Greeting good gentles of the Known World. The Pennsic War will soon be upon us, and while we are ‘playing war’ with our friends, many others are fighting one for their lives. Every blood donation is a chance to save a life, so please remember there will be a Red Cross blood drive at Pennsic War 36.
The 5th annual blood drive will take place on Friday, August 3rd and Monday, August 6th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Zion Baptist Church, 148 Curry Road, Slippery Rock, PA.
The church is within walking distance from the Pennsic grounds, but the Red Cross will run a shuttle van (leaving from the south end of the battlefield), or you can take the Pennsic bus (the church will be added to the route on the 3rd and 6th). We encourage you to ride the van or bus, so that you arrive with normal pulse and blood pressure, and are not turned away from donating!
If you would like to pre-register to donate, volunteer, or would just like more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once War has started, you can still sign up at Chirurgeon’s Point.
This year you can also pre-register to donate on-line! Go to www.givelife.org, and search for blood drives in zipcode 16057. Select August 3rd or 6th, and choose your appointment time.
Together, we can make a difference. So, "Be a Hero, Save a Life at Pennsic War".
In Service and Thanks, Baroness Angelique d'Herisson
Middle Kingdom - SCA
Master Sir Gareth Sommerset from Caid, Duke Guillaume de la Belgique of Caid, and Graf Hans von Wolfholz remind the Pennsic Populace to volunteer some of their time to help Pennsic be a fun place for all of us. The Dishy Dynamic Trio helped out today by directing folks toward the parking lots from The Great Middle Highway. Being a chivalrous lot, they wish to remind all to park their cars as soon as they are unloaded. They would also hate to see their fellow gentles have to pay the additional expenses and go through the hassle of retrieving their autos from an off-site impound lot. In addition, removing your car from the grounds helps the Pennsic War experience by improving the scenery, as do knights like these.
for the Pennsic Independent
The Pennsic A&S Exhibition celebrated its 10th annual show Monday with brilliant displays of craftsmanship and intricate artwork in a wide variety of media.
The exhibition, held in the dance barn, is a chance for artisans and craftspeople to show and talk about the creativity they expend year around to the gentle people of the Known World.
All artists provide written documentation of their pieces and many are on hand brimming with enthusiasm to share their passion with those in attendance.
This year’s display included Pearce Redsmythe of Æthelmearc, who fashions intricately cut metalwork including Baronial coronets, metal trim for armor and various pins. Redsymthe uses a goldsmith saw, (mundanely a jeweler’s saw) in a slow, but precise method to make the tiniest of cuts and curves in thin metal plates. First, he makes a pattern and presses a tiny hole into each cut-out piece and then uses the saw to slowly cut out the piece within the pattern. The process is slow but the results are rewarding.
Redsmythe began his hobby in college with a metalsmithing class 15 years ago. The bulk of his smithy work has been for the SCA and he has made crowns for barons and viscounts in his home kingdom of Atenveldt and his current kingdom of Æthelmearc. Last year he won the Ice Dragon Grand Pentathalon in Æthelmearc, qualifying one item in five different categories.
THL Jocelyn of Lutterworth of the Middle Kingdom displayed a work in progress, a six-foot scroll that is the beginning of a hymn for Easter Mass used in the 11th century Church in southern Italy. The scroll has the words of the song in one direction with pictures portraying the hymn in the other direction. Jocelyn is still seeking the reason the pictures and words are facing directions.
Jocelyn authenticated the scroll by gaining access to normally closed parts of the University of Chicago library where pictures of some of the originals are found. Monks made the scrolls while deacons or bishops would read them in the cathedrals. The scrolls were made in the 11th Century and as late as the 12th Century. She made many of the inks, such as indigo, that were used in the pictures through period methods, substituting modern inks for those that would be unavailable or poisonous. She completed the scrolls with fasteners similar to what she saw in the pictures. The scrolls of the period generally were 30 feet in length and Jocelyn hopes to have her scroll completed to that length by next year’s Pennsic.
Lady Clara Beaumont of the East Kingdom applied her interpretation skills to poems found in a dance manual published in 1581. The dance manual, Il Ballerino, was written by Fabritio Carosa.
Each poem in the book was dedicated to a lady, and started with addressing the lady in question and describing her beauty. The poems then went on to describe the dance dedicated to that lady. Lady Clara said some of the dances were created for the particular lady in question.
Lady Clara interpreted three poems first from the old Italian into basic English, then crafted the awkward English into poetry. She has interpreted dance manuals and cookbooks before, but this was her first work with poetry.
For Baron Bardulf Rauen of Atlantia the SCAdians are the art. He displayed nearly 550 photograph portraits of SCA members dressed in exquisite garb and clearly in persona as they bear arms or other tools of their various trades.
“The art is in the people,” he said.
Baron Rauen took the photographs mostly at SCA events in the southern part of the Atlantia kingdom. He said he gave up heavy fighting for something less painful.
“Photography has always been a hobby,” he said, smiling, “I got tired of having the crap beat out of me.” The people seem to appreciate his choice, with some of his past models approaching the albums to find their portraits while others simply paged through the albums glimpsing the faces of SCA.
By Julie for the Pennsic Independent
Baron Garwig the boatbinder and his friends spend hours building a Viking ship with intricate detail only to burn it upon the waters of Cooper’s Lake at each Pennsic.
The burning of the Viking fighting boat is “a celebration of lives shared and lost,” Baron Garwig said. The event is “a tribute of respect and honor, and it involves a certain amount of sacrifice,” he said.
Baron Garwig of the Kingdom of Ealdormere puts the boat together plank by plank, gluing one into place and waiting days for it dry before another piece can be added. In all, he spends about 60 to 80 hours building the boat. Sometimes he gets a little help as he did last year when he fell behind on the building. Lady Unnr came to his aid and built the boat, and Baron Garwig put on the finishing touches. Master Charles, a carver, creates an intricate figurehead for the boat each year.
People ask Baron Garwig why he would burn something that has taken so much effort, and that, he says, is the meaning of the sacrifice, putting in your best effort and sending them off to burn.
The boat launched Thursday evening just after a major rainstorm and included tributes to about a dozen loved ones. Usually the launch is on Saturday with some 80 tributes aboard, and this year’s earlier date may have caught some people off guard, Baron Garwig said. The tributes are shields painted with the arms of a loved one who has passed. Sometimes there other mementos such as a picture or, in the case of a beloved pet, a part of a collar.
Thirteen candles are placed on the boat in cups of wax, with more wax shavings placed along the boat’s bottom. In a brief ceremony usually attended by some 80 people, he reminds them that this is meant “not to mourn, but to honor; not in grief, but in loving memory.”
He said the event is very emotional for those involved, that it is a giving up or release. It is “finally saying good-bye in a meaningful way,” he said.
The boat is anchored by a fishing line and pulled out into the lake where it burns. The hull of the boat below the water does not burn, and it is brought back to shore and burned in a camp fire. The boat must be completely destroyed according to the tradition, Baron Garwig said.
Baron Garwig usually makes a 4 1/2 foot boat, but created a 6-foot craft this year. This year’s dampness caused some problems. The group needed to retrieve and re-light the boat a second time and add wiring to bind some of the planks since the glue began to lose hold.
The event began about six years ago when reigning King Thorbjorn Osis and a woman, Lady Lauren, were killed in a car accident in the spring. Pennsic that year was very subdued for Ealdomere. At that time, Baron Garwig got the idea and built a crude boat in six days.
“The burning of the boat was such an emotional catharsis,” he said. Kingdom members who had attended both funerals were still moved by the event. They were so touched, they told Baron Garwig that he could not stop, and so the tradition began.
Because the Pennsic event is based on the Viking tradition of burning a deceased’s fighting boat, or drakkar, Baron Garwig’s creation is a shallow draft boat only about four inches deep. This Viking design allowed the marauders to move swiftly over the sea, land in shallow water and jump right out to charge in before the local militia could organize, he said.
To the Viking, the boat was “greater than home,” Baron Garwig said. In fact, when wintering in foreign lands, Vikings would build walls and use the boat as a roof.
Boat burnings were reserved for great chieftans, the actual owners of the boats. They sometimes were done with the boat being docked on land and being burned with the body on board. At other times, the boat was pushed out onto the water and burned with the body aboard. Vikings also were buried in their boats. Poorer Vikings would have boats built out of stones on their grave sites.
