PI Web Edition -- Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This is the web edition for the Pennsic Independent for August 17, 2005

Donalbane's Battlefield Numbers

Middle - 10

East - 1

Midrealm reverses history, Rules the Woods

By DonalBane of Blakmers

Battlefield Correspondent, Pennsic Independent

After nine War Points: Midrealm Dragons 9, East Tygers 0

A Pennsic original played out under cloudy skies and temperate temperatures Tuesday as the Woods Battle was fought. Through the years, the East has dominated this fight and HRM Kelson and Co. lined up at the southern entrance. Looking to press their advantage after an excellent first day, the Midrealm and its allies lined up at the northern entrance.

At the sound of the cannon, the fighters charged into the fight with vigor. Reports of the front lines indicated that the East initially took two banners, but the Midrealm's superior forces were eventually able to claim all three banners in the first 30 minutes of the fight.

At the hour mark, fighters reported the East had claimed the central banner and, despite being outnumbered, was making pushes on all fronts. Warriors described the fight as "intense," "a meat grinder" and "hard, but fair."

With consorts urging them on, gentles charged up the hills until the moment the cannon sounded. The first banner to emerge from the woods was the East's banner, which was seized by an international coalition of fighters led by Duke Christopher of AEthelmearc. The Midrealm and central banners soon followed in the hands of the HRM Alaric and HRH Edmund of the Midrealm. According to HRH Edmund, fighters from Atlantia and the Midrealm King's Guard seized the Midrealm's banner, while Count Valharic of Atlantia said the Barony of the Debatable Lands led the charge for the central banner.

Assembling his troops with all three banners on a pickup dragon, HRM Alaric and his allies addressed the masses.

"This comes from everyone of you who sucked it up and got back out there until the end. Your royal majesty Malcolm of AEthelmearc, these banners are yours."

"This a singular moment in Midrealm history," HRM Alaric said. "Today is a great day. Having all three of these banners, I can finally say 'I saw a banner in the woods.'"

HRM Alaric, like many others, gave the East credit for putting up a superb fight.

"Meet your adversaries from the East with honor," HRM Alaric instructed his troops. "Their might gave us a tremendous fight this day."

Heroic Champions Battle

Two more War Points were up for grabs in the Heroic Champions Battle, a series of 20 individual bouts between some of the best fighters of the Midrealm, East, and their respective allies. The fights were honorable and fierce, but in the end, the Dragon and her allies won 13 bouts to the East's 7, claiming their second heavy fighting win of the day.

Passage of the Three Seas

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the kingdom's founding, the Kingdom of Trimaris hosted the Passage of the Three Seas at its battlefield pavilion. The Passage has been going on since Saturday, HRH Judith of Trimaris said. HRM Baldar and HRH Gaston both sought to fight 1,500 combats against warriors throughout the Known World in celebration. Trimaris knights also manned a third list in the pavilion at various times during the Passage. Fighters were given the opportunity to face the Trimarans in five or 10-fight batches with one weapons form per day.

HRM Baldar said the Passage had been a success from his perspective.

"I got to fight warriors from every Kingdom in the Known World," HRM Baldar said, noting he was about 100 fights short of his goal by midday on Monday. "Fighters from as far away as Lochac, Drachenwald and some from An Tir have come. We've had a very good turnout this week."

HRM Baldar can claim to be piece of Trimaris history himself, having served as king in the first, 10th, and 20th years of Trimaris' existence.

Ladies of the Rose Tournament

By DonalBane of Blakmers and Master Liam St. Liam

A great multitude of gentles, including virtually all of the reigning Queens of the Known World, turned out Monday for the Ladies of the Rose Tournament. A total of 57 unbelted heavy fighters took part in the tournament, fighting for the favor of individual queens, princesses, duchesses or countesses. Many great bouts were fought and Lord Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus of the East emerged as the winner. He was sponsored by Duchess Katherine Stanhope.

Lord Edward defeated Lord Aaron Rebellinus of Atlantia in a long and chivalrous final. Lord Aaron was sponsored by Duchess Luned of Snowden.

The other semifinalists were Lord Kilian von Fendrich of the Middle, who was sponsored by Countessa Tamara di Firenza, and Lord Henry West of Atlantia. He was fighting for Duchess Kynneburh Boithule.

The tournament was organized by Countess Svava Thorgeirrsdottir and Duchessa Isabella of York, both of the East.

Wednesday's Big Battle: The Mountain Pass Battle

It's back to the main battlefield today as the Mountain Pass battle will begin at 11 p.m. This one-hour, unlimited resurrection fight will be contested for three banners around a "mountain" in the center of the battlefield. A War Point will be given to the kingdom, which possesses each banner at the end of one hour. This battle allows for combat archery and siege weapons throughout.

What to watch for: Stray ballista bolts!! Seriously, combat archery and siege weapons will be used and arrows don't care who they hit once launched. As such, the marshals will likely ask the watching populace to stay a good distance behind the hay bales. On the field, unlimited resurrection battles tend to lead to sporadic fights, but when they get going, they are a sight to behold.

Pennsic Historically Part 5: A Renaissance of Pennsic Proportions

By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique

Being at Pennsic is a lot like living through the whole chronology of the Middle Ages, condensed into a week's time. We migrate and settle during the "Dark Ages" of land grab, then we establish boundaries and open channels of trade, and by Wednesday we are ready to begin what might be referred to as "the Pennsic Renaissance."

