Report and photos from Altavia Anniversary/Investiture

Barony of the Angels Roving Reporter Catharine Hawkwod and photographer Sheikh Yusuf have captured the fun of the recent Altavia Anniversary and Investiture event in the Kingdom of Caid.

Sheikh Yusuf's photos from Opening Court at the event, including some wonderful close-ups, have been posted on his Flickr website, and may be viewed by clicking on "original article" below.

Lady Catharine writes:

Roving Reporter Catharine Hawkwod here, reporting on Altavia Anniversary and Investiture!

For pure fun, this event was off the scales! (Yes, that was the sound of my objectivity flying straight out the window!)

As His Majesty said at opening court, "We can?t promise you a short court today, but we'll try to make it fun."

Fun it was! (Apologies if I have anything out of order. There was so much going on!) Baron Laertes spoke (he's been coughing a lot of late, the cough was much worse that day ). He gifted Baroness Bridget with a period song he'd commissioned just for her. Enter the ladies of House Bella, Meliora, Genevieve and Brangwyne, who in lilting, acapella voices sang the period piece, "It?s the Knowne World, After All." (A tune that will be in my head for years! ARGHH!) Everyone joined in the chorus -- when they weren't laughing so hard they were in tears!

Then King Edric called up the members of the Order of the Pelican, but he got *distracted* during the ceremony -- he started talking about how he?d heard about the death certificates being sold, but hadn't been able to buy one yet. But (said he, holding up two coins) he had his two bits and wanted to add his suggestion to the list. So, he called for Viscountess Lorissa to come up and get his money. She was swamped with seneschal duties for the day. The sidelines were packed -- no way for her to come in that way. So, she hurried around to the front and up the center to get the king's entry. (Let me tell you, people were so excited, the air tingled!)

His Majesty said he had it on good authority that if she was ever to get a major award, she just wanted to be surprised by it. Then . . . "I have the pelicans here, and they tell me that the flock is wanting."

The populace ERUPTED! People were on their feet cheering and whooping and huzzahing! Lady Cathryn Trimble was a couple rows in front of me, pumping her fist in the air! The noise was deafening!

The Crescent Herald asked if there was a royal peer to speak on Lorissa?s behalf. A figure concealed in a red shawl (looking remarkably like Comitessa Una) came up the center, with a letter from Duchess Natalya, who couldn?t be there. The letter was awesome, talking about Lorissa?s lifetime (literally!) of service to the SCA.

The herald called for a member of the Order of the Chivalry to speak. Sir Robear, to whom Lorissa had once been a squire, spoke to her unflagging support of chivalry and combat in the SCA. No matter where you looked at a war, she was always there -- and always working.

Mistress Thea spoke for the Order of the Laurel, talking about how there were really five elements in the SCA: earth, fire, water, air -- and Lorissa. (Again, the deafening huzzahs!)

Count Denis of the Titan (the Premier Pelican of Atenveldt) spoke for the Order of the Pelican. He talked about how Lorissa lived in his household when she was in Atenveldt, and about her unflagging service. When he had the marshalate dumped in his lap, she was there, volunteering. (She has three service awards from Atenveldt -- and she lived there less than two years!)

By the way, when Lorissa left court, it just so happened that two of the pelicans escorting her looked remarkably like her. Note the picture of the family flock! (Link at the end of the article.)

As things calmed down, Baroness Bridget stood up, talking about how she?d been feeling a bit unwell of late. Suddenly, the members of House Zacharias (Dame Lynette and Lady Magdalena, skipping along with Lord William escorting them) brought her a plate of delicious fudge chocolate brownies to help her feel better. Her Excellency took one and immediately ate it with great relish! Suddenly, Lady Isolde came running up -- holding another plate of brownies!

"Wait, WAIT! That?s the wrong plate! That?s the one with the poison to get rid of the 'mice!'" (Yes, the populace GROANED!) Alas, it was too late. Baroness Bridget felt faint. She started seeing visions -- Lady Godiva, then Lord Hershey and Saint Nestle! And then -- and then! She fell to the carpet. Death by chocolate! The Altavian Coroner (looking remarkably like THL Mouren in herald's garb and a black "Coroner" cap) came up, looked at Bridget, and said that yup, she was dead.

Laertes stepped forward, his cough now very bad, demanding to know what had happened. The White Scarves rushed forward, yelling "Death by Peeps!" and pelted him until he, too, collapsed on the floor. (In the background His Majesty was heard muttering, "I told you those things were deadly!") The bodies of the deceased were covered with silk shrouds -- the Shrouds of Thorin. (More groans!)

Lord Kuma came to claim his now-ethereal consort. He escorted her from court. Then Lady Alexandra escorted her staggering lord (think zombie, with a protruding pink [Peep?]) tongue -- from court as well. Lord Thorin gave a quick "Hoover!" command to the children. The Peeps were immediately vacuumed up and disposed of. Then the King announced that there were empty chairs beside him. Thorin and THL Courtney were elevated to the baronage of Altavia. Shortly thereafter, Laertes and Bridget were called back up and made a court baron and baroness, in recognition of their service and of their making Altavia a barony of fun during their tenure. Again and again, the huzzahs thundered!

Back in the Angels pavilion after court, during the lunch break before the fighting started, what started out as a small group of people having a period lunch segued into pretty much everyone sharing lunch: hearth breads, specialty cheeses, homemade herb butters, a mouth-watering ham, chicken, fruits and veggies, and (my personal favorite) berries in cream!!! Yum! People were also eating lunches they'd won in the silent auction -- or picnics they?d brought themselves. Even moreso than the food, the ambience was awesome. As always, the friendships and the shared fun and conversations were the heart of a great tourney meal.

The fighting started after lunch. I got a quick picture of Lorissa as she hurried across the field, but she was one-handed in it. (The hidden hand was holding the bottle of water she was rushing to a fighter. It's that helium thing.)

Other Angels snippets from here and there throughout the day: Lady Cathryn Trimble got an Altavian fret for her service for working for Altavia Anniversary. Lady Ellen "belled" Flavia with a belt of bells so the ladies-in-waiting will be able to find her if (when?) even the olympic running shoes aren't fast enough for them to keep up with her. Lady Vivienne found out she's going to be keeper of the OP. Lord Bjorn Zenthfer won the Altavia chess championship.

Angels is going to have a huge presence at Potrero, so there were lots of fun discussions about what the barony can do there as a group. Lady Antoinette is the camp mistress, and she and the archers have been working their fingers to the bone making arrows for the archery at the event.

The last thing we heard as we left the event was this delicate little voice carrying across the park, "My lords and ladies -- you don't have to go home, but you can?t stay here! Quit yacking and get packing!" Ah, the happy sound of a brand new Pelican. :-)

Folks, this is just what I saw at Altavia Anniversary! Please, jump in with your reports of all the things I missed! The pictures I took are at Tomaso's website,

Thanks, Altavia, for a wonderful day! :-)

Yours in Service,
Catharine Hawkwod
(Roving Reporter from the Barony of the Angels)