(9/25/96 - 6/2/97)
Ford Prefect, a consummate traveler who seemed to have found a home in Rhydin and in the Arena specifically, was the fifth holder of this ring. Ford's first defense was against Lady Ellisa Morgan. In a close match that ended 5-4 after eight rounds, Ford became the first recorded holder of this ring to defend the right to wear it.
His second challenge came from Tarl Cabot. Again Ford was victorious, making it halfway to the record of four defenses.
Despite Ford's proven prowess, he found himself in a slump when it came to maintaining his record above fifteen wins. He actually dropped down to an even 0-0 win to loss ratio at the beginning of the February 1997 cycle. This caused Drake Aurak Flame to question Ford's ability to continue in his position as Baron. Drake issued challenge for the ring.
For the third time, Ford Prefect defended his title which proved that a duelist's record is not always a reflection of his skill.
Ford finally tied the record of four successful defenses when challenged by Warlord Condextint "Dexter" Montoya. The match went a bloody thirteen rounds, but when it was over Ford accomplished something that only two others before him had.
The fifth challenge came from Sir Warin Ryles of Perivor. By the time this match was fought, Ford had already become the baron to hold this ring the longest, surpassing Alkron GoldenSword. Ford embedded his name a bit further into the record books by winning this match and becoming the first baron to defend the title five times. Ford's overall record was still below that required of a warlord, but there remained no doubt of his skill. At this time he held more records than any baron and was the pride of House Llewys-Lathadoscia.
After a little more than eight months, Ford retired his ring. He left the first ring having held it longer than any before him. The final match of this double elimination tournament was between Ulath Fici and Baphelocutis est Lathadoscia. Ulath had made it there undefeated, while Baph had fought his way back through the losers bracket after being defeated by Ulath in the sixth round. In their second meeting, Baph took the win with a convincing 5-1 score. Though a tie-breaking match was offered by Cloreiviere H'Darwtch, the Tournament Coordinator, Baph refused it and took the first place prize as allowed by the rules.
(7/29/97 - 9/3/97)
Bapheloc thus became the sixth Baron to hold the First ring.
The Draconian Baron held this ring for just over a month before meeting his first challenge. On this night he was slotted to face a queue of two, Kaprielle d'Argent and Ulath Fici. However, Ulath would never enter the ring. Eleven rounds into the duel against Kaprielle, Bapheloc's baronship was ended in Kaprie's 5-3 performance. With the ring resting comfortably on Kaprielle's finger, Ulath left the ringside to await the next cycle.
(9/3/97 - 2/28/98)
The Baroness D'Argent did receive her first challenge from one Zaradda in the form of a most uncomplimentary letter. For once their was no noticeable outcry when the Overlord Dalamar Ar'Daumon stepped forward to issue his Right of Challenge. In what would become commonplace over the next several months, the Renegade Baron Daegarth Mithmellon interceded on the behalf of the challenger. On this night though, the Overlord did dispatch of both the interceding baron and the challenger, and thus keep the ring upon the finger of his loyal baroness.
The Baroness's second challenge was received from a warlord with a distinguished past. The twentieth Overlord, Gnimish Gnimoi, did pose a most worthy challenge, and in deference to his skill the Baroness faced him herself without requesting the intercession of the Overlord. The former Overlord was within a point of gaining the victory, when with a dazzling display of skill the Baroness did narrowly overcome his challenge. It would be whispered after this match that not only did she defend her ring, but her Overlord as well. It became known that Gnimish looked upon her ring as a mere stepping stone to the title he once held.
The next challenge came in the form of Seraph the Pen-Seren. Perhaps the only surprised by the Overlord stepping in to intercede in this match was the Baroness herself, whom did not make a request for it. For the lack of Daegarth, as was becoming commonplace, Moralitor the Black stood in defense of the warlord's right to challenge. Falling to the Overlords blade 5-2, the warlord replaced the Baron in the ring and was handed a 5-3 defeat in five rounds.
Once again, the Overlord defended the Baroness's hold on the ring.
Days away from reaching a reign of six months, Kaprielle was defeated by the Warlord Evan Rush Rynth 5 - 3 in seven rounds. At first the new Baron declared himself a Renegade, but after a conversation with Overlord Ar'Daumon, he changed his mind and announced his allegiance as Loyal, keeping eight of the nine Barons Loyal.
