Pelican Boast for Brenden Crane

I was asked to boast Brenden into the hall for his elevation to Pelican January 2024 at Birka. I created a boast to read during the whole of the procession, which began at the back of the Birka hall and ended (fortunately!) just as the Crane family approached the thrones.

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O crowded hall, come and greet this noble thane
Who captures images and hearts, Brenden Crane.
I’d boast of a man of great humility
Simple, for his virtues are easy to see
So much for his fellows our fine friend doth care
the honors he loves are the honors we share
So much that on paper this man did implore
His boast be an homage to those here before
To people he never knew but in name
Their mark upon friends in his heart lit a flame
That heart, so open, that he wears on his sleeve
While its steady beat inspires us to believe.
Yes, name them he bid me, so name them I will
For while scattered to realms they are with us still.
Our Dear Caroline and beloved Julien,
St Liam and ernst, who serve now much as then,
Don Jehan, Aimee, and of course, Gregory…
Their stories are guides, like the stars ore the sea
Shine bright on the whale road Brenden rows upon
While observing the sky – in night, day, or dawn.
His generous spirit and kindness to all
Have touched many gathered as one in this Hall
He would never suspect when we look at him,
We feel those constellations burning within.
That light he reflects on both pauper and queen,
And casts out the shadows so we can be seen.
This boast with no boasting, I fear is in vain
So proudly I boast SEE OUR FRIEND Brenden Crane.

Silver Tiger for Finan

Finan mac Bressail, Silver Tyger

A tale I have for you!

Here is Finan mac Bressail of the north-east for whom we should feel grateful.

Read more: Silver Tiger for Finan

Much of battles he broke, with his fellows he poured, the son of Poplyr. With continuous patience he seeks truth, so that he might give his full benefit to every one. He is skilful of conversations, in learning and explaining the movements of battle. He is an abounding benefit of guests. He is avid. 

He nourishes those of good intention and joy. He expounds on every noble thing he has learned. With his sword in his good grip he fulfills in deeds what he speaks in words.  He takes no amusement which is not in the royal law. He is a rock in battle, a stone of subduing, a tyger of silver.

We, Matthias Rex and Feilinn Regina, make this praise at the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Competition A.S. LVIII.

Words by Læri-Sǫngr Aneleda Falconbridge based on the 6th c. eulogy of Choluim Chille, Calligraphy & Illumination by Vrouwe Lijsbet van Catwiic

Text based on the eulogy of Choluim Chille, believed to be the oldest text in Irish, having been written shortly after his death in 597. It appears in “The Amra Choluim Chilli of Dallan Forgaill” by Dallan Forgaill, Saint, 6th cent. (However, the text is believed to have been written in the 9th century.) As translated by John O’Beirne Crowe in 1871.

Read the full text with footnotes.

Pelican, Baron Otto Gotlieb

Because We know that you especially desire to hear
and learn the state of Our respect for good works, We
König Tindal und König Alberic, find it fitting to state Our
opinion on the matter of Otto Gotlieb. We have surveyed
Throughout the East from Endeweard’s lands and thence
beyond. Having proved the customs of Service in manners
of leading, of making, of mapping, and all well witnessed by
many, We provide in these days past Martinstag, that Otto
shall be called a companion of the Order of the Pelican
and be knowne by his deeds and countenance. Worthy
is he for whom service is home. The bells should ring, and
crowds come gathering round. Made by Our sovereign word A.S. LV.

König Tindal König Alberic

Text inspired by

  • A public letter from Conrad II to the Abbot of Corvey on the Germans’ Crusade, original in Latin
  • “Worthy Art Thou, Returning Home” and “I‘ve Got My Fief” by Walther von der Vogelweide
  • The length and layout of the piece were dictated by the document upon which the scroll design was based, which has 11 lines of approximately 10 words each.

Pelican, Syr Cedric of Thanet

Laudate Cedricus.  A cuspide Pelicanus.1

To Cedric of Thanet, knight, laurel, and worthy subject, do We send Our greetings and recognition. Long and well have you served our lands, guarding the northern marches at Our ward’s end with sword, and spear, and ax, and blade. Teaching all comers, you have encouraged Our ranks and protected Our borders with your great service to those of great and humble esteem alike. In honor of your reliability and wise governance, We render to you the gratitude deserved for your care of Our loyal subjects, and for the very great fidelity which you have shown to the East, by ordaining you a companion of the Order of the Pelican with the advice and consent of your fellow companions. By this sign, all will know Our respect for your devotion, and should you be called beyond Our borders, all willing, you shall return to us. Thus, three days past Martinmas, in the fifty-fifth year of the Society, with Our intention of worthily rewarding your services now complete, We, Magnus Tindal and Alberic von Rostock, Royal Majesties of the East, ask you to continue the same. 

Labor omnia improba vincit. 

+ Ego Tindal rex Orientis consensi et subscripsi
+ Ego Alberic rex Orientis consensi et subscripsi

1. Pay tribute to Cedric. From the Spear a pelican.
2. Hard work conquers everything

This text inspired by

Ulfgeir the Nice – Order of the Laurel

Wilhelm and Viena raised this stone to praise Ulfgeir smith forge-son and leaf-wearer on whom Ivaldi Brok and Eitri smile. Olaf carved.

That’s it.

This is the stone being laid out by Olaf. The stone was drawn, then runes placed, then carved by hand, and then painted.

In all seriousness, it’s the shortest thing I’ve ever written for an SCA project. Olaf Haraldson carved these words into a runestone for Ulfgir. I had a maximum of 126 characters.

Yes. Characters.

Using runes, anything that was doubled would be reduced to one, so there’s a little play.

At Court when this was presented, I read a framework for it to give it context and say all the “court stuff” like the event and the date and such, because those are not part of this scroll. I’ll write that down here at some point, but it ended with, “AND THE STONE READ…” and I read the stone.

But there’s also a second story. Many Norse runestones list the carver (many, many) and it’s standard. Olaf does not do this typically, because Olaf is modest. However, I added it because it is more true to authentic practice. We disagreed and then compromised: “Olaf carved” would be on the back.

However, when the stone was laid out, Olaf sent me a message. It had never happened to him but there were…10 extra spaces. He’d measured and planned precisely (it’s stone after all) but these 10 spaces were just – there. Know what fits in 10 spaces?

Olaf carved.

The Norns like period practice. 😉

Lord Ulfgeirr Ragnarrson, also known as Ulfgar the Nice is a 9th century Viking. I started my research by reading through roughly half of the texts of Norse runestones until I found the ones that fit a specific pattern that started to feel “common” and that I could work with. They were all very brief and factual: “Bjôrn and Gerðarr had this stone raised in memory of their brothers Víkingr and Sigfastr. Balli carved.”

Here are other sources I referenced:

And here’s the ugly Google Doc that shows my process: