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War Cookies

Poster: Scott Law <law@fluky.Mitre.org>

  The Middle Kingdom listserver is currently telling stories and legends,
mostly ones that used to be told and seldom are now.  Here is one related
to this fair kingdom, which I was told (as you will see) I could pass on
to th'all.


------- Forwarded Message

From: "Beverly Roden" <alexis@dnaco.net>
To: <sca-middle@dnaco.net>
Subject: [Mid] The Chocolate Chip Cookie War(s) (LONG, BUT WORTH IT!)
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 22:22:43 -0500
Reply-To: sca-middle@dnaco.net

Greetings from Alexis MacAlister, O.L., C.B. and Midrealm Chocolate Chip
Cookie Maker!

I would like to tell you the story of The Chocolate Chip Cookie War(s).

This is a true story.  Not only was I there, but I baked most of the
cookies the first year, and about half the second year!  (yes, Virgil, you
can forward this to the Atlantian newsgroup.  Sorry I've taken so long to

Once upon a time (in 1985), a Good Knight and his Lovely Laurel Lady, Royal
Peers both, did move to the Barony of Flaming Gryphon in the Midrealm.
(This would be Count Sir Ton the Traveler and Countess Mistress Elizabeth
Karien of the Four Winds - or Countess Betsy).  They had recently moved to
the Midrealm from the Kingdom of Atlantia.   Now Ton, in his mundane life,
is an Officer in the Air Force, so they had lived quite a few places and
seen lots of different things before moving here to the lovely Midwest.  He
was very observant of people's feelings and moods.  The Kingdom of Atlantia
had not been a Kingdom for very long when he had settled there, and he
observed the moods and feelings of the people of Atlantia, as well as the
perceived feelings of the East.

During the winter of 1985/86, our shire was having a meeting and trying to
make plans for the coming Pennsic (PW15).  Count Sir Ton stood up and
suggested that our group could act as Ambassadors for the Midrealm to
Atlantia, perhaps persuading them to fight alongside us in the coming
Pennsic War.  It was his feeling that Atlantia had been taken for granted
by the East Kingdom (of COURSE they will fight with us, they are our former
principality, after all!).  He had heard grumblings amoungst the folks of
the Kingdom of Atlantia that they had not even been accorded a full status
as allies, but instead treated in war councils as representatives of a
Barony.  It was Ton's thought that if we approached Atlantia with honor and
respect, they might at least -CONSIDER- fighting alongside the Midrealm.  

Ton asked the group to consider what sort of gifts we could put together. 
(this was to be funded by the individual members of the group - if you gave
something, you paid for it yourself)   Patrick McPhelan promised a casket
of semi-prescious stones, a few other locals promised to look around for
strands of pearls, as the Atlantian arts award is The Pearl.  It was at
this point I uttered these fateful words: "Well, they do say an army
travels on it's stomach - how about chocolate chip cookies?"  (I did (and
still DO) make good chocolate chip cookes!)  Ton asked how many cookies I
was willing to promise.  "100 dozen sounds like a good round number."  

We received permission from both Their Royal Majesties and Their Royal
Highnesses (Alen was King, Palymar was Prince - it was to be Palymar's
first reign and first war) to make the attempt.  We traveled to (i believe
Virginia) Tsuneo and Nyan-Nyan's coronation which was held at a Stouffer's
Hotel.  The Hotel and rental facility were done in a Tudor-esque style. 
The feast was catered with medieval-esque food.  Most of the Citizens of
Atlantia had attempted some form of Oriental Atire to honor their King and
Queen.  We gave our gifts (which included two kimono's (made by me) for the
Royal Couple).  The kimono's replaced two
MUCH finer looking kimonos on stands - quite a tribute to our gift!  

Count Sir Ton and I were honored to sit at head table - I sat next to His
Majesty Tsuneo!  He kept borrowing my fan, as he had forgotten his.  One of
the items on the feast menu was cheese sticks (mozarella with ham in the
middle).  His Majesty REALLY liked these, and so I was requested to ask the
servers (the hotel wait staff) "His Majesty would like more cheese sticks
please".  We probably had 3 or 4 dozen delivered to head table.  We later
found out that most people had 2 or 3 per person.  It's Good to be the

It turned out there had been no provisions made for dance music, and I
really kicked myself for not taking my boom-box and dance tapes (yes, I was
a dance mistress then - surprise!).  So, one lone gentle played Recorder,
and the folks who wanted to dance did so.  Myself, Count Sir Ton, Farnan
Montargi and another gentleman who has since moved on (and who's name I do
not recall) socialized until very late and had a wonderful time.

