SR - Missed opportunity
sirlyonel at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 12 15:19:43 PST 1999
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
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
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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