The setting was the old Methodist Church on Central Avenue which provides a beautiful (but hot and stuffy) backdrop for court. Their Majesties, resplendent in their fine clothes, came into the hall and took their thrones for their final court. Many of us looked on with misty eyes as our noble King thanked us for attending and bade us take seats and be comfortable. The heralds began to call forth the people of Atenveldt whom our Sovereigns wished to honor and reward.
As sometimes happens, people who were called into the court were not in attendance, and Their Majesties then instructed their Heralds to read the awards to the assembled populace and then turned the scrolls over to the Barons in whose territory the recipient lives so that the scrolls could be conveyed to them later. So it was that Severin Graywolf was awarded Arms and Lady Meredudd Browderer and Lady Isabelle Evangelista received the Order of the Desert Flower.
Angus and Haddyr Mercari, clad in yellow and green parti-colored cottes and hoods were recognized for their service to the Kingdom as companions of the Sirviente del Sol, and a Sirviente was also read for Countess Gabriella Juliana de Bordeaux.
The Bard of the Sun, Lughaidh Cruidire, entertained Their Majesties and the people with a song highlighting some of the memorable moments of this wonderful reign, to much laughter and enjoyment.
Lord Gregoire le Gris and Madame Jacquelin de Normandie recieved the Order of the Flower of the Desert for their efforts in the Arts, and Lady Ailesh nic Rose of Clan Malore and Lady Lizabetta di Zanco were awarded the Light of Atenveldt.
Then William McCloud received his Award of Arms and Lady Agnes of Blackfeld was awarded the Golden Blade for her achievements in the art of defense with the rapier. Next came a lady whose name I believe was Aliora, who sang in praise of Her Majesty a song of her own composing "Because of Her I lift my sword with pride." Truly Our gracious Queen Ismenia has been and will always be a role model for many women who fight with sword and shield!
Countess Gabriella having arrived in court was brought forward to receive her Sirviente del Sol scroll and medallion, after which Master Sylvanus was presented with the charter of the War Academy.
Then into the court came the emmisaries of Sir Cron, a valiant and far traveled knight, who had sent presents to Their Majesties via Their Graces Aaron and Alisandra. To the sound of a drum, Duke Aaron's herald read a letter from Sir Cron extolling Their Majesties and a gift of spices was presented by a "savage" from distant lands in a glazed jar and a basket of unknown provenance was also a gift of the great Sir Cron, whose exploits I am told, are the stuff of legend.
Lady Ianuk Raventhorne, the Seneschal of the Barony of Tir Ysgithr, presented gifts from the first King of Northshield (her former home) to our great Monarchs whom he had met at the Pennsic War. An afghan of yellow and blue to keep our lovely Queen warm and a tankard for His Majesty bearing the Northshield motto: "In Northshield we trust - all others prepare for war!"
A gentleman surnamed McGregor presented boxes decorated with the personal arms of Their Majesties carved in bone, and Lord Eric the Bald presented a knife of his making.
Then it was Their Majesties turn to make a presentation to the parents of their newest subjects of booties of blue wool with Aten suns on the toes. An especially charming young subject provided a lesson in the difficulties of getting booties onto a baby's feet! I have no doubt that these Atenveldt babies will grow up to be great members of the populace!
Lord Edouard Gostomski presented roses to his queen and spoke to her quietly, then Lord Thor(mumble) Herg(mumble) presented Their Majesties with a sandstone slab carved with a celtic cross. It will no doubt serve as a memory stone for our glorious sovereigns who undoubtedly heard the gentle lord's name properly as I did not. (Please accept my apologies and let us know your name!)
The rapier community of the realm came together to extol our gracious Queen for the inspiration she has given to the them. His Lordship Brendan Corridini presented a white sword-frog to Her Majesty, HL Ryan Dollas promised a rapier outfit and the others presented a rapier and dagger made by (or provided by) James the Just.
The Baroness of Tir Ysgithr and then the Baron and Baroness of Ered Sul made presentations to Their Majesties after which a Proclamation was read to the Abacus Herald, Vicountess Hastini, directing her to maintain records of the names of many who have served and will serve the Realm as champions. Their Majesties wish us never to forget the contributions made to our glorious land by these folk.
Arabella Eleanor Hamilton of Rosewood and Katana of Ered Sul received the Order of the Queens Grace, and personal thanks, from Her Majesty and William McGillan had his Award of Arms read and given into the keeping of the Baron & Baroness of Atenveldt.
Lady Katrina Petronya van Rosenberg was recognized for her outstanding service with the Light of Atenveldt, Astridr Thorgeirsdottir of the Barony of Twin Moons received an Award of Arms, Baron Corwin de Harfleur received a Grant of Arms, and Robert Aonghus of Loch Mohr and Joseph Donnerbach were made Legionaires of the Guardians of Atenveldt. James MacCoag, whose name had earlier been called, arrived in court and found himself called up to receive an award of arms.
Our gracious Queen called forth the children who had made her Cyphers to receive small gifts and her thanks for their efforts on her behalf. Banthegn Melissa of Greenbranch was awarded the Fleur de Soleil for her contributions to the arts and Her Grace Deille of Farnham received the Order of the Pilgrim of the Desert for her dedication to authenticity.
