[Northkeep] Event Report: ESTRELLA WAR!

Mark D. Conklin N7XYO markdc at olpdsl.net
Wed Feb 19 20:14:54 PST 2003

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Wow!  What a report.... very well done.

And I am happy to add that no one from Northkeep was injured at the war :)

Marcus Quietly

Message: 6
From: "beth at stormreaver.net" <beth at stormreaver.net>
To: northkeep at ansteorra.org
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 15:36:36 -0500
Subject: [Northkeep] Event Report: ESTRELLA WAR!
Reply-To: northkeep at ansteorra.org

I was ... oh, gosh, there isn't a word to truly convey the emotions that
filled me at Estrella War. Amazed. Astounded. Delighted. Wide-eyed with
wonder... they all fail to do it justice. It was a weekend of pagentry,
beauty, education, service, chivalry... oh, and a lot of mud, but that was
okay.  :-)

The site was beautiful; although I was told it was much smaller than the
Schnepp Farms site, it seemed like everyone had enough room to camp where
they wanted, set up shop, or otherwise participate. The mountains made a
beautiful backdrop, and the scent of sage and other fragrant plants was
everywhere. I was surprised at how few bugs there were; I didn't get a
single bite all weekend.  The site was laid out well, and kept clean and
maintained. (Not a single offensive whiff of the privies!)

Luckily, I arrived the day AFTER the deluge Thursday that sent people's
belongings, tents, and garb floating away in a river of reported 6 inches
of rain. The male half of the folks I was camping with (family members who
live in Caerthe, Outlands) had arrived Wednesday to set up, and by the time
we ladies (myself and my sister) arrived seperately by plane, they had
mopped up the mess, and everything was hung out to dry.

Despite the wet, spirits were still high, Merchant's Row was in full swing,
and the glory of these Current Middle Ages was everywhere.  Lines at Troll
were short; I walked right up when I arrived at 3'ish on Friday. (the site
tokens were lovely cast pewter - huzzah to whomever made them!). Friday was
spent getting settled, helping re-arrange the wet garb, tents, blankets,
rugs, etc, and looking over the vast array of classes. I also had the
opportunity to share the SCA with several friends of mine that live in
Arizona who have never attended an event. They stayed until sundown, when
again the rainclouds drew nigh. Despite the flash of lightning and an
occaisional rumble of thunder, the threat of rain never came to fruition.

Saturday morning began at 7 am with a gentle, soft grey mist covering us
all, when the heralds strode through the camp. "OUTLANDS AWAKE! Your King
commands you to WAR!" I wouldn't be speaking the truth if I said I bounced
out of my sleeping bag, but I was excited none the less.  After struggling
into garb, greeting friends and family, and making sure nothing else had
floated away during the night, I was off for my adventure.

I made it to the last few moments of Outlands Court, and arrived just in
time to see someone being knighted and recieve a stout buffet from the
King.  After court, all the warriors mustered for battle.  As they were
organizing, I saw the beloved star of Ansteorra on the sleeves of three of
the fighters. Hastening over, I was honored to meet His Majesty and a few
other noble gentlemen and ladies of the fighting force of Ansteorra. I was
delighted and pleased when His Majesty recalled an email I sent to the list
about preparations a waterbearer could make to assist the fighters, and
assured him that I was ready to provide emergency armor repairs if anyone
needed them.

Much of Saturday was spent trying to grow additional arms! Everywhere I
turned, weary fighters needed water, gatorade, a bit of orange or other
sustaining morstle.  I saw examples of wonderful chivalry, and often heard
fighters congratulate and compliment the one who had just scored a killing
blow.  While there were a few injuries, I didn't hear of anything of an
extremely serious nature. But even if there had been, our own Marcus
Quietly would surely have come to their rescue as he was helping to staff
the main Chiurgen's Point. (He and his Lady, Lynn the Inquisitive were
there, much to my delight to see familiar faces).

