Event Review - January Crown Tournament 2013 - Etienne De Saint Amaranth

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A Recounting (not the election kind) of Ansteorra Crown Tournament - January 2013
by Master Etienne De Saint Amaranth

Their Majesties asked me as their herald to try and post write-ups about events after attending as their herald. Primarily to let people know what happened in court and what awards were given. For a variety of reasons, I have missed several events recently. But Her Majesty reminded me last night that I have this long train ride home and I should try and post my recollections of Crown Tournament.

It was the frigid and bitter heart of winter... that failed to make an appearance at January's Crown tournament. The number of people I overheard remarking on how unseasonably warm the day was cannot be counted. I also cannot count the total number of layers people dropped to adjust to weather warmer than they expected. It was warm and muggy; as though Mother Nature wanted every person attending to leave sweaty and feeling like they had been on the tournament field. Most times I could not wear my hat because the humidity and heat made it uncomfortable.

But, in the midst of that moisture and warmth, there was great hospitality. The Shire of the Shadowlands people were well organized and greeted all comers; it was obvious that they were all happy to be hosting Crown Tournament and sincerely glad to have the kingdom visit their home lands. There were people assigned to make sure pavilions went in the right places and those people were easy to find (not always true at Crown Tourneys and something people bidding for the event should consider). Through the day, the Shire provided a soup kitchen (included in the event fee) and hosted a potluck meal/feast where meat was provided and many people brought items to share.

When all was set, court opened that morning. Words were short; His Majesty explained the format for the day. And then we recessed and lined up for the March of Precedence of the fighters and their consorts. It lightly sprinkled a few times during the march, but 27 fighters approached the Crown from duke down to an untitled gentleman. If I tried to list all of the heralds who announced the fighters; I would miss half. So I will only encourage those who did herald in the procession to add a comment to this Facebook post noting their participation.

There were many glad boasts and grand entrances and moments of humor in the procession. Count Lochlann Dunn's herald proclaimed clearly his lord and lady's claim to the succession of Ansteorra and declared all others "pretenders" and encouraged them to withdraw or Count Lochlann would prove his words upon their bodies. It was an excellent example of heraldic boast, testosterone driven "smack talk", and clearly defined what every entrant in the tourney really was there to do. Count Lochlann's herald was just the one who said it so clearly and with just the right amount of verbal backhanding.

At the conclusion of the march, the fighters and consorts gathered around the Crown and took the required oath and then separated to prepare for the announcement of the pairings and field assignments. Earlier I mentioned that His Majesty explained the format for the day. Let me describe that now. There were four fields. To each field, 7 fighters would be assigned (including a single bye fighter, non-destructive, on one of the fields to keep the numbers even). Every fighter would fight every other fighter assigned to that field in a round robin, single fight, scenario (double kills were refought until there was a winner). At the end of the 7 rounds (each fighter got one round off plus the six fights against the others on the field), the top 4 record holders on each field (16 total) would be drawn into a standard, best two fights out of three, single elimination tourney tree.

And it began. I want to thank Alden Drake, Adalia von dem Berg, Snorri Hallson, Detlef von Marberg, and Gregor (do not know full name) for their list heraldry. There were a lot of exciting fights during the round robin portion and I hope some fighters will post comments on exciting fights they participated in or perhaps bystanders will add comments on fights they saw and were impressed by.

At the end of the round robin, two fields had to have tie breaker fights to determine who would go to the 16 person bracket. But then the final 16 were set. They were called to the field in order of precedence and then the fighter with lowest precedence was asked to challenge up the line. With challenges issued, the first bracket round consisted of (and I apologize for spelling errors and missing last names as I don't have full names in front of me):
Centurion Geoffrey de Gourney challenged Duke Aaron McGregor, Centurion Sven challenged Earl Dafydd Whitacre, Centurion Rikr Foetipper (who has a new to me last name) challenged Viscount Eldrid Wolfsguard, Centurion Peter MacIntyre challenged Count Lochlan Dunn, Cuenturion Kira no Takaune (sp?)(aka Tarquin) challenged Sir Rhodri ap Gwyther, Sir Morgan Blackdragon challenged Sir Kenneth MacQuarrie, Sir Ysfael Bryndu challenged Iarll Owen ap Aeddan, which left Sir Randall der Krieger to challenge Sir Godwin of Eddington. At this point the field dividers were removed and we had one field for combat.

Duke Aaron defeated Centurion Geoffrey and in the second bracket round faced Centurion Sven who defeated Earl Daffydd.

Count Lochlann defeated Centurion Peter and in the second bracket round faced Centurion Rikr who defeated Viscount Eldrid.

Sir Kenneth defeated Sir Morgan and in the second bracket round faced Sir Rhodri who defeated Centurion Kira.

Iarll Owen defeated Sir Ysfael and in the second bracket round faced Sir Randall who defeated Sir Godwin.

Results of the second round:
Duke Aaron defeated Centurion Sven.
Count Lochlann defeated Centurion Rikr.
Sir Kenneth defeated Sir Rhodri.
Iarll Owen defeated Sir Randall.

The third round of the brackets then pitted Duke Aaron against Count Lochlann (Lochlann was victorious) and Iarll Owen against Sir Kenneth (Iarll Owen was victorious).

