In honour of our Baron and Baroness, and of Their most glorious liege lords Nigel and Adrielle, and of Nigel and Adrielle’s heirs Siegfried and Ragni, do I, Colyne Stewart, squire, counselor and chancellor, make known to all princes, barons, knights and esquires, without reproach, that for the augmentation and extension of the most noble profession and exercise of arms, the White Bear Fian, of which I am a member, has made it their will and intention to guard and defend a pass d’armes, situated on the great road bisecting our kingdom, on a field in the Canton of Petrea Thule, at the event known as Pikeman’s Pleasure, in the form and manner following.
In the first place, our order will hear and answer a challenge for entry into our said order, by the most worthy Honourable Lord Hans Thorvaldsson. As is the ancient custom, the aforesaid Hans will place his body on the anvil of virtue and will face in battle one member of the White Bear Fian in single combat, with weapon style chosen in consultation between them both, and the aforesaid Hans must then defeat in combat his combatant, who shall be His Excellency Percival de Laroque, in two out of three passes. If victorious, Hans shall be welcomed into the Fian, and will stand with our august company for the remainder of the pas d’armes. If, however, his arm should fail him that day, he will not stand with the order but his challenge shall remain open and he may fight for the honour of entering said order again at a future time. For true failure is only faced by those who discontinue their attempts.
Those princes, barons, knights and esquires, of the rank before mentioned, shall then take their pleasure in performing feats of arms on foot, and may challenge members of the White Bear Fian to single combat, paired combat or group combat as they see fit, to be fought with such weapons and in such a manner as they agree to between them.
Item, if, during these courses, any champion shall touch the ground with his hand or knees, he shall be bounded to present his adversary with a token of whatever value he please.
Item, each champion shall be armed with the accustomed armour for combating in lists.
Item, all noble foreigners shall have sure and loyal passports from my aforesaid sovereign lord.
Item, the aforesaid feats of arms shall be performed on the following day: Saturday, the seventh of June, in the year of our society forty-nine, and shall last for one hour or until honour has been satisfied.
In order that this our intention of performing these deeds of arms in the manner before specified may be men and women fully declared, I have affixed my seal to these presents, and signed with my own hand, this 3rd day of April, in the year AS 48.*
In the modern tongue:
At Pikeman’s Pleasure, held on Saturday, June 7th, and hosted by the Canton of Petrea Thule, the Barony of Septentria’s fighting order (The White Bear Fian) will be holding the field for about an hour, facing all challengers. Before the challenges begin however, THL Hans Thorvaldsson will attempt to win entry into the order by defeating HE Percival de Laroque two out of three times.
During the tournament when everyone is participating, it is requested that everyone bring some kind of small tokens and present one to their opponent should their hands or knees ever touch the ground. These tokens do not need to be extravagant (we’re not trying to keep anyone from participating); we’re just trying to catch some of the atmosphere of the original period tournament this one is being based on. Tokens can be pewter castings, or little leather geegaws, or wooden needle cases, or pin cushions, or dice, or any manner of inexpensive thing. Have no fear, if you have no tokens on the day, you will still be able to participate.
For more information on the White Bear Fian, I would normally ask you to check out the Septentrian webpage, but the links to information on the Fian seem to be dead right now. You can then, instead, contact me privately and I can fill you in on our glorious and renowned history. If you are on Facebook, we do have a page there (www.facebook.com/WhiteBearFian).
If you are interested in trying to challenge for entry into the Fian, please speak to Their Excellencies Septentria.
THLaird Colyne Stewart, fianna
* Based on the Pas d’armes od Charlemagne’s Tree, 1443, from Enguerrand de Monstrelet’s The Chronicles of Enguerrand de Monstrelet, trans. Thomas Johnes, two vols., (London, 1877), Book II, Chapter cclxix-cclxxi.