Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – Edmund and Kateryn Kingdom Augmentation

As I said a few months ago, I wrote nearly 60 scroll texts for awards given during the reign of William and Isolde.  The thing about awards, tho, is that while everyone knows you got them, if they weren’t there to SEE you get them, they don’t necessarily know what it was for, what was talked about, etc.

So I’ve decided that a good use for this blog that mostly sits around doing nothing would be for me to go through the scroll texts I wrote (and any others I might come up with along the way) along with some other things, like boasts, etc, that I wrote for the reign, my process, etc.  In chronological order.

So let’s get started with the first scroll text I wrote for them: the Joint Kingdom Augmentation of Arms for Edmund and Kateryn.

Now, I actually wrote about this before, but I want to cover it again.  William and Isolde asked me to write a text for a Kingdom Augmentation of Arms for Edmund and Kateryn.

One of the types of forme fixe poems is the Ballade, which can be found discussed here. As my persona has evolved, I’ve grown more attached to Ballades, and have endeavored to learn the form from a poety perspective, with my finest efforts to this point having been the Ballade Cycle I wrote for my friend Robert Downey’s vigil and Knight.

The Ballade is right in the ballpark for both Edmund and Kateryn’s personas, and I thought I might do a Ballade for them. But when they were on the thones, I’d been in the royalty room preparing for a court, and His then Majesty Edmund spoke at length about how He did not like for couples to recieve joint awards, so that was the end of that idea.

Then inspiration struck. The results are below. It’s called a Ballade Duet.

The left hand-column is the Kingdom Augmentation of Arms script for Duke Edmund. It has a rhyming scheme of ababbcbC (where C is the repeated line) for three stanzas.

The right hand-column is the Kingdom Augmentation of Arms script for Duchess Kateryn. It has a rhyming scheme of dedeeceC (where C is the repeated line).

Note how both texts have the single shared rhyme and end lines. This binds the two poems together, along with the shared half-stanza at the end, and builds the theme throughout the piece. But if these poems had been written on separate scrolls, they still stand alone as versions of a Ballade.

After each of the three stanzas, there is a shared Envoi, or half-stanza, which uses the rhyme scheme abeC. It leaves out the e rhyme, which I’m not happy about; I am leaning towards modifing the form further to have a five line envoi, which could then be abdeC.

I worked hard to incorporate different things that they had both done over the years in the SCA.  When one holds a Duchy four times over, you are in a position to do a great deal of good for a kingdom.  You become a person of trust.  Both Edmund and Kateryn done many things for the Kingdom even outside of their times as King and Queen.

SCA period is replete with poets adapting existing poetry forms or creating new ones out of whole cloth, from Arneaut Daniel creating the Sestina, to Shakespeare adapting the Sonnet. As with these worthies, my small contribution is open for all to use, adapt, and improve.

Edmund Kateryn
Now bring We Edmund before these hard thrones So here is Kateryn, beauty held on high
We see his love for all the Dragon lands Her love and grace encompasses us all
To be a Dragon warrior’s in his bones Upon the wings of Dragons does she fly
Long has he held the Red Pale in his hands And far below she hears our joyful call
No one will move the Duke from where he stands And standing with us she will never fall
And so he seeks to win for lady bold Never in her heart a hint of cold
Sweet Kateryn is his lovely queen so grand and welcomed all to warmth within their hall
Within their hearts the dragon do they hold Within their hearts the dragon do they hold
So King five times, he feels it in his bones Rum’s Chancellor, she never has been shy
To victory at Pennsic War he planned Armed now with Rapier, plunging in the brawl
A Knight and Marshal as the land has grown And all shall learn to heed her warning cry
As General he led the roving bands As down the lady hawk stoops to the thralled
Over the rent and blood-soaked Gulf Wars sands As graceful as a dancer at the ball
A chalice for a King all done in gold So like the fencer Porthos, just as bold
And let not merry hearts be shunned or banned And with her King she does defend the Walls
Within their hearts the dragon do they hold Within their hearts the dragon do they hold
And as a Dragon’s Tooth has he been thrown And thus Edmund’s Willow will, by and by
Three times across the battlefield’s lands her five years on the thrones fully recall
And as Dragon’s Heart has thus been shown The love of Midrealm folk never denied
His love for all the MidRealm ne’er remand And too, her love for them has never palled.
And thus no other service we demand And now your protestations we forestall
Before Us now, dear friends, now you are told His sapphire a new fitting out of gold
So now do hear Our Royal full command And thus announce before the people all
Within their hearts the dragon do they hold Within their hearts the dragon do they hold
He is her Vanguard, she his Rose, they stand
Long will the stories of their days be told
A Kingdom Augmentation, hear the call!
Within their hearts the dragon do they hold