Barleycorn Court Report

On the eighth day of September, in year fifty three of our society, their Excellencies Østgarðr, Suuder Il Kha’an and Lada Il-Khatun, returning home from their recent victories in the summer’s war, did progress to their canton of Northpass for the Feast of John Barleycorn, and therein did hold court.

Their Excellencies began by inviting all newcomers, who had attended no more than three events, to present themselves, and they expressed their pleasure to see the great number of gentles who stepped forward. Each of the newcomers was given a seahorse candle as a token of the province’s welcome and was invited to return again soon, and the populace cheered for their continuing participation.

Next their Excellencies requested to speak with a representative of the Barony of An Dubhaigeainn, and Lady Fiona the Volatile did make herself known, being Seneschal of that Barony’s Canton of Hawkes Reache. Their Excellencies described a request that had reached them from their noble neighbors to the east, who wished to hunt the wild rock doves which are found in the parklands of Østgarðr, in order that they might nurture their populace at the upcoming Feast of Saint Andrews. Being filled with love for their cousins, their Excellencies did grant this boon, delivering unto said Lady Fiona a decree allowing Prefect Titus and his representative Vetra trys Kaukoles to capture said poultry within their borders.

(Scroll by Onora inghean Ui Ruairc.)

Their Excellencies next wished to hear the results of the day’s fencing tourney, and called for their champion Brendan Firebow, who had organized that trial. Lord Brendan spoke of the many fencers who had taken the field that day, recognizing Aesa Sturludottir as the winner of the day’s duels. There had also been a tournament to select Lord Brendan’s successor, and Alexander MacLachlan was named as the victor and new Provincial Fencing Champion. Their Excellencies bade Lord Alec join their entourage, and gave Brendan a necklace of green stones as thanks for his service over the previous year.

For a report on the archery contest, their Excellencies called for Conor Ó Ceallaigh, but that gentle demurred, stating that that the day’s challenge had been run by Arnbiorg Niálsdóttir, called Helga, and that lady did stand forth. She asked two archers to present themselves for acknowledgment, beginning with Lady Elizabeth Hawkwood, whose excellence had impressed all on the range that day, and their Excellencies presented her with a tassel to use in cleaning her arrows. Then Helga did announce Catelin Straquhin as the winner of the Provincial Archery Championship. Their Excellencies thanked Lord Conor for his service as their previous champion, and he delivered the regalia of that position to Lady Catelin, and their Excellencies invited her to join their company.

(Scroll by Lada Monguligin.)

Next their Excellencies called for the results of the day’s youth armored combat, and heard from Eikaterine tin Elliniki, the East Kingdom’s Deputy Earl Marshal for Youth Combat. She told of the number of children who had fought that day, including several newcomers who donned armor for the first time. Following a closely-fought series of bouts, Alaxandair Morda, called the Mountain, had won the Province’s Championship for a second year, and her Excellency Lada asked him to hold her great hammer in court and stand ready should it be needed.

Then Sir Edward Zifran of Gendy was invited into court. He presented the Viceregals with a gift of sweets from the far-off lands of Ealdormere, which all assembled agreed would make a nice light snack. He did then call up two combatants who had braved the challenge he set before the fighters that day, Lord Robert and Lord Ronan FitzRobert. He praised the knowledge, chivalry, and fighting skills of both, presenting them with Ealdormerean treats, and naming Lord Ronan the day’s victor.

Richard the Poor of Ely then presented the results of the brewing challenge that had been held that day. He summoned two gentles before the court, naming as winners Fiona the Volatile for the quality of her historical documentation, and Oliver de Bainbrig for the variety and excellence of his brews.

Their Excellencies next recognized the event stewards who had labored diligently to make the day possible, being Wilhelm Larsson, as well as Archubeas Grimoire, speaking highly of their efforts. Their Excellencies proceeded to read a roll of many names, enumerating those gentles who had assisted with various facets of the weekend’s activities, and recognizing them each with the Award of the Sea Star, at which the populace did give cheer.

The Il-Khanate did then speak about of their desire to recognize the work of younger members of the province who had contributed much to the vibrancy of the Province, and did announce a new award, the Order of the Sea-Urchin of Østgarðr.

To initiate the ranks of the new order, their Excellencies did first call forth young Benjamin of Northpass, praising his tutelage of the populace in period gaming, as well as his participation in dance and many other aspects of local events. He was presented with an embroidered hood as the regalia of the order, and an illuminated manuscript to mark the occasion.

(Scroll by Lada Monguligin)

Next their Excellencies called for Lord Alaxandair Morda, and inducted him into the same order, acknowledging his prowess in battle, his labors lugging heavy burdens at events, and his service in their court, presenting him likewise with a hood and warrant.

(Words and illumination by Lada Monguligin; calligraphy by Suuder Saran.)

Then the Viceregals asked Mongu Chinua to step forward, and spoke of his great skill with a bow, and his leadership and years of teaching within the Province’s archery community. They felt this excellence deserved to be recognized, and so they called forth their Order of the Silver Sea-Lion and made him a member, and he was greeted by his counterparts in the order, receiving a tippet from the last member so inducted, and cheered by the populace.

Lastly, their Excellencies recognized Lord Conor, who had begged their indulgence for a presentation to the province. Said gentle did proceed to unveil a stained glass panel decorated with the sea-horse insignia of the province, made by his hand and enclosed in a wood frame by Mongu Chinua. Lord Conor explained that he knew the province was moving towards commissioning viceregal coronets and offered the stained glass panel to be auctioned off at a future date with the proceeds being used to fund that commission. Their Excellencies thanked him for his gift, and all assembled did admire his handiwork.

Their being no other business before them, their Excellencies did thereupon close their court and retire in anticipation of the evening feast.

These were the events of the day as recorded by their Excellencies’ Herald, Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin.

Artistic Variation in Heraldic Art

A notable characteristic of armorial depiction is that any illustration of a given design is considered to be heraldically equivalent. For example, any illustration of “Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale Or” is said to represent the English Sovereign, no matter in what style the lions are drawn, as long as they accurately reflect that blazon.

Konstantia Kaloethina has assembled a nice demonstration of this principle in her “Heraldic Mythbusting” blog post containing nine different illustrations of “a seraph proper” by six different artists.

Two seraphs proper; the first by myself using an illustration by Vinycomb, the second by Konstantia Kaloethina. (Shared with permission.)

In addition to these illustrations, the post provides some period examples of “artistic license,” explains some boundaries on when it’s taken too far, and discusses the Society’s heraldic registration policies — it’s definitely worth a read.

A Proposed Design for Viceregal Coronets

The regalia committee of the Crown Province of Østgarðr has solicited design proposals for a pair of field coronets for the Viceregents.

I’ve never designed anything of this sort before, but it seemed intriguing and I wanted to try my hand at it. The results are attached in PDF format.

I expect that the province has received other submissions with more artistic merit, and don’t expect this design to be selected, but this was a good learning exercise, and I figured it’d be good for the other entries to have a little competition.