A History of the
Valley of Three Walls
(By Deabher mac Collin O'Cearbhaill)
Though this story has appeared in many places it has always been fragmented. I would like to present here the "A History of the Valley of Three Wall" in it's entirity for the first time. It is an "In pesona" account of the founding of the Canton of the Valley of Three Wall from is beginning till is merged with the Canton of Rimsholt in 1989. - Benedict of Beverly
A HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THREE WALLS
Being an account dating from my first experiences in the Known World of the Society for Creative Anachronism until the declaration of the Demesne of Easton Down.
Written by Deabher mac Collin 0'Cearbhaill, Lord of Easton Down by Award of Arms, Founding Lord of House Mendicus (the Beggar's Guild) and Seneschal of the Crown of the Middle Kingdom for the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls.
Unto the generations of the futures in honour of the generations of the past, I offer this history and topography of the Valley of Three Walls, by the grace of God and the Crown of the Middle Kingdom. This is not intended to represent the biographies of the personae mentioned herein, although it will reflect their Known World experiences. I beg their understanding and forgiveness if I err in crediting their involvement in our group's development. All that is related here is from the Journal of Three Walls, from legends told by the Mundanes, and from my own imperfect memory.
IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 980, I was welcomed into the Known World by Lord Dur of Hidden Mountain. I had passed into this new life by the mischief of the wee folk of the hills near my home in western Ulster. When I arrived in these lands inhabited by tribes of savages called Mundanes, the better part of my memories of my past life were gone from my mind. Dur assured me that my past would gain substance the longer I remained in the Known World. He became my counsel, teacher, and mentor during those first months in this strange new environment, and I will always be indebted to him for his help and guidance.
Dur was living at that time in the ancient city of Kif in the Barony of Andelcrag. He was trying to rebuild the influence of the Midrealm there in those days, and was forming a household of fighters to help defend the city. As a display of his intentions he had arranged an assemblage of the Kingdom's citizens, and he invited me to make the journey to the city to discover the nature of this "SCA" Kingdom. I was amazed, not only at the variety of the Kingdom's populace but at the reaction of the Mundanes who were encouraged to witness the gathering. It was a small but impressive demonstration of the Arts of the Known World, as well as a display of arms and fighting prowess, and the Mundane witnesses were generally awed even shocked.
I ventured from this demonstration somewhat confused as to the true nature of my fate, and resolved to find a place where I could sort it out, and time to explore not only the land, but my own memory. So into the wilderness I went. Assured that the natives were relatively peaceful if not timid, I was not hesitant to explore the countryside. In fact, some of the heathen were even congenial and helped me in my search for shelter and sustenance.
I found myself in a land quite like Ulster, though much less rocky which was as yet unsettled by citizens of the Kingdom. This land is situated at the border between two Baronies of the Middle Kingdom called Northwoods and Three Hills (also called Andelcrag). To the south is a shire known as Silver Swords, to the southwest the Baronial seat of Three Hills, and in the east the city of Northwoods. To the west also was the city of Kif where Dur was hard at work. All of these are of nearly equal distance from the place I chose to settle.
There is a small settlement of Mundanes in this place. They call it by a native name-word which has no translation into the language of the Kingdom. It is a crossroads of 3 of the ancient Mundane highways on the banks of a substantial river. The local natives are typical of their race. having a great preoccupation with ritual and superstition which is entirely without meaning. Apparently the ancients of their race had fairly advanced civilization, but it fell into ruin. The legends of the present day Mundanes only hint at the truth, but in this Valley there are exceptional remains of that bygone society.
The river runs through the area from Northwoods toward the freshwater sea beyond Andelcrag. It has been called the Grand River. Along its southern bank I discovered the ruins of a fortress no longer in use as such. Exploring further, I found another, still older, north of the river a veritable walled city, now all but collapsed. From the natives, I soon learned of a third, much newer (though of poorer construction). From these ruins, the place acquired the name "the Valley of Three Walls", and remains thus today.
I took up residence among the natives, adopted a family and found friends. In fact, I took a wife in the ensuing months and began a family of my own. As I became part of their society I established intimate relationships with them, and tapped their mystery-laden knowledge to discover what I could of the land and its inhabitants. In so doing, I had a great surprise! I was not alone in this wilderness! Though Dur assured me that this was a common discovery, I was elated to find that 3 others of the Old World had come to this place by various means. With Dur's assistance, we arranged to gather and share the promise of this new society.
