photo courtesy of Cateline la Broderess
In the Barony of Stonemarche, on the 26th day of January A.S. LIII, known in the Common Era as 2019, Their Majesties, Wilhelm and Vienna joined many of the people of the East at Market Day at Birka. This year was special as it was also the Investiture of the barony’s new Baron and Baroness. The day was a bright cold winter day, but it was warm and welcoming among the Eastern people.
Early in the day, as fighters and fencers were preparing for the tournaments, and merchants were readying their shops, Their Majesties had Their herald call for all those present to gather near and hear Their words. For this morning They had business with some individuals before the day could proceed, and Their court was opened.
The first to hear his name called was Connor MacSeamus O’Neal , called Seamus. The King explained that He was actually quite glad that they hadn’t faced one another in the rapier list very much, for he liked not dying. While Seamus smiled at the complement, Their Majesties called forward Their Order of Defense. Seamus seemed disappointed for a moment, he had come to fence this day and he imagined a formal vigil, which would not allow him to fence. But soon there was a smile again, for it had been arranged that Connor MacSeamus O’Neal would have both a fencing and a formal vigil for The Order of Defense this day, and come before Their Majesties again that evening. The order quickly whisked him away to begin his exciting day.
Next the herald called for Oskgar of the Wood to come before Their Majesties. His Majesty spoke to Oskgar about how He knew that this man’s whole goal, for the last 30 years, had been to make our Society better. Her Majesty then spoke of a group who’s ranks felt he belonged among them – and had the Order of the Pelican called forward that he might be added. Now Sir Lucan spoke of Oskgar’s service to the heavy weapons community, followed by Master Cedric of Thanet, who spoke of the art of this man’s service. Then Mistess Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka spoke about Oskgar’s crossover to support the rapier fighters, and Duchess Luna spoke of his steady patience in all he did. Finally Master Olaf Haraldson inn orvi spoke about how much Oskgar belonged among the Peilicans. With a cap and a hood made for him by his lady, and a scroll made for him by Jan Janowicz Bogdanski , Their Majesties made of Oskgar, a companion of the Order of the Pelican.
His Majesty next called for Brennan MacFearghus to come before him. He spoke about how Brennan had helped Them find Their way when They were newly Prince and Princess, and about how he continues to help Them in many ways. Because of that, He wished to give Brennan His Cypher, which Brennan gladly accepted.
The next name called by Their Majesties Herald was Giles William Trout, called Billy Fish. Her Majesty, Vienna spoke of how much service over so many years Billy Fish has provided, and then She spoke about how resounding the cry for his addition to a particular order had been. With that, the Order of the Silver Crescent was called forward. A legacy medallion from Duchy Von Drachenklaue was placed around his neck, and a scroll made for him by Medhbh inghean ui Cheallaigh, Sigurðr VigurHafn and Fiona O’Maille ó Chuan Coille was read.
Then just as the Order of the Silver Crescent began to sweep Billy Fish away to welcome him to their numbers, Their Majesties called him back before Them. As he knelt there again, a confused look upon his face, Her Majesty explained that it wasn’t just the Order of the Silver Crescent that had cried loudly for his addition to their ranks. With a nod from Her Majesty, the Herald called for Their Order of the Pelican, and as it dawned on Billy Fish what Their words meant – he fell forward in disbelief. The Order of the Pelican swept forward and surrounded him, and information about his vigil was shared before they swept him away to prepare for his vigil.
Their Majesties next moved Their court over near the Heavy Weapons Lists. Where they called for Lillian Stanhope to present herself before Them. King Wilhelm spoke about watching her increase her skill and having fun doing so, and so They would add her to Their Order of the Silver Tyger. The order came forward, a medallion presented and a scroll made for her by Embla Knutrdottir and Matthew MacGuyver was read, and it was so.
Their Majesties bade Lillian and the order stay before Them as next the herald called for Antonio Giancarlo Nicastri to come forward. For he too was to be added to Their Order of the Silver Tygers this day. A medallion for him as well as a scroll made by Triona MacCasky and this order had another new member.
Now Kit de Coldwood was called for. As she knelt before Their Majesties her ferocity was discussed, and then the Order of the Tygers Combatant was called for, so that Kit could be added to this order. For her there were many, many medallions, some legacy and some made just for her, and even a large cross point patch made just for her. A tablet made by Cassius was read, and presented to her, and it was done.
