Author Topic: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314  (Read 2804 times)

Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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[ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« on: 22 June, 2014, 10:03:13 PM »
The day before

It was late afternoon, but there was still enough light filtering in through the windows, so Giulia was reading in that moment of quiet.
She heard a knock at the door, a gentle touch, rhythmical, as Meisent was used before entering into her private chambers.
She looked up. Meisent, with a polite but firm gesture, was inviting the twins to come forward.
She motioned them to approach - Rianne and Mathijs, please. Come here in front of me.
Giulia looked for long at the twins, their behaving still shy, but their eyes curious. They have changed since that day in April when she had taken them under her personal protection, the glance proud, but at the same time a bit afraid of their parents.
She was proud of the progress that their tutor was reporting her. Nevertheless, with a deliberately serious look, she said - I was told by Sir Cornelis as he didn't ... - and she paused, looking at them straight in the eyes. Mathijs' eyes widened, while Rianne looked down and Giulia laughed amused. 
Then she added - as he didn't be more pleased about your efforts. But apparently there is something your tutor is still missing.

Then she got up quickly and, with a gentle caress into the hair of both, said - I recommend you listen to him always with due care and dedication, as if I were myself in person telling you. But now come on, tomorrow is a special day. As you know, Midsummer celebrations and I have a surprise for you.

They went down in the main courtyard of the palace, where Sir Andries was waiting with the horses already saddled. Auster pawed impatiently, while two pony waited more quietly - Rianne and Mathijs, these are my gift for the Midsummer celebration. But now let's go, I want to show you all is going on for it!

They rode slowly up the streets of Brugge, observing the preparations and enjoying the festive atmosphere. Curtains and tapestries were hung at windows, to illuminate the streets of a thousand of colors, in courtyards the girls were weaving garlands and bunches of flowers, inns churn food and pastries filling the air with their fragrances, carpenters were preparing the piles of wood for bonfires around which people would dance all the nights long... voices and laughters floated in the air, Flemish speeches mixed with other languages form kingdoms more or less far away.
Brugge was accustomed to merchants' journey from every land, but that day it seemed more crowded than usual.
Giulia smiled and said to the two children - Look and listen, smile and welcome anyone coming to visit these lands with honest intentions. Mathijs, do you have already prepared the garland of flowers to your sister?
Seeing the boy nodding, Giulia nodded in turn satisfied and then added - Do you know where they are preparing the biggest bonfire? Come and let's see!

They walked slowly towards the Zwin, passing in front of the church to which Giulia motioned to children to look too.
Nearby the sea at the entrance of the harbor they saw two towering piles of wood have been prepared. Giulia smiled, satisfied, with a nod allowed two children to go around, as she stood looking out at the sea, the light wind ruffling her hair and billowing her cloak, surrounded by some distant memories and thoughts.
They went back to Brugge and, dismissed children, she returned to her rooms. She took her lyre and with a melancholic
smile softly played the notes of a old song her tutor had taught her many years ago, for a moment it was as the North Wind had come into her chambers.
 










Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν

Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #1 on: 24 June, 2014, 03:51:47 PM »
Giulia smiled waking up that morning. The melancholy of the night before had passed, the week-long festival at its beginning.
She smiled seeing Midsummer flowers  on the table in the room prepared by Meinsent and even more gently seeing two small wreaths, with a small scroll, where she recognized the twins' handwriting still not completely firm.

Later she would have a walk with them through the Brugge's streets, but first she had some letters to write, in reply to
several guests arrived for the occasion.

The evening finally she would have attended the first lighting of the major bonfire at the Markt, atn whose light dance would have been all night long. The first  among seven nights of celebration, happiness and thoughtlessness.
« Last Edit: 24 June, 2014, 04:11:30 PM by Giulia Aldobrandeschi »



Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν

(RIP) Robrecht de Béthune

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #2 on: 24 June, 2014, 05:38:44 PM »
Vanavond, zal ik onze hoofdstad, Brugge bereiken. Hopelijk vind ik nog een hotelkamer, met uitzicht op de Grote Markt, in de herberg aan de overkant van het Belfort. En toch zou ik de midzomer feesten van Brugge niet willen missen voor geen goud. De mooie Deernen, de mooie Dames van Adel, de spelen en toernooien ... het is er allemaal! De stad is dan ook altijd zo mooi versierd met vlaggen en slingers in de kleuren van Vlaanderen ...

