Mordona-arbed-art - 9/21/01
Mordonna DuBois' adventure at the Estrella War. "Estrella XIV Or No Shit, There I Was.....It Was Me Against El Nino and All I Had Was an Airbed."
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set
of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at:
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be
reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first
or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris
AKA: Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
No Shit, There I Was.....It Was Me Against El Nino and All I Had Was an Airbed
by Mordonna DuBois
Our tiny Household had a wondrous year since its birth from the ashes of the previous Estrella War. We came from a poor and meager beginning to the point of bringing riches to this Great War.
Our armoured fighter had come from being "killed on the ground" by a mesquite bush the previous year to being a valuable and respected fighter at the side of a Viscount and Esquire. We had added a bowman who would help Aten's cause on the archery field.
For six adults and two marriageable daughters and five urchins, we had brought five of the wondrously beautiful pavilions called by the quaint mundanes "pair o'shutes". They are huge and warm and colorful. Ours was a colorful camp with two regal azure, two scarlet, and one golden pavilions plus a dining hall of white canvas.
My camp kitchen was a vast improvement from the past year. We had two new portable stoves, and riches in feast gear and all manner of sturdy and utilitarian value.
The Viscount had officially made our camp a part of his.
We had come to the War with a bit of trepidation, as our lovely pavilions had yet to be tested in foul weather, and El Nino was ravishing the countryside.
I had a bit of personal fear myself. I had been widowed in the recent past, and this was my first war without a personal defender. But I had been training in Camp Defense all year with my corn knives, a gift from my late mate. Because our previous House had its camp raided frequently in the past, and there was still a bit of enmity o'er the dissolution of our old House, I slept with my knives.
My corn knives were specially made to fit my hand and my abilities. They are rectangular blades, 18" long by 3" wide each with a wooden handle to fit my tiny hands. One is rolled steel, and the other is stainless.
M'lord Davor, head of our House, had impressed on each of us the need to curry favor. We are a young and small House, and had come from a scandalous beginning. My part of that is my cooking.
I am the Household Cook. I am queen of my domain. It is my job to see that my fighters and other household members are well fed while we are at War. I cook hearty, not fancy meals most of the time, but I always plan at least one fancy revelry for my Family and our friends.
The weather had held good for the first three days, but we knew the rains might come soon. We had an unexpected influx of Caidan invaders because the Great Western War had been flooded out.
Saturday was the feast of St. Valentine, and there was joy in our camp as our Viscount chose the afternoon to request the hand of his beloved lady in a most romantic way. I was honored no end to be asked to help the ladies of his House to prepare and impromptu betrothal feast.
I was doubly honored when after the feast m'lord Davor bid me go and enjoy the revels of the War as he and the men of our House did the odious duties of cleaning up after the feast. I put on my only feast dress and went out under proper escort to enjoy the encampment. It was a glorious sight, all lantern lit, and the night filled with drums and music. I returned to our camp early, however, as I am an old woman not much given to wanton revelry, and it had begun to rain.
I helped the others of my camp batten it down for the storm. Being a practical sort, and loving my comfort and a warm bed, I had procured copper bed warmer, which had been laying on the coals since we put out the cook fire. I placed this between my quilts, to warm my bed whilst I finished my chores about the camp. I also had a most marvelous mundane thing: an air bed, to protect my bottom from the cold ground and give these old bones a soft place to lay.
My pavilion was not leaking yet, but some of the others were. So I took off my feast garb, and put on an old work chemise then erected a small shade pavilion over my bed inside my large pavilion. I packed all my War Garb except the chemise in a waterproof sack and loaded it upon my old War Dragon, just in case.
What with helping batten the camp, and trudging uphill a couple of furlongs to the "necessary" and helping situate all the household, I was definitely cold and wet when I retired. I looked at my warm dry bed, then at my cold wet chemise and realized I had nothing dry to sleep in. Being the practical sort that I am, I decided it was better to sleep warm and dry than decent, especially since I had the walls of two pavilions between me and anyone else. I congratulated myself that I probably had the warmest driest, safest sleep of anyone at the event. I removed the bed pan to the floor so as not to burn my feet during the night, and fell blissfully to sleep.
About three hours past midnight, I awoke to the old woman's complaint of a weak bladder. I could hear torrents of water sounding like all of Rolling Thunder pounding upon my pavilion, so I lay still, and dry and warm for a few seconds before I decided: yes I really did have to go to the "necessary". NOW.
I rolled toward the edge of the bed, only to be deluged by an icy bath. My bed ducked and bobbed like the swamped raft it had become. There was about three feet of icy water in my pavilion on which my air bed floated. To my horror, it began to drift toward the open door!
Out I floated into the terrible scene of a flooded Encampment. Men-at-arms, squires, barons, kings, viscounts, dukes, and counts all rushing about gaped at me in awe as I passed.
I had hoped this war would allow me to help my House by impressing the peerage with my cooking. One powerful gust of storm driven wind stripped my bedrobes from me, and I had my chance. I impressed them ALL. There I was, nekkid, floating through the entire Encampment of ESTRELLA XIV, brandishing two eighteen inch corn knives!
This embarrassing tale is true, so I swear and avow.
Cook, Warrior Haven,
Copyright 2000 by Pat Griffin, (Mordonna22 at aol.com). Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.