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IRE Returns to Tadcaster

Lord Griffith Davion of the Argent Tyger recalls the
Return of the Iron Ring East toBhakail and the Militia

Blades and Blarney

Long had I been waiting to see Lord Jean-Paul and much had my hope been that he would retain the Ring until such a time as I could cross paths with him.

When last I had seen this noble gentleman and the prized Iron Ring, I was at Pennsic and dreading heading home the next morning. I had hoped to challenge the man who had taken the Ring from my fellow Tadcaster Geoffrey, but alas Jean-Paul's challenges came fast and furious and I was not to be among them. I, as always when watching Jean-Paul fence, was most impressed with his skills and wit and desired greatly to test myself against such a man.

When word came he had lost the Ring I was saddened, but not long after, word came that he had retrieved the Ring and was holding onto it with conviction. Somehow I knew he would have it the next time I saw him. Months passed and the Tadcasters decided to take a roadtrip to the tundra that is Albany. Risking all manner of vile events, such as ending up in Vermont (that's a story in and of itself, and feel free to pester Lord Collin Monroe for said tale), running out of gas and other unmentionable things, we decided to bravely head northward for this amusing event. Nine of us all told had decided to go, but by the time of departure, due to weather, family and other complications, only four of us made the trip. Lord Collin was kind enough to drive us and, true to his fate, managed to first run out of gas (not really his fault but it's funnier to blame him), and then go 24 miles out of our way by missing the turnoff where 87 and 90 split in Albany.

o finally arriving at our hotel at 3:30 in the morning, we all crawled into the room and slept until 10 am and then went to the event. Upon arrival, I saw many fencers I had never seen before.  It turns out many Northern fencers had come south to get authorized, to the point that Sir Mathcimain (excuse my spelling) set up a list of marshals and shotgunned out the auths to get them done in a timely manner.

During one of these auth's I heard that Jean-Paul had arrived, so I went and said hello while he was entering, but as per the rules, I did not challenge him as he was not in garb yet. I then went to do my duties as a marshal and had Frederick, another member of Tadcaster, keep an eye for when JP was suitably attired. He then approached JP on my behalf and challenged him for the Iron Ring. Jean-Paul accepted gracefully. We spoke after my auth was completed and I offered to fight the challenge before or after the tourney at his leisure, to which he responded that he preferred before, wanting to give his best fight and not be tired from the tourney. I concurred and we prepared. JP asked for time to warm up and I of course said yes. After a few moments of not finding anyone, he asked me to warm him up. So we played for a while and when he was ready, we prepared for the real thing.

Jean-Paul came with case of rapier and reminded me that I'm not the only one with freakishly long arms. And I, keeping a promise I gave before Pennsic to not fight case outside of a melee, went rapier and dagger. The fight was a very careful one taking some time for each pass. We went a total of five passes. The first went to myself, the second to JP. The third and fourth went to myself, but I refused to accept the outcome of the fourth, due to the excessiveness of the shot I hit JP with. I demanded to refight it, as I did not want to benefit from something as sloppy as I had done. JP graciously agreed and we did a fifth pass, in which there was much bloodshed, but where I came out the victor less one arm and a few new "scars". JP congratulated me and many of his people did as well. His lady wife thanked me for taking the Ring from him and his Don came over and shook my hand. I was most impressed by the level of respect the Ring was given by these gentles and I only hope that we in the South can give it the same.

To Lord Jean-Paul I say: thank you for an excellent fight and I hope to see you again soon. Vivat to you, sir!

To Don Pierre I say: you have a fine and worthy cadet who does you proud in his every action.


Lord Griffith Davion of the Argent Tyger
Provost, Tadcaster Militia
Pre-emptive Salvage Consultant
Barony of Bhakail, East
January 22nd, 2004