By DonalBane of Blakmers, Battlefield Reporter
For the Pennsic Independent
On a bright Sunday morning, the mood seemed to match the weather as the sovereigns and populace of the Known World assembled to officially open Pennsic War XXXV.
The Kingdom of Æthelmearc, celebrating its 10th year as an independent kingdom, took its customary place as it was first to occupy the Pennsic fort. Songs of Æthelmearc filled the stage in front of the fort until the two belligerent nations arrived.
The Great Armies of the Midrealm and the East marched onto the field side by side, bringing their allies behind them. One by one, the sovereigns of the Known World were embraced by TRM Malcolm and Tessa of Æthelmearc and then took their place upon the stage until the ceremonies opened with a trumpet fanfare.
HRM Malcolm was first to address the populace, welcoming “his cousins” and the people of the Known World to his land.
“It seems we have a bit of a discussion going on between two of my cousins,” HRM Malcolm said, drawing laughs from the crowd. “And it appears that it needs more discussion.”
“This land, this Society and our world is one of honor, courage and chivalry,” HRM Malcolm added.
” We welcome you all and hope in this week, you are all able to live by those virtues.”
With that Malcolm yielded the stage to HRM Brion of the East and HRM Felix of the Midrealm. HRM Brion spoke first, saying that he had brought with him a large army, but preferred not to engage the Midrealm as enemies but in friendship.
“I think we spoke of how good it is to seek glory on the field,” HRM Brion said to his counterpart. ”Methinks this is good thing to do while we are here.”
“You speak that which is in my heart, Brion,” HRM Felix replied. ”We would hope to repeat the victories that the Midrealm earned on this field last year. We will test ourselves against the East.”
After HRM Brion said it would be an honor to meet him on the field, Their Majesties of An Tir and Artemisia came to the stage. HRM Brion then produced an arrow that was made eight years ago and had “great significance to me.”
“It would do me a great honor and show me great friendship to have you break this with me to declare this war,” Brion said.
HRM Felix replied “In friendship,” and the two kings broke the arrow and embraced one another, drawing cheers from the crowd.
The roll call of Kingdoms then began and HRM Malcolm was first to speak. HRM Malcolm said he remembered the mighty roar of the Dragon from the past year’s war and said that his kingdom “loves a challenge.” With that Malcolm threw his kingdom’s support behind the East.”
HRM Radnor of the West spoke next and noted his kingdom was dedicated “to the highest calling of chivalry.” He said the West would join the side of the smaller force to even out the sides as much as possible and thus declared for the Midrealm.
HRM Craven of Atenveldt spoke next and said he would “follow the bloodline” as HRM Brion was a former king of Atenveldt. Thus, Atenveldt would fight with the East.
In quick succession, Meridies, Caid and Ansteorra all declared for the Midrealm. Atlantia spoken next and swore allegiance to its father kingdom, the East. An Tir also declared for the East.
HRM Semjaka of Calontir spoke next and said he also desired to keep the forces even. As such, he declared for the Midrealm, as did the Kingdom of Trimaris. HRM Bela of the Outlands said his kingdom would side with their longtime allies from Calontir and thus declared for the Midrealm.
HRM Michael of Drachenwald said that while his kingdom was born of the East, “the black dragon will fly together with the red dragon as we will for the Midrealm.” HRM Michael of Artemisia noted he also had bloodlines with HRM Brion, and declared his allegiance to the East.
HRM Aaron of Ealdormere said his Kingdom would join its former brothers in forming “a red wave to sweep away the East.” HRM Draco of Lochac affirmed he was “the real King of Lochac,” and declared for the Midrealm.
HRM Lars of Northshield then made a bit of history as, for the first time, the Gryphon will fight with the Tyger.
Last to speak among the SCA Kingdoms was the newest Kingdom — Gleann Abhann. HRM Mary-Grace first thanked the populace for the opportunity for her Kingdom to fight in the war. HRM Mary-Grace then said she would follow her allies Meridies and declared for the Midrealm,
The Holy Kingdom of Acre then continued its long-standing alliance with the East. Finally, the Great Dark Horde entered as Khan Rowena approached the stage with much fanfare. In honor of the friendship the Horde had with Duke Eliahu, Rowena presented Felix with a Horde arrow as token of the Horde’s allegiance to the Midrealm.
With all parties declared, the Darkyard Legion brought forth the Pennsic War Horn. After several tries, HRM Brion was able to produce a low blast. HRM Felix then attempted to do likewise, but the cannons roared as he tried, officially opening the war.
The final act of Opening Ceremonies was three hearty Vivats in praise of friendship.