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Anst-sword-msg - 2/17/99


Histories and comments on the Ansteorran Sword 0f State.


NOTE: See also the files: Anst-hist-msg, Anst-hist2-msg, SCA-hist1-msg, SCA-stories1-msg, courts-msg, coronets-msg, you-know-msg, swords-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Subject: ANST - The Sword of State (long)

Date: Wed, 07 Jan 98 19:26:38 MST

From: Paul Mitchell <pmitchel at flash.net>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


Galen of Bristol here...


Viscountess Megan Andoniel of Glengalen, Mistress

of the Pelican and Lion of Ansteorra, has asked

me to post the following, so that people may

understand the significance of the theft of

the Great Sword of State of Ansteorra from Their

Majesties' truck.  Following this history is a

sonnet which I have written about the loss of the




Ansteorra, then being a principality of Atenveldt,

yielded to its neighbor principality Megan of Namron

to be their Princess, and at that time Orm went to

the King of Atenveldt, who was Jonathan DeLaufyson,

saying that he desired to be wed to a princess of the

realm.  The king said if you do these deeds for me I

shall promise you the hand of this princess:  First,

go to Al Barran.  There is a rock in an abbey there

which is the same rock that the kings of Atenveldt

stand upon at coronation, and the monks withhold it,

for I have made them subject.   Bring me the rock.

Second, go to the Outlands and guard the princess

all the days that she is there.  And if I shall go

to war, bring to my aid military force.  And this

Orm swore he would do, giving the king a ring to

show his intent.  And it came to pass that through

great hardship, danger and trial, each of these

things were done, and Orm returned from the Outlands

three times bringing the rock, aid in war, then the

princess, when her reign was accomplished.




In the time of their reign in Atenveldt, Willow,

Queen, gave to her foster sons, Frea and Ivar of

Namron, a ship, worthy of kings sons, and they

called it the Raven, and found hardy warriors to

man her oars. Later, on returning from the Outlands

Orm, being seasoned in battle, was called by the

Raven captains to man her steer board.  Many months

after, Megan was called to pull an oar, being less

seasoned, but hardy, quick with spear, and tenacious;

and Megan and Cyf were the only women ever to row or

fight on the ship Raven.




As Megan returned from the Outlands, Ansteorra became

a kingdom.  Jonathan and Willow, who had been king and

queen of Atenveldt ruled first on the throne of Ansteorra.

Many deeds they did that strengthened our kingdom, and

became part of our oldest traditions, yet deeds were

done, too, by royalty and nobility alike, that brought

harm.   The kingdom was torn by strife.   Now sad times

befell the new kingdom, and actions were taken by many

that all regretted later.  Ansteorra learned to her sorrow

that strength lay in unity, as outsiders came to impose

their will upon the kingdom.


In this time, as Jonathan and Willow made ready to leave

the thrones to their heirs, they created an order to

embody the Spirit of values cherished, that others in the

kingdom might rally and follow their lead, and this order

they called the Lions of Ansteorra, Defenders of the Dream.

For the first of this order they chose Orm Skjoldbidig,

known as the Red.  They retired, whereon  Lloyd and Jocelyn

ascended the throne.





Now, Megan, returned to her lands, sought a gift for

Ansteorra where she was born.  She found a sword in

the keeping of a man of  Atenveldt and seeing that it

was once well made by the force of hammer she asked

its history. This man said he had only just brought

it from the desert of Atenveldt, and told of how it

had seen battle.  Megan thought it would be a good

sword if it could be worked, though it had taken grievous

harm in service.


At this time the kingdom was young and there was little

that was used by the king that was both a weapon and

a symbol of state; and Megan thought a symbol of unity

would be good.  The sword could  be had, but at a price

in gold, so Megan went to the Ravens and told them what

she found, and what she foresaw could be the story of

the sword, if it but could be acquired.  Megan and Orm

pledged half the sword's price, the Raven captains Frea

and Ivar just under a fourth each, and each of the remaining

Ravens including Richenda, Finn, Cyf, Edward the Proud,

Morgan the Grey, Red Malcom, and others, made up the balance.


