Viscount Brummbar von Schwarzberg Interview
Viscount Brummbar Von Schwarzberg
Principal of the Chivalry, Calontir
Principal of the Pelican, Calontir
Premier of Hirth of Calonitir
Calontir Living History Series Interview
Barony of Three Rivers
June 24, 1990
In process of web prep 1/13/97
This is Crag Duggin interviewing Viscount Master Brummbar von Schwarzberg:
first Warlord of Calontir, third Warlord of Calontir, Prince of Calontir,
Earl Marshal of the Region, Principality and early Kingdom of Calontir,
currently Seneschal of the Barony of Three Rivers,
first native member of the Calontir chivalry,
first native member of the Order of the Pelican in Calontir,
premier of the order of Huscarl,
member of the order of the Saether Fyrd,
second holder of the Cross of Calontir,
member of the order of the Dragon's Heart from the Middle Kingdom.
We are meeting today, 6-24-90, Sunday, having just returned from Border Raids on the occasion of Duke Sir Talymar being made a Pelican. We are reminiscing about Master Brummbar's early days in the SCA. At this point I am going to turn it over to him.
CRAG: Brummbar, tell me when you joined the SCA.
BRUMMBAR: August of 1975. My main hobby at that time had been fossil collecting. A friend of mine that I collected with was also in the St. Louis Science Fiction club. One day while collecting, he mentioned this new fellow in the club named Stephen who belonged to this group that did medieval things and went out and fought and stuff like that. They were having a party a couple of weeks later, the science fiction club, and Mike invited me along. I got to meet Stephen. I kept cornering him all evening asking, 'Do you really get to hit one another?'. That was my main question. He did tell me about the other stuff, too, but I really liked the idea of getting to hit one another. I went to the next meeting the following Thursday. Stephen was then, Arwyn was there, and about 10-11 other folks. Being extremely shy at that time, I just kind of sat quietly in the corner and listened to it all. When it was over, I got up and started to leave and found Arwyn standing in front of me, looking up at me. She said, 'Hi. You look like a barbarian'. That kind of started things. We started talking. I came back the next week with my leather tunic and shield. The week after that I came back with my freon can helmet. In between I had gone to a fighter practice. I remember Stephen giving me shield drill any my saying to myself as he kept hitting me that I would never learn to do this. I was right. That's about how it all started.
CRAG: That was in 1975? What do you remember about those first fighter practices and meetings and things like that?
BRUMMBAR: Other than the shield drill with Stephen, Eric Ragnarsson and Nubbin Keshran had come down from Wurm Wald, which is Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to give a fighter practice. Unfortunately, Eric and Nubbin really weren't much in the way of teaching technicalities. They were of the school that you put on the helmet and you get beaten until you learn to defend. We really didn't learn a whole lot that day, but it didn't discourage me; it just made me want to learn how to do it right. In the Shire of Three Rivers in those days, there were about 12-15 of us, maybe 20 by October when we made a mass exodus with about 15-16 of us going to the coronation of Michael of Boarshaven and Zarina up in Wurm Wald. It was the first event for many of us. It definitely made me all the more enthusiastic. That is where I first met Sir Polidore and Sir Albert. They were foremost in the MidRealm at that time in creating authentic-looking armor. They actually had gambeson, then chainmail, then a coat of plates, arming caps, great helms over that, articulated knees and all these things that nobody else had heard of. Everybody else was in freon cans and basketball pads. They looked very nice up there, but it was still a long time before you saw much of that around.
CRAG: Do you remember the first event that Three Rivers held?
BRUMMBAR: The first one that Three Rivers held was an invitational event. We wanted to try ourselves out, but we didn't want to get overrun beyond our capacities. We had arranged for a church in Wood River, that's on the Illinois side. We invited seneschals and their ladies and other specific people from Illiton and whatever the old name was for Springfield, Illinois (it wasn't Swordcliff at that time), Wurm Wald and such. There were maybe ten guests altogether and our own people; so we threw the event that way. That was in the winter. I believe it was just the next spring when we threw our first real event. That was in a park in the city and right down the street was the church we used for feast. We had a tournament and everything. It was a grand old time; it was fun.
CRAG: Who were the first people besides Polidore that you met in the SCA that you said, 'Someday I want to be like them' to, some of the other folks who early influenced you?
BRUMMBAR: Well, Albert extremely. At that time he was just Lord Albert and then Sir Albert, His Highness, His Majesty, count, duke, etc. ad nauseam.
CRAG: What was he like?
BRUMMBAR: Extremely quiet; in fact, when he was on the throne, you couldn't hear what the Crown was saying. Albert had a presence and an appearance; he looked like he stepped out of a history book. He looked like something out of a wood carving. He looked so much the king, it was just so perfect with him up there. He came along at a bad time in the MidRealm and ended up having to take over when there were problems with the king that abdicated. Pretty much the kingdom followed him very well.
CRAG: In the next few years, tell me about Three Rivers and what later became Calontir interacting with the Middle Kingdom, back before we were really a region -- going to events and things like that.
BRUMMBAR: Well, there weren't a lot of them to go to. Forgotten Sea followed Three Rivers by about a year in founding time. Wurm Wald was our closest neighbor, closest big group at least. After that, you had to go all the way to Chicago or West Lafayette, Indiana, to get to another large group. The Calontir area was fairly small and fairly lightly populated. Forgotten Sea had its own problems going on. There was a schism of two groups trying to form there and not wanting to join up. They finally got together and got a group going well. I remember going out there to give their first fighter practice with somebody to teach them; Stephen and I went out. That was when I first met Ternon and people that aren't around anymore like Ansor, Dorian and several others. There really weren't a lot of events going on the area of what you would call Calontir at that time; mainly because the groups were so small. You kind of looked back towards the rest of the Middle Kingdom in a hope to draw them out to your event. The Mississippi River, although there are bridges all over the place, seems to make a great psychological boundary. A lot of people felt it was something that stopped their movement and they didn't come out here very often. Three Rivers was fairly well-attended, but, then again, we were right on it, not much past it.
CRAG: Tell me about the early tournaments you won.
BRUMMBAR: Early, I didn't.
CRAG: Tell me about the first tournament you fought.
BRUMMBAR: The first tournament I fought, I had gone with Arwyn, my lady Alphia and somebody else. We had driven up to Wurm Wald the evening before. I was psyched-up for this tournament. Probably one of the worst things that can happen to a novice fighter going out for his first tournament happened -- I got the first fight of the day. I ended up taking the guy's legs but he ended up killing me in the long run. It upset me greatly. It was a single elim tourney and I had nothing left to do the rest of the day, as far as I was concerned. It was one of Polidore's squires, Corin du Soleil. That was my first tournament. The first one I won was in Forgotten Sea. That was when I became the first Champion of Calontir.
CRAG: That would have been?
