by Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)
As the Summer Solstice approached the sounds of war could be heard again in Calontir as the Lilies War got underway. Two things will distinguish this war from those of the past. First there were no set sides, thus each day saw a reshuffling of the contending sides. Second was the absence of the gales of Lilies and rain making only a token appearance one mid-week night.
Usually the Thursday court occurs during the late afternoon about the time I arrive go about greeting friends. But this year it occurred in the early evening, allowing me to attend and to note the various gifts and prizes being given out. Immediately after court, the musicians and dancers assembled for the ball. But after the first dance, the interrupted and re-opened court to announce that former Vatavian Katriana op den Dijk was to become a Laurel. The dancing then resumed and lasted far into the night.
One of the highlights of the battles was the catapult built by His Excellency Khulan and His Lordship Batu among others. More properly called a mangonel, it was questionable which side it posed a greater danger. First, gunnery-sergeant Batu stepped on one of the pieces of ammunition and twisted his ankle, sidelining for the rest of the war. Next, a test shot of some alternative ammunition resulted in a damaging hail to all those standing around it. (A later unauthorized test shot sent a water container clear across the battlefield.) Then finally, Lord Aamir was banned from firing the device as his shots consistently hit friendly troops, including Lord Greywolf.
Among the pleasures to be found at Lilies is perusing the wares of the assembled merchants. One can nearly completely outfit oneself from their offerings. And for those who needed to indulge their sweet tooth (indulgences optional) there was Her Ladyship Caterucia da Padovaís sweet shop. But what most attracts me are the booksellers. Not only did I spend a pleasant time contemplating additions to the library, but also a couple of afternoons in conversation with one of the merchants.
Other pleasant moments included the Three Rivers acting troupe and the traditional Friday night fireworks, though certain ladies seemed to be more taken with chocolate covered items.
I spent the morning of the last full day of the war watching the action on the archery field. They were shooting the finals for the 100 arrow shoot. There were two Vatavians were among the finalists: Donald MacDonald and Raymond the Red. Lord Donald made it to the semi-finals before losing the round because his arrow was the furthest from the center of the target. But he made up for it later that afternoon by winning the Fyrd Captain shoot.
The final court of the war was held on the battlefield. It was preceded by a fashion show, during which the royalty snuck into their seats, starting court at the conclusion of the show. Amid the acknowledgments was that for the Vatavian Corps of Engineers winning the BIG competition with their catapult, and for their entry of Stargate Chapel. The King of Ealdomere gave a token to all those for whom this was their first event. This included Milady Celesta who really didnít need all the prompting to bow. Also called into court was Lady Marena of Vatavia to receive the scroll for being inducted into the Fyrd that occurred earlier that day during a pause in the battles. But the biggest surprise occurred at the end. The autocrats for next yearís war, which includes Her Ladyship Genevieve de Chambery, were called in to settle by popular voice vote the theme for that war (memory fails me at this point, but my recollection is that an Arthurian Grail theme was the winner). After some other bits of business, two of the autocrats then turned to beg a boon from the king: to wit that Her Ladyship Genevieve would be made a Laurel.
The final night was celebrated by the Forgotten Sea pig roast, which featured Middle Eastern dancing. (It was noted by some the irony of having pork at a Muslim party.) After listening to several bardic circles, I retired so that I may be rested for the journey home the next day.
Copyright © 1997 - present His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.