Wednesday 2 October 2013

The Kid Comes Out to Play (Ealdormere Crown Tournament XI, May 31, 2003)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

The rains of May continued.

Their Royal Majesties had called for all who felt themselves worthy to come into Their Barony of Ben Dunfirth to partake in a tourney. The prize? To become heir of the kingdom, and to crown a consort.

The day of the Kingdom of Ealdormere's 11th Crown Tournament was wet. A drizzle greeted us upon awaking, and it did not stop all day long. Though, at times, it did intensify to the point where the sound of water pounding on the roof was as if one were standing under a waterfall. Cloaks recently dried out were called on again.

Thorfinna gra'feldr, Eirik Andersen (who we think was still in our wagon from the weekend before) and I arrive just after half past nine in the morning. We found ourselves a spot to sit behind Sir Berus Jarl, Serjant Malik abd al-Raman, Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn and Lady Isotta Gianglifiazzi. All four were preparing to fight in the tourney.

Many Septentrians were in attendance that day, including two past Baronesses of Septentria. Eirik, Septentria's unofficial Minister of Propaganda, circulated the new Septentrian Recruitment posters.

The combatants and consorts were called, and soon each was presented to Their Majesties. As listed in the event program, they were:

Berus Jarl for Countess Marion FitzWilliam
Baron Phaidrig McNeil for Mistress Etaoin O’Fearghail
Sir Rorry Cennedi the Kid for Mistress Susanna the Unyielding
Sheikh Sergeant Malik abd’ al Rahman for Maitresse Baronne Genevieve Chastellain d’Anjou
Master Konrad Matthias Jaegar for Dame Alyce de Sheppey
Dame Alyce de Sheppey for Master Konrad Matthias Jaeger
Sir Evander MacLachlan for THLady Melusine de la Rose
Master Trumbrand the Wanderer for THLady Kaylah the Cheerful
THL Kaylah the Cheerful for Master Trumbrand the Wanderer
Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn for Lady Isotta Gianfigliazzi
Lady Isotta Gianfigliazzi for Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn
THLord Tynne Duair ap Beul for Baroness Tabitha Dearval
Lord Yric de Mornay for Lady Brigit nic Larkin fra Galway
Lord Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn for Lady Brayla la Viennette

The last to come before Their Majesties was Grimroth Skullhammer, a fur clad barbarian. The Trillium Herald, Lord Erik of Longacres, when announcing him cried, "May I present Lord Grimroth Skullhammer who fights today for..." Here he paused and loudly whispered, "Who are you fighting for?" The barbarian appeared confused, and Her Majesty graciously explained that each fighter participating in the tournament must fight for a consort. Grimroth nodded his understanding, held up one finger to ask for a moment of time, then waded into a group of Ladies watching the procession. They wailed and ran at his approach but he was fast enough to catch one, and Countess Moria the Black was dragged before the Thrones of Ealdormere. Moria begged Her Majesty not to let this thing happen, but the Queen asked Moria to be Grimroth's consort for the good of the kingdom. To this wish Moria acceded.

The combatants then took their seats as the four lists were taken by heralds and marshals. The tournament was a round robin, best two out of three. This meant that each fighter had to face all other fighters and fight between two and three fights with each. Many though that this would make for a very long day, but so well prepared and run were the lists, that the tournament, from beginning to end, lasted no longer than approximately two and a half hours.

Both Berus and Malik had support staff, but neither Siegfried nor Isotta did. Therefore Lord Wat of Sarum, Lord Berend van der Eych and myself acted for them in this capacity, fixing swords, tying straps, adjusting armour and giving encouragement.

The tournament, from my vantage point, was fought with chivalry and honour. The number of questionable blows were low and no one's nose horn was very long. All of the combatants from Septentria did great honour to themselves, their consort and the kingdom that day. When the round robin was completed the two fighters with the best records were Baron Siegfried Brandbeorn and Sir Rory Cennedi the Kid.

The finals were three best of three rounds, the first with pole, the second with great sword and the third with sword and shield. Both men fought bravely and well and in the end Cennedi emerged victorious by defeating Siegfried in four straight fights. (He won two with pole and two with great sword, making the sword and shield round redundant.)

Cennedi and Susannah the Unyielding were then brought before Their Majesties and received the coronets of the Heirs of Ealdormere. Wassail to our new Prince and Princess!

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