This was not a conventional commission but was graciously agreed to by his Majesty, to have his announcement protecting hedgepigs from traps, or from being roasted in clay, put into writing.
(Lady Delia of Ely was looking after a baby hedgepig in the course of her work, and brought her to Battle of Brothers in July. Wee Horatia became the star attraction of the event, prompting His Majesty's merciful ruling, and Lady Delia will keep the scroll.)
The illumination, done first, is by Lady Agatha of Norwich.
Note that the prince of Insulae Draconis is looking after a pleased-looking lamb, ensuring its safety, while an unnamed knight from Nordmark is being carried off on his shield by two industrious sheep. Meanwhile Lady Delia is walking the hedgepigs in her care, with Horatia is safely tucked into her scrip.
My calligraphy is based on Bodley MS 264, a 14th c copy of Roman de la Rose, in French. It is what I'd call a 'high Gothic' copy, full of illuminations in the margins, with red, blue and gold borders, similar to the style Agatha had chosen for the decoration. It is definitely a quadrata hand, but without the crisp angles of some - there's still a smoothness in its curves which I really like. A nice example of one page to examine closely. The ampersand (the & symbol) for this MS is shaped like a modern numeral 7.
After a very informative class on quill cutting with Mistress Caitlin at 20 year in June, I'm resolved to do all the scrolls I can with quills, and this one is part of that resolution. Caitlin helped me correct my biggest mistakes and I can now get some good quills cut, but getting them the same nib width consistently will take more work.I still don't have the extremely thin strokes that quills can produce, but it's a very consistent result.
Before setting hand to the illuminated page, I blocked out the text on a test page, (copying the amount of space I'd have between the borders) and tested a couple of different line heights, before settling on my old friend 5mm, with extra 3mm? 4mm? space between the lines. Eventually I hope to be able to write between the lines, as the medieval scribes did, but I'm not there yet.
The text was drafted by Lord Nicholas, Rockall herald, with edits from Master Robert, Caversham herald to fit the space given.
Let the Will of His Majesty, Sven of Drachenwald, be heard heeded and obeyed across these lands.
It is His Majesty's desire that the humble hedgepig be given let and leave to live free unmolested and without fear of the trap and the clay.
And furthermore, it is the Will of the said Sven, King of Drachenwald, that the anniversary of the said Battle of Brothers, the thirteenth day of July, be henceforth remembered revered and celebrated as Hedgepig Day wheresoever his writ and rule may extend
And the said Sven doth encourage hope and desire all present and future Monarchs of this realm and their subject Princes, Viceroys, Barons and Lords, as undoubtedly they shall joyously faithfully and devoutly wish, to mark and observe Hedgepig Day its feast and holiday for ever hereafter, as long as man hath membrance.
And further should any subject be they lord or commoner err by disregarding this the Word of their Most Lawful Just and Merciful Sovereign King and in so doing harm any Hedgepig then by intercession of St Horatia and St Henry, may the feet of them and theirs be forever impaled on quills, their grapes rot upon the vine and their cropes be blighted by all manner Slugges and Snayles.
By His Word on the eve of Battle of Brothers in Depedene under Wychwood.