Coronation of Garick and Yasamin
Barony of Mag Mor, Lincoln, NE
September 11, 2004
On a day of Mundane history and sorrow, joyful SCA and Calontir history were made, as yet another Crown ascended to the Falcon Throne. The weather was fair, the site particularly nice, a Masonic Temple with a magnificent Great Hall complete with padded 'stall' seating around the perimeter and cantor's balcony, a fighting area outside with natural seating on the steps, and plenty of pleasant spaces inside. The barony had taken steps to make things even nicer ranging from fabric screens behind the thrones to baskets of little necessities like safety pins in the changing and rest rooms.
The last court of Siridean and Sile began with the Pelicaning of Mistress Agnes, which had been delayed when she broke her foot. She came into court on (wooden) crutches, and a kind lady in the first row offered her a period-style wooden seat for the ceremony. (The giggle among the assembled gaggle of Pelicans was that the creaks of the bench sounded just like the squawk of a pelican!) The ceremony was as simple and the scroll text was as delightfully fresh and unique as Agnes herself. (Note to self: get a copy!)
Their Majesties then bestowed that rare and wonderful award, the Keeper of the Flame. Their herald called forth Tatjana Nikonovna much to the delight and approbation of the populace. It was revealed that one of the things that swayed TRM to Their choice, was Tatjana's determination to discover a period style for the baronial coronet when it became hers to wear. Next was held the Laureling of Bronwyn ferch Arial, with great ceremony and the delightful addition of the presence of Master Demetrios, come all the way from An Tir for the occasion.
Her Majesty prefaced Her bestowing of the Queen's Endorsements of Distinction by bemoaning how difficult it had been to choose. The recipients were:
All were very well received by the populace. It was somehow strangely appropriate that Conna, embodiment of the ideals of the Society, had made a hard but proper choice to miss this event to attend to highly important other matters, for some at least would say that the Society be ill-served by those who place it above all other things of this world or the next. It was however sad not to get to see Conna's face when the announcement was made.
- Chivalry - Attila Iren Fera
- Courteous Graces - Dejanira
- Ideals of the Society - Conna.
At last TRM began to release Their people and give the regalia into safekeeping. The Retinue was released en-masse, as Siridean explained, so that he would not break down. The two ladies who walked out of court as symbols of all those hard-working souls were given a spontaneous standing ovation by the populace for all the work done by all those behind the scenes. At last Their Majesties stood face-to-face and ready to step down, on the edge of tears if not already over it…
…and someone's cell phone began to play music.
"Get that," His Majesty suggested. The moment of mundanity and horror became a moment of cathartic laughter. Her Majesty surrendered the Crown that His Majesty had won for her, and as one last act of service the one who had been her champion, when she had been Queen, escorted Sile from the court as the populace rose and bowed. His Majesty spoke one last time, to beg pardon of the populace for any mistakes he might have made as a fallible mortal man. Weeping unashamed, Siridean gave the Crown Thrones and Kingdom into the care of the Chivalry, and strode from court as a lone baritone sang "I Will Mourn My King" in the language of the last Saxon King Harald Godwinsson, and the populace bowed.
It is well that there was a break at this point, for the ceremony so far had been extremely moving, and there were indications that what was to follow would be most interesting and elaborate (a style of ceremony particularly pleasing to the Calontiri mind.) Before the Coronation Court re-started two magnificently voiced heralds read the Lineage of Calontir in antiphony from the cantor's balcony at the rear of the hall. The procession into court was led by four noble and beautiful ladies each carrying a tall candlestick with a taller candle, unlit. Noble escorts accompanied Prince Garick, well yet simply clad, carrying a large white candle as he walked in beneath a beautiful canopy carried by four more nobles. He met the challenge by the Chivalry, was vouched for, and permitted to approach. He placed the candle on a small table over which was set the canopy. Then into the court came Princess Yasamin, dressed magnificently and borne in a beautiful litter upon the shoulders of some of the finest of fighters.
The ceremony that followed owed much to period ceremonies, particularly from the Holy Roman Empire, yet was traditional enough to please the most fastidious of Calontiri. Their Highnesses knelt, facing each other who would be Their partner in all things (as well as providing the populace with a view of their faces.) Master Andrixos explained to all that period ceremonies involved an anointing with Chrism, a religious act we could and would not duplicate, but for a secular version far more appropriate to the Society there would be oil mixed with special earths. Into a salver he poured oil, then, in token of the period which we celebrate, earth from the Agincourt Battlefield. In token of the modern Society, earth from the Backyard (everyone laughed - where else, but the backyard where you hold fighter practice and test pavilions?) - Where The First Event Was Held. The laughter stopped at the solemnity of this. Then, for the kingdom and Army, earth from beneath the feet of Calon soldiers, from Pennsic and Estrella and Lilies, and there were those who nearly wept at this gesture. Andrixos then anointed first Garick, then Yasamin, on forehead and both palms.
