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The First Year

The Third Tournament

September 25, 1966

The third tournament was held in Cragmont Park in Berkeley on September 25, 1966. Henrik the Dane (Henrik of Havn) defeated Fulk de Wyvern in a very close fight and crowned his lady, Wendryn (Wendryn of Townsend), Queen. (Henrik had not yet chosen his lady and was about to enter the final round. He saw Wendryn with some friends and went over and asked her to be his queen. She and her friends had come from the local high school to visit and she was surprised but agreed. Then Henrik won and she was crowned and given a commemorative scroll, which she carried around with her the next day at school.) (Richard’s title of Count and Wendryn’s title of Countess were later dated to this date.) Edwin Bersark received a scroll for excellence in archery. Harold Breakstone began heralding.

See mailed flier for this event (PDF)
See Photographs from this Tournament
See Scroll given to Henrik and Wendryn after Henrik won the tournament
See video of this tournament

[Henrik the Dane defeated Fulk de Wyvern ...] “Henrik largely won because he was using a morning star made from some kind of tool handle, chain links made of leather, and a jacks ball festooned with suction dart tips. Gorgeous looking weapon, but it had none of the weight of the actual weapon (just as well) and it moved entirely too easily. He really looked good using it. At this time, I don't know if there was any evidence of the "El Cid" effect (watch the movie with Charlton Heston, particularly the attack on several knights by El Cid swinging a morning star that sends knights falling but manages to hit the heads of several horses, and El Cid's head, without effect) but the weapon was rapidly banned. I think it might have burned up in a fire some years later, but Henrik might still have it around ...”
     “This tourney was significant for the many attempts at working weapons. No one had made the rattan connection yet, and there were many attempts at working swords. There were some leftover aluminum blades, and various attempts at hardwood weapons. Sir Bela was buying different woods and turning out swords, most of which broke. Probably the best of the lot was Steve Henderson's boken, which was, after all, meant for this kind of work. It also inspired him to wear his gi and call himself the Slaughtering Samurai, which I, as a sometime herald and his roommate, insisted on mutating into the Slobbering Samurai, and other japes. I don't think he has ever forgiven me. I suppose if someone had shown up with shanai it might have meant an entire different look for SCA arms and armor ...
     “Another doughty warrior was Barry Gold as Shylock of Venice, armed with his weighted money bag. It didn't quite have the flair and effect of the morning star. There were competitions in various weapon styles. One of some interest was maul and javelins. The mauls were long dowels with sock padding on one end. The javelins were broom handles with crutch tips on the ends ...” – Stefan de Lorraine

“I have long forgiven Steve for the various bad jokes. That the thing came off as well as it did indicates how seriously we were taking the whole group at that time. The boken worked pretty well for some time. When rattan was discovered it was initially in 1" thick pieces, which broke quite nicely against the boken. When the thing finally began to crack I pumped in glue and then later wrapped the whole blade with glue and string tightly. I'm glad I never had to get hit by it. I think I gave it to Henrik when I left for Europe and the Air Force in 1967 and I'm told it eventually burned up in a fire.” – Steven MacEanruig

[She and her friends ...] “No, they were from San Rafael in Marin County (across the bay) and Henrik was from San Anselmo - which is the adjoining town to San Rafael - they were all Marinites!” – Henrik of Havn

“Interesting and it fits my memory. When I originally said local high school I meant local as in Bay Area, not as in Cragmont Park/Berkeley.
     “But how does this jibe with Patrice’s recollection of Wendy attending her high school in Richmond (which is admittedly across the Richmond/San Rafael bridge from San Rafael – but it would have meant that she was going to school over a county line. No idea if this happened in those days)?
     "And of course, Wendy might have had separated parents who lived on each side of the bridge. I never knew her family.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Henrik chose to ask Wendryn to be his lady (not Queen) before the final combat because she was the prettiest girl in the group, but to hide his feelings he claimed it was because she was the only girl wearing a long skirt.” – Henrik of Havn

“Speaking personally, Wendy was ok, but her friend Terry was definitely the best looking one there. With all due respect to Henrik, I think he’s reasoning ex post facto on this one. Then again, looks are all in the eye of the beholder.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Wendryn: I won't get in any argument about whether Wendy was the prettiest girl around, but she was pretty enough, certainly, and more importantly, had a personality like sunshine, totally cheerful and pleasant.” – Robert of Dunharrow