Onze mooie, prachtige Koningin, met haar elegantie, haar sierlijke stappen en gewaden, ze doet  Brugge schitteren, mijlenver in het rond! Mijmerend vervolg ik mijn weg naar Brugge.

Ik ben benieuwd of Hare Majesteit zal durven om de midzomer feesten te openen, gekleed in haar prachtige goudgele zijde jurk, met de Leeuw van Vlaanderen erop geborduurd. In die jurk is ze om van te snoepen...

Mmmm... je manieren, hé! Robrecht! Tja, ik kan het niet helpen dat ze mooi is, hè?

Mijn kleren zitten onder het stof van de lange reis uit het noordoosten. Ik rijd de Grote Markt van Brugge op. Ik stop voor de herberg, aan de overkant van het Belfort. Ik stijg van mijn paard af en overhandig de teugels aan de stalknecht van de herberg en geef hem wat instructies mee. Dan ga ik  de herberg binnen en vraag om een ​​kamer met uitzicht op de Grote Markt. Bestel iets te eten en te drinken en neem plaats aan de tafel bij het raam met uitzicht op de Grote Markt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By tonight, I will achieve our capital, Brugge. Hopefully I still find a suitable hotel room, overlooking the Grand Place, in the inn on the other side of the Belfort. But I would not miss the midsummer festivities of Brugge for no gold. The beautiful wenches, the beautiful Ladies of Nobility, the games and tournaments ... it's all there! The city is so beautifully decorated with flags and streamers in the colors of Flanders ...

Our beautiful, wonderful Queen, with her elegance, her graceful steps and robes, she does shine Brugge for miles around! Musing I put forth my way towards Brugge.

I wonder if her Majesty will dare to open the midsummer festivities dressed in her wonderful dress, from golden yellow silk, with the Lion of Flanders embroidered. In that dress she is sweeter than sweets ...

Mmmm ... your manners, huh! Robrecht! But yeah, I can not help it if she's pretty, huh?

With my clothes covered in dust from the long trip from the northeast, I ride on the Grand Place. I halt to the inn, on the other side of the Belfort. I dismount, handing the reins of my horse to the stable boy of the inn and give him some instructions. Then I step inside the inn and ask for a room overlooking the Grand Place. Order to eat and drink and take a seat at the table by the window overlooking the Grand Place.
« Last Edit: 25 June, 2014, 11:28:54 AM by Robrecht de Béthune »

Budrys Iš Vilniaus

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #3 on: 25 June, 2014, 09:48:08 AM »
Just outside of Briuge in field of ferns a man slowly began to rise from his slumber. Further away place where great sacrificial bonfire to honor Rasa, goddess of all that is green, turned into a hill of ashes. Ferns concealed hundreds of mortals tired of searching one mythical blossom through the night. All evening one couple after another abandoned warmth of the flames to venture into the night for this holy quest. Always two and never did anyone returned for once ventured sacred blossom must be found. Man looked around seeing his torn silk tunic and breeches thrown near magnificent western style dress and crown. Yes this is as it should be if couple have problem in finding blossom it's only because goddess can't recognise her beloved humans in their artificial garments and so is frightful to uncover her secrets. Budrys looked to  by his side sleeping beauty and smiled. Yes truly this year Goddess blessings shall be bountiful. And quietly waiting for her to wake up breathe deeply inhaling aromas of the field
« Last Edit: 25 June, 2014, 09:50:09 AM by Budrys Iš Vilniaus »


Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #4 on: 25 June, 2014, 07:44:30 PM »
The first night

It was already dark, only the light of the candles in the large bronze candelabra were illuminating Giulia's private rooms, while Meinsent was busy in doing her long red copper hair.
She nodded with a smile - Very well done, Meinsent. She donned the cloak and tied the buckle with royal  insignia. Then Giulia walked with a light step to the main courtyard. There the royal guard was waiting to escort her to the Markt, where everything was ready for the opening of Midsummer festivities.

