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Crown Tourney - As I saw it

Poster: SCAVard@aol.com

My friends:

Below are excerpts of an email I sent to a close friend from out of Kingdom 
who had asked me to tell her how Crown Tourney went this weekend.  I have 
tried to capture as many details as possible, but must admit that it's been 
nearly two days and several hundred miles since these memories were first 
laid down in my mind. Also, as I was not ON the field for the finals, my 
blow-by-blow recounting may be in error.  Please forgive me if some of the 
specifics are incomplete or inaccurate, but they are what I remember from 
this remarkable weekend.

If the flow is a bit choppy, it's because I've left out some of the stuff 
which happened to me which is likely of no interest to any but she and I.

// Vard //

Lord Edvard Gayer, Chronicler
Barony of Dun Carraig, Atlantia
Wow!  It was pretty.  We were atop a largish hill overlooking a beautiful 
valley, while simultaneously *being* overlooked by lots of other steep, 
tree-covered hills.  I would've called them mountains, had not the locals 
told me otherwise.  There were several hundred Gentles on site....

Atlantia is, if nothing else, serious about it's tourneys.  The list field 
itself was the center of attention, surrounded by the Royal Pavillion to the 
east, and the Baronial Pavillions to the north and south.  To the west was a 
double-decker wooden pavillion where many of the spectators gathered to have 
a better view of the day's fighting.  The weather was outstanding, as we had 
skies of crystal blue, temperatures hovering in the low 70s, and a strong and 
steady breeze to whip the banners about smartly....

During the morning hours, there were target, clout, and novelty shoots.  
Their Majesties, Stephan and Niobe, joined the other competitors and shot 
several ends.  On the list, a rapier tourney was held.  There were also 
several A&S competitions held throughout the day, including ones for best 
favor, poem, and scroll....

As the Procession began, Baron Corun called the fighter's name, his heraldry, 
and the name of his consort.  The couple entered the list field from the 
west, accompanied by a bearer who bore the fighter's pennant.  As they 
crossed the list, they were met by a Lady of the Rose, who presented each 
consort with a long-stemmed rose.  They then entered the Presence, where they 
talked briefly with Their Majesties.  As they retreated to their proper place 
on the field, their bearer placed their banner along the perimeter of the 
field.  When all was done, the view was breathtaking....

The Tourney began, and as you can imagine, it was exciting.  There were 19 
participants, and after the completion of the first and second rounds, 7 of 
these had been eliminated.  At His Majesties' cue, I took the field, and with 
all the pomp and fourish my feeble mind could muster, I called these seven 
fighters back to the list.  Their Majesties thanked them for their sacrifice, 
congratulated them for their honor, and bid each withdraw and process out 
bearing their standard from the list.  As each fighter took down their 
pennant, I led Atlantia in cheering "Vivat" for the honored fallen.  After 
each subesquent elimination round, the performance was repeated.  At the MOL 
table, I picked up the nickname "Pursuivant Extraordinare Sanguine du Mort" 
(Herald of the Bloody Death), as it was my unfortunate but necessary task to 
announce the names of those who had "died" fighting for the crown.

It was tough when I had to call the name of my friend, Count Thorbrandr.  
Based on the reaction from him the moment I called his name, I think the 
reality of his day had not set in until just then.  My heart went out to him 
at that moment.

In the finals, Lord Janos of Cyddlain Downs met Sir Amalric Blackhart.  The 
first bout was sword and shield, Janos' choice.  They danced for several 
minutes, each testing the other's defenses with a series of quick blows and 
hasty retreats.  Suddenly, in a flash of movement, Amalric swung and caught 
Janos in the helm while Janos thrusted a blow squarely to Amalric's chest for 
a double-kill!

After resetting and catching their breath, they went in again.  This time, 
Amalric legged Janos quickly.  Janos had been legged several times that day, 
but he had only lost once, relying on patience and superior defensive work to 
keep opponents at bay.  Amalric tried several times to close for the kill, 
but Janos' shieldwork and quick sword kept Amalric at distance.  Finally, 
with a skillful combo, Amalric was able to penetrate Janos' defenses, and 
landed a blow to the midsection which slew his opponent.

For the second bout, Amalric chose great swords as the weapon of choice.  
Amalric's sword was nearly two feet shorter than that wielded by Janos, and 
it became apparent that Janos would again rely on keeping Amalric at 
distance.  Each time Amalric charged to try to get within striking distance, 
Janos would respond by retreating to deny Amalric an advantage.  Amalric had 
to keep on his toes to keep deflecting Janos' blows while looking for the 
opportunity to work inside his range.  Finally it happened, and Amalric took 
Janos' legs from him.  Now, all he had to do was hit a significantly smaller 
target who was weilding a REALLY LONG sword!  Not easy.  As with the first 
bout, Amalric had to penetrate a perimeter that Janos was defending quite 
capably.  After a minute or two, Amalric succeeded by working his way inside 
Janos' reach, and he delivered a killing blow to the collarbone.

Their Majesties took the field, as Amalric and Janos presented themselves and 
their Ladies.  Stephan congratulated Sir Amalric for his victory, stating 
that he had proven that his prowess on the field was exceeded only by the 
unparalleled love of his lady.  When Stephan turned to congratulate Lord 
Janos for his skill and sacrifice, Janos rose and declared that His Majesty 
had mispoken.  Janos stated that the love of *his* lady was truly without 
parallel, and that the failing this day was not hers, but his.  Stephan 
acknowledged his error, and begged Janos' lady for her forgiveness.  Stephan 
spoke highly of Janos' skill and character, thanked him for his noble efforts 
that day.

Amalric and Caia were then crowned as Royal Prince and Princess, and Lord 
Janos was the first to cry "Vivat!" for Their Highnesses...a nice touch.  As 
all began to depart the field, His Majesty commanded the Order of the 
Chivalry to attend Him.  Not five minutes later, the populace were invited 
onto the list, and Janos was Knighted.

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