On a sunny afternoon in the springtime of the year, we came together near a mundane temples a traditional gathering place for the natives. Dur had brought various accoutrements, weaponry, and literature, evidence of the ever growing influence of civilization in the Known World.
Of those gathered, there were some who had been living among the Mundanes for a long time, and their other lives had been nearly forgotten. They knew quite well that they had other lives to live, but did not realize that others of their kind shared in this fate. Others had heard rumours of a great new Kingdom, but took it as a superstitious Mundane legend. There were also some who had lived among the savages for so long, that they elected to remain in such a state.
Included in this small gatherings beside myself and Dur, were those called Moondog and Phillips and some who had taken Mundane names, having no recollection of their own. We resolved, thereafter, to meet with the people of the Kingdoms our forgotten fellows, and to evaluate the promised society first hand.
Even then, there was a temptation to abandon this fate for the easier path, that is, to surrender ourselves to a life apart from our fellows and from our pasts. Some had chosen to ignore the lure of past life in favour of the Mundane. We. however, sought to pursue that part of ourselves, and to join together in this new adventure, the recapture of lost culture in this new land, and the expansion of the frontiers of our own civilization.
Several months passed before such an opportunity arose and when the time came, we borrowed means of transportation from our Mundane hosts and ventured forth toward the Shire of Silver Swords. There was myself, Moondog, Phillip, one who would be later called Belrung and my mundane feminine companions Annette, composing this momentous caravan. We arrived in the late morning at a beautiful wooded site and joined the throng of like travelers.
We were clothed mostly in garb borrowed from the Mundanes, and so were quite out of place. We also were soon aware of the dismal inaccuracy of our memories of the past lives we intended to resurrect. All about us was clothing that sparked our memories and we felt somewhat ashamed at our miss-recollection. The hosts of this event made available less savage garb, which we donned thankfully and they bade us well as the day's festivities progressed.
At this gathering, we were as newcomers to a distant land, with some things familiar and some things not. Here were armored fighters competing 'la plaisance' on the field of battle, merchants dealing in various wares (mostly of their own making), great encampments of folk displaying the arms of their lords or their households. We were quite overcome by a homelike feeling as we shared a dinner in the camp of His Royal Majesty Hugo, and gathered to trade stories in the camp of Dur's fighting household (Zwerghaus). Knowing no ones not even certain of our own identity, we all knew that in this we could find some heretofore lacking component within ourselves.
Night drew in around us, and obligations to our Mundane homes called us away all to soon. We none of us wished to leave, but gave our reluctant good-byes to Dur and his men; Dag, Lloyds, Jaques, Thaul, Piotre; and to Duncan the mercenary leader (whom we'd met that day) and took once more to the highway. And all the ways we'd but one thing in our minds: When next might we join in this new life and celebrate the past with our fellow anachronists?
These few encounters spanned a period of months, from late A.S. XV to the Silver Swords event in July of A.S. XVI. Much of our time was spent in securing our place in the Mundane world: procuring sustenance, setting up living quarters, establishing relationships there. Even now, after years of cohabitation and developments we still have to fend for our own in this wilderness. (The Mundanes are a proud race. completely unpredictable and generally uncharitable.) As we were soon to find out. Few would be the times we could interact with our fellow anachronists, and thus we were left much on our own in this frontier outpost of our Kingdom. Our next opportunity to serve the Crown of the Middle Kingdom was a major event indeed, and occurred only 7 weeks later.
Word came, both by Mundane messenger and by way of Lord Dur, that our King had called for support of all his subjects in a great War that was imminent in the east. It was to be the tenth in a long series of contests between the Middle and East Kingdoms, and citizens from every Canton and Shire in the Kingdom were called to arms or to serve in support of our fighting men and women. We were new to the organization SCA, and beside the fact that it was our duty, we felt it beneficial for us to make the journey.
We spent weeks in preparation. Gathering our personal stuff, making what we lacked, borrowing what we could, and arrangements were made for Mundane transportation. By the grace of our mentor Lord Dur, some of the members of Zwerghaus accompanied us on our long trek eastward both for protection from highwaymen or hostile mercenaries and to represent us to the Middle Kingdom forces along the way.
Loaded to the limits, our humble caravan made its way along the roads of the ancient Mundane empire. There were six of us only: myself, Moondog, Phillip, Belrung and (from Zwerghaus), Thaul Dordsson and Dag Thorgrimmsson, Norse cousins from the renewed city of Kif. Along the way we met with some minor adventures, including losing our way through a tangle of Mundane roadways near the Kingdom border. But all things considered, the journey was an enjoyable one, and we arrived in good health and spirits in the Debatable Lands.