BRUMMBAR: This was not long after Geoffri's inception of Calontir and he decided it needed a champion. They were having a tournament in Forgotten Sea. All the fighters except one were from the Calontir area. The one that was not was Eric Ragnarsson from Wurm Wald. Eric had been doing well of late, going to small groups in southern Illinois and throughout Missouri and other areas and cleaning up tourneys. He had a lot of experience and these were all new groups. Well, Geoffri mentioned to some of us earlier that if somebody from Calontir won, he would become the Champion of Calontir. If Eric won, he was just a winner and got a prize. It was a long fight. I think we were in the finals for 40 minutes or better. I took his leg but I wasn't experienced enough to just kill him off quick and it took me a long time to get him. It was a hot day. Finally I got him and got to be the Champion of Calontir. It was August 13 of A.S. XII. At that time there were no orders or anything like that; it was just a person they could call Champion. It was from this that the ideas for Champion, Warlord and such were born eventually. Actually, the first Champion of Calontir never became a Warlord from that winning.
CRAG: At that point did the champion assume any leadership role at all?
CRAG: So Geoffri was really the brains behind the outfit at that time?
BRUMMBAR: Oh, yes.
CRAG: Tell me your memories of Geoffri.
BRUMMBAR: Well, definitely he had some good ideas for the area. It's a shame he ended up being transferred out and couldn't stay with us. He seemed to be competent as seneschal, etc.. He had a Dream, and that was Calontir. I hope that it grew up the way he likes. We see him off-and-on, but not as often as we would like.
CRAG: When did the Warlord concept develop?
BRUMMBAR: Some time passed after that first Champion of Calontir tourney. The officers in the area started looking towards the idea that eventually this area, if it gets as organized as it looks like it is, is going to start probably looking toward a principality, so why don't we get these people used to the way something like that functions. Now at first it was set up that there would be a Champion of Calontir and he would be in charge of things and the person who won the tournament that day would be the Champion and the person who had been before would be a champion and it was utterly confusing and would never work. It wasn't long after that I came up with the thought that why don't we use champion and stealing from the Atenvelters or whatever, the idea of a Warlord. Everyone seemed to like that. We decided to go with a six month Champion period and six month Warlord to emulate the Prince/King set-up or Heir/Prince for a principality. The people seemed to enjoy it okay. The first CalonCon Tourney, as it was, was up in
Coeur d'Enui. I fought that one. The person I was most worried about, I faced in my first round, and that was Ternon. Ternon tried to block with his left hand and couldn't fight any more that day. I ended up facing William of Bellwood in the finals. We went the full two out of three before I beat him.
CRAG: Everybody sword and shield?
BRUMMBAR: Oh no, there were some other weapon systems, too.
CRAG: What were you fighting?
BRUMMBAR: I can't remember, but somewhere in my files I have the list tree. Anyhow, at that point I became Champion. Six months later there was another tournament and Ternon won that. At that time he became Champion and I moved up to Warlord.
CRAG: That first time, there wasn't much ceremony?
BRUMMBAR: There was not a whole lot but it grew rather rapidly. The very first time there was not a lot of it.
CRAG: What did you do as first Warlord; what things did you do?
BRUMMBAR: Calontir had already established various awards. The idea of the Warlord not only for presenting the awards, was somebody who could also lead the troops in battle and things of that nature. As few of us who made it to Pennsic, we never really had much in the way of troops out there at the time, but it was a nice thought. Even prior to this, the officers of the region had set-up some of the award structure. Geoffri had developed the idea for the Cross of Calontir, Robert had developed the idea for the Calon Lily, William had developed the Silver Hammer and I had worked up the Fyrd and Hirth. The first of all these orders that went out, went out by the officers doing the selection. It wasn't too long after that the Warlord came around and we transferred everything over to that, except that during the regional time, the Fyrd and Hirth selections were made by the marshal because the marshal got all the tourney reports and knew who was fighting. That information was passed on to the Warlord and he did the ceremonies.
CRAG: Tell me about the Fyrd, when you created that.
BRUMMBAR: Having watched in the MidRealm many fighters in tournaments and such, you would see squires and knights. A squire could be anything from a very raw novice to somebody who is almost ready to be knighted, so there is no level to it; it is just a spot in a household. I thought it would be nice if a fighter could see what the other fighters thought of his abilities by a ranking system, that being the Fyrd and the Hirth. In the original concept, the Hirth was more or less the guard to the Warlord and the Fyrd was the militia. Originally it wasn't set-up as an order; it was set-up as a position, whereas if you left Calontir, you left the position behind. You couldn't be expected to defend the Warlord if you were off being in Ansteorra or the East or something. It seems to have worked out very well. It definitely has given a lot of comraderie to the fighters in Calontir. I think it is the basis by which we were able to develop the fighting force that we have.
CRAG: Now you're talking about not just the Fyrd but you're talking about the Fyrd and the Hirth. How did you chose the names?
BRUMMBAR: Since I was the Champion at that time, I got to pick things. A lot of us, much to Robert's consternation at that time, liked early period, kind of barbaric-looking type stuff, so I picked an old Saxon tradition of Fyrdmen and Huscarls and also something the society wasn't using so we could easily use it. The same was true with some other things later. It was the only system I knew of that had the two levels, so we took it.
CRAG: At that point, was there any intentional parallel to the Saxon feelings about the Normans?
CRAG: That was read into it later.
BRUMMBAR: If it's there, I guess it was. At the time that and several other titles we threw around came just from Saxon England basically. The title of the Witan, which came about later, came from that. Thegns, Bretwalda, all came from that same time period.
CRAG: Who was the Bretwalda?
BRUMMBAR: That was a person who had been a Warlord. That thing never made it past the Laurel of Arms because, from the references I had, it only meant a lord or something like that. Apparently it meant overlord and they translated it out as king; they thought that was a little much.
CRAG: We used it quite a bit at the time, I remember.
BRUMMBAR: The thing is, as with everything else, all the various positions we had -- the Warlord, the Champion -- they only existed because the people were willing to let them exist. There was no legal backing for any of it. The only thing legal in the area was the officers because they were warranted by their kingdom superiors.
CRAG: Do you remember anything about those first folks that you gave awards to? What event did you first pass out awards?
BRUMMBAR: Well, the first ones were at the Tourney at the Center of the Known World in Forgotten Sea. That was when the first huscarl (myself), the first Fyrdmen (Stephen Ironhand, Ternon, William of Bellwood, Humpk de Bohunk, and Guillaume de Chein Blanc). I'd have to look at the old OP's I've got to double-check if all the other orders went out that night or not; I know some did. I think it was that night also that Geoffri got the first Cross.
CRAG: You handed those out as Warlord?
BRUMMBAR: No, there was no Warlord at that time.
CRAG: You were Champion?
BRUMMBAR: The Champion had no power at that time. That was just the first time Champion.
CRAG: Did Geoffri hand those out?
BRUMMBAR: The officers, as a group, put them out as a council. It was announced in a court; it was an officers' court.
CRAG: So all the officers were up front?
