Ice Dragon

My Millrind Scroll

Something else happened at Ice Dragon this year — I received my grant-level award for service, Æthelmearc’s Order of the Millrind. Not only was I floored by being inducted into this order, but the scroll itself absolutely blew me away. Scrolling through my blog, you’ll find that I’ve been studying Old Icelandic and Old Norse, and Master Fridrikr Tomasson has been gracious and patient with me as I’ve asked for his assistance with proofing my very basic works. Master Fridrikr studies and composes his own poetry and songs in Old Norse and Old Icelandic, and he did me the incredible honor of composing (because it can be called no less!) my scroll. THL Sophie Davenport calligraphed it, basing it on an early 14th century Icelandic manuscript, and I am so eager to get this framed properly and hung on my wall. So here is a photo of the scroll, and the notes and work from Master Fridrikr.

 

Dottir vigaskeggs – Littu! – Fríðr Ássir – Littu! Hon hveri skaldar kvæða —

Hvergætr at stömpum ·
sjóða mat Sölvas ·
góðarhöllum Hlín ·
heilsar steinnar svart! ·
Hungra eða þorstlátr ·
arins-Frigg þeim huggar ·
Jarðar elskað Ás iel ·
elli ormvangs Ullar!

Margar dagstundar hefa starfaði hon at sóðhusi góðar svertsteinnum. Margar dagstundar hefa spenna er armanna at góðarhöllum. Hon hafa fœrðir líta á riki grœna var.

Fyrar á hlutar þessa ok hlýja arinheilas hennar ok sólbros, Vér, Margerite, Drottning allr Aeðelmarks, ok Marcus, Konungr okkar, fremja Ástriðr Vigaskegg á Bróðerni Fjöttur Mylnar Okkar. Ok gáfu sköld hönn — Rauð, þryir höfuð ulfa ok aðilbandi silfri frettið rauð. Bjoðum þetta daginn átti Einnmanuðar vetr fyrstr sétta tigar landsbygðar at Rhydderich Hael goðorð um Blóts Drekar Ísi.

Behold the the Daughter of Battle-Bearded – Beloved of the gods! She of whom the poet spoke:

The cauldron keeper cooks
meat in Solvi’s s tub —
The Goddess of the hall
of the Black Stone chieftain hails!
Hungry or thirsty, them
the Hearth-goddess comforts —-
Gods’ beloved of the ancient ground
of the serpent field of Ullr’s storm!

She has toiled many hours in the kitchens of Blackstone Baron. She has spent many days as steward in the Baron’s halls. She has given in countless ways to make our Sylvan realm shine!

For these things, and for her heart-warmth and sun-smile, We, Marguerite, Queen of All Æthelmearc, and Marcus, Our King, advance Ástríðr Vigaskegg to our Most Noble Order of the Millrind. Also, we grant her arms: Gules, three wolf’s heads couped argent and a chief argent fretty gules. Done this 8th day of April, in the 51st year of the settlement, in Our Barony of the Rhydderich Hall, at the Feast of the Ice Dragon!

NOTES:

Astriðr´s name literally means “Beloved of the Gods, Battle Beard” – this leads to two verbal “tricks” I played here. The first is in the beginning of the scroll where I address her directly. The second is in the poem. So, to the poem.
This is an attempt at writing málahátr <http://www.trobar.org/prosody/pnort.php>, one of the older poetic forms. It has several kennings in it:

line 1-2: This is a kenning describing Ástriðr as a cook. “stömpum mat Solvas” [Solvi’s meat tub] comes from chapter 145 of Njals saga. Solvi is a meat-seller who winds up head first in his own boiling meat cauldron. Who says the Norse weren’t funny.

lines 3-4: “góðarhöllum Hlín” [Hlín of the chieftain’s hall] – the Goddess of the hall is the steward. Thus, Ástriðr.

lines 5-6: “arins-Frigg” [Frigg of the hearth] – Goddess of the hearth – again, the generous Ástriðr.

lines 7-8: Two kennings here. “elskað Ás” [beloved of the Gods] and “jarðar elli ormvangs” [the ancient ground of the serpent field] > BEARD + “Ullar iel” [Ullr’s storm] > BATTLE. This is a complex kenning for Ástriðr’s name.

The only other wording of note is the naming of the order. As the word “millrind” does not exist in Old Norse. So, I used “Bróðerni Fjöttur Mylnar” [Brotherhood of the Fetter of the Mill].

The scroll itself is by THL Sophie Davenport. It is modeled on the manuscript, AM 45, the Codex Frisianus, created between 1300-1324. You can find the images of the manuscript here <https://handrit.is/en/manuscript/imaging/da/AM02-045…>.

