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Christophe the Insultor – Part 1

admin on July 31st, 2008

Christophe used to be at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. A few years ago he left. He is a great improv comedic. I avoided being insulted by him f or eight years until my wedding day. And let me tell you there is nothing like being insulted on your wedding day. It makes for a very memorable one.

Here is part one of a three part show he does at another festival now.

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The Barn – Part 1

admin on July 30th, 2008

Obscured in all the foliage was a barn. The roof could be seen from a short distance away but trees, grass and weeds hid the rest. Eva and Elter stared in awe at the building they had stumbled upon. There should have been no buildings anywhere, since this was a region that was supposed to be uninhabited. But there it was beckoning to them.
“I wonder if there’s a way in?” Elter said, his child-like face beaming with anticipation.
Eva eyed the foliage and said, “Guess we’re going to have to look.”
Malin, to the south, was still new, being founded six months prior. The town government knew that building in a wild region meant strange creatures and races. It hired people to go exploring and report back what they found. Eva and Elter were two of the few who would take the job. They made an odd pair. Elter was a kender with blue eyes, light brown hair in a topknot, and pointed ears similar to an elf. Eva, an elf, had dark eyes and hair that flowed freely. From a distance they looked like mother and son.
The two walked around, checking out the plants and looking for an opening.
“Elter do you notice anything odd?”
“Like what?” he said, looking around curiously to see what Eva was talking about.
“No El, listen. There are no noises. No birds, no insects, nothing.”
He stopped to listen and looked up at Eva. She was a foot and a half taller than his four foot stance.
“You’re right. There are no creatures about. Wow! I wonder what’s in this place? A dragon maybe. Or an evil wizard that has used all the animals for experiments and now none live here. Let’s go find out.”
A kender’s imagination and curiosity never ceased to amaze Eva. Neither did their lack of fear, but they were considered a nuisance by most since they were always into everything. Since Elter loved to go exploring, this job was perfect for him.
“Elter wait. Let’s go in together,” She drew her elven longsword, a gift from her parents, from the black leather sheath and scanned the area for anything odd as she walked. She was looking for something that would give evidence of a door in the vegetation and the blade felt good in her hand. Elter skipped along beside her the numerous pouches that all kender wore revealing his orange tunic underneath that clashed horribly with his bright green leggings.
The barn was old and in desperate need of repair. Boards were peeling from exposure and some places they were missing or broken. There was one visible door, but it, like the sides she could see, was on the second floor.
“I don’t think a dragon lives here. There is no way for one to come and go.”
“I guess you’re right. It would be awfully fun to see one though,” he looked rather upset but brightened quickly, his smile returning. “Well, I still bet there’s a wizard somewhere inside. Or at least what’s left of his lab. Maybe I can find a ring to make me invisible.”
“Elter,” Eva began to chide him and then let it fall. A kender would always look for something interesting.
The foliage around the barn was even thicker close up. If a door still existed, it would be really hard to find. Eva looked at Elter.
“Well, you’re small, you can get closer. I’ll watch your back.”
Elter’s face lit up. “Really!! I can look for the door?”
“Yes, just be careful.”
Elter handed Eva his hoopak; a five-foot long kender invention made of supple wood that had a spearhead on the bottom and a y on the top. The top could be used as a sling or noisemaker depending on what was needed at the time and it was often used as a walking stick. In he went to the weeds and trees around the barn.
She smiled momentarily at his excitement, then turned serious again, her brow furrowing. Looking around, Eva felt strange from the lack of noise. The kender appeared a moment later farther to her right. He popped his head out and said to her, “Nothing yet. It’s really dark. I can’t wait to get in and see what’s in there.”
Eva smiled again at him. His enthusiasm always made her feel better.
They worked around the first side of the barn. At the corner Eva sighed.
“No luck yet?”
“No but this sure is fun.”

This episode starts with the gang running through the forest to see what Alan is doing going through it. They see a bunch of mercenaries with Alan and the wagons. Realizing the food will help feed many poor people all winter, they attack from the rear. They easily get away but Robin thinks it was too easy, that there is something bigger going to happen. As they are putting the food in their secret stash, they are attacked by a group. One of the men recognizes Robin and when Robin gets the best of him, the man, Grant, tells him that he has a message for Robin from the King. The message is an eye looking down on a king. Robin has issues figuring out what it means. But what they are looking for is Latin for treasure of the nation. They are to complete the mission by mid-summer’s day.

