Nesscia’s Missives: Of Queen’s Prize Tournament

Image from Huntington Library Ms HM 60, f°7, 15th C.

Letter from Home
February 10, AS LIII
Being 2019 of the Common Era

My Dear Cristina,

I pray your journey is at an end and this missive finds you again at your estates. I oft desire you to take wing as a bird and fly swiftly home so we may bend the elbow and tell tales of our adventures.

Indeed, I am tardy in setting pen to parchment. Ever do intentions go awry, as my fondest wish would have been to write this missive upon alighting from my wagon and the end of my day’s journey last evening.

With Her Populace readying for war, our Ever Gracious Queen Catalina looked around and understood, seeing tempers flare and worry upon the faces. She called a tournament of Artisans and Bards and Craftsfolk as a necessary diversion to calm hearts!

There gathered in the Shire of Lost Moor some 300 of the folk from around Calontir. Some to enter the Queen’s Tournament, some to judge Her entries, and some to learn and teach.

So many innovations and so much skill and such incredible beauty were on display!

Some from our own Barony of the Lonely Tower brought their crafts as well. Mine own brother William Radulfus, who paints so skillfully, brought his game boards. I made the hand signs for him throughout the day so he could understand the spoken word. Also Wulfþryð Maynes displayed a lovely hand sewn tunic she made for another. And Zafara Baabur learned wonderful needle work from the lands of Armenian and Croatia and showed her talent.

Their Most Royal Majesties went through the rooms seeing every craft put on view. Her Majesty spoke with every entrant, listening intently, and providing a gift for each from Her Own Hand.

At the end of the day, Their Majesties held Court so each participant could be recognized and given a token of appreciation.

Special recognition was given to Finán Mac Crimthainn by the judges. He made a wondrous blue pigment for the scribes to use. He made it from rock!

The populace at large gave special recognition to Tessie of Cum on Iolair for a wee babys cradle she wove from wooden strips. Her babes are truly fortunate to have such a talented mother.
And the Queen herself recognized Andromir Vukovic for learning the ancient way of making a Byzantine lamp to bring light to the darkness of night.

You know well the simplicity of the clothing I make. Yet, ever am I pleased with the results, and brought the garb I recently completed for our good friend Astrid Esbjornsdotter. I shall have to see the priest and confess my sin of pride, for many of our countryfolk mentioned the quality of my workmanship.

The day was long and cold. I departed my estates ere the sun rose with my breath cloudy in the air. When I returned t’was after the sun had set and my breath still clouded the air.

I know not if it was from the evil passed hand to hand when the populace gathers or if it is from the broth from the inn or all the delicacies I tasted throughout the day or mayhaps a misalignment of the stars. During my drive home, I could feel my humors were off. By the time I arrived back to my home, I took to my bed straight away. Upon arising this morn I am little better, though I pray my humors are balanced again soonest.

Nonetheless, glad I am knowing of our visit this coming week, and I trust you are settling well back at your estates.

Until the appointed time, I remain ever your friend,