We approached the grounds with no preconceptions save Dur's colourful narratives of other such events. Our first objective was to locate that stalwart fellow and his entourage in the Middle Kingdom's encampment. We were somewhat surprised to find that the two warring Kingdoms. Middle and East, and all their allies, mercenaries, and on lookers, were camped together as one gigantic tent city. We had much to learn about the nature of War within this society.
We found our friend Dur camped on the crest of a hill to the west of the designated area, and he had reserved for us a place to set up our camp. His distinctive pavilion was an easy landmark to find among the many tents and banners that coloured the countryside. Having settled in, we surveyed the site, learning the nature of the contest about to take place. And commencing to enjoy this reunion with elements of our pasts.
Chronicles of the Tenth Pennsic War can be found elsewhere, and many of the details of this high adventure of ours are now lost in obscurity (if not deliberately obscured). Suffice it to say that this experience was at least the most intense dose of the Society we had yet received. The fighting was an overwhelming spectacle, far more impressive than any we had seen before. The proportion of Noble to Peasant was exceedingly heavy in favour of the former, and thus a sense of camaraderie between the members of the Royalty, the Peerage and the "Common Nobility" was heartening and happy. The marketplace was crowded with multitudes of peddlers and patrons from all corners of the world, and competition was lively. Royal Court was convened with not only the Kings of the two combating realms but of visiting Royalty as well.
By the end of this most exciting few days of revelry and reunions we were very disappointed to have to return to our Mundane homes and responsibilities. Packing away our tents, our gears and our newly acquired paraphernalia, we set off for our fair valley much the richer for the experience. I do not stress the victories or defeats of this great conflict, for all participants came away with the unique "spoils" of this anachronistic war. Many whom we came to know and share with we would not see again until the next such conflict, promised to occur one year thence. We all looked very much forward to that event.
Upon our return to the Valley of Three Walls, we found ourselves in a condition aptly described as "Culture Shock". Our greatest desire was to become more and more involved with the SCA.
On the 29th of August XVI Anno Societus, we journeyed to the Barony of Northwoods where there was held a Boar's Hunt and other tournament activities. I attempted to compete in the Lists, but was quickly dispatched. I came to realize that the prowess of Northwoods fighters, with their long history of victory and their many Knights in residences were among the most skilled fighters in the Kingdom. We became aquatinted with many distinguished people there, and invited them to our humble new outpost.
Many of them obliged us as, with Dur's guidance we coordinated a demonstration of the SCA with a Mundane festival on September 20. The Mundanes were quite impressed, as 28 SCA folk joined us that day. We gathered a list of names of interested spectators, some Mundane and some not (though that would only prove itself in time). Count Sir Thaid was the ranking Noble in attendance, and our own Phillip de Podergast authorized in sword and shield. There was a brief post revel, with introduction all around, and all agreed that it was a successful venture. The Mundane authorities were impressed as well, and a diplomatic victory was scored which would manifest itself in times to come.
With the list of names we had gathered at our Demo, we arranged two orientation meetings for these new signees. With Dur's help, and the gracious donation of a Mundane meeting place, these two sessions were well attended. Of those who attended, many were to rejoin us in earnest at a later date, but our numbers did increase by several, and our fellowship was enriched.
Phillip represented our group again when he escorted Dur at the coronation of Moonwulf and Takya in October of that same year, and a month later, joined by Lothair (a Frankish self proclaimed barbarian from our fair valley), they attended the Crown Tournament at Caeraig Ban to determine the Crown Prince (Tanist) and his consort for the ensuing reign. (The winner of that contest was Duke Andrew of Seldom Rest.) It was there, too, that Phillip was given the honour of membership into Zwerghaus, Dur's fighting household. A new member of our band, Cerdic, joined myself, Phillip, and Lothair in another trek to a Northwoods Tourney soon after.
Until this time, we had had only two "meetings" per se. We had enjoyed associations with other anachronists, and given ourselves time to learn. Now we resolved to meet on a regular basis to develop some semblance of organization1 to better administer our joint activities, and to impress the Mundane Host (who are much impressed by such things). On December 6. XVI Anno Societus, we gathered together to affix our marks to a Charter and appoint officers. I was selected as Seneschal, Phillip as Marshal. Belrung as Herald Pursuivant, Cerdic as Exchequer, and Lothair as Master of Sciences. This, plus Steffen 0' Moonian (called Moondog), comprised our core membership, and would remain thus for some time.