All day long joy had filled the streets of the capital, now the atmosphere was like suspended, in waiting.
They arrived at the Markt. Colored courtains adorned the buildings' facades in the square. On Belfort, soaring impressive, the flags of Flanders and Brugge were swaying in the breeze of the evening.
Giulia headed for the platform set up for the occasion, smiling at the crowd and at Ladies and Lords. There a lively fire was burning in a brazier, on both sides two guards with Flanders' insignia on heavy iron shields.
The Lord Chamberlain bowed to the Queen and then handed her a torch ready to be turned on.

Giulia nodded in turn and took it with a slow and measured movement, dipping its top in the brazier.
Then, turning to the crowd, with  vibrating voice, she said - My beloved people of Flanders, My Ladies and Lord, My honorable guests from distant lands in a spirit of happiness and friendship, it's my pleasure to welcome you all here for Midsummer celebrations.
May the summer solstice be the wish of prosperity for all you all the years long.
May the Sun, at the peak of his power, warm your hearts, giving you joy and happiness in next seven days.
May the moon, his life companion, silent illuminate your steps in next seven nights.


Finally she threw the torch on the pile of wood, and soon the flames of the bonfire lit up the night in a overbearing way, lighting with flickering reflections Giulia's amber yellow dress and her long red copper hair. Behind her, the claws of the lion of Flanders sparkled on the shields of the guards.
Sheestood for a while, her eyes fixed on the fire, then she looked up at the sky towards the full moon. She smiled and waved inviting the musicians to start in playing and  dancing began. Then she sat on the throne prepared on the platform, looking all around.






Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν

(RIP) Raidhal Inderdóttir

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #5 on: 26 June, 2014, 03:44:51 AM »
The First Day;

Summer had finally arrived!  Rachel had to mind her hairs because for sure there verily was a Northern wind coming on.  But it did not bring with it cool temperatures.  It was insufferably hot in Rachel's opinion.  And she had never been so far south as Brugge.  She was not adapted to the humidity.

So.  She suffered throughout most of the day.  On her way from the Harbor to the University the native stone paths which paved the narrow streets were unkind to her feets.  It was a long way.  But she had possessed the foresight to bring a little monies with her.  And when the opportunity arose so that she could purchase a nice pair of beige leather shoes she made no attempt to bargain with the vendor and happily acquired them.

The presentation was a good one, though.  There were many speakers and they were intelligent.  Rachel came away from there Knowing more because of it.

The wind was still mussing her hairs in the afternoon.  She finally surrendered and bought a garland of flowers to wear - but only because the garland was heavy and her hairs thanked her for it.  Afterward she was a little more comfortable.

But she was overwhelmed by all the colors.  They caught the eyes and Rachel's were not accustomed.  They liked the dull grays and modest blues.  The bright sunlight playing on the surface of lush red and vibrant yellow dazzled her.  And there was so much beautiful to see.  She had never seen silks before - and the first time she witnessed them conforming to the shape of a human Rachel blushed noticeably and quickly diverted her glance.

By the time she returned to the Harbor she was mostly blinded, all hot and bothered, and her feet ached awfully.  She graduated to her trunks and exchanged her heavy trousers for a random dress.  The "boys" (the Reacher's crew) laughed at the sight as she battled to get inside it.  Sure, it probably looked marvelous on another.  It was a very fine and expensive sleeve-less dress the color of sea grass with dainty lace and dangling little nacre shells.  To be fair the boys had come to know her for never wearing shoes, though, for her trousers and her shirt, for her hands which were always occupied with mending nets, and for her mischievous nature and endearing but crooked smile.

To see her constricted and all made up like a Princess with flowers in her hairs was hilarious!  Rachel had to laugh also because a princess she was not.  If she was - nobody had ever told them anyway.  She liked to spit and curse with the worst of companies.  When her group sparred with another at the Tavern she was typically the first to land a solid blow.  And place a jar of liquor within her grasp she could prove she had a constitution for it.