BRUMMBAR: Yes. Calontir was in very infant stage at that point. Something was starting. It was very difficult at that time and for awhile after that to get an award through the crowns of the MidRealm. First off, we didn't see them unless we travelled there. Award recommendations coming out of the area were not ignored but they needed an awful lot of support and usually needed support from somebody from outside the area that the crown knew. AoAs weren't that terrible to get but since the crown was hard to see, since they didn't travel our way a whole lot, they weren't very common.
CRAG: When was that Tourney at the Center of the Known World?
BRUMMBAR: I'd have to look it up. Geoffri of Wareine got the Cross of Calontir April 21, 1978. The next awards that went out were the first Huscarl (myself) on July 29, 1978; the first Silver Hammer to William of Bellwood on that date; the first Lily went to Robert Sartor on that date; the first Fyrdmen on that same date went to William of Bellwood, Ternon de Caer Liant, Stephen Ironhand, Humpk de Bohunk and Guillaume de Chien Blanc. At that time the only other award that existed was the Sword of Calontir, but no one got that for sometime. That was it to start with.
CRAG: Who was the first holder of the Sword of Calontir?
BRUMMBAR: The first Sword went to William of Bellwood but that wasn't until September of 1981.
CRAG: That's right; I remember that.
BRUMMBAR: For the life of me, I cannot remember what event it was that Geoffri got his Cross at. I'll just have to dig into old records to see if I can find it.
CRAG: Tell me about the circlet.
BRUMMBAR: That came later after we had developed the idea of Champion and Warlord. We could not use crowns of any type. Since I was the first one, it put me in a lucky spot; I got to decide on what to get. I wanted something very basic, simple, so I went to James of Goetz-Downe and told him that I needed a pair of circlets, one narrow and one wide, of metal that had been blackened. He made them up, I paid him $5 apiece for them, and we had the Warlord and Champion circlets.
CRAG: And what became of them after we became a principality?
BRUMMBAR: When we became a principality, the first prince (Ternon) presented me with the Warlord's circlet as kind of a remembrance of being the first Warlord. The Champion's circlet is retained yet with the King's Champion.
CRAG: In the final days of our region, as we were preparing for principality, you were the earl marshal. What work did you do in gearing our records and getting things ready to prove that we had a fighting group?
BRUMMBAR: There was very little for the marshal to do; the seneschal had most of the work. Basically, she just had to work from reports that I had sent in as to how many fighters we had and things of that nature.
CRAG: You sent that mostly to Elwyn?
BRUMMBAR: I copied her in on my quarterlies, is what it amounted to.
CRAG: How were your relations with your Middle Kingdom superior?
BRUMMBAR: Mine were fine. I had no problem whatsoever.
CRAG: Who was your superior?
BRUMMBAR: It varied a lot. I don't remember exactly. My job just kind of went on the same through the change from region to principality to kingdom; it changed very little. For awhile it was Komura Shimitsu, for awhile Duke Andrew of Seldom Rest, at the last it was Laurelen. I knew them all fairly well and I was given fairly free rein out here as long as I reported to them. It is because of that we were allowed to try experiments that the MidRealm wouldn't touch at that time. Some of the experiments we brought about when we were a principality were combat archery, butt spikes, thrusts to the face; these were all started on an experimental level in Calontir. We were allowed to do them experimentally and then when we became a kingdom, we could say we wanted to keep it or not. As it turns out, we kept them all.
CRAG: Tell me about winning your coronet tourney.
BRUMMBAR: Well, it was in Fayetteville (Grimfells). It wasn't a real big list. I remember the hardest fight, no offense to any other fighters, was the one with Asgeirr. I did get lucky and I got cruel. He went out Florentine and one of my shots knocked one of his swords out of his hand and I stood between him and his sword. Asgeirr is fairly dangerous even with one sword, let alone with two. The finals I fought against Zevak (now Robert of the Woodlands). The first round was his choice, sword and shield, and I was lucky enough to get him in that. The second round was my choice, polearm, and I got him in that one, too.
CRAG: I had forgotten that Zevak got all the way into the finals. I remember that event. Alarba was autocratting it. That's the event that we had 20 gallons of potato soup 15 gallons of which fermented during the day. Then there was the goat. We don't want to tell the story about the goat. That was the first really big event that Grimfells held and I thought Pavel and Alarba were going to kill each other and if they didn't kill each other, Sandy and I were going to kill them before it was over. Let's see. Who did you choose as your consort?
BRUMMBAR: That was Valmai. She had been queen of the MidRealm before moving out to the Calontir area.
CRAG: She was Talymar's first queen?
BRUMMBAR: Yes. I had met her when I was Talymar's Ringbearer when I was Warlord the second time. Valmai and I were friends and I knew she definitely could handle the job. I had no lady at the time, so I figured she would be a very good person to do it. She became my princess.
CRAG: At that time did you have to go through all the formal stuff we do now to choose consorts? Did you have to send a letter in, be sure everybody was paid members ahead of time?
BRUMMBAR: No, you didn't have to send letters. You had to be a paid member. You showed a mailing label or something like that, or the seneschal would sometimes have a listing from the BOD>
CRAG: Did you have to send a letter in?
BRUMMBAR: I don't remember having to. It might have been.
CRAG: Who preceded you as Prince?
BRUMMBAR: William (Humpk).
CRAG: He did not sent the coronets on the throne and leave and you picked them up? He actually physically gave you the coronets, didn't he?
BRUMMBAR: I believe so, yes.
CRAG: What went through your mind when you became prince?
BRUMMBAR: I was kind of excited. There were certain things I thought needed to be done in Calontir and it was an opportunity to see if I could help things along.
CRAG: Did it feel qualitatively different from being Warlord?
BRUMMBAR: Not a lot, to tell the truth. Mostly all we did was give out Calontir awards. They were official now as principality awards, but it didn't feel that different from being Warlord. The only real difference was the fact that we did do AoAs. The crown head granted us permission to present AoAs in their name to people of our selection. We would talk to them or write to them and tell them that these were the people we would like to give them to, and they would say go ahead.
CRAG: Who was the crown during this time?
BRUMMBAR: During the last part of it was Talymar and Eislinn. When I became prince, I swore fealty to Andrew of Seldom Rest. A week later Talymar became king. I went to his coronary and swore fealty to him. A week before I stepped down, because we were in the middle of rearranging our schedule, we had extended my reign a little bit and extended the reign behind me a little bit forward to change a month in which we landed in the investitures, so I got to swear fealty also to Corin and Myfanwy.
CRAG: So in one reign you swore fealty to three crowns of the MidRealm; that must be the record. Relations with them were good?
BRUMMBAR: Oh, yes. I knew them all previously and I got along with all of them.
CRAG: What were the major accomplishments in your tenure as Prince? What are the things you are proudest of?
BRUMMBAR: Actually, I don't know if I would call them accomplishments, but I made some changes. Valmai and I got together a set of laws that were acceptable to the MidRealm; they had not accepted the previous set from the previous prince and princess. Well, they accepted them, but they wanted changes.
