This past weekend was my locally Barony's annual Gathering of the Clan event. This tends to be a silly/relaxed event, a lot of fun and games are had here and a good time overall. This was my first attendance at it actually, I missed last years due to a work conflict so I was looking forward to the fun and games. I had a lot of fun overall, and am always pleased to see my friends receive awards for their good works, but I also found myself learning a lot of things this event.
Here's my list of things learned, transcribed from my notebook. If I feel I need to expand the details, I will.
. Always plan ahead. Do not assume help will come, either get it yourself or plan to do the task without it.
. Do not overbook. If people have to be at certain places, make sure they don't have to be in 3 places at once. Set a good pace.
. Always take time to sit and answer questions, you never know who will decide to be chatty and you may just discover a new friend.
. Don't forget to put your contact info on your class hand-out :p
. When doing a Feast, you WILL hit a wall. You WILL hit a point where you're lot in the weeds and having your meltdown. Since you know that will happen, have someone be in the Feast prep team who's sole job is to get you through that breakdown point. They will save that feast and make sure you get back on schedule.
. Always triple check your portions, make sure you have enough ingredients!
. Roll with the punches. Some dishes may need to be scrapped mid meal, others may need to be rearranged That's ok, that happens. That's not a hallmark of a bad cook, that's the reality of working in an unbalanced system called life.
. Cue cards for each dish, including ingredients, is a gold idea. Stealing that.
. Always carry personal spice and ingredients, you never know when emergency flour is needed!
. Sometimes, no matter how many times you double/triple check with someone, people forget things. Don't sweat it when they do, and just be ready to have their back when they need it.
. Faith is terrifying with thrown weapons. Do not piss her off when you re in a 70 foot radius.
. When you have the opportunity to put out a fire, do it. When you have the chance to tip the scales, tip them. When you can rush to catch the vase, catch it. But above all, remember that when you do these things you do them for chivalry and honors sake; not for the sake of notice or reward or praise.
. There are times that I forget Eva was a Queen of the East, but she will always find a way to remind me through her generosity and kindness and decorum.
. Pre-planning, pre-planning, pre-planning. Organize the web page, advertise the merchants, put the merchants in a good place for foot traffic, put everything where you said you would.
. Always assume that they will not follow your directions, follow behind to ensure compliance.
. "But the Baroness said" is a way to earn a smacking.
. Amalric is hilarious when drunk.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
The smell of coffee and fresh cooked eggs woke Morie Gray before the quick peck on her cheek. She shifted in hopes to catch a glimpse of the delivery man, but she knew her dearest was already off and running to his next task. How Christoff could care to wake so early on a holiday weekend was beyond her, but the perk of delivered breakfast was enough to cause her reason to rise from beneath the blankets and off the rugs. She quickly dressed, the Scottish attire was perfect for the Trimarian climate due to its breathing room and ease of dressing, and she stumbled towards the center of camp before her fellows could.
Portioning out the breakfast to her companions, Morie let her mind unfog as she tried to plan her day. She knew that there was some scribal work to be done, but it would be nice and leisurely transcribing work. Giving a smile and a plate to those who stumbled out of tents, she was wide awake by the time the others had begun to eat. "Good morning James, good morning Milesenda. Sleep well?" She asked.
James gave a grunt and a nod, going first for the black gold in a cup before even considering the eggs. Milesenda gave him a knowing look and happily takes a bite of the breakfast. "We did, but James got significantly less than the rest of us. Per usual." She teases her husband, who's gruff look is melted by the soft kiss to his brow.
"Bard work lasts until the last fire circle drops, which wasn't till nearly 3am." James responds sleepily, though life was fast coming to his eyes as he began his second cup of coffee.
Morie shook her head and laughed at her friends morning ritual, it was the same every long gathering. This weekend was known as the Trimaris Memorial Tournament, a several day affair celebrating the founding of the kingdom. Christoff had already dashed off to feed the masses, no doubt the Archers were in service to the gate boundaries or to the Wyvernwoode Excellencies, and who knows what Adriano had gotten himself into this time. Later this day heirs to the throne would be selected, proving the line of succession was strong. A grand feast and court would need to be held, thankfully Milesenda had already prepared all of the scrolls needed.
At least, this was the assumption. That was quickly proven false as Adriano came sprinting from the direction of the royal encampment, red faced and out of breath as he arrived into camp. James sighs and grabs a piece of toast, shoving it into his mouth and speaking around it as he buckles his sword belt "Alright brother, what trouble are you in now?" He teased, then took a bite of the bread.
"Trouble? No, there was a simple misunderstanding last night involving a Gypsy and an Italian woman. See she, the Gypsy, thought I was flirting with her and proposing a marriage contract. Not that I wasn't flirting, but that's not the point I - I am totally off topic." Scowling at his sword brother and trying not to smirk at the friendly laugh, he grabs a swig of water to refresh himself. "I bring a message from Her Majesty, the Queen of Trimaris, to Milesenda. They need a Grant of Arms scroll for high court this evening."
