Shire Wars VIII included fencing, heavy combat, archery, thrown weapons and atlatl, Helga Ball (a sort of Viking soccer played with a head of lettuce), children’s activities, bardic activities, A&S classes, a weaving circle and embroidery solar, and feast.
East Kingdom Gazette also has a report from Shire Wars VIII.
The event announcement is here.

Tis truth, I was there.

Many of our shrekin arrived at the gates at about 10 of the clock in the morning. All were joyful, for it was the day that Lady Katheryn Perry was to join the august order of the laurel, and we had much to prepare. A tent was set up; food brought out, and seating arranged just so for guests. The cooks made some amazing delights for the eye and the tongue. Pickled vegetables, fruit jams, meat cooked perfectly and served cold; soups that steamed gently in the autumn air and promised warm comfort.

Queen Vienna herself sent Lady Kathryn to vigil, and as our good lady sat and pondered her good deeds with the good advice of the populace, we all set about to have a good time, even so close to the battles. There was dance music played by divers musicians to set the toes to tapping, and many came and visited with great gifts, including an embroidered bag with the lady’s device from Ratnavati and an embroidered partlet from Lady Alison. All this merrymaking was accompanied by large booming noises in the distance that sounded like thunder. Thor? War machines? We did not know.

Messengers from the fields came by at intervals to give us the news from the line; the Normans and the Saxons were fighting hard but it looked like the Normans had the upper hand. Small children raced out on a search for small blue deer to feed the armies; Arwen Talonsdottir and Julianna, Arpad’s daughter were most adept at provisioning. Ratnavati and Lady Sarah le Payller were the leaders of the hunt at this time.

Soon, the Queen held her glittering court, with nobles of every kind finding reward in her hall. Lady Kathryn was duly created a Peer, wearing her new partlet and newly adorned with a golden laurel wreath from Duchess Diana. Master Wulfgar read the recommendation sent by a faraway knight, and Don Thomas del Brooke spoke the words from Master Nataliia; Master Mael Eoin, Baroness Brose, and Duchess Diana spoke for Lady Kathryn as well. Lady Jenevieve was also called into Queen Vienna’s presence to be inducted into the Order of the Silver Wheel, an honor well deserved.

By evening, our tired warriors of every stripe came up the hill to find food and shelter, and richly were they fed by the Queen’s kitchen. The Normans had won the day! A course of cheeses and bread began the meal; many good dishes were served but I most liked the dish of pork cooked in wine and the chicken with a sweet sauce. There was a fig and parsnip pie, and at the end of the meal we all refreshed ourselves with marzipan painted with a battle scene, made by Lady Siobhan ni Ghadra.

We are all safe home now, but look forward to our next time of feasting in the Spring.

Siobhan inghean ui Dhonnabhain