Anyone who would like to remember a loved one or even a pet may do so by contacting Baron Garwig next year at Pennsic. Those who wish to do so should paint a shield at least two days before the launch, giving it time to dry. The blank shields are free, but a $2 donation to Chirurgeons is suggested.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
After two War Points: Midrealm Dragons 1, East Tygers 1
While the archery and rapier champions took center stage on Monday in terms of War points, the armies of the East and Midrealm assembled for the first time to participate the castle battle. However, this time the Tyger and the Dragon forces combined in friendship to take on their allies.
The rules of the battle gave the attackers one hour to overrun the defenders inside the Pennsic fort. The Allied armies were given two resurrections when they attacked, while the East-Middle coalition was given three resurrections. Defenders inside the castle were given no resurrections. In case the fort was overrun, the army that held the fort the longest would be victorious.
The East-Middle coalition defended the fort first. The coalition had the Oaken, Constellation, and Meduseld armies on the east gate, Darkyard, Pentamere and the Southern army on the central gate and the Ulsterblichen and Northern Army on the west gate. At the sound of the cannon, Black Talon and the Tuchux led the first charge over the causeway and into the heart of the coalition’s defenses. For the better part of a half-hour, the defense on all their gates stood firm, despite repeated pulses through central gate by numerous forces. On the west gate, the Atlantian army was able to get through the breach, but there they were checked by the East Kingdom’s defenses.
It was the east gate that fell, despite a dogged resistance from the Midrealm forces holding it. A small force of Calontiri warriors first punched through and made it to the central gate before being dispatched.
With the gate breached, however, the Allies poured everything into the final push. Forces from Black Talon and Æthelmearc swept across the heart of the castle, while Ironlance rushed the remaining defenders on the central gate. The end came when a rising tide of Allies reached the west gate and decimated the final defenders. The cannon sounded at 36:06.
Needing to hold out at least as long to claim victory, the Allies settled in for their turn at defending. Calontir and Ealdormere were sent to the east gate, while Æthelmearc, Black Talon and the Tuchux held the center gate. Atlantia held the outside of the west gate, backed up by warriors from Trimaris and House Clovenshield.
However, TRMs Dag and Gryffith chose a different strategy to attack the fort: they chose to combine their units. The strategy worked. Atlantia had its hands full dealing with a combined assault led by Houses Darkmoon and Serpentia, while the center gate’s forces bowed heavily under the weight of the initial charge.
It was the east gate again which was breached. A combined thrust from the Oaken Army and Ulsterblichen punched a hole in the defenses before a hold was called. After several Midrealm knights symbolically carried off HRM Dag after he was slain near the central gate, a tidal wave of East and Middle fighters flowed through the east gate and swept across the battlefield. The cannon sounded at the 15:30 mark, giving the East-Middle coalition a solid victory.
Both Their Majesties expressed contentment at both the tone of the battle and its outcome.
“It was very heroic on both sides, our Allies and our noble cousins of the Midrealm,” HRM Gryffith said. “We look forward to meeting them again on the field the week.”
“Fighting along with our brothers in the East was meant to increase the friendship between our armies,” HRM Dag said. “I’m completely satisfied with the battle.”
Tuesday’s Big Battle: The Great Wall Battle
Unfortunately, the newfound alliance between in the East and Middle will not last, as the two Great Armies will face each other for the first time in the Great Wall battle. Victory in this 60-minute, unlimited resurrection battle will go to the side which maintain control of three “towers” inside the wall.
What to watch for: Spear duels and counter-charges. On paper, this battle looks to have many elements of the old bridge battles, save the resurrections. And our fencing brothers have a chance to play for a War point on the Great Wall after the heavies.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
For the Pennsic Independent
After 17 War points, Midrealm Dragons 11, East Tygers 6
The Grand Armies of the East and Midrealm met for the final time this War Friday as the Tyger and Dragon fought it out in the River Battle. With the final two heavy weapons War Points up for grabs, the Midrealm could secure victory at Pennsic XXXVI with a win.
It took some time for the “river” to be assembled, but it came into form just before the battle took place. This non-resurrection battle was fought to the last man over three bridges running north to south. Fighters could also “ford” the river by crossing on their knees.
The Dragon’s forces deployed themselves on the south side of the river. Calontir, Northshield and Æthelmearc were deployed to take the east bridge, while the bulk of the Midrealm army was assigned to the central bridge. Atlantia was assigned to take the west bridge with the Darkyard legion held in central reserve.
Determined not to concede to the War, the Tyger deployed its force on the north shore. The East’s western allies and the Ulsterblichen were assigned to the east bridge, while the Northern Army was stationed on the central bridge. To the west, forces from Black Talon and the Tuchux were deployed with Ealdormere held in central reserve.
At the sound of the cannon, the forces ran to their respective bridges, but were reluctant to cross as neither side wished to lose their forces unnecessarily. For long stretches, the two armies stared at each other across the bridges without engaging.
It was clear the East wanted to assume a defensive posture as all three of its bridge guards did not move into the bridges. The Midrealm tried everything to entice the Tyger to attack — the Barony of Cynnabar made a false charge and the House Darkmoon performed a Zulu dance on the central bridge — but the Tyger stood firm.
When it became clear the Dragon’s forces would have to press the issue, the Midrealm sent several forces fording across the river to help stretch out the Tyger’s forces. The Ironlance brigade was decimated during one such action, but the fording parties had more success once the major pushes began.
The first such push came from the Atlantians, who stormed the west bridge with Darkyard behind them. Not long after, the Pentamere and Oaken army spearheaded the Midrealm’s assault on the central bridge.
The East’s forces put up a heroic defense, particularly on the central bridge. The Northern Army looked to be at the breaking point several times, only to the throw the Dragon back. When Ealdormerean reinforcements arrived, the East countercharged and looked like they might snatch victory.
However, one last charge for the Atlantians along with help from a Midrealm fording party at the extreme western edge of the battlefield caused a breakout on the east bridge. The Tyger still refused to yield and a long, diagonal skirmish line formed across the battlefield.
The end came when Æthelmearcian fording parties helped put pressure on the west bridge and House Darkmoon circled round from the west and charged up the central bridge, finally blowing the lid on the East’s heroic defense. After squeezing the last Ealdormere defenders to the edge of the battlefield, Midrealm forces swept east, sweeping the final Tyger defenders before them. The East fought to the last man, but the cannon’s roar confirmed a Midrealm victory: Two Dragon War points and victory in the Pennsic War for the Middle Kingdom.
Midrealm forces were celebrating as HRM Dag addressed his troops.
“We have put this one in the bank!” HRM Dag said, to jubilant cheers. “The sun has come out in celebration of our victory. We must also thank those who made our heroics possible this day. Without them, we would be facing an empty field.”
Saturday’s Big Battle: The flight of Dragons through the gates!
As always, HUZZAH, VIVAT, HOOBAH and WASSAIL to the warriors and warrior watchers of the Known World. May you have all the best until Pennsic XXXVII.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
After five War points: East Tygers 3, Midrealm Dragons 2
Under threatening skies on Tuesday, the Grand Armies of the East and Midrealm faced off for the first time this Pennsic as the Tyger and Dragon stormed to the top of the Great Wall.
This new battle was fought over one long wall with three “towers” inside, with each side having two breach points to assault the wall. The battle was scheduled for 60 minutes with unlimited resurrections. Ownership of each tower was signified by a raising a blue or red flag on a post at the center of each tower. Holding onto a tower for the majority of the battle earned one War point.
The East’s forces mustered on the north side of the wall. The Great Northern Army led the charge at the Tyger’s east breach point and was joined by elements from Meridies, Markland and the East’s Western Allies. On the Tyger’s west breach point, the Ulsterblichen and Black Talon led an international coalition, which included forces from Ealdormere, the Southern Army and the Tuchux.
Meanwhile, the Midrealm forces assembled on the south side of the wall. The bulk of the Midrealm army posted itself on the east breach point and was joined by forces from Calontir and Trimaris. The western breach point was entrusted to Æthelmearc and Atlantia.
At the sound of the cannon, a mad dash from both sides began towards the towers. Being closer, the Northern Army was able to get to the east tower quickly, despite a determined attack by Darkyard. Likewise, the Atlantians quickly rushed the west tower and were able to repulse the first attempts on the tower by Black Talon.
The bulk of the fighting happened around the central tower. Fast-moving troops from the Ultsterblichen were able to seize the tower early, but found themselves under heavy assault from House Clovenshield. As both sides rushed in forces, the central tower became a most pit of spears and polearms. A determined countercharge by the Tuchux gave the East’s forces just enough room to claim the tower and organize the defenses.
