From The Page (December, 1983):
The Province of Winter's Gate (Fairbanks, Alaska), is hosting Oertha's Midwinter Lord Defender Tourney this January. TO travel fiends considering a visit to the farthest north and undoubtedly the coldest region of the West Kingdom and Knowne World, the following information is offered as enticement.
This is a two-day event, beginning early on Saturday and ending later afternoon Sunday. Housing and transportation will be provided for those who contact Sister Lazerina. A meager site fee of $10 until December 31 will include lunch Saturday, brunch Sunday, and a four-remove feast with entertainment on Saturday night. Saturday, there will be a double elmination tourney to choose the Lord Defender and Regent of Oertha. There will be dancing, gaming, and general revelry throughout the weekend. Those contemplating experiencing true cold and the hospitality of Oerthans should contact the autocrat: Morgana n'ha Keridwen (contact info omitted) or Sister Lazerina (contact info omitted).
(Lord Defender of Oertha)
Azure, a unicorn rampant argent,
crined Or, on a chief arched Or
three snowflakes azure.
Anne of Bradford
(Lady of the Snows)
Azure, chapé, a chicken martletted
close to sinister Or.
"This was one of the coldest tournaments that I think Oertha had seen to that date. The temperatures were around 50 degrees BELOW zero (fahrenheit) on Saturday. The fighting was done indoors, as we were using a fairground for the event, and arrangements had been made to use one of the barns. Even the barn caused some problems for polearms -- the fighters had to try to avoid hitting the ceiling and the lights -- but it was a LOT warmer inside than out.
"There's not a lot that I recall about the event. I have odd memories of things like wearing my first houpeland, sweeping around a corner, and knocking Ulrich von Matanuska's beer over with my sleeve (and apologizing profusely). I recall that King William (the Lucky) was visiting, and that the first double-peerage in Oertha occurred (Kafyre bint Assad -- now Nerissa Meraud de la Fontaine -- was made a member of both the Orders of the Laurel and the Pelican at that event).
"One thing that was fun (see also the Twelfth Night description) -- at 12th Night, the Westermark had put on a play. Kylson brought a video of it, and we watched that -- it was ... amusing. We had to keep kicking one young man out because he was too young (the play was rated "R" for a reason ...).
"Sunday the temperature swept up to 10 degrees (above zero), and the fighters were thrilled -- they fought out doors and had a blast (a sixty degree temperature change will do that). As noted, not a lot to say, maybe my brain froze? It was freaking cold ..." -- Hirsch von Henford
"Stouthearted one must be to be Lord Defender of Oertha, But one had to be hardy indeed to even attend this winter's tourney. Fifty below temperatures and a blanked of frost lent credence to the name of the Province of Winter's Gate, but a warm hall and the even warmer hospitality Winter's Gate is so well known for made it all worth the journey.
Saturday morn saw the tournament begin in the fighting hall, graced by the presence of Their Majesties, King William and Queen Joanne. The many fighters of Selveirgard fought bravely and placed well, though sorely missed was the injured Flynx Van Halen. In the end Sir Kyelson of Eskalya proved why he has so many times been Lord Defender.
In the main hall much gaming, dancing and socializing was taking place as preparations for the evening's feast bore fruit, and a fine feast it was. Many toasts were drunk to the King and Queen and the fine wolk who made such merriment possible.
At court that evening, the King gave out much candy to the masses. Ambyth de Fontaine and Andrew the Pious received Award of Arms. The province of Winter's Gate was made a Barony, with Mistress Morgana n'ha Keridwen as Baroness. Lady Fanchion Mountain Tamer was elevated to Court Baroness, while Mistress Sharane de Kondrak was installed in the Order of the Pelican, to become a double mistress. She was soon followed by Mistress Kafyre bint Assad who received both a Laurel and Pelican to become Oertha's second double mistress. Bardic lasted well into the evening.
The next morning brought renewed fighting, gaming, visiting and meetings of the various guilds. For many of us the morning's highlight was the simple, elegant wedding of Piasa Dragonsaver to Rafe Loufer in both the society and mundane life. The solemn occasion was presided over by John St. Andrew, assisted by Rosalee of Wolfhaven. Afterwards our herald, Tachibana Kage was initiated into the brotherhood of the Browken Bow, for service extraordinare.
At the Lord Defender's Court that day Lord Eric Bearsbane was awarded the Orders of the Rose Leaf and the Snowy Owl, while their Majesties William and Joanne made Awards of Arms to Piasa Dragonsaver, Denise de Moustainoux and Donnan Trueheart. The new Lady of the Snows continued the tradition of the Janissaries with Selveirgard's Rellik Toong repeating his services to her crown.
As the event wound down and people began to wend their ways homeward in the still-falling snow, we were to find that adventures never cease in Oertha. Lady Piasa's beast of burden lost its footing and fell over an embankment, forcing her pardy to return to Winter's Gate. A similar mishap befell our herald Tachibana near home, though he was able to continue home unharried.
Stout-hearted indeed one must be to journey in Oertha, but this past tourney proves the rewards are well worth it." -- TS/ec (From The Selveir Scroll, Volume I, Issue 2, FEB/MAR, A.S. XVIII (1984), scanned by Khevron Oktavii Tikhikovich Vorotnikov, from a collection of newsletters uncovered in the garage of Morgana yr Oerfa -- Khevron believes the Chronicle was by Thalen Stonefriend, but is not 100% sure.)
Description of this event (if any) taken from The Page.
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).