Ok, this is a first. CD SALE! Kim and I would like to participate in a 4miler later in the week but $ is more than tight. Buy a copy of my bootleg CD (comes with lyrics, art, etc. emailed to you) Songs of Chivalry, by sending $15 as a gift to firstname.lastname@example.org on Paypal. I'll even throw a couple of unreleased "Basement Cuts" on there as a bonus. Remember to include your mailing address. I have to register by tomorrow (6/4/12) so the sale runs through then. Thank you so much!
Our local Chronicler asked me to contribute something to the Baronial newsletter regarding the Practice Tourney of the Cross and Lily, since we have reached this first milestone. Since I'm trying to get better about blogging, I'm cross-posting this here as well.
Thoughts on the Cross & Lily Practice Tourney: One Year Later.
For many years in the West Kingdom there has been a monthly practice tourney named The Crapaud (http://history.westkingdom.org/Year39/Crapaud100.htm
). The purpose of this practice tourney is to help fighters sharpen their tournament skills. Inspired by this idea I decided last February to bring this concept to our baronial fighter practice. I decided to call this the Tourney of the Cross and Lily (a reference to Melisent and I’s heraldry).
Once a month, roughly around the middle of the month (when possible) we told the tourney. When everyone is in armour and warmed up we gather all the fighters around and explain the concept behind what we are doing and what the format of the tourney is going to be (Each month it changes based on considerations like how many fighters we have in attendance, etc.) The idea is to let fighters practice all aspects of an SCA tournament in the hopes that through repetition, we remove ‘tourney jitters’, and also to broaden our own experiences in the culture of arms. In addition to the winner of the Cross Prize (Winner of the tourney) we also award, by and amongst ourselves, a Chivalry Prize (The Lily). We are striving not only to display the highest level of skill, but also of courtliness and honor. Often we have the newer fighters challenge the more experienced and encourage everyone to speak noble challenges as well as display great feats of arms. Most often we fight a double elimination style of tourney known as “Atlantian Speed” (we have had up to 30 attendees) if our numbers are large, or some type of “Round Robin” if our numbers are smaller (less than 8).
One thing that is very different from how this tourney is run compared to most Atlantian tourneys is that there is a great deal more communication in the fights. (This is on purpose since we are practicing first and foremost.) Also, we highly encourage single fights whenever possible so that everyone can attentively watch the fighting. Not only to study their opponents and stay focused, but also to observe acts of Chivalry, as practiced within our Society so that they can offer that council to me for the Lily Prize. Also, the knights of the practice had made a commitment to make sure that while the competition is very high, it is also fair. We do not wish to have the stain of dishonor from high acknowledgement or sloppy fighting taint this event.
Immediately after the tourney we gather all the fighters in a round table discussion and go around sharing what we liked and didn’t like our fighting in the tourney. We offer frank discussion and discourse at this time as well.
A few traditions have already formed by this time. For one thing it became obvious right away that even though we encourage everyone to come and attend, there would be many of the same faces there each month. To encourage new winners, especially our unbelts, a tradition has been started where if you win two of these tourneys in a row you come and volunteer to marshall the next C&L. Also, I have decided that the December tourney each year will be a fun and unusual tourney format (2011’s was Daggers). In the future I expect there will be off-weapon tourneys, matched forms, barrier fights, etc.
After a year I have noticed a great increase in the tournament skills of the monthly participants (especially of our newer members), and we have seen some good results so far in larger tourneys. It has been a true joy to shepherd this concept along and I hope as we start the second year that it will continue to prosper and grow. I honestly believe that within the ranks of our companions will be the next knights and royal peers of the Kingdom. Overall I believe we have been extremely successful adhering to the Cross and Lily Ideal of a Hard Fight, Chivalrously fought. May it continue so!
This is the roll of the winners of the tourney to date:
Cross (Winner of the Tourney):
3.Bryce de Byram
5.Bryce de Byram
6.Bryce de Byram
8.Mattheu de Torriden
10.Abran de la Barras
11.Amos the Pious
12.Amos the Pious
Lily Chivalry Prize:
2.Augustine le Blinde
3.Amos the Pious
4.Mattheu de Torriden
7.Amos the Pious
8.Abran de la Barros
11.Abran de la Barras
12.John Peregrine of Restormel
So this isn’t really a blog post so much as a brain dump of events I want to go to this year. Some will happen, some won’t. This is mostly here so that my long suffering wife can know what I am thinking about.
