Marie Hill Ranch,
From The Page (April, 2002):
Their Royal Majesties invite one and all to celebrate the New Year by bearing witness to the coronation of Their Heirs. Come celebrate in the grand traditions of the West with courts, arts and sciences, fighting, singing, dancing and parties. The traditional Maypole will be present.
Site Info: The event is being held at the Marie Hill Ranch at (address omitted) in Mendocino Co. just across the Sonoma Co. border. The gate opens at 12 noon on Friday and closes at 5 PM on Sunday. Site Fee is $8 per person, ages 10 and imder are free. Please bring your own drinking water.
Site Rules: Because this is a working sheep ranch we have had to agree to certain terms in order to rent the property. The main three are:
1) No ground Fires. Only contained, above groimd and attended fires with a fire extinguisher nearby are allowed.
2) We are restricted to the areas we have rented. Do not go into the hills and woods surrounding the site. (That is where the owner has put the sheep.)
3) Absolutely no pets are allowed.
Merchants: Standard West Kingdom merchant rules apply.
Autocrat: Eric von Steinhaus (contact info omitted).
See photos of this event
Jade of Starfall
Per chevron inverted wavy ermine
and vert, a double-headed eagle
sable and a compass-star argent.
Megan nic Alister of Thornwood
Azure, a pall voided throughout
between three compass stars argent.
"Getting to the site, the autocrats have to be given some kudos for very clear signs and sign placement ...
Friday afternoon setup -- got to the site, and being relatively early, we had a nice selection of options for where to set up. We decided to set up next to the BC (well, for the purposes of the event it was expanded to what Frederick [of Holland] and Eilis [O'Boirne] were calling the AC -- short for Aircraft Carrier). We had the southward facing view on the site, which was gorgeous (hills covered in trees). It was nice, a bit warm, but offset by cool breezes. After we got set up, the breeze started to become more wind-like (not horrible but cold).
The sheep wandered into the area near the site (fenced off), with some llamas and emus. They sounded like they were having an argument about something at one point, but who knows? They're sheep after all. <G>
Friday evening was relatively pleasant, although chilly, and the night was close to freezing, as when I got up Saturday morning there was frost/ice on some of the glassware left out on our tables.
Saturday morning was beautiful. A bit chilly to start, but it warmed up nicely. The event got off to a slow start, I've been told largely due to airplane foo and the Crown Prince (late flight). However, it was such a nice day, I don't think anyone minded. I sure didn't.
First court was nice, and led directly into Coronation. There was a bit of schtick about how Uther was feeling wanderlust and a need to go viking, and so on. Coronation went nice and smoothly, and then a break was had for the fighters to armor up and get inspected for the Queen's Champion List. In addition to that, while most of the fighters were armoring up, a Maypole was held, and Stephan of Pembroke's squire, whose name escapes me this morning, was the lucky ... victim ... who got to hold the pole. He was allowed to escape after it was done to armor up and participate in the list.
The list was run, went pretty well, with I think 16 fighters in it. Veniamin Nafanovich Medvednikogotev won the tourney.
This was followed again by a break, during which the Chivalry had their meeting and then evening court. A variety of awards were given, and I am not going to try to rack my brain to remember them, but the one peerage was Magnus Zwerver, who was admitted to the Order of the Pelican.
After court ended, we went back to camp and had dinner. The sun was still up! Wow. <G> Okay, it wasn't up for LONG, but it was still up. How often does THAT happen?
That evening after dinner the Bard of the West competition was held, and there were five entrants. The winner, after a "Bard-off" (it was a hard one to determine who might win, and I wasn't one of the ones making the decision!) between two of the competitors, Jana the Mad (who has a lovely singing voice, I will say) was announced as the next Bard of the West (the investiture of this title will be at June Crown).
Those who wanted to, stuck around for bardic at the "AC", and there were other parties happening around the eric ...
The next morning was again gorgeous. Peerage meetings, a short court, in which Duke Fabian was named a West Kingdom Paragon of Merriment for hosting his parties on the eric, and some thank yous and such occurred, and the event was officially over.
Overall, it was a smaller event than some Kingdom events, but that made it quite friendly, and I know that I really enjoyed it.
