Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What You Missed: Order of the List Invitational 2016

by Alex "Elouan" Groom

Overview
Over the course of this year, many individuals fought in tournaments sanctioned by the Order of the List. On this day, the top 16 individuals were invited to compete to be inducted into this organization; a difficult competition indeed, given that only one new member is inducted every year.  Driven by the spirit of competition, and the ambition to be the best, these individuals competed against each other to prove their mettle as fighters.  More than a mere test of skill, the Order of the List Invitational pushed those who competed in it to the limits of their physical endurance, as they fought over the course of the entire day, culminating in the top two fighters slugging it out in a grueling grand slam match.  Even those who were eliminated early would not find reprieve, having the chance to claw their way back into the competition in the wild card round.

In addition to the 16 fighters invited to compete, a large crowd of spectators and fans attended this year.  Bets were accepted by the Gilded Lion.  New this year was the betting format.  All gamblers bet a small amount to a large pool, and made a number of predictions on a single sheet.  Such predictions included seeding for the next round, the winners of individual tournaments, and other such aspects.  At the end of each round, the first, second, and third place winners each received a portion of the pot.

    Finally, while the fighting and gambling raged on, a young squire toiled under the exercises of her knight…

The First Round
The tournament started with the announcing of the 16 competitors.  These competitors were:

  • Guilliam
  • Vuel
  • Dygen
  • Drile
  • Rillan
  • Tao
  • Nazir
  • Torolf
  • Saegan
  • Tower
  • Daekara
  • Illy
  • Janus
  • Damion
  • Bludwin
  • Jean-Baptiste

The first round of the tournament saw all 16 fighters competing in order to get to the next round.  Only 8 spots were open, so half of those competing would be eliminated.  The fights of this tournament consisted of limited combat involving matched styles.  Each fight was done bracket style, with each competitor fighting in a best two out of three match in each round. The weapon styles fought with in this round winners of those fights were:

  • Dagger: Vuel
  • Single Short: Vuel
  • Hand and a half: Vuel
  • Sword and shield: Rillan
  • Sword and Marne: Vuel
  • True Florentine: Guilliam
  • Sword and Dagger: Drike
  • Great Weapon: Guilliam

The seed listing at the end of the round was as follows:

Seed
Name
Points
1
Guilliam
55
2
Vuel
53
3
Dygen
36
4
Drike
35
5
Rillan
24
6
Tao
19
7
Nazir
18
8
Torolf
14



9
Saegan
12
10
Tower
11
11
Daekara
9
12
Illy
7
13
Janus
6
14
Damion
6
15
Bludwin
2
16
Jean Baptiste
0

A Squire and a Tire
As this was going on, I could not help but noticing an interesting scene developing in a quiet corner of the arena.  Sir Eldritch had hung a tire from the ceiling.  With him was his squire, Shader of Ashenmarke.  Out of curiosity, I approached the scene and watched as Eldritch instructed his squire.

“Your form needs work.  You swing with just your arms, but need to fight using your whole body,” Eldritch informed his squire.  Using the cane he had brought with him, Eldritch demonstrated the proper form, swinging swiftly at the tire and connecting with a loud “THUD!”

He instructed his squire to do the same.  Her first swing tapped the tire, lightly knocking it aside.

“No, swing harder! As hard as you can!”  Eldritch said to his squire.

Shader complied with the instructions.  Ten swings later, and with a loud crack, Eldritch’s cane snapped.  Both squire and knight looked in bewilderment at the shattered remains of the cane.  The training was cut short, for now, as a suitable replacement was sought out.

Round Two
    With the end of round one, the top eight competed to secure the top three spots, and move on to the semifinals.  The tournaments of this round were less simplistic, and featured a number of additional rules in order to make things both more difficult and more interesting.  These tournaments (and their winners) were:

  • Single Competitor: Dygen
  • Grimlock Grudge Match: Guilliam
  • Three Lives: Vuel
  • Ones+Twos: Dygen
  • Five Points to Victory: Guilliam

The seeding at the end of this round was:

Seed
Name
Points
1
Guilliam
51
2
Vuel
50
3
Dygen
48



4
Drike
40
5
Rillan
30
6
Tao
21
7
Nazir
20
8
Torolf
15

With that, the top three had secured their place in the semifinals.  The rest of the competitors would compete against each other for the fourth a final slot in a wildcard round.

