Batleth Tournament

Report on the first Tournament with full trappings.

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I have been present at every Tournament. I have fought in 6 of the 7. (I had eye surgery before one Tournament.) [Mark (USS Regulator) has fought all 7!!!!] Each event seems to run a little better due to the accumulating experience. However, this Tournament set a whole new standard and raised the bar for FUN. With having FUN being the primary goal of our area klin, this Tournament was truly a new animal.

First off, even with the combat only on Saturn's Day, the Tournament officially started on Friday. Many combatants arrived early and pitched camp. Those of us working on the Tournament infrastructure had an entire day to prepare for the Tournament. The ring was somewhat wider this time being a 25 foot instead of 20 foot ring. It was painted on the ground for visibility as usual, then encased by a 2 foot fence on a 30 foot diameter circle. This dramatically reduced the amount of animals and children wandering in to the combat Ring. I also reduced the amount of casual passing through by other Warriors. The 3 level Stage was set up for ceremonies though at the time of the ceremonies, it was too windy for the torches. Camps were set up and properly tarped to provide commons areas in case of the rains that (luckily) never happened. Cooking tables and the preparation of Captain3A for mass cooking made life easier on all of the Warriors and their families. (Captain3A RULES!!) This reduced the worry and work on Warriors and their families. Saturn's Day night, the main pathway between the camps and the bonfire and toilet facilities was lit by cyalume sticks. Some Warriors had reworked the original toilet facilities to provide more security for our benefactors (Thank you Art and Kbubbles once again.) and easier access to the toiletry. Between their work and the planned literal firepower for cooking, the need to enter the main house was brought to nill. This planning and infrastructure should have made their burden of our presence much more livable.

On Friday night, the first night of some major Klingon partying took place. We had my two kegs of homebrew and a trash can of canned beer. The weather was nice. It was not hot. After set up we just sat down to simple fellowship that continued in the best of klingon tradition. Plenty of beer, music, friends; plenty of FUN!

On Saturn's Day, more families arrived and we were prepared to start at 0900 on the dot due to the organization. However, we delayed for one hour to give presumed late Warriors a chance to arrive. At 1000, it was time to start and those not present could fight in later divisions if they arrived later. As it turned out, there were no more arrivals afterwards and some of our regular combatants missed out on some really good fighting. As we are all gaining experience, there are fewer and fewer skunks. Now most of the wins are by a half point making for some really close fighting. The fighting went smoothly and with no real argumentation. In fact, the only real arguments with the judges was by the scorekeeper and so it was a fratracidal incident that did not last. The fighting was fast and furious with a 15 minute challenge period between weapons divisions. There were plenty of challenges as Warriors made up for not drawing opponents that they really had wanted to fight. The kegs were moved down by the ring and Person1A was passing out cold cans of liquid encouragement to waiting Warriors. Thus we had another beer or two and some fascinating butterscotch whiskey surfaced. The in the Ring wounds came on surprising fast and numerous this time with lots of skinned knuckles and a couple of smashes. But not a single Warrior was wounded to the point of forfeit. All Warriors finished all of their planned divisions except for a couple of newbies who had obligations and had to leave before we were finished. We did not realize how fast and powerfully that we had been fighting until Sun's Day.