In January of that year we made a fateful decision: we would attempt to host an event at the beginning of the next reign, that of Their Majesties Andrew and Shara. Our mentor Dur was moving away to the Middle Marches area, and his counsel would be sorely missed, but we reckoned that we could put together a modest event on our own, so we proceeded to plan.
At the Valentines Day Massacre in Three Hills (attended by myself my family, Phillip, Belrung, and Lothair the Frank), we found out a bit more about the planning of an event. We also discovered the necessity of reserving a date early on in the planning. Subsequently, we had to revise our plans a bit, and chose the date of May 15.
We knew from the outset that we wanted to host a multi-day event, based on the fact that our most enjoyable experiences had been had at that type of event. Beyond that we had to learn, and earn: We had very little money.
We persevered, and the fateful weekend arrived. The first to arrive were Ranthalfr and company (then of Cynnabar), who volunteered to help with the food preparation. Very late into the first nights the caravan bearing King Andrew et al came into camp, and found us unprepared for such a royal entrance. Dur, who had been accorded the honor of serving as King Andrew's Court Baron, put our worries to rest in our relations to the King.
The morning of the 15th we rose to find more folk at the entrance to our secluded apple orchard site north of Swine's Breath Hollow. Soon people arrived from the neighboring shires, and even from the distant land called Noergate. Their Royal Majesties Andrew and Shara were reassuring in their candor, and the day proceeded with a friendly atmosphere. Under Baron Dur's spontaneous direction, a double and a half elimination tourney was thrown together, and the Lists commenced. The winner was one Eliahu ben Itzaak of Cynnabar.
The evening's Royal Court brought a surprise for myself from His Majesty: I received an Award of Arms, as did Belrung. Knowing of his clandestine support. I thanked Dur as well as the Crown for this honor, and I was thus elevated into the Noble classes.
The night brought also rain, which gave the folk there assembled more reason to make the conversation intimate. This was a great fortune for all concerned, I think. We became closely acquainted with Their Majesties, with our new friends from the North, with Korok Starbear. And with the history of the SCA from those who made it. Despite the financial disaster we suffered, we all agree that the event was a success both in education and in fellowship. Attending for the Valley of Three Walls were: Myself (Daebher) and family, Belrung, Phillip, Lothair the Frank, Cerdic, Hoger the Byzantine, Dragolen Magnus, and Garth Wanderlust.
Relieved that this event was now over, we rested from SCA activities for some time thereafter. Our next concern was one shared with the whole Realm: The Eleventh Pennsic War.
On August 17th we left the Valley of Three Walls for the Debatable Lands of the East Kingdom. Our caravan included myself, Lord Belrung, Phillip, Lothair, Dragolen Magnus, Cerdic, Steffan, and our friends from Zwerghaus, Dag and Thaul. After a long journey eastward, getting somewhat lost again near the border, we arrived at the bale ground in the early morning. We wandered a bit about the encampments, eventually locating a large wagon we recognized as Baron Dur's. Sure enough, Upon further inspection, we found him sleeping in that very same vehicle.
Aroused from his rest by our interruption, he welcomed us heartily. We helped him to erect his pavilion (after a false start on lower ground) near the top of Doggin's Hill. We then set up our own group of humble tents on the eastern slope of this renowned hill, where Cynnabar were our immediate neighbors, and the Horde Camp was just across the road. This proved to be a very good site.
Again, record of the battles in detail can be found elsewhere. Let it be said here that we had a grand time of it. the more richer for finding old acquaintances from the previous year. and making many new friends as well. (It was also at this event that we first were referred to as the "Bums", evidently by one of our own number, Dragolen. )
War Kahn of the Dark Horde was none other than our new friend Korok Starbear. By his invitation, I was invited to entertain with a song ("The Axe of Tarbeighnwield") their Majesties Andrew and Shara, and their Highnesses Talymar and his consort. I was much impressed by my short visit within the Horde Camp with their organization. They have every reason to be proud and admired.
Beside the spirited company of our neighbors, we also found we had a "ringside seat", as it were, for a major moment. On the final day of the East Middle conflict, about two hours after the scheduled time for the Woods Battle, we were witness to a tense and awesome procession. Preceded by scurrying commoners, we watched the Dark Horde en force marching in tightlipped silence along the road to their stronghold. Once within, the voices of the powerful Mongol leaders made clear their opinion of the status quo: They were mighty upset with our Midrealm King Andrew, to the disappointment and anger of nearly everyone. Had surrendered the Woods to the East without a fight! Oh, things were tense!
