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The Eleventh Year

Angels Anniversary Tourney -- Barony of the Angels
October 2, 1976

Held at Arroyo Seco Park, Pasadena, CA. Baron Piers Howells de Cambria and Baroness Ximena Aubel de Cambria had just gotten back from a trip to Peru, having missed the coronet tourney. Court was called with them presiding, and Their Highnesses, Prince Morven and Princess Bevin, attending. The Grand March began with the Great Officers, and then Al Caid, Sir Martin the Temperate, and his lady Arabella Lyon de Rohese, who is Baroness Ximena’s sister, came forward, to the amazement of the Baron and Baroness. Baroness Ximena said it was the best birthday present she had ever received. Prince Morven thanked the populace for keeping the secret. Then he decreed that Lady Cristóbal degli Gilicine che Mangia Uome was the Official Purveyor of Fudge to the Coronet, Lord Gwydioan and Lady Anna became Official Purveyors of Mead and Meat Pies, and House Irini was made Official Purveyor of Bishop’s Bread. Huette von Ahrens presented the Baroness with a birthday present of Maja soap and Cologne. The Baroness also received a beautiful scarf and a card with a “mouse critter” on it. Lady Eyana bat-David presented Their Highnesses with a gigantic M&M chocolate chip cookie. Ann Christopher, to celebrate her first year in the SCA, filled his Highnesses cookie monster cookie jar with chocolate chip cookies. Lord Robert of the Isles presented Alexander Greylord and Elizabeth of Esvere with special awards for service to Darachshire. Baroness Ximena and Baron Piers presented Their Highnesses with silver plates as their gift in honor of their reign. Sir Tax was passed among the populace to receive donations. Lady Fiona Gregorovna (Natalya de Foix) presented her unofficial entry to the cooking contest, a 5'6" carrot (looking suspiciously like Duryn the Red with giant ferns on his head). The goodies having been presented court adjourned.

The activities began with a rousing game of Norse Stick Ball. Then the Angels Championship Lists were fought. The winner was a dragon (looking suspiciously like Duryn the Red, Thomas of Whitlo, Lord Gwydioan am Gorlwyn and Lord Robear du Bois). The various contests were held and judged. Final Court was convened. Baroness Ximena and Baron Piers admitted Lady Gabrielle nicChlurain, Lady Fiona Gregorovna (Natalya de Foix), Lady Jaelithe of Dragonstower, and Lord Alejandro de Salamanca to the Order of Athena. The awards for the cooking contest (for carrot dishes) were Lady Giesele Hikiegaard of the Mystic Dragon (Creme of Carrot and Leek Soup), who also won the Hester Spoon, and honorable mention to Dana of Coleraine (carrot bread), Lady Fiona Gregorovna (Natalya de Foix) (carrots and shrimp), and Duryn the Red (biggest carrot). A lady in House Glendwry won best court costume and Lady Cristóbal won for best field costume. Lady Jocelyn’s Medieval Ship Design contest had only two entries, Lady Su of the Silver Horn and Oberon Cirin, both with Viking Swan Ships. Each received a book and an edible “brownie point”. Lady Mary Taran of Glastonbury won the heraldry contest, winning a scroll by Lee MacMahon. In the singing segment of the Bardic Circle competition, Lord Charles of Dublin won first place. Lady Fiona Gregorovna (Natalya de Foix) won for Poetry, with Lady Marguerite taking second with her “Ballad of the Queen’s Pickle”. Lord Eadmond du Battlemont won the Anachronistic Photo Contest, and Thelin Doppleganger von Kallenboch won the Alchemy contest. Lord Eadmond du Battlemont resigned as Caid Seneschal, and Lady Gabrielle nicChlurain took over. Lord Alewäulfe the Red became Acting Angels Seneschal.

