Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Winter War

Well, it's been over a month since my last blog entry. Not much of interest has happened in that time, well at least things that would be of interest to someone who reads blogs. The Illness Fairy has visited our household on a number of occasions and I wish she would just go away.

At least now I have something interesting to blog about. Last Saturday was the SCA event known as Winter War, held in London, Ontario which is known in the SCA as the Shire of Trinovantia Nova (Trinovanti being an old name for the area where London, England currently is).

Our original intent was for the entire family to go. I had several responsibilities for the day plus I wanted to fence, which meant Eve/Asa would have been stuck looking after the kids in a less than controlled environment. She had also had a business trip to Calgary during the week and all the running around had left her quite tired. I decided that it would be best if I went on my own and managed to arrange a ride with a friend, Susan, known in the SCA as Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester, who was coming from Ajax. She would swing by and pick me up at 9 am Saturday morning. This worked out well as she had things to drop off to me and she needed to pick up a set of throwing spears that Eve had brought back from Ohio. I told Eve about what I had done and she was relieved that she could stay home. She had two scrolls to complete for the event and this usually meant a late Friday night which would add to her fatigue.

It turned out to be a late night for me as well, as I needed to paint a bunch of miniatures for Dave in this case 16 High Elves, 8 Warriors of Numenor, and 2 Knights of Minas Tirith. I got all the painting done but didn't have time to base them. I figured I'd hang onto them and get the basing done and it would be one less thing for them to move, and Susan agreed that this was a Good Thing.

Nicolaa picked me up Saturday morning at 9 am. She had another passenger, an Eoforwician named Anneke. Because of the small car, a Honda Fit, I did a minimum pack, though I was amazed by how much stuff I could fit into a Fabricland cloth bag. I wore my fencing garb which helped to reduce the stuff I was carrying. We got to the site shortly after 10 am and I began to work on discharging the various tasks I had to get done. I dropped off my gear at the fencing list and went looking for someone I could drop the scrolls Asa had done off to. I eventually ran into Lady Kersteken, the Kingdom Signet, who was happy to take them off my hands, commenting on how awesome Asa was. During this time I was also able to drop of a bottle of Coke to Nicolaa, to whom I am apprenticed to in the SCA. It's always good to keep your Laurel happy.

The morning part of the event was taken up with a Kingdom Moot which I didn't attend. I hung around the fencing list talking to my friend Yoshi and getting ready for the fencing tourneys. After the moot ended fencing could start. Tadc was the Rapier Marshal in Charge. The first tourney would be a single elimination doubles tourney. I paired off with Baroness Eyrny and we did quite well, being one of the three final pairings with no losses. After a quick round robin settled nothing, they put all six of us on the list and , IIRC, we were eliminated second which meant we finished in second place.

The first tourney was followed by a lunch break during which I held a Kingdom Rapier Moot. Various things were discussed, like melee rules, gorgets, and the use of mail armour. It was well attended and I think people came away with some good info.

Following the Moot, we returned to the Fencing List, where I was to discharge my third task of the day. Lady Jocelyn, Preceptor of the Ealdormere Academy of Defence, could not attended the event, so she asked me to organize the three Prize fights that had been requested for the day. There was a Cadet prize and two Scholar Prizes. Luckily I had sufficient Cadets and Scholars to make them work and they went off without a hitch, with all three Prizors meeting the requirements for advancement in rank.

I then tracked down Lady Liadin, who was selling a type of special paper for doing scrolls. Asa wanted some so I made sure I got it. Liadin was nice enough to throw in some samples of smaller pieces for free. Yay! Another task completed!

There was one final tourney, also in a doubles format, but round robin this time. It also had the extra twist that each pairing was "chained" together, having to hold onto the end of a cloak. I paired off with Duke Sir Roak, who paid me a great compliment. He said he was surprised that a fencer of my caliber still needed a partner. It was a fun tourney and I think my team ended in second place with two losses. At one point in the tourney I was killed but Roak was still alive. I knelt down to show I was dead and Roak fenced from behind me, using me as a meat shield. At some point he managed to wrap the cloak around my helmet and nearly pulled my head off. After the tourney ended, I stripped off my fencing under armour and replaced it with a fresh shirt, but kept my doublet and slops.

At some point Nicolaa had told me that there were feast spots available and she signed me up. I did manage to pack a small amount of feast gear so a least I was prepared for that. It turned out to be an excellent feast and an amazing deal for $12. I sat with Nicolaa and Anneke. The feast was broken up into two parts or "removes". The first had a late winter theme, with lots of preserved foods and things that kept, like cheese and shortbread. The centre piece was a roast pork loin which was really, really good. The second remove had an early spring theme, with fresh salad, fresh bread with honey butter and the main dish being roast lamb. I've never been a big fan of lamb, but this one was very good. It also had a pear dish with spices that was awesome.

Feast was followed by Court. Their Majesties gave out a number of awards during the evening, including one of the AOA scrolls that Asa had done. He was a fellow fencer from the March of St. Martins and I was sitting beside him when he got called up. He was very impressed and thought the scroll was beautiful. The person who she had done the second scroll for wasn't there, having left the site early. It appeared that a lot of people left early and about four or five scrolls were not handed out. Oh well, that's what you get for skipping court. The members of the Order of Thorbjorn's Hammer were called up and a new member was inducted into our ranks.

We headed out shortly after court concluded and Nicolaa dropped me off at my place were we exchanged stuff. She was able to get the spears into her car after some struggle.

Sunday was Matthew's Karate Tourney in Maryhill, just outside of Guelph. Eve dropped us off and went grocery shopping with Elizabeth. Matthew was entered in the Forms competition and I also bought him a spot in a padded swords tourney. It was a long day. They did weapons first, and Matthew's club did well, one woman getting a first place. Then it was forms. Matthew did very well, despite illness keeping him out of karate for almost a week and a half, placing third in forms. After a very long wait, which included more forms followed by sparing, Matthew got to do the sword thing. He got third place but was a bit disappointed. I think he needs more practice and then I think he'll be a terror with one of those foam swords.

That's all for now. I'll blog again when something interesting happens.