I went to Kingdom University with lots of stuff, and I came back home with even more stuff.
I suppose I should do a write-up. The entire experience started with getting the writ at Visby (more about that here
). That was a pretty awesome day.
The entire Kingdom University experience started with the ferry-ride over there, which was labelled the Nordmark Armada! The airstrike, Lady AElfwynne, started a few hours earlier, but the rest of us were on the 8pm boat from Stockholm heading to Turku. I was in the car with Edricus, William and Isabetta. Helwig was in the car with Åsa, Ludewic and Katarina. The other three cars held Åsa and Martin, Anna and Celemon, and Sara, Iseut and Gilliam. So we were a large invasion force!
We spent Friday basically in Turku, having lunch, going to the museum Aboa Vetus, going off for dinner before finally heading out to the site. We were there around six or six thirty, and started setting up our sleeping quarters, and then changing into period clothes. The others in my party pretty much went off to set up the vigil room and things, and I worked at getting out of their way, and getting the last minute details of my outfit ready.
There was food laid out before court, but I couldn't eat. I was, however, rather dry mouthed for some reason. And the lovely ladies Katheryn, Helena, Melisende and Uta were poking me by threatening some sort of torture. I was easily rattled at this point.
During the evening court there was some piece of business first, I apologize but I forget what, before I was called up, then the Laurels were called up, and Their Majesties Paul and Aryanhwy sent me off to vigil. Mistress Helwig led me off and I didn't leave the vigil room til just before three am. I looked at the time when I crawled into my sleeping bag and it was just after three.
For court I was wearing my new white wool kirtle with green silk and velvet details, over a green brocade petticoat skirt, and my un-embroidered white linen shirt. Underneath it all were a pair of new silk stockings (a gift from Sara Göransdotter), and a pair of linen breeches
sewn by Viscountess Filippa Birgersdotter, as a gift for me. Over the white kirtle I was wearing my green English fitted gown onto which I'd pinned my new suite of ruffs. I had some help to get into them in the end. I should have added some hooks and eyes to close the neck ruff in front, but Lady Iseut solved my problem by bravely sticking a pin through both of the neckline layers 1 mm right in front of my throat. She also helped me to pin together the two layers of the ruff itself to make the ruff into a circle. Since the English fitted gown has picadil edges, I could pin the ruffs to the gown through those. I felt like my gown was hugging me.
On my head I was wearing the version of a French hood posited by Mistress Sarah Wydville. To wit, first a forehead cloth, then a coif, then a piece of silk. I had to do this bit a little improvised. A selvedge width piece of the purple/green silk I used for picadils on the kirtle about 25 cm long was all I had: I folded in some of the length in so the doubled silk formed a nice front edge and tied that around my head over the coif showing the white linen underneath. Then over the top of this I had help pinning a black velvet veil with billiments on.
I had Lord Edricus take pictures of this before court and I think I look like an effigy.
After I was led into the vigil room and before the rest of the visitors were let in I had the ladies help me out of the outer layers. The velvet veil, and the silk came off along with the suite of ruffs and the English fitted gown. I sat my vigil in the linen underthings and new white wool kirtle, plus the pure white linen forehead cloth and coif.
In with me were lots and lots of cookies - mad amount of cookies, I had two thermos flasks of tea, and water, and Lord Ludewic Nilsson provided me with a bottle of his own delicious port. I kept forgetting to offer the visitors nibbles or port, so when the vigil guards tried to bring in a fresh tray of cookies I had pretty much all of the first load left.
I slept in til eleven or so, managing to get up in time to have lunch as breakfast. Then I attended a couple of classes (Raghnil's on needleworked buttons and William's on lines of clothing - both very good), then I went to have a lie down and prepare for evening court.
It took a while, and did require a little help with the hair-do, etc. I laced in the sleeves into my white kirtle, which I couldn't do on Friday because they wouldn't fit under the over-gown. I wore my green belt for the last time. I wore it during the vigil on Friday night as well. I minimised the bling, though, wearing my pearl earrings, and my big green malachite ring as well as my silver & hematite ring which I never take off. I did not wear my silver necklace which I otherwise always wear - Mistress Helwig told me in no uncertain term that "bling would be provided". I didn't put on any headwear, coming into court with only my hair braided and put up.
During court some lovely gentles received some well-deserved awards, among them Lord Knut, Lady AElfwynne and Mistress Johanna and Lord Helgi all got Panaches. I was astounded Johanna didn't have one yet, and much pleased to usher AElfwynne up into the presence as she didn't believe it was her name that was called.
Eventually the Order of the Laurel were called up and Mistress Helwig was asked to go fetch the candidate, i.e. me.
There were words, the speakers were for the Laurels: Mistress Helwig. For the Pelicans: Mistress Katheryn, for the Chivalry: Sir William and for the Royal peers: Duchess Alessandra Melusine.
I was not informed of who was speaking in advance, although I was fairly sure about Helwig and Katheryn. I was totally surprised that Mel wanted to speak for me, and very honoured by her words and by the others' as well. I was afraid I might not let myself feel the moment, instead keeping in control, but when Helwig started speaking for me I burst into tears and that continues pretty much the rest of the way through the speakers.
Then I received the medallion
- made by Master SvartulvR Kåte as the first piece of casting he did after returning from having received his own in October last year. I wept again when I saw it.
The Drachenwald Laurel cloak was put on me by Mistress Helena and Mistress Uta (I saw in a couple of pictures afterwards, I wasn't aware of who did that at the time), and Mistress Katheryn put the laurel Chaplet, an embroidered coif
, on my head. I wasn't really aware of her at the time, but I knew it would be her, because she took it off me after I fit it to my head right before court.
Then the scroll was read and Their Majesties held it up. I cried again when I saw it. Mistress Melisende Fitzwalter made me exactly the scroll I most would have wanted.
Then I had the oath of fealty left. I had decided early on that I wanted to use our old oath, the one the West Kingdom, and many others, still uses, but with a couple of alterations. I took a couple of deep breaths, and started in on it at my cue. My voice broke a bit to start with, but I had memorised it and managed to recite it in full:
Here to I swear,
by mouth and hand,
fealty and service to the Crown and Kingdom of Drachenwald.
To speak and to be silent,
to come and to go,
to teach and to learn,
to do and to let be,
in matters as concern the kingdom,
on my honour and the lawful command of the Crown.
In need or in plenty,
from this hour henceforth
until the Crown depart from their thrones,
or death take me,
or the world end.
So say I, Lia de Thornegge
That was pretty much that.
I was looking forward to feast with my household enormously - since they'd been busy preparing, setting up, and then holding classes I didn't see them very much all of the event - but it was not to be as me and Edricus had been invited to sit at High Table. The feast facilities were a bit special, with the High table seating 16 in one separate room and the rest of the populace in three other rooms. But sitting next to King Paul is never uninteresting, and I had a good time. The food was lovely too. I had a bottle of sparkling wine with my food and by the end of the evening after feast, I eventually got to sit down with Edricus, Helwig, William and Isabetta all in the same room for more than two minutes. Both me and Helwig were very tired though, and we went to bed along with Isabetta at about midnight - I think.
Sunday was another day spent in Turku, before the ferry ride home and the documentation of all the presents