She set about demonstrating this immediately.  Since this was the longest day in the year it was many hours until the sun bid them all goodbye.  Her and the boys parked their butts in their seats and drank mead.  They were loud but full of mirth.  Many people tarried beside their knarr a long time admiring the whale bone and wondering what sort of creature it was.  "A narwhal," Rachel explained.  She took great pride in the Reacher.  She had performed all the restorations herself.

She was not at first aware, though, of the specific attention they gave to her.  Or why*.  If she had been, she might have only thought it was because they did not get a lot of people here which came from Bergen.



The First Night;

Rachel went into the city, again, after the sun was gone.  She was beginning to feel real good (intoxicated).  Her feet ached no more, she did not smell badly, she was comfortable, and she was excited to see all of the peoples gathering at the bonfires.  Rachel resolved to contribute to them.

She had wine with the Theologians and approved of their conversation about charity.  When they took her measure she did not mind.  She made a mental note to herself to learn more about the Virtues.

Philosophers were discussing a lesson at the old Forum and she lingered for a while but they were a sober bunch of people and she did not stay long.

She found the Green Man, then.  He was there.  They danced together and laughed as old acquaintances do.  She wondered if there were a lot of Green Men in the world because this was not the same Green Man that she had come to know.  Nonetheless, he introduced her to some of the Pagan groups.  There were many many many Pagans present tonight in Brugge.

She was too "caught up" to notice that they gravitated toward her*.  She only felt included.  She sloughed through another score of bottles and soon had to be helped to stand.  But everything was so beautiful this night.  And the conversations so lively.  She found no lack of strong arms to hold her steady.  People were so kind to her.  No sooner had she replied to one when another was asking her a thing.

She surfed from steady hand to steady hand. And then there was a multitude of peoples and she realized she had arrived at a courtyard surrounded by palatial structures and crowned by a large yellow pregnant moon which hung overhead.  There was a quiet tension in the air and a clear, melodious voice talking about friendship, prosperity, warmth, and... seven years? This was interesting. Rachel wondered what magic was this and then abruptly a fire leaped up in their midst and roared!

"HEJ!" exclaimed Rachel.  There was copper hair, and flapping claws.  There were shields.  And flags.  And sudden music accompanied by cheers.  "Ok!" This was magnificent.  Rachel beamed.  Rachel bounced.  And Rachel sought for more to drink.  She was quickened by the event.

"That was a good magic." she remarked as she wished people well and promoted the spirit of happiness.


*Rachel is a token among her peers.  A spectacle.  When she discarded with her shirt and trousers to don a dress this exposed her arms and most of her shoulders.  She is very noticeably adorned all over by patent blue tattoos made from wood ash below the skin and put there by a Pagan priest when she was young in the world.  When peers discover this they typically want to look more closely because there is not a line drawn on her.  A tremendous number of tiny glyphs and runes form the shape of Neja's cup. A froth of snowflakes and shards of ice spill out of it.  They impart a good store of rare knowledge and lore.  To know more about Rachel's tattoos visit her biography.  There is an entire section dedicated to these at the bottom.
Red Red Rachel

(RIP) Robrecht de Béthune

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #6 on: 26 June, 2014, 06:20:34 PM »
Gezien de drukte op de Grote Markt, zou de opening van de midzomer feesten weldra beginnen. Timmermannen waren al begonnen met de afwerking van de tribune voor de Koningin en de Edellieden. Ik moet voortmaken met mijn eten, want voor de festiviteiten zouden beginnen, wou ik nog een heerlijk, verfrissend bad nemen. Het stof van mijn lichaam en uit mijn haren wassen, dan mezelf parfumeren zodat we ons netjes onder de edelvrouwen kunnen begeven. We kunnen niet stinkend naar het zweet en onder het stof onze mooie Koningin begroeten, niet?

Na het beëindigen van mijn voornemens, kleedde ik mij in de gewaden van mijn leengoed, Oost- Friesland. Op mijn hemdsbloes was het wapen van Friesland geborduurd. Mijn hoed was versierd met enkele goudgele en zwarte veren, de kleuren van Vlaanderen. Aan mijn riem, versierd met de herhaaldelijke afbeeldingen van de Vlaamse Leeuw, hing mijn ceremonie zwaard in de schede. Op de kruising van de greep en de pareerstang was het wapenschild van Vlaanderen gegraveerd.