For the rest of the fight, the lines remained relatively static, with the bulk of the fighting contained on the wall between the east and central towers. The Midrealm forces threw everything they had at both towers, but through they were able to get into the towers, the banners never were changed.
Meanwhile, forces from Æthelmearc and Atlantia took turns manning the front lines in the west tower. They were able to repulse charge after charge from the East’s forces.
The battle was scheduled to go for an hour, but the flow of the fight was slowed by numerous holds. Then, at about noon, the battle was brought to an abrupt halt due to lightning.
After conferring with TRMs Dag and Gryffith, Duke Brannos, marshal-in-charge, declared the battle over, giving the East two war points and the Midrealm one for each tower they held.
The ensuing storm was a full-blooded Pennsic beast, which forced all other heavy fighting activities on Tuesday to be cancelled.
Wednesday’s Big Battle:
The Field Battle
And now, my lords and ladies, its time for the main event. If Mother Nature cooperates, upwards of 1,500 fighters will meet each other in this last-man-standing affair. There will be three fights this year, each worth one War point, with combat archery and siege weapons allowed in the third.
What to watch for: The first charge. I’ve heard many say you can feel the first charge of the Pennsic field battle. It remains one of the greatest spectacles in the Known World.
By Master Liam St. Liam
for the Pennsic Independent
In the end, the Rapier War Point hinged on the final pass of the final bout.
Don Pascual del Mar of the East, moments after losing an arm, flashed inside of Connor Livingstone of Atlantia and killed him with a hit to the neck. giving the East a 16-14 victory in a tournament that was tightly contested for nearly three hours on a hot Monday afternoon.
“I think that shot would have decapitated me if it had been a real swordfight,” said Livingstone, a provost who was fighting as a Midrealm ally.
The East and the Midrealm each had 20 of their own fencers and 10 allies for an afternoon that was highly attended by royalty from across the Known World.
Fighting started with the respective King’s and Queen’s champions pairing up, then continued with the Royals taking turns choosing which contestant to send out first.
Strategy became critical in the later stages of the tournament as the East won eight of the last 11 bouts, including crucial victories over some of the Midrealm’s strongest allies. “We got the best fencers in the Known World,” said Doña Nataliia Evgenova Svatislovina, the East’s warlord, who worked closely with Dona Mercedes de Calafia in advising the king and queen on which fencer to send out.
The second of the three fencing war points will be the Great Wall battle at 1 p.m. today, and the third is the Woods battle at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The tide began to turn for the East when former EK warlord Don Antonio Patriquin survived a rugged battle with Don Robert MacFarland of Ansteorra, one of the Midrealm’s most dangerous allies. Don Antonio took one of Don Robert’s legs, then killed him with a shot to the head.
Lord Andrea Lapervier followed with a victory over Baron Master Quinn Kerr of Æthelmearc, and Lord Nathaniel Wyatt took out another key ally, Master Aedan Aylwyn, an Atlantian provost.
Lord Adam McAoidh and Warder Colin MacNish got two points back for the Middle Kingdom, but the East went on to win the last three bouts to claim the Champions battle for the first time in three years.
Lord Donovan Shinnock from the Barony of Carolingia topped Lord John Marvell of Glenn Abhain, and Don Alexander Lerot d’Avigne, the Viceroy of Østgard, followed, after losing on his first pass and killing Doña Arnaz of Trimaris to give the East a 15-14 lead. In the middle bout, Doña Arnaz took Don Alexandre’s hand, then gave up a point of honor, tossing her cane to the side.
The final bout was worth waiting all afternoon for. In a match of very different styles, Don Pascual, an in-fighter who fights aggressively, took on Connor, whose fighting style is loose, fluid and involves a lot of movement. The pair split the first two passes, and on the third, Connor took Don Pascual’s hand.
After they reset, Don Pascual moved in quickly, killing Connor and giving the victory to the East.
The East had started the tournament with a 2-0 after victories by King’s Champion Don Ian of Tadcaster and Queen’s Champion Doña Lilias de Cheryngton.
Warder Christian Fournier won for the Midrealm, but the East countered with a victory by Don Ivan Ulrickson. Lord William of Leondomere of Caid won for the Middle, and Don Nogel of Castle West and Don Duncan Kieran won for the East before Warder Maximilian de Zauberer gave the Middle a victory.
Other winners were Lord Blayde of the East, who was fighting for the East, Warder Zygmunt Nardvaski of the Middle, Lord Bear of the Middle, Seignior Jean-Paul Justin Casse and Don Orlando Sforza of the East, Don Iago Bentitez of Æthelmearc, fighting for the Middle, Sir Stephen Aldred of Lochac, fighting for the East, Warder Brighid MacCumnal, Signore Lorenzo de Calabria and Warder Ceanntighern Macillchellan of the Middle, Lord Griffith Davion of the East, Lord Ogedei Becinjab of the East, and Lady Amanita Villarosa of the Middle.
Prior to the tournament Warder Martyn Baxter, the Midrealm King’s Champion, received his Bronze Ring, and Don Sebastian Estevan de Xavier received his Order of the Golden Rapier from the royalty of the East.
By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton
For the Pennsic Independent
Nearly two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left many Society members destitute, lives are slowly being rebuilt with the help of friends. Society members have been generous in donating everyday items as well as things such as fabric and raw materials to help rebuild their medieval gear. But as those of us who have been in the Society many years know, some items are not easy to replace. Mistress Tatiana Marana Melville from the Kingdom of Northshield is coordinating a very special project to help meet these unique needs.
Mistress Tatiana saw the devastation wrought by the storms first hand when she and a number of Northshielders traveled to the Barony of Seleone to deliver a truckload of donations of fabric and other items a few months after the hurricanes. Other Northshielders continued the relief efforts at Gulf Wars, and it became clear that many had lost so much that they were having a hard time comprehending what they needed to replace in their regular lives—let alone their SCA lives. “My idea was to ask those who lost so much what one item from their SCA life that they would dearly love to replace,” said Mistress Tatiana. What makes this fundraiser different is that rather than replacing general items, it seeks to fulfill single wishes for unique items. Those who need the help have been nominated by friends or have mentioned their wishes in correspondence with Mistress Tatiana. Groups such as Baronies that have lost items are also eligible.
In speaking with renowned Northshield bard Mistress Wyndreth Berginsdottir, Mistress Tatiana learned that Mistress Wyndreth and a number of friends had put together a CD just after the disaster, but it had never been released. THL Finnr Bjornsson, Lady Aelfraeda of Shattered Oak and Mistress Wyndreth agreed to produce the CD, now entitled “For Those Who Face the Flooding: Benefit for Our Friends,” as a fundraiser for this project. Mistress Tatiana has also been collecting various other donations, offers of service, and funds from a variety of donors.
“The letters that the people have written in have been amazing and hard to describe,” said Mistress Tatiana. “They have had me in tears for what these people went through and lost…they write about it in a matter of fact manner but the feelings of what they felt then and what they feel now are so very clear. It brings warmth to my heart to know that we can help others get something that they could not get for themselves at this point.”
So far six people have been written in to the project. Some requests are for items that can be purchased, such as books; others are for handcrafted items. One request for two Books of Hours has already been fulfilled, and requests for scrolls, a corset and leather arm armour are in progress. Craftspeople who can make lucets and arrows are being sought for two more requests. Mistress Tatiana said that the project will continue as long as the letters keep coming in.
The CD can be found at the Sword Moon booth (#175). “Be prepared to be affected at the title song, “For those who face the Flooding”,” said Mistress Tatiana.” Mistress Wyndreth’s songs have a habit of making me cry and sending shivers down my spine and this song does both.” Craftspeople who would like to donate their services or those who would like to make monetary donations should contact Mistress Tatiana at email@example.com or at 262-513-1271. More information on the project, as well as how to make a nomination, can be found at http://www.tatianas-treasures.com/TT/tree.asp
By Noelle of Pentamere
Wednesday, August 1st found many heavy fighters signing up for the first of the six Historic Combat Series (HCS) tournaments. These tournaments were meant to be different from the period-style tournaments such as the Pas d’Armes that have previously been held at Pennsic. Baron Asbjorn Johansun, who originally began the HCS, said that he wanted to get away from these types of battles and create something new and interesting that all fighters would enjoy. These fights are in the tradition of Le Jeu de La Hache, Talhoffer, and Ringeck. Instead of wearing all armor these fighters would wear less to get more of the flow of combat. They would also have different places to hit for a kill as compared to traditional SCA combat. Lord Murdoch McArthur from the Kingdom of Northshield ran the HCS this year in Baron Asbjorn’s stead.
