Continuing in the vein of memorable past events, I should like to tell you about a Grey Niche event which was held during the last reign of Sir John the Bearkiller. This event was to be a re-enactment of the Battle of Agincourt in which His Majesty was to have the roll of King Henry V and Count Francois Duvant was to play the Dauphin of France.
The preliminaries for this event started at the Fall Crown Tournament hosted by the Barony of Axemoor. At court that afternoon, Sir John stepped into his persona as King Henry and granted an audience to an embassy from France headed by Count Francois. The French presented "King Henry" with a gift of tennis ball and His Majesty swore to "round the balls with iron and play such a match as will strike the French Kings crown into the hazard."
The event was held on the last day of October, not to far removed from the actual date of the original battle. The weather in the Niche was cold and damp, which was also similar to the weather at the original battle. Unfortunately, the date and meteorological conditions were just about the only things that held true to history.
Since Sir John was King of Meridies at that time, many fighters rallied to his side. As a result of this, the English outnumbered the French by about two to one. Also, the English archers did not exactly cover themselves with glory on that day. In the course of the several battles that made up the martial activities of the event, the archers managed to put their arrows into King Henry and a water bearer.
Before the first battle, His Majesty gave, from memory, the Saint Crispin's day speech from Shakespeare's Henry V. The speech must have had the desired effect, because at the end of the day the English had once again soundly defeated the French. This, despite all the foibles by the archers.
Since the event was held on Allhallows Eve, there were two supernatural visitations at court that evening. The first was by Lady Morgan Rowanwaif, the unfortunate water bearer who had been shot when the archers didn't hear a hold called. Morgan borrowed one of Isolde’s long white veils and came into court as her own ghost.
The ghost of Lady Morgan, demanded recompense from the archer who had caused her untimely demise. The archer was brought into court, trembling before the spirit of the wronged lady, and swore to the king that he would pay wier geld to the lady. At this the spirit was appeased and departed the court.
The second visitation was by the ghost of the slain Dauphin. Count Francois came into court in white face makeup and with the ends of several arrows sticking out of his tunic. The ghost of the Dauphin called King Henry to task by telling him that while he may have carried the day, the French would never accept English overlords. The Ghost then showed the English King what lay in store one hundred years hence.
At this point Lady Renee entered court as an apparition of the Maid of Orleans. Now it was King Henry's turn to tremble in fear before a wrathful spirit. The Dauphin offered no peace but departed the court with the apparition.
The event also was the occasion of the elevation Lady Serita Vashti al Coya to the Order of the Laurel. To celebrate the elevation the members of the Silver Sphinx players held an invitation only midnight performance. There were several satirical skits in the performance with the vigil of Mistress Vashti being the finale.
In this skit, Mistress Vashti sat listening as the head laurel whispered the secrets of the order in her ear, while members of the Sphinx players tried to spring her free. At the end of the skit, the head laurel revealed the greatest secret of the order.
At this point, one of the male members of the troupe came in wearing a tutu and fairy wings. He took a magic wand, tapped Vashti on the head, and said, "You are now a Laurel."
"Is that all there is to it?" Vashti asked.
"Of course," the chief Laurel replied, you don't think that the king has anything to do with it, do you?"
At this "revelation" the audience roared with laughter, but no one more heartily than his majesty, John the Bearkiller.