Evan Rush Rynth
(2/28/98 - 4/18/98)
Only days later, the eighth holder of the First Ring was challenged by a longtime friend of Kaprielle d'Argent, one Seamus MacDonnaugh. Bearing no personal malice to the new Baron, Seamus merely wished to win back the ring that was taken from Kaprielle. The resulting match was grueling and punishing, but in the end Evan endured his first trial by fire by defeating his challenge 6 - 5 in fourteen rounds.
How loyal the Baron of the First had been, and why he'd chosen to declare himself loyal were vehemently called into question when Evan sent letters declaring himself Renegade and issuing challenge to Overlord Dalamar within hours of each other. Common opinion thought his previous loyalty had been solely for his own protection. The Baron never answered those accusations publicly, keeping his reasons for his change to himself. Nonetheless, furious with the Baron's behavior, G'nort Dragoon-Talanador issued challenge for the First. With Evan having already issued challenge, G'nort was placed in queue, to fight the Baron should he lose against the Overlord.
Baron Evan did lose to Dalamar in eight rounds, and rather than wait he immediately faced G'nort's challenge. This time he did not lose, retaining his ring after another eight rounds in a 5-3 match. His continuing reign as holder of the First promised to be strife-ridden however, as challenges were issued almost immediately from Warlords Seamus MacDonnaugh and Var Medici-Giovanni.
Var was never to have his chance. The battle with Seamus MacDonnaugh was just as hard-fought as the Baron's first challenge. However, this time the warlord led throughout the entire match, winning 5 - 2 in nine rounds, to emerge victorious and become the ninth bearer of the First ring.
Not long after receiving the ring the Baron received his first challenge, from Warlord and former Baron, Cletus Ganderfald. Zafiroo dominated the first half of the challenge, gaining a wide lead before Cletus fought his way within a half-point of the Baron. That was to be the extent of his rise, however. A simple circ parry defeated the Warlord's low cut, and the Warlord himself, with a 5 - 4 score in twelve rounds.
In the second half of the cycle Baron Zafiroo received his next challenge, from Warlord Steven Lynn Glowacki, former Baron of the Third. Although the Warlord was not as often about as he had once been, his skill was unquestionably undiminished. But the Baron had not battled to the top of the Warlord Tourney without some skill of his own. The score remained even for most of the seven rounds the two fought, and only at the end did Zafiroo pull ahead to defend his title with a 5 - 4 victory.
Third to come against the Baron was former Overlord and longtime warlord Daegarth Mithmellon. Though the Baron did not appear on the original night for which the challenge was set, the warlord did not call him into forfeit. Instead, displaying much generosity, the warlord requested an extension to the challenge time limits so the Baron might explain himself and reschedule. Thankful and apologetic, Zafiroo did so quickly, and the two finally came to a crossing of blades.
The duel itself was nearly as long as the effort to arrange it. A full, and painful, seventeen rounds passed before the Baron managed to deflect the Warlord's attack a final time, taking the victory 6.5 - 5.5.
Warlord Drey D'erest Sanchez Starke was the fourth to raise his blade against the Baron. The warlord chose to be creative with his challenge, telling in his peer wins how he "abolished", "demolished", and otherwise defeated his opponents to earn the right to challenge. When the match itself took place, Baron and Warlord proved to be so nearly matched in style that in eleven rounds only two points were scored. Those two points belonged to Zafiroo, and it was a lead that Drey was never able to overcome. After eighteen long rounds, it was the Warlord who was "demolished," and Zafiroo remained Baron with a 5 - 2.5 victory.
When Warlord Deluthan Ev'rt pressed challenge for the First Ring, it was not the Baron, but Overlord Avery Shiv Blade who stepped into the ring against him. Renegade of the Second, Cletus Ganderfald, immediately stepped forward in defense of the Warlord. It was rare to see the Overlord outmatched, but in this case he was. His intercession was defeated by 5 - 1 in nine rounds. Zafiroo and Deluthan then entered the ring to fight the stalled challenge. This match ran for the same nine rounds, with only one point difference in the scores. The 5 - 2 final made Deluthan the fourteenth Bearer of the First Ring.
