By 2019's Valk tournament winner, Dame Kaalia of Black Guard. Edited by Lord Bova
The (Siege of Azure Castle) event itself, was great. These EMR events are always well run and they keep getting better from year to year (due to Barenheim actively seeking feedback, and then acting on that feedback; the effort put in to planning these events really shows).
This was our second out-of-state event with our son, and while we're still working out how to attend events with a small human, our unit (and the Hearthlight community overall) has been very supportive of us as new parents. I think it's important for people to see that you can still come to these events (and have fun) after you have kids. So Mize and I try to attend any event that we can.
I've only fought at events a few times since having our son Calvin, so my focus leading up to this event was to increase my workouts to help get in better fighting shape. I have tendonitis in my sword hand from lifting the small human. It's not an uncommon injury in moms after having kids, so I had to be careful with the amount of fighting I did before the event in order to not make it worse.
The tournament itself was a lot of fun. To me, it is very important that women-only tournaments exist. Tournaments make me incredibly nervous, but they also help me focus on and prioritize my training ahead of time.
The energy around women-only tournaments is different, and usually pretty low key. This removes a lot of the barriers to women entering tournaments in the first place. I love supporting other female fighters, and having a Valk tourney gives us an opportunity to help train up the female fighters around us, and bring some attention to the great female fighters we have in Hearthlight.
Siege of Azure Castle 2019 tournament winners Dame Kaalia, Sir Mize, & their son, Calvin.
Photo by Morta of Black Guard (Shannon Reilley)
I love seeing the mix of new and veteran fighters each year in the Valk tournaments, and I hope that it encourages other women to pick up a weapon and start fighting, or to actively work on improving their skills.
I missed Siege of Azure Castle in 2018 because I had just given birth to Calvin. So coming into this year’s tournament I was just excited to be able to fight. The win felt great especially given that my husband, Mize had also won the tournament he competed in!