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The Lighter Side of War

by Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno)

It was early evening when we arrived on the Lilies battlefield. After passing muster with the gate house, we went in search of the Vatavian camp. The search was brief and in short order had pitched the tent and stabled the horses. I was a bit concerned of the location of the tent, as we were just a few feet from the tent of the Defender's commander; and I as a friar, naturally favored the Crusaders. But as the commander seemed preoccupied with other things, and I kept to a low profile, the danger was avoided.

Though the field was strewn with the usual debris, there were no sounds of conflict but of feasting, as Mag Mor set a large banquet for the encampment. And as the feast came to that point that people relax in the contentment of a full belly, musicians could be heard warming up for the ball that night.

Such was their contentment that the dancers were slow to congregate, but soon three dozen dancers were dancing on the sward in front of the Grand Pavilion. The dances were a mixture of familiar and not so familiar. And a couple with familiar names but different steps. Such was the dampness of the air that the musicians had to dry out their instruments after every tune. Not that the dancers were faring much better. Nevertheless everyone's enthusiasm carried them far into the night. Even after most had retired for the night, a half dozen stayed on trying out some of the more obscure dances. And in the end it was Lady Katriana op den Dijk and myself talking about dance, Vatavia, and life. It was very late when I got to bed.

Late the next morning I awoke. After a short repast, I went out to see what the encampment held. To my delight several of the merchants were selling books, and I purchased a few, including the first two volumes of Master Crag Duggan's history of Calontir. The merchants were also selling such things as swords, trim, clothing, and jewelry. But what are such ephemeral things compared to the timelessness of knowledge?

And speaking of knowledge, there were a number of classes being taught. There was Sir Finvaar de Taache talking about the early days of SCA knighthood. Sir Conn MacNeil on the Crusades. While others propounded on brewing, clothing, dance, and trebuchets.

Such was the heat of the day, not even the fighters ventured out till early evening. But that is someone else's story. As the sun settled into the west, people gathered on the beach to watch the fireworks. As the sky slowly darkened, the crowd was tantalized with an occasional rocket. When at last it was deemed dark enough, a barrage of rocket lit it back up. The show ended with a fiery cross of Calontir backed by a wall of Roman candles. That was followed by a wedding reception that was so large that it took three baronies to host. It was another long night.

Another late morning. The camp was subdued and quiet. Over in the Grand Pavilion, the royalty were having a garage sale of unwanted regalia. I was tempted by several pieces, but as the merchants had all ready taken most of my money, it was easily resisted.

That afternoon was Grand Court, presided by their Majesties and Highnesses Calontir, the Majesties Outlands, and their Highnesses Ealdormere. It is amazing what you can learn at court. For example: archery is a performance art. This is true for their Majesties make Leif of Crescent Moon a Laurel for that very reason. Several other peers were made or announced, as these gentles are unfamiliar to me, their names escape me. A number of other awards were given out, but the one that roused the crowd the most Sir Valens of Flatrock being made an OAF. I would have thought he would have been made one long ago given his companionship with the premier OAF Pavel.

One of the more impressive acts at court was accomplished by the Outlands herald. She had been just given a newly established award. There was no scroll as the proper words had not been set. She then corrected His Majesty, in that the words had been set, and then preceded to announced the award as though the scroll had been written down to names and date. I'm afraid the Calontir herald suffered in comparison as she was infected with a bad case of fumblemouth.

Later that evening the fighters went at it again. And when the battles were over, they went down to the beach to fight a tourney. I on the other hand wandered the camps for song and conversation. First with Mag Mor, then with Master Harald of Bears' Haven. Heard many an old tune.

The following morning was early. We quickly struck the tent and packed the horses as we wished to be on our way before the heat of the day. The journey back was eventful as we slogged our way south through several torrential storms. But God was with us and we arrived safely back in Vatavia.

 

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

 

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