East Kingdom Crown Tournament, May 6, AS XL (2006)
On a rainy overcast morning Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn, Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus, Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr and I made our way to East Kingdom Crown just south of the mundane city of Montreal in the Barony of Dragon Dormant. We were all under the impression that the event was actually in the city proper but it was in a camp ground in the outskirts of the barony, just over the Ealdormere border. The weather was bad-wet, cold and windy. Luckily, Þorfinna and I had brought cold weather gear, including gloves and cloaks. Siegfried and Rat were not so lucky, especially considering that the fighting was held outside in the rain. The rain was not heavy (at least, not most of the time) but it was a constant from when we arrived on site (11 am) until 5 pm just before Crown finally ended.
In the change room we ran into a young fellow whose name I never caught who helped set up Evander's vigil back in 2001. Rat was quick to point out to anyone who would listen that I was one of Evander's boys so I got to talk to a few people that way. We met an ex-Calontiri named Esengi who's a friend of my squire-brother Varenko (who is currently living in the East), as well as Esengi's lady Bess who both seem very nice. In fact, everyone we met seemed friendly. We managed to talk to Baron Conrad Connor MacAllyn a bit and wish him luck in the coming combat. (Conrad is one of Evander's former squire-brothers.)
The sideboard was great, with lots of meat, bread, fruit, pickles, cabbage rolls, carrots, soup and lots of other stuff.
Watching the tournament was very interesting, seeing all the little things that the East does differently from my own kingdom. There was no procession or announcement of fighters at the beginning of the tournament, and the first round was selected by challenges. The members of the Chivalry (and a few selected others-like Konrad--) were the challenges. The majority of the Unbelted fighters got to challenge which knight, master-of-arms or up-and-coming hot-stick squire they wanted to face first. (I'm not sure if this is common practice in Eastern Crowns or not, this being my first.) They ran four list fields concurrently, and did armour inspections in the lists before the first fights. The two finalists had friends do a boast of how they were about to win the Crowns.
The fighting seemed to be very clean. Shots to the body seemed to be taken harder than we throw in Ealdormere, though head shots seemed to be taken much lighter. This was consistent across the board. The atmosphere was a lot more laid back than Ealdormerean Crowns, with people fraternizing and introducing their consorts to each other during lulls in the fighting in a walk way that ran through the lists.
The quarter finals were Sir Thorvald Halvorssen (called Thorson) vs. Sir Griffith FitzWilliam and Sir Gottfried Kelson vs. Sir Lucan von Drachenklaue. The semis were rather irreverent, with lots of joking and hamming it up. It was odd; not as serious as the Crowns I have attended up to now. Thorson switched from sword and shield to two axes to fight Griffith who beat him twice to advance to the finals. After much tumbling and tomfoolery Lucan beat Kelson once to advance to the finals.
Ah, the finals. I wish I had timed this. Lucan and Griffith faced off and just stood staring at each other. Then, they'd throw one shot each at each other, step back, stare at each other and reset. The first bout lasted at least 15 minutes (with Lucan winning), and then they took a 5 min break. They fought sword and board again and the fight progressed as the first had. Þorfinna, Rat and I did not watch this round as we were inside trying to get warm. We got changed into mundanes, wrapped our cloaks on top of our coats and went back out to the lists. Griffith had won the second bout, so they were currently in the third round. Finally, after about an hour, Lucan beat Griffith to win the Tourney.
It was now five o'clock, and since we were all soaked and cold and Rat had a migraine we headed for home.
It was very interesting to attend an event where we knew very few people and were the only Ealdormereans in attendance (or Ealdormerati, as the ex-Calontiri called us). It was almost like being a newbie again.