By Lord Patrick of Lyondemere
Darachshire, Caid – A traditionally understated and joyous event became much larger on Saturday, the second day of A.S. 50, as the Shire and Kingdom welcomed the premieres of the recently created Order of Defense. Styled as “Masters of Defense”, Baron Alexander Kallidokos, Master Laertes McBride, and Don Colwyn Stagghorn were elevated to the peerage with much fanfare, pomp, a few tears, and of course, some shenanigans. Elevations occurred at opening court, with TRM Mansur and Eilidh, TRH Athanaric and Sigridr, and a large turnout including numerous members of the Order of the White Scarf, including a few seldom seen. The event was echoed around the Known World as every kingdom elevated their own Masters, who will share precedence as Premieres of the Order.
After some words from their Majesties and Highnesses, and various presentations and awards, the first Elevation was Don Alexander, who processed in with friends, family, and a seemingly endless list of awards and accolades that was both impressive and humbling. Alexander, resplendent in silver and sable, was welcomed into the Order in a moving ceremony that included eloquent and emotional recommendations from Duke Guillaume and Duchess Felinah, among others. Don Kallidokos asked to be dubbed with the sword of Don Kelan, Premiere of the Order of the White Scarf of Caid.
Following Alexander was Don Laertes, adding some levity by processing in with a dialogue between two heralds, one of whom was his young daughter, proud of her father but stern in her praise. His recommendations from the peerages including a heartfelt one from his Baroness of Altavia (ret.) Bridget, declaring him the most skillful rapier fighter she has ever known. Laertes, in his customary verdant splendor, was also the first to have been spoken for by a Master of Defense, in this case the freshly Masterful Alexander.
The third and final elevation (to the Order) of the day was Don Colwyn. Arriving with much fanfare (including the traditional heraldry that begins a tourney bout), preceded by Pretty Fairy Niko, and arriving on a chariot of his own creation in a glowing ensemble of azure, Don Stagghorn made what is recalled by many as the most amusing entrance of the day. The seldom serious but always genteel Don was lauded by many, including his daughter Duchess Cassandra, who declared him as being made of silliness and generosity, in perhaps unequal measure.
All three Masters were presented a collar and medallion representing the peerage, and cloaks with the peerage device. In between each elevation was a bardic interlude, a welcomed touch. As His Majesty himself stated (to paraphrase): ‘…this was a rare chance to see the establishment of a new peerage, and a once in a lifetime chance to see this peerage established…’ Many felt it was an honor to be in attendance, and many were also moved by the emotion and pageantry of the court.
Following the ceremonies, a team of heralds read new language regarding the rapier peerage, Order of the White Scarf, and associated changes into Kingdom law at an optional court.
After court, the new Masters went to be photographed and showered with gifts, and the many rapier fighters in attendance signed up for an impressively deep rapier list. The tournament format was a variation on the “Bear Pit”, with the victorious fighter holding the field and earning a point, with the vanquished leaving to inform the scorekeeper of the victor. Four matches were held simultaneously in two erics, with a seemingly endless line of fighters in waiting. At set intervals, the weapons format changed; first single-sword, then with dagger, followed by cloak, and finally buckler. The semifinalists were those four with the most impressive record in each category.
The Masters all acquitted themselves well, including Laertes holding his place for over a dozen matches in a row, with many fighters both scarfed and unscarfed putting together very respectable performances and maintaining a high energy and most importantly, very fun, tourney. In the end, Don Ian F. Duncanson was victorious over Don Michael Mallory, after winning his semifinal match from the ground.
In all, the event was a beautiful day in Darach, and a fitting beginning for the Order of Defense.
Photo Courtesy of Brian Krinsley