Northsheild Coronation Spring 2006
Berz as Sarah the Fool as Arlicchina!  Well, I'm officially a SCAdian; I have a "no shit, there I was" story.  But more on that in a little bit.
    In spring of 2006, the SCA coronation of Sir Lars Wolfsblut and Mary of Carrigart took place in my home barony of Jaravellir.  This was pretty cool for me, since it was the first coronation to take place since I started with the whole SCA thing.  For a newbie, it was a magical experience to be able to go to an event as large as a coronation so close to home.
    Since it was in Jararvellir, and since we had the permission of Her Stellar Majesty Queen Mary, the Jararvellir Fool's Guild decided to pull out all the stops on a performance during the event's feast.  For months we worked on a commedia skit entitled "For Love of a Name" or "Love is a Fishy Thing."  As we were pulling out all the stops on the performance, I figured I should pull out all the stops and finally finish my original plans for my costume.  I had everything I needed except for the skirt.
    About a week before coronation, I began the process.  I had already bought the red and gold cottons I needed some time ago, I just needed to get off my butt and do it.  The previous day-after-Thanksgiving sale at the local Jo-Ann Fabrics had scored me a 60 degree diamond quilting template and using that I cut 100 diamond of the gold fabric and 100 diamonds of the red fabric.
    Yes, that's 200 diamonds, all together.
    With much grousing and gnashing of teeth, the diamonds were sewn into twenty rows of ten.  A red waist band with elastic was added at the top and the bottom was finished with a rolled-edge hem.  Basically, a large, glorified, quilted tube.  The rest of the costume consisted of the garb I had previously worn as Arlicchina; black chemise, black under skirt, red bodice, gillies, and mask.  Not shown in this picture, I was also wearing all my usual props such as Fido the Fish, belt pouch, mug, Fool's Guild badge, and no less than 17 jingle bells.
    The day consisted of two sessions of court (one where the outgoing king and queen, Kitadate and Aesa, held their final court and crowned their successors and the second where the new king and queen held their first court), some heavy fighting, a feast, a dance, and a small market.  I spent money on things, hung out with the other fools, and got to sing in the Northshield choir.  But the "no shit, there I was" story came when the Fool's Guild assembled for our last practice before the feast performance.
    Fool's Guild met for practice during the second session of court for the day.  We figured that none of us were likely to be called up and that very little we really needed to see was going to happen.  Not only that but since Robert could only get there after four, we didn't have much of a choice.  At the meeting, we decided that we had done full practice of the skits enough and that we wanted to keep the improvisation fresh for the performance itself.  So we did a walk-through rather than a full practice.  After that, we did a few warm-ups for voice and movement.  Robert and Faris (our two Capitanos) were horsing around with some of their movements at the tail end of it all and due to one of them zigging when the other thought he was going to zag, the shoulder of Robert's jerkin got torn.  That effectively killed the silly mood and Aleks (Arlicchino), Hroswitha (Isabella), and Rosa (Dottore) left our little practice area to go and calm down.  I stuck around to fix Robert's jerkin (since I never go to costuming functions without some way of repairing costumes in emergencies) and Alianor (Riccholina) decided to wander down and catch the tail end of court.
    I spent about five minutes mending Robert's jerkin and since he had it off he decided to take a bathroom break.  Faris was just hanging out because he didn't really have anywhere else to go.  After tying my last knot, I decided to leave the guys and go find Alianor down at court, so me and my seventeen jingle bells jingled our way out the door and on to the balcony overlooking court.  While scanning the lower level for Alianor, her voice suddenly floated up to me amidst the sounds of a Music Guild performance in court.
    "Sarah!  Get the guys!  We're wanted in court!"
    I blinked.  "What!?!"
    "We're wanted in court!  Get everyone, now!"
    I went sprinting back into the room where I had left Robert and Faris; jingle, jingle, jingle, jingle...
    "Guys!" I shouted.  "Get out here, we've been called into court!"  And it was then that I realized that I could see only Faris.
    "What?!" he exclaimed.
    "What?" came a muffled voice from the bathroom.
    That's right, the summons had literally caught Robert with his pants down.
    Faris and I bolted out the door and went to the lower level where we met up with Alianor, Hroswitha, and Rosa.  They had been unable to find Aleks and so had had to give up on him.  Faris, however, was wearing his rapier as a prop for his role as a Capitano and had forgotten about the rule concerning steel in court; you don't do it.  So as we were rushing up, several people warned him, but it was only his girlfriend who got his attention.  He slipped the sword out of its scabbard and plunked it in her hands on his way past.
    Up the aisle the five of us went (jingle, jingle, jingle...) to the cheerful playing of the Music Guild, looking quite the band of fools that we were.  At least we were in character.  As we approached the Presence, Faris was greeted with more warnings about steel in court to which he responded by showing the Presense his empty scabbard.
    Suddenly, Alianor's voice floated up from somewhere in front of me.  "Don't worry, his scabbard is always empty!"  She was firmly in Riccholina mode after our practice session and clapped a hand over her mouth as soon as the words had tumbled out.  There were some laughs, though.
    And thus, we came into the court of The Dark Lady, Eithni ingan Talorgain, the Baroness of Jararvellir.  All except for Aleks who was no where to be found and Robert who was...
    No, wait, here he came... finally all together and... forgetting to bow... oh brother...
    The Baroness recognized the Guild as a whole for their efforts and announced to the assembled crowd to stick around for our performance during feast.  And then, she gifted us with little plastic fish on strings.  Unfortunately, three of them tangled together when she handed me mine.  I resolved to untangle them and return the two extras to her later.  With that we were dismissed and we all went to trudge back up the aisle to melt into the back.
    "Not you, Sarah."  This was the Baroness who had spoken, so naturally I froze and turned back to her.  "No, no, back up here," she said to me and pointed once again to the presence.  As I went back up the stairs, she continued.  "Sarah seems to have gotten a couple extra fish, here."  I had by now untangled said fish and handed the two extras back to her as I knelt.  She held them up for all to see and set them aside.  Then she signaled to the herald who started reading...
    ... the recognition text for Order of the Zypher.
    Waitaminute, thought I, I'm getting something!
    I was so panicked and wired that I don't remember the reading of the text one bit.  I don't even really remember the Baroness handing me the small wooden box she had made (it really is quite pretty, though).  I vaguely remember hearing something from her about Fool's Guild and Rapier, but that's about it.  When I left the presence, I ran straight into Alianor who was waiting in the front row to give me a big hug.  We plunked down for the rest of court (which at that point was basically the recessional).  After that, I turned to Alianor and said one thing.
    "Well, now you're going to have to explain Order of the Zypher to me."  As we went to find the rest of the Guild, she explained to me that it's basically a baronial award for newbie done good.
    After that came feast.  Fool's Guild performed during the second course.  It was our best performance ever and we recieved much acclaimation.
    Jingle, jingle, jingle.

The cast of For Love of a Name
The cast of "For Love of a Name."  From left to right, back row; Robert as Capitano Galin, Sarah as Arlicchina, Faris as Capitano Antoninio,
Hroswitha as Isabella, Rosa as Dottore.  Front; Alianor as Riccholinna, Aleks as Arlicchino.

For their Stellar Majesties Lars Wolfsblut and Mary of Carrigart... vivant!

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