Milesenda's eyes grew wide and from her mouth issued forth a set of rather unladylike words thankfully in French Morie had been meaning to learn the language, but she didn't need to know French to understand that her friend was rather upset. "A Grant of ARms, in this kind of notice!? I don't have enough ingredients for ink, I'l need to construct a new brush or three, I'll need to barter for the parchment..." Standing up in a panic, she dashes for the tent to start gathering her pouches and harvesting materials.
Adriano blushed apologetically at delivering the news, but soon sits down to share breakfast with James as they discuss the adventures they both had undergone last evening. Morie sighs, they just didn't understand what was needed for this task but she wasn't sure they ever would. Their boasting stories between the two brothers were bad enough, that Norsemen story they both insist on retelling couldn't possibly be true, she had given up on trying to get them to understand or have them believe the work went into a scroll. Alas, she knew Milesenda couldn't go this alone and went to get her gathering pouch as well as well as her trimming shears. It was going to be a long day.
* * * * * * * * *
The sun had just begun its climb across the morning sky, and Morie and Milesenda were already running full sprint. Chimera are difficult as it is to approach, temperamental creatures that are best avoided whenever possible, but in the early morning at least they can be caught sleepy and off their guard. A quick snip from Morie's scissors got the needed tuft of fur for 5 brushes, but had awoken the creature with a start. Ducking behind a large rock, they both pant and catch their breath as the beast hunts for them.
"Why do we need this particular hair again?" Morie pants, looking over to Milesenda and speaking in a hushed tone.
"Nothing paints as fine, nor smooths gold as clean. It the properties of the hair, almost like silk. We need it to spread the green ink anyway." Milesenda responds promptly, trying to retain her ladylike demeanor while sweating and out of breath.
A roar as the creature bounds towards them causes both the women to dash off and running, heading back towards the trail. Tired of running, Morie pauses and stops next to a large stone easily the size of a small child. Bending down and grunting, she hefts the large rock high into the air and as the chimera dashes forward she drops it on the beasts lion head. The animal crashes down, stunned, and Milesenda jogs back to her friend. Giving a low whistle she looks to the young Scotswoman. "Where did you learn that?"
Morie shrugs, wiping the earth dust off on her lower dress. "Highland games, you get really good at lifting awkward and heavy objects. Also, sometimes Scottish men need reminding that no means no."
Sharing a laugh, they both bend down to the unconscious animal. No point in wasting a good prize, and the mane will grow back fast enough.
* * * * * * * * *
Morie tiptoed towards the great beast, swallowing hard. Standing up to an overgrown cat was one thing, walking close to a sleeping sea dragon was something entirely different. She looked back at Milesenda, who was busy keeping the beast enthralled and asleep with her voice, and hoped the dust wasn't as bad as yesterday.
Milensenda knew there was a nest of sea dragons nearby, but she imagined there would have to be swimming involved to catch ones attention. This one was busy basking in the sun along the beach, unaware of the two ladies as they approached the three-headed creature. The sea dragon was soothed and comforted by the sound of a female voice, its why the mermaids were able to tame so many, but it took a lot of singing and the french woman was getting parched. "Please get the scale we need, I can't sing like this all week!" She shrilled melodically.
"Dragon scales are naturally resistant, I need to pull one right this instant. Sing something soothing so, the pain does not wake him oh" Morie sang back, trying to emulate Milesenda's voice but jarring in a minor chord. The beast stirred and threatened to wake, and Morie froze. Looking in panic, she waffled on dashing back to safety and looked towards the other for comfort or assistance.
Milesenda could sense and see the beast stirring, and shifted her voice to sing a soft song about the Sea King to bring the beast back to slumber. A heavy eye on one of the three heads began to open, but the power behind her words had the noble creature slowly drift back to its restless slumber. Singing with a sound of relief, she watched as Morie carefully yanked a single green scale from the beasts side and quickly scramble back. Milesenda kept singing till they crested the hill, then dashed back to safety away from the water.
"Where did you learn to sing like that?" Morie asks, shaking her head in disbelief.
"Besides having a bard for a husband? Battle scribing requires a wide variety of skills, to harvest the rare pigment ingredients." Pausing as she checks the list, she sighs in frustration. "I do not want to barter with dwarves for more gold..."
"Right? They just don't appreciate us, I think its the lack of beard." Morie adds sagely.
* * * * * * * *
The two ladies drug themselves back into the scribal hall erected on the site, the other scribes could see the work they had gone through that day and sympathized. After a brief lunch the real work began, the drawing and the word etching to craft the masterpiece Her Majesty had requested. Pausing mid-afternoon for a break, the other scribes all brought out their barter items to trade. Morie's haul of chimera hair was a big hit, easily traded for Elvish quicksilver and giant hair the others had brought with them. Trading supplies was always a happy experience, especially when the rarer inks are brought out.
Come the court that evening, the scroll was awarded with great fanfare and welcomed tears from the recipient. Morie and Milesenda relaxed back in their chairs, hands tired and sore from the frantic writing and drawing that had been done all day. Leaning over to kiss her and take her hand, Christoff smiles at his sweetheart. "That's an amazing piece of work love, do you think you could whip something up like that for me tomorrow? See it is a friends Peerage anniversary and..."
His words trail off and he falls silent at the glares threatening bodily harm from both Morie and Milesenda.
"Or..you know, I could not ask that of you.." he grinned sheepishly.