June 11, 2016
The day was refreshingly gloomy for mid June in Caid. Set in a lovely park on a hillside in Gyldenholt, the populace gathered to wish the retiring Barons well, invest a new Baron and Baroness, honor members of the populace and, of course, make merry and stab each other in a friendly fashion upon the field.
After journeying from a great distance for this event, this humble chronicler could help but smile at the sight of the pavilions along the fighting erics, the multitude of brightly-colored banners, and the populace members greeting each other as they prepared for the day’s festivities. In a world that is in so many ways harsh and uncertain, it is greatly soothing to steal a few hours to enjoy the company of friends, applaud chivalry and grace, and enjoy the thrill of sportsmanlike combat.
At court there were many honors given, not the least of which was the induction of Donna Grace Lasrach into the Vanguard of Honor for her personification of chivalry and honor on the field. To me, the Vanguard of Honor is a symbol of the mindset that sets the SCA apart from competitive western martial arts—that the game is not purely about winning but is instead about winning well—with dignity, chivalry, and honor.
Although everyone attempted to make court as short as possible, it still went on for some time due to all the swearing ins, awards, announcements, presentations, and an outrageously silly Kiss concert featuring Don Todde, a number of painted fencing masks, and a kazoo. Despite the diversions however, the tournament got underway just after lunch.
The field was filled with challenging and fun fighters, each one of which would have been a pleasure to die to. The format was fought best two out of three with double elimination. This format, rarely seen in Caid, was a refreshing spin on a traditional form, allowing fighters a great number of fights and maintaining suspense for spectators as victories were tallied.
There were many great fights upon the field that day and, although your humble chronicler couldn’t stay until the end of the event, I was happy to see some magnificent fighting by all participants. I particularly enjoyed watching the fight between Donna Grace and Albert, a family feud, in which the loser had to feed the puppies that evening. My own favorite match was with Cassandre Loustaunau. We had not met on the tournament field since Queen’s Champion almost four years ago where I had won the match in semi-finals. She has a long memory, however, and she successfully sought her revenge at Gyldenholt!
Although I was not able to stay until the end of the day, it was reported that Kelly le Freug of Calafia bested Don Diego de Palma in a thrilling final match. Huzzah for Kelly, the new Champion of Gyldenholt! May the sun shine (and the rain fall, because Caid needs rain) on Gyldenholt for another year.
Long Live Caid!
Your humble chronicler,
Roisin ni Brian