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From The Quarter Staff - We persuaded Ser Severin, known as "The knight with a pen", to create this betting guide. Did you know that this is how this rag of a publication got started, back in Martinmas xxxiii? Thanks to TRM Gaston and Judith for getting him the list of participants. Once again, we remind you that this is for entertainment purposes only.

Ser Severin and the Sinister Gambling Emporium Presents:

The Handicapper's Guide to The Fall
Crown Tournament AS XXXVI*

* For Entertainment purposes only!

The Best of the Field

I. Duke Llywelyn ap Cadwaladr ap Dafydd ap Hewyl Odds: 3 to 1

Leave it to this sneaky Pelican to stir things up. It's bad enough he uses that gray hair to make you think this old man's done, then he slaps on some maille and whips ass for about 5 hours. He's younger than you think, and faster than you know. And for God's sake, how is anyone still that enthusiastic about fighting after 18 years? Look for him to take his third Crown.

II. HL Yoan Moon Yang for Baroness Eorann Odds: 5 to 1

Fighting Yoan is like chasing the Cheshire Cat; he leaves you swinging at air, with just his smile hanging in front of you. With the class act he showed at Gulf Wars, and his knighting coming up, Chow Yun-Thin will make the perfect King's Champion. And his Kung-Fu IS more powerful than yours.

III. Syr Roland de Carre Odds: 6 to 1

Anyone who doesn't love this story is made out of stone (or just got his with his ass-wrap). Here's a guy who starts fighting at what, 36 or 37? Gets knighted at 40-something and is just starting to pick up speed. How the hell can a guy retired around here with this joker roundabouts? He's my sentimental pick for the win, but my handicapper's pick for Queen's Champion. Word has it he's also the favorite for the next Baron of Wyvernwoode.

IV. Sir Odo FitzHugh Odds: 7 to 1

I'm not saying Odo's big and ugly, but... Really, I'm not saying it, because he likes to hit. Hard. And often. He could throw a monkey wrench in anyone's celebration plans. No really, he threw a wrench at Kaine, and .... Never mind. How come I always feel like Don Rickles talking about Sinatra when it comes to this guy? Look for El Gigante in the semis. (Just kidding, Frank)

V. Jarl Syr Stromek Bo Comotan Odds: 10 to 1

If anyone can play Monster Zero to Odo's Godzilla, it's Stromek. This guy's like Spyder with 100 more pounds and a bent sense of humor. He's been there before, and liked it. I think married life has mellowed him a little - look for him in the quarters.

VI. Earl Brendan macAengus Odds: 12 to 1

The second Marine in our list (trivia question - name the other), Brendan's been there before, but now his armour is prettier. Is raising Goldstar from the dead a distraction? Watch and find out. I'd pick him higher, but I was Aine's champion so I'm biased towards his first reign. You'll see this designated hitter in the quarterfinals.

Ow ow ow ow ow! VII. HL Martin von Lochner Odds: 15 to 1

Martin has been taking notes; don't think I haven't noticed. He's getting the book on many of the good fighters, so he could surprise. Personally, I hope he doesn't, because he's a great seneschal, and while a good King is nice, a great seneschal is unbelievable. Definitely a free agent signing that paid off.

VIII. Earl Gunnar Oxnamegin Odds: 18 to 1

Have Trimarian pitchers learned to hit the axe-wielding knuckleball Gunnar throws? We'll see on Saturday if he learned a new pitch, or if he needed one.

The Challengers

IX. Sir Kurn O'Farrell &
X. HL Cryn of Dunhaven
(tie) Odds: 20 to 1

How the hell did these guys get down here? See, this list is deeper than you thought! We don't need Baldar or Bytor to have a great Crown. These are two of the real nice guys of Trimaris. Kurn and Cryn aren't cleanup hitters, but these cats can move. I got exhausted one day thinking about chasing Cryn around the field. A wider mean streak would notch these guys up a few, but that would disappoint the ladies.

XI. Sir Lansemal von Weisenkrieg Odds: 23 to 1

It's been a while since Lansemal has been in Crown, someplace he has shined in the past. It's time to find out if reproducing has taken the fight out of him. Hope here is, if he does win, he'll wear a shirt to court.

A big pick for a big nose XII. HL Drell McIan Blackwood Odds: 28 to 1

Has Drell spent the required time with Yoda, or did he leave to save his friends? Tune in to the next episode of Crown to see if this chapter concludes, or if there is another sequel.

XIII. HL Cedric of Dorchester Odds: 30 to 1

The next generation of Big Boys is starting to make the roster. Cedric has shown he can whip a ragtag group of mutts into a coherent fighting machine; can he make it 'Mano A Mano'?

XIV. HL Genevieve de Mullet Trois Odds: 35 to 1

I had to put Genevieve here just on the basis that she whacked Cedric, her husband, very nicely in the last Crown list. And what husband wouldn't want to be reminded of that? In print? (You're welcome, Cedric.)

XV. Lord Zhedai Negai Odds: 35 to 1

Iron Chef Mongolia will turn his skillful grilling hands to fighting. You've got to love a guy with 'The Thing' tattooed on his leg. Well, YOU don't have to, but I think it's cool.

XVI. Lord Estevon de la Vega Odds: 35 to 1

Could it be, after all this time, fighting in Crown, and with a new name and everything? Don't think we're fooled by the Iberian moniker - we know who you are. Hey, weren't you Zorro? No, I guess not.

XVII. Lord Ethaniel von Weald Odds: 40 to 1

It looks like Ethaniel is trying to use some Trimarian 'Wa' by fighting for one of the great Trimarian Viscountesses, Elitha. He gets a Vivat from me just for that. Now stop smoking that clove crap and pay attention to the fight, you knucklehead.

XVIII. Countess Honoree von Der Au Odds: 40 to 1

If one could win Crown through sheer determination, Honoree would be a Duchess by her own hand. Watching her fight is like watching the movie "Rudy", but sometimes wanting it more isn't enough. She'll have to settle for being a Duchess by Llywelyn's hand. Not a bad consolation prize.

The Rest of the Field

XIX. Earl Thomas the Incomplete Odds: Incomplete

Incomplete is the perfect name because that is the line I have on this Western import. Not enough information yet to handicap.

XX. Lord Golomt Baavgai Odds: 150 to 1

XXI. Lord Stephen Godwin fitz Baldric Odds: 150 to 1

XXII. Wulfgang Kruner Odds: 150 to 1

XXIII. Lord Toghon Turmer Odds: 150 to 1

XXIV. Titus Quentus Britannicus Odds: 150 to 1

XXV. Lord Frederich Von Teufen Odds: 200 to 1

XXVI. Lady Johanna Angelika Milschak Odds: 200 to 1

The Quarter - What a bunch of crazy kids!