This past weekend I was once again able to don a tunic and spend the day hanging out with other anachronistically inclined individuals at Ealdormere’s annual WASSAIL! event (Who let the Krampus out??). I haven’t been able to attend many events in the last few months, so I was particularly looking forward to this one, not in the least because it had multiple vendors selling shiny things, but also because, well, it was seasonally themed. We had a couple of Krampus’ running around, a Toys For Tots tournament, and otherwise just a chance to hang around with a bunch of super neat folks getting their geek on.
Lions rampant are so mainstream. #Hipstergryph
Vendor tables had many wares for purchasing via the means of exchange of coin of the realm.
The Commissariat were running a fundraising raffle for a feast box filled with appropriate feastly gear. Given all the work they do for the kingdom, it’s a worthy cause.
The artisans of Ealdormere were on hand to equip you for all sorts of nifty.
From fine pottery…
… to enough fabric to choke a dinosaur…
… to enough tarts to… well, feed that same dinosaur.
… and then some wooden things to beat the now food-coma’d dinosaur with. It’s almost like it’s an anti-dinosaur conspiracy.
For myself a very fine handcrafted leather mug from the gent behind Sparrowhawk Leather. Hangs nicely from my belt, and conveniently holds the contents of a can of Somersby quite nicely. This may end up travelling with me to non-SCA events too…
Pal Emer was rocking her viking garb and looking her usual awesome self. Selfies happen.
Preparing for the evening’s feast was a long process, the kitchen ably managed by volunteers.
At any event there’s always a few shutterbugs who never end up in any pics because, well, they’re always taking them. Hi Lilyan!!
It’s important before any fencing event that the marshals identify where each competitor is most ticklish.
While there was a thrown weapons range outside, there was much clattering and hullaballoo indoors with both the stabbery and thwackery ringing through the halls and deafening passers by.
The Reindeer Games wheel provided a variety of shenanigans for the the combatants.
His Majesty may or may not have jingled when he walked.
The amassed fighters also participated in the Toys for Tots tournament; a large pile of donated toys were on a table beside the list field. Each round, the winning fighter could choose to place a toy to the left to indicate support for Her Majesty’s French reign, or to the right to signify their allegiance to His Majesty’s English reign. I dutifully did not walk away with the Star Wars Lego.
Morris dancing is very serious in Ealdormere.
And then the phat beat drops, and you lose control of your extremities.
Pals Kat and Eric were keeping score. Well, Eric was. Kat was sticking her tongue out. For cryin’ out loud, guys, register some Scadian names, whydoncha!
“With a hey nonny nonny”
“And a thwackity thwack thwack”
King Quilliam the Ponderer considers how to best reign over his subjects while still beating them around the head with a length of rattan.
And then a fight broke out in the parking lot.
As much as a Squire has a duty to her Knight, the Knight has a duty to his Squire. Training in the brisk December air.
“Dude, you got something on your surcoat.”
Tired, bruised, weary from his awesome displays of chivalry and thwackery… and still has a finer moustache than you could dream of.
It’s amazing some of the things you find in the Royalty Room when on Entourage duty.
His Majesty was most certainly amused.
The fencers or Ealdormere enjoy a variety of stabbery options.
Proposing to your opponent: How not to do it.
1. Propose to an already married fencer
2. Do it while you’re engaged to someone else
3. Wear pink for good measure
4. Threaten to impale her with your sword. No, that’s not a euphemism. Sheesh, you guys.
Eventually, it was time for Court. King Quilliam and Queen Domhnail presiding, with their Excellencies Ramshaven.
As always, Court is a chance for everyone to show their gratitude for the efforts of everyone who’s worked had to make the day a success, and also to acknowledge those who’ve been making their mark in the Kingdom, one way or another. Two citizens of Ealdormere received their Award of Arms at Wassail, including Aethelberht, whose name is awkward to spell, but whose leatherwork is fine and greatly appreciated.
Of course, watching a Krampus try to kneel before the throne with those legs was quite the sight. At least she put down the basket full of naughty children before approaching.
Now, Adnar is a fairly soft spoken man whom I’ve had the honour of watching in action at multiple events. He spend a big chunk of Pennsic slicing watermelon, hefting gatorade and the like to keep Ealdormere’s fighters hydrated and such, and he’s also a dab hand at calligraphy, and gave me my first opportunity to write with a nib pen. He’s a guy I honestly admire quite a lot, and it was to see him enter the Order of the Wain in recognition of his service to Ealdormere was neat.
He may have been a little dumbfounded, humble soul that he is. Wassail at Wassail, Adnar!
And then the Barbarians had a special delivery for the throne.
Wait, that’s not a parcel…
Um… bad touch?
TRISTHAM NEEDS AN ADULT!!!
Crown Guards shield their Majesties from the uncouth Barbarians as they dump their fellow at the mercy of the court.
After gifting Tristham with some leather soap to that he can clean his stanky armour…
The Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer gathered to induct their newest member. Of course, an award of this magnitude must surely come with a magnificent scroll…
… or, ya know, a handcrafted bench. Sometimes a scroll isn’t a scroll, I guess.
Sometimes a scroll IS a scroll though, and being a fan of calligraphy and illumination I like to get pics. Scrolls tend to be a collaborative effort, with the wording, calligraphy and illumination performed by members of the kingdom to honour their friends and fellow Ealdormereans.
Gold leaf is also a thing. The precision and skill of the scribes and illuminators of Ealdormere is nifty indeed.
On a personal note I had the opportunity to sit and learn from (I don’t know how to spell her Scadian name!), who showed me many neat cords and belts made with advanced kumihimo techniques. Yeah, I like making cord thingies. Deal with it.
And then there was that moment when I was acting as entourage for His Majesty King Quilliam, and Her Majesty Queen Domhnail walked up and handed me a bag of coal. Not sure how to take that, especially since it was chocolate coal… so I’ve been naughty this year… but still got a treat? #MixedSignals
And then the night ended with barbecued meat and onion rings the size of doughnuts. Meat coma ensued.
Thanks to everyone who made Wassail the fun event it was, here’s to the next one! Do we have a Twelfth Night in the wings??