CRAG: Are those the ones Humpk and Mammara did that changed the ones that we had originally done? Humpk and Mammara rewrote everything.
BRUMMBAR: Right. We sent in a further altered set and they accepted those.
CRAG: Those rewrites, though, pretty paralleled Middle Kingdom law, didn't they?
BRUMMBAR: They pretty closely paralleled that and they are almost exactly what still exist on the kingdom level. There have been changes, of course, since in various terminologies and things but, for the most part, it is the same set of laws. A couple of things that happened during that time -- I closed several orders that were not working well anymore because we were in a position where we didn't need them. These were the Owl's Roost which was an autocratting award. We closed that simply because autocratting, we figured, was a service and a Torse would function just as well. We closed the Brassard which had been, at that time the colors of Calontir being red and white, was a little braided cord that was given. Before we could give AoAs, back when we were a region, I wanted something that we could hand out and say, 'Here's this person; they are doing such-and-such and are doing a good job at it; recognize this' and here's a cord in recognition of this. It was an excuse to bring them up in front of the court and show them off, since there was no way to give an AoA for it. Well, now the prince and princess had the opportunity to give AoAs and there were so many people doing so much that to do it right, you would have to give out huge numbers of cords and the AoA pretty well covered what you needed anyhow.
CRAG: The Brassard was nonarmigerous?
BRUMMBAR:Right. It was just red and white.
CRAG: What other accomplishments?
BRUMMBAR: One of the things I started then was the War College.
CRAG: Tell me your ideas about that.
BRUMMBAR: Well, Calontir was getting big enough. With the idea of developing a little more of our set-up of Huscarls and Fyrdman especially into fighting groups, actual functioning fighting organization, I picked the people. The three people I picked originally were Juan Macias, Lars and I think Pavel; it's hard to remember that far back. I picked the people who were most vociferous about fighting, about how we should do such and such. I said, 'Here. The prince had hereby decreed that you are the War College; come up with tactics, do these things'. It seems to have worked out eventually here and the war college seems to do very good.
CRAG: What about the archery awards? I always thought that was one of your significant contributions.
BRUMMBAR: That was a change that not everybody was glad to see. Some of the Huscarls and Fyrdmen didn't like the idea. Upon looking around, you would see some people doing archery but there was no way to recognize this skill other than an AoA. Everything else you do in the society -- arts, sciences, fighting -- we had other ways of recognizing the skill. Now it was stretching it a bit to put it in with the Huscarls since historically there weren't a lot of archers among the Hirth of Saxon England, but there were a lot of archers in the Fyrd and it fit very well in there. It was an order already set-up and ready to work. It was later, I believe it was William V'Tavia who came up with the Saether to add on there. We just called them Huscarl archers or Fyrdman archers or something like that.
CRAG: You merged them directly into the existing orders?
CRAG: I noticed that they have been building a whole lot more support societywide for archery in the last few years. One of the guys in our group who is an archer came up to me the other night and said, 'There needs to be a peerage for archers' and I thought where have I heard this discussion before. I said he should talk to you sometime.
BRUMMBAR: I've heard it many times, but you're never going to sell it to the chivalry.
CRAG: You're going to have to build a base to make it a separate thing probably. Lots of luck.
BRUMMBAR: I've heard it called the art of archery; talk to the Laurels.
CRAG: I remember working with you. I was principality chirurgeon. We had long discussions about the safety of face thrusts and some of the innovations you wanted to try. I was horrendously skeptical of face-thrusting. It was real interesting this weekend being with the MidRealmers and their mixed feelings about face thrusting. I remember going through that and talking with you and you said, 'Crag, can you show anybody from the other kingdoms where they've gotten hurt and there is a problem with it?' and I couldn't really. That was what finally convinced me. As it turned out, you were right.
BRUMMBAR: The combat archery, we took a different direction at. We actually didn't really start it fully out until we were a kingdom. We had allowed it as a principality, but nobody was trying it when we were doing the experimental stage. I remember the first time we tried it. We had come up with the idea of this golf tube with a tennis ball. Shortly after we had become a kingdom, as earl marshal, I was able to make some changes with the crown's approval. One was allowing some combat archery. To test this, we were at a Three Rivers Birthday Bash. We had some archery going that day. One of our members had this nice 55 pound bow. I slipped on my helmet and stood about 20 yards away. He had this golf tube with a tennis ball on the head of it. He shot me in the chest. It stung pretty good, but not near as bad as a sword would have. That was our first testing of it. We took a few more shots to see how it worked. We realized that opposed to Markland arrows and things of that nature and the blunts they use out west which look very nice flying through the air and zip along nicely from lightweight bows, it didn't matter. It wouldn't break and it would bounce back, there was no danger to the face. It was a safe way to throw the archery in and not worry about it too much. It seems to be working out well.
CRAG: I noticed it is becoming increasingly a factor of war. I noticed that when I was fighting on the bridges this time, if I took a wing position out on the edges, I knew I had about five minutes before I would die and that whoever works on the outside wings can plan to get picked off by the archers. That markedly changes the dynamics. You don't want to be on the wings where you've got a greater fire power; you want somebody else there.
BRUMMBAR: A lot of things have changed the tactics quite a bit. Face thrusts changed them drastically, especially when playing with polearm and spear. It made spear a viable weapon again because quite often a spear was not much use when you were facing another wall full of shields and there is no body sticking out other than the head. If you can't thrust for the head, there's not much to do. Now with face thrusts, spear is really nasty thing to have. The butt spikes haven't proved quite so formidable. That's because they are still limited to the smaller weapons. Personally, I think that's probably a good idea. Although there are fighters who can control their weapons well enough to thrust with a butt spike and then swing a full-sized polearm around, there are those who can't.
CRAG: Go back and tell me about your successes in tourneys and things, your fighting right before you were offered the accolade.
BRUMMBAR: I haven't fought that many tourneys. I fought about 23 tournaments and I've won 17 of them. The first one we spoke of already. I won several in Coeur d'Enui, some in Lonely Tower, in Forgotten Sea and here and there.
CRAG: When did you really start getting noticed by the MidRealm chivalry?
BRUMMBAR: I have no idea. I had people here yelling that I should be knighted. Finally, I think it as Arwyn and Juan, Stephen, too. They convinced me to go up to a Boarshead event in Caer Anterth (Milwaukee). I drove up with Arwyn and Chepe. We drove pretty much all night getting up there, got in about 6 in the morning, set up the tent, sacked out for about an hour before everything started getting active, got up and had a tournament. I went into that tournament. I believe I killed Juan. There was a new knight who had moved in about six months before from somewhere in Atenveldt or Ansteorra or somewhere out there. Ternon was up there also. I went out to face this knight and I one-shotted him. I was walking off the field. Ternon took my shield and was helping me off with my stuff. This guy walked over to his squire and we overheard him saying, 'I had my shield with me, didn't I?'. The end of the tournament, I lost, but I ended up losing in the finals to Master Moonwulf. It was the first time I had ever fought him and I made him work for it.
