The 40th Overlord

Taylara Locklorn Tyree

Fourth place in a Warlord Tourney with three Baronial Rings available, Taylara Tyree received as her prize the right to challenge the Overlord. First, however, she had to wait for there to be an Overlord to challenge, as Avery Shiv Blade had been stripped of his crown just before the Tourney, and a Barons Tourney was to be held to fill the position.

Only five Barons actually participated in that Tourney, and the victor was Daelin Dragonsblade. Taylara waited almost the full week allowed her after Daelin was crowned to press her challenge to him. Even when she did, it was not simply because she bore the right, but because she did not agree with Daelin's stance that he could continue to claim Loyalty to Avery while wearing the crown himself.

It is uncommon for a Warlord Tourney winner to face a best-of-three match against the Overlord, but not completely unheard of. When Daelin offered it, Taylara agreed, and gave a fine showing. The challenge went through all three matches, and Taylara took the first and last by 5-3 in seven and six respectively, to become the 40th Overlady of the Duel of Swords.

Little more than two weeks later, Taylara stood in the ring to face Renegade Baron of the Thirteenth Drey Starke. When the Overlady voiced her intent to Test Starke, Renegade of the twelfth Ellisa Morgan stepped forward in the Challenger's defense. By using mostly defense, the Baroness took a swift four-point lead against the Overlady's Champion, Baron Unagi Miyamoto. After only six rounds, she had cleared Drey's path with a 5-1 victory.

A brief intermission followed, and then Taylara and Drey stepped into the ring. First point went to the Overlady, and after four rounds she was over the Baron by 3 to 1. Though Drey was able to make up some of the distance, the night would go to the Defender, as Taylara retained her throne with a 5-3 win in seven rounds.

The next time the Overlady stepped into the ring was not in defense of herself, but of a Loyal Baroness, Ariadne Angeles. Quite some debate was raised over this as Taylara Interceeded against the express wishes of her Baroness. As the Baroness did not change allignment and actually cheered the Overlady on, however, it was a matter of speculation for quite some time how serious Ariadne was in her wish to defend her own title. Baron Sartan stepped forward and successfully blocked the Intercession.

When Baroness Ellisa came to head with the Overlady again, it was as Challenger for the throne. Unsurprisingly by this time, the Overlady opted to use the Test, and her Champion was a complete unknown to the Duel of Swords, who's name never was given. Ellisa selected as her defender Jesse Troyan, who immediately retired his own Baron's Ring to face the Champion as a Warlord.

The stranger fell hard to Jesse, by 5-3 after seven rounds. There was some speculation that the Overlady's Champion actually died in that match, possibly immune to the Ward's effects, but as of this time that had not been confirmed. Other havock arose at the time the stranger was being taken from the ring, involving the Overlady and her child, and so the situation was never clear to the official who reported the situation.

Eventually, though, the Overlady did step into the ring against the Baroness. As in her previous defense, the first and last point both went to Taylara, a 5.5-3 win after nine rounds.

As victor in the third quarter Warlord's Tourney, Daegarth Mithmellon received the prize of challenge to the Overlady, and wasted little time utilizing this right. Beside him on the night of the challenge were Lyon T'gar as his Second and Calenmir Landstar as Lady of Honor. Oddly enough, Taylara dueled for the honor of her opponent, and no Lord of Honor stood at her side. Baron Unagi Miyamoto stood as her Second, in what was to become a grim duty.

The duel itself was hard-fought, with the Overlady leading for most of the match, but the Phoenix Blade has a cunning master, and whittled away at that lead with well-timed strikes. In the 10th round Daegarth took the lead and the win by 5-4, to become the 41st Overlord of the Duel of Swords.

Defeated, Taylara stepped from the ring and to her Second. Her next action was to be one of the most hotly debated of her tumultuous reign, both recognized as the honorable act of a fallen leader and decried as cowardice. In a ritual known as seppuku, she bared her neck for Baron Miyamoto's blade, an unspoken request which the Baron honored.

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