When Alan arrives at Locksley Village without the supplies, Gisborne is upset with him. Alan remembers about the food store area and Gisborne believes he is still hiding many things from him. Marion steps in before Gisborne can glean anymore information from Alan and wants to know why the village is being abandoned. She is told the Sheriff has given the order for it and when he will not ignore it she tells him she saw a different side of him previously.

Robin and the gang go to Paxton’s house and he is forced to give a password to reveal that he has a message. Robin gets the message and uses a candle to make the actual message appear. Unfortunately they still can not decipher the message. When the entire gang looks, Robin thinks to put the two messages together. The dots that were revealed with the candle make a circle.

Alan shows Gisborne the store and Marion follows. Gisborne says to take it all. Marion looks appalled and while Robin is trying to figure out the message, she whistles to him. Telling him about what Gisborne has done, he is upset and even more so when he finds out that Alan has betrayed him with the food store. He must refuse her request though, since it is a message from the king. Robin makes Marion promise not to do anything, which she does. However when he leaves she says the Night Watchman might.

Upon his return to the gang they figure out that the dots are stones. One of the men who came leaves to prepare the boat for the treasure. They go to the stones and Robin sees where they line up with a half circle. He shoots an arrow through them all and they go to where it struck. The wind is blowing and they see an entrance to some underground lair. It appears they are at a dead end, but John and Grant get the door open. Beyond is a room with natural light from somewhere and when it is mid-day, it shines on a well. They see the eye and follow it, where a map is to show exactly where they need to go. The man who was going to prepare the boat has betrayed them and led the Sheriff right to them. After they find out where they must go, the Sheriff kills the man and locks the gang in the room.

Meanwhile Marion puts on her Night Watchman outfit and enters Locksley Village to help the people. She enters the building where all the food is and Alan is in there. Knowing it is her, he tries to get her to leave before anyone sees her. Gisborne walks in first and a fight ensure between them. When he gets her down, he is going to use a fire poker on her but Alan steps in and she is unmasked to Gisborne’s horror.

Robin and the gang realize they must escape and John uses his strength to get the door open. Everyone crawls under his legs. Grant helps hold the door while John escapes. When they get out, Robin realizes he looked at the map too quickly and that the Sheriff is going the wrong way. They decide to go across country for speed. The Sheriff is seen looking for the treasure and figures out he is in the wrong place.

Marion tries persuading Alan to help her escape. He tells her he can not because even if he wanted to go back to Robin, he couldn’t. Gisborne walks in with a dagger that the year before he put in the side of the Night Watchman. He wants to see the wound and when she shows it to him, he is devastated. Gisborne tells Alan to prepare the prisoner to go back to the castle and let the Sheriff know they have captured the Night Watchman. Marion tries to stop him and Gisborne tells her she is not allowed to speak to him.

When Robin and the gang get to the church there is doubt it is correct, but Robin has faith. They walk in to a chamber to find the Queen Mother, the Treasure of the Nation. She knows Robin and tells him they are late. She is introduced to everyone and is intrigued by Djaq. Prince John had locked her in a tower but she escaped. They appear trapped when the Sheriff and his men arrive but the Queen tells them all provisions for escape have been made. She meets the Sheriff through a door and they escape through the floor.

Marion looks out of her prison and sees the noose for her. When Gisborne comes to see her, he calls her out on her friendship and how she has betrayed him all this time. She pleads that she did not and does care for him. He will not believe her and leaves.

During a short break for the Queen, she tells him she can not believe he gave up and easy life to be hunted. As they speak, they hear the Sheriff trying to find them and the Queen says she can not run anymore. They decide to have John carry the Queen, who is not upset by the notion.
Marion devises a plan to escape, but she fails. Gisborne tells her when the Sheriff returns she will be put to death. She goads him saying he should finish the job himself. He is upset with her for putting him in the position he is in. Gisborne tells her when she left, he thought he lost her for good and that perhaps it would have been better if he had.

Robin and the gang are ambushed in a valley and the Queen tells the Sheriff she is not afraid of him. Grant charges the men and after several arrows and taking out several men, is killed by the Sheriff. Will, Djaq, and another helper get the men on the ridge, Robin and the rest right them off. John keeps telling the Queen to stay down and when things are fine, she is allowed to rise. She tells the dying Grant he is a good man.

The Sheriff returns and finds out Marion is the Night Watchman. She tells him she is ready to die and then a Night Watchman appears. He gets away by hiding in a well. After the Sheriff’s men pass, he comes out of the well and it is Alan saving Marion from death. The Sheriff is very mad and tells Gisborne that is his last failure. And then it is revealed that Gisborne set up the plan to get Marion released.

