On the week of July 20th 2016 the Barony held a tournament to determine the Baronial Heavy Weapons Champion for the year. The tournament was held on the night of the normal Baronial fighter practice. The tournament consisted of three elements…A fifteen minute bear pit with wounds retained, a Viking cloak battle, and finally a single elimination tournament (this was originally a double elimination, but was reduced for time). Ultimately His Grace Duke Sir Maynard von dem Steine won out over many and was awarded the position of Baronial Heavy Weapons Champion! As the tournament unfolded I watched each of the fighters interact not only as combatants but as friends. Some of the fighters that arrived to practice did not even know a tournament was scheduled, but armored up without hesitation and eagerly joined the list. There was a mix of experience and skill levels, and for some this was among one of the first tournaments they entered if not the first. Every fight was conducted with honor, filled with cheers, and concluded in good spirit.
However this missive is not really about the details of the tournament, it is about the experience. Under all of the normal trappings and sights of the tournament was another element, an experience that I often call “the magic”. That moment when all the little modern anachronisms seem to fade away if even for a second. For me it is sort of a tunnel vision that blocks out the modern gym walls or the odd bit of “sports equipment” armor. You see only the look of determination on the faces of the fighters, the respect given and received, the moment a new fighter earns that story that he will carry for years, and the bond that makes this hobby so much more than a simple fight with sticks. Sometimes this only lasts for a second and can only be experienced in person. It is said that the role of a Baron is to inspire the spirit of the SCA in people. Perhaps that is true, however on this day it was the people who inspired that spirit in me. Thank you all for giving me one more moment of “the magic” to remember and cherish. Vivat to all!
Special thanks to Lord Horatius for running the tourney and Lady Brigette for acting as MOL.
|Back Row left to right: David, Grim, Gerardo, Bovi, Maximo, Troy, Ed, Alexi, Fearghus. Front Row left to right Wolfgang, Maynard. Fighting but not pictured was His Excellency Baron Richard from Rising Waters.|