Being the chronicle to record for ever the trials and tribulations of the coming of the Norsemen that we may never forget all that we have suffered, written in this thirty-first year anno societatus by the Little Brown Celts.

It was a very very cold day in Avacal when we were brought together by their Highnesses Rorik and Gwendolyn, and they did say unto us: "It is time to pick an heir to these the coronet thrones." and on and on like that till we were well nigh dead of fatigue and dazed and confused to boot. And the upshot was we could do "eeny-meeny-minee-mo" or we could just fight it out. "No more speaking" said the populace (with speaking glances) and thus it was.

There was much clashing and banging and rushing about, and when the dust had settled, the Lady of the Lists said "Okay, I think I've got it organized now." And we lined up. Then were we forced at pike point to do battle with each other for awhile. There was more clashing and banging about, but very much more entertaining it was, and there was way more dust.

When this batch settled, it was to be seen that only Gunther Mcmanus and Vik Vikingsson were still able to stand up, the rest of us having lain down with our loved ones and begun to drink beer. There was yet more clashing and banging, accompanied now by huffing and puffing and "I'll blow your lean-to down" - oops, sorry, wrong fairy tale - accompanied by the occasional "Not good enough" mumbles and, yes, I will tell all, much huffing and puffing. But in the end, Vik was victorious, and there was a lot of weeping and joy and so on.

The celebrations were moved to a hall nearby, at which point the populace sat down to await the coming of the Prince and Princess and their heirs. And they waited long and long. And then they began wailing and moaning over their fate, by which I mean starvation was imminent.

And then there was court. And we waited long and long again until some of us grew weary and sent out for pizza. But at long last those who had waited were rewarded, for the long night was done.

Then did many return to the scene of the crime - er - tournament, and lay themselves down. But others looked about them and said "We are young, we are free, and we have no chittlins, let us party until dawn". But there were those among the assembled who did have chittlins, and they got grumpy, having no beauty sleep upon their Sealy Posture-pedics. And they did try to calm their chittlins, and called the others "offal", and thus matters stood in the realm until the beer ran out.

Then a period of calm did prevail. Vik and his most lovely Taniste, Keridwen, were forced to attend many meetings and large were their yawns, but it was indeed their own fault and well deserved.

About this time there arouse a difficulty in the Shire of Bitter End, from divers reasons, but mostly a dispute over whether it is better to drink beer or whine about it, and though we, the Celts, are not privy to the sordid details, I can report that a new title was bestowed on the Tanist, so that he was for some long time referred to as "That son-of-a-bitch Tanist". And the populace concurred.

A new day dawned. It was fair and lovely and reasonably warm, which was a mercy upon those who smoke stogies. And the King of An Tir did say unto the populace: "I will come among you, and witness this that you have wrought, and see your Prince and Princess invested" and on and on until we were well nigh exhausted and dazed and confused to boot.

This it came to pass that there was much celebration, and the populace came from far and wide to see the sights and shop at Blue Castle Books. And the Rapier dudes wore their finery and fought upon a field. (Well, actually, it was linoleum.) And when the tourney was done, one man stood tall. Very tall. And thus it was that Roderigo was named Champion of Rapier Combat for the Principality of An Tir.

Meanwhile, the artistes of Avacal had likewise been busy and labouring in secret, to lay before the world many wondrous shiny objects, and so on, so they could also choose a Champion of Arts and Sciences. And I won it, hands down, so there.

But the real business of the day was court. And more court. And yet more court. And if we had known that we would be standing through this whole process, when we weren't kneeling on the cold lino, we would have stayed home and drunk beer.

It did prove a very purple day, and the prose was even more so. But we like purple in moderation, so we were not too much put out. In the interim, the new Prince and Princess did swear fealty to Darius, King of An Tir, and Morgaine, Queen of An Tir, and very cute they looked too.

After some time it behooved Their Highnesses to take counsel with the populace, as there had been little conversation thereto, and many of us assembled in the Shire of Bitter End to drink and make merry and to shoot arrows at targets. However, it came also to pass that, being Norse, His Highness was prone to fits of oppression, and Prince Vik did subject his subjects to many many meetings wherein the same things were repeated ad nauseum, until we were exhausted and confused and well nigh dead with fatigue to boot. But lo, finally it was done and we toasted everything in sight with glasses of beer, while others lurked in dark corners and whined about it.