Orm then took the blade into his hands, and under the

starlight of the realm he reforged  it and made it straight.




Now Orm took thought that he would claim his bride.  He

gathered to himself the Raven captains Frea and Ivar, and

his kin and housecarls, and came before the king who was

on royal progress in his barony called the Steppes. Without

leave of herald straight from ship he came, and asked the king

for the hand of Megan, the king's kin who sat in court beside

him.  The king demanded by what reason he should deliver up the

chieftess.  Orm spoke of his tasks and Jonathan, duke, set forth

how he had pledged to Orm.  The bride price and matter of the

bride's weapons were settled, as is told elsewhere, but Lloyd

asked what should be given him for his part in this.  At this,

Ivar stepped forth, and drew a red cloak from his mailed fist

in which he held a bare ebon blade, which the king drew.


And Orm said "Take this oh king, as a wedding gift from me,

and the crew of the ship Raven, unto the Kingdom of Ansteorra,

to stand and be used as the sword of state."  And to this Lloyd





Their reign came to an end, and King Lloyd called Ivar to stand

by Orm and wear the badge of the White Lion.  Lloyd left the

sword of state with his crown upon the throne, and Jan became

king, and took up both crown and sword.




In their time Jan and Kemreth ruled fairly, and there was

prosperity and laughter in their reign. When this was nearly

at and end, Jan  gave Megan a lion made all of silver, and

brought her to stand by Orm and by Ivar.  In this time Jan

gave thought  it would be fitting that the Sword of State be

cared for by the Lions.




Now at this time the Order of the Lions, Defenders of the

Dream was very small, being only Orm, Ivar and Megan, and

these three sailed on the ship Raven, and the sword was

entrusted to the Raven crew for care.  In the time of Sigmund

and Sieglinde, the heirs of Jan and Kemreth, the Raven was

sailing often abroad, and it became difficult to tend the

sword for the king.  Megan thinking on Jan's words, sought

with the Raven crew that the sword might be given to the

care of the Lions of Ansteorra, for all the Lions were also

Raven at that time.  To this the Ravens agreed, having seen

their names and a place of honor made for their role in bringing

the sword to the kingdom.




Now Orm, Ivar and Megan went before Sigmund, king, and let

it be known that the Ravens tendered stewardship of the sword

to the Lions of Ansteorra.  They pledged, as Defenders of the

Dream, to guard the sword and the principles for which it stood,

and received in pledge that  the sword of state would remain

their especial trust as the symbol of all that the Lions guard,

and that when the first sword was retired, it should go to Orm

and Megan's care, while the Lions, together, would bring forth

a new sword, in stewardship, as before.  These pledges, on both

sides, were renewed between the Lions and Finn Kelly O'Donnell

who followed Sigmund, and thereafter between the Lions and other

sovereigns.  However, as the order grew and became more widespread,

this knowledge was passed on less and less, until there came a

time when the pledge was forgotten and the kings knew not where

the sword came from.  Neither so, did many lions know.




Hrabia Jan was called to the company of the Lions, and at

the end of Sigmund's reign  the Lions came forth together

and Jan took the sword from him, for the Lions to hold in

that dangerous time when there is no king.  And when the

heir, Finn Kelly came forth, they challenged him, and were

satisfied of his answer.  So it was established that the

Lions would guard the sword as the chivalry guard the king's

crown, and all that the order was created to embody, the

sword came to embody also.  At times, so precious was the

sword for what it symbolized, both the Chivalry and the Royal

Family tried to gain its stewardship from the Lions, only to

be reminded of the pledges of kings.


Four times did the sword return to the hand of Orm and Megan,

for renewal and care.  In that time Orm fashioned a scabbard,

and twice rewrapped the hilt; Megan etched its pommel and

scabbard ornaments; and Orm's apprentice, Xylon, reworked

the pommel and quillions.  Each time, the ebon finish was

restored.  The sword was last cared for by all three in the

reign of Michael IV, and was passed from him to his heirs.






        - Megan Andoniel of Glengalen





It's gone now, but I held it in my hands

As I stood behind Hector, and Inman,

Behind Rowan, Kein, the Kings of these lands,

For Mikael, Patrick, Mahadi, such men.