We did not come home with an answer for His Highness Palymar about whether
or not the Atlantians would fight beside the Midrealm, but we DID come home
with lots of really good feelings!  (***they did, by the way***) I saw Her
Majesty, Nyan-Nyan and her ladies in waiting passing out the cookies at
Pennsic along the battle lines - at the tourney field and the archery field

The following year was the same, with Talymar and Eislinn to be King and
Queen at the War.  We all knew of her illness, but vowed to not mention it
in our negotiations with the Crown of Atlantia.  (we didn't think she would
want us to, and it just seemed to be in poor taste)  The King and Queen of
Atlantia at Pennsic were to be Olaf and Judith.

We traveled this time to (i believe) North Carolina, and got caught in
Tennessee in a freak late winter snow storm.  (The National Guard plowed us
out!)  We arrived at the youth camp late Friday night, and went into the
kitchen to help the head cook (a knight who was a good friend of Ton's). 
It was also the only warm place to be!  (i DID say it was a freak snow
storm!)  We had a wonderful time joking and laughing with the other folks
who came in to warm up and help.  One lady in particular was having a GREAT
time with us, but was lamenting that she had forgotten her snood.  I told
her I had extras, and would be happy to go back to my cabin to get one for
her.  She said no, it could easily wait till morning.  Imagine my surprise
in the morning, upon finding this gentle lady to be Her Royal Highness
Judith!  (whom we were told was Atlantia's designated nice person - I
certainly agree!)   

We gave our gifts - more stones from Patrick (who came with us this time),
cookies from me to the outgoing monarchs as a reminder of the war when they
were prince and princess, a LOVELY HUGE beer stein to Olaf - who, unlike
all the other presents, did NOT pass this one back to the retainers.   ;-) 
 We made our request for the sovereign Kingdom of Atlantia to come fight
beside Their Friends of the Midrealm at this year's Pennsic.  

During Feast, we had MORE presents to pass out.  Some of the folks who were
traveling to the Coronation had been turned back because of the snow storm
(remember that, Arundel?).  They were traveling with Baroness Mistress
Signy Dimredella, and had brought MORE cool stuff to give to Crown and
Populace alike.  We had bought LOTS and LOTS of strands of inexpensive
pearls and were giving them out to all and sundry as "Gifts from your
friends of the Midrealm".   One of the Gentlemen of our Barony wrote a
rousing song singing the praises of Atlantia (we passed out the words - is
it still sung?  "Fair Atlantia" was the song...)

One of the gentlemen of our Barony made cases of sake, which we passed out
to all and sundry.  And Baroness Signy had ALSO bought bunches of Gummi

I will never forget the sight of all those Atlantian Knights, standing
around, swilling sake, biting the heads off Gummi Rats, and saying 

We got our answer during feast.  Their Majesties Olaf and Judith did call
court into the middle of feast.  He posed the question of where Atlantia
would stand at the Upcoming Pennsic War.  One of the Knights did then say: 
" How Many Ambassadors has the East sent this day?"  The populace then
cried out "NONE!"
"And how many gifts has the East sent this day to Our Crown and Populace?"
and the populace did cry out "NONE!"  "Then How many fighters should the
East expect to get from Atlantia?"  The timbers shook with the shout -

Their Majesties Olaf and Judith then called Count Sir Ton the Traveler into
court, and asked him to bear to His Royal Cousin Midrealm the news that
Atlantia would stand beside the Middle at the coming Pennsic War.

The Crown Went Wild.

We brought 100 Dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies (amoungst other gifts) to war
both years - and both years, I personally saw the Queens and Their Ladies
in waiting passing cookies to the fighters and archers of Atlantia.

As a side note, I lived in a little one bedroom apartment during that first
year.  I also had a small Honda Civic, and took my tent, clothing, beding,
and the cookies to war. (and nothing else!)  (Cookies travel well in
coolers!)  My apartment STILL smelled like cookies when I moved out 6
months later!

I received my Purple Fret for Autocrating and Ambassadorial work from
Talymar and Eislinn.  Betsy (remember her?) did the scroll - and on a
little green banner, in tiny gold letters, it says "Yes, Armies do travel
on their stomaches.  100 doz plus chocolate chip cookies!".  I'll show it
to you, if you ever crash with me!

Alexis MacAlister, who was really there!
Beverly Roden                    Miamisburg, Ohio
alexis@dnaco.net               Flaming Gryphon, Midrealm

"Hence, no one should be dismayed at the thought of undertaking great
Those who have the will to achieve great worth are already on the way to
great acheivement."  Geoffroi de Charny

From:  "Beverly Roden" <alexis@dnaco.net>
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