When Crown Tourney is held here in the isles, we make a special effort to have each couple heralded into the list as befits their stature and accomplishments. We also like to try to reproduce these boasts in the Baelfyr. From Spring Crown which took place last month just outside Belfast, here is a selection of the boasts.

Rodrigo and Teresa

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies,

I am Rodrigo Bernardez, Baron to the Court of the West, and now your Majesties most humble servant.

I am inspired this day by the grace and beauty of Lady Teresa of Dun In Mara who, regardless of the outcome of this tourney already reigns in my heart.

And to the friends with whom I have the honour to cross swords with today, I remind you that the path to the Crown lies through me. I will do my best to make sure it is not an easy one.

Agnes and Aodh

Heralded by Master Alexandre

This is Master Aodh. He would have me tell you that he cooks, which he does. He is also a man of discernment and a shaper of words. A kingdom ruled by Aodh would be ruled wise and well.

His champion is Master Agnes, who is a force to be reckoned with on the field and off. She is fierce in protecting and improving any cause which she finds worthy. A kingdom ruled by her would be fortunate beyond all others.

Valda and Joel

Composed by Ari Mala

A quick word, Your Majesties. This boast was written by Mala. Her boasts are largely homage to the late Professor Peter Schickele of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople. Some of his methods have rubbed off. Namely, plagiarism. Which is to say, be prepared to hear things you may have heard before…

So. Valda ingen Chaemghin. Mighty virago. Joel Ben Stuart. Grace and beauty. We hold these truths to be self-evident. Here they are (Joel and Valda do not advance. Herald pauses, repeats, louder) HERE THEY ARE.

sotto voce Come on, you guys. You’re on. (Valda and Joel advance).

They are born to be—not kings. Let us say rulers. Monarchs. Princes of the universe. Here they belong. They fight to rule in a world with the darkest powers. (Heh. Modesty forbids. What happens in Brighthelm stays in Brighthelm.) They’ve come to be the rulers of us all! Valda has no rival. No man can be her equal. (Well, maybe Joel.)

Yes, people talk about her. We hear it every day. She will pass this test. With her sword and head held high, she will SMITE. FIRST. TIME.

Valda and Joel, Drachenwald! Their teeth and ambitions are bared! Be prepared!

Mícheál and Gwerful

Your Majesties, your highnesses, Lords and Ladies, we begin with a humble question.

What is best in life?
To sleep in a good bed. To spend the day well, and to return to hearth and home, satisfied

What is best in life?
To drink tasty beer. To break bread with, and to revel in the company of fast friends.

What is best in life?
To acquire fine things. To adorn yourself with them, and to bask in desire and envy.

What is best in life?
To build your prestige. To rally allies under your banner, and to solidify your authority.

What is best in life?
To crush your enemies. To see them pushed before you, and to hear the lamentation of their people.

What is best in life?
To win the throne. To rule the entire land, and to have a bridge named after us.

This is best in life!
This is best in life!

Your majesties! Today we strive to make it so. Remember us!
Dread poet Gwerful!
Mícheál dubh!


Jon and Ellisif

Composed by Ari Mala

Your Majesties, come before you now MistressDameMagistra Ellisif Gydasdottir and Sir Jon-no- H fitz John-yes-H. You may think they are her merely to apply pressure—peer pressure—to the lists. And, largely, that’s true. You may think they stand before you as two separate people. You are wrong! I tell you, Sir Jon and MistressDameMagistra Ellisif are one! One singular sensation, every little step they take! One thrilling combination, every move that they make. They smile. Suddenly nobody else will do.

One moment in their presence and you can forget the rest. For this pair are second best to NONE. They walk into a room and you know they’re uncommonly rate, very unique, peripatetic, poetic, and chic. I can’t. Help. All of their qualities extolling! People of Drachenwald, the rightful heir (singular) to the throne!

Yda and Sela

Composed by Aodh O Siadhail, heralded by Erin Volya

From forth the lands of Dun in Mara come,
And Polderslot, a pair to claim the thrones.
Yda, her skill on field to chill your bones,
Sela, herald of might, with rule of thumb:
Say no. But you will not say no, not these
Rightful rulers of the fair Dragon Isles
They’ll claim this field with broad and cheerful smiles,
And Yda’s pies will need to wait, while pease
Cod banner flies above the throne. Roundels
too, fine heraldry, and Yda’s sword will
Put it there. And this field she’ll quickly fill
With those here who’d her oppose - the scoundrels!

Fight with honour, fight with glee, but the most:
Unto Sela and Yda, raise a toast.

Jan and Victoria

Greetings Your Majesties,
We are honored to be allowed to enter Your Crown List to select your heirs.