With the exception of that episode, and the fact that the event ran quite a bit behind schedule (even for a SCA event), it was an even more enjoyable War than the last one. At the Runestone Field, it had been announced that fully one thousand fighters were on the field. and that the entire attendance of the event far exceeded that of Pennsic X.
Late Sunday afternoon we left the Debatable Lands in the control of the East Kingdom for the first time in many years. With hope outlooking toward next year. we made our way back home.
In Three Walls once more, we proceeded to arrange for another SCA Demo to be held along with the Mundane Fall Festival. Though our efforts were less timely than the previous year, we were included happily and a good time was had. It was here that I met Svea Wartooth, whom I had seen hard at work in the Horde Camp that summer, and Gailean of the Shire of the Shadowed Veil, whom I would come to know more dearly as years went by.
We assisted our friends in Cynnabar with a Demo there in October. While on that trip, we discussed the possibility of hosting another event of our own, possibly in the spring. That was to happen, though in a somewhat augmented form.
Several of us, namely Daver, Steffan, Phillip, Lothair, and three Neophytes, attended the Crown Tournament in Northwoods soon thereafter. It proved to be about the least exciting tournament we'd ever attended, and did little to arouse the enthusiasm of those three who went along.
As winter approached we sent envoys to Tree Girt Sea (Phillip and Steffan to an event there) and Cynnabar (Lothair, Cerdic, and the Neos for fighter practice). We also elected Cerdic as our new Herald, upon the announcement that Belrung would be moving for a while to the Shire of the Shadowed Veil. We worked diligently on a design for arms to represent our humble enclave, also.
Twelfth Night festivities were attended in Northwoods by Daver, Phillip, Lothair, Steffan, and a Neo who called himself Zaemi. (He would later take the name Guy de le Vale'). We also attended Cielidh in Cynnabar and the Valentine's Day Massacre in Three Hills. At the Cielidh event, our own Lothair the Frank authorized in sword and shield.
During this time we also made a fateful decision. Based on our lack of support from the Baronies whose borders we occupied and our disenchantment with some of their politics, we voted to declare ourselves independent of either of them. This was a move which would prove to have many repercussions, which, though subtle, would help to shape our group's history alongside our more mature and powerful neighbors. Due to our location between these two great powers, we felt it unlikely that we would suffer from lack of trade or communication, but also our location was considered remote enough not to suffer any outright acts of aggression or undue imposition of rule over us.
In the spring of that year, we received emissaries from the Canton of Rimsholt (the former city of Kif). These visitors (specifically: Isha-san, Drew FitzGilbert, Thaul Dordsson, and a lady whose name is not recorded) came in peace with an invitation to join with them in hosting an Event. This event was to be called a "Maiden Guest", and the whole of the Kingdom would be invited. We heartily agreed to take part not only as spectators. But also to serve at the feast in return for their favour. The tentative date was set at mid June, two months away.
At this same assembly. our own Lothair the Frank gave notice of his plans to travel. He would take leave of us for an unspecified time, ultimately to visit the far western lands of the Kingdom of Caid called the Islands of Philip.
As the spring progressed, we gave demonstration of the SCA cultures to a tribe of Mundanes settled to the north of Three Walls in a place known as Emsisi, a gathering place for Mundane scholars near Green Vale. This proved to be a success for the day, but no lasting effects resulted as our strength was depleted by the untimely journey.
A.S. XVIII was upon us when Cerdic announced his plans to visit the Far North in search of knowledge. We found ourselves again in need of Heraldic representation. Arnwyn and Hoger were nominated for the post. About that time, too, myself, Phillip. Hoger, Arnwyn, and Zaemi attended a Tourney in Northwoods where we learned an oriental game called Mah Jong, and Phillip was the first of our number to join in the dance at this event.
In June we prepared for the Maiden Quest in Rimsholt, and said our good-byes to Lothair. The Maiden Guest, though less spectacular than planned, was, nonetheless, a good event. It was at this event that Phillip de Podergast began to feel a pronounced contact with a separate reality, and perceived a mysterious need within himself. It was his last travel with us (as of this writing). Soon after he retreated into the wilds and became a hermit philosopher and seer of visions. Too, I was paid a great respect when Dag and Kirk (of Rimsholt) performed the "Axe of Tarbeighnwield" (a song that I had written).