My hand on its hilt, Badon was knighted.

It touched my shoulders, giving accolade.

On many men, and three women alighted,

This royal emblem, by which knights were made.

Take by foul thieves who came in the night

A sharp sable blade, pommel bearing star.

Not lost in battle, not taken by might;

The King's men sought for it, both near and far.

One day, perhaps, this great sword will return;

But today, the tears in my eyes still burn.


     - Galen of Bristol, Bard of Ansteorra



Subject: Re: ANST - The Sword of State (long)

Date: Thu, 08 Jan 98 12:32:45 MST

From: Paul Mitchell <pmitchel at flash.net>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


Galen here!


Tim McDaniel wrote:

> On Wed, 7 Jan 1998, Galen of Bristol / Paul Mitchell

> <pmitchel at flash.net> wrote:

> > Viscountess Megan Andoniel of Glengalen, Mistress

> > of the Pelican and Lion of Ansteorra, has asked

> > me to post the following, so that people may

> > understand the significance of the theft of

> > the Great Sword of State of Ansteorra from Their

> > Majesties' truck. Following this history is a

> > sonnet which I have written about the loss of the

> > sword.


> ... Wow.  It is an amazing story.  I love to hear about group history,

> and this illuminated so much.  Please pass on my humble thanks to the

> good Viscountess, and my thanks for the sonnet.


Thanks!  All bard love applause.  And with that in mind, let me

quote Megan's note to me about attribution:


"thank you for posting the history.  I forgot an important detail--the

history was written by myself and Baron Orm, with the help of Hrabia Jan

W'Orzeldom, Count Finn Kelley O'Donnel, Master Ivar Battleskald,& Lord Xylon

Xerxes.  Portraits from the time also aided us, but at least those people

should be credited, if possible.  My apologies."


> Daniel de Lincoln


- Galen



Subject: ANST - forged in the fire

Date: Wed, 08 Apr 98 11:42:40 MST

From: don&monica <dmmerlick at earthlink.net>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


This poem is inspired by a recent posting of Sir Gunther regarding the

Sword of State, though I do wish the muse would have struck before I

cleared my mail box, so that it could be here also.


Forged in the Fire


I once saw a man, Kneel down ‘fore the crown

Hot tears rolling down to the green

White belt, spurs and chain at last were his own

For he’d been forged in the fire of the dream


I once saw a girl Kneeling down ‘fore the throne

Pure wonder in her eyes did gleam

The herald read on, She rose up a “Lady”

She’d been forged in the fire of the dream


I once saw a household sitting warm by a fire

Listen wrapped as the bards they did sing

Heroes were born, and villains put down

As they were forged in the fire of the dream


I once saw a warrior standing tall on the field

The shot on his helm, it did ring

Though he lost then a round, He rose up in honor

For he’d been forged in the fire of the dream


I once saw a blade of good hardened steel

An ensign of strength it would seem

Though it change form and hands, it shall never grow dull

For WE were are forged in the fire of the dream!


Ld Darius of the Bells

As long as one person remembers the deed, Heroes never die.



Subject: BG - Our Traditions, Our Sword

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 98 08:02:25 MST

From: "Martin, Brian" <bmartin at origin.ea.com>

To: "'bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org'" <bryn-gwlad at Ansteorra.ORG>, "'southern at ansteorra.org'" <southern at Ansteorra.ORG>


   For those good Ansteorrans who were unable to attend the

coronation of TRM Barn and Catriona this last weekend, I set forth to

tell the tale of how Ansteorra came by its new sword of state, and how

it was chosen by a king, then passed to another. I witnessed these deeds

and pray to God and all the saints that I set forth my words faithful

and true to the events that passed.


   Long ago, the Ebon Blade that was presented to King Sigmund by

the Lions of Ansteorra. Last winter, this most sacred emblem of our dear

king was stolen by brazen thieves. There was a great deal of worry and

consternation concerning how the next sword of state should be chosen.

Many harsh words were spoken and many felt that a suitable sword would

be chosen. In the interim, Duke Sigmund the Wingfooted cared enough to

loan the kingdom his sword until a suitable replacement could be found.