CRAG: Was he doing his Florentine?
BRUMMBAR: He was doing his Florentine all day until he got to me in the finals and then he picked up a shield. I don't know if that made it easier or different or what. He picked up a shield when he fought me. That was my first real exposure to a lot of the MidRealm chivalry. A bit later at Pennsic, I think it was 8 or 9, I went out there and Sir Laurelen asked to fight me, to go out and play. This freaked me out and I was so nervous about this that he beat the heck out of me. He hit me anywhere he wanted to and I just wasn't doing worth a darn. He was my boss, the kingdom earl marshal. I knew him from letters and phone calls but I never really knew him and that made me very nervous and I didn't do well at all. Then Sir Merowald, whom I had known for a long time, came out and said let's fight and I cleaned his clock, so to speak. I never knew another left-hander who was such a sucker for a right-handed rising snap. I think I fought Alen a little bit and somebody else. It was not that long after that, at crown tourney in Wurm Wald -- again, I had gotten off work at midnight, I was working second shift at the time, and I didn't have much sleep. We drove up there and I was still tired. It was in the cattle place at the fairgrounds where there are big bleacherlike seats but they're all concrete. I had crawled all the way up to the top and was lying down to take a nap. The next thing I knew, the herald was yelling, 'His Majesty summons Brummbar von Schwarzburg'. I looked down in the arena and there were all these knights there and I said, 'Oh gosh. I'm the principality marshal and he's going to want me to help marshal this tournament and I'm dead'. I get down there and say, 'Your Majesty' and he says, 'Kneel'. It took me by quite a bit of surprise. They put me on vigil then. That evening I had my opportunity and became a Master at Arms.
CRAG: How did that go? Tell me about how they offered you the choice.
BRUMMBAR: Well, he spoke with me a little during the day about it and I told him that persona-wise I wanted the Master as opposed to the Knight. What it entailed was during the ceremony he offered to bestow the accolade of knighthood and I politely refused it and requested to be made a Master at Arms and then he did that ceremony.
CRAG: There was no stigma in the Middle Kingdom to let you do that?
BRUMMBAR: No, because they had Master Komura Shimitsu, Master Moonwulf, people who were right up at the top of the fighting levels of that kingdom who were Masters at Arms. I know that Komura's was a personal reason; Moonwulf, I really never asked him but I assume it was also.
CRAG: That was in 1980. I remember the night that occurred. I was working late and I got a phone fall in the middle of the night at the hospital telling me that you had received the accolade and there was big excitement. It was probably the most exciting thing that had happened in Calontir since I had joined; there was that kind of enthusiasm, just a tidal wave.
BRUMMBAR: Well, it was Calontir's second peerage after Robert's Laurel.
CRAG: And that had been how long?
BRUMMBAR: Robert, I think, got his in 1978, about when Calontir was starting actually.
CRAG: That was a very exciting thing. One of the things that I am curious about, and maybe you can give me some insight on, is why there are no more Masters at Arms in Calontir?
BRUMMBAR: I don't know. Maybe I'm a hard act to follow.
CRAG: A good number of the senior knights in Calontir were your squires.
BRUMMBAR: For me, it was a persona reason; I'm hoping for them that's the reason they decided what they did. Some people in some places take a mastership to avoid swearing fealty, but that wasn't my reason. Why there are no more in Calontir, I'm not sure.
CRAG: What would you think about there being more?
BRUMMBAR: It would be fine with me.
CRAG: Do you think it would be a healthy thing for the chivalry in Calontir to have more of those, or would it make a difference?
BRUMMBAR: I don't think it would make that great a difference. Here in Calontir a Master is equated with a Knight very directly. I know that in some kingdoms it is not so. In the MidRealm, it is very much so.
CRAG: Go on and tell me about the Pelican.
BRUMMBAR: It came as a complete surprise, out of nowhere. We were at a Changelings that was being held over in Mascoutah, Illinois, at the site over there. I was prince at the time. We had done our principality court for Calontir and the Crown of the MidRealm, Talymar and Eislinn were doing their court. All of a sudden they called up Duke Andrew of Seldom Rest and Mistress Hilary Stormrider. They were the only Pelicans present at the event. They craved the boon and all of a sudden they were calling me up, which was not expected, not at all.
CRAG: Did you have any idea that anything was going on?
BRUMMBAR: No. I had no opportunity. We were too busy preparing our own court. It was an interesting court. The same night Eislinn gave awards to both Shadan and Lars, I think it was their Willows. Behind Talymar stood Lady Tion holding the Calontir ax and next to her was Lars holding the shield of the MidRealm, one of the treasures of the kingdom. When he got called up, he handed Tion the shield and she had this huge war shield in one hand and this huge Calontir ax in the other hand. From my vantage point, I guess from in front of it, you couldn't see it, but I could glance over and see this ax slowly edging its way down towards Talymar's cranium and I was saying, 'Hurry up with the award, please'. We almost lost Talymar there.
CRAG: Did that ceremony cross your mind this weekend?
BRUMMBAR: It did a bit. It was good to watch Talymar get his Pelican.
CRAG: You were the first native Calontirian with a Pelican?
CRAG: Who was the second? Was that Arwyn under Corin and Myfanwy at the end of their reign?
BRUMMBAR: I'm not positive; we could look in the OP. It might have been Arwyn. It was the reign right after I was prince.
CRAG: Did you ever attend MidRealm chivalry meetings? Can you say anything about that?
BRUMMBAR: Yes; they're a zoo.
CRAG: How do they compare to ours, just overall?
BRUMMBAR: I attended several MidRealm chivalry meetings. The very first one I ever attended, I watched a knight throw a tantrum, I watched others scream at each other; it made me not want to go. I don't know if they're the same anymore; they may or may not be. The Calontir chivalry meetings -- you might disagree with somebody and somebody might even raise their voice some, but when you walk out of there, you're still friends. We all respect the right of all the others to have their opinions, even if we disagree; that's the way it is. It's up to us to find a way to change their minds, to prove them wrong, not to shout them down.
CRAG: What about the Pelican meetings?
BRUMMBAR: I never attended a MidRealm meeting.
CRAG: Let's talk now about after those rather heady days when we became a kingdom and you were the earl marshal. You reached a point where you turned that office over to Shadan.
BRUMMBAR: Shadan took over. I had planned on retiring the office about 7-8 months after he took over. I was trying to work on the Calontir Marshallate Handbook and, although I couldn't see it myself, I was burned out completely. I had been a marshal for eight years at that point, first for Three Rivers and then through all the region, principality and into the kingdom. I had lots of great ideas but not the oomph to carry any of them through anymore. The others saw this, I didn't. You have to experience burnout to be able to see it in yourself. They saw it and at Birthday Bash in Three Rivers, the Crown told me that they were going to make the change then. At first I was very angry. It took probably about two weeks or so before I realized what a load had been pulled off my shoulders and how good it felt. Shadan took over and did a fantastic job.
