Into the Mists of 12th Night

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” ~ Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night


  • One of the reasons why I love fall and winter are the banks of fog that stretch across An Tir and the West.
    • When I last visited my grandmother in northern California, I had a chance to look over the hills while flying in; the morning mist looked like white cobwebs stretched across the valleys.
    • The journey to and from the Barony of Adiantum was strewn with fog about the slopes and trees, reminiscent of white cotton candy being spun.
  • Maestra Fiamma and I made surprisingly good time, even with rest stops.
  • The hotel was an array of color when we first stepped in; 12night-5Adiantum really earned the title “jewel in the crown” this event!
    • Windows throughout the site were transformed into ‘stained glass’ with hand-colored plastic sheets. They depicted both arms and historical illuminations.
    • Flags hung about railings, landings and the ceiling.
    • They even decorated the hot tub area to create a Roman spa, complete with mosaic tiles, columns, and graffiti board.
  • 12night-6The hotel’s culinary team actively engaged in the event by serving their own medieval or medieval-inspired dishes.
    • I partook of the dinner buffet with Fiamma the first night. The spread was a delight for the eyes and the tongue, and I was tickled to see one of their chef’s carving a pig.
    • The decoration continued into the dining area. Some of the staff even wore ‘tabards’!
  • This was my first event assisting as part of Their Excellencies of Aquaterra’s retinue under Head Lady Samira al-Waddi.
    • Samira and Halawa had it mostly under control, and it was fun to hang out with Aquaterrans outside of our own events (where my friends and I are usually scrambling to do something or another).
    • 12night-7While enjoying lunch with Their Excellencies & Co., we were entertained with fencing practice on the porch– and the distracted mundane bicyclists and walkers on the river trail going past the porch.
    • Lunch was also productive, as Halawa and I began brainstorming for a potential Andalusian feast event. Thanks to this site,  I was able to discover that Ramadan was held in December in the Western year of 924 AD.12night-9 This is good news, as our barony’s major feast event is held at the beginning of this month.
    • Annnnnnd in the marketplace she found an Andalusian cook-book.
  • This was my first time attending vigils when the peerage ceremony would be conducted at site; I visited three.
    • The most positive was joint vigil, with one of the individuals having been a primary herald in helping me get my primary name registered. I was able to walk right in, present her a token of my thanks, congratulate her for being invited to join the Order of the Pelican. Drink and nerdy discussions flowed freely, while laughter bubbled about period hairstyles and the Santa Cap of Maintenance.
    • 12night-12And there was heraldic marzipan. BECAUSE WE CAN.
  • Thanks to Oddr and others at Heralds’ Point, we got the ball rolling again on registering Fiamma’s name and a device.
    • I also began the process for registering my own device.
  • Court was jam-packed this events, including:
    • Impromptu dancing to tease a knight (who, by claim of the king, noted that “court is boring”),12night-8
    • Musical accompaniments by the Company of An Tir Bards,
    • Two buffets where new knights got hit twice, the first blows going to visiting kings,
    • An ‘assassination attempt’ and the unveiling of King Styrkarr’s exquisite custom armor, and
    • An elevation presentation where the voice herald declared Richenda du Jardin’s badge to be known as, “AHHHHHH, MY EYES!”
  • 12night-13All of this and more was experienced in my new Ancient Egyptian non-sash open robe, which I finished a week before the event. I recieved a number of compliments for this ensemble.
    • Yes, you can see a sash is worn. It’s a non-sash in that a sash isn’t required to wear it. You can find the directions and initial information on it here.
    • I need to do more research on it, but I painted my nails black based on information that Hatsheput’s mummy was found with crimson and black nail polish. And I’m all about the Female Pharaoh.
    • Thanks to the kindness of Halawa, I was able to finish the look with braids (inspired by this archaeological piece).