I accompanied Dag to a Demo at Silver Swords in July, and then we began to prepare for the third of our Pennsic Adventures.
On August 16 I myself (with my mundane wife Annette), Belrung, Steffen, Michael Moerland, and Bryan O'Rourke went east again to the Pennsic War. Fortune shone upon this event, a good time was had by all, and a new campsite was surveyed for future use by the folk of Three Walls. This new location is not far from most activities, along the road west of Doggin's Hill under the shade of some trees and near a well, a nice, "cozy" spot. The battles were hindered by the intense heat of the days, but water was borne aplenty to the battlefields by volunteers. More people than ever attended, and the SCA folk were proving ever more industrious. There were Inns, Smiths, Chandlers, Glassblowers, Jewelers, Armorers, and Printers at work all about the place, and the merchants much overflowed the Great Hall. Among these merchants was my own cart of modest wares for sale some of the time. Court was grander than ever, with visiting Royalty from all corners of the Known World. Michael and Bryan found work at the Pennsic Inn for their bread, and at other times were fed by the Dark Horde in exchange for work. Belrung found himself celebrating with a band of Picts, and covered himself in Wode like those folk are wont to do, and he borrowed my cart to earn a meal or two hauling armor. (Unfortunately, one of these trips proved to be too much for my feeble cart, and its axle was sheered off.) In the final tally, the East again claimed victory, aided by the Kingdom of Atlantia and various mercenaries.
We returned to our humble Valley enthusiastic, and those of us who had pursued the Martial Arts in earnest (and some who hadn't) joined in our own intra-group tourney. We set up a double elimination list including Belrung, Bryan, Cerdic, and Micheal, which was won by Cerdic, and several impromptu bouts commenced. Notably, O'Moonian and Cerdic fought each other with Great Swords. All this resulted in Cerdic being designated Champion of the group in Lothair's absence. The greatest shortcoming of this was the fact that Cerdic would soon be leaving for points north and Micheal for a college in the vicinity of Northwoods, and we would again be without a fighting force.
Lack of fighters never concerned us overmuch, though I always hoped that we could complete and make use of our store of arms and armor. Just after the Frank departed, we followed through on a deal he had begun with Thaul Dordsson in the acquisition of the latter's armor and weapons. Thaul, it seems, was called by an earlier geas to serve in other anachronistic ways than ours and wished his accoutrements to be used by the Frank. We bought the stuff on behalf of the Cantred, and thus it became "community property".
So now we had nearly armor enough to suit four fighters, and weapons enough for eight, all in various states of disrepair or incompleteness. Our most significant want was for sufficient elbow and knee protection, and for more sturdy shields.
At any rate. our fighting force was leaving us, and all that remained would be the peaceful "Bum" faction. Even as we planned our third annual Fall Festival Demo, I was contriving to form a Guild for Bums and Beggars, at least to offer some unity of purpose, separate from our Cantred's sacred duties, for the general tomfoolery we enjoy so much.
During the fall of that year we inducted three of our members into service in cooperation as Herald; one was to serve in a consulting capacity (Hoger William Norn the Byzantine), another to serve on the field (Belrung now taking the name Michel Jean Cue'), and another to serve in filing paperwork and keeping records (Arnwyn ap Paerwyc).
At the aforementioned Fall Festival Demo we were graced by the presence of the Ritter Baron of Andelcrag Sir Carl Aerdigwidder von Zauberberg, and Baron Northwoods, Sir Thorvald the Grimm (as well as Earl Sir Bearengear, Viscountess Nige, and other regional Nobility). The two Barons, come together at this border site, were exposed to the idea of a great contest between their respective Baronies. We proposed a Baronial Border War to be held at the very site of the Fall Festival for the upcoming spring or early summer. They were enamoured with the prospect (having an ongoing lighthearted rivalry between them anyhow), so plans were put in motion there and then by us.
I believe it was myself, Guy de la Valle' (formerly called Zaemi), Arnwyn, and Steffene who attended the "Pirate Tourney" in the Shire of Three Hills at this time. We had a rousing good time at gambling, learning the game "Gluckenhaus" for the first time. The concept of the Beggar's Guild was taking shape, and we honed our begging skills at this event. This practice soon culminated in the formation of House Fainéant (later changed to House Mendicus), which first meeting and initiation took place at my manor house on Wednesday. Sept 28. AS. XVIII. (The detailed chronicles of House Mendicus can be found elsewhere.)