Their Majesties moved Their court yet again – this time near to the Rapier Lists. Once the current rounds where fought, and the fencers had gathered ‘round, it was Brian le Wolfhunt who heard his name. He knelt before his King and Queen, and heard Them speak of how he had been fencing since he was a youth fencer, and then he heard the Order of the Silver Rapier called forward. With a medallion and a scroll by Keziah Planchet, Brian was added to the order.
There was another that Their Majesties would make a Silver Rapier this day, and Arabella of Stormguard heard her name called out. His Majesty noted her giant grin and spoke about the joy that was always evident when she fenced. A medallion for her, from the premier of the order, and a scroll by Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, and she too was a companion of this order.
That concluded the business that Their Majesties had planned for the morning, and so Their court was suspended and all were encouraged to enjoy the day.
The Procession into evening court began with Their Majesties and Their Highnesses East. Lined up at the back of the Eastern entourage was House Runnymede, all of the Landed Barons and Baronesses present at Birka. They each carried a rose, and some carried a second rose, from a Baron or Baroness who could not be present. As they each reached the dais, they placed those roses in the arms of Their Queen – a clear and simple profession of their love and support for all those present to witness.
Next came the procession of the Barony of Stonemarche, with Baroness Jocelyn del Espada as their baroness for the final time. Following their arrival in court, Their Majesty’s welcomed the Queen of the Middle, the Price and Princess of Atlantia, the King and Queen of Ealdomere and the Prince and Princess of Ealdomere to join Them.
The first piece of business for this evening required that Baroness Jocelyn del Espada come before Their Majesties. As she knelt there, Their Majesties spoke of how well she had cared for Their people and Their Barony despite some very trying circumstances, and then They mentioned how They would be remiss if They didn’t express Their gratitude for the service of Baron Dorio as well.
Now the Barony’s Seneschal was called forward, to hold the Coronets during the transition. Once she had arrived, and the Coronets placed in her care, Their Majesties spoke about how it seemed right and proper that Jocelyn be made a baroness of Their Court. A coronet made for her by Gregor von Medehem was placed upon her head, and a scroll made for her by Harold von Auerbach was read, and she was sent off to visit Their Majesty’s “farm” for retired Baronage.
Now Deirdre and Keziah Planchet were called into Their Majesty’s court, for it was time to place the care of Stonemarche in their hands. Once they knelt before their King and Queen, their Majesties took the Coronets from the Seneschal, and placed them upon Deirdre and Keziah’s heads. The new Baron and Baroness now swore their fealty, and Their Majesties spoke Their promise as well. Their Majesties next gifted them with two sets of loaner feast gear for the barony, as is Their tradition.
As the new Baron and Baroness of Stonemarche had some small amount of business to take care of, Their Majesties Wilhelm and Vienna suspended Their court that the baronial business could be handled, and then once it was concluded, reopened Their court.
His Majesty first took a moment to thank the Brewers Guild, naming Kythe Szubielka, Thomas de Marr, Aesa Loka Brenny, Moira Browne and Black Finn specifically, for a generous gift of many bottles of good drink.
Now the Herald called in Hlifa Hrafnsdottir, or one who might speak for her. The new Baron Keziah came forward on Hlifa’s behalf. Their Majesties explained that They wished to make Hlifa a lady of Their court for all the many things she does, and it was agreed that Baron Keziah would carry the scroll and present it to Hlifa at the first opportunity. With that, the scroll made by Yasemin bint al-Hajjar and Ibn Abd Al-Malik was read and it was done.
Now the Queen called a name Herself. “Lee!” She called. And at the far side of the room, a gentle dressed in a Viking dress suddenly looked confused. The Herald now called “Their Majesties request the presence of Leokadia von Lauersdorf”, and that gentle in the Viking dress made her way to the dais. Once she was kneeling before the Queen, Queen Vienna explained that this was her sister, and that during much of this reign she had taken care of the Royal dogs so that Their Majesties could attend events, but that this was also Leokadia’s 4th Birka. In gratitude They would make her a Lady of Their court this day. The scroll made for her by Lisabetta Medaglia and Kenneric Aubrey was read, and with tears in her eyes, Lady Leokadia was presented.