12night-14Low Notes12night-16

  • Court was 7.5 hours long.
    • And Halawa ate all my chocolate during court. Which, to me, is more funny than annoying.
    • My favorite phrase became, “Thus Ends.”
    • At the end of it all, the Ladies in Waiting dragged ourselves over to Red Robin. We sadly had no energy to watch the Queen’s Rapier Tournament nor swing through the after-elevation parties.12night-15
  • Despite seeing how cool it looked (and bringing my new bathing suit), I didn’t get a chance to use the Roman baths.
    • I did get massage and acupuncture at the marketplace, though.
    • On Friday, I got so turned around by the vigil’s that I lost track of time and missed out on the Shakespeare read through. This was a big bummer for me because I try to be an avid supporter of the bards.
  • I slept late not only on Saturday, but on Sunday as well, thereby missing helping out Samira and Halawa with retinue duties.
    • I felt like such a bum. Fortunately, Samira reassured me that everything was under control.
  • 12night-19The Knight’s Vigil I attended was, for me as a visitor, a very rough experience.
    • For context: This was the first event where I attended any vigils where people would be elevated the next day. The squire in consideration is someone I know outside of the SCA, as well, so I wanted to make sure I gave him support. 12night-11Finally, I read up on information posted to the An Tir Peerage Vigils on etiquette and presumed others would act accordingly.
    • From my perspective, time was not efficiently managed, both by organizers and visitors. A huge delay was caused by an item missing at the advertised start time (which could have been substituted by a piece of paper and the information later transferred), and few – if any – of those at the head of the list appeared to stick to a 5 minute visit.
    • While waiting, I found it really difficult to engage with others. The room was loud, with a few children bouncing around in an already crowded space, and beyond the squire and his lady, I knew no one. 12night-10It got to a point where I just snagged a suggested time from one of the supporting organizers before stepping out.
    • Fortunately, later in the evening I was able to sit with the squire’s lady and a few more familiar faces slipped in. Not so fortunately, these later hours brought colder temperatures– and I was wearing cotton gauze. One squire did take notice and very kindly offered his leg wraps for my feet and did his best to get others to keep the door closed 12night-17(though this got him at least one unkind gesture in the process); I aim to find out his knight and speak of this good deed.
    • The primary list keeper did do his darnedest; I believe he may have been frazzeled, too. He was polite and did check in with me when he was able.
    • Just as I was next in line, the King of the West wandered down the hallway; as far as I’m aware, he wasn’t necessarily aiming to get in to see the vigilee (I could be wrong); however, someone else came in and added his name, effectively bumping me. I was so incensed that I was on the edge of providing the reason for the next An Tir-West War (and probably getting on my baronial warlord’s bad side). After showing up early and still waiting hours,  staying up far past when I should’ve been in bed12night-20, and freezing my circlet off -all for just wanting 2 minutes or less of someone’s attention – most of my respect for precedence was pretty much gone.
    • Somehow, someway, I did manage, without causing any disruption to the King, to grab a hug from my friend and give him a gift – a mouth guard for the ceremonial buffet – before slipping away.

12night-23Lessons Learned12night-3

  • Liquor stores are candy factories for adults. And I’m not just referring to the flavors– the vodka shelves at a Salem store looked like a glass rainbow.
  • Toki’s beard does heraldry.
  • Always bring a warmer set of garb.
    • I was already doing this, but my chilling experience at the knight’s vigil provided ample evidence to support this.
    • And maybe a cooler set. Especially if you’re wearing Elizabethan or run hot.
  • Liquid eyeliner shall forever more be reserved for fine lines and detail work.12night-21
    • It took forever and a day to apply the thicker Egyptian lines compared to when I used a pencil.
  • When attending a busy event, shower or bathe early in the morning or late at night.
    • Cold showers are bad. Showers of inconsistent temperature are worse.
  • My Nikon takes better video than our old video camera.12night-22
  • Acupuncture is interesting. I’m not sure if I’m too fidgety for it or not.
  • When attending Kingdom level events, I will very carefully weigh whether or not I attend vigils from here on.
    • I’m not as skilled at socializing with those I don’t know on my own. As such, it’s better I have a ‘party partner’.
    • I’ll aim to find out if time keeping is being done in the future, especially if the Order of Precedence is being employed.
    • These vigils are not about me and people are aiming to celebrate; as such, if I, as a visitor, don’t have the right mood or energy, I’m not bringing anything helpful to the event. It’s best to share well-wishes later than be a potential downer.

12night-18Want to see more photos? Check out my public album herE!


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