Scraping By
    Elsewhere in the arena, a suitable replacement for Eldritch’s cane was sought out by Squire Shader.  After a lengthy search, I offered up a tool used to scrape ice from the sides of carriages that I owned.  This tool had a metal core, and we assumed that it would last longer.

    As Eldritch looked upon the ice scraper, he merely shook his head.  “This will break just as quickly,” he said.  As we walked away, I could swear that I heard him say under his breath something about “carriages” and “wax on, wax off,” though this may have just been my imagination.  

    Shader continued with her hitting of the tire.  Much to Eldritch’s surprise, the ice scraper bent, but did not break.  This went on for about ten minutes.  Sadly, an attempt to bend the ice scraper back into shape ended up snapping it into two, thus bringing Shader’s training to a halt once more.

The Wild Card Round
While the top three had been decided, a fourth slot was still open.  In order to obtain this spot, competitors would fight each other in a non-stop brawl for several minutes straight, fighting one competitor and moving on to the next without pause.  Several helpers kept track of their kills, and at the end of the time limit, whoever had the most kills would be declared the winner.  Ultimately, the scores were as follows:

  1. Illy: 39
  2. Rillan: 38
  3. Damion: 34
  4. Drike: 32
  5. Saegan: 29
  6. Daekara: 24
  7. Torolof: 23
  8. Nazir: 22
  9. Tao: 18
  10. Bludwin: 14
  11. Tower: 10
  12. Janus: 10
  13. Jean-Baptiste: 6

By a single point, Illy had secured the wildcard slot as hers, and would go on to fight in the semifinals.

Handling the Situation
    As Shader looked upon the remains of the ice scraper, we heard the sound of a bottle being flipped and landing perfectly in the distance.  Following this was one Sir Syruss O’Leary shouting in victory.  After this, he turned his attention to the crestfallen squire.

    “Why aren’t you hitting the tire anymore?” shouted Sir Syruss.

        “I keep breaking everything!” responded Shader.  Somewhere in the distance, Lord Temorse agreed silently.
   
    “Have no fear, Sir Syruss is on the case!” responded Sir Syruss.
       
    Within minutes, Sir Syurss had procured what appeared to be a quite long broom handle, and Shader’s training resumed.

The Third Round
The third round consisted entirely of armored fighting.  The first competition was the 1st seed’s choice.  This was followed by a series of other tournaments.  The winners of these tournaments were as follows:

  • 1st Seed’s Choice: Vuel
  • Wild Card’s Revenge: Vuel
  • Duncan’s Challenge: Guilliam
  • 1 Man Unlimited: Guilliam
  • 3 Lives Unlimited: Vuel

The scores at the end of this round were:

Seed
Name
Points
1
Guilliam
23
2
Vuel
22



3
Dygen
6
4
Illy
1

With that, Guilliam and Vuel had secured their spots in the finals.

The Final Round
    The entire day had been leading up to these fights.  The final round consisted of but a single fight: the grand slam.  The grand slam was fought in three rounds: a limited round, unlimited round, and another limited round.  Each round consisted of consecutive fights of matched weapon styles, with styles changing from fight to fight.  Once a competitor had won 7 fights and at least two more than the other competitor, that competitor was awarded that round.

    Guilliam and Vuel slugged it out for a total of 30 grueling fights.  The results of the rounds were as follows:


Number of Wins 
(Round 1)
Number of Wins 
(Round 2)
          Number of Wins   
(Round 3)
Guilliam
4
7
7
Vuel
7
3
2

Winning in the final round, Guilliam secured his induction into the Order of the List.

Newbie Tournament
    While the main event was going on, a newbie tournament was thrown as well. In order to compete in this tournament, a competitor had to be in the game for three years or less.  This tournament was not just a competition, but also set up to be a learning experience, with the marshalls offering advice to the competitors after their fights.   Interesting this year was that a quarter of the competitors were eligible to fight in the newbie tournament as well.

In the end, Tower took the win.  Daekara took second place.  In third place was Sybil.


Final Thoughts
Ultimately, all of the individuals who competed today are to be lauded.  These individuals spent months (if not years) training for this event.  All put in the time and effort to make tournaments throughout the year, in order to fight on this day.  Throughout the day, though facing stiff competition, not a single competitor put in less than the maximum effort that they could.  In many ways, these fighters represent the pinnacle of skill, endurance, and personal honor within our game.

On a final note, a special shout out to Sir Syrus O’Leary: Shader was unable to break the broom handle.

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