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The Continuing History of Vatavia:
Vatavia goes to war

by Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)
Orignally published in the January 2000, A.S. XXXIV issue of the Dragonflyre, a publication of the Barony of Vatavia.

Later that month (April) was Calon Tourney VI, which proved to be the last of the Calon Tourneys. Expectations were high for Ld Cire to emerge victorious, but alas, Ld Cristofre Cynwyd defeated him in the final rounds. Ld Humpk's father, Grumpk, returned from his travels, and began his reign of harassment and bad puns1. That night, at court, Baron Humpk was installed as Warlord of Calontir.

The beginning of AS16 found us again at the Kansas Newman Renaissance Faire. Again Ld Cire was victor of the championship tourney. Zevak, Ld Cire's final opponent, while doing well in individual combat, showed that he needed work in his melee fighting in the following melee. Ld Cire was never in finer form, single handily defeating all four opponents, while armed with just a pole arm. The following week, at court, the four, for his performance in that fight, presented Zevak with a magic wand2.

The following month V'tavia march south to war. As this is chronicled elsewhere, I shall pass over the monumental happenings of this event.

In August of that year, Baron Humpk wrote a letter to Baron Morghen of Forgotten Sea about the thieves and brigands known as the Kansas Turnpike Authority. Baron Morghen's reply was less then salutary, and the black clouds of war poked over the V'tavian horizon.

Meanwhile, in conjugation with the Calontir Althing, V'tavia held its second Valor Tourney. The day began with rain, but after a libation to the patron saint of V'tavia by Ld Aelfric, it stopped3. Baron Humpk won the tourney, leaving the field open for various melees and challenges, including one in which two unwise munchkins allowed Ld Aelfric to make a challenge for them. ("This could not be a Tournament of Valor, cause they had seen none today.”)4. The feast was well attended, during which gifts of fruit of all sizes, peeled and otherwise abounded5. At court, Maelan was given the Star of V'tavia for here work on the Dragonflyre. The revels lasted long and were filled with merriment, though I know little of this, as this chronicler saw little outside the kitchen6.

Later that month, the Barony of V'tavia removed itself to Forgotten Sea for the first Calontir Coronet Tourney. Expectations were high for a V'tavian Prince as six V'tavians entered the list. But alas, an hour and a half duel with Ld Juan Marcias did in Baron Humpk, who succumbed to Ct. Baron Ternon in the final round7. After what seemed to be the longest court ever held8, Ly Shaleigha discovered one of the wheels of here chariot to be flat. Several gallant lords stepped in to help, who turned out to be no less then Crown Prince Moonwolf, Prince Ternon, and Brother Luvaduckie.

Two weeks later, Ld Cire was finally defeated in a championship tourney, as Ld Raedwald became the new Champion of V'tavia. Several offices also changed hands as Elisabeth du Rossignol became the Seneschal, Anne-Elizbeth the Exchequer, and Ld Wylfrdd the Master of Arts9.

The following month, V'tavia did another remove, this time to Couer d'Eunni for Coronet II. We were not disappointed again as Baron Humpk emerged victorious. While the finals were a rematch of Baron Humpk and Ld Juan Marcias, this time it only lasted a mere twenty minutes.

Oh, the vagaries of Calontir weather. In July of AS15 there was the Great Sweat, In January of AS16, there was the Great Freeze. Formally it was the Twelve Night Feast at Lonely Tower, but it was the cold that will be remembered. So cold it was that many of the Forgotten Sea chariots refused to move; though the fates were kinder to V'tavia10.

The month of February was bittersweet for V'tavia as war with Forgotten Sea became inevitable, and preparations began for the summer clash. But like a ray of happiness in the gloom was the marriage of Ly Margarite and Ld Earlich. Such was the joy and merriment of the occasion that even Forgotten Sea was invited.

