River War: Iron Bog vs. Bhakail and everyone wins

I know it has been a while since I last posted and while I have been to many events and practices since my last post, life has gone crazy (classes started, work got crazy, life has been chaos, etc) and left me with little time to actually post anything. Yesterday, Ellynor (Rachael) went to River War which was my first event in the East Kingdom 2 years ago. Lorenzo was the marshal in charge of fence and ran 3 awesome tournaments: an early-bird bear-pit tournament, a cut and thrust tourney, and the Don Edmund the Lame memorial tournament that had to be rescheduled from Pennsic due to the heat. Ellynor and I fought in the Early-bird tournament with a fair sized pool of about 14 or so with about half of the pool being OGRs. The style was a typical bear-pit with the winner staying in for up to 4 matches and then rotating out. Since we only had Lorenzo to marshal the fights, we started with one pool which moved fairly slowly. Seeing this, Eldritch stepped out and marshaled a second list. The fighting went on for an hour with a lot of great fights (and some posing by two fencers in a fight that lasted a lot longer than anyone expected. In the end, Don Melchior won with 18 points, Don Malcolm and Don Andre tied for second with 13 points, and Don Thomas Del Broc, Lord Ian Douglass, and myself tied for 3rd with 12 points. A few times Ellynor and I came across each other on the list and were asked by the marshal if we were comfortable fencing each other. When we are at practice, we may spar but we will not teach one another because it creates a power dynamic in a relationship that is not healthy. That being said, on the list we view each other as just another fencer and have no problem facing off against each other. She fought really well especially for being authorized for only 6 months and should be very proud of how she fought.

The cut and thrust tournament only had 4 entrants and was won by my Don, Master Orlando who showed up soon after the end of the first tournament (I wish he could’ve seen some of my fights but I know he’s proud of how I fought even though he couldn’t be there for it). The last tournament of the day was a memorial tournament for Don Edmund the Lame, a great man who I never had the honor of meeting but have heard many great things about. Again, Master Orlando won in a great fight against Don Griffith. After the fighting had ended, I helped Engracia authorize a new fencer who showed a lot of potential and I really look forward to fighting against her in the future. I also got to do a few passes with Master Caine who told me that he sees a great deal of improvement since last year and wants to work with me further next time we meet. I can’t wait to get to fight him again and learn more from him because it was a blast fighting him.

The last fighting of the day was between the fencing champions of Bhakail and Iron Bog, Eldritch and Taka respectively. They fought before their baronesses in a best of 3 matches of rotating forms with their best forms last. They both fought very well and showed prowess and comportment befitting their positions that showed why they hold their stations as champions. Afterwards, someone suggested that the ladies champions of each barony face off as well. For those who do not know, the ladies champion of Bhakail is a position chosen by the ladies of the barony to the fighter who they felt showed the greatest comportment on the list. Ellynor stepped forward as Bhakail’s ladies champion of fence but Iron Bog does not have a ladies champion. Baroness Creatura chose Master Lawrence Thornguard, a former Baron of Iron Bog who is known for his comportment. The two fought very well but the greatest moment of their matches was not a kill shot, it was when Ellynor landed a percussive blow on Master Lawrence’s arm. Master Lawrence went to take the arm as a valid blow and put his arm behind his back but Ellynor spoke up and asked him to please not accept the shot as it was not a valid blow. The comportment showed by these two was some of the best I have seen in all of my short time in the SCA and makes me want to be like them. It was a great way to end the fencing and a great way to finish off a great event.

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