Conn Macneil

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Rat out a Friend[edit | edit source]

by Dominius Passelet[edit | edit source]

My tale is of how much a simple act, forgotten by all others, can mean so much. As a very young man I ventured forth to Estrella with the Calontir Army. His Majesty Conn Macneil did me the honor of allowing me to carry Calontir’s standard during the war. I was amazed to be allowed to do so, but as a young man dreaming of being a warrior I can honestly say I was sad not to carry a shield. I spent each day following my King, standard in one hand, sword in another, watching his back as enemies unexpectedly found the bannerman was armed! Older, if not wiser, now I understand the great honor that was given to me by His Majesty, but at the time it was a much smaller act that made my war. It was upon an evening that His Grace Tristram became a hero to me, by a simple act after hearing me lament that I had carried a shield a thousand miles only to leave it in a tent each day. After the days battles Tristram feigned offence at my speach, and called me to fight upon the field of honor. As I was 15 years young and 110lbs soaking wet, he took pity on me. He called forth a champion to fight in his stead, of similar stature and skill level to me. And that day, for 10 minutes, I was able to bear sword and shiled before many of the Calontir encampment. That 10 minutes was my personal highlight of the war. I was roundly defeated, and all had a great laugh. Tristram gave me, a new, young man at his first war, the greatest gifts possible, acknowldgement of my presence and the chance to fight fully armed on the field of battle. My experince at that war reminds me that honors, large and small, are received by everyone differently, and often times the small acts of insignificant kindness can carry more weight than the grandest of gestures. - Dominius Passelet

by Laurie Hall[edit | edit source]

I have a few Conn MacNeil stories myself, of the kind of encouragement I really needed, probably 25-30 years ago. I remember an event in Dun Ard where a quiet bardic circle was winding down, and Conn, when he was King, asked for one of my own songs, and how astonished I was that he knew of it and could ask for it by name. I played and sang it, and when I finished, he said "You have the voice of an angel, so pure and comforting. Can I just lay my head in your lap and let you sing me to sleep forever?" There was a general laugh around the circle, and I know he was not serious, but I have never felt so honored, before or since. He gave me a token of honor and friendship from is own garb, and it has remained a treasure, along with all the gifts I received when I was Laureled some years later. We just never know how precious our complements and gifts can be in the encouragement of one another. I tried to follow his lead in being the kind of encourager that he was to me, but I no doubt failed to have the same kind of impact that he had on me. I miss my Calontir family. If ever my health improves I shall return. If not I will continue to love reading about all of your stories, your joys, and trials, in the pursuit of living history. - Laurie Hall