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Two-Score-art - 10/27/00


"Two Score Gentles in a Cowshed Bare... the first Adamestor Feast" by Lady Jehanne de Huguenin.


NOTE: See also the files: Drach-hist-msg, border-stories-msg, placenames-msg,

SCA-hist1-msg, you-know-msg, event-rev-msg, event-ideas-msg.





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: http://www.florilegium.org


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.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



Originally published in May, AS 34 in "Storm Tidings", the newsletter for the Shire of Adamastor in Cape Town, South Africa.



Two Score Gentles in a Cowshed Bare... the first Adamestor Feast

by Lady Jehanne de Huguenin


Sing me a song of a Shire so fair,

Twoscore gentles in a cowshed bare,

but the mead is flowing and we donÕt care,

All in the Shire of Adamestor, O!


Reposing with the Kingdom Historian of Drachenwald is a document which

gives the history of our Shire. Somewhere in its vague and labyrinthine

mumblings (IÕm allowed to say that, I wrote the darned thing), is the

following paragraph:


"Thus is was, upon the last day of the month of May, that the First

Gathering was held. And great was the smoke of the cook-fires, and long the

brewing of mead. And foully was the new Shire betrayed, for the banqueting

hall of our arranging was witheld from us, and instead the assembled guests

were led to a benighted hut, meant only for the housing of cattle, and used

by the rude artisans of the potterÕs craft. Poorly did the twoscore gentles

present fit themselves into the hall, and greatly was cursed the name of

the perfidious landholder. Yet was there feasting, and rejoicing, and right

heartily did those gentles present pledge their allegiance to the King and

Queen in Drachenwald, with many loud Huzzah!s."


Two stern fighters with a rivet gun,

Not much armour, but a lot of fun,

We have an archer, so the war is won,

All in the Shire of Adamestor, O!


There were four Officers to start with. The whole thing was BlaiseÕs fault,

he was the one who had the mad idea of dragging his chainmail out from

under his bed (heÕd been making it quietly on his own, the chainmail, that

is, not the bed), and starting a Shire. Blaise de Clairvaux (Mark Cummins)

was our first Seneschal and founding member, (now innured in the wilds of

the Middle Kingdom, far from civilisation (i.e. us).) He was initially in

contact with branches in the USA, but, after a brief almost-war about who

claimed us, it was decided that we should be part of Drachenwald.


Mark being part of the local role-playing crowd, he had a good source of

like-minded idiots, namely myself and Guntram, and shortly afterwards,

Berthold. There were thus four of us busy plotting a Shire, mostly in pubs

and other low dives, at the time of our first gathering.


Three recorders, nearly in tune

The SeneschalÕs daughter howls at the moon,

All these babies, weÕre a kingdom soon!

All in the Shire of Adamestor, O!


The four Officers proceeded to set a time and venue, and to advertise the

gathering by phone, email, jungle telegraph, trained carrier mongoose and

the simply expedient of grabbing friends by the scruff of the neck and

telling them, "YouÕll be there, or else!" We told everyone to bring

something to eat and lots to drink; the Herald invented census forms, and

everything seemed set.


It was a very nice hall. The one we were supposed to have, that is. It was

a long, spacious room up in the attic of Montebello, the UCT artsy-crafty

complex in Newlands: itÕs a lovely forested estate, and the building had

brick walls and wooden beams and all. Unfortunately, when the officers

arrived slightly early that evening to set things up, it transpired that

the maker of African musical instruments who had used the hall during the

day, was still there; not only that, he had a television crew in there,

filming his instruments. Estimated time of leaving the hall, not for the

forseeable future.


Forty gentles arrive to dine,

Hail to the cooks, their food is fine,

This poor chicken died in lots of wine,

All in the Shire of Adamestor, O!


After our Seneschal had exploded quietly (a rare and rather terrifying

occurrence), the venueÕs minions started scurrying around finding

alternatives. The garden was nice, but out; it was pouring with rain.

(MurphyÕs law). Finally they offered us something known as "the cow-shed":

it actually was a cowshed, once upon a time when Montebello was actually a

farm. Now the shed was used by the local consignment of potters. Once

theyÕd moved all the potterÕs wheels, tables, claybins and other

paraphernalia to the edges of the hall, there was just room for a long

table, and possibly room for various gentles to sit around it, if they

squashed a bit. Atmospherically, the effect was peasant rather than noble,

but hey...


Guntram made umpteen bottles of mead, which may be why the gathering was a

success despite its inauspicious beginnings. We heated food on a hotplate

set up on a potterÕs bench - necessary, given the cold and rain. Bread and

butter and honey was present in plenty; BlaiseÕs stews were, as always,

both authentic and wonderful; my chicken dish (a broth saake, as I

remember) was judged to contain a fowl who perished happily of cirrhosis of

the liver. Everyone was in some kind of costume, in some cases makeshift,

but the effect, by candlelight, was warm and relaxed and almost medieval.


Five brave officers to run the Shire

Someone tell them that that chairÕs on fire!

No small wonder that they all retire...

All in the Shire of Adamestor, O!


At that point we werenÕt even Adamestor yet, of course - the Shire name

came later, after several permutations and lots of arguments with heralds.

(SCA lore: arguing with a herald is like mud-wrestling a pig. You get

nowhere, and after a while you begin to realise that the pig is enjoying

it). Our patron Titan, the giant Adamstor who sleeps under the Cape

mountains, more or less arrived with the name. We also gained another

officer, Sister Mairi Jean, shortly after this first event. All in all, and

possibly because of the mead, things went downhill from that gathering...

three years later, and ten thousand kilometres from our Kingdom, weÕre

almost a full Shire!


So thatÕs the ShireÕs rather inglorious start. However, as we are fond of

saying around here, there are a some pretty dramatic and important things

that have come out of a lowly birth in a cowshed...


WeÕve been annexed by a Northern Crown

Kingdoms squabble to the ShireÕs renown,

Huzzah for the King as the drinks go down!

All in the Shire of Adamestor, O!


Copyright 1999 by Lady Jehanne de Huguenin, jessica at beattie.uct.ac.za, P O Box 443, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa. 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.


<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