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The Fourteenth Year

March Crown Tournament
March 22-23, 1980 (AS XIV)

From The Page (February, 1980):

This event is planned for Lodi Lake Park again, and will be a two-day event if the weather co-operates. Next month's Page will contain a more complete description and map. (Note: the site is tenative, and a confirmation will be published next month.)

From The Page (March, 1980):

This will take place at Lodi Lake Park in Lodi (same site as last year) and is planned as a two-day event, weather permitting. The site will open for set-up on Friday night, and opening court will be at 10 am Saturday.

Freehold Skalle will be sponsoring a storytelling competition. This will be for telling stories to children and will run as long as there are storytellers telling stories and children listening to them. Liquid refreshment (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be available. There is no prize being offered but the satisfaction of performance. The time and place will be announced.

On your mark! Get set! and ... cook!
The March Crown Tourney Wooden Spoon competition will be preserved meats ... dried, salted, smoked, in brine, made into sausage or what-have-you. Remember to send your recipe.

Directions: Omitted.

Her Majesty Esmirelda
sends greetings and good health
to the Populace of the West

And bids them attend her on the occasion of Her tea, Sunday, 23 March, at 2:00 pm on the second day of the March Crown Tourney.

Bring a goblet and a smile.

From The Page (May, 1980):

Under a canopy of onyx sprinkled with diamonds, the village that was to house these Current Middle Ages for yet another Crown Tourney grew and spread along the banks of the Golden Rivers of Cynagua's vast desert and delta. Puffy white clouds scudded across the cold light of a half moon, lending mystery to the scene. More than half the Kingdom's population had come to watch the ritual designed to provide them with the next mighty leader.

On a bright Spring morning, the bravest and the best of the Western fighters gathered to hear the words of their King, exhorting them to honor, chivalry, and valour upon the field of battle. Forty-six brave fighters chose to aspire to the greatest honour.

In the morning, before the lists began, Their Majesties Christopher and Esmirelda held court for Their subjects. A famed iron worker, one Bodo the Brutal by name, presented the guardians of the Kingdom with weapons of steel. To Master Olaf the Medi-Ogre, a real mace, symbol of the Office of the Constabulary, held in honour so many years. Marvelous spears, shafts and heads of iron, were presented to the Royal Honour Guard along with a battle-axe, should Their Majesties ever be in need of the ultimate defense.

On a gentler note, Princess Maythen of the Mists presented flowers to Queen Esmirelda, and to Her royal cousin, gentle Kathryn, Princess of Cynagua. Then a gentlemen from the Silver Desert presented to King Christopher a chest of clothing, left for His Majesty by an Unknown Horseman upon said gentleman's doorstep. His Majesty professed Himself much pleased with the gift.

A poignant note was struck in the course of the lists when Sir Loren sur la Roche, that verray parfit, gentil knyghte, met Sir Ragnar of the Icy Wastes in combat. Now Sir Loren is lord father to Lady Mary of Uffington, while Sir Ragnar is her lord. (Oh cruel fate that didst decree this match!) When Sir Ragnar had defeated Sir Loren, a cry of "You killed my daddy!" rang out from the sidelines and Lady Mary dashed out on the field, kicked her lord soundly in the hindquarters, and fell weeping over her father's bloody corpse. Seeing this, and evidently feeling that fate had dealt him sufficient bad luck for day, Sir Ragnar sized Lady Mary by the white belt she wore and dragged her from the field.

Late in the day, as the sun begain to sink, those who had survived the long, arduous struggle gathered for the final rounds of the lists. Duke James Greyhelm, Earl Steingrim Stallari, Prince Strider of Cynagua, and the aforementioned Sir Ragnar of the Icy Wastes ("If you win, I'll break your thumb," quote the gentle Lady Mary). The semi-final round saw Earl Steingrim and Prince Strider emerge the victors. Queen Esmirelda then invited the ladies of each of these great lords to join Her in the Royal Pavilion for the final round. Ear Steingrim's lady was the Lady Dierdriana of the Misty Isles, while Prince Strider fought for His lady wife, Princess Kathryn. Fate had decreed the honour to Cynagua this Spring, and Prince Strider emerged the victor. He and his lady were invested as Crown Prince and Crown Princess at the final court of the day.

Also at this court, Lady Linda of Collinswood announced that the Order of the Wooden Spoon had been gifted with a number of medallions cleverly crafted by Master Ulfhedinn hinn Vegfarandi. These medallions were presented to a number of previous winners of the Wooden Spoon competitions, and Grün der Spitzenklöppler was announced as the winner of the current competition, that for preserved meats. Fighter poems for the finalists were read by their authors, and court adjourned.

Sunday morning's court saw many presentations, awards, and honours. Freehold Skalle, following its tradition of presenting a gift to each set of reigning monarchs, presented King Christopher and Queen Esmirelda with individual latch-hooked rugs of Their personal arms. Lord Galen Flamebeard presented a beautifully etched mirror to the Women of Windy Meads as a token of acknowledgement of their contributions as Constables' Companions throughout the long hours of duty. Following court the Westermark Mummers and Dadders, a drama group, presented an original play to entertain and delight the populace. It was entitled "Culture Comes to Normandy, or Cold Comfort Keep", and was written by a member of the Shire, one Gerhardt von Nordflammen, by name. The populace professed itself delighted.

Sunday afternoon's activities included a Shastan melee (war cry "Yes, My Lady"), and the Queen's Guard conquered in two out of three melees, thus demonstrating their fitness to guard Her royal personage. The post of Royal Wardlord was declared vacant, and a melee was held to fill it.

At final court, the Seneschals of Vinhold and Southern Shores published a mutual aid pact which was immediately greeted by a strong, undiplomatic, but bluntly phrased protest by the residents of the Westermark, who felt themselves to be a particular target of this cabal. Her Highness, Princess Maythen of the Mists, presented Her profound apologies and offered Her abject embarassment as earnest in the matter of this quarrel among Her children. Their Majesties graciously overlooked the fuss.

King Christopher then invited all the Royal Wards to come forward to place themselves under His protection (and noted with chagrin the great number of the Women of Windy Meads thereamong), and called forth the victor of the melee to be invested with his title and his charge. A grinning, eager Earl Steingrim Stallari came forth to greet with pleasure those who had placed themselves within his care and keeping for the indefinite future(!).

Berek von Langenthal then came forth to request of his knight, Sir Thomas the Incomplete, and of Her Majesty, since he is a member of the Queen's Guard, permission to marry a lady of his household, fair Lisl von Langenthal. Said permission was most happily granted, and the couple professed themselves well pleased.

Her Majesty presented a wreath of Chivalry to Sir Thomas the Incomplete, and a wreath of Valour to Earl Steingrim Stallari. Thereupon members of the Order of the Laurel were called forth and Grün der Spitzenklöppler and Ysabel del Norte were admitted to their ranks. After this, members of the Order of the Pelican gathered at the feet of Their Majesties to induct two new members, Lonna Animalia des Piens and Rowena d'Anjou.

Court then adjourned, and the colourful village disbanded, with a hope for the future and a memory of promises fulfilled to sustain the mundane activities until the next gathering, at Beltane's Feast.

(The author is Rowena d'Anjou)

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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