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Sasson’s Keystone Scroll

At Ice Dragon this weekend, my dear friend Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria received his Keystone (AoA-level service award) in Their Majesties’ evening court, and I had the distinct pleasure of being responsible for the scroll for this award. Sasson is one of my oldest friends, and I wanted to do something special for him, so I sneakily asked him in advance for a list of the individuals who inspire him most in the SCA. I was given a list of his Laurel, Mistress Ann Greye, the late Master Fiachra Bonesetter, myself!, Countess Kallista Morganova, and Baroness Chrestienne de Waterdene. Along with Their Majesties Marcus and Margerite and himself, I put worked all of these individuals into this scroll, then shipped it up to BMDL to the wonderful Master Kameshima Zentarou Umakai for wording and calligraphy. It’s based on the Reformatio Languentis Animae, Manuscript (MS Douce 373), c. 1538, found online at the Web Gallery of Art. For my part, I used India ink pens on Bristol paper.

 

Reformatio Languentis Animae, Manuscript (MS Douce 373), c. 1538

The White Heart – Poetry by Darian

I forgot that there was one last post about Ice Dragon to make! Better late than never, right?

My fiance, THL Darian, entered his first ever A&S competition at The Tournament of the White Hart in early March, then took his entry, a poem, to the Ice Dragon Pent a month later. This was the second poem he’d written for me for a White Hart Tournament, and here are two of the three versions he submitted for judging — the modern English and the Chaucerian English version.

Foreword:

This piece is an alliterative poem, following the style of The Pearl Poets Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight, dated in the late 14th century. The two copies of the same poem are in modern English, and translated to Middle English, following the dialect of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a contemporary piece to the Pearl Poet, written in the late 14th century as well.

The Pearl is an example of the alliterative verse revival known as the Alliterative Revival. The movement emerged in England in the mid-14th century, continuing through the 15th century. The typical characteristics of Alliterative style syllabic count, coupled with alliterative stresses. Each line would contain a separative pause, known as a caesurea, in essence splitting the line in two. The Pearl poet differentiated from some of these norms in that he allowed variable lengths to lines and groups, as well as including an end point on each stanza, known as a bob and wheel. This tradition would start with a short line, followed by a rhymed section.

Included with these works is an extra example highlighting the stresses and caesuras to better allow reading, for as many who have studied Middle English poetry will agree, it often seems meant to be read aloud.

 

The White Heart – Modern English
by THL Darian ValskiOh host please hear of humbleness true

Before thee Brought my brilliant joy

A Lord willed low by lovely might

To show thee shine I should employ

Like Paris saw Pale his paired soul

In Helens grip held the great heart fast

Come forth in form as forged in Troy

Astrid

May thee look to me,

For sadness be rid

Our hearts too, free

Look to here, I bid.

If would such words but Worthy plan

To grace the gift for my tongues relief

I should tell long tales of truest beauty

When should eyes be shift but by shy glory

I draw of her dreams as driven before

Her passion has paced the purest of chase

To home made her heart of my holy soul

The White Hart

Which Gawans hounds bayed

His travails would thwart

My hand though stayed

Wise by her Heart

As Pellinore would prove of aids plea true

Her voice made vital in verity sound

I learn fair lore from love to know

My flaw made fierce by mind fault free

To honor we hold as holy should be

Family by fortune did freely make she

For all good I gain her givith to me

I am here

And weak as a fool

Would cry voiced sheer

Upon the fates spool

Show her Glory clear

The White Heart – Middle English
by THL Darian ValskiOh host plees here of humblesse true

Bifore thee brought my Brighte joye

A Lord willed lowe by lovely might

To showe the shyne I should imploye

As Paris sawe pale his paired soule

In Helenes grip held the grate hart faste

Come forth in forme as forged in Troye

Astrid

May thee look to me

For sadnesse be rid

Our hart to free

Look here, I bid

If wold such words but worthy plan

To grace the gifte for my tonges relief

I sholde telle longe tales of truest beautee

When sholde tell eye shifte but by shy glory

I drawe of hir dreems as driven before

Hir passion has paced the purest of chase

To home made hir hart of my holy soule

The White Hart

Which Gawain houndes bayed

His travails wold thwart

My hand though stayed

Wyse by hir hart

As Pellinore wold prov of aids plee true

Hir vois made vital in verity sounde

I lern fair lore from love to know

My flaw made fiers by mind falt free

To honour we hold as holy shoulde be

Family by fortune dide freely make she

For alle good I gain she gaveth to me

I am here

And weke as a fool

Wold cry voised shere

Upon fates spool

She her glorie clere

Marek’s Vigil Food

image

Photo by Lord Sasson

For Marek’s vigil at Ice Dragon, I had the task of creating a Viking-themed spread. This wasn’t as easy as one may imagine, because most of their food was boiled or otherwise cooked in a pot in some way, cheese wasn’t incredibly common, and fish was prevalant near the coast. None of these things are particularly helpful, so I aimed for derivatives.

I used my recipe for Keftedes (meatballs) as for Baron Janos’ vigil, but used beef and pork this time. I used 6lbs of meat and filled a crockpt to bursting with them and somehow had meatballs left over.

Angel’s food is a modern take on a sweet Viking cheese that calls for simply mixing honey and ricotta. I served it with berries and wheat crackers.

The rest was fairly derived but made for good snacks — slices of cheese, crackers, lightly roasted herbed almonds, pickles, figs, and raw berries, apples, and pears.

