SR - Missed opportunity

Dennis Grace sirlyonel at
Fri Feb 12 15:19:43 PST 1999

Salut Cozyns,

Lyonel aisai.

I have to confess, I'm not very big on court events.  You know:  
Candlemas, Twelfth Night, that sort of thing.  I can usually tell 
approximately how they'll go long before I arrive, and I tend to think 
of such events as a compliation of long courts, peer circles, rehashed 
gossip, sore feet, and less than enough to eat throughout the day. 

I'd rather be fighting.

Well, this year's Candlemas was the exception that proves the rule.  To 
repeat a line I've heard repeatedly since the event ended, "I've never 
seen so much quality shtick at one event."  I'm hoping we get some 
pictures posted to the Bryn Gwlad website soon, but I know they won't do 
it justice.

Throughout the day, in a hall darkened slightly by black banners, death 
stalked the hall.  Masks--garish, whimsical, elaborate--hid the faces of 
those who did not want Death to recognize them.  Lady Zahara won the 
best mask competition with her Castle Mask.  Earl Gerard came as the 
spirit of Ansteorra, decked in yellow and bearing a ten-pointed black 
star mask.  Lord Ramone wore a colorful helm of leather, and masks of 
papier-mache, clay, and feathers appeared throughout the hall--more 
masks than I've ever seen at an SCA masque.  

Deaths ranged from the comical (Sir Dieterich's Tailor, Hans positively 
melted) to the melodramatic (Lady Ebergardis's suicide over her lost 
man) to the dramatically realistic (Duke Kein coughing and choking and 
calling for something to drink and then--after taking a swig from a mug 
proffered by Death himself--hacking up blood as he collapsed).

Some of the dead hung out in the purgatory lounge, playing games with a 
Persian angel (played by Lady Aurighe).   Others wandered the halls, 
playing poltergeist.  One lady "possessed" a man and caused him, in a 
violent fit, to lash out at the Baron.  Friars wandered the hall selling 
indulgences.  Mourners prayed at the gates of purgatory for the souls of 
their lost friends.  

A little after sunset, Sir Emrys led a somber procession carrying 
Baroness Briana's rose covered bier into the hall to confront Death. 
With a stirring performance, Sir Emrys and his friends won back the 
Baroness.  I saw a dozen people shedding tears (one of them was Baron 

James of Severne--Lord John's foul cur of a brother--made a ham-handed 
attempt at kidnapping Baroness Jehanne, only to be captured 
and--uh--questioned by the Baronial Guard.  Later he was beheaded, and 
his head was brought in a a halberd that all might see the justice of 
Bryn Gwlad.

Finally, drunk with power, Death began a Danse Macabre, leading the poor 
souls of the day's victims around the hall in ghoulish display.  The 
Baron and Baroness entered the hall with candlebearers and--calling for 
light--banished Death from Candlemas.  White banners unfurled at the 
Baron's command to cover the black.

In addition to all the marvelous persona play, Baroness Clarissa and her 
cadre of cooks provided a running sideboard feast.  Food was available 
from 2:00 through until 8:00.  It was marvelous being able to eat 
whenever we were hungry, and their were no server-problems, no lines, 
and no complaints.

We had music, classes, and activities to keep the children busy.  Court 
was even fairly short.  Some of you, realizing that my wife, Mistress 
Aquilanne, was event steward, might think me a bit biased.  Maybe, but 
still--if you weren't there for Candlemas--you missed an incredible 

lo vostre por vos servir
Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace

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