Greetings and Thanks:
Greetings to you my hardy band of wet and muddied friends. Thanks to you, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers (And sisters!) of those that rose from our beds, warm and tight, and answered the call to rescue and service. For they that day's night endured the cold, the wet and the dark with me shall be my sibling be they never so vile. That day gentled their condition and indeed Gentles in the Society then abed shall think themselves accursed they were not there and hold their manhood (And womanhood!) cheap while any speaks that fought the elements with us upon Saint Valentine's Day!!
Once more into the breach, my friends....
With apologies to Will S., and my English teachers, I open this letter to you, my friends from the different realms of the Society. Estrella War XIX was, indeed, an adventure (Adventure here being defined as the experience of being cold, wet, and hungry.) for all that were in attendance on Wed., Thurs., and Friday morning, we had a reported 3 inches of rain from about 12:30 AM on Friday alone (This is a lot for Phoenix). In this missive I wish to report to you that if every you thought Chivalry was dead or in distress - put it from your mind. The ideals of our organization are not only intact, they are flourishing.
On that Thurs. night/Friday morning I did indeed observe our membership under dire circumstances rising to the occasion to rescue and offer comfort to those who were affected by the weather and flood, At one time we had over 12 inches of standing water in the low spots. This situation required evacuation of the southern portion of the camping area. More than 1,000 people had to be evacuated from their pavilions as this fast moving, but powerful rainstorm did its best to cause a flood of Biblical proportions. Outlands was hit hard and Caid suffered with Her. Calontir was awash as was the overflow camping areas. So many acts of compassion and caring took place during this weather disturbance that I cannot begin to tell you of all of them, nor give the names of those who went above and beyond. I won't even go into the contribution of my partner Main, Baron Raffaelle, or our Site Autocrat Baron Kristoff - Heroes, both of them. But I will recall but a few of the incidents that I personally observed:
- A squire of no more than 17 years, leading a group of children to safety on high ground in the pouring rain.
- A King still in court robes directing his people to search every tent to make certain no one was left behind, who then dove into the water to follow his own directive.
- A lady cook, who after cooking meals all day for more than 100, rose from her bed to drive the trolley shuttle evacuating hundreds to the safer side of the site.
- Another Crown, who being advised that his own home had flooded, elected to stay onsite to help his people and others.
- A brand new member, a youth who had volunteered for just about every War duty for the entire week, who got out of his bed and slogged through the water helping people carry their belongings to safety.
- The Barons, Baronesses and others with large pavilions who opened them to refugees and stayed up all night to ensure that their charges were cared for.
- The Chirurgeons tending the sick and injured in spite of the fact that Chirurgeon's Point was flooded.
- Another Crown, this one my own, who after working to help others survive the storm, pulled a full day's shift doing grunt work (King Jonathon as a constable and Queen Deille manning Security Point.) so that the Autocrats and Sheriff could snatch a small portion of rest.
The above are but a few of many heroic deeds and we are all aware that there were many, many more whose actors will never be known or named.
My Friends, the storm was so severe that the Autocrats were forced to temporarily close the gate to new arrivals and contact the American Red Cross and ask them to standby. We also had to give serious consideration to shutting down Estrella XIX completely.
But then, Thank God, morning came and with it clearer skies. The water receded, leaving muck and mud, but also dry camping spaces for refugees and a clear message that War would proceed. The Red Cross stood down with our deepest thanks. The rest, as they say, is history. We survived and we had fun.
For me personally, as the Senior Main Autocrat, this was like riding a roller coaster - the anticipation, dread, panic, terror, joy laughter, panic, and then exhaustion. But right now the only thought that comes to mind is: "Gee Daddy, can we ride it again?!" (This is my fourth run as an Estrella Main Autocrat - You'd think that I would have wised up by now!)
In closing, I think that Atenveldt and all of Her Estrella guests have a right to be proud. Chivalry is not dead, but instead lives on in the spirit of Estrella. Every Lord helping that night is a knight of renown, and every Lady an angel of mercy and Queen of Love. What an august group of heroes I get to hang out with!
Lots of love,
Baron and Peer of Atenveldt
SCAtoday.net thanks Countess Alianora da Lysh