Guest Fest, al-Barran
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Tales of courtesy, gallantry, courage and chivalry at Estrella

Sir Mordygan MacGregor
February 22, 2007

Mordygan opened by telling us that he spent a lot of his time at Estrella fighting, and thus did not witness as many chivalrous deeds as he might have otherwise.

“The moment that stood out the most to me was the way everyone acted on Friday during the first battles. Typically, Friday is the roughest day to fight. People are ready to fight, ready to not take a shot, and they want to give a ‘little more’. This year, there were more light shots, more people being chivalrous and taking lighter shots in return. I was impressed.”
At this point, Beatrice added that she felt the shieldmen of Calontir showed courage on the battlefield during the castle battle scenario. “They would get crushed, pop back up, and keep on going.”

Besides Mordygan, the only two present who had been at this Estrella were Karl and Beatrice.
Karl added that he felt that everyone was gracious, taking their shots. He could not point to a specific example of chivalry, but felt that overall people were chivalrous and courageous. He mentioned seeing people “charging into more people than they could handle,” and that he saw many people working together on the battlefield.

Mordygan spoke again, bringing up a story of courage. He accompanied His Majesty, Artan VI, to the light field. There, they waited for a light tournament to end and watched the (heavy) open field battles in progress. Mordygan said he saw small groups of 5-6 men stopping unit charges. “They were doing their job as skirmishers, which in and of itself is courageous.”

AElflaed told of a story she heard from Gunwaldt—that he had kept the second row of shieldmen back so the front row spearmen would have room to move without being crowded. He never got to throw a shot, in that battle, but still served his side. (If everyone had advanced it would've been a mess.)

Mordygan praised Beatrice for her courage in her first Estrella battle, especially as she was using a nine-foot spear. Karl added, “She fought with skill, as well.”

Mordygan was asked how this Estrella was different for him, as it was his first as a knight and King’s Champion. He said that he noticed that he got a little more respect, possibly due to the white belt, and also that he noticed people had a little more fear of him on the battlefield. He said it felt good to be respected and we bantered around phrases like, “earned arrogance” and “justifiable pride.”

At one point on Thursday, Artan issued open challenges to fighters and after he grew weary, he had Mordygan fight in his stead. Mordygan said it was a great opportunity to engage prominent fighters from other kingdoms.

Mordygan also made his first squire, Ylyndl during the Outlands Prize Tourney. He said that the people heralding the tournament stopped calling the order of list to watch the squiring and he thought that was kind.

In another example of how this war was different for him, he expressed how nice it was to see the extended courtesy given to TRM. Because of his position, he was able to see things he did not normally get the chance to see and because Artan and Aziza are “more formal” in the way they serve as King and Queen, the virtuous behavior, in and out of kingdom, is more apparent.

Mordygan said that he felt Martino showed gallantry during the first set of champion battles (what day?). Martino knew in advance who he would be fighting (someone with a Greek persona), did some research, and created a gorgon head and put it in a bag. Mordygan said it was “beautiful” the way Martino played it out. As he approached the Greek fighter, Martino said he would “defeat a giant with a giant” and pulled the head out of the bag. The other fighter did not really play along, but Martino kept a good spirit about it.

Beatrice asked Sir Lavan if she could accompany him to Sir Chinua’s vigil, as she had never been to one and was unsure of going in by herself. He allowed her to go with him and she used this as one example of chivalry or courtesy she witnessed during the War.

AElflaed said she heard of a problem within the retinue (names not mentioned) which was resolved nicely with Tancred and Balthazar’s assistance (and the cooperation of both parties).

Koris asked how many people fought. Mordygan did not have exact numbers but said he thought it was about 450 on both sides.

Mordygan said that this year was his first attending Grand Court at War. There was some discussion about the gift-giving that occurs between kingdoms and it was noted that Artemesia (he thinks) decided that their gift during Grand Court would be to not hold court at all. It was agreed this was an act of courtesy.

Karl remembered seeing Baron Gregor standing in front of his men with only an axe against a few shieldmen, holding his own with courage.

Mordygan said that he saw Duke Hrothgar do a single man charge, with his “little sword and little shield,” and 10 guys jumped back.

Mordygan pulled a gentleman from battle after his ankle was crushed.

Gwydion killed someone from behind during a battle (by just saying “dead from behind”) and the person blew up about it and yelled at Gwydion to engage him in a direct fight. He eventually went to Artan with his grievance but ended up apologizing to Gwydion later that day (or was it the next day?).

The discussion shifted to talk of old stories of chivalry, courage, etc.

Duchess Leah told a story of Asad who was in the middle of a battle and realized that everyone around him was wearing torses, signifying their alliance with his enemy. Asad improvised by grabbing his head and looking down at the ground, as if looking for his own torse. In time, his enemies were helping him look, too.

Koris told a story about a war with Ansteorra. Knights against the world. 344 of them, 97 knights at the top of the hill. “Lay on!” was called... knights scatter, the rest don’t. Asad charges in, changes direction, and starts killing from behind. Gunwaldt is “swinging his great sword for all it was worth,” surrounded by 15-18 fighters. Koris came in, back to back with Gunwaldt, and they continued to fight. Gunwaldt’s sword broke, and someone loaned him another; Koris’ broke and he picked up an axe to use... but Koris wasn’t adept with it, so they traded over their shoulders. All told, six weapons broke during that fight. At one point, Koris said he felt wind behind him and heard Gunwaldt say, “I’m dead.” Koris just said, “Oh, nuts.”

Mordygan spoke of Dermod, who during last year’s Estrella, picked up a crossbow during a ressurection battle and began to kill HRM of Atenveldt, Aaron Graves, over and over again (five times). On the 6th time, King Aaron yelled, “Archer! Why don’t you come across this line and fight me like a real man!” A fight was eventually arranged for the next Estrella, but has yet to happen.


THANK YOU! The notes were taken and transcribed by Lady Kymma Godric. Photos are by Kendrick and Beatrice.
Attendees: Koris, Leah, AElflaed, Mordygan, Kymma, Karl, Beatrice, Kendrick and Amy.

Additional stories or other angles on the stories above are welcome. Please send them to Sandra@SandraDodd.com

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