Heralding, Spring Crown 2023

I think the thing to start doing here is to just chronicle all the words I use to herald in various couples to Crown Tournaments. That said, here’s the three couples I was asked to do for Æthelmearc Spring Crown 2023: Bjarki & Gabrielle de Winter, Abdul & Genevieve, and Angus the Bull & Agnes.

Bjarki and Gabrielle received my third installment of quasi/proto Skaldic verse. Honestly, I feel like these are getting worse, not better. I’ve devolved from actually attempting to hit the historical structures to just jamming in a lot of alliteration and kennings. I need to do better next time; I probably should start working on it now. Maybe I actually will. I mean, I like them and I think they’re saying what I want them to say… just not “correctly”. Yet.

Bjarki & Gabrielle de Winter, Spring 2023

All-father Raven God clears his throat
Thor’s thought and aim-gem both drawn to Midgard
Mighty men mass there, battle-shirted birches
Bjarki bruin of blood, red-weapon wielder
With well-witted Winter, brooch-bearing beauty
Best bench-mate, far-come from sunset side
Sword-storm soon coming, blind blusterer’s blizzard
Beating of blades, many death-beds soon filled.

Brow’s sky afire, the helmet land’s dwarf-ring
Rightly retained by Andreas, sylvan suzerain
Czarina Kallista, halcyon fir-tree of gold
Gracefully gives good guidance, gentling his wildness
When well-wielded wound sticks contest for their crown
Comes the feeder of wolves, the raven’s delight
Displaying his war-sun, it’s paint black and bloody
Bjarki! His blood-brand a torch for your pyres.

Abdul and Gen gave me a chance to do something super-historical. I found “Letter on the appearance of the twelfth caliph” (Risāla fī ẓuhūr al-khalīfa al-thānī ʻashar) (Arabic text editing and English translation by Mauro Nobili) online at https://journals.openedition.org/afriques/1958 and hacked it up to meet my needs. Rather than hailing the appearance of the 12th descendent of Muhammad (bpuh), it now reads as, essentially, a warning to the king and queen and all the peoples of Æthelmearc that Abdul is coming for the crown.

Abdul Ishkhan Al-Rashid & Genevieve, Spring 2023

“To the fair Kingdom of Æthelmearc, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the most Prosperous, the most Beneficient. May blessings and perfect peace be on our Sylvan Sultan, Andreas Morgan, his Sultana, Kallista Morganova, his household and his companions gathered here today. “You are summoned to the Abode of Peace.”

This is a warning for you, a notification, an enlightenment, a reminder, and an admonition to those remaining, to the Shaykh of the Lands of the Windmill, the Copper Tree, the Dominion of Myrkfaelin, to the Shaykh of the Lands of the Three Ravens, to the Shaykh and peoples far and hither of the Mountains of Black Stones, the Shaykh of the Ice Dragon lands and their lands along the beautiful river, to the Shaykh of the Never-ending Hills and his wards, the Gray River, the scholars in the Kuliyat Aldawla, the Home of Hunters, to the Shaykh of the Bog of Swithin Alqidiys, all the way to the Shaykh of the Steel City of the West, and to this Port Oasis in the East, and surrounding areas extending to the Mountains and Lakes and Rivers that border these lands.

After the fullest and most complete greetings of peace, the all-encompassing and perfect honor, know that a Jewel of Æthelmearc, Sayyid Abdul Ishkhan Al-Rashid, with his Western Sayyida Genevieve, is the one who stood up to revive and contest for their claim to become Amir and Amira of this Kingdom of Æthelmearc, its surrounding territories to the east, west, south and north, and in good time to be the the fifty-and-first Sultan and Sultana and renewer of the faith of this fair Kingdom.

Here ends what is necessary to report. I, Shaykh Snorri skyti Bjarnarson, urge and press all those who receive these words of mine to make a copy of them and to send them to everybody who they think did not receive what is included in them. I also urge and press the carrier of the letters to gather the People of the Barunia, the Shayir, the Kantunat, and the Al’Kuliyaat that he passes through and he thinks did not hear of it to read the letter to them or inform them orally, according to his capability.

Peace be upon you all.”

This was probably way too long. I hate going long, the focus should be on the combatant and their consort, not me. I need to time everything from now on and make sure they’re all under 30 seconds, ideally 20-25 seconds long. I won’t do something this long again.

Having done two super-serious processions, we came to Angus, who really wanted something funny to take his mind off the upcoming tournament. Say no more, fam.

Angus the Bull & Agnes, Spring 2023

Now, this is a story all about how
Æthelmearc got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, since this crowd is full
To tell you all about His Lordship Angus, the Bull

In the Barony of Thescorre, born and raised
On the battlefield was where he spent most of his days
Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’, all cool
And all fightin’ some pickups outside of the school
When a couple of knights who were up to no good
Started making trouble in his neighborhood
He got in one little fight and Agnes declared
She said, “You’re fightin’ for me in crown so you best get prepared!”

Full credit to Halfdan who suggested it as a joke. Little did he know, hah! I even asked the crowd for some hand claps to assist, which they did with a lot of enthusiasm, if a little less rhythmic skills. Naturally this seemed to be the best-received of all three.

My only regret here is that I wasn’t wearing a bycocket so I could turn the bill sideways.

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