“The dragon that won Angel's Anniversary deserves a bit of an explanation, as he showed up quite regularly for a number of years. The following is an excerpt from a recent E-mail sent to the current Baron of Angels: The dragon first appeared in 1976, I believe, and consisted of four fighters tied together with short loops of rope through their belts. The first fighter carried a large double-bitted ax and two water bombs (dragon's fire), the second and third fighters carried two short axes or maces, and the fourth fighter faced the rear and was armed with a halberd.
     “As there were only 12 fighters in the lists, and the original leather dragon's head was designed to fasten to my helmet, we fought double elimination until three fighters were eliminated, and they comprised the body and tail of the dragon. The eight remaining fighters were then formed into random teams of two, with each team to fight the dragon, and the members of the team that killed the dragon the fastest to then face it individually to determine who was the best dragon slayer.
     “Because dragons are traditionally almost invulnerable, each part of the dragon had two plywood scales stuck on with a loop of duct tape, and if either scale was knocked off, that portion was injured, and could no longer fight. The second section also had a red scale on its chest which represented a blow to the heart, and caused the entire dragon to die.
     “As fate would have it, the best two fighters, Sir Hugh the Undecided and Sir Martin the Temperate (later Duke), were the first team to fight the dragon, and they killed us in less than a minute. The next team also killed the dragon, but it took quite a while. The dragon ate both of the last two teams. Sir Hugh then took the field with just a halberd, and succeeded in swatting the first water bomb aside, but the second caught him in the shoulder, leaving him with only one hand to manage the halberd. We then caught the halberd's ax blade with our ax, and the body and tail charged. We ended up laying in a large pile, but Sir Hugh was dead. Martin then tried with sword and shield, but could only manage an injury or two before being killed. We had never considered that the dragon might win, but Baroness Ximena ran onto the field and announced that she wanted the dragon to be her champion.
     “It had been a lot of fun, but it needed improvement. The dragon sometimes fought with all four feet, apparently defying gravity. Henceforth each pair of legs would only have one weapon, which could be passed back and forth to either hand. The dragon needed to fight a couple of challenge matches, to develop some coordination between its component parts. The scales needed to be on a well armored portion of the fighter, and should be accessible to the attacker. We normally stuck them onto either side of the fighter's helm, except for the heart scale, which remained on the chest of the second fighter. A number of fighters wanted to be part of the dragon, so I modified the dragon head to fit on any helm.” – Robear du Bois

“This is the first appearance of the "dragon". Robear fashioned a leather dragon's head which he attached to his helmet. He fought with a double bearded axe, (the teeth) and two water balloons (the breath) Thomas and Gwydioan fought with two swords and/or single bearded axes (the feet and claws) and Duryn fought with a pole-arm (the tail.) The four were tied together (to maintain "body cohesion") with Duryn facing rearwards. To make matters even more difficult, the dragon could only be wounded and killed if struck where it was missing scales (represented by 4"x4" squares of wood duct-taped to the dragons helmet-like back ridge.)” – Martin the Temperate

"Also, although there have been quite a few Dragon Champions for the Barony of the Angels, I thought that they occurred when Damon and Mistral were Baron and Baroness and not when Piers and Ximena were Baron and Baroness. I thought that Mistral had had a hand in the creating of this idea. And I remember someone doing an illumination of Mistral being enveloped by a dragon. This was to commemorate the first Angels Dragon Champion. Damon must still have that piece of art, because it used to be hung on the wall in their living room for many years." -- Huette Aliza von und zu Ährens und Mechthildberg

"I can concur with all your comments save one...The Dragon. As the original head of the dragon, maker of the leather dragon head, and the mind behind the some-what unusual rules for the lists, I remember it very well. Ximena was the one who decided she wanted the Dragon to be her champion. We expected to re-fight Hugh and Martin until one of them killed us. It was used every year for the rest of Piers and Ximena's time as Baron and Baroness, during Fredrick and Lindia's, and Daemon and Mistral's. When Altavia became independent, Angels asked for the dragon head so they could continue the tradition. I am curious about it's ultimate fate, and when it was last used. A number of years later, I made a second dragon's head, which I still have." -- Robear du Bois
"I don't have exact figures, but I believe the Dragon, in various different incarnations, was Angels champion four or five times. I don't remember a dragon with predetermined fighters. My memories [sometimes faulty] were that the first dragon was decided by a special list and the top four winners of that list became the dragon. Since they proved to be too skillful and no one could defeat them, the next year the first four losers of the special list became the dragon in hopes that someone could defeat it. But no one could. I believe the next two or three times, the rules for what weapons the dragon/ fighters could use were changed everytime in order to weaken the dragon down. Ultimately, I believe that people got tired of the dragon and we went back to the standard champion list. I don't believe that Fredrick and Lyndia lasted long enough to oversee an Angels Anniversary. They stepped up at 12th Night 1978 and stepped down about six months later. Daemon and Mistral became vicar and vicaress shortly thereafter and were installed at Fall Coronation 1978.
As for your original dragon head, I believe it was last seen in the possession of Baron Taliesin. When he was removed from office in 1985, a lot of baronial regalia got "lost", never to be seen again, including, I believe, your first dragon head." -- Huette Aliza von und zu Ährens und Mechthildberg

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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