Ruby is a War…

I have attended the Gems Joust events since the last Saphire Joust. I have work 5 going on 6 of the Ruby Jousts as MOL (i have lost count at this point). I love helping others, it is in my nature I want to help. I enjoy being a Minister of the Lists, it is fun and for several years I worked with Equestrian field and now going into my second year aiding the Rapier field since the marshal specifically asked for my help.   The work that is undertaken pre-event and the long hours at the event are equivalent to a War in my opinion. 

I am just describing a typical Ruby Joust for me. I want people to know how much work MOLs put into this, there are MOLs that deserve recognition that have not gotten it. I just want to provide another prespective to the situation.

First Let’s look at the logistics. 4 fighter fields (Heavy, Rapier, Youth and Equestrian)  all need coverage; automatically to remain above board (every field needs two MOLs so no chance of bias occurs and redundancy isn’t bad).  Just look at Crown Tournaments, they require 4 to start with, unless your doing the round robin to double elimination then it is 3 MOLs per pod.

Then the Marshals of the Heavy indicate they want 6 to 8 round robin pods for their Gem Joust tournament and the Rapier marshal also wants to run 6 round robin pods too for their Gem Joust Tournament. Each of these fighter fields will field roughly 60 to 80 fighters each.  10 to 12 people in a pod.

Knowing the momunmental task it is to sign in and check authorization cards for roughly 180 people the day of, is daunting (don’t forget Equestrian and the youth). So we took to the internet, “Pre-sign up here!” I am sure you have seen us and some of our marshals beg for respsonses for the past two months. I am thankful that we have had 121 responses in our form including some duplicate and even a triplicate respondees (better safe than sorry, we love it!).  We have even had the heads of a few camps add more people to our lists, since they know who has pre-registered. 

To prevent down time for the fighters (so they don’t cool down too much or get bored), each pod should realistically have one MOL, in reality two (to double check results and pairings and with two you could actually take small privy breaks if needed).  

So logistically,  in a perfect world the MOL staff should be 16 strong for the heavy field, 12 strong for the rapier field, 2 for youth and 2 for equestrian for the tournaments, unless they are doing something special too. That is 32 people just to run the tournaments on one day. That doesn’t count the staff needed all day Friday to check people in  and run the Torchlight tourney or the staff needed in the early morning  and to fill out authorization forms as they occcur.  That doesn’t count Sunday where heavy has three tournaments planned, and rapier has a concurrent set of tournaments then a 3 Man Melee tourney and then a Team melee.  

Not every MOL can make it to Ruby or other events. In fact one MOL last year and the MOL in charge of Ruby this year has broken with the tradition of spending time with her family (her one easy shot a year to do so) so she can be of service to this incredible Kingdom and its fighters. People I have spoken to say the only place they find her is behind the MOL table. She works herself hard, many times a month so fighters can fight. Considering she just authorized on a marshalled field, I hope she gets a chance to fight at events soon. However I doubt it, since the second a calls goes out for MOLs within a reasonable travel distance, she is there with pen in hand to serve.

As Ruby approaches, since Sunday, May 19th, I have spent 8+ hour a day preparing. Finishing scrolls for Their Majesties, printing fighter card blanks for all the fields, checking fighter authorizations and marshal warrants, making multiple sign-in sheets, making labels so the fighter’s name will be legible for each field of battle, last night I tossed random garb into the washer then the dryer, before taking the remainder of the night off to try to relax. This morning I prepared my cat’s insulin shots for his caretaker while I am gone. Tonight I am waiting for scroll(s) delivery as I type this while eating dinner and I have already 1/2 packed my car since I finished work. I cann’t even begin to image the workload that the MOLIC for Ruby has done to prepare for this event, compared to what must be a comparatively trival amount that I have spent preparing.

I plan to be onsite by 2 PM so we can set up next to troll to check fighters in for the weekend, my shift won’t end until 10 PM and to my knowledge I will be working with only the head MOL of the event. After which I’ll get a chance to eat and go check-in to my hotel room, hopefully, they won’t give it away since I have fully prepaid for it. Once I shower I’ll have to force myself to sleep, which never seems to work as I am a night owl, since the fields of battle open at 8:30 that means at least a 7:00 AM wake up call to get up, shower, drive to site, eat and mozie over the fields. Where I will work with few breaks if any until evening court and I doubt I’ll get a break before it. After court I get a break to sit and eat by the fire and hang out for 2 to 4 hours before it is time to hit the sack.Sunday will be exactly the same with more of a chance for a break since yea Melees!

Every year I consider myself lucky if I get a small enough break to peruse the merchant area once. I am always grateful when court arrives because that means I finally might get a chance to go to the privy, unwind and eat. Sometimes it has been after court that I finally have my chance to use the privy in over 10 hours (this has happened to me several times and at several events not just Ruby).

All of this on a holiday weekend, where family’s get together and remember those that have been lost to them or friends of the family in the line of Military Duty.  So given the nature of the weekend and there are only 55 warranted MOLs within the Kingdom, you can see how a dedicated few work their hearts out, so others can fight theirs’ out.  

Minister of the Lists is an incredible and fun job that I love. At times it is stressful, but what job doesn’t have stress now and then? Many hands makes the load lighter. If you are looking for something to do during the day…. come check us out!

To the 3 or 4 MOLs (that count includes MOL-ITs) I heard was reported to have ran War of the Wings (2017) with as much grace and pressure under fire,  ya’ll are awesome! Had I known, I would have helped and please accept my humblest apologies for not stepping in to do so. Here I have talked about the logistics of Ruby, I can barely think of what they went through!

To the fighters, marshals and camp heads that have respsonded to our plea for signing up in advance for Ruby, I thank you. For now we only have to sign in 60 or so people on site. 

To the small army of MOLs that have helped and in the future will help at the side of all the lists in the land and at foriegn wars, I thank you. 

and to you my small number of readers; I thank you for letting me try and show you a lttile of what this small warranted group of MOLs goes through for a multi-day event.

To His Majesty, for your call out to Fighters to fight, I thank you.