Their Majesties, Giovanni and Cainnleach, Rex and Regina Outlandium, on the sixth day of November in the thirty ninth year of the Society hosted a tournament to discover their new Heirs to the Crown as the previous Heirs had been found unsuitable. Before this contest began, the King grasped in his hand earth from the field which held the first Crown tourney and spread that soil over the list field and in this way demonstrated that this tournament was merely the last in a line of tournaments extended back to the first and that the King and Queen chosen at this tourney also extend in a line unbroken to that first King and Queen.
In this tournament, those men at arms who had not yet achieved recognition as knights of our Realm stood on one side of the field and those amoung the Chivalry of the Outlands which had gathered here in Arms assembled on the other. Then, one by one, those least well known chose amoungst their betters.
And so it was that Viscount Sterling, who came into this Kingdom from Atenveldt some three years prior, fought with sword and shield against Lord Richard, squire to His Majesty Giovanni, who fought with a sword in each hand not unlike his liege. Lord Richard, in a blue and red tabard emblazoned with a northern bear and a closed helm of dark metal and brass, stepped towards the Viscount with one sword held high behind him. As the distance closed and the fray began, so fierce were the blows thrown, that the tip of one of Ld. Richard's swords was sheared off. The Viscount, wearing a helm of polished steel with a lobster tail and capped with ostrich feathers black and white, won this bout having given two telling blows while receiving none himself.
Next to the field came Lord Boleslav, squire to Sir Darius of Jaxartes, who had chosen Sir Roger, Baron of the Citadel of the Southern Pass for his fight. The Baron came to the field bearing a sword and round shield, his helmet bearing a chain drape and his feet clad in red boots. Ld. Boselav wore a leather armour with copper pauldrons very much in the style of his knight and carried as arms a sword and madu. As their match began, Sir Roger came close to Lord Boleslav and began to circle him, not just once or twice, but around and around as one might imagine a lion circling its prey until with a thrust from his sword, Sir Roger struck the first good blow. After they had set themselves anew, Lord Boselav returned the favour with a thrust from the lower point of his madu. The madu, being a shield with two short spears or daggers attached used by certain of the Mohamedans, is a formidable weapon at many ranges and one must be wary of it at all times much in the same way that one is wary of both a lion's claws and it's teeth. Sir Roger was now so wary and cut at the arm which held the madu before ending this bout with a thrust to Lord Boselav's head.
In the third fight of the list, Lady Slaine faced Sir Mavrikii of the Shire of Windkeep. This knight did bear a shield and sword (as many knights do) while the Lady wore a brown leather coat of plates and a helm draped with green leather and carried a sword and madu. Sir Mavrikii, perhaps following Sir Roger's strategem, cut at the Lady's arm which carried the fanged shield, but then, feeling it improper to continue when he bore a shield and the Lady none, did drop his own to the ground. But perhaps the knight had given up too much, for when he came close to strike at the Lady Slaine, she cut back at his face and they both fell to the ground much discomfitted. After this, Sir Mavrikii came at the Lady with a cut to her leg stout enough that she could no longer move it. The knight once again gave up his advantage yet was able to strike a telling blow while receiving none himself. A second time this played out with Sir Mavrikii striking the lady's leg, giving up the use of his own, and then landing the telling blow.
This time it was Lord Cameron which bore a sword and shield while standing against Qadi Ibrahim who was armed with a sword in one hand and a short spear in the sinister. This spear of no more that four or five feet he did hold close to the butt and pointing towards the ground in such a manner he could use the spear's haft to block a cut or thrust or quickly raise the spear's head and so threaten his opponent. Qadi Ibrahim did also carry a dagger in a sheath on his boot so he brought to the field not one, not two, but three weapons. Lord Cameron did remarkably well at blocking the quick thrusts of the spear that Qadi Ibrahim struck with while they struggled over the rough ground. A cloud of dust rose around the two men as they fought until Qadi Ibrahim slowed the other man with a cut from his sword to the lord's leg. The two continued in strife until Qadi Ibrahim managed to thrust his spear under Lord Cameron's shield. The second bout confirmed the first and Qadi Ibrahim left the field having struck two good blows.
The Honorable Lord Paul, squire to Duke Maelgwyn, dressed in a black and white tabard, bearing a shield, sought his honor with Syr Hakon, dressed in red, even onto his socks, who brought two swords to the field. Syr Hakon wielded these swords with equal ferocity and with one of them found his mark on the first pass. After the two men settled themselves, Syr Hakon again pressed with intensity and again found his mark. Thuswise was THL Paul unable to overcome Syr Hakon and retired from this match having received two good blows but having given none.
The Honorable Lord Lorcan was met by Count Hoegaarden, once King of the Outlands, armed with his belt on which are metal butterflies and carrying a sword and madu. The Holstein cow is a beast much loved by the Canton of Bofarrach and no less loved by Lord Lorcan's own self and he wears cloth, which if not the real hide of cows, is cunningly woven to that appearance, and even his armour, which is of metal scales, are painted in black and white so that his metal armour has this same resemblance to cow hide. And so dressed and armed, did Lord Lorcan come to meet Count Hoegaarden. The Count, not distracted by this appearance, after an exchange of blows, struck the sword from the hand of Ld. Lorcan. After retrieving this weapon, the two exchanged blows anew, and Count Hoegaarden reached around the madu and strongly struck Ld. Lorcan in the shoulder or neck of his sinister side. A second bout proceeded similarly and all could see that Count Hoegaarden had struck two good blows against THL Lorcan.
