The 28th Overlord

Dalamar Ar'Daumon

Dalamar's reign began with a friendly challenge to Athlstan. The match was a best-of-three, and Dal dominated throught, winning the first 5-2 and the second 5-1, to become the 28th Overlord of the Duel of Swords.

One month later, Dalamar faced his first challenge, from long-standing Warlord and thrice-Baron Elijah. Dal chose to test the Warlord, and Jeffery Oakenshield took to the ring on the Overlord's behalf. But Lupton, Renegade Baron of the Fourth, interceeded on behalf of the challenger and friend. In ten rounds Lupton won out against Jeff 5-3, and Elijah stepped foreward to face the Overlord. Unperturbed, Dalamar secured his reign with a perfect shutout.

Not long after, Ulath Fici issued challenge to Dal, the right to challenge being his prize as second-place winner of the Warlord Tourney. In an interesting turn, Ulath's rank dropped to Grand Master after the Tourney, making him the first ever challenger below Warlord rank. For all that, he fared better against Dalamar than did Athlstan or Elijah before him, though he still lost, 5-3.5 in ten.

Less than a month later, Dalamar faced challenge by Warlord Huma Dragonbane. Under the pressure of back-to-back challenges and criticism of his policies, the Overlord for a time even considered stepping down. Instead, he girded his loins and prepared to face this latest challenge, determine to hold his reign as long as possible.

Again the Overlord opted to test the Warlord, selecting Baroness Adeena Maex as his Champion. Baron Bapheloc est Lathadoscia chose to champion Huma's cause, and defeated Adeena 6-5 in thirteen rounds. But the Warlord would not fare so well, losing to Dalamar 5-3.5 in eight rounds.

The next morning the Overlord found a missive awaiting him, a challenge from Lord Draven Altruis. Incessed by the lack of respect in so swift an action on the heels of his match, he prepared to meet this latest challenger. This time Baroness Ellisa Morgan was the Overlord's chosen champion, and in fifteen grueling rounds defeated the would-be usurper 5-4.

Nova Grey Shadow was the next to challenge for the Overlordship, though he did, out of respect, wait between two and four weeks after Dal's last challenge to make his. In equal respect, Dal faced Nova in a best-of-three challenge. The first round went to the Overlord, 5-3 in eight. In nine rounds Nova took the second match, 5-4. The third and final bout was a decisive win for Dalamar, 5-1.5 in ten rounds, a well-fought and memorable fifth defence.

A Warlord Tourney produced the next challenger to the Overlord. Actually, as there were no rings up for a Tourney prize, Dalamar generously offered right to challenge to both the first and second place winners of this Tourney. Billy Ray Karnafexx, the first-place winner, chose not to take that option, allowing the druid Marzan DeBurgo to proceed immediately with his challenge. The first of the best-of-three matches went to Dal, with a 5-3 victory in ten rounds, but in the same number of rounds Marzan took the second, 5-2.5. Both men set themselves for the third match, and through a very bloody start and five short rounds, Dalamar retained his title with a 5-2 lead.

The holiday season was pending, and with it came challenge from Warlady Topaz Eludes. Dalamar faced her in a best-of-three format which never made three bouts. Each of the first two duels was nine rounds, and the Overlord took both, 5-4 and 5-3 respectively.

General Perrinis Alabaster declared his challenge next, his prize from the recent Warlord Tourney. That duel was close-fought much of the way through, and Dal took the victory in the end with, of all things, an advanced disengage manuver, winning 5-2.5 in ten.

With spring came Dalamar's 9th challenge, this from former Overgnome and now-Warlord Gnimish Gnimoi. When the day of challenge came, it was Loyal Baron Jeffery Oakenshield who entered the ring on Dalamar's behalf. This time Jeff fared better than when he'd last championed the Overlord, winning 5-3 in ten close rounds. Oddly enough, Jeff's final, winning manuver was the same with which Dal had one his previous challenge against General Alabaster.

The next challenge came from the Baron of the First, Evan, mere hours after his change of allignment to Renegade. Common opinion felt he had only remained Loyal until such time as he chose to challenge and held him no better than a back-stabber, but Evan declared the reverse, that he changed and challenged because Dal did not support him as a Loyal.

When Dalamar declared his intent to test the Baron, a loud and widespread outcry went up against the Overlord, matched quickly and with equal vehemence by Dal's supporters. The day of the challenge came, and Billy Ray Karnafexx was the Overlord's champion, while Nova Grey Shadow interceeded on behalf of the Baron. The two Warlords fought a full fifteen rounds, with Nova striking low and into the ducking Billy Ray at the last to win, 6-4.5.

The Baron then stepped foreward to face the Overlord. Win or lose, challengers had already declared themselves waiting to take from him whichever title he should exit the ring posessing. Perhaps this knowledge slowed his blade, perhaps he was simply outmatched by the long-reigning Overlord, but at the end of eight rounds Dalamar was still Overlord with a decisive 5-2 victory.

