Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Thirty-ninth Year

La Prova Dura -- Canale

April 8-10, 2005 (AS XXXIX)

San Benito County Fairgrounds,
Tres Pinos, CA

From The Page (March, 2005):

Harken to the call that sounds forth from the dry expanse of Cynagua to the far reaches of the Known World. Send us your most valiant warriors and their inspirational consorts for three days of fighting, revelry, and pageantry. On the list field each fighter takes on all comers until only the best remains standing. From the sidelines, the grace and beauty of the consorts inspires the combatants to unsurpassed feats of chivalry and valor.

Requests for Fighters:
Heraldry: Each fighter is requested to have a banner displaying his or her arms. The heraldic theme should extend to surcoats, shields, and livery for retinue. Charges need not be displayed on all items, but heraldic color scheme should be continued throughout
Letter of Intent: Each fighter is requested to submit a letter of intent to the Letter of Intent list by March 8, 2005. This letter will allow the other fighters to train for the challenges that will face them. It will also let the autocrat plan for the number of fields and support staff needed. If you are not equal to writing, please still come and fight. If you are able to put words to paper, please include your name in the subject line for ease of filing. Previously submitted letters are available for viewing in The Archives.
Rules of the Lists: All combat will be conducted using current Kingdom of the West Combat Standards. Western calibration will be used for all combat.

Armored Competitions:
April 9th: La Prova del Valor - The Proof of Valor Round Robin Tourney. Fighters will be divided into fields. Each fighter on a given field will fight every other fighter on that field. The top fighter from each field will advance to the semi-finals.
April 10th: La Prova di Amore - The Proof of Love Invitational Tourney. The gallery will chose the most chivalrous fighters from each field who did not advance to the semi-finals on the previous day. Those fighters will compete for the glory of their consorts.

Feast: Saturday Evening a Four-Course Feast with entertainment by Thomas Bordeaux, Bard of the West Catherine de Gray, and The West Kingdom Choir will be held. Menu to be announced, but highlights include: Prime Rib, asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, and Else's Bacon, Garlic and Greens bread. Cost for the feast is $15. Children under the age of 13 are $8. Weather permitting, the feast will be held in pavilions adjacent to the eric with off-board seating near by. In case of inclement weather, the feast will be held in the hall.

Site Information: San Benito County Fairgrounds, (address omitted), Tres Pinos, CA Site opens at noon on Friday and closes and 4 pm on Sunday. Please fill out the Gate and Feast Pre-registration Form (see next page) and return to the autocrat with all applicable fees. Site Fee is $10 for Adult member over age 16, $13 for nonmembers. Children under the age of sixteen are $7, Children under the age of 6 are guests of Canale (free).
Merchants: Please contact the autocrat to reserve a space on site.

Autocrat: Gemini de Grendelus (contact info omitted)

See photos of this event


News of La Prova Dura is slowly spreading throughout the Kingdom of the West and beyond its borders. Those present witnessed many a valorous and honorable warrior undertaking this ordeal in honor and by force of arms. Most who came to the field did so with their consorts at their side, but all those who took up the challenge of "The Ordeal" were inspired by something greater than themselves. I saw great and mighty combatants, valorous knights, dread royal peers, giants and warrior gods converge upon the tournament field of La Prova Dura; forty-four stout-hearted souls took the field in splendor and majesty doing honor to this beautiful art of war and their consorts. I, the least of these warriors, sincerely and humbly testify that we fought our fifteen rounds as students of this art and that I was inspired by each and every fighter around me... and some, fought even more with all of the bye-fights and the many pick-up fights.

Sir Gemini had a dream and in sharing the dream with us, every fighter, consort, herald, water-bearer, marshal, list-person, cook, server, dishwasher, singer, actor, magician, entertainer, bard, event "worker bee" and every member of the gallery adopted this dream as our own. La Prova Dura was no mere tournament; this "ordeal" was a labor of love... love of this art, love of fellowship and love of chivalry. There are no words to express the magic, the passion, the fortitude and the splendor of that day and I do no service in mocking this wonderful dream by attempting to describe it with my poor and ill-chosen words.

We can speak of the four dukes who entered finals with some twenty Crown victories between them, but to merely recount who prevailed in the final round-robin would be insufficient. One simply had to be there to drink in the years of dedicated practice, the years of studying and teaching, the years of performing on the war field and tournament field and the years of service to this graceful art of war as these great and mighty dukes did do honor and glory to their consorts.

To Gemini, Mari, Else and everyone who put so much of themselves into this event... thank you! There is no way to thank everyone who dedicated so much time and energy to the preparation and running of this event. The tireless labor of so many people made this event such a success for everyone. Surely the Shire of Canale deserves our gratitude for this was truly a superlative event. Last, we must thank our consorts who inspired us. To all those who gave of themselves...
thank you!

It is Monday morning and the dream is done... but not over... it burns within each us and it will continue to burn as long as we kindle that fire within our hearts. On this Monday morning, we can chose to carry this dream of honor and chivalry into our homes, our places of work, our schools and our very lives and we will be better for it. Let us remember that La Prova Dura is a beautiful metaphor for the struggle that is our life and that if we live this life of flesh and blood in chivalry and in honor, we may know that we are better for enduring each and every "la prova dura.

With all respect and humility,
Antonio Giordano da Sicilia

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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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).