Sir Qara Gan, wearing a helm with a red leather drape and a red leather breast and bearing a sword and round shield, was the chosen of the Honorable Lady Kaleriia, squired to Sir Robert of the Mountains, who carried a sword and kite shield. It should be noted that THL Kaleriia and Sir Mavirkii are Husband and Wife and did fight one for the other. As strong in spirit as I know her to be, she was unable to prevail against Sir Qara Gan. First he struck her in the leg and after several more blows were thrown by both, Sir Qara Gan struck well against her helm. A second time they met and Sir Qara Gan again struck her leg and then her sword arm. Still, thus disarmed, she would not yield the field and Sir Qara Gan paused while she shed her shield and opposed him defiantly with nought but a sword held in her off hand. Then did Sir Qara Gan strike this last arm and THL Kaleriia could no longer continue.
The Honorable Lord Forrestor, a man best known in the Outlands for the various machines of war he has built and squired to Baron Ramon the Chronologer (Kronos), did step forward with a sword and shield to strive against Count Bela, once King of the Outlands, who wore an armour of leather lamellar and carried a sword and madu with him. THL Forrestor was not as wary of this madu as he should have been and Count Bela struck him fairly in the face with its lower fang. Again they met and this time Count Bela with his sword struck THL Forrestor against the leg and then against the back of him helm. Thus did he acknowledge the prowess of Count Bela.
In the ninth battle of the day did the Honorable Lord Lothar vom Bergenwald, a Thane of the Outlands, meet Duke Olaf, twice King of these lands. In good humour did these men meet, for once they were both squire brothers of Duke Albert (as THL Lothar is to this day). Lothar came prepared as a man must when meeting Duke Olaf if he values his limbs. He wore legs of steel and arms of steel and gauntlets of steel and a stout pig-faced bascinet all of which he had fashioned with his own hands. And in these hands he carried a largish shield and sword while HG Olaf also carried a shield and sword. The two met with a measured exchange of blows. But then one the blows which the Duke threw reached from the high heavens all the way to the ground and caught THL Lothar's leg on its way down. After closing with care, HG's sword found its way in a thrust past Lothar's shield and so the fight was ended. A second exchange proved no more profitable for THL Lothar and both men retired from the field.
Master Gwillim, a man reknown for his service to the Kingdom, brought his arms, each bearing a sword, and his considerable size to bear on Duke Cyrred, perhaps unequal in girth, but ready for battle with his sword and madu. Duke Cyrred landed one blow on Master Gwillim wrist which was discounted but caused him great pain. Undaunted, Master Gwillim continued the fight but was unable to land the first good blow, an honor HG held for himself. Again, the two men met in arms, and both men landed blows - HG had thrust solidly against the Master, and Gwillim landed a shot on Cyrred's helm that was deemed light.
Duke Maelgwyn stood the field alone until one not in the list or the Kingdom, Lord Michael of Artemesia, strode forth to face him solely for the honor of it. Likewise, Sir Bjarki joined Lord Michael in seeking honest combat with those who in each round of the list would otherwise stand without a fight.
Thus did the first round of the Crown lists pass. There were many other fights that day. I could not tell them all even if my poor memory could recall them. But a few stood out.
THL Lothar fought with a but single bastard sword against Sir Roger when the later bore both sword and madu. Although he lost that bout, he managed to trade solid blows with Sir Roger so that both acknowledged the deed against them. Count Sterling and Master Gwillim, overcome with good will, met on the field with a hug. Later, when Duke Maelgwyn met Duke Olaf, the first came in to press the second and whehn HG Olaf turned slightly, HG Maelgwyn was unbalanced by his own momentum and fell to Olaf's feet. Olaf returned to his former stance as Maelgwyn rolled onto his knees, sword and shield in a ready position. All of this before a hold could be called; so fast that an eye could barely blink. Viscount Sterling and Sir Qara Gan fought running battles with strong rushes past one another. Qadi Ibrahim fought his bye fight with sword and dagger. Baron Roger chain stepped as a dancer might past the sword and shield of Qadi Ibrahim. Duke Maelgwyn strikes his sword against his boot - tap, tap, tap, tap - counting out a doom.
The final bouts were fought by Duke Maelgwyn and Qadi Ibrahim. As I saw it, the two nobles approached approached one another with great care, each knowing the prowess of the other. Maelgwyn swung lightly against Ibrahim's sword. Ibrahim returned with two strikes. Maelgwyn thrust to the helm of Ibrahim and then after a bit he snapped a cut towards the face of Ibrahim. An exchange of blows followed and the two men pressed together shield against shield. Maelgwyn turned a little and Ibrahim stumbled forward. Maelgwyn took a quick stroke and then, with a second, reached long for Ibrahim's left leg. Neither blow landed. Again they met shield to shield and Ibrahim landed a solid offside shot to Maelgwyn's helm. The two stood apart and came together for a second time. In their first exchange of this second bout, Duke Maelgwyn is struck firmly in the leg. As he sets himself on the ground and raised his shield, I clearly saw the intensity in his eyes, the firm set of his mouth. He prepared himself for the next exchange in which neither man landed a clean blow. The third exchange is brief, a single sword stroke from each. Then Ibrahim thrust against Maelgwyn's shield, took a quick step back, but HG Maelgwyn followed him with a short hop and struck well against Ibrahim's leg. Now both are similarly disadvantaged. Once more blows are exchanged and one by Qadi Ibrahim found its mark and a Crown is won.
This is the tournament as I witnessed it. But eyes and mind are fallible and not all may be told as it was. While I acknowledge the help given to me by Sir Haroun and Duke Maelgwyn, Lady Keridwen, Master Gwillim and Sir Mavrikii, any errors in this accounting are mine alone and are due to human weakness and not to any ill intent.
Kenin of the Hatakeyama
Squire to Sir Nicholas DeKane
Japanese Armour and SCA Board
Republished with the kind permission of the author. The original article is linked (same text as this).