I have been walking on Cloud Nine for the past two days, but I think I have finally settled down enough that I can sit down and post about it.
We arrived at Holiday Faire at about mid-morning. As ballistabob and geoffreyapclwyd set up the dayshade on the rapier field, I went inside to troll us both in. Of course, the hall was full of merchants, many of whom are dear friends, and I spent a good chunk of time visiting all of them, and picking up some nifty wool that duchesssimone had brought for me.
That's when TRM called in the Order of the Laurel in order to conduct a drive-by Court and put flonzy on vigil for his induction at the end of the day. Very cool.
After that, I went to the list field and signed up for both the "Unbleached," and the "Hunt a White Scarf" Tournaments, and got some good fighting in the process.
I also got a kick out of the fact that a number of fighters came looking for me and asking me "Are you a Provost? Can I hunt you for a fight?" And my reply was of course, "No, sorry. I don't have a White Scarf. You will have to hunt someone else."
Silly me. That was about to change.
So no sh*t,there I was, under our dayshade, drinking water and minding my own business, when troyfish comes down and tells me "I am picking fighters to face his His Majesty. He wants to fight today. He's got rapier and dagger, so pick up your weapons and follow me." And I, never to say no to a fight, particularly with HRM, picked up my weapons and followed him like a good little fighter.
Good gravy. This one has to be one of the most fun bouts of my life. HRM Vlad is a tall guy, a kickass fighter (that's why he's the King, duh), and a leftie to boot. Somehow, I did manage to take his left arm. (For those non-SCA types who read this, if someone pegs you in the arm, you lose the use of it.)
Now, your usual fighter drops the dagger and transfers the long blade to his right hand. But Vlad is not your usual fighter. He let go of the long blade, and proceeded to face me with a single dagger. At that point, I looked at my two weapons and said to myself "What the hell," so I dropped the long blade and went at it with single dagger too. So much more fun! Thank you Giacomo for all those knife fighting lessons that you taught us long ago!
To make a long story short, I ended up winning that bout.
I had also noticed that a small crowd had begun to form around us around the time I had dropped the rapier. At the time, a thought crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, something was up.
I dismissed the thought immediately. After all, there was a good chance that people were there just getting a kick out of the entire bout, and if nothing was up I would be dissapointed. I didn't want to be dissapointed.
Besides, I had a King to fight.
At any rate, by the time the bout was over, the small crowd had grown three sizes too big -- like the Grinch's heart -- and was filling most of the surrounding field. Still, it wasn't until I was actually tackled and pinned to the round by Troyfish and Aedan that I allowed myself the luxury of entertaining the thought that maybe, just maybe something was indeed going on, and that the going on included me and a certain Order.
This was when HRM Vlad started going off about me commiting "regicide" and how I needed to be made an example of. And this is when his herald opened Court and called the Order of the White Scarf.
I nearly died.
It was a lovely ceremony. Geoffrey gave Ballistabob the legacy White Scarf (one of the first ones in Atlantia), who handed it to Her Majesty Kalissa to tie around my arm. She had also flowers for me, which was awesome. After that, it was a maëlstrom of hugs and contratulations, beginning with TRM, and followed by The Order, and everyone else in the field. I have seldom felt so loved and so welcome as I did at that moment.
I played my prize that same afternoon. For those not familiar with this, when one is admitted into the Order and awarded the White Scarf, you must play your prize. This is in accordance with period practices. Rapier fighters used to fight for a prize bag. This is where the term "prize fighter" comes from. In this case, the prize is comprised by tokens of affection that your friends put together and, of course, the biggest prize of all: The White Scarf.
This has been an incredibly long entry. I will summarize the hightlights as follows: