Rose Royal Tournament Draws Sunshine and Swordplay in AEthelmearc

Duchess Dorinda shares a wonderful, detailed report on the Rose Royal Invitational Tourney, which took place June 28, 2003 in the Kingdom of AEthelmearc. Duchess Dorinda writes:

This past Saturday saw the coming of the Second Rose Royal Invitational Tourney, and it was a beautiful day indeed. In addition to the pageantry of the fighters and the bright smiles of the consorts, we also were blessed with sunshine! Yes, real sunshine, and no clouds or mud. It was a stunning day, and that allowed everyone (well, almost everyone) to put up their pavilion and fly their banners. The Royal Pavilion was decorated not only with regalia of the Crown, but also with the seven virtues banners from the pilgrimage of TRM's last reign, and it was stunning. Their Graces Rowan and Meirwen also decorated their gallery with tapestries, flowers and strawberries, and the good people of Stormsport brought vases of roses to each gallery (along with several trays of cookies). It was in this setting that the tournament was held.

Participants in the tourney included Duke Sir Morgan Sheridan, Viscount Sir Bear the Wallsbane, Sir Isenwulf, Sir Kadan, Sir Maynar, Baron Tristen Sexwulf, THL Graedwyn, THL Geoffrey Fitzdavid, THL Ciaran Faxi Ullson, THL Aengus MacBain, Lord Dominic McMoreland, Lord Tigernach MagShamhain, Lord Vladisla Nikolivich, Lord Roderigo de la Vega, Lord Stevynle Reven, Lorenz Butterman, Lothar Hugelman, (Lord) Maximillian, and (Lord) Ammchaido Mordha with bye fights fought by HRH Henri, and Sir Sextus Plinius Callidus. Each fighter was asked to have a consort present at the tournament who was then presented to TRM's during introductions and given a rose and a place in one of the galleries.

The tournament again began with fighters challenging each other for the first round. The second was chosen randomly and was followed by a Grand Melee. The third round was again by random draw. After this, those already invited to hold a spot in the finals (Duke Morguhn, Sir Maynar, Baron Tristan, Sir Kadan, and Lord Dominic) were joined by THL Aengus, THL Graedwyn and Sir Isenwulf to fight in the final single elimination tourney. There were many special and interesting things that happened during the day, and I can only remember a few, but highlights included:

* The ceremony where Sir Christopher Rawlins took THL Geoffrey and Lord Stevyn as squires.

* Once again seeing many of our most talented heralds travel long distances just to add to the pageantry of the day.

* The high level of attention to appearance on the field from the most experienced of our fighters to the newest. Each and every fighter was well dressed (as well as courteous and chivalrous).

* Watching Sir Morguhn and Sir Bear stand back and watch as the other fighters killed each other off in the Grand Melee that was eventually won by His Grace, Morguhn. (Hint: don't let them do that).

* The opening banter between Baron Tristan and Lord Dominic as they negotiated their battle of counted blows - and watching as Baron Tristan tried to sneak in an advantage but was caught by Lord Dominic.

* The many stories and answers shared by the participants including a duel of prose between HRM Christopher and THL Graedwyn followed by one between HRH Henri and Lord Stevyn. Questions were also answered on many topics including why one fights for another instead of oneself, the meaning of being a squire, and more.

* Watching Lothar challenge another in defense of his Knight.

* The generosity of the people of Stormsport who provided one and all with food and drink as well as roses for our enjoyment.

* Watching the impromptu theatrical performance of some strange mix of "Star Wars" scenes by Sir Bear and Sir Kadan. It wasn't Shakespeare, but it was entertaining. (And polearms are not bad substitutes for light sabers).

* The increased heraldic display including new silk banners for Sir Kadan and Mistress Aleea that were perfect in the breeze (and provided shade for those in need), matching red and white outfits for Lord Steven and his lady, Duke Morguhn's arming pavilion and banners, yet more banners including those of Sir Bear and Sir Maynar, the heraldic tabard of Lord Tigernach, the heraldic tabards worn by the heralds and, of course, the gallery decorations - especially the Royal pavilion.

* Watching to see if Lorenz would really have to face all the chivalry by himself and wondering if the risk would make him stop growling. (The answer was "no" on both counts).

* Sharing my pavilion with a lady at her first event (who none the less spent her morning setting up and decorating and her afternoon helping to clean up) as well as with some old friends (who set a new world record for tearing down and packing a pavilion for which I am very grateful). (On a personal note, I would also express my appreciation to Lord Tigernach, Lord Sergius, Duke Morguhn and everyone else who helped set up the pavilion in the morning as I could not have done it by myself.)

* Witnessing two of the fighters who performed well that day receive AoA's later that evening in court.

In court that evening it was announced that Duke Sir Morgan Sheridan was the prowess winner of the tourney while THL Graedwyn was the galleries' choice. They were both invited to a spot in the invitational portion of the next Rose Royal Tourney. Others who were given this honor included Baron Tristan Sexwulf for his prowess and THL Aengus MacBain and Lothar Hugelman for their comportment on the field.

It was a beautiful day and a lovely tournament, and I wish that I could remember and share every special moment. Hopefully others will step in to add to what I have been able to remember. I also hope that people will make an effort to attend the remaining three and share in the experience.

Duchess Dorinda