Showcase: Writing Scroll Texts and Other Things – the First Boast of King William and Queen Isolde

Colin O’Flannery’s Court Baroncy was the last piece of business in the morning court.  We all had a few hours to catch our breath, and then it was time to jump into the deep end.

William and Isolde had already picked soon-to-become Mistress Lucia to be their Kingdom Bard, but she wasn’t going to take the position till crown, so I offered to write a boast.

A processional boast is a peculiar thing.  It needs to be long enough that it doesn’t leave the assorted champions and attendants, but short enough that it doesn’t leave the King and Queen standing while you finish.  This site also had a fairly long space to process in (although not as long as for Crown three weeks hence).  I think it ended up being timed ok.

Those who know William know that he’s a traditionalist, so it was very important to him that we use some of the older references that have, in recent years, fallen out of favor.  The two that have stand out the most are Baron Under the Mountain and Protector of the Inland Seas.

There were two problems:

The first was that there weren’t really enough to make a boast of, the second, larger issue was that there are simply no equivalent titles for the Queen.

Luckily, I am good at making things up.

For William, I created or appropriated for following:

  • Ring Giver is a traditional early period reference to Royalty, who handed out arm-rings and finger rings of gold — and I knew that during the reign, William and Isolde were going to give new AOA recipients twisted arm-rings, and not circlets.
  • Baron Under the Mountain is an ancient MidRealm reference, that I believe actually is a rip-off of Tolkien’s King under the Mountain from the Hobbit.
  • Protector of the Inland Seas refers to the days when the MidRealm, encompassing the land, then region, then principality called Ealdormere, had a massive amount of the land bordering the Great Lakes.
  • Crimson Captain refers to William being the premier of the Red Company.  The original designation for RedCo was Captain, not Serjant.
  • Warlord of Wonder is a reference to a tournament William once won.
  • Sun in His Splendour refers to  Royal Augmentation of Arms that William received from then King David and Queen Tangwystl. 
  • Fyrdman of the Silver Fountains is -probably- a mistyped reference to the Silver Fountains of House Vexallaurius, the household of Comar and Lisa.  I typo.  Silver Fountains are cool, tho, right?  Cool fountains.
  • Vanguard of MidRealm liege-men refers both to William’s propensity to lead from the front, as well as his having been a former champion.

For Isolde, I created or appropriated everything from scratch:

  • Ring Giver as above
  • Birch Queen of the Oak comes from a half-remembered reference in Viking sagas of referring to men as Oaks and women as linden or birch.  Of the Oak also refers to the Oaken Regions of the MidRealm taken as a whole.
  • Mistress of the Gauntlet refers to Pentamere.
  • Set about with Stars – Constellation.
  • Adored by the Annulo refers to MidLands, which is the first place she came on her own as Princess, when she attended Bardic Madness just over a year ago.
  • Princess and Poet — I don’t know how many people know about this, but Isolde is an accomplished poet and musician.
  • Speaker of the Ancient refers to Isolde’s ability to speak and translate Anglo Saxon English, among other things.
  • Lady of Linden is another reference to that Viking saga above.
  • Blessed by Bards… well.  I mean, sometimes, one just has to throw in a self-reference, doesn’t one?

This boast was used both for William and Isolde’s first court, and their last.

Bold battle children! Know now,
William of Fairhaven: Famed is this King,
Far fly the boasts of Him:
Ring-Giver of Dragons
Baron Beneath the Mountain
Protector of the Inland Seas
Once Crimson Captain of warriors willing,
Then Prince of Ale and Ice
Now Warlord of Wonder,
Sun in his Splendour
Fyrdman of the Silver Fountains
Vanguard of MidRealm liege-men loyal

And Isolde de la Ramee: Famed is this queen,
Far fly the boasts of Her:
Ring-Giver of Dragons
Birch-Queen of the Oak
Mighty Mistress of the Gauntlet
Set about with Stars
Adored by the Annulo
Princess and Poet
Speaker of the Ancient
Lady of Linden, Blessed by bards

picture by Nancy laMonica-Barton