Fall Crown Tourney 2013

I fought for Master Liam St. Liam at Crown Tourney. He was an AWESOME consort! He watched all of my bouts and even brought me water when I needed it!

We started by lining up to be presented to the royalty. Because the order of precedence was determined by my awards, we were number 53 in line. Liam said if they had gone by his, we would have probably been number 13. While we were waiting, he ran into a duchess that he knew. She had insisted that the herald announce him as “Bob, just Bob”. And they actually announced him that way! Lol! I really enjoyed the King’s speech to us. While he was more eloquent about it, he reminded us that the winner would be a Pennsic king and that if anyone was there to “vote”, they should withdraw now. He went on to say that anyone blatantly throwing fights or being numb would be spoken to and, if the behavior continued, removed from the tournament. Rumor had it that at least one person WAS spoken to throughout the day. I was glad to see that the King kept his word on that. From everyone I spoke to afterwards, the fights were clean and honor abounded throughout the day.

They had the first round as buckets again. As a fighter that was unlikely to progress, I preferred the chance to fight several people before I was done, so I liked the bucket format for the first round. I think there were 14 people in my pool. I knew most of them. Some I knew well. Others I just had seen them around and knew their names. There were a lot of people from Serpentius in my bucket, but there were a lot of people from Serpentius fighting, in general. The people I remembered being in my bucket were Omega, Ivan, Joe, Fionn, Luis, Master Angus, Sir Culann, Stefan (who must have a new name because I haven’t seen him on the Crown Entrant list), Shiro and a few I did not know. My first fight was Fionn. I did my best, but I did not win. I can’t remember the order of my fights, so I may not be retelling this in order. I fought Ivan with a very defeatest attitude. I just wanted him to beat me and get it over with. My fight with Joe lasted longer. I ended up slipping on the leaves and falling. My period shoes had no grip. So I had to explain that I was not on the ground because I was dead, but because I had slipped. He killed me soon enough, though. I had done pretty well against Luis in practice, but it became quickly apparent that he had taken it easy on me. Fighting him “for real” had very different results and he quickly won. In hindsight, I remembered that fighting him in practices, I had only really done well at defense, not offense. I also entered my fight with Omega with a defeatest attitude. I knew I could not win and he quickly hit me with a shot that hit bare flesh and stung, so I called it “good”. He did not think it was good and we continued to fight. After that, I did do my best. I blocked his leg shot (mainly because I had been hit with that same shot twice already that day and the bruises were already starting to hurt). He killed me quickly after that. He complimented me on blocking that leg shot.

I fought some of the fighters I did not know. Not much stuck in my mind about those fights except for one. He kept trying to hit me with an offside head shot, but I kept leaning out of it, so it kept sliding down the side of my helmet. He seemed to think that they were all good shots. He finally hit me with one that was slightly harder and I took it. Remembering the King’s speech, I asked the marshal after my fight if I was in the wrong. I didn’t want to be the dick that shrugged shots. He assured me that I was correct. Omega reinforced what the marshal had said, explaining that my opponent had done it to try and create an opening in my defense elsewhere, but I had not given him that opportunity. I was surprised to see Sir Culann fighting with a sword and a shield because I had always thought he was best with pole arm. Our fight started off very slowly. We both played the waiting game. Once he actually started swinging at me, it wasn’t long before he had won. Fighting Master Angus threw me off because he was fighting pole arm. I rarely fight pole arm with sword and shield. Because I enjoy fighting with a pole arm, whenever someone pulls out a pole, I pull out mine to match their weapon form. In this fight, I rushed in, but it didn’t go so well. I ended up on the ground for a second time. It was partially due to his brute strength and good leverage and partially because of the lack of grip on my period shoes. He killed me in the end. Omega explained that I should have used thrusts against him.

Here is a picture of me fighting Duke Omega.  Thanks to Melinda Hudson for sharing this pic!

Here is a picture of me fighting Duke Omega. Thanks to Melinda Hudson for sharing this pic!

My last two fights were Stefan and Shiro. They were my last chance to meet my goal of winning one bout. I thought I had a chance with either of them because Stefan seemed thrown off at the fact that I was a lefty and I had beaten Shiro once in a practice as a righty. I was incorrect. I had not won a single fight.

I was so disappointed that I did not meet my goal of winning one fight, I burst into tears after my last bout. I walked away from the lists, back to the area where Serpentius had set up. It was pretty empty because most of them were still fighting or watching people fight.

Fionn was the first one to notice that I was crying. He told me that every time he sees me, my fighting is better. He expressed his confidence that I will get there because, despite how frustrated I get, I have a strong will and just don’t give up.

Syr Marcus took over and said some inspiring things as well. We were interrupted by Angus who had come over to show me how to beat a pole arm with a sword and shield. I was grateful for the fact that he ignored the tears rolling down my face and just continued to instruct me like nothing was wrong. Stefan came over also to give me some advice.

