A busy weekend, with many happenings. We drove up from Portland through the remnants of the snow and ice of our recent storms. Beware the "mogul fields" of I-5 at rush hour! They suck! Finally arrived on site about 7:30 pm, after checking into our beach house and changing before heading to the hotel for Asa's vigil.
We all piled into the hotel room of Their Highnesses Skapti and Asa, carrying benches and sheepskins and food goodies. Jarl Ulfred brought in the bench he made for Asa, based on the headboard of the Oseberg ship-burial bed. Very impressive bench, all carved and painted, beautiful work.
We covered the seating surfaces and mundane chairs with sheepskin and covered the TV, etc. Mistress Anne-Marie arranged many of the foods, all period goodies. Yum! Asa's vigil was filled with friends who came to salute her as she was about to receive the accolade, and become a Laurel of An Tir. Dozens of folks came by during the evening to ask her questions, or just give her a hug.
Then we went down to the floor below for Leah's vigil, which had about half the Barony in her room! Morwyn did her usual magnificent job of munchables, including her cookies. I had to indulge in my personal vice, Lemon Clouds. Leah had many well-wishers and friends stop by. A good time was had by all.
On Saturday morning, I went to the Laurel meeting at 9 in the convention center, where the meetings and court were held. Then I went over to the hotel to the A&S room where a stage was set up for bardic performance. I played about a half-hour set, then I asked Aodhan, the winner of Amergin's Revenge if she'd like to play. She brought her harp, and we played several tunes together. Then Temair and I did our apprenticeship ceremony. I'm sure she'll do well. I'll have to challenge her and make sure she keeps learning and doing.
We went back over for the final court of Gunnarr and Gabriell. The Kingdom Bardic Champion, Leith, and I were the court musicians, switching off every 20-30 minutes for the several hours of court, except during the Laurelings, when I was down front kneeling with the rest of the Order. By the way, knee pads rock! Saved my knees because the whole room was carpeted, except for the 20-foot square directly in front of the stage where, of course, we knelt.
The Laurelings took nearly an hour. First Asa, as Fiach called out her witnesses as he had done for Rauokinn last summer. Viscountess Inga did a wonderful scroll for her in Old Icelandic. She'll be doing my Laurel scroll after Kingdom A&S this spring. Then Agnes, Cystennin, Elisabeth de Besancon and Leah. A wonderful day for all these artisans and for the Order. Did I mention that knee pads rock?
Then there were 4 Pelicans, including Callista, outgoing Kingdom Seneschal and Miranda, former Baroness of Stromgard. There was a great piece of court schtick later when Callista stepped down as Seneschal. When His Majesty Gunnar asked if she had found a replacement, she assured him she had. Then 4 folks each grabbed a limb of Lyotr, and carried him into court, struggling. I remarked, "Oh look, he's volunteering!" as they carried him to his doom...
My lady Liadan received her Jambe de Lion during the court, which lasted almost 7 hours. Then we went straight into the Coronation of Skapti and Asa. They had left court about an hour before, and came back in. Skapti challenged Gunnar that the succession had been determined at Crown in September, and he had won. One by one, the champions of An Tir and the Princes and Princesses stepped forward and supported Skapti's claim to the throne, and so Gunnar and Gabriell stepped down and crowned their successors.
One of the first orders of business in Skapti and Asa's court concerned the guard, Sir Master Torfin asked His Majesty that Olin be made co-commander of the guard. Skapti had Olin kneel before him to do this, and then said "but that's not enough". At this point, Liadan and I realized what was about to happen, we looked at each other and started jumping up and down saying "This is it!" Skapti then put Olin on vigil for the Chivalry until Ursalmas. All of us in Ulfredsheim have been waiting for this to happen for a while. Congratulations to Olin on his impending Knighthood and to Ulfred for having another squire step up.
Then the next one we have all been waiting for. It was so hard not to give the slightest hint all day since Laurel Council about Achaxe, especially when talking with everyone from the household (including her), but I managed despite my excitement. Of course, it helped that Asa threatened everyone in Council with dire consequences (she said she'd sic Skapti on us ;-) if anyone spoiled her surprise. So we were good, and it was so worth it. Achaxe has been doing wonderful work, and we're all so proud of her.
Master Grendal was made a Lion of An Tir, to the delight of the populace, who stood and cheered for the latest recipient of the Kingdom's highest honor. Huzzah, and yes, it's "Huzzah" again...
Court ended around 10, and the restaurants were mostly closed. We watched some dancing for a bit, then went back to the beach house to party for a while. Finally went to bed about 2:30, and had to get up for Curia at 8:00. Ugh! Why do they have to do that so early?
Did the turnover inventory during the rapier tournament, and spent quite a while talking to Amanda Kendal about Gerhard. What a truly great and wonderful heart she has, and the same was true for Gerhard. I was moved to tears a couple of times during our conversation. I had bought Gerhard's molds for the Kingdom awards from her as a gift to the Kingdom. He had done the Laurel, Pel, Goute, Jambe and several other medallions.
We got some brunch and headed back to the house. One by one, everybody headed back home, leaving Liadan and I to ourselves. We took a dip in the hot tub, I hung out for a while longer, soaking my sore toe. I had stubbed my toe on the bed in our room and dislocated it the first evening when changing into garb.
We went back into town in the morning, to check out a Celtic shop there. Next door was an Irish pub, where we had a great breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs, while going through their books on silverwork and pottery from the National Museum in Dublin. OK, so I'm becoming a documentation junkie. What can I say? We stopped off at Shipwreck Beads again to replenish the bead supply before heading back to Portland.