As soon as Overlord Long Wang Lo's securement of the title was official, Baron of the Twelfth Avery Shiv Blade declared himself Renegade, and challenger, to the throne. Such a swift challenge met with a great deal less uproar than it might have, for most all of the Baron's were Renegade, and to many the new Overlord was a virtual unknown. What was known about him, mostly dealing with his behavior surrounding the challenge that made him Overlord, did much to make him unpopular.
Whether the sentiment against Long would result in a fast stream of challenges would never be known. Ten days after taking the title, he faced Baron Avery in a rare, one-shot duel, and lost. And Avery became the first dueler ever to hold the title of Supreme Dueler in two sports simultaneously, Swords and Fists.
As 38th Overlord of the Duel of Swords, Avery was far from an unknown factor. Nor did he intend to become such. He stated openly from the start his policies concerning challenges, mostly a willingness to use Intercession and Tests of Worthiness. Further, the day after taking the crown, he stood as Second to a Challenger to Neutral Baron Elijah Ecore. Avery did not intend his reign to be a dull one.
His first challenge came out of this firm belief in not standing aside. When Damien Mortis won the Eighth Ring after an ill-phrased and insulting challenge, the new Baron declared himself Loyal to the crown. Avery denied him Loyalty however, and as a Baron banished to Renegade Damien exercised his right to challenge. Accepting the challenge, Avery made no bones about Testing the Baron, with long-time bad boy Jesse Troyan as his champion. The Baron chose Cletus Ganderfald to defend his right to challenge, but Jesse proved his worth by defeating the other Warlord 5-2 in seven rounds.
The test commenced, but the fight before had apparently taken more out of Jesse than was known. In eight rounds Damien passed the Test with a 5-2 victory. The main challenge was delayed no more.
Despite the workout given him by Jesse, Damien fought hard, taking the first point and keeping the score tied or close to throughout. But in the end Avery's skill proved the better, and he remained Overlord with a 5-3 win in eight rounds.
With the Warlord Tourney looming, Avery faced no further challenge until the winner of such should issue one. In actuality, however, the first-place champion of the Tourney, Dexter Montoya, chose to take the vacant Twelfth ring, and the second-place victor, Cassius Gaius Maximius, declined to challenge, stating that such high placement was prize enough.
With the New Year came a new challenge from a new Baron, Renegade of the Twelfth Roland Salsinger. No Test waited for this Baron; Avery faced him in the best-of-three format. The first match went a hard-fought ten rounds with never more than a point difference between the two. But a point is all that's needed, and the last one went to Avery, victor by 5-4. Though the second match went more swiftly, it was no less intense, nor were the end results changed. Again, Avery won the duel 5-4, thereby retaining his title of Overlord.
When Leo de Lorenzo took second place at the first quarter Warlord Tourney, he did not share Cas's opinion that high placement was prize enough. He exorcized his hard-won right to challenge, and faced Avery in a best-of-three match. But the skill that had taken him through the Tourney failed to hold through a match with the Supreme Dueler of the DoS. Avery took the first two matches handily, 5-1 in eight and 5-3.5 in ten respectively.
Baron of the Sixth Damien Mortis was the next to raise his blade against Avery, and the Overlord had no qualms about imposing a Test on the Renegade. Loyal Baron of the Fifth Gunthar O'Dwyer stood in on the Overlord's behalf. Damien selected as his Champion Warlord Bode BoJangles. Baron and Warlord fought hard for ten long rounds before Gunthar succeeded, 5-3.
Renegade and Loyal then faced off to determine the fate of Damien's challenge. Attack was the order of the evening, with almost every attempt at defense being thwarted by blows from unexpected angles. The last blow struck belonged to Gunthar, defeating Damien 5-2 in seven rounds and removing his threat to the Overlord's title.
Avery held the title of Supreme Dueler in all three sports when Renegade of the Thirteenth Drey Starke brought challenge. It was seemed to be a sadly popular option of late, he challenged not due to difference of views or desire to be Overlord, but because he had made a bet that he could win the match. The challenge, however, was not to be, and the Overlordship that had been defended with a bang dissolved with a whimper. Avery failed to appear for the duel.
Young Lord Valentine Evermeadow, Supervisor of the Swords, opted to give the Overlord an extention so that he might explain his absence to the community and his Challenger. Though Baron Drey himself did not protest the extention, several other Barons did. Most vocal in this was Baron of the Tenth Var Medici-Giovanni, who wrote the Supervisor every day demanding that the Overlord be called in forfeit and the matter turned over to the Baron's Council. Evermeadow, however, saw no reason to rush things since the Warlords Tourney was pending and no other challenges could be given to the Crown in any case. Only a few days before the Tourney, Avery was finally declared in forfeit.
Unsurprisingly, the Barons were swift to decide to strip Avery of the title and hold a Barons Tourney to crown a new Overlord. What was shocking was the request by some of the Barons that the three new Barons who would come out of the Warlords Tourney not be included in the Barons Tourney. That idea was immediately and firmly rejected. Accused of blocking the new Barons in order to increase their own chances, the Barons who had voiced such an opinion backed from their views and declined to participate in the Tourney. Others withdrew for various reasons, and in the end only five of the thirteen Barons dueled in the Tourney.
With such a small turnout, the Tourney was handled in a single night, in round-robin style. After four rounds, Daelin Dragonsblade held the strongest record with three wins, no losses. Only Sartan stood a chance of matching that record, and since Daelin had already defeated Sartan in an earlier match, the Baron of the Eleventh became the Thirty-Ninth Overlord.