CRAG: That was shortly after he had stepped down from the throne?
BRUMMBAR: I believe so.
CRAG: Who was the crown that did this?
CRAG: Then what did you do?
BRUMMBAR: I did nothing for awhile.
CRAG: Did you continue to play? Did you continue to do the fun stuff or did you just really back out and not attend anything for awhile?
BRUMMBAR: I was out of it for a little while. I just kind of sat back and rested for awhile. I still was locally active and did things here, but I really didn't go anywhere for a little bit. It wasn't too awfully long before I started missing it.
CRAG: When did you hurt your back picking up the tree?
BRUMMBAR: That was back at Pennsic 10 or something. You always should pick it up in the middle, don't try to pick it up at one end. It wasn't that big a tree.
CRAG: Did you hold any other offices before you became seneschal of Three Rivers?
BRUMMBAR: Well, I was seneschal twice, presently and once before. I had been seneschal for about six months when I won princeps and became heir for the Calontir principality throne. I conned this...
CRAG: I remember that all of us were thinking it was great that you won but how was Three Rivers going to hold together. We considered you the glue that was holding it together.
BRUMMBAR: Well, I conned this poor, unsuspecting little schmuck called Cormac into doing it for me. It was only going to last until the end of my reign which turned out to be about three years for him.
CRAG: I remember us thinking that he was a good choice. I'm really surprised you got him talked into it.
BRUMMBAR: He's very happy now that he is Baron; that means he can't be made seneschal at the same time.
CRAG: From the outside, he did a superb job.
BRUMMBAR: Yes, he did a fine job. More recently when Swietoslawa was seneschal, she was having some problems with her pregnancy, so I took over for about five months for here and then picked up the office when she stepped out. That's where I am now.
CRAG: How long have you had it this time?
BRUMMBAR: It's been about 2-1/2 years now and I'll probably be stepping down in about another six months.
CRAG: We were discussing this on the way up on the trip -- Cormac, you and I -- about burnout and cycling in and out of activity. How do you feel about it? A lot of folks think it's a sin; they feel guilty about it.
BRUMMBAR: You can't feel guilty about having so much of something to do that you just can't do it anymore. Like I said, when I burned out, I didn't see it. I know right now that I'm in a slow burnout as seneschal but since I know my schedule of when I'm stepping down and everything, it's not really a problem at this point. When I burned out before as marshal, afterwards I just started trying to do some other things. Unfortunately, I'm not happy in the SCA unless I am doing something. I can't just go to an event; I have to have something that has to be done. Sometimes I change the direction of what I'm doing. I went into archery and have been doing that.
CRAG: Have you been doing any combat archery? Been thinking about it?
BRUMMBAR: I haven't yet but I've been thinking about it, especially after seeing those crossbows. When I step down from being seneschal, I'm going to look at doing some arts and science projects I've had my mind on for years and just never had the time to sit down and do them. After all, I created all these various orders, I've got to get some of them. By the way, I was wrong earlier in the tape. The Sword was not one of the original orders; it was created at the time of some of the later ones.
CRAG: Let me ask you now to step back. You're in a unique position of having been there as it evolved, thrown some ideas out, some of which took like the war college, some of the benefits of your tenure in Calontir is that we probably have more diversity of weapon use than any other kingdom that I've been in. I've watched Atenveld and the West when I go to the wars and a fighter in Calontir is more likely to be familiar with more of the weapon styles than a fighter in any other kingdom. That's a direct outcome of you and your training. Where do you see us headed as a society ten years from now? What would you like to see if you could go in and tinker with it and get it on? What would your vision of it be like in 10-20 years?
BRUMMBAR: That's something I haven't really given a lot of thought to. Who knows? By that time I'm going to be a pretty old fellow; I don't know if I'll even be in by then.
CRAG: You said you don't want to fight much anymore. Can there be things for folks that want to change gears? Can we build something so that it can be something that you can go a lifetime in?
BRUMMBAR: I want to really get into calligraphy and illumination, wood-carving. I have plans for some metal work projects, some leather projects. You can learn all sorts of stuff, especially, like Master Huginn and I have had these plans for several years and just haven't had time. That is, we are going to smelt our own steel from raw materials we pick up in Missouri. My back yard is going to get a Iron Age style kiln in it made of clay.
CRAG: I want to be here when you do that. I've thought about that myself.
BRUMMBAR: We also thought about doing our own glass with silica sands in the area. There are all sorts of projects you can take on and they don't even have to be things that anybody has ever done. There are probably thousands upon thousands of activities you could pull out of the Middle Ages that the SCA doesn't even touch yet. How may others can carve a stone gargoyle.
CRAG: Were you involved in the formation of the Council of Nobles?
BRUMMBAR: No. To tell you the truth, I can't remember whose idea that was.
CRAG: What have you thought about it as you've watched it grow?
BRUMMBAR: I think it's excellent. It's an opportunity for the crown to draw on a real vast array of experiences of people who have been there. The piece that Shadan put together -- The Crown Operator's Manual -- has all sorts of stuff in it that lets people know the kinds of things to expect. I really had very little problems when I was Warlord and neither did the others. There weren't many people to worry about. Even at the time of principality, we were much smaller than now. Now there are retinues to carry around all the regalia and all the equipment. It would all fit in my trunk with no problem whatsoever, along with all the fighting gear and clothes because there wasn't that much then. You pretty well could know most everything going on without any problems. Now, even with counsel, you may not know all the problems everywhere but you're pretty sure to have one of the council who will.
CRAG: Tell me, do you think it wise for the Council of Nobles to ever have more than an advisory position?
BRUMMBAR: I think it should be left at advisory.
CRAG: What about your thoughts about the orders? We were talking about that last night. About the orders and the crown advising? I think this is a good time to talk about that.
BRUMMBAR: Originally this went mainly for the Hirth and Fyrd, and that was that they were to advise the marshal and Warlord, at that time, of people they thought were of a fighting level appropriate to their group. Over the years the Hirth and Fyrd and some of the other orders seem to me to have adopted the idea that they have to approve a candidate before the crown can give them an award. That's not the purpose at all. The purpose was for them to bring the attention of the crown to a candidate that the crown has not noticed. It might be somebody from the far reach of the kingdom that the crown has never seen and these people have. If you have a crown in V'Tavia and somebody up in Cedar Rapids (Deodar), it might be that he will never see that person at an event. That person might be doing work or have the abilities of that order down pat and it should be the responsibility of the order to make these recommendations, not to decide whether to make the recommendation or not. Their recommendation should have no bearing on what the crown decides. It is the crown's prerogative. If the crown disagrees, they shouldn't give the award, whether right or wrong. I've seen it both ways.
CRAG: Tell me what you think the duties of the members of the orders are if the crown elevates a member of the order that they don't agree with?
