I was put on vigil for the Order of the Laurel at May Crown last weekend. It happened in the extra court Their Majesties had on Sunday morning, because the evening court the day before ran till after midnight. Course it didn't start until 10:30, the final round of the tournament was fought in torchlight, while it was snowing lightly...
It was a weekend for drama, starting with the weather. Scudding clouds unleashing high winds and rain, snow, hail and sleet, alternating with sunshine, all in the space of an hour. It kept this up most of the weekend, and got really cold at night. We brought all the wool we owned and wore most of it at the same time, in an attempt to stay warm. We were pinned to the bed at night by a pile of sheepskins - they're heavy, but they are warm...
A hard-fought Crown Tournament in dodgy weather, then there was the investment court for Gunnarr and Gabriell, the new Crown Prince and Princess in the evening. But before the court started, Jarl Sir Ulfred was having sort of a "reverse vigil" in our encampment. Duke James Greyhelm was there, who as King had knighted him 25 years ago. There were stories told and much drinking and toasts. We had a presentation to make in court. It was a ruse, however. Ulfred and I had done the new boxes for the crowns of state, Ulfred did the woodwork and I painted the lids and did the interiors.
We went over to court and watched the proceedings, then were called in. Ulfred presented the box for the King's crown to King Davin and I presented the Queen's box to Queen Groa, then I stepped aside. Davin said, "We haven't given you leave to depart yet, Jarl Ulfred, we want to have a word with you." He then made Ulfred a Lion of An Tir, the highest award that the Kingdom can bestow. It was so much fun getting Ulfred into court for this, he didn't even see it coming. Duke James "redid" the buffet on Ulfred, saying "it has a time limit, you know."
I had been been asked to and accepted the invitation to join the Order of the Laurel earlier in the day, it wasn't really a surprise. I suspected something was up at 12th Night. I had gotten a steady stream of questions and comments from various Laurels throughout the event after Laurel Council was over. Then I forgot all about it until about a week before Crown, when Isolde asked me for a recording of my period tunes, supposedly for a class. It took me a day or two to figure out that she actually wanted it for Laurel Council.
I still had no idea if I would be approved then or later, as it was probably the second time, and I've heard it normally takes being brought up in Council 3 or more times before there's an approval, and that's if there's no objections for various reasons. Although I didn't have time to put the recording together (I had the crown boxes and the rebuilding of the Prince's coronet to finish work on and deliver to the Crown at the event), my name was brought up in Council again, and was approved.
I entered the boxes in the Artisan's Display in the afternoon. I had arrived at site with the lids painted, having finished them at 2 am the night before we left to drive to the event. I had pre-cut the foam inserts, but hadn't installed them yet. The boxes were to be lined with purple velvet and padding to protect the crowns. So I cut the velvet to size and installed them with spray glue on site. I finished the first box in the morning, put it in the display area and returned to camp for the second box. I thought "Oh, I can't put it on display without finishing the inside", and quickly installed the lining. I slid the lid shut, and looked at my fingers. They were covered with sticky glue and purple fuzz all the way down to my palms. Then I glanced up just in time to see Mistresses Isolde, Cymbric and Kat coming into camp. I heard one of them say "I think he saw us" and I whispered to Liadan "here it comes..." They let me know what had been decided, and would I accept. Afterwards, I returned to the Artisan's Display with the second box and then did 3 harp pieces in the performance area, although I was in a daze. Still kinda stunned, even though I knew it was coming eventually.
So I'll do my ceremony at Coronation, and I'll be doing a joint vigil there with Isolde, who was put on vigil for Pelican at Crown. I can't remember a master and their apprentice having the opportunity to do a vigil together before. We'll hold it in the Ulfredsheim camp. I would have preferred to do it locally at Sport of Kings, but since Ulfredsheim is just about the entire staff for the event, we'll have our hands full there. Don't want to heap anything else on. Many new things to think about and plan - ceremony, garb, regalia, even title (Master or the more persona-specific Ollamh).