During my chat with Stefan, the guy who clearly thought I had shrugged his shots had come over (I really don’t remember his name). I had tried to explain what happened and what the marshals had said, but he insisted that he had hit something solidly. I suggested that it might have been the top of my shield, but he didn’t think so. It was clear that I wasn’t convincing him, so I gave up. I supposed it was a moot point since he had won anyway.

I finished armoring down and my consort made me eat something. I wasn’t hungry, so he went and got food and brought it to me. I ate it and realized that I was hungry after all. Omega came over and I explained while I was upset. He started by reminding me that I had just switched to lefty, something he had never attempted and few succeed at. That excuse was starting to feel old to me (because that’s what I kept telling myself after every bad practice). He then said what was probably the one thing I needed to hear to get me to try to calm down. I did try to calm down after that, but it took a few hours before I was smiling again.

I changed into garb and watched a lot of the “sweet 16”. Ivan, Ionius, and Omega had made it to the second round. Ionius and Omega had made it to the final four, but were both defeated. Ionius was asked to be the holder of the East Kingdom’s Shield of Chivalry at the court after the finals were over as well!  The finals were Duke Konrad vs. Sir Brennan. Sir Brennan won. How exciting for him to win Crown the same day he became he was knighted!!! I barely know him, but felt happy for him nonetheless!

After the finals, Serpentius went out to dinner.  It was SO GOOD hanging out with everyone again!  I felt bad that I didn’t spend more time with them at Pennsic, because I love everybody in Serpentius.  They are all awesome people and I realized yesterday that I really don’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like!

There were also a number of people at Crown who had wished me luck and was glad that I was fighting. Many continued to state that they wished more women were out there.  You hear that female fighters!?  You don’t have to be good, I’m not.  But you’ll get better.  I will, eventually.  It doesn’t hurt to go out there and at least make a showing! I’m also assuming female fighters read this blog, but I propose a challenge to you: enter Crown. You don’t have to win, but it couldn’t hurt (well, more than the bruises anyway).

Throughout the day, various people offered me advice. It was mostly the same statements repeated by various unconnected people. Most asked if I had good fights.  I did.  Most asked if I had fun.  I did.  Many asked if I did my best.  I did, with the exception of Ivan and the beginning of my fight with Omega.  Most stated that having fun is all that matters.  I got tired of replying that that’s what people always say to the losers. I was also reminded a lot that I’ll get there eventually.  I’m sure these things were all true, but they didn’t help much.  There were two things that really helped and stuck out in my mind. One was someone who said he reads my blog because he found it inspiring. He gave the example of “I went to this practice and got my ass kicked, but I’m going to do it again the next day or the next week.” That really sounds like a typical blog of mine, with the exception of adding the things that I had learned! I had honestly never thought my blogs could be inspiring! The other one likened my setback as a lit fuse. That was all he had to say. I got the reference immediately. My disappointment at my failure would light the fuse, giving me motivation and drive me to push myself to succeed. He was right. I was already devising my training goals in my head to prepare for the next Crown!

I will not be making it to many practices this coming week. Slipping and falling in the lists did a real number on my back and I am short on funds. I will probably only attend the Nordenhal practice this week. I hope to start hitting practices again the following week. In the meantime, I will be devising (and hopefully following) a new training regime complete with specific goals.

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~ by Gunnvor on November 2, 2013.

8 Responses to “Fall Crown Tourney 2013”

  1. Luis came over to talk to you as well, but you were busy with Angus.

  2. Here is the full list of your pool, from the EKGazette:

    Tribune Omega Aurelius Serpentius for Shahzadeh Roxane Farabi Shahzadeh
    Sir Culann mac Cianian for Baroness Edana inghean Aluinn mac Kinnon
    Mistress Aelfgifa of the Hazel Thicket for Master Dinsdale of Northumbria
    Lord Gawyn O’Clery for Maeve O’Clery
    Baron Ivan Ivanov syn Dmitriev for Baroness Mathilde DeCadenet
    Lord Fionn Mac Con Dhuibh for Baroness Molly Schofield
    Baron Joseph Harcourt for Mistress Kis Maria
    Don Luis de Castilla for Lady Tamitha of Ostgardr
    Lady Gunnvor hausakljúfr for Master Liam St. Liam
    Baron Buyan Delger for Lady Katrin Cooper
    Master Angus Pembridge for Baroness Katarzyna Gwozdz
    Lord Steffan Joseph for Thora of Olachalacha

  3. Hazzah to you for even getting out there and trying. Me I am a wall flower a faded one at that.

  4. Well, they are right. Having fun *is* the important part. They just fail to mention that winning tends to be more fun than losing.
    I would be happy to do whatever I can to help you train/learn/develop/whatever. If you are interested, feel free to talk to me at any event.
    Sir Oscad

  5. Fantastic post, with a great insight into what its like inside the list in Crown (something I’m unlikely to experience). Having a pool of supporters who back you up with tips and instruction and inspiration…that’s wonderful. Its great to have friends who inspire and help. Hope to see you fight.

  6. […] go read this blog post, and read this woman’s perspective on fighting Crown Tourney in the […]

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