From The Page (February, 1981):
SECOND ANNUAL INTERPRINCIPALITY CONFRONTATION - A GRAND MELEE TOURNEY
Whereas in former Middle Ages it was often the custom of a sovereign to forbid the warring factions within that Soverign's realm, and whereas many factions within those realms of olden times did find suitable ways to obey the Law of their Lord King and still settle various and sundry differences, and whereas there has been much ado in recent times between the Principalities of Cynagua and the Mists over a certain Swan Dinner, and whereas in these Current Middle Ages, our Mighty and Noble King Frederick has forbidden the warfare between His Principalities, therefore do the Coronets of Cynagua and the Mists jointly announce and declare that there shall be a Grand Melee Tournament held February 28 and March 1 in, or rather on Lake Berryessa in the Shire of Vinhold in the Principality of the Mists.
Animated debate between the armed forces of both the Mists and Cynagua in varied and interesting forms is anticipated. Armour will be required.
The site of the Grand Melee will be Camp Berryessa, (address omitted). It is owned and operated by the BSA and it is a 20 acre peninsula 75% surrouned by water, with woods, clearings, and beaches suitable for skirmishing. There is ample room for encampment, barbeque pits with plenty of firewood which can be gathered on the site, amble (12) privys, county-approved water supply, and a public phone available on the site. The nearest gasoline known at this time is 15-20 miles distant. Please gas up before you get there or have enough gas to get to a supply. It is approachable from both I-80 and I-5 and parking is 1/4 mile from the raod. It is less than 1/8 mile from the parking lot to the encampment. A small number of firechariots will be allowed at one time to unload at the site and there will be two hand-carts available to carry things to and from the parking area. The Coronets of both Principalities uge all parents who are bringing small children to make sure that they will be watched at all times because of the proximity of the water!
There is a suitable firepit area for a bardic circle, which will be held Saturday evening. The Shire of Vinhold is sponsoring a "story hour" for children at a time to be announced at the site. There are canoes and small boats free for use with a small deposit. A SITE FEE of $1.50 per head will be collected!
A "What To Wear To A War" costume contest will be sponsored by the Clothier's Guild of the Shire of Vinhold, with a prize of trim offered by Princess Hilary of the Mists.
There will be at least one battle scenario using archers, and InterKingdom and Royal Rounds will be shot. Fighters should bring appropriate screening for their helms, should archers be involved in some of the encounters. Javelins will be included as well. Archers, please have your arrows marked for warfare - that is with the Principality colours and your own personal colours.
This is a two-day event. Set-up will commence on Friday afternoon after 3 p.m. Opening court is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, with the day's activities to follow soon after. Information packets will be sent to seneschals. For further information please call the autocrat, Lord Ahmed ibn Tr'bai.
From The Page (April, 1981):
SOGGY CYNAGGY ... OR WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL US THE MISTS??
Though the rain could dampen the spirits of neighter the combatants nor the spectators at the Inter-principality "Grand Melee Tourney" held at Lake Berryessa, it certainly made the battle scenarios interesting, as well as giving that demon RUST the opportunity to attack many a creaking piece of armour.
Had it not been for the extra humidty, it would have been a perfect war - I beg your pardon - TOURNEY! As it was, it gave fighters in both Cynagua and the Mists the opportunity to practice working in groups, following a general and war tactics, and gave several unbelted fighters a chance to fight as the champion of their Prince in the weapon of their speciality.
In addition to the battles, there was archery practice, a costume contest, and a unicorn hunt. The points awarded to each Principality (134 to the Mists, 132 to Cynagua) were so close, that the Tourney was declared a draw.
(Mini-chronicle by Threya Jarlingsdottir)
This is from an article from the Napa Register.
The date of this article was Monday, March 9, 1981. Per their statement, the use of the scans is permissible if we give credit to the paper, the writers, and the photographers. The photographer was Al Francis. The text of the article was as follows:
KNIGHTHOOD IN FLOWER NEAR BERRYESSA'S SHORE
By Rick Wallerstein
Along a slope adjoining Putah Creek, two bannered armies, each one score and 10,
held broadsword, lance and ax and bow aloft and heard the battle master's cautious
"Oh knights of Mists and knights of Cynagua, you fight today for pleasure not for gain, to prove your prowess and glorify your prince, not turn the Berryessa waters red."
As rain touched swordsmen and ladies alike, together marched the Mists and Cynaguas, with tape-wrapped wooden poles, which they called swords, with metal helmets and steel-lined vests and bright and padded clothes to protect bones and flesh.
The fight was furious at first as 30 swords swing mightily on shield and arm and back and war cries mingled in with clank and thud, while many knights were clubbed or stabbed or sliced. The Mists advanced and forced the Cynaguas to leave their clubbed and fallen knights regrouping near where they first heard master's charge.
Again the knights of Mists let fly a yell and, trampling slain knights under marching feet, they splintered the remaining Cynaguas and won for William the Lucky a princely victory.
The knights of Mists and knights of Cynagua from Sacramento and near San Francisco hail as members of a Berkeley found group, the Society of Creative Anachronism.
What started 15 years ago as a jest has spread to many states and foreign lands with swordsmen, princes, barons, knights and kings and periodic dark and middle-ages parties, dances, trips and costumed fights that recreate the chivalry of old.
The knights they range from young to middle aged and legion is the college graduated knight. Prince William the Lucky, for instance, chewed ferociously on sausage quaffing a brew, the princess Hillary standing armored near. He stroked his shining armor and declared he toiled the week far from the field of chivalry as a computer system analyst.
In Napa, the Society of Creative Anachronism can be reached by calling Anthony the Sinister at (phone number removed).
Article found, and provided by Vlasta von der Weissen Sonne
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.
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).