The final round was Iarll Owen, fighting for Countess Genevria versus Count Lochlann, fighting for Countess Gwen, and Ansteorra looked to see who would be our next Crown Prince and Princess would be. After a brief rest period, Their Majesties ordered the fighters called to the field. They were summoned by name and heralds announced them. Iarll Owen was called first and his herald warned of the dangers of standing in the path of a force of nature. Count Lochlann was called next and his herald reminded all of his boast in the procession and the truth of his words to this point and called upon Iarll Owen to quit the field. Owen laughed.

The royal herald then reminded all of the honor of the field on which they stood and charged the combatants to display that honor in their salutes. To the Crown's left side of the field then another herald began to sing. Herr Detlef performed a piece he originally wrote during the reign of Gerard and Vanessa in A.S. 23. The words have been posted to the Kingdom facebook page and they spoke of the Crown in ways that made all think of the role anew. At the song's conclusion, Herr Detlef charged the fighters to salute the Crown of Ansteorra. A new voice spoke from the Crown's right side of the field and another herald began to speak. Lady Genevieve, who was a consort to another entrant, spoke of the inspiration that consorts give and charged the fighters to salute whose favor they bore on the field that day. Both fighters saluted their ladies and both saluted the other fighter's lady. And then the royal herald spoke again and reminded the fighters that though this was a field of conflict it was also a field of honor; and with the charge to display the honor of Ansteorra upon the field came the charge to salute their opponent. The salutes completed; the heralds released the field to the marshals and the fight ensued.

I understand that the final fight was posted to Twitter but in short each fighter took a point and then, in less than 10 minutes of total fighting the final round was over and the third point was won. Count Lochlann Dunn was victorious and Countess Gwen would stand by his side as heirs to the thrones of Ansteorra.

There was a 10 minute break and Their Majesties reopened their court. After doffing armor and clearing the sweat of battle, Their Majesties Jean Paul and Gilyan placed the coronet of a prince upon the brow of Lochlann and declared him Crown Prince. They then gave him the coronet and asked him to bestow it upon his consort. He placed the coronet on the head of his lady, now Crown Princess of us all, and they stood to the acclaim of the crowd.

When Their Majesties and Their Highnesses were seated, His Majesty asked for the King's Blade of Chivalry. He then stood and addressed what the blade meant to him and how he had seen one on the field today who in courtesy, fierceness, and bearing, had exemplified what His Majesty believed all fighters should exhibit on the field of battle and he called for Centurion Kira no Takaune.

Their Majesties turned to other business then. They summoned Sir Karl der Gaenger and having caught up with him made known their advancement of him at last Bordermarch Autumn Melees to the Order of the Arc d'Or. A Rising Star was bestowed upon Organa of Shadowlands. An Award of Arms was presented to Kinna de Lacy. And Orin Ketilsson was brought forward and for his many, many years of service was awarded the Sable Crane of Ansteorra.

With closing words then given from our Royal House, the crowd offered acclaim and cries of "Long live..." to the members of that House and court was concluded.

The potluck food was excellent. The dancing at that evening's ball was a treat and those who left early missed much joy and revelry. The hospitality of Shadowlands and the tournament that day were warm spots in the hearts of many as, finally, the cold breath of winter found its way to site, too late to chill the hearts of Ansteorrans.

Lyst Entrants:

Duke Aaron MacGregor fighting for Lady Nicollete Deuville
Earl Daffyd Whitacre fighting for Countess Octavia de Verdon
Count Romanius Vesperanius fighting for Countess Deanna della Penna
Count Owen ap Aeddan fighting for Countess Genevria de Bieto
Count Lochlan Dunn fighting for Countess Gwen verch Cynwrig de Insula Mona
Viscount Eldrid Wolfsguard fighting for Mistress Sofia Mikhailovna
Sir Rhodri ap Gwythyr fighting for Mistress Kaitlyn McKenna
Sir Godwin of Edington fighting for Mistress Elisena de Bayonne
Sir Randall der Krieger fighting for Baroness Meghann der Krieger
Sir Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tobermory fighting for Mistress Adelaide de Beaumont
Sir William Cameron deBlakstan fighting for Mistress Marguerite Dinard
Syr Yfsael Bryndu fighting for Lady Rosalinda Da Salerno
Sir Modius von Mergentheim fighting for Countess Sara Penrose
Sir Morgan Blackdragon fighting for Lady Montega Blackdragon
Centurion Damon Xanthus fighting for Lady Megan Fluer Del Wall
Centurion Rikr Foetipper fighting for Honorable Lady Aelfwyn Webbestre
Centurion Wayland of Durloch fighting for Mistress Joanna the Spinner
Centurion Angus Gunn fighting for Lady Elodie de Cormier
Centurion Cathal Finn O'Brien fighting for Lady Genevieve de Lironcort
Centurion Geoffrey de Gournay fighting for Honorable Lady Adela VomBerg
Centurion Alexander Marcellus fighting for Lady Alicia Blackdragon
Centurion Kira no Takuan fighting for Baroness Simone Valery la Rousse
Centurion Sven Randalson fighting for Mistress Michelle Chantal de Charente
Centurion Peter MacIntyre fighting for Mistress Vara Sigurdsdottir
Centurion Maelgwyn Dda fighting for Honorable Lady Willoc Mac Muiredaig
Warder Kristoff Fugger von Augsburg fighting for Lady Marie de Meaux
Lord Lucas mor mac Raghnaill fighting for Lady Adelheid Lilje
Lord Jason Drysdale fighting for Lady Margherita de Mantua
Brutus Augustus Decimus fighting for Lady Gera von Roer