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Blades and Bards Yule (Sven the Musical)

December 13, 2014
Porte de l'Eau

E King County, WA

Autocrat: Muirghein of Bristol

Blades and Bards

Hosted by the Canton of Port de l'Eau, Blades and Bards is a yule feast which promises food, song, and combat. The event shall occur on Saturday, December 13th, at the Lake Washington United Methodist Church (7525 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033).

In addition to a hearty feast (and good company!), there shall be a rapier tournament and a bardic competition. Details for each can be found below.

The Baron and Baroness of Madrone, Sir Stefan and Lady Emmelina, have been invited to select their bardic champion from the competitors at this event. The Canton of Port de l'Eau shall also declare one stalwart swordsman to be The Gecko's Blade, the rapier defender for the Canton.

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Event Schedule

  • 9:00AM -  Site Opens
  • 9:30AM - Lists Open and Armor Inspection for Rapier Tournament
  • 10:00AM - Rapier Tournament Begins
  • 12:00PM - Break for Lunch
  • 12:30PM - Lists Open for Bardic Tournament
  • 1:00PM - Bardic Tournament Begins
  • 5:00PM - Court Begins
  • 6:00PM - Yule Feast
  • 9:00PM - Site Closes

Feast Information

The feast theme is shall be 16th century Venetian. The menu is as follows:

  • Ambrosino (chicken in fruit sauce)
  • Green Vegetable Torta (Vegetarian Entree)
  • Cheese and egg tart
  • Green Salad
  • Bread
  • Almonds in spiced honey
  • Mascarpone

Any questions about the meal may be directed to

The feast will be followed by a dessert potluck.  Please join us to celebrate the holiday season and our wonderful community.

Tournament Formats


Objective - To earn as many honor tokens as possible before running out of lives or time. The victor will be the competitor who has the most honor tokens once time has run out, or only one competitor has lives remaining.

Format - All competitors will be given an equal number of lives to begin the tournament. Competitors will then challenge each other to individual fights, setting terms as they see fit. As a fight concludes, the victor will recieve one honor token, and the loser must forfeit a life. Once a competitor has lost all of their lives, they may no longer compete.

Competitors are encouraged to introduce themselves and announce the terms of their combat to the crowd prior to engagement (in the same fashion we see for the Challenges of the Garters and the Pas d'Armes tournament format).

Additional lives may be awarded by the gallery or Their Excellencies for acts of chivalry or good conduct. However, honor may not be awarded in this fashion - all honor must be earned by putting one's life at risk in combat.

Time and number of lives will be determined as we have a better idea of how many competitors there will be.


Objective - To earn as many points as possible before the end of the competition. Points will be awarded by your peers, Their Excellencies, and other esteemed judges.

Format - In an effort to promote versatility, the competition has been arranged into 4 rounds with each with highlighting a different set of skills. Competitors may skip any rounds they dislike, but can only earn points in rounds in which they compete.

1st Round - Musical - The focus is on production of rhythm or melody. Examples of this category would include vocal or instrumental performance.

2nd Round - Textual - The focus is on mastery of language. Examples of this category would include storytelling and plays/skits.

3rd Round - Physical - The focus is on displays of physical prowess. Examples of this category would include dance, pantomime, tumbling, juggling, magic and puppet shows. Baron Stefan and Baroness Emmelina have stated that they would personally would accept story-telling with movement and gesture to satisfy the requirements of this round.

4th Round - Performer's Choice - The performer is free to showcase their best work.

An Important Note on the Rounds - There will be no hard and fast rule which labels an given act as "textual" versus "musical" or "physical". Anyone may submit any act in any category, but the expectation is that the act will be judged according to the criteria of the round. For example, all songs with lyrics can be argued to have a textual component and therefore submitted in the "textual" round, but the performance will be judged on its textual merits rather than its musical merits.

Judging - A judging will occur after each round. Each competitor will be given a bead or token, and will use this to vote for the person they believe to have won the round by placing the token into a corresponding cup marked with the proposed victor's name. Competitors will be allowed to vote for themselves, if they feel they outperformed all others. The Baron, Baroness, and other esteemed judges will also be given a number of tokens with which they can use to vote throughout the day.

Their Excellencies have also been invited to select their next baronial bardic champion from the contestants competing in this tournament. The selection of the new champion is entirely based upon the descretion of Their Excellencies, and is independent of the scoring which defines the tournament victor.

Notes and expectations on regarding judging criteria - The first and highest criteria for judging is a sense of enjoyment or awe; you should only vote for performances which you would like to see again in your own camp or in court. Next, entries which adhere to the spirit of the heat outrank those which do not. Finally, period entries should outrank non-period entries (but a poor madrigal does not inherently outrank a good filk!). 

Contact Information

For all inquiries, please contact Lady Muirghein of Bristol.

Email Address:

Fees and Site Information

Site Fees:

  • $10 Member
  • *Free* for Children under 18
  • +$5 for Non-member Surchage
  • +$7 for Feast Ticket

Site Info:
Name: Lake Washington United Methodist Church
7525 132nd Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98033

Directions to Site:

Take I-405 to Exit 18 in Kirkland (this is two exits north of SR-520).
Follow the ramp for SR-908 East toward Redmond. 
After merging onto SR-908 (NE 85th St), go about 1 mile to the traffic light at 132nd Ave NE.
Turn right onto 132nd Ave NE, and go about 1/2 mile.
The site will be on your right − look for the little green ENTER signs.

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