Wow! What a whirlwind couple of weeks! As some of you know, I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I have been for 24+ years now, and first picked up a "sword" about 2 years after I discovered the SCA. I fought off and on for about 6 years (whenever I could scrounge enough loaner armor to pull it off). After my wife and got together, I finally completed my own kit, and was able to fight more consistantly. I entered the Baroness' trials to become her Sergeant, and successfully completed her trials. I served as Sergeant to two Baronesses of Terra Pomaria over the course of the next 10 years; turning my belt in at the request of the exiting Baroness, she recalled ALL of the belts at that time. I chose not to re-test, due to having moved in the interim, and not knowing the incoming Baroness. Since then, I have been less than active in the fighting community, only having "suited up" about 6-7 times in the last 10 years. That being said..... Finding out that September Crown was going to be held in Salem (or Terra Pomaria), was just too tempting for me. I decided to participate in Crown, for the very first time ever. So, life immediately runs away with all of my free time. Work goes haywire, requiring overtime and server upgrades, boss requiring me to take classes through the community college to increase my knowledge level, local canton needing paperwork filed and reports taken care of, so on and so forth....no time to practice. But, everyone in the Canton, and in my family were really excited about me doing it. Then the other shoe dropped. Normally, the first round of an An Tirian Crown is done by challenges. The field is split into two lines, and the less experienced fighters challenge the Knight of their choice for the first round. They changed the format.... Eight erics, all entrants divided equally amongst them, round robin tournament. The top two fighters from each eric move on to "The Sweet Sixteen". Which is a double elimination tournament. Until eliminated to the final two, who fight the best two out of three. Well, add to the change in process, they cancelled the processional because of the rain (justifiably so), it certainly wasn't the Crown I "grew up with", LOL! I did it anyway! I suited up, I crowded into the Kingdom Pavilion with the other 67 entrants, and their ladies, and the Heralds, and the list people, and Their Majesties, and their retinue, and the photographers, and anyone and everyone else who happened to be walking by when the downpour started! By the end of the invocation, both my legs were asleep and cramping (I felt like such a wuss!) ROFL! Needless to say, after planning for months to fight, not getting to go to any practices, and looking fondly at my armor from across the room, I fought about as well as I deserved! Meaning I had a blast, but lost all of my fights! hehehe But, the good thing about it all is...... I enjoyed it so much, I'm thinking of doing it again at May Crown in Wastekeep! How could I not, when my Lady is the motivating and inspirational force in my life, and I strive to bring all the honor my meager efforts can bring to her; and my daughter gave me a wonderful favor in a ceremony the night before that brought the entire encampment to tears!! With these two ladies as my inspiration, I'll be king in no time! Bye for now!!