During the 14th and 15th centuries, European culture experienced a period of reinvigoration as Flemish traders, funded by Italian bankers, hired Spanish navigators to satisfy the commercial tastes of French aristocrats. Adding to this was a rediscovery of the art and culture of the Classical world, which sparked a new trend in aesthetic sensibilities as crowned heads throughout Europe cheerfully celebrated advances in architecture, music, fashion and cuisine through obscene displays of wealth, prestige and authority.

At Pennsic, the Renaissance comes not in a rediscovery of lost knowledge and artistry, but in the realization of just how many talented people there are in the SCA. This phase of the war develops slowly over the course of several days, beginning with the A&S display on Monday. With so many talented artisans showing the results of their work and research, those of us mortals who thought we had a handle on this whole re-creation thing suddenly begin to feel like chimpanzees throwing mud at a ceiling and calling it the Sistine Chapel. The armor, garb and accessories that we thought were acceptable just a few days ago now seem plain and amateurish; we all begin to scheme and plan on ways to upgrade our SCA equipment.

Luckily we can begin that process immediately by flocking to the numerous arts and sciences classes that are offered during the course of the war, and which seem to be filling up rapidly by the middle of the week. At last year's Pennsic, although my main goal in coming to the war was basically to have the chance to hit all of my friends in the head with a stick, by Wednesday I was voluntarily bypassing battles and tournaments in order to take classes on 14th century head wear, turn shoe making, Shakespearian acting and the history of Bogomilist dogma in the development of Western spiritual thought. Soon I was wondering how I'd survived so long in the SCA wearing nothing but T-tunics and hiking boots, and I vowed that when I returned back home I'd refurbish my entire harness to a museum-quality replica of knightly splendor.

Of course, as always, I've fallen a bit short of that goal in the ensuing year (please don't look too closely at the shoes I'm wearing - I discovered that the reason they call them 'turn' shoes is that making them 'turns' out to be a lot harder than it looks). But still, sometimes the inspiration is just as important as the execution. All it takes is a new idea, a bit of enthusiasm and a colorful imagination to begin a Renaissance, and all of those things are in plentiful supply at Pennsic.

Experience what little culture Guillaume claims he has absorbed in his new book, "Here Comes the Reign, Sir Guillaume!" which features 25 of his best and funniest stories of life in the SCA, sold at Ceridwen's Closet, space #74 in merchants row. You can also marvel at Guillaume's lack of culture by making a visit to his website at www.SirGuillaume.com.

Quick, ugly and over: Midrealm takes Rapier Broken Field Battle

By Peregrine Fairchylde

Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent

That didn't take long.

With the East Kingdom and allies outnumbered three, four, even six to one - depending upon whose estimates you accepted - the outcome of the Rapier Broken Field Battle was virtually preordained, and the Middle Kingdom's army and allies easily took the first two battles and the war point on Tuesday.

While the best two of three scenario was scheduled to take 20 minutes per battle, neither of the two scenarios lasted 10 minutes as the Midrealm's forces were able to quickly surround and then crush the Eastern army.

In the first battle, the East decided to attempt to defend only a small corner of the field, and managed to hold their lines initially as the Middle army faced them four deep along both fronts, more in places. A hold barely a minute into the fight only delayed matters shortly, and once the battle resumed the Eastern side began to suffer attrition at an alarming rate. Pressed by Northshield on their eastern line and Atlantia on their northern flank, the defenders were soon overwhelmed and the Middle took the battle.

The Eastern commanders tried to at least delay the inevitable in the second battle, sending small groups racing out to draw off or possibly flank the advancing Midrealmers. But again, there was little doubt of the end result.

"It was more fun, even if we didn't live longer," said a grinning Baron Fergus MacRae of the East, who led one of the small squadrons. "If you know you're going to die, go out fast, get killed fast, get out of your mask and get some water."

A third battle was fought with some units from the Midrealm crossing over to assist the East, but with similar results. However, the finale of that clash was a dramatic pair of duels between Don Robert McPharland of Ansteorra, fighting for the East Kingdom, and first King Malcolm of AEthelmearc then Duke Palymar.

With dozens of surviving Midrealm fighters surrounding them on the field, and dozens of deceased Easterners on the sidelines, Don Robert and King Malcolm faced off with single swords. After a series of quick lunges between the two combatants, Don Robert took His Majesty's sword arm. King Malcolm then fought left-handed and held off the white scarf for a time, but soon Don Robert had taken His Majesty's remaining arm, and King Malcolm conceded. Don Robert won a rousing round of applause from the onlookers for his skill.

Duke Palymar then stepped forward, also fighting single-sword, and the two faced off quickly amidst the eager armies. Their skills proved evenly matched that day as, mere moments into the duel, each struck a killing blow upon the other and they fell to the ground amidst loud cheers.

After the conclusion of the battle, King Malcolm addressed the Eastern forces on their sideline.

"Many are the days I have taken the field when a landslide was about to fall on me," he declared to the kneeling fighters. "I salute every man and woman who did so today. You brought courage, you brought honor, you brought guts. I thank you all!"

His praise was seconded by Her Majesty Noelle, Queen of the Midrealm, who saluted the Eastern army for their efforts.

Master Alexander d'Avigne of Ostgardr, who had directed the Eastern efforts, also had praise for his troops after the fighting was done.

"We stood against an army that dwarfed us," he told them. You did well, you fought well, but sometimes the bear eats you!"