The rules for the first tournament were that only pole arms were to be used and there were specific ways of killing one’s opponent. A fighter could be killed by being hit on the inside of the elbow, their armpit, the head three times, the eyes when the helm is open-faced, and although strongly discouraged, the groin area. Also, the fighter could be considered killed if they are knocked over by their opponent or fall over themselves. If one of them ends up dropping their weapon they are then open to be killed by the other, without waiting for their opponent to recover their weapon..
Sir Vladimir Ivonivich Aleksancrov and Sir Corby de Laflamme, both from Atlantia, found themselves facing each other in the finals of the single elimination. Then, after only a few minutes, Vladimir ended up killing Corby with three blows to the head.
The prize for Vladimir was a pole head. He was jokingly teased by the other fighters that his wife was going to use it to hit him over the head.
Thursday’s rules were the same but the combatants used a long sword instead. They used the two-handed swords in the tradition of Liechtenauer and Fiore. After the very long round robin style format, with 13 competitors, HRM Valharic of Atlantia won the combats with long swords. The prize was a period Italian book by Massimo Malipiero.
The third combat series, also on Thursday, was with sword and buckler. Death was imminent with a solid blow to anywhere on the body to simulate unarmored fighters. The fighter loses if they cannot recover their dropped weapon before his opponent touches him with his sword. He also loses if he falls and cannot recover before his opponent kills him.
After a much shorter round robin, since they did them three bouts at a time, Sir Valgard Stonecleaver from the East found himself as the winner. Lord Murdoch presented him with a shield boss stating that he would have given him a finished buckler but he was unsure of what they would like, so now Sir Valgard can make his own.
The Historic Combat Series continues on Monday and Tuesday with “As Real Men Fought,” “The Challenges at Vannes” and the Plate and Mail Tourney. Check them out on the tourney lists near the Main Battlefield. They are very entertaining to watch.
By Julie for the Pennsic Independent
SCAdians were mostly unfazed by the torrential downpours, lightning and thunder Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday morning.
The greatest impact was on the battlefield and rapier lists where a tent and a kingdom pavilion were lost and events were pushed back and rescheduled. Elsewhere, there were minor injuries and fallen tents.
The Kingdom of Trimaris reports its battlefield pavilion was blown over about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, but the kingdom recovered its thrones and reformed in time for the day’s battles. Otherwise, “we fared very well,” reports Mistress Navah. Though rains poured through the area early Wednesday, the kingdom’s Swamp area camp, which is surrounded by water on three sides, had no serious flooding, and festivities continued as scheduled.
At the rapier list, the greatest impact was on the schedule. The Rapier Great Wall War Point Battle was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday and the Atlantian 5-man Melee took place in the afternoon, rather than the morning. The schedule itself was pushed ahead two hours, organizers reported. Volunteers at the rapier list said they noticed a tear in their large tent Tuesday just before it began raining and took it down. They used smaller pavilions to house organizers and marshals.
First Aid Point reported that they treated some people for sprained ankles who had fallen in the wet conditions, but otherwise there were no injuries. Chirurgeon’s volunteers and Public Safety performed their usual patrols as is customary during storms and reported no serious problems. There were reports of a few downed tents, but no significant problems, according to volunteers at Information Point.
By Grizzly for the Pennsic Independent
This year at Pennsic has been a wet one—activities have been canceled and plans have been put on hold. What do SCAdians do to pass the time when the hatches have been battened down, everyone is safe and dry and the only thing to do is ride the storm out?
I wandered around the camp today when the weather allowed and I looked around, listened and asked that very question.
There is a camp along the road on the back side of the lake where the inhabitants prefer to spend their evenings relaxing in camp and watching Pennsic TV — watching people wander past their camp on their way to and from the evenings activities. Those of you who have taken that particular evening stroll have seen the large wooden frame along side the road in the shape of a television. When the evening’s entertainment is good enough it is rewarded with a small token of appreciation.
When the rain made it unsuitable to even sit in camp and catch up on a little television, what did they do to pass the time until the gods blessed us once again with a little sun? They retreated under a dining fly and into a giant game of Risk.
Many SCAdians are gamers. They play roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Risk, just about any cared game, and World of Warcraft—but usually not here. At Pennsic you get the opportunity to try your hand at period games and do a little wagering with buttons, handmade coins or marshmallows.
Shopping is also a big event at Pennsic. Most SCAdians are shoppers at heart. The rain held off for Midnight Madness the other night and the streets were filled with shoppers, but even in the rain today I saw people browsing through the merchant tents and asking ”how much?”
But the one activity I saw everywhere without fail was conversation. People can retire to their tents or the barn, telling stories or catching up with one another. “Guess what I saw at this booth,” ”How have you been? “ “No___ there I was…”
Everywhere I turned people were taking and sharing stories. We are a friendly bunch, and there’s nothing we like to do more than sit down and talk, catch up with old friends, tell old stories to newcomers and tell big tales about those no longer here. After all, the “S” in SCA stands for Society.
Most people I know, when getting ready for an event are looking forward to fighting or to how they’re going to do in A&S, but most of all they look forward to reconnecting with friends they don’t get to see very often.
I’m not much of a gamer and I wasn’t born with the shopping gene, but if you want chat I’m all ears and I’ve got one or two for you guaranteed to get a laugh.
“No ___ there I was at Pennsic. It was raining and…”
As the number of families with children who come to Pennsic continues to rise, so too does the need for clear policies regarding supervision of young people. There have been no changes to the rules in place for a number of years regarding minors—requiring a parent or court appointed guardian to be on site for the duration of the War, requiring those under 12 to be in voice range of a responsible adult or teen at all times, and requiring all young people under 16 to be either in their encampment or in the company of their parent or court-appointed guardian after 11 pm. What has changed is that this year there are clear penalties for first, second, and third transgressions of these rules for both the minor and their parent or guardian. It has been made clear that these policies will be enforced. The complete text may be found at http://www.pennsicwar.org/penn36/GENERAL/siterules.html#MINOR.
The Pennsic Independent, as a source ofincome for the young people (Urchins) who sell our papers on a daily basis, is committed to ensuring these rules are respected. As a result, Urchins must be 13 or older to sell alone. Those 12 and under may sell with an adult or teen who has been designated as being responsible for their child. The number of hours an Urchin can sell papers will be limited to four hours a day.
We are also enforcing some additional policies to help ensure the safety of our Urchins. Urchins also must stay out of camps unless it is their own camp. They may sell at the gate of the camp, but may not enter. Urchins begin selling the paper at 9 am each day, rain or shine. We are asking the Pennsic populace to respect these rules by not inviting Urchins into their camps. “Some camps have gotten creative in the past, setting a box at the gate with subscription tabs, dollars with notes requesting a paper, and tips so the Urchins don't even need to cry at the gate,” noted Despotissa Heirusalem, publisher of the Pennsic Independent. She added that signs will be available at the Independent office after Wednesday of the first week to identify camps that would like to receive the Independent.
What happens if a rule is broken? If it is a Pennsic Independent policy, we will contact the parent to discuss the infraction. Sometimes minor problems can be worked out without needing to escalate. However, if a Pennsic youth rule is broken, the incident will be reported and the Urchin will no longer be permitted to sell newspapers. “We have been very fortunate that we have never had to call the Pennsic staff to deal with an Urchin issue,” said Despotissa Heirusalem. “Our parents have always understood the rules and have made sure that their children do, too. We value those parents as much as we value our Urchins.”
Over many years, the Urchins have become a valuable part of the Independent team. Urchins sell the paper for a commission and tips, and courteous and helpful Urchins often make over $50 a day. To ensure their safety, we make sure they are wearing appropriate footwear, provide hats where needed, and water in bottles to carry with them. We also provide them with a bonus if they act responsibly and sell on a consistent basis, as well as a pizza party on Thursday night of War week. They have become part of the Pennsic experience, with their familiar chant “Pennsic Independent! Only a dollar!”
Urchin safety is of utmost importance to the Independent. Commented Despotissa Heirusalem, “I am also a mother, and feel strongly about keeping the Urchins safe, healthy, and happy.” Whether you are an Urchin parent, a customer, or just a member of the Pennsic community, we trust you will continue to help make this possible.
