So I returned home Sunday morning in the wee early hours from my very first Pennsic War. To say it was a mind blowing experience does not, I think, do it enough credit.
It had been 8 years since the last time I made it to a large, foreign war. That was long before I moved to Calontir, so this was my first time getting the Purple Pavillion experience. The feeling of inclusion was kind of indescribable. From mustering out with the army pretty much every morning to helping pass around chicken soup with the fourth company, to sitting late into the night and singing, brought the Calontiri experience into focus in a way I hadn’t expected.
Other things that made for an amazing war:
I was invited by my friend, Finepopla, cup-wif of Jarl Gunnar Redboar, to visit Trotheim for their boasting ceremony as a gester on Sunday night of War Week. Trotheim is a confederation of Viking households across two Kingdoms, who try to take the level of their persona as seriously as possible. This ceremony, and the accompanying toasting at War’s end, were some of the most period experiences I have been given in the SCA. I was also grateful to be allowed to bring some of my Calontiri friends with me to both nights, because it was a very special experience for them as well.
Wolgemut showing up to play the Calontir camp party on Thursday: this was such a book end to my experience at foreign wars. Just as I danced like a mad thing to a Wolgemut camp show at my first Gulf Wars, so I did it at my first Pennsic (which given my bum knee, may not have been wise).
People- there are people whom I had met in passing in Calontir, but did not know well, who I left the war thinking of as my brothers and sisters. There were those from other Kingdoms whom I have not seen in many years, who when met again, it was like no time had passed. There were new friends made who were thrilled to see me later throughout the war. The SCA may not be perfect, but it is tribe and family and a place I always feel like I have come home to.
And now, about that other P word…
Prior to the war, my Laurel, Fionnuala, had been asked by his Majesty to make a court barony coronet for someone. She thought it was for me. During the course of the war, while I was doing retinue duty, they confided in my that she was actually making her own coronet. I then took the liberty of scheduling myself to be the behind the thrones retinue for the royal court where it would be given.
Fast forward to Thursday. We process into court, and their Majesties begin to present a number of very well deserved awards. They get to Fionnuala, and call her up. She presents to coronet for them to give, when His majesty announces it’s for her. Much crying and happiness ensues. I think we are about to process out when his majesty says, “Your Excellency Fionnuala, I understand you have further business with us.” At which point time kind of stopped, because this was unexpected and not on the docket and…wait, is this?
And my Laurel responds with “Yeah, because you owe me here, your majesty….” And then she says something that sounds a lot like loud wind noises and the world gets a little tilty…and apparently as she said my name and elevation to the order of the Laurel, I said “Holy Shit…”
I assume someone pushed me out from behind the thrones, because the next thing I really remember, I was on my knees on the kneeling pillow before their Majesties who were charging me to take good counsel about when the accolade would be given, and then calling for the members of the order present to hug me out of court….
Thank you to their Majesties Agamemnon and Gwen for the honor, the members of the Order for considering me a worthy addition, my laurel Fionnuala for her love and guidance, my husband Alarich for his love and support and being my taste tester for the last 9 years, and to everyone who has expressed their good wishes. I feel humbled and blessed.
Vigil and Elevation will take place at Calontir’s Kris Kinder event December 13th. More details to follow.
So yes, definitely the best foreign war event ever.