Now the cry went up for Connor MacSeamus O’Neal to answer the question Their Majesties had put to him that very morning. Once Seamus was kneeling before Their Majesties, and confirmed that he would accept peerage, the Order of Defense was called to join them. First to speak for the candidate was Sir Ivan Ulricson, who spoke of the love and respect that many have for this man. Next to speak was Laurel Camille des Jardins who spoke of this man’s skill both making and wielding the rapier. Then Brita Mairi Svensdottir and Christian Wolfe of Edinburgh spoke of Seamus’s service to the Rapier Community, and Countess Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt spoke of his courtesy. Last to speak was Master Colin Fraser MacLeod who assured all present that this man was indeed his peer. Then with collar, cloak and gloves, gloves Her Majesty struck him with that he would always remember this day, and a scroll created for him by Christiana Crane and Nicol mac Donnachaidh, he was made a Peer. Finally, Master Seamus swore fealty on the late Master Gregory Finche’s sword.
Now His Majesty brought forward the toy box, and began to speak of how each court an individual was selected to run with it – but before He could get very far, the Prince of Atlantia leapt to his feet and volunteered to run with the toy box. At this point, His Majesty Wilhelm might have called the children of the East forward for their sacrifice. Giving Prince Christoph a little head start, the King and Queen of the East counted to 3, and the children raced after the Prince and (more importantly) the toy box. It should also be noted, that sometime later a retainer returned with the toy box, but the Prince never returned. His continued good health was later verified, and an inter-kingdom incident has been avoided.
The time had come for King Wilhelm and Queen Vienna to present the Charter for a brand new guild, and the members of the Moneyers Guild were called forward. With a beautiful two page Charter created by Hypatissa Anna Dokeianina Syrakouosina and Dominus Gieffrei de Toesni, and now bearing Their Majesties signatures and the wax seal of the East Kingdom, the Guild was established, and their first coins turned over to Their Majesties.
Next to hear his name was Ambrusus Duro. Once he was before the King and Queen, Her Majesty spoke to him about their shared enjoyment of thrown weapons. Then She spoke about the fact that today They wished to give him his Award of Arms, and that a scroll to commemorate this fact would be forthcoming.
The Herald next called forward, Viviana Silvarin. She knelt before the King and Queen, and shyly answered Their questions about the sewing and fiber things she enjoyed. Then she too was told that today Their Majesties were Awarding her Arms, making of her a Lady of Their court. And again a scroll was promised.
Aneleda Falconbridge and Cormac Longstrider were next called before Their Majesties. For they had cooked a wonderful feast for Crown Tournament under some trying circumstances – It had been a windy and rainy day, and the power had gone out in all but the main building. For all of their work, and success, They would bestow upon both these gentles each a Burdened Tyger, and tokens were placed around their necks.
Next to hear their names were Aryana Van Wyck and Peter the Red. The Queen addressed these two gentles, speaking about how kind and generous they both were. Because of the courtesy with which they treated others, She wished to bestow upon them the Queen’s Order of Coutesy, and gave them each a glove embroidered with the rose, indicating this award, that all might know.
Now the King bade the herald to call for Ellesbeth Donofrey, and she came and knelt before Him. He wished the people of His Kingdom to know that she was providing a truly great service to the East, quietly and consistently for many reigns now. She has been arranging, organizing, and orchestrating on line fundraisers where artisans donate goods or services and people bid on them, to raise money to help offset the expenses involved with being King and Queen of the East. For this and all of her support, He wished to give to her His Cypher, a beautifully engraved medallion.
Now the herald called the name Euric Germanicus. This warrior came forward and knelt before his King and Queen. King Wilhelm spoke now of his ferocity and martial accomplishments, but he also spoke of the man. Their Majesties noted that there was a group who clamored for his addition, and then the herald called forward Their Order of the Chivalry. A writ, created by Brennan MacFearghus and Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain, They handed Euric this day, that he come before either Them or Their successors to answer the question of whether he would accept elevation to this peerage.
Her Majesty now had her herald call forward all the newcomers among those present, and She called forth Alexander Clarke to help Her. For he had created a challenge to have people make and donate mugs to be given to newcomers, and he had made a wooden box to set out at events to receive these mugs. Alexander came forward carrying this box, and he and Her Majesty and Princess Fortune all worked together to hand a mug to each of the newcomers present. Joyfully there were many, and as they finished this task, the Queen bid all Easterners to make those new among us feel welcome, and to ensure that their new mugs were never empty.
