Fencing Champions Go Down to the Wire
By Master Liam St. Liam
for the Pennsic Independent
In the end, the Rapier War Point hinged on the final pass of the final bout.
Don Pascual del Mar of the East, moments after losing an arm, flashed inside of Connor Livingstone of Atlantia and killed him with a hit to the neck. giving the East a 16-14 victory in a tournament that was tightly contested for nearly three hours on a hot Monday afternoon.
“I think that shot would have decapitated me if it had been a real swordfight,” said Livingstone, a provost who was fighting as a Midrealm ally.
The East and the Midrealm each had 20 of their own fencers and 10 allies for an afternoon that was highly attended by royalty from across the Known World.
Fighting started with the respective King’s and Queen’s champions pairing up, then continued with the Royals taking turns choosing which contestant to send out first.
Strategy became critical in the later stages of the tournament as the East won eight of the last 11 bouts, including crucial victories over some of the Midrealm’s strongest allies. “We got the best fencers in the Known World,” said Doña Nataliia Evgenova Svatislovina, the East’s warlord, who worked closely with Dona Mercedes de Calafia in advising the king and queen on which fencer to send out.
The second of the three fencing war points will be the Great Wall battle at 1 p.m. today, and the third is the Woods battle at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The tide began to turn for the East when former EK warlord Don Antonio Patriquin survived a rugged battle with Don Robert MacFarland of Ansteorra, one of the Midrealm’s most dangerous allies. Don Antonio took one of Don Robert’s legs, then killed him with a shot to the head.
Lord Andrea Lapervier followed with a victory over Baron Master Quinn Kerr of Æthelmearc, and Lord Nathaniel Wyatt took out another key ally, Master Aedan Aylwyn, an Atlantian provost.
Lord Adam McAoidh and Warder Colin MacNish got two points back for the Middle Kingdom, but the East went on to win the last three bouts to claim the Champions battle for the first time in three years.
Lord Donovan Shinnock from the Barony of Carolingia topped Lord John Marvell of Glenn Abhain, and Don Alexander Lerot d’Avigne, the Viceroy of Østgard, followed, after losing on his first pass and killing Doña Arnaz of Trimaris to give the East a 15-14 lead. In the middle bout, Doña Arnaz took Don Alexandre’s hand, then gave up a point of honor, tossing her cane to the side.
The final bout was worth waiting all afternoon for. In a match of very different styles, Don Pascual, an in-fighter who fights aggressively, took on Connor, whose fighting style is loose, fluid and involves a lot of movement. The pair split the first two passes, and on the third, Connor took Don Pascual’s hand.
After they reset, Don Pascual moved in quickly, killing Connor and giving the victory to the East.
The East had started the tournament with a 2-0 after victories by King’s Champion Don Ian of Tadcaster and Queen’s Champion Doña Lilias de Cheryngton.
Warder Christian Fournier won for the Midrealm, but the East countered with a victory by Don Ivan Ulrickson. Lord William of Leondomere of Caid won for the Middle, and Don Nogel of Castle West and Don Duncan Kieran won for the East before Warder Maximilian de Zauberer gave the Middle a victory.
Other winners were Lord Blayde of the East, who was fighting for the East, Warder Zygmunt Nardvaski of the Middle, Lord Bear of the Middle, Seignior Jean-Paul Justin Casse and Don Orlando Sforza of the East, Don Iago Bentitez of Æthelmearc, fighting for the Middle, Sir Stephen Aldred of Lochac, fighting for the East, Warder Brighid MacCumnal, Signore Lorenzo de Calabria and Warder Ceanntighern Macillchellan of the Middle, Lord Griffith Davion of the East, Lord Ogedei Becinjab of the East, and Lady Amanita Villarosa of the Middle.
Prior to the tournament Warder Martyn Baxter, the Midrealm King’s Champion, received his Bronze Ring, and Don Sebastian Estevan de Xavier received his Order of the Golden Rapier from the royalty of the East.