Het was tijd om mij naar het podium op de Grote Markt te begeven. Met wat drummen geraakte ik op het podium. Het was wachten op Hare Majesteit. Aha, daar komt ze, begeleid door de Koninklijke Wachters.
Wat ziet ze er weer beeldig uit... oh, en ja, ze heeft haar goudgele zijde jurk aan met de Leeuw van Vlaanderen erop geborduurd!
Wij bogen allen het hoofd toen Hare Majesteit voorbij schreed in de richting van haar troon, in het midden van het podium. Ik stond haar dromend aan te staren terwijl zij met haar zachte, zoete stem de opening van de midzomer feesten aankondigde. Ik werd opeens uit mijn droom opgeschrikt door het licht en geknetter van een enorm vuur dat opflakkerde van het kampvuur.
Op een teken van de Koningin begonnen de muzikanten te spelen en het volk zette zich met een grote vreugde en enthousiasme aan het dansen. Op verschillende plaatsen op de Grote Markt werden kleinere vuren aangestoken, waarover speenvarkens en kippen aan het spit werden gebraden. Aan de kraampjes met drank en andere lekkernijen werd het drukker en drukker.
Ongemerkt keek ik schalks over mijn schouder naar de Koningin. Ze lachte en was vrolijk. Het gaf voldoening om te zien dat Hare Majesteit en het Vlaamse Volk blij waren. Het feest kan volop beginnen!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Given the crowds at the Grand Place, the opening of the midsummer celebrations would start soon. Carpenters had already begun with the completion of the stand for the Queen and noblemen. I must hurry with my food, because before the start of the festivities, I wanted to take another delicious, refreshing bath. I had to clean the dust of my body and wash the dust out of my hair, then perfume myself so that we can move us neatly under the noblewomen. We can’t smelling of sweat and covered with dust greet our beautiful Queen, can we?

After finishing my intentions, I dressed in the robes of my fief, East Friesland. On my shirt blouse the arms of Friesland were embroidered. My hat was decorated with some golden yellow and black feathers, the colors of Flanders. On my belt, decorated with the repeated images of the Flemish Lion, hung my ceremony sword in its sheath. At the junction of the handle and the hilt was engraved the coat of arms of Flanders.

It was time to go. With some drumming I hit the stage at the Grand Place. It was waiting for Her Majesty. Ah, there she comes, accompanied by the Royal Guards.
She looks delightful again ... oh, and yes, she wears her golden silk dress with the Lion of Flanders embroidered!
We bowed all the head when Her Majesty strode toward her throne in the middle of the stage. I stood staring while announcing the initiation of midsummer celebrations with her soft, sweet voice. I was suddenly startled out of my dream by the light and crackling of a huge fire that flared from the bonfire.
On a sign of the Queen, the musicians started playing and the people began with great joy and enthusiasm dancing. At various places on the Grand Place were smaller fires lit, where suckling pigs and chickens were roasted. At the stalls with drinks and treats it became busier and busier.
Unnoticed I looked slyly over my shoulder to the Queen. She smiled and was glad. It was satisfying to see that Her Majesty and the Flemish People were happy. The party can fully begin!
« Last Edit: 26 June, 2014, 06:23:42 PM by Robrecht de Béthune »

(RIP) Lorenzo D'altavilla

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #7 on: 28 June, 2014, 03:57:22 PM »
After fifteen days of intense work away from Brugge, finding a return ambiete happy.
Entertainment, dancing and many delights for the palate, the joy that radiates from all corners of our Wonderful Brugge, I do not feel tired and I also begin to have fun, looking for a maiden dances, wine waterfalls.
And I go up to the breastbone, all this thanks to our Queen for everything.
My heartfelt thanks reigns

Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #8 on: 28 June, 2014, 10:17:49 PM »
The second-to-last evening.

Giulia had attended dances around the bonfire until late at night, in the first evening of celebrations. Returning to the palace she headed to the highest tower. Several bonfires could be seen all around and a light breeze was blowing from the sea carrying music sounds from the Markt, but at some whiles also another music, distinctly that of a laúd. Giulia gently smiled and withdrew to her apartments, in peace.
During the following days celebrations were followed each other in serenity and happiness, by alternating conversations at the dinning table with her noble guests and evenings at the Markt with several dancing around the bonfire.

