Tournament of Love and Beauty was a lot of fun and highly attended in spite of the cold and the dust. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout at the rapier tournament. We knew that we would get a decent turnout for heavy, but since we were against Ice Castles, a very popular event amongst fencers, I was not sure how many rapiers would actually show up. In fact, I was praying that we could get at least 6 - 8 rapiers so the tourney could actually happen. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw fencers and more fencers arriving from everywhere. And lots of them! It really warmed the cockles of my heart.
The tourney was my "Belphoebe Special" missmatch tourney, where Lady Luck has the say of who gets the first choice of weapons. Of course, if you draw the Joker you will have to perform if you want to keep said first choice of weapons. The funniest thing is that everyone kept drawing that card -- and no, Marcellus was not even stacking the deck! Some people kept asking me "What the heck is going on in there? I see people singing and dancing in the middle of the rapier field?" Hey, believe me, you don't want to know . . .
At any rate, everyone told me that they had a grand time, which is what this is all about.
The other thing that I liked about this format was the integrating the Seven Knightly Virtues on both heavy and rapier lists, and allowing the populace to pick who best represented them. For some reason, I ended up with three ribbons for "Justice," and I wasn't even fighting. It was highly amusing (some people told me that it was because I was the Marshal and I had the stick of Justice.) Like I've always said, speak loudly and carry a marshal staff . . .
I particularly enjoyed the procession. It is really cool to see everyone process with their consorts with all the pomp and circumstance. And it is great to see rapiers and heavies running with the ball side-by-side. It really provided for an environment of camaraderie between the two communities. We can't ask for much more than that -- plus, when you have Rudhri and rheabecc heralding the procession, you know it is going to be a lot of fun. (Of note was Rudhri's shudder when he had to announce Eamonn "The Walrus" Wallace fighting for the honor of Lady Delphina the Mad . . .)
All in all, despite of the fact that we flash froze our patooties and that everyone was still hacking dust the next day, it was a wonderful tournament and Connor and Courtney did a bang-up job autocrating this puppy. We've already have people asking us if we're doing this again next year . . .