Saturday, September 7, 2013


Ok, I admit it. I'm a stinker, as Buggs would say. 

Barleycorn was great. I'd been asked as provincial marshal to drum up more fighting for The event. unfortunately there was a big conflict. Due to site problems, River Wars was on the same weekend. That's a very popular southern region event in New Jersey. We knew we weren't going to get a lot of fighters. Nonetheless I talked it up. I set up a multi weapons format that would prove a lot of fun.

Barleycorn is also the event where Sir Edward hosts is unbelted challenge. It includes two parts, sometimes three: a written test, a dance, and a heavy list. This year he cut the dance. The point is to emphasize those things that Edward thinks are lacking in the knightly education. The test includes questions on heraldry, SCA history, medieval history, East Kingdom custom, and law. In other words, all those things a peer of the realm is supposed to be up on. In Edward's point of view, fighting is the easiest thing to judge and the thing that too many people emphasize. He looks at prowess first, but then asks do they play chess? The thing is, a lot of unbelted fighters avoid Edwards tournament. You need a score of 60 to pass, and you need to pass the test to get into the list, and many fighters just don't think that's fair. I've heard some say that they don't want to travel all the way to Westchester just to be humiliated by Sir edward. I've even heard knights tell their squires to avoid the challenge because they think its stupid. I must say, that bothers me. Anybody who can't get an 80 on Ed's test probably shouldn't be a night, certainly not below 75. But other people don't want to take tests: they just want to hit people with sticks.

Since Wednesday? Bike ride, yoga, push-ups, oh yeah and I went fishing.

None in particular, except that we were fighting specific weapon forms.

There were four fighters: myself, Tyco, Ervald, and Violet from An Du Baghin. That's a good lefty unbelt, plus one fighter with more than 10 years experience, and one with more than 20.

We were scheduled for six forms: Mace and shield, bastard sword, open, two weapon, great ax, dagger, and 24 inch round shield and broadsword with no thrusting tip. That last one is why I'm a stinker. I put it in because it's old school, I love to fight it, and by making it a required form it meant that everybody had to play my game with me. When he saw what we were doing, Edward just sat there and chuckled the whole time.

Don't ask me about specific techniques that i used. I won all of my fights in all of the forms I competed in (I dropped out of both Great Ax and for dagger). The two things I remember doing were a double strike to Ervald with the bastard sword (which is his best weapon) while stepping off line for the second strike a la Gregor, a lot of taking legs followed by body thrusts with two weapon, and a wicked rising snap in the round shield fight. Bellatrix would have been proud.

Because I was the sponsor of the list and had provided the prize I passed it on to the fighter who had displayed the most courage, which was Violet, who got hurt twice but kept on fighting. 

Part of the point was to get a lot of fighting in. Mission accomplished. Part was to fight other weapon forms. Also mission accomplished. Promoting fighting at Barleycorn? Not so much, but that will progress. My goal is to make Barleycorn a destination fighting event like Birka or Mudthaw. A long way to go for that one. 

It is 56 days until Crown. The next time I will be in armor will likely be next Sunday. 

1 comment:

Sam McBroom said...

Damn,I would love to make it just for the test.