March was the investiture of Baron Humpk and Baroness Mammara as Prince and Princess of Calontir. Ld Cire asked Prince Humpk for the hand of Ly Elizabeth, and for his trouble was made Vicar of V'tavia, and told to ask again at the next court11.

Spring, the place Grimfells, the occasion Coronet III. V'tavia was again represented in the finals, this time by Ld Zevak. But his opponent was Master Brummbar, and there was little contest. At court that night, war was formally declared on Forgotten Sea. Again Ld Cire asked for Ly Elizabeth hand, and was told to go on a quest for a roc's tooth and a dowry12.

And, in what was fast becoming a tradition, we started the new year at the Kansas Newman Renaissance Faire. This year, with the aid of Ld Reinhard, we added an archery range to our activities. Ld Zevak won the championship tourney, triumphant over Baylock. During the course of the faire, a mystery appeared that would bedevil the barony for over a year: the Lady Roxanne Bertrand de Belfour. It started with the appearance of a bouquet of flowers for the Baroness. In the future were way more flowers and large chocolate chip cookies from this elusive lady. And for the first time in V'tavian history, money, in grand amounts, was made13.

In June, the V'tavian Army of Righteous Indignation marched on Elenithil and crushed the Army of Forgotten Sea. Forgotten Sea took archery, but it was to be her only victory. In the field melee, our shield wall proved troublesome for them, while our Ansteorran allies wreaked havoc on their flanks. The thieves and brigands proved less then useful allies for Forgotten Sea, as they kept trading sides14. In the bridge melee, the shield wall again proved useful, plowing Forgotten Seas off the bridge by the score15. The final fight between Ld Cire and Baron Morghen was short and decisive, giving V'tavia the field. The treaties were to be sealed by the marriage of Ld Zevak and Ly Jayce Ravenhair16. To celebrate the coming of peace, V'tavia held a small tourney. Well attended, the joyous occasion was marked by much revelry and dancing17.

 

Footnotes

1. The individual involved was Tim McGill, formally known in the Society as Tymm the Mysterious. Owner of a move prop house and part time actor, you could never be sure who he would show up at an event as. Grumpk was one of his more successful characters who was a bit hard of hearing and so was always misconstruing what was said to him. ^

2. During this time the Champion's tourney doubled as demo fighting. As the list was small, the tourney was over quickly. To pad the time it was decided that the two finalists would hold the field against the rest. Cire went pole arm and Zevak went florentine against a mixture of weapons. At the command "Lay on", Zevak was quickly separated and killed, leaving Cire alone against four untouched opponents with just a pole arm. Cire kept backing up taking the legs of his opponents’ one at a time and leaving them behind. Once he got all on their knees, he went one-on-one to kill each. When the last one died, he walked off the field totally exhausted. ^

3. The libation was some if the Coke that Aelfric was drinking. Totally spontaneous, this is the first time that the name of St Humpk was invoked. ^

4. The two young gentles involved were Araxes of Greensward and Corydon Arandir (I think) out of Forgotten Sea. At this time marshal's rules allowed those between 16 and 18 to fight with parents’ permission. They were still 16 when they committed this blunder. By the time this challenge was issued, most of the rest of the fighters were starting to pack. Upon hearing the challenge they reversed course. The two were not allowed off the list field till they had fought virtually every fighter there. ^

5. At some event earlier that season, Brummbar von Schwarberg managed to convince some ladies to feed him peeled grapes. This, of course, escalated. At this feast, he was presented with a peeled watermelon. ^

6. Sixteen years later I still see more events from the kitchen then elsewhere. Some things just never change. ^

7. This fight lasted this long for several reasons. First, Juan Marcis was a very defensive fighter, while Humpk tended to be a counter puncher. Thus for all the length of the fight, not terribly shots were actually thrown. Juan Marcis also wore a very round shaped helm, so that the shots that Humpk did throw either glanced off, or did not register with Juan. Such was the length of the fight, they actually called an intermission. The fight ended when Humpk finally was able to take Juan's leg, thereby preventing him from continually retreating. ^

