Trystan's Torrent of Totally Titillating Testimonials, Trivial Tales & Tribulations

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2006-07-27 - 10:51 a.m.


*UPDATED* -w- text and photos (see below)

I got knighted.

My fiancee Christina completed her first pro jousting tournament as well!

I also survived my third pro combat jousting tournament more or less intact. (more than less) It was the Gaath of Baal Annual Combat Jousting Tournament, at the Tennessee Renaissance Faire over Memorial Day Weekend, 2006.

I wish I could say that I was ritually bathed in the purest mountain spring water by 4 virgins clothed in the finest samite, and then led to the innermost cathedral nave to pray over my arms and armor overnight and contemplate my new role in the universe, then been clothed in pure white samite and cloth-o-gold and brought before a suitably august and pious assemblage and consecrated by a Bishop or Cardinal before being Knighted by Queen Elizabeth. I wish that the experience was very deep and meaningful to me on all levels, giving me new places and ways to grow, but alas, for that was not to be. All it amounted to was a shift in the roster and being informed that I might now announce myself to the assemblage as a proper FreeLancer Knight of their Ordure Primus.

It was still meaningful to me, even if I forgot half the time to introduce myself as Syr Trystan of Anglesey.

Ok, so on to the tournament itself.

It was hot. Africa hot. 100+ degrees of hot, on 2 of the 3-day weekend.

So much sweat went into my eyes on days 1 & 3 that I could not see to drive after dark. My eyes just refused to work right any longer, they had shut down in protest of the salt assault that I forced them to endure.

The closest I came to gettting blowed off of the broad back of the redoubtable Maximillian was while using a shield, (French Style) surprisingly enough. That is rather uncommon! No surprise, it was none other than the redoubtable Ripper Moore who zapped me good 'n proper like that, but I was able to recover in time and thankfully not fall "wuffwy to da gwound".

Chris however, was not so lucky, and got blowed way up in the air by Gene Martino in the final round of the competition (realgestecht style: gridded grand gard and buff aka Dragon's Lair style).

Chris and I got to joust each other and it was fun because they introduced us as husband and wife and the crowd was totally into it. That happened on the blessedly cool and cloudy/rainy 2nd tourney day, and it was very dramatic because when it was our turn to enter the list, it got darker and the thunder was rumbling loud and long as they introed each of us and they gave us our first lances and it was a memory that I will find meaningful for the rest of my life.

Chris and I both, at different points in the tourney, had heat/claustrophobia issues inside the helmet. We both had to dig very deep inside to maintain our mental health and compsure. You see, they make you put on your helmet right after you introduce yourself. They do this for the sake of show continuity because it is a Ren Faire. If you fight in the last round, that means you are sitting around in the sun on your horse and in your helmet for what feels like forever while rebreathing heated CO2 enriched air. I think my visor actually burned the squire's fingers when they finally went to take it off of me! Sometimes, the squires have to pour water on our armor before they can touch us! On Tuesday, I had small round scabs on both cheeks, one under each eye, from where the big shiny buff was concentrating the sunlight into my ocularia and burning my skin like a magnifying glass. I could feel brain cells dying in large formations like napoleonic troops charging a row of cannons firing canister shot.

Imagine having a toaster oven bolted firmly onto your head!

Thank goodness the Coxes teach us just enough kung-fu to maintain our internal mental center-of-balance while they teach us how to joust. It reminded of me of an old episode of the TV show Kung-Fu where Kwai Chang Cain gets put in a prison oven-box for a week and comes out fresh as a daisy. Its all mind over matter you in jousting or ground fighting...or life.

I thinks that's why I pursue excellence in this extreme sport even though I am 43yo and would rather be somewhat sedentary. It shows me that I still have things to learn about myself, which is a joy and a comfort to me as I get older.

And speaking of pursuing excellence, I failed to encounter much of it this time out of the barn. Points-wise this was by far my weakest tourney output. I came in 10th overall out of a field of 12. My sticks would just not break! I usually break over 80% of my tips when I tilt but my percentage this time was below 50%. Dismal! Good thing I honestly don't really care about scores and such per se. What really matters to me is that I did all 36 passes of the tournament cleanly, with no low hits or other aberrancies like falling on the ground, and am mostly unscathed...which is much better than being scathed, one would think. I am also under the impression from my studies of Tudor period jousting (1475-1600+) that this is a perfectly acceptable attitude from in-period.

I could blame my poor points performance on ill fitting armor and heat prostitution, ;) or vision probs from appalling mounts of sweat in my eyes, but it would still be lame-assed excuses, so why bother?

My new greenwich-esque breast and back fit and performed nicely. My rear fauld drops neatly over standard sized western cantles for a great look and feel. Most of the rest of it needs lots and lots of tuning, but the caravans will start to arrive in just a coupla weeks for the 2006 Maryland RenFaire season.

UPDATE: There was a high-dollar film crew from Nashville at the the May Tourney that said they were filming us for a reali-documentary. They had lots of people and cameras including a giant boom like at NFL games, They filmed the jousts from like 7 angles. I can't wait to see how that cuts together in post-production. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall in the editing booth wnen they cut that into an hour-long tv program. Several significant channels/networks were mentioned as potential buyers. I hope I don't come across as too much of a ham & cheese sandwich. Will advise more when I find out more. For now I would say to start looking for that in a few more months, after they have time to edit, sell and broadcast it.

MDRF starts right after Pennsic and runs until mid-October, when on closing weekend, is THE NEXT TOURNAMENT: Raven's Lair, in mid-October. (click here for pics of last year) Will publish the details as the date looms closer...

See you at Pennsic, middle weekend-ish , for a coupla days, if I go at all this year.

Until next time; God save and keep you all, should he see fit that he should do so...all except for that Mike England guy. (j/k ;)

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