Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rapier Peerage Proposal

So the more I’ve come to think about it, I think including rapier duelists into the chivalry is a bad idea.  I know many of you support the notion that all combat activities should be included into the chivalry and dislike the notion of a separate peerage for rapier.  Here is why I think what I do:

Within the laurels, there are many diverse arts, so diverse in fact that none are a master of all.  When you are inducted into the laurel, it may be for one specific art or many different arts.  But say you were inducted in based on one specific art, and then you take up another.   How do you know how you will compare to the others out there.  Arts and sciences being so diverse a topic, it would be ridiculous to have a peerage for each area of study, especially when new areas of study are found.  Is an expert on Viking wire weaving going to know about 13th Century fonts or 16th Century Venetian glass?   No, but they can hopefully base decisions about a person’s skill and knowledge on their research as well as interpretation.

When it comes to marshal activities, we have a much more defined set of activities.  For combat against an opponent, in the SCA we have two different forms of adult combat: armored combat and rapier combat in all its forms.  Mastery at one activity will not necessarily translate to mastery in the other.  We have many people who enjoy both activities.  Now yes, if rapier were included into the chivalry, like with the arts, you could have someone knighted for general combat, as opposed to specific form.  You could also have divisions within the chivalry: one for armored, one for rapier.  But the second option is much like what is being proposed; a separate order for rapier. 

The current Prince of the East has made it one of his goals to be inducted into the Order of the Golden Rapier.  He is a renaissance man:  a top archer, a knight, soon to be a duke, he made the East Kingdom’s Pennsic Rapier Champions team, he’s an artisan; he can do it all and well.  By including rapier into the Chivalry, he would have no goal for which to shoot for, as he’d already be included into the terminal award.  Yes, he could still be inducted into a “lesser” award once peerage was granted to rapier.  But how would he know where he is viewed?  How would one know the difference between a knight trying out rapier for the first time, or a person knighted for their skill as a duelist?  If we segregate the rapier fighters from the armored combatants within the Chivalry, how is that any different than a separate peerage?

Just my random thoughts…

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pennsic - Part 2

Monday morning I awoke, butterflies in my stomach.  I grabbed something lite to eat and then headed to Carillion to pick up my tithe for the OGR meeting.  Jehannine made me a keg of home brewed porter.  I carried the keg out to the field and waited for the day to begin for me.  I felt I was warm enough and decided not to do any pickups in the morning.  I found out I had been paired against the baby Midrealm Warder for the champions bout.  Getting to the East Kingdom tent, I was in a good mood.  I dropped my stuff and then from across the tent I spotted my ex-wife.  My mood shattered and I started pacing.  I know I should not have let it affect me so, but it did.  When the tournament started she was no where in sight, so my mood started to improve.  I was the 15th fight out of the 20 single bouts.

I can recall my opening shot.  I thought I had him.  My tip placement was perfect, right inside my opponents right shoulder, no parry, no movement from his buckler.  Unfortunately, I just dimpled his fabric, not scoring a touch he could feel.  Then there was an exchange of blades, and somehow my blade got trapped in my opponents guard.  Not the tip, but about 4-6" behind the tip.  It was wedged in good.  Once I noticed the blades were entangled, I dropped my blade and my opponent dropped his.  We tried to work my blade free but were unable to.  The marshals took over trying to free my blade.  While watching them, I figured I should unscrew my pommel and drop the furniture off the blade, so that it would take weight off the back end.  Eventually after about 2 minutes they got my blade out, and with no damage to it (surprisingly).  The tip popped off so it was re-taped on.  The bout was restated and I just was not the same as I was prior.  I knew I was not sharp, though I tried.  I was back on my heels and my opponent landed a beautiful light thrust to my throat.  It took me a second to realize it as the calibration was spot on (plus through an over the mask hood, the bib of the mask, and my gorget).  Eh, so I lost my bout.  And we lost the war point by 1 bout, with the final score being Midrealm - 11 / East Kingdom - 10.

