New Palatine Baron of the Far West, Lord Vail Visconti

Lady Katherine reports and shares photos from the recent Tournament for the Palatine Baronial Coronet of the Far West which took place September 15, 2007 at Camp Zama, Tokyo, Japan.

Lady Katherine writes:

The Tournament for the Palatine Baronial Coronet of the Far West took place Saturday, the 15th of September, in Vale de Draco, Camp Zama, Tokyo.

All hail the new Palatine Baron of the Far West, Lord Vail Visconti, and his Baroness the Lady Marixsa!

In a field of eight contenders, in double elimination rounds, Baron Vail proceeded to the final bout with no losses. The last match, with the skillful Lord Matthieu of Warrior's Gate, was a hard fought best two out of three. Each won a bout, then in an exciting fight double killed, raising the tension for the final, which was won with a hard shot to the head of Lord Matthieu by a determined Lord Vail.

Of the contenders, only Lord Matthieu was non-native Japanese.

  • Lord Matthieu, of Warrior's Gate, Korea
  • Lord Vail Visconti, Vale de Draco and Avalon
  • Lord Tyler, Vale de Draco and Avalon
  • Lord Baron Stephan Tot, Vale de Darco and Avalon
  • Lord Gunnar, Vale de Draco and Avalon
  • Lord Bran, Vale de Draco (by way of Osaka) and Avalon
  • Lord Volfeed, Vale de Draco and Avalon
  • Lady Chabi the Fox, Vale de Draco and Avalon

Sir Robert Kinslayer and Lord Noe marshalled several authorizations, and helped in the tourney. Lord Wliiam heralded, and he and his wife Lady Midori Fujiwara autocratted the event, for which we give our deepest thanks, as they were also packing for a move to Washington at the same time.Court Baroness/Consort Baroness Marixsa prepared feast.

The tournament was interspersed and much enlivened with several melee's for people who had just authorized, non-tourney partipants, people who had knocked out from the tournaments, and anyone else who had a fighter's card and wanted some fun. The tournament was followed by more melees. There was no rapier marshal and so the Rapier Champion tournament was cancelled.

In her final court, the exiting Baroness Katherine and her stand-in Baron, both presiding in armour after some pick-up fighting, gave several awards as follows:

  • Lord Vail - Order of the Attic Helm for excellence in fighting.
  • Lord Stephan and Lord Vail - Order of the Gallant, for courtesy and kindness.
  • Lord William Featherstone and Lady Midori Fujiwara- Empty Shells, for enriching our Barony
  • Lord Noe and Lord Vamphri - Coronet's Appreciation for assisting the Baroness's burdens during her tenure.
  • Lady Midori Fujiwara - An Award of Arms, for work in Japanese studies, and as she had been 12 years in the SCA and fallen through the cracks with AoA's...

All the scrolls were painted by the Baroness' own lily white hands, as she was eager not to leave a backlog of scroll paperwork behind her. She hand-lettered the Aoa but admits this is not her forte.

After a brief period of rest and showers in the hotel rooms of Camp Zama, the group of 28 (? I believe is the final number?) proceeded to the feasting hall. Baroness Katherine and Baron Stand-in (Minion Thiebault's company did not allow him the day off) handed over the coronets and welcomed the new Palatine Baron Vail and Baroness Marixsa as noble cousins to the Palatine Barony of the Far West.

The feast was three removes, including chicken cooked with oranges, a pork and apple pie, and roast beef basted with wine sauce. Baroness Marixsa frequently changed hats during the feast to help in the kitchen and yet had the energy to help teach several Japanese particpants some dances.

Baron Vail and Baroness Marixsa called up autocrats Lord William and Lady Midori for special gifts as thanks, and as going away presents. The gifts ranged from traditional kimono to display kabuto (the little japanese helms they use as displays on the holiday of Boy's day in Japan.) Lord Stephan Tot presented Lord William with one of his original sketches in his series of SCA Men-At Arms series, of himself and Lord William in their late period plate mail, gleefully doing a cancan type dance, and also a hand-made action figure.

Feast was followed by live music from our own Tokyo duo, Homunculous, who are two native Japanese with real life jobs and a love of medieval music and a collection of ancient instruments that would make any mainlander SCA music buff jealous. Several bransles, pavanes and country dances were performed by several eager ladies and eager but exhausted lords. The dancers gave out before the hurdy-gurdy dynamo duo did, to their disapointment. (website of Humuculous

Leaving the feasting hall at about 1 am or so, the after party continued in the hotel rooms, where drinking, laughter and watching of videos of the day went on.

The following day, a relaxed brunch was had by all, before being checked out of the site and heading our different ways. The evnt was a lovely success and a welcome respite, as well as a chance to expose several newcomers to SCA ways and for oldtimers to enjoy our little hobby to the utmost.

And such was our pasttimes this fine, hot and humid weekend.

Lady Katherine

To view photos from the event, click on "original article" below.

Friar Jak, Seneschal of the Palatine Barony of the Far West, adds:

Palatine Baron Vail is the first Japanese citizen who is Palatine Baron by his own hand. Previously, Japanese citizen Baron Stephan Tot was Baron Consort to a Palatine Baroness twice. He is now the first Japanese citizen court Baron in the West Kingdom. All of our previous coronets have been long term visitors in Japan or Korea.

Friar Jak
Seneschal of the Palatine Barony of the Far West