Mearan Sunday Herald
|THE Halloween Ball Opens Social Season|
Byline: Linda Loverly - Social Editor November 1, 2000
Our good editor has agreed that a social event like the Halloween Ball deserves a Special Edition at midweek (I only had to shout a bit to convince him; he had quite a headache after the evening.) I hope you all enjoy the report as much as the attendees did the ball itself!
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Well, Michaelmas Courts and tax collections and the harvest are over, and the lords and ladies of Gwynedd are departing their own castles to flock to Rhemuth for the upcoming Season. Simply Everyone who wants to be Anyone in the court this year found some way to wrangle an invitation to the Halloween Ball held, most appropriately, at the ruins of St. Neot's.
The atmosphere of gloom and destruction was somewhat moderated by the tasteful decorations so ably managed by Lord Hamilton, who has so long and so well managed the household of His Grace Alaric Morgan, Duke of Corwyn.
While St. Neot's is a far remove from the elegance of Castle Coroth, it was the logical choice for a Halloween Ball of such proportions. The blackened bits of wall left standing were fitted with brackets for torches, lending sufficient light for the activities of the evening.
The cloister yard was chosen for the main activities, since no one wished to echo the desecration of the chapel itself. For the occasion, a fine wood floor, constructed by the artisans who refitted St. Torin's was installed in the old cloister yard and provided a perfect surface for dancing. One large tree which somehow took root after the fires and has grown strong and tall in the past two hundred years was strung with dozens of jack-o'-lanterns carved from large turnips to lend additional light to the dancing and dining areas.
Music for the occasion was supplied by many local musicians, with special performances by Gwydion ap
Plennydd, troubadour extroidinaire; falling into the spirit of the evening, the singer garbed himself as the great Lord
Also on hand, of
course, were King Kelson and his lovely wife Queen Araxie, who chose to honor the House of Haldane by attending costumed as King Rhys Michael and his beloved Queen Michaela Drummond
Haldane. Duke Nigel of Carthmoor and the Duchess Meraude also elected to honor their Haldane ancestors,
Regrettably, Prince Rory and his wife were unable to attend due to her delicate condition at this time, but their younger son Prince Payne was present, arrayed as Prince Javan Haldane before his ascension to the throne; his limp was quite painfully touching.
Queen Mother Jehana appeared briefly as Lady Derverguille of the famous ballad; her escort, Lord Barrett de Laney, was dressed as a Michaeline priest. Lord Azim also wore the Michaeline blue and was announced as Lord Jebediah of Alcara, Grand Master of the Order of Saint Michael-and he certainly looked the part!
Bishop Duncan McLain also came in Michaeline garb, as Alister Cullen, and Father John Nivard made a credible Father Joram MacRorie. The Bishop of Dhassa made his appearance as Archbishop Jaffray, while Archbishop Cardiel chose to come as Guaire of Arliss, one of the founders of the Dolban community of the Servants of Saint Camber.
A lady dressed as Countess Aislinn MacRorie McLain and her companion, a convincing King Donal Blaine Haldane, were identified as the Diacontessa of URL (?) And Dr. St. Mark; a blond lady attired in the robes of the Servants of St. Camber and wearing a St. Camber medal of unusual beauty was called the Mistress of Complications. Also in this group was a dashing Jesse MacGregor, looking very capable of using the sword at his side; I heard him mention Aidan and Gilllian, apparently his children, to his wife, Lady Fae.
Many people, including this reporter, also had an eerie experience in the ruined chapel itself, where the ghostly echoes of chanted Latin seemed to whisper from the blackened walls. That haunting end to the evening made it certain to be remembered as a most spectacular opening to the social season. One wonders if the King's birthday celebration is two weeks' time can possibly come up to the standard set by this year's Halloween Ball!