by Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)
Originally published in the July 2002, A.S. XXXVII issue of the Dragonflyre, a publication of the Barony of Vatavia.
In mid-June I set off to go to the annual Lillies gathering. As is my wont, I timed my arrival to the evening of the ball. I was hesitant to start as it was raining in Vatavia, but I traveled north the skies cleared. When I arrived, I learned my luck held as the Lillies storm had already made its presence felt, and the weather was relativity mild for the rest of the gathering.
At the early evening court that day, former Vatavian Earl Sir Edward Cire of Greymoor was granted an augmentation to his arms for his efforts in founding the Lillies event. The Queen also noted that it was Sir Edward who awarded her her AOA. In the following court, Sir Edward presented their Majesties a bottle of water from the river Derwent at the site of the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
After court, I made my way to the ball. A good size crowd gathered, including a half dozen Vatavians. A dozen musicians provided the music, and among the recorders and drums there was a hammer dulcimer. The dances were the usual mixture of English country and Italian. And while not danced to perfection, fun was had by all, though I was disappointed to note that the other Vatavians had left before it was over. I guess not everyone can dance till two o’clock in the morning.
The next day was spent visiting with people and perusing the wares of the merchants, and augmented the friary’s library. In the afternoon various entertainers strutted their stuff and were well received. That evening the usual fireworks were missing as their purveyor had recently taken on new financial responsibilities and could not make the trip. But the lack did not dampen the night’s festivities. The following day followed the same pattern.
Among the various sights to be seen was the unique method a baroness used to dry certain undergarments. There was a time when this sort of thing would have been a cause of embarrassment, but I guess times change. Also seen was an Irishman parading around with his concubines. I thought I had inspired him to be better then this, but a friar’s work is never done. Another troubling activity observed was all the sheep rustling; you would think the camp was populated by Scots!
Watching Her Ladyship Genevieve toss a jug gave new appreciation to the potter’s skill. Later she fired her efforts in an earthen kiln she had built on site and spent the night watching over it. I left before I learned of the results. A more tastier activity was Her Excellency Kerare making pizza on a campfire grill. Also showing off his skill was Lord Anlon Greywolf who won the competition in campfire cooking. Rounding out the Vatavian cooks was Her Ladyship Ki who found herself substituting for the food court when it wasn’t operating.
I attended several RUSH classes. The runaway most popular, was the one given by an out-of-kingdom duchess on serial killers. It was later hinted that my presence was due to a desire to pick up practical tips. I suspect this to be an attempt to distract. One set of cases discussed was believed to be the source of the werewolf legend. And who was it that used to be greeted with wolf howls when called into court?
Elsewhere, a certain Scotsman learned why certain seams need to be doubled stitched. But then nothing really happened. But he did win the clout shoot.
Besides Sir Edward, another Vatavian legend made an appearance at Lillies, and was Sir William Vatavia, who founded Vatavia. We chatted for a short while. He indicated his intention to return to Vatavia was his son William was interested in learning to fight.
As the morning dawn on the last day I began the journey back to Vatavia. It had been the largest Lillies yet with over 1800 attending from all over the Known World. New friends made, old one renewed, overall it was a successful gathering.
As a side-note, the fyrd and the hirth had some noisy disagreement, I think it was about beer. Since the fyrd and the hirth are always having a disagreement, I paid little attention to it, though I been given to understand that Dirik von Rosswald had to switch sides midway though.
Copyright © 1997 - present His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.