The site was gorgeous, and I sure hope we can use it again." -- Hirsch von Henford
"Selfishly I could say that the Queen had an excellent time. ;-)
The site was absolutely wonderful. I truly thank Viscount Eric von Steinhaus for finding this site and autocrating the event. It was a lovely valley (large flat eric) with green, trees, sheep on the hillside nearby adding to the ambience (also an occasional llama and I hear there were emus somewhere). It was cold Friday night to be sure (but not frozen). I live close enough to know that less than a month ago we were still having the occasional ice on everything at night so though there was some dew (not a lot actually)...there was no ice so I was glad. Saturday night I was comfortable in wool and no cloak. The people at the event, though not as many due to weddings, other activity obligations etc, seemed to enjoy themselves (I hope so for that is a strong goal for the reign).
Courts were short (see what those of you who didn't come missed?), dinner was in the light and the bard of the West competition began just after dusk. Duke Frederick of Holland was generous in hosting the competition at the BC (he brought extra shards so that the area was enlarged for all). Two firepits were going so there was light and warmth and much ambience. There were five competitors and it was an extremely close competition with the entrants being only points apart at the end. If you missed it, you did indeed miss out on some well-done poetry in period styles, some very complex styles even. The competitors were Branwen (Darkwood's Branwen since I will mangle the spelling of her surname), Flieg, Elsa (I am probably close but wrong ... Saxonsdottir), Dirk Fleetwood and Jana the Mad. The next Bard of the West will be Jana the Mad. She will be invested in her office at June Crown. I look forward to enjoying the bardic arts during this reign. (Hint... the queen is in a bardic mood again...invite her to stop by your bardic parties ... I will be trying to do the party progress in the evenings ...but may need guidance since I don't like to intrude too much).
After the Bard competition, I spent a goodly number of hours enjoying the fabulous hospitality of His Grace, Duke Fabian. There were firepits, many interesting conversations, people to meet and a bardic where I enjoyed two excellent Caidan bards and some fine Western Bards, including Margrethe Ravn, former Bard of the Mists, who I "coerced" into singing the various anthems of the West. Thank you Meg for indulging me. It was almost three when I went to sleep (and I had to be up at 6 am ;-) but it was worth it.
The Queen's Champion / Prize List was small in quantity of fighters (16), but excelled in the qualities I was searching for in a champion (courtesy, chivalry, valor, fighting prowess and appearance on the field). I felt honored that each had taken the field that warm afternoon. The finals were Magnus Zwerver and Count Sir Veniamin. Veniamin won the list and was proclaimed my champion in evening court. Magnus is the captain of my guard and I had many comments on his worthiness of that rank.
Saturday evening court -
There was an office changeover for the Kingdom Exchequer - Mistress Anne of Lockesley (after 5 years) turned it over to Aja du Jardin. Mistress Anne was then made a Baroness of the Court of the West.
Magnus Zwerver became a member of the Order of the Pelican and I was well-pleased to greet him as a fellow member of the flock.
Morgan of the Defiant from Ravenshore was awarded arms. This young lady is but 12 years of age, but has performed an immense amount of work during those years.
Also given arms was Raghnailt of Sord Colmcille (actually the name has changed slightly). She lives in Crosston, but has close ties to Ravenshore anddoes much work there.
Seamus of Rivenoak was given a Leaf of Merit accompanied by an award of arms. If you don't think you've met him, you're probably wrong. I didn't know the name, but recognized him on sight immediately as someone who constantly assists total strangers with their pavilions.
Sabine Mezziere was given a Rose Leaf for her work with norse garb and embroidery work.
I know there was another award given, a Rose Leaf with award of arms and unfortunately I gave the only paper with the name to the scribes for the promissory. I am sorry that I can not remember it this morning.
Sunday morning -
Was amazing for the lovely weather, the Laurels were gracious with their meeting held at 8 am and were completed in 35 minutes. The Pelicans then met and also completed quickly. Court was held at 10 am where His Grace Duke Fabian demonstrated his alacrity in coming to court. He had gone to invite others to partake of the breakfast that he had prepared ( those who came to court were also invited). His Grace was made a WKPM, the West Kingdom Paragon of Merriment (aka a member of the party militia). I had been extremely surprised that I had not found his name on the list as having one. Words and thank you's and the court was closed ... and everyone given the afternoon to leisurely strike camp, visit and enjoy the day. I saw some of the rapier fighters holding a practice and the fighters of Wolfscairn held their usual Sunday practice at the event instead of at home.
The site appeared well cleaned up and the owners seemed to like us when they stopped by Fabian's party to meet us and enjoy some hospitality.
Thank you to everyone for making this event one that I will always treasure.
Queen of the West"
Description of this event (if any), taken from The Page, or from memory of at least one person who attended the event.
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).