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

The Seventeenth Year

Purgatorio Coronation Festival
August 21-22, 1982 (AS XVII)

From The Page (July, 1982):

To the populace of the Western Kingdom; Vinhold sends a heart-felt greetings and welcome and bids you journey thither for a Purgatorio by the Lake.

The site will be Camp Berryessa; the same site used for the Mists Spring Coronet last year.

The gate will open at 12:00 noon Friday and the site must be cleared by 10:00 PM on Sunday. There is a $2.00 site fee per person paid at the gate. TO save time please come with cash at the ready. Page.

Those who wish to contact the Autocrat should write or call Vlasta Ulvaeus of the Wildhair (contact info omitted). A letter would be a surer way to reach me as I am only home two hours a day until June 21st.

Note: There are rumors circulating that a Pandy Bat competition at Purgatorio would be greatly enjoyed. Though unofficial as yet this notice is to give possible entrants time to think of ideas.

From The Page (July, 1982):

Purgatorio By the Lake

The people of the Barony of Vinhold send greetings unto the populace of the West Kingdom and bid you join them on the shores of Lake Berryessa to witness the coronation of Paul and Rowena.

The general schedule is:


Site Rules:
1) This is a dry site. If you must bring it, be discreet.
2) Open fires are allowed only in available fire pits. All fires must be watched at all times. (Let's not have a duplication of last years excitement.)
3) Firewood is available at the site but must be restocked by the user.
4) All forms of non-powered boats are welcome at the site. Row boats may be rented for a $10 returnable deposit.
5) Swimming is allowed only if an adult over 21 is watching who knows how to be a lifeguard. If you are trained in water defense please let the constabulary know at the site.
6) Garbage bags are available at the Ranger's residence.

There ar etwo ever present dangers at this site. One is the lake. If you bring children with you please make sure you know where they are at all times. The other danger is the heat. This site is likely to be uncomforable for those who aren't in armor. All fighters should bear this in mind.

The Purgatorio Wooden Spoon Compettion will be for Fruit Bread. Use dried or fresh fruit, yeast or non-yeast recipes. Expand upon the bounty of summer's fruits. Remember to include your recipe.

The Minister of the Arts informs me that there will be a contest or two at Purgatorio. Unfortunately she didn't have her notes at the time. There will be a flyer delivered to your Seneschals with this and any other important information that didn't quite make it to me in time.

The Minister of Sciences will have an Armor Patterning Exhibit available for study.

The generally excepted definition of a Pandy Bat is a weapon more deadly to the user than to the opponent. With this in mind...Attention all inventors of new and unusual weapons. Upon the second day of this memorable event, there shall be a Pandy Bat Competition. A panel of judges will be bribed selected to determine which entry is the best? Pandy Bat.

The Question: Too tired to cook Saturday night at the tourney? Want a place for warm food and cool drinks?

The Answer: Come eat, drink, and be merry at the Skullery Sinister. For more information about the skullery, see paid ad.


Many who've been to this site before have mentioned the abundance of curves in the roads. It may be a good idea to take a Dramamine before starting out.

At the Gate: Parking is a major dilemma so please be understanding as well as helpful. There will be a $2.00 site fee collected at the gate so come prepared.

All those wishing more information should contact Vlasta Ulvaeus o/t Wildhair (contact info omitted).

From The Page (October, 1982):

What level of Inferno was Purgatorio?

So King Paul queried amidst the heat rising from the parched ground at Lake Berryessa during Purgatorio. To answer His Majesty's question, perhaps Dante's description of Purgatory (and perhaps purgatorio?) will suffice ...

"Meanwhile we lingered by the Water's bring, like men who, musing on their road in thought, Journey, while motionless the body rests. When Lo! Through the thick vapors Mars with fiery beam glares down into the West ..."

Not far from a description of opening court at Purgatorio and the Final Court of King James and Queen Verena ... Though the heat was sweltering, nevertheless the populace gave a rousing "thank you" to their outgoing Majesties. King James received for the Crown a magnificent metal shield from Griffensgard, with handcrafted metalwork by Stephen of Norham ... Hist Majesty appeared pleased and thus Highness' final court closed with much warmth and gratitude.

To a many horned fanfare, the first court of Their Majesties, King Paul and Queen Rowena began.