That second-to-last evening, however, Giulia nodded to Sir Andries much earlier than usual to get back to the Royal palace.
She ordered him to saddle up Auster, taking him in the secondary court. Quickly she went to her private rooms to change her clothe and take an haversack. She smiled amused at last, wearing a dark blue cloak and concealing hair under its hood.

She spurred her horse, shaking her head. She knew that Sir Andries would follow her, albeit at a respectful distance. In some time she had learned finally to tolerate the stubborn devotion of that old captain.
She drove fast and steady in the small streets toward the city walls, despite the crowd surprise at the passage of a rider, and then another, and headed to the forest.
She felt Auster's joy in running so fast, rhythmic pounding hooves on the ground, seemingly tireless.
He didn't slow down not even when they began to climb the slope.
She whispered - Born to run, without any barrier - and laughed. She needed only herself that night, too.

Just arrived at the source, Giulia dismounted, freed Auster from the saddle, picked up some wood and lit the fire.
Then she took off her boots and hung her coat on the branch of a tree nearby.
The water flowed from the rock, creating a small pool, but deep enough. She shuddered for a moment in feeling the icy water, then immersed herself completely. In the silence of the night, she whispered phrases that she didn't repeated for a long time.
She smiled sweetly, at peace with herself, purified by those gestures.

Carefully she picked out some small yellow flowers growing not far away from the pool and placed them carefully in her haversack. She sat down by the fire to dry herself a bit and then took her lyre. Just few notes at the beginning. Auster came closer to her, curious. Then her fingers began to caress lyre's strings and her clear voice sang a song.

The night passed. At the dawn she was ready. Ready for the last day of Midsummer, ready for the sword dance.


« Last Edit: 28 June, 2014, 10:19:37 PM by Giulia Aldobrandeschi »



Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν

(RIP) Berton Berton

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #9 on: 29 June, 2014, 09:01:30 PM »
The Rampant Bastard didn't join the fest yet. He was going to do, but in a strange manner.

“Friendship and teachment sometimes bring unexpected needings – thought leaving the church where he spent most of the afternoon -  The best I can do is using just cutting strikes”


Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #10 on: 29 June, 2014, 11:16:43 PM »
The last evening: bonfires at the sea

Giulia returned just after sunrise at the Palace. Meinsent was waiting at the entrance of the  secondary court and smilingly she handed her a bag - With great care, as I have taught you, I recommend you, Meinsent!
She left to Sir Andries to take care of Auster and headed rapidly to her private rooms to rest a little before the last day of Midsummer celebrations.
She ate a light meal in company of Baron Berton, nicely chatting about festivities and all occasions in which they had
previously met. Giulia particularly appreciated the irony that the Baron was usually pull off in his comments to the events he witnessed, by the true in general no less sharp than his sword, and there were many laughs rejoicing their table.
Finally they agreed with the Lord Chamberlain all final details about the sword dance that will be held that evening.

Dismissed Baron Berton, Giulia spent the rest of the afternoon in the palace garden, pleasantly reading some old herbal medicine treaties. The day was so radiant.
Only at nightfall, Giulia went back to her private rooms for dressing for the closing ceremony. Clothes suitable for the ceremonial duel, simple leather pants and a light linen shirt slight, albeit finely embroidered. She checked her sword, and only at last braided her hair. Finally she wore the long amber yellow emblazoned cloak and  descended in the main courtyard.
Escorted by the royal guard, she bordered the Zwin toward the harbor.
There everything was ready: two tall stacks of wood were nearby the sea, ready to be burned all night long.

Giulia headed for the platform set up for the occasion, smiling all around. Once again a brazier, on both sides two guards with Flanders' insignia  on heavy iron shields, once again the Lord Chamberlain bowing to the Queen handed her a torch ready to be turned on.
Once again, the seventh time, Giulia took it with a slow and measured movement, dipping its top in the brazier.

