End of Year Recap

Konichiwa Debatable Lands!!

We have come to the end of another throwing season, and my what a season it was. There were many reasons to be proud and joyful this year. Our Barony showed the rest of AEthelmearc, and the rest of the Known World that our throwers are nothing to be trifled with!

At Pennsic, for the Champions throw, of the 9 members from AEthelmearc (7 throwers and 2 alternates), 5 hailed from our Barony, Lord Meinolf Grimsson, Lord Godfrey de Bayeux, Lady Dorothea Stark Schutze, Lord Robert the Bakere, and myself.  I’m proud to say that everyone acquitted themselves admirably. I know that not everyone was happy with how they did, but for the majority of them it was their very first time throwing in the Champions Throw, and the fact that they want to do better gives me much inspiration. Vivat to you all, you made me very proud!!

On the Kingdom level, Our Barony boasts both the current and previous Kingdom Champions, Lord Meinolf Grimsson, and Lord Godfrey de Bayeux, respectively. Vivat to you both on your glorious vicories! Coincidentally, our Barony also boasts the top four, and only, Royal Round scores for spears in the entire Kingdom!

On the Baronial level, things become much more personal and dearer to me. Our Barony’s thrown weapons community, and beyond, continued to support my efforts to further our throwing program and activities with a passion and patience that I scarcely deserve. To all my regular throwers, all those who helped with setup and tear down of ranges, and helped call the lines when I needed a break or couldn’t do it for whatever reason, all the new folks who came in with open minds willing to learn, and all the seasoned and not so seasoned throwers who allowed me to give input and help them anyway I could, thereby allowing me to take part in and share in their journey. Vivats to you all, and a very heartfelt thank you. You are what makes doing this worthwhile.

It was a very gratifying year for me personally. As a member of the Order of the White Horn, I am entitled to take on students. I took on my first this year, Lord Meinolf Grimsson. I have worked with him since he first starting coming to practice, and I was impressed with his rapid improvement over a short time. I was rewarded for the decision to take him as a student most handsomely. He won the Baronial Championship, and went on to win the Seven Pearls Championship, and topped it off by winning the Kingdom Championship! He also got his Marshal’s Warrant at Pennsic and threw on the Champions team. I could not be anymore proud to be his mentor and his friend. I also took great joy and satisfaction in watching Lord Godfrey de Bayeux win the Kingdom Championship earlier in the year. When he first arrived at our little practice, he was already an ace at spears. So I helped him a little at axes and knives, and he taught me how to throw a better spear, and in the process, we taught others these things. His help this year was invaluable to me and the other throwers. I’d also like to thank Lord Yoshitaka and Lady Katherine, and Lord Alister and Lady Arthes, and Lord Ronan O’Connall, our esteemed archery marshals, for their continued help and support every single Sunday.  A special thank you to Baroness Amelia Soteria, for running a very fine range at Agincourt this year. You allowed me to experience that event in a completely different and fun way. I will be eternally grateful. Finally, I’d like to thank Their Excellencies, Brandubh and Hilderun, for their continued blessings and support for all that I do. Without all of your help an support, our little program wouldn’t exist at all. I merely steer the ship, you all are the wind in the sails.

On a personal note, and since it’s Thanksgiving, I am very grateful and satisfied overall with my own season this year. While I didn’t accomplish some of the things I was trying for, I did manage one accomplishment I am very proud of. I made the rank of Marksman this year, and actually have the highest current average in the Kingdom at the moment. Two things I would not have thought possible at the beginning of the season.  The reason these things came to pass are many, but it boils down to this: 1) The unending love and support of my family, for without them life would be so much harder and less fulfilling, and I would be lost. 2) The enthusiasm of my throwers. I was so inspired by the people who came to throw and all the interest I received this year from folks wanting to become marshals, and be more involved in our throwing community. It reinvigorated me to be more dedicated to my craft and to get better and push myself. In my typical style, it took till the last practice for me to get there. But I did it. I am very proud of that. But I want you to know that you all had a hand in it.  You provided a much needed spark to light my fire again.

In closing, I will just say Thank you. You all helped make this a very special year for myself and my family. I look forward to serving you all again next year. Arigatogoziamashita!!

Your humble servant and friend,

Kumagaya-roku-e Kentarou Masamoto

Thrown Weapons Marshal in Charge, Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands, Kingdom of AEthelmearc