Her Grace writes:
I want to publicly congratulate all the people who had a hand in the running of May Crown, from Duke Cornelius through to the staff, servers, cooks and cleaners. It was one of the best events I have attended and extremely smart in the way the stewarding team managed everything.
If you have not had a chance to look at some of the pictures, do, it was a beautifully set-up list field, with barriers that both looked good and could be transported easily. The pavilions provided welcome shade and privacy and gave the field an excellent look from a distance, as well as up close. The market stalls were inspired, and I was amazed to see that His Grace was selling them for $80 to further the meme of good looking stalls in the Kingdom, well done! The small market was filled with good bits, if only it had not been AEdward's birthday three days previous! Poor coffers ...
The list tree was utter genius, Blayney engineered it with his usual elan and it worked a treat. The fun of watching the lists go on and waiting for it to go up cannot be overstated. I hope it makes many reappearances. It was extremely considerate of the lists to have provided shields for the fighters, and a mammoth production effort, too. Thank you chaps and chappettes!
The lists themselves and the heralds were organised and efficient, and the marshalls both looked great and kept everything running smoothly without unnecesary edge holds, a big thank you and well done to all concerned. Thank you, too, to the lovely Harald and Baron Arnfinr for taking photographs for me when I was unable to.
Of course, congratulations to Sir Hugh and Baroness Therasa, now Crown Prince and Princess. Well fought! But all the combatants did a good job in a day that was more intense than had been expected.
While I have to confess that I didn't personally like the single elimination style*, it had a solid number of good points in its favour. I have never seen the populace pay such close attention the whole way through a tournament and those on the field were focussed and alert from the first moment. It also ensured that the tension of the day did not dissipate at any point, although my heart sank when Hugh and Asbjorn drew each other in the second round since I had expected them in the final or semi finals.
Duke AEdward and King Alfar had a bet that the former would buy the latter a beer if the final was something unexpected, and vice versa if it was easily predictable. His Majesty contests that since His Grace thoughtlessly destroyed himself in the preliminary final, all bets are off. For those kind people who have been asking after him, he tore the ulna ligaments in his right elbow using the force of the muscles at the back of his arm. It is a skeletal issue rather than a fighting technique issue and he has some exercises to strengthen the weaker bits. The ligaments are still attached and only torn partially, so it should be good as gold in six weeks provided no one lets him do anything strenuous.
The chirurgeonate were also brilliant and his doctor today commented on the positive difference such good first aid made. (And thank you SO MUCH to the gentle lady who loaned us a chair, His Grace was much in need of it, sorry for having a mental name blank, but you've met my memory.)
The feasting hall was arrayed in banners and looked magnificent, and the food lived up to the standards. The servers were particularly welcome and very fine indeed. Many thanks to the delightful Francois(? Paris, it's late, I'm deranged ...) who was ever so patient with my need to avoid pig. In all, a very enjoyable time and a good example of what can be done at a very reasonable price without wholly slaughtering any individual (I am told His Grace Duke Lochac's decision to combust on fine wine and late nights was not strictly event-related ...)