What to Say: Field Litany, with Variations
Date Written: August, 1986
Last Updated: Summer, 2016
Author: William the Lucky

Policy Level: WK Policy
Intended Audience: All heralds, marshalls, fighters
Abstract: Though the author is given as William the Lucky, the Litany is traditional. Exact procedures were worked out in AS XX by the Heralds and Marshalls combined. Standard Litany "cards" can be obtained on the Heralds' website (Litany Sheets for Crown and Coronet Lists).


Unto all field heralds and all knight marshals:

Attached is a copy of the current ceremony for initiating combat upon the field. Two points should be noted.

  1. The marshals should not tell the herald to start until they and the fighters are ready. It looks silly for the herald to cry “Begin!” or “Lay on!” ... and then have everyone stand around while some detail gets attended to.
  2. It is the clashing of the marshal’s staves which actually starts the fight. However, the ideal is for the staves to clash together just as the herald cries “Begin!” (or “Lay On!” or whatever) and it is usually easier for the Marshals to time their action to the herald (so long as they know what he is going to say) than vice versa.

This form of the ceremony for initiating combat is to be used in tournaments in the Kingdom of the West.

Minor variations in wording are permissible; just be sure you know what you're doing before you start making ‘improvements’.

Starting Combats in the Crown Lists

The marshals determine,by asking, that the fighters are ready, then two of them stand with their staves crossed between the fighters. One marshal then signals the herald, either bye eye contact or saying:

Marshal: My Lord/Lady Herald ...
Herald: In the Nth round of the Crown Lists, here do meet _______ and ________.
Gentlemen/Ladies/My Lord, My Lady: Salute the Crown.
(Pause while they salute)
You may salute the one whose favor you bear.
(Pause while they salute)
Salute you each the other.
(Pause while they salute)
On your honor, and for the Crown of the West, Begin!

As the Herald cries “Begin!”, the Marshals clash their staves together and then withdraw briskly to a suitable position for watching the fight. The Herald leaves the field at the same time -- also briskly, as no one will be looking to see that he is clear.

At the end of the fight, the Herald should determine from the Marshals whether the fight is over and who won. (NB This may not be as obvious as it appears.)

Starting Combats in the Coronet Lists

The marshals determine, by asking, that the fighters are ready, then two of them stand with their staves crossed between the fighters. One marshal then signals the herald, either bye eye contact or saying:

Marshal: My Lord/Lady Herald ...
Herald: In the Nth round of the Coronet Lists, here do meet _______ and ________.
Gentlemen/Ladies/My Lord, My Lady: Salute the Coronet.
(Pause while they salute)
You may salute the one whose favor you bear.
(Pause while they salute)
Salute you each the other.
(Pause while they salute)
On your honor, and for the Coronet of PPPP, Begin!

As the Herald cries “Begin!”, the Marshals clash their staves together and then withdraw briskly to a suitable position for watching the fight. The Herald leaves the field at the same time -- also briskly, as no one will be looking to see that he is clear.

At the end of the fight, the Herald should determine from the Marshals whether the fight is over and who won. (NB This may not be as obvious as it appears.)

Starting (Non-Challenge) Single Combats
(Other than Crown or Coronet Lists)

The marshals determine, by asking, that the fighters are ready, then two of them stand with their staves crossed between the fighters. One marshal then signals the herald, either bye eye contact or saying:

Marshal: My Lord/Lady Herald ...
Herald: Here do meet _______ and ________.
Gentlemen/Ladies/My Lord, My Lady: Salute the Crown/Coronet.
(Pause while they salute)
You may salute the one whose favor you bear.
(Pause while they salute)
Salute you each the other.
(Pause while they salute)
On your honor, Begin!

As the Herald cries “Begin!”, the Marshals clash their staves together and then withdraw briskly to a suitable position for watching the fight. The Herald leaves the field at the same time -- also briskly, as no one will be looking to see that he is clear.

At the end of the fight, the Herald should determine from the Marshals whether the fight is over and who won. (NB This may not be as obvious as it appears.)

Starting Challenge Single Combats

The wording of the challenge should be written down, preferably by the fighters involved, and given to the Herald.

The marshals determine, by asking, that the fighters are ready, then two of them stand with their staves crossed between the fighters. One marshal then signals the herald, either bye eye contact or saying:

Marshal: My Lord/Lady Herald ...
Herald: _______ has challenged ________ for that
(here read the challenge as written.)
Gentlemen/Ladies/My Lord, My Lady: Salute the Crown/Coronet.
(Pause while they salute)
You may salute the one whose favor you bear.
(Pause while they salute)
Salute you each the other.
(Pause while they salute)
On your honor, Begin!

Or if it fits smoothly the Herald may say instead, "On your honor and for ..." followed by a couple of word summary of the challenge "Begin!" See the example below.

As the Herald cries "Begin!", the Marshals clash their staves together and then withdraw briskly to a suitable position for watching the fight. The Herald leaves the field at the same time -- also briskly, as no one will be looking to see that he is clear.

At the end of the fight, the Herald should determine from the Marshals whether the fight is over and who won. (NB This may not be as obvious as it appears.)

EXAMPLE:

Herald: Lord Frisbee of Frabbersnatch has challenged
Baron Robert the Improvident, in order to provide
him with something -- to wit, a swift piece of rattan.
Gentlemen: Salute the Crown/Coronet.
(Pause while they salute)
You may salute the one whose favor you bear.
(Pause while they salute)
Salute you each the other.
(Pause while they salute)
On your honor, and for a swift piece of rattan, Begin!