The Bearclaw Challenge

A challenge to the Dawn Company from Vicomte Alexandre d'Avigné

This is Bearclaw.

The story goes something like this: about forty years ago, in the Barony of Caerthe, in the Kingdom of the Outlands, or perhaps it was still a Principality, there was a fighter practice held in a park during the summer months. As such practices will, it attracted the occasional passers-by who watched and commented and asked questions. One day, one such person appeared and watched, and asked questions, and then went on their way. They returned some time later with Bearclaw, saying words to the effect of, 'I've had this for a while, but it seems like it would be better off with you.' They gave Bearclaw into the keeping of the Barony and, to the best of my knowledge, no one has heard from them since.

Shortly thereafter, Iric Iulian of Black Elk started the No Heralds Tourney. The winner was selected from among the competitors by a panel of judges who based their decision on the combatants' chivalry, courtesy, and panache, and not merely on prowess and wins in the tournament. The victor won the right to carry Bearclaw for about a year until the next tourney. This tourney tradition carried on for perhaps a decade, and I was very pleased to be named the victor at what turned out to be the last No Heralds Tourney held. For the next thirty years or thereabouts I have carried Bearclaw with me on my travels, feeling all the time that it really should still be a travelling trophy.

Would you like to carry Bearclaw? Well, come and take it from me!

I present to the Dawn Company The Bearclaw Challenge, which shall be conducted under the following rules:

  1. It is open to all members of the Dawn Company.
  2. Bearclaw must be defended against at least one challenge per calendar month, if at all possible. (Clearly the pandemic may make this difficult.)
  3. Bearclaw may be defended at events, practices, or even by special arrangement between two fighters if so desired.
  4. Bearclaw should probably not be defended more than three times at a given weekend event or practice. (i.e. after three successful defenses at the event, the holder retains the trophy)
  5. Once Bearclaw has changed hands, it may not change hands again on any given day or event.
  6. No one may challenge for Bearclaw more than once in a given calendar month, nor may they make two challenges in a row. (Someone else must challenge before the challenge may be renewed.)
  7. The format of the challenge shall be made by mutual agreement of the challenger and the defender. If agreement cannot be reached, the default shall be best two out of three, each combatant using their weapon of choice, with no need to match weapons forms.
  8. As a courtesy, do let me know if and when Bearclaw changes hands. I'll endeavour to track it on this website.
A downloadable version of the challenge

Holders of Bearclaw:
Challenge start date: 13 August 2021

  1. Alexandre d'Avigné, legacy holder from sometime in the late 1980s

Last updated 18 July 2021