The Barony of Carolingia held its annual St. Valentine's Revel at Shakespeare House, Wellesley College, on the fourteenth day of February, A.S. X, the event also marking the barony's sixth anniversary.
The event officially opened with the afternoon Court of Love, presided over once again by Lady Elspeth of Morven (led in blindfolded, in the guise of Blind Justice), with Her Majesty Queen Ysabeau Cameron, Countess Alyson of Islay, and Eve de l'Isle Madeleine assisting. Lord Edward of Crofton brought forward the sad case of a (nameless) friend of his who has the misfortune to be a frog, and believes himself to need a kiss from every lady in the kingdom to set him free. The most difficult case was certainly that brought by Sir Michael of York against anonymous members of an anonymous guild in an anonymous barony who neglected their anonymous partners at dance practice to taste an anonymous apple pie which they had made. Lady Marian of Edwinstowe ably defended the guild members, and further discussion let to such questions as whether it is possible to love an apple pie (Can a pie be jealous? After all, it's irrational! Is it of an age to love? Must it be mourned like a human lover?) and even to a suggested single combat between Sir Michael and the pie. However, the ladies were finally judged innocent by the Court.
Their Majesties held Court following the Court of Love, and made a number of awards: Awards of Arms to Fernando Salazar y Perez, Lisa Goldenstar, and Steven the Wanderer; the new Order of the Burdened Tiger to Lady Sita, Begum of Oudh; and finally, by unanimous consent of the Order, the admission of Lady Elspeth of Morven to the Order of the Laurel. Lady Tamera FitzGloucestre of the White Boar was offered the rank of Court Baroness, but to the regret and admiration of the Company, she refused it, in her words, "with gratitude for the consideration, but firm in the knowledge that she had yet to truly earn it."
Dinner was merry with mead, and more of the guild's anonymous apple pies were consumed. Ladies Tamera FitzGloucestre and Alia bint Ulek ibn el Kharish, and Lord Sigismund Vasa Care sang new songs to Lady Gillian of the Green Woods ("Gillian's Song" or "I'm Armigerous, Going on Crescent") and Sir Patri du Chat Gris ("They Call Chat Gris Podesta"). After the dinner the winners of the poetry and favor contests were announced. Count Sir Jehan de la Marche won the prizes for both lyric poetry and sonnet, with honorable mention going to a pair of poems by him and his lady on the subject of her criticism of his verse. Dishonorable Mention went to Lord Edward of Crofton's "Froggy Went A-Courtin'." Among the ladies' favors, there were several prizes, Johanna Dudley's "Knight Light" (a bedside candleholder in the shape of a small helm) being deservedly labelled "Most Original." Sir Aelfwine's belt for Lady Tchipakkan, and Lord Sigismund's embroidery for Lady Alia, the only two favors entered by lords, were both too good to escape winning prizes as well.
Lady Elspeth then opened the Baronial Court by turning over the office she held as Gonfalonniere to her successor, Sir Patri, who thereupon handed over his duties as Seneschal of Carolingia to Sir Michael as Deputy, and his duties as Baronial Master of Sciences to Lord John of Canterbury. The new Gonfaloniere was acclaimed. The barony's guild of calligraphers then presented their charter to Sir Patri for his signature, which he gave. Dona Laura de Segovia, the Mistress of the guild, named Lady Peridot of the Quaking Hand, founding Mistress of the guild, as the guild's first Master Craftsman, and also as its Elder, a unique title created especially for Lady Peridot.
The evening closed with dancing, blind man's bluff, and the inevitable cloved lemon. Thanks are due to Baroness Kathryn Goodwyn, her co-autocrat Lady Tchipakkan Arastorm, and to Lady Liosliath of Donnelly, who obtained the use of Shakespeare House. Saint Valentine may consider himself well-served by a most unsaintly evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Eve de l'Isle Madeleine