Shava travels to Gulf Wars

Viscountess Elashava bas Riva made her first visit to Gulf Wars and chronicled her visit in words and pictures.

Shava writes:

*First off, I do want to make three disclaimers. This past Gulf Wars was my first trip south for this fine war. Many of my pictures were taken just to get the feel of the site and a feeling for the event and I did take quite a few (though not as many as Ursus of Anglesey http://ursus.smugmug.com/SCA%20photographs takes). Second, I know that I'm missing pictures from Equestrian, Archery, and Live Weapons but I couldn't be everywhere. And thirdly, I know that the pictures are very Northshield-centric and I was a busy paparazzo this event. Then again, having a Press Pass from Her Most Royal Majesty Eilis made it imperative that I chronicle Their Royal Majesties first Gulf Wars experience as best as I was able and they're my kinsman. T**hat all being said, I am blind-copying all of the Royalty of the Knowne World plus a few others who might be interested in some of my pictures. Feel free to pass this link on to other lists and anyone who might be interested in them.

*I have tried to chronicle my week as best as I can through pictures. My first view of the War was a bit disjointed. First, I got to the site in time to be whisked away by friends for an overnight trip to New Orleans. So, barely enough time to check-in, find the cabin, and get the car unloaded (which they helped with so it took almost no time at all.) I made it back to site on Monday late afternoon in time for dinner and a bit of time to get a feel for the site. Unfortunately, I became very ill later that night and much of Tuesday was a blur of not feeling well and naps. At least I was feeling better by that evening so I could hear Master Efenwealt Whystle, Mistress Adelaide de Beaumont, Sir Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tobermory, Lady Ambra, and Baron Mateo Montero de Madrid (3 different sets) at the Green Dragon Inn. What a great night of music!!!

Luckily, I was much better by Wednesday in time for the opening ceremonies. Part of the best part of that was the wonderful sharing of song between the retinues of Atlantia, Calontir, Ealdormere, and Northshield (thanks to the bard of Atlantia whose name I never learned, Dolan from Calontir, Garrett from Ealdormere and Sveinn from Northshield to leading the songs for their respective groups). This was going on while the Royalty were getting on their horses and such (which took a while). I've seen the pictures of Opening Ceremonies in the past and it always made me wish I was there and this time I was. The host Kingdoms welcomed everyone and each Kingdom declared their side with great pomp and ceremony--ending with a circuit of the field by a riderless horsed barded in mourning to represent our absent friends. *There is a pretty poor video that I took of HRM Hagan declaring Northshield's deal with Trimaris that was "struck in ice and snow" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa_OyqlPWlE (my apologies for the coughing while I was filming it).* From there, I found myself at the Diamond Tournament (Each kingdom and principality at Gulf War may send one team (consisting of a heavy and a light fighter). The rounds will alternate between heavy and light, with the single member of each team competing per round. This is a double-elimination tourney; however, a loss for either member of the team counts as a loss for the team. Therefore, a team can be eliminated by a single loss from each fighter, or 2 losses from either.) Northshield fielded Count Kitakaze Tatsu Raito and Don Michael St. Christian who proved victorious over a tough field--meeting the East Kingdom combatants in the finals. I understand that this was the sixth Northshield victory in this tournament in the past seven years. Don Michael was awarded his third Nordbandr by TRM in Northshield Court on Thursday because he fought while quite ill. I then wandered over to where the Town Battle was raging and was able to view it from a wonderful vantage point. How often does one get to sit down in the shade (in the lee of a castle wall), have a soft, cool breeze, and be less than ten feet from the action? It was too bad that Northshield fighters were in the middle of the town but I can hope that those of the Midrealm and Gleann Abhann forces can appreciate the view that I had. It was a long day and I can't remember much about what I did after supper though I think I just sat around the dining hall catching up with old friends.

