Friday, November 22, 2013

Le Roman d’Arrochar

Based on The Tale of Gamelyn by an anonymous author, c. 1350 and Ayenbite of Inwyt, c.1340, translated from the French by Dan Michael of Northgate.

The Tale of Gamelyn online:

Ayenbite of Inwyt online:

This work also draws upon Ealdormerean mythology from such tales as “The Doom of Ealdormere” by Aedan o Kincora and “The Great Wolves of Ealdormere” by Colyne Stewart.

Written by THLaird Colyne Stewart (mka Todd Fischer)

The Prologue

Almighty lady Ealdormere gave ten behests in the customs of the northlanders, that the Old Wolf received etched into stone, that were engraved by Ealdormere’s spear. And the Old Wolf, after its burial, commanded in its story to each northlander that would live well should keep and observe them.

This book is written for Ealdormereans that they may know how they shall strive to improve themselves. This book is the work of the honourable laird Colyne Stewart, written in English in his own hand, that's called: Le Roman d’Arrochar.

The First Behest
To be courageous, as Gar, First of the Great Wolves, who died battling the Southron Dragon on the Plain of Lythredd.

The Second Behest
To be compassionate, as Weyra, Second of the Great Wolves, who was also slain by the Dragon’s hunters.

The Third Behest
To be a leader, as Clave, human son of the Wolves, who was strong of arm and full of righteousness.

The Fourth Behest
To love their people, as Bisret, human daughter of the Wolves, whose love united the northern bands.

The Fifth Behest
To be strong and wise, as the Bear of Septentria.

The Sixth Behest
To be fleet of foot, as the Hare of the Skrael.

The Seventh Behest
To be determined, as the Ram of Ramshaven.

The Eighth Behest
To be fertile and foster the growth of the kingdom, as the Boar of Ben Dunfirth.

The Ninth Behest
To be hospitable, as the Chalice of Rising Waters.

The Tenth Behest
To stand against all challenges, and always strive to improve yourself, as did Lady Ealdormere before she was placed among the stars.

Let it be known that all of these behests are known and kept by the principals of the Earldom of Arrochar, Their Lupine Majesties, King Nigel II and Queen Adrielle II, as the following verse will illustrate.

The Main Text

Fytte One

Hark ye and listen and harken aright,
And ye shall hear talk of a valiant knight.
Sir Nigel MacFarlane was his right name,
He was of high breeding in our bright game.
Bear Claw, Iren Fera, serjeant of the Red,
Seventy-fifth Axe Hero, nobleman bred.
His wife was a lady of beauty and grace,
Handy with needle and deadly with mace.
Adrielle was his love and his inspiration,
Who drove him to feats of commendation.
To honour his wife, Nigel fought for the Crown,
To make her the queen, and win her renown.
With his spear he fought foes, like the Saint George,
On the anvil of virtue, the tourney the forge.
With Ascalon in hand he faced Sir Mordain,
They fought in the heat and they fought in the rain.
Pass after pass, their weapons flashed bright,
‘Til finally Mordain fell to our knight.
With steady hand and regal voice Nigel lay
The Crown of the Kingdom on Adrielle fey.

As Prince and the Princess they went near and far,
Many wars did they fight in, many foes did they scar.
In the heat down in Lillies, and in Pennsic mud,
At the sieging of Harlech, they showed Their blue blood.
They led troops in battle, they rang out in song,
They encouraged the artisans and made the land strong.

‘Til finally the day came in Harrowgate Heath,
When Trumbrand and Kaylah lay down Their wreath,
And gave the Crown back to the hands of the people,
As Nigel stepped forth from the shade of a steeple.
Preceded by squires, he stepped to the thrones,
With bold words courageous as ever he’d shown
The Prince claimed the Crown, by strength of his arm,
By his skill with the spear, his words full of charm.
Great folk of the court backed up his claim,
And he put on the Crown to sounds of acclaim.
On Adrielle’s brow he likewise did place
A Crown of the North on true northland grace.
With Inland Seas water the Lawspeaker blessed them,
On relics of days past They swore to condemn
Any who would prey on the northlander flock,
While Nigel’s eyes flared like those of a hawk.
The day then was spent in much celebration,
With a passage of arms, songs, and elation.
Folk from the Eastrealm had come for the day,
As well as the Mid and Æthelmearc way.
They took home tales of virtue and glory,
And told others Their Majesties’ story.

Now to secure the kingdom They needed
To find an Heir who would not be impeded
From claiming the Crown, should that day arrive
When King and Queen no longer thrived.
A tourney was held, and like father like son,
With a spear the title of Prince was won.
Sir Siegfried, for Ragni, stood against all,
And made himself Prince in far shire hall.

Fytte Two

Sit up and harken, and hold your tongue,
And you will hear a tale of Arrochar the young.
Then was a tournament announced nearby
And Nigel was determined to go out and vie.
He readied his steed and set out from his manor
From his lance fluttered his ermine banner.

To Æthelmearc he took to the road,
At the great Pennsic War he set up his abode.
Within his camp he crossed angry words,
With Vitus, who thought his tent was absurd.
Their argument woke half of their camp,
Including Adrielle who came out with a stamp.
Her fiery temper they had incurred,
But Nigel had feelings of love all a’stirred.
This loud northern thistle with flaming hair,
Made his heart flutter, his rib cage tear.
With pale face he knew their futures were one,
From that moment on all others he shunned.
That day forward a great love was born,
To each other forever our heroes were sworn.
Two kingdoms united within their embrace,
Two lands enriched due to their grace.

