Around the time I had reached my
first anniversary in the SCA, I began thinking back on the moments that had
shaped me through the last year, and what it was that I loved about the game.
There were many things and many moments, but it became apparent to me time and
time again that one thing stood out above all others, and that was Septentria.
The Barony, it’s people and it’s Baron and Baroness. And as I remembered, I
thought back to the very first event I ever attended, and the very first time I
came face to face with the Bear. From that first meeting I took away a lesson,
and that lesson showed me what it was to truly be a part of this game.
And so, this interpretation of that
first meeting was written in honour of their Excellencies, Cynred and Gaerwen,
the first Baron and Baroness of Septentria that I would know.
“And there before me was the Bear
itself and it was great and terrible to behold. Its paws.... Its paws were as
big as ten men's hands. And the claws... each was like unto the blade of a
sword, long as a man's arm and twice as thick. The very air about me was heavy
with heat and moisture from its breath and I looked up into the gaping maw, up
at the massive jaws, filled with teeth, and I trembled. But then its voice,
though deep and powerful, spoke gently and bade me sit, while the paw wrapped
round me with warm and gentle embrace and I looked again, this time in wonder as
it smiled upon me. And as it welcomed me and held me as dearly as it would one
of its own, I laid there amongst the pure white of its fur and rested my head
against the steady rise and fall of its breast. Then I heard it. A thumping,
deep and rhythmic, that told as I listened, of an ancient and proud history. Of
strength and honour, sadness and joy, adversity and triumph. It was the strong
and steady beating of the Bear's heart. And as I listened, and as I felt the
beating of its heart resonating through me, I knew joy and a deep sense of love,
respect and honour for this land raced through my blood, running like wolves
through my veins. And then my heart beat its own rhythm in time with the Bear's.
The very land itself was within me, as though we were each a part of the same.
And in that moment I knew that not only had I given myself to Septentria, but
Septentria had given itself to me, as it has given itself to all the people of
this land. And I will always, in honour, cherish this part of the land within
me, and the trust that was shared in the giving. And though my feet may tread
the soil of many a land, it is this land, this soil that my heart will always