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The Eighth Year

Tourney -- Province of Shasta
June 9, 1973

Held at Salt Creek Park, Redding, CA. Elriin and Gonwynlynn of Hrassvelg were the autocrats.

“Going back a bit in time from the current state of the AHP, this event had some memories. There was a quest. It was blazingly hot and the quest involved a lot of walking and some confusion. I was eventually killed by Stefan de Lorraine since the quest involved fighting among the participants. A certain number of the fighters were a bit out of sorts, due to the heat as much as anything else. I especially remember William of York returning from the quest to the site and walking out into the small lake there, armor and all, to cool off. As I recall he took off his helmet first, but that's all.” – Steven MacEanruig

“Not precisely what happened. There were five Western fighters present besides the Shastans. Robert of Westmarch drew a by, then I fought either William Gordon or Lucky (forget which) and won, while Steven beat the other one. Then I beat Steven (one of the few times I pulled that one off). The Shastans then announced that I had won the privilege of being the last quester. Since Robert (I don't think he was a knight yet) had not fought at all, they were going to make him the last one, but we all insisted he go first. The Questers had to go through several stations, each of which was manned by a Shastan fighter except for one that Duchess Marynel of Darkhaven (who might be considered an honorary Shastan as her uncle lived in the area--of course, so did my parents and brother) was taking care of. There was a riddle to be answered, and if the riddlee failed, he had to fight for the right to continue. Except for Maynel (who had no intention of fighting, or even evading, a quester) the riddles were outrageous puns ("why was the king charged 33 pence (not the amount at the time) an ounce for his armor?" "Because it was first class mail." etc.) in the fine Shastan tradition.
     “None of us were up to figuring out the answers, so we all had to fight. In a perhaps foolish bit of condescension, we knights all took weapons that were not our standards on the quest. Steven was taken out early by Bergen von Rausch, and I think Robert might have not made it past that point either, or perhaps he got lost. I don't know where William Gordon was killed. Lucky, living up to his name as usual, was the first to reach one station wherein the fighter opposing him used exactly the same riddle as Bergen had. He had gotten confused. William Gordon must have also been a beneficiary of this. When I got there, the fighter asked me what the troll (Bergen) had asked me, and was disappointed to hear that he was using the same riddle. A non-fighting Shastan went back to Bergen and found another riddle, so I actually had to fight the lad. At about that point I saw Lucky proceding back to camp with the grail, but I foolishly assumed that there was still something to gain by Questing On, as he admonished. So I did, found Elriin, and beat him, only to find that there was no grail for me because Lucky had the only one there was. Grrumph.
     “Since this was one of the first quests ever run at an SCA event, a lot of lessons were learned.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who thereafter tried to make it a practice to be one of the obstacles on a quest, not one of the questors.
“William the Lucky eventually won the quest, and as we were returning home, we wrote the first two of our Obnoxious Songs to Kill Your Enemies By. These were "Shasta Province Had A Grail" to the tune of Old MacDonald's Farm and "The Hearses Go Rolling Along" to 'The Caisson Song'. We eventually published two volumes written over the next two years or so and selling for something like 25 cents per volume. At one point, Bill more or less ate for a month or so on the proceeds.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Actually, I think I ate off the proceeds of the first one during March and April of '74 -- I was just starting a new job and the first pay check took a while. It still amazes me that I managed to do so! My belief (before and even since) was that if I had to work in retail I would end up starving. Sales just isn't for introverts. But obviously you never know what you can do until the crunch comes.” – William the Lucky
“I do remember Bill and I going around 12th night with a stack of the songbooks hawking them to all comers. A bit of an odd occupation for knights. Bill was a more ardent salesman than I, probably because I had a regular job at the time.” – Steven MacEanruig

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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