A good deal of bad blood followed this, for in spite of the apparent bad form of Evan's sudden change to Renegade and challenge, there was a core of duelers who believed firmly that no Baron should ever be tested. But Dalamar's next challenge did not come from this core; rather, it was Warlord Daegarth Mithmellon, head of House Phoenix and long-time voice against Dal's policies, who gave challenge. Dalamar faced his old adversary in the best-of-three style, the first match being a hard-fought twelve rounds and ending with Dal the victor, 5.5-4. The grueling pace proved too much for the Shadow Sorcerer, and though he managed to recover from a three-point deficit, Dalamar took the second match 5-3 in eleven rounds.

Approaching the one-year anniversary of his reign, the first Overlord to come so far, Dalamar received his twelfth challenge from Skyler Jackson Chamberland, undefeated champion of the recent Warlord Tourney, who opted for a chance against the Overlord rather than one of the five Baron rings being offered. He faced Dalamar in a best-of-three, and though he was undefeated in the Tourney, he fared not so well against the Overlord. Dalamar won both matches 5-3, in eight rounds the first match and seven rounds the second.

Baron Adonai Uziel was next to challenge Dal, a suprising move when Adonai had previously sworn undying loyalty to the Overlord. The Baron claimed sheer boredom as his reasons for change from Loyal to Renegade and the challenge that followed a week later, but many in the DoS still felt it a betrayal of his oath, including Dalamar. When the match came, he called Jeffery Oakenshield, Baron of the Eighth, to be Champion. The draconian Baphelocutis est Lathadoscia stepped foreward as Intercessor on the Renegade's behalf, and in seven rounds defeated the half-dwarf decisively, 5-1.

Dalamar then took the ring against Adonai, and the Baron took the lead from the start. But the Lord of Dale had not reigned a year without reason, and overcame the early lead by his opponent to win and retain his title, 5.5-4 in twelve rounds.

With high summer approaching, the Warlord Rand al Tan offered a challenge which began, oddly enough, with an apology for holding a grudge against Dalamar. The Overlord readily accepted both his old friend's apology and challenge, and met him in a best-of-three match. For the first the lead wavered between the two before Dal won, 5-2.5 in ten rounds. In the same ten rounds Rand lead through the second match to win 5-2. But in the final bout, a combination of hard agressive moves from the Overlord and what could only be called poor decisions on the Warlord's part resulted in a perfect shutout and retention of the title for Dal.

Next to challenge Dalamar was the Warlord Seraph, self-proclaimed murderer of Draven Altruis. Public vehemence was heavy against the challenger, and in the match itself Dalamar chose to have the Warlord face a Test of Worthiness against Warlord Sartan. Neutral Baron of the Third Evan Rynth chose to Interceed for the Challenger, a choice for which the Overlord immediately banished him to Renegade. The Overlord's Champion proved the stronger in that match and went on to face Seraph. But Sartan's endurance proved unable to last both matches, and the Warlord came out of the match ready to face the Overlord.

To face, but not to defeat. Though the match was one of the closest ever recorded against Dalamar, he retained his title of Overlord in the end with a 5-4 victory.

Many people and creatures of strange appearance and custom have graced the Arena and held title here, but few match the being that went undefeated through the Warlord Tourney to claim the challenge to the Overlord. Calling itself a Borg, the machine-man stated it's intent to "assimilate" all of the DoS, beginning with Dalamar. In the time between the Tourney and the challenge match, several other Borg were seen around the rings, challenging any who would cross swords with them and making any they defeated into one of their own.

When the challenge match came, the Borg secured an early lead, much to the consternation of the many duelers who watched. But the Overlord's increasingly agressive tactics as the duel continued overcame the early lead and defeated the Borg 5-2.5 in ten rounds. Since that time none of the Borg have been seen again, though many of the duelers that had been assimilated were returned to normal, restored either by the Borg or by the Ward, it is unsure which.

With the falling leaves fell another challenge, Huma Dragonbane stepping forth once more to make a bid for the Overlordship. But when the date set for the match came, the Overlord did not appear. Later it was learned he did not appear because of his father's death. The Warlord requested Dalamar be declared in forfeit, and the matter was given over to the Baron's Council.

What followed was one of the most complex situations to ever surround a challenge match. After the official announcement of Dalamar's forfeit, Huma and Baron Jeff Oakenshield struck their own bargain. A single duel between them. Should the Warlord win, Jeff would retire his ring. Should the Baron win, Huma would withdraw his challenge to Dalamar.

Jeff won, but the situation proved more difficult than that. Since the Overlord had already been declared in forfeit, the match was considered "met," and Huma could not withdraw the challenge. He could forfeit himself, but his peer wins and right to challenge were already lost, and Dal would still face judgement from the Baron's Council. So Huma decided to press his challenge to the end, to the fury of many who felt this was a breach of his promise.

The Council itself was hard-pressed in it's deliberations, struggling to ride the fine line between fairness to Huma who had to wait, compassion for Dalamar who'd lost his father, and heavy pressure to force Huma to hold his promise. In the end, they chose official censure for Dalamar, to be placed on his record (see below) and a fine of 10,000 gold crown to be paid to the charity of his choice. Huma's right to challenge for Overlord was forfeit for the cycle, but his peer wins were returned to him, which otherwise would also have been forfeit as the challenge had been "met".