(9/20/00 - 7/28/02)
A bored Jesse Troyan did his part to help alleviate the scarcity of challenges that was becoming a plague to the Duels of Swords, by issuing one to Daelin. Although, the match was arranged and met quickly, the challenge itself lasted for thirteen bloody rounds. Jesse's early lead proved not enough as Daelin scored to tie it quickly, then scored to take the lead and never look back. When the smoke had cleared Daelin stood a little bit taller, and Jesse was sent away to lick his wounds by a final of 5-3.
Daelin's next challenge came soon after his defense against Jesse. This time it was from a man known as Kaene the Black. In the Warlord's challenge letter, he asked for a renegade Baron to be present to intercede on his behalf against the Overlord intercession he was sure was going to come. On the night the two met however, Overlord Cletus Ganderfald was nothing more than Daelin's second and a spectator. Daelin opted for the best of three and made short work of the challenging Warlord. Daelin needed only two 5 - 3 wins, in ten and nine rounds, to defend his title once more.
For nearly the next year, Daelin remained unchallenged and watched as five new Overlord ascended to the throne. Ironically enough, when Daelin was challenged for the third and final time, Cletus Ganderfald was Overlord once more. The challenge came from many time Baron, G'nort Dragoon Talanador, and was issued for the simple reason that Daelin had not been challenged in quite some time. This challenged lacked the seriousness and pressure that most challenges held because the two were friends. Throughout the letter of challenge, the acceptance of challenge, and the actual duel itself, the two poked fun at each other and kept the challenge lighthearted and entertaining. The challenge itself belonged entirely to G'nort. Needing only two duels, G'nort defeated Daelin 5-4 in twelve rounds, and 5.5-3.5 in fifteen rounds to once more hold the rank of Baron. Following the match, Daelin retired indefinitely from the duels to attend to matters in his homeland.
G'nort Esplanade G'neesmacher Dragoon Talanador
(7/28/02 - 5/19/04)
G'nort's first challenge was set to come from Warlord Jehanne Sana, however she withdrew the challenge shortly after a date had been set.
The first challenge to G'nort that was fought came from former Overlord Cletus Ganderfald. G'nort chose a one duel format for the event that proved taxing to both men. In a very close match where leads were exchanged multiple times, G'nort defended the first with a 5.5-4.5 victory in thirteen rounds.
G'nort's second challenge came from Warlord Grayson MacLeod. Once more, G'nort's challenge was a long and gruleing single match. In a long sixteen round duel, G'nort once more defended the First with a 8-6.5 victory.
G'nort's next move came as a challenge to Overlord Max Quinlan Blue.
However, he was unable to defeat the Overlord.
It is said that the third time is a charm, however that was not the case with G'nort's third defense of the ring. But, it was the case with Cletus Ganderfald's third challenge for the First ring. As in their previous challenge for the First, this was also a single match that lasted thirteen rounds. With a 5-3.5 victory by the challenger, G'nort's reign came to an end a mere two months before his two-year anniversary.
(5/19/04 - Present)
On one random night in the Arena, when Kaja Adair requested a duel from Cletus Ganderfald, he accepted with the request that when Kaja had amassed the appropriate number of peer wins, that she would challenge him. Kaja agreed, and a few weeks later she kept true to her word. In a very amicable challenge, Cletus showed his experience in the challenge ring by dispatching of Kaja, 5-3 in nine rounds. Immediately after the match, Cletus was already seeking his next challenger.
And that next challenger was not far off. After placing second in the summer cycle's Warlord Tournament of 2004, Sarah "Stick" Allian was granted a free challenge to a Baron of her choosing. This prize was offered to the second place winner since there were no Baron's rings available for the Tournament. After looking over the latest standings posted, Stick noticed that Cletus had previously defeated the woman she claimed to be her hero, Kaja Adair. Stick claimed she could not let that stain on Kaja's honor go unpunished. And under those pretences, Stick and Cletus met in the ring. The entire match was close and quick, with the only two-point lead coming at the very end. After seven rounds, Cletus fended off Stick's hard assault with a 5-3 victory. Following the match, Stick's body was severely pummeled by an unseen force that later was rumored to have been in control of her body throughout the challenge and Warlord tournament. Harris D'Artanian may be able to take the credit for the exorcism, as he was performing a strange Indian dance outside the ring during the match.
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