All of this is subject to things like one of Kim’s races that I am forgetting, cash on hand, etc. etc. coming up. I also really want to get up to the East Realm this year for an event or two. It is silly that I have never been since I briefly lived up there in the 90’s. I need to fix that.
Ice Castles 1/27-29: Blacksburg. Guys rode trip, crashing with Master Thomas. I think Fennic is going to try and come to the event too.
KASF 2/4: Daytrip, Spotsvania. Arts and Sciences and stuff.
YMIR 2/17-19: Reidsville, NC. We have a cabin reserved for “Hotel de Byram”. Household please pre-reg! Going to a Pot Luck for dinner on Saturday.
Siege of the Black Tower 3/10: Petersburg, Daytrip
Possible (Either) 3/24:
Seven Hills Skirmishes, Lynchburg, VA. Daytrip?
St. Paddy’s Day Bloodbath, NOVA. Daytrip
Tourney of the Pretentious Name/ (heh) Friends, WindyHills: 3/31 I’ve been asked to be a “Warlord” for the North for the mêlée portion of this. (I won’t get into NC’s delusion that they are some how the “Central Region” and that I’m from the North…. ;-) I’m not sure that I can afford the trip down. March is going to be busy anyway with Kim’s Half Marathon. …I certainly will not be making all these events. I’m just keeping my options open. Ah but to go to Gulf Wars instead. Sadface.
Easter 4/7: No traveling or fighting during Triduum for me, thanks.
Coronation 4/14: Jacksonville? Eh. I do like that site and I’d love to go back to the Aquarium but….money will be tight by then.
TYD Baronial Investiture 4/28, Red-Fishland: Sigh. This is up against Blackstone Raids, which has become my favorite event. Depending on who gets the nod I will be making the short daytrip to TYD. If not, BSR. I just hope I find out before the Hotel at BSR fills up. This is also the day of the CASA Superhero o Run that we participated in as a family last year and we had planned on doing it again. Grace would love it. I would need a new costume. Kim is non-plussed since a 5K isn’t like a short lunch run for her now. Lots of decisions on this.
Spring Crown 5/5, Upper Marlboro: Eh. Not feeing it right now. Who knows.
AE War Practice 5/18-20: YES! YES! YES! Road trip to the Pennsic site. Hells, yeah, that is my Birthday Gift right there. Also, check on trailer and take measurements for shower stalls.
Ruby Joust I 5/25-28: Where else would I be? Hotel Encampment in the Glade, food plan, yada yada. If it wasn’t for the snoring I would say lets just set up the Star Chamber and all sleep in that. No jobs for me this year that I am aware of (NOR WANT). Fighting might be fun for a change. I hope to run the Novice Tourney thought, you know……TRADITION and all. Haha.
Assessment 6/29: Planning on making it like usual. Mêlée Training in the hawt, hawt sun.
Pennsic 7/27-8/12: Yup. No way I can do 2 weeks this year because of my work schedule and how it falls. I expect I will do the marathon set up weekend, and then go back at some point during Peace Week, assuming we have someone to mind the camp.
Somewhere in here needs to be some serious work weekends to get stuff done for Pennsic Camp. We threw away about 40 feet of privacy walls due to mold and scrapped the entire flooring/tent system for the Shower. I’m sure other stuff will come up too.
I refuse to think beyond Pennsic, though Melisent has another half-marathon in mid November I think and a Mud Run or two through out the year.
For many years, back when I blogged regularly I would, at the start of each new year write a post about the SCA Events I attended in the previous year. I did this so I could see trends over time, and to hold myself to accountable on certain goals. I’m not sure if I’ve done it in a while, but I thought I would try for 2011.
In total it looks like I attended seventeen events overall, with one being a major War (Pennsic). I also attended roughly 30-35 fighter practices about on par with 2010 (I’m most proud of getting the Practice Tourney of the Cross and Lily started in February of this year). Fighting wise, I fought at only eight of those events (Stickjock that I am, haha!) Pennsic was the ONLY mêlée event I fought at all year (SHAMEFUL!). I fought in only four tourneys, and four TOC/teaching type events, so nine fighting events all year. I marshaled at six events, and I MIC’ed two large events (and one tourney at Pennsic). I helped Cooked at two events (three if you count the smoked chickens I made for Yule), Autocratted one event, and helped a couple/three more autocrats with their events, being staff of some sort. I spent a lot of free time doing mostly fruitless research for the Kingdom on possible new event sites in Central VA. I co-taught one class on the history of the Tournament with the amazing Theo. I actually did one event where I did nothing but swing in a hammock after set up. I did very little fighting at Pennsic and MIC’ed a tourney there on my ‘day off’.
