Tales of Torgatai Blackwolf

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Stories by Master Robin of Gilwell and Hrabia Jan w Orzeldom at the Historian's Fireside Chat, 05/16/2021.

How You Obey Your King

by Robin of Gilwell

Everyone nowadays is used to having the Crown at your event. This is a normal thing, and we're used to it. In Ansteorra, at the time, which was not yet a Principality - we had never seen a Crown. The Crown of Atenveldt lived in Phoenix, and they never came to Ansteora. Well, one weekend, we held a Queen's Grace event and the Crown actually CAME!

There was something we were doing, that the king didn't want to see; before every fight, each fighter would salute his lady. This bothered the King. We found out later, that in his part of Atenveldt, if you had a lady's favor, it meant you *had her favors*... evidently, there were several knights who had more than one lady... and so long as you didn't win, and get a prize for your lady, this wouldn't be revealed. Calling out in public who was your lady wasn't done, as it implied that your behavior was less than chivalrous, speaking of having her favors. Of course, that's not why we were doing it.

The Crown heard we were doing this, and the Crown said, "No, we're not going to do that. You're not going to salute your ladies."

The tournament started, and the first pair called to the field included Torgatai.

The marshals called them up.

"Are you ready?"

"Oh. No. My vambrace is untied."

He turned to the side of the field and called out, "My Lady, could you tie my vambrace?" Willow de Wisp was his lady.
He went to the sidelines, and asked Willow to tie it for him. By the time she did so, the other fellow had caught on, and he called for his lady's assistance with his armor. For the entire rest of the day, not one Ansteorran fighter got to the field completely ready. Every single one had to call their lady up to fix their armor.

And THAT is how you 'obey' your crown.

Over time, the pattern developed that the Atenveldt Crown would come to our events about once a year, and we would sweep up the problems afterwards. Eventually, it got to where we decided, "We don't have to be part of Atenveldt, and then the Crown can't come in and mess up our event." Everyone thought that was great - until the day we were fighting our Crown Tournament. They realized: "This doesn't mean the King doesn't come into the Kingdom, and muck things up, it means he NEVER LEAVES!" And this caused some folks who were previously in favor of Principality to become against it.

The Free City of Mermanstadt started as an offshoot group in Dallas, by a guy who was "too weird for the SCA." They were doing sort of the same things we were doing. There was an SCA event in the Steppes that they crashed. They snuck in through the woods, dressed like ninjas, creeping through the woods, where they found Torgatai. They claimed him as their prisoner and told him to surrender.

He said, "Why?"

"Well, you are our prisoner, because we are getting ready to attack this group." There were about 6 of them. They tried to grab him. Well, moments later, they were running away in pain. It was at this point that he called for help.

When folks arrived, he said, "My glasses fell off in the fight, help me find them!"

Korus, who was then Knight Marshal of the Steppes (And later the first Ansteorran to become a King (of Atenveldt)), heard the ruckus and dashed out of his tent, wielding a double bitted axe. (He used it as a throwing axe!) It is legend, the vision of this pale, white skinned giant, wielding an axe, shouting, "I am coming, Torgatai!"

(Details provided by both Robin and Jan)

Steppes had held their first Warlord event, and Richard of Mont Royal won. Two years later, they ran another Steppes Warlord, and Torgatai won. It was forgotten by the staff that the tournament had happened previously, and Torgatai was named the First Warlord, but really, he was the second "First Warlord".

Torgatai was an extremely athletics fellow; from a prone position on the ground, while wearing full armor, he could leap to his feet.