Monday, 1 March 2010

Preview: One Man against the Tree

The debris from Treasure Trap's annual Banquet (and adjacent socialising) still litters the living room, but the the ridiculously good weather was too good to pass up. The Costume Mercenary awoke to a bright and brilliant day, much to her bleary-eyed horror and despite every fibre of her being rebelling against the thought, the day must be seized.

Our wonderful, wonderful models were mustered and we set out with the intent of photography. We used the back of St Giles Church (also appearing in this set of photos, where last we saw that dashing Steampunk gentleman adventurer and the travel-weary elf) and the College of St Hild and St Bede, which has a number of rather attractive buildings, including the now de-consecrated Chapel of St Hild.

St Giles Church is as lovely as before and the coincidence of shadows meant we were able to take this rather spectacular shot of one man fighting off the demonic tree and its long shadow. (It seems somewhat less heroic once I realised it was slightly reminiscent of the awful cult classic, The Evil Dead, but nonetheless, I am still fond of the shot.)

The above, also rather dramatic shot, is somewhat hindered by the fact that I'm quite aware that our highwayman (or as they were otherwise known, knights of the road) is holding at pistol-point the terribly menacing tree (whose shadow looms over the man in the buckled gambeson in the first photo). Somehow the words Stand and Deliver doesn't quite sound as heroic when one is saying them to plantlife.

St Hilda of Whitby, for whom the college of St Hild and St Bede was partly named (it used to be two single-sex colleges - the edge of it seen in photo to the right), has a number of more mundane facts associated with her - advising of kings, converting England, involvement with the Synod of Whitby - and also some much more exciting, fantastical stories. Such as the sea birds dipping their wings in her honour as they fly over her abbey and the plague of snakes she turned into stone. St Hilda's nuns feature in Sir Walter Scott's epic poemMarmion: A Tale of Flodden Field in Six Cantos and her snakes-to-stones miracle is briefly recounted therein:

Of thousand snakes, each one
Was changed into a coil of stone,
When Holy Hilda pray'd:
Themselves, without their holy ground,
Their stony folds had often found.
(Marmion, II.245-9)

I'll be sorting through the photos in the coming week and individual posts will follow in due course.

The swords, shields and axes seen in these photos are available from Character Kit.

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