Then, turning to the crowd, with  vibrating voice, she said - My beloved people of Flanders, My Ladies and Lords, My honorable Guests.
Seven days and seven nights have been spent in the spirit of happiness and friendship, seven days and seven nights have seen Flanders celebrate Midsummer according to traditions and beliefs of each one.
This night, the last night, I want to pay tribute to the sea lapping at our shores. The sea allowing us to be the people we are as well as our fertile plains. May this light will always illuminate our arrivals and warm our hearts at every departure.


Finally she threw the torch on the piles of wood, from right to left and soon the flames of two bonfires lit up the night in strong way.

Then she nodded to the Lord Chamberlain, who called in a loud voice - Lord Berton, Knight of Montesa, Baron of San Miguel and Moulinrouge, Constable of the Kingdom of Aragona, welcome in Flanders once again on behalf of my Queen and of the whole Flemish people. Queen Giulia is waiting you for the sword dance, final seal of these celebrations.

Two pages came running with a tray and wine was poured  into two chalices  for the toast.
Gently smiling at the Baron, Giulia threw up the cup and said - Welcome, my honorable Knight.
May our swords cross in friend spirit today as ever.
May our swords shine in the light of the fire flames.
May our swords sing their own song on this night by calling as witnesses both the land and the sea.






Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν

(RIP) Berton Berton

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #11 on: 30 June, 2014, 12:09:16 AM »
Berton accepted the chalice, had a short sniff to fully enjoy the wine, then crossed his right arm with the Queen's one to have the drink according an ancient style.

Then, looking firmly her eyes, said

May you recall all my teachments.
Shall we dance?


The empty chalice was thrown in the fire.




Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #12 on: 30 June, 2014, 12:35:34 AM »
Giulia nodded to Berton's proposal and drank the wine.

May you recall all my teachments.
Shall we dance?


She look firmly in his eyes in turn and replied - I will do my best, Baron Berton. I'm ready to dance with you - and smiled.

She threw her chalice in the fire, too and allowed the Knight to lead her in the middle of the two bonfires.
There, the heat was intense, the flames were sparkling the blades of their swords, but their eyes were not less.
Their faces focused in anticipation of the first hit.

There was just silence all around, only the blades would sing during that dance.




Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν

(RIP) Berton Berton

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #13 on: 30 June, 2014, 10:03:01 PM »
The dance started slowly, with some agreed moves useful to warm up the muscles and the public.
Gradually it became a bit faster, just a bit.
Now the dancers were studying each other, trying some cautious hit to set their strategy: quick clashes of blades, then back to the circle walking. Smiles disappeared.

Then Berton's sword bited Giulia.
The Queen didn't make twice the mistake: on the next shot her parade was perfect, the prelude for a quick incoming cut, doubled by an outgoing one on the exposed flank.

The dance was  far from the end, more blood and pain was required,


Giulia Aldobrandeschi

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Re: [ORP] Midsummer Festival Week - June, 23-29, 1314
« Reply #14 on: 01 July, 2014, 07:33:48 PM »
Giulia had freed herself by the cloak, handing it to a page and had drawn her sword and Berton as well. The flames did spark the blades of their swords, as they were moving slowly in circle, studying each other. Still a slight smile on their lips as their eyes were becoming more and more careful.
A couple of quick hits and the blades crossed ringing and immediately disengaged.

Giulia stepped back and felt the heat of the fire behind her, too intense .... disturbed, she tried to engage him to push backwards, but too fast. She felt his blade on her side, just leaning for a short while, the power of the hit deliberately withheld as much as possible in spite of the force exerted.

She remembered a phrase Berton had said in Andernach some months before, when he proposed to duel with her in order to teach her some unusual hit - You keep the secret of real fluency in moving, something That I barely approach.
She breathed deeply, finding again concentration and fluidity of movement. Their swords met again and she got an opening in his defense.

They crossed their swords many times, while their faces do not betray anymore any emotion at every hit dealt or received, deeply concentrated in that ritual sword dance... back and forth... in circles... without leaving their eyes comes off again ones from each others. Only at the end  the time to smile would come back again.
« Last Edit: 01 July, 2014, 09:26:13 PM by Giulia Aldobrandeschi »



Verba movent, exempla trahunt - εἶ, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδὲν ἄγαν