3 days, 2300 people, blazing sun, 100 degree temperatures, mucho dust and prodigious amounts of horse manure. Oh, and a very long court. I was one of the 12(!) peerages to happen, which has to be a record for an event here in An Tir.
We left for Coronation at 8 am Friday, and stopped in Olympia. We picked up beads at Shipwreck, grabbed something to eat and got to site right about noon. The site was an equestrian center about 15 miles southeast of Olympia. Khalja had just arrived, so we set up her yurt and then ours. When we got enough bodies, we set up Brockhalla and the kitchen, so we could prepare food for the vigils.
Goddess, it was HOT. They forecast mid-80s, but it was in the upper 90s. We slathered on the SPF 50 sunscreen, but I spaced getting some on my legs, and I was wearing way-short cutoffs. By the time I noticed my legs getting sore, I was doing my best lobster imitation, and it was way too late. I would come to regret this later in the weekend. Did I mention it was hot?
I started my vigil at 8:30 as planned, but seeing this was Friday night and people were coming in after work and having to set up, nothing much happened until 10 or so. Mistress Anastasia read Russian Gypsy cards for me and Isolde. Many friends came by and quite a few peers stopped in to ask questions and give advice. Isolde and I were in Brockhalla, and Raoukinn was in her tent nearby, she and I both gave it up about 3:30 am.
Saturday dawned bright and hot, court was supposed to start at noon, but didn't start until 4 or so. It was decided that since there were so many peerages, that the Orders would stay in court until all their new members were elevated. First were Pelicans, then Chivalry, finally Laurels. By the time court started, it was already 100 degrees out. They say it was 105 by the time the Chivalry came up.
Raoukinn's ceremony was very moving, and Fiach called out all her witnesses in Norse prose style. She took the title of "Ridari", which is the closest equivalent to "Sir" in Norse. Isolde was second of the 5 Pelicans. I was the third Laurel - after Sir Ataias, who came in on horseback, and Master Trahaearn from Madrone. My ceremony went well, Isolde and Mira spoke eloquently, and they put my new belt on me. I didn't stumble or freeze up in the middle of my oath, and Mistress Arial said it gave her goosebumps. I took the title of "Ollamh", which means "Professor" or "Master" in Irish. Torvald was Laureled after me, and then it was announced that Rafaella was now on vigil for the Order. It was about 9:00 when court wrapped, they were lighting the torches for the Coronation court.
We went back to camp for the party. We put Brockhalla back together, we had split it in half for the vigil. The Coronation court was going on at this time. Olin is on the Queen's Guard for this reign and both Magni and Magnus are pages. I arrived back in court just in time for the peerage fealty swearings. I swore fealty to Their Majesties Gunnarr and Gabriell first as a Laurel, then as an Kingdom officer. All this kneeling however, was painful. I was really sunburned badly on the back of my legs and it hurt to kneel. Into and out of court in 7 minutes, and back to camp where the party was just starting.
I started with a stiff Barenjager-and-Chai (just to stay awake all evening, of course ;-). I got out the mether I had used in my ceremony, and filled it with my 17-year-old "Forgotten Mead" and passed it around to folks until all of it was gone. Then we broke out the beer and the big pitcher of zombies and the harp and songbooks. So many folks came over, and we drank and sang. Lots of hugs and kisses. Things got sort of fuzzy, I think it was the large cup of bourbon with the hard cider chaser after 2 big mugs of double zombie and most of a bottle of Barenjager. I achieved what I didn't at 12th Night, I finally got too hammered to play harp and put it away before I hurt it or myself.
We went over to the Kremlin in the ex-royal encampment about 2:30 and I made the mistake of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Master Duncan and trying to match him in volume while singing. Surprisingly, Liadan stayed up partying with me and we had a great time together. About 3:30 however, we realized what a long and wonderful day we had had and it was time to hang it up.
Sunday morning, I fully expected to have a massive hangover, surprisingly I didn't. But my voice wasn't working right for the first hour or so. Don't try to sing as loud as Duncan, you'll just hurt yourself. Went to Curia, ran some errands, and then did the reign turnover inventory with Baroness Elizabeth, just before she was to step down as Baroness of Three Mountains.
In the afternoon, there was a break during the Kingdom Champion Tourney. Titus and Kateline were invested as Baron and Baroness of Three Mountains. Huzzah! We all wish them the best and will help them in any way we can. Their first court event will be in September. After the break, the tourney resumed and our campmate Sir Master Torfin was defeated in the finals by Duke Sven. By the time the tourney finished, it was said to be 103 in the shade. We tore down and left the site around 7 pm.
After we left site, we and Ulfred, Elfreda and Magni and Baroness Anne-Marie went to Ban-Iarla Daedin's home nearby and showered the filth and sweat from our burned hides. Felt about 1000% better after that, then we all went to a restaurant to pig out. Sir Colgrim and his lady joined us for dinner. We arrived back home after midnight. What a weekend!