By DonalBane of Blakmers
The official start of Pennsic War XL took place under bright skies Sunday afternoon. For the 40th time, the Known World assembled to open the festivities of War.
Per tradition, the Kingdom of Æthelmearc assembled first in the Pennsic Fort with the battlements draped in red shields with escarbuncles, a host of Æthelmearcians awaited their cousins from throughout the Known World.
The East Kingdom and the Midrealm marched in together, with their respective allies following behind. Representatives from all 19 Known World kingdoms, the Holy Kingdom of Acre and the Great Dark Horde came forth.
Once all had assembled, HRM Christopher of Æthelmearc addressed the populace and offered welcome.
“We assure you this will be the greatest celebration in the history of the Known World,” HRM Christopher said.
HRM Morgan of Æthelmearc then also welcomed the populace and expressed her hope that all who met on the battlefield this war would leave as friends.
HRM Christopher then asked the assembled populace for a moment of silence for Mack Cooper, in honor of the late owner of Cooper’s Lake. HRM then reminded the populace of the memorial services for Mack Cooper Monday at 4 p.m., honoring the man who had played host to Pennsic for the last 34 wars.
“He has given us this through his efforts and hard work,” HRM Christopher said.
Master Vorlin o’r Gwig of the Midrealm then told the story of how the first Pennsic War came to be, telling of how then King Cariadoc answered a challenge from a former Midrealm King — Cariadoc himself.
”Cariadoc obliged by declaring war on his former kingdom and was thoroughly trounced,” Master Vorlin said, much to the amusement of the crowd.
After the tale was told, the Kings of the two belligerent lands stepped forward.
HRM Arch of the Midrealm, claiming he was the one who was wronged, spoke first. HRM Arch claimed that, during a routine trade mission in the spring, his merchants were “set upon by those wearing blue Tygers” and robbed of their possessions.
HRM Lucan of the East disputed the claim, but agreed to settle the dispute.
“To prove who is right, we shall have a contest and a War,” HRM Lucan said.
Their Majesties then broke a war arrow, setting off the cannons and garnering cheers from the crowd.
The roll of the Kingdoms was then called to declare their alliances, beginning with the hosting Kingdom. HRM Christopher said Æthelmearc would join forces with its mother kingdom in the East.
The Kingdoms of the West, Atenveldt, An Tir, Atlantia, Trimaris, Artemesia and Gleann Abhann all declared for the East. The Holy Kingdom of Acre also declared for the East, honoring the 30th year of the treaty between the two Kingdoms.
TRM of Caid, Ansteorra, Calontir, Outlands, Drachenwald and Ealdormere all declared for the Midrealm. Master Robin Gallowglass declared Meredies’ alliance with the Midrealm in absence of his king, while Master William Castille did the same for Lochac.
HRM Morgan of Northshield then spoke and claimed his kingdom had thought long and hard about whom to side with. In the end, HRM Morgan said his kingdom cared about fairness and having a good fight. For that reason, Northshield’s armored combatants would fight for the Midrealm, its rapier fighters would fight for the East and its archers would choose whom they fought for individually.
The Great Dark Horde was last to declare. After first asking if the 40-year old dispute could be settled by thumb wrestling, the Khan of the Horde declared his warriors to the Midrealm.
With all kingdoms declared, House Darkyard was summoned to provide the Pennsic War Horn. After it was brought to the dais, HRM Arch took the horn and declared, “Let there be War!” He then let loose a high-toned blast to open the War. The sound of war was quick in coming, as a space was cleared in front of the dais for the Heroic Champions’ battle.
The Midrealm and East each called forth five of their greatest champions to meet each other in single combat. The combat took place in front of the populace of the Known World. Whichever side claimed the most victories would claim them first War Point of Pennsic XL.
Saying he had never been so proud to serve on the battlefield, Duke Master Moonwulf stood forward first for the Midrealm. However, Sir Manfred von Halstern of the East beat him in the first bout.
Duke Sir Vissevald Selkirkson of the East then met Duke Sir Felix of Ramsey for the Middle. Duke Felix was victorious.
Duke Sir Rangvaldr Yahnson then faced Duke Sir Gavin Kilkenny and Duke Rangvaldr made it 2-1 Midrealm.
Duke Sir Eliahu Yitzakh then claimed the War Point for the Midrealm, defeating Master Feral von Halstern of the East.
The East’s Duke Master Randall of the Dark made the final tally 3-2 Midrealm as he defeated Duke Sir Dag Thorgrimson of the Midrealm in an entertaining bout.