After the scores were added up, there was a 2 hour period until sundown. At this time Captain3A and her crew really made the evening by cooking a wonderful dinner. Many families present had purchased in bulk so the amount of food available was enough to hurk a hog. And the best thing was that individual families did not have to worry about cooking for themselves and their Warriors. Thank you cooks ALL! Captain3A, Person1A, Linda If you cooked and I did not give you credit. My bad. And you can challenge me next Tournament. The Targh Pinata (no petark, serious) was hung in the tree with the children taking the first series of swings and then the cooking crew getting the next series. Although it was de-tailed by the children, it was burst by a grup. When the goodies fell it became evident why grups were in on this. There were candies and toys for the children and believe me, they swooped in for the kill. But when the little bottles of whiskeys, rums, and tequila fell out the grups made a dash to acquire for themselves. There was a small disposable airhorn that Mark scored and later put to good use. Three LGM were turned in to sQweeninart for fired ceramic commemorative mugs that she made. These mugs listed the date of the Tournament and had a trifoil on the other side. These mugs nearly became a source of challenges in themselves.
By this time it was nearing sundown so all of the Warriors put on their uniforms and we went down to the lower commons for the ceremony and bonfire. K'vlar did a wonderful job of self immolation while starting the bonfire. He moves quickly when on fire. We all got a good laugh and made sure that he and his uniform were ok and proceeded to take stations for the ceremonies. The opening ceremony was the opening of the bloodwine tub and the dipping by all of the Warriors into the tub. Dipping into the bloodwine bucket with the flames reflecting off of the metal mugs was an impressive sight. At 13% we were all doing ok by the end of the ceremonies as many Warriors had to refill during the proceedings. Awards for the Tournament were issued. I don't remember them at the moment so I will not announce that which I don't remember in this epistle. Once again, two of the classes were taken by newbies. Person1 missed out on picking up Mekleth Overall which was his goal. (Sorry dude) A newbie took Mek, if I remember correctly. The awards were issued. They were a mounted Batleth, and a Mounted Mek for those two classes. The other two classes were also awarded. Then we moved on to toasting our benefactors as we were using their property for this. Given the fact that we were getting toasted in more ways than one, we tried to keep the ceremonies moving quickly. With speed (and bonfire heat) in mind, personal awards were awarded to those of note. I awarded Captain3 a (Makers)Mark of the Empire for his assistance in saving my Porsche during our last floods. After the personal awards were over, it was very much night with all of us literally toasting in the firelight. Perhaps if the goverment had to work near a bonfire, things would be done more quickly. We closed the ceremonies and started stripping off armor in order to cool. The bonfire was awesome, but it was also warm.

Having fought on Saturn's Day, nobody was in a rush to pack up and leave so we had the full fellowship of all Warriors present for the ceremonies and for the campfire fun afterwards. We stayed up a little tooooo late again while we polished off more chicken and burgers, as well as beer. The mass of Warriors under the Commons was a wonderful sight. We were ready for a rain that never came and had a good time telling our War Stories about the Tournament fighting of the day. All in all, we polished of 4 30 packs and 3 18 packs of commercial brew, 3 gallons of my Porter (10%), 2 gallons of my "bloodwine" (13%), and 2 gallons of apple cider (20%). There was sitting out by the bonfire enjoying its warmth as the eveing cooled. There was the lit Commons with the food. There were the kids playing with the cyalumes while running around the property like little fireflies. There was Person1's visit to the Forge of Kristak.

Sunday things did not quite occur as planned. Of course the kids got up at the crack of dawn and thus we grups did. But after breakfast, the assessment was that the Targ Hunt and the Klingon football, watergun wars and everything else was cancelled. There simply were not enough Warriors left fully functional. We were sore in places we did not know we could be sore in. We had sore feet, sore arms, sore legs. Only the young and immortal Warrior was ready. Otherwise, all of us grups were tired, SORE, and some were a bit hungover I think. Although the cancellation sounds like a bad thing, it was the consensus that the combat in the Ring was so incredible that it was worth the bruises and soreness that we faced and that we will probably do it again as soon as we can. Captain3A and company cooked a massive breakfast as we had enough eggs to start a chicken farm. The casual teardown of the camps was precisely that. Casual. No hurry. We were still in full "fellowship" mode even during teardown. The lack of pressure was a wonderful thing. We all managed to get home by a reasonable hour for cleanup, a nap, and getting ready to face the mundane world of tomorrow.

This was truly the best organized, most FUN filled weekend that we have had for a Tournament. Fun for the kids. Fun for the grups. And fun together as families. How often can you have a 3 day weekend with all age group activities for no entry fee? All in all, if you were not here, you missed out. But you can watch it on video as soon as I can get it up to the IKV Melota website. For Warriors from really way out of town, state, or otherwise, consider the possibility of taking some vacation time from work to come down to our little piece of this dirtball to join us for our next Tournament.

Strength and Honor

Lt. Cdr. Salek Sutai the SORE
Ship's Brewer


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