By Dara of House Gawain
The second annual Rapiers to Riches rapier tourney was held on August 5. It was presided over by Lord Lorenzo di Calabria of the Barony of Brendoken of the Middle Kingdom. Lord Antonio of Gwyntarian was to be a co-marshal. Unfortunately, Lord Antonio was not able to make it. Rumors abound that he was waylaid by pirates or the legendary gremlins in an attempt on the prize he was to have brought with him. However, Lord Lorenzo bravely made sure the tourney went on (mostly) as planned.
The rules were explained. Everyone began with five coins (even if they joined the tourney ten minutes before the end). Any fighter with coins could challenge any other fighter with coins, winner take all. If a fighter was broke, then his or her only recourse was to find another broke fighter to ally with and mug a fighter that still had coins. If both muggers survived the fight, the coins were split between them according to their own arrangements. If their ‘victim’ managed to kill one of the muggers, the surviving mugger kept all. If all members in a fight died...well, that was a surprise for the tourney itself. The fighters had two hours to collect as many coins as they could while avoiding being mugged. No challenge could be refused.
Attacking from behind was not allowed but backstabbing abounded throughout this event. There was not much honor among thieves as many muggers would land the killing blow on the victim and then stab or be stabbed by their recent ally.
Since this was a two-hour event, rests were allowed and even encouraged as the sun shone down on the field, enjoying the chaos below. Late arrivals (also known as new victims) were welcomed with five coins and an overview of the rules before being sent forth to be stalked by the prowling mugging teams. Even those that arrived less than 15 minutes before the end of event were welcomed with open arms and eager rapiers.
Within the first ten minutes of the tourney, two fighters managed to kill each other at the same time and Lord Lorenzo was called over to explain what was to happen. With a mischievous smile, he collected all the coins from the two ‘corpses’ and called all the fighters over so they could witness this rule that had been hidden until now. Having their full attention, he announced, “Here you see two dead bodies in an alley.” Pointing to a random fighter among the onlookers, he handed that fighter all the coins because, after all, corpses cannot have coins. Double kills (or triple kills in the rare cases when victims took both muggers with him or her) resulted in all the coins being collected by the nearest marshal who gave them to whatever random fighter was nearby. Of course, this most often resulted in the double kill corpses watching where the coins went and immediately becoming mugging allies to stalk down the ‘lucky’ fighter.
Eventually, though, time was called and the last fights were resolved. Those with heavy purses were called to present their coin count to Lord Lorenzo and the winners were announced.
With 71 coins, Rook Sweetecok of the Barony of Unserhafen from the Outlands was the winner. Second place went to Robin Archer Dragun of the House Accursed Grail of the Barony of Maursus of the Kingdom of Atlantia. The Italian bank in the form of Lord Lorenzo, of course, began collecting the coins back but, as he was unarmed, he did not charge the fighters interest on the coins he had lent them for the tourney.
In addition to the fun, the tourney offered the participants a chance to hone their skills in fighting side by side with other fighters and conserving their strength for a long fight. This will be a boon to them as they fight tomorrow in the Storming of La Rochelle at 10 AM in which the defenders of the castle will need to work together to survive wave after wave of attackers.