Think you've got what it takes to best all the other Peers in your order in a contest of endurance, creativity, and skill? Enter the Iron Peer Competition in the Barony of Southern Wastes, and find out if you're made of the Middle Ages' own brand of "the right stuff!" [This "event" was part of the 2005 April Fool's parody on SCAtoday.net. See the note at the bottom of the page for details.]
Unlike most SCA events, Iron Peer will be open to members of the public, so that we have the opportunity to shine with the SCA's very best and brightest. In fact, we're inviting the entire town to share our fun, feats, and feasting! (Don't worry, it's a small, fairly remote community, so the numbers won't get out of hand.)
The Iron Peer Contest Rules of Engagement
Not all the terms of the Iron Peer contest can be disclosed in advance because part of the challenge is for the peers to adapt to unforseen obstacles and problems. But here are the basics:
- The contest is open to members of the Orders of Chivalry, Laurel, and Pelican from any kingdom in the Knowne World. Advance registration is required no less than five days before the event. Royal Peers are not eligible since their Order will be acting as judges and referees.
- All of the entrants will arrive on Friday by no later than 1700 local time, to begin preparations. We recommend wearing your oldest garb, because the prep day involves quite a bit of scut work. Since you'll be in the very southern tip of Trimaris in the summer, you'll want to wear something appropriate to the seasonably warm (some would say "sweltering") weather. (Note: Authenticity of garb will be graded for this part of the competition as well as later, more formal, activities. Wear old garb, but make it worthy of your status as a Peer of the realm.)
- The Laurels will begin making clothing (which needs to be authentic but not elaborate) for an undisclosed number of Muggles who will be attending the event on Saturday. We will not know until Saturday morning how many guests we will have, but they must all be clothed in at least a basic T-tunic. Simple fabric and sewing notions will be provided, and machine sewing is allowed if the Laurel provides their own machine (electricity is available on site). Points will be awarded to the Laurel who makes the most loaner garb and to the Laurel whose single best garment is judged most authentic and of highest quality by the panel of Royal Peers. (You are allowed to bring along your own supplies such as trim, real or fake fur, feathers, etc., to dress up your creations.) When the event is over, all of this garb will be donated to Gold Key for the Kingdom of Trimaris.
- The Chivalry will begin making armour of lightweight sheet metal and leather (again, basic materials provided but bring your own tools) and boffer weapons for the Muggle Pas d'Armes to be held on Saturday. Volunteers from the local town will be on hand Friday night to be fitted for their armour, which must meet SCA boffer combat standards as if it would be worn by children (although for legal reasons only adults will be participating in the Muggle Pas). Points will be given for the best armor and weapon designs, and any time left over after all the armor is completed will be devoted to training the Muggles for their tourney (more on this below). At the end of the event, all of the armour and boffer weapons will be donated to the youth combat programs of several kingdoms.
- The Pelicans will divide into two teams. One will stay on site to organize the event logistics, and the other will travel to the local Community Center to organize an impromptu fundraiser. The site team, having just seen the location for the first time, will be responsible for obtaining all necessary local permits from City Council and the Health Department, cleaning the kitchen (trust us, that kitchen needs it!) so that it is sanitary for feast preparation, and making or buying all the things that will be needed to run the event such as signage, merchant tables, chairs for Court, and so on. Some items will be available on site but may be hard to find, while others will have to be procured elsewhere. There is a fairly large amount of military surplus equipment available nearby.
On Saturday, the event gets into full swing. Each Chivalry will select a Muggle "warrior" as "Squire for a Day" and will champion him or her in the Muggle Pas d'Armes. Round One will involve the Chivalry vying with one another in a double-elimination tournament, with each round consisting of a best-three-of-five series of bouts. Round Two is organized the same way, but pits Muggle vs. Muggle using boffer weapons and fighting to SCA boffer combat standards. Points will be given for the Muggle/Chivalry teams who place highest in the Pas, and the Ladies of the Rose will award extra points for deeds of valor on the field. The Muggle combatants will have unlimited access to water, sports drinks, and light snacks during the tourney, but the Chivalry will receive only a limited water ration to simulate a hard day of authentic medieval combat. Chivalry who succumb to the sweltering south-Trimaris summer heat can get more water, but must "buy" it with points from their tournament score.
