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Stories about Bellewode

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  • Brian Romine
    I joined Bellewode in 1994. We were not Bellewode then we were the Village of the Ringing Woods . HL Slaine had just stepped down as Seneschal, and Carolyn
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2006
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      I joined Bellewode in 1994.  We were not Bellewode then we were the "Village of the Ringing Woods".  HL Slaine had just stepped down as Seneschal, and Carolyn Groh had just stepped up.  We were not an SCA group, we were too small and didn't travel enough.  Notable people in the  group were a few people whose SCA names I remember – Cara, who is now living in Three Rivers, and some people whose SCA names I forget—Carolyn Groh, Brian Morton, Robyn (whose last name I forget) and John Irvine.  
      The main event we had was our annual Yule feast which was held in Kirk Auditorium.
      In the next couple years, we had several new people including Trevor (whose SCA name I forget), Sofia, and Li'l Jen.  (I forget her SCA name if she ever had one, she was always "Li'l Jen")  There was an article in the Index about our group featuring a large picture of Jen.  There were also Lorenzo "Mugsbane", Ashley "Lakeboy" Farnsworth, Kirsten, Alienor (then Alais) Montferrat Angus (J) and Isabeau all started that year.  It was a very active year for our group.  We began attending events, and started laying plans to become an official SCA group.  
      Lorenzo, Angus and I decided that we wanted to start fighting.  We began trying to put together armour, and well, the less said about our early attempts, the better.  We started holding fighter practice in 1996, and over the next year, all three of us became authorized fighters.  Most of us have since done away with plastic lamellar and carpet.
      In the spring of 1998 we held what was planned to be a big demo.  We invited many of our friends from Standing Stones and Wyvern Cliffe.  That was a beautiful, if somewhat chilly day.  The demo was held on the old rugby field, near the Tennis courts next to Campbell apartments.  It was only marred by the 90+Db music coming from the band across the street.  HL Thomas from Standing Stones held thrown weapons demonstrations and practice, and we held a fighting tournament.  
      This was generally considered to be a rousing success.  
      A group trip was made to Lilies war that summer.  There Ashley earned his nickname "Lake-boy" and Angus "I think I'm going into shock now" got the worst sunburn of his life.  We watched some fighting, and camped about as far from anything as is possible.  
      Thanks in large part to Lorenzo, about this time we were made an incipient college, and the name was changed from "Ringing Woods"  To "Bellewode" to have a more middle English feel.  He was our group Harold, was very excited about the group, and really wanted us to become "official"  So he, well, annoyed everyone a whole lot until they all did what he wanted.  Which was file the damn paperwork so that we might advance our groups status.
      in the spring of 1999 we held our first actual event.  Alienor was the autocrat.  Held in April, we couldn't rely on the weather, which predictably was terrible.  The weekend was cold and rainy, with tornado watches across the state.  We had a good turnout for that, and everyone who had planned to camp slept in the general purpose building at the fairgrounds, the site of the event.
      In 1999, a huge demo was held at the beginning of September.  It was hugely successful.  We got several new members, and there was a lot of enthusiasm about and for the group.  That fall we took an unprecedented number of people to many events.  At one of these, Alienor received her AOA.  It was the first award given to someone living in Kirksville since I had started.  
      Lorenzo, Alienor, and I were all Leaving town in 2000, but on the heels of our great successes, The Seneschal, Ashley "lakeboy" and the group decided that we should hold Crown Tournament in the summer of 2000.
      At Crown, Sofia received an AOA, I received my first award, a Torse, and most notably, the group received the greastet award given that day, it was granted full membership in Calontir as The College of Bellewode.
      I was not involved in planning that Crown, and I moved away from Bellewode about three weeks before it took place.  I understand it was a good well put on event, but that's someone else's story.

      I know that I have left out many things and many people.  For this, I apologize.  I would like to mention a few people that I have left out because any story about those days in Bellewode would be incomplete without them.  First, Lord Ancelin de Briquessart who was a great help to us in our events, demos, and helping bridge us into the SCA.  HE Sir Tristram of Lindisfarne, who was critical in getting us on the fighting field.  Jacob Yonwin, who was around for years, but for reasons that are not at all clear to me has been left out of my narrative.  And Kirsten (Cara) who was also around for years, but didn't get the mention she deserved.
      Set my my hand this third day of April, Anno Societatis XL.
      HL Aylwin Ruthwell

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