Consort's and Sovereign's Archery Championship June 27, 1992

An account, by Lady Ygraine of Kellswood.

Many excellent and wondrous things happened at the Archery Champions' Tournement held Saturday, June 27, A.S. XXVIII. My lord, Li Kung Lo, and I traveled to the Barony of Carillion to participate. The location of the competition was a place which many great flying monsters are known to inhabit, most infamous of which was an enormous beast known as Hindenberg whose fiery death will long be remembered in our bards' tales. To ensure that this area would be safe, the mighty archers of Carillion had cleared the skies of these fearsome creatures.

Archers from every corner of the East Kingdom had gathered for this event, which was devised by the current champions, Lord Dofinn-Hallr Morrison and Lord Bleiddian ab Cynin (who is also our Kingdom Captain General of Archers). Present to oversee the selection of Their champions were King Ruslan and Queen Margaret, and their Highnesses Lucan and Jana.

Competition began about noon for the eighty archers participating. We were addressed by their Majesties, and urged to do our best as well as to share our knowledge with others that the East might prevail at the impending War.

Our first challenge was a 100 yard clout shoot of six arrows, with our first arrows released on His Majesties' command. After the presiding champions scored this shoot, our number was divided into groups of five archers and we began a rotation through eight different tests of skill, including killing a bagpiper or his instrument with six shots, and killing a fierce fanged rabbit in as few shots as possible.

After the results of this first round of shooting, the participants were cut from 80 to 32 and we began the second round at about 4:30 by launching 6 arrows at a five-man shield wall 100 yards away, again on His Majesties' command. We were then divided into smaller groups to meet the challenge of five more tests.

After the second set of scores was tabulated, the final ten competitors were announced. These fine archers then assembled to hear the words of the King and Queen, who advised them of the burdens and responsibilities attendant to the honor of being a Champion; none declined to continue the contest, so the competition resumed. All ten released the first of six arrows on His Majesties' command at a man-sized target between 95 and 100 yards away. Each finalist then took the line alone and shot twelve arrows at a painted wooden wand. In this manner, three archers broke two wands and most of the rest broke one. The competitors then individually shot an elimination shoot at an unknown distance; archers who failed to hit the target with one of up to three arrows did not continue as the target was moved further away. At the fifth distance, there were but three competitors left: Randal of the Dark, Dafydd Rhys ap Llewellyn o Gaernorfon, and Frydherik Eysenkopf. Moving the target once more eliminated Lord Dafydd. When the distance was increased yet again, Duke Randal failed to strike it. The target was moved again for the last of the ten to attempt it, since Master Frydherik could earn another point for each distance he could succeed in hitting. He sent his three arrows toward their mark and at least one was heard to hit. When his arrows were retrieved, it was reported that he had struck the very center of the target, shooting the seeds from the center of an heraldic rose. The target was moved out yet again and it now seemed as distant as the setting sun. This time Frydherik's arrows missed their mark, but the assembled crowd cheered his skill nonetheless!

It was by now about 8:30pm and we waited but a short while for the scores from all three rounds to be accumulated for the ten finalists. Then their Majesties and Bleiddian and Dov announced the results in this order:

To settle the tie for top honors, David and William shot two arrows at each of three unknown distances at 60 cm targets bearing inner and outer circles, their first of each pair of shots could score one more point than the second. This first test resulted in a tie! To finally settle the matter, they shot this same challenge again and Lord David prevailed.

Their Royal Majesties, Ruslan and Margaret, then proclaimed Lord David McDougalls to be Queen's Champion Archer, and Lord William of Barnsdale to be Kings Champion Archer, both of which offices they will hold for the ensuing year. A resounding cheer arose from the spectators assembled.

Before the crowd could be dismissed by their Majesties, Duchess and Mistress Sedalia MacNare approached the King and Queen and begged a boon. She reported that the Companions of the Order of the Pelican had expressed their desire to have a good gentle admitted into their number, and he was none other than Lord David McDougalls! Their Majesties called him once again before Them, and praised his many years of service in the teaching of archery and all its related crafts and skills. They advised him to prepare for a brief vigil during which he could receive advice from other Peers in order to decide for himself if he wished to become a member of the Order and assume both its honors and burdens. This he set off to do, accompanied by several friends, as the sun dipped below the horizon.

But an hour or so later we assembled for the Royal Court of Ruslan and Margaret. Among the many items of court business, Lady Kendra of the Holly Oak was made a member of the Order of the Maunche for her skill and teaching of leatherwork, Lord Doffin-Hallr Morrison was awarded the King's Order of Excellence, and Duchess Katherine Stanhope was presented with the medallion of Master Bowman rank.

It was at this time that a spattering of rain and lightening began, and Lord David McDougalls was summoned into Court and asked his decision -- his reply was muffled by a crack of thunder and the scene was illuminated by a bolt of lightening, but between drops of rain, we witnessed him draped with the mantle of the Order of the Pelican. As the rain subsided a bit, we heard the herald read the text of the scroll created by Mistress Daryl of Avalon to commemorate the conferring of his peerage and describe his years of service in our Society. With this long-overdue presentation, thus ended the Royal Court and an exhausting and exciting day.