Fytte Three

Now sit up and listen, both young and old,
And you will hear tales of Adrielle bold.
She came from a land called Petrea Thule,
Where she was called a northern jewel.
Strong as a chain, known for her ire
And her penchant for breathing fire.
Sly as the fox that adorned her arms,
Many a foe fell to her charms
At the game of Tablero, beat every churl,
While calmly exclaiming, “I’m just a girl.”
Skilled at equestrian arts and at sewing,
On many a subject she seemed to be knowing.
She fought in the line, and defended her land,
Much service was done by her gentle hand.
She was once Septentria’s baroness,
Whose term left few if any regrets.
At Society level she also excelled,
Many a disaster she quickly quelled.
So in Ardchreag, the Crown showed her favour,
Inducting her into the Pelican’s order.
The following year, in the same place,
A Laurel upon her red brow was placed.
No danger shall ever exist in our lands,
As long as with us this fine lady stands.

Fytte Four

Harken once more, ‘fore I take to my rest,
And know that Their Majesties keep each behest.
The first, to be courageous, they are every day,
Standing for the weak, and fighting in the fray.
Both of them are caring folk who tend the winter vine,
They care about our feelings, including mine and thine.
They lead both by example, on and off the field,
When doing what they know is right, they will never yield.
To show they love the people of our northern land,
Cups they gave to newcomers, gifts from the royal hand.
Their mighty strength is in conviction shown,
Their Athenan wisdom is by all well known.
They travel far about the world so fair,
Their pilgrim’s feet a tribute to the Hare.
When faced by challenge they back down not,
But persevere as true heroes aught.
They both with kind word, gift or earned reward,
Increase their Court with gentles, lady and lord.
Their home and camp they opened wide for all
To visit with Them round fire pit or inside hall.
No matter the obstacles placed in Their way,
They never back down from a virtuous fray.
All ten behests then, They keep every one,
And saying so, this Romance is then done.


Let it be known that this work was fulfilled on the day of the feast of the Saint Cecilia, by a brother of the cloister of Saint Etienne, in the Year of our Society 48. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Two-Headed Rose

(for Adrielle and Rustique)

Whenever I see these Queens
who ruled so well
between them—regal, royal—
and giving so completely,
laughing with joy, and working
together, with their Order, or alone,
it would take little to melt my heart!

For when, because of them, I remember
the courts they held when Crowned,
the people inspired,
the thrones secure.
These two, my kind friends,
are near. For them I rejoice so deeply
it would take little to melt my heart!

So my heart expands
with happiness.
It swells with pride
when remembering their deeds—
they who reigned so well.
They who inspire me still
it would take little to melt my heart.

Roses, I cannot keep silent
about your gracious deeds
giving all to your people—
it would take little to melt my heart.

(based on Quant je voy ces amoureux: Aultres Balades by Christine de Pizan (ca. 1365—ca. 1430) as trans. in The Writings of Medieval Women: An Anthology, 2nd ed., by Marcelle Thiébaux

Monday, November 4, 2013

"When brigands stole the canton's lands"

Unto her Honourable Ladyship, Aurelia Gabriana, and the Lord Graem deList de Cherbourg, from the Canton of Ardchreag,

My friends, we write to you today to say how appreciative we are for the use of your land to host Ealdormere War Practice V, as well as all the help offered without thought of profit or reward leading up to and during the event.

On behalf of the canton we offer our humble thanks for your contribution to our canton, in regards to EWP V.

When brigands stole the canton's lands
and ripped the deeds from out there hands,
their neighbours did a noble act
and offered up their farming tract.

Illumination by Lady Mahault van der Eych
Words by Laird Colyne Stewart

Calligraphy by Lady Iolanda de Albornoz 

"With sword a fighter slays his foe"

Unto his Excellency, Baron Halfdan Blackanvil, from the Canton of Ardchreag,

Good Baron, I write to you this day in appreciation of the wooden heater blanks you donated to ‘the dojo’ that is currently training at Ardchreag’s fight practice. Members of the dojo will have the honour of bearing shields made from those blanks to the Debated Lands this August.

On behalf of the dojo and our canton we offer our humble thanks for your contribution to the war efforts of Ealdormere.

With sword a fighter slays his foe
But without a shield he takes a blow.
A scarlet shield with ursine white
Ensures the bearer lives ‘til night.

Illumination by Lady Nadja Kesali
Words by Laird Colyne Stewart

Calligraphy by Lady Thorfinna gra’feldr

"A killing blow the plate deflects"

Unto his Excellency, Count Sir Sarnac Bahadur, from the Canton of Ardchreag,

Good Count, I write to you this day in appreciation of the fine breastplate which you donated to the Daughters of the North raffle at Berus’ Bar and Bar Room Brawl. This item was won by a member of our canton who is busy training a unit of new fighters for the upcoming Pennsic War. This unit is affectionately known as ‘the dojo’, and is currently training at Ardchreag’s fight practice. One of the dojo members will have the honour of wearing the breastplate to the Debated Lands this August.

On behalf of the dojo and our canton we offer our humble thanks for your contribution to the war efforts of Ealdormere.

A killing blow the plate deflects,
Ealdormere steel the man protects.
Struck fighter lives throughout the fray
And with his sword is won the day.

Illumination by Lady Nadja Kesali
Words by Laird Colyne Stewart

Calligraphy by Lady Thorfinna gra’feldr

Geld of the Hose

Negligent are we
Hose forgetting we
Grateful are we
Forgiving are you
Gift accepting are you
Friends are we