Last Saturday morning, sunlight broke through the clouds as Easterners walked down a path in the woods in the Barony of Bridge to gather for the court of King Gregor IV and Queen Kiena II. The royal thrones were placed in a clearing beside a lake with trees turning Autumn colors surrounding them. As court began, Gregor announced that he was reaching his own Autumn years, and it was time to consider the welfare of his soul because the preceding years had been drenched in the blood of many battles.
The Order of St. Adrian entered court and struck an agreement with the King. Gregor bequeathed a portion of his lands to them in return for salvation.
The Order explained that he would have to go on crusade with them, which raised concerns about Queen Kiena’s welfare if Gregor fell in foreign lands. The Order offered to place Kiena in a nunnery in this event. The Queen rose with a dissenting opinion and instead it was agreed that she would receive a duchy in her own right so that she might live as befits her right noble station.
The King and Queen then set their affairs in order. Gregor’s children were made a Lord and Lady of the court. Devoted retainers and able servants were thanked. Two ladies were made Baronesses of the court, and others were given gifts made by the King and Queen themselves.
Gregor rose to address the assembled court with carefully considered remarks. He spoke of the pain caused by recent deaths of Easterners, saying “As long as we are together and continue as a Kingdom, they will be remembered.” He spoke of how his subjects had inspired him during his reign. “I thank you for all you’ve done and all you will do,” he said to the group gathered under the trees. Lastly he spoke of the inestimable worth of his Queen in his life, finally turning to her. “My love for you is unending but unfortunately our time must end as King and Queen.”
Kiena rose to thank the people of the East and spoke of how they also had inspired her as their Queen. She presented Gregor with the gift of a collar of state that she had made for him. In the center was a lion made by Duchess Athena of Ansteorra, whose husband, Duke Inman, was an important influence in Gregor’s life. Spaced around the collar were also stylized “G’s” and golden orbs that represented ICOD, Gregor’s household.
Their Majesties released their Royal Household. They also released the Royal Champions from personal service to themselves but not to the kingdom. They sent the Champions to find the Prince.
Brigantia called for Prince Kenric and Princess Avelina. The Prince stood on a shield carried by four men-at-arms who marched through the forest. The King’s and Queen’s Bards voices rang out in the poetry of the Old English as they told the story of Kenric’s kingmaking. Alongside Kenric marched a member of the Pelican, Master Feral, and the Chivalry, Master Arnwulf. Princess Avelina followed accompanied by a member of the Ladies of the Rose, Countess Svava, and the Laurel, Mistress Aelfgifu.
After Their Highnesses knelt before Their Majesties, the Admiral of the Armies, Sir Thomas of Ravenhill, was called to testify if this was the man who defeated him in the Crown Tournament and Sir Thomas assented.
Gregor and Kiena removed their crowns, passed them to retainers and brought forth crowns for Kenric and Avelina. Their Majesties spoke not only of the glory and joy of the crowns, but the honour, justice and good works that the crowns required. After the crowns were placed on the new King and Queen, the new and former rulers embraced and Kenric and Avelina were escorted to the thrones by their predecessors.
Kenric spoke of the inspiration Gregor and Kiena had been to him, offering his thanks for what they had done for him, his lady and for the Kingdom. Gregor took his lady by the hand and they departed to the Vivats of the crowd.
Kenric moved forward and stood on a large rock with the Royal Peers and landed Baronage assembled before him. Brigantia asked the Peers and Barons, “Is this man, Kenric, acceptable to you, having been chosen in accordance with the Laws and Ancient Customs of this realm of the East?” They responded that he was.
Kenric spoke an oath in Old English. The crowd listened quietly to the ancient words. After he stepped down, Avelina stood on the rock above the assembled Royal Peers and Barons, speaking the same oath. “In the name of justice, honor, and truth, we promise three things to the Eastern people subject to us. First, that all Eastern people in our dominions shall preserve true peace; the second is that we forbid robbery and all unrighteous things to all orders; the third, that we promise and command justice and mercy in all judgments, so that Our realm may be known to be established upon equity, courtesy, and truth.”
After Their Majesties returned to their thrones, the Kingdom Seneschale stepped forward to address the royalty. “Kings and Queens who hold these things, they earn for themselves worship in this world. If they then turn away from these promises that were vowed to their people, then shall it from that time very soon grow worse with their people, and it all shall in the end be upturned in that worst state, except they in the space of their reign repent before it. My Lord King and Lady Queen, hear especially and carefully for yourselves, and think of this often, for it is the duty of a crowned king and queen, that they misjudge no one, that they defend and protect widows, orphans, and strangers, that they forbid robbery and unrighteous acts and entirely prevent them, that they shall remove murderers and false swearers, that they nourish the poor, that they call the ancient, the wise, and the good to their councils, and set righteous persons as their ministers, because, whatsoever things these do wickedly through their fault, they shall be punished for it all on their own account, and whatsoever good these same do shall redound to their own honor and praise.”
An ampulla was brought forth by Dextrochere Herald with which Brigantia annointed the King with the water from “The Bay of the Mistlands, where at the World was born” so they would be reminded of the rule of those who came before them. The King’s Amored Champion, Duke Konrad, presented Kenric with the Sword of State, so that he could “resist and throw down all your enemies and all the adversaries of Right and Trust, to defend the kingdom entrusted to you”. Avelina was presented with the ring of faith by her Archery Champion, Master Krakken Gnashbone, so that she “may be able to avoid all unseemly vices, and lead the barbarians and unruly persons unto good, and to summon them to the recognition of truth”.
The Champions of Fence, Don Davius Sainct-Jacques and Don Nathaniel Wyatt, presented scepters to Their Majesties. Kenric and Avelina were charged with defending their kingdom from the wicked, correcting the bad and giving peace to the upright. The Admiral of the Armies brought forth a reliquary, which contained sacred earth of the lists of the First Tournament and presented it to Their Majesties.
The final words of the ceremony were spoken to Their Majesties. “Stand and retain now the state which you hold by lawful succession, attained by right of arms, and by this our present delivery, that is, of all the officers and the people of the East, and inasmuch as you have beheld the peers and baronage nearer the royal thrones, so much remember to afford them due honor in suitable places; so may you be confirmed the mediators of the nobility and the common people on the throne of your kingdom.” Brigantia announced to the court. “People of the East, I here present you Kenric and Avelina, your undoubted King and Queen, wherefore all ye who have come this day to do your homage before them, are you willing to do the same?” The answer rose from the crowd. “Long live King Kenric! Long Live Queen Avelina! Long live the Kingdom of the East!”