Injuries are a common theme each year fighting wise, and sadly, as I age the time to recover from them takes longer and longer. I believe I had three major injuries this year (two related to my back, which I am now addressing by losing weight) Our personal finances did a little better this year with me coming off furloughs but still, money being tight was a factor in some of the long breaks without events. There where a couple of events (KASF, 30YC) that we missed due to this being the year of Auto Repairs – (which is still ongoing, even in 2011). Melisent also received her Pelican in February which took a lot of my mental energy up to that point and then autocratted the last Sapphire Joust in May, which likewise took a lot of mental and physical juice. Also, my Hotel ran Coronation after an exhaustive site search for same, and WT and I got the “In the Park” revival of TOC going again hosting two more events. Overall it was a very service focused year.
Melisent and I have vowed not to take any SCA jobs in 2012 so that we can recover, focus on our growing household, I can fight more, and we can explore other hobbies and interests.
That said, here was the year that was, 2011:
Ymir. Melisent’s Pelican dominated this whole event. After the vigil and ceremony was over I was pretty much brain dead and we just relaxed and regrouped, had ‘stone soup’ with the Hotel and friends and drank.
Winter University: Taught a class on the history of the Tourney with Mistress Theodora, which was well received... Took a great class on mustard making which got me involved in all sorts of interesting cooking adventures.
St. Paddy’s Day Bloodbath – Traditional Bear pit tourney thing, just up the road. Fought some, taught some. (I always treat this like a fighter practice so I don’t really think of it as a real tourney, even if it is one)
TYD Baronial Birthday: Came in second in the tourney to Arrayd. Did some pick ups and then ran Front Line for Mathieu/Moe in the Kitchen. Busy day, I was injured before this event so it took a lot out of me.
Spring Coronation: Got beat up at a demo the day before so I rested this one. Melisent and I were in the ceremony. Took off early from this one after I decided not to fight.
Siege of the Black Tower: Melisent had her first race earlier that morning so we got there late, saw court, then left.
Golden Rose: I again did Front Line with Moe/Mathieu and was the hated Buffet Police. No really, I do really mean you can only have one of those. Haha!
Spring Crown: at HM’s request, ran a list in the tourney, and then fought in the TOC afterwards. This was at The Meadow so it was a short trip. Again, I was slightly injured at this event.
Sapphire XII: Melisent was the Autocrat, I was the MIC. Exhausting.
Warfighter: Other than help the autocrat with set up, Melisent and I were so worn out from Sapphire (it gets harder to run these things as we get older) that I really didn’t do much of anything. I fell asleep in a hammock while the fighting was going on.
Summer in the Park: Had a great time at this little fighter focused event. Marshaled, taught and fought a little.
Pennsic XL: Had a crazy schedule were I was there for land grab, then home for two days, then back. Had a lot of work to do by small groups and a lot of camp infrastructure collapse this year so I ended up working a lot more than I had thought I would, and not fighting very much. Also, I ran the Mooselodge Tourney as MIC. This was Grace’s first Pennsic and while that alone was awesome (she had such a good time!) it took a lot more of the focus on the family and camp and less on partying.
Fall Coronation. MIC’ed this event and helped the autocrat, did set up, etc.. Also took two new squires. This event was a lot of fun to pull off, but again, exhausting. Got my Non Pariel here, which was touching.
Autumn in the Park: Autocratted, fought and Marshaled this all day fighting/teaching event/TOC and hosted a rocking Post Revel at our place afterwards.
Crown: Fought for the first time in many years on a lark. Really enjoyed myself. Fought in the TOC afterwards.
Dun Carriag Investiture: Heralded and fought. Hurt my back at this event and I’m still as of now (January in PT trying to recover.) The event was fun, but the injury has clouded the event in my memory.
Yule: Smoked a couple of chickens making a medieval hybrid (used a medieval recipe on a rub for smoking chickens, which as far as I know they didn’t do in this particular way). Got a local award that I created (Merlon) for the Cross and Lily Concept. That was weird. Fun event just hanging out with friends and family.
Overall, 2011 was a lot of fun but a ton of work. I’m looking forward to 2012 being a lot more laid back. I expect I’ll attend roughly the same number of events and I hope to get out of Kingdom this year for at least two of them.
