Unto the most noble and dearest Lady Mary Flynn from the foreign lands known as Pennsic!

Greetings from the lands afar! So much has happened in this paste weeke that I have hardly enough tyme to put my pen to paper. How could I portray the sights before me? The time here, seemeth to me very long, for I am in awe each and every day, and I am most thankful that I have made my pilgrimage here.

We arrived dust worn and weary after a long and arduous journey. At the gate, the servants of our fyne hosts greeted us and catered to our every need. Once we found our shelter for the week, we were unpacked and catered to. Our meals arrive timely and in abundant amounts. We are even most happily placed in lodgings as some of the others of our household as well! It was a most happy occasion to gather all under the same roof again in celebration.

The sun was truly in splendour throughout the week, but though the days drew hot and dusty, there were things about to keep one's mind off of the weather.

First, scandalous as it may seem, women are treated as equals here in this land. Not only was I able to attend classes here, but also many of my classes were taught by most learned women! So much I learned too, for I spent many days learning of the politics of his Majesty, Good King Henry, and of the religions teachings of past history. I attended finishing classes in table manners and good discourse as well, something every woman of our age should be allowed to immerse herself in. I indulged so intensely in these very exce llent classes, I fear I have become intoxicated with the desire to learn and even, perhaps, to teach others as well! I only hope that when I return home, my guardians will be as lenient as my foreign hosts have been.

As if this was not enough, imagine our small town during a faire day, and then imagine it big enough to fill four towns! Such was the merchants’ row to be found here! There were fine crafts and wares from all corners of this fine kingdom. One could not have half of the offerings even if one spent their entire life savings upon it. I fear that my pockets will be empty far sooner than should be, for my eyes beckon me to empty them for each trinket that does catch mine eyes.

As if the doings of the day were not enough to entertain me, I found that the populace of this faire city does truly emerge when the sun sets low in the sky. This place Pennsic is truly most alive in the dark of night and such scandalous goings on do occur! Many of those in residence choose to hold elaborate fetes, which only begin at dark and go on well into the wee hours of morn. Some of these gatherings were most appropriate and safe for a good god fearing woman to attend with proper escort, but some...Oh, my word… some fetes were so scandalous that even thinking about them will drive me to confession.

However, it was, most auspiciously, our good princess Isabella that saved me from such fates as these, for she requested that I attend to her. With her fine escorts each eve, I was welcomed into some truly beauteous manses, safe from harm upon my body and soul.

One such manse was the Casa Bardicci, a fine mansion created in the style of the Italians. Our fine host, Don Guillermo, offered us fine food, potables, and entertainment of miraculous proportions. Players from all the world joined us in the courtyard of his home. Some say that we were gifted by players from the land of the Holy Roman Emperor, and even as far as the near east. Or, at least it seemed so, for they were dressed in such an alien way. Many of the women adorned themselves with strange coins and painted strange markings upon their uncovered bodies with what they called "Henna". I do not think that I should like this form of decoration, for one cannot remove its markings for quite some time.

I am most happy to say, that I was quite blessed that evening, for her highness bid me attend her in a more private area of Casa Bardicci. There, in the inner sanctum, I heard the most beauteous voice! We were gifted with the fine voice of her majesty of Aethelmaerc. Surely, the angels were smiling down upon us as she sang in the Italian style.

Mistress Mary, I fear I have so much to tell you when I return, for I could never place all of my experiences upon this paper. There could not be enough tyme and paper in the world!

However, I will leave you with a final recounting of something that I witnessed. I was most truly impressed, for I have witnessed a fine act of undying and undemanding love, an act that will forever live in my heart as something I will strive to recreate. An act of love finer than I have ever seen in my life occurred that day.

It appears that our Baron of Ostgardr did create for his and our faire Baroness a fine house with the assistance of the people of Ostgardr. Our lady had feared that this would be the last time she would make the pilgrimage as age and illness have taken its toll upon her. But our valiant Baron has come to her rescue by building her a fine manse, tight to the elements, and comfortable to live in. And, as result of this noble act, we will be graced with our lady’s presence in years to come in this foreign land. Truly, this is the love of what the poets speak of, an enduring love that has no equal. May we all dear Mary, find the same in our own life's travels.

Lest I should be too tedious, I shall finish this, my hastily scribbled letter, committing you to the remembrances of this weeke past and I now leave you to return to my studies,

Most devotedly I remain,
Lady Andrea MacIntyre
Proudest member of the Crown Province Of Ostgardr.

© 2002, by Lady Andrea MacIntyre

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