On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, a group from Ardchreag descended upon the neutral Canton of Skeldergate, with spear thumping, banners blowing and horn sounding We had come to pay a geld. For you see, this past August at Pennsic War we did find ourselves in a dilemma. No one from our Canton who was staying until the last Sunday of War had room in their wagon to transport the many lengths of aqueduct we had purchased to bring fresh water to our part of the swamp. Reluctantly, we had to ask someone outside of our group to shoulder this burden. Lord Streonwald Wulfesbana, and Lady Seonag nicThomais, did accept this task. They did dig up the aqueduct and pack it in their wagon. They did transport it through three Kingdoms, one of whom we were at War with. Many times were they forced to pay taxes and duties along the road. Many times did they beat off bandits intent on stealing our portable water relocation equipment.
Finally, they arrived home in Ealdormere. For a month did they wait for a missive from a representative of Ardchreag to arrange to pick up the aqueduct. They waited in vain.
So, Seonag did send a demand for a geld, or ransom, to Ardchreag’s seneschal, who did inform me of the matter. Immediately I did contact the good Lady to rectify this matter, and agreed to the geld. Ardchreag members came out in force to support this venture including: Mahault and Berend van der Eych, who supplied mead, apples, cookies, a silk purse full of chocolate coins, and home made soap; Thorfinna gra’feldr and myself, who supplied a framed version of poems written in their honour, beer and cider; Iolanda de Albornoz, who supplied mead; William the Younger, who supplied a medieval teddy bear and Ivanna the Oblvious, who supplied some truly tasty brownies. I decorated a cardboard box to transport the geld, which was then carried in a wicker basket. Upon the box I had written the following in Anglo-Saxon Runes:
Negligent are we
Hose forgetting we
Grateful are we
Forgiving are you
Gift accepting are you
Friends are we
Thorfinna led the way into the Skeldergate meeting, blowing on a sounding horn, while Mahault carried the Ardchreag spear and I the Ardchreag war banner. Behind us came Berend and Eirik Andersen labouring under the weight of our offerings.
Seonag was taken aback by the generosity of Ardchreag, and by the talent of our members, as many of the items were hand made. The cookies and brownies were passed about and enjoyed by all. It was remarked by more than one gentle that when Ardchreag does something we don’t stop halfway.
Unfortunately, Seonag had forgotten the hose! She offered us one of Wat’s fighting gloves, which he had left at War, as a token of the hose’s return the next time we came to Skeldergate. We agreed to this, as long as if the hose was forgotten again, Seonag and Streonwald would instead transport it back to Pennsic next year.