This marks our first official foray into kingdom-assigned scrolls, and I think we did OK. I can tell where all the glaring (to me) errors in the illumination are, and Annys can tell you where all the egregious and obvious (to her) calligraphy mistakes are. I don’t know as anyone else would notice, though. With luck we’ll be asked to do another.
So, on to the specs – in this case, I knew the recipient, and had some channels to double check what I knew of her persona (or, in this case, new persona). Since Emeline has moved from “some sort of piratey English” persona to some form of Viking, I began looking to Viking eddas and other sources for inspiration. I eventually found said inspiration in the doorposts of the Hylestad Stave Church in Norway, famous for the elaborate carvings representing the Lay of Sigurd.
The carvings gave me a great jumping off point, and as I thought about it, it seemed more and more appropriate since Emeline is known to work in wood a fair bit – I have a tourney prize from some years back which made. The particular image I worked from is one of Sigurd and Regin forging Sigurd’s sword Gram. The final piece is a bit of an abstraction, as it’s an ink rendering of a carved wood relief, but I think is does a fine job of evoking the feel of the original. (I elected to forgo drawing the wood grain.)
To go with it, we looked for a later-period hand that might have gone with a Scandinavian stave church, settling on artificial uncial. Our differing pronuncitions of “uncial” inspired the following exchange:
Me: “Artifi-shul un-shul.”
Me: “Um… then it should be artifi-see-al un-see-al.”
We wrote the text based on the Thorpe translation of ”The Lay of Sigrdrifa”, from The Edda of Saemund the Learned. The meter is pretty close to the translation, but that’s a bit of a fudge since most translations don’t really do justice to their originals. All the same, we came up with a fun little bit of edda-like verse to explain what award it was, to whom it was given, why it was given out, and by which royals.
Who has Our corslet made?
Stitches fine of golden thread:
Who hast regal draped
This King of East?
Has by her hand
for Birka day.
Thus do We
Gregor three and Kiena
Make her Seamstress to the Crown
In Our Settmour Swamp
At the Thawing of the Mud
A.S. forty six.
Process images after the jump.