BARONY OF CAER ANTERTH MAWR, NORTHSHIELD – In a move surprising only in how long overdue it was, Their Majesties called out the “bad Peers” at the back of court for talking so loudly that they drowned out the proceedings during Their Majesties’ evening court at Lupercalia last weekend.
“The hall was really loud and we couldn’t hear what was going on,” said Baronne Phillippe Boulanger, who witnessed the events, “and the herald asked the crowd multiple times to please be quiet so people could hear when they were called up.”
The “bad Peers at the back of court,” as they like to be known, are those individuals with (or without) peerages who stand at the back of the hall and use the court period to gossip and chat. It is sometimes presented as an honor to be invited into their club, but the herald was having none of it.
About an hour into court, one award recipient reportedly burst into tears because very few people cheered them at the cue, which they thought was a statement of opinion from the crowd. At this development, the herald seems to have finally snapped, and stalked to the edge of the stage to start berating the gaggle of gossips at the back of the hall at volume and with perfect diction. Magister Odo Seynt Giles, modernly a middle school English and drama teacher, was heard to bellow, “I deal with middle schoolers every day of the week, and if you insist on behaving like spoiled twelve-year-olds, then so help me, I will treat you accordingly!”
The normally cheerful and easy-going herald continued in this vein, expressing his profound disappointment at the appalling lack of peerlike qualities on display and the staggering degree of rudeness being exhibited “by those whom we would expect know better.” While several people in various peerage regalia were observed either slinking out of the room or finding a seat to watch in chastened silence, the majority of the group ignored the herald and blithely continued their conversations unabated.
“They didn’t even notice or stop when Her Majesty instructed the herald to call the offenders into court,” continued Baronne Phillippe,”but you bet they paid attention when the herald summoned them by name to come before the Crown and account for their behavior! And when the Guard headed down the hall to enforce it, some of them looked like they might run, but a lot of them got in line when She had the herald read a two hour banishment from the Presence for those who refused. She only hit the Peers, though.”
At the event, reactions to the herald’s dressing down of the “bad Peers” and Her Majesty’s subsequent actions were mixed, with some people cheering and applauding, and others muttering in anger and resentment.
“I have never been so offended before,” huffed Duke Carbonel Vitalis, one of the chief offenders. “Forced to apologize for perfectly reasonable behavior! Me! I have been king five times, and I have never seen such an outrage! That herald interrupted me in the middle of a really good joke, so I didn’t even get to finish it. When I was king…” At this point, The SCAllion reporter tuned out and went to collect other reactions.
“Banishment is not a tool to cow others into obedience!” complained Sir Robert le Blund, one of those escorted out. “We should be able to have a conversation at the back of court! We were just demonstrating how the tournament had gone and laughing at each other’s jokes! I don’t see why I should have to apologize for that! This is a clear abuse of authority by the Crown.”
Lady Khalilah bint Suliman al Baghdadi, on the other hand, was grateful. “I was having a really hard time hearing what was going on up front because of the people in the back being loud,” she said, “My sister missed the herald calling her name for her AoA! I’ve been waiting for someone to call those people out since I started 5 years ago. I couldn’t do it myself because I knew that I would be ignored and possibly ostracized for daring to speak up. But I loved that the herald just laid into them like that! And then the Queen made them come up and apologize! To the rest of us! In front of everyone! It was amazing.”
Her sister, Lady Cécile d’Anjou, added, “I knew Magister Odo could project, being a herald, but I had no idea he could get that loud! It was pretty impressive.”
Reactions online were also mixed, but those who were at the event mostly came down in favor, while those who had not attended called it an overreaction and a witch hunt.
The SCAllion notes that the banishment lasted all of two hours, so that the people involved were still able to sit to feast afterwards.