The Scullery Sinister was well received and made a fine shelter for the revelling which included minstrels, story telling, gaming, and some outstanding bellydancing.

Many competititions were held: The Queen's Champion, fighting to decide the Wardlord, the Pandy Bat competition, and the finals of the Kingdom Arts competition. The results were:

The new Queen's Champion (?)
The Wardlord: Alan of Dragonshold
The Arts Competition: Master Renfield (who entered some 18 competitions)
The Pandy Bat Competition: The Orc-hestra

Perhaps the only ship in the Kingdom of the West set sail upon the Lake ... (the swimming pontoon was appropriated) ... it seemed at one time most of the populace indulged in the healing waters of the lake ... Dante may have described it when speaking of Purgatory ... his words apply to our weekend by the Lake.

"As more and more apeared the pilot, nor could the eye endure his splendor near, he drove ashore in a small bark, so swift and light ... the heavenly steersman at the prow was seen, within a hundred spirits there sat ... he blessed them, ... they at once leapt out on land, appeared astounded with the place, gazing around, as one who sees new sights. From every side the sun darted his beams, with arrowy radience from mid-heaven ..."

Perhaps Purgatorio and Purgatory this year were one in the same?!!!

(This chronicle was authored by unknown)

See photos from this event

Paul of Bellatrix
Sable, on a bend Or three compass
stars palewise gules.
Rowena d'Anjou
Azure, on a pile inverted throughout
between two fleur-de-lis argent a
swan naiant affrontée, wings elevated
and addorsed, head to sinister, sable.
Paul's Arms by Nicholas Bawcock of Petersfield,
Paul's Arms colored by Aja du Jardin,
Rowena's Arms by Evaine MacGreger

Personal Reminisces:

"This was the infamous "Bake at the Lake". It was the first and only time I've ever autocrated a Kingdom event. The heat was ghastly. If it wasn't for the lake being right there we probably would have had a large number of cases of heat prostration or worse. There was also not nearly enough parking. Other than that things went fairly well. Then there was the fellow who found the baby rattlesnake in his tent ...

"There was a Pandybat competition held which was the first time the winners of the event were also the winners of the melee. The winners were the Orc-estra. Picture a "violin" where the bow had a thrusting tip on it, a "trombone" where the end of the slide was also a thrusting edge, a "drum" which was two round shields strapped together and the "player" was beating on it with two maces. I think there were a couple other "instruments" involved.

"I'll never forget hearing William the Lucky shout in the middle of the melee "Hit my Stradivarius will you!". There was also an entry by "The Joint chiefs of Staff" which was four men all holding the same Naginata, and the Fulcrum which was two men on one shield with a two headed pole weapon that pivoted on a "horn" of the shield. There were a couple other entrants as well but I can't remember them now." -- Vlasta von der weissen Sonne

"In perusing the history of our fair Kingdom on the magic Web, I noticed a ? next to Queen's Champion in the tale of Purgatorio for AS XVII. This was the occasion of my first coronation as queen, and it was every bit as miserably hot as others have reported.

"I had determined beforehand that the traditional contest for Queen's Champion was not especially to my liking. So I chose my own champion, and named him before any tournament at that event. My champion for this reign was Sir Elriin of Hrassvelg. At court I presented him with a favour of white satin, onto which I had stitched (in silk, a hard thread to find in those days) my black swan surrounded by the queen's rose wreath.

"However, I still wished to hold a contest of arms, so I held a contest for the Queen's Favour. Each contestant, as the price of entry, was to provide an example of his/her artistic accomplishment as well as to prevail by force of arms. I recall awarding three prizes at this competition, although I cannot now recall all who earned them. Still, I do remember that Sir William the Lucky presented me with an especially charming haiku. The College of Scribes had prepared three small scrolls for me to award, and their Chancellor, Lady Merewyn de Lyonesse, told me she had new scribes prepare these as samples of their work. I remember all were lovely -- simple but elegant.

"Regretably, we held court before I was able to sign these small scrolls. So somewhere out there, two individuals (besides Sir William the Lucky) hold scrolls awarded by me, but unsigned. I was terribly embarrassed by this at the time, but I have since taken a more philosphical approach to it. Murphy belongs to the SCA, too." -- Rowena d'Anjou (from an email, dated April 21, 2004)

Description of this event (if any) taken from The Page.

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