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The Question

If you ask any Peer "how did you get asked" you will get a different answer for each experience. This is how it was for me.

The first time:

It was sometime in May 1997. I was out fabric shopping (what else do you do on a weekend?!) and managed to get home in one piece, with a not quite blown budget. Gabriel approached me and said, "Stanzi, you must phone Master Daffyd. He said it was urgent."

No worries, I thought, dragged out the address book and proceeded to dial. Daffyd answered the phone and the conversation went sort of like this:

Hi Daffyd how are you? (Stanzi)

Fine Stanzi, and you? (Daffyd)

Alright, what's up? (Stanzi)

I was wondering if you like the title of Mistress? (Daffyd)

I dunno, would prefer the title of Goddess (Stanzi - I was feeling a little confused by this comment and decided that he was taking the mickey out of me)

Really, I'm deadly serious (Daffyd)

So am I. I'd really like the title of Goddess (Even when my friends tell the truth, I suspect they're up to something. Besides, it was definately some southern plot!), Yeah, sure, whatever Daffyd.

Oh good - I'll pass you onto the rest of the group (Daffyd)

Now I'm not sure what happened in the conversation from that point because the penny dropped. Daffyd was serious and I was speaking to the Stormhold laurels. I began to melt internally confused excited panic and shock started to set in. I had been asked to join the Order of the Laurel, and I told them that I wanted to become a Goddess. Good one Stanzi (you idiot!).

In my moment of weakness, they convinced me to be laurelled at Midwinter 1997 in Rowany. They knew best.

After speaking to Gabriel, and trying to appear calm and totally non-fazed to the people about the house (I really fail at that sort of thing) I went straight to the fridge and found a beer. Later I managed to get hold of Acacia who came over and we guzzled champagne. That was that.

The Second Time

You never quite expect it. I thought if it were ever going to happen again, I was going to be calm. I was going to have it together, work out what's going on and show some style and grace. Yeah, I wanted to be all those things..

Lillith and I were in the coffee shop setting up for the evening. Lillith was starting to make up the latest sign to go on the outside of the shop. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted His Majesty, Conner, and Her Majesty, Iesa, with Master Hrothgar, Baron of Riverhaven, in tow. Not only did they come out of the corner of my eye but they came into my shop. Cool, I thought. They're checking the place out.

The King wanted to know what type of beverages we sold and so I told him, listing off the various teas and coffees. They ordered a couple of hot drinks and as I was pottering about the shop, the King started saying in his Californian accent, "You know, we don't have any of your funny money" at which point I interrupted and said, "That's alright mate, don't worry about it!" and went back to fixing stuff up.

The King paused. Looked intently at me for a moment. I continued on in my vague sort of got-to-get-this-done way.

He started again, "You know, we don't have any of your funny money..." this time firmly slapping a token onto the bench. The noise caught my attention and I looked down at his hand. He started again, "We don't have any funny money, but we thought you may be happy to receive this." He slid the pelican token along the bench in front of me. I went pale, paler than normal, leapt back about a metre in shock. I looked up at Their Majesties in complete panic and said, "Um, I'm going out the back for a minute!" and then ran out the door.

It does go on - you see after my mental melt down outside where I was in total shock, and fighting back bursting into tears, doing the paniced "what do I do, what do I do" dance, I went back inside.

I told Their Majesties that I couldn't answer them straight away, I had a few questions. After my questions had been answered, Their Majesties left. I still hadn't told them what I had intended to do - I couldn't answer that, I had to speak to my thinking half, Gabriel.

First thing to do - repress it! Time to toughen up, you've got a shop to run! I busied myself as much as I could. Then Phridory, who had been watching the coffee shop like a hawke from the tavern, decided to pop in.

So, what's going on? (Phridory)

Oh, nothing really. (Stanzi)

Nah, really. Tell me Stanzi (Phridory)

Oh, you mean the King and Queen being here? I shouldn't really tell you but .... I'll let you in on a secret. St Florian has the go-ahead to become a Barony. It's all good. (Stanzi)

Cool, well that's all I wanted to know. (Phridory)

He then disappeared like the typical nosey so-n-so that he is - takes after his Pelican really :)

Hrothr (not the Baron of Riverhaven) then arrived, just missing out on the show. What a relief! I needed someone to rescue me, and he was the man to do it. I sent him up to grab Gabriel to come down from the St Florian encampment. Gabriel, who had been cued for a shower and almost his turn, wasn't too pleased with the idea but he came down anyway thinking that I had some important news about the group going Barony.

I was so relieved to see my beloved's face, I could barely speak.

Honey, the King has given me The Bird (Stanzi)

The what? You're kidding me (thinking that the King had given me the finger or said no to Shire becoming a Barony) - that's pretty bloody rude!

No, honey, not the bird - The Bird! (Stanzi)

And that was that.