The Baronial Championship occurred this past weekend for the Barony of the Flaming Gryphon. It is a day when the ladies of the Barony choose their new champion who will serve them on the heavy list field and in service for the next year.
The day began with the presentation of the hopeful champions introducing themselves and describing their arts or science craft, for in our Barony, the champion must show that he has a gentle side, as well. There were ten individuals there displaying such crafts as a stone that had runes carved into it by chisel, a scroll made of chocolate, blackberry wine, ginger bread, a beautifully carved Celtic love spoon and other carved and cooked crafts. After the introductions, the fighters proceeded to the field of battle. There, the fighters did their best to display their prowess and honor for the ladies. The first portion of the fighting was 1-on-1 bouts in which all of the non-knights and intended-champions challenged the knights to combat. It was a cold day and watched most of fighting from inside the building, but the ladies of the barony stuck it out in the cold, watching the display of combat.
The next part of combat was a melee. Here, the ladies determined when the fighting would stop. It was a fight where once killed, you simply had to walk back to your starting point and try again. In year's past, I have the seen the ladies gleefully allow the fighters to go on for what seems a dog's age. This year, the ladies were kind and allowed the fighters to stop after what seemed 15 minutes or so.
The ladies then kicked out all males over the age of 7 from the one building there and had their decision machinations. No male has ever witnessed these proceedings and lived, so I dared not even peer through the window.
Some point in time later, one of ladies came out to all of the males (fighters and non-fighters) and said we could in. An amoeba of males of filed into the partially heated building like lemmings to the ocean.
At this point, the hall was prepared for feast. I and several others followed the commands of Baron Alan in setting up the tables and getting benches to all of those tables. The feast was wonderful. My compliments to the cooks and kitchen staff on a well-made feast fit for a king. There were six total removes to the feast. In addition to the fine food, there was entertainment. The first performer was a young lass named Cody Dragonslayer. She sang three songs. It was apparent that she was nervous at first, but by the third song, her voice was resounding through the hall of enraptured listeners. The second bit entertainment came from dancers of Clan Blackstar. There was much swaying and shimmying going on, enough to make an Englishman blush. Then, Troupe Hareem Shareem performed more dancing. Lotsa dancing for the feaster's entertainment. I was rather impressed by the lady who danced atop the glasses. She stood on three glasses and performed her dance. Excellent balance.
THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN
There comes a time in every SCA goer's life that he or she witnesses something at an event that, well, they wish they could forget. It seems that at Caleidh earlier this year, our then-current Baronial Champion, Rusaad, did some belly dancing. From the report I heard, it was both funny, entertaining, yet strange weird. Well, he did it again. And he roped his friend Ustaad (most likely spelled wrong, just pronounce it phonetically) into dancing with him. They both showed as much prowess and grace as they could muster. I applaud them for their efforts.
AND THE WINNER IS?
Baronial court opened after feast was completed. The members of the Baronial Archery Guard were named. The Baron then called forth and asked Rusaad to read the list of past champions. Then, he read the newest name, the 26th champion of Flaming Gryphon, Cadagin Blaise. Again, I have probably butchered the spelling, but just pronounce it and you will get the idea. He humbly accepted the honor as Rusaad removed each of the signs of the champion from himself and handed them over to Cadagin. With each handing-over, Rusaad explained what the item and offered 'advice' as to what not to do with the item. Honest, I could see Cadagin's eyes becoming a faint red as the emotions of the moment might have been getting to him. He is a good man, the ladies of the Barony chose well.
And with that, court came to an end. At this point, the headache I had been suffering most of the day had gotten the best of me and I headed for home. Erin and I both had a grand time.
Until the next event I attend, be well and Godspeed.
Reprinted by kind permission of the author.