Alexander Clarke, thinking this indicated the end of his involvement in Their Majesty’s court this day, began to make his way back to his seat. But the Queen commanded him to stop, and asked that he return to kneel before her. She was so impressed with this gentle, with the thought and care that he gave to the newest among us, that She wished award him the Queen’s Order of Courtesy this day. With a glove embroidered with the rose, She did exactly that.
The young man named Kyle of Malagentia was next to hear his name, and come forward to present himself to Their Majesties. This gentle had grown up in our Society, and now fights as an adult in the Royal Army as well as helping in feast kitchens and with setup and teardown at events. This most certainly made him worthy of an Award of Arms. Thus it was done, with a scroll created by Eadaoin Chruitire, Kyle became a Lord of Their Majesties court.
Next to hear their names were Kennric Aubrey and Cat “Spoonbreaker” of Mountain Freehold. They knelt together before Their Majesties as their many services were discussed. Kennric had been instrumental in getting fencing up and running in the Shire of Mountain Freehold and Cat was well known for her contributions to feasts, among other things. Their Majesties appreciate those who contribute so much and instructed Their herald to call forward Their Order of the Silver Wheel, that these two could be added to their numbers. Scrolls that made it so were read, one by Malys MacGregor and Derek Fairhair for Kennric, and one by Techan MacGothraidh for Cat. Then it was discovered that these two had provided Silver Wheel medallions for one another!
Her Majesty now required Her herald call forward into Her presence one Bronwen Rose of Greyling known as Brose. This one woman, Her Majesty told us all, has provided hundreds of favors, so many in fact, that The Queen had begun calling her the “favor fairy” (for Brose lives not far from Her Majesty and will occasionally just drop bags of completed favors at Her front door, so it’s as though they have magically appeared!) But that is not all, Brose has also provided more enameled order medallions than can be counted. For this, and so much more, Queen Vienna wished to give her the very first of Her Cyphers, a medallion engraved on both sides, one with The Queen’s own likeness and the other with the Heartsease from Her favor design.
photo courtesy of Cateline la Broderesse
Now the herald called out Brenden Crane’s name. He quickly handed his camera off to someone else, and presented himself to Their Majesties. Her Majesty spoke about all the beautiful pictures this man takes, and how much they help those who can not be at events feel as though they have been there. But, She offered, these photos have played a part in an even greater service, for they have often helped Her track down items that have gone missing. Their Majesties would see him awarded for his service, and thus called forward Their Order of the Silver Crescent, that Brenden might be added to their ranks. A scroll was read that had been created for him by Camille des Jardins, Maxton Gunn and Anna Mickel Von Salm, and a medallion placed ‘round his neck, and it was so.
Before the order left to welcome the new member, there was another They would add, and so it was that Galen MacByrne heard his name called. Once he was kneeling before the King and Queen, he heard Them speak highly of the service of joy that he provided. The King himself, claiming enjoyment to be of the highest priority in all the things one participates in in our Society. They would see Galen added to the Order of the Silver Crescent, and so with the promise of a scroll, and with a medallion from Their Majesties, it was done, and the order could move to the back of the hall to greet it’s two newest members.
Next the herald called for Adam Macgregor, who came forward and knelt before his King and Queen. Here before Them was another gentle who had grown up in our Society. Now he contributes by constructing puppets and stages for performances at events, and helps in feast kitchens. Their Majesties expressed Their delight at these things Adam contributes and chose to Award him Arms, making him a Lord of Their court. A scroll commemorating this was read by the herald, having been made for him by Tiffan Fairamay and Gregor McLaughlin.
Two names were now called, Mikael McCue and Aikaterine FitzWilliam. Yet only one gentle came forward, Mikael. Her Majesty spoke about how these two gentles had created the garb They wore. Aikaterine making the pieces and Mikael weaving the trim on His Majesty’s garb. They wished to present both with a Clothier to the Crown award. Handing a medallion to Mikael, and promising to deliver the other to Aikaterine since she could not be present this evening.
photo courtesy of Cateline la Broderesse
Now Her Majesty had the herald call forward Keziah Planchet, and once she had settled before Their Majesties, the Queen held up a printed sheet. On it was a ¾ image of the Eastern Tyger, rampant, holding in his paw a large sewing needle. She explained that each set of Royals designed Their own image for Their Clothier to the Crown award, and that this was the image that They had chosen to use. Next She noted that it was Stonemarche’s new Baron, Keziah Planchet who had designed it, for she was incredibly talented. Her Majesty had promised one of the finished medallions to Keziah in thanks, and now She handed one to her. However when Keziah moved to rise, Her Majesty instructed her to wait, for there was a group who required her talents be added to their numbers. With that, the herald called forward the Order of the Maunch, that Keziah could indeed be added. A scroll by Tola Knityr and Simona Bat Leon was read, and a medallion placed around her neck to mark her addition.
