Rapier Champion Tournament and the Honor of the Lions Rapier

Ceremonial of the Kingdom of An Tir

Version: 12th Night, LII (2017)

Invocation

The populace having assembled, at the Crown's command the herald shall call the fighters forward.

HERALD: Let all combatants who wish to compete for Rapier Champion of An Tir present themselves.

When they have assembled:

HERALD
Today you enter the list to vie for the honor of Rapier Champion of An Tir.
The person who carries this title is sworn in fealty to the Crown of An Tir,
that whenever Their Majesties marshals Their forces,
there shall Their Champion be to battle at Their side,
and to defend Their Crown and Their Kingdom
against all who would take up arms against An Tir.

This is a grave responsibility, not to be undertaken lightly,

for even as they take their place in Court and at Their Majesty's side,
the Champion must know that by their deeds they show forth
the honor and chivalry of that court and this Kingdom to all the world.

So, understanding the position for which you battle, harken now to the words of the Crown.

If the Crown wishes to deliver a personal or inspirational message, They may do so at this time.

HERALD
Do each of you now swear that should you be victorious this day
you will fulfill the obligations of the Rapier Champion of An Tir,
and that you will abide by the laws of this Kingdom,
and that you will bear yourself now and in the future
with the honor and chivalry, virtue and loyalty
which must mark a Champion of An Tir?
FIGHTERS
I so swear.

The First Round

When it is time for the first round to begin the herald shall say:

HERALD
Make yourselves ready for the combat. 

Henceforth, let none but the chivalrous combatants and those with official business pertaining to the combat

come within these precincts, until the combat is concluded.

Heralds to the field! Marshals to the field! Let the Lists begin!

And the heralds shall proclaim the pairings for the first.

Return of the Regalia

After the last round, the populace will be called to witness the investiture of the Rapier Champion.

At the Crown'’s command, the herald shall call forth the old Champion:

HERALD
, Rapier Champion of An Tir, come before Their Majesties.
QUEEN
, you have nobly served An Tir as Rapier Champion.
We release you from your duties with Our deepest thanks for your loyal service to Our Realm.

If there will be a change of Champions, the old Champion shall say:

CHAMPION
I return into Your keeping this Rapier of An Tir, and these tokens of the Rapier Champion of An Tir.

The Lion’s Rapier

Receiving the regalia, the Crown shall say:

QUEEN
We thank wish to honor you for your service to Our Kingdom.
HERALD
Know all people by these presents that ,
having served faithfully and chivalrously as Rapier Champion of the Kingdom of An Tir,
is hereby given the Honor of the Lion's Rapier.
In acknowledgement whereof We do here set Our hand and seal
this day of , Anno Societatis , being Gregorian.

, [King] of An Tir , [Queen] of An Tir

The Queen shall present the Champion with a token of the Honor. Their Majesties may invite outgoing Champion to witness investiture.   The herald shall call the victor forward.

HERALD
, you have gained victory this day. Come forward.

But, if no change is taking place the Champion shall remain kneeling.

The Investiture

QUEEN
, by your valor and skill you have won the title of Rapier Champion of An Tir.  Will you take the Champion's Oath?
CHAMPION
I will.
HERALD
Do you swear to faithfully discharge your duties as Rapier Champion of An Tir,
to abide by the laws of the realm,
and to loyally serve the Crown of An Tir so long as you remain Champion?
CHAMPION
I so swear.
HERALD
Do you swear that and are your True Sovereigns and Liege [Lord and Lady]?
CHAMPION
I so swear.
HERALD
Do you swear fealty to and , [King and Queen] of An Tir,
that whenever They marshals the forces of the Kingdom,
there shall you be to defend The Crown and Kingdom of An Tir?
CHAMPION
I so swear.
QUEEN
 And we for our part do swear fealty to this Our Champion
to protect and defend them and their household to best of our ability
so long as we remain Sovereigns of An Tir.

So say we , Queen of An Tir

KING
 And so say we , King of An Tir.
HERALD
Then lay your rapier before Her, that Their Majesties might know that you are Their true Champion.

The Queen shall take up the rapier, saying:

QUEEN
We accept your homage, and return to you your rapier,
and grant to you the rights due the true Rapier Champion of An Tir,
among these a place at Our court, and the right to fight by Our side.
So say We, , Queen of An Tir.

The King shall place the Cloak around the Champion's shoulders, and giving him the other tokens, saying:

KING
Wear this cloak and receive these tokens of your estate.

Then giving him the Rapier, the Queen says:

QUEEN
We give this Rapier of An Tir into your keeping,
and charge you to deliver it to Us
at such time as the Kingdom has need and We shall require it.

Take now your place in Our court.

As the Champion takes his place, the herald will exhort the cheers for incoming and outgoing Champions.

At this point the Crown may wish to call forth the other finalist and recognize his skill and valor (perhaps with tokens), but even if They do not, the herald will exhort the cheers of the people for the finalist.