August 9th, 2012

Old armor

Phaedra's Gate

On the Calon list came the following request, since answered.  Here is my answer.

I was wondering if anyone could supply me with a picture of Phaedra's Gate? I
imagine pictures must exist but Google isn't being very helpful in finding

Though it seems that the request for a picture has been fulfilled, when I saw the question, while at Pennsic, the response I mentally composed went something along these lines:

Ask not for a picture of some rude earthen berm, enhanced by upright timbers and tattered fabric demarking a wall.  While that might have been called a "Gate" it was only so because we believed it to be.  For if you would ask me for a picture of Phaedra's Gate, I would show you young fighters learning the soldier's arts at local practices and War Maneuvers.  I would show you older fighters, beards lightly salted with grey, teaching and encouraging the same.  I would show you the waterbearers hard at work, keeping those in the line in the line, by means of their endless ministrations.  I would show you the cooks of the soup kitchen, back at camp, preparing for, and by so doing, ensuring our sucessful return.  I would show you pictures of craftsmen at work over anvil and sewing machine, preparing the harness and tabard for fyrdman and huscarl, knight and novice. 

I would show you a picture of Fernando, our general, both in warcouncil and addressing the troops before the battle, crafting the precise arrangement that would allow the maximum violence to be wrought upon the charging foeman.  I would show you the King, Joe Angus, sharing all the duties of the members of the Falcon Host over which He reigned.  I would show you Phaedra, our Queen and inspriation that day, who while not at battleside, spent the hour at work for the benefit of the Realm, arranging the Order of Business for Court Royal to be held that evening. 

I would have you read Sir Fernando's account of the Battle, found here, and elsewhere, and enscribed deeply in the heart of any purple bleeding son or daughter of the Falcon.  I would have you hear the song that I wrote, found here, and still heard on occasion around Calontir's fires.

I would show you the gleam in the eye and the wide grin of the veterans of that battle, safe home at last, when they remember with advantages that day, and strip back their sleeves and show their wounds, saying, "I gained this scar at Phaedra's Gate."

So you may have found a picture of dirt and gravel pushed into a low mound by diesel powered implements, but I have another picture abiding in my mind.
As to which is more accurate is for you to decide.