ANST - Final moments of Crown

D.R. Hoffpauir env_drh at
Mon Mar 30 11:09:38 PST 1998

Unto all,

Attached is a personal recollection of the final moments of Crown
Tournament.  A wave of creativity hit me (or maybe it's just exhaustion)
after Sir Kief related his 'final moments of Crown' experience which
were exactly like mine.  This was intended only for our local
publication 'Quoth the Raven,' but  I thought others might enjoy it as

David St. David, s.b., Baron Raven's Fort
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I submit these words in honor of our crown Prince and Princess as a recollection of the 
final moments of Ansteorran Crown Tournament, Raven?s Fort, A.S. XXXII

    	Being host, I had observed the subtleties of weather all day.  Strangely the sun and 
clouds had danced about.  At times the wind would gust as if forcing its will upon some 
bouts by whirling leaves into fighters faces or carrying upon itself the distraction of 
voices.  At other times it lay still, or crept softly along the ground like some unseen cat, 
hardly perceptible, but undoubtedly present, awaiting the precise moment to spring, it 
finding suitable prey in chivalric fighters and their game.  The clouds, as well, had 
alternately tumbled shadows and sunlight over the field.  At times the shadows would 
linger as if watching, then be gone as if they had lost interest or been bullied aside by the 
sun.  So this waltz of subtleties had progressed all day. 
	It had been a grand day of fighting.  Chivalry had not contained itself.  All who 
had fought had won with winners not being determined by skill alone, but by strength of 
heart and kinship shown in chivalric acts that are often the closest thing we ever see to 
deep emotion in strong men.  Knights had subjugated their will and in friendship yielded 
to their foe.  Squires and the lesser skilled had fought above themselves. Hopes had 
fluttered in the wind and then been carried away. 
	I am not one to believe much in things I cannot control, but a good lady friend of 
mine had related to me that she had consulted her cards and predicted that our future king 
would be something of a dark horse.  An interpretation she took to mean as someone who 
had never sat our throne before. Her divination had proved true.  Neither of the final three 
contenders had ever won Crown Tournament.
	The final bout, as many of you know, was fought between two of our greatest 
exemplars of Chivalry.  Sir Gunther of mighty arm and deadly skill had stood this ground 
before as had his opponent Sir Barn Silveraxe, the titan of swiftness.   Both had come this 
close before, nearly winners, nearly king.
	The final bout.  The final moments of our grand tournament.  The list field was 
ringed with Ansteorran Chivalry in anticipation of the end.  Very soon the outcome 
would be determined.  It was then that something mystical happened.
	It was one of those moments when the sun had been shoved aside and shadow lay 
upon the field.  The wind was crouched somewhere, hardly stirring. Everyone knew the 
significance of the moment.  Time had come when fate would choose a king and we each 
would witness that important moment in our created history simply by watching  All eyes 
were on the field, no one spoke, nor stirred, some hardly breathed.  The opponents 
gauged each other, not hurried nor distracted, for this was too important for such things. 
	Suddenly, the great pavilion top slapped down then up announcing the wind had 
found quarry and pounced, leaves scattered across the ground and the aged Dreaming 
Tree bowed with a rustling of thousands of more.  The clouds, at  that exact instance, 
brushed aside illuminating the fighters, gleaming their metal helms, light vibrating in the 
greenness of the grass and the pennant colors that fluttered and flapped from tents which 
ringed the field.  ?NOW!,? I thought.  Now!
	?This is it! Right now,? I found myself saying to no one in particular.  Others 
related later they had uttered those very same words at that very same instance. It was 
THE moment and everyone knew.  The elements had given consent, the two engaged in a 
quick, brief storm of clank and thud.  Blows had landed, but were they good?  A 
collective gasp from onlookers.   A pregnant, expectant pause, then it was over.  The dead 
lingered a moment, then was gone.  The combatants embraced.  A prince was born.
	VIVAT, Barn!

HE, David St David, s.b., Baron-Raven?s Fort

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