So thoughts from champions:

  • What a freaky thing to happen, with getting bound like that.  Next time I need to remember I had a dagger in my offhand and close for the kill.   (kidding... I think I did the right thing.)
  • I had thought about taking out a longer blade.  I had been using the 39" Darkwood since March.  I had thought prior to the fight and as they were getting my blade unstuck that maybe I should think about switching to the 43" blade.  This had me second guessing myself through the remainder of the bout and afterwards.  Next time, go with my gut.
  • Redouble and second intentions need to become a better part of my game.  My point was on target with my opening shot but just a hair short.  Had I made the step in with the shot or even afterwards, the point would have been mine.
  • I was saving myself for champions in the early part of war.  I'm glad I did not injure myself before I had a chance to fight.  I think not doing any warmup bouts was the right call for me on that day.  Each day will be different.
 After Rapier Champions, we had an unofficial OGR meeting.  This being my first meeting, I brought some booze, as did Davius.  Jehannine made me a 5 gallon keg of porter that was amazing.  Davius made a bucked of 1-800-mess-you-up or some such concoction which hit you hard but tasted damn good.  I love a good beer, but normally cannot drink a lot.  I wound up having 5-6 mugs of the porter.  Needless to say, I was drunk.  We discussed a few things with the prince and princess.  And of course there was much drinking too... oh, and cookies.  Now I can neither confirm nor deny who ate the cookies the prince allegedly left behind, but had I partaken of said cookies, they must have been tasty.

Having not had much to eat, a bunch of TOAD went to the food court.  Drunken times in the food court was hilarious.  After food, I retrieved the remainder of the keg and brought it with me to Sharc Pit so that it would be a little lighter to carry.  We brought the keg to a Midrealm camp, where I shared the beer and they shared tiramisu.  Finally with the day being done, I dragged the keg back to Jehannine's camp.  It was reported to me that the remainder filled just over a growler.  I'd say that was a pretty good day of drinking.  No clue what I did that night other than pass out.

To be continued.... Part 3 - Rapier Woods battle

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pennsic - Part 1

This was a slightly odd Pennsic.  Jennie was not able to join me so I was flying solo this war.  We had a smal group of TOADs camped in our usual spot:  Edmund, Emeline, Firebow, Mable, Junior (Christopher) and myself.

I left from work on Friday around 4:00 PM to start the drive.  I was expecting to stop somewhere along the way to sleep, but wound up making it to Cranberry, PA where I found a room.  I wasn't tired, so I figured, why not go check in at Troll, so I made the drive up to Pennsic and got my medallion, this way I could avoid the lines in the morning.  I headed back to the hotel.  As I was just about to turn off the light and fall asleep, the power went out for the whole area, nit just the hotel.  I spent a few minutes in the lobby trying to find out what was going on (as there was an alarm chirping in my room), realized that I would be sleeping in a tent with trucks blowing their horns nearby, so I trudged up the stairs to the room.  The beeping had stopped, so I opened the window and went to sleep.  About 90 minutes later the power went on, so I then had to turn off all the lights and fell back asleep.  In the morning I drove to the storage unit to get my yurt.

Arriving at camp, I unpacked the yurt.  Firebow arrived just a few minuted later.  A couple of the DeLondres kids (can I call them kids since they are now over 20?) helped me start setting up the yurt.  We had trouble with getting the rafters in and the roof ring.  We needed to make the band around the top tighter to support the roof.  Additionally, I got a ladder so 'bow could stand on it with the ring as we got rafters in place.  Thank you Magnus for the help and advice.  With the structure up, the roof and walls went on easily.  By that point I was able to get some of the furnishings for the tent from storage before heading to the airport to pick up Chris.  I was running late, or thought I was for the airport run, so I was doing a bit over the speed limit.  I got to the airport about the same time as his flight and met him in baggage claim.  We headed up towards site with a stop for food and at Walmart for supplies.  I thought I had extra bedding for him in the storage unit, but when we checked, it was not there, so we drove to the other Walmart in the rain.   Getting pack to site, we finished setting up the tent and with our storage runs.  Saturday night was somewhat relaxed.  I was going to try and make it to opening ceremonies so I could guard HRM Ian'ka of Atenveldt, but was still setting stuff up.

Sunday was the belted, unbelts, heroic champions and allied champions.  As I was prepping for the rapier field battle which was to follow, I got to see Brennan called before the thrones and be given a writ for his induction into the Order of the Chivalry.  The field battles were over pretty quickly.  They were run three times.  I wound up with nine kills over the course of the battle, which was a lot considering how badly we outnumbered them.  But our opponents gave a spirited fight.   

Part 2 - rapier champs and the OGR meeting... (coming soon)