ANST - Memories of Sir Riccardo

clward at clward at
Tue Mar 17 15:40:56 PST 1998

Pug, I sent this to both the Ansteorra and BG lists, but I got the message back
that I'm not subscribed to either (false, I receive mail from them!)

Will you please forward this to the two lists for me?



I have several outstanding memories of Sir Riccardo da Pisa I'd like to share.

The first is one that many people, old and not so old, all share.  After
winning Kingdom Warlord once many moons ago, Riccardo travelled the kingdom to
whip up fervor and enthusiasm for the upcoming war.  Riccardo would stand up in
court or at feast, and he would begin what you might term the Ansteorran War
Revival and Holy Roller Incitement of the Black Star Warriors.  Picture it:
Ricardo striding back and forth across the hall, preaching the war like an old
time gospel tent preacher, his eyes gleaming, the crowd following and chanting
at his direction.  The first dozen times Riccardo did it, I literally laughed
until I cried.  But even many years later when I'd heard it for the umpteenth
repitition, it had the power to move me as well as others.  Riccardo was able
to take his own enthusiasm for the war, his own love of combat, and whip the
crowd to a frenzy so that they felt his intensity and fervor and desire as
well.  In this one field of performance, not even Ragnar Ulfgarsson could outdo

The next set of memories is more of an en famille type of tale.  For many a
year, Riccardo was the Official Nipple Inspector of Bjornsborg.  I don't quite
recall how he got the title, but I suspect Briony Blaaslagen had something to
do with it when she was Seneschal for Bjornsborg.  The Ladies of Bjornsborg
presented Riccardo with the insignia of his office, which he treasured and
carried with him ever after:  A red sequined pasty on a garter, worn upon his
arm.  When the Insignia was visible, no nipple was safe!  Yet Riccardo never
lost sight of the nature of the game -- he was extremely sensitive to each
lady's limits.  Some nipple inspections were, well, thorough.  For those who
were shy or who didn't care to play with the game, Riccardo never stepped
beyond the bounds of propriety.  I will never forget the day that the Ladies of
Bjornsborg elected to play a joke on Riccardo -- several of the ladies accosted
the good Italian knight whilst he was wearing his insignia.  Much affectionate
hugging and backrubbing and the like went on.  What Riccardo did not know was
that one lady had run her hands under the Official Insignia, slipped it off his
arm, and handed it to Ivar's daughter Elaisaid, who was very young in those
days.  Poor Riccardo!  He looked high and low for the Insignia, but never
suspected that the littlest Bjornsborg Lady had it standing right beside him
the whole time! (He eventually got it back, but only after being sentenced to
give backrubs to make up for his "losing" the Insignia!)

Another memory of Riccardo came from the infamous Cattle Raid On Rimkus Ford,
where Baron Robbie led his men into Bjornsborg lands to steal livestock, under
the command of Riccardo as warleader.  There were a dozen or more Bryn Gwlad
warriors, faced only by eight Bjornsborgers, led by Sir Emrys Shaunnon.  Most
of the Bryn Gwladians bore long pikes, while I was the only Bjornsborger with a
polearm.  Seeing the men of the Halberd badge assembled on the far side of
Rimkus Ford, Emrys quickly outlined his plan of battle -- we would march
straight at the foemen, and at the last minute break right and try to flank
them to remove the danger of that wall of pikes we faced.  The only problem
with this plan, when the charge began, was that I somehow had understood "stage
right" and found myself suddenly looking across a sea of pikes at my fellow
Bjornsborg defenders!  There was no way to rejoin my comrades, so I did the
first thing that popped into my mind:  I slammed my pike across the shafts of
all those enemy pikes, and then SAT on the handle.  Rather than let go the
polearms, the pikemen kept tugging at their now-useless hafts, until Bjornsborg
blades bit them.  The look on Riccardo's face when he realized what had
happened was a study.  I will always regret that no one snapped a photo at that

Lastly, I will always recall the Candlemas some years ago where Riccardo cooked
the famous Italian all-you-can-eat-then-we'll-feed-you-some-more feast.
Riccardo in his apron, fussing over diner after diner, encouraging them to eat
"just a little more" even when we were all stuffed and about to die of too
much fantastic food.  This was still the best feast I've ever attended, and I
never eat Italian food mundanely anymore without finding that it does not hold
a candle to Riccardo's wonderful cooking.

Truly, Riccardo was a man who will be missed.


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