Greetings Noble Cousins, allow me to introduce to you….Maestra Victoria Piera Rosselli.
She is, in my mind, a Pillar of the Society.
Organizing a Kingdom-Level event for 150 people?
She won’t blink an eye!
Organizing an almost weeklong event for hundreds of people, in the middle of a plague?
Ok, she will blink an eye.
But I think her greatest feat…. is keeping me in check!
She takes care of me, when I do not.
She kicks me in the butt, when I need to be kicked in the butt.
I am privileged and honored to fight for you.

Also allow me to introduce myself.
I am Jan van Nyenrode,
My friends call me Jan Van or Waffles.
I am a simple fighter from Polderslot and am honored to be here on this joyous occasion.

Etienne and Susannah

Composed and heralded by Baroness Melisende Fitzwalter OL

Chronicler’s note: the morning of the tourney, Baroness Melisende woke up, looked at the schedule, and chose violence.

My Sovereigns, Leigelords, Nobles, gentles all
who harken to these words, retreat your thoughts
a mere 5 moons, the memory still green
fragrant yet of victory of good Roland
and Jahanara, Princeps of these Isles.
An auspicious day was there disguiséd
in umber'd face and weeds of veiléd rain
scarce thought we the encumbered clouds would part
e'en an hour, for our great passage of arms
that day. Feared we, the presage of such skies
foreboded an evil day where prowess founders,
where valour yields with gesture wild
to th'invading arms of sucking galway mud.
But Lo, the gods did favour our venture
and Helios returned to gladden hearts
and champions daring and gallant came forth
to take issue upon a dauntless field.
Then came one among them with freshly looks.
Burgundian, but late of Dun in Mara.
With cheerful semblance and a modest smile
he calls them brethren, friends, as truly are
all contestants in a list. Untested
was he in such a ring of steel, though known
was the ring of his steel 'neath hammer blows
whereat he prepareth all to assay
to battle in style. Wrought with cunning craft
the fruit of artist's hands, in metal, wood
hide or cloth, all within his remit fall
while those of others be mere mockeries.
Etienne he is called and mark ye all
the talent that accompanies that name
though younger, this one hath bountiful skills
unceasing flow, like waves to golden shore
thus earning him much awe, and jealousy.
In the Barony of Eplheim he
found her whose glory quickened chivalry:
Viscountess Susannah, his consort fair.
From the warmth of her heart, he plucks comfort
her largesse universal like the sun.

Her bounty and grace, she gives with open
hands to fighters who kindle her favour.
Alas, I mark not the sum, they'are not few.
Alack, fast on th'eve of that Coronet
was ruin'd all, endeavour tainted, as
crept breath to breath through the womb of night, plague
who, like a foul and ugly beast did strike
Susannah down. Oh pining and pale face
so wretched lay she there with care-worn brow
and lank-lean cheek, to sorrow sacrificed.
In woe sent she her champion forth, alone
with faltered gait as one whose hope is lost
chiding misfortune, his purpose unbent
girt in her favour, but without her light
to guide him in this, his first testing fight.
Sans consort, yet he deadful stood 'gainst all
and all cried 'Praise and glory on his head'
on her sickbed, the gracious lady heard
and lifted her voice to tremble the air
'Praise and glory on his head'. So it went
a creeping murmur and secret whisper
as his sword felled champion after champion.
So rumour turned to wonder, then to shouts
For lacking inspiration, yet he stood
unbested but for two great warriors:
Lord Michaél and his linden shield renowned
and our sweet celestial Seigneur Roland.
But third amongst that legendary band
this son of Burgundy. Assignéd he
not one jot of colour to this ordeal
no note on his fierce contenance, of want
of consort, lost to the Coronet bane.

That was then, but what of today ask ye?
Steel in sinew and enduring in heart
this man, this inestimable man, now comes
Tempered in fire, of sober wisdom
and proven mettle, now in stature great
where before his full measure thwarted was.
As upon his arm before you all once
more hale, the Viscountess Susannah wields
on her brow enlightenment, temperance
the fount of inspiration to this Lord.

She hath reigned aforehand full righteously.
Arrayed in authority, they stand forth
a union of strength and sagacity
blending wit and might in splendid concourse.
I speak with insufficient worth to laud
their quality. Fighters be afeared
For here are they come now in full puissance
and panoply of vigor and virtue
and they demand your awe and reverance.
Yield now an ye may! Bluster baffles them
not, nor shamming tales deter their resolve
as wind stirs not the steadfastness of stone.
Therefore do we proclaim this certainty:
Thou wilt say 'Praise and glory on their heads'
assuredly this most glorious day.