The 107th Overlord

Matt Simon

After Nayun banished all loyal barons to renegade, Matt was the first to take the opportunity to issue challenge. Two others were to follow, Baby Baron Mairead Harker and Vaeluthil Whitevale, creating a rare legal queue of challenge to the top title. They fought two days after Christmas and it proved to be all the test of strength the Overlord had been seeking. Fought in single duel style, the match was no easy contest for either. Matt drew first blood, but Nayun was quick to strike back and then take the lead for herself. Controlling much of the middle rounds it was ultimately Nayun's defensive mindedness that got her in trouble. While a bookend parry had worked well for her in the 5th and 6th rounds to take the lead, Matt was ready for the second attempt in the late rounds, taking advantage of both parts in the 10th and 11th to seal a 5-4 victory and claim the Overlord title. (Details)

Vaeluthil Whitevale was the first to challenge Matt for the crown. Apaprently there was an abundance of snacks rumored to be held somewhere on Overlord Island that seemed to interest the Baroness of Seaside and her cabinet of squires. On the night of the challenge, Overlord Simon elected to utilize the Test of Worthiness and placed Jewell Ravenlock in Vael's path. Baby baron Mairead Harker, a renegade, stepped in as well and met Jewell in a Right to Challenge fight to prevent the test. Jewell had had some success, during her time holding Dockside, in matches like this, but those were all on the renegade side. When fighting for the Overlord, her blade was perhaps not as swift. Maggie controlled the duel from start to finish and took a 5-1.5, 6 round victory to clear Vael's way. In a show of grace, the baroness challenger took the first point by sidestepping the Overlord's thrust. It earned her first blood, but would be the last of her scoring that night. Matt struck in five consecutive starting in the 2nd, a brutal flurry that sent the challenger on her way and kept the mantel in his hands. (Details)

Hope Naharis was Matt's second challenge. Between the time she issued the challenge and the night it took place, Hope had won the 84th Diamond Quest (her 2nd DQ win) and put herself in the rare position of potentially holding two of the three top sporting titles simultaneously. When the night of the challenge came to pass, Matt elected to use the Test of Worthiness and called once more on Jewell Ravenlock. And just like last time, renegade baron Maggie Harker stepped in to fight a Right to Challenge. The Baby Baron's blade hadn't dulled a bit since last she had faced Jewell in this scenario, and she took a 5-2 in 10 win to give Hope a direct path to Matt. It looked like Hope would make the most of the opportunity as she jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then 3-1 after a trade of thrusts in the 3rd. The match ground to a standstill from round 4 through 8, niether able to advance the score, but then Matt struck in the 9th and began his comeback. Scoring four times in the next five rounds, Matt stopped Hope short and took the 5-3 defense in the 13th. (Details)

Next up was Ekthbjlgke Smith. E had been attempting to claim a barony over the last couple months, but found himself unable to do so; having lost to Mairead in December and then to Sabine in January. Rather than try another baron, he decided to up his game and go for the Overlord. Given the record ths seemed the ideal case to implement the Test of Worthiness, which was a thing Matt was fond of doing anyway, so it was no surprise when he tapped Andrea Anerson to step in on this challenge. Maggie, the baby baron who kept thwarting Matt's Test attempts in the past, had recently been removed from her barony and the only other renegade was G'nort, who happened to be fighting a challenge for his own title at the same time, so there was no one left to represent E in a Right to Challenge fight. The pair traded parries and thrusts in the opening rounds, but then Apple took control in the 3rd. By the 8th round it was 4-1 in favor of the Overlord's champion. E managed to pick up two points in the 9th and 10th, but then cut into Apple's parry in the 11th. Having failed the test, 5-3, E's challenge was vacated. (Details)