For more information on the PI Urchins and Urchin rules, please see http://pennsicindependent.com/about/urchins
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
After 12 War points: Midrealm Dragons 7, East Tygers 5
The Grand Armies of the East and Midrealm met again Wednesday for one of the biggest spectacles in the Known World: the field battle. With the Dragon’s rapier warriors having tied the War earlier in the morning, the lead in the War was up for grabs as the East lined up on the west side of the field and the Midrealm assembled on the east side.
It was clear that the Midrealm and its allies possessed numerical superiority, a key factor in past field battles. While there was some fluctuation, the Dragon forces generally arrayed themselves with Northshield, Calontir, the Great Dark Horde and Æthelmearc to the north, the bulk of the Midrealm army in the center and Atlantia to the south.
The outnumbered East warriors attempted to use strategy to offset their numbers. For the first fight, the East deployed Ealdormere to the south, Black Talon and East army forces to the center and Markland and Tuchux to the north.
The first battle saw both armies march into the center. The East made the first charge, but they were nearly enveloped. To the north, the Æthelmearc, Calontir and Northshield forces went the length of the field and crunched through the Tuchux and other forces. After overrunning the East’s units, the remnants of the northern force joined a spiraling melee in the center. House Clovenshield was first on the scene, signaling the demise of the dwindling East forces.
For the second battle, the East shifted Black Talon, Ealdormere and most of its other forces northward. Only the Tuchux stayed to the extreme south of the battlefield. The East’s forces did not move from their muster points until the Midrealm was three-quarters across the field.
The Northern Army and Ulsterblichen broke first, attempting to drive a dagger through the Midrealm’s central lines. To the south, Atlantia and Tuchux went at it like dogs, but Atlantia’s superior forces prevailed.
To the north, Northshield and Ealdormere were in a mosh pit, but Æthelmearc’s arrival sealed the White Wolf’s fate. The Midrealm forces in the center engaged in holding actions against the East until it was clear the Tyger was losing manpower. The end came with the Midrealm’s central and northern forces squeezing the final Eastern remnants.
The third fight allowed for combat archery, but it availed the East little more luck. This time, Black Talon took the north side and Tuchux and the Uslterblichen took the south. Once again, the Midrealm’s forces on the north swept the field and this time turned the corner and headed south.
Meanwhile, the Midrealm’s forces were able to completely encircle the East’s forces in the center, with Ironlance closing the trap from behind. With the forces to the north and center eradicated, the whole of the Midrealm army marched south to join Atlantia in a relentless final squeeze on the Tuchux on the extreme northern edge of the battlefield.
Having seen his forces sweep all three fights, Sir Theodric, General of the Midrealm army, was beaming after the fight. “The whole damn army performed above the call today,” Theodric said. “The excellence of this army and its allies was shown in every single fight.”
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
After 15 War Points: Midrealm Dragons 9, East Tygers 6
The Grand Armies of the Midrealm and East were able to dodge the storms long enough Thursday to compete in a Pennsic original: the Woods Battle. This year’s battle was a 90-minute, unlimited resurrection fight over three banners. Possession of each banner earned each side a War point.
The Midrealm took the long way up, entering the battle from the north with its numerically superior force.
Ealdormere attempted to raise its army’s spirits by bringing forth its polar bear contingent. These bears showed the way to the East’s entrance in the south.
At the sound of the cannon, fighters charged up the slopes and into the fray. According to reports from the front, the Midrealm’s forces were able to seize the Midrealm and central banner on its initial charge, while the East was able to seize its own banner.
Gentles coming from within the battle said the East’s strategy was to concentrate its forces on holding its own banner. Despite repeated charges from the Midrealm forces, the banner was held as Black Talon, the Tuchux and others put up a dogged resistance.
A collection of East fighters held the banner at the end in the face of a final Midrealm charge.
At the Midrealm banner, the Dragon’s forces were well entrenched and held on with little trouble. Forces from the Midlands army were seen bringing the banner out of the woods.
While the central banner saw more action during the course of the battle, one female fighter from House Ironwolf claimed she had possession of the banner for the full 90 minutes. Forces from Ironwolf, Cleftlands and Middle Marches emerged from the woods with the banner, giving the Midrealm a 2-1 win.
Jubilant forces from the Midrealm and Æthelmearc gathered together after the win. HRH Palymar spoke on behalf of HRM AnneMarie.
“On behalf of her Majesty, I want to thank you all for your efforts today,” HRH Palymar said. “You came out here when others did not. When others stayed out, you kept going in. You are all true heroes and true warriors.”
HRM Rurik of Æthelmearc had high praise for both kingdom’s commanders and warriors.
“No one failed in their task,” HRM Rurik said. “Everyone did what they needed to do. We have worked hard to set up a command structure and it worked flawlessly today.”
Friday’s Big Battle: The River Battle
The final major engagement of the War will be a last-man standing affair. There will be three bridges over a 90-inch wide river, which will split the battlefield into north and south portions. Fighters can “ford” the river on their knees.
What to watch for: Quick moving engagements. This fight looks to have the soul of the field battle and bridge battle intertwined. The lack of combat archery means fording the river will not be suicide as it was last year. Look for the battle to flow quickly for the final two heavy weapons War points.
The Rapier Woods Battle, postponed on account of weather, is now at 2 pm today. Muster is at 1. East Kingdom Rapier is cancelled.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
Ninth Annual Known World Squires Tournament
The Kingdom of Atlantia hosted its annual Known World Squires Tournament Monday and the event continues to grow in size and prestige. This year, no less than 168 squires participated in this double-elimination Atlantian speed tournament.
The field was narrowed down to three finalists: Lord Simon DeMonte of the East, Lord William Thomas of Atlantia and Lord Theron Andronlkos of Atlantia. The three would fight a round-robin final, which was won by Lord William Thomas with two wins.
Calontir Great Sword Tournament
Lords with big swords (five feet or longer) got a chance to test their prowess before HRM Cadfael of Calontir in this double elimination tournament. Thirteen gentles came out to fight, with Lord Fredrick of Axtery and Sir Hirsh Ross Eichmann making their way to the finals.
The final bout was a best-of-three affair, but it was lengthened due to several double kills. Finally, Sir Hirsh claimed victory 2-1.
by Beatrice de Winter
Lord Stephen Calvert deGrey was heralding for the Baronial Championship Saturday June 23, Anno Sociatatus 42 in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael.
Upon the announcement that a new Chivalry champion was to be chosen, he called Lord Otfrid Ammerthaler into court as instructed by their Excellencies, Baron William Freskyn Murray and Baroness Katherine Kiersey. Suddenly, and with a wry smile, Baron William Freskyn Murray interjected at this time, demanding the scroll and subsequently tasking Lord Otfrid to read this missive. Unbeknownst to everyone however, the clever Lord Otfrid was secretly playing the role of "stunt herald."
Reading the scroll, he surreptitiously inserted the name "Lord Stephen Calvert deGrey" as the new Champion. Lord Calvert stared at him with a deer-in-the-headlights look, followed quickly by a sneer and a scowl as he realized that he'd been tricked. Grudgingly, he attended their Excellencies, muttering assorted curses under his breath. Baron
William, ignoring these mutterings, bestowed great words of praise to Lord Calvert for his involvement in the Barony, his willingness to assist others wherever and whenever assistance was needed, as well as his frequent concern for the welfare of the lovely Baroness. With that, Lord Stephen Calvert deGrey was presented his scroll and the other accoutrements of his title.
And so it is that the P.I.'s very own curmudgeon, Lord Calvert, was honored as Chivalry Champion of the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael for all of his hard work, dedication, and service to the dream, much to the surprise of the staff of the P.I. One member of the staff was heard to exclaim, "You're kidding, right? Calvert? You must be mistaken!"
When questioned about receiving the title of Baronial Chivalry Champion, a boisterous and befuddled Calvert stated, "I have a reputation as a rogue and a scoundrel to uphold and I would greatly like to maintain that. If you people start thinking I'm a nice person I'll never get a lick of work out of you, especially the writers. I'm still going to be that "bastard editor from Hell" no matter what anyone else says!"
However, another gentle living in the Barony, who has asked to remain anonymous, claims that Calvert is a well respected member of the Rhydderich Hael who has always been thoughtful and courteous in her presence. "Any time I've needed a hand with something at an event, he's been more than willing to do so. He's particularly helpful during The Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon, working as a Minister of the Lists and creating those terribly complex double elimination trees. I don't know what we'd do without him!"
