Posted by: wrmcnutt | December 1, 2009

Eochar D’Alain


Ok, for the newcomers, I’m in the SCA, a medieval re-creation organization similar to the Civil War re-enactors you may have heard of.  We get together, put on armor, bash each other with simulated swords, wear funny clothes, and otherwise try and re-create the interesting/romantic parts of the middle ages.  There’s a lot of us, mostly in the United States.  We’re divided into large geographic areas we call kingdoms, and call our large gatherings “wars.”  Much of our leadership is selected by trial by combat, in tournaments of armored fighters.  This is a tale from a long time ago, when the Barony of Thor’s Mountain in the Kingdom of Meridies was selecting a warlord to lead the troops into battle in the coming year.

It has been some years past and gone now, and winter was upon the land.  The trees were bare and only brown grasses still stood, forlorn in the fields that had been so green.  As is the custom in the Barony of Thor’s Mountain, in the laurel kingdom of Meridies, the warriors were called together, that a Warlord might be selected to command the troops during the coming war season.

As is his duty, the outgoing Warlord set the time and place of the tournament.  Then, in a sudden burst of madness, decreed that the tournament would be fought as in a round-robin, the victor to be whoever defeated all of his opponents IN SUCCESSION.

A full thirteen men stood upon the field that day!  Think, gentles, of the mighty knights you know.  Of the Dukes and Princes.  How many, of even THAT exalted rank could stand victorious over twelve bouts, one after another, uninterrupted, and with little time to rest.  There are some few.  Some VERY few.
And so the day ground on.  Time and again would an older, more experienced warrior work up four… five… six victories, and the populace would begin to hope.  Then some ambitious young Turk would strike him down in his weariness.

Then, as the sky began to turn crimson and gold with the sunset, and the chill evening wind began to blow, a young squire, Christopher Goldmunson by name, showed great promise.  At six victories, he stood strong, and looked to have a chance, when, fresh from no less than an hour’s rest, rose Eochar D’alain.  His armour was made up of worn and battered cast-offs, barely covered by a threadbare tabard.  His shield was the size of a Trimaran war-elephant, while poor Christopher was fighting two-stick.  Eochar grimly pulled on his ugly, 20-year-old helm and strode out upon the field.

“You,” he cried, to the surprise of the populace, who had heard no word spoken for hours, other than the hoarse croaking of the marshalls, “You!  Are you loyal to the Baroness, and the cause of Thor’s Mountain?”

Startled, Goldmunson replied, “For all my life.”  (A moving aside:  he’s a young fella, and born and raised here, son to Sir Goldman, also a native.)
“And,” Eochar continued, pointing his battered blade at his opponent, “upon your oath, will you serve the Baroness loyally, in war and in peace, with all your strength and to the best of your ability?”

“I will.”

Eochar dropped his sword point to the ground and let his might shield dangle wearily.
“Then I have no quarrel with you.  My lord Marshal, I yield my cause to young Goldmunson.”

Goldmunson went on to win, and serve ably as our Warlord for his term of office.  And the rest of us got to go home, and get in out of the cold.

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Responses

  1. I love hearing your storeis of Barrony history…..

  2. and again, I have the Pavlovian response….”get Will another beer”

    thanks for telling these on here. It is so nice to hear your voice in print.

  3. for pictures of really ancient history of the Barony, check out Jerusha’s stuff (www.goldsword.com/sfarmer/SCA) including pictures from the first May Tourny and the first Silver Hammer….

    • No joke. The historian’s office used to have a BUNCH of photo albums from Jerusha’s tenure in that office.

      Will

      • LOL! That was obviously when I was historian! I would like to find the enlargements that we used for displays and stuff, though.

        Who’s current historian? I could probably provide a Digital Archive …..


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