AER: Tournament, 2009

AER: Tournament, 2009

The KAG vessel IKV Melota held its annual interstate Batleth Tournament. Wow, what a weekend. We tried a new venue. There were upsets. There was unexpected excitement*. There were missing Warriors. At least there was beautiful weather.

We missed those who had car trouble and otherwise did not make it. We hope to see you next year.

Due to Purtis Creek State Park being booked for the weekend that we needed, we moved the Tournament to Cedar Hill State Park and made do. I think that it turned out well, especially given the weather. However, there was a twist when the square of the distance rule is not in your favor. More on this later.

We had a good turnout. Many banners were flown. Some 5 ships (including Federation guests) were present. There were also a buckethead contingent and some mundanes as spectators.
IKV Bayou Serpent
IKV Qin Vagh
USS Trinity River
USS Joshua
IKV Melota
bucketheads as noncombatant guests

Squeeze took care of the community lunch. Due to 100% overbuying due to an entire combat group not showing, we also wound up with a community dinner and stuff for breakfast on top of the community lunch. Thanks, Squeeze for all of that cooking and cleanup.

Dr. Gizmo got a break from having to do the trophies. He needed that rest, I'm sure. They were not as high a quality as his, however, they appeared to fit the mission profile. And, he got to take home a trophy that he did not build for a change.

The "Bloodwine" was in the charge of a new person this year. I believe that Mrs. Gizmo made it. Dr. Gizmo presented as her proxy.

Kmok as our new Captain had his first time as Master of Ceremonies and did a great job.

I think that it is fair to say that the fighting was brutal and very well done. As mentioned, there were changes in position/ranking with upsets from the status quo. "The status is not quo". From a fuzzy memory, I can remember a 6 or 7 point Mekleth bout and a 14 point Daq bout. I remember 3 of us bleeding at some point and one broken Ship's Armory Batleth. Two Batleths lost padding and had to be set aside for repairs.
Just as we would hope, nobody was actually injured. However, there were those bloody scrapes and one good wrench.
It really was great to see this much skill at work. There no skunks. Everybody had points. Those moving on had to bloody well work for their points.
Being the odd number, I faced both Rotokq and Dragen from the IKV Qin Vagh as Ringers. Dudes! You guys did a great job. It has been a long time since I faced Dragen. It was a fun match to fight him again. The last time I faced Rotokq, he absolutely skunked me at Meks. I was determined to not fail so dismally before him this time at Meks. At least I got points on the board against him this time. Kai, Rotokq for the great battle.

For one of the few times, the guest did not take home the Mekleth trophy. Howver, our new guest combatant did represent himself very well in the Ring.

*Some of the excitement was a strange incident. While visiting the buckethead camp, we were followed down the stairs into their camp by a Park Ranger. The Ranger was there to tell them to quiet down. However, he failed to appropriately identify himself and when the campers did not respond to his commands, the situation escalated. Luckily, the end result was that none of the bucketheads was ticketed and the Park Ranger actually did have a good sense of humor. But for a while, there was some really unnecessary excitement that proper a IFF would have prevented.

We would really like to see some of the longer distance klingons catch a plane and come attend our next Tournament. We need other states to be represented than just in the Cold Revenge Quadrant. Think about it and plan ahead for next year.

Strength and Honor,
Ship's Sore Feets

(From Commander Ripar, IKV Bayou Serpent)
Unable to attend myself,B'ehrmaq of the IKV Bayou Serpent attended the tournament. Here is his report:

The 2009 IKV Melota bat'leth tournment was held on November 6-8 at Cedar Hill State Park, State of Texas, Terran System. Approximately 30 warriors and mundanes attended and the IKV Bayou Serpent, Melota and Qin Vagh were represented. Nine warriors competed for glory.

I arrived around 5 p.m. on November 6 and set up my camp. I greeted my fellow warriors Salek, Gizmo and Kartok from the IKV Melota and Dragen and Draken from the Qin Vagh. K'mok and T'kai arrived later. We set up our campsites and ate, drank and told glorious stories that night.

The time for battle arrived with the morning. Salek and some other warriors went to harass some people known as "storm troopers" from an alternative universe known a "Star Wars". Unaware that on this soft and cowardly region of Terra, the terran police strictly enforced something known as a "noise ordinance". Not wishing to spill blood before combat, Salek and the other warriors returned to camp.

The battle began. Bat'leth as usual, was first. KartoQ placed first, defeating Gizmo in the final. As proof of our fierce combat, a bat'leth was utterly destroyed and broken in two by Gizmo.

In mek'leth, Commander Salek, a veteran of eleven years of combat and sixteen tournaments, placed first in a fierce and glorious battle. He defeated KartoQ in the final.

In d'k-tagh, because of the way the tournament field, and odd number of combatants, ended in a three-way match for first place between K'mok, Salek and Gizmo. K'mok defeated Gizmo in the first match, and Gizmo defeated Salek in the second. K'mok then defeated Salek in the deciding match to win d'k-tagh. The match between Salek and K'mok was one for the ages, with both warriors fighting with the spirit of Kahless to an ultimate victory by K'mok 14-13 1/2.

