Gregory Pettigrew (etherial) wrote,
Gregory Pettigrew

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War of the Roses

Friday, my sweetheart and I loaded up my car with gear for our SCA camping trip and headed out to a hilltop in Mariaville, NY. The weather was beautiful, but windy. So windy that even though Gill and Sigurd had started setting up the encampment at noon, only one tent and the kitchen had been set up when we got there at four. Pitching rosinavs's tent helped set up a bit of a windbreak, and with the arrival of Andrea, we were able to raise the dining fly and Arabella and Sigurd's pavilion. Dinner was scheduled to be deep fried turkey, but it wasn't until it started raining that the wind died down enough to even consider it. Thankfully the rain was temporary, dinner was served, but by then I was exhausted and went to bed right after eating.

There was no time for sleeping in Saturday, though. I had work to do. I headed out to the tournament field and was warmly greeted by Baroness eLeri, the local Minister of Lists. We were joined by another junior MoL who helped eLeri organize the 26-man Claude the Frank Memorial Great Weapons Tournament while I ran the 8-man Baronial Fencing Championship and the 24-man wounds retained fencing Survival Tournament. The previous two years' survivor tournaments had been left unwon as the two finalists killed each other in the championship bout. Unfortunately, the second round of the tournament had a double-kill, resulting in an odd number of combatants in round 3. In normal SCA fighting, a bye is no worse than a match because we will still find someone for you to fight. In a wounds retained tournament, however, I wonder if a bye ends up working against you - the bye fighter has absolutely nothing to lose and could end up savaging you quite fiercely. Indeed, both of the fencers with byes were eliminated in the following rounds, and the prize was unfortunately won.

I had the rest of saturday afternoon off and worked on my sunburn in the encampment chatting up the neighbors, eating cheeseburgers, and drinking beer. It was quite relaxing to watch the children play and just chat for hours on end, but it was still very windy and damned cold in the shade. Saturday night was dancing (and limoncello drinking), and there were a few too many out of period dances. It's nice to have the occasional Baroque Dupal Minor for resting and drinking, but we were having difficulty keeping interest long enough to the end, and were then assaulted with a quartet of very good and fun dances.

Sunday, I probably should have slept in, but fighter check-in was officially 9:30 and I didn't want any fighters complaining that we were late. Besides, I got to have tea at eLeri's encampment right next to the list field and chat with her compatriots therein. Still, by the official start time of the Baronial Heavy List Championship, the position would have remained open. Once Master Yoshi fixed his wardrobe malfunction, I ran the four-man round robin tournament. The outgoing Champion had decided on a called-shot tournament, which resulted in a few amusing moments as the fighters took shots that didn't count and then had to correct themselves.

I then handled the Tournament of Roses (while the other MoLs handled the fencers), which originally had 14 participants, but we received a late entrant. At the time, I suggested that the late entrant take a first round loss and replace one of the byes, but I'm wondering if maybe there was an alternative. After that, it was pretty straightforward, the only exception being Ben Ha-Khazar, who had just been authorized to fight that very morning. He's been fighting in various formats for some time and just turned 18, so this was his first opportunity to fight in a Heavy List. He did surprisingly well, winning four or five bouts and only ultimately losing to Masters of Arms. There was also an amusing anecdote from the point when only two combatants had been elimiated, one of them a woman. The other expressed some displeasure at the idea of fighting her, and this only stoked her fires. Remember, folks, the only proper response to "I can't hit a woman" is "That will just make it easier for me to beat the tar out of you".

rosinavs had brought me lunch and then stayed and helped me fight the wind by ferrying dead fighter cards into card purgatory. We then strolled back to the encampment to rest and relax the rest of the day. She didn't feel well, so we didn't go out dancing and I instead stayed up late around the campfire when she went to bed early.

Monday, we were able to pack my car even better than before, due mostly to the fact that it was completely empty when we started packing it, rather than being half-full with my stuff. We also checked and saw that we could indeed fit a seven-foot panther pavilion pole in my car, resulting in much delight at the possibility of having a verticle-walled domicile at Pennsic. We stopped at the Memorial Day barbecue at Chez Smith and then on to my Camelot meeting, where it was my turn to be odd man out on design decisions, but Que Serra, Serra.
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