HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Let it be known to all and sundry that on the 25th of March, The Society for Creative Anachronism is going to hold a TOURNAMENT! AH! That golden word, tournament... the pageantry...the revelry... chivalry...tournament!
The day broke to a glaring drizzle-grey the morning of the tournament, my first. I hastened to array myself in my medieval costume... nothing fancy, merely a cross between Tom Jones with my blue silk shirt and Don Juan with my multiflashing-colored jerkin... I didn't wish to attract attention to myself on my first tournament. I stepped into the living room of the Black Hole of Calcutta in San Francisco and presented myself to my comrades, Stefen Comte D'Lorraine, Steven of the Ashenlands, Noble Bigglestone, and Don Segundo Sombre de Muerte Christiano ...
Collectively they saw me ... collectively one word issued forth from their lips ...
Steven of the Ashenlands began stroking his mighty blade, Chickenbruiser, and muttering joyously, "I get to challenge him first..."
WE FINALLY ARRIVED at the tourney site, some two hours before it was scheduled to begin, to help prepare things... warriors, musicians, fair maidens, all began arriving on schedule and gathering in the glen of legend-ridden Tilden Park in Berkeley... sloshing and shivering in the exhilirating mid-afternoon dew. Then things began to happen! In came King Henrik the Dane ... the parade began ... the warriors presenting themselves before the King, then retired to choose opponents and prepare for battle.
A YOUNG FELLOW, who identified himself as William the Absurd, came up to me and issued a challenge. I hadn't really intended to fight, I hadn't held a sword in several hundred years when I was known as des Kleines Grün Slitzkempfen. My honor was at stake, however, so carefully selecting a weapon from the stockpile I stepped onto the field of honor with my foe. I had almost forgotten the joy of combat as we clashed. I rejoiced in the excitement... I basked in the action! Rather than prolong his agony I ended the battle fairly quickly by mercifully chopping off both his arms so he couldn't hold his sword.
PUT THE BATTLE BUG WAS BACK IN MY BLOOD! I looked around for a worthy opponent to pit my sword against. Instantly my eye settled on just the warrior. Looking dashing in his helment once used as a prop in The Invasion of the Saucer Men, he stood out from the scruffy rabble around him as a man of might... modestly refusing to fight those he would only shame by trouncing them soundly and swiftly... Sir Bela, known to some as the eminent author, Poul Anderson. Now I knew where his heroes came from. Surely here was the breeding for generations of King Arthurs. We both knew at once that we were the only ones there worthy of each other. Once again I set out on the field of honor... But this time my opponent was someone indeed to be reckoned with. He sauntered his lanky frame onto the field with cat-like grace and a subtle rippling of his sleek steel muscles. We leaped at each other! The fighting was furious but very long. With a cry I swung at what I thought to be an unguarded spot but with speed and skill I'd never before encountered he avoided my blade and vanquished me. I was beaten, yes, but to so worthy of a warrior it was an honor!
THE BATTLING CONTINUED INTO THE AFTERNOON. The contest for King of the next Tourney was finally narrowed down to two masterful warriors, Richard the Short and Sir Foulk de Wyvern, both almost evenly matched. After three fantastic battles Richard the Short emerged, though not without wounds, as the victor. He and his lady, Ann of San Anselmo, presented themselves to the present King and received their honors as the onlookers cheered.
SUDDENLY THE COURT BROKE INTO CHAOS! Fire behind the Throne! The King is endangered! Several loyal subjects leaped to his aid and quenched the fire, while others captured the would be assassin, the Duke Mediocrates, ambassador from the Byzantine Court of Naseous Syphillis. Unmoved by the cries of "behead him!", merciful King Henrik spared the fiend and granted him diplomatic immunity. A noble ending to a glorious day in which chivalry once again lived.
THE NEXT DAY... after it was all over and past... I was once again the living room of the Black Hole, bruised, battered and somewhat crippled, and glowingly relating the merits of tournaments. Sigh, I sighed, I certainly wish they had tournaments more often... Stefan Comte D'Lorraine, now Steve Perrin looked over at me in surprise. "Why the next tournament is only a month away, in April." My eyes lit up... fire coursed through my veins, a valiant cry began in my lungs and issued forth as a racking cough!
AND SO HERE I AM, planning strategy, making swords, sewing a costume and nursing my wounds... I figure the bandages will be off just in time for the next touranment... what luck!
--- Sir Dinosaur the Green ---
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).