Summer Siege, as always, was a busy event for me. It was also a Royal progress stop this year as we had a Laurel ceremony happening, so the attendance was significantly higher than usual.
Normally I'm running the rapier list since I'm the Canton's Rapier Marshal, but this year we tried a new format for the A&S activities and as Baronial A&S Minister I ran that instead. Gavin was kind enough to volunteer to run Rapier, and while we didn't have the record number of fencers we had last year, it looked like a pretty good turn-out and folks seemed to have fun.
Normally in the past for the event I have borrowed the Caldrithig armoured combat list poles from His Excellency Shahid, but they are rather large and heavy, and really overkill for rapier. So this year, Avelyn and I worked to make a new set of list poles, based on the ones Jocelyn loaned me last year for the Althing. We even got a bit of power tool help from Avelyn's dad, since our little hand drill was rather under-powered for the job.
The best part of them is that instead of taking up half the back of our truck, I can disassemble them and they fit into a duffel bag. They're super light weight.
Here are a couple of pictures of them in action. We'll call them the prototype, since there are some things I may want to adjust, but they seemed to work OK for their maiden event.
A&SA lot of the work for the A&S activity was before the event, coordinating judges and entries etc. What I was hoping for was a chance for local artisans to get some feedback on projects. I had a good host of people volunteer to judge, which was really great. Unfortunately a number of people who had planned to enter items weren't in the end able to make the event. We did have one lovely embroidery entry and she seemed to get some good feedback so that's good. Hopefully it will continue to grow in the next few years.
Thrown WeaponsTheir Excellencies have been using Summer Siege to run both their thrown weapon's and archery champions tourneys in recent years, as its one of the few venues that lends itself to those activities in the Barony. Last year I managed to win the Thrown Weapons tourney with what was easily my best ever day on the range. The chances of me doing as well again this year were slim, but I entered again this year to defend my title, or at least make sure that I gave the winner a run for their money. :)
During the tourney I knew I didn't throw as well as the previous year, but I hit a good number of throws from 10 ft, but not much from 20 ft, so I knew it would be tight.
In court I was called up to step down as champion, where I surprised Their Excellencies with a new axe and heraldic axe cover for the champion (I did the same when I stepped down as Rapier Champion, so now it's twice, so its a tradition!). Eluned picked up the axe for me at Pennsic and I made the cover based on my existing axes.
Here's a picture of me returning the tabbard and presenting the axe.
So I bow my way out of court, go back to the audience and resume taking pictures. They call up the Marshal, who starts calling out the top three, and low and behold, they call me up as the winner and Their Excellencies get to give me back all the regalia once again. I think They enjoyed the joke of handing me back the axe after I just presented it. :)
Other things of note:I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Laurel elevation in more detail. THL Alais (now Mistress Alais) focuses a lot of her research on shepherdesses and peasant practices. Her elevation was really unique as they modeled it after a Flemish village wedding ceremony, including using dances as part of the ceremony. It was really neat, and totally suited the event. I'm glad the weather was nice (if hot) and that everything seemed to go well.
I had been asked to be their "official" photographer for the elevation so I tried to make sure I got lots of pictures while I was hopping between activities. I was also able to do a family photo for her after the ceremony, which is always a nice keepsake.