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February 3rd, 2013

Bridget's Laurel Text

Once of a time, when the lands were emptier and fewer kings wore Crowns, there was a in the Southern Lands King Ailegheanan, the hound of his People, who was visited at night with a dream, brought to him by mac Ethlenn, the Samhildánach, of the need to bind together his land more closely with that of the Falcon.  These bindings, said the Lámfhada, ought not be of the iron of chain or sword, but rather pliant like that of string and thread, gentler to the feel and unlikely to provoke misery and rebellion.  They should be based on teaching and learning, rather than raiding and ruling. 

With this geis placed upon him, the Hound of the South made many trips to the Lands of the Falcon, most particularly the Loch of Lilies, where all of the people were most seemly, and pleasant, and free in their spreading of knowledge, skills and lore.  But among all he met there was one Bridget, most skilled with needle, descended from mother, grandmother and great grand-dames all so skilled, who had been placed in his path as she who would aid in the stitching together of these two great peoples.

When the Hound of the South later traveled into his more barren western lands for the Raiding of Bright Stones, he did give Bridget a Pearled Silver brow-ring, within it not lands, but a hidden geis for her.  She was bound to teach the art of the Needle each spring to all those who gathered near An Dún Lomán when the warriors took to raiding.  For a dozen years was she to teach before this geis could be lifted, and only if the weight of her product be equal to twelve dozen of the land’s finest bulls.

With eagerness she sewed, and taught, and stitched, and taught others to do the same, both at the Raidings and at home.  As the years passed, there were many dresses, and veils, and cloaks and even tents sewn by her hands, each more beautiful and functional than the last,  yet the heft of a bull greatly outweighs even heaviest of sewn goods, and she had been bound to produce a kinesweight each month. 

When Donngal, Ard Righ, and Catalina, Banrion, summoned her before the Ceilidh Mor of Needleworkers, she bowed down with humility, knowing she had failed her task, having not sewn enough to fulfill the geis placed upon her.  Yet Richard, her patron, argued her case, and proved that her worth was measured not only by the product of her own needle, but also by the needles of all those that she had taught.  With that, examples were produced from all the lands, that of the Ram, and the Blackstar, the Three Seas and the Dragon, the Stag and the Griffon, as well the Heartlands and the Southlands, proving that her greatest product was not needlework, but needleworkers.

When they heard this, and similar strong testimony of all the greatest artists and artisans of the Land, Donngal and Catalina exercised their power and created Bridget Edan a Companion of the Laurel and Peer of the Realm, giving her power and rights equal to those already within that circle, and requiring of her once a year a fish, which she has caught in her own netted hat. 

This they did on the second day of February in the forty-seventh year of the Society, in Cum an Iolar.

D                             C

Ard Righ               Banrion

This is inspired by the Cattle Raid of Cooley (the story of Cu Cuhlain), early Irish prose epic.

The figure mentioned in the first paragraph but never actually named is Lugh, a Celtic god.
An Dún Lomán is "Fort of Logs", ie Gulf Wars.
The Raiding of Bright Stones is Diamond Wars.
mac Ethlenn, the Samhildánach, and Lámfhada all refer to the god Lugh.

The last line is a reference to what Gottfried described as Bridget’s only real fiber project failure, a nallbinding/sprang  hat that came out as a net of knots.



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