8. The court consisted of three parts. The first was the investiture of Ternon as Prince, with all the usual ceremony. Then there was all the official business making official all the orders and structures that up until now were unofficial. Then there was the deluge of awards as they worked off the backlog that arose because the Midrelm king so seldom appeared in this part of the kingdom. ^

9. This constitutes the first major change since the officer corps was formalized. The only previous officer change was when Christan MacBruce became seneschal when Humpk stepped in anticipation of becoming Baron, and that was done informally. These changeovers sparked the writing of the protocol still used today. ^

10. The temperature was in the single digits and the wind chill was much, much colder. The sleeping arrangements were at the site, so the cars sat all day and night in the cold, and in the morning when everyone tried to leave, the batteries just did not have enough oomph to turn the engines over. Erlich du Battenhelm had driven a truck with a heavy duty battery and starter and so had little trouble getting it to start. He then proceeded to spend most of the morning jump starting everybody else. ^

11. This is the start of V'tavia's infamous tradition of marriage quests. There was a serious side to this piece of court schick. Since beginning the motion towards a war with Forgotten Sea, Humpk had become Prince. He was uncomfortable with marching on what was now one of "his" baronies. Rather then abandoning the war, he side stepped the issue by appointing Cire as Vicar. To cover his absence as Baron, he did this as a test of Cire's worthiness. This, of course, was milked for all the humor that could be gotten. ^

12. This was more court schick. This issue here was the brideprice. I do not know if it was planed or not, but it produced one of the more memorable exchanges:

Cire: Will you take a check?
Humpk: I am a Czech. ^

13. The main source of the money was the archery range, the popularity of which we were totally unprepared for. Besides Reinhart, who was from Forgotten Sea and provided most of the equipment, we really didn't have any archers, and very quickly the firing line became chaos. Throughout the day we improvised procedures to bring things back under control. Since that time, the V'tavian treasury has remained full. ^

14. There was a long buildup to the war, including a number of exchanges of letters, which towards the end were published in the Mews. As a result a number of other people got into the act. Fortunately the war arrived before this got out of hand. As one of these unplanned additions, a group of fighters from the Topeka, Lawrence, and Manhattan area banded together to form the "brigands". To my recollection, they were led by Lars the Fierce, as he was then known, but years have dimmed my memory. Neither side knew what to do with them, and their opportunistic switch made a real mess of the field battle and endeared them to no one. ^

15. Plowing was the operative word here. One of the wall shields was manned by Thorfinn Mjollnir, who was as every bit as big as Iain Brannock, with even more muscle. When enough Forgotten Sea fighters piled on the shield to break it down, he would rise up and push them off to the side and out of defined boundaries of the bridge, where by the rules of the scenario they died. It was estimated that he accounted for about twenty five fighters this way. ^

16. At the main court, Cire attempted to complete his marriage quest. As a Roc was a bird, and therefore did not teeth, but a gizzard where stones are used to grind food. Cire presented one of these stones as representing a tooth, and for good measure it was a chunk of gold (painted really) which also handled the dowry requirement as well. Humpk looked at it for a moment, said it was all fine and good, and then casually tossed it over his shoulder, nearly hitting Mammara. At this everyone near Cire could see him cringe, and all wondered if Humpk was going to ask yet for something else. But he merely dismissed till closing court. At that court, with the war won, Cire was released from being Vicar, and permission was given to marry Elizabeth. ^

17. One final note about the war. One of our members at the time, Tymm the Mysterious, made his living in the movie prop renting business. One weekend we borrowed an appropriate car, slapped some KTA decals on it was well as a bubble light, put some of us in police uniforms, and took pictures of the fighters "dealing with" some of the KTA "brigands". They were then published in the May Mews of that year. We did such a good job, that a number of people asked how we talked the real KTA to help us. ^

 

Copyright © 2000 - present His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.

 

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