Not even the dread specter of food poisoning could completely keep me away from my first-ever Society for Creative Anachronism event, the annual Red Dragon brouhaha held by my very own shire, the Marche of Tirnewydd, here in Columbus Ohio on Saturday, October 1st..
I’ll admit, though, that my being under the weather did delay my entry to and participation at the event. And it dulled my senses as a hostess to the archer Aelfric of Toronto ON to such a degree that I failed to put sheets on his bed! Poor man. He didn’t even utter a peep!
I also discovered lots of things you should take to such an all-day and -evening event that I lacked, specifically seating and feast gear. Luckily for me, I found a place to rest here and there. One of the first places being at the Arts and Sciences Hall, where I met in person Halla of Mugmort, modernly known as Halle Snyder, with whom I’d been chatting online about our mutual great interest in music and specifically in the lute, which we both play.
At my request, Halla brought her tiny treble lute to Red Dragon. My remaining lute is a very large tenor, so a small treble is utterly charming to me. Here we are in the A&S Hall; I’m seated with my back to the camera and Halla is holding her lute. The second photo is a closeup of Halla and her treble lute.
A group shot of some of the contributors to the North Oaken Craftspersons Faire, which was displayed in the Arts & Sciences Hall:
One artist’s work at the Faire really enthralled me: that of Raven Haraldson, her name in the modern world, aka Rannvaeig Eskilskona in the SCA, which I won’t even attempt to pronounce. Her husband is Swedish, and she has lived there and employed her research and fiber arts skills to the nth degree. She had a display about women’s dress in medieval Russia and was explaining the various differences between the apron dresses and under-dresses of Russia with those of the same period in Scandinavia and in Iceland, my particular area of interest. She is also past-mistress of the amazing headwrap, and has promised to teach me how to do my own.
Raven won the documentation contest among the craftspersons at the Faire, and no wonder: her exhibit was a marvel of meticulous research presented in a manner both cogent and appealing to the eye.
Here is a photo of Raven and her teacher, Carridwen Verch Ioreword, who is a Laurel (a person who has attained the highest Honor as an artist or craftsperson in the SCA) in the center, at Red Dragon, with Raven’s fellow student on the left. It only makes sense, then, that Raven is on the right! (It’s getting very late, or else quite early indeed, as I write this post… could you tell?)
Isn’t her headwrap to die for?
Although the displays of skill and artistry in the A&S Hall were pretty mesmerizing, I wandered outside to see what I could catch of the armored combat. The photos that follow were taken that day by Teri McCarthy.
Mislabeling of the captions and the order of battle, including what is actually happening in each frame, is all down to me, who knows nothing yet of these martial affairs, only that they are beguiling to the eye and require quite a bit of skill.
Meanwhile, on the archery field, the King’s Challenge was taking place. My house-guest Aelfric came all the way from Canada to take part in the Challenge, in which each archer had to outdo the King Himself, no mean archer He, to win an award. I am happy to say that Aelfric, mka Robert Ferguson, did out-shoot the King and received His Award.
More Court photos by Teri McCarthy:
Last but not least, some photos of people who were very nice to me and whose photos I just happen to have, unlike so many other people who were equally kind, but whose likenesses at Red Dragon I do not yet possess:
First, our Baronial Seneschal, Lady Maggie O’Donnell, who was introduced to me as just plain Maggie and not as an officer of High Standing whatsoever, whose modern name is Lisa Grimm. Another wonderful Lady, our Volunteer Coordinator for Red Dragon, Manne De Lynn, mka Mandi Lynn Wiggins, enquired of Maggie if she would be so kind as to let me shadow her while she was performing retainer duties for His Royal Majesty King Edmund. And Maggie not only kindly assented, but both Ladies let me languish in their Abode while awaiting the retainer shift and another Lady of their Household even gave me an ice-cold can of Diet Coke, gratis. Those of you who know me know what an addicted diet cola fiend I am. I might have passed away on the spot without this Boon! So, on to the likeness of Lady Maggie:
Another person who has been so kind, welcoming, and instructive to me is Slany Bean Uillic, who was Marshal of Thrown Weapons for Red Dragon, and here she is in action, courtesy again of Teri McCarthy:
Slany and her husband provided me with much of my missing Feast gear, and the remainder came from my other table-mates, Piotr Zavilov and his lovely partner, Lady Ayla Volquin.
Finally, no one has yet posted many likenesses from the fantastic Medieval Spanish Feast devised most cunningly by our Chef Malachi, except for this left-over and Super Scrumptious (my words) Lamb and Chickpea Pie:
And it was merely one part of one course of this amazing Feast!. Here is the Entire, Decadent, Splendid Menu,which I set down in part for Aelfric, who was too late to get a Feast ticket, and asked me what it consisted of. Read it and weep, Aelfric!
– Figs, Muscato, Ricotta Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Orange Blossom honey
– Orange marmalade
– Quince Jam
– Beef, Sweet italian sausage (contains MSG), Garlic, Parsley, Basil, Cinnamon, Egg, Salt, Pepper, Tomato, Shalot, green olives, ham, chicken broth
– Mushrooms, parsley, asiago cheese, garlic, olive oil
– Pizza dough, duck, sherry wine, onions, celery, carrot, thyme, parsely, sage, bay leaf, black pepper, tomato, proscuitto, green olives, anise, eggs, salt
– Pizza dough, Mushrooms, parsley, asiago cheese, garlic, olive oil, spinach
– Pork, Garlic, white wine, Salt, Pepper, Coriander, Sugar, Onion powder, Nutmeg
– Red onion, Saffron rice, bacon, chicken, onion, chicken broth
– Red onion, saffron rice, carrots, lentils, onions, vegetable broth (V)
– Pie Crust, chickpeas, lamb, spinash, manchego cheese, onion, eggs
– Pie Crust, eggs, spinach, cheese, mushrooms
– Beef, onions, Red wine, orange peel, bacon, bay leaf, parsley, garlic, black olives, salt, pepper
– Canteloupe and/or Honeydew melon
– Rice, honey, almond milk, sugar, cinnamon
– Dates, honey, almonds, walnuts
Behind the scenes in the kitchen during the day, many folks were slaving away at preparing the self-same Feast. I could kiss their sweaty brows, each and every one….
And at the Very Compleat Conclusion of this Article, I must acknowledge my Deep Debt to Mistress Rose Marian, mka Mary Sanger, Pelican Extraordinaire (who knows if I’m allowed to use such terms? oh well–who is going to report me, I ask? will it be YOU?). She took me under her wing at the weekly Tirnewydd shire meetings, as did Cellach MacChormach, mka Jesse Weber, and Masahiro, mka Kyle Patrick Smith, who happens to be in the kitchen photo above, on the right.
Mistress Rose Marian allowed me to sign up for Gate Duty from 8 am to 10 am and then was very philosophical about my calling in sick for those shifts at 6 am after I had experienced repeated bouts of food poisoning (I won’t get graphic here). So I have plundered her Facebook page for her Likeness to paste here in my Little Article. In fact, here she is at that Very Gate where I had Promised To Be, along with Paulus, mka Paul Bryson, whom I had admired in the lists while I was retaining for His Majesty at a moment when Lady Maggie was called away on Seneschal duties and who I later sat next to at Court:
It was a Most Wondrous Day and Evening, to be sure! My Advice to You: join the SCA Today! 🙂