(Publisher's Note: Lord Calvert is one of the finest, hard-working members of our staff. All teasing aside, we are all very proud of him and not the least bit surprised at this honor.)
Please be aware that the state of Pennsylvania has instituted a ban on the transportation of hardwood firewood into or out of the Pennsic area.
Do not bring firewood with you to Pennsic. Please use firewood purchased locally (at or near Pennsic) and do not take unused firewood home with you after War.
For exact details, please see the "Firewood Quarantine in Butler County" page on the Pennsic website.
Feel free to forward this message to any and all interested people or email lists.
Duchess Marion FitzWilliam,
Deputy Mayor for Pennsic Information Services
Subscribers and readers,
The PI Web Editor has been ill for the past week, and was unable to come in today.
Despoitssa Heirusalem Crystoma, PI Publisher, is attempting to fill her shoes until we are ensured of her health. (Likely tomorrow.) However, the Despotissa is not as familiar with the workings of things such as the downloads. Therefore, we regret that the PDFs for today's issue are not yet available. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause. We will get the issue up as soon as possible.
Thank you all for your patience!
Despotissa Heirusalem Crystoma, Publisher of The Pennsic Independent
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
Tarl’s Little Polearm Tournament II
For the second straight year, THL Tarl Shadowraven hosted a tournament with his favorite weapon style: the polearm. The tournament drew 43 gentles from throughout the Known World.
The polearm-loving fighters engaged in a bear-pit style tournament with four pits. Each fighter earned two points for a win and one point for a loss. The tournament was broken into two 45-minute halves — including a “halftime show” with sword dancing.
After the festivities were over, Count Sir Maynard Von dem Steine won the overall tournament with 134 points. Count Maynard then fought Tarl in a best-of-five fight, which Maynard won 3-1.
Every gentle who attended the tournament walked away with some sort of prize.
Lost Boys Kamikaze Battle
Taking its traditional place as the first large-scale melee of the War, the Lost Boys Kamikaze Battle returned Sunday to the west side of the battlefield. As usual, this “fight all you want” melee brought a large group of gentles for an unlimited resurrection brawl. With the yellow army and the orange army doing battle, victory went to all who had fun.
Individual gentles from throughout the Known World came the fight, including HRM Drogo of Caid. Elements from House Clovenshield, the Tuchux, the East Kingdom’s Northern Army, the Midrealm’s Oaken Army and Black Talon were all spotted in the battle.
St. Michael’s Vespers
After taking a few years off at Pennsic, the Company of St. Michael returned Saturday to compete in deeds of arms. Five members of the company came forward to perform combat to counted blow or with historically accurate combat conditions (thrusts to vulnerable spots, disarming an opponent, driving him to the ground or driving him from the list counted as automatic kills.)
Under the stewardship of Master Galaran de Cressy, Earl Yngvar of Æthelmearc, Lord Murdoch MacArthur of Northshield, Lord Kenneth Mutsorell of the Midrealm, Baron Angus Taylor of East and Baron Robert Downey of the Midrealm participated in the deeds.
The warriors fought with lance, ax, halfsword and dagger for the benefit of several assembled ladies.
By Ursula the Widow
for the Pennsic Independent
Dozens of SCAdians responded to a serious traffic accident on I-79 Thursday evening, just north of N19.
The sounds of the crash were heard all along the Serengeti. Many campers rushed to help, carrying first aid kits, fire extinguishers and jugs of fresh water. So many calls were placed to 911 that the emergency phone system was temporarily disabled.
Lord Antonio Vicini, was among the first on the scene, along with a fellow member of the Barony of Brendoken who has EMT training. The two saw an overturned vehicle on the southbound side of the median. A man was on the ground a
few feet from the car. A woman was trapped in the car.
The EMT from Brendoken, who asked not to be named, assessed the male casualty and stayed talking to him and
keeping him motionless. Other SCAdians arriving, including an emergency room doctor and nurse, attended to the female
casualty. NorthWest EMS was there very shortly thereafter and administered oxygen to both casualties. “We were probably
six deep in medical field personnel before the outside authorities showed up,” Antonio said.
Two Pennsylvania state police cars, a Portersville ambulance and a fire rescue truck were on the scene in less than
ten minutes. At that point a decision was made to Life Flight both injured people to hospitals.
The injured man told those on the scene that he had been traveling north when the accident occurred.
Lord Antonio commented, “One of the cool things was that, as the medical people began helping the injured, the SCAdians
who were on the scene who were unable to assist them began directing traffic until the troopers got there.” A trooper took Lord Antonio’s and his friend’s statements.
A PI reporter witnessed two STAT Med Evac helicopters land on the highway then take off shortly after. It is not presently known to what hospitals the two were taken.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
for the Pennsic Independent
The Battle of the Thirty
For the third year at Pennsic, a noble group of the gentles assembled to attempt to recreate the Battle of the Thirty, a famous battle from the Hundred Years War. Thirty gentles under Earl Yngvar the Dismal of Æthelmearc represented the English, while Sir Kieran Annach MacLeod of the Midrealm led 30 French gentles.
This fight was fought using historic combat rules, meaning only a thrust to a vulnerable spot on the armor registered a kill. Fighters could also be “stunned” by sustaining three blows to the head. A stunned or yielding fighter could be captured and taken for ransom. Ransoms were paid with fabric, jewelry, furniture and many other fine items provided by the fighters. The first fight was rollicking affair with many ransoms paid on both sides. However, the French were able to score more kills and win the field. In the second, non-ransom fight, the French were able to barrel over their English counterparts.
Known World Unbelted Champions Tournament
The Kingdom of Ealdormere hosted a 15-man unbelted champions tournament for the fourth year. This tournament has gained wide acclaim in its short life and several kingdoms combined their forces for this brawl. TRMs Edouard and Domhnail had high praise for all the teams, but it was Atlantia who won the tournament with a 7-0 record.
Other scores included: Æthelmearc 6-1, East-Middle 5-2, Ealdormere 3-4, Artemisia-Adenveldt-Caid 3-4, Middle-East 2-5, Northshield-Trimaris 2-5, Calontir 0-7.
Duke Olaf’s Two-Sword Tournament
Duke Olaf Askoldsson of Atlantia hosted a tournament for those who favor two swords. Duke Olaf noted, “Two-sword is an elite form and the elite came out to fight today.” The contest was run as a double-elimination Atlantian speed tournament.
The tournament came down to Sir Gabriel of Maccuswell and Ritter Brion Londgraff Von Bellatrix in the finals. Sir Gabriel won the tournament by winning two straight fights.
Warriors of History Tournament
Duchy Von DrakenKlave hosted its second annual Warriors of History Tournament Sunday. The tournament encouraged gentles to bring armor from a specific time-period and encouraged authenticity.
After a melee in which warriors were grouped by century, won by the sixth century team, the warriors took part in a double elimination tournament. Brother Amos the Pius bested Baron Angus Kerr in the finals. Rodrigo Othello Alfonso DeGranada was also recognized for having the finest armor as he took the field in a sixth-century Byzantine kit.
Fighters who claim “I’m getting too old for this stuff” had no excuse Sunday as the Greybeard Tournament returned for a third year. Nineteen fighters over the age of 50 took part in this year’s double elimination tournament.The finals came down to Sir Bran of Outremer and Master Ruslan Novgorodcev. Master Ruslan won the tournament by beating Sir Bran in two straight fights.
By Lord Stephan Calvert deGrey
With the size of the Pennsic War always growing by leaps and bounds each year, there are some areas that have generally proven more difficult for Pennsic Public Safety to patrol than others because of distance and accessibility. The newer campgrounds in the Bog are just such an area. Since they are so far from the main parts of the war and are very heavily wooded (many of these camps are located in the old Woods Battle site), this has proven to be problem areas over the last few years, particularly after dark in areas where it is difficult to see well. Last year, many of the camps that reside in the area decided to do something about it. Thus the Swamp Watch was born.
The Swamp Watch is an informal, yet highly organized volunteer security force operating with the full approval of and in cooperation with Pennsic Public Safety. They monitor activity in the southern parts of the site which host many of Pennsic’s more popular parties. This helps to ensure the safety not only of the residents there but of the many travelers who head down to the Bog for the parties and are often unfamiliar with the layout, particularly at night. They ensure that all the roads are well lit in order to deter predators. They also maintain quick response radio relay to Public Safety and the on-site EMS service. Due to their efforts, there were no incidents last year in the area and information regarding a minor medical emergency that occurred was handled far more quickly than it had been in the recent past, dramatically decreasing the response time of medical services to an area where it is very easy to get lost.
