If you recall the list of the kings and queens of Meridies that was published at the time of the kingdom’s fifteenth anniversary, you know that John the Bearkiller has been King of our Realm more than anyone else: no less than five times. John the Bearkiller has also won our Crown Tournament more than anyone else: six times. The story of how this came about is the story of the Prince for a Day Tourney.
During the reign of Sir Phelan Cathaoir-mor, Crown List was held at its appointed time, hosted by the Barony of Iron Mountain at Camp Tickawitha. The field of hopefuls contained the usual mix of knights and experienced non-belts, and at the end of the day John the Bearkiller had bested all the competition and was declared Crown Prince.
There was much rejoicing by the populace, especially those from Grey Niche, and everyone departed the event content in the knowledge that the kingdom was now secure. Alas, this happy state of affairs was not to continue.
About a month after the Crown List, His Majesty Phelan received a farspeaker call from Prince John. His Highness explained that because of unforeseen mundane complications, he would not be able to fulfill his duties and ascend to the thrown of Meridies that spring. Sir Phelan was much sorrowed to hear this but sympathized with Duke John's plight and released him from his obligations. This precipitated a crisis in the Kingdom, for now there were no heirs to the throne.
At this point, most gentles would have said that the logical thing to do would be to name the runner-up of the crown tourney as the new crown prince. Sir Phelan, however, saw potential problems with this solution. The runner-up in the Crown List was Lord Bertrand L'Ours du Rivage and Bertrand was esquired to His Majesty Phelan.
Sir Phelan had the political savvy to know that if he proclaimed Bertrand his heir, the small minds of the kingdom would say that Phelan had pressured John into abdicating so that his squire could succeed him. This would not only make Sir Phelan look bad, it would also hang like a cloud over Bertrand's reign. In light of these considerations, Sir Phelan came up with a different solution.
His Majesty proclaimed that on the scheduled date of Spring Coronation, another Crown Tournament would be held with participation limited to those who had fought in the original Crown List. When the winner was determined, he would be cleaned up and his coronation would take place immediately.
The second Crown Tournament, which became known as the Prince for a Day tourney, was also held at camp Tickawitha. This time when the dust had settled, John the Mad Celt emerged victorious. John was declared Crown Prince, Sir Phelan's last court was immediately held, His Majesty stepped down and Prince John's coronation commenced. So did John of Ean Airgead called the Mad Celt become the 12th King of Meridies.