My first instinct was to do something with Norse flair, incorporating the valknut which has special meaning to the recipient. But knowing that his persona is Norse, I also knew that he'd likely receive a huge number of Norse-inspired pieces throughout his life playing in the SCA, so I went the other direction.
When I saw this piece from the Spiezer Chronik, 1484/85 Germany, I fell in love. I knew I had to do something based on it, and this was the perfect opportunity.
It featured tons of fun red fleuronee details (recipient loves red!), with blue acanthus (I love blue and acanthus!), and a stunning gold cadel. I did the cadel with brush rather than pen, and am reasonably happy with the way it turned out.
My version is on pergamenata with Winsor & Newton gouache, Finetec gold, and Pilot Iroshuzuki ink.