With battle concluded, the warriors feasted on a glorious repast prepared by sQueezinart. The meal was one to sing songs about and all filled their bellies.

As the day ended, the ceremonies began. Salek prepared medals that could be worn around the neck. The medals had a lightsource which fully illuminated their glory. We held the warriors' prayer and death howl, especially honoring the brave terran warriors of Fort Hood who died as the result of a most cowardly act. Kartok won 1st place bat'leth, Salek won 1st place mek'leth and K'mok won 1st place dak'tagh. Salek also won for 1st blood and Gizmo won for broken weapon. 1st place overall went to KartoQ, 2nd place overall went to Dr. Gizmo and 3rd place overall went to Salek. A special award, which looked like a cat's butt, denoting the CATastrophe award signifying the warrior who received lowest number of points and therefore needed most practice, went to Dragen. I won the special Ni'vek mug award, and had the honor of first dip of the bloodwine, courtesy of Gizmo.

After the ceremonies, we ate, drank and told stories the night. The next morning, having a long journey, I awakened early, bid my fellow warriors farewell and returned home.

Special thanks go to Salek and K'mok for creating the medals and CATastrophe trophy, and to sQueezinart for preparing the wonderful meal. If there is any I have left out, I apologize. All warriors honored the Klingon Empire at this event.

Special warriors' recognition go to Gizmo, who suffered a hip injury and had to withdraw from mek'leth. In true Klingon warrior fashion, Gizmo returned for d'k-tagh and placed second. He should be specially honored for his bravery and courage.

Courage and Honor.


IKV Bayou Serpent

Friday saw several warriors arriving in the woods. Camps and tents were prepared and the fellowship began. As darkness fell we discovered that a group of Star Wars bucket heads was stationed not far from us. This indirectly led to a tense moment with the local constabulary but "no harm done" and we now have a new story to reminisce about.

On the day of the combat the dawn broke cool and overcast. Perfect weather for a tournament. The high for the day was in the mid-70's. Representatives from several groups were there.
I.K.V. Melota
I.K.V. Bayou Serpent
I.K.V. Qin Vagh
U.S.S. Trinity River
U.S.S. Joshua
a couple of mundanes
a half dozen bucket heads

The banners were erected and the ring was cleared...the time for combat was upon us. Lots were drawn and warriors paired.

First Event - One-on-One Bat'leth duels.
Kat (of the Qin Vagh) has an effective battle tactic. Not overly tall to begin with...she enters the battle with her blade held forward. She then bends her knees and crouches forward. This effectively reduces her exposure to zero. Coming in under her defenses takes some doing.
Qel'ogh'wI earned a mention for breaking his opponents weapon.
At the end of this competition the final warrior standing was kartoq.
Second Event - One-on-One Mek'leth duels.
If BOTH combatants agree then we allow for the use of double Meks (a Mek'leth in each hand). Otherwise the bout is fought with single Mek'leths. Oddly, this option was not used during this tournament and ALL of our bouts were single.
The blade is small and light enough to move quickly but heavy enough to do actual damage. The majority of our injuries have been during Mek'leth bouts and we seriously stress safety and body armour during this event. Some of our younger combatants were flagged by the judges and reminded to concentrate on their blade control. In the end, no one was injured and Salek immerged as the final warrior standing.

sQueezinart announced that the food was ready and we paused for lunch. The food was excellant.

Rested and was time for the final event - One-on-One D'k-tagh duels.
This event is fast and furious. Most of us peel off our armour as speed and mobility are the keys to victory. We do require that safety glasses be worn as the blades used are actually small enough to enter the eye socket and do serious damage. Even with our standard use of three judges in the ring...there is no way for them to see everything so we now add paint to blades to show any contact.
Combat was fast, brutal, and exhausting. The end of standard combat saw a three-way tie for first and an extra round was added to decide the victor. In the end I, K'Mok, defeated my worthy opponents and stood alone.

Combat finished, we ate and the officers tallied the points.

As the sun set we gathered for the awards ceremony. Torches lit the woods as we howled for the Honored Dead and shared the Blood Wine.
Salek had prepared awards for the event. Instead of the traditional trophies he opted for medals in the fashion of the Olympics (the difference being that his light up).

1st Place Over-all - kartoq
2nd Place Over-all - Qel'ogh'wI (a.k.a. Dr. Gizmo)
3rd Place Over-all - Salek (Salek also won a commendation for 1st Blood)

We were proud to announce that not a single warrior had fought without earning points during the match. Still...we want to encourage our weaker warriors to practice. To that end we have introduced a Last Place award. This will be brought back each year and handed off to the lowest scoring warrior. What should last place awards look like? It occurred to us that scoring last in front of one's peers would be a what better to mark that status than a CAT * TROPHY. The large hind-end of a cat was chromed and mounted for all to see. Dragen was very gracious as he accepted the award and we hope that next year he can give it to someone else.

Sunday morning
ooowwww ouch moan groan snap crackle pop
compare bruises
break camp

A glorious tournament. Those who could not make the trip have our sympathies. You missed an excellent event.

- K'Mok
Commanding, IKV Melota

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