Barry oversee the children’s selection of a toy for themselves from the chest.
Now Gillian de Whittemere’s presence was requested, and laughter arose a new, for as Her Majesty so cleverly noted, it had been Gillian who had enjoyed the most, the surprise on her friend Sorcha’s face when her name was called, and now that same expression had crossed her own. Her Majesty spoke of the words regarding Gillian that had come to Their ears. As a Shire officer, an Autocrat for local events and in assisting with the coordination of martial activities, her motivation and enthusiasm where tireless, it would seem. These things, The Queen remarked, certainly made her worthy of becoming a Lady of Their Court. Lady Gillain was given a scroll who’s words and calligraphy was done by Mariette de Bretagne and whose illumination was done by Anthony Santella by which to prove this doing.
His Majesty then stood and spoke to the populace of good news that had reached His ears that very day. While previously He had shared that Aethelmearc has sworn to stand beside the East at Pennsic this year, a former King of the East, Duke Timothy of Arindale, had won the Crown Tournament of Aethelmearc this very day, cementing the alliance even further.
His Majesty then noted that He required Sir Tanaka’s presence yet again, and with Sir Tanaka before Him, made reference to something that had happened 20 years ago. He spoke of Sir Tanaka’s Knighting, and recalled fondly how well deserving of this title the man was. Gregor, King of these Eastern Lands by right of arms, declared clearly for all to hear that this man before him was probably the most loved individual of the East, and that while he might not be the mightiest of warriors, he was without doubt the finest Knight. Sir Tanaka, asked that he might swear fealty then, and His Majesty told him he would gladly take his fealty, once He was finished speaking. King Gregor then spoke about Sir Tanaka’s household and local group, and how both where always ready, willing and able to rise to the occasion – and that it was, He felt, in no small part due to Sir Tanaka’s fine influence. His Majesty then took the Sword and State and standing with His Queen beside Him, took Sir Tanaka’s fealty oath. Sir Tanka spoke words he claimed to be as close as he could recall to those he spoke at his own Knighting. Beginning “I Knight of the East and Society, pledge all that I am…”
There being no further business that day, Their Majesties closed Their Court and retired to feast.
These are the events as I witnessed them this day.
Joyously in service to Crown and College,
Baroness Theodora Bryennissa, called Treannah
With special photo credits to Mark Smith (Baron Master Dietrich) for the photograph of the Queen’s Champion) and Jennifer Guyton (Baroness Cateline) for the photographs of the AoAs and the Tyger’s Cubs.