The Shire of Narrental was first “concieved” at Twelfth Night, January 1992. The founding members were Katarina Helene von Schönborn, Caen MacAddis, Erik Drumhammer, and Catherine Elizabeth von Regensburg. They were originally from the Shire of Steren Codha (Kokomo/Howard County), which was then called Shooting Star. Narrental loosely translates from German to “Valley of Fools,” in English, because Peru, Indiana (our hometown), is well known for its amateur circus and a history of having been the winter quarters for original owners of the now Barnum and Bailey Circus. Peru is also home to the International Circus Hall of Fame.
After the first meeting, these founding members were joined by Duncan MacLeod of Duirinish, Adelicia Katherine MacLeod, John James MacCrimmin, Brianna MacCrimmin, Mordred Blackstone of Norwich, Abu Da’ud al Rashid al Bodrum, and Elayne Gwenlhian de Bellemé. We asked the Barony of Rivenstar to sponsor us, and they did (thank goodness). One of the first things we did as a group was to march in the Peru Circus Festival Parade.
|The newly Incipient Shire of Narrental just before the Circus Festival Parade, July 1992…Back Row – L to R: Mordred (totally in the shade), Pieter van Doorne (of the Barony of Rivenstar), Duke Master Baron Moonwulf (of the Barony of Rivenstar), Duncan MacLeod, Catherine von Regensburg, mystery man, John James McCrimmin.Next Row – L to R: Caen MacAddis, Matilda von Regensburg, Robert MacLeod, Adelicia MacLeod (deceased), Brianna McCrimmin, Katarina Helene von Schönborn.|
Narrental’s first “real” event was called “The Fool’s School” and was held at the Miami County 4-H Fair Grounds in October of 1992. Surprisingly, it turned out quite well for such a fledgling shire. Mordred was the Autocrat (the event coordinator), and Katarina Helene was the Chief Cook. The main hit of the feast for 50 people was a dish called “Chickens as Lizards.” Classes were also held, as well as a small tournament.
The second event was called “A Foolish Tourney” and was held at the local Jellystone Campgrounds (note Yogi Bear in a Narrental tabbard) in September of 1993, just two weeks after our first Miami County Heritage Days demo. This event turned out to be the incentive for our future Clown Tourney. Mordred and Duncan were co-Autocrats for this event, and Abu Da’ud arranged for a catered feast that included roasted chickens and pork loin… although Abu did provide a wonderful stew for lunch on his own. Abu Da’ud and Elayne even made the VERY large tabard for the 20-foot statue of Yogi Bear at the campground entrance!
We participated in the Miami County Heritage Days activities with fighting demos and an encampment for several years, but decided in 2000 that we were not really fitting in with the theme… we are just a bit too early a time period for most of the activities.
While we were still an Incipient Shire, Narrental hosted a Kingdom Rapier Championship in 1993. We were given a very strong hint at Pennsic that year that the Kingdom was looking for someone to host it. We jumped right in and rented the Peru National Guard Armory for the event. Lady Katarina Helene was the Event Steward and Lord Abu & Lady Elayne the Cooks. The feast was something to behold!! And, Abu made an absolutely fantastic castle cake for Their Majesties, Brannos & Rebekka (and if I ever find the photos we took of it, I’ll post them here).
The Shire’s first Clown Tourney was held in May 1994, just after Kingdom Coronation and a week before Kingdom Crown Tournament. It was held at the Miami County 4-H Fair Grounds. Duncan came up with some really insane “pun” type activities… which included some rather ingenious scoring methods to select the “Clown Prince & Princess.” The High Table was really that…came to their chins when sitting, the Thrones were old mundane toilets, the “pike” for the Prince’s man-at-arms was a stuffed fabric fish, etc. Everyone had so much fun that we decided to do this event annually. The fifth Clown Tourney was held in 1998, we did not plan for a sixth one because we (along with Steren Codha) were selected to host the Middle Kingdom’s 30-Year Celebration instead, which was a successful event held May 1, 1999 (A.S. XXXIII) in Peru. Clown Tourney VI (Sir Amra was Event Steward and Lady Elayne was Head Cook) was held in Rochester, IN, at the Trail of Courage grounds attached to the Round Barn Museum. It was a real learning experience for us. We had to cut over 2 acres of weeds out of the grass and wooded area (some children still found the poison ivy), we found that 8 people cannot do the work of 15, and we learned how to pack things up in a BIG hurry as a rain storm approached. Clown Tourney VII was again held at the Miami County 4-H Fair Grounds, with Lady Elayne as Event Steward and Meisterin Katarina Helene as Head Cook. The event was quite small this time around (barely 80 in attendance), but a good time was had by all.
The Shire hosted the first Constellation A&S Faire. Previously to this event, it had been a joint Faire with the Midlands Region (state of Illinois). We had a surprisingly good turn out, as His Highness Edmund (the first) attended, and we even made a very small profit. We hosted one more A&S Faire in at Blair Point Elementary School March 2003 (Their Royal Highnesses Pieter & Nan attended), and in November 2016, we hosted a RUM (Royal University Mediterranea) at Peru High School during a nasty snow storm.
In the past, we have also hosted Midrealm Crown Tourney in October 2004 at the Miami County Fair Grounds, and most recently, Midrealm Coronation in September 2016, again at the Miami County Fair Grounds.
Narrental residents are dedicated to promoting historical education in the local schools surrounding Peru, Logansport, Wabash, and Rochester, Indiana. The Shire’s members try their best to make the most fun of learning about the Middle Ages in the present time as much as possible. We worked extensively with Blair Pointe Elementary School for about 8+ years, going into Ms. Kreutzer’s classroom to talk about many aspects of the Middle Ages to augment the children’s studies. We have assisted them with three all-day Medieval Faires, and you can see most of the photos of the 1999 Faire by clicking here… (This page might take a little while for the page to load, so be patient, please… it has several photos). This was also the last year Blair Point did this Medieval Faire, much to our own sadness. We have also done demos at other schools in Miami County.
As Narrental and Steren Codha became closer friends, more like sister shires, we started to do events together as much as possible. Every year, the two shires gather during the Christmas Holidays to celebrate our friendship with a Christmas Revel, held at Bunker Hill Community Center in the past. This is usually a pot luck type meal, and each year one shire is responsible for bringing a cooked turkey and the other a ham. The 2014 Revel saw very few Steren Codha folks, and our shire had also dwindled down to only our minimum numbers. So, in 2015, the Revel was held at Meisterin Katarina Helene’s house with only Narrental members attending. In 2016, Steren Codha was once again becoming more active, but we all still came to Meisterin Katarina Helene’s house for the Revel… about 20 folks total. Kind of snug but a lot of fun. Lady Tetrada of Steren Codha suggested we have a White Elephant gift exchange, which turned out to be great fun… folks took things from their own homes that they no longer wanted (but were still in very good condition) and wrapped them up for gifts. We drew numbers to select a “gift.” The Revel for 2017 was held in Kokomo at the Calvary Baptist Church, thanks to the kindly offer of their Minister (who is also a member of the SCA).
This page is constantly being updated, so bear with us.