How ‘The Lineage of Ragnvaldr’ Came To Be

My fellow Children of the Dragon,

When Their Majesties Ragnvaldr and Arabella (Jon E Jacobson and Lisa Gray) won Crown back in the fall, I approached Them with an idea and a rough script. Together, we approached Count Cadogan Blaydes and Countess Ann-Marie, and They agreed also. At that point, the die was cast, and it was up to me to deliver. I could not have done so without the enormous assistance from the following people:

I immediately reached out to Lítil-Grevinne Ísgerðr Gulkárr (Kymm Crook Wanat) for help making morning court more Viking. In addition to much advice, she also agreed to take on the coordination of the Baronial Banner project, not only creating the banner kits and reaching out to the various baronies, but making several herself when we needed them to be completed, and getting banner poles made. You will see those banners at various events during the reign.

Sir Gunnar Redboar took on the task of organizing the Viking War Band who entered with His Majesty as He approached to take His rightful place on the throne. When the plan changed at the last second, Sir Gunnar handled it with aplomb and grace.

Baroness Una Uilebaine stepped up in the last few weeks as it became clear that I needed assistance nailing down final details. She and I are both project managers mundanely, and she has been of invaluable assistance to me, even as she has been invaluable to Their Majesties.

Of course, Their Majesties and Their Excellencies, who followed the script far better than I could have hoped, to the point where His Majesty Ragnvaldr was correcting me on things I had forgotten about. In addition, Her Majesty Arabella took over an hour out of Her day at St. Cecelia at the Tower to talk to me about Her early days in the SCA, Forgan and the first Reign.

Mistress Amelie (Emilysue Reichardt) and Lady Haelga Laurelei Ingrdottr both worked with me to write an arrangement to the period 14th century anonymous orchestral piece that TRM processed in to for evening court.

Mistress Acelina (Dayle Ashley Harding) and Lady Siri (Jo-Ann Sheffer) helped immensely with organizing the evening court playlist, getting out copies of music to all the people who volunteered, and helping perform through the entire court. In addition, Lady Siri also organized the music for dancing, and finding the music for the Feast processional. If you were at feast, you got to hear a group singing the song that the First SCAdians processed to at the First Tournament 49 years ago. Siri found that music and convinced me that we could get it ready and do it.

Sir Thomas (Ted Reichardt) and Lady Susanna (Lauren Elder) made me (or helped me make) my first new garb in over a decade. Sir Thomas taught me how to make the cote you saw me wear at evening court, and Susanna made my viking garb.

Sir Timothy Garagchan o’Leitrim (Tim Moran) was invaluable in assisting me with discovering the history of His Majesty’s lineage. Even though he was doing a great deal of work at his real-life job, he took several hours to talk to me and listen to my inane questions about Sir Elestron, Sir Forgan, HRM Ragnvaldr and himself. All of the information about Sir Elestron and Sir Timothy came from him.

Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge of the East (Monique Bouchard), who helped me immensely with the Ragnvaldr Lineage poem. I had the poem finished last Thursday, but I could tell that it wasn’t right. I reached out to her late that night, and she worked with me for several hours, first with one re-write, and then when that stalled out at the last second, with ANOTHER re-write. She receives full co-author credit, and I hope that this cross-kingdom cooperation will stand as an example for the Alliance at Pennsic to come.

Last, but never least, are all of you, my friends. A performance is nothing without an appreciative audience. When I was preparing to perform, I told Sir Gunnar, “near the end, I’m going to yell out ‘Draco!’, and I’m going to need the Vikings to lead the audience with ‘Invictus!’. He looked at me like I had grown a third head and said “they’re not going to need the prompting.” As usual, he was right, and I was wrong. You laughed in the right places, you nodded your heads in the right places, and when I needed the Dragon to roar, you stepped up, and I never should have had any doubt in my heart.

The Lineage of Ragnvaldr

I love performing. I love my King and Queen. And I love my kingdom. Thank you, all, for indulging me yesterday. I will never forget the gift you all have given me.

in strength, in service, and in song, I am

Andrew Blackwood