Since the siege and assault has ceased at Troy, a bold band of Ildhafners went to Innilgard instead. Great Southern Gathering is an annual event that rotates between Innilgard (Adelaide), Ynys Fawr (Tasmania) and Krae Glas (Melbourne), and usually consists of a day of classes and a day of tourneys.
I attended three hours of classes on the I33 manuscript, taught by Guild Master William Blackwood, and taught a brief introduction to rapier combat from Meyer. Our own Guild Master, Don Emrys, taught an epic three-hour session on Destreza (whilst I sat in the shade) and Lady Christine taught classes on ring making (lost wax) and on singing.
At court that evening I was honoured to receive an Order of Prometheus, and Christine was given a Golden Tear for the vast amounts of stuff she does all over the place.
Sunday, did anything happen apart from fighting? Her Majesty carried away Her Free-Scholar's prize, and I enjoyed examining two would-be Journeymen. I had the awesome opportunity to represent Duchess Constanzia in the Field of Honour Tourney (won by our own Christine) and the "Double or Nothing" Cut 'n' Thrust tourney was all longsword for me. The chance to play a bit of longsword was a particularly welcome feature of this event. The hundred blows challenge really paid off here. And in one of the most special moments of my SCA career, Don Gregory gave me his OWL badge to recognise and further encourage my efforts in fencing. If I had a pool room it would go straight there, but instead I'll just have to wear it.
It was clearly a special day, as I heard rumour that in the hall, Catherine of Glastonbury could be heard (yes, that's right) playing a harp. And I personally witnessed Eleanor Hall playing rapier with a foreigner.
Although the fighting continued after tea, it did so without me as I was utterly rooted (as Chaucer might have said if he had been me). As a native of Innilgard, it was wonderful to see old friends and return to the site of one of my first events. My presence even encouraged some of my family to brave the silliness of an SCA event for the first time. I had a great weekend.
Yours in Service,