The Coronation of Siridean and Sile

Jenna of Southwind has written an extensive report on the March 6, 2004 Coronation of Their Majesties Siridean and Sile of Calontir. (Also don't miss Mighel's photos from the Kingdom's incredible Cope Project.) Colonel Jenna writes:
Event Report - Coronation of Siridean and Sile
March 6, 2004
Barony of Lonely Tower (Omaha, NE)

The day dawned fair and finer than is reasonable to expect the first week of March. Even though there were yet a few tokens of recent large snowfalls the day was warm and pleasant if very windy. A wind of change, perhaps.

The site was three buildings, Chapel for court with a lovely backdrop on the stage for the thrones and presence area, Gym for merchants and indoor fighting, and attached to the Gym the Commons and Dining Hall. It was a lovely site. Upon arrival one checked in, then was tempted by the commemorative T-shirts, which had a gorgeous depiction of stained glass on dramatic black. Just to make one's pocketbook lighter, if you were willing to place an order there were not only the 4X size T-shirt, but long-sleeved tees, sweatshirts, and even totebags, all promised to display this beautiful art showing Siridean and Sile.

Very close to the time announced, began the last court of TRM JoeAngus and Phaedra. To begin with They called Their Heirs forward and sent Them on a final journey of discovery before They should ascend to the thrones. The Huscarls Iren and Saethr were sent with the Prince and Princess as Their bodyguard, so dear did JoeAngus and Phaedra hold their 'son and daughter'. Then did the heads of the Cope Committee bring forth the stunning results of three years of research (including a trip to England and hands-on examination of period work by one dedicated lady) and countless hours of labour. Hand-dyed threads, hand-woven cloth and trim, silk embroidery. The badges of the various Orders in Calontir down the front edges of the half-circle Copes. On the back the King's and Queens' arms. And around the hems, dozens upon dozens of coats of arms, from Brumbarr the first Warlord to JoeAngus II and Phaedra II Themselves. Their Majesties were divested of the old Copes which will be stored and occasionally displayed as historical artifacts, and then They were the first to don these incredible garments truly suited for monarchs.

There were matters yet to deal with. Mistress Olga was called forward, and JoeAngus spoke what all knew when he spoke at length of her noble qualities. No virtue was missing in her shining nature, and Their Majesties declared that she should always wear a shining coronet of silver to show all the Worlde the regard in which she was held. There was a standing ovation as Olga was made a Baroness of the Court. TRM then called up Killian of Golden Sea, and His Majesty spoke of how Killian has for many years used his mundane medical skills for his fellows, sometimes keeping more fighters on the field than even the Soup Kitchen! Prince Siridean himself this Estrella last was aided by Killian. So Siridean's fond parents for the sake of all those fighters as well as Their son bestowed a baronial coronet of silver upon Killian as well. TRM then began the solemn task of preparing to leave the Falcon Thrones. The last awards given, Regalia bestowed into safe keeping. At last the Chivalry was called up, and held the Thrones and the Magic safe as JoeAngus and Phaedra removed Their crowns, and departed the hall as the populace bowed one last time to the memory of what they had been and the love of what they will always be.

From the balcony at the back of the hall and from the opposite corner Master Andrixos and His Lordship Marcus read antiphonally the Lineage of Calontir, from Brumbarr to the monarchs who had just left. Then Marcus read on, of the history of a certain Stone, the Stone of Scone, and his voice took the tones of the Highlands as he spoke of how true kings are throned upon it. At the back of the hall Duke Kensor unveiled a certain Stone, and forth came Huscarls. He challenged them, and Siridean met the challenge. Come to the end of his months of learning, Siridean seated him upon the Stone to learn yet more of the meaning of kingship. Thus the last became first as Siridean the OAF suddenly turned the Cheap Seats in the back of the hall into the best in the house. Duly warned, he was asked if he truly wished to accept the heavy burden of the Crown. "With all my heart," said the Prince, and he took the Crown offered him, rose, and crowned Him there in the sight of all.

The King then led His Huscarls to the thrones, to be challenged by the assembled chivalry led by Count Luther, who recognized and stood aside for the one who had bested him in the last Crown Tournament. Then did King Siridean send for His Princess, Sile. She too was warned of the weight of the Crown, and swore her oath before rising as Queen of Calontir. Then did the knights kneel and swear their fealty to Crown and Kingdom.

So great was the drama of the ceremony that at no point did the customary applause occur, until the herald Master Mikhail announced to the populace, "The Crown of Calontir". The rousing cries made it clear that the populace was well pleased and wanted only the right moment to express their joy. The populace then at last were seated, as fealties were sworn by the nobles and peers and baronages. (Baronages? Where was Baron Magnus of Couer d'Ennui when his cousins and baroness went forward? We shall yet hear of this mystery.) The court ended, and everyone went out into the sun.

The fighting was held outdoors, first Novice Tourney then His Majesty's 5-man tourney. The Largesse Competition display was well worth examining, ranging from hand-tatted lace to 'fighter repair kits' to period 'laptops' in the form of lovely writing desk/chests presented by minor children. Those who hungered could enjoy food at the tavern, there were friends and merchants to visit, and it was generally a very pleasant afternoon. At one point Their Majesties held a special court next to the largesse display, in honor of one Gervaisse who has given so much of himself and his work as largesse. As he was obliged to leave before evening, TRM made this special effort so They could bestow upon the special gesture of a straight GoA. Old-timers later could not count two handfuls of such awards in their memory although the OP will prove the tale of how rare this honor was.

