His Grace King Thomas Hanover von Eisenfaust of the Kingdom of Acre declares for the East at Opening Ceremonies
Photo by Master Phillip the Pilgrim
Fight During the Day, Party At Night
Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton
Although the skies opened in the hour leading up to Opening Ceremonies Saturday evening, the clouds parted as the Kingdoms of the Known World processed onto the damp fields of combat. This was the first time in recent memory (or possibly, ever) that Opening Ceremonies were held in the evening, and the reason behind it became clear at the close of the ceremony.
His Majesty Maynard of Æthelmearc opened the festivities by welcoming all to the 42nd Pennsic War. “You have come to our lands today to declare whether you will stand with the fiercest Tyger of the might of the Dragon. And after the fighting is done, we will come together as friends at the campfire to tell stories. This is the greatest event in the Society. Soak it in!”
He added “This event takes a year to plan. Please thank those who have worked hard to bring it to you, and volunteer.”
His Majesty Gregor of the East then thanked his cousin of Æthelmearc for safe passage through his lands, courtesy, grace, nobility, and chivalry. He then turned to His Majesty Lucien of the Middle. “Our kingdoms have been fighting for 42 years –41 if you don’t count last year. But I cannot think of a single reason to wage war with this man—except for the simple joy of combat.” He then vowed to fight to the last breath, to allow the Middle to withdraw to attend to their dead and wounded, and to leave the field together in fellowship each day.
His Majesty Lucien of the Middle then responded to this challenge. “I have great respect for His Majesty of the East. We will not draw our swords in anger or call him enemy—but we will accept this challenge. Once the sun goes down, we will partu even harder than we fought that day. And when the sun rises the next day, we will do it all again.”
Their Majesties of the Middle and the East then broke the ceremonial war arrow. It was noted that His Majesty of the Middle got the larger (and pointy) end. Perhaps an omen of victory?
Torches were then brought forward to be lit to symbolize the allegiance of each allied kingdom as they declared.
As is traditional, the Kingdom of the West, the founders of the Society, went first and declared for the Middle.
Æthelmearc, hosts for this Pennsic War, declared for the East. “The Middle Kingdom has invaded us and stolen our Blackstones,” stated King Maynard, “and our cousins of the East have vowed to assist us!”
King Ivan of Atenveldt, in declaring for the Middle, added that “Pennsic is as close as any living being gets to Valhalla.”
Caid, Ansteorra and An Tir all declared for the Middle while Atlantia declared that they would stand with their fathers and brothers of the East. Calontir then declared for the Middle, to be joined with the Outlands, who declared they would fight with Calontir. Trimaris, Artemisia, Drachenwald and Ealdormere all joined the Tyger while the Dragon’s ranks were swelled with the addition of Lochac and Northshield. Finally, the Kingdom of Acre joined their long-time allies of the East and the Great Dark Horde declared for the Middle.
The final act of Opening Cermonies was the traditional sounding of the War Horn. As is customary, the horn was brought onto the field by House Darkyard, and the question was asked: Peace, or War? His Majesty Lucien of the Middle directed Master Rocco Barbarossa of Darkyard to sound the horn “as he is good at it.” With the sounding of the horn the 42nd Pennsic War was officially underway—but His Majesty Gregor had additional words. “We fight during the day, and will party at night. We invite you to the East Kingdom pavilion on the field for a Known World party—right now!” And thus the Royalty and Kingdoms of the Known World made their way to the Eastern pavilion to begin to tell the stories of this 42nd Pennsic War.