This page was last updated on Wednesday, 19 April 2000.
Drachenwald Crown Tourney 2000
Or, How to get bruised the easy way...
For those who don't know, a SCA crown tournament is held to decide a king and queen. One or the other (and sometimes both) of this pair enters the lists, and fight all the others, the overall winner being crowned. The actual position is mainly as a figurehead - more akin to an elected chairperson than a Primeminister/President. With the main tasks being to look good, setting an example for others, encouraging groups and members, and handing out awards (this is opinion from observation - feel free to correct me). It can be expensive, as you are expected to travel around a bit, and at the end you get to have a title of Count (or Duke if you have been kinged already) - obviously the titles are the feminine versions if queen. There are various requirements before you can enter, but Tricia and I qualified for all of these (just).
This years event was held in Wales, with a little held from our shire too. I took the Friday off, so as to be somewhat fresher for the fighting, and the drive down was unexciting apart from an accident at the M4/M5 junction causing a 45min slowdown. The hotel we had booked was somewhat dodgy, and as Tricia was on the Troll table, we headed to the site to chat, and check people in.
The next day dawned bright and clear (it's never rained yet while I have been in Wales - everyone else finds this somewhat unusual...), and after an opening court, the fighters armoured up while the spectators organised themselves and had lunch. Since I had spent the two weeks previously constructing my new armour from Illusion (with help from Inigo), I was keen to do a little warming up, and to make sure that nothing fell off upon those first few hits. Thus reassured we waited for the current king to make an inspiring speech, and the list officials to get sorted. Since it would be a round-robin it was decided to run 4 fights simultaneously (there were 15 entrants).
After much death and destruction, the final was held between Count Prothel and Sir Arafel, with Arafel falling under the blistering blows of our new crown prince. Then it was closing court, where our very own Lucrezia-Isabella di Freccia got her Order of the Panache, followed by an almighty feast, and being amazingly tired, I staggered back to the hotel and bed. The next day a fair number travelled to the Oxford ren-fair (I bought a tooled leather pouch, and some buckles, braid etc), and the it was back to London, with bruises and muscle aches to accompany me for the next few days.
All in all, it was a good experience. I did poorly in terms of winning fights, but succeeded admirably in my main expectations; namely as a push to get my armour done, get myself back into combat-made, and general training for the coming year. I could notice the difference between now and my peak (say about 6 months after Rowany), and was encouraged that the un-belted fighters didn't outclass me in general (let's not go into the white-belts :-). I had many positive comments on my field presence, conduct, and style - I am still mostly a Caidian at heart (scum-sucking, hot-tubbing, faceplate-flicking Caidians), so looking good, and dying well are important aspects to one's fighting abilities...
Till next time, HUZZAH!
Almost got this knight, after the tournament I did significantly better. Whether this is because people were not so focused, they were tired, or I had rejoined all those fighting-neurons is hard to say.
The marshals seemed almost paranoid that everyone thought acknowledged blows were "fair". While individuals were consistent, both Inigo and I thought some of the calibration ranges were varied, this may be due to the size of Drachenwald.
Taking a breather. Having brand new armour, being unfit, unpractised (and unskilled :-) probably didn't help with my chances. Good fun though, and seeing the range of combat styles was unique in my experiences to date.