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A Plausible South Indian Laurel

Since I have been made a Laurel I have been looking for a period Indian depiction of a laurel wreath.  Almost everything depicted in SCA regalia looks more Greek or Roman to my eyes.  I didn’t know if there was a depiction of anything more Mughal I could find. Spoiler: I did not find such an image.  The Persian and Mughal artists were very enchanted with flora of their regions, depicting them on the borders of miniatures and in their garden scenes. But their images were naturalistic, and I could not find a depiction of either bay leaves, laurel leaves, or any leaves twisted into the shape of a chaplet. I was getting ready to chuck the idea out the window when I stumbled upon an interesting note while I was doing research for another project.  The Purananuru, an anthology of 400 poems written between the 1st and 3rd century CE, describes the wars, cattle raids, Kings, bards and battles of the Tamil people during the Sangam era . (1)  Rather like the Victorian language of flowers(2), the
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My Elevation to the Laurel

For the TLDR focused among you: I was elevated to the Order of the Laurel on Saturday at Rapier Champs.  Thank you to the people who worked behind the scenes to schedule, organize, plot against me, and provide some truly beautiful regalia.  During Royal court on Saturday after the Rapier Champs tournament had ended, I was startled to hear my Mughal persona name called back into court.  The Order of the Rose had given courtesy tokens at the start of court, so I had already been up once, and I had settled in to wait until the end of court when I was supposed to speak at both of the Pelican elevations.  I was so startled that I said "Oh shit" out loud. So I scurried up to the dais, totally forgetting to let my husband Robert Earlson escort me, as is right and proper.   I bowed to the crowns, full kneeling obeisance, cause I'm Mughal and that's what you do before your emperor. The King spoke about the wonderful fights he'd had with me at Birka, and that they were the

Tamil "Oath of Fealty"

Since our current King of the East has an Arabic Muslim persona, I got to thinking about how my Hindi or Tribal persona might have interacted with a Mughal Muslim emperor.  Oaths of fealty, which are widely used in the SCA, is a European centric concept, and don't have the same meaning in the parts of the world that interest me.  As an intellectual exercise, I started researching it. I needed to know: Could a Muslim ruler accept an oath from a non Muslim?  And what would an Indian oath look like? Long story short: Yes, Muslim Rulers had to do some mental gymnastics to get it to work, but they did, and they did it in India specifically (Moin).    And then I found a reference to an oath in the Mahabharata which was used to assert the innocence of the person making it.  As I said, an "oath of fealty" was not a concept that applied in ancient India, but certainly swearing that something was true did apply, (Hara).  So I took the Sanskrit which had been translated into English

A Dinosaur Poem for Maika on the Day of her Elevation

Occasionally I write stuff for the SCA that is left turn from my usual.  This one was one of those.  I have known Maika for an appallingly long time.  She has always had a thing about dinosaurs. When I officiated at her wedding, plastic dinosaur toys were scattered all over the centerpieces. During the reception guests redistributed the toys, and they ended up in my hair, in my purse and slipped into my pockets, like a case of reverse pickpocketing. When she was given a writ for the Pelican I figured I owed her at least this much.   Her regalia included dinosaurs embroidered on the sides of her Pelican cloak, and there were dinosaur toothpicks included as part of the vigil food.  ++++++++++++++ I am Countess Chatrikam Meghanta and I will speak for the Order of the Rose for this candidate:   For the Roses speak when they’re inspired,  Or when a candidate’s admired By an Order, and is required, To answer questions, kneel before us.  Maika is that candi-date, whose work we can not calcula

A Rose and County for Indraksi Ani Aravinda

It is obvious that in the elemental world there is nothing more magnificent and noble than the precious existence of monarchs, on whose high mindedness the external order of the world depends.  It is certain that to entrust a world to one person and to place the affairs of the world in the hands of one individual is to put the world of meaning to her , or rather to create the soul of the world of meaning - particularly a monarch who can detect whiffs of breezes of spiritual spring and grace the throne of success, who has attained a higher rank and has become a painter in the studio of meaning, a host of the banquet of reality, an intimate in the private apartments of the visible world, and a confidant in the pavilion of unity, and who graces the throne of felicity with good fortune. Be it known by these letters patent, read into the court of Sultan Mohammad Al Wajdi Al Abderrafi Al Manil Ibn Horrah Ibn Gowan and Brenhines Corotica merkka Senebelnae, on October 1, AS 57,that the perso

Lorenzo Gorla's Elevation Words for his Pelican

 Lorenzo,  Shall I compare thee to a chatelaine?  Thou art more stalwart and more clement.  Rough demos used to teach and entertain Stirs the soul with sword and flying pennant.  Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, Sometimes too wet, too dark, with sun bedimmed, But every faire thy gen’rous teaching signs new Eastern fencers who can kill… or limb. Despite thy fearsome skill with pen and blade, Thy secret heart protects a gentle spirit  As all the Roses in this court arrayed Attest thy courtesy that each may hear it.  For what is clear for any eye to see This man’s a more than worthy peer to me. ------------- I could not attend my friend's elevation this past weekend.  Lorenzo was awarded his Pelican for his service in running SCA demos and recruiting new people. He had asked his Pelican, Alys Mackyntoich if I could speak for him for the Rose. As I was reviewing his body of work, and while thinking of the fact he had a 16th Century persona, the line "Shall I compare the

A MoD for Sir Matthias Grunwald

 Whenever you earnestly want to fight with Matthias Grunwald then observe how you arrange a duel with him and at which hour. Afterward, equip yourself with everything according to need, and do this yourself in secret. And tell no one what you have in mind, because your courage might fail you. And equip your gloves according to your advantage with everything, sword and gambeson, hose, and whatever you then want to use. And consider, possibly, canceling this duel, as he is a master of defense and you can still legally withdraw from fighting him if you want. R’you and Indrakshi, the good crowns, affirm the truth of that, and make Matthias a member of the Order of Defense on the year of the Society 57, at the Pennsic War.    (129 words) Process Notes:  We had 3 weeks to get this peerage scroll done. I was teamed up with Baroness Keziah who needed to do both the calligraphy and illumination.  Because Matthias’ persona is German, I wanted to do something from the German fencing manuals.  I h