While the Order of the Maunch was present, Their Majesties had another called forward, one Carmelina de Vacarri. This gentle’s talent with needle and thread had impressed Them greatly, as had her talent as a scribe, and They wished to include her in this order as well. Once Her Majesty had finished admiring the gown Carmelina was wearing, the herald read a scroll created for her by Embla Knutrdottir and Olalla Tristane, and then with a medallion gifted to her, Their Majesties made of her a companion of the Order of the Maunch as well.
photo courtesy of Cateline la Broderesse
The herald then called out the name Katerina de la Bere. Queen Vienna’s head retainer came forward, and knelt before the King and Queen. Her Majesty reminisced about all the years She and Katerina had known one another – about how far they had come from their first days together at Renaissance Faires. Then Her Majesty spoke about how when King Wilhelm won Crown Tournament, and She first spoke with Katerina about how much help they would need, Katerina replied with “we’ve already got a yahoo group set up, we’ve been ready for years.”. For all the ready and eager help and support, for all the friendship, today They would make Katerina a Baroness of Their court. Her Majesty set Her own Baronial coronet upon Katerina’s head, as the herald read the words painted upon the enormous stained glass scroll created by Conor Ó Ceallaigh.
The name of Giles William Trout, called Billy Fish now rang through the hall, for it was time for him to answer the question Their Majesties had put before him that very morning. Once he had made his way to the dais, Their Majesties requested his answer, and his soft reply was that it would be his great honor to accept the accolade. His Majesty now called Sir Lucan von Drachenklaue forward, for before Billy Fish could become a Peer, he must be released from being Lucan’s squire. Then, with the Order of the Pelican standing around him, Billy Fish heard Duchess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain’s impassioned statements about his service, friendship and worthiness, and then Duke Gregor von Heiseler’s words about all his years of loyalty and of his absolute humility, as well as his memorable grin. Next a Laurel to speak for Billy Fish was called, but Mistress Anne of Framlingham, who was supposed to speak had gone home ill, and so the Queen Herself leapt to Her feet and demanded the right to speak as the Laurel for this candidate. She proceeded to defy any to challenge Her on this man’s fitness to be a Peer of our Society. Next to speak was Master Thomas of Effingham as a Master of Defense and he spoke of Billy Fish’s kindness, and eager manner, of the great service he had quietly provided for many years. The last to speak for him was Jana von Drachenklaue, a Pelican herself, she also spoke of Billy Fish’s long years of service, recalling his earliest years in the Society, and the many reigns he had served. When Their Majesties called for regalia, there was a cloak and a hat made for him, as well as a legacy medallion from his household. The herald read the scroll created for him by :Aleksei Dmitriev and Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain, and then Master Giles William Trout rose, a Peer of the Society.
Their Majesties then thanked the Event Stewards and their staff, and noted that Birka was an incredibly complex event to run, and that they had done so very well.
Duchess Isabella of York suddenly approached the dais now, and requested to swear fealty to Their Majesties before all those assembled. His Majesty drew the sword of state, and on it Her Grace swore the fiercest promise of adoration and fealty that any had ever heard, her voice clear throughout the hall.
With that, all business was concluded and the court of Their Majesties Wilhelm and Vienna was closed.
Court Heralds were Theodora Bryennissa, called Treannah, Audrye Beneyt, Kazimierz of Carolingia, Aaradyn Ghyoot, Kirsa Oyutai, Anne de Basillon, Marian Kirkpatrick, Aloysius Sartore, Pagan Graeme and Liadan ingen Chineada. Help preparing for court was also contributed by Connell an Doire.
These are the events as I recall them unfolding before me.
Yours In Service,
Theodora Bryennissa, called Treannah