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The Eighteenth Year

Duke Paul Fighter Seminar -- Winter's Gate
July 1-4, 1983 (AS XVIII)

(No event copy)

Personal Reminisces:

"This was a fun weekend, with people from all over Oertha coming to the event -- how often does Duke Paul show up to teach a fighting seminar?

"The seminars happened, but those of us who weren't fighters spent a lot of time just hanging out, watching the lineups of people doing exercises, and following along and learning a lot.

"This weekend was very early for Anne of Bradford's time in Oertha. She moved up with Kylson (who had spent time in the SF Bay Area training with Duke Radnor of Guildemar, and met her at an event ...), and stayed. And stayed. That was pretty cool on its own.

"I remember one incident, that I don't want to forget. This involves Duke Paul (a very nice man, but very private until you get to know him) -- and His Grace's reputation, which he is deservedly jealous of. It involves Aveloc the Younger. It involves myself ... and well ... here goes.

"One night of the event, I think it was Saturday, but don't quote me on this, a bunch of us left the site for dinner. Somehow I ended up in the same car with His Grace on the way back. Now, backstory that's kind of important -- first, His Grace, as King, had made me a Laurel in January just before stepping down at 12th Night; and Aveloc had just gotten the soundtrack for the movie Excalibur, which featured music from the Carmina Burana opera. As we drove up to the site, issuing from a tent or pavilion, Aveloc had started the music (without having a clue who was in the car, or perhaps even that a car was there), and this grand operatic music started as Duke Paul opened the door -- he had just been congratulating me on my Laurel, I was flattered ... I was not sure if His Grace noticed the music at the time, or if he cared, but ...

"We had a splendid bardic that evening. His Grace was asked what kinds of songs he would like to hear, and he said "More dead people songs!" -- the term "dead people songs" stuck in Oertha for years after. I don't know if it's still used there, but ... it originated at that event as far as I can recall. We even got His Grace to contribute, with Jabberwocky -- in German (now that's wierd!).

"The next day was a local champion's tourney for the Shire (Riding?) of Beast Valley. His Grace offered to fight the bye as needed. At this time, Paul of Bellatrix in Armor was a terrifying sight -- because we all knew his reputation, add to this the fact that he tended to wear sunglasses under the helm, and everything he wore was black. You could see nothing in there. It was scary.

"During the tourney, Aveloc got a flash of inspiration. You have to remember that none of us really knew Duke Paul, and had no idea how much his reputation meant to him ... or we would never have done this. I was heralding the list. So, we got to a bye fight, and the poor fighter who was fighting Paul was a new fighter. I announced him, and I announced Paul, but when I announced Paul, I announced him with titles and numbers of reigns, and lots of high-falutin' stuff. And Aveloc started the same music that had started the night before when Paul got out of the car ...

"Everything stopped as Paul turned to Aveloc and said "I accept!" Aveloc turned white, and I swear he looked like Paul had just stepped on his grave. (Apologies were made later and accepted, but at the time ... oof!) Then the fight started. And the poor newby fighter managed to perform a PERFECT rising snap, killing Duke Paul. The fighter was shocked and as Paul was falling, was apologizing ("I'm sorry, Your Grace!"). We had to explain to him that there was nothing to apologize for -- if he killed Duke Paul, it was a good clean shot, because Paul didn't give that away and he should be proud of himself, not many folk can say that they had one-shotted Paul of Bellatrix!

"Everyone had a great time at this event, and the fighters learned a lot (of course, every time someone from central Kingdom visited, the fighters learned a lot, but His Grace has been teaching fighting for a long time, very specifically, and ...). As we were packing up to head back to our respective homes, Eric Bearsbane grabbed Anne of Bradford and hauled her into a small tent, and gave her a big hug and a kiss and told her that if Kylson was stupid enough to break up with her, well ... I didn't know Eric had done that, and I did nearly the exact same thing shortly after. It was pretty funny -- luckily Anne thought it was funny, too. Unfortunately for us guys, Kylson never was that stupid; fortunately for all of us, she loved being in Oertha. They were a great couple ..." -- Hirsch von Henford

Description of this event (if any) taken from The Page.

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