Midwinter Night

Written by Crispin Sexi and performed at Midwinter Coronation in Lochac, 2014.

Niall and Liadan, King and Queen of Lochac.
Duke Alfar and Countess Angharat, previous King and Queen of Lochac.
The Baronies represented at hightable: Rowany, Stormhold, Innilgard, Politarchopolis, Mordenvale & Krae Glas.
Politarchopolan officials: The Seneschal, The champions of Heavy Combat, Archery and Rapier and the Champion of Arts & Sciences.
The Art of Politarchopolis, The Science of Politarchopolis (yes, actual names).
Various messengers.


Seneschal: Your majesties, excellencies,
I went to check on the former king and queen in the royal room,
but I cannot find any sign of them.
It is most disturbing, as many of their goods are still there,
and I know they were looking forward to the feast.

Crown: What is the meaning of this?

Politarchopolis: It is probably nothing, but I shall send my champions to make sure.
Otto, Sigmund, Francois, Alexandra - go find the former king and queen.

[They exit and return flustered]

Heavy: Your Majesties, Excelencies, we fear the worst!

Archery: We did not find Alfar and Angharat!

Rapier: No living sign of them!

A&S: We found their ghosts!

[They rush to hide behind high table and elsewhere.]

[Alfar and Angharat enter, oblivious to the fact that they are ghosts.]

Alfar: Well, glad that's over.

Angharat: Let's find our seats.

Alfar: Here's a spot.

Angharat: Excuse us.

[They can watch court, but not admit that it's anything to do with them. Same throughout the feast, but they can feel free to go 'boo' and so forth.]

Crown: This bodes ill, or rather worse! What has befallen them?

Politarchopolis: Perhaps rather than champions,
I must use Art and Science to solve this mystery.

Art: Yes, your Excellency. We shall get to the bottom of this.

Science: Let's go search for clues.

Crown: Whoever did this deed shall not get away with it.


Art: Your Excellency, we surprised a suspicious figure
while we were looking for clues.

Science: When accosted, he fled, but he dropped this note in his haste.

Politarchopolis: Let me see that.
This note tells of how Rowany is cornering the leather trade!
It speculates as to whether our new King and Queen
will look upon their monopoly with the same views as the old Crown.
Dear cousins, see!
What say you to this?

Rowany: This letter is not addressed to us, but to Baroness Mordenvale!

Mordenvale: And what if it is?
I should not have to explain or apologise
for my intelligence-gathering activities.
It pays to stay abreast of current developments.
We have no quarrel with the old King and Queen - they treated us well.
Your agents startled my own, who was trying to solve the very same puzzle.

Politarchopolis:Well, that may be as you say, or something other.
Art and Science, keep vigilant and we will discover the truth.


[An aide comes through the hall and presents a letter to Mordenvale. Another aide presents one to Stormhold.]

Mordenvale: My agents have deftly intercepted this coded message,
and just as deftly broken the code!
Innilgard are sending gold to Rowany
to buy leather for armouring their troops.
Where is Innilgard getting gold from?
And why are they preparing an army?

Innilgard: The gold is from our gold mines.

Stormhold: I think I have the answer, dear cousins.
Here I hold a letter decyphered,
addressed from Innilgard to Krae Glas.
They are conniving to lay war against Stormhold.
Using gold from our own lands!

Innilgard: Those mines are mine.
I plan war in retaliation for your own plan to take my mines by force.

Stormhold: Well then war you shall have.

Krae Glas: Krae Glas cannot abide our neighbour's hostile nature,
we shall side with Innilgard against you.

Crown: Calm yourselves Excellencies. This is a time of peace, not war.

Politarchopolis: But what has all this to do with the spectres
of Alfar and Angharat haunting us?

Art: We shall keep looking for the answer.


[All baronies receive letters except for Politarchopolis, who are surprised.]

Art: Sorry, I don't have anything!

Stormhold: So! Another intercepted coded message.
Your codes are easy to break!
Krae Glas had already pledged to support Innilgard before tonight.
This letter mentions a fear that Attica might support myself in war.
I think I suspect Krae Glas of doing the ugly deed.

Krae Glas: Well you are sorely mistaken,
for this letter intercepted and decyphered
tells me that Mordenvale has sent a mysterious cargo to this very event
via the port of Politarchopolis.
It appears to me that somehow a deal has gone wrong!

Mordenvale: It was alcohol. Along with my trade goods,
and I have turned a tidy profit, and have had a successful day.
No, there is no skull-duggery with me. No.
But I have here a letter that implicates Innilgard, who planned to anex Aneala,
but Alfar found out and was going to alert the King!

Innilgard: [Shaking their letter.] Politarchopolis, in the Foyer, with a candlestick!

Politarchopolis: I... but... what on earth?

Rowany: Cousins, cease your speculation, for I have here the answer:
A letter, not in code, from Angharat herself.
It tells a story of woe,
How in an unfortunate accident, Alfar was crushed by a Corinthian Column,
and Angharat in her distress fled to the safety of the College of St Ursula.
The fault lies with none of us.
There was no culprit, other than Alfar's fondness of classical architecture,
and pure chance that he absent-mindedly nudged an unstable column.

Angharat: Hang on! If I'm safely at St Ursula, why am I a ghost?

Art: Well... you did go to St Ursula... !

Ursulan: Oy! You, us, college war next weekend!

Crown: OK, that's a fair enough reason for war.
Thank you for solving this puzzle;
It has put our minds and hearts at ease.


Copyright Jaysen Ollerenshaw 2014. Free use within the SCA.

Joan & Crispin's Homepage: http://aelflaed.homemail.com.au/