The Laurels will spend the day preparing the most elaborate feast dishes they can conceive using only the materials provided, with the exception that they may bring their own seasonings and spices of choice. Each Laurel will prepare a suite of three (3) dishes which will be served to eight (8) Muggles and/or Royal Peers. (Note: The kitchen is, shall we say, less than splendid, so close coordination will be needed to have all these cooks working harmoniously together.) The Laurels, working with any available Muggle volunteers if they wish, will also prepare a simple Hunter's Repast lunch for the event attendees. Laurels who do not wish to cook may choose instead to volunteer as illuminators, so that we may send each of our Muggle guests home with a simple-but-attractive scroll proclaiming him or her to be "Ye Moste Honoured Gueste of Ye Societie". Laurels may (if they wish) choose a Muggle to be their "Apprentice for a Day" to assist them.
No surprise to anyone, the Pelicans will have their share of work to do. They are responsible for obtaining meat for the feast by hunting or snaring a large flightless fowl that dwells in the local wetlands (we have secured permission from local authorities to hunt all non-endangered species, and training will be provided to identify those birds that are off-limits due to mundane law). The Pelicans who are Chirurgeons are exempt from this duty, and will instead act in that capacity for the event. By random lot, one Pelican will be chosen Mayor of the event, and he or she will be awarded points for every task successfully completed by the peers, with points deducted for instances of something not getting done on time or of interpersonal conflict between entrants (the Royal Peers are the judges of points awarded and subtracted). The Mayor will be an unique and very visible position, with an opportunity to sweep up huge point totals and utterly dominate the Iron Peer contest, or to sink into deep negative points and walk away in shame. Are you Pelican enough to meet the challenge? As an added incentive, Pelicans who volunteer to clean the porta-john each hour will receive bonus points for taking on that wretched chore. Like the Laurels, the Pelicans may (if they wish) choose a volunteer Muggle to be their "Protegé for a Day".
Obviously, we've planned a day of really hard work and heavy competition. What could make it all worth your time and energy? For starters, we have arranged for members of the local news media (and possibly CNN) to have camera crews and reporters covering the event live, so you will not only have a chance to showcase the very best of the SCA, but also to become a little famous yourself! Also, a former Society Chronicler (who must for now remain nameless) will be on hand with her team of writers and photographers for a special single-issue newsletter to be published in commemoration of the event.
But even better than that are the prizes, and we've got some doozies!
The Grand Prize is that the winning peer gets an all-expense-paid trip for themselves, their immediate family, and their peerage dependents, to three great research sites. You will choose any three of the following: Chartres, London, Rome, Constantinople, Edinburgh, or Venice. Best of all, every dollar, drachma, farthing, bezant, and franc will be paid for by the funds raised at the Iron Peer Competition!
Second Prize will be a trip to any one of those research sites for the winning peer and three other individuals of his or her choice.
Third Prize will be a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum for the winning peer and one other individual of his or her choice.
Directions and Fees
The directions to the event are really simple: Go to the extreme southern tip of Trimaris. If you can't find that on a map, you probably aren't Peerage material in the first place. The event site is literally as far south as you can possibly be (within a few hundred meters) and still be within the Kingdom of Trimaris.
We urge every entrant to pre-register as far in advance as possible, because the prereg fees are needed to help fund the event. We need at least 90 peers to pay the $20 entry fee in order to break even on site rental and postage for Seneschal flyers.
Adult: $5 in advance, $6 at the door
Child ages 4-12: $3 in advance, $4 at the door
Children under 4: Free
Adult: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Child ages 4-12: $6 in advance, $8 at the door
Children under 4: Free
Be sure to visit our Web site with more info!
Republished on SCAtoday.net with kind permission of the Autocrats. This event notice has been edited to fix a plethora of spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. Who writes this stuff anyway?
Barony of Southern Wastes (Incipient) web site, with weather forecast.
Time to 'fess up! If you hadn't figured this out already, this event flyer and the related stories (Story 1, Story 2) were April Fool's Day parodies. We hope you enjoyed them, but now that it's almost April 2 in our time zone, it's time to retire the joke. Have a great weekend!
P.S. Southern Wastes really is in the south end of Trimaris. Specifically, they are in Antarctica! They're also the wonderful folks who publish The Quarter.
Southern Wastes (Trimaris) [Parody]