Robin tells the Queen how to get to the coast and to find the king. She says they will be heroes to the king. Before she leaves she reminds John of an invitation she gave him and gives him a bunch of money for Robin’s cause.

1) Slubberdegullion (n.) – A paltry dirty wretch.

Quoth she, although thou hast deserv’d,
Base /slubberdegullion/, to be serv’d
As thou did’st vow to deal with me,
If thou had’st got the victory.

– Hudibras, I, iii 886

Pronunciation: /slubErdEguliOn/

2) Barbel (n.) – A small piece of armour which protects part of the
bassinet. [note that in medieval English cookbooks a “barbel” was a
carp-like freshwater fish of the genus Barbus]

His /barbel/ first adoun he deth,
Withouten colour his neb he seth.

– Gij of Warwike

Pronunciation: /bArbEl/

3) Tailde (adj.) – Carved.

The wardes of the cyte of hefen bryght
I lycken tyl wardes that stalworthly dyght,
And clenely wroght and craftyly /taylde/
Of clene sylver and golde, and enamaylde.

– Hampole, MS. Bowes

Pronunciation: /taIld@/

4) Guzzle (n.) – A drain or ditch. Sometimes a small stream. Called
also a guzzen

This is all one thing as if hee should goe about
to jussle her into some filthy stinking /guzzle/ or
ditch.

– Whateley’s Bride Bush, 1623

Pronunciation: /guzEl/

5) Lorne (v./adj.) – Lost; undone; destroyed. Still in use, in the
sense of forsaken. Also, to lose anything.

The stewardys lyfe ys /lorne/,
There was fewe that rewyd ther on,
And fewe for hym wepyth.

– MS. Cantab. Ff. ii. 38

Pronunciation: /lOrn@/

Pennsic 37

admin on July 25th, 2008

Today at noon Pennsic 37 will have begun. Most of the fighting happens the second week, not the first, but many people will be gone for the full two weeks anyhow.

This is a GOOD LUCK to the midrealm in the war and especially the Barony of the Flaming Gryphon where many of my fellow fighters will be showing our honor and going for glory.

Pennsic 36 Castle Battle

admin on July 24th, 2008

I thought I would educate everyone on some Middle English vocabulary. I get an email daily from my Barony and find the words interesting. So I will post five of them every week. I have been saving them for seven days so the first one is going to be more education.
You will see the word, description, it used in a sentence along with how wrote the sentence, and how to pronounce it.
1) Deraye (n.) – Confusion; noise. Also a verb, to act as a madman.

He began to make /deraye/,
And to hys felows dud he say.

– MS. Cantab. Ff. ii. 38

Pronunciation: /dEraI/
2) Lele (adj.) – Loyal; faithful; true.

Hir love is ever trewe and /lele/,
Ful swete hit is to monnes hele.

– Cursor Mundi, MS. Coll. Trin. Cantab.

Pronunciation: /lEl@/
3) Deduit (n.) – Pleasure; delight.

In whiche the 3ere hath his /deduit/,
Of gras, of floure, of leef, of frute.

– Gower, MS. Soc. Antiq. 134

Pronunciation: /dEduit/
4) Querele (n.) – A complaint.

Thou lyf, thou luste, thou mannis hele,
Biholde my cuse and my /querele/.

– Gower, MS. Soc. Antiq. 134

Pronunciation: /kuErEl@/
5) Bayard (n.) – Properly a bay horse, but often applied to a horse in
general.

Ther is no God, ther is no lawe
Of whom that he taketh eny hede,
But as /Bayarde/ the blynde stede,
Tille he falle in the diche amidde,
He goth ther no man wol him bidde.

– Gower, MS. Soc. Antiq. 134

Pronunciation: /baIArd/
6) Ysels (n.) – Ashes.

And whenne the heved schalle be waschene,
make lee of haye /ysels/, that was mawene
byfor mysommer day.

– MS. Med. Line.

Pronunciation: /IsEls/
7) Flayre (n.) – Smell; odour.

And alle swete savowres that men may fele
Of alkyn thyng that here saveres wele,
War noght bot styncke to regarde of the /flayre/,
That es in the cyte of hefen so fayre.

