[SCA-AE] Proud of Aethelmearc Bards
sleepyunicorn at roadrunner.com
sleepyunicorn at roadrunner.com
Mon Mar 28 11:42:13 EDT 2011
The Barony of Concordia held an amazing event on Saturday. They recruited Bards from the East, from Aethelmearc, from the Mid, who came to perform sections of Beowulf.
Concordia took an average "hall" and made it an amazing Viking Hall. Each performer who did a section did it in their won way, so we had sections done to a drum, that were sung, that were done with harp notes, that were chanted, that were physically performed as well as recited.
It was an amazing day, taking from 1 pm into the evening to complete the whole thing - and with lots of food for the intermissions.
I don't think I have been to such an interesting event in a long time. I can't do it better than their seneschal said it, so I repeat his posting here.
Aethelmearc, It was an inspired event, and the people from Aethelmearc that were there deserve the applause (foot stomping, cheering, pounding that the Viking Hall gathering gave!).
Beowulf, the Event
Magic it was, for the room that had been was gone and in its place a mead
hall tall and proud. Standing were eight logs, at least a foot across each, hand
hewn to remove the bark, adz marks upon their surface still showing ten
years or more since they were first felled, rising a dozen feet into the
rafters. Each held two cross beams that joined them into a rectangle three
rods long by one rod wide, eight trees standing strong. The cross beams,
too, were hewn from trees, though theses were, perhaps, a little smaller in
their girth. Tenoned into their supports, to share and mete out the load of
the roof above, they did show their makers skill well, for a flee would have
had difficulty getting into the joints. These makers were proud of their
work, for they had carved their names into the wood with chisel or knife.
Centered in the hall and going its length was a fire pit, dug into what had
been hard floor only the day before. This fire pit was one fire log deep,
for the coals could be seen glowing at the bottom. Piled on to these coals
were two layers of fire logs, so that the logs stood one log above the pit.
The smoke of the fire filled nostrils as people entered the hall, the flames
low but visible. At the far end of the hall stood two pillars of stone, with
braziers on top of each, flames providing light by which to see.
Fine tapestries hung upon the walls, the weavers skill clear to any that
might look. And look they did, for the tapestries depicted legends from long
The hosts had expected many to come hear the tale to be told that night,
for they had brought benches from many makers, each with his own style of
work. This proved a boon, for each bench was used, and the various sizes and
shapes did allow each person to find a match to their shape. Perhaps a few
more could have been seated had the need arouse, unless those who chose to
sit on sheep skins had, instead chosen benches. All in attendance appeared
as comfortable as possible, but some clearly showed their weariness from
travel or other labor.
Thus did start the tale of Beowulf, which shall not be repeated here, as
most have heard it, and those who have not should hear it from those well
gifted in its telling. Know this though: no one is likely to hear the tale
told as well as it was that night. Thirty one mouths, each in turn, spoke
well to one hundred-four pairs of ears.
Hours passed as the tale unfolded, yet few noticed the time, for their
attention was on the saga before them. The hosts, however, were not so
tricked, and at the appointed hour table were set to serve all who would
partake. A feast of fish and meat and fowl was brought forth, and the sound
in the hall quieted as all amazed in the excellence of the food. Side dishes
of root vegetables and fruit did round out this fine repast, and a course of
sweets did complete it. Though all were stated, food did remain, and the
poor did not go hungry that day.
After dinner, the tables were cleared and removed so that the story could
continue. The fire was refreshed to provide warmth against the now cold
night, a task at which it was more than adequate. No soul shivered in that
As the tale of Beowulf came to a close, the hall erupted in cheers and
thunder of stamping feet and pounding hands. No one could leave unimpressed
Within hours of the last word, the mead hall was gone, replaced by that
which had been there before. No trace of the fire pit remained; it was once
again a stone hard floor. The magic was gone to be held in memories fond.
In the years to come, five hundred or more will claim to have been there,
for this was a spectacle none should have missed. Well spoken were the verse
speakers all. The hall builders did take all to a place and time few had
visited before. The cooks provided repast that satisfied all.
Those whose could not be there will well rue the duties that took them
elsewhere, for they are far poorer for it. To those who made this event
happen, I thank you. I am forever in your debt.
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