In November, the Crown Tournament resulted in much good tidings for ourselves and our friends when Eliahu and Elen became Tanist and Tanista. This meant not only goad news for the Kingdom in the next Pennsic (for Eliahu has always been a good leader in battle), but also, the Crown being resident so near our humble Valley, we could probably count on Their presence at our Border War. Indeed, sometime later we found this to be quite true!
As the Christmas season approached. plans proceeded for the Border War, including the establishment of a War Bond Raffle, intended to raise money and public awareness. Also, Philip the Pilgrim of Silver Swords (longtime friend of all of us) was married in Cynnabar, and some folk befriended at that wedding who hailed from the Shire of the Crossing of the Red Spears journeyed many miles to join us at Feast and Revel in our own wilderness lands.
We celebrated a Christmas feast by the invitation of friends at the Shire of the Shadowed Veil quite some journey east of Three Walls, and were there treated to one of the most enjoyable epicurean experiences of our Known World lives. The preparer of this sumptuous fare was Gailean, who we unanimously indoctrinated to prepare the Feast at our Border War, now set for mid June of A.S. XIX. We were: Daver, Hoger. Steffen, and Cerdic.
Shortly thereafter we attended Twelfth Night festivities at the Barony of Northwoods, and there were ten of us in attendance. A very good showing indeed, including Michel Jean Cue's new lady, Arnie'. We were beginning to gain notice and reputation among the older, more established Sca groups at long last.
It was also here that a Seneschal's Meeting was held. and it was a great success, giving us all insights into the workings of various groups, and allowing us opportunity to arrange a tentative calendar for the near future so as to avoid conflicts and minor feuds.
The springtime brought many more visits to area settlements, many more enjoyable memories, and the return of Cerdic to our company. Dag had moved to Three Hills, and other circumstances had weakened the Shire of Rimsholt, though it still did exist. These events were filled with notable activities, not the least of which was the presence of my old mentor Baron Dur with his wife to be at the Cielidh event in Cynnabar and the very valuable and enlightening Collegium held at Silver Swords. We began to involve ourselves more in the official workings of the SCA, attending the meetings of neighboring groups and such, and our Baronial Border War event gained momentum as arrangements both Sca and Mundane progressed handsomely. As the new gear A.S. XIX arrived, His Majesty Eliahu proclaimed that our Border War would be used as an opportunity to train the fighters of the region for the Pennsic War, and this changed the scope of our event considerable. Our War Bond Raffle yielded some revenue to defray the cost of promotion and materials, and arrangements with the Mundane authorities were made, for the most part, in trust. They did however request an advance on the use of the camping sites, all of which we had reserved for our expected guests.
As the Friday arrived for our official "declaration of war", we locals set up our signs, tents, and tables and waited. The kitchen at my home in Easton Down was taken over by Gailean and her assistant Phelia in preparation for the Feast to occur on Saturday evening. Finally, in the late afternoon, folk began to arrive.
The incoming traffic increased as the night wore on, and the confusion set in early. Any one available was assigned the task of fee collection (erratum numero uno). And the night was spent in reunion for our guests and anxiety for ourselves.
On Saturday, the Barons and Their Majesties arrived later than we'd hoped. By some misinformation, the person who had volunteered to take charge of the Lists was (A) not there and (B) not qualified anyhow. Many thanks go to Korok Starbear, Sir Raynard, and Siobhan O'Rouarke for stepping in to manage that activity. Thanks also must be extended to our friends from Rimsholt, Isha-san, Kirk, and Cedric for their help in the administration of this event.
The battling began late (as is typical), but was enthusiastically attended. His Majesty Eliahu took several opportunities to address the fighters en masse on points of strategy, training, and teamwork. All things considered, the fighting went very well. There was also a quest afoot which combined riddles, puzzles, and Scavenging about the place all day.
On schedule, amazingly enough, the Feast commenced at 7:00. The site was a mundane structure called Palmer Lodge, looking very much medieval except, perhaps, for the picnic tables. The food arrived in a caravan from my Home, and my mundane wife, her brother, and his wife, had all been coerced (they claimed they had volunteered) into helping cook, deliver, and serve. Gailean forbade me serve, and most of our "dedicated" members managed to disappear in that hour of need. Lord Cedric announced the five courses of the meal as they were served.