BRUMMBAR: You mean, puts somebody into the order that they don't agree belongs? I feel it is their duty to accept the crown's decision. Let's face it, the entire society is a volunteer thing. You are not required to work with that person, live with them, sleep with them. You are required in the society to accept what the crown decides. If you really don't like it, then it is your right to go away and not be at events that person is at. That's pretty drastic and pretty silly. If you think that person really does not fit the mold, why not get to know them and try to help them fit the mold.
CRAG: Crowns have the duty to be reasonable but the orders should accept the decision of the crown.
BRUMMBAR: Sure. Let's face it. If a crown creates a Huscarl that every Huscarl in Calontir says, 'This guy is a real jerk; don't do it', the crown has probably made a mistake, but it is still their right to make a mistake. The other huscarls have to accept this. If the crown refuses to create a huscarl that all the other people say should be one, that's still their right. The huscarls can try again with the next crown.
CRAG: What you are saying is that for this to be a monarchial society, the order cannot dictate to the monarch?
BRUMMBAR: That's right. It seems to be a little worse with the higher level you go. The lower orders don't seem to do it so much, other than maybe the Fyrd to some extent. They seem to have the idea that they have to agree on somebody before the crown can do it,but it doesn't work that way. This is the way it looks to me; I'm not saying it is the way it is.
CRAG: That's all the questions I can think of. Is there anything else that you can think of?
BRUMMBAR: Not as tired as I am.
CRAG: Wait, I've got one more question that I should have asked earlier. You were squired to somebody, weren't you?
BRUMMBAR: No. I was not.
CRAG: Who were your first squires?
BRUMMBAR: Shadan, Lars, Robert; then Roger; Araxes, Lorell, Patrick; Mihangal, Thyri and Eric, down in Long Ridge.
CRAG: What are the changes nowadays of somebody getting into the chivalry that is not a squire?
BRUMMBAR: I see no problem. I think the chivalry in Calontir is very fair in the meetings. You look at the man; very rarely is it even mentioned whose squire he is.
CRAG: Is it common for folks in the MidRealm not to be squire and be chosen?
BRUMMBAR: I have no idea.
CRAG: You were not.
BRUMMBAR: I was bullheaded. I basically said to myself that I wanted to do it myself. I got asked once. It turned out to be a month before I was given the accolade. I thanked the person and turned him down. I'm very strong on the belief that it is pretty shoddy for any chivalry when they see a person who is real close to becoming a member of the chivalry to offer them a squire position. The way it looks too often is that they are just trying to bring some glory to their own house by having that person in their house right then and knowing they're going to be knighted. They should let the person have his own glory.
CRAG: Your household has done well.
BRUMMBAR: Shadan's a knight, a pelican, a duke; he's been society marshal. He's very active in brewing and papermaking and some other things, too. Lars is a knight and laurel, does war college, pottery. Roger is a knight and laurel, brewer, and generally large person. Robert is the society treasurer, has been kingdom treasurer, good calligrapher, a pelican. Lorell who was my squire for awhile, but though we were friends, things just weren't working out where we communicated well. It wasn't a problem of not liking or anything like that, just his ways were different enough from mine that it didn't work out. I released him and he squired to someone else. Still, we're good friends and I consider him a member of the house. He's a count, a knight, a great archer. My new squire Mihangal is a young man, a good fighter, hasn't really found his niche elsewhere yet but seems to be trying. Thyri is pretty much of a beginner fighter but is Three Rivers MOS and does some autocratting work. Eric down in Long Ridge has been their marshal, does all sorts of armoring, and is real active. It feels funny having a man older than me as a squire, but that's how it goes. Araxes is pretty well out of things; I haven't seen him for some time. Some people don't stay around.
CRAG: You have a grandson, too.
BRUMMBAR: I have several. I have a number of grandchildren. It's really discouraging sometimes. I have great-grandchildren. It's not so bad when it's a little baby who belong to one of the former squire's squires or whatever, but when they're full-grown and say great-grandfather. It's also very discouraging when some of my former squires take on household and squires that are such sweet young things and I'm the grandfather, automatic dirty old man.
CRAG: It's really sad when they tell you that they feel safe with you; that's always the worse blow.
BRUMMBAR: We're thinking about holding a household gathering, I'm not sure yet. I'm sure what we're going to have to do when we plan on it, I'm going to have to notify the kingdom chronicler to let any groups know it's going to happen that weekend. We figured it out; there are probably 150 people attached to the household when you take former squires and their squires, lords, ladies, children, my former thegns, Huginn and Morgana and their household, Cormac and his household. It's a huge number. There are almost 50 squire alone in that number that are related in one way or another, huge numbers of pelicans, laurels and what not. It would be a big group, a mini-event, bigger than most events when Calontir started.
CRAG: That's really amazing. Thank you very much, Brummbar. This has been a wonderful interview. I'll dovetail parts of the other one into this. I think this is going to be something really special.
BRUMMBAR: I wish I could be sure about my memory on a lot of that, but I can't.
CRAG: I think you did quite well, better than I would have.
Interview from Coronation 3/10/90
(Talk about awards, Warlord, naming of fighting orders as in interview above.)
CRAG: What interests me is that because of that Saxon influence, we went through a period where virtually everybody in early Calontir, if they weren't Welsh, they were Saxon or Norse. How much of that was following in the footsteps of that tradition?
BRUMMBAR: I really don't know. There was a lot, not intentional, but I assume there was a lot of persona pressure as it were for people to go that direction. To skip forward a little and show you a little bit of it. When I was Warlord the second time I started up other orders. There was the Torse for service, the Swan for the arts, the Leather Mallet for the sciences, the Owl's Roost for autocratting (which later as prince I dropped because that is a service, too). The one thing that I instigated at that time was a concession to Robert Sartor von Pays-Bas and threw in the Brassard d'Honor which was just a little braided cord, in the then red and white Calontir colors. Because we couldn't give out AoAs and the crown was hardly ever this way to give them, it was just a little token to hand to people to assure them that they were being recognized for what they were doing. The first one went to Kasmar of Eagle's Rest in Forgotten Sea for his puppetry. It was just a thank you for doing it, you're doing a nice job, please continue. By the time I got to be prince, we could do our AoAs under the permission of the Crown in the MidRealm. Basically it was up to the individual crown whether they allowed the prince of the principality to give AoAs; it was their choice. I don't know how they came to that decision. At that time there were so many people doing so much, we couldn't keep up the Brassards, so I closed the order. Another thing we had started when I was Warlord was the Warlord's Chalice which was an award for children. I had an opportunity to give out a couple of them. We would go into a store, buy a nice silver chalice, have their name engraved on it and give it to them. Scrolls are nice, but when you're a kid, I think it is nice to have something you can walk around with and say it's yours; it makes a difference. That was my biggest fling in heraldry, coming up with the badges for those various orders. Except for the Swan, most of them pretty well stuck.
CRAG: Where you there when Rory came to Calontir and commented on our book of orders?
BRUMMBAR: I was there but I don't recall what his comments were. We looked at it this way, we had as much right to do that as the Warlord had to do anything in Calontir; it was the amount of right that the people would give him. If the people who lived in Calontir didn't want to see this happen, the Warlord would have just been another jock out there with nothing to do and nobody to listen to him. Without their go ahead, he was nothing. I got lucky, I was in the position of doing it. Without all the people wanting to see it happen, nothing would have come of it.
CRAG: Do you remember working with Elwyn in those early days? Tell me what you remember working with her on and some of the things that she did. A lot of folks have forgotten her. There was one time when she did a lot for Calontir.
BRUMMBAR: Yes. She worked a lot on the laws which were more or less started during Ternon's time as Warlord. They were actually started a little during my first term but we came nowhere near to getting them done. What that amounted to, we gathered as best we could, laws of the various kingdoms which wasn't so much at that time as there were probably three or four kingdoms at that time. Working off those and trying to put these things where we could consider them laws for us without stepping on the prerogative of the crown we were under and any laws that the MidRealm had. Again, just like everything else, it was only if people wanted to bother with them that they could exist. Elwyn did a lot of work on that kind of thing. Somehow, I remember her dancing a lot, too.
CRAG: When you got ready for the Princeps tourney that you won, you chose Countess Valmai. Can you tell me about that?
BRUMMBAR: What's to tell, we were friends. We got to be friends when I was Warlord the second time and Ringbearer to Talymar and Valmai. As with Ternon before me, the MidRealm king thought it would be a wise idea to build a better tie to Calontir; even they could see the kind of separation forming. They made Ternon a Ringbearer to the Crown in holding with our Anglo-Saxon type scenario that we had. Talymar and Valmai did the same with me. We became friends. She had been queen of the MidRealm and I knew she could handle being princess of Calontir. At that time I had no personal lady, so I picked a friend.
CRAG: Do you know where she is now?
BRUMMBAR: She's in Ohio again. The last I heard, she's not real active anymore. She goes to events now and again.
CRAG: Tell me about your starting the Saether Fyrd and Hirth.
BRUMMBAR: Well, it was very easy to find historical records of archers in the Fyrd. The Hirth, I couldn't find anything in particular although I had seen photos of, I guess, needlework and other things that show these heavily armored men with bows. At that time the Huscarls were the professional soldiers. The main concern, though, was archery was something that could use a boost. There was really no award centered towards archery. I saw this as basically another branch of the martial activity, so it would be an easy way to give them some awards. It did meet with a little flak originally, but eventually they seemed to do okay with it and now I think it's going fairly well.
CRAG: In essence, under your reign, the Fyrd, the Hirth, the Torse, the Leather Mallet, the Swan, the Chalice, the Sword were created. So for a lot of the awards in Calontir, you were actually the originator of them. What did you think of today when Tomeeki called the Fyrd up to guard the throne?
BRUMMBAR: I thought it was good. In addition, I had one pleasure, too, I got to give out the first awards on most of those and that was a good time.
CRAG: If you could pick one moment when you felt really good about something that you did or something that you were part of that stands out as something that you're real proud of and would like us to remember, what would that be?
BRUMMBAR: That's a tough one. I'll have to think on that.
CRAG: What event did you go to that probably thrilled you the most and is the most memorable, gave you the biggest rush or felt the most real to you?
BRUMMBAR: The most real. Fighting-wise, it felt the most real at the first tournament I won that made me the first champion. It was one of those situations where you're not even thinking about the moves you're making, they're happening. It was wonderful. I don't think I have hardly ever captured that sense.
The most event that felt the most real to me wasn't even in Calontir. It was the week before I was to step down as prince. I went to the coronation of Corin and Myfanwy. It was held north of Chicago into Wisconsin. There had been a boys' school right on the lake, surrounded by stone walls, big stone buildings, huge trees all around. It was a drizzling, foggy morning that coronation was held. It was being held outside because Corin was arriving on horseback in full armor with fully barded horses. First the chivalry holding a pavilion over Myfanwy marched out there and took her up to the thrones. Then out of this mist, here came Corin, riding that horse with a gallop. He pulled it up, dismounted, handed his lance to his squire, and walked towards the throne. The only piece of business they had then was for me to swear fealty as Prince of Calontir. I remember just walking up through this misty air. Off to the side of the chapel there was this effigy, a sarcophagus type of thing on the side of the chapel. I couldn't see any of the mundane world around me at all because of the fog. I got to my knees. There was a puddle right there in front of the thrones that I dropped in and swore fealty to them. It just felt like I was in about the year 1200 or something. It was magnificent. Then for the rest of the court, we went to the gymnasium.
CRAG: Any other stories about anybody that you would like to tell? A good story on Ternon or Couer de Boef that comes to mind?
BRUMMBAR: Ternon never had much luck with me, I know that. The first event at which we gave awards out for Calontir, the Quest for the Holy Quail held in Forgotten Sea. The quest was two teams divided up into fighting units. I think most of the guys forgot about the quest part and just wanted to fight. It turned out that myself and two gentlemen who had driven all the way down from Castel Rouge were left on my team and Ternon was left on the other team. The grass was about thigh high. We were backing him along this ridge. I was fighting with a polearm in the left hand and a broadsword in my right. He was backing up and all of a sudden all the marshals in the world were yelling,'Hold' as his foot that he stepped back with went over the edge of about a twelve foot drop. So we traded places and started backing him the other way. My two Castel Rouge allies were off on the flanks so he couldn't run either way. Even Ternon admits this was not one of the brightest things he has ever done in the world. I swung with my sword and threw it to the ground. He bent over watching it while I'm standing there with a polearm and he's presenting the back of his neck to me. A gift like that, you can't refuse.
The first Calon Tourney, we drew each other the first round. He went out Florentine. I took a swing for his leg, he blocked with his hand and couldn't fight anymore the rest of the day.
CRAG: Geoffri did a lot to help us get started, yet not very many folks in Calontir know him. How would you describe our first bailiff?
BRUMMBAR: Enthusiastic, able to leap from subject to subject in a single bound. He had a good idea and I wish he had been able to stay around longer to see it come of age. I know he comes back from time to time, but it's not the same as living here. We had a lot of good people when Calontir was formed; we still do. This helped a lot. We had a mission, as it were, to show up the rest of the kingdom; you know, we could do it as good if not better. We had problems at times. Some people were very adamant about why we should separate and various reasons. I've always been the kind that when you earn it, you'll get it; that's how I felt about principality. Some people wanted to rush it faster for one reason or another. They'd write articles and other things. I wouldn't always agree with them, but it seemed to work out in the long run. You're making a lot of old memories come back, but not enough to fill in all the blanks yet. It's been a long time; I'm going on my fifteenth year.
CRAG: Why don't we pause now and I'll catch you at another event after I've transcribed this and taken a look at it.
BRUMMBAR: I've got some stuff at home that I'll get you some copies of. Are you trying to write a history now?
CRAG: Yes, that's what I'm trying to do.