Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lady Mary Memorial Tourney

On this weekend was held the 23rd annual Lady Memorial Tourney in the Barony of Rising Waters in the Kingdom of Ealdormere. I've attended several Lady Mary Tourney's while I have been in the SCA, and they have all been great events.

Asa had done a scroll for the event, but didn't want to drag the kids out on what turned out to be a cold, windy and rainy day to a small site where they would be cooped up inside. I made arrangements with Baron Hoskuld and Baroness Eyrny to get a ride with them to the event. The family got up bright and early on Saturday morning and Asa drove the scroll and I to Their Excellencies place in Kitchener. It turns out they didn't want to drag their kids out on a cold, windy and rainy day to a small site where they would be cooped up inside either. Hoskuld decided to stay home with the kids while Eyrny and I went to the event.

The site itself was near the town of Welland, about half way between St. Catherines and Fort Erie in the far south of Ontario. The drive was about an hour and a half and we made it safely despite the high winds and the occasional downpour. The event was held at a place called Club Rheingold, a place with a definite German flavour to it, but not exactly Wagnerian. There was a large room for the days activities with a stage for the thrones. There were some smaller rooms that were used for changing and a bar and kitchen. If the weather had of been better some of the activities would have been held outside on the rather nice grounds of the club, but there were gale force winds combined with the occasional heavy shower and temperatures hovering around 10 degrees C, which did not make in conducive for armoured combat of fencing. Some brave archers and thrown weapons enthusisasts did venture outside so they could compete in their portion on the tourney. The wind must have made things interesting, especially for the archers. The first thing I did when I got to the site was deliver the scroll Asa had done to one of the signets.

Since the great outdoors were not really available to us, we had to play inside. This meant we had a rather small list area to play in. I estimate it was about 12 feet wide and maybe 30 feet long, rather like a modern fencing piest. Still, I glad we were able to get the space. There were about 12 fencers who had braved the journey to Lady Mary, including a couple of gentles from the Kingdom of Athelmarc to the south.

One of the really nice aspects of the Lady Mary Tourney is that, before the fighting, fencing, archery, thrown weapons or youth combat can begin there is a procession held before Their Majesties and Their Excellencies Rising Waters. The procession is held in order of SCA precedence, or in this case, reverse precedence. In the SCA you have a rank based on the awards and honours you have recieved in the Society. Your place in the Order of Precedence is determined by your rank. So, in this case, Royal Peers would be at the end of the line, and those who held an Award of Arms or no honours would be at the front. Often there would be couples, where one person was honouring the other, and the higher rank would determine where they were in line. I was in about the middle of the line holding a Grant of Arms equivalent award, The Order of Thorbjorn's Hammer. A herald would announce the name of each participant and who's honour they were fighting etc., for that day. They would then process up to Their Majesties and Excellencies and receive a carnation. After the procession was completed Their Majesties thanked those who were participating and the tourneys could then proceed.

Lord Tadc was Rapier Marshal in Charge for the event, and he ran a simple round robin style tourney with double kills being a loss for both people and no refights. I must say I was having an off day, only managing to win one or two bouts and double killing twice, once against the person who eventually won the tourney. I got hit hard a couple of times, once by one of the Athelmarc fencers, and once by Tadc, who managed to slide into me with two daggers extended. Ouch! I also got to play around with my longsword, but the small list made it difficult and I managed to pull down the list ropes a couple of times by hooking them with my sword's tip.

There was a three way tie at the end between Tadc and the two Athelmarcians, Baron Caleb and Lord Alexander. Final victory went to Baron Caleb. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing pick up bouts and teaching Alexander about Bolognese tradition of cut & thrust fencing. He appreciated the lessons and I'm hoping to send some more info to him.

Eyrny had to go to a work related conference and so arranged a ride back to their place in Kitchener for me with THL Catriona and her husband THL Daniel of Whitby. This worked out ok for me.

Several Ladies of the Court gave out favours to those they felt had fought particularly well or honrouably on the day or had provided great service to the event. Lord Raith and Lord Tadc both received favours.

After the fencing wrapped up the hall was cleared for Court. It was a fairly quick court as such things go. Their Excellencies Rising Waters gave out several awards to citizens of their Barony and then Their Majesties did the same. The AOA scroll Asa had done, which is based on The Book Of Durrow, and illuminated Irish manuscript, was given out to a Lady with an Irish persona. It included a gripping beast motif in red, black, gold and white. Here are some images of the scroll that was handed out:

A couple of fencers were given awards that day, including Lord Tadc, who received the Award of the Scarlet Banner and Lord Ronan who recieved his Award of Arms. One interesting part of the court was the announcement by the event Autocrat, that the power would be shut down in 10 minutes. A hydro pole had been partly knocked down just down the street from the site and the hydro people needed time to repair it. I'm sure this gave the person who was preparing the feast kittens. I'm not sure how things turned out as I left before feast. Their Majesties also declared a 10 minute break so folks could use the facilities before the power went out.

After court ended I got packed up and changed and said some goodbyes. As I mentioned earlier, my ride back had been arranged with Catriona and Daniel who are really nice people. They had a crew cab pickup truck and were nice enough to let me ride in the front. My only concern was the truck had no cap over the bed and I was worried about my stuff getting we. We had a couple of very brief periods of light rain on the way back but nothing got wet, thank goodness. It was nice chatting with them on the way back and Daniel is a very easy going guy, and not even wonky directions from their Tom Tom seemed to phase him. We stopped at a Tim Hortons on the way back which also had a Wendy's, KFC and Dairy Queen. A few minutes THL Bjarn stopped in followed by three of the fencers: Murighen, Ronan and Raith. We all ate together an chatted. Bjarn promised me that if he won crown tourney, one of the first things he would do would to learn fencing and authorize and he wanted me as his teacher. He mentioned that some of the things I had taught him in the past where still useful to him in armoured combat. I was quite honoured.

It turned out to be easier to for Daniel to drop me off at my place than take me to Kitchener and have Hoskuld drive me back. It was a bit of an adventure in Guelph because of all the construction but they got me home, for which I am greatly appreciative.

I'm not sure when I next be blogging. We are having an A&S Day at our place next Sunday and the following weekend is Fruits of Our Labour where I'll be running a tourney based on a 16th c. German Fechtschule.

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