Tuesday evening of war week at Pennsic, the Knowne World royals gathered at the East Kingdom camp for the state dinner. It took an army of volunteers to create that magical night. Master Dietrich Schwelgengraber oversaw a staff that made sure all the details were perfect.
East Kingdom Royal was transformed into a Roman villa where Their Majesties welcomed the royalty of the Knowne World to a traditional Roman feast. The guests were received in the courtyard by children strewing rose petals and enjoyed beverages (many donated by the East Kingdom Brewers Guild), tastings and pleasant conversation. Volunteers played the part of servants to serve the guests.
As dinner began, Their Majesties stretched out on Roman couches, surrounded by the kings and queens of fourteen kingdoms. As a gift from the East Kingdom, each royal received a personalized retainer bag.
Between the courses of dinner, gifts were exchanged between all the kingdoms. The largesse provided by the artisans of the Knowne World was superb.
Dinner began with the presentation of the first course to the Emperor and Empress in a giant silver turtle with a cry of “Testudine!” (In ancient roman warfare, testudine was a call for tortoise formation) which was greatly admired by all. Among the dishes served was duck and foie gras, quail eggs, scallops(an illusion food made from ground chicken served on scallop shells), roasted meats with custards and berries for dessert, all redacted from Apicius.
Master Dietrich Schwelgengräber was asked by their Majesties to put together the night of festivities and had this to add:
“Being asked to put together the East Kingdom’s State Dinner is a very large honor. So many people donate their time, knowledge, and heart into creating and supporting a vision. Their Majesties reign has been enchanting and thus will long be remembered. We simply wanted to give TRM something worthy of their fairytale-like reign, and give them something magical to look back upon. We hope those who did attend truly enjoyed the evening. We all had a lot of fun putting vitality into this most noble evening.”
After an evening spent cementing friendships and alliances, everyone was sorry to leave the glittering tent to return to their own encampments, even as busy crews of fresh volunteers arrived to help whisk it all away.
Article by Mistress Ose Silverhair and Mistress Katherine Barr. Photographs by Raziya Bint Rusa.