Runner up in the Winter 2016 Tournament of Warlords, Jewell Ravenlock was awarded an intercession free challenge to go after Matt. (Aya Hayashibara was the winner of that tournament and claimed the Barony of Battlefield Park). The challenge took place in late March, right when the first round of the annual Madness tournament was going on. A tournament in which both of these duelists had been awarded number 1 seeds. Jewell, however, had been upset in the opening contest and already eliminated while Matt had won through to the second round. This had the oddsmakers more heavily favoring Matt, as momentum seemed to be against the challenger. The Overlord picked a best of three format for their meeting. Jewell looked to be more than over that madness loss as she took the first duel in a commanding 5-1 win. Matt surged back in duel two with a dominating performance of his own and won 5-2. The final duel did not go so easilly to either side. Jewell picked up the opening point before Matt tied things up, but then gave her the lead back in the 4th. A three round scoring spree beginning in the 5th, however, saw Matt tying and then winning the final duel by score of 5-3 to keep his title. (Details)

After quite some time away from the arena, two time Overlord Rakeesh Sah Tarna returned for the annual Madness tournament. Acknowledging he had perhaps aged passed his adventuring years, the liontaur felt he could still compete in the controlled arena environment and wished an encounter with Matt for the title; also looking to raises funds to assist the downtrodden of Dockside. They were to meet the night of the Beltane Ball and Matt tapped the Baroness of Old Market to perform the test of worthiness, Lirssa's first time participating in such a manner. With no renegade to fight a Right to Challenge, Rakeesh met the feisty red head and found her an insurmountable obstacle. Whether the ex-Overlord's skills had truly diminished or the baroness found some special affinity to bonfire festival - or maybe she was just in a rush to get back in her gown and meet up with her date; Lirssa was a force to be reckoned with. The duel was over in six short rounds and Rakeesh unable to land a single blow. With her 5-0 in six round victory, Lirssa defended Matt's right to the Overlordship and vacated the challenge from Rakeesh. (Details)

Matt's sixth challenger was Claire Caelum who had taken 3rd place in the Spring Cycle Warlord Tournament (details) and earned an intercession free title shot. The challenge was fought in best of three format and would take all three duels to decide. On the night, Miss Caelum would outscore the Overlord 14-12 in total points, but it was Matt who took the night. The first round of the night set the tone as they both thrust to kick off the bloody encounter. Tied or with Claire in the lead throughout, they traded cuts in the 8th to go to 5-5. Matt's low cut in the 9th sealed the first of the victories he would need. The second duel belonged entirely to Claire. Up 3-0 after 3 rounds, Matt struck with a high cut in the 4th to take the only point he would manage in the bout. The challenger took 2 more in the three rounds to follow and tied them up at 1 duel a piece after a solid 5-1 drumming of the Overlord. The final bout played out much like the first, with the scored tied or Claire in the lead through 10 rounds. With Claire up 4-3, Matt scored a low cut in the 11th to tie things up and then parried the return from Claire in the 12th to take the winning lead. A 5-4, 12 round victory securing the match win and his 6th defense of the crown. (Details)

Matt had an impressive run of six defenses, but there was not to be a seventh - though it would not technically be a defeat either. After giving the Overlord Grant to Aric and having the Master-At-Arms challenge one of his loyal barons, it was widely expected that Red would declare renegade and come after Matt herself. Aric was victorious, however, and Red instead stepped quitely away from the titles. Rather, it was Hope Naharis that came to challenge, her second time calling Matt to the ring. We aren't entirely sure what happened with Matt; if it was work or family issues or just that he needs to fire his secretary, but the Overlord failed to answer Hope's challenge in the seven days allotted to do so. As a result Matt was stripped of the title. Under new rules, this placed Senior Baroness Vaeluthil Whitevale into the role of champion - defending the Overlord title against Hope's challenge. Hope drew first blood in their single bout contest, but then Vael struck back in the second and continued to march off four consecutive points to go up 4-1. Hope managed one more strike in the 6th, but couldn't hold back the champion's momentum. Vael landed a low cut in the 7th to complete a 5-2 defense of the crown and send the title into a tournament of barons. (Details)

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