Champions’ Battles

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By Uilleam of Clan Friseal
Reporter, The Pennsic Independent

Houses fall into units as fighters from both Kingdoms take to the battlefield and begin to form ranks. As the whistle sounds, both armies march toward each other until an Eastern captain gives the order to charge. As fighters of the Middle resurrect, they organize themselves to charge the ranks of the East. With the line of poles and shields broken, chaos breaks out and the first hold is called as a Middle kingdom fighter takes the flag for a false point.
Moments after the hold is called off and the lines are reformed, the Eastern army flanks to the right with a sudden unannounced charge. During the rush, a fighter is run over and needs a moment on the ground to rest. He gets up under his own power and falls back into formation as both armies cheer him on. Units form in the Eastern army as the Middle reforms their line; the Eastern units break off causing confusion on the battlefield, which results in a captured flag by the East.
Immediately after the field is reset and units are reformed, the East successfully uses the same flanking strategy in a drawn-out skirmish near the base of the Middle Kingdom flag in order to gain yet another point in their favor. The East seems to favor certain strategies as they claim yet another flag in a quick charge.
Fighters form ranks and charge one last time. Fighters from the East push quickly and force their foes to a corner of the battlefield opposite their flag. An Eastern fighter can be seen running without a weapon or shield as he makes his way through to the Middle’s flag. In a display of excellent teamwork and coordination from his partner-in-arms, Lord Tegrinus, the unarmed Baron Patraich Oceallaigh is able to capture the final flag for the Eastern Kingdom.
As the winner is declared, the King and Queen of the Æthelmearc make their way to the center of the battlefield.

Queen Ariella of Æthelmearc regarding the outcome “The Queen of Atlantia and allies showed tremendous skill and did not give way easily. This has easily been the greatest battle of Pennsic in many years, possibly that I have ever seen. I wish to give thanks to Æthelmearc and all of our allies who made today possible. This battle would have been nothing had our foes not fought with honor and amazing skill.” Added King Byron “We are so proud of Æthelmearc. They heeded the call of their King and came in great numbers to achieve victory over the most noble of opponents.”
With the main battle decided, the Unbelted take to the field and form lines. Middle Kingdom fighters break formation and charge the East. By maintaining formation, the fighters from the East stand victorious. Eastern fighters assist their foes in standing, being sure to embrace each in celebration of a glorious battle. The second battle is over even faster due to a full charge from the East, resulting in a decisive victory.
The Marshals call for a hydration break between Unbelted and Belted battles. During the break, the Marshals entertain the crowd by balancing their staves on various appendages.
The Belted Battles begin with those who have been Knights for more than 12 years. Prior to forming ranks, Middle Kingdom Knights cross the field to wish their foes an honorable battle. The East approaches quickly and break formation to surround their foes. Middle fails to maintain their formation and many fighters are brought to their knees. With one pole arm standing and most of their fighters alive but legless, the Middle still gains a victory. This was a truly honorable battle.
Second to the field are those who have been Knights for less than 12 years. Knights from the Middle Kingdom quickly surround those from the East and make quick work earning yet another victory.

Finally, new Knights fight the battle named by Marshals as the “Baby Knight Battle”. As the battle begins, many fighters are run to the ground, leaving one Middle Kingdom fighter wounded. Following a short hold, the injured fighter stands and leaves the battlefield under his own power. As he makes it to his feet, cheers erupt from all sides of the battlefield. With the hold lifted, fighters are called back to their last known positions in order to continue the battle. The battle quickly turns as the Middle Kingdom knights fight for the honor of their fallen ally, leaving the Middle Kingdom victorious.
Different from the mass battles of the day, the Heroic Battle pits just two fighters against each other. As spectators notice what is happening, they move in for a closer look and surround the fighters. With a reduced fighting area, the combatants seem to fight with even greater chivalry, taking time to bow and compliment their adversary following admirable actions. The greatest example of this can be seen in the duel between The King of the West and Duke Brannos. The two combatants take their time to enjoy fighting worthy opponents, often pausing to ensure that each is hitting clean and with honor. When His Highness takes to one knee, Duke Brannos insists that the hit was not clean and should not be counted. The fight ends when His Grace strikes the Duke rapidly on helm and shoulder.
Point tally from Marshals East: 4, Middle: 2