Friday, April 25, 2008


I share an attitude common in the West Kingdom that Crown Tourney is what the SCA is really all about. Everything else is just window dressing. As a result I hardly ever miss a crown. Well, that and I know that the best chance I have to win strawberry leaves is to maximize every opportunity I have to win, because I've never been that guy who can win most anytime he wants. I've fought in more crowns than anybody else save William the Lucky (and I might have passed him). I believe my count is 75. One year I fought in five crown tourneys, all three in the West and both in the East. So to me missing crown is about the biggest disaster I ever face. I feel like an eight year old who has been sent to his room while his siblings get to go to the circus. I act like it too (ask my girlfriend).

Today is one of those days. I am in practice. I have been fighting very well. This is probably my best opportunity to win Crown since I moved to the East. I've fought in three tourney recently and done well. Prova was a great tuneup for Crown. I am not injured. And I'm sitting at home.

I'm at home because of mundane concerns--we had a tenant vacate our rental in Jersey City suddenly and we have to rent it by Wednesday. Also, I don't want to do the trip by myself, both for money (I can afford it by myself but it's a stretch) and for the fact that it's a 12 hour drive and on Sunday I'm likely to be very beat up.

But that's just whining.

This crown looks tough because all crowns look tough. There are two dukes who really want to win it, whom I've never beaten in a list, plus three knights who are going for it who give me fits. But I still wish I were there. There's nothing like a crown.

There are a number of reasons why I think crown should be the center of the SCA universe. One is because of the old Western reality that, int eh beginning, all events (save 12th Night) were crown tourneys. That and having three a year (plus in most parts of the kingdom two coronets) meant that you were always fighting in royal tourneys. There was a tradition early in the West that all fighters except dukes were expected to fight in crown (it's even in the ceremony that created the first dukes). And, of course, there's the simple fact that until I become one of those myself (A Duke that is) I will feel incomplete as a fighter. That old joke "once a fluke, twice a duke" rings in my ear from time to time.

So that's why I fight in every crown except this one. In 30 years of doing this it's easy to count the number of crowns I was eligible for but skipped: one I was banned from, two while I was prince of the mists, one while I was king, one when I was injured, and three because of distance: the Western crown that was held in An Tir and two of the crown that have been held in Canada, counting this one. I don't count the crown that was re-fought at Purgatorio when Radnor abdicated. That's eight in 30 years that I've missed, and most of those years I lived in the kingdom that holds three a year.

So forgive me if I'm grumpy today.

But what about you guys? What do you feel?


Western Spartans said...

I love fighting in Crowns - if there is one thing the West does better than the East (and there may be more) it's open crowns where everyone is encouraged to fight. Oh, and Coronets rule too.

Worst part about being Prince is that I will miss 2 Crowns.

MAC said...

Absolutely! The worst thing about being prince is missing two crowns. Of course, that's about the only bad thing about being prince! Prince is a pretty cool job! :)