Held at Lytle Creek Sportsmen’s Park, Fontana, CA. Baron Piers and Baroness Ximena held opening court. Arabella Lyon de Rohese, Bjo of Griffin (Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani), Celeste Lamuray de Provence, and Sir Christian of Orange were admitted to the new Order of Athens. Lists were held to determine the Champion of the Barony. There was a Court of Love Saturday Night. The Hester Spoon Contest was for fruit pies or tarts, and there were contests for prettiest handkerchief made from scratch, archery, calligraphy, illumination, skulking, and the contest to design the Caid coronets. Griffin Freehold sold B-B-Q’ed chicken for the Crown Prints, and there was singing, dancing, challenges and melees. Catriona NicChlurain was the autocrat.
“That was the Order of Athena, not Athens. I was given to understand that it was designed to be an order for those who did serious research. Since they didn't have a medallion made up yet, I was given a pretty little pearl ring (which I still have). I don't recall what the others were given. Many years later, it seems the Order changed to some other focus, because I met people who'd been given it for arts (for which Caid already had an award). I don't know if it still exists or not." – Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani
“I just spoke to Arabella, and she confirmed that it was meant to be a Baronial Service Award. She recalls it as being a small medallion on a red ribbon, and it seems to me that its shape was never standardized, but changed from year to year. She doesn't remember the ring. Is it possible that the ring was a special award given only to Bjo for efforts above and beyond?” – Robear du Bois“The original Order of Athena award was, indeed, the pearl ring even if Arabella doesn't remember it. John and others do remember the awarding of it. Later, Arabella found a little cameo-like pendant, with an Athena-like head on it, and strung that on a red ribbon. She gave me one of those, too.” – Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani“Regarding the event. This was my second event, and I was authorized for combat before the lists began. My armor was made from two layers of split cane fencing, and the shoestrings holding my leg armor were sewn to my jeans, and pulled off early in the day. Everyone hit me on my left thigh that day, and the bruises were truly remarkable.
“I believe Martin assassinated early in the day, because I recall the heralds calling for the shade of Martin the Temperate to come to the field. There was also some discussion regarding blows...can you kill a ghost or not?
“The highlight of the Court of Love was the paternity case involving Robert of the Isles Sporran and Kathleen Skye's flea fur. Robert asked Maihee to act as his lawyer, but his fate was sealed when the ladies produced the offspring, a small bit of fur in a lace handkerchief. Both the defendant and the lawyer were found guilty.
“On Sunday, we practiced for the upcoming War with Atenveldt at London Bridge. Daniel the Bard, while not a fighter, had traveled in Atenveldt, so Christian and Hugh asked him how they fought there. He said they fought in 3 to 5 man teams, and frequently would have a polearm in each team to pull shields down so the swordsmen could kill them. Philip of Meade had delivered a piece of rattan to me on Saturday so I could make a pole arm, and we taped a hand ax to it for the practice. I think Martin borrowed it for the practice, because I know I fought with sword and shield.
“I was teamed up with two fighters (one was Charles of Dublin, but I didn't know him yet), and we fought with another three-man team until 2 of them were dead, at which point the last man ran off. I then forgot about being part of a team and ran over to the end of the nearest group and started swinging at Prince Christian. Then a hold was called, and Christian's men were told to move to one end of the field, while Hugh's men went to the other. I stood in the middle, not remembering whose team I was on. Then I noticed Charles' shield down near Christian, and I was fairly sure I had been teamed with him, so I walked down there and stood quietly in the back. Christian said we needed to keep our teams together, concentrate on working together, etc. and then he poked his sword in my chest and said "and YOU were fighting ME!" It was the beginning of a long tradition of friendly fire.” – Robear du Bois“It was not too many years after this, in Califia that a particular melee stands out in my mind. 4 other fighters and myself were fighting Armand, Robear, a fighter called Cedric of Mercia and 2 others. Robear came on a bit late. After the 1st clash one fighter on each side was legged. I dashed around and took out Armand and Cedric. Meanwhile Robear had taken out both fighters who had been legged (one from his own side). I came up to Robear and struck as the last of their men went down. I thought that he was pretty easy to kill and learned that he had let me get so close because (since we so often fought together) he thought that I was on his side. Such is the fog of war.” – Charles of Dublin“Regarding my helmet. I made the framework from 25 linear feet of 1/2" steel bar, after having made a prototype out of 10 GA aluminum wire. I bent most of the steel by hand over my knee, then taped it all together with masking tape, and took it to a welding shop. I then covered all but the eye slot with two layers of 1/2" hardware cloth. I wore a leather bicycle helmet inside to protect myself from the frame. It was big enough I could turn my head 90 degrees either way inside it, and provided great visibility and ventilation, but it had no glancing surfaces and was so heavy it raised my center of gravity noticeably. When a swordsman would run into me I would often go flying backwards, hoping I would land so my head would stop bouncing around inside my helmet.
“Regarding the halberd. I don't know why I wanted to fight with a polearm, but this is something I did from the beginning. I finished making my first polearm just before the London Bridge War (my third event), and had only hit a palm tree with it before taking it into battle. There being no length limits then, I made a 9'4" halberd (really a guisarm as it combined the both a blade and an ax head), with thrusting tip and butt spike, about 3'6" of blade, and a small ax head opposite the blade. It turned out to be useful for more than just pulling down shields, so I took it to every tournament and used it in the melees. It was a long time before I lived through a melee, but other people started to make them too, and at the First Rebellion we would have almost 25% of our army using polearms.” – Robear du Bois“My assassination at this event was executed by Christian of Orange, who may have been a member of the Assassin's Guild. Christian got me with a bottle of "green" homebrew. I made the mistake of fighting the non-lists combats as the Shade of Martin the Temperate, how can you kill a dead man, but that turned out to be unwise when I found my self attacked in a melee and pummeled near senseless. The assassination challenges started as a friendly competition of sorts. It culminated at the next coronet tourney, (see my forthcoming notes regarding Fiona), but that was also the beginning of the end for the Assassin's Guild as no one really enjoyed watching their backs all the time. It became to be viewed as an insult rather than a friendly challenge.
“It's also noteworthy that early pole arm doctrine was that they were to be used to pull down shields for the swordsman. That lasted about 1 tournament when Robear showed the efficacy of a well aimed thrust. I remember the Brotherhood of the Blade instituted a training technique that involved playing tetherball using only polearms to wind the rope and ball around the pole. It led to our pinpoint accuracy in the line. Robear, Sir Hugh, and I came to be, in my opinion, among the most effective pikesmen in the Caid.” – Martin the Temperate
“This is where I first met Robear du Bois. He was notable because of two unusual items. First, his helmet was constructed of steel bars and open mesh. The mesh allowed him to see as he turned his head within the helmet, which was strapped onto his shoulders, ala tilting armor, (as he needed to avoid any direct blows to the head, a novel work-around which allowed him to still compete). More important, the second, his melee weapon of choice, a halberd. It is Robear's introduction of the halberd into the "Caiden armory" which will allow us to effectively wage combined arms tactics war, rather than have glorified melees. It allows a of a group of fighters, most of whom, as individuals are still relative beginners, using new weapons and developing and practicing these tactics, to effectively challenge far superior fighters, in turn forcing them to respond in kind. Up coming events such as the London Bridge War and the First Annual Caid Rebellion are the beginnings of escalating inter-regional wars, the creation of organized war units, tactics, counter-measures, and specialty weapons. Someone would have started this if Robear hadn't, but he's the one who did and this is where it started.” – Martin the Temperate
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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