St. Mark's Episcopal Church,
Santa Clara, CA
From The Page (September, 2006):
Populace of the West - join us at Fall Investiture! Hail the Prince and Princess of the Mists, and Their successors. We shall revel mightily and dine most grandly!
Site Information: St Mark's Episcopal Church (address omitted) / Santa Clara Site opens at 10 am and closes at 10 pm. Site fee is $8 for members and $11 for non members. Children under age 10 are free. Feast tickets are $13.
Autocrat: Cilean Stirling (contact info omitted).
Head Chef: Rose de LeMans / (contact info omitted).
See photos of this event
Brion of Bellatrix
Sable, three crescents argent
and on a chief Or, three
compass stars gules.
Azure, a dolphin haurient and
on a chief Or, three
"Someone said it looked like a Cranach painting… Everyone looked wonderful! Their Highnesses Oonagh and Helgi were stepping down in late period Italians so it was a unique event in that most people were dressed from the same 30 years or so in time.
"It was this lovely haunting day with gray skies and icy winds. The ladies and I kept each other warm until we were ready to process in. The women were every brilliant color of red and black and white and gold and emerald green and navy blue ... they contrasted beautifully on the gray day. Sir Brion had 9 foot spears that the guys carried into the hall, the feathers on their hats billowing in the wind.
"Elena [Edgar] and Erzsébeta [Magdaléna] both fluffed and fawned over me, first doing my hair and then putting the finishing touches on my dress. Elena's calm hands and twinkling eyes cheer me and Erzébeta's impossibly high cleavage add levity as she tugs and pulls my uncooperative hair into place. Others looked on in their finery on chairs behind me. I gaze into a full length mirror as I am transformed and flirt with the girls in the gallery. Victoria [of Lynwood], a member of my guard, radiant in my dusty pink Italian gown, brought in a beautiful man to add to my guard. His serious eyes and blushing smile belying his awareness of the feminine enclave he found himself privvy to. A last touch of lip gloss and I am ready to go.
"I see the full hall. Everyone is waiting for me, some smiling and some serious, some curious ... the new person in the corner looks shy, I would go over and say hi, but I am not a Chatelaine any more, I am the Lady of the Mists and in a few moments I will be the first lady of the Principality where the SCA was born. The first tournament was held 15 miles from my home. I feel the weight of the hall.
"Countess Adina [Vischer von Hersbruck] is our spokesperson and she does the whole thing beautifully in German. Hirsch [von Henford] translates. Sćunn [Egilsdóttir] and Artus [Quintus] made my banner and it looks really good ... standing high at the end of my path. The banner will be lowered when the Coronet is placed on my head, my arms will be of the Princess of the Mists for the next six months. It seems fitting that my personal banner is put away; I belong to the populace of the Mists now.
"I look to Duchess Cyneswith [aet Caldhaefen], a beloved friend, for guidance. Do I walk now? She is looking at [Princess] Oonagh, my predecessor, who is radiant in a gold and black Italian. I see Awrabella [McHargue] and she is all smiles. Her inherent kindness calms me, as it has in the past. I see my head of court, Mistress Éireannach [Katleen Nic Ghiolla Chainnigh], she is my vakyrie and her strength focuses me.
"I hear my cue and I walk the long way to my Brion [of Bellatrix]. He smiles his pirates smile as I try to make eye contact with people and smile my way down the path to him. I stop at the base of the stage and he takes my hand, his hand feels like it always does ... warm ... a perfect fit for my own. Something familiar in a strange land.
"Then I am wearing the Coronet, Brion puts it on my head ... smile gone, all seriousness and love. So proud to be the one who makes me a Princess ... a peer for the first time. His Princess, My Prince.
"A good friend, Sir Aaron of Buckminster, came to visit and he got the award that Rorik [Skogan] and Peza [Mirina] made when they were P&P of the Mists, the Honor of the Coeur d'Azur. I made kidskin leather arming caps with cut work etc for my guard favors and buffalo hide pouches for my Knight's counselor, Duke Henrik of Havn (the third king of the SCA and all around great man) and my Champion, the much vaunted Duke Paul of Bellatrix (my fierce and passionate defender in all things). I tell My Guard that as the wives and sisters and mothers of the Landsknecht warriors used to sew their protective clothing, I had sewn their arming caps with my own hands as a symbol of my care and protection on the campaign we are about to travel upon together ... their path to Knighthood.
"Finally court is over and the feast begins. Odd to be the one at the head table. My cherished Uther [Schiemann der Hunt], Crown Prince of the West, is at my left and my beloved Prince is at my right. I am with my family. Brion encourages Sir Aaron of Buckminster to start a "clean-food fight". I send the first volley to Sylvie [la chardonničre], who looks gorgeous in her Germans ... "I throw chocolate into your cleavage!" I write on the paper as he delivers it to her. I look on with amusement as Fearghus [Mac Airt], her beloved lord, tries to figure out why some strange man has just slipped his girlfriend a piece of paper!
"Funny bardic pieces, moving bardic pieces, a beautiful dance by my belly dancing teacher Kamille and drumming by Chani [Chaninai al-Zarqa' bint Ibrahim ibn Rashid], really (REALLY) good food, and a kiss ... Such a simple thing to kiss the man you love! (Hopefully we all do it several times a day!) But the room sighs with a sweet, "ahhhhhhhh". I think to myself, get used to it; Brion and I are pretty affectionate!
"A long, but amazing, day. I will never have my first investiture again. I have been many things, chatelaine, regalia officer, web minister, head of the LOS, autocrat ... but I've never been a Princess before. And to be Princess with the love of my life, someone who inspires me to want to be a better person every day ... well, it is pretty profound." -- Princess Ysabella [Dolfin]
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).