Jousting in Tennessee

No, I didn’t go jousting, but the family and I, along with family friend Bruce Wesley, drove down to Murfreesboro south of Nashville and wandered about the Renaissance Festival. It was a little more crowded than we’d seen in previous years, which made it more like the Line Fair than the Renaissance Fair, but hopefully that means it will just expand and host more merchants next year.

We toured Castle Gwynn (yes, a real castle, hand built since the 1970s by a hard working man with a dream), got to pick up a Crusader sword found on the field of Acre (for real, and it was astonishing how light it was). And I met an Ent!

Me and an Ent.

But the jousting was the absolute highlight. If you’ve seen re-enactments, or watched jousting on TV, you still haven’t seen the real thing. My God, but those men and women of the Knights of Covington Glen are brave. Not to mention tough. We saw one gentleman get unhorsed. It freaked out his mount, but he borrowed another competitor’s and not only finished his four passes, but won the whole tournament! A valiant fellow. He was probably at least ten years older than me, but ten times tougher. Ian McFarland got up after landing IN FULL PLATE MAIL, stretched, and went back to the games.

It was a long haul from our home along the shore of the Sea of Monsters, but we managed to have a pretty good time in the car, despite it being a little cramped for five full-sized (or nearly so) humans in the Prius. After the festival we stopped in Nashville to dine. We have yet to discover a restaurant there that really knocked us out.

That castle is pretty amazing, isn’t it? Only the lower floor on the left tower (the kitchen) and  a little bit of the right tower are visible on the tour because the builder and his wife live within the castle!

Here, just to give you more of a sense of the momentum gained by those jousters, is a final pic. Then I must away. I have received my editorial changes to my next Paizo Pathfinder book, and have to start attending to them.

I managed to snap a few pictures with my handy portable mini-camera, but none of them did any justice to the jousting. Both of these great jousting pics came courtesy of Bruce Wesley, who has a very nice professional camera with a huge lens. You can click to enlarge any of the photos to see more detail, and believe me, the jousting and castle pictures are worth it. The Ent is pretty amazing too, and I regret that I didn’t see the name of the scuptor anywhere on it. I did see a price tag, though, of 10 grand!