Snowed Inn IV (and Pas d'armes)

"And know you princes, lords, barons, knights, squires, and gentles at arms that this tourney shall be fought between two companies, the Companie de l'Etoile Azure and the Companie de l'Etoile Or, and the Captains and members of these Companies will be chosen on that day by a contest known as le Jeu d'Etoile, or the Game of Stars."

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Let all Princes, Lords, Barons, Knights, Squires, and gentles at arms of the marches of Skraeling Althing, Ramshaven, Ben Dunfirth, Rising Waters, and Septentria first of seignories, and all others of whatever marches that are in this kingdom and all other Christian kingdoms, who are not banished or enemies of the King our lord, may God save him, know that on the nineteenth day of February, at the Snowed Inn of the town of Ard Chreag, the most noble and redoubtable lord, Sir Finnvarr de Taahe has decreed that before he travels North to his hall for the winter there will be a very great festival of arms and a very noble tourney with rebated swords, in appropriate armor, with crests, coats of arms of the noble tourneyers, as is the ancient custom.

And know you princes, lords, barons, knights, squires, and gentles at arms that this tourney shall be fought between two companies, the Companie de l'Etoile Azure and the Companie de l'Etoile Or, and the Captains and members of these Companies will be chosen on that day by a contest known as le Jeu d'Etoile, or the Game of Stars.

And you should also know that at the tourney there will be noble and rich prizes given by ladies and damsels.

The Judges

A pair of judges should be appointed to assist the ladies in the selection of the winners of the tourney and monitoring the tournament

Establishing the Companies

On the day of the tourney all those who wish to contend for the entertainment of his Grace and the Ladies should display their helmets on the tables provided for this purpose around the list. When all of the helmets are in place His Grace accompanied by the ladies of the gallery and the judges will process in to inspect the helmets and ensure that all are satisfactory.

Any helmet whose owner is not noble in all their lines of descent (no AoA) will be removed, and the owners challenged. As is traditional should they accept the traditional beating they will be accepted, if they do not they will not.

Once all of the helmets have been inspected, all those who meet the approval of the ladies and judges may don their helmets and enter the list armed with a single sword only.

While they do so His Grace and the judges will conduct a lottery for the ladies. Each will draw a token indicating that they are a lady of the Blue Star or Gold Star. Having done so each will be given a pole painted in the appropriate colour from which a wire star depends by a thread. They will then take positions about the list.

The King of Arms will indicate that he who should catch a blue star on his sword shall be a member of the Companie de l'Etoile Azure, and he who should catch a gold star on his sword shall be a member of the Companie de l'Etoile Or. And furthermore, the first to do so from each company shall be its captain, and win great honour for it.

Then the ladies will be asked to dangle the stars over the list, and on a cry of "Allez" from the King of Arms the contest may begin.

When all of the members have been selected, the ladies will retire to the gallery with His Grace and the Judges, and the tournament will begin.

The Conduct of the Tournament

The tournament will be conducted in two passages, separated by Grand Melees at the barrier between the two teams. The grand melees will be conducted in the traditional fashion with those struck a solid blow retiring to make a place for another member of their company.

In the first passage the list will be Companie de l'Etoile Azure will be the appelants, and hold the field. The members of the Companie de l'Etoile Or will challenge them by striking one of two shields depending from a shield tree (or poles held by heralds should the shield tree not be available).

Should they select the Gold Star they will fight au plaisance, or to a number of blows thrown, the number and weapons being used to be selected by the ladies of the gallery with the assistance of the judges.

Should they select the Blue Star they will fight a l'outrance with weapons selected by the ladies of the gallery, until one should cry "Hold, enough", or his Grace through his King of Arms should indicate that they have done enough. In this latter case his Grace and the judges will indicate the victor of the bout.

The Captain of the Company of the Blue Star will have the honour of selecting who will meet the comer in the chosen form.

And the second passage will ensue as the first, only with the Company of the Gold Star holding the field.

And once the passages and melees are complete the combatants will await the judgement of the ladies, and one member of each company selected by the ladies of the OTHER company will be awarded a noble prize.

This having been done the two companies, accompanied by his Grace, the judges, and ladies, will process from the hall.

Snowed Inn IV is to be held on February 19 in the Canton of Ardchreag (City of Pickering, Ontario). The event's webpage will soon be up at http://www.ardchreag.org. For further immediate information, contact the event stewards: Lord Berend van der Eych (havencroft @ sympatico.ca) or Herr Wulfgang Donnerfaust (cadman88 @ hotmail.com).