The Ildhafn presence at Canterbury Faire was even bigger this year. The sunshades, tables and benches brought by our benevolent Baron and Baroness and by the indefatigable Braythewaytes helped make the Ildhafn encampment a hive of activity.
At Opening Court, Baron Rudiger boasted of the abilities of our Barony's alchemists, producing a bottle of allegedly potable Don Julio (lemons and salt were later found, but - alas - I was not present for the testing). The appearence of a comet led to the insertion of a day of rest into the schedule, so that all could prepare themselves for the coming doom. Like all coming dooms -- til the final one -- it didn't. James of Southron Gaard achieved Journeyman rank in the Royal Guild of Defence (sword, sword and buckler, longsword); examined by myself, Guildmaster Emrys and Provosts Thomas, Gordon, Lindoret and Gomez. Next time you see James, ask him for the pedigree of his green sash.
In the afternoon I heralded the Highlander tourney, managing to give an accidental promotion to only one combatant. (Sorry, milord. Now if the King had accidentally called you "Sir" you might have been in luck.) The tourney seemed to have been won by Sir Vitale, but apparently he didn't cut Richard's head all the way off. Vitale must have been surprised when Richard later tracked him down for re-fight. Over dinner, those group Seneschals present gathered to plot (beware).
Indifferent weather turned Tuesday's rapier melee into a tavern brawl. The brawling was appropriately chaotic, messy and silly. Later, Gordon helped me with my longsword fighting by teaching me a few katana moves.
Wednesday morning we had a timed points tourney. I'm really glad to see this format spreading. Of particular note was the entry of the freshly authorised fencer, Lisbeth, who acquitted herself to general aclaim. In the afternoon I gave a class on period physics (mostly Aristotle), drawn from a two-week course I give first year science students. Despite having to first climb in the window to get access to the class-room (it had been accidentally locked), the lesson went well -- I got to use a blackboard! -- even if one of the event Stewards crawled in and immediately fell asleep. Otherwise, the audience was stimulating. The feast that night had a Guild theme, with different courses provided by different guilds. Ceremony was provided by Gregory's blowing and Nimue's yelling.
On Thursday I was mostly engaged in sleeping in and preparing for my Astronomy class, I did accidentally stumble on Gordon's Capoferro class, where I took the opportunity to drill with a left-hander (the gracious and patient Daniel of Ordo Cygni). The left-right problem is going to be a focus for me this year, and I've come away from Faire with some (hopefully) good training ideas. That afternoon's Astronomy class was delivered to a small, but engaged class. The excellent weather once again deserted us by evening, making Half-Circle Theatre a damp event; and eventually driving us inside. The bill was packed, however, with a diverse range of performances, with a three act play (featuring Baron Oswyn as Reynard the Fox) woven through the evening's acts. A particular highlight for me was the pair of medieval tunes performed by the Anealan musicians. The violin and drum duo won the Bardic Cup (a very popular choice). Ildhafn was well represented by our singers.
Despite the comet, this sinner found little time for atonement.
Friday, my morning was eaten by food preparation (impossible pies!). That afternoon we had rapier melee scenarios including sheep stealing (in this case it was a bag) and zombie apocalypse. I had the honour of being Royal guardsman for the evening, chasing His Majesty around to prevent the horror of his being alone for several seconds. Fortunately, I was well guided in this task by Ginevra. Their Majesties attended the opening of the Ball, then His Majesty most wisely sought the inimitable hospitality of the Ildhafn encampment.
Saturday, the main event (for me, at least): Baronesses' Rapier Tourney. With Thomas, the Once and Future Champion, not contending due to injury, the field was wide open. Once again, Sir Callum Macleod provided an unusual challenge, this time by taking the field with a rapier and a very large wooden buckler. The luck of the draw took its toll on some quality fencers, with Emrys and Christine knocked out in the first two rounds. I scraped past Daniel and James, only to run afoul of Callum (but I managed a double-kill in a limb-losing enounter) and Don Gregory (a moment's hesitation - it was more than he needed). Callum went on to beat Gomez in a thrilling best-of-three final, returning the Champion's sword to Southron Gaard. I was on kitchen duty in the afternoon, so I missed Gods and Monsters. After final court, while I packed my stuff (I had a frighteningly early shuttle to catch) Grim seemed to be owning the wrestling ring. There did seem to be an interregnum, however, when Christine ejected him with what appeared, to my untutored eye, to be a kick in the bum. Later, kicked off by Mistress katherine kerr, the business of planning next year's Canterbury Faire began......
Finally, some awards of particular interest to members of our Barony:
- Catherine Nuova's Award of Arms
- Eleanor Hall's Golden Tear
- Rudiger Adler's Golden Sword (again)
- Christine Bess Duvant's Cockatrice
and finally, (drum roll, please)
- Grim of Thornby's Court Barony AND Order of the Laurel! OMFG!!!!
A great and appropriately exhausting event all around. Thanks to Katherina and William for their work organising and running the Ildhafn campsite. Congratulations and thanks to Maximillian and Antonia for running CF this year.