Master Etienne Fevre de Dion is one of those amazing people; talented, effortlessly eloquent, debonair, inventive and Machiavellian of persona enough to keep you on your toes. I met him at my first event and was struck in two ways – 1) I want to be like him when I grow up, and 2) horrible levels of “I carried a watermelon” type interactions. He and Master Duarte Goncalves de Montes were demonstrating fencing, complete with witty repartee, style, flair and all that good stuff. The telling part was that he managed to get ‘2 left feet’ me to give it a quick try. When I think of Fencing/Rapier in the SCA the first person who comes to mind is, for me, Master Etienne. He is also, as he likes to tell me, my Evil Step Laurel. I’d like you to imagine, then, how happy I might have been to be asked to help with his elevation to Master of Defense. More, to get to be a handsome, blond Viking for the ceremony – ok, I read the very lovely words prepared by my Apprentice brother, Master Æiríkr inn Hárfagri. He/I was representing the Order of Defense for the occasion.
During the Vigil Master Etienne and I had a brief discussion (more watermelons is basically the way I remember it) but the outcome was that since I didn’t have advise to impart at the moment I would have to give it, publicly, at another time. As it turned out I had a new Glückhaus board for him as a gift for the occasion. When I ran my first event (Court of Love) I had planned for thrown weapons activities and had arranged for the delivery of a ring of cut down tree to serve as a target. Unfortunately the delivery didn’t happen and Master Etienne saved the day by using the back of his own Glückhaus board. The gift was a physical way of saying thank you and that when someone gives something of themselves it’s taken away by the receiver, thought on, remembered and encourages a like response. Excellent example is a great gift to the world. Of course there was another person there, Lady Sela de la Rosa – whose eloquence also stirs tides of envy in my soul – and her words at the ceremony said this (and much more) far better. I hope she publishes it sometime.
For my part I forgot to take a photo of the finished board, but this is an in progress shot