This year, a lot of the "magic", the "shiny" had worn off though. There was a lot less grandeur, a lot less majesty to the proceedings.
But I learned a long time ago, that that is what happens when you are knee deep in the "trenches" of heraldry. I remember when I first started heralding tournaments in Anstorroa, I felt like a bull in a china shop, terrified I was going to break something beautiful. But time taught me that first of all, the pageantry of the glory of the listfield was not fragile enough for one well-meaning rookie herald to "break" it, and that once you learn the ropes of the system, that same glory is conveyed and propagated by blood, sweat and tears on the part of everyone who walks out there.
Right now, I'm at that "blood, sweat, and tears" stage of the relationship between myself and Gulf Wars. Gulf isn't about being "shiny" any more, it's a machine that needs people pushing, pulling, twisting, and shoving at it's inner working to make it happen. I was asked almost two years ago to come forward and help be one of those people.
This year, I did a lot of what I had done the year before, I cried the Ansteorrian Roses Tournament, the Champion's battle, and I heralding site several times. I worked heralds point, and I wound up not seeing much of any of the fighting.
Also this year, I cried the Diamond Tourniquet, the Meridian Roses tournament, and wound up walking all of the know-world-camps in one night.
Like last year I reaffirmed old friendships. And like last year, I made new ones.
But... unlike last year, this year showed me that there is more. More to do, more to see... more for myself to become. Talking about Gulf wars as a single event would be to short change it.
But to talk about each part as it fits in to the overall arch of my other heraldic activities.... that would be a much, much more accurate conversation to have.
And one that I intend to have over the next few months.
His Lordship Ivo Blackhawk
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"Long Live the King!"