The Laurel's Prize Tourney is an event model that's been done a lot in many parts of the Known World, but never here before. It's perhaps the only type of SCA A&S Competition that I kinda like. Unlike the massive county fair model of most A&S Comps, this is more intimate, focused on the various Laurels providing feedback to people working in their field and encouraging the newer artisans. This particular one was done on a "challenge" model, with the various Laurels issuing challenges for the populace to meet. I wimped out and didn't do a challenge due to my current burnout; I should do one next time. Still, it was a fun day out.
The messy weather kept a fair number of people away, which was a pity, but the event still got a decent crowd -- it appeared to be most of a hundred folks there total, in a warm and decently pretty VFW Hall.
I had a quiet day, since I had no official responsibilities. I started out by giving tpau a little scullery assistance with the dayboard, then wandered into the hall. Lots of cool entries to see. Some of the standouts for me:
- The lathe in the "Build a Tool and Use It" challenge. I confess, the sheer scale of the thing grabbed me: it dominated the floor.
- The two entrants who had both done both the "Sausage" and "Great Pye" challenges. The salmon sausage was especially tasty, particularly impressive given that it had to be made the night before, away from home. (The entrant was from Canada, and import regs prevented him from bringing fish products over the border, I gather.)
- ladysprite's embroidered headscarf. Not as flashy as some items, but nicely-made and unusual. (Baltic personae are pretty rare, AFAICT.) It does my heart good to see my apprentice doing neat stuff.
- My personal favorite was the one entrant in the "Brew a Barrel of pre-1600 Beer" challenge. Argyle hadn't thought to put a start date on the options, and so this fellow decided to make Sumerian Beer. He made a full amphora of the stuff, and had samples of his earlier experiments with him for comparison, as well as samples of the hardtack bread that went into it. The end result was curious. The first sip produced a strong, "Oh, that's rather sour". But after a few more sips, my palate acclimated to it, and it wasn't half-bad. Not an everyday drinking beer, perhaps, but a neat change of pace.