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The Fifteenth Year

Baron's Champion Tournament (and Boar Hunt) -- Barony of Eskalya
April, AS XXIV (1980)

This was a boar hunt done a little differently than those in the central part of the Kingdom -- the participants were all unarmored, meaning that anyone could play. Some of the hounds put some serious work into their costumes, and the boar's head was done as a plaster mask. The boar spears were all heavily padded, and the way a boar killed a hunter (or hound) was to touch them with both hands. It was a fun event, although I cannot remember if this was part of a Lord Defender's Tournament, or some other event. The photos on the photo page have a date on the back of them (by the folks who processed the film) of June 1980.

If memory serves, although I didn't get a photo of it, Ragnar (as Fenris), as one of the hounds went to get a drink of beer, and got foam on his face, which caused cries of "Mad dog!". He ran with the theme, attacked Baron Hugh, and had to be "put down" by at least one spear carrier.

There may have been a tournament that day, but any photos were wiped out by camera operator error ...

In addition there was a live steel demonstration, performed at 1/4 speed. There was probably a feast and revel in the evening. -- Hirsch von Henford

From The Page (June 1980):

Ed. note: The Barony of Eskalya held a Baron's Champion Tourney, Boar Hunt, and Feast in April. Victor of the tourney was Ragnar Blackspruce. The following is an excerpt of the account printed in the Eskalya Chronicle. We regret the lack of space to print the entire story of the day.

... After the tourney, Baron Hugh (of the North) and other lords and ladies were taking their ease while a few stalwart warriors still dueled on the field, when suddenly Fyodr, the Baron's Master of the Hunt, strode from the forest with evidence that good game could be found therein. Instantly the hounds, spearmen, and bush beaters were summoned. The lady Dierdriana, Mistress of Hounds, was given the word to release her charges and the hunt was on. The baying and barking soon gave sign that the hounds had picked up the scene and shortly a boar was flushed from cover. Confused by the yowling of the frantic hounds, the noise of the bushbeaters, and the huntsman's hornes, the black boar was soon brought to bay and slain by a team of three spearmen working together. His huge black head was cut off and presented to Baron Hugh, who ordered it sent to the kitchens to be prepared as table decoration for his feast.

Shorthly thereafter the hounds flushed a piglet, and only the quick work of a nimble bush beater prevented the pack from tearing the little beast to juicy shreds, unfit for the Baron's table. The squeals of the piglet quickly brought its sow from cover. She dispatched a spearman and two hounds before being slain.

The hunting party was well spread out when a third boar was flushed. He put to rout a party of bush-beaters, slaying or wounding several and then vanishing. He was again spotted, and this time the hounds picked up the scene and he could not shake them off his trail. Several spearmen, eager for the honour of the kill, approached him singly and were slain as was the hound Raoul. Finally, one hound threw itself on the boar with a death grip that the beast could not shake; this slowed him enough for the spearmen to pin him to the ground and cut his throat. His tusks were presented to the Baron who commented on the bravery of the beast and the dead hound, teeth still locked in the boar's thick hide.

It was a successful and joyous hunt, but for one tragedy occurring while the huntsmen were bearing their kills back to the Baron's Hunting Lodge. The good dog Fenris was seen to go mad, foam flecking his jowls. He madly attacked his own master, the Baron, but was quickly dispatched by Falchion the Warrior Maid with a boar spear, wet still with the blood of earlier kills. So ended the first Spring Hunt, with meat aplenty to fatten Eskalyans and their guests that night ...

The hunt was followed by a four-remove feast which, by all accounts, must have been fantasic. Local members who have journeyed to the far north have reported that these folk really know how to feast.

(The author is unknown)

See photos of this event

Description of this event (if any), taken from The Page, or from memory of at least one person who attended the event.

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