by Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)
It was a bright clear morning as I started north to the shire of Dun Ard and the Kingdom A&S competitions. As I was going to see a friend be made a Laurel and not entering any of the competitions, I was in no rush to reach the site. This was a good thing as I misunderstood the intent of the directions and so got to explore northeast Kansas as I made my way to Atchison. And as I came in from a direction different then the one intended, explore Atchison as I worked out my way to the conference center.
As I paid off the requisite fees, I noticed a large group of brass hats exiting a room. Concluding that Katriana op den Dijk’s vigil, the trial by conversation as the King later put it, had just started. So I turned to the stairs to the second floor where all the entries were laid out to view.
The entries were laid out on tables that filled a large hall with the championship entries slightly separated at the far end. Taped to the walls were large charts detailing which judges were judging what when, with a shuffle occurring every half-hour. Virtually every type of art and science was in evidence. The most common type was some form of needlework, from full-blown dresses to simple embroidery by a twelve-year-old. The next common was leatherwork. His Excellency Alcyoneus had entered some of his armour work, while Michael van Bergen entered a research paper. But by far the most popular entry was the period bookbinding equipment constructed by Pavel Iosefovich. Almost no one could resist making a few passes with the paper-trimming knife.
Later that afternoon I went down to the vigil room to talk to Katriana. As I told here, I usually visit friend’s vigils to provide comic relief from the usual overwrought solemnity. But Katriana is such a free spirit that not even the king giving his standard Laurel initiation speech could not get through it and gave up. So we had a nice conversation about music, dance, getting old, and her daughter’s latest accomplishments.
I spent the rest of the time till court visiting. I missed seeing the performance entries because I did not find the room in which they were being held till they were nearly over.
Court started with the usual acknowledgments and awards. A new addition was casted medallions to past Kingdom A&S Champions. Somewhat more unusual was Pavel getting a Silver Hammer for his cooking at events, particularly at Lilies. What was unusual was not the award itself, but that the scroll was actually an apron.
Finally it was time for Katriana’s Laureling. The first bit of interest was who would walk in with her. Earlier when told she could have an entourage as part of the ceremony, her response was "What would I do with an entourage? I am a part of other people’s entourages!" But she appeared with only her daughter Emily holding her banner and Andrixos bearing her cope as musicians played a dance tune. The final touch of the ceremony was that her scroll was an engraved music stand. As she left court, the musicians played the tune of "New Bo Peep," a silly little country dance that Katriana teaches as an example of a reconstructed dance.
Afterwards, musicians and dancers reconvened in the vigil room. Where, after a short meal, there was an informal ball. There were two unusual features about this ball. The first was that the musicians outnumbered the dancers, which at first threaten too greatly restrict what dances we could do. The second was that Katriana was dancing rather then playing. After a half dozen or so dances, the final dance was the Carolingian Pavane done to a choral arrangement.
It was then time to depart the building. So after helping Katriana pack her stuff; I headed homeward.
Copyright © 1997 - present His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.