The Ansteorran Iron Star is an ongoing rapier mêlée tournament with bouts fought at irregular intervals at events all over the kingdom. Don Avery Shaw, then general of Ansteorra's Rapier Army, announced the forthcoming commencement of the tournament in July of 2007 , explaining, "The team that wins the day will be awarded an Iron Star forged by the hand of Master Eisen. As this victorious team travels our Kingdom, this will be their symbol of victory....and mark them as a target. For whoever holds the Star must defend it. Challengers may appear to demand by what right they hold the Star. And if defeated, the new victors are now the new targets until they are defeated and so on."
About a week later, Don Avery published the initial rules for the tournament :
- 1) Teams are between 3-5 people. A maximum of 2 WS allowed per team. Team sizes do not have to match on the field.
- 2) The current holders are required to be available to defend the Star at least once every 6 weeks, unless there are no events available in that time (ie. December is pretty light in events)
- 3) Weapon style will be agreed on by the teams, but Heavy Rapier is preferred.
- 4) When defending, the current holders will be available to fight a minimum of 3 challengers. If less show up, that is fine, but if more, it is up to holders to decide how many they wish to face. Challenges will be on first come, first fight basis.
- 5) The format for the challenges is up to the teams. If the Holders wish to fight all the challengers one after another, they are welcome to do so. If the challengers want to fight each other and then the top team takes on the holders, that is fine as well. It is requested that all teams be reasonable in this discussion. To quote Don Benedict, "Don't be a dumb*ss". ;)
- 6) If current holders are unable to be available for challenges within the 6 week span, the Star is to be sent to an event and all Challengers can vie for it. Winner of that day is the new holder.
- 7) In order to defend, a majority of the original team must fight (2 if the team was 3-4 man, 3 if a 5 man team). Recruiting of replacements is allowed, but the new team cannot be larger than the original team. (ie. A 3 man team wins, one person cannot be at the next defense, they can recruit one replacement only. If it is a 5 man team, and 2 do not show, they can recruit to get back to 5 people). A team may go on the field with less than the original team, but a minimum of 3 fighters are required to be a "team".
- 8) If a team loses enough people and cannot recruit to get back to 3 fighters, then it is treated as if they were unable to defend, the Star is thrown open and all can vie for possession. The remaining members may now recruit others and form a new team.
The first bout was held on Saturday, September 15th, 2007, in the Province of Mooneschadowe, at Triumphe of the Eclipse II. Five teams competed in a simple round robin format. The victors were Team Blackheart, captained by Cadet Seamus of Calontir .
Note: The text from Don Avery Shaw's letters, above, is quoted with his permission.