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

The Ninth Year

Spring Crown Tourney
March 22, 1975

From The Page (May, 1975):

The March, or Marsh, Crown Tourney took place at sodden Coyote Creek. It was the first time we have had a tourney site surrounded by a moat. It never rained on any of Sir William's tourneys, but Master Andrei doesn't seem to have the same clout with the Heavenly Powers. Fighters were given the option of saying - "I yield me, I am mortally wounded, I will go back to my pavilion and die in piece, -" but most chose to die on the field anyway, producing splashes up to ten feet high. One fighter appeared in mask and aqualung, but was sent back by the marshals to put on a helm. At length Andrew of Riga, by dint of superior prowess on the field and perhaps an ability to tread water, won the crown for Priness Patrice d'Cilla. Bern Bellower was knighted, and Faith and Robin of Hoghton were given Awards of Arms. There were mutterings among the populace about changing the date of the Spring Tourney to something a little later than the Equinox. Say, Russian Easter?

From The Page (June, 1975):

Two corrections from the last issue: it was not Sir Bern Bellower who was knighted but Mark von dem Faalkensfenn and an award of arms was given to Allyson of Hoghton not Faith of Hoghton at Marsh Crown.

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held in Coyote Creek Park, San Jose, California. King Paul and Queen Carol reigned. In between torrential downpours the crown lists were held. Count Andrew of Riga was the victor, defeating Count Douglas Longshanks. Patrice d’Cilla was his lady. At closing court they were crowned Prince and Princess of the Mists (this title started to be used for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess at this time). King Paul gave Awards of Arms to Alyson of Hoghton and to Robin of Hoghton. Upon the request of the knights of the West, King Paul knighted Mark von dem Falkensfenn. The Principality of Caid then announced the first Southern Rebellion. Martin the Temperate gave the MGC to Einar Aus Envelt.

“Unbeknownst to most, I built a tourney legal Mucking Great Clubbe, (rattan core, several wraps of carpet, covered with brown tape, Styrofoam spike covered in silvered tape). I challenged and attacked Bern the Bellower (who had awarded me with the MGC the previous crown.) When I first walked onto the field, he eyed me somewhat suspiciously, then I let him have a close look. He smiled and we fought several passes, in most ferocious and stupid fashion as we could muster. Most onlookers thought we were choreographing a comedy skit until I clearly hit him full force. Several marshals rushed out to stop us before they realized I wasn't using the real MGC. A great spoof. Unfortunately it was poorly constructed as the clubbe didn't last the day.
     “Einar made a most admirable showing at that crown, mostly because of the awful weather, the footing was extremely poor, Einar was wearing cleats and pushed his advantage far beyond his expectations, certainly a show of ferocity.” – Martin the Temperate

“Bern Bellower and I always loved fighting theatrics. It was he that fought me with a trident when I was in scuba gear at Marsh Crown. We had arranged this with the Marshals ahead of time and after some initial posturing and growling, we were thrown off the field - me for my non-regulation "armor" and Bern for lack of a fishing license. I recall that it was Sir Kevin who did the ejecting.
     “Another time, I think at Big Trees, Bern and I cooked up a fight that caused cardiac arrest for several marshals. In retrospect, I should have briefed them in advance, but I was young and foolish ... Anyway, I had taken a wooden tanto (made for martial arts practice) and covered it with silver mylar tape. From a few feet away it looked like real steel. Bern challenged me or I challenged him and we fought a few passes until he took my leg by prior arrangement. On dropping to the ground, I flung away my shield and sword. Bern demanded to know if I would surrender (in his very loud and very theatrical voice). I cried "Never!" or words to that effect, and pulled the tanto from out my boot. Flashing it upwards to catch the sun and the spectator's attention, I pulled it down into my stomach, making the obligatory hara-kiri cuts. Bern raced forward and beheaded my corpse just before the marshals descended upon us to see what the hell was going on. The tanto was passed around and agreed that it was safe enough, but we were thoroughly chewed out (and deservedly so) for creating the illusion of real steel in combat.
     “Bern was particularly inventive in his challenges and whenever someone came up with a weird weapon, technique, or stunt and asked him if he wanted to fight, his response was "Far out!"” – Brian Dritar an Con
“Yes it was me who stopped Brian and Bern's aquatic antics. They had clued me in ahead of time and asked me to bring the performance to some sort of appropriate close, since they obviously couldn't fight to a regulation tourney ending. Bern indeed had a tourney-legal trident either cobbled together on the spot or a Retiarus relic of some of the earlier attempts at gladiatorial combats - I forget how Brian was armed, though an unloaded spear gun floats murkily beneath the surface of my mind.
     “Several of the other lighter-hearted moments that I recall fondly include the quasi-annual Shastan Melees (one of which was divided on the basis of the fighters' preference between different flavors of Callard and Bowser candy).
     “And then there was Edward Zifran's unforgettable challenge to Henrik of Havn. In song, with soft-shoe dance accompaniment - a tune with the refrain of "For you are the Duke, you're the Mighty Arch Duke!" to the tune of "King of the Jews" from Jesus Christ Superstar.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“A lot of us used to do more off-the-wall things than now seem to happen. I recall one event where Brian and I fought with "two-handled" swords. His was Y shaped. Mine stemmed from the time when I first read The Incomplete Enchanter and ran across mention of a two-handed sword. I had pictured a sword with a hilt on each end. (And had an interesting time imagining how one would design a scabbard which would hold the sword and allow it to be drawn!)
     “I have a lovely photo of Brian on his knees, me standing behind him with my knee between his shoulder blades and the sword across his throat, industriously sawing back and forth. Don't know exactly when it happened, but it's black-and-white, so it must have been mid-70s some time.” – William the Lucky
“Now how could I have forgotten that silly battle having written an article on rare two handled swords for TI? Danny Carnahan was my co-author and he produced some wonderful medieval style illustrations of two handled sword combat. We even got in some references to the Shastans as being the last descendants of the medieval Europeans that first developed these swords. Interesting to hear where Bill's idea came from - I think my ideas on the subject sprung from reading some newspaper story where the reporter got his terminology wrong - hence the idea for a two handled sword. My sword, with the Y handle, was extremely practical as it could also be used as a dowsing rod.
     “Thanks for the memories, Bill!” – Brian Dritar an Con
“I seem to recall that a sarcastic rebuttal to an article by Edwin Bersark, which criticized a TI cover by Elriin of Hrasvelg depicting two longsword fighters, was involved too.
     “Wasn't the Y-shaped sword called a Grattleswax? I remember using the term in the first Pandybat melee's announcement.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“I recall that Sir Edwin blasted the artist about greatsword technique and that there was no way anybody who knew what they were doing could have got in that position. Eventually concluded that the two fighters must have been so tired that they were just propping each other up.
     “The Y sword wasn't Grattleswax, at least mine wasn't - I never named any of my weapons. Besides it was only made for that one time fight with Bill. Perhaps that was something else?” – Brian Dritar an Con

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).