Thursday, July 30, 2015

Guarding the Hearth

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, July AS 50 (2015

I cannot hear the sounds of drums
That drive my kin down south
I do not see the pennants fly
On wind of dragon’s mouth
I do not feel the heady thrums
Of nerves in battle’s thrall
I do not taste the dusty sky
That blows throughout it all
I do not smell exotic scents
Or smoke of open fires
I do not, for I have not gone
Down with my fellow squires
And yet I do, I feel, I sense,
I dance the Pennsic score
For sure as sun comes with the dawn
My spirit is at War.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Napping War Point

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, July AS 50 (2015)

Oh for my Queen I lay my head
Upon a pillow in my bed
As though this year I am not there
At Pennsic in the summer air
At Queen’s command I doze and nap
With sleeping dog’s head in my lap
Across the land we slumber all
For to our Queen we are in thrall
At royal word we go to sleep
Swift into dreams so strange and deep
I do my part for kingdom fair
All while I clutch my Septy bear

During Peace Week of Pennsic War 2015, Queen Liðr decreed that the Tuesday was Royal Ealdormere Nap Day. This decree was shared via Facebook, where I asked if we were trying to win a war point for napping. Which led to this.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Roland of Atlantia

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, July AS 50 (2015)

Who is this man of whom I must sing praise?
His name is Roland, fearless, lord of frays.

His tale begins in past and bygone days
And when he wend his way from Triton’s maze
Out of the sea he came all scaled in maille
With piercing eyes and arms so mighty hale
A warrior in blue and golden cote
He climbed aboard a rocking northbound boat

Who is this man of whom I must sing praise?
His name is Roland, fearless, lord of frays.

To seek the calling song of his heart’s lays
He bravely traveled many, many days
He left Atlantia to come far north
In wolfen lands he boldly journeyed forth
And met his love in ancient royal town
And with her went to war to win renown

Who is this man of whom I must sing praise?
His name is Roland, fearless, lord of frays.

In the light of midnight’s tempestuous blaze
He found himself the aim of noble praise
An ursine Duchess of the cliffs and glen
Him asked to stand amongst her loyal men
And fight as her high thorn at the bell’s knell
A task accomplished oh so very well.

Who is this man of whom I must sing praise?
His name is Roland, fearless, lord of frays.

At War of the Trillium 2015, House Arrochar was joined by two guests: Ersabet (from Toronto) and her boyfriend Roland, who hailed from Atlantia. While at the event, Duchess Adrielle Kerrec asked Roland to be part of her team at the Rose Tourney where he fought very well.

This poem is written as a danseta, which is a dansa without a vuelta (a vuelta being the repetition of lines from the first stanza in the subsequent stanzas). Also spelt dança, the dansa was an Old Occitan form of lyric poetry developed by the troubadours in the 13th century. As the name would suggest, it was often accompanied by dancing. The balada is a related form with a more complex structure.

A dansa begins with a respos of one or two lines with a rhyme scheme that matches that of the first line or two of each following stanza. The respos itself may be repeated between stanzas as a refrain. There were usually three stanzas. The verses of a dansa were sung by a soloist with a choir singing the refrain.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Arrochar Strikes

Arrochar Strikes
By THLaird Colyne Stewart, July AS 50 (2015)

At Trillium War the sinners gathered
As clerics set the field with painted pins
To make the penitent repent their sins
The contrite pilgrim must then take a ball
And from safe distance roll it ‘cross the grass
Then in the outcome they must prove their class
And fight one knight per pin that did not fall.

So teams of three were sent to do the deed
And Arrochar took up the worthy call
And stood on field, waiting their turn with ball,
When Berend, gentle Master of the Laurel,
Awed all with glorious shoots of superb skill
As more than once he sent the ball to kill
And sent all pins to lie in repose floral.

Sir Nigel told him then to stand aside
And let his brothers take their turns to throw
So Kol and Colyne then their skill did show
And knocked pin after pin unto the ground
Though not as well as Berend did they tried
Rejoiced when many so thus truly died
Then went to face the knights upon the mound.

So well three battles then the squires fought
In singles first they faced a Master pink
Much blood was spilt for greedy grass to drink
Then three on three they faced a hardy group
Defeated two before the battle’s end
And finally beat a polearm’s deadly friend
To prove their worthy valour as a troupe.