In all of Avacal the cry went up that we must go to war. And thus did we descend on all and sundry, almost every weekend, and do grievous harm to the gravel roads and lay wasted in the fields, and follow the Prince and Princess around till they got tired of it, and then it was more fun. Their Highnesses went everywhere, accompanied by many divers sorts of folk, all chorusing "Can we do anything for you?" until the Prince and Princess were well nigh exhausted, and dazed and confused, to boot.

Finally did they become a little testy, and before it was even Quad War said "Okay, enough's enough" only more forcefully and regally as befits those who wear sharp pointy things that give them headaches. And the day drew nigh to choose their successors.

Unto the Shire of Loch d'Orr did the populace then go, to the very westernmost edge of anywhere, and commenced to lay beatings upon each other. And to this lovely (if a trifle bloody) field did come the Heirs to the thrones of An Tir, who were tons of fun, and Prince Sven did smite me with a sword till I said "Ouch."

And like unto before, the fighting went on and on, but without the dust, because it had rained there, and it went on and on and was a lot of fun.

But as always, a victor is found, usually in the bar, but this time upon the field of combat.

And thus it was Ritter Albrecht's turn to doze off in Curia meetings and to generally throw his weight around and enjoy all the attention. And none enjoyed it more than Eirika, because she just fought two rounds and collected booty anyway, and got to be Taniste.

So thus did the time of the Northmen draw to a close. His Highness got to go to more wars, and act tough, and get other people to do silly things to entertain him. And we did too, but that is because we can, not because he made us do them. And I have it on good authority that things were pretty much okay all round.

One day in August, the Shire of Valleywold woke up and discovered darn near the whole of Avacal camped out in their fields. And they did say "uh-oh" and rustle up some grub. But we, the Celts, do not eat that kind of thing, because we are snivellised, and so we went to Wendy's.

Some of the assembled did whack at each other, and some others did throw things and fling things and rush about, and not a few went shopping. And when the fog lifted we had some new champions. Thus did Thor-thing, Baron of Montengarde, and Sgt. Derek the Exile take their places as Champions of Avacal, and stand about, looking cool.

The weather was very nice, and so in the middle of the night, when the dew had fallen, the Prince and Princess called the populace from their warm and toasty beds, and said "Get up you slugs, quit eating those grubs and listen up!"

We sat in the dark and had bedtime stories - oops, sorry, wrong words - sat in the torchlight and listened to the words of our Prince. And we knew that by custom and law that the end was nigh, and we were kind of sad, because, as you know, a good time was had by all, and if you didn't, it's your own fault. But I digress.

And there were tears. Finally Princess Keridwen said she would not. And more people cried. But we misunderstood, because she meant she would knots give, so that was hunky-dory, and a few people wept, just on general principles.

On the other hand, when Prince Vik said he would not, he really meant it.

Into the court there came many fighters, who were supporters of the Tanist and Taniste, and they had fought long and hard, and had the bruises to prove it. And they had come to claim the throne, whereupon Vik said "Eeny-meeny-miney-mo" and more stuff that meant "In a pig's eye, you will" and so on and so on until Duke Rorik said "No way, hosay."

And we all got our swords out, and let them gleam in the torchlight, which was way cool. And Duke Rorik said "What the aitch do you think you're on about then?"

But Prince Vik said "Three times a charm and I'm sticking around". But he knew the time had come to put up or shut up, and wonder of wonders, he handed the whole shooting match over and skedaddled.

And in the end we did all repair to the tavern and get pie-eyed, and reminisce about the good old days, and mourn the passing out of the Norsemen.

And I do swear that these things are true, and came to pass in the reign of Prince Vik and Princess Keridwen, beloved forever in the memory of all Avacal, especially Keri because she's a Celt.

By my hand, this twenty-second day of August, in the year 32, anno societatus,

Morgan the Unknown, chronicler to Vik and Keridwen, once Prince and Princess of Avacal