A medieval tournament hosted by
The Companions of the Silver swan
the Kingdom of Trimaris
Winter Arts and Sciences Competition, 1997
Once again the call was put forth, as invitations were sent out, copies of a paper written by the Companions, in an envelope sealed with golden wax and the symbol of the sun. For this challenge the Companions of the Silver swan had prepared a barrier in their colors, a grand shield tree for the challenge shields, and a silver tree with gifts of silver adorned around its base on a cloth of white linen. A small table was set next to the ladies' gallery with drinks and small delights. The Companions donned their regalia; capes bearing the swan, and medals bearing the swan, that had been given them by their ladies at their first appearance (A pas d'armes held by the Company of the Star). Every lady that arrived was given a necklace with a unique key attached. A glass decanter surrounded by four silver swans, containing notes with chivalric tasks or questions was placed on the table. The Venants (challengers) were gathered and armed and all was in readiness when their majesties arrived.
Earl Benen MacTire gave the invocation and introduction, calling all those gathered to look well to their honour, and to remember the reasons they step onto the field. He stated the rules for combat and called forth the venants to make first challenge. A noble company stepped forward that day;
Duke Llywelyn....Sir Cadwyd Enwir....Sir Takamatsu....Tatheg O'Brian....Sir Jean-Paul....
Lord Lorcan MacDara was invited to join the ranks of the Companions for the day to even the field.
Challenge shields displayed the types of suggested combat:
~~~Single Combat at the Barrier
~~~Team Combat at the Barrier (teams of 3)
~~~Single Combat in the field
~~~Team Combat in the field (teams of 3)
The ladies gallery chose the challenge they found most inspiring to go first, and Duke Llywellyn stepped up alone meet the Companions at the barrier. He would have the number of the company (5) as his counted blows, they would have the number of his company (1) as theirs. Thus began a round of daring challenges and a wondrous display of courage and chivalry. The winner of the challenge selected a prize from the silver tree while the loser got a lock on a necklace placed around his neck; His first task was to discover which of the ladies held his key, and then to discharge his duty as the the lady required of him.
Some of the tasks contained in the decanter:
~Convince the lady that Justice is the greatest of the knightly virtues.
~Read a poem to the ladies gallery.
~Explain to this lady: what does the knight's sword symbolize?
~Tell the lady of the great prowess of your last opponent.
~You are charged to find someone in poor spirits and make them smile.
The second round consisted of the ladies choice for opponents and for weapons. All manner of matches were chosen; in fact I was chosen to face Sir Cadwyd at the barrier, he with spear and I with dagger. I cannot remember the outcome, only that we had great fun and he was kind enough to use only the last portion of the spear. And so the tourney continued.
The tourney ended with a grand melee', and afterwards the ladies gathered to select a champion from those assembled. Sir Takamatsu and Sir Cadwyd were selected (I'll be honest; I can't really remember WHO was selected, but I think I'm close. No offense to those that were chosen, and perhaps I have been hit upon the head a few too many times.) as the champions and they had the task to choose the Queen of Love and Beauty for the day. They crowned a young lady who was at her first event.
I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it has been to conduct these two tourneys, and what wonders I have witnessed at them. They have been a lot of hard work for everyone involved, but the way that it all comes together is quite magical to me. Thank you to all those who have made these events so wonderful. I look forward to trying out some new ideas Iseult and I have come up with.