Until that time, the kingdom would bear the scar or the theft of its



   Many years ago, Sir Riccardo di Pisa, knight and Lion of

Ansteorra, crafted a sword. It was a blade stout and strong, and it was

forged to be carried into battle, the weapon of a hero. Through

tournament and war, Riccardo fought like the lion he was, always at the

fore, always seeking honor for his lady and glory for his kingdom.

Throughout these years, Riccardo was the bane of any who would stand

against him, and the enemies of Ansteorra trembled when he strode the

field; and always at his side, Riccardo carried the sword that he had



   Inevitably, time, that thief of youth and strength, robbed

Riccardo of the strength that had wielded that sword so well. However,

time could not take from Riccardo his lion heart, nor the kingdom who

knew Riccardo, of the memories that he had given it. Earlier this year,

Riccardo passed from the world of men, leaving Ansteorra poorer for

having lost him, but richer for having known him.


   During his sickness, Riccardo gave his sword to his squire,

Cynric of Bedwin, and bade him to keep it safe. Cynric was moved by this

gesture from his dying knight and swore a solemn oath that no harm would

come to his knight's sword. After Riccardo's passing, Cynric thought

upon the his oath and upon the order of the Lion, of which Riccardo was

amongst the greatest. Cynric did not feel that he could carry the sword,

has it bore the emblem of that noble order. If only a Lion could bear

the sword, Cynric felt that perhaps a Lion should keep the sword:

certainly no one would look to the sword's safety better than the Lions.

Therefore, Cynric offered Riccardo's sword to the order, asking that the

Lions guard the blade and honor it as they would honor their dead



    When this offer was made, the Lions were greatly honored.

However, feeling greatly the loss of the Ebon Blade, the Lions saw that

they had before them a suitable sword for Ansteorra. The Lions therefore

went before their king, and asked Him to accept this sword, crafted and

wielded by Riccardo, as the kingdom's sword. The king, Rischard, was

wise and sought counsel, He spoke to His advisors and to His heir,

Prince Barn. All who heard the Lions' request knew Riccardo and his

feats and knew his hero's heart. No one could think of a sword with a

greater heart and more glorious history than Riccardo's blade. No one

could think of a better sword for Ansteorra.


    Therefore, at His final court, Rischard, king of Ansteorra,

called forth the Lions, who bore Riccardo's blade. The Lions offered to

their king the sword, and the king did accept it. Holding the sword

aloft, the king proclaimed that Riccardo's sword had become the

kingdom's sword, and the kingdom rejoiced at His proclamation.


     As is the tradition in the kingdom of Ansteorra, before the old

king steps down, He gives to the Lions the sword of state, that they

should hold and guard the blade until His heir should come forth and

claim it. Thus did Rischard do, giving the Lions the new sword of state.

When Barn, the new king came forth to claim His throne and crown His

Queen, He called forth the Lions into His court. This was unusual, for

the Lions do usually come unbidden into the new king's court, the only

order with the permission to do so. However, the new king wished to do

honor unto the Lions, and they were called forth one by one. Those that

were present answered the king's call, as well as answering the call for

those Lions who were not were not present.


     The Lions carried with them the sword of state, and the first

one to speak held it aloft saying that the sword had come from the hand

of Riccardo di Pisa, that it was "A sword crafted by a hero, wielded by

a hero, given to a kingdom of heroes!". With that, the sword was passed

from one Lion to another, so that all of the Lions could hold the sword

and share in the king's proclamation that it is the true sword of state.

The last Lion to hold the sword was the first Lion to be made in the

Kingdom of Ansteorra, Orm Skjolbidig, who presented unto the king the

sword of state.


    Thus was the new sword chosen, a gift from a squire to the

Lions, from the Lions to the king. And thus was the old tradition

upheld: the sword was passed from king to king, through the order of the

Lions. And thus was a wound upon the kingdom healed.


    Upon my belt and chain as a knight, I swear that these deeds

were true as I witnessed them,

        Pendaran Glamorgan, Lion of Ansteorra


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org