By Lady Mary of Montevale.
An oxymoron is scheduled for the main battlefield this Sunday afternoon, the Tournament of Chivalry which, despite its name, is neither a tournament nor open only to the Chivalry.
A first-time event for Pennsicand scheduled to follow opening ceremonies, it is open to all rattan fighters regardless of their level of fighting skill or experience. Also known as a gold chain tourney or a duke university (Trimaris), a Tournament of Chivalry is considered in the Midrealm to be “our greatest teaching tool,” according to HRM Savaric of that Kingdom. His Majesty took the time yesterday to explain to me about tournaments of chivalry in general as well as to relate a little background of why a Tournament of Chivalry comes to Pennsic this year for the very first time.
In previous years, the fighting after the Opening Ceremonies has often been the Champions’ Battles which end with the awarding of that Pennsic’s first war points. When the schedule for fighting events at Pennsic 41 was being discussed, it was decided to schedule something that would involve many more fighters and be an afternoon of fun and learning for all.
Sunday’s start time of 2 PM allows fighters to go change from their finery of the opening ceremonies to their armor and also to bring their choice of weapons back to the battlefield. The “tournament” is set to run as three 45-minute sessions with breaks in between. Belted fighters will gather in the center of the field, while everyone else will line up around the perimeter. Each Kingdom will have a banner on the field to help everyone know where to form up. During each session there will be classes as well as opportunities for single combat.
The Ladies of the Rose serve a vital role throughout the afternoon as they guide fighters to the specialty classes and pair up fighters for the individual bouts. These one-on-one meetings can be a wonderful opportunity to face fighters from other kingdoms with whom you might never otherwise engage in single combat.
The specialty classes offer a chance to learn from some of the best heavy weapons teachers in the Known World.Classes include HRM Hirsch Sean of Artemisia–shot recovery; HRM King Hrafan of Ansteorra–footwork; HRM King Kirsch of Calontir–great sword; Duke Seth of Meridies–spear and melee; Duke Lucan of the East–range control and power development; Duke Rangvaldr of the Midrealm–targeting; Duke Brannos of the Midrealm–boxer-style strikes; Duke Maynard of Æthelmearc–polearm; and others. More spontaneous classes will likely take place during the breaks.
The work of organizing and coordinating the first Known World Tournament of Chivalry was done by Duke Ullr and Duchess Annalise of the Midrealm. HRM Savaric pointed out that this is an undertaking that “could not be done without good allies.” He stated his belief that “this War will be the greatest contest of arms the Known World has even seen.”