By DonalBane of Blakmers
Pennsic Independent Battlefield Correspondent
After eight War Points: Eastern Tygers 4, Midrealm Dragons 2 (pending Archery and Rapier champion results)
For the first time on Monday, the two Great Armies of the East and Midrealm met each other for one of the grandest spectacles of the Known World: the Pennsic Field Battle. This year, there were three fights in the field battle with each fight counting as one war point.
On a sunny but temperate morning, HRM Felix of the Midrealm assembled his army and allies on the east side of the field, while HRM Kelson of the East assembled his army and allies on the west side. Both sides appeared to be evenly matched numbers-wise and both were in great spirits as the opening cannon sounded.
In each of the three fights, the fighters from ®thelmearc seemed to have a major say in the outcome. The first fight began with both sides barreling headlong into each other and a giant melee pit in the middle of the field. But the battle turned when the ®thelmearc army was able to break out and link up with elements from the Mountain Confederation and Great Dark Horde. The group was able to drive the remaining Midrealm forces to the top of the battlefield.
In the second fight, the East and its main force concentrated on the center again, drawing most of the Midrealm and their allies to join them. However, the ®thelmearc army took the northern flank, while Atlantia seemed to press from the south. When the two armies converged in the center, the end was soon in coming for the Middle.
The third fight allowed for the use of combat archery and siege weapons, but the outcome was still dictated by the main force. This time, Midrealm allies anchored by the Outlands, drove ®thelmearc before them. However, the main East force in the center was able to exploit a gap in the Midrealm line. Surging forward, the East's main force swept the Midrealm forces from behind and won the day.
After the battle, HRM Kelson was gracious in victory.
"We met our valiant adversaries on the field, as we always do, in friendship," Kelson said. "They gave us a noble fight and we thank them for that. We had to raise the best of our army and allies for this near and hard-won fight."
Heroic Champions Bridge Battle
In a new battle at Pennsic this year, TRM Felix and Kelson each assembled 150 champions from their kingdoms and allies to contest a single banner over a bridge. The battle had unlimited resurrections. Every five minutes, the marshals recorded who held the banner, with the side scoring the most points taking the war point.
More than one peer watching the melee called it one of the most intense and exciting fights they had ever seen. Both sides plowed into each other with wild abandon, much to the delight of the assembled populace.
"This is the kind of fighting His Majesty and I had hoped for," HRM Felix said during the battle.
At the 50-minute mark, the Midrealm had five points, while the East had two points, with the sides drawing on three points. With victory beyond their grasp, the East conceded the war point, but many gentles stayed for a one-resurrection fight to the finish. Eventually, the Midrealm cleared the bridge, putting the exclamation point on their win.
Belted Champions Battle
The annual belted champions battle posted 20 of the East's finest knights against 20 of the Midrealm's finest. At the outset, the champions broke into five groups and proceeded to plow into each other. In the end, the East's most cohesive unit was able to defeat the Midrealm who were confined to their knees.
Unbelted Champions Battle
Having just seen their belted brethren fall, the Midrealm unbelted champions took the field against their Eastern adversaries. For the first minute of the battle, the two sides stayed put at about 25 paces from each other, with neither wishing to commit. After some encouragement from HRM Kelson, the Midrealm split its forces and attempted to rush the East's flanks. The strategy worked, as the Midrealm champions were able to roll over their Eastern opponents.
Post-battle, the Midrealm champions assembled around HRM Kelson. Kelson congratulated the Midrealmers for their win and promised to present the Midrealm's captain, Luter, which a sword as token of his team's win.
Tuesday's featured melee: Woods Battle - noon, three war points (one per banner)
This is oldest battle at Pennsic and one of the most unique, as both armies will battle over three banners in a two-hour resurrection battle.
What to watch for: Not much really. For obvious reasons, the woods battle is the least spectator friendly. Extra water bearers at resurrection points will be welcome.