Wednesday, 21 August 2013

On Heralding a Tourney

Following from the previous posts on voice heraldry, we come to the functional business of acting as a field herald for a tourney, and what you should be shouting when you do so.

There is a standard set of calls for tourneys in Lochac, centred around the so-called "Litany". There are modifications, for the various unusual tourney formats and such, but the standard Litany for the start of a tourney bout is as follows:
My Lords and my Ladies, in this bout here do meet (fighter’s name)…
Pause while the Marshal and Fighters indicate whose name you just called.
…and (other fighter’s name).” 
Pause while the Marshal and Fighters indicate whose name you just called. 
Good fighters, salute you the Crown!
Pause while the fighters salute the Crown. You should also salute to the Crown (a bow or similar) after this call.
You may salute the one whose favour you bear!
Pause while the fighters salute any consorts they may have. 
Salute your most honourable opponent!” 
Pause while the fighters salute each other. 
For honour and glory, at the Marshal’s command…
End here, while the Marshal calls “Lay On!
As Herald, you should never call Lay On, as the Marshal must make sure that both fighters are ready and safe for their bout (the only exception being those strange bouts where you may be both Marshal and Herald).

You should make sure to pay attention when the Marshal and fighters indicate which fighter belongs to which name, it will be relevant later on.

Each of the salutes is an order to the fighters, except for the consort salute (this is because not all fighters have a consort, or do not wish to salute them, so it may cause offence if this salute were an order).

At the end of the bout, the Marshal will indicate which of the fighters was victorious, and you should then call “Victory to (name)!

The other calls that may be required usually come at the start and end of each round. Note that this script is based on the single-kill double-elimination tourney format, which is the most common in use.

At the start of each round, you should call each pairing, in order:
Oyez! Oyez! My Lords and my Ladies! In the (number) round:
(name) will meet (name)… (name) will meet (name)…
And so on as required for the number of pairs. Make sure that each pair is clear, with a short pause between each to make sure people don’t get confused. Knowing the round in advance will make sure that the fighters aren’t caught undressed and drinking when they’re meant to be taking the field (fighters do rather like to cool off and rehydrate between bouts, for some strange reason).

Following this, you should call the first pair to the field, and tell the second (and potentially third) pairs to get ready:
(Name) and (name), pray attend the field!
(Name) and (name), arm and stand ready!” 
(Name) and (name), arm and prepare!
The next two pairs should always be called. The third call, to Arm and Prepare, should be used if fighters are taking longer than usual to get dressed for their bout (due to unusual equipment or general tiredness), or shorter than usual to finish each bout, as it gives each pairing an extra bout’s notice of when their turn is coming up.

At the end of each round of a single-kill double-elimination tourney (except the first round), there is a chance that some of the fighters have been eliminated. The tourney’s List Keeper should let you know who they are. If there are eliminations, then at the end of the round, call:
My Lords and my Ladies, eliminated in the (number) round were:
(list of names)” 
For the fallen! Hip hip! (audience Huzzahs)” 
Hip hip! (audience Huzzahs)” 
Hip hip! (audience Huzzahs)
This lets those who have been eliminated from the tourney be acknowledged for their effort, and lets them know that they can doff their armour or otherwise entertain themselves as they see fit.
At the end of the tourney, you should not announce the overall victor of the tourney until you have checked with the Crown (or their representative as appropriate), as they may wish to award victory based on factors other than a simple count of the bouts won.

There are, occasionally, exceptions to the nice and simple bout format given above, based on either the tourney format changing, unexpected occurrences, or royal whim.

The simplest situation to prepare for is the fact that not every tourney will follow the single-kill double-elimination format. There are many types of tourney, but each usually follows the same sorts of script, especially for bouts.

There are a number of tourney formats where the pairs and order are not pre-determined, but decided by the fighters, and the List Keeper is more to keep score than to organise the layout. For these, you don’t need to announce the pairings or eliminations, but the bout format is usually fairly similar to the standard.

Another common tourney format is the “meat-grinder”, where each fighter takes the field, in turn, and faces every other fighter, one at a time. For this, you should call the relevant fighter to the field, and then do the attend the field/arm and stand ready/arm and prepare calls for individuals rather than pairs, as appropriate. The bout itself may be the same, or may have the salutes modified for brevity (such as having the fighter holding the field salute at the start of the round, and no other salutes). You should consult with the Crown or Marshal as to what salutes should be made.

Other tourney formats may crop up at random, but a modification on the standard litany should cover most cases (this is usually just a judgement call).

Sometimes, the salutes themselves will be modified. The most common situation is when heralding a fencing tourney, as some fencers prefer the call to be:
Good fencers, salute you the Crown!
Make salutes as befit your honour, then at the Marshal’s command…
Before using this shortened form of the salutes, you should check with the Crown or Marshal as to what is preferred.

Sometimes, there will be unexpected changes within the tourney itself. For example, fighters will sometimes withdraw from the tourney, due to injury, exhaustion or scheduling conflicts. The main work when that happens is for the List Keeper, but you may need to announce a revised version of the round’s pairings.

The final of many tourneys is given as a best-of-three. At the start of the bout, when announcing who is fighting, you should also announce that it is a best-of-three after calling each of the names (but before the salutes). At the conclusion of each bout, instead of calling “Victory to (name)!” you should call “Victory in the (first/second/third) to (name)!” so that people know where things are up to. If the same fighter wins the first two bouts, whether the third is fought is up to the Marshal and the fighters.

Finally, make sure that you never announce a victory in the tournament as a whole until you have confirmed with the listkeeper, the marshals, and above all, the Crown (or their representative there that day). While you may have an understanding of who won that day, and though it may be well clear (such as by a 3-out-of-3 victory in the final), they may wish to delay the announcement, or the Crown may wish to award the tourney title for a reason other than pure number of victories.

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