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16 October 2016 @ 01:38 pm
Fall Crown Tournament AS LI  
As requested, here are my impressions of our first Crown Tournament.

First, thanks so much for everyone who gave us advice here and for all who answered questions when we were confused. We don't know a lot of names yet but it was especially fun to see one of the men who was explaining things to us recognized for an AoA at court in the evening.

It was difficult to figure out where to set up our day camp. We got there early but didn't want to take a spot near the list that would be better served for a combatant's consort and retinue, so we ended up setting up in the (very comfortable) back of the room. We did manage to find a good place to stand to watch the fighting, but we were wishing for bleachers many times :)

We tried to volunteer but the volunteer table slots for positions at the tournament were filled very quickly and by the time we got to the list all the jobs were filled to help with running communications and such. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fight for a volunteer spot in the SCA...

We were able to find a place to stand in front of service doors by the red list where no chair setup was done. We were on the "dead end" side so there wasn't a lot of traffic and we weren't in the way (very much, anyway...)

The processional was grand and the boasts were both inspiring and hilarious. Everyone seemed to particularly enjoy the ones that were self-effacing. I particularly enjoyed the challenge to yield because (paraphrasing) "there is no honor in defeating an old man and less honor in being defeated by one" (though watching one of the bouts I think there would be no dishonor in losing to such a skilled fighter).

Not knowing any of the fighters to begin with meant it was somewhat difficult to follow what was going on in the early rounds, which were handled quickly and efficiently. We were behind the line of sight for the red list's combat board and so had to focus a little more on who was being announced by the heralds. It wasn't until the later rounds that we were able to accurately match the names with the armorials.

Interestingly, of the names in the list I recognized Sir William of Fairhaven from the staff list of 50 Year. There was another fighter I have seen at events but never placed a name to the face or armor, unfortunately.

As we got to later rounds more and more fighters were better at calling their blows loudly and clearly (that would be expected as these should be the more experienced fighters). I know that helps communication between combatants and with the marshals but it was also a boon to the newbies in the corner trying to figure out why some blows hit and some were waved off.

The semifinals and the final were everything I had hoped I would see in a tournament. The meaning of chivalry was clear in the way the combatants respected one another, and the skill and hours of practice showed in the actual fighting. I experienced some of those transcendental magical moments where everything narrowed in focus to the fighters, surrounded by a crowd of medieval spectators, and the modern venue faded away.

And the finals - holy cow, a best 2 out of 3 that went 3 rounds with 3 different sets of weapons and down to the wire at the end.

Possibly the best, though, was the grins on the combatants' faces when the winner was formally acknowledged.

Feast was delicious and smoothly served. The entertainment was excellent. I had an opportunity afterwards to approach His Highness and tell him how much I appreciated his actions in and around combat as our first taste of a Crown Tourney.

At the end it comes to this - I will be more invested personally in the next reign not just because I was there to see it won but because I was there to see HOW it was won.

Thanks to everyone who put the event together and who worked so hard to create an atmosphere that sucked this newbie in even further.
Current Mood: creativecreative
Mandelbearmdlbear on October 16th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
AS 51! Has it really been that long? Hmm. Last tourney Colleen and I went to must have been nearly 30 years ago, so, yeah.

Welcome to the Current Middle Ages!