Fred the Elfling here, this month interviewing Lord Darras of Vonair.There is a lot happening around Vonair.Goblin attacks, Elves, lost treasures, and wizards.So our topic for today is: Sports.Before he was battling Goblins and Skeletons, Lord Darras was known as ďWalker the HammerĒ a sports star on the National Jousting scene.Lord Darras, Can you give us an update on the jousting scene at Vonair?


Darras: Certainly.We have a lot of informal jousts at Vonair.Also weíre working hard to get Vonair added to the official Tournament circuit.It would be a big help to the local economy to get some big name jousters to come over to Vonair.Iíve called in a few favors and weíve at least going to have some top jousters coming by for some exhibition matches.


Fred: Sounds great.What about other sports at Vonair?


Darras: Well, we do more than you might think.Generally for troops not on patrol, the schedule is to work on professional skills in the morning and sports in the afternoon.Itís good for the muscles to do different exercises.Also sports build teamwork and other skills.Weíve all got to know how to work together in the Rangers.


Fred: What would some of those other sports be?

Darras: Polo, soccer, rugby, field hockey, swimming, crewing, we try a lot of sports.I like to keep things interesting.We even try some of the old world sports now and then when we know enough about them.Archery, jousting, fencing, wrestling and the other martial arts are our staples naturally.


Fred: can we talk about your Jousting career?There been some confusion over whether or not youíve won the national championship for the stewardship.


Darras: Iím the two time national Jousting title, but it probably should have been more.I am a bit snakebitten in the nationals.I would have been three times champion, but for a questionable call in a match.I rode into the other lane to help an injured rider.The Marshal on duty felt he had no choice but to disqualify me.Many people have since pointed out that there is a safety exception, but the Marshal was within his rights to disqualify me.It worked out for the best in my life, so Iím not complaining.


Fred:Lady Anne [Darrasí wife and a big jousting fan] isnít as forgiving, I hear.


Darras: No. (laughs).She wasnít the only one upset by that call.As a whole the Marshals do an excellent job.Itís a dangerous sport and I think the Marshals are right to deeply discourage any action that could pose a safety hazard to another rider.Better too strict than too lenient about that.


Fred: That was a while ago though, what has happened since?


Darras:After that I havenít been able to compete as often as I would like.The one year I finally had a break in my schedule, was the year we when Smoke [his horse] took ill.


Fred: Any chance youíll return to competitive jousting?

Darras: (smiles) Itís not out of the question, other duties permitting.Itís not that Iím out of practice.


Fred:Lots of folks will look forwards to that.Weíre out of space for this month, but stay tuned next month.Darras will be back to tell us about the Sport of Jousting, as practiced in the Stewardship.††††††


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