As I prepare to unpack from the event I am drawn to a small
book with gold and green decoration and a simple gold tassel.
The book, the one procured for His Grace Duke Jade, so that he
and the fighters he faced Sunday on that field of such great
honor, could inscribe their words of honor to a very special
I am minded to share the words here, for those who missed the
Invocation of the Lists or who perhaps may have missed the
By way of setting the story let me offer this first - with sad
heart I searched for a way to honor a lady who had touched the
lives of so many people and who was not long for this mortal
coil. Having asked Their Majesty's counsel on a suitable way
to honor her They suggested His Grace, as he was fighting the
By's for the tournament. I approached him in his camp after
dark to beg this boon. Without second thought he asked where
she was, how far away she was, and if he could see her. We
traveled the short distance to the hospital where her family
and friends were gathering. I shall never forget this
incredibly noble man as he approached her bedside, took her
hand in his and swore to swing his blade in her name upon An
Tir's Honor's field the next day. He made promise to her to
fight 100 fights in her honor. And while the lady could not
respond to him or his words I knew in my heart that she could
We returned to the site, a quiet drive, where he apologized
for being so quiet. I didn't know how to respond, still being
struck by the noble virtue of this man. He explained that he
was looking within himself, being "thankful" for
this opportunity of reminder about what it was to be a Knight.
I didn't know what to say.
Serena passed in the early morning hours. When His Grace came
to my camp to collect the book and a favor to wear upon the
field I shared the news with him. He steeled himself to the
task at hand.
It will be a long time before any of us gathered upon the field
forget the emotion or spirit that swept through those gathered
as he read these words:
"Oh noble lady, only once did we meet,
Yet the love in your heart did well me greet,
As I held your hand, in your bed did you lie,
Giving peace through your serenity, yet did I cry.
For no reason we mortals may discern,
The fates have chosen this time for you to depart,
So those of us who remain for your spirit shall yearn,
And hope that we may follow the noble course you did chart.
Yet before this day comes to it's end,
The promise I made you shall be fulfilled,
To your soul I promise a song I would send,
A hymn of honor with my voice, my blade and shield.
So know that our deeds of honor this day,
Shall be in thy name and shall speed thy flight,
For I know your path is along the rainbow way,
And that your spirit will watch over us this very night.
So a chooser of the slain in Valhalla you shall be,
And my noble lady, when it is my time I hope you'll come for me."
throughout the course of the day as His Grace fought each of
his fights for the lady he'd only once met, each time offering
silent gesture to the sky before his blade sang its song. In
the evening we met again, to turn over the book (which shall
be given to the lady's family).
I will long remember his joy in reporting that he'd not fought
100 fights that day but instead nearly 120.
I knew Serena as friend, as a member of my House (the Great
and as a member of the September Crown autocrat team (she was
instrumental in the making of the site tokens.) Her loss will
be hard felt but her spirit will live forever in the memory of
this most incredible gesture by a very valorous man.
A final note I
add, an observation made by my lord husband as we prepared for
the tasks at hand Sunday morning; "How much the irony
that there could be no fires at the event where our
fire-goddess could not be."