“Note – Henrik wore the first steel helm in the SCA in the lists (a 4 plate Spangenhelm with nasal made from the 4 corner pieces of square steel his steel round shield was made from). He also wore a 16 inch square breast protector made of 1/2" diameter ring chainmail made from coat hanger wire.”
     “It is 14 ga. steel, work hardened on a 2' long piece of railroad track, as I cold worked and dished out the plates. After it was riveted together I stuck it on my head for fit. Then I pounded on the spots where it touched my head from inside till it fit well enough to wear, then I added the nasal and finally the lining of thin leather." – Henrik of Havn

“That spangenhelm was fascinating in that it was form-fitted to Henrik’s head. I guess he pounded the steel around his skull and then fastened the pieces together. If anyone else tried to wear it, the nasal hung down over one eye. And the only thing between Henrik’s skull and the helm was a thin leather lining. No space, no suspension, just the leather.
     “I remember Henrik claiming that the snug fit made the helm act as an ultra strong second skull. He may be right – I don’t recall ever seeing him hurt by a blow to the head.” – Stefan de Lorraine
“As far as I recall, that’s right – but after I retired that helm in AS 10, I did get a serious headache/bell ringer from a head shot from Duke Paul of Bellatrix through a loose bassinet and stiff padding underneath and I think I also had a full mail coif on inside.” – Henrik of Havn
“The only bell ringer I ever got wearing John the Lean's prototype pressurized gas cannister helm (he used an acetylene tank instead of freon) was from Paul during a melee. I had the choice of blocking Paul's head shot or Steven MacEanruig's leg shot and I'd never before been hurt in that helm. Watch the pretty birdies Kevin.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“They were all Freon drums. But I think that yours was one of the early heavy gauge drums. One time on a trip Henrik tried putting a hole in one with a 32 caliber pistol. It turned the shot.
     “Paul had an ability of hurting you where you had never been hurt before. ;-)” – Jon FitzRolf
“Actually, I did have a little extra padding which consisted of the unpadded cloth from my mail covered coif that I always wore with the helmet. The cloth came from the legs of an old pair of school pants I had (not jeans). I made 2 coif shapes and reversed the seams and sewed them wrong side to wrong side leaving a smooth interior and smooth exterior hood with a 2 toggle closure at the throat. Then I sewed the mail to the hood starting at the top of my ear level and covering it all the way down to my shoulders and collar bone and upper back. The bottom of the helm ended where the mail started.” – Henrik of Havn
“Henrik's Norman helm: Just a leather lining, no padding, and a snug fit on his head. I did once daze him momentarily in a small melee with a blow squarely down on top with a 5' maul (rolled carpet on end of rattan shaft). Once Henrik saw the helm Fulk had designed for me, he copied the patterns and made ones for himself & all his household, with foam padding. But his Norman helm & mail hauberk still look great especially when he is on horseback with shield & 11' oak lance. By the way, it was in AS III, that Henrik & I started tilting at quintains on horses borrowed from ladies in the SCA. Alisande de Rohan, whose horse I often used, built a quintain, but it flew in pieces once when I hit it squarely at a full gallop. So Henrik, who has invented/developed many excellent items of equipment during his SCA career, built a quintain that no one has been able to hurt very much.” – Robert of Dunharrow
“I should have mentioned the chain mail. The helmet looked great, however.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Henrik's Chain Mail: I got to try it on once -- way cool! Although it was forty pounds or more, the weight was distributed and wasn't uncomfortable at all. Although after an hour or more, I'm sure one got tired ...” – Astrid of Hawk Ridge

“Of relevance to me, if no one else, is that there was an annoying squally baby girl at that 3rd tournament - yours truly just 1 month old (mom always said it was 3 weeks, but the date of the event sez otherwise).” – Eden of Lionsguard

