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The Shire of Ballachlagan’s Donnan Party event on March 26 had its usual surfeit of heavy weapons and rapier, along with archery and thrown weapons.


Master Donnan MacDubhsithe, photo by Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepori Levi.

The event began as a way to recognize the birthday of Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe by giving him a venue to receive the traditional fencer’s “birthday smacks.” It has evolved to include a heavy weapons muster for fighter to train for Pennsic.

The day started with the Court of the Imperatori, Tindal and Etain. Lady Julianna Ravenshaw explained the history of the event, and noted that while it was not Master Donnan’s actual birthday, it was the birthday of another gentle – Princess Ariella. Her Highness was presented with a cake, and the populace sang to her. The cake was later distributed with the lunch sideboard. The Imperatori then summoned Master Bastiano di Iacopo and asked if was ready to hold his vigil and play the prize for the Order of Defense, as he had received a Writ at Bog Twelfth Night in January. He answered in the affirmative and was escorted by the Masters of Defense to an area where he could meet with fencers and peers for that purpose. His elevation will take place at Coronation.

Court having ended, gentles scattered to don armor or pick up rapiers, bows, or axes and pursue the martial activities of their choice. The day being warm and sunny, the heavy and youth fighters went outside to the field behind the building, while the fencers took over the gyms to do Cut and Thrust training as well as hold classes on various rapier techniques. Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede, Kingdom Rapier Marshal, oversaw the authorization of about a dozen fencers in the new form of two-handed sword by various regional marshals. At noon the “birthday smacks” for Master Donnan began.

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Slideshow photos by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Meanwhile, the heavy fighters outside took advantage of the large field to have pickup fights as well as a round robin novice tournament. The Marshal-in-Charge, Lord Oliver Lengthorn, commented, “The unbelt round robin was a ‘warmup tourney’ thing that occurs at the beginning of each of our Region’s musters. After the round robin was over, many of the Knights in attendance took the field to offer the unbelted fighters a few passes and one-on-one instruction. The rest of the day we worked on small unit maneuvers in field battles and also drilled some tactics for limited front engagements.
We spent the day making our AErmy stronger. Though there is no individual winner to report, the entire Kingdom wins!”

After the tourney and warmups, the heavy fighters held field battles under the watchful eye of Augustus Tindal and Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter.

Video by Arianna.

The youth fighters also enjoyed the fine weather, with the Kingdom Division 2 Champion, Drake, helping to train two brand new youth fighters. Master Liam macanTsaoire and Lord Rouland of Willowbrooke, both youth sparring marshals, took time out to fight against the youth as well.

Youth Combat photos by Arianna. Click to view as a slideshow.

Lunch was a buffet taco bar that also included fruits, veggies, and the Princess’ birthday cake.

In the afternoon the fencers held a Scholar’s Tourney for fencers who did not possess a White Scarf or Master of Defense. It had about 15 participants, and was won by Lord Markus Skalpr Grimsson.

Fencers 2

Photo by Arianna.

As the day wound down, the Imperatori held their afternoon court, where they recognized many worthy gentles as noted in the Court Report. Most notably, THLady Fiora d’Artusio was inducted into the Order of the White Scarf for her skill on the rapier field. She was presented with a scarf from her husband, Master Will Parris, which he said was the first scarf he had received and which he had worn into many battles.

Fiora WS

THLady Fiora d’Artusio is admitted to the Order of the White Scarf. Photo by Mistress Ts’vee’a.

Congratulations to the Shire of Ballachlagan on another successful Donnan Party!