Thursday 3 October 2013

Tournament at Baron’s Howe II (Sep 2 – 5, 2005)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

In the wake of the storm in Gleann Abhann, the price of feed and hay had risen sharply. As such, Þorfinna and I contacted a local knight and his squire who were planning to attend the Tournament at Baron’s Howe in the northern Canton of Flaming Sky. And so Baron Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn and Lord Eirik Andersen arrived with their wagon early on Friday and we loaded our gear in with theirs and headed on our way.

We took our time and arrived at the Ravenhill farm an hour after gate opened. We went out to the bowl to scout for a place to camp and discovered that there were many prime locations still open around the lip of the bowl. However, we decided to set up our tent away from the bowl this year, camping with Lord Percival deLaroque, Lady Christiana McNamara and various folk from Monadh and Eoforwic. Since space was an issue with four people packing in one wagon we had only brought one two-room tent. Eirik slept in one half, while Þorfinna and I slept on the other. As usual, Siegfried slept in the Ravenhill Manor.

After we had settled in we went to the town of Bonfield for dinner, eating at a local establishment that over charged us and under fed us. They also put this disgusting spiced pickle spread on my meat, though I had asked them expressly not to.

When we returned to the farm we went to the Petrea Thule encampment where we were welcomed warmly and introduced to a drink that Lord Augustyn of Ely called ‘ass-gohol’. It was very strong and tasted like smoke. I learned that Augustyn, another Brandbeorn squire, planned to feed the ass-gohol to my squire-brother Lord Tiberius of Warwickshire. Apparently ass-gohol has the same affect on Tiberius that sugar does.

Lord Janos, who had wandered out of camp, came back and told us to come look at the sky. A few went out at first, then everyone from camp came out to regard the heavens and see why they call this land Flaming Sky. For the sky was aflame with flickering green lights that flowed across the horizon and left us all in awe of nature’s majesty.

Later, leaving Thule’s small village among the trees, we walked over to the Calontir Embassy. As we approached Thane Hereward the Fardweller called us in. I was then reunited with the evil bartender from the Calontir party at Pennsic (whose name, I learned, is the Honorable Lord Jack Banyard). As well I was introduced to Sir Kirk fitz David and Lady Cara. Lord Raudr Ottarson, whom I had met at a previous Bonfield event was also there. They told me that Jack had just read my short history of Pennsic XXXIV, and was then told that Sir Vitas had left a remark regarding me on a spontaneous illumination of myself from that same Pennsic in Lord Eirik’s ethereal collection. Apparently Vitas had said that I looked like “a gallant and preaux1 squire.” (I was to take much ribbing over this comment during the course of the weekend.) Þorfinna eventually wandered to bed and I stayed at the Calontir tent for a while longer, talking about the Unbelt tournament at Pennsic. Eventually I got up, making my way towards our tent when I heard a familiar voice. Making my way over to it I found Cadogan from Thule, who had I had fought beside at Pennsic, setting up his tent in the dark. I lent him a hand for a few moments and then finally found my bed.

The next morning we both overslept. In fact, we had just gotten up when Eirik called to us and told us that the fighters were just entering the woods for the woods battle. So we sunk back into bed until Eirik, who went into the woods to take pictures, returned and reported that the fort battle would begin in half an hour. So all three of us began to armour up just as the skies opened up. At first it was a sprinkling, so we ignored it and continued to armour. Then it became harder, and we paused and moved our armour bags back into the tent. Then it became a deluge and we despondently hid in our tent, half-armoured until it finally let up for a few moments. We took that opportunity to run over to Thule, where we spent the majority of the rest of the day huddled with them under their awnings and canopies, trying to stay dry. From our vantage point we watched the hardy equestrian riders tromp into the bowl to ride, and soaked archers returning from the range. Eventually, around dinner time, the rain finally stopped. Since Thule was having guests for dinner we slipped away and Eirik, Þorfinna and I laid out a table of cheese, bread, pickles, olives and other such fare beside our tent and tucked in.

That night Baroness Eleanor Cadfan, Her Excellency Skrael, held a baronial court within the mead hall. Not being a member of the barony I did not attend the court, however I do know that Mistress Ragni Dzintari of Amberhall presented Her Excellency with a live unfettered cock. After the court a blazing bonfire was lit and people stood and sat around it telling tales and singing songs. We attended briefly but spent the majority of the early evening with the Vest Yorvik, Monadh, and Eoforwic camp spending time with some delightful people and drinking some very smooth Scotch.

Later, feeling cold, Þorfinna and I got up to walk around and traversed the bowl to Lord Kenric Manning’s pavilion. There we found him talking with Eirik and we spent the rest of our night there.

The next morning I awoke with a cold and with swollen wrists due to the cold and damp. Despondent, for I knew I would not be able to fight that day because of this, I lay in bed for a few more hours. Finally I arose and went down to the bowl to find the first Royal Tournament under way. It was won by Siegfried, while the second Unbelted Tournament was won by Lord Raudr. Since I was watching, and not fighting, I got a lot of “gallant and preaux” cat calls. Ah well. I may not have been able to fight, but my good cousin Richard Stewart got into action.2 It was especially fun to watch him team up with Eirik’s cousin Travis Andersen.

After the Royal Tournaments the fighters partook in challenges at the barrier and in a grand melee. The Captains were Sir Nigel MacFarlane and Lord Raudr, and when they finally paused to breath, the Captains each chose one fighter from the opposing side who had inspired and impressed them that day. Ruadr chose THL Wilfred of Sweflingham, and Nigel chose THL Phelan Gann.

There then followed two run-throughs of Mordain’s Rings. The marshals stood in a circle upon the field while around the circle are three rings; all fighters stood in the first ring. If you lost a fight you had to move into the next ring until you were out all together. You can also be pushed out of a ring. Treachery was the name of the game in the ring as alliances sprang up and were broken continuously. The prize: three beers for the holder of the first ring, two beers for holding the second and one for the third. There were two runnings of the rings, the first of which was won by Siegfried by clearing the rings. In the second, Tiberius was in the middle ring, Sir Nigel was in the second and Sir Siegfried was in the third. Sir Nigel tried to persuade Tiberius—who had just fought Nigel to put him in the second ring in the first place—to come out and fight him. Tiberius, saying he was not a selfish man and that he was happy with his three beers, stayed put. So Nigel went out to the third ring and was knocked out Siegfried.

After the fighting my companions and I packed up our wagon, watching Baron Phaidrig McNeill and Mistress Etaoin O'Fearghail run an atl atl battle. Once our gear was stored, we ambled for home. 
(Though I did not see it, I know that many good gentles shoot at the archery range, coursed their hounds and fenced. Even at a small event there are too many things occurring for one person to chronicle it all!)


  1. Thanking, Hereward found a definition for me, as I had no idea what it meant. “Preux: Prowess, courage and success. To be considered ‘preudomme’, a man of prowess, was considered to be one of the highest compliments possible for a medieval knight. ‘Soix Preux!’ was frequently the admonition given to new knights as they were to go out and earn renown in the wake of their new knighthood.”
  2. HE Richard Larmer’s helm broke during the fighting, and he had to borrow my helm to continue. As well, Lord Travis Greywolf misplaced his helm, and had to borrow Eirik’s.

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