The final decision was hardly accepted unanimously, and many called for the Overlord to step down. But he was determined, and declared he would be no quitter. In the turmoil following this, the Supervisor for the Duel of Swords stepped down, one of the official callers quit, and Warlord Huma retired and departed from the rings. Three of the long-standing Loyalists to Dalamar--Barons AJ Bird, Var Medici-Giovanni, and Seamus MacDonnaugh--changed their allignment to Renegade, and Seamus included in his change a challenge to the Overlord. Hardest of all, with the sudden lack of a Supervisor, the Duels themselves were closed for two weeks for reorganization.

Upon the reopening of the Duels, Seamus and Dalamar made arrangements for their match. Initially the Baron refused the Overlord's offer of a best-of-three match, and many wondered if Dal would break an earlier promise to never test a challenging Baron again. The issue became moot, however, when the challenge came and was fought in a best-of-three style after all.

Those three duels taxed both men to the limits of their skill and endurance. In the first, after several scoreless rounds, Dalamar took the lead and maintained it through ten rounds to win 5-3. The second started better for the Overlord, but at the end of ten rounds Seamus overcame his lead to win by the same score Dal had won the first. With one match left to decide all, both men abandoned subtlely and went to in one of the bloodiest displays of swordsmanship ever seen in the rings. Through cuts and thrusts traded they stayed tied most of the duel, until the seventh round, when the Overlord secured the victory 5-4, one of the closest victories he had ever taken.

The Third-quarter Warlord Tourney produced Dalamar's next challenger. In a decisively odd ending, Daegarth Mithmellon took second place in the Tourney when he forfeited to the undefeated Morgan le Fay du Cornwall, knowing that the Lady le Fay would chose for her prize the Baron's ring available and leave him the challenge. Daegarth's duel against Dalamar was hard fought throughout, and the two men spent most of the duel very close in score. Only in the last two rounds did the Overlord's defensive tactics gain him the 5-3 victory against his long-time adversary, securing once more his title.

Renegade Baron of the Thirteenth Magnus Eques was next to step forth against the Overlord. Released from the afore-mentioned promise to never test a Baron some time before, Dalamar chose Loyal Baron of the 8th Jeff Oakenshield to be his Champion. Magnus, in reply, asked the recently-returned Warlord Huma Dragonbane to be Champion on his behalf. The fight between the Champions began with a strong lead by the half-dwarf, but a quick succession of daring strikes closed the gap quickly. As the duel stretched to twelve rounds, Huma's daring proved his downfall, an attempted slash giving Jeff the chance to strike and win, 6.5-5.

Magnus took to the ring with the patience and skill few are able to maintain under the high pressures of a challenge match. With a combination of precise attacks and deft defenses, he took a lead over the Baron of the Eighth which Jeff was only able to tie once. After ten rounds, the Loyal Baron was sent from the ring, as Magnus's 5-2 victory secured his chance at the Overlord.

Unperturbed by the Renegade's display of skill, Dalamar took to the ring to defend his crown. Both men fought with skill and careful judgement of their opponent, but Dal's judgement proved the better. A 5-3 win in nine rounds defeated the Baron, and Dal's incredible reign as Overlord continued.

The twenty-second challenge to Dalamar's crown began with a tribute written to him by the Warlord Eros Hunrai Marzanhe DeBurgo. Eros then issued his challenge with respect and honor for a man of such a long reign. When the match actually came, the Loyal Baron Sartan interceeded on behalf of the Overlord, and was met by Renegade Baron Seamus on the Warlord's behalf. Baron Seamus successfully defended the Warlord's right to challenge, and the Druid stepped into the ring to face the Overlord.

A reign as spectacular and record-setting as Dalamar's could not end with anything less than a duel as spectacular. For an unpresidented twenty-eight rounds, hard blows and exqusite defense were traded until a well-timed low cut struck the ducking Overlord, ending his reign and bringing a new Overlord to the Duel of Swords after ninteen months, the final score 9.5-8.

It was not only Dalamar's reign that was ended with that final blow. For reasons unknown the Ward of Gondar failed in its healing abilities that night, and Dalamar did not rise from that last cut. Near-panic ensued in and around the ring as well-meaning friends and even repentant enemies strove to revive the former Overlord. Morgan le Fay, with the help of Roland Sal Roa and Sartan, finally removed the fallen Dalamar from the Annex, to no-one knew where and under unknown condition. At the time of this penning, it was still unknown if Dalamar would return to the rings, or even if he had survived his wounds.

Official Notice of Censure

Be it known to all that, for failure to appear in defense of his title of Overlord of the Duel of Swords, Dalamar Ar'Daumon hereby receives the official censure of the Council of Barons, approved and certified by the Supervisor for the Duel of Swords, Helix Deverrey Girvin, to remain a dishonor on his record for all time. Be it further known he is required in compensation to pay no less than ten-thousand (10,000) gold crown to whatever charity he so chooses, as judged by the Council of Barons and approved and certified by the Supervisor for the Duel of Swords.

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