Like every year, I am going to remember the highs and the lows. There were more highs than lows, by far, and so that’s why I stick with this crazy hobby, 20+ years on.
"Let sunlight shine on helms and spears,
Let war-cries shake the bloodied plain.
Let cowards turn and run in fear
Till heros are all that remains,
And deeds of valor are attained.
In battle's thickest, wildest fray
The press of men will prove this day
That War's the truest Mistress here."
So we are on the way back from the Business Meeting last night and Melisent and I are discussing Fall Coronation, which is next week (hope to see some of you there!).
Melisent is talking and says: "Blah, Blah, Blah Troll, Blah Blah Blah... (She is the Troll for the Event)
And Grace pops up and says: "TROLL?!?!??!!"
M: "Yes, Troll."
G: "There isn't a Troll at Da Event!"
M: "Yes there is, Troll is the place you check in..."
G: "(*empirically*) NO! Trolls live under Bridges!"
G: "NO! No TROLLS!"
M: "Grace, the person that takes your money when we got to an event, that person is _called_ a Troll. They keep the Gate that is why they are called Trolls."
G: "No Mommie, Trolls like under Bridges!"
M: "Did you know that I'm the Troll?"
G: "You’re Not A Troll! You don't live under a Bridge!!!"
I have a very wise Atlantian Daughter that I am raising. Even at three she knows Bullshit when she hears it.
Pennsic Camp Thoughts:
This was one of my favorite all time Pennsic Camps. That said, here are thoughts to improve things.
Land Grab, at least with the current tech we have can not be accomplished by just two folks, ever again. That was the suck. We need to come up with a better fall back plan for next year.
Next year, I’m there for two weeks if I can manage it.
The shower tent and placement is being completely redesigned. Kim and I are already working on a plan. The sheer number of man hours it takes to set up the current system is unacceptable. The new system will take a fraction of the time to set up, weight a lot less and be in permanent storage. Acquiring the new platforms from Wm the Younger is a nice step in the right direction. Should be easy to design the new frame around them.
Plumbing worked great but we need to invest in some shorter lines. Also consider moving the hot water heater and gas. Also, longer gas line. We will need to purchase propane next year for sure.
New kitchen facet was a hit, need to get another one for cold water.
I loved the kitchen lay out. It was perfect this year. Everything had a place.
Melisent is ‘meh’ about the propane oven so that might not occur next year.
Kegarator is a go for next year. Just have to start working out the design. The savings in ice will pay for it in two years.
We threw away 40’ of sheet walls that had been damaged by mold. Painted sheet walls will be the big Winter Project. Planning and scheming. Babs has junk fabric for a back up plan if that fails.
This year we will actually need to have Camp Workweekends again to get projects completed.
While being small had set up challenges here is what I liked about the smaller numbers in camp:
No chore list. Everyone worked without being asked. Folks jockeyed to do dishes and take out the trash.
Meal Plan was a lot easier to cook for just 8ish.
I loved going back to the simple (ala old Mooselodge: Protein, veggie, starch) meal plan. Nothing fancy, just good, filling camp food. Melisent did a great job with that.
Ice for personal coolers has unofficially become part the food/camp money plan. This needs to be looked at and fees most likely need to go up.
We need to invest in new tiki torches. We don’t have enough light in camp at night. Also, I’m going to look into replacing the table lanterns with tap lights for 2013/2014. We have enough oil inserts for a least one more year.
Kiddie pool needs to be moved in to the sun for more direct sunlight to warm it.
If I go up for AE War Practice again I need to spray for poison ivy in the ghetto.
New placement for field tent was awesome. Have to get that spot next year. Also, need to get paid parking space again. If we bump up in fighters/campers we need to move to a bigger field tent. 12x24 could work for that if I get my new 15x15 and the Star Chamber becomes the new Dining Tent.
We need some banners/standards on the fighting field. Tent was too plain.
Need to get some new green garden fence pieces. Threw several bent ones away and need a couple of taller ones for the new sheet walls.
So, Sapphire Joust.
I have to say that this was one of the cleanest Sapphire’s I have seen across the board. I’m not sure if it was my (and HE’s) admonishment to the fighters, or the lack of certain repeat offenders/”I must win at all costs” types but none the less the tourney ran smoothly and well. To be fair, Sapphire always runs better with less acknowledgement issues than most large tourneys because people get the core concept of the event. It just felt, _even better_ this year for some reason.