I was very impressed by the care and support the Outlands gave their
fighters. Food service was organized by Her Excellency Davita (I pray
she'll forgive me if I am spelling it wrong) from Al-Barran. We provided
the warriors with cherry tomatoes, pickle spears and slices, oranges,
carrots, celery, meat wraps, cheese, olives, and ice chips, and
explainations of why each was important for them to eat! (Tomato to clear
their mouths, orange for vitamins and fluids, carrots for some fiber,
pickle spears and olives for salt, meat for protein, celery to bind the
water in their stomachs and balance their pH, etc.) Many fighters paused in
their headlong dash back to battle when I was able to point out that their
color suggested they were protein starved after two hours of combat, and
there was food just twenty steps that way... An entire roll of film
disappeared taking photos of the combat!

After the battles were over at that location, I stayed to offer additional
refreshments to each fighter as he departed the field, and then helped with
the arduous task of clearing the battlefield.  As sore and weary as if I'd
taken a good thwacking myself, I headed back to our camp, where my sister
promptly declared it was time to SHOP!

Merchant's Row was filled with a wonderful assortment of items, with a
selection as broad as the plains of Ansteorra. I picked up a lovely piece
of raw amber and some trim in the Ansteorran colors and emblem (I'll bring
this to Populace, if anyone wants to see it first hand), as well as a few
gifts for family and friends.  After the shopping run, I wandered the
encampments, seeking out the presence of the Ansteorran Court, to pay
homage and courtesy to our gracious Queen, as she had bid all Ansteorran's
do. Alas, I was not able to find her.

Saturday night was filled with drums, song, and revelry, and alas, Sunday
morning again came too soon. Once more the cry of the heralds was my
awakening. The dawn was edging over the hills in shades of soft purple and
pink as I made my way to morning court, in time to witness another
Knighting - that of the squire of my host, His Excellency, Haroun ibn
al-Dhi'b al-Abyadh, and his Lady, her Excellency Davita. I was impressed by
the pagentry involved, and the long list of achievements of the worthy
fellow. Another individual was elevated to the peerage, being named to the
Order of the Pelican. Sadly, I was not close enough to hear his name.

Returning to the battlefield, I again enjoyed the deeply satisfying
pleasure of assisting the noble fighters upon the field. I saw one fellow
being carried from the battle by my friend, Lord Mordrake the Obnoxious,
who had witnessed the fellow take a vicious spear thrust to the face.
Fortunately, I was able to find a chiurgen to assist the man, and his
squire to gather his arms and weaponry. (Sadly, I heard that his injuries
were more severe than originally thought; I saw him again later, and
learned he collapsed a second time while perusing merchants row later that
evening!) My sister joined me on the field, providing reviving food and
water, and once more, we saw the noble actions of the fighters upon the
field.  I had a chance to see our own fighters in action; the prowess of
those bearing the Black Star was a shining example to others.

After the battles? More SHOPPING!

The event was filled with day after day of amazing classes. Unfortunately,
most of the classes I wanted to attend were during the fighting, so I
wasn't able to attend any. But even still, I learned so much just by
observing and participating in my own small way.

Another delight was the opportunity to meet people from all over the
Society, and from the world; folks from England, Finland, Germany, and of
course, all over our own USA. "You take good care of us here in America,"
said one gentleman from Finland who was fighting with the Outlands.

I was also very happy to hear that volunteer hours put in, directly assist
Northkeep! Each volunteer is asked to name the SCA group they would like to
receive funds. While my eight hours of waterbearing probably won't garner
much, it felt good to know that doing something I love would also help my

My only lament is that I was never able to meet Her Majesty and present her
with a small gift of hand-made chocolates I'd brought. Perhaps at Crown
Tourney I'll have the opportunity with a fresh batch. :-)

If you haven't had a chance to go to Estrella, I cannot recommend the
experience enough. I staggered home weary, slightly sunburned, and poorer
by a smidge in the pocket... but with a smile that wrapped around my face
at least twice, and glowing with memories that shall last a lifetime. (Or
at least until next year, when they are replaced by even more of this
wonderful event.)

still beaming,

Zubeydah the Wandering Water & Chocolate Bearer

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