A Very Late Ruby Joust Perspective

corby's picture

Looking out on ruby joustSeems like it’s well past time to do a recap of Ruby Joust. Memories fade!

Bryce & Kim were kind enough (it seemed) to find a place for my arming tent in their camp. Little did I know their hidden motivations, and my new nickname, which mostly rhymes with “Citronella.”

Friday I got on site well before dark, since I had taken off work. So set up was lazy and easy, though I understand that many, many other people had significant drama with their land allocation. Very glad to have dodged that.

I overheard TJ say he was off to get pizzas so I threw some money at him and that took care of dinner. A bit scattered, it would have been nicer to have some sit down time with folks I don’t get to see often enough.

I resolved not to have any alcohol Friday night, as it does affect my performance the next day. This proved wise!

Ross and his family arrived and Sir Arradd was kind enough to let all of us share his list-side pavilion. Ross’ people all seemed to have a good time wandering the site in my borrowed garb.

Quite a surprise to find out about the schedule for the day. I understand why things were changed, but the lack of updates on the site (and notices of the updates for those who had checked earlier) meant that my Ruby Joust and that of Ross & his family, worked out only due to dumb luck. We had made our plans based on the web-published schedule, which bore no relationship to the actual plan for fighting.

Opening rounds of Ruby were done in 3 tournies: a set of four pools, a speed tourney, and a no-shields bearpit. I fought all sword and shield except for two greatsword bouts. During the first one I exploded my greatsword, as shown here, but got through that fight with a borrowed one. Ursus told me he got pics of the exploding sword, but I haven’t seen them. What a shame! Later, fighting John Bighead, I found the difference between HRH Vlad’s greatsword and mine to be odd enough that it affected the fight--but it is a poor workman who blames his tools. 

I decided to skip the speed tourney, and took pics instead. Those I posted earlier. But I armored back up for the no shields bearpit, and to my great pleasure, was undefeated but for one bout with Sir Ragnar, who fought very very well that weekend. In fact, it was so clear that the majority of the fighters I faced had NO idea how to deal with a paring of their greatsword vs. a polearm that immediately after the tourney I convened an impromptu class on it with HRM Vlad’s help.

My thanks to the ladies and other notables who saw fit to invite me to Sunday’s fighting for the Ruby Prize. Notably, at least one knight also mentioned to me that Ross would likely have been invited too, but he was just there for Saturday. Ross certainly fought well in the first two tourneys, giving a duke a long fight in the speed tourney!

Sunday I was remarkably not exhausted or so stiff that I couldn’t move. With four pools of eight, with two from each pool advancing, my pool was deep enough that I could not be assured of making it to the final eight. But I did advance, even though I lost twice.

At that point, I was very happy to have found myself, at the very least, in the final eight, fought single elimination to a final of two out of three.

Luckily, in my first semi-final I pulled out my best shot of the event vs. Sir William Shoprat, who I set back on his heels with a hard rush at lay on, then managed a very fast, smooth leg shot that put him on his knees. Once he was there, I introduced him to my newish sword manipulation techniques, where I grabbed the bottom tab of his basket hilt with my shield hand and pulled his head defense away from his head.

So, happily, I now found myself in the final four.

My next bout was with the ultimate winner, Sir William, whose strength and speed give me tremendous trouble. I tried keeping the outside to avoid that speed, but he picked off my sword arm on a blow and I yielded the fight. As I lost to the winner in the final four, I like to think that means I finished third for the day. A much, much better showing than I expected. It has re-enthused me! 

At my 26th Joust. In July of 1986, I came to Diamond Joust XII, where I line marshaled as I wasn't authorized yet. I watched Duke Michael and Prince Klaus in the finals, with Klaus the ultimate winner of the day.