Lord Blaze of Clan Kindred of the Wolf (E31) is the organizer of this year’s Swamp Watch. He said that the response to the Swamp Watch by the Bog residents has been exceptionally positive and the vast majority of the camps there have enthusiastically embraced the project. One hundred or more volunteers participated. While many of the residents there are prepared for the dangers that can lurk in the darkness, Blaze and the other camp leaders in the area were very concerned for the safety of the partygoers who camp in the higher elevations and do not travel to the Bog often.
If you need to find the Swamp Watch, go to their pavilion on My Fan Way between the Causeway and Abandon Hope, directly in front of the Three Swans Camp in Block E27. Their people may be identified by a special silver baldric worn somewhere about their person. They also need your help. Not only would they appreciate additional volunteers, they also need supplies of kerosene fuel and wicks to keep their street torches lit throughout the nights at War.
Remember that the Swamp Watch is working to help ensure that you have a good time at Pennsic. When you go down to the Pennsic Swamp, don’t be afraid to go down at night. The Swamp Watch is there for you.
By Rania Iskramor
Special to the Pennsic Independent
The Pennsic Independent has received warning of a great danger facing the populace of the Pennsic War. The Soothsayers of the Circus of the Damned have predicted that a horde of vicious Vorpal Rabbits will plague the Marketplace and Food Court, starting Tuesday morning. Based on the accuracy of their Plague predictions of last year, we believe that the populace of Pennsic should make whatever preparations they can against this latest terror.
Rania Iskramor of the Circus of the Damned warns, “They look harmless all right, but if any adult messes with them, they’ll be sorry. Those things have great big, pointy teeth! The adults had best step aside and let the kids handle this problem. The innocent touch of a child lulls these critters into a harmless slumber.”
The Independent has confirmed that the creatures do exist. Johan Cervus, Pennsic’s Animal Control Officer, told Independent reporters, “We’re not sure where they came from, but they’re definitely heading toward the marketplace. They seem to be particularly hostile when approached by adults; the only specimens we have in captivity were caught by children.”
Lord Cervus has made this plea to the children, “Although it may be dangerous, I need to ask every child to scan the roads and pathways of the Food Court and Marketplace to try to locate and capture one of these rabbits and turn it in to the Circus of the Damned during the Children’s Fete on Wednesday between 1-3 pm. The best thing we can do is keep these creatures separated, so each child should only try to capture one rabbit.
The Circus of the Damned has negotiated with the Kingdom of Lochac to create a sanctuary for the captured bunnies. Queen Therasa and King Hugh believe that these creatures will find great joy in the vast expanses of Lochac’s territories and have given their blessing to relocating the bunnies to their Kingdom.
Every child that captures a Vorpal Rabbit and turns it in at the Children’s Fete will be rewarded with a Royal Commendation signed by the Monarchs of the East, Æthelmearc, Atlantia, the Middle, Lochac, Artemisia, Trimaris, Meridies, the West, Atenveldt, and Ealdormere, as well as a prize from the Circus of the Damned.
Any child not finding a rabbit on Tuesday in the Marketplace is requested to please come to the Fete in the Barn on Wednesday to help keep the creatures contained. While the members of the Circus of the Damned are fine entertainers, they are somewhat lacking in their zoo-keeping skills and will need all the help they can get while they prepare these feisty critters for the move to their new home.
For the Pennsic Independent
After dodging a potentially stormy night here at Pennsic, the ever-popular annual battle of La Rochelle was set to begin yesterday to the tune of a swift breeze and a largely clear sky. With legions of fencers turning out early to get checked out and inspected, the numbers soon swelled to nearly eighty on each side for a total approaching one hundred and sixty. As the hour drew close, the informally fashioned petards arrived on the field—leftover mini kegs to replace the much more authentic decommissioned powder kegs from previous years that had apparently been absconded with. It was fairly clear that this change would make little difference in the effectiveness of the devices themselves, though much was said about their state of emptiness. Amid remarks to this effect, fencers were split and decorated with orange ribbons to indicate their allegiances. With a short break for water and preparation, the call of “Lay on!” was sounded and the battle was under way.
Amidst the initial attackers came the petard carriers, swarmed by their own allies. Despite this, hawk-eyed gunners on defense made easy targets of those hauling the burden and on two occasions new carriers had to be recruited. As promised by the oft-used saying, the third time was the charm as the petards were placed at the foot of the door and the attackers scattered out of range of the impending explosion. With a thunderous boom generously provided by the Marshal-in-Charge, the gates came down and the attackers rushed headlong into combat. The attacking side found only a crescent of death on the far side of the doors as a double row of defenders created the well-known kill pocket and held it tightly. The overwhelming power of firearms was apparent as skilled shooting from above on the sides of the bridge downed large numbers of attackers. The defenders made their single resurrections count, though it would not be enough as the rapidly dwindling forces were forced to retreat in the face of a concerted offensive push. The sally port broke only moments after and attackers swiftly swarmed the field mopping up the remaining defenders. With a final time of 11 minutes and 6 seconds, it was a formidable time to live up to as the sides changed.
Again, the call “Lay on!” was sounded and the attackers charged hard toward the gate, effectively protecting their petard carriers leading to a very quick placement and subsequent explosion. With the marshal responsible for the explosion clear, the doors were opened and the attack began with ferocity. Employing a different strategy than the initial attackers, the second wave opted to concentrate their forces at the main gate and merely harass the sally port, which would hold until the end. With a strong offensive pulse led by those with firearms, the attackers pressed into the ranks of the rapidly deteriorating kill pocket and shattered their defenses. While the breakthrough was swift, the cleanup of the defenders was prolonged as many chose to retreat to the safety of the keep and towers. One lone defender remained hidden until the very last, whereupon all attackers descended on his position. Quickly taken down, he made his way sullenly to the resurrection point amidst a cloud of attackers. Despite a chant for single combat, this final valiant effort would be in vain, as the ruthless attackers finally cleared the last bastion of safety and defeated the defenders after 8 minutes and 8 seconds of battle.
While it was rumored that attendance at the event had diminished from the previous year, it was certain that firearms in the form of rubber band guns were scarce at best. This was attributed to the absence of Ironwolf, renowned for their extensive collection of firearms often lent out to those on their side. The added element of cameramen positioned on the bridge between the fort’s two towers provided ample target opportunities for stray shots, much to their chagrin. With no holds called save for those necessary for the scenario itself, La Rochelle came off as a clean, well-fought battle enjoyed by all.
In the interlude, a bout of Prima Spada was held between champion fencers Christian Fournier and Colin MacNish, both of the Midrealm. In a very entertaining match, three double kills led to the inevitable tie between combatants who found the verdict less than agreeable, though were resigned that it would have to do and the tie would continue to stand.
Immediately following the duel came the Champions’ battle, where rapier award winners and kingdom champions were collected to defend the fort against any and all comers. No firearms were allowed, and there were no resurrections, so errors in unit movement against a much more skillful defense became quickly telling. Choosing to hole up in the nooks surrounding the towers and the towers themselves, the defenders fought against a veritable horde of attackers, holding out and then pushing from their position in the keep for a victory against their assailants at 10 minutes and 53 seconds of combat.
By Julie for the Pennsic Independent
Men and women of the SCA currently serving overseas in the armies and navies of many countries, we send a grand salute to you from Pennsic XXXVI. As you are stationed in foreign lands and perhaps in the midst of real life battle, providing support to combatants or serving in some other way that keeps you from being here, please know that you are always in our hearts. We hope that next year you will be back here fighting war the way it should be fought, pummeling each other with rattan and blunted sabers by day and reveling in friendship each night.
As usual, the fickle weather here in the Kingdom of Æthelmearc has left us withered by the heat and dampened by the rain, sometimes all in the same day. But, the Pennsic spirit is as strong as always, and we are persevering here in the wooded hills of the Debatable Lands. Our combatants take the field as weather permits, and the Midrealm and the East vie for points on every front. Crafters, artisans and entertainers continue to entertain and educate us. There is hardly a corner without a musician or juggler making us dance or laugh as we enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate milk from the Cooper’s Store.
Everywhere are the sounds of Pennsic, a mixture of musicians on medieval instruments, the “Oyez, Oyez” of heralds spreading news, and the clunk of fighters’ weapons meeting with armor on the battlefield. At night, the drums beat into the wee hours as dancers sway around firelight and revelry emits from the Swamp.
