Well, My plan this weekend was to go easy on myself, and be able to help watch my son while getting in a little extra heraldry.
I guess you could call it a success in that I wasn't running anything, but I think I am still recovering from the lasting effects of my past illness. I spent a lot of the weekend very winded, and at times nursing a throbbing headache.
But to be honest, being hot and tired is hardly a new thing for me, especially at events, so let me just get past the complaints and talk about Triumph itself.
My wife and I got to site early on Friday. So early, in fact that when we ran into Pete (one of the event stewards) my first words were “Don't tell me we [three] are the only ones on site.”
To this, he just shrugged, smiled and said “okay.”
Anyway, a little while later others arrived and my wife and I spent the majority of the morning pitching provincial pavilions and helping to set up the list field. By mid afternoon, (and after a happy-hour drink run to Sonic) people started to trickle into site bit by bit.
Attendance was something of an oddball thing this year. We had a lot of day-trippers, in fact, I wouldn't be totally surprised of as many as a third of the two hundred something gate count were Saturday-only people. Note: I'm, not saying that that is a fact, just having been there, I would not be surprised if that is what the numbers looked like.
As for heraldry, I did the morning wake up calls, like I usually do. Herald-in-charge or not, that is always fun. I tried to channel some of whatever inspiration I had at the last Samhain, and make the calls entertaining, or at least less obtuse than most eight am Saturday morning wake-ups are.
“Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! Powers greater and less (or more) sober than myself have deemed this to be your morning wake-up call. Rise up, rise up and embrace the day that we can share company and joy with one another. If you recognize the tent you are laying in, than you obviously didn't drink enough last night. But that's okay, because you will all get a second chance tonight.
Know now that armor inspection for the heavy weapons tourney starts at eight thirty, and morning court will start at nine.
But also be aware, that both of these items could easy be subject to change at the determination of the people running them. So if any such changes take place, I do disavow all knowledge of this announcement, and therefor hunting me down and inflicting bodily injury will not correct the schedule.
Thank you one and all, and welcome to the First morning of Mooneshcadowe's Provincial Triumph of the Eclipse.”
I got more than a few chuckles out of the “disclaimer” part of my herald.
To be honest, the bulk of the day was quiet in terms of heraldry and the like, at least for myself. I wanted to catch some list heraldry for the Guardian tourney, but between wrangling my 4 year old son, and a splitting headache, that didn't happen.
However, that is not to say that heraldry was a lost cause. Allow me to digress for a bit.
The Blackhearts Fencing Club is a rapier group out of Calontir that comes down every year and just has an abject blast with us. They are good people, hard working, and a real hoot to hang out with. Each year I get to hang out with old friends and a few new ones from their club, and this year was no different. A young lady names Crystal and I spend some considerable time talking, and she voiced interest in learning voice heraldry before the heavy weapon's tournament. As much as I wanted to give her my short and sweet list heralding class, time and logistical constraints (AKA child wrangling) didn't allow for it. The good news, however, was that Lady Mave, another veteran herald, was happy to take a student for the hour and show her the ropes. And when it was all over, I got a good report on the effort. So that left me happy in many ways, and Crystal seemed satisfied with her efforts.
I did some site heraldry, and by afternoon, my voice was starting to burn out, so I was grateful for the break that came with dinnertime.
Now, evening court... hum... here is something I thought would be entertaining, but I drastically underestimated the situation.
I arrived just as court started, and watched the opening comments from the back of he crowd, all the while watching my son (4-years-old) play with a rambunctious pack of 7 through 13 year olds, and more or less hold his own.
His highness, Prince Own, started things off with a few comments, and then turned the court over to Their Excellencies Ian and Kalandra, Baron and Baroness of Northkeep.
Lady Adalia Vanderburg was heralding for them, and after a few very brief comments (and a few shameless event plugs) they turned to their herald to start their official business.
HL Adalia spoke, “Their excellencies do call Lord Ivo Blackhawk into their court.”
I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I was expecting anything involving me at that point, never mind an award from Ian and Kalandra when Owen was holding a Royal Court at our event.
I admit that I was actually a little worried as I walked up to the thrones, wondering what I might have done that would get me called up to a Northkeep court at a Mooneschadowe event.
I walked up, bowed to their Highnesses, and then presented myself before Ian and Kalandra.
“You requested my presence, your excellencies. And here I am.” I said to them dutifully. It wasn't a loud announcement, jut an acknowledgment to them of their authority.
Ian spoke up at this point. I don't recall the specifics, he was rather detailed, but he spoke about my heraldry for Northkeep, as a court herald, a list herald and a site herald. I wasn't overly surprised about the subject mater, I was rather up front from the word go about what I wanted to do as a herald, and how I wanted to do it while I was in the Barony. But I was just perplexed as to what in heck I was doing up there. I had a Sable Crane for my heraldry already, and I was sure a Thistle or something like that should come from Royal hands when royalty was present.
Then Adalia started reading from a scroll. Five words into it my jaw went completely slack and my eyes went wide as dinner plates.
They were giving me a Caistael Cridhe, the non-armigious baronial service award. I don't even live in the barony and I was getting one!
I've seen a lot of Caistael Cridhe's handed out, and almost always they went to people who lived in the barony. And as well they should, those are the people who work and cry and sweat and bleed for the group on a day to day basis. The bar should be set high for such a thing, and I was completely comfortable with the idea that it was a level within the barony itself I would probably never reach.
It looks like I was wrong, however. After the scroll was finished, Ian held up a small brass medallion and announced that it would be the first Caistael Cridhe to have a linage (more than one owner). Mine had been handed down from Her Ladyship Elizabeth De Calis, specifically to be handed to me. This means that the medallion itself now has a legacy, and it is up to me to uphold, and preserve that legacy.
Ian put the red loop of cord over my head, and then offered a very sincere thank you with a handshake and a hug. Kalandra did the same, and both specifically thanked me for my work for the barony.
I walked away from the whole thing...all four minutes of it, or there 'bouts, a little thunderstruck at the fact that I had gotten the award. I know, it sounds a little over the top to be so wrapped up over a non-AOA level award, but coming from Northkeep, the fact that they considered me one of them enough to give it to me at all is still something of a revelation. A good one, mind you, but still a big one none the less.
Anyway... moving on.
The next morning was, as it always is at triumph, dominated by the Rapier Tournament.
You know, as many times as I have done this goofy tournament, I was really mad at myself for how it went this year. Since I wasn't in charge of heraldry, I know my opinion only carried so much weight, but damn it, between my own screw ups and some less than stellar attitudes on the part of a few others, I was on the verge of just handing the cards back to the list mistress and quitting on more than one occasion. I didn't, and mind you I kept my opinions to myself at the time. But as a dedicated herald who got his start as a list herald, I don't think it the least bit inappropriate to have some standards for at least myself.
I shouldn't, and won't comment about anyone else here, but I, for one, was just totally disappointed with myself. It was amateur-hour out there for me. I was forgetting heralding orders, forgetting salutes, forgetting procedures... argh... I'm still steamed about it, and was ready to chew on nails Sunday night every time I thought about it. So, the rapier tourniquet wrapped up, and then came closing court. I know that's a fairly brisk summary of what was actually almost an hour by itself, but as far a substantive material for this blog, that really about covers it.
Hardly the glowing, shining review I gave last year for the same event, and I know it sounds like I didn't have any fun. In reality, I did have loads of fun. But this was just an off event because I didn't have a lot of heralding to do. And when I did... I was just not up to snuff this year.
Anyway... that's about all I really have to say on Triumph, this year, anyway.
Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"
"Non unus step tergum"