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So the Crown List has been announced, and my name is on it. It’s exciting: I’ve never fought in Crown before and, looking at this list, I’m pretty sure I can acquit myself respectably against any of the other ten fighters. Certainly there’s no one on that list that’s so far above my level of skill that I’ll never be able to lay a stick on them (or only land a blow through a fluke.) I’m by no means the most skilled fighter who’s going to this Crown but looking at the competition I’m definitely encouraged to give it my very best… and it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that I might actually win.

What really stuck me, however, is that of the eleven fighters on Crown List, there’s not a single Duke or Count. For non-SCA people, you earn the title of Count if you’ve served as King once; twice or more, you’re a Duke. The absence of Dukes or Counts on Crown List means that no matter who wins this Tournament, there’ll be new faces on the Thrones. (Okay, there are a Duchess and a Countess listed among the consorts, but my point largely stands.) I think that excites me more than the fact that I’m one of the people on there: Ealdormere is a small enough Kingdom that sometimes it feels like the same half-dozen or so fighters tend to pass the Crown back and forth like a basketball; there’s a lot of repetition in the names listed on the Line of the North.

But not this time. This time, no matter who wins, there’s going to be fresh faces on the Thrones. And that’s really, really exciting; it tells me that the Society isn’t static, that new people are coming in and taking up the reins, that change can occur.

I get excited about weird things sometimes, I know.

In the meantime, our Crown Tourney preparations continue. I’ve repainted my shield and painted my war-door, since we’ll be going to Border Spat between now and then and a great big shield is comforting in a melee (especially if you don’t have to worry about it getting all banged-up before Crown.) I’m hoping that The Wife™ can build me a new surcoat between now and Crown, and I really hope I’m able to get my silk banner put together. That’s my priority for the long weekend; I’ve already got a design in place, now I just need to get the silk on the frame, apply the gutta percha, and then dye the silk.

We’ve also gathered a few items to use as “attaboys” — small tokens of appreciation one gives to an opponent as a gesture of respect after a good and honourable fight. And judging from the posted Crown List, I’m going to be giving out a lot of them: every single fighter on that list has a good reputation. And in any case Their Majesties have set the bar pretty high for honourable behaviour and chivalrous conduct at this tourney… as well they should.

I’m going to do my damnedest to meet those expectations, win or lose. I really, really want this Crown Tourney to be an example of very best that the SCA has to offer, not only because it’s my first Crown Tourney, but because it’s The Wife™’s first Crown Tourney as well. It’s funny, but I’ve really been stressing about what I’m going to say during the processional before the tournament begins; we didn’t write our own vows at the wedding, so I didn’t get stressed-out about that. I’ve never been shy about speaking in public, which is just as well, because in several very real ways my declaration at Crown is going to be as important as any speech I’ve ever given; just like at the wedding, it’s going to be a public declaration of my love and devotion for an audience who really appreciates that sort of thing. But unlike the wedding, I have to write the speech myself. I want to get it just right.

I guess I get nervous about weird things sometimes, too…

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