Who should fight (was)Re: Ducal perogative

Casey Weed nextristan at n-link.com
Fri Feb 21 11:19:49 PST 1997

At 05:59 PM 2/20/97 +0000, Madame Ghislaine Fontaneau wrote:
>I know absolutely nothing about heavy fighting whatsoever.  Except how 
>to help my friends into their armor.  But, it is my gut feeling that 
>anyone who is able to fight, should fight in Crown tourney.  If you 
>know you can't--for whatever reason--fulfill the duties of the king, 
>then by all means, bow out after a few rounds.

I was wondering if this viewpoint would arise- I'd like to rebut:

When you say that _anyone_-most especially someone who possesses the
competitive nature neccessary to win Crown Tournament >TWICE OR MORE<-
should simply "bow out after a few rounds", you are denying a basic element
of a fighters psyche; namely, the desire to win.  By the very nature of the
way our tournaments are set up, the level of desire by the populace to see
Sir X win rises and it often rubs off on the fighters as well. (these are
not _rules_ but are *certainly* not exceptions)  The emotional differences
of a man who has yet to enter Crown and one who has made it to, say, the
third round are vast... and who can fault that man for deciding to make a
run at it: "Let's see... if we cut down on the grocery bill and take showers
together it might just save us enough money to do it..."  This, I feel, is
conducive to having ill-prepared royalty and messy reigns.  Keep in mind,
it's as much a job as it is a title (more so, from what I'm told).  That
said, I'll say that I only want the folks who are *absolutely* sure they can
perform to the high standards necessary fighting.


>But the king is king 
>by right of arms.  What better way to impress this on the fighting 
>populace than to beat the holy living crud out of as many of them as 


Not to be glib, but the words, 'quantity vs. quality', do leap to mind.  A
handy squire can beat newbies all day long and never break a sweat.  Make
that same squire fight two knights *who want to win* and I'll show you one
tuckered boy.


>Conversely, it gives the fighters a chance to give the 
>knights a run for it, and it gives them the assurance that the person 
>who wins won because of skill, and not because Sir So-and-So got a new 
>job and can't spare the time to be king and thus couldn't challenge.  
>The king, I like to think, is not the best of the fighters who have 
>the free time, but the best.  Period.
>Just my opinion.
>Thank you,
>Madame Ghislaine Fontaneau

<<<thus ends the snippage>>>

I think you may be overlooking two items here.  

At the fore, just as fighting is only a portion of what makes a knight, it
follows that what makes a man royal is not all in his sword arm either.
Good kings and queens are organized, have tact and forsight, and the
maturity to place the Kingdoms fun before their own.  So said, the
importance of 'absolute fighting prowess' is reduced; not much, but some.

Also, what you say here implies that the king is without doubt the finest
fighter in the land.  No exceptions. For six months.  Sorry, but this is
impossible.  For one, that would mean that for 3 months there would be *two*
finest fighters in the land- cant happen.  What Crown establishes is who is
the best fighter on that day who was prepared to enter the tourney and
eligable.  Almost every king and former king I've ever spoken with has told
me so... and that's no small number, either.  What lasting statement it
*does make* is that the winner is an *excellent* fighter- one that no one
else could beat that day.

In other kingdoms they encourage as many people to fight as possible (with
the exceptions of Drachenwald, the Middle and the East, that is) and we are
seeing some disturbing scenes.  The Knowne World is having some problems of
late... with both Crown and Coronet Lists. In the last six months, four of
these have had to be re-fought and IMO, there may be a direct
cause-and-effect process at work.  Cause: little or no descrimination in who
enters crown tournament.  Effect:  good fighters with no sense of
responsibility win, or complete knee-biting rhinos win. (*whew*... can't
wait for the flames on _that_ one).

Possible (and feasible) solutions to these problems anyone- preferably
something that doesn't begin with, "decide crown by another means?"  I'll
save my ideas for another post... besides, my hands are cramping from all my

Merci beaucoup, MME Fontaneau, for your point of view... betwixt your good
self and Timo, je suis tres mal a la tete!

Dieterich Kempernich von Eltz

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