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Twelve Kingdoms in Twelve Months
Event: Neverwinter Coronation

[01/27/2004] [Michael]

Event: Neverwinter Coronation
Host Kingdom: Neverwinter
Location: Camp Florida Rotary Camp, Very Near Tampa Florida.

I got off my plane and was heading into the terminal when I was met by Sir Squeak! She was there waiting for Moogie so I had a conversation with her while waiting for my boon companions, Dalos and Arthon. They were all three on the same plane from Dallas. When they arrived we got luggage and cars. Squeak! did a great job of making sure that we had directions and knew where we were going. Unfortunately I used my memory (five years old) and Arty as a navigator and went the wrong way anyway. We stopped at a gas station in St. Petersburg to read the map and there was this old man who volunteered us directions. He was very eager for us to visit Ybor City, which is apparently the riper part of Tampa. We skipped the Yborians and got to the site.

We had barely entered the site when we got our first solid sign that Neverwinter is the land of the shiny happy people at the gate. There was a gate, sort of. Actually there was a table collecting money off in the corner. It was so far in the corner that we didn’t see it even though we looked. We parked and went to the cabin without anyone from the gate caring. It was only once we went back out and looked hard for the gate that we saw it and pulled up. The gate workers looked at us like we were mad men when we expected them to give us car side service. In a way it was refreshing to see this level of trust working for Amtgard. In the Texas Kingdoms, if you don’t block the road and demand the money your event could go belly up as no one would bother to pay.

Right away on Friday night we got to ditching. There was a pretty good crowd and the fighting was surprisingly good. I probably expected Great Eastern Level fighting but the skill of the average fighter at NW Coronation more closely matched Spring War or Rakis. We ditched hard till about 11 PM when the Iron Man started. The Iron Man was pretty fun. I had a pretty average time fighting but I got to run a lot of smak and that just about makes up for it. Sparhawk took the Iron Man seriously and he beat our butts pretty soundly. After that is was back to the ditch.

Saturday we started with a company battle. It was one of those deals where you repop infinitely and kill until the hour is almost up and then make a head long rush to grab some flags. Brennon as the fourth GCA on Site and as a hyper-competitive type, had arranged to have the GCAs fight with House Lyonesse. They already had the largest team and the addition of the GCAs made them a very formidable team. The game organizer was sort of willing to let us do it but not happy about it. In the end we made a separate four-man team. The game was militia style. This is bad because the equipment you need most in a militia battle (armor, long bows, and poles) are not plane travel friendly. Since with only four of us and all under-equipped we had little real chance, we just spent the whole game killing folks. It was good.

Next was Neverwinter’s much-needed althing. We stayed out of their way and let the thing run its course. Since it was their first successful althing since becoming a kingdom (or nearly so) they needed it badly. After lunch and a shopping trip we got back just in time for the full-class castle battle. I compare the NW castle to the IM Castle pretty well. The extra towers help the IM castle but the two gates make the NW castle very neat. However, the team in the castle gets less advantage from it since they have to hold two gates and since they are surrounded and get dire from both sides. Spell casting skill is more air portable than militia skill so as a Wizard I was able to call down a lot of death.

Then it was back to more ditching. Eventually Arthon and I took a break and got ourselves primped for court. After stylin’ on the field all weekend we could do no less for court. The food was on time and very tasty. The crowd meant that neither hall was quite big enough for all the feasters. Fortunately there were two halls. After a good meal with Ohio folks we returned to the other hall, which also hosted court. After the feast being on time court was late. Arty pointed out that this was the opposite of most kingdoms. While waiting for court NW showed its dark underbelly. They taped one young woman to a chair claiming it was ‘page initiation’. She seemed into it so I guess I can’t say anything. Then one of the NW folks started beating all the people taping the page to the chair with the backside of a sword. He left a big old welt on one woman in a backless dress. They all seemed to be having fun more or less though. Next we had Darkjesters with whips and Arty and I were concerned that some kind of Bacchanal was going to erupt.

We were saved further scary wackiness by court going off. Lot of good awards went out. Props to the populace for their enthusiasm with each and every award. Some of the presentations could have been a little louder but overall the court did a great job of recognizing people. After King Kardore gave way to King Nocturne there was a well-done knighting ceremony for Kardore in Crown. Very fun. After court, it only took a little while for the ditch to get running strong again. I ditched hard again. Arty who considers Saturday night to be for drinking was a little disappointed that there were not so many folks hanging out and shooting the shit. There was a bardic but I missed it. I was told that it was a lot of in character story telling and ‘Forsooth’ kind of stuff.

Sunday we got our breakfast and headed out. I would have to say that this event was damned good. The site is one of the best Amtgard sites I have ever seen, the people are friendly and all in all I highly recommend Neverwinter events.

Grades (my choice of 8 broad categories)
Site location and air travel friendliness: A+ (Less than 40 minutes from the Tampa Airport and Highways all the way. Directions were easy. Could not be better.)
Site itself: A+ (Would that every site was this good. Cabins, showers, Feast hall, good fighting field, lit ditch field, and an outdoorsy feel all within a major metro area. Some varied fighting terrain might be nice and the ditch field was a little small but it is hard to imagine a better event site.)
Feast: A+ (They fed us and fed us often. For our $20 site fee (plus cabin fee if you got a cabin) we got meals as long as we were there. All meals were tasty and on time. We did run out of tortillas but I will give the food an A+ anyway)
Court: B (A nice knighting with a moving ceremony were plusses but the lateness of the court and the difficulty hearing in the back kept this from being an A.)
Ditching: A (Maybe not quite as many total people as Spring War and not quite the stud-laden paradise that was Banner Wars but the ditching flat rocked. There was lots of it and most folks were enjoying it.)
Battle games: B (Good Castle Battles.)
Other planned activities: B (Bear Pit, Militia Style flag game, Gladiator Fundraiser and a Dragonmaster. The Dragonmaster entries were good and the games were fun.)
People and attitudes: A (Outside the core Texas kingdoms, you hardly need this rating. The Northeast, the Northwest, Florida. . . all have been models of friendly and happy Amtgard.)

Best Thing
Ditching till I was sore everywhere then ditching some more.

Worst thing
Not much bad about this event. Worst thing might be that I had to leave sunny Florida so soon and come back to icy roads.

Next event: Winter War 4

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