This weekend was great! The Revel was too much fun! The site for this event is just beautiful. It turns out that it's some guy's (Dr. David Young) front yard. Only this guy's front yard was huge! As Tora Taka said, "He has more than a few ducats to his name." There were these great beautiful buildings that were exquisite. A Viking mead hall, a chapel with stained glass, a keep that was three stories high with battlements, a dungeon, and an attached tavern. The place was decked out for this event with bright banners and wonderful decorations that just made the place have a look of decadence far beyond any SCA event or Renn Faire I've ever been to. The event was small compared to a Renn Faire or SCA event as there were only a few buildings and the place only stretched maybe the length of a football field, but the quality made up for the missing space. Another thing I noticed after a time was that it looked like a Renn Faire only there was no one out of costume! Everyone was dressed and there were hardly any anachronisms at all.
We arrived in time to get set up and ready to teach some fencing and participate in the archery competition. I stood up to the line and picked up the bow they provided and pulled one of their arrows from the hay bail. Drew the string to my ear with everyone watching. Distance is ten yards, which I'm not used to so I had no idea where this arrow was going to go. I aimed for what I though was the center of the target and loosed... BULLSEYE! Turns out I got 7 points. That's one shot into the arm of the wicker man (one point) and two into his chest (three points each). Not a bad score but there were two others who got a score of 9 thereby knocking me out of the running for the finals.
We then got an influx of students eager to learn fencing and the group of us stood up to the challenge. I even taught this sweet little girl (of all of 12 years I believe) whom I had seen earlier when she was walking by. When she walked by I said "Buon giorno," to her and she turned red. How cute! My friend Addison leaned in and whispered, "ten minutes into an event and you've already made a girl blush." He he, what can I say? Rockstar...
So, I had a great time teaching and I got some practical experience for the class I'll be teaching at collegium. It turns out that I can correct some of the body posture mistakes that new people learn and that felt good.
The fencing was kind of tough in the fact that the tournaments were not that well structured. Blayde was running it and it seemed like he was not much into the event so it felt like we were just pared up and fighting. Mostly I'm used to the general "SCA rules" or "WMA" rules so I when they went by their own set I had to ask all the usual questions... "Is there blade grabbing? Can we pommel strike? Is there grappling? Precusive cuts? Cutting at all?" Tournament was played for points. You got three for a killing blow and one for a shot on an appendage. First was played to five points, second to three. Interesting. Most fun people I fought with was my "fraternity brothers" as I call them, from the Davis period fencing school. It was good to see some period fencing and fight with some folks I don't normally see. I got my tush handed to me but I had a lot of fun.
Then came the melees, which I'd been spoiling for all day. I had a great time fighting in those and didn't do half bad either. Then before we packed up our fighting gear and changed out I challenged Tora Taka. It's still true, that man is fast and he uses a shorter sword so he can turn it over faster. The stuff he was doing with a "Hail Mary" parry was blinding fast and I could only slow him down with a good constraint. I maybe only got two good shots on him with a multitude of banging shots on the head from him. One of the shots I got was right out of class from last Thursday and I executed it perfectly and landed it safely. Must have been channeling Giganti in that moment, but only once.
Yup, if you couldn't put two and two together I was out with the notorious Black Tigers. Guys whom have earned a reputation for being ego-centric. They weren't a bad group as far as their interaction with me though there was a moment when they wanted to put Tora in the stalks for not taking off his sunglasses. He didn't agree to play along and never apologized for them so it earned a black mark for them. I found this particular time to step away from the group for a short time. (Now, you can post whatever comments you like about the Black Tigers, none of them read my journal, however you need to be careful as this is a public forum and you post at your own risk.)
When the sun was setting they sent the kids away and it was time for the party to start. Did I mention the food? I was a little hungry at noon and asked where some food might be and they said to go around the chapel and there would be a long table "ya can't miss it." There was this table with platters piled high with food! There was everything from herbed chicken to savory beef and lamb as well. Cheeses of all kinds and grapes and harvest squash. It was amazing to behold. My old SCA character would have weeped at the sight. There was drink everywhere too. You could go up to the tavern and put your cup up and they'll fill it with whatever beer or cider you ask for. Plus they had tables and tables set up here and there filled with bottles of wine and bread.
The after-hours contests where pretty interesting. They had a glute contest (not my speed) followed by a cleavage competition, which I was definately there to see. There was this one girl in red and black that myself and my frat brothers were shouting to be the winner and as it turns out we were standing right next to the girl's mother. He he! The girl in red and black (Franchesca) turned out to be the winner and her mother introduced us to her afterwards. So yah, I got to meet the cleavage champion. =)
I also got to meet the hostess of the event who is just a hoot to hang out with. She was a fun friendly lady whom was just more than gracious to me all day. So, I made a new friend! I also enjoyed talking sword with the host as well. He's done some work on Capo Ferro and it was good to speak the same language.
The next day I left my friend Addison and took off to the Renn Faire for a surprise visit. I came in my SCA gear so they didn't see me coming when I drew a gun and threatened one of the sargents of my group the Queen's Guard! Everyone in the group had this mixed look of "do we bum rush him or give him a hug?" It was too much fun! I got a really warm welcome from everyone and it was great! I also got absolutely blitzed with a little help from my friends and had a great time this weekend!