After the Feast, which received much applause, the tables were rearranged, the thrones brought in, and Royal Court was commenced. Within the course of courtly business, these are some of the things which transpired: 1. a scroll was presented to Rune Raynardsdottir by House Mendicus for her generosity and charity toward our Beggars; 2. various awards of arms were presented by His Majesty; 3. Korok Starbear, in an unprecedented move, swore service to His Majesty and the Crown of the Middle Kingdom in the field of Battle for the upcoming Pennsic conflict; and 4. the Barons Northwoods and Andelcrag declared no winner in the Baronial Border War, all allegiance owing to a higher power (the Midrealm). Consensus seemed to say that the day was a success, and would that we planned to host a sequel one year thence. With reservation, I agreed (as autocrat) that that might be done, albeit with the added advantage of experience.
Though more was planned for the following days we were overtaken by rain in the early morning, and most of the participants took their leave. We began to tally our resources, and made our accounts square with the Mundanes with no trouble, though I had lost a considerable investment personally (which I have yet to extract from my fellow sponsors). By nightfall, the site was cleared, and peace once again reigned in our fair Valley.
This brings us, then, to the time when the
Demesne of Easton Down was declared. This history is far from complete, I realize. I only
hope that it will serve as a record of our humble outpost of the Kingdom to succeeding
generations of anachronists in our fair Valley, as well as a chronicle for the
entertainment and education of others of our ilk. From this point on, the Cantred in the
Valley of Three Walls, in its ongoing state of incipience, has been taken under the
jurisdiction of the Demesne, and may yet resurface more healthy and effective than before
when its time comes. Meanwhile, however, I, as Mesne Lord of the territory including that
Valley, submit this History to posterity, and its future into the hands of Fate.
Written this first day of August. A.S. XIX.
by my hand and machine. Lord Daebher.
In conclusion, let me take some room to
account for our membership. We had been growing steadily for some time now, and were,
holding weekly meetings, bimonthly feasts, and gaining ground in our relationships both
with the Sca folk and the Mundanes. Here then is a list and accounting of our membership
as I write, during the reign of Eliahu and Elen in the Middle Kingdom. AS. XIX:
Daebher (Daver) mac Coileain 0' Cearbhaill of Gavelkynde mac Chearteach, A.0.A. , Seneschal of the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls and Founding Lord of House Mendicus, formerly of Ulster in the later Tenth Century.
Michel Jean Que' (Belrung), A.0.A. , and Lord of Swine`s Breath Hollow, former Herald Pursuivant to the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls, a member of House Mendicus, and Friend of the Dark Horde, a Norman of the Twelfth Century.
Steffen O'Moonian (Moondog), exchequer to the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls, major contributor to the archives, a Munsterman by all accounts, probably 6th Century.
Phillip de Podergast (in absentia), authorized fighter, now a hermit/recluse and seer of visions living somewhere in the wilderness, a Moor of the 13th Century.
Lothair (Marovech Clovis) the Frank, authorized fighter, just returned from the Great Islands west of Caid, Champion and former M.0.S. in the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls, a 6th Century Frankish self proclaimed Barbarian.
Arnwyn ap Pearwyc (commonly called "scum" or "slime"), Scribe to the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls, member of House Mendicus, a Welshman of the 10th Century.
Cerdic of Three Walls, unauthorized fighter, member of House Mendicus, a Saxon of the llth-l2th Century.
Guy de le Valle', juggler and chandler, a Frenchman of the later Centuries.
Trent Nevlin, page-in-training and personal servant to His Lordship, a peasant of English extraction.
Robinton Cutler, juggler and musician, from 13th Century Cornwall.
Lowena, a bondsmaid (and fighter-in-training) to His Lordship, of Irish/Norse descent around 10th Century.
Hoger William Norn the Byzantine
Banzanar Axe-Brandisher, a Finn viking of the earlier Centuries. Marshall-in-Training for the Cantred in the Valley of Three Walls.
Hagar, a maker of engines of war, of some barbaric descent.
Micheal Moerland, of some Turkish ancestry.
Bryan O'Rouarke, an Irishman who resides in Swine's Breath Hollow.
Darin the Absent, (seldom seen).
Ocram the Innaccurate, a Venetian student.
Andrew, a Saxon.
Dragolen Magnus, a Vandal, I think.
Garth Wanderlust, of unknown origin or fate.
Melody, (she aspires to be a fighter).
Lisette, descended of French aristocracy in the later Centuries.
Robert Banks, another Saxon.
Thomas (Comstock), a Teutonic Crusader.
Page last updated 12/15/99