Then came in the Whiskey Bards of Tir Ysgithr, Lord Sim, Lord Theonis, Lord Yonatan and Sir Cosimo who serenaded us a wonderful four-part song about the perils and triumphs of combat. Ably did they set the stage for the elevation of Ian Nudd McPherson to the Chivalry of Atenveldt. Since Lady Segurocha has already described the scene in detail, I will only add that the applause and Huzzahs that greeted our newest Knight conveyed the agreement of the people that Sir Nudd, well deserved this honor.
The Queen's Cyphers and the King's Sigils were distributed to those especially hardworking gentlefolk who had aided our good Queen and King during their reign. I do not have the list of names, but I know that they will not ever be forgotten by their Drottning and Konungr.
The Lion of Atenveldt is perhaps the most personal award given by the King of Atenveldt, since the award is given to that special person who demonstrates the qualities most admired by the King himself. Great cheering broke out as the name of Baron Robert der Zwijger van Limburg was called. He may be silent, but the people were not, and it was obvious that all were in agreement with our King in his choice!
As their final court drew to a close, our beloved Queen called, thanked and dismissed her ladies-in-waiting and her Guard, then she surrendered her crown and after parting words with the King, she was carried from the court upon a shield. Her only crown now was the love and applause of all the people who bade her goodbye.
Now the call went out to those with business before Craven, our King, and into the court came His Highness Phelan, preceded by members of the Chivalry and men of his household. King Craven asked why he had come, and courteously did Prince Phelan answer that he came to claim his rightful throne. King Craven recognized his claim and swore his successor to protect and serve the Kingdom of Atenveldt. Removing the Crown from his head, then did Craven relinquish the throne and leave the court to great applause of all the folk, no longer King, but always to be cherished in our memories of his reign.
Then did Phelan crown himself King of Atenveldt, as is the ancient custom of our land. Jubilant applause poured out from the throng and our new King took his throne.
In kindness and with concern for the comfort of those who had so long sat in court, King Phelan declared a recess and bade all the folk to refresh themselves for a while so that they could greet their Queen in good time. Then did our King retire and all the folk went to lunch.
Much refreshed we returned to the hall for the Coronation of our new Queen. To the sound of sweet voices raised in songs of praise and preceded by her ladies, Mariana came in to the court to receive her crown and throne and the joyous acclaim of Her people. Clad in a blue and silver gown with a fabulous lace collar serving as a frame around her face, Mariana knelt before King Phelan and swore faithfully to serve the Kingdom. He placed the crown of Atenveldt upon her head and the reign of Phelan and Mariana, rightful King and Queen of Atenveldt had begun!
As is the custom of our Kingdom, the Peerage of Atenveldt came to pay its homage and swear fealty to the Crown. First the Chivalry, then the Laurels, Pelicans and Royal Peers took their oathes. Next the Landed Baronage of Atenveldt renewed their homage and were confirmed in their feifs. The Officers of the Kingdom swore to fulfill their offices and the Peers who are not in fealty to the crown offered the traditional toast of the Masters-at-arms, after which the people who wished to do so offered their loyalty to the Crown.
The court of King Phelan and Queen Mariana were presented and took oaths of service and were accepted as Ladies-in-Waiting, Royal Guard and Rapier Guard.
Sir Cosmo Craven and was confirmed as a Royal Peer of Atenveldt with the title of Count. His scroll, in the form of a Saga written in runes was read after which his lady and wife Sir Ismenia O'Moulryan came into the court accompanied by five past queens of Atenveldt, Duchesses Allesandra and Katrina and Countesses Elsbieta, Haylea and Gabriella. King Phelan gave the County coronet into the hands of Count Craven and said "as once you placed the crown of Atenveldt on her head, so now place this coronet upon her head."
Then all the Ladies of the Rose came forward to witness the induction of Countess Ismenia into their Order. Our new Count and Countess swore fealty as Royal Peers of Atenveldt and received the acclaim of the people whom they had served so well.
The Baroness of Tir Ysgithr made a presentation to the Crown and afterwards Livia of Atenveldt received an Award of Arms.
Their Majesties called a number of people before Them who had helped prepare for Their coronation. They reminded us all of the impossibility of carrying the burden of the Crown without help and gave Their thanks and small tokens of appreciation to those who had aided Them. As the honored ones returned to their seats, Master Jose el Sastre de Madrid was asked to remain in Their presence where he was made a Baron of the Court to great applause.
The Baron and Baroness of Twin Moons made a presentation to Their Majesties and afterward Cedric Charles was called up to receive an award of Arms and the thanks of His Majesty who recalled the first time He had gone to a fighter practice and how Lord Cecric had "shown an aimless young man how to get started in the SCA."
The last business of the court was the announcement that Count Jonathan, Sir Balin and Mistress Selene would serve as commanders of the forces of Atenveldt at the Estrella War.
So ended the first court of Their Majesties Phelan and Mariana.
Hip, Hip, Huzzah!
Dame Katharine of Cate Hall
Reprinted by kind permission of the author.