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The Thirty-eighth Year

Championship Tournament -- Golden Rivers

January 31, 2004 (AS XXXVIII)

Carmichael Park,
Carmichael, CA

From The Page (January, 2004):

All fighters are invited to take part in our annual Championship Tournament. The victorious fighter, by right of combat, will be named Champion of Golden Rivers for the coming year (unless they happen to become prince like last year's serial champions). A potluck feast will be held after the tourney. Based upon your mundane last name, attendees are asked to bring a dish to serve 8 to 10: A-M, main course; N-Z, side dish. (Salad, bread and dessert will be provided.)

Site Information: Carmichael Park. Gate opens at 10 am, armor inspection will begin at 11 am, the Feast Hall will open at 4:30 pm, and site closes at 9 pm. Site fee is $5 for members, $8 for non-members, and children 14 and under are free.

Autocrat: Antonio Giordano da Sicilia (contact info omitted).

See photos of this event


"Golden Rivers championship was held this year, as it has been since I started in the West, at Carmichael Park, a good place for day events. It was a clear sunny but brisk midwinter day. Antonio Giordano da Sicilia was the autocrat. I thought it was a good event.

"Well, I got to the event kind of late, the championship tourney for GR had already been fought and they were just fighting pick-ups. Ulrich von Wessler won the tourney fighting for Graeya McArt. I did hear some things about the tourney, Gaius [Marcellus Liberius Auklandus] made his return to non-practice fighting and got to 5th round; Mari [Alexander] was also in the Tourney and went out after the 5th too. Apparently, Mari’s first fight of the day was Helga [ Ironfist of Gargoyle's Keep] and there were calls of “cat fight” from the gallery when the fight was called by the herald.

"I arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon and it was already fairly chilly. I started taking pictures soon after and talking to folks. Something that caught my eye right away was Ariel Ebbon walking around in a cotton broad cloth tunic that didn’t even go to his knees (he kept telling folks of his tenure in Canada), and this was an event where if you weren’t in the direct sunlight you were potentially shivering, seriously, cloaks on in daylight.

"The post-tourney fights were pretty good with lots of instruction happening. It was also at about this point that Vigdís Vestfirzka, Eleanor d’Aubrecicourt and Ariel Ebbon picked up their chairs and headed off for a pow-wow of some sort. It looked official because they had moved away from every one, then it occurred to me they were just moving well into direct sunlight. It turns out they were just going through the authorization process for combat archery for Vigdís and Eleanor.

"At about 4:30 we started moving over to the feast hall to get ready for the potluck and out of the icy breeze that was picking up by now as the sun really fell. The hall was about half full and we all settled in for a decent dinner and bardic competition.

"The potluck was simple but plentiful faire. It appeared as though most of our mundane names fell into the “main dish” area of the alphabet. It also happened that we, most of us, had the thought that “main dish” equalled “Meat.” As a matter of fact, if I had to give the potluck a name I would have called it, “The Field of Cloth-of-Meat.” There were 2 or 3 rotisserie chickens, some fried chicken, a platter of roast beef, a hillock of ham, barbeque pork chunks (the sauce of the pork had gotten onto the fork, which I then unwittingly grabbed—having done so, I then brandished my sauced hand at Eleanor d’Aubrecicourt and said “my vengeance will be slow and sticky”) and some Bratwursts. I think I might be forgetting some, but the only thing I can tell you there wasn’t for sure, was bacon.

"There was salad and desert provided by Golden Rivers and a few side dishes. Among these side dishes, there were some great cheesy potatoes made by Vigdís and a spinach-dip-crab thingy. It was all good, and even though I am not on a low-carb diet, it was certainly a good place for it. There was also some bread, or as we were calling it, ammunition.

"Just when the Bread-Wars were about to increase to an inter-table scale, Antonio got up and announced that the Prince had made an edict that people who threw bread would be pressed onto the clean-up crew. There seemed to be some debate as to whether the Prince had actually made the edict before or after its announcement, but His Highness didn’t seem to mind so it stood. We were considering escalating the Bread-Wars to include Herald Kibble (a kind of trail mix) on the grounds that we were planning on helping with clean-up anyway, when Crimson, then Bard of GR, stood up and announced that the bardic competition.

"The entrants in the competition were Vincenzo of Dark Claw, Hobbit (Danaë FitzRobert), and Mari Alexander. Vincenzo was up first and we were treated to a round of good SCA related filk, including a Garth Brooks filk, and an American Pie filk. Second was Hobbit. One of her pieces was this great sestina about a knight and his lady; she should publish it some where; that is not an easy form, let alone to do well. Hobbit concluded with a lullaby that her parents sang when she was a child. The tune was her parents own as far as she knew, but the words were the song Galadriel sings as the Fellowship leaves Lothlorien.

"The final entrant was Mari Alexander. Her first piece was written by a Caidan Lady whose names escapes me at the moment, but it was a beautiful piece and who knew Mari could sing. Well, we all knew afterwards in any case. The next piece she introduced as a period form were folks made poems or song about their occupations. This was interrupted by Gemini issuing the comment, “Ok, here we go,” and she proceeded to do, “The Pheasant Plucker.” It was very good and she didn’t slip once. She then followed with another “occupational” piece that was written by Ivone [Pons Leyr]. It was a morning shout done as song, which I chose to believe was a mild form of tribute to me, who has a preternatural fixation on doing the Morning Shout. I am sure that this is vanity on my part.

"Before Mari was announced the winner and next bard of Golden Rivers, we were entertained with songs from Crimson, Khadijah [?], Bard of Cynagua and Anastasia [Grindstead of Raven Oak] (Auntie). In all I think it was a good event and a fun day. About five of us were still in the parking lot telling stories, about the event and other things, for over an hour after it was closed, always the sign of an enjoyable evening." -- Wilhelm von Homburg

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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