“The Wendryn Story”
“The Saturday evening before the 3rd tourney, which was on a Sunday, Sir Steven MacEanruig and I (he was still flailing about for a name at the time and adopted the Slaughtering Samurai moniker for the tourney – I was already some variation of Stefan de Lorraine because my mother's side of the family was from the Alsace Lorraine area and my father's family was French by way of Canada) went to a party in Berkeley held by some friends of a friend of ours, Phil Salin.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Well, I wasn't exactly flailing about for a name, since as I recall, I had used Steven of the Ashenlands (my real name being Ashland Steven Henderson. My recollection of why I used the Slaughtering Samurai is basically that the whole thing was still a game, not the way of life it more-or-less became later. Of course, I missed the second tournament (something about being at R.O.T.C. summer camp that the government wanted me to do), so I may not have been taking it as seriously as some.” – Steven MacEanruig

“At the party were several young women, mostly of high school age (Steven and I were in about our third year of college) who were interested in coming to the tourney we were talking about. In the end, four did so. Two were dressed in tunic and tights. Two were in peasant blouses and long skirts. One of the girls in blouse and skirt hit it off with another friend of ours from San Francisco State, Rod Baird, and the two of them spent most of the tourney wandering about the park, checking in occasionally to see if their respective rides were still there.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Don't remember the fourth one, but I have no reason to doubt that there was one. Personally I was more interested in one of the other two, Terry something-or-other, a tall brunette that I had hit it off with reasonably well, though nothing ever came of it.” – Steven MacEanruig

“Towards the end of the lists, when it looked like Henrik (using morning star) would be fighting Fulk (using an axe made of plywood on a broom handle – the swords had all broken, this was BR [before rattan]) in the finals, it was pointed out to Henrik that (1) he needed a Lady to be Queen of Love and Beauty, and (2) there were these girls who were hanging out with us who weren't taken yet. He came over to the group, we introduced him, and he looked at the remaining girl who had a skirt on and said, to the best of my remembrance, "You're wearing a skirt, would you like to be my lady for the tournament?" The girl, Wendy Townsend, said she would a little dubiously, since she had not much idea of what the position would entail. The other two girls were probably regretting taking on the Maid Marian look for the event.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“I remember the maul and javelin combat well, since I was one of the people in it, Fulk de Wyvern being the other. All javelins missed. I think we each swung once with the maul. I took his leg and he bashed me over the head with it. I went down like a ton of bricks and I suppose I'm lucky I didn't break something, like my skull.” – Steven MacEanruig

“Henrik went on to win, and Wendy was to be Queen of Love and Beauty. Some asked what she should be called, since Wendy is not a Medieval name (I've seen it written that Barrie invented the name for Peter Pan -- though it seems a natural nickname for Gwendolyn, but perhaps Barrie invented that, too). I suggested that she change her name slightly to Wendryn, giving it a kind of pseudo-Celtic flair. She accepted the idea, and used the name in the SCA thereafter. I have no idea whether it is actually any more Medieval than Wendy ...
     “She later became very good friends with Duke Richard of Mount Royal and his Duchess La Rana, so much so that they named their first daughter Wendryn, and were rather shocked to discover that I had invented the name. But I digress ...
     “Wendryn was presented with a floral crown and a scroll declaring her the Queen of Love and Beauty. We were informed by various of her friends that she spent the next day at high school wandering the halls with crown and scroll telling everyone, "You'll never believe what happened to me."
     “I think that's pretty much the story.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who wonders what has become of Wendy in the 15 or so years since I last saw her ...

“Last I heard she was studying beavers for some advanced biology degree or other, which gave her a lot of opportunities to make some very bad jokes.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Steve's retelling of the Wendryn story offers me a less bulky forum to make a minor correction to a comment from installment #3 about the third tourney. Wendy was NOT "from the local high school" (which would have been Berkeley high), she was a classmate and friend of Patti Conrad's (Countess Patrice di Coeur Fidel) at De Anza high in Richmond, roughly 15 miles north of Cragmont Park. She indeed did wander around the De Anza campus the following Monday with her crown and scroll, it was the first time that any of us (except Wendy) in western Contra Costa County had heard of the SCA.” – Kevin Peregrynne

From an email: July 10, 2006
"... there was a young man of 13 years of age who attended UC-Berkely who was brought to the September 1966 meet by Marion Zimmer, who spent the day acting as her page. He showed up at many other functions in the West Kingdom until late 1969, when he graduated from UC-Berkeley. I remember his name within the Society as either Robin or Robert the Wilde (Sorry, old age is affecting my memory to a degree), and may have been the youngest member of the Society at the time. -- Robert ap Hywel ap Dewi

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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