Getting stuck at home is no reason to skip out on the things we enjoy most. This year was my big push to get back into fighting trim, but that was quickly put on hold due to recent events. I was down, I was ready to give up, but then I said to myself… why let a lack of events and social distancing stop you from living your dreams! To that end I decided I would hold a grand tourney! We needed to stay close to home so my backyard would set the stage. There was plenty of room to fight in and high walls to protect us from unwanted visitors. Federal law mandated we keep the gathering to under ten people, so I sent out invitations to my closest friends. It was important to stay six feet apart so the theme of the tourney was set as pole-arms!
A crisis is no time to part with rules and policy so I needed all the elements in place. First I needed an MOL. Thankfully, I live with my dear love and Hael Baronial MOL, Lady Thalia. She quickly agreed and I knew she would be totally unbiased in her score keeping (granted I did promise steak dinners after the tourney, but I felt this would have no impact on the outcome, so we proceeded). After discussing the tourney and possible imitations, it was decided a bear pit was the best choice. So rules as discussed included a 30 minute bear pit, pole arms only. Two points for a win, one point for a loss, and minus one point for violating the six foot safety distance during the fight.
I am a marshal in good standing, but felt it was important to have a separate marshal to oversee the tourney and armor inspection. Lacking access to any marshals, I decided it was in the spirit of the day to deputize a marshal in training. I was able to find a local willing to take the job, and though new to the SCA, his enthusiasm was notable. He quickly took to studying the rules of the list and before long I was confident we would have a safe, fun day of fighting.
The day of the tourney was upon us. I quickly took to setting up the list ropes and waited for my fellow combatants to arrive and armor up. The sun was out, my banner flying, and the spirit of SCA tournaments gone by was in the air! As the time of the tourney drew near I stood alone on the field. No doubt the invitations I sent to my friends met delay or loss in the mail. No matter! I had my marshal inspect my armor which proved more challenging than expected due to a lack of thumbs and the inability to speak English, however in the end all was deemed safe.
The bear pit commenced! Given the lack of fighters it was decided that I would enter the list and perform a series of killer battle techniques. Lady Thalia would judge if my efforts would be a win or a loss and mark down my points. I knew she would be tough on me (and again not motivated by steaks dinners) so I fought my heart out. Twenty minutes in my chances looked good! Sadly ten minutes in the marshal noted I was not using my pole arm, and I was almost disqualified. Thankfully it was ruled that, since I was the only fighter, I was not in violation of the six foot safety distance rule.
Thirty minutes went quickly but I was certain victory was in my grasp! Before long the clack of rattan ended, the tired… fighter retired from the field. Lady Thalia started counting the points and I waited to embrace the glory of the day. As Lady Thalia finished the tally a hush fell over the field. In a proud unbiased voice she proclaimed the winner….Prince Maynard von dem Steine…wait…what? Son of a bitc…..