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This is THL Jerusha a'laon, your Virtual Herald.

This is my own space and the opinions on this blog are my own and are not in any way, shape or form those of the officers, Crowns and Coronets of Atenveldt. This is a free and open space for anyone who is interested in additional content from the Virtual Herald.

I'm not interested in having this blog become a political battleground. I just want to be able to serve my kingdom as well as have an outlet for the journalism and photography degree I got from Northern Arizona University. Please respect that.

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Grand Tournament of the Unicorn - The Virtual Herald moves to the Middle Kingdom!


As I announced on my Facebook page earlier, I have packed up my stuff and made my way to Celina, Ohio, which is part of he Middle Kingdom.  I now live within the borders of the Barony of Flaming Gryphon, Marche of Norborough.

This past weekend was the Grand Tournament of the Unicorn (GTU), which is a yearly event hosted by the Marche of the Unicorn, which comprises of the area around Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, which is about an hour and a half away from where we live.

I got us all prepared and we headed out early in the morning.  I had volunteered to help with Troll and had also signed up to retain for Her Majesty Serena.

I have decided to wait until I have several Midrealm events under my belt before doing any live coverage.  It's very important to me to understand how my new kingdom works before I feel comfortable reporting.

We got there and boy, am I glad I paid for parking!   The event was packed and there were also other events going on at the school that day.

One of the best ways to meet new people is to volunteer.  Hence the two hours I put in at the Event Registration table (oops, gotta start using the right terminology, ya know...;).  I got to meet Lady (now Baroness) Allegra, Master Phillip, HL Fiadnata and other folks who I've only interacted with online.

After my stint at Troll, I met up with Baron Zephyr, who took me to the lunch tavern and bought me a hot dog and some chips.  The event was in full swing, but the weather was a bit chillier than I was used to, so I went inside to eat my lunch.  I had the chance to meet Lady Muirenn ingen Fáelchon Uí Clerígh from the Barony of Shadowed Stars, which I learned is about the same distance as Flaming Gryphon and has practices on Sundays, which fits my schedule.
After that, it was time for me to find Her Majesty and start my first ever retainer shift.  I got to spend time with Her and His Majesty, who were very nice to me and made me feel welcome.  I also got reacquaint myself with Baroness Rosamund, who I met many years ago when I attended my first Pennsic and camped with her and her household.My shift mostly comprised of visiting the various vigils that were taking place at the event.  There were four elevations that day; two for the Pelican and one for the Chivalry and the Order of Defense. Machanna of Dark River, I got a chance to take pictures of his vigil book.  The gentle who made it did a great job and I especially liked seeing the translation that was provided.

 Once Their Majesties were done with visiting the vigilants, Her Majesty headed back to the Royal Room to get dressed in her court garb.  My replacement came in and I was released.

Back downstairs, I hung out with Baron Zephyr. He and I go *way* back and I hope that my moving out here will get him to come out and play some more.   In the meantime, he did what he does best, be sociable, helpful...and funny.

I had *planned* to go to the meet up with the Midrealm Photographers Guild, but the weather was beginning to act up and folks were starting to tear down and congregate at the hall where the classes were.  It was just as well.  I got to meet and have a lovely conversation with Baron Maximillian von Fallingbostel, who is the current Landed Baron of the Barony of Shattered Crystal. He was wearing the most splendid outfit.  The hat was pretty freakin' awesome too.

Soon, it was time to head over to Kumler Chapel, which was about a 20 minute walk from our current location, for court.  We chose to drive and when we got there... Holy S**t.  It is a beautiful Building.

We took our places and watched the processional.  I ended up sitting in the middle, as most of the front seats had already been taken when we showed up.  I'm going to try to get better seats in the future because while I could hear most of what happened (the acoustics are pretty awesome) I really couldn't see.  Thus, I only took a couple of pictures of the beginning of court, as well as the obligatory Court Selfie

There were definite differences between Court in the Middle Kingdom and in Atenveldt.  One of the first was that before court started, we were handed out a little pamphlet with the Russian and English translation of a traditional bylina that was sung during the processional.  It was based on Their Majesties' adventures at Gulf War XXV, which ended up being quite epic.  It was sung beautifully and I hope someone recorded it.

After the event, we cleared out pretty quickly, since we were hoping to get dinner and hang out with Baron Zephyr before heading home.  Unfortunately, the weather conspired against us and we ended up getting Wendy's drive through.  
Overall, I enjoyed my first event.  It felt odd not being in full Virtual Herald mode, but at the same time, I had the time to explore the event on my own terms.  For all the differences in style and wording, the same themes of Courtesy, Chivalry, and Camaraderie were in full effect.  Thank you to all who spoke with me and made my husband and I feel so welcome.  We hope to fully participate with time.

Next up is Keep Calm and Ceilidh On, which is at the end of April.  I'll be doing more work there, as I am the Herald in Charge as well as teaching a class.  

Until Next Time,

Jerusha VH