Archive for the ‘SCA’ tag
John and I went to the Red Dragon event in Columbus last Saturday, marking the end of the active tournament season for the next couple of months.
We both did pretty well in the tournaments, and there were some fun (and seasonally appropriate scenarios) for melees, like the Zombie Apocalypse Scenario. (You can only kill the zombies with a blow to the head, and if they kill you, then you become a zombie as well.)
Probably the high point of the day for me was getting to fight the king. His majesty showed up at the rapier list to hold the field for a while and fence all interested parties. I actually lined up to fight him a couple of times, but kept getting called out to fight in the regular tournament. I ended up being his last bout of the day on the fencing list. I had watched him take a two-handed longsword out against a couple of previous opponents with particular interest, that being my favorite style, and it was more than obvious that his majesty had read some Liechtenauer and really knew what he was doing.
Cap’n Craidd (the current Midrelm rapier champion) made a comment about me being “the Destroyer” (thanks for the nickname, Max, now I have this reputation to uphold) to his majesty as we were getting ready to start the first pass. So I started out a little more aggressively then I might otherwise have done.
The king didn’t seem to mind. (The king actually seemed to be pretty pleased that I had set the bar high.) And since I had started it, the king was more then happy to dial up the physicality of our bouts a bit. I know that I had fun, and I am pretty sure that he had fun as well. Actually, I know that he had fun, since later in the afternoon he came by the rapier list again, to reiterate that he had enjoyed fencing with me, which was pretty awesome, and gave me a small token of his esteem. Hooray for making a good impression on the king.
I ended up slightly more bruised up then usual from Red Dragon, and am positive that a couple of the larger and more impressive ones were from my bouts with the king.
A week later, and I am still making sure that I wear at least 3/4 length sleeves when I leave the house. (Bruises mean that you had fun!) Give me another week, and I am sure that everything will have fully faded away.
I lost the Iron Ring to John last night at fencing practice.
As soon as I had won it at Push, he declared his intention to take it from me. And since it turns out that challanges can be made and addressed at fight practice as well as at an event, he challenged for it at practice last week. Unfortunately, there needs to be a warranted marshal to witness the challenge fight, and John and I were the only two fencing marshals at practice last week.
So he tried again this week. This time we were able to get Sir William to marshal the fight.
As challenger, John chose the form, and picked sword and dagger. Not my best form, since I have been spending most of my time on single sword – German longsword – lately.
At least I made him work for it.
It was a best of 5 set of fights. He won 2, then I won 2, then we doubled out once, and then he beat me.
Ah well. It was good while it lasted.
Maybe I can get it back at Pennsic.
John went off to an SCA event this weekend. I was supposed to go, but last week was a pretty shitty week, work-wise (workload, and meetings, and deadlines, oh my!) and Friday was the shitty capper to a shitty week, and I was just not in the right frame of mind to hit people with swords. So John went off without me.
He came back with a cracked rib. Apparently he took the hit that cracked it early on in the day, didn’t think that it felt that bad, went on to fence for another 5-6 hours, and only decided that it hurt a lot more then a bruise should hurt toward the end of the day. (X-rays confirm that it is indeed a cracked rib. He will be 100% fine in 4-6 weeks.)
Given how long both of us have fought, it is actually pretty amazing that we have gone this long without any major injuries incurred on the list field. Since we fight each other fairly frequently, and since we tend to get a bit rougher with each other then we otherwise would be in a bout, it is even more amazing that one of us hasn’t managed to hurt the other.
I am just glad that it wasn’t me who hurt him. I would have never have lived it down.
Last weekend we were at the Grand Tournament of the Unicorn down in Oxford.
Our friend Caedmon ran the fencing there and decided on some pretty fun tournament formats. There were the almost obligatory novice tournament, and the double-elimination tournament, and then after lunch a dagger tournament followed by a lumberjack tournament.
Dagger is not something done very often in tournaments (because of fears of excessive violence, bruising, and hand/wrist injuries) and is pretty much what it sounds like it is – everybody goes into the list with a dagger, and nothing else.
For the lumberjack tournament, the two fighters stood in the center of the list, and were ringed with everyone else who was in the tournament. If one of the fighters got too close to one of the observers (all observers were in full kit and fully armed) then the observer was allowed to foul the weapons of the combatants. It was awesome… I think that this one was my favorite out of all of the tournaments simply because it was so innovative and outside the standard norm. After a while you just get tired of the same old bear pits and round robin tournaments and want something just a little bit different.
I hope that Caedmon decides to run fencing at more tournaments…I think that he did a great job of things at Unicorn.
John and I both did really well in the tournaments. We…uh… kinda swept the awards. He won the double-elimination, the dagger, and the lumberjack tournaments, and I won the overall “spirit” award. I got a really cool antique silver egg cup, and John got three (one for each tournament that he won) silver and bronze goblets. I feel a little bad about the way that we swept things, but only a little. We were both fighting really well, and sometimes it is just really nice to have a concrete acknowledgment of that.
