The Crestfallen Tourney (a small history)
by Maîtresse Elwynne Rowenna de Wentworth
Crestfallen is a rattan tourney in which fighters wear crests on their helmets and dress up in all their fighting finery. It can be a very showy (and sometimes funny) tournament. At the beginning, the fighters should process before the crowd, so that all may admire the crests and judge which is the finest.
Here are the rules, as generally run in Bergental. The fighters will proceed to try to knock the crests off of each other’s helmet. The crest should be attached firmly, but not so firmly that it cannot be removed by knocking it off or askew, if it is a flexible crest. A flexible crest must have a rigid base that is a minimum of 2" high. If the crest is rigid, it should be possible with a good blow to knock it off, break it, or knock it askew. When a crest is less than 6" high, the fighter is eliminated from the tournament. The 6" is measured from the top of the helmet. The weapon form used is sword and shield or single sword (can be a great sword), and blows to the body do not count. In fact, feints to the body are not allowed either, and a person may be removed from the tournament on that account. This can lead to some odd tactics that may have little to do with regular SCA fighting, but also can lead to learning to target very carefully. It’s interesting from a novelty point of view, and of course can be very entertaining to those watching.
In the past, awards have been given out for:
The last is probably the most memorable part of the tournament. Those who were at Crestfallen in A.S. 31 may remember my seacat crest. I had made it of papier mache and filled it with bird seed (and some batting, to keep it from becoming too heavy). As it was gradually destroyed, the seacat sprayed seeds all over the place, "bleeding" as it were. Here are a couple more crest deaths from tourneys past:
Other crests from Crestfallen:
Some crests from Crestfallen A.S. 32:
Crests from Crestfallen A.S. 33:
Artists! One thing that seems to keep some fighters from coming up with creative or attractive crests is that they may not be especially good at crafting things. But nowhere does it say that the fighter has to make his or her own crest. The fighter’s lord or lady could do it, or a friend who likes to make things. If you are not a fighter but enjoy making things, this would be a great opportunity to seek out a fighter who is thinking about going to Crestfallen and offering to make a crest for him or her. The rules for making a crest are very simple. Talk to the fighter about their interests or what their device is, and come up with a design. Remember to take into account how the crest will be attached to the helmet.
Fighters! Maybe you have an idea for a crest but no idea how to make it – find an artist! The East is full of artisans!
Crestfallen is a fine opportunity for pomp and circumstance. Actually, all tournaments are fine opportunities for pomp and circumstance. I know of people who wear crests into melees as well. It’s wise to tie the crest in some manner to the helmet in this case, with velcro or some other temporary fastening method on the base of the crest. In this way the crest does not obstruct other people’s weapons (which is illegal), but you don’t lose it on the field somewhere.
Well, perhaps we shall meet sometime on the field or in lists. In the meantime, may you all have a wonderful time in the Society!
Last Updated: November 7, 2006 23:17