Colyne at his 40th birthday deed of arms, 2014.
Photo by THL Eirik Andersen.

Maister Colyne Stewart is a Lowland Scot, born in 1324 to a wealthy family. At a young age he was apprenticed to a tax collector, but he felt little joy in that vocation. Being lured by tales of heroic deeds sung by minstrels, he joined the army of King David II in 1340 at the age of sixteen. He was present for David’s capture at Neville’s Cross in 1346, and found himself without purpose.

His family had disinherited him, so to survive he became a gallowglass, selling his sword for food and shelter. His only other option would have to become a Border Reaver, an idea he found abhorrent. Better a mercenary than a thief.

Colyne, with Baron Torbin's long sword, at his Deed of Arms, 2014.
Photo by THL Eirik Andersen.
His fighting arm took him throughout the Highlands, England, Ireland and France, and he adopted many local fashions and customs as his own.

While soldiering he became enamored of the bardic arts; however, men cringed when he sang and animals fled when he played an instrument. Undaunted, he took to composing stories and poems which his audience appreciated much more, and became a fledgling makar.1

Eventually he came to Ealdormere where, for the first time since serving David, he found knights and other noble peers who commanded his full respect. He settled along the Highcliffs in the Canton of Ardchreag within the Barony of Septentria. Here he toiled for many years, working as a seneschal, a chronicler, an ale taster, a bailiff and in many other duties and roles. Colyne was one of those who helped amalgamate the wide-flung outposts and forts within the wilderness along the Cliffs into a bustling manor. He helped build the Rouge Ports, and took on the post of Portmaster, evening commissioning the construction of Ardchreag’s first naval vessel (the Red Arrow). While patrolling the waters surrounding his home, Colyne had many battles with the nefarious pirates known as Cap’n Bloodfox and Cap’n Widow (who commanded the Black Trillium and the Clever Wife).

Colyne makes his case at Ardchreag's manorial court, 2005.
Photo by THL Eirik Andersen.
Not one to let his mind atrophy, Colyne took to the study of games, heraldry, bestiaries, book binding, foolery, strategy and tactics, armoured combat, and other topics. He helped found Ardchreag’s library, and the Septentrian Archives. He founded the Games Guild of Ealdormere, and the Septentrian Performing Arts Troupe. He continued to write verse and prose (for a time as Bard of Septentria), and began to record the histories of his canton, barony and kingdom. Being seen as a fount of local information, a Society-wide chronicling organization appointed him their local representative.

During this time, Colyne became a member of the Bardic College of Ealdormere, the Ealdormere College of Heralds and the Fire Wardens.

In an effort to keep his martial skills at peak condition, Colyne trained with thrown weapons and in the arts of archery and scouting. He founded and still serves in the Cliffguard (Ardchreag’s fighting force) and the Yeomen of the White Arrow (Ardchreag’s archery and thrown weapons unit). For a time he organized Ard Troi (fighting drills emphasizing group tactics), the Armoured Championship of Ardchreag (a year long tournament) and Ardchreag’s Yuletide Tournament.

Colyne, Pikeman's Pleasure, 2005.
Photo by THL Eirik Andersen.
His sword, bow and axe were sworn to the defense of his barony, where he served in the Isengesitha (the barony’s fyrd, under Cynred and Gaerwen). For a year and a day he served Sir Finnvarr deTaahe, the Iron Duke, as a retainer for war and tourney. Knowing his love for his barony, the Duke requested that Colyne remain part of the Isen, except when at a foreign war. When the retainership was complete, Colyne once again became a full time Isen.

When Cynred and Gaerwen passed the Ursine Thrones to Corwyn and Domhnail, Colyne swore to them his sword as part of Their Iron Companions as he was able, as he had entered into talks with Sir Evander MacLachlan to join his house and became his squire. Upon being squired, Colyne retired from the Companions, trading in his iron arm ring for one made of copper.

Through bonds of friendship Colyne also joined a second household, that of House Galbraith, the wild ravens of Ealdormere.

Colyne with his current squire brothers and his knight, Sir Nigel, at Fall Coronation, 2013.
Photo by THL Eirik Andersen.
Colyne traveled far with his knight, battling at his side in foreign lands. In the East Kingdom he fought long on the fields of fire, and suffered grevious injury to his person. These events were later chronicled by Lord Ludwig von Eisengrim. He also challenged his way into the White Bear Fian, a special Septentrian fighting order, finally defeating Sir Konrad Matthias Jaeggar von Debrau in his third attempt.

During this time, he also became a student to Baroness Adrielle Kerrec, member of the Orders of the Laurel and the Pelican.

Over the years, Colyne suffered from ill health, and this (coupled with other reasons) led him to retire from the field and leave Sir Evander’s service. His time as Evander’s squire was meaningful to him, and the two parted ways on friendly terms. 

Continuing his studies with Adrielle, he eventually became a full member of House Arrochar, also becoming a valet to her noble husband, Sir Nigel MacFarlane. When his health allowed, Colyne again took up the sword and became Sir Nigel's fourth squire. Later that same year he signed a contract with Adrielle to become her sixth apprentice. He was given full access to the libraries and scriptoria within the Duchy of Arrochar where he continued his work as a makar.

Colyne signing his apprentice contract with HRH Adrielle, Icelandic Althing, 2013.
THL Eirik Andersen.
During the reign of Siegfried II and Xristinia Colyne was elevated to the Order of the Pelican and took the title of maister[2]. Click here to read the wording from Colyne's Pelican scroll. Click here to read the ceremony used for his elevationAt Feast of the Bear in AS53, Colyne took Baroness Anneke the Furious as a protegee, thus founding House Malepardus.

In the summer of AS 54 (July 2019), Colyne and Thorfinna moved from the manor of Drew's End in the Barony of Septentria to their new manor of Raven Roost in the Stronghold of Greyfells in the Barony of Skraeling Althing. As Drew's End had been given to Colyne by the Crown, he named Her Excellency Anneke as his steward, reeve and sheriff to oversee the land and collect rents and taxes on his behalf.

During the Plague Year (2020; the end of AS 54 and beginning of AS 55), Colyne and Þorfinna gráfeldr founded 'Ealdormere at Home', a webseries dedicated to maintaining a feeling of connection among the people of the kingdom.

1. I grant you my persona--situated in 1350--is almost a hundred years too early to properly use the term...but close enough. Source the first. Source the second.
2. Middle Scot's English for "master." According to the Online Scots Dictionary it is pronounced mestər. Interestingly, it appears that in the 16th century "maister" also became synonymous with urine and vessels for containing it for use as detergent or for treating seeds (according to Dictionary of the Scots Language).