At the Crown Tournament to determine the heirs of Tsar Ivan and Tsaritsa Matilde, fighters of the East Kingdom vied for the right to be heir to the Tyger throne. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, many hands were hard at work to make a the day a success for all.
Crown Tournament is fairly unique in its great need for heralds and list runners in order for the Mistress of the Lists to do her job and run the tournament. Mistress Suba al Hadid is the Troubador Herald, in charge of vocal heraldry for tournaments such as Crown Tournament. She and her deputies are the reason that those on the sidelines know who is fighting who, and those who are fighting know which list they should report to. They are assisted by list runners who are responsible for getting cards with fighters’ names on them from the Mistress of the List and her staff, and bringing them to the heralds to announce.
Throughout the chilly day, the lists were heralded by Mistress Suba, Deputy Troubadour Herald Don Lucien de Wyntere, Lord Agapios Cargos, Lady Jehannette Bouchart, Baroness Tasha Medvedeva, Allie Drovich, Lord Drake Oranwood, Lady Sisuile Butler, Bronwyn of Wentworth, Master Ryan McWhyte, Robert Tytes, Baron Yehuda ben Moshe, Baroness Maria Von Osseheim, Edmund Beneyt, Master Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen, Lady Oriana Volpe della Octavia de Venizia, Audrye Beneyt, Lord Justinius Alexander Eternus, Mistress Sabine de Kerbriant, Lord Declan Gobha, Master Rowen Cloteworthy and Behi Kirsa Oyutai.
The list runners who assisted included Baroness Alanna of Skye, Baroness Jocelyn del Espada, Wentlyanna Bengrek, Simona bat Leone, Roseeia Posaeia, Master Colin Monro, Elian of the Fellsword, Charlotte Coulter, Bartholomew of Northampton, Lady, Siobhan ni Dhonnabhain, Evan, Caleb Patrassio, Emma Lovell, Mistress Eowyn Eilonhwy of Alewife Brook, Rodrigo Medina De La Mar, Eryn FitzPatrick, and Zachary Kerr.
Mistress Suba pointed out that at least eight of her staff were under the age of eighteen, and worked hard to make sure that cards were delivered, fighters heralded, and they day treated with the pomp and circumstance it deserved.
On the other side of the event, Boyar Aleksei Dmitriev and Lord Fergus Redmead worked tirelessly to cook a delicious dayboard, and chose to tackle a huge challenge to better support the focus of the day. “We said at the same time, we wanted to something special for the fighters and consorts to make it easier for them and bring lunch to them,” Aleksei explained, having cooked dayboard for two Crown Tournaments prior to this one. “I always wanted to do this, but I needed a co-cook just as excited as me about it.”
Aleksei, Fergus, and their team prepared approximately 100 boxed lunches for fighters and their consorts, so that those who were focused on the tournament would not need to leave the field in order to eat lunch.
Fergus’s idea was to label each box with the heraldry and name of the combatant or consort. This added the ability to deal with with special dietary needs. Aleksei put out the call to those competing that they could send in their needs, and the dayboard team would do their best to accommodate. Aleksei explained that approximately 20 people took advantage of this to let him know about gluten-free, vegetarian, and other needs in advance.
When Lady Aikaterine reached out with the offer for youth fighters who were attending to help out by delivering the boxes, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place. Several youth delivered dozens of boxes, and also helped put together the lunches, assembly line style.
The teens ran joyfully through the crowd, matching the shields on the boxes to the shield trees in an attempt to find the gentles whose lunches they held. Discussions about matching heraldry to clothing and banners were held, and the youth seemed to benefit as much from the heraldic education as the combatants and consorts did from the food. “No, that’s a griffin, we’re looking for a tyger!,” was overheard as the youth worked to deliver dozens of meals.
“The kids were a crucial element,” said Aleksei, “We couldn’t have done this without them.” Fergus echoed the sentiment, complimenting four youths in particular who toiled throughout the day
Ulf and Ragnar ran the smokers, and helped to smoke 120 lbs of chicken and 20 lbs of trout, while Emma Lovell and Caleb Patrasso worked inside to prepare the meal. The kitchen was filled with youth and newcomers to the society, joyfully preparing food for the attendees of the event.
All photos by Brendan Crane, unless otherwise indicated