Thursday included the Ansteorran Rose Tournament, the Bridge Battle, Northshield Court, and the Black & Gold Party outside the Northshield Royal Cabin. The Ansteorran Rose Tournament (a competition of skill that was conducted before an audience of the Royal Ladies assembled at Gulf Wars. Each Lady of the Rose may sponsor two entrants, [but only one of them may be of 'officer rank' {White Scarf or equivalent}]). I ended up staying for the whole tournament since Dona Margalit, fighting for HRM Mary and Lord Ambrose, fighting for the Queen Mum, Countess Bridei, made it to the eight round in a very talented field of combatants. The finals were between Don Sylvain of Trimaris, Dona Eledor (please excuse my spelling) of AEthelmaerc, and Don Aeron Harper of Ansteorra (who is going to school in Northshield) with Don Sylvain winning for the third time (I was told). I wandered over to the Bridge Battle for a while and again had a wonderful vantage point to see some action. From there, I made it back to the Northshield Royal Cabin in time for our Kingdom's Court where many were honoured (already chronicled by our Clerk of Precedence, Viscountess Astrid). That evening, Sir Duncan "Fathmbjorn" MacPherson, Mistress Seonaid ingen Domnaill, and Lord Karl von Frettchenburg led a team that put together a Black & Gold party outside our cabin. They served drinks that were black...or gold. ;-)

Friday dawned a bit gray and cool but the sun was soon to come out on a very bright day indeed. This day saw the Armoured Champion's Tournament that included teams of 15 from the hosting kingdoms (10 of their own plus 5 from their allies) and included our own Duke Siegfried von Kulmbach who proved victorious in his bout. This was followed by our own history-making moment--the vigiling of THL Roisin ingen Aillel for the Order of Chivalry (as we well know, she will be elevated at TRM Hagan & Eilis' last court at Coronation on April 19 and will be the 27th female member of the Order in its history). There are many pictures of the vigiling among my photos and I know that Duke Siegfried will be posting a video of it when he can get it edited. The afternoon brought me to the ravine for the first time so that I could witness the Rapier Ravine Battle--Northshield's force, led by Don Mateo Montero de Madrid, was 30 strong and included HRM Hagan, Duke Siegfried, Cout Ratio, and quite a few others that left their heavy armour behind and donned lighter stuff to join our strong contingent of fencers. That evening, THL Roisin sat vigil in the royal compound and was visited by many including Kings, Princes, Dukes, and many, many other well-wishers.

Saturday found me sitting in camp whining a little as I said "but I don't want to go home" to which my lord-husband, Giles, replied "not you, too!" It wasn't the weather, not really, though it was nice to enjoy an early spring. It was the friends, old and new, all of the activities, and just a nice feeling of comfort that this year's Gulf Wars brought me. I spent some of the day wandering around, just enjoying the feeling, packing, albeit reluctantly, and then wandering over to the camps of Clan Gambit (where HE Alice of Kent was staying) and the Barony of Seleone (Gulfport/Biloxi area). Alice had traveled down with Giles and I and we needed to pick her up. But what we knew and she didn't was that she was to be honoured in Seleone's Baronial Court that afternoon. We dragged our feet long enough to get her to court, presided over by Thegn Morgan of Osperey, and it was fun to witness a foreign Baronial Court. The last two pieces of business were to make HE Alice and her late husband, HE Antonio di Casa d'Aqua called "Price", honorary citizens of the Barony. Vivant to Alice and Price!! Vivant to Thegn Morgan and the Barony of Seleone who have adopted two of ours. Finally, after all of that, we collected Alice's things, went back to our cabin to load the car, shower, and hit the road for home. The trip home was almost uneventful -- but Giles got the same stomach ailment that I did later that night after we'd found an inn to stay in on the road. Finally, we found our way home on Sunday, leaving Gulf Wars and spring behind but bringing back many good memories.

*My view of the event can be found by clicking on "original article" below. (for those not familiar with the Unofficial Northshield Gallery, you do have to register on the site to view the pictures but I can assure you that only two people have access to the email address [I'm one of them] and there will be no spam associated with registering).

As always, for my pictures, feel free to leave comments and help me label the pictures , use any picture for SCA purposes, ask me to delete something if you don't like it via private message, or share with your friends and family. If you want larger files than are posted for your own use, let me know and I'll send them to you. Also, please pass on the link to other lists if you wish. For the pictures that others have taken, please contact them directly for permissions and such.

Pax-
Shava