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.