Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

Branch Histories

Shire of Vinhold

Per fess wavy argent and
sable, two wreaths of grape
vine vert fructed proper
and a laurel wreath Or.

Arms by Khevron Oktavii Tikhikovich Vorotnikov

"Vinhold became a Barony in the mundane year 1983, and the Founding Baron was Anthony the Sinister, who was followed By Sir Eric Holdstar, and his wife Megan of Tara Hill. Then the Current Baron and Baroness Joseph and Cassandra. The Bard of Vinhold was established the same year [that Vinhold was founded] with myself as the first Bard, and is the second oldest Bardic Tradition in the Kingdom, only the Bard of the Mists tradition has been around longer. The Bards were as follows:

1983 Torvald Torgarson (Founding Bard)
1984 Torvald Torgarson
1985 Andread the Fairhair
1986 Sula von Pherdenthal
1987 Torvald Torgarson
1988 Eoin Toirr an Dhragoin
1990 (unknown female bard)
1996 Quirin
1997 Seamus (?)
1998 Frederick of Holland
1999 Aurelia de Montfort
2000 Leon the Lame
2001 Ted E. Bear
2002 Ted E. Bear
2003 Torvald Torgarson (?)
2004 Joan the Harper
2005 Torvald Torgarson

(Updates to the list of Bards by Aurelia de Montfort, October 2006)

The original Vinhold War Junkie Unit consisted of Geoffrey of Griffinhold, Garth of Windhaven, Gregory Falconheart, Eric Holdstar, Michael the Farlander, Torvald Torgarson, Ahmed Ibn Trebai, Vlasta Ulvaus of the Wild Hair, and Anthony the Sinister. The War Junkies were also known occasionally as the Lizard Squad since Geoffrey, Vlasta, Torvald (myself), all wore scale armor and Michael the Farlander wore half scale." -- Torvald Torgarson

More details from Vlasta Ulvaeüs (Nov. 2000):

"I'm going to say that Vinhold became a Shire back in AS XIII. I remember that we had originally tried for the name "Vinland" but that a shire back east, where the Viking "Vinland" had been, had already grabbed the name. "Vinhold" was the second choice. The decision was still going on when I joined the shire in early 1980. Back then we had about 5 founding members, Lord Ahmed Ibn Tr'bai(sp?) was our first Seneschal, his lady wife was another founder (I can't remember her name, but she was Kingdom Chronicler for a while, so it is probably on record somewhere), Anthony the Sinister was another, Lady Vonda aus Voekel and her Lord were two others. Basically the shire was Anthony and the Skaggs Island navy boys and their ladies.

"The second influx of members came from a recent bunch of High School graduates, of which I was a member. We started going to events and fighting practices throughout the first parts of AS XIV. Most of us were authorized to fight heavy during the latter months of the year. I'm certain that we didn't have our own armor at the time because the first time we took the field as a unit was the Grand Melee Tourney the next year. When we did get our own armor, we were the partial inspiration for the cartoon "Carpet Man" which appeared briefly in the "Page". Our running gag was "Vinhold, where the fighters are new and gray tape runs scarce". Imagine freon tank helms, ratty carpet duct taped to our bodies, rolled up foam padding taped around our necks for a gorget. Well you get the picture. We used to go through an entire large roll of tape each fighting practice.

"Our petition to become a Barony was at Twelfth Night, AS XVI. The petition was made in front of the full court to James Greyhelm, then Prince of the Mists. I remember it quite clearly since, as the deputy Herald, I had to read the petition since our main Herald had come down with Laryngitis. (Incidentally, this was the same event where the Vesper Herald tabard was presented to the Kingdom by the shire of Vinhold.) Our petition was accepted the following June Crown and Anthony the Sinister was invested as Baron by then King James Greyhelm. There was a great "Gotcha" upon Anthony's investiture. He had thought that we would use a simple wreath of grape leaves for his coronet at the investiture. What he didn't know is that we had had an actual coronet made for him. He was quite surprised when His Majesty pulled it out of hiding. I remember we had about 50 members at the time, and nearly every one of us had shown up for the event. The populace at court seemed impressed by our numbers as I recall.

"Anthony was our Baron for a number of years. When he stepped down he passed the office to Eric Holdstar and his lady, Megan of Tarahyll. After about four years or so, they too stepped down in favor of our current Baron and Baroness, Joseph de Latour and his lady Cassandra. I believe Joseph and Cassandra have been Baron and Baroness for the past six years.

"Fighting wise, Vinhold started off having wars with St. Andrews as most of the members who formed Vinhold were originally members there. Later we started having a good-natured rivalry with the Westermark. We also had three way wars between Vinhold, Windymeads, and the Westermark. Lately we've been trading invasions with Wolfscairn. In AS XIX and XX we fielded a group of war fighters that never missed a war. (No matter where it was, at least three of us made it to the war.) In fact four of us were awarded the Corolla Murallis(sp?) for our contribution. Most of us have gone on to earn the Guardians of the West, or Knight Bannerette since then.

"Our tradition of having an All Hallows feast dates from about our third year in existence. It certainly has helped over the years to have had Eric Holdstar in the Barony. His mundane profession as a butcher has been very useful.

"The idea of a Baron's Champion started in AS XIX. I was the first and the fourth champion, Jade of Starfall was the second and third. Since then, I can't remember who all has held the office, though the current Champion is Lord Torvald Torgarson. The first few championships consisted of combined competitions which included heavy fighting, fencing, dancing, chess, an art and a science. Your lowest placing was discounted so you could not participate in one category if you so chose." -- Vlasta Ulvaeüs

In A.S. LI (51) Vinhold's activity had fallen to the point that the populace voted to change from a Barony back to being a Shire. The status change (will have) occurred at Mists Investiture, November 5, 2016 (A.S. LI). This means that Baroness Grimhildr is the last Baroness of Vinhold. (Information provided by West Kingdom Seneschal and added by the Kingdom Historian)

Location: Napa, SW Solano and E. Sonoma Counties, California

Heralds' Title: The Puncheon Pursuivant

Barons and Baronesses of Vinhold:

Regin BeganBaron and Baroness
(? 1983)Anthony the Sinister
Late 1991(?)Eric Holdstar and Megan of Tara Hill
January, 1996Joseph de la Tour and Cassandra de la Tour
October, 2002Geoffrey of Griffinhold and Kira Leonovna Zemnodushina
October, 2004Timothy Kirkwood and Eibhlín níc Raghailligh
October, 2006James Andrew MacAllister and Ghislaine d'Auxerre
October, 2008Gavin McRoberts
October, 2010Aurelia de Montfort
October, 2012Gregory Falconheart
October, 2014Grimhildr Laeknir

Description of the history of this branch is from an email message sent to Hirsch from Torvald Torgarson. Location information is from the back of The Page.

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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).