– Hampole, MS. Bowes

Pronunciation: /flaIr@/

Another good world hook would be sites of interest. Any place can become something different if you just use your imagination to get away from the normal. Or even something that seems ordinary can suddenly change with one thing different causing your characters to want to explore and find out just why it is different. Here is some in-depth on sites of interest approaches.
Caverns are used the most in role-playing but they don’t always have to be about monsters. You could have a mineral deposit or whatever your highest form of money is, have a cavern with a newly discovered vein of that. Violence with people trying to claim it could bring the PC’s to investigate or even monsters trying to claim it as their own. Of course a simple monster lair works just as well for new adventures. Dungeons are similar to caverns but usually are more extensive. A cavern can actually turn into a dungeon at a certain level. It could be that the local town has an issue with a cavern close by but when the PC’s investigate, they discover the dungeon with the evil wizard.
Even though most adventures start in a city, you could have it start out in the wilderness and bring the characters to a city with a curse, overbearing ruler, plague that no one can explain where it came from, etc. Or the surface of the city could be normal but as the PC’s look for work they are drawn into the rogues’ underground world where things are worse off than someone not of that profession would know. In addition there are fortresses or strongholds where the PC’s could try to invade an enemy force or protect their own. Or they might try to discover who gave away the secret entrance for the one where they live to be overrun with ogres.
Ruins or shrines make interesting approaches. Ruins can have all kinds of enemies, magic, loot, or other things the characters are interested in finding. Even artifacts about the place could be what gets a PC to explore it. This could lead to discovery of a race lost to time or other such thing to give you more adventures later. Shrines in a way are similar, especially for someone who is not familiar with the religion. If there is a new religion out, the characters might go to the shrine to discover why people are flocking to it and be found as non-believers and must escape and save the rest of the people.
Starting in a wilderness can be an odd adventure. Why are they there, do they have a tracker, can they survive days without visible food sources? Are they looking for a new way across an otherwise inhospitable landscape? Whatever might make your characters think and want to stay here. Or you can really make your characters ask questions by having an adventure that is extraplanar. Other planes of existence from where they live and breath are where they find new creatures to fight and survive against. Is there maybe a rift where those vile creatures could get to their world and take it over so they must close it to save their own? Are there friendly extraplanar creatures to help them? Anything odd can work in this format but might take even more work to create.
Whatever sites you chose realize that you can mix and match any way you like. It may seem to start one way and then switch to a different type of area. All of them can be big or small as you want them to be and can be expanded later if you find it is not enough.

Here are some pictures from last weekends SCA event, Push for Pennsic.

Clothes Weaving (Her Majesty the Midrealm Queen is on the right)

a>Clothes Weaving

Clothes Dying

Clothes Dying

This is her Higness the Midrealm Princess with a Falcon

Falcon

The Baron with his Plastered Face

Baron Plastered

Done Plastering the Baron’s Face (Ian Drake in the purple is a friend of mine)

Plastering 2

Sven Receiving an Award at Court (this is a friend of mine)

Award at Court

Midrealm Court
Court

SCA Fighting in Hot, Humid Weather

admin on July 18th, 2008

I posted once about keeping hydrated in the heat, keeping-hydrated-in-the-heat-in-the-sca.

After fighting outside this past weekend, there is more to this than just keeping hydrated. You have to know your own body as well. If you do not, it is possible you could end up passing out from heat exhaustion and keeping yourself out of fighting for the rest of the day.

Drinking plenty of fluids is one of the key parts to being able to fight in the heat and humidity. But if you have other problems such as diabetes or hypoglycemia, you need to watch your sugar levels as well. I recommend having candy to eat on during the day for those who are hypoglycemic and insulin if you are diabetic.

Pay attention to your body as you move in the heat. You may not notice anything as you are fighting, but when you stop for water, know signs that you are close to a danger zone for yourself. Saturday when we paused for water, I began to feel dizzy. This is a sign to me that I will pass out from the heat and low sugar levels. Thus I ate a candy bar and grapes, drank some water, and sat in the shade to feel better. The coolest part is that when people started hearing how I was feeling, many of them were offering me water, food, their chairs, etc. One of the nice things about people in the SCA, they are friendly.

Don’t push yourself just to keep going. You can do more damage than help. Sit out a few rounds if you want to keep fighting. Take off your gear to cool off your body. Fighter gear is hot no matter what it’s made of nor what you wear underneath it. Even in the winter putting it all on gets hot. This can help cool you down faster so you can get back to fighting faster.

Know when you have hit your limits and stop if need be. If you are not used to fighting in hot weather in all your gear, you may not be able to do it for long. No one will fault you for this because you do have to acclimate your body to SCA fighting in the heat. Stop for the day and try again at the next event or practice. Even in the shade when it is humid it can be too much so don’t just assume that you will be fine if the sun is not shining down. Be smart and you will get to fight longer.