Soon we will be breaking camp for Pennsic XXXVI, and preparations for next year have already begun. As we pack up our tents, our combat gear, our garb, and everything else, we hope that next year you will be here. Until then may the spirit of Pennsic be with you.
By DonalBane of Blakmers for the Pennsic Independent
Rapier Great Wall Battle
After Tuesday’s storm cleared the battlefield, the rapier fighters had to wait until Wednesday to play on the Great Wall. They arrived first thing Wednesday for a best-of-three fights affair, with the winner earning one War point.
Each fight was to be to the last man, but it became obvious early the Midrealm and its allies had a huge numerical superiority (it was believed the East had about 75 fighters to more than 200 for the Midrealm).
As such all of the fights turned out to be over in less than 10 minutes, as the Dragon’s fencers cleared the wall in short order. The win gave the Midrealm the War point, tying the War at 3 each.
Unbelted Champion Battle
The annual unbelted champions melee brought out a large, loud crowd of spectators. Forty unbelted champion for the East and Middle barreled headlong into each other. The Midrealm seemed to get the better of a flanking engagement, but the East was able to control the main brawl by staying more compact. Slowly, the East ground down the Midrealm forces, earning a War point for the Tyger.
Belted Champions Battle
About 20 minutes after their unbelted brethren had fought, 20 belted champions from the East and Midrealm met. Both sides attempted to flank each other, but the combat ended up getting splintered into almost single combat. The East dominated the field until the Duke Brannos, the last Midrealm champion, was dispatched from his knees.
Allied Champions Battle
Champions from around the Known World always say the Allied Champions Battle is one of the most fun battles at Pennsic. This year’s fight was no exception. This year’s battle was a 30-minute SCA-style game of capture the flag. The field saw 80 Midrealm allies and 80 East allies go at it, with resurrections allowed at two-minute intervals.
Anchored by forces from Atlantia and Æthelmearc, the Midrealm allies had a better time grabbing the East’s flag and sprinting across the field with it. After 30 minutes, the Midrealm allies had scored a decisive victory, notching five flag captures to one for the East.
By DonalBane of Blakmers
For the Pennsic Independent
On an overcast morning in front of the fort, the royalty and populace of the Known World gathered together Sunday to officially open Pennsic War XXXVI.
The Kingdom of Æthelmearc took their customary place as the first to arrive at the fort, as TRM Rurik and Angelik waited on the dais while their subjects sang of Æthelmearc’s glory.
About 20 minutes later, the East and Midrealm marched side-by-side to the dais, followed by representatives from every kingdom in the Known World. When all had assembled, HRM Rurik spoke first.
“We welcome all of you in friendship to our Sylvan lands,” HRM Rurik said. “You do us great honor by being here as friends and family. We hope that you all have fun.”
HRM Rurik then yielded the dais to the belligerent nations. HRM Dag of the Midrealm spoke first, greeting the East in friendship.
“We have word from our brother in Æthelmearc that your armies have come to their lands,” HRM Dag said. “We hear your intentions are questionable.”
“Their lands?” HRM Gryffith responded, drawing laughs from the crowd. “I have you know that my brother stood here at Pennsic XVI and XX as King of these lands. I have camped here to reclaim these lands.”
After both sovereigns made claims of friendship and complemented each other’s armies, the War Arrow was broken and the cannons sounded, officially opening war.
The Dragon and Brigantia Principal heralds then began the roll call of Kingdoms. HRM Rurik declared first and, perhaps miffed at HRM Gryffith’s ignoring of his Kingdom’s independence, declared Æthelmearc for the Midrealm.
In quick succession, Atenveldt, Meridies, An Tir and Drachenwald declared for the East, while Caid and Ansteorra declared for the Midrealm. HRM Valharic of Atlantia paid homage to heroes, and then remembered his former kingdom by declaring for the Midrealm.
Artemisia, Ealdormere and Lochac soon declared for the East, as did the Holy Kingdom of Acre, honoring their long-standing alliance. Calontir, Trimaris, Gleann Abhann, Outlands and Northshield declared for the Midrealm, with HRM Hrodir drawing the biggest cheers, noting, “We are taught in my realm that, to be a hero, you must come to Pennsic and kill an Easterner!”
The Great Dark Horde declared last as Khan Rowena led her “peaceful pastoral nomads” into court. Rowena remembered the many warriors who were not able to be at Pennsic.
“They fight a real war in the Holy Land,” Rowena said. “We are privileged to fight in Valhalla, as war should be fought.”
Rowena then paid homage to all the royalty on the dais and said she would declare for “a real king; the first who will give me a kiss.”
HRM Rurik then sprinted off the dais and earned the Horde’s allegiance with a rather passionate kiss, much to the crowd’s delight.
Master Rocco Barbarossa and Legio Darkyard then performed their annual duty by bringing forth the Pennsic War Horn.
HRM Gryffith gave a weak blast on the horn, before HRM Dag passed it to a champion who gave a mighty blast.
“Here we come as friends,” HRM Dag said. “All of us share the same dream. Let us remember that.”
“You do us honor by coming here from lands far and wide,” said HRM Gryffith.
Their Majesties cried “East!” and “Draco Invictus!” to their respective kingdoms as the ceremony ended.
By Krystoff for the Pennsic Independent
Another morning broke to the pitter-patter of rain and little feet up on the archery range as Youth Archery Marshal Bran Voloughderg oversaw putting the final touches on the Youth Archery Champions Shoot. In spite of stormy skies and the early hour, children began turning up to take part in what could only be called “a chance for the kids to shoot like adults.” With a turnout last year of thirty-five young competitors, it was hoped that more would make the early trip up the hill.
Now five years and running, this event gives children the opportunity to take on the same type of shooting scenarios that the adults do, only on an appropriately smaller scale. One thing that was certainly not lesser in any fashion was the amount of fun had by all those who came out to participate.
With a woods-based shoot informally called ‘The Insidious Monsters of the Wood’, kids could move between stations set with targets and at ranges set up for both age groups of archers. Targets included such things as Monty Python’s Dark Knight and Killer Bunny, a Lizardman, a Horse-headed man, various disembodied papier-mâché heads, and last but certainly not least everybody’s favorite Pokemon, Pikachu. With prizes for the top three finishers that included not only arrows and accompanying quivers, but also a silver arrow for first place, competition was sure to be fierce.
With the forest updated for challenging content since last year, it was a much more intense shoot that would ensure the monsters at least a slim chance of escaping in the face of overwhelming forces.
The morning weather held long enough for the children to take aim and fire at their dangerous forest foes with only a single shower to even attempt to dampen their spirits. At the end of the morning, it was obvious the enemies were much the worse for wear, and the children were that much better for having challenged themselves to the task of defending their kingdoms. Bran, observing the children as they gathered attentively for instructions, noted that if this was to be the future of archery in the SCA, it was to be a bright one indeed.
Congratulations go out to all of our winners. In the nine and under group, Cameron from Midrealm scored 65, and walked away with a bow from Elk Ridge Archery and a medallion commemorating the victory. Ceridwen from Atlantia placed second with a score of 52, winning a quiver and arrows from Greybarr’s Archery. Thomas, 7, from the Midrealm placed third. In the ten to thirteen year old division, Nathan from Midrealm won the division with 85 points, and received a quiver and arrows from Greybarr’s Archery.
Second place went to Brianna of the Midrealm, who took home a quiver donated by Elk Ridge Archery. Third place went to Eldrik from Atlantia. Breccan, of the fourteen to seventeen year old division took the win at his first Pennsic and goes home with a set of arrows donated by Greybarr’s. Second place was awarded to Josh from the East, who received a beautiful chess set. A quiver donated by Elk Ridge went to Delaney of Æthelmearc who placed third.
Mistress Roewynne Langley would like to send out her special thanks to the parents and youth archers for another wonderful year on the Youth Range. Also deserving of many thanks are Greenwood and Scarlet Guard for their dedication to Youth Archery. Extra special thanks go out to Master Jackapo, Master Robert the Grey, Mistress Baroness Tamar, Master Mark Squirrelsbane, Jarl Tarquin, Countess Aibhilin, and Aduke Colum, as well as all those who have helped. Final thanks go out to Megge of Man, a parent who has helped a great deal over the years, as well as the sponsors of the competition, Greybarr’s Archery, Elk Ridge Archery, and Delights of Cathay.