O Canada

May. 3rd, 2016 03:38 pm
etherial: an idealized black vortex on a red field (shield)
[personal profile] etherial
I've been trying to get to a Canadian Crown Tournament for years. Every six months, the Kingdom of the East holds a Crown Tournament to determine the Heirs to the Throne. Then five months later, those Heirs are Crowned and a new Crown Tournament needs to be held. The tournament travels through each region of the Kingdom in turn. I've been to every Fall Crown Tournament since joining the SCA in 2006, but the Spring Crown Tournaments happen at the ends of the Kingdom, and I live in the middle. I've been to two Southern Crown Tournaments now, but Tir Mara has remained elusive. 2010 was a week before my wedding. 2012 was in Nova Scotia and both money and PTO were extremely tight. We almost made it in 2014, but we were already running a local event that day. Finally, on the last day of the 50th year of the SCA, I made it to Crown Tournament in Canada, and it was glorious.

Crown Tournament is one of my favorite events, and not just because I'm working to make it happen. Or, more precisely, it's because so many people are working to make it happen. The combatants and their consorts process into Court and are presented before the Crown. The shield heralds raise the combatants' heraldry for all to see. The field heralds announce each bout to great acclaim. The marshals work hard to keep the excitement and pressure from going to the combatants' heads. The list runners bring the results back to the Ministry of Lists, and we ministers move names on paper to figure out who's fighting who next. And the whole time, the Order of the Rose calls attention to great acts of chivalry (while also making sure to catch the winner's inspiration in case they faint).

We drove North to Montreal Friday night, having had a small snafu with the car, but otherwise proceeding apace. We got to Chateau de Robin around midnight and had a good time chatting, stretching, and decompressing until around 1:30.

Saturday, the weather was damn near perfect: sunny but not too hot, too windy, or too stifling. During the tournament itself, everything worked like clockwork. There were a few injuries and a few hotheads, but the marshals arranged for the occasional pause in the action to give the combatants a chance to cool down. And the winner? Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon -- Knight, Laurel, and Pelican -- fighting for his wife, Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon -- Laurel, Pelican, Lion of Atenveldt, and Tyger of the East -- AKA two really big deal people in their 50s. Brion took all comers with courtesy, chivalry, grace, and a great deal of serenity.

We left the event only to drive immediately back. A group of local folks had lost a critical engine belt and we gave one a ride back to the event to try and get some help. We had dinner at a local restaurant with a lovely house wine and delicious poutine.

Sunday, we had a nice leisurely breakfast where Jeanne put up with my deliberate mispronunciations of french, packed the car, went shopping for wine, and then slowly made our way home.
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