Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Frolic 2013

As I said in my last post, This weekend was Fall Frolic here in the Northern Outpost. Fall Frolic is our fall camping event, lasting from Friday afternoon till Sunday. It is where we hold our Shire Championships for armoured combat, rapier, arts & sciences, and archery.
Jeremiah owns the site, and it is a beautiful old farmstead, split between fields and woodland. We camp at the top of one of the open fields butted up against woods, and backed by an old orchard. We have cleared a section of woods for fighting, and built a fort facade there. It is a great site, and Jeremiah has been gracious enough to let us build things and hold archery there. The outhouse we built is referred to as the "Hall of Champions" we started keeping a recording of past Shire Champions on the wall. It's a running joke playing on the Shire name... Northern Outpost, Northern Outhouse... it amuses us. :)
Rose (the girl in pink) beating the pants off everybody in
a game of stake. She won by 12 points... in a 10 point game.
photo by Jenn Hostetter
I had a great time at the event. Our common tent was full of people on Friday night, relaxing and chatting, a really relaxed and fun atmosphere. Full of good food, with some good beers and meads, bright fall moon shining down... could not have asked for better.
On Saturday morning things really kicked off... more people arrived, which is one of my favorite things about SCA events. Friends from far away, people at their first events... all what make the game great. We snacked, chatted, and invented a new game called "stake" (mainly Ravenhair invented it) a game inspired by lawn darts bit played with steel tent stakes.

We also got ready for the tournament. It started raining pretty much the same time as we started... but it was still a blast. We fought a few melees, then the tournament. I did decently, not two and out... lost to Ian and Ravenhair. Emery, Arnbjorn and Snorri all fought well, but Ian went on to win the overall tournament. Not bad for a guy who had been out for several months. Fought some pickups as well, with Ravenhair, Snorri, and Conrad. Ravenhair had basically one shotted me in the tournament, so it was nice to fight him a bit so I didn't feel completely incompetent. I wish I had gotten to work with him more... some of the stuff he has been learning at Knight's Hall practices is very cool, and I want to see more of it.

 The fighting was overall very laid back, and everybody seemed to have a good time.That evening, Wolfhaven hosted pretty much the entire population of the event in camp. it was great that everybody felt welcome, we fed people and I think it was about 01:00 by the time everybody wrapped up (at which point I am kind of embarrassed to say I shushed them because it was late and they woke me up. I'm getting old...).
Ollie. photo by
Jenn Hostetter
Alfrun and Wilhelm showed up partway through the day with their baby Ollie. He is an absolutely adorable child, and I was lucky enough to get to play with him for a while. Alfrun also organized a Freyfaxi ceremony later in the evening. This is a Norse Heathen ceremony usually held in August, when the first harvest of wheat is. We celebrated it later, but it is generally a festival honoring Frey and Sunna, and giving thanks for a fruitful year. I was honestly surprised at the number of people who participated. Most of them were not of the Norse Heathen persuasion, but were still welcome, and it was a beautiful ceremony (held in the rain, of course). One of the things Alfrun gave thanks for was also a big reveal to the group... she and Wilhelm are pregnant again! I also used the ceremony to make a vow, that I would try and be the man my House and friends think I am. My Household made me very proud this weekend (as I posted in my last blog) and I am very thankful for them.

All in all, this event was a great success, in my view. Even with the rain, there was a decent turnout, with some people travelling a pretty good distance to attend. I hope to see more people next year... because there will be a next year.
Christophe and Ian in the Finals
photo by Jenn Hostetter

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Frolic: House Wolfhaven

This weekend was Fall Frolic here in the Northern Outpost. This is our annual Fall camping event, held at one of our local member's place. He has about 70 acres of meadows and woodland, and it is a great event site.
The majority of our House was going to be in attendance this year, with only Ger missing I wish Ger could have been there, but understand that mundane life requires its sacrifices. I look forward to the day when you can get back out and play with us regularly.
 I decided to haul out our entire Pennsic "steading"... the sheet walls with the badge and wolf's head on them, the gate posts with carved lintel piece, common tent, and banners.

The Wolfhaven "steading". Photo by Ariana
We were also going to have a few other people camping with us, and we discussed what we were planning to do for meals. Saturday lunch was going to be a potluck dayboard, and we contributed to that, as did the rest of the Shire, but we would at least have to do dinners for ourselves Friday and Saturday night. We decided to do pork on the smoker on Friday, and a barley soup and smoked chickens on Saturday night. We discussed what to bring, and each person brought their share (or more). My steward Arnbjorn, and Erland, the newest member of the House, handled pretty much all the cooking both nights... I was barely able to help at all. However, they did not cook enough just for us... we ended up feeding a good portion of the event both nights. Saturday night, there were so many people we had to add on a couple of pop up tents just to hold all the people. In addition to cooking, both helped others set up and take down, and fought in the Shire champion's tournament, and acquitted themselves well. They were checking the chickens in the smoker between rounds of the tournament.
Snorri came up with Tirzah, and it was great to see him. He was not there for most of the rest of the day, as they could only daytrip, but he fought well, and spent time after doing pickups and learning.
Alfrun came up with Wilhelm and their baby Ollie. Alfun organized and ran a Freyfaxi ceremony on Saturday evening... a Norse heathen ceremony of thanksgiving. She did a wonderful job, and it made me very glad to see how many of our friends attended and participated.
All in all... my people made me VERY proud this weekend. I have a very hardworking and friendly crew, and they share my emphasis on hospitality. I love you all, and I am immensely proud of you all right now. I hope  to someday be half the man you all seem to think I am. You make me better.