Bardolph and Dag meet in finals of Middle Kingdom Crown Tourney

The finals for the May 24 Middle Kingdom Crown Tournament began on a financial note: “I have a tip, Your Grace,” Duke Bardolph cried across the list to his opponent, Duke Dag Thorgrimsson. “So do I,” Dag responded. “Stay out of the stock market right now.”

Following that light-hearted exchange, the final round became deadly serious. Duke Bardolph, fighting for the honor of his lady, Baroness Julia, and Duke Dag, fighting for the honor of his lady, Countess AnneMarie, fought for the best three of five rounds.

A silent crowd stood in the eighty-degree Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) heat and sun as the two dukes took the field for the first bout with sword and shield. Duke Bardolph landed several head blows, which were declared no good. After several minutes on his knees, Bardolph fell to a blow to the head.

After a short break, the Dukes then came out with two swords. This round was faster, with Bardolph succumbing to a blow to the left side.

The final bout was a repeat of the first style, sword and shield. The two Dukes squared off, and after a flurry of blows, Dag again landed a square blow to Bardolph’s head.

After being pronounced the victor, Dag called to his squire and tossed him his helm. He strode to the dais where Her Highness AnneMarie waited, and gave her a deep kiss, dipping her low to the ground. He presented her to Their Majesties EikBrandr and Runa, then addressed the crowd.

“This is my sixth victory.” He proclaimed. “You will not see me again in this list.” His Highness later verified his statement. “I have been fighting in Crown since 1983,” he said. “I have had six wins and been in ten finals. I could count on the fingers of my hands how many crown lists I have missed, and still have room to hold a beer. After this reign, I intend to retire and become an elder statesman of the Middle Kingdom.”

The quarter finals consisted of Duke Stephan of Bechenham, fighting for Duchess Elina of Bechenham, and Earl Lutr Ulskald fighting for Countess Tessa of Wight. Duke Stephan fell to Duke Bardolph. Earl Lutr fell to Duke Dag.

Congratulations to Their Royal Highnesses, Dag and AnneMarie!

Cheers

I intended to add that there was a rousing cheer from future Crown combatants after His Highness announced that this would be his final Crown Tournament.