We were both asked to be Queen’s Guard during court at the end of the day, which was a pretty cool honor on top of everything else.
I have a sore throat and a hacking cough and a voice like I just swallowed a bucket of gravel, but on the whole I am feeling better then I was the past couple of days. Despite the hack, I made it in to work Thursday and Friday. However, just about every person that I talked to felt it necessary to point out how bad I sounded, which does tend to get old after a while.
This bit of nasty showed up just as I was getting over feeling completely wrecked from Ceilidh last past weekend.
Maybe by the end of this weekend I will be back to feeling 100%? One can only hope.
About Ceilidh this past weekend…
Ceilidh is always a good time. Excellent fencing. And traditionally the date of the tournament to see who will be the Capitaine de Griffe (rapier champion) for the Barony of Flaming Gryphon. I was the most recent champion, and was happy enough to pass it on to the next person. The list of applicants was a touch thin, so Wit and myself threw our hats back in the ring to bulk up the pool and ensure that the baron had a wide range of choices for this year’s champion, despite the unwritten tradition that past capitaines don’t try to win back the title.
I think that the best fencing that I had that day was the handful of rounds I went against Max. It is always fun to fight other people who study longsword, since there aren’t s lot of them in this corner of the kingdom, and it is always a blast to fence Max.
The title ended up going to Lars. I think that this was a good choice – he may be a less experienced fencer, but he has some solid skills, good potential, courtesy, and a sense of real enjoyment about fencing. And maybe standing behind the throne in court and representing the barony on the list will encourage him to get some nicer looking fencing garb. He was completely surprised to get called out in court, and to get be-decked with all of the champion’s regalia – buckler, half-cloak, medallion, and belt favor. After that hand-off, he took his place behind the baronial seat and I stepped down.
Now I am completely regalia-free, after about a year and a half. It was fun standing up behind the baron and baroness, but it will be nice to see court from the other side again.
Really, I think that if I was asked to make any complaints about Ceilidh, they would have to do with the quality of the footing in the lists… which was pretty slick, and nothing that anything could really be done about. Doc Martins (my fencing foot-ware of choice) don’t tend to have very good traction on smooth surfaces, so I wiped out a couple of times, and hit the floor pretty hard a couple of times, and ended the day with some very spectacular bruises on my knees (right as the skinned knees from Val Day had finished healing). The stiffness and soreness the next day was worth it.
Good times at Ceilidh.
That is where John and I went this past weekend. And that would be NORAD as in the North Oaken Regional Academy of Defense, and not the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
John taught a class on the intro to tempo and measure, and I attended a class on the intro to cut-and-thrust that, due to small class size (me), turned into a one-on-one class that was an introduction to movement and balance drills that can lead to some real cool German and longsword grappling, some of which was even legal to use on a rapier list.
I didn’t have most of the gear (closed helm, elbow and knee protection) to be legal on a cut-and-thrust list, and I was mostly interested in using the period longsword styles on the rapier list, so I watched some of the cut-and-thrust practice bouts (yelling “A&S” periodically as they went beyond the bounds of what were considered to be legal moves, even on a cut-and thrust list) and then traded some longsword rapier bouts with some of the other practitioners who were there.
I also attended a couple of Marshal classes, hoping that they would explain the paperwork a little better (I hate paperwork). They did.
Despite the weather the night before, the even was pretty well attended. And the weather Friday night was pretty bad.
Because NORAD was near Canton, OH, John and I drove up to Cleveland after work on Friday, to combine the event with a little bit of a visit with my folks.
The drive, which normally takes us around 4 hours, took over 6 hours. Heavy snow, damp snow, driving snow, mushy and wet roads, and a ton of salt and road crap kicked up by other cars and trucks. Lousy driving conditions that just got worse the further north we got. By the time we were closing in on Cleveland the roads were so covered with snow that the lanes only existed in theory, and we drove where ever the road had the best traction. We saw a lot of cars that had slid off of the road on the way up. Some of them were so very far off of the road and spun around that I honestly wondered how the heck the drivers of those cars had managed to get up enough speed to pull it off.
The one completely bizarre thing at NORAD was the fact that they were giving away several large boxes of avocadoes. They had more then enough of them sitting around that they could have just passed them out at the front door in lieu of site tokens. The details of the whole backstory are a little fuzzy to me, but it seems that one of the event organizers is involved in a church (or something) that will accept donations of food and stuff from truckers in return for tax write offs. So, say a crate of food gets damaged in transit… Maybe the box is all dented and ripped up, but the actual food inside is still fine. It can’t be sold anymore because of the damage to the container, but the trucking company can donate it, get a tax credit for their charity, and not take a total loss on it. That’s how about 6 boxes of avocadoes ended up at NORAD. We were all encouraged to take as much as we wanted.
Even after we gave my parents some of the bounty we took away with us, we still have more then 10 avocadoes ripening in a bowl on the counter. There will be a lot of guacamole and sushi on tap for dinners this week, that’s for sure.