The Meridian penchant for cabin accommodations at events is almost unique in the Known World. In most other kingdoms camping is the rule in warm weather. Mistress Katrina of Iron Mountain once confided in me that during her sojourn in Ansteorra she had the reputation in some circles as, "That wimp laurel from Meridies." In her own defense she pointed out that in Ansteorra the term, "dry site," means: bring your own water.
Staying in cabins presents its own set of interesting circumstances, especially first thing in the morning. Some people bounce up bright and energetic while others are barely able to drag themselves out of bed. Invariably this leads to some interesting situations.
During his reign, Sir Beorn Collenfehrth had occasion to travel to the Principality of Trimaris. Included in the entourage were Lady Isolde and the Kingdom Seneschal, Baroness Antonia Martin de Castilla. I was not able to join Isolde on this trip, but she has told me the following story:
On Saturday morning the cabin arose and started to get on with what would be a busy day. The major exception to this was His Majesty Beorn who petulantly insisted on staying in bed. Her Excellency Antonia tried several times to roust Beorn both by herself and with the aid of his squire Santos, but to no avail. When Isolde heard this she asked Antonia to let her have a try.
Isolde entered the royal apartments, sat down at the foot of the bed, drew a deep breath and in her best piping little girl voice declared, "...and the lights went out all over the world." She then got up and left.
Sir Beorn, eaten up by curiosity, got up to see which one of them had lost their mind, and so the royal day got started.
At an Axemoor Yule Feast several years later I awoke Saturday morning to see His Excellency Beorn in his bath robe heading for the shower room. As he passed the foot of our bed he gave me a bright "Good morning" smile. In light of the trouble they had rousing him in Trimaris all I could think was, "My God, someone is going to die!"
Sir Starhelm Warlocke provided a memorable morning line at another Yule Feast after he had celebrated rather heavily at the event. He had been seen at 3:00 AM worshipping an oak tree with his tears in some obscure druidic rite he had probably just made-up.
Come Sunday morning the pain he had not been feeling the night before came to visit and brought along some friends. As I stirred myself to get up I heard the most pitiful voice croaking from under the bed spread that bore Starhelms' device. "Isolde," it said, "I just took two of your aspirins, but if you wait a minute, I'll give them right back."
The most unusual wake up I ever had was at yet another Yule Feast when Gordon Blackwolf was Baron of Axemoor. There was at that time in Axemoor a Lady named Fiona Mulvane. Fiona had a real soft spot in her heart for animals; she once saved a chick from being lunch for a boa constrictor. She named the chick, The General, short for General Grant. Fiona is, after all, a true daughter of the South.
When it came time for the Axemoor Yule Feast Fiona could not find a chicken sitter. She got around this by caging up The General and bringing him along. When I saw The General on Friday evening I thought, "That doesn't look like a hen," but Fiona assured me that the vet had declared it a female.
Since I am not a farm boy I decided the vet knew best and left it at that. It was only later that I found out how difficult it is to determine the sex of a bird, especially an immature one.
That Saturday morning I awoke to what I first thought was the sound of a child's toy horn; as there were several children in our cabin, so this horn hypothesis was a possibility. I was still trying to figure out whose child it was when Fiona made a hasty exit from the cabin with The Generals' cage.
It seems that The General was indeed a cockerel and sometime during the night his avian testosterone hit. When first light came he was trying to do the rooster thing of crowing to greet the dawn. Unfortunately he hadn't quite figured out how to Cock-a-doodle-do yet and so the result was the "toy horn" we had heard.
Fiona offered a very red faced apology to the cabin and explained, "He's never done that before!" We all agreed that he probably hadn't.
The General eventual learned to crow properly and was awarded a name change to General Lee.