With skill of arm at boules and with the blade
The house of Arrochar purged forth their sins
And the holy clerics tallied up their wins
In honour of their knight and of his love
The ermine and the star won well the day
By dropping pins and fighting in the fray
And in good brotherhood they won thereof.

And so to Nigel do we therefore praise
For teaching well his men the warrior’s ways
May much more honour come in future days.

At War of the Trillium 2015, there was a Bowling Knights tournament based on a period event where people would roll a ball at pins representing their skins. They were pardoned for each sin they knocked down, and then could pay to be forgiven for any remaining sins. In the Bowling Knights tourney, each of the pins was represented by a knight or master-of-arms. So, when a team took a turn to bowl, they had to fight any members of the chivalry whose pin was still standing. There were six pins, and five frames. Each pin knocked down, and each member of the Chivalry defeated, were worth one point.

Team Arrochar was one of six or seven teams to take part, and was represented by Baron Berend van der Eych, Baron Kolbjorn Skatkaupandi and THL Colyne Stewart. In the first frame, Berend bowled a strike. He repeated this in the second. At this point he was told by his knight, Sir Nigel, not to throw the third. Instead, Kol bowled the third frame and knocked down all the pins except for Duchess Kaylah’s. Arrochar offered her single combat and defeated her. In the fourth frame, Colyne knocked down three pins so it was a three on three fight. Arrochar managed to take out two of the knights before being defeated by the third. Berend was then allowed to bowl again for the last frame. He got another strike, but as it was the last frame he was allowed another ball. This time he knocked down five pins, and Arrochar faced Sir Tiberius. As Tiberius brought out a polearm, single combat was not offered. Arrochar swarmed Tiberius and won the field.

This meant that Arrochar missed out on only one point, and scored 35 out of a possible 36 to win the tourney (due largely to Berend’s skill at bowling).

This poem was written as a canzone, which was an Italian or Provençal song or ballad, or a type of lyric resembling a madrigal, originating during the 13th century. Derived from the Provençal canso, the canzone consisted of five to seven stanzas with each stanza being between seven to twenty lines. It ends with a tornado, the Provençal version of the envoi (a shortened stanza used as a sort of epilogue).

Monday, July 6, 2015

For Percival de la Rocque upon His Elevation to the Order of the Pelican

By THLaird Colyne Stwart, July AS 50 (2015)

I must now praise a man of worth
Quite tall of form with argent hair
Well known for love of drink and mirth
An archer with a herald’s flare
Who well can fire bow in clout
And once stood as a bear-lord stout.

With fingers nimble on the bow
And keen mind bent on ancient lore
Face bordered by white hair like snow
Eyes purpled by the hint of war
The bee-loved man stands proper, proud,
Is brought before a Royal crowd

And all achievements he has earned
Are loud proclaimed for all to hear
As from him heralds all have learned
And archers could cock bow to ear
For of his time he freely gives
And through him Ealdormere bright lives

Glad from his arms he gives his strength
His mettle shown with all he does
For service he will go to length
And ever this is how it was
This man of worth, this man so true,
Who shows great merit through and through.

And so the Royals name him Peer,
A Pelican of Ealdormere.

A blason written as a grand chant. A blason was a 16th century French ordered poem of praise, or blame, usually directed towards a woman which praised her physical features using metaphors. I decided to write a blazon as it takes its name from the heraldic term “blazon” which forms the root of the word “emblazon” which means to celebrate or adorn (with heraldic markings). This seemed appropriate given Percival’s love of heraldry. I also tried to use a few heraldic terms sprinkled throughout the verse.

The gran(d) chan(t), also known as the courtois, was an Old French genre of lyric poetry devised by the trouvères in the 12th to 13th centuries. It was adapted from the Occitan canso of the troubadours. Like the canso it explored courtly love, but it could also be used to expound on many other topics or themes.

Typically, a canso had three parts: the exordium (the first stanza where the composer explained his purpose), the main body of the text and then one to three envois (which were not always present). Except for the envois, the stanzas all had the same sequence of verses (each verse had the same number of metrical syllables). The envois took the form of a shortened stanza, containing only a last part of the standard stanza used up to that point.

Each stanza had the same internal rhyme scheme (so if the first line rhymed with the third line in the first stanza, it will do so in each successive one).