2016 01 16: Barony of Ruantallan's Twelfth Night

posted Jan 18, 2016, 7:53 PM by Freydis Egilsdottir   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 6:39 PM by Mikhail H- ]
This wasn't a Stronghold event; but as we had pretty much all intended to attend and were stopped only by some pretty terrible weather I'm posting it here anyways. In fact, it was touch-and-go if it was even going to go ahead at one point, but go ahead it did, and I'm very glad it did; it was a lot of fun and the food was superb.

In attendance: From the Stronghold: Three adults and two kids. Overall: A whole bunch more. No idea of the final numbers yet. I gather that fewer people were able to fight their way through the weather than had originally hoped to attend, but I honestly couldn't tell. In fact, when we arrived, we had to set up an additional table and chairs as the others were already full!

The Arts & Sciences competition had some truly lovely entries, which I don't want to enumerate for fear of accidentally leaving out some worthy entry in a field of lovely projects. The winner was Lady Delyth, with her entry, "What I Learned At Pennsic," which was a wide assortment of fabulous needlework techniques, from tatting to pulled threads to pleating to njalbinding to-- I know I'm forgetting about three other different ones; the table was very full and all the work was exquisite.

Bardic was also deeply entertaining, and won in the end by Lady Mairead, who did a very fine and entertaining Shakespearean sonnet followed by some truly amazing acrobatics. Well done to you both, and to all the very talented entrants!

Court was more entertaining than I am used to, which was a happy surprise. Several awards were given out, including two new inductees into the Order of the Iceberg, Lord Rowan, and the autocrat, Lady Sarra.

With awards awarded (please visit the Baronial Facebook page for the full list of worthies) and court adjourned, Their Excellencies Guthfrith and Isobel announced that, since the rest of the evening was to be given to misrule, which they could not possibly countenance as it was an affront to both their dignity and that of their populace, they would instead withdraw and leave us to it, which they did.

And I am sure the well-hooded Anglo-Saxon couple who joined the festivities shortly thereafter also enjoyed themselves as much as the rest of us.

The rest of the night was given over to our Leader Supreme, the Queen of the Bean, milady Abby, and her Leader Supreme Junior, milord Axel, who had great fun with it (as did we all; I particularly enjoyed the silly walk I must by decree do as I approached the High Table, at which were also seated all the children of the event, which Karl and Astrid very much enjoyed (I don't think I've ever seen hands shoot up so fast as when Axel asked them if any would like to be seated there).

What else can I say? We had fascinating conversations with many; the dancing was energetic and great fun; and the feast proper was truly amazing, one of the very best I've ever had the pleasure of attending. And I must offer an especial thanks to Their Excellencies Guthfrith and Isobel for their extremely kind and entertaining hospitality afterwards. Mikhail and I learned a lot from talking to them, not the least of which was that we are effectively time travellers now. We are from an SCA from twenty years ago, on the other side of the continent; the SCA we grew up in did not include Facebook or YouTube or even Google; it barely included the Internet at all. We were way ahead of the curve back then having a (very extensive and now, alas, defunct) website for our household (which is now commonplace); most groups relied on email mailing lists and printed newsletters for communications (which are very rare indeed). There were some concepts we found very difficult to wrap our heads around which took rather a lot of explaining for us and we are still absorbing and mulling it all over.

One thing we have noticed about the Barony of Ruantallan as a whole, and their Excellencies in particular, is the warmth and welcome to newcomers, be they (as we are) experienced visitors from long ago and distant shores, or newcomers who are having their first taste of these Current Middle Ages. As an example, Their Excellencies were very encouraging when we mentioned our old Norse encampment and how much of it we now needed to rebuild, saying that while they did have excellent examples of period encampments within the Barony (their own being as I recall 14th Century), while they had a large Norse population, they didn't have much in the way of Norse period encampments, and people seemed to be a bit at a loss as to what one would look like. We came away looking forward to (rather than dreading) the rebuild, and sharing it with everyone.

We enjoyed ourselves deeply, and are looking forward to many more events here.

EDITED TO ADD: Just found out about the final numbers. Of the 89 people who had made reservations for the feast, 70 were actually fed, which means we only lost about twenty feast attendees to the weather, which is pretty good. 85 people attended in total, but not everyone stayed for the feast.