Evening court began with TRM welcoming Their cousins the Heirs to the MidRealm. The Tanist Felix spoke for Himself and his fair Princess when He told how He had always had been welcomed and well treated in Calontir. Then, the Royal Heirs to the throne of one of the oldest and mightiest of kingdoms,
* *KNELT** before the Falcon Crowns. Such a sight of glory as this, of kneeling to touch the sky, this writer has seen but once before in nearly a score of years. The Tanist and Tanista had brought gifts such as more of the small silver buckles which Felix had cast with His own hands and spent the day giving with His own hands freely to Calontir's populace.

The Baroness of Lonely Tower held court, where the autocrat's announcements were made and the winners of the tourneys were acclaimed. The winner of the Novice Tourney, it must be noted, was Olaf of Flatrock, following in the footsteps of his father and uncle. So pleased was he with Lord Olaf that the marshal Duke Garrick presented the youth with a ring from Rome taken from his own private collection of antiquities. The 5-man team was called up to divvy up an assorted 6-pack. Then at the request of the sponsor of the tourney, His Majesty, the 5 fighters were asked to announce which other fighter had impressed them best. After a bit of confab they decided that the most worth to quaff the sixth brew, was the good Listmistress. And so she was called to accept the drink, and take her turn taking a prize from a grab bag of things dear to a fighter's heart.

When all these things were done Her Excellency Lonely Tower had Her herald read a challenge from the Coronet Lonely Tower, of a great passage of arms to be held at the Lilies War. The announcement was well met, first by HL Trevor from Forgotten Sea who was moved to cry aloud, "You are so On!" His sentiments were echoed from the back of the hall, by one Magnus.

"LORD Magnus?" asked His Majesty, swinging the baronial coronet that was hanging from His belt. A coronet that Magnus could not wear, because he had not come forward and sworn fealty when the landed baronages were called, even though he was actually in the hall at the time. Magnus came forward now; groveling and bearing a bowl of sweets handed him by a friendly face in the crowd. "Are you trying to bribe Us? Asked Queen Sile.

His Majesty then explained to the populace that Magnus has missed the call to fealty, because he had been in the back of the hall recruiting for Gulf Wars, where he will be General of the Falcon Army. Fortunately for Magnus' hide (and coronet), TRM were more amused than otherwise, although the OAF King let Lord Magnus grovel and squirm a while before permitting him to swear fealty.

His Majesty then pointed out that Magnus was a Fyrdman only, and never before in anyone's memory had a mere Fyrdman led the Falcon Host. As the populace marveled at this honor to Magnus, Siridean called the Iren-Hirth! Forth came Huscarls, some now with gold chains but huscarls all. As one held up a most beautifully painted Norse center-grip shield, Master Mikhail read a most beautiful text - in Old Norse. Here and there a word peeked through a millennia of language, but the sound brought to this writer memories of a certain Swede of the house of Henson. And as the reading ended with "Huscarl! Huscarl! Huscarl!" Marcus called Artscarl, who has similar memories, blurted out that Swedish chef's refrain, "Bjork Bjork Bjork!"

The scroll text was read in English, proving that it included verses from Master Angus' song "Huscarl". The scroll itself was written on the shield, which was given to Magnus to bear forever.

After the making of a Huscarl, the making of a new Duchess, and Duke. His Majesty indulged Himself in a fashion He had not dared when JoeAngus outranked Him - He called for three cheers for JoeAngus, which the populace gave heartily.

TRM chose to pause to show off Their new garb, a different set from that which They had been crowned. Both were the work of Her Ladyship Bronwen, who was called forth to receive acclaim. And, said Queen Sile, a certain award that She'd learnt was the secret desire of Bronwen's heart. To screams of delight and laughter from the populace, the Ladyship was given a Golden Calon Swan for 'promise' in costuming.

Finally Their Majesties performed that which They had promised at Their Coronation court, and offered the opportunity to swear fealty to any member of the populace who wished it. Many came forward. Afterwards TRM produced bags of fealty rings, but the numbers were too many for Them to do as They clearly desired and give the rings from Their own hands. Handfuls of rings were passed about, and court was declared closed in the glorious confusion.

Exiting the hall with Baroness Olga, this writer and she commented on the merriment of the day. As one we looked over our shoulders to where a moon rose in the East, glowing **full**. And as one we said, "That explains everything."

For drama's sake the tale of the Coronation of the OAF King and the Wise Queen should end there. But it cannot. Because that would leave out the feast! And O! such a feast! This writer has a weakness for things like bannocks and oaten cakes and soda bread, and there they were on the table. The autocrat Lord Mikhail stopped by and told us, "The food for head table, is coming in by limousine." We thought this jest until we saw a very tall lord he had pointed out, and Big D*** Ruari, bearing in a tray balanced on two long poles. Servers lifted the tray up and the two bearers swiftly drew up the poles, shouldered arms, about face and strode out of the hall amidst delighted applause. This drama was repeated for each course. The other tables were served more normally, except that the food was not normal. Home-smoked salmon nearly sent the Norseman at our table into hysterics of joy. The kale was so delicious that although this writer follows Conde Fernando's belief that green is Nature's way of warning you not to eat this because it's Bad, I ate two servings. (My lady mother is still in shock.) The drinks were water and apple cider. Ah, it would be cruel to continue to describe. The toasts to the cooks and servers were rousing indeed!

The next day, journeying home, this writer looked to the East. And there, as I live, among the fluffy clouds dotting the pure blue sky I saw a perfect heraldic Dolphin such as graces Queen Sile's arms.

Jenna of Southwind
bard, historian, interkingdom anthropologist
JennaSW@aol.com

This report may be circulated by any means print or electronic by any persons chivalrous enough to give full authorship credit. Anyone noticing mistakes, misspellings etc is requested to contact the author with corrections at JennaSW@aol.com. This report may be edited for length but not content. The author requests that the tale of Baron Magnus be left.

To view photos taken by Mighel of the magnificent copes, click on the header above.