For the last several years I have been running Sapphire Joust as a ‘Pools’ Tourney, an idea that I stole shamelessly from Candlemas in the Midrealm. It’s worked out just fine and I’ve enjoyed it because it allows the newer fighters to get lots and lots of fighting but this year I want to shake things up a bit.
So I returned to the Speed into an Elimination Tourney that I have used for so many years. The twist this year was that I made it Single Elimination rather than Double Elimination. I was worried that this would actually make the final rounds uglier since every fight counted but instead it actually made everything just a bit cleaner I think.
Here is the dirty not so secret fact about SCA Combat: You don’t have to cheat every round to win a tourney. Just once. Just one blow. All it costs you is your soul, and your honor. But it’s very, very easy. The fact that more folk don’t cheat speaks to the core value of the SCA being followed by the majority of fighters.
Anyway I was really impressed with the skill, heart and ability of our fighters. Kudos all around. I can’t remember the exact number but I think we were pretty small this year, all things considered. A large number of folks from Blackspear camp weren’t able to get to the field because of meetings, hangovers, etc. That was frankly ok because it kept the numbers more manageable. I think we had like 68 in the Elimination Round and of course 32 for the Single Elim.
I think I ran it better from the field than I ever have and it seemed to flow pretty easily. The heat is always an issue at Sapphire and this format worked very well for it.
Since this is the ‘last’ Sapphire I’m very glad to see it go out on a good note. Now on to Ruby Joust. Should be fun!
I want to write down some of my thoughts about the fighting at Sapphire Joust XII this year because in many ways I think it was some of the smoothest we have had. I don’t know that I have the brain power for that yet though so I thought I would post this instead.
On Saturday afternoon I ran a 12c Mellee Ransom Tourney. Here is the description of rules:
12c Ransom Tourney: Two teams of roughly even sides will be created with two Recets (resurrection points) on either end of the Ravine. Each fighter is responsible for bringing ransom worthy of their station, or they make arrangements with their captors on the fly. (Reproduction Money, Gifts to one’s lady, Agreements of service, Donations such as: Shift work at Pennsic, other charitable donations, etc.) A fighter may be either Bested or Captured. If a fighter is struck with any telling blow to the body or head and is not quickly Captured, they are out of the fight (Bested) and must resurrect at their Recet. Capture: Immediately after being struck if they can be taken by a Captor (“You are taken”) before they can be rescued by their teammates they must be walked back to the opposing teams Recet and the Ransom logged in with the Ladies of the Gallery. Rescue: Teammates may attempt to rescue a taken combatant by besting the Captor. This battle will be one hour long.
We ended up running this for 30 mins as the fighting was breaking down at the end of a very long and hot day and it was raining like all hell while this was going on. Almost everyone I spoke to loved this tourney and I got some very good feedback about to to tweak this to make it work better.
I thought it would be fun to post the Ransom List collected by the Ladies of the Gallery in a hope of displaying the Chivalry of these gentles and increasing their word fame. I’m using titles as I know them, or as they fit.
Captor: Captive: Ransom:
Lord Eckerhard Johan Tell Knight of his deeds.
Sir Tascius Hrothgar One Beer.
Sir Tascius Aaron of Moorhaven One Beer.
Lord Patrick of Kells Sir Tascius $5 donation to the Komen for the Cure Fund.
Joscelyn D’Outreamer Iain Play his bagpipes for Sir Bryce
William Shoprat Raphael Take a Flower to his Lady.
William Shoprat Master Donal Take a Flower to his Lady.
William Shoprat Ld. Lukas Take a Flower to his Lady.
Ld. Gerhard Ld. Lukas Asked for a vow that Lukas would lead the Unbelt Team with honor.
Duke Jason Kinslaye Joscelyn Cry he was bested the next morning @ Kraken Tourney.
Duke Jason Kinslaye Sir Arrayd Cry he was bested the next morning @ Kraken Tourney.
Duke Jason Kinslaye Conal 3 Pick up Fights.
Master Terafan Patrick $25 Donation to the Koman for the Cure.
Abran de la Barra Tearlach Entertain him with a story on the walk back to camp.
Raffael Patrick $25 Donation to the Koman for the Cure.
Lord Lukas Conal Fight at his side for three upcoming events.
I’m hoping to run more of these tournies as they offer a chance for chivalric deeds. I think one change is that when you are bested you must kneel for a moment to acknowledge your defeat.