Friday, January 05, 2007

534: Tournament Triple Threat!

[Greg just posted his notes on last year's Court of Love. They display below this post, so don't miss it!—Suzanne]

[Here're some links to large file-size jpgs of the cover/contents of Greg's Advanced Character Generation and Player's Book of Winter Options so you all can be totally jealous of us.—Suzanne]

[Players Book of Winter OptionsAdvanced Character Gen coverAdvanced Character Gen contents page]

Mortimer says

The winter's hard work paid off as, despite the cold and wet weather, I paid a call to all the manor-holders in Silchester-county. Scribes and priests may argue otherwise, but speaking to a man face to face is the best (and only) way to judge his character, and for him to judge yours. I encouraged the less-desirable and/or intractable into other duties, even errantry in a few cases, and moved the more promising of the Silchester lot into positions of authority. On the whole, I'm feeling better about these Silchester men, and after last year's bountiful harvest I believe the feeling may be mutual.

After winter court in Camelot, dear Sir Leodigrance started the year off with a bang, holding a tournament at Sarum, on the grounds outside the newly-built castle inside the old motte-and-bailey. I must say, I'm really happy with the way it turned out! This is now the second square-built keep I've constructed, and it showed. The countess and her court were pleased as punch when they saw the gardens I had constructed outside their second-story quarters. My lady Queen Guenivere helped with the arrangement of plants and birds, and the effect was quite pleasing.

Leo and Lady Raeburgh titled their tourney the Tournament of Roses. Since Sir Ywain was still in the area, he attended and ran away with the joust but, surprise surprise! young Sir Galonors defeated all and sundry in the melee. Sir Leodigrance, with a nod to Sir Ywain, awarded the tournament championship to Galonors, a valiant (and home-grown) knight.

As promised, I too held a party to celebrate my change in fortunes, though Lady Betty nixed my idea of the party in the old jail. Instead we held one of these new-fangled tournaments outside Silchester-town, dubbed the Tournament of Justice; again, Lady Betty's idea. I'd wanted to call it the Tournament of Ransom Finally Paid. Quite a few of my Round Table companions attended, much to my delight—the courtiers that followed on their spurred heels less so. Oh, the rules and protocol they imposed! I just sat there, smiling and waving. Sir Griflet handily won the melee, while (surprise!) King Anguish won the joust and was declared overall champion of the tournament. He seemed mightily pleased, which should make him even more disposed towards our Emperor, King Arthur.

Young, wan Sir Galonors surprised us all with his stunning victory in the "tournament of justice" event we staged midway through the almost-weeklong event. Later, after the battle of law was over and Galonors declared the winner, the man he defeated, Arthur's chief justicier, pulled me aside to inquire about young Galonors. Us greybeards have admired his sharp wit for years now, and I told the justicier as much. I admit I heavily tinged my admiration with affection for the man who so sweetly revenged us against Sir Turquine. We shall have to put a good word in the king's ear to find that goodly knight an appropriate wife as, my dear lady tells me, Galonors wife died in childbirth this year past. Such a shame, but we hear the child yet lives.

Later in the year we accompanied Lady Elizabell, the queen's cousin, to her wedding to one of the innumerable kings of Paris, a King Childebert. There was, of course, a tournament following the wedding feast. I feel sorry for Elizabell, watching those Parisian "knights" gorge and leer in their most-disorderly hall. At one point during the feast a pair of knights proceeded to "dance" upon the tables amid uproarious French laughter! Sigh. She will have her hands full with that one.

I would like to hurry back to Silchester, but Lady Betty and the children would like to see more of the Continent. We shall see.

Lancrius chimes in

Well, the year got off to an inauspicious start: a trio of tournaments, and yours truly barely out of rags and wearing banged-up, borrowed armor. Old borrowed armor. Reginald did a bang-up job, but it's still clear that Pansy's harness is cobbled together from scraps and spare parts.

We look awful.

I'm still upset that Earl Robert pretty much shrugged his shoulders and as much said "Oh well!" when I came back to court for the winter with only my charger and the shirt on my back—not even a saddle! And after killing a giant, too. Jeez, what's a knight gotta do around here? Some of the other knights in the hall gave me last year's clothes and a spare sumpter, which Reginald must ride perched atop our very small bundle of goods. I don't know where I'm going to get the six librum to pay back Cynfyn...especially since all these celebratory tournaments were for glory and not for goods. Galonors did surpassingly well at the tourneys Sir Leo and father held, though I lost track of his performance once we all took ship to France for a wedding tournament in Paris, because...

Get this! During the festivities Galonors spotted Ufo among the crowd of French knights! (You know, Ufo! One of Ulfius's sons.) Leo and I insisted he point him out to us, and after much hemming and hawing over dinner he did. And damn, there he was, unibrow and all. Well, Leo and I took off after him straightaway, but because of the great crowd in the hall we took to the table tops in our pursuit. We cleared six tables before taking a spill, though in the hall the French kings keep, no one really noticed. But we lost sight of Ufo.

The next day we posted a challenge to the scoundrel, and in the long afternoon light he finally showed at the head of his pathetic retinue. Oh, Leo was hopping mad! They took to the field after a minimum of hard words and gestures, each enraged at the sight of the other. It's been ten years since Leo disrespected Ulo, but it could have well been that morning by the hatred radiating out of Ufo's helm. I was worried that Leo might not be up to a fight to the death, but that wily old campaigner struck a skillful blow with his lance and laid Ufo right out on the dirt. Leo paused over Ufo's prostrate form, though it was clear he wasn't yet dead as a young woman tended him through her tears. It took some harsh words on my part before Leo took his sword and separated Ufo's head from his shoulders. All the Salisbury knights then hoisted Leo onto their shoulders and paraded him around the tourney grounds, cheering. Two down, one to go!

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