I am very thankful to Sir Ian for providing his delicious baklava, to Lady Aine ny Alain for her bacon wrapped dates stuffed with feta cheese in a garlicky balsamic vinegar reduction, to Lord Sasson for the strawberry jam and shortbread cookies, and to Mistress Bryn for the white-belt sugar cookie.

Tartlets for Laurencia’s Vigil

I was honored to have Baron Janos ask me to contribute tartlets for Laurencia’s vigil at Ice Dragon. I’m not overly familiar with medieval English food, so I relied on recipes from the good folks over at Medieval Cookery.

Photo by Sir Ian
Photo by Sir Ian.

I made well over 10 dozen tartlet crusts using their recipe Short Paest for Tartes (A Proper New Booke of Cookery, 1575). The recipe calls for 1 1/2c flour, half a stick of butter, 2 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp salt, a pinch of saffron, and ~ 1/2c water. After rubbing the butter into most of the ingredients, add water until the dough just sticks together. Let it rest, roll it out, and fill your pan with the dough. What I failed to notice was that I’d grabbed the self-rising flour instead of the all-purpose, so my tartlet crusts got a bit fluffy..

..which nixed the Ember Day Tarts from my planned offerings. So I went with the other two I’d planned: Chardewardon and Mon Amy.

Chardewardon (various 15th century books) is a light custard made by creating a “pear sauce” (as you would applesauce), then adding egg yolks to thicken it. The recipe calls for one egg yolk per pear, softened by simmering in wine. I added ginger and cinnamon while the pears softened, strained the liquid off, then added yolks and half the amount of sugar the recipe called for and simmered until it thickened. I grew frustrated with this recipe because it didn’t thicken as I’d expected it to in the pot, but rather thickened and sat up after cooling in the fridge overnight. The resulting custard is light and refreshing, and I’ll likely make it again for feasts and non-medieval functions.

Mon Amy (A Noble Boke of Cookry, 1468) is, essentially, a medieval cheesecake, and I chose it for this reason — who doesn’t like cheesecake? The recipe is more complex than the chardewardon by far, and I’m going to fiddle with it for future use. It calls for making fresh cheese, which is then strained per usual, and though I was wary of this step, I followed it anyway, and was met with the issue I’d anticipated.. Fresh cheese, after having the whey strained, is hard and crumbly. It doesn’t melt well, in my experience, and is..chewy. Simply “whisking until smooth” isn’t feasible, so I poured my hot cream and fresh cheese into a food processor and pulsed it a few times until the big chunks were reduced to..smaller ones. I returned the mixture to the pot and followed the rest of the directions.. However, the cream, sugar, honey, and yolks only thickened enough to create something like a thick porridge of fresh cheese curds, and it carmelized a bit as I prepared my ice bath to cool the pot down. (I’d thought it had scorched and was about to cry until I tasted it. Thankfully it hadn’t!) I wasn’t happy, but let it settle in the fridge overnight, and what I awoke to was a very dense, delicious cheesecake-like custard that needed to be softened a bit with heat before I could really spoon it into the tartlet shells. It wasn’t a disaster, but I’m going to revise my own methods for this recipe before serving it again.

Ice Dragon 2016

This past weekend, I had the privelege of being the vigil wrangler for THL Marek Viacheldrago as he sat and contemplated elevation to the Order of the Chivalry. Marek was one of my first mentors when I started fighting, and it made me incredibly happy to see the Order recognize what many of us had seen in him from the start. Being included in his day and hearing the great words spoken about him has made this one of my more memorable events, and I’m grateful to Sir Marek, his wife Sybilla, and his knight Sir Tristen for trusting me with the task of coordinating the vigil. Normally a Peer holds this position and is planning it out for more than just a couple of weeks, but Gulfnado saw his vigil quickly moved from Gulf Wars to Ice Dragon, and there were many of us who pulled it off. I first need to thank Mistress Hildarun Hugelmann, Mistress Chrestienne de Waterdene, Sir Tristen Sexwulf, Master Janos Meszaros, and of course, Lady Sybilla, for their guidance in planning and executing all and various parts of the vigil. Hilda and Chrestienne did the bulk of manning the vigil book, and Lady Aine ny Alain, Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria, THL Darian Valski, and Sir Ian Kennovan contributed to the food. Hilda also contributed pitchers, and Sir Stefan and Mistress Marsi contributed some platters and bowls. Sir Guido, Sir Alric of the Mists, Baroness Osa, Lord Olaf Steinabrjotr, and Lady MacKenna Henderson helped with set-up and tear-down.

Sitting just a sheet-wall away, also sitting vigil before her elevation to the Laurel, was Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle, who also holds a special place in the day’s memories. When my fiance, THL Darian, had first entered the SCA, it was Laurencia and her husband Edval who took him in and helped guide and clothe him. Laurencia accomplished something I still have not — getting Darian to sit down in front of a sewing machine! I was honored to contribute food to her vigil spread well, and those recipes will follow soon.

There is so much to say about this year’s Ice Dragon, but I had to get my thank you’s out first. I’m so grateful to everyone! Thank you!!