Whiskey Bards Speak of the Elevation of One of Their Own: Tonius Von Driele

Two of the Whiskey Bards Speak of the Elevation of their own Tonius von Driele to the Order of the Laurel on Sunday July 24th at Highlands War's Raven Court of Eduard and Asa.

Some situations cannot be put into words and convey the true meaning and emotion that was experienced in the happening. The Vigil and Elevation of Master Tonis is one of those situations. We are Bards, so why we may attempt to be brief, we fail miserably and in this situation, we didn't try, so bear with us :-)

The rain that started at 3:00 spoke to a possible long wet evening of misery, However, that was not to be. Around 5:00 to 5:30 the rain stopped (sort of) and great amounts of yummy food were made available thanks to the efforts of Duchess Gretchen, Duke Deaton, and a veritable army of people donating foods.

The evening Long Bardic was kicked off by Lord Sebastian who sang Vivat the Dream! He was joined in song by Lady Eleanor Cleavley, Bannthegn Deborah and several others. Thus started a wonderful evening of performance, story tellings, songs, and tales that (on many occasions) caused Tonis to squirm anxiously in his vigil tent as he REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to come out and sing with all of us.

Features in the nights performance we had.... Two fiddle players who were joined by Master Yonaton for a peice or two. Ladies I apologise for not remembering the names at this juncture, but trust me when I say that these two were fantastic and played second fiddle to no one. A Spanish Bard who sang a rousing tune entitled Old MacDonald's Deformed Farm also visited us. He and his lady companion also sang us a tale of ture love and true love lost in a song about Tortillas; it brings tears to my eyes still. Two of Master Tonis' close friends Lady Savfya and her sister Katja came all the all the way from the Kingdom of the Outlands and shared some songs. Master Yonaton had a few tales of his own to spin. Sir Cosimo told the (sadly true) story of a man named Pappa Smurf, and how his name came into being one fateful Pennsic War. And of course, The Whiskey Bards (minus one) sang a lot.

All in all the performances were great and even the interspersed delays by the rain did little to dampen the Spirits of those in attendance for both Vigils.

The Highlight of the evening was when their Majesties arrived in camp and spoke on Tonis' merits as well as taunting him (actually it was HIS Majesty doing the taunting) about wanting to come out and sing along. The tent replied good-naturedly (with Tonis' voice oddly enough) "I hate all of you; except Your Majesties of course!"

The Bardic ended around 3:00 AM when the final performer finally threw in the towel and went to bed. Tonis, we believe was still up until the wee hours of the morning preparing for his day..... Sunday Broke with the news that there was a 70% chance of rain by 10:00 am, happily this news proved to be false.

Court was full of Stories and awards, including a few songs, until the time that Tonis was called before Their Majesties to provide his answer.

Those that Spoke on behalf of Tonis were

  • Duke Deaton and Duchess Gretchen represented the Royal peers
  • Thegn Diego and Bannthegn Deborah represented the Order of the Pelican
  • Duke Mathias von Luwenberg represented the Order of the Chivalry
  • Master Yonatan von Schwartzuberflekt represented the Order of the Laurel
  • His Lordship Simon Mac Fearchair spoke for the populace.

There are times and situations that, when experienced, cannot adequately be described with words. Every person who spoke on Tonis' behalf spoke of the true measure of the man and the inspiration he has given to people. He has inspired people to sing. He rekindled the dream for many. In all, His lordship Simons' words were by far the most powerful I have ever heard speaking on behalf of the Populace, and no description we can offer can match the weight of the words on the moment it was offered. I am sorry to say that it was a situation you had to be there to truly understand.

Then with much pride and joy mixed with sorrow and sadness, Duke Mathias claimed back now Master Tonis' squires belt and released him to be a man of his own.

Then, the Tir Ysgithirian Laurels "hubcap" medallion was placed around his neck, along with the bottle of Brasso to keep it clean. Mistress Cecilia placed the blue mantle of a Laurel with an inner lining of motley to designate a bard around Master Tonis shoulders. Then His Lordship Simon gave Tonis a promissory Bards Staff decked with bells to help inspire his thoughts as he walked.

And then, when the words of Their Majesties grand him his new title, Master Tonis was escorted from court by his peers.

It was as fine a laurelling as we have ever seen.

Master Yonatan & Sir Cosimo Orsini