Fencing roundup

By Master Liam St. Liam

When Lord Talib of Grey Gargoyles and Tree-Girt Sea saw the Pennsic calendar and then read the date of Chicago’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life fundraising walk, he knew he’d have to doing some creative planning.

So he’s going to do his fundraising on the fencing list at Pennsic instead.

Outside the SCA, Lord Talib is known as Leopold Lastre and works for the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk of Cook County’s Criminal Division. For the last four years, he has joined the folks in his office in raising funds for cancer research through the walkathon held at Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.

Since this year’s event is August 18th, Lord Talib will be taking on all comers on the fencing list between now and then. “I’ll be up there every day,” he said. Lord Talib is asking for a donation of 3 to 5 dollars for three passes against him, and he will wire the money to his office at the end of the war. His office is hoping to raise more than $4,000 – last year’s mark – and donate more money than its dreaded rival, the Traffic Court.

Like many of those who raise money for the American Cancer Society, Lord Talib’s quest is a personal one. His father died of cancer in 1998. “That’s why the Cancer Relay resonates with a lot of people,” he said. “My dad helped make everything happen for me. I do this for him.

Early Bird Tournament

Thursday’s Early Bird fencing tournament was more about stories and schmoozing than about parries and thrusts.

“It’s really more about ‘meet and greet’ than about ‘meet and beat,’ said Lord Martin Baxter of Hawksworth, who ran the tournament and drew 35 fencers from the East, Midrealm, Atlantia, Æthelmearc and Ealdormere. “I really liked the mix of people who came.”

Prior to each bout, the fencers had to share an intriguing fact about themselves and about someone else in the tournament. The “winners” of the tournament included Neko Me of the Midlands, whose own fact was that he was once on all three champions’ teams – fencing, fighting and archery – in the same year. “Actually, he had a lot of interesting facts about himself,” Lord Martin said. “He also had the most interesting fact about someone else.”

That other fact was about one of the other “winners,” Gwyneth McCellan of Æthelmearc, who is one of 125 survivors from the fleet of Admiral Wolfgang. Queen Mary-Grace of Gleann Abhann was among those participating in the tournament.

Upcoming fencing

Today is the Battle of Tortuga, a boat-based melee that starts at noon, followed by a Known World open practice at 2 p.m., and the Baronial Champions “Meet and Beat” at 4 p.m.

Sunday, there is another melee, the Storming of LaRochelle, at noon, and the Rapier Prize Fighters’ Tournament, with proceeds to go to the Chirurgeons. Sunday night, at dark, is the Known World Rapier Party at the Quatrefoil encampment.