Busy Season in the Swamp

It’s here… the baronial busy season in Settmour Swamp. Last week we played host to Mudthaw, today we hosted a demo, in a few weeks we will have our tavern event– Black Gryphon Inn, followed quickly by our weekend camping event– Quest, and then Pennsic… and then Ducal Challenge… and then we wake up in October!! (I’m tired already).

Though the months ahead can be a little daunting, they are also tremendously exciting, and, in preparation for these events, I have been working on several projects for the Barony that I’d love to share. Many of them relate to my position as Chatelaine in the Barony, but some were a little bit extra (see the new banner poles built for Mudthaw). I’ll give you the highlights…

Things began simply by making more baronial largesse. We were in need of new belt favors (I believe we were completely out). I was able to furnish their Excellencies Jonathan and Teresa with several (I’ll definitely be making more) and a few shiny new baldrics. The baldrics lead me to my next project– helping to formalize retainers for their Excellencies Settmour. When we have large, full events like Mudthaw, Jonathan and Teresa are running (all day!) and I am happy to help coordinate volunteers that can help with even a simple task like couriering things or helping to keep their Excellencies hydrated. I’m hoping I can find a handful of gentles willing to help out in this capacity especially before Pennsic (we are well on our way thanks to all the great Mudthaw volunteers). Hopefully, this helps a very busy event like Mudthaw to become a little more manageable.

Baldrics and Belt Favors in process

In addition to belt favors and retainer management, I also made myself a little something to debut at Mudthaw. As Chatelaine, I have been wanting a key to help denote my office. I found these amazing antique keys from Wales. My husband, Phelippe, graciously offered to make me a bit of finger loop braid on which to suspend them from my belt. You’ll notice there are two keys– I’m in the market for a deputy (hint, hint). I’d love to give the other key to my deputy, then we could pass these down with the office.

Beautiful antique keys– I need a deputy to share with!

Other Chatelaine projects include continuing to make our Gold Key more accessible and friendly to our newcomers. I organize our Gold Key by complete outfits with some small sketches on tags that show sizes and “how to wear’ the look. This has been met with a tremendous positive response! At Mudthaw we had HUGE newcomer turnout. At last count, I believe I garbed roughly twenty newcomers! It was amazing!

Our Gold Key ready to go for Mudthaw!

Another project I’ve continued to help make events more newcomer friendly is our display board. This project has also been getting very positive response, and I am actually in process of helping the Barony of Smoking Rocks create one for their upcoming Investiture and K&Q Rattan Champs.

Display Board ready to go for Mudthaw

Lastly, in regard to Chatelaine-type projects– today we hosted a demo! While many in our Barony were celebrating the Coronation of new Royals, a few of us had the distinct pleasure to celebrate while spending the afternoon with the “Killer Coyotes” Cub Scout group as they “Partied like it’s 1399” for their Blue and Gold Dinner. Thank you to all who made this demo so special! Their Excellencies Jonathan and Teresa (and Oskar), Master Orlando Sforza, my husband, Phelippe, and Jonathan’s Man-at-Arms, Alex. Master Orlando led an amazing demo on the evolution of armor and weapons (with some very exciting details and fighting from his Excellency). Baroness Teresa shown as she taught the kids about heraldry. It was all very exciting and we really had an amazing time!

Baron Jonathan has lost a leg to Alex!
Master Orlando and Lord Phelippe duel while Baron Jonathan helps the audience spot the hits.

Ok-last Baronial project (I promise). It’s the grand finale! I built new Baronial Banner poles for Mudthaw (with greatly appreciated help from Phelippe and Baron Erec L’Claire). During last year’s Mudthaw, one of the legs from our previous banner poles snapped. We were able to make it through the event, but we new that we would need to build new ones for this year. I was happy to take on the project. I think they turned out really well, though I have a few adjustments for next year (mainly with how the banners tie off).

Checkmate (with beautiful boxes built by Jonathan in front!)
Sinking Tower as a keystone (in process)
Sinking Towers in the corner blocks (in process)

Ok– so on to the next project. I did say it was “busy season”! I still have Gold Key to finish laundering and more belt favors to make and Black Gryphon Inn is coming fast (scrolls to make, too!). Onward!

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