12 Years in the Making (A 30 before 30 Update)

In November of 2000, I placed 2nd in the Harvest Feast Tournament. For over a decade it would be the last time I would place above 5th in any form of competition, and was probably the high point of my career as a swordsman. That year would probably also mark the last time I would beat a certain young man (age 10 at the time) in single combat. Now, that kid is 22 and easily one of the best swordsmen I’ve ever known. That’s the kind of thing that 13 years of dedicated training can do for you.

I want to go on record as saying, I still haven’t beaten him.

This past weekend was Eldaraenth’s Annual Tournament of the Fallen Leaves, a warrior’s tournament that changes it’s shape each year to test the skills of boffer fighters in a variety of interesting and challenging ways. This year’s tournament was even more different than normal. You see, this year, we finally did something we’d always wanted to. We had a “Blood of Heroes” Tournament.

Now, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the movie, The Blood of Heroes, though there is a pretty good chance that if you are anyway related to Boffer, SCA, or HEMA, you’ve at least been told about it. The movie takes place in a post apocalyptic world where the people pass the time with a blood sport. Some how this movie, which is awesomely bad in all the right ways, has made it into the world of Boffer as the sport of Jugger (or Blood of Heroes, Viking Football, or any one of thousands of other names). The rules very from group to group, and there are places in the world where it has become a legit professional sport.

If you haven’t seen this movie, you should probably go do that at some point. It’s pretty brutal.

Where I’m going with this is that unlike in years past, this tournament wasn’t about 1-on-1 combat, but teams smashing against each other in a brutal and violent death sport that separates the warriors from the old fat men.

This is why I did what any truly gifted military genius does:

I bribed my way onto a team made up of extremely talented young men with amazing skill, led by the aforementioned powerhouse of a young man that I last beat when he was 10 years old a dozen years ago.

I don’t think I need to tell you that all of this of course was a long winded set up to announce with glee and joy:

We won.

So, I’d like to take this time to thank my team mates for carrying my ass through the tournament. You guys did awesome!




So, here it is. It’s Tuesday, my body is still sore and aching. I am still suffering from a pretty strong cold that follows lack of sleep and all the other jazz involved in the Tournament. I am tired and a bit crabby, but…

I’m one more goal down on my 30-before-30 list and that makes me feel pretty damned good.

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