(Later, there were Peers who longingly wished that they, too, could be anointed with such magical oil - but they felt that such was for monarchs alone.)
The Baronages brought forth the ancient and honorable Coronation Crowns, and on behalf of all the populace wherever they might reside the barons and baronesses crowned the new monarchs of Calontir. Then they swore their oaths for the baronies they hold. Next came the members of the Retinue with the Coronation Copes, to swear, and they were promised each 30 marks, 40 for the head lady in waiting and 50 for the Chamberlain, to be paid at Krist Kinder.
Sir Semjaka brought the King's Sword, and the Chivalry swore their fealty. Each was given a 'fief' of 40,000 rods, whose fruits and woods they may enjoy, whose lands they may enclose and sow, where they may build roads and bridges and set reasonable tolls which only 10% is due to the Crown. Each was then presented with their 'fief'; a small potted herb plant (what size were those rods, anyway?) and the first of the four tall beeswax candles was lit. In exchange for this fiefdom each sworn member of the Chivalry has promised to either attend a foreign war, pay scutage, or train fighters for war.
Sir Attila as King's Champion brought the Sword of State, and was promised 20 marks per annum. The Kingdom Seneschal followed these gestures martial by bearing a broken sword in token of the mercy of the Crown, and the Great Officers of State followed to swear fealty and receive the promise of 40 marks per annum.
Angelo brought in the Great Axe, and was sworn as Queen's Champion at equal pay to the King's Champion. As Her Majesty Yasamin is a fighter in her own right, Angelo expressed his concern that one man might not be able to adequately protect her on the field of battle. Thus were created the Queen's Guard out of the men who had borne her into court: Waldryk Firedrake, Avraham, Trevor, Duncan Faramach, Richard Blys, and Murdock. Their oath included the particular promise, "I promise to protect Her on the field of battle, BUT LET HER GET SOME FIGHTING IN!" Each shall receive 20 marks per annum and Sir Semjaka to give them good council. Sir Alexander then brought in the war banner, and he shall be Constable of Calontir, the General of the Army, to receive 50 marks and replacements of any horses lost in battle.
Mistress Ariel brought in the Scepter, and the Pelicans came to swear fealty and to receive the exact same fiefdoms as the sworn members of the Chivalry. For this they promised to each work an hour for each ten hours of 'play'. The second taper was lit. Mistress Alethea led in the Laurels, for identical fiefdoms and the lighting of the third taper, in token of their promise to each create some new piece to grace Calontir, be it regalia or garb for a friend.
Conde Fernando brought the King's Signet, and he and Annalise became Theigns. His Majesty commented on the virtues and fine qualities needed in a theign, "But We asked Ferd." When the laughter died down the two swore to give wise council, "Whether They ask for it or not!" In return the two Theigns shall receive 20 marks and free access to the Royal Sanctum "WHEN THEIR MAJESTIES ARE AWAKE AND FULLY DRESSED!!!"
Duke Martino and Duchess Aislynn brought Collars, symbols of Status, on behalf of the Royal Peers. As the fourth candle was lit the Peers swore to each somehow help one new person, and each received the same fiefdom as the bestowed Peers. (By this time in the back of the hall there was quite a bit of quiet mutual admiration and occasional trading of 'fiefs', which included basil, thyme, and mint.) The populace was informed that they would be allowed to swear fealty at evening court. The extra time to think was particularly necessary because each member of the populace swearing fealty would be promising to try one new thing during TRM's reign - a marshal try embroidery, a cook oversee the privy lights, whatever suits the individual.
During the ceremony Her Majesty Yasamin had sworn Her oaths in Latin, and His Majesty Garick in Modern English, an elegant touch. They had stood the entire time, but now They moved to the thrones that were set slightly to one side, kissed sweetly, and sat down. The populace was led in three cries of "Vivat Rex! Vivat Regina!"
A coronation in period would normally end with a Te Deum, and a Kyrie. From the cantor's balcony a magnificent baritone voice sang a Te Deum in Latin. This writer joined the Society one week short of twenty years before this event, and I have been to events in several kingdoms and three countries. Never have I heard the silence in any court that I heard fall over that hall as Michael Nymandius, the man whom Garick had defeated in the Crown Finals in May, sang, and sang beautifully. Then TRM rose and as They processed to the back of the hall the entire populace of Calontir rang out with "Non Nobis", with a particularly magnificent descant in the Key of Girl. TRM did not exit the room but stood amid a clump of retainers to sing and enjoy the sound of the singing. The cheers were called, LONG LIVE THE KING! LONG LIVE THE QUEEN! LONG LIVE CALONTIR!
It was the most magnificent Coronation this writer has ever enjoyed. It did not really seem like the longest but it was a Calontir record by about an hour, but it was such an enjoyable three hour total that it did not seem to have taken that long at all. Immediately the Inn was besieged, the fighting arranged friends gathered, and fun begun in earnest. Bran the Dark, who had Known Something in advance, had brought in a herd of teeny-tiny cows and was selling to the peers to pasture in their teeny-tiny herb pots. For those who got funned-out, the well padded stall seats in the Great Hall were an immense hit as a place to nap.
As the sun grew low evening court was gathered. Before it began the group Guido's Hand put on a vocal performance, then from the cantor's balcony was read the "Saga of Siridean". TRM had new and even grander garb, and a guest in court - the Heir to the future kingdom of Northshield. Gifts and compliments were exchanged. The former Queen Sile was called for, but was detained elsewhere. To fill the silence, His Majesty commanded His predecessor Siridean to juggle. Which he did, with an orange, a shoe and some trusting soul's keys. Before His Majesty could get any more Ideas, Siridean cried, "I heard Michael can do cartwheels!" So Nymandius did, down the aisle. Before this got completely out of hand Siridean was called to come forward. He was made Jarl, and his scroll has a page of text and an entire carpet page of illumination, all of real vellum with period pigments. Before the coronet was set on his head His Majesty bade Siridean rise, and turn to face the populace he had so lately ruled. The populace rose spontaneously in ovation. Then, Siridean the OAF knelt to the people who had that morning knelt to him, and he lowered his head onto his arm. We could not see his face, but his heart was plain to those with eyes to see.
The new Jarl displayed the War Banner, given to Calontir by Ansteorra at Gulf Wars. While TRM travel to Armourgeddon he will take it to an event in Ansteorra, and take anyone with him who cannot travel north with Their Majesties. The Crown Prince of Northshield entered the pleasantries with merriment and wit, and all were most pleased. Indeed, His Highness Northshield made an especial point of declaring that he wished it were in his power to bestow the Principalities' honorable award for hospitality upon all of Calontir every time he visits us, such is the treatment he receives. He offered in return that anyone who comes to Armourgeddon who finds anything at all amiss with the event, may come to him personally that he may set it aright. This offer was very well met.
Sile then came forward to be made Duchess. Her scroll was also lovely, and like her consort His Majesty insisted that before she receive her coronet, that she rise and turn and see the populace she had ruled. Again the people rose in ovation, and Her Grace gave a most graceful and grateful reverence in return. Then we were all treated to the special Haiku version of her scroll text (or was it Low-ku?):
You have been Queen
You are not bad at it
Now you are a Duchess.
The populace was allowed to swear their own fealty, and TRM were very moved by the "swarms" as King Garick put it, who came forward. The very first award of the new reign was a Torse, to Lord Gerard de Saint-Thomas. Other awards followed. TE Mag Mor thanked the event staff, and the populace chimed in quite heartily. Bran the Dark was brought forward, and the saga told of how he had ruined one pair of period shoes and unknown numbers of mundane shoes at Lilies by running about in the mud doing good deeds and needful errands. Funds had been collected that he might be given a brand-new pair of period shoes to replace them. Gifts were given to TRM, and Eadweard Boisewright announced the start of a new fundraiser, "Pennies for Pennsic". The idea is to collect pocket change at troll, and to use the money to get one or more deserving (but broke) people to Pennsic. The selection method sounded like a raffle but this writer was not able to get further details. It was very amusing to note that the strongbox for Pennies for Pennsic has to be the ONLY ugly wooden box that Master Eadweard has ever made.
Then Graf Sir Volkmarr was called forward. He knelt before the Thrones with visible concern. His Majesty pointed out to him that ONCE upon a time, his shield had been a Thing of Beauty. But no more, as the long years and wars have taken their toll, yea verily causing the pike thereupon to virtually stink. This was not to be borne. Therefore, his war-shield had been (abducted and) repainted.
With an Augmentation of Arms of the kingdom badge in canton. The greatest honor the Crown of Calontir can bestow.
The cheers of the populace drowned out whatever it was that Volkmarr said. (Although it can be reasonably inferred that his comments began with, "Urk.") There being no way to top this, court was ended, and those who were not staying for feast scattered. And OH! What a feast! The dishes were exotic, without being scary. The use of cinnamon spices and fruit in meat pasty is such a delicate thing if one is to please the modern palate, but it was done to perfection. The lamb soup was wonderful, things that were to arrive warm, arrived hot. The tart in the final remove was almost, but not quite, as delicious as my great-grandmother's recipe for Cream Pie as made by my lady mother. Almost.
Having inflicted unspeakable tortures upon my readers by telling them about the feast, this writer now concludes this event report. Being a Peer, I cannot write about The Ducks, the Secret Hand Signals, or the leggings.
Jenna of Southwind
Bard, historian, inter-kingdom anthropologist