When HRM Mary gathered a number of us former Royal Consorts together at Spring Crown to discuss the possibility of bringing a new type of tournament to Northshield we were hopeful for a weekend like we had this past weekend but I'm not sure that any of us thought that it would be as wonderful as it was for a first time out. A Rose Tournament, or Tournament of Inspiration which is it really was, is a chance for fighters, both armoured and rapier, to take the field as part of a team that is put together by a Lady of the Rose or a former Royal Consort. There was no set formula as to the size of the team or the make-up of a team nor even if it was the RC who asked someone to be a member of the team or someone asked to be a member of the team. Everyone who showed up with fighting gear found a team and was able to participate and it was a glorious day to do it.
I'll start out by saying how very proud I am of the team that fielded themselves under the name of "Team Shava". I wanted very much to field a team that represented the "One Kingdom/One Army" concept and think that it worked well. I had a team that was split evenly between armoured combatants and rapier combatants, 3 each, and had 1 of each to represent one of the three regions of our fair Kingdom as well as 1 of each to represent the ideals of Northshield as Ducere, Ministratrae and Illuminare. My dream team was:
The weather could not have been more perfect for this first outing for this tournament and the location was a lovely wooded glen that provided shade and a rich backdrop for the day. Teams wore either a favour, a tabard, a surcoat, or a baldric for each of the nine ladies who were able to attend and field a team. HrRM AEsa, Duchess Eleanor de Bolton, Duchess Mary of Carrigart, Countess Guenievre du Dragon Vert, Countess Gwyneth Felton, Viscountess Leyla ibnat-ash-Schamaal, Viscountess Aramanthra the Vicious, Viscountess Anne of Warwick, and myself fielded teams of between 6 and 10 fighters each and if they didn't get enough fighting in it was their own fault. The early part of the day was pickups, any form/style that the fighters wanted. I was torn between the two lists and there were such things provided as a barrier and a hide nailed to the ground that could be used. Points were amassed in any way the fighters wished. After a couple of hours of this, teams rested and then wandered to the battlefield where teams were challenged by one or more teams. I was so proud of my team when HrRM AEsa and Countess Gwyneth challenged by team with the combined strength of their two teams--and my team bested them on both the AC and rapier sides of the field. (Yea, a proud moment for me!) Then it was back for more pickups until finally the top 8 (by points accumulated) plus others added by the consorts (bringing the rapier list to 14 and the AC list to 16) fought in two impressive, single elimination, best two out of three, tournament. It was a glorious day.
- Rapier Combatants:
Woodlands (Ducere)--Warder Cyveiliog McKinley
Lakes--(Illuminare) Master Gevehard von Baden
Plains--(Ministrare) THL David de Bohun
- Armoured Combatants:
Woodlands--(Ducere) Sir Roisin ingen Aillel
Lakes--(Illuminare) Master Cadwallon y' Rhudd
Plains--(Ministrare) Legionaire Thorbjorn hausakljufr Halfdanarson
Now, winning and losing were not what mattered that day. Yes, there was a winner in total points accumulated for the AC side and for the rapier side as well as the team that accumulated the most points overall. There was also a final winner for both the AC tournament and the rapier tournament. But the only one I will point out is the one who was chosen to bear the "Rose and Pomegranate Sword" for the next year until the next tournament. This was a young man who was chosen by consensus of the Royal ladies who displayed the best example of chivalry of those present. A young man that many of us have watched grow for the past dozen or more years. Lord Ian ap Dafydd is an example of what inspires us all! (Not only was he chosen to bear this sword that Master Cadwallon made but he was also taken as Man-at-Arms to Duke Siegfried von Kulmbach in court at the end of the day.)
It was a glorious day filled with inspiration in many places. On the fields of battle and tournament. Off the field by those who helped us all provide hospitality and ambiance. On the throne with the grace and dignity that our majesties add to us every day. And in the glory of the fall that yielded such wonderful weather for us all.
View my pictures and those of THL Amytis de la Fontaine [by clicking on "original article" below.]
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