Assignment: Award of Arms for Brynhildr Arnsvarsdottr
Words: Mistress Aneleda Falconbridge
Calligraphy: Lord Alexandre Saint Pierre
Illumination: Lady Adrienne dEvreus
Scroll Story:I received the proposed assignment for one of my fellow queen's guards from the EK signet. The write-up was brief and the contact for more info was the king himself, Brennan Ri.
When I reached out to him he told me great tales of this fearsome, fearless yet gentle woman warrior who was his man-at-arms.
The weekend after speaking with him Alexandre and I went camping at Endewearde's Hunt. I spoke of the assignment to the breath of fresh air and silver-tongued inspiration that is Aneleda Falconbridge, asking if she knew of Brynhildr.
"I know her well," said Aneleda, "She enjoys it when I sing to inspire her passion for battle and she has told me so."At least it was something like that. ;) I am not a bard! I was excited that Aneleda had had contact with Brynhildr and asked if she would help me write the letters that would honor her with an Award of Arms. Aneleda said yes! She wrote these beautiful words for Alexandre Saint Pierre to pen:
In the Eastern land ruled great King called Brennan with his wife Queen Caoilfhionn Brynhildr Ansvarsdottir was fostering there and was sent to guard the land's most precious treasure, the Queen. Brynhildr was called to the Crown Tournament in the holdings of the Hersir of Bergental. Because she had served with joy and abundance, she was given the right to bear arms, ____________________________________ and take the title Hefdharkona. It was the fiftieth year, on the seventh day of nóvember, after Gormánuður but before Ýlir. The King had his poet and scribe make word-gold for her to be read and seen that day.
The linden of the battle-wall
lifted her slender hands
to join the Njords of swords.
Shield-bearer now arms-bearer
Silver-dressed goddess of the raven-field
You are worthy to hear an ode*
war-valiant one, wrought for you*
King Brennan and Queen Caoilfhionn made their names on it.
*these two lines are from the saga of Hallfred Troublesome-Poet (trans. Diana Whaley)
While waiting for words I decided on inspiration. I don't yet know the full meaning and significance of long ships in Viking art but they seem abundant and striking.
This one is from an Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in a section about stars. I had help figuring this out and more explanations about it from Michael Rupert and Sari Csollany who shared this blog on the Book of Faces.
In closing it was inspiring working for Brennan Ri more directly than usual and I am grateful for the contributions of all of the scribes and researchers who helped me pull this one